From left, Craig Nice and Andy R. of the band Gauntlet Hair perform at the Hi-Dive on the first day of the 2011 Underground Music Showcase, Thursday, July 21, 2011. Jakob M. Berr / The Denver Post
JAKOB M. BERR
From left, Craig Nice and Andy R. of the band Gauntlet Hair perform at the Hi-Dive on the first day of the 2011 Underground Music Showcase, Thursday, July 21, 2011. Jakob M. Berr / The Denver Post
If you go
What: Underground Music Showcase
When: through Sunday
Where: South Broadway Arts District, Denver
Cost: wristbands $50, VIP passes $120
theums.com

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.

ManCub
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.

Imperial Teen
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.

The Epilogues
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.

Gauntlet Hair
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.

young pharaohs
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.

THEESatisfaction
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.

Atlas Sound
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.