12/03/2009 06:08 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Denver's Essential Concert Calendar

The Problem of Leisure: Denver's Essential Concert Calendar For the Week of December 3 - 9, 2009

We at Donnybrook urge you to sample a wide range of musical experiences this week from the slowed-down psychedelia of local faves Moonspeed to the unapologetic aural assault of Japan's Melt-Banana.

Dec 5: Moonspeed with Widowers

Dark and dreamy, with more band members than a typical fan has fingers, Denver-based Moonspeed gather Saturday to release their debut CD, Flowers of the Moon. As a project Moonspeed began at the hands of singer-guitarist Jeff Suthers, who still gives the band's outsized crew their creative anchor. Local purveyors of meaningful pop hooks since 2007, Widowers will open the show. Widowers songs range from gentle and jangly ("Shine a Light") to taut and anthemic ("Pistol"), but all have the good fortune to feature über-busy Mike Marchant, who lucky concertgoers can catch performing practically any night of the week either solo, with Houses, or, of course, with Widowers.

Larimer Lounge 27221 Larimer Street Denver, CO 80205

Dec 7: Melt-Banana


What happens when a noise punk band ditches their guitars and replaces them with synthesizers? The question is more than just an idol allusion to LCD Soundsystem's "Losing My Edge." Tokyo-based Melt Banana actually tried this on their most recent release Melt-Banana Lite Live Ver. 0.0. But fear not, they haven't gone all Burt Bacharach. Singer Yasuko Onagi still howls and shrieks her way through the record. Melt-Banana is one of the strangest and unclassifiable acts performing today. (For years guitarist Agata has performed wearing a surgeon's mask, and sometimes it's made of duct tape.) But regardless of the instrumental configuration the band chooses when they perform, it's going to take a lot more than an arpeggiator (or synths and samplers) for these performers to lose their edge.

The Bluebird Theater 3317 E. Colfax Ave Denver, CO 80218

Dec 9: Polka Dot Dot Dot


And now for something completely different. Polka Dot Dot Dot is Jordan Smith, Colleen Johnson, and Onyx of Olympia. All three sing, and their voices work especially well together. Musically Polka Dot Dot Dot favor oddball instruments such as the ukulele, the banjo, and the harp, but they use each with such a light touch that their music floats along as if supporting a cloud of free-spirited sprites. Although undeniably whimsical they are never jokey, and when Polka Dot Dot Dot perform live nearly everything falls into place. It's no accident that they named their latest release Syzygy, which is astrological/X-Files speak for conjunction.

Hi-Dive 7 S. Broadway Denver, CO 80223