Friday, June 29, 2012

Our Collaboration With I Heart Local Music, Vol. III: Favorite Taproom Shows

The heat wave continues in LFK and so does our summer collaboration with I Heart Local Music!   Today we turn our attention to the site of some of Larryville's sweatiest shows:  the Taproom!

Find our pick for favorite Taproom show over  at I Heart Local Music and find their pick below!

Favorite Taproom show: Extra Classic (July 9, 2010)

For seasoned scenesters in Lawrence, there really is no better feeling than descending into the dark and magical abyss known as the Taproom basement. The venue is small and dimly lit with red bulbs (a photographer's nightmare), but has played host to some of Lawrence's most fantastic bands and musicians.

One of these musicians includes Adrianne Verhoeven (we'll call her Dri for the remainder of this article). Dri's rich history in the local music community spans several years, and includes a superb stint with one of Lawrence's most beloved bands, The Anniversary.

I've seen her play in Lawrence several times and on many stages. I even worked as a crew member for one of the final Anniversary shows when I was a teenager. But it was when Dri performed with her then-new band, Extra Classic, at the Taproom on July 9, 2010, that my breath was absolutely taken away.


Watching Dri perform at the Taproom had become a common and joyous occasion at this point. Prior to performing with the reggae-themed Extra Classic, she performed more hip-hop and groovy-based music during her solo stint. These pre-Extra Classic days played a vital role in Dri's music career. Up until that point, she was primarily serving up lush backup vocals. This was her first time putting her vocals in the spotlight. Turns out, that's what she was meant to do all along.

When she released her solo album, the community was ready to welcome her with open arms. What we didn't expect, though, was just how outstanding and stupendous this album was going to be. I mean, we knew it was going to be good…. but this was a really exciting set of songs.

So it's no wonder she absolutely filled the Taproom when she came to town. If there's any place where you're going to throw a welcome-home show, it's the Taproom. It's long been regarded as a place where Lawrence's biggest music lovers go. When you cram a band into that small basement space, you get them at their fullest effect. There's absolutely no better way to feel connected with your community. Maybe that's why "Home" is strung up in the back with all the tinsel (see what I mean at 3:16 in this video from 2009):


Jump forward a couple of years, and suddenly Dri returns to the Taproom with a new band and an entirely new sound. We knew, thanks to her DJ stints at the Replay, that she loved dub and reggae. So we were more than thrilled to see her take that love of the genre to a whole new level with Extra Classic.

It's always a hot summer night when Extra Classic comes to Lawrence for a show. They bring the sizzle to the stage, and the fans cram in for a cozy night of grooving to some of the best dance music a local band can make. The music is undeniably satisfying for even the hungriest of beat-lovers, thanks to guitarist Alex DeLanda's pleasing plucking; and the lyrics are thick with soul and emotion. Now that Dri had perfected her lead vocal stylings, she was ready to belt out all sorts of magic.

The dancing really never stopped that night. There were so many people in there, I remember having to stand on one of the benches, bending my neck and smashing the side of my face up against the ceiling. There are poles in the Taproom basement, most likely for structural support, but folks would twirl and twirl around those things when certain parts of the songs got them all sorts of worked up. Despite the lack of lighting in the Taproom, you could definitely tell that most people had a giddy grin slapped across their face.

That's the thing about Extra Classic shows. The band doesn't just bring a perfect performance, they make memories for the community. A show like this brings out all sorts of friends and community members you may not have seen in a while. Everyone's been to an Extra Classic show. You'll see buddies, enemies, coworkers… everyone; and, much like the rug in "The Big Lebowski," Extra Classic really ties the room together. You know a show is memorable when you remember every conversation, photo, and shenanigan to come out of that night.

All of these points are very good reasons to love watching Dri perform solo or with Extra Classic. But personally, I love seeing what entertaining get-up she arrives in. Often times she'll wear a bulky jacket with embroidered flowers or some boring old gray sweatshirt, then BAM! She takes it off after two songs to reveal a sparkly gold leotard or some other flashy frock. This just tickles me to death. Who doesn't love a little pizzaz onstage?


Currently, Extra Classic resides in San Francisco. They've done an incredible job making a name for themselves, which includes a nod from Rolling Stone. All of us have always known that Lawrence produces incredible and noteworthy musicians, so it really shouldn't be any surprise at all that their homecoming shows are the ones we'll favor above all others. The glittery Taproom backdrop is right… there really is no place like home.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Weekend Picks: Percolator Events (including Destroy Nate Allen and The Leotards) And Final Fridays Events (Including Sean Starwars at Wonder Fair)

[Update:  we just received word from Craig "Manly-Smelling" Comstock that tonight's Percolator show is off.  Apparently Destroy Nate Allen destroyed the show by double-booking at the Newsroom in KC instead.   Why couldn't they play both an early show in LFK and a late show in KC, as bands often do?  Who knows?  Anyway,  you can see them at the Newsroom at 10:00 with Some Kid and Baby Boomers.  We're leaving their part of the blog post up anyway because it contains some boner jokes that we like.]


Readers, if you're like us, you are suffering from heat madness!  But how hot IS it? It's so hot Chip can barely muster a boner joke (or even a boner, for that matter).  And it's so hot we switched from Hamm's to Hamm's on ice.  But you might as well embrace the madness and join a bunch of folkies and punks and punk-folkies for a potluck dinner during the hottest part of the day at the Percolator this evening.  Dinner starts at 5:00, and later you can enjoy the sounds of such bands as Destroy Nate Allen, a husband/wife duo who are known for wacky on-stage shenanigans and songs with titles like "Boobie Bar" (listen here).  Perhaps Chip's boner will rise again after all!   Other acts include Some Kid and Machete Party.

 With Our Powers Combined cover art

Assuming you survive the heat and the Machete Party this evening, don't forget to return to the Percolator on Saturday for a rare sighting of LFK's most vulgar vulgarians The Leotards.  Here is a link to the greatest song they've ever done (perhaps the greatest song they'll ever do, since it is truly a supreme achievement).
And here are The Leotards looking tough outside their studio on Missouri Street.

Get the full scoop on all the bands at the next three Percolator events via our blog entry from yesterday:  right here.


And sandwiched in between these rock shows is Final Friday.  Get full summaries of the events over at the Wordpress site, but we'll offer a few intriguing possibilities here.

1)  Wonder Fair looks to be returning to its weird roots with a show by Sean Starwars called "A Fuck Ton of Prints."   The description sounds right up our alley:

"His work features familiar pop culture heroes and villains, southern culture ephemera, and the inner workings of a man who drinks way to much Mountain Dew. Done in a style reminiscent of Hannah Barbara cartoons or a pig cooking another pig on a Barbecue joint sign, Starwars’ woodcuts are both creepy and hilarious."

Starwars (if that's indeed his real name!) recently made a woodcut a day for an entire year.  Check a bunch of his work out over here at his official website.  Based on what we've perused, this dude absolutely loves hot dogs, clowns, and (of course) Mountain Dew.  

Here's one of our favorite (and most disturbing) Starwars' pieces called "Groped at the Grocery":

Chip: " Notice the sign at top left:  "Tender Fresh Breasts."  That's clever.  Also, I prefer this piece to anything Picasso has ever done."

And WHY hasn't someone made a horror movie yet about a deranged, horny Piggly-Wiggly mascot on a supermarket sex and murder spree?  We'll begin the script promptly.
2)  Molly Murphy's show at the Pig is called "Remarkably Unmemorable."  We can't say that the title is very inspiring taken on its own!  But it takes on new meanings if you actually read the description at the Wordpress site.

3)  But perhaps the best bet of the evening is The Invisible Hand's "Friends of the Hand" show, a final event at the space before moving on to a new gallery.  It will feature the work of 23 of your favorite local artists. Check out the FB event page here.

The Friends Of The Hand

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Compton Gets a Resort Hotel, Bananasuit Goes to the Bone Dance, and "Pass the Hat" Returns to the Percolator

Today's top story was inevitable.  Last night the City Fathers finally issued their "fuck you" to the Historic Resources Commission and unanimously approved Compton's new 9th and N.H. resort hotel. 

We'd recommend you head to the LJ-World to check out the talkback.

Our vote for most nonsensical comment so far goes to FalseHopeNoChange, who says:

"Put in an "Arts and Crafts" room to allow the 'emotionally distressed "bitter clinger" Genies to 'feel' better. Their complex, yet nuanced 'emotional' state of mind is crucial to keep them from "clustering" in the streets with "candlelight vigils." 

NutsforKU uses a classic scare technique, linking LFK to Manhattan: 

"Silly rabbit, downtown is being transformed into an upscale Aggieville, that is all it is, why do you think the developers who have invested so much of their money in the college sports scene are buying it up? It will be all bar scene and high dollar restaurants. Forget about groceries and a dime store."

There's not a grocery or "dime store" even now, however.

And ClassClown offers a bit of aid to those seeking to block the development:

"I think I spotted an endangered lizard on that lot. And a prayer/medicine wheel. There! That should keep the building from being built for at least the next 20 years." 

We'll see you at the groundbreaking ceremony!


Sure, we survived an interview with Bone Dance, but there was NO WAY we were going to risk life and limb to see them at the Bottleneck.  So we sent LFK's resident metalhead / third-wave feminist Bananasuit to experience the festivities.  Here's her (frightening) report:

 Scenesters, if you're missing Metal Monday at the Bottleneck, you're missing out -- hard.  They've got local bands that will melt your face, plus $3 microbrews and $2 Black Tooth Grins. Last night Bone Dance joined the lineup from Boise, Idaho, and -- intrigued by Chip and Nog's interview (in which lead singer Bryce admitted "we haven't shoved a fish up anybody yet") -- I set out with my iPhone, my copy of 2666, and prepared to witness some salmon.

I have no idea who opened, but they were adorable. The lead vocalist, who wore cutoff army cargo pants (topical!), passed the time by cracking awkward jokes about his sweaty balls and promising that he wouldn't bite anyone who ventured closer to the stage.  The backup guy sang one awesome song with those growly, scratchy, hardcore vocals, but I was distracted by his adorable teddy bear face. And I think he is a library patron.

This Is My Condition played next, with an intimate percussion setup in the middle of the bar.  I'd never seen him play before, and holy shit: the most lyrical, beautiful and strange instrumentation. The crowd hovered around to watch him play guitar frets like snare drums and pick up breaking equipment with one hand while waving around a tiny feedback device with the other. Sweat dripped down his face, and he smelled like a man. The icing on the cake? He closed his set with a Country Western cover.  Go hug this guy.

By the time Bone Dance took the stage, expectations were high. Sure enough, Bryce immediately jumped into the crowd, breaking the "Fourth Wall" and daring the audience to interact.  So I planted myself front and center and took the opportunity during a rare lull between aural stabbings to tell him how much I liked his moustache. 

Apparently this was not the type of audience participation Bryce had in mind. I say this because he reacted by tipping his head back and hacking up the most extreme loogie I've seen in my life so far, and then letting it land right on his upper lip hair.  "Touch it," he said.  Instead I ran away, terrified, to the bar and let bartender Rob pour me a shot of Rumple.

At the end of the night, this much nicer moustached man allowed me to drunkenly wax poetic about moustaches and snap this grainy shot:

All in all, a total success.  See you next week at Metal Monday!


Speaking of This is my Condition, the man behind the madness, Mr. Craig "He smelled like a man" Comstock has a whole slew of "Pass the hat" shows coming up at the Percolator.

We'll just present the info to you below in Craig's own words, straight from the press release!  Sure, it's going to be blazing hot out there, but don't be a pussy.  Check out some of these shows.

Thursday June 28th 5pm potluck 7pm food
Some Kid - a solo act, real name Alden Slote - folk punk.
Destroy Nate Allen - interactive punk rock for fans of Andrew Jackson Jihad, Violent Femmes and Johnny Hobo. From Portland Oregon.
Machete Party - hard fast loud garage punk from here. Think Iggy & the Stooges meets Black Flag.

Saturday June 30th 5pm potluck 7pm food

Witch & Hare from Kansas City... these guys are just drop-dead awesome. Loved them for years.Sneaky Creeps - this is Andrew Erdrich of Kansas City Speakeasy fame as well as many other projects in KC.

We'll likely get another band from Lawrence to play this show. To be announced!

[Just announced:  that band will be the motherfucking Leotards!). 

Tuesday July 3rd 5pm potluck 7pm food

3 Moons from Portland Oregon. Sort of psych folk blues. This is Jeffrey Kologe, of late from Kansas City and in such famous (in my mind) bands as The Sperm and I Don't Do Gentlemen to say nothing of Miscellaneous Insect Collective.
Chad Bryan from the Ants will perform solo.
TIMC will open up the evening promptly at 7pm. Woo hoo!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Tuesday Pick: Replay Horror Picture Show / I Was A Teenage Scenester: Our Interview With Drew Smith Shows You the Next Generation of the LFK Scene

LFK seems to have an increasing number of film-related events, and we can dig it.  There's Film Church at Liberty Hall, of course. There's the occasional Retro Cocktail Hour Double Features, also at Liberty. There's the Footprints Silent Film series at the Arts Center (you can check out Battleship Potemkin this Saturday with live accompaniment by the People's Liberation Big Band: details here ).  And there's the new PBR Film Club, a more exclusive offshoot of PBR Book Club that requires potential members to submit a personal essay about their film preferences.  And now there's the Replay Horror Picture Show, two sci-fi or horror films screened on the patio each Tuesday, the second to serve as a background for a kooky DJ Modrey Hepburn dance party.   The event kicks off tonight with Young Frankenstein at 9:30 followed by Frankenstein Conquers the World.   Check out the FB event page here.

Replay Horror Picture Show


All of our readers are certainly familiar with the scenesters that haunt the Replay and the Tap and the Pig and Frank's, etc, but do you ever wonder what the next generation of LFK scenesters will be like?  Perhaps something like Drew Smith, a 13 year old LFK resident who sent us a message requesting one of our patented email interviews.  And how could we say no?  After all, this cat sees more shows than we do; he records solo bass mutilation/electronica albums under the moniker Theo's Mystic Robot Orchestra (you can listen and purchase via Bandcamp and please do:  Drew needs concert money); he runs his own record label called Sarcastic Magician Records (which just signed the most recent Farmer's Ball  winners, Panda Circus); and he has been blogging about the local music scene for well over a year at Music That You May Not Have Known About (the cool kids just call it MTYMNHKA, for short).  That blog has actually written the best local piece so far about the upcoming Lawrence Field Day festival as well as exhaustive photo documentation of last Thursday's Flaming Lips show.  Check it out. Drew!  We hope you enjoy our chat about robots, DIY record labels, and the best bands currently on the LFK scene.
Richard:  We’re always happy to discover other local bloggers covering music in Lawrence.  How long have you been blogging over at Music That You May Not Have Known About?  And can you describe your blog a bit for our readers? 

Drew: I've been blogging on MTYMNHKA for a year and 5 months. It was originally me just kind of talking about contemporary Christian rock bands that I actually thought and still think are the best ones out there (Showbread, The Classic Crime). But as my musical tastes expanded quite a bit, it turned into a blog that had stuff about bands that had only a few downloads on Bandcamp and bands that contact me about liking a post. Naturally, I talk about news stories and review stuff, but I think talking to indie bands is the coolest thing. They're almost all incredibly awesome people. Especially bands  in Lawrence. It's always funny how people react to a kid coming up to you at a show and saying "Hey, aren't you the guy from insert band name here?". I think a lot of bands from Lawrence have probably met me at one time or another.

Chip:  When I was 13, I had a paper route and listened primarily to my father's 8-tracks of the Oak Ridge Boys.  But you run your own record labels.  Tell us about Adenine Records and Sarcastic Magician Records?  What bands are on these labels and what kind of bands are you looking for?
Drew:  Well, Adenine Records was the idea of some of my good friends that are in high school. They mainly run it.  I'm around for moral support and website development. I started Sarcastic Magician Records as a sub label for me to sign bands. I love all music, and I hope to show that through the artists I sign. Right now we have me, a weird experimental project, Audience, a classical piano project of one of my friends, and [the most well known of them] Panda Circus, a fun indie pop/rock band that you need to hear if you haven't. It's a fun time.

Richard:  You’re a scenester, so you’ve probably got strong opinions on the local scene.  Who’s the best band in LFK right now and why?

Drew:  Dude..... That's seriously hard to say. I LOVE the Lawrence bands so much. I'd probably say Agent X12 is my biggest inspiration musically. That tape he put out is something else. Living Ghost too. He's awesome. All of the Whatever Forever Tapes artists, like Agent X12, Heartscape Landbreak, Karma Vision, Generals, etc. are some of my favorites. Panda Circus, The Sluts, Mouthbreathers, The Faded Age and my friends Far Cry From Fearless are my rock faves.  I love Umberto and C V L T S from KC. Monster, Generals, This Is My Condition and Mansion are killer live acts. Again, that's a really abridged version of my love for LFK bands. They are the best people ever, and I appreciate their contributions to reasons why my life is mostly spent on music.

Chip:  So how would you describe the sound of your project, Theo’s Mystic Robot Orchestra, ideally using some pretentious Pitchfork-y music criticism.   And do you actually have a robot orchestra making all those weird sounds?

Drew:  Aw, dude I wish! Maybe for the next one. Would make for a great stage set up!
But in mild seriousness, TMRO is a a kind of a combination of noise, guitar and bass mutilation, electronica moments, drone metal and random spots of clean guitars. I can't quite describe it Pitchfork style because it's been to long since I've actually read a full Pitchfork review (sad?).  But I think that you could say I like Sunn O))), Ricky Eat Acid and pretentious experimental music after listening to [Theo's album] Finale. You know, the usual liking's of a 13 year old. Kind of, not at all.

Richard:  I get the feel of a sci-fi concept album with  Finale’s songs that are broken into parts and often have titles like "Roaring Sounds Of Perhaps Otherwise Melancholy Human Beings" and "The Repetitive Sounds Of The Factory."   Do you think of Finale as having a “storyline” of sorts, even though it’s instrumental?

Drew:  It sort of does. It was originally going to have a full storyline in it, but the storyline is really spotty. The story that exists in my mind is that Theo is a poor little boy from London, say WWII era. He stumbles upon some robots, they find a musical connection. His parents die, he runs away, the robots find him and take him home. Everything is good. Then we get to Finale. Everything is going well, but things start to fall. His relationship with the robots falls, the music is dying out, the war is raging. But, there are moments of happiness. Then on "Id" I think some kind of bomb destroys his house and most everything he loves. Then the last song is a kind of rising out of the ashes moment and Theo realizes it's ok and that the city can be rebuilt. That's literally the story in a small nutshell. Maybe it'll be on a book, an 8-track voice recording for the hipsters. The more you know.

Image Detail

Thanks, Drew.  As The Who would say, "The kids are alright!"

Monday, June 25, 2012

Weekend Recap: Mexican Fiesta, Film Church, and a Streaker at the Replay / Monday and Tuesday Picks

Readers, this was a classic LFK weekend.

In addition to the Flaming Lips hoopla (read our review over here), there was also the Mexican Fiesta.  We paid a visit on Saturday evening, ready to swill a few cervezas, but the closest thing to Mexican beer on offer was...Bud Light Lime.  Can't win 'em all.  Kudos to St. John's, however, for adding a mobile ATM on the church grounds to keep people eating and drinking as much as possible.  (Chip: "I briefly felt like someone should have driven the money lenders out of the temple, but instead I just bought some more tamales.").

Sunday morning brought the second installment of Liberty Hall's "Film Church."  If you live in LFK and truly love films and are not attending this event yet, you are making a huge mistake.  The 35mm print of Billy Wilder's The Apartment looked fantastic, as if you could step right inside those rich B&W interior shots and stroll through the cubicles alongside CC Baxter.   Reverend Maggie's pre-film "sermon" was spot on with its assessment of the film's script:  "It's impeccable. It cannot be pecked."   Next up:  the Coens' Blood Simple, July 22.  Yes, we briefly fainted when this announcement was made. 

Here's Jack Lemmon's patented pasta draining technique (Chip also uses this technique, even though he's never seen nor heard of the film):

Despite the 100+ degree temps, we stopped by the Replay matinee on Sunday evening to catch a sweet set by California duo Driftwood Singers and a headlining set from Olassa.  Just after Olassa's second song, a wild-eyed fellow ambled onto the stage, commandeered Cain's microphone, began removing clothes, and said calmly: "We're gonna streak."  However, the intrepid Replay staff gave him the old "bum's rush" out the back door before his dingus appeared.  Streaking is only allowed on the kickball field around these parts!  Thanks also to Allison Olassa for treating us to a "doorkno" later.  Nothing tastes better on a hot LFK day than Hamm's on ice with a twist of lime!

Sadly, we failed to get a picture of the attempted streaking, but here's Driftwood Singers, baking in the Replay sunlight (man, that's gotta be the roughest stage in town at about 7:00 pm on a hot day).



But don't stop partying just because the weekend's over.  It's motherfucking Metal Mondays at the Bottleneck and there's an 80% chance that Bone Dance will stab and bury you at tonight's show.  (Re)Read our interview here ).  We've also received word that This Is My Condition will be rocking the scene, one-man-band style, along with sets from Electric Sleuth City and Collide.

And Tuesday brings the all-important City Commission meeting that's likely to (finally) level a verdict on the new Compton hotel at 9th and NH.  You better yell loudly tomorrow, readers!  We're still pondering City Commissioner Aron Cromwell's weekend statement about the project: "...if you have everyone unhappy, you probably are on the right track."  Sounds like this project is definitely on the right track, then.

And spend some time this week playing the first round of Larryville Artists' new Scenester Scavenger Hunt game.  Can you recognize all seven?  (sadly, we can't).  Check it out over here .

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Concert Review: Flaming Lips at Liberty Hall -- Getting Freaky with the Fearless Freaks / Event of the Day: Sherron Collins' Book Signing at Dillon's

Readers, Liberty Hall knows how to throw a party, and we were happy to be on hand for the 100th Anniversary street party and Flaming Lips show last night!

Admittedly, we're never quite sincere nor stoned enough to appreciate the Lips' in their most pure form, but we're a sucker for spectacle, and the show certainly delivered.  After a warning about the dangers of strobe lights and epilectic seizures (in certain rare cases, Wayne said, "It could really fuck you up!"), the show was off to a familiar start with "Race for the Prize" from The Soft Bulletin (one of our all-time faves) followed by a singalong of their biggest hit "She Don't Use Jelly" (unlike those sourpusses in Radiohead, who hardly ever deign to play "Creep" these days, Wayne doesn't mind trotting out some of the hits).   Confetti-filled balloons floated and were popped.  Weed was smoked in copious amounts by many.  Wayne rolled  around in his bubble.  Naked women were projected on a large screen (though the dancers on stage remained clothed: this ain't Wakarusa fest, after all!).  We tuned out during some of the more psychedelic noodly parts but woke up for a nice strummy "Yoshimi" singalong, which Wayne fucked up and had to start over but no one minded.  "This song means more to this crowd than the Bible," said Chip, gazing on all sides at the stoned masses singing along with Wayne with faces upturned as if in prayer: "Those evil-natured robots, they're programmed to destroy us, she's gotta be strong to fight them, so she's taking lots of vitamins."   Eventually it was encore time and the opening band, Deerhoof, emerged for an odd cover of Canned Heat's "Going Up the Country," performed more-or-less faithfully ("I'm going, I'm going, where the water tastes like wine").  And the evening ender?  It was the official state rock song of Oklahoma, "Do You Realize," with Wayne's giant face projected on screen as he sang "Do you realize that you have the most beautiful face? Do you realize we're floating in space?"  Oh, much of the crowd was indeed floating at this point.

Some other highlights: 

Kliph Scurlock on stage during Deerhoof's set in a Lawrence Public Library shirt.

The wonderfully bouncy dance moves of Deerhoof's singer Satomi Matsuzaki.  Adorable!  

Wayne's encore "sermon" about how it means so much to him that people treat his silly pranks as if they're in the presence of true magic (as if each bit of confetti is "magic dust shot out of a dragon's ass"--that quote is paraphrased, but pretty close).   Sure, he probably delivers the same speech at every show, but it still comes across as touching, as if he's truly humbled each time people show up and have fun, and perhaps he is. 

 Look at Wayne's giant face:


When we heard that Sherron Collins would be signing books this afternoon at Dillon's, we were beside ourselves with excitement that this dude wrote a book!  Would it finally reveal the inside scoop on that mysterious elevator incident?  Would we able to understand the complexities of its language?   We've always been huge fans of Sherron's tweets, even though most of them are over our heads  (Examples: "Long night but an wary morning the grind."  "Ooh ight fuck it me trynna help.").  

But it turns out that Collins didn't write a book.  He's simply featured in a new book called Beyond the Phog written by ESPN's Jason King, and the two will be signing copies together today.    Details here from KU Sports.  We'll see you out there, though one of our PBR Book Clubbers gave us the brilliant idea of trying to get Collins' to sign our copies of Roberto Bolano's 2666 instead!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Our (Shirtless) Interview with Cloud Dog: "We usually paint at the show space, so you can always get painted there."

Readers, if you're still running wild on good vibes (and various drugs) after the Liberty Hall 100th Anniversary Block Party and the second night of the Flaming Lips at Liberty, make sure to head to the Bottleneck for the Lips' afterparty featuring Ashes to Immortality and Cloud Dog.

We chatted with Cloud Dog's Jim Dandy, Brett, and Derek about what to expect from tonight's gig, the importance of being shirtless and painted-up at their shows, the delightful nature of Bollywood musicals, and their upcoming "360 Psychedelic Panoramic Sound Immersion Dance Experience."

Check out Cloud Dog on Facebook here and their website here .

They are slated to hit the stage at the Bottleneck at 11:00 tonight. 

Enjoy the interview.

Chip:  Our concert memories are fuzzy from too much PBR, but we’re pretty sure the first time we saw Cloud Dog was at a Farmer’s Ball at the Bottleneck.   We remember the performance as being intense and primal and, frankly, we were a little bit scared!  How would you describe the Cloud Dog sound and the Cloud Dog experience to someone who may not have witnessed it before?

Brett: Thunderous!

Jim: We definitely enjoy bringing the party...

Brett: Joyful!

Jim: ...And we present a very interesting mix of electronics and live percussion. I would assume that our frantic drumming and face and body paint is what caused you to see a more "intense and primal" side. I guess a lot of people could see it that way. There is a lot of human energy being used, coming from us playing and from everyone out there gettin down...   

Brett: Interactive.

Jim: ...Our set up consists of dual samplers pumping out swirling synths, danceable beats, catchy melodies, and of course the drums.

Brett: Dancing!

Derek: I agree, there is a lot released back and forth from us to our visitors and vice versa.

Richard:  You’ll be playing the Flaming Lips’ after-party at the Bottleneck tonight.  Are there any special plans for this gig, such as Lips’ covers, stuffed animal costumes, confetti cannons, or maybe rolling around the crowd on a hamster ball?

Derek: Nothing quite as epic as a hamster ball.  There might be some rolling around though. Last show at the Bottleneck we ran projections and set up a separate stage for Brett and I to play on in the middle of the dance floor. It also freed up room for people to dance on stage.

Brett: Mass. Street drum circle prior to the show

Jim: We will have plenty of paint and glow sticks. The drumming and dancing will ensue. Our show will begin right at 11:00pm.

Brett: Bring your own crystals.  
Chip:  Your Facebook page lists your genre as “Experimental Psychelectro Tribal Acid Dance Noise Pop Euphoria.”   What’s the best drug to take to fully “get” what you’re doing?

Brett: Restructured water & organic vegetables

Derek: It's all about the mindset

Jim: Lots of vitamin C and chocolate, man.

Richard:  The song “Temple Step” and its video certainly reveal a Bollywood influence.  Are you guys fans of Bollywood musicals, and does a Bollywood-style dance party tend to break out when you play that tune?

Jim: We are interested in exploring musical genres from everywhere. For our latest album, Realms, I was heavily influenced by eastern Indian vocal structures. I am really more interested in creating layers and textures, soundscaping, rather than adhering to a specific genre. I am a fan of Bollywood for sure but, just like a mood, your music taste can change instantaneously. I am currently intrigued by Tropicalia and Samba.

Derek: Really, all sorts of dance styles break out at our shows, even ballet.

Here's the "Temple Step" video:

Chip:  You guys are often shirtless and painted-up at the shows.  Would you recommend that I do the same before coming to the gigs?  And do the ladies ever get shirtless at your gigs when they catch that Tribal Acid groove?

Jim: To your first question, Yes. We actually give discounts at the door if you are not wearing a shirt.

Derek: We usually paint at the show space so you can always get painted there.

Jim: I did play an outdoor show in Omaha where the ladies got naked, danced, and were fire-breathing. Pretty wild night. 

Brett: Remember our show at Camp Gaea?

Jim: Yep. 

Richard:   We’re told that your July show at the Bottleneck will be a “360 experience” but we’re not sure exactly what that means, though our guess would be that the crowd surrounds you all sides.  Tell us about that upcoming gig and why it’s going to be special.

Jim: Well, we are always experimenting with different ideas to keep our shows interesting. My latest idea, the "360 Psychedelic Panoramic Sound Immersion Dance Experience" you heard about, really pertains to a multitude of sweeping, panning sounds flooding the listener from all sides rather than coming from the one stage direction. We will have several high volume speakers, including what is already in house, set up around the venue.

Brett: Sound will be shooting all around the room.  You will be able to really feel the music

Jim: These speakers will all be directed in a circle fashion to surround everyone who will be down in front of the stage. I will be manipulating samples and beats into independent speakers at different times. We have a whole lot more in store for this show, I can't really give it all away.  You just have to come and experience it yourself.   

Derek: July 20th at The Bottleneck.

Chip:  You guys have a new album, Realms.  What else is on the horizon for 2012 in terms of music and touring, or do you believe that the Mayan apocalypse is imminent?

Brett: We are going on our first official tour together this year, at the end of September.

Jim: We are also playing HarvestFest this October. But before that, we are hoping to release a Realms Remix cassette with Whatever Forever. Creativity never sleeps. I thought I would be able to get a little break after Realms, but I can't stop thinking about where to go next.

Derek: I mean, Dick Clark dies the year the Mayan calendar ends!? What do you think? 

Chip:  Seriously, though, is your name REALLY Jim Dandy?

Jim: Is your name REALLY Chip?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Thursday Scenester Pick: Flaming Lips at Liberty Hall / Also: Erotica Pick of the Week

Readers, tonight kicks off the Flaming Lips two-night stand at Liberty Hall and LFK's ready to get freaky with Wayne and the gang.  Bring on that fucking hamster ball, Coyne!

So which drugs are you all planning to take for their shows?  We're thinking it may be a good time to sample bath salts.

While LFK loves the Lips as much as ever, others are a little less enamored, as you can see in this recent AV-Club piece called..."Falling Out of Love With The Flaming Lips," which charts the Lips' transition from the days when their weirdness was experimental and artistic ("Zaireeka") to the live-show spectacles of today:

"That spectacle has become the major selling point for Flaming Lips concerts. Come see Wayne walk in the plastic bubble! Stay for the exploding confetti and projections of naked girls! Be dazzled by all the spinning shapes and vibrant colors!"

Chip: " 'Projections of naked girls,' my ass!  If there aren't real, live naked LFK chicks dancing on stage by evening's end, as there were at the Wakarusa gigs, I'm asking for a refund."

And another excerpt:

"While I’m willing to concede that Embryonic just didn’t connect with me, I have a hard time seeing the musical value in what the Lips have produced lately. Perhaps that 24-hour song starts to pick up around the 17- or 18-hour mark, but I gave up on the interminable composition long before that."

Richard: "How can I take this critic seriously if he did not listen to the full 24 hours of that song?  For my money, hours 19-21 are really where it peaks and one begins to make connections to the 18 hours that have come before."

Here's a touching (get it?) moment from one of the Wakarusa gigs via Jambase

But perhaps you'd rather stay home and read sexy books instead of engaging in a hot sweaty spectacle of sex, drugs, and rock and roll at Liberty Hall.   And surely there's something out there better than the poorly-written erotica of the 50 Shades books?  We may have just the thing:  Dodie Bellamy's Cunt Ups.

Here are excerpts from a Vice magazine review: 

"Cunt-Ups  is an intense array of hyper-collaged sentences mostly about fucking, and being fucked... Bellamy’s configurations of cut-up sentences, inspired by the processes of William Burroughs and Kathy Acker, make the language act as if it is in the process of fucking itself.  Gender shifts and perspective shifts and grammar shifts midsentence carry a wild lyrical energy. Each line surprises. The text seems to want to make you fuck it too...She bangs necrophilia against childbirth, murder, and dirty fucktalk with a want for more...Anyone writing about sex in any way should read this book, and read it hard."

Chip:  "I'm going to read this book so hard!"

Let's look at a few excerpts of the book itself via this site:

"Large cows fed me sacredly, this occurred after you cut up my body. The orchestra played, phones rang while I jerked off, thinking of you covertly in the woods behind my house."

"Can I take the knife my father gave me and peel your scrotum into an ancient parchment? Can we do this in Florida for approximately one year?"

"Do you want me to come all over you, squirrels and stones stuck to our skin?  I thought so."

Chip:  "I'm starting to think this may not be as hot as I first thought."

Richard:  "If PBR Book Club ever reads a work of erotica, this may be the place to start."

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Our Very Special Crossover With I Heart Local Music, Vol. II: Favorite Liberty Hall Shows

We began our "favorite LFK shows" collaboration with I Heart Local Music last week, focusing on the Bottleneck.  Catch up on those posts here at I Heart Local Music and here at the LC.

This week we turn our attention to Liberty Hall, just in time for their two-night 100th anniversary bash with the Flaming Lips on Thursday/Friday and a street bash on Friday.

Below is I Heart Local Music's Pick for favorite Liberty show, and you'll find our choices over here at the I Heart Local Music site.

Enjoy, and we'll see you at the Flaming Lips' freakshow.  Don't forget to offer us some bath salts if you've got any!

"I'm more than thrilled to talk about Liberty Hall this week for a few reasons. For one, the venue is celebrating an incredible birthday with a big party on Friday. But more importantly, my favorite show at Liberty Hall also happens to be my favorite show of all time in Lawrence. The night that Gogol Bordello played Liberty Hall on Halloween in 2007 was visually vibrant and so memorable that I'll hardly be able to let a week pass without thinking about it.

I have to preface this article by telling you about our long journey with Gogol Bordello. We discovered them in the early 2000's, and were pretty convinced that they would never tour the U.S. unless it involved New York or L.A. But suddenly, midway through that decade, they started touring every nook and cranny of the nation. We were super fans, and we were thrilled that they remembered us every time we showed up at one of their gigs. The first time we saw them was in Omaha, where we were two of SIX total people in attendance for that show. From then on we became more familiar with the band, seeing as how they toured not once, but at least TWICE a year in these parts. After every show, they took time to chat for hours on end with fans who stuck it out with them behind the venues they played.

They started out at small venues, but as their popularity rapidly grew across the nation it was finally time to move on to a bigger place in Lawrence. That's when they booked Liberty Hall, and to our surprise and extreme delight, they had booked the show on Halloween! That is my favorite of all holidays.

We saw various members of the band roaming downtown throughout the day, and were happy to see them mingling with fans everywhere. When we got to the venue, I (an avid Halloween enthusiast) was beyond excited to see the array of costumes that showed up at Liberty Hall. The balcony, which was generally reserved for folks who didn't feel like standing the entire night, was now home to people with more ELABORATE costumes that didn't leave much for movement. But out of all the costumes we saw that night, none were more memorable than Mario, Luigi, and Wario.

Sure, those aren't very creative costumes, but what made them so memorable was the fact that the venue was packed (probably sold out), so there was little room to move no matter where you stood. Seeing as how this was a show that brought out over-the-top thrashing, you had to make sure your spot was a good one. So Mario, Luigi, and Wario got shoved up onto the front of the stage (a little off to the right, if I remember correctly), and rocked out directly in everybody's line of vision. Imagine! Being a child of the 80's, seeing one of your favorite bands onstage, and there's Mario, Luigi, and Wario rocking out right there with them! It was an incredible sight.

Other high points from the show included stunning sound, an energetic live performance (complete with sassy dancer/backup singers), and not a single Debbie Downer in the crowd. Even the security guys and bouncers were wonderful! They loved the show just as much as we did, and were very helpful to even the thrashiest of fans.

Back in that day, I had a piss poor Flip video camera, but I always recorded every single show I attended. Here's a clip of the band debuting what would end up being one of their newer songs, "Wonderlust King." Watch the crowd jump SUPER high at about 1:14 in.

The band would end up coming back to Liberty Hall a couple of more times before booking most of their shows in Kansas City, and then finally just taking a little time off from touring the Midwest. During that time, they had highs and lows. Some members of the band got a little mouthy with their super fans, but would eventually make it up to them at later shows (this included private acoustic performances for the early birds and after parties that included plenty of mingling and apologizing for bad behavior the previous year).

But through all these highs and lows, fans of the band will remember that one epic night when they finally booked a bigger venue and let every crazy costumed Lawrencian in for the party. We left that night soaking in our own (and everyone else's) sweat, running into the cold Halloween air, our ears ringing from what was probably the third 20-minute encore.

Thank you, Liberty Hall, for providing a home to some of the most memorable shows of my life."

Here's a photo via .  Did you learn "the truth" during their recent UFO conference there?  We sure did.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Our Interview with Bone Dance: "I could really give a fuck about what 'tastemakers' think about the music scene in a city they've never been to." / LJ-World Rant of the Week

Readers, our interview with Boise, Idaho's Bone Dance was easily our most terrifying so far, but it turns out the guys were actually quite nice, and did not stab us even once during the interview.  They'll be bringing their mayhem to the Bottleneck next Monday, June 25, along with KC's Canyons, so bone up (get it??) by enjoying our chat with Bryce about rock and roll violence, fickle music fans, and the assholes over at Pitchfork.  Check out their official website here for all the links you need into the world of Bone Dance, and we encourage you to read the terrific description of their sound over here (below is a short excerpt from that bio):

"By deconstructing typical sludge breakdowns, by retooling blast beats into searing grooves, by inverting a biblical poetic into a sinister manifest of their body politic, Bone Dance forges a musical dialogue exemplifying the clash typical of the liberal/conservative head-butting seen throughout misleading media; however, the band seems to reject even mainstream leftist views in favor of an utter desert-driven nihilism."

 To paraphrase a famous Lebowski quote:  "No, Chip, these men are nihilists, there's nothing to be afraid of."

Chip:  Your Facebook page biography promises that you will “fuck up any room we can fit our equipment in” and your band interests are listed as “stabbing and burying.”  What are the chances I’ll survive your Bottleneck show if I dare to attend?

Bryce:  If you're like any other person who is "passionate" about music, you'll stand at the back of the room with your arms folded and avoid eye contact. So you're probably safe. Then you can go tweet about how shit didn't live up to your expectations, and you had hoped there was more crowd participation.

Richard:  Where did the name Bone Dance come from and do your fans actually perform “bone dances” during the sets?  Or do they just push and shove each other?

Bryce:  Fucking IS pushing and shoving, is it not?

Chip:   Your song titles terrify me, with names like “Birds Singing (Wolves Licking Blood)” and “Your Kind Eat the Young.”  Tell us about your songwriting process and your musical influences.

Bryce:  The songwriting process, like most other bands, starts with a few basic ideas and riffs, and then after a long, torturous process of rearrangement, arguing, and nightmarish levels of introspection and reflection, we end up with a finished song. I think a lot of the frustration of trying to craft the absolute best song you possibly can comes through and is reflected in our music.

Richard:  Those snarky bastards over at Pitchfork recently trashed the Boise music scene after seeing a Boise showcase at SXSW, leveling this verdict:  "based on the couple of Boise bar bands I heard leading up to Youth Lagoon's set, it's probably not set to be the Next anything anytime soon.”  But can you give us the real insider scoop on Boise music? 

Bryce:  If I recall correctly, Built to Spill was the headliner, not Youth Lagoon. So I guess that goes to show that journalists are lazy and don't really do their research. I could really give a fuck about what "tastemakers" think about the music scene in a city they've never been to. Boise is home for several influential bands like Built to Spill, Caustic Resin, Septic Death, etc. Of course there's going to be mediocrity, but you're going to find that all over the fucking world. Few bands find themselves aligned with the perfect storm of a creative original sound, and the drive to go somewhere with it. I think there are plenty of good bands in Boise, but I also don't find myself paying attention to the bands that played that aforementioned showcase, so I couldn't really weigh in on the music scene that Pitchfork concerns itself with.

Chip:  I’m guessing you guys have seen all manner of crazy shit at your shows.  Can you share with us a particularly wild tale of rock and roll debauchery?

Bryce:  I got my tooth punched through my cheek in Texas. The rest of the band fought the audience, and we were, essentially, run out of the city of Dallas. We've seen black eyes, broken noses, etc from playing live. Shit happens. We play aggressive music, so I guess it's pretty fair to expect aggressive actions and reactions. We haven't shoved a fish up anybody yet, so if that's the kind of "rock n' roll debauchery" story you're looking for, you might wanna make a stop at the market before you head to The Bottleneck. We're from the northwest, so Salmon is probably a good choice.

Chip: What kind of animal is staring back at me (with one eye) from your June tour poster and why did you choose that image?
Bryce:  It's a goat. 'Cuz goats are evil and shit, dude.

Richard:  Tell our readers what to expect and how to prepare for your Bottleneck show.  Also, what else is on the horizon for Bone Dance in 2012 in terms of music and touring?

Bryce:  I'd much rather tell your readers to come with an open mind and ready to have a good time. Having no expectations keeps you open-minded, and keeping an open mind is what punk rock is all about, right? Seems like something people forget all-too often…

We're playing through the west coast / northwest region this August with the San Francisco based band Tigon ( who are fucking phenomenal, and I can't wait to be able to watch them every night. 

This October we'll be playing The Fest alongside some amazing bands like Torche, Coliseum, Capsule, Red Fang, Baroness, Former Thieves, etc. It's 3 ridiculous days with 150+ bands in Gainesville, Florida, and we've never been there before, so we're all really looking forward to getting our Florida cherries popped. Tour plans around that haven't been fully finalized but they should be shortly, and I'm sure we'll be going through the Lawrence area around that time as well.

We have a full-length record coming out this fall.  Details on that are being finalized as well, but you can stay tuned to  for any and all news updates. We're also on various social networking bullshit, and on the website we have links to all of those things.



We haven't looked at a rant from the LJ-World opinion page in awhile, and today brings some thoughts about loud music that fit quite well with our Bone Dance interview. The editorial is from a bus driver who has had just about enough of the "boom basses" that today's young whippersnappers are blaring from their vehicles:

"These boom basses stimulate the ire of everyone aboard the bus I drive and causes them all to respond in a very negative way...The boom basses shake the windows in the bus and therefore shake the very body of each and every person there...What right does a person have to destroy the sounds in my car, bus, truck or whatever for the sounds of their horrible “music”?.. Can’t I enjoy what I am listening to without being interrupted by these loud, annoying and disruptive missiles of sound?"

The talkback award goes to Liberty275 who retorts:  "Mr Omar, it isn't too loud, you are just too old."

Anyone know the true origin of that famous music quote?  We thought it was The Who?  Wikiquote says...Ted Nugent (doubtful).  Other sources say Dee Snider (also doubtful).

Monday, June 18, 2012

Ladies of the Week: Laura Moriarty, Louise Brooks, and Fiona Apple

Is KU's Laura Moriarty posed for literary superstardom with her new novel The Chaperone?  If we believe the interwebs, yes (it's USA Today's "hot fiction pick" of the summer).

Head to the Lawrence Public Library tonight at 7:00 for a reading and signing with Moriarty.

The NY-Times Book Review says, "Moriarty’s sentences are pert and plucky...".

Chip:  "Sounds erotic.  Now what the hell is this book about?"

Well, Chip, it's about the silent film star Louise Brooks' early years with her chaperone Cora as they trek from Kansas to New York.

The review goes on to criticize the novel's ultimate lack of psychological depth:

"The course of Cora’s life and the history she bumps into in her rather Gumpish way are persuasively conveyed, but what she feels becomes less and less so...Brooks wrote of growing up in the Bible Belt, where people “prayed in the parlor and practiced incest in the barn.” Though Moriarty makes a similar point about Midwestern hypocrisy, she seems unwilling to unbuckle the Belt fully when it comes to her characters."

Chip: "That's a bit confusing, but what I gather is that this book is lacking in incest."

In the meantime, bone up on Brooks' silent film career by watching Pandora's Box (on Criterion!) prior to the reading.



Speaking of interesting ladies, Fiona Apple's first album in seven years lands tomorrow and Pitchfork loves it: 9.0!  The title is The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do, which seems tailor-made for people like us to snark about it.

Chip:  "It IS really annoying."

Pitchfork praises the album's use of "found-sound" in songs such as "Werewolf":

"Werewolf" also features the album's most jarring and powerful found-sound moment: just as the self-conscious ballad climaxes, the roar of children screaming on a playground enters, adding an uncanny mix of dread and wistfulness. The fact that Apple was inspired to insert the yells by a classic-movie battle scene that was running when she first played the song only adds to the sample's ambiguity as well as its spontaneity."

Richard: "Dammit, Pitchfork, you could at least tell me which classic movie she's using.  I don't want to have to actually listen to this album."

But perhaps we can't resist a listen, after all, since the album contains lyrics such as this:

"I ran out of white doves' feathers to soak up the hot piss that comes from your mouth every time you address me."

and this

"I was still a dewy petal rather than a moribund slut."

Apple hits the KC's Midland on July 17.  



Sunday, June 17, 2012

An Interview with Prag: "If Black Flag and the Rolling Stones had a three-way with a synthesizer out would pop Prag"

Scenesters, it's shaping up to a be a blazing hot afternoon on the kickball fields, so stay well-hydrated with today's Cork and Barrel KVKL special:  Ska's Modus Hoperandi IPA.   As for us, we'll spend our early evening in the air-conditioned comfort of Frank's, letting Michael Buck serenade us (update: do NOT shout requests:  make sure all requests are properly submitted in writing at least three hours prior to showtime).

Other events of note:  our buddy James Dean Rose is at the Replay matinee with a CD release party and the madmen of Cloud Dog are opening for prolific folkie Paleo at the Replay late show (Paleo once uploaded a new song a day to his website for an entire year: listen and learn about that project here ).

But we're devoting our space today to an interview with Jerad of Prag (of LFK and KC), who'll be rocking at the Bottleneck this Tuesday, June 19 with Sons of Bill.  Prag's Facebook bio lists only this:  "You know who the fuck we are."  But we're not entirely sure that you DO know who the fuck they are, so please enjoy this chat about the band's name, their fondness for Ween, and the evils of the Bush administration.

Check out Prag on Facebook here and on Twitter here.

Chip: So what the hell does Prag mean? It’s a drug reference of some sort, I’m guessing.  Am I right?

Jerad:   A Prag is the subservient role in a Jailhouse relationship: prison + fag put together.  Me and my friends were big fans of the HBO series Oz about men in prison and we would always say "dude if we were in jail, man, you would be my prag" just razzing each other. We love gay folks and don't mean any offense but, yeah, the name just stuck.

Chip:  I'm going to go ahead and pretend it's a drug reference, if that's cool.

Richard: Your Facebook page lists a pretty wide array of influences, including several comedians (Neil Hamburger, Bill Hicks).  What role does humor play in the Prag sound or the Prag mentality?   

Jerad:  We don't like to take ourselves too serious even though we take our music seriously.  I find it a little annoying when bands are uptight about time slots... "indie cred"....their rep...what kind of equipment you have.  So, if it ain't death I'm usually laughing about it.

Richard: Describe the Prag sound to our readers, as pretentiously as possible.

Jerad:  We don't want to sound like anyone else. We like to think of ourselves as punk rockers but not in the traditional safety pin, Mohawk type of way.  Maybe if Black Flag and the Rolling Stones had a three-way with a synthesizer out would pop Prag. We use fender and hollow body guitars along with Moogs, an iPad, and a Roland Mc 505 groovebox.

Chip:  You guys sure do seem to like Ween a lot.  My favorite Ween song has got to be “Piss Up a Rope.”  What’s yours?

Jerad:  Great question.   I'll go with "Your Party" off of the last one, La Cucaracha.  I always play it anytime I'm throwing a shindig.

Chip:  What’s up with that Condi Rice “illuminati” image on your FB page?

Jerad:  I was just fucking around with Photoshop one day and came up with that image and it seemed to sum up how Prag felt about the Bush administration, corporate greed, and money in general.

Richard:  My favorite Prag song is “Real Talk, Son.”  Give our readers some “real talk” about why they need to attend your Bottleneck show?

Jerad:  If you haven't been PRAGGED out yet it's a unique experience. We keep it heavy for the fellas but sexy for the ladies, you know what I'm saying?  Prag shows aren't an all-boys club.

Chip:  You’ll be sharing a bill with Sons of Bill and they seem like more of a straightforward, rootsy outfit.  Will their fans be fucking terrified of Prag?

Jerad:  It's a distinct possibility...but we are a pop band at heart who just wants to get the asses shaking, you dig?  I think it will be a blast. Our favorite bands are Bruce Springsteen and the Stones along with The Stooges and Black Flag,  so there's some middle ground there.

 Here's Prag looking like bad-ass rock stars:


Saturday, June 16, 2012

Our Twitter Tone-Poem of B-Neck Memories

On Wednesday, we kicked off a fun new collaborative series with I Heart Local Music in which we recall our favorite shows at five different LFK venues.

First up was the Bottleneck, and our posts (which you should read here at the LC and here at I Heart Local Music) led to a flurry of tweets where people recalled their own favorite B-Neck tales using the hashtag #bneckmemories .  Many of them were too good to let vanish into the Twittersphere, so we're collecting some of them here today, Twitter-tone-poem style (one section has even been arranged into chronological order!). 


                                                              B-Neck Memories

First of many #bneckmemories was from when it was Off the Wall Hall, 
January 1981, 
Rock Against Reagan. 

Wayback: brown smelly goo rains down on BHole Surfers crowd. 
I spy drummer's hand in giant tin of beans

Also: The Residents. Whoa. What can one say about The Residents other than just "Whoa."

My 1st show;
I was 15. 
I don't know the date 
but Frank Black punched me in the chest after a show w/ the Catholics

Tad Kepley hopping onstage at the Helmet show and urinating into the crowd
I saw Ghost Face throw a cash register into the liquor & mirror
Watching John Reis from Rocket From The Crypt split a kids head open with his Les Paul

12/20/95 danced on stage w/ Babes in Toyland,

I took my senior skip day to participate in the Flaming Lips Boombox Experiment there in '98,
definite all-time highlight.

Hanging out front with the Melvins to watch a band rock out
inside their tiny touring van. 
Complete with pyrotechnics. '99

2/16/01 Ignoring Flogging Molly on their first tour because I got too drunk watching the Blue Meanies
In '02 saw butch walker and the marvelous 3 sing his encore in the middle of a packed bottleneck. I cried.

2/7/02 - Climber, Mi6, Jeremy's Box. 
Ended up taking Climber home. 
Joey blew up Diet Dr Pepper in my freezer

Shaking my ass to The People's "You Get Old" back in 2003. Fuck. I got old

My first show in Lawrence was at the Bottleneck in 2004, before I moved here. 
It was Joanna Newsom and The Only Children.

Seeing Of Montreal play there in 05
Kevin Barnes came out in a wedding dress & said
"Lawrence will u marry me?"

Seeing Kill Creek play at least 40 times, and constantly remembering more lyrics than Scott Born.
Getting to see Split Lip Rayfield &  Kirk Rundstrom on his "farewell tour."
I accidently saw my bandmate's dick upstairs in the greenroom one time
Seeing Thom Yorke dismissively not singing the chorus to "Creep" on The Bends tour,
Two Words: Danger Fucking Bob
Making out w/my future x-husband at a Danger Bob show
Playing pinball with Ben Folds.

Drove 8 hrs to see Ben Folds Five. 
Door guy wouldn’t let us in (minors). 
Tour manager took pity, 
helped load out piano after.

Watching The Dead Milkmen from the alleyway, thinking this is a great Milkmen cover band
Pretended to be A/C Repair and harassed poor Sufjan Stevens 
Gettin' real lit in the parking lot and hittin' on Matt Costa's wife

Sloppy drunk 
meeting Jared Leto outside the venue 
and telling him that his hair is pretty
and that he has dreamy eyes.

The Wesley Willis Experience opening for the Urge, 
and the KU Greeks having NO IDEA how to handle the existence of Wesley.

The Tesla Coil arcing electricity on stage 
after Man...Or Astroman?'s last song (1996), 
crowd stuffed with Little Debbies.

Soundgarden playing to 50 people because crowd cleared out after Kill Whitey/Homestead Grays

Cops pushing me (and others) out of the way, 
leading a handcuffed, glassy eyed HR (Bad Brains) outta the bar. July '95
Bad Brains was still playing when the cops led HR out of the bar. 
The song? "Day Tripper."
(No vocals, of course)

Friday, June 15, 2012

Nerd Nite 7 Recap: "Moments of Urgency" / Surprise Party of the Weekend

Even 40 minutes early, Nerd Nite 7 was packed with boozing nerds anxious to learn about tea, data, and the work of Diane Williams.  Here's our take on the evening:

First up was Alyssa Koestner's "Camellia sinensis: Beverage or Spiritual Ideal? Stories of Ceremony, Meditation, and Espionage."  Surely the main thing everyone took away from this lecture was "Damn, this woman really enjoys tea!"  Some of the lecture's New Age-y terminology ("quietude" "meditation," "connect with the living archeology of tea," etc) made Chip nervous, but otherwise her enthusiasm was contagious.

Chip:  "The presenter didn't seem to take iced-tea very seriously, but I've certainly had some powerful spiritual experiences while drinking iced tea, such as that time the preacher dropped by our porch in Fort Scott while we were drinking iced tea and told us we were going to hell for drinking caffeine."

Next up was one of Nerd Nite's "co-bosses," Travis Weller, with "Information Nation:  Data in the USA."  This was a terrifying, fact-filled trek through internet "data mining" and surveillance drones and many other ways Big Brother is keeping tabs on our asses.  Pleasingly, Travis was wise enough to lighten the tone of the presentation (and its sometimes heavy legalese) with a few of Rob Schulte's GIFs, such as one of Miley Cyrus's "Party in the USA."

Rounding out the evening was Rebecca Evanhoe's "Williams and Keaton: Two Dianes to Help Us Through Those Urgent Moments."  This was an admirably unusual attempt to link the well-regarded but largely unknown postmodern author Diane Williams to the actress Diane Keaton through the lens of "moments of urgency" (a Williams' phrase).  Personally, we thought the links were a bit of a stretch (that might be applied equally to any number of other actors), but we were intrigued by Diane Williams' work and will likely seek some of it out, most likely this collection:  Some Sexual Success Stories Plus Other Stories in Which God Might Choose to Appear.

Bitchy observation:

The Nerd Nite gang knows we love 'em, but we find their approach to "doors"  completely bewildering:  if you make a major point of saying doors open at 7:30, why open the doors well before 7:00?  We arrived at 7:20 and barely got a seat.  It was indeed a "moment of urgency."  Luckily, some friendly nerds waved us over to sit with them.


"I think it's illegal to talk about Diane Keaton without a clip from Annie Hall."



We received a message yesterday from Mrs. Dodge asking us to share word of a surprise party for Mr. Arthur Dodge tomorrow evening (Sat. June 16):

"Hey LC! There's going to be a tribute/birthday bash at the corner of 8th and Pennsylvania on Saturday night from 7-10ish. Just a few local musicians and of course the 'feathers doing their favorite Arthur Dodge tunes for a few hours to celebrate how old and awesome he is. Some food. Lots of beer. You should come! And you should tell anyone who digs him to come too!"

Mrs. Dodge assured us it was fine to spread the word through the blog.  Presumably, Art Dodge has much better things to do with his time than read our boner jokes!!  So head on over to the East Side tomorrow evening if you're a fan of terrific songwriting (and/or food and beer).  And please keep this a "surprise," you loud-mouthed scenesters!

2004 photo via, back when the Deadwood Edition still existed: 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Weekend Picks for Humans and Dogs: Broncho, Viking Moses, Margot May, Michael Buck, and Barkarusa Fest

We'll be at Nerd Nite this evening, and nerds assemble early, but if we we planned on partying till 2:00 am we'd certainly check out Broncho at the Replay.  Based on the tunes we've heard over at their Bandcamp, their Can't Get Past the Lips album is crazy-good.    Here's a blurb from their website:

"Harkening back to punk rock’s glory days of the 70s, Oklahoma outfit Broncho captures the aggression, DIY authenticity and youthful exhilaration of a bygone era and then drags it by the hair into the Here and Now, creating a fresh sound that’s unlike anything being played today. With echoes of The Replacements, Iggy and the Stooges and The Ramones, Broncho’s exuberant ten song debut Can’t Get Past the Lips is a blisteringly cathartic 20 minute flash of gritty, crunching guitar work supported by an assaultive rhythm section and made whole by songwriter Ryan Lindsey’s aggressive, yelping vocal work."

Sounds like this might be one of those blink-or-you'll-miss-it kind of sets, so pay attention!

Photo via Spinner .



The Viking Moses gig at the Replay on Saturday should also be well worth visiting.  Spin writes of the newest album The Parts That Showed:

"Gorgeously recorded by Paul "brother of Will" Oldham, Parts is a you-are-there document of obsession and despair about a gold-hearted teen hooker and (fancifully) intended for Dolly Parton to sing."


Opening up (and, we think, also serving as Viking Moses' backing band) is Teenage Mysticism.  Go over here and listen to "Summer Bummer."

Also listed as an opener:  Margot May, a 25 year old KC/Portland singer-songwriter who cites Cat Power and Mazzy Star as major influences.  Her music has been featured in MTV's I Just Want My Pants Back and Chip can't quit looking at this picture of her via hypemusic :


For those who prefer air-conditioning to kickball, our friend and yours, Michael Buck, is playing a few tunes at Frank's North Star on Sunday evening from 6:00 to 8:00.   Go to the FB event page and tell Michael (and Frank) you're attending.  And start brainstorming requests to shout at him during the set.  It's going to be hard to stump him.  The Sunday drink special at Frank's is $8 half-carafes of wine. Yes, in addition to its many other fine qualities, Frank's is a sophisticated wine bar.

Certainly the weekend's most adorably titled event is "Barkarusa Fest," so load up your dogs and check it out Friday evening. We're hoping our favorite local dog, KhonDawg, is on the scene.  Follow KhonDawg's Twitter account here .


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Favorite Bottleneck Shows: A Very Special Crossover Episode With I Heart Local Music

 At the LC, we write extensively about the LFK music scene, but our reporting is usually covered by a thick exoskeleton of snark and irony.  So when we're craving a sincere and loving tribute to the local scene (accompanied by terrific photo and video documentation) we turn to our buddies over at I Heart Local Music .

This summer we're teaming up with I Heart Local Music for a multi-part series about our favorite all-time shows (not necessarily local) at five different venues in town, starting today with The Bottleneck.

Our picks will be posted over at the I Heart Local Music site:  check out the first installment over there now.  And their picks will be posted right here.  It's like one of those wacky sitcom crossover episodes where the stars of one show appear on another!

So here it is: I Heart Local Music's pick for favorite Bottleneck show!  (Chip was won over by the "side-boob" reference).

"Seeing shows at the Bottleneck is a real hootenanny. The venue has a large dance floor area, and keeps anyone wanting to sit down up against the wall. That's why it was such a hoot to see IMA ROBOT and The Sounds play there together in March of 2004. 

I was a major fan of IMA ROBOT  back then, and who wouldn't be? Alex Ebert (now better known as Edward Sharpe) was the frontman from the synth-heavy band, and bassist Justin Meldal-Johnsen frequently served as Beck's bassist. At the time of the show, I was just a teenager, and the band humored the fan in me by chatting it up for nearly an hour after the show. The event was an early one, because the Bottleneck was making room for the weekly dance party "80's Night." After the show, both Alex and Justin let me convince them to stick around for at least the first portion of 80's night.

The Sounds are a Swedish indie-pop band, also heavy on the synths. They were on tour in support of their debut album "Living In America." The best part about this band was their frontwoman, Maja Ivarsson. She came out onstage wearing a very shredded white little number, and flashed plenty of side-boob all night. You couldn't get too close to ogle her though, because she constantly spit on the crowd all night. She was so full of attitude you couldn't help but adore her, hate her, and even be a little jealous of her. The woman bled confidence all over that stage, and we were lucky to scoop up what was left of it when they left. What a woman! For a young teenage girl who was happily immersed in the music scene, I couldn't have asked for a more thrilling show (or a stronger female figure onstage)."