Saturday, February 9, at Davey's Uptown Ramblers Club.
"Born Free," the 2010 Kid Rock song from the album of the same name, has so much going against it. It was Mitt Romney's official campaign theme song. Its classic-rock hooks are totally basic and worn-to-the-bone. And its vague red-state freedom-lover lyrics are as empty as the old neighborhoods in Rock's hometown of Detroit. It is absolutely dumb as hell. It is also one of my favorite pop songs of the past two years. What can I say? When I bump that motherfucker in my Nissan Altima, I feel like a fucking superhero. I'm not hearing anything I like quite as much on last year's Rebel Soul - it's just more of the same redneck party imagery and Southern-rock plagiarism - but give me a little more time with it, and I'm sure I can find something.
Saturday, February 2, at Sprint Center.
Calexico's calling card - alt-country soundscapes with a Tex-Mex flavor - has long been informed by Tucson, Arizona, the group's hometown and recording headquarters. For last year's Algiers, though, the members migrated to New Orleans and recorded in a converted Baptist church. They didn't exactly morph into the Meters or the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, but they did return with an album that's louder, grander and poppier (relatively speaking) than anything they'd done before. Expect a set that's heavy on cuts from Algiers as well as favorites from Calexico's six other damn-excellent desert-folk albums.
Saturday, February 2, at the Granada.
We've been tracking Olassa over the last six months while awaiting the release of the upbeat folk group's debut EP, I Love You, Come Back to Me. It sees the light of day this Saturday in Lawrence. The group balances a little melancholy with rowdy, whiskey-soaked grins, which makes the Replay Lounge an excellent venue for sending Olassa's new musical baby out into the world. Bluegrass acts the Kansas City Bear Fighters, the Calamity Cubes and Alex Law (of Deadman Flats) round out the bill.
Saturday, January 26, at the Replay Lounge, 10 p.m.
MidCoast Takeover Fundraiser
We are less than two months away from the annual music-industry orgy South by Southwest. I plan on attending, and so do a number of bands from around these parts. Many of them play the MidCoast Takover party, an unofficial event sponsored by the local nonprofit Midwest Music Foundation. To raise money for some of these bands, MMF is holding fundraisers in the coming weeks. This first one offers geeky dance-pop from Antennas Up; bouncy new wave from Molly Picture Club; dark, crunchy hard rock from Drew Black and Dirty Electric; and spirited folk-rock in the Mumford mold from She's a Keeper.
Saturday, January 26, at RecordBar, 10 p.m.
A bit of an anomaly on Omaha's Saddle Creek Records, Ladyfinger (ne) - the parenthetical refers to the band's home state of Nebraska - leans more Ozzy than Oberst. Openers (and fellow Cornhuskers) Back When mine similar post-metal territory; Everyday/Everynight and Maps for Travelers (both KC bands) operate along the emo-pop-punk continuum.
Saturday, January 19, at Riot Room, 8 p.m., $7.
Sonic Spectrum Tribute to R.E.M.
The Pedaljets were indie-rock contemporaries of R.E.M.'s in the 1980s, so the idea of their playing a tribute show to the band feels strange. At first. Then, after about a second, the brilliance of the enterprise becomes evident. I have little doubt that they will absolutely murder whichever of Stipe and Co.'s songs they choose to cover. Similar hopes for Thom Hoskins, Kimberly Queen and the Cody Wyoming Deal, who round out this bill.
Sunday, January 20, at RecordBar, 7 p.m. doors, $7.
Will 2013 be the year of the Soul Provider? That's what we asked back in December, when we put the local hip-hop collective on the cover of this here magazine. This Saturday, a few of the crew's talent have their first chance in this new year to make that case. On the slate: DJ Jamel Rockwell, plus rappers MilkDrop, Dutch Newman, Stik Figa, Gage and BBP. Women get in free; for the men, it's $5 before 11 p.m. and $7 after. The more eclectically minded among us might consider getting to RecordBar early for a 7 p.m. show featuring the rootsy sounds of Dollar Fox and the Rumblejetts.
Saturday, January 12, at RecordBar, 9 p.m., $5.
The Architects closed 2012 strong, dropping a live album, Live in Los Angeles, this past fall. And on New Year's Eve, the group announced a new studio LP, Border Wars, which will see release sometime this spring. This is all pretty huge news if you are a fan of the local boys' earth-shaking, punk-inflected rawk music. And this show, with Appropriate Grammar and Drew Black and Dirty Electric, ought to be an excellent opportunity to sample some of their new tunes.
Saturday, January 12, at Riot Room, 8 p.m., $8.
Sweet. I'ma bang that ho.
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