Wednesday, 12 February (Gothic Theatre, Denver CO)
Steven Malkmus & the Jicks
Steven Malkmus will probably never escape the mantle of his iconic band, Pavement, but, over the years, his work with the Jicks has developed its own quirky, experimental character. While Malkmus seems more willing to embrace some of that Pavement K.I.S.S. clarity, the Jick's music is marked by rhythmic shifts and more complex song structures.
Thursday, 13 February (Fillmore Auditorium, Denver CO)
Despite the recent drama around their lineup changes -- Kim Deal left last year and her replacement, Kim Shattuck was dismissed in November -- Pixies have tried to keep the focus on new music with the release of EP-1 and EP-2. The second EP is closer to the band's classic sound, but still doesn't bring the smoldering fire that the band is known for. So, why does this show merit recommendation? For me, it's largely a sense of optimism that Black Francis and the band will engage enough with their older material to make it worthwhile.
Friday, 14 February (Ogden Theatre, Denver CO)
Zappa Plays Zappa
Dweezil Zappa continues to keep his father's musical memory not just alive, but vital. On the surface, this might seem like a crass, mercenary action -- somehow a similar touring tribute to Bob Marley would cheapen the man's memory -- but Dweezil isn't just trading on Frank Zappa's name to milk some cash. Much of Frank's music is rich and complex and deserves a live audience to truly appreciate. Dweezil and his band do a phenomenal job of meeting the technical requirements of the pieces while crafting a fine performance experience, too.
In addition to the show, Dweezil is offering a guitar workshop class earlier in the day.
Friday, 14 February (Larimer Lounge, Denver CO)
Saturday, 15 February (Larimer Lounge, Denver CO)
Kick back next weekend for a rootsy pair of shows from Houndmouth. The quartet is happy to give the nod to John Prine, The Grateful Dead, and other folk-rockers, embracing the same kind of sonic purity. Their harmonies are sweet and the grooves slip by like a fire-lit living-room acoustic jam.