What to Do in Larry Tonight

Friday, August 14, 2009

Nail-biting new movies: Hurt Locker and District 9

Kathryn Bigelow's riveting and profoundly tense war movie The Hurt Locker, set in 2004 Baghdad, follows the members of a bomb squad as they go looking for IEDs, hoping to stay alive. Far and away one of the strongest of the films to come out of the Iraq conflict, it's a white-knuckle effort about survival and the adrenaline rush of risk-taking.

District 9 is one intense, intelligent, well-crafted action movie—one that dazzles the eye with seamless special effects but also makes you think without preaching. The film has the aesthetic trappings of science fiction but it's really more of a character drama, an examination of how a man responds when he's forced to confront his identity.

All-ages show with John Nolan of Straylight Run

Get a jump on your evening by heading over to this early show at the Jackpot Saloon. Fans of songwriters like Kevin Devine and Pete Yorn will take to this new Lawrencian's melodic sensibility. Nolan started his music career as the guitarist for Taking Back Sunday before eventually splintering off with bassist Shaun Cooper to form Straylight Run. Now residing in Lawrence with his wife and musical collaborator Camille, Nolan is working on a solo release for this fall and hitting the road to spread the good news.

Check out our podcast preview of this show with John and Camille.

Baby Birds Don't Drink Milk and Boo and Boo Too at Love Garden

Those who like their music a little scruffier might want to pop into Love Garden to catch Baby Birds Don't Drink Milk and Boo and Boo Too. The two bands are releasing a split 7-inch record on local label Lovely Sea records. The record comes "free" with the cover charge.

Mouth at the Jazzhaus

With their "dance songs about sci-fi novels" and funky improv jams, Kansas CIty's Mouth is about as loose as a tight jam band comes. Dancing is mandatory at the instrumental trio's all-night shows, which should be music to the feet of Phish heads and Medeski Martin and Wood fans alike. Mouth takes the stage around 11 p.m. tonight after opening act Feel Good Lost.

The Last Waltz Ensemble at the Bottleneck

The Last Waltz Ensemble performs the music of Bob Dylan and The Band, covering music from all eras of both artists’ careers. From "The Basement Tapes" to "The Last Waltz" and beyond, the Atlanta-based group plays both traditional and original arrangements in an improvisational jam-band format, never playing the same set list twice. They'll take the stage around 10 p.m. at The Bottleneck.

The Dactyls at the Jackpot

Channeling the glory days of '90s indie rock (Sonic Youth, Pavement, Dinosaur Jr.), The Dactyls employ alternate tunings and interweaving lead guitars to create densely textured, off-kilter tunes. The group recently tracked an album in Austin with engineer/producer Jim Vollentine and should be on top of their game following a rowdy performance at the Kaw Valley Kickball party. Tonight's show begins at 10 p.m. and features openers Street Sirens, Baiowolf, and P.I.C.A.S.S.O.