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Weekend Roundup: Rock Chalk!

Above image: Above image: The Project H prepares to release its fourth album, "Everyday, Forever." | Photo: Aaron Linscheid

As the Jayhawks head into semifinals this weekend, the Lawrence, Kansas, area will be teeming with action. But first, a guaranteed celebration tonight – it’s I Heart Local Music’s birthday, and Jackpot Music Hall is under new management. Fally Afani and her crew will be christening the newly-renovated joint with punk, metal and R&B from LFK and KC; The Sluts, Bummer and Khrystal. will perform.  

Perhaps Lawrence is just a little too far of a hike for you. Luckily, one of the city’s most invigorating songwriters is coming to you. CS Luxem’s “Symptoms” is the 40th release on the Lawrence-based Whatever Forever label, and Christopher Luxem will be heading to The Brick tonight to celebrate with his band. Watch for a special guest appearance on drums from Westerners’ frontman Mitchell Hewlett, and opening slots from Fullbloods and Jim Button & the Beholders.  

With catchy choruses, sugary-sweet harmonies, shiny guitar riffs and a wry edge, Badfinger and Big Star pioneered a musical movement in the ‘60s and ‘70s that inspired thousands of bands after them. While neither band found major commercial success in its time, they’re now regarded as two of the kings of power pop. Tonight at the recordBar, both bands will be honored by KC acts Major Matt Mason USA, The Dynamite Defense, Headlight Rivals and Honeywagen. Tickets are available.  

Kick off your Saturday with some Latin art and music at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art. Starting at 1 p.m., percussionist Pablo Sanhueza and the KC Latin Jazz All-Stars will heat up the dance floor with salsa grooves. Attendees will also have the opportunity to create artwork inspired by Cuban printmaker Belkis Ayón. The event is free, but RSVP is required.  

The city of Lawrence is revving up for Saturday’s big game, closing off Massachusetts Street from 5 a.m. until an hour after the game ends. In other words, it’s gonna be nuts. The Phantastics are kindly offering to get you pumped with a free Final Four pregame party at The Bottleneck. Doors open at 5 p.m., the band takes the stage at 6, and the game starts at 7:49. Stick around after for a dance party DJ set from The Bando Boys.  

Or if you need something a little groovier to cap the evening, make your way two blocks south on Mass. to the Replay Lounge, where Jim Button & the Beholders are headlining. The KC-based group is releasing “Paradise” on cassette, the follow-up to its debut EP “Time Never Lies.” Lawrence favorites Toughies and Heidi Lynne Gluck & the Pony Show (with yours truly on the low notes) will open up the show.  



Howard Iceberg and the Titanics – "Netherlands"

Howard Iceberg’s tunes are not necessarily for the casual listener, in the same way that people don’t seek out Bob Dylan or John Prine for their vocal abilities. But like those celebrated songwriters, Iceberg’s songs are rife with wit, charm and truths that should pull in any true appreciator of music or poetry. He’s released his first concept album, “Netherlands,” and along with his band The Titanics, he’s pulled in some of KC’s finest talents, including Betse Ellis, Marco Pascolini, Jeff Freling and Camry Ivory. Last night, he performed three sets at The Ship, but you can catch him again solo on Thursday, May 17, in Knuckleheads Gospel Lounge.  


Me Like Bees – "Songs From The Realm"

Today, Me Like Bees officially dropped its latest EP, “Songs From The Realm,” with a premiere by PopMatters yesterday. A collaboration with Image Comics, the ominous five-track album serves as the soundtrack to “The Realm,” a post-apocalyptic comic book written by Seth Peck (Marvel) and Jeremy Haun (DC Comics). And if you find yourself in Me Like Bees’ hometown of Joplin, Missouri, next week, you can catch them at JBs Downtown on Friday, April 6.

The Project H – "Everyday, Forever"

The Project H’s fourth album, “Everyday, Forever,” has already climbed into the top 10 of the iTunes jazz charts since its digital release on Monday. If you’ve had a chance to listen, it’s not hard to understand why it ranks up there with the likes of Wynton Marsalis and Scott Bradlee. If you haven’t had a chance to listen, get your feet wet with an interview/preview from this week’s Eight One Sixty. See the group live, and pick up a physical copy on Wednesday, April 4 at the Westport Coffee House. —Michelle Bacon

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