School of Language, with Riddle of Steel and OK Jones
Thursday, March 27
The Record Bar
Review by JASON HARPER
Photos by KEANON LIGGATT
Bird Illustration by JOHN JAMES AUDUBON
For the lead singer and guitarist in a challenging, sonically adventurous post-hardcore rock band, it must be more than deflating to be in the bathroom of a bar after playing a set and have a broseph in a crew cut tell you your band reminds him of Incubus. But for Riddle of Steel frontman Andrew Elstner, this is an opportunity to exhibit grace and class and extend welcome to a new (if not cultured) fan. "Oh, OK, yeah, thanks. I'll take that, as long as you dig it," Elstner said, simultaneously considering the source (i.e., fratboy) accepting his comment as a compliment, AND also making sure the guy wasn't making fun of him. Turned out, the fratteur loved Incubus and meant the remark kindly.
(By the way, it must also really SUCK when you go to start a MySpace account using your band name only to find that some random person somewhere has already registered the name. Imagine Riddle of Steel's chagrin when they attempted to reserve www.myspace.com/riddleofsteel only to find that "DMDemise" had already claimed it:
All beeswax aside, it was a boutique of chops last night at the Record Bar as Riddle of Chops played between OK Chops and School of Chops, the last of which I'd been excited about seeing since discovering Field (of Chops) Music over a year ago.
Fronted by David Brewis, who plays in Field Music with his brother Paul Brewis and keyboardist Andrew Moore, School is rounded out by two guys with huge reputations in Midwestern music circles: Doug McCombs of Tortoise on bass and drummer Ryan Rapsys of Euphone and Heroic Doses.
I was rooting around for Spoon videos to post with our preview of the band online (found a rad Paul Simon cover), and I found these beguiling videos of a Japanese robot dancing to a couple of recent Spoon hits. The robot is called Keepon, and it consists of two conjoined yellow spheres, with perky, rudimentary eyes and a black-button nose on the upper sphere. (I don't know why, but it reminds me of Baron Silas Greenback's pet caterpillar Nero from DangerMouse.
I'm not usually the type to give two farts about some Japanese toy, but this little critter is compelling -- hell, it dances better than every single white person in midtown. And then I think, how it is it even possible to communicate "dancing" with a squiggly little ball-like creature, much less higher emotions like "curiosity" and "look at me I'm cute and quirky"? That question's for the behaviorists, I suppose. I do know the music helps, because Spoon, of course, gots the groove.
Here it is, dancing to "I Turn My Camera On"
Follow the link to robot heaven.
By NADIA PFLAUM
When I was in high school, video cameras were still large, heavy and required Dad's permission to borrow.
But since digital video cameras became affordable and cuter than shit, every bored, suburban teenager seems to have one. And while there are undoubtedly thousands of budding Kubricks out there making mind-blowing films, there are also thousands of kids filming each other's minds being blown.
So while experimenting with drugs, as bored, suburban teenagers are wont to do, they can film each other tweaking out. Later, when they upload it all onto YouTube, they end up outingthemselves on the 'net, thereby educating us old folks about what the kids are up to these days.
Interestingly, the most creative ways of getting high aren't even illegal in most states. There's a plant called Salvia divinorum that looks like mint, but has no distinct smell. When smoked, it produces a brief-but-intense high that includes hysterical laughing and inexplicable hallucinating. Sound fun?
I thought so too, until I saw this guy.
He is SO grounded.
Salvia was deemed a Schedule 1 hallucinogen in Missouri in 2005. It's still legal in Kansas, but just today, Senate Bill 481 passed the Kansas House and is on its way to becoming law.
"Robotripping" is the other not-at-all-new, legal substance that you and the hot girl from Econ are guzzling by the bottleful on YouTube. I remember kids talking about the 'Tussin back in high school, but it never seemed that appealing to me. Maybe this next video, posted by someone from Lawrence, is why.
Some people might find these videos immensely entertaining, but these kids' moms probably don't. Just a tip, kiddos: After you're done rewinding and watching and laughing at your friends drooling and rolling around on the floor, press ERASE.
By CRYSTAL K. WIEBE
If I were a more scientifically-minded person, I would have conducted an experiment last night at the Mission Bowl. During the 10 p.m. to midnight Rock 'n' Bowl session, I would have written down the name and title of each music video playing as I tossed the ball down the lane and then made a note of my score for that frame. Would modern butt rock inspire more strikes than emo rock? Probably, the results would have been a wash. As it was, butt rock ruled the night, anyway, and all those pitchers of Bud Light surely had the most effect on whatever my final score was.
But the Wednesday night Rock 'n' Bowl is a great concept: two hours of unlimited bowling for $8, plus cheap food and beer, and music videos on a big screen. Granted, one of the videos was for “Paralyzer,” Finger Eleven’s lame song about meeting a girl at a club. But considering the only other place I see videos these days is online, I swallowed my elitism for the night.
Finger Eleven: Take the nu-metallers bowling.
Aloha, with Anathallo
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
The Jackpot Saloon
Better than: Slim Goodbody’s upcoming appearance at the Folly Theater
By RICHARD GINTOWT
Great drummers have a way of making ok bands into great bands. Aloha has two of them, but the veteran indie band’s music has always been more about sublime post-rock melodies than showy sticksmanship.
The quartet has played in Lawrence a ton of times since its inception in 1997, sharing tours with self-reliant acts like Ted Leo, Q and Not U and Cex (the latter of which included drummer Cale Parks). They’re distinguished by their liberal use of mallet instruments such as vibraphone and marimba as well as their top-shelf musicianship. It's heady stuff with righteous intentions -- a post-modern fusion of Steve Reich and the Zombies.
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
The Beaumont Club
By JOHN KREICBERGS
Maybe it was the casual, small-bar rockiness of evening’s opening act, the Panderers. Or maybe it was the soothing aroma of nag champa drifting from the stage area. Whatever it was, the atmosphere at the Beaumont for Mike Doughty’s Kansas City stop on his Golden Delicious tour was about as relaxed as it could be without handing out Xanax at the door.
By JUSTIN KENDALL
Nobody puts baby in a corner: Johnson County District Attorney Phill Kline doesn't give a shit what those abortion-lovin' fat cats on the Johnson County Board of Commissioners think. The rebel with one cause is no showing a meeting today after the Commission demanded he defend his hiring of a special prosecutor to investigatecriminal charges against former Kansas Attorney General Paul Morrison, who had an affair blah, blah, blah courthouse blah, blah blow job, blah, blah resignation. In a three-page suck-my-balls-I’m-not-coming letter to the commissioners, Kline wrote: “My appearance will simply provide more media coverage of an investigation that should be allowed to proceed without the influence of politics.” You know, Kline’s right. Why should Kline, an elected … err, appointed official, have to explain the way he’s spending taxpayer money? Why should Kline have to explain why he hired Tim Keck to be an impartial investigator even though Keck just left a job in the DA’s office, which Kline hired him for? Why should Kline have to explain why he hired a man who donated to his failed re-election campaign for AG? Against Morrison? Yeah, suck it, baby killer lovers.
Flying high again: Missouri Governor Matt Blunt apparently didn’t fly on state-owned airplanes during his first three years in office. Now that he’s a lame duck, Baby Blunt is hopping flights on taxpayers’ dime. It’s also being reported that Baby Blunt is once again peeing while standing up, something he hasn’t done since cutting health care for poor people three years ago.
Only a month? I was disappointed when I read the truth about the western Kansas woman who had reportedly sat on her boyfriend’s toilet for two years. Turns out 35-year-old Pam Babcock only sat on the toilet for a month but hung out for two years in the bathroom. A month? That's it? This is like finding out Barry Bonds used steroids to hit all ofthose homeruns. Or that pro wrestling is fake. Or that there were two Ultimate Warriors. Nothing is real anymore. My faith is shaken.
A strawberry shortcake for the prosecutor? The feds accuse former Cherokee County Attorney Michael Goodrich of taking money and receiving “unspecified favors” from the owner of Sensations Gentlemen’s Club inGalena, Kansas. I love the phrase “unspecified favors.” I have no idea what the unspecified favors were, but the phrase is so much dirtier than saying blowjobs, hand jobs or a strawberry shortcake. At least, in my imagination.
Dude, we’re totally going to Blonde this weekend: Dude, I totally know this guy who makes fake IDs. He’s cool. Trust me, he’s a wizard. He also makes light sabers in his free time. He’s got this secret Web site. Here’s how to contact him.
Larry Moore up, hoes down: KMBC anchor Larry Moore knows how to sprinkle manure. I live downtown, and the closest grass is where people let their dogs crap outside my building, which actually might make for a good garden. In the spirit of Phill Kline, I don’t care what those fat cats in Quality Hill say. I’m going to plant a garden using Larry’s timeless tips for growing tomato plants, circa 1985.
To the Chris Packham fan club: After spreading goodwill as American a-hole Justin Kendall overseas, Chris Packham will return to Daily Briefs on Monday. Come back soon, Chris!
By ANNIE ZALESKI
R.E.M.’s Jackknife Lee-produced fourteenth studio album, Accelerate, lives up to its speedy title. It’s loud, quick and dirty, spinning by so fast that it takes multiple listens to absorb. It’s full of buzzing guitars and stream-of-conscious discontent, along with an abundance of Mike Mills’ choir-boy harmonies and sinewy bass. And naturally, it hints at the Athens, Georgia, band’s past – fuzzy riffs à la 1994's Monster (the title track); the dirty distortion and droning yowls of 1988's Green (“Mr. Richards”); orchestrated elegance circa 1992's Automatic for the People (“Houston”); and the slick political earnestness of 1987's Document (“Until the Day is Done”). Yet the amped-up atmosphere of Accelerate is unique within R.E.M.’s catalog, and doesn’t resemble the mood of previous releases – meaning that you can’t exactly herald it as a return to form (whatever that means, anyway).
Sweet! M.I.A. has just announced a U.S. tour that brings her to Lawrence on May 14, at Liberty Hall.
Let's have a lookalike contest, whaddaya say!? We never do that anymore!
OK, let's not.
M.I.A. - "Bird Flu"
With the Wildcats out of the basketball tourney, it's now time to turn our attention to K-State football, and that means: The Goo-Goo Dolls.
This just in from the PR desk.
March 26, 2008
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
LUCKY LOCAL BAND WILL OPEN FOR THE GOO GOO DOLLS AT GRIDIRON BASH!
One local band will have the chance of a lifetime…the opportunity to open for the Goo Goo Dolls as part of the Gridiron Bash!
A Battle of the Bands will determine which local band will open for the Goo Goo Dolls. The Battle is at 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 9 at the K- State Student Union.
Five bands will be selected to play in the Battle. Each band will play a 20-minute set. A panel of judges will select which band opens for the Goo Goo Dolls Friday, April 18 at Bill Snyder Family Stadium.
Baliff, whack their peepees!
Excelsior Springs is so pround of Courtney's accomplishments