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Weekend Roundup: Something Sweet

Above image: Shy Boys celebrate the release of "Bell House" on Saturday at recordBar. | Photo: Libby Sanders


It’s First Friday, and this is gonna be a particularly crazy one. If you’re bummed to be missing the very sold-out Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats show at CrossroadsKC, not to worry — there are plenty of other options. Just down the road, Revolution Records is celebrating its 3-year anniversary with a weekend-long sale and tonight’s benefit concert for Wayside Waifs. The party kicks off at 7 p.m. with five local acts: The Typing Pool, Evil Pillows, Arson Class, Lovergurl and Hipshot Killer.


Just about three blocks west of Revolution Records is one of KC’s hippest new jazz joints, The Black Dolphin. Like its neighbor to the north — Green Lady Lounge — the club’s groovy aesthetic and first-rate entertainment make it an essential destination for any fan of live music. Tonight, Jeff Freling brings his new trio (with drummer Brian Steever and bassist Johnny Hamil) to The Black Dolphin, performing a slew of original tunes influenced by modern jazz, the hot licks of Django Reinhardt and ’60s instrumental pop. This is a free show.


Of course, no one could blame you for skipping the First Friday kerfuffle altogether. One of our top shows of the weekend will be happening in the East Bottoms, over at Knuckleheads’ outdoor stage tonight. Ha Ha Tonka is making one of its two annual KC stops in support of “Heart Shaped Mountain,” released last year on Bloodshot Records. If that’s not enough to entice you, how about those opening bands? Two of our favorites are on the bill — Rachel Mallin & the Wild Type will warm up the crowd at 8:30 p.m., followed by The Grisly Hand. Tickets are available.


Chances are good that you haven’t seen Other Americans yet, but judging by its imposing new EP and music videos, you’re gonna want to. The band’s first show was a sold-out support slot for Meg Myers, and its second was as the final act of Middle of the Map Fest. If you’re in KC or Lawrence, Kansas this weekend, you have a couple chances to catch the new group. Tonight, Other Americans performs at the Replay Lounge in Lawrence, and tomorrow at The Rino in North Kansas City. Bonus: Both shows will be supported by rapper Approach, one of Lawrence’s most engaging and generative artists. ICYMI, Other Americans played most of the tracks on its new EP on Eight One Sixty earlier this week.


Your childhood dreams are real — there is now a Grilled Cheese Festival in your hometown. KC Crew is putting together a day of dairy-enhanced fun at Berkley Riverfront Park on Saturday. Aside from a slew of food trucks, local restaurants, cold drinks and games for the whole family, the event features live music from The Phantastics. There’s even a grilled cheese eating contest, if you’re into that sort of thing.


There are at least two exciting album releases on Saturday night. Start early, around 6:30 p.m. at Mills Record Company to score Too Much Rock’s latest seven-inch single. Headed up by Sid Sowder, Too Much Rock has thus far released seven singles from KC-based pop and punk bands including Red Kate, Hipshot Killer and Schwervon!. Sowder’s latest collaboration with Heidi Lynne Gluck deviates a bit from the norm. The record’s A-side, “Party Line,” shows the songwriter at her best and most exposed — pared down to only a guitar, piano and her voice — with sullen melodies that magnify her affecting lyrical content. She’ll be playing a solo set right after Chicago’s Emily Jane Powers.


After that, you should hightail it over to recordBar to grab a copy of “Bell House,” the sophomore album from Shy Boys. The band’s debut on Polyvinyl Records, “Bell House” is a luminous, layered indie pop effort with a distinctively Midwestern earnestness and melancholy. It’s just the thing you need to coast through the waning days of summer. Check out Dan Calderon’s recent feature on Shy Boys at Flatland, and then show up early for supporting sets from The Whiffs, Jametatone and Blastocyst. Tickets are available.


Cap your weekend with a delicious brunch at EJ’s Urban Eatery. The West Bottoms restaurant is familiarizing Kansas Citians with the Southern culinary tradition of “meat and three,” where customers choose a meat and three side dishes. From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday, you can enjoy your meat and three with music from Julia Haile and Tim Braun of Hi-Lux.

—Michelle Bacon

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