Best Free Music

First Fridays at Midwestern Musical Co.

For those who are drawn to guitar stores but lack the chops (or the audacity) to hang out and jam, the work is done here for you. Earlier this year, following a six-year stint in the El Torreon building, Midwestern Musical Co. (est. 1989 in Shawnee) set up shop in the former MoMo Gallery at 19th Street and Locust. Run by the dearly departed Mott-Ly, an artist and veteran of the punk scene, the MoMo hosted all-ages shows in its heyday. Now with guitars on the walls along with art, the low-slung brick building has become the go-to place not only for strings and picks but also for live music on First Fridays — something the Crossroads District sorely needed. Continuing Mott-Ly's tradition but with a more musician-ly aesthetic, Midwestern has been rocking as a place for bands to play and artists to hang their stuff on that special day happening only once a month. In September, power-pop champions the ACB's and noise-rockers Little Murders played alongside works by Jenni McSpadden and Megan Channell. The place was packed. It had been that way all summer: Bacon Shoe, the Gaslights, Be/Non, Thee Water Moccasins, Brody Buster and the Cosmic Tady Brothers all rocked the joint. And all for free. Unless you ended up buying a guitar, in which case, you rock.

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