Monday, March 31, 2014

A Very Special Eccentric Genius Edition Blog Post Starring Jonathan Richman and St. Vincent

First off:  the big news of the day in LFK is obviously the Tharpe photo.  Chip thinks it's terrific.  But that's probably not what Coach Self will say.  Take a look here.


We try to catch shows from eccentric geniuses and cult heroes when they drop by LFK, so we had a good time with Mr. Jonathan Richman at the Bottleneck on Friday.  Richman arrived with very little local press to herald his arrival and with his usual rigid rules about sound (no music to be played in the bar before his set, etc). He took the stage just a few minutes after the appointed start time of nine, with no opening act, apologetic about his "lateness".  Still boyish in his early 60's, Richman smiled throughout, while longtime drummer Tommy Larkins smiled not at all. After an early admonishment to fans with cell-phone cameras ("Take a few shots if you need to, but why watch through a screen when you've got Jonathan and Tommy right here in front of you?"), everything was peaceful and focused.

A few highlights:

--a long version of "Springtime in New York" with Richman pausing to explain certain lines in advance of singing them and eventually leading the devoted fanbase in a mantra-like singalong of the chorus: "I love springtime in New York, I love springtime in New York, I do."

--"It's Sam Cooke time!"--shouted in the midst of another song before dipping into a few verses of Cooke's "Having a party."

--And, of course, there were dancing interludes where Richman abandoned the mic and unleashed his loose-limbed dances, sometimes accompanied by maracas and cowbell. "I'm tired of singing, I'm gonna dance one!"

After about 70 minutes, Richman bade us farewell, warning the crowd there would be no encore because his father taught him not to wear out his welcome.  We'd welcome him back anytime.

Chip-quote: "Well, I'll be damned, that's totally the dude from There's Something About Mary, isn't it?"

We didn't want to take pictures for fear of being chastised, but here's a Richman flyer that we like:


Speaking of quirky cult figures, St. Vincent hits Liberty Hall tonight.  We saw her the last time she was at Liberty (impressive) and missed her summer show with David Byrne in KC (still kicking ourselves).   Probably we'll skip the show tonight.  But we'll follow along via your live-tweets!

Finally, here's St. Vincent/Annie Clark modeling the Portland cop uniform redesign on Portlandia (plus Kyle MacLachlan in a "mayor's cape.").  You're welcome!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Weekend Picks: Sexy Battles, Comedy, Waffle Tacos, Jonathan Richman, YART, and Hello Biplane

With KU out of the tournament, you should have plenty of free time for other cultural pursuits. Let's consider a few.

Chip's Final Friday pick is a series of photographs at SeedCo called The Battle of Freyja, brought to you by the sexy folks at Atomic Photography and Foxy By Proxy.  Check out the FB event page here

Mr. Jonathan Richman hits the Bottleneck tonight with no local buzz whatsoever.  That's all right. His fans will be more than ready for some dancing in the lesbian bar, if you catch our meaning.

Chip:  "I don't catch your meaning.  Is the Bottleneck a lesbian bar now?"

There's another Comedy Freakout in the basement at Frank's tonight.  We predict a lot of jokes about the new Taco Bell breakfast menu.  WAFFLE TACO!  Live mas! (then possibly die).

A favorite ELFK event and fundraiser arrives early Saturday morning:  the YART sale.  Details here for those of you who live in other (lesser) areas of town.

And how about a matinee homecoming show from Hello Biplane at the Replay on Sunday while you eat some real tacos (not WAFFLE TACOS).  Hello Biplane will have a full band, a new EP, and an opening slot from Allison Olassa.  And we bet they're still adorable!  Bonus: it might even be warm outside that afternoon.  Check out the new tunes via Bandcamp and visit the FB event page for the show here.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Thursday Scenester Showdown: Middle Twin EP Release at Bottleneck vs La Guerre Album Release at Replay

Well, we know what you're NOT doing tonight. You're not watching KU play Dayton in the Sweet 16.  So you might as well hear some local music instead.

Two local shows vie for your attention.  Middle Twin (the artists formerly known as Brain Food) have an EP release show at the Bottleneck.  It's a free show.  If you haven't seen Middle Twin yet, you're seriously missing out.   Forrester, last year's Farmer's Ball winner, is also on the bill. And speaking of  the Farmer's Ball, this year's event is on the horizon.  Head over to KJHK and do your scenester duty and vote!

Check out Middle Twin's new "Savor Faire" video below (but get high first).

La Guerre is also releasing a new album at the Replay tonight. You can dig the new sounds via Soundcloud.

 Also on the bill:  the intriguingly titled See Through Dresses from Omaha.

Chip:  "I've been burned so many times on band names.  PLEASE let this be a band of sexy gals in actual see through dresses and not some kind of sausage party."

The third band also has an interesting name.  We're guessing there is not a real boys' choir involved. If so, please don't buy them PBRs.  You'll go to jail.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Three Final Friday Picks: Prints, Monks, Bombs, and Superheroes

Well, another Final Friday approaches and, with any luck, it might not even be snowing or below zero that night. But does anyone care about art anymore?  We're just not certain. Let's see if the crowds return this week.

Wonder Fair is back in full swing with an opening from KU printmaker Jonathan Metzger called "Where I'm From, Where I Want To Be."  We're sure you want to be at Wonder Fair for this. Visit the FB event page here.

The Percolator has a show that  "will open with a blessing and prayer for peace, by the monks of the Lao Buddhist Association of Olathe Ks. at 6:00 pm on March 28."  

The multi-media exhibit is called "Hard Rain, Living With Bombs in Laos."  

We don't expect a light-hearted evening.

Visit the FB event page here.  This is the FB event page photo:

And the LAC has a preview for their upcoming annual art auction (which this year will contain some of the priciest stuff in the event's history: from Burroughs, of course).   Also at the LAC are some cool sketches of superheroes and such from Tom Moore. Details here via LAC site.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

New Things We Like: Pie at 715; Beer at Ted's Taphouse; Spelling Bees as Gaslight Gardens

Local pie-lovers have long-lamented the difficulty of finding a simple slice of pie in this town, and especially downtown (at least since the glory days of Paradise Cafe).  So a few of us quickly called a "Pie Summit" last weekend when 715 tweeted an enticing pic of a banana-toffee pie with Kahlua whipped cream.   Readers, it was delicious.  And we were pleased to chat with 715's "pie girl" (who happens to be Mr. Arthur Dodge's wife) and learn that 715 plans a pie special each weekend.  She even took requests from us.

The downside:  a slice is $7 bucks.  Well, this IS 715 after all.  This ain't the "corporate pie" of Perkins.  So start yourself a "pie fund" and check it out.

Photo via @715Restaurant.

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LFK's craft-beer craze continues and now you can supplement your Merchant's sampling with a new joint called Ted's Taphouse, which is operating out of Oh Boy chicken down at 10th and Mass and still serving the Oh Boy menu in case you need a giant piece of gluten-free bird to complement your Avery Brewing Maharaja. It's a nice little beer menu, and seems to change frequently, so check them out and give them a "like" on FB here.

They don't have a real sign yet.

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And we need three things to like, so we're going with Gaslight Gardens' Spelling Bee for the third.  This event has been going on for awhile now (we think) but we've yet to make it out.  Sounds intriguing, though.  Unfortunately, we are terribul spellars after a few PBRs.  The next edition of the Bee is this Saturday, and according to the FB event page, no one is going and no one has been invited.  So perhaps you'll be the only one there, just sitting quietly on the patio, trying to spell "loneliness."

Anyway, we're definitely looking forward to some spring patio time at the Gaslight.  Give them a "like" over here.

Doesn't it look like a delightful place to spend a spring evening in LFK (if it ever quits snowing)?

Monday, March 24, 2014

We Interview Iowa's Delightful River Monks: "We're pretty sexy...for music nerds from Iowa."

Who is the quintessential Iowa band? You don't immediately know, do you?  Well, maybe it's The River Monks.  Some music scribes have suggested as much.  Find out what the buzz is about when these harmonizing Iowans make their way down to the Jackpot on Wednesday for a lovely, folky evening.  And, yes, scenesters, the Jackpot IS open on other nights besides the frequent I Heart Local Music Showcases!

Check out the River Monks' media page here via Temp Agency, give them a "like" on FB here, and listen to a track from the soon-to-be-released album Home is the House via Bandcamp.

Enjoy the interview with vocalist/guitarist Ryan Stier in which we discuss ukuleles, whistling, and the "wealthiest city in America."

Chip:  First off, are any of you actual monks?

Ryan:  No! Fair question though. Des Moines  means "The Monks" - evidently some French bros observed monks trapping fish/partying in a river, and named it (ehem) "La Rivière Des Moines" (River of the Monks). The city that formed around the river became Des Moines.

Richard:  I like the Tiny Mix Tapes description of your sound: "The River Monks might just BE Iowa."  But what does that mean to you exactly?  IS there a discernible Iowa sound or aesthetic? And do you feel like you embody it?

Ryan: We do honestly try and rep Iowa wherever we go. Iowa is definitely a huge reason why we sing about the things we do and sound the way we sound. We're not afraid to communicate that territorially-based pride in our sound.

Chip:  I think of myself as a terrific singer, though the folks at Burger Stand's Wednesday night karaoke often disagree.  But I'm always impressed by sophisticated harmonies, which I've never mastered.  Tell us about the band's harmonies and the difficulties associated with them.

Ryan: Six folks singing at the same time can definitely be tricky, particularly when you play in different venues with vastly different rooms and sound situations every night. It's an ongoing practice for all of us, and makes it relatively organic and effortless when you play in the nice venue with the great sound (we've all put a lot of time and study into our musicianship) but also a fun and challenging adventure when you're playing in the Stinky Mic venue.

Chip:  Well, good luck at the Jackpot, whose former name was actually The Stinky Mic, I believe.  But actually I hear the sound is better there lately.

Richard:  And in addition to the harmonies, there's some damn fine whistling going on in "Pelica," which I was just listening to.  Who's the whistler of the band?  Sometimes I can whistle and sometimes I can't.  Does it ever fail on stage?

Ryan:  We all take part in the whistling. It's good to be well hydrated and have some lip balm on hand, otherwise your whistle can quickly turn into spit-rain and unhappy front-rowers.

Chip:  I'm gonna be honest here. I sometimes have a hard time taking ukuleles seriously. Tell us about the role of the ukulele in your sound.  And why do you think they're so prominent in the indie-folk scene these days?
Ryan:  We use it primarily for atmosphere, particularly on our new album "Home is the House." It gets downright haunting actually. What IS with the uke craze lately? Probably because they're cute, cheap, every one who knows anything on the guitar can easily translate that to uke, and hashtags are The New Way. Mandolins? Sound prettier, but not quite as popular because they're tuned in 4ths, making them something to actually learn. I resisted the Amanda Palmer Covers Radiohead on Ukulele album until I realized she was making fun of the trend. But in the end, just like the guitar, (some) ukes too make a nice sound, particularly when used with complimentary layers. We absolutely try to make art with it, and lately we've put Tommy behind a curtain just to ensure spectators don't judge us by our uke-slinging right away.

Richard:  Leave our readers with a blurb to convince them that they REALLY need to get down to the Jackpot on a Wednesday night to party with The River Monks.  (because, being honest again, it ain't easy getting people to the Jackpot on a fucking Wednesday night).

Ryan:  We're releasing a new album.... Which ya can't get on the internet til May..... We're also pretty sexy....... For music nerds from Iowa.

Chip:  Oh, oh, one more thing.  Since you all hail from Des Moines, which the Today show just called "the wealthiest city in America," do you think you could buy me a bunch of PBR at this show?
Ryan:  Lawl, of course. I'm by no means wealthy, but I'll get your first drink for making me actually WANT to answer your interview questions.

Here are the River Monks about to embark on a river adventure:


We Interview Kansas City's Captiva: "No, Captiva isn't a perfume or an exotic porno."

Captiva is a young indie-funk band (or "funky shiz" band, as they call it) out of KC.   You probably don't know them yet.  But they'll be popping up at several Lawrence shows in the coming months.  Find them at the Bottleneck on  Wed. Apr. 2 (along with King Dong Variety Hour!) and this summer at the Granada on June 28th.  We decided to find out just how funky this shiz really is, so we sat down for a nice chat about their upcoming debut record and the KC music scene.

Check out a Captiva jam called "Buzzed Like Bees" over here via Soundcloud, give them a "like" on FB here, and follow them on Twitter @CaptivaTweets.

Now enjoy this Captiva-ting interview!

Chip:  Tell us about the band name.  To me, "Captiva" sounds like a perfume that should have one of those vaguely kinky and bewildering black and white ads.  Or maybe it sounds like a French torture-porn film.  But I'm guessing that's not what you were going for?

No, Captiva isn't a perfume or an exotic porno. But, if the listeners demand it, then we'll do what we have to do. "Captiva" is a reference to our captivating tunes with enveloping lyrics that really capture our listeners in a cage of song and storytelling. Captiva is also an island off the coast off Florida, a popular vacation destination. This symbolizes our music as being a sort of vacation or fresh breath of air from a routine stress-filled day.

Richard:  So your debut record is being produced by The Elders, who are legends within the KC scene. Tell us about working with them.  Will you be bringing some of their Irish sounds into the mix at all??

We mainly work with the fiddle and guitar player Brent Hoad. Brent is a funny guy and has the same goony personality as we do, which makes it easy to connect and have a good time when we're in the studio. Our music does have a sort of folk sound to it due to some of our acoustic, finger-picking tracks, but most all of those tracks were created long before we came into the influence of The Elders.

Chip:  Your FB page describes your genre as "funky shiz," which is certainly one of my top three genres (along with "twee" and "crunk").   Describe the Captiva sound for us in a little more detail?  Is it easy to shake my ass to it?

Our genre is something more like "indie funk meets rappy folk." We have certain tunes that will most definitely get a crowd pumped. Our album holds a couple of songs that will no doubt get some heads bobbing and booties shaking due to the songs' rap/funk influence. On the other hand, we also have certain tunes that will give a listener some time to chill out and enjoy some good vibes.

Chip:  I think that "good vibes" is usually a code for smoking weed, am I right?

Richard:   Tell us a little more about the KC music scene in general, since many of our lazy Lawrence readers rarely make it over there for shows.  What do you think are the best-kept secrets in KC in terms of cool venues and cool bands our readers should look into?

The Kansas City music scene is a growing community that incorporates a heavy folk/blues background with a newer, more modern pop sound. Over only a small number of years, the music scene has developed rapidly, and we have seen the growth of many wonderful bands, some of whom we have had or will have the pleasure of working with such as New Madrid, AY-MusiK, and countless others. The always-expanding variety and size of the music community in KC truly represents the strength of our city. In our personal opinions, the KCMO scene is one of the best nationwide. Hands down. Captiva has grown so rapidly and heavily within such a short time, and we owe it all to our city. Our loyal fans and strong support system really pushes us to represent our town as best as possible. We do produce dope music, and good looks, but KC is what makes our dope shiz look so damn good.

Richard:  Leave us with a blurb that convinces our readers that they absolutely MUST attend your Apr. 2 show at the Bottleneck. 

Everyone should be at the Bottleneck April 2nd, especially college kids, as this is one of our last shows in Lawrence before we start touring the college market. We'll be playing some house parties over the summer, and the Granada June 28th, but this is one show you won't want to miss. Get your buds (take "buds" in whatever form you please) and come chill with us. We love L-Town, and we know you love us, so let's get down in college town like you know best and make a party that'll end your year feeling #buzzed.

Chip:   Okay, now I'm CERTAIN that you guys are talking about weed.  (Wink).

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Spring Break Picks: Basketball, Mustard, Marx Brothers, and Big Tits at the Replay!

Readers, it's Spring Break in LFK and we're on vacation from blogging (except today).  It's time to kick back, watch basketball (March Madness), eat mustard (March Mustard Madness at Free State), and laugh with the Marx Brothers (Marx Madness at Liberty Hall).

Photo via @PhogAdvisory.

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Also, Chip's pick of the week is a band called "Big Tits" at the Replay on Wednesday.  No, he hasn't heard their music at all. 

Friday, March 14, 2014

Spring Break and St. Patty's Picks: "Ides of March" Edition of ASSJAMZ and Replay Music and Tacos

KU's Spring Break is about to kick into high gear.  But the masterminds of ASSJAMZ are hoping students stick around for the "Ides of March" edition of the popular event on Saturday at the Bottleneck.  It's Chip's pick of the week.

We think of the Replay primarily as a taco restaurant these days, but there's also a full slate of patio music (and Social Service benefit hijinks) this weekend starting tonight and running through St. Patty's, ranging from the MILF-rock of our pals in Wells the Traveler to the ever-popular Truckstop Honeymoon on Sunday evening (yes, they both feature Mike West).  Check your trusty Replay calendar for full details.  The leprauchan in this flyer appears to be eating a green taco, but why isn't he holding a PBR in the other hand??

For something a little heavier and much later at night, LFK's aging punks can share memories at the Cocknoose tribute at the Replay on Saturday.  Great flyer!

Have fun, readers, and try not to stab each other.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Nerd Nite 25 Recap: "Does James Bond eat more than other spies?"

As predicted, Nerd Nite 25 was a full return to the joyful, obsessive nerdery that we associate with the event.

The James Bond presentation by Tom Weiss was an instant Nerd Nite classic based on premise alone (and the deadpan delivery elevated it further still).  Weiss focused on Bond's eating preferences and dining partners and destinations with detailed charts and graphs tracing the gustatory exploits of everyone's favorite spy.  "He eats more in the books than in the movies," Weiss explained.  And apparently, at one point, Bond makes a stop in Springfield, MO, to sample a delicious "chicken pie."  You can bet we'll be searching for it ourselves on our next trip down south. 

Caleb Chin's exploration of Bitcoin lost us a few times in its tech-y, math-y moments (as we are not those kind of nerds) but nonetheless offered an interesting glimpse into the past, present, and future of digital coinage.  Did you know Whoopi Goldberg was associated with a precursor of internet currency called Flooz, dating as far back as 1999?  And did you know that LFK's The Percolator accepts Bitcoin transactions? (we're not sure that Chin mentioned this fact, but it's true).

And local artists Kent Smith and Matthew Lord wrapped up the evening with a rundown of their continuing cryptozoology project "Snipe Hunt," an art and oral history project chronicling encounters with legendary creatures...and legendary humans.  "SNIPE" here is an acronym for  "Society of the Never-ending Inquest to Prove Existence and Hopefully Uncover Non-typical Terrestrials." It had not really occurred to us that humans could be "cryptids" too. But then we realized:  Well, what is Chip if NOT a cryptid?  He certainly exists more as legend than fact (though a few of you HAVE partied with him).  Follow Kent and Matthew's work here on Facebook where they will (hopefully) be updating soon and soliciting more community tales.  Send in your Chip sightings!


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Chaos Reigns at Liberty Hall: Destroy All Monsters / Plus, Von Trier's Nymph()maniac Arrives OnDemand

Chaos reigns at Liberty Hall this week.  A solid crowd was on hand for pure Marx Brothers' anarchy in Duck Soup last night (one guy near the front of the balcony laughed so hard he nearly hyperventilated) and on Retro Cocktail Hour's Cinema a Go-Go returns on Friday with the giant monster brawl of Destroy All Monsters.  It's gonna be a lot more fun than the Big 12 tournament (and Chip predicts that KU will be out of the tournament by Friday anyway).

Did you catch the Von Trier reference in this post's title?  Well, in other film news, the cinematic bad boy's Nymphomaniac (or Nymph()maniac) has arrived OnDemand.  Well, at least Part One has (it's a 5+ hour opus, you know).  And presumably it's not the full-on pornographic version.  But we'll watch.  The film's "O-face" posters have gotten a lot of attention.  We think Shia's is the funniest.  Our guess is that this film lies at about the midpoint between the near-greatness of Melancholia and the infuriating near-unwatchability of Dogville.  If you're lucky, you'll be receiving a Facebook invite to our Nymph()maniac party soon.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Johnny Switchblade's Lawrence Invasion at Jackpot on Thursday

When Johnny Switchblade asked us to help spread the word on their Thursday show at the Jackpot, we agreed quickly, partly because we liked the name and partly because Chip was afraid they might cut him.

So here's what's happening.

With most of LFK's musicians currently out of town for SXSW, KC's Johnny Switchblade and a whole slew of wily and scrappy punk and garage bands have decided to invade the Jackpot for a loud evening of revelry.  Let's hope the members of Johnny Switchblade are indeed packing their blades for the trip, because Lawrence is seeming unusually stabby these days.

And here's the scoop directly from Johnny Switchblade (and check out their tunes here via ReverbNation):

"This is gonna be a great show! Six bands, Thursday night, plenty of booze, plenty of noise. Check it out, and most importantly COME SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL MUSICIANS! We want this place PACKED; bring your friends, bring your friends' friends, bring your girlfriend, boyfriend, mom, your grandma that can't hear too well, your uncle that just got out of jail, your mailman, your plumber, BRING EVERYONE.

Johnny Switchblade, Four Arm Shiver, The Rackatees, 88er, The Hemorrhoids and The Death Scene.

Doors at 7:00, first band on at 8:00."

Visit the FB event page here and check out the odd pricing deals at the bottom of the flyer!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Nerd Nite 25 Preview: Bigfoot, Bitcoin, and Bond (James Bond) / Marx Madness Hits Liberty Hall

We've heard a few recent grumblings that certain Nerd Nite presentations didn't seem quite nerdily obsessive enough.  But we don't expect to hear any such complaints about Nerd Nite 25, which serves up presentations about cryptozoology (from the folks behind the Perc's recent "Snipe Hunt" exhibit), bitcoin, and James Bond.

The Bond presentation has one of our favorite titles so far: “Live and Let Dine: James Bond as an Effete Gourmet Assassin."  

Now THIS is just the kind of nerdery we're looking for.

Visit the FB event here.

Terrific poster!


March Madness is huge around these parts (obviously) and Free State's March Mustard Madness is a well-established local favorite tradition.  But let's find out if LFK is ready for Liberty Hall's debut of "Marx Madness," three Marx Brothers films airing on three consecutive Tuesdays and starting tomorrow with Duck Soup.  We don't exactly anticipate Final Four tournament-level hysteria, but hopefully some folks show up and laugh.  Can we blow our Harpo-horns during the shows?  (doubtful that this is allowed).

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Weekend Picks, Plus a Very Special Funny/Sad Message From The Noise FM

Our friends in The Noise FM are making a few stops along the route to SXSW and hit the Replay on Saturday along with La Guerre and The Kickback.  As usual, we asked them to send us a funny preview.  They obliged.  But this one also made us cry a little.

The FB event page is here.

Statement from The Noise FM:

"We had every intention of doing something special for you to preview our homecoming show at Replay on Saturday and talk about our recently released 80's-inspired music video for "Keep Me in the Dark."

We'd discussed the idea of getting drunk on wine and reviewing the movie "Son Of God." Jesus would have liked that. We also threw around the idea of doing an Oscars wrap-up, but we didn't actually watch this year due to our van's heat shitting out on our way home from Minneapolis in sub-Arctic temperatures this past Sunday. In addition to trying to get the heat fixed before we take off on tour and explaining to our parents that, Yes, we know our music video looks cheap -- that was the point of it -- and yes, we really DID have to pay for it to look that way, we found out our landlords are selling our house in Chicago and want us out in "30 days, preferably less." We wanted to object, but then we remembered we never officially signed a lease, which should have been the first hint that something like this might happen. They did give us first dibs on buying the house though, nice gesture, but after paying for half a tank of gas for the van we double-checked our bank accounts, and sure enough, we're a bit short of the $400,000 asking price.

It's been a long week. So come on out to Replay on Saturday to make us feel like we're at home, because when we return to Chicago we may not have one."

"Keep Me In the Dark" video:


  Down the street at Fatso's on Saturday, the local "Craigslist Casual Encounter Connoisseurs" known as BaioWolf join forces for a wacky evening with Terror Pigeon Dance Revolt and many others.

Any show that uses the following line as part of it's promotional material has got to be pretty good:

"Not since the 1991 Canada Cup have the US and Canada had such a deep set rivalry play out with it's strongest dance kings." 

We caught Terror Pigeon once before in a VERY intimate Wonder Fair performance that Chip, who does not like "interactivity" at concerts, has deemed one of the Top 5 most uncomfortable shows he's attended.

Chip:  "In many ways, it was quite church-y. There was a tent, and they made me kneel down on the floor for awhile, and I'm pretty sure there was some hugging.  I blacked out around that point."

Here's our original review of that Terror Pigeon show:

"Despite all our talk about how much we love adorable bands, we have to be feeling pretty fucking twee indeed before we don an animal suit and bounce around soberly to some funky beats early on a Tuesday evening. So we slipped in toward the end of Terror Pigeon Dance Revolt's set at Wonder Fair last night, yet still with plenty of time to witness what might best be described as one part New Age seminar (at one point everyone shouted a mantra of "I like you" for several minutes) and one-part freewheeling dance party set to bouncy songs with angsty lyrics about how shit will get better, with interludes for group hugs, a dance showcase by audience members, and a coming-together under a giant parachute (also, inflatable snow men, shirtless dudes, and dudes in dresses a la Of Montreal). The very young (and no doubt VERY high) audience had a blast participating. As for us, we needed a beer (which was not on sale: come on, Wonder Fair!)."

The FB event page for Friday's show is here.

Pre-Saturday events? Well, the Super Nerds are back in action at the Bottleneck on Friday.   According to the flyer, there will be "munchkin."  (is that a game?  or an actual munchkin from Wizard of Oz?  we thought they were all dead).

Visit the FB event page here

Scenesters, have you always wanted to see a version of Pinocchio with music by Drakkar Sauna?  Man, we're gonna get so stoned beforehand!  The Lawrence Arts Center's take on the little wooden boy opens Friday, with puppetry by Lawrence's all-time greatest puppetmaster Spencer Lott (no offense to the Shitty Deal hand-puppeteers).   Read a piece on Spencer here via LJ-World (he's in NY now).

And all this reminds us of the great Being John Malkovich line:  "Nobody's looking for a puppeteer in today's wintry economic climate."

Elsewhere on the theatre scene, West Lawrence's Theatre Lawrence takes a break from farces and musicals and serves up a serious drama that most of their patrons are likely to skip: the recent, much-acclaimed, Pulitzer Prize finalist Other Desert Cities.  Read an piece on the show here.   But don't worry, musical fans: a musical version of The Great Gatsby is up next out there.  There better be a song called "Old Sport."

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Midweek Picks: Robert Earl Keen Rides Into LFK and Read Across Lawrence Goes To Church

Well, it's a boring midweek in LFK.  Fat Tuesday revelry has passed and many of you have no doubt given up PBR for Lent (joke). 

Perhaps a Wednesday night visit to the Granada to see Mr. Robert Earl Keen is in order?  Don't get him confused with some of those country posers that pass through there on a regular basis.  Robert Earl's a real-deal songwriter.  Our pals from Biemer's will be in there slinging barbecue.  This picture says we're going (though we're probably not really going unless someone gives us a ticket).

And Read Across Lawrence reaches its main event on Thursday with a 7:00 visit from Marilynne Robinson, author of this year's selection, Housekeeping.  She's speaking at Plymouth Congregational Church. It seems unlikely that beer will be part of this event, but otherwise it should be a nice evening.  Details here via LPL.

Now it's truth telling time. How many of you scenesters read it?


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Mardi Gras Revelry in LFK / Flyer of the Week: Til Willis Matinee on Friday

If we're counting correctly, Lawrence has 56 parades.  But the best of them is the Fat Tuesday march from Aimee's to Free State, led by fearless ringleader Mike West. 

Here's Mike looking especially pretty, even without his wig:

This pig creature joined the march:

 Have you heard the joke about the horse-headed dude walking into Love Garden??

 Local accordion enthusiast Fally in the heart of the festivities for the Free State finale:

More accordion!


Finally, a horn blower and a King Tosser:


Our friends Till Willis and Erratic Cowboy have a Replay matinee this Friday.  Opening up is Plains.  It gets our vote for flyer of the week so far!

Visit the FB event page here.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Fat Tuesday Picks: Comedy (Without Tacos) and Archie Powell and the Exports at Replay / We Learn of Macauley Culkin's Pizza-Themed Velvet Underground Cover Band

Tomorrow is Fat Tuesday in LFK and you'll probably be drinking all day (and possibly attending this year's very chillly Mardi Gras parade in the morning).  But squeeze in a nap and head back to the Replay for a double-dose of fun.

There's an early "No Tacos" comedy show with Peter Lyrene, Ed Parker, Leigh Nelson, Will Averill, and more (but the taco-slinging era of the Replay kicks off soon!!). Visit the No Tacos FB event page here. Comedy in LFK is definitely booming right now.  We stopped by a comedy matinee at the Jazzhaus (of all places!) last week to hear tales of incest porn and "distinguished balls."


Then stick around for  late-night fun with Archie Powell and the Exports ("Chicago's reigning kings of beer-fueled, noisy pop rock") along with Chicago's The Damn Choir and our local friends Something and the Whatevers, who promise to play some covers from their favorite local bands (interesting).   

Like most bands this time of year, these jokers are all headed toward Austin for SXSW where Something and the Whatevers are playing a show with a new(ish) band featuring Macauley Culkin called The Pizza Underground, which apparently sings Velvet Underground songs with lyrics about pizza.  True.  We've requested exclusive pics of Quinton sharing a slice with Macauley.

Visit the FB event page for the Replay show here.

Pizza Underground via Youtube and photo via AceShowbiz: