Cowboy Purefoy


WED 2/23
Lots of kids say they want to be cowboys when they grow up, but Rex Purefoy is one of the few who made it happen. “When I was 13, I saw a film with Herb Jeffries, the only black singing cowboy,” Purefoy says. “And the next day, when everybody came to school twirling ropes, I thought, I’d like to do this for the rest of my life.” In his Wild as the West Hollywood Cowboy Show, Purefoy lived the dream, roping, riding, singing —and amassing what he claims is the best collection of cowboy duds and accessories in the world. He also has taught a few horses to twirl a lasso, and his own steed, Ringo, knows how to cut a rug. From 10:30 a.m. to noon Wednesday at the Bruce R. Watkins Cultural Heritage Center (3700 Blue Parkway, 816-784-4444), Purefoy recounts the history of black cowboys and shows off his whip and gun-twirling tricks. “They worked cattle drives and rode bucking horses,” he says of his forerunners, “but I’ll also be showing off what they did for entertainment, when it was the draw that baseball and football are today.” — Christopher Sebela

Sonic Boom

FRI 2/18
Fans describe their favorite musicians as “artists,” but that’s often a stretch. More deserving of the title are the aural experimentalists in Urban Culture Project’s Conditions of Sound, which showcases pieces that twist notes and noise into sociopolitical statements. Pat Alexander’s “Ghetto Disaster Sound Clash” uses the combative drone of portable stereos to illustrate tensions between developed nations and Third World countries. Andrea Flamini’s “Melodrama No. 10 (Macbeth)” translates a segment from the play into Morse code before broadcasting it on a shortwave frequency. More than a dozen other participants share their work, starting at 5 p.m. Friday at the Boley Building (1130 Walnut), and Mark Southerland and Oz McGuire perform at the reception at 9. Call 816-221-5115. — Andrew Miller

Roll these Bentleys

FRI 2/18
The Independent Film Coalition suffered a low turnout for its Bentley Film Festival last December, what with the holidays and such. But because the group thinks the fest’s 8-mm submissions were “by far the best ever,” moviegoers have a second chance to catch a screening at 7:30 p.m. Friday at #8 Gallery (1600 Locust, 816-916-8121). The recently rehabbed art space is the oldest standing firehouse in Kansas City, built in 1885 to store the horse-drawn water pumps, hoses and reels for the now-defunct station. It’s very cool — but very small — so arrive early to score a seat. — Annie Fischer