Boulder and Denver music fans like to start the weekend early, so they may want to head out to see Macklemore with Ryan Lewis at the Fox Theatre in Boulder or Wallpaper at the Bluebird Theater in Denver on Wednesday.
Who: Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, with Binary Star
When: 9 p.m. Wednesday
Where: Fox Theatre, 1135 13th St., Boulder
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis
Hip-hop artist Ben Haggerty goes by the stage name Macklemore. These days, the performer's touring with producer Ryan Lewis behind the duo's new EP, VS. Redux.
"I live up in Seattle and there's a growing hip-hop scene up here. People are calling it the new grunge, in terms of the movement," Haggerty said. "Ever since I was a kid I wanted to be on stage. I always loved and was infatuated with hip-hop.
"By the time my voice got deep enough to rap, I started doing it. The message in my rap is to be as human, vulnerable and honest as possible."
There's a growing trend for hip-hop artists to hook up with indie-rock producers and they're creating fresh new sounds. Haggerty started working with Lewis and the duo's come up with some very interesting grooves.
"Ryan comes from an indie-rock background, so now our sound encompasses a lot of different genres," Haggerty said. "We use live musicians at the shows, and we have a trumpet player, violin player, guitars, synths and drums. It's electronic, but organic.
"Hip-hop's been around since the late '70s, and now it's time to evolve the sound and take it to the next place."
Wallpaper's bringing its dance-funk party to the Bluebird. It would be worth the drive to check out this outrageous band.
The California act plays a very danceable mix of music and complements its sounds with very quirky songs.
Let's just say Wallpaper's latest CD's called Doodoo Face, the band's known for its remix of Das Racist's "Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell" -- and frontman Eric Frederic turns into gonzo stage persona Ricky Reed.
"We started out playing co-op parties in Berkeley," Frederic said. "Those are like frat houses for hippies. We got in such high demand that we started playing the clubs.
"I'm a fan of dance music and funk, but lyrically I wanted to say something social or political that was charged under the surface. I developed the stage persona Ricky Reed -- he's a total butthead that embodies all the extremities of things I dislike in this hyper consumer-driven culture."
Frederic brings his Ricky Reed character to life during a Wallpaper show, and dresses in tacky discount suits and hats. The band flies without a net and all the stage mayhem is unscripted.
"Our shows are like improvisational theater, but we play this great loud music," Frederic said. "It's totally party music.
"This band has a very special niche."
Wendy Kale's Club Notes runs every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday in the Colorado Daily.