The ACBs, the Hips, Shy Boys
Local indie darlings the ACBs have a true talent for heartbreaking pop songs. Lead singer Konnor Ervin's delicate, childlike voice casts long, lonely shadows on songs with titles such as "Under Weight" and "Xanies." Those songs figure on the band's Little Leaves, from earlier this year, a disc that plays with contrasts: Summery, shimmering melodies mask melancholy lyrics. The band plays Friday with a couple of other local favorites: Lawrence garage-rockers the Hips and psych-pop band Shy Boys.
Friday, November 29, at the Brick (1727 McGee, 816-421-1634)
Canadian Brass Holiday Concert
It's never too soon to get in the holiday spirit, right? The Kauffman Center turns on its seasonal charm in style. The world-famous Canadian Brass quintet — which includes a horn, a tuba, a trombone and trumpets — shares more than four decades of music and history. Organist Douglas Reed joins the ensemble Monday night, and together the group should fill Helzberg Hall with so many warm and cheery brass-arranged holiday standards that even Scrooge's heart would melt. Go prepared and smuggle in a flask of eggnog — if you dare.
Monday, December 2, at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts (1601 Broadway, 816-994-7222)
Diverse Plays Michael Jackson
It's always a beautiful thing when Kansas City's renowned jazz group Diverse comes together, but it's downright magical when the collective puts on its annual Michael Jackson tribute. The concert is so popular that Diverse had to book a venue with more capacity; this marks the show's first time at the Uptown Theater. Diverse explores the breadth of the king of pop's catalog, from his Jackson 5 days through the early 2000s. In addition to the core trio of trumpeter Hermon Mehari, bassist Ben Leifer and drummer Ryan Lee, the evening also features singers Julia Haile, Anthony Saunders and Lee Langston, plus a slew of other notable musicians and special guests.
Saturday, November 30, at the Uptown Theater (3700 Broadway, 816-753-8665)
Singer-songwriter and violinist Emilie Autumn makes music that's part Broadway musical and part gothic cabaret. She is, in other words, a pretty niche act. Her latest release, Fight Like a Girl, is a concept album based on her semiautobiographical book, The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls. (She has been open about her time in a psychiatric ward.) Her performances suggest a vaudeville show choreographed to showcase "insane" Victorian-styled women and ominous overtures. "Phantom of the Opera goes burlesque" is only the beginning.
Monday, December 2, at the Granada (1020 Massachusetts, Lawrence, 785-842-1390)
Oh, Jeff Tweedy, how do we love thee? Is it your tousled bed head? Is it your role as frontman for Wilco, America's most universally beloved post-alt-country band? Or maybe it's just that you've generously elected to bestow an early Christmas gift upon select Midwest and West Coast cities in the form of a solo show. Yes, we particularly love you for that one. Tweedy's Tuesday-night Kansas City gig kicks off his December solo tour, and we are very ready to receive him.
Tuesday, December 3, at the Uptown Theater (3700 Broadway, 816-753-8665)
The core of Milwaukee's Twin Brother — singer-songwriter and guitarist Sean Raasch and drummer Tyler Nelson — previously performed as a duo under the rather uninspiring name Jackraasch. Raasch and Nelson haven't so much reinvented that act as expanded on it. Twin Brother's self-titled debut still pushes the same gentle, moody folk-rock, now with a bass player. Such songs as "Blue Soldier" and "Dear Sweet Dove" have a characteristically Midwestern sound, simultaneously warm and lonely — the kind of thing that inspires introspection and whiskey drinking.
Wednesday, December 4, at RecordBar (1020 Westport Road, 816-753-5207)