On the day that Rolling Thunder comes to Kansas City, there will be only 459 days left of Bush's residency in the White House -- that is, assuming he doesn't snag the election next November. We're hoping that nationwide rallies like this one will drum up enough visible leftist enthusiasm that Dubya will feel compelled to think about packing up his stuff -- his boots and his lasso -- this time next year. The idea of Rolling Thunder is that people can have some fun while raising a ruckus and learning a thing or two. After taking a workshop on electoral reform, they can turn around and get schooled in making movies on the cheap. The music lineup ought to keep things loud, an important part of any rally. Speakers such as Jim Hightower (the straight-talking author and radio personality) and Cecilia Zarate-Laun (an advocate for Colombia) keep things informative -- another important part of any rally. And with the food vendors lined up by Local Harvest, there should be plenty of good, Earth-friendly grub. Don't be caught unprepared when the March to Miami demonstration takes to the streets. The daylong event lasts from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. at Penn Valley Community College, 3201 Southwest Trafficway. For details, see freespeechkc.org/rolling_thunder.htm.-- Gina Kaufmann
Third Friday lures a Faint side project.
Hesse McGraw has a name like a cartoon cowboy, but the man himself is more expressive. Way more. McGraw has assembled his posse: His Paragraph Gallery and the independent curators known as Your Face have met up, under the protection of the Urban Culture Project, to bring some smart sounds and images from outside Kansas City to the new downtown space. "It's been a long time coming," he says. And he doesn't stop there. "It's important for us to combine international with local artists." McGraw gives his tactical plans. There will be two video screens, DJs and raucous, shoot-'em-up sound and graphic work done on the spot. UCP wants to increase cultural activity and general revitalization in the area, treating downtown like a blank canvas. The highlight is Joel Peterson, whose side project, Broken Spindles, shows us that the Faint, unlike its dance-rock contemporaries, isn't a façade. The showdown is from 6 p.m. to midnight at the Paragraph Gallery, 25 East 12th Street.-- David Casey
The Bottleneck Spilleth Over.
There's nothing wrong with a twenty-minute cover of Neil Young's "Cortez the Killer." At least that's what fans on Built to Spill's message board are saying. According to Built to Spill fan sites, the grand anthem blasters wield a different set list almost every show, playing old and new material alongside covers of songs by Elton John and the Clash as well as by Young. The underground favorites have managed to keep an even keel for more than ten years, maintaining a loyal fanbase and critical recognition. Built to Spill plays the Bottleneck (737 New Hampshire Street in Lawrence) Monday at 9 p.m. with the Delusions and the Solace Brothers. For tickets, call 785-841-5483.-- Michael Vennard
It's OK if you don't like romance novels (though we think you may be missing out). You can still learn valuable lessons from the workshops -- like "Endearing the Flawed Character" -- scheduled for the Romantic Times Booklovers Convention Book Fair at the Westin Crown Center (1 East Pershing Road). If you do like the genre, don't miss Saturday's book fair, where more than 150 authors set up shop. For information, see www.rtbooklover.com.-- Kaufmann