Man or Astro-Man?
For a moment in the early aughts, it seemed that Man or Astro-Man was calling it quits. At least, that's what fans of the beloved surf-rock band concluded in the decade-plus after 2000's A Spectrum of Infinite Scale, with no new material and few live shows. But last May, Man or Astro-Man released Defcon 5...4...3...2...1, which takes all of the Alabama group's cherished sci-fi influences and converts them into a collection of psychedelic, hard-rocking songs. It's a quirky release that manages to sound nostalgic and futuristic. Bonus: Original hipster Sallie Ford, from Portland, Oregon, opens.
Thursday, July 17, the Riot Room (4048 Broadway, 816-442-8179)
If you know who Richard Buckner is, you're likely an ardent fan — a member of a small but loyal cult. If you're unfamiliar with the Brooklyn singer-songwriter, take Thursday night to enjoy one of alt-country's most singular voices. Despite never breaking the barrier of commercial success in more than two decades, Buckner has established himself as a rare talent. Last year's Surrounded found Buckner further elaborating on the ominous electric-folk style that is all his own.
Thursday, July 17, Czar (1531 Grand, 816-421-0300)
Bloodshot Bill, Cowtown Playboys, A.J. Gaither
Davey's Uptown has quite an evening planned for Saturday's Shrunken Headz Car Club Poker Run. A roots and rockabilly lineup is on deck to ensure that things get as loud and rowdy as you'd expect at this favorite hole-in-the-wall bar. The raucous Bloodshot Bill — a Canadian one-man band who looks a lot like Elvis and sings like a demonic version of King Khan – headlines, with support from the Cowtown Playboys, A.J. Gaither and more. Proceeds benefit the CASCO House.
Saturday, July 19, Davey's Uptown Ramblers Club (3402 Main, 816-753-1909)
San Diego dream team the Donkeys' latest album, Ride the Black Wave, is full of wistful guitars and reverb-drenched haze. It's the perfect soundtrack for a summer day at the beach — or a tipsy afternoon pretending you live in a state with a beach. Fans of U.K. psych-rock dignitaries Temples will likely find the Donkeys to be a laid-back, chilled-out equivalent.
Sunday, July 20, RecordBar (1020 Westport Road, 816-753-5207)
After a six-year hiatus, the original members of acclaimed hip-hop group Jurassic 5 are back together. It's enough to bring tears to the eyes of 1990s nostalgists who revere the group's seminal self-titled debut along with the excellent follow-up albums: Power in Numbers, Quality Control and Feedback. Yes, Jurassic 5's four spotlight-sharing MCs remain in a rare patch of eternal sunshine, and they re-create the magic at Crossroads KC on Wednesday.
Wednesday, July 23, Crossroads KC at Grinders (417 East 18th Street, 785-749-3434)
El Ten Eleven
It's odd to think of El Ten Eleven as a duo, given the massive wall of sound that Kristian Dunn and Tim Fogarty are capable of creating. The music of the Los Angeles post-rock instrumental group bends minds with majestic looping and intricate compositions on bass, guitar and various percussion instruments. The nuanced tracks on the duo's five full-length releases recall the intellectual experimentation of Ratatat. Prepare yourself for Wednesday night's RecordBar show: Once El Ten Eleven takes over, it's likely that the venue takes off for outer space, where the music might be more at home.
Wednesday, July 23, RecordBar (1020 Westport Road, 816-753-5207)