Entries from blogs tagged with “Lawrence”

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.


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:


Weekend Picks: Busker Fest; outdoor movies; Final Friday events; Bad Ideas’ cassette release; Art Tougeau Parade

The weekend's most unavoidable event (for better or worse) is the massive Lawrence Busker Festival. Readers, if you're downtown this weekend, you WILL have a busker in your face at some point. Add Final Friday events and the Art Tougeau parade to the mix and you've got the makings for an extremely busy weekend in LFK. Allow extra time for parking and get the scoop below on all these and other events.

Lawrence Busker Festival, Friday-Sunday, EVERYWHERE

Do you love buskers? Or do you loathe buskers? You'll hear both responses pretty quickly if you quiz local residents about this popular street-performer festival. Normally a late-August event, this year's festival is arriving early, timed to coincide with the Art Tougeau art-car parade, ensuring that downtown streets will be clogged not only with weird people but also with weird cars.

Crowds have been large in the past, so allow yourself plenty of time to get around downtown this weekend and stop to ogle the unicyclists, contortionists, breakdancers, strongwomen, jugglers and other assorted oddities that are blocking your path.

Find a full schedule of events at the official website here and visit the Facebook page here. For more on this year's festival and the Art Tougeau parade, check out this Lawrence.com story.

Free State Festival Under the Stars, 9 p.m. Friday, Lawrence Arts Center

The massive Free State Festival is still a few weeks away but you can get a jump-start on things with this outdoor film series that kicks off Friday with a screening of George Lucas' 1976 "American Graffiti." This car-centric classic is a perfect precursor to Saturday's Art Tougeau art-car parade. Keep an eye out for a pre-"Star Wars" Harrison Ford cruising through the film.

Later films in this weekly series are, in order, "The Breakfast Club," "One Crazy Summer," and "The Dark Crystal." The (flier-less) Facebook event page is here. Note: In case of inclement weather, movies will be screened inside the Lawrence Arts Center.

[Heads up: It's going to be a great summer all around for screenings of old films. Liberty Hall is showing Brad Bird's animated classic "The Iron Giant" this at 4 p.m. Sunday, and Downtown Lawrence Inc. and Lawrence Public Library kick off their outdoor Dinner and a Movie series on June 4 with "Jurassic Park."]

"More Than Meets The Eye" art opening (Jeromy Morris/John Sebelius), 5 p.m. Friday, Cider Gallery

A more traditional gallery-centered Final Friday option is this sure-to-be-intriguing new collaborative show by Jeromy Morris and John Sebelius. The Facebook event page describes their collaborative process as "a visual telephone where paintings were passed back and forth, allowing for works to change, develop and be destroyed." Hopefully they weren't all "destroyed" and are still intact enough for you to peek at and purchase them.

You can also read a full profile of the Morris/Sebelius collaborative process in this cool LJ-World article.

The Bad Ideas cassette release party, Love Garden, 6:30 p.m. Friday

Need a break from the buskers and the art-cars? You won't find peace and quiet at Love Garden, but you WILL find a raucous rock and roll show with Arc Flash, The Bad ideas, and Stiff Middle Fingers. The show flier and Bad Ideas cassette design is from Matty Dragg, who will also be showing his work at the event.

Cassettes are so hot again! We wish we had an art-car with a cassette deck.

The Facebook event page is here.

Art Tougeau Parade, starts outside Lawrence Arts Center, noon Saturday

Our favorite "unofficial" local parade is the Mardi Gras sidewalk march led by Truckstop Honeymoon's Mike and Katie. But our favorite official street parade is Art Tougeau, a short procession of "art-cars" (and bikes and trucks and other wheeled contraptions).

The parade embarks at noon from in front of the Arts Center, heads up New Hampshire to South Park, then ambles north along Mass. Street. If you miss the parade itself, you can check out the cars parked in front of the LAC during a Final Friday block party the night before and also parked outside the Replay from 2-5 p.m. for the after-party on Saturday.

The website is here and the Facebook page is here.

Advance Warning: Celebrate Cicada Events, various locations, June

Perhaps you've heard that the LOUDEST batch of cicadas in 17 years will be invading LFK this summer. Prairie Park Nature Center is hosting a "Festival of the Cicadas" from 1-4 p.m. Saturday, and our friends at the KU Natural History Museum are also planning a cool series of cicada-related events over the next few weeks.

We'll have a preview blurb next week focusing particularly on an intriguing collaborative event involving the KU History Museum and Hank Charcuterie and Free State Brewery but — since that column won't arrive until the day of the event — you might want to get a jump on the proceedings by checking out this Lawrence.com blog post about the event and the KU Natural History website here. You can also read this recent LJ-World piece about the cicadas' emergence.

Mark your calendars accordingly and consider making reservations if you want to attend the food and beer event, which is a limited, ticketed affair to be held in South Park on June 4.

Tweet us at @LarryvilleLife with tips for next week.


Watch psychedelic rockers No Cave entrance a crowd at the Bottleneck

We really didn't think No Cave could get any more psychedelic.

The Lawrence band has been keeping busy with a steady stream of shows since winning Farmers' Ball last month. They added a synth player and debuted their new lineup Friday at the Bottleneck, where they shared the stage with Major Games and Paper Buffalo.

No Cave is deserving of all the attention and praise. They've got an entrancing stage presence that keeps even non-psychedelic fans fixated on their maneuvers. It's hard to ignore statuesque frontman Ross Williams as he hops around the stage and even leans into the crowd a little bit. We normally see him do this at the Replay, but he took full advantage of the bigger space at the Bottleneck. No Cave also seems to constantly be developing their songs, introducing new ideas of rhythm and layering to their experience.

Williams' dizzying vocals are heavy on the reverb, and the singer isn't afraid to just forgo actual words and indulge in a few whoops and rhythmic yelps. Wild drummers are a must in psychedelic bands, and this band's got that trait nailed down.

No Cave was a bit of a wild card this year. Lawrence has seen a lot of psychedelic influence in local music, and there's no concern that the scene could get weary of it with bands like No Cave keeping the intrigue high.


Weekend Picks: Lawrence Public Library’s 780s Series; Comedy Freakout; free outdoor country music concert; M@ssholes trivia; air guitar in KC

This appears to be a relatively low-key holiday weekend in LFK, nestled between the chaos of last week's KU graduation and the certain madness of next weekend's busker festival.

So make the most of it by relaxing with some comedy shows, a free outdoor concert, a cool new music-discussion series featuring Booker T. Jones, or (if you're feeling more raucous) a short jaunt down the interstate for an air guitar competition.

780s Series: Talking Music with Booker T. Jones, doors at 6:30 p.m., event at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Liberty Hall

Kick off the weekend early with the debut of Lawrence Public Library's exciting new "780s Series" of music discussions (nerdily named after the 780 Dewey Decimal System designation for musical subject matter).

Thursday's first event, a discussion with legendary R&B musician Booker T. Jones of Booker T & the M.G.'s fame, is being held at Liberty Hall. The event is free and no tickets are required, but get there early to secure a good spot to hear LPL director Brad Allen quiz Booker T. about "Green Onions" and much more.

Check out Fally Afani's Lawrence.com pre-event interview with Jones and Allen here, and visit the Facebook event page here.

Jason Boland and the Stragglers free outdoor show, doors at 7 p.m., show at 8 p.m. Thursday, outside the Granada

Want to see a side of Lawrence that scenesters don't often witness? Want to see it for free? Step into the lot beside the Granada on Thursday evening for a free outdoor show by popular Oklahoma red-dirt country artists Jason Boland and the Stragglers.

We were (briefly) on hand for a packed show by Boland in this very same lot a few years back and were impressed by the number of country music fans on hand. Biemer's BBQ is one of the sponsors, and they'll presumably be dishing up some tasty grub while you cry into your beer at some country weepers.

(Note: In a wonderful bit of cultural juxtaposition, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony will be playing inside at the Granada at the same time. These events may provide the week's best people-watching).

Comedy Freakout, 10 p.m. Friday, Frank's North Star Tavern

Stuck in LFK on Memorial Day weekend and in need of cheering up? Or maybe you hate the idea of holiday weekend camping and much prefer a dark, booze-filled basement full of people making awkward jokes. Either way, find your way to Frank's North Star as the Comedy Freakout gang returns with a new evening of "pure comedy mayhem and flashing lights."

This installment is an all-local edition (perhaps no touring headliners wanted to visit LFK on Memorial Day weekend?) but it's chock-full of some of your favorite local jokesters and hosted, as ever, by ringleaders Peter Lyrene and Chance Dibben.

The Facebook event page is here.

M@ssholes, 8 p.m. Saturday, Eagle's Lodge

If you miss the anarchic spirit and LFK-insider references of the old Victor Continental shows, the M@ssholes "pop culture and trivial panel" show may be the event for you. Expect an endless stream of Payless Furniture jokes (obviously), and the M@ssholes' gang also promises to get to the bottom of the "Great Smokehouse Fire of '15."

Audience members can usually win delicious "Brownies for Townies" by answering questions at these events, but this installment has an amazing new twist: Ladybird Diner will be providing "Candyass Donuts." Do NOT miss out.

Visit the Facebook event page here.

2015 US Air Guitar KC Qualifier, 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Record Bar

We don't often showcase out-of-town events here, but it's a holiday weekend and maybe you're craving a short trek to KC for a night of debauchery. If so, your best bet is this wild throwdown of air guitar hijinks hosted by LFK's own WORLD air guitar champ Eric "Mean" Melin and judged by KC radio personality Afrenta. The four KC winners move on to the Midwest finals in Chicago, and all roads eventually lead to the Nationals (this year in Portland).

Air guitar is a bigger deal than you think, folks. We're still scarred from some of the things we witnessed last year at the Midland when KC hosted the Nationals. If you haven't seen an air guitar/performance art piece from Peter "Stiff" Dickens, you haven't fully lived.

Visit the Facebook event page here.

Tweet us @LarryvilleLife and enjoy the holiday.


Wandering Lake explores the unorthodox side of live performances

Inside Brian Kupillas is a swirling storm of extremes. On one end of his musical spectrum in Wandering Lake, he is a gentle guitar-plucking folk crooner. On the other end, he is an experimental wizard.

Under dim lights and dizzying projections, Kupillas might rattle around kitchen utensils or take a screwdriver to his guitar string, then send those noises down a whirlwind of unexpected twists and turns through his pedals. If it's in your utility closet or junk drawer, he can likely make music with it.

Before this delightful Love Garden performance, the dynamic musician previously spent time playing with SW/MM/NG before finally making the move to Lawrence. In all honesty, a musician of that nature belongs here. That might be one of the reasons the Whatever Forever family welcomed him with open arms into the label and started including him on all their endeavors.

He's been spotted jumping in on guitar with CS Luxem and occasionally hopping on Whatever Forever lineups. But rather than releasing a cassette — a staple for bands on the Whatever Forever label — he's releasing a zine.

Right before diving into his final song at Love Garden on Friday evening, he announced that it "requires some setup and may seem a little unorthodox." It seems everything Wandering Lake does is a little unorthodox, and if we're lucky, he won't change a thing.

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.


Springtime is busker season in downtown Lawrence

You couldn't have painted a prettier sky than what popped up on Friday evening. The rain clouds moved out and were hanging around in front of a pink and yellow backdrop, framing all of Lawrence. You could see it perfectly from a corner of Eighth and Mass. But that wasn't the only sign of spring in downtown Lawrence.

If anything signifies warmer temperatures, it's buskers — specifically, the Cajun-creating party procurers spearheaded by Barry "Washboard" Barnes, Tommee Sherwood (on accordion) and Michael Bradley on guitar. You'll see these three near that intersection conjuring up all sorts of excitement as long as the temperatures are warm. On this night, however, they were joined by a horn section and a juggler. So you can imagine the malarkey that ensued.

These guys are lively, releasing yelps and horn honks into the air throughout the evening and occasionally joining in on dance parties started up by onlookers. They're also fantastic socialites. It's fairly common to see folks in the crowd strike up introductions and conversations with each other. There's plenty of time to do so. You're likely to see the buskers on your way to dinner and still rocking away on the corner by the time you leave.

If you missed them this week, don't fret. They'll be around all summer and most likely at The Lawrence Busker Festival May 29-31.

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.


Toughies are your smooth summer sound makers

If they play their cards right, Toughies could be the source of your lazy summer tunes in LFK this year.

After several nonstop days saturated with storms, a break in the rain finally rolled around on Friday, and the Replay opened up the patio for an early evening show. Revelers munched on tacos from Taco Zone, sipped brews, and enjoyed the mild breeze while one of Lawrence's newest bands crooned away at the mic.

Toughies' tunes can have a real laid-back quality to them, similar to Real Estate's. But in an instant, they can switch from high-pitched harmonies to bellowing choruses. They toe the line between indie rock and surf rock, all while casually strumming and nonchalantly swaying onstage. The lyrics, like the band's demeanor, are carefree. When you need serenity, Toughies got it. There's no reason not to adore them. For a band that has just a couple of shows under their belt, they sure are turning some heads.

Take a chill pill and have a listen before seeing them at Lawrence Field Day Fest June 25-27:

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.


Weekend Picks: Earthquake relief concerts, Patrick Duegaw art opening, Spring Into Summer Fest, Heidi Gluck EP release party, New Band Alert: Clowder

It's graduation weekend for KU students, a time in which many scenesters stock up on groceries and batten down the hatches at home to avoid the glut of out-of-towners in local bars and restaurants.

But the five (mostly musical) weekend picks below should provide a dose of culture while still keeping you largely cloistered away from the invading hordes.

Nepal Earthquake Relief Benefit Concerts, 6-10 p.m. Thursday at Gaslight; 7-11 p.m. Sunday at Liberty Hall

We try to showcase worthy fundraisers as often as possible, and this weekend's dual concerts to raise money for earthquake relief are good chances to help out while checking out some tunes. Is there any band more prolific in Lawrence right now than the Sugar Britches? And who is the "special guest" band at the Liberty show? And who are all these other bands that we don't know? Pick up tickets at Zen Zero, Genovese, or Liberty Hall and search for answers to these questions at the Gaslight on Thursday and Liberty on Sunday.

"Set Piece" by artist Patrick Duegaw

"Set Piece" by artist Patrick Duegaw

Patrick Duegaw "Innumerable Anxieties" art opening and talk, Friday and Saturday, Lawrence Arts Center, opening at 7 p.m. Friday and Art Talk at 1 p.m. Saturday

Can't wait for the next Final Friday to get a dose of art? The Arts Center has you covered this weekend with a cool new opening from Patrick Duegaw on Friday.

Duegaw co-founded the important Wichita collective Fisch Haus in 1990, a project "originally conceived as a series of hit-and-run exhibition/performance events that transformed abandoned spaces in downtown Wichita, Kansas into art happenings." (from Duegaw's website bio).

Among many other works, the LAC exhibit will include an awesome "28-foot long panoramic rendering" of The Fisch Haus. Check out a nice LJWorld profile of Duegaw here. You can also find Facebook event pages for Friday's opening here and Saturday's art talk here.

Spring Into Summer Fest, 5 p.m.-2 a.m. Saturday, Replay Lounge

Local scenesters tend to steer clear of hugely popular local festivals like the Kansas Food Truck Fest and the Busker Fest for various reasons: too many tourists, too many crowds, too many buskers! But the Replay's annual Spring Into Summer Fest is tailor-made for townies and, in fact, was created partly as a celebration of students vacating town for the summer. While the "festival" designation is a bit dubious, the event itself is always an excellent long evening of rock and roll, a safe haven amidst the maelstrom of KU's graduation weekend.

Most of the event consists of familiar local faces such as OILS, Psychic Heat and Arc Flash, but don't overlook the evening's touring highlight (slated for 8 p.m. on the patio): an appearance by the legendary Joe Jack Talcum from The Dead Milkmen.

Visit the Facebook event page here for a full list of bands and set times. And check out Lawrence.com's interview with Arc Flash here.

Heidi Lynne Gluck EP release party with Bonzo Madrid, 7 p.m. Saturday, Love Garden

Local music fans may be more recently accustomed to seeing Heidi Lynne Gluck quietly strumming pretty rock songs (and the occasional Cheap Trick cover) as a solo artist. But Saturday offers a chance to hear her in full-band form at the Love Garden in celebration of her new EP "The Only Girl in the Room." Opening up is Bonzo Madrid, a new(ish) project from former Cowboy Indian Bear member CJ Calhoun, who sent us this little tale about his first encounter with Heidi.

"The first time I met Heidi, I had just stumbled upon her band playing at the Jackpot. I really enjoyed her songs and wanted to tell her thanks for a good set. We talked briefly and she asked me what instrument I played in my band, to which I answered something to the effect of "Oh, mostly guitar, but also a little bass and synth. We switch around instruments quite a bit." She looked at me and said "Oh you're one of those bands." Jokingly (I think?!) So I'm very excited to get to help her celebrate the release of her new EP, and also excited to prove to Heidi & myself, years later, that I can in fact play a set (mostly) on one instrument. If that doesn't get your blood pumping for some live music, I don't know what will."

Visit the Facebook event page here for set times.

Clowder, 9 p.m. Saturday, Frank's North Star Tavern

We recently wrote a piece about the debut show of the aforementioned all-female bluegrass band called The Sugar Britches, who have since become one of LFK's favorite and most prolific bands. Is the same meteoric success story in the works for the new rock/funk/soul trio Clowder? Perhaps not. But the fact that they love cats, as evidenced in their band name and flier, bodes well for at least some potential Internet fame! (A "clowder," if you don't know, is a group of cats).

Band member Cody Case submitted this short blurb for Saturday's gig at Frank's:

"Clowder is a new Lawrence-based guitar and vocal trio that plays originals and covers that range from mellow rock to blues to folk to soul. Their sweet melodies, harmonies, and solos will serenade and warm you to the core. Check out a live original at this link and come hang with these new cats to meow the night away at Frank's North Star Tavern."

See, it's all about the cats!

Give Clowder a "like" on Facebook here and visit the Facebook event page here to get more details on the show, which also includes a late-night set from Cupcake, another cute-sounding band that's actually a harder rocking guitar/drums duo (but still cute).

Until next week, tweet us @LarryvilleLife.


Replay crowd dances in the rain on Mother’s Day

The Replay was rainy and very wet on Mother's Day, but it wasn't going to stop folk fans from dancing outside. So as the music played, some kiddos took off their shoes and splashed around in puddles while most of the adults huddled under an awning.

The stage was perfectly dry, so you could hear Danny McGaw's majestic voice travel down the alleys as Wells the Traveler rocked the evening away. The crooning folk musician moved away last year, so his visit back to Lawrence drew eager fans who gave little regard for the rain. Watch him perform while the youngins trot about in the water below:

The clouds began to clear out and the sun shined fairly bright by the time 40 Watt Dreams took the stage. The band, fronted by local leading lady Katie West, belted out one danceable tune after another. 40 Watt Dreams' music is most certainly upbeat, but the lyrics have a mischievously dark tone with warnings of bad weather and bad attitudes. It's hard not to connect with West's lyrics, if you're the type of woman who stands strong after weathering a storm (something this specific audience sort of just did).

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.


Weekend Picks: Stop Day Matinee, The Ants record release, Mother’s Day Gospel Fest, farewell to the Jaybowl, and a Nerd Nite bonus pick

This weekend is a little less jam-packed than recent festival-filled weekends, but the following options offer a diverse set of opportunities. From raunchy doo-wop to a gospel festival to a scenester-packed record release party to a night of nostalgia to a night of nerdery, we've got you covered.

I Heart Local Music Stop Day Matinee with Dean Monkey and the Dropouts, 6 p.m. Friday, Replay Lounge

Today's the day when local scholars take a break before Finals Week begins on Monday, and what better way to relax than with a PBR in hand on the Replay patio? But who are we kidding — these Replay events don't attract many students. Expect to see the same old townies eating Taco Zone tacos and rocking to recent Farmers' Ball participants Dean Monkey and the Dropouts and Toughies.

This is our TOP pick of the weekend if you like dirty doo-wop songs. Visit the Facebook event page here.

The Ants Record Release, 10 p.m. Friday, Replay

Since you're gonna be at the Replay anyway for the aforementioned early show, you'll want to kick back and wait around for the return of LFK's beloved oddballs The Ants. If you can't make the show, make sure to pick up the new album "Control Your Thoughts" at Love Garden or order it from the official Ants website.

With Drakkar Sauna opening, this is our TOP pick for weirdest AND most packed local show of the weekend. We can't find a cool flier for this show but you can visit the Facebook event page here and ogle the album cover above.

Mother's Day Gospel Fest (Benefit for Willow Domestic Violence Center), 11 a.m. Saturday, South Park

Readers, in our many years of doing Weekend Picks at our old blog, it's entirely possible that we NEVER showcased a gospel show, and certainly not a full gospel festival. But why not? Especially when it's a festival that benefits a worthy local organization such as Willow. So stop by South Park on Saturday (note that the event is not technically on Mother's Day itself).

This is our TOP pick if your mother likes gospel music or if YOU are a mother who likes gospel music. Find more info on the Facebook event page here.

Kansas University freshman Darious Crawley, Houston, Texas, rolls down the lane during a bowling class on Tuesday, April 14, 2015 at Jaybowl. The bowling alley, which has been around since 1953, will close in early May.

Kansas University freshman Darious Crawley, Houston, Texas, rolls down the lane during a bowling class on Tuesday, April 14, 2015 at Jaybowl. The bowling alley, which has been around since 1953, will close in early May. by Nick Krug

Jaybowl Farewell Fling and Cosmic Bowling and goodbye sendoff, 8 p.m. until close Saturday

"Mark it zero!" KU's Jaybowl bowling alley opened in 1953. It has had a long run but, after years of dwindling crowds, the lanes will close Saturday. Allow us to recommend Robert Putnam's "Bowling Alone" for a large-scale exploration of America's dwindling communal, in-person social culture. But the lack of booze probably hasn't helped the Jaybowl either (it's been dry since 1998).

You can spend a last evening at the Jaybowl on Saturday with free bowling and free hot dogs and soda from 8 to 10 p.m., followed by Cosmic Bowling (with each half hour's music reflecting the decades of the Jaybowl's existence). The evening culminates with the "ceremonial last strike" at 12:55 a.m. ("The pins will be set on all lanes one last time and brushed into eternity with a sequential sweep starting on lane 1 and ending on lane 12.").

This is our TOP weekend pick for LFK nostalgia. Click here to read a great LJWorld piece on the Jaybowl's long history along with further details on Saturday's festivities.

Nerd Nite 38: Mostly Invisible, 8 p.m. Wednesday (doors at 7:30 p.m.), Maceli's

LFK's Nerd Nite, one of our personal favorite local events, is now well-situated in its new home at Maceli's. We're fans of the new space, which can actually seat more than the old Pachamama's ballroom but somehow feels more intimate. Plus, snacks are now offered. And we all know that nerds like to snack while listening to engaging presentations, which this month include "fossilized animal burrows," Lawrence wastewater, and the wonderfully titled "A Brief History of the Mechanical Computer, or What the (Eff) is a Slide Ruler."

This is our TOP pick if you enjoy learning new things while drinking booze. Visit the FB event page here for more details.

Tweet us at @LarryvilleLife and tell us what we left out.


Library launches the Lawrence Music Project

Songs and albums by local musicians can be downloaded by members of the Lawrence Public Library at lawrencemusicproject.org.

Songs and albums by local musicians can be downloaded by members of the Lawrence Public Library at lawrencemusicproject.org.

If you go to the library, you can check out a book. So it makes sense that in a town like Lawrence, you can use the library to check out music from local bands as well.

That's the idea behind The Lawrence Music Project, an initiative launched by the Lawrence Public Library this month. The website features tracks and entire albums by local bands, available for download by any card-carrying member of the library.

Although the Lawrence music project features an archive of local bands, I Heart Local Music spent the last year working with currently active bands to feature their music on the project.

"We're excited about having the music available, but additionally really having that site more robust and really telling the story of local music" says Library Director Brad Allen, who envisions the site eventually adding audio interviews, photos and video documentation. "People can come and find people who are working in music now and understanding the history of it."

This new website comes as no surprise, considering the library's track record with local music. In October it opened the doors to a free Sound + Vision recording studio, fully stocked with instruments and gear, to the general public. In January, they added highly-skilled engineer Ed Rose. Allen calls this a benefit to the local music community.

"There are some people who are new to the scene," he says. "This is a good starting point for those who are navigating. It's been a lot of fun to see diversity in that space."

You can check out the recording studio at the Lawrence Public Library, 707 Vermont St., and see all The Lawrence Music Project has to offer here.

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.


Pink Royal is just too cute

We've found your feel-good band of the summer.

Pink Royal is really just too adorable. Coming hot off a recent album release, the Lawrence band played the Mixmaster event at the Bottleneck on Saturday. This is the type of music that is just delightfully danceable. Nothing you'd bust a move to, but would certainly have you grooving and scooting around your kitchen on a sunny Sunday morning while whipping up a batch of pancakes.

There are too many alluring aspects to count with this band, but by far the exuberant frontman takes the cake. This charismatic cutie bewitched the crowd. With arms outstretched for the high notes (almost like he was giving you a hug!), he is more graceful than Celine Dion and more enthusiastic than Roberto Benigni. Yes, life is beautiful when this fella takes the stage in his hot-pink kitty shirt. Kittens! On his shirt!

The rest of the band members are all smiles, stealing glances from each other while always enjoying — nay, LOVING — their craft. Sometimes the frontman graces them with his winning personality for a little bandmate-to-bandmate nuzzle before climbing on top of a speaker or boogying across the stage.

Pink Royal is a barrel of sunshine and should play all the summer festivals this year.

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.


Weekend Picks: Major Games Album Release; #MXM2015 Conference; Kansas Food Truck Festival; David Mamet’s The Shawl; Taproom Poetry Series

This weekend isn't as festival-heavy as the previous two, but we still have one major festival to showcase, along with two major rock shows (one of them from Major Games!). Also on tap: a music conference, an unusual theatrical event, and an edgy Sunday afternoon of poetry.

Here's the scoop:

Major Games Album Release, Thursday, Bottleneck, 9:00 p.m.

If you're in the know on the local music scene, you've probably already heard Major Games long-awaited new album, which is unsurprisingly dense and intense (we're currently digging the track "Prism"). As a live band, they're well-known for moments that will melt faces clean off, Raiders of the Lost Ark-style. Be prepared for a full-on musical onslaught at the Bottleneck tonight from one of LFK's best (and occasionally loudest) bands.

The openers for this official album release bash are Maybe Not (fresh off their 3rd place finish at Farmer's Ball) and the mighty Psychic Heat. It's the rock show of the week, folks. You may want to call in sick on Friday.

Visit the Facebook event page here.

Bloodbirds, Drakkar Sauna, Eye Contact, Friday, Love Garden, 7:00 p.m.

This show is so cool it needs absolutely no description on the Facebook event page apart from "jam times." The fact that 125 people are currently listed as attending should tell you that this is the place to be on May Day.

Bloodbirds' Facebook page suggests that this gig (along with a KC show next weekend) will likely be the last for a long while, so don't miss this beloved psych-rock trio (featuring former Ad Astra Per Aspera members Mike and Brooke Tuley) as they "jam" with beloved locals Drakkar Sauna and up-and-comers Eye Candy (a band also described on the event page as "ex-Ad Astra Per Aspera").

#MXM2015 Music Conference and Showcase, Saturday, Bottleneck, Conference from noon-5 p.m. and showcase from 7 p.m. till closing

Are you in a struggling band and wish that YOU had a major album release party on the horizon? Consider attending this second annual event designed to offer musicians insight into recording and promoting and other facets of the industry. The afternoon is devoted to panels and workshops focusing on issues of "audience development" and "music industry mechanics" and the evening gives way to a major slate of well-regarded local bands such as Westerners and Pink Royal.

Visit the Facebook event page here and the official website here for full schedules of panels and bands and other necessary info.

2015 Kansas Food Truck Festival, Saturday, Warehouse Arts District, 5-10 p.m.

Last year's inaugural Food Truck Fest in East Lawrence was a raging success in terms of attendance but, we're gonna level with you here: It was also a bit of a frustrating mess after a certain point in the evening, with the bigger-than-expected crowds often waiting in line more than an hour for food truck fare. However, the organizers are insisting that this year's festival has more space, more trucks, and more volunteers ready to make this into the great event it can and should be. Let's hope so...especially since 1500 people are currently listed on Facebook as attending.

Among the new participants this year are LFK's very popular purveyors of creme brulee, Torched Goodness and KC's Bochi Truck, serving up "The only real boneless wing in town." Paper Buffalo will be on hand to play some tunes and this year's Fest will also feature buskers (it's hard to escape them these days).

Visit the Facebook event page here for full info on ticket prices and participating trucks.

David Mamet's "The Shawl," Aimee's Coffeehouse, Friday and Saturday, 8:30 p.m.

We love showcasing unusual theatrical events, and it doesn't get much more unusual than this staging of David Mamet's "The Shawl" by Orange Mouse Theatricals at Aimee's Coffeehouse.

A variety of ticket prices will earn you everything from drinks to food to a tarot reading to accompany Mamet's "biting exploration of trust, greed and betrayal, and the power of spiritual knowledge in a secular world" (Mark Shenton, Playbill).

Visit the Facebook event page here to learn more about this "immersive event."

Taproom Poetry Series, Sunday, Taproom, 5-7 p.m.

We had an absolute blast listening to the great Southern poet Tim Earley read at the last installment of this series, and we have it on good authority that this month's event (the last before a summer break) is another don't-miss lineup of great poets.

For those who fear an evening of polite verse, think again. One of the evening's featured poets, Jennifer Knox, is as funny and filthy as LFK's own "smutty metaphor queen" Patricia Lockwood. Her work has been featured in the New Yorker and, even hipper, McSweeney's. Read Knox's poem "Chicken Bucket" via this blog and, if you're still bold enough, come and listen to her along with Meg Johnson and Rich Smith on Sunday.

Visit the Facebook event page here for more details and to read the impressive bios of each of the readers.

Tweet us @LarryvilleLife with future tips or angry rants.


Watch: Something and the Whatevers cover La Guerre

This might be the best thing you see on the Internet today.

Something and the Whatevers aren't just a local band, they're a band that loves all things local. That includes other local musicians. On Saturday, they proved their love for Lawrence with an outstanding set at Middle of the Map Fest. In the past, we've seen them bust out covers of other local bands, including Dean Monkey and the Dropouts and The Sluts. But on Saturday, they introduced a cover of La Guerre's "Any Other."

La Guerre makes really beautiful, soothing, and ethereal-sounding music. But on this day, Something and the Whatevers applied everything they know about making loud, obnoxious noises to the song. What erupted was a spunky little pop-punk melody with blasting vocals. It was pretty impressive.

Something and the Whatevers may come off as a goofy little band, but in actuality they're fairly talented and dynamic. They can tackle any song, add their own flavor, and produce tunes that are catchy as all heck. On this particular cover, you may hear someone screaming at the mic as hard as he can, but he's actually hitting all those notes perfectly… something we've only seen the amazing songstress behind La Guerre do. If anything, this just reinforces what we already knew. La Guerre writes really amazing, perfect, and wonderful songs.

Words and photos by Fally Afani

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.


Local bands bring Lawrence to Middle of the Map Fest

Middle of the Map Fest is a big festival. This year saw more than 100 bands scattered across several stages in Westport, and only a handful of those bands were from Lawrence. While large bands like Murder By Death, Peter Hook & The Light, and OK Go impressed with lively performances, Lawrence bands had a little something up their sleeves as well.

Bonzo Madrid was one of the first local bands to play, and he hit the recordBar stage solo on Friday night. CJ Calhoun's songwriting prowess is really starting to take a definitive form. Seeing Bonzo Madrid songs performed live is nothing short of astonishing. Calhoun has mastered a labyrinth of pedals and loops to create spacious sounds on his guitar and reverb-saturated vocals that could lift you off the ground if you close your eyes and concentrate hard enough.

Spirit is the Spirit hit the big outdoor stage on Saturday. Watching these majestic musicians perform is heavenly. Their soothing songs feel like a gentle, warm hug. The frontman's long and golden locks flow gently in the wind while the bright lights of the big stage shine through, making him look a little bit like an angel. Yes, watching Spirit is the Spirit is a very spiritual experience. They're technically a psychedelic band, but they can also feel a little folky and comforting.

On the other end of the spectrum, Arc Flash got really weird at the Riot Room. They played perhaps their best show yet, nailing that exciting, thrilling space-punk sound over a solid driving beat. They also wore their "Sunday best," jumped into the crowd, and rocked the heck out… all while maintaining that fashionable chip on their shoulder. Arc Flash is very quickly shooting to the top of the local scene, and should be watched in dark corners of downtown as often as possible.

Something and the Whatevers continued serving their new robot overlord, a trend they started at SXSW. The giant talking iPod now dictates what goes on during most of their set. The band has been steadily playing songs from their last album for more than a year, but at their Middle of the Map Fest set, they knocked out a lot of new tunes. This could be a sign of another album on the horizon, should their robot master allow it.

The Sluts have gotten so popular in Kansas City that it took no time at all to fill the Riot Room. In fact, we saw fans leave other shows and sprint down just to catch their performance. The all-too-short set left everyone hungry, and the crotch-rock duo will be feeding that appetite this summer with a series of big, iconic performances in both Lawrence and Kansas City. Stay tuned.

— 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.


Weekend Picks: Riptide Comedy Festival; See/Saw Film Festival; Red Rockin Music Fest; Final Friday; Farmers’ Ball finals

Many local scenesters will likely trek to Kansas City this weekend for the music portion of KC's massive Middle of the Map Fest, but it's also a diverse festival weekend right here in LFK, with at least three festivals delivering comedy, film and music. Mix in a wealth of Final Friday activities and the Farmers' Ball finals, and there's surely enough close at hand to keep any culture-seeking citizen well-satisfied.

Riptide Comedy Festival, Thursday-Sunday, multiple locations

"It's not about us." That's the first thing that local comedy collective Harpoon Presents wants you to know about its second annual Riptide Comedy Festival. Sure, you can and will see plenty of familiar faces from the local scene, but the festival itself is bringing in talent from all over the country, including high-profile comics like Daniel Kibblesmith and collectives such as Denver's Fine Gentleman's Club. Expect more than just stand-up too, as these events will range from the debate format of the "Arguments & Grievances" event at the Taproom to the bizarre, sleepover-themed affair "Joe Pera Talks You To Sleep," a late-night Final Friday offering on Wonder Fair's not-so-secret "secret patio."

This is our TOP festival pick of the weekend if you are looking for booze-fueled vulgarity. Visit the official website here for info on festival passes, individual prices, participating venues and info on the performers and schedule. You can read more about this event in this LJWorld article, and check out the Facebook page here for handy links to individual event pages for all the varied showcases.

Final Friday, all over LFK

The most high-profile event of this month's Final Friday is almost certainly the Lawrence Inside Out project compiled by local photographer/artist Rachael Perry. These excellent large black-and-white photographs of local artists and art advocates of all stripes have likely been prominent in your Facebook feed for months, and have started popping up in various locations around town over the past few weeks.

The official Final Friday opening for this cool project is listed as the Percolator (visit the FB event page here), but you'll also encounter some of the portraits at the Lawrence Arts Center, Watkins Museum, the Warehouse Arts District, and elsewhere as you make the rounds tonight. Where will YOUR face be hanging? Read a nice LJWorld article on the project here.

Other events that intrigue us include an evening of music plus "live print making and live blacksmithing and live rock carving" at Art Emergency in the Warehouse Arts District (details here) and Ann Dean's photography exhibit "365: From Kansas to the Caribbean" at the Arts Center (details here).

See/Saw Film Festival, Friday-Sunday, Lawrence Public Library plus one screening at KU's Woodruff Auditorium

You'll find a festival of a very different kind at the Lawrence Public Library this weekend as the first See/Saw Film Festival offers up a well-curated selection of films from a variety of genres that "focus particular attention on children and youth whose experiences are under-considered or not considered at all." Among the highlights of the festival are "Rich Hill," a terrific documentary set in small-town Missouri (this one screens on Friday evening in Woodruff Auditorium on campus and is accompanied by a panel discussion) and the Oscar-nominated animated film "Song of the Sea" (the "Family Night" selection on Friday at LPL).

This is our TOP festival pick for educational value as well as a great choice for budget-minded film buffs: the festival is free but donations are encouraged. Visit the official website here and the Facebook event page here, and read Eric Melin's great LJWorld interview with festival founders Sorcha Hyland and Maggie Beneke here.

Rockin Red Music Fest, 3-7 p.m. Saturday, South Park

How about a family festival with music, food (including LFK's new BBQ food truck), beer for the grown folks, and a lot of activities for the kids? Stop by South Park on Saturday for the annual concert fundraiser for the Lawrence Community Nursery School (AKA "The Little Red Schoolhouse," hence the name of the festival). Visit the Facebook event page here for more info.

This is our TOP festival pick for exhausted adults looking for an excuse to drink beer in a park in the middle of the day while the kids hop around in a bounce house.

Farmers' Ball Finals, doors at 9 p.m., bands at 10 p.m. Saturday, the Bottleneck

On Saturday, one worthy band (or possibly the band who has convinced the most friends to attend and vote) will win this year's Farmers' Ball along with $2,000. After last weekend's semifinals, the four remaining bands are No Cave, Maybe Not, Toughies, and Via Luna. Click the links and study up before the finals.

Our prediction (based on very little research aside from their Facebook sound descriptions) is that the "dark bandicoot jazz" of No Cave will win the day. We'll predict that the "chandelier shakers" of Maybe Not take second. But does the "Tap-Happy/Twinkle" band Via Luna stand a chance? Perhaps. And it's also entirely possible that the Toughies could tough it out.

Do your scenester duty and stick around and vote.

Tweet us @LarryvilleLife and let us know what's on tap for next weekend.


Why local musicians shouldn’t miss the MixMaster 2015 Music Conference

If you are in any way involved with local music, you might want to sign up for an upcoming conference.

MixMaster 2015 is an event that helps local musicians connect with industry professionals such as journalists, record labels, promoters and more. The conference helps musicians learn about anything from copyright issues to production.

Speaking of which, this year's conference is adding production workshops at the Lawrence Public Library's Sound + Vision studio on Friday, May 1, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Producers and engineers will share their knowledge with attendees. Later that night at 7 p.m., Five Bar & Tables will host a Songwriter Night.

The actual music conference takes play the next day on Saturday, May 2, at the Bottleneck from noon to 5 p.m. The venue will also host a live showcase later that night.

I Heart Local Music attended MixMaster 2015 last year and was thoroughly impressed with the plethora of necessary knowledge available to local musicians. We encourage anyone to attend conference and showcase, spearheaded by Silly Goose Records.

You can RSVP to the event on Facebook here, or go to MixMaster's website here.

— 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.


The musical mad scientist: This Is My Condition

Craig Comstock might be the only person in town who can get a crowd worked into a frenzy over a series of noises.

The musical madman performs under the name This Is My Condition. On Saturday night, a rather large audience crowded around the solo performer perched behind a drum set and a few beat-up devices.

The shrill joy of a This Is My Condition show is the kind of bizarre experience you'll only find in a place like Lawrence. Comstock beats the holy heck out of his drums, and then he beats them some more. He also uses his sticks to slap a guitar that lays flat across the kit, while an infinite number of noisemakers decorate his left side. He's a scientist of sorts, crafting all sorts of gadgets to get the sound he desires. This series of unpredictable twists and turns expand your melodic mind. Think of it as jazz for punk rockers.

Here's what he sounded like:

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.


Brace yourselves: Record Store Day is coming

Record Store Day is this Saturday, and Love Garden Sounds will be having a sale on top of selling the day's exclusive releases.

Record Store Day is this Saturday, and Love Garden Sounds will be having a sale on top of selling the day's exclusive releases.

By now the staff at Love Garden is in busy mode getting ready for Record Store Day, an annual event that draws music aficionados to local record stores across the country.

RSD is this Saturday and features loads of exclusive releases. Love Garden set up an event page on Facebook and says they'll send out an email the night before detailing all the RSD merchandise they'll have in stock. You can sign up for the email list over at www.lovegardensounds.com. They'll also post those items on the Facebook event page and take your questions online.

There will be some perks for those hitting the downtown store on Saturday. If you spend $50 or more there, you'll get a credit slip for 10 percent of your ticket subtotal to use on a future visit. Additionally, Love Garden merchandise (T-shirts, hoodies, bags, etc.) will be 25 percent off on RSD.

If you're lining up for the event on Saturday, employees will hand out numbers to people waiting in line before they open. The order of those numbers determines who gets their hands on exclusive items first. The store is allowing each person to grab five items to purchase from the exclusives table.

Whether you end up grabbing loads of music or just browsing, it's a fun community event for music lovers. Waiting in line hardly feels like a chore, as most attendees tend to excitedly chat about their various tastes in 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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