The seven best concerts in Denver from March 14 to March 17

Categories: Best Concerts

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Timothy Saccenti
Phantogram plays the Ogden on Tuesday.
There are some great shows this week. That new Phantogram record is excellent, and Shakey Graves is the Real Deal by most any definition. But let's not kid ourselves. The main event this week is Sunday. Why Sunday? I can't figure it out. Easter, I think. Must be Easter.

A few more of this week's highlights follow.

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Ten ways Communikey was a music festival done right

Categories: Last Night

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Tom Murphy
newnumbertwo VS. Scott Everett at Apex Movement at Communikey Festival
Most music festivals don't have a specific conceptual guiding principal behind them. But for Communikey 2014, the phrase "Take Time," which was featured in the well-designed schedule and map. As they explained it, the demands of the modern world have created a climate of artificial boredom, overtaxed reserves of emotional and physical energy and instant but meaningless gratification.

Communikey's organizers took that idea seriously, finding ways in even the smallest details to relish the taking of time. Below are some of the ways the festival did just that.

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The Denver Record Collectors Spring Expo is a music fan's paradise

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Ken Hamblin
Hidden down in a convention hall of a nondescript hotel off the highway north of Denver was a record lover's paradise this weekend: the Denver Record Collectors Spring Expo.

At the convention hall all day Sunday were dozens of vendors, each selling thousands of records, CDs and more. This wasn't just a place to stop by and grab another copy of Sgt. Peppers you lost in that last move -- there were 45s from the 1950s, a sealed Lenny Bruce record, the Ben Hur soundtrack on CD, a VHS copy of High Fidelity next to an old book on the Clash, racks of Paul McCartney and Velvet Underground shirts, posters from Modest Mouse's last show in Broomfield, and more from enthusiastic vendors ready to sell to equally enthusiastic buyers.

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Female artists are dominating Coachella this year

Categories: Music Festivals

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Chris Victorio
As a dusty wind whipped behind her in hazy stage light, Solange and her ultra slick backing band brought serious chops and swagger to the polo fields as nighttime fell over Coachella. And then Beyonce showed up on stage dancing to "Losing You." It was the first celebrity big surprise (before Pharrell's start-studded performance) of a festival characterized by strong sets turned in by female artists.

By Adam Lovinus

The musical pretext for the Solange set was laid out by two prominent bands on the LA scene, which now more than ever, in terms of bands, food, beer, style and attitude, dominates Coachella. This was illustrated by sunwashed afternoon sets by HAIM and Warpaint Friday and Saturday.

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Meet the people who come to Coachella to get sober

Categories: Music Festivals

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Curious Josh
Not THESE people, but this gives you an idea of the challenges involved here.
Did you know that, for some people, Coachella represents a big ol' Alcoholics Anonymous meeting?

Since 2009, New Orleans couple Bob Johnson and Jane Smith (not their real names) have led 12 step meetings on the festival grounds for those who, like themselves, are in recovery. They call their group Soberchella.

By Mary Carreon

But one wonders: Is there a harder place to be sober than at Coachella?

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The Coachella drug and band pairing guide

Categories: Music Festivals

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Timothy Norris
Ever since sunshine acid saturated Woodstock back in 1969, music festivals and recreational pharmaceuticals have gone together like wine and cheese. Which is why we'd like to recommend a few pairings for those so chemically inclined, a fine list of musical acts coupled with good stuff sure to provide complementary and contrasting flavors for your mind's palette at this year's festival.

By Adam Lovinus

Now of course, all of this is at your own risk, we don't endorse any of it, and the author is speaking strictly from a SWIM's (someone who isn't me) sense of experience here cobbled together from the stories of others.

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Bun B is playing the Marquis Theater for $5 later this month

Categories: This Just In

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Marco Torress for Houston Press. Full slideshow.
Bun B prepares for a "Concert Against Hate" joint performance with the Houston Symphony, which is exactly as indescribably cool as it sounds.
Let's not bury the lede here: Southern hip-hop deity and generally awesome dude Bun B is playing a show at the Marquis Theater on April 27, with FL from the Foodchain and the Reminders, and you can get in the door for $5.

So yes, that probably requires some backing up. This is the third installment of Denver's Red Bull Sound Select Series. The last one featured the Joy Formidable at 3 Kings. The way this series works (and it exists in a number of other cities, as well), is that one of four curators selected by Red Bull puts together a show each month. The tickets are a little different each time -- for the Bun B show, an RSVP at the Sound Select site gets you in for $5. Or you can try your luck at the door, in which case you'll pay $15.

The curator for this particular show is Denver's DJ Low Key. We talked to him via Gchat about the series, Bun B and what's going on in our local hip-hop scene right now:


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That's enough already, Dave Grohl

Categories: Commentary

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Press Photo
Dave Grohl is one of my favorite dudes in the world but he needs to hop off my radar for a minute. I'm a mega Nirvana fan and I've always admired Dave for his talent and humor, but lately I can't seem to get him out of my face. His mug is everywhere.


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The ten best shows in Denver this weekend

Categories: Best Concerts

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Beats Antique plays Friday at the Fillmore.
Some stuff happens next weekend. We feel like you probably know.

And Denver seems to be laying somewhat low this weekend. Still, there are plenty of shows to for you, including Communikey's seventh installment and the spectacle of Beats Antique at the Fillmore. But wait! There's more. Such as:

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My six-week-old recognized a song I sang to him in utero

Categories: Columns

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Amber Taufen
The transportive power of music never ceases to amaze me. Whenever I hear the Verve's "Bitter Sweet Symphony," it's suddenly 1997 inside my head; I'm back in high school, daydreaming while sitting on my bedroom floor, and my little blue boombox's dial is tuned to my favorite radio station, which plays the song at least once a day. When Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here" plays -- and I allow myself to really listen to it -- I'm back in 2006, and my dad has just had a fatal heart attack; to cope, I listen to sad songs that help me purge the waves of unmanageable emotions I'm feeling through catharsis, and Roger Waters helps me cry myself to sleep more than once.

Just a few weeks ago, the neurons in my brain connected a brand-new memory to yet another song -- and it's one of my happiest memories to date, so I know I'll enjoy hearing Bob Marley's "Three Little Birds" every time it enters my aural sphere. Here's why.

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