The Postal Service
Give Up, the surprise 2003 electro-emo hit record from the Postal Service, is now 10 years in the rearview — you're old as dirt — and to celebrate, creators Ben Gibbard and Jimmy Tamborello are touring the country and playing the old songs. In New York City, where many of the college kids who bought Give Up the first time around moved after graduation, the Postal Service recently drew 18,000 to the Barclays Center. Here, they're doing a generous two-night run at the Midland. The Wednesday concert is sold out, but tickets are still available for Tuesday. Mates of State open both shows.
Tuesday, July 30, and Wednesday, July 31, at the Midland (1228 Main, 816-283-9921)
I'll never forget the night in 2010 that Boz Scaggs sang Teddy Pendergrass' "Love TKO" at the Dukes of September Rhythm Revue show at Starlight. I'd never really thought too much of that song before then, but Scaggs' silky voice turned it into something like a religious experience for me that night. He's got some damn excellent songs of his own, too — Silk Degrees is pretty much stacked — that he'll doubtless perform at this Uptown gig.
Thursday, July 25, at the Uptown Theater (3700 Broadway, 816-753-8665)
Rodrigo y Gabriela
In the same way that some former punks do gruff alt-country albums when they hit 40, Rodrigo y Gabriela have moved on from the thrash-metal scene, where they met in Mexico in the 1990s, into an artsy mélange of classical guitars, world music, jazz and pop. They still play their guitars super-fast, though.
Friday, July 26, at the Uptown Theater (3700 Broadway, 816-753-8665)
Parts of Speech, the latest from Dessa, is very much a rap album of 2013, which is to say it sounds only vaguely like a rap album. Dessa is a member of the Minneapolis hip-hop collective Doomtree, where she's surrounded by strong rappers such as P.O.S. and has been steadily honing both her lyrical eye and her skills on the mic. On Parts of Speech, she's unwed to traditional ideas of what hip-hop is: She tries on ballads as well as raps, and even covers a Bruce Springsteen track ("I'm Going Down"). It's pretty accessible stuff, and I wouldn't be surprised to see Dessa on the pop charts in a few years. She'll almost certainly be playing bigger venues than RecordBar — although, bully for us that she is this time through.
Saturday, July 27, at RecordBar (1020 Westport Road, 816-753-5207)
Spirit Is the Spirit, with Palace
In March, the Record Machine released Baktun Baby, an EP from locals Spirit Is the Spirit, whose lead track, "Only After Dark," I am totally digging. The record is kind of all over the place — there are echoes of gentle AM pop, Afro-pop and the Flaming Lips — but it's a pretty sturdy four-song collection. Palace, another Record Machine act, hails from St. Louis; its happy-go-lucky indie pop is a little too self-consciously quirky for my taste, but if you studied theater in college, there's a decent chance the group will be in your wheelhouse.
Saturday, July 27, at Czar (1531 Grand, 816-421-0300)
Summerland Tour, with Everclear, Live, Sponge and Filter
In case you've forgotten: Filter is the one that did "Hey Man, Nice Shot." Sponge did "Molly (16 Candles)" and "Plowed" (and both actually hold up OK). Live did Throwing Copper, which was a pretty big album in 1995 on account of "I Alone" and "Lightning Crashes." Everclear, of course, is the biggest band on this '90s revival bill, though it sure would be interesting to poll 100 college freshmen and see if any of them can name a single song by any of these bands.
Sunday, July 28, at Cricket Wireless Amphitheater (633 North 130th Street, Bonner Springs, 913-721-3400)
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis
The video for the Macklemore–Ryan Lewis track "Thrift Shop" had 375 million views as of press time. If the Seattle rap duo — Macklemore raps, and Lewis produces — aren't the breakout stars of 2013, I don't know who is. They're playing this outdoor show at KC Live as part of the Major League Soccer All-Star Game festivities (the game is July 31, at Sporting Park). This is a free show, but tickets are required. Your best bet is to win them through giveaways at 95.7 the Vibe or Mix 93.3, or at MLSsoccer.com/allstar. (But be warned: The MLS website says, "Ticket does not guarantee admission.") Clinton Sparks opens around 7:30 p.m.; Macklemore and Lewis go on at 9. Also, it's an 18-and-older show (though anyone younger than 21 must be accompanied by a guardian and won't be admitted after 9 p.m.).
Monday, July 29, at KC Live Stage at the Power & Light District (14th Street and Grand)