Above image: Calvin Arsenia is one of the performers at I Heart Local Music's Pride For the Masses event this weekend. | Photo: Hilary Becker
June is Pride Month. We celebrated here in Kansas City last weekend, but let’s face it — one weekend just isn’t enough. So, our friends at I Heart Local Music are putting something together for the Lawrence, Kansas crowd, with Pride For the Masses at the Jackpot Music Hall. Spanning two evenings (tonight and Saturday), this free, all-ages showcase features performances from Vibralux, Wick & the Tricks, Calvin Arsenia, Cuee and Yanna the Supa Flowa, along with drag queens and queer DJs. Before Saturday’s event, gather with the crew at Ladybird Diner around 7 p.m. for a queer parade to the Jackpot, led by local marching band Sass-A-Brass.
Back on this side of the state line, pair some live music with your craft brews at KC Bier Co. tonight. Cowtown Country Club marries the Western swing tradition with honky-tonk, showtunes and resplendent vocal harmonies. Along with renditions of old country classics, the band puts its own amusing spin on pop hits, like the one above. This show, which starts around 7 p.m., is also free and all ages.
If you’re like me and secretly wish you could beatbox, head over to Uptown Arts Bar tonight to discover and unlock some of the possibilities of the human voice. The Kansas City Beatbox Crew is putting on a live looping showcase, which will include an arsenal of loop stations and electronic effects — from lo-fi hip-hop vibes to pulsating house beats.
The Record Machine’s series Revolutions Per Month is back, and this Saturday afternoon at Ollie’s Local, it will host two budding local singer-songwriters. First up, 21-year-old multi-instrumentalist Mason Blaize, who started out as a classically trained opera singer and has since made her way into jazz and blues-influenced songwriting. And you may know her as drummer and vocalist of American Slim, but MikiP recently embarked on her first solo venture. She released her first single, “Who I Am,” a couple weeks ago, with plans for a debut album in September. This event is also free and all ages.
Saturday marks Making Movies’ fourth Carnaval celebration, and if you’re all about artistic discovery, this is the event for you. With three stages of music from eight international, national and local acts — along with folkloric dance troupes, a drum safari and children’s activities — there will be no shortage of fun at Knuckleheads tomorrow evening. Ticket sales benefit the band’s new nonprofit organization, Art As Mentorship, which will provide a three-month program for young songwriters. Tickets are available, and read more about the event here.
Second Hand King’s newest album, “Frankie,” is a tale of love and heartbreak crafted around the artist’s doo-wop rap stylings. In a recent interview with Flatland’s Dan Calderon, the man behind Second Hand King — Joe Stanziola — said that putting the two genres together “allows you to be realistic and still make fun of yourself.” He’s celebrating the release at recordBar tomorrow night with his band, The Lovers, along with a set from Black Mariah Theater, Rockababyrock and Tyler Banks, and DJ Peter Anthony of Intelligent Sound fame. Tickets are available.
A few years after establishing itself as a chic speakeasy in the West Bottoms, The Ship has become one of KC’s hottest bars (and restaurants, with food served up by chef and harmonica player Ernie Locke). This Saturday, it’ll be packed to the gills with a blazing birthday party for bassist Johnny Hamil, who will perform with his groups GAV7D and Pamper the Madman. He’s also anticipating a couple surprises, including the return of Rat Salad — a Black Sabbath cover band with drummer Kriss Ward. Hi-Lux will also turn up the heat with its funky soul jams.
If you want to get an idea of what the future of arts in Kansas City looks like, head over to the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts on Sunday afternoon for its fifth annual Future Stages Festival. A community effort, the festival will showcase hundreds of young performers, with more than 30 groups that encompass dance, music, aerial arts, theater and more. This event is free, but RSVPs are encouraged.
Sunday’s afternoon show at Knuckleheads will benefit Luca Strong, a four-year-old boy who was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in early 2018. He recently underwent surgery and chemotherapy, and his family anticipates another three years of treatment. This event will help raise funds for his medical expenses, with performances from Levee Town and several other acts, along with a silent auction, face painting and more.
Starting at 2 p.m. on Sunday, BB’s Lawnside BBQ and the Kansas City Blues Society present Howlin’ at The Moon, a benefit for the Michael Shannon Musicians Fund. The fund was started in memory of Michael Shannon, the son of BB’s owners Lindsay and Jo Shannon, and benefits musicians in health crises. Sunday’s event includes five acts, including Amanda Fish, Shannon and the Rhythm King Band, Dust Devil Choir, Taylor Smith Band and Nick Schnebelen Band.