Thursday, August 29, 2013

Weekend Picks: Quiet Music, Loud Music, and a Rowdy Local Benefit Show

There are plenty of music options for a scorching hot holiday weekend in LFK.

Let's showcase a few.

Two area bands that are most likely to be playing arenas in the future hit the Granada on Friday.  It's a Quiet Corral album release party with opener Cowboy Indian Bear.  Also on the bill:  former Get Up Kid and current urban chicken enthusiast Matt Pryor as well as Y[our] Fri[end].  It's a big show.


Shy Boys are making some of the prettiest songs around these days.  Listen to "Heart is Mine" via Bandcamp.  They'll be playing quietly down at Love Garden earlier on Friday evening along with Empty Spaces.

If loud is what you crave, look no further than Saturday at the Replay when France's Catholic Spray hits town along with Fag Cop (they're back!?) and UZIS and Burial Teens and Wayne Pain and the Shit Stains (they're back and still unlistenable!).   Chip enjoys the FB profile pic of Catholic Spray.

And the big community event of the weekend is "A Benefit For Your Friend Thad" at Liberty Hall on Saturday, which will raise money to help pay local barkeep Thad's medical bills.  For $5 you'll be entertained by the likes of Pale Hearts, the Foxy By Proxy gals, and even the legendary Shitty Deal Puppet Theatre (the Victor Continental show may be dead...but the puppets live on!).  Visit the FB event page here for full details.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

LFK Bans Porch Couches / Final Friday Picks: Quantrill and Dust Bowl

Just as we feared, LFK's City Fathers narrowly approved a ban on porch-couches at last night's meeting, so some of your favorite places to get baked and hammered may not be with you much longer.   Also as expected, not a single porch-couch loving slacker showed up at the meeting to fight for their couches (but who can blame them?  It was damn hot outside and they were probably enjoying a cold one on their porch).  City officials say they'll first ask tenants, then property owners, to remove the offending fire-hazard furniture before they begin leveling fines of up to $100 per day.

But is LFK riled up enough about this legislation to post snarky comments about it? You fucking bet.  Let's take a look at the LJ-World talkbacks:

Currahee says:  "I'm so glad our commissioners are doing important things, such as banning couches on porches. Now the real war against the existence of porches can begin. Those wooden things can catch on fire too!"

Renaissance says: "since this is CLEARLY a fire safety issue and CERTAINLY not a disguised pretentious aesthetics issue, I'm sure the commission will be fine with me replacing my porch couch with several old toilets I can use as lounging chairs."
Smileydog offers our favorite comment, which incorporates not only a reference to the group that's currently trying to impose a city ban on drones but also to the classic 2005 story about the dude who kept his own severed foot on his porch:  "Where will my chickens sleep? On the bright side, when the homeland security drones start hovering above our streets, they won't be seeing me or my chickens hanging outside on our couch....severed foot kept in a jar still legal for the porch? Yes."

And elliotlaw chimes in to defend the ban: "Good move by the city, sometimes you just have to force the hillbilly out of people."

Read the full LJWorld piece and comments here.


Readers, are you STILL salivating for more Quantrill's Raid-related events in LFK? Then hit the Percolator this Final Friday as they partner up with the Watkins Museum to show more pieces from the "Modern Views of Quantrill's Raid" collection. You can also listen to a performance from our friends in The Silos at 7:00.  Hopefully they'll write some new tunes for this event such "The Ballad of the Twitter Re-enactment of Quantrill's Raid" and "The Ballad of the Tweeting Horse That Tweeted in the Twitter-Re-enactment of Quantrill's Raid."  Visit the FB event page here.

Or perhaps you've moved on from Quantrill to the next huge community-wide event.  Yes, Read Across Lawrence and KU's Common Book program are striving to get each and every one of you sumbitches to read Timothy Egan's Dust Bowl book, The Worst Hard Time.  We're told that "roving packs of librarians" will hit downtown during Final Friday to give away free copies, and apparently there are also Dust Bowl-related specials at certain locations, such as Black Blizzards and Dusty Dogs at Henry's on 8th.  Find more info and many other RAL13 events here via LPL. We're thinking of making the Dusty Dog our official drink as we read the book throughout September.

Dusty Dog recipe

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Our Interview With Kentucky Knife Fight: "We have not been in a knife fight but let me assure you we would not back down from one."

Kentucky Knife Fight has been boozing and brawling its way through the music scenes of Edwardsville, Illinois and now St. Louis for quite some time, but they've reached an artistic high point with their new album Hush Hush, which you should stream via Bandcamp and then join critics in tossing around phrases like "cinematic in scope" and "a touch of the auteur."

Kentucky Knife Fight has rolled through LFK in the past but you'll need to trek to the Record Bar in KC this time around when they open for Murder By Death on September 14 (just a week after they take LouFest by storm alongside big names like Wilco and The National and Alabama Shakes).  We were pleased to have a long chat with the boys about rowdy shows, fine art and film, the mysteries of The National, and whether or not Wilco has become a boring "dad rock" band.   Check out their website, give them a "like" on Facebook, and follow them on Twitter @KentuckyKnife.

Let's brawl!

Chip:  First off, Kentucky Knife Fight is a GREAT fucking band name.  Tell us the origin story.  Why Kentucky?  Is Kentucky especially known for its knife fights, because Kansas has had some pretty sweet ones right here in Lawrence at the old Moon Bar.  Also, have you fellows ever been in a knife-fight or are you all talk??

 James Baker: The name comes from my uncle. My uncle and his lady, who shall remain nameless for legal reasons, got into a drunken knife fight after an argument escalated. They both live in Kentucky. As you can imagine, they are no longer together. And, no, we have not been in a knife fight, but let me assure you we would not back down from one!

Richard:  I love your bio statement that your sound might be found on a “jukebox at the end of the universe between The Stooges and Tom Waits.”  Why are those two artists in particular essential to your style and subject matter?  Also, what might be some other touchstones outside the music world, maybe in terms of art or films?

Jason Holler:  The Stooges are essential for their raw energy and unrefined vocals. Tom Waits/Kathleen Brennan are essential for their attention to lyricism and storytelling. We try to fall somewhere in between. 

As far as artistic influences: the St. Louis-centric photographs of Bob Reuter and the Tulsa-centric photographs of Larry Clark. Both artists own the world of the gritty black-and-white photo. Though I can't get behind all of Clark's work, I do think "Tulsa" is a masterpiece. I strongly suggest your readers check out both. When it came time to pick album artwork there were two images by St. Louis photographer, Nate Burrell, that I couldn't live without. One we used on the cover and the other on the inside of the album. Both photos illustrate the quiet interior moments of the album in ways I felt no other photos could.  

Pics:  A Reuter photo, Clark's Tulsa, and Nate Burrell's Hush Hush album cover:

As far as film is concerned, for this album, I was inspired by Peter Bogdanovich's "Paper Moon" and Steven Soderbergh's "Sex, Lies, and Videotape". One movie focuses on crime while the other focuses on perverse sexual behavior, which are the two defining themes of our album. Both movies are classics not to be missed. 

Film still from Paper Moon

Paper Moon Stills

Chip:  I dig how the new album opens with the gentle and pretty “Paper Flowers Three” before launching into the fast and furious “Bad Blood."  I like to play that one LOUD and it makes me want to punch people!  Are you fellows drifting into some new, more artsy, ground with this album, particularly in those three “Paper Flowers” songs, and why do you begin with #3?  Because artsiness confuses me (and also sometime makes me want to punch). 

Nate Jones:  We wanted to set the mood for the entire album in the first track.  Some songs throughout the LP are loud rockers, and some aren't, but they all have a dark undercurrent that begins in the first few seconds with the alarm-like stabs of the Mellotron that signal the song (played to wonderful effect by producer and fellow musician David Vandervelde).  That instrument is known for its eerie discordance, and it helped to serve as a foundation for Jason's lyrics.  This tale of a couple waking up and trying in vain to start their broken down Bonneville glides along on piano and guitar before the lines "Judge not for we know not what we do" is repeated over a banjo melody and the revitalized Mellotron  that seemingly envelopes the listener. The story of the couple, much like that Mellotron, materializes towards the end of its telling.

"Paper Flowers part 1-3" (or "3-1") almost takes a Tarantino-esque approach as it deals specifically with the two criminals, telling the details in reverse order of the perpetration of their crime and planning of their escape, but there are vague allusions to the fate of the couple, as well as their past  in "Gunsmoke" and people in their family's past in songs like "Father".  "Father" deals with a narrator telling the story (possibly to one of the Paper Flower criminals when they were a kid) of a man he knew who helped carry out the breaking of a levee and flooding of a town, and is highly based on James Scott, who was convicted of causing a massive flood of west Quincy, MO.  The image of a flood is a recurring one, alluded to in the chorus of "Misshapen Love'  Everything is tied together and it all becomes clearer by the time the album ends, but the listener is still left in a world with little hope for the existence of any good in the hearts of man after these tales of murder and malicious intent have been spun. 

Chip:  Damn!  Now I'm bummed out.

Richard:  There are some really odd and memorable lyrics on the new album.  I especially love the repeated phrase “like some day-trading hedonist” toward the end of the title track “Hush Hush,” for example.    Do you have a particular favorite lyric or image on the new album?

Jason:   Thanks. Oddly enough, that's my father's favorite line from the album as well. It's hard to pick my favorite. I'm pretty excited about a lot of them. For me, "Love the Lonely" has some interesting lines. The line "the morning whimpers / and crawls back in its tired skin / till night comes knocking / at your door once again." That line really has a lot of Charles Simic influence. He tends to give intangible nouns human characteristics, which I love. 

Chip:  Let’s talk about your audiences at the shows.  Has your demographic changed a lot over the years as you‘ve gotten more established?  For example, are you playing to mostly boring scenesters these days, or do the crowds tend to get a little rowdy and ready to brawl?  Want to regale us with a particularly memorable and seedy tale from one of your shows?

Curt Brewer:  When Kentucky Knife Fight played their first shows at the majestic Stagger Inn (Edwardsville, IL), I'm not sure our crowds would have been able to grow goatees. We were the band a lot of people saw on their 21st birthday or some person's first college-break-up-drink-it-all-away episode. I remember one Stagger Inn show vividly. We played to 150 kids in a room built for 80, someone was hanging from the ceiling fan mid-set, the men's restroom floor was soaked because a caveman ripped the sink out of the wall, and two of our band members walked out on a couple consummating in the motor oil-drenched gravel near our band van. That's one of the only Stagger shows I can remember... 

As we've grown up, so have the "intentions" of our new audience. The biggest change is that the venues we play now are concert venues. This brings people that were probably going crazy on Screwdrivers or Natty Light in their teens but no longer feel the need to go out drinking simply because they can't think of anything else to do. Now don't get us wrong: if our audience goes out to get drunk, they get! We just have the pleasure of playing music for those that came for that exact reason. We run into the occasional lunatic looking to go all Lou Bega on us (*don't ask...) but our audience is usually open-minded, avid listeners that give a fuck. We're quite lucky.

With that being said, people DO get really rowdy while we're playing. I blame the music. And Lou Bega.   

Richard:  Speaking of audiences, you’ll be rocking LouFest this year along with Wilco and a bunch of other big names.  Who are you most excited to see there?  And if you meet Jeff Tweedy could you maybe please mention our humble little blog and ask him to get in touch for an interview, because we are huge fucking Tweedy fans from way back and we get annoyed when silly people just write Wilco off as “dad-rock” these days.
Curt:  I've heard so many stories about The National, I kinda just want to have this from-a-safe-distance, totally legal voyeuristic experience. I want to see them get in a band fight over who left the Black Forest Ham under the passenger seat. I want to see them fill out a "Best Wishes" Hallmark cards to their departing roadies who are returning to college for Fall semester. I want to see Matt Berninger actually drink a bottle of wine on stage to chill out. They just seem so strangely and authentically mysterious. I have no idea.

The bigger bands, like the Alabama Shakes, Jim James, and Wilco will receive a lot of my attention. I've never had the opportunity to see them. Between Knife Fight gigs and playing music with other groups, I rarely have time to catch bigger acts. The Alabama Shakes seem to be really talented musicians. It'd be a trip to chat with them about their writing process. We'll send our drummer James to catch Wild Belle. He'll dig them. Fitz And the Tantrums will be fun to have a mid-day buzz to. 

We're excited to be one of two St. Louis groups on the entire bill and we will definitely catch our StL ally Tef Poe. In all seriousness, Tef is the real deal. He just signed with Universal and is an official performer for Amnesty International. Awesome St. Louisian.

 As for Wilco, they are totally not dad-rock. I have complete faith that if Tweedy ever did see any press that mentioned such a nondescript copout, he'd probably give none fucks. They will rule. We are not worthy.        

Chip:  It’s tough to get our lazy readers out of LFK and over to KC for a show, so leave us with a blurb that convinces them they absolutely must hit the Record Bar on Sept. 14 for your show with Murder By Death.   MBD has a long history of beloved Lawrence shows, so you’ve definitely got that working in your favor!  

Curt:   Dueling banjos? Yesterday's gimmick. Behold, the gimmick of the future: dueling guitars! Wait, what?! (*I'm being told that Thin Lizzy has had that on lockdown for the last 40 years). 
Kentucky Knife Fight is a blend of five musicians that come from very different backgrounds, especially with regard to our influences. We are continually discovering how to write new music with these five seemingly unrelated participants who are simultaneously experiencing and learning about the music that shaped each member's personal histories. You may have not heard us yet, but at one point you hadn't heard Mclusky. You had never heard PJ Harvey. You had never heard the Nat King Cole trio (ok, maybe everybody's heard them around the holidays). In no way are we saying that we are like any of these artists, but we hope that you may gladly say you heard your new favorite band at the Record Bar on Sept. 14. Our music is moody yet completely made for moving human bodies. There will not be a dry patch left on your skin from three hours of release with Kentucky Knife Fight and Murder by Death. 
Here's the gang, plus the video for "Love The Lonely" and the flyer for the Record Bar show.

Monday, August 26, 2013

LFK Hero of the Week: World Air Guitar Champion Eric "Mean" Melin / Save The Porch Couches / Busker Fest After Dark: The Monzie Leo Story

It's true.  LFK can now bill itself as the home of the WORLD air-guitar champion now that Eric "Mean" Melin slayed the competition at the finals in Finland with a scorching version of "Hash Pipe."  The next time you see him on the street it is REQUIRED that you drop everything you might be carrying and rock out with him, air-guitar-style, for at least five minutes.  Congrats, man!

Eric "Mean Melin" Melin of the U.S. performs during the 2013 Air Guitar World Championships in Oulu

Here's the awesome welcome-back photo that LFK is "liking" all over Facebook right now.  He's got a real guitar!  It's currently Eric's profile pic. 


The City Fathers are once again being a drag, man!  This time they want to follow the lead of numerous other college towns by banning LFK's beloved porch-couches due to their potential as fire hazards.  The LJ-World's Chad Lawhorn took to the porches and penned an odd front-page paean for yesterday's paper. Below is a Lawhorn-line that seems to be a reference to stripper-glitter?  He can be a naughty old goat!

"(Other items I find on my Oread tour: Stumps of firewood doubling as stools, a mattress in a yard, two Welch's fruit cocktail vending machines on a single porch, and a tantalizing amount of gold glitter in front of an Oread bar. It was fun to think about how that got there.)"

 In the comments section, LawrenceTownie is absolutely outraged at the potential ban:

"My house is over a hundred years old, never had a front porch until 2006 when we added it. We wave at every car and person that happens by, and they wave back. CITY OFFICIALS WAKE UP. Front porch living is here to stay !!!! Revolts will happen everywhere in town if you try to change this one."

Well, let the revolution begin, readers, because the City Commission meets tomorrow on this subject.  Our best guess is that not many will be joining the angry "Townie" in his campaign because they're too busing smoking weed on their porch-couches.

Lawhorn's piece is lacking in porch-couch photos (in the on-line version, at least, there's not so much as a single porch-couch photo!).  Please tweet photos of your favorite porch couch to @larryvillelife .


Another Busker Fest has come and gone and scenesters hated it more than ever, but at least it did take a turn for the weird when LFK's own Foxy By Proxy burlesque group was granted a single closing slot on Saturday evening.  Somehow we suspect they won't be asked back.

Our favorite lines from announcer Monzie Leo:

"Thanks for keeping your four-to-seven year olds up past their bedtimes to watch women taking off their clothes on the street."

and (directed to the children):

"With student loans the way they are, a lot of you will probably become strippers when you're older."

Here's a cat-lady and a green lady and a Monzie-Dance:

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Deeper Into Movies, Vol. III, Starring Film Church, Woody Allen, Snake Plissken, Mumble-Gore, and More!

Liberty Hall's Film Church series is back in fine form this Sunday with a 35 mm print of Almodovar's 1999 classic All About My Mother.  Free pastries and fruit.  Booze is not free but it's available too.  Visit the Liberty Hall site for full info.

It's a surprisingly good weekend at the multiplex as well.  We finally saw Blue Jasmine and are pleased to report that the Woodman is back with a VERY strong drama after a few summers of light comedies that were pretty good (Midnight in Paris) and not too good at all (To Rome With Love).  If Cate Blanchett doesn't win an Oscar for this, the ceremony should be cancelled.  Plus, Andrew Dice Clay like you've never seen him before!! (apparently he's a terrific actor).

Surely all you geeks spent Thursday evening with a triple-bill of Edgar Wright's Cornetto Trilogy, right?  Sadly, we didn't.  But we'll be seeing The World's End today finally.  Let's hope it's a suitably fitting end full of blood and ice cream.


But maybe you need something edgier?  The "mumble-gore" genre is so hot right now, and Adam Wingard's You're Next is poised to rake in some serious cash this weekend.  Even though we're bored with home invasion films, we're surprisingly interested in this because people keep using terms like "deconstruction" when describing it and it's apparently full of cameos from mumblecore filmmakers and such.

And Chip is a sucker for tender indie coming-of-age films starring pretty girls, so we'll also be seeing The Spectacular Now, which is supposed to be pretty spectacular.  But we probably won't drive to the one fucking theater on the Plaza in KC where's it's currently playing.



The coolest film-related event of the week has got to be the debut of a new film/music/art festival at Screenland Armour in KC, though we find the prices discouraging for those who only have a few hours to spare (instead of just having $40-ish dollar festival tickets, why not offer individual screening prices for those who'd love to catch a film and band but don't have time to to stick around for the full fest).  One of the films on the slate is the new documentary on Big Star, which is definitely of interest to scenesters.  And we assume some of the excellent bands involved (Rev Gusto, Hidden Pictures, etc) will dish out a nice Big Star cover or two.

Full festival details at the Screenland site here.


And we've always got to include an Alamo KC pick in this column.  On Wednesday, you can see Escape from New York and your ticket comes with a free eye patch and candy cigarettes.  Yep, they're doing it right over there at the Alamo.  Details here.

 Oh shit!  Here's Harry Dean Stanton and Snake!

Friday, August 23, 2013

PBR and Oats: Our Interview With @Horse1863 (AKA Marty from KU)

As most of you know by now, Lawrence's live-Twitter reenactment of Quantrill's Massacre ( #QR1863 ) made a big social media splash this week, and one of its most unexpected stars turned out not to be an official participant voicing a juicy role like Jim Lane or Reverend Cordley or the Q-Man himself or Frank James or Bloody Bill Anderson (though Ric Averill knocked those latter three villains out of the park) but instead a renegade tweeter known as @Horse1863 . Yes, a tweeting horse.  Initially, some of those involved in the project thought that the horse might have been voiced by a prankster like the LC's own Chip.  But no. Unfortunately, we could not lay claim to this terrific, silly idea.

As it turned out, the mastermind behind the talking horse finally revealed herself during the post-Raid Twitter credits to be...Marty from KU [we're withholding her last name here so you crazy Civil War buffs and talking horse enthusiasts won't bombard her with Facebook friend requests and such].  Upon Marty's revelation, we soon discovered that we had friends in common, so of course we promptly set out to chat with her and get to the bottom of what makes a talking horse tick (and tweet).  Enjoy!

Richard:   As a tweeting horse called Horse1863, you sort of unexpectedly became one of the big stars of #QR1863 and even had some of the essential and official characters interacting with you during the heart of the Twitter-Raid.   How did you come up with the idea of being a sort of renegade tweeter in this event, why did you choose a horse, and why do you think it became so popular?

Marty:  I became a renegade tweeter to avoid writing my fall syllabus. It's been an incredibly effective strategy. Coming up with the idea of Horse1863 was very easy. Do other people not think about talking horses constantly? Is that not normal? Now I'm a little worried. When I first read about the Quantrill's Raid Live-Tweet, I kept wondering how Lawrence residents in 1863 could possibly be using Twitter. Was this a parallel universe where Twitter was invented before the telegraph? And if so, what else was different ? Were there talking/tweeting horses? I thought there was room for one. I was very pleased and surprised at Horse1863's popularity, but I can't account for it, unless I'm right that thinking about talking horses is a universal pastime.

Chip:  Some of those horse-tweets cracked my shit up!  I like the puns especially.  But there’s also some serious tweets along the way as well.  Tell us how you crafted your “character.“  Also, do you have a particular favorite tweet as Horse1863?

Marty:  I based Horse1863 on a brief anecdote in Katie Armitage's book, Survivors of Quantrill's Raid. Local drug store owner Brinton W. Woodward was "saved when one of the raiders became distracted by the escape of a fine horse as he was ready to shoot Woodward" (101). I gleaned a lot of information about Horse1863's character just from that passage. As a "fine" horse, he was probably a little pompous and self-satisfied, but he was also both clever and heroic too for timing his escape just right so he could save Woodward. My favorite Horse tweet is probably when he threatens the children, which is always a good time: "Some nasty little boys just threw stones at me! Sure wish they'd come closer to this gift horse's mouth. #iwillbiteachild #QR1863"

Richard:  Despite playing a mostly comic role, you obviously kept a close eye on the rather serious goings-on of #QR1863.  As a scholar yourself, how do you feel about the #QR1863 project?  What might it have added to an understanding of Lawrence’s darkest day?

Marty:  At first, I was pretty skeptical of the #QR1863 project. I didn't think Twitter, which is so easily hijacked by random pranksters like me, would be an effective medium for a serious discussion of a historical tragedy. But, as I said above, I based Horse1863 on actually historical events. There was a moment when I was doing research and setting up multiple Twitter accounts (I also tweeted as Brinton W. Woodward) when I realized, hey, I've been completely sucked into this and I'm actually learning a ton. I feel that the project encouraged people to research and reenact a lot of the individual stories that get forgotten in broader narratives of history, and that's a project I strongly support.

Chip:  Now that #QR1863 has mostly run its course, do you have any other hilarious local Twitter ideas that might entertain me?  Perhaps you could tweet in the voice of an adorable little pygmy goat, since a petition is currently circulating to make them legal as pets here in LFK?

Marty:  I'm really concerned about the proposed legislation to ban Lawrence's porch couch population. Maybe Twitter could be a way for our poor, sat-upon brethren to tell their own stories.

Richard:   I know that a lot of people in the local Twitter community are practically dying to meet a tweeting horse.   Do you plan a speaking tour or anything?  Or at least having a PBR with some of the illustrious PBR Book Club sometime soon?

Marty:  It's weird to have fans. I'm entirely at their service (provided there's beer).

Chip:  This question is for Horse1863:  What’s your favorite song and what’s your favorite movie? (and you have to incorporate a horse-pun into both of them).

@Horse1863: "I'm glad to finally be asked a question directly, Sir. I enjoy relaxing with romantic comedies, especially Sleepless in Steedattle and You've Got Mare. As far as my musical tastes are concerned, I enjoy the tunes of Stall and Oats."

Richard:  Are you a fan of humorous and parody and fake Twitter accounts in general?  What are some of your favorites?

 Marty:  @horse_ebooks is the perfect Twitter account: mystifying, hilarious, and occasionally profound. Recently I discovered @United Airlanes, which responds to customer complaints from people who don't read very closely. [we think that Twitter feed is now called something different and located here].  My all-time favorite Twitter account though, is probably the bizarre @bignuts4free. You should check him out. He doesn't really update anymore, but the archives are worth a read. 

Twitter profile pic of @Horse1863:

 Horse 1863


Thursday, August 22, 2013

Weekend Picks: Buskers, Berwanger, Baiowolf, Freak-Outs, Elephant Revivals, and More

Readers, the smoke is finally starting to clear from yesterday's (globally-trending!) Twitter reenactment of Quantrill's Raid, so let's turn our attention to the usual hijinks here in LFK.

Speaking of annoying Raiders, this weekend's most high-profile event is certainly the Lawrence Busker Festival.  Is there any other event more hated by Lawrence-scenesters than this one?  We don't think so.  As always, remember that the buskers' primary goal is to pick your pocket when you're not looking and that almost of them carry knives, so be careful if you're out there on the streets.  We recommend keeping the children safely at home. A quick glance at the schedule reveals that a "World Unicycle Champ" will be on the scene and that Tyler Gregory is an official busker this year.

Lawrence Buskerfest


Get a jump on the weekend with some promising Thursday events.

The Comedy Freak-Out returns to Frank's tonight with Peter Lyrene and his humorous cohorts.  Will there be a lot of Quantrill jokes, or is 150 years still too soon?

And our friends in Olassa open up for Elephant Revival at the Bottleneck tonight.  It'll be a foot-stompin' good time.  We're hoping some of the elephants from the Elephant Revival get loose and chase the early buskers down Mass. Street.

And end up at the Replay for Berwanger, who always has the BEST fucking flyers.


On Friday, the students return to KU in full force to move into the dorms. so it's best to get out of town.  We recommend you see Stiff Middle Fingers in KC.  This show also has an awesome flyer.



And the best bet for really weird shit on Saturday is the Jackpot, where Baiowolf and Destroy Nate Allen are on the same bill for an I Heart Local Music showcase.  The last time we encountered Destroy Nate Allen they were marching around, Pied Piper-style, followed by a bunch of tweenage kids at Drew Smith's birthday party (also at Jackpot).  Will these same antics work for the young Saturday night scenesters?  Probably.



Wrap it all up with the Fiddling and Picking Championships at South Park on Sunday and you've got yourself a nice little weekend.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


Readers, we've been participating in the live-Twitter reenactment of Quantrill's Raid since 6:00 am and we're wiped out and in need of relaxation and PBR.  So instead of reading our usual hijinks, go to the 1863Lawrence site and scroll through the collected #QR1863 tweets.  You'll find both horror and humor there. We send a big shout-out to the organizers for letting us be a small part of it.  Our character is @DrPrentiss1863 .

And you should also check out a nice little piece from the Washington Post about the Twitter-Raid over here. At one point this morning, #QR1863 was trending right alongside the usual trending topics about New Directioners.  So that's pretty damn good.

 One of the many paintings that depict Quantrill's 1863 brutal raid on Lawrence, Kan. (Photo courtesy of the Lawrence, Kansas Convention & Visitors Bureau)

1863 Commemorate Lawrence

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Sad LFK Photo Of the Week / More Quantrill, With Beer and Breakfast / Super Nerd Nite: Robots and Wrestling at Bottleneck

Scenesters, perhaps you spent a hard Monday at work yesterday (unlikely), and then headed down to the Replay to slake your thirst with a PBR or ten, only to find this sign:

((photo via @AaronButell ).

You cried a little, didn't you?  So make sure to head north tonight, because it's presumably Tallboy Tuesday at Frank's.


LFK's Quantrill mania continues through at least Sunday with various events.  Tonight brings Jonathan Earle to the Carnegie Building at 7:00 to talk about his new book, Bleeding Kansas, Bleeding Missouri.  If you like your history with a beer in hand, note that Free State will be on hand for this event and hopefully serving their new Phoenix Rising beer which they concocted for the anniversary events.

Chip:  "The first sip tastes like murder, but the aftertaste is one of rebirth and renewal, at least until the next day's headache."

More details here via LPL.

 featured slide

And wake up early on Wednesday because the Twitter re-enactment,  #QR1863 , kicks into high gear at 6:00 am and surely you want to watch it unfold in real-time, right?  It's been strangely realistic and ominous this week watching Quantrill and his raiders muster their forces on Twitter for the raid.  Click the link and give it a look.

Whether tweeting or watching, you'll certainly work up a powerful hunger for a bowl of 1863-style porridge (or even some coffee-crusted steak and eggs).  So stop by the Eldridge between 7:00 and 11:00 am for a historically accurate breakfast and hope that no drunk Missourians decide to burn the place down again as part of the 150th anniversary events.


And if all of this history is too much for you, escape into fantasy at the Bottleneck on Wednesday evening with a "Robots and Wrestling" edition of Super Nerd Night featuring performances from the She Bangs and Not a Planet.  There's a FB event page here but it's sadly lacking in the usual awesome flyers.  With both "Nerd Nite" and "Science on Tap" taking a vacation in August, this is your best bet this month for combining nerdery and booze.

But will Free State's ass-kickingly potent new beer called Andre the Giant be on tap?  We doubt it.  But it would certainly be a good idea.

Will a robot-Quantrill pop up at this event?

Monday, August 19, 2013

Weekend Recap: So Much Quantrill, Plus a Touch of Paris in LFK

Readers, there's little time to blog right now as LFK is still engaged in a continual commemoration of the 150th anniversary of Quantrill's Raid.  Hundreds were on hand in South Park last night to listen to 1863 newspaper editor John Speer, who rose from the dead with some trenchant commentary.  Here's a photo via 1863 Lawrence: click for a nice FB photo gallery.

If you're like us, you spent a big part of your weekend retracing Quantrill's path of terror through walking tours of downtown Lawrence or Oak Hill Cemetery.  It sure was great weather to spend all day pondering a massacre!


And our friends at Watkins Museum opened their impressive new permanent exhibit on the Raid, so make sure to stop by and learn about figures such as Reverend Cordley.  And make sure to look for the stranger part of the exhibit called "Modern Views of Quantrill's Raid," which showcases a weird painting (and book) about a department store mannequin named Eliza who witnesses the raid (below) and a somewhat bewildering poem by Kyle Etzel (also below).

Chip:  "I think Etzel's work is pehaps meant as a ballsy challenge to those who question the need to continually commemorate historical trauma, such as those who challenge our need to re-enact the massacre via Twitter, complete with tweeting whores and horses and such.  Told from a childlike perspective, the poem suggests how desensitized we've become to violence: it can be quickly written off, as easily forgotten as a childhood game.  The powerful final line demands to be read as a soul-searching question, despite the childlike lack of punctuation.  Also, this poem is kind of funny as shit.  I like the 'yoo hoohoo' part."


But it wasn't all murderous rage in LFK this weekend.  We also spent a nice evening on the Replay patio in the company of famous Paris blogger Meg Zimbeck, founder of Paris by Mouth.  You foodies better check her work out right here.  And also check out Meg, that "food sherpa," all over a recent NY-Times article.

In the photo below, she is handing out wine along the Seine during a cheese tour of Paris.  Meg has inspired us to arrange a Larryville Chronicles "PBR tour" of LFK in the near future.  From the Replay to Frank's, we'll introduce tourists to the very best spots to sup this sweet nectar.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Deeper Into Movies, Vol. II: Crypticon, Prince Avalanche, Oldboy, and More

Last week we debuted our new movie column, which showcases interesting opportunities in LFK and KC, and it sparked enough mild interest that we can justify keeping it around for a few weeks.

Unfortunately, it's not a great week to watch movies in Lawrence. The old Regal Beagle/Southwind 12 is predictably dull.  They are getting the regrettably titled Lee Daniel's The Butler but still haven't bothered to pick up Fruitvale Station.  And Liberty Hall serves up the intriguing doc about backup singers, 20 Feet From Stardom, though we doubt that most of you are beside yourselves with excitement about this one. We await Woody's Blue Jasmine next week and a 35mm print of Almodovar's All About My Mother for the next Film Church on Aug. 25 (oh yeah!).

If you head to KC this weekend, you can attend the horror festival Crypticon and party with the legendary Sid Haig, as well as Ernie Hudson (that's right: the black Ghostbuster!).   Their film slate doesn't seem very inspiring to us (if you've got Sid Haig in the house, why not some Devil's Rejects??) but then again we're not really the target audience for this kind of bloodbath.  One event that DID catch our eye, though, is a screening of the amazingly-titled Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things, a 1973 curiosity by Bob Clark, who should be known for more than just Christmas Story and Porky's.  There's also a screening of the  classic "To Serve Man" episode of Twilight Zone.  Is it cool to shout along with the "It's a cookbook!!" line?  Visit the festival site and see the film schedule here.


Sadly, we never make it to Screenland Armour, but luckily we've already seen Prince Avalanche via OnDemand. It opens at Screenland today and marks a nice return to his artsy roots for David Gordon Green, who is more known these days for Eastbound and Down and Pineapple Express than for the excellent George Washington or All The Real Girls.  A lot of people will find Prince Avalanche about as exciting as...painting yellow lines on a highway (the film's subject). But we found it strangely affecting, gorgeously shot, nicely acted (by Paul Rudd and Emilie Hirsch) and beautifully scored (by Explosions in the Sky).  Also, Chip can't quit using Hirsch's sexual euphemism of "getting the little man squeezed."  Check it out, one way or another.



We made it to KC this week for Act of Killing (wow!) but we stupidly missed last night's sold-out Almost Famous screening which came complete with a Stillwater tribute band (we're still crying about missing this).  Saturday night looks awesome too, as the Alamo's Late Show series delivers Park Chan Wook's stellar Oldboy.  Will each guest be served a live octopus?   If you've never seen this, you need to do so before Spike Lee's remake lands this fall.  Info here via Alamo KC.