What: Underground Music Showcase
When: through Sunday
Where: South Broadway Arts District, Denver
Cost: wristbands $50, VIP passes $120
t’s OK if browsing the Underground Music Showcase lineup made your eye twitch (in a good way). There are a ton of good shows going on, so we thought we’d help you narrow it down.
There are the bands we’ve written about enough before: It’s no secret we think The Yawpers, Idlewhile, Air Dubai, Bonnie and The Clydes, and Bad Weather California are all worth your time and wristband fee.
Here’s what else should be on your radar.
6 p.m. Friday @ Main Stage at Goodwill
This Denver duo, a project started by producer and multi-instrumentalist Alex Anderson, give high-energy shows with just Casiotone keyboards, drum machines and effects pedals. ManCub’s electro-noise pop is dance music heavy on dissonance.
Big Freedia & The Divas
8 p.m. Friday @ Main Stage at Goodwill
This New Orleans native is billed as “the undisputed Queen of Bounce Music,” and we’re not going to be the ones to argue with that. The music itself is enough reason to check this show out, but stage presence takes it to a whole other freaky, bombastic level.
10 p.m. Friday @ 3 Kings Tavern
Throwback time. No, Imperial Teen isn’t super old, but the band has been around since 1995, which is almost as long as some of its new fans have been alive. The band the kept angsty guitar sounds and pop rock hooks from the ‘90s, but the music hasn’t gotten stale.
11:59 p.m. Friday @ The hi-dive
This Denver indie rock outfit is dripping with sincerity and synths. The melodies are pretty, the lyrics get deep, and then they throw in the kick of rock to keep things sharp.
6 p.m. Saturday @ Main Stage at Goodwill
These Colorado dudes earned top billing for the UMS this year. The Rhinoceropolis-affiliated duo’s lo-fi rock makes stomp-worthy use of soul and R&B styles. You will dance, and you will love it.
6 p.m. Saturday @ Compound Basix
Soul and R&B, complete with killer vocals, meet electronics and the results are hypnotic. It’s modern grooves and old-school melodies. young pharaohs will have you swooning.
11 p.m. Saturday @ The hi-dive
Stasia Irons and Catherine Harris-White, a Seattle-based pair known as THEESatisfaction, describe their own music so well, we’ll let them do it for us: “funk-psychedelic feminista sci-fi epics with the warmth and depth of Black Jazz and Sunday morning soul, frosted with icy raps that evoke equal parts Elaine Brown, Ursula Rucker and Q-Tip.” Yeah, you need to see that.
A Tom Collins
11:59 p.m. Saturday @ 3 Kings Tavern
The music of A Tom Collins feels like it wants to break a bottle over your head. It’s not quite angry, but the vocals have a heavy-smoker growl and the upright bass, trumpet, sax, piano and drums have a raucous spirit.
9 p.m. Sunday @ Main Stage at Goodwill
Atlas Sound, another UMS headliner, is the solo project of Deerhunter frontman Bradford Cox. His most recent album, Parallax, had critics drooling. His soaring, complex electro-pop melodies will chill you out and leave you stunned.
In The Whale
10 p.m. Sunday @ 3 Kings Tavern
This isn’t just rock, it’s RAWK. In The Whale gets constant comparisons to The White Stripes, and that’s as good a reason as any to see them. They’re certainly not a lesser copy, though. Replace Jack White’s…Jack White-ness with a less self-serious brand of ‘tude, and you’re closer to In The Whale.