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Weekend Roundup: High Hopes

Above image: On Sunday, "Musicians For Molly" will raise funds for respected KC jazz vocalist Molly Hammer, at Mod Gallery. | Photo: Shane Linden


Hailing from Warrensburg, Molly Gene has enjoyed a thriving solo career as a razor-sharp slide-guitar and foot-stompin’ act that she has dubbed the One Whoaman Band. Her revitalizing, self-described Delta thrash sound has taken her across the United States and Europe, performing at festivals like Telluride Blues & Brews and recording a live album in Switzerland. She’s never needed a drummer to intensify her sound, but if she were to choose one, it should be a player whose vigor matches her own. Enter KC’s own Amy Farrand, who makes up the other half of Molly Gene & the Gasoline. The two make their Kansas City debut together at The Brick tonight, with Seattle’s Zelda Starfire One Wommando Band.


If you’ve had the joy of experiencing a Nan Turner performance, count yourself among the lucky. Whether it’s her outlandishly charming act Nan + The One Nite Stands (which has two different live groups, one in NYC and the other in KC) or the beloved rock duo Schwervon!, Turner consistently delivers jubilant performance art with endearingly personal storytelling. She’s releasing her first solo EP in five years, entitled “For Champs and Losers, Version 2,” and celebrating with a show tonight at miniBar. Chase the Horseman — who produced and performed on Turner’s EP — will also be playing and dropping his “Disinformation Blues” EP. Hear more about that on a recent Eight One Sixty episode. Breaka Dawn and LosCauz will open up the evening. 


A little under a decade ago, Fourth of July was among Lawrence, Kansas’ foremost indie bands. One of the first acts signed to local label High Dive Records (second only to The ACB’s), Fourth of July released three full-length albums in roughly 10 years as a band. The group went on hiatus when frontman Brendan Hangauer relocated to Oakland, California and pursued his solo project, which he dubbed Empty Moon. Hangauer is back to celebrate his first album since his 2014 debut, performing at recordBar tonight with Fullbloods and Tennis Club. “The Empty Moon Story” will be available on vinyl via High Dive. Tickets are available.


Today, local label The Record Machine is launching the 2019 iteration of What’s Next KC, an annual series of singles from emerging area artists — recorded by Paul Malinowski at Massive Sound Studios. 2018’s series featured groups like Y god Y, Chloe Jacobson and Belle & the Vertigo Waves. New tracks are coming from NuBlvckCity (check out our premiere!) and The Moose, both of whom are doing a showcase on Saturday at Legacy Park Amphitheater in Lee’s Summit, with Blue False Indigo. The entire show is free and all ages.


You may have spotted Stephonne Singleton at Missie B’s, performing in drag as Kita Rose or as an actor in the local Late Night Theatre collective. But as a musician, he first attracted attention around the time of his debut album release — “Caged Bird Sings Songs About Red Beard” —  recorded with My Brothers and Sisters’ bandleader Jamie Searle. In April, Stephonne premiered “Want Me,” a slick single that drips with sensuality. He's headlining a show at recordBar on Saturday with support from local blues/funk collective Stone Cutters Union. Tickets are available.


As you may have heard on Tim Finn’s show yesterday, some of KC's finest jazz players and many supporters will gather to aid a revered member of the community. Vocalist Molly Hammer is a staple of KC’s jazz scene, regularly singing  at The Green Lady Lounge. In spite of battling breast cancer for a number of years, Hammer has continued performing. With nine acts and a huge silent auction, the community hopes to raise $10,000 for Hammer’s medical expenses. Musicians For Molly will take place on Sunday at Mod Gallery (1809 McGee St.) in the Crossroads from 4 p.m. to midnight, with Chris Hazelton’s Boogaloo 7, the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra, Alyssa Murray, Kadesh Flow’s Deshtet and several others.

Michelle Bacon

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