Supersuckers, with Cherokee Rock Rifle and Radkey
An anomaly on the late 1990s Sub Pop gravy train, Supersuckers was cheekier and rowdier than its more artfully conscious labelmates. Grunge, punk, classic rock and, later, country, all filtered into the band's sound, but only to serve the group's primary intent: rocking with its collective cock out. Local openers Cherokee Rock Rifle and Radkey make a nice fit along these lines.
Friday, November 16, at the Riot Room (4048 Broadway, 816-442-8179)
The Empty Spaces, with Fullbloods
I wrote about Ross Brown's solo project, Small Victories, a few weeks back. It's a fine local pop album, and I recommend checking it out. Brown is an active musician around town, and this pre-Thanksgiving bill is a sort of Brown special, which sounds a bit gross now that I'm typing it but should actually be cool. Come hear the man play guitar and sing with Fullbloods, a twangy indie-rock outfit, and drum with the Empty Spaces, a sparser, brattier surf-rock act.
Wednesday, November 21, at the Brick (1727 McGee, 816-421-1634)
Not since the Replacements has a band hit on the powerful nexus of punk and rock as convincingly as Titus Andronicus. A bold person might also suggest that these Jersey dudes are improving on the model. The 'Mats were content to play the role of lovable losers. But Titus Andronicus is swinging for the fences in earnest, with glorious reckless energy. Its latest, Local Business, is a restrained effort compared with The Monitor, the group's bombastic, bagpipe-and-saxophone-filled, Civil War–themed 2010 album. But it's still chockablock with contagious, fist-pumping punk shout-alongs, and the live show is a reliably fun, sweaty affair.
Tuesday, November 20, at the Jackpot (943 Massachusetts, Lawrence, 785-832-1085)
Bruce Springsteen is probably my favorite rock star of all time, and a big part of the reason is that when he fails, he fails spectacularly. Take Wrecking Ball, his latest, pretty terrible album. I don't want to beat up on this thing too bad, but let's just say it contains rapping, jaw-dropping moments of unironic self-parody, and a verse in which he rhymes "cat" with "hat." It is essentially a dare to his fans: You were having a hard time defending me to your friends who think I'm insane and ridiculous before? Well, how about now? I'll accept that dare: "Land of Hope and Dreams," which appeared on his 2001 live album and reappears on Wrecking Ball as a studio cut, is an epic, inspiring, amazing song, one of his best. And it goes without saying that he is going to burn the goddamn Sprint Center to the ground Saturday, because he's fucking Bruce Springsteen, and that's how he rolls.
Saturday, November 17, at Sprint Center (1407 Grand, 816-949-7000)
The Twilight Sad
Shoegaze? Post-punk? Mopey-ass new wave? It has never been entirely clear to me what sound the Twilight Sad is going for because I am too distracted by singer James Graham's super-thick Scottish accent. All I picture is Groundskeeper Willie sulking in some dark janitor's closet. But if you have a Joy Division type of soul, I'd say this is one of the better bands going right now. Its most recent, No One Can Ever Know, is possibly even bleaker than its title indicates.
Thursday, November 15, at RecordBar (1020 Westport Road, 816-753-5207)