Thursday, April 17, 2014

Weekend Picks: Kansas Relays; Record Store Day; Farmer's Ball; Easter/4-20/Python

Plenty of big events this weekend in LFK, starting with the Scott McLanahan/Sam Pink reading hosted by PBR Book Club and LPL on Friday.

The Kansas Relays are underway, way the hell out at Rock Chalk Park in LFK...if you can find your way through all the construction of the far-from-completed complex.  And the very popular downtown shot put event remains downtown on Friday evening (no thanks to KU Athletics).

Saturday brings Record Store Day and Earth Day festivities.  There's an Earth Day parade but, sadly, not a Record Store Day parade in which scenesters march up and down Mass. Street showing off their Love Garden purchases (well, that happens, but it's not an organized affair).  Check out the Love Garden FB event page here.

And Saturday night brings the opening round of the Farmer's Ball. It's the 20th anniversary of this event.  Get a rundown on the eight bands here via LJ-World.  Our prediction is that it will come down to a tight battle between three already-well-established LFK favorites:  Psychic Heat (ever-present); Oils (ever-involving); and Paper Buffalo (ever-young).  Paper Buffalo's young fans will show up in big numbers, which is not a given for the late-night scenester fans of Heat and Owls. But can those Buffalo fans stay out past their curfew late enough to cast their vote due to the Ball's not-ideal voting rules?  Final prediction: Psychic Heat by a narrow margin, though Chip is for Narkalark, which employs more bleeps and bloops than the others.  Give Narkalark a "like" on FB here.  And visit the Farmer's Ball FB event page here

And Sunday is Easter, and also 4/20.  Dude, the stoners are gonna eat SO MANY Easter Eggs this year!

Make sure to catch Life of Brian at Liberty Hall on Sunday evening as the "Month of Python" winds down.

Did you miss Holy Grail last night? It was a blast.  We especially enjoyed Maggie's opening intro and stern warning to discourage any potential balcony "halfwits" who think their versions of the lines are better than Michael Palin's.  It might still be possible to get one of the sweet posters made especially for the event. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Our Interview With Author Scott McClanahan: "...the only sense that makes sense in the long run is nonsense.

Well, it's finally happening.  PBR Book Club is emerging from its underground lair in the Taproom basement and hosting a public reading this Friday, April 18 at 7:00 in the Roost featuring two acclaimed small-press authors whose works we've recently read:  Sam Pink and Scott McClanahan.  Mr. Pink (as we like to call him, because it sounds like some Reservoir Dogs-shit) hails from Chicago.  His recent works include Rontel and Witch Piss.  McClanahan, author of Crapalachia and Hill William, is visiting us all the way from West Virginia.

Please join us on Friday and show them some love. Coffee and booze will be available and our friends at The Raven will be selling books from the authors.  Visit the FB event page here.

And check out the Larryville Artists interview with Sam Pink here.

Here's our chat with Scott McClanahan:

Chip:  First off, what in hell is possessing you and Sam Pink to trek all the way to Lawrence Fucking Kansas to hang with a gang of hooligans called PBR Book Club?  And what do you predict from this visit? Is shit going to get weird?  Is someone going to have to bail Pink out of jail?

Scott:  Maybe so.  I think it's ridiculous we're travelling all that way, but really the only sense that makes sense in the long run is nonsense.  It's like when you're a drug addict or a drunk.  The only person who will talk to you is God and the only woman who will have you is the Betty Ford center.  I feel that way about Kansas.

Richard:  Our book club mostly liked Crapalachia a lot, right up until the appendix, which infuriated about half of the group by calling so much of the "truth" of your memoir into question.  Talk a little about that book and the appendix. Did you intend to ruffle feathers with that technique? Or to further the continuing debate about the extent to which memoirs should be "true," etc?

Scott: Anyone who believes what they read are pretty silly.  I only think my daddy is my daddy because my mother told me so.

I'm sort of bored with the truth vs. fiction debate.

Chip:  Me too.  Sometimes I wonder if I'm even "real" myself,  outside of this blog.  You know?  So let's talk about the new book. Except, sorry, I haven't read Hill William yet. What's it about?  Is it better than Crapalachia? Is it going to trick me again at the end??

Scott:  Hill William has plenty of girls, car chases, and shoot outs.  It's a laugh riot.  You'll love it.

Richard:  What's the best sentence you've ever written--or the one you're most proud of--and why?

Scott: I think sentences by themselves are rather silly things.  It's like asking a musician about their favorite note.  The thing that is important is when you put all of those notes together and make something out of them.  I'm more interested in the totality of it than the minutia.

Chip:  What's your next project?  Have you considered writing a young adult dystopian novel, because that's apparently where the money is at right now.

Scott: I'm writing a book called the Sarah Book.  It's a love story.

Richard:  I just read an interview with you in the Oxford American where you talk about being lumped in with Southern writers even though you don't consider yourself Southern.  But, as a southern boy myself, I still have to ask you the eternal southern lit question:  O'Connor or Faulkner?
Scott:  Neither. I'm more of a fan of Carson McCullers.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Stuff We Like: Downtown Diner (With Pie!); LPL Announces Opening Date for New Library; Dead Girls Play Adventureland Soundtrack (Again)

Is there some sort of pie revolution underway in LFK?  The news of an impending downtown diner--the Ladybird Cafe--burst onto the scene yesterday, along with the news that Buffalo Bob's would be closing after 37 years (so you better grab a final Fat Tire Amber Ale right now, if you catch our reference!)  Ladybird will take over the Dynamite Saloon space at Bob's.

Ladybird will be operated by some of the masterminds of 715, and feature pies from their current piemaker, Mrs. Dodge.  And these pies will actually be affordable! ($2.99 a slice, or so we've been told).  Now if they just dish up some reasonably priced comfort food (ideally meatloaf, and maybe fries with gravy) we'll be very happy indeed!

Look at this gorgeous strawberry rhubarb pie that was recently dished up at 715 (photo from 715 FB page).


Our friends at Lawrence Public Library have officially announced their grand opening date.  It'll be July 26!  And what happens to Free Borders after that?  Perhaps a grocery store?? (wishful thinking).

Here's a recent-ish photo of the new building taking shape (photo from the LPL Facebook page):


One of our favorite all-time Replay shows was when the Dead Girls played the Adventureland soundtrack on Halloween, many moons ago.  Now they're bringing it back. Not to LFK, sadly, but to Alamo KC tomorrow night at an Adventureland screening that's part of the Middle of the Map film component.  This will be awesome! 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Two Legends in LFK This Week: Riff Raff and John Cale

Viral video superstar and wacky self-mythologizing rapper Riff Raff takes the stage at Liberty Hall tonight.  We interviewed him two years ago when he played a Goomba Rave event at the Bottleneck. Some baffling highlights from the interview:

Chip:  In "Orion’s Belt," you rap “When it comes to hateful words, I got skin like a rhinoceros”  To what extent do you pay attention to what dumbshit interweb bloggers like myself say about your work?


Chip:  Do you ever get a boner when performing with Little Debbie and Kitty Pryde.  Because I sure do when I watch those videos!


Read the interview in full here.


The crowd for the composer and legendary Velvet Underground co-founder John Cale on Tuesday at the LAC is likely to skew a bit older.  Drakkar Sauna opens up this show, which is part of the 940 Live series. We're guessing it's a dream come true for LFK's still-freakiest duo.  More details here via LAC.

Will you be a true scenester and go to both?  Or will you follow Chip's lead, and head to the Miley Cyrus show in KC tonight.

Chip: "I hope she licks a bunch of stuff."

Friday, April 11, 2014

Weekend Picks: Massholes; Art Auctions; and the Return of Don Draper

LFK's comedy nerds will be assembling to watch Monty Python's Meaning of Life tonight at Liberty Hall.

Afterward, many will surely drift over to Frank's for a wonderfully-titled new comedy/quiz show called Massholes which focuses (as you can surely guess) on local culture and politics.  Visit the FB event page here, which promises that "The Winner of the evening becomes MAYOR OF LAWRENCE!"  We certainly hope this is true. How many fucking times does Amyx really need to be the Mayor anyway?  We'd totally prefer Mayor Andy Morton.

[Note: the FB event page notes that the start time is officially right around 10:00, to allow the Python-goers time to arrive].


Saturday is the biggest night of the year for the Lawrence Arts Center as they host their 34rd annual benefit art auction.  It's an impressive collection.  As of Wednesday, when we strolled through, you can totally still place the first bid on Burroughs' $30,000 triptych.  Get on it, high rollers!

Personally, we'd prefer this much more affordable piece of suitcase-art with Burroughs painted on it.

Sadly, though, most poor LFK scenesters can't even afford the $40 ticket to get in the door.


And Sunday? Sunday looks boring.  Maybe you should stay home, get high, and catch the season premiere of the final season of Mad Men.   It's gonna be groovy, as the poster suggests.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Nerd Nite 26 Recap: Cats and Çatalhöyük / Scenester Pick of the Day: Real Estate and Your Friend at Liberty Hall

Well, we know that Nerd Nite 26 ended (for us) at Burger Stand, where we joined a newspaperman, a local activist, and a honkytonker on stage for a rousing karaoke rendition of "I Wanna Be Sedated."

But how did the evening "evolve" into this moment?  Let's retrace our steps.

The first presentation of this death-centric Nerd Nite evening was a surprisingly optimistic take on the notion of extinction.  The takeaway: "Extinction is not forever" (since other species evolve to fill that niche).  Hopefully the lesser prairie chickens of Kansas are reassured by all of this. For those lost by the science of the lecture (such as Chip), there were plenty of animal photos to enjoy.  Bandicoots are funny.

Next up, PBR Book Club's delightful Lindsey offered a clear and concise and altogether terrifying glimpse into a parasite called Toxoplasma Gondii, whose goal is to "get a cat to eat it" so it can "bang" inside the cat and reproduce.  Lindsey informed us that 1 in 4 nerds at the gathering were likely hosts to this parasite.  Gross.  But at least this presentation also had some nice kitty pictures, and even a pic of the Simpsons' crazy cat lady.

And, speaking of PBR Book Club, those crafty kids used the break after Lindsey's presentation to promote and distribute flyers for their first-ever reading, coming up on Good Friday at the Roost and featuring two esteemed small-press authors: Chicago's Sam Pink and West Virginia's Scott McClanahan.

Then: a presentation on burial practices in 7000 BCE Çatalhöyük, with imagery of a lot of buried babies (drinking game: take a drink every time the presenter uses the word "neonates").

After all this, wouldn't you end up at the Burger Stand singing about sedation too?

Let's end with a sense of the evening as pieced together through the tweets of @punnilingus, who was the officially-endorsed guest live-tweeter of the Nite, a position that sounds prestigious but doesn't really offer any benefits and forces the person to tweet maniacally in an effort to keep up with the info.

Four tweets from @punnilingus:

"The aye-aye and I! Beatles, beetles, and humping AT-AT Walkers"

"1/3 of the world has this parasite. Thanks cats! Toxo"

 "It's difficult to whack off a dead body ... you have to wait until it's skeletal"

"This crowd would be great at charades, but terrible at Apples to Apples or Cards Against Humanity"

Drink special of the evening: the Corpse Reviver.

The next Nerd Nite is May 14.  Theme:  Earth, Wind, and Fire.  (please tell us that the music of that band will be played exclusively during the breaks).


We already gave a shout out to Your Friend's sure-to-be-killer opening set at tonight's SUA/KJHK-sponsored Real Estate show at Liberty Hall, but let's check in with Pitchfork to make sure that Real Estate is still suitably cool.

Boy, are they!!

Their new album Atlas scores a very high 8.8 (full review here, and let it be noted that this is a stone classic of a Pitchfork review: simultaneously pompous and incisive). An excerpt:

"The once-ideal pool party band, in other words, has turned to soundtracking the cleanup: Everyone's gone, the sky's threatening rain, there are cigarette butts floating in the pool, and we've all gotta work tomorrow."

Chip:  "So, this show is gonna rock!! Or, it??"

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Local Girls Make Good: Your Friend and La Guerre / (Root) Beer of the Week: Judge Wapner's Root Beer

Today is for the ladies!

As all of you scenesters well know, Your Friend is all over the place these days, with a new album on Domino Records, a great new LFK-centric video for "Tame One" (watch it below), and a sweet opening slot  for Real Estate at Liberty Hall tomorrow (Apr. 10).   But what happened to her unusually punctuated name that we loved so well??  Perhaps it was too difficult for the lazy media outlets?

And La Guerre is on a roll too, with a new album called Rare and Collectible Spirits (stream it here via Bandcamp) and a great opening slot next week at the Granada with ex-hometown heroes Mates of State making their second LFK appearance within a year.  It may not be as awesome as last year when MoS played that "surprise" gig in the cockfighting pit in No Law, but it will still be pretty awesome.


Normally we don't support non-alcoholic beverages, but we're making an exception for the funky sodas down at Mass Street Soda, which opened up yesterday at 1103 Mass.  Our favorite so far: Judge Wapner's root beer.  The catchphrase is: "I sentence you to drink my root beer."  No need, Judge!  We'd totally drink it of our own free will.