The twelve best shows in Denver this weekend
6. SLIM CESSNA'S AUTO CLUB @ MOE'S ORIGINAL BBQ | FRI, 2/1/13
One of the most gripping live acts around these parts for the past two decades, Slim Cessna's Auto Club generally kicks up dust with equal fervor on its studio recordings. With Unentitled, the followup to 2008's Cipher, the band didn't steer too far from its tried-and-true formula of dark country and gothic Americana while injecting most of the tracks with a decent amount of the vigor from its live shows. The album's opener, "Three Bloodhounds Two Shepherds One Fila Brasileiro," with its chugging banjo, is classic Auto Club. The intro to "The Unballed Ballad of the New Folksinger" slightly resembles, strangely enough, the intro to Echo & the Bunnymen's "Do It Clean," while the accordion recalls a sped-up take on 16 Horsepower's "Harm's Way." Each of the nine songs on Unentitled could easily stand on their own, but as a collection, the album stands out as one of the Auto Club's finest efforts and possibly its most accessible release to date.
5. YOU ME AND APOLLO (CD RELEASE) @ HI-DIVE | SAT, 2/2/13
Brent Cowles started writing the music for You Me and Apollo in 2007 while still living in Arizona. Three years later, he moved to Fort Collins and spent time refining his songwriting and sound, eventually deciding that he needed a band to turn his already compelling material into something more lush and emotionally expansive. At times playing like countrified pop, Cowles's songs also have a kind of soulful tone and tasteful melodrama that suggest he and his cohorts are no strangers to the music of Sam Cooke and Otis Redding. The new, self-titled EP from You Me and Apollo is an even richer, more emotionally stirring offering than the quintet's 2011 full-length, Cards With Cheats.
4. THE DARKNESS @ SUMMIT MUSIC HALL | FRI, 2/1/13
In the music video for the Darkness's greatest hit, 2003's "I Believe in a Thing Called Love," the band's alternately naked and jumpsuited lead singer, Justin Hawkins, is repeatedly groped by a motley crew of space aliens. He appears, for all intents and purposes, to be into it. His band's mock-rock aesthetic is heavy on falsetto, generous with mayhem and short on seriousness, and the Suffolk group has followed that same wacky formula, albeit with extensive breaks, in the near-decade since. But aside from a handful of strangely named side projects (see: Hot Leg) and one consistently ridiculous mega-jam, the Darkness has little to show for its time off. Cue the age of reunions: In 2012, the guys returned to fun and funky territory for a third album and a tour that restores their original lineup. The real question is: Do you believe in a thing called second chances?