An unassuming four-piece known for its great live shows, 34 Satellite is easily compared, for its folk influences, to the Jayhawks and, for its garage pop leanings, to the Replacements. But those references are most telling because they are comparisons to bands that have a classic quality of not really fitting into any particular genre. 34 Satellite simply has its own voice -- an earnest, direct sound perfectly focused by singer/songwriter/guitarist Marc Benning's plainspoken vocals. At the same time, the rhythm section's driving bass and explosive drums are relentlessly intense, and lead guitarist Marc Smith adds just what's needed, whether it's a dose of twang or slash and burn. This may be meat-and-potatoes rock, but therein lies its strength -- it's down-home cooking and completely satisfying. Get some tonight at Davey's Uptown Rambler's Club. For information, call 816-753-1909.
Photographer Roy Inman faced ankle-deep water, sludge, bats, and a half-inch of dust to shoot 30,000 architectural photographs throughout the restoration of Union Station. Now the art gallery at WRS Architects is displaying a collection of those images, today through December 29. "I wanted to show the 'ah' reaction that came from the completed restoration. I like to try to get across to the viewer what it feels like to be there, to somehow combine that feeling with lighting and props," Inman says. The gallery, at 110 Armour Road in North Kansas City, is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. For information, call 816-221-9300.
For people who love to see store clerks stocking shelves with candy canes, tinsel, and lights before the carved pumpkins of Halloween even have a chance to start rotting, Independence is the place to be today, as it unleashes its Christmas cheer early. Festivities include horse-drawn sleigh rides, visits with Santa Claus, and retailers' holiday open houses in the square. The events begin at 2 p.m. and last until the tree-lighting ceremony at 6 p.m. For information, call 816-252-0608.
Approximately 225,000 adults in Kansas City can't read this sentence. That's why Literacy Kansas City, which urgently needs volunteers, is holding a volunteer orientation today from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at 205 W. 65th Street. The organization will teach potential volunteers about the literacy problem in the metro area and how they can help. Anyone who wants to volunteer is required to attend the orientation before enrolling in the nonprofit's Tutor Training Workshop. For more information, call 816-333-9332.
Plenty of musicians complain about the clichés associated with their choice of music. Type O Negative, however, goes one lurch further and outright mocks metal, industrial, and goth pretenses. Exaggerated, ridiculous keyboard atmospherics, impossibly scary vocals, and 12-minute songs with such titles as "Everyone I Love Is Dead," "Everything Dies," and "Unsuccessfully Coping With the Natural Beauty of Infidelity (I Know You're Fucking Someone Else)" are all too over-the-top to be taken seriously but are more entertaining than they have a right to be. Because of the four-piece's well-constructed songwriting and precise instrumentation (and a performance approach that prefers stern looks to nudges and winks), the group has won a legion of followers, some of whom get the joke and some of whom don't know they are being mocked. But let's face it: Anybody who can take a grinding cover of Seals & Crofts' "Summer Breeze" probably enjoys abuse anyway. See for yourself at The Granada, 1020 Massachusetts in Lawrence. Call Ticketmaster at 816-931-3330 for tickets.
Ever wonder what it would cost to have a Chiefs player serve your dinner? Well, it's $65 per person if you attend the Celebrity Waiter Night, hosted by Chiefs offensive guard Will Shields. Local radio and television personalities, as well as a few Chiefs players, earn their tips tonight with creative antics, songs, and conversation at Plaza III Steakhouse, from 6:30 to 10 p.m. The proceeds support more than a dozen programs that help area children. Call 816-753-0000 for reservations.
With his abstract sculptures, artist Lucky DeBellevue has elevated the time-worn kindergarten project of pipe-cleaner art to the level of fine art. DeBellevue's work goes on display at the Gallery of Art at Johnson County Community College today and remains up through December 17. DeBellevue is said to use his pipe cleaners as an efficient, low-cost means of creating complex abstractions that reflect his interest in biological metaphors, sensual textures, and rich colors. For more information on the exhibit, call 913-469-8500, ext. 3972.
Meow, amigo. Theatre for Young America goes bilingual with El Gato Sin Amigo, or The Cat Who Had No Friends, a musical adapted from a Cuban picture book by Teresita Gomez Vallejo. The production features Spanish and English dialogue woven together and cleverly repeated so native speakers and those whose Spanish proficiency is limited to counting will be able to understand and enjoy the production. The play runs through November 17 at Mission Center Mall. For reservations, call 913-831-2131.