Russians are so behind the times. While our talented teens dial in the choreographed moves that will surely catapult them to certain fame and fortune on American Idol, Russian young 'uns perfect the mandolin licks and banjo finger-picks that will propel them toward the Grand Ole Opry. Independent documentary filmmaker Nina Gilden Seavey's Ballad of Bering Strait chronicles the journey of seven Russian teens who happen to be bluegrass musicians chasing their dreams from Obninsk to rural Tennessee. Kansas City filmmaker Anthony Ladesich hosts a free dialogue with the director at the Westport Coffee House at 6:15 p.m. before showing the documentary at the Tivoli Cinema (4050 Pennsylvania) at 7:30 p.m. A short film by Ladesich, Be It Ever So Humble, There's No Place, precedes the feature. Tickets cost $6. For details, call 913-649-0244.
Friday, October 17, 2003
Having lived with artists, we can tell you that their superior creative faculties make it impossible for them to pass up free junk on the side of the road. They can't do it. What looks like used-up crap to the rest of us has hidden aesthetic qualities once it has been identified as a "found object." If you've seen anyone dragging junk around the West Bottoms, there's a chance the finder was headed for a studio in the Hobbs Building. Twenty-one of the 38 artists who live in or work at the old warehouse (1427 West Ninth Street) participate in tonight's open studio, letting the public in from 7:30 to 10:30. That's a pretty good artist-per-square-foot measurement. Get there early for the art (and the food) and stay for studio 307's raffle drawing at 10:30. The Hobbs might be hard to find if you're unfamiliar with the West Bottoms. It's the seven-story brick building across from the Olympic Grill and Capital Electric right about where Central Avenue turns into Ninth Street.
Saturday, October 18, 2003
Take it from us: Deadlines are not fun, especially if they come up every hour, unless you're at the Comic Creators Network 24-hour Comic Party. Starting at 9 a.m. today, local comic-book scribes lock themselves in Swillhound Studios (206 East 16th Street) and try to churn out one comic book page every hour for 24 hours. (That's one page an hour for each participant, not as a group.) According to the studio, fourteen people tried last year, and only three survived. OK, everyone made it out the next morning, but only three of the creators came up with all 24 pages -- we told you it was tough. Halloween, gothic or horror are the genres of choice for this year's scribblethon. For more information, see comiccreatorsnetwork.com.
Sunday, October 19, 2003
It's a shame that all live-music venues don't share the same acoustic quality as some area churches. Alas, it's unlikely most churches will start booking bands and serving alcohol anytime soon. Nonetheless, we're interested in the Fine Arts Chorale's performance of Explorations: Sound, Space and Time at Liberty's Second Baptist Church, 309 East Franklin. Directed by Terri Teal, the Kansas City chorale tests the science of sound with music by Praetorius, Sarah Hopkins and Sam Pottle (who, incidentally, helped write the Muppet Show theme song with Jim Henson). Tickets for the performance cost $15. For tickets, call 816-235-6222.
Monday, October 20, 2003
If the liner notes of a recording include any kind of manifesto, it automatically gets filed next to the MC5 and the Nation of Ulysses in the "kick ass" category. The Panthers' 2002 Are You Down?? has the necessary credentials to enter the politicized pile, but in a completely different way. Whereas the MC5 raged to "Kick Out the Jams," Panthers scream "Lies Are the New Truth." Panther politics may be confusing, but with song titles such as "Thank Me With Your Hands" and "Don't Be a Dick," who cares? On top of all that, they even reference Spinal Tap and comment on gender issues with "Sexist Not Sexy." New York's Panthers play the Replay Lounge (946 Massachusetts Street in Lawrence) twice tonight: A $5 all-ages show starts at 6 p.m., and a $2 show for all the drinkers goes on at 10 p.m. For details, call 785-749-7676.
Tuesday, October 21, 2003
Any other 21st birthday that involved dolls, toys and marble collections would not be cool at all. In this case, it's the Toy and Miniature Museum that'll finally be old enough to go out and party it up. To celebrate its coming of legal drinking age, the museum (5235 Oak Street) hosts an ironic birthday party starting at 5:30 p.m. and stretching into the wee hours -- 8:30 p.m. (Word on the street is that it's a preparty before all the toys come to life and head to Westport.) The highlight of the party is a partial opening of the new marbles exhibit, where hundreds of thousands of glass balls are displayed in a specially made room. (There are also ongoing exhibits and a performance by the magician Mr. Ahs.) This party is for the 21-and-over crowd, so bring photo ID. At $100, tickets are a little pricy, but all proceeds benefit the toys (who promised not to blow it all on shots). For tickets, call 816-333-9328.
Wednesday, October 22, 2003
Open-mic poetry readings can be dangerously embarrassing -- for the poet and the audience. All those dramatic in-flec-tions and theatrical pauses ... can be a bit ... much. That's why we like to stick to the pros when it comes to poetry readings. Linda Pastan won the 2003 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize (which includes $100,000), so you know she fits the professional-poetess profile. She'll be reading from her fourteen volumes of poetry to open the Midwest Poetry Series at 7:30 p.m. at Rockhurst University's Mabee Theater (1100 Rockhurst Road). Tickets cost $4. For information, call 816-501-4607.