SPELLS Headlined the Perfect Rock and Roll Show

Categories: Last Night

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Tom Murphy
SPELLS | hi-dive | December 20, 2014
SPELLS set up on the floor along the south wall of the hi-dive. Wearing matching Christmas sweaters, which each member later took off, the band set the mood for what turned out to be a rowdy and light-hearted performance. Their set was perfect way to end an entire night of energetic rock, all before midnight.

See also: Denver Punk Band SPELLS on Bigfoot and Mexican Slang

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Crash 45 Was One of Denver's Strangest, Friendliest Bars

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Tom Murphy
robot sculpture | Crash 45 | December 20, 2014
Crash 45 ended its three-year run on Saturday, December 20. It was a place you could see experimental music, bike clubs, "burners" and b-movies. Its very unassuming facade hid the array of metal art inside.

When you stepped inside on the final night, the staff cheered you in welcome and some good electronic music was being played by a DJ. It smelled of barbecue, and on the patio a large, metal orb with square-ish holes to let out the fire warmed visitors.

See also: Globeville Staple Crash 45 Is Closing This Week

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Live-Blogging Bummeroo: The Online Music Festival

Categories: Last Night

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Isa Jones
This is better than standing next to a rich girl on molly in a field of mud.
Bummeroo, Denver's first online music festival, occurred on YouTube this weekend. You can read all about the idea here, but basically artists uploaded sets to a YouTube playlist and, as described on the Facebook page, "u can enjoy it from the comfort of yr bed as they are uploaded or whenever u wanna. Obviously it's FREE unless u didn't pay yr internet bill or u don't have any friends in which case u can't attend." Naturally, we were intrigued, and decided the only option was to "attend" for a few hours on Sunday and document our thoughts. Said thoughts are below.

See also: The Fourteen Best Colorado Music Festivals of 2014

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T/SMM Brought a Classic Noise Show to Glob

Categories: Last Night

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Tom Murphy
T/SMM | Glob | December 19, 2014
When some people think about noise as a genre, they think of harsh noise. But this show was somewhere else on the spectrum. Using samples, guitar, processed vocals, theremin and beats, Tom Smith and Mark Morgan, performing as T/SMM, created an immersive environment with their own musical language, enhanced by visual accompaniment. Not unlike Pere Ubu circa Dubhousing or early Chrome, but even more abstract, T/SMM had songs that followed their own musical logic.

See also: Noise Music Can Be Accessible and Inclusive, as Denver Noise Fest Proved

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Don't Look at These Photos From Skinny Puppy's Denver Show While Eating

Categories: Last Night

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Tom Murphy
Skinny Puppy | Ogden Theater | December 12, 2014
Kicking off early with relatively short sets from Youth Code, Haujobb and Front Line Assembly, this weekend's Skinny Puppy show at the Ogden Theater seemed refreshingly succinct. And everyone, crowd and performers alike, seemed in good spirits. It was mostly electronic music, but what sets these particular artists apart from a lot of modern electronic music is the showmanship and the physicality, not just in the raw sound but also in the visual impact of the performers. This was epitomized by Skinny Puppy's content and color rich projected visuals as well as the costume and minor set changes throughout its beautifully nightmarish performance.

See also The Greatest Industrial Tour in Recent Memory

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Jenny Lewis Brought Sex and Regret to Denver Last Night

Categories: Last Night

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Brandon Marshall
Jenny Lewis during a performance at the Bluebird this summer.
If Jenny Lewis were to be considered the voice of any certain slice of this generation, it would be those steeped in rock culture. Her set last night at The Ogden Theatre (her third Denver show this year) gave those in attendance the opportunity to experience her recently released The Voyager in its natural habitat: the drama and ecstasy of a local music scene.

See also: Jenny Lewis and Fans at the Bluebird (Photos)


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Usher Was Ridiculous and Perfect Last Night in Broomfield

Categories: Last Night

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Eric Gruneisen
Usher and his moves.
The screaming was almost unbearable, but absolutely warranted. Last night at 1STBANK Center, Usher used the crowd's unrelenting wails to his advantage, standing on stage in his own silence many times during the night, letting the crowd fill space in the arena with vocal adoration. He just flirted with every look, turning his head to seemingly lock eyes with everyone there, letting full minutes pass before he interrupted the appreciative howling to regale hundreds of lovers with "My Way," "Love in This Club" and "Lil Freak."

See also: Prince at the Ogden Theatre, 5/12/13

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'70s Legend Medusa Played the Weekend's Best Show at a Strip Mall in Arvada

Categories: Last Night

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Tom Murphy
Medusa | Black & Read | November 28, 2014
Unlike a few of the other area record stores, Black & Read doesn't have many shows. So when a band does play at the store, it's kind of a special occasion, especially when it features legendary '70s psychedelic hard rock band Medusa. This was one of only a handful of shows the band has played since coming back into being after something like a 38-year hiatus.

Medusa set the northwest corner of the store, with an audience standing between record racks. The band has already earned wide acclaim for its 1975 debut album, First Step Beyond, which wasn't released until 2013. With leaders Gary and Donna Brown being in their 60s at this point, the show could have been tame, but it really wasn't. You could feel the enthusiasm and verve in Donna's shouts and Gary's smoothly fiery leads. It didn't feel like people reliving old glory. It felt more like a new band, excited about its music.

See also: Denver/Boulder's Five Best Places to Buy Records

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There Was a Tribal Ritual and a Lone Cellist at the Mercury Cafe on Saturday

Categories: Last Night

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Tom Murphy
Itchy-O at Mercury Cafe
Fresh off a two-week tour, Itchy-O was still clearly in well-toned performance condition on Saturday night at the Mercury Cafe. The band has always had a strong physical presence, and that, coupled with its mysterious, musical cultist appearance, means the thirty-plus member outfit is impossible to ignore or forget. But something about this night, with the custom lighting handled by assistant techs, who also made sure the proper level of fog floated throughout the Mercury, made for an especially eerie and affecting performance.

See also: Itchy-O Plots World Domination With Jello Biafra

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Shovels and Rope Bring Denver Roots, Southern Soul to the Ogden

Categories: Last Night

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Steve Truesdell for the Riverfront Times. More here.
Shovels and Rope onstage earlier this year in St. Louis.
Before Shovels and Rope performed Saturday night at the Ogden Theatre, the crowd there was trying to claim them. There was plenty of discussion about the potential Colorado roots of husband-and-wife-duo Michael Trent and Carry Ann Herst, who champion Charleston, South Carolina as their hometown.

See also: Eleven Famous Musicians Who Recently Moved to Colorado

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