Stories for November 2000

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Thursday, November 30

Kirkwood still the Puppet man

Meat Puppets with mi6, the Bottleneck, Lawrence, KS 11/28/2000

By Michael Newman It ain't the meat its the motion, and whatever Curt Kirkwood had decided to call this band, the Meat Puppets, The Curt Kirkwood Bandwhatever, it would still move, wildly, recklessly, beautifully. The Meat Puppets has always been a vehicle for a madman driving on the wrong side of the road. Be glad Kirkwood hasn't decided to hand over the keys just yet.

Offering her wares

Friction in action

Behind bars

Into the Spot-light

By Devin Walker The Web is quickly becoming a place for musicians to go, not only to find resources to help them break into the professional ranks, but also to distribute their music and gain exposure. For that reason, I've decided to put on my "All Access" pass and explore the many sites that are helping regional musicians reach wider audiences.

Best bets

TOP MUSIC

CD Reviews

Pizzicato Five - Cowboy Junkies

Seven questions with Geddy Lee

By Geoff Harkness Though Rush was never revered by music critics and other snobs, it has earned a rightful place among rock's elite. For more than 30 years the Canadian power trio has been cranking out its unique brand of computer metal to a devoted following of fans, who hang on the band's every 16th note and puzzling paradiddle.

Back into the Comfort zone

Lawrence act crafts new record with improved lineup

By Geoff Harkness The Creature from the power-pop lagoon isn't done terrorizing Lawrence music fans. In fact, it's multiplying. Alt-rock troubadours The Creature Comforts lit up regional earwaves two years ago with their debut, "The Politics of Pop," featuring "Sentimental Bliss," one of the truly great songs to unfold from Lawrence's historic music scene. This head-rushing morsel of spun sugar won the band wide acclaim as well as Klammies for both Song and Album of the Year.

Top Movies

Festivals, cattle calls and Bare TV

By Dan Lybarger Kansas City is home to a unique annual event in cinema. Every year filmmakers can enter their flicks and have a guaranteed audience, but they'll have to kiss modern technology good-bye.

Putting off decisions

Beckett's 'Godot' launches new series

By Mitchell J. Near Samuel Beckett struggled as a writer for 20 years before he decided to translate from French into English a sparse drama he had written about two tramps waiting for some superior being to arrive and make everything in life better for them.

Amazing stories

Rockabilly revisionists struggle with lawyers, labels and losses

By Jon Niccum Almost everyone is familiar with the typical story arc of VH1's "Behind the Music." The celebrated documentary series has traced the lifeline of dozens of popular bands, with the outcome usually falling into a similar pattern: obscurity, hard work, fame, drug addiction, car wreck, decline, break-up, sobriety, reunion.

'The Girl on the Bridge' - film review

French flick gives pointed observations on love

By Dan Lybarger There are a couple of misconceptions about French movies that prevent them from really catching on this side of the Atlantic. The first is that their flicks are so weird and arty that the subtitles really don't translate what's happening. In some respects, this description applies to Patrice Leconte's "The Girl on the Bridge." It's shot in black-and-white and features peculiar camera angles and editing.

Flavor enhancer

Host mixes entertainment into cooking show

By Mitchell J. Near Tony Nave is a fun-loving nutcase. But in a good way. Throughout this interview, for example, he grooved on some of his favorite tunes, with the stereo blaring the old Johnny Horton songs "Sink the Bismarck" and "The Battle of New Orleans" as Nave discussed food, music and his overwhelming desire to entertain people.

Movie Listings

Baking across America

Wheatfields Bakery featured in new book

By Mitchell J. Near A Lawrence business is among select company in a new book detailing the finest bakeries in the United States.

What are you reading?

Chris Brubeck plays Bach

When he was 4, Chris Brubeck hid under the piano to hear the music. That was when his father, legendary pianist Dave Brubeck, knew he would become a musician, says Brubeck, now 48, one of six Brubeck offspring.

People

An actor's actor Sir Elton empties his closet Wedding bells for Madonna Revlon drops Crawford

Coca-Cola to donate television ads

The Library of Congress is getting a Coke and a smile. Coca-Cola Co. is donating all 20,000 of its TV commercials promoting the sweet soft drink for preservation at the library.

King stops e-book installments

Author says deadbeats, obligations contributed to decision

Stephen King has pulled the plug on "The Plant," his self-published online serial novel. The experimental and prolific author is taking a break to complete other projects but, according to his assistant Marsha DeFilippo, King also is suspending the project because too many people are downloading the work without paying for it.

Gordon Lightfoot 'still out there'

Toronto singer-songwriter to make American television debut on PBS

Friends and neighbors

Parting Shot

Tribal steps by Mike Yoder

ARTS NOTES

Lawrence Civic Choir to perform British music

J-W Staff Reports The rich and varied British choral repertoire will be featured at the Lawrence Civic Choir's concert, "The Choicest Musicke of the Kingdom: A Festival of British Choral Music."

Wednesday, November 29

Remembering 'Summer Nights'

N.Y.C. ballet's 'Nutcracker' is a family affair

Bobby Score's job involves working the hundreds of lights that illuminate the New York City Ballet's production of "The Nutcracker." Yet here he was backstage putting curlers in his daughter Faith's hair.

People

Nuptial pix bring big bucks Oprah to interview Carnahan Bowie voted 'most influential' Travolta pays his due

CBS keeps 'em guessing on time slot for 'Survivor II'

CBS is doing its best to turn the scheduling of "Survivor: The Australian Outback" into a guessing game. A conference call Monday ostensibly arranged to discuss the network's less-than-dazzling performance during the November rating sweeps was unsurprisingly dominated by questions about the sequel to the summer hit, which is shooting in Australia.

Marilyn Manson losing shock value

Many moms not worried about music, despite great attempts to scare

Marilyn Manson knows that anyone bold and freaky enough to venture into the shock-rock market had better bring nerve, imagination and a showman's grasp of the grotesque. Leather prosthetics will help.

Tuesday, November 28

People

Down the aisle, again Dynamic duo A chilling stunt Don't make that call

Grinch puts his stamp on U.S. Postal Service

Americans still reeling from the confusion of pregnant chads and butterfly ballots have been tossed another curve ball by the ever-resourceful federal government.

Actress provides bench support

Tyne Daly shines as judgmental mom of 'Judging Amy'

Tyne Daly plays tough, hardheaded women.

Arrest casts shadow over 'Ally McBeal'

Robert Downey Jr.'s attorney insists role will continue

Fox's gamble in hiring Robert Downey Jr. for "Ally McBeal" this season paid off with good ratings and reviews, but the troubled actor's weekend drug arrest has thrown the decision into question.

Keillor reveals location, sort of, of Lake Wobegon

A few months ago Garrison Keillor went looking for Lake Wobegon, the fictional village he created. And he found it sort of. Right where he left it.

Monday, November 27

People

People

Family fare helps propel box office to holiday record

Recipe for a record-breaking holiday at the movies: Mix one Grinch, a real-life superman, a bunch of Rugrats and all those spotted puppies. Add a dash of Marquis de Sade.

Actor again arrested on drug charges

Robert Downey Jr. was arrested for drug possession nearly three months after being released from prison and relaunching his career, police said Sunday.

Tea enthusiasts bubbling over new drink

Tapioca milk tea creating waves as fun coffee alternative

Chai latte is so five minutes ago compared to this drink. Zen-conscious Southern California the first to adopt lifestyle trends like feng shui and meditation is now welcoming another Asian fad: bubble tea.

Sunday, November 26

Vintage clothes can be modern

"Vintage" is a funny word. A fine wine touts its vintage, and the vintage work of an author or artist represents his absolute best. But when vintage and clothes are mentioned in the same breath, some people might think funky, but many just think old.

Friends and neighbors

Ellen Bentley, 7, shows off a cucumber she grew in her garden. Ellen is the daughter of Terry and Mary Bentley, Lawrence. The photo was submitted by Ellen's sister, Vicki Bentley. Got a shot for Friends & Neighbors? Send it, along with your name, phone number and caption information, to Friends & Neighbors, P.O. Box 888, Lawrence 66044.

Mirror, mirror...

Wreathed in holiday spirit

Away from the hustle and bustle

Willis developing 6th sense for good roles

Versatile actor's 'Unbreakable' looks to be solid follow to last summer's blockbuster

When Bruce Willis made the jump to movies with the 1987 "Blind Date," he looked like another wannabe from television ("Moonlighting" with Cybill Shepherd) doomed to failure on the big screen. His nose was flat, his hair thin, and he projected none of the insouciance of his future wife, who had already made an impression in the 1984 "No Small Affair."

Hollywood brings de Sade to film

Life of sadist translates into story of artist vs. oppressive bureaucrats

When Hollywood decided it was time for a film about that most sexually lurid of writers, the Marquis de Sade, it was not hard to settle on a director.

Monks balance bottom lines, vows

On this autumn morning, when the chapel bell tolls, a moonlit mist shrouds the monks' cloister in the thick woods of the Ozarks. Just before the "Great Silence" ends, at 3:15 a.m., Brother Gabriel Friend slips on a white habit and heads to prayer services in a chapel that hints of incense.

Well being

Wegman dogs as Saks' elves Asimov predicted Florida? Life on the fast track That new-car smell

Host for the holidays

Church, Oread decorate, prepare for homes tour

By Jim Baker For the first time in 11 years, the historic Oread neighborhood of Lawrence will play host to the city's Holiday Tour of Homes, taking place this year on Saturday and next Sunday. The tour, sponsored by the Oread Neighborhood Assn. and Lawrence Preservation Alliance, will feature six homes and the sanctuary at Plymouth Congregational Church, 925 Vt.

Close digs being Cruella De Vil

Award-winning actress discusses dognapping sequel

Nobody loves Cruella De Vil more than Cruella De Vil loves Cruella De Vil, except maybe Glenn Close.

'Cinderella' on ice skates in to Lawrence

The St. Petersburg State Ice Ballet will perform "Cinderella" at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Dec. 2 at the Lied Center.

Project of the week

Dino rocker delivers prehistoric fun

By Don and Dave Runyan Special to the Journal-World Combining the best features of a classic rocking toy with a child's natural fascination with dinosaurs, this friendly apato-saurus will make a great holiday surprise for the budding paleontologist on Santa's list this year.

Hungarian pottery valuable for luster

Iridescent-glazed vases can sell for up to $3,000 at auctions

"From A to Z" in antiques usually ends with Zsolnay, a popular pottery from Hungary. Zsolnay was founded in 1862 by Ignac Zsolnay at Pics. After 1878, the firm used a mark that pictured five church towers.

Arts Notes

Concert features: KU percussion professor Painter-printmaker to give talk Bruner to give Christmas harp concert Lawrence bookseller contributes to book

Dancers promote art form in Midwest

Prairie Wind provides concerts, workshops

By Jan Biles The Prairie Wind Dancers are dancing across Kansas and Missouri. By the end of this month, the resident professional modern dance company at the Lawrence Arts Center will have toured 20 days since late September. Their tours will have taken them to Sharon Springs, Kingsley, Arkansas City, Winfield and Sedalia, Mo. about 2,500 miles.

Festival to celebrate Czech culture

Campuswide event to explore arts, politics of Europe

By Jan Biles An exhibition of 20th-century Czech set and costume designs at the Helen Foresman Spencer Museum of Art has blossomed into a Kansas Universitywide celebration that will incorporate the visual arts, drama and film.

Saturday, November 25

Mannheim steamrolls Christmas music

New age Christmas music. It sounds like an oxymoron. But there's no paradox in the numbers behind Mannheim Steamroller, which has produced some of the best-selling holiday albums of the last two decades.

Dalmatian film may breed '102 headaches'

The Humane Society would have named the Disney doggie movie released this week "102 Headaches." The sequel to the 1996 hit "101 Dalmatians" has organization officials worried that impulsive moviegoers will buy the spotted breed and then dump them at shelters after a few weeks when they realize the dogs can be tough to handle.

On the tube: the season so far

New fall series hits in ratings game include 'The District,' 'CSI'

The holiday season is under way, the November "sweeps" are almost out of the way and the TV season has finished its first quarter of play.

Friends and neighbors

Time for some window dressing

People

McCartney tops wealth list Love God's show goes limp Suddenly popular 'Caddyshack' vs. 'Kaddy Shack'

Quintet experiments with 'Sibling Rivalry'

Doobie Brothers have new CD and four-album retrospective

Despite the title of their new album, "Sibling Rivalry," there never have been any brothers or anyone named Doobie in the Doobie Brothers.

Enya's latest album is lush offering

Part of what makes Ireland so brilliantly green is that it gets a healthy amount of rain.

Friday, November 24

Spain's appetite for gossip spawns strange subculture

Nuria Bermudez boasts a tenuous claim to fame: a fling with a former highway patrolman who is the estranged husband of a millionaire folk singer's daughter.

Clashes continue about art's portrayal of history

The debate about how to portray history is especially acute in Washington, where government buildings must both symbolize a nation and house the people who run it. Previous clashes about art have resulted in mixed outcomes.

Something turns up for 'Kramer'

Richards remains optimistic about his show and Dickens special

It's lunch break on "The Michael Richards Show."

Thursday, November 23

Movie Listings

TOP MOVIES

'102 Dalmatians' - film review

Routine sequel is showcase for Glenn Close

By Loey Lockerby The Walt Disney studio has made some of the finest animated films ever produced. Its live-action efforts are seldom in the same league (or even anywhere near it), but even those have devoted fans. In 1996, the company took a big risk by combining the two mediums, remaking the 1961 animated hit "101 Dalmatians" with real actors and real canines. Luckily for them, it was a success, thanks mostly to Glenn Close's gloriously hammy performance as Cruella De Vil. And, of course, a sea of adorable puppies.

TOP MUSIC

Best Bets

CD Reviews

U2

The parting shot

Flower children by David Doemland

Looking a lot like Thanksgiving?

People

'Angels' meet the real Charlie Another trip down the aisle Puffy feeds the homeless The lowdown on 'Survivor'

Sadler a new hero to alienated teens with 'Roswell'

A woman taking the Paramount Pictures studio tour does a double take as a man walks across the parking lot. She recognizes the actor's face but can't place his name. "Isn't that the guy from 'The Green Mile?"' she asked.

Jack Wagner goes down smooth on 'Titans'

Jack Wagner is smooth. As Jack Williams on NBC's new prime-time soap, "Titans," he'd like to be even smoother. Williams is the CEO of Williams Global Enterprises and patriarch of the tempestuous family made rich by the company's fast-track deals. "Titans" airs Wednesdays at 7 p.m.

Grace Slick: Artist in control

Aging rocker explores creative side by painting portraits of stars

She once performed topless in the rain so she wouldn't ruin her silk blouse, and she threatened to spike President Nixon's tea with LSD. But that was a lifetime ago for Grace Slick, the steely psychedelic rocker who added enough salt to her words to wither a seasoned sailor.

ARTS NOTES

Corrosive elements

Seasoned metal band takes the indie route

By Geoff Harkness Who says rockers aren't well read? The recent election debacle has Corrosion of Conformity singer-guitarist Pepper Keenan concerned for America's future, and he's read all about it.

Master of Puppets

Veteran underground band still struggles with addiction

By Geoff Harkness Good weather, extensive recording facilities and a low murder rate were all Curt Kirkwood was looking for when he relocated to Austin, Tex., after two years in Venice Beach, Calif.

Change-up for Fastball

Austin rock act finds diversity paves the way to success

By Jon Niccum "I was working on campus baking bagels for the young," says Tony Scalzo of life before his trio Fastball got famous. "It was probably one of the few jobs you could get where you could split to go tour for a couple of weeks and come back and still have your job. I liked making bagels. I could work by myself at night and crank the stereo."

SEVEN QUESTIONS with B.G.

By Geoff Harkness Few rappers can boast of releasing their first record at the tender age of 12. Even fewer can say that by age 20 they are multiplatinum top dogs in a rap pack known for chewing and spitting out MCs like Skoal Bandits. But B.G. of Cash Money/Hot Boys fame has never been a run-of-the-mill rapper, even amongst his Cash Money brethren.

What are are you reading?

Using their imaginations

Award-winning workshop takes comedy to the cutting edge

By Mitchell J. Near The ongoing presidential blood feud is a double-edged sword for comedy writers. It's proving to be a gold mine for comedic fodder, but it's a hair-pulling experience since the writers never know how the Bush-Gore tug-of-war is going to turn out.

Bizarre art bazaar

By Mitchell J. Near The organizers behind the Bizarre Bazaar have everything planned out to the last detail. Even the name is meant to cover all the creative bases.

'Unbreakable' - film review

'Sixth Sense' follow-up is sluggish but interesting

By Jon Niccum "Unbreakable" may be the most well disguised superhero movie ever made. Even with an introductory crawl concerning comic books, and a story that includes unexplainable powers, flashback origins and a brooding hero with a generic alliterated name (think Peter Parker or Bruce Banner), writer-director M. Night Shyamalan ("The Sixth Sense") makes a real stab at total genre revisionism. Unfortunately, "Unbreakable" lies in that nether space between atmospheric and boring.

Riddle is the real deal

Young singer seeks to distance herself from a crowded pack

By Mitchell J. Near Jessica Riddle is a stunning beauty. Not pretty, not cute, but beautiful. And she's not afraid of trading on her smoldering looks if that's what will induce people to listen to her music.

Wednesday, November 22

People

Lake Wobegon becomes real Penn kicks the habit An afternoon with the queen Movie auction East Movie auction West

Makeup artists build foundation for 'Grinch'

The thick, curling eyebrows; the tiny bulldog nose; the puffy, seamed cheeks surrounded by bushy sideburns all in a deep pea green are the work of Rick Baker. Makeup, by one of the masters of the art, provides much of the fun in "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas," with more than 100 actors playing Whos getting makeovers along with the zany Grinch star, Jim Carrey.

And for these great games, we give our thanks

Pro football on Thanksgiving Day has been televised nationally since 1956 and has featured some of the sport's most memorable games. Which of these classics do you think was the greatest?

It's a great day for pigs and pigskin

Football fans prepare for hop from table to couch on Thanksgiving Day

You can't really blame the belt-busters who push their expanding selves from the Thanksgiving table and wallow in front of the television all day. They have two irresistible forces working against them football and nature.

Tuesday, November 21

Grand Ole Opry turns 75, shows no sign of aging

Dolly Parton kidded with the audience every time she emerged wearing "this same old thing," a clingy beaded gown. Vince Gill picked up on her talk about costume changes. "I'm going to get to change plenty in about six months." Then he thrust his arm in the air and exclaimed, "Diaper Man."

News briefs

American's queen of cuisine Contract dispute Candid complaint Sick bay report

Book on insects creating a buzz

Scientist gets laughs with 'Sex, Bugs, and Rock 'n' Roll' outlook

Like many other columnists before her, May Berenbaum was tempted to turn some of her best pieces into a book. She succumbed, and "Buzzwords" is the result. If Berenbaum's name doesn't seem as familiar as that of Art Buchwald or Dave Barry, it probably means the reader is not among the 7,000 or so insect specialists who belong to the Entomological Society of America and read Berenbaum's column in their journal, American Entomologist.

Warhol gets another 15 minutes with 'Social Observer' show

He made the Campbell's soup can a work of art and captured the imagination of millions with his silkscreen portraits of Jacqueline Kennedy, Marilyn Monroe and Mao Tse-tung. Now, 13 years after his death, Pop Art pioneer Andy Warhol is the subject of a major one-man show of his work at the Corcoran Gallery of Art.

Monday, November 20

Faith Hill adds country flavor to Thanksgiving

CBS is going a little bit country Thanksgiving night with "Grand Ole Opry 75th a Celebration" and "Faith!" an hourlong music special starring the award-winning country-pop singer, Faith Hill.

Chicks rock the coop in TV special

Transcending musical categories, the Dixie Chicks albums, "Wide Open Spaces" and "Fly," have sold more than 12 million copies combined. The Lubbock, Texas-born Natalie Maines and Dallas natives, Martie Seidel and Emily Robison combine honky-tonk lyrics, blue-grass music and Vegas style get-ups to put on a high-octane show.

'What's Cooking' leaves you hungry for more

Thanksgiving dinner, that most American of banquets, is served in its infinite variety in "What's Cooking," Gurinder Chadha's multi-generational, multi-course, multi-cultural tribute to the nation's melting pot and turkey baster.

People

'Grinch' steals the show with whopping box-office debut

The Grinch is having a green Christmas. Jim Carrey's live-action version of "Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas" took in a whopping $55.1 million in its first three days, according to studio estimates Sunday.

Gifts say a lot about givers

Microsoft founders' spending show varied interests

While Bill Gates spends his billions immunizing children in sub-Saharan Africa, financing scholarships and helping the homeless, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen is backing the search for extraterrestrial life.

Sunday, November 19

Wedding bells chime for Douglas, Zeta-Jones

Choosing old-fashioned glamour over privacy, Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones were married Saturday night in an extravagant wedding at The Plaza hotel on Central Park.

Sammy Hagar, the red rocker rolls along

Sammy Hagar and the Wabaritas, Memorial Hall, Kansas City, KS (Nov 17)

By Michael Newman Don't go looking for deep, meaningful insights, heavy social analysis or political statements at a Sammy Hagar concert. Just remember to choose a designated driver. Hagar doesn't play a concert as much as he throws a party. With his heart on his sleeve and a lampshade on his head, he gives his all to make sure his audience has as much fun as he does.

Tomlin still looks for intelligent life

Comedian back on Broadway with 13 zany characters in monologue

Fifteen years later, Lily Tomlin is still searching and the laughs have not diminished. In her 1985 one-woman show, "The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe," Tomlin took on her own worries and those of the world, as she tried to make sense of what it all means.

All flash, little heat from Martin's 'Sound Loaded'

Ricky Martin seems like too nice a boy to be such a sex fiend. On television, he invariably comes across as well-mannered and deferential, always smiling politely and showing respect. By all appearances, he's the essence of gentility.

People

An 'Unbreakable' bond The many myths of India Cosby's take on election coverage Cage-Arquette marriage over

Friends and Neighbors

Nun too late

'Nuncrackers' jam-packed with nonsense

By Jan Biles The "Nunsense" plays are becoming a habit with Lawrence Community Theatre. "Nuncrackers," the fourth in the popular musical comedy series by Dan Goggin, opens Friday night and runs through Dec. 10. "This is the best one since the first ('Nunsense') play," says Mary Doveton, the show's director and the theater's managing/artistic director.

Art to aid AIDS

Artists donate works to Red Ribbon auction

By Jan Biles More than 40 artists have donated artworks to the eighth annual Douglas County AIDS Project's Red Ribbon Art Auction.

Documentary captures terrorist action

The murder of 11 Israeli athletes by Palestinian gunmen at the Munich Olympic Games 28 years ago is hauntingly documented in "One Day In September."

Video

Big Momma's House Boys and Girls The Perfect Storm Pokemon the Movie 2000

Sam Shepard sensation

Playwright returns to Magic for premiere

Sam Shepard hasn't directed a play here in almost 20 years, but that hasn't diminished his homecoming. The buzz surrounding his new play, "The Late Henry Moss," has reached deafening levels. Family struggle. Maleness. The West.

Haskell theater group puts on 'strong' show

By Jan Biles What happened in the boarding schools housing American Indian children not so long ago is brought home by Thunderbird Theatre's production of Vera Manuel's "Strength of Indian Women."

Glaser blurs line between graphic design and art

His "I Love NY" logo created an advertising phenomenon, spurring the production of millions of buttons, bumper stickers and T-shirts. His Bob Dylan silhouette crowned with lightning bolts of rainbow hair is recognized by a generation.

Saturday, November 18

Creed in need

Creed - Kemper Arena, Kansas City, Mo (Nov 15, 2000)

By Michael Newman Seldom has there been a band capable of doing so little with so much, in front of so many. Imagine Kansas City's Kemper Arena with lots of sound and lights, visual effects and smoke, pyrotechnics, the worksand a band with skills so middling, and with so little passion that the impression was more that of a rehearsal for a rock video than any suggestion of a rock and roll show.

Friends & Neighbors

Hats on to 'Hawks

People

New 'Survivor' surrounded by conspiracy theories

The rumor sounds like a classic conspiracy theory: Would Rupert Murdoch, chairman of News Corp. and patriarch of the Fox network, direct his Australian newspapers to bedevil production of "Survivor: The Australian Outback," being shot in his own corporate back yard?

Nihilistic rebellion characterizes Manson's work

After the tragedy at Columbine High School in which two teens went on a rampage killing 13 people and themselves, there was lots of finger-pointing by concerned parents and outraged pundits, and a fair number of those fingers wound up aimed at Marilyn Manson.

Garcia finally scores with jazz bio

Andy Garcia has always been better than his movies. The handsome actor who scored Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations for his stand-out performance in the regrettable "The Godfather Part III" has long languished in such fare as "Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead."

James Taylor looking at new album, new marriage

James Taylor has been writing songs, singing them and playing guitar for more than 30 years. That might be a lifetime career for some people, but Taylor figures he's got at least another 10 good years of singing, playing and song-writing ahead of him.

Affleck co-stars with ex in 'Bounce'

Potentially awkward situation on movie set made smooth by Paltrow

Ben Affleck chomps on ice from his soda glass, and the occasional shard of cube shoots from his mouth as he explains how it felt to make a love story with ex-girlfriend Gwyneth Paltrow.

Friday, November 17

'Potter' anticipation doesn't speed author's pace

First, the good news: J.K. Rowling, author of the phenomenally successful Harry Potter series, is hard at work on Book Five.

Chris Cagle has Garth-like intensity

There's something disquieting in the singer's voice in the rising country music hit "My Love Goes On and On."

Boy bands' race to top of charts turns into nail-biter

Tired of the political horse race? Well, next week brings another nail-biter.

How Jim Carrey became a 'Grinch'

Comedian almost didn't get to work in live-action Dr. Seuss movie

No, it's not like he had to apologize because his bodyguards roughed up a few photographers or that the star himself snubbed his legion of fans. It's just that, well, Jim Carrey's entourage is not much of an entourage.

Thursday, November 16

Friends and neighbors

Parting shot

Arts notes

What are you reading?

PlayStation2 passes test

Youngsters' reviews of new gadget show it is all in the games

By Jonathan Takiff Knight Ridder Newspapers Give some enthusiastic players a first-rate title to play on PlayStation2, and there's no debating the system has the goods.

'Oaks' lures back artist

KU graduate launches Web site, writing books

By Mitchell J. Near Laura Epler is back in Lawrence. The Kansas University graduate has spent the last several years immersed in the San Francisco Bay area art scene, developing her skills and her passion in photography, painting and other mediums. But when she wanted to take her art to a new level, her thoughts turned back toward Kansas.

Movie listings

'The 6th Day' - film review

'The 6th Day' tries to be all things to all people

By Loey Lockerby "The 6th Day" is: a) an FX-laden futuristic action movie, b) a hit-and-miss satire of technology run amok, c) a thriller about a man whose life has been taken from him by forces beyond his control, or d) a serious drama about life, death and the nature of humanity.

TOP MOVIES

'How the Grinch Stole Christmas' - film review

Dr. Seuss tale fails in big-screen translation

By Dan Lybarger On opening weekend, when the hype is all done, "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" isn't much fun. Dr. Seuss' book and cartoon filled many with joy, But director Ron Howard's film will only annoy. Some source material should be left alone.

Women find strength through unity

Play relives the abuse of American Indian women

By Jan Biles The placement of North American Indian youngsters in residential boarding schools and the abusive treatment they received there is a part of our history that is seldom talked about.

'Space Pandas' attack

By Jan Biles A new theater company for Lawrence youths is tackling a David Mamet play for its first production. City Youth Theatre will be staging "Revenge of the Space Pandas," which at first seems to be nothing more than a silly sci-fi adventure but later reveals itself as something much more.

Progressive hoe-down

By Mitchell J. Near The folks in the Lawrence Barn Dance Assn. are at it again. As sponsors of the Eighth Annual Pilgrim's Progression, a free-for-all of a music hoe-down that includes dance classes, workshops and concerts, the group is devoted to bluegrass and Appalachian tunes that recall simple, rural times.

Blonde ambition

Tight-knit trio applies unusual background to craft fresh sound

By Jon Niccum Blondie, Concrete Blonde, 4 Non Blondes all have used the phrase "blonde" not just as a band name but as a personal physical reference to its members. No one in New York-based trio Blonde Redhead quite fits this description. The band's name only hints at how elusive and inexpressible its music is.

Best bets

CD Reviews

Sun Ra Reissues

TOP MUSIC

Play Ball

Texas pianist mixes democracy into her music

By Dave Ranney Besides being an extraordinary pianist, singer, songwriter and bandleader, Marcia Ball is a voracious reader. She loves books, which, in a roundabout way, explains how, for the first time in years, she found something nice to say about her governor, George W. Bush.

Tuba or not tuba

'Rugrats in Paris' très bien as romp for kids, parents

"Rugrats in Paris the Movie" is a charming and clever romp of animation that will appeal to kids and grown-ups. The Rugrats, of course, are a group of babies and toddlers who pursue adventure while observing the grown-up world through their own understanding.

Three Oscar winners return to TV

Three Oscar-winning movie stars who got their start on television return to the small screen tonight.

Loretta Young posthumously admits Clark Gable fathered her child

People, Faces & Things

Price is no object A Jurassic tribute Gettin' jiggy on the links Griffith heads to rehab

ABC, CBS join national drive for 'family' shows

ABC and CBS say they will join a script-development project created by national advertisers to bring more "family shows" to prime time. The broadcasters join the WB in tapping into the Family Friendly Programming Forum, a collection of 43 national advertisers that donated up to $1 million last year to help develop TV scripts for shows that families can watch together.

Harrison's attacker found innocent by insanity

A man who stabbed George Harrison because he believed he was possessed by the former Beatle was ordered confined to a mental hospital Wednesday after being acquitted of attempted murder by reason of insanity.

Arnold proves himself again

Following heart surgery, actor back in control with new movie, '6th Day'

Critics who routinely dismiss Arnold Schwarzenegger's acting ability probably missed his one true Oscar-worthy performance. The performance was in neither "Terminator" movie. It was not in "Kindergarten Cop," "True Lies" or "Batman & Robin."

Wednesday, November 15

Reading for a living

Green thumbs in the making

Tuesday, November 14

Cher gets personal with new release

Singer's self-penned songs not.com.mercial material

She's recorded everything from hippie folk to disco, big-hair rock to torch. So is it even possible for Cher to make a record that could qualify as a musical departure?

Faith Hill leads nominees for American Music Awards

Country sweetheart Faith Hill received four American Music Award nominations Monday, leading a pack of artists vying for awards chosen by fans.

People

After 'La Vida Loca' Grinch finds help in a pinch 'Love Ride' raises $1 million

Monday, November 13

Friends & Neighbors

Four local pirates take a break on Patty's Sandbar on the Kansas River during the Friends of the Kaw autumn float trip on Oct. 1.

Getting a grip

Rank and file

Sunday, November 12

Friends & neighbors

Kansas Woodwinds to appear at KU

The Kansas Woodwinds will perform four chamber music pieces during a free recital at 7:30 p.m. Monday in Swarthout Recital Hall in Murphy Hall at Kansas University.

Rolling on the Broadway river

Former Kansas University student in cast of touring 'Show Boat'

By Jan Biles Singer-actress Jackie Cutburth wasn't having a good day last Sunday. She had just come off a week's vacation from the national tour of "Show Boat" and was trying to reach the show's next stop Wichita Falls, Tex. But the thunderstorms wreaking havoc over the Lonestar State put a damper on her plans.

Modern dance reflects black culture for Alvin Ailey company

The 31-member Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre Company will perform at 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Lied Center. The program will include "Grace," choreography by Ronald K. Brown; "Double Exposure," choreography by Judith Jamison, the company's artistic director; and "Pilgrim of Sorrow," "Take Me to the Water" and "Move, Members, Move" from "Revelations," choreography by Ailey.

The writing Walkers

Women write of their black, white and Jewish family

Alice Walker's life has been one headlong charge against racial barriers. She overcame her sharecroppers' childhood to emerge as a civil rights activist, and she challenged Southern law by marrying a white, Jewish lawyer.

Dear Santa: Please bring us a hit

After dismal box-office summer, Hollywood has something to prove

In the best of all worlds, the new holiday season will supply the following answers: Is there hope for Hollywood? After a dismal summer, "Meet the Parents" hinted that mainstream moviemakers could still craft a hit that would find critical favor. Will such holiday ornaments as "What Women Want" and "The Family Man" contain substance as well as polish?

Saturday, November 11

Friends & neighbors

Stringing holiday cheer

Soaring through Kansas history

Friday, November 10

'Wonder Boys' gets rare opportunity with rerelease

Thanks to a mea culpa and new marketing strategy from the top echelons at Paramount, "Wonder Boys" is rising from the ashes of last winter's movie schedule with a rare rerelease.

Special extols POWs' spirit of survival

Survivors of Vietnamese prison camps seen in 'Return with Honor'

A grainy, black-and-white image appears of a young, barefoot American being escorted through a Vietnam village, his head sloppily bandaged.

Thursday, November 9

In with the Old

Dallas favorites forge their most cohesive disc while miles apart

By Jon Niccum In a swelling rainstorm while driving out of Austin towards Dallas, Rhett Miller is battling the elements. "I just woke up and haven't eaten, and now I'm on the highway," he says. "I've got my headset on, though." At least both hands are on the wheel.

Birds of a feather

Born to dance

'Billy Elliot' leaps above its own predictability

By Dan Lybarger "Billy Elliot" is one of the few movies where predictability is a virtue. Screenwriter Lee Hall and director Stephen Daldry give audiences everything they want, but they do so in such a sincere and intelligent manner that they can never be accused of pandering.

London calling

KU premieres rock production of 'Call of the Wild'

By Mitchell J. Near Marianne Kubik has spent the last four years in an on-again, off-again love affair with a couple of classic Jack London adventure stories. While "Call of the Wild" and "White Fang" are staples of every teen-ager's literary diet, for Kubik, an assistant professor of theater at Kansas University, the Yukon tales of man against beast hold contemporary themes that have a strong visceral element.

'PlainSpoken' ways

Women writers collaborate on new anthology

By Mitchell J. Near Writing is often portrayed as a lonely profession, with the writer going it alone in utter seclusion to get his creative voice heard. But someone forgot to tell the women of the Prairie Poets and Writers group about that plot scenario.

Movie listings

'Inner vision' drives artist

Renowned painter spending year at K-State

By Jan Biles When Winston Branch goes into the studio, he's looking for the poetry in his paint. "It's about process, handling the paint and surface," the St. Lucia, West Indies-born artist says. "I believe in the sensuality and morphosis of paint."

Slow-cooked cinema

Canadian filmmaker brings Texas BBQ to KC

By Dan Lybarger Vancouver, British Columbia-based filmmaker Stacy Kirk has a lot of experiences to draw from. A native of Bogota, Colombia, she has lived in New York, Los Angeles and other cities and has made everything from still photographs to a golf instructional video. Nonetheless, it's Texas, where she spent her youth, that provides the inspiration for her first feature film, "Barbecue ... A Love Story."

Top Movies

'Men of Honor' - film review

'Men of Honor' lauds heroic black Navy recruit

By Loey Lockerby Carl Brashear is a Kentucky sharecropper's son who became the first African-American to enter the Navy Dive School, graduating despite the rampant racism he encountered. After losing his leg in a 1966 accident, he refused to retire, making history again by being the first amputee to earn the rank of Master Diver. It's a life story that practically cries out for a big-budget, star-powered movie, and Hollywood has obliged with this stirring, if slightly cliched, biopic.

Running down a 'Dream'

By Geoff Harkness "I'm kind of brain-fried right now, so I hope my answers make sense," says Starlight Mints' singer/songwriter/guitarist, Allan Vest. He's sitting in the back of a cramped van in the middle of Texas, screaming into a cell phone over the din of the engine and his fellow bandmates, drummer Andy Nunez, keyboardist Marian Love Nunez, bassist Javier Gonzales and guitarist Matt Goad.

Things are getting Ugly

West Coast rappers are more concerned with the music than the lifestyle

By Geoff Harkness Long Beach, California. Even if you've never passed through the palm-lined streets of Los Angeles' southern stepchild community, you've probably heard it mythologized in modern music at some point. Rappers such as Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre, along with "alternative" acts Sublime and The Offspring, have produced numerous tributes to the city, stamping it with an identifiable sound and aura that's almost impossible to shrug off. Until Ugly Ducking, that is.

Coyote pretty

Side Notes

By Geoff Harkness The Lawrence music scene welcomes a new addition to the family with the release of Coyote Project's long-awaited full-length debut, "Nothing Is Always."

Best bets

Tuesday, November 7

Hollywood takes another swing at golf

'Bagger Vance' subpar, but at least it takes game seriously

You couldn't really say there was a lot of suspense. Tiger Woods was ahead by 10 strokes on the last hole of the NEC Invitational in August, and he had the tournament in the bag. But Woods has a sense of showmanship that's unequaled among current professional golfers and most past ones and he knew what to do to get the crowd's attention.

Madonna pops in for N.Y. performance

Free concert provides preview of planned U.S. tour next year

The Material Girl was short on material.

People

Queen Mum recuperating U.S. Bond New neighbor

Monday, November 6

Elliott Smith makes pop's underside shine

Elliot Smith with Grandaddy, The Granada Theatre, Lawrence, KS, Friday, November 4

By Michael Newman On a sparsely set stage, backed by the Granada's large video screen silently playing impressionistic scenes of people living everyday lives, Elliott Smith and his bandmates appeared. Looking like nothing more than the most unkempt neighborhood garage band assembled for a rehearsal and a beer, Smith and company proceeded to knock the socks of the packed house.

Sunday, November 5

Pet project

A maize maze craze

Weir's Ratdog takes Dead further

A lot of musicians Bob Weir's age can be accused of milking the fruits of their salad days just for the bread. With Ratdog, Weir finds there's still meat on them bones.

Lawrence savors taste of Vienna

By Jan Biles The Vienna Symphony Orchestra, conductor Vladimir Fedoseyev and pianist Rudolf Buchbinder caused quite a stir Saturday night at the nearly packed Lied Center. After a two-hour concert of Wagner, Schumann, von Weber and Mozart, the smitten crowd was on its feet, clapping and clamoring for more.

Buddhist, Hindu event comes to KC

Nelson-Atkins Museum plays host to symposium on Asian art

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art is presenting "On the Cusp of an Era: Art in the Pre-Kushan World," a symposium to define the formative stages of the Buddhist and Hindu art that developed in South and Central Asia from second century B.C. to 100 A.D.

Violinist's career deeply affected by bout with cancer

The lives of violinist Joan Kwuon and her husband, violinist Joel Smirnoff, a member of the Juilliard String Quartet, are focused on music. But breast cancer took center stage in Kwuon's life in the summer of 1999.

How serious is Garth Brooks about retirement?

When Garth Brooks says he's just about through, should his fans believe him? Brooks just celebrated an amazing milestone: He has sold 100 million albums, certified by the Recording Industry Association of America. He used the occasion to make a dramatic announcement, one he's been hinting at since 1995.

Arts Notes

Kate Hansen focus of symposium LHS art teacher receives award

Germany's Gunter Grass

Artist seen as watchdog of social and moral change

By Jan Biles A rat hangs crucified on a wooden cross while two other rodents look on. A flounder whispers in the ear of a fisherman. A woman sews a button to her cheek. A dwarf bangs on a tin drum.

Arts Notes

Christopher Moore to give recital Severinsen and band to play at JCCC KU choral groups pair for concert

Taymor's puppets populate 'King Stag'

The American Repertory Theatre is bringing Julie Taymor's "The King Stag" to the Lied Center for a performance at 8 p.m. Thursday.

Costa to perform Brahms concerto

Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Choir program also includes Bach, Beethoven

By Jan Biles The Kansas University Symphony Orchestra has chosen the works of The Three B's Beethoven, Bach and Brahms for its next concert. The concert will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Lied Center.

Typing cows make demands in Cronic's tale

Ag school will never be the same. "Click, Clack, Moo, Cows That Type," written by Doreen Cronin and illustrated by Betsy Lewin, matches cultivated bovines with collective bargaining and produces a story everybody can agree on.

New Paperbacks

The Unburied - Charles Palliser Harm Done - Ruth Rendell Lying With the Enemy - Tim Binding Second Wind - Dick Francis

'Anthology'

Dear sir or madam, will you read this book? It took 'em years to write, will you take a look?

For heaven's sake, is there anything about the Beatles we don't already know? According to the Beatles: Yep. Nearly 400 pages' worth. "The Beatles Anthology" (Chronicle Books, $60), which hit stores Oct. 5, is an exhaustive account of the most storied tenure in rock 'n' roll.

Friends & neighbors

Friday, November 3

Musicians sink creative teeth into 'Dracula'

By Jan Biles The last time Philip Glass came to the Lied Center, he brought along his "Monsters of Grace," a work skewered by some critics. Thursday night, he returned to the Lied with the Kronos Quartet to present "Dracula: The Music and Film," which set his original score against the 1931 horror movie classic.

Thursday, November 2

Seven Questions with Bob Weir

By Michael Newman It's well documented that the storied, thirty-year run of The Grateful Dead as a rock band came to an abrupt end with the death of Jerry Garcia in 1995. As a far reaching artistic and business enterprise the history of the Grateful Dead continues to be written

Dave Barry won't stand for it

By Ron Berthel The photo on the dust jacket of "Dave Barry Is Not Taking This Sitting Down" (Crown, 229 pages, $23) belies the book's title.

The language of Lingo

Writer pens 'new age' science fantasy story

By Mitchell J. Near A Lawrence writer is putting a new twist on science fiction writing by using the genre to promote his ideas for solving societal woes.

'Cat' opens at Baker

Teacher joins cast of student production

By Mitchell J. Near "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" certainly lives up to its name, as characters called Big Daddy, Maggie the Cat and Brick rage against one another and against society during the course of a sultry summer day and stormy night.

Movie listings

The song remains insane

The 11th Annual Bad Film Festival gets musical

By Dan Lybarger After decades of derision and obscurity, the big screen musical is definitely having a comeback. "Dancer in the Dark" was the big winner at this year's Cannes Film Festival. Director Baz Luhrmann's "Moulin Rouge" is scheduled for release this spring, and even action film master John Woo has indicated his desire to make a tunefest.

A Conversation with Bob Weir

No grass growing under former Grateful Dead member's feet

By Michael Newman It's well documented that the storied, thirty-year run of The Grateful Dead as a rock band came to an abrupt end with the death of Jerry Garcia in 1995. As a far reaching artistic and business enterprise the history of the Grateful Dead continues to be written. Founding member Bob Weir certainly hasn't let any grass grow under his feet. He's been involved in multiple projects in the years since the Dead played their last show and last respects to Garcia.

ARTS NOTES

Healing with arts

Woolery's retablos will be featured Friday

By Jan Biles Artist Karen Woolery tries to bring some aspect of healing to her works. A nurse who recently moved with her family from New Mexico to Lawrence, Woolery creates retablos that typically feature saints and other religious themes.

Manson spookfest just satisfactory

By Michael Newman Big things could be expected from Marilyn Manson headlining the Halloween "Freaker's Ball," featuring five supporting metal bands at Kansas City International Raceway Tuesday night. The stage was big, the lights were big, the sound was big, yet the ideas were rather mid-sized.

Seeking Asylum even without amplification

Austin band speaks loudly even without amplification

By Geoff Harkness The Asylum Street Spankers just might be America's greatest unknown band. Though mainstream success has eluded the Austin, Tex.-based outfit to date, the Spankers have quietly paved a way into the hearts and minds of music lovers across the country via a Kerouacian touring schedule that finds the group on the road six months out of every year.

House of Blues out of power

By Geoff Harkness On again, off again, on again, off again. Light switch metaphors come just a little too easy sometimes. After endless negotiations, the proposed Power and Light District in downtown Kansas City, Mo., has been relegated to the back burner once again.

Best bets

Mr. Smith goes to chat

When Elliott Smith sits for an interview, it's never an easy process

By Geoff Harkness Elliott Smith has never been the most candid musician on the block. Infamous for his reluctance to analyze himself or his music in the press, the singer-guitarist prefers to let the songs do the talking. And there's a sonic stockpile waiting to be heard. Rather than focus on highlighting tracks from his fifth solo release, "Figure 8," Smith is using the current leg of his latest tour to incorporate brand new material and older obscurities into the set-lists.

Date with the 'Angels'

Former music video director tackles new career in 'Charlie's Angels'

By Jon Niccum "We never wanted to make 'Othello,'" says McG, director of the adventure-comedy flick "Charlie's Angels." "We wanted to make a film that didn't take itself too seriously, that just sort of exploded off the screen and tapped into the pleasure center of your brain."

Angels never sleep

By Jon Niccum I don't remember much kung fu fighting in the original TV show "Charlie's Angels." I don't remember many elaborate dance sequences or scenes involving the angels leaping out of planes without parachutes. I don't remember a booming techno soundtrack or bullet-time camera moves. But I also don't remember the show being very good, either.

'Bagger Vance' is a double bogey

Robert Redford's golfing fable is sanitized and dull

By Loey Lockerby Finally, a movie for people who think the Golf Channel is too exciting. Robert Redford once again uses a slow-moving sports activity as a metaphor for life, this time adapting Steven Pressfield's "Bhagavad-Gita"-inspired 1996 novel, about a man's search for himself on the golf course.

CD REVIEWS

By Geoff Harkness The Wallfloers - Breach, Limp Bizkit - Chocolate Starfish and the Hot Dog Flavored Water

Wednesday, November 1

Hunger for quick justice brings Wapner back to TV

All rise! Judge Joseph Wapner's "People's Court" is back in session, if only for one day.

Comedian Steve Allen dies

Performer started 'Tonight Show,' wrote books and songs

Steve Allen, the zany comedian and social commentator whose career zipped at warp speed from one occupation to the next from playing host to the original "Tonight Show" to lecturing about morality to composing thousands of songs has died at age 78.