Stories for November 2004

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Tuesday, November 30

Tease photo

Super Mario 64 DS - NDS

The premier launch title for the DS is here.

Super Mario 64 DS is the one title you shouldn't pass up upon the launch of the DS. It's the one game that fully realizes the hardware's potential and as a stand alone game still stands the test of time as a great platformer.

Hardware Review: Nintendo DS

The dual-screened wonder is out. Is it cool?

I'll be honest. When I first heard about the DS I wasn't impressed. Two screens, huh? One screen is touch-sensitive. Okay. But once I used the device for a couple hours, I was hooked. Although it can play Game Boy Advance games, this is no successor. This is an entirely different platform. Hopefully, we'll see the third party developers treat it as such.

Monday, November 29

'Whose Line' regulars make most of audience participation

What do striped toe-socks, the Pillsbury Doughboy, asparagus, rap songs, mousetraps and words that rhyme with "muck" have in common? They were all part of the wacky, wonderful improvisational world of Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood Sunday night at the Lied Center. Mochrie and Sherwood - regulars on the television program "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" - treated the audience to a whirlwind of word games, a plethora of put-downs and a smattering of slapstick.

Rock 'n' roll high school

Battle of the Bands showcases under-the-radar teenage talent

Many local music fans know Lawrence is home to great bands and venues for live music. But most fans probably don't recognize Lawrence as a place where great teen and preteen rock bands develop

Sunday, November 28

Author to discuss pre-Civil War politics

A Kansas University history professor will give a talk and sign copies of his new book, "Jacksonian Antislavery and the Politics of Free Soil, 1824-1854," 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Lawrence Public Library, 707 Vt.

Poet's showcase

 

Review: 'Anything Goes' delivers de-lovely holiday diversion

Third-rate gangster, nightclub singer highlights of community theater show

Lawrence Community Theatre's production of Cole Porter's "Anything Goes" set sail Friday evening with performances that were equal parts delightful, delicious and de-lovely.

Ceramic artist spreads wings to create new ornaments

Jan Gaumnitz's angels to be featured at 18th annual Festival of Trees

Preparing for her run as featured artist at this year's Festival of Trees, Jan Gaumnitz realized: Animals can be angels, too.

Dashing to the show

The weather outside may be frightful, but area arts organizations have prepared a slew of delightful holiday entertainment options to keep you occupied from now through the New Year.

Friday, November 26

A Very Conscious Christmas

'Alternative' gifts offer socially responsible alternative to corporate bric-a-brac

Grandma didn't like the golf-themed casket. Nor did she particularly care for the "Weird Al Live" DVD, the duct tape hat or the body stapler kit. Grandma's pissed, and you'd better do something about it. Maybe you should do what Mary Kuhn did for her Grandma last year: she gave her a goat.

Lawrence native collaborates with country star

After Darran Smith left the Lawrence area in 1983, he played steady gigs in Nashville and worked days as a warehouse manager and delivery courier. Then, in 1989, an up-and-coming singer named Tim asked him to go to Delaware for a two-week job at Sheryl's Sky Lounge in New Castle.

Wacky mind games

Comedians ponder the dividends and dangers of improvisation

It's all a sham. At least that is the most common complaint about Colin Mochrie and his cohorts who have popularized improvisational comedy through the TV series "Whose Line Is It Anyway?"

'Terminal' becomes a phony layover

It's funny how Tom Hanks' latest effort, "The Polar Express," is mainly about traveling, whereas "The Terminal" involves the inability to go anywhere.

Thursday, November 25

Kooky art fair turns 15, honors 'founding mothers'

Lawrence's Bizarre Bazaar was born of humble roots. The show and sale of eclectic, funky and sometimes kooky art traces its beginnings to an effort by two neighbors, Nan Renbarger and Dixie Lubin -- both artists -- to have their work seen by more people.

Wednesday, November 24

Review: ESPN College Hoops 2K5 - PS2, Xbox

The best stays the best...barely.

ESPN College Hoops 2K5 doesn't play as smoothly as its predecessor, but still winds up being fun and quite a bargain for a mere $20. But this year, you may want to consider EA's $40 offering as well, even though nothing beats ESPN's feel and presentation.

Review: NCAA March Madness 2005 - PS2, Xbox

EA drastically improves its college hoops experience.

I am having a lot more fun with this year's March Madness. It's just that simple. The series has gone from putrid to pleasant in a few years. I still may prefer ESPN's offering, but only slightly.

Charity LINKs Thanksgiving dinner and those in need

It's time to "make hay" at Lawrence's longest-running charitable kitchen.

Arts notes

¢ Comedy show set for holiday spooftacular ¢ Show highlights talents of KU design '8' ¢ Lawrence student places at vocal competition ¢ Theater company announces auditions ¢ WB begins search for 'Big Man on Campus'

Tuesday, November 23

Wanted: Video Game Reviewers

Yeah, we're looking for Lawrence gamers who can write well.

The Video Games section of lawrence.com is looking for gamers. Well, not just gamers, but gamers who can write well and live in Lawrence.

'Alexander' can't conquer boredom

Epic abomination makes 'Gigli' ancient history

"His failures tower over other men's successes," a rambling Ptolemy (Anthony Hopkins) says of the title character. That same phrase can apply to writer-director Oliver Stone. The Oscar-winning filmmaker hits his career nadir with an embarrassing period piece that manages to be boring, overly long (3 hours), confusing, implausible and incapable of creating a single character who can engage the audience.

Control freak

When elements of chance don't fall Lawrence artist Marc Berghaus' way, his art smashes them to atoms

Chance, meet the ire of Marc Berghaus. Berghaus' mindscape is an anxious one, but he doesn't leave its manifestation to insomnia or ulcers. Instead, when elements of chance don't fall his way, he'll twist, tear, or smash them to atoms.

Tease photo

Homebodies

A "domesticated" Koufax moves to Lawrence and snares the town's tightest rhythm section

It's a cold winter day in New Jersey, and the new Koufax lineup is navigating its way through the state's labyrinth of interstates and missed exits. The band is heading home after a show at The Mercury Lounge in New York. From his perch behind the wheel of the band's tour van, singer/guitarist Robert Suchan is counting ribbons on the highway - "Support Our Troops" mostly, but also some for Breast Cancer Awareness, AIDS Awareness, etc. "This ribbon thing - it's getting out of hand," muses the easily-annoyed frontman, who spent a good portion of last year canvassing Ohio for moveon.org, futilely trying to turn the state blue

The week that was

TRUCK STOP LOVE IS DRIVING ME MAD, MAKING ME CRAZY, CRAZY: Police arrested a 30-year-old KU student who they said tossed a rock through the front window of The Bottleneck and later rammed his car through the front of J. Gladman Gallery -- all after being refused free drinks while claiming to be a member of recently reunited '90s Lawrence band Truck Stop Love. The student played guitar in the band for about a year in the early 1990s, drummer Eric Melin said.

Review: Mario Power Tennis - Gamecube

Nintendo brings more to the court and scores.

Mario Tennis exploded onto the Nintendo 64 with much success, offering some gameplay twists on the skill sport. In Mario Power Tennis, each character has their own special moves and augmented shots that really twist the table into not only a great version of tennis, but a delightful mind game of "rock, paper, scissors."

Review: BloodRayne 2 - PS2, Xbox

A conventional action title that still proves to be fun.

BloodRayne 2 has a great sense of style like its predecessor and is a fun game on its own. Although it brings nothing terribly new to the genre, it will provide a nice weekend diversion.

Holbrook still entertaining playing Twain

Hal Holbrook has been playing Mark Twain longer than Mark Twain played Mark Twain.

Sunday, November 21

Arts notes

¢ Oread Singers to perform at Lawrence church ¢ Final poetry project focuses on Hughes ¢ KU Symphony explores new musical territory ¢ Lawrence native authors collection of letters to mom

Review: Play sensitively weaves plight of native America with remedy

"Weaving the Rain," performed by Haskell Indian Nations University's Thunderbird Theatre, gave a near-capacity audience at the Lawrence Arts Center a lot to think about Friday evening as its characters explored their damaged lives in an Indian Health Service hospital waiting room. The powerful play, written by Haskell English instructor Dianne Yeahquo Reyner and skillfully directed by Pat Melody, acknowledges the harm done to native America by government policies, but locates the remedy in the strength and unity of the people.

Cole Porter classic ready to sail

Ticket sales strong for Tony winner

On the set of Cole Porter's "Anything Goes" at the Lawrence Community Theatre, the audience members roar with laughter at every punch line. They cheer and applaud after every song and dance number.

If it's lost, Found Magazine finds it

... and prints it in the pages of its peculiar but wildly popular ode to voyeurism

In today's society of niche magazines, Found Magazine sounds like it may be intended for born-again Christians.

Poet's showcase

 

Holiday picture books offer something for everyone

All of these winter-oriented picture books would make excellent hoilday giving -- but surprisingly, it is the least expensive that wins the highest marks of all.

Friday, November 19

'Motorcycle Diaries' shows revolutionary's formative years without being preachy

Before the advent of tourism as industry, traveling was more than ready-made resorts, staged photos and crutch Lonely Planet guides. "The Motorcycle Diaries" explores the age-old soul of travel -- travel as means to find yourself.

Ferrell takes 'Elf' to new heights

Last November Will Ferrell's modest comedy "Elf" was released in theaters, where expectations by its studio were fairly low. After all, this was a holiday-themed story about a lumbering man who's raised by elves at the North Pole and eventually goes on a quest to New York to find his roots. Not exactly an idea gunning for a Pulitzer.

Review :: Bridget Jones Diary -- The Edge of Reason

Renee Zellweger is back as novelist Helen Fielding's hugely popular character in "Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason." It is the sequel to 2001's worldwide smash comedy "Bridget Jones' Diary." And, although it is not quite as funny or believable as the first movie, the lovable Ms. Jones just squeaks by on her own (and her returning co-stars') charisma.

Frontman takes backseat to supporting musicians

But saxophonist displays sterling technique

The real star of Dave Pietro's Banda Brazil is not, as you might expect, Dave Pietro. That's no knock on Pietro, a saxophonist with lots of ideas -- influences from Brazil, Brubeck and the Bhagavad-Gita can be heard in his music -- and sterling technique.

Cage's 'National Treasure' cashes in on wacky heist

If Dick Cheney had attempted to write "The Da Vinci Code," he might have envisioned something like "National Treasure." The adventure/heist movie explores themes of patriotism, greed, clandestine organizations and hunting for things that may or may not exist.

Cover tune is perfectly imagined

For once, a new single on the radio has caught my attention. Oddly enough, it's a cover of an overplayed '70s classic.

Americana Idol

Former Uncle Tupelo frontman reconnects with his past

There is always plenty of pressure on Jay Farrar. Whether he accepts it or not, most people credit the former Uncle Tupelo frontman in the late 1980s with creating the genre known variously as alt-country, Americana or No Depression (named for Tupelo's debut album).

Photo: 'Meet Me In St. Louis'

"Meet Me in St. Louis" is a musical being staged this weekend at Lawrence High School.

This Weekend's Highlights

When Marilyn Manson was 12, Al Jourgensen and Ministry were already scaring the bejeezus out of people.

Thursday, November 18

Review: Karaoke Revolution Vol. 3 - PS2

The standard in the Karaoke gaming niche gets better.

With over 35 new songs like "Love Shack" and "New York, New York" to more recent pop hits like Usher's "Burn" and Hoobastank's "The Reason," there is a nice amount of variety to sing. I'd still like to see more songs, better representing a real Karaoke bar, especially since the DVD format can handle much more. Still, this is the definitive console Karaoke experience if it's your bag.

Review: Rumble Roses - PS2

A pretty face and an ugly game.

If there is one thing that Rumble Roses has going for it, it's that it doesn't hide what it wants to be. In fact, it's rather proud of it. But that doesn't mean its fun or even worthy of your time.

Vision of grace

Review: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater delivers soulful interpretation of founder's creation

The legendary Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater gave the Lied Center audience all they could have asked for Tuesday evening in a program opening with two new works created in 2003 and concluding with Ailey's own "Revelations."

Ready, aim ... fire

Comedy troupe targets both sides of political aisle

The night after the 2000 presidential election, the Capitol Steps comedy troupe walked onstage at Wichita State University and made an announcement.

Wednesday, November 17

Arts patrons say investment helps build a finer community

Investing time, energy and money in the arts benefits an entire community, a Minneapolis couple said Tuesday during an appearance at Kansas University.

Review: Student cast infuses play with youthful athleticism

Wherefore art thou, Romeo?

University Theatre's production of "Romeo and Juliet," Shakespeare's play about "star-cross'd lovers," is as impressive for its swordplay as for its cast's fairly consistent grasp of Shakespearean wordplay.

Tuesday, November 16

The week that was

Wherein we peruse the news that was new last week

Your cheat sheet for those damn weekly events quizzes.

A Rivera runs through it

Dave Loewenstein's 'outsider' art

Art world gadabouts accuse him of letting the commoners dilute his vision, but muralist Dave Loewenstein prefers the peanut gallery to theorists any day.

Tease photo

Review :: Filthy Jim, "Ride with Death"

Lawrence's answer to the Scandinavian cock-rock revival led by The Hellacopters and Turbonegro is Filthy Jim, a four-piece band of hipster headbangers whose unrelenting live shows leave audiences feeling exactly like the band's dirty moniker (slang for a used condom).

College freshman's shirt explained in 'Motorcycle Diaries'

Before the advent of tourism as industry, traveling was more than ready-made resorts, staged photos and crutch Lonely Planet guides. "The Motorcycle Diaries" explores the age-old soul of travel -- travel as means to find yourself.

Review :: Architects, "Keys to the Building"

"Keys to the Building" should have been The Gadjits' breakthrough album with RCA. Instead, it's just another great album that will probably be overlooked on account of the limited resources of its hometown indie label (Kansas City's Anodyne Records, also home to Overstep and Dirtnap).

A new coat of wax

Durable DJ battle rekindles old flames in effort to light a fire under local hip-hop scene

'It takes all kinds.' That's the motto that KJHK's Wax Clash has lived and died by for the last four years. Dozens of disc jockeys - established or aspiring - have scratched, mixed, beat-juggled and party-rocked their way to immortality ... or ignominy. For every DJ who emerged as a champion - DJ Sku, DJ Aether, DJ Boner Donor, DJ Syren - there's plenty more who walked away embarrassed, distraught and emotionally de-pantsed.

Powerful, rich voices carry youth choir

"People who make music together. Cannot be enemies ... Cannot be enemies ... at least while the music lasts."

Cohesive chamber orchestra unites for priceless performance

Not even technical difficulties involving the Lied Center's stage lighting could dim the musical fire emanating from the stage Sunday afternoon during the concert by Camerata Sweden. Also known as Camerata Nordica or Camerata Roman, the 15-member chamber orchestra performs without a conductor, relying on the heightened sense of collective unity usually reserved for small chamber ensembles.

Raising her Native Voice

Lawrence playwright's 'Weaving the Rain' speaks to American Indian struggles

Yet for all of its origins in the American Indian experience, "Weaving the Rain" rings universally true.

Monday, November 15

Review: Metroid Prime 2: Echoes - Gamecube

Does the solid formula still stand the test of time?

Some may feel Echoes is too much like Prime with different enemies, weapons and puzzles. Well, yeah. "More of the same" is never a bad thing when no other game came along in the mean time to do it better. Well, now one finally has.

Where does God fit in Lawrence?

Survey suggests city less religious than rest of state

When Andrew Stangl was a senior at Andover High School near Wichita, he started a "freethinkers' club" for nonreligious students. It was not a big hit.

Sunday, November 14

Minnesota couple to kick off arts patron program

From their downtown Minneapolis loft, John and Sage Cowles can look out the window and see one of the results of their lifetime of contributions to the arts.

Hook, line and sinker

Review: Trout Fishing in America lures applause with quirky lyrics, splendid musicianship

If you haven't heard the musical duo Trout Fishing in America, imagine a blend of Mr. Rogers and Weird Al Yankovic, but with splendid musicianship.

Arts notes

¢ Former KU professor shows art at alma mater ¢ Collage artist opens studio to public ¢ KU Ceramic Club to have sale in gallery ¢ Performance to feature international students ¢ Free State High School to stage comedy ¢ Theater company announces auditions

Book notes

¢ New poetry collection considers wildness ¢ Event honors supporter of poetry readings ¢ Lawrence writers honored at author's club convention

Straight from the heart

Alvin Ailey dancers keep choreographer's passionate classic alive

Not to spoil the ending, but the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater is closing its Tuesday performance with a classic.

Poet's showcase

 

Saturday, November 13

Bowery Dancers connect to audience in first show

It was an ordinary Thursday night at Liberty Hall featuring the "stage" premier of a relatively new local dance company. I wondered if they'd be able to fill even the downstairs, maybe a few seats in the balcony. I was so wrong.

Dancers to perform worldviews

Eight dancers will perform works that investigate the way people perceive the world when Kansas City-based aha! dance theatre presents "Aperture" at 8 p.m. today at the Lawrence Arts Center, 940 N.H.

Friday, November 12

Songwriter Ryan Adams performs smoking set at Lied

Ryan Adams' concert at the Lied Center Wednesday was a dry show, but the theme of the night was booze. You could almost smell bourbon coming out of the speakers.

Hanks embraces technology to expand his range

Like the boy in "The Polar Express" who doubts whether Santa Claus exists, Tom Hanks is often plagued by the same questions. Only now they come from his own children.

Thursday, November 11

'The Polar Express' a captivating ride

Chris Van Allsburg's beloved children's book presented a problem for filmmakers. The 1985 holiday tome "The Polar Express" was illustrated with oil paintings, and it had an almost otherworldly quality. Part fairy tale, part Norman Rockwell.

Review: Sousa show star-spangled

George M. Cohan's patriotic plea may not have been on the bill of "A Star-Spangled Spectacular" Sunday afternoon at the Lied Center, but the sentiment was. Dressed in turn-of-the-century style band uniforms, the Sousa Band filled the Lied Center with Yankee-Doodle tunes as well as some classical favorites.

Wednesday, November 10

On record :: KJHK new music reviews

Hip-hop has two distinct fans: those who like the hard beats and those that want to hear musical poetry. Former Anti Pop Consortium member Beans attracts both types, especially with his newest and best release yet, Shock City Maverick. This album creates a precise unity between his glitchy, Warp record style beats and his raw lyrics.

Tuesday, November 9

Art a la carte

The juxtaposition of a few events I attended last month set me thinking about what can happen in an active arts community within one short decade.

Cold Turkeys

The smoking ban is in full effect, but the smoke has hardly cleared

There's a perfectly reasonable way to deal with smokers, goes an old Steve Martin routine: "Mind if I smoke?" "No. Mind if I fart?" If the opponents of Lawrence's smoking ban haven't yet considered sending farting flash mobs into the city's newly clean-air taverns, the day may be fast approaching when they stink out their opponents.

The week that was

Wherein we peruse the news that was new last week

Don't have enough time to keep track of the news? Lawrence.com does it for you-so you can pass those current events quizzes anyway.

Off the wagon (again)

Back when Lawrence <em>really</em> supported live music, Truck Stop Love was drunk with "success"

For those whose memories don't extend prior to the cell phone era, here's a bit of history about the way things were: People didn't spend hours on the internet. They didn't play Halo on their Xbox. They rarely gathered at dance clubs or listened to DJs. Instead, they preferred to go out and see live music. Whether it was dainty sorority babes or KJHK hipsters, an evening out usually involved bands like Truck Stop Love.

Monday, November 8

Review: Halo 2 - Xbox

Is it the revolution you always wanted?

Let me preface the review by saying that Halo 2 is a great game, especially compared to any other console first-person shooter. But the single player campaign has some baffling flaws that keep it from the level of fun and polish that Halo 1 provided. (This is especially interesting considering Halo 1 was more of a rush job.)

Review: Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas - PS2

The biggest and deepest GTA yet.

Rockstar poured absolutely everything they could dream of to do in this effort with overall success. It's a nice evolution from Vice City, and GTA fans will spend countless weeks exploring the state. With more polish and better combat, which is central to any game, it could've been an inarguable masterpiece.

Sunday, November 7

Poet's showcase

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aha! dance theatre investigates perceptions

Eight dancers will perform works that investigate the way people perceive the world when Kansas City-based aha! dance theatre presents "Aperture" at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Lawrence Arts Center, 940 N.H.

Company speaks with diverse dance vocabulary

As a Chopin etude fades to silence, Ellie Goudie-Averill springs to her feet and approaches the dancers with notebook in hand.

Buffalo bridge: worthwhile art or waste of money?

Merits of Lawrence artist's plan debated

A Lawrence artist trying to gussy up the aesthetically challenged ribbon of Interstate 70 that slices like a canyon through the middle of this city is taking some whacks from the locals.

A wing and a song

Upcoming concert a prelude to Lawrence youth choir's spring tour of Germany

The elementary and junior high school students who comprise the Lawrence Children's choir just finished recording their fourth professional CD and are gearing up for a tour of Germany.

High art

Phoenix Award recipients rise to top of creative community

Nine years ago, the Lawrence Arts Commission introduced a series of awards to recognize excellence in the arts. It seemed like a noble idea.

Living the artist's life

New book by K.C. gallery owner takes honest look at navigating creative realm

Kansas City gallery owner Paul Dorrell no doubt chuckles when he remembers thinking he and his artists would make buckets of money by opening a gallery in the Midwest.

Coffeehouse Crawl hopes to brew interest in writing

Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg can't imagine anything more soothing than writing while sipping a latte on a crisp November afternoon.

Love and war

KU theater students learn 'Romeo and Juliet' is as much about swordplay as it is about Shakespearean wordplay

Leslie Bennett doesn't care about star-crossed love, not now. Leslie Bennett is handing out her weapons, and she wants them used and used well.

1985's poetic 'Polar Express' is worth a second look

Ask not for whom the bell rings; it rings for thee. Paraphrasing poet John Donne seems appropriate when writing about one of childhood's most poetic books, "The Polar Express," which has been made into a major movie opening nationwide on Wednesday. Written and illustrated by Chris Van Allsburg, the mesmerizing picture book won a richly deserved Caldecott Medal in 1986 and has developed into a holiday classic that has spoken to both children and adults for the past 20 years.

Arts notes

¢ Acoustic duo aims to reel in Lied Center audience ¢ Lawrence artist chosen for international exhibit ¢ KU theater presents acclaimed poet's play ¢ Sweden's leading orchestra to perform at Lied Center ¢ Artists collaborate on works of decay ¢ Artist explores Japan's ancient, modern sides ¢ newEar to perform contemporary works ¢ Sculptor to share insights with KU art department ¢ KU Women's Glee to perform with bell choir ¢ A cappella group to sing at KU's Edwards Campus

Saturday, November 6

Old barber shop fits new owner's style

'Sports nut' Rex Porter lines up customers for cuts in downtown Lawrence

Outside of what used to be RC's Stadium Barber Shop, two men slowly lower the old RC's sign out front, pin it under their arms and cart the wooden plank out to a Dumpster in the alley. On their way, they pass Rex Porter, the shop's new owner. And, of course, the place has taken on his name.

University dance concerts find inspiration in nature

The University Dance Company's fall concerts Thursday and Friday offered new works inspired both by the rhythms and movements of nature and the search for humans' place in the world.

Exhibit features new works by KU painting professor

An exhibition of paintings by Lawrence landscape artist and longtime Kansas University painting professor Robert Sudlow opens today at Roy's Gallery, 1410 Kasold Drive.

Friday, November 5

Reader Review: Saw

If looking for a movie that will keep you on the edge of your seat and begging for more but scared to death you'll actually get your request, take a pass on "Saw" and make it a Blockbuster night.

Director Brad Bird draws from his own experience

Poor Bob Parr. Not too long into the opening of the new animated film "The Incredibles," the man formerly known as the superhero Mr. Incredible has become a faceless corporate drone -- consigned to the quietly humiliating life of a powerless insurance adjuster.

Sudanese 'Lost Boy' finds new life in suburban Kansas

Peter Nyarol Dut has a mattress to sleep on, a cell phone, a car, a job and is continuing his education. If you ask the surviving members of his Dinka tribe in Sudan, he is living the American Dream.

Box-office giant finds new life on DVD

"Titanic" and "Star Wars" are the two highest-grossing movies of all time. Astonishingly enough, "Shrek 2" is third on that list. That also makes this 2004 release the top-earning comedy, animated film and sequel on the American box-office charts.

Listeners weigh advantages of satellite radio

Steve Vukelich was tired of regular radio. Tired of commercials. Tired of flipping through the dial without finding anything he wanted to hear. Tired of getting bored during his three-minute car rides to work.

Animated superhero film lives up to its name

To understand why Pixar Studios has moved so far beyond other animated production houses, one has to look no further than "The Incredibles."

Election depression?

Mental health professional advises: 'turn off the news'

Got the balloting blues? The Democratic Doldrums? Election depression? No surprise. The rush of political energy and adrenaline has come to a screeching halt now that an intense yearlong presidential election campaign is over - with President Bush winning another four years in office.

Art of 'Aja' shows promise but needs a few tweaks

There's a lot of sharp acting in "The Art of Conquering Aja." A lot of good writing, too. And the set design is imaginative, given the resources (minimal) and location (the Ecumenical Christian Ministries basement) that director Tim Cormack has to work with.

Wednesday, November 3

Review :: Reach, "Joys, Disappointments and the In-Between"

Kansas City rapper Reach (Stacy Smith) presents a serious and inspirational side of himself on his new album "Joys, Disappointments and the In-Between."

Review :: The Ants, "Victory Side"

It takes about 14 tracks to realize that there's not a single chorus on The Ants "Victory Side." No repeating lyics; no repeating melodies - just a bunch of rambling stories set to music.

Tuesday, November 2

Balls to the Walle

Jazzy pop crooner Tanner Walle will soon be legal. If only his career would follow...

When singer/songwriter Tanner Walle celebrates his 21st birthday at the Granada this Thursday, he'll finally be able to take a beer onstage. Er... "Yeah, well, legally," says Walle, a melodic and accessible songwriter who toes the line between pop, jazz and jam influences. "I'm going to kind of shock a lot of bar owners in this town I think."

The week that was

Wherein we peruse the news that was new last week.

The second coming

Lawrence gamers brace for the release of Halo 2, the most anticipated video game ever

Generations of seasoned gamers -- reared on everything from Super Mario Bros. to Final Fantasy -- are lining up at their local game stores, which are staying open late for a "Midnight Madness" release of the most highly anticipated video game ever: Halo 2 for Xbox. The game is expected to sell 5 million copies in the weeks leading up to Christmas, far outpacing any other game in the video game industry.

Monday, November 1

Review: 'Fosse' razzle dazzles Lied Center audience

A sold-out Lied Center audience welcomed the talented and energetic cast of "Fosse," and two acts of nonstop, high-voltage dancing and singing kept their attention riveted on the stage for more than two hours Saturday night.