Wednesday, August 31, 2011

K-State's EcoKat Gives Chip an Eco-Boner / Plus, We Get Baked At Horror Remix and Courtneybelle Goes to Crypticon

Did you hear all the talk yesterday about EcoKat, K-State's new environmental crusader mascot? It's even more ridiculous than Willie the Wildcat. PLEASE watch this short video .




















Chip: "I hate K-State as much, or probably more, than anyone. But EcoKat gives me a boner."

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We're fans of Horror Remix, which has quietly established a nice little cult following at the Bottleneck. Last night's event, "Horror Remix is Baked," broke with the usual tradition of boiling two or three films down to their core parts and instead offered a smorgasbord of clips from long-forgotten VHS horror flicks (with a few running motifs to link them). Although this seemed like a recipe for pure hilarity, there were still too many dead spots for such a bonanza of trash. However, we'd been waiting our whole lives to see an army of giant swimming rats chomp down on a synchronized swimming competition, so we were more than pleased with the event as a whole. Plus, there was free Larryville kettle corn and $2 PBR and Free State Octoberfest. We were pleased to reward our columnist Courtneybelle with a nice PBR for all her hard work recently, such as the following column, in which she visits a KC horror convention called "Crypticon."


Kansas City Crypticon By Courtneybelle

If you’ve never been to a comic, horror or furry convention, this may not be the place to start. I imagine that more populated conventions have fewer uncomfortable moments where you pretend to be interested in the kid from the “Chucky” movies, or some chick who was in Suspiria in 1977. And, for me, there is no earthly reason to pay $25-$30 for an autographed photo of Kane Hodder a.k.a. “the good Jason”.

Although, it was definitely the only place in K.C. where you could find out-of-print bootleg copies of The Beast With Five Fingers or Rape Squad. Or where a goth retailer in sequins and fishnets smilingly offered chocolate chip cookies while an enormous bleeding Jack Nicholson leered behind her. Certainly there’s nowhere else I could have expected to see “the guy in Texas Chainsaw Massacre” lick BBQ sauce off his fingers.

It must be said that creative horror legends like actor, Bill Moseley and FX artist Tom Sullivan are extremely gracious with their fans. However, the table by table display format of this event reminded me of a series of abysmal nudie booths where the voyeur is forced to stare blankly into the eyes of a stripper while she does her ironing.

It wasn’t all awkwardness, though. I learned that there is a magazine called Girls and Corpses. SOLD! So, after I get a subscription for everyone I know, my Christmas shopping will be done. Also, I had the pleasure of meeting the guys who run the Boulevard Drive In. They were very generous with free passes and have a great schedule of events. Don’t forget to check out their horror movie triple feature October 14th and 15th







Monday, August 29, 2011

This Week in Art: Heaven Party Causes a Firestorm and Danny Joe Gibson Shows You His Posters / Plus: Scenester Picks

Readers, we all think of Larryville as a safe liberal enclave but these days it seems you can't even hang a painting of a masturbating demon on the walls at the Bourgeois Pig without being called an asshole, accused of violating state obscenity laws, and threatened with a lawsuit.

Yes, BARRR's Heaven Party caused a bit of a ruckus yesterday but, as best as we can tell, the paintings will remain. Go to the Pig and look at them. But please don't threaten to sue BARRR or the Pig. He's just doing his art.

Go over to BARRR's site and see some of the offending pictures and listen to the podcast about Heaven Party

And here's how we imagine Brownback would react if he saw Heaven Party:


















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If you're hip, you love posters for rock shows, and KC artist Danny Joe Gibson will be showing a whole slew of them at an opening for KC's First Fridays at 1819 Central Event Space and Gallery. Find the most comprehensive guide here with links to a 35 track download of songs from a lot of the bands represented in the posters.

We asked Danny to send us a pic of one of his favorite posters and a short blurb on why he likes it, and he kindly obliged with this poster for a show featuring Atom and His Package / Brazil / Pixel Panda / Mail Order Midgets:

"I love a good visual pun and I like to spin ideas off of band names. This is one of my personal favorite posters. Here we have a guy named Atom carrying a package of Mail Order Midgets and a Pixel Panda (which the panda is based from my childhood drawings of "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles"). The original art is fairly big compared to the small print the final poster was and it will be on display at my poster exhibition. I'd love to revisit these characters as there's a good road trip story there. I've always had visions of being cursed-challenged to journey cross-country carrying specific heavy/difficult things in my arms along the way. I think about that with this poster. Poor Atom. But, he got a free ride in circulation with STEP Inside Design Magazine's top 100 annual and in "The Little Book of Creativity" by David E. Carter."
























Chip: "If it were me, I'd have gone straight for the sexual innuendoes of Atom and his Package, perhaps portraying Atom's package as some kind of midget panda boner. But Danny's work is nice too, if you dig the subtle approach."'

Readers, we haven't met Danny in human form yet, but from what we've gathered he's one of the best and most prolific artists around, and also one of the nicest dudes on Twitter ( @DJGKCMOUSA ). Go look at his posters, which will be on display throughout September.


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We understand that Jackpot karaoke is quite a scene, and we received a tip that tonight's event is a special "Virgofest":

"Virgos one and all should come celebrate the fine folks born from Aug, 22-Sept. 21. It'll be a safe space for their intense perfectionism, hyper-criticism, insurmountable modesty and epic logic bombs ... Plus ... karaoke."

Another bet for Tuesday night hilarity is Horror ReMix at the Bottleneck. Tonight's edition is called Baked. You should probably get stoned before heading down.





We Congratulate the "Most Fun" Harpies of KVKL and Duckie Deconstructs Dirty Dillons in a Guest Column



Since attendance at the KVKL Championship is required for all scenesters, we showed up briefly just prior to the Star Bar/Love Garden showdown, assuming we'd see fireworks and streaking. We didn't. And we even missed the promenading dog who was dressed like a Star Bar barracuda. But we DID get to see some of our friends in the Harper Valley PTA "Fightin' Harpies" take the field to claim their "Most Fun" award. Doesn't the very fact that there IS a "most fun" award suggest that too much about local kickball has become not very fun? Anyway, congrats to the Harpies! Early in the season we suggested (ignorantly) that the Harpies misfits might actually rise, Bad News Bears-style, through the ranks and become real contenders. But in retrospect, we're more proud of them for keeping KVKL about what it should be about: getting fucked up on a Sunday with a sense of childlike exuberance (and occasionally cruising around the Eastside on a pirate ship). We left about four innings into the championship, but presumably someone won, and a few people got pissed, and everyone made up over PBRs at the Replay afterward.

Here's a shot from behind the legendary KVKL horsehead during the national anthem:

















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In an ideal Larryville, you would read the following article in a hard copy of an edgy cultural magazine while kicked back in a booth at your favorite dive sipping a leisurely afternoon Hamms. In this Larryville, you'll read it here, on a blog mostly devoted to boner jokes. But maybe that's pretty cool too.

This is our Twitter-friend Duckie Lane's take on the demise of Dirty Dillons. Settle in and enjoy!


"While devouring 2-for-1 burgers one Monday night at Henry T’s, my friend lamented the demise of Bagel Bites. (Have you ever noticed that it’s more fun to talk about food while you are eating?) “Pizza in the morning, pizza in the evening, pizza at supper time … when pizza’s on a bagel, you can eat pizza anytime,” we sang, mouths full of beef patties.

She swore to me that she hadn’t seen a single Bagel Bite for sale on local grocery store shelves in ages. Not only that, but apparently mini-bagels were also a thing of the past. Shoot, there goes my backup plan …

In 2004, I subsisted purely on crisis portions of Bagel Bites. Was this legitimate part of every phase of my life gone forever? After the shock wore off, I pondered the validity of her claims. Seriously? These things no longer exist? We paid our checks and I essentially tricked her into stopping at Dillons on 6th Street. I headed straight for the frozen foods.

And there was the frozen box, packed with tons of:delicious pizzas on a tiny bagels. Crisis one averted. We wandered over to the bread section and yes, mini-bagels also still exist. Crisis two, false alarm. Rather than call my friend a dirty dirty hysteria-monger, we set to determine where this myth originated. The answer? Dillons on Mass Street. East Lawrence’s beloved Dirty D, or Dillons of the Damned (I'm dying to know any other nicknames you might have had for it), while insanely convenient, was somewhat lacking in the inventory department. Since many of us only patronized our neighborhood grocer, it made perfect sense that we would assume a product doesn’t exist at all before we’d concede that Dirty D’s product selection was mediocre at best among like 8,000 other flaws—no ... quirks.

It came as no surprise that plans were unveiled to give the sole grocery store serving East Lawrence a much needed overhaul. The store was built in 1960, caught fire in 1974 and is set to be demolished this any day now. (If anyone wants to watch them bulldoze that thing, I'm so there.) Plans for the new construction boast 10,000 additional square feet, a hot food bar, dining area, free wifi, a Starbucks, sushi bar and an expanded organic department in addition to a host of other improvements. The store will join its Lawrence brethren in the 21st Century.

With these projected improvements come some drawbacks. Not a day has passed where every single inhabitant or couch surfer at my house complains about walking/biking to Checkers. Sure, Checkers is awesome when you've got a car and go for the major groceries, and honestly it's not THAT far. But man! I could ride my bike to Dirty D's in 5 minutes flat. I was the master of showing up at 10:57 p.m. and still managing to get out by closing time at 11 p.m. (Seriously, please don't get me wrong on the Checkers thing ... it's just ... who wants to walk an extra mile in winter conditions for pizza rolls?) The big bosses at Kroger (Dillons' parent company) are projecting a Spring 2012 reopening after the whole shebang is leveled. Shall we start a pool now naming the date the project will actually be completed? Winner gets a free PBR?

At an unofficial meeting of the East Larry Residents Club (a.k.a. while hanging out around my fire pit), we discussed coping strategies. Obviously, most people are just going to Checkers (and whining A LOT about it), and some have been knocking out their shopping at the Cottin's and Downtown Farmers Markets. One friend promised to only purchase “groceries” from surrounding convenience stores, and another said she would be forced to patronize Bambino’s at the Grove daily, else the starvation will take over her body. (Isn't that place closed?)

Melodramatic? Sure. But many of us Eastsiders rely on pedal and foot power to travel from point A to B. We do not travel more than two miles from our homes, and honestly, we like it that way. What are we supposed to do now?! Seriously, this is the ultimate Catch-22. Together as always, we will cope. East. Lawrence Will. Grocery Shop. Again.

It’s still bleak to consider 2011 the “Year Dirty D was closed.” This place is the stuff of Lawrence legend. I Googled “Dirty Dillons” and found some posts from the realbrides.info forum waxing nostalgic for Dear Dirty D. “I shop there because it's the closest grocery store to us, but only when I'm in a big hurry. I had one friend get her wallet stolen (out of her shopping basket while she was holding the basket), and I've seen them chasing out homeless shoplifters TWICE. Once they were literally chasing the dude around the store, while he had sandwiches in his arms,” poster Nemmie said.

I’ve certainly seen overzealous employees chase shoplifters out of the store, but come on, y’all! The store wasn’t that bad. During my time in the South, I had the pleasure of spending my weekends in Midtown Atlanta, and (the primary neighborhood grocery store was called “Murder Kroger.(Remember, Kroger is the parent company of Dillons.) Trust me, Dirty D haters, things could have gotten much, much worse. I’ve certainly never felt uncomfortable shopping in the store, except for the few times I had the audacity to interrupt high school gossip hour at the U-Scan attendant stand.

Dirty D, most of us will miss your bizarre charm, miraculous proximity, mediocre produce, $.59 fried chicken livers at 10:30 p.m., and the character that only comes with aging fixtures and devil-may-care attitude toward, well, everything. Sure, we’ll happy to have something shiny and new, but you’ll live forever in the hearts of Eastsiders and that unmistakable Lawrence lore. Goodbye, my overpriced, understocked, bizarrely staffed friend. Goodbye.

HEAD'S UP: Missing your favorite Dirty D employees? Cruise over to 23rd St. Dillons ... It's like walking into your old store, except it's clean and bright and huger and has hot food and a cheese sampling zone."


Now read this piece on "Murder Kroger" over here

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Our Dirty Dillons Twitter-Tribute Poem / Kickball Championship

We didn't get quite as many submissions for our Dirty Dillons Twitter-tribute poem as we hoped, but nonetheless we have assembled, edited, and arranged your tweets into this memorial for Larryville's Dirtiest shopping experience (we've even included a picture in the midst of it: thanks, Deb!). Enjoy.


Dirty Memories

I used to run into Burroughs
Green trench coat
nearly empty cart
maybe some cat food in it

I stopped going there alone after dark
but only after the police had to respond to a crack deal.

I saw Chancellor Hemenway picking up a prescription.
I ran into a lot of folks I knew. I was buying lube and cat treats. (unrelated purchases)
I found 5$ on the floor there. A bunch of other people were there but I was the only one who saw it there

My fave:
the guy who went through self-check with way too many groceries.
Seriously at least 50 items in the express self check.
Plus coupons.
& HE was annoyed!





















The hot dog trailer back in the day, during the summer.
renting car-sized VCR players & 39 cent Planet of the Apes tapes
getting lectured by staff that buying lottery tickets will breakup my girlfriend & I
the oddest things on closeout...
the mentally/facially challenged bag boy who always shouted "YOU'RE AWESOME"
his name is Michael. :) #respect

I basically grew up in the Ghetto D.

There was a blond lady with crazy hair who was frequently in Dirty Dillons
she looked homeless but wasn't.
That was my mom.



Coming soon to the LC: a full article on Dirty Dillons from guest writer Duckie Lane!


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It's a bittersweet day in Larryville as kickball season comes to an end (hopefully in a blaze of streaking and drunken debauchery).

Here's a great excerpt from Coach Billy Gay Cyrus's blog regarding tonight's championship game. It's a perfect reflection of kickball's silliness, its long local history, and the affection so many of us (and by us we mostly mean you) feel for it.

"We’re finally getting the Under the Sea themed championship game we’ve been dreaming of all our lives! If The Barracudas can upset the Squids, it will be the second time Love Garden has fallen to a five seat in the championship game. The first time was in 2005 when the K-Jensen’s-HK team took Love Garden down with the “Bermuda Triangle” defense: a carefully constructed triangle of athletic dudes that dismantled Love Garden’s aggressive bunting...".

Read Coach Cyrus's complete preview for tonight's festivities over here .

See you at Hobbs (if we're not home watching Breaking Bad by then).



Saturday, August 27, 2011

Final Friday Photo Blog: Rock and Roll, Cannibals, and a Bear Fight / Scenester Pick of the Day: The Doom Wop of Mister Heavenly


Crowds were thick at last night's opening of the Baron Wolman/Rolling Stone photo exhibit at the Arts Center.


















With The Who cranked up on the sound system and people shelling out a lot of cash for Baron's photo book and exhibit T-shirts, the event almost took on the feel of a rock show in itself (except with a lot of wine and no weed). Look at Pete Townshend sucking on a beer bottle.
















In an adjacent room, however, we had the space to ourselves to study the Moby Dick papercuts. Look at Queequeg. What a wacky cannibal!

















But this wasn't our only encounter with cannibalism of the evening. Over at the Replay (now 75% less vomit-smelly), The KC Bear Fighters opened a bouncy little ditty with this question: "Who here likes to eat other humans and I don't mean sexually?"

















We also stopped by Love Garden to scope out Tim Pennington's controversial work.

Chip: "I like the one of the couple playfully wrestling each other." (click to enlarge).

















And BARRR was throwing another Heaven Party at the Pig. Heaven Parties are so hip right now. He complained loudly at one point that too many people weren't inspecting the work closely and were therefore missing its perversities ("All they see is the bright colors. They don't notice all the dicks.").



















All in all, another successful Final Friday, except that we kept tripping over pesky buskers still lingering around after last weekend's Festival.

Chip: "This is the problem when you invite hobos from all over the country to Larryville. A lot of them are bound to fall in love with the place."


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If you're like us, you're always looking for ridiculous new musical genres to embrace. Right now, we're totally into "doom wop," which is often associated with Mister Heavenly (perhaps because they have a song called "Doom Wop."):

"Parallel-universe golden-oldies like "I Am a Hologram", "Diddy Eyes", and "Hold My Hand" may not fully live up to the transgressive promise of the "doom wop" descriptor but, like fellow 1950s-rock enthusiasts Black Lips and King Khan in their gentler moments, Mister Heavenly approach their AM-radio inspirations with just the right balance of devotion and deviance" (Pitchfork: 7.5).

The band consists of a dude from Islands and a dude from Man Man, so they've got some scenester cred. And Michael Cera played bass with them on a recent tour (how adorable!). Will you be seeing them at Bottleneck tonight? Or will you be seeing Up the Academy at Replay. With Mouthbreathers still on tour, Academy is the official house band, and they run the sound for patio shows in a top-flight manner: good work, gents!

















Thursday, August 25, 2011

Art Review: OurTube 4 / Courtbelle Considers Larryville's Obsession with Quantrill / Baron Wolman at Lawrence Arts Center



Wonder Fair's summer series at the Spencer came to a bittersweet end last night at the Spencer, and it was easily the shortest installment and arguably the smartest and most cynical. OurTube 4 did not open, as the previous pieces, with a contemporary curated video but rather with a famous re-creation: Thomas Edison's 18 second film of the execution of Mary, Queen of Scots. This led us into Wonder Fair's re-creation of a re-creation (Richard: "Have the Wonder Fair boys been reading Baudrillard's thoughts on 'simulacra' lately?"). This installment's critique (from BARRR) focused on both our never-ending obsession with violence ("Raise your hand if you've watched someone die on the internet!") and the economic motivation that lies behind even the greatest art: OurTube 4 ended with the gang re-promoting all the previous merchandise associated with their summer series.

So, are we left to bemoan the notion that so much art is basically recycled and created with money in mind OR to celebrate the fact that great art can grow even out of these circumstances?

Chip: "I liked the part where BARRR was dressed sort of like a teletubby and saying some crazy shit."

Thanks, Wonder Fair, for a summer of thought-provoking videos and a dangerous amount of free Mexican cokes!

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We're convinced that "hiring" our new woman-in-the-field Courtneybelle is one of the smartest things we've done lately, as she covers events that are often off the hipster-radar. While most of you scenesters were marinating yourselves in the smell of vomit on the Replay patio these past few weeks, Courtbelle was taking in Larryville's new slate of Civil War and Quantrill exhibits on an odyssey that led her from the North Lawrence Visitor's Center to the recently re-opened Carnegie Building to a historical re-enactment at the Watkins Museum on Mass. Street (a chorus of local scenesters: "There's a museum on Mass. Street?"). Along the way she finds time to call Langston Hughes a "poncy" poet and take some sweet potshots at Missouri. Enjoy her column and we hope she returns again soon!


Lawrence History in August

By Courtneybelle

Inspired by the 150th anniversary of the Civil war, Lawrence has rolled out some great exhibits. Mostly centered around Quantrill’s Raid, these exhibits are FREE and at the very least will benefit you in a local pub quiz.

The visitor’s center is playing, upon request, the most gloriously campy and locally made video about Lawrence history. Truly a must see, if only to prove that you even know where the visitor’s center is, you lazy brutes. Then check out the newly remodeled Carnegie Building (formerly the arts center) for a brief but expensive looking exhibit. There the collaborative and politically correct people at Freedom’s Frontier National Heritage Area have attempted to create exhibits that don’t remind one of how much we collectively disdain Missouri and everything it stands for. Also, look for a really great story about Langston Hughes that makes him seem more like a badass and less like the poncy, self involved poet hero we all love. Watkins museum has had several great history speakers this month. But if, like Chip, you just can’t deal with reenactors who pause too long between sentences for dramatic effect, just check out their second floor display about Lawrence challenging authority in the 60’s or the third floor exhibit “It Happened On Mass Street”.
Since Quantrill’s Raid is the single event most responsible for turning Lawrence into the swamp of hippie idealism that it is, it is incumbent upon you to know something about it. Also, If you have blind geographical hatred for Missouri, it comforts one to know there is a sturdy foundation for it.



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Readers, Final Friday is here, and this month's centerpiece (as we noted yesterday) is certainly the Baron Wolman/Rolling Stone photography exhibit at the Lawrence Arts Center. Look for us staring into the eyes of this photo of the Man in Black and trying to soak up a bit of his wisdom.











And then we'll head off to the Replay and watch the KC Bear Fighters shout crazy things while flailing about with a ukulele. We like this old L.com description of their sound from our friend Richard Gintowt:

"Penning tunes about cybermen and apocalyptic repopulation, the group’s sense of humor is bellied by a Depression-era sound rooted in early jazz, hokum, ragtime and Hawaiian music."

Hokum is so hip right now!

See you there.

Final Fridays Get Edgy at the Pig and Love Garden / Chip Gets Feather Hair Extensions / Scenester Pick of the Day


First off, go see Wonder Fair's fourth and final OurTube at the Spencer this evening (and catch up beforehand via the link in our sidebar). Rumor has it there's a twist ending in Part 4: Piechocki was a ghost all along!

Now on to business.

For those (like Richard) who have been wishing for Final Fridays to get a little weirder and edgier, this may just be our month. At the Pig, @BARRR will present his "Heaven Party" art: "Boisterous angels and demons carouse about, indulging in drugs, sex and general debauchery", says a piece on L.com (yes, that's right, L.com occasionally still covers art and music).

Here's a piece called "The Devil's Milk." And we're hoping that BARRR has thought to incorporate a performance art aspect to his exhibit and capitalize on an old controversy from the Pig by hiring a woman to breastfeed a baby in the corner (perhaps a baby dressed as a little devil).




















And an opening at Love Garden offers up work by Tim Pennington, whose painting called “That’s nothing! Just wait until he plucks his drum-sticks out of his butt-hole!" was recently pulled off the walls by the prudes over at Blackbird Espresso Bar & Bistro in Top City, Kansas. Here's the piece:

















Chip: "For fuck's sake, isn't there an opening where a man can just look at some nice watercolors of animals or maybe some papercuts of Moby Dick?"

Yes, Chip. The Eldridge has an opening called "Animals and Art" to benefit the Lawrence Humane Society and the Arts Center has three papercuts by Qiao Xiaoguang called "The Cutting Edge of Moby Dick":

"Qiao expresses the capaciousness, the mystery, the regenerative possibilities of both the whale and the novel." (local Moby Dick expert and all-around local treasure Beth Schultz).

Richard: "I'm going to try to reread Moby Dick prior to tomorrow so I can hold court more obnoxiously about these papercuts."















And what else is going on for Final Fridays? We all know about this month's prestige event (Baron Wolman's Rolling Stone cover/photography exhibit at the Arts Center, which promises to be bad-ass), but don't forget to make it to the far end of Mass Street as well to see Leo Hayden's rock star portrait of The Dead Girl's Eric Melin at Q5 Gallery (upstairs at Quinton's). It's the third in his installment of what we like to call his "scenester portaits (he also painted ChewyFally and Phil Canty).




















We also received a tip from our Twitter friends at Envy (911 Mass) about an opening featuring the work of Richard Hood (illustrator and former KU grad). Since it doesn't seem to be getting press elsewhere, we'll give it press here. And this will give us a good excuse to stop at Envy and get those hipster feather hair-extensions we've been wanting so badly! The NY-Times piece on the subject (dealing with how the trend affects fly fishermen who need the feathers for lures) remains one of our favorite scenester articles of the year.




















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It's a night of pure pop bliss at the Tap Room this evening with Ghosty and The ACBs, and I Heart Local Music has the scoop for you with cool videos and links. Check out their story here

But you should also know that Texas's Tontons are on the bill. We don't know who they are, but their tour poster has a puppy dog with balloons on it!












Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Kansas Controversy of the Week: the Naked Golfers of Bethany College / Scenester Pick of the Day: Royal Baths at Replay

In what is easily the greatest Kansas story of the week, the golf team at Bethany College in Lindsborg has been suspended due to a team photo that landed on Facebook in which the team members pose naked with carefully placed clubs covering their... clubs.

We love this line from the KC-Star article:

“It was only intended as a bit of fun with the lads,” said senior team member Jac Hiscock, who is from England."

Chip: "The guy's name is seriously Jac Hiscock? Surely this story is not real."

But it seems to be real, Chip. Here's the KC Star link .

Somehow we're guessing this post will not receive nearly as many hits as our post about the naked French women's soccer team.












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We try to keep close tabs on local shows that are Pitchfork-approved, so make sure to check out San Francisco garage rockers Royal Baths, who will hit the Replay tonight. Their 2010 album Litanies gets a perfectly respectable score of 7.5:

"Litanies draws from the noisier, more freaked-out side of early garage rock."

"...the album's psych-damaged sound brings to mind yet another Woodsist band-- the skronk-loving Moon Duo."

"...sprightly, with lightly delivered "ba ba ba"s and a touch of bells."


Which of those three statements doesn't seem to fit?

Here's a cute press photo. They look like they'll be right at home at the Replay, so long as they can handle the stench (which at Sunday's matinee seemed to have been doused with cologne).

Chip: "Everybody needs a 'royal bath' after lingering in that Replay odor for a few hours!"









Tuesday, August 23, 2011

PETA Proposes a Porn Site / Plus, Pretentious Picks of the Week (Road To Nowhere, Infinite Jest Video, Busy Monsters)



We're well-known supporters of cute fuzzy animals, so we always pay close attention to the tactics of PETA. Known for their controversies, PETA is poised for their biggest one yet, as they have planned to launch a new pornographic website that will also serve to educate people about animal abuse:

"PETA's sexy side displayed in galleries and videos will quickly give way to the sinister world of animal mistreatment uncovered by the group’s hidden camera investigations in a very different kind of graphic content." (via Huffington Post).

Chip: "So you're telling me that I'm going to be pleasantly rubbing one out and all of a sudden I'll be rudely interrupted by chickens being treated poorly? I like to think I'll quit masturbating at that point."

Our feminist readers: "Can someone explain why it's okay to exploit women in the service of saving animals? And look at how this ad equates the woman with an animal. We fear the new site will probably end up increasing bestiality rates."
















And speaking of cute fuzzy animals, it's been too long since we've offered up some local animal photos for you to "Ooh" and "Ahh" over. So we offer this one (via LJ-World) of a cute local animal at yesterday's "Pooch Plunge" at the closing day of the public pool (and since when does the pool close before Labor Day?). Are those legs about to get humped?


















And have you seen this pooch zipping around town in a sidecar lately? It's the talk of Twitter this morning, and @oxfordist snapped this recent bad-ass photo.


















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We're always on the lookout for pretentious (usually meta) stuff we can expound upon and today we offer up these picks to view and read. Thank us later when your knowledge gets you laid.

1) Monte Hellman's Road to Nowhere.

If you're a true movie buff, you no doubt have a copy of Hellman's Two Lane Blacktop on Criterion and, if you're truly hip, an out-of-print copy of Cockfighter on Anchor Bay (in which the great genius Warren Oates is a cockfighter who's taken a vow of silence). But did you know Hellman was back with a noir-y new film that looks (too) similar to Lynch's Mulholland Drive ?

These excerpts from the NY-Times should let you know pretty quickly if this is your kind of thing:

"The portentous attitude of “Road to Nowhere” is amplified by its incorporation of excerpts from three classic films: “The Lady Eve” from Preston Sturges, “The Seventh Seal” by Ingmar Bergman and Víctor Erice’s “Spirit of the Beehive.”

At one point the new film’s protagonist... recites George Santayana’s poem “As in the Midst of Battle There Is Room.”

"...long static shots of the characters barely moving."


Richard: "I'll be renting it this afternoon.

Chip: "Me too, but ONLY because I have a Shannon Sossamon boner."




















2) Infinite Jest-inspired video of Decemberists' "Calamity Song."


Since spending an entire summer (and part of a fall) a few years ago working our way methodically through every single interminable fucking endnote of David Foster Wallace's Infinite Jest with an on-line book club called "Infinite Summer" we've felt a little protective of the frustrating masterpiece. So we were skeptical at best when we learned of the Decemberists' new video, which depicts the novel's game of Eschaton (which occupies a crazy amount of pages in the book):

"Adolescents from a New England tennis academy are seen ritualistically serving balls on a court onto which a map of the world has been superimposed. The balls, which represent five-megaton nuclear warheads, are aimed at objects labeled as military targets — power plants, missile installations — while a lone child oversees the game from a nearby computer terminal. All in all, it ain’t exactly Battleship. Wallace himself wrote that the athletic skills required by Eschaton separated it “from rotisserie-league holocaust games played with protractors and PCs around kitchen tables.” (New York Times).

Since the band's Colin Meloy also took part in the "Infinite Summer" reading project, and since "Calamity Song" contains a nice little homage to the novel in the line "The year of the chewable Ambien tab" (and since the director of the video, Michael Schur, is a professed Wallace superfan who also, frighteningly, owns the film rights to the novel), we'll give the video a reluctant pass even though we think the tone is all wrong.

Read an article and see the video here .



3) William Giraldi's Busy Monsters.


Should you read this new novel? Some of us need look no further than this blurb from Sven Birkerts:

"Take the amped-up lyrical braggadocio of the American South and join it to a sly, at times Nabokovian celebration of psychological obsession. Add a pinch of O'Connor, a dash of Hannah, heat with an imagination reared in both the canon and its rock & roll antipodes. Busy Monsters is an unforgettable achievement by one of our most important young chroniclers of anguish and bliss."

As if Nabokov and O'Connor didn't seal the deal, we were completely sold at the mention of "Hannah," since one of our great literary moments occurred when (an almost certainly drunk) Barry Hannah visited a long-ago creative writing class down south that we were taking. He proceeded to alienate most of the women with a few choice remarks then read the opening story of his legendary collection Airships, called "Water Liars," which begins with this line that is better than anything most of us will ever likely write:

"When I am run down and flocked around by the world, I go down to Farte Cove off the Yazoo River and take my beer to the end of the pier where the old liars are still snapping and wheezing at one another."

And ends with this line:


"We were both crucified by the truth."


We have a feeling that Giraldi's Busy Monsters is no Airships, but time will tell, we suppose.



































Sunday, August 21, 2011

Our Twitter-Poem In Honor of Long-Gone Larryville Businesses / A Song About KJHK / Final Fridays Coverage Begins

We thought scenesters were supposed to believe that their current hang-outs were the absolute best, but we've long noticed a tendency to idealize the Mass. Street of the past. We spent yesterday asking our Twitter army to share their memories of long-gone Mass. Street venues, which we've organized into this poem with each line representing a tweet (or excerpt from a tweet). Enjoy.


I miss George's Pipe Shop. When the Indian is out, George is in.

#Lawrence #MassStreet #wayback
The New Yorker- waaaaaay back in the day. It was a video game arcade.
Old school: Mass Street Deli, Tin Pan Alley, the Varsity back when it was a theater!
the best liquor store ever, Dodson's.
Mojo's on vermont had th best wings ever! Pay your taxes people


I ate at Mass St Deli every time my mother and I visited Lawrence as a child.
I would have to go with Indo.
Pochi Tea Station, which then apparently became Indo
potato mountain cafe...nothing like the kilimanjaro with extra hot dog.

I miss daylight donuts on mass
animal crackers...second chance
The former Jayhawker
and J Hood
Southwest and More!
Penny Annies, hmmm

Someone said Phil Zone, right?

I miss the awesome vegetarian food at Nice Cafe
Low Rider- 900 block of Mass... AWESOME sourcream chicken enchilada.
It's About Time. I miss working there...
And the Round Corner.
cheese shop greater than everything.
I used to chow on buffalo burgers at the grill in back patio at the early Replay.
The Casbah when it was a clothing store

I miss Arensberg's...

exile used records at 9th and mass, with steve greewood behind the counter
Don't forget Shirley and Marc Burch either ;)
Alley Cat Records. There's a sticker on the front of my file cabinet that makes me sad every time I see it.


Also, thanks to local music historian Mike Blur, who steered us to this little gem: a song about the glory days of KJHK (circa late 70's, early 80s?) written by Todd Newman. Stream it here .


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And speaking of nostalgia, the Dear Lawrence photo project, which we've mentioned here on several occasions, will have an opening at the News Center at this week's Final Fridays.

Here's a powerful piece by Dan Shattuck:

We Explore the Dark Fringes of the Busker Festival (With Photos) / Plus, Poor Sportsmanship on the KVKL Kickball Battlefield



Sure, Larryville's Busker Fest is a family-friendly event that true scenesters avoid at all costs, but is there a darker side to the festival if one looks long and hard enough. Perhaps.

We'd be surprised if the City Fathers actually granted an official busking license to the freaky barefoot glasswalker at the corner of 9th and Mass, who seemed a little reckless (and perhaps stoned) as we lingered awhile on Saturday night.

Here's a young lady stepping onto his back to press him into the glass.

















And here's a (much larger) young lady crushing his neck right into the glass. His act could well have ended right then in a geyser of blood from a slit throat, but he got up, pulled a shard or two out of his face, and proceeded to jump and twirl and prance on the glass. Easily the best performance of the festival!

















The crowd-favorite Voler, Thieves of Flight, performed their annual high-flying antics outside the Arts Center (a crowd of folks even lined the roof of the parking garage). But click to enlarge this pic and take special note of the dude in the window behind the performer, whose hand seems to be in his pocket. Is that Chip, having climbed up for a closer view and a tug on his boner? We're not telling.

















And we saw a lovely fire-dance from a male/female duo outside the Replay that was a bit like a figure-skating routine, but with fire. In this photo, it looks like they may have actually set the Replay on fire, which may end up being the only way to get rid of the fucking smell that has permeated the place.

Chip: "This fire-dance routine was quite beautiful, but I have to admit there was a part of me (and rather a large part of me) that hoped one of them would catch on fire a little."















And what happens at 11:00 once the "official" Busker Fest events of the evening are over? We kept hearing rumors of secret alley-performances where those who were so inclined might be able to watch a busker or two fuck a donkey. But we never stumbled across that alley.

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We didn't attend week one of the KVKL tournament, but here's what we learned via Geoff at the official www.kawvalleykickball.com/blog here


"Last week, there were several games that got completely out of control, and some of the behavior was downright despicable. I tried to find out as much as I could this week, but it was nearly impossible to find the root of all the problems. At this point, I really don’t care whose fault any of it was, it just needs to stop, and I mean RIGHT NOW."

And Phil Mitchell apologizes for his own behavior:


"Sadly, on our league’s biggest stage, fueled by a raucous crowd, a few PBRs, and Cougar’s antics, I let my emotions get the best of me. I consider my shouting at Cougar to be extremely poor sportsmanship and an embarrassment to the league, my team, and myself."


So listen up, scenesters, and play nice. Remember: just because it's a children's game doesn't mean you have to act like children!

As for us, we'll be at the completely unhip reggae matinee at the Replay, hoping that the sweet scent of marijuana will alleviate the vomit stench a little. The opener is a reggae DJ called "Housewife's Choice."

Chip: "Hopefully it really is a housewife who will have some good odor-removing tips."

Our feminist readers: "Shut up, Chip. She's there to play music."

















Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Sights and Sounds (and Smells) of Busker Fest and the Replay ; We Say Goodbye to KU's "Bedazzler"

Scenesters hate Larryville's annual Busker Fest, probably because people have fun while attending, and it's family-friendly, and there's no beer on the streets. These are legitimate complaints, of course, but we enjoy seeing weird shit on the street, so we tend to observe a bit of it.

Last night we caught the last two songs of Truckstop Honeymoon on the new Busker stage at 10th and Mass (the ever-popular crowd sing-a-long about getting expelled from vacation Bible school plus the ever-sweet "Johnny and June."). Presumably it had occurred to no one that a Replay matinee would be occurring directly behind the buskers, creating what Truckstop's Mike West called a "sound collage." Also on the scene for the Truckstop gig: the busker-lovers from I Heart Local Music. Go here for their report plus a video of the Bible school tune.


Stepping inside the Replay, we were absolutely amazed that last week's vomit smell at the back bar still lingered nearly as strong as the week before. HOW did the torrential rainstorm of the previous night not wash away any lingering traces? And how do the employees work at that bar all night without puking themselves? Or IS the smell in fact caused by someone puking in the same place every day? So many questions are raised, but we're going to introduce the employees to a little invention called Fabreze next time we're there.

In better news, the evening's matinee sound for the F-Holes rockabilly barnburner of a set was pitch-perfect (perhaps because the substitute sound-man--from Up the Academy--had the novel idea of actually remaining near and closely monitoring the sound board all night: we were so pleased!). The F-Holes treated a bigger than usual crowd to rousing versions of Chuck Berry's "Maybeline," Merle Haggard's "Mama Tried," and hilarious tunes such as "Beans for Breakfast." Go see them tonight at the Jackpot, why don't you?

After such a set, the only thing to do was watch a woman rip a phone book in half, so we caught Mama Lou's late-evening performance at 9th and Mass and were quite pleased with a few masturbation references she tossed into her act. Here she is making a poor sap from the audience don an orange unitard.
















Chip: "Also, as I remind you all each year, remember to keep a close eye on your wallet during Busker Fest, as buskers are notorious pickpockets."

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Today's front-page LJ-World story is art-related: the "beloved" campus tree sculpture known as "The Bedazzler" has been removed after a two year stay on campus.

Let's see if the talkbackers agree with that designation of "beloved."

boothillbilly says: "Good riddance to bad rubbish. That thing was an eyesore."

Most of the talkback, however, is devoted to a discussion of whether or not the tree was dying prior to the sculpture being erected, even though the article CLEARLY states: "Artist Patrick Dougherty created the sculpture around a dying tree," which seems to prove our suspicion that talkbackers rarely read the article they are talking back to.

Read the piece here .

"Bedazzler," we will miss you! And despite the fact that the article also clearly states that all the artist's pieces are designed to be temporary, we will continue to believe that Governor Brownback ordered the execution of the Bedazzler, and will probably come for all of our trees soon, since he hates pretty things.












Friday, August 19, 2011

We Tap a Firkin of Chicks With Hips at the Burger Stand / Weekend Scenester Picks / New Additions to the OED



A nice crowd of beer connoisseurs and random drinkers filled The Burger Stand's Beer Hall last night to watch a firkin of "Chicks With Hips" being tapped. And we're happy to report that Tallgrass's new brew, with its hints of coriander and rose hips, was as bold and brassy as its name suggested. Our group drank a good 20% of the firkin at least while holed up in the corner listening to local scenester and occasional LC guest columnist Captain Chanute expound on Bret Easton Ellis's definitions of "Empire" and "Post Empire" (we reached the consensus that these terms are as fascinating as they are useless).

Click and look at this firkin tapper:















And then we braved a blinding rainstorm to visit BARRR's Heaven Party at the Granada. Phil Canty was there. Pretty much JUST Phil Canty. But we assume that later it turned into some sort of sweaty grind-a-thon with lingerie clad angels on Ecstasy who all ascended into Heaven in a blazy of scenester glory.

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Readers, it's BuskerFest weekend, where the streets are filled with more beggars than usual (but at least these new--imported--beggars know some pretty good tricks, such as ripping a phone book in half or swallowing fire). Chip plans to perform his "penis puppet show" on the special "Adults Only Busker Stage" in the alley behind the Replay at midnight tonight and tomorrow. Look for him.

And if you're looking for another form of risque entertainment (that does NOT involve Chip's dingus), consider a visit to the Foxy by Proxy Burlesque at the Bottleneck on Saturday (Spook Lights are playing too). One of the Foxy performers is the Pig's self-described "bar wench" Jen Young, who was profiled in yesterday's Style Scout (here's the photo) and should have been included in our "tone-poem" of Larryville bartenders yesterday.



















Other good bets this weekend include the Mouthbreathers tour party at the Replay on Saturday with Up the Academy. Did you know Mouthbreathers are on In the Red Records now (along with bands like The Horrors and Thee Oh Sees)? Be impressed.

And you've got two chances to rock with our rockabilly buddies in The F-Holes (tonight at Replay matinee and tomorrow at Jackpot). And perhaps even more, if they do some busking, as they have been prone to do at previous BuskerFests:



















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We love when new additions are added to the OED, and now taking their place in the illustrious tome are "retweeting," "jeggings," "sexting," and "mankini." Chip's probably going to celebrate by sexting you some pictures of himself in his mankini. Hope you enjoy.









Thursday, August 18, 2011

A Tribute To Larryville's Bartenders / Puma Wednesdays in Leawood / Gourmet Ice Cream at Christopher Elbow's Glace

Scenesters love to booze it up and of course they have strong opionions not only regarding WHERE they do their boozing but WHO does the pouring. We've been conducting a Twitter survey the past few days to gather thoughts on Larryville's favorite bartenders and today we bring you the results, printed in the form of a "tone poem" with each line representing a Tweet (some of them slightly edited for "artistic" purposes). Enjoy! And can you guess the scenesters based on their boozing preferences?


Hoap and @linny_mae at Esquina, because they give me tingles in my nethers!!!!
I miss seeing Andrew serve me at Henry's. He's so dreamy.
duh, Dana at the Replay and Spook Lights Rob at replay/jackpot
Rob @ the replay for sure.
kenny p. and jeremy sidener are the best rhythm section / bartenders in town
Brandon Fucking Mckeever
I love Mike at the Bottleneck because he makes a killer horsefeather. #hip
@mikednotabeasti @TheBottleneck he's pretty coooool. :-) #holla
#1 Hands Down Ricky Brown! #TAPROOM 2nd place #NANDA!!! #Replay
Ricky brown or Tom k! #taproom
jeff at replay. he doesn't charge me for shirley temples.
Jill from the Red Lyon!
Trina & Spencer at the Lyon
katie pestock @ freestate cuz she's th jamison drinkin shhiiiiiiit!!!!!
The guy at Harbor who told me that True Widow is playing another show in town!



And who's our pick, you ask? Readers, there's only one bartender for us, and that's Nanda at the Replay. When she ever-so-sweetly hands us our PBRs we feel like we're the only scenesters in the room.

Speaking of boozing, don't forget tonight's firkin tapping at Burger Stand at 8:00. The beer being tapped: Tallgrass's "Chicks With Hips" (as in rose hips).

Chip: "I hope this beer evokes the delightful company of a large-hipped woman: sassy and sensual. If my first sip doesn't produce a boner, I will deem this beer a failure."

What do our feminist readers think? Nothing. We've over-used that device lately. But we suspect they'd approve. After all, it's not like the beer is called "Anorexic Supermodel" (Chip: "Although I'd totally tap that too!").

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Larryville bars and restaurants need more events that are specifically designed to help folks get laid. A good model might be KC's "Puma Wednesdays" at RA Sushi in Leawood. For those of you not in the know, a "puma" is a slightly younger "cougar" (late 20's/early 30's, according to Urban Dictionary). So how young is their "prey?" Late teens? We're not quite clear on this. Anyway, Puma Wednesday is a "Ladies Night Out" event in which "pumas and their prey can enjoy tempting specials which will tantalize their senses all night long." (Pitchweekly).

Here's an amusing comment from the talkback section:

"Sweet, just what I want to do. Hang around a bunch of used up JoCo women who regret getting married before their 22nd birthday, having multiple kids before they were 25, and are now either divorced by age 30, or are looking to cheat on their husbands.What kind of restaurant promotes a Girls Night Out as "pumas and their prey can enjoy tempting specials which will tantalize their senses all night long."? Why not just start a brothel and let the Real Housewives of Johnson County get straight to the point? Will there be glory holes in the bathroom? Seems very greasy."

Oh, let's hope there are glory holes in the bathroom. Do any of our puma readers or young male readers want to take a little trip to "Puma Wednesdays" and find out and write a column for us?

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As if RA Sushi and Trader Joe's aren't enough to entice you Larryvillers into a trip to Leawood, renowned KC chocolatier Christopher Elbow has opened up another of his Glace gourmet ice-cream joints there. This sentence alone should be enough to make Larryville foodies hop in the car: "Glacé's flavors come from fresh herbs, mostly from Lulu's Garden in Lawrence, which provides Elbow with cilantro, purple basil, rosemary, and the sage he's thinking of pairing with blackberry in a sorbet." Elbow is also considering some new sundae-toppings such as sea salt and olive oil (Chip: "I'm saddened to think that there are probably a lot of KC foodie children who will never know the joys of a real hot-fudge sundae").

Read the Pitch's long piece on Elbow and Glace
here .







Wednesday, August 17, 2011

We Analyze Kanye West and Jay Z's "That's My Bitch" / BARRR Throws a Heaven Party / Pop Up Restaurants and Larryville's Dinner Under the Stars



Watch the Throne, the new collaboration between Kanye West and Jay Z, has been getting a lot of press. Today we "unpack" (as academics like to say) a few of Jay Z's lyrics from "That's My Bitch."

"I mean Marilyn Monroe, she’s quite nice
But why all the pretty icons always all-white?
Put some colored girls in the MOMA
Half these broads ain’t got nothing on Wyldna
Don’t make me bring Thelma in it
Bring Halle, Bring Penelope and Selma in it...
Now shoo children, stop lookin’ at her tits
Get your own dog, ya heard
That’s my bitch"


Our feminist readers: "What begins as an admirable call for more representation of African-American women in the art world ends up sabotaged by the conventions of the genre, with Jay Z's politics simply fizzling out in a burst of objectification and ownership that's no different to that of the white establishment being critiqued."

Richard: "True up to a point, but what we're seeing in these lyrics is only the beginning of a powerful reclamation process. The point is that once Z is in charge of female African-American representation he can begin to free it from the animalized ('get your own dog') imagery long-imposed by the Man and create a new way of seeing black women. The final, angry outburst of 'That's my bitch' should be read most importantly as a battle cry, not merely a sexist remark."

Chip: "I too would like to see more sexy black women in museums."

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The question on everyone's lips in Larryville this week is: "What the hell is a Heaven Party?"

Well, it's sort of whatever you want it to be. But it's also a performance/dance/interview installation by @BARRR taking place at the Granada at 10:00 on Thursday and being recorded for an ADD podcast. It's also probably the only event this week that's likely to culminate in some sort of hallucinogenic-fueled orgy. In fact, we predict the whole affair will look like something out of Eyes Wide Shut. Let's hope it looks like this:
















But it's likely to look more like this, which is one of the top images you'll discover if you run Google image searches for "Heaven Party" (Chip: "The angel on the left has a boner.").
















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Pop-up restaurants are so hip right now in major cities and Kansas City is getting in on the act. Former R Bar chef Alex Pope will open Vagabond "from Wednesday, August 24, to Sunday, August 28, in the Orange event space at 1815 Grand" (Pitchweekly).

Some of the items on the pop-up menu include "whole pig confit — a whole hog from Windhaven Farms that Pope will be breaking down with students from the Art Institute in order to make his own sausage. The menu also features late-summer nightshades with olive oil and tofu, as well as bay scallops with truffle and popcorn" (Pitchweekly).

Chip: "When I see the eccentric students at the KC Art Institute, I have never once thought to myself, I'll bet they would be good at making sausage."

We keep hoping that some of our favorite Larryville chefs from Burger Stand, Esquina, 715, and Pachamama's will bring a pop-up joint to Larryville. But in the meantime we recommend you pay $250 for Robert Krause to cook you "Dinner Under the Stars" on September 17 in a field 15 minutes east of Larryville (Chip: "Near the Outhouse?").

Get the details here .
















Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A New Installment of Our Picks and Pans With Firkin Tapping, Kittycat Narrators, House of Holes, Brownback, and a BARRRextravaganza!

Firkin Tapping of the Week:

We love a good firkin tapping, so we'll see you on Thursday at 8:00 at the Burger Stand, where a keg of Tallgrass's new "Chicks With Hips" will be tapped. The innuendoes practically write themselves.

















"HEAVENPARTY" Event of the Week:

Later on Thursday you can see a "BARRRextravaganza" at the Granada, in which BARRR hosts a HeavenParty (a live music installation and performance to be recorded for an ADD podcast). Rumors are there might be BARRRlesque show element to the evening. The dude IS prone to streaking, after all.


Adorable Indie Film of the Week:

We've been waiting a long time to see a film narrated by a cute little kitty cat, and indie auteur Miranda July has finally delivered. Her acclaimed new film, The Future, arrives at KC's Tivoli on Friday. Entertainment Weekly gives it an A- :

"The movie is framed by narration from Paw Paw...(voiced by the movie's writer-director-star, Miranda July), with only those witty-bitty paw-paws visible... [July} weaves in performance art... and Internet culture...And she creates perfect images of supernatural everydayness. A little girl literally digs herself into a hole. The moon speaks."

If this only had a soundtrack by the Transmittens, it would be the twee-est thing ever created. We'll see you at the Tiv.


Dirty Book of the Week:

Yes, we've already pondered Nicholas Baker's House of Holes: A Book of Raunch, but when a literary novel garners so much press for being spectacularly filthy, it's naturally going to receive a lot of our attention. It's reviewed by one of our favorite writers, Sam Lipsyte (no slouch in the raunch department himself) on the cover of this week's NY Times Review of Books.

"House of Holes," it seems, is an erotic theme park which features “pornsucker ships” (which fly over American cities and suck up the bad porn)...“crotchal transfers"... “mastur­boats” ...“groanrooms” [and a] “squat line” organized for the pleasure of female guests" (NY-Times).

According to Lipsyte, the book's "structure seems most connected to the golden age of porn films. Most chapters include a distinct scene that culminates in ejaculation, and like the best examples of that era, Baker’s absurd comic fantasies are adorned with dialogue that gathers energy both from its stiltedness and from its wacky nomenclature."

Chip: "This reviewer fails to answer an important question: did most chapters culminate with an ejaculation from the reader?"

But is Baker up to something beyond literary titillation? Perhaps. Lipsyte says: "we get disturbing flashes that smartly undercut the exuberant innocence of an apparent utopia where nobody feels exploited and everybody gets off. The real humor, and sadness, emerges from the impossibility of this fantasyland...[but] Baker isn’t haranguing us about the evils of sexual abandon, and his approach is the opposite of smug moralism. In fact, the brief, beautiful chapter that closes the book delivers us to a universal zone of pleasure, sexual initiation and renewal."

Sadly, we have not yet read the book ourselves. There are several holds ahead of us at the library, and we're more than a little concerned about how sticky the pages may be by the time we receive it.

Read Lipsyte's full review here .

Anniversary of the Week:

Pitchfork turns 15 this week. Love it or hate it (and, either way, we KNOW you look at it) has any media outlet been a more influential hipster-tastemaker in the last 15 years? Doubtful.

The site is celebrating with a lot of hip pieces this week, including a treasure trove of stuff from the archives that they have decided deserves a second look, such as "My Favorite 10 Songs by the Rock Group Hall & Oates by Ben Gibbard" (2003) and "Nihon No Hardcore: Japanese Underground Prog by Dominique Leone" (2001).

Pitchfork-Approved Local Show of the Week:

Brooklyn's The Men will hit the stage at the Replay tonight. Look at these excerpts from Pitchfork's recent July review of their new album (it gets an 8.2), which proves that Pitchfork-criticism is still delivering the bombardment of musical references that we love so well!

"Listening to Leave Home feels a lot like living inside of Michael Azerrad's 1980s indie-rock tome Our Band Could Be Your Life, variously bringing to mind Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr.'s SST stints, Sub Pop-vintage Mudhoney, and Touch and Go-era Butthole Surfers (who surely would approve of a song title like "Shittin' With the Shah").

and this...

"...the Men's dual affinities for brute punk-rock force and bad-trip psychedelia fuse together to brilliant effect, with a searing series of songs that refuse to relent even as they encroach on the five-minute mark-- in particular, the storming "Bataille" suggests Sonic Youth's "Hey Joni" as recorded by Funhouse-era Stooges, while the closing "Night Landing" effectively blurs the line between krautrock and punk in fine Neu! '75-style."


Local Dick Move of the Week:

After initially supporting it, Governor Brownback ultimately rejected "a $31.5 million grant from the federal government to implement a part of health care reform designed to allow Kansans to get the best insurance coverage possible" (LJ-World).

Brownback's explanation: "Every state should be preparing for fewer federal resources, not more. To deal with that reality, Kansas needs to maintain maximum flexibility. That requires freeing Kansas from the strings attached to the Early Innovator Grant.”

Brownback's office then refused to answer the LJ-World's queries about what strings were actually attached.

Here's Brownback demonstrating how he's slowly crushing the hopes and dreams of Larryville progressives with each passing day.





















Monday, August 15, 2011

Kazoo Party with Jessie Torrisi and Monzie Leo at Replay / "Food Freedom" and Assorted Foodie News

We arrived at yesterday's Replay matinee to find the presumed headliner, Texas rockers Jesse Torrisi and the Please Please Me, already underway, squeezed into a short middle-of-three-bands slot (with frustratingly low vocals: crank that shit up, Replay!). While it wasn't the barnburner of a set we'd hoped for (perhaps that will arrive tonight at the Czar Bar), Jessie's voice, what we could hear of it, was quite nice, and her set of low-key Americana (supplemented at one point with an adorable handheld air-powered keyboard!) culminated in the promised kazoo party, in which she invited the audience onstage to rock out with free kazoos. Among the kazoo congregants: local hero Monzie Leo, who also played a short unannounced set prior to Torrisi, which we missed (probably because it was unannounced).

In addition to rocking out, it's important (to us) to point out that Torrisi has also designed his and her underwear with the band name on them. Yes, Chip may have bought a pair.















Torrisi and company were followed by local rockers E100. For some reason, we always thought E100 was a one-man band, but now it's a guitar/drum duo with a technically impressive guitar-shredder. They were joined on their last three songs by the dude who plays saxophone in the Pachamama's band on Thursdays.

Torrisi and company publicity photo:















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We love when young progressives do progressive things, so we're sad that we missed Friday's "Food and Freedom Ride" at the Dole Institute. Here's a recap from a piece via LJ-World:

"Eleven young food activists sang about hope as they walked into a room inside the Dole Institute of Politics on Friday afternoon. They are on a 12-day Food and Freedom Ride from Birmingham, Ala., to Detroit. They stopped in Lawrence on the sixth day of their journey to talk about food injustices and the benefits of eating locally grown foods. “I’m looking for food freedom,” said Hai Vo, one of the riders from Orange County, Cali."

Chip: "But if they really believed in 'Food Freedom' they'd quit singing and let me eat my chicken-fried steak in peace."



And speaking of chicken-fried steak, do you realize that Haskell Diner is opening an all-you-can-eat dinner buffet? (you know Haskell Diner, don't you? it's next to the porn shop). Presumably it will contain the Haskell Diner lunch staples of chicken-fried steak, meatloaf, fried chicken, and liver and onions. Chip will eat there every night.

And speaking of other chicken-fried things, our friends at 715 have had chicken fried rabbit legs on their specials menu of late. And lest you think that rabbit legs are small, 715 wants you to know (via this photo they tweeted yesterday) that they serve only the biggest, Night of the Lepus style, mutant bunnies!





















In other hipster/foodie news, LJ-World's Town Talk reports today that the recently closed Penny Annies may soon be transformed into a shop that sells "rare books, vintage bicycles, normal coffee, and perhaps doughnuts." Is this true, or is this just a scenester's wet dream? Stay tuned.

And also, is Vermont Street BBQ EVER fucking re-opening, or isn't it?









Sunday, August 14, 2011

Sharkbite Hangovers / Kickball Post-Season Begins / Scenester Pick of the Day: Jessie Torrisi and the Please Please Me at Replay



Readers, if you're like us, you woke up this morning with a throbbing Sharkbite headache and a cougar or two in your bed after attending the Sandbar's 22nd birthday/street party event last night.

Chip: "My cougar insisted on roleplaying a shark and shark victim scenario. And she also insisted on being the shark."

Our feminist readers: "Good for her in taking the power position instead of the victim role!"

Chip: "She bit me a little."

Our feminist readers: "Be glad she didn't chew your little phallus off."

The street party was a blast as usual, with Chip sliding down the 40-foot inflatable shark slide while Richard (on the Tap Room patio) caught a no-frills, rocking set from The Magentlemen, who seemed a little out of place at this event with their complete lack of Buffet covers (the Sandbar fans in their patio pen looked a little bored). This was followed by the ever-popular Sandbar dancers and, finally, Mark Valentine and the Hammerheads, who presumably brought the Buffet covers that the fans demanded. By this time, however, we had adjourned to the Burger Stand to catch a hootenanny by MAW, who were playing songs about mules and murdering in the front window, along with some Tupelo covers ("Warfare!").

Here's a photo that we're 50% certain IS actually Johnny Depp mingling in the street (if he's got time to make FOUR shitty pirate films, he's probably got time to hang with folks at a Larryville street party). Later he showed up drunk at the Burger Stand with a guy who looked shockingly like the Geoffrey Rush character in the films.

















We did not make to the evening's hippest event: The Ettes at the Replay. Who did? Johnny Hamms, perhaps? If anyone submits a review, we'd love to read and publish it.

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The greatest time of the year in Larryville is underway as of this evening: kickball post-season. If you've left your house at all this week, you've no doubt heard and participated in a lot of bracket talk. Make sure to turn your bracket in by 5:15 today to be included in the bracket challenge, explained here by Coach Billy Gay Cyrus:

"Winner of the bracket challenge gets the satisfaction of winning. I’d offer a prize, but I’m not totally convinced one of you wouldn’t throw a game for a 12-pack of Hamms. Seriously, I need to say that there is some concern that any type of contest or betting could influence reffing, so let’s just all recognize how uncool that would be and plan to use our moral and ethical compass to guide us past such temptations.

Still working on a catchy name for this part of the season… Kickapalooza? August Awesomeness? Kickrocksas? Dances With Kickballs? I’m leaning towards Lawrence Fucking Kickball. Somebody please help me. Good luck on the bracket and on your games, I’m getting super excited for tournament time."


We vote for Kickrocksas (because it's the silliest!). But Lawrence Fucking Kickball is good too, and seems to have carried the day over at the kickball blog , which you should visit for all the predictions and info you could ever need for tonight's opening match ups.

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While most of the town Hamms it up at Hobbs, we'll be at this evening's Replay matinee for what's shaping up to be a kick-ass show by Texas's Jessie Torrisi and the Please Please Me. Here's a bit of the bio from the official website .


"The band swivels hips & switches instruments, bringing the circus to life. 

Onstage, Jessie sings from behind the drums like a female Levon Helm, beatboxes, duels with her trumpet player, & pulls the audience up to kazoo."

Richard: "The last participatory-kazoo show I saw at the Replay was Portland's The Builders and the Butchers. If this is half as awesome, I'm in."

And here's an album cover, which Chip finds erotic: