The Love Hangover 

It's a fact: Most songwriting is romantically inclined. Whether it's Usher desiring to have intimate relations in a dancing establishment or Roky Erickson howling about how so-and-so is going to mourn his absence, the themes of sweetness, joy, pain and heartache are in any songwriter's catalog. Eleven years ago, North Carolina native Richard Alwyn (now of Brooklyn) dedicated a songwriting showcase to the art of the love — or anti-love — song. He named the showcase The Love Hangover after a song about accidentally falling in love with a one-night stand. This post-Valentine's Day shindig is a time to take stock of one's love life — or bask in bitterness with like-minded lonely hearts. Kansas City is one of the lucky satellite cities hosting an evening of lovelorn tunes from some of the city's finest songwriters. Hosted by Expassionates frontman Scott Easterday, the Love Hangover features boy-girl pairs of performers doing both covers and original songs. Jazz singer Shay Estes is paired with pianist Mark Lowrey;Blessed Broke frontman Brian Frame duets with Wilders fiddler Betse Ellis; singer Mikal Shapiro plays with American Catastrophe guitarist Terrence Moore; and Olympic Size vocalists Kirsten Paludan and Billy Smith team up. The Love Hangover — "the sweetest hangover," according to Diana Ross — will leave you feeling woozy with emotion, whether you're nurturing a newfound love or stitching up a broken heart.

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