We were a bit skeptical, but Nerd Nite's "Summer Shorts" edition of two-minute presentations was a well-attended success, and it seems like a good annual tradition, allowing presenters to do some odd things (such as sing a cute little song about an electrocuted elephant) that don't necessarily need an in-depth format. At the same time, the ultra-brief format gives every presentation the feel of a beat-the-clock game, which didn't always work well for some of the more info-packed presentations. We won't try to summarize all fifteen of last night's little bursts of nerdery, but we will bestow a few awards.
Funniest presenter: Chad O'Bryhim. This dude just cracks our shit up for some reason. It's the delivery, maybe. Reminds us a bit of Charlie Day. We still sometimes laugh about his full presentation on the Lawrence Hash House Harriers from awhile back. Last night he talked about time travel and called Stephen Hawking a dick.
Most adorable presentation: The aforementioned elephant song, with co-boss Travis on accordion and Amy Mihalevich in some kind of elephant hoodie. We snagged this pic from the Lawrence Public Library twitter account:
Most adorable presenter: Emily Csinsi, whose "Buddhism in Russia?" speech was delivered in a breathless rush-to-the-finish, her voice occasionally rising to a higher pitch at the end of sentences, squeezing in every last bit of data. (special shout-out to Emily for inviting us on stage at Burger Stand later to sing some Boss, whose "Born in the USA" was an interesting counterpart to the presentation).
Best overall presentation: Nick Spacek wrapped up the evening with a focused presentation (set to a punk soundtrack) that clearly conveyed an intriguingly odd tale (some punks who recorded a punk version of West Side Story called Punk Side Story). Like many of the night's presentations, it probably could have also worked as a full-length lecture (with a lot of music snippets) but unlike many of the night's presentations, it also felt complete on its own.
Oddest presentation: Our pal Punnilingus simply read a little bit of Faulkner's Absalom, Absalom. It was sort of like a condensed version of Andy Kaufman's famous performance-art piece where Kaufman just goes on stage and reads from Gatsby all night.
Best afterparty: Less than a block away, the Burger Stand's fries and karaoke lure many drunken nerds after the presentations. In addition to our own brief and unexpected return to the karaoke stage, we sampled the Bourbon Bacon Cheese fries (can't you picture Krause saying, "Bacon and cheese alone is for rubes; pour some whiskey on top and this shit's gourmet!") and listened to our friend Steve rock out to the Dead Kennedys' "Too Drunk To Fuck" (we'd forgotten the "You bawl like the baby in Eraserhead" line).
Best souvenir: Nerd Nite pint glasses are now available for $5. You want one. You NEED one.
Note: the nerds are on holiday until September, so you'll have to get nerdy somewhere else next month.
The LFK event of the weekend is the Lawrence Field Day Fest at the Bottleneck. It kicks off tonight. Reread our piece from yesterday in which five bands pimp their wares.
But what else is worth your while?
If you're still reeling from last week's Fourth of July farewell show at the Replay, you can cry a little more tonight as the Rooftop Vigilantes bid LFK adieu (and cry a little more tomorrow night if they're also playing LFDF for about ten minutes, as listed in various places). We interview the Vigilantes twice during their acclaimed, drunken LFK-era: relive all the magic here and here.
And our friends at I Heart Local Music have a nice piece on the RV farewell here.
Oscar's comments in the first link above are particularly golden:
"Only 40 percent of our songs have lyrics anyway, in the traditional sense. Usually we trawl the top 40 for the most popular vowel sounds in the country and then deploy them haphazardly, knowing that the hubris of bloggers will ensure that they consider their interpretations both clever and correct."
Here's the "final battle" flyer made by Count Blastov:
We hate to miss the RV show, but we've got a hot date with SHARKNADO on SyFy tonight. It's about some sharks that are in a tornado, for some reason, just flying around in the sky and fucking chomping people. There's a decent chance it will be better than Pacific Rim, if we're all being honest with ourselves.
Also on Friday, local filmmaker Kevin Wilmott will screen a few clips from his much-anticipated Wilt Chamberlain/KU basketball film Jayhawkers at the Arts Center. This will happen somewhere around 6:00, followed by his Destination Planet Negro film (which looks pretty blah, sorry Kevin), followed by a screening of To Kill a Mockingbird. We think these films may even be shown outside? If so, that'll surely be the last time you get to do anything in the lot next door because the Compton monster-hotel begins to crawl skyward starting next week. And there's a twist contest at some point too. Try to figure out the details here (it's not easy).
Our Denver friends from FaceMan are back on the scene once more this weekend. They're at the Jackpot on Saturday and they wrote a little piece about their philosophy for us.
Life is the Party
"We just like to party. Life, yes, LIFE, is the party. Larryville IS THE PARTY and, as such, Larryville is the LIFE. Damn, that's confusing. Local music scenes are basically glorified bowling leagues; nobody rolls on Shommer Shabbos! An important fact about Saturday's Jackpot show is that it is not Shommer Shabbos, or at least it better not be. FaceMan is in the Denver Mountain West Conference of local music scenes and we are honored to be on a traveling team playing in the Hot As Fuck Larryville Summer League. We got our balls shined and are ready to meet the local legends, Alien Jones. Another traveling team from KC, Adam Evolving, is opening up the night. Doors at 8:30pm. Cover is $5. Come check it out if you like fat guys with strong forearms and/or if you believe that YES, LIFE. . . . . . life. . . IS THE PARTY!"
Jump around in Frank's cockfighting arena on Saturday as the House Jumpers bring their jump-blues to NoLaw. "Chicken Ain't Nothing But a Bird," ya'll! Give 'em a "like" and a listen via their FB page.
Swing by the Pig on Sunday afternoon and wish them a happy 20th birthday. They'll be hosting a birthday party and their usual Bastille Day shindig starting at 1:00. It's a good excuse to start drinking waaaay before kickball.