Weekend Picks: Fiddling and Picking Championships; ‘Obamaville’-themed fundraiser; Cowboy Cabaret; Taproom Poetry Series; Dewayn Brothers at Replay
The students are back in town and hopefully they won't run over you as you make your way to this weekend's cavalcade of cowboy cabarets, "candy-ass dance parties," and fiddling and picking contests in South Park. Good luck!
Kansas State Fiddling and Picking Championships, pre-party at 6 p.m. Friday at Replay, main events from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday in South Park.
The Kansas State Fiddling and Picking Championships is an event somewhat bittersweet in its implications, arriving at the end of August and marking the official end of another summer in Lawrence. The event itself, however, is always a stellar day to witness the state's best fiddlers and pickers (and a few concerts from local bluegrass bands) while eating and drinking in South Park. Free State Brewery has been on hand with beer in recent years.
Can't wait till Sunday? Get a jump on the picking and grinning with a Friday matinee at Replay featuring Old Fangled and Alferd Packer Memorial String Band. Details here on this pre-party.
Visit the official Kansas Fiddling and Picking website for more information and a schedule of Sunday's events.
940 Live: Starhaven Rounders Cowboy Cabaret, 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Lawrence Arts Center
"Cowboy Cabaret" seems like an odd and unexpected combination of words, but this event from LAC's typically-excellent 940 Live music series is shaping up to be a memorable evening.
The Facebook event page promises "a feel good, honky-tonk, variety show, featuring fun and faithful interpretations of classic country and western songs, burlesque performances, audience participation and laughs for everyone!"
We've had several good times listening to KC's Starhaven Rounders play their country covers on the Replay patio. Mix in a bevy of special guests (including Drakkar Sauna's Jeff Stolz and the members of Maria the Mexican) and this should become a good old-fashioned Saturday night hootenanny.
We asked Kirsten Paludan, a Rounders member as well as the director/co-producer/co-creator of this show, to give us a rundown on why the Cowboy Cabaret is a must-see weekend event. Here's a short list of her reasons: 1) it's a rare chance to see cool local artists performing with a full-on country-and-western backing band; 2) it has its own theme song; 3) an appearance is expected from a "rather frisky donkey." Sold! High-rolling cowboys and cowgirls should also inquire about the VIP option, which includes a pre-show party with the cast onstage plus free beer and BBQ.
Check out more from Paludan about what the show has in store in this LJWorld piece.
Lawrence Community Shelter fundraiser, 7 p.m. Saturday at Frank's North Star
Saturday brings a good opportunity give back to the community at an unusual fundraiser centered around the recent Payless Furniture controversy in which owner Bob Fyfe claimed that the city of Lawrence was essentially "Obamaville" and deemed its residents a bunch of "Commies and candy-asses." Longtime Lawrencians, of course, decided to embrace these designations!
This benefit for the Lawrence Community Shelter kicks off with "Commie Cocktail Hour," in which guests are invited to wear red (get it??) and enjoy a silent auction and raffle. This is followed by a "Candy-Ass Dance Party" in Frank's basement. You can also order Christine Maki's in-demand "Commies and Candy-Asses" T-shirts at the event.
Find all the necessary details at the Facebook event page and head to Frank's to shake those candy-asses.
Reggae by the River, noon to 11 p.m. Saturday at Burcham Park
Summer is waning but the music festivals aren't quite over. Head to Burcham Park for the first-ever Reggae by the River, an event presented by the Lawrence Community Fest organization.
One can of food (but be kind and bring several) is the only cover charge for this otherwise free event that seeks to collect 5,000 cans of food for needy Douglas County residents.
Twenty food vendors are slated to be on hand, as well as a "Farmer's Community Vending Village" in the afternoon. The event also bills itself on the Facebook event page as "family friendly, dog friendly, cooler friendly." The last one seems very surprising, if true. Won't that cut down on beer sales?
Taproom Poetry Series, 5 p.m. Sunday at the Eighth Street Taproom
According to a 2014 piece in The New Yorker, the work of Steve Roggenbuck might be similar to what Walt Whitman would produce if he were alive and "vlogging." The New Yorker terms Roggenbuck a true "internet poet" in that his poetry "is made, distributed, and viewed almost exclusively on the Web, taking the form of tweets, Facebook posts, YouTube videos, and image macros."
In addition to The New Yorker, Roggenbuck's work has been discussed by media outlets from Rolling Stone to The Guardian, and an exhibit of his videos is currently on display at the New Museum's 2015 Triennial.
Local writers Liz James and Zach Webb round out the bill along with an open-mic reading.
The Facebook event page has more details on the event.
Dewayn Brothers/Sugar Britches, 5 p.m. Sunday at Replay Lounge
If you're looking for a considerably rowdier alternative to Sunday poetry or a perfect follow-up to Sunday's picking and grinning in South Park, look no further than the Replay patio, where one of the region's very best bluegrass bands, Dewayn Brothers, will make an increasingly rare Lawrence appearance for a barn-burner of a Sunday matinee.
Hailing from Emporia, Dewayn Brothers list their genre as "Kansas bluegrass." We're not 100 percent sure what distinguishes Kansas bluegrass from other forms but we know to expect a full dance floor and drunken stomping. LFK's ever-sassy and ever-present Sugar Britches will open the show at 5.
Yes, work and/or school looms the next morning but, for these three hours with a patio beer in hand, you simply won't care. The Facebook event page lists 100+ guests. The flier above offers a nice feel of the vibe for the Dewayn's current three-city weekend-whirlwind tour with the Britches.
Film Church presents 'Tootsie,' 7 p.m. Sunday at Liberty Hall
Our Weekend Picks are unusually Sunday-heavy this week, but we couldn't dare leave out Liberty Hall's screening of "Tootsie."
If you haven't seen Sydney Pollack's 1982 classic in awhile, rest assured it holds up as one of the most finely crafted comedies ever made, with impeccable performances from Jessica Lange, Teri Garr, Dabney Coleman, Charles Durning, and Bill Murray in addition to Dustin Hoffman's legendary title role.
Since this is an official Film Church presentation, expect Liberty Hall manager Maggie Allen to kick things off with a short "sermon" explaining the film's continuing importance (in her typically humorous fashion).
Visit Liberty's website for more details.
Tweet us @LarryvilleLife with under-the-radar ideas about next week's Final Friday events.
Weekend Picks III: Dwight Twilley and Josh Berwanger; Girls Rock Lawrence benefit; Kansas Craft Beer Expo; Taproom poetry
Readers, do you have a ticket for the sold-out Kansas Craft Beer Expo in LFK this weekend? We hope you do. If not, however, there are plenty of other equally worthy ways to spend your time (also while drinking beer). Let's take a look:
She Plays Replay: GRL Benefit, 10 p.m. Friday, Replay
Our pick for Fundraiser of the Weekend is this Replay show, which offers a varied selection of female-centric bands with proceeds going to establish a week-long summer rock camp (Girls Rock Lawrence/GRL) for girls ages 7-12. Tonight's tunes range from the punk rock onslaught of KC's The Bad Ideas to the gritty garage duo of Mr. and the Mrs. to La Guerre's lovely electronic musings to the very unusual "ethereal folk" of the brilliantly-named Ovaries-eez. Visit the Facebook event page here and make sure to be on hand on Friday. Do it for the ladies!
Dwight Twilley and Josh Berwanger Band, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Love Garden
As we noted last week, Love Garden is KILLING it on the in-store rock shows in 2015, and this Saturday's show promises to be the best yet. Tulsa power-pop legend Dwight Twilley will play an acoustic set at 7:30 p.m. followed by LFK/KC's own Josh Berwanger Band, topped off by a Twilley meet-and-greet and merch-signing. It's a release show for a Twilley/Berwanger 7". Find full details on the Facebook event page here.
The show will cost you 10 bucks, which is 10 bucks more than most Love Garden shows, but don't grumble — it will be worth it. A stage is even being constructed so that people further than 10 feet away will actually be able to see a Love Garden show for the first time ever! A limited number of seats will be available for this one, so get your tickets at the Love Garden quickly.
How will Berwanger's arena-ready sound work in the confines of Love Garden (LOUDLY, we assume) and will he bring his fog machine? We've seen at least one fog machine snafu in Love Garden before, so things could get interesting!
We asked Josh to give us an entertaining account of his background with Dwight Twilley and what to expect at this show:
"Twilley and I first met randomly in Tampa, Florida, where we both just so happened to be at one of our favorite places to eat on the road: Hogan's Beach, a tropical/wrestling themed restaurant that's the brainchild of Hulk Hogan. I recognized Dwight at the bar and politely asked what he was doing here. He said he was ordering a (and in unison we both said) "Hogan's Punch," which is one of the specialty cocktails the Hulkster has to offer at his very classy establishment. We exchanged cellphones and kept in touch since.
"...When we finish (the Love Garden show), Dwight will take photos, sign autographs, and drink Miller Lights with fans. This event is in celebration of a split 7" we are doing together that comes out on Good Land Records. Good Land is also flying in for the show and will have some fun things to give away. There are also limited edition screen prints made for the show based on the Stull, KS church.
"There will be plenty of beer and Cuervo shots, plus both Love Garden cats will be dressed in tuxedos and will usher people to their seats. Yes! Love Garden will have seats for this event so leave your mouthpieces and jock straps/cups at home: moshing won't be allowed at this one."
Kansas Craft Brewers Expo, Saturday, Abe and Jake's; That DAM Beer Event at Abe and Jake's on Friday; Kansas Craft Beer Mixer, Friday, Burger Stand
Perhaps the highest-profile event of the weekend is the very popular Kansas Craft Brewers Expo, returning to Abe and Jake's on Saturday for two sessions running from noon-3 p.m. and 4:30-7:30 p.m. The event, as in past years, sold out pretty much immediately. No surprise, given that LFK is the seventh drunkest American city.
If you've got $50 to spare, Abe and Jake's is also hosting an event called That DAM Beer Event the night before the Expo. The event features different breweries than the Expo, and beers will be paired with "heavy appetizers" from Merchant's Pub and Plate (hopefully they have the one that we like to call "cornballs"). Visit the Facebook event page here.
If you missed the boat on Expo tickets and prefer your beer events without a hefty cover charge, you can head to Burger Stand on Friday for its Craft Beer Mixer, where many of the Expo brewers will be on hand. The Facebook event page promises "a raffle for awesome prizes including neon signs, hats, shirts, bags and more" with proceeds going to the Lawrence Humane Society.
Taproom Poetry Series: Jessica Comola, Tim Earley, and Candice Wuehle, 5 p.m. Sunday, Eighth Street Taproom
As proud members of LFK's notorious PBR Book Club, we are always looking for interesting/unusual new literature. Combine that with our Southern background, and we have to take a few minutes to recommend the poetry of Tim Earley, born in North Carolina and currently holding court in Oxford, Miss.
Earley was recently hailed in the Huffington Post as "a master of anaphora, Biblical rhythms, revelatory testimony, tell-it-slant aggression, and juxtapositive imagery that borrows heavily from the Southern lexicon."
A friend of ours who knows Earley from Oxford offers this irresistible, and much funnier, description: "Tim practices something he calls postmodern French Appalachian poetry. It's some wildly good stuff. I don't understand a word of it."
Visit the FB event page here for more info on Earley and the evening's other readers.
" A Raisin in the Sun," KU Theatre, Feb. 27-March 8/"Clybourne Park," Theatre Lawrence, Feb. 27-March 8
Another weekend remains to catch the exciting cross-town collaboration between KU Theatre and Theatre Lawrence as they present, respectively, Lorraine Hansberry's classic "A Raisin in the Sun" and Bruce Norris' provocative Pulitzer-winning "spin-off" "Clybourne Park." We wrote about the plays in last week's column and the LJ-World ran a great feature article as well.
We caught "Raisin" last Sunday and are happy to report that it is beautifully acted and ultimately so warm and welcoming that it easily overcame the slightly drafty and not-so-comfortable Crafton-Preyer Theatre at KU.
We look forward to catching "Clybourne" this weekend in the cozier confines of Theatre Lawrence, where we can laugh at the edgy material with a drink in hand. According to the friendly folks we spoke to at the box office, Clybourne ruffled some feathers within the older community theater crowd during its first weekend, and numerous complaints were leveled. We encourage you to support material like this. Otherwise, Theatre Lawrence will almost certainly retreat into producing the kind of exclusively "safe" musicals and farces that dominate most community theater schedules.
Tweet at us @LarryvilleLife and we'll see you on the town.