Weekend Picks: Audio-Reader sale; Folk at Fatso's; Stik Figa; The Merc's "Grand Reveal"; Restaurant Week; and Nerd Nite bonus pick

Here's a tip. We're more likely to "pick" your event for Weekend Picks if it has a cool flier combining memorable imagery with the necessary info about your event. This week's installment offers five events with standout promotional imagery (as well as a family-friendly affair at the Merc and a sneak preview of Lawrence Restaurant Week).

"For Your EARS Only" (annual Audio-Reader sale), Douglas County Fairgrounds, 6-9 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday

Local music geeks never miss this annual sale of all-things audio, and we never tire of the cool James Bond-themed posters that accompany each year's event.

This year's sale will feature "thousands of vinyl records, vintage and modern stereo equipment, musical instruments, CDs and DVDs, all priced to sell." As always, proceeds go to the Audio-Reader program which provides "free reading and information services to the blind, visually-impaired and print-disabled."

The opening night sale on Friday is a ticketed event that includes snacks and prizes. Saturday is free. Make sure to stop by for one or both. Find more info at the Audio-Reader website.

Nicholas St. James/Sugar Britches, 10 p.m. Friday at Fatso's

Friday night's Nicholas St. James and Sugar Britches' double-header certainly caught our eye with its creepy promo image, which is perfectly suited to some of the tales of woe and desperation likely to emanate from the stage tonight.

We asked Mr. St. James to tell us about his choice of imagery. Here is his insightful response:

"I find a fair number of show posters far too cluttered as it seems the pertinent details (who's playing, where and when) are buried somewhere inside what became an art project. In the case of the Fatso's poster, hopefully eyes are being drawn to it because of the simplicity. Both bands on this bill play folk music, which itself can be defined as "simple and uncluttered." It would make very little sense for our logos to be dripping blood and feature a picture of a State Farm agent eating pork chops while a myriad of other detailed things happen around him. The skull-faced woman was chosen because it seems so damn American and suggests the show might be a little darker in lyrical content, which it will be. After that, the only things left are the pertinent details, which is why a poster was made to begin with."

Despite the spooky imagery, don't be afraid to take a break from your usual haunts and pop into this unexpected Friday night Fatso's gig. The Facebook event page is here.

Arthur Dodge/Douglas County Quintet, 8 p.m. Friday at Frank's North Star

We love the retro-appeal of the poster for this rollicking (relatively) early-Friday show at Frank's. Aim your rocket ship across the river and check it out.

However, let's hope that this evening proceeds more smoothly than the last time Dodge and DCQ were booked at Frank's: poor Dodge never got to play at all because of plumbing problems that resulted in the big crowd being evacuated into the night.

The Facebook event page provides this description of what to expect: "Show & Dance, baby. LFK style"

Stik Figa, doors at 8 p.m., show at 9 p.m. Friday at Bottleneck

The eye-catching image for Stik Figa's Bottleneck gig forces the viewers gaze in two directions and seems open to interesting interpretations. Why are the eyes covered in two of the pics?

Discuss your thoughts on Friday as Stik Figa headlines an energetic, jam-packed hip-hop bill that also features Approach and Barrel Maker.

We did a wild and wide-ranging interview with Stik Figa way back in 2012 on our older (much raunchier) blog. Find it here if you are so inclined.

Read Stik Figa's full bio at the Facebook event page.

Merc Co-Op "Grand Reveal," 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday at the Merc

Looking for a family-friendly Saturday outing? Check out what's new at the Merc as Lawrence's beloved institution offers a day of indoor and outdoor activities (including miniature ponies that resemble Lil' Sebastian), food (street tacos!) and music (Zydeco Tougeau).

Giveaways throughout the day will allow visitors a chance to win everything from a year of free coffee to a year of free yoga.

Find full details at the Facebook event page, where the "attending" list suggests this will be a very busy day for the always-busy Merc.

Downtown Lawrence Restaurant Week, Sunday through Sept. 18 at participating restaurants

This is the second year for Downtown Lawrence Restaurant Week, and we think it's a great idea except for the name, which sadly excludes excellent new(ish) establishments such as Hank Charcuterie and Leeway Frank's (not to mention west-edge stalwarts like 23rd Street Brewery and Marisco's) that are making their way just fine apart from the Mass. Street hub

Quibbling aside, however, you'll certainly want to chomp your way through the participating downtown restaurants that will "prepare creative and original dishes not found on their regular menus." Some restaurants are planning $35 tasting menus but budget-conscious foodies can find stand-alone items that start as low as $5.

Keep an eye on the Lawrence Restaurant week website and the Facebook event page to monitor specials and learn which establishments are participating. We've already spotted an intriguing "prix fixe" meal from Limestone for a reasonable $20. And make sure to tweet and Instagram mouthwatering pics of your best food finds at #EatLawrence.

"Nerd Nite 41: Old Is the New...New," 8 p.m. Wednesday at Maceli's

The nerds of Nerd Nite can almost always be counted on to deliver a cool graphic for their monthly events. This installment's intriguing promo image fuses elements that will be covered in the presentations: missiles, weaving, and the slow food movement.

The Facebook event page contains more information on this month's three presentation topics and presenters as well as an overview of the three presentations: "War is the new Peace, Craft is the new Industry, and Slow Food is the new Fast Trend!"

Tweet us @LarryvilleLife and tell us your best Restaurant Week discoveries.


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