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KC concerts week of Nov. 3: Blackberry Smoke, Bettye LaVette, Reeve Carney

Bettye LaVette performs Saturday, Nov. 5, at Knuckleheads.
Bettye LaVette performs Saturday, Nov. 5, at Knuckleheads. .

Car Seat Headrest

Thursday, Nov. 3, at the Bottleneck

Will Toledo is the troubled prince of indie rock. While he’s responsible for one of the most heralded albums of 2016, the crown rests uneasily on Toledo’s anguished head. Operating under the banner of Car Seat Headrest, Toledo began compulsively issuing albums when he was 17. Now 24, Toledo hit his stride with his 13th album, “Teens of Denial.” Released in May, the word-drunk recording has been rapturously received. The Seattle-based Toledo will make his highly anticipated Lawrence debut. With Naked Giants.

8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 3. The Bottleneck. 785-749-3434. $12 in advance.

Blackberry Smoke

Thursday, Nov. 3, at the Granada

Listeners who prefer Southern rock that’s free of political proselytizing prefer Blackberry Smoke. The quintet from Atlanta carries the torch of the Marshall Tucker Band on hits like “Good One Comin’ On,” a jovial song that insists that there’s “no chance of stayin’ sober.” “Like an Arrow,” Blackberry Smoke’s burly new album, also alludes to the outlaw country of Waylon Jennings. With Luke Combs.

8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 3. The Granada. 785-842-1390. $30 in advance.

Reeve Carney

Thursday, Nov. 3, at RecordBar

Unlike some prominent actors who dabble in music, Reeve Carney isn’t a delusional dilettante. Before he landed prestigious roles in the Broadway musical “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark,” the TV series “Penny Dreadful” and a recent adaptation of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” Carney was a member of the touring band of blues-rock guitar slinger Jonny Lang. He also fronted an accomplished rock band in Los Angeles. “Up Above the Weather,” Carney’s astounding new single, evokes John Lennon.

9 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 3. RecordBar. 816-753-5207. $12 in advance.

Apocalypse Meow

Friday, Nov. 4, at Mills Record Co. and Saturday, Nov. 5, at RecordBar

Generous of spirit, the music of Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear overflows with good cheer. Their genial tone makes the son-and-mother duo from Independence an ideal headlining attraction for the 2016 edition of Apocalypse Meow. The fundraiser for the Midwest Music Foundation, an organization that provides medical-related financial grants to musicians, opens Friday at Mills Record Co. with performances by Chris Meck & the Guilty Birds and Maria the Mexican. Saturday’s bill at RecordBar features Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear, Rachel Mallin & the Wild Type, Emmaline Twist, the Invisible World, Shapiro Brothers, Nicholas St. James, Crystal Clayton and Jake Wells.

7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 4. Mills Record Co. 816-960-3775. Free.

7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5. RecordBar. 816-753-5207. $15 in advance.

Amanda Shires

Friday, Nov. 4, at the Riot Room

A contemporary version of musical and life partners June and Johnny Cash, Amanda Shires and Jason Isbell are the Americana power couple of their generation. Together and separately, their work is among the best roots-oriented music of recent years. Shires’ latest album, “My Piece of Land,” is no exception. “Pale Fire,” a heartbreaking song co-written with Isbell, is among the outstanding new songs that showcase the native Texan’s affecting vocals, rapturous violin work and riveting songwriting.

8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 4. Riot Room. 816-442-8179. $15 in advance.

The Naked and Famous

Friday, Nov. 4, at the Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland

Its moniker may be titillating, but the Naked and Famous crafts expertly wholesome indie pop. Packed with benign exuberance and spotless spunkiness, the New Zealand quintet’s shimmering songs have been used in advertisements for cameras, retailers and alcoholic beverages. The peppy band will sell songs like the towering dance-oriented hit “Higher” from its new album “Simple Forms” to willing fans on Friday. With Xylo and the Chain Gang of 1974.

8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 4. Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland. 816-283-9921. $27.50 in advance.

Bettye LaVette

Saturday, Nov. 5, at Knuckleheads

Whether the setting is the Hurricane in Westport in 2005, where she stormed through the audience like a tornado, or the steps of the Lincoln Memorial when she outshone her duet partner Jon Bon Jovi at a celebration of the inauguration of Barack Obama in 2009, powerhouse vocalist Bettye LaVette refuses to be ignored. The initial single by the soul survivor from Detroit was released in 1962, but LaVette’s career didn’t gain traction until about 10 years ago. With Seth Walker.

8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5. Knuckleheads. 816-483-1456. $35.50 in advance.


Saturday, Nov. 5, at the Granada

A baby-faced speed-rapper from San Francisco, George Watsky is more substantive than the majority of the hip-hop artists who cater to college students. Although he’s often linked to party rappers like Asher Roth and Mod Sun, Watsky’s savvy raps reflect his origins as a spoken word performer who found success on the slam poetry scene. “Brave New World,” Watsky’s current single, is an alarmist denunciation of the current election cycle. With Witt Lowry and Daye Jack.

8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 5. The Granada. 785-842-1390. $16 in advance.

Laura Stevenson

Monday, Nov. 7, at the Riot Room

Laura Stevenson’s stylistic schizophrenia is justified. The New York-based artist is an equally accomplished practitioner of quiet folk, lush chamber rock, experimental indie rock and fearsome punk. Her astounding versatility makes Stevenson impossible to pigeonhole, but each of the many forms she takes on is imbued with commanding intelligence. She’s touring in support of “Cocksure,” a striking album that showcases Stevenson’s dexterous sound. With Morgan Gillett, Doby Watson and Dead Ven.

8 p.m. Monday, Nov. 7. Riot Room. 816-442-8179. $10 in advance.

Lvl Up

Tuesday, Nov. 8, at Davey’s Uptown Ramblers Club

“Return to Love,” the nostalgic new album by Lvl Up that evokes the golden age of college radio during the early 1990s, almost didn’t happen. The members of the New York quartet agreed to part ways if they failed to forge a deal with a prestigious record label. Guitarist Mike Caridi told Fader magazine that “we were either gonna sign or break up.” A contract Lvl Up inked with indie-rock institution Sub Pop Records extended the life of the band.

8 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 8. Davey’s Uptown Ramblers Club. 816-753-1909. $10 in advance.



Wednesday, Nov. 9, at the Bottleneck

Nick Valensi, the lead guitarist of venerated New York band the Strokes, is making the most of his primary band’s brief hiatus. His Los Angeles-based group CRX is on a North American tour in support of its recently released debut album, “New Skin.” A bit sunnier than the jittery sound of the Strokes, CRX’s music occasionally recalls power-pop classics like the Cars’ “Just What I Needed.” With Streets of Laredo and the Gloomies.

9 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 9. The Bottleneck. 785-749-3434. $13 in advance.