Friday, February 11
We don't know of any more depressing activity scheduled for Valentine's Day weekend than the Romance Readers Used Book Sale. Now we are forced to visualize middle-aged ex-soccer moms masturbating to thoughts of Rex's throbbing member. Not, of course, that there's anything wrong with that -- we just don't want to think about it. The sale takes place today from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and tomorrow from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the meeting room of the Antioch Public Library (8700 Shawnee Mission Parkway in Merriam). Call 913-261-2330 for information.
Saturday, February 12
One problem with contemporary art is that it's just not very entertaining. If it were, then surely people would go to galleries more than one Friday a month, when free beer is available. We applaud, therefore, the owners of The Farm (504 East 18th Street), who understand that art galleries should be able to transform into music venues whenever business is slow. In November, for example, they brought X frontman John Doe for a stunning solo performance alongside a few installations. And now the completely nonagricultural art space (which, all joking aside, we love) brings modern cabaret act Alacartoona to perform in support of its first CD, Songs From the Show. For $10, guests are treated to catering by Zagat favorite Bluestem, liquid refreshments from Boulevard Beer, and the occasionally too cutesy but always entertaining antics of singers Providence Forge and Ruby Falls. There might even be some art, too, but don't let anyone catch you looking. Call 816-842-8310.
Sudnay, February 13
Each Sunday during February, in celebration of African-American History Month, musicians perform live in the Crown Center Shops atrium (2450 Grand) from 1 to 4 p.m. The remaining three shows spotlight some of KC's best-known jazz singers -- Sam Johnson and the Elder Statesmen today, Angela Hagenbach on February 20 and Will Matthews on February 27. The concerts are free; call 816-274-8444 for information.
Monday, February 14
Everyone knows the sad statistic: half of all American marriages end in divorce. And the dissolution of legal unions can be rather costly, so why in the world would couples waste even more money paying to get married? We say take advantage of today's generous offer by Unity Temple on the Plaza (707 West 47th Street) to perform free ceremonies, as long as the happy (for now) couples have registered in person by Friday, February 11. Call 816-561-4466 for more information.
After getting hitched, what could be more romantic than attending the Kansas City premiere of Pure Sweet Hell, a documentary by Brian Vernor and Willie Bullion? Press materials say their film explores the "passion, pain and pleasure of cyclo-cross racing, while providing an intimate view of the kinship and clashes that comprise this unique discipline of cycling." The first 50 women to show up for the 7:45 p.m. screening at Glenwood Arts (9575 Metcalf in Overland Park, 913-642-4404) receive -- get this -- free roses. Pure, sweet hell indeed. Tickets are $5 in advance and $6.50 at the door.
Tuesday, February 15
Despite what the entertainment industry would have us believe, it is not cool to kill vampires. So readers who fancy themselves vampire slayers had better stop whittling their wooden stakes and listen up. First, think of the plight of the young, single person in Kansas City. It's hard to meet people here, as countless surveys have revealed. Now imagine how difficult it is for young people who can't use mirrors, who turn to dust when exposed to sunlight, and who have to chug a pint of blood just to have enough strength to face another night of flitting about as a bat or a vapor cloud. We imagine it's hard for these folks to hook up under such circumstances, even without any uppity, self-proclaimed "chosen ones" flinging garlic and holy water at them. Still, you might want to tuck a crucifix into your pocket if you decide to go out tonight, because members of the Kansas City Coven vampiristic meetup group are gathering at 7 to work on their night moves at a secret but very public location. See http://vampires.meetup.com to register and find out where.
Wednesday, February 16
Next time we're in a bar delivering a Guinness-drenched oration on class struggles in America and some smartass interrupts us with the accusation that we don't know what it's like to be downtrodden, we will demur. For, in the truly scary south tower of Twin Oaks Apartments at 5050 Oak, the LGBT Office and Women's Center at UMKC have constructed an interactive exhibit called Boxes and Walls, which will acquaint us with what it's like to live in someone else's skin for a day. Every hour on the hour between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. in this walk-through, tunnel-of-oppression-style exposition, tour guides lead us into different rooms to encounter replicated hostility and discrimination similar to what various minority groups face in their day-to-day lives. Straight male WASPs, our number is up. The exhibit is also open Monday and Tuesday. Call 816-235-1639 for details.