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The Weekend Starts Today

Middle of the Map Hangover Edition

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If last week’s musical tsunami left you a little woozy, I figure there’s really two ways to roll.

Option 1) Call it the hair of the dog. That would put you at the grounds of Liberty Memorial on Saturday for this year’s edition of Rockfest. Who’s playing, you ask? Does it matter, I say. You’re guaranteed high decibels, head banging and crowd surfing, with a pretty great chance at major muddery. Music starts at noon.

For a version of that same experience with lower volume and better climate control, the Kansas City Tattoo Artists Convention will be holding court Friday through Sunday just a few blocks away at the Sheraton Hotel. Master inkers converge on the room, and do their artful best while the curious watch in wonder. There’s an afterparty too, which might be even better — Westport Saloon starting at 11 p.m.

Option 2) Something completely different, but still on the tuneful side. I’m thinkin’ Bobby Rush at Knuckleheads, doing a special solo show Saturday night. Bobby’s 80 years old, but he can still wring the blues out of his guitar and harmonica with the best of ‘em. One of the last of a dying breed.

Meanwhile at the Gem Theatre, the American Jazz Museum is inducting some well-deserving local folk into its Hall of Fame. Singer Ida McBeth doesn’t do many shows anymore, but she can still hold her own with the best belters anywhere. Also up for honors are the Brothers McFadden, Lonnie and Ronnie, a pair of crowd-pleasing jazz hoofers. That’s right, tap dancers with genuine musical chops. The aptly-named Trombone Shorty will be getting an award as well.

Oh, and that same night, the Mike Love-led Beach Boys are playing at the Midland Theatre. The hits, the harmonies, the soundtrack of happier days. And if Mr. L’s recent Rolling Stone interview is any indication, you’ll be able to say you saw the most misunderstood man in the music biz. (He just can’t get any respect!)

Getting away from music… Did someone say Royals nosedive? Well, the road trip’s been pretty rough, but the boys in blue come back to town for some home-cooking and inter-league play with the Atlanta Braves Friday, Saturday and Sunday. On the other side of the state line, the T-Bones have three games set with the Winnipeg Goldeyes. Their first base coach is some guy named Frank White, and best of all, the most expensive seat is $16!

Did you know that Saturday is National Train Day? Well it is, and probably because they have their own Train Garden and Strang Line replica, it’s being celebrated at the Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, just east of 179th and Antioch. This lovely place made the news a few years back because one of the sculptures inside it was a bit too much for some. But forget the brouhaha, take in the blooms and blossoms (and some more sculptures that have recently joined the ranks.) Actually the arboretum is open every day except Christmas.

Finally, a pair of indoor picks for the discerning viewer, and they both get underway at 11 a.m. on Saturday. The first sends you to the Plaza Library for an Indie-Lens Pop Up, which is not a toaster pastry, but a free movie screening. It’s a documentary called “Peace Officer” that examines the militarization of police forces through the eyes of one William “Dub” Lawrence, followed by community conversation.

Like that name? How about this one? “Of Tribbles and Technology: 50 Years of Star Trek” is what the folks at the Linda Hall Library (51st and Oak) are calling their Second Saturday talk by authors Dayton Ward and Kevin Dilmore. These two are best friends and Roddenberry enthusiasts of the highest order. It’s a freebie too, but in the spirit of phasers, transporters and warp 10, e-tix will be required!

— Randy Mason is the Executive Producer of Cultural Affairs for KCPT.

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