Sonic Spectrum Tribute to ELO
Around eight years ago, Hollywood focus-group testing apparently determined that "Mr. Blue Sky," a mostly forgotten hit for Electric Light Orchestra in the 1970s, possessed a secret ability to pry disposable income from the general public. It was promptly put to use in an alarming number of TV commercials and movie trailers. On the one hand, this robbed the bouncy Beatles-like song of its specialness. But on the other, it introduced a new generation to ELO and helped expose curious parties to a side of the band beyond its (quite good) classic-rock radio-canon cuts "Evil Woman," "Turn to Stone" and "Telephone Line." Jeff Lynne and company will be saluted for their prog-pop genius, when space-rockers Be/Non (with guests) and OLEO (with a string section) take the stage as part of Robert Moore's monthly tribute series.
Monday, December 26, at RecordBar (1020 Westport Road, 816-753-5207)
Lennon Bone, with Kurt Vee, Chris Salveter and Samantha Clemons
When not on tour drumming with the Springfield band Ha Ha Tonka, Lennon Bone calls Kansas City home. He has doubled down locally by founding a record label, Sharp County Records, which is now home to the mellow folk singer Clay Hughes and country-rock act Sons of Great Dane. Last month, Sharp County released Bone's solo debut, Lost/Accolades. The first half of the album is a funky mélange of electronic, hip-hop and soul elements; the latter half comprises bare-bones, front-porch songs — just Bone and an acoustic guitar. I'm hoping he plays both.
Wednesday, December 28, at RecordBar (1020 Westport Road, 816-753-5207)
Moaning Lisa, with Dead Girls and Dream Wolf
In 2004, Moaning Lisa, a classic-rock-sounding local act, relocated to Los Angeles and eventually re-formed as a band called Culture Killers. David George, the frontman, has since returned to Kansas City, performing around town with his new, more acoustically minded group, the David George Band. But over these holidays, George is semi-reuniting Moaning Lisa for a few shows. "We will be playing as many songs as we can remember," George says. "A mixture of the first and second Moaning Lisa records ... and songs from the Culture Killers' EP that was basically a Moaning Lisa EP that was never released, or hardly released."
Thursday, December 22, at the Riot Room (4048 Broadway, 816-442-8179)
American Catastrophe, with Cadillac Flambe and Snakebite Orphans
Who goes to bars on Christmas Eve? Drunks, for one! Also: the lonely. And the downtrodden, lest we forget. This holiday season, another group will be out and about: fans of tense, haunting Americana tunes. That's because the local beloveds in American Catastrophe are performing at Davey's Uptown. Fans of rootsy blues music might also turn up that evening, seeking the sounds of Cadillac Flambe. It's possible that Davey's is one of the only places in town to stop in for a pop, after midnight Mass.
Saturday, December 24, at Davey's Uptown Ramblers Club (3402 Main, 816-753-1909)