More than 100,000 online members of Democracy for America (a grassroots political action committee founded by Howard Dean) exercise their right to vote on a monthly basis. But they're not voting for common-sense, fiscally responsible, socially progressive candidates just yet. They're voting on Meetup.com for where to get together on the first of the month. Meetup.com is an online tool that allows enthusiasts of all sorts to organize, network and plan events. At Meetup.com, you can find anime fans planning their next screening, Bill O'Reilly groupies voting on where to celebrate their favorite misinformed talking head, and just about any other fanbase, from Insane Clown Posse juggalos and juggalettes to crafty scrapbookers.
A link to the Democracy for America meetup is at http://dfa.meetup.com, where people can sign in to vote on the next location for a voter-outreach planning session to be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday. -- Michael Vennard
If the planet Nalon in the new film Ekho: Fall of an Empire looks suspiciously like Kansas City at times, that's because local filmmaking team Jim McCullough and Amanda Morten shot a lot of it in places such as Harling's Upstairs, the Stray Cat and Crown Center's the Link. Morten, who cowrote and costars with McCullough, describes the film as a humanistic love story with obvious science-fiction sensibilities. The conflicted romance at the movie's otherwise spooky core arises when Morten, who plays a soldier avenging her father's murder by terrorists, meets McCullough, an anti-war activist. Given its astonishingly small $800 budget, the movie is remarkably sophisticated, recalling at times David Cronenberg's eXistenZ and various Nine Inch Nails videos. It screens at Tivoli Cinemas (4050 Pennsylvania) at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. Tickets are $3; for more information, call 816-217-9593. -- Steve Walker
Consider it the Cru's debutante ball.
Fresh from the Vans Warped Tour, Kansas City's C.E.S. Cru, an underground hip-hop trio characterized by soul-searching, almost academic lyricism, rocks a smaller venue this week to celebrate the release of its debut album, Capture Enemy Soldiers. The band's name is an acronym for Conglomerate Elements of Self-consciousness. The three MCs (Godemis, Sorceress and Ubiquitous) perform tracks from the new joint in a free, all-ages show at 4 p.m. Saturday at Recycled Sounds (3941 Main Street). The party promises a good time, with vinyl giveaways, plenty of merchandise and -- of course -- a chance to buy the new album. Call 816-531-4890 for details. -- Vennard