Fall for a Pit
Pit bulls get a bad rap, and a new local group, M.O.S.H. (Money for Organizations Saving Helpless) PIT, is working to raise funds for rescue groups with pit bulls and pit-bull mixes in their care. The first benefit is Saturday at Riot Room, where M.O.S.H. PIT has assembled a rock-oriented lineup of KC acts to coax precious charitable dollars from your wallets and purses. On hand: the Lucky Graves, Red Kate, Knife Crime, Hipshot Killer, Medicine Theory, and the Bad Ideas. Rumors of an appearance by the Miami rapper Pitbull continue to swirl but at press time could not be confirmed.
Saturday, September 29, at Riot Room (4048 Broadway, 816-442-8179)
Chick Corea and Gary Burton, with the Harlem String Quartet
Over the last 40 years, jazz pianist Chick Corea and vibraphonist Gary Burton (inventor of the Burton Grip, where you play the vibraphone with four mallets instead of two, like you've got chopsticks in your hands) have collaborated on seven records together. Their latest, Hot House, is a collection of 1940s–60s standards, covering material by Thelonious Monk, the Beatles and Antonio Carlos Jobim, among others. Backing the pair at this show — kicking off this season's Jammin' at the Gem Series at 18th and Vine — is the Harlem String Quartet, which ought to add some extra beauty and drama to the proceedings.
Saturday, September 29, at the Gem Theater (1615 East 18th Street, 816-474-6262)
Sonic Spectrum Tribute to the Doors
That the Doors were a terrible, embarrassing band, led by a drunk asshole masquerading as a tortured poet, isn't a reason not to attend this tribute show. I'm being serious! I say this because the local acts that organizer Robert Moore has gathered for it — Monta At Odds, Cherokee Rock Rifle, London Transit — are all solidly strange, and I have faith that they will transcend the garbage material they have to work with.
Sunday, September 30, at RecordBar (1020 Westport Road, 816-753-5207)
R. Stevie Moore
A wave of semi-forgotten, idiosyncratic songwriters — guys like Simon Joyner, Daniel Johnston and Roky Erickson — have been resurrected in recent years as a younger generation has found its way to their work. The cult of R. Stevie Moore has expanded in a similar fashion, due to his influence on such artists as John Maus, MGMT and Ariel Pink. Moore is a lo-fi songwriter with a dreamy, avant-garde take on traditional pop music. Good luck keeping up with his output — the man has released, by some estimates, more than 400 homemade tapes and CD-Rs.
Monday, October 1, at RecordBar (1020 Westport Road, 816-753-5207)
The last time I was in New York, I ended up at a metal bar called Saint Vitus. It was dark and cavernous and red and loud, and generally resembled what I think about when I think about hell. It was awesome! And it was very obviously named after the doom-metal act Saint Vitus. The L.A. band, formed in the late 1970s, is currently thundering through the United States, hulking out terrifying drop-tuned riffs and scaring the fuck out of everybody who crosses its path.
Tuesday, October 2, at the Granada (1020 Massachusetts, Lawrence, 785-842-1390)
Ben Folds Five
What exactly does that "five" at the end of Ben Folds Five mean in the year 2012? That's the central question surrounding The Sound of the Life of the Mind, the first Ben Folds Five record in 13 years, and the trio's accompanying reunion tour. Folds' first solo record, Rockin' the Suburbs, was a strong outing, but most everything after has fallen flat. (The material prior to his work in Ben Folds Five was mostly bright, piano-pop fun — "punk rock for sissies," as Folds once described it.) I always liked BFF's murky, ragtag rhythm section — Darren Jessee on drums, Robert Sledge on bass — so I'm thinking that they're reason enough to buy the ticket.
Friday, September 28, at Starlight Theatre (4600 Starlight Road, 816-363-7827)
Guided By Voices
To be a Robert Pollard fan is both thrilling and exhausting, and I long ago gave up on keeping up with the Guided By Voices frontman's solo albums and GBV-related activity. I do know a few current facts about GBV. Pollard has reassembled members from the mid-'90s lineup and is touring with them. The band has released two albums already this year, with another to come in November. The music still loiters around the intersection between classic rock and weirdo, lo-fi indie. And there is no reason to believe that this show will be anything but a complete blast.
Friday, September 28, at the Granada (1020 Massachusetts, Lawrence, 785-842-1390)