Nas & Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley (Saturday, 3:45 p.m., Kyocera Main Stage): Nas has never sounded happier than he does on this year's joint album with the youngest Marley. His rapping seems to have been reinvigorated by the crusty, hurried reggae around him, and his boilerplate New York flow is a mesmerizing counterpart to Damian's Jamaican "toasting"-style chatter. Now, just because they seem comfortable doesn't mean their album, Distant Relatives, is an hour of hip-hop "Don't Worry, Be Happy." The themes here are huge and heavy: poverty, tribal warfare in Africa, global ghettos, domestic woes. In spite of the subject matter, they have created a predominantly inspiring album. And this tour is getting rave reviews: Both artists have time for their big solo hits and the best of the album.

Thanks to Atmosphere, feeling bad has never felt so good.
Thanks to Atmosphere, feeling bad has never felt so good.


Mile High Music Festival Saturday, August 14, and Sunday, August 15, Dick's Sporting Goods Park, 6000 Victory Way, Commerce City, doors open 11 a.m. daily, $99.50-$399,

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Locals: MHMF has been an admirable champion of the local scene since its inception, and this year the fest is featuring a half-dozen or so breakout acts. Get there early and you'll be rewarded with the golden rock of Houses, the electro-pop of The Chain Gang of 1974, the ass-kicking Snake Rattle Rattle Snake, the prickly charms of Danielle Ate the Sandwich and a reunion show from The Samples, just to name a few.

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