The twelve best shows in Denver this weekend
3. DANNY BROWN @ CERVANTES' | SAT, 2/2/13
One of hip-hop's most distinctive (read: shrill) voices, Danny Brown ascended to the upper echelon of indie hip-hop following the success of his 2011 album, XXX. With a strong dose of humor and a stronger dose of psychedelics, the record got love from critics and fans alike for its absolute freshness. XXX might share unambiguous drug references with more mainstream hustler raps, but that's where the similarity ends. Far from being a new face in the game, the Detroit native had paid dues with mixtapes and albums, including collaborations with Black Milk and G-Unit's Tony Yayo, since 2003.
2. ELLIE GOULDING @ OGDEN THEATRE | FRI, 2/1/13
For almost three years now, Ellie Goulding has been steadily taking over the airwaves. Whether it be vocal features on the hottest new EDM tracks, dominating on her own with singles from one of her two platinum albums or appearing on remixed tracks from the world's biggest producers, the Brit-pop starlet from the English countryside is continuing to make inroads and gain momentum.
1. MACKLEMORE/WINTER ON THE ROCKS @ RED ROCKS | FRI, 2/1/13
Since performing at the Westword Music Showcase last summer, Macklemore's stock has soared. His independently released album, The Heist, topped Billboard sales charts, and the album's breakthrough single, "Thrift Shop," surpassed "Somebody That I Used to Know," Gotye's virtually inescapable song from a few years ago, in number of streams, if that tells you anything. But while Macklemore just came to prominence within the past year, he's been paying dues, and he's far more than some novelty rapper. From 2005's The Language of My World, the Seattle MC has proved himself thoughtful and eloquent, particularly on songs like "White Privilege," in which he examines the white guilt that comes with being a rapper who's not of color, and "Ego," in which he takes an unflinching look at how arrogance can destroy everything and how nobody's exempt from the envy that accompanies it, even him. Major Lazer, Grouch & Eligh and Neelais share this bill, and Diplo will host the official afterparty ($25) at the Gothic Theatre tonight.