Night & Day Events
“Society tends to be amused by mischievous youth,” Dogbert once told a troubled teen. “I went on a two-week murder spree,” the lad replied. “Hee hee hee,” Dogbert responded, wagging his tail. Similarly, as a band name, Thug Murder is a bit of a turnoff. But when people discover that this trio is actually three petite women from Japan, all tends to be forgiven. Not that the Tokyo band doesn’t bring the streetpunk noise, but Thug Murder’s is much more endearing, particularly with such roughly translated lyrics as Never I wanna be I get in fight by angry fists replacing the usual hardcore-boy lines about betrayal. Rounding out this impressive bill are Reach the Sky; Lars Fredrickson and the Bastards, a punk-roots project starring Rancid’s copilot; and Dropkick Murphys, the Celtic-punk barroom heroes who helped Thug Murder get its foot in the door. For more information on this gig at The Granada, 1020 Massachusetts in Lawrence, call 785-842-1390.
Lester Goldman has been painting and doing multimedia installations in Kansas City for decades, which is part of why the opening reception for his show, welcome to the ragball at Joseph Nease Gallery, is so monumental. The new paintings in the exhibit are more celebrations of color than anything else. They’re likely to remind viewers of paintings by Matisse with their bright, lively canvases, given such titles as Key of Lime (a painting that is, not surprisingly, predominantly chartreuse). In addition to witnessing this new phase in Goldman’s career, viewers can meet the artist and pick up a copy of his limited edition book, also titled welcome to the ragball, hand printed in collaboration with Brady Vest of Hammerpress. Goldman created the book by reproducing original 1930s comic illustration plates and drawing into them to change the meanings without erasing any of the original content. The second half of the book contains local writers’ responses to the drawings. This kind of collaboration between local artists, printers and writers is a highly unusual artistic endeavor worth seeing. The 250 copies of welcome to the ragball will go fast too; lest we forget, handcrafted items are a rare commodity. Joseph Nease Gallery is located at 1819 Central, and the reception runs from 6 to 9 p.m. For more information, call 816-421-2166.
After last summer’s awkward adaptation of Hamlet — set in the corporate world with Ethan Hawke and Julia Stiles saying words like “nay” and “’tis” while decked out in Diesel — it’s a relief to look back just a decade on another recent attempt to make Shakespearean themes more relevant to modern times: My Own Private Idaho, Gus Van Sant’s 1991 adaptation of Henry IV. It’s showing at 9:50 tonight at the Fine Arts Theatre, 5909 Johnson Drive in Mission, as part of Cinema Shakespeare: The Reel Bard. My Own Private Idaho is about two hustlers — played by River Phoenix and Keanu Reeves — who wander from Portland to Idaho to Italy and back. Phoenix’s character, Mike, suffers from narcolepsy and falls into a lifeless bundle when the going gets rough. Reeves plays Scott, a rich kid who, much like Prince Hal in Shakespeare’s Henry IV, is slumming for a while just to piss off his dad while he awaits a lofty inheritance. Unlike the recent Hamlet, however, My Own Private Idaho incorporates the Shakespearean themes so gracefully that some critics don’t even recognize that the movie was an adaptation, and audience members who haven’t read Henry IV don’t feel as though they’re missing anything at all. For more information, call 913-262-4466.
After a decade-long layoff, The Psychedelic Furs have reunited to share their brooding brand of hazy pop. The audience likely will consist of young fans who might know the band only from viewing such films as Pretty in Pink as well as those from the group’s mid-’80s prime — kids who weren’t gloomy enough to embrace The Smiths or trendy enough to join the Duran Duran fan club. The group’s recent greatest hits collection proves that the moody melodicism of “Love My Way” and “Ghost in You” has aged well, as has “Pretty in Pink,” which appears without the absurd sax solo that mars the revised version used in the film. Opening act Tinfed just stepped off a tour with the Deftones, suggesting that it’s either versatile or masochistic. The Beaumont Club at 4050 Pennsylvania, which is becoming a veritable time machine with bands such as Tesla and Cheap Trick dotting its schedule, hosts this latest flashback. For more information, call 816-561-2668.
Today kicks off Harmony Week in Kansas City. Thanks to a successful early-’90s ad campaign that made that lineup of silhouette portraits of people in a rainbow of colors so recognizable, some might remember it as Harmony in a World of Difference Week, but the organization that works to improve race relations and create diversity in Kansas City is actually just called Harmony — a name that rolls off the tongue a little easier. And since this is (just plain) Harmony Week, The Wild Women of Kansas City — Millie Edwards, Mary Moore, Geneva Price and Myra Taylor — aren’t to be feared but applauded. Just because they’re wild doesn’t mean they’re coming to crash the Salute to Harmony Gems starting at 7:30 p.m. at the Gem; instead, they’ve come to celebrate not only racial diversity but also musical diversity with a mix of swing, blues and jazz. The Gem Theater is located at 18th and Vine. Tickets range from $10 to $25. For more information, call 816-231-1077.
Aristotle, in his infinite wisdom, advised playwrights not to stoop to killing off problematic characters by random acts of fate just to move the plot along and arrive at a happy conclusion. But while killing off the bad guys or violently disposing of the good guys seems an easy trick to get rid of everybody and not have to reconcile anything before the story reaches an end, author Rick Harsch has complicated this plot device. Aristotle might have conceded that killing everybody off in the first installment of a series and then bringing them back to haunt the second installment is a good trick — and that is exactly what happens in Billy Verité, the second installment of Harsch’s LaCrosse series, which he will discuss at Rockhurst University’s Greenlease Gallery, 1100 Rockhurst Road, at 7:30 p.m. For more information, call 816-501-4767.
Lorie Line has been called “the Martha Stewart of the piano,” and though we’re not entirely sure what that means — do her melodies make us all feel comfy and crafty, or does her performance style bid us welcome as a well-chosen tablecloth might? — Line is definitely a crowd-pleaser. Fans come to her shows not only to hear the music but also to see her costumes and the custom-made white grand piano that she tours with. She also brings her chandelier from home. Tonight’s show is composed largely of music from Line’s latest album, Just Me, a deceptive title considering the army behind her that moves her elaborate set from city to city. Still, it’s fair enough considering that Lorie Line Music is the second largest artist-owned label in the country. Line waltzes onstage at 7:30 p.m. at the Folly Theater, 300 W. 12th Street. For more information, call 816-474-4444.