The ten best shows in Denver this week
ALT-J @ FILLMORE AUDITORIUM | THURS, 9/5/13
With prime slots at this year's Coachella and millions of YouTube views, Alt-J is one of the hottest emerging acts in the country right now on the strength of its latest effort, The Lateness of the Hour. Alt-J sold out the Bluebird last spring, and this week, the outfit returns to the Mile High City for a show at the considerably larger Fillmore Auditorium.
MGMT @ FILLMORE AUDITORIUM | FRI, 9/6/13
Back in 2008, at the peak of their Coachella-studded career, Andrew VanWyngarden and Ben Goldwasser were living one dream (deliciously abstract pop art) and singing about another: one rooted in Paris, heroin, cocaine, "elegant cars" and "models for wives," to quote their festival-friendly earworm "Time To Pretend." And though those dreams went in a different zany direction on MGMT's ambitious, if alienating, sophomore album Congratulations in 2010, the guys are still nowhere near resorting to "jobs in offices" and "the morning commute." Later this month, MGMT will release its third and potentially most daring album to date. If early single "Alien Days" is any indication, the self-titled release promises to take yet another unexpected turn in Albuquerque, unspooling psychedelic melodies and oracular, spectacular verses as the guys seek to situate themselves somewhere between their influences and their appetites. But will the results be superb or strange -- or just somewhere in between?
ARAABMUZIK (with STS9) @ RED ROCKS | FRI, 9/6/13
When it comes to EDM production these days, it seems like it's all been done before. Just the same, Rhode Island's AraabMuzik (aka Abraham Orellana) is doing everything he can to shatter any preconceived notions you might have about dance music. Steering clear of the standard "press play"-type sets EDM fans have come to loathe, AraabMusik utilizes his MPC to trigger effects and samples live -- jumping from obscure funk vocal samples right into popular dubstep drops -- and he does so with an ease and flair that keeps his compositions moving. Dude's a force to be reckoned with. Even getting shot earlier this year during an attempted robbery hasn't seemed to slow him down a bit. In fact, if anything, it's propelled him to continue working hard to create, produce and present one of the most diverse and compelling EDM sets you'll see all year.
THE HOWLING HEX @ HI-DIVE | THURS, 9/5/13
From his time in the groundbreaking mutant garage-punk band Pussy Galore in the late '80s to his long-running stint with outlaw experimentalists Royal Trux, Neil Michael Hagerty has long been a pioneering musician in the world of guitar rock. Ever since Trux split in the early part of the last decade, Hagerty has been prolifically recording and releasing music under both his own name and the moniker the Howling Hex. After a stint in southern New Mexico, Hagerty eventually made his way Denver, where he currently lives.