The Architects closed 2012 strong, dropping a live album, Live in Los Angeles, this past fall. And on New Year's Eve, the group announced a new studio LP, Border Wars, which will see release sometime this spring. This is all pretty huge news if you are a fan of the local boys' earth-shaking, punk-inflected rawk music. And this show, with Appropriate Grammar and Drew Black and Dirty Electric, ought to be an excellent opportunity to sample some of their new tunes.
Saturday, January 12, at Riot Room (4048 Broadway, 816-442-8179)
Me Like Bees
Fans of mid-'00s indie rock will warm to Me Like Bees. The Joplin quartet conjures the nervous bombast of Cold War Kids, and singer Luke Sheafer's voice recalls Modest Mouse's Isaac Brock at his most deranged. Openers Gentleman Savage and Man Bear traffic in Beatlesesque psych and power pop, respectively. With Burrowss.
Friday, January 11, at Riot Room (4048 Broadway, 816-442-8179)
One of the new great hopes of the No Depression/alt-country scene is John Fullbright, a 24-year-old singer-songwriter wunderkind. He's been compared with everybody from Steve Earle to Townes Van Zandt to Randy Newman to Woody Guthrie, with whom he shares a hometown of Okemah, Oklahoma. But I think his work most resembles the literary Southern wisdom you find in Mike Cooley's songs for the Drive-By Truckers. (See: "Jericho" from 2012's From the Ground Up.) Fullbright is playing with a full band for this Knuckleheads show; it's a special "living room session" — high on intimacy, low on seating.
Tuesday, January 15, at Knuckleheads Saloon (2715 Rochester, 816-483-1456)
Reel Big Fish
Does the pairing of juvenile punk lyrics with horns and upstroked guitars sound like a real hoot to you? Then two things: (1) You are probably a 15-year-old boy, and (2) you will totally love Reel Big Fish, which has been swerving around in this busted-ass lane for about two decades now. Following its 2009 album of ska-fueled covers of pop hits (by acts like Van Morrison, John Mellencamp and Poison — how cheeky!), the SoCal group returned last year with a new one, Candy Coated Fury, on which it is currently touring. It contains songs called "Your Girlfriend Sucks," "I Love/You Suck" and "P.S. I Hate You." Anybody have a noose handy?
Monday, January 14, at the Granada (1020 Massachusetts, Lawrence, 785-842-1390)
Soul Providers Showcase
Will 2013 be the year of the Soul Provider? That's what we asked back in December, when we put the local hip-hop collective on the cover of this here magazine. This Saturday, a few of the crew's talent have their first chance in this new year to make that case. On the slate: DJ Jamel Rockwell, plus rappers MilkDrop, Dutch Newman, Stik Figa, Gage and BBP. Women get in free; for the men, it's $5 before 11 p.m. and $7 after. The more eclectically minded among us might consider getting to RecordBar early for a 7 p.m. show featuring the rootsy sounds of Dollar Fox and the Rumblejetts.
Saturday, January 12, at RecordBar (1020 Westport Road, 816-753-5207)