Weekend Roundup: Now Or Never
Knuckleheads’ annual MerleJam concert has brought in a mix of respected Americana/folk/blues acts from KC and beyond, all for the purpose of assisting heart transplant patients and their families. The event kicks off tonight, with headlining country artist Jim Lauderdale, along with KC-based favorites like The Grisly Hand and Sara Morgan, who releases her album “Church In A Bar” tonight. On Saturday, Tommy Castro & the Painkillers will headline, with Amanda Fish and more. Hear an interview with concert organizer Merle Zuel, along with some of the artists on this week’s Eight One Sixty. Tickets for Friday are here and Saturday here.
Josey Records’ First Friday will honor a soul legend. A mainstay of KC’s soul and jazz scene, The Grand Marquis is releasing a 45 record tonight with covers of two songs by Tony Ashley. Ashley, a Kansas City native, was well on his way to making his big break as a soul singer when he was tragically murdered in 1969. Tonight’s free, all-ages show will feature two sets from The Grand Marquis, and plenty of 45s available in black, clear vinyl or a three-pack test pressing kit. Profits from the record will go to Lincoln Public School Committee, where Ashley and his brother attended as children. Located in Fayette, Missouri, Lincoln Public was one of the largest all-black schools in the region during the segregation era. The committee hopes to use the funds to build a memorial to the school.
Over the past six years, Mills Record Company has expanded, moved to a prime Westport storefront and become a pillar of KC’s music and record store community. Judy Mills and the gang are celebrating the store’s sixth birthday tonight, with live music from Denzel Williams and Mysterious Clouds, plus cake and of course, plenty of records.
The Get Up Kids are gearing up to release their first new album in eight years. When “Problems” drops on May 10, the group will be touring through Germany, so naturally, they decided to throw a big hometown celebration in a tiny venue. Show up for a matinee show at the Replay Lounge in Lawrence, Kansas on Saturday, where TGUK will be supported by The Whiffs and LK Ultra. Music starts at 5 p.m. and it’s first come first serve, so stake out a spot early.
If you’re looking for some acerbic garage rock with hints of ‘60s mod Britpop and surf, you’ll want to grab a copy of The Creepy Jingles’ debut self-titled EP. High Dive Records is supporting the band’s release with an evening of music at The Brick on Saturday night. They’ll be joined by True Lions and High Dive labelmates Fullbloods, and new CDs and cassettes will be on hand.
The next iteration of Sound Machine KC features a mixture of glistening soul and anarchic hip-hop. Last Saturday on The Z Show, Skylar Rochelle gave us a sneak peek at a new song from Duncan Burnett, entitled “Cash.” Burnett will perform tomorrow at the recordBar, along with Soultru — a singer-songwriter, poet and emcee that was recently signed to The Record Machine — and headliners The Freedom Affair, a tenacious nine-piece soul revue. Tickets are available.
If you’re feeling adventurous on Sunday, spend your afternoon at a traveling arts and music festival through three of KC’s historic neighborhoods. The Bottoms Up Art and Music Festival starts with an open studio at The Arts Asylum. From there, a double decker bus will take attendees to Strange Days Brewing Co. for live art, music and craft beer; The Black Box for a director showcase; The Ship for a performance from Atlantic Express; and back to The Black Box for a flamenco exhibition and performance from AY Musik. Tickets are available.