Thursday, May 30, 2013

Final Friday Picks: Art, Art-Cars, Music, Crime and Punishment / Weekend Theatre Pick: The Return of Johnny Butts

Tomorrow is Final Friday and perhaps the key event is a street party slated to take place outside the Arts Center (though LFK's never-ending barrage of monsoons may certainly change those plans).   On the slate for the party:  performances by Olassa, KC Bear Fighters, and the Hips; a pre-party for the next day's ever-quirky Art Tougeau "wheeled-art" parade (which happens at noon on Saturday);  barbecue from Biemer's ("Rubbin' late; Past 8!") and beer from Free State.

We're hoping these giant mermaid boobs make a return appearance in this year's parade:

Over at Love Garden, the Hospital Ships album release party (originally scheduled for last Friday) will presumably happen.  Show up and experience "the grandeur of Midwestern loneliness," as Pitchfork terms their sound (read the Pitchfork review of the song "If It Speaks" here ).  We're told that the opener Psychic Heat is pretty badass too.  FB event page here.


Wonder Fair plays host to Josh Winkler's "The Best of All Possible Worlds," which "examines the ways in which meaningless adjectives like 'the best,' 'the most,' and 'the only' catalyze mass pilgrimages to nature’s hot spots."

Has anyone been to "The Most Photographed Barn in America?" (if you catch our reference to DeLillo's White Noise).

Visit the FB event page here

True-crime buffs can get their fix down at Watkins Museum in an intriguing exhibit called "Occasional Mayhem," which examines LFK crime and punishment from the city's founding in 1854 right up to the present day.   Will the exhibit reveal the punishments of some of our favorite present-day criminals, such as the guy who attacked Free State Brewery with a railroad spike and the guy who assaulted someone at Henry's Upstairs with a cue ball in a Crown Royal bag?   Let's find out.

Among the items on display:  "a 1960s pepper fogger that looks like a Ghostbusters proton gun, and  evidence collected in Lawrence’s first marijuana bust."  Also:  "Visitors to the exhibit can watch anti-drug PSAs from the 1980s and 90s, and take their mug shot in the exhibit’s photo booth."

Chip:  "I'm sure most LFK residents already have several mug shots."

Here's the flyer:

And over in ELFK, "the boundaries between body and landscape will blur" at The Invisible Hand with Danielle Nichole Peters' Hibernaculum, which includes a "site-specific structure" built into the gallery's skylight.  The FB event page is  here

It's also worth noting that the Hand's recent Troy Moth show was featured this week in the prestigious art magazine High Fructose, so that's pretty cool.   Check it out here.

And what else is going on in ELFK's Warehouse Arts District?  Is the fucking Cider Gallery still open?  Have they sold any of those $40,000 paintings yet?  Head over there and check it out and let us know what you discover.


Our pals at EMU Theatre sure do take care of their own.  Another benefit is scheduled for the recently injured Andy Stowers on Saturday.  This time it's a "staged concert" of their 2005 rock opera Johnny Butts.  They're even taking over the main stage at LAC for this.  It's a "donate what you can" event with no set admission charge, but don't be stingy, scenesters.  Visit the FB event page here

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A Very Special Message from Denver's FaceMan / New Interview With Portland's There Is No Mountain: "Our goals are playing our music well and reviewing salsas and hot sauces around the country on a needlessly complicated logarithmic 12-point scale."

One of our favorite interviews from last year was with Denver's FaceMan, a trio of oddballs who rolled into town and found themselves playing an ill-fated gig at Barnyard Beer, which we believe is now defunct.  FaceMan will be back in LFK this Friday for the Replay matinee, promoting their new album TalkTalkTalk and once again playing alongside locals Til Willis and Erratic Cowboy.  We asked FaceMan to send us a blurb recounting their prior experience in Lawrence. It's included below, and we think you'll like it.

Reread our FaceMan interview here, our Til Willis interview here , and check out the new FaceMan album via Bandcamp here.

FaceMan in LFK

"I have performed in the middle of nowhere for two bartenders and an Indian." -Les Paul

"FaceMan, on the road for hours with only a shitty Denver music compilation to listen to, came to Larryville anxious to kick some ass last November 2012.  It was breathtaking and humbling to be in Larryville on the 157th anniversary of the Wakarussa War of 1855. 

Driving past legendary libation-ing establishments like the Jackpot and the Replay we kept rolling. We passed all things familiar into the seedy underbelly of Larryville.  Rolling into the parking lot in the BACK of a shopping center, we said, "This can't be it." We feared that maybe Lawrence was here to kick OUR asses. Sure enough in the dingy basement of a 10,000 square foot poolhall, Round 1 of the title fight began.  We were in the blue corner.  We kept our feet moving.  Til Willis held some wires together while we played so the Public Address system would work (what a guy!).   My cousin and his buddies drove six hours from Garden City to watch FaceMan's Larryville debut.  Luckily they found some tickets and after the show their response:  "I had never heard of Barnyard Beer."  At last! We were bloody and home again.

Friday it's Round 2 and we return to deliver the aforementioned ass-kicking at the Replay Lounge with Til Willis. Who's ready for a good hard cry!?  RIP Barnyard Beer, we'll never forget."     


TalkTalkTalk cover art


Readers, we're only interviewing bands from the hippest of cities these days!  Last week it was Brooklyn singer/songwriter sami.the.great and this week it's Portland Americana/psych-pop duo There Is No Mountain.  You can catch them in LFK this Sunday, June 2 at the Jackpot along with (yes) our buddy Til Willis!  [And Til also has a show at the Bottleneck on Saturday.  So it's possible to catch him THREE times in LFK this weekend.  He's approaching a damn near Tyler Gregory-level of omnipresence these days!]

There Is No Mountain's Matt and Kali were nice enough to chat with us about Zen koans, hot sauces, and what it's like to live in hipster-central.  Visit their official website here, check out the new self-titled album via Bandcamp here, and give them a "like" on FB here.

Enjoy the interview.

Richard:  Your Facebook bio says that the name There Is No Mountain is (at least in part) a reference to a Zen koan. What’s the full koan that’s being referenced?  And if you had to devise a Zen koan that perfectly describes your band’s sound, what would it be?

Matt:  Well, it's sort of more a reference to Donovan referencing a Zen koan, or depending on who you ask, a guide to meditating on a mantra (first you focus on it, then you go beyond it, and then you're focused on it again).  We don't know the full thing by heart, but we could certainly sing you the Donovan song.  I think Kali secretly wishes she could've lived on Donovan's island commune alongside Vashti Bunyan and a bunch of other awesome UK hippies.  Maybe if she had, she would've penned a koan about our music - something like: "A wise woman once came to our village.  We invited her to our home and she asked to hear our music.  We played one song from start to finish and when we were done, she picked up her banjo and played the whole thing back to us, only out of order.  'Isn't this how it really is" she asked.  We were immediately enlightened.'" 

Chip:  I’m digging the song “Wave of Taboo” but what the hell IS a “wave of taboo” anyway? 

Matt:  Ha, yeah, I guess that phrase made more sense in my head.  It's about how, no matter how many times our culture breaks a taboo and stops discriminating en masse against a group of people or a specific activity, there are always other things that even the most progressive among us are holding as taboos that don't need to be taboos.  An example would be people who take it for granted that slavery was wrong and that all races should be equal, but who turn around and don't support marriage equality.  In a decade, most of us will be like "wow, it sucked that it took us so long to support gay marriage", but there'll be something else we're fucking up on.  When we wrote that song, I was thinking about trying to get ahead of that wave and just accepting everything/everyone… I guess I'll bank on necrophilia.

Richard:   We’ve interviewed a surprising amount of husband/wife duos in the course of our bloggery.  Tell us about life on the road as a married couple.   Do you bicker about typical husband/wife problems or is it all about who fucked up a particular song during last night’s set?

Kali:  Well, first of all, we never fuck up on stage (ahem).  We were friends before we were bandmates, and we're both really easy going, so neither of us have taken a liking to bickering.  If you ask our friends, they can confirm that we pretty much never fight with anyone.  We try to take each day as it comes so we don't have much of an agenda on the road.  We agree that our goals are: playing our music well and pushing ourselves to try harder stuff each tour, taking on new adventures through couch surfing and exploring nature, and reviewing salsas and hot sauces around the country on a needlessly complicated logarithmic 12-point scale. The closest we've come to a fight is whether or not to get olives on something (I'm pro, and Matt is a hater).

Chip:  Of course, I have to ask about living in Portland.  From what I’ve learned (mostly by watching Portlandia) it’s almost insufferably full of itself!  True or false?  Also, have you ever met Carrie Brownstein?

Kali:  Hah, I'm originally from New Jersey (the other most made fun of state) and I love both my hometown in NJ and Portland, OR, so I either have bad taste, or the media sucks at properly portraying US states on popular television.  Either way, Carrie and I are definitely friends, but only really in the sense that I know where she lives and sometimes sneak in her house to water her plants.  And as for living in Portland: it's amazing.  Let's try a thought experiment: take Los Angeles, but make it a less sprawled, give it real seasons and weather to keep boring people out (I said it), make it so that you don't have to drive anywhere, replace overpriced restaurants and bars with dives that have inexplicably gourmet menus, and fill it with unemployed artists who can afford to be unemployed because it's so cheap.  Doesn't that sound awesome?

Richard:   The Jackpot on a Sunday night is, sadly, not always a very happening place.  Leave our readers with a blurb that convinces them to take a chance on There Is No Mountain after they’ve already spent their weekend in the bars swilling PBR.

Matt:  TINM puts on a show.  All you have to do is sit back and enjoy.  On our end, we just try to keep things interesting for ourselves, but every night we hear things like "I can't believe two people were able to make that much sound", and also, "I want to get lost in Matt's beard".  If you come listen to us, you'll hear African hi-life, musical theater, psychedelia, and jazz and classical harmony poking through an Americana band.  Just keep your PBR away from me: Portland has turned me into a beer asshole.

Chip:    Oh, oh, one more thing.  I just read that one of Matt’s goals is to “fly in a civilian spaceship before he dies.”  Do you guys believe in life in outer space?  And, if so, what do you think it’s like?   Maybe sort of like Portland?

Matt:  Definitely, but I'm not in it to meet ET; I'm in it to stand on the moon and do that pretending-to-crush-something-huge-with-your-thumb-and-index-finger thing with the earth.


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Theatre Review: Buran Theatre Gets Freaky In LFK With Nightmares: An Artful Demonstration of the Sublime / Horror Remix Presents "Don't" / Chad Thomas Johnson Writes a Book Called "Nightmarriage"

Buran Theatre, now based in Brooklyn, returned to their old stomping grounds of LFK/KU this weekend and delivered their patented weirdness to a respectable crowd of adventurous souls who apparently prefer spending their holiday weekends watching avant-garde theatre than going to the lake.

We had seen a previous incarnation of Nightmares: An Artful Demonstration of the Sublime, in 2008 at the Lawrence Arts Center, at which time (as we remember) it was mostly about a couple who had purchased a painting (or a fascimile of a painting) by Henry Fuseli called The Nightmare.  And this couple spent A LOT of time having sex.  And there was an overflow of very-meta narration including one point where the narrator says, "This time let's just sit back and watch them fuck," followed by another long bout of full-frontal simulated sex (Chip: "This was the single best moment I've ever experienced in the theatre: both a trenchant commentary on the voyeuristic power of the stage AND a chance to watch naked people pretending to bone.").

Buran's current touring production of Nightmares strips away much of the original narrative (and, sadly, all of the simulated-sex) but many of the original elements--the couple and the painting and the meta-narrator-- are still intact, leaving audiences with a wild fragmented rumination on "authorial intention," the power of the imagination (or maybe the dwindling of the power of the imagination in the modern world), and the "anxiety of influence" (as Bloom would term it) embedded in and around a series of unhinged set-pieces and songs which include:

--a beer bath.

--a naked woman climbing a wall.

--a delightful song-and-dance routine from Frankenstein's monster, a "vampyre," and a mummy.

--a scantily-clad woman who (on the night we attended) leapfrogged three rows up into the Black Box bleachers to try to pull our friend Peter on the stage while screaming "I'll suck your cock clean!"

Clocking in at less than 90 minutes with no intermission (super-short by Buran standards), Nightmares was undoubtedly the best bang for the buck (the cost: pay whatever you want) to grace local stages this year.

Our favorite line from the narrator (and it should be said that Jud Knudson is kind of fucking amazing in this role and in his fearless give-and-take with the audience before the show technically begins):  "In about 20 minutes a monster will appear on this stage.  But don't be worried.  Well, be a little worried."  It's a perfect evocation of "the sublime" (and it creepily brought to our minds the invocation of the "monster in the alley" in Lynch's Mulholland Drive).

Sexiest moment:  a nearly-naked woman delivering a long monologue about the intimacy of cellphones.

Kudos to Adam Burnett and Jud Knudson and Buran for bringing a little danger and risk back to local stages for the weekend.  You won't be seeing anything like this out at the swanky new Theatre Lawrence in West LFK, folks. 

Check out a very good review of Nightmares recent Brooklyn performances via Culturebot here.  A sample sentence:

"Eventually, everyone is clad in underwear and turtlenecks (that signifier of pretension and illness), otherwise, the casting and costuming (tasks left uncredited in the program) seemed to evince some heteromasculine fantasy with the eroticization of bodies skewing heavily to the corseted or naked female performers."

Fuseli's The Nightmare:



Horror Remix is back at the Bottleneck with a presentation called Don't, featuring "2 hours of horror films from the 70's and 80's that have the word 'don't' in the title."

As we all know, the definitive (one-minute) statement on such films has already been issued by Edgar Wright's ever-hilarious Grindhouse trailer for the faux-film Don't.  Watch it below:


In keeping with today's nightmarish themes, we'd be remiss if we didn't mention that LFK's own Chad Thomas Johnson has a new book out today called Nightmarriage. Here's a blurb (find full details and ordering instructions at Chad's site here) :

"Nightmarriage is a whimsical memoir that explores the terrors of marriage and the perils of parenthood. Adapted from Johnston’s blog series of the same name..."

Oh, readers, just wait till we adapt OUR blog into a book within the next few years! We'll certainly be tasking BARRR with the cover art (boner pictures).  

Naturally, BARRR is a collaborator on the artwork within Nightmarriage as well, along with other local(ish) luminaries such as Danny Joe Gibson and Dan Billen.  Check out a lot of the artwork (including some that wasn't ultimately included) at Chad's Pinterest page here .


Sidenote:  we still cherish the LarryvilleLife Twitter logo featuring Chip puking up a bunch of PBR cans that Chad once designed for us and put on a giant mug.  We drink from it each day as we write these silly blogs.

Friday, May 24, 2013

More Weekend Music Picks: Slaughter Daughters at Replay; Nezbeat at Tap; Matt Clothier at Replay / Plus, We Discover a Poem About LFK!

Some of our weekend picks have already been showcased here (weird theatre from the Buran Company; album release parties from Muscle Worship and Pale Hearts).   But let's examine a few other possibilities as well.

Tonight's Replay matinee isn't listed on the Replay calendar, but that doesn't necessarily mean anything.  We're more or less sure that Monzie Leo, along with an LFK band called The Gentlemen Geeks and a Wichita band called Slaughter Daughters, WILL be playing an evening of evil gothic folk music to start your Memorial Day weekend off with thoughts of murder and rage.  We're kind of hyped about Slaughter Daughters, who remind us a bit of the late/great Trailer Bride (if only they had someone playing a saw):   listen to "Watery Grave" and three other tunes via Bandcamp here .

Demo cover art


Saturday is for dancing and grinding. Our old pal Nezbeat is in town at the Taproom.  Dig this terrific flyer:


And on Sunday our friend Matt Clothier (you may know him from his window gigs at Burger Stand) makes his Replay patio debut opening for LFK folky/bluegrass outfits The Telephone Line and The Bus Company.  He knows some songs by Uncle Tupelo ("New Madrid") and Slobberbone ("Give Me Back My Dog").  And can he please learn Slobberbone's "The Pinball Song" prior to Sunday?  It's perfect for the Replay.

"I need a few good games of pinball
 and a double whiskey sour.
 I'll rinse it with a beer and repeat again."

We originally couldn't find the flyer for this show (it's now down below, and hilariously phallic), so we decided to run a Google image search and snag a pic of the Replay's pinball machines.  In so doing, we stumbled across a link to a long poem about Lawrence and the Replay written last year by the band Unicycle Loves You!  Read it in full here at their blog.  Below is an excerpt and the band's pic of the Replay's pinball machines:

"It was after 2am when we got paid.
By that time Lawrence had turned into a barf ‘n fuck shit show.
Hooting piggy back chases.
More pick up trucks blasting hip hop.
Sloppy floppies trying to escape horrible blouses.
For a dead night the streets were alive with debauchery."

Thursday, May 23, 2013

New Interview With sami.the.great : "If you want to talk about euphemisms, I'm your gal."

Readers, we know you're going to be hungover as shit on the Tuesday after Memorial Day, but we encourage you to head to the Record Bar in KC anyway and check out the buzzy Brooklyn singer/songwriter sami.the.great .  Her soothing indie-pop sounds will cure your hangover quickly...and then you can get hammered all over again.  Check out the event page on the Record Bar site here .

Much like us, sami.the.great enjoys unusual punctuation and swearing, and she was kind enough to chat with us about such things, and also about drugs, the Brooklyn scene, and the possibility of onstage nudity (very high).  Check out her website here, give her a "like" on FB here, and enjoy the interview below!


Richard:    I love bands with interesting punctuation!  One of Lawrence’s hottest acts right now is called Y[our] Fri[end].   Tell us about the origin of the name sami.the.great and why it’s punctuated the way it is. 

sami.the.great:  Well, I came up with "the great" because my last name is Akbari and it means "the greatest". I thought that "sami.the.greatest" might be too obnoxious so I cut it down! As for the punctuation, there's not really any reasoning behind it. I just liked it, ha!

Chip:   Daytrotter’s typically elaborate description describes your songs as being “over the moon about that tender touch and the pretty batting of eyes, of entendres and innuendos.”  As our readers know, I fucking LOVE entendres and innuendoes! So how would you personally describe the “sami.the.great” sound and do you have any favorite entendres and/or innuendoes?

sami.the.great:  It's hard to top Daytrotter's lovely description, but I'll try: I think my music (at least this past album) is a harmonious blend of sounds/vibes from the 50's and 60's with more modern sounds/vibes... whatever the fuck modern sounds and vibes are, because nowadays a lot of music is super-saturated with sounds from the past! But great, nonetheless. I'm normally a more forward girl myself, and kind of skip the entendres and innuendos, but if you want to talk about euphemisms, I'm your gal!

Richard:  The video for “Hear Me Now” is super-trippy.  Would you recommend weed or shrooms or something else to our druggie readers while checking it out?

sami.the.great: I would love that! Let's keep it natural though, and stick to the weed and shrooms. 

Chip:   So of course we have to ask you about Brooklyn hipster culture.  I’ve never been there, but I get the sense it must be nearly unbearable at times!  Do you fit in well there?

sami.the.great:  Haha. After almost 8 years of living in BK, I'm actually moving to LA. But I have definitely lived there long enough to be well versed in hipster-dom. Honestly, for the most part it's not too bad (at least in my eyes) but there have been moments where I was at an event at an art gallery or something and I kind of can't even handle how ridiculous people make themselves look while seemingly pretending like they don't give a fuck. It's kind of amazing. I try to say away from that extreme side of things. It makes me uncomfortable. And old.

Richard:  How’s the tour going so far?  Can you share an amusing tour story with us.

sami.the.great:  It's been pretty fun! It's alway great to meet new, interesting people along the way. Hmm. Not sure I have a super amusing story! One story that I think you guys might enjoy (judging from these questions) is that I was in Austin during SXSW and went to a show of this band that I border on groupie for, Bonaparte, and I'll take pics at their shows sometimes and send them and the lead guy of the group, Tobias, will post them. So I was taking pictures at this show, and Tobias came up to me and took my phone out of my hand, shoved the mic down my shirt, and started singing into my boobs, basically, while playing guitar. And it was amazing. 

Chip:  Singing into someone's boobs is totally amazing!  I noticed that your FB interests are listed as “playing music/talking dirty” and your Twitter account trumpets your “voice of an angel/mouth of a sailor.”  So leave our horny, vulgarian readership with something dirty that convinces them they absolutely MUST attend your show

sami.the.great:  I perform naked for at least half the time at all my shows.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Sublime Theatrical Event of the Year: Buran Theatre Homecoming Show at KU; Album Release Parties of the Week: Muscle Worship at Replay and Pale Hearts at Frank's

Readers, do you remember the LFK theatre scene of 2008, when Adam Burnett and his merry band of pranksters in the Buran Theatre company somehow managed to book the main auditorium at the Lawrence Arts Center to perform a play called "Nightmares:  An Artful Demonstration of the Sublime" which was full of VERY nude people having a lot of simulated sex?

If you don't remember, let this critique from talkbacker "smerdyyakov" remind you:

"..while the foxy leading lady is continually presented fully nekked-perky breasts, nice butt, and shaven-ess for all to see, many times-her male counterpart is /not once/ so vulnerable on stage. He does shed his undies once (taking care not to reveal his bits and pieces to the audience) but really the whole production is no different than Hollywood's contradictory treatment of nudity."  

Read the original piece and talkback here.

Anyway, the Buran gang (now based in Brooklyn, because they were FAR too hip for LFK even in 2008) will be back in town at KU's Inge Theatre this weekend and performing Nightmares once again, though it now sounds like a wildly revamped and maybe even more experimental version.  We can't promise nudity in this new incarnation but, even so, it still promises to be the weirdest thing you'll encounter on local stages this year.  It will be performed Friday and Saturday at 7:30.  Visit the group's website here for more info and some video clips.

Welcome back, Buran.  We miss the brief era of adventurous theatre in LFK!

Here's the kind of thing you might witness:


Friday brings two major album release shows to LFK--one from Muscle Worship; one from Pale Hearts-- and the shows are a long drunken walk apart--one at Replay; one at Frank's.  So choose wisely. 

Check out the new Muscle Worship tunes via Bandcamp here .  They have some of our favorite titles of the year:  "Hans Christian Terrorist"; "A Firebreather Carefully Sobs"; "Don't Dang Doom."

Opening acts are Monsoon Lazer (featuring the JabberJosh boys) and Chicago's Truck or Dead Horse, who "play loud music for people that like loud music." 

Muscle Worship remains our personal pick for loudest band in LFK.  Could Truck or Dead Horse be even louder?  

 Müscle Wörship LP cover art

And across the river at Frank's, Pale Hearts will have an album release bash for Hollowtown.  We wrote about the new tunes last week prior to their gig at Spring Into Summer (sadly, that gig did not happen) and here's what we said:

"The title track of their new record Hollowtown features one of Chip's favorite lines of the year so far, delivered in Rob's trademark howl: "And you're fucking a hole through your phonebook again."  "Breakheart Mambo" sounds like a lost track from Lynch's Wild at Heart and might even get a few drunk/stoned scenesters to grind around on each other a little.  And, dark though it is, "High Plains Disko" (great title) gives off a Talking Heads-vibe that would make the crowd bounce exuberantly if scenesters were capable of such behavior.  Brush up on the new stuff via Bandcamp here." 

Opening acts are Jocks (which we believe contains a Vigilante or two?) and Fake Surfers.

Here's a sweet flyer drawn by Pale Hearts' Rob:

Monday, May 20, 2013

Our Spring Into Summer Recap (Patio Portion): Y[our] Fri[end] , Naomi What? , and Approach / Plus, Bike-In Theater Returns to the Replay

Most of you who are reading this probably arrived at the Replay's Spring Into Summer Fest around 11:00 and found it reasonably packed, but we can assure you that the early-evening patio portion was (once again) woefully under-attended, proving that scenesters (as we forecast last week) will NOT show up early to anything, not even to hear their friends' bands.

So here's an unpopular idea that would actually draw people to the patio for the early part of the Fest (assuming that the Replay actually wants a crowd there):  book an unhip band like Truckstop Honeymoon whose fanbase is both diverse AND actually willing to show up before the sun sets.  That would still leave plenty of time after 10:00 for five or six bands with various combinations of Rooftop Vigilantes in them.

Despite the poor patio attendance (and it probably didn't help that 2 out of the 5 scheduled bands didn't actually play), there was plenty of fun to be had.

We watched Y[our] Fri[end], playing with just a drummer in this incarnation, riding a sweet psych-folk groove to kick off the evening.  Our excellent photography skills captured Taryn with her back to the crowd (Cat Power style!).

Naomi What? (we love the question mark in the band name) resurfaced to play a jolly little set with songs about shopping at Costco and such:

And local rhyme-slinger Approach spent most of his impressive set stalking the dance floor ("I'm gonna own this area right here") to close out the pre-DJ patio portion of the evening.  Our friend Stix called his performance "the best thing that's ever been done at the Replay."  Approach chose to play in near-total darkness, so we didn't even bother trying to take a pic. But here's a nice crowd shot from earlier in the evening: the guy in front gets the prize for best hat but our friend King Tosser (holding court in the background) gets the runner-up prize.

Classic Replay moment:  free PBR tshirts and Boulevard tshirts were available to the first 100 guests to arrive, but the doormen didn't actually start giving them away until after there were 30 or more people already in the bar, so people had to go back up and request their rewards.

Classic Replay moment, Vol. II:   Approach ended his set by thanking all the hard-working bands who had played throughout the day "at 5, 6, 7, and 8," despite the fact that there were only two bands before him and the first one started at 7:30.

Now head over to I Heart Local Music here for reviews, pics, and videos from all the sets that were too loud for our gentle ears (sorry we had to miss The Regrets) as well as great use of the word "katamari," which according to the Urban Dictionary definition means "a giant rolling ever-expanding ball of crap that nobody ever notices, until it rolls them up."  

Chip:  "Though perhaps inadvertently, that's probably the best description of a Replay event that's ever been written!"


Watching special screenings of old(er) movies is so hip these days, and the Replay's summer film series (Bike-In Theater) returns on Tuesday with Dazed and Confused followed by a DJ set from DJ Modrey Hepburn.  Instead of making an "all right, all right, all right" reference, let's go with another reference and say that this event would be a whole lot cooler if someone brought some weed along. The movie (supposedly) starts at 9:00.

And speaking of Linklater, we really think Liberty Hall should organize a screening of all three of his Before films to coincide with the impending release of Before Midnight, which we're hearing is a straight-up masterpiece!

"It is hard to think of anything quite like the Before triptych in the history of American movies." --Film Comment

Nice flyer:

Thursday, May 16, 2013

More Weekend Music Picks: Laura Stevenson at Jackpot; Shy Boys at Bottleneck; Ween Cover Songs At Frank's; and a Special Appearance by the Anschutz Streaker!

Readers, it's graduation weekend in LFK, so prepare to stumble across some drunken scholars (and their drunken parents) as you make your rounds.

The weekend's scenester highlight is surely the Spring Into Summer fest at the Replay (read our preview here), but there are other musical options as well.

Laura Stevenson and the Cans hit the Jackpot tonight.  Pitchfork says that Stevenson "sticks to a neat scheme of metaphors to dress up her existential anguish." (full review here ). From what's we've read, that anguish translates into a pretty rocking live show.

Get there in time for openers Justin Klaas and Field Mouse.  They seem adorable.  Give Field Mouse a "like" on FB here .

If you're looking for pretty and polished pop tunes, you won't do better than the Ghosty/Shy Boys show at the Bottleneck on Friday.  Find a good Pitch piece on the Shy Boys here ("They play soft, harmony-laden pop songs with modern underpinnings — a little bit of the Association, a little bit of Real Estate").  Sandwiched in between these acts is LFK's decidedly more rough-around-the-edges OILS.  They're awesome too.  We caught 'em rocking a Replay matinee last Friday.


If you prefer your evening rowdier and funnier, head to Frank's on Friday for a night of Ween covers played by...well, we don't really know.  Anyway, the FB event page promises two sets and "36-ish" Ween covers, which sounds pretty sweet: details here . We're guessing it does not actually begin at 10:15 am, though that would actually be even cooler to kick off a Friday morning with beers and Ween at Frank's!

And on Sunday?  You'd think the Replay would offer up a matinee show to capitalize on all the drunken visitors wandering around Mass. Street after graduation.  But nothing is listed.  Maybe the bar is closed that day due to all the Spring Into Summer hangovers from the night before?

So maybe you should spend your day on the hill watching people graduate and hoping for another appearance by this week's instant local legend:  the Anschutz Streaker.   Local authorities are currently searching for this ass:

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Picks for Geeks, Foodies, and Stoners: Jai Nitz's Dream Thief; Cat-Women of the Moon at Liberty Hall ; Wake n Bake Pizza at Fat Freddy's

It's a big day for local comic book nerds as Jai Nitz's Dream Thief hits the stands.  Nitz and illustrator Greg Smallwood are both at Astro Kitty most of the day (11:00-3:00 and 5:00-7:00) signing copies.  Go say hello before they are too famous to acknowledge you anymore and ask Jai to sign your comic with a bunch of swear words!  Visit the FB event page here for more info.


And who needs a new Abrams' Star Trek movie this weekend when Cinema a Go-Go returns to Liberty Hall on Friday with a double-feature of Cat Women of the Moon and Teenagers from Outer Space?  The hijinks start at 7:00. Visit the Retro Cocktail Hour/Cinema a Go-Go site here for full details.


According to the trailer below, Teenagers from Outer Space is "ten thousand times more terrifying than your maddest nightmares."


And Chip offers up a special shout-out to BARRR this week for tipping us off to what has quickly become our favorite local meal:  the "Wake n Bake" pizza from Fat Freddy's which contains bacon, sausage, mozzarella, fried eggs, tater tots, and gravy.

Chip:  "The point where this idea went from good to great is when the chef said, 'Fuck it, I'm just gonna pour gravy right over the top of this thing.'"

Photo via BARRR and follow him on Twitter @BARRR for more fine dining tips!  Visit Fat Freddy's website here and order your 16"XL "Wake n Bake" right now for only $21.99! 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Our Spring Into Summer Fest Preview and Picks: Pale Hearts, Naomi What? , and The Regrets

Readers, it's Wiggins Day in LFK, so raise your PBR (or one of those nasty bologna-tasting Smoke on the Wheat beers at Free State) and celebrate the savior of next season's basketball team!

But most of our attention is on music this week.  The annual LFK rite-of-summer known as Spring Into Summer Fest hits the Replay on Saturday and of course we have some rather loud opinions.  Last year the fest brought in the terrific KC Afro-beat /funk collective Hearts of Darkness in an effort to transform the outdoor area into a huge dance party but... local scenesters responded by not arriving until 11:30 or so, long after the outdoor part of the Fest had wrapped up.  So this year's approach seems to be to avoid risk and mainly offer up a bunch of the usual LFK offenders, both early and late, though our guess is that scenesters will still arrive around 11:30 and miss favorites such as Y[our] Fri[end].    Visit the FB event page here.  So far, only 22 people are going.  This ain't exactly Bonnaroo (but we suppose that's a good thing).

One question:  where in the hell is Fourth of July on the line-up?  It's just not summer without them.

Outdoor picks: 

1) Pale Hearts:  We're hyped to see the Pale Hearts gang rocking the outdoor stage early in the evening (7:15).  The title track of their new record Hollowtown features one of Chip's favorite lines of the year so far, delivered in Rob's trademark howl: "And you're fucking a hole through your phonebook again."  "Breakheart Mambo" sounds like a lost track from Lynch's Wild at Heart and might even get a few drunk/stoned scenesters to grind around on each other a little.  And, dark though it is, "High Plains Disko" (great title) gives off a Talking Heads-vibe that would make the crowd bounce exuberantly if scenesters were capable of such behavior.  Brush up on the new stuff via Bandcamp here .

 Hollowtown cover art

2)  Naomi What?   A Naomi What? appearance is always welcome in our book.  The name alone makes us laugh, and it's one of the few projects containing Rooftop Vigilante members that doesn't leave us deaf (in fact, it's acoustic and strummy and quite easy on the ears).  We're not sure if the band ever evolved online beyond a Myspace page (check it out here ) but there's a sort of retro element to Myspace now that makes it almost hip again!  So we recommend you revisit Myspace for the first time in years and listen to "Tonguing the Bird" and (our favorite) the very sweet "Can I Be Your Butler?"  Catch them at 8:50 on the outdoor stage.

Indoor Pick:

The Regrets:  The big treat of the evening for LFK rock historians is a performance by The Regrets, the legendary post-Vitreous Humor project of Danny Pound, Brad Allen, and Dan Benson.  They recently played the MOTM fest, but we're guessing most of their LFK fans didn't pay big bucks (by scenester standards) and trek to KC.  So this hometown reunion should be packed...assuming the fans can last till the 11:50 showtime.   Our friends at I Heart Local Music have a great piece on the reunited Regrets here .

The schedule: 


6:30 Y(our) Fri(end)
7:15 Pale Hearts
8:00 The Basement
8:50 Naomi What?
9:30 Approach
10:15 G-Train/Approach DJ set!


10:20 Dry Bonnet
11:00 Up The Academy
11:50 The Regrets
12:45 Mouthbreathers

And here's the big poster in the Replay window.  We love how the Replay defines "all day" as beginning at 6:30 pm.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Weekend Sights and Sounds: Cowboy Indian Bear at LAC; Give Take Give at Percolator; Truckstop Honeymoon at Replay / Early Week Scenester Picks: American Craft Beer Week, Naked River Readings, and The Silos

We stopped by the LAC on Friday where hometown heroes Cowboy Indian Bear celebrated the end of their tour with an album release party featuring a massive sound (a 9-piece band that amped up the harmonies and percussion) and an epic backdrop of kick ass projections (why can't more bands perform shows with nature footage in the background?).

Larryville's "Give Take Give" project, a chronicle of the treasures found in LFK's most beloved dumpster, culminated Saturday in a "show and tell" event in which locals told stories about their favorite discoveries.  Our favorite of the stories involved a dumpster full of 70s-to-90s era Playboys.

Chip:  "That's great, but a dumpster full of Hustlers would have been even better. Of course, no one is stupid enough to toss out their Hustlers."

Make sure to pick up the free 60-page Give Take Give book which is full of powerful photos and testimonies.

Photos:  project mastermind Dave Loewenstein and the dumpster-art backdrop of the evening.

Sunday brought the most pleasant weather LFK has experienced since at least November of 2012, and hippies packed the Replay patio for Truckstop Honeymoon's Mother's Day show.  A recent highlight of Truckstop shows has been the woman who joins the band for a few songs to provide sign language and interpretive dancing.  She's a treat!


American Craft Beer week kicks off today and we'll be putting aside our PBR at least long enough to sample the yearly collaborative brew between Free State, 23rd Street, and Top City's Blind Tiger.  This year's brew is called Smoke on the Wheat.   Here's a great description from a recent LJ-World piece :

"Light as straw and crisp as Perrier but with a roguish smoky overtone — and as 23rd Street head brewer Bryan “Bucky” Buckingham notes, a little baloney on the nose (...or maybe it sounds better to say charcuterie?) — Smoke on the Wheat is in the style of a 14th century Polish Grätzer ale."

Did he just say this beer smells like baloney?  We WANT this!   See you on Free State patio this evening if they haven't run out by then (we can't figure out the tapping-times so far).


During this morning's LFK-research, we stumbled across a new literary group called Naked River Readings, whose members will be offering up some "rants against humanity" and "slightly disturbing essays" at Frank's North Star tonight.   Let's go and see if they're really naked.  Give them a "like" on FB here .


On Tuesday, hippies will gather at the Lawrence Arts Center for the weekly Tuesday Concert. This week showcases our friends Tasha Haas and the Silos (we like to call them the "Sly Hos").  They'll be playing some "cowgirl-inspired folk rock" and it starts at 7:30.  Visit the Tuesday Concert site here .  Sadly, no beer is served at these events, but you can probably take a toke with them in the alley before the show (they refer to the alley as "the green room").   Note:  Tasha's band also contains a flautist and someone who refers to himself as King Tosser.

Here's Tasha:

Friday, May 10, 2013

Weekend Picks: Cowboy Indian Bear Album Release at LAC; Dean Monkey Doo-Wop at Replay; The Bourgeois at Jackpot; Mother's Day Events

Tonight's the big night:  Cowboy Indian Bear hits the LAC for their Live Old, Die Young album-release party, performing as a 9-piece band.  We're not sure what to expect, but our best guess is a big, soaring, Arcade Fire-y type of sound, though Chip is personally hoping they've merely added five scantily-clad back-up singers.  Spirit is the Spirit kicks things off at 7:30.  Free State Beer will be poured. 


If sultry indie-pop is not your thing of if you don't have the $10 bucks for CIB, our doo-wop pals Dean Monkey and the Dropouts are rocking the Replay patio matinee this evening with CS Luxem and Oils.  And it's not even going to snow tonight!  Drop by their Bandcamp site and learn the lyrics to "Love Load" before you go.  You'll be glad you did.

Dean's Steak House cover art

And don't forget to support our new Tulsa friends The Bourgeois at the Jackpot for your late-night boozing needs.  Reread our interview here


The Love Garden hosts a major noisefest on Saturday with Bloodbirds and Nature Boys.  We hear that food from Terrebone will be served.  Please let there be a huge bucket of hushpuppies circulating.

 Even scenesters love their mothers, and Sunday brings several Mother's Day-themed event.

Liberty Hall's Film Church is probably the darkest of these events:

And Truckstop Honeymoon takes the Replay patio stage for a Mother's Day matinee.  Truckstop doesn't bother with any kind of flyers for their Facebook events.  They're too busy with the kids!