Real Estate, with Twerps and Ghosty
There were more progressive and dangerous records in 2011, but none as endlessly listenable as Days, the sophomore album from Real Estate. Midtempo rock songs about trees and streets have rarely sounded so compelling. That's owing to the New Jersey band's freakish gift for melody and the fuzzy melancholy lurking beneath the songs: How can I feel free/When all I want to be/Is by your side in a municipality, goes "Municipality." Aussie outfit Twerps hit on some of the same mellow tones.
Saturday, April 28, at the Bottleneck (737 New Hampshire, Lawrence, 785-841-5483)
If we're taking bets on this year's indie-rock crossover summer jam (past winners include Foster the People and MGMT), I'd give good odds on Los Angeles duo Electric Guest. The band's falsetto-heavy funk is charming, but its connections are why I think we might have a radio hit on our hands. One of the members is Asa Taccone, brother of the Lonely Island's Jorma Taccone and co-writer of "Dick in a Box." Danger Mouse has produced Electric Guest's debut, Mondo, and imbued it with the lazy, acoustic psychedelia that he brought to Broken Bells ("American Daydream") and the oddball soul of Gnarls Barkley ("This Head I Hold").
Thursday, April 26, at the Granada (1020 Massachusetts, Lawrence, 785-842-1390)
Caveman, with Lotus Plaza
Like Real Estate, Caveman advances a calm, reverb-y, rock agenda that calls to mind an overcast day at the beach. The Brooklyn band adds synths and kinky percussion to the equation, though, which feels very of-the-now. Lockett Pundt, guitarist of the acclaimed dream-rock act Deerhunter, recently released his second solo album, Spooky Action at a Distance. Pundt wrote "Desire Lines," the best song on Deerhunter's most recent album, Halcyon Digest, and the smart, sprawling guitar-pop on Spooky Action confirms that he's really starting to hit his stride as a songwriter.
Tuesday, May 1, at RecordBar (1020 Westport Road, 753-5207)
Peelander-Z, with Drop a Grand and Radkey
The Japanese members of New York-based Peelander-Z (I'm pretty sure the name is a reference to some sort of imaginary urine planet) couch kindergarten lyrics inside Ramones-style punk blasters and dress up in colorful outfits, like the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers. The band thusly appeals in equal measure to anime nerds, punk geeks and the alienated youth of today. That makes Radkey, a band of teenage brothers from St. Joseph, Missouri, also playing Ramones-style punk blasters, a fitting opener on this bill.
Monday, April 30, at RecordBar (1020 Westport Road, 753-5207)
Country legend Glen Campbell announced last year that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. Rather than taking a bow, he followed up that news with a new album, Ghost on the Canvas, which includes collaborations with '90s rock icons Chris Isaak, Paul Westerberg, Jakob Dylan and Robert Pollard. Somewhat incredibly, he decided to embark on a goodbye tour, on which he's been accompanied by family members (some of whom play in his backing band) and lyric prompters. I suspect there won't be many dry eyes in the house by the end of this show.
Thursday, April 26, at the Uptown Theater (3700 Broadway, 816-753-8665)
Shooter Jennings, with Cody Canada and the Departed, and Uncle Lucius
The season at Crossroads KC at Grinders kicks off with an evening of Southern blues and rock. Shooter Jennings, son of Waylon, dabbled in conceptual prog on 2010's Black Ribbons, but his latest, Family Man, is a more conventional down-home country record. Opener Cody Canada is the frontman of hard-touring Skynyrd acolytes Cross Canadian Ragweed (currently on hiatus). Uncle Lucius, an Austin quartet, owes more than a little debt to the Black Crowes.
Saturday, April 28, at Crossroads KC at Grinders (417 East 18th Street, 816-472-5454)