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Ink

Top Shows

Zeds Dead

Trampled by Turtles

Toby Mac

Sum 41, 2013.

Olassa

Molly Picture Club

Inspectah Deck

Brian Haas

American Aquarium, including BJ Barham, center.

Free Energy

Ink

Olassa

Saturday

Replay

“I Love You, Come Back To Me,” a six-song EP by Lawrence’s Olassa, possesses a roughhewn charm. The folk band’s delightfully unassuming recording will be officially released Saturday at the Replay Lounge. Three acoustic-based acts from the area with decidedly rowdier sensibilities will help Olassa celebrate. The Kansas City Bear Fighters play fancifully moth-eaten folk. The Calamity Cubes, a self-described “thrashicana” ensemble, and Alex Law of Deadman Flats carry on the alternative bluegrass tradition of the influential Kansas band Split Lip Rayfield.

The cover charge of the 10 p.m. show is $3.

Bill Brownlee, Special to Ink

Free Energy

Monday

Czar Bar

More cowbell! Free Energy, a ballyhooed band of indie rockers from Philadelphia, takes the satirical mantra to heart on the opening track of its effervescent new album “Love Sign”. Propelled by a cowbell, the exuberant “Electric Fever” crackles with optimism. Like much of Free Energy’s catalog, the song evokes the relative innocence of 1970s acts like Cheap Trick, the J. Geils Band and the Cars. Two Kansas City-based bands that seem to be on the verge of attracting national attention open the show. Not a Planet offers drama-tinged garage rock. The vital pop of Rev Gusto recalls the fresh-faced vigor of British invasion acts like the Kinks.

Tickets to the 7:30 p.m. show are $10 in advance and $12 on the day of the show.

Bill Brownlee, Special to Ink

Frost Winter EDM Festival

Saturday

The Midland

The frothy side of electronic dance music will be showcased at the Midland on Saturday. Canadian duo Zeds Dead (pictured), the concert’s headliners, are known for pop-oriented original material as well as for their seductive remixes. Zeds Dead’s version of Marina and the Diamond’s “Lies” was recently the most popular track at the influential MP3 blog aggregator the Hype Machine. The lighthearted show also features the coed Chicago trio Krewella, the self-described “heavy bass music” of Indiana’s Figure, the former professional snowboarder Fury, the otherworldly mixes of California’s Seven Lions and the breezy dance music of Atlanta’s Popeska.

Tickets to the 7 p.m. show are $38 in advance.

Bill Brownlee, Special to Ink

Midcoast Takeover Fundraiser

Saturday

RecordBar

Although representatives of the South by Southwest music festival extend official invitations to hundreds of bands, thousands of additional musicians barnstorm Austin every March looking for a piece of the action. That’s where the Midwest Music Foundation comes in. The organization’s Midcoast Takeover provides an opportunity for artists based in Kansas City, Lawrence and throughout the Midwest to perform at an unofficial showcase, which Ink sponsors. The ambitious effort takes money. Saturday’s show is the first in a series of fundraisers for the effort. It features the crafty pop of Antennas Up, the dance rock of Molly Picture Club (pictured), the insinuating glam rock of Drew Black & the Dirty Electric and folk-based favorites She’s a Keeper.

Tickets to the 10 p.m. show are $10 in advance.

Bill Brownlee, Special to Ink

Trampled By Turtles

Wednesday

The Granada

The amusing but misleading name of the Minnesota-based band Trampled By Turtles implies that its music is lethargic. The members of the bluegrass-oriented quintet may take their time on sensitive ballads, but they’re also capable of playing with furious speed. As Trampled By Turtles enters its tenth year, the collective retains a traditional bluegrass foundation even as it reaches out to rock and country fans with a brawnier sound. Opening act Carl Broemel is best known for his guitar wizardry as a member of My Morning Jacket. Yet it’s Broemel’s agile songwriting talent that makes his solo material memorable.

Tickets to the 8 p.m. show are $20 in advance and $22 on the day of the show.

Bill Brownlee, Special to Ink

American Aquarium

Wednesday

Bottleneck

Savvy fans of Wilco will recognize that American Aquarium’s name is a reference to the disturbing opening lyric of Wilco’s landmark “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot” album. Not surprisingly, the music produced by the Raleigh-based band often resembles Wilco. While Wilco tempers its dour songs with sunny material, American Aquarium’s outlook is consistently disconsolate. The narrator of the title track of American Aquarium’s 2012 album “Burn. Flicker. Die.” laments the role that the combination of redheaded women, alcohol and Adderall may play in his early demise. Kansas City’s Brody Buster Band, a blues-based act that also knows about the downside of decadence, opens the show.

Bill Brownlee, Special to Ink

Inspectah Deck

Thursday

Riot Room

It’s a common misperception that the Wu-Tang Clan contains an infinite number of representatives. Most of the eight surviving members of the legendary hip-hop crew are so active that the Wu-Tang Clan brand seems ubiquitous. While not as well known as Method Man, RZA or the late Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Inspectah Deck is a respected member of the New York collective. His raucous verse kicks off 1993’s “Protect Ya Neck,” the Wu-Tang Clan’s debut single. Inspectah Deck’s long-anticipated “Czarface” album is scheduled for a February release.

Tickets to the 8 p.m. show are $15 in advance and $20 on the day of the show.

Bill Brownlee, Special to Ink

Brian Haas

Saturday with Snuff Jazz at Take Five Coffee

Sunday with Snuff Jazz at RecordBar

Much like Kansas City’s Mark Lowrey, Oklahoma-based Brian Haas is a jazz-based keyboardist who enjoys exploring multiple forms of music. Haas, the leader of the Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey, is also conversant in classical, country and rock. The rambunctious young drummer Brian Steever and the two members of the Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey based in Kansas City—saxophonist Mark Southerland and bassist Jeff Harshbarger— will support Haas at his two area shows this weekend. Multi-instrumentalist Mike Stover will contribute to the collective’s adventurous improvised music on Sunday.

The cover charge for Saturday’s 8 p.m. show at Take Five Coffee + Bar is $5. The cover charge for Sunday’s 8 p.m. show at the RecordBar is $5.

Bill Brownlee, Special to Ink

Sum 41

Monday

The Granada

The trajectory of Sum 41 indicates that a lucrative career can be constructed in the imposing shadows cast by Green Day and Blink-182. Fueled by impertinent swagger, the Canadian pop-punk band’s undeniably derivative hits like “Fat Lip” and “Still Waiting” have lost just a bit of their luster during the past decade. The band’s juvenile perspective may result in inconsequential recordings, but Sum 41 has retained its reputation as an entertaining live act. I Am Dynamite, an energetic duo from Detroit, and Hunter Valentine, a gritty band from Toronto, open Monday’s show.

Tickets to the 8 p.m. show are $20 in advance and $22 on the day of the show.

Bill Brownlee, Special to Ink

Winter Jam

Friday

Sprint Center

“Ten bands. Ten bucks. No tickets.” The slogan of the current edition of Winter Jam will prove irresistible to thousands of fans of Christian-themed popular music. The eclectic tour is headlined Toby Mac, a rapper and former member of DC Talk. The bill also includes the metal-tinged Red, the inspirational songs of Matthew West, the bubbly pop of Jamie Grace, the dance music of Royal Taylor, the motivational music of Sidewalk Prophets, veteran act NewSong and “national speaker” Nick Hall. A “pre-jam party” features former American Idol contestant Jason Castro, OBB and Capital Kings.

Entrance to the 7 p.m. show is $10 at the door.

Bill Brownlee, Special to Ink

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