The Caves, Ad Astra Arkestra, the Grisly Hand
People tend to sit out December 30, viewing it as some sort of calm before the storm of New Year's Eve parties. To this I say what I've always said: Fuck that. First of all, it falls on a Friday this year. Second, as any heavy drinker will tell you, New Year's Eve is overrated. And — what number am I on? — third, there's an excellent triple bill lined up at Davey's. The Grisly Hand performs a set of its familiar, buoyant alt-country songs. The Caves, a band that plays moody, acoustic rock along the lines of Josh Rouse and sometimes sounds like Nada Surf, also is on hand. Most exciting is an appearance by rhythmic freak-rock act Ad Astra Arkestra, which doesn't play around town nearly enough for my taste. Nut up and get your ass to midtown.
Friday, December 30, at Davey's Uptown Ramblers Club (3402 Main, 816-753-1909)
Ssion, with Shock Diamond
Cody Critcheloe's long-running project, Ssion, is a complicated thing to explain. Here is a list of words and phrases that might be used to describe it: sleazy, multimedia, disco, queer, electronic, art-punk, New York, weirdo, unibrow, Kansas City Art Institute, performance art, cow suit, pop. Critcheloe and company released a new album, Bent, earlier this year, but Ssion is best experienced live, where all of those above words begin to cohere a little bit.
Kelley Hunt, with Kirsten Paludan
Going on five years now, the singer-songwriter Kelley Hunt has held a holiday hunger-relief benefit in the area. This year it's at the Beaumont Club, and in addition to Hunt's boogie-woogie blues and soul jams, the $25 ticket buys you a performance from former Olympic Size member Kirsten Paludan, who plays soulful Americana with an arty lining. All proceeds benefit Harvesters. Bring a nonperishable food item and get $5 off anything at Hunt's merch table.
Friday, December 30, at the Beaumont Club (4050 Pennsylvania, 816-561-2560)