Friday, January 2, 2015

Out With the Old and In With the New

Readers, we're not necessarily killing off this blog. But...we're sort of killing off this blog. At least in its current incarnation.

Here's the thing:

In recent years the blog has mostly been a repository for jokes and commentary that we've already made via Twitter over at @larryvillelife.  In that format, the material elicits immediate reaction and, in the best cases, interaction.  Yes, it's kind of nice to have the same material and photos here as a more permanent "museum" for LFK's joys and pains, but we're finding it more pain than joy to invest the time in that.

The biggest loss is going to be our weekly and weekend picks, which actually do serve a useful purpose for the handful who look at them.  We like to think our "picks" have provided a bit more of a critical lens than other local sites (since I Heart Local Music only writes about shows that they like) and a more specific focus than the LJ-World's brief "best bets" (which rarely convince us that the writers have any familiarity or fondness for their selections).  But, the thing is, it's a fucking drag to compile these things every week, and there's not enough room for creativity in the task, and we always end up forgetting to include our friends' bands and have to go back in and update a few times.  So that feature is disappearing too...unless someone offers to pay us for the service.

Chip:  "I'm getting really nervous here. Will I continue to exist in some fashion?"

Well, Chip, you'll continue to exist in all our hearts, but the boner jokes were getting kind of flaccid too.  And surely LFK's omnipresent Harpoon Presents comedy gang can provide all the dick and fart jokes this town needs.  They're in a different bar every night, after all, and the Replay every Thursday.  Perhaps you should try the open mic?  Also, you'll continue to be an implied presence in the "collective first-person" voice that has become so ingrained in this blog AND the Twitter account that we can't quite distance ourselves from it (yet).

So what WILL appear on this blog?  We don't know.  Do NOT look for daily features.  That's not happening. But we want to keep this blog around for longer-form pieces that can't work on Twitter, such as continuing interviews with bands and artists and comedians.  We'd also like to try our hand at some longer "creative nonfiction" glimpses into the weirder corners of LFK.  Also, our long stint as members of PBR Book Club makes us nostalgic for the days where we actually wrote a bit of "literature."  We're pondering a series of short plays set in various bars around town.  Perhaps our friends at Card Table will eventually perform them. Guest pieces are always welcome too.  Let us know.

For those in immediate need of more LFK-related info than our obnoxiously frequent tweets can provide, we recommend bookmarking the Larryville Artists page.  They are on an absolute blogging spree at the moment. Can you keep it up, Karen and company?  We have faith in you.

Anyway, Happy 2015, readers!  We know it's a shock that things can change even in LFK, but at least you can remain confident that some things never will, as evidenced from the photo below.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Weekend Holiday Picks: Retro Holiday Dancing, Die Hard, Kansas Nutcracker, Shitty Deal Puppets, and More!

It's snowy/slushy in LFK!  Let's get in the X-mas spirit.

Kick things off with a retro holiday bash at Frank's this evening,  We plan to perform most (if not all) of the dances from the Charlie Brown Christmas special.  Check out the full details for BongoTini's Annual Christmas Festiganza via FB.  Starts at 7:00 (and 7:00 actually does mean 7:00 at Bongotini events, at least in the past).

Friday is Die Hard day at Liberty Hall! Shows at 7:00 and 9:40.

You've got a few more chances to catch the annual Kansas Nutcracker at Lawrence Arts Center.  We'll be live-tweeting on Saturday! (well, at least during intermission).  Who all stars in this one?  Is Tyler Gregory playing John Brown?  What role will Peace Rob play?  Is there a scene where Brownback actually squeezes the metaphorical nutsack of Kansas in a vise-like grip?

Or perhaps your idea of the holidays involves country music, burlesque, and comedy.  The Outlaw's Wild West Christmas event at the Granada might be for you.  Plus, it's a Toys for Tots fundraiser, and that's a good thing.

And it's not Christmas in LFK until Mr. Doper and the Shitty Deal puppets pop up to get filthy.  They're at Frank's on Saturday. The  event page promises "A yule log, A Menorah, A Secret Santa.... A foul mouthed sock puppet....PBR." 

That does it. As Mr. Doper would say: Merry Christmas, kids!  We're done here until after the holidays...

Monday, December 15, 2014

A Post for the Foodies: Harold's Fried Chicken and Donuts and Kойоt Snack Shop

Readers, today we're profiling two LFK joints that are so new we're not even 100% sure they exist.  So far we've tried (unsuccesfully) to go to one of them. And the other one, frankly, just sounds made up!

Sometimes new LFK restaurants have a long slow build-up (Ladybird!). But other times they pop up out of thin air, like Harold's Fried Chicken and Donuts, which suddenly replaced EAT in the 6th Street Miller Mart last Tuesday, much to the surprise and delight of local Twitter gourmands. Early reviews told us the chicken is off to a good start and the southern style green beans are killer.  However, by the time we arrived the next day,  we were told that the "soft opening" was over (though the soft opening was not made clear on the FB page), menu tinkering was in process, and the joint would open again starting tomorrow. So we'll see you soon, Harold! (hopefully). Or maybe it was all just a beautiful, artery-clogging mirage in the desert of 6th Street all along?   

Give them a "like" on Facebook here.

They have a terrific old-school bare-bones sign.

At the other, fancier, end of the foodie spectrum lies the new "pop up snack bar" called Kойоt, located in Decade coffee shop in ELFK. So far they've tweeted twice, once about  sweet or savory oatmeal and once about "Mushroom Toast-enoki and oyster mushrooms, Béchamel, white cheddar."  Follow their Twitter account here and the Decade coffee FB page here to try and figure out when they'll pop up.

Koйот snackbar

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Weekend Picks: Comedy, Trivia, Rock and Roll, and Writing Letters

It's Stop Day Eve, so don't forget to hit The Cave tonight for a nice brawl with the basketball and football squads.

Or you could just go to the "Good Time" comedy show at Replay and hear some "holiday jokesters." Much lesser chance of being arrested there, unless someone gets arrested for...obscenity!

Follow it up with two more installments of the LFK trivia/comedy event "Massholes" on Friday evening at Eagle's Lodge. We hear BARRR is doing stuff at this one. Plus: brownies from Scratch Bakery (they probably won't be pot brownies...but you'll be stoned anyway no doubt).  Why isn't there a poster on the FB event page? But this photo is good too:

The I Heart Local Music Gang has your Stop Day covered on Friday with not one but TWO showcases, at Replay and Jackpot.


Or head to KC for the Dead Girls farewell performance there.

Saturday brings the ever-popular Sip & Shop event, which is at the Roost this year.  Odd location, but it should be good.  Anyway, it's LFK's booziest holiday shopping event.


Pachamama's hosts Barry Rothbart and a bunch of local comedians on Saturday.  (Re)read our interview here.

And join us at Letter Writing Club at Decade coffee shop on Sunday, where we finally hope to finish our X-mas card letters.  It's always hard to remember how many PBRs we drink each year, but it's a detail we always try to include.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

New Interview with Barry Rothbart: "Get on Conan. You'll love it!"

Perhaps you first encountered comedian Barry Rothbart doing stand up on Conan.  Or maybe you spotted him popping up numerous times in Martin Scorsese's recent opus The Wolf of Wall Street.  He's also got a new album, Streets of Fire, available via Itunes and elsewhere.

But perhaps you're not too cool and haven't stumbled across him yet at all.  That could (and should) change this weekend, since Rothbart has two area shows: at the Riot Room in KC on Friday--details here--and at Pachamama's in LFK on Saturday with many of your favorite local openers--details here.

We recently asked Barry some questions about his stand-up and film work and he (sort of) answered them, so enjoy the interview and we'll see you at the show(s).

Chip:  I just watched your performance on Conan and I think my favorite bit was the Liam Neeson/"particular set of skills" riff.  What's your personal favorite bit that you do and why?  And how much of your routine is dick and "shart" jokes, because that seems to be about 65% of Lawrence comedy right now.  

Barry:  The percentage of my routine that's dick jokes is the same percentage of my body that is dick: 40%!! I've got a big dick (or a small body)!!! 

Richard:  Who's your favorite (relatively) well-known comedian right now and why? And who is a comedian that our readers might NOT know about but should discover?

Barry: Bill Cosby. He's great. Besides that, I love Rory Scovel.

Chip:  The Lawrence comedy scene is booming right now, and there's some good stuff going on, but some nights (like the recent Thanksgiving show) are about as awkward as you can imagine, with half the comics just riffing on a Shirley Temple movie playing in the background for some reason.  Want to regale us with a tale about a particularly awful or awkward set? 

Barry: Yes. Wait, no. Sorry, I stopped reading the question halfway through. What's Lawrence?

Richard:  What advice would you give to Lawrence's struggling young comedians who are busting their asses several nights a week and wishing THEY were on Conan?

Barry:  Get on Conan. You'll love it!

Chip:  So you were in Scorsese's Wolf of Wall Street, a film which set a record for most uses of the word "fuck."  What was your role in the film, which hour did you appear in (because that sumbitch is looong!), and how many times did you say "fuck?"

Barry:  I am in eight scenes and never say 'fuck.' Although I said 'fuck' when they cut out the other scenes I was in. But that was while I was watching the movie, although Martin Scorsese was with me at the time taping my reaction to seeing the movie, so I guess you could say "once" if that situation counts.

Richard:  Can you leave our lazy readers with a blurb on why it's imperative that they catch Barry Rothbart at the Riot Room in KC and/or Pachamama's in Lawrence this weekend?  And, by the way,  Lawrence is often referred to as LFK (Lawrence Fucking Kansas), if you want to work that into your set to please the locals.

Barry:  Sorry, I won't work that into my set. Just being honest. And here's my blurb on why you should see me...

Monday, December 8, 2014

Weekend Recap / LFK True Crime of the Month: Chicken Thief / Holiday Photo of the Week: Rooftop Nativity

Another weekend has come and gone in LFK.  We didn't get to meet Jenny Lewis (Chip cried a little), but we tried to make the most of what the city dubbed "Winter Wonder Weekend," which mostly consisted of pretty horses parading through the streets. The KC Chiefs' horse War Paint was on the scene, as well as this lil guy below, which we believe is surely the horse who played Li'l Sebastian on Parks and Rec.


We also attended the former Free State Glass Christmas party which used to be in the Turnhalle but this year resided in an old one-room schoolhouse in NoLaw.  It was still suitably odd.


It wasn't a good weekend for KU basketball's Jamari Traylor, though, who becomes the newest local athlete to be arrested at The Cave for assault.  But those stories are too common to be particularly interesting.  We're more interested in the burglar last week who "filled a trash bag with an Xbox 360, a Playstation 1 game console, a Playstation 2 game console, 42 assorted video games and a three-pound bag of Tyson chicken taken from the refrigerator."  Well, a man is certain to get hungry while playing 42 video games. But he was caught hiding behind the door.  A Grinch indeed!


We plan to showcase several photos of LFK's best holiday decorations throughout the month but let's start with a classic: the rooftop Nativity scene in the Merc shopping center.   Read the LJ-World piece on the looong (50+) years of the tradition here and gaze into the piercing eyes of this sheep in our photo below.  It's totally breaking the fourth wall this year, if you catch our theater terminology.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Weekend Picks: Jenny Lewis; Fashion Shows; Protest Marches

What's going on this weekend besides the beloved horse parade in LFK and the Noise for Toys fundraiser in KC? 

Here are a few options.

Jenny Lewis hits Liberty Hall. We've offered, via Twitter, to take her ice skating or buy her a milkshake at Ladybird before the show. But she hasn't responded yet.  Our daydreams may never come true.

There's a fashion show in the cockfighting pit at Frank's on Saturday.  We've waited a long time to say that. Here's a photo someone took of a flyer, from the FB event page.

And do something important on Saturday afternoon, why don't you?  Join the March Against Police Brutality at South Park on Saturday at 2:30.  The FB event page reveals 220 supposed attendees.  Hopefully it's a big event.  And  hopefully all the horses from the horse parade are out of the streets by then.

Here's an image from the FB page that they are requesting people "print, post, and share."