Thursday at Crossroads KC
The passage of time has altered the meaning of the bracing music of the Psychedelic Furs. When the British band first emerged in the late 1970s, its members were often perceived as a combative rockers obsessed with David Bowie. The use of “Pretty in Pink” in John Hughes’ 1986 movie of the same name tempered the Psychedelic Furs’ caustic reputation. During the band’s 2013 appearance at the Midland theater, vocalist Richard Butler was all smiles as he sang hits like “Love My Way” and “The Ghost in You.” The Church, an Australian band best known for the 1988 hit “Under the Milky Way,” opens the show.
8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 27. Crossroads KC. 785-749-3434. crossroadskc.com. $25-$76.50
Paola Roots Festival
Friday and Saturday in Paola Park Square
Although it has been held for 25 years, the Paola Roots Festival remains relatively unknown among otherwise informed members of the region’s music cognoscenti. Some of the biggest names in blues, soul and roots rock have appeared at the music- and barbecue-themed event on the southern fringe of the metropolitan area. Delbert McClinton, one of the greatest blue-eyed soul singers of all time, is Saturday’s headliner. His set will be preceded by an outing by electrifying blues belter Shemekia Copeland. Mingo Fishtrap, a soul band from Austin, Texas, and the deranged rustic rock of Joplin’s Ben Miller Band top Friday’s bill.
3 p.m. Friday, Aug. 28, 9 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 29. rootsfestival.org. $15 per day. Children 10 and under are free.
The Oddball Comedy & Curiosity Festival
Friday at Starlight Theatre
Partly because he shares hysterical anecdotes about his interactions with musicians including R. Kelly and Kanye West, Aziz Ansari often resembles a pop star more than a comedian. The actor known for his role on the television sitcom “Parks and Recreation” is the headliner of the Oddball Comedy & Curiosity Festival. Ansari will be accompanied by several other cutting-edge comedians, including Amy Schumer, the star of the hit movie “Trainwreck.” She’s also slated to host “Saturday Night Live” on Oct. 10. The audience at Starlight Theatre will have bragging rights over the rest of the country, since the tour opens in Kansas City.
5:15 p.m. Friday, Aug. 28. Starlight Theatre. 816-363-7827. kcstarlight.com. $29.50-$149.50.
KC Zine Con
Saturday at the Valentine Room at the Uptown Theater
In the age of social media, online blogs and Tumblr accounts, few things are more counterintuitive than creating printed versions of specialty publications. Yet in much same way that vinyl and cassette albums are fashionable, zines are in the midst of a resurgence. Zines — loosely defined as homemade magazines with small circulations — will be celebrated at KC Zine Con. Many of the small-run publications are politically oriented. Frank Farmer, a University of Kansas professor, will deliver a lecture titled “Why Zines (Still) Matter: Making Democracy From What’s Handy.” Representatives of the LaBudde Special Collections branch of UMKC’s Miller Nichols Library will be on hand to accept donations for its archives.
11 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 29. Valentine Room at the Uptown Theater. kczinecon.tumblr.com. Free.
Saturday at Kansas Speedway
“Wipeout,” a televised American competition inspired by Japanese programming, featured contestants attempting to navigate treacherous obstacle courses. The show was based on the premise that viewers enjoy watching humiliating pratfalls. Participants regularly took mechanical sucker punches before tumbling into pools of water. The Wipeout Run at Kansas Speedway on Saturday features similarly hazardous impediments. The “painfully funny action” on the 5K course includes challenges named “wrecking balls,” “tumble tubes” and “foam of fury.” Should they still have full possession of their faculties after they complete the perilous track, participants are invited to partake in a postrace festival.
8 and 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 29. Kansas Speedway. wipeoutrun.com. $72.
Saturday at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts
The popularity of TED talks is so astounding that organizers of the conferences might consider sponsoring a lecture about the phenomenon. Tickets to the seventh annual edition of TEDxKC quickly sold out. Additional viewing parties will be held at the KU Edwards Campus and at the Sprint Accelerator. This year’s speakers include human resources activist Morgana Bailey, rock climber Tommy Caldwell and Martin Pistorius, who overcame a disabling medical condition. The lectures will be interspersed with musical interludes. Kansas City singer-songwriter Barclay Martin and a Colorado rock band, the Yawpers, are among the performers.
5-11 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 29. Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. 816-994-7222. tedxkc.org. The face value of tickets to the sold-out live event is $40. The face value of tickets to the sold-out on-site simulcast is $20.
Raytown Arts & Music Festival
Saturday at Kenagy Park
Raytown doesn’t have a reputation as one of Kansas City’s cultural hubs. On Saturday afternoon, however, the Raytown Arts & Music Festival will make it the envy of the area’s other municipalities. Brewer & Shipley, the Midwestern folk-rock duo that scored a national hit with “One Toke Over the Line” 45 years ago, serves as the headliner. Nigel Mack & the Blues Attack, a group from Chicago, and a band led by the stellar Kansas City honky-tonk artist Rex Hobart are among the other performers. Artists situated along the walking trail of Kenagy Park will display their wares. Food trucks and beverage vendors will sate the appetites and slake the thirst of attendees.
Noon-7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 29. Kenagy Park. 816-358-4100. raytownparks.com. Free.
Sunday at the Overland Park Convention Center
India Fest, which filled the Overland Park Convention Center last year, is designed to provide “information to people about the Indian community.” A stage at one end of the main hall featured an ongoing procession of dance, martial arts and fashion demonstrations. Food vendors on the opposite side of the convention served up tantalizing Indian specialties. The central floor was packed with almost 100 vendors soliciting goods and services that ranged from religious tracts to overseas travel packages. The exciting din and hubbub will return to the facility on Sunday.
11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 30. Overland Park Convention Center. iakc.org. Free.
Wichita Grand Opera
Sunday at Yardley Hall
The Wichita Grand Opera’s production of Giacomo Puccini’s “Turandot” Sunday will feature world-renowned talent. Samuel Ramey will play the role of Timur. Decades before his fellow native Kansan Joyce DiDonato became an international sensation, Ramey was cast in many productions at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. He’s one of the most recorded bass vocalists in the history of opera. Ramey will be joined by other prominent performers, including Bulgarian soprano Zvetelina Vassileva, at Yardley Hall on Sunday.
3 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 30. Yardley Hall. 913-469-4445. jccc.edu/performing-arts-series. $24-$58.
Sunday at Starlight Theatre
Attending a performance by classic rock band Boston is a lot like watching a favorite movie. Even though viewers know exactly what to expect, repeatedly taking in each pleasing element can be an entirely satisfying experience. Boston’s fans neither want nor expect the band to break into spontaneous jams on hits like “Peace of Mind.” Any surprises on Sunday will need to be supplied by opening acts Blue Öyster Cult and Shooting Star. Longtime members Buck Dharma and Eric Bloom will lead Blue Öyster Cult on massive hits including “Don’t Fear the Reaper.” Shooting Star, one of the most successful bands to emerge from Kansas City, is likely to feature material from the new album “Into the Night.”
7 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 30. Starlight Theatre. 816-363-7827. kcstarlight.com. $25-$155.
Tuesday at the Bottleneck
Punk rock and romance often seem incompatible. The famous pairings of Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen and Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love ended tragically. Although the tempestuous relationship between John Doe and Exene Cervenka hasn’t ended in death, the members of X are no longer a couple. The friction between the pair contributed to the urgency of essential 1980s material like “The World’s a Mess; It’s in My Kiss” and “When Our Love Passed Out on the Couch.” Doe and Cervenka’s youthful glamor has faded, but their music remains as relevant as ever. Compatible rock band Dead Rock West opens the show.
9 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 1. The Bottleneck. 785-841-5483. thebottlenecklive.com. $31.
Kansas City Royals vs. Detroit
Tuesday, Wednesday and Sept. 3 at Kauffman Stadium
The Kansas City Royals have left the Detroit Tigers, the former bullies of the American League Central Division, in the dust this summer. Even so, the Tigers are well worth watching. Every plate appearance by future Hall of Fame member Miguel Cabrera is thrilling, and J.D. Martinez is one of the league’s most formidable sluggers. Diversions for people who miss the absence of must-win games in September include a pregame ceremony on Tuesday honoring the “Franchise Four” of George Brett, Dan Quisenberry, Bret Saberhagen and Frank White. Kansas City rock band Kangaroo Knife Fight will perform at the Outfield Experience stage before Wednesday’s game.
7:10 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 1, 7:10 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 2, 7:10 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 3. 816-921-8000. Kauffman Stadium. kansascity.royals.mlb.com. $11-$226.
Bill Brownlee, Special to The Star