BBGun Press / Courtesy photo
Every fall, classes enter our lives and kill all the free time on weekdays that the wonderful summer brought us. Instead of going on bike rides or sitting on rooftops, we are cast to kitchen tables, libraries or coffee shops. We’re subjected to doing homework while listening to “The Summer Ends,” by American Football while trying not to cry on our laptops.
Luckily, this fall there is a slew of shows in the Front Range that are perfect excuses to trade in D2L assignments for cheap beer. Check out these radical shows that are coming up in the Boulder/Denver area this fall:
Marquis Theater, 2009 Larimer St., Denver, Sept. 9
Even though Southern Californian skate-punks FIDLAR have only released one album, they have gained quite a big and rowdy following. Much like the brand of sloppy, fast and wild garage punk, rumor has it that the live shows are just as crazy. If you’re looking for a sweaty, beer soaked mosh-pit to get lost in on a Wednesday night, this is where you should be. And if you’re having indecisiveness about attending, just remember “Fuck it dog, life’s a risk.”
Hi-Dive, 7 S. Broadway, Denver, Sept. 11-12
Tennessee stoners Natural Child are singed to garage record label Burger Records, but the trio sounds unlike any other band on the roster. Natural Child is known for playing a brilliant combination on country, rock ‘n’ roll and garage rock that sounds like the musical equivalent of getting stoned, barbecuing pork and blasting Steve Earle out Ford pickup truck speakers. Since the group put on such a fun, beer- and marijuana-fueled show on at the Hi-Dive last summer, they’ll be rockin’ and rollin’ for two nights at the same venue for some of the most fun you’ll ever have at a country show.
Larimer Lounge, 2721 Larimer St., Denver, Sept. 20
After appearing on Flying Lotus’ You’re Dead! and Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly, bass virtuoso Thundercat has had incredibly busy and successful year. Aside from the fact that Tundercat may be one of the best bassists in the world, his new EP The Boyond/Where the Giants Roam has proven him as one of the most innovative musicians in jazz/soul/electronic fusion. His style is heady and challenging, but is dreamy and articulate enough to please fans of hip-hop, funk and beyond. This year, Thundercat will be visiting the Larimer Lounge which, with the path that he is on, may be the most intimate Denver show he will ever play.
Boulder Theater, 2032 14th St., Boulder, Sept. 24
Kamasi Washington is a tenor saxophonist from Los Angeles that was not only featured heavily on Kendrick Lamar’s latest record but also released his three-hour, triple-disk debut album The Epic. Unlike most contemporary jazz artists, Washington composes and belts out pure, by the book, spiritual and post-bop jazz — with no flavors of hip-hop or electronic anywhere in sight. Unsurprisingly, the record goes above and beyond any and all expectations of a contemporary jazz album and has become a personal favorite of 2015. Washington will be touring North America with his band, The Next Step, which features two drummers, two bass players, multiple keyboard players, three horn players, a pianist and a vocalist. Really, if that doesn’t imply how great this show will be, the only words that are left to say about it is “whatever you do don’t miss this.”
Fox Theatre, 1135 13th St., Boulder, Sept. 26
As many indie-heads know, long-running beach-goth group The Growlers are awesome live. Much like live shows, the sound is hazy, scuzzy and mellow — perfect for nights when you’re dressed in all black and drinking 40s out of paper bags in a parking lot. (Admit it we’ve all been there.) Last time the group came to Denver during a two-night stint at the Hi-Dive, their token drag queen DM-Tina opened the show and was followed by The Growler’s epic performance from 8:30 p.m.-2 a.m. These guys know how to throw a party. It’s almost guaranteed that The Growlers will be a highlight of fall shows in Boulder.
Shannon and the Clams
Larimer Lounge, 2721 Larimer St., Denver, Sept. 29
Following the 2013 album, beloved Oakland surf-punks Shannon and the Clams are back with a new album and a tour stop in Denver. Unlike its contemporaries, the group incorporates gritty surf rock, a la Link Wray, into its brand of punk — and ’50s rock ‘n’ roll, akin to The Crystals (or even Buddy Holly). Over the years, Shannon and the Clams have churned out top-shelf punk music and have gained a massive cult following for good reason. This show will probably sell out, so don’t be a fool — get on those tickets.
Dryer Plug Studios, 3050 E. 43rd Ave., Denver, Oct. 3-4
The sixth annual Titwrench Festival is happening this year at Dryer Plug Studios in Denver on October 3-4. Each year, members of the local DIY scenes come together for two days of experimental music and art, with a focus on women and LGBT communities. Though the lineup has not been announced, past years have hosted awesome local and national acts, such as Fingers of the Sun, Emily Frembgen, Olivia Neutron-John and Man Hands. You do not want to miss Titwrench — it’s the best festival in Colorado as it breaks boundaries in not only art and music, but also gender and sexual equality.
Lost Lake Lounge, 3602 E. Colfax Ave., Denver, Oct 18
Though this guitar-and-bass duo is only 18 and 19 years old, Cleo and Harmony, aka Girlpool, have been making some of the most thought-provoking and emotionally intense punk music in recent history. Since the debut LP Before the World Was Big earlier this year, the group have proven to be indie rock’s most promising new act. Finally, the duo has ventured out of their base of Philadelphia and will be making a Denver debut at the Lost Lake in October. With the rise in popularity, this performance will most definitely be their most personal and intimate — which, for the style of music they play, is the only way to see them.
Run the Jewels
Ogden Theater, 935 E. Colfax Ave., Denver, Oct. 20-21
It’s no secret that Killer Mike and El-P, collectively known as Run the Jewels, have had a huge year. Their second LP Run the Jewels 2 made hundreds of year-end lists in 2014 and was even named album of the year by Pitchfork magazine. Without a doubt, the duo has been making awe-inspiring hip-hop music and have been bringing underground sounds to the masses. They will be returning to Denver for two nights, one of which is already sold out. This will inevitably be one of the biggest and best shows of the year.
Larimer Lounge, 2721 Larimer St., Denver, Oct. 23
Out of nowhere, Montreal outfit Ought released one of the most surprisingly masterful post-punk records of 2014. Though the group harnesses the fieriness of its contemporaries, the instrumentation and lyricism showed that the young band is literate and thoughtful beyond their years. A first appearance in Denver in 2014 was a small and under-promoted show at Savoy at Curtis Park, which many locals still regret not attending. Luckily, after some well-received festival appearances and radical teaser tracks for the new album Sun Coming Down, the announcement of a Denver date makes this one of the most anticipated shows of 2015.
James Calvet is the music director at CU-Boulder’s Radio 1190. Read his “On-air next” column in the Colorado Daily every Thursday.