Weekend Picks: Drakkar Sauna farewell show; Sandbar block party; Urban Slide; pie auction; punk rock at Frank’s

Summer is slowly slipping away. Live it up while you can by sliding down a gigantic water slide in west Lawrence and witnessing the bittersweet farewell from one of LFK’s favorite bands.


Drakkar Sauna: The Farewell Concert, 7:30 p.m. Friday, Lawrence Arts Center

It’s a rare and beautiful thing for a band to become as entrenched in the music community for as long a period of time as Drakkar Sauna. The duo of Wallace Cochran and Jeff Stolz have been on the scene and making people happy — and often bewildering people — for 12 years now.

But all good (and weird) things must end, and Friday night brings a star-studded farewell concert at the Lawrence Arts Center where the boys will be joined by an “all-city cast” of fellow musicians from various bands and genres.

This “inter-disciplinary” farewell seems appropriate, since describing Drakkar’s sound has never been an easy task. Are they country? Folk? Freak-folk? Indie-folk? Even when focused on futuristic themes, Drakkar’s music often conjures images of what Greil Marcus called “the old, weird America”.

When you catch Drakkar at the right venue on a night where the lyrics ring clearly, they tap into something deep and elemental as they howl their harmonies on songs with titles like “Spear for When the Bear Comes.”

Most local music fans remember particular standout Drakkar shows: our favorites include an early-career set in the middle of the night down at Winfield and also a show at the old upstairs Love Garden where they played a set of old Louvin Brothers covers with band and crowd merrily stomping along on the floor. Share your own favorites with fellow fans at the farewell.

The Facebook event page has more details and a full list of the participating guest musicians. Check out the LJ-World’s full preview of the show and the band’s history.


The Urban Slide, opens 10 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, along George Williams Way off Sixth Street in west Lawrence

The Urban Slide did NOT slide easily into Lawrence.

The controversial event (which roves from city to city) was originally slated for downtown, but the logistics of a 1,000-foot water slide proved problematic for such close quarters. Following that, promoters faced opposition from residents of west Lawrence concerned about parking and traffic problems during the event. The City Commission weighed in, however, and assured us all that the show (and slide) MUST go on.

So the time has come. Load up the kids and aggravate west Lawrence residents with a day of slippery hijinks. Watch a video here to learn what’s in store.

Upward of 4,000 people claim to be going on the Facebook event page.


7th Annual Sandbar Block party, 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Eighth Street between Massachusetts and New Hampshire streets

There’s no shortage of block parties at the Sandbar, but this weekend is the big one: its annual birthday bash. Join the bar in celebrating its 26th year by doing in the street what you normally do inside at the bar: swilling tropical drinks and dancing to silly songs.

This year the event expands once again to cover two nights of beer gardens, socializing and bands (our favorite is the amusingly named Heavy Petty: yep, it’s a Tom Petty cover band).

The Facebook event page provides further details but, as the page also says, you pretty much “know the drill” at this point.


Sunrise Project Pie Auction and Community Potluck, 5-8 p.m. Saturday, Hobbs Park

All signs suggest that LFK’s beloved Ladybird Diner will finally be returning soon to serve us pie. But pies can be obtained for a good cause this weekend at Hobbs Park in East Lawrence as local nonprofit organization Sunrise Project hosts a pie auction and community potluck that will feature “beer, a kids’ zone, heirloom tomato tasting and some awesome live music provided by youth bands from Richard’s Rock Camp.”

Sunrise Project describe itself as “a new and vibrant organization that will host a variety of youth- and community-driven programs focused on the intersection of food, the environment and social justice.” Check it out and bid on some pies.

Visit the Facebook event page and you can see which of your friends and neighbors plan on baking pies. The above photo is taken from that page.


Federation of Horsepower/People’s Punk Band/The Vedettes, 10 p.m. Saturday, Frank’s North Star Tavern

Here’s a pick for those of you who want NO part of a family-friendly block party or a family-friendly water slide and prefer a sweaty punk show with good friends in a dank basement.

KC’s Federation of Horsepower describes its sound “as Motorhead meets Molly Hatchet meets the Misfits” and list their three primary influences as Black Sabbath, Black Flag and Black Oak Arkansas. Mix in the “distortion rock” of LFK’s Vedettes along with the classic punk riffs of People’s Punk Band and it’s safe to say this evening AIN’T for the faint of heart. Don’t bring your granny (unless she likes to thrash).

The Facebook event page is here. Say happy birthday to People’s Punk drummer Jason Meier while you’re on the scene. Here’s a quick blurb Meier sent our way:

“All 3 bands are fresh off of playing the 2015 Lawrence Field Day Fest back in June and are looking to create some more loud, high energy, rock n’ roll ruckus in the basement of Frank’s.”


Latenight Callers/Chris Meck and the Guilty Birds/Fullbloods, 9 p.m. (supposedly!) Saturday, Replay Lounge

If you’re looking for a stage full of snappy dressers, you probably won’t find it at Frank’s punk show. Instead, you might want to drop by the Replay and soak up the “Noir-A-Go-Go” sounds of KC’s Latenight Callers. You’ll feel like you’ve wandered into a David Lynch film.

The solid triple-bill serves as a full-on Kansas City invasion, which is a bit rare at the Replay on a Saturday night. Joining the Latenight Callers will be Fullbloods and Chris Meck and the Guilty Birds (featuring prolific KC drummer Michelle Bacon).

Note, for what it’s worth, that the set times provided on the Facebook event page are a bit earlier than one expects at the Replay. Pretty ironic for a band called Latenight Callers, don’t you think?

Have fun and tweet us @LarryvilleLife.