Not since the Replacements has a band hit on the powerful nexus of punk music and rock music as convincingly as Titus Andronicus does. A bold person might also suggest that these Jersey dudes are improving on the model. The 'Mats were content to play the role of lovable losers. But Titus Andronicus is swinging for the fences in earnest, with a glorious reckless energy. Its latest, The Monitor, is a Civil War-themed concept album, and you're in for a surprise if you think that sounds lame. Tramps like us, baby we were born to die! cries singer Patrick Stickles on the opening track, "A More Perfect Union," expressing, in nine words, more or less everything you need to know about this band. This show boasts a fine supporting cast as well, with Cowboy Indian Bear, Continents and the Poison Control Center.
Friday, July 1, at the Riot Room (4048 Broadway, 816-442-8179).
Elvis Costello and the Imposters
The crown jewel of the summer's Crossroads lineup, this Elvis Costello and the Imposters show also features an interesting gimmick. Costello has been lugging around the big wheel — "The Spectacular Spinning Songbook" — that he first used in 1986. Audience members go onstage throughout the night to spin it, and whatever song it lands on — classic, cover or deep cut — the band plays.
Thursday, June 30, at Crossroads KC at Grinders (417 East 18th Street, 785-749-3434).
Vans Warped Tour 2011
Warped Tour returns to Sandstone this year. Following a fan's dehydration death at the festival's stop here in 2010, bet on an extraordinarily attentive staff and plentiful water in addition to the rows and rows of misunderstood teens. The lineup hews closely to the fest's established mall-punk aesthetic, but there are a few happy misfits — Lucero comes to mind.
Wednesday, July 6, at Capitol Federal Park at Sandstone (633 North 130th Street, Bonner Springs, 913-721-3400).
Marnie Stern slings her ax Eddie Van Halen-style, tapping at the fretboard with furious hammer-ons and pulled-off notes. But rather than metal, Stern makes spazzy math rock, which she executes with flair to spare. With Major Games.
Tuesday, July 5, at RecordBar (1020 Westport Road, 816-753-5207).
The Good Foot
As sources of American pride go, Motown music deserves a spot right up there with apple pie. A performance by charming soul cover band the Good Foot on the eve of our nation's birthday offers a healthy reminder while kicking off a midtown dance party for those sticking around for the holiday.
Sunday, July 3, at the Riot Room (4048 Broadway, 816-442-8179).
The Meat Puppets
After 30 years, two breakups and some prison time, the Meat Puppets are back on an upward swing, which includes 2007's Rise to Your Knees, released by local label Anodyne Records. The group still skillfully incorporates elements of hardcore, psychedelia, country and grunge into their sound. And in spite of a little mellowing out, the guys still have that strange quality about them that you can't quite put your finger on. With Early Reflections and the Black Box Revelation.
Thursday, June 30, at RecordBar (1020 Westport Road, 816-753-5207).