Stories for January 2006

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Monday, January 30

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The '90s are the New '80s

Are You Hip to the New Nostalgia?

DJ Soap remembers a time when he could rock a party with Prince, Madonna and Michael Jackson. Nowadays, he's more likely to do it with Sublime, Nirvana and Kris Kross.

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Review: Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition - PS2

Amazing gameplay dumbed down a smidge

If you invest enough time in it, you can get so good that you literally won't get hit even once. Other admittedly great action titles (God of War, Ninja Gaiden) feature the occasional cheap hit or undodgeable boss attack. With DMC3, you'll recognize enemy behavior, know which style to use and when to dodge.

Style Scout: Ian Huebert and Emily Kurtz

Ian Huebert and Emily Kurtz

Backing It Up: Community Drop In Center volunteers help the homeless

Our weekly reminder that people aren't all bastards

Like most people, Hilary Bowker has heard all the stereotypes about homeless people: they're lazy, drug-addicted and "it's their own fault."

Writers singled out for voice, craft

Langston Hughes Creative writing award

Christopher Citro started writing to impress a girlfriend.

Oscar should honor these overlooked performances

Tomorrow's announcement of the 2006 Oscar nominations will likely feature a lot of the usual suspects: Reese Witherspoon, Russell Crowe, Joan Allen, William Hurt.

Sunday, January 29

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Review: Ape Escape 3 - PS2

A little twist and a lot of fun may be short-lived for some

Core gameplay in Ape Escape 3 certainly resembles the previous installments, but features one main gameplay addition. Uou can morph into different forms. Each form helps with combat and basic monkey-catching. The best of these is certainly the Miracle Ninja form, which makes you run faster and spawns two mini-ninjas to fight alongside your character.

Hall Center seeks award nominations

The Hall Center for the Humanities at Kansas University seeks nominations for the Byron Caldwell Smith Award.

Different by design

Professor's work draws international attention

Dan Rockhill knows his work is different - its approach, its materials, its setting and, perhaps most of all, its appearance. And he wouldn't have it any other way.

K.C. museum puts blind in touch with fine art

Warren Logan's hands skim the 15th-century marble bust, tracing the lifeless eyes, the slightly agape mouth, the precisely chiseled fur.

Review: Polished voices lift up 'Falstaff'

Opera loves a good joke. Many an operatic plot details the comeuppance of a lovable but arrogant character. Giuseppe Verdi's "Falstaff" delivers that brand of comedy in spades.

E.M.U. Theatre to have auditions

Roles for five men and five women are available in E.M.U. Theatre's upcoming production of "As You Like It," one of William Shakespeare's most beloved comedies.

A musical homecoming

Free State High School alumnae return for band's first Lawrence concert

If you ask Merry Chadwick, she'll tell you she plays for quite possibly the best concert band in the country.

What are you reading?

Best sellers

Poet's Showcase

"Waiting on Death in Jackson, Mississippi," by Max Sutton

Saturday, January 28

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Your Parents Got Breakbeats

'Hot Lunch' aims to bridge gap between old and new dance music with weekly party

No, Thursday nights at the Jackpot do not feature edibles. Quite opposite (ahem), the name for the new dance night 'Hot Lunch' was found on a site listing porn flic names by DJ Kyle Garrison. "It sounded like something you'd remember," Garrison said.

Friday, January 27

Lawrence artist builds paintings out of stacks of wax

Elizabeth Rowley takes finger-painting to the extreme.

Thursday, January 26

Review: 'Beau Jest' a charm from community theater

It's hard to do farce in the 21st century.

City's art program for youths receives White House award

A Lawrence arts program received national recognition Wednesday during a White House ceremony.

Review: Tap Dogs energetic through encore

The Tap Dogs held the stage at a well-filled Lied Center for nearly an hour and a half Tuesday evening, rocking the audience into frequent applause. Move over, Michael Flatley - this is manly-man tap dancing, in real Australian boots (and jeans, and shorts, and T-shirts, and flannel shirts and ball caps).

Author, healer to share insights at program

Ken "Bear Hawk" Cohen, author of the critically acclaimed "Honoring the Medicine: The Essential Guide to Native American Healing," will share his philosophy in a talk at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Lawrence Public Library auditorium, 707 Vt.

The age of opera

Companies looking to lure younger fans

Growing up in Buhler - a town of about 1,300 near Hutchinson - David Lara didn't have much exposure to opera.

Wednesday, January 25

I love you more than :

Hey, men - looking for just the right words to express your feelings for your special lady this Valentine's Day?

Slice of success

University graduate gets his piece of the proverbial pie in new book

Jeff Ruby doesn't blame Lawrence for his addiction to pizza. He was hooked before he came here. He does, however, blame Lawrence's pizza-lovers for ruining his car, which he drove all over town delivering for Pyramid Pizza in the mid-1990s.

Tuesday, January 24

'Capote' all about the Truman Show

At the heart of "Capote" is Hoffman's fascinating interpretation of an iconoclast who carries enough curious mannerisms to carry a small museum. Sure, the actor has the outward signs of Capote down pat - the pale features, the high-pitched, whiny baby voice - but his performance goes farther than that. Even while holding court at parties with New York's elite, Hoffman plays him like a wounded animal whose acerbic wit barely masks his own insecurities.

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Review: Mega Man X Collection - PS2, Gamecube

All the X adventures unite for better and worse

All six games in this Mega Man X Collection are very good action/platformers and certainly follow in the original Mega Man tradition. This collection may not feature all the bells-and-whistles of the Anniversary Collection (which featured remixed music and a couple never-released fighting games), but it does include Mega Man Battle & Chase as an unlockable bonus.

Monday, January 23

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De-classified

FBI documents shed light on domestic surveillance in Lawrence

Mysterious men watching houses from parked cars. Secret government infiltration of activist groups. Classified FBI files on seemingly innocuous citizens. It's the stuff that conspiracy theories are made of. And it all happened in Lawrence during the political upheaval of the late '60s and early '70s.

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Cinematic experiment

New local film society provides forum for local filmmakers and rare experimental films

For Jon Allen, the best part of watching an experimental film is the "A-ha!" moment.

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Review: True Swing Golf - DS

A worthy golf entry with great touch control

TSG is a great core golf game with few extras and zero pizzazz. The touch swing mechanics justify the purchase alone, but don't expect to spend hours outside of the standard game of golf.

Style Scout: Harold Fätzer and Tiffanie Chambers

Harold Fätzer and Tiffanie Chambers

Fair and square

Club finds camaraderie in traditional dance form

Anyone who thinks square dancing is a dying art didn't go to the founders dance of the Happy Time Squares last weekend.

Sunday, January 22

Young filmmakers shine on big screen

Inaugural Digital Media Online Film Festival honors students, offers hands-on workshops

Inside the dark theater at the Lawrence Arts Center, the movie titles flashed across the screen one after the other.

Rock me Amadeus

As Mozart's 250th birthday approaches, celebrations honor his star-studded legacy

By some accounts, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was a rock star. Take these lyrics from Austrian pop singer Falco's 1986 hit "Rock Me Amadeus."

Poet's showcase

"Solstice 2005," By Connie Andes

Friday, January 20

A choir with conviction

East Hill Singers find freedom through song

lvera Voth recalls when one of the vocalists approached her after the East Hill Singers had just delivered a stellar concert performance.

Woody Allen scores with sure-handed "Match Point"

Woody Allen strays from his favorite setting of New York City and the familiar strains of old-time jazz to the upper crust of London and opera in "Match Point," a diabolical look at passion and power. The move not only suits Allen's subject matter, but also marks his first truly great film since 1999's "Sweet and Lowdown." Like that overlooked gem, "Match Point" doesn't feature Allen in a lead acting role. In fact, "Match Point" does not have an outwardly neurotic character at all.

Culture clash propels 'Spear'

As his father prepares to lead a missionary expedition into the jungle, young Steve Saint (Chase Ellison) asks him, "If the Waodani attack, will you use your guns?"

Thursday, January 19

Fundraising challenge extended to Van Go

The Van Go Mobile Arts organization wants funds to expand their services, and this week a Tulsa-based foundation served them a challenge: Make money, and you'll get money.

Theater cuts winter chill with warmly comedic 'Beau Jest'

Mark Mackie has walked a mile in the shoes of the scorned boyfriend character he's playing in Lawrence Community Theatre's production of "Beau Jest."

Wednesday, January 18

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Tri Point Paradox

What band in their right mind would mix "Kokomo" and "Regulate" covers into a set of original power ballads and jam-influenced rock tunes?

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Review: Dead or Alive 4 - 360

The first online fighter for the 360 has plenty of jiggles...but can it fight?

DOA4 is not a perfect fighting game by any means. Soul Calibur and Virtua Fighter are both head and shoulders above it in terms of sheer gameplay. It's the online aspect of DOA4 that gives it massive replay value.

KU students create dolls for hurricane victims

In response to the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, Ministry of Sculpture, a Kansas University student sculpture club, has created nearly 100 wooden dolls to donate to hurricane victims.

Tuesday, January 17

Kansas has produced its fair share of movers & shakers

Maybe it's the sunflowers, or perhaps there's something in the water. Or is it because the summers are too hot, the winters too cold? Kansas, it seems, has more than its share of noteworthy characters.

Monday, January 16

Style Scout: Anna Robertson and Chris Luckey

Anna Robertson and Chris Luckey

Re-do: Robban Kring and Brad Hestand

Robban Kring and Brad Heston

Advocates at WTCS help women, men and children recover from domestic violence

Our weekly reminder that people aren't all bastards

Imagine sitting though a domestic-violence court case and approaching the victim at its conclusion. You hand her a business card. She looks at you and cries.

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State of the Arts Center

Can this building be all things to all Lawrence artists?

Last Friday, the Lawrence Arts Center opened its doors to 70 local artists and 92 works of local art. The Lawrence Art Guild's annual all-member show is the first of more than a dozen LAC shows this year that will showcase Lawrence artists. Last year, the center displayed the works of more than 1,000 locals.

A love for all time

'Tristan & Isolde' lacks 'Romeo & Juliet' heartbreak

Before Romeo climbed that rosebush for Juliet - before Guinevere cheated on Arthur, before Fox had a 20th Century - Tristan loved Isolde.

Film takes easy street to 'Glory'

'Road' glosses over drama but remains inspiring

Give Disney its due. The Mouse House has absolutely mastered the feel-good, against-all-odds, historic sports movie.

An artistic menagerie

Lawrence Art Guild members offer diverse show

The Lawrence Art Guild's All-Members Show brings together work by many of the group's 260 members. It remains one of the guild's most popular exhibitions because of the diversity of media represented, including paintings, fabric art, ceramics and photographs, among others.

Jon Voight's latest impersonation: basketball coach

Jon Voight collected Oscars and Oscar nominations early in his career. His Joe Buck in "Midnight Cowboy," Ed Gentry in "Deliverance," Luke Martin in "Coming Home" and Manny Manheim in "Runaway Train" were acting standards, the sorts of performances that led people such as film scholar David Thomson to call him "easily ... one of the best actors of his generation."

Sunday, January 15

'Army of One' marches to regional theater festival

Zacory Boatright's play "An Army of One" has been selected for a prestigious regional theater festival.

Standing O

Only performances that rise to brilliance should bring you to your feet. But your enthusiasm is appreciated.

Certain occasions require standing up. The national anthem. The bride's entrance at a wedding. The judge walking into a courtroom. A perfectly lovely but not stellar performance by musicians, dancers or actors is not one of these occasions.

Poet's Showcase

"The Choice," by Joy Clumsky

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Effects of city's smoking ban still in dispute

Those who made New Year's resolutions to quit smoking have had two weeks to contemplate the decision. Is it worth the hassle? Can they stick to it?

Saturday, January 14

Funny business

Humor us while we try to pin down what makes you laugh

The formula for funny. Comics strive for it. Authors tweak their copy, searching for it. TV networks bank on it. And yet, no matter how many times the chicken crosses the road, a rabbi walks into a bar or a buffoon slips on a banana peel, the formula may never be found.

Friday, January 13

Art a la Carte

Two exhibitions open Saturday at the Lawrence Arts Center. The Lawrence Art Guild's All-Members Show brings together work by many of the group's 260 members. It remains one of the guild's most popular exhibitions because of the diversity of media represented, including paintings, fabric art, ceramics and photographs.

'Hoodwinked' not Pixar, but not criminal either

In the high-stakes big budget world of computer animation, "Hoodwinked" is an anomaly, as it was made without the benefit of major studio cash. Audiences have become accustomed to the dazzling visuals of Pixar movies, however, so the makers of this independently financed movie face an uphill battle, especially since its characters are all uncomfortably glassy-eyed and move like two-jointed 80s action figures.

Multitalented Queen Latifah livens up 'Last Holiday'

Queen Latifah is like a grown-up version of one of those kids in high school who was good at everything. It's easy to envision her as the lead in the school play, a soloist in the choir, the center on the basketball team and the homecoming queen.

Thursday, January 12

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'First Date' at Sundance

Former Jayhawk's cinematic debut earns trips to prestigious festivals

Gary Huggins found a unique way to pass the time while working at the Kansas City Kansas Public Library. The fledgling filmmaker would study the patrons and then imagine ways to cast them in different movies. "It's a real 'colorful' mix of people, races and backgrounds," Huggins says. "They all seemed like naturals."

Wednesday, January 11

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Review: Electroplankton - DS

Musical randomness for your stylus

Electroplankton isn't a game. It's a very basic piece of musical software with an interesting art theme which Nintendo has made fairly accessible. It's just too bad there's not much there and you'll never have proof of your potential musical genius.

Tuesday, January 10

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Trial by Desire

LHS alum's script puts her on brief track to courting 'Boston Legal' fans

Corinne Brinkerhoff was your basic intern. Young. Green. Adept at copying and filing, but not called upon to do much else at her company. But she didn't mind. The important thing for the 1998 Lawrence High School graduate was being at this company.

Monday, January 9

A labor of loaves

It's is easy to forget the hard work that goes into some of the things we most take for granted.

Sunday, January 8

Review: Ghosty and White Whale at the Eight Street Tap Room

I didn't want to miss a minute of the local up-and-coming indie pop band Ghosty. I was looking forward to this concert after listening to Lawrence locals hyping the group, who have academic roots at KU.

Poet's showcase

"New Mother," By Michael L. Johnson

Comedy radio series presents year in review

The sketch comedy series "Right Between the Ears" will present its "Year in Review" show at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday at Liberty Hall, 642 Mass.

Friday, January 6

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Kinks on parade

Contra Naturam troupe brings the art of fetish to Lawrence nightlife

Vanillas need not apply. That's the disclaimer for anyone interested in attending performances by Lawrence fetishists Contra Naturam. "Vanilla," you see, is code for the kind of people who like their sex straight down the middle; the kind of people who think "kinky" equates to "doggy-style."

The lowdown on your download

Here are some key pieces fit for any mp3 collection

Face facts: It's time to start over. Your music collection is scattered all over the place. You have too many CDs that you don't ever listen to. Some of your best stuff (and your parents' best stuff) is only on cassette, vinyl or - yikes - eight-track tape.

'Brokeback Mountain' a dull and overrated affair

It is a gripping love story about two individuals whose unconventional affair is not easily understood by the rest of society. I'm of course referring to "King Kong." "Brokeback Mountain," on the other hand, is a monotonous and often inadvertently campy romance that rivals "The Hours" as the most overrated movie of the decade. Talk about making mountains out of molehills.

Thursday, January 5

You can't take the gay out of the gay cowboy movie

Whether it was women who came between them or their own divergent loyalties, men's honor has always been the focus of attention in the western genre. "Brokeback Mountain"Â is what some may call a "revisionist western"Â

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Bearing witness

Local activist embarks on tour to share his firsthand accounts from Iraq and Palestine

Joe Carr identifies himself as an elite, white, English-speaking, oppressor-class male. That, he explains, is precisely why he feels compelled to be an activist. "I have a lot of privileges that have been denied to millions of other people so that I could have them," says Carr, a 24 year-old busybody from Kansas City, Mo., who will speak Friday night at the Solidarity! Revolutionary Center and Radical Library in Lawrence.

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Review: Shadow the Hedgehog - PS2, Xbox, Gamecube

You may have missed this in the holiday rush...and that's okay

You could say Shadow has some replay value because of the branching levels, but that's assuming it's worth playing through even once (which it isn't). Even if you're a hardcore Sonic fan that has tolerated the last few releases, you'll probably want to stay away from this one.

Review: Mario Tennis Power Tour - GBA

Another ace for the sports/RPG hybrid

Power Tour offers up a great option for the handheld sports fan it provides solid tennis action, bunches of entertaining mini-games, unlockable characters, singles or doubles matches and even supports multiplayer matches.

Review: Final Fantasy IV - GBA

The classic still holds water in today's RPG world

With it's rewarding gameplay and intriguing story, FFIV Advance should appeal to longtime RPG fans as well as those new to the series (or even turn-based games as a whole).

Lawrence Guild to open show for members

The Lawrence Art Guild All Members Exhibition will feature the works of 70 artists at the Lawrence Arts Center, 940 N.H., from Jan. 13 to Feb. 28, with a public reception from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Jan. 13.

Community theater announces auditions

The Lawrence Community Theatre plans auditions at 7 p.m. Monday and Tuesday for "Red Herring," by Michael Hollinger.

Spangles to open restaurant in Lawrence

Spangles is coming to town.

Wednesday, January 4

K.C. critics tap 'Munich' as top film

The 40th annual vote of the Kansas City Film Critics Circle honored work ranging from an examination of the 1972 terrorist attack at the Munich Olympics to acting portrayals of a country singer, boxing coach and literary giant.

'Dodos' circling around I.D.

Film explores intelligent design-evolution 'circus'

Kansas and an extinct bird share top billing in a new documentary film called "Flock of Dodos: The Evolution-Intelligent Design Circus."

Tuesday, January 3

In the Halls

What is the worst movie to come out this year?

What is the worst movie to come out this year?

Double Take: Parents, teens can get along with a little resolve

In the spirit of the New Year, Marissa and I propose five resolutions for teens and parents to adopt in 2006. I'll start with my resolutions for parents, and Marissa will follow with her suggestions for teens.

Hanging by a thread

Worst movies of 2005 fall short of mediocre

I've never walked out of a movie. No matter how irritating, repulsive, juvenile, confusing or just plain boring the experience can be, I know in the back of my mind there is room for retribution. I can always place that dud on my Worst of Film list. Starting with the worst, here are this year's cinematic culprits...

Sunday, January 1

Poet's showcase

End of the Line, By Susan Carman