The best concerts to see in Denver this week
MON | JUNIP at SUMMIT MUSIC HALL | 10/14/13
Formed in 1998, Junip fuses an acoustic folk sensibility with a meditative psychedelia driven by synthesizers. Before the Swedish outfit took off, guitarist and singer José González had a bit of a successful solo career with songs that were used in television shows such as The O.C., Friday Night Lights and House, and the group essentially went on hiatus, which explains why Junip's debut album, the gently stirring Fields, wasn't released until 2010. The melding of González's signature classical guitar with Tobias Winterkorn's subtle and transporting synth work creates a soft yet energetic dynamic has always given the collaboration a delicate, refined power. Earlier this year, the band released Junip, its second album, and the single "Line of Fire" appeared in the trailer for the series finale of Breaking Bad.
FRI | PORTUGAL. THE MAN at BOULDER THEATER | 10/18/13
Alaska-bred Portugal. The Man may be the weirdest band to spring from last decade's post-hardcore scene. Formed by singer/guitarist John Gourley and bassist Zach Carothers after the demise of Anatomy of a Ghost, Portugal quickly became the oddest band on the screamo package tours -- thanks to Gourley's slinky vocals and quirky atmospheric songwriting style, a hybrid of everything from indie pop to psychedelic rock to smooth '70s soul. (Portugal. The Man is also due at the Ogden Theatre on Saturday, October 19.)
FRI | THE NAKED AND FAMOUS at FILLMORE AUDITORIUM | 10/18/13
Thom Powers and Alisa Xayalith formed this pop outfit in 2008 and recorded two EPs with future keyboard player Aaron Short when the three were students at the Music and Audio Institute of New Zealand (MAINZ) in Auckland. Taking its name from Tricky's "Tricky Kid," the Naked and Famous isn't exactly what you'd call trip-hop. The group's effervescent melodies and breezy, upbeat dynamics are more akin to the likes of M83 and Cut Copy. Although Short wasn't originally a member of the live band, he served as an integral part of its sound in the role of producer. The Naked's debut album, 2010's Passive Me, Aggressive You, garnered critical praise for its expansive energy and diverse songwriting. This year's followup, In Rolling Waves, was a more sonically dense and coherent batch of songs that actualized the promise of the act's debut effort.
TUES | PASSION PIT at BOULDER THEATER | 10/15/13
Passion Pit began as a solo project of lead singer and keyboard player Michael Angelakos in 2007. The project quickly fleshed out into a full band that combined a keen sense for upbeat pop melodies with lyrics that didn't exactly try to sugarcoat the complex emotional life and experiences of adulthood. The Cambridge, Massachusetts-based act's debut full-length, 2009's Manners, yielded a handful of songs that garnered exposure on shows like Gossip Girl and Big Love, setting the stage for its follow-up. Last year, saw the release of that album, Gossamer, which gained positive notices and eventually resulted in an invitation for the group to perform on Saturday Night Live.