Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Late Summer Vacation

Even lazy bloggers need a break.  See you in a week or so.

In the meantime, send us your best dumpster diving pics via Twitter. 

We've amassed a pretty good art collection over the years through dumpster diving.  Take that, Cider Gallery!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Mates of States at Frank's / Tuesday Scenester Picks: The Postal Service and Mates of State ; Wyatt Blair at Taproom; Douglas County's Best Goats

We heard a number of excuses from people yesterday who talked themselves out of seeing Mates of States' lovely and free "surprise" set at Frank's last night:  "It's gonna be way too crowded." "They're only playing 2 or 3 songs."  "It's rainy outside." "I'm fixing chili dogs tonight."  But plenty of intrepid scenesters still made their way to NoLaw and descended into the basement for what turned out to be a full 40-minute set (the same one they'll deliver at a packed Midland Theatre tonight and tomorrow opening for The Postal Service). Swirling keyboards, soaring vocals, propulsive drumming:  it was all intact and sounding quite nice considering it all went down in an old cockfighting pit.  They closed with Daniel Johnson's "True Love Will Find You In The End," perhaps the most tender moment yet to occur in Frank's basement.

Thanks for stopping by, MoS, and thanks to Brad Allen and Frank's for helping to make it happen! Find a video of what you missed here via I Heart Local Music.

If you're willing to shell out some dollars, we hear there are still tickets available for tonight's Postal Service show (bleep-bloop!) but Wednesday's is sold out.

Chip: "Please send us your best Jenny Lewis pics!"


Perhaps last night's MoS show left you craving more basement rock.  Lucky for you, Burger Records' Wyatt Blair is at the Taproom tonight, getting gritty (but still poppy) with songs like "Sugar Lips, Cinammon Hips" and "Ba Ba Ba (Life's a Bitch)" and "Found Love (in a Garbage Can)," a perfect tune for LFK during this week's prime dumpster-diving season.

Will PBR Book Club extend their Taproom meeting by about two hours to catch Wyatt?  Doubtful.  We're boring.

Check out some tunes via Bandcamp here



Also, it's Goat Show night at the Douglas County Fair.  Goats are so hot this year, especially when they scream like humans.  The video below has 1,623,346 views so far.


Monday, July 29, 2013

We Attempt to Reconstruct Victor Continental's Final Ass-Shaking Moments / Mates of State Make a Surprise Visit to LFK / Wrasslin' at the Bottleneck

It's an oddly cool and rainy Monday in LFK, but it was a bright and joyous weekend at Liberty Hall as Victor Continental shook his ass for the final times.  Like everyone else in attendance, we were drunk, so instead of any kind of "review" we are serving up a collage of observations, favorite moments, and loosely-paraphrased quotes.  Okay, here we go...

Surely Jaqueline Gruneau was BORN to play Dora the Explorer.  Terrific Kevin Wilmott cameo in the Lawrence Justice League sketch: "Sounds like white people problems to me!"   Bert Nash Tabernacle Choir.  "It's okay to fart in North Lawrence."  "Gout.  Lawrence's second biggest health problem besides kickball injuries." The Ridgecourt neighborhood sketch, possibly the evening's most extended slice of insider humor:  "We've got two Mexican restaurants as well.  FUCK YOU, North Lawrence!"  The North Lawrence anthem (mostly about crack).  Musical number about Dapper Dillon's difficult parking lot.  Tony award caliber acting from Andy Morton all evening!  Big Joe shaking his ass a little.  The things-we've-outlasted slideshow (Borders, Bucky's, Bullwinkle's, etc...though isn't Bullwinkle's slated to rise again soon?  The slideshow also contained a picture of the recently-deceased kid from Glee for one of the evening's most tasteless jokes).  Sexy burlesque number about smoking reefer.  New drinking game in honor of Shark Week:  "When I say 'SHARK,' you say "Oh, holy shit!"  Most ridiculous title on Vic's summer reading selections in the program: "One Splooge Over the Cuckold's Breast."  Vic himself singing the lead role in the final musical number, a Lawrence-themed version of (naturally) Simple Minds' "Don't Forget About Me."

We have critiques too.  For instance, combining the great Shitty Deal Puppet Theatre with the shout-out-to-our-sponsors sketch seemed like a miscalculation, since they're both usually highlights on their own.   But critiques seem petty at this point.  All in all, a very worthy send-off to one of LFK's best and longest-lasting traditions. Farewell!   

Lovely pic via Nick Schmiedeler from Victor's Facebook page.  See more here.


Just when you thought there was nothing happening on a Monday in LFK, along comes word that Mates of State will play a free, short set (maybe just a few songs) at Frank's tonight at 7:00 en route to their huge opening slots for The Postal Service in KC this week.  Expect a scene.  But why can't they ever play a full-on show for the hometown fans these days?  Oh well.  Guess we can't have it all in LFK.  See you in the cockfighting pit at Frank's!

We’re playing a free warm-up show at Frank’s Tavern in Lawrence, KS tomorrow (Monday!) night at 7pm.

508 Locust Street.

see you there Lawrence. 


And Tuesday brings an encore presentation of Trash Nite's classic "Wrasslin" showcase to the Bottleneck.  More free entertainment, folks!   Chip loves wrestling almost as much as Honey Boo Boo and has been practicing her signature "Cup a Fart" move for weeks now.  Check out the video below from the recent season premiere.  In its second season, Here Comes Honey Boo Boo has truly evolved into a clever deconstruction of New South values and stereotypes.  Highly recommended!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Weekend Picks: Victor Continental ; The Millions ; Final Friday ; The Hips

They say that all good things must come to an end, even in LFK. And apparently a lot of them must end this year!  Fourth of July is calling it quits, along with the Rooftop Vigilantes.  Hospital Ships is packing their bags for Austin.  And now Victor Continental, LFK's long-reigning king of dick jokes and local humor, is blowing his final wad after fifteen long debaucherous years.  As you certainly already know, the final two shows are Friday and Saturday at Liberty.  The title cleverly incorporates the phrase "Happy Ending" (if you catch their meaning!), and we hear that the cast and crew WILL actually be jerking off everyone who paid extra for table seating.  Luckily, that includes us!  See you there.  It starts early this time, and we're expecting a nostalgic four hour marathon of drinking games, sexy dancing, puppetry, Compton jokes, Carlos Danger references, Mick Cottin in his underwear, and special guests.  Reread our 2012 "Municipal Erections" interview with Victor over here in which we ask Victor such important questions as what percentage of Lawrence he's screwed and who were the best:

"Ah am a big fan of having sex with the members of Lesbians for Kayaking. They're women who love women and they're already wet. Ah am unfamiliar with their membership roster, so Ah will will have to use a complex algorithm of math and say 69%. And the best one was Patrice. As for the people of Lawrence Fucking Kansas, the algorithm still says 69%, and the best were Sue Hack, Frank Dorsey, Baby Jay, and of course, Patrice. Mike Amyx keeps it trim. Would you like to touch my algorithm?"

Mandatory Scenester Event of the Week


And don't forget to get nostalgic for mid-90's LFK when The Millions return to the Bottleneck on Saturday.  Read our interview with The Millions here and our interview with opener The Invisible World here.


And it's a Final Friday weekend.  We showcased a few picks yesterday, but here's a few more:

Percolator:  Danny Pound, Brad Allen, and Matt Mozier will play some tunes at 7:30.  Yep.

Cider Gallery:  Sure, the paintings cost around $42,000, but this time there's free food from our new pals over at Merchant's Pub and Plate!  We're hoping for some fried tomater sandwiches!

And Final Fridays branch out across the river in NoLaw at Schaumburg Photography for an evening of "Steampunk and Robots."  Sold!

We're snagging our info from the FF blog so head over there for a full listing of events.


And stop by the Replay to catch The Hips on Friday after Victor's show.  And maybe a bit of Metallica pinball (photo via Replay's FB page).


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Wednesday and Thursday Picks: Tap Takeovers and More Lawrence Nostalgia / Early Final Friday Picks: Makers and Tweeters

It's a dull Wednesday in LFK and we're taking a short break in our PBR guzzling to attend the "Stone Brewery Tap Takeover" at Burger Stand this evening from 5:00-11:00-ish.  They'll have Imperial Russian Stout, Levitation Ale, Stone I.P.A., Sublimely Self-Righteous Ale and Arrogant Bastard Ale.   We're primarily interested in the latter two, which we'll quaff while expounding on the critical misunderstanding of Nicholas Winding Refn's Only God Forgives.  Come join us downstairs in the Beer Hall.  Visit the FB event page here for more info.


It's another blast from the LFK past at the Jackpot on Thursday.  Remember The Capsules? Then attend.  Give them a "like" on FB here and study up on their current whereabouts (Dallas) and activities (new tunes).


If you're a nerd, you probably like using the word "maker" a lot these days.  We certainly do.  So make sure to drop by the Lawrence Art Party at Lawrence Creates Makerspace in East LFK (former Stan Herd studio) during Final Friday for art, Free State booze, music by our pals in the Silos, and something called "Shrinks and Drinks" in which two psychologists will answer your questions about creativity.  The Silos will probably ask which drugs help them be more creative (we recommend "Molly").   This event sounds made up but it's real.  Visit the FB event page here.  Here's a look at quaint ELFK and the Makerspace (in back).


You can learn more about the upcoming Twitter re-enactment of Quantrill's Raid during Final Friday at Watkins. There's food, music, and "special guests" (we're guessing historical re-enactors). Chip has been using a Civil War Slang Guidebook (here) to bring his town-drunk character named Flip to life for the re-enactment.  Here are some possible tweets he's been workshopping:

"I've been swilling pop skull all mornin' and it's given me the quick step something awful."

Translation:  This whiskey has given Flip the shits.

 "Go boil your shirts or I'll take my Arkansas toothpick to you big bugs!"

Translation:  Go away or Flip will cut you with his long sharp knife, you important people!

"I'm just  a pie eater who took a French leave during the raid for I feared to see the elephant."

Translation:  Flip is a rustic country boy who deserted the raid because he feared combat.


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Weird Beats of the Day: The Bumping Uglies at the Replay / Shout-Outs to The Roost, Shenago Lounge, Ramen Bowls, and Hot Box Cookies

Our fondness for bleeps and bloops is well-known, so we're pleased to recommend Austin's The Bumping Uglies, who bring their "8-Bit Shits" to the Replay tonight, along with a lot of other oddly titled songs such as "Box of Nerds," "Shitty Cowboy," and "The Poops."  Smiling yet?  Listen to some tunes via Bandcamp and give them a "like" on FB over here.

The Uglies are opening up for increasingly buzzy LFK rockers Brain Food, whose recent Lawrence Field Day Fest set came complete with dance moves and Britney Spears' covers (see our recap here).  All in all, it's going to be a downright aDORKable and extra-electronic Tuesday at the Replay.  Also on the bill: Something and the Whatevers, who have also been showcased here before.

Cutest Show of the Week: Brain Food at Replay



Now here are some random shout-outs.

Shout-out (again) to The Roost for immediately becoming everyone's go-to breakfast joint.  We're working our way through the cocktail menu and anticipate more than a few "Lost Weekends" brought on by "elderflower liqueur."   We're also intrigued by "the various North Lawrence pickles" contained in the NoLaw Bloody Mary.  Who IS the best pickler in No Law these days? 

Shout-out to Shenago Lounge for still existing, way out in a West Lawrence strip mall.  It recently provided a nice dark cool afternoon of solace after a terrifying matinee screening of The Conjuring.

Shout-out to 10th Street's upcoming Ramen Bowls restaurant, which has a somewhat un-PC looking little Asian dude on the logo and a slogan of "Get Your Slurp On," which Chip plans to shout loudly before every meal at Ramen Bowls.

And finally a shout-out to Hot Box Cookies, opening soon in the former 3 Spoons location along Mass. Street.  We anticipate a long run of sweet late-night cookies and hilarious innuendo regarding their name.

Chip:  "My mouth is already craving that Hot Box.  I can't wait to snatch a few of those cookies."

Monday, July 22, 2013

A Sexy Special Message From Jessie Torrisi and the Please Please Me / Science Fiction at Science on Tap

Readers, we've partied with Texas pranksters the Please Please Me on the Replay patio a bunch of times.  They're prone to hijinks, audience participation, and kazoo jams.  Plus, they sell sexy "Please Please Me" underwear.  The "Please Please Me Panty Parade" tour hits LFK on Tuesday (they're at the Bottleneck this time) for an EP release party for Shake a Little Harder.  Give them a "like" on FB over here and we'll see you on the dance-floor, twerking.

We asked the band to send us a short blurb for the show and they did a nice job.  Here it is:

Why come out? 

Reason #1-- You might get laid...make-out music to the max! We are called the Please, Please Me after all.
Reason #2-- You *will* get invited onstage

Reason #3-- Hot chick with a cello making crazy sounds with a cello you've never heard before.

Reason #4-- Drum orgy.

Reason #5-- It's an EP release PARTY! Promises to be more than that Tuesday night poetry reading you were gonna go to... and you'll feel so much better after you "shake a little harder."



Perhaps a little less likely to get you laid is Free State's Science on Tap, but it's still a pretty nice evening of nerdery (despite awkward seating and very little of it).  This month's installment (Tuesday at 7:30 at Free State) brings in our old pal Chris McKitterick, director of KU's Center for the Study of Science Fiction, to talk fiction.  Here's the scoop from the National History Museum site:

"Speculative fiction has served as the mythology of our time, from the very first stories humans told one another to today's most relevant literature. These stories provide concrete, emotionally and intellectually satisfying paths toward making sense of living in a world of ever-increasing change. For this Science on Tap, Chris McKitterick, director of the Center for the Study of Science Fiction, will lead a discussion about the ways that science fiction provides our new myths and teaches us how to survive and remain sane in a changing age."


But what should you do in the meantime on a hot and dull Monday?  Maybe you should sing some karaoke at the Replay.  New flyer from Count Blastov.  Hit him up to make some sweet flyers for you.

Friday, July 19, 2013

New Interview With The Invisible World: Approaching the Event Horizon!

Readers, perhaps you checked out our interview with Nebraska's legendary The Millions earlier this week and found yourselves wondering, "Who's going to be the lucky so-and-sos opening for their sure-to-be-epic return to the Bottleneck on the 27th?"  Will it be a mid-90's Lawrence band who played with The Millions back in the day?  Or will it be an up-and-coming Lawrence band heavily influenced by their 90's elders?  Well, it turns out that it's neither.  It's a band from KC called The Invisible World.  We decided to sit down with the band's Bryce, Jesse, and Brandon and figure out who they are and what the hell they're all about.  Enjoy this chat in which we talk about the band's music and philosophy, reflect on our favorite Sam Neill films, and swap some stories about our mutual friend Beth Beavers.

You can study up on The Invisible World via some ReverbNation tunes over here and give them a "like" on FB here .  Make sure to show up early on the 27th to catch their set.

Chip:  So you fellows have scored a pretty sweet gig opening up for beloved 90’s band The Millions in what may well be their last show in Lawrence (or not).  At any rate, it’s likely to be a packed house.  How did you land such a prime show?  And are you nervous as hell?  And what can first-time listeners expect from your opening slot?

Bryce: We're really excited to be opening for The Millions! Especially in Lawrence, at The Bottleneck. The opportunity to open for a band with such history and clout makes us happy to be doing what we're doing. I think landing the show was really just kind of a stroke of luck for us.  After an eight-month hiatus we're back on the show circuit and this (as you mentioned) is a prime show to have as one of our first ones back. The Bottleneck was kind enough to book us on it after we asked for any opening slots that they could offer.  Naturally, we've got some nerves going on, but I think once showtime roles around the audience can expect a uniquely engaging and genuine performance. 

Richard:  I’m digging your song “Joliet,” which starts off with the attention-getting line “Get down, I’m here for your money.”  It seems like it’s going to shape up as a straightforward narrative, but then, well, I’m not sure what exactly happens in that song!  There’s “demons in the brain” and a dude named “Sozo” and such.  Tell us what’s going on there!

Jesse: When I wrote the song we were staying in Joliet, Illinois, with a charity that we are involved with. Most of the lyrics were put to paper while waiting on a train to Chicago, hence the line "take the train back to Chicago," which led to me meeting that weird man named Sozo. I started the song wanting to write about a bank robbery but it really just evolved to a song about someone who is troubled by something and searching for answers. Most of our songs seem to end up in a different place than they begin.  This one in particular ended up being something totally different. That's what makes it fun.

Chip:  I like the video for “Cars,” especially the part where the sad old car on the car lot seems to come to life!  It’s far superior to that shitty Cars 2 flick from Pixar.  Tell us about the video and how you think it reflects the philosophy of the band.  I’m sensing there’s something being said here (and maybe in the band name as well?) that’s maybe kind of similar to when that paper bag is "dancing" with Ricky Fitts in American Beauty, if you get my reference. Also, do you guys smoke weed at all?

Brandon: The video is something that we are very proud of. The ideas of maturing and moving on that are prevalent in the video reflect what we have gone through as a band.  We have had a lot of changes to the band over the last couple of  years, which include lineup changes, a name change, and a whole new approach to the way we operate. It was hard for us to make the changes we have, but we feel it will be worth it in the end. Also, drugs are illegal.

Jesse: This video could not have been possible without the many folks who donated to our Kickstarter. We were able to raise $1000 because people saw what we were trying to do and appreciated our vision. The response to the video and song has been very overwhelming. We hoped that people would recognize the little things in the video like the car coming to life and the connection between our character and the car. Just like the band name and most of our songs, it conveys that you can understand the surface meaning or story of something, but there's always a layer underneath that can be perceived in a different way.I guess you could say that's our band's "philosophy", or really just our understanding of how the world is. There's always something underneath, and I think fans respond to that concept.

"Cars" video:

Richard:   What’s on the horizon for The Invisible World?  Is there an album in the works?  A lot of shows coming up?

Bryce: I'd have to say that we don't have a completely clear vision for the horizon yet. Right now we are focusing on getting our live show hammered out and developing our capacity to hit the road. The "Cars" video has surprised us... which I could see leading to more effort being put towards developing new and captivating ways of presenting our material. Music is the backbone of this band, but other forms of media and entertainment are always going to be an element of this. Personally, I can't wait to see where we go from here.  There are endless possibilities these days. Music, film, art...all of it has a sort of unrestrained feeling since the internet took over. I don't know why, but this whole time all I can think about is that Sam Neill movie Event Horizon... I really just hope we don't end up in that situation.

Brandon: I'll try not to be as long winded as Bryce. We are working on recordings for our new songs. We are taking a new approach, and doing it all ourselves, as opposed to going to an actual studio. It's a lot of trial and error. And then more error. But we are having lots of fun with it. 

Bryce: Brandon just doesn't appreciate a good Sam Neill reference. 

Brandon: That's because he's not relevant anymore...

Chip:  Who in hell is Sam Neill? 

Richard:  I really like him in In the Mouth of Madness.

Jesse: The fall is really starting to book up, as well as the rest of our summer. We will be announcing shows in the coming weeks that folks can make their way to around the KC area. When we have all the details for the shows hammered out, we will post them to our Facebook page.  Also I like turtles...

Chip:  Sam Neill?  Turtles? Are you certain that you all don't smoke weed?

Chip:  I hear that we have a mutual friend: Beth Beavers.  She’s pretty much the coolest chick in LFK, am I right?  And she certainly has the best name.  It makes me smile every time I say it.  When I find myself in a sticky situation these days, I often ask “What would Beth Beavers do?”  And the answer usually involves alcohol.   Can you tell us a cool Beth Beavers story, but nothing too embarrassing because  I don’t want her on my bad side. (just tell me the embarrassing stuff privately).

 Jon:  Beth Beavers is one of  the oldest friends I have and she remains one of the coolest people I have ever met. There are too many cool stories that involve this woman, but my favorite story is definitely of the time we first met.  We both shared a history class together and sat close to one another. Close enough, in fact, that she overheard me telling this other girl about a party I had went to over the weekend. Right in the middle of my story, Beth turns around in her seat and bursts out with "And why wasn't I invited to this party?" Keep in mind, I had never said a word to Beth in my life at this point, so it had shocked me a little. I told her that I would invite her to the next party I went to, and I did, and we have been great friends ever since.

Bryce:  You are absolutely right! I met BB in my high school broadcasting class. She reported on cool stuff and I was all..."Right on, Beth!"  Great gal. Everyone should be so fortunate as to know her. I also often wonder "What would Beth Beavers do?" Most of the time it ends up alright. 

Brandon: Yeah, last time I hung out with Beth, I ended up passed out on the hood of a car. Good times.


Thursday, July 18, 2013

LFK Sidewalk Sale Recap and Weekend Picks Including Nostalgia of All Sorts, Freakouts at Frank's, and Ponies!

Readers, it's a blazing hot day in LFK and we've been punching and kicking our way through the sidewalk sale all morning.

Chip scored this sweet old film poster.  We haven't seen the film yet.  But we will.  Great tagline:  "Anybody's back seat will do."

We were among the first to sample LFK's newest breakfast hot spot, The Roost.  The Lost Weekend is almost certain to become our go-to Friday breakfast cocktail.

And finally we stopped by for a quick, refreshing dip in the Wonder Fair pool with Meredith and the WF gang.

We're declaring it a successful morning.

But how should LFK spend the rest of the weekend?  Here are some options.

It's always funny when funny people are being funny at Frank's, so stop by on Friday for another installment of "Comedy Freakout."  It has a good poster.  We're not sure if drugs are provided or if you have to bring your own?

It's a blast from the past weekend at the Replay as the Pedaljets headline a Friday show and Unknown Stuntman reunite on Saturday. Go and make some memories.  Or just sit in the corner getting hammered and relive the old memories.

On Saturday evening, Wonder Fair hosts Parcel's Three-Year Anniversary Party.  If you don't know Parcel, it's LFK's hippest little literary mag.  Our professor pal from K-State, Mr. Dan Hoyt, will be one of the readers at the event.  You'll like his dark and funny tales of sports and masculinity (or whatever he's reading from on this night).  Other people will read stuff too.  Expect food, drinks, and the usual hijinks from Wonder Fair.  Visit the FB event page here and the Parcel site here.

Look: a pony!  They seem to really like ponies (but don't worry: this is not a magazine primarily full of poems about least we don't think so).

And the Jazzhaus (there's a name you don't hear too often on this blog!) hosts another blast-from-the-past event on Saturday evening.  A screening of the new short documentary about Ricky Dean Sinatra followed by a performance from those legendary cut-ups that will last all the way to the break of...9:30 pm.  Hey, we're all getting older!


This doc is one of several from our new friends at Our Town.  That's their thing.  They make short docs about LFK.  And we can dig it.  Give them a "like" on FB over here  and you can watch the docs there too.  They are currently "hard" (dick reference) at work documenting Victor Continental's final bash in Lawrence, which (as you know) goes down NEXT weekend in LFK. 

There's probably more stuff happening this weekend too, but did we mention we are really worn out from that fucking sidewalk sale.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

New Interview: The Millions Return to Lawrence For One Last Blast at the Bottleneck

Readers, if you were hanging around the Bottleneck in the early to mid-90's (and we KNOW that some of you were), you likely have fond memories of Nebraska's The Millions, a major Midwest success story who often frequented our fair city in that era.   The band signed to Polygram and released M Is For Millions in 1991 and the album's first single "Sometimes" rocked the college charts right alongside U2.   They released a follow-up and toured Europe before disbanding in 1995.   However, nostalgia is strong in the rock and roll world, and The Millions have now resurfaced with an unreleased CD and three major summer shows.     Guess what? One of them just happens to be at the Bottleneck on Saturday July 27 with opener The Invisible World.

We had a nice chat with The Millions' Lori, Marty, and Harry.  Join us as they wax nostalgic about 90's LFK and the Paradise Cafe, tell us about touring Europe with Sheryl Crow, and explain what it's like to be back on the road after seventeen years.  Give them a "like" on Facebook over here.


Richard:  We have quite a lot of aging-scenester readers who love to wax nostalgic about earlier eras of Lawrence.  So let’s start off by having you share some memories with us about playing Bottleneck shows in the early 90’s.  And what other Lawrence locations did you like to visit when you were in town?  Favorite bars or restaurants?  Did you ever go to the Paradise CafĂ©? (RIP). 

Lori:  What!? no more blueberry buckwheat pancakes with real maple syrup?!

Harry: The Bottleneck was always a fun place to play because it was close to home and in a really cool town. KJHK was always supportive and the local newspapers loved the Millions.  Our audience kept getting bigger and bigger each time we played the club.  We made a lot of friends in Lawrence and missed seeing them when the band broke up.  The town was a fun place to hang out.  We liked to go to Mass Street Music for guitars and equipment as well as some other cool music shops (no longer in existence).  And yes, The Paradise Cafe was a regular hangout -Lori and I loved their vegetarian food and the atmosphere.  We all loved it!

Chip:  So it seems as if another pesky band called The Millions, with legal ownership of the name, is forcing you to release music these days under the moniker The Millions NE.  Is that annoying as hell?  Are your old fans confused?  And will you be referring to yourselves as “The Millions NE” when you play the upcoming reunion/farewell shows?

Marty: There are actually now a couple of other bands that hijacked our name, or versions of it. It is slightly annoying – just another reason to be irritated with record labels and lawyers. Since we’re playing in our old stomping grounds, we are still just going by The Millions for promotion, since that’s what our old friends know us by. For anything official like the Archive Series CD set that is being released on Randy’s Alternative Music, we add the NE. No big deal...

Richard:  You toured Europe with Sheryl Crow back around ‘93?  Can you tell our readers any Sheryl Crow tales?  Is it true that “all she wanna do is have some fun?”'

Marty: Sheryl and her band were great to tour with – we had some cool shows in Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Amsterdam, Ghent and Vienna. They were very gracious - if it was a small stage, they would let us use their equipment. They’d share their more abundant backstage provisions. They even took us to dinner on our last nights on the tour. There were a few times when the audience wanted an encore from us which, as an opener, you usually don’t do. The first time it happened in Frankfurt, we didn’t think we were supposed to do it and started walking off stage. She stopped us and said “What are you guys doing? Get back out there!”

She was very down to earth, but remember, that was when she was just starting to hit it big. The tour was to promote Tuesday Night Music Club. Seems like through all of her success since then, she hasn’t changed much. Which is nice to see.

Richard:  Tell fans what they can expect at The Bottleneck show on the 27th.  Is this likely to be your last-ever Lawrence appearance?  And can you also tell our apathetic young scenester readers why they should consider attending as well?

Harry:  The guys are planning on adorning skimpy Speedo swimwear and nothing else.   Lori will parade around in her dress made out of men's neckties.  She makes these, so if you like what you see feel free to ask her and she'll make you one.  We put on a show without putting on a show –it’s just us up there, stripped down (literally, ha ha!), laying down melodies and rhythms and our own original songs.

Seriously, though, we played Dec. 1st., 2012, for the first time in 17 years, in our hometown of Lincoln, NE to celebrate the release of the album, Poison Fish, that was recorded in 1989 and never released.  We had over 500 people show up and it was so much fun that we wanted to play again, this time for another new album,  "M is for Millions", a two disc CD set including "M is for Millions" material as well as many unreleased songs.  The album will come out in the latter part of July, 2013, so we naturally thought about playing The Bottleneck.  We then called Brett and he made it happen. Thanks Brett! (We were always a favorite of yours, right?!)

We are playing a set of 20 songs, including almost all the songs off our debut album,"M is for Millions".  A few early tunes and a few later ones.  Most of the songs are featured on the new CDs. Our fans will recognize most of the songs with a few unfamiliar ones in the mix. We are definitely looking forward to hanging out in Lawrence and ceremoniously playing The Bottleneck again!

Lori: Great 90's Pop/Rock sounding better than ever!  The songs we will be playing are from an early time of the band.  We were fresh.  These songs are a joy to dust off and breathe life into again. So youngsters, I don't really know why you wouldn't want to check out some time capsule tunes that happen to still be relevant.

New album cover:

The band!

Bottleneck flyer: 

Monday, July 15, 2013

Our Lawrence Field Day Fest Recap and Awards Ceremony / Plus: Kansas City Roller Derby!

Readers, did you witness a fair amount of rock and roll this weekend?  We did.  Though we only spent about four hours total at Lawrence Field Day Fest, we witnessed eight bands.  Below are some mildly humorous observations on a few of them.  (For more comprehensive coverage, visit our friends at I Heart Local Music here).

Best overall act:  KC's Schwervon is a small tornado of pristine guitar licks, furious drumming, and cute/clever lyrics.  Yes, it's a husband/wife duo.  Yes, it's a guitar/drums duo.  You're thinking you've seen it before.  But you haven't seen it done this well in quite a long time.  It's less White Stripes/Black Keys and more like a rocked-up, technically-perfect version of Moldy Peaches.  Cougar Pride!!! (please click that link).  Also, we want to meet their cat Gummo sometime.  Best moment:  Schwervon swigging something from a Boy Scout-canteen.

Best surprise:  Okay, technically Rooftop Vigilantes' final farewell performance at the end of JOCKS set was not a surprise.  It was even on the schedule.  But following the previous night's Replay farewell--a boozy and blood-soaked affair with an injured Oscar grisly-ing up the stage--it was somewhat of a surprise that they were functional at this early hour on a Friday evening.   Best moment:  it's only appropriate that the last tune played by the Vigilantes in this town (for now) was their perfect cover of the 'Mats' "Can't Hardly Wait." ("Ashtray floors, dirty clothes, and filthy jokes.").

Most likely to inspire a scenester-crush:   Much of the onstage-action at LFDF during our stint there was a real sausage-fest, as Chip repeatedly exclaimed.  Luckily for us dudes, Brain Food's Demi brings a bit of the sexy-librarian to the stage, with "adorkable" dance moves and a killer voice.  Best moment:  we would have sworn we were tired of bands that do Britney Spears' covers, but damn if "Toxic" didn't make Chip twerk a little.  We'd love to have a black-and-white dance party with these good folks!  (photo snagged from their FB page here).

Band most likely to score a rock-opera:  Many Moods of Dad.   Let's make this happen.  Their proggy-moments and epic "mystical journeys" are tailor-made for some kind of LFK-twist on Tommy.  We've begun writing lyrics already.

Best surprise:   The name Man Bear didn't inspire much confidence.  We were hoping for an actual mutant creature but expecting some sort of brutal sonic assault.  What we discovered instead was a well-crafted set of tunes that sounded like a mix of the 'Mats, Big Star, and Superchunk.  And that's a combination we can dig.  Find some tunes via Bandcamp over here .

Band we're sad that we missed:   We can never stay up as late as the internationally-acclaimed Radkey children.  But it was nice to see them roaming the club all evening on Friday, often heading up front to soak up different sounds from the evening's other bands.   

A moment that we're glad to have missed:   Apparently the dudes from The Rackatees threw up everywhere and called the cops about a lost phone early on Thursday (guess they borrowed someone else's phone to make the call).  Perhaps they were angry at not being on the bill for the festival.

Most valuable player:  Cameron Hawk, for masterminding the affair once again in its bigger and better second year. Good job, Cameron!


Special shout-out to the Kansas City Roller Warriors for keeping us entertained on a Saturday evening field trip!  While the action was never as brutal as we had been led to believe from Whip It, we found ourselves caught up in a wild overtime victory by the Black-Eyed Susans over the Knockouts.   Our favorite name also belongs to one of the Susans.  It may not be PC, but it sure is clever:  JonBenet Slamsey.

Now let's take a look at this trailer for the legendary Raquel Welch's Kansas City Bomber:  "This is the world of roller games, where the only thing more dangerous than the some of the fans!"    We were hoping for a full-on brawl on Saturday but were kept frustratingly sober because the beers cost $8, reminding us once again why we so rarely leave Lawrence.

The iconic image from Kansas City Bomber:


Thursday, July 11, 2013

Nerd Nite's "Summer Shorts" Recap ; Weekend Picks: LFDF; Rooftop Vigilantes Say Farewell; Special Message from Denver's FaceMan;The Pig Turns 20

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
by FaceMan

"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.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Lawrence Field Day Fest Preview With Special Messages from BaioWolf, Black on Black, Schwervon, Pale Hearts, and Many Moods of Dad / Plus: Nerd Nite, Byte-Size Edition

Readers, it's the second year for Lawrence Field Day Fest, LFK's biggest and best homegrown music festival (sorry, Spring Into Summer Fest).  Remember to get your tickets soon and score the 3-day pass for only $16 bucks.  Take that, KANROCKSAS!  Read a nice spread by our friend Peter over here and you can find the full schedule at the FB page here, but we wanted to give you a personal touch, so we asked a few of our favorite bands on the bill to pimp their LFDF gigs or describe their sound for us.

Here are three bands pimping their sets:

Black on Black (Thurs, 10:20-10:50)

"Please come see Black on Black at LFDF on Thursday night around 10:15 or not.
The truth is you need more rock music in your life...and in your pants.
Our t-shirts are cheap.
Our records are cheap.
Our stickers are free.
Our music is decent.
We are a lot nicer than we look (buy us booze)
Also we sucked last year so we have to redeem ourselves.
Also we're going to play (screw up) a new song that will be on the new NEW E.P.
Also I'm writing this at 2:30 a.m.
Also I'm drunk and it's a Tuesday night so Thursday is like whatever.
Also fuck you very much." 

BaioWolf (Thursday, 11:40-end)

"Sometimes an astronomical event involving pizza and Taco Bell collides with a magical elven spell, creating a rift in the infinite weave in space and time; and from that dark abyss sprang a shitty dude-duo known as BAIOWOLF. History has proven that Baiowolf has a long-lasting half life. Shows are few and far between these days; with new and old songs sprucing up like a vine that tangles throats infinitely. Come and witness the debauchery, dwarven-made Hawaiian shirts, and the power of prayer. Also free tarot card readings from Rob and Sean (please provide your own tarot cards.)

Pale Hearts (Sat, 9:40-10:`10)

"It's too bad you've been too cool to see Pale Hearts, because they are clearly your next favorite band. Maybe you need better taste in friends. Stop being a fucking snob and come taste the rainbow."

And here are two bands pitching their sound.  Free PBR for first to spot the smoothly embedded Lebowski reference down below.

Schwervon (Fri, 10:55-11:25)

Recent NYC to KC transplants Schwervon are an indie rock couple that express their imperfect love thought jagged rock minimalism and the occasional grunge infused tap dance routine.

Many Moods of Dad (Fri, 9:35-10:05)

"Proudly calling themselves “power prog” (IHLM’s Nathan Cardiff also used the term “psychotic pop”), Many Moods of Dad is an intense experiment in epicness from 4 long-time Lawrencians. Though it could be considered a “supergroup” as it features members of local stalwarts The Dead Girls, Stiff Middle Fingers and Doubleplus, MMOD is something altogether different. While some songs stand on their own at under 2:30, others run together into 15 minute epic suites, with sweeps of crunching guitar noise and catchy melodies to tie the room together. Their debut album, The Consequence of Trying, is available now via Bandcamp as a name-your-price download. They’ll be playing Lawrence Field Day Fest Friday, July 12 at 9:30pm."

It's the dead of summer and it's too hot to concentrate for long periods of time, even for nerds.  So the nerds of Nerd Nite are getting experimental on you.  None of that 20-minute stuff for tonight's installment.  "Summer Shorts" will consist of fifteen two-minute presentations.  Yep.  Find the full list at the FB event page here.

Following are a few of our most-anticipated presentations (because we're friends with all five of these nerds and/or because their titles are funny) :

"Punk Side Story: Why A Bunch of Drunks Covering Showtunes Is Fucking Wonderful" by Nick Spacek
"Two Minutes, on a Honeymoon, signifying nothing." - Jon Kaleugher
"Alexander the Great the worlds best psychopath and the worlds first corporate asshole." - Allison Puderbaugh
"Graphic Design on Six Hits of Acid: The Bizarre World of Czech and Polish Film Posters" by Abby Olcese
"Drawing A Human Head 101" - Karen Matheis

Wear your shortest shorts, nerds.