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Weekend gig guide: The Mowgli’s, Too Short and Drive-By Truckers play KC

Steve Martin And Martin Short with The Steep Canyon Rangers will be at the Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland Friday, Sept. 23.
Steve Martin And Martin Short with The Steep Canyon Rangers will be at the Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland Friday, Sept. 23. BRAD BARKET


Friday, Sept. 23, through Sunday, Sept. 25, near Ward Parkway & Pennsylvania

Ink magazine has presented original music by Kansas City’s best bands on a stage near the intersection of Ward Parkway Boulevard and Pennsylvania Avenue at the Plaza Art Fair since 2011. The thriving local music scene will be represented by 23 bands this weekend. Participants include the dark-but-danceable indie-rock group Emmaline Twist (7 p.m. Friday), the forward-thinking jazz ensemble Eddie Moore and the Outer Circle (4 p.m. Saturday) and the energetic old-timey collective Julian Davis and the Hay-Burners (1 p.m. Sunday).

▪ 5-10 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23.; 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24; 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 25. The Plaza Art Fair. 816-753-0100. Free.


Friday, Sept. 23, at KC Live

The KC Live stage in the heart of the Power & Light District may be Kansas City’s unofficial town square, but the splashy surroundings aren’t ideally suited for every musical ensemble. The Mowgli’s, a sunny indie-pop band from Los Angeles, is precisely the sort of group that thrives in the noisy complex of bars and restaurants. “San Francisco,” the Mowgli’s’ breakout single, is a cheerful sing-along. The band’s new single “Bad Thing” is similarly bouncy. With Colony House and Dreamers.

▪ 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23. KC Live. 816-842-1045. $5 in advance.


Friday, Sept. 23, at the VooDoo

Long before the Kansas City rapper Tech N9ne built a hip-hop empire without the assistance of a major label, Too Short was one of hip-hop’s most innovative independent entrepreneurs. The self-made Oakland rapper built a huge audience for his lurid songs in the 1980s and 1990s. As Too Short rapped in his 2006 hit “Blow the Whistle,” he “made 1,000 songs that made you move your (body) and for the last 300 months I made 16 albums with me on the front.”

▪ 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23. VooDoo. 816-472-7777. $29-$34 in advance.


Friday, Sept. 23, at Crossroads KC

Drive-By Truckers isn’t pulling any punches in 2016. The cerebral Southern rock band addresses the social and political issues that have inflamed passions during the current election cycle on its new album “American Band.” They ask “Does the color really matter on the face you blame for failure?” on “Surrender Under Protest” and note that “You don’t see too many white kids lying bleeding on the street” on “What It Means.” With Son Volt.

▪ 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23. Crossroads KC. 785-749-3434. $25-$71.50 in advance.


Friday, Sept. 23, at the Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland

Steve Martin mocked the audience at the recording of his 1977 album for paying $4 to see his comedy act. Things have changed. The least expensive tickets to Friday’s sold-out show were $49.50. While Martin and his pal Martin Short are likely to tell jokes — the show is titled “An Evening You Will Forget for the Rest of Your Life”— the emphasis of the evening will be on the traditional bluegrass Martin creates with the Steep Canyon Rangers.

▪ 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23. Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland. 816-283-9921. Tickets to the sold-out concert were $49.50-$195 in advance.


Saturday, Sept. 24, at Knuckleheads

Making Movies’ Carnaval is one of the most cheerful events on the Kansas City music calendar. In addition to performing enticing original songs like “Pendulum Swing” and “Te Estaba Buscando,” the accomplished rock en Español band showcases the talents of its friends from around the country. This year’s guests include Steve Berlin of Los Lobos, the Texas-based rock bands Migrant Kids and Piñata Protest and the Kansas City indie-pop ensemble Yes You Are.

▪ 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24. Knuckleheads. 816-483-1456. $20 in advance, children 11 and younger are free.


Monday, Sept. 26, at RecordBar

Junior Boys, the Canadian duo of Jeremy Greenspan and Johnny Dark, have never achieved a commercial hit. Even so, the Junior Boys have undoubtedly inspired many chart smashes since issuing their first recording in 2003. The cutting-edge dance music of Junior Boys has consistently been a few years ahead of its time. The four lustrous songs on Junior Boys’ new “Kiss Me All Night” EP sound like a dependable forecast of the dance music of tomorrow.

▪ 9 p.m. Monday, Sept. 26. RecordBar. 816-753-5207. $13 in advance.


Monday, Sept. 26, at Knuckleheads

Much to the consternation of fans who appreciate his sly lyrics, John Hiatt loves the sound of loud electric guitars. The singer-songwriter from Indiana typically features at least one boisterous guitarist in his touring bands. That’s why Monday’s acoustic show is a godsend for admirers of Hiatt’s clever wordplay. Hiatt’s third visit to Knuckleheads will be substantially quieter — and almost certainly more distinctive — than many of his frequent Kansas City performances. With Rick Brantley.

▪ 7:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 26. Knuckleheads. 816-483-1456. $39.50 in advance.


Tuesday, Sept. 27, at the Uptown Theater

“River,” the closing song of Leon Bridges’ stunning 2015 debut album “Coming Home,” sounds like an act of musical sorcery. The young Texan created an immaculate follow-up to Sam Cooke’s timeless civil right anthem “A Change Is Gonna Come.” “Coming Home” is filled with loving updates of Cooke’s sound. Bridges has pledged to move beyond soul formalism on future projects, but much of Tuesday’s concert is expected to sound just like 1962. With Lianne La Havas.

▪ 8 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 27. Uptown Theater. 816-753-8665. $35-$55 in advance.


Tuesday, Sept. 27, at KC Live

The most memorable moments of the BET Awards broadcast in June occurred during an elaborate tribute to Prince in which Sheila E. was overcome by grief. The mentorship of the visionary artist elevated the career of the woman born Sheila Escovedo in 1957. Prince transformed the percussion powerhouse into a pop star. Sheila E. will revive her classic 1980s hits “The Glamorous Life” and “A Love Bizarre” at Tuesday’s free concert. With Ron Gutierrez.

▪ 8 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 27. KC Live. 816-842-1045. Free.


Wednesday, Sept. 28, at the Tank Room

High-profile collaborations between rappers and rockers are nothing new. From Run-D.M.C. remaking “Walk This Way” with Aerosmith to the new super-group Prophets of Rage comprised of members of Rage Against the Machine, Public Enemy and Cypress Hill, musicians continue to find new ways to merge the forms. Banks & Steelz, a partnership between Paul Banks of the indie-rock band Interpol and RZA of the legendary hip-hop crew the Wu-Tang Clan, is one of the most artistically successful of these endeavors.

▪ 8 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 28. Tank Room. 816-214-6403. Tickets to the sold-out show were $25 in advance.


Wednesday, Sept. 28, at Kauffman Stadium

If the members of the Grisly Hand didn’t insist that their group is a rock ’n’ roll band, the ensemble would be a lock for the title of Kansas City’s best country group. The Grisly Hand’s original songs like “Scrappy Dobbins” are among the most memorable country-steeped compositions of recent years. Win or lose and country or rock ’n’ roll, the Grisly Hand will give Royals fans plenty to cheer about at the Outfield Experience stage as part of the season’s final Ink Night celebration.

▪ 5:15 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 28. Kauffman Stadium. 1-800-676-9257. The show is free for ticketholders to the game.