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“SCARY, SUSPENSEFUL AND SHOCKINGLY INTENSE. IT’S QUITE A SPECTACLE, WATCHING LANCE ARMSTRONG LIE HIS ASS OFF.” -Peter Travers, ROLLING STONE

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The Usury Suspects, Part 2 b y dav i d h u d n a l l

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Art Director Ashford Stamper Contributing Photographers Angela C. Bond, Barrett Emke, Chris Mullins, Lauren Phillips, Sabrina Staires, Brooke Vandever Intern Christina Larkins

P r o d u c t i o n

Ov er tax ed Secret money, a rogue consultant,

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power brokers — the research-tax

a d v E r t i s i n g

campaign had everything. Except

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KANSAS CITY PITCH WEEKLY

Cashing Out

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cashing out O

n October 25 of this year, a man named Del Kimball was served papers at his home in Mission Hills. The following day, Kimball’s business partner, Sam Furseth, was also served in Mission Hills. Kimball and Furseth head up a variety of online payday-lending operations, many of which are based in downtown Kansas City, Missouri, at 908 Baltimore. True to industry form, the More names of these outfits are countless and constantly in f lux. There’s LTS t a ine Onl .com Management (of which h c pit Furseth is listed as president on LinkedIn). There’s Glacier Marketing. There also are DMS Marketing and the Loan Shop Online. Each is part of a turnkey business that markets, funds, lends and collects on payday loans. Not a lot of sunlight finds its way into 908 Baltimore. Workers are prohibited from speaking with the media. No sign hangs outside the building. “It’s because the owners are afraid of shootings and retribution for their collection practices,” says a former employee. “They keep everything as private as possible. There’s no relationship between upper management and the rest of the staff.” Most people who operate and finance payday-loan businesses — whether brick-andmortar shops, such as the ones seen on every other street corner on the East Side of Kansas City, or online companies like Kimball and Furseth’s — have an elevator pitch prepared about the social utility of their services. The gist is that they’re giving people access to credit that they can’t get anywhere else. Say your car breaks down. You need to fix it so you can get to work, but you don’t get paid for another 10 days. A bank won’t give you a short-term loan to fix your car. Nor will any government agency. So you take out a $500 payday loan against the check coming to you in 10 days. When that check arrives, the payday lender gets $575 from you. It’s a high interest rate, but it got you out of a jam — assuming you settle that $575 right away. But many borrowers can’t or don’t get out from under their payday debts as soon as the next check comes, and the knock against such loans is that they trap borrowers in a cycle of debt. Defenders of the industry tend to dismiss such instances as aberrations. But according to a July 2012 company overview from onlinelending operation Evergreen Capital Partners LLC, repeat customers are one of its “competitive differentiators.” Kimball is the CEO of Evergreen Capital

NEWS

Partners, and Furseth is the president. They split ownership 50-50. The overview indicates that 174 people were employed by the company in July 2012. Its online loans range in size from $100 to $800, the overview states, with fees set between $15 and $60 per $100 borrowed. “On average, repeat customers account for 40-50% of the Company’s annual loans,” the overview reads. “The Company’s average customer will borrow ~$1200 (~3 loans) and repay ~$2350 over a 4-year timeframe. Margins on loans to repeat customers average 150% higher than loans to new customers.” To translate: The average person who takes out a loan from Kimball and Furseth ends up paying back double what he or she initially borrowed. Factor in the 500,000 loans that Evergreen Capital Partners says it has issued since its inception, and a picture emerges: Operators and investors can get pretty rich with a business model like this.

G

iven all those customers and all the money involved, one imagines that lawsuits probably cross Kimball’s and Furseth’s desks from time to time. But the October filing was not from someone claiming damages from aggressive collection practices. It wasn’t a classaction suit for lending at wild interest rates in states where it’s illegal to do so. No, the lawsuit had been filed by another local company with payday-lending ties: eData Solutions. As reported in the first part of this series, eData Solutions is a company founded in Kansas City that provides electronic services, including lead generation, to online-lending companies. In 2012, its founder, Joel Tucker, sold eData Solutions to the Wyandotte Nation, an American Indian tribe in Oklahoma. This is a common workaround in the payday-loan industry; tribes enjoy immunity from state prosecution. The suit alleges that one of Kimball and Furseth’s companies, Edgewater Marketing, abruptly stopped paying back installments on a note owed to eData Solutions. All told, eData Solutions is demanding roughly $11 million from various entities controlled by Kimball and Furseth. An eData Solutions executive summary obtained by The Pitch shows that, in 2010, Kimball and Furseth’s companies were eData Solutions’ biggest customers, adding up to 29 percent of its business. Pete Smith, attorney for eData Solutions, says, “They stopped paying, so we had to sue them. It’s a pretty straightforward suit on a guarantee of a promissory note.” But the reason that Kimball and Furseth

The Usury Suspects,

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Part 2

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stopped paying is a little thornier. Here’s how entire industry. AMG Services, a payday operation in Overland Park embroiled in a Federal Kimball explains it in an e-mail to The Pitch. Trade Commission lawsuit for its business “In August of this year, the current adminpractices, announced in September its intenistration took unprecedented regulatory action against banks that provided ACH services to tion to lay off as many as 159 employees. Sandpoint Capital is an online-lending the micro lending industry,” Kimball writes. company that is registered in Delaware and “As a result, our company lost its ACH ability which has curtailed our ability to collect purportedly based in the West Indies, though its owner, Tim Coppinger, lives in Mission repayment of loans from our customers. This Hills. Earlier this year, the state of Oregon sued new dynamic also has directly impacted our Sandpoint Capital for lending to its citizens ability to meet our financial obligations to our at rates above the state’s limit of 36 percent. investors and business partners, such as eData. Another Coppinger outfit, Clearwater Bay MarWe look forward to an amicable resolution of keting, was sued in Illinois in 2011 on the same the current litigation with eData.” Storefront payday-loan operations require grounds. And in June 2012, Coppinger paid a $30,000 fine for unlicensed lending in the borrowers to provide a postdated check. Online payday operations require access to borrow- Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. On September 3, Coppinger sent an e-mail ers’ bank accounts to drop the funds in — and, to investors in his fund, CWB Services LLC, later, to take out principal, fees and interest explaining why they wouldn’t be seeing big owed. These debits and credits are made as ACH transactions. As Benjamin M. Lawsky of returns anytime soon. (That e-mail was forwarded to The Pitch.) the New York State Department of Financial “ACH transactions are how we issue both Services puts it in a recent letter, “Access to the ACH system is the foot in the door that online credits (new Loans) and debits (Loan repayment). If we are unable to make electronic payday lenders need to prey on vulnerable transactions, it has a major impact on our abilNew Yorkers.” A few months back, the FDIC started audit- ity to conduct business,” he wrote. “At this time, we are trying to find a solution that will ing banks, with an eye toward cracking down on ACH transfers to online lenders. The U.S. allow us to collect on the current loans and recapture the capital that has been out on the Department of Justice has also been issuing street, but at this time a firm subpoenas to banks and solution is not in place. We processors. And it’s workremain confident we will ing: Most banks are now too If they can’t scratch find the right solution to scared of regulators to accept more money out this problem, but until that online lenders as customers. of the general public, point we have no choice but Missouri Bank, for exto suspend dividend payample, has collected a lot they’ll scratch it out ments on your loan. Please of nickels from ACH transof one another. understand that no one in fer fees over the years. It the industry saw this comis a defendant in a current ing and it has completely class-action RICO lawsuit surprised the market.” brought against a handful of banks across the It’s unclear where payday operators will country. Because Missouri Bank and others processed ACH transfers on payday loans into find a new loophole allowing them to conduct states where they’re illegal, they’re charged their business. But if they can’t scratch more money out of the general public, they’ll scratch with being complicit in that violation. it out of one another, which is why there are “We consider the lawsuit to be without merit, and we will vigorously defend against likely to be more lawsuits like eData Solutions’ it,” Missouri Bank writes to The Pitch, through against Kimball and Furseth. The parties involved, like their industry’s a spokesman. customers, would have been well advised to Regardless, Missouri Bank is sufficiently read the fine print. On top of the principal, spooked and has exited the business. “We no Kimball and Furseth may be on the hook for longer have customers in the online lending about $1.5 million in interest. According to their business,” the spokesman says in an e-mail. original agreement, “Upon occurrence of any “We made a business decision this summer Event of Default, the interest rate charged hereto ask internet lending companies to leave our under shall automatically increase to Thirty bank because of the uncertainty and potential cost stemming from changing and uncertain Five percent (35.00%) per annum.” regulatory requirements.” These actions are effectively strangling the E-mail david.hudnall@pitch.com

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Overtaxed Secret money, a rogue consultant, power brokers — the research-tax campaign had everything.

Except a good idea. By Steve Vockrodt

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or proponents of the Jackson County half-cent sales-tax increase that would have funded medical research, everything that could have gone wrong did go wrong. Boosters of the measure lost by a staggering margin — 84 percent of voters said no. And the steepest rebuke of a significant local election in memory was even more remarkable because the proposal had been engineered to pass easily. Early polling suggested that a wide majority of voters would approve the idea. And the short time between the idea’s first public announcement — August 8 — and the November 5 vote should have short-circuited the formation of organized opposition. Backing the tax were some of the business community’s more visible luminaries, chiefly Hallmark Cards executive Don Hall Jr. It was the kind of high-profile support designed to lock up credibility, and the pro-tax movement had tapped into enough local wealth to draw a $2 million campaign war chest. Supporters of the tax also had sewn up commitments from KC’s leading political operatives: Jeff Roe, Pat O’Neill, Steve Glorioso and Pat Gray. That quartet represented a flying wedge against any opposition, blocking access to the most experienced consultants in town. Then Gray broke formation. “Pat Gray has decided to step back from the campaign from this point forward,” reads an October 26 e-mail from Roe to pro-tax electioneers. “Please leave him off any and all campaign communications from here out.” Roe’s note capped weeks of speculation within the pro-tax campaign that Gray was working covertly for organizations opposing Question 1, the measure to send $40 million

a year to St. Luke’s, Children’s Mercy and the University of Missouri–Kansas City for translational medical research. His announcement also came three days after a mysterious entity called Citizens for Fairness filed with the Missouri Ethics Commission. That committee poured hundreds of thousands of dollars toward killing the salestax measure while obscuring its own origins and the identity of its principal financier (listed in ethics-commission documentation as Government Policies Foundation). The day that Citizens for Fairness filed its financial disclosure with the Missouri Ethics Commission was the same day that Gray was corresponding with E.E. Keenan, a Kansas City lawyer who coordinated the secretive committee. The Pitch has confirmed the exchange between Gray and Keenan on October 23 that discusses campaign strategy. The correspondence seems to confirm the suspicions of multiple sources involved with the sales-tax campaign, who told The Pitch that they thought Gray collaborated with Citizens for Fairness in the weeks leading up to Election Day, taking with him key data including polling and messaging gained from his work for the pro-tax campaign. (Many sources do not want to be named because they continue to have political dealings with Gray or fear retribution from him.) Gray did not respond to several phone calls and an e-mail seeking comment for this story. Roe, a political muscleman usually aligned with Republican interests, became the point man for sales-tax proponents. He declines to comment specifically about Gray. “We had a bipartisan collection of top-level operatives who did a great job,” Roe tells The Pitch. “We

had one situation I had to take care of in that campaign.” Roe does not elaborate on that one situation. Campaign finance records show that Gray’s company, Cambridge Consultants, was paid $10,000 on October 21 but received no further payment from then on. The pro-tax campaign, called Committee for Research, Treatments and Cures, amassed about $2 million to convince voters to pass the tax, much of it coming from the Civic Council of Greater Kansas City. The Civic Council, a klatch of business executives, pools its resources behind various missions. It was the primary group trying to pass the sales-tax measure, and it helped suck up that $2 million war chest by calling on a narrow slice of the Kansas City business community. But it didn’t count on a personal-injury lawyer from Springfield, Missouri, named Brad Bradshaw, who entered the campaign with his own fortune aimed at defeating the tax. And it didn’t expect a furtive and well-funded campaign committee, in Citizens for Fairness, to crop up. Whoever worked on behalf of Citizens for Fairness — and its equally nebulous nonprofit financier, Government Policies Foundation — understood well Missouri’s lax election laws. Citizens for Fairness filed paperwork in September with the Jackson County Election Board, the Independence office of which isn’t usually visited by local media. Reporters are more apt to stake out the Kansas City Board of Election Commissioners, in Union Station.

Citizens for Fairness established itself with the Missouri Ethics Commission on October 23, two days after getting a check for $196,000 from the Government Policies Foundation. The foundation applied to the Internal Revenue Service as a nonprofit, meaning that it wouldn’t have to disclose the names of contributors and making it an ideal cloak for anonymous special-interest money. The name Government Policies Foundation suggests a stodgy think tank that has been around forever, but it was established on September 17 of this year. Its incorporation papers list the address as 1025 Winchester Avenue, a dingy building in the Blue Valley Industrial District owned by Ford Warehouses Corp. Government Policies Fou nd at ion or g a n i z e r Doug Patterson, a Leawood lawyer, has declined to say whose money finances the foundation, citing attorney-client privilege. (Patterson is also the secretary of Ford Warehouses Corp., which explains why Government Policies Foundation used the Winchester address.) Patterson, a Republican, used to serve in the Kansas House; Gray helped him get elected. Asked if Gray worked against the sales-tax campaign, Patterson again summons attorney-client privilege. “I’ll tell you, as you know, lawyers have privileged type of information that we’re prohibited from disclosing,” Patterson says. “I can’t tell you one way or the other.” Regardless, the Government Policies Foundation played a key part in smothering the sales tax. The group continued on page 8

“We had one situation I had to take care of in that campaign.”

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pro-tax campaign, says he has been told that Gray defected to opposition groups. “If, in fact, that did happen — if, in fact, it turns out to be true and he left — he burned a bunch of bridges for no reason,” Jacob tells The Pitch. The sales tax was doomed regardless of Gray’s position. But the whose-side-is-heon-today mystery was just one of many signs indicating a troubled campaign.

Overtaxed continued from page 7 poured $200,000 into Citizens for Fairness — almost all the committee’s cash. It also paid $40,000 to Freedom Inc., a longtime black political club in Kansas City that’s sometimes considered influential to its voting bloc and has a reputation for requiring payment from political interests that seek its endorsement. Freedom Inc. came out against the salestax measure on October 3, saying that funding translational research wasn’t the responsibility of Jackson Countians. Two days later, Bradshaw paid Freedom Inc. $25,000. Gray has been known to work with Freedom Inc. in the past. Pro-tax campaigners became suspicious that Gray was in league with Freedom Inc. again when the political club’s anti-sales-tax mail arrived at Kansas City houses. The well-produced pieces resembled direct-mail items that Gray had sent in previous campaigns. John Carnes, an Independence lawyer who has worked with Gray (and sometimes against him) in prior political contests, took up ranks with Citizens for Fairness, spreading the word in eastern Jackson County about the faults of the proposed sales-tax increase. “I think the Freedom people may have had some discussions with Pat, but I don’t know,” Carnes says. “I don’t know if he was for it or against it.” Freedom Inc.’s and Citizens for Fairness’

materials would prove influential in sinking the sales tax. Patterson says he understood that polls dropped “like a lead balloon” after Freedom staked its opposition. Freedom Inc.’s Kiki Curls and Gayle Holliday could not be reached for comment. If Gray took up ranks with the opposition after signing on with pro-tax campaign committees, it wouldn’t have been the first time he crossed the street in the middle of a political campaign. Gray was hired by former development lawyer Dick King in the 1991 Kansas City mayoral race. The two didn’t work well together, and Gray was fired from the campaign. He quickly started working for Brice Harris, a communitycollege administrator handpicked by the local business community to challenge King. Both candidates ran an exceptionally sleazy campaign in the primary, a race neither won. Emanuel Cleaver went on to beat Bob Lewellen in that year’s general election, marking the first term in the Kansas City may-

Anti-tax mailers or’s office for the present-day congressman. And Gray is widely believed to have doublecrossed former Jackson County legislator Henry Rizzo in 2010. Gray worked as Rizzo’s consultant in a race against 2nd District challenger Crystal Williams. But he also worked on behalf of Terry Riley, another Jackson County Legislature aspirant who was challenging incumbent Fred Arbanas. A mail piece went out that summoned imagery from the crime movie The Usual Suspects by depicting all the incumbents in a police lineup. “I was shocked to find out that my consultant, who I paid to represent me, was also partly behind the negative mailer that hurt me in the last two weeks of the campaign,” Rizzo told The Pitch in 2011. Rizzo lost that race to Williams. Gray passed Rizzo’s complaints off as “political gossip.” Larry Jacob, a political consultant with the Dover Strategy Group, which worked on the

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oe says his pre-campaign polling showed that 58 percent of the Jackson County electorate would have voted in favor of the sales tax. Campaign critics have quietly surmised that such a result came from a push poll — the kind that asks questions in a manner designed to elicit the response a campaign committee wants to hear. Roe disputes this, saying no reputable firm does push polls. But there’s no doubt that the campaign got off to a terrible start once news of the ballot measure made the front page of the August 8 Kansas City Star. And things didn’t get easier once Bradshaw got involved. Bradshaw, a physician who later became a personal-injury lawyer, has been working on proposing some form of statewide sales tax in Missouri for medical research for the past 30 years. The Jackson County proposal seemed to co-opt some of his ideas, and he set out to defeat it with his own money.

His advertisements against the tax struck early and often between the time the tax was announced and August 27, the date that the Jackson County Legislature approved the measure for the November 5 ballot. Meanwhile, the pro-tax campaign was unwilling to launch a meaningful election effort before legislators could look over the issue. This allowed Bradshaw’s criticisms of the tax to go without a rebuttal. “Bradshaw tried to kill us in the crib before the Legislature had even voted to put it on the ballot,” Roe tells The Pitch. He says the early polling lead was whittled down 10 points because of Bradshaw’s work. Steve Glorioso, a longtime political operative in Kansas City and beyond, thinks Roe may be overestimating Bradshaw’s efforts. “If that’s all we had, we would have had an outside chance at winning, because his [Bradshaw’s] stuff was laughable,” Glorioso says. What hurt, he argues, was the Citizens for Fairness campaign. “Their stuff was topnotch,” he says. Keenan emerged as the Citizens for Fairness spokesman, but he didn’t have much to say. In published accounts, Keenan wouldn’t say where the campaign’s money came from or who was working with it. Citizens for Fairness, contrary to the equitable nature suggested by its moniker, went to considerable lengths to obscure its funding sources as well as whom it paid for various campaign services.

The committee’s filings with the Missouri on the sales-tax increase could send Grandma home from the hospital with a clean bill of Ethics Commission show that it paid tens health. But the ads failed to directly address of thousands of dollars to a company called the opposition’s complaints. Franklin & Lee LLC to do mailers, robo calls, “What really surprised me was the extent to research and polling. Franklin & Lee was created on October 4, 2013, according to the Mis- which the proponents didn’t really understand public sensitivity to sales taxes and the dissouri Secretary of State’s records. Its address is connect with sales taxes and listed in south Kansas City at medical research,” says Dan 520 West 103rd Street, which Cofran, chairman of the Citiis actually a UPS Store in a “Bradshaw tried zens Association, a longstandstrip mall next to a Gold Rush to kill us in the crib ing political club that rejected Exchange shop and an out-ofthe sales-tax proposal. business pizza parlor. before the Legislature The lack of endorsements Some have speculated that also hurt the sales-tax effort; the local union and construchad even voted to few would stick up for the istion community, except for put it on the ballot.” sue once opposition started J.E. Dunn, pooled resources to grow. to oppose the tax because “When you start to erode, they favored a proposed you lean on groups,” Roe says. “When the atstatewide 1-cent sales tax for highways. That tacks come, you have someone to rely on. We measure may come before voters in 2014. Keenan, a young, Harvard-educated lawyer didn’t have Freedom or many of the unions or Democrat advocacy groups.” who briefly worked for Plaza law firm Steuve Still, Roe says the polling eight days before Siegel Hanson before starting his own prothe election still had the pro-sales-tax side union office, did not return The Pitch’s calls. Campaign literature against the sales tax winning by two points. That polling is at odds with the final outwas combative and often focused on the costly come, a devastating loss for the Civic Council, and regressive nature of a sales tax. Mailers at times called out research proponents as a which had poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into a campaign that convinced a pitbunch of Johnson County fat cats looking to tance of overall voters of the merits of its plan. make a buck off Jackson County taxpayers. For its trouble, the Civic Council again By contrast, pro-tax TV spots were tugfound itself on the losing side of an electoral at-the-heartstrings stuff that showed sick question. people on the mend, implying that a yes vote

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In 2011, it refused to support the Kansas City Zoo tax. (It passed.) In 2012, it refused to support the Kansas City sales tax for parks. (It passed.) That same year, it favored a statewide tax increase on tobacco products. (It didn’t pass.) And this year, it whiffed on the sales tax it supported for medical research. The Civic Council is run by executives from primarily large corporations or law firms. It’s a nonprofit with a small staff. Those who do work for the council are well-paid; executive director Jewel Scott took home $461,764 in 2012. The Civic Council is made up of sophisticated businesspeople, but they failed to predict the mood of voters. Still, some of its members focus on the opposition’s attack ads as the reason for the proposal’s demise. “I think the messaging got a little bit cluttered,” says Mark Jorgenson, U.S. Bank regional president and a Civic Council executive committee member. “This is a biased opinion, obviously, but there were some misstatements of fact that were out there. I think you always have that in a campaign.” But even some proponents see the outcome differently. “I obsess over things that are 55 percent to 45 percent, even up to 60 percent,” Jacob tells The Pitch. “When the margin is where it is [84–16], it tells me the voters just flatly rejected the concept.”

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december 12-18, 2013

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WEEK OF DECEMBER 12-18

DUNGEONS & DRAGONS T

he less said about last year’s be-careful-what-youwish-for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, the better. To note that the first of the three serialized installments lacked Peter Jackson’s Middle Earth magic would be akin to observing that Gollum is somewhat preoccupied. Thankfully, the second part of Jackson’s newer J.R.R. Tolkien trilogy — titled The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, much to the consternation of theater-marquee letterers everywhere — substantially ups the quality and the stakes. This middle portion of Bilbo and Gandalf’s Excellent Adventure is still larded with excess narrative baggage, gratuitous appearances by fan favorites and the occasional dead weight. (As with Journey, it’s also being shown in a higher-frame-rate option, a techno-whiz move that renders everything with the retina-frying “clarity” of an enormous Teletubbies episode. Seek out the more traditional version for maximum escapist immersion.) But it’s not turgid this time around, which immediately makes it a vast improvement. CONTINUED ON PAGE 15

Daily listings on page 26 pitch.com

december 12-18, 2013

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11

art

IndustrIal strength

Garry Noland wraps up his Studios Inc.

By

residency with some strong material.

T r a c y a be l n

G

arry Noland strikes you as a man with a positive outlook. His personality is unaffected, his wit rustic and colorful. What comes across when he speaks about his art is a straightforward “I made this” aesthetic. Speaking to a small audience the Saturday after the November opening of Test Patterns and Floor Samples, his latest Studios Inc. exhibition, e r Mo Noland said no material was unworthy of being manipulated toward its at e n i Onl .com true end. That idea inpitch forms what he calls his “automatic sculpting,” an art practice that he has evolved over 40 or so years of work. “Sometimes I’m boss of material,” Noland said. “Sometimes it’s the boss of me.” He told the gathering that morning that what we see in this show — his last at Studios Inc., now that his three-year residency is up — is a function of what happened physically in his studio, a space large enough to allow him rich processing time. But not too much time. There’s an immediacy to the painterly sculptures — three-dimensional collages, really — that he has assembled over the past year. Noland finds the things he uses, but he doesn’t like to let any linger long. “I try to use materials in front of me as quickly as I can,” he said. The materials he has used this time came to him in a literal way, much as parts of the floor inside 1708 Campbell made their way into the tape tapestries of one of his previous projects. People like to dump refuse across the street from his studio, by an embankment off U.S. Highway 71. And Noland helped himself. The latest creations are made of weathered blocks of flotation foam, long pipes and thousands of dime-store marbles. These puttogethers of industrial materials, including rolls of Bubble Wrap like you’d find in a shipping warehouse, are scattered about the gallery. They fit in with the space’s cinder-block walls and big metal doors, and they seem a little forlorn as you look down on their perch on the mottled concrete floor. They lie there, frozen with inactivity. Their industrial origins notwithstanding, the works in Test Patterns and Floor Samples aren’t meant to be functional. Still, they suggest a stripped-down efficiency in their forms, assisted by the basic titles that Noland has assigned each piece. “Cord,” for instance: The chunky, marble-encrusted cylinders make you imagine an unordered stack of firewood logs. Each of the three pieces that share the name “Swab” is in fact swablike, a Q-tip for

12

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E.G. SchEmpf

ART

December 12-18, 2013

the other two titles allude to the general shape a giant. Orange-plastic conduit tubes are of their respective clusters. capped with a cluster of marbles. At the other As with the swabs, these things force you end of the pipes are big wooden spools, each loaded with a roll of Bubble Wrap instead of to imagine how easily they could topple over. with cable. The way the pipes are curved, the The contrast between weightless foam and heavy iron and glass is made more complex by way Noland has propped them up by stands to the way the lighter material, from a distance keep the marble tips from leaning down onto and even up close, looks like stone. the floor, makes them seem a little pitiful. Noland is not coy about any of this art. If Elsewhere, a slab of faded orange foam, he has altered any of the rocklike bases, he crusted with gray patches of unknown has made only minute changes. They are not “natural aging,” sports a 5-foot-long mouse tail — another pipe form completely covered painted or chiseled. But, glittered with pavé marbles, the float-away Styin marbles. There it is, just rofoam takes on visual sparlying there. It’s difficult to Garry Noland: kle and literal weight, and it look away. Test Patterns and becomes intriguing enough T he s t a nd s prov ide Floor Samples to command our attention. visual action; there’s a tenThrough December 20 at The most engaging foamsion in watching the swabs Studios Inc., 1708 Campbell, based work here is “Failed rest so precariously. A tiny thestudiosinc.org Monument,” a grouping stand also keeps “Pumpjack of four little free-standing (Cravat)” in perfect balance, and you notice that it’s real wood covered in “buildings” made of blue Styrofoam that Nowood-grain contact paper. Noland is hinting land picked up at the Lake of the Ozarks. We back to his tape paintings, perhaps, or giving see in them erosion and stains and, in one case, a rusted metal bolt, signs of aging and us a little note about mundane materiality. decay. But Noland has adorned these stumpy, “Pumpjack (Cravat)” sits across the gallery peaked obelisks with shiny gold foil, letting from its mates, pumpjacks called “Sash” and “Clot,” which carry greater weight due to being them make their claims of value and showiness. It isn’t hard to read “Failed Monument” paired and held up by the wall. Each is a tall as Noland’s commenting on economic crisis monolith of foam with an impressive black and disparity, on temples to false idols, on the metal pipe swooping from the back. They have cascades of marbles “painted” onto them; futility of some human constructs. Answering “Failed Monument” on the far “Cravat” is shaped in a necktie formation, and

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From left: “Cord” and “Pumpjack (Clot)” by Noland wall — a short wall that provides the longest perspective and the best light in the gallery — is the only work not sitting on the floor. “Test Patterns” is a pure visual exercise: 17 silver shapes, all angles and folds, made out of wood covered with shiny bits of metallic “shingles.” The three-dimensional shapes flatten out trickily, depending on your distance from them, and they look as if they could unfreeze and start dancing around at any moment. At 60 years old, Noland says he feels almost like he’s 25. He likes to listen to baseball, football, ice hockey and other sports while he works and says there are similarities in sports and art. In the maxims he repeats, anyway, there’s a commonality between the two pursuits: You can’t rest on laurels but have to improve day to day. Artists must be willing to work all the time to stay at the top of their game. And there’s a lot of competition. “If there are 100 artists here, there must be thousands in New York, Berlin, etc.,” he said. Keeping up, for Noland, is about process, about always working and following an aesthetic trajectory to something new. “I would not have been able to think about these things three years ago,” he said. “I’m excited about the next three.”

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s ta g e

Homeowner AssociAtions

Clybourne Park smartly tours

By

subdivisions of property and race.

De bor a h hir s ch

W

Cynthia Levin

e know that guy, the guy in the livingroom chair, spooning ice cream straight from the container. Of course, we’re wellacquainted with the actor in the chair, the deft David Fritts, but we know that guy — the guy sitting in a house in Chicago, in Clybourne Park. This is Russ, and it doesn’t take long to understand what’s put him in that chair. Setting the stage in this show at the Unicorn Theatre (a coproduction with UMKC Theatre) is that ice cream: Neapolitan — the three separate flavors mixing with each spoonful. Russ and his wife, Bev (portrayed with humor and sensitivity by Jennifer Mays), wonder aloud at the origin of the dessert’s name: Neapolitan. This would seem an esoteric exercise if not for the clever dialogue, which shows us these characters’ need to categorize all things and all people (including themselves) and the appropriate placement of each in the world. Russ and Bev are preparing to move from their attractive bungalow, with its dark wood- with humor and a kind of horror — in a footin-mouth way. The actors expertly animate work and front bay window (set design by Brett Engle), a home where a terrible sadness has these folks with emotional nuance while overtaken them. It’s 1959, and Russ, still not steering away from stereotype. We’ve no doubt observed, even experidressed for the day, sits in that chair as Bev, in enced, some of this before. Russ and Bev and June Cleaver attire, packs up the china. Lendtheir community look like ing a hand is the hired help, the one we know, a place Francine (conveyed walking Clybourne Park shaped by white flight and a sometimes uncomfortable Through December 29 the eventual gentrification fine line by Janae Mitchell). at the Unicorn Theatre, of older neighborhoods This neighborhood will 3828 Main, 816-531-7529, close to the city’s core. But start to see the fine lines of unicorntheatre.org in this play, as in life, the its façade crack. It’s a place personal becomes political where what you eat and — “You can’t live in a principle,” we hear. whether you ski are differentials that accomClybourne Park picks up where Lorraine pany skin color and creed. This 2010 play by Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun leaves off Bruce Norris won both a Tony Award for Best (though knowing her play isn’t a prerequisite Play and a Pulitzer Prize for drama. The diafor appreciating this one). This is the house that logue is quick yet deep, and the playwright’s Raisin’s black family bought, and Karl Lindner ear for natural conversation — sometimes (the talented Brian Paulette) is the neighbormore than one at a time — is keen. Directed hood rep who had tried to convince them not here by Joseph Price, Clybourne Park is filled

Paulette and Kincaid: 1959 all over again Paulette poses a real-estate question to Mitchell, with (from left) Hill, Pauley, Fritts, Mays and Kincaid. to move. So here, in Act 1, he heads instead to Russ and Bev’s, ready to persuade them to withdraw from the deal. It’s about property values after all, isn’t it? Karl has brought along his hearing-impaired wife, Betsy (convincingly and charmingly depicted by Jessalyn Kincaid), who is aboutto-pop pregnant and can’t text him in 1959. In attendance as well are Albert (the skillful Mykel Hill), Francine’s husband, who has come to pick up his wife; and Jim (Michael Pauley, excellent), a neighbor who has stopped by to visit with Russ. What unfolds is uncomfortable and cringingly recognizable. We’re drawn to this multilayered near-fracas where offensiveness occurs by a matter of degree. In Act 2, things get flipped, and we’re not just talking houses. Fast-forward 50 years:

same domicile, same — well, not-so-same — neighborhood, and same actors but in different roles. A white couple (Paulette and Kincaid), also expecting, now want to buy this property and rebuild, and a black couple (Hill and Mitchell), representing the neighborhood association, have some concerns, one of which might just be those property values. (Mays and Pauley return as the clients’ respective business reps, and Fritts is hilarious as a contractor.) It comes as no surprise when, despite the passage of time, interracial relationships still need renovation. These sometimes awkward discussions partly mirror 1959, but we’re also laughing at our collective modern selves. Norris’ Clybourne Park earned its accolades. And the production onstage at the Unicorn Theatre is fast-moving and intelligent, an entertaining reminder of our culture’s racial dysfunction — and our inability to work through it.

E-mail deborah.hirsch@pitch.com

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december 12-18, 2013

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December 12-18, 2013

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film

Dungeons & Dragons

Peter Jackson’s latest Hobbit

By

installment puts you on Smaug alert.

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BEST Selection of Glass in KC! continued from page 11 In fact, thanks to a prologue that gives the characters’ trek to Lonely Mountain a greater thematic sense of purpose, there’s an urgency here that propels things along with much more momentum. Giant spiders, skin-changers and shrieking brutes provide obstacles to be overcome and chances for gory beheadings, notably once Orlando Bloom’s Legolas starts using orc corpses as skateboards. This is the Jackson we’ve missed — the guy who never met a rotating Dutch-angle shot or sweeping landscape vista he didn’t like. Having honed a set of comic tics and tricks over years on such shows as The Office and the BBC’s Sherlock, Martin Freeman at first turned Bilbo into another example of charming, stammering Freemasonry, giving us a hobbit who seemed like he was punching the clock at a paper company even when he was outsmarting trolls. But he has grown into the role and now appears to be embracing his inner Baggins instead of grafting his usual persona onto the character. His reading of “Mine!” when a beasty tries to nab his precious ring makes the scene the single most meta-interesting moment in the film. “You’re not the same hobbit who left the shire,” Gandalf muses, and Ian McKellen could well be talking to his fellow actor. You get giddy wondering what he’s got up his puffy sleeve for the last movie. Then again, most of The Desolation of Smaug seems to be gearing up for that final chapter, even when the titular dragon (voiced by Freeman’s Sherlock partner, Benedict Cumberbatch) starts wreaking havoc and slithering after our band of

Middle Earth brothers in literal hot pursuit. Improvement or not, the film still suffers from middle-movie syndrome, diligently moving everything into place for the big blowout. Characters are left in peril, orcs and wargs are on the move, and sheer anarchy is loosed upon the world. No one is expecting something as awe-inspiring as The Two Towers’ Battle of Helm’s Deep, the showstopper that graced Jackson’s Lord of the Rings second act, but the sense that time and baddies are being killed in equal measure here keeps this from being a stand-alone victory. Jackson may have dug himself out of the hobbit hole he was in, but there are still miles to go before Bilbo and company sleep. At least now we, too, feel compelled to stay awake. n

The Bicycle Thief In The A rmstrong Lie, Alex Gibney’s close-up of Lance Armstrong’s betrayal.

T

he rise and fall of the world’s greatest cyclist, and the massive doping scandal that took him down would make for a compelling Shakespearean drama just about any way you play it, but documentarian Alex Gibney has a slightly different, more personal agenda in The Armstrong Lie. The prolific Gibney, director of hardhitting exposés like Taxi to the Dark Side and Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, as well as sports docs like Catching Hell and

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The Last Gladiators, was hired by Armstrong and his people to document the cyclist’s return to the Tour de France in 2009. Though he had been accused of doping by a number of associates, at the time the superstar athlete still insisted that he was clean; the planned documentary was to be, essentially, a fluff job. But along the way, Armstrong’s elaborate web of lies came undone, and the cascading scandal became the center of attention: One of Gibney’s sports docs had turned into yet another of his revelations of power and privilege. As a result, the director takes a more subjective approach here. He narrates the film, detailing Armstrong’s deception of him, and intercutting the footage he shot for the earlier film with the news story unraveling before him. It’s a wise decision: We don’t really need to see the Cliffs Notes version of Armstrong’s life, nor do we need a belated cataloging of the cyclist’s deceit. The Armstrong Lie is probably too messy, too full of loose ends, too personal to work as a straightforward document of l’affaire Lance. But Gibney reveals, by showing us how Armstrong and his people hoped to (and, for a while, did) play him, something ineffable and troubling about the complex relationship between artist and subject. And to his credit, he does it soberly. The Armstrong Lie is fair but full of hurt. — Bilge Ebiri

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December 12-18, 2013

S a b r i n a S ta i r e S

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t the River Market’s 76-year-old City Diner, a collection of signatures adorns the walls facing the entrance. Behind a row of regulars cozied up to the bar, hunched over coffee cups, a lattice of Sharpie-scrawled inscriptions surrounds the quintessential greasy spoon’s many pictures of Marilyn Monroe. The resulting vibe is part community pride, part manic graffiti. Many of the autographs are smudged or faded, having been subjected to the commotion of the tiny, often crowded space. The collection even includes some celebrities — Gary Sinise, Albert Pujols, Jillian Michaels — but to find them, you have to know where to look. This isn’t the kind of place, though, where people pay attention to big names. No matter who you are, the requirement for signing the wall is the same: You must eat two of the restaurant’s 12-inch buttermilk pancakes. There’s no dignified way to undertake this challenge. Whether you’re a famous actor or a midlevel corporate paper pusher, there’s no greater social equalizer than the giant pancake. It was with this in mind that I decided to take a run at the 14-year-old breakfast tradition. My boyfriend and I arrived at the City Diner on a Sunday morning during a preChiefs-game rush. We didn’t look at menus. We were on a mission. “We’d like to eat the pancakes and write our names on the wall,” I told our server after she delivered water and coffee. “That’s a lot of pancake,” she warned. “If you placed them side by side, they’d hang off the edge of this table.” “It’s mind over matter,” my boyfriend said, repeating his competitive-eating mantra.

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“More like mind over batter,” our server answered. She went on to tell us that a woman had come in the previous weekend and eaten seven of the diner’s massive pancakes. The day before, the woman claimed to have eaten 34 hot dogs — bun included. “And she was normal-sized,” our served added. If that woman could eat seven pancakes, surely I could eat two. This is the last thought I remember having before the steaming plate arrived. I stretched out my hand and placed it atop the perfectly browned cakes. I could have worn them like a catcher’s mitt. I considered using a fork but instead chose to rip them apart with my hands. The cakes were delicious — fluffy, warm, slightly sweet — and for the first 10 minutes, I thoroughly enjoyed them. I was, after all, sitting in a crowded, public restaurant, shredding food with my fingers and devouring it with the zesty single-mindedness of a zombie munching flesh. My confidence peaked when an older woman stopped by to check on us. “It’s always the skinny ones who make it,” she said, looking at me. “I bet she’ll eat it, and he won’t.” Encouraged, I grabbed a remaining cake on my plate, folded it in half and took a big bite out of the middle. Then the inevitable happened: I got full. I forced down a few more bites, but my gag reflex was making itself felt. The thought of eating more made my head spin. I was in awe at how quickly something so good could

Yup, that’s big. turn into something so … so … horrible. And I still had more than half a cake left. My boyfriend was still going strong. Soon he was down to only a few bites. “You can do it,” I said, trying not to look. “I hate you,” he said. He shoved another spoonful of syrupdrenched pancake mush in his face hole, and I leaned against the wall and giggled. My limbs felt heavy, as though television static was coursing through my veins. A glance down at my pancake remains made my stomach lurch. The effect was similar to getting lost in the house of mirrors after riding that spinning pirate ship at Santa-Cali-Gon Days. I covered my plate with a napkin. At about 20 minutes in, my boyfriend took his last bite. He had successfully completed the challenge. He gulped a full glass of milk. “I feel funny,” he said. Our server handed him a Sharpie along with the bill. After we paid at the register, he signed the wall near the coffee maker. And he left an inscription: “The best bad idea my girlfriend ever had.” As we trundled through the parking lot, quiet and dazed, a man outside on a cigarette break stopped us. “Did you eat the pancakes?” he asked. We told him that we had, and that we didn’t want to look at another pancake for, like, a year. “Good job,” he said. “That’s impressive. Did you hear about the woman who ate seven?”

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1667 SUMMIT KCMO

Kansas City, MO 64111 816.931.7579 Mon-Sat: 7am-1:30pm Sun: 9am-midnight

Breakfast: Mon-Fri 7-11am, Sat 7-12pm, Sun 8-1:30pm Lunch: Mon-Sat 11-3pm, Sun 11-1:30pm

4 0 9 W. G r e g o r y , K C M O (816) 444-1933 • www.theclassiccookie.com

816-471-0450

Beer, Wine & Spirits Grab & Go Groceries Market Café & Deli

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7438 WORNALL ROAD KCMO // 816-216-7845

$2 Tuesdays

Mon:

1/2 price drinks!

Tues:

“More Smokey, More Juicy…More Better!”

2 buck Tuesdays!

Fastest Lunch in NKC!

900 Swift

Wed:

2-4-1 drinks for Ladies Night!

Thur:

N. Kansas City, MO

BOMB Night!

Anything in the HOUSE!

Fri:

816.416.8100 | CATERING: 816.416.8109 Mon-Fri: 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

All You Can Drink POWER HOUR 9pm-11pm (only 10 bones)!

KCSmokeShackBBQ.com

Sat:

College Game Day!!!

PARTY SPACE FOR YOUR PARTY! RIGHT HERE! WE ALSO CATER FOR HOLIDAY PARTIES!

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NFL Ticket Sundays! Live Music Sunday Night!

7438 WORNALL ROAD KCMO // 816-216-7845 pitch.com

december 12-18, 2013

the pitch

17

fat c i t y

Get Happy

By

Jon at h a n Be nder

Josh Eans moves into Happy Gillis — literally.

Y

ou may think you’re committed to your favorite sandwich shop, but you’ve got nothing on Josh Eans and his wife, AbbeyJo Eans. The two chefs are preparing to move their family into the space above Happy Gillis (549 Gillis) this week, having purchased the Columbus Park venue from Todd Schulte. “It’s very old-fashioned,” Josh Eans says. “We’re renting the whole building, and we’ll live in the apartment above the restaurant. We’re taking it over because we like it for what it is. We’re just going to try and take this good thing and improve on it here and there.” Eans and Schulte were talking prior to the Chef’s Classic dinner at the American Restaurant this past June, when Schulte mentioned that he was considering selling his five-year-old restaurant. Eans saw the deal as an opportunity to stay in the food business and see his three children at night. The Eanses officially take over Happy Gillis December 16, and they intend to keep the name and serve only breakfast and lunch. “I think everyone thought we were going to open some sort of beer-and-pork place,” Eans says. “It’s not the restaurant even I thought we were going to open, but it makes sense because we can put our family first.” It has been a busy year for Eans, a founding partner of Blanc Burgers + Bottles. He was named the interim executive chef at the American back in April, when Debbie Gold left to become a partner in the Red Door Grill. Eans remained at the American after Michael Corvino was named executive chef in July. Happy Gillis, which was featured in an August 2010 episode of the Food Network show Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, has helped revitalize Columbus Park’s restaurant scene. Pandolfi’s Deli opened nearby, on Campbell, in July 2010, and LaSala’s Deli became the North End earlier this year. Eans says he wants regulars to know that the shop’s staples will remain. He singles out a pair of popular dishes as definite keepers: the Cello-esque BLT (named for a regular) — a BLT served with two over-medium eggs — and the biscuits and gravy (Eans’ own regular order as a customer). “We’re not going to be bullheaded,” he says. The couple is considering adding a few baked goods to the breakfast menu for those who don’t have time to stay for a meal. AbbeyJo will bake English muffins for breakfast sandwiches and maybe make scones.

18

the pitch

December 12-18, 2013

pitch.com

Eans finds a Happy home. “If it makes sense for the neighborhood, we want to give people the option to swing by on the way to work, almost like a coffee shop,” Josh Eans says. He expects to add new dishes to the menu and take over the daily soup creation, and he says more of his ingredients will come from local farmers and producers. And pork and beer could still make the table after all, with a future series of monthly beer dinners. “Putting together craft beer and food — I don’t want to let that go, and we’re capable of doing a few limited beer dinners in that space,” Eans says. The business comes with an adjacent retail space, where Schulte sold soups under the Uncommon Stock brand. (Schulte and his wife, Tracy Zinn, will continue to own and operate their other restaurant, Genessee Royale Bistro, in the West Bottoms, as well as make soup for Uncommon Stock. See page 19.) To fill that storefront, Eans is considering a small neighborhood bakery, where customers could grab pastries and breads baked by Abbey-Jo. He’s also thinking that the space could work as a charcuterie shop or a pickling and canning station. But those are projects that he’s leaving for later. The family must first settle into their new home. “We want to keep what’s good about Happy Gillis good,” Eans says. “And then, not to use an Emeril term, just kick it up a notch.”

E-mail feedback@pitch.com

fat c i t y

Stock optionS

By

Ch a r l e s F er ru z z a

Outgoing Happy Gillis founder Todd Schulte doubles down on soup.

O

n a frigid morning, Todd Schulte all but pushes me out of the Genessee Royale’s warm dining room. Schulte’s West Bottoms bistro is at 1531 Genessee, but he keeps an office on the sixth floor of the Livestock Exchange Building across the street. That’s where he insists we talk. “I can’t get anything done in the restaurant,” he explains. “People keep asking me about Happy Gillis, and it takes 20 minutes to explain everything.” Here’s the short version: Schulte, who opened a breakfast-and-lunch venue called the Happy Gillis Café & Hangout in 2008, recently sold the Columbus Park operation to chef Josh Eans, who plans to keep the name and move with his family to the apartment above the restaurant (see page 18). The decision surprised Happy Gillis regulars, but Schulte told me that Eans is the right candidate for the space. “I had entertained offers for the business over the years,” Schulte says, “but I wasn’t necessarily looking to get out of it.” In fact, he says, Happy Gillis became a well-oiled machine that ran very well without his being there all that often, thanks to longtime manager David Allison and his crew. Schulte was spending much more time at the Genessee Royale, which turned three years old December 9, and with his retail soup enterprise, Uncommon Stock. The soup side of the operation, Schulte admits, has cooled recently. “When you’re running two restaurants full time, it’s difficult to also focus on a seasonal business,” he tells me. “But my business partner, Bill Haw Jr., and I are going to spend more time developing that part of the business.” Schlute says he has no plans to sell Genessee Royale, but don’t expect to see nighttime hours at the place (though he’ll continue the $25 prix fixe “Stockyard Suppers” the last Thursday of each month) or for the restaurant to open on Sundays (the second-busiest day of the week at Happy Gillis). His immediate emphasis is on the soup. The first step, Schulte says, is moving the retail soup operation from Columbus Park to a new storefront on West 25th Street, near La Esquina’s performance space. The completed shop will sell refrigerated soups (and some frozen varieties) to carryout customers. He’s toying with the idea of offering hot soups, too. He was a big fan of chef Rob Dalzell’s downtown Souperman, which closed in 2010. Freeing himself from his Happy Gillis responsibilities gives Schulte more time to con-

APPEARING LIVE THIS WEEK

thur 12.12 : LADIES NIGHT HOSTED BY JD AND THE CHASERS fri 12.13 : 6PM DINNER SHOW W/ THE GARAGE KINGS 9PM DIRTY RIVER RAMBLERS, AJ GAITHER, HONEY SUCKLE,

Schulte bets on the Bottoms. sider other ventures, though he also wants to spend a little more time at home with his two daughters. “My 13-year-old has actually asked if she can come and work at Genessee Royale with me,” Schulte says. “I told her she can’t even keep her room straight — how can she hold a job?” When Schulte and his wife, Tracy Zinn, opened Genessee Royale in 2010, they considered capitalizing on the popularity of Happy Gillis (which has always done slightly more business than the West Bottoms venue) by calling the restaurant Happy Genessee. Now he’s happy he didn’t. “As we got into it, we realized that the two restaurants had very different identities,” he says. Different demographics, too: “They each attract different kinds of people because they’re in two very different communities. But people are totally loyal to the restaurant they like.” Schulte says if he’s clearing tables at Happy Gillis, a customer will sometimes call him over and say, “I’ve been to Genessee Royale, but I really prefer Happy Gillis.” “And a few days later, I’ll be walking through Genessee Royale, and a customer will whisper to me that they had been to Happy Gillis and they like Genessee Royale much better. “I’m glad people have their opinions,” Schulte says. “As long as they like one of the two restaurants, I’m happy.”

E-mail charles.ferruzza@pitch.com Charles Ferruzza returns to Café next week.

FILTHY STILL

sat 12.14 : FREE RANGERS, RUMBLESEAT RIOT, THE COWTOWN PLAYBOYS, BRUTALLY FRANK FRI 12.20 : 6PM DINNER SHOW W/ THE GRAVEYARD TRAIN (CCR TRIBUTE BAND) 10PM GARY CLOUD, CREE RIDER, PETE STEIN sunday : 1-4PM GOSPEL BRUNCH & BLOODY MARY BAR

• SERVING FOOD TILL 3AM •

816.960.4560 4112 Pennsylvania Ave

Sun-Sat: 8p-3a westportsaloon.com

Live Music Live Music 7 nights 7 nights a week

a week

816.561.2444 www.erniebiggs.com nsas 4115 Mill Street West Port Ka pitch.com

december 12-18, 2013

City

the pitch

19

music

Flipping thE Switch

Katie West finds lightning and

By

peace with 40 Watt Dreams.

N ata l ie G a l l a Ghe r

E

sther, why don’t you let our new guest have the big-girl chair?” Katie West says to her youngest daughter, a 4-year-old, blondhaired gumdrop. Esther bashfully slides out of her place and climbs into a plastic, childsized seat. She slices bite-sized pieces of a miniature pie on the farmhouse-style dining table in the three-story Lawrence home she shares with her e r o M husband, Mike West. The two are also partners in the folk duo Truckstop t a ine Onl .com Honeymoon, and the h c pit house is a stone’s throw from her husband’s recording studio, 9th Ward Pickin’ Parlor, where she recorded last year’s 40 Watt Dreams, her debut solo record. Twelve-year-old Sadie and 6-year-old Julian gather eagerly around the pie (10-yearold Vega is at a friend’s house), chattering as they have been since I entered this cozy, chaotic house. After they finish their treats, Katie West directs them upstairs with easy matriarchal authority and relaxes into her seat at the dining table. This pause — this silence — feels like a small, hard-won moment. West has a small frame, and she has tucked her choppy brown hair into a knit cap with a crocheted flower. Her hectic home life seems somewhat at odds with the material on 40 Watt Dreams, an album filled with guitar- and banjo-driven tunes that carry on with punk spirit. “I was nervous,” she says of recording by herself. “I was like, ‘I don’t need a solo album,’ but I was so tempted. It’s empowering. It’s hard — there’s a lot of personal stuff in there, and it was hard. Like, am I really ready to process some of this stuff?” Since late 2002, when the couple met in New Orleans and formed Truckstop Honeymoon, life has consisted of music, family and miles. It has been a busy decade, during which the couple toured the United States, Australia, New Zealand and Europe, and relocated to Lawrence following Hurricane Katrina. “The whole time we’ve been growing this career, I’ve been pregnant or nursing a baby,” West says, recounting nights when she rushed offstage to breastfeed between sets. But 40 Watt Dreams, she says, gave her a chance to breathe. “I just sort of had a year where I was processing some pretty intense layers of emotional stuff, from just years and years of just being alive and experiencing things and moving a lot and running a lot,” she says. “And

20

the pitch

B r o o k e Va n d e V e r

M us i c

December 12-18, 2013

finally, we were here, and I was feeling so sad turns the volume up and plays with distorted and just lost and at a weird point in life. We chords and electric guitar. Her real power, though, lies in the songs had gone through this big flood. We had been touring all these continents. And we had had themselves. She is a natural storyteller, and all these children. It’s just been full-on. And in conversation she describes events with the same relaxed lyricism of her songwritthe songs came — they were a product of finally ing. Some of the songs are sad or reflective being forced in a rubber room with myself.” In the second song on 40 Watt Dreams, the — “Hurricane Song,” her ode to Katrina, is one such track. But even when she is angry, title track and the backbone of the album, West sings about slamming the door on her as in “Should’ve Burned It Down,” West leaves herself space for detail and nuance. way out of her “one-horse town” at age 16 and “The way I write songs now, I go through trying to find what home really meant. “I just went sort of on intuition and days of agony, of processing something really dark, and then a song will whimsy, through a lot of come together, and I’ll feel wonde r f u l jou r ney i n g Katie West like a bird has flown out of around, trying to find places and 40 Watt Dreams my chest,” West says. “I’m and people that felt good,” with Wells the Traveler relieved of whatever it is that she says of her departure Saturday, December 14, piles on you emotionally, from her North Carolina at Czar that makes you feel like you hometown. “You’re kind of really need some cathartic a gypsy spirit or something thing to happen to you, so that makes you wander a bit. That was kind of my thing, being from a that you can continue to exist.” She doesn’t wait around for things to smallish town that sort of restricted personal happen to her. West is booking a summer growth, and I wanted to check out the world. European tour for Truckstop Honeymoon, I had big balls when I was young.” on which the kids will join their parents. And It’s not like West has lost them. Dreams after all the rushing and moving of the past is wild and wonderful, simultaneously varfew years, she has made one more change. If ied and cohesive. Truckstop Honeymoon is a mostly acoustic affair; as a solo artist, she you go looking for 40 Watt Dreams on shelves

pitch.com

West: “I’ve got some rock and roll in me that needs to get out.” and online, you’ll notice it’s under E: Katie Euliss, as she remained known in Truckstop Honeymoon after she and West married. In the past year, she officially adopted her husband’s surname. “Ten years later, and I was like, ‘Yeah, he’s my guy, I’m his girl,’” she says and laughs. Her guy is in the background in 40 Watt Dreams, the band Katie has formed to play her new songs live. He plays banjo and acoustic guitar alongside Danny McGaw on electric guitar, Paul Schmidt on electric bass, and Colin Mahoney on drums. Katie didn’t expect to perform songs off 40 Watt Dreams live, but she says she has found joy in working out this new configuration the past year. “I’ve got some rock and roll in me that needs to get out, and I think this last album was a little payoff for me,” she says. “And it’s been a really nice way for me to just reconnect with that part of me, the little wild streak. I feel that energy — that rushing of stuff, that emotion when we play — and I love it for that. A little bit of lightning is good for me, and I’m so grateful for it. It’s made me feel whole.”

E-mail natalie.gallagher@pitch.com

pitch.com

december 12-18, 2013

the pitch

21

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

DECEMBER:

11: Selwyn Birchwood 12: Earl Cates & Them

THUR. DEC 12TH Chris Knight w/ Mike MCCLURE

FRI. DEC 13TH john full bright, jason eady, courtney patton & the black lillies

danielle nicole (schnebelen)

a living room session

14: Open acoustic jam hosted by Amanda Wish @2pm | Retro lounge 14: Toys for Tots with The Blue Boot Heelers, The Naughty Pines, Starhaven Rounders & Late Night Callers 14: Danielle Nicole (Schnebelen) ft. Shinetop A Living Room Session

For more info & tickets: knuckleheadskc.com

2715 Rochester, KCMO

816-483-1456

22

the pitch

December 12-18, 2013

music

Boys to MEn

Radkey comes of age as

By

international attention grows.

N ata l ie G a l l a Ghe r

W

eird as fuck.” That’s how Isaiah Radke, the 18-year-old bassist of St. Joseph punk-rock band Radkey, cheerfully describes his band of brothers. And it’s easy to see where he’s coming from. Along with his brothers Dee, the band’s 20-year-old lead singer and guitarist, and Solomon, the 16-year-old drummer, Radkey has achieved quite a bit of success in a short amount of time — they started playing together in 2010. Radkey’s home-schooled, self-taught musicians have recently returned from an extensive tour through the United Kingdom, and last week they supported Black Joe Lewis on select North American dates. Accolades keep pouring in for the band, which has released only two EPs so far. Listen to the them and the hype is We missed out on some things, but it’s things justified: Radkey delivers fierce, fists-up, gritty I could go without. A bunch of the drama stuff American rock and roll similar to the Misfits — we didn’t need that. and the Ramones. How does the writing process come together? Ahead of Radkey’s show at RecordBar It’s weird. It’s a lot of different things. Every Friday, The Pitch chatted with Isaiah Radke. The Pitch: You guys are all pretty young. Do way. Some songs will start from scratch, and you ever think about the progress you’ve made we’ll go from there. Or sometimes it’s an idea — like, “I want this song to be built around the in the last few years? Isaiah Radke: Yeah. I mean, it’s pretty crazy. haze.” That’s how we did “N.I.G.G.A.” We were like, “This song needs some haze,” and then we You start off jamming in your stupid little hot green room with your stupid songs, and then just did a song around haze. It’s pretty weird. people start liking those, and it actually takes There’s no one person who’s like, “Here’s the you to another country and stuff. It’s pretty song.” “N.I.G.G.A.” is a powerful song with a strong weird, but we try to enjoy it as much as we message. Where did it come from? possibly can. Which is easy. We had played this show with this kid who Your music is influenced by some definitive was a black kid who went to a mostly white American rock bands. How did you find your school. And he ended up being a friend on sound? Facebook at some point, and a few of his white Well, first we decided that we weren’t going to talk about a sound. We weren’t going to try to friends were calling him “nigga” and stuff. I saw it and I was like, “None of my friends would sound any particular way. We weren’t gonna be ever do that to me. How is that OK? How is this like, “OK, Nirvana type of song. White Stripes. cool?” He was just cool with Ramones.” We didn’t decide it and let them call him that what kind of band we were Radkey and stuff, and it was like, gonna be. We just decided to Friday, December 13, “OK, well, obviously you jam and said whatever hapat RecordBar have no respect for yourself, pens, happens. and your friends have no reYou were home-schooled, spect for you, and you obviously just want to and I’m guessing that you were treated as adults a lot earlier than most kids. Do you think that be cool, like, “Oh, I’m the black guy — you can has influenced you or the kind of music that call me the N-word” and shit. You can’t turn such a gross word into someyou make? thing positive. We don’t think so, anyway. So Yeah, definitely. All three of us are weird we wrote a song about it. While we do know as fuck. We’re only considered cool because that this song, it won’t stop anything, but it we’re in a band. We’re not that cool. But we could possibly start more conversations. Like, like it. Normal is boring. You will be weird if you get home-schooled, but it can work out. there’s at least a group out there that doesn’t think this is OK. Because it seems like it’s just Not always. For us, it worked. Do you ever feel like you missed out on a thing that goes on. So we want to get people thinking before they talk. something? Where do you hope Radkey takes you? We missed out on a lot of stuff but not necesEveryone wants you to hear their band as sary things. Like girlfriends. Didn’t have any. AngelA C. Bond

WHERE THE BEST MUSICIANS IN THE WORLD PLAY

pitch.com

Radkey: “We want to change the world.” much as possible. We want as many fans as we can possibly get, and we want to live off music and touring. We want to change the world. That’s the goal. That’s the dream. We want to do something important. And I feel like that should be the goal of most bands, to live off of something you love to do.

E-mail natalie.gallagher@pitch.com

J a z z B e at Logan RichaRdson, at takE FivE coFFEE + BaR at thE BLuE RooM

Logan Richardson knows this city’s jazz heritage. He was born and raised here and attended Paseo Academy. When still a teen, he was a featured soloist in a Kansas City Symphony concert. His rich alto-sax tone winds through a post-bop sensibility, recognizing what jazz was while simultaneously reaching for what’s next. A dozen years ago, he moved to New York, but he returns here for two shows this weekend. At Take Five on Friday, Richardson joins a quartet of today’s young KC jazz stars: Hermon Mehari on trumpet, Peter Schlamb on vibes, Karl McComas-Reichl on bass and John Kizilarmut on drums. Saturday, he headlines at the Blue Room. — Larry Kopitnik Logan Richardson, 8-10 p.m. Friday, December 13, with the Peter Schlamb Quartet at Take Five (5336 West 151st Street), $10 cover; 8:30 p.m.-12:30 a.m. Saturday, December 14, at the Blue Room (1600 East 18th Street), $15 cover.

INTERNS WANTED P p

TH

IS

W

EE

KE

ND

!

If you have an interest in marketing, advertising, design, event planning and/or media, we may have an opportunity that will fit your internship needs. To qualify you must currently be enrolled in college and able to receive college credit. You also must be able to handle multiple projects at once and have related computer knowledge.

STONE TEMPLE PILOTS WITH CHESTER BENNINGTON December 12, 2013

COLD NIGHTS HOT COUNTRY FEATURING: BART CROW AND SCOTT FORD BAND December 19, 2013

CHIPPENDALES

The Pitch is currently accepting applications for interns for the Spring & Summer semesters in the departments listed. Feel free to send us an email letting us know why you would like to intern with us.

AARON LEWIS

February 15, 2014

February 19, 2014

UPCOMING SHOWS:

Marketing / Business

12/13

Flirt Friday

12/27

12/14

Wynonna and The Big Noise A Simpler Christmas

12/28

12/20

SLAM Radio 2013 Christmas Concert 1-800-745-3000

Kilroy Presents: Wayman’s Revelation Sexy Saturday

jason.dockery@pitch.com

Sales / Business erin.carey@pitch.com

Graphic Design / Advertising christina.riddle@pitch.com

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816.561.6061 pitch.com V2_98285.16_4.776x9.8125_4c_Ad.indd 1

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december 12-18, 2013

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Music

Music Forecast

By

n ata l ie G a l l a Ghe r

1515 WESTPORT RD. • 816-931-9417

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CHECK OUT THE NEW ALL DAY HAPPY HOUR

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OPENDAILY SUN. 12PM-12AM MON.TUES.SAT. 4PM-1:30AM

WED-FRI 12PM-1:30AM KITCHEN OPEN LATE

Chris Mullins

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Cowboy Indian Bear

This past spring, Lawrence music champions Cowboy Indian Bear released Live Old, Die Young, a heartbreaking and beautiful album. The 13 tracks unfurl with a sort of luxurious agony, shedding one orchestral layer after another. On Thursday, Cowboy Indian Bear plays its last show of the year. And the band has a few treats in mind for its audience, including welcoming a temporary fifth member to the usual four-piece. Bonus: This is a free show, so you have no excuse to skip. Local indie rockers Middle Twin and Forrester open.

Thursday, December 12, at the Granada (1020 Massachusetts, Lawrence, 785-842-1390)

Heffron Drive

Andover, Kansas, native Kendall Schmidt is probably best known for his role in the Nickelodeon TV series Big Time Rush and from the eponymous boy band born out of that show. Lately, though, Schmidt is shifting his focus to a project called Heffron Drive, a Fall Out Boy–like duo (along with BTR guitarist Dustin Belt) that he was part of before landing a spot on the hit series. In Heffron Drive, Schmidt shows an excellent set of pop

the pitch

December 12-18, 2013

Thursday, December 12, at the Riot Room (4048 Broadway, 816-442-8179)

Tech N9ne with Gee Watts

Far be it for hometown hip-hop hero Tech N9ne to take a day off. Hot off the release of his Therapy EP, and somehow slotted into an endless touring schedule, the undisputed underground king is delivering an early Christmas present to the people of Lawrence with a live show at the Granada on Saturday. Supporting Tech is Kansas City MC Gee Watts. Expect swelling local love from the audience and, if the concert reviews are accurate, more than a few fan-thrown G-strings.

Saturday, December 14, at the Granada (1020 Massachusetts, Lawrence, 785-842-1390)

The Record Machine’s X-mas Show

Local label the Record Machine has again organized what sounds like a thoroughly festive holiday party. There will be music from a host of Kansas City talent to get you

f o r e c a s t

The Royal Concept (left) and Tech N9ne in the spirit, with sets by Max Justus, C.J. Calhoun, Dots Not Feathers, Palace and La Guerre, plus DJ sets from Motorboater and Nartan. Wear an ugly holiday sweater and get a discount at the door. (Oh, don’t be coy. You know you have plenty to choose from.) Saturday, Decemb er 14, at MiniBar

(3810 Broadway, 816-326-8281)

The Royal Concept

The first time I heard Stockholm’s the Royal Concept, I could have sworn that I was listening to Phoenix. (To be fair, I wasn’t the only one.) Upbeat, catchy pop hooks on the band’s self-titled debut EP press impatiently against lightweight drumbeats and runaway synths. It sounds like the Swedish foursome found the magic recipe for the perfect indie-pop album and added a gallon of Red Bull. Forget Phoenix — the Royal Concept is building a new indie throne. With American Authors and Misterwives.

Wednesday, December 18, at RecordBar (1020 Westport Road, 816-753-5207)

K e Y

Pick of the Week

Curious Crowd

 Indie Pop

 Locally Sourced

Hip-Hop

We Heart Sweden

Free Show

Party Time

Hometown Hero

Emo

Ugly-Sweater Weather

Princes of Pop

WWW.THERECORDBAR.COMFOR FULL SCHEDULE

24

vocals. Though he is unabashed about his emo influences, Schmidt seems unlikely to put on eyeliner for this Riot Room gig.

pitch.com

REGISTER TO ATTEND Go to sxsw.com/attend now to take advantage of current registration discounts and to get your hotel. Next discount deadline January 10, 2014. MUSIC GEAR EXPO March 13–15, 2014 Learn more at sxsw.com/trade-shows/gear ADVERTISE | MARKET | EXHIBIT sxsw.com/marketing EXPERIENCE MORE Visit us at: youtube.com/sxsw Brought to you by:

P p

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december 12-18, 2013

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25

AGENDA

continued from page 11

Thursday | 12.12 |

PAUL MESNER PUPPETS

Miguel Mambo DeLeon with Carte Blanc | 9 p.m.

Green Lady Lounge, 1809 Grand

phony | 8 p.m. Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, 1601 Broadway, kcsymphony.org

PERFORMING ARTS

KU Chamber Singers Holiday Concert | 7 p.m.

Regnier Hall, 12600 Quivira (KU Edwards Campus), Overland Park

KU School of Music presents Jazz Vespers | 7:30 p.m. Lied Center of Kansas, 1600 Stewart Dr., Lawrence, lied.ku.edu

Grand Marquis | 7 p.m. Jazz, 1823 W.

39th St.

Heffron Drive, Eric Dash, Ariana & the Rose | 5 p.m., $35-$100, the Riot Room, 4048 Broadway

Turtle Island Quartet with Tierney Sutton |

FRIDAY

1 2 .1 3

7:30 p.m. Lied Center of Kansas, 1600 Stewart Dr., Lawrence, lied.ku.edu SEASONAL EVENTS

out Strung tmas is r h on C

Christmas in the Park | 5:30-11 p.m. Longview Lake Campground, 10711 W. Scherer

John Keck’s Angels and Devils with Chad Abernathy and Brent Jamison | 8 p.m. Coda,

COMEDY

Louie Anderson | 8 p.m. Stanford’s Comedy Club, 1867 Village West Pkwy., KCK Rob Little | 7:30 p.m. Improv Comedy Club and Dinner Theater, 7260 N.W. 87th St.

1744 Broadway

Spirit of Christmas Past | 10 a.m.-4 p.m. BinghamWaggoner Estate, 313 W. Pacific, Independence

Chris Knight with Mike McClure | 8 p.m. Knuck-

leheads Saloon, 2715 Rochester

COMEDY

M-Bird Songwriter’s Showcase with Megan Birdsall | 8-10:30 p.m. The Uptown Arts Bar, 3611

Louie Anderson | 7:45 and 9:45 p.m. Stanford’s Comedy Club, 1867 Village West Pkwy., KCK

Eddie Moore & the Outer Circle | 7 p.m. The Blue

Steve Kramer | 7:45 and 10 p.m. Stanford’s on Broadway, 3700 Broadway

Broadway

FILM

Kansas City Art Institute’s Film and Animation Exhibition | 7 p.m. Alamo Drafthouse, 1400 Main Premiere of Gridiron Girls | 6:30 p.m. panel discus-

sion, 6:45 p.m. screening, $25, Screenland Armour Theater, 408 Armour Rd., North Kansas City

Room, 1616 E. 18th St.

Psychic Heat, Moon Honey, Oils | Jackpot Music Hall, 943 Massachusetts, Lawrence

7 p.m. Kanza Hall, 7300 W. 119th St., Overland Park

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

Alien Jones, Hibou, Monta At Odds | 10 p.m. RecordBar, 1020 Westport Rd.

Awkward Side Hug, Sideways Glance | Jazzhaus, 926-1/2 Massachusetts, Lawrence

Earl Cates & Them | 6:30 p.m. Knuckleheads Saloon,

2715 Rochester

Counter-Culture | The Kill Devil Club, 61 E. 14th St. Cowboy Indian Bear, Middle Twin, Forrester | 7 p.m. The Granada, 1020 Massachusetts, Lawrence

10 a.m. and 7 p.m., Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral, 13th St. and Broadway, paulmesnerpuppets.org

Shooting Star benefit show for Harvesters |

MUSIC

Adventure Club with DVBBS, Dallas K, Hunter Siegel and JT Quick | 7:30 p.m. The Midland, 1228 Main

Rob Little | 7:30 and 9:45 p.m. Improv Comedy Club Paul Mesner Puppets presents The Nativity |

Friday | 12.13 |

Gallery, 3951 Broadway

KC magazine’s Most Wanted Auction | 7 p.m. Town Pavilion, 1111 Main

MUSIC

6:30 p.m. VooDoo Lounge, Harrah’s Casino, 1 Riverboat Dr., North Kansas City

A Kansas Nutcracker | 7 p.m. Lawrence Arts Center, 940 New Hampshire, Lawrence

California Voodoo | 9 p.m. The Riot Room, 4048

Uzis, Whyte Bitch | 10 p.m. Replay Lounge, 946

Kansas City Ballet presents The Nutcracker |

Wazteland Warriorz, DJ Carlito, Kansas Prairie Killers, Cykosomatik, the Naydivz, Rico Ricardo, Big Nate | 8 p.m. The Riot Room, 4048 Broadway

KC Civic Orchestra’s Sounds of the Season |

Massachusetts, Lawrence

Whatever Forever tape-release show with Y(our) Fri(end), CS Luxem, the Ovaries-eez | 10 p.m. The Eighth Street Taproom, 801 New Hampshire, Lawrence

Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, 1601 Broadway, kcballet.org

Atonement Lutheran Church, 9948 Metcalf, Overland Park, kccivic.org

Charlotte Street’s 2013 Visual Artist Awards Exhibition | Grand Arts, 1819 Grand, charlottestreet.org

Broadway

The Departed, Brandon Jenkins, Exit 13 | 7 p.m.

The Granada, 1020 Massachusetts, Lawrence

Dolls on Fire, Forrester, Haunt Ananta, Vi Tran Band, Not A Planet | Jackpot Music Hall, 943 Mas-

sachusetts, Lawrence

Price Point by Honey Pot Performance | 9 p.m.

John Fullbright, Jason Eady, Courtney Patton, the Black Lillies | 8:30 p.m. Knuckleheads Saloon,

The Texas Tenors with the Kansas City Sym-

Gardienne, John Scott Young | 7 p.m. RecordBar,

Lost and Found: A Group Show | PLUG Projects,

N. Boardwalk Ave.

Paragraph Gallery, 23 E. 12th St.

1613 Genessee

SNIPE HUNT | 12-6 p.m. Saturday-Sunday,

2715 Rochester

1020 Westport Rd.

Groove Therapy | The BrewTop Pub and Patio, 8614

Haunted Creepys, Trainwreck Trio | The Brick, 1727 McGee

Celebrating Picasso: Through the Lens of David Douglas Duncan | Nelson-Atkins Museum

Dressed Up | Kemper Museum of Contemporary

Charlotte Street: We’ll Make Out Better Than Okay | La Esquina, 1000 W. 25th St.

of Art, 4525 Oak

Impressionist France | Nelson-Atkins Museum

Test Patterns and Floor Samples: New Work by Garry Noland | Studios Inc., 1708 Campbell

Mac Lethal | Club 906, 906 W. Liberty Dr., Liberty

Charlotte Street’s Studio Residency Program Holiday Open House | 5-9 p.m. Friday,

Kaws • Ups and Downs; Dylan Mortimer • Illuminate | Nerman Museum of Contemporary

Vibe Tribe Studio | Second Friday Troost Art Hop,

chusetts, Lawrence

of Art, 4525 Oak

Town Pavilion, 1111 Main

26

COMMUNITY BENEFITS

PERFORMING ARTS

Stone Temple Pilots with Chester Bennington |

ART EXHIBITS & EVENTS Lynn Benson: Sidetrip | 12-4 p.m. Saturday, Kiosk

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

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December 12-18, 2013

Art, 4420 Warwick Blvd., kemperart.org

Art, JCCC, 12345 College Blvd., Overland Park

pitch.com

Percolator, alley between Arts Center and Ninth St., Lawrence.

6-10 p.m., 5504 Troost, troostarthop.com

Garry Lincoln | The Dubliner, 170 E. 14th St.

Moon Jr., Brain Food | Jazzhaus, 926-1/2 Massa-

Old No. 5s | The Kill Devil Club, 61 E. 14th St.

Potters Field, Filthy 13 | Coda, 1744 Broadway

ciful, Torn the Fuck Apart, Marasmus, A Plague in Faith | 8 p.m., $5. The Riot Room, 4048 Broadway

BOLSHOI BALLET

Psychic Heat, Y(our) Fri(end) | 10 p.m. Replay Lounge, 946 Massachusetts, Lawrence

Club Wars | 10 p.m. RecordBar, 1020 Westport Rd.

Y S U N DA

12.15

Radkey, Drop a Grand, Stiff Middle Fingers | 10 p.m. RecordBar, 1020 Westport Rd.

Ruka Puff, Diamond G, Papa Rich, Joey Da Spitta, Swerve Chain, Ele’ment, Mr. Kool Aid, B-41, Tri.5.7. and Black Smoke | 8 p.m. The Pool

ers tcrack No nu e r e h

Room, 925 Iowa, Lawrence

The Disappointments | The Dubliner, 170 E. 14th St. General Bastard | 9 p.m. Davey’s Uptown, 3402 Main Lowercasekansas | 8 p.m. The Bottleneck, 737 New

Hampshire, Lawrence

The Night the Buzz Stole Xmas | 5 p.m. The Mid-

land, 1228 Main

Peter Schlamb Quartet | 8 p.m. Take Five Coffee + Bar, 5336 W. 151st St., Leawood

Parallax | 8 p.m. Take Five Coffee + Bar, 5336 W. 151st St., Leawood

Danielle Schnebelen and Shinetop | 9:30 p.m. Knuckleheads Saloon, 2715 Rochester

The Phantastics | Jazzhaus, 926-1/2 Massachusetts,

School of Rock Holiday Preview Show | 6:30 p.m.

Lawrence

The Uncouth, the Bad Ideas | 9 p.m. Davey’s Up-

The Record Machine Xmas Show with Max Justus, CJ Calhoun, Dots Not Feathers, Palace, La Guerre, Motorboater and DJ Nartan | 9 p.m.

Aftershock Bar & Grill, 5240 Merriam Dr., Merriam

town, 3402 Main

What I’ve Become, 10001, Starving for Style |

Bolshoi Ballet presents Sleeping Beauty | 1:30 p.m. Tivoli Cinemas, 4050 Pennsylvania, tivolikc.com

Wild Men of KC | 8:30 p.m. The Blue Room, 1616 E.

KC Civic Orchestra’s Sounds of the Season |

7 p.m. Czar, 1531 Grand

18th St.

Atonement Lutheran Church, 9948 Metcalf, Overland Park, kccivic.org

UMKC vs. Indiana State men’s basketball |

2:05p.m.MunicipalAuditorium/MusicHall,301W.13thSt.

Paul Mesner Puppets presents The Nativity |

2 and 5 p.m. Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral, 13th St. and Broadway, paulmesnerpuppets.org

Christmas in the Park | 5:30-11 p.m. Longview Lake

Downton Abbey Party | 7 p.m. Barnes & Noble -

COMEDY

Father Christmas | 10 a.m. Alexander Majors House,

Flirt Friday | 9 p.m. VooDoo Lounge, Harrah’s Casino, 1 Riverboat Dr., North Kansas City

Girl 2 Girl Social | 7 p.m. The Uptown Arts Bar, 3611

Broadway

Sexy Nurse Fundraiser with Annie Cherry | 8 p.m.

The Bottleneck, 737 New Hampshire, Lawrence

Young Friends of Art Second-Friday Happy Hour | 6-8 p.m. Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, 4525 Oak

Saturday | 12.14 | PERFORMING ARTS

Steve Kramer | 7:45 and 10 p.m. Stanford’s on Broadway, 3700 Broadway

Campground, 10711 W. Scherer

8201 State Line Rd., wornallmajors.org

Rob Little | 7 and 9:45 p.m. Improv Comedy Club and

5 p.m. Powell Gardens, 1609 N.W. Hwy. 50, Kingsville, powellgardens.org

SPORTS & REC

Spirit of Christmas Past | 10 a.m.-4 p.m. BinghamWaggoner Estate, 313 W. Pacific, Independence

Candy Cane Course 5k & 10k | 8 a.m., downtown

Whoville Holidays | 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m. City Market,

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

Lee’s Summit, intersection of Third and Green

20 E. Fifth St.

Christmas Light 5k | 5:30 p.m., $40, Armour Road

Wynonna & the Big Noise — A Simpler Christmas | 6:30 p.m. VooDoo Lounge, Harrah’s Casino, 1

and Swift Ave., North Kansas City

Christmas Light Run 5k | 5:30 p.m. Zona Rosa, 8640 N. Dixson Ave.

Riverboat Dr., North Kansas City

The Ice at Park Place | 11 a.m.-10 p.m., $7 ($3 skate

FILM

Kansas City Women’s Chorus presents “I’ll Be Home” | 8 p.m. Folly Theater, 300 W. 12th St., kcwom-

enschorus.org

Kansas Public Radio’s Big Band Christmas | 7 p.m. Liberty Hall, 644 Massachusetts, Lawrence

Kansas vs. New Mexico men’s basketball | 6 p.m. Sprint Center, 1407 Grand

Pompeii from the British Museum | 11 a.m. Tivoli

Cinemas, 4050 Pennsylvania, tivolikc.com

Mavericks vs. Allen Americans | 7:05 p.m. Independence Events Center, 19100 E. Valley View Pkwy.

Thuggees, All Blood | 10 p.m. Replay Lounge, 946 Massachusetts, Lawrence Toys for Tots with the Blue Boot Heelers, the Naughty Pines, Starhaven Rounders and the Late Night Callers | 7 p.m. Knuckleheads Saloon,

2715 Rochester

Ugly Sweater Christmas Party with the Bowtie Affair | Danny’s Bar and Grill, 13350 College Blvd., Lenexa The Waspmen, the Quivers, the Lucky Graves, a Fine Kettle O Fish | 6:30 p.m. Coda, 1744 Broadway Wells the Traveler, 40 Watt Dreams | 7 p.m. Czar,

Boardwalk Ave.

The Zeros | 9 p.m. The Brooksider, 6330 Brookside Plz.

Sunday | 12.15 | PERFORMING ARTS

A Kansas Nutcracker | 2 p.m. Lawrence Arts Center,

MUSIC

940 New Hampshire, Lawrence

Kris Kringle 5k | 10 a.m. Southeast Community Center, 4201 E. 63rd St.

Lawrence

Wonderfuzz | The BrewTop Pub and Patio, 8614 N.

Kansas City Ballet presents The Nutcracker |

rental), 117th St. and Nall, Leawood

Tech N9ne | 7 p.m. The Granada, 1020 Massachusetts,

COMMUNITY BENEFITS

Port in a Storm — Holiday Fundraiser for LikeMe Lighthouse | 7 p.m. The Uptown Arts Bar, 3611 Broadway

for skate rental), 2450 Grand

The Summit, Forrester | The Brick, 1727 McGee

1531 Grand

Crown Center Ice Terrace | 10 a.m.-11 p.m., $6 ($3

2 and 7:30 p.m. Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, 1601 Broadway, kcballet.org

Knuckleheads Saloon, 2715 Rochester

Gardens by Candlelight: A Luminary Walk |

A Kansas Nutcracker | 7 p.m. Lawrence Arts Center, 940 New Hampshire, Lawrence

Danielle Schnebelen and Shinetop | 9:30 p.m.

SEASONAL EVENTS

DJs Margo May and Brian Klein | 10 p.m. MiniBar,

Zona Rosa, 8625 N.W. Prairie View Rd.

Logan Richardson | 8:30 p.m. The Blue Room, 1616 E. 18th St.

NIGHTLIFE

3810 Broadway

MiniBar, 3810 Broadway

Boss Hooligan, DJ Moonstomp, Ruben, DJ Boo | 10 p.m. MiniBar, 3810 Broadway Cannibal Christmas with Gornography, Unmer-

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Follow the Star: Fine Arts Chorale | 3 p.m. First United Methodist Church, 946 Vermont, Lawrence, FineArtsChoraleKC.org continued on page 28 december 12-18, 2013

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27

continued from page 27 Kansas City Ballet: The Nutcracker | 1 and 5 p.m.

TheaTer

Kauffman Center, 1601 Broadway, kcballet.org

Dates and times vary.

Kansas City Women’s Chorus presents “I’ll Be Home” | 4 p.m. Folly Theater, 300 W. 12th St.,

A Christmas Carol | Kansas City Repertory

kcwomenschorus.org

Paul Mesner Puppets presents The Nativity |

3 p.m. Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral, 13th St. and Broadway, paulmesnerpuppets.org

Theatre, 4949 Cherry, kcrep.org

A Spectacular Christmas | Musical Theater Heritage, Off Center Theatre, Crown Center, 2450 Grand, mthkc.org Beauty and the Beast | Starting Tuesday,

Paragraph Gallery, 23 E. 12th St.

Municipal Auditorium/Music Hall, 301 W. 13th St., theaterleague.org

Ben Sidran: There Was A Fire: Jews, Music and the American Dream | 2 p.m. White Theatre, Jewish

Best Laid Plans: a Murder Mystery Dinner | 7 p.m. Saturday, KCMT Tiffany Ballroom, 903

SPortS & reC

Central Standard theatre presents the British Invasion — a Festival of British theatre | Through Sunday, Metropolitan

Price Point by Honey Pot Performance | 3 p.m.

Community Center, 5801 W. 115th St., Overland Park, jewishkc.org

Crown Center Ice terrace | 10 a.m.-9 p.m., $6 ($3 for skate rental), 2450 Grand

the Ice at Park Place | 12-8 p.m., $7 ($3 skate rental),

117th St. and Nall, Leawood

KU vs. Purdue women’s basketball | 2 p.m. Allen

Fieldhouse, 1651 Naismith Dr., Lawrence

2013 Jingle Bell run/Walk | 9 a.m. Meritex Enterprises, 17501 W. 98th St., Lenexa

UMKC vs. texas Southern women’s basketball | 1 p.m. Swinney Recreation Center, 5100 Rockhill Rd. SeaSonal eventS

Harrison. grimprov.com/kansas-city

Ensemble Theatre, 3614 Main, cstkc.org

Clybourne Park | Unicorn Theatre, 3828 Main, unicorntheatre.org

Christmas in Song | Quality Hill Playhouse, 303 W. 10th St., qualityhillplayhouse.com

Dead Air | $54/$64, the Golden Ox, 1600 Genessee, kcmysterytrain.com

Forever Plaid | Chestnut Fine Arts Center,

234 N. Chestnut, Olathe, chestnutfinearts.com

Our Author Died Today | The Living Room Theatre, 1818 McGee, thelivingroomkc.com

Christmas in the Park | 5:30-10 p.m. Longview Lake Campground, 10711 W. Scherer

The Santaland Diaries | Kansas City Rep, Copaken Stage, 13th St. and Walnut, kcrep.org

Gardens by Candlelight: a luminary Walk |

the 6th annual 6 x 10 Play Festival |

5 p.m. Powell Gardens, 1609 N.W. Hwy. 50, Kingsville

Friday-Sunday, the Barn Players, 6219 Martway, Mission, thebarnplayers.org

FIlM

Pompeii from the British Museum | 11 a.m. Tivoli

’Twas the Night Before Christmas | Theatre for Young America, City Stage Theater, 30 W. Pershing Rd., Union Station, tya.org

MUSIC

12 Plays of Christmas | Fishtank Performance

Cinemas, 4050 Pennsylvania, tivolikc.com

Studio, 1715 Wyandotte

Coats for Kids benefit with David George and the Crooked Mile, Betse ellis, Johnny Hamil, Blackbird revue and more | Half-price with new or used child’s coat, 6 p.m. RecordBar, 1020 Westport Rd.

First anniversary show with the KC Sound Collective | 10 p.m. Green Lady Lounge, 1809 Grand

The Wiz | The Coterie, 2450 Grand, Crown Center, thecoterie.org

Monday | 12.16 |

Hooligan Holiday with los Skarnales, the Bishops, the Interrupters | 6 p.m. Uptown Theater, 3700

MUSIC

Jake lickteig | Jackpot Music Hall, 943 Massachu-

author & the Illustrator, Baker’s Pride, Wolf, the rabbit | 10 p.m. RecordBar, 1020 Westport Rd.

Service Industry Gospel revival | Westport Saloon,

Brother John’s Motivational r&B/Soul Showcase | 7 p.m. The Uptown Arts Bar, 3611 Broadway

Broadway

setts, Lawrence

4112 Pennsylvania

28

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December 12-18, 2013

pitch.com

Dwight Foster | 7 p.m. The Blue Room, 1616 E. 18th St. The Munsens, Bummer, Sedlec Ossuary, Exeter | 8 p.m. The Riot Room, 4048 Broadway Villains, Gift Giver, Every Hand Revealed, On the Shoulders of Giants | 6:30 p.m. The Bottleneck, 737

New Hampshire, Lawrence

Tuesday | 12.17 | PERFORMinG ARTS

Skillnjah | 10 p.m. RecordBar, 1020 Westport Rd. niGHTLiFE

Jazz Poetry Jam | 7 p.m. Blue Room, 1616 E. 18th St. Tap Room Trivia | 8-10 p.m. Waldo Pizza, 7433

Broadway

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

Wednesday | 12.18 |

Follow the Star: Fine Arts Chorale Christmas Concert | 7:30 p.m. Cathedral of the Immaculate

PERFORMinG ARTS

Conception, 416 W. 12th St.

irish Songs and Tales with Ashley Davis and Friends | 7 p.m. Lied Center of Kansas, 1600 Stewart

Dr., Lawrence, lied.ku.edu

Kansas City Ballet presents The Nutcracker | 7:30 p.m. Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, 1601 Broadway, kcballet.org

SPORTS & REC LiTERARy EVEnTS

Writers Place Poetry Series | 7 p.m. Johnson County

Central Resource Library, 9875 W. 87th St., Overland Park, writersplace.org

Crown Center ice Terrace | 10 a.m.-9 p.m., $6 ($3 for skate rental), 2450 Grand, 816-274-8444.

The ice at Park Place | 11 a.m.-10 p.m., $7 ($3 skate rental), 117th St. and Nall, Leawood

MuSiC

Busker’s Banquet music open-mic with Sondra Freeman | 9 p.m. The Uptown Arts Bar, 3611 Broadway

uMKC vs. Miami university men’s basketball | 7:05 p.m. Municipal Auditorium/Music Hall, 301 W.

13th St.

The Crayons | 7 p.m. RecordBar, 1020 Westport Rd. Foundation Big Band | 9 p.m. Green Lady Lounge,

MuSiC

Ozzie Backus | 8 p.m. The Bottleneck, 737 New Hamp-

1809 Grand

shire, Lawrence

Rapband, Brody Buster Band, Jazz Cigarettes |

Brody Buster Band | 7 p.m. Quasimodo, 12056 W.

MUSEUM ExhibitS & EvEntS

Chris Hazelton Trio | 5:30 p.m. Green Lady Lounge,

10 p.m. Replay Lounge, 946 Massachusetts, Lawrence

A Very Fifties Christmas | Johnson County

Museum of History, 6305 Lackman Rd., Shawnee

Convergence: Jazz, Film, Dance and the Visual Arts | American Jazz Museum, 1616 E.

135th St., Overland Park

1809 Grand

Tyson Leslie & the Scarlet Letters | 8 p.m. The Riot Room, 4048 Broadway

Levee Town with Dustin Arbuckle | 8 p.m. Knuck-

18th St.

leheads Saloon, 2715 Rochester

Music Is My First Love: Lupe M. Gonzalez Dance Orchestra | Kansas City Museum, 3218

The Problems, Tim Easton, nathan Corsi, Elaine McMilian, Kaleigh Baker | 7:30 p.m. Czar, 1531 Grand

Real Pirates | Union Station, 30 W. Pershing Rd.

The Royal Concept, American Authors, Misterwives | 10 p.m. RecordBar, 1020 Westport Rd.

25th Anniversary Holiday Exhibit |

niGHTLiFE

Gladstone Blvd., kansascitymuseum.org

12-5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, Strawberry Hill Ethnic Museum and Cultural Center, 720 N. Fourth St., KCK, strawberryhillmuseum.org

ACLu Charity Party | 5 p.m. Stuff, 316 W. 63rd St.

Take Five Tour | 6 p.m. Tuesday, American

Weirdo Wednesday Supper Club with Sarah Carperter, Victor and Penny, Kimberly Queen, Eartha Delights, Violet Vendetta | 7:30 p.m. Davey’s

Jazz Museum, 1616 E. 18th St., americanjazz museum.org

Talkin’ Truman: Christmas in the White House | 11 a.m. Saturday, Truman Presiden-

tial Museum and Library, 500 West 24 Highway, Independence

Uptown, 3402 Main

E-mail submissions to calendar@pitch.com or enter submissions at pitch.com, where you can search our complete listings guide.

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december 12-18, 2013

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29

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the pitch

Sexless and Depressed Dear SAD: Sorry, but relationship graveyards

around the world are crowded with tombstones that read, “Everything was great … other than the sex.” And this isn’t your mundane, run-ofthe-mill mismatched libido problem, which is bad enough. (And, as I’ve written until my fingers are bleeding, reason enough to end a relationship.) You’re dating a guy who can get it up only when he sees his girlfriend sobbing on the floor — that’s apparently what it takes to make his dick hard — and this sobbing-on-thefloor shit goes down twice a month. I can only conclude that this is how your boyfriend likes it. He’s turned on only when you’re not just miserable but pushed past the breaking point. DTMFA. Frequency is not a problem that improves with time. A boyfriend who wants sex only twice a month at four months into a relationship — and then only when his girlfriend is sobbing — won’t want sex once a week five or 10 years in. You know what else doesn’t improve with time? Assholery. I promise you that the “wonderful” and “thoughtful” will diminish as the years fly by, and the emotionally abusive games that cause you so much pain — pain that, again, seems to give him pleasure — will metastasize, spreading from your sex life to other areas of your life. The more difficult it becomes

December 12-18, 2013

pitch.com

D a n S ava ge the same things and if we can become part of a movement toward freedom and equality for everyone, even if some of the ways we live and love are choices and some are not. The progress we have made together toward a more tolerant world gives me hope that we could be next. I don’t think you are the emperor of acronyms, Dan, but you should be, and that’s why I’m starting with you. So can we be added to the acronym, please? Perhaps we can honor the differences between our experience and the LGBT experience with an ampersand. What do you think of LGBT&P?

Dear Dan: I’m a straight woman who loves my

boyfriend, but sex isn’t a priority for me. His sex drive, on the other hand, is ridiculous. He gets upset when I don’t have sex with him and accuses me of not being interested in him anymore, which isn’t the case. I just can’t fuck on demand! Most people would probably say my boyfriend is an insensitive asshole for pressuring me for sex. Except this was a switcheroo exercise: I, the girlfriend, want more sex. He, my boyfriend, doesn’t see sex as a priority. When we first started dating, we had sex every day — it was incredible — but around the four-month mark, something changed. I’ve had to beg for it ever since — and I mean beg. I give him space, I take care of things on my own for as long as I can, and right around the time when I feel myself start to get really anxious, I ask for sex. And I’m rejected. Only when I’m so hurt that I’m literally sobbing on the floor is he suddenly interested in having sex with me. Right then, right there. It happens about twice a month. I don’t know what to do. I love him so much and would be a fool to leave him. Other than the sex, everything is wonderful. He is the best and most thoughtful boyfriend ever, but he says he likes being the one who’s controlling the sex. Maybe I’m just being a colossal asshole? My problem sounds mundane, I know, but it’s killing me.

By

Privately Polyamorous Person

to extricate yourself from this relationship, the less wonderful and thoughtful he’ll become. End it now.

Dear Dan: I recently ended things with a guy I

liked because he wanted to stop using condoms, but he balked when I said we should both get tested for sexually transmitted infections. He said he felt that I didn’t trust him. I tried to explain that trust has nothing to do with it, and that if he didn’t care whether I felt safe, I shouldn’t trust him. That was the end of it. I’m not seeing this guy anymore. But what do you say to someone who conflates a request for STI testing with a lack of trust?

Seeking Truthful Insight Dear STI: “Bye.” Dear Dan: My husband and I have been married for 20 years, and we both also share our lives with additional partners. Rather than spend a lot of time dishing about who and how we love, I’d like to get right to my plea for support. I want the freedom in my life that I’ve always wanted for you, Dan: to be able to live and love and talk about your actual life without being afraid that it could cost you your job, your kids, your family. Having to live in the closet is difficult. I cannot say it is as difficult for us as it is for someone who is LGBT. I did not know I was “poly” as a kid. I never felt like I didn’t fit in for that reason growing up — and I agree with you that this is a relationship structure rather than a sexual orientation. But this isn’t a contest about who suffers more or where these things come from. I think we should ask ourselves if we stand for

Dear PPP: You haven’t been keeping up. We’re no longer the LGBT community. We are the LGBTQLFTSQIA community, aka the lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, leather/fetish, twospirit, questioning, intersex and asexual community/communities. I don’t see why we can’t slap a “P” onto the end of our acronym, so say it with me now: “I’m proud to be a member of the LGBTQLFTSQIAP community/communities!” But if we give poly folks a punctuation mark, then soon everybody is gonna want a punctuation mark, and our ever-metastasizing acronym is an unwieldy, sprawling enough mess already. And why should poly folks be held at arm’s length with an ampersand? Because most poly folks are straight? Lots of leather/fetish folks are straight, and they’re covered in the acronym. Lots of trans men and trans women are straight, and they’re covered. David Jay, founder of the Asexual Visibility and Education Network, “is in a romantic relationship with an asexual girlfriend and hopes to adopt a child,” according to his Wiki page, and he’s covered. You’re a sexual minority, too, and poly people sometimes face discrimination, bigotry and oppression. So welcome to the club. Congrats! And here’s the best part: It brings us one step closer to seizing control of the entire alphabet. While religious conservatives are fighting a losing battle to “take back the rainbow” from the gays — a movement led by a fundamentalist preacher in Washington state — we’ve been making off with the alphabet one letter at a time. Religious conservatives will soon have to post their hateful screeds in hieroglyphics because using the alphabet will be just as gay as putting a rainbow bumper sticker on your car. So … gee … maybe I ought to let you have your ampersand. Why not steal punctuation marks from the haters, too? The Savage Lovecast is at savagelovecast.com.

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

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