Best Bets: April 17-21

Here is just a sample of what's going on in and around Lawrence over the weekend:

Thursday music: Radkey 7” release show

On Thursday, the Replay, 946 Massachusetts St., presents a night of old-school punk as St. Joe’s Radkey celebrate the release of their new 7” on Replay Records. They’ll be appearing with Stiff Middle Fingers and Ponyboy beginning at 10 p.m.

Friday and Saturday ballet: Emergence

The Lawrence Ballet Theater presents its annual concert “Emergence” at the Lawrence Arts Center, 940 New Hampshire St., this Friday and Saturday beginning at 7:30 p.m. This year you’ll see new ballet pieces from Jerel Hilding and Elizabeth Gillaspy, a reconstructed baroque piece by Joan Stone, and a lyrical hip-hop performance by the Jazz Ensemble. Tickets are $6.50 for seniors and students and $9.50 for adults.

Saturday film and music: Free State Film Festival Preview: Crazy & Thief

The Free State Film Festival will present a free screening of musician/filmmaker Cory McAbee's latest film Crazy & Thief this Saturday at the Lawrence Arts Center at 5 p.m. The 52-minute film follows a 7-year-old girl and her 2-year-old brother as they take a strange and mystical journey through the city streets following a homemade starchart in a tale of discovery, wonder and the spirit of childhood. The screening is free and open to all ages. Later, McAbee will be performing with his band, Captain Ahab's Motorcycle Club, at the Granada, 1020 Massachusetts St., along with That 1 Guy and Deadman Flats, starting at 8 p.m. Tickets for the Granada show cost $13.

Saturday music: KJHK Farmer's Ball

It’s time again for the Farmer’s Ball, KJHK's annual battle-of-the-bands competition between the best and the brightest local and regional musicians. Round one begins at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Bottleneck, 737 N.H., between semifinalists Pink Royal, Haunt Ananta, Forrester, Brain Food, Bellafonte, Real Sugar, Y(our) F(riend) and Spirit is the Spirit, four of whom will advance to the finals next Saturday, April 27, for a chance to win a $2,000 grand prize.

Sunday concert: Josh Ritter & The Royal City Band

Idaho native Josh Ritter was named one of the “100 Greatest Living Songwriters” by Paste magazine in 2006, and by then he was already playing to packed houses and rave receptions with four LPs under his belt. He’s coming to Liberty Hall, 644 Massachusetts St., with his Royal City Band and special guest Martin Sexton for an 8 p.m. show this Sunday. Advance general admission tickets are $29 balcony and $25 floor and include a digital download of his newest album, "The Beast in Its Tracks". Check out our interview with Josh about his performance and his deeply personal new album.

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