Princess Music, the Blue Rider at Bluebird Theater, 12-20-13 (photos, review)

On a pre-holiday weekend with loads of other choices, the Hot Congress Records showcase at the Bluebird Theater drew a good crowd on Friday. The label, home to a number of excellent local acts such as Colfax Speed Queen, Fingers of the Sun and the comedy collective, Fine Young Gentleman put together a lineup of talent, with Science Partner, the Blue Rider and headliner Princess Music.

Live review: Bill Callahan (Smog) @ the Hi-Dive

Bill Callahan’s charm is in his understatement –- which, itself, is hard to take seriously at first. Last night Callahan played an alternately heavy and airy two hour set at the Hi-Dive in front of a packed house that seemed well acquainted with his style.

Live review: Rock the Bells tour feat. Nas, Busta Rhymes, Talib Kweli and others @ Red Rocks Amphitheatre

Nas, left, and Damian Marley were obvious highlights of the Rock the Bells date at Red Rocks on Thursday. Photos by Brittany Moore. As Nas, the marquee MC of Rock The Bells 2009, launched into his headlining set after more than 8 hours of hip-hop on Thursday, he placed emphasis on the lyric, “Most intellectuals will only half-listen.” It came during a thunderous “Hip Hop Is Dead,” the opening song of his set from 2006’s album of the same name.