Entries from blogs tagged with “Lawrence”

Rap duo Lincoln Marshall drops new video for ‘Dirt’

This is a pretty great week for Lincoln Marshall. The duo consisting of local rappers Approach and MilkDrop will be part of the local contingent of musicians opening for Talib Kweli at the Granada on Saturday. In anticipation, they just released a new music video.

The one-take shoot features Approach and MilkDrop digging up records in the woods, looking for hidden gems while Approach announces, “We’re digging through the unified stacks, trying to find where the records have fat.” The video and lyrics make sense, if you know that Approach is quite the music lover with a fairly impressive record collection. “Dirt” is an ode to that adoration (and slight obsession).

To our delight, the video comes to us from director Barrel Maker. The rapper tends to make stunning and visually appealing videos, and has worked with Approach on videos in the past, as well as Stik Figa.

Enjoy the video below. We’re told it was hot as hell the day of the shoot. Keep an eye out for Approach’s partner-in-crime, DJ GTrain. He makes a brief appearance in a mask.

Note: This post originally appeared on I Heart Local Music.

— Fally Afani is a freelance writer and editor of I Heart Local Music. She enjoys long walks, photography and rock and roll. She does not like cats, but makes exceptions for the ones at Love Garden. For more local music coverage, visit iheartlocalmusic.com.

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Watch Stiff Middle Fingers take a walk

Here's why Stiff Middle Fingers is one of the best punk bands the area has to offer.

On Friday night, the rockers gathered four bands from Lawrence and the surrounding area for a punk rock extravaganza. They topped off the night with one of their classic performances, mixing in originals and covers that tend to get the audience singing along… and by singing along, we mean gripping the mic and screaming into it.

Stiff Middle Fingers have an infectious attitude. If you're in a funk, they'll pull you out of it. They bring a positivity to the stage that invites you to come play. And if you're not inside watching them, they'll come harass you outside.

The band's vocalist tends to leap from the stage, drag his mic chord as far as it can go, and start serenading anyone sitting outside the venue on the patio. He'll also jump into the crowd when his guitarist has a sweet solo, just to cheer him on. By 1 a.m., your energy could very well be zapped. But after seeing stunts like that, it's easy to get a second wind.

Here's what it looks like when Stiff Middle Finger's frontman gives them "a sample," as he calls it. (Note: This video contains some NSFW language.)

Note: This post originally appeared on I Heart Local Music.

— Fally Afani is a freelance writer and editor of I Heart Local Music. She enjoys long walks, photography and rock and roll. She does not like cats, but makes exceptions for the ones at Love Garden. For more local music coverage, visit iheartlocalmusic.com.

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Weekend Picks: Fireworks, Ladybird pie, rock and roll, and a Shakespearean field trip

Readers, if you are anything like us, you are still recovering from last weekend's whirlwind of festivals and fiestas. Things slow down a bit in LFK for this holiday weekend, but we've found plenty of local activities — along with some Ladybird pie and a road trip suggestion — to get you through the holiday.

Failure, doors at 7 p.m., show at 8 p.m. Thursday, Liberty Hall

A fascinating recent article in Rolling Stone dubs Failure "one of the great unsung alterna-metal bands of the Nineties." ("Space rock" seems to be another, perhaps more common, description of the band's sound).

Following a successful recent reunion tour, the cult heroes are back in action with "The Heart is a Monster," their first new album since 1996, which arrived in stores on Tuesday. Thursday's show is the first stop on their current tour and a rare chance to indulge in some '90s nostalgia while still remaining "cool."

Sundiver opens the show. Visit the Liberty Hall event page here and read Fally Afani's LJ-World piece on the band here.

Fourth of July Pie with Ladybird Diner, 3 p.m. Friday on the patio of Ladybird Diner

Perhaps you were thinking that the holiday was going to be a bust without pie from Ladybird, which remains closed because of fire and smoke damage from the Bigg's BBQ fiasco.

Well, think again, because the lovely folks from Ladybird are taking to the patio this afternoon for a fundraiser. So you'll get your pie while helping a family "who is facing a challenge that will task every physical, emotional and financial resource available to them."

Cherry, blueberry, strawberry, rhubarb, and peach are the pies listed on the Facebook event page here. Is Meg leaving out apple, that most American of pies? And how much do they cost? Who cares? It's pie from Ladybird and you NEED it for the holiday.

Anger Bob, Friday at Gaslight Garden, at __:00 pm (Your guess is as good as ours).

Observant long-time townies have been on high alert this week since a mysterious Facebook event page popped up touting a holiday weekend show from a band called "Anger Bob."

Could this be a reunion from a certain beloved '90s LFK band who got drunk when making the flier and accidentally left off the first letter of their band name? We are told that this is not the case. But does the band share at least _some_members of that former band? This seems a safe bet. (One clue is that opening act Twin Scars is a project from former Danger Bob drummer Kenny Gall).

So what to expect? Danger Bob's official Facebook page provides a mere tease ("Ghost...Dogs...will rise again") and the Facebook event page is also scant on details (without so much as a showtime). Nevertheless, fans of DB wouldn't dare miss out, even if it's just a new Andy Morton performance art piece where he plays a not-so-successful motivational speaker named "Anger Bob."

See you at the Gaslight.

Pre-Dependence Day rock show with People's Punk Band and more, 9:30 p.m. Friday at Jackpot

Looking for a few bursts of explosive LOUDNESS prior to Saturday night's fireworks display?
Then stop by Friday's holiday-themed affair at the Jackpot where People's Punk Band, Stiff Middle Fingers, Glue Chords, and Denver's Lawsuit Models "will be tearing the place down brick by brick while we try to get America sloshed for its birthday!"

The cool logo above is from People's Punk guitarist James Ehlers. Give his awesome engravings a "like" here.

The Facebook event page for the show is here.

Spectators line the south bank of the Kansas River to watch the annual fireworks display Thursday, July 4, 2013.

Spectators line the south bank of the Kansas River to watch the annual fireworks display Thursday, July 4, 2013. by John Young

Party in the Parks and fireworks display, Saturday in Watson Park, gates at 4 p.m., music at 5, fireworks about 9:45 p.m.

The official city event for the Fourth of July is, of course, the fireworks display and local restaurant food vendor bash in Watson Park. Visit the Facebook event page here which provides info, including a list of bands that will perform (including local rockers Pink Royal) and a list of participating restaurants. See more about this year's event in an LJ-World article here.

Many locals, of course, opt to skip the formal event altogether and watch from the levee in North Lawrence. No, we won't tell you about our personal "secret" spot, but this cool LJ-World piece from last year offers a few alternate suggestions for those who wish to avoid the park. [Above photo via John Young, LJ-World.

King Lear at Heart of America Shakespeare Festival, 8 p.m. nightly through July 5 at Southmoreland Park in KC

We often like to include an out-of-town pick for holiday weekends for folks who might need a day or evening's vacation from LFK.

KC's beloved annual summer Shakespeare festival draws to a close on Sunday. Abandoning the comedies of recent summers, the Fest has boldly chosen to tackle Shakespeare's greatest tragedy this time around (sorry, Hamlet, but we — along with many other critics — prefer "King Lear").

Veteran KC actor John Rensenhouse is getting raves as Lear, and the production is rounded out with numerous other KC veterans, so expect a well-acted descent into madness under the stars. Perhaps a thunderstorm will even rumble in the distance as Lear rages legendarily against a storm? ("Rain protocol" calls for productions to continue unless there is "excessive rain and/or lightning.").

The official festival website is here.

Tweet us pictures of your Ladybird pie @LarryvilleLife.

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Split Lip Rayfield delights fans with free outdoor concert

Friday night felt like one big celebration in downtown Lawrence — just about every block had some sort of party, concert, art event, or busking jamboree going on. But it was the free outdoor concert by Split Lip Rayfield at Eighth and Vermont streets that stole the show for a couple of hours.

The fast-fingered trio celebrated 20 years as a band with the outdoor show that was part of the Free State Festival and Tour of Lawrence. The street was brimming with bluegrass fans from a wide variety of backgrounds. Your friends, neighbors, cousins and neighbors' cousins were likely at this show. When the night had finally settled in, the band was still roaring onstage and kept spirits high under a bright crescent moon.

Hearing a large, yet jovial crowd, sing along to all the classics while they danced in the street was beautiful enough to make any Lawrencian proud. Even little children, propped up on their parents' shoulders, were wide awake and bopping along to the music while bubbles floated above and throughout the crowd.

Considering how long Split Lip sets run, their musical skill is nothing short of amazing. Just the physical strain they put themselves under to achieve those sounds and speeds is impressive. You can see it in every grimace, every bead of sweat pouring out of them.

The gas tank bass itself is worthy of bringing curious musical tourists out. The songs they played 10 or 15 years ago were still performed with such vigor. The evening, no doubt, built beautiful memories for those who attended. Split Lip Rayfield is a national treasure, and throwing them a street party on a beautiful summer evening in downtown Lawrence is a fitting tribute for a band that continues to bring so much recognition and festivity to the bluegrass scene.

Note: We didn't catch openers Ashes To Immortality because we were running around for Field Day Fest, but caught only snippets of their performance at a time. We'd highly recommend catching them at their next gig!

Note: This post originally appeared on I Heart Local Music.

— Fally Afani is a freelance writer and editor of I Heart Local Music. She enjoys long walks, photography and rock and roll. She does not like cats, but makes exceptions for the ones at Love Garden. For more local music coverage, visit iheartlocalmusic.com.

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Underdogs rule at the 2015 Lawrence Field Day Fest

Lawrence is a music town. It’s no secret. So naturally, we have an abundance of musicians here. A band could have a hard time standing out amongst all the live acts here. That’s why events like Field Day Fest are essential. They put strictly local (and a few area) bands in the spotlight. At this year’s festival, more than ever, it was the underdogs that shined the brightest.

We still had some bigger and well-known acts on the lineup, but bands with barely a demo and a few shows under their belts got to share the stages at downtown venues where they were finally heard. Here are some of the new (and not-so-new) acts that caught our attention.


Vedettes

A new band (with experienced members) called Vedettes caught our attention big time. If these rockers aren’t on your radar, they should be.

Vedettes is the band you can only dream about in rock and roll, except this dream became a reality in the Taproom basement on Thursday night. They were good, they were dirty, but most importantly they were fiery. They wore this spark in an effortless manner, with songs that quickly got to the point without wasting your time trying to make a statement. Nobody was there to watch them, so let us indulge you with a clip:


Sugar Britches

Sugar Britches continued to shake things up by intimidating all the men with their feisty female presence.

If you’re looking for a nice little lady-fronted folk band, this isn’t it. Sugar Britches is more like the awesome pirate gang I want to join, and every time they raid a ship, they bottle all the male tears they collect along the way.

These raunchy maidens sang about all the fun a woman can get into on any given evening. Think of them as the hot sauce versions of The Ovaries-eez. You won’t be hearing them sympathize with a woman for all the hardships she has to go through, but you will hear them belt out that “the best cure for a hangover is pizza and sex!”


Red Kate

The salty hooligans in Red Kate blew the roof off the Bottleneck. The band is loud but not so deafening that you can’t make out those killer hooks of theirs.

Red Kate plays punk the way it was supposed to be. In its purest form, their songs are fast, furious and define everything attractive about the genre. Plus, they’re intimidating as hell. The frontman is well over 6 feet tall, and would violently fling his statuesque frame all over the wide stage. His maneuvers almost passed for stumbly, but he had complete control the entire time… almost like a destructive ballet of sorts. Plus, he gets mad props for pulling off the splits and making it look terrifying.


Sedlec Ossuary

The cherry on top of the second night of the festival was was Sedlec Ossuary’s set. Those guys destroyed. This is a metal band that everyone can love, even if you don’t like metal.

The guitarists lurched ahead on their pedestals while the singer roared bloody murder into the mic. With every riff and ferocious beat of the drums, audience members unanimously thrusted their heads back and forth in unison with the band. It was headbanger heaven, and Sedlec Ossuary were the ringmasters of this circus.


The People's Punk Band

By night three, the Replay had the wildest reaction from audiences, partly because The People’s Punk Band set the bar really, REALLY high.

There had been a growing excitement over this band, and they did not disappoint. They thrashed, they lunged into the crowd, and the recent change in the lineup showed just how impactful this band is. Nobody matched the tone or thrill of this perfect punk outfit, and it was hard to take your eyes off them.


Federation of Horsepower

The People’s Punk Band may have set the bar high, but it was met by the severely stimulating Federation of Horsepower. At one point, the frontman left the venue and rocked his epic guitar solo out on the street corner. This maneuver had the audience in a tizzy.

This is a band full of musicians with decades of experience in this region, and rather than slowing down they only grew stronger.


Other highlights from the festival

• Watching The Ovaries-eez announce a song "for all our Patrick Swayze lovers out there," then throwing the rock horns.

• Hearing Mr. and the Mrs. in the Taproom basement… from half a block away.

• Watching Jorge Arana Trio's magnificent jazz/rock mashup bewilder the Bottleneck audience.

• Wondering if Toughies could possibly get any more adorable.

• Learning the true hilarity of a 7 p.m. start time for a metal band when we watched patrons at Ingredient trying to eat delicate little salads while EYES OF IOLITE roared next door.

• Gnarly Davidson's ear-drum-splitting and inspiring set on the floor of the Jackpot.

• Psychic Heat recruited the help of veteran drummer Kliph Scurlock, who ended the set by beating the drums solo (everyone else had left the stage) for several minutes until the venue absolutely had to shut it down. We're told this is something he used to do with bands early in his musical career.

Note: This post originally appeared on I Heart Local Music.

— Fally Afani is a freelance writer and editor of I Heart Local Music. She enjoys long walks, photography and rock and roll. She does not like cats, but makes exceptions for the ones at Love Garden. For more local music coverage, visit iheartlocalmusic.com.

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Weekend Picks: Festivals, fiestas, Final Friday and freakouts

Buckle up, folks. This weekend is almost certainly the busiest cultural weekend of the summer, if not the entire year.

If you are out and about very much at all, you're likely to find yourself (intentionally or otherwise) in the midst of two festivals, a fiesta, Final Friday events, and some bike races.

Free State Festival, continuing through Sunday, Lawrence Arts Center and other downtown locations

We previewed the Free State Festival in last week's column, and the wide-ranging event continues through Sunday. Major events left at this point include Thursday's screening of a documentary about The Damned followed by a concert from Mike Watt; a Friday screening of a new documentary about comedian Barry Crimmins along with a Q&A with Crimmins and director Bobcat Goldthwait; Saturday's evening with renowned crime novelist Dennis Lehane; and a free street concert from Austin's Black Joe Lewis in front of the Arts Center on Saturday evening.

Don't overlook fascinating smaller events as well. Saturday afternoon offers Lightning Round presentations from a myriad of Lawrence luminaries. Also occurring Saturday afternoon is the Free State Frolic scavenger hunt, based on the Washington Post's very popular D.C. scavenger hunt. This event will lead participants searching for clues throughout LFK's "Cultural District." Hunts with different difficulty levels have been devised so that both adults and younger scavengers can participate.

Consult the Festival website for the full-slate of remaining events.

Lawrence Field Day Fest, June 25-27 at Bottleneck, Replay, Jackpot, Taproom

If the massive multiday Free State Festival is not enough for you, look no further than Lawrence Field Day Fest occurring simultaneously at different venues through Sunday at the four participating bars listed above (the Tap is new to LFDF this year).

This is the fourth year for LFDF, the brainchild of beloved Lawrence rocker Cameron Hawk, who is out of the country this year. Even so, the Fest still appears to be in good hands and offers a solid lineup of diverse (but mostly rock) bands from Lawrence and around the region. Even our Chicago pals from The Noise FM are dropping in to say hello at 11 p.m. Saturday at Bottleneck (see their traditional "very special message" at the very bottom of this column). And you can bet those bluegrass gals from Sugar Britches are getting in on the rock and roll action too. Catch them at 11 p.m. Thursday at Replay.

See Fally Afani's Lawrence.com interview with Jon Fitzgerald of up-and-coming indie-rockers Paper Buffalo, who are one of the Fest's headliners on Thursday, here.

Visit the Facebook event page here for a full schedule of all the bands, and get advance passes at the official website here for only $20.

Lawrence Community Photo Studio grand opening, 5-9 p.m. Friday, located along Delaware in East Lawrence Arts District (just north of 9 Del lofts)

Looking for a new spot to peruse along your Final Friday art walk? Stop by the brand-new Lawrence Community Photo Studio and check out the excellent photos of LFK's prolific John Clayton while listening to tunes from the (also prolific) Tyler Gregory. Alcohol will be available while you look and listen.

The studio (which we toured last week thanks to Clayton and Jay Keim!) is a nonprofit organization that offers a computer lab, studio space for Lawrence photographers and filmmakers, and a working darkroom with equipment donated by long-time Lawrence photographer Leo Lutz.

Visit the official website here for rates on using the space and give the studio a "like" on Facebook here.

Find more details on Friday's festivities via the Facebook event page here.

Tour of Lawrence bike races and street sprints, June 26-28 (see links for times and location)

In case the Free State Festival street parties aren't closing off enough blocks to suit you, prepare yourselves for the annual Tour of Lawrence bike races!

This popular event fills downtown on Friday night for the street sprints (followed by a free Split Lip Rayfield street show in partnership with the Free State Festival) and takes over again on Sunday for the downtown criterium race. Will it impede getting around downtown? Yes. Is it awesome to watch racers take the downtown corners at lightning speed? Also yes.

The official website is here and the Facebook page is here.

35th Annual St. John's Mexican Fiesta, 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday at St. John's (1234 Kentucky St.)

Prefer fiestas to festivals? Lawrence has you covered there too as the 35th installment of one of LFK's most popular summer events takes to the asphalt on Friday and Saturday night with music, dancing, beer, and — most importantly — amazing homemade Mexican fare. Move fast to score those tamales, and check out more about this year's event in this LJ-World story.

The Facebook event page is here.

Comedy Freakout: Detox Edition, 10 p.m. Friday, Frank's North Star

We know there must be plenty of readers who are sick to death of all our recent "mainstream" coverage and just want to sit around swilling beer in a dank former cockfighting pit on the north side of the river. Well, you're in luck. Comedy Freakout returns Friday with a collection of Chicago comics and local yokels. You can pretend all the "squares" at the street concerts and fiestas don't even exist.

The Facebook event page is here.

Tweet us @LarryvilleLife and follow our Free State Fest tweets throughout the weekend.

[A quick note from The Noise FM: "It's a double-reunion week for The Noise FM: We're back in Fort Scott, Kansas all week for our all-class high school reunion where we expect we'll be explaining why we don't have real jobs and that, yes, we're still doing the same band thing we've been doing since sophomore year. Then we'll get one day in Lawrence where we'll get to see lots of old friends and play a rad festival. You can probably guess which reunion we're most looking forward to."].

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Watch Matt Pryor and friends cover Elliott Smith at the Free State Festival

Free State Festival is in officially in full swing, scattering authors, lectures, films and live music across the downtown area all week, with the Lawrence Arts Center serving as the hive for the locally-fueled event.

"Heaven Adores You," a film detailing the life and music of Elliott Smith, was shown Tuesday night at the Arts Center and was followed by a special performance. A sort of all-star cast of Lawrence musicians got together after the screening and treated the crowd to a few covers of Smith's songs. We'll go ahead and call this unique group "Matt Pryor and Friends," seeing as how the Get Up Kids frontman was joined by a friendly group of musicians, including Heidi Gluck and Thom Hoskins.

The group delivered a stunning and emotionally rich rendition of the songs, but the film (understandably) left the audience a little glum. They warmed up by mid-set, thanks to Pryor's gregarious nature and his promise to play "not all downers."

Here are a couple of clips from the night:

— Fally Afani is a freelance writer and editor of I Heart Local Music. She enjoys long walks, photography and rock and roll. She does not like cats, but makes exceptions for the ones at Love Garden. For more local music coverage, visit iheartlocalmusic.com.

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This video of the Brody Buster Band will make you want to dance

Who knew the blues could make you feel so good.

Whatever the heat and humidity sucked right out of you this weekend can easily be restored by the great Brody Buster. The busy musician, capable of waking up any sleepy group of people, hit the Replay patio on Sunday with his band. You could hear his sturdy vocals from at least two blocks away, beckoning patrons with sweet promises of blues, rock and bluegrass.

The moment he fired up the set, folks were whooping and hollering. Most people stood up and paid attention from the very first note, but even the ones who remained seated were dancing in their chairs.

Brody is one of the few capable acts of putting on a lively and enticing show for folks of all ages and backgrounds. You might see him play a stage at a party in the park, a fun festival or a street soiree. He'll do it all (and he has). Between his tenacious voice, fast fingers and heavy-duty harmonica skills, there's nothing that won't restore your pluck.

Brody Buster and his band are a must-see live act for every Lawrencian this summer.

Note: This post originally appeared on I Heart Local Music.

— Fally Afani is a freelance writer and editor of I Heart Local Music. She enjoys long walks, photography and rock and roll. She does not like cats, but makes exceptions for the ones at Love Garden. For more local music coverage, visit iheartlocalmusic.com.

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Enthralling garage rockers Mr. and the Mrs. to release music on Wiener Records

Mr. and the Mrs. are becoming one of the most intriguing rock bands in the area.

In a formula as old as time, the two-piece garage rock act has been mastering the art of cool by giving zero effs for what anybody seems to think. The duo get as sludgy as they want with very little disregard for the audience's reaction, as was the case at their Replay show on Thursday night. This, in turn, makes them completely desirable to scenesters. They're raw, they're edgy, and they're completely underrated.

Mr. and the Mrs. have been pairing their abrasive snare sounds with a dirty, dirty guitar for a little while now, but they're picking up some steam. They just recently worked a deal with Wiener Records (a subsidiary of the famed Burger Records) and will be releasing a tape through them soon.

They might sound a little wild and untamed, but Mr. and the Mrs. have some interesting and unconventional business approaches to their music as well. For example, whenever they release a tape, they pair it with 10 hand-painted skateboards.

So if you see a Mr. and the Mrs. tape at your local record store (both here and in Kansas City), there's a chance you'll also see some gnarly-looking skateboards (painted on one side, wood-burned on the other) alongside them.

Little traits like that have been getting their name recognized more and more. Their songs are short bursts of gratuitous apathy, which is like catnip for hipsters and garage rockers. Mr. and Mrs. are taking the age-old brand of punk and are reshaping it into something of their own, and that's an accomplishment worthy of anyone's attention.

Here's one of the songs they'll be releasing soon, performed at the Replay on Thursday:

Bonus video! Their official music video for Wiener Records (fantastically old-school, no?):

Note: This post originally appeared on I Heart Local Music.

— Fally Afani is a freelance writer and editor of I Heart Local Music. She enjoys long walks, photography and rock and roll. She does not like cats, but makes exceptions for the ones at Love Garden. For more local music coverage, visit iheartlocalmusic.com.

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Weekend Picks: Free State Festival; Tiki Night at Cinema A Go-Go; offbeat sports; JEFF the Brotherhood

Many Lawrence residents will be treating ALL of next week like an extended weekend as the massive Free State Festival launches on Monday. We've got a preview below, along with Weekend Picks full of campy movies and "offbeat sports." It's a good time to be in LFK.

"Our Centron Hero: Buck Newsom," (pre-Free State Festival screenings), 7 p.m. Thursday, Liberty Hall

Looking for a funny/unusual/nostalgic way to kick off your weekend? Get a jump on next week's Fest with this official pre-Fest event sponsored by Lawrence Public Library. Liberty Hall will host a screening of short educational and industrial films from Centron Corporation, an award-winning film company founded in Lawrence in 1947. Centron produced 1,000+ films during its run through the late 1980s, and the films are now housed in KU's Spencer Research Library. Read a great LJ-World piece on the company's history here.

Centron film curator George Gibbs and Centron employee Buck Newsom (97 years old and still a rascal!) will be on hand to provide commentary.

"I lie and I exaggerate," says Newsom in the official event press release, "so it ought to be an interesting evening."

Visit the Facebook event page here and look for other upcoming "Everyday Hero" programs at LPL throughout the summer, including a cool "History Hero" day with Katie Armitage on July 12.

Tiki Night at Cinema A Go-Go, 7 p.m. Friday, Liberty Hall

How about another night of silly films? The popular Cinema A Go-Go event sponsored by KPR's Retro Cocktail Hour returns to Liberty Hall on Friday night with a double-header of "tropical delights": Elvis Presley in "Blue Hawaii" and John Wayne in "Donovan's Reef," a film that revolves around the odd premise of Wayne and Lee Marvin engaging in an annual brawl!

Tickets are $7 but the first 10 people "garbed in tiki wear" will get in free. The Facebook event page is here.

Larryville Offbeat Sports Day, 10 a.m. Saturday, East Lawrence Recreation Center

Well, we don't often showcase events involving exercise (not really our thing!), but this intriguing event sponsored by Watkins Museum allows spectators to watch or participate in many of the odder elements of LFK sports culture, from Kansas Quidditch to Scary Larry Bike Polo to Kaw Valley Kickball. But isn't everyone ALREADY on a KVKL team?

The Facebook event page is here and the flier above provides a convenient list of sports, times, and locations.

JEFF the Brotherhood, doors at 7 p.m., show at 8 p.m. Sunday, the Granada,

Pitchfork isn't a big fan of Jeff the Brotherhood's new album "Wasted on the Dream," but you've got to love this blurb from their review: "This is likely to be the only album ever to feature members of Jethro Tull and Best Coast and a guy who worked with Poco."

Personally, we still get a kick out of the beer-drenched "party rock" of this Nashville duo. Throw opening act Josh Berwanger into the mix (just back from tour with a bag of new tunes) and you've got a recipe for a raucous Sunday night. For more on JEFF the Brotherhood, check out Fally Afani's Lawrence.com interview with drummer Jamin Orrall here.

Free State Festival, June 22-28, Lawrence Arts Center and throughout downtown

Over the last few years the Free State Festival evolved rather quickly from a modest film festival at the LAC to a week-long community showcase of film, music and comedy. This year's impressive slate kicks off on Monday with a (near) sold-out comedy set from Tig Notaro.

Other high-profile Festival events include Tuesday's Liberty Hall Q&A with Jon Ronson, whose new book on "public shaming" is riding high on best-seller lists, and Wednesday's centerpiece event: a free street concert from George Clinton and P-Funk that's likely to draw a MASSIVE crowd in front of the Arts Center. Seriously, most of Lawrence will be at this street concert.

We're particular fans of the Fest's tendency to combine film and music: this year brings documentaries on Elliot Smith and The Damned, followed by bands performing songs from those artists. (Matt Pryor from Get Up Kids will tackle Smith's repertoire on Tuesday while none other than Mike Watt of Minutemen fame will take the stage after Thursday's film on The Damned. The Damned's Rat Scabies will also be on hand for a post-film Q&A.

In next week's columns we'll offer some recaps of what we've seen and zero in on some worthy but lower-profile festival events that deserve attention, such as the "Lightning Round" presentations and the Free State Frolic scavenger hunt, both on Saturday, June 27.

Visit the official website here for schedules and ticket information and the Facebook page here for handy links to individual event pages. Also be sure to check out individual LJ-World pieces on the Fest's art and ideas, food, films and music events.

We'll be live-tweeting from the Festival @LarryvilleLife. The official festival hashtag is #freestatefest.

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Watch The Wandering Lake’s tranquil new music video

If The Wandering Lake isn't on your lazy summer playlist by now, it should be. A little bit experimental, a little bit folky and completely interesting. A music project like this deserves a music video equally as exploratory.

The Wandering Lake's Brian Kupillas teamed up with T.C. Johnson to release a music video for the amiable-sounding "Lily Pad." The video features images of Kupillas projected onto a pale fellow's chest.

Kupillas will hit the road this summer to tour with comedian Hunter Donaldson, and has sights set on an August tour with CS Luxem.

Note: This post originally appeared on I Heart Local Music.

— Fally Afani is a freelance writer and editor of I Heart Local Music. She enjoys long walks, photography and rock and roll. She does not like cats, but makes exceptions for the ones at Love Garden. For more local music coverage, visit iheartlocalmusic.com.

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Young musicians inspire and thrill at Girls Rock! Showcase

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"We might (expletive) up a little bit, and we’re not sorry. Because we’re girls and we’re not perfect.”

Those defining words are the brave statement from one of the many teen girls to hit the Bottleneck stage on last Saturday night, and it was met with ear-piercing cheering from the substantial-sized audience.

The girls are all musicians who took part in the Girls Rock! Lawrence camp. This was the inaugural year for the organization in Lawrence. As we mentioned last week, the camp helps build empowerment and creativity in female and transgender teens through music.

The camp also held self-defense classes and took the girls to the Lawrence Public Library’s Sound + Vision studio to record an album. The entire series of events were nothing short of impressive, and it concluded in an exciting display of the girls’ talents at the Bottleneck.

Each band, consisting of four to five musicians, played one song onstage while their families, neighbors, and members of the community passionately cheered them on. We’re willing to bet you could hear the squeals and high praise from down the block, it was so loud.

A fairly inspiring image was painted when girls who were just a little too young to enroll in the camp sat on the edge of the stage, leaning up against monitors, while adoringly gazing on at the teens while they played. The campers also banded together to sing a song about pizza and the Girls Rock! camp theme, written by local female musicians who also organized all the events.

After the campers’ performances, the audience was treated to a show from some older female musicians. Although this was the first year for the camp, it was (naturally) met with an overwhelming amount of support from the community. Volunteers donated gear, their time, and instruction to make it all happen.

There’s no doubt that Girls Rock! will continue to empower young girls in Lawrence next year.

None

Note: This post originally appeared on I Heart Local Music.

— Fally Afani is a freelance writer and editor of [I Heart Local Music][5]. She enjoys long walks, photography and rock and roll. She does not like cats, but makes exceptions for the ones at Love Garden. For more local music coverage, visit [iheartlocalmusic.com][6].

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Weekend Picks: 9 Del grand opening party; ‘True West’ (again); sci-fi book signings; PorchFest KC; Richard’s Rock Camp concert; The Melvins

Expect the all-encompassing Free State Festival to dominate local coverage for the next few weekends. In the meantime, peruse another varied selection of events below where you'll find everything from legendary punk shows to a prestigious sci-fi conference at KU.

Exterior LED lights Illuminati the 9 Del Lofts.

Exterior LED lights Illuminati the 9 Del Lofts. by John Young

9 Del Lofts grand opening party, 5-9 p.m. Friday, 900 Delaware St.

The controversial development of the East Ninth arts corridor project has been garnering all the East Lawrence attention lately. In the meantime, however, don't overlook Friday's opportunity to experience the changing face of ELFK at this grand opening party for the new 9 Del Lofts.

This sneak peek will offer food truck fare from Drasko's, creme brulee from Torched Goodness, and a performance from Psychic Heat, who are sure to frighten away those who are unprepared for such a ruckus at an otherwise civilized grand opening ceremony.

The Facebook event page is here.

True West (final two performances), 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Liberty Hall

Yes, yes, a lot of attention has already been lavished on Card Table Theatre's production of "True West." But that's because it's terrific. We even wrote a formal, in-depth review of the play which you can read on Lawrence.com here.

Only two chances remain to see this rare, ambitious, unusual theatrical production while sitting BEHIND the curtain on Liberty Hall's hallowed stage. Try not to miss it.

The Facebook event page is here.

Campbell Conference (Thursday-Sunday) and public sci-fi book signings 4-5 p.m. Saturday at Jayhawk Ink, across from the Kansas Bookstore on Level 2 in the Kansas Union

Not everyone realizes that KU is a rather major science-fiction hub, home to renowned sci-fi author James Gunn and the Gunn Center for the Study of Science Fiction. This weekend's annual Campbell Conference (named for sci-fi luminary John W. Campbell) brings in acclaimed sci-fi authors for three days of panels and workshops and an awards banquet to celebrate this year's Campbell and Sturgeon awards for best sci-fi novel and best short sci-fi of the year.

Among this year's attendees are acclaimed novelist John Kessel, perhaps best known for his novel "Good News from Outer Space," and Stephen Gould, who kicks off this year's conference with a presentation at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Raven Book Store. Find a full schedule of events here.

Walk-up registration for the conference will cost you $50, but the general public can get in on the action with a book signing from 4-5 p.m. Saturday at Jayhawk Ink, across from the Kansas Bookstore. The conference's visiting authors will be on hand for this autograph session where guests can "purchase current, recent, and even some rare books by the authors."

Porch Fest KC, noon-5 p.m. Saturday (porches in West Plaza neighborhood of KC)

Looking for an unusual daytime jaunt to KC? Consider the second annual Porch Fest KC, a free event where regional musicians (over 100 bands!) take to the porches of the West Plaza neighborhood and entertain visitors who wander from porch to porch to soak up the varied genres on display. Make sure to look for a few familiar Lawrence bands like Sugar Britches holding court on various porches.

Scope out the handy map of the neighborhood at the official website here and give the event a "like" on Facebook here.

Richard's Rock Camp 6th annual concert, 5-7 p.m. Saturday at the Granada

The new Girls Rock! Lawrence music camp has been garnering attention here and elsewhere lately, but of course Lawrence has a long tradition of programs like Richard's Rock Camp to train its children to be the next generation of local musicians to play in bars once they're old enough to swill PBR.

Stop by the Granada on Saturday for the annual climax to a music camp sponsored by Richard's Music, where "30 youth, aged twelve to eighteen, will perform a full-fledged rock concert as a culmination of a three week-long music education program."

The Facebook event page is here.

The Melvins/Le Butcherettes, doors at 8 p.m., show at 9 p.m. Sunday, The Bottleneck

Why spend a Sunday night at home watching "Game of Thrones" when you can enter the fray of battle yourself with a set from legendary punk band The Melvins, currently touring with Le Butcherettes, a very cool female-fronted punk band from Mexico whose lead singer goes by the name Teri Gender Bender.

The two bands have a new split-album called "Chaos as Usual," and that's probably a safe bet for what to expect at this show. The Melvins' have been around since 1983, so expect a trek through their deep back catalog followed by ringing ears and a raging hangover for your Monday.

Before you go, check out Fally Afani's Lawrence.com interview with a (very opinionated) Buzz Osborne of The Melvins. The Facebook event page is here. The show will be packed.

Tweet us at @LarryvilleLife and let us know what we're doing right or wrong.


A previous version of this post misidentified the location of the book signing at the Kansas Union. The event will occur at Jayhawk Ink, across from the Kansas Bookstore on Level 2 of the Union.

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Listen: The Sluts release new ‘Summer Song’

The Sluts are doing a good job of staying in the spotlight.

Late last year, the band headed into the studio to record a full-length album. Since then, they’ve been tearing through both the Lawrence and Kansas City music scenes and getting a fair amount of airplay on radio stations.

Lawrence is already fond of this band, but the frenzy seems to be growing in Kansas City. We walked into the Spoon show at the Midland last month, and discovered random fans donning Sluts shirts chatting excitedly about the band. When asked what they liked about the duo, the consensus amongst all these fans was the same: The Sluts just make good rock music.

On Sunday, they opened for The Offspring in Kansas City and released their new full-length album. Listen to the band's sludgy single “Summer Song” online here, and catch The Sluts at the upcoming Lawrence Field Day Fest. They’ll play the Jackpot stage at midnight on the Friday of the festival.

Note: This post originally appeared on I Heart Local Music.

— Fally Afani is a freelance writer and editor of I Heart Local Music. She enjoys long walks, photography and rock and roll. She does not like cats, but makes exceptions for the ones at Love Garden. For more local music coverage, visit iheartlocalmusic.com.

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It’s time to root for Heidi Gluck

We get the feeling Heidi Gluck's been taking out the trash.

The last time we saw Gluck play, she performed solo, sitting on a stool, singing songs of heartbreak. She really didn't perform too much in the community under her solo act. At times, she felt like a delicate flower you could only admire from a safe distance.

But what we saw on Friday evening on the Replay patio felt like a whole new experience. Gluck showed up with a full band and even recruited Narkalark's Joseph Shoemaker and his exciting synth skills. Instead of sensitive little tunes, we're hearing lyrics indicative of Gluck really giving someone the boot (and the business).

"I don't miss you, you only bring me down," she declares triumphantly in her opening song. She had such a sense of confidence that we wanted to stand up and root for her with every challenging and nonsubmissive line.

Now, there are still traces of heartbreak in her recently released EP, "The Only Girl In The Room". Her track "One Of Us Should Go" hangs heavy on the heart but is too beautiful and downright catchy to walk away from. With this recent release, rather than feeling sorry for Gluck, you sympathize with her. You may even admire her for her resiliency for some of the baloney she's had to go through (as is evident on the title track of the EP).

This is what it looks like when Stella gets her groove back.

Note: This post originally appeared on I Heart Local Music.

— Fally Afani is a freelance writer and editor of I Heart Local Music. She enjoys long walks, photography and rock and roll. She does not like cats, but makes exceptions for the ones at Love Garden. For more local music coverage, visit iheartlocalmusic.com.

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Review: ‘True West’ at Liberty Hall a mind-bending, memorable experience

From left, Maggie Allen, Chris Roady and Derek Trautwein go through a dress rehearsal for "True West" on June 4 at Liberty Hall. Photo by John Clayton (roscoepoet.com).

From left, Maggie Allen, Chris Roady and Derek Trautwein go through a dress rehearsal for "True West" on June 4 at Liberty Hall. Photo by John Clayton (roscoepoet.com).

Full disclosure first. Yes, I’m friends with “True West” director Rob Schulte and some of the Card Table Theatre crew. But I’m also someone who sees a lot of Lawrence and Kansas City theater, and I’m comfortable saying that Card Table’s production of Sam Shepard’s mind-bending 1980 classic is one of the more ambitious and memorable theatrical outings the area has seen in quite some time. Even if you don’t “like” it (and most of you are going to like it), you’ll still remember and talk about it.

Here’s why.

The venue is essential. It’s a rare thing that Liberty Hall has agreed to offer up its beautiful space for two consecutive weekends for an unusual staging of a challenging work of live theater (and particularly to a staging that only allows 60 audience members at each production). If you think you know Liberty Hall, think again.

Upon entering, the audience is directed through the wings and onto the stage itself, behind the drawn curtain, then seated in a semi-circular fashion, facing outward toward Liberty’s main room. With Liberty’s cavernous interior effectively sealed off, the audience is immediately startled out of the complacency of familiar surroundings, perhaps more able to believe themselves in a nondescript kitchen in a small home somewhere outside the Mojave Desert.

Lawrence musician Spencer Mackenzie Brown strums mournful Americana songs as audience members settle into their new locale and awaits the cast who will soon perform mere feet away.

In terms of casting, Schulte’s smartest move was to further stress unfamiliarity by drawing deeper within — and even outside — the usual Card Table Theatre casting pool for his two stellar leads. Chris Roady and Derek Trautwein play Lee and Austin, two brothers holed up in their mother’s home while she is away on vacation. Roady and Trautwein are naturalistic and impressive here, effectively capturing a brotherly bond that can turn on a dime from playful banter to primal anger.

They are also boldly tackling the Broadway technique used by Philip Seymour Hoffman and John C. Reilly in which they alternate lead roles each night. Seeing both incarnations (as I did) is a wonderfully disorienting experience for the viewer and a skillful feat of acting by Roady and Trautwein (who bears an uncanny resemblance to the late, great Hoffman in some scenes).

Rounding out the cast are local comic/actor Jay Maus (suitably smarmy in his two scenes as visiting Hollywood producer Saul Kimmer) and Liberty Hall manager Maggie Allen, nearly unrecognizable as the vacationing mother, who doesn't enter the stage until the maelstrom of violence at the end.

Finally, what IS “True West” about and why will you remember it? Like most of Shepard’s work, it can be cryptic and somewhat maddening, less focused on plot than mood, which is enhanced between scenes by Brown’s quiet acoustic strumming and the buzz and howl of offstage crickets and coyotes (perhaps a bit too distractingly loud at times).

The play’s (surprisingly short) first act is a slow burn, establishing the tension and jealousy between the two brothers: one a family man and aspiring writer, the other a drifter and small-time thief.

The longer second act ratchets up the tension incrementally through short scenes that build, as most Shepard plays do, toward onstage destruction (numerous objects are bashed and flung) and shocking human violence, staged so realistically that our companion suggested the actors might need a “safe word” to prevent accidental onstage murder.

Thematically, "True West" is about the strange merging of identity within the American family. It’s about the disappearance of the American West (and the illusion of the American Dream). It’s about "Art" with a capital A and what defines it, and who gets to make it.

Like all great plays, it’s ultimately about us, the viewers. As Lee and Austin gradually lose sight of who they are, their identities bizarrely swapping and merging, the audience is left to question the boundaries of our own identities. How much of your brother (or your ever-absent father) actually lives within you and shapes your behavior? And can you break free of the darker implications of these forces?

Claustrophobic and intense and often darkly funny, “True West” is not a light night on the town, but it provides the kind of artistic and cultural jolt that you’re not going to find on a polite Final Friday art walk or an evening in the comfy confines of Theatre Lawrence. Embrace it while it’s here. A few tickets remain for Friday and Saturday's performances and a few more will be released in the (likely) event of sellouts.

Performances of "True West" will be 7:30 p.m. June 12 and 13 at Liberty Hall, 644 Massachusetts St. Tickets cost $15 and are available at the Liberty Hall box office and website.

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Weekend Picks: Outdoor ‘Breakfast Club’; ‘True West’ at Liberty Hall; Lawrence artists in KC; Girls Rock concert; Science on Tap and Nerd Nite bonus picks

Those pesky buskers of Busker Fest have come and gone, and Lawrence has a bit of downtime before the flurry of Free State Festival events get underway later this month. But you'll still find plenty of cultural activity over this weekend and next week. This week's diverse picks should appeal to families, nerds and fans of art, music and theater. Dig in.

[Updated from earlier post]

Free State Festival Under the Stars: The Breakfast Club, 9 p.m. Friday outside Lawrence Arts Center

Well, it turns out that Mother Nature is stronger than a bunch of velociraptors. Thursday's screening of "Jurassic Park" at the Lawrence Public Library was cancelled due to a threat of late-evening storms. Your children are probably crying right now.

Perhaps the weather will be kinder for Friday's planned outdoor screening of "The Breakfast Club" (and even if it does rain, it will be moved inside the Arts Center). So pack some sandwiches made of Pixie sticks and Cap'n Crunch and hope for the best. But remember that this film is R-rated if you're bringing the kids along. Smoke up, Johnny!

The Facebook event page is here.

'True West,' 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and June 12 and 13 at Liberty Hall

Our pick for the most important local theatrical event of the summer (and possibly the year) is Rob Schulte's production of Sam Shepard's classic 1980 play about identity and brotherhood, "True West."

We're excited to see Card Table Theatre trying their hand at an established and challenging classic in an unusual performance space that will utilize Liberty's stage in fascinating ways: the audience will be seated onstage, very close to the actors. Rob is also utilizing the Broadway technique famously employed by Philip Seymour Hoffman and John C. Reilly, in which the lead actors trade roles on alternate nights. True theater buffs should not miss this. Oh, and did we mention that Liberty Hall's own beloved Maggie Allen is (briefly) in this play? The Facebook event page is here.

Only 60 seats will be available for each of the four productions, and they are selling quickly at Liberty Hall, so don't delay. In keeping with the experimental nature of all this, we'll be reviewing the play next week for Lawrence.com in a professional but perhaps a bit unusual style, so check the site for our thoughts on Monday. Read more about the production in this Lawrence.com story.

Lawrence artists at First Friday in KC, 5 p.m. in Crossroads Arts District

Are you finding LFK's Final Fridays a little stagnant these days? Or maybe you just crave two consecutive Fridays of art openings? Make the short jaunt down I-70 for KC's ever-popular First Friday. This month's installment features a wealth of Lawrence artists.

Lawrence artist Karen Matheis has new "Color Block" paintings at Blue Gallery. Her painting "Color Block #10" is included above, and you also can watch Karen cook some nice soup in a promo for the show here.

Other Lawrence artists on the scene: Jeremy Rockwell and Clare Doveton have a show called "Unsettled Plains" next door at Weinberger Fine Art.; Dave Dehetre (known for his "Alley Art" in LFK) has a show at LOA; and Kenny Bini's "Paintings" are at The Late Show gallery.

While you're on the scene, make sure to also check out the cool underwater-art of "Tank" on display at Grand Arts. It's featured in this week's "Kansas City Connection" column in the LJWorld.

Girls Rock! Lawrence Band Showcase, doors at 7 p.m., show at 8 p.m. Saturday, Bottleneck

This is the first summer for the new Girls Rock Lawrence music camp, and tonight brings a cool event where the campers will perform some original songs followed by performances from three female-centric Lawrence and Kansas City bands. So come support the kids and then stick around for some tender bluegrass murder ballads from MAW and fierce rock and roll from Sister Rat, Katie Guillen and the Girls, and KC rapper Morwasha.

The Facebook event page is here. And check out more about what the kids learned about rocking at the camp this week in this LJWorld story.

Science on Tap: Cicadas, 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Free State Brewery

Didn't get your fill of cicadas at Thursday's "Adventurous Eating Event" in South Park? Head to Free State Brewery tonight as Science on Tap serves up a cicada-centric installment of Science on Tap. Robert Hagen, the Field Education Coordinator of the KU Environmental Studies Program, will offer a presentation on this year's extra-frisky batch of "17-year cicadas," which are probably raising a ruckus outside your window as you read this.

Find more info here via the KU Natural History Museum website.

Nerd Nite, 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 10, at Maceli's

Finally, a quick heads up for next week's Nerd Nite, which should serve as a great precursor to the music and comedy events of the upcoming Free State Festival. This installment offers talks on hidden album tracks, subversive rock humor and "fourth-wave feminism" in stand-up comedy. Find all the details here.

Tweet us @LarryvilleLife with questions, complaints, or high praise.

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Watch: Lazy at the Replay

Lazy is going through some changes.

The Kansas City trio played six new songs to a receptive audience at the Replay last weekend. Lazy is one of those punk bands that takes a minimalist approach to their music, packing in a lot with very little. That hasn't changed, but they're now toeing the line between punk and new wave influences. Watching a Lazy set now is like taking a step back in time. They even dress the part with a forever young and retro look.

Their fans are noticing the difference and welcoming it with open arms. Instead of coming to get rowdy, they're now coming to actually listen to the music. Gone are the "Party City" days. They used to end their sets on that song, one of their biggest hits. But as far as we know, it didn't even make it into their set on Saturday night.

Their live shows are taking a turn as well. Rather than marathon touring, like they usually do, they're focusing on songwriting with some releases are on the horizon. The band says all their previously punk numbers recorded last year will be released in October. But this newer sound is currently getting tackled in the studio and is set to come out in 2016. So within just a few months, you'll have releases from the old Lazy and the new Lazy. With any luck, that means more of a local presence for their performances should they choose to test the new stuff out on audiences at home.

— Fally Afani is a freelance writer and editor of I Heart Local Music. She enjoys long walks, photography and rock and roll. She does not like cats, but makes exceptions for the ones at Love Garden. For more local music coverage, visit iheartlocalmusic.com.

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Watch: Godzillionaire terrorizes the Jackpot

Crotch rock is on the rise in Lawrence. If it wasn't clear from the likes of Gnarly Davidson, then Godzillionaire has sealed the deal.

On Friday night they shook the Jackpot stage with their terrorizing brand of grunge. They stomped around the stage, growled heavily, and slayed with sweet guitar riffs. This band likes to play around with tempos, but breaks it up with different sections. We seriously don't know where one song ends and another begins.

Their stage presence is truly intimidating, though. As an audience member, you're not sure if they're going to kick you in the teeth or tear themselves apart. Godzillionaire is like the Tool fan who's drunk and alone at the bar and wants to fight you. You don't want to do it, but you kind of want to see what would happen because some men just like to watch the world burn.

The terrifying band's been in the studio lately, so you'll hear a lot more from them soon.

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Scruffy and the Janitors change their tune

Here's what happens when a carefree punk band starts to get serious.

Scruffy and the Janitors brought a change in attitude to the Replay last Saturday night. We've previously adored this band for their wild, rambunctious stage presence. They still have those heavy punk influences, but it's beginning to sound a little more thought out and (dare we say) mature, an element one would normally want left out of punk rock. Scruffy and the Janitors, however, are making it their own.

It's starting to feel like every move is calculated, and there's a reason why. The trio of rockers is heading into the studio this summer to record their next album. So they've started stripping it down to make it good. They've trimmed the fat, and what's left is a lean cut of rhythm. The gears are turning in their heads, and we get the benefit.

Here's a sampling of some new music from the band:

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