Monday, February 28, 2011

Weekend Recap: Art and Oscars / Plus, Joe's Bakery Memorabilia!

Well, the Oscars were fucking terrible and the hosts were so lousy that it's almost enough to make us not want to purchase and peruse Hathaway's frequent nudity in Love and Other Drugs (on DVD tomorrow).

But at least Final Fridays was a rousing success this weekend. We were inspired by the BrownBackLash pieces at Quinton's, intrigued by Michael Krueger's little drawings of naked hippies on mountaintops at Wonder Fair, and oddly titillated by Andrew Jilka's large "Better Living" pieces at Invisible Hand Gallery. This is Jilka's "Ecstasy."


















Here is the artist's statement:

"Better Living" is a show about the faults, failures, and aspirations that are pre-programmed into the notion of the American Dream. The drawings reflect upon societal signifiers of health, spirituality, sexuality, and desire. These staples of supposed happiness are explored through tedious repetition in drawings from the past 10 months."

Chip: "Tedious is right, but something about the open mouths of the women gives me a boner. I think Friday's opening reception should have incorporated a glory hole into this piece and elevated Final Fridays from a somewhat staid event to something truly worthy of Brownback's ire."

The display runs through March 19th at Invisible Hand. Go and look.

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LJ-World's Town Talk offers important news today:

"If you were a fan of the famous doughnuts at the now defunct Joe’s Bakery, have we got a deal for you. Lawrence auctioneer Mark Elston soon will be auctioning the original recipe for Joe’s doughnuts, along with the famous 15-foot Joe’s Bakery neon sign. Elston will auction lots of Joe’s Bakery memorabilia at 9:30 a.m. Sunday at the site of the former bakery, 616 W. Ninth St."

Richard: "I'm more excited about this recipe than I am about Naismith's 13 rules of basketball. This should be secured by the city and displayed somewhere prominently."

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Obligatory Oscar Post, Plus Current Box-Office Round-up

It's Oscar night, but there doesn't seem to be a public local scenester event that we've spotted. Perhaps the true scenesters gathered last night for the Independent Spirit Awards and spent the evening mumbling about their love of mumblecore (Richard: "It really is a shame that Greta Gerwig didn't get an Oscar nod for Greenberg."). We suggest that you prepare for tonight's festivities and the requisite wagering by listening to BARRR's Hall Monitors Oscar podcast, starring Mick, Broadzilla, Styles, and Richard (link in the sidebar).

We'll be watching at home, immersed in the usual Oscar drinking games (shotgunning a PBR every time a celebrity "goes political") and enjoying the many boners that will no doubt be inspired by host Hathaway, Natalie Portman, and Michelle Williams.

But the truth is, with this weekend's opening of Nic Cage's Drive Angry 3D, we're already looking ahead to next year's awards. Here's Ebert's take on Drive Angry:

"Here is an exercise in deliberate vulgarity, gross excess, and the pornography of violence, not to forget garden variety pornography. You get your money's worth."

Chip: "On second thought, screw the Oscars. I'm seeing THIS tonight!"

Sadly, America's desire to see Nic Cage barrel out of Hell and leap out of the screen in a muscle car must not have been as strong as ours: it earned only $5.1 million and the 9th spot in the weekend's Top Ten.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Final Friday Picks / Podcast of the Week: Hall Monitors' Oscar Picks

We'll be holding court upstairs at the Quinton's ice bar tonight for the Brownbacklash opening (see last Sunday's blog), although we're a little scared that Brownback himself will show up with his rumored "artist death squads" and even the score with those who would portray him as a suckling infant nursing at the teat of the mighty Palin.

We'll also be making our perpetual stop at Wonder Fair (work by Michael Krueger) , before ending up at Love Garden for the Muscle Worship 7" release party (Chip: "Is it also available on cassette?").

While rocking out, make sure to study this piece called Hamms by Barrett Emke.

Richard: "What at first appears to be a simple Hamm's box submerged in snow soon reveals itself as a powerful commentary on the 'frozen,' static nature of hipster culture in Larryville. Profound, yet accessible."




















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Just in time for the Oscars, Richard (in his Nog persona) can be heard on BARRR's new Hall Monitors podcast, where he was honored to join panelists Mick, Broadzilla, and Styles. Richard is not as funny as Chip (he makes fewer boner jokes), and he's mostly promoting his other, unread blog, Nog on Film, but please download, listen, and support local cultural commentary from a group of boozers nestled in the subterranean lair of Liberty Hall.

Click the link in the sidebar to download or go here:

http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/icanhasjail/id393281425?i=90759362

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Spot That Local Progressive / Jefferson's Returns / Washington D.C Hipsters

Readers, Rachel Maddow has come and gone, leaving us with the assurance that "nothing is wrong with Kansas." Did you attend yesterday's event? We'd love to hear your report from the front lines since, sadly, we were denied entrance (Chip did not look progressive enough).

Here's a picture from the LJ-World. We'll buy an Oliver Brown Ale for the person who can identify the most good citizens of Larryville.













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Just when you thought your days of gorging yourselves on fried oysters while being (slowly) served beer by the second hottest waitresses in town were over, news arrives that Jefferson's will re-open under new ownership. Chip's tears are now tears of joy.

Here's our favorite comment from the LJ-World talkback:

Kontum1972: "i miss Cara......(most will remember her)...that drop dead gorgeous blond she kept those girls rocking...then she graduated...and the place went into a crash dive..."

Yes, Kontum, we've said all along that the place hasn't been the same since Cara left. But we're pleased at its return nonetheless, as it will prevent at least one space from housing gourmet burgers or "froyo". (Chip: "Or art.").

---

Occasionally we ponder what life is like for hipsters in other cities? Do they drink PBR, like us? Where do they hang out? An important recent piece in the NY-Times profiles the emerging hipster-district of Columbia Heights in Washington D.C. Here's our favorite sentence from the piece, describing a "tiny bodega turned wine bar": "A sidewalk patio stays open through winter, thanks to fleece blankets and mugs of Scandinavian glogg."

Richard: "Oh, Replay, why can't you provide complimentary blankets for the patio. If you did, I'd be there right now, enjoying the sleet."

http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2011/02/20/travel/20110220-SURFACING.html

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Progressive Pick of the Day: Rachel Maddow at Free State

Rachel Maddow's decision to film her show live from Free State Brewery tonight has local liberals squealing like tweenage girls at a Bieber show (Richard: "Squueeeal!"). But the conservative backlash is even more hilarious. We offer you these choice quotes from the LJ-World talkback:

TomShewmon says: "That's one place in Lawrence I'll never patronize again."

Ochocinco (whose comment has not yet been removed, though many have been excised today) says: "She's a carpet munching idiot with an audience the size of KJHK's. Tiller's been dead for 2 years, no one cares anymore, and countless innocent lives have been spared. There's your show, Maddow."

Chance says: "The queen idiot Liberal coming to Lawrence...
hmmm..Go figure! Its the only conservitive county in the entire state! She does'nt have the guts to go any where else to spread her BS Propaganda..
She knows she would be put in her place...Conservitives make arguments!Liberals make excuses!"


Lawrenceguy40says: "My wife and I stopped going regularly to FSB several years ago because of the customers. It was mobbed with non-English speaking, european liberals, who appeared to want to turn it into a liberal parisian cafe. Mrs LG40 took exception to them on a few occasions and insisted we not return. I've been a few times for lunch since then - good food, good beer, good service, but BAD politics."


Chip: "Those are the same reasons I quit going to Henry's Upstairs and the Pig."

And Chuck Magerl, owner of Free State, defends the (controversial?) decision to host Maddow:

"As the proprietor of Free State, I’m a strong Kansas Independent who may wince at the barbs that are tossed our way by self-congratulatory hipsters from the coasts, but I have abiding faith in our ability to sift through the rhetoric and find ways to show we care about what happens here."

Richard: "Agreed. Coastal hipsters are the worst."

See you at the Brewery (or perhaps outside, since there's surely no way it will be possible to actually get inside and witness this spectacle).

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

We Consider the New Radiohead Album / This Week in Local News

Music geeks across the land were quick to download Radiohead's The King of Limbs when it appeared, earlier than expected, last week. And the Twitter-consensus (no doubt based on a judgment reached quickly while listening on a laptop) was that this was yet another masterpiece.

Pitchfork has yet to weigh in. We imagine they are in discussions as to whether it's possible to award an album higher than a 10.0.

But what do the boys think?

Richard: "Personally, I'm waiting until May when I can hear it as it's meant to be heard, in the $48 dollar 'Newspaper Album' version featuring (according to the website) 'Two clear 10" vinyl records in a purpose-built record sleeve' and 'many large sheets of artwork, 625 tiny pieces of artwork and a full-colour piece of oxo-degradeable plastic to hold it all together.'"

Chip: "Radiohead reached their artistic peak with The Bends and since Kid A are just making funny noises and laughing when critics hail it as genius."

In the absence of Pitchfork's purple prose and praise, we turn to Rolling Stone's track-by-track breakdown for this description of the song "Little By Little":


"A steady bass pulse and an Arabic-scented melody unspool over junkyard gamelan beats and backward loops."


Chip: "Isn't it a bit politically incorrect to say that this song smells like an Arab?"

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Yesterday's top local story was the mysterious "indefinite suspension" of Tyshawn Taylor, who admitted to reporters that he'd been a "bad boy." Speculation is rampant, and here's our best theory: we know that Sherron Collins was in town over the weekend, and we're guessing the two went on a Collins-style cock-flashing elevator spree. We'll believe this until someone tells us different (Chip: "And then I'll still continue to believe it.").

The unconfirmed rumor of the day (via Twitter) is that the LJ-World's Cathy Hamilton, better known to most of us as "Boomer Girl," will be the new Director of Downtown Lawrence. Congrats, if true. Who knows the vibrant, youthful downtown arts scene better than Boomer Girl?

Chip: "I hope she makes her first order of business getting us a downtown Olive Garden in the Borders building."

And our personal favorite story of the week is that our Twitter friends at 715 restaurant, renowned for their variety of swanky rabbit and goat dishes, are now serving a "fried bologna crostini" ("housemade moradella on rye toast with mustard--crazy good," says the website).

Richard: "As a southerner, I consider myself the resident local expert on fried bologna. I like it Oscar Mayer-style, with biscuits and gravy. But I'll certainly give this a chance and try to broaden my bologna-palate."

Monday, February 21, 2011

KC Scenester Pick of the Week: Smith Westerns / Scholarly Tome of the Week

If you're a true scenester, you better be headed to KC tomorrow to see Pitchfork-darlings Smith Westerns at the Record Bar. Pitchfork gives their new album Dye It Blond (it's a Stones reference! get it?) an 8.4 and says of the song "Weekend":

""Weekend" contains a "central, hair-flipping lick" which "hugs all its parts together perfectly, the song just sounds so drunk-- drunk on love, drunk on heavy petting, drunk on drink, or maybe just drunk on a some combination of the above."

We plan to be drunk on all those things tomorrow, but especially on PBR, or whatever the hipster drink of choice is at the Record Bar.

---

A friend of ours recently completed a dissertation examining Victorian porn, and we've always thought how nice it must be to write a dissertation that people might actually want to read, or at least masturbate to.

Hopefully the publication of a new tome on the same subject will not hurt our friend's future publication chances. The work, by Deborah Lutz, is called Pleasure Bound: Victorian Sex Rebels and the New Eroticism.

Check out this interweb review from www.newcity.com:

"By delving under the covers of London’s exploration of sexual pleasure—in any form possible—historian Deborah Lutz unhinges the strictly bound corset, unleashing a waterfall of erotic preoccupation."

Chip: "Even the review has given me an incredible boner. I can only imagine what the work itself will accomplish."

We also think that "Victorian Sex Rebels" is a near-perfect name for a band or an album.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Righteous Liberal Indignation / Art Event of the Week: BrownBacklash / Photo of the Week

We love it when local progressives get riled up in the editorial section of the LJ-World, such as Jerome M. Yochim's recent letter ("Art is For All"). Let's take a look at a few points from the piece, along with Chip's rebuttals:

"What is art? Art is a means of communication. It provides a way of thinking “outside the box.” It’s a chronicler of life. It’s a pleasure for each of the senses — sight, sound, taste, touch, smell."

Chip: "Art doesn't always smell good. In fact, I've seen a few things that really stunk."


"Art is a discipline that crosses cultural lines, language barriers, age, sex. It’s a uniquely human endeavor. Art can be done and appreciated by all humans."


Chip: "Actually, I've tried and tried to 'do' art, and I just can't do it. Even my art teacher said so."

"Would that all Kansans had the opportunity to partake of this uniquely human endeavor and to reap from it what they may. What say, Governor?"

Chip: "Our esteemed governor didn't forbid you to do art, Yochim. Or at least not yet. He just said that he wasn't going to fund your efforts."

For those of us who are as upset as Yochim, please attend the "Brown Backlash" exhibit at the Q5 Gallery during this week's Final Fridays (the gallery is located, awesomely, in the upstairs area of Quinton's, meaning that Chip will be holding court at the ice bar while not looking at the art).

Click to enlarge:





















And here's an exclusive sneak preview of one of the works you'll see on Friday by our Twitter-buddy Leo Hayden! It's tentatively titled "Brownback Sucks." Thanks for sending it to us, Leo!





















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And speaking of art, our favorite photo of the week comes from (of course) A. Ruscin. This shot from the recent LOLA Valentine's Art show currently appears on the LJ-World website:



















Based on the oft-deleted talkback comments, we thought such profanities were forbidden on the site. But art is a happy exception, we guess?

Richard: "I won't be satisfied till every progressive man, woman, and child in Larryville owns one of these shirts. And also a SHOUT PEACE shirt."

Friday, February 18, 2011

Weekend Scenester Guide / Sonic Bike Lane

The cornerstone of this weekend is The Hips' Replay debut on Saturday evening (in case you don't recall, this is the "supergroup" composed of members of Drakkar Sauna and Fourth of July). Of course, the true scenesters witnessed The Hips' TapRoom debut a few weeks back (see Chewyfally's L.com piece) and have likely moved on to something newer by this point, so you'll be mingling with Larryville's second string of scenesters for the Replay gig. We predict a packed house.

Tonight, Thee Oh Sees take the stage at the Granada. Perhaps you missed them during GarageFest because you were watching something hipper (or, in our case, less hip: we were at the Greenhornes gig).

And the weekend brings two opportunities to see Larryville's newest sketch-comedy show, Loaded for Bear, featuring some of Victor Continental's writers. The shows take place in the Lawrence Arts Center's renovated downstairs theater, and the press material assures us that plenty of booze WILL be available (one could hardly be expected to watch sketch-comedy without it). Will the show feature Victor's patented drinking games, and will it be possible for us to get as quickly hammered and obnoxious as we do at Victor's Liberty Hall shows? We aim to find out.

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And speaking of sketch-comedy, we've become rather enamored with IFC's Portlandia of late, a satiric take on all aspects of Portland hipster/foodie/townie culture (Chip: "And that Carrie Brownstein gives me a bit of a boner, if I'm being honest, although I was always vaguely threatened by her during the Sleater/Kinney days."). But perhaps the greatest and goofiest bit of Portland-news we've discovered recently is not made up by Armisen and Brownstein but is, in fact, a real possibility: the city is proposing a "sonic bike lane" across one of the city's bridges: "The bike lane will be built with concrete grooves that when driven over will play a melody, in this case Simon and Garfunkel’s “59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy).”

http://www.patspapers.com/story_stack/item/proposed_sonic_bike_path_to_make_portland_groovier/

Why can't Larryville do something important like this (perhaps instead of that lighted pedestrian walkway through the student ghetto)? We'd like a stretch of Mass. Street (ideally in front of the Replay) to be rigged up to play Pavement's "Spit on a Stranger" as we walk by.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The LC's Book Club / We Examine Quixotic Fusion Party Pics

Obviously, the news of the day is the announced closing of Larryville's Borders (which will occur in April), but the story has been so exhaustively analyzed on the LJ-World and Twitter that we don't have much left to say. Westsiders are hoping for an Olive Garden or Red Lobster; townies are hoping for a downtown grocery store; and Chip is hoping Jefferson's is somehow miraculously resurrected in that location.

So we'll use today for a new edition of the LC's Book Club instead. We love books about college towns, and Justin Taylor's The Gospel of Anarchy (rececently reviewed in the NY-Times) seems like a must-read for scenesters and townies alike:


“Every college town is heaven,” Justin Taylor writes in “The Gospel of Anarchy,” his first novel, “each one different but the same.” This book may be set in Gainesville, Fla., but it will resonate with anyone who’s ever worked at a burrito joint in Chapel Hill, played Hacky Sack in Madison or fomented revolution in Eugen
e."

The novel concerns a University of Florida dropout who hangs around town in an anarchist commune called Fishgut:

"The Fishgut milieu is marked by a copious amount of sex, numerous incidents of dumpster diving and petty larceny, the usual quasi-mystical ruminations and eventually the founding of a new religion" (New York Observer).

Richard: "Sounds like a typical Replay after-party. So what can this author offer us that will make this reading experience worth our while?"

Maybe this:

"Taylor has perfect recall of the comparatively innocent world of pre-broadband smut, with its chat rooms full of hopeful JPEG traders." (New York Times).

Chip: "Sold. I love the more innocent days of internet porn before we were all sexting pictures of our penises willy-nilly about the globe."

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Lawrence.com rarely publishes anything that gives us a boner, but this week's Party Pics from the recent Quixotic Fusion performance art/dance show at Liberty Hall are a happy exception. If we were less hip, we would have witnessed this show in person last Friday instead of swilling PBR with the KC Bear Fighters down at the Replay. Take a look:





























Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The End of Jefferson's

Chip has been keeping a silent vigil outside Jefferson's since it was seized and closed last week due to tax issues, assuming that it would eventually rise from the ashes and serve him a $5 dollar burger basket (after all, Papa Keno's came back to us after similar tax woes and closing). But word came down yesterday afternoon that Jefferson's was gone for good. The building will be auctioned off but, according to the LJ-World, the dollar bills will remain on the walls: "The property’s landlord has agreed to write a check in the amount of the dollar bills to keep them on the walls." So hopefully the building will be purchased by someone with a fondness for defaced, dirty money.

But other issues are raised by the closing as well, such as...what will become of all the hot waitresses who were employed there? And what will replace Jefferson's?

Chip: "Will we see a sudden influx of hot waitresses in restaurants where the waitresses were previously not so hot? Or will the Jefferson's waitresses be absorbed into the rotation at Quinton's and the Yacht Club?"

Richard: "It seems likely that the modestly-priced bar food of Jefferson's will be replaced by a gourmet burger joint, since there's currently an entire block between the Burger Stand and Dempsey's where one cannot purchase a burger topped with dandelion blossoms. But a frozen-yogurt shop might be a possibility as well."

Chip: "Or a frozen yogurt shop that serves gourmet-burger-flavored yogurt."

At least we can take comfort in the fact that certain downtown businesses will always be there for us, such as Border's. Right? Right? Supposedly we'll find out later today.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Boys and the Case of the Missing Mountain Lion

No, today's post is not another ill-advised attempt to write raunchy adolescent fiction (in the manner of our long-ago Harry Lupus werewolf series), but rather a sobering look at what's shaping up to become a legendary Larryville conspiracy theory.

On Sunday evening, police officers found the body of a large "wild cat" along Bob Billings Parkway, yet (mysteriously?) decided to leave the body till morning, at which point the carcass had (mysteriously?) disappeared when sanitation officers arrived to collect it. So was it a bobcat, as the naive believe, or was it one of the much-feared mountain lions long-rumored to roam the West Campus?

Chip: "Almost certainly a mountain lion, and quite possibly some sort of giant, genetically modified mountain lion escaped from the nearby animal research labs, whose body was secreted away to prevent panic among the citizens."

In the LJ-World talkbacks, Kookamooka is sure of at least one thing, which is that this kind of thing would NEVER happen in Missouri. We offer his remarks at length:

"In Missouri, when a mountain lion is found, they get pictures, the camera crews are out there filming, they take the animal to a location to be identified. They get information like, size, sex, age. They report it. The conservation department gets involved. Experts and spokesmen give their opinions. The data is important and significant and people want to know.

In Lawrence, KS (just down the hill from a slew of animal research laboratories) they just leave it in the median for the sanitation workers to pick up and....it "runs away". This city needs to do some investigating.

AND!!!! because a LJworld reporter was "At the scene of the crime" and didn't get a picture, there might be some sort of cover-up involved. I can't believe a KU journalism school graduate would let such a great story run away right out from under his nose.

Come on LJworld! This stuff sells papers. But..they aren't really that interested in selling papers anymore. Can the KC Star please start a Lawrence bureau? Did they sign a non-compete agreement? We need real news."


Well, obviously there's a bigger "wildcat" story to report on today, Kookamooka, and that's K-State's Valentine's Day Massacre of top-ranked KU. The LJ-World reports that "Self was able to keep his sense of humor" after what the coach himself described as a "beatdown."

Chip: "There's nothing funny about losing to K-State, Coach. I've had boners that lasted longer than KU held the #1 spot yesterday."

Monday, February 14, 2011

The LC's Valentine's Day Guide

Whether you're a scenester or a townie, you've no doubt got plans and schemes to get laid on Valentine's Day, and this year most of those plans and schemes seem to involve copious amounts of Boulevard Chocolate Ale (Chip: "It's like getting hammered on liquid fudge.").

There are plenty of events for different tastes tonight. Basketball-loving townies will probably try to squeeze in a quick bang during halftime of the Sunflower Showdown, whereas academic types will be attending the campus lecture on Hitchcock from renowned film historian David Thomson and, afterwards, perhaps engaging in a little Jimmy Stewart/Grace Kelly/Rear Window roleplay. The usual scenesters will no doubt check out the "Valentine's Edition" of the Love Garden DJ's "Mess Around" night at the Jackpot.

But what if you're a traditionalist, a dinner-and-a-movie type. Perhaps a romantic dinner at 715 ("milk-braised pork neck" was a recent special) and some light-hearted cinema is calling your name? Topping the box-office right now is the new Adam Sandler rom-com Just Go With It, which easily earned $31 million despite a 19% Rotten Tomatoes approval rating and reviews such as this from Slate: "a comedy so noxious it seems the product of deliberate malignity. Surely the sour, vapid, miserable world of this movie can't reflect any real human being's notion of what love or humor or good storytelling is."

Chip: "I beg to differ, Dana Stevens. I've seen three different Sandler-gets-hit-in-the-crotch jokes in various trailers, and I laughed every time. And one can only assume they saved the best crotch-shots for the film itself."

Running neck and neck with the Sandler film is the 3D Justin Bieber documentary, Never Say Never, which earned $30 million and a surprising B+ from Entertainment Weekly's Owen Glieberman, eliciting this comment in the talkback: "Owen, are you a pederast?"

But perhaps the best bet for Valentine moviegoing is the Natalie Portman/Ashton Kutcher rom-com No Strings Attached, which, for at least part of its running time, champions the joys of casual sex: "...the two fornicate in hospital supply closets, in an old BMW, standing up against walls, and occasionally in bed, while their respective entourages cheer them on" (New Yorker).

Despite the implication of that New Yorker sentence, we're not sure that the "respective entourages" are actually present during all this fornicating, but nonetheless the review accomplishes what only the best reviews can: it gives us a boner.

Enjoy your Valentine's Day.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The LC's Guide to the Grammy Awards / New in Downtown Dining: Pickleman's

Tonight is Grammy night, and the boys are ready. The "Song of the Year" category is especially strong this year, featuring one of the greatest "booty call" songs to be found in the American songbook (Lady Antellebellum's "Need You Now": "It's a quarter after one / I'm a little drunk / And I need you now") as well as the infectious (and likely to be victorious) "Fuck You" by Cee Lo Green (Chip: "I thought it was called "Forget You").

But the most literary of the bunch is Miranda Lambert's "The House That Built Me." Let's unlock the mysteries of this "House":

I know they say you can’t go home again
I just had to come back one last time
Ma’am I know you don’t know me from Adam
But these handprints on the front steps are mine


Richard: "It's a wise move to invoke Thomas Wolfe in the opening line before pulling a clever reversal on Wolfe's sentiment that transitions smoothly into the cliched Biblical allusion likely to be more familiar to Lambert's demographic. The move suggests the tension between our narrator's adult (educated) perspective and the childlike understanding associated with the house. The final line shows that the house is as marked by her (the embedded handprints) as much as her memories are marked by it."

Chip: "In the linking of memory and physical sites, I can't help but think Lambert is drawing on the work of the French historian Pierre Nora and his conception of lieux de memoires, or sites of memory. In the chorus, the speaker promises she "won’t take nothing but a memory /From the house that built me.' The residue of collective family memory remains attached to the house, and the speaker can only exercise the song's unspecified family trauma through physical contact: "I thought if I could touch this place or feel it /This brokenness inside me might start healing." It's a powerful work, but ultimately there's nothing in it that compares to the raw power of Antebellum's 'booty call' song. I've got a boner just thinking about it."

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The Columbia, Missouri based chain Pickleman's Gourmet Cafe, known for its toasted sandwiches, is now open along Mass. Street. Are the boys excited?

Chip: "Look, I'm sure they make a fine toasted sandwich, but I just can't support a Missouri-based business. How do I know the sandwiches aren't made by slave labor?"

For the rest of you, who are slightly less rabid in your anti-Missouri hatred, check out the menu and such here:

http://www.picklemans.com/

Friday, February 11, 2011

Protest of the Week: Larryville Artists Fight Brownback With Puppets

Larryville artists have long recognized that the best way to make their feelings known is through the use of giant puppets. Around 200 Kansas artists headed to Topeka yesterday to protest Governor Brownback's elimination of the Kansas Arts commission. Here are two photos from the LJ-World. That's our buddy KT, from the Percolator, with a John Brown puppet, and below is Laura Ramberg with the "Kansas Muse."






























It's hard to resist a puppet, so this gives us at least a bit of hope that Brownback will reconsider his actions. However, as one astute talkbacker points out, the government has other things to attend to besides art, such as the establishing of a "Kansas Goat Council."

Our research into this matter led us to an important new blog discovery: "Goats in the Garden (A blog about the day to day life and happenings on an 80 acre goat farm in Kansas called Shiloh Prairie Farm. News and information on goats and farm life also!)."

Visit the goat blog here:

http://goatsinthegarden.blogspot.com/

It has 261 followers to the LC's meager 30, which makes us think we should write about goats more often. And we probably will, since goat seems to be the new rabbit at local restaurants such as 715.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Album of the Week: Akron/Family's The Cosmic Birth and Journey of Shinju TNT

If there's one thing we love, it's freak-folk, so imagine how excited we were to read this description of Akron/Family's new album on PopMatters:

"...the band spent prerecording sessions exploring “underground Japanese noise cassettes, lower case micro tone poems and emotional Cagean field recordings”, layering “thousands of minute imperceptible samples of their first recordings with fuzzed out representations of their present beings to induce… many momentary transcendent inspirations”. Recording took place in an abandoned Detroit train station. Results appeared on the label doorstep, in a cryptically labeled cardboard box."

Our first thought was: Pitchfork is surely going to give this son-of-a-bitch an 11.4.

Not quite. But it does score a fine 7.9:

"Listen long enough and you'll hear volcanoes, old trains, purple lights, and Detroit summer, all tangled up with snippets of found sound and goofy lyrics about worms."

The boys have recently been working on their own freak-folk masterpiece, in which they combine the sweet, drunken babblings of sorostitutes passing by Chip's apartment with the howling of the wind during last week's blizzard, interspersed with bits from Top 40 hits and church hymns.

Chip: "It's a mood piece about the mingling of the sacred and the profane. Sort of like a John Donne poem, except better."

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

This Week in Larryville: Jefferson's Gets "Seized" / Checking In With Party Pics

If you spotted Chip sobbing along 7th and Mass yesterday, muttering about the future of Larryville's "second hottest waitresses," it was probably because Jefferson's was "seized" by the state and shut down for failure to pay $46,848 in back taxes. We were going to make some jokes about using the dollar bills on the wall to settle their debts, but apparently this may actually be the case:

"If it gets to that point, the state will take the dollar bills off the wall and apply them to the owner’s debt, department of revenue spokeswoman Jeannine Koranda said" (LJ-World).

Our primary question is this: NOW where are we supposed to get a burger in this town?

The LJ-World talkback section for this story is solid gold. Let's look at a few thoughts:

Consumer1 says: "Too bad, it was an okay place. I suppose now we will get another trendy restaraunt who drizzles chocolate on green lettuce and charge $156.00 for it."

Pace says: "I hope they reopen. I like the shrimp. I always thought the short short bouncy wait people were a misjudgment of id."

Chip: "Shut up, Pace. I like my waitresses short and bouncy."

And our favorite comment award goes to Somedude20, who says: "I guess the Jeffersons are not going to be moving on up to a deluxe apartment in the sky but rather a jail cell."


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We didn't make it to the recent Foxy By Proxy Burlesque show at the Bottleneck (whatever happened to Fetish Nights? those were hipper). But based on the L.com Party Pics, we missed a pleasant evening of...throwing cheese balls (?) into women's mouths.















At first glance, the crowd photos don't suggest much of a hipster demographic, but a closer look reveals that this fellow is wearing a London Calling t-shirt, so perhaps we're wrong. But what's he drinking? It's not a PBR, but perhaps it's something hipper?


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The LC's Local Band Showcase: Dumptruck Butterlips / Product of the Week: Boulevard Chocolate Ale

Perhaps most of you are unaware of the Replay's new Friday "matinee" series because it is unhip and, in recent weeks, seems to be catering to the bluegrassy/neo-hippie element that frequents the bar on summer Sunday afternoons. Despite our own hipster appearances (scruffy little beards and ever-present PBRs), we have always felt at home among such crowds, as we find them less pompous and more prone to playing shows that begin before midnight. So it was that we found ourselves in the audience last week for a gig by Dumptruck Butterlips, a band whose current incarnation (recently scaled down from a seven-piece) consists of one man (name of Dumptruck) and three attractive, self-decribed "hippie gypsy" women (one named Butterlips) who play accordion, stand-up bass, and wash-board and two of whom are professional hula-hoopers likely to treat you to a demonstration at some point in the set. (Chip: "It may have been the most sensual display of hula-hooping I have yet seen, and I've seen some sensual hula-hooping."). As for the music, it's a perfectly pleasant set alternating between folk and bluegrass and a little "blue-eyed soul," with many of the lyrics seemingly designed to give Chip a boner: one song rhymed "toke" with "a place to poke" (complete with a digression from Butterlips involving stained sheets) and another dealt with Dumptruck's plea for a woman to grab (or grind, we can't remember) his gearshift (Chip: "I totally caught his meaning. The gearshift was a metaphor for his dick.").

This Friday's matinee offers an appearance from the KC Bear Fighters, who seem able to blend the hippie and hipster elements more easily than most, and also a set from our friends in MAW. Consider going.

Here's a bad picture of Dumptruck Butterlips (probably taken by Chip):












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If you're anything like us, your Valentine's Day plans consist primarily of getting hammered on Boulevard's new Chocolate Ale, a collaboration with renowned KC chocolatier Christopher Elbow and bottled as part of Boulevard's Smokestack Series. Ladies, we hope you prefer this to the traditional roses and box of heart-shaped chocolates, because it's what you're getting.


Monday, February 7, 2011

Scenester Pick of the Day: The Decemberists in KC

It surprised us all (no doubt the band as well), when The Decemberists' new album, The King is Dead, topped the Billboard charts recently. Surely a lot of you scenesters sold your tickets for tonight's show at that crushing blow of mainstream respect. But we suspect plenty of you will show up tonight anyway, expounding on the times you saw them on Larryville's smaller stages, those glory days when their songs were longer and their references more obtuse. Personally, we can dig the new album's brevity and its brand of non-threatening country-rock, but Chip is annoyed that Meloy insists on sneaking in various allusions that make him think, such as "The lash-flashing Leda of Pier 19."

Chip: "Isn't Leda the woman who got boned by that giant goose?"

Pitchfork offers a perfectly acceptable 7.2 for the new record, along with this assessment of the band:

"The quirks that make them such a target for snickering, disaffected aesthetes (namely, stuffing their songs with arcane historical allusions and library language) are also what make them a boon for drama kids in three-button vests."

Richard: "I'm totally wearing my three-button vest to tonight's show."

Of the album itself, Pitchfork offers this:

"In places, it almost feels like a disrobing."

Chip: "Should I disrobe while listening? I already have a boner from that bit about the goose."

The Pitchfork review should help encourage older fans of Meloy's obscurity not to abandon ship just yet:

"...there's still plenty of fussy wordplay ("Hetty Green/ Queen of supply-side bonhomie bone-drab," Meloy bleats in "Calamity Song") and at least one Infinite Jest joke."

Richard: "I'm putting the fucking thing on repeat this afternoon until I find that Jest joke."

See you in KC.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Picture of the Weekend

We didn't make it to Love Garden's 21st anniversary festivities last night (hopefully some of you will write in with reviews), but we did snap this photo of the promotional materials outside the store, which are constructed, appropriately enough, out of PBR boxes. We thought the Love Garden crew preferred Hamms?


Friday, February 4, 2011

Weekend Cultural Guide

Did you miss the scenester-iffic debut of The Hips last night at the Tap Room? We did. Luckily, you can read Chewyfally's review at L.com, which assures us that the show was as awesome as expected: "For about a week all folks could talk about in the scene was this new supergroup of a local band that was emerging. Comprised of members from Fourth of July and Drakkar Sauna, The Hips exploded onto the scene Thursday night at the taproom...".

Personally, we're hoping that more local bands take a cue and form "supergroup" side projects. Wouldn't it have been great, for instance, to have witnessed an unholy collaboration between Transmittens and Rooftop Vigilantes, twee one second and dangerously fucking loud the next, sounding like a cowcloud full of sparklemittens being run over by a freight train.

Read Chewyfally's full piece on The Hips here:

http://www.lawrence.com/weblogs/i-heart-local-music/2011/feb/4/the-hips/

So what's on the docket this weekend besides the Love Garden anniversary events (showcased yesterday on the LC). If you're a local progressive, you'll no doubt stop by Souper Bowl Saturday at the Arts Center tomorrow.

Chip: "I went to this once, expecting something football-related. But it's just a bunch of folks eating soup out of 'art.'"

Hippies will want to attend the Waka Winter Classic at the Bottleneck tonight, a 20-city event in which bands compete for slots at the Wakarusa Festival in Arkansas. However, we're expecting to see less hippies out and about for shows now that a new late-night cookie delivery place has opened in Larryville. Why venture out into the cold when you can get baked at home and order warm, delicious cookies? Go here and place your order:

http://luckyyoubakery.com/

And the aging scenester contingent takes over the Replay tonight for a sighting of the 80's local garage punk band Klusterfux.

And where will the boys be this weekend?

Chip: "I'm totally placing an order for snickerdoodles at Lucky You Bakery right now."

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Scenester Pick of the Weekend: Love Garden Turns 21!

Local scenesters gave a collective shrug yesterday when news of the White Stripes break-up hit Twitter (as BARRR succinctly put it: "Dear White Stripes! You said you'd break up before destroying your legacy! TOO LATE! #NEXT #BORING #MYDADWILLBEBUMMED").

True, we all know the Stripes were never as hip as, say, Memphis garage-rock legends Reigning Sound, who will be headlining Love Garden's 21st anniversary party this Saturday at the Jackpot. [You may remember that Sound-singer Greg Cartwright was in town recently during GarageFest with the Oblivians, and that we accidentally called him Greg Oblivian on the blog at the time, which cost us a reader, who called us a bunch of unhip fuckers and claimed he would only read the Rathaus from then on...Sorry, but maybe Chip was more focused on his boner that day than on his fact-checking].

So what can we expect from Reigning Sound on Saturday? Pitchfork offers a respectable 7.6 for their 2009 album Love and Curses:

"...the new songs attack with goblin force but vampire sophistication."

Richard: "I love goblin force, but vampire sophistication is overdone these days."

Continuing the monster movie-inspired comparisons, the reviewer claims that Cartwright "digs it up [rock and roll] under torchlight in the dead of a moonless night, unearthing outer-boroughs girl-group sounds, deep-South R&B rhythms, and universal garage-rock skuzz. It's no coincidence that the only cover on Love and Curses is an obscure single called "Stick Up for Me" by the Glass Sun." Does anyone remember them?"

A chorus of local scenesters: "Of course we remember the Glass Sun, and we will be discussing them loudly on Saturday night."

See you at the show. Opening up will be Suzannes Johannes, Mouthbreathers, and Miles Bonny and Approach (Lawrence.com doesn't list the latter, but we'll trust the Love Garden Facebook event page, on which we are listed as "attending," even though we almost certainly won't).

Cartwright is also DJ-ing at the Tap Room on Friday, which might be even hipper.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Boys' Book Club Examines Animal Narrators (and Yet Another Vampire Book)

If you're in search of something to read during your snow days, we've spotted a new trend in serious literature that's possibly worth your attention: books narrated by animals.

Andrew O'Hagan's The Life and Opinions of Maf the Dog, and of His Friend Marilyn Monroe received a major spread in a recent NY-Times book review:

"With his canine acquaintances, Maf debates Aristotle and Plutarch. He knows about all the great novels (and can cite their canine characters). He speaks with ease about art and film. And he’s a bit of a literary artist himself; his observations are often strikingly phrased."

Chip: "I hate when dogs put on airs."

Or perhaps you're more in the mood for a monkey's point-of-view. Consider The Evolution of Bruno Littlemore, by Benjamin Hale, which gets an "A-" from Entertainment Weekly:

"Making your main character a talking ape — and one who engages in a romantic liaison with a human being, no less — is ambitious, to say the least. But from the first page, it is clear that Bruno is more than mere literary gimmickry; he is fascinating and fully formed...Since he's a defensive and unreliable narrator with an unorthodox sexual predilection, the easy comparison point for Bruno is Lolita's Humbert Humbert, but he calls to mind that book's author just as readily. "

Richard: "So this book DOES contain clever Nabokovian wordplay? Because it seems to need something more than just a horny ape to keep us serious-minded readers engaged."

Yes, EW cites this example: "When Bruno mishears the name of a famous linguist, he begins having terrifying visions of a toothy dwarf named Gnome Chompy."

Richard: "Hilarious. I will buy this book before the day is over."



And perhaps animal narration is poised to sweep the film world as well. Miranda July's new film, The Future, is narrated by a stray cat taken in by a thirty-something couple: "July herself voices that stray cat (in a high-pitched, childish voice), who's occasionally animated by halting puppetry." (NYMag).

Chip: "When this film opens at Liberty Hall, PLEASE do not invite me to see it. I tire quickly of whimsy."

But of course all these works are likely to be overshadowed by the new supernatural buzz-book of the season, Deborah Harkness's A Discovery of Witches. Here's the plot summary:

"Diana has spent most of her life resisting the magic within her. The power she's long denied swirls to the forefront, however, when she opens a bewitched manuscript in Oxford's famous Bodleian Library. Suddenly every vampire, witch, and daemon — yes, they walk among us; we humans are just oblivious to their presence — is up in her grill, hungry for the secrets she's unknowingly unlocked." (EW).

Chip: "I like how this book reviewer speaks to me on my level, using phrases that I often use, such as 'up in her grill.'"

Entertainment Weekly offers a "B+," with this critique:

"Alas, there's a bit of bloat to the book. In a particularly saggy patch, Diana and Matthew loll around a French castle, checking e-mail and tracing each other's collarbones."

Personally, that was our favorite part.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Lisa Exits the Bachelor / Naughty Local Website of the Week

For those who have been following the high drama of a former Quinton's waitress on The Bachelor, we are sad to report that Brad dismissed her on last evening's episode. Big mistake, Brad. The interweb offers this snarky comment:

"Time is up for Lisa (who?)."

But don't worry, Lisa. You may not have made a big impression on snarky reality-TV reviewers, but Chip remembers every beer you served him at Q's.

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It's almost too cold for boner jokes during a blizzard, but we'll offer a few anyway. Remember our local buddies over at Geekbauchery, who started a site last year to explore the intersection between adult entertainment and geek culture. Well, recently they changed their name to the wonderfully clever Bits and Ass and have begun to offer even naughtier entertainment for your reading/viewing pleasure. Their goal: to "bring you all the latest technology news along with smokin' pieces of ass."

If you enjoy such things, check them out at www.bitsandass.com

Perhaps our favorite aspect of their site is the blog featuring guest columns with titles such as "My Big Tits," a powerful tale of a woman coming to terms with her titular (get it!) breasts: "Yeah. I have big tits. What the fuck is the big deal?!"

Personally, we think it's as powerful a coming-of-age tale as exists in our literature (and we also enjoy guessing which local women may have submitted it).

Rumor has it that Chip himself is working on a guest piece about his ten most memorable boners, one of which occurred during last week's episode of Skins, when the lesbian character, Tea, was masturbating to a picture of Audrey Hepburn.

Chip: "It was just a wonderfully universal moment, you know. I think it's safe to say we've all rubbed one out to a picture of Audrey Hepburn at one time or another."