Autumn temps are perfect for outdoor activities
By John Tarpley
Ever since turning a Glenwood, Calif., bomb shelter into a shabby electro laboratory in 1993, The Crystal Method has been a fixture in the electronica soundscape, releasing hordes of singles and one certified platinum album in its 1997 classic, "Vegas." In so many years, the duo has become representatives of the sound, thanks in part to Hollywood's appetite for frantic beats in movie trailers and car chases. And the movie business cats are right, too; theirs is an adrenalized sound that fits rapid-cut hysteria and metropolitan car chases. The pair operates in heady, chunking fusions of techno, hard rock and hip-hop in which everything is big: big drums, huge synths, enormous breaks. But for this show, The Crystal Method is sticking behind the ones and twos, DJing and live remixing a night's worth of hedonistic booms, bips and pows through the fantastic sound system at The Village. A slate of local DJs open the show, with Sleepy Genius, Justin Sane, Ewell, Paul Grass and Andy Sadler in the main room while DJs Digital Love, Sleek, Wolf-E-Wolf and Stepchild bring the wobble to the dubstep room. Dancers, brace yourself; this should be the biggest techno show of the year.
After an eye-straining, brain-wrinkling summer full of reading programs, North Little Rock's Laman Library celebrates its successful literacy series with Lamanpalooza, an evening of activities, all open and free to the public. It's as refreshingly wholesome as you'd want from a summer library festival with inflatables for bouncing and boxing, bead-making, chalk art with the THEA Foundation, animals from the Museum of Discovery and a balloon maker stomping through the grounds on stilts. The Laman Library also has a treat for the folkies, with Trout Fishing in America, the nationally renowned, Prairie Grove-based children's folk duo performing its only show in Central Arkansas in the remainder of this year. The library plans to showcase its new facilities and services, like its new "teen lounge," which it touts as state of the art; Overdue Brew, a new in-house coffeeshop and the "Draw Me a Story" exhibit. Oh, and if you missed it the first time around, there's going to be a balloon maker twisting up balloon animals on stilts, which, alone, actually, should be worth the trip.
You know these events: enormous guys moving a bunch of things that shouldn't be moved. It's powerlifting, it's great and it's coming to Hot Springs for the final qualifying round before the America's Strongest Man national championships in September. Expect to see old favorites like the Giant Timber Frame Carry, in which competitors have to tote a 750-pound hunk of wood 100 feet; the Dead Car Lift, where men lift the rear end of a car with bare hands as many times as they can stand within 60 seconds; and, of course, the Atlas Stones round, in which the athletes lift, carry and load six hunks of rock (between 285 and 420 pounds each). In event of a final tie, the two strongmen vying for first place will have to bicep curl the Arlington Hotel. The flexing and grunting continues on Saturday; doors open at 1 p.m.