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Robot Love

Rovolust Finds its muse in droids.

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SAT 4/10

For people who are into strong, silent types, what could be more sexy than a robot? Robots are literally men of steel. OK, maybe it's actually some other kind of metal; we didn't major in engineering. The robot's sleek, impenetrable exterior is what excites Meredith Vacek, who, in addition to claiming to be engaged to a robot, coordinates Saturday night's Robolust event with fellow DJ Chris Shivley. These two have marveled often at their shared interest in a very specific kind of music: retro-electro. And the robot is the perfect symbol of this music and the style that goes with it, because it is the past's vision of the future. Today is the tomorrow of yesterday, after all. And tomorrow is the day after tomorrow of yesterday. (The retro-electro of the future will be symbolized by hoverboards, which should be coming along any day now.)

Anyway, Shivley and Vacek giggled, then brainstormed, then tracked down fashion designers with unusual styles. The result is Robolust, with Shivley and Vacek DJing and the designers using the stage for half an hour each. One designer promises a dress made out of metal. Another plans to shake things up by showing organic costumes made from animal bones alongside synthetic costumes made from computer parts. If this sounds intriguing, there's more where that came from. Robolust gets going at 9 p.m. at the Jackpot Saloon (943 Massachusetts Street in Lawrence) and lasts until 2 a.m. For details, call 785-832-1085.-- Gina Kaufmann

Good Words

WED 4/14

The term folk poet conjures images of a permastoned hippie promoting peace in semicoherent speeches between tie-dyed tunes. Recent Def Poetry Jam headliner Alix Olson maintains that mellow manner -- she claims that the image of an angry activist is a farce -- while spitting spectacularly provocative prose that might make even the most fervent free-love advocate blush. In pieces such as "Cunt Cuntry" and "Gender Game," Olson delivers her own graphic vagina monologues. A passionate performer, Olson entertains and engages even when she's simply introducing pieces or making small talk from the stage. For tickets to her appearance at the Just Off Broadway Theatre (3051 Central), call 816-691-8785. -- Andrew Miller

Come Together


Complementing the other hip-hop happenings in Lawrence this week (the Def Jux show on Wednesday and the Bulldog B-boy Battle on Saturday), and Downplay Productions have organized a few similar events to keep the vibe going. Thursday's Neon dance party at the Bottleneck (737 New Hampshire) pays tribute to '80s hip-hop. Friday, the club's Project Groove invites the B-boy crews to keep all eyes on the stage, where DJ Platinum and DJ P rock four turntables simultaneously. And Saturday, the Ecumenical Christian Ministries (1204 Oread) is scheduled to host a panel conference on hip-hop. For details, see -- Michael Vennard

Twisted Metal

The Experience Music Project in Seattle, the Weisman Art Museum in Minneapolis and the Community of Christ Temple in Independence share similarly striking exteriors, featuring hundreds if not thousands of metal shingles. The swooping, monolithic metal facades of the museums in Seattle and Minneapolis, both designed by Frank Gehry, and the double-helix spiral steeple in Independence seem to have come from another planet. In fact, each was made possible by a Kansas City architectural metal company. Bill Zahner, author and CEO and president of A. Zahner Co., speaks at the Nelson-Atkins Museum's Atkins Auditorium (4525 Oak) at 7 p.m. Thursday. For details, call 816-561-4000. -- Vennard

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