Hearts of Darkness
Kansas City's favorite Afro-beat soul-funk act dropped a new single, "Renumeration," last month as part of a split 7-inch with Motown revivalists the Good Foot and held a release party at the Uptown. It'll be a nice contrast to see them at tiny old Davey's, where they'll try to cram all 16 of their people onto a stage the size of a parking spot.
Friday, March 9, at Davey's Uptown Ramblers Club (3402 Main, 816-753-1909)
Nature Boys, with Old Blood and Bad Ideas
No confirmation yet as to whether these Kansas City punks are Ric Flair devotees. Based on a ferocious set I caught at Harling's a couple of months back, the Nature Boys more likely are disciples of Black Flag and the Stooges. The band recently posted some new tracks on SoundCloud, including one called "Rabies": We were walking hand in hand/You were foaming at the mouth. This show kicks off a national tour.
Saturday, March 10, at the Brick (1727 McGee, 816-421-1634)
Trace Adkins is the performer, not the songwriter (no, no, he doesn't bother much with songwriting) behind low-fruit country-gimmick hits "Honky Tonk Badonkadonk" and "Whoop a Man's Ass." He has also done Celebrity Apprentice, KFC voice-overs and, weirdly, some 2009 TV promo spots for the Chiefs, even though he's not from Kansas City. His stop here is part of his Songs & Stories Tour, where perhaps he will enlighten the crowd as to the origins of the lyric Got it goin' on like Donkey Kong.
Friday, March 9, at the Midland (1228 Main, 816-283-9921)
Mannequin Men, with Mouthbreathers
Chicago's Mannequin Men play boozy, derelict garage-rock, but with structures and melodies that tend to be more compelling than the usual paint-by-number Sonics janglers that litter the genre. Lawrence's Mouthbreathers are fresh off their 7-inch debut on legendary trash-punk label In the Red. The two bands also play together at a house show in KC Thursday; ask a punk how to get there.
Friday, March 9, at the Replay Lounge (946 Massachusetts, Lawrence, 785-749-7676)
Asher Roth recently inked a deal with Def Jam. What — you thought the Mark Zuckerberg-looking motherfucker quit making music just because everybody stopped paying attention to him? No, son. Roth's latest mixtape of white-boy frat rap is called Pabst & Jazz, and I'll bet there are enough "I Love College" fans enrolled at KU to occupy half the real estate in the Granada for this.
Thursday, March 8, at the Granada (1020 Massachusetts, Lawrence, 785-842-1390)
Local Radiohead nerd-fans have spent the past 15-odd years trekking to arenas in larger Midwestern cities — St. Louis, Chicago, Denver — to see Thom Yorke and Co. perform live. At last, the difficult British geniuses have deigned to visit the City of Fountains, in support of their most recent release, The King of Limbs. (This show is sold out.)
Sunday, March 11, at Sprint Center (1407 Grand, 816-949-7000)
Cloud Nothings, with Mr. Dream and O, Giant Man
On its latest — the Steve Albini-produced, Pitchfork-approved Attack on Memory — Cleveland's Cloud Nothings marries Fugazi's harsh muscularity with turn-of-the-millennium skate-punk hooks. Emo revival? Fourth-wave punk? Eh, I'd just call it a really smart rock record.
Monday, March 12, at Riot Room (4048 Broadway, 816-442-8179)
Youth Lagoon, with Dana Buoy
The dream of introverted music geeks who hide out in their bedrooms and fuck around with Roland samplers is alive in 22-year-old Trevor Powers. The Boise native's debut, The Year of Hibernation, is a lot of piano twinkling, swooning indie-rock guitars, and reverb — mousetrap cheese for a big chunk of the music blogosphere.
Monday, March 12, at the Jackpot Saloon (943 Massachusetts, Lawrence, 785-843-2846)