LarryvilleLife’s Picks: ‘Star Wars’ Nerd Nite; Decembern; Toys for Tots fundraisers; Conquerors and Berwanger release show

This week’s column starts on Wednesday in a galaxy far, far away but also touches down in some familiar locales closer to home, such as the Replay (although, as a friend often notes, the Replay is really not so different from the cantina scene in “Star Wars”). We’ve also found room for THREE different events that benefit Toys for Tots, so you can feel good about yourself this week while drinking your booze.

Nerd Nite XLIV: A Nerd Awakens, 8 p.m. Wednesday at Maceli’s

The premiere of the new “Star Wars” film is still over a week away, but most nerds already have tickets in their nerdy little hands. It seems only natural that LFK’s Nerd Nite would latch onto the mania for this month’s installment.

Two of the night’s presentations actually center on “Star Wars”: one explores the fascinating idea of “three-dimensional fan-fiction” (fans who design their own plastic models based on the Star Wars universe) and the other tackles the perennial questions of whether “Star Wars” should indeed be classified as “science fiction” and to what extent it has marred public conceptions of the genre. The third presentation focuses on dark matter (hopefully with a few references to the “dark side” along the way).

Find full titles and descriptions of the presentations along with presenter bios at the Facebook event page here. We’re hoping the Nerd Nite co-bosses stage light-saber battles between presentations.

Decembern: Bernie Sanders benefit show, doors at 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Bottleneck

Want to rock out in a room full of young socialists? Stop by the Bottleneck on Wednesday night and catch four great LFK musical acts (La Guerre, CS Luxem, Arc Flash, and Westerners) joining forces to support Bernie Sanders.

The Facebook event page promises there will be plenty of Bernie merch and info about how to get involved, along with voter registration. Perhaps there should be a Bernie imitation contest? Or a contest to imitate Larry David imitating Bernie?

Will a comparable Hillary benefit (with a comparably cool flier) emerge in a future month? Perhaps an April event called “April-lary?” Guess we’ll find out.

Schwervon! ‘Holidaze’ Show, 10 p.m. Friday at Replay

We’re not at all certain that this event will actually contain a lot of holiday-themed activities, but guests are encouraged to wear bad holiday sweaters and the Facebook event page promises cookies. Plus, when it comes right down to it, any given show from KC’s raucous duo Schwervon! is a festive affair that usually contains a bit of Nan’s tap dancing.

LFK’s noisy Arc Flash and ramshackle Youngest Children join forces for this shindig where guests can take comfort in the fact that the actual holiday and all of its stress is still a few weeks down the line.

The Conquerors/Berwanger/Psychic Heat, 10 p.m. Saturday at Replay

KC’s The Conquerors are certainly poised to conquer the weekend with not one, not two, but THREE release shows for their new 7″ “You Must Be Dreaming” on High-Dive Records (watch a cool retro video for the single here). The third of these shows is a sure-to-be-rowdy triple bill alongside Berwanger’s bursts of power-pop and Psychic Heat’s psych-rock groove.

According to The Conquerors’ wild, funny, boastful bio, their gritty garage and psychedelic pop sound has induced at least nine births during live shows! Can the Replay make it 10?

Busy Berwanger also has a new EP, “Demonios,” out on High-Dive. The title track is reputed to be modeled specifically on Guns-N-Roses’ “Lies.” You can listen to the EP in full this week via Consequence of Sound.


(1) Good Time comedy Toys for Tots benefit, 7 p.m. Thursday at Replay

The jokers of the long-running Thursday night Good Time comedy event do a lot of silly things. But occasionally they also do GOOD things, such as Thursday’s Toys for Tots benefit. Guests are asked to bring “a new unwrapped toy or a minor cash donation” as entrance to this evening’s affair, which features a slate of performances from LFK comedians such as Ed Parker, Michael Pope and Amber Lehman.

Will there be any foul-mouthed child performers at this event? It’s possible. And you know it’s always funny when children curse! Find more info and a larger list of performers at the Facebook event page. We’re also told this will be the last Good Time event of the year before resuming in 2016 under “new management.”

(2) Outlaw’s Christmas Extravaganza (benefiting Toys for Tots), 7 p.m. Saturday at Bottleneck

Still in the giving spirit? The $5 cover and proceeds from CD sales for Saturday’s Bottleneck show also go to Toys for Tots. Better not bring the kids along, however, as this show is a CD release party for Outlaw Jake’s second annual collection of “X-rated” Christmas songs.

Along with a star-studded lineup of local musicians, the Kansas City Cabaret will be on hand for the saucy fun, and the bands will be auctioning off two life-size “Frozen” cut-outs after “partying with them” on stage. The Facebook event page with more info on the musical line-up is here and you can stream a (rather tame) track from the CD called “Under the Mistletoe” via Soundcloud.

(3) Noise for Toys benefit, 9 p.m. Saturday at Record Bar

STILL in the giving spirit? Head over to KC for The Noise FM’s annual Noise for Toys fundraiser at the Record Bar on Saturday.

Alex Ward sends along his usual X-mas message:

“This will be our 7th year (!) hosting Noise For Toys, a benefit concert we started while living in Lawrence. In typical Noise FM fashion we waited too long to book a venue in Lawrence this year so the event is being held in Kansas City at RecordBar, which we’ve always said is the most Lawrence-y of the KC venues. Audience members can expect lots of tacky Christmas decorations, ugly sweaters galore, good bands (including Lawrence’s Bonzo Madrid and Kansas City’s The Author and the Illustrator) and poorly rehearsed Christmas songs. The show starts at 9:30 pm, is ages 18+, and is only $5 admission with the donation of an unopened toy.”

The Facebook event page is here and check out the band’s awesome new stop-motion animation video via Youtube.

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