Oh, sweet obsession.
Whatever it might be, many of us have a thing that preoccupies us, perhaps even prying us away from so-called reality. But what good is “reality” when it slaps you around or ignores your needs? That’s where a consuming collection, an ardent activity or some other ultra-fastidious expression of an inner ethos can assuage the soul – at least until the people in the white coats come to, well, you know.
This weekend, enjoy an obsession. It doesn’t even have to be yours – yet. Fortunately for newbies, fixation loves company.
Out-and-out record collectors are the first to tell you that their unmitigated passion for vinyl can be misconstrued as being a little funny in the head. The truth? It’s way funny in the head. But after endlessly searching for a rare or otherwise highly desirable record, the payoff of discovery and eventual possession is a high like no other. Until the next one, of course. And the one after that.
Join the obsessive party at this year’s Record Store Day, where independent record shops will open as early as 8 a.m. to make available special limited-edition releases, give away cool swag and feature live music. That includes a mini-gig by Shooter Jennings – the increasingly avant-garde country music offspring of the legendary Waylon Jennings – at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Vinyl Renaissance & Audio in Overland Park.
May your grooves go unscratched!
Saturday at participating Kansas City area independent record stores, including Brothers Music KC, 5921 Johnson Dr., Mission, Kan.; FM Music Vintage Sounds, 206 E. 18th St., North Kansas City, Mo.; Josey Records, 1814 Oak St., Kansas City, Mo.; Mills Record Company, 4045 Broadway, Kansas City, Mo.; Records with Merritt, 1614 Westport Road, Kansas City, Mo.; Revolution Records, 1830 Locust St., Kansas City, Mo.; Vinyl Renaissance & Audio, 7932 Santa Fe Dr., Overland Park, Kan.; and Vinyl Underground at Seventh Heaven, 7621 Troost Ave., Kansas City, Mo.; admission: free.
2. 'Band Geeks'
I really, really, really like things with names that say exactly what they are – like the comic-book character Superman or the horror movie “Psycho.” The title of the musical comedy “Band Geeks” also satisfyingly cuts to the chase, letting the audience know right away that they’re dealing with members of a school marching band who live for putting one foot in front of other during half-times of football games. For what it’s worth, I played trombone in such an outfit. The wool uniforms itched like crazy, but we didn’t have the challenges of this show’s Cuyahoga High Marching Beavers, who only have nine musicians left and next to no money to keep going. Will the musical bond survive? Geek out and join the band in this Kansas City premiere.
Thursday and Friday, 7:30 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 2 and 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, 2 and 7:30 p.m.; Johnson County Arts and Heritage Center, 8788 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park, Kan.; tickets: $15.
3. 'The Mascot'
A father’s fanatical commitment to Notre Dame football puts his unathletic son on the spot in “The Mascot,” a world-premiere stage comedy that turns on dad’s desire to see his boy play quarterback for the Fighting Irish. Sorry, not going to happen. So papa puts out the idea that junior should audition to be the team’s iconic fists-up leprechaun mascot, a relatively doable endeavor that winds up having its own unexpected hurdles. Humorously shared obsessions ensue.
Thursday and Friday, 7:30 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 8 p.m.; the Living Room Theatre, 1818 S. McGee St., Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $29, $35 (students $15).
Go fly a kite! That’s not usually a nice thing to say to someone, but it’s the crux of this annual activity taking place on an inviting expanse of lawn and fueled by members of the Kansas City Kite Club and others bent on expertly using colorful paper and string to touch the sky. Behold huge kites, fast kites, daredevil kites and a windsock billed as the “world’s largest.” Bring your own kite – if the obsession moves you.
Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Metropolitan Community College Longview campus, 500 S.W. Longview Road, Lee's Summit, Mo.; admission: free.
Hardcore Texans – are there any other kind? – are allowed to obsess about the Lone Star State, because their home turf is like its own country. Still, the official Texas state motto is “Friendship,” which is what the Texas Hippie Coalition and its southern outlaw country metal sound is all about. With a tip of the cowboy hat to Jimi Hendrix, Johnny Cash and everything in between, THC lead singer Big Dad Rich delves into lyrical story songs amid the killer guitar riffs. With Kobra & The Lotus, Brand of Julez, Granny 4 Barrel and Into Existence.
Sunday, 7 p.m.; Riot Room, 4048 Broadway, Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $20.
Those obsessed with time travel can’t not be fans of the 1985 sci-fi adventure comedy, “Back to the Future,” which transports its teenage protagonist 30 years into the past, where he plays an indispensable role in the teenage courtship of his parents to be. See it for the umpteenth time or the very first time (really?) with the Kansas City Symphony supplying the movie’s entire music soundtrack. Feel free to make your own sound for the flux capacitor.
Friday and Saturday, 8 p.m.; Sunday, 2 p.m.; Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, 1601 Broadway, Kansas City, Mo.; tickets: $56-$104.50.
Brian McTavish is a regular arts and culture contributor for KCUR 89.3. You can reach him at email@example.com.