Monday, June 30, 2008

The Boys Country Corner, Vol. III

This is only the third installment of the boys' continuing analysis of country music lyrics and already Brad Paisley appears twice. Is he one of America's greatest new poets?

This week's topic is Paisley's "Ticks":

cause id like to see you out in the moonlight
id like to kiss you way back in the sticks
id like to walk you through a field of wildflowers
and id like to check you for ticks

Kip says: "This song fits comfortably into the "corny pick-up lines" tradition of country music but it's so much more than that. Paisley seeks to celebrate the sexuality that can lie in the mundane. Here, the simple, everday task of tick-inspection can become a beautiful shared moment between two lovers. As Paisley surely recognizes, ticks often seek out one's nether regions, and pairing up to look for them can become a recipe for lovin'. Once, I had a tick on my balls."

Richard says: "This song reminds me a bit of John Donne's "The Flea," whose speaker uses the idea of flea-bites to suggest a sexual scenario: " MARK but this flea, and mark in this/ How little that which thou deniest me is ; It suck'd me first, and now sucks thee / And in this flea our two bloods mingled be./ Thou know'st that this cannot be said /A sin, nor shame, nor loss of maidenhead." Donne's is a lesser work than Paisley's, of course, but they build to the same conclusion, which is that insect bites are sexy."

Kip says: "I once wrote a paper on Donne's "The Flea," which was not well-received. In the parlance of my time, at Ft. Scott High School, to "suck" meant to give head. Yet when I turned in an essay in college titled Fleas and Fellatio: John Donne's Blowjobs, the teacher asked me to see him after class. Luckily, Paisley's "Ticks" is not as easy to misinterpret. Take these lines, for instance: "Everytime you take a sip / In this smoky atmosphere/ You press that bottle to your lips/ And I wish I was your beer." I know what he means! And he's an absolute genius. I'll be using these lines at Rusty's Bar in Ft. Scott, where most of the women have ticks on them at any given time."

Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Chronicles' Welcome An Old Friend Back to Town / Also, Larryville Destroys the 4th of July!

Long-time readers may remember the long-ago days when Shawn T. occasionally joined the boys during the years when they met on Monday nights at Quinton's. In those days, reports were delivered via a select e-mail discussion group as opposed to displayed on the web for all the world to marvel at (we currently have more than ten readers!). In fact, Shawn is responsible for one of the great punchlines of the era, which Kip still quotes on occasion: "That girl must have attended a fine finishing school."

Shawn joined the boys for Cl.thier's Yacht Club gig last night, relaying his exploits teaching college along the Mexican border, where he picks up a little extra cash from the Border Patrol by patrolling the border and reading Moby Dick to the illegal immigrants trying to enter the country, who often become so enraptured by the white whale tale that they pause for hours, allowing the Border Patrol to catch them.

While Cl.thier's summertime crowd was a little on the thin side and featured a few drunk fratty hecklers in the back, a good time was had by all, except Kip, who stayed home with a headache ("like a girl!" said Ashley, of PayLess Shoes). And the Chronicles would like to thank Cl.thier for promoting the blog during the show! (but it's too bad the crowd was too drunk to write down its name and look it up!).

In other local news, boneheaded city leaders have decided to move this year's fireworks away from downtown and out to West Larryville, supposedly for fear that a few drunken members of the increasingly large crowds may fall into the river. The city assures fireworks fans that there will be no pre-show concert (due to lack of electricity in the field) and that there will not be enough parking, but nonetheless urges everyone to come out and have a good time.

Richard says: "Fuck off. I'll just go to the Replay."

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Jazzhaus Gets Chronicled (Without Kip!)

Of course Richard has been to the Jazzhaus many times over the years, but never as part of the Chronicles' official tour of local bars. The time finally arrived last night, as he joined local tunesmith Cl.thier at the weekly open-mic night.

The main thing to know about the Jazzhaus is that there's no jazz. Ever. Under any circumstances. There's "horn-section funk," and "hippie jamgrass" and shitty watered-down blues, but jazz just doesn't go over with the crowds there. Jazz makes people concentrate on the music, and the Jazzhaus does not want people to concentrate on the music, but simply to get drunk...and candelight. Indeed, the Jazzhaus has always seemed untainted by the hipsterism of the Replay, the Jackpot, and the TapRoom. Jazzhaus crowds want to get drunk and then get laid and that's it. Simple. And sometimes they have a "shitty beer" night (Hamm's, Old Style, Schlitz, cans for a buck).

At the bar last night, Cl.thier and Richard discussed the passing of George Carlin, with Cl.thier providing a poet's perspective, marveling at the amount of time and care that likely went into the ordering of the "seven words" ("Shitpissfuckcuntmotherfuckercocksuckertits"). "I sincerely hope," Cl.thier said, "to write something that beautiful one of these days." During their discussion they were treated to covers of O.A.R and Sinead O'Connor by various local troubadours. Cl.thier himself had been granted the prime 1:02 to 1:17 a.m. slot ("People are at the peak of their drunkenness right about 1:12"), but Richard called it an evening before the time came.

But where was Kip? Rumor has it that he's attending the Country Stampede in Manhattan, where he's the only person there who enjoys tennis and has a full set of teeth.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Tonight in Larryville: Let's Polka! / Also: Richard Infiltrates the East-Side! / Plus, Kip Writes a Dissertation!

The Grammy-winning polka freaks of Denton, Texas, Brave Combo, are set to play in Larryville tonight...on the patio of the Lawrence Public Library!?

Richard says: "The library patio is the new Replay Lounge. I've said it many times: the hipster scene is always shifting. Now let's just see if they approve of me drinking PBR out there."

In other news, last night at Free State Richard paid a dollar to join the "East Lawrence Neighborhood Association," for which he will receive a series of bi-monthly "manifestos" featuring communal gardening 'do's and don'ts' ("Do, keep your area well tended; Don't, take all my fucking peas") and continuing coverage of the local chicken-ownership controversy. So far he's learned that East Lawrence has its own President.

Meanwhile, somewhere in southern Kansas, Kip is floating in a small boat on a pond and handwriting his dissertation. The current working title: " 'Are you gonna eat that taco, Sally?': The Effects of Eighth-grade Lunchroom Behavior on Afternoon Classroom Performance."

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Boys' Country Corner, Vol. II!

In this popular (and, dare we say, important) new feature, the boys train their considerable powers of cultural analysis on the lyrics to mainstream country songs. The results are both entertaining and enlightening.

This week's subject: Alan Jackson's "I Still Like Bologna"

But I still
Like Bologna
On white bread
Now and then
And the sound
Of a whippoorwill
Down a country road
The grass between my toes
And that sunset sinking low
And a good woman's love
To hold me close
I like my 50 inch
HD plasma

Kip says: "Jackson uses bologna here in much the same way that Fitzgerald uses the 'green light,' as a symbol of how the past slowly recedes in the modern era. Yet the song also complicates this notion: we see that the narrator is simultaneously drawn to the complexities of modern life (plasma TV's) while still longing for a simpler era that no longer truly exists. Indeed, this is one of the most powerful works I know about lunch meat."

Richard says: "Jackson recognizes the power of bologna to represent a whole way of life, one of innocence (notice the "white" bread: that means 'innocence') but also of experience (the plasma TV). This might as well have been written by William Blake. Also, I'd like to take issue with one of Kip's statements. In the South, bologna is so much more than just a "lunch meat." We also enjoy it fried, for breakfast, with biscuits and gravy."

Monday, June 23, 2008

The Boys Talk Politics! / Also, Weekly Replay Roundup, Vol. III

Yesterday, local activists held a "Baking for Barack" bake sale in South Park, leading the boys to examine their own thoughts about this year's election.

Richard: So, who are you voting for, Kip?

Kip: I don't vote. Nor do I bake.

Richard: Don't you think it's dumb when smart people don't vote?

Kip: I mostly follow sports.

Richard: You must overhear certain things on the town square in Ft. Scott, though. What's the political climate down there?

Kip: Well, the fact is that we tend to vote for people that look like us. This year we like that grumpy old white man. What's his name? McBain?

Richard: Yeah, I imagine it's pretty Republican down there.

Kip: The people tend to favor heterosexual marriage and blowing shit up. Yes, I'd say it's Republican.

Richard: It makes he happy that the local idealists are baking for Barack, but I wish they'd pack up those rice-krispie treats and take the message outside town. I think they forget that the overwhelming Barack support around here actually ends at the Douglas County line.

Kip: At least they're not supporting Nader this year.

Richard: Good point. They're getting smarter with each election.

Kip: But they'll likely be so stoned when Election Day actually comes that they may well forget to vote. So what about your fellow Arkansans?

Richard: I witnessed some disturbing shit down there a few weeks back. I know a lot of people who have always been what my grandfather called "Yellow Dog Democrats," meaning that they'd vote for a yellow dog before they'd vote Republican. But yet it turns out that these people, especially the elderly churchgoing types, are not willing to vote for a black man. Yellow, maybe. But not black. And it does not bother them to say this. They just simply won't do it. So Barack's got to count on the "urban centers" of America to get him elected.

Kip: Like Joplin, Missouri?

Richard: No. Not like Joplin.

Dr. C: I'm hoping to go to the Democratic Convention in Denver. I keep hoping they'll ask me to speak there.

Kip: So should I vote for Barack, or not?

Richard: Yes, damn it! Yes!

This weekend at the Replay: L-Ville's finest Lounge spent at least three days with non-working taps, which were finally fixed in time for Sunday bluegrass...but with lukewarm ("cowboy-cold") beer. Richard said: "I expect this kind of shit at Quinton's, but not here." Still, Richard will forgive many things if the bluegrass is sweet enough, and luckily it was. During the show he encountered an ex-student, recently graduated, who told him she planned to spend at least a year "waiting tables and getting fucked up." I've taught them well, Richard mused. I have taught them very well indeed.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Yes, it's time for another episode of..."Is it art, or isn't it?"

Tonight, somewhere outside of Lawrence, The Fresh Produce Art Collective plans to celebrate the summer solstice with an event that Kip has called "frightening and disgusting." Here's the scoop from

"Eyes Wide Shut" meets "Lord of the Flies" meets the Fresh Produce Art Collective at this bizarro Summer Solstice event in rural Lawrence. Artists and creative types are invited to create masks to wear while dancing around a giant fire. Last year approximately 200 people came out to see the fire, drum circles, fire dancers and music. Camping, coolers and grilling are encouraged, but don't get all nekkid and lewd like you did at Burning Man last year.

Kip says: "Up until 1972, Fort Scott would have burned these folks at the stake as witches. This is obviously not art. This, my friends, is insanity."

Richard says: "Shit, I hope I can get a mask made in the next four hours. This is art."

Z-Man says: "This is art. But more importantly it seems like a place to find some good 'shrooms!"

Friday, June 20, 2008

Tonight in Larryville: It's a Fiesta!

The wildly popular Mexican Fiesta makes its annual appearance tonight at 12th and Kentucky.

Kip says: "I'm sure it's a nice family event but why should I, Kip Sm.lie, stand in line an hour in the heat for a tamale when I could just as easily go downstairs at the Iowa Street El Mez and watch a bunch of alcohol-lubricated underage sorority chicks partying. Yes indeed, the basement scene at El Mez is an unappreciated local treasure. They'll serve beer to anyone over ten. They'll serve beer to a goat. The only basement in town that's better is Pizza Pete's at The Wheel, where Pete is always dishing out free slices to sloshed chicks who show him their boobies. That man has seen more titties than he can count, whereas I've only seen five."

In pizza-related news, Papa Keno's is reopening. Yes, the long local nightmare is finally over! Once again we can enjoy a large slice sprinkled with hippie sweat.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Bullwinkle's Gets Chronicled (Without Kip!); Plus, More Breaking Local News: Basketball Scandals!

With Kip perpetually absent this summer, Richard continues to hang out with a band of East-end theologians, farmers, musicians, and local chicken activists. Last night found him at The Bull, where a rowsing game of beer pong raged inside while Richard and a theologian discussed matters of great religious import on the deck, such as how much pot gets smoked at religious colleges (a lot!). This was Richard's first-ever visit to The Bull, which keeps odd hours: a sign on the bar says that "hours may vary depending on special events," which means that the place will be only be open on rare occasions when someone is actually sober enough to show up and work there. There was little to impress one about the inside of The Bull, a tiny establishment, although Richard was quite taken with its surprisingly large wrap-around patio, much of which is invisible from the road and nicely shaded, leading Richard to surmise that the area has probably seen a fair amount of "hot wet sorority action" (which is incidentally the name of one of Miracle Video's top rentals). The Bull's special on this evening was 2 dollar cans, but PBR cans were notably absent, no doubt in an effort to discourage any passing hipster from trying their luck with the sorority ladies (also notably absent during the summer). Later in the evening, Richard found himself at a "full moon party," where he explained his mission to Chronicle each bar in town and was enlightened by local farmer Dave G. on the history of a long-ago gay bar which existed near South Park.

It's been a major week in L-Ville news, but White Owl's happy news is not the only thing making headlines at the moment. Basketball star S. C.llins' 2007 sex-scandal (he is accused of "exposing himself and rubbing up against" a 35-year old woman in an elevator) has entered the news again this week as the victim was awarded a settlement due to the fact that C.llins "wasn't aware" he had to appear in court regarding the matter.

Richard says: "Somehow the athletic department can pay people to sit outside the classrooms in every building and make sure the players go to class, but they can't pay someone to get them to court on time? It's odd."

Kip says: "I find this story dubious. Just imagine all the hot young ass these guys get. Why would he need to chase after some old lady? Plus, C.llins seems like a nice young man, certainly not the kind of guy who's going to take his weiner out on a public elevator."

The facts of the event are likely to remain unknown in what some are calling the "C.llins' Cock Case," but it has raised larger questions about the behavior of student athletes. And judging from the discussion-board comments of local yahoos, it has become quite clear that most residents believe that potential sexual harassment is perfectly fine and that even an occasional rape or murder would be a small price to pay in exchange for a national championship.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Breaking Local News: White Owl Gets Engaged!

Renowned local hippie and avid football fan, White Owl, 61, came to national attention last year during KU's march to the Orange Bowl. This week he announced his engagement to a 22 year old KU Junior he met on Wescoe Beach. The boys wish him well.

Dr. C says: "This is certainly outside the 'Gentlemen's 7' rule, but at the same time it's a powerful testament to the power of true love."

Kip says: "Gross."

Richard says: "Maybe if I remain in Larryville another quarter of a century or so, I can become a famous local character myself and finally get to bang a 22 year old."

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Chronicles' Country Corner!

In this new feature, the boys analyze the lyrics of popular country songs in an effort to discern the complex messages about cultural values that lie beneath the hokum.

First up: Brad Paisley's "I'm Still a Guy":

"When you see a priceless French painting
I see a drunk naked girl...

Well, love makes a man do some things he ain’t proud of
And in a weak moment I might
Walk your sissy dog
Hold your purse at the mall
But remember, I’m still a guy"

Kip says: "The genius of this song is that most guys can relate. Sure, I might enjoy the artisticness of a painting with a nude girl it it, but I never forget that there's a nude girl in it. You can bet your ass I don't. And holding a girl's purse at the mall...don't get me started. I've been there. What I do is that I hold the purse in one hand and hold my crotch with the other, in an effort to say, 'I may be holding a girl's accessory, but I'm still tough, fuckers!' Once a security guard asked me to leave."

Richard says: "This song taps into a complex fear about the feminization of culture, the strange new world in which Sex and the City can top Indy IV at the weekend box-office. By the time the song ends with "Oh, my eyebrows ain’t plucked / Theres a gun in my truck / Oh Thank God, I’m still a guy," that sound you hear is a million rednecks firing their guns in the air. Take cover."

Monday, June 16, 2008

Weekly Replay Roundup, Vol. II / Bloomsday (in Ft. Scott!) / The Boys Prepare For a Chautaqua!

Each year at the Replay there are a number of perfect moments when the bar proves its greatness. Last night brought us one. With a wall-to-wall patio crowd composed of equal parts hippies and punks, local bluegrass barnburners The Dewayne Brothers performed a version of the Dead Milkmen's "The Thing That Only Eats Hippies," briefly uniting these two groups of mortal enemies as both joined forces (to make fun of hippies).

As our readers no doubt know, today, June 16 is the day on which the events of Joyce's Ulysses transpire and on which admirers across the world gather to read the book in whole or parts. Kip has decided to bring a little culture to Ft. Scott today, wandering about town like a traveling minstrel and reading the dirty bits on a podium in the town square: " . . . and then I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I yes to say yes my mountain flower and first I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes." Responses to Kip's performance are likely to be mixed, ranging from bystanders saying, "What the fuck?" and "This is a bit gay," to more positive reviews: "I'm so proud of him!" (Kip's mom).

In Larryville this week comes the much-anticipated Kansas/Nebraska Chautaqua, this year focusing on America in the 1930's and featuring local actors and historians portraying such figures as FDR, Zora Neale Hurston, Huey Long, and Will Rogers.

Kip says: "The mistake is letting Nebraska participate in this enterprise. While they don't suck as much as Missour-a, they still suck, bad."

Richard says: "It hasn't been publicized much, but I'll be making a Chataqua appearance as...Charles Lindbergh!"

Sunday, June 15, 2008

This Week in International News: Budweiser for Sale?

With Budweiser on the verge of purchase by Belgian corporation InBev, petitions have been circulating to save one of the last great iconic American institions.

Kip says: "This really hits close to home. It's easy to get confused by things in a town like Larryville, but when I sit down at Rusty's in Ft. Scott and open a can of Budweiser, things just become clear again: The President is right about everything. The Redneck Comedy Tour is fucking hilarious. John Deere is the best kind of tractor. Women are pretty. Budweiser, please don't take this away from us."

Richard says: "Generally, I prefer a good Mexican brew."

Friday, June 13, 2008

The Boys Get Rated! (by their students!)

As those of you who are teachers may be aware, a website called Rate Your Professors allows students to voice their pleasures and displeasures regarding those who work so hard to inspire them each day. Reading such comments provides some interesting insight not only into our educational system...but into the boys' personalities. Here are a few excerpts:

Comments on Richard

"Sweet southern liberal with very thick glasses."

"...he goes to the Red Lyon!

"richie is awesome. sometimes hes kinda funny."

Comments on Kip

"Nice guy, pretty easy. He asks you to think though, and that can get on some ignorant peoples' nerves."

Comments on Dr. C

"I like him so far... He does like to side track a lot though. Its funny."

Comments on Cl.thier

"very funny, & super hot"

"Matt Clothier is like a hot version of Sean Hayes"

Comments on Z-Man

"Some days all we did was take a 5 question quiz then leave."

When our friend Z-Man first heard about the website, he flew into a wild rage, screaming that it wasn't fair that our students could evaluate us in such an on-line forum while we could not similarly evaluate our students! In retaliation, he went on-line and wrote many false reviews of himself and his fellow teachers. Here are a few that may (or may not) have been written by Z-Man (the Richard one may have been written by Dr. X).

"[Z-Man] B.rthelman rocked especially when he would bring his guitar and play for us."

"Richard rules like Fergus rules. You shall obey and submit to his will and supreme authority. You will break. The Richard Essence will then ascend to towering heights."

"Mr. Cl.thier is a living, breathing Adonis. His teaching must be inspired by his own incredible physique. I know it inspires me!"

Cl.thier vs. Sean Hayes Comparison Test: Can you tell which is which?

Thursday, June 12, 2008

It's Nargillo Time! (The Boys Consider Local Lounges)

The opening of a new lounge in Larryville is always a cause for celebration--and some concern: could a new one be as excellent as the other three?

Chief among L-Ville Lounges is, of course, the Replay, a place Richard loves with the white-hot intensity of a thousand burning suns (and Esquire magazine concurs, naming it "best bar in Kansas" in a recent poll). Known in some circles as the "pre-lay," the Replay plays host each Friday and Saturday night to a "sidewalk sale" in which everyone gathers outside at closing time and decides who to go home with. How can one not love it? Kip says: "It's easy. I hate that weird place."

Lesser-known but also very interesting is the Shenago Lounge. How is it pronounced and what does it mean? (is it really, as declares, taken from "shenango," meaning a kind of white china? or is it some kind of urban slang for oral sex, as others have suggested?). Who cares! It's a dark place with cheap pitchers and a bartender who will tell you stories about how the villain who owns Louise's Downtown is a cold-blooded killer who screwed him over and soon will pay!

The most dangerous of the three is the Jet Lag Lounge, a place where Richard came closer than anywhere else in Larryville to getting into a fight on an evening when his French friend Flanagan complimented the wrong girl's shorts, leading a frat boy to offer to kick his ass (and Richard's, for good measure). The Jet Lag also provided the backdrop to another memorable evening in which four sexually ravenous cougars (Kipnote: a cougar is an old woman who likes to fuck) ordered the boys to drink tomato-flavored beer and chased them around the bar trying to mate with them.

So how would the Nargillo measure up? Richard and Kip journeyed there last night to find out, only to discover that...the damn place was a hookah bar and served no alcohol whatsoever. The boys were totally puzzled. "What's a hookah?" Kip asked. "Isn't it a device used to smoke opium? I don't want to sit around chasing the dragon. I want to get drunk!" The disappointed boys ended up downtown instead, at Dempsey's Irish Pub, where a bluegrass jam was underway and the place was full of hippies. Oddly enough, the boys had spent the earlier part of that evening (joined by local sage Matt Cl.thier) in a discussion of whether the cutest hippie chicks, despite their dirty outward appearances, actually always wore clean and sexy underwear that smelled fresh as "the morning dew." Some of the boys argued yes and some argued no. None argued from experience. But Dempsey's seemed the perfect starting point to find an answer to this question. Did the boys find out?

No. But Richard vowed to return again to Dempsey's on Wednesays, declaring it an important new social scene, while Kip vowed to return as soon as possible to Ft. Scott, insisting that Lawrence made him "soft."

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

This Week in Local Newspapers: Guns

Alongside news of the tragic shootings of two young men in East Lawrence this week, the LJ-World decided to also run a light-hearted front-page story about a local reporter testing the area's concealed-carry laws by taking a gun out to local restaurants, bars, and shops. While the story may indeed have exposed some problems in the current legislation, mainly it just informed everyone that it's currently perfectly fine to take your gun to the bar.

Kip says: "Now don't get me wrong, folks. I would never actually shoot a hipster. But at the same time I believe I'd find it comforting just to have that cold steel on hand when I go out to the Replay."

Monday, June 9, 2008

This Week in Local News: A New Bar Opens! / Plus, CLUCK if you love chickens! / Also: another downtown concert!

As some of you may remember, the boys are still on their journey to Chronicle every bar in town (a difficult endeavor with Kip opting to spend his summer on a front porch in Ft. Scott, sipping lemonade with a lazy old hound dog asleep peacefully at his feet). Richard, who can sense when any new bar opens within a half-hour radius of the city, recently spotted a mysterious looking venue called Nargillo Lounge, opening next door to the Merc. Is this, in fact, a bar, as it appears to be? Or is it some strange place for the Granola Kids next door to take a break after a long afternoon buying healthy nuts and herbs. Hopefully the boys will pay the Nargillo a visit soon.

In other parts of town, it's been a rough few weeks for local backyard chicken owners as City Hall has launched a massive campaign to separate them from their beloved birds for fear of diseases being spread by the chickens. Outraged chicken owners have formed a group called CLUCK (Coalition of Lawrence Urban Chicken Keepers) to combat this outrage. An inside source recently informed Richard that the group held a secret meeting attended by none other than former Mayor Boog Highb.rg.r, a longtime favorite of the blog, who once proclaimed a National Dada Month for Larryville. Boog supposedly informed the group that the chicken controversy would likely blow over if the group would simply simmer down and abandon their plans to launch what one concerned citizen dubbed a "full-feathered chicken-costume raid on City Hall."

In happier news, the success of last month's downtown Wilco concert has prompted Larryville to embark on a summer concert series. The city has decided to follow the influential Wilco with a very special evening with...Poi Dog Pondering.

Kip says: "Finally, we're getting some real bands. I was over Wilco as an undergrad, but this Poi Dog show has some potential. I'm hoping the city can book Was(Not Was) or Frankie Goes to Hollywood later this summer!"

Saturday, June 7, 2008

The Boys Consider Wakarusa; Plus, Last Week in Local News: Rush Meets Bush!

The boys themselves have no plans to attend this year's Wakarusa Festival (Kip is scared of hippies; Richard is scared of crowds, heat, camping, and certain jam bands: "What if they were to play a song that just simply never stopped...we'd all eventually die while listening to it!"). However, their non-attendance doesn't stop them from offering their picks on the musical highlights for this year's festivalgoers (most of whom are too perpetually baked to distinguish one band from another).

Friday night headliner The Flaming Lips is an excellent choice for such a festival. With their high-minded concept albums and experimental tendencies, they work well for stoners who like to ponder their lyrics. And with their tendency for spectacle (stuffed animal costumes; Wayne Coyne traversing the crowd in a plastic bubble) they are equally appealing to those who are tripping (A Kipnote: "To trip means to freak out on drugs.").

Richard says: "Personally I dig the Lips. But a work like Zaireeka, which consists of four separate CD's intended to be played simultaneously on four different stereos, is simply never going to work for most people. In Arkansas, for instance, it's considered to be too much trouble. It's far easier to just grab the 8-track of David Allen Coe out of the glovebox of the pick-up, where it's kept between the whiskey bottle and the gun."

Saturday night headliner Ben Folds is a good choice for the festival as well. The small, fratty contingent of the crowd can use Folds' intelligent lyrics to try and convince ladies that they are "sensitive" and actually enjoy something besides the Dave Matthews Band, which normally provides the mood music to their evenings of date-rape and Jaeger shots.

Kip says: " 'Brick' is a song about abortion. I learned that on VH-1."

Sunday night's headliner is a classy but risky choice: the legendary, ever-lovely Emmylou Harris.

Kip says: "Who is this? Some old silver-haired chick? Most of the hippies will go home before she plays."

Richard says: "If would ever actually let me win tickets to something, I'd brave the fucking crowds for this."

This year's Wakarusa line-up also incorporates a bit of hip-hop (Arrested Development and Blackalicious), a genre which is becoming increasingly popular among the neo-hippies who believe they too have grown up in a culture of oppression where their parents generally only purchase one SUV for them instead of the other one they need for use as a "festival vehicle."

Kip says: "I'll be the first to admit I don't know much about African-American culture. I used to watch Martin Lawrence's show a bit, and once I spent an hour in the Crosstown Tavern over on Haskell, but the truth is that I'm just a really, really white guy and I don't think all the hip-hop in the world will change that."

Other tips from the boys:

Richard: "There's no tornado plan for Wakarusa. If a tornado comes, your best bet is to run like hell."

Kip: "Stupid urban hippies ain't never heard of ticks and chiggers and then run around town wondering why they've got red welts all over their asses. Take some bug spray, folks!"

Last Week in Local News:

The 2008 Championship Jayhawks were flown to D.C. for a meet-and-greet with the President last week, leading Richard to wonder: "Why are they being punished?"

W. singled out Richard's former student B. Rush for his contribution in the North Carolina game. Rush forgot to thank his former professor for a semester's worth of inspiration and his passing "D" in the course, without which the championship would never have been won.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The Chronicles Takes a Vacation!

With Richard away in Arkansas on a tour of the best catfish restaurants, we recommend you use this week to reflect on the past and think about what kind of stories you'd like to see here in the future. Requests are always welcome.

The Chronicles are slated to return soon with Richard's in-depth report on the brewing controversy between Larryville chicken owners (who have organized into a group called CLUCK) and the city, which wishes to deny them the chickens that they love so well. Also, Kip will weigh in with his review of this year's Wakarusa. And we're hoping to bring you some new freelance work from Dr. C: perhaps a report on this year's fashion scene?

See you soon.

--the Chronicles Team

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Local News: Kickball Fever and the Approach of Wakarusa!

Summertime in Larryville has increasingly become associated with kickball in recent years and lately its been impossible to visit any downtown hipster establishment without overhearing debates on which team is the one to beat this season. Will it be the Love Garden Team, known for taking breaks in their games to deliver impromptu lectures on the relative merits of SubPop vs. Matador records? Or will it be the Replay's "PBR makes us faster!" Team? And don't discount the fan-favorite Mad Greek Team, known for their rousing shouts of "Oom-pah!" with each kick. The fun begins tonight!

Also, five days remain before this year's Wakurasa Festival and migratory hippies are already beginning to trickle into town. Kip says: "Just as some people claim to smell snow before it arrives, I can smell the hippies as soon as they start to stream out of the mountains and head toward us. They smell like...the art teacher's office." (Simpsons' joke!). Kip is currently cloistered away in Ft. Scott, where he claims to be handwriting a dissertation while sitting beside a tranquil pond, watching some ducks. Rumors are circulating, however, that he's secretly training for this summer's major Iron Man festival to be held in Lawrence in two weeks.