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Zodiac holds benefit concert for Planned Parenthood 

click to enlarge Catch Inaiah Lujan on Dec. 6 at the Zodiac, with an eclectic lineup of artists. - SARAH WAINWRIGHT
  • Sarah Wainwright
  • Catch Inaiah Lujan on Dec. 6 at the Zodiac, with an eclectic lineup of artists.

The holidays are synonymous with the generosity of charitable giving — or, some might argue, the pageantry of it — but we can set our collective cynicism  aside for the evening of Friday, Dec. 6. There’s really no better way to kick off December than with a full night of music dedicated to a good cause, and the Zodiac has you covered with a benefit concert and silent auction to support Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains.

The night will serve as a timely assist for local reproductive health care, featuring a musical lineup that truly has something for everyone: Singer/songwriter par excellence Inaiah Lujan will perform alongside shoegaze quartet Stale//Mate, long-running local punk standouts The A-Holes (see p. 36), doom metal trio Sun of Grey, and the cheerful madness of Saustro and the Fruity Loops. The night will be rounded out by burlesque performances by Hazel Humdinger and Texass Tease, with additional music courtesy of DJ Gravity.

Elsewhere, Stargazers Theatre is heading toward the holidays in its own way, starting off with some acoustic guitar wizardry via Trace Bundy’s 11th annual Acoustic Holiday on Friday, Dec. 6. Bundy, a Boulder-based and internationally acclaimed guitarist, has earned the nickname “the acoustic ninja” from his fans, owing to his imaginative tapping/fingerstyle techniques, often augmented by looping, other effects, and some of the wildest capo placement you’ve ever seen. It’s impressive enough to hear Bundy’s arrangements, but his artistry truly shines through in live performance, where you get the added bonus of his affable stage presence and your brain refusing to accept what you’re seeing and hearing.

Joining Bundy is another guitar virtuoso who defies the typical label of a “guitar virtuoso,” the Brooklyn-based acoustic guitarist and composer Kaki King. King performs in her own unique percussive style, which she’s employed in the service of everything from minimalism to Michael Hedges-inspired folk to the more avant-garde corners of jazz. In addition to her own remarkably strong body of work, King has collaborated with a wide variety of artists, including the “post-classical” ETHEL string quartet, Tegan and Sara, the Foo Fighters and The Mountain Goats. If you missed King’s appearance at the Ent Center for the Arts this past June, this is a perfect opportunity to rectify that and catch two truly exemplary musicians.

Finally, what’s the encroaching holidays without a bit of nü metal, right? Sunday, Dec. 8, brings a one-two punch of Static-X and Dope to the Sunshine Studios stage, acting both as a tribute to the former’s late vocalist Wayne Static and in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the band’s debut LP, Wisconsin Death Trip.

It’s an interesting case for a reunion tour — Static-X’s “evil disco” take on the groove metal and nü metal aesthetic is one that’s aged quite well, and longtime fans will likely be delighted to see the original lineup of bassist Tony Campos, drummer Ken Jay and guitarist Koichi Fukuda back together onstage. Indeed, the trio has already announced a forthcoming album due out in 2020, Project Regeneration, which features the last recordings of the deceased Static along with guest vocals courtesy of Ministry’s Al Jourgensen and others.

That said, the tour has received some criticism owing to the presentation of Static X’s de facto touring frontman Xer0, an unnamed vocalist who performs in a Slipknot-esque mask of Wayne Static, with his signature spikes of hair and beard on full display. The band has insisted that the portrayal and anonymity of “Xer0” keeps the focus on Static’s memory and the production of the Wisconsin Death Trip material, but it certainly remains an... interesting stylistic choice. Static passed away in 2014 at the age of 48. It’s rumored that it is indeed Dope frontman Edsel Dope who is performing as Xer0, which would certainly be convenient, given that Dope (the band, that is) acts as Static-X’s cohort for the duration of the tour.

As for the music itself, Wisconsin Death Trip remains a particularly memorable artifact of its era — “I’m With Stupid” and “Push It” are infectious singles that blend menace and total goofiness, and the album’s deeper tracks display a particularly angular take on industrial/metal hybridization. Heck, even the notoriously grouchy music critic Robert Christgau gave it a star.

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