The best DIY shows in Denver in October

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Hiromi Shinada

DUSTIN WONG & TAKAO MINEKAWA at RHINOCEROPOLIS | 10/23/13
Dustin Wong first gained notice as a member of Baltimore's passionately exuberant post-punk band Ponytail. In that outfit, Wong's guitar work gave the band a wiry sonic detail that made its songs even more exciting. When Ponytail split in 2011, Wong moved out of Baltimore and embarked on a solo career of largely instrumental guitar music. What's made Wong's solo work remarkable since then is that while its drawn immediate comparisons to the music of Hella and perhaps Marnie Stern, there is a compellingly narrative quality in his use of sound and melody, rather than just merely serving as a display of his considerable technical prowess. Wong is currently touring with Takako Minekawa in support of their collaborative album Toropical Circle.

See also: The best punk, metal, rap, EDM and jazz shows in Denver in October

SAT | ESMERELDA STRANGE at MOUTH HOUSE | 10/5/13
Esmerelda Strange has been a bit of a gypsy during the course of her musical career. Having been based in San Francisco and Seattle, Strange now resides in Denver. As a solo artist, Strange has put together an act that draws on the Vaudeville tradition, and her performances are almost as much performance art as musical. Singing in both Spanish and English, Strange brings the irreverent spirit and energy of punk to her songs, which are also infused with elements of cumbia, Norteno and, yes, gypsy overtones.

TUES | CURSE! at RHINOCEROPOLIS | 10/08/13
Jane Vincent was once a member of the Baltimore-based band Abiku, and in that group, she helped to create disorienting, noisy, yet tuneful, visceral and jittery pop music using drum machines, 8-bit sounds and various other instrumentation. With Logan Terkelsen, formerly of Pfister, Vincent formed CURSE!, a duo that moves beyond what both Vincent and Terkelsen had done in each of their previous projects. There's a certain densely physical quality to the music that's darker and kindred to the sound of fellow travelers of unconventionally psychedelic music, Indian Jewelry. CURSE! is touring in support of its latest release, the confrontationally hypnotic and riveting Between The Wardrobe & The Wall.

FRI | HORSE LORDS at GLOB | 10/11/13
Horse Lords is a quartet from Baltimore, Maryland that has transmuted the classical background that exists within the band, whether traditional classical or modern classical, and channels those skills through the influence of American avant-garde composers like La Monte Young and James Tenney. The result is a music that has technical prowess to burn but which is playful in its use of alternate tunings, eccentric rhythms and its use of multi-media elements in the shows. Sonically, Horse Lords have more in common with modern experimental guitar bands like Hella and Skeletons than with any particular tradition, which makes the group not just an interesting live band but one that is energetic and compelling.

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