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Will Royster challenged a 40th District political dynasty three years ago and got screwed. Now, he won’t let it go. B Y S T E V E VO C K R O D T

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Hometown: Roeland Park Current neighborhood: Olathe portation for celebrity guests. Schedule radio and print interviews. Assist guests with anything they might need while here.   What’s your addiction? Horror movies and horror conventions. I go to several of them around the country every year.   What’s your game? My game-playing days are over, but I am a big fan of women’s soccer and a season-ticket holder for the FC Kansas City Blues, our women’s professional soccer team.   What’s your drink? Sailor Jerry rum and Coke   Where’s dinner? Twin Peaks in Olathe or Oklahoma Joe’s   What’s on your KC postcard? Sauer Castle, or possibly Stull Cemetery — I know that’s a little far west, but it is one of the six gateways to hell, right?  

Finish this sentence: “Kansas City got it right when …” It built Sporting Park. Great place

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NEWS

NOTES FROM A BREAKUP

Union Station’s divorce from Corinthian Hall presses on without firm answers.

I

n 2003, then–Kansas City Councilwoman Teresa Loar got a complaint from a resident who was suspicious about how Union Station was spending tax money that was supposed to go toward the Kansas City Museum. Loar asked Mark Funkhouser — then the city auditor — to examine whether Union Station, the contractual manager of the Kansas City Museum, was following state law and appropriately spending the mill levy dedicated to the museum. F u n k houser ’s aud it u ncovered no evidence of financial mismanagement by Union MORE Station, which was spending what the mill levy raised back then: T A E IN about $1 million a year. ONL .COM PITCH Ten years later, concerns persist about Union Station’s intentions with the Kansas City Museum’s public keep. As Union Station and the Kansas City Museum appear headed toward ending their merger agreement, supporters of the museum suspect that Union Station’s leadership doesn’t want to lose control of the mill levy, which today raises about $1.3 million annually. Kansas City Councilman Scott Wagner, who has also served on the Kansas City Museum Advisory Board since its inception in 2004, says there has always been a fear among museum boosters that Union Station would want to corral the mill-levy proceeds. “If they [Union Station] believe themselves to be the keepers of the collection, both what they consider to be theirs as well as what would be considered the museum’s, I would probably say they would make the case that the mill levy was there to serve for the protection of the items and should continue to do so,” Wagner tells The Pitch. “I have not heard anything from them or seen a document otherwise that would suggest that they would want the full mill levy. If individuals are suggesting that it’s a total money grab, I would not go that far.” George Guastello II, president and CEO of Union Station Kansas City Inc., says the mill levy isn't solely for Corinthian Hall, which is owned by the city, but also for assets like the artifacts. He adds that the 2007 management agreement between Union Station and Kansas City, which he calls an “ironclad contract” is set to run for 13 more years. He doesn't agree that the Kansas City Museum would necessarily “split” with Union Station, calling any prospective change to the management agreement “a modification”

NEWS

Corinthian Hall needs $20 million of work. that Union Station would discuss with the Kansas City Manager’s Office. “We would be open to evaluating that,” Guastello says. The 2007 management agreement between Union Station and the Kansas City Museum suggests that Union Station owns most of the artifacts that came to the city’s collection after 1970. An inventory done in 2009 indicates that Union Station would own about 90 percent of the collection. And while a separation between Union Station and the Kansas City Museum may be in the offing, Union Station appears firm about its ownership stake in the artifact collection. That raises the question of what would go on in Corinthian Hall if such a separation materialized. Sources tell The Pitch that Kansas City Councilman Jim Glover has suggested in meetings that Corinthian Hall could be turned into a meeting and events venue, coupled with a real-estate sales office for prospective property buyers in the Northeast. Glover says that’s not quite what he has in mind, but he won’t be specific about his ideas for Corinthian Hall’s future. “It’s my intent — and I’ve said this from the beginning — that Corinthian Hall is very important, and it needs to be opened and utilized in a way that benefits the neighborhoods and brings people into the historic neighborhoods of Kansas City,” Glover tells The Pitch. City Hall has already spent $10 million renovating Corinthian Hall. At the City Council’s July 31 meeting, Councilwoman Jan Marcason estimated that finishing the renovation would cost $20 million–$25 million. “That’s a lot of money,” Glover says. “Do you have it?” Museum officials believe they can raise

BY

S T E V E VOCKR OD T

that sum, and they point out that they needn’t finish the job right away. In a July 18 letter to Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Sly James, Martha Lally, chairwoman of the Kansas City Museum Advisory Board, outlines the steps for separating from Union Station. (The Pitch obtained the letter via a public-records request.) Lally writes that a Kansas City Museum Foundation has already been established and can act as the governing body of the museum. She adds that the museum could sustain itself with proceeds from the mill levy. “Corinthian Hall renovation is under no deadline,” Lally’s letter reads. “It is false to drive public opinion to conclude the museum’s operations are in jeopardy.” The Kansas City Museum Advisory Board’s historic-preservation subcommittee earned a $10,000 grant in July. But the Kansas City Museum would likely do better as a fundraiser, grant gatherer and collection curator if it were separated from Union Station. The Kansas City Museum lost its accreditation with the American Association of Museums after the merger with Union Station. City officials have acknowledged that reaccreditation is probably not possible as long as the museum’s relationship with Union Station continues. “Donors want long-lasting assurances that their gifts are administered by a stable, accredited, unified governing and operating body,” Lally tells the mayor in her letter. “A unified nonprofit entity also is necessary for museum accreditation.” According to minutes of the May 13 Kansas City Museum Advisory Board meeting, an unnamed donor gave a photo collection, depicting Kansas City in the early 1870s, to the Jackson County Historical Society instead of to the museum. The donor was concerned that the photos would then be owned by Union Station. Lally’s letter also calls for the museum to rehire ousted director Christopher Leitch, who was fi red in July without explanation by Union Station management. Glover, Wagner and Marcason — members of the museum advisory board — have all said they don’t know why Leitch was fi red. “I still don’t know the particulars and, honestly, I don’t expect an explanation,” Wagner says. “At the end of the day, the manager [Union Station] … has made the decision. Knowing the work he’s done and having been part of the advisory board since he was hired, I’ve seen the whole body of work and certainly have found it satisfactory.”

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Will Royster challenged a 40th District political dynasty three years ago and got screwed. Now, he won’t let it go. S T E V E VO C K R O D T

S A B R I N A S TA I R E S

BY

W

ill Royster thumbs through a pamphlet while patiently waiting for the Kansas City Board of Election Commissioners’ July 25 meeting to begin. The clock on the wall is frozen at 8:58 in this dark, windowless room in Union Station’s basement. Royster is equally frozen in time. He has waited three years to face the commissioners in this room, which he believes is the scene of one of the biggest election crimes in Missouri’s history. Commission chairwoman Megan Thornberry scraps the order of the meeting agenda and allows Royster to speak. Dressed in a blazer and a tie and habitually peering at those in the room from above his glasses, Royster says he won’t take more than 15 minutes. For the next half-hour, Royster repeats complaints about his one-vote loss to John

Rizzo in the 2010 Democratic primary for state representative from Missouri’s 40th District. Those grievances, Royster claims, amount to a systemic failure by authorities, such as the election board, to properly investigate that election’s result. Time hasn’t soothed Royster’s anger. The 50-year-old former Navy pilot, seated awkwardly at the boardroom table facing the commissioners, speaks about the election like a man who wants to remain calm and cordial but can barely restrain his frustration. Since 2010, Royster has spent $35,000 of his own money in legal fees, first trying to get the election thrown out and later attempting to get its suspicious circumstances investigated. “We’re not here to retry this. That’s not my point,” Royster says, with his back turned to the election board’s director, Shelley

McThomas. “My point is to fi nd truth and ask you to help me do that.” Royster says he’s here on behalf of 663 Northeast Kansas City voters who were disenfranchised on August 3, 2010. He wants to know why authorities haven’t seemed to care about sworn statements from election judges about improper polling-place electioneering. Why, Royster wants to know, were 14 ballots lacking judges’ initials allowed to count in the final tally? Why, he asks, did Rizzo get three recounts of the close 2006 election, which he lost to John Burnett, when Royster received only one? Thornberry cuts Royster off, telling the failed candidate that she’s bothered by his accusations that the commissioners botched the election, especially given that their lawyers aren’t present (even though KCEB attorney

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David Raymond is seated at the table near her). “If there are any more accusations of legal wrongdoing, I’m uncomfortable with that,” Thornberry says. “I understand you feel a little fingered,” Royster says. “I felt like that for three years.” Royster rails on the election board, the Missouri Secretary of State’s office and the Missouri Attorney General’s office for not intervening in an election that looked suspicious, affirming instead the razor-thin margin and sending Rizzo to Jefferson City. “Now you’re suggesting a conspiracy was going on?” asks KCEB secretary Melodie Powell. Royster hasn’t used the word conspiracy, but he wonders why his research shows that votes appeared to have been cast from outside the 40th District and were allowed to count. Or why Jackson County continued on page 9 august 15-21, 2013

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Rizzoed continued from page 7 Judge W. Stephen Nixon, who ruled against Royster’s court challenge to the election result, soon after got a job as the Jackson County counselor. (Rizzo’s father, Henry Rizzo, is a Jackson County legislator.) “We cannot address whether a court committed a conspiracy,” Thornberry says. “That’s not our job.” Royster winds down his speech to the commissioners, half of whom haven’t spoken. He wants the commissioners to acknowledge that voters cast illegal ballots and that there were other examples of election misconduct. But he won’t get such an admission today. “We turned this information in. We couldn’t get any help with that,” Royster says. “Nobody seemed to care.” Royster walks out of the meeting room. In his hand is a Kansas City Election Board pamphlet that he picked up before the meeting. The brochure extols the virtues of becoming an election worker. In it, Royster has circled the heading in black ink: “Contributing to timely, fair, honest and accurate elections.” The commissioners say nothing of Royster’s appearance after he leaves and resume their June meeting.

I

t’s no longer in doubt whether voter fraud occurred in the 40th District 2010 Democratic primary. The only remaining question is how widespread the fraud actually was. Given that Royster lost by a single vote, it’s reasonable for him to say the election result was swayed by illegal votes cast by Rizzo’s relatives. On June 28, John and Clara Moretina, Rizzo’s uncle and aunt, pleaded guilty to charges filed by Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker of illegally voting in that year’s 40th District primary. The investigation didn’t reveal whom the Moretinas voted for, but it stands to reason that they supported their nephew. The Kansas City Police Department was tipped off to that investigation after John Moretina pleaded guilty to federal charges of the same crime a month earlier. In 2012, the FBI spoke with the Moretinas at their home in Gladstone, where they had been registered voters in Clay County until July 9, 2010, less than a month before the cutoff date to register for the Rizzo-Royster election. That day, they registered as residents of a Columbus Park duplex at 515 Holmes. The Moretinas later told the FBI that they were living on Holmes temporarily, so that Clara’s daughter could help her care for John. However, the Moretinas couldn’t prove residency in Columbus Park; they still paid utilities at their Gladstone address, to which they returned soon after the primary election. The Moretinas paid fines and were barred for life from voting. Several sources, including the KCEB’s

Thornberry, tell The Pitch that authorities continue to look into apparent voting irregularities. “To our knowledge, those investigations are ongoing,” Thornberry says. Royster believes that the number of questionable votes may run into the hundreds. The basis for his theory is sworn testimony from election judges, both Democratic and Republican, who reported that a contingent of Somali voters (one of many ethic groups in the 40th District) received assistance and, in some cases, impermissible coaching at polling places. Lindee Hopkins, a Republican judge who was at the Kansas City Museum that election day, wrote in an affidavit that an unidentified Somali man shepherded a group of Somali women into the polling place, instructed them on how to vote, and told them to vote for Rizzo. Elaine Oberg, a Democratic judge supervisor at the Garfield Elementary School polling location, testified in Jackson County Circuit Court to similar observations but did not say whether voters were coached to vote for Rizzo. By law, voters who can’t read or have some other impairment can receive assistance in casting a ballot, but they must submit an affidavit. Their assistants are not allowed to coerce the person they’re guiding into voting one way or another. Shawn Kieffer, a director for the KCEB, testified in court that no such affidavits had been collected. However, there is no clear evidence that the Somali voters cast ballots for Rizzo, nor is there evidence that they were unregistered voters. Some votes cast in the election are suspicious. There was a vote cast in the 40th District

“Will Royster lost a lot of sympathy at the way the election results were handled.” by someone whose name matches a Lee’s Summit man who made a contribution to Rizzo’s campaign. It’s not clear whether that vote has been investigated. Some suspicions about specific voters raised by the Royster campaign don’t withstand scrutiny — three votes, for instance, appeared to come from 40th District addresses that were actually owned by the Land Trust of Jackson County, a collection of vacant properties that have been taken over by the county and subsequently transferred to the city of Kansas City. One of those votes in the Rizzo-Royster election came from 122 Oakley Avenue, a house that was condemned in 2009 and left vacant. Kansas City police records show that the voter did indeed live at a different address in the 40th District and voted properly. Another vote from a Land Trust property came from a couple that had moved from a condemned house at 5010 East Eighth Street to another house within the 40th District.

Kansas City police also investigated claims that a man living in the nearby 41st District somehow managed to vote in the 40th District. Their investigation showed no evidence of improper voting. (The voter had actually moved to the 40th District, even though his registration was still an old address.) It did reveal sloppy record keeping and election management by the Kansas City election board. Much of that evidence came too late for Royster’s campaign. In 2010, Royster and his lawyers sued in Jackson County Circuit Court and later in an appeals court to have the election nullified. Neither court was persuaded by Royster’s claims of voting irregularities, at least not enough to overturn an election. But the bulk of Royster’s evidence, such as the Moretinas’ votes, didn’t become public until after those court decisions. Royster says the KCEB didn’t provide him with a list of who voted in the election until shortly before they went to court — not enough time, he says, to build a case.

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ames B. Nutter Sr., founder of the eponymous mortgage company and a soughtafter financier for election campaigns, hasn’t often paid attention to 40th District races. “They’ve always been behind-the-door when the goodies are passed out,” Nutter tells The Pitch. “A lot of times, the politicians that are in that district, they don’t have a lot of respect for the voter. They promise them things they have no intention of keeping.” The population in the Northeast is both a transient one and rather diverse demographically, with several racial and ethnic communities living side by side. (Twentyseven languages are spoken at Northeast High School.) There’s also a gap between the Northeast’s wealthy and destitute residents. It wasn’t always that way for Kansas City’s Historic Northeast neighborhood. Former City Manager Bob Collins and former Police Chief Rick Easley lived there, giving the area a source of clout within City Hall. In the 1990s, the district benefited from representation in the Missouri General Assembly from Henry Rizzo and Sen. Ronnie DePasco, two men with influence in Jefferson City. “We don’t get the attention we used to both on a local level but county and state,” says Michael Bushnell, publisher of the Northeast News. “Back in the ’90s, Henry Rizzo and Ronnie DePasco were a Jefferson City powerhouse. And I went a lot of times to Jefferson City to speak to a committee about a bill. … When you’ve got somebody like DePasco who controlled the traffic of a Senate bill and tagteamed with Henry, those guys were tied to people across the state. “Community involvement over the years has been falling from the standpoint of elections and stuff like that,” Bushnell continues. “Back when Henry was running and when Henry held that seat, it was usually a 3,500to-4,500 (vote) race. Now we’re roughly down to 50 percent of that.” continued on page 10

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Rizzoed continued from page 9 John Rizzo had twice sought his father’s old seat from John Burnett but lost both elections, in 2006 and 2008. His path to Jefferson City didn’t figure to get any easier with Royster in the race. While Rizzo appealed to many of the oldguard Northeast residents who had been fans of his father’s work in the Missouri General Assembly, Royster was seen as the favorite among the new residents: the folks who bought old homes in Pendleton Heights and ScarrittRenaissance with an eye toward fixing them and improving the neighborhood. Royster’s father, like Rizzo’s, once held the seat representing the Historic Northeast. Despite Royster’s long history of community and volunteer work, Nutter didn’t know much about Royster when they met before the election. Royster visited Nutter, as many aspiring local politicians do, in hopes of getting the well-heeled political influencer’s support. “I liked his appearance and I liked the way he talked,” Nutter says. “He said the right words. He said he wanted to make some improvements for his district.” For the fi rst time in years, Nutter threw his support behind a 40th District candidate: Royster.

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f voter fraud had never been proved, the 2010 40th District primary might have been remembered as unusually acrid for a small neighborhood district. “It was a terrible campaign,” Royster says. “It was awful. … Rizzo started right off the bat. Everything was negative.” Many of Rizzo’s ads portrayed Royster as a Republican because he owned a gated property (as if no Democrats lived in opulent houses), and accused him of lying about his service as a COMBAT (Community Backed Anti-Drug Tax) commissioner and of lobbing lawsuits — stemming from an incident with a friend at Kona Grill on the Plaza — against the Kansas City Police Department. Royster says he wanted to keep his messaging about safety and quality-of-life issues. But

Rizzo: re-elected in 2012 without opposition. he sent out a mailer tying Rizzo to a predatory title-loan business. While technically true, it was one that Royster supporters had hoped wouldn’t go out. They were able to persuade Royster and his campaign workers — Chris Moreno and Adam Schieber — to hold off on sending out more inflammatory pieces. “Negative campaigns work,” Royster says. “What they do is they ultimately drive down the number of voters that come out to vote … and that’s to Rizzo’s advantage.” The negativity, while it raised the profile of the race across Kansas City, seemed to wear out the neighborhood. “It got to the point where it was all about which guy do you hate more; it was hardly even about the issues,” says Bryan Stadler, a community activist in the Northeast and a cartoonist for the Northeast News. “It was about people’s personal feelings about J.J. Rizzo’s family or personal feelings about whether Royster was qualified for the job or not. “The Rizzo campaign was alleging Royster was not mentally stable enough, criticizing his stress level or ability to solve problems or handling things. They were bringing his divorce into it,” Stadler continues. “Royster was comparing Rizzo to a mobster and lumping

him into the family’s payday-loan business and calling him a loan shark.” The campaign literature was reminiscent of the ugliest congressional campaigns. They’re not the types of ads commonly seen in Statehouse races, particularly in a primary between members of the same party. That may explain why Rizzo ran uncontested in 2012. “There are a lot of movers and shakers in Pendleton Heights and Scarritt who would be excellent [politicians], but I don’t think they will do it because they have full-time jobs,” says David Remley, a photographer deeply involved in community issues in the Northeast. “And in this day and age, who would want to put themselves through that?” Royster turned down another run at office in 2012, in part because of divorce proceedings that started that year and continue today. And the 2010 experience makes him question the sanctity of the voting process. “My residual questions would be, what’s preventing it from happening again?” Royster says. “That’s a huge investment of time and emotional effort. It’s discouraging. I talked to a few folks who could have run, but all the folks said the same thing: ‘I saw what happened to you, Will. I could never do that.’ ”

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ohn Rizzo did not return several calls from The Pitch for this story. And in most other media, he has remained silent about his relatives ending up with a rap sheet from his election, other than to call it “unfortunate.” “I’ve been re-elected since then,” Rizzo told The Kansas City Star the day the Moretinas pleaded guilty in Jackson County. “Hopefully, these guilty pleas will end the talk about an election held almost three years ago.” Star columnist Barbara Shelly acknowledged having to eat crow for accepting at face value Rizzo’s earlier claim that his aunt and uncle lived in the 40th District, an explanation that law enforcement clearly wasn’t buying. (Clara Moretina told The Pitch, “We’re glad it’s behind us,” but she did not want to comment further.) The Missouri Legislature has also been mostly silent about Rizzo’s controversial position in the House of Representatives. Republi-

cans, a party typically advocating for stronger voter-identification laws, haven’t made much of an example of Rizzo. Rizzo has even risen to some level of leadership within the Democratic Party in Jefferson City, spending the 2013 session as the minority whip. One Jackson County political insider tells The Pitch that, despite the Moretinas’ guilty pleas, Rizzo maintains political stature, in part thanks to his affable personality. State Sen. Jason Holsman tells The Pitch that Rizzo’s election isn’t a matter of debate in Jefferson City. “It has no bearing on the current makeup of the Legislature,” Holsman says.

B

eyond political opportunists Jack Cashill (who for once isn’t peddling a conspiracy theory) and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (who is keen on passing voter-ID legislation), there has been little outrage over a local election in which relatives of a candidate, who won a race by a single vote, were convicted of voter fraud. “I wish there was interest,” Nutter says. “And I’m not saying there isn’t, but I don’t know of any.” In the Northeast, residents have moved on, even if Royster hasn’t. “I am still outraged,” Remley tells The Pitch, “but no, I don’t think there’s a lot of palatable outrage.” Some say Royster and his supporters’ relentless pushing of the voter-fraud story has made other supporters tired of the 2010 election. “Will Royster lost a lot of sympathy at the way the election results were handled,” Stadler says. “I get why he and his supporters were disappointed with the result, especially now that it was proven that there were probably enough cases of voter fraud that Royster should have won. He made the election about himself rather than the neighborhood. Once he didn’t get what he wanted, he went home and cried in his room about it. He didn’t show the neighborhood that even though he lost the election, he still cared about the neighborhood.” Royster says he still cares about the neighborhood but acknowledges that his profile within it has dropped since the election.

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He adds that he has been more withdrawn because of his divorce. But that’s not all. “I’ve really been disgusted,” Royster says. “I’ve heard a lot of people privately talk about this. I think literally everyone knows what happened, but my disgust is, not one of the people in positions of power have stepped up publicly and called for investigations, and that’s disgusting to me. And frankly, it should be to all voters.” And Royster isn’t apologetic about loudly calling attention to the voter fraud. “When nobody was acting, Adam, Chris and I are thinking, ‘What the fuck is going on?’ ” Royster says. “It was just like a trip. We started getting really loud: ‘Hey, everybody, look at what’s going on here.’ I imagine most people didn’t know what was going on. … Your typical person on the street, maybe your typical voters saw, ‘Those guys are just mad because they lost by a vote. They’re just a sore loser.’ Even people who voted for me probably said, ‘Let it go.’ That’s what generally happened. The typical person doesn’t want to hear it. It’s noise to them, and the people who perpetrated it wanted to suppress it.” Meanwhile, Royster, who considers himself a conservative Democrat, has backed slowly away from the local Democratic Party. He says the party has also backed away from him. “Absolutely, I was totally abandoned by the local Democrats,” Royster says. “The local Democrats were all afraid of pushback.” The Rizzo-Royster election is no longer a topic of discussion among local Democrats. Mike Sanders, who until recently was chairman of the Missouri Democratic Party, would not discuss the issue. Tom Wyrsch, chairman of the Jackson County Democratic Committee, says the Missouri Court of Appeals’ snuffing out Royster’s last recount attempt ended the issue. “He [Royster] hasn’t participated since then, and neither has his wife, Carol,” Tom Wyrsch tells The Pitch. “But they would be welcome back. I have no animosity toward them.” KCEB chairwoman Thornberry tells The Pitch that the commissioners are taking Royster’s allegations seriously. “We’ve done our own investigation since then [2010] and we’ve continued to investigate,” Thornberry says, adding that the commission has forwarded its information to the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office and the FBI. Royster isn’t satisfied. He believes the election board screwed up in administering his election and demands that it acknowledge the error. “If all the demands were met, it would do a few things for me,” Royster says. “It would mean they actually did what they were supposed to do, which is investigate allegations of illegal electioneering and illegal voter fraud. That’s something they’re supposed to investigate. If they do that, I’m not going to pat them on the back. That was something they were supposed to do three years ago.”

E-mail steve.vockrodt@pitch.com

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As area cocktailists and happy-times chemists prepare for another Paris of the Plains (see Fat City, page 22), we’ve blended our events calendar and nightlife listings into this new section. From film to food, from sculpture to ska, you’ll find something to do this week and every week in Agenda.

Daily listings on page 30 pitch.com

august 15-21, 2013

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Each week, Pitch Street Team cruises around to the hottest clubs, bars and concerts. You name it, we will be there. While we are out, we hand out tons of cool stuff. So look for the Street Team... We will be looking for you!

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ARTISTIC DIRECTOR DEVON CARNEY

All events at Kansas City Ballet’s home:

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T R A C Y A BE L N

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IS THAT ALL?

At Plug Projects, Brandon Juhasz

A

melancholy sigh for the usual: It’s OK to be average. There is, after all, only so much room at the top of the doughnut pyramid. Wait, doughnuts? Yes. Artist Brandon Juhasz has set a pyramidal stack of pink-frosted doughnuts on a low pedestal made to suggest imitation marble. It’s a meeting of desire and mediocrity, a sure lure for Homer Simpson, an expression of the social pyramid that seems to whisper, Don’t beat yourself up if you’re in the supporting majority underneath. The folks and figures in Juhasz’s I Can’t Promise to Try are here, in all their glossy, colorful glory, to help. Glossy, colorful — and made of folded paper. With this latest exhibition at Plug Projects, Kansas City once again benefits from the connections of the gallery’s curatorial crew, who routinely introduce us to bright, new work from artists such as Cleveland’s Juhasz — here presenting his 3-D works in an exhibition for the first time. It’s a privilege to see Juhasz at what appears to be a turning point. In keeping with this conceptually well-executed array, he’s also about to debut a response to Édouard Manet’s 1863 “Lunch on the Grass.” His “Paradise. Pair a dice,” which opens August 23 at Cleveland’s oldest nonprofit gallery (SPACES), is a roomlike tableau that expands on what’s consid-

“Followers” (left) and “Mountain Man”

hunks of meat, the human form — are familered ideal or desirable and casts a conscious iar and simple. But in Juhasz’s dioramas, in eye on the awkwardness of sexuality in an era person, they take on an eerie personality. of constant social interaction. Photography, Juhasz says, amounts to Juhasz used to do a lot of portrait paintour ultimate death mask: images we hold ing and landscape photography but hit his creative stride when he started exploring on to long after their moments have passed, the pursuit of the ideal: the mundane nature sometimes long after any relevance remains. He enjoys making something that can fool of existence and our desire for the elusive us into accepting it as “real” — real enough something more. His technique — building obto take for granted. jects and scenes by folding “How Embarrassing” photographs appropriated I Can’t Promise to Try is one of Juhasz’s paper from open-source images Through September 7 people, lying pathetically (thanks, bountiful Internet) at Plug Projects, 1613 on the f loor. This poor — emerged as a response to Genessee, 646-535-7584, fellow has reason to feel America’s homemaking plugprojects.com self-conscious, naked and standard-bearer. crushable as he is. With “I love Martha Stewart closed eyes and one-ply feet that flop weakly [Living] magazine, the art in it,” he tells me. “The photography is great, especially the older from cylindrical legs, the smaller-thanones. Everything is done with such care. And life form is reminiscent of a diminished, they make it look like real life, make it look shriveled mummy. It’s the epitome of “Is this all there is?” like it’s achievable. But it’s not achievable!” Juhasz says he was delighted at the way Replicating those photos led to making “How Embarrassing” worked in the gallery things out of the pictures, which in turn led to the more developed narratives on during the opening. Everyone was just standing around it, going about the business of view at Plug: eight inkjet prints, arranged salon-style along one wall, and seven three- socializing, oblivious to it. You might also breeze past “Limp Wood” dimensional constructs neatly spaced on — directly across the space from “How the other walls or arranged on pedestals. In Embarrassing” — without a lot of thought print and laid out flat or viewed on a screen, the items he chooses — a pepperoni pizza, beyond its implied double-entendre. But

pitch.com

the artist thinks of it as a statement about strength as well as a play on the idea of functionality. The piece drapes one (fake, paper, wood-grained photo) 2-by-4 surrealistically over another jutting straight out from the wall, showing the exasperation of powerlessness. We all can share the feeling of “I can’t do my job anymore.” It’s disconcerting to stare into the pastedon eyes of “Mountain Man.” They’re buggy and spaced widely, and they seem unable to focus on anything as they stare out from a head and an armless torso. This guy, dressed in intentionally cliché plaid, his face made of the crags and snow of a “real” mountain, droops a bit, and not just because a crown of lamb chops weighs him down. He, too, seems to want more out of life. Anyone with a fear of puppets or cadavers will feel uneasy among Juhasz’s people. A creepy intimacy throbs from the figures’ details, the high-resolution body hair and moles. And even if Juhasz hadn’t admitted that nipples imply to him the uselessness and burden of people needing things from one another, there would be a charged and attractive discomfort in seeing so many of them cut out and stuck back on. If there’s a weakness here, it’s that lumber, meat piles and men in underwear don’t immediately speak to female sensibilities, at least not directly. But regardless of your gender, if you stand among these images long enough, an odd melancholy seeps in.

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FILM

HISTORY CHANNEL

Co-director Joshua Oppenheimer talks us through The Act of Killing.

BY

D A N LY B A R G E R

A

ustin, Texas-born filmmaker Joshua Oppenheimer spent years researching one of the most horrific genocides in history. He has emerged from the process with a festival-favorite documentary — one spiked with surreal humor and musical numbers. To make The Act of Killing, which opened Friday, August 9, at the Alamo Drafthouse, Oppenheimer and his collaborators put retired paramilitary Indonesian gangsters on camera. Starting in 1965, the criminals’ roles in the Indonesian underworld went from scalping movie tickets to murdering thousands of people. Their victims were suspected communists or had been targeted simply for being ethnic Chinese. Veteran documentarians Werner Herzog (Grizzly Man, Into the Abyss) and Errol Morris (The Thin Blue Line, The Fog of War), the film’s executive producers, saw an early cut of the movie and agreed to advise Oppenheimer on how to assemble and promote his work. What makes The Act of Killing grimly funny and genuinely shocking is that its subjects recount their own crimes with evident glee, even participating in re-enactments set up as mob movies or musical comedies. The result examines the slaughter of 1 million–2 million people with an approach that’s somehow more disturbing than a straightforward documentary might have been. Speaking by phone, Oppenheimer explains why this skewed report enables viewers to see the horror more clearly, especially in Indonesia. The Pitch: When you first decided to make a movie about genocide, did you ever think that it would become a musical? Oppenheimer: No. [Laughs.] Certainly not. When I first began this project, it was in cooperation with a community of survivors. In fact, you could say I made the entire film with a community of survivors. When word got out that we were looking into the 1965–66 genocide, the Indonesian military would come and stop us every time we started to film together. Meanwhile, the survivors would send me on these painful missions to meet with neighbors who they thought were perpetrators and might be able to shed light on how their loved ones had died. When I confronted the fact that the survivors were terrorized into silence by the regime and that the perpetrators were boasting about what they had done, I felt that I had wandered into Germany 40 years after the Holocaust, only to find that the Nazis were still in power. Anwar Congo, the main character in The Act of Killing, was the 41st perpetrator I filmed. When I met him, I imagined creating these

simple re-enactments of many perpetrators from across the region. Anwar, because he was one of the first movie-theater [ticketscalping] gangsters in this film, started to propose these more and more surreal embellishments inspired by his favorite genres — I think because he was, in fact, trying to run away from his pain. He was trying to deny the moral meaning of what he has done by making his re-enactments. As a viewer, I was deeply disturbed by the scenes where you have this man, who has oceans of blood on his hands, playing with his grandchildren. You don’t usually think of someone who has committed genocide as a grandpa. But almost everyone who has committed genocide and isn’t in jail or hasn’t been defeated in a war, and is therefore killed, is a grandpa. Were you surprised at how comical some of these re-enactments got? There are two types of humor in this film. I think there’s humor where the men in the film are very open with who they are. Whenever I’m filming anybody, I look for people who are going to be open. Anwar, I think, had a gift in casting. Without my asking, he always chose people who were similarly open. He chose Herman Koto and dressed him up in drag to play a number of roles. There’s a scene where they’re trying on hats. Anwar decides that what’s wrong with the re-enactments is not what’s really wrong. When he sees the fi rst re-enactment, he’s really disturbed. Of course, he’s disturbed by what he did on the roof. But rather than give voice to that — because he’s never been forced to admit what he’s done and was

wrong — instead, he focuses on these embellishments: a change of costume, a change of hair color, a change of location, a change of genre. We see them trying on new costumes. We see them, and they’re delighted by the hats. Herman chooses a bright-pink cowboy hat for Anwar and says this is the kind of hat a gangster should wear. Anwar takes it, and you’re wondering: What gangster movie has Herman watched? And we love them for this openness and that Anwar’s not too macho to wear the bright-pink cowboy hat. … And then in the very next minute, Anwar tells a horrible story and starts to re-enact it. In that moment, humor is very unusual in its relation to violence in movies. It draws us into the violence. It draws us in as the film turns dark. There’s another type of humor that’s particularly kind of resonant in Indonesia, where the film has totally transformed the way that people have been talking about the past. There’s a kind of humor where the scenes become more and more surreal and more and more grotesque and more and more absurd, culminating in the scene at the waterfall, where Anwar dramatizes his vision of heaven. He fi nds himself in heaven surrounded by dancing girls, and his victims waiting for him with a medal and to thank him for killing them. It’s like the punch line for an entire regime. It’s an unmasking of the hypocrisy and all the moral rot that lies in the heart of a whole regime built on terror and lies and mass graves. What drew you to the story of Indonesia’s genocide? When I say I started this film with a community of survivors, it started with a commu-

pitch.com

Anwar Congo (above), made to appear as one of his victims, and his view of heaven (left) nity of plantation workers. I was documenting the abuse they face at the hands of a Belgianowned palm-oil, multinational conglomerate. There were women workers who desperately needed a union because they were forced by this Belgian company to spray a herbicide that was dissolving their livers and killing them in their 40s. They needed a union so they’d have protective clothing when they were spraying this chemical. They were afraid to organize a union because their parents and grandparents had been in a union and had been accused of being communist sympathizers, simply because they were in a union. They were afraid this could happen to them again. They make the palm oil that’s in our margarine, that’s in our soap and our shampoo. It’s a terrible situation, but it’s not an extraordinary one. Everything we buy comes from places like Indonesia, where’s there’s been mass violence, and the perpetrators have won. In their victory, they’ve kept the workers in fear and they’ve kept the human cost out of the price tag we pay. In that sense, we all depend on men like Anwar and his friends. We depend on this for our everyday living. This is not a distant reality on the other side of the world. This is the underbelly of our reality. It damages us. Just as Anwar and his friends have been damaged by killing people, we are damaged by living lives that depend on people who are killing people.

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FILM

HOUSE OF SID S

id Haig is pretty memorable. Everything about him presses on your senses, from his imposing 6-foot-4-inch height to the deep, soothing timbre of his voice. But it’s his work in horror movies that really shows — strike that — slaps you in the face and screams: I dare you to look away, asshole! Yet the film industry somehow forgot Haig. That is, until another striking figure — musician and midnight-movie auteur Rob Zombie — put E R MO him back onscreen as a killer clown a decade ago. Now, at 74, he’s a AT E N I ONL .COM genre icon and one of the PITCH lead attractions coming to Crypticon Kansas City Horror Convention this weekend. “There are so many people that thought House of 1000 Corpses was my fi rst fi lm,” says Haig, who hadn’t acted in a horror picture for years when writer-director Zombie cast him (alongside Karen Black, who died last week) in his 2003 bloodbath. Haig says he didn’t know why Zombie hired him until he attended the director’s wedding. “I was there talking with his brother,” Haig says, “and he [Zombie’s brother] said, ‘This is so weird.’ And I said, ‘What, the wedding?’ And he said, ‘No, standing here talking to you. When Rob and I were kids, we used to wake up every Saturday morning and watch Jason of Star Command.’ ” The brothers loved the surprisingly high-budget, Saturday-morning, kids TV show. “It used to scare the hell out of us,” Zombie’s brother told Haig. “It just so happened that I kept popping up in all the kind of fi lms that Rob liked to watch,” Haig says. “He said to himself, ‘If I ever get to direct a fi lm, I want that guy in it.’ And that’s how it all happened.” Haig traces his own affinity for horror to an obsession similar to the Zombie brothers’. “I must have been maybe 8 or 10 years old, and every Saturday, there was one of the classics. I grew up on Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff. Those were my guys.” By then, Haig knew that he wanted to act. He says his parents supported his interest in music and acting — to a point. But he may have delivered his fi rst big scare when he told his parents that he wanted to go to theater school. “Once they got over the shock of that, everything was fi ne,” he says. No one else in his family had ever chosen an artistic path. As Haig puts it: “I was the only crazy one in the family.”

FILM

Crypticon calls Captain Spaulding himself to duty this weekend.

BY

A BBIE S T U T Z E R

were really marketable. I just waited around and did my work, and eventually I got to work in horror.” Regardless of genre, though, Haig makes his choices based on the script. “Everything starts with the story,” he says. “I don’t always fi nd one because reality strikes and you have to pay the bills, and so you pick something to do that I’d not normally want to do. But it’s just a matter of necessity.” Haig also looks for directors who trust their actors. “I have been extremely fortunate in having been able to work with people who see the sensibility in what it is that I’m doing,” he says. “It works for them, and they just let me go. There are directors who get it, in terms of what their job is: to basically give the actor the director’s vision for what he wants. And then they just get out of the way and let you do your job.” His resurgence has brought him other kinds of roles, too. “It’s great now because I’m starting to get work in things other than Sid vicious: Haig is coming to Crypticon. horror,” Haig says. “It’s like working in an auto plant where all you do all day long is Haig spent time at the iconic Pasadena screw in a dome light in a car, and you like Playhouse, and he still cites a classic acting your job and you want to keep it, and you title — Acting Is Believing — as a foundation like the people that you work with. But it of his work. The lesson was right there on certainly isn’t something that pacifies. I’m the cover. The book, Haig says, “was the always up for the challenge.” greatest textbook on acting that had ever In fact, Haig hopes to one day direct a film been written because you never had to open about the Armenian genocide. “A full-blown the book.” He adds: “That’s it, plain and simple: If I believe it, you’ll believe it. That’s production of that, I think, would really go over well, and the story is every what I go for in what I do: bit as good as the story of what it is that the character Schindler’s List,” Haig says. wants and how to go about “I was the only “The material is there. It just getting it. And everything crazy one has to be put on a page, and goes from there.” in the family.” somebody has to be couIt didn’t take long for rageous enough to do it. I his distinctive look to grab would direct in a heartbeat.” attention from lovers of This weekend, though, it’s about the weirdo fi lms, critics and TV casting direcfans. Haig has worked the horror-convention tors. In 1964, he was unsettlingly goofy as circuit the past decade, and he still likes Ralph Merrye, the strange “brother” in Jack Hill’s Spider Baby. Hill hired Haig again for meeting fans. “We are a bunch of gypsies, just traveling around,” he says. “It’s a good what would become a quintessential blaxthing, and it keeps me off the street, and I ploitation fi lm, Foxy Brown. This time, he love it. We have made really good associaplayed a randy pilot yearning to get in Ms. tions with people along the way. These are Brown’s drawers. people that I can genuinely — genuinely — But today, people know him as House of call a friend. That’s important to me.” 1000 Corpses’ straggly, sickeningly lovable, incredibly deadly Captain Spaulding. That movie, along with Zombie’s The Devil’s Re- Sid Haig and a mass of other horror talents are at the Crypticon Kansas City Horror jects, a 2005 sequel, rebooted Haig’s career Convention, August 16–18, at the Ramada for a new generation of gore lovers. He had been unable to fi nd work in the Conference Center (1601 North Universal genre for a long while. “It was during that Avenue). For ticket information and times, time period where horror fi lms were basi- see crypticonkansascity.com. cally being looked down on,” Haig says. “The Hollywood elite didn’t think horror fi lms E-mail feedback@pitch.com

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CAFÉ

CHAPTER ONE

Ryan Brazeal opens his

BY

imaginative Novel on the West Side.

CHARLES FERRUZZA

Novel • 815 West 17th Street, 816-221-0785 • Hours: 5:30–10 p.m. Tuesday–Thursday, 5:30–11 p.m. Friday–Saturday, closed Sunday–Monday • Price: $$$

hef Ryan Brazeal’s five-week-old Novel is the most distinctive restaurant to open in the metro in a long time, and perhaps the most ambitious, too. But it doesn’t offer a perfect dining experience. Not yet. For one thing, the space itself — last known to eaters as the unconventional bistro called Lill’s on 17th — is impossibly petite. Novel’s size alone yields a few maddening eccentricities, some of which feel carried over from Lill’s. The spatial limitations of the main room still require that the tables be practically on top of one another. If you don’t mind triangulating your table’s conversation with that going on at the one next to yours, this isn’t a problem. (And if, in fact, you enjoy the occasional earful of overheard loose chatter, it’s even a boon.) But the quartet of characters behind my party one night E R MO not only couldn’t modulate conversational volume to the room’s inAT E N I ONL .COM timacy but also seemed H PITC to unconsciously quote complete passages from a Gordon Merrick book. It was too much for my senses on that visit (Merrick is too dull — give me Jacqueline Susann), but it’s also part of what has made Novel such an unexpected reward. The food is fascinating, and, often, so is the human soundtrack. Besides, Brazeal couldn’t have done much more to this unusual 19th-century building than he already has. Yes, his kitchen is now twice as big as what serviced Lill’s, but the structure, now paneled with salvaged wood, was never designed to be a restaurant, let alone a busy one. When it was Lill’s, the place felt like an exclusive clubhouse for the chatty owner, Trelle Osteen. She held court. The shy Brazeal, on the other hand, might be the least chatty restaurateur in the city. Novel’s ambience is altogether professional. On both of my visits to Novel, I was seated in the second-floor dining room, which is also cozy. The views from the nearly floorto-ceiling windows are charming, but the space makes for a tight squeeze on a bustling Saturday night. (It would make a fi ne office for a novelist.) The polished servers, overseen by manager Richard Garcia, formerly of Pachamama’s, in Lawrence, can intelligently explain every facet of every dish on the menu. Things can get awkwardly formal, though. I’m recalling the bread service, an involved production in

CAFÉ

ANGELA C. BOND

C

poached, breaded in flour and egg and cornmeal — and then fried. It’s served with slivers of tripe and marble-sized bacon hush puppies. Speaking of a peacock display. which a waiter presents a platter of Fervere to I asked my waitress about the breaded the table and uses tongs to proffer each slice. pig-head ravioli. “It’s the braised meat from It’s too much drama in too little square footage. the cheeks and jowls,” she explained. “You The theatrics are unnecessary. The food here is complex enough by itself, making full won’t be biting into pig brains or anything.” This was a comfort, but I needn’t have woruse of a palette of unexpected ingredients. The ried. Brazeal’s is the most elegant variation chilled corn soup is a good example, a very of fried ravioli you’ll ever taste, its golden un-Midwestern assortment of seaweed, clams and jalapeño that’s memorably satisfying. A squares nestled among ribbons of Missouri peaches and cabbage. salad of four different kinds of green beans Brazeal worked in several high-profile New gets a labor-intensive preparation (charred, York restaurants (including two years as sous blanched and pickled) before being jumbled chef in chef David Chang’s together with tissue-thin award-winning Momofuku slices of pink veal cheek. On Novel restaurant) before moving top: a sprinkle of chile-lime Breaded pig-head ravioli ....$8 back to Kansas City to open vinaigrette, made with boCrispy egg ............................$10 his own place. “I was looking nito flakes, and a crispy dustArctic char ...........................$21 for a space in the Crossroads ing of fried horseradish. This Duroc pork chop ............... $20 and an even smaller space is not your church-supper Ricotta gnocchi ...................$19 Panna cotta ..........................$8 than this one,” he told me. version of green-bean salad “I was thinking of a 40-seat (and, at Novel’s prices, you restaurant where I could shouldn’t expect it to be). cook by myself. But this place is 105 seats, and The local “foodie” contingent has already I’m more of the conductor of my kitchen staff.” descended upon Novel to give its imprimaBrazeal’s concentration shows. He has just tur to Brazeal’s gallery of picturesque plates. “The eggs used in the Crispy Egg starter come six entrée choices on the current menu, all from Peacock Farms,” one of them told me in of them beautiful. I’m partial to the Duroc pork chop, a moist cut slathered in a hearty such a reverent tone that I wondered for a moment whether she meant actual peacock eggs. ragu of pork belly that has been simmered in Thai chiles, Sichuan peppercorns and garlic. That crispy egg is another of Novel’s inBut high marks also go to a flaky hunk of novations: cooked in a water immersion,

Novel preparations at Novel: Arctic char (above) and green-bean salad

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golden, sautéed char, which arrives blanketed in smoked crème fraîche and dotted with pearly, translucent trout roe. Sauce is big here. Brazeal’s simple grilled f lank steak is a dainty portion of meat, adorned with a creamy béarnaise. The only meatless meal pours a rich, butter-heavy tomato sauce over airy pillows of housemade gnocchi — the best potato dumplings in the city right now. Even with that decadent sauce, the dish is still supple and soothing. The four dessert choices are a little precious. A firm circle of milky panna cotta sparkles under a pretty blanket of jellied sarsaparilla, but the swirl of apricot purée that surrounds the delicacy tastes to me a bit like Gerber’s baby food. Much better is the delicate square of flourless chocolate torte that comes drizzled with bourbon-flavored caramel and peanuts. It’s perfection. Brazeal designed the wine list himself, and the poetic descriptions (a French Muscadet is, the menu reports, “reminiscent of salty sea air”) are well-suited to a restaurant with literary pretensions. A Spanish-influenced cocktail list has been assembled by peripatetic bartender Vic Rodriguez (lately of the Jacobson), revealing his penchant for cherry. The bar (something Lill’s didn’t really have) is comfortable enough for dining and offers a terrific view of Brazeal and his cooks at work. An exhibition kitchen isn’t really a novelty anymore; here, though, it’s more of an engine room, and its positive energy vibrates through the building. Brazeal is a laid-back guy, but his restaurant isn’t. You wouldn’t think of coming here alone to eat at the bar with a good book. And why would you? Dinner at Novel tells a tale — or several — without turning a page.

Have a suggestion for a restaurant The Pitch should review? E-mail charles.ferruzza@pitch.com august 15-21, 2013

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21

FAT C I T Y

CHURCH SOCIAL

Grünauer’s Mark Church readies for another Paris of the Plains contest.

BY

JON AT H A N BENDER

P

GRAND OPENING

B R O O K E VA N D E V E R

CHINESE • SUSHI • MONGOLIAN

eople have been coming to this Freight House’s Church for the past four years. A good ear. A bit of absolution. A sip of wine. “What’s going on? How’s the day shift?” Mark Church asks two women who melt into their stools just after 4:30 p.m. at Grünauer’s Wunderbar. The women are both dressed in black shirts and pants. They’re drinking after their shifts as servers at another restaurant. “Terrible. Our air conditioner is broken,” one of them tells Church. Her cheeks are the rosy pink of a kid on the playground. “But it feels so good in here.” “Your makeup looks OK,” Church says. “You guys can just go in the walk-in [cooler] if you need to.” They laugh. Church pours. Before talking with me on this Wednesday afternoon, Church, 27, slides a steel church key out of his pocket and places it on the bar table in front of him. A Kansas City artist made the bottle opener for him and engraved his name wash, which Church and fellow bar manager Scott Beskow (who was a longtime fixture on the handle. at M&S Grill) regularly use to flavor drinks “Church on a church key,” he says. “It at Grünauer with the essence and flavor of seems appropriate.” It’s made from the same steel as airplane beef or pork or any other protein the kitchen has on hand. cladding, so it has been hard on his H&M “You add the oil to a spirit, shake the hell jeans. His white shirt, the sleeves rolled to out of it, and then throw it in the freezer and crisp cuffs at the elbow, and gray vest are let chemistry do its work,” Church says. “You neatly pressed. His tie knot and his stubble can pick off the fat, and then you get all the are just at the far edge of casual professionflavor without it being heavy or having to add alism: that cultivated look of uncalculated extra liqueur.” effortlessness. It’s a bar strategy that features only one Church is among the favorites heading or two spirits but plenty of infusions and into this weekend’s seventh annual Paris of the Plains Cocktail Festival. But first, the spice components. But Church expects to winner of the 2010 contest — it was known encounter equally innovative ideas during the competition. then as the Greater Kansas City Bartend“There are some really good dark horses,” ing Competition — has to track down some he says. “There’s Scott Tipton at the Kill Devil Japanese citrus. Club. There’s Paige [Unger of Extra Virgin]. “I’m still trying to find enough yuzu to make She’s a perfectionist, so she 150 cocktails,” Church says. makes great competition “And I’ve got to play around Paris of the Plains drinks. I would like to put with spherification because Bartending myself up as a dark horse, I’m making Pernod caviar.” Competition but everybody is shooting In a clear departure 6–10 p.m. Sunday, August 25, for Beau [Williams of the from the world of schnitzel, at the Uptown Theater, 3700 forthcoming Hawthorne & Church is making a drink inBroadway. For tickets ($20), Julep]. He’s probably the best spired by sushi, Seattle rain, see popfestkc.com. bartender in the city and he’s and a passage from Japanese been second and third. He’s fiction. “There was a description of peace that was probably the favorite.” I ask Church to make me a drink, and he after the rain but before the storm,” he says, mixes me two. The first involves a shrub made recalling a moment from a Haruki Murakami with strawberries steeped with black peppernovel. corn, white balsamic and balsamic vinegar. After the Rain But Before the Storm is made with yuzu, maple syrup, Strega, and wasabi- It’s usually served with gin, but Church opts for mescal (he has been drinking it regularly oil-infused Beefeater gin. Church has rendered the gin through a process known as a fat mixed with grapefruit Jarritos on Sundays at

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Church is always glad to have another regular. Port Fonda) and adds orange cream citrate in lieu of bitters or juice. The second drink is what Church dubs the Penultimate Order — a riff on the classic Last Word. It has Rittenhouse Rye (Church likes the punch from the higher proof), Byrrh (fortified wine), Génépy des Alpes, and lime juice. “This is making rye a way to start a meal rather than finish it,” he tells me. “It’s turning rye into an aperitif.” One of the black-clad servers returns to the bar. “Could I get another?” she asks, gesturing to her empty wineglass. “I’m sorry, though — could I get it with a bit of ice?” “Stop it. You’re fine,” Church says, then pours her a chardonnay with ice. This is why people like it here. Church has carefully assembled Grünauer’s wine list, sourced from Europe, but he’s more than willing to plop a couple of frozen cubes of water if that’s what makes you happy. “It’s not how I want it,” he says. “It’s how the guest wants it.” As the clock rolls toward 5 p.m., he shuttles back and forth from the bar to five tables. Church brings two glasses of water to a pair of women staring at the menu like it’s a pop quiz. “I have no idea what I want today,” one of them says. “That’s OK,” Church replies. “We close at 1:30 a.m., so you have time.” The women laugh. He pours. Church is in session.

E-mail jonathan.bender@pitch.com

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23

MUSIC

SCAM ARTIST

Phil Diamond, punk crooner

he plural nature of the name Scammers implies a group, but it’s just one guy — Phil Diamond — plus a Boss pedal, a looper and sometimes a synthesizer. On a Saturday night in late June, Diamond was setting up his rig on the floor upstairs at MiniBar. He wore denim shorts and a Southwestern-style tank top that revealed his tattoo-covered arms. A punk-heavy crowd of about 30 gathered in his general vicinity. Eventually, a programmed drum-and-synth beat rang out from the speakers, red and green lights started flashing on the looper, and Diamond stood up and brought his microphone to his face. Diamond has a gentle demeanor and kind blue eyes, but as Scammers, his performances are confrontational and vaguely sexual. There is humor, but there is also darkness. When the loop came back around, he charged into the crowd and sang the entire first verse right up in a random guy’s face while contorting his body around him. Later, pogoing around the crowd, Diamond knocked a full beer out of another man’s hand, drenching a few audience members. After the song was over, Diamond crouched over his equipment to queue up the next song. He looked over his shoulder. “Sorry to whoever’s beer I spilled,” he said. “I might be able to — uh, in theory, I can maybe get you a new beer.” “Punk crooning” is the simplest way to describe a Scammers show. Diamond flails about, singing dense, literal lyrics in a sultry, dramatic baritone. He favors the kind of intimate environments where he can touch the crowd: house shows and DIY venues like the Pistol Social Club, the now-shuttered West Bottoms space where he landed upon arriving from New Orleans, back in 2010. “I lived at the Pistol for the last two months it was open,” Diamond told me recently. “In New Orleans, I worked at a coffee shop with Aaron Hawn, who was in a KC band called Mythical Beast, and he suggested I move up to KC. He put me in touch with some people, and that’s how I ended up here. The Pistol was kind of my intro to KC.” Diamond grew up in Charlottesville, Virginia, and studied classical guitar at Virginia Commonwealth University. But he didn’t like the classes and dropped out. “I thought it would be more of a conservatory atmosphere, but it was more homework-oriented,” he said. By the time he got to KC, he had ditched the guitar. “Really, I’m a guitar player,” he said. “But I came to feel like I couldn’t sustain a band by myself by just playing guitar. So I bought a cheap drum machine and figured out how to make some songs with it.” In 2011, as Scammers, Diamond released

24

the pitch

august 15-21, 2013

BARRETT EMKE

T

Diamond in our rough the Crucial Sesh EP. It’s a rough recording; Diamond does a lot of morose talk-singing over cheap-sounding drumbeats. “I think I was writing as if I didn’t have my own sound,” Diamond said of that period. “I was taking a lot of phrasing from other bands I liked, specifically Interpol.” But a few things on Crucial Sesh work. “Legitimately Poor” is the kind of bleak, uncomfortable listen that ends up getting lodged in your head. Its confessionals — Don’t ask me what it means/I hate all of my tattoos/I was trying to look unapproachable; No I don’t have a car/It’s not ’cause I’m some sort of vegan or hippie/I’m legitimately poor — are specific and direct, and Diamond’s delivery is chilling. It’s not a song you’d put on a mix, but it hints at an original voice. “I think people have generally given up on lyrics, except in rap and hip-hop,” Diamond said. “I try to be really honest and not use the kinds of stock phrases that nobody would ever say in 2013 — things like, I love you so, or whatever.” Diamond’s next move was Magic Carpet Ride, a sort of concept record about the movie Aladdin. (There are, naturally, some sexual undertones; one track is called “Rub My Lamp,” and the cover is a subtle depiction of an oralsex scene blended into a Persian rug.) Crucial Sesh feels like it was conceived and recorded in a few days. Magic Carpet Ride does not. On opener “Blue Satin,” the arrangements are immediately more thoughtful, and there are more moments that you might even identify as melodies. “A Whole New World” has a Talking Heads groove running through it. Most noticeably, Diamond sings with more confidence. He credits Nick Banister, who has recorded vocals for every Scammers record

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since Magic Carpet Ride, with bringing his voice out of the punk gutter. “I just give him my tracks. He has a higher-quality way of doing vocals,” Diamond said. Lillerne Tapes, a tape label in Lawrence, took notice of Magic Carpet Ride and did a limited-edition release of it. Since then, every Scammers album has come out on a trendy, obscure label outside the Midwest. Conventions, from 2012, was released by Copenhagen’s Skrot Up. Scammers’ most recent, Cover You, is out via Portland, Oregon, label Field Hymns. Diamond has a September deadline for a new record for Jehu & Chinaman, a U.K. label. “I had lived in KC for a few years, and I often missed what I felt was a small but insanely creative and fun music/party scene,” said Gabe Holcombe, of Lillerne Tapes. “I thought Scammers totally embodied that feeling of catharsis and the letting go of inhibitions. I like that Phil is constantly producing music, playing shows and going on tours. Everything he does is honest and real. He just represents everything that I like about the current DIY scene at large.” “I heard about Phil from some Finnish friends who were road-trippin’ around the U.S.,” said Ishmael Isenglass, of Skrot Up. “They’d seen Phil perform in a basement or a backyard at a friend’s house somewhere in Kansas. What attracted me to Scammers was the uncompromising approach to expressing his personal vision of what grandiose pop should sound like.” Diamond says he has been struggling lately with what direction to take Scammers. “I tend to bounce between wanting to be dance-y and fun at live shows and wanting to do heartfelt, ballad-y stuff for recordings,” he said. “But I’m running out of dance songs that I like. The new stuff is going in a darker direction, I think, but with maybe more of a club feel to it. Some of my stuff in the past has been almost too literal, so

BY

D AV ID HUDN A L L

I’m trying to pull that back a little on new stuff because the new stuff is just so close to home.” At the moment, Diamond is settling back into KC. (He moved to Los Angeles earlier this year but ended up returning after a week; a woman was involved.) He did a 20-date U.S. tour in the spring, and has been planning another one. He estimates that he has been around the country about 10 times already. “I have a handful of cities where I’ve gotten to the point that the draws are pretty good,” he said. “Chicago, Minneapolis, Denver, L.A., Missoula, KC.” As Scammers’ MiniBar set in June was winding down, Diamond started in on probably his best song to date: “Cover Me,” from his Cover You album. He backed into a loadbearing wall and writhed against it, singing, And maybe one day you will be proud to say/I used to work with him/I knew Phil Diamond/ And he was a jerk. Two newcomers shot each other arched eyebrows. Diamond yowled on: Gluten-free everything, gluten-free everything, gluten-free everything. Eventually, he placed his microphone on the floor near his gear and walked out past the crowd and around the corner. The looped beat echoed over the speakers for another couple of minutes, but Diamond had already said everything he had come to say.

E-mail david.hudnall@pitch.com

J A Z Z B E AT HAROLD O’NEAL TRIO AT THE BLUE ROOM

Harold O’Neal grew up in Kansas City and attended the Paseo Academy of the Arts. Bobby Watson mentored him. So did Ahmad Alaadeen. He has toured the world and performed with Bono, and been interviewed on NPR and reviewed by The New York Times. But he still has love for his hometown. Two years ago, O’Neal spent New Year’s Eve leading the overnight jam session at the Mutual Musicians Foundation, at 18th Street and Highland — because they asked him to. O’Neal’s piano can ride the back of bebop or carry you on a classically tinged journey with intricacies that capture your attention and astound. And Saturday night, O’Neal makes a too-rare return to KC to perform with his trio at the Blue Room. —LARRY KOPITNIK Harold O’Neal Trio, 8:30 p.m.–12:30 a.m. Saturday, August 17, at the Blue Room (1600 East 18th Street, 816-474-8463), $15 cover

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august 15-21, 2013

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25

KNUCKLEHEADS F re e S h u tt le in S u rr o u n d in g A reth e a

AUGUST:

14: Outlaw Jim & The Whiskey Benders 15: Courtney Patton 15: Dana Fuchs w/ Shannon Whitworth 16: Levee Town live CD recording

16: ASLEEP AT THE WHEEL

17: Wayne(the Train) Hancock, DekeDickerson & The Rumblejetts 18: Dean Alexander @ 8pm $10 in advance 21: CeeCee James 22: Gaelic Storm w/ Head for the Hills 23: Jimmie Bratcher 23: Corey Stevens

AUGUST 24th, 2013 Devil Doll

w/ Hillbilly CASINO

For more info & tickets: knuckleheadskc.com

2715 Rochester, KCMO

816-483-1456

26

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august 15-21, 2013

MUSIC

EYES ON THE PRIZE

Hobnobbing at the 2013 Pitch Music Awards

BY

D AV ID HUDN A L L

A

bout a month ago, I foolishly agreed to introduce some nominees and winners at this year’s Pitch Music Awards, held last Sunday night at the Uptown Theater. I would be onstage only a few minutes, but still I spent the better part of last week filled with great dread about it. By the time Sunday rolled around, I was outwardly irritable, snapping at friends and slow grocery sackers. “I hadn’t realized we invited Mr. Crabby to dinner,” a friend said as I sat brooding over our preshow meal. It was then suggested that we leave the restaurant and try to forget that the meal had ever happened. Backstage at the show, I tracked down host Eric “Mean” Melin and tried to impart to him that the less time I spent speaking onstage, the smoother the evening would go. Unlike me, Melin is gregarious and likable, so he just laughed and told me not to worry about it, that we'd just banter a little before I announced the nominees. “I don’t think you’re quite hearing me,” I said, my eyes narrowing. “I am not cut on paper, but they killed it. We did not give out for improvisational banter. I mumble. out an award for Most Progressive Fashion I am not very smart. I am a slow thinker. I Aesthetic, but Conquerors would have won it. There is some serious style boundary-pushing can’t even write fast. I’m a bad writer, and going on in that band. I would look like an nobody likes me.” unemployed dad circa 1992 in some of those Melin laughed again and slapped me on outfits, but they all look like the back. “It’ll be funny,” rock stars. Respect. he said, and walked off. Winners of the 2013 • Apparently, there’s “Everyone is going to Pitch Music Awards something of a feud going regret this!” I yelled after Americana/Bluegrass: The Grisly Hand on between 96.5 the Buzz him, but he wasn’t listenAvant-Garde: Jorge Arana Trio and Alice 102.1? I don’t have ing anymore. Blues: Trampled Under Foot a functioning radio in my I paced around for the Country/Rockabilly: The Rumblejetts car — my car situation grows next half-hour, and when DJ: Sheppa more hopelessly bleak with my time came, it went about Emerging Act: She’s a Keeper the passing of each day — as I thought it would: I was Garage: The Empty Spaces but as it has been told to briefly heckled; I made a Hip-Hop: Reach me, some Buzz people tore dumb joke that bombed; Jazz Ensemble: The People’s Liberation down some Alice banners I spoke too close to the Big Band at a fundraising event a few microphone; and I got the Jazz Solo: Mark Lowrey months ago. At the Awards hell offstage as soon as posLive Act: TIE! Hearts of Darkness show, I saw somebody run sible. That a long cane didn’t and Cowboy Indian Bear onstage and tear down an materialize to yank me from Metal/Hard Rock: Hammerlord Alice banner. (Alice was a the audience’s scornful gaze Pop: The ACBs sponsor of the show.) That seemed a small miracle. Punk: Pizza Party Massacre didn’t seem very nice to But there I go, making Reggae: The New Riddim me, so I went backstage to everything about me again. Rock: Not a Planet tell the stage manager. I was The Pitch Music Awards, of Singer-Songwriter (Female): then informed that the vancourse, is about our fine La Guerre dalism was a comedy bit, a local-music community, of Singer-Songwriter (Male): Erik Voeks rehearsed part of the show. which I am grateful to be a “Are you even paying attentiny part, and Sunday night tion to the show?” he asked me, shooing me was a fun celebration of it. Following are some down the hall. “Don’t you have some other memories of the party people to bother?” • Conquerors opened with a couple of • When Not a Planet won the Rock category, psych jams, including one with a funky regthe three members were followed onstage gae bounce to it. That sounds like a bad look ANGELA C. BOND

WHERE THE BEST MUSICIANS IN THE WORLD PLAY

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What a natural performer looks like onstage. by a gushing fan who held her hands to her mouth as if she had just touched a Beatle. “Who the fuck is that?” I said. Nobody knew. I wondered if she, too, was a comedy bit, but I was too scared to ask. • There was a brief appearance by the Royals’ “Fountain Lady.” I’m pretty sure she introduced the Punk nominees, although she was slurring so badly, it was hard to know for certain. • All the presenters other than me did a great job: Paul Chandler of Alice 102; Steve Tulipana and Shawn Sherrill of RecordBar; Tim and Dallas Gutschenritter of the Riot Room; Michael Mackie and Michelle Davidson of Kansas City Live; and elder statesmen Jim Suptic and Ryan Pope of the Get Up Kids. • Grand Marquis’ hot jazz is as hot as ever, 15 years into the band’s existence. It was cool to have such a seasoned local band perform a couple of numbers in the middle of the show. • Cherokee Rock Rifle went on last and blew the roof off the place with a cover of “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor. The song was so torqued, Melin stormed the stage and accompanied the band with some impromptu air-guitar stylings. The dude just can’t help himself. The band was rightly awarded a standing ovation when it was all through. Related: For next year’s awards show, we are planning a re-creation of the James Brown-Carl Weathers performance of “Living in America” from Rocky IV. Hope to see everybody there next August!

E-mail david.hudnall@pitch.com

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august 15-21, 2013

M U S I C F O R E CA S T Sound Tribe Sector 9 has been fucking around with computers and dance music since Skrillex was getting wedgies out on the playground. The Santa Cruz, California, quintet started on the periphery of the jam-band scene, but as the popularity of electronic music in the United States has skyrocketed, so has that of STS9. The group also integrates live instrumentation into its space-funk EDM. Umphrey’s McGee is a more traditional, Phish-like jam band. The Chicago six-piece has a propensity for extended instrumental solos and a keen interest in heavier prog-rock ideas, like a less formal Genesis. Wednesday, August 21, at Crossroads KC at Grinders (417 East 18th Street, 785-749-3434)

Local country radio station Q104 has assembled a sturdy modern-country lineup for its annual Y’allapalooza party. Headlining is The X Factor season-two winner (and Beltonite) Tate Stevens. He’s joined by Aaron Lewis, the former lead singer of 1990s buttrock act Staind. Lewis has since sold the tiny sliver that remained of his soul and performs cynical, politically pandering redneck anthems about God, guns and government. Rounding out the bill is the Henningsens, a Nashville country trio better known for the hits it has written for the Band Perry: “You Lie” and “All Your Life.” Saturday, August 17, at Starlight Theatre (4600 Starlight Road, 816-363-7827)

Toad the Wet Sprocket

Because of the group’s ridiculous name, it’s easy to lump Toad the Wet Sprocket in with ’90s one-hit wonders like, say, Deadeye Dick or Dishwalla. But it’s wrong to do so. A lot of radio-friendly alternative music from that era sounds dumb today, but Toad’s melodic fusion of folk pop and alt rock holds up. Hits like “Walk on the Ocean” and “All I Want” — as

D AV ID HUDN A L L

drop along the way today. Cosmic folk-rockers Sonny & the Sunsets open. Friday, August 16, at the Granada (1020 Massachusetts, Lawrence, 785-842-1390)

STS9, with Umphrey’s McGee

Y’allapalooza

BY

Bob Mould, with the Pedaljets

Kurt Vile well as nearly the entirety of 1994’s critically underrated Dulcinea — have strong enough structural foundations to charm despite their dated production aesthetics. The band is touring to promote its new album, New Constellation (its first since 1997’s Coil), and guess what: I like the title-track single, an upbeat, harmony-laden college-rock song that more or less picks up where the band left off. Friday, August 16, at the Uptown Theater (3700 Broadway, 816-753-8665)

Kurt Vile and the Violators

Kurt Vile’s latest, Wakin on a Pretty Daze, is not the most dazzling or inventive record of 2013, but it’s the one I’ve listened to more than any other. Like its predecessor, Smoke Ring for My Halo, Daze showcases Vile’s knack for gorgeous, wandering acousticdriven rock songs. Vile mumbles a lot and favors stream-of-consciousness lyrics, which can scan along the slacker-stoner spectrum. But that’s mostly a ruse. He’s soulful and bright as hell, and a lot of his stuff sticks like Super Glue: Risin’ at the crack of the dawn/ I gotta think about what wisecrack I’m gonna

F O R E C A S T

KC’s Pedaljets recently released What’s in Between, their first album of new material in 20 years, which hearkens back to their glory days in the 1980s underground. Back then, they shared an aesthetic with breakthrough Minneapolis acts like the Replacements and Hüsker Dü. Headlining here is Bob Mould, who was a founding member of the latter. Mould wears a lot of hats these days: professionalwrestling enthusiast, outspoken gay bear, The Daily Show theme-song writer. He’s still making solid music, too. His solo albums (the most recent of which is 2012’s Silver Age) are reliable listening for fans of ’90s alt rock. Friday, August 16, at the Bottleneck (737 New Hampshire, Lawrence, 785-841-5483)

The Aristocrats

The Aristocrats — guitarist Guthrie Govan, bassist Bryan Beller and drummer Marco Minnemann — are a trio of virtuoso musicians who play technically precise songs that blend prog rock and jazz fusion. I’d rather eat a pine cone than sit through even an hour of this, but if you’re the type to watch Steve Vai videos on YouTube, this one’s all you. Tuesday, August 20, at RecordBar (1020 Westport Road, 816-753-5207)

The Rainmakers, with the Nace Brothers

Two local, long-running roots-rock acts team up for an evening of late-summer outdoor fun. What’s that? It’s also free? All the better. Friday, August 16, at Crossroads KC at Grinders (417 East 18th Street, 785-749-3434)

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AGENDA

continued from page 13

Thursday | 8.15|

Mark Lowrey | Green Lady Lounge, 1809 Grand Mammoth Life, Karma Vision, Haunt Anata | Jackpot

ART EXHIBITS & EVENTS

FRIDAY

8.16

Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera and the Masterpieces of Mexico | Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art,

4525 Oak

ould is Bob M rence. w in La

LITERARY EVENTS

“American Cybersecurity Policy After the Snowden Affair” | David Fidler, UMKC Law

Music Hall, 943 Massachusetts, Lawrence

Will Matthews with Lloyd Wilson | The Blue Room,

1616 E. 18th St.

Lonnie McFadden | 4:30 p.m., The Phoenix, 302 W. Eighth St.

Bob Mould, the Pedaljets | The Bottleneck, 737 New Hampshire, Lawrence

School, 500 E. 52nd St.

The Rainmakers, the Nace Brothers | Crossroads KC

The Lost Cause: The Trials of Frank and Jesse James: author James P. Muehlberger | Kansas City

at Grinders, 417 E. 18th St.

Public Library, Plaza Branch, 4801 Main

Ruskin Quartet | Jazz, 1859 Village West Pkwy., KCK

MUSIC

The Sluts | Replay Lounge, 946 Massachusetts, Lawrence

Cloud Dog, My Boyfriend on Vinyl, Mammoth Life, DJ Nartan | 9 p.m., the Brick, 1727 McGee

MORE

The Transients | Fuel, 7300 W. 119th St., Overland Park

Feel Good with Bvngs X Butchez , Crownzsoundz,

EVENTS

Strap Back, Sehorn and AT Dreadheadedslut |The BotINE ONL .COM tleneck, 737 New Hampshire, PITCH Lawrence

Dana Fuchs with Shannon Whitworth | Knuckleheads, 2715 Rochester

Isayah Warford’s All-Stars | Trouser Mouse, 410 S. Hwy. 7, Blue Springs

A.J. Finney | 8 p.m., Stanford’s Comedy Club, 1867 Village West Pkwy., KCK

Free Form Free For All Open Mic with Teague Hayes | 8 p.m., Coda, 1744 Broadway

Grand Marquis | Jazz, 1823 W. 39th St.

Geeks Who Drink Pub Quiz | 8 p.m., the Chester-

M-Bird Songwriter’s Showcase with Megan Birdsall | The Uptown Arts Bar, 3611 Broadway

Trivia Clash | 7 p.m., RecordBar, 1020 Westport Rd.

field, 1400 Main

Melting Point of Bronze | Replay Lounge, 946 Massachusetts, Lawrence

The Bikinis | 7:30 p.m., American Heartland Theatre,

2450 Grand

The Randy Rogers Band | KC Live Stage at the Power & Light District, 14th St. and Grand.

Hello, Dolly! | Musical Theater Heritage, 6 p.m., Off Center Theatre, 2450 Grand

Storm Circus, the Blackbird Revue | Czar, 1531 Grand

Picnic | Kansas City Actors Theatre, 7:30 p.m., H&R

3402 Main

Tumbleweed Warriors, the Family Bed | The Granada, 1020 Massachusetts, Lawrence

Block City Stage, 30 W. Pershing Rd.

Tempest: Shakespeare’s Deathless Revenge Tragedy | 8 p.m., Just Off Broadway Theatre, 3051 Central

Friday | 8.16 | ART EXHIBITS & EVENTS

NIGHTLIFE

Visually Sound: (In)Formal Compositions , an installation of new paintings by Justin Beachler | Vinyl Renaissance & Audio, 1415 W. 39th St.

Cocktail Club with DJ Highnoone | Empire Room,

PERFORMING ARTS

Tommy Davidson | 8 p.m., Improv Comedy Club and

English Bawdy Songs from the 16th–18th Centuries with Victor Penniman | The Uptown Arts Bar,

334 E. 31st St.

Dinner Theater, 7260 N.W. 87th St.

3611 Broadway

30

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the pitch

august 15-21, 2013

Bram Wijnands Trio | 7 p.m., the Majestic Restaurant,

931 Broadway

Gretchen Wilson | Whiskey Tango, 401 S.E. Outer Belt Rd., Grain Valley

American Discord album-release show with Royal Dead, Itching Regret, KC Thieves | Davey’s Uptown Ramblers Club, 3402 Main

Asleep at the Wheel with Dennis Gruenling & Doug Deming | Knuckleheads, 2715 Rochester The Burdock King , Loves It, Tony Ladesich | The

Brick, 1727 McGee

F E S T I VA L S

Crypticon Kansas City | 5–10 p.m., Ramada Conference Center, 1601 Universal Ave. Through Sunday. Ethnic Enrichment Festival | 6–10 p.m., Swope Park, Meyer Boulevard and Swope Parkway. Through Sunday. NIGHTLIFE

Mike White Quartet | The Blue Room | 1616 E. 18th St.

Brodioke | 9 p.m., Bulldog, 1715 Main

MUSIC

T H E AT E R

Steve Rigazzi Trio | Green Lady Lounge, 1809 Grand

Tiki Boys | Davey’s Uptown Ramblers Club,

French Cabaret with Beth Byrd and Belleville

The Uptown Arts Bar, 3611 Broadway

Allie Burik Ensemble | Take Five Coffee + Bar, 5336 W. 151st St., Overland Park

Brodioke | 9 p.m., Bulldog, 1715 Main

Chevelle | KC Live Stage at the Power & Light District,

Tommy Davidson | 8 & 10:30 p.m., Improv Comedy

Cryin’ Out Loud Honky Tonk | Replay Lounge, 946

Chris Holmberg | 9 p.m., Kick Comedy Theater, 4010

Gentleman Savage, Sleepy Kitty, the Empty Spaces,

Late-night jam session | 1 a.m., Mutual Musicians Foundation, 1823 Highland Ave.

Patrick Gilbert | 5 p.m., the Majestic Restaurant, 931

Trivia Riot with Roland | 7:30 p.m., Helen’s Just Another Dive, 2002 Armour Rd., North Kansas City

14th St. and Grand

Massachusetts, Lawrence

Rev Gusto | Czar, 1531 Grand

Broadway

Grand Marquis | The Chesterfield, 1400 Main

Club and Dinner Theater, 7260 N.W. 87th St.

Pennsylvania

SPORTS

Dave Hays Blues Band | B.B.’s Lawnside BBQ, 1205

The GRAND-AM Sports Car Series | Kansas

Indigo Hour with Just a Taste of Jazz | The Blue

Kansas City Chiefs vs. San Francisco 49ers |

E. 85th St.

Room, 1616 E. 18th St.

Speedway, 400 Speedway Blvd., KCK

7 p.m., Arrowhead Stadium

98285.4 – Weekly NkC~VooDoo louNge PriNt – 08-15-2013 Rub o’ the Green Golf Tournament | 8 a.m., Sunflower Hills

Golf Course, 12200 Riverview Rd., Bonner Springs T H E AT E R

The Bikinis | 8 p.m., American Heartland Theatre, 2450 Grand

FRIDAY

8.16

ns con ru Crypti ay. h Su n d g u o r th

Hello, Dolly! | Musical Theater Heri-

tage, 8 p.m., Off Center Theatre, 2450 Grand

Picnic | Kansas City Actors Theatre, 7:30 p.m., H&R Block City Stage, 30 W. Pershing Rd. Tempest: Shakespeare’s Deathless Revenge Tragedy | 8 p.m., Just Off Broadway Theatre, 3051 Central

Saturday | 8.17 |

robert Cray august 23, 2013

KPrs Presents: wHite linen Party september 1, 2013

dave Mason

eddie GriFFin

Hinder & Candlebox

tHunder FroM down under

On Sale Friday

On Sale Friday

ART EXHIBITS & EVENTS

About Face | Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, 4525 Oak Americana | 10 a.m.–5 p.m., Northland Exposure Artists Gallery, 110 Main, Parkville Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera and the Masterpieces of Mexico | Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, 4525 Oak Visually Sound: (In)Formal Compositions, an

installation of new paintings by Justin Beachler | Vinyl Renaissance & Audio, 1415 W. 39th St. MUSIC

Amass the Grave, Lucid Existence, Demise, Waltz of the Rabid, Night Creation, Species, Insomniac, Limits, Origins, Somewhere in Hiding, the Lovely Madames of Anarchy | 5 p.m., the Granada, 1020 Massachusetts, Lawrence Billy Ebeling and the Late for Dinner Band | Jazz,

1859 Village West Pkwy., KCK

The Jerry Garcia Memorial Stomp with Brother Bagman and Buttermilk Boys | 6:30 p.m., Davey’s

Mouth, 3 Son Green | 8 p.m. The Bottleneck, 737 New Hampshire, Lawrence Outlaws for Paws With Wayne “the Train” Hancock, Deke Dickerson with the Rumblejetts and

the Green Goddammits | 2 p.m., Knuckleheads, 2715 Rochester

Late-night jam session | 1 a.m., Mutual Musicians Foundation, 1823 Highland Ave. Paul Peress and Danny Draher | 9 p.m., B.B.’s Lawnside BBQ, 1205 E. 85th St.

Johnny Rampage | Shots, 11703 E. 23rd St., Independence

Chad Rogers Memorial Show with Jake Turner, the Old Crows, Atlas, Matt Pryor of the Get Up Kids, We Are Voices, Six Percent | 5 p.m., the Midland, 1228 Main

Uptown Ramblers Club, 3402 Main

RYZE | 6 p.m., Czar, 1531 Grand

Grand Marquis | 9 p.m. Barley’s Brewhaus, 11924 W.

Simple Lines, This Is My Condition, Olivetti Letter |

Max Groove Trio | 9 p.m., Green Lady Lounge, 1809

The Spinners, the Emotions | 8 p.m., Kemper Arena,

119th St., Overland Park

The Brick, 1727 McGee

Grand

1800 Genessee

Havok, Troglodyte, Dogs of Delphi, the Cast Pattern | 8

Wonderfuzz | Kelly’s Westport Inn, 500 Westport Rd.

p.m. The Riot Room, 4048 Broadway

Bryan Hicks Quartet | 8 p.m., Take Five Coffee + Bar, 5336 W. 151st St., Overland Park Marbin with Jake Briscoe | Trouser Mouse, 410 S.

october 24 , 2013

november 30, 2013

uPCoMinG sHows: 8/16

Flirt Friday

8/30

Kilroy Presents: rebella rising

8/17

siP Presents: revive

8/31

8/24

siP Presents: revive

ultimate Karaoke summer series, round 3!

12/8

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Brookside Farmers Market | 8 a.m.–1 p.m., Border

Hwy. 7, Blue Springs

Star Montessori, 6321 Wornall

Maria the Mexican | 9 p.m., the Kill Devil Club, 61

City Market | 6:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., 205 E. Fifth St. continued on page 32

E. 14th St.

september 21, 2013

september 15, 2013

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8/9/13 3:20 PM

Opera Supper | 6:30 p.m., Californos, 4124 Penn-

continued from page 31 Downtown Overland Park Farmers Market | 6:30 a.m.–1 p.m., between 79th and 80th streets

Grand Court Farmers Market | 10 a.m.–1 p.m., Grand

Court Retirement Center, 501 W. 107th St.

KC Organics and Natural Market | 8 a.m.– 12:30 p.m., Minor Park, Holmes at Red Bridge Rd.

sylvania

FRIDAY

8.16

Kasey Rausch and Jessica Furney | 9 p.m. MiniBar, 3810 Broadway

Waldo Jazz Collective | 7–10 p.m., the Piano Room,

ke iefs ta The Ch 9ers. 4 e th on

8410 Wornall

Wretched, ABIOTIC, Allegeaon, Rivers of Nihill, Sedic Ossuary, A Plague in Faith | 7 p.m., the Riot Room, 4048 Broadway

Troostwood Youth Garden Market, 9 a.m.– 3 p.m., 5142 Paseo

FOOD & DRINK NIGHTLIFE

A Romantic Affäre — Opera the 24 | 7 p.m., Affäre, 1911 Main

Art of the Tease with the Vibe Tribe KC | 8 p.m., the Uptown Arts Bar, 3611 Broadway

KCK Greenmarket | 7:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Juniper Gardens, 100 Richmond Ave., KCK

Tommy Davidson | 7 & 10 p.m., Improv Comedy Club and Dinner Theater, 7260 N.W. 87th St.

NIGHTLIFE

A.J. Finney | 7:45 & 9:45 p.m., Stanford’s Comedy Club, 1867 Village West Pkwy., KCK

F*#%ing Catalina Wine Mixer, featuring the Captains of Industry and DJ Allen Michael | The Jones Pool,

10 E. 13th St.

Gossip at Reserve Bar | 8 p.m., Ambassador Hotel,

1111 Grand

COMMUNITY EVENTS

Sly’s Rock the Block Party, 4 p.m., Union Station, 30 W. Pershing Rd.

MUSIC

FOOD & DRINK

Dean Alexander | 8 p.m., Knuckleheads, 2715 Rochester

Bluestem Summer Barbecue | 4–8 p.m.

The Black House Quartet | 8 p.m., RecordBar, 1020

City Market | 8 a.m.–3 p.m., 205 E. Fifth St.

Dan Bliss | Jazz, 1823 W. 39th St.

Kansas City Vaad Kosher BBQ Competition and Festival | 12–4 p.m., B’nai Jehudah, 12320 Nall, Leawood

Rural Grit Happy Hour | 6-9 p.m., the Brick, 1727

SPORTS

Uptown Comedy Night with Norm Dexter | 10 p.m.,

Westport Rd.

LA Fahy CD-release show with Tyler Gregory | 6 p.m. Replay Lounge, 946 Massachusetts, Lawrence

FC Kansas City vs. Chicago Red Stars | 3:10 p.m.,

Mark Lowrey jazz jam | 6 p.m., the Majestic Restaurant, 931 Broadway

Shawnee Mission North Stadium, 7401 Johnson Dr., Overland Park

Peter Frampton’s Guitar Circus, with B.B. King

Jackson County Triathlon | Longview Lake,

SPORTS

Dead Girl Derby: Silence of the Jams, 5–10 p.m., Hale Arena, 1701 American Royal Ct.

& Sonny Landreth | 7 p.m., Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, 1601 Broadway

The GRAND-AM Sports Car Series, Kansas

Heart, Jason Bonham | 7:30 p.m., Starlight Theatre,

T H E AT E R

Hellbound (Pantera tribute), At the Left Hand of God,

11100 View High Dr.

T H E AT E R Speedway, 400 Speedway Blvd., KCK

The Bikinis | 8 p.m., American Heartland Theatre,

Geeks Who Drink Pub Quiz | 8 p.m., Green Room Burgers & Beer, 4010 Pennsylvania

4600 Starlight Rd.

Cherokee Rock Rifle | The Riot Room, 4048 Broadway

The Bikinis | 2 p.m., American Heartland Theatre, 2450 Grand

McMonday Karaoke | 9:30 p.m., Jazzhaus, 926-1/2 Massachusetts, Lawrence

McGee

the Uptown Arts Bar, 3611 Broadway T H E AT E R

Live at the Phoenix, fundraiser for the Spinning Tree Theatre, with cast members, plus Millie Edwards and pianist Michael Moreland | 6–9 p.m., the Phoenix, 302 W. Eighth St., cover $10.

Tuesday | 8.20 | LITERARY EVENTS

Hello, Dolly! | Musical Theater Heritage, 2 p.m., Off Center Theatre, 2450 Grand

The Future of Space Exploration, Joel Achenbach | 6 p.m., Kansas City Central Library, 14 W. 10th St.

2450 Grand

Rich Hill’s jazz brunch | 11 a.m., the Majestic

Hello, Dolly! | Musical Theater Heritage, 2 & 8 p.m.,

Lee McBee and the Confessors | 6–9 p.m., B.B.’s

Picnic | Kansas City Actors Theatre, 2 p.m., H&R Block City Stage Theater, 30 W. Pershing Rd.

Writers Place Poetry Series | 7 p.m., Johnson County Central Resource Library, 9875 W. 87th St., Overland Park

Open Jam with Levee Town | 2–7 p.m., Knuckleheads,

Tempest: Shakespeare’s Deathless Revenge Tragedy |3p.m., JustOffBroadwayTheatre,3051Central

MUSIC

Picnic | Kansas City Actors Theatre, 7:30 p.m., H&R

Off Center Theatre, 2450 Grand

Block City Stage, 30 W. Pershing Rd.

Tempest: Shakespeare’s Deathless Revenge Tragedy | 8 p.m., Just Off Broadway Theatre, 3051

Central

Sunday | 8.18 | ART EXHIBITS & EVENTS

Lawnside BBQ, 1205 E. 85th St.

2715 Rochester

Bram Wijnands stride piano | 7 p.m. Green Lady Lounge, 1809 Grand NIGHTLIFE

Tommy Davidson | 7 p.m. Improv Comedy Club and Dinner Theater, 7260 N.W. 87th St.

Monday | 8.19 | ART EXHIBITS & EVENTS

Patterns in Time , new work by Gary Pycior | 6–9 p.m., Kiosk Gallery, 3951 Broadway MUSIC

The Aristocrats | 10 p.m., RecordBar, 1020 Westport Rd. Futuro with Sigrah, Nmezee and special guests | 10 p.m., the Riot Room, 4048 Broadway

Hudspeth and Shinetop | 7 p.m. B.B.’s Lawnside

BBQ, 1205 E. 85th St.

Kopecky Family Band, Said the Whale, Ross Christopher | 8 p.m., the Riot Room, 4048 Broadway

Artichokes | Open Studios, 1–5 p.m., 10557 Mission,

A.J. Finney | 7 p.m. Stanford’s Comedy Club, 1867 Vil-

Celebration of Basie with Louis Neal Big Band | The Blue Room, 1616 E. 18th St.

Hermon Mehari Trio|6p.m.,theMajestic,931Broadway

Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School | 6–10 p.m., 556

Smackdown Trivia and Karaoke | 8 p.m. The Bottleneck, 737 New Hampshire, Lawrence

5 Star Disaster, Voice of Addiction, the Uncouth,

Open Jam with the Everette DeVan Trio | 7 p.m.,

Leawood

Lowell, KCK

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august 15-21, 2013

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Documentary | 9 p.m., Davey’s Uptown, 3402 Main

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Andy Dewitt | Jazz, 1859 Village West Pkwy., KCK

Gusto Lounge, 504 Westport Rd.

NIGHTLIFE

Jazz Poetry Jam | 7 p.m., the Blue Room, 1616 E. 18th St. Karaoke | Jackpot Music Hall, 943 Massachusetts, Lawrence

Open-Mic Night | Stanford’s Comedy Club, 1867 Village

West Pkwy., KCK

SPORTS

Royals vs. White Sox | 7:10 p.m., Kauffman Stadium

DJ Approach | 10 p.m. Replay Lounge, 946 Massachusetts, Lawrence

John Paul Drum & Bill Dye | 7 p.m. Quasimodo, 12056

W. 135th St., Overland Park

Drums of Love, Thermastat, the Finest Kind | 9 p.m.,

Davey’s Uptown Ramblers Club, 3402 Main

Billy Ebeling | Jazz, 1823 W. 39th St. STS9, Umphrey’s McGee | 6:30 p.m., Crossroads KC

at Grinders, 417 E. 18th St.

NIGHTLIFE T H E AT E R

The Bikinis | 7:30 p.m., American Heartland Theatre, 2450 Grand

Picnic | Kansas City Actors Theatre, 7:30 p.m., H&R Block City Stage, 30 W. Pershing Rd.

Wednesday | 8.21 |

Geeks Who Drink Pub Quiz | 7:30 p.m., Snow & Co., 1815 Wyandotte

MOKAN Twang Vinyl Country Night | 8 p.m., Frank James Saloon, 10919 N.W. Hwy. 45, Parkville

Super Nerd Night | 8 p.m. The Bottleneck, 737 New Hampshire, Lawrence

PERFORMING ARTS

NETWORKING

Poetic Underground open-mic series | 9–11 p.m.,

1 Million Cups | 9 a.m., Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, 4801 Rockhill Rd.

MUSIC

FOOD & DRINK

Josh Abbott Band , Weston Burt | 7 p.m., the Granada, 1020 Massachusetts, Lawrence

Paris of the Plains Cocktail Festival | 6–9 p.m., the

Backyard Jam with DJ Lee | 9 p.m. the Velvet Dog,

SPORTS

the Uptown Arts Bar, 3611 Broadway

400 E. 31st St.

Booty Jamz | 10 p.m., free for females, the Riot Room,

American Restaurant, 200 E. 25th St.

Royals vs. White Sox | 7:10 p.m., Kauffman Stadium

4048 Broadway

Carl Butler’s Gospel Lounge | 7:30 p.m., Knuckle-

heads, 2715 Rochester

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Desert Noises, Clairaudients, Colin Martin | 7:30 p.m.,

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E-mail submissions to Agenda editor Berry Anderson at calendar@pitch.com. Search our complete listings guide online at pitch.com.

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Kansas City’s

HOTTEST GAY CHATLINE

Dear Dan: I came out as gay during my mar-

riage five years ago. (I’m a woman who doesn’t like the word “lesbian.”) I want to be in relationships with women, get married, etc., but I haven’t dated since my divorce. But I’m ready to start. I started on Craigslist. In working up the courage to respond to one guy’s ad — and then e-mailing/ texting a total stranger that I was masturbating — I thought of asking for my own fantasy: intruder sex with a stranger. I asked if we could first “meet” without meeting: go to a coffee shop, sit across the room from each other and flirt via text. If that went well, I wanted him to follow me to my place (stalk me), break in, rough me up a little, fuck me and leave. That was too intense for him. I don’t consider this a rape fantasy. I am NOT turned on by rape — I’ve been raped. This is consensual sex. I want to be safe. I’ll have a safe word. I would also like to discuss this with a therapist I’ve been seeing for years, because I was sexually abused by my father, my cousin, and my mom’s boyfriend. I feel so hung up all the time by the fear of being raped. Maybe by doing this, I can face that fear and no longer be controlled by it. I’m also turned on by it. Can I do this safely? Is this healthy? Am I still a gay girl if I fulfill some kinky fantasies with men?

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I tell you something paradoxical? Your fantasies are utterly hot and are absolutely nothing to be ashamed of, but they scream out, Slow down and seek serious counsel! You’ve got some deeper thinking to do before you take real risks. What I’m sensing is searing heat, a swirl of confusion, and a deluded hope that you can reliably control the forces you’re about to unleash. “I have a safe word.” Not necessarily. Words aren’t always going to be heeded by total strangers you’ve only glimpsed and texted and asked to get rough with you. I’m pretty sure you can pull off some version of what you wish — with a measure of safety — when you’re thinking a little more clearly. I’m all for seizing ecstasy in the present while exorcising the horrors of your past. I’m just saying, know thyself a tad better. When you’re thinking more clearly, you’ll be a better judge

of the right not-rapist, one who will respect your script. As for your last question, let go of categories. Our human complexity outdoes the divides. If you’re turned on by both genders, count yourself lucky. Your options are enviably wide.

— DANIEL BERGNER

Chris Savage is Michigan’s most widely read progressive, political blogger. Rachel Maddow calls his blog, eclectablog.com, “the indispensable Michigan politics source.”

Dear Dan: I’m a 21-year-old straight male. I’m

in love but miserable. My girlfriend has a bad temper and is extremely needy. She’s rude to my 7-year-old brother and gets angry when I spend time with him. She won’t allow me to see family or other friends because I have to spend all of my free time with her. Sometimes she hits me when she’s angry. She reads all my texts, but when I ask to read hers, she won’t let me. The problem is, I love her. She says she can’t live without me, and I’m worried that if I break up with her, she’ll do something drastic. What can I do?

Manipulated Man Dear MM: Let’s take a look at a few of the de-

scriptors you used for this person you say you’re in love with: bad temper, needy, rude, angry, violent. Based on your description, I’d throw in manipulative and controlling, too. Where are all the positive words people in love normally use? In other words, why do you love her? Here in Michigan, the right-wingers that have taken over our state have demonized our teachers and made “union member” a slanderous phrase. They’ve worked overtime to take away women’s reproductive rights and raised taxes on the poor and the elderly. They’ve been complete assholes to everyone but their business pals. But every now and then, they do something nice. When they do, people fall all over themselves to thank them. Then they turn around and do the same stuff all over again. That’s the position you’re in. You have a choice to make: Continue to be treated like a doormat by this abusive woman or recognize that you’re being abused and kick her to the curb. You’ll soon find out that she can live just fine without having you to wipe her feet on.

— CHRIS SAVAGE

A big thank-you to Bergner and Savage for filling in for me. Savage Lovecast is at savagelovecast.com.

Have a question for Dan Savage? E-mail him at mail@savagelove.net

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The Pitch: August 15, 2013