Best Shows in Denver 01/19/18 – 01/21/18

John Maus
John Maus at The Marquis tonight, Friday, January 19.  Photo by Luke Berhow

Friday | January 19, 2018

Necropanther
Necropanther, photo by Tom Murphy

Who: John Maus w/LKDLX
When: Friday, 01.19, 8 p.m.
Where: The Marquis Theater
Why: John Maus may be known to some as a former keyboardist in Ariel Pink’s band but his early solo albums, 2006’s Songs and 2007’s Love is Real became a kind of blueprint for the chillwave/hypnogogic pop movement. Using vintage synth sounds and the pop aesthetics of many 80s New Wave bands and a hazy lo-fi production style, likely of necessity given limitations of available equipment as well as a conscious effort in that direction. With 2011’s We Must Become the Pitiless Censors of Ourselves, Maus cleaned up some of his soundscapes without losing a focus on using echoing melodies to convey a sense of a recreation of a memory of a sound and a place while giving it an emotional intimacy and immediacy. With 2017’s Screen Memories injects even greater clarity and stronger musical lines in his production, giving a listening experience not unlike finding an especially clean print of a forgotten, unlikely, Alejandro Jodorowsky and Kenneth Anger collab epic science fiction road film.

Who: Screwtape EP release w/Sysco Yola, Raw Breed and Fat Chance
When: Friday, 01.19, 7 p.m.
Where: Larimer Lounge
Why: Screwtape is a Denver punk band that seems to perfectly balance the explosive aggression of post-hardcore with a driving energy and pointed political commentary. And one of the most impressively visceral live bands out of anywhere right now. For this show the group is releasing a limited run EP in an edition of 25.

Who: Necropanther w/Bodies We’ve Buried and Morgue Whore
When: Friday, 01.19, 9 p.m.
Where: Streets of London
Why: This is a show featuring what might be described as “extreme” metal bands that didn’t forget that good songwriting makes them more effective. Necropanther is on the more thrash end of that spectrum while Morgue Whore more in the death metal vein.

Saturday | January 20, 2018

Bluebook
Bluebook, photo by Tom Murphy

Who: Second Annual Women’s March Mosh with The Blackouts., R A R E B Y R D $ and Sarah Breanne of Wild Call at The Skylark
When: Saturday, 01.20, 3 p.m.
Where: The Skylark
Why: An early and pretty diverse second edition of the event celebrating female musicians in Denver including rock and roll band The Blackouts, dream-manifesting hip-hop group R A R E B Y R D $ and Sarah Breanne, the frontwoman and guitarist in Wild Call a band that somehow combines the kind of raging energy of a Babes in Toyland with a bit of Jesus and Mary Chain’s sculpted feedback as atmosphere.

Who: Bluebook, Porlolo and Whipporwill
When: Saturday, 01.20, 7 p.m.
Where: Leon Gallery
Why: Bluebook has generally been the solo project of Julie Davis (Seven Hats, Nathaniel Rateliff and the Nightsweats) and a perfect blend of downtempo, jazz and avant-folk with Davis on upright bass and layers of sound. She regularly has collaborators drawn from various ends of the Denver music scene. Porlolo is a showcase for the songwriting of Erin Roberts whose songs, while seemingly playful, have a thoughtfulness and insight and dry humor that can take you by surprise with its intensity in a way you probably need.

Who: Punk Against Trump 2: Anti-Flag, Stray From the Path, The White Noise, Sharptooth, Line Brawl, Over Time, Cheap Perfume, Allout Helter, The New Narrative, Rotten Reputation
When: Saturday, 01.20, 3 p.m.
Where: Summit Music Hall
Why: Turns out the Trump presidency has so far been an unmitigated disaster of incompetence, corruption and a seemingly endless stream of lies and missteps. A surprise to no one but those in denial. So, unfortunately, a Punk Against Trump 2 was necessary. On the fortunate side of that you get to see some of Colorado’s best punk bands who make no bones about what side of the political spectrum they sit on and whose songs and performances transcend immediate topical appeal.

Sunday | January 21, 2018

The Milk Blossoms
The Milk Blossoms, photo by Tom Murphy

Who: Emily Wells w/The Milk Blossoms
When: Sunday, 01.21, 7 p.m.
Where: Larimer Lounge
Why: The concept of the one person band has been done many times well. An Emily Wells performance is like seeing a one person orchestra. The level of planning and logistics involved were probably a product of necessity in not depending on other musicians to provide any of the components of the music and years in the making. But it also doesn’t come off like a gimmick as Wells conveys a sense of being immersed in her own songs. Using cello, viola, drums, synths, samples and her own voice, which cuts through the soundscape so vividly, Wells tells stories imbued with a sense of the mythical and the deeply personal cloaked in an American noir. Her latest album is 2017’s In the Hot. Opening he show is Denver’s The Milk Blossoms, a band that also uses what could be seen as disparate elements inventively to compose heartfelt yet dreamlike songs. Michelle Rocque and Harmony Rose have very different but powerfully complimentary voices that are about to articulate a richness of emotion that enhances the band’s already imaginative lyrics.

Author: simianthinker

Editor, primary content provider for this blog. Former contributor to Westword and The Onion.