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Weekend Roundup: Ain't No Sunshine

Above image: Heavy Grams releases its debut EP on Saturday at Mike Kelly's Westsider. | Photo submitted by artist

This weekend’s forecast is looking stormy, so why not cozy up with a set of turbulent tunes? Lawrence, Kansas garage punk duo Mr. and the Mrs. is releasing an 11-track album entitled “Look Ma’ No Microphone.” It's a gritty protest album that opposes government-sanctioned violence from war, colonization and dictatorship, and the package will be unveiled tonight at Records With Merritt. Along with CDs, cassettes and preorders for colored vinyl, the band will have a limited supply of black vinyl test presses. They’ll be joined by another local duo, Ozersk, which also recently dropped a single.


The 12th annual Lawrence Busker Festival is running from tonight through Sunday, and it boasts an all-female lineup — from acrobats and jugglers to fire dancers, aerialists and of course, musicians. Saturday’s event kicks off with a noon parade that starts and ends at the Lawrence Arts Center, but you can get a little pre-party action in tonight on six stages across downtown. Look for musical appearances this weekend from acts like Heidi Lynne Gluck, Lost Cowgirl Revue (a collection of local singer-songwriters Julie Bennett Hume, Joy Zimmerman, Jenna Rae and Kristin Hamilton) and Lily B. Moonflower. And in case you were wondering, the festival is rain or shine. If there's a downpour, the shows will move inside to the Lawrence Arts Center and the Granada.


In this writer’s opinion, no band configuration is more thrilling than a mighty rock and roll power trio. Something special happens when you merge a smoldering lead guitar with a vigorous rhythm section. One of the #kcmusic scene’s newest power trios is Heavy Grams, which releases its debut three-track EP on Saturday night at Mike Kelly’s Westsider. They’ll be supported by Broken Arrows and The Heavy Figs, and will have a couple special guests on stage with them — Damon Parker of The MGDs on keys and Trey DeBose on saxophone. Preview a song played on this week’s Eight One Sixty above.


Since the beginning of 2019, singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Claire Adams has been taking to the open road with her resilient pop tunes. In addition to performing in Tennessee, Iowa, Illinois and Nebraska, she also completed an artist residency in Fort Worth, Texas. This Saturday, she’ll be back home to perform her songs in the intimate setting of Knuckleheads Gospel Lounge, with a trio that includes keyboardist Alyssa Murray and drummer Fritz Hutchison. Tickets are available here, and you can listen to Adams’ recent interview with Timothy Finn in The Bridge’s archive.


KC’s biggest Memorial Day party happens at Union Station on Sunday, with the 17th annual Celebration at the Station. Before the Kansas City Symphony’s usual patriotic concert — which will feature live cannons and the city’s largest fireworks display — a couple local bands will start the day off. Under the Big Oak Tree performs at 3 p.m., followed by A La Mode at 4 p.m., and the U.S. Air Force Band of Mid-America / Shades of Blue Jazz Ensemble at 5 p.m. If you can’t attend, watch it live on KCPT – Kansas City PBS or hear our live simulcast on The Bridge, starting at 8 p.m.


If you want to help out local scouts and wildlife by taking in a night of ear-splitting guitar riffs, Sunday’s show at recordBar is the spot for you. Proceeds from the concert will pay for construction materials to house young, injured raptors — led by the Boy Scout Eagle Project at Lakeside Nature Center. You’ll be able to hear sets from The Almighty Trouble Brothers (with new drummer Tom Hudson), The Philistines and The 909. Tickets are available.

—Michelle Bacon

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