Monday, May 30, 2011

Sorority Slasher Horror Remix / My Morning Jacket's Circuital / And Guest Columnist Johnny Hamms Offers a Smart Take on Spring Into Dumber

We're fans of unusual mash-ups and remixes (Chip spends a lot of time superimposing Bieber lyrics atop pretentious indie-rock videos), so we're considering stopping by the Bottleneck's inaugural Horror Remix event tonight at 9:00, in which three sorority-slasher flicks will be pared down to a concise two hour runtime of sex and violence and hosted by two puppets.

Chip: "Actually, I wouldn't mind if they cut out the slashings as well and left nothing but titties and sorority house pillow fights."

Check out the poster in our sidebar and read Eric Melin's full article on tonight's event here



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Today brings a new My Morning Jacket album, and we dig reverb (even though the band is far too "jammy" and prone to playing hippie festivals--including a legendary 4 hour performance at Bonnaroo--to be considered hip by hipsters). Pitchfork bestows a 7.2 on Circuital and writes:

"Like nearly all of their studio albums, Circuital may not reach the heights of the band's live show-- a good MMJ concert can recalibrate your gut, it can change you-- but it’s a remarkably solid step for a band that's never stopped evolving."

Richard: "They certainly recalibrated my guts over at the Uptown a few years ago, and I'd consider seeing them there again this August. But I'll pass on their Mulberry Mountain Wakarusa gig. Fucking hippies."

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Look out, Larryville! We've got a new guest columnist named Johnny Hamms (like the beer!) in our employ. Unlike Richard and Chip, he knows a little about the technical side of music. Unlike I Heart Local Music, he's willing to be a little critical of the local scene when need be. Here's his take on last Saturday's "Spring Into Dumber" show at the Jackpot. Enjoy.


Spring Into Dumber feat. Ex-Fag Cop, Up The Academy, Mouthbreathers.
Jackpot Music Hall, Lawrence, KS May 28, 2011

Either the scheduled Rooftop Vigilantes cancelled, or played their entire set with amps turned off behind the lowered video screen showing “Caddyshack” while my back was turned to chat with Adam and Ricky from Up The Academy. Methinks it was the former.

So, Mouthbreathers were first-at-bat. And they’ve clearly hit their sweet spot as a live band. I have no idea what the lyrics are to their tunes, and it may not matter, but the way they play together has so much...drama! That’s a compliment, by the way. Drama like the best English punk, or the finest Fugazi tracks. Real tension in the way the guitars and vocals twist around the bass and drums. Nothing “slack” about these guys. I wonder if such intensity can be sustained over time. Will they sound this good a year from now? Who knows...perhaps their moment is Right Now.

Up The Academy up next, with lots of mysterious references to “Carbondale” being directed at the ‘Breathers folks. (I guess both bands were just back from a liquor-fueled gig in that Illinois town Friday night.) You can only experience an epiphany once, and mine for this band was last weekend’s set at the Replay. But clearly, it was no fluke. Losing their track meet costuming for this gig, it was all about the music. It’s hard to describe just what Up The Academy does, and perhaps I should just direct you to their next local gig (Thursday June 2 back at the ‘Play.) But here goes: Up The Academy doesn’t sound at all like The Who, but there is a similar ensemble structure, with Ricky’s extraordinary drumming-as-lead-instrument suggesting Keith Moon, but with a great deal more discipline (not to mention hi-hat). Adam’s bass playing is less about bass “lines” than in these thick granite slabs that really anchor the music. He sounds like 3 bass players instead of just one. Frontman Ron plays a nasty, disturbed reverb-flooded guitar that’s almost more ominous because it’s towards the back of their sound rather than up front. (Again, I have no idea what’s he’s singing about.) It was noted by a few of us how much different they sound with the Jackpot’s spotty P.A. as opposed to the Replay’s spotty P.A. So perhaps I have yet to really hear Up The Academy.

First time seeing Ex-Fag Cop. No bass, two guitars and drums. Don’t know any of the fellas by name. They do make a hell of a rockin’ racket, for some reason making me think of Cleveland’s legendary Electric Eels. Their frontman, placing himself on top of the bottom speakers at the foot of the stage, probably did more than anyone else this night to “Mak Show!” (Beatles-in-Hamburg reference there, music geeks.) A truly exciting live act. But I guess I was a bit let down by the less-distinctive playing in comparison to the other two bands, as well as the samey-ness of much of the material. They certainly rocked but they didn’t quite roll for me. But I’ll definitely see them again, and I think I might possibly hear it differently next time.


We assume he's right about the Vigilantes' cancellation, as they would NEVER turn their amps off, or even down to a reasonable level. And we're sad to hear that the track-suit schtick is not a perpetual part of Up the Academy's live show. And we're certain that the best place to hear Ex-Fag Cop is in a hole in the ground behind the train station (Church of Malt Liquor!). Thanks for the report, Johnny Hamms! Come back anytime.

We Catch a Smooth Groove with BARRR Family Boombox, The Hips, and California Craisins

It's Memorial Day in Larryville, and we've all got a lot of PBR to drink, so let's keep this brief.

It was a hot and steamy evening on the Replay patio yesterday, and the large scenester crowd took this opportunity to wear their best retro sunglasses. Kicking off the matinee was BARRR Family Boombox, Jason and Elyse, spinning a smooth set of love tunes interspersed with occasional bouts of making out. Did Chip have a boner? We think you know the answer.



















Afterwards BARRR came by and explained that the set was intended as a celebration of his status as "a married" and that there was an extremely lucrative career to be had in playing "family dance parties," at least in other, hipper cities. Then he spotted a guy wearing "a motherfucking ridiculous T-shirt with a scorpion on it" and went off to harangue that dude. Soon he broke a bottle on the floor, perhaps in fury at the ridiculous shirt.

Next up: The Hips. We were socializing at the back bar during this set, so we couldn't discern a single one of the salacious lyrics that I Heart Local Music has been praising. But with half of Drakkar Sauna on stage, not to mention a Hangauer, this was extremely hip background music. Next time we'll pay closer attention.

When California Craisins hit the stage, also wearing their sunglasses (at night!), we found a booth close by to take in their sweet harmonies and spent the set making Pitchfork-style comparisons to try and describe their sound. Our verdict: "Flying Burrito Brothers meets The Byrds meets CSNY meets Grateful Dead meets Rolling Stones circa Her Satanic Majesty's Request (?) meets Modest Mouse (?)" We may have been drunk by the time we reached those last two comparisons. At one point in the set, in a moment of pure Larryville scenester bliss, the band was joined by local scenester hero Say My Name.

Verdict: four out of four PBR's (Chip: "And maybe a doobie. Is that what they're called?").

Here's the Craisins, and below that is a Craisin cutting a rug during the Boombox set (along with that dude in the scorpion shirt).




















Sunday, May 29, 2011

Beer Cocktails, Art Tougeau Photos, A Local Writing Contest, and an Excerpt from Chip's Biography

Larryville is always hip, but it's not always on the cutting edge of hip. Here's what we'd love to see in Larryville this summer:

1) a large fleet of gourmet food trucks

2) a wide selection of beer cocktails

A recent piece in the NY-Times profiled the increasing popularity of cocktails in which beer serves as a primary ingredient. Chip is a big fan of Free State's Cyclist (half lemonade), but Larryville seems to be lagging behind in terms of the more extravagant drinks mentioned in the article.

Two examples:

"...at a new restaurant named Goat Town, you’ll find a drinks list with several beer cocktails, like one that combines beer and a house-made lemonade that’s infused with an array of herbs, including mint and tarragon that often come from the restaurant’s back garden"
(NY-Times).

and


"...the avant-garde restaurant WD-50, on the Lower East Side, introduced a beer cocktail called the Black & Yellow. The name is a play on the Black & Tan, a classic layering of light and dark ales. In the Black & Yellow the top layer is indeed dark ale, but the bottom is a mix of kumquat-infused gin, yuzu juice and St. Germain, an elderflower liqueur"
(NY-Times).

Chip: "You don't know how much I'd love to get shitfaced on elderflowers and go skipping around town on a nice spring day. Make this happen, Larryville bars!"


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Governor Brownback signed his line-item veto to get rid of the Kansas Arts Commission less than an hour prior to the start of Larryville's annual art-car parade: Art Tougeau. When the annoucement was made at the parade, the governor was roundly (and rightly) booed. As we watched the adorable art-cars pass us by, we couldn't help but wish that the Governor was on hand to witness the event. Surely he'd reconsider his position if he witnessed such sights as these:



































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We always jump at an invitation to try our hands at writing fiction and/or creative nonfiction (a few long-time readers might recall the time we wrote a full and mostly fictional biography of Chip on a now-defunct blog: we'll include a slightly re-edited excerpt below, and will rerun more of it if we get a positive response).

Anyway, our point is that we'll soon be participating in a contest by our Twitter buddy Saint_Upid , a Larryville writer/artist who asks readers of his blog to submit, in 500 words or less, a possible story behind a very odd photo (below; click to enlarge). The winner will get a T-shirt designed by Saint_Upid. Full details are here .
















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The biography of Chip: (an excerpt)


"Like the town in Footloose, Fortt Scottt in the late 80's/early 90's imposed a strict ban on dancing in all forms, which stifled young Chip's love of tap and ballet and his need to shake his ass to the sounds of rock bands that he discovered through a scrambled late-night cable music video program hosted by a Canadian sock puppet, which he claims as an early and profound influence on his character. Early on, Chip didn't fully conform to the norms of his town, as he preferred tennis to baseball and Romantic poetry to... books about baseball (and he refused to recite "Casey at Bat" to placate the angry townsfolk, instead taunting them with "She walks in beauty, like the night..."). Gaining a reputation as a rebel, Chip kept mostly to himself or hung out with his twin brother, Pip, playing pranks on the unsuspecting villagers, who could never sort out one from the other."

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Final Friday Photos / Scenester Pick of the Day: Spring Into Dumber at the Jackpot

We began our Final Friday ramblings at the Q5 Gallery upstairs at Quinton's, because Chip is always convinced the waitresses might be engaged in a nude modeling session there. This was not happening, but we studied Leo Hayden's Chewyfally portrait and Leo left his station to accompany us on a few of our next stops. We had a beer with BARRR at Wonder Fair (Chip: "That guy sure has a lot of colorful opinions about local culture!") and settled in at the Replay matinee to meditate on the artistry of some Drakkar Sauna lyrics ("I am one hundred years old. I am one thousand years old.").

But the oddest moments of the evening came courtesy of the pre-Art Tougeau street party outside the Arts Center.

A very drunk man asked us to take his picture while posed on the Hen Hotel (a contraption with a cage full of live chickens). He wanted to send the picture to his mother. But he staggered off before leaving us his (or his mom's) e-mail address. Hopefully he'll read this blog. We think his name was Eddie.


















We also checked out the pirate ship of Larryville's hottest new kickball team, Harper Valley PTA. Sure, they seem like a ragtag bunch of teachers and musicians right now (including Art Dodge!), but we're confident they're going to become a force to be reckoned with as the season progresses. Near the float we chatted with The Get Up Kids' Matt Pryor (is he on the team? or maybe his wife?), but we refrained from requesting an impromptu a capella version of "Mass Pike."



















We even made time to look at a bit of the street art. As you can see from the next picture, rules were very clear that we were not to teach these bowl.

Chip: "When their back was turned, I touched a few of the bowls."



















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The Spring Into Summer festival is a blurry memory at this point, but tonight brings the "Spring Into Dumber" mini-festival at the Jackpot, featuring a stellar line-up of Ex-Fag Cop, Mouthbreathers, Up the Academy, and Rooftop Vigilantes. It's all too late and too loud for our tastes, but we're hoping either Duckie or the mysterious MDuck (who revealed his identity at the Replay last night) will submit a few thoughts.

Friday, May 27, 2011

A Few Final Final Fridays Comments / BARRR Promotes BARRR Family Boombox!

It's another Final Friday, and we're ready for art. Chip will be stationed at DJ Godzilla's opening at Aimee's Coffeehouse until the chicken wings are gone, and Richard will be roaming the streets. In addition to the events we previewed earlier this week, make sure to stop by Q5 Gallery (upstairs at Quinton's) to see the newest scenester portrait by Leo Hayden: it's Chewyfally playing an accordion! Who will be the next scenester to be painted? (Chip was rejected because he kept getting boners and laughing while he posed).

Visit Leo's website here . And here's a sneak preview of the painting:

















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Scenesters tend to avoid the early Sunday matinees at the Replay because (a) they often cater to children and hippies and (b) they start at 6:00 pm and scenesters don't surface until 11:30. But this week's Memorial Day weekend show promises to be different (and hip!). The headliner, California Craisins, will take you on a psychedelic surfin' safari. The Hips, rocking the middle set, will do whatever it is The Hips do (we haven't seen them yet, but they seem to play six shows a week). And BARRR Family Boombox will open the festivities with a "chill" DJ set. J-BARRR himself sends this blurb to us:

"Jason & Elyse Barr are hand picking super chill classics from their personal record collection. This vast collection of over 5'000 lps, cassettes, compact discs, & 8 Tracks is kept in a locked room. We have 3 seperate heavy duty locks on the door. It's a serious private sacred room. Occasionally we swap out what we're listening to & re-shelve records we're tired of....that's what we're in the middle of doing for the Summer. It's a must before we move to North Lawrence soon. You could say it's a Summer inventory inspired set. A chill out groove filled set infused with the love & tenderness that can only be delivered by a couple passionately in love & lust! We're thrilled to be sharing this intensely personal audio experience before the California Craisins show.

BOOM!

LOVE & RECORDS BRO!



Chip: "Are you sure that BARRR is not a hippie? Because this sounds like it could easily turn into a communal orgy."

Here's a flyer that BARRR drew especially for the LC! Click to enlarge, and see you Sunday at 6:00. Go somewhere early for once, scenesters!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Scenester Pick: Whatever Forever Label Launch Party / The Spook Lights' Galactic Jungle: A Progress Report / Multiplex Preview: Hangover 2

I Heart Local Music has already showcased Pizza Power's Whatever Forever label launch party at the TapRoom tonight, and even Lcom took a break from recipes to write about the label, which releases music on cassette (cassettes are so hip right now).

As for us, we're particularly excited to hear the "experimental noise of Agent X-12, a self-proclaimed “cyborg” who creates his own instruments, such as the “Meowtar” and the “Squibbletar" (L.com).

Chip: "I think a 'Meowtar' is just the squeezing of a cat."

According to label co-founder Bobby Sauder, "“At a show at our house, he released these little roach-bots. They vibrated and kind of walked across the ground" (L.com). Sadly, The Man cracked down on the Pizza Power crew for noise violations at their house parties, so they're taking their events to venues like the Tap Room.

Visit Whatever Forever here and order tapes from the likes of Bo and the Locomotive:

"This tape was unearthed from beneath a stump in a great field. These songs sound as if they have always existed because they have...".

We don't get it, which is usually the sign of hipster importance, so we'll be purchasing everything Whatever Forever releases.




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If you're like us, you've invested via Kickstarter in The Spook Lights' sci-fi opus The Galactic Jungle (we're looking forward to seeing our names as "Executive boners" in the credits). We're taking our role as backers very seriously, so we've been perusing the shooting script this week. Here's a particularly powerful excerpt:


BENNY:

Well, Gloria, I've got good news and I've got bad news.

GLORIA:

Yes?

BENNY:

The bad news is, your husband paid me to kill you.

Gloria clears her throat. Despite her terror, she seems to think this is some kind of joke.

BENNY:

The good news is, you'll never find out he's been fucking his secretary.

GLORIA:

He's been fucking his secretary?

BENNY:

Who has?

GLORIA:

Tex.

BENNY:

Like a goddamn jackhammer.



Chip: "I realize my $10 investment doesn't mean they have to accept my 'notes,' but I'd consider having Benny make some funny jackhammer sounds and demonstrations at this point. Unless they're going for subtlety, of course."

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We happily boycotted Pirates 4 last weekend (and were pleased to see that a lot of Americans boycotted 3D versions of the film, even though far, far too many people still saw the damn thing). But we'll return to multiplexes this weekend for Hangover 2 , which starts today in an extra cash-grab to kick off the holiday weekend. As students of raunchy comedy, we have to see it (even though we thought the first was vastly overrated).

Ebert says of Hangover 2:

"As if making sure no one was not offended, it has a montage of still photos over the closing titles that include one cruel shot that director Todd Phillips should never, ever have used...This is a raunch fest, yes, but not an offense against humanity (except for that photo, which is a desecration of one of the two most famous photos to come out of the Vietnam War."

Richard: "Ebert, you had me at 'offense against humanity,' although I'm fairly certain I can guess both the picture and the joke, so thanks for the spoiler!"

Brownback Bagel Art / Final Fridays Coverage: Wonder Fair / Adam Mansbach's Go the F.ck To Sleep

This morning we spotted an interesting photo of Governor Brownback on the LJ-World site, in which he's just about to enjoy a nice bagel. Notice how the photographer carefully centers the Governor's head in the circle on the Life Sciences Summit poster, creating a sort of halo effect that posits Brownback as a saint of science (and an enemy of art!).
















We passed the photo along to our Twitter followers and @Beer_Attack promptly added some amusing captions to it on his Tumblr page, which you can see here .Here's one of many from his site:
















We're hoping that Brownback Bagel Art becomes a new local phenomenon (and perhaps a show of its own at a future Final Friday).

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And speaking of Final Fridays, let's check in with Wonder Fair, which is hosting 'Face Space Tees - an interactive printing event":

"Gallery goers will transform blank tees into individualized wearable portraits by choosing from an a la carte menu of facial features designed and printed by members of the Wonder Fair Family. The menu will include 4 different noses, mouths, pairs of eyes, and a bonus mystery facial feature - 16 choices, hundreds of possibilities! In addition to designing the face on their shirt, gallery goers may either provide their own blank tee for free or purchase them at the event from a selection [of] hand tie dyed shirts in summery colors. Pricing for this event is as follows : Hand tie dyed shirt................... 7$ Each Facial Feature....................2$ per"

Chip: "I wonder how much they'd charge to draw my nose as a boner. I'd be willing to pay a dollar an inch. If they draw it 'actual size,' it should run me about $10.25."

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If you pay attention to publishing phenomenons, you've heard about Adam Mansbach's children's book for adults, Go the Fuck to Sleep, which isn't out until October but is already rocketing to the top of Amazon's pre-order best-seller list. According to a recent NY-Times piece, parents are drawn like catnip to the book's "subversive," it-says-what-we-all-are-thinking appeal. Here's an excerpt:

All the kids from day care are in dreamland.
The froggie has made his last leap.
Hell no, you can’t go to the bathroom.
You know where you can go? The fuck to sleep.


Apparently, movie rights have been sold as well, which strikes us as the dumbest idea since the Twitter-feed Shit My Dad Says was turned into a television show. We envision a film version in which Seth Rogen plays a new dad, a slacker type who, in a burst of exhaustion, tells his son to "go the fuck to sleep" and then spends the rest of the film learning how to become a responsible father.


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

More Final Friday Coverage: The Art of DJ Godzilla / Scenester Pick of the Day: Meester Magpie at Replay / And a Discussion of the C-Word

Aimee's Coffeehouse is not one of our usual Final Fridays destinations, but it will be this week, since we can't resist the description of their opening called "DJ Godzilla's magnificent adventures into the art realm":

"Turns out local party rocker dj godzilla (godzillionaire) paints like a screwed up 5 year old. Aimee's Coffehouse is giving him the opportunity to show off some of his masterpieces (lol). All of the artwork is mixed media (watercolors and Sharpies), colorful and surreal. There will be chicken wings, beer and the artist playing records for this event! Come out and enjoy the spectacle!" (L.com).

Chip: "I love the lack of pretension here, in which the art itself takes a backseat to chicken wings and party tunes, as it should. This is one of the few times I'm actually looking forward to a Final Fridays event."

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We found ourselves immediately intrigued by this typically confusing L.com description of tonight's Meester Magpie show at the Replay:

"Meester Magpie is a one-man band [who] spends as much time deconstructing music as he does actually playing it."

What we imagine is a guy who stands quietly on stage thinking about music but not actually playing it (sort of like that Monty Python sketch where the philosophers attempt to play soccer).

So we began to research further, and discovered this concert review, which assured us that this show is absolutely essential:

"Mister Magpie [is the] noise project of Chicagoan Joseph Blanki. The staging of his performance was crucial as Blanki, dressed in a shimmering Bowie-esque tunic and gorilla mask, cut the lights and turned on two powerful strobes while periodically gassing the show space with thick volumes of fog. The music was dark, and like Blanki's adopted gorilla persona, primal. Blending audio-clips of monkeys barking and 50’s B horror reels with tribal drumming, E.T. sound-effects, loads of feedback and zonked reverb, Blanki creates a soundscape somewhere between Apocalypse Now and an alien abduction." (www.imposemagazine.com).

Duckie, if you're reading, PLEASE go to this show and report back.

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At the LC, we're fans of well-timed expletives (and ill-timed boners). So we were pleased to read Jenny Diski's rallying cry in the NY-Times called "‘An Unspeakable Word Is the Word That Has to Be Spoken’." Although she can't actually 'speak' the word in the prudish Times, the word in question is "cunt":

"It is a word that belongs colloquially to my anatomy if I choose it, but that has been so appropriated by misogyny and prudery that I am supposed to be horrified and distressed when it is used, as misogyny and prudery would require me to be."

We're particularly fond of Diski's point about "obscenities" in this excerpt from the Times piece:

"...the word is rather less unspeakable here in the U.K. than in the U.S. It can be used privately in a chummy way between men, between (some) women, between (some) men and women, as well as being aggressively used and deliberately vile. This is true of the best obscenities: they straddle affection, familiarity and offense."

We've decided to embrace Diski's argument, so when you see us on the streets we'll often be referring to Chip, affectionately and familiarly, as a cunt. Feel free to do the same.

And perhaps the word IS making a comeback. It's prominent, after all, in Eve Ensler's Vagina Monologues, where it serves as a feminist rallying cry, with the cast encouraging audience members to shout along in solidarity.

Chip: "I once saw a production of The Vagina Monologues, which I incorrectly believed to be a funny play about talking pussies."

And the word is even in your local multiplex right now. If you've seen Bridesmaids recently (and if you haven't, why not?), you'll certainly recall Kristen Wiig's memorable and perfectly delivered "c-bomb" (directed at a bratty teenager).

Our feminist readers: "To be honest, we're not sure how we feel about all this. But we're pretty sure we don't want Chip using the word."

Go here for the full NY-Times piece.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Spring Into Summer (Reader Reviews) / Final Friday Coverage Begins / Summer Reading Guide

In yesterday's comments, Scary Manilow (rightly) noted the sad lack of local media coverage regarding the late-night indoor Replay portion of the Spring Into Summer Festival. As for us, we had a good excuse for not covering it (passed out in the alley behind Replay). And I Heart Local Music was stationed at the Jackpot for the evening. And presumably L.com was compiling recipes for today's Meatless Monday column. Luckily, one of our readers, MDuck, submitted this fun and concise commentary on three of the Replay's sets:

"What Scary Said. I haven't seen anyone mention the absolutely mind-blowing set by Up The Academy, which clearly lit a fire under Mouthbreathers and set up the Spook Lights to deliver a set so good I could no longer stand. It dawned on me at one point that the Rapture HAD, in fact, occurred, and that those of us in attendance were the Chosen Ones and our eternal reward was a fully-stocked bar and an endless night of exquisite rock."

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With the next Final Friday Art Walk around the corner, we'll be devoting some time this week to various events. The first one to catch our eye is Jodi Brown's "No Jacket Required" opening at The Invisible Hand Gallery. The artist's notes describe the show as "a compilation of images derived from authors' book jacket photos. The images portray the churning realities of absurdity, sexuality, insecurity, and futility that lay beneath the glossy veneer. In breaking apart and reassembling cultural output, I am determined to engage as participant in - and not just receptacle for - the creation of American cultural identity."

As literary geeks, we're pretty hyped, and we're hoping the artist incorporates Tea Obreht's jacket photo from The Tiger's Wife , the best book we've read recently (actually, Chip hasn't finish the book yet, because he keeps getting distracted by Obreht's attractive jacket photo).






















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And speaking of books, we're anxious to begin our summer reading list, which is filled with the usual postmodern shenanigans we so enjoy (DFW's The Pale King, of course, but also David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas, which we have--embarrassingly--not yet read).

But we'll also make time for some lighter fare. As our old fans know, we're suckers for werewolf fiction (though our own attempt at a multi-authored werewolf blog serial was a spectacular failure). So we'll certainly be reading Glen Duncan's The Last Werewolf: "Jake is 200 years old and fond of Scotch and prostitutes...an aging, jaded sybarite who battles boredom and existential despair as well as werewolf hunters and vampires." (Time magazine).

Richard: "I was so excited right up until the vampires. Can't we have a single fucking horror novel without a vampire in it?"

Chip: "The existential angle makes this acceptable for the highbrow crowd as well. You'll see me reading this at the Pig."

Even more highly anticipated (by us) is Nicholson Baker's House of Holes: A Book of Raunch, which has been described as a "gleefully provocative, off-the-charts sex novel that is unlike anything you've ever read." (Time magazine)

Chip: "It's awfully hard to provoke readers these days, unless maybe it's about bestiality. But Edward Albee already covered that ground with his sex-with-a-goat premise, and on stage no less."

Sunday, May 22, 2011

We Spring Into Summer at the Replay and Jackpot

It was a historic night at the Replay last night, with several bands starting their patio sets not just on time but (apparently) a half hour or so EARLY. We arrived at 8:05 for Hospital Ships' supposed 8:00 set to find them already on their last two songs of loud and lovely indie pop. "Happy summer, motherfuckers," Geiger saluted the crowd as they exited the stage, and indeed we felt like fools for missing most of their set, but we've long ago learned that the Replay plays by inexplicable rules, so we didn't even bother to inquire why this happened. Our friend King Tosser proffered an interesting theory: perhaps the Rooftop Vigilante who was running the sound board insisted that all bands adhere to the strict-Vigilante policy that NO set should exceed 15 minutes.

Our sadness at missing the boat on the Ships (Chip: "Get it?") quickly subsided when Danny Pound and his (new-ish) band took the stage, also early, and blazed through a rollicking set of original material like "When God Closes a Door, He Opens a Little Window" (perfect for Rapture-night!) and a few covers of the great singer-songwriters that have obviously influenced Pound's sensibility (was that Randy Newman's "Tickle Me?" Rock scholar King Tosser said, yes, it was).

At this point, we took a trip to the Jackpot, where we enjoyed a nice chat with Nate from Ex-Fag Cop, who explained that the band's new moniker was an attempt to distance themselves from the immaturity of a band with a name like Fag Cop while still capitalizing on the former band's name recognition. We agreed that this strategy was pretty brilliant, and we also quizzed Nate on his experience playing a set at the Church of Malt Liquor. He seemed a bit fuzzy on exactly how or why the set came about, as if the band suddenly awoke to find themselves playing a show in a hole in the ground behind the train station. We like to believe that this is EXACTLY what happened.



We also met the ringleader from I Heart Local Music for the first time. Her first question was the question we get asked the most: who IS this Chip anyway? We tried to explain that, much like Twain's Huck Finn, Chip is a composite of a few characters we know, but mostly he represents one guy. Named Chip. From Southeast Kansas. Who has a lot of boners. Soon the Dactyls were rocking, quite fiercely, and Chip became scared, so we headed back to the Replay. Please visit I Heart Local Music for a full report on the rest of the evening at the Jackpot, including reviews and videos of Drakkar Sauna, The Dactyls, Mansion, and Major Games (as well as reviews of early evening sets at the Replay by The Hips, Colony Collapse, and Hospital Ships (the full set!).

Back on the patio, Fourth of July was in the midst of a glorious set during a rainstorm. Like most local music fans, we've seen Fourth of July many times, but this set reminded us why we like them so much and why they seem to us, perhaps, the epitome of the Larryville music scene. Beyond their often laconic delivery and their surface of effortless scenester cool (and, let's face it, they are much cooler than all of us!), there's a real sincerity and sweetness to many of their songs. And last night they seemed to be fully enjoying themselves, welcoming special guests (Katlyn Conroy) and watching their fans dance in the rain. Yes, a few people were dancing. Unhip. But occasionally it's nice to be unhip (briefly) and actually have fun.

And we even took a decent picture for once. Look at Styles rocking out on the left. We guest-starred on a podcast with that dude. It's a small world in Larryville. A small, hip world.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Judgment Day in Larryville (and Some More Spring Into Summer Festival Coverage)

If you're of a certain (crazy) mindset, you probably believe that the world is ending this afternoon at 5:00 pm (central standard time). If you're a Godless Larryville liberal, you've probably been laughing about it all week.

Chances are that these endtimes predictions are wrong, but at the LC we're not hedging our bets, nor are we wasting our time on this blog today with Judgment Day potentially just around the corner. So how will we spend our afternoon?

Chip: "I'm thinking of beating off and maybe grabbing some lunch down at Quinton's."

Richard: "I'll probably have a few PBR's and maybe catch a screening of Jodie Foster's Beaver. Too bad there's not a good rock show at the Church of Malt Liquor scheduled for the apocalypse. Or is there?"

Then, assuming Larryville hasn't been smited for its progressive transgressions, we'll see you at the Replay and/or Jackpot tonight for the Spring Into Summer Festival. There may not be a Rapture, but there's a 60% chance of a thunderstorm to make those patio sets more interesting. In fact, as amateur meteorologists, we predict a microburst just in time for the Hospital Ships gig!

Our scenester friends Duckie and King Tosser have been specifically raving about Mouthbreathers (slated for 11:15 at the Jackpot, not that set times or schedules mean anything at Replay or Jackpot). According to the Pitch, the band has been getting some East Coast media attention, at least partly for their album cover, "a pot-infused take on harDCore vets Minor Threat's iconic Out of Step album cover. The graphic features Minor Threat's black sheep, but the band has added a bong in the sheep's hands, a playful but respectful take on such a well-known album cover."


Head over to their Bandcamp page and prepare to rock.

Chip: "Even though I didn't get the playful references, a sheep smoking a bong is still pretty hilarious."

Friday, May 20, 2011

Weekend Festival Guide: Spring Into Summer and FestyFest / Tapping Some Firkins at Free State

It's a festival weekend in Larryville, and there's something to please hipsters and hippies alike.

Scenesters have no doubt studied the three stages of the Replay/Jackpot Spring Into Summer festival by now and decided which bands to grace with their presence. We plan to be on the scene for Hospital Ships' 8:00 patio set while wearing a Big Momma's House 2 t-shirt as a hilarious inside joke (Chip: "I don't get it.").

A couple of the bands are unfamiliar to us, so we'll buy a PBR for whoever writes in with any info on The Copperheads or Major Games.

Our buddies over at I Heart Local Music have some coverage, interviews, and a full schedule, so check it out here .

For those who prefer toking up in a pastoral setting as opposed to drinking PBR while jammed into close quarters with loud-talking scenesters, FestyFest kicks off tonight "just outside of Lawrence, Kansas." The rules about getting in seem unduly complicated for the stoned hippie demographic, so we're curious if anyone besides the musicians will actually show up. Go here to try to figure it all out.

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We decided to join in for some of Free State Brewery's American Craft Beer Week festivities last night, so we dropped by the patio to witness the tapping of two firkins: Lovejoy IPA and Blacksnake. The ceremony gave Chip a boner because he thinks "tapping a firkin" sounds dirty ("I'd like to tap her firkin, if you catch my meaning!"--Chip).

Blacksnake, as it turns out, is a blend of two of Free State's flagship beers: Oatmeal Stout (black) and Copperhead (snake). Get it? Personally we're hoping for a Whitesnake blend as well, which combines Copperhead with some sort of Belgian white beer.

Chip: "I'd totally drink a Whitesnake while jamming to 'Here I Go Again' and fantasizing about Tawny Kitaen circa 1987."

Here's a picture of some townies enjoying beer from the firkins. It's a little blurry because Chip was drunk.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

We Shake It With Wanda Jackson / Summer Blockbuster Showcase: Pirates of the Caribbean 4

Within minutes of arriving in the lounge at last night's Wanda Jackson show at the Granada we found ourselves in the midst of an A. Ruscin "party pic" (hippest.party.pic.ever!). Then we met our Twitter-buddy @nuthousepunks in person for the first time (he'd recently interviewed Jackson for the Pitch, and regaled us with strangely intimate details of his interview processes, involving beds and cats). We had a sense it was going to be a good night.

Inside the main room, the crowd was clearly segregated. The audience in the back, largely seated, looked like they were on a field trip from a retirement home, while the front of the room, younger and standing, appeared to be auditioning for a hipster version of Grease (we love the retro-rockabilly crowd who, unlike the usual scenesters, are willing to put a little effort into their enthusiasms and dress the part).

Wanda, 73 and still feisty, took the stage promptly at nine (we enjoy a punctual performance for a change!), and both contingents in the crowd were equally appreciative of the old material (classics like "Fujiyama Mama") and the new material from the Jack White-produced album (her cover of Amy Winehouse's You Know I'm No Good gave Chip a boner despite being sung by someone who looked a little like his grandmother: "Upstairs in bed, with my ex boy, He's in a place, but I can't get joy.").

"Getting Wanda to sing the Winehouse song is the greatest trick Jack White's ever pulled," remarked our friend King Tosser, who's written about Jackson in his
book Rebels Wit Attitude :


"In reaction to the frustration created by the pressures to conform to new patriarchal renstraints, the celebratory roars and proto-feminist assertiveness of Big Mama Thornton and Wanda Jackson represented trailblazing voices of emancipation, symbolically suggesting a female identity thwarted by social and sexual containment but always liable to break free." --King Tosser, Rebels Wit Attitude

Hipsters can snark all they want about Jack White, but we're personally glad he's excavating and celebrating the worthy careers of Loretta Lynn and Wanda Jackson. Who's next? Is Skeeter Davis still alive?

Throughout the evening, the audience was more than willing to indulge Jackson's sometimes rambling between-song musings about making out with Elvis (which she enjoyed) and finding Jesus (actually, our atheist friends weren't too indulgent of that story, but perhaps they should take heed, as Judgment Day is slated for Saturday).

Concert verdict: four out of four New Belgium beers and a Viagra.

For the @nuthousepunks review, complete with cool photos and setlist, head here


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We tend to shell out for whatever blockbuster horseshit that Hollywood dishes out each summer, but we won't be giving our cash to the fourth installment of the Pirates franchise. Three was plenty. Three was too fucking much in its own right. Here's our favorite slamming of Pirates 4 thus far, from AICN's Mr. Beaks:

"PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: ON STRANGER TIDES is the awe-deadening nadir of studio tentpole filmmaking, a soulless reconstitution of marketable elements in search of box office plunder."


While you all sit around in your 3D glasses watching Depp (sleep)walk the plank one more time, we'll be in the theater next door, studying Jodie Foster's Beaver.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Supergroup of the Day: My Jerusalem at Replay / Scenester Vacation Spots / Captain Chanute Visits the 9th Best College Coffee Shop in the Country

Modest "supergroups" composed of members of other moderately successful scenester bands are always hip, so you may want to check out My Jerusalem at the Replay tonight, which features members of Midlake, Bishop Allen, Polyphonic Spree, Twilight Singers, and Great Northern.

Our research reveals solid if uninspiring reviews. We like this line from www.soundblab.com:

"Shake the Devil' builds from a rather sweet sounding intro into a riotous whistle-fest."

Will a "whistle-fest" break out at the Replay? Can hipsters whistle? As for us, we'll be down the street at the Wanda Jackson show, so keep us posted.

My Jerusalem's new album is called Gone for Good and it has some sheep on the cover:


















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If you're a scenester with plenty of cash (somehow), here's the first suggestion in our new summer series called "Scenester Vacation Spots."

In June, on Hydra Island, off the Greek Coast, artist Doug Aitken will present a "multi-channel video installation combined with a live performance piece on a floating barge. Movie star Chloë Sevigny is the piece's lead actress, and the performance features gospel singers, male and female strippers, and a whipper. It'll also feature a live score by L.A. experimental punk duo No Age, who will perform with Greek percussionists."

Go here for more details.

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We've all spent time at the 5th Best College Coffee Shop in the country (the Pig), but how many of you have visited the 9th best, Sip, at Columbia. Our New York correspondent Captain Chanute has, and he files this rant/report:

"Speaking of smart-ass students, I spent some time at the #9 selection on the list, Sip, during my graduate studies at Columbia. It's a semi-pretentious little bar, cramped as fuck (as in getting up every time the asshole sitting next to you has to take a leak) and boasts a haughty menu of vegetarian tidbits and imported cheeses, wines and lagers. The only reason this hole-in-the-wall made the list is because it serves FREE FOOD at happy hour. That's right. Free. Or rather, "free." Order a not-terribly-expensive cocktail and you'll be treated to an appetizer of decent proportion. Order as many drinks as possible between 5 and 7 and you'll likely fill yourself of some decent food. While sporting a solid buzz, at that. Only catch is that you are heavily "encouraged" to tip (i.e., charged) the amount that would normally be taxed on each dish. A meager surcharge in the larger picture. As for the coffee? Who the fuck cares. And as for the conversation? Better order another cocktail because the girl sitting next to you is going to bitch loudly on her phone about her 1500$/mo studio and how it's below her standard but her daddy wouldn't fork over more per month because he wants her to learn some "financial responsibility." Jesus Christ."

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

3D Chinese Porn Is a Hit / Scenester Pick of the Day: True Widow and Mansion at Replay

In prudish America, 3D technology is primarily used to add superfluous effects to big-budget superhero films and swindle hardworking folks out of a few extra bucks at the multiplex. But the Chinese, ever-innovative, have entered what we hope is a new frontier of multiplex 3D pornography. 3-D Sex And Zen: Extreme Ecstasy, the story of “a young man as he befriends a duke and enters a world of royal orgies and other sexual peccadilloes” (AV-Club) had a bigger opening day in China than Avatar. And the crowds reportedly spanned numerous demographics: "Professionals, retirees and students all queued outside cinemas in Causeway Bay, one of Hong Kong's busiest shopping districts, hoping to score a ticket" (Huffington Post).

Chip: "Remember Kristin Wiig's impression in Bridesmaids of what it's like to have a boner heading straight at your face. I imagine this film is kind of like that."

Here's the poster, with an assertion that really isn't true: The Stewardesses (in 3D) was released way back in 1969, and it was quite erotic.




















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As the lazy days of spring settle in, we sometimes find ourselves in the mood for a little stoner-rock, or sludge, or "stonegaze," as the members of Texas's True Widow have termed their sound (according to Pitchfork).

Their new album is called As High As The Highest Heavens And From The Center To The Circumference Of The Earth, and we're guessing the "high" in the title is a weed reference. Pitchfork bestows a 7.4, writing that the song "Jackyl" demonstrates a "complete mastery of control-- the seething guitar sound of Dan "D.H." Phillips makes it feel like they might spin off into recklessness at any moment, but they never do. Instead, True Widow slump into ennui and remain locked down there for the duration."

Ennui is always hip, so make sure to check them out tonight at the Replay with local opening act Mansion, who'll also be rocking this weekend's Spring Into Summer festival at the Replay and Jackpot on Saturday (they're scheduled for 10:15 slot at Jackpot). Mansion describes their "doompop" as "five dudes playing loud and long," and you can enjoy some samples (and a funny basketball picture) at their Bandcamp page here.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Pabst Moves to LA / We Listen to Tyler the Creator's Goblin

It's Bike To Work Week AND American Craft Beer week, so expect to see more drunken bikers than usual on Larryville roads this week. If all that booze and biking makes you hungry, wheel into Burger Stand and try the Brat Dog, which features "Budweiser whole grain mustard, granny smith apple kraut & cracker jack topping!".

Chip: "Hot dogs, apples, and Cracker Jacks? If I eat this thing while watching a baseball game I predict a very patriotic boner will arise. In fact, the only thing un-American about it may be the Budweiser. I still haven't forgiven those bastards for selling the company to the Belgians!"

In other beer company news, Chicago-based Pabst is relocating to Los Angeles this summer. We love the headline at www.laist.com:

"For Those Who Suckle At Silvery Teat Of PBR: Pabst Corporate Headquarters Moving To Los Angeles"

Will this affect the hipster perception of PBR? We don't know, but we DO know that we'll now be ordering our cans at the Replay by requesting "another suck from the silvery teat, please, barkeep!"

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We don't understand indie rap, but we desperately want to, so we tend to read a lot of articles about the Odd Future collective (which we find preferable to actually listening to them). Pitchfork offers a nice description of their aesthetic:

"Full of pathos, humor, and hatred, the group has worked tirelessly to establish their own intricate world online-- from their YouTube account, filled with self-produced videos, to their individual Twitters, Tumblrs, Facebooks, and Formsprings, all of which they update prolifically. To this tight-knit "us," virtually everyone else is a "them," to be mocked, laughed at, and fucked with."

Richard: "Now that we have a Tumblr, our next step is a Formspring account so that people can ask Chip questions more directly."

One of Odd Future's members, Tyler the Creator, has a new solo album called Goblin, which Pitchfork graces with an 8.0. The review discusses how the "nihilistic" tone of much of his work clashes with his likable on-line persona and accessibility to fans:

"He comes across as an everyday kid. He lives with his grandmother. He likes porn; he hates collard greens."

Chip: "He sounds just like me!"

Pitchfork also suggests that the track "Yonkers" "remains a potential frontrunner for song-of-the-year."

Let's take a look at some of the lyrics:

"I slipped myself some pink Zannies
And danced around the house in all-over print panties
My mom's gone, that fucking broad will never understand me
I'm not gay, I just wanna boogie to some Marvin
(What you think of Hayley Williams?) Fuck her, Wolf Haley robbing them
I'll crash that fucking airplane that that faggot nigga B.o.B is in
And stab Bruno Mars in his goddamn esophagus"


Chip: "I guess I'm not sure what sets this kind of alienated, homophobic, ultra-violent persona apart from the same stuff Eminem was doing a long time back? Or perhaps this is not a persona? I'll admit I'm a little afraid that simply writing about this album will lead to Tyler tracking us down and stabbing us with a 'Pitchfork,' since the song does, indeed, threaten to stab 'any blogging faggot hipster with a Pitchfork.'

Richard: "It's a pretty clever allusion to Pitchfork and the blogosphere, one must admit. And perhaps the Pitchfork reviewer is a little afraid as well, since he buries the critiques-- "this album is bleak, long, monolithic, and can be a slog to get through" --between an avalanche of praise: "it's still a game-changing record for indie hip-hop."

Read the full Pitchfork review here.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Righteous Progressive Indignation / Craft Beer Week / Spot That Scenester

If you're a local liberal, you've no doubt spent most of the weekend yelling about Governor Brownback's attack on the arts. Perhaps you've even taken pen to paper, like Stu Nowlin in yesterday's LJ-World, who offers this burst of furious anger and purple prose:

"Is Brownback promoting a return to the ancient system of wealthy patronage? That will guarantee the support for what I would identify as Puritan-realism where gun toting actors have attenuated Kalashnikov conferences and debauching, make-my-day street corner shootouts.

As Kansas heads into a more paternalistic and low-paying future, a tedium vitae that lacks empathy and humane life goals, we can be assured that American artists, truly indigenous, at times marvelously bold and apt to create telluric upheavals, will have no public voice."


Chip: "I only understand about half of this guy's vocabulary and references, but his tone has me ready to follow him right into battle. And I don't even like art!"

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American Craft Beer week is kicking off, and Free State Brewery and 23rd Street Brewery are partnering up with all sorts of events (why, oh why, have we not tried the Bitter Professor IPA at 23rd Street yet?).

One of the events we're most excited about is Free State's "Brewer For a Day" contest (though we find the rules a little confusing):

"Free State also will have a Brewer for a Day contest. Those interested are encouraged to send in their best prose with specific words included by May 31 to the Free State staff" (LJ-World).

Chip: "I have a real way with 'specific words,' and I feel I'm certain to win. If I do, I plan to brew a very hoppy beer which will be known as Boner Juice."

Go here for full information about local beer-related activities this week.

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Over at L.com, A. Ruscin offers up a new set of "party pics" from the recent Sadie Soul and Kimbarely Legal DJ Night. This group doesn't look like it's composed of the standard scenesters. They're having far too much fun. And we thought KU apparel was prohibited at the Replay?

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Scenester Pick of the Day: The Donkeys at Replay / The Bourgeois Pig Is the 5th Greatest College Coffee Shop in America

It's a frigid summer weekend in Larryville, and we recommend you warm up tonight with the warm California sounds of The Donkeys at the Replay. They're a favorite of the scenesters down at Love Garden (and vice versa: the band praises Love Garden on their website). Pitchfork is only lukewarm on their latest release Born With Stripes (they give it a 6.3), but look at these two blurbs, which should prove very enticing to both scenesters and geeks, respectively:

"Pavement's influence provides the Donkeys with an overlooked portal through which to interpret all that classic rock [the Byrds, Flying Burrito Brothers, Buffalo Springfield, the Grateful Dead]"

"A couple of years ago, a producer for "Lost" heard the Donkeys and insisted they be cast as Geronimo Jackson, a fictional band of San Francisco-based, late-70s contemporaries of the Grateful Dead. One of their songs, "Exclesior Lady", was re-recorded as "Dharma Lady" just for the show, a cut that was said to have been featured on Geronimo Jackson's period-appropriate LP, Magna Carta."

Chip: "Their album cover is frustratingly lacking in donkeys."




















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Congrats to the Bourgeois Pig, which clocks in at an impressive #5 on the www.complex.com list of America's 50 best "college coffee shops." Here's the blurb from the site:

"As the first establishment in Lawrence to serve both booze and coffee, the Bourgeois Pig has a reputation for the radical. Still don't believe us? The Pig's first art show featured shotgun paintings by William S. Burroughs. And just as often as they have new art, they have smart-ass undergrads hotly debating in the cramped, beloved spot. So. Just how ironic is that name?"

Richard: "I wish the Pig were actually as pretentious as many believe. Nine times out of time you're NOT going to step into a hot debate on Nietzsche, and almost never is it full of 'smart-ass undergrads.'"

Chip: "I am, however, always vaguely worried that my presence there might land me on some sort of communist or socialist 'watch-list.'"

See the full list here

Friday, May 13, 2011

We Bitch About the Blogger Breakdown / Summer Movie Showcase: Bridesmaids / And Guest Columnist Duckie Goes to the Replay

Readers, we're back in business after Blogger went haywire and shut down and erased recent posts by all of its users (which may or may not return...we're mysteriously missing two days worth of important hipster coverage here!). In the meantime, we started up a Tumblr account, which we'll currently use to post silly pictures and brief commentary but, if Blogger continues its shenanigans, we might soon use as our primary site. Visit us here at Tumbling Around Larryville.

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Last week America fell in love with Thor and his mighty hammer (Chip: "Why, oh why, did Thor never tap Natalie Portman with his 'little hammer?'"). This week's potential blockbuster is a riskier studio move: Bridesmaids, a "sis-mance" with a largely female cast that is not anchored by a bankable Hollywood starlet. The film is raising important questions about the roles of women in comedy, such as "Are women as funny as men?" (Chip: "No") and "Will guys show up for an Apatowian effort that's not full of the usual Rogen/Rudd repertory company?" (we'll be there, and not just because we think it will get us laid: we honestly think it's going to prove that 'chick flicks' can actually be smart and funny, when written by--and targeted to--people who think that most "chick flicks" are absolutely terrible).

See you at the multiplex.

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Since we're grumpy old fuckers who only go to matinee rock shows that start at 7:00 pm, we "hired" our buddy Duckie to hit the Replay and cover the scene. She was at the Swimsuit/Wheels On Fire/Rooftop Vigilantes show at the Replay on Wednesday, though she missed two of the three bands while boozing on the patio (what do you expect? we pay our writers in PBR, after all!). Here's her insider's scoop on Swimsuit's set and the local scene in general:


My roommate usually knows what's hip, so he pulls me from drinking High Lifes on the Replay patio to check out the bands inside when it's worthwhile. Last night I caught Swimsuit and it was nothing short of a baby pool of PBRs on a hot summer day. Much like Richard, I love things that are cute, and much like Chip, I like boners -- Swimsuit brought both. There was a mid-set "The More You Know ... " speech that harshed my drunk mellow, but thankfully the band jumped right into another cute jam. I was doing shots out back and missed Wheels of Fury or High on Life or whatever they were called, and by the time local sensation Rooftop Vigilantes went on, I was hammered. Love those kids though.

It was a nice departure from Monday's Broken Water show at the Jackpot. Sure, I love that '90s Matador sound, but bands who yell at Jackpot/Replay sound guys deserve to get heckled. Lucky for us, Broken Water's drummer/ringleader screamed at the sound guy, "Um, I have an audio production degree from the Evergreen State College, so I know what reverb is." Thanks, lady. And gooooooooooooooooo Geoducks! (We bought their record though and it's real good. Jerks.)

-- Duckie

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Stop Day Eve / Local Summer Music Showcase: Hidden Pictures/ And the LC Summer Book Club Returns

It's Stop Day Eve in Larryville, which means that local undergrad scholars will take a rare break from their studies and get drunk and laid. We happened to note some fliers that Quinton's kicked off their festivities a bit early, on Tuesday, with a "Country Club Party" which encouraged attendees to dress as "golf pros and tennis hoes."

Our feminist readers: "They might as well just call it a 'date rape party.'"

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Those of us who are (far) out of that age range will need to look beyond Q's and the Hawk and Brothers for our weekend entertainment.

Friday's Hidden Pictures CD release party at the Replay (with the Dead Girls) looks to be a good bet. We've always found Richard Gintowt and Michelle Sanders adorable (like our own local She and Him!), and their new album Synchronized Sleeping is likely to be our soundtrack of choice for many summer afternoons lounging on our decks in a PBR-stupor.

Listen to (and download!) the new album at their Bandcamp page , which also includes some (adorable) liner notes. A few excerpts:

"Michelle Gaumé Sanders sang, played glockenspiel, and made popcorn... Alan Brandsted wore jellies and played bass on 1, 3, 5, and 7... Pat Tomek played drums on 10, 11, and 12 and engineered vocals and acoustic guitar with the assistance of eight to ten cats... Hannah Jensen played viola on 9 while reeking of Indian food."






















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We're 3/4 of the way through James Hynes' novel Next (which just won the Believer Book Award) and 100% in love with it. The novel covers a day in the life of 50-year old editor Kevin, who flies from Ann Arbor to Austin for an in-and-out job interview and spends the afternoon reflecting on his life and loves in Ann Arbor (Chip: "There's a four page reminiscence of having sex on a porch at an Ann Arbor party which is interspersed and interrupted with contemporary parenthetical references to terrorist attacks: I wasn't sure if my boner was caused by the sex scene or the suspense!").

We submit this passage as one of the best examples we've ever read regarding the decline of a cultural "scene":

"He came to Ann Arbor too late for Tom Hayden at the Daily, for the Black Action Movement strike, for the torching of the ROTC building, for John and Yoko at Crisler Arena, for the first Hash Bash where a state representative fired up a spliff right in front of the A-Squared pig, man. Kevin was half a generation behind the town's heyday, but even so, during his undergraduate days and his years as a waiter and a record store clerk, he caught the scent of it like the last April Fool's whiff of Panama Red. He heard all about it after work from old-timers like McNulty and others, sitting breathless at their every word over pizza in Thanos Lamplighter (gone now too), over a beer at the Del Rio (also gone), or over a plate of fries at the Fleetwood (still there, but not the same), listening to world-weary guys only five years older as if they were veterans of the Ardennes or Guadalcanal" (52-53).

Richard: "This book is really making me reflect on my time in Larryville. What would I do if the Replay closed? Or the Tap?"

Please order your copy of Next at Amazon here

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Scenester Pick of the Day: Wheels on Fire at Replay / Governor Brownback Destroys Kansas Art

We don't know a lot about Wheels on Fire, who will take the stage at the Replay tonight, but here are several points that suggest the show is scenester-worthy:

1) Larryville's Rooftop Vigilantes are the opener. Our friend King Tosser wrote a piece on them in PopMatters and can explain to you at great length why they are the best band in town (and maybe the country). He hasn't fully convinced us of all his assertions yet, but his lecture on the subject is fascinating. And the Vigilantes certainly get the LC's vote for "unecessarily loudest" local band.

2) Wheels On Fire is on the Fat Possum label and seem to have plenty of important scenester associations:

"...they sing songs about sex, UFOs and the teenage blues. Honing their live shows in support of acts such as King Kahn and the Shrines, Jack-O and The Tennessee Tearjerkers, Rivercity Tanlines and the Reigning Sound, Wheels on Fire has emerged as a razor sharp, blood letting rock'n'roll machine."

More info here


And we also like their album cover, which features a kitty and a cobra:
























3) As hip as they sound, Wheels on Fire is the second act on a three-band bill, which must mean that the headliner, Swimsuit, is even hipper.

Chip: "Swimsuit is a hard band to find through Google searches. But I DID find a lot of delightful swimsuit photos, and soon forgot altogether that I was supposed to be researching a band.


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After being blocked by the stage legislature in his first attempt to destroy the Kansas Arts Commission, Governor Brownback has now decided to go "rogue," defy the legislature, and lay off all the employees of the Commission:

"On Tuesday, Sherriene Jones-Sontag, a spokeswoman for Brownback, said, "Gov. Brownback stands by his budget recommendation as the best way to cause the arts to flourish privately in Kansas while saving taxpayer dollars." (LJ-World)

Chip: "Yes, art is best when it's 'private,' locked safely away in rich folks' houses where the rest of us don't have to accidentally stumble across it."

Let's look at the LJ-World talkback.

KUgrad says: "Brownback is an uncultured dullard."

Liberty275 rants and retorts:

"Actually, your everyman kansan is an uncultured dullard. Cultured people spend money on artwork, making intervention by the representative democracy into the art world unnecessary.

Here's your homework assignment: instead of complaining about the nanny not paying for your art, take out your wallet and buy more original non-schlock works for yourself. You are cultured enough to buy original artwork aren't you?

Note: this post is for all the whiners complaining because the state isn't spending money on art while we close schools."

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Liberal Missed Connection of the Week / Natural Grocers on 23rd Street / We Consider Jodie Foster's Beaver

People seem to enjoy Larryville's Missed Connections on Craigslist, so here's another one for you. This guy wants to get into the girl's pants but, just as importantly, he wants to educate her about corporate-sponsored homophobia!

"I saw you eating your chic-fil-a this morning (10ish on Tues.) and I've seen you around before. (The owner of chic-fil-a is against gay rights so be mindful of where you shop.) When I turned around you were looking right at me. If I see you again, I won't miss my chance to chat you up."


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Today's LJ-World reports that Colorado-based Natural Grocers will be razing the Burger King on 23rd Street and opening a "full-line store" as part of a major Midwest expansion plan (Chip: "I'd rather have a Whopper."). The project developer says that the store will "carry everything a Whole Foods store does but at better prices" (LJ-World).

Richard: "Chances are, this will be cheaper than the Merc. But if I shop there, will I be seen as a traitor by the over-zealous Merc-ies?"

Chip: "I call them 'Merc-enaries.' Get it?"

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When Mel Gibson went on his anti-Semitic tirade a few years back, we swore to ourselves we wouldn't pay to see another of his films. But then Edge of Darkness came out, and we dig a good, brutal vigilante flick, so we (guiltily) watched it on DVD. Then Gibson launched into a series of misogynistic, racist threats and we said to ourselves, That's fucking it! No more will we see his films. But now he's made a movie in which he plays a man who finds redemption through the use of a beaver hand-puppet that speaks "in a Cockney croak that Gibson cleverly develops to sound like Michael Caine on a contact high" (Peter Travers). And that movie is called The Beaver (a title which is sure to produce the most intentionally and sometimes unintentionally hilarious review headlines ever!) Obviously, we have to be first in line.

Chip: "I initially thought The Beaver was the first in a series of 'educational' films I once rented in the back of Miracle Video."

The film, directed by Jodie Foster, is proving as divisive as one would imagine, but Travers' Rolling Stone review is the one that sells it best for us:

"In a style more European than American, Foster shows no fear of abstraction. The Beaver is Walter's id run amok. At first, Meredith believes Walter's lie that the Beaver is a "prescription puppet." The therapy results in a bout of wild sex that may be the kinkiest three-way ever."

Liberty Hall, we hope The Beaver is on your line-up (perhaps with a few midnight showings so we can watch this thing while hammered and laugh it up, even though it is decidedly NOT a comedy).

Monday, May 9, 2011

This Week in Local Graffiti: AJAX Backlash? / Fascinating Twitter Project of the Week

Like most scenesters, we've watched Banksy's Exit Through the Gift Shop numerous times and are now completely fascinated by "street art" in all its forms.

Surely Larryville's most prolific (and dullest) "tagger" right now is AJAX, whose moniker (and nothing but his moniker) appears everywhere.

Here it is on the Allen Press building at 11th and Mass. Get busy, other Larryville taggers! AJAX is owning Allen Press!




















But are we beginning to see a backlash against AJAX's dullness? Below is a message we spotted in the alley behind Louise's Downtown. Is this the work of a jealous, homophobic skate-punk tired of AJAX getting all the press (a skate-punk who is either unaware of the usual spelling of his chosen slur or was perhaps frightened away mid-"faggot")? Or is this, more interestingly, the work of AJAX himself, who simply wants to make it look like someone else's attack on his work but actually serves as the starting point of a more "meta" phase in his Larryville graffiti career? We're going with the latter theory.

Chip: "Actually, I'm going with the former theory."



















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We use Twitter to make snarky comments about local culture, but we're fascinated by people who put Twitter to more profound artistic uses. Photographers Nate Larson and Marni Shindelman's upcoming project "Desertscapes," works like this:

"When Larson or Shindelman come across an evocative tweet sent from someone’s smartphone, they note the recorded geolocation and—GPS in hand—hunt down where that 140-character dispatch originated. Once in location, the photographers snap a shot of the surroundings and present the image and text side by side" (Utne Reader).

Larsen explains: “We think of these photos as historical monuments to small, lived moments. It also grounds the virtual reality of social networking data streams to the physical world, while examining how the nature of one’s physical space may influence online presence.” (Utne Reader).

Chip: "If they traced my tweets in this fashion, they'd reveal the many places where I have experienced boners. Some of those places would surprise you."

Here's an example from the project, and you can see more here .

Sunday, May 8, 2011

We Fight the Power with Rebel Diaz at the Jackpot and the Unknown Hipster Encounters Of Montreal in an Alley

Like most scenesters, we primarily listen to indie bands whose lyrics are willfully obscure, so it was a rare treat to spend an evening with the outspoken directness of Latino hip-hop duo Rebel Diaz (from "Chi-town" but now stationed in the Bronx). In a blistering, hour-long set, Rodstarz and GI's songs examined everything from Arizona's controversial attempt to get rid of "Ethnic Studies" (which they equated with "ethnic cleansing") to the duo's dwindling faith in the Obama administration ("they sold us hope," the duo explained in the song's intro, but it's been more like a "hoax"). The local progressive contingent of the audience seemed a little nervous with the latter sentiment (after all, dude just ended the War on Terror six days ago!), but otherwise the call-and-response dynamic between the duo and the crowd was lively and energetic all evening. When they called, we responded as directed ("We say people, you say power!").

Chip: "During one song we were supposed to be saying 'canto,' meaning 'song,' but I misunderstand and kept saying 'gato,' meaning 'cat.' I may have sounded a bit foolish."

Rebel Diaz ally themselves with the hip-hop "community," separate and distinct from the corporate rap hegemony, which they lambasted for its misogyny and greed. Their show was inspiring but, most importantly, we could shake our asses to it.

Verdict: four out of four fists in the air.

On a side note, and in the spirit of the evening's righteous anger, let's mention that the opening act was the KC Latino Writers Collective, one of whose poets shushed the scenesters in the back during her performance, much to our delight. Some of you are saying to yourselves right now: But the Jackpot is a rock club whose patrons are there to talk loudly and pompously in an effort to get laid. While we'd normally agree, we side with the poet in this instance: can't you take your drinks and go outside if you want to talk twice as loudly as the person on stage?

Richard: "This was easily THE greatest silencing of scenesters I've witnessed at the Jackpot since the Mountain Goats' John Darnielle ended a cellphone call with a polite finger to his lips."

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On the other end of Mass. Street, Of Montreal was delighting a very different kind of crowd with their usual shenanigans. According to I Heart Local Music's review, "This show had a crab slow-motion fighting two pigs, a wedding gone awry and a human horse." I Heart's intrepid reviewer even encountered the band prior to their on-stage antics:

"... when I was walking from my car to the Of Montreal show, I walked by the alley behind Liberty Hall and found the band playing ping pong (table and all) and skipping rope."

Our friend, the reclusive Unknown Hipster, who is not a fan but lives near Liberty Hall, also encountered the band in the alley yesterday. Here's his/her alternative take on their alley antics:

"Some were stretched out on plastic yard furniture and others were sitting on the bed of a Dodge Durango. All were drinking beer and snarking away at passersby.

I had to walk around those pretentious morons a couple times during their yard party. I ignored them. They thought I was walking up to talk to them, and they gave me some dirty looks. Then I threw the gigantic bag of trash that I had in my hands into the dumpster they were sitting nearby. Then they started to look at me like, "Wait. Why aren't you trying to talk to us?"

Nothing bothers hipsters more than when the person you're trying to ignore ignores you. UH: 1, Of Montreal: 0 "

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Saturday Scenester Guide / Captain Chanute Reviews Braids' Native Speakers

There's a lot of potential action for scenesters today, so let's hit a few highlights.

If you're a genteel dandy (like us), or even a dandy fop, you'll have your eyes on the Kentucky Derby today. Harbour Lights claims to have the "official watch party." Can they make a nice mint julep? Because we plan to drink eight of them.

Scenesters who love a rock and roll spectacle will probably shell out (again) to watch Of Montreal's Kevin Barnes' wear a dress and perform bizarre sketches with costumed creatures at Liberty Hall this evening. But they were so badly upstaged by Janelle Monae last time around that we're passing in favor of some politically conscious Bronx hip-hop at the Jackpot from Rebel Diaz.

"Liberate the Free State," says the press material for Rebel Diaz's early evening show, and the Jackpot's cover charge promises a "sliding scale" to ensure that no one has to miss the action for lack of funds. We better not see any scenesters opting to get in free and then spending 20 bucks on beer or we'll perform a citizen's arrest! And isn't pretty much every night's cover at the Jackpot based on a sliding scale depending on who you know and how hip you are (and whether or not anyone's actually at the door to take your cash when you walk in)?

Is wrestling hip these days? Metro Pro Wrestling makes its debut in Larryville tonight at the Lawrence Community Center: "Hardcore Legend "The Human Wrecking Ball" Pete Madden will be back in action for the first time in 2011!" (www.metrowrestling.com).

Chip: "This seems to be the evening's likeliest opportunity for a brawl to break out that results in scenesters being hit with chairs. Count me in."

And at the Replay: US Beefheart. We have no idea what this is, which immediately makes it the hippest option. Perhaps a local Captain Beefheart tribute band?

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Montreal's Braids scored a brief mention on the LC during this year's SXSW, when we criticized them for their pre-show ritual of group hugs: refresh your memory here.

Today our friend Captain Chanute (who normally only listens to Duran Duran) drops by to offer a more fair and balanced look at their album Native Speakers. This is his best work yet. Enjoy!

"If you're still reeling from the dearth of new material from Animal Collective, the dearth of song breaks between mediocre Arcade Fire efforts or the dearth of non-soundtrack material from Broken Social Scene, today may be your lucky day. A new, hip aura is emanating from the Great North that is likely to swallow us all up with its delicious harmonies and pop-genius melodies. That aura is of course the debut effort from Canadian newcomers, Braids. Hailing from Montreal (after a relocation, a name change, and oh yeah, a high school graduation), Braids is a quartet of babyfaced androgyboys and a delightfully cute lead singer that reportedly formed during a conversation over a blueberry muffin (goddamn, we have too many readily-available yet mundane details in this internet age).

Native Speakers, released in January, is an album of varying complexity: multi-layered in its melodies, sinusoidal in its vocal excursions and both mesmerizing and poignant in its lyrics. The Guardian (UK) reviewed it favorably, saying its pop is delivered through a “shoegaze haze.” Indeed, the album leaves one in a dreamlike state, floating effortlessly from track to track in a glassy-eyed bliss. The dream hyperbole is quite played out in various online reviews, so the current one will avoid any further redundant lullabic insinuations or Freudian interpretations.

At 7 tracks, Native Speaker is relatively short though it displays deft range. Vocals at once reflect a hollowed and metallic Bjork (“Lammicken”) and also a girlishly-intoned pleasantness (“Plath Heart”). Guitars range anywhere from old (and just barely acceptable) U2 to the curious (yet mostly annoying) bleeps and bloops of some of the more inebriated Leotards jam sessions (“Same Mum”) while the keyboards tread a softened line, displaying a nearly feminine quality, like the Postal Service.

All in all, this is a fine musical effort. At once superficially pleasing in its pop simplicity and satisfying in its melodic and lyrical profundity, Braids is a well-rounded yet hip, young consortium with a bright future. If you're not already a fan, you must be a lost internet wanderer whose search engine brought you here after searching the keywords “high school,” “swallow” and “girl.” Either way, you'll be hard pressed to dislike this loveable contingency that group-hugs before every show, much to the chagrin of your apathetic and impassive scenester compatriots."


Friday, May 6, 2011

Foodie Article of the Week / NPR Loves Hospital Ships

With Larryville slowly garnering more attention as a foodie destination, we're hoping that the food scene becomes ever more adventurous and experimental. 715's "butchery dinners" are a good start, but let's look today at the "underground dining scene" in New York.

Recently a "formal luncheon for a dozen people" was "staged aboard the Brooklyn-bound L train," featuring a small army of chefs who prepared the courses at various stops along the route and hopped aboard to serve the diners with precision timing: "at the Lorimer Street stop, the soup got on: purée of ramps, poured warm from a silver teapot, over black garlic, morels and a prosciutto crisp." (NY-Times).

And then this happened:

"Halfway to the last stop, in Canarsie, Mr. Cristaldi, who performs as Jonny Cigar and hosts an itinerant wine saloon, began reading aloud from a copy of “The Great Gatsby” that he pulled from the pocket of his bespoke suit. The subway luncheon was his idea."

We're thinking Larryville should stage a similar stunt using the T, perhaps a formal dinner (since the T is fucking slow), served for (or perhaps served by) local hobos. At the very least, why can't Krause promenade through Esquina and Burger Stand a few times each evening while reading something post-modern (or perhaps just reading from the new six-volume Modernist Cuisine, possibly in a Julia Child voice)? We'd like a little more spectacle while eating our beet-filled El Jefe burritos.

Read the full account of the L-train luncheon here .

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Remember a few weeks back when hipster-approved Vice Magazine wrote a blistering "review" of Hospital Ships new album Lonely Twin, comparing it (inexplicably) to Big Momma's House 2?

Well, we can put all that behind us now, because no less than NPR can dig our indie-pop heroes: yesterday's NPR song of the day was Hospital Ship's "Honey, Please."

Just look at this heartwarming praise for the band and our scene in general:

"Lawrence, Kan., doesn't immediately spring to mind when America's great music scenes are being rattled off. It can be easy to overlook the middle of the country when so many fans and tastemakers are situated on one coast or the other, and that makes it harder for landlocked bands to establish the biggest possible national following. Still, year after year, the college town consistently serves as an incubator for talent deserving wider recognition. In a sea of indie-rock bands from Williamsburg, it's refreshing to come across Hospital Ships' Jordan Geiger, a native of Lawrence with a formidable musical resume."

Take THAT, Williamsburg!

Read the full story and hear the song here .