Friday, October 14
Artist Nikki S. Lee is a shape-shifter, trying out different personas like we test perfumes, all in the name of art. For a five-year series of photographs called Projects, she documented her trespasses into social scenes where she blended in with Madison Avenue yuppies and suburban skateboarders. Part performance art, part sociological study, Lee's photographs leave viewers with questions: Did she go undercover? Live among her adopted tribe? Change her name? Or just show up and take photographs? And what does she look like when she's not pretending to be a stripper, anyway? Her newest series, Parts, explores relationships between men and women in date-y places such as zoo aquariums or the back seats of cabs. Lee poses drinking coffee on a balcony in boxer shorts, but we see only a slice of her male companion (not even his face). In another photograph, she frolics on a playground, but we can't make out her playmate. Keeping the men's bodies mostly out of the frame raises questions about relationships, gender and, we suppose, what it means to be truly independent. In the spirit of Lee's work, the Kemper invites everyone attending tonight's opening to assume another identity, so slap on a tag with a fake name or borrow something from the Kemper's collection of accessories to wear, then have a Polaroid taken of you living a lie. Parts opens from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art (4420 Warwick Boulevard, 816-753-5784) and remains up until December 11.
Saturday, October 15
If you lack plans tonight, we have a no-fail option for you. The Record Bar (our favorite new place) hosts Brodioke (always entertaining) and Se'or Ozgood (if anyone's able to make us dance ... ) all night long. If you aren't enjoying yourself, we suggest you check your pulse. The bar's at 1020 Westport Road; call 816-753-5207 for information.
Sunday, October 16
We love the philosophy behind the national organization Drinking Liberally: "Not another political meeting, but a social gathering of obviously intelligent and enlightened folks who are interested in some of the same things that you are." Provided that "you" are liberal, that is. The group meets from 6 to 9 p.m. every third Sunday at the Hurricane (4048 Broadway, 816-753-0884); check drinkingliberally.org/locations.html#kcm for more information.
Monday, October 17
In a most unflattering display of vodka-soaked hostility a few weeks back, we told (someone claiming to be) the drummer of Sublime how much we disliked his band and that Brad Nowell's posthumous fame bewildered us. And that we'd prefer a heroin overdose to ever hearing "What I Got" again, too. It was ultra-fun. So here's tonight's plan: We'll head to Margarita's (2829 Southwest Boulevard, 816-931-4849) to celebrate the restaurant's 20th anniversary, where we'll load up on the drink specials and hopefully score a giveaway or two. Then it's off to Lawrence to heckle Badfish, a Sublime tribute band (can you imagine?) that plays the Bottleneck (737 New Hampshire, 785-841-5483) at 10 tonight. Anyone as immature as we are should consider it a date.
Tuesday, October 18
At age 12, the age when most sixth-graders are still taking music lessons, drummer Vince Bilardo was playing with his uncle's Bilardo Brothers Band. In his hometown of Cleveland, Vince became the youngest player to join the American Foundation of Musicians. Now in his 70s, Bilardo also plays alto sax, flute, clarinet and bass clarinet. And the man's not content with one band he has the 18th and Vine Big Band, the Louis Neal Big Band and the Vince Bilardo Group. Vince, baby, take a break already. Bilardo plays the Recital Hall of the Carlsen Center at Johnson County Community College (12345 College Boulevard in Overland Park, 913-469-4445) today at noon as part of its free jazz series.
Wednesday, October 19
We went through a phase in college in which we set Public Enemy CDs as our alarm music. Nothing says "get up!" quite like So get up get, get get down/911 is a joke in yo town, right? We can't quite wrap our heads around what's become of Flavor Flav (c'mon, Flav, reality TV?), but frontman Chuck D can do no wrong in our book. After creating classic rap albums (if you don't own It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, please put down this paper and go get it now), the former Carlton Ridenhour became an outspoken supporter of Internet file sharing; made Metallica dude Lars Ulrich look even more goofy than he already is when the pair appeared on Charlie Rose (how is that even possible?); got a show on Air America; and continues to, yes, fight the power. He speaks tonight at 8 at the Union Ballroom at the Kansas Union (1301 Jayhawk Boulevard in Lawrence) on pop culture, the music industry and creative independence. We believe the hype especially when just $6 ($4 for KU students) gets us in. Call 785-864-7469.