The ten best concerts in Denver this week
10. CLUTCH @ BLACK SHEEP | MON, 3/18/13
Clutch has dodged being saddled with a label, primarily because of the illusion of reinvention it's projected with each album. But the truth is that it's just an illusion. Clutch is set in its ways, yet all of its music sounds like bold experimentation -- even on albums like 2007's From Beale Street to Oblivion, in which the act shed the metal leanings that colored earlier efforts in favor of a more refined bluesy swagger, which was really a continuation of 2005's Robot Hive/Exodus. (Orange Goblin is also on this bill.)
9. K. FLAY @ HI-DIVE | WED, 3/20
A Stanford graduate, K. Flay is smart and self-aware, which explains the name of her debut album, Suburban Rap Queen. To be certain, she has insecurities, but she is secure enough to rap about humdrum everyday real life, taking Flintstones vitamins and talking politics while boys kiss her neck, rather than project some falsified ultra-glamorous persona. She is a proud nerd, referencing X-Men and Lex Luthor while sporting a certifiably fresh flow, to which she says simply, "no duh," as if it were the easiest thing in the world.
8. NILE @ GOTHIC THEATER | TUES, 3/19/13
Karl Sanders became a bit of a known figure in the early days of death metal when he played shows with his old thrash band Morriah. But it was his band Nile, formed in 1993, that he decided to take his music in a more extreme direction into the realm of technical death metal. Chances are that the lyrics with references to Egyptian religion and mysticism are part tongue-in-cheek in tone but serious in the interest in the subject. Nile recently made its sense of humor clear in naming a song "Ethno-Musicological Cannibalisms" from its latest album, At the Gates of Sethu. Playing in drop A, Nile truly isn't kidding around with sounding heavy.