Entries from blogs tagged with “Lawrence”

Recapping the best SXSW moments from Lawrence bands

SXSW tends to be a rite of passage for local bands, and this year's event was no different. There weren't a lot of official showcases featuring Lawrence bands. But luckily, Midcoast Takeover helped put a lot of area bands in the spotlight with a five-day stretch of shows on two stages at Shangri-La.

Here are some highlights from our time with Lawrence bands down in Austin.

Black Luck

Black Luck by Fally Afani/Special to the Journal-World

Best face-melting moments: Black Luck

Much like the name implies, Black Luck tends to bathe in bad luck these days. But things are finally coming up Milhouse for the Lawrence rockers. They (unluckily) had to follow a fairly aggravated act on the final night of Midcoast Takeover. No one wants to follow a band that gets cut off early and throws a hissy fit, but Black Luck managed to completely turn the mood around. They ripped into the loudest, hardest, thrashiest set of the entire week. By this point, the venue was packed and revelers were avoiding the rain that plagued the festival during the week. The raging sea of people moved like a storm during Black Luck's set. It was one of the best ways to end a week of nonstop rocking out.

Westerners

Westerners by Fally Afani/Special to the Journal-World

Best SXSW noobs: Westerners

The boys in Westerners, like so many newcomers before them, were warned that they would likely make several mistakes during their first SXSW venture (we all do). This rock band is hands down one of the darlings of the Lawrence scene, and every time we ran into them they were shrugging off yet another newcomer mistake they made at the festival. They had only one set for the entire week (classic noob mistake), but rocked it as hard as possible. They were the last band to play the outdoor stage at Midcoast Takeover because the rain started right after their set and didn't end until after everyone had left Texas.

The Noise FM

The Noise FM by Fally Afani/Special to the Journal-World

Best covers: The Noise FM

The Noise FM don't live in Lawrence, but they used to. So when they tour through any city full of ex-pats, they turn out by the dozens. The Noise FM put on a fun and lively, power-pop-filled set. But audiences tend to love them for their covers, which sometimes involve guest musicians and offstage antics with their fans.

Something and the Whatevers

Something and the Whatevers by Fally Afani/Special to the Journal-World

Best SXSW weirdos: Something and the Whatevers

Comedic punk rockers Something and the Whatevers created a glorious new set of fans at the I Heart Local Music showcase thanks to some serious stunts. The band tends to use an iPod instead of a drum machine, but for their Austin set the iPod came to life. The band created a life-sized version of the device, complete with a robot face that spoke to the crowd in between songs (and encouraged audiences to give into their robot overlords). It was a hilarious sight and accompanied their outrageous lyrics and shrill yelling perfectly.

Approach

Approach by Fally Afani/Special to the Journal-World

Best audience interaction: Approach

Approach is generally the belle of the ball at Midcoast Takeover. He brings along the entire Boogaloo Odyssey and leaves them onstage while he jumps into the crowd as far as his mic cord will take him. The rapper is the very definition of showmanship and interacts with as many faces in the crowd as possible, complimenting them and addressing them by name. It's hard to beat an Approach set, and we've yet to see it happen.

Wild Eye

Wild Eye by Fally Afani/Special to the Journal-World

Best crooner: Wild Eye

He's just a man and his guitar, but he kept the Lawrence folks swooning nonetheless. Ross Williams is an up-and-comer in the scene thanks to his work with No Cave and casual appearances in other local bands. But he was one of the very first acoustic acts to hit Midcoast Takeover, and Lawrencians gathered round to hear his creative guitar work and smooth vocals. It felt like a gentle hug, and we're hoping this wasn't a one-time festival appearance for the solo act.

— 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.

Reply

Weekend Picks: Final Friday, Paper Buffalo EP release show; YART Sale; Kansas City Bear Fighters; Comedy Freakout; more Marx Madness

With KU making a(nother) frustrating pre-Sweet Sixteen exit from the NCAA tournament, you should have some extra free time on your hands this weekend, so let's see what LFK has in store for you.

Our column has been heavy on music and theater in recent weeks but light on art offerings, so let's rectify that with a number of options for the first official Final Friday of spring.

Don't worry, though. There's a lot of music and comedy and movies included as well for the non-Final Friday fans.

Walk the Moon/The Griswolds, doors at 7 p.m., show at 8 p.m. Thursday, Granada,

If you're looking for a packed house of young indie-rock fans, you'll find it at the Granada on Thursday as Cincinnati's "dance-rock" and festival-favorite sensation Walk the Moon takes the stage.

According to their website's tour page, however, all of the band's upcoming shows (including this one) are sold out, so let's hope you planned ahead. Australia's buzzy The Griswolds open the show and, yes, of course, the name is a reference to the family in "National Lampoon's Vacation."

Edible Books Festival viewing and voting, 6-9 p.m. Friday, Lawrence Public Library

This unusual Final Friday event allows visitors to view and vote on "edible book" art submitted by participants who have created their "own edible work of art based on the title, form, or content of a book."

Are visitors allowed to eat this art as well? Probably not. But we might steal a bite when they're not looking.

Find details on the submission process at the LPL website.

Quilter and historian Marla Jackson is pictured in front of her quilts on display at the Percolator, 913 Rhode Island St., as part of Jackson’s upcoming exhibition, “Tell Mama.” The exhibit, which opens during this month’s Final Friday, features 10 quilts that honor her mother, Fern Hill.

Quilter and historian Marla Jackson is pictured in front of her quilts on display at the Percolator, 913 Rhode Island St., as part of Jackson’s upcoming exhibition, “Tell Mama.” The exhibit, which opens during this month’s Final Friday, features 10 quilts that honor her mother, Fern Hill. by Mike Yoder

"Tell Mama" art opening, 5-9 p.m. Friday, The Percolator

The Percolator's "Tell Mama" exhibition of quilts by Marla Jackson may not immediately sound like a hot-spot scenester destination, but a quilt based on Tina Turner sounds pretty intriguing to us! Check out Lawrence.com's recent piece on the exhibit and quilter/historian/teacher Jackson's inspirational relationship with her mother here.

The event coincides with Women's History Month and according to the FB event page, "This exhibition of 10 quilts reflects the stories of notable women in Marla’s personal life, as well as personal heroes. Included in the exhibition are two story quilts never before displayed for the public." In addition to the aforementioned Tina Turner quilt, you can also see quilts that are based on the Middle Passage and Cuban salsa-star Celia Cruz.

Is it possible to access the Percolator now that the Marriott TownePlace Suites loom imposingly over the area? Yes. We're confident that you can still find your way to this show!

"Variations on a Theme" art opening + music, 6 p.m. Friday, Love Garden

We know that some of you can't tolerate art unless you are also being serenaded by the likes of CS Luxem, Taryn Blake Miller, and Youngest Children. Listen to them while looking at Sam Wardy's drawings and Christian Kennedy's embroidery. For more info, check out the Facebook event page.

Paper Buffalo EP release, doors at 8 p.m., show at 9 p.m. Friday, The Bottleneck

The week's best local rock show (well, arguably the best, but we're pretty sure) is at the Bottleneck, which seems to be picking up the pace a bit in booking great local shows such as the recent Psychic Heat cassette release show that scenesters are STILL raving about.

Tonight brings four stellar local acts, headlined by an EP release set from the ever-rising youngsters in Paper Buffalo, one of those bands that seemed already fully-polished when we caught some of their early-career Replay patio gigs. We can only imagine that they're really killing it these days.

When asked for a blurb about this show, Paper Buffalo sent along this mysterious and somewhat frightening missive: "We're hosting a blood ceremony at the Bottleneck on March 27th to celebrate our EP's manifestation into the physical realm." Don't be alarmed, though. They seem nice.

Opening up will be Westerners, Arc Flash, and our pal Craig Comstock's always interesting (and always noisy!) one-man project This is My Condition (Craig still mostly exists on MySpace, God bless him!).

You will want to attend. Check out the FB event page here.

YART Sale, 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday, New York Elementary School

Looking for a quirky, family-friendly daytime event for Saturday? Look no further than the annual East Lawrence YART (yard/art) sale at New York Elementary School. The Facebook event page assures attendees that, yes, this year's sale WILL be at New York Elementary despite the construction there.

The YART sale is a fundraiser for ELNA (East Lawrence Neighborhood Association) and features donated merchandise, local art and neighborhood musicians. If nothing else, this is surely the best place to hear live music on a Saturday at 8 a.m. since the Farmers Market hasn't opened for the year yet.

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

Comedy Freakout is upon us again, and the touring headliners for this month's "Good Hermanos Edition" are Colorado's The Bueno Brothers alongside a slate of local comedians. The event is hosted as always by the muy divertido Peter Lyrene and Chance Dibben. The Facebook event page claims that the event is "all ages" (really?? or is this one of their jests and japes?) and requests "no policia" at the event.

Kansas City Bear Fighters, doors at 8 p.m., show at 9 p.m. Saturday, The Bottleneck

Are we recommending two consecutive evenings of music at the Bottleneck? Yes, even though the always-wacky Kansas City Bear Fighters would really be better-suited to the bear-baiting pit at Frank's North Star. Even so, their bouncy singalongs about cannibals and wolfmen are welcome and usually well-received in any venue.

Combine the Bear Fighters' antics with the hot-picking bluegrass of the Ready Brothers, plus performances (and a kissing booth) from a few of the Foxy by Proxy gals, and you've got yourself a guaranteed good time. But you can find a few more details about the show and set times here.

Marx Madness, Round 2, 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. Sunday, Liberty Hall

With KU making a sad second-round tournament exit, you may find yourself weary of basketball and ready for a few laughs. Consider catching a couple of lesser-known Marx Brothers films, "The Cocoanuts" (4 p.m.) and "Horse Feathers" (6 p.m.) as this year's Marx Madness enters its second and final round at Liberty Hall on Sunday.

The plot of "Horse Feathers" involves silly campus hijinks such as Chico and Harpo joining a college football team, so this should provide a particularly welcome respite for any non-basketball fans at this time of year. Visit the Liberty Hall website page for "Horse Feathers" here.

Finally, a shout out to Lawrence Public Library and Love Garden for tweeting us tips and getting their events included here this week. It can happen for you too! Just visit us @LarryvilleLife.

Reply

Watch: Lawrence rapper Approach rules Midcoast Takeover at SXSW

Approach is, without a doubt, the boss.

There's a reason we've seen people race to a venue to catch his set. The Lawrence rapper is the very definition of showmanship. When this lyricist leader speaks, everyone listens.

Once again, Approach made his way down to Austin during the SXSW music festival to perform at Midcoast Takeover's day party at Shangri-La. He spent all but a minute onstage before leaping into the crowd and going as far as his mic cord could take him.

Aided by big-shot beat maker DJ G Train (one of the few remaining DJs who actually scratches) and keyboard commander Nate Holt, The Boogaloo Odyssey tore into their top-notch lesson in hip-hop. It's important to note that while a lot of rappers tend to sample sounds and beats, Approach and The Boogaloo Odyssey created every single noise themselves. In fact, Approach spent years making every sound you hear under his rhymes.

But while every sound is calculated, most of his moves are spontaneous. His freestyles are unmatched, and you never quite know what the boss is going to do in his set.

"The beautiful part of our show is we're making it up as we go along!" he exclaimed before strutting over to a group of bystanders and encouraging to wave their arms in the air. Once he was satisfied with everyone's reaction to the beat, he declared "Rap music is good!" for all to hear before diving into his next verse.

When Approach really gets going, he tumbles all across the dance floor, interacts with everyone, and gets everyone grooving. The best part of the set is what Approach calls the "Get Down" portion of the program, when DJ G Train leaps off the stage and goes head to head with the man himself. You can watch it in the video below.

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.

Reply

Watch: Tyler Gregory’s new music video captures West Coast road trip

A new music video chronicling Tyler Gregory's tour has just been released, and it is absolutely stunning. The video compiles clips from Tyler's 2014 West Coast tour, and if you know how his tours run, it's not just stage video.

The music video for "Solace Lying In The Open Road" details, as the name implies, life on the open road. When Tyler tours, he camps out and hits up scenic nature shots worthy of a National Geographic spread. The picturesque shots you see in the video are actually places he visited on tour. The performer is at his best when he's on the road, and it's easy to see why. Canyons, rivers and plains help weave together images of Tyler playing a number of venues.

Here's the video, courtesy Technickolor Video Productions. As the lyrics suggest, you can watch his "heart pass through every town" below. To catch him in person, Tyler plays this Friday at the Replay Lounge for an early matinee show.

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.

Reply

Watch: Wild Eye plays Midcoast Takeover party at SXSW

Ross Williams seems to be a jack of all trades. We never quite know where he's going to pop up, even at the SXSW music festival in Austin, Texas.

We've seen his exquisite guitar skills in Oils and his booming voice in No Cave, but on Thursday he gently plucked away on the acoustic stage of Midcoast Takeover's day party at Shangri-La.

Wild Eye isn't your average folk music. The crooning on this guy is to die for. It sounds like CS Luxem and James Taylor had a love child. As a solo acoustic act, the versatile performer still puts his expertise with reverb and loops to use. He can play fast, slow and everything in between.

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.

Reply

Weekend Picks V: Sugar Britches debut show; Sylvan Esso and Flock of Dimes; TEDxLawrence; ‘Angels in America’ (in Kansas City)

Readers, it seems at first glance like a slow weekend in Lawrence. Many students are out of town for spring break, and many scenesters are down in Austin at South by Southwest while the rest of you are still recovering from vacation and/or immersed in the NCAA tournament.

But are there other options?

We've got a few ideas, which this week do NOT include Thursday picks but DO stretch all the way into next Monday in case you want to extend your weekend by a day. In the spirit of spring break, we're also suggesting a theatrical excursion to Kansas City as a departure from your otherwise booze-fueled LFK revelry.

Sugar Britches Debut Show, 10 p.m. Friday, Gaslight Gardens

Sometimes you need to get in on the ground floor with a new band. It's always cool to be able to say, "I saw their very first show!" Friday presents a good opportunity as The Sugar Britches make their debut, opening up for AJ Gaither, a great and gritty one-man blues band.

Do we know much about the Sugar Britches? No, we do not. But we're sold on this blurb and vow they sent us:

"Lawrence's latest sensation, Sugar Britches, is a brand new all-ladies four-piece straight out of Kansas. Heavy on the harmonies, with tunes ranging from bluegrass to blues to boogie woogie, these sassy gals aim to win your heart and break it all at the same time."

If we don't leave with a broken heart, we want our money back, ladies!!

The Britches' debut seems to be generating a lot of interest on their Facebook page and event page, and this should be a fine evening on the Gaslight patio.

Sylvan Esso

Sylvan Esso by Elizabeth Weinberg/Contributed Photo

Sylvan Esso/Flock of Dimes, doors at 8 p.m., show at 9 on Friday, Bottleneck

Another good way to be hip is to check out solo projects of band members from more well-known bands. Consider Flock of Dimes on Friday, a new project from Jenn Wasner of Wye Oak, self-deprecatingly described on the Facebook page as "a vanity project of questionable skill and intent."

If you've heard Jenn's gorgeous voice in Wye Oak, however, you probably expect — and will no doubt receive — much more "skill" than she suggests.

Flock of Dimes opens up on Friday for acclaimed North Carolina "electro-pop" duo Sylvan Esso. Fally Afani of I Heart Local Music and Lawrence.com had a chance to chat with Esso member Amelia Meath, and you can read the full interview here.

TEDxLawrence, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday, Liberty Hall

Everyone loves TED talks these days, and Monday's independently-organized event (as designated by the "x" in its title) is a fine opportunity to "share a TED-like experience" and hear talks ranging from a "complexity theorist" to a yo-yo master to a WORLD champion air-guitarist (LFK's own Eric "Mean" Melin).

The friendly organizers have invited us on board to live-tweet some of the afternoon sessions, so give us a follow @LarryvilleLife and enjoy vicariously if you are stuck at work all day (or don't have a ticket because the event is sold out).

Visit the event's website for a list of speakers and ticket info, and find the Facebook page here.

Jennifer Engstrom (The Angel) and Seamus Mulcahy (Prior) are pictured in a scene from Kansas City Repertory Theatre's production of "Angels in America," which runs through March 29.

Jennifer Engstrom (The Angel) and Seamus Mulcahy (Prior) are pictured in a scene from Kansas City Repertory Theatre's production of "Angels in America," which runs through March 29. by Don Ipock/Contributed Photo

"Angels in America," Kansas City Repertory Theatre, through March 29 (check listings)

As theater fans (and in keeping with the get-out-of-town spirit of spring break) we wanted to offer a rare Kansas City pick in this week's column.

The KC Rep's current production is Tony Kushner's Pulitzer-winning masterwork "Angels in America," a wild, searing, and often hilarious play about Reagan's America and the AIDS crisis comprised of interlocking storylines that dig deep into issues of sexual, political and religious identity.

Theaters are rarely ambitious enough to tackle both parts of Kushner's epic, which each run three-hours and are respectively subtitled "Millennium Approaches" and "Perestroika." The Rep, however, is offering a chance to see both parts either on alternating nights or in one fell swoop on Saturdays and Sundays, a Herculean but worthy task we undertook this past Sunday. Don't panic: there's a long dinner break between parts.

Seeing both parts in one day offers a truly memorable theater-going experience and, if you're up to the challenge, is certainly the best way to fully appreciate the play's continually echoing conversations above love, law, forgiveness and justice.

So consider getting out of town and getting a large dose of culture! This production is at the Rep's Copaken Stage, located in KC's Power and Light District, which provides plenty of dining and entertainment options for the three-hour break between parts.

Best of Lawrence voting, now through March 31

NCAA tournament brackets aren't the only thing you need to be filling out this time of year. Crack a PBR or two and click here to begin your (shockingly) long journey through the many categories in the annual Best of Lawrence competition (you also have the option to vote for specific categories if you don't want to go cast a vote for everything). Our favorite categories this year are "Best Secret Menu" (they won't be secret much longer!) and "Best Unsung Hero" (write them in and sing their praises!).

Perhaps you'll vote for us as "Best New Lawrence.com Column?" Is that really a category? Probably not. But there IS a category for "Best Local Blog, Facebook, Twitter or other Social Media Page" if you feel like writing your pals @LarryvilleLife in there.

Tweet us some ideas for next week's Weekend Picks while you're at it!

Reply

God bless you, Gnarly Davidson

"Can I get a hot sh*t?!" Gnarly Davidson's exuberant bassist Sam Gunnerson starts nearly every set by screaming this into the mic.

The audience always happily replies "Hot sh*t!"

Here's how one of the most brutal bands in Lawrence lights up the room. For starters, they make sure they're on the same level as their fans. They ditch the stage to set up on the floor and become one with the people.

"We don't like stages because they make us feel uncomfortable," they told the Bottleneck audience last Friday night. The self-proclaimed "beer rock" band is instant gratification for any music fan. The throbbing bass is so intense and pleasurable, you can actually feel it rumble through your body and turn your knees to jelly.

Gunnerson and the band's other guitarist, Mitch Jones, take turns screaming into the mic. The band normally trudges through one sludgy grunge number after another. But Gnarly Davidson is so polished now, drummer Franklin Fantini begins their sets by rapidly pounding away at the kit. Forget the earplugs, this is a band you'll want to take right in the face.

They divide their time between growling and grumbling through songs and telling dirty jokes. A Gnarly Davidson set has become a perfect outlet for all that pent-up frustration you built during the week. They like to jokingly announce, "Hi, we're Gnarly Davidson and this is our last song," at the beginning of their sets because the entire performance feels like one long song (which is why you're only getting a snippet of it below).

They then proceed to take you through a labyrinth of riffs and rock, but they always come full circle with a grand finish to a song they started earlier in the set.

God bless you, Gnarly Davidson. You truly are hot sh*t.

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.

Reply

Community celebrates Pi Day with the Alferd Packer Memorial String Band

There's nothing better than a wacky Lawrence tradition, and what better way to celebrate all things weird than a made-up holiday.

On Saturday, with the date standing proudly at 3/14/15, the Lawrence Public Library became the Lawrence Public Pie-brary when the town celebrated all things pi with Lolla-Pi-Looza.

Our ambassadors of abnormal for this event were none other than the Alferd Packer Memorial String Band, who have an album dedicated to the irrational number and delicious baked treat. They came loaded with an hour's worth of entertainment, science-related tunes, musical guests and pie puns. "This is the time in March when we all get together and celebrate Saint Patrick driving the pies out of Ireland!" they announced at the beginning of the set.

The popular comedic folk band kept the mood mostly lighthearted, although they did get a few political jabs in since they're men (and women) of science. The packed audience cheered wildly when the musicians criticized the school board for their anti-science stance, and sang along sweetly when they played "You Are My Sunshine."

At the moment of pi, 3:14 p.m., they called up a local hula-hooper so that a circle was represented at the proper moment. The band also gave nods to a family that showed up in their own homemade pi shirts. "It's an entire irrational family!" they exclaimed.

Here's a song about how much they enjoy pi and pie.

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.

Reply

Weekend Picks IV: Documentaries, comedians, A Very Special SXSW Message From The Noise FM, Lolla-Pi-Looza and Marx Madness

Readers, we are now on our fourth week here at Lawrence.com and already the column is evolving.

Since the column tends to "go live" on Wednesdays at midnight, we realized that we should also be covering Thursday events. Let's not kid ourselves: many of you kick off your weekends on Thursdays, if not before.

So contained within you'll find a "highbrow" Thursday pick, a not-so-highbrow Thursday pick, and a lot of weekend music picks, including a "very special message" from Chicago rockers The Noise FM as they (like several other bands mentioned here) prepare to embark on the annual pilgrimage to Austin's South by Southwest (SXSW) music festival. Plus, we also threw in a couple of family-friendly Saturday and Sunday afternoon picks for good measure.

Documentary film screening: "Finding Vivian Maier," 7 p.m. Thursday, Lawrence Arts Center

Everyone is into documentaries these days. Even people you would not necessarily expect to be watching documentaries seem to be talking about documentaries (especially that recent "Blackfish" documentary, which got everyone pissed off and claiming they'll never return to Sea World).

Stop by the Lawrence Arts Center on Thursday night for a free screening of the acclaimed doc "Finding Vivian Maier." The FB event page offers this description: "This award-winning documentary shuttles from New York to France to Chicago as it traces the intriguing life story of the late Vivian Maier, a career nanny whose previously unknown cache of 100,000 photographs has earned her a posthumous reputation as one of America’s most accomplished and insightful street photographers."

If you haven't attended one of the ever-more-numerous film events at the Lawrence Arts Center, you likely don't realize that their main auditorium is an excellent place to watch a movie. Plus, there will also be a follow-up discussion of the film with three locals bringing their perspectives to bear on the film's issues: photographer Ann Dean, filmmaker Laura Kirk, and KU photography professor John Putz.

Break away from Netflix for an evening and join the community.

Good Time open mic and comedy showcase, 6-9 p.m. Thursday, Replay Lounge, followed by rock and roll from Kim and the Created at 10 p.m.

We wrote a lot about the recent growth of LFK's very active comedy scene over at our old blog, but it's possible that our new readers here at Lawrence.com are not yet aware of this weekly "matinee" event at the Replay hosted by local comedy collective Harpoon Presents. Sign-up begins at 6:30 for the 7 p.m. open mic, which is followed by a showcase of three or four local (and occasionally touring) comedians at 8.

We don't know about you, but we're fans of ritual, and it's nice to know that you can always count on hearing a few good boner jokes to start off your weekend. The cover is only $2, leaving you extra cash for PBR and (returning soon) tacos from LFK's beloved Taco Zone, which is also poised to expand into a full restaurant on Eighth Street.

Stick around late on this particular evening and catch LA's well-hyped Kim and the Created as they pass through on their way to SXSW. The flier alone is enough to sell us on this show, but the following blurb from the SXSW schedule clinches it: "Her over the top stage antics and outfits are only surpassed by the sheer strength of her Stooges and Cramps influenced garage gems."

The Noise FM/Archie Powell and the Exports/Me Like Bees, 10 p.m. Friday, Replay

Area fans of The Noise FM can almost always count on at least two area appearances per year from these "sleek...athletic...masters of the universe" and all-around golden gods who relocated from LFK to Chicago many years ago. They reliably pop up in December to spread cheer at their annual "Noise for Toys" benefit and they tend to swing through again in March for a pit-stop on their way to South by Southwest.

The "Noise Boys" will be at the Replay on Friday the 13th for a big triple-bill with fellow Chicagoans Archie Powell and the Exports. The tour is called "The Magnificent 7 Tour" (because there are seven of them and because this will be the Noise Boys' seventh trip to SXSW) and we're hoping they have a stunt planned in reference to the tour's namesake film, such as riding into the Replay on horses.

Make sure to get there early enough for a sweet-as-honey opening set from buzzy Joplin rockers Me Like Bees, since missing their show would really sting! (Yes, that's three bits of bee-wordplay in a single sentence). Visit the FB event page for the show here.

Old fans of our Larryville Chronicles blog may be aware of our long-running tradition of having The Noise FM send us a funny/silly blurb prior to their area shows, and we wanted to continue that proud tradition here. So enjoy the long tale about a very unusual fundraising campaign to insure their safe arrival in Austin next week. And make sure to buy them a PBR at the Replay on Friday!

*"Replay! Mop up the floors and fill up the pitchers – The Noise Boys are coming home!

For those keeping score, this is our 7th trip down to SXSW, and we have a strong feeling that this is reallllly gonna be The Noise FM’s year. It’s common knowledge in the music biz that it takes 7 years of playing SXSW before record execs start to take notice. There’s no way we’re coming home without a record deal this time around.

Assuming our van Topanga withstands the drive.

For the 3rd consecutive year we’re faced with several hundred dollars of van repairs before we hit the road, including repairs to a cracked radiator and a broken brake line. We’re not sure how a radiator cracks or a brake line breaks, let alone what either of them do, but our guy over at Logan Square Auto seems to think that both are necessary for our 2300 mile drive to Texas and back.

So here’s our latest idea, and it’s even better than when we invented the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge last year:

There’s a song called “Miss You” by a Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Award-winning band called Blink 182. By all accounts, it’s an atrocious tune as well as our go-to karaoke song whenever everyone in the bar is having too much fun and we want to bring them down a notch. Some brave hero on YouTube created a 10 hour loop of Tom DeLonge’s verse -- the one where he chimes in with that tornado siren of a voice of his to ask “Where are you?” before racing to finish a sentence with way too many syllables before the chorus starts.

We plan to listen to this 10-hour piece of shit for money. We’re proposing our version of a Walk-A-Thon, a fundraiser that does nothing to help the community and exclusively benefits The Noise FM and Archie Powell & The Exports so that we can offset our van repairs costs. A Van-A-Thon perhaps?

For every $1 donated, all seven of us in The Noise FM and Archie Powell & The Exports will listen to Tom DeLelonge’s verse of “Miss You” for 1 minute in the van.

For every $5, 10 minutes.

For every $20, an entire hour.

Donations will be accepted at shows or via paypal at archiefmtour@gmail.com

We’ll be documenting the Blink 182 experiment during our travels at twitter.com/thenoisefm, twitter.com/archiepowell, IG: thenoisefm, IG: archiepowell, www.facebook.com/thenoisefm, and www.facebook.com/archiepowellandtheexports.

We have a 36 hour drive ahead of us. Bring it on, Tom!"

Till Willis and Erratic Cowboy/Jon Harrison and the Cash Cows, 10 p.m. Friday, Frank's North Star Tavern

If you're not really into the Noise Boys or you're worried that they might just get drunk and play Blink-182 songs instead of their usual set (entirely possible), head north of the river for an evening of rock at Frank's, assuming you are not afraid to hang out on Friday the 13th in a dark basement that probably used to be a cockfighting pit. (Actually, the FB event page claims the show is upstairs. We just wanted to make that joke).

Tonight's double-bill feature Till Willis and Erratic Cowboy along with Jon Harrison and the Cash Cows playing an evening of "future-rustic roots-rock." We don't think we've encountered this particular Harrison band-name before (is it a different line-up than the Harrisonics?) but we always trust Jon is up to something awesome.

Psychic Heat cassette release show, 9 p.m. Friday, The Bottleneck

This show has our favorite (local) flier of the week and is almost certainly the best bet for local music collectors, with Psychic Heat "re-releasing their EP Lighter and Brighter on Cassette through Whatever Forever with an additional unreleased B side and full live performance of the EP on side B!"

Stop by and greet the Heat (do people call them the Heat?) before they head down to impress the masses at SXSW the next week. With The Sluts and Gnarly Davidson opening up, this is also our pick for LOUDEST show of the week. Visit the FB event page here.

Lolla-Pi-Looza, 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Lawrence Public LIbrary

Readers, is it possible that some of you want us to cover more family-friendly events that don't necessarily occur at night and center around beer? We're just not sure, since no one ever comments on Lawrence.com posts in this new era of talkback-accountability.

Just in case, we'll offer a plug for the Lawrence Public Library's goofily-titled Lolla-Pi-Looza, a celebration of Pi Day (3/14) featuring LFK's Alferd Packer Memorial String Band performing "songs about math and science." Find info via the LPL website.

Marx Madness, 4 p.m. Sunday, Liberty Hall

Liberty Hall's popular "Marx Madness" event returns for the second year starting Sunday to delight those who prefer to supplement their basketball-watching with some Marx Brothers hijinks. We were on hand last year for "A Night at the Opera," and a man in the audience laughed so hard at the legendary "stateroom scene" that we honestly thought he might die.

This year features four lesser-known films from the Brothers. "Animal Crackers" screens on Sunday at 4 followed by "At the Circus" at 6. "The Cocoanuts" and "Horse Feathers" are slated for March 29.

Don't worry: none of these films will conflict with actual KU basketball games, most of which (we've heard) are also slated to be shown at Liberty Hall barring conflicts with previously scheduled conflicts.

As ever, tweet us @LarryvilleLife with tips or rants or raves. We're (often) happy to plug your events if we know about them and they have enough of an online presence to warrant the space.

Reply

Harmonizing sirens: The Ovaries-eez bring needed attention to Girls Rock Camp

The Ovaries-eez perform at the Replay Lounge on Friday

The Ovaries-eez perform at the Replay Lounge on Friday by Fally Afani

Women ruled the Replay stage on Friday night as part of a fundraiser to bring Girls Rock Camp to Lawrence. The night featured a stunningly wide array of female Lawrence performers ranging from the dainty to the nitty-gritty (we're looking at you, The Bad Ideas).

The night began with a swoon-worthy set from The Ovaries-eez. If their likable, punny name didn't win you over, their attitude did. We like to joke that this is the type of band you'd see in the feminist bookstore on "Portlandia." Amber Hansen, Johni Lacore and Monica George perfect the art of simplicity to convey female-centered themes, such as motherhood.

The three sirens who constantly harmonize over a softly strumming guitar. Very rarely do they stray from this style, although for a couple of songs they bust out the kick drum and pound away at a driving folk tune or two. After one song that featured the kick drum, they joked, "That's probably as hardcore as we get. We have a distortion pedal, but we don't use it." The rest of their time is spent softly crooning and gently swaying in their seats.

Here are a couple of clips from their Friday night performance, including one featuring that exciting kick drum!

Right now Girls Rock Lawrence needs lots of volunteers and donations. This is an extraordinary event that provides "a safe space for adolescent girls to participate in music education and mutual empowerment through Lawrence."

You can help by teaching a class, donating gear (this is something dudes can provide for the camp), or working to promote the camp, which runs the first week of June. For all information, including how to contact Girls Rock Lawrence, click 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.

Reply

Ponyboy returns from a dark place

Ponyboy at the Replay Lounge on March 5.

Ponyboy at the Replay Lounge on March 5. by Fally Afani

"This next one's called I hate myself and I wanna die."

Ponyboy went away for a little while. We don't know where they've been, but it must have been a dark place.

It's been a few months since the sludgy grunge duo's last show. We all thought they had officially called it quits. But on Thursday night, they returned to the Replay with a different feel to their set. Before the break, they were fairly saucy. But the band now has a much more somber attitude.

The lyrics are tortured and heartbreaking, but the rhythms are peppy enough to get stuck in your head. Thank God for those catchy bits, or else we'd all just surrender to sadness. Countering those mellow lyrics with more upbeat rhythms is no accident.

That's a deliberate move from frontman Charles McVey. He's very smart and knows what he's doing, and one of the few musicians left in town who comes off as a true artist.

He plays impressive solos on his bass that make you never question why there isn't a boring old six-string onstage. McVey's growls and screams are really all the rage.

He's got one of the more solid drummers in the area backing him up. David Zey's big, brawny frame owns that kick drum, and on this night he beat the drums so hard that a stick broke and flew out onto the front of the stage. He's the kind of drummer you could listen to doing sound check for hours.

The set was packed with nothing but new songs and ended on a surprise Sabbath cover. Here's one song we took to be called "I hate myself and I wanna die."

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.

Reply

Weekend Picks III: Dwight Twilley and Josh Berwanger; Girls Rock Lawrence benefit; Kansas Craft Beer Expo; Taproom poetry

Readers, do you have a ticket for the sold-out Kansas Craft Beer Expo in LFK this weekend? We hope you do. If not, however, there are plenty of other equally worthy ways to spend your time (also while drinking beer). Let's take a look:

She Plays Replay: GRL Benefit, 10 p.m. Friday, Replay

Our pick for Fundraiser of the Weekend is this Replay show, which offers a varied selection of female-centric bands with proceeds going to establish a week-long summer rock camp (Girls Rock Lawrence/GRL) for girls ages 7-12. Tonight's tunes range from the punk rock onslaught of KC's The Bad Ideas to the gritty garage duo of Mr. and the Mrs. to La Guerre's lovely electronic musings to the very unusual "ethereal folk" of the brilliantly-named Ovaries-eez. Visit the Facebook event page here and make sure to be on hand on Friday. Do it for the ladies!

Dwight Twilley and Josh Berwanger Band, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Love Garden

As we noted last week, Love Garden is KILLING it on the in-store rock shows in 2015, and this Saturday's show promises to be the best yet. Tulsa power-pop legend Dwight Twilley will play an acoustic set at 7:30 p.m. followed by LFK/KC's own Josh Berwanger Band, topped off by a Twilley meet-and-greet and merch-signing. It's a release show for a Twilley/Berwanger 7". Find full details on the Facebook event page here.

The show will cost you 10 bucks, which is 10 bucks more than most Love Garden shows, but don't grumble — it will be worth it. A stage is even being constructed so that people further than 10 feet away will actually be able to see a Love Garden show for the first time ever! A limited number of seats will be available for this one, so get your tickets at the Love Garden quickly.

How will Berwanger's arena-ready sound work in the confines of Love Garden (LOUDLY, we assume) and will he bring his fog machine? We've seen at least one fog machine snafu in Love Garden before, so things could get interesting!

We asked Josh to give us an entertaining account of his background with Dwight Twilley and what to expect at this show:

"Twilley and I first met randomly in Tampa, Florida, where we both just so happened to be at one of our favorite places to eat on the road: Hogan's Beach, a tropical/wrestling themed restaurant that's the brainchild of Hulk Hogan. I recognized Dwight at the bar and politely asked what he was doing here. He said he was ordering a (and in unison we both said) "Hogan's Punch," which is one of the specialty cocktails the Hulkster has to offer at his very classy establishment. We exchanged cellphones and kept in touch since.

"...When we finish (the Love Garden show), Dwight will take photos, sign autographs, and drink Miller Lights with fans. This event is in celebration of a split 7" we are doing together that comes out on Good Land Records. Good Land is also flying in for the show and will have some fun things to give away. There are also limited edition screen prints made for the show based on the Stull, KS church.

"There will be plenty of beer and Cuervo shots, plus both Love Garden cats will be dressed in tuxedos and will usher people to their seats. Yes! Love Garden will have seats for this event so leave your mouthpieces and jock straps/cups at home: moshing won't be allowed at this one."

Kansas Craft Brewers Expo, Saturday, Abe and Jake's; That DAM Beer Event at Abe and Jake's on Friday; Kansas Craft Beer Mixer, Friday, Burger Stand

Perhaps the highest-profile event of the weekend is the very popular Kansas Craft Brewers Expo, returning to Abe and Jake's on Saturday for two sessions running from noon-3 p.m. and 4:30-7:30 p.m. The event, as in past years, sold out pretty much immediately. No surprise, given that LFK is the seventh drunkest American city.

If you've got $50 to spare, Abe and Jake's is also hosting an event called That DAM Beer Event the night before the Expo. The event features different breweries than the Expo, and beers will be paired with "heavy appetizers" from Merchant's Pub and Plate (hopefully they have the one that we like to call "cornballs"). Visit the Facebook event page here.

If you missed the boat on Expo tickets and prefer your beer events without a hefty cover charge, you can head to Burger Stand on Friday for its Craft Beer Mixer, where many of the Expo brewers will be on hand. The Facebook event page promises "a raffle for awesome prizes including neon signs, hats, shirts, bags and more" with proceeds going to the Lawrence Humane Society.

Taproom Poetry Series: Jessica Comola, Tim Earley, and Candice Wuehle, 5 p.m. Sunday, Eighth Street Taproom

As proud members of LFK's notorious PBR Book Club, we are always looking for interesting/unusual new literature. Combine that with our Southern background, and we have to take a few minutes to recommend the poetry of Tim Earley, born in North Carolina and currently holding court in Oxford, Miss.

Earley was recently hailed in the Huffington Post as "a master of anaphora, Biblical rhythms, revelatory testimony, tell-it-slant aggression, and juxtapositive imagery that borrows heavily from the Southern lexicon."

A friend of ours who knows Earley from Oxford offers this irresistible, and much funnier, description: "Tim practices something he calls postmodern French Appalachian poetry. It's some wildly good stuff. I don't understand a word of it."

Visit the FB event page here for more info on Earley and the evening's other readers.

" A Raisin in the Sun," KU Theatre, Feb. 27-March 8/"Clybourne Park," Theatre Lawrence, Feb. 27-March 8

Another weekend remains to catch the exciting cross-town collaboration between KU Theatre and Theatre Lawrence as they present, respectively, Lorraine Hansberry's classic "A Raisin in the Sun" and Bruce Norris' provocative Pulitzer-winning "spin-off" "Clybourne Park." We wrote about the plays in last week's column and the LJ-World ran a great feature article as well.

We caught "Raisin" last Sunday and are happy to report that it is beautifully acted and ultimately so warm and welcoming that it easily overcame the slightly drafty and not-so-comfortable Crafton-Preyer Theatre at KU.

We look forward to catching "Clybourne" this weekend in the cozier confines of Theatre Lawrence, where we can laugh at the edgy material with a drink in hand. According to the friendly folks we spoke to at the box office, Clybourne ruffled some feathers within the older community theater crowd during its first weekend, and numerous complaints were leveled. We encourage you to support material like this. Otherwise, Theatre Lawrence will almost certainly retreat into producing the kind of exclusively "safe" musicals and farces that dominate most community theater schedules.

Tweet at us @LarryvilleLife and we'll see you on the town.

Reply

Were tanks once parked on Pachamamas’ roof?

When Chad Lawhorn wrote last month about plans to repurpose the Pachamamas building at Eighth and New Hampshire, it generated some buzz.

Readers had strong feelings about Pachamamas. Readers also had strong feelings about Doug Compton, who purchased the site. And readers had strong feelings about tanks. on. roofs.

You see, Chad included this note:

But don’t look for the building to get torn down. Instead, look for four additional stories to be built atop the existing structure. The building used to be an armory and was built to a heavy-duty standard. My understanding is the building was constructed to allow a helicopter to land on the roof, and Compton said he has photos of tanks parked on the roof. (Don’t look at me, I wasn’t driving.)

Artist's interpretation

Artist's interpretation

This was a great hook for social media. But like everything on Twitter, it was fast forgotten.

That is, until Tuesday, when we posted renderings of the new building. No mention of roof tanks, sadly, but people remembered! So I dived into our archives.

Sure enough, 800 New Hampshire was once a Kansas National Guard Armory. Or rather, the building had a second floor. And it was an armory.

From July 25, 1930:

None

"Announcement of the leasing of a new armory for the two local Kansas National Guard companies was made today by officers of the two units. Starting as soon as the L. L. Riling building, which is now under construction at Eighth and New Hampshire streets, is completed, the two companies will occupy the second floor of the new building. …
"The second floor of the building will measure 117 by 110 feet of which an area measuring 101 by 84 feet will be used for a drill floor. The remainder of the space will be occupied by offices, locker rooms, storage rooms and other quarters.
"For the past five years the units have occupied the Armory at 740 Vermont street. The lease on this building expires soon. The new quarters will provide much more room than the old armory. The new building will be well lighted and well ventilated. …
"The new armory will have a cement floor and the walls will be of natural brick finish. Partitions will be of wood. The drill space will be clear there being no supports or posts of any kind in the way. The roof will be supported by curved beams.
"Officers plan to install a target range in the new building. A ramp running in from the west side of the building will make it possible for trucks to drive onto the drill floor. This feature will be of special convenience just before and after the annual encampment at Fort Riley when much equipment must be taken to the camp and then returned to the various supply rooms."

So that answers that. But why is the Pachamamas building (site of Midwest Graphics before that) only one level? What happened to the second story?

None

Oh.

From Dec. 6, 1938:

"Amidst the explosion of 100,000 rounds of 22 and 30 caliber ammunition, firemen waged a stiff battle early today with a blaze which destroyed the National Guard Armory occupying the second floor of the building at 800 New Hampshire street.
"The M. F. Hudson Motor company which occupies the lower floor of the building suffered only water and smoke damage. L. L. Riling, owner of the building, estimated that his damage might reach $15,000. His loss was approximately half covered by insurance. Officers of National Guard companies using the armory estimated the loss to the U.S. Army at $100,000.
"The origin of the fire was unknown today. Company M held its weekly drill in the armory earlier last night. The fire department received the alarm at 2:03 o’clock this morning and when the firemen arrived on the scene the blaze was nearly out of control."

The fire was a big mess, and it's even mentioned that "Three members of the K.U. football team saw duty in the alarm."

"A large crowd gathered to watch the blaze but the onlookers gave the building a wide leeway because of the exploding cartridges.
"Jesse Jackson, 331 Indiana street, said that relatives living closer to the scene called him at about 3 o’clock and at that time the boom of exploding cartridges could be heard plainly at his home."

Thoughts immediately turned to replacing or repairing the armory.

"Destruction of the armory caused a revival of consideration of plans for the construction of an armory building to house the local National Guard units. The military affairs committee of the Chamber of Commerce had previously dropped the plans because the building at Eighth and New Hampshire streets had been constructed by Lee Riling under arrangements to use the second floor as an armory.
"Plans for a separate armory building will now be considered in connection with the problem of home for the military companies."

And as the days passed, it became more and more apparent that the second floor was a total loss.

From Dec. 7, 1938:

None

"L. L. Riling, owner of the building said today that he had started collecting figures to determine the cost of replacing the building. In the meantime, workmen were clearing away the debris of the fire and breaking down the walls of the second story to determine how much of the walls can be left standing in the rebuilding process."

From Dec. 8, 1938:

None

"No attempt will be made this winter to rebuild the National Guard armory, L. L. Riling, owner of the building which formerly housed the armory, said today.
"Riling said that the reconstruction of the second story of the building at 800 New Hampshire street would be postponed at least until spring and even then he might decide to repair the building to provide only one floor.
"The owner of the building, which was damaged by fire Monday night, said the approach of winter weather had prompted his decision to place a temporary roof over the first floor to protect the M. F. Hudson Motor company, which occupies the lower level of the building."

In the spring of 1939, the city held a special election in April and voters approved $75,000 in bonds to construct a new armory and community building at 115 W. 11th St.

None

That building is still around today, but it's only known by one of those names: Community Building.

None

No word if tanks ever parked on its roof.


(Big thanks to Brittany Keegan and the staff at Watkins Museum of History for pointing me in the right direction)

Reply 5 comments from Leslie Swearingen Rick Masters Richard Ballard Fred St. Aubyn David Holroyd

An electrifying power: The Bad Ideas light up the Jackpot

Sugar, spice and everything rotten. Is there anything more alluring than a Bad Ideas set? This punk rock band from Kansas City is quite active on its home turf, but rarely make their way to Lawrence for a performance. So when they do end up here, it's a real treat.

They made an appearance at the Jackpot over the weekend under the glistening new light installation. Singer Break-A-Dawn is absolutely startling with her dramatic (yet intimidating) jumps and tumbles on the stage.

Guitarist Britt Adair is not one to mess with. This statuesque musician possesses such an electrifying power with those guitar skills, it's hard to take your eyes off her towering above you. Combine an enigmatic bassist and completely splendid drummer, and you've got something truly remarkable.

The band got kudos for stopping their performance and making the audience honor Leonard Nimoy by yelling "It's Spock Time!" and leading the audience in the "Live long and prosper" hand salute.

You can watch The Bad Ideas this Friday at the Replay for the "She Plays Replay" Girls Rock Camp fundraiser with Mr. and the Mrs., La Guerre, and The Ovaries-Eez.

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.

Reply

Weekend Picks: Final Friday, Comedy Freakout, fundraisers, rock and roll, and two great plays

Readers, we're still trying to find our footing and figure out our target audience here at our new Lawrence.com gig. Exactly who IS the readership for the site these days? Honestly, we're not sure. Somehow we suspect the readers may be primarily thirtysomething and fortysomething women looking for fashion advice and recipes for hearty winter soups. But maybe we're wrong.

Anyway, unlike last week's mostly mellow and folky picks in our debut column, many (but not all) of this week's options are geared toward a somewhat younger demographic. We've got Final Friday activities, comedy, rock and roll, and theater to consider.

Here goes.

Red Legger Studios art opening plus three bands, 6 p.m. Friday, Love Garden

Kick off your Final Friday by perusing screen prints and zines from Nick Perry while digging tunes from The Youngest Children, No Cave and Spirit is the Spirit.

Love Garden seems to have upped the frequency of its in-store rock shows so far in 2015. We were recently on hand for a stellar Valentine's Day show featuring various incarnations of OILS from a two-piece up to a seven-piece.

If Nick's awesome fliers for this event are any indication, this show should be impressive as well. Visit the Facebook event page here for further details and set times for the bands.

Comedy Freakout Turns 2!, 10 p.m. Friday, Frank's North Star Tavern

For two years now, young comedy fans have flocked north of the river to see their favorite comedians perform in what was probably a cockfighting pit long before it became the cozy (if still slightly creepy) basement of Frank's North Star.

The Freakout draws touring headliners — this edition features Stryker Spurlock and Andrew Mihalevich from Saint Louis — plus local and KC favorites. And the whole freaky affair is hosted by the adorable duo of Peter Lyrene and Chance Dibben, LFK's answer to Laurel and Hardy (if Laurel and Hardy worked blue and loved poop jokes). The FB event page is here.

SXSW Bound: I Heart Local Music fundraiser, 9 p.m. Friday AND Saturday, Jackpot

At this time of year, local bands are in full manic preparation mode for the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, and I Heart Local Music's annual fundraiser is a good way to help some of them kick-start their journey while catching a slew of the area's best local and regional bands.

Acts range from the "beer rock" of LFK's Gnarly Davidson to the garage pop goodness of St. Louis duo Bruiser Queen to the bearded barbaric yawps of Nicholas St. James and Tyler Gregory. Visit the FB event page here for a full list of bands. Chances are you'll catch a couple favorites and discover a band or two you haven't heard before.

Who and the F**ks, 10 p.m. Friday, Replay Lounge

Perhaps none of the bands at the Jackpot appeal to you for some reason. Perhaps your genre of choice is "dumpster surf" and you like your bands to be from Oklahoma and have odd names. Then consider Who and the F**ks, opening up at the Replay tonight. Of all the shows this weekend, surely this one has the most potential to provoke accidental Abbott and Costello routines:

"Who the f**k did you say you're seeing at Replay tonight?"

"No. Who AND the F**ks."

"Right. That's what I just asked you. Who the f**k are you seeing?"

"No, no, the band is NAMED Who and the F**ks."

Etc etc.

Rockin' Comedy Show, doors at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Jazzhaus

Another worthy fundraiser — with all proceeds going to LFK's Ballard Community Services — is slated for Saturday at the Jazzhaus. The Card Table Productions gang will be performing at 7 p.m. Performing what? We don't know. But it will be something weird, no doubt. This is followed by music from Thunderkat, performing some "epic '80s hard rock" at 8:30. The cover is $10 but this sounds like a full evening of shenanigans.

From left, Diadra Smith, Catherine A. Collins and Tripp Starr rehearse a scene from "Raisin in the Sun" on Wednesday at Crafton-Preyer Theatre in Murphy Hall. The KU University Theatre production opens Friday, and is in conjunction with Theatre Lawrence's production of "Clybourne Park," which also opens Friday and runs through March 8.

From left, Diadra Smith, Catherine A. Collins and Tripp Starr rehearse a scene from "Raisin in the Sun" on Wednesday at Crafton-Preyer Theatre in Murphy Hall. The KU University Theatre production opens Friday, and is in conjunction with Theatre Lawrence's production of "Clybourne Park," which also opens Friday and runs through March 8. by John Young

"Raisin in the Sun," KU University Theatre, Feb. 27-March 8/"Clybourne Park," Theatre Lawrence, Feb. 27-March 8

A truly special theater opportunity begins this weekend in LFK. KU's University Theatre is performing Lorraine Hansberry's beloved 1959 classic "A Raisin in the Sun" while Theatre Lawrence simultaneously performs Bruce Norris' 2011 Pulitzer-winning "Clybourne Park," a provocative commentary on race relations that is also an unusual "spin-off" of Hansberry's play.

For those who need a quick refresher on "Raisin," the play charts the travails of the Youngers, an African-American family in 1950s Chicago on the verge of moving into all-white Clybourne Park. Norris' update covers a 50 year span: the first act looks in on the white family in 1959 whose house will soon be occupied by the Youngers while the second act leaps forward to a vision of the same neighborhood in 2009. "Clybourne" can easily stand alone, but knowledge of "Raisin" deepens its thematic resonance and the two even briefly share an overlapping character.

It's also worth noting that "Clybourne Park" is edgier fare than one usually expects from Theatre Lawrence (or community theater in general), so kudos to them for attempting it. The language is raw and the humor is scathing. The 2013 production we saw at the Unicorn in KC was an entertaining yet bracing experience, so we hope the Theatre Lawrence effort lives up to high expectations.

Visit KU University Theatre here and Theatre Lawrence here for ticket info, and inquire about special discount prices if you are purchasing tickets to both plays.

As always, tweet us @LarryvilleLife with tips for this column or email blurbs and links: larryvillelife@gmail.com

Reply

Weekend Picks: Gentlemen Geeks, Martin Sexton, Chuck Mead, True West auditions, Taproom poetry

Welcome to our debut column at Lawrence.com, in which we will showcase a few worthy ways to spend part of your weekend in LFK.

Many of you may know us from our omnipresent tweeting via @LarryvilleLife. You might also remember our old “Weekend Picks” column from the now-defunct Larryville Chronicles blog, a site where we often said raunchy things that will not be repeated in the civilized world of Lawrence.com, because this is a happy place where even the commenters must behave and identify themselves these days. However, we do hope to maintain a little attitude and offer a bit of critical perspective on your weekend options. Otherwise, you might as well just peruse the calendar portion of this site.

We’ll do our best to offer a balance of selections covering music, comedy, art, theater, festivals and anything else that might broaden your cultural horizons. Is it possible to bribe us with a few PBRs and get your event mentioned here? Maybe.

So let's see what's happening this weekend.

Gentlemen Geeks, 6-9 p.m. Friday at the Replay Lounge AND 10-ish, Frank's North Star Tavern

Everyone knows the Replay has Sunday matinee patio shows in the spring and summer, but not everyone knows there are often Friday matinees as well, even in these often-gray winter months. At this time of year, the Friday matinees are indoors and cozy and provide a fine way to kick off your evening with a PBR and an intimate performance.

The Gentleman Geeks describe themselves as a hybrid of jazz and bluegrass, specifically “old-timey 1930s carnival influenced jazz/bluegrass.” Readers, you will see trombones alongside fiddles and a washtub bass. We caught one of their first LFK shows awhile back and were highly amused. We can also assure you that, unlike the carnival geeks of yesteryear, these "gentlemen" will (probably) not bite the heads off live chickens during the set.

If you enjoy the Geeks enough, perhaps you can carpool to Frank's North Star Tavern with them after the show, since they are opening up for the County Graves around 10-ish. Busy, busy Geeks! The Argyle Sky opens the early show at the Replay.

Martin Sexton

Martin Sexton

Martin Sexton, doors at 7 p.m., show at 8 p.m. Saturday, The Granada,

Our pick for touring act of the weekend is the acclaimed singer-songwriter Martin Sexton, whose last performance in LFK was an all-too-brief opening slot for a packed Josh Ritter show at Liberty Hall in 2013. Sexton seemed to win over a whole new set of younger LFK fans at that show, so perhaps some of them will help fill the Granada on Saturday for his headlining performance.

If you think you’re bored with the usual singer-songwriter fare, you probably haven’t heard Sexton’s brand of folk and soul, accompanied by a mind-boggling falsetto, fingerstyle guitar and occasional scat-singing.

If you’re an old fan, you may be thinking that the Granada seems like a bit of an odd room for Sexton, and perhaps it is. The few Sexton shows we’ve seen over the years, however, have convinced us he sounds great in ANY room. Sexton's new album, "Mixtape for the Open Road," is his first full-length studio recording in five years and was just released Feb. 10.

Chuck Mead and His Grassy Knoll Boys, doors 6 p.m., show 7 p.m. Saturday, the Bottleneck

The elder statesmen (and women) of the Lawrence scene always turn up in droves when Chuck Mead passes through town.

Well-known in Lawrence from his days in Homestead Grays and BR5-49, Mead is touring these days with his three Grassy Knoll Boys backing him up. The show we caught at the Bottleneck last February was a rollicking barnburner with guest vocal appearances from local legend Ricky Dean Sinatra and even Chuck’s mom. There is no reason to think this year’s gig will be anything less than a blast.

We had the pleasure of interviewing Chuck last year over at our old blog, where he relayed a memorable tale of a truly epic New Year's Eve performance at a long-gone Lawrence venue. Give it a read here if you are so inclined. Note the early start time for this show, which is perfect for the older set and also makes way for a late show from great LFK hip-hop act Ebony Tusks.

"True West" auditions, 1-3 p.m. Sunday, Lawrence Public Library, Room A

One of our most-anticipated theatrical events of the year is Card Table Theatre’s June production of "True West," Sam Shepard’s classic 1980 tale of brothers and “double nature.” We’ve been excited about Card Table’s recent willingness to tackle more challenging and ambitious fare, and "True West" promises to fully deliver on those fronts.

Director Rob Schulte — everyone’s favorite local barista, comedian and Shepard scholar — is planning an unusual staging of the play at Liberty Hall with an intimate setup that will bring the audience onstage with the actors. But who will the actors be? Well, readers, it could be you!

Auditions are being held in Room A of the Lawrence Public Library from 1-3 p.m. The play calls for three male roles and one female role, and Rob’s plan for the production is to have the two male leads switch roles each night in the manner of the much-loved Broadway production that starred Philip Seymour Hoffman and John C. Reilly. So you better bring your A-game to this audition! The Facebook event page notes that “actors are encouraged to bring a monologue, but sides will be provided.”

Elizabeth Schultz, a professor emeritus of English at Kansas University and the author of five collections of poems, is pictured here in her Lawrence home with her cat, Bruce.

Elizabeth Schultz, a professor emeritus of English at Kansas University and the author of five collections of poems, is pictured here in her Lawrence home with her cat, Bruce. by Mike Yoder

Taproom Poetry with Amy Ash, Sara Henning and Elizabeth Schultz, 5-7 p.m. Sunday, Eighth Street Taproom

By almost any reckoning, the Eighth Street Taproom is one of the three coolest bars in LFK, and the long-running Sunday poetry series (usually a monthly event) provides a nice chance to experience the Tap's basement without finding yourself in the midst of a sweaty DJ dance party.

Many long-time Lawrence residents are certainly familiar with one of this month’s readers, Elizabeth Schultz. Schultz is a former KU professor, Melville scholar, and environmental advocate who published three — yes, three — books of poetry last year. As for us, we didn’t publish a single poem last year, so we’re pretty impressed.

If you’ve had a class with Beth Schultz (full disclosure: we have), you know she’s a local treasure, so stop by in advance of your Oscar parties and fill your ears with poems from her and the others.

Feel free to tweet us @LarryvilleLife with ideas for future Weekend Picks, and you can also email us blurbs and links at larryvillelife@gmail.com

Reply

Four things LawrenceWomen should do during October

LawrenceWomen is where we will unpack nationally publicized issues that are important to women and have a discussion about what they mean on a local level. Read previous posts here.

• • •

1. Be politically engaged during the homestretch of elections.

According to some, this is the most important election in Kansas in 40 years. So get to know the candidates running for office if you haven't already. There are several opportunities sponsored by the League of Women Voters to hear what the candidates have to say in the final month before election day, which is Nov. 4.

  • Tune into KTWU for a candidate forum for Secretary of State candidates Kris Kobach and Jean Schodorf. on Oct. 22 at either 7–8 p.m. or 9–10 p.m. KTWU is channel 11.1.

  • 20 minute interviews with Governor candidates Sam Brownback, Paul Davis and Keen Umbehr will air on KTWU on Oct. 23 at 7:30 p.m.

  • To hear the candidates for U.S. House of Representatives (second district), watch KTWU again on Oct. 29 at 7 p.m. The forum will feature candidates Lynn Jenkins, Chris Clemmons and Margie Wakefield.


2. Cook (or just eat!) some good food.

Attend a cooking class for less-than-sufficient-foodies that is open to the public. Then complement what you learn in the cooking class with some drink recipes that you can concoct yourself. But, most importantly, these are eating opportunities.

Alive and Alert drink made with ginger, kale, spinach, grapes and apples at t. Loft, 4801 Bauer Farm Drive.

Alive and Alert drink made with ginger, kale, spinach, grapes and apples at t. Loft, 4801 Bauer Farm Drive. by Mike Yoder

  • Want to cook with sweet potatoes? Well, you can learn at the Community Mercantile, aka The Merc, on Oct. 9 from 7–9 p.m. Nutrition Coach Karen Duggan will teach you how to prepare sweet potato quinoa cakes, chicken pot pie over mashed sweet potatoes, red leaf salad with roasted sweet potatoes and sweet potato pudding. The class costs $18.

  • Create fall-themed, nutritious beverages (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic). Check out these healthy drink recipes (with tips from a local juicer and local bartenders) and try your hand at making juice, cocktails or mocktails.


3. Attend a lecture and learn which women’s issues scholars are talking about.

A couple of women are speaking about some intriguing women’s topics at Kansas University this month.

  • On Oct. 2, Karen Tice is visiting Lawrence from the University of Kentucky. She will be talking about “Race, Beauty, Politics & College Pageantry” at the Hall Center for Humanities from 3:30–5 p.m.

  • Ayesha Hardison is a visiting professor from Ohio University, and she will have a lecture at the Kansas Union on Oct. 30 about race and gender. Her presentation is “Of Maids and Ladies: The Ethics of Living Jane Crow,” and it will be at 3:30 p.m. in the Kansas Room in the Kansas Union.


4. Make a difference.

Volunteer in the area to help other women in your community. Here are some opportunities.

United Way volunteer with the Sunflower Elementary Boys and Girls Club, Marlee Yost-Wolff chats up kindergartners Marissa Hattemer and Logan Thomas about their weekend plans on the playground at Sunflower Elementary, Friday, July 25, 2014. Yost-Wolff is in her second year as a volunteer with the Boys and Girls Club and says she enjoys hanging out with the kids, playing and assisting the other counselors.

United Way volunteer with the Sunflower Elementary Boys and Girls Club, Marlee Yost-Wolff chats up kindergartners Marissa Hattemer and Logan Thomas about their weekend plans on the playground at Sunflower Elementary, Friday, July 25, 2014. Yost-Wolff is in her second year as a volunteer with the Boys and Girls Club and says she enjoys hanging out with the kids, playing and assisting the other counselors. by Nick Krug

  • The Willow Domestic Violence Shelter is hosting a community workshop called “In Her Shoes” on Oct. 9 4:15-5:15 p.m. The interactive activity is based on stories of survivors and the realities they faced when they sought help and support. The workshop is free and open to the public at The Willow’s administrative office, 1920 Moodie Road. They recommend that you RSVP to ensure a spot: bburns@willowdvcenter.org or (785) 331-2034 X104.

  • Douglas County Citizens Committee on Alcoholism (DCCCA) accepts applications for volunteers who want to help children and families with parents who struggle with addiction.

There’s a lot going on in Lawrence … So what did I miss? Comment below, email kkutsko@ljworld.com or call (785) 832-7284 to let me know what you’d like me to cover.

Reply

Should parents spank their children? (And other questions about corporal punishment)

LawrenceWomen is where we will unpack nationally publicized issues that are important to women and have a discussion about what they mean on a local level. Read previous posts here.

• • •

Spanking is defined by the American Academy of Pediatrics as “striking a child with an open hand on the buttocks or extremities with the intention of modifying behavior without causing physical injury.”

You’ve probably heard by now — the Minnesota Vikings’ Adrian Peterson was indicted on child abuse charges after hitting his 4-year-old son with a switch, leaving him covered in bruises, lacerations and welts.

Publicity surrounding Peterson’s case and domestic abuse in the NFL have brought the long debate about corporal punishment into the spotlight again.

By the time American children are adolescents, 85 percent of them will have been spanked at least one time, according to Dr. Alan Kazdin. Kazdin is a psychologist at Yale University who has studied the use of spanking to discipline children.

There are a lot of questions to ask: Is spanking a form of child abuse? In general, should parents spank their children? Do more women or men believe that corporal punishment is acceptable? Should spanking be illegal? What implications does this leave on kids? What about on the parents? On a spectrum of corporal punishment, is hitting a child with a switch worse or better or no different from a spanking?

Will spanking lead to “parenting regrets?” What role do religious and cultural background play in the debate? Where do parents draw the line? What is a “reasonable standard?” Why do parents choose corporal punishment over other forms of discipline?

I took a look at a couple of the questions surrounding the debate. Please leave comments or email kkutsko@ljworld.com to continue the conversation.


Is spanking an acceptable form of punishment?

The majority of Americans say “yes.” Between 2010 and 2012, about 70 percent of Americans agreed with the use of physical punishment.

AAP's answer is a resounding “no.”

Corporal punishment is legal in Kansas, but people can be (and have been) arrested for inhumane corporal punishment to a child in Douglas County.

The line between excessive force and acceptable force is thin, though. The Kansas Department for Children and Families defines corporal punishment as “activity directed toward modifying a child’s behavior by means of physical contact such as spanking with the hand or any implement, slapping, swatting, pulling hair, yanking the arm or any similar activity.”

What are women's vs. men's attitude toward corporal punishment?

77 percent of men, and 65 percent of women 18 to 65 years old agreed that a child sometimes needs a “good hard spanking,” according to Child Trends Databank.

What happens, to you and to your child, when you spank as a form of discipline?

AAP’s official position on physical punishment states:

“It is harmful emotionally to both parent and child. Not only can it result in physical harm, but it teaches children that violence is an acceptable way to discipline or express anger. While stopping the behavior temporarily, it does not teach alternative behavior. It also interferes with the development of trust, a sense of security, and effective communication. (Spanking often becomes the method of communication.) It also may cause emotional pain and resentment.”

AAP released a study in 2012 that links mental illness to physical punishment, and more specifically, spanking.

Another study released in 2009 suggests that "exposing children to HCP (harsh corporal punishment) may have detrimental effects on trajectories of brain development." That means a child's brain could have less gray matter.

What roles do cultural and religious backgrounds play in the debate?

Though social scientists and doctor groups agree the risks outweigh the benefits of corporal punishment, and specifically spanking, there is a national disparity.

Depending on where you grew up or whether or not your parents spanked you might play a part in whether you will spank your child.

The Centers for Disease Control promotes healthy parenting practices across cultural groups and did research on the subject. Its study found, however, that all cultural "groups said they used spanking as a 'last resort' ('You don’t start with spanking')."


The national conversation:

  • NPR — Is corporal punishment abuse? Why that's a loaded question

Spanking is an appropriate form of punishment:

  • Time — Spanking can be an appropriate form of child discipline
  • CNN — Spanking isn’t child abuse; it’s common sense

Spanking is not an appropriate form of punishment:

  • Forbes — Adrian Peterson, the NFL and whippings
  • The Week — Christians have no moral rationale for spanking their children

What do you think?

Reply 2 comments from Derek Eastland Leslie Swearingen

What would it mean if over-the-counter birth control were available in Lawrence?

LawrenceWomen is where we will unpack nationally publicized women's issues and find out what they mean on a local level. Read the introduction post here.

• • •

Birth control, and access to it, has been debated heavily this year. Conversations about over-the-counter (OTC) birth control generated national buzz after several Republican Senate candidates publicly endorsed it.

Some critics of the Republican support for OTC birth control claim it is purely a political move to capture female voters, because the candidates all openly oppose abortion rights and the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that insurance policies pay for preventive care with no deductibles or co-pays.

Cory Gardner’s (R-Colo.) reasoning, according to a column published in the Denver Post, is that over-the-counter pharmaceuticals “get dramatically cheaper and consumers save time and hassle by avoiding unnecessary doctors’ appointments just to get the pharmaceuticals they already know they need.”

However, those who are not buying into the GOP’s reasons are concerned that it would be too expensive for many women, unless insurance companies continue to cover it. In some cases, birth control costs women up to $600 annually.

This issue is not new — advocates for OTC birth control have been talking about it for a while. Just like Republican Senate candidate Gardner, OTC birth control supporters say some pros on the issue are wider accessibility and more convenience for busy women. But, more importantly to that side, doctor groups and pharmacists support OTC birth control.

The national conversation:

  • Huffington Post — Planned Parenthood’s ad hits GOP candidates on OTC birth control
  • The Federalist — Politicians want you to depend on them for birth control: Liberals are accusing Republicans of wanting to deny women access to birth control because Republicans want to make birth control more accessible to women.
  • The Baltimore Sun — Editorial: Birth control bait-and-switch
  • USA Today — Column: Republicans’ fake birth control promises

None by Susi Hamilton

None by Dawn Of Destruction?

None by Cecile Richards

None by Natalie

But what would it mean locally?

Trent Scott is a pharmacist at Sigler Pharmacy on 18th Street, and he believes that people can trust the regulatory bodies, like the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), to determine whether drugs should be available without a prescription.

“If we can rely on the FDA to deem it safe for a regular consumer, then I don’t know why we (pharmacists) would consider it not to be,” Scott said. “At the very least, have a conversation (with your pharmacist) about what to expect when taking medications and what the possible side effects might be.”

Dr. Ryan Neuhofel, who is a family doctor at NeuCare Family Medicine, says it's always best to consult with someone — he recommends talking with your physician — before taking any medicines, even ones that are over-the-counter already.

“I think birth control, in the vast majority of women, is safe," Neuhofel said. "I don’t think it would pose a huge risk to take it, in terms of a safety profile.”

The potential downside, however, is one that skeptics have pointed out before: Without consulting a doctor, women must rely on themselves to self-screen and determine whether the medication is safe for them.

Though birth control is safe for most women, those who are older than 35 and smoke have an increased risk of blood clots.

Neuhofel pointed out that one could make the same argument for other OTC medications. For example, alcoholics should not take Tylenol. There are medicines that are more benign than birth control already available over-the-counter, and there are also medications that could pose a greater threat, he said.

Both health care professionals noted the price difference and convenience of OTC birth control as important factors for their customers and patients.

Scott said that he could not speak to the cost of OTC birth control, but he knows it would probably be more expensive than a typical OTC drug.

However, Neuhofel guesses that birth control would become less expensive than it is currently. This is true of most pharmaceuticals that become available over-the-counter, like allergy medications.

In addition to being cheaper, Neuhofel says, OTC birth control would be more convenient for his patients.

Scott agreed.

“As far as our patient population, do I think it’s something that could be utilized?” Scott said. “Absolutely.”

What would it mean for you?

Neuhofel says the debate about OTC birth control is more a question of "is this medically appropriate?" than a political or ethical one.

“It’s clearly something that millions of women do every day,” Dr. Neuhofel said. “The difficulty in discussing this topic is that people always bring political beliefs into it.”

Do you think the benefits outweigh the risks? Can women be held accountable to self-screen for health risks if given the ability to purchase birth control pills OTC? Do you think this move could help lower the unintended pregnancy rates, which have been at 50 percent for the past 20 years? What do you think?

Comment below or email me at kkutsko@ljworld.com to continue the conversation.

Reply 1 comment from Merrill

What is LawrenceWomen?

LawrenceWomen is for anyone who wants to look at women’s issues and talk about what they mean locally.

What do nationally publicized issues mean for you? What do these issues mean for your best friend, wife, sister, niece, daughter or granddaughter?

I’m a 20-year-old intern at the Lawrence Journal-World who is also a college student. Women’s issues — especially those concerning my almost-30-year-old sister, 52-year-old mother and 71-year-old grandmother — are important to me. And I’m not just talking about health issues but also social, political, entertainment, technology, spirituality and business issues.

LawrenceWomen is where I will unpack these issues and find out what they mean on a local-level. This week I will start by taking a look at over-the-counter birth control. What do doctors and pharmacists in Lawrence have to say? Will this be affordable and safe? What does the national conversation sound like? And then, most importantly, we’ll have a conversation — How will this issue affect you, your daughter or your granddaughter?

So, what are you passionate about? What is important to you or other women you know? I want you to be a part of the conversation.

Send me an email at kkutsko@ljworld.com, tweet @katiekutsko using #LawrenceWomen or call me at (785) 832-7284.

Let’s start talking.

Reply

Prev 1 2 ...40