Sign in with Facebook


Top Shows: Broncho, Ex-Cult, Pokey LaFarge, The Harlem Quartet



Every Time I Die.


Bassist Victor Wooten

Pokey Lafarge

Willy Moon

The Randy Rogers Band

The Harlem String Quartet

Chris Webby



Sunday Riot Room

Music lovers seeking to snap out of the winter doldrums would be hard-pressed to find a more alluring show than Sunday’s loud triple bill at the Riot Room. All three bands specialize in unpretentious rock ’n’ roll. Broncho, a fun-loving punk band from Tulsa, is capable of sending audiences into a carefree frenzy with a sound that compares favorably to Japandroids and the Cloud Nothings. Two exceptional acts open the show. Skating Polly is a pair of precocious riot grrrl-influenced children based in Oklahoma City. The Empty Spaces were one of the most notable breakout bands on the Kansas City scene in 2012.

Tickets to the 7 p.m. show are $8 in advance.

Bill Brownlee, Special to Ink


Tuesday RecordBar

Ex-Cult, a tumultuous Memphis-based garage band, is dedicated to reviving the seedy underbelly of rock ’n’ roll. The titillating sense of danger once provided by wild men ranging from Jerry Lee Lewis to Sid Vicious is readily apparent in Ex-Cult’s live shows and on its deliberately ragged self-titled 2012 debut album. The project was produced by Ty Segall, a prestigious association that has garnered Ex-Cult much-deserved attention. Two Kansas City-based bands with similarly sinister attitudes open the show. The Bloodbirds are an impressively dark coed trio. While Lazy describes its sound as “gothic soul,” its songs like “Party City” recall the frenzied punk of early X.

Tickets to the 10 p.m. show are $8 in advance.

Bill Brownlee, Special to Ink

Afrentra’s VD Party’

Friday Midland

You get what you pay for. The maxim will probably be disproved at Friday’s free “Afrentra’s VD Party” at the Midland. The eclectic concert features four modern rock acts. Headliner Willy Moon is a London-based newcomer. His sample-heavy sound and the sleek pompadour he sports on the cover of his 2012 EP invite unflattering comparisons to Vanilla Ice. Moon has attained a following by brazenly refashioning the music of James Brown, the Wu-Tang Clan and Bo Diddley. Veteran synth-pop act Shiny Toy Guns from Los Angeles, rowdy Detroit duo I Am Dynamite and the Beautiful Bodies, a Kansas City band that recently won the national Ernie Ball’s Battle of the Bands for Warped Tour competition, open the show.

Tickets to the free 7 p.m. concert are distributed by radio station 96.5 the Buzz.

Pokey LaFarge

Saturday Davey’s

It’s appropriate that Pokey LaFarge is affiliated with Jack White’s Third Man Records. The St. Louis-based LaFarge brings the same sort of wild-eyed energy to old-timey folk styles that White applied to blues and garage rock as a member of the White Stripes. LaFarge’s revivalist approach extends to his appearance. He looks as if he stepped straight out of a Depression-era photograph. LaFarge’s vital music, however, isn’t dusty. He infuses material like “Keep Your Hands Off My Gal” with infectious joy. The Cowtown Playboys, a Kansas City band with a similar sensibility, opens the show.

Tickets to the 9 p.m. show are $10 in advance and $12 on the day of the show.

Bill Brownlee, Special to Ink


Friday Davey’s

The raunchiest musical act to perform in Kansas City in 2013 won’t be a vulgar heavy metal band or an impetuous young rapper. Instead, the coarsest display of profanity will be spewed by a septuagenarian Friday at Davey’s. Blowfly, a legendary music industry veteran, is shockingly lewd. His 1980 hit “Rapp Dirty” set the tone for his career. Blowfly has become increasingly nasty in subsequent decades. Tech N9ne and Snoop Dogg are among the rappers who cite Blowfly’s X-rated approach as a primary influence. Kansas City’s the Pornhuskers, another set of scatological musicians inspired by Blowfly, are an ideal opening act.

Tickets to the 9 p.m. show are $8 in advance and $10 on the day of the show.

Bill Brownlee, Special to Ink

The Harlem Quartet

Sunday Yardley Hall

The sole negative aspect of an otherwise sterling concert by Gary Burton and Chick Corea in Kansas City last year was the minor support role played by the Harlem Quartet. The exciting interplay between the quartet and the jazz legends was limited to a handful of selections. Anyone who attended that event or has seen the Harlem Quartet performing on the “Today” show or for President Barack Obama at the White House will be eager to spend a full evening with the musicians Sunday at Johnson County Community College. The ensemble will almost certainly achieve its stated mission to “advance diversity in classical music while engaging young and new audiences” with stylish exuberance.

Tickets to the 7 p.m. concert are $33 and $27.

Bill Brownlee, Special to Ink

Chris Webby

Tuesday Granada

Chris Webby is hardly the first white rapper to be saddled with the burden of being called “the next Eminem.” Once intended as a scornful insinuation, the characterization isn’t necessarily a handicap in 2013. The Connecticut-based artist embraces his image. “(I’m the) only white dude in the game who made it this far without a cosign,” he boasts on “Bowser.” Webby even titled his YouTube channel “ForTheBurbs.” The like-minded acts joining Webby at the Granada include Jams, a young Chicago-based rapper who boasts collaborations with the acclaimed producer Clams Casino; Chicago duo the Suppliers; and Lawrence’s Chase Compton.

Tickets to the 8 p.m. show are $15 in advance.

Bill Brownlee, Special to Ink

Every Time I Die

Saturday Granada

Heavy metal musicians aren’t known for their senses of humor. With song titles like “Partying Is Such Sweet Sorrow,” “Drag King” and “I Suck (Blood),” the members of Every Time I Die are refreshingly amusing exceptions. The band’s music, however, is anything but a joke. Every Time I Die is one of metalcore’s heaviest yet most musically ambitious acts. The droll song titles and sarcastic lyrics belie its incendiary attack. Saturday’s monstrously aggressive bill is rounded out by Massachusetts’ Acacia Strain, Vanna, South Carolina’s Hundredth and California’s No Bragging Rights.

Tickets to the 7:30 p.m. show are $17 in advance and $20 on the day of the show.

Bill Brownlee, Special to Ink

Randy Rogers Band

Saturday Uptown Theater

At a time when many country stars seem like prefabricated creations of cynical Nashville-based marketing teams, the gradual ascent of the Randy Rogers Band is encouraging. The strategy of the hard-touring band of Texans is to accumulate fans one show at a time. The group has been making regular appearances on the stages of Kansas City roadhouses and nightclubs for years. The band’s sound — a pleasing hybrid of George Strait’s traditionalism and Steve Earle’s grittiness — isn’t particularly novel. Yet amid the glitzy culture that dominates today’s country scene, the Randy Rogers Band’s old-fashioned approach to stardom seems revolutionary.

Tickets to the 8 p.m. concert are $18 in advance.

Bill Brownlee, Special to Ink

Victor Wooten

Friday Knuckleheads

An unofficial convention of Midwestern bassists will convene Friday at Knuckleheads. The musicians will gather to watch Victor Wooten, one of the most celebrated bassists of the past 50 years, showcase his groundbreaking talent. A consistent poll-topper and five-time Grammy Award winner, Wooten has expanded the role of the bass in contemporary music. As a member of Bela Fleck’s band, Wooten introduced an idiosyncratic funk flavor to the ensemble’s combination of bluegrass and jazz. Six accomplished musicians — including two drummers and three additional bassists — are members of Wooten’s touring band.

Tickets to the 9 p.m. show are $29.50 in advance.

Bill Brownlee, Special to Ink


No comments have been posted. Perhaps you'd like to be the first?

Sign in with Facebook to comment.