The best DIY shows in Denver in January
SUN | KID MASK at SEVENTH CIRCLE MUSIC COLLECTIVE | 1/12/14
Back in 2011 and 2012, Pete Bell was the guy with the camera whom you'd always see shooting footage of shows at Rhinoceropolis. Bell was in high school then, and making a documentary about the long-running DIY venue for one of his classes. Titled Neon Savant & the Silent Trajectory, the film captured the scene and the acts playing at the time. The whole time, Bell was making music on his own as Kid Mask. Part avant-garde electronic music, part noise and part dark psychedelia, Kid Mask is a consistently interesting hybrid experimental project with several worthy releases under its belt. Bell, himself a fan of challenging film, has created a body of musical work that would be a perfect companion for the likes of a Takashi Miike cinematic nightmare.
FRI | ECHO BEDS at GLOB | 1/24/14
Not since Einsturzende Neubauten or Author and Punisher were last in town has anyone seen a band that uses unconventional percussion and sounds that imitate the percussive quality of heavy machinery as extensively as Echo Beds. The duo, which comprises Glass Hits vocalist Keith Curts and Vicious Women drummer Tom Nelsen, makes electrifying, punishing sounds reminiscent of the more menacing end of Cabaret Voltaire. Nelsen's harrowing, animalistic screaming, alongside Curts's thundering bass lines, are both unsettling and inspiring. The group is releasing a split record with genius performance artist Tripp Nasty, and sharing this date with the immersive, atmospheric, environment phenom Sterile Garden, which is also releasing its latest album at this show. Rarely is an all avant-garde bill also incredibly accessible.
WEDS | NARROWED at SEVENTH CIRCLE | 1/8/14
This Las Vegas, Nevada, quartet calls itself alternately "shoegaze punk" and "post punk," which makes sense, as the group's fuzzed-out, aggressive pop punk has more in common with the likes of Dinosaur Jr and Sunny Day Real Estate, only with vocals out of the gritty post-hardcore school. What sets this band apart from many of its putative peers, however, is that the music isn't just three power chords and attitude. Touring in support of its excellent 2013 EP, Thick Skull, Narrowed seems to be one of those bands many will be glad to say they saw way back when.
SUN | HOUNDS OF HATE at RHINOCEROPLIS | 1/12/14
When hardcore spawned an even more militant straight edge contingent of the movement with bands like SS Decontrol, 7 Seconds, and "youth crew" acts like Youth Brigade and Slapshot, it wasn't too difficult to predict that the sub-genre would burn itself out quickly. But in the last decade, that sort of sound, that purist hardcore aesthetic and its attendant ideologies, came back in pockets throughout America and beyond. Hounds of Hate from Brooklyn fortunately sounds far more rhythmically dynamic than its forebears. The band's 2012 cassette sounds like the guys absorbed bits of grindcore and power violence into its sonic DNA.