Saturday, March 1, at Abe & Jake's Landing.

Anything But Joey 

Saturday, March 1, at Abe & Jake's Landing.

It formed in a Johnson County garage. Its members are young, cute and play angst-ridden valentines that make teenyboppers swoon. It took a really bad name (Thulium) and changed it to one that's even worse. It's also fast becoming one of KC's standout success stories. No wonder so many people hate Anything But Joey. Those detractors haven't been paying attention. Yeah, its fanbase consists almost entirely of young girls (that's a bad thing?), but ABJ's music deserves to be taken seriously. The quartet writes memorable pop songs with head-rushing harmonies and more hooks than Peter Pan's nemesis. Dig into the lyrics and you'll find smart, self-deprecating humor beneath the heartache. Vocalist Matt Groebe is Woody Allen with a microphone -- a perennially unlucky-at-love crooner whose romantic mishaps are his muse. ABJ also plays more gigs every month than most locals do in a year, traveling the region, landing high-profile opening slots and regularly packing clubs in KC and Lawrence. Overexposure can be the kiss of death for an area act, but ABJ avoids the trap by putting on the most consistently fun and energetic live show in town.

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