Weezer Has Finally Made Its Third Great Album

Categories: Commentary

Eric Gruneisen
Weezer at Riot Fest last month. Full slideshow here.
You have to earn a Weezer fan's trust before he shows you his playlists. First, he'll make sure you aren't just parroting somebody else's post-Pinkerton decline narrative. He'll want to be sure you don't believe bassist Matt Sharp secretly wrote both of the band's two classic albums. He'll need to know that you have favorite outtakes and demos that never came out, not even on Rivers Cuomo's Alone records.

He'll want to know that you've thought -- over and over -- about how each of the seven albums the band's released since 2001 was lacking, not just in general but in its own particular way. Maladroit has great solos but the melodies are lifeless; Make Believe has heart but the production is sterile and the songs so short on words that they break into spontaneous ooh-ing choruses. The Red Album has high highs and low lows (mention "Miss Sweeney" and "Pig" here), and Hurley is competent but hardly a Weezer album at all. You shouldn't mention Raditude yet.

See also: How a Fourteen-Year-Old Weezer Holy Grail Leaked Last Week

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Blues & Greens, Boulder's Home of the Blues, Closing This Month

Photos courtesy of Dan King
One of many blues jams at Blues & Greens in the Boulder Overlook Hotel.
About a year after Dan King and his business partners took over the Overlook Hotel in Boulder, bassist Mark Diamond started hosting weekly jazz jams in the back of the hotel's restaurant, before there was a stage set up. Four months later, King started bringing in local and nationally known blues acts, and along with jams, there was music five nights a week. But nearly ten years later, King and his partners have sold the hotel, and it will be torn down to make way for student housing. The hotel's music venue/restaurant Blues & Greens, dubbed "Boulder's Home of the Blues," is closing at the end of the month; one final jam will take place there on Sunday, October 26.

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Rocky Mountain Audio Fest: Can Money Really Make Music Sound Better?

Categories: Music & Tech

A very expensive speaker
There's a Marc Maron joke about expensive audio equipment. He wants to buy a $10,000 amp that Jack White has, but decides against it because he feels that every time he'd play his guitar with it, he would just think, "No, this doesn't sound like $10,000."

It was that joke that stuck in my head as I wandered around the Rocky Mountain Audio Fest this past weekend. Audiophiles gathered in the convention center of the Denver Marriott Tech Center to check out the best of the best in audio equipment, from guys selling tiny parts for amps and stereos to suites set up for listening to home speakers that cost considerably more money than I will ever see in my life. How was any of this possibly worth the money people were planning to spend? Maybe some super-rare part for an amp that hasn't been made in twenty years. But home speakers? Headphones? Can money really make music sound better?

See also: The Trio of Brothers of AKNU Went From the Shelters of L.A. to The X Factor

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Pujol's Show at Lost Lake Lounge Wasn't Glamorous But it Was Fun

Categories: Reviews

Jamie Goodselll
Daniel Pujol, who records and performs under his last name, isn't one for spectacle or glamour. His music is fueled by repeated guitar hooks and simple lyrics, like, "But I think I did a good job of convincing myself not to blow my brains out against the wall." Yeah, that's about as far from glamorous as you can get. And his short set at Lost Lake Lounge wasn't glamorous, either, but it sure was fun.

See also: Ambassador Wolf Ignites at CSU's Powerhouse Energy Institute

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The Nine Best Concerts in Denver This Week

Categories: Best Concerts

Britt Chester
Skrillex headlines CU-Boulder's Balch Fieldhouse on October 15.
As with last weekend, there's a decent assortment of acts, from Skrillex at Balch Fieldhouse at CU-Boulder with GTA, Nadastrom and Alesia, to Sondre Lerche, Big Freedia, Shonen Knife and Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey. The rest of our picks are below.

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New Park Burger in RiNo/Ballpark Neighborhood Will Host Live Music

Since Jean-Philippe Failyau opened his first Park Burger location in Platt Park about five years ago, he's opened a Park Burger in Highland, Park & Co. in Uptown, and a Park Burger in Hilltop. He's scheduled to open his biggest location yet next month, at 2601 Walnut Street in the RiNo/Ballpark neighborhood, where he plans to host live music.

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The Ten Best Shows This Weekend

Categories: Best Concerts

Nas performs at the Paramount Theatre on Sunday.
There's an insanely eclectic array of shows this weekend. Swallow Hill is celebrating its 35th Anniversary at the Paramount Theatre with Josh Ritter, Brett Dennen and Elle King. Nas performs his classic album, Illmatic at the Paramount. There's also the New Pornographers, Felice Brothers, the Hot Sardines, War on Drugs and more. The rest of our pics follow.

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The Trio of Brothers of AKNU Went From the Shelters of L.A. to The X Factor

Tom Murphy
AKNU (L-R: Mark Scott, Marquis Scott and Rayne Scott)

AKNU (pronounced "anew" and an acronym for A Kind Never Understood) is a Los Angeles-based pop and R&B trio of the brothers Scott -- Marquis, Mark and Rayne. Together since 2008, AKNU came out of the early experiences of Marquis and Rayne who, as preteens, performed and toured professionally as Triple Pla and New Five Era. The group's father pushed the members at a very young age -- Rayne since the age of four -- to perfect their singing and dancing talent before he departed from their lives for more than a decade. During that time, the three boys lived in shelters, with dreams of a better life fueled by music and movies like Hook. In 2013, the talented outfit appeared on The X Factor and was given positive comments from Simon Cowell. Today, the guys tour nationally and internationally, and in 2013 released an eponymous EP of original material. We caught up with the band the morning before it played the Open Door Youth Gang Alternative earlier this month.

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Ambassador Wolf Ignites at CSU's Powerhouse Energy Institute

Courtesy of Ambassador Wolf/Jason Prapas
Each member of Ambassador Wolf has a wolf head they made themselves that they wear occasionally for shows.
Ambassador Wolf is used to playing to an audience of massive roaring engines, with the buzz of industrial lights above them. The band, which started as an after-work ensemble for three engineering Ph.D. students, performed in the lobby of their workplace, the Powerhouse Energy Institute in Fort Collins, last weekend during the SpokesBUZZ InnovationSwap, part of its month-long BandSwap program.

See also: SpokesBUZZ Prepares For BandSwap, a Program in Which Local Acts Trade Gigs in Other Cities

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For Josh Ritter, Literature Is a Bigger Influence on His Songwriting Than Music

Categories: Interviews

Laura Wilson
Josh Ritter

Josh Ritter (due Saturday, October 11, at the Paramount Theater as part of Swallow Hill's 35th Anniversary) is a gifted songwriter who has earned a bit of an international following for his imaginatively literate lyrics and simple yet sophisticated observational wisdom. In 2001, Ritter got a big break when he met Glen Hansard of the Irish band the Frames while playing an open mike down the street from where Hansard had a gig. Subsequently, Ritter was invited to play a month of shows in Ireland, where, instead of one or two songs at open mikes, he was playing half-hour sets every night. This helped him hone his craft as both a songwriter and a performer. Several albums and EPs later, Ritter has become one of today's most beloved and respected songwriters.

See also: Josh Ritter, Brett Dennen and More Will Play Swallow Hill's 35th Anniversary Show

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