Entries Tagged as 'Entertainment'

Trevor Noah Offered Fun Food For Thought at the Lied Center

10.01.2018

By Sydney Sheldon

While a small segment of the audience at Trevor Noah’s Lied Center show on Sept. 22 might not have known what they were walking into, for the most part, Noah gave a performance that was an ease for the audience of just under 2,000 to connect with while also providing a new way to understand some of the difficult social issues in the U.S. today.

Noah started his set by talking about his day in Lawrence and what he had learned about the University of Kansas. He spoke of the hilarity of four barber shops in a row but not one of them cutting black hair. Noah said he likes to do a little research about each place he visits, and upon researching Lawrence and KU he discovered that the university had a major role in the invention of basketball.

“Imagine trying to invent a sport,” Noah said. “Having to come up with all the rules and deciding what kind of equipment to use.” He spoke about his first time at a basketball game where he didn’t realize how many times in one game a team could score.

“They made their first basket and I was like ‘GOAAALLLLLLLLL’ little did I know, five seconds later there would be another, and another, and another. It is exhausting being a basketball fan.”

While talking about sports Noah seamlessly wove the topic of kneeling during the national anthem into the set. “If you’re going to kneel at any event [the anti-kneelers] would prefer you do it at an unpopular sport like rowing.”

This moved the set on to the inevitable Trump jokes and commentary. Noah spoke about his conflicting feelings towards the president, because on the one hand, he wakes up every day and is scared for his life, but on the other, he knows that Trump will somehow make him laugh at least once a day.

Noah left the audience with his observation that white people love boats, the idea of patriarchy as a hotline a man can call upon any time he feels, and the advice from his mother that when you experience racism all you have to do is “shake it up with the love of Jesus and throw it back at them.”

The Mystery of Poppy

3.03.2018

Words and photos by Georgia Hickam

“I’m Poppy,” says Poppy. In one of her hundreds of videos on YouTube with 235 million total views, Poppy repeats those two words in childlike monotone for 10 minutes. Poppy and her art and video director, Titanic Sinclair, performed at the Granada as part of her Poppy.Computer tour on Sunday night. She invited all her “Poppy Seeds” to join her in her pastel parallel universe.

The stage screens read “initiating” as Titanic Sinclair, wearing a pink jumpsuit, drank from a pitcher of Kool-Aid and passed around more of the pink liquid to the audience. Though she claims to not be the leader of a cult, Poppy encouraged her followers to prove their love for her by literally “drinking the Kool-aid”, chanting her songs, and endorsing products she claims are her favorite, like Doritos and Monster Energy Drinks.
Wearing her signature long platinum blonde hair and dressed in a tutu and purple dress, Poppy sang songs about falling in love with a computer (Computer Boy), saying “hello” and “goodbye” online (Moshi Moshi), about losing her microphone (Microphone), and making a video (Let’s Make a Video).
Poppy’s songs are intentionally repetitive, simplistic, and empty, and I have become shamefully obsessed with the purest form of bubblegum pop imaginable.
Titanic Sinclair and Poppy’s mission seems to be satirical performance art commenting on how easy it is to become famous in a digital age. They openly mock and copy the things celebrities do to become famous, and Poppy is succeeding in becoming famous for it.
Who is Poppy? Is she real? Is she a robot? Poppy is mysterious. Poppy is abstract. Poppy is and isn’t. All I know is I am fascinated by someone I know nothing about, who might not even exist at all.

The Odd Charm of the Kansas City Renaissance Festival

12.05.2017

Words and photos by Caleb Hundelt

In the wooded depths of Bonner Springs, Kansas, hordes of costumed individuals quietly convene once a year to join in an uncanny gathering. People dance and twirl around maypoles in a pagan fashion, women entrance and seduce in garb that glitters and jingles with each sway of their hips, and shouting, bloodthirsty crowds hold violent fights to the death.

Yet this is no new-age hedonistic cult that follows in the footsteps of Roman gladiatorial spectacles: this is the annual Kansas City Renaissance Festival, open September through October to elders and infants alike. Despite its focus on fashions and trends of centuries past, the Festival stands as a socially progressive symbol of Kansas City, creating a place in which artists of peculiar skills and trades can go to throw inhibition to the wind, celebrate their craft, and be celebrated.

There is undoubtedly a period of cultural adjustment that one must undergo to fully enjoy the Renaissance Festival. Upon stepping onto the festival grounds, a wild assortment of sights, sounds, and smells bombards the senses. One can easily become disoriented. The attendees’s costumes range from Tyrion Lannister to Tinkerbell, musical acts range from professional harpists to part-time pirate shanty-ers, and food ranges from charred mutton legs to cheesecake-on-a-stick. Due to the festival’s countless anachronisms, “Renaissance” is a bit of a misnomer; however, this is no reason to view the happenings of the Festival as overtly low-brow or uncultured. Once a moment is taken to accept the Renaissance Festival for the pastiche of eclectic pleasures that it is, then one can begin to recognize the devotion and artistry of those for whom the festival is a way of life.

Take the case of Ginger, for example. On a small sign outside of her artisan stand, “The Bard’s Musik Shoppe,” we learn that Ginger has a degree in acoustical engineering, but rather than apply her unique skills in a traditional career, she chose instead to make wooden folk instruments. The precision and commitment Ginger works with is evident in each glossy golden flute or whistle, but it’s especially present in her saxophones. Ginger plays a few notes with one of her entirely wood-crafted versions of the usually brass instrument, and there is no denying the richness and quality of its sound. She creates irreplaceable art.

This art exists because Ginger and every artist at the Renaissance Festival possess a special trait: they love what they do, and they do it well. In the festival’s choreographed keynote performance, a royal joust between two knights turns into a deadly sword fight. When watching the joust, the initial instinct to laugh is quickly overtaken by total respect for the performers. These men have practiced extensively on horseback and on foot to make every thrust and stab appear realistic. They represent extreme dedication to one’s work, and the crowd joyously recognizes this fact. People playfully respond to the calls for support from the knights, rooting for their favored fighter and jeering at his rival. Any sense of awkward reserve is disregarded; both attendee and artist alike want only to revel in the special and strange glory of the festivities.

But the beauty of the Renaissance Festival is that only an outside perspective would view such events as strange. The citizens of the Kansas City Metro for whom it is beloved know the festival to be nothing more than a gathering of people expressing themselves in a way that is pure, unfiltered, and unapologetically authentic.      

Kansas City Fashion Week S/S ’18

10.19.2017

Words by Logan Gossett

Photos by Karsan Turner

 

Kansas City Fashion Week boasted the largest runway event in Kansas from Oct. 10 to Oct. 14, with nearly five thousand attendees enjoying clothing and cocktails at the events in Kansas City, MO’s Union Station.

Thirty-three designers showcased their collections for Kansas City Fashion Week’s Spring/Summer ‘18 showcase. From the immersively western ornamentation featured in Nokota Style’s Rebel ON collection to the pastel, embellished dresses designed by high school senior Miranda Hanson, high-end fashion found an impressive platform in the Union Station last week.

The Chiefs Style Lounge commenced the runway events on Tuesday. The Kansas City Chiefs – a renowned modeling agency and NFL franchise – provided runway talent during the event’s first half. Alex Smith quarterbacked the modeling core, with Chris Jones sauntering down the runway at the end. Chiefs linebacker Derrick Johnson also walked the runway, while punter Dustin Colquitt bookended the player lineup with panache, interacting with the crowd and synchronizing his struts with the DJ’s beats.

Participating designers competitively curated Chiefs themed outfits for a cash prize, which was won by Miranda Hanson.

 

 

 

Kansas City Fashion Week Spring/Summer ‘18 was presented by Helzberg Diamonds. A complete list of sponsors can be found here.

 

NOT JUST A PHASE: EMO NITE ROCKS THE GRANADA

9.19.2017

Every night is emo night, but this night was particularly emo.

By Justin Hermstedt

Photo by Caleb Hundelt

On September 8, a couple hundred darkly and emotionally dressed young people emerged from the shadows to descend upon the Granada. Style on the Hill came to document the party – nay – the movement that is Emo Nite.

That night the Granada provided a space for Lawrence’s millennials to let their emo flags fly. Here are a few of the looks Emo Nite inspired.

Photos by Nicole Mitchell

“Not a band. Not DJ’s. We throw parties for the music we love,” says the twitter bio of Emo Nite. I had come expecting a band, to be honest. I didn’t know what to make of the fact that I was basically just listening to someone’s emo playlist. As it would turn out, I just needed to hear the right song. Here’s an audio clip of when the Emo Nite team played “Welcome to the Black Parade” by My Chemical Romance. 

Photos by Caleb Hundelt

Emo music brought people together that night. Emoism may have been a temporary, regrettable phase for many of us, but at Emo Nite I learned that a part of it sticks with you forever. You can take the eyeliner off of the kid, but you can’t take the kid off the eyeliner. Anyway, one of the Emo Nite hosts said it best at the end of the show. “There’s hurricanes happening and the threat of nuclear war, but none of that matters right now.”

How awesome is that? Emo Nite is an outlet for angst and anguish no matter where it comes from: politics, parents, or puberty.

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