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The best music in Kansas City this weekend: Hard Working Americans, Beans on Toast, Little Big Town, Swervedriver

Reel Big Fish will play a free show on Friday, Aug. 28, at KC Live in the Power & Light District.
Reel Big Fish will play a free show on Friday, Aug. 28, at KC Live in the Power & Light District.

Lauren Anderson

Thursday, Aug. 27, at Knuckleheads

Kansas City’s Lauren Anderson compares the sound of her new album, “Truly Me,” to the unprocessed music of Janis Joplin, Joss Stone and Susan Tedeschi. Anderson will perform her soulful new songs at Thursday’s album release party. With the Steepwater Band.

Tickets are $7 in advance through

Hard Working Americans

Friday, Aug. 28, at the Madrid Theatre

A collective of musicians who established themselves in other settings, the roster of Hard Working Americans includes sardonic lyricist Todd Snider, hotshot guitarist Neal Casal and Dave Schools, the bassist for jam band stalwarts Widespread Panic.

Tickets are $24.50 in advance through

Reel Big Fish

Friday, Aug. 28, at KC Live in the Power & Light District

American ska is known for wacky bands with zany songs. Few groups are goofier than Reel Big Fish. The California band will revive daffy 1990s material like “Sell Out” and “Beer” at a free concert at the central courtyard of the Power & Light District. With Ballyhoo!

Details about the free show are available at

Beans on Toast

Friday, Aug. 28, at the Replay Lounge (with Spirit Is the Spirit and Deerpeople)

Saturday, Aug. 29, at the Living Room at Knuckleheads (with Sky Smeed and Truckstop Honeymoon)

Self-described “drunk folk singer” Jay McAllister is the droll man behind Beans on Toast. The British busker’s amusing songs like “I Fancy Laura Marling” and “Microwave Popcorn” are certain to delight fans of Frank Turner and Billy Bragg.

The cover charge to Friday’s show is $3. Details are available at

Tickets to Saturday’s show are $18 in advance through

Sie Lieben Maschinen

Saturday, Aug. 29, at MiniBar

One of Kansas City’s most exciting rock bands is a tightly held secret in its hometown. Partly because the members of Sie Lieben Maschinen don’t do much to promote their efforts, their commendably abrasive album “June Gloom” is an unheard post-punk gem. With Eyes of Iolite.

Tickets are $5 in advance through

Little Big Town

Saturday, Aug. 29, at Starlight Theatre

Once a relatively generic country band, Little Big Town has come on strong in recent years. A worthy follow-up to the ribald 2012 hit “Pontoon,” the coed group’s “Girl Crush” is one of the year’s most striking hits. With David Nail and Ashley Monroe.

Tickets range from $15 to $49 in advance through


Sunday, Aug. 30, at RecordBar

Swervedriver, an integral contributor to the shoegaze movement of the early 1990s, recently issued its first album in 17 years. The reconstituted British band will perform its loud but dreamy rock for rapturous fans who thought the ensemble had withdrawn for good. With Gateway Drugs.

Tickets are $18 in advance through

Modest Mouse

Tuesday, Sept. 1, at Liberty Hall

Modest Mouse sounds exhausted on the title track of “Strangers to Ourselves,” the veteran indie-rock band’s first album since 2007. Other new songs are squarely in the spunky tradition of hits like “Float On” and “Dashboard.” With Morning Teleportation.

Tickets to the officially sold out show were $39 and $49 in advance through

Nashville Pussy and Valient Thorr

Tuesday, Sept. 1, at the Riot Room

The members of Nashville Pussy and Valient Thorr are the people your mother warned you about. The long-haired metal maniacs have looked and sounded like incorrigible deviants throughout their extensive careers. With Federation of Horsepower and the People’s Punk Band.

Tickets are $12 in advance through

Thee Oh Sees

Wednesday, Sept. 2, at the RecordBar

For people immersed in the contemporary garage rock underground, Thee Oh Sees are bigger than the Beatles. The revered California ensemble overseen by John Dwyer has been blowing dust off the psychedelic sound for almost 20 years. With the Blind Shake.

Tickets are $15 in advance through

Bill Brownlee, Special to The Star