The seven best shows in Denver this weekend
It was kind of cold and crappy this week, but that was just a way to enhance your appreciation for this weekend, which is supposed to be the kind of beautiful where cartoon birds appear from trees. Ride your bike to one of these shows:
Chloe Aftel The Dodos play Larimer Lounge on Friday
Devin the Dude at the Aggie Theatre: Friday, May 2
For anyone else, releasing an album titled Suite #420 on 4/20 would be overkill. For Devin the Dude, it's an understatement. The veteran MC has made a career of rapping about pot in all its glorious and manifold forms, though that career has been less than blazing lately: After starting out as a Rap-A-Lot labelmate of Scarface and Geto Boys in the '90s, not to mention guesting on songs by De La Soul and Dr. Dre, Devin has never broken through to a wider audience. Accordingly, his records have grown increasingly one-note and navel-gazing, with loping, bass-heavy jams rolling underneath the rapper's gently stoned flow. Suite #420 is no exception, but it's a given that Devin's perpetual goofiness-frozen-in-time haze resonates with his similarly medicated fan base.
The Dodos at Larimer Lounge: Friday, May 2
A few years ago, the Dodos were in the process of smoothing out the more abrasive elements of their sound, cutting back on the clattering drums and frantic strumming in order to better highlight their gift for writing sticky, bittersweet pop songs. But with 2011's No Color, it seemed the band had recognized those noisy proclivities as a vital part of its DNA, an element (maybe the element) that made it more than just another indie folk act. With their melodic knack still intact and a renewed sense of stylistic vigor, also evidenced by last year's Carrier, the Dodos got back to being exciting.
Ellie Goulding at Red Rocks: Friday, May 2
For nearly four years now, Ellie Goulding has been steadily taking over the airwaves. Whether it's 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 pop starlet from the English countryside continues to make inroads and gain momentum.
Kikagaku Moyo at Rhinoceropolis: Friday, May 2
Despite a name that translates to English as "geometric patterns," Tokyo's Kikagaku Moyo doesn't exactly make math rock. Still, the psychedelia the group delivers, suggestive of larger patterns that fold into themselves, bears out the moniker more than a little. The music seems directly influenced by the likes of Flower Travellin' Band and Yellow Magic Orchestra. And with Japanese psych brethren Acid Mothers Temple, Kikagaku Moyo shares a nervy, channeled urgency. Meanwhile, the band's soon-to-be released album, Forest of Lost Children -- perhaps a reference to Aokigahara -- reveals an undercurrent of Middle Eastern tonal instincts.