Thursday, June 30
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."
¢ Brown Bag Concerts continue today ¢ Lawrence native to sign new mystery
Tuesday, June 28
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.
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."
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.
Lawrence comic book author Jai Nitz won a Bram Stoker Award on Saturday in Burbank, Calif.
Monday, June 27
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
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.
Saturday, June 25
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.
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
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."
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?"
"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.
"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.
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
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
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:
Commissioners without much discussion agreed to place the former Lawrence home of author William S. Burroughs on the Lawrence Register of Historic Places.
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
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.
¢ Summer Youth Theatre to stage 'Les Miserables' ¢ Pulitzer Prize-honored drama opens in Topeka
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
Colorful, comfy clogs lure droves of shoe hunters
As strange as it sounds, Lawrence - nontropical, landlocked little Lawrence - is crawling with Crocs.
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
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:
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
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:
'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.
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.
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?"
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
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."
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
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.
Sticky floors, grimy walls and dim lighting.
Tuesday, June 14
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.
Must-see acts for this year's festival...
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...
The modern festival isn't yet free of little inconveniences...here'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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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."
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
'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
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.
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.
"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
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.
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.
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.