My Brothers & Sisters, with Man Bear
They don't do many club gigs, but when they do, My Brothers & Sisters move eyeballs. The brassy roots-pop group, led by Jamie Searle (former frontman of beloved local folk-rock act It's Over), sprawls out to around 20 members: lots of horns, strings and backup singers. Man Bear, a charming local trio, plays smart, charged-up power pop in the vein of Dinosaur Jr. or Superchunk.
Saturday, June 23, at the Riot Room (4048 Broadway, 816-442-8179)
Sonic Spectrum Tribute to the Minutemen
The Minutemen were one of the most sonically exciting bands ever filed under "punk," and the eclectic nature of their music makes them an easy fit for this tribute series, which returns to RecordBar after a couple of months off. A diverse collection of local acts — the Brannock Device, Robot Monkey Madman, Uft, Jorge Arana Trio, Chad Rex, and Troy Meiss — takes on the California trio's catalog.
Sunday, June 24, at RecordBar (1020 Westport Road, 816-753-5207)
Colbie Caillat, with Gavin DeGraw
Nobody seems to agree with me that Colbie Caillat's "Fallin' for You" is one of the best pop songs of the past half-decade, which has turned me a little belligerent on the topic: There've been a couple of unfortunate occasions on which I drank too much, hijacked a computer at a party, and played the song at an unnecessarily high volume to a confused group of friends, acquaintances and strangers. That kind of maniacal behavior probably isn't the most persuasive argument for the brilliance of "Fallin' for You," which is like a lovelier, more concise version of the beach-pop songs that Sheryl Crow has been churning out for the last 15 years. Joining Caillat here is Gavin DeGraw, who is famous for that one song that goes Iiiiii don't want to be anything other than what I've been trying to be latelayyy.
Saturday, June 23, at Starlight Theatre (4600 Starlight Road, 816-363-7827)
Scissor Sisters, with Rye Rye
Now that Lady Gaga has made bombastic, hyper-gay glam pop safe for the masses, perhaps it's Scissor Sisters' time to shine. The campy New York dance-rock act has been grinding it out for more than a decade now and is touring on its just-released new album, Magic Hour. Opener Rye Rye, a wild female MC from Baltimore, was the first artist signed to M.I.A.'s N.E.E.T. Recordings label, and she sounds like it.
Monday, June 25, at Crossroads KC at Grinders (417 East 18th Street, 816-472-5454)
The Flaming Lips, with Deerhoof
Game 5 of the NBA Finals overlaps with the first night of Liberty Hall's 100th anniversary celebration on Thursday. Why is this significant? Because of Oklahoma City, whose Thunder squad is battling it out with the loathsome Miami Heat, and whose most famous artistic export, the Flaming Lips, is headlining this Lawrence celebration. The Lips recently rerecorded "Race for the Prize" as "Thunder Up! Racing for the Prize," which leads me to believe that it might be in the venue's interest to push back the show until after the game.
Thursday, June 21, and Friday, June 22, at Liberty Hall (644 Massachusetts, Lawrence, 785-749-1972)
The Pitch Presents: The 2012 U.S. Air Guitar Championships
Stevie Cruz of local metal band Hammerlord is hosting this regional competition of guitar-playing pantomiming. There are two rounds. In the first, entrants perform a minute of a song of their choosing; in the second, the song is a surprise. There are no losers in air guitar, at least as far as I'm concerned, but the big winner of this competition advances to the national finals, and the winner of that goes on to compete in the Air Guitar World Championships in Finland, which somehow seems like the perfect location for such an event.
Friday, June 22, at the Beaumont Club (4050 Pennsylvania, 816-561-2560)