This Weeks Day-By-Day Picks 

Thursday, July 3, 2003

The Kemper's exhibit Russell Crotty: Globe Drawings comes down Sunday, so if you want to catch Crotty's drawings -- part scientific observation, part emotion-laden artwork -- now's the time to get on it. Crotty lives in the Santa Monica Mountains, where he built the Solstice Peak Observatory. From there, he takes note of star clusters, constellations and planets. Afterward, he creates drawings based on notes and memory. A sulfuric, explosive haze starts permeating the darkness tomorrow, so the Kemper might be the only place you'll see the night sky this clearly. Don't miss the chance. The Kemper is located at 4420 Warwick. For information, call 816-753-5784.

Friday, July 4, 2003

Even the most cynical among us sometimes crave good, stupid fun. If that's the case, no matter what your political leanings, we say enjoy fireworks, drink beer, eat food and yell things. The number of fireworks displays all over town is nothing short of frightening, but we swear loyalty to the West Side's block parties. Standing at Jefferson and West Pennway tonight, you won't be sure how to feel: terrified that the world might be ending, or having the time of your life as different music blares from every home and bystanders cheer for the most colorful of explosions. This street is the home of the very, very brave.

Saturday, July 5, 2003

The Chucky Lou A/V Club strikes again, with a whole night devoted almost exclusively to William Shatner. This time, the oddball late-night movie group screens 1974's Impulse, starring Shatner as a serial killer who wears what A/V Club ringleader Gary Huggins calls "an eyeball-bruising array of vintage '70s psycho gear that would make John Holmes proud." The preshow entertainment includes Shatner trailers and a video Shatner love-a-thon, which edits together clips of the actor in all his greatest roles, confessing, emoting, wrestling and singing. The only character who shares any of Shatner's spotlight is Chucky Lou himself. (He's the cross-dressing woodchuck featured in the art on this page.) The fun begins at midnight at the Top Two Theater (5909 Johnson Drive in Mission). For information, call 816-471-1190.

Sunday, July 6, 2003

Anyone just dying to be left a "helpless, sweaty mess" tonight should go to the Grand Emporium to check out the Legendary Shack Shakers, an amped-up country band that claims to leave its listeners in just that state. With "Colonel" J.D. Wilkes on the harmonica, Joe Buck on the guitar, Mark "the Duke" Robertson on bass and Paul Simmonz on the drums, this band inspired both shock and awe at South by Southwest this year, causing many a critic to give it special recognition -- "South By Southwest's single scariest band," for example. Backing that assertion are accounts of Wilkes leaning forward and blowing his nose onto members of his audience. For its part, the audience started moshing. The Legendary Shack Shakers have never before performed in Kansas City, so we have yet to witness this wacky onstage phenomenon, but we've seen the photos and we have to say, the men in this band have great chops. For advance tickets, call 816-931-3330. The madness begins at 8:30 p.m.

Monday, July 7, 2003

Everybody's talking about how much flying the friendly skies has changed since September 11, 2001, but the long and interesting history of airlines is often left out of the discussion. To really wow 'em next time you find yourself in a conversation about baggage checks, airport security and the financial woes of airlines in these difficult times (or to discourage people from ever again bringing up this topic in your presence), get fun facts and trivia galore at the Airline History Museum, dedicated to restoring, preserving and exhibiting propeller-driven commercial aircraft. The museum is located at the Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport (201 Northwest Lou Holland Drive). For information, call 816-421-3401. Today's hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Tuesday, July 8, 2003

Tuesday, eh? You think you've got us fooled. There's nothing to do on Tuesdays, you're thinking, and these chumps think they're going to find me something cool to do. Yes. We say, just go to the O.P. It was cool in the '80s when it stood for Ocean Pacific, and it can even occasionally be cool now abbreviating Overland Park. Cool as in air-conditioned. Cool as in spacious. Cool as in home to a coffee shop and bar called the Daily Dose, which has received the much-coveted Night Ranger stamp of approval. Whether you want to play board games, hear some music, get drunk or wake the hell up, this is the place to be in the O.P. The Daily Dose is located at 12056 West 135th Street in Overland Park. For information, call 913-239-9666.

Wednesday, July 9, 2003

What really amuses us is how nobody even pretends that Anna Kournikova got famous by being good at tennis. The beautiful bombshell of an athlete is coming to town for a Kansas City Explorers match later this month; press materials announce Kournikova's visit not by calling her a good tennis player but by calling her "the most marketable female athlete in the world." (If you want tickets, it might be a good idea to order them now.) That this is the supposed highlight of the Explorers' season might be a good omen, or it might be the opposite. When the most memorable part of a team's season has nothing to do with the team itself, that's bad. But to be fair, tennis can be boring. It can be. Does it have to be? No. Throwing in a good-looking chick could get spectators riled up, and then who knows? Fights could break out among the sweatband-wearing set. We'll be there, dudes. The Explorers' season kicks off today as the team takes on the Sacramento Capitals at 7:35 p.m. at the Plaza Tennis Center, 4747 J.C. Nichols Parkway. For tickets, call 913-362-9944.

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