He has worked on albums by Ghostface, T.I. and Ludacris, but to the extent that Young Guru is known at all, it's for being Jay-Z's right-hand man behind the boards. In addition to engineering just about every record that Hova has released, Guru now also serves as Jay's tour DJ. He does his own thing, too, though, and this Czar gig should provide an opportunity to see what kinds of sounds this mastermind fancies when left to his own devices.
Wednesday, November 28, at Czar (1531 Grand, 816-421-0300)
John Velghe & the Prodigal Sons
Sure, the Midwest has its share of knuckle-dragging rednecks, but with these hurricanes hammering away at America's coastal cities, a prairie town is looking all of a sudden like a pretty reasonable place to call home. Until the shit really goes down, though, we'll do our part as Americans and send money and relief to the thousands of citizens whose homes have been ravaged by the increasing volatility of climate change. In this spirit, John Velghe & the Prodigal Sons' Friday-after-Thanksgiving show at the Brick doubles as a fundraiser for victims of Hurricane Sandy (and not a bullshit opportunistic one, either — 100 percent of donations and merch sales go to Sandy charities). With its Americana roots and punchy brass section, Velghe and company comprise one of KC's more likable rock acts. Think the Replacements doing "Can't Hardly Wait" and you're in the ballpark.
Friday, November 23, at the Brick (1727 McGee, 816-421-1634)
Sonic Spectrum Tribute to Devo
There's really no way around it: The Monday after Thanksgiving is going to be bleak, just dark as all hell. The meaningless tedium of human existence is always more acute when returning to work after a holiday weekend. It will probably also be cold outside. And if it's not cold, that will be even more depressing because we all know why it's not as cold as it used to be. We are all going to die is what I'm saying here. My advice: Wring every last drop of joy out of your holiday weekend. Live, damn it! While you still can! And this early (8 p.m.) Sunday-night tribute to new-wave mad-scientist act Devo is an excellent last-ditch stab at fending off the abyss. Scheduled to perform: Federation of Horsepower; Chad Rex & the Victor Stands; Dream Wolf; the Inwards; and a special group of Devo-tees, featuring members of Roman Numerals and Be/Non, called the Booji Boyz.
Sunday, November 25, at RecordBar (1020 Westport Road, 816-753-5207)
Steve Phillips is in the Elders now, but the other Rainmakers — Bob Walkenhorst, Rich Ruth, Pat Tomek — re-formed in 2011, the 25th anniversary of the acclaimed Kansas City band's debut album. (Jeff Porter has replaced Phillips on guitar.) To accommodate the large Thanksgiving homecoming crowds eager for a taste of the band's heartland rock, the Rainmakers have scheduled shows Friday and Saturday. And to accommodate its older-skewing fanbase, both shows are early, at 7 p.m.
Friday, November 23, and Saturday, November 24, at RecordBar (1020 Westport Road, 816-753-5207)