The ten best shows in Denver this weekend


"Weird Al" Yankovic's zany parodies catapulted him to fame in the '80s, back when pop culture was in dire need of some deflation. He never got critical props for his oddball iconoclasm, though, and after his 1989 film, UHF tanked at the box office, most wrote off Yankovic as a washed-up novelty act. He's had the last laugh, though: Beginning with successful parodies of Nirvana and Coolio in the early '90s, Yankovic's career enjoyed a renaissance that stretched to 2006, when his hit single "White & Nerdy" introduced the curly-haired jester to a new generation. If there's any justice to history, Yankovic will one day rank up there with hallowed satirists like Voltaire. In the meantime, sit back and enjoy the laughs.

See also:
- Mark Arm of Mudhoney on not taking things too seriously: "It's only rock and roll"
- Tom Linton of Jimmy Eat World reflects on twenty years and the latest Damage done
- 40th Day talks about Lovely Like a Snake

MUDHONEY @ UMS | FRI, 7/19/13
After the 1988 demise of Green River, Mark Arm and Steve Turner formed Mudhoney with former Bundle of Hiss drummer Dan Peters and Matt Lukin, who had co-founded the Melvins. Coincidentally, Mudhoney formed around the same time that Sub Pop Records was started by a couple of friends, and the band's gritty, expansive power pop and splintery punk sound informed the aesthetic for which the record label became known; that same year, the group recorded and released one of the landmarks of 1980s American underground rock, Superfuzz Bigmuff. Although the exploding Seattle scene of the '90s somehow didn't make Mudhoney a gigantic commodity, these guys are looked upon as legends for a reason. Catch Mudhoney tonight at the UMS, along with a slew of national and local bands.

Although Kenny Chesney is the marquee name on this bill, there's an act on the undercard that's totally worth catching. Her name is Kacey Musgraves, and right now she's probably best known for singing on "Mama's Broken Heart," Miranda Lambert's latest hit. Thing is, this feisty Texan isn't guesting on the track; she wrote it. And she's quickly emerging as one of the most compelling country songwriters since Lambert, a friend and fellow Nashville Star contestant. On songs like "Merry Go 'Round," Musgraves sings with tenderness and conviction while displaying a keen observational detachment: "Mama's hooked on Mary Kay/Brother's hooked on Mary Jane/And daddy's hooked on Mary, two doors down/Mary, Mary, quite contrary/We get bored so we get married/Just like dust, we settle in this town."

After a band has been together with the same lineup for nearly twenty years, it's understandable -- even expected -- that it would lose some of the vigor that defined its salad days. But that's not the case with Jimmy Eat World, which just released its eighth studio album, Damage, recorded last summer with Alain Johannes (Queens of the Stone Age, Them Crooked Vultures). While the band is now considered one of the forefathers of the emo movement, which spawned countless angst-ridden teenage garage bands, the themes tackled by singer/lyricist Jim Adkins on Damage are unlike anything the group has worked on before. The frontman has been quoted as saying that the album's songs were inspired by the struggles of adult relationships.

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