To those who believe that every entertainment force is balanced by an opposite pole, we offer Madonna's new children's book, then hold our noses and gesture at Andy Dick's rock album. Warmly titled Andy Dick and the Bitches of the Century, the 2002 disc holds treasures to make even Meatmen fans blush: "Cock & Balls," "I'll Fuck Anything That Moves" and two mixes of "Little Brown Ring." Since his career-making turn as lovable moron Matthew Brock on NBC's '90s sitcom NewsRadio, Dick's public profile has suffered deep bruising -- rehab, repentance on Howard Stern, a self-titled MTV series. A little-seen-and-still-less-appreciated filmography, including a role as a Santa-killing Satan spawn in the superhero farce Hebrew Hammer, hasn't brought Dick a healing touch.
Counting our vote, 69.86 percent of respondents on Amiannoyingornot.com rate Dick annoying. (The Web site makes a strong case by cross-referencing Dick with high-irritation-factor subgroups "MTV Cribs" and "Rag Mop Hair.") That leaves a healthy statistical chance that Dick could be a hot ticket this weekend at Stanford and Sons (504 Westport Road, 816-753-5653), especially given that Dick supply is low: A search for the Hebrew Hammer DVD on Amazon leads only to the surprisingly pricy ($13.48 plus shipping) MC Hammer: 2 Legit to Quit -- the Videos. Besides, he's funny sometimes.-- Scott Wilson
William Kentridge speaks with charcoal.
With dusty charcoal, South African artist William Kentridge draws, then erases, then redraws every image in his animated films to create haunting portraits of despair and alienation. Floating in their halos of erasure, the characters and forms seem to have been breathed into existence by their shifting, cold environs, only to be sucked into oblivion when their scenes are complete. Kentridge's films rarely contain dialogue, but their sociopolitical messages -- loneliness, poverty, global annihilation and the apartheid history of Kentridge's home country -- come through clearly. Because of their connection to drawings, his films have garnered acclaim seldom bestowed upon avant-garde films. For instance, Zeno Writing (one of three Kentridge works to be shown at this week's Electromediascope, along with films by Seoungho Cho, Leslie Thornton and Pierre Huyghe) made its world debut at the 2001 Documenta X, an elite international exhibition where he had enjoyed a celebrated coming-out five years earlier. Friday's program begins at 7 p.m. at the Nelson, 4525 Oak. For information, call 816-561-4000.-- Joe Miller
Oktoberfest arrives, as always, before October.
German words are hilarious. They're like English, only with more spit, more song and more funny. Take, for example, the following words: bier (beer), betrunken (drunk), bart (beard) and schnurrbart (mustache). These are all things you should expect to see at Oktoberfest. Friday night's entertainment lineup includes Brave Combo (a band that applies a polka sound to all genres, which is brave indeed). Saturday, visitors can enjoy Nagabazzi, a five-man polka band from Munich that's notorious for encouraging people to dance on tables. Will these table-dancing fiends sport schnurrbarts? We don't know, but give us some bier, get us betrunken and we'll go find out. We may even get in on the mechanical carnival action if the bier is guten. Har!-- Gina Kaufmann
Tell Me, Damn It!
People whose excellence in trivia has made them cocky should take it up a notch. Wait, Wait ... Don't Tell Me personalities Peter Sagal (pictured) and Carl Kasell tape the NPR quiz show at Century II in Wichita (225 West Douglas) at 7:30 p.m. Thursday. Wait, Wait ... Don't Tell Me should not be confused with Michael Feldman's inferior Whad'Ya Know? -- not that we spend all day listening to public radio (ahem). Call 316-755-7328 and splurge on orchestra seats so you can enjoy cocktails with the cast afterward.-- Kaufmann