Let us now speak of the six-year hippie phenomenon. The six-year hippie discovers classic rock, incense and the methodology of forming dreadlocks (with beeswax, during second-period English) when she's sixteen years old or a junior in high school, whichever comes first. She reads Herman Hesse's Siddhartha and has a vague admiration for the Beat poets. At twenty, she starts using the word energy in a metaphysical sense. At 21, she can make shoes, hats and books out of hemp and has beaded curtains in every doorway of her first apartment. But at 22, she realizes she's going to need a job pretty soon. By 23 she has a neat bob and uses Earth-unfriendly toilet-bowl cleaner like everyone else. It is the six-year hippie who fills us with reverence for true lifers such as Joan Baez, who could teach these fickle little whippersnappers a little something about what it means to be counterculture. The pro-justice folksinger performs at Liberty Hall (642 Massachusetts in Lawrence) tonight at 8, with ticket prices ranging from $32.50 to $47.50 (we know it's less than you paid to see Phish). For information, call 785-749-1912.
Friday, November 7, 2003
All cities are not created equal. When it comes to cultural positives, some cities -- such as Chicago -- have a lot, whereas others -- Detroit, for instance -- have very little. But in spite of being a standout example of urban decay, Detroit deserves some credit for its garage-rock resurgence. Could the prideful Chicago just stand by and let its rundown neighbor have that one little thing all to itself? No, sir. It had to give rise to the Phenoms, and The Chicago Sun-Times had to go bragging about how "it was only a matter of time before Chicago had a contender in the New Garage sound currently exploding out of Detroit, New York, Sweden and the Pacific Northwest." Always preferring to root for the underdog, we're for Detroit kicking Chicago's ass in this respect. But we can't steer you away from the Phenoms' Kansas City debut at Benders (1118 McGee) tonight at 8, because all signs point to it being a good time. Well, depending on how you define fun. Press materials warn: "It's pretty much a guarantee that something's getting broken and someone's going to bleed." Perhaps the strongest endorsement we've found comes from Punk Planet: "This kind of hard and fast, sloppy rawk 'n' roll eats these damn wimpy emo bands for breakfast." We do like breakfast. For information, call 816-221-7722.
Saturday, November 8, 2003
Assuming that Carrot Top is, in fact, funny, is he funny for reasons that go beyond his hair? We have often suspected that we, too, could make a fortune on phone-company commercials if only our hair were a little more zany. But we are unsure of the validity of this theory, and we'd kind of like to test it at Ameristar Casino. Tonight, the orange-haired comic himself puts on a show incorporating numerous steamer trunks overflowing with everyday objects waiting to be spun into comedy like straw into gold. If you happen to see a bunch of jackasses in bizarre wigs not being funny, don't worry -- they're just your friends from the Pitch trying to find out how much laughter we can inspire with a silly coif, and a silly coif alone. The show starts at 8 p.m. Ticket price ranges from $16 to $32. For information, call 816-414-7000.
Sunday, November 9, 2003
Don't lie: You long for skirt action. As part of today's Noche de Baile presentation by Mexican folklore-dance troupe Los Bailaderos, audience members get to see the long-lost techniques of skirt motion brought to life at the Uptown Theater (3700 Broadway) at 5 p.m. Combining distinctive regional dances, brightly colored costumes, intricate footwork and festive music, the performance should be lively indeed. And skirtful. Food and a cash bar top off the experience. Tickets cost $10. For information, call 913-831-0821.
Monday, November 10, 2003
If translated lines of dialogue printed across the bottom of a movie screen are called subtitles, then what do we call it when translated opera lyrics run across the top of the stage? Toptitles? Surcaptions? Tonight at 7:30, the Lyric Opera of Kansas City presents L 'Elisir d'amore (The Elixir of Love) by Gaetano Donizetti. If it's not obvious, the opera is in Italian. But that doesn't matter now that the Lyric (1029 Central) has superlyrics. When ordering tickets, which range in price from $10 to $62, don't get too close to the stage -- you might end up having to crane your neck to read along. For tickets, call 816-471-7344.
Tuesday, November 11, 2003
There are organizations far more mysterious than the Masons. Take, for example, the American Society of Professional Estimators. Would you like to know how many grains of sand can be found on a beach, or how many bubbles there are in a Coke, licks to a Tootsie Pop, hairs on a head, grills in the Arrowhead parking lot? So would we. Which is why we're thinking about stalking the meeting for the Kansas City chapter of the American Society of Professional Estimators at 5:30 p.m. at the Hereford House (2 East 20th Street). Admission for the social hour is $20 and includes a talk led by Don Greenwall called "Labor Relations and Drug Testing." For information, or a professional estimation of information, call 816-283-0555.
Wednesday, November 12, 2003
Snakes have school spirit, too. We'll never forget the time when that herpetologist came to an assembly to teach everybody about reptiles and amphibians, and the eager cheerleader who threw her hand up first was rewarded with the chance to hold a 12-foot python. More specifically, we'll never forget how the python relieved himself on her uniform. Today, David Nieves, local herpetologist and author of Reptiles Up Close, brings a global selection of reptiles to the Mid-Continent Public Library at 8700 North Oak Street Trafficway. If you're full of school spirit, wear something washable. The presentation begins at 1:30 p.m. For details, call 816-436-4385.