Bike messengers, who work in a constant race against time, have taken their way of life and stripped it down to the Alleycat Races, events in which hordes of riders stream through cityscapes and heavy traffic. The Alleycat Races have been around for sixteen years, traveling to several continents in that time. Now they've finally made it to Kansas City. On Friday, August 1, bikers will navigate a course through downtown and the Plaza, stopping at checkpoints to get manifests signed -- a simulation of the bike messenger experience. There are no rules. In fact, staying on course and relying only on the power of one's own legs are optional, though grabbing onto passing cars is not openly endorsed. Sign-in is at 8 p.m. at El Torreon (3101 Gillham), where the race starts (at 9) and concludes, and where a $3 entrance fee pays for live music and drinks -- which the riders will probably need after several brushes with death. As Alleycat founder Johnny Jet Fuel explains, "The whole idea is, yes, you could get taken out."-- Christopher Sebela
That's what the Chucky Lou A/V Club makes us say.
Every month, Gary Huggins puts on a wacky movie screening for members of the Chucky Lou A/V Club. And every month, the movie he comes up with sounds even more bizarre than the one he found the month before. This Saturday at 11:45 p.m., he's screening Raw Force, a movie about karate students who end up on an island inhabited by cannibalistic monks who are in the market for some naked hookers from Hong Kong. But wait. It gets weirder. The hookers, when cooked and eaten, give the monks special powers that allow them to bring back kung fu, ninja and samurai warriors from their graves. Hey, it could happen. Unless you yourself have cooked and eaten a hooker, you can't say for sure.
People interested in Buddhism, cannibalism or martial arts -- perhaps all three? -- will surely enjoy this film, which is preceded by equally bizarre trailers at the Top Two Theater, 5909 Johnson Drive in Mission. Admission is $6. For information, call 816-471-1190.-- Gina Kaufmann
Rockabilly never gets old.
Remember when the Grand Emporium (3832 Main) had its weekly Rockabilly Night? Well, all that may be over, but the venue still brings in plenty for the big-belt-buckle, greasy-hair, tight-jeans contingent. The Paladins, who put on a show at the Emporium this Friday, recorded their first album in an old 1950s tube studio near California's Mexican border. And though the band has wandered from that '50s rockabilly sound -- venturing into something bluesier on subsequent albums -- it remains a good, reliable, old-timey standby. Bust out the pomade and head over at 9 p.m. to catch both the Paladins and the Hillbilly Voodoo Dolls. For tickets, call 816-931-3330.-- Kaufmann
There's more than abstract metal sculpture on display at Fusion -- Collaborative Steel Works. The arty event also provides a peek into the creative process. While visiting sculptor Chad Nichols designed, cut and welded the pieces on display, locals Troy Swangstu and Alex Whitney documented the process with sketches and photography. Swangstu and Whitney will show off the results when they lift the curtain on their new studio at 516 E. 18th Street at 6:30 p.m. Friday. For more information, call 816-472-3559.-- Sarah Smarsh