Das Racist, with Danny Brown and Despot
I rode hard for Das Racist in 2010. The smartass Brooklyn rappers released two free mixtapes (Shut Up, Dude and Sit Down, Man) that were so densely clever, I still haven't uncovered all the jokes and references, even after bumping it in my car for months and months on end. (Sample: These rappers wack like the movie Wackness/They saccharine, but they not Equal.) Unfortunately, every single person I talked to who saw them on tour earlier this year reported a terrible experience: too drunk, sloppy rapping, no respect for the crowd. But Das Racist is young, and that was their first tour, so maybe this time around they'll have their act together.
Saturday, October 22, at The Granada (1020 Massachusetts, 785-842-1390)
A sort of Mexican Frank Sinatra, Vicente Fernandez has the outsized appearance of a cartoon character. The mustachioed ranchera crooner wears the finest of charro suits, gigantic embroidered sombreros, and a pistol strapped to the studded holster on his belt. It's all very Three Amigos. But Fernandez is the real deal, an old-school traditionalist singer who has knocked out more than 50 albums in his lifetime. At 71, he isn't touring so much anymore, so this one qualifies as a special occasion.
Saturday, October 22, at Sprint Center (1407 Grand, 816-949-7000)
Deadmau5, with Excision, Feed Me and Le Castle Vania
Joel Zimmerman, a geeky Canadian gamer who wears an oversized, oversized mouse head onstage, has emerged in recent years as one of the hottest names in electronic music. Deadmau5, as he's known, augments his house-beat buildups with a world-class live spectacle. The massive stage rig that he hauls from city to city, as well as his laser-light multimedia show, approaches the Daft Punk pyramid in terms of futuristic grandiosity.
Monday, October 24, at the Midland (1228 Main, 816-283-9921)
Helmet, with Season to Risk and Waiting for Signal
The Page Hamilton Experience is perhaps a more accurate name for Helmet at this point. Apart from the frontman, there isn't a single member remaining of the original quartet, and the band's past few albums have hardly made a blip on the radar of anyone but the most dedicated fans. But you know they're going to play "In the Meantime" and "Unsung." And hearing those songs in the intimate confines of the Riot Room should bring out the 16-year-old you who saw Helmet's epilepsy-inducing videos on MTV and lost his goddamn mind. With Season to Risk and Waiting for Signal opening, it might be a chance to see an opener outshine the headliner.
Tuesday, October 25, at the Riot Room (4048 Broadway, 816-442-8179)
Matt Pond PA, with Rocky Votolato
Before hearing his latest EP, Spring Fools, it'd been three or four years since I'd last checked in with Matt Pond PA. Not a lot appears to have changed. The Brooklyn-via-Philadelphia singer-songwriter is still writing jangly, easygoing pop-rock songs that are occasionally lovely and occasionally a little short on ambition. At his most vanilla, Pond edges dangerously close to Dawson's Creek soundtrack territory, but there's usually enough hooks to keep a pop dork like me satisfied.
Saturday, October 22, at RecordBar (1020 Westport Road, 816-753-5207)
Kevin Seconds, with Bent Left and Dead Ven
Kevin Seconds is better known for his work fronting 7 Seconds, the long-running Reno hardcore act, than he is for the solo albums he has released for Asian Man Records. More popular, too — his last solo stop in the area drew only a handful of people to the Replay Lounge patio. But his declamatory vocal style is just as suited to his solo, contemplative acoustic numbers as it is to mile-a-minute punk ragers. Openers Bent Left and Dead Ven bridge the gap from punk to folk-punk nicely.
Saturday, October 22, at Czar (1531 Grand, 816-421-0300)