The eleven best shows in Denver this weekend
Summer was underway. It was. But just in case you were waiting to roll down the windows and put away your sweaters, the Ink Monstr pool party series kicks off on Sunday. There are shows for those of us no interested in thigh exposure as well -- Reckless Kelly is in town, as is moe. and Tech N9ne. The rest of our picks follow.
Jim Willis The first Ink Monstr pool party of 2014 is Sunday at the EXDO Events Center
Mishawaka Amphitheatre : Friday, June 13
These jam-band veterans are celebrating their 25th anniversary this year, but they're still creating interesting new stuff while refreshing old classics. The outfit doesn't rely on tons of lasers to excite an audience, just group communication and lots of improvisation to keep your ears tuned in to what's coming next.
Rebirth Brass Band
Gothic Theatre : Friday, June 13
Before neotraditionalism, before smooth jazz, way before the birth of the cool was a gleam in Miles Davis's appraising eye, hell, even before Louis Armstrong hefted his first trumpet, there were bands like the Rebirth Brass Band in the city of New Orleans. Their raucous horns and slamming bass lines hark back to the time when jazz was for dancers alone, and any observer who would appreciate the stuff as some form of high art would be laughed at by even its practitioners.
Grizzly Rose : Friday, June 13
Since the Braun brothers moved to Austin fifteen years ago, their band Reckless Kelly has always been considered a part of the Texas music phenomenon, but they've also always managed to stand slightly apart from that whole thing. To its credit, the band has never used the beer-taco-Mexico-tequila-Texas-Texas-Texas-more-beer lyrical template that most of the so-called Texas music bands wore like a frat pin. From the beginning, Reckless had real songs and, when they didn't have anything new, they'd rev up amazing covers of Led Zeppelin or Elvis Costello to fill the void.
Aggie Theatre : Friday, June 13
At this point in his career, Tech N9ne needs no introduction to Colorado. The independent and highly successful Kansas City rapper -- who makes his fourth and final stop in the state tonight for this round of his tour -- found a niche for his bizarre hip-hop style in and around the Mile High City early on. Though not directly connected to the Insane Clown Posse's Detroit rap empire, Tech N9ne's similar clownish leanings aren't hurt by the comparisons, either: The artist taps into the Midwestern deviant feel that brings Juggalos out in droves.
Red Rocks Amphitheatre : Friday, June 13
In 1995, Rob Garza and Eric Hilton came together to form Thievery Corporation, an outfit that blends electronica with dub, jazz and bossa nova sounds to create a groovy tribal sound with Middle Eastern and Brazilian undertones. The pair's mid-tempo music, which falls somewhere between acid jazz and trip-hop, has appeared on the illustrious Kruder & Dorfmeister's DJ-Kicks series. Additionally, the act has welcomed such guest vocalists as Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips, Perry Farrell of Jane's Addiction and Iranian-born diva Loulou Ghelichkhani.
Sidewinder : Saturday, June 14
Ideal Fathers didn't end its time as a band the way it ended each show -- with great drama, bluster and fiery outbursts of nervous energy. Instead, singer Jesse Hunsaker simply moved to Iowa in 2011 and became a farmer. But he didn't turn his back on the band, which has always combined its intensely kinetic energy with raw emotions and political content, skewering the roots of problems in America and beyond. Adam Rojo's innovative synthesis of noise, post-punk jaggedness and menacing shoegaze guitar was the perfect companion to Mike Perfetti and Mike King's colossal and irresistible rhythms. The band's smart, dark and pointedly surrealistic sense of humor made it an incredibly relevant unit. Ideal Fathers still plays the occasional show, including one this Saturday, June 14, at the Sidewinder Tavern, and the band is still taking a stand against the world's greedmongers and their cronies.