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The Litigators in live performance. Credit: Andi Harman.

The Weekend’s Best Concerts (June 13-15): Layer Cake | “Angelfire” | Litigators

Friday

An Unusually Good Show at Abbey Underground: Don’t let the venue throw you off, but Denton’s Abbey Underground will sound much better than it often does  this evening, as part of a Real Rad records event. The label booked Unmarked Graves, Neon Cobra, and Layer Cake at the cavernous pub, which is usually relegated to the kind of place where you sarcastically order tequila shots on a bar crawl. But let’s take a second on Layer Cake. What exactly is going on here and where has this Denton band been all of my blog life (i.e. the past six months)?

With only a couple of recordings, it’s evident that Layer Cake makes sophisticated pop that is both multifaceted and harmonically complex. Meanwhile, the starkness of the bass playing keeps everything from becoming too ornate. Hear it for yourself. I know this will be controversial, and trust me it’s annoying, but Denton has always had Dallas’ number on pop music. This is simply another reminder.

The “Angelfire” Monthly at Crown and Harp: Earlier today I told you all about the party with Panic and DJ Sober taking place on the lower level of Crown and Harp tonight, but make sure to take a trip upstairs as well. “Angelfire” is just the most recent trek on which local DJ collective Track Meet is embarking and you can expect as many willfully dated cultural references as you can new and completely alien trends in underground dance music.

Keeping up with Track Meet’s hyper-evolving mixes can be daunting, so I decided to ask a couple of the DJs what they’ll be playing this evening. Austin Shook, otherwise known as Shooknite, replied that he’ll be playing conscientious Jamaican artist, Popcaan, or specifically his track “The System.” Don’t let the positive message of the lyrics fool you; a Track Meet show isn’t exactly a place to raise awareness on any issue. I also asked Air DJ, aka Oleg Belogorsky, what he might play. He replied, “Is it weird that I don’t know the answer to that question?” It was the perfect answer; these guys can’t even keep up with themselves.

A High Profile In-store at Good Records: Centro-matic will play a free store inside of Good Records at 7 pm this evening, which should draw a lot of people to gawk at the veteran musicians gently swaying on the shop’s generous astroturf stage. That’s ahead of the group’s show at the Saturday show at the Kessler, where they’ll perform with True Widow and Cliffs of Insanity.

Saturday

Punk and Sludge in the Pizza Shop Basement: I recently caught one of the bands playing this evening at the same venue, and people were hanging from the low-hanging floor beams by the end of the show. That would be Fort Worth’s Litigators, and the group opened the event at such a high clip that it set the blinding pace for the rest of the night. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Spacebeach will perform, and they take an impressively deliberate approach to their heavy psych music.

Houston Rap at Hailey’s: He may not be the chart-topper he was ten years ago, but Lil Flip’s name still carries plenty of weight wherever he tours. That’s due in no small part to the fact that he got his start as a protégé of the the late revolutionary artist, DJ Screw and as a part of the Screwed Up Click. He’ll be joined by local acts Buk Baby, Ro’ Bee & Young Snook, and Casper. There will also be an MC battle featuring Tidus, DeaAndre Vondoom Holmes, and Adrian Luke. These well-attended MC battles are some of the most anomalous and exciting events happening in today’s Denton.