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The best music in Kansas City this weekend: Apocalypse Meow, Kinky Friedman and Juan Gabriel

Raury will perform Wednesday, Nov. 11, at the Granada
Raury will perform Wednesday, Nov. 11, at the Granada Stephanie Sian Smith

The Front Bottoms

Thursday, Nov. 5, at the Granada

Rebuked and scorned, emo rock fell out of favor years ago. The Front Bottoms are making the unfashionable form seem relevant again. The powerfully impassioned music of the New Jersey band appeals to indie-rock fans who wear their hearts on their sleeves. With the Smith Street Band and Elvis Depressedly.

Tickets are $15 in advance through

Apocalypse Meow

Friday, Nov. 6, at the RecordBar and Sunday, Nov. 8, at Knuckleheads

Two installments of the eighth edition of the Apocalypse Meow benefit series will bookend this weekend for steadfast supporters of the Kansas City music community. Chris Meck & the Guilty Birds and Amy Farrand and the Like perform at the RecordBar on Friday. Sunday’s performers include Me Like Bees and Sara Morgan.

Tickets to Friday’s show are $7 in advance through

Tickets to Sunday’s show are $15 in advance through

Kinky Friedman

Friday, Nov. 6, at Knuckleheads

Kinky Friedman released his first album in 40 years last month, but the rapscallion never went away. The troublemaker from Texas is likely to regale fans with exaggerated accounts of his recent exploits when he’s not performing old favorites including “They Ain’t Makin’ Jews Like Jesus Anymore.” With Brian Molnar.

Tickets are $30 in advance through

Vanessa Carlton

Friday, Nov. 6, at the Bottleneck

Vanessa Carlton may never top the commercial success of “A Thousand Miles,” the piano-based hit that captivated pop fans in 2002. Carlton seems entirely content with that prospect on her surprising new album, “Liberman.” Carlton has become an artful composer in the vein of Fiona Apple and Rufus Wainwright. With Joshua Hyslop.

Tickets are $23 in advance through

Juan Gabriel

Saturday, Nov. 7, at the Sprint Center

Like a Spanish language pop version of Neil Diamond, Juan Gabriel is a Mexican icon, and the ticket prices to Saturday’s concert reflect his lofty stature. Gabriel, whose recording career began in 1971, will perform decades of hits in a plethora of styles for his faithful admirers.

Tickets range from $65 to $165 in advance through

X Ambassadors

Saturday, Nov. 7, at Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland

The lyrics of “Renegades,” the biggest hit by New York band X Ambassadors, insist that “it’s our time to break the rules.” Yet the band’s sound conforms to all the dictates of contemporary indie-rock. Adhering to the formulas of artists like Alt-J and Vance Joy is working well for X Ambassadors. With Skylar Grey and Kevin Garrett.

Tickets are $9.65 in advance through

Old Dominion

Tuesday, Nov. 10, at KC Live

Old Dominion is part of a new wave of mainstream country bands that are as inspired by rappers like Macklemore and rockers like the Foo Fighters as they are by the traditional output of Nashville. The up-and-coming band’s debut album will be released five days before Tuesday’s free concert.

Details about the free concert are available at


Tuesday, Nov. 10, at the RecordBar

Artists with videos in rotation on the MTV Hits network usually perform in venues much larger than the RecordBar. Yet the video for JoJo’s dance song “When Love Hurts” plays alongside the latest efforts by the world’s biggest pop stars. JoJo, 24, had a chart-topping hit in 2004 with the Britney Spears-inspired “Leave (Get Out).”

Tickets are $20 in advance through


Wednesday, Nov. 11, at the Granada

Raury, a disarmingly talented teenager from Atlanta, raps like André 3000 of Outkast and creates folk-rock soundscapes reminiscent of the work of Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon. The fresh approach Raury exhibits on his recent debut album, “All We Need,” makes him one of the most exciting new artists of 2015.

Tickets are $14 in advance through

Lindi Ortega

Wednesday, Nov. 11, at Knuckleheads

Ortega’s distinctive talent as an alternative country singer/songwriter with a powerful voice is finally being recognized after years of struggle. The native Canadian’s music combines the sweetness of Dolly Parton, the toughness of Tammy Wynette and the weirdness of Sturgill Simpson. With Amy LaVere and Jill Andrews.

Tickets are $15 in advance through

Bill Brownlee, Special to The Star