Lonnie McFadden will perform Friday, Dec. 23, at the Phoenix. Roy Inman Special to The Star
Lonnie McFadden will perform Friday, Dec. 23, at the Phoenix. Roy Inman Special to The Star

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Timothy Finn blogs about Kansas City's music scene

Back to Rockville

KC concerts Dec. 22-26: The Floozies, ‘Hay Bales & Sleigh Bells,’ Radkey

By Bill Brownlee

Special to The Star

December 20, 2016 08:00 AM

UPDATED December 16, 2016 02:15 PM

Drowning Pool

Thursday, Dec. 22, at Aftershock

“Bodies,” the 2001 hit by Dallas band Drowning Pool, may be the most controversial hard rock song of the new millennium. A tribute to the violent brotherhood forged in mosh pits, the song was repurposed as a Gulf War rally anthem and was embraced by the man responsible for the 2011 mass shooting in Arizona. Drowning Pool has survived the unwanted abasement as well as the 2002 death of its original vocalist. Opening bands include 9electric, Red Tide Rising and Unwritten Rulz.

6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 22. Aftershock. 913-384-5646. aftershockshows.com. $25 in advance.

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Danny McGaw

Thursday, Dec. 22, at O’Dowds Little Dublin

A lot of information can be gleaned from the title of Danny McGaw’s album “Live at Davey’s Uptown Ramblers Club, Boxing Day, 2015.” The wordy appellation accurately reveals that McGaw is from the British Isles and is the sort of singer/songwriter who frequents the midtown tavern during the winter holiday season. Currently based in California, McGaw will perform songs from his new release, “Mystery Parade,” at a comfortable pub on the Plaza on Thursday. With Wells the Traveler.

7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 22. O’Dowds Little Dublin. 816-561-2700. odowdslittledublin.com. Free.

The Floozies

Friday, Dec. 23, at the Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland

Mark and Matt Hill are prominent funk ambassadors for their hometown of Lawrence. The brother duo that creates colorful electronic party music as the Floozies is a major attraction on the summer festival circuit. By reshaping the vintage funk sound of artists like George Clinton for audiences accustomed to contemporary electronic dance music, the Floozies have introduced the exuberant tone of classic songs like “Atomic Dog” to a new generation of dance-happy festgoers. With Autograf, Linear Symmetry and Jason Hann.

8:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 23. Arvest Bank Theatre at the Midland. 816-283-9921. midlandkc.com. $20 in advance.

Various Blonde

Friday, Dec. 23, at RecordBar

After his group’s outstanding psychedelic rock sound failed to gain traction, Joshua Allen of Various Blonde has joined the retro R&B movement that has provided the foundation of much of the most acclaimed popular music of the past 18 months. The big beat of the title track on Various Blonde’s latest effort, “All Bases Covered,” makes it one of the best songs released by an area band in 2016. With Pageant Boys, Justin Williams and Momma’s Boy.

10 p.m. Friday, Dec. 23. RecordBar. 816-753-5207. therecordbar.com. $8 in advance.

Lonnie McFadden

Friday, Dec. 23, at the Phoenix

Area residents seeking to provide out-of-town guests with a memorable taste of Kansas City’s unique flavor might consider Lonnie McFadden’s weekly matinee show at the Phoenix. A consummate entertainer, McFadden is an engaging vocalist, trumpeter and tap dancer. Much like a trip to a locally based barbecue restaurant or tailgating at Arrowhead Stadium, McFadden’s appearances at the Phoenix on Friday afternoons are a definitive Kansas City experience.

4:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 23. The Phoenix. 816-221-5299. thephoenixkc.com. The cover charge is $5.

“Hay Bales & Sleigh Bells”

Friday, Dec. 23, at Westport Saloon

Country-oriented musicians from Kansas City and Nashville will join forces at “an old-fashioned, Gene Autry-style Christmas special” at the Westport Saloon on Friday. A horn section will add extra punch to songs by performers including the honky-tonk artists Dusty Rust and Tyler Giles. While there’s no cover charge, all proceeds raised through donations, a silent auction and raffles will benefit the Midwest Music Foundation, a Kansas City organization that “provides grants for musicians in need of urgent care.”

8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 23. Westport Saloon. 816-960-4560. westportsaloon.com. Free.

Summer Breeze’s “An Evening of the Early Music of Elton John”

Friday, Dec. 23, at Kanza Hall

Summer Breeze, a Kansas City ensemble dedicated to reviving the soft-rock of the 1970s that’s often characterized as “yacht rock,” will be joined by an array of notables at Friday’s benefit concert dedicated to interpretations of classic Elton John hits like “Tiny Dancer.” Guest vocalists, including members of the Architects, the Get Up Kids and Hembree, are part of an effort to raise money for Steps of Faith, “a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing care and financial support to amputees in need.”

7 p.m. Friday, Dec. 23. Kanza Hall. 913-451-0444. oneblocksouthkc.com. $20 in advance.

Brave the Spirit

Saturday, Dec. 24, at the Riot Room

The thousands of indie-rock fans who witnessed Brave the Spirit’s arresting performance at the Buzz Beach Ball festival in July know that the Kansas City band has the potential to join the ranks of indie-pop’s biggest stars. The naked ambition of the duo is apparent on songs like “Hey Kid,” a savvy distillation of fashionable modern rock trends. Sterling Bridgmon and Austyn Ryan have announced that they’re relocating to Los Angeles. Saturday’s show will act as a farewell party. With Brother and Chica.

8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 24. Riot Room. 816-442-8179. theriotroom.com. $7 in advance.

Radkey

Sunday, Dec. 25, at RecordBar

Radkey, the most notable hard rock band to emerge from the Kansas City area in years, will immerse holiday revelers in what the trio characterizes as “delicious rock noise” at RecordBar on Sunday. The brothers from St. Joseph have retained their youthful exuberance in spite of a relentless tour schedule. “Marvel,” a bonus track on the recent reissue of Radkey’s debut album, is a cover of a forgotten 1990s grunge song inspired by comic books. With Drop a Grand and Stiff Middle Fingers.

10 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 25. RecordBar. 816-753-5207. therecordbar.com. $12 in advance.

Mark Lowrey and Molly Hammer

Monday, Dec. 26, at Green Lady Lounge

An uncommon addition was recently made to the already bustling calendar of the Green Lady Lounge. Music-lovers seeking to ease their way into the working week are invited to bring their lunches into the popular jazz venue on Monday afternoons to hear the outstanding duo of pianist Mark Lowrey and vocalist Molly Hammer.

Noon-3 p.m. Monday, Dec. 26. Green Lady Lounge. 816-215-2954. greenladylounge.com. Free.

A La Mode

Monday, Dec. 26, at the Tank Room

While they’re relative newcomers to Kansas City’s jazz scene, the members of A La Mode sound as if they’ve been honing their sound for decades. Specializing in the hot jazz associated with venerable stars like Louis Armstrong, Louis Prima and Django Reinhardt, the band revives playful material like “I Want to be Loved by You” and “Dinah” with youthful enthusiasm. The efforts of vocalist Jesica Poell and guitarist Clayton DeLong are documented on the group’s fine new album, “C’est Si Bon.”

8 p.m. Monday, Dec. 26. Tank Room. 816-214-6403. thetankroom.com. Free.

BCR

Wednesday, Dec. 28, at the Brick

Devoted to avant-garde sounds inspired by the likes of madcap bandleader Sun Ra when it formed in the 1970s, Kansas City collective BCR has mellowed in the intervening decades. The group led by lovable eccentric Dwight Frizzell was prone to noisy jazz-based freak-outs when it worked under the banner of Black Crack Revue. In recent years, the ensemble has been largely dedicated to keeping revelers on dance floors with inviting blends of reggae, R&B and rock.

9 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 28. The Brick. 816-421-1634. thebrickkcmo.com. Cover charge is $10.