Friday, May 20
One of the best things the Urban Culture Project does is to award a year of free studio space to emerging KC artists. In exchange, participants in the Studio Residency Program, housed at the Bank, open their work spaces to the public every third Friday of the month. But for May's installment, James Woodfill and Kate Hackman have organized a show that presents the residents' finished works in the gallery, allowing for an interplay between process and product. On Site and In Progress, which features artists such as Lynus Young, Kacy Maddux, Chad Sogas and Zach Jones, opens from 6 to 11 p.m. at the Bank (on the northwest corner of 11th Street and Baltimore); call 816-221-5115.
Saturday, May 21
If the past few weeks are any indication, we'd say Anna Wintour is going to have to make KC a stop on her world tour of fashion shows. Of course, until we spot the great bobbed one ordering her signature bloody-rare hamburger at the American Restaurant, we'll content ourselves with a fashion show to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society at 7:30 p.m. at Bar Natasha (1911 Main). Ladies will be rocking frocks from Hemline; dudes get to model duds from Imagery. A $10 donation at the door gets Midwestern fashionistas free food and drinks plus a chance to buy goodies at a live auction. And hey, we know it's cool to be fashionably late and all, but the first 30 women to arrive get a free gift bag. Free always makes us happy.
Sunday, May 22
The first step is always to admit that you have a problem, and it's time to face it: When you can't move from one corner of your living room to the other without gently adjusting one of your stacks of books, it's time to purge the piles. Donate some of your tomes (and record albums and sheet music) to the Brandeis Book Bank (7930 State Line Road) today from 12 to 4 p.m. so you can help others -- while helping yourself.
Or, if you'd rather just pretend to help, shooting begins today for Self Help, an indie mockumentary about Banks Brockmore, a self-absorbed, self-appointed, self-help guru who makes a foray into reality television. Sadly, Brockmore's part has already been cast, but you could still take a star turn as Sagan St. Merde or Linda Futz or an extra. Contact Brian Culp at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Monday, May 23
The fact that Bela Lugosi and Elvis Presley both died on lead singer Stoo Odom's birthday is a point that the Graves Brothers Deluxe repeatedly belabor in their band biographies. We aren't sure why; Odom's life is unusual enough to carry itself without the star-clout coincidences. After college, Odom -- who split his childhood between Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and New Orleans -- began his career as a Delta archaeologist. The demanding hours and low pay, however, forced him into work as a swamp tour guide (ew) until the early '90s, when he migrated to California and gained mild fame playing bass for Thin White Rope. That band broke up in 1992; a few years later, Odom and two other members reunited as GBD, taking their name from the Graves brothers of Mississippi, who, in 1936, recorded two of the earliest (if not the earliest) rock records in Hattiesburg. The humid, woozy atmosphere of the South is an apparent influence on the group's brooding -- but not depressing -- sound. The Graves Brothers Deluxe play Mike's Tavern (5424 Troost) tonight as the kickoff to the bar's weeklong End of May Musical Melee, capped this weekend with a 3-day, 15-band blowout. (Surely it's not to celebrate the summer exodus of local college kids.) Call 816-444-3399 or see www.mikestavernkc.com for details.
Tuesday, May 24
Wow ... airbrush art. Takes us right back to the annual Apple Festival in Versailles, Missouri, where middle school students come from miles around to commemorate their current romances by buying a very special "Tiffani loves Skeeter" T-shirt in hot pink. The instantly recognizable speckled-spray-paint aesthetic was extended further to include Def Leppard wall hangings, portrait-embossed cowboy boots and, well, anything begging to be tricked out with a tiger. We'll revisit our past when local artist Kimber Keller-Holcomb teaches airbrush techniques at 7 tonight at the Blue Springs North branch of the Mid-Continent Public Library (850 Northwest Hunter Drive, 816-224-8772). Participants also receive a free airbrush tattoo following the demonstration.
Wednesday, May 25
Among local comedians, Tim Gaither stands out. A KC-grown comic who's in town on a homecoming tour stop, Gaither has spent the past several months working the road with the likes of Lewis Black, Tommy Chong and Colin Quinn. He kicks off his weeklong stint at Stanford and Sons Comedy Club (10635 Floyd in Overland Park, 913-385-3866) tonight at 8.