The Toadies, with Helmet and UME
The Toadies were always wilder and more menacing than their 1990s alt-rock radio peers. (I'm pretty sure that the song "Tyler" from their debut LP, Rubberneck, is about raping a woman — a character sketch, one presumes.) Ultimately, though, the Fort Worth, Texas, act ended up following the same trajectory as so many other one-album wonders of that decade: commercial success, then battles with the label, a sophomore slump, band infighting, and a slow fade into obscurity. Since 2006, the band has been gradually reuniting, doing one-offs and odd festival dates, and it returned last month with a new album, Play.Rock.Music. It is unmistakably Toadian: creepy-sexy lyrics, guitars like chainsaws, crunchy hooks. No complaints here.
Sunday, August 12, at the Beaumont Club (4050 Pennsylvania,
The Architects, with Hipshot Killer and Radkey
No frills at this Friday-night rock show — just varying ratios of guitars, drums, bass and attitude. Punk-rock is the unifier; Hipshot Killer is closer to the left side of that hyphen, the Architects the right. Radkey, a group of teenage brothers from St. Joseph, is still puzzling out the balance but is no less exciting for it.
Friday, August 10, at RecordBar (1020 Westport Road, 816-753-5207)
Crosby, Stills & Nash
Starlight has done right by the baby boomers this summer: James Taylor, the Doobie Brothers, Chicago, Barry Manilow and, this week, Crosby Stills & Nash. Tack "Young" on the end of that, and we'd really be cookin' with gas, but three-fourths of the supergroup ain't nothing to sneeze at. CSN recently scrapped a Rick Rubin studio session but is still writing current-events-inspired protest songs, such as "Almost Gone," about Bradley Manning, the U.S. soldier charged with leaking classified documents to WikiLeaks. They also still possess gorgeous voices, the synergistic beauty of which far outstrips the fatigue brought on by all those tales of 1960s tumult.
Thursday, August 9, at Starlight Theatre (4600 Starlight Road, 816-363-7827)
Back when I was in college, when there was no Bassnectar or Skrillex, Paul Oakenfold shows were where you went to take Ecstasy and sweat in a crowd full of people. An elder statesman of electronic dance music, Oakenfold has angled more mainstream of late — doing scores for The Bourne Identity, taking a residency in Vegas, collaborating with such folks as Cee Lo Green and Red Hot Chili Peppers — or maybe it's just the rest of the world finally catching up with him.
Friday, August 10, at KC Live Stage at the Power & Light District (13th Street and Grand)
One of the darkest, weirdest sets I've seen in 2012 was Catacombz at Eastside Tavern in Columbia, Missouri, during the True/False Film Fest. The Milwaukee act knows how to set a mood: Stage lights were used sparingly, and the darkness that engulfed the venue nicely complemented Catacombz's sound, which is a mishmash of krautrock grooves, droning synths and psychedelic tones. Also, that Z at the end of its name is hilarious.
Tuesday, August 14, at the Replay Lounge (946 Massachusetts, Lawrence, 785-749-7676)
The queen of rockabilly, as they call her, Wanda Jackson had a late-career resurgence a few years back when Jack White collaborated with her on her The Party Ain't Over. On Jackson's upcoming album, Unfinished Business, she has enlisted another known quantity, Justin Townes Earle, to produce. She stopped by the Granada in Lawrence just over a year ago; this time through, KC gets a crack at her.
Friday, August 10, at Knuckleheads Saloon (2715 Rochester, 816-483-1456)
The Pitch Music Awards
What better way to keep Sunday anxiety at bay than by drinking it off with the city's finest musicians? VIP passes to The Pitch Music Awards get you an open bar; regular tickets get you zingers from host Eric "Mean" Melin and performances from Soul Servers, Making Movies, Mark Lowrey and the Grisly Hand.
Sunday, August 12, at the Uptown Theater (3700 Broadway, 816-753-8665)