Pokey LaFarge and the South City Three, with Betse Ellis
A transposed version of this bill occurred back in December at Liberty Hall, when Betse Ellis' band, the Wilders, was the headliner. At this more intimate Davey's show, it's LaFarge and company's opportunity to shine. The St. Louis act has a rising national reputation in the ragtime-Dixieland-folk scene and is fresh off an appearance on Jools Holland's BBC New Year's Eve music show, Hootenanny.
Thursday, February 16, at Davey's Uptown Ramblers Club (3402 Main, 816-753-1909), $10
Michael Jackson the Immortal World Tour by Cirque du Soleil
The last decades of Michael Jackson's existence were basically a surreal circus of luxury and insanity, so it seems fitting that Cirque du Soleil would attempt a mega-production based on his life and work. That circus comes to town for two nights this week. Expect a lavish visual smorgasbord of acrobatics, aerials, B-boy dancing, a light show and pyrotechnics, complete with a live band playing hits set to MJ's original recorded vocals.
Tuesday, February 21, and Wednesday, February 22, at Sprint Center (1407 Grand, 816-949-7000), $50-$175
Making Movies Social Club
Making Movies recently announced that its sophomore album will be produced by Steve Berlin, a member of the band's Latin-rock godfathers Los Lobos. To celebrate (and help pay for it), Making Movies is playing an unplugged show at Czar with a couple of special guests: trumpeter Hermon Mehari and St. Louis world-pop singer-songwriter Javier Mendoza. The 7 p.m. set sold out quickly, so a second performance, at 10 p.m., has been added.
Thursday, February 16, at Czar (1531 Grand, 816-421-0300), $10
Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks
Stephen Malkmus enlisted Beck to produce last year's Mirror Traffic — a cool-sounding idea ('90s alt-rock slacker heroes, unite!) that I figured would yield some stylish but ultimately bland music. I was wrong. The record is a smart blend of Pavement's signature crinkled rock 'n droll and Malkmus' more recent penchant for melody and loose jams. I'll take it over Terror Twilight any day of the week.
Sunday, February 19, at the Granada (1020 Massachusetts, Larwrence, 785-842-1390), $15
Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Benefit
Now in its third year, this fundraiser for LLS seeks to raise awareness of blood cancer and push forward efforts to find a cure. On the bill: Think.Like.Computers (whose drummer is a Hodgkin lymphoma survivor celebrating six years in remission), Echoes From Airplanes, Vehicle, Man Bear, and Dream Wolf. The show starts early, at 7 p.m., and runs all night.
Saturday, February 18, at RecordBar (1020 Westport Road, 753-5207), $10