Stories for June 2005


Thursday, June 30

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Heir apparent

With Get Up Kids splitting, the area music scene looks for the next big band

When Lawrence's Get Up Kids ascend the stage at their final concert this weekend, it will mark the close of a decade performing together. The difference between the band's first show and last show isn't lost on the members."It will actually be in a venue as opposed to a basement. And we're all older and fatter," says Matt Pryor, singer-guitarist for the band. "But we pretty much have the same sort of energy."

Arts notes

¢ Brown Bag Concerts continue today ¢ Lawrence native to sign new mystery

Tuesday, June 28

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Review :: Get Up Kids, "Live! At the Granada Theater"

Live performances that are as entertaining as a TGUK show can turn a band you kinda like into a band you will always love - and "Live!..." captures that essence.

'War of the Worlds' captures intensity of alien invasion

There are no touchy-feely vibes from the aliens in "War of the Worlds." These slimy creatures are as cold and malevolent as the rogue great white in "Jaws."

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Review: Meteos - DS

Could be the best puzzle title in years

Anyone can enjoy Meteos in short bursts or in long doses, making it more replayable than many other puzzle games. It's a pure DS title and hands down the best puzzle title on the system. It may be one of the best puzzle titles in years.

Comic book author earns national award

Lawrence comic book author Jai Nitz won a Bram Stoker Award on Saturday in Burbank, Calif.

Monday, June 27

Cities networking to be 'tech savvy'

Wireless Internet communities look to connect with residents, businesses

Downtown Spokane, Wash., has turned into a computer geek's paradise. Can't wait to check your e-mail? No problem. Pull out your Blackberry or similar device and check it while walking on one of the city's sidewalks.

Sunday, June 26

Area barbecuers battle for bragging rights at official state championship

By 12:30 p.m., they are ready to go. For five hours they've sat in the smoker, soaking in the essence of the apple wood burning in the fire box. Every hour or so a spray bottle spritzed them with apple juice to ensure that they remained moist in the 225-degree heat. And after resting outside the smoker for nearly an hour - so that the meat could reabsorb some of the juice it had expressed - the ribs are tender, melt-in-your-mouth ready: ready to defend their title as the best in state, and to grant their creators, Bob Schaffer of Lawrence and Bill Simon of rural Eudora, another year of coveted bragging rights.

Poet's Showcase


Saturday, June 25

Annual fiesta increasing in popularity

The St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church parking lot was transformed Friday into a street party from south of the border. Hundreds of people packed around folding tables, eating tamales and tacos and listening to Latino music during the 24th annual Fiesta Mexicana.

Pulitzer author visits city

Memory of Lawrence's founding ideals valuable, writer says

Plymouth Congregational Church was a fitting location for Pulitzer Prize-winning author Marilynne Robinson to deliver a reading Friday during her visit to Lawrence.

Friday, June 24

The master of the zombies returns in fine form

George Romero's "Land of the Dead" is the fourth zombie movie in the last three years to be given a mainstream release in America. But one must only look as far as the name that appears before the title to realize that this is not a calculated attempt to piggyback the genre's newfound popularity. Instead, it is the legendary director's long-awaited follow-up to 1985's "Day of the Dead."

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Review :: Davan, "Nevada"

Lawrence's Davan fits sharply into the new breed of experimentalists pushing the punk rock vernacular. In music journalist terms, Davan plays "post-hardcore." In your Dad's terms: "What the hell is this crap?"

The summer movie factory

"There is no place I know to compare with pure imagination. So go there and be free if you truly wish to be." The lyrics to 1971's "Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory" serve as a perfect description of the summer movie season. It's a world of comic book heroes, fairy tale villains, aliens, bears and blondes in Daisy Duke shorts.

No magic in 'Bewitched' remake

"Bewitched" proves a story's true magic lies in its simplicity. In this convoluted update of the breezy 1960s TV series, the filmmakers do everything in their power to take away the pure premise of the show: mortal guy marries a witch.

Wakarusa officials reflect on event

It's a miracle the second Wakarusa Music and Camping Festival happened at all. "We lost our tail financially last year," says festival co-organizer Brett Mosiman.

Thursday, June 23

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Review: Batman Begins - PS2, Xbox, Gamecube

Better than most movie games. But that's not saying much.

Batman Begins is a mediocre game that has been patched together using elements from superior games. If you're looking for great stealth gameplay, get Splinter Cell. If you need a Batman fix, just do yourself a favor and see the movie again.

Wednesday, June 22

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Captive Audience :: Lawrence 'T' riders share their plans for maximum summertime maxin'

50 freakin' cents. That's how much it costs to ride the 'T' to anywhere in Lawrence. It's one of this town's most underexploited deals, and if you're the talkative type one of the most opportunistic. I hopped on so I could corner some salt-of-the-earth folks into talking about what to do in Lawrence during the summer. A couple bucks and four bus trips across town later, here's what I learned:

Author's home placed on historic register

Commissioners without much discussion agreed to place the former Lawrence home of author William S. Burroughs on the Lawrence Register of Historic Places.

Missing camper mystery solved

Connecticut man left town without telling friends

A Connecticut man sought during an intensive search at Clinton State Park left a message on his parents' answering machine Tuesday evening saying that he had left a weekend music festival and had arrived at another location.

Tuesday, June 21

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Review: Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas - Xbox

Xbox owners finally get the best GTA yet!

It's a nice evolution from Vice City, and GTA fans will spend countless weeks exploring the state. Like the PS2 version, with more polish and better combat, which is central to any game, it could've been an inarguable masterpiece.

Arts notes

¢ Summer Youth Theatre to stage 'Les Miserables' ¢ Pulitzer Prize-honored drama opens in Topeka

Historic designation for Burroughs' home sought

Beat writer brought unique element of fame to city

It is easy to forget that the unassuming bungalow at 1927 Learnard Ave. helped put Lawrence on the world map.

As Wakarusa festival-goers roll out of town, recyclers step in

It had been more than 12 hours since the Wakarusa Music & Camping Festival had concluded, but Vincent Scerbo and Laurie Marshall were in no hurry to pack up and leave.

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'Madagascar' is fun for everyone, especially kids

First thing's first: Marty the zebra in the Madagascar video game may sound like Chris Rock, but it's not. Next: The "Everyone 10+" rating may say this game is for everyone 10 or older, but it's not.

Monday, June 20

Death at Wakarusa causes concern

Many festival-goers wonder how the death occurred, but they are not surprised. The death was not deemed accidental. About 50,000 people attended this year's festival.

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Flash 'Flood'

Local filmmaker adapts groundbreaking graphic novel

In Eric Drooker's wordless animated novel "Flood!" (1992), the protagonist endures a series of traumas losing his job, his home and eventually his life. The tragic tale struck a chord with Lawrence resident Oliver Hall when he first came across the novel at a Wichita comic shop. Ten years later, after directing the first-ever film adaptation of the book, the story still rings true.

Festival deemed a hot success

Concerts end on peaceful note, but police investigating death

The Wakarusa Music & Camping Festival drew toward a close late Sunday much the way it began, with bands performing on stage and thousands of people having a good time.

Capturing counterculture

It was 1968, a year of assassinations, student unrest and growing protests against the war in Vietnam. David Fenton was just a kid with a camera, and his life was forever changed.

Sunday, June 19

Book chronicles Lawrence lynching

On the night of June 10, 1882, a mob of angry white men forced their way into the Douglas County Jail, dragged three black men out of their cells and marched them down to the Kansas River bridge.

Poet's Showcase

Review: Book asks readers to question assumptions

Perhaps at no other time have state, national and international political situations more clearly illustrated the danger inherent in the all-too-human tendency to reach the conclusions one wants before investigating a problem.

Croc attack!

Colorful, comfy clogs lure droves of shoe hunters

As strange as it sounds, Lawrence - nontropical, landlocked little Lawrence - is crawling with Crocs.

Fans favor 'intimacy' of Wakarusa festival

Music lovers like lay of the land

With three days of camping and concerthopping under their belts, many Wakarusa festivalgoers were giving the festival positive reviews Saturday - especially in comparison with last weekend's Bonaroo Music and Arts festival in Manchester, Tenn.

Saturday, June 18

Critics pick top weekend shows at Wakarusa festival

It's easy to feel a little lost in the ocean of people, bands and hysteria that populates Wakarusa. In case you're worried about swimming with the musical minnows, here are a few of the big fish to stick by:

Seen & heard at the Wakarusa Festival


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Thousands find bliss at Wakarusa music fest

The silver bus sat parked along Wakarusa Way near Camp Zenith, deep into the temporary tent city that has sprung up on the grounds of Clinton Lake State Park for the Wakarusa Music & Camping Festival.

Friday, June 17

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Critics pick can't-miss Wakarusa acts

It's easy to feel a little lost in the ocean of people, bands and hysteria that populates Wakarusa. If you're worried about swimming with the musical minnows, here are a few of today's big fish to stick by:

15,000 expected as fest gets off to colorful start

'Like summer camp for adults'

A young woman directing traffic into Clinton Lake State Park on Thursday afternoon stopped her work suddenly, lifted her T-shirt and exposed her bare chest to the stream of oncoming cars. Welcome to the Wakarusa Music & Camping Festival, a four-day extravaganza of dancing hippies, Frisbee golf, dreadlocks, Grateful Dead paraphernalia and - oh yeah - music.

Event not much of a boon for Lawrence merchants

If you're a Lawrence merchant expecting to see a lot of business from the Wakarusa Music & Camping Festival, Jay Richey has some bad news for you: He's not going anywhere.

Bachelors make pitch for bids at benefit auction

Heather Moore was a bit surprised to find herself seated at a bar Thursday night anticipating the start of a parade of single men. "I'm a feminist Democrat and I'm voting in a bachelor auction," Moore said, shaking her head and laughing. "It doesn't seem right, does it?"

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Survival guide details the do's and don'ts of fest

Folks can count on additional hassles when attending an event such as the Wakarusa Music and Camping Festival. It's not as simple as walking into a bar, plunking down five clams and seeing a band. This is a major undertaking - which is why "and Camping" is part of the title - and some thought must be put into preparedness for concertgoers to fully relish the experience.

Thursday, June 16

Dark knight revealed

True face of Caped Crusader uncloaked in 'Batman Begins'

The title of the latest Batman adaptation reportedly went through numerous changes, from "Batman: The Frightening" to "Batman: Intimidation Game." Ultimately, the producers settled on the more befitting "Batman Begins."

Wakarusa Festival rolls out welcome mat

Clinton Lake State Park was being transformed Wednesday from a sleepy camping area into a concert venue that will house and host thousands of music lovers for the next four days, starting tonight.

Wednesday, June 15

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Review: Advent Rising - Xbox

Does Glyphx's huge ambition cut the mustard?

Advent Rising fails to be compelling on almost all levels. It's an A game stuck in a D- body. It's the heart pounding sensation of a NASCAR field while racing a Yugo.

Biker-style bar and grill enticing customers to hog heaven

Sticky floors, grimy walls and dim lighting.

Tuesday, June 14

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Return of the Festivarians

Festival-goers from around the country return for year two of Wakarusa...but will Lawrencians show their love, too?

You can thank Jerry Garcia for bringing Wilco to Lawrence, Kansas. You can also thank Bonnaroo, String Cheese Incident, hippies, drugs, the internet and the suburbs. Without all of these components, the festivarians wouldn't be steering their VW buses towards Lawrence this week. And without the festivarians, The Wakarusa Festival would be selling about as many tickets as this weekend's less-than-marquee showdown between the Kansas City Royals and the Houston Astros.'s top picks for Wakarusa 2005

Must-see acts for this year's festival...

Low Voltage

Son Volt's Jay Farrar phones it in

We checked in with alt-country kingpin Jay Farrar via telephone through to his studio/rehearsal space in St. Louis to talk about his new record, Wakarusa and the complete improbability of an Uncle Tupelo reunion...

Fest pests

The modern festival isn't yet free of little's what to keep an eye out for

You sojourned to Wakarusa for live music, free love and drum circles. But lurking within the inviting environs of Clinton Lake are unseen dangers - many of which prey primarily upon non-locals, who are often caught unaware of their menacing threat. We suggest you familiarize yourself with the enemy before expressing the full glory of your free love.

'A delicious sense of mischief' ...a minute with Beatle Bob

At last year's Wakarusa Fesitval, a curious figure emerged stage-right during the Guided By Voices set. Clad in a "Spy Who Shagged Me" leisure suit and sporting a moptop straight off the cover of "Beatles for Sale," the mysterious hand jiver was Beatle Bob, a longtime St. Louis resident known for performing his jerky, karate-informed dance moves on the sidelines of many an area show.

Players hold notable place in city's musical history

Clyde Bysom and John Weatherwax to be recognized for helping revive the Lawrence City Band

"These guys would rather play their horns than eat when they're hungry," Don McDow says.

Monday, June 13

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Review: Kirby Canvas Curse - NDS

The first true game tailored for the DS hardware.

This is the type of game you bought a DS for. It truly utilizes the system's abilities without compromising gameplay quality in the least.

Columbia lightens up on marijuana use

Some in Lawrence support drug law changes

Simply put, Columbia, Mo., is a pretty good place these days to smoke a joint. For that, Columbia residents have Amanda Broz to thank.

Playing with dark & light

People don't figure into most of Rebecca Dreyfus' photos. "It comes more natural for me when I take scenery pictures," says the 15-year-old amateur photographer.

Sunday, June 12

Myth busters

With a little research, some of Lawrence's most colorful tales turn out to be utterly fictional

An ape-like creature stalks the forests of the Pacific Northwest. Bodies of alien visitors are recovered from a UFO crash in New Mexico. From tales of hook-handed killers to legends about the kid whose combination of Pop Rocks and Coke exploded his stomach, every town, county and state has its own lore. Lawrence is no exception.

Saturday, June 11


Steel, history and art combine to inspire Lawrence blade enthusiasts

You do not want to meet Tyler Rea in a dark alley. Wrapped in a sarong, a tiger-claw blade extending from each clenched fist, he is the picture of focused ferocity. Rea, 34, is trained in the Indonesian martial art of pentjak silat, a stunningly efficient system to kill opponents using a claw-blade defense.

Friday, June 10

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Review: Yoshi Topsy-Turvy - GBA

The second GBA gyroscopic effort doesn't quite hit the mark

The game lasts about three hours, but it was certainly long enough to make me utter enough expletives to fill a couple seasons of "South Park."

Road to Hollywood

Student Academy Award accelerates Lawrence director's cinematic career

On Sunday, Alonso Mayo will be attending his first Academy Awards. Unlike nominees at February's star-studded, red carpet ceremony, Mayo won't be wearing a tuxedo, and he's not entirely sure who's hosting the event. But he already knows he's going to win.

Marriage proves dangerous game in 'Mr. & Mrs. Smith'

John Smith (Brad Pitt) sits before a therapist and begins to vent about his wife, Jane (Angelina Jolie). "There's this huge space between us that's filling up with everything we don't say to each other. What's that called?" "Marriage," the therapist replies.

Film festival promises quick-shooting showdown

America's last land rush was unleashed from Caldwell in 1893. But June 3, 2005, marked the start of a modern rush, as 24 teams of filmmakers competed against one another to stake a claim of their own ... for a place in local cinematic history.

Thursday, June 9

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The fashion eye of the regular guy

Tom Frame is not a fashion plate. He will never make Mr. Blackwell's annual list of best-dressed men. He is completely out of touch with what the men's silhouette for summer looks like. Even the Fab Five of "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" fame would pass on this guy. And Frame, 77, couldn't care less.

Review: 'Brigadoon' captures appeal of the highlands

With the thrilling sound of bagpipes on Friday night, Lawrence Community Theatre ushered in its last show of the season, "Brigadoon." This award-winning 1947 Lerner and Loewe musical contains beautiful and memorable Broadway tunes, and Lawrence Community Theatre's production, directed by Mary Doveton with musical direction by Judy Heller, artfully captures this tale's appeal to a universal desire for the perfect place, a Shangri-la, a place of eternal life and love.

Wednesday, June 8

Demonstrators not lovin' it that McDonald's closed for remodeling

Standing on the roadside dressed as a hamburger, Steve Balbone insisted he and his friends weren't on drugs. "Everybody's clean," he said. Still, there they were at lunchtime Tuesday in front of the McDonald's at 1309 W. Sixth St., staging a mock protest aimed at getting the restaurant to reopen as it undergoes renovation. For this group of young artists and musicians - one shirtless, one wearing a furry helmet with antlers - it was as much an act of absurd street theater as it was a serious demonstration.

Demonstrators not lovin' it that McDonald's closed for remodeling

Standing on the roadside dressed as a hamburger, Steve Balbone insisted he and his friends weren't on drugs. "Everybody's clean," he said.

Tuesday, June 7

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Review: Hot Shots Golf: Open Tee - PSP

A great PSP alternative to Tiger

It isn't so much one specific thing that makes it great, it's the way everything comes together in such a perfect portable package.

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Wild West Film Fest

Local artist's 48-hour competition puts local filmmakers under the gun

Polish your guns and strap on your chaps, it's time for a good ol' fashioned Wild West Film Fest. OK, so maybe there's nothing really "western" about it:but it might. But Chris Dorsey thinks he's his film fest will get local film buffs hootin' and hollarin'. Local filmmakers had just 48-hours to scrap together a six-minute film, from brainstorming ideas to the final edit.

Sunday, June 5

Heavy metal

Outdoor Downtown Sculpture Exhibition adds whimsy, mystery to heart of city

Together they weigh nearly 2,500 pounds. And they represent hundreds of hours spent in junk yards, sheet metal shops and peering from behind welding masks.

Artists sculpt whimsical look for downtown

Dave Werdin-Kennicott's 2-year-old son calls it "Daddy's robot." And although there's nothing too high-tech about the towering man guarding one entrance to South Park, he IS made of metal and he DOES look poised to snatch up anyone who wanders too close.

Saturday, June 4

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Scribble Scrabble

MC battle gives local hip-hoppers a shot at national freestyle festival

Question: What can Mac Lethal do that Eminem can't? Answer: Win the Scribble Jam title. "We went to Perkins afterwards and I felt like fuckin Tom Cruise," recalls Lethal, the Kansas City rapper who took the 2002 title at the venerated nationwide MC battle - at which Eminem placed second in 1997.

Gaming addiction growing

'When a 35-year-old guy stays inside all weekend and plays a game, no one blinks an eye'

The new Nintendo "Revolution" and PlayStation 3 will come out next year, and already 29-year-old Roy Lopez is scheming. He'll have to save up money to buy both video game consoles on his got-to-have list. And he plans to be at the store when the supply truck arrives.

Friday, June 3

'Lords of Dogtown' skates by on atmosphere

Like the skateboarding punks of the film's title, "Lords of Dogtown" is good-looking, energetic and rather aimless. It's not so much a movie as it is a snapshot of the lives of a group of friends who overnight went from vagabond teen slackers to international innovators of a competitive sport.

Hooked on the Flint Hills

Artists pay homage to prairies, skies that keep them inspired

There's something about the Flint Hills that keeps luring back noted Lawrence landscape artist Robert Sudlow. "It's kind of like a moonscape: Everything's there and nothing's there," says Sudlow, 85, who taught painting at Kansas University from 1947 until he retired 40 years later.

Kansan marooned on TV's 'Real Gilligan's Island'

"It's about the age-old question: Mary Ann or Ginger?," says Randi Silvers, an Edwardsville native and one of 14 new members of TBS's reality show "The Real Gilligan's Island." Silvers was selected as one of two women cast for Mary Ann's character on the show. She emphasizes her position was merely to represent the original Mary Ann, with no acting or role-playing involved.

Wednesday, June 1

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Heavy debt

The Esoteric rebounds from devastating fire with love from Lawrence, credit cards

The Esoteric are deeper in debt than they've ever been. Indebted in kindness, that is.

Pipe dreams

Review: 'Brigadoon' weaves together Scottish plaid, energetic cast

Given the premise of "Brigadoon," it might be surprising that the Scottish fantasy, unlike its namesake town, emerges from obscurity more often than once every hundred years.

K.C. sculpture project seeks proposals

The Santa Fe Drive Sculpture Project is seeking artists for an outdoor sculpture for the roundabout entrance to downtown Overland Park. It is commissioned by the City of Overland Park.