LarryvilleLife’s Picks: McCollum Hall implosion; Franksgiving; Bizarre Bazaar; Culinaria Supper Club; post-holiday rock ‘n’ roll
Thanksgiving approaches, but there's plenty to do in LFK for those who aren't trekking to parts unknown.
Alongside our more traditional selections, we also recommend that you watch a landmark crumble, be a brave pilgrim and attend the first-ever Franksgiving celebration at Leeway Franks, and opt for Culinaria's Korean feast instead of boring old leftovers on Friday.
McCollum Hall implosion, Wednesday at 9 a.m. sharp!!
OK, this is a bit of an oddball choice to kick off this week's cultural picks. However, we know quite well that numerous long-time Lawrencians are anticipating this 18-second event with the fervor of children waiting for Christmas morning.
KU's largest dorm opened in 1965, so it's biting the dust on its 50th anniversary. This is the kind of event that's bound to attract plenty of gawkers, though we're hesitant to advise on the best viewing locations. When plotting your spot, remember that many nearby streets, including parts of Iowa, will be temporarily closed prior to and following the implosion. Less ambitious voyeurs can watch the implosion streaming online at LJWorld.com.
In the meantime, consult this LJ-World story for all the technical details on the implosion and a full list of street closings for responsible citizens who need to get to work and don't have time to stand around waiting for buildings to implode. The KU Housing website is collecting great student memories from McCollum's long history, which is worth a look to learn about various pranks and "panty raids."
Franksgiving, 3 p.m. Thursday at Leeway Franks
Don't want to cook on Thanksgiving and tired of the more traditional options in town? Then reserve your Thanksgiving afternoon and evening for the first-annual celebration of what's likely to become a long-running LFK tradition: Franksgiving.
What exactly happens at Franksgiving? Well, we're not sure. But we're hoping it's something along the lines of "festivus," but perhaps with less "grievances." Maybe participants can offer Franksgiving blessings for all this town's odder elements. For instance, we're perpetually thankful for unusual true-crime tales such as that of Jimboy getting stuck in the Munchers Bakery ceiling, just across the way from Leeway.
What we do know is this: Leeway will be "serving some delicious crispy bird, stuffing, sides, sausage [obviously!] drinks & [board]games starting at 3 PM." Visit Leeway's Facebook page for info and updates.
Bizarre Bazaar, Final Friday and all day Saturday at Lawrence Arts Center
We're not fans of the Black Friday mayhem of Christmas shopping and shoving but, if you MUST participate, why not keep it local and buy strange things at the Bizarre Bazaar (or BizBaz, as it is affectionately termed by long-time attendees).
The long-running post-Thanksgiving art/music event has (wisely) expanded to Friday night in recent years to capitalize on crowds already downtown for Final Friday and the annual Santa rescue/lighting ceremony at Weaver's. Expect big crowds both days as usual. Hours are 5-9 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday.
The Facebook page of BizBaz is here.
Culinaria's "Supper Club Korea," 6:30 p.m. Friday at Culinaria
Our foodie friends have been buzzing about Culinaria's food and wine events, so consider Friday's "Supper Club Korea" as an intriguing alternative to the cheap wine and crackers on hand at your usual Final Friday gallery stops.
The event costs $35 per person (not including booze) but the menu looks like a great opportunity to impress a date by pretending you know how to pronounce such items as Dakgangjeong (crispy fried chicken) and Kimchi Bokkeumbap (kimchi fried rice).
Check out the full menu and RSVP here.
Gnarly Davidson/Nicholas St. James/Dean Monkey and the Dropouts, 10 p.m. Saturday at Replay
It's Saturday night after Thanksgiving and even the stragglers are straggling back to town at this point, full of leftovers and sick of relatives. There's really nothing left to do with your weekend at this point but listen to some loud music, and this blast of dynamic performers should do the trick.
So kick back and soak up the "beer-rock" fury of Gnarly Davidson and the powerful yelp of Nicholas St. James and the raunchy doo-wop of Dean Monkey.
Despite the holiday ornaments on the flier, we don't expect a lot of Christmas cheer at this event, unless it's some kind of prank from these tricksters. We did see Dean Monkey and gang dressed as the Nativity scene one time, after all. The Facebook event page is here.
Tweet us @LarryvilleLife.
We recommend you devote yourself to Halloween-related mischief for the rest of the week and weekend.
Science of the Macabre, 7 p.m. Thursday at KU Natural History Museum
Let's face it: Many (if not most) Halloween-type events in Lawrence cater to drunken students or locals. But "Science of the Macabre" at the KU Natural History Museum might be a good way to appease screaming kids who can't wait till the weekend for spooky things.
The museum's website offers the following description: "From spiders and snakes to human parasites, we will explore the science of the creepy crawly things that go bump in the night."
Prizes are promised for those who solve a "museum murder mystery" during the evening. Is this event just for kids? Because we're certainly nerdy enough that we'd also enjoy solving a "museum murder mystery."
Time Warp Against Suicide: "Rocky Horror" screenings at 7 and 10:30 p.m. Thursday at Granada
Damn it, Janet! Don't miss this chance to get kinky for a good cause on Thursday as the Granada and Headquarters, Inc. team up for two screenings of the legendary, interactive cult film "Rocky Horror Picture Show." Proceeds benefit Headquarters Counseling Center.
For those who just can't wait until Halloween to don a costume, Thursday's event is a perfect excuse to dust off your fishnets, throw toast around a room, and loudly intone: The man you are about to see has no (effing) neck!" The early show is all-ages, so perhaps children will be yelling such lines as well.
Expect good, rowdy crowds, perhaps especially for the late show. The Facebook event page is here.
Final Friday Lawrence Art Party Spook Night, 5:30 p.m. Friday at Lawrence Creates Makerspace
Expect numerous Halloween-related events at this month's Final Friday. Will Wonder Fair finally open that "Haunted Bathroom" installation?
We recommend a stop by the Lawrence Art Party where local songwriter LA Fahey will channel Johnny Cash for an early evening set at 7 p.m. followed by a 9 p.m. screening of the 1962 Lawrence-set cult film "Carnival of Souls." It's just not Halloween in LFK until SOMEONE screens "Carnival of Souls."
Click the Final Friday link on the Makerspace calendar for a full list of the evening's various components.
Halloween with Baiowolf, Major Games, Young Bull, and Gnarly Davidson, 9 p.m. Saturday at Replay
If we see bands on Halloween, we don't want to see the same old sets in the same old ways. We want wacky costumes. We want on-stage mayhem. We want performance art. At least one of this show's bands is likely to deliver on all those fronts as BaioWolf returns from the dead for a quadruple-bill.
The duo claims they've never played a Halloween show before (which seems hard to believe), and we've been told that Sean will be dressed as Carnage and Rob will be dressed as Venom. As with anything BaioWolf says, we can't vouch that this is true. We're also told to expect a "good cover."
Hopefully the other bands will up their weirdness quotients for the night to avoid being outshined. The Facebook event page is here.
Thieves Guild: Back to the Drawing Board, 7 p.m. Monday at Fatso's
Perhaps you didn't get your "Back to the Future" fix with last week's events celebrating Doc and Marty's arrival in 2015? Or perhaps you just need to unwind with cheap drinks after a wild Halloween weekend? Either way, this Thieves Guild installment could be for you.
The gang promises "a dedicated night of 'Back to the Future'-inspired life drawing" with modeling from Scarlet Harlot of Foxy by Proxy. Will she be playing Marty's mom?? And how can a model possibly sit still while Huey Lewis' "Power of Love" is cranked up?
The Facebook event page is here.
Tweet us @LarryvilleLife.
Weekend Picks: Love Garden songwriters; Bill Murray art; weird walking tours; demolition derby; Blackbird Revue
We don't have a festival in our Weekend Picks this time around, but we do have a fair. That's sort of like a festival, right? Add in some Final Friday hijinks and a few great music opportunities and you've got all the makings for a nice little late-summer weekend in LFK.
Danny Pound and David Swenson in-store performance, 7 p.m. Thursday at Love Garden
Love Garden has played host to some LOUD rock shows recently but this evening brings a chance to kick back in your favorite record store and think about your feelings while more introspective songwriters play you some acoustic tunes.
Headlining this evening is longtime-LFK musician Danny Pound joined by his former Danny Pound Band collaborator David Swenson (making a return trip to LFK for this show before jetting off overseas). Solo sets from Spencer Mackenzie Brown and Alex Chanay (of Maybe Not) kick off the evening.
"Kill Bill... Murray" art opening, 5-9 p.m. Friday at Art Emergency (721 E. Ninth St. in Warehouse Arts District)
One of our primary critiques of the Lawrence arts scene is that it's sadly lacking in paintings of Bill Murray. That will (finally) change on Friday as local artist Leo Hayden unveils what we think may be his masterpieces: a series of paintings that insert Mr. Murray and his characters into the context of other popular films.
The painting above, titled "Dance, You Son of a Bitch," offers a good example as Steve Zissou meets Jaws.
But what IS the origin of an art show devoted entirely to painting Mr. Murray into blockbuster movie scenes? We asked Leo to explain. His reply: "I think a lot of artists spend a lot of time trying to be deep, and not enough time trying to be good. And that just leads to deep st. Oh, and Bill Murray once stiffed my roommate for some cheese sticks he ordered. So 'Kill Bill Murray' was always our inside joke."
More details and a few sneak previews of other paintings can be found on the Facebook event page.
[Pro tip: While you're in the area, stop by the new Lawrence Community Photo Studio and look at photos while listening to the Sugar Britches and head over to Lawrence Creates Makerspace for the monthly Lawrence Art Party featuring tunes from the Heebie Jeebies.]
Card Table's Cheap 'n' Dirty Storytime Tours of Lawrence, 6-9 p.m. Friday, tours depart from Wonder Fair every half hour or so
Ever wanted to spend 20-30 minutes in the company of local actors and comedians as they lead you through downtown LFK on themed-tours such as "Places That Used to Be Cooler Back When I Was in My 20s" or "Ancient Ghosts of the New Lawrence Public Library?"
For us, it's a dream come true. Stop by Wonder Fair on Final Friday and learn and laugh a lot for the cost of $3. Our most anticipated tour is called "All the Benches Rob Schulte Has Cried On," although we're told that this particular tour may be delayed until a future installment of this continuing tour series (presumably because the sensitive barista is still trying to remember each and every bench he's shed a tear upon).
Visit the Facebook event page for more details on this unusual and ambitious collaboration between Card Table Theatre and Wonder Fair.
Demolition Derby at Douglas County Fair, 7:30 p.m. Friday in the Fairgrounds rodeo arena
Looking for a cultural event that feels far, FAR removed from Final Friday and all that highfalutin' art? Head out to the Douglas County Fairgrounds Friday night for the wildly-popular (often sold out) Demolition Derby. Make sure to pick a favorite car and don't be surprised if you find yourself hollering along with the masses for pure mayhem and destruction. Perhaps those guys from the recent wedged-truck incident near Johnny's will join the fray?
This year's Derby features a new attraction between rounds: a Power Wheels Derby for kids. No registration is required for this event that allows kids to bring their battery-operated "ride on" vehicles and ram into each other... just like grownups!
Do you prefer to see other kinds of vehicles besides cars getting smashed? Return to the Fairgrounds for the Mowbashers event on Saturday. That's right: riding lawnmowers.
Find more info on these events along with a full Fair schedule via LJ-World.
BlackBird Revue, 9 p.m. Saturday at Bottleneck
Acclaimed Kansas City Americana/folk outfit The Blackbird Revue swoops in for a landing at the Bottleneck tonight as part of a solid QUADRUPLE bill of folky/twangy acts.
Expect some sweet harmonies from the husband/wife duo of Blackbird. And what else should you expect on this jam-packed bill? Local troubadours Carswell and Hope will turn up the volume with their Irish rock leanings, KC songstress Mikal Shapiro will bring a classical and psych-influenced vibe, and Spencer Mackenzie Brown (you may remember him from such shows as Thursday at Love Garden) will do his indie-folk thing, perhaps with his band for this one.
Find more details via the Facebook event page.
Tweet us @LarryvilleLife and tune in next week as we offer our thoughts on a bittersweet farewell concert from one of LFK's best-loved bands.
Buckle up, folks. This weekend is almost certainly the busiest cultural weekend of the summer, if not the entire year.
If you are out and about very much at all, you're likely to find yourself (intentionally or otherwise) in the midst of two festivals, a fiesta, Final Friday events, and some bike races.
Free State Festival, continuing through Sunday, Lawrence Arts Center and other downtown locations
We previewed the Free State Festival in last week's column, and the wide-ranging event continues through Sunday. Major events left at this point include Thursday's screening of a documentary about The Damned followed by a concert from Mike Watt; a Friday screening of a new documentary about comedian Barry Crimmins along with a Q&A with Crimmins and director Bobcat Goldthwait; Saturday's evening with renowned crime novelist Dennis Lehane; and a free street concert from Austin's Black Joe Lewis in front of the Arts Center on Saturday evening.
Don't overlook fascinating smaller events as well. Saturday afternoon offers Lightning Round presentations from a myriad of Lawrence luminaries. Also occurring Saturday afternoon is the Free State Frolic scavenger hunt, based on the Washington Post's very popular D.C. scavenger hunt. This event will lead participants searching for clues throughout LFK's "Cultural District." Hunts with different difficulty levels have been devised so that both adults and younger scavengers can participate.
Consult the Festival website for the full-slate of remaining events.
Lawrence Field Day Fest, June 25-27 at Bottleneck, Replay, Jackpot, Taproom
If the massive multiday Free State Festival is not enough for you, look no further than Lawrence Field Day Fest occurring simultaneously at different venues through Sunday at the four participating bars listed above (the Tap is new to LFDF this year).
This is the fourth year for LFDF, the brainchild of beloved Lawrence rocker Cameron Hawk, who is out of the country this year. Even so, the Fest still appears to be in good hands and offers a solid lineup of diverse (but mostly rock) bands from Lawrence and around the region. Even our Chicago pals from The Noise FM are dropping in to say hello at 11 p.m. Saturday at Bottleneck (see their traditional "very special message" at the very bottom of this column). And you can bet those bluegrass gals from Sugar Britches are getting in on the rock and roll action too. Catch them at 11 p.m. Thursday at Replay.
See Fally Afani's Lawrence.com interview with Jon Fitzgerald of up-and-coming indie-rockers Paper Buffalo, who are one of the Fest's headliners on Thursday, here.
Lawrence Community Photo Studio grand opening, 5-9 p.m. Friday, located along Delaware in East Lawrence Arts District (just north of 9 Del lofts)
Looking for a new spot to peruse along your Final Friday art walk? Stop by the brand-new Lawrence Community Photo Studio and check out the excellent photos of LFK's prolific John Clayton while listening to tunes from the (also prolific) Tyler Gregory. Alcohol will be available while you look and listen.
The studio (which we toured last week thanks to Clayton and Jay Keim!) is a nonprofit organization that offers a computer lab, studio space for Lawrence photographers and filmmakers, and a working darkroom with equipment donated by long-time Lawrence photographer Leo Lutz.
Find more details on Friday's festivities via the Facebook event page here.
Tour of Lawrence bike races and street sprints, June 26-28 (see links for times and location)
In case the Free State Festival street parties aren't closing off enough blocks to suit you, prepare yourselves for the annual Tour of Lawrence bike races!
This popular event fills downtown on Friday night for the street sprints (followed by a free Split Lip Rayfield street show in partnership with the Free State Festival) and takes over again on Sunday for the downtown criterium race. Will it impede getting around downtown? Yes. Is it awesome to watch racers take the downtown corners at lightning speed? Also yes.
35th Annual St. John's Mexican Fiesta, 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday at St. John's (1234 Kentucky St.)
Prefer fiestas to festivals? Lawrence has you covered there too as the 35th installment of one of LFK's most popular summer events takes to the asphalt on Friday and Saturday night with music, dancing, beer, and — most importantly — amazing homemade Mexican fare. Move fast to score those tamales, and check out more about this year's event in this LJ-World story.
The Facebook event page is here.
Comedy Freakout: Detox Edition, 10 p.m. Friday, Frank's North Star
We know there must be plenty of readers who are sick to death of all our recent "mainstream" coverage and just want to sit around swilling beer in a dank former cockfighting pit on the north side of the river. Well, you're in luck. Comedy Freakout returns Friday with a collection of Chicago comics and local yokels. You can pretend all the "squares" at the street concerts and fiestas don't even exist.
The Facebook event page is here.
Tweet us @LarryvilleLife and follow our Free State Fest tweets throughout the weekend.
[A quick note from The Noise FM: "It's a double-reunion week for The Noise FM: We're back in Fort Scott, Kansas all week for our all-class high school reunion where we expect we'll be explaining why we don't have real jobs and that, yes, we're still doing the same band thing we've been doing since sophomore year. Then we'll get one day in Lawrence where we'll get to see lots of old friends and play a rad festival. You can probably guess which reunion we're most looking forward to."].
Readers, we're still trying to find our footing and figure out our target audience here at our new Lawrence.com gig. Exactly who IS the readership for the site these days? Honestly, we're not sure. Somehow we suspect the readers may be primarily thirtysomething and fortysomething women looking for fashion advice and recipes for hearty winter soups. But maybe we're wrong.
Anyway, unlike last week's mostly mellow and folky picks in our debut column, many (but not all) of this week's options are geared toward a somewhat younger demographic. We've got Final Friday activities, comedy, rock and roll, and theater to consider.
Red Legger Studios art opening plus three bands, 6 p.m. Friday, Love Garden
Love Garden seems to have upped the frequency of its in-store rock shows so far in 2015. We were recently on hand for a stellar Valentine's Day show featuring various incarnations of OILS from a two-piece up to a seven-piece.
If Nick's awesome fliers for this event are any indication, this show should be impressive as well. Visit the Facebook event page here for further details and set times for the bands.
Comedy Freakout Turns 2!, 10 p.m. Friday, Frank's North Star Tavern
For two years now, young comedy fans have flocked north of the river to see their favorite comedians perform in what was probably a cockfighting pit long before it became the cozy (if still slightly creepy) basement of Frank's North Star.
The Freakout draws touring headliners — this edition features Stryker Spurlock and Andrew Mihalevich from Saint Louis — plus local and KC favorites. And the whole freaky affair is hosted by the adorable duo of Peter Lyrene and Chance Dibben, LFK's answer to Laurel and Hardy (if Laurel and Hardy worked blue and loved poop jokes). The FB event page is here.
SXSW Bound: I Heart Local Music fundraiser, 9 p.m. Friday AND Saturday, Jackpot
At this time of year, local bands are in full manic preparation mode for the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, and I Heart Local Music's annual fundraiser is a good way to help some of them kick-start their journey while catching a slew of the area's best local and regional bands.
Acts range from the "beer rock" of LFK's Gnarly Davidson to the garage pop goodness of St. Louis duo Bruiser Queen to the bearded barbaric yawps of Nicholas St. James and Tyler Gregory. Visit the FB event page here for a full list of bands. Chances are you'll catch a couple favorites and discover a band or two you haven't heard before.
Who and the F**ks, 10 p.m. Friday, Replay Lounge
Perhaps none of the bands at the Jackpot appeal to you for some reason. Perhaps your genre of choice is "dumpster surf" and you like your bands to be from Oklahoma and have odd names. Then consider Who and the F**ks, opening up at the Replay tonight. Of all the shows this weekend, surely this one has the most potential to provoke accidental Abbott and Costello routines:
"Who the f**k did you say you're seeing at Replay tonight?"
"No. Who AND the F**ks."
"Right. That's what I just asked you. Who the f**k are you seeing?"
"No, no, the band is NAMED Who and the F**ks."
Etc etc.Rockin' Comedy Show, doors at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Jazzhaus
Another worthy fundraiser — with all proceeds going to LFK's Ballard Community Services — is slated for Saturday at the Jazzhaus. The Card Table Productions gang will be performing at 7 p.m. Performing what? We don't know. But it will be something weird, no doubt. This is followed by music from Thunderkat, performing some "epic '80s hard rock" at 8:30. The cover is $10 but this sounds like a full evening of shenanigans.
"Raisin in the Sun," KU University Theatre, Feb. 27-March 8/"Clybourne Park," Theatre Lawrence, Feb. 27-March 8
A truly special theater opportunity begins this weekend in LFK. KU's University Theatre is performing Lorraine Hansberry's beloved 1959 classic "A Raisin in the Sun" while Theatre Lawrence simultaneously performs Bruce Norris' 2011 Pulitzer-winning "Clybourne Park," a provocative commentary on race relations that is also an unusual "spin-off" of Hansberry's play.
For those who need a quick refresher on "Raisin," the play charts the travails of the Youngers, an African-American family in 1950s Chicago on the verge of moving into all-white Clybourne Park. Norris' update covers a 50 year span: the first act looks in on the white family in 1959 whose house will soon be occupied by the Youngers while the second act leaps forward to a vision of the same neighborhood in 2009. "Clybourne" can easily stand alone, but knowledge of "Raisin" deepens its thematic resonance and the two even briefly share an overlapping character.
It's also worth noting that "Clybourne Park" is edgier fare than one usually expects from Theatre Lawrence (or community theater in general), so kudos to them for attempting it. The language is raw and the humor is scathing. The 2013 production we saw at the Unicorn in KC was an entertaining yet bracing experience, so we hope the Theatre Lawrence effort lives up to high expectations.
As always, tweet us @LarryvilleLife with tips for this column or email blurbs and links: firstname.lastname@example.org