Saturday, June 4, 2011

Local Lore: North Larryville Sandrats and South Lawrence Bluebellies / Concert Review: The Royal Tinfoil

We rarely head across the river to North Larryville unless it's for a nice lunch at the Dirty Bird (Chip: "I always get the same thing: fried chicken and a lapdance."). But yet we've always been very intrigued by that lawless land's mix of strip clubs, biker bars, and the Gaslight Tavern (which is now called Jake's, we think, and Chip is convinced it's a 'front' for some sort of drug cartel).

The LJ-World published a fascinating piece yesterday profiling a local sculptor who's doing a "sandrat" sculpture for North Larryville. Although we consider ourselves fairly well-versed in townie lore, we somehow didn't know that "sandrat" is a term used to describe North Larryville residents:

"Sandrat” began as a derogatory term that people from across the river called North Lawrence inhabitants, but North Lawrencians, over time, adopted it as their own. The etymology of the term varies — with some of the stories being quite colorful — but sandrat most likely is a reference to actual rats that live in the sand..."

Richard: "Something about 'sandrat' seems very politically incorrect, but I suppose if they like being called 'sandrats' then I'll call them 'sandrats.'"

The article also taught us a term once used to describe South Lawrence residents:

"South Lawrencians were called “bluebellies,” a reference to their higher economic status. Their overalls, it’s said, were newer, so after a swim in the water, the dye would come off and turn their bellies blue."

We'll be doing our best to bring this term back into common usage.

The piece ends with reminiscences, including the story of a man called Nookie " who would set firecrackers under all the girls’ windows on Independence Day" (LJ-World).

Chip: "I want to be this town's new Nookie."

Read the full article here

The talkback, as expected, is pretty interesting, with some claiming (like us) to have never heard the term 'sandrat' and others, like BigPrune, explaining:

"I've always heard the term used by people who grew up in North Lawrence. It's just an example of the separation of North Lawrence from the rest of Lawrence other than the bridge. Perhaps this is the reason people south of the river don't think to shop north of the river. The separation is ingrained in the psychosis of most people who call Lawrence home."

Chip: "I don't shop in North Lawrence because I rarely need anything from the witch store and also I fear getting stabbed."

[By the way, we've seen various listings for an all-day "benefit show" today at Jake's, although we have no idea how to find out what it benefits or who's playing. Someone should go and report back to us...IF you make it back alive from the Northside].


Charleston's The Royal Tinfoil rolled into town last night for a barnburner of a matinee set on the Replay patio, which was mostly populated on this evening by all the local hippies who couldn't afford the trek to Wakarusa this weekend. We enjoyed their washtub bass, the cello stylings and kazoo solo of barefoot lead vocalist Lily Slay (great name), and the washboard player's various sojourns into the crowd to dance with the audience, who even demanded an encore (not always the case at Replay matinees) and were rewarded with a furious reading of Ween's "It's Gonna Be a Long Night":

"you bring the razor blade - I'll bring the speed
Take off your coat - it's gonna be a long night"

The hippest guy of the night award went to the dude wearing a Muppets' Statler and Waldorf t-shirt. As we have noted before, the critical theory of Statler and Waldorf is a huge influence on Richard and Chip.

Here's the Royal Tinfoil (click to enlarge):

After the Royal Tinfoil, we took a stroll past Mirth to check out the Pizza Power show (but only from the outside, as we quickly deemed ourselves too old and unhip to join the youthful throng). Here's what we witnessed through the window: a few screaming shirtless men onstage (perhaps the High Diving Ponies?) and someone wandering through the crowd serving free pizza.

Chip: "It was a bit like watching feeding time at the zoo. The hipster zoo."

No comments: