The best concerts in Denver this weekend
FRI | ICELANTIC'S WINTER ON THE ROCKS at RED ROCKS | 1/31/14
More than misogyny or materialism, intelligence and verbal skill are championed by Jurassic 5; the vocabulary is impressive and the verbal acrobatics the guys perform are outstanding. J5 carries the energy and excitement of a newer era group but bring the flavor of an old hip-hop act (the crew strongly echoes the legendary Cold Crush Brothers), and it follows musical cues that are classic in the truest sense. (Ghostland Observatory and DJ Sam Spiegel of N.A.S.A. are slated to share the bill.)
FRI | PURE BATHING CULTURE at HI-DIVE | 1/31/14
Pure Bathing Culture started in 2011, when David Hindman and Sarah Verprille moved to Portland from New York following a stint in Vetiver. Capitalizing on their experience creating tonally rich, hushed pop music, the duo wrote hazy-edged songs in the style of late-'70s and early-'80s soft-rockers like Fleetwood Mac (whose "Dreams" the band ably covers). Blending that aesthetic with luminous melodies akin to those of late-era Cocteau Twins, the group has really honed its sound of late, as evidenced by last year's Moon Tides. Though imbued with the warmth, sense of ease and optimism typically associated with adult-contemporary and new-age music, the album contains none of the saccharine aftertaste that renders so much of that stuff stale. Live, this quartet is as soothing as it is moving.
FRI | SHREDDED BEATS at CERVANTES' | 1/31/14
Deltron 3030 isn't so much a group or an album as it is a mode of thought, and there are few hip-hop albums (or albums of any genre, for that matter) with the cinematic quality of this group's self-titled debut. Dan the Automator created deeply textured and darkly evocative soundscapes, aided by Kid Koala's turntablism, as a backdrop for Teren Delvon Jones (aka Del tha Funkee Homosapien, aka Deltron Zero) to tell the tale of how he becomes Galactic Rhyme Federation Champion. Similar to Dan the Automator's earlier work with Kool Keith, Dr. Octagonecologyst, but more coherent and accessible, this album proved that hip-hop could successfully travel to where only geeks had gone before -- silly non sequiturs, outer space fantasy and ridiculous characters all became fair game, and so did the out-crowd that relished them. (Shredded Beats runs three-nights and also features Hopson, Dilated Peoples, Dizzy Wright, DJ Hoppa, Black Pegasus, Rolphy, A Black Day and Wesley Wayne on Saturday, February 1.)
FRI & SAT | RJD2 at BLUEBIRD | 1/31-2/1
Since 2000, RJD2 (aka RJ Krohn) has been creating anthemic hip-hop tracks. Live, the turntablist dominates four decks while seamlessly mixing classic songs in with his own original beats. In the studio, RJD2 is continuously working to progress his sound, from laboring over honing the brass sections to finding just the right drums.