Mac Lethal with Astronautilus and Busdriver
Hot off his 15 minutes of Web fame — as of press time, 22 million YouTube views of "Nerdy white kid KILLS 'Look at Me Now' " — KC's own Mac Lethal stops in at the Riot Room to sate his fervent fanbase with an evening of emo raps. Love him or hate him, it's going to be fascinating to follow his post-meme career.
Friday, March 23, at the Riot Room (4048 Broadway, 816-442-8179)
The New Riddim with U.S. Americans
Reggae locals the New Riddim are set to release their debut album, Kidnapped, later this spring and are presumably previewing some of those fresh Rasta jams at this show.
Friday, March 23, at the Brick (1727 McGee, 816-421-1634)
This Must Be the Band
Sonic Spectrum's Talking Heads tribute took place less than two months ago. Plus, I'm iffy on recommending cover bands in general. But I've happened upon this Chicago-based crew of David Byrne disciples a couple of times over the past half-decade, and they're always tight and convincing. Also, the lead singer sometimes wears a Stop Making Sense-style big suit, which is one of the best things that has ever happened in rock music.
Tuesday, March 27, at the Granada (1020 Massachusetts, Lawrence, 785-842-1390)
Soweto Gospel Choir
Best known in America for being featured on "Down to Earth," the Oscar-nominated Peter Gabriel song from WALL-E, this 26-member South African ensemble is a sort of Ladysmith Black Mambazo for the new millennium.
Saturday, March 24, at Yardley Hall at Johnson County Community College (12345 College Boulevard, Overland Park, 913-469-4445)
The Strange-ification of the rap underground continues apace as Tech N9ne and his label cronies Krizz Kaliko, Mayday, Prozak and Stevie Stone descend on the Midland. The evening kicks off Strange Music's Hostile Takeover Tour, a remarkable run of 90 shows in 99 days. Also on the bill is Machine Gun Kelly, a rambunctious Cleveland rapper recently crowned by MTV as the Hottest Breakthrough MC of 2011.
Saturday, March 24, at the Midland (1228 Main, 816-283-9921)
Uncle Kracker with Sonia Leigh and Ty Stone
Like his buddy Kid Rock, Uncle Kracker has mostly jettisoned rap-rock. The big money is in country-pop crossovers now, and Kracker has accordingly taken to rolling around in the hay and singing about small towns and down-home parties.
Sunday, March 25, at the Beaumont Club (4050 Pennsylvania, 816-561-2560)
Owing to the relocation of some of its members, Lawrence dance-rock darlings the Kinetiks are calling it quits. Wish them well at this farewell show at the Jackpot.
Saturday, March 24, at Jackpot Music Hall (943 Massachusetts, Lawrence, 785-832-1085)