A rough guide to this years Crossroads Music Fest
Though the meat of the Crossroads Music Fest is Saturday, the sizzle gets going Friday night, starting at Crosstown Station. There, from 7 to 9 p.m., singer-songwriters Brian Frame (of the Blessed Broke), Gabrielle T, Jamie Searle (formerly of It’s Over) and Kasey Rausch perform homespun ballads in the round. Then, at 10 p.m., Making Movies takes over with its sleek, dynamic blend of alt-rock and Latin salsa. At 11:45, the prog-rockers of Be/Non kick the ship into interstellar overdrive and take us home. Meanwhile at Czar Bar, starting at 9:30 p.m., Dave Regnier of the Afterparty and Jason Beers of Brannock Device plug in their shared side project: the moody, ethereal, urban-folk band Dead Voices. At 10:45, veteran trio Lucky Graves digs out some new, soulful, Afro-shakin’ rock tunes that should appeal to fans of Big Star and the Black Crowes alike. At midnight, electro-funkateers Antennas Up come on and play us off like piano cat. (Note: Cover charges for the pre-party shows are separate from the cost of admission to the fest on Saturday; however, discounted festival tickets will be for sale at the venues on Friday.)
SATURDAY BAND PICKS
7:45 p.m. at the Mercy Seat Alley
With a couple of the loudest bands on the whole lineup, the alley behind Mercy Seat is CMF 5’s back patio, junkyard and grease pit, all rolled into one. Before the stately, stomping Kelihans get out their accordion and fiddle and before the punky Pornhuskers brandish their leather pants and strap-on dildos, newcomers Kick Kick get the night going with delightfully boneheaded, glittery party-rock that sounds kind of Alice Cooper and acts very Wyld Stallyns.
8 p.m. at Crosstown Station
It’s not all boys with guitars at CMF 5. Hailing from Chile by way of the Latin jazz lab at the UMKC Conservatory of Music (where the band formed in 2005), Makuza, led by Santiago-born percussionist Pablo Sanhueza, combines regional Afro-Caribbean, South American and West African styles into a heady, danceable Atlantic-crossing Latin sound. If you’re reading this at least one hour before start time and have never taken salsa lessons, find a dance studio and demand a crash course. Now.
9:45 p.m. at the Brick
Three things to know about the ACB’s: (1) They write the catchiest rock songs in Kansas City. (2) They possess the most horribly awesome record collection of any local band; LPs by Michael Bolton, Hootie and the Blowfish, and Berlin figure prominently. (3) They haven’t released an album since 2007, but they have a ton of great new songs that you’ll know by heart the third time you hear ’em.
The Good Foot
11 p.m. at the Skylight Room
(Crosstown Station, upstairs)
When a group of local white-boy rockers from bands including the Supernauts and Fairbanks decided to form a soul-music revue, there may have been a hint of skepticism in the air. No more. Anyone who has experienced the Good Foot can testify to the band’s roof-raising sound. Led by Aretha-channeling Julia Haile (the sort of singer who couldn’t miss a note if she tried), the seven-piece band serves up Motown hits like made-to-order deli sandwiches. Signed, sealed, delivered — they’re yours.
Heidi Phillips Band
11:15 p.m. at the Brick
A decade removed from making major-label Frogpond records with producer Art Alexakis, Heidi Phillips is quietly writing songs that are every bit the shoulda-been hits. Evoking the hard-driving alternative pop of ’90s staples like Throwing Muses and Buffalo Tom, Phillips’ reliably raspy voice is the envy of every aspiring chick rocker — and dude rocker, come to think of it. Her new Minutes EP showcases those assets with the benefit of a seasoned backing band.
12:30 a.m. at the Brick
Alongside homeboys such as Stik Figa and Dutch Newman, Greg Enemy has helped inject some young blood into the KC hip-hop scene. Enemy’s club-ready productions would have the Neptunes salivating, but they’d merely be blank canvases without his versatile flow. The 21-year-old casts his character from a pool of street-hard rappers (Jay-Z), indie MCs (Cool Kids) and party starters (Outkast), paying due respect to all facets of the game without coming off like a copycat.
COMPLETE CMF 5 SCHEDULE
Crosstown Station (1522 McGee)
4 to 5 p.m.: The Doo-Dads
6 to 7 p.m.: Kansas City Youth Jazz Combo
8 to 9 p.m.: Makuza
10 to 11 p.m.: Hearts of Darkness
Midnight to 1 a.m.: Quixotic
The Skylight Room at Crosstown Station
7 to 8 p.m.: Deep Thinkers
8:30 to 9:15 p.m.: Sara Swenson and Jeff Larison
9:45 to 10:30 p.m.: Tiny Horse
11 p.m. to midnight: The Good Foot
Czar Bar (1531 Grand)
6 to 6:45 p.m.: Adam Lee and the Dead Horse Sound Company
6:45 to 7:30 p.m.: Kirsten Paludan
8:15 to 9:15 p.m.: Shay Estes and Trio ALL
9:45 to 10:45 p.m.: Barclay Martin Ensemble
11:45 p.m. to 12:45 a.m.: Grand Marquis
The Brick (1727 McGee)
5:30 to 6:30 p.m.: Rural Grit All-Stars
7 to 7:45 p.m.: The Grisly Hand
8:15 to 9 p.m.: The Columns
9:45 to 10:30 p.m.: The ACB’s
11:15 p.m. to midnight: Heidi Phillips
12:30 to 1:15 a.m.: Greg Enemy
1:30 to 2:15 a.m.: Bacon Shoe
Mercy Seat Alley (behind 210 E. 16th St.)
7:45 to 8:15 p.m.: Kick Kick
9:15 to 10:15 p.m.: The Kelihans
11 p.m. to midnight: Pornhuskers