Friday, November 30, 2012

Weekend Picks For the Whole LFK Family: Horses, Ugly Sweaters, and a Homegrass Hootenanny

Readers, our weekend picks tend to cater to the small scenester contingent who won't go out before midnight and won't go anywhere except Frank's or the Replay, but how will the rest of LFK spend the weekend?  The normal folks?  The boring folks?  The ones with families?

Let's consider some options.

Saturday morning brings the ever-popular Old-Fashioned Christmas Parade.   That's the one with the interminable amount of horses.  Pretty much nothing but horses.  But who doesn't like horses.

Chip:  "I like the ones with the big-ass feet.  The ones that drink a lot of Budweiser."

We're not sure Chip is remembering those commercials correctly, but we catch his meaning.


Once the streets are clear of horses, they'll be clogged with 2000 + runners bedecked in ugly sweaters for the first annual Ugly Sweater Run, a national event from the folks who recently brought the first annual Color Run to LFK.  This event will feature snow machines, sledding stations, and stops for hot chocolate.  And afterwards there's a post-race party in Watson Park with "best beard" contests and beers from Sam Adams.

At this point, you're presumably thinking, "This is so silly you've gotta be making it up."

No.  It's true.  Details are here .


 And it wouldn't be an LFK weekend without a benefit concert of some sort.  We'd recommend the "Homegrass Hootenanny," an event at the Granada on Sunday afternoon/evening/night to raise funds for Independence, Inc, a local non-profit that assists those with disabilities.  There's a solid lineup featuring the ever-funny Truckstop Honeymoon, the ever-present Tyler Gregory, the ever-more-popular Ashes to Immortality (reread our interview with Mike from Ashes over here ), and many many more.  So many, in fact, that it starts extra-early (doors at 4:00). 

The Homegrass Hootenanny will be Sunday December 2 at The Granada. Truckstop Honeymoon, Ashes to Immortality, and Tyler Gregory and more. Tickets are only $10 and are available at The Granada or on their website. Doors open at 4:00. by Brenda Brown

A chorus of LFK scenesters:  "Screw all this.  See you at the Dan Ryan cassette release party at the Replay around midnight!"

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Wednesday Scenester Picks: Old Country Death, Pink Royal, Modern Rock Diaries, and Til Willis / Final Friday Preview, Vol. 2: Animation + Hot Syncopation at Wonder Fair

If you're looking for a stompin' good time on a Wednesday, Old Country Death is playing at the Replay tonight (opening up for Fast Food Junkies).  They always have kick-ass flyers.

Fast Food Junkies & Old Country Death

At the Jackpot, you'll find a new LFK band called Pink Royal, whose FB page says:  "The music captures multiple genres and gives off a universal, "sexy" vibe."  The band contains Mustard, from Dumptruck Butterlips.


The Jackpot calendar, however, lists tonight's act as "Pink Royale," which (according to our research) is a Taylor-Swift influenced girlie band who make their own Youtube series about their wacky adventures: 

"In this episode the girls are asked to deliver their demo CD to the theatre where another girl band, Pixie Pandema is playing. On their  adventure the girls stop to get food for Eryn and lose track of the CD  when they promised Ethan they would not lose it. When they finally find it, it ends up getting demolished!!"   

 And at the Bottleneck you can find OK indie-rockers Modern Rock Diaries.  Somehow we doubt they'll be dressed as they apear in this pic (via this site), but we sure hope they are!


 Opening up is our friends Til Willis and Erratic CowboyReread our recent Til Willis interview over here, in which Til describes the band's sound as "Neil Young and Crazy Horse meets The Clash meets Sleepy LaBeef at a concert by Jandek's sister's band, Dicdek."


The Prohibition-era is so hip right now, and our friends at Wonder Fair are doing something weird to celebrate the era.  Their Final Friday offering is "a special Prohibition-era night of Animation + Hot Syncopation, featuring three hauntingly beautiful stop-motion animated short films by Brian Hawkins and Nick Ward, presented with live musical accompaniment by Brian Hawkins."  The films run at 7 and repeat at 8:00, and the speakeasy is open all night for your boozing needs.   Head over to the Wonder Fair site for description of the films, one of which features "a stilted but oddly graceful creature cross[ing] a winter landscape, given life by the simple alchemy of scotch tape, straight pins, and styrofoam."

Sold!  This will be far preferable than watching KU's terrible offense try in vain to penetrate the Beavers (if you catch our innuendo). 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

LFK Photo of the Day: Borders...Like You've Never Seen It Before / Important Scenester Opportunity: Black Lodge for Sale

Take a look at this startling sight via the FB page of our friends at LPL.  Freaky, eh? 


Scenesters, if you're like us, you're broke as fuck.  But perhaps someone amongst you (or perhaps a group of you) can muster the funds to purchase the "renowned" Black Lodge Recording studio in Eudora, which is on the market and needs a kind soul to swoop in and make sure hip records continue to get recorded there.

"Currently home to renowned Black Lodge Recording studio, 701-703 Main St. in beautiful downtown Eudora, KS can be yours! This site, home of the historic Pilla General Store was renovated in ‘97 w/ new electrical and HVAC. Featuring some of the best sounding rooms in the region, your purchase includes a host of world class audio recording systems and equipment. Living quarters upstairs, plenty of office, work and storage space, all located in a friendly, cost-effective small town between Lawrence and KC. Call Nate Paradis @785.550.8947 today to schedule a live tour and make your offer." 

 Visit the official listing site here for a lot of photos.  Even the bathrooms are ultra hip!  Take a peek:

Monday, November 26, 2012

Monday Scenester Pick: Killer Whales at Frank's / Final Friday Preview, Vol. I: Andrew Jilka's "God Willing" at Invisible Hand

Readers, if you're like us, you spent part of your Thanksgiving holiday at the multiplex puzzling over the  philosophical (3D) conundrums of Ang Lee's Life of Pi and marveling at Tony Kushner's intricate, inspiring, and witty script for Spielberg's Lincoln.  But in the back of your mind you were thinking: I'd rather be at Frank's with some scenester cinephiles watching a killer whale munch on some sons-a-bitches!  Well, tonight's your night, as Frank's Monday Movie offers up 1977's Orca: the Killer Whale.   For Chip's money, this film features Ennio Morricone's very best score.  Yes, better than The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.


Another Final Friday is approaching and we haven't spotted as many "important" events as we'd like.  But the must-see event we've noticed so far will take place (no surprise) at Invisible Hand over in the Warehouse Arts District. 

Here's a bit of the synopsis of Andrew Jilka's "God Willing":

"Teasing out “nuances to situations that seem trivial or fleeting,” Jilka crosscuts and juxtaposes the frozen frame of a syndicated game show or full-contact sporting event with a mother tranquilly breastfeeding or a father embracing his child, face contorted. The series is striking — voyeurism alongside television, brutality next to affection."

You had us at "voyeurism."  

Visit the FB event page here to find out that 100 of your hippest friends will be on hand.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Saturday Scenester Picks: Wilder Maker at Jackpot and Fourth of July with Y(our) Fri(end) at Replay

After a little Thanksgiving vacation to the terrifying dry counties of Arkansas, we are back in Larryville, drinking PBR and scoping out the cultural scene.

[Update:  the following Jackpot show may be happening Sunday instead of tonight, depending on whether you believe the Jackpot's calendar, Facebook, the band's pages, etc.  But you weren't planning to attend anyway, were you?].

Luckily, our eye landed on an under-the-radar early show (if we believe the calendar listing) at the Jackpot tonight:  Boston's Wilder Maker.  Head to their Bandcamp, click on the first song ("Of Cowboys and Other Beautiful Men"), and marvel at the songwriting (and kick-ass horn):  "Rich men make rich eyes over rich chocolate cake and rich women / Rich boys tear off their clothes and do lots of blow." 

My Old Kentucky Blog offers this rave:

 "As a songwriter, he is already accomplished well beyond his years, his best material calling to mind names as seemingly disparate as Jim Croce, Bon Iver, Bill Callahan and Van Morrison. But it’s as an arranger where Birnbaum truly distinguishes himself, seamlessly blending styles and incorporating his own free jazz lineage in a manner that swings from impossible beauty to unspeakable violence without warning." 

Here's Wilder Maker in beautiful black and white:

Wilder Maker

Opening up is LFK's Oils.  Check out their website here for all the links you need. 


And over at the Replay, Fourth of July will surface for a post-Thanksgiving celebration.  We hear they'll be dressed as pilgrims.  Reread our Fourth of July interview here, in which Brendan talks about seeing White Flight's wiener.  Also on the bill is KC's Monster as well as one of LFK's buzziest new artists (who also gets our vote for the most strangely punctuated local artist):   Y(our) Fri(end).   It took Chip 22 minutes to figure out how you're meant to read the name:  "Your Friend / Our End ."  We caught her opening up a last-minute Replay patio show awhile back and her voice is hypnotic in a live setting.  It even made the tough guys from Up the Academy shed a tear on that evening.   Check out a Y(our) Fri(end) performance via I Heart Local Music over here .

Y(our) Fri(end) photo via I Heart Local Music: 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Sat-Mon Scenester Picks: Experimental Hijinks at Percolator; Sharks at Liberty Hall; Swearin' at Replay

Another "Pass the Hat" evening at the Percolator tonight serves up experimental musicians from Switzerland, Germany, and New Orleans, a mysterious new "local ensemble" named Horse Head (we assume the members will be wearing horse head masks?),  and a screening of the New Orleans art/music documentary Liquid Land.  Potluck at 6:00 and music/film at 7:00. Visit the FB event page here  to learn things such as this, about Swiss drummer Simon Berz:

"For installation purposes, he lets water drop from infusion bags in various speeds, creating a complex and meditative sound piece."

 You will like this more than KU football, so go and show your support to this continuing series of events.



Film Church quietly glided up on us this time around like a...great white shark! Yep, it's Jaws on the big screen tomorrow morning, complete with seafood chowder from the folks at 715.  Sadly, it's not that sweet new 35 mm print that's been surfacing in various places, but it'll look good anyway.  Plus, it's fucking Jaws!  It's one of the best things ever.  Check it out.  Will Mick Cottin don his Halloween costume (Quint getting eaten by Jaws) once more for this occasion?



And Monday night you're going to need to stay up late for Swearin' at the Replay.  This is a VERY buzzy show, scenesters, so get in on the ground floor and read up on them. 

There's a very good recent NY-Mag piece about Swearin's Allison Crutchfield (along with her twin sister Katie and her project Waxahatchee).  Read it here .

And Pitchfork gives a solid 7.8 to Swearin's self-titled 2012 debut:

"Swearin' channels the feeling of being in your early-to-mid 20s in the most intuitive way: scrappy, snarky rock, unshakeable hooks, and genuine lyrics."  (full review here ).

Chip:  "So basically it's like Lena Dunham's Girls transformed into an indie band."


Friday, November 16, 2012

Weekend Scenester Picks: Loaded for Bear at LAC; Stiff Middle Fingers, Theo's Mystic Robot Orchestra, and Merlin at Love Garden; Heavy Figs at Frank's

As you know, if you've tuned into our blog this week, Loaded For Bear 3: Rocket To Awesome, launches at the Arts Center at 9:00 tonight.  Bring on the dick jokes!

But you can kick the evening off early at Love Garden as Stiff Middle Fingers headline a triple-bill.  They've got a new(ish) EP:  the cleverly titled Enemies With Benefits.  Check it out via Bandcamp and visit the show's FB event page here .

Also on the bill:  that prolific little scamp Drew Smith and his project Theo's Mystic Robot Performance as well as the first-ever live performance by local wizards Merlin.  We interviewed Merlin way back when:  read it here .  Hopefully they'll be dressed in full wizard garb tonight and they'll be handing out free tapes, free shirts, free candy corn (wizards fucking love candy corn!), and other goodies.  Here's a little sample of that interview:

Richard:  What’s the best song Merlin has written so far and why?
Jordan:  The last song on the album, "Goblin at the Gates of Mercury". It's the best, most epic piece we've ever done. It's a four part, fourteen minute epic about a goblin cast out into space, landing on Mercury, going mad, and discovering a portal to vast knowledge. Total craziness. I even included an excerpt from the original broadcast of "War of the Worlds". 

(DOUBLE) RELEASE BLOWOUT with Stiff Middle Fingers / Merlin / Theo's Mystic Robot Orchestra

Enemies With Benefits EP cover art


And certainly the show with the most kick-ass flyer is at Frank's North Star.  Check it out:

We're sold. Except that says that it costs $10.  But we're pretty sure it's a free show, so don't be deterred by that terrifyingly incorrect price.   The last time we saw Mad Kings they were howling the blues while a bevy of scantily-clad ladies danced around them (at a fashion show at the Jackpot). So we're hoping for something comparable tonight.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Nerd Nite 11 Recap: "We're Not Gonna Understand It Completely." / Five Lovely Haikus From the Loaded for Bear Gang

Readers, revolution was in the air at last night's very special Soviet-themed edition of Nerd Nite.  The speeches covered rebellion against government-controlled media (through underground rock!); rebellion against occupying forces and restrictive citizenship policies (through singing!);  and rebellion against the very notion of rhythm itself (through "polymodal chromaticism").   Yes, it was quite an inspiring evening!

Here are some highlights:

The obligatory Nerd Nite origin story made room for some terrific Soviet stop-motion animation featuring the beloved little creature "Cheburashka" (the Russian equivalent of Mickey Mouse) and his accordion-playing crocodile pal.  Terrific!

1st Presentation:  Notes from the Underground: Dissident Music in the Soviet Union by Austin Charron

Beginning with "The Era of Stagnation" (1964-82), Austin traced the underground world of Soviet Rock as well as the underground trade ("Magnitizdat") of Western records that were smuggled in, pressed onto x-ray film (this is known as "on the bone").  Toward the end we were getting a little worried that the recent case of Pussy Riot was not going to be covered, but we shouldn't have worried.  Pussy Riot appeared!

Best line:  "Deep Purple is huge in Russia!"  (likely due to the records that were smuggled in).

Moment that elicited a collective scenester orgasm:  a show-and-tell involving a Russian vinyl copy of Sonic Youth's Daydream Nation.

Here are a few of the bands.  We can see ourselves really getting into this Zoopark band!

2nd Presentation:  You Sunk My Citizenship? – The Estonian Singing Revolution & Citizenship Dilemma by Dave Trimbach

Former Nerd Nite co-boss Dave began with a very true assertion, at least in our case:  "Most Americans don't think about Estonia at all."  But his presentation told us all kinds of interesting facts:  it's the home of Skype; internet access is a human right; all elections are held on-line (oh, Kris Kobach would NOT be pleased with that!).   The presentation focused on the "singing revolution" of 1987-91, which grew out of unrest due to environmental issues and Soviet occupation and, at its height, featured 300,000 protesters singing folk tunes (fully 1/4 of the population!).  

Best line:  Asked about the strong Swedish tradition in Estonia, Dave replied:  "Sweden was their favorite occupier."

Please watch this "History of Estonia in 18 Seconds" :  

3rd Presentation:  Bar Talk: Bela Bartok, Polymodal Chromaticism & Modern Classical Composition by Steve Dahlberg

Our friend and fellow PBR Book Clubber Steve opened with another very true statement:  "We're not gonna understand it completely."  But he nonetheless absorbingly immersed us in the "drift away from the tonal" in the works of composers such as Bela Bartok and the like, complete with samples of his own symphonies (dude is prolific!!) composed in his attempts to understand these techniques.  

Best line:  "Fuck rhythm!"

Second best line:  "I've never heard a windchime in a chromatic 12-tone scale."

Final thoughts:  we sadly missed the previous Nerd Nite, so this was our first time in the venue's new Ballroom setting at Pachamama's.   It's a big space, but what it lacks in nerdy intimacy it makes up for in not having to turn any nerds away, since there's plenty of space for rows of chairs to be set up apart from the table seating.   

Also: the next Nerd Nite is on 12/12/12 (holy shit!) and will be an "alumni edition" with past nerds returning with new material.


Big shout-out to Loaded for Bear for sending us all kinds of funny stuff this week (we love guest columns, which allow us to be lazy for the day!).

Their new comedy show, Loaded for Bear 3: Rocket to Awesome, commences at 9:00 on Friday with another show on Saturday.

Today they offer us five delightful haikus to promote the show.  Are haikus hip right now?   Yes.  Haikus are always hip!

LOADED FOR BEAR 3: ROCKET TO AWESOME, IN HAIKU FORM by Jacqueline Grunau and Imagene Harris, writers, actors

Turkey Day is near
Family Gatherings Suck
First, Loaded for Bear

Two leg Sea Captain
Arrrrrr! Yarrrrr! Avast me hearties!
Come and see him dance!

We can’t say there’s beer
Wink, wink, nudge, nudge, bring some cash
Get Loaded for Bear

Cure all your worst fears
Laughter is the best of meds
L.F.B, M.D.

Rocket to Awesome!
That’s what your mom said last night!
Ha Ha! We make jokes!


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Nerd Nite, Replay Lounge Chili Cookoff, and Two More Very Special Messages From Loaded For Bear (From Chris Nelson and Jay-Z)

Readers, if you're anything like us, you are busy as hell today preparing for two things.

1) Tonight's Nerd Nite:   supposedly tonight's event in Pachamama's ballroom will contain plenty of nerdspace with no capacity limit.  The bar is cash only, so bring cash, nerds!  We're currently putting a list of questions together for our friend Steve Dahlberg's presentation on "polymodal chromaticism."  First question:  what the fuck is polymodal chromaticism?

2)  Tomorrow's Replay Lounge Chili Cookoff:  We're making a bold choice this year, substituting Hamm's instead of PBR.   Our chili also includes actual hams (as in pork).  Chip calls it "Five-Boner Chili."  We're likely to win.

So let's just turn the rest of the blog over today to two guest columns regarding this weekend's Loaded for Bear comedy show at LAC. The first is from Chris Nelson. The second is from Jay-Z.

LOADED FOR BEAR MEMORIES by Chris Nelson, writer, actor.

I remember my first Loaded for Bear. I was backstage with Matt Gaus and he was about to go on for the Fruit Stand sketch (a Bear classic. Next time you see Andy Morton, ask if you can buy some fruit). Anyhow, before he heads out Gaus just takes a whole fistful of benzos and black beauties. I turn around and Belushi is all, like, “Damn, even I wouldn’t take that many before going on.” And I say, “Damn it, Jim Belushi. What are you doing here? We cut the K-9 sketch. And stop eating all our popsicles.” Later that night, while I was doing the Safeword  sketch, Jim Belushi runs out on stage naked and crying and stabs me repeatedly in the back and buttocks with a shank made from a sharpened popsicle stick. And I have never heard an audience laugh louder. Loaded for Bear, man. Anything can happen.

(Come see Loaded for Bear 3: Rocket to Awesome, November 16th and 17th at the Lawrence Arts Center. Tickets on sale now!)


What up? A lot of people say to me, Jay-Z, when you’re not RAPPING ABOUT PEOPLE MUCH POORER THAN YOU, or PRETENDING THAT YOU OWN A BASKETBALL TEAM, or NAMING CHILDREN AFTER COLORS, what do you do for fun?

Simple. I choose to spend my time PATRONIZING LOCAL COMEDY SHOWS in Lawrence, Kansas - specifically, LOADED FOR BEAR 3: ROCKET TO AWESOME (dropping November 16th and 17th at 9:00 p.m.) because those cats are REALER THAN YOU OR ME.


One (1) genuine TIGER with PLATINUM TEETH
One (1) full-sized MINK REFRIGERATOR
Three (3) freshly baked CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES.  Each cookie will contain A REAL DIAMOND
One (1) environmentally friendly FORD FOCUS that RUNS ENTIRELY ON CRISTAL

Oprah’s got nothing on this motherfucker.

Following the show, I will also be PERFORMING ALL THE RAP HITS THAT DEFINED A GENERATION, alongside such legendary performers as JIMMY BUFFETT, LUCIANO PAVAROTTI, Microsoft’s BILL GATES, and former NBA star GHEORGHE MURESAN.  You will be MOVED TO TEARS.

If these things do not happen, you may not have your money back.  But you may sue LOADED FOR BEAR 3: ROCKET TO AWESOME.  That’s the Loaded for Bear Guarantee™.

Now watch this promo for the show which stars Andy Morton and a chicken:

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Guest Column: Andy Morton on Death and Dick Jokes (A Very Special Message From Loaded For Bear, Vol. II) / Hippie Pick of the Day: Infamous Stringdusters at Bottleneck

Readers, if you are like us, watching Andy Morton's 1-on-1 Trivia on Channel 6 while drinking PBR and playing along is an integral part of your week. It's even become part of our vocabulary.  When Chip is befuddled (which is often), he loves to shout,  "I'm gonna use my Alan!"

So we're quite pleased to have LFK legend Andy drop by today for this guest column to promote this weekend's Loaded For Bear comedy shows at the Arts Center (Friday and Saturday at 9:00).  Andy is a co-producer and also stars in this weekend's shows, and in this moving piece he assures us that the shows will, indeed, have plenty of dick jokes.


How did I become involved with "Loaded for Bear"? Ah, the memories:

I used to be in charge of a Speed Dating service out at Brandon Woods. My job was to follow up on the couples, monitor their progress, and make sure that all of their funeral arrangements were in order. After successfully matching Matt [Gaus, co-producer] and Emily [Lowrance-Floyd, co-producer, director], I noticed that I would frequently bump into them in public, which was odd because whenever I would ask Emily to pay me for the dating service, she would insist that she couldn't bring me a check because she was agoraphobic. (I know that's not funny; it's really kind of sad. She can't help it that she's a liar.)

The first time that Matt died, I wrote a heartfelt memorial speech and read it during his funeral. I thought it was fittingly tender and packed an emotional punch that clearly demonstrated how he had touched my life. Emily thought it was a two-minute "dick joke" that I was trying to sneak past everybody and she was infuriated for days.

Luckily, when Matt came back to life, he told Emily that my speech was entertaining and we should put together a show that is all about old people, death, and dick jokes. Ta-da! "Loaded for Bear"!

I'd like to think that I've learned some other styles of comedy along the way, but as I read back over what I have written for this website, I see that I still have much to learn.

If you are reading this, and willing to die so I can have another chance at being funny, it would be greatly appreciated.

Andy (the short one)

P.S. Come see Loaded for Bear 3: Rocket to Awesome, Lawrence Arts Center, November 16th and 17th, 9:00 p.m. Tickets on sale now!

Thanks, Andy!

Now take a look at this powerful "Oscar moment" from Loaded for Bear:  


If you're looking for the most well-attended show in town tonight, and the one most full of people who are fucking HYPED that Colorado legalized weed last week, head to the Bottleneck and check out The Infamous Stringdusters.  These high-energy pickers and grinners are getting a lot of buzz these days, and it's another show sponsored by Free State Brewery (these shows have been packing the house at recent gigs by Junior Brown and The Gourds and James McMurtry).  Starts at 9:00. 

 Here they are in black and white via the Examiner, but they'll appear in color at the Bottleneck: