The last time Harry Connick Jr. played a Kansas City venue as small as the Gem Theater (1615 East 18th Street), where he'll perform with his band this Sunday, he was an up-and-comer gigging at the Grand Emporium, a pretty boy with a New Orleans drawl and Sinatralike pipes. Several platinum and gold albums and a couple of Grammy Awards later, Connick probably would have been hard to woo to an intimate, 500-seat house -- had he not initiated the gig himself, calling the Gem to say he wanted to play where jazz greats like Bird and Basie first found their audiences. So what if he married a supermodel and now displays an oafish lack of comic timing on Will & Grace? To hear Connick's most recent sounds, check out his new album, Other Hours: Connick on Piano, Volume One. The shows start at 7 and 9 p.m. Tickets cost $35 and are available through Ticketmaster or by calling 816-474-8463.-- Steve Walker
The Tenth Voice heats up.
As one of the masterminds behind the Free Speech Coalition's Big Bang Buffet event, Mark Manning always tracks down edgy bands, performance artists, video artists -- you name it, he finds it. So we aren't surprised to see up-and-comer Krystle Warren and an exciting all-gay, all-girl rockabilly band called Dr. Sniff and the Pink Napkins on the lineup at Saturday's Dog Day Afternoon -- which Manning helped coordinate as a dog-themed benefit for The Tenth Voice (a KKFI 90.1 radio program for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities). From noon to 3 p.m. in front of the Lesbian and Gay Community Center (207 Westport Road), entertainment and refreshments will be provided for humans and canines alike. Plus, microphones will be "unleashed" for visitors to record their thoughts. There isn't a fixed ticket price, but donations are encouraged, preferably large sums. "Help us make our fund-raising goal," event fliers plead, "so we won't have to move to a different country: Wyoming."-- Gina Kaufmann
Now entering his third decade of needling pop-music stars and their fans, "Weird Al" Yankovic has made a career out of complete and utter ridiculousness. The big-haired performer got famous in the early '80s by rewriting such popular songs as Michael Jackson's "Beat It" (which he changed to "Eat It"), Madonna's "Like a Virgin" (transformed into "Like a Surgeon") and the Police's "King of Pain" ("King of Suede"). And just as we keep hoping that he'll end this reign, it is his destiny to be the king of lame. With a new album out and an Eminem parody up his sleeve, Yankovic makes his way to Kansas City for a Tuesday show at Starlight Theatre (6601 Swope Parkway, 816-363-7827).-- Kaufmann