Sunday, September 30, 2012

Sunday and Monday Picks: Moongazing, Found Footage (Real and Fake), and Frank's Monday Movie

Readers, we aren't hippies or anything, but occasionally we like to romp around nude under a Harvest Moon.  Will this be allowed at tonight's 6th Annual Mid-Autumn Festival Moon Viewing Party outside the Lied Center? We suspect not.  At any rate, this event sponsored by the KU Center for East Asian Studies should be a fine occasion for moon-nerds to gaze at the moon while listening to the KC Chinese Music Ensemble and nibbling on "moon cakes," which are "traditional desserts filled with red bean paste, pineapple or nuts." 

Chip: "I prefer Moon Pies, and I usually carry a few in my pocket at all times."

Find more details via over here .


If you're more inclined toward hilarious film-related activities, the Found Footage Festival (Volume 6) hits the Granada tonight with a new collection of lost VHS oddities.  Eric Melin at Scene Stealers has a nice preview and interview with curator Nick Prueher over here . We're particularly excited about a piece called "The Sexy Treadmill Workout."


Or perhaps you prefer your found-footage to be fake.  Then stay home and get in the Halloween spirit by ordering up V/H/S via OnDemand (or wait around a few weeks and hope that Alamo KC might screen it). It's a creepy new horror anthology with films by such young horror luminaries as Ti West (we're big fans of his House of the Devil and The Innkeepers).  Go here and look at 5 bad-ass V/H/S posters.


Frank's Monday Movie Night continues tomorrow with 9 to 5.  Seems like an odd choice, but Dabney Coleman is awesome and Dolly Parton has large breasts, so why not?  Also, it will probably bring in the ladies!  While you're there, make sure to congratulate your friend and ours Frank Dorsey on being a runner-up as LFK's Best Bartender!  Congrats, Frank!

Visit the FB event page here . Also, we think the regulars at Frank's should then take a nice little field trip together later in the week to Lawrence Community Theater (or Theatre Lawrence, as they prefer to be known) and catch the 9 to 5 musical!


Friday, September 28, 2012

Our Obligatory Blog About Winning the Best Blog in Lawrence Award

Readers, it's a proud day here at the LC, as we have been awarded the prestigious "Best Blog" award in the annual Best of Lawrence competition.  Thanks for your votes, and please read the top-notch write-up over here at (even though they were unable to print Chip's comments regarding his "victory boner.").

Will this award lead to a massive influx of visitors and launch us on a trajectory that culminates in a movie deal where Chip is played by, oh, let's say Jonah Hill?  Or will it merely earn us a couple of free PBRs from the same old sons-a-bitches who already read the blog?  Almost certainly the latter.  And that's fine by us.  We'll see you at the GBV show at the Granada this evening!

But first let's see what other Best of LFK awards have been bestowed so far in the Entertainment categories.

Our beloved Replay Lounge won the "Best Place to Dance" award, which means that it's likely to become even more unsuited to us old-timers during the weekend patio DJ nights.

715 won "Best Place for Romance" (although we personally voted for Frank's North Star in this category).

Chip:  "A lot of people don't know that 715's fried chicken livers are a powerful aphrodisiac."

And the best Twitter account (which we also wanted to win, truth be told) was conquered by Fake Joe Dooley.

Chip: "But that guy isn't even real!!"

However, we DID come in as a runner-up in that category, right alongside Fake Jeff Withey!

And's time to rest on our laurels this weekend and drink some PBR.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Concert Review: Glen Hansard at Liberty Hall / Weekend Literary, Art, Film, and Music Picks

As scenesters, we are leery of sincerity, and so it was with some trepidation we found ourselves in a big Liberty Hall crowd for the earnest Irish troubadour/busker/Academy Award winner Glen Hansard last night.  But were we won over?   Well, mostly yes.  If you can resist a show that ends with 14 or 15 folks (including the opening band, a string section, and a bunch of Levon Helm's backing band on horns) jamming out to The Band's "Don't Do It" while passing around a bottle of whiskey (Jameson's?) kindly supplied by Liberty Hall even though the bar was closing down at the time....well, then, you are made of sterner stuff than us.

Other highlights: 

The two Irish lads in opening band The Lost Brothers seemed completely delighted with the theater ("There's some crazy-ass pictures on the wall here.") and LFK in general.  And their "Moon River' tribute to Andy Williams, who just passed away, made Chip cry a little...and then recover and recite his favorite Nelson line from The Simpsons about six times:  "I didn't think he was gonna do Moon River, but then, bam, second encore!"

Hansard's response to the woman who shouted "I still love you!" about halfway through the set:  "Still?  Did I do something wrong?"

A cover of "Astral Weeks" (indeed, much of the evening as a whole had a very Van Morrison-y vibe...why can't more evenings have a very Van Morrison-y vibe).  

The Lost Brothers returning to the stage with Hansard and company to sing some Everly Brothers.


Reserved seating at Liberty Hall was a true clusterfuck once the lights went down, with employees constantly shining lights during the opening set to help (annoying) latecomers crawl around in the upper balcony.  Finally we grew annoyed and went downstairs.

We thought for sure local troubadour/busker Tyler Gregory would eventually emerge from the darkness to busk an a cappella tune with Hansard on stage at the end.  No such luck.

Visit I Heart Local Music for a nice photo gallery.


After a month of intense (Winter's) Boning, Read Across Lawrence will finally climax this weekend with a Daniel Woodrell Q & A session this evening at Liberty Hall (7:30) and a screening of the Winter's Bone film adaptation on 35mm Sunday morning at Liberty Hall's Film Church (11:30).

And have you seen the sweet new logo for Film Church?

You'll also want to drop by 715 and sample some of their Winter's Bone-inspired venison dishes.  Chip is very disappointed, however, that they are unable to serve up the novel's signature dish:  squirrel.  715 is also serving brunch at Film Church.


If you're in need of even more literary fare, drop by the Lawrence Public Library at 7:30 on Friday for their unveiling of the winning entries in their Banned Book Trading Card competition.   PLEASE tell us that BARRR submitted some kind of fucked-up take on A Clockwork Orange??  

Full details here at the Facebook event page.

You should also check out the Final Friday picks from Larryville Artists blog, which offers guidance for your downtown picks here and info about the Campus Art Walk here .  Apparently a Jayhawk will be "yarn bombed" at 5:00 pm in the Union.


And the top music pick for scenesters  is obviously GBV at the Granada on Friday.  We hear they get just as drunk now as they ever did!


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Wednesday Culture Clash: Glen Hansard at Liberty Hall vs. Extreme Midget Wrestling at Granada / Spooky Final Friday Pick: Wonder Fair's 100 Ghost Stories

Even cold-hearted scenesters, despite themselves, fell a little in love with Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova in Once a few years back, but do they still think Glen Hansard  is "swell" (if you catch our reference) now that's he solo?   Find out tonight at Liberty Hall.

The NY-Times writes of Hansard's performance style:

"His voice is elastic and strong, a many-timbre instrument, and he uses them all, from a clear tenor to an anguished, grungy roar. He commits himself to every song with a scary intensity, draping the melody almost recklessly over the driving rhythm from his right hand. He accents that rhythm by hammering the stage with his right foot."

And on the other end of Mass. Street, at the Granada, midgets with names like "Lil Rampage" and "Baby Jesus" will wrestle each other.

Chip:  "Fuck YES!"



Our Wonder Fair friends are already in the Halloween spirit for Final Friday's opening of "100 Ghost Stories," followed by a month-long series of spooky shenanigans:

"With enough artists, events, installations, publications, and programming to make your head spin (all the way around,) 100 Ghost Stories represents an unprecedented level of curatorial complexity, and showcases the Wonder Fair’s dedication to bringing innovation, creativity, and most of all, levity to the Lawrence arts scene. It’s only at Wonder Fair, September 28th to October 21st: Be there, be scared!"

You had us at The Exorcist reference!  Plus, the art scene could use a little more "levity," as far as we're concerned (Chip:  "Serious art is the absolute worst.").

Some of the events include: "a print portfolio exchange, an art exhibition, a haunted installation, a zine publication, an evening of ghostly story-telling, and a special evening of film screenings."

Check out the FB event page here for full info on all the dates and stop by on Friday for a visit to a "haunted video store installation—where guests can ask for a special 'dismembership card.'"

 100 Ghost Stories: A Haunted Installation, Print Portfolio and Zine Release, and More!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Tuesday Scenester Picks: Mount Eerie at LAC and Horror Remix at Bottleneck / Chip Reads Naomi Wolf's Vagina: A Biography

In a strange twist, the hippest show of the week may well NOT be at the Replay but rather at...the Lawrence Arts Center, as their 940 Concert Series returns for a special Tuesday edition with a performance by "fuzz-folk" favorites Mount Eerie.

Pitchfork bestows an impressive 8.3 on this year's Clear Moon (full review here):

"It reminded me of standing outside of my house as a child, on a cold night." 

And Pitchfork gives an 8.1 on Ocean Roar, also from this year (full review here):

"The midnight-black Ocean Roar... is an experiment in imagined homelessness: It has a facing-the-beast quality of a punishing spiritual quest...".

How better to spend a Tuesday evening than a "punishing spiritual quest!"   Luckily, the 940 series offers booze (or at least they did at past events), so at least you won't have to make your quest while totally sober.


You'll want to cap off your evening with Horror Remix at the Bottleneck, which serves up three films devoted to Bigfoot and werewolves!

Chip: "Finally!  I get so bored of vampires and zombies, but Bigfoot and werewolves are always terrifying, probably because, unlike the other monsters, they are real."

Visit the Horror Remix site here for full details on the evening's film choices.


A lot of you have probably been thinking to yourself:  when the hell is Chip going to review Naomi Wolf's hilariously-named new work called Vagina: A Biography?  Well, your day has come.

Chip:  "I'm so deep into Wolf's Vagina right now.  It's very tight[ly structured].  I feel like I'm beginning to rub up against the G-spot of her thesis at this point.  Final verdict:  you'll want to bury your nose in this Vagina again and again."

Okay, we get it.  But most critics have been considerably less kind.  Let's turn to this New York Times savaging:

" her eighth book, [Wolf[ presents a “vagina” inevitably, sadly defanged from its real raging, sweet power. And with her graceless writing, Wolf opens herself to ridicule on virtually ­every page:

Nice "vagina dentata" reference, NY-Times!

Another excerpt:

"If you really want to know what it takes to make a woman orgasm, to watch her soul explode and her identity ignite, then take a look at Harold Brodkey’s 1973 short story “Innocence.” I know it’s by a dead, white, bisexual, Jewish man, but try to pity his fivefold handicap, for it is the best female orgasm ever described by any writer — male or female."

All right, readers, we think it's safe to assume you're headed to the library right now to track down that Brodkey!  But if you're still reading, just click here since the NY-Times quotes the passage for you.  

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Weekend Scenester Itinerary: Get Folky, Quirky, And Electronic

An Irishman and an Englishman walk into the Replay...

This will happen on Friday evening.

 Nick Carswell hails from Ireland and his new band, Carswell and Hope, promises to play a set that ranges "from catchy indie pop tunes to sprawling Pink-Floyd style opuses."  We like a nice opus, on occasion, and their influence list seems right up our alley (Wilco, Sufjan Stevens, Neil Young, Sigur Ros).  

Opener Danny McGraw is from Manchester and cites influences such as Brit-pop, 60's folk, and 20th century blues.  Will there be a good-old fashioned Irish/English brawl after the sets?  Perhaps.  At any rate, the pints will be flowing. 


For a diverse evening, follow up the mellow porch music with My Life With The Thrill Kill Cult at the Granada:


On Saturday, Gavin Snider (of South Sea Island Magic) plays a free 9:30 pm show at the Burger Stand with opener Katlyn Conroy.  We haven't seen South Sea Island Magic but the Pitch says they possess "sweet, wide-eyed vocals and earnest, Postal Service-like synths."  Good enough for us.  Also,this show has cool flyers!


After the burgers and tunes, drop back by the Replay for a late-night set from Saddle Creek's UUVVWWZ.  Pitchfork says that it's "definitely not the worst band name you've ever encountered."  Maybe not, Pitchfork.  But it's pretty fucking close.  We also find their website infuriating (yet adorable). Check it out here .  

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

LFK's Required Listening and Reading: Coke Weed X and Winter's Bone

Yes, we know that we're lagging behind in our support of the Coke Weed X album by the Costello boys, but scenesters are notoriously late, so let us add our official endorsement today of "this gleaming treasure chest of post-Rock, old-Soul and MacBook cut-and-paste."

As you know, each and every release by Range Life Records is mandatory listening in LFK, and the RLR website spells out your assignment quite clearly for you:

"Before Summer ends: put this Coke Weed X album on in your headphones and go chill by the pool or put a blanket down in the park or walk downtown like a breeze through the action and soak it up. It'll feel fantastic or your money back." 

Chip: "I'm choosing the 'like a breeze through the action' option, but it looks like The Man is poised to install a bunch of new surveillance cameras in downtown LFK to monitor all my fucking breeze-walking." 

Head to Bandcamp and soak up the album, scenesters!  And read the full profile of the project via I Heart Local Music over here

Coke Weed X cover art


Your literary assignment for the month, of course, is Winter's Bone as part of Read Across Lawrence, and the big date with Woodrell his own self is fast-approaching (Sept. 27 at Liberty Hall).

Tonight at 8:00 you can participate in a Twitter-chat about Bone.  Make sure to use the ral12 hashtag.

So far, we're pleased that the book is turning out decidedly weirder than the terrific film version, complete with mystical ancestor worship and magical fish guts.

Chip: "Most erotic phrase so far, in a discussion of the mother's adultery:  "hot buttered parts" (42).

Monday, September 17, 2012

Monday and Tuesday Scenester Picks: Dead Winter Carpenters, Frank Turner, John Lithgow, and Pass the Hat Series

If you didn't get enough pickin' and grinnin' and strummin' at Winfield over the weekend, head to the Bottleneck this evening for California's Dead Winter Carpenters and reread our weekend interview with the band's fiddler Jenni Charles over here.  And ask her about "sandpaper mittens" at tonight's show!

Here's the new album cover:



NBC didn't bother to air British troubadour Frank Turner's stirring performance during the Opening Ceremonies of the Summer Olympics, but you can witness "the people’s prince of punk poetry" (NME)  up close and personal tonight at the Granada.

He's joined by Brooklyn's delightfully-named Jenny Owen Youngs as well as Larry and His Flask.

Chip:  "PLEASE tell me Larry and His Flask is just a surly dude on stage drinking whiskey from a flask and hurling abuse at the scenesters!"

Sorry, Chip, it's actually a a Central Oregon six-piece that serves up "a blurry blend of lightning fast string-band picking, gorgeous nods to old-school country, and sublime multi-part harmonies, all presented through a prism of punk chaos."  But that sounds awesome too!  Visit their FB page here to learn more.


The great John Lithgow visits LFK for the first time today (what?? he didn't actually film his Day After scenes here?).  Catch him telling tales at the Lied Center this evening.  And is it pure coincidence that our friends at Frank's North Star happen to be screening The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai for their Monday Movie Night, or will Lithgow be making a late-night appearance to perform some of Dr. Lizardo's finest moments such as those in the video below? Show up and find out.


Our friends at the Percolator are reviving the Pass the Hat series on Tuesday with four acts: Radio Shock and Dick Neff and Jason Zeh and Gold Star.  Potluck at 5 and music at 7:00.   The Series is free but the hat gets passed to help the bands, and it can't get passed far unless people show up.

Radio Shock is a one-mand band who employs a "found Yamaha keyboard, a uniquely tuned guitar, and a few effects and toy noisemakers."  Dick Neff is a one-man band who "does some odd thing with a synth."  Jason Zeh plays "extended technique cassette music." (?).  And Gold Star (an LFK "mystery band") offers "loud rock and quiet noise." We tend to prefer quiet rock and loud noise, but this might be a nice change.

Get the full scoop at the Percolator site over here.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Our Chat With Jenni of Dead Winter Carpenters: "Moonshine is a wondrous phenomenon..."

California five-piece Dead Winter Carpenters have a cool name and a lady fiddler, and we're fans of both of these things.  They're rolling into LFK  for an old-fashioned barn-burner on Monday night, Sept. 17, at the Bottleneck, along with an opener called Good Gravy (Chip:  "I hope Good Gravy sprays the crowd with delicious gravy!").  

Dead Winter Carpenters have a new album called Ain't It Strange and you can find all the details you need at their official site over here.  You can also stream a rollicking set by the band here.

But first, enjoy our interview with the band's fiddler Jenni Charles, who regales us with a truly delightful tale involving Arkansas moonshine and horny hippie chicks.  

Richard:  I really like the name Dead Winter Carpenters.  Tell us the origin story.  I hope it involves either (a) killing a carpenter during the winter or (b) the music of The Carpenters.

Jenni:  We've never told anyone the true origin of our name, but since you guys seem cool we will let you in on a little secret.  Dead Winter Carpenters is a synonym for Sandpaper Mitten.  If you're looking for an explanation, feel free to look it up in the urban dictionary.  If you want the full experience, consult your local carpenter and I'm sure they'd be happy to give you a helping hand ;)

[At this point, we pause to look up "sandpaper mittens" and Chip laughs for two hours at Jenni's innuendos].

Chip:   Let’s run with this death theme for a minute.  Given the fact that the band has “dead” in its name and that one of your influences is old-time fiddle music and that one of your songs is called “I Shot Him,”  I’m guessing you folks know your way around a murder ballad!  So what’s your all-time favorite murder ballad?

Jenni: Favorite murder ballads in order from oldest to newest:

Long Black Veil (Danny Dill/ Marijohn Wilkin)
Down By The River (Neil Young)
Black River Killer (Blitzen Trapper)

Chip:  You’ve made the rounds on the bluegrass/jammy festival circuits.  Can you share a hilarious or titillating story with our readers that involves some combination of booze (ideally moonshine) and drugs (ideally ‘shrooms) and hippie chicks (ideally naked hippie chicks).  If not, just an amusing tale in general from the festival circuit will do.

Jenni: One night we were drinking some homemade moonshine at a festival in Arkansas, listening to some good 'ol fashioned backwoods bluegrass and marveling at the way the singers in the band could hit every harmony equipped with cigarettes poised perfectly out of the side of their mouths.  The bass player from the band was so out of his gourd from taking some sort of mind altering substances, he took off his clothes, yelled something about a panic attack and passed out on stage. He laid in the middle of the stage with his band performing around him as if nothing happened. The hippie chicks were so shocked at this, it actually turned them on.  They put down their hula hoops, took off their little tank tops and smothered each other in body paint. As for the bassist, he coincidentally got up before the last song and started performing impeccably on the bass again, a cigarette between his lips. Not only that, but after the show he rallied and kept playing, gracing us with his presence in late-night open jam circles until dawn as if nothing ever happened... Moonshine is a wondrous phenomenon...

Richard:   You’re celebrating the release of your new album Ain't It Strange at the Bottleneck show.  Leave us with a short but powerful statement that convinces our (lazy) readers to come out and party with you good folks on a Monday evening.

Jenni:  Come to the Bottleneck on Monday! You will have a guaranteed good time or I will personally kick you out of the club! If you don't come, a series of unfortunate events may occur. You may experience a panic attack from extreme FOMO. You also may become a carpenter or start dating one, which will mean you will only be able to give or receive sandpaper mittens for the rest of your life.  If that isn't reason enough to come to the show, how are you going to get laid if you can't show your hyphy new moves on the dance floor?  Nobody wants to get down with a couch potato. See ya at the show!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Nerd Nite 9.0 Recap: Boning With the Nerds / Weekend Picks

Readers, it was a long and drunken Nerd Nite and also the most packed event yet in the Star Bar, likely due to the collaboration with Read Across Lawrence for this special "Down Home" edition (inspired by Winter's Bone).  Here's what we remember.

New "co-boss" Becky offered a funny take on the Nerd Nite "origin story," complete with a bizarre clip from a Japanese documentary about Nerd Nite, which you can view here .

Grit-Lit Presentation: 

Boldly flouting the Nerd Nite time limits, Susan and Sean defined the "grit-lit" genre (violent, usually Southern, showcasing society's marginal characters) and led us through some seminal works ranging from Faulkner's Sanctuary (of course) up through contemporary masters like Woodrell and Tom Franklin and Donald Ray Pollock.   Glad to see the late great Harry Crews popping up!  (notable omission:  the late-great Larry Brown).

Best Sean line (on Flannery O'Connor):  "I like her because I think she's mean."
Best Susan line (screamed):  "FILL YOUR HANDS, YOU SON OF A BITCH."  (Charles Portis/True Grit quote).

Head to the LPL tonight for an even-longer (though almost certainly less vulgar) "grit-lit" discussion with Susan and Sean.

Meth Presentation:

Sadly, Bryan didn't actually cook a batch of blue meth on stage (motherfucking Walter White-style!), but his fact-filled presentation nonetheless gave us a good sense of the different methods of "synthesis" (Shake-and-Bake remains our favorite).   He also forced us to visualize someone shooting meth into their urethra.  Thanks, Bryan!

Banjo and Fiddle Presentation:

James Brown's lecture/demonstration was a perfect end to a "Down Home" evening if you can dig a little "Piney Woods" and "Shady Grove."  We sure can.  The banjo gets a bad rap sometimes, but Bryan made a strong case for its importance from the days of minstrelsy to its use as a parlor instrument to the "cosmic genius" of Bela Fleck.   Brown also explained that the difference between a fiddle and a violin is the attitude with which you play it (though we've always heard a different punch-line growing up down South:  The difference is that one of them is carried in a "gunny sack.").

Important announcement of the evening:  Nerd Nite is slated to (finally!) move into the much larger space of the ballroom at Pachamama's in October.  Sure, we've been told this before, but this time it seems true!  Sadly, the October meeting (an LFK-centric edition in cooperation with KU's Natural History Museum) is scheduled on the same night as the Sarah Vowell lecture at KU (Oct. 10).   Talk about competing interests for history nerds!  That big space may not be necessary in October after all.


Kick your weekend off tonight at the Bottleneck as The Melvins breeze through on their record-setting 51 shows in 50 states in 50 days tour.   Is this more or less awesome than the Lips' recent effort to play the most shows within a few days time?  Let's go with more awesome. 


Also, keep in mind that this show is so important it's forcing all of LFK's little "Goombas" to reschedule their Goomba Rave for Friday night at the 'Neck.  Get the details here.


The Sluts seem to play every weekend in LFK, but an appearance by The Devil is too rare in our opinion.  She pops up as the opener for The Sluts on Friday at Replay.  Here's the pic we like to post any time the opportunity arises:

And the ever-popular Audio-Reader sale is at the Fairgrounds all weekend featuring "Over 7,000 vinyl records, 300+ pieces of vintage and modern audio equipment, musical instruments (including bagpipes)."

We will push and shove you out of the way to get those bagpipes!

More info at the official site here.


Tuesday, September 11, 2012

We Interview LFK's Ponyboy: "Our shows are loud with a lot of cursing...".

One could make a case for Ponyboy as LFK's most interesting band of the moment and here are three reasons why:

1) They have a loud and proud gay sensibility.
2) They have a terrifying new concept album called Pussy Killer about the Canadian killer Luka Magnotta.
3) They recorded the soundtrack for an "adult" film/documentary by the porn star Buck Angel called Sexing the Transman

How many of those can your band claim?

We spoke with Ponyboy's Charles McVey prior to this Saturday's show at Wonder Fair (8:00 pm, Sept. 15) which also includes Plains and Theo's Mystic Robot Orchestra.  Check Ponyboy out on FB here and find all of their tunes, including the new Pussy Killer album, via Bandcamp.  Visit the FB event page for Saturday's show here.

And enjoy this interview that touches on media violence, masculinity issues, and awkward boners!

Chip:  Normally I find anything with “Pussy” in the title to be a pleasant experience, but Pussy Killer is intense, man!  The first words we hear on the album are “Fair warning: you might find this next story disturbing,” and I certainly did!  Tell our readers about the inspiration for the title and the album.
MCVEY: "Pussy Killer" is a concept album about violence and how the media sensationalizes violent crime using the recent case of Canadian Luka Magnotta as a platform.  If you're not familiar with the case, he is a accused of murdering a 33 year old Chinese student, dismembering the body, and video taping the whole thing.  The video was uploaded to some gore sites and went viral, all the while body parts start showing up all over Canada via the mail.  Luka Magnotta, a failed model and porn actor,  was accused of the crime and I became a bit obsessed with the case while he was on the run.  It appears that this crime was motivated by Magnotta's quest for fame. He had previously been accused of making videos of killing cats and posting them online as well. That is where the title, "Pussy Killer" comes from, however I feel like it could have multiple interpretations in this case.   In the record I tried to examine some of the motifs that appeared while the case unfolded, as well as explore some  internal dialogue associated with psychopathic narcissism. 

Richard:  Ponyboy’s FB page describes your sound as “gayass 2-piece rock” and we’ve seen you called “art fag grunge rockers.”  How important is the gay activist aesthetic to your music and other projects, such as doing the score for the Buck Angel documentary?

MCVEY:  We're a hard rock band more than something like queercore, and I think that the bulk of the lyrical angst in Ponyboy is  related to masculinity issues more than gay issues. However, when I was younger I yearned for artists I could fully relate to in terms of sexuality and attitude, but was often left wanting. So I think that's probably why I'm so upfront about it now.  But it's more of a middle finger than a limp-wristed handshake.  Working with Buck has been really cool, and I think that our work corresponds well with Buck's ideas about questioning perceptions of masculinity and trying to be comfortable in one's own skin. And also we love porno, of course.
Richard:  The video for “Luka” gave me nightmares for a week.  Tell us about the imagery and how the “Director’s Cut” differs from the YouTube version.

I was really intrigued by the online fan base that sprung up around this crime after Magnotta was caught in Berlin and, while I was working on "Pussy Killer," I watched documentaries about famous serial killers looking for similarities and ideas I could consider while working on the lyrics.  It seems that much of the time the serial killer's desire or craving to kill starts as an obsessive fantasy, so I wanted the video to work with an element of fantasy and role play leading to an eventual crime.   The video for "Luka" is like a video response to or fan letter where the fan recreates the crime on a new victim.  We've had some problems with our videos on YouTube in the past, so I removed two shots to comply with their policy, but there is a link on the YouTube post to the uncut version on Daily Motion if you are into dirty shit.
Check out the Youtube version here (and we're sure that you pervs will follow the necessary links to the uncut version):

Chip:  My favorite Ponyboy song has got to be "Bro is the New Word For Faggot."  Sidenote: I was telling some bros about the tune recently outside Brother's and they totally called me a faggot.  Can you tell us about the title and meaning behind the song.

MCVEY: "Bro is the New Word for Faggot" is a lament of one's life seeming to consist of only failures and unfulfilled conquests. It's about trying to fit in when you've never fit in, and also about going to the gym. So, it's not really about being gay, but being a skinny loser.  It was actually the first Ponyboy song we wrote and I think we've played it at every show.  It's sort of the definitive Ponyboy track.

 Richard:  So what’s a Ponyboy show like?  Tell our readers what to expect at Wonder Fair on the 15th?

MCVEY: Our shows are loud with a lot of cursing, but there are usually a ton of drunk sluts at our gigs, so it's always fun for everyone.  I've never been to a gig at Wonder Fair, so I am not sure what to expect.  There are two other great acts that night as well, Plains and Theo's Mystic Robot, which is gonna be super cool.

Chip :   One final question:  I totally dig the score for “Sexing the Transman” but, as a VERY straight man, how uncomfortable do you think I’ll be if I actually watch the film and do you think it will end up giving me some very awkward boners?

MCVEY: Well, if your boners tend to be awkward, then yes.  There are actually two versions of Buck's "Sexing the Transman" films.  One is an adult film,  "Sexing the Transman XXX"; and the other, "Sexing the Transman" (no XXX) is a documentary with mainly just interviews.  The documentary has been shown at different film festivals all over the world this year and I am in the process of setting up a screening in Lawrence in November.  Only one of the interviews in the documentary gave me a boner, but it's been pulled from the film I hear, so you should be safe.

Here's Ponyboy's Charles and David and a flyer for Saturday's show:


Monday, September 10, 2012

Tuesday and Wednesday Scenester Picks: David Wax Museum and Nerd Nite's "Down Home" Edition

David Wax Museum hits the Bottleneck tomorrow (Tues. Sept. 11),  riding high on a new album called Knock Knock Get Up and a recent NY-Times piece regarding their Mexico-via-Appalachia (via Missouri) sounds:

"Onstage Mr. Wax often plays a jarana, an eight-stringed baroque guitar, while the other core member of his band, the fiddle player Suz Slezak, sometimes picks up a quijada, the percussion instrument made from the jawbone of an ass."

Folks, we've been waiting quite some time to witness an ass-jawbone jam session!  See you there.

Here's David Wax wearing red pants in a forest:



LFK, we hope that you are all ready to Bone, if you catch our meaning!  (we mean that the Read Across Lawrence/Winter's Bone events are kicking into high gear).

This week's Nerd Nite (Wednesday at Pachamama's) serves up a "Down Home" edition inspired by this year's Read Across Lawrence selection.  Here are the three presentations:

1)  "Behaving Bad: The Dirty South (mostly) in Literature, or Grit Lit:" by Susan Brown and Sean Barker

We're told by Susan that this presentation may involve a discussion of drowning puppies, but we suspect that no actual puppies will be drowned during the presentation. 

[You can also join Susan and Sean at the LPL on Thursday evening from 7:00-8:30 for an even more fleshed-out take on "grit-lit":  details here.]

2)  The chemistry and biology of meth by Bryan Smith  

This presentation is billed as "an overview of methamphetamine from the perspective of someone who works on making new legal drugs for a living."  

We'll assume that free samples of some of these new drugs will be offered during the presentation.

3)  Picking and Plucking: A short history (and demonstration) of the fiddle and the banjo by James Brown

Finally, some live music at this event!  And James Brown is coming back from the dead to play the fiddle for some reason??  This is shaping up to the be the best Nerd Nite ever.

And (perhaps?) for the first time ever, Wednesday's Nerd Night will be followed by Super Nerd Night at the Bottleneck.  Totally different event, but equally nerdy (there's a band called The 8th Horcrux playing: now that's nerdy!).   Readers, do you dare attempt a Nerd Nite/Super Nerd Night double-header?

Super Nerd Night "Weird" Edition

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Sunday Scenester Picks: Twin Shadow at Granada and Smile High Club at Replay!

Scenesters, are you ready for a Pitchfork-approved evening of synth-y sounds on a Sunday evening in Larryville?  Of course you fucking are.  So head to the Granada tonight for Twin Shadow.

Pitchfork bestows a very high 8.6 on Twin Shadow's 2012 Confess.

Let's look at some excerpts (and read the full review here]:

"[Twin Shadow's George Lewis Jr.] is adjusting his role models to fit the situation, staying within the 80s but moving from the Psychedelic Furs and Simple Minds.  Instead, he's taking Purple Rain, Born in the USA, and Lost Boys as guides. We're talking leather jackets, sullen glowers, salvation through hit-making."

You had us at Lost Boys and "sullen glowers!"

"...nearly every other sound is so crisp and airless that they become compellingly dehumanized."

Ah, complete soullessness will always garner you at least an 8.0 or above at Pitchfork!

"It's indeed a hyper-masculine record... the first instinct is to assume it's a misogynist record as well, but Confess isn't macho or "bro."

Hear that, bros?  Do NOT go to the Granada tonight.


It's not listed on the Replay calendar, but a bunch of folks certainly THINK they are playing a matinee show at the Replay this evening (and we suspect they are right).  The line-up includes Jazz Cigarettes, James Dean Rose and friends, and the hilariously filthy ladies of the Smile High Club (we really need to interview these gals: Chip has so many questions about their "Sweet Ass" song).

Check out the FB event page here which lists the show as starting at 6:25 pm ( finally, some punctuality regarding set times!) and includes a nice pic of the Replay:

Smile High Club, Jazz Cigarettes, James Rose and friends and Replay on the Patio THIS SUNDAY!!

With a rare day of great weather, this will surely be a pre-Winfield jamboree for all of LFK's hippies, but don't let that keep you away.  They are so friendly!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Weekend Picks for Freaks and Geeks: Free State Comicon, Foxy Burlesque at Franks, Monzie Leo at Bottleneck, and Insane Japanese Cinema in KC

Local comic books geeks will assemble for Free State Comicon on Saturday at the Douglas County Fairgrounds.  Visit the website here for the full scoop on the day's event.

And here is this year's promo: it's John Brown fighting some sort of Mayan beast to save the world (which is still slated to end in December, in case it's slipped your mind):


The Foxy By Proxy 2nd Birthday Bash hits Frank's North Star on Friday with an opening performance by Pale Hearts: "Doors at 8:00pm, rock at 9, boobies to follow. $7 at the door 21+."   Full info at the FB event page here.  145 folks say they're attending, so it should be quite a raucous evening which we we predict will climax (!) with a full-blown orgy in the underground lair.

Take a stroll down memory lane with a set of party pics from last year's V-Day show at B-neck.

 photo thumbnail


Monzie Leo hits the Bottleneck on Saturday with MN's Gypsy Lumberjacks.  Head to Bandcamp to check out Monzie Leo and the Northwest Two's new album Sneakin' in the Tall Grass.  The photo below of Monzie rocking  in front of Third Planet makes us smile every time we see it. And make sure to check out the Bottleneck's new website here for full info on this show and all their others. 

sneakin in the tall grass cover art

We understand that Monzie's also rocking the early evening Sunday slots over at Frank's North Star these days.  So you have plenty of opportunities to catch him in action.  And take a look at a video of a recent Monzie performance at Five Bar over at I Heart Local Music .  What the fuck is a Five Bar, you ask?  Pay attention, scenesters.  It's the former I-Bar at Ingredient, and apparently it's a happening joint for folk and bluegrass these days.  We hope to visit soon.


Our new favorite, out-of-LFK excursion is a trip to the Alamo Drafthouse KC.  If you're in the area on Sunday, do yourself a favor and check out their special screening of 1977's HAUSU, which they are promoting as the weirdest Japanese film of all time."  (although we'd argue that the recent, 4 hour Love Exposure gives it a serious run for the money).  Sure, you can see HAUSU on Criterion at home, but you probably need to see it with a roomful of baked freaks to truly "get" it.

Check out the info from the theater here and watch this insane trailer:

And here's
the scene where a wacky, floating severed head bites a girl on the ass:

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

New Interview With LFK's Strider: "We're sending safe-buses for any stragglers who get left behind and will be regrouping for waffles in the morning..."

Team Bear Club is keeping the LFK hip hop scene bustling these days, and we caught up with one of their many disciples, Strider, for an interview before a major Jackpot showcase this Saturday, Sept. 8, which also features Stik Figa, Ebony Tusks, Cuddy Mac, and New Suede (reread our past interviews with Stik Figa over here and Ebony Tusks' Marty over here ).

Check Strider out on FB , tweet him @StriderLK , listen to him on Soundcloud, and enjoy this discussion which covers video games, the loveliness of LFK and its "disposition as a collective", and the many words that rhyme with boner.

Richard:  Tell us what makes Strider stand out among the LFK rap and hip-hop scene, which seems to be pretty active these days.  Also: what do you think makes the LFK scene different from KC or Top City?  Are LFK rappers more likely to rap about PBR?

Strider:   I’ve got my Marvel vs Capcom 3 game on lock. I’ve yet to have another rapper/producer beat me. MVC2 as well for that matter, but I’m a little rusty cause I haven’t played it in a while. I dare ya’ll to fuck with my Strider/Magneto in 3 though.

 LFK is different mostly because of the word “Fucking” in it. I’ve yet to see  “KFC” (unless we’re talking Vibralux) or “TFC” used as common acronyms, and that in itself says something about our disposition as a collective.

Chip:  I saw you perform once before at the Jackpot and you played a song that, I think, was called “Don’t Fuck With Ugly Bitches.”   You seemed wise beyond your years!  Do you stand by that advice in all cases or is it occasionally okay to fuck with ugly bitches?

Strider:   For the record, I’d like to state that "Ugly Bitches" was a song dedicated to ugly women AND men; My music is intended to be for everyone. That being said, I don’t think fucking with ugly bitches is bad occasionally if that’s your thing or you don’t tell anybody. Just make sure it’s at their place and not yours.

Richard:   Who are your influences?  Also: what do you think is the best line you’ve ever written and why?

Strider:  My influences are constantly changing, but right now I’m beginning to get more into grime and I gotta say Nu Brand Flexx holds it the fuck down.  Also, a lot of video game music. Lately I’ve been vibing out to Minecraft’s music while my roommate plays it and builds his own personal palace. 

My favorite line of my own is “Counterstrike playing I’m tossing grenades while I’m terrorist slaying go blacka ba blocka,” because I’m tough as fuck when I play CS!

Chip:  When I need to get hyped up about Lawrence, I watch your video for “The L” and try to do those dance moves along with you:  “on my shirt, on my back, shining like a star.”  Tell us how that song came about?   Do you think the City Commission might be willing to declare it the official theme song of Lawrence?

Strider:  Word!  Thanks, Chip! That song came about around the time I saw a house the day after it burned down and I was just like “Wow, I’ve seen/experienced more crazy shit here than anywhere else I’ve lived.” I didn’t go and intentionally write a song specifically about that, though.  "The L" just sort of came to me because Lawrence was one of the first cities that I’ve felt comfortable being myself in, and this was my way of saying thanks. I still think the City Commission should choose The Winner’s Circle and their anthem “Fuck You, I’m from Kansas” over “The L” for the official theme song, however.

Check out "The L" video over here.

Richard:  Saturday’s Jackpot show looks like one hell of a Bear Club party.  Tell our readers what to expect and why they MUST attend.

Strider:  Damn straight it is! Expect a lot of people to be going hard in the paint. Expect New Suede to wear something legendary, as he always seems to be surprising people. Expect fresh sounds and comfortable, pleasant vibes. Maybe I’ll burn some incense or spray some Febreeze or something. You HAVE to make it out.  We’re sending safe-buses for any stragglers who get left behind and will be regrouping for waffles in the morning to recount the night’s events. Oh, and expect real bears.

Chip:  Can I get high and freestyle a little at one of your shows sometime?  I’m really good at rhyming things with “boner.”

Strider:  Obviously. That’s an amazing talent you have.  Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. 


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

New Interview with Denver's The Outfit: "I hope this era of standing in the front row at a Bass Drum of Death show and only tapping your foot is coming to a close."

Denver rockers The Outfit have been garnering some good buzz out West lately, opening up high-profile shows for bands like The Lumineers.  They're on the road now for their first major tour and stopping by the Jackpot on Monday, Sept. 10 for an evening with LFK's Til Willis, Baby Boomers, and Comanche the Horse (one of our favorite current local band names).   Please stop by and make them feel welcome, since the attendance at a Monday evening Jackpot show is likely to be a little more sparse than a Lumineers concert!

Check out The Outfit on FB over here and enjoy this wide-ranging interview with Mike, Eric, and RJ in which we discuss their beer preferences, the difficulties of non-dancing scenesters, and what the tastemakers at Pitchfork might say about The Outfit's sound (Mike knocked it out of the park with his answer to that question!). 

Richard:  A press blurb in the Denver Thread invokes everyone from Mark Lanegan to Kings of Leon to the Buzzcocks to J. Mascis in trying to pin down your sound.  How would you describe your own sound if you had to use some pompous Pitchfork-y style music writing and can you cite four DIFFERENT singers or bands as reference points within that description.

Mike:  Well shit, here goes nothing... 

"The Outfit offers an earnest, post-garage rock revival, built on ground laid by The Strokes and other acts from roughly a decade ago.  Not that they necessarily ape those bands -- though frontman Eric Johnston's casual articulation occasionally recalls that of Julian Casablancas -- rather [it's] the back-to-basics championing of straightforward, guitar-based pop songwriting.  This is nothing groundbreaking, and it doesn't have to be.  The guitars chime and hum with undiscerning admiration toward The Walkmen, The Pixies, and The Rolling Stones, while the bass and drums propel the songs with youthful excitement. What results is an unapologetically derivative indulgence that is, in a way, and perhaps against all odds, refreshing.  The burden of contextual relevance is relieved in light of a sincerity that doesn't acknowledge where it may or may not belong.  It is free to be itself, for better or worse.  5.5"

RJ: I'm surprised we broke 5.0...

Chip:  The three-gun cover for Broken West Wishbone Test is pretty cool.  Tell us about the origins of the album title and cover imagery.  Also, guns are VERY controversial right now.  Should you perhaps sell the album in a brown paper bag at your shows to prevent someone from being scared or offended?

Mike: Eric came up with that name, Broken West Wishbone Test, so he can probably tell you about what it might mean. For the artwork, we basically just gave the album to our friend Jorge Vargas and said, "listen to this and make art for it." It probably sucks to hear that if you're an artist, but I think he did a good job. There's an armadillo on the back that really ties the whole thing together.  Also, I think revolvers are okay because The Beatles named an album after them.

Eric: The name of the album came from two different blurbs I had written as “lyrical ideas”. The name, at least for me, invokes two different things that could be seen as both modular and linear. “Broken West” invokes an image of a modern society that longs for the “good ole days," ; however, there is hope for the future, something “Broken” can be repaired. “Wishbone Test” invokes an image of, well… a test, with a reward that can mean many different things to many different people. The finesse and confidence of breaking a wishbone and “winning”, has always seemed wistful and satisfying to me. Together, I guess they stand as a challenge to have the courage and confidence to test yourself and the world around you. Ha, but most people just say… 'weird album name'.

Take a listen via Bandcamp.

Broken West Wishbone Test cover art

Richard:  I like the lyrics of "Cavalier,” with its references to “midnight wine” and its image of a “forty on the plaid couch.”  What’s your drink of choice for shows and after-parties?  You’ll definitely be seeing plenty of PBR here in Lawrence.  Also, do you have a particular favorite line or favorite image from one of your songs?

Mike: PBR is definitely a go-to choice. I've been playing in bands for a long time, so I've developed a taste for whatever beer a venue will give me for free (plus tip, of course [insert "just the tip" joke here]). [Chip interrupts to make six 'just the tip' jokes.]  If i'm buying my own beer, I lean toward Colorado breweries, like Great Divide or Breckenridge or New Belgium.

Eric: Ive been drinking a lot of different things- PBR, Negro Modelo. Ive been trying to invent a cocktail that I can call the Bob Costas: straightforward but not afraid to have a good time on the air.

RJ: PBR is pretty much my “usual” pre-show drink, mainly because venues will always give it to us for free. It’s nice that it’s a staple from venue to venue, because I know exactly how many I can drink before I reach my “making an ass out of myself while I try to drum” limit. But I really like the line in “Softsided” where Eric sings “You’re so softsided, you love it but hide it, you want them, but let them go.” Something always just kinda stuck with me about loving something but hiding it and wanting something but letting it go.

Chip:  Your FB page lists one of your stated goals as making music that “people can really connect to and gets them moving.”  What’s the scene in Denver like and do the scenesters there actually “get moving” at shows?  I can assure you that your Jackpot show in Lawrence is going to feature a lot of stock-still scenesters staring at you with stern expressions, so be prepared to work extra hard to get those fuckers moving.

Mike: That's exactly what Denver is like. I think more people are figuring out that if you just let go and dance and have fun, every show, no matter what, is a thousand times better. It sounds stupid, "you'll have more fun if you have fun" circular logic, but I've been that guy who just stands there, and I've been that guy who is the only one moving around, who people are angry at because they want to watch The Thermals in rigid, analytical stillness, dammit, why is this asshole bumping into me!  I've been on both sides, and I can say wholeheartedly that i prefer the latter.  I mean, I prefer when other people join in and dance too, but... well, you get the point.

Eric: Yup, I hope this era of standing in the front row at a Bass Drum of Death show and only tapping your foot is coming to a close. Music can be enjoyed in many ways but if you’re going to just stand there, stand in the back.

RJ: Crowds that don’t move have given me a much better appreciation for the dude, or lady, in the crowd that just lets it all out. The person that’s not afraid to dance, or be the only one clapping to a section of a song, or pour beer on their friends because it’s crazy how infectious that can be in an audience. It’s like that one person not giving a fuck gives the rest of the crowd an excuse to get a little weird too. I always want to buy them a beer after we play.

Richard:  Looks like you guys have shared the stages with some “buzzy” bands like The Lumineers, Dinosaur Feathers, the Cave Singers, etc.  Can you tell our readers an exciting tale about hanging out with these scenester luminaries?

Mike: The bass player from Dinosaur Feathers, Ryan, and I are on the same guitar effects forum on the internet. That is not an exciting tale at all, unless maybe you also look at ilovefuzz, but it's true.  A lot of musicians are really just nerds who spend too much time online.

Eric: These bands are the epitome of hard work. Each is so talented and brings so much to the table, but people are talking about them because they worked incredibly hard and haven't given up. Its amazing how patronizing people can be when they ask "how's the band"?? You've got to ignore a lot of bullshit and remember why you're doing what you're doing. 

RJ: Our dear friend and pet fake armadillo, Margaret, went to a better place just a few months ago. Neyla from The Lumineers found her while they were on tour, and gave her to us earlier this year to look after our merch while we are on stage. We didn’t get to hang with her very long, because she unfortuantely lost her head at a bar in Denver after The Lumineers' show in May. I think that’s how she wanted to go out though; surrounded by friends and as a racecar, not a pacecar.  Margaret might make an appearance on a shirt in the future though.

Richard:  Tell our readers what to expect at your Jackpot show.  Also, what else is on the horizon for The Outfit in terms of future recording and touring?

Mike: The Jackpot show is going to be LEGENDARY.  The kind of thing that people will find out about afterward and then tell other people about it like they were there.  Like that house show that Sonic Youth played in Denver in 2004... amazing...

As far as the future is concerned, we're mixing some new songs right now that we recorded with Tim Gerak. He's making us sound so good, it's crazy. We will definitely be touring more once we have this new material out, but it's a little early to say when that will be.

Eric: Good job Mike! Jackpot show… “JACKPOT”- A. Sandler