The best concerts in Denver this week

SNOWBALL MUSIC FESTIVAL @ WINTER PARK | FRI-SUN, 3/8-3/10 If the idea of standing outside in the cold and snow sounds positively unappealing to you, either you're not from Colorado or you're new here. Whatever the case, don't let any of that dissuade you from heading up to the mountains for the aptly named SnowBall Music Festival in Winter Park. We're pretty sure that the exposure won't faze you amid all the great music you'll be, er, exposed to at the third annual edition of the festival. An avalanche of talent is lined up for the three-day fest: Pretty Lights, STS9, Big Gigantic, Porter Robinson, Kendrick Lamar, Portugal. The Man, Flying Lotus, Polica, Japandroids, Surfer Blood and much more.

See also: - SnowBall Music Festival 2013 full lineup - The Gathering of the Clouds 2013 full lineup - The longtime friends in Churchill are on a mission

NIGHT BEATS @ LARIMER LOUNGE | MON, 3/4/13 Like you some throwback garagey psychedelia, do you? The kind perfected by Roky Erickson and the 13th Floor Elevators and later expertly channeled by acts like the Black Angels and Black Lips? Good, then you'll love this Seattle-based trio, which has spent time on the road with all of those acts and plays a very convincing brand of psych-rock in its own right. The group's self-titled debut was issued in 2011, but you'd never be excused from thinking otherwise after listening to it. This is a super solid Monday night show. If you're looking for an invigorating way to kick off your work week, this is it.

THE LOVELY BAD THINGS @ HI-DIVE | TUES, 3/5/13 Formed in 2009, Brayden and Camron Ward, Tim Hatch and Lauren Curtius have come a long way since they first met in high school. The act's debut album was heralded by our sister paper the LA Weekly as one of the best releases of 2011. The band's new full-length, The Late Great Whatever, continues with the punk, DIY sensibilities that the band has been known for. Featuring a Pixies-meets-Sonic Youth sound with a splash of surf punk, in addition to their usual to some humorous pop culture references that stretch across the board (there are a couple of Star Wars references, BigFoot is on the cover, while there's a shout out to legendary wrestler Randy "Macho Man Savage"), The Late Great Whatever could be the album that propels the band to a wider audience.

MURS @ FOX THEATRE | FRI, 3/8 Although the "alternative hip-hop" tag is an utter failure as a marketing tool, it actually fits MURS, a performer who embodies much of what's best about the music and very little of what's worst. This L.A. veteran's style is based on hyper-articulate rhymes that are spring-loaded with surprises. Recently, MURS surprised quite a few folks with his unabashed assault on the effects homophobia with "Animal Style," complete with a gripping video that got people's attention for all the wrong reasons: a kiss between MURS and another male actor, thus revealing yet again that not everybody is ready for the normalization of homosexuality.

GATHERING OF THE CLOUDS @ WALNUT ROOM | THURS-SUN, 3/7-3/9 The lineup for this year's edition of the Gathering of the Clouds has been revealed. The three-day festival, kicking off this Thursday, March 7 and running through Saturday, March 9, is being headlined by the Warlocks, Wovenhand, Gliss and the Black Ryder and features a slew of kindred locals like Land Lines, the Morning Clouds and Hindershot. Tickets for the festival, taking place within the much more intimate confines of the Walnut Room, are on sale now and range from $50 for a three-day pass to $17 for single tickets for Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

CHURCHILL @ OGDEN THEATRE | FRI, 3/8/13 When Tim Bruns and Mike Morter came together with the other members of Churchill -- drummer Joe Richmond, bassist Tyler Rima and pianist/vocalist Bethany Kelly -- their goals were rather humble: They just wanted to play at the hi-dive and then eventually make music for a living. "Right away," says Morter, "when we first started the band, we had six-month and twelve-month goals. It was setting that precedent right away that made us achieve." And achieve they have. Last fall, Churchill secured a major-label recording deal with A&M/Octone Records, an imprint that's home to acts like Maroon 5 and Hollywood Undead, and since then, the outfit has enlisted Brendan O'Brien, landed an opening slot on Pink's upcoming European tour and made its national television debut on Jimmy Kimmel Live. This week, the outfit makes good on its rescheduled date at the Ogden, on the heels playing back-to-back nights at the Bluebird.

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.