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Top shows: Toro y Moi, Ruby Suns, ZZ Ward

Sleepy Lebeef

The Ruby Suns

Excision

Ink

Toro y Moi

Thursday

Granada

Toro y Moi’s gamble is paying off. The South Carolinian born as Chaz Bundick has largely abandoned chillwave, a sound he helped to popularize. In part because of Toro y Moi’s essential contributions, the laid-back subgenre of electronic music has become inescapable in commercials and nightclubs. Yet Toro y Moi moved into pop territory with his bold and commercially successful new album, “Anything in Return.” Ahmed Gallab, the primary force of the Brooklyn-based opener Sinkane, uses disparate elements including electro-funk, free jazz and African roots music to create dazzlingly fresh grooves. Atlanta’s Phil Jones, formerly of chillwave pioneer Washed Out, rounds out Thursday’s bill.

Tickets to the 9 p.m. show are $15 in advance.

Bill Brownlee, Special to Ink

ZZ Ward

Thursday

Riot Room

The word is out on ZZ Ward. As recently as a few months ago, Ward’s unlimited potential was a tantalizing secret shared by music industry insiders. Thursday’s appearance by the Oregonian has been sold out for weeks. It’s clear that Ward’s radio-ready hybrid of R&B and hip-hop has her primed for stardom. The presence of the Martin Harley Band may summon Ward’s bluesy side. The group is a driving force on the British roots music scene. Harley is an extraordinarily accomplished acoustic guitarist. Locally based singer/songwriter Mike Borgia opens the show.

Tickets to the 7 p.m. sold out show were $10.

Bill Brownlee, Special to Ink

The Ruby Suns

Thursday

RecordBar

Numerous critics and many longtime fans are bashing “Christopher,” the first album in three years by the Ruby Suns. Hesitant concertgoers shouldn’t allow the adverse reactions to the New Zealand band’s new-found infatuation with glossy dance music dissuade them from attending Thursday’s show at the RecordBar. The buoyant approach that elicited the album’s poor reception virtually assures that the corresponding live show will be a jubilant affair. Painted Palms, a San Francisco-based act that crafts dreamy synth-oriented sounds, and Kansas City’s discerning pop band Hidden Pictures open the show.

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

Bill Brownlee, Special to Ink

Ben Kweller

Friday

Riot Room

Wood and silver are the traditional gifts for fifth wedding anniversaries. To commemorate the fifth year of their pairing of live music and premium beer, the management of the Riot Room is instead treating itself to a performance by Ben Kweller. As a teenage member of the Texas-based grunge band Radish, Kweller was a rock prodigy. He has since worked with Ben Folds and Ben Lee in the Bens and issued several solid solo albums of melodic rock. Two compatible regional acts open the show. Sons of Great Dane is a rugged jangle-rock band. The Riot Room’s 21-and-over policy will provide a refreshing opportunity to catch the young folk-based ensemble She’s a Keeper without interference from its massive following of underage supporters.

Tickets to the 7 p.m. show are $18 in advance and $20 on the day of the show.

Bill Brownlee, Special to Ink

Cowboy Indian Bear

Saturday

RecordBar

Performances by Cowboy Indian Bear are always a treat. The opportunity to catch the Lawrence band in the acoustically impeccable confines of the RecordBar without paying a cover charge is even more appealing. The radiant indie pop of Cowboy Indian Bear’s propulsive new single, “Does Anybody See You Out?” rivals the output of elite international acts. While Cowboy Indian Bear’s music is imbued with optimism, the resigned tone assumed by the Caves makes the Kansas City band’s output ideal music for moping. The astutely emotive approach of the locally based Oils falls somewhere between the tone set by the two band it precedes. Akilles, Jerad Colton Tomasino and Mat Shoare round out the bill. .

The free show begins at 8 p.m.

Bill Brownlee, Special to Ink

Flashbulb Fires

Saturday

Brick

How good is Antennas Up? Saturday’s ingeniously programmed bill at the Brick will allow fans of the ultra-catchy Kansas City band to see how it compares to a similarly savvy act from another city. With whip-smart lyrics and exceptionally tuneful melodies, Denver’s lively indie pop band Flashbulb Fires is more than capable of challenging Antennas Up. Attentive listeners may notice that the band’s enormously appealing approach bears an uncanny resemblance to the orchestral rock of Lawrence’s Hospital Ships. The bright Kansas City synth-rock band Dolls on Fire will set the stage for the showdown.

Cover for the 10 p.m. show is $7.

Bill Brownlee, Special to Ink

Excision

Tuesday

Midland

Music isn’t the primary attraction of Tuesday’s dance-oriented concert at the Midland. Instead, a massive production setup dubbed “The Executioner” will serve as the center of attention. The stage show is billed as a “true technological breakthrough” that will “cast some of the most intricate and amazing animations available.” The music, promoters promise, will be amplified by “100,000 watts of full-on bone-crushing sound.” And what about that music? Canadian headliner Excision is a proven dubstep star. The popular DJ will be joined by Colorado’s Paper Diamond and Minneapolis’ Vaski.

Tickets to the 8 p.m. show are $28.

Bill Brownlee, Special to Ink

The North Mississippi Allstars

Thursday

Knuckleheads

The North Mississippi Allstars are much more than just another brawny blues band. The ensemble performs gospel, folk and Americana with similar gusto. Brothers Luther and Cody Dickinson come by their versatile sound naturally. Their late father, Jim Dickinson, played a role in the careers of artists including the Rolling Stones, Big Star and the Replacements. Those disparate sounds echo in the music of his sons. The London Souls, a New York-based duo, complement the headliners. The hirsute men look and sound as if they belong on the stage at Woodstock in 1969.

Tickets to the 8 p.m. show are $20 in advance.

Bill Brownlee, Special to Ink

Sleepy LaBeef

Tuesday

Knuckleheads

Original rockabilly cats are an endangered species. The likes of Elvis Presley and Carl Perkins are gone. Sleepy LaBeef is one of the last prominent rockabilly survivors. “I’m Through,” LaBeef’s rollicking first single, was released in 1957. LaBeef, 77, has since made a multitude of rockabilly, country and rock recordings. The native of Smackover, Ark., has been impressing audiences for decades with his booming voice and vast repertoire. He’ll share the stage with a set of dedicated revivalists. Jason D. Williams of Memphis re-creates wild music in the style of Jerry Lee Lewis. Austin’s Dale Watson works in the tradition of Merle Haggard. The Rumblejetts are Kansas City’s leading rockabilly band.

Tickets to the 7:30 p.m. show are $15 in advance.

Bill Brownlee, Special to Ink

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