With another election right around the corner in 2004, you'd better listen to what commentators have to say about the candidates. Especially if you plan to vote for one of those Democrats, who are beginning to remind us of chocolates in a box -- yes, they look similar, but which ones are filled with sweet, marshmallowy goodness and which are filled with pro-censorship sentiment, Joe Lieberman? Our favorite reporters from The Daily Show With Jon Stewart did a great job of covering the 2000 election. Mo Rocca, in particular, had some ingenious ideas. He thought Al Gore ought to be recast because he was unfit to play himself. Rocca recommended Pauly Shore. "He just keeps getting dumber," Rocca explained. "White guys won't feel threatened." (In retrospect, this might not have been a bad idea.) Rocca might know a thing or two about intimidating people with intelligence. He went to Harvard. He also wears glasses -- with real prescription lenses! You know what he is? He's a nerd champion. Maybe Rocca could have played Al Gore. It would have been like the real Al Gore, only more slender and without all that nauseating love-for-Tipper nonsense. Anyone wanting to encourage Rocca to play a favorite Democrat in the coming months should head to the Kansas Union Ballroom (1301 Jayhawk Boulevard on the University of Kansas campus) for his 7:30 p.m. performance. Tickets cost $10. For information, call 785-864-7469.
Friday, December 5, 2003
We know this time of year can be overwhelming. That's why we took the time to find a charity event guaranteed not to involve a mall Santa or free gift wrapping. With no holiday cheer to speak of, we give you the Whatsoever Community Center's sixteenth Annual BBQ Auction Fundraiser. The event may capitalize on holidayish sentiments such as giving and sharing, but you won't have to hear one goddamned Christmas song. The barbecue buffet and silent auction go from 5:30 until 7:30 p.m. at 1201 Ewing. After that, celebrity auctioneer Larry Moore kicks off the voice auction. Tickets cost $25. For information, call 816-231-0227.
Saturday, December 6, 2003
Oh, Main Library. We will be sad to see you go. We could have scrolled through rolls of microfiche in your local history and genealogy department forever. Sigh. We might have to move into one of those lofts to be near the new library, but we won't forget you, even though we're so busy gentrifying that we've already started making spreadsheets on our PalmPilots to track our own latte consumption. We'll remember when we got our kicks. Symbolically enough, the Main Library (311 East 12th Street) is getting its kicks right now, with the Return to Route 66 exhibit. But today marks the end of the road. Say good-bye not only to the traveling exhibit but also to the library, which closes in January. For information, call 816-701-3627.
David Lynch makes everything scary. Often, he infuses harmless things with extreme creepiness. But in the case of the promotional short film he made for Michael Jackson in honor of 1992's Dangerous album, the scariness isn't Lynch's fault. This is sort of a vaginal little film, beginning with a pink curtain pulling back to reveal a red sky over a barren forest. Then, enveloped in a fluidlike stream of white smoke billowing up from a hole in the ground, Jackson rises and floats a spell, then places two parted fingers gently against his lips before the camera zooms in on his eyes -- drawing rather more attention than usual to his well-shaped brows. This is just one of many Lynchian treats slated for this month's Chucky Lou A/V Club session, subtitled David Lynch Appreciation Night. The whole shebang gets under way at the Dickinson Top Two (5909 Johnson Drive in Mission) at 11:30 p.m., a little earlier than usual. For information, call 816-471-1190.
Sunday, December 7, 2003
If you love your Harley more than you love your momma, head to the Overland Park Convention Center (6000 College Boulevard in Overland Park) between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. for Gail's Harley-Davidson Premier Invitational Motorcycle Show. Although yesterday's festivities included appearances by the Purrfect Angelz and KYYS 99.7's Bikini Extreme Team, today's events are family-oriented, with a fake-tattoo artist, a caricature artist and a magician to keep the youngsters entertained while you browse the wide array of leatherwear for sale. For information, see Gailsharleydavidson.com.
Monday, December 8, 2003
Who the hell decided to put comic books in the library? Was it a progressive librarian who disregarded the for-kids-only stigma and understood the legitimacy of the graphic novel? Or some action-figure collector who dug superpowered hard-bodies in gimmicky tights? Probably a little of both. While you're at the exhibit of works by local comic-book creator Anthony Jappa at the West Wyandotte Library (1737 North 82nd Street in Kansas City, Kansas), check out the pottery and sculpture by Marcella Smith, too. For details, call 913-279-2221.
Tuesday, December 9, 2003
AIDS, scourge of the '80s, is still around. And no, it's not a retro, throwback kind of thing. It just never got cured. That's why the good people from the Douglas County AIDS Project are still trying to raise awareness and do all kinds of preventive work, such as distributing free condoms around town. They're having a benefit concert tonight at Teller's Restaurant (746 Massachusetts Street), with Arthur Dodge and the Horsefeathers headlining. Other performers include Julia Peterson and the Daveys, Jeff Ferrell and Matt Rice. The show begins at 10 p.m., and admission costs $5 in advance or $7 at the door -- far less than you've spent on rubbers in the past year, right? For information, call 785-843-4111.
Wednesday, December 10, 2003
If you're bummed about missing the Shins' recent stop in Lawrence, a lisping cover band called the Shinth would be better than nothing. But Shinth offers so much more. Shinths are actually instruments -- makeshift life-preserver-shaped noisemakers pieced together, Frankenstein-style, from dead appliances. Mad scientist Peter B creates these mutant circuit boards, and acclaimed electronic artists Twig Harper and John Fashion Flesh commandeer them to create compelling chaos. Peter B's other audiocentric inventions share a strong visual presence, which makes it apt that this gig takes place at the Bank Gallery (11th and Baltimore), where the We're Desperater wearable art show still hangs. See dontyoufeelbetter.com for details.