The best punk in Denver in September
RIOT FEST @ MAY FARMS | SAT & SUN, 9/21-9/22
When your band can be said to be a direct and obvious influence on the Ramones, the Sex Pistols and countless punk bands since, it's fair to say you've made an impact on punk rock. But the Stooges didn't look too far into the future in making its music, it just articulated an unaffected desperation and intensity of emotion born of incredible sensitivity. But this isn't the only band playing this festival, which is brimming with some of the greatest punk bands from the '60s onward, including the Replacements, Naked Raygun, Flag, Rocket From the Crypt, Against Me! and Bad Religion. Riot Fest isn't one of those tours that travels to every major music market in the country, so we're pretty fortunate to be having such a density of great bands in one place at one time.
7TH CIRCLE ANNIVERSARY @ 7TH CIRCLE MUSIC COLLECTIVE | 9/27/13
When Aaron Saye took over the building that once housed Blast-O-Mat at 7th and Federal, there was no guarantee it would be running to this day. But Saye assembled a crew of volunteers, bolstered by his own native drive and enthusiasm, not to mention a kind of open door booking policy that has made it a place where you can see all varieties of punk from crust, to hardcore, folk, straight ahead punk, queercore and whatever else. More than two hundred shows later, 7th Circle Music Collective celebrates its first year of existence with a show featuring Titan Arum, Angelic Desolation, Centuries, Pray Teeth and Valensorrow.
OF FEATHER AND BONE @ 7TH CIRCLE MUSIC COLLECTIVE | 9/3/13
Denver's Of Feather and Bone has been threading together elements of crust and grind and hardcore to make music that has a bristling flow of brutal sounds, with precisely played chunky chords and off-kilter rhythms. It's not doom, not drone, but there is nevertheless a core of atmosphere to the band's sound, even as it hits with the force of a fast-flowing, caustic fluid -- all of which is driven by creative blast beats. The band's 2012 album, False Healer, is a relentless icepick into the frozen monolith of mainstream society.
DESTRUCTION UNIT @ LION'S LAIR | THURS, 9/3/13
Arizona's Destruction Unit plays with a frenetic intensity that reveals that one of the roots of its sound is punk. But like Butthole Surfers, the mutant post-punk psychedelicists in Chrome and the sonic adventurers in Cabaret Voltaire, these guys take those roots and plug them into dark atmospherics and add tonal gyrations and punishing rhythms designed to take the people playing the music and the listener to a different place. Whereas many punk musicians essentially made just great, straight ahead rock and roll straight from the more primitive end of that music, other bands took punk to its logical conclusion by exploring and embracing the inner weirdo and expressing that alongside the outburst of frustration. The band's recently released Deep Trip on Sacred Bones Records is more than just a clever name as the music embodies that concept.