• Michael McGrath / The Denver Post

    J Mascis and his softer-yet-ragged solo act will be here in November.

  • Ryan Johnson / The Denver Post

    The War On Drugs is having fantastic year, and you'll have two opportunities to see them in Colorado this fall.

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It’s fall! Sweet bountiful fall! (Almost!) When all the bands decide to come out of summer hibernation and hit the road again, and you have weeks in which massive shows happen night after night after night.

If you want to immerse yourself in the plethora of live music coming through Colorado this fall, let this be your guide to some of the biggest badasses playing Boulder and Denver these next few months.

Swans

Bluebird Theater

Sept. 2

3317 E Colfax Ave., Denver

bluebirdtheater.net

303-377-1666

Michael Gira’s tribe of sonic warriors have a reputation for being one of the most intense, cathartic live bands in existence. Favoring group improvisation and slowly building, hypnotic repetition, Swans’ appearance at the Bluebird is sure to be one of the most destructive, religious experiences of the year.

Tobacco

Larimer Lounge

Sept. 12

2721 Larimer St., Denver

larimerlounge.com

303-291-1007

Thomas Fec, aka Tobacco, has made his name as the leader of psychedelic trip-hop extraordinaires Black Moth Super Rainbow, and his solo work is just as bizarre as you might expect. Funky, heady and dripping with Technicolor giddiness, Fec’s brand of electronica is as wacky as it is fun.

Ty Segall

Bluebird Theater

Sept. 26

3317 E Colfax Ave., Denver

bluebirdtheater.net

303-377-1666

Ty Segall’s records have become the watermark for modern face-melting garage rock, so it’s no surprise that his live shows have a reputation for getting wild. Whether on drums or shredding his six-string, Segall is a punk-ass kid through and through and should be blast when he hits the Bluebird later this year.

Slow Magic

Bluebird Theater

Oct. 9

3317 E Colfax Ave., Denver

bluebirdtheater.net

303-377-1666

Masked wonderboy Slow Magic has been building his reputation as one of the more ecstatic performers with ties to Colorado, with his glo-stick gazelle mask and tribal approach to drums. This will be his first time headlining the Bluebird, but based on his recent appearances at Larimer Lounge at the like, he shouldn’t have a problem getting the crowd into his wide-eyed mindset.

The War On Drugs

Two shows:

Fox Theatre

Oct. 9

1135 13th St., Boulder

foxtheatre.com

303-447-0095

Ogden Theatre

Oct. 10

935 E Colfax Ave., Denver

ogdentheatre.com

303-832-1874

The Philadelphia-based War On Drugs have seen a tremendous year, releasing a heartbreaking masterpiece in the form of Lost in the Dream and booking two more shows in Colorado after having just headlined the Bluebird. It’s no mystery why: Live, the group’s classic-rock-by-way-of-’80s approach takes on a soaring, powerful quality, with frontman Adam Granduciel’s guitar solos charging ahead as if his very life is on the line.

New Pornographers

Gothic Theater

Oct. 11

3263 S. Broadway, Englewood

gothictheatre.com

303-789-9206

It’s been a couple years since the Pornographers have gotten back together, but if the advance singles for their new album Brill Bruisers are any indication, no one does power-pop like these guys do it. Their stop at the Gothic should be the aural equivalent of a perfect high-five.

SBTRKT

Ogden Theatre

Oct. 20

935 E Colfax Ave., Denver

ogdentheatre.com

303-832-1874

SBTRKT’s self-titled 2011 debut made quite a splash in the electronic world, and his follow-up album and tour will be bringing the masked wonder to the Ogden this fall. Though his live lineup seems to be in a constant state of flux, whatever incarnation of SBTRKT we get will surely deliver a solid fusion of big-beat dance and the kookier side of soul music.

Fat White Family

Lost Lake Lounge

Oct. 28

3602 E Colfax Ave., Denver

lost-lake.com

303-333-4345

These grungy London punks have slowly built a reputation in the U.S. with some sparse shows here and there, but they’ve finally managed to book an entire tour that will take them through Denver’s own Lost Lake. Gnarly blues and rollicking cowpunk are Fat White Family’s trade, and if the music says anything, it should be a hobo hoedown for the ages.

J Mascis

Larimer Lounge

Nov. 21-22

2721 Larimer St., Denver

larimerlounge.com

303-291-1007

The tender-voiced frontman of Dinosaur Jr. has been establishing himself as a solo artist worth reckoning with in these past couple years, so much so that he’s booked two nights at Denver’s Larimer Lounge for November. Taking his usual style of countrified riffage and mellowing it down to the acoustic level, Mascis’ solo work is soft-spoken without losing its special, raggedy quality.

Flying Lotus

Fillmore Auditorium

Nov. 22

1510 Clarkson St., Denver

fillmoreauditorium.org

303-837-0360

Stephen Ellison has risen to prominence in recent years as the mastermind behind the electronic expeditions of Flying Lotus. The artist has never been bigger, and his headlining slot at the Fillmore is easily the biggest show Ellison has booked in Colorado yet, cementing his status as a true wizard when it comes to hip-hop and electronic music.

Death From Above 1979

Fox Theatre

Nov. 22

1135 13th St., Boulder

foxtheatre.com

303-447-0095

The Canadian dance-punks are finally back, and they’re playing none other than Boulder’s own Fox Theatre this fall, which should be just about one of the rowdiest shows you’ll see this year. The group’s nothing-but-drums-and-bass approach has a ferocity unlike any other band out there, so if you go, be prepared for some bruises.

Sam Goldner is the former music director at CU’s Radio 1190 and continues to volunteer for the station. Email him at sam@radio1190.org.

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