Soft Reeds, with Minden and Motorboater
This Saturday-night show is a showcase of sorts for the Record Machine: All three acts on the bill are attached to the local indie-rock label. As Motorboater, Dan Eaton presides over a laptop blasting fuzzy electronic dance music. Soft Reeds' Soft Reeds Are Bastards, a rock record with shades of Bowie and Bolan, was one of the finest local releases of 2010. The band's next release is a split 7-inch with the melodic pop act Minden, midtown's latest crush.
Saturday, October 15, at the Brick (1727 McGee, 816-421-1634)
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, with Twin Sister
Spreading false hope to thousands of bands with embarrassing names, the Pains of Being Pure at Heart emerged to great acclaim in 2009 with a sound that hearkened back to the noisy jangle of '80s underground indie pop. On this year's follow-up, Belong, the Pains have skipped ahead a decade. The choruses are bigger and glossed over with a distorted fuzz that recalls Siamese Dream-era Smashing Pumpkins. If the trend continues, we should expect an early '00s dance-punk throwback from the band sometime around 2013. Opening act Twin Sister plays dreamy dance-pop quietly propelled by singer Andrea Estella's airy vocals. Comparisons to Beach House are not without merit.
Thursday, October 13, at the Bottleneck (737 New Hampshire, in Lawrence, 785-841-5483)
CANT, with Mirror and Blood Orange
It's been about two and a half years since highbrow Brooklyn folk act Grizzly Bear broke into the indie mainstream with Veckatimest. In the meantime, Chris Taylor, who plays bass and participates in the group's stunning choral harmonies, has been working on a side project called CANT. The songs share some of Grizzly Bear's churchy ambience while cautiously embracing a little Joy Division synth here, a slight touch of R&B there.
Friday, October 14, at the Bottleneck (737 New Hampshire, in Lawrence, 785-841-5483)
Buddy Guy, with Quinn Sullivan>br>
Traditional blues — the kind you hear night in, night out at blues clubs across the country — is, at least from a songwriting perspective, boring. Too often it's the same old chord progressions, same vocal melodies, same solos crammed into the middle of the song. It has become so narrow and tiresome that it's easy to forget about those who have made it special. Up near the top of that list is Buddy Guy, whose explosive, dissonant approach to playing the electric guitar elevated the genre and paved the way for musicians like Jimi Hendrix. Guy won't be around forever, but he's still ripping it up at the age of 75.
Thursday, October 13, at Knuckleheads (2715 Rochester, 816-483-1456)
Brett Dennen, with Blind Pilot
A lanky ginger from California, Brett Dennen vacillates between standard-issue sensitive folk tunes and upbeat pop numbers. Both test well with TV audiences, who have heard his songs on such shows as Grey's Anatomy and House. His star is still on the rise, but he seems to be inspiring Hanson-like hyper devotion among female fans, which means we'll probably be hearing his name more and more moving forward. Folk-pop opener Blind Pilot has been gigging its ass off in 2011 — by my count, this is its third stop in the area this year.
Friday, October 14, at the Beaumont Club (4050 Pennsylvania, 816-561-2560)
Roger Daltrey performs the Who's Tommy
No Keith Moon, no John Entwistle — fine. They're dead. But why no Pete Townshend on this Tommy tour? "It's great to see Roger performing Tommy with his band in 2011. I will be there in spirit. Roger has my complete and most loving support," Townshend said, in a pretty unsatisfying issued statement. His absence is a bummer, and that his younger brother, Simon, is filling in on guitar only marginally eases the disappointment. Still, Daltrey doing Tommy in its entirety, and then coming back to play assorted Who hits, is nothing to sneeze at. I'll take it.
Friday, October 14, at the Midland (1228 Main, 816-283-9921)