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SH A N N O N K NA P P L E A D S IN VIC TA —AN D WOME N ' S MMA—IN T O T H E MA IN ST R EA M .

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UNBREAKABLE Shannon Knapp and Invicta move to conquer women’s MMA.

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COME TO PRAY JON AT H A N BENDER INFORMED? BY

The Royals’ opening day means it’s wishing time again.

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will start by admitting that I am not a fan of the Kansas City Royals. I root for the Chicago Cubs, as my father does and my grandfather once did. With the Jewish holiday of Passover coming weeks before opening day, and Jews all over the world pledging that next year they’ll be in Jerusalem, my grandfather would utter his own holy wish: that this be the year when the Cubs win the World Series. We wore Cubs caps to his funeral in 2009. This April, I make my own wish. This I tell you only to illustrate that I understand what it means to pin your hopes to a team that is particularly good at grinding down those hopes over a 162-game season. I know LO G MOLREINPE AT what it means to talk yourself into a new roON M / P L O G tation, a new prospect, P IT C H .C O a new organizational approach and, most of all, a new season. Kansas City is a baseball town, a city full of people who have made these bargains with themselves year after year. People want the Royals to be good because life in a baseball town is better when the baseball team is good. Local devotion to this team can’t be questioned. Certainly owner David Glass doesn’t take it for granted — he’s been able to take that loyalty to the bank even in lousy years. The Royals drew nearly 18,000 more fans to home games in 2009, when they lost 97 games, than attended their last winning season, in 2003 (83-79). Last year, the Royals didn’t win a game in Kansas City until May, but even a team that dropped its fi rst 10 contests at home boasted a gate increase of about 15,000 fans. People can’t stay away from the K. Some of that enthusiasm can be credited to All-Star

Field of dreams … and little-rewarded faith. Game hype, but that’s also a testament to faith. The team’s 2013 season slogan, “Come to Play,” might as well be “Come to Pray.” That’s what those blue-and-white-clad fans are doing this week: making the pilgrimage, embracing their inner zealots, letting their spring fever crest. Fans and sports-talk hosts are again vocalizing their belief that this is the year — that this season, the Royals have made the hard and smart decisions. This, they say, is the season we start winning again. I want to believe as they do. I want to believe that Chris Getz will go 6-for-6 in a regular-season game. I want to believe that James Shields will be featured on a Sports Illustrated cover for something other than a regional Baseball Preview edition (for which he was one of six athletes chosen). I want to believe that Jeff Francoeur is more than a nice guy who buys pizzas for fans in Oakland. I want to believe that Sluggerrr can have a scandal-free year. I want to believe that Salvador Perez and Lorenzo Cain will end the year on the field and not in the trainer’s room. I want to believe that Luke Hochevar is Kyle Farnsworth — the good Farnsworth, the Farnsworth with the blazing fastball that lit it up for the Royals in 2010. I want to believe what Joe Posnanski wrote for NBC Sports last month, that “for the first time in what seems like forever, the Royals don’t enter a season needing miracles.” That doesn’t mean I’d turn down a miracle. That’s what you’re asking for, after all, when you make a holy wish.

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SPACE COWBOY J

oss Whedon, the well-regarded writer and director of last year’s overlooked mumblecore indie The Avengers, is represented at this year’s Planet Comicon (April 6–7 at Bartle Hall) by the sheer quantity of his fin de siècle work. Other celebrity guests include Buffy the Vampire Slayer actors Nicholas Brendon and Clare Kramer, and the crowdpleasing Adam Baldwin, who portrayed Jayne Cobb, the amoral space-gun-for-spacehire on Whedon’s beloved and lamentably short-lived 2003 Fox series, Firefly. Whedon wrote Firefly, a science-fiction Western, mostly, as a moody character study often punctuated with action and humor, and infused it with enough soul and humanity to devasLO G MOLREINPE AT tate the small audience that had found the show ON M / P L O G before Fox strapped it P IT C H .C O into its little child-safety car seat and then backed the car into a lake. Its resurrection as the excellent film Serenity, in 2005, gave Whedon and his cast the opportunity to revisit their characters and finish the story. Baldwin’s acting career began in 1980, when he was selected to play Chris Makepeace’s teen protector, Ricky Linderman, in My Bodyguard. His credits include Full Metal Jacket and an IMDB list of TV guest roles as long as, well, something really long and impressive — let’s say The Silmarillion, in deference to elf enthusiasts attending this weekend’s events downtown. But Firefly was a turning point for Baldwin. A new fanbase discovered his work, and it was also the first time he’d been allowed to demonstrate his comedic chops. Baldwin, with his grim and hard-nosed demeanor, turned out to be cunningly adept at mocking himself. Interviewed by phone, Baldwin says, “It’s a testament to Joss’ writing. He’d seen a spark

Baldwin: Packin’ for Planet Comicon. of my humor in my previous work, I guess. And the role — it was a chance to let loose through the furniture, to have fun. If you saw my life at home, or my life growing up, I have a lighter side. I’ve raised three kids, and we’ve had a lot of fun. I’m no Great Santini at home, that’s for sure, although I guess I do get cranky and bark sometimes. If I had the opportunity to do a straight comedy, that would be terrific, but I am definitely constrained by my size: 6-foot4, 240. I’m never going to be the short guy.” The show was a career changer, but he didn’t know it at first. Of its demise, he says, “Firefly was a perfect storm of events. They didn’t air the pilot. The producers and the network didn’t see eye to eye on it. It launched at a time where the first season of American Idol was sucking up all the oxygen in the room. We lost out being launched on Wednesday because Fox had very little room for new pilots. And we

Adam Baldwin talks Joss Whedon, guns and making the funny.

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CH RI S PA CKH A M

On Firefly, Baldwin’s focus was on relationhad a two-hour pilot that would have taken ships. “Joss never agreed with this, but my up Wednesday at 8 and 9. The pilot episode private inner monologue was that Jayne found isn’t fast-paced until late in the episode — it’s Inara [Morena Baccarin] to be the perfect mostly a character study and kind of hard to woman. Who is the hot person in the room? set up, and that wasn’t a risk the network was willing to take on a Wednesday night.” Buried It’s a question they ask in acting school. In other words, who are you playing the scene on Friday nights, the show found a dedicated following of the kinds of people who (like cer- for? You could be talking to Nathan Fillion tain freelance alt-weekly writers) watch TV on or standing up to him, but your character Friday nights. is showing off for Inara. It gives the scene Firefly ultimately led to more TV work, a more complex nature because people just mostly hard-ass roles befitting his big, mean operate that way. The audience gets that stature. But casting agents and showrunners subconsciously.” were now aware of his comic ability. As Col. Of the proudly nerdcore fanbase that now John Casey on Chuck, Baldwin got an extended follows his work, Baldwin says, “Joss warned opportunity to riff on those themes. “That’s us: ‘This show’s gonna change your life, guys.’ what they say about typecasting,” he says. He knew. If it had succeeded and stayed on “But it’s a living. There’s a great radio talkthe air, it would have been even more so. It’s show host, Mr. K., in L.A. — his name’s Marc been a great pleasure to meet a lot of people Germain. Mr. KABC. His tagline is ‘Better than who saw my work on the show. They really most, not as good as some.’ You strive to be care about the shows, the characters, the writas good as you can, let the ers. They love the graphicchips fall where they may.” novel artists and writers B a ldw i n’s c ha rac ter that go to the conventions. “Making Serenity was preparations are sometimes They care. They know. the highlight of my life, obvious but often unnotice“And I gotta tell you, workwise, because of able to the audience, with making Serenity was the weapons training falling highlight of my life, workthe way Firefly went into the “obvious” category. wise, because of the way down and the way Joss Finding realistic armature Firefly went down and the was able to resurrect on which to build characway Joss was able to resurters is weirdly more imporrect the show. We were vinthe show. We were tant for a science-fiction dicated. The shoot was fun. vindicated.” premise. “You have a show We felt lucky and blessed [Chuck] where there’s a comto have the opportunity. puter in a guy’s head. The Everybody dedicated themtrick with a show like that is finding things selves, and when the shoot was over, we were to ground you with relationships or props or sad. But then we had the premieres and got whatever you can get your hands on to make to meet the fans, and it was magical. What that seem believable — to stay within the con- was so great was Joss’ joy at being able to straints of the bible of the show. The audience return for that.” recognizes immediately if you’ve not maintained the logic of the show.” E-mail feedback@pitch.com

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UNBREAKABLE

SHANNON KNAPP AND INVICTA MOVE TO CONQUER WOMEN'S MMA. B Y J U S T I N K E N D A L L | P H O T O G R A P H Y B Y B R O O K E VA N D E V E R 8

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hannon Knapp rides the elevator to the top floor of the Aladdin hotel, in downtown Kansas City, Missouri. The president of Invicta Fighting Championships has been talking about the future of her women’s mixed-martial-arts organization: a TV deal. The elevator stops. “It’s going to happen,” Knapp says as she steps out of the lift and into the hotel’s sun-soaked, 16th-floor ballroom. “We’re going to have a deal. How could we not?” Knapp, the first woman executive of a sport dominated by testosterone and egomaniacs, calls herself a “girlie girl.” The 45-yearold keeps her raven hair long, with bangs, and today wears jeans, knee-high boots and a button-down shirt under a jacket. In one hand is her BlackBerry. A deep bag hangs over her shoulder. In a little more than a week, her grouchy, hungry fighters weigh in here for the April 5 Invicta card at the Ameristar Casino Hotel. “I feel like we’re ready to just blow up,” she says. This weekend’s card is the first anniversary of her fledgling promotion, which ran its April 28, 2012, debut event (and the three following it) at Memorial Hall in Kansas City, Kansas. Knapp’s crossing of the state line makes her the Ameristar’s exclusive MMA provider — a deal she says is already paying off. “Our ticket sales are extremely good,” Knapp says. “I’ve made more money already than I’ve ever made at Memorial Hall.” Knapp isn’t just hyping April 5, though it’s easily the biggest all-women’s MMA event yet in the sport’s history. The 13-fight card features two title bouts: Jessica Penne defends her atomweight championship against Michelle Waterson, and Barb Honchak and Vanessa Porto battle for the vacant flyweight championship. It comes on the heels of a sensational February fight that pitted UFC bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey against Liz Carmouche, a veteran of the first two Invicta events. And it marks the return of Brazilian fighter Cristiane “Cyborg” Santos after a yearlong suspension for steroid use. “She made a bad decision, for whatever reason, and I believe everybody gets a second chance and deserves one,” Knapp says of Santos, with whom she worked in the now-defunct fight-promotion company Strikeforce. “I believe she’s clean, healthy and good.” Rousey and Carmouche in that February UFC main event was, Knapp says, “a proud moment.” Fans took note, with an estimated 500,000 pay-per-view buys. “Look at Liz’s career,” Knapp says. “Liz was in Strikeforce, nobody paying attention to her, nothing going on. She comes over and fights for us, and guess what? She’s the first one to fight Ronda.” Rousey is the face of women’s MMA. But a star-driven sport needs more than just one star. Knapp knows it. “Ronda Rousey can only do so much,” she says. “She’s just one. I needed something to

Former UFC heavyweight champion Bas Rutten (left) and Shannon Knapp on the headsets at Invicta 4.

the Cage, Affliction and Strikeforce. And she built strong ties with the athletes, who found themselves oddly vulnerable in her presence. “I’d actually make the boys cry,” Knapp says. “They used to say that I was so mean benapp grew up in Rock Port, Missouri, cause I’d do an interview with the athlete, and where she dreamed of becoming a ninja. before you know it, he’s crying. I was a mom “My mom thought I was crazy,” she says. As then, too, so maybe it was more of a maternal a girl, she read Soldier of Fortune, imagining thing where they opened up. But that’s what herself attending the ninja camps that were the IFL and other companies saw: that conadvertised in the magazine. She pictured how nection that I could make with the athletes, she’d fight off would-be attackers. which would be valuable to them.” “When I was younger, I was raped and Knapp worked her way up to assaulted with a knife,” Knapp executive roles in more than says. She was 14 at the time. “Every time one company, but as each of “It’s really strange. Sometimes I climbed to the her employers folded or was I think about it, and it’s like, sold, and she started over in this happened to you, and top — hard work, a new league, she found yet you ended up right honestly — the boy got that she had to prove smack-dab in the middle herself all over again. of all of these men who the job because I’m a girl. “I know what it feels are rowdy and aggresBut when they failed, like to be held back,” sive, and you dominated. Knapp says. “Every time There’s something to be they always brought I climbed to the top — hard said for taking back the fear me in to x it.” work, honestly — the boy got or taking back control. I sure the job because I’m a girl. But did, didn’t I?” when they failed, they always It took awhile. Knapp always brought me in to fix it.” loved combat sports and studied fighting techIt was a frustrating process but one that niques (eventually becoming a self-defense helped her understand the fighters themselves. instructor, teaching the Israeli discipline Krav When UFC’s parent company, Zuffa, bought Maga). Her MMA career began around 2001, Strikeforce, in March 2011, several women when she started working as a broadcaster, fighters called Knapp. Strikeforce had proconducting backstage interviews. moted women’s fights alongside men’s on “I jumped into the fire,” Knapp says. “I alShowtime, but there was no sign that Zuffa ways loved it. I really feel like this is what I’m shared that vision. The women were afraid for supposed to do.” She worked for several fight their futures. Their conversations with Knapp groups over the next few years, including the led to the genesis of Invicta. International Fight League, the UFC, King of show the world that there’s more than just one. There can’t be just one. And that was Invicta.”

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Around that time, Knapp met Janet Martin, who was working as a matchmaker for a fight group in North Carolina and had written a paper in college about the obstacles that women face in the sport. “It lit a fire,” Knapp says of reading Martin’s research. “I couldn’t even wrap my mind around it. I’ve been in every one of those gyms, but no one ever disrespected me. Not once.” What she had seen, doing her own matchmaking work for Strikeforce, was pressure to book women’s fights. “Everything I’d always heard was, ‘We want a girl fight, hot chicks,’ ” Knapp says. “Until I got to see Gina Carano, Cris Cyborg, Marloes Coenen — true female athletes — then it changed my mind.” Now Knapp has embraced the art of fight promotion, with an approach that puts her athletes first. “This is going to sound weird, but if you’ve ever fought for me, you’re my athlete,” she says. “I’m always going to watch over you. I don’t invite them to my house, and we don’t hang out, but I always have that connection with them that if they need anything, I would help them.”

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fight club of all women isn’t a new idea. Evansville, Indiana, promoter Jeff Osborne began promoting women-only cards in 2001, and Japanese fight organizers had been doing so for nearly two decades before that. Knapp compares those early attempts with weekend gardeners. “It was really going to take someone to get in there, roll up their sleeves and really tend to the garden to make it continued on page 10

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Unbreakable continued from page 9 grow,” Knapp says. (Osborne gave up on that particular garden bed in 2010.) Wrestling Observer Newsletter editor Dave Meltzer says Invicta has sparked serious interest. More people want to read about Knapp’s club, he says, than want to read about the No. 2 men’s MMA company, Bellator. “That’s a feather in their cap,” he says, “and a feather that people are interested in women’s MMA.” Ottavia Bourdain, wife of celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain and noted MMA fan, calls Knapp’s impact on the sport “huge.” “For years I’ve been hoping for something like this to happen,” Bourdain says in an e-mail. “The fi rst event took place last year on my birthday; I couldn’t have wished for a better present. She took a big chance that no one wanted to take, and it’s defi nitely paying off. She has been putting up amazing events, and I know they’ll only get better. “I know many people watched the fi rst event as a novelty, but then they realized that women not only can fight, but they always bring it,” she adds. “Maybe the skill level of some of them is still raw, but they always seem to come ready to fight, instead of trying to collect points to win.” Even with a mainstream attraction like Rousey, though, the sport is still struggling for acceptance. Knapp likes to say ours is a society of “GI Joe, not GI Jane.” And she knows that a gender-sensitive culture takes time to change. Bellator play-by-play announcer Sean Wheelock says it’s happening. “I’ll sometimes hear from a fighter or a trainer, ‘Oh, I just don’t like seeing a woman get hit in the face’ or ‘It bothers me when I see a woman cut,’ ” he says. “But you’re hearing less and 10

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less of that inside the industry. I think fans, fighters, trainers, people who work in MMA, hardcore fans, they want to see a good fight. If they’re well-matched and the skill level is there, they’re going to appreciate it.” A landmark in the road of women’s MMA to the mainstream came in August 2009, when Santos fought Carano. Santos won with a fi rst-round technical knockout. Carano left the sport. The landmark became a roadblock. “That’s one of the things that really surprised me, how big that fight was,” Meltzer says. “And then I saw Cyborg’s next fight, and people just weren’t that interested.” Rousey’s March 2012 fight against Miesha Tate broke through. (Rousey won with her patented armbar submission.) “I was texting Dana [White, UFC president] that night, and we were going back and forth, and it was just like, there’s something here,” Meltzer says. “He’s not a dummy. He knew it, too.” Still, some experts expected Rousey’s matchup against Carmouche to fail. Women’s MMA, they said, wasn’t ready to headline a pay-per-view. Those experts were wrong. “I thought it was going to do all right,” Meltzer says. “But I didn’t think it was going to do big until a couple of weeks before the fight, when I could kind of see it picking up.” The fight was everything that Bourdain had hoped for. “It wasn’t such an easy win for Ronda this time,” she writes. “Carmouche put up a good fight. No one wants to see Ronda keep arm-barring opponents in 10 seconds. After a while it gets old. The fact that Carmouche managed to put Ronda in an uncomfortable situation makes me look forward to her next

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fight, because maybe Ronda’s win is not such an obvious thing anymore.” In a sport built on such rivalries, the next big-money fight in women’s MMA would be a showdown between Rousey and Santos. Meltzer calls it “inevitable,” and Santos’ manager, former UFC heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz, wants to set it up for this New Year’s Eve. “There will be so much interest and money at stake,” Meltzer says. “What kind of numbers are we talking about? We’re talking about giant numbers for that fight and because of that, it’s going to happen.” Of course, Rousey and Santos have to keep winning. And they have to keep their focus on the sport rather than on entertainment. Because the biggest threat to women’s MMA right now is Hollywood. The sport’s fi rst marketable star, Carano, left the game for the movies and starred in Haywire, a spy fl ick directed by Steven Soderbergh. And Rousey has signed with the William Morris Endeavor talent agency. “The offers are going to come, and they are coming right away for Ronda because she got all of that publicity,” Meltzer says. “You get to the point where you don’t really want to get beat up, and the movie people don’t want you to get beat up. It’s going to be an issue for women’s MMA. There will come a time, whether it’s age or she loses interest or whatever and she’s not the top girl anymore, you better hope there’s people around that can fi ll that void, or it’ll go down.” More women than ever are training in MMA gyms, hoping to keep that void fi lled, but it’s a grind that requires mastery of multiple disciplines. Wheelock says the current crop of female fighters coming up reminds

Cris Cyborg (left) prepares for her Invicta debut. Knapp (above) in a rare calm moment. him of the men who fought in the mid-1990s. “Everyone was really, really good at one thing and then really deficient at other things,” Wheelock says. “The top fighters in women’s MMA right now are extremely well-rounded. But when you get to that A-minus or B level, for me, that’s when you’re seeing someone who is a great kickboxer, but they have no ground game. Or they’re outstanding grapplers, but their striking is limited. Or they have great hands, but they don’t have kicks. Or they have jiujitsu, but they have no wrestling.”

U

FC’s Dana White called Knapp to arrange a working agreement: Santos would sign a UFC contract but would fight for Invicta upon her return from suspension. “It was a good deal for me, too,” Knapp says. “They were actually going to promote our events — give it some PR.” The deal fell through. Knapp began negotiations with Santos and Ortiz a week later. “It’s always the most respectful thing to do,” Knapp says. “An athlete will change their mind. Maybe what was wrong in the nighttime looks great in the daylight. I gave them time to change their minds, and then I approached.” Santos signed a three-fight deal with Invicta — making her, Meltzer says, Invicta’s biggest name. “There’s intrigue behind her,” he says. “She’s very controversial, obviously, by the way she looks and the way she fights. She’s an exciting fighter.” “I have faith in her,” Knapp says. “Every


fight she had for Strikeforce, she was tested. We didn’t do it. The commission did it. Am I worried that she’s going to show up and fail one of my tests? No. “It can destroy our sport,” she says of steroids, “so I’m very anti.” Invicta will test for doping a day before the April 5 card. Santos and her opponent, Fiona Muxlow, also will be tested after their bout. “Because of Cris and what has happened to her in the past, it’s a requirement,” Knapp says. Meltzer says steroids in women’s MMA could be the sport’s undoing. He advocates for unannounced tests once a month. “Really, the testing in women’s fighting is far more important than in men’s fighting, and it’s important in both,” Meltzer says. “If the public believes that it’s a drugged sport and it’s women all hopped up, I think it’ll lose popularity pretty quick. For their growth, they have to be more vigilant about the steroid issue than even men’s MMA.”

people buying an Internet pay-per-view at this stage or perhaps anytime soon.” Internet pay-per-view isn’t a moneyloser. But it’s not a moneymaker, either. Invicta’s future, Knapp knows, hinges on the right broadcast deal. “If you want to make money with a company, you’ve got to get TV-rights fees, and then you can springboard with the merchandise or whatever else you can do and become a cool thing,” Meltzer says. “Without it, you can’t grow. Can women’s fights draw TV ratings? I think we’ve already proven that it can. You can’t even debate that now. It’s proven it can.” Meltzer has floated the idea of a UFC partnership with Invicta (or an outright purchase

of Knapp’s company). He says the UFC’s promotional machine would yield more opportunity for the fighters to gain experience — and get more exposure for Invicta. Knapp says she’s open to a working arrangement with MMA’s biggest organization. But she doesn’t sound like someone ready to sell, and she says Invicta’s own TV deal may not be far off. (She’s also working on a potential reality-TV series.) “I just haven’t went out there and aggressively attacked it,” Knapp says of a broadcast contract. “A lot of people are depending on me to make good decisions that affect their future. So it’s not something that I jump into very hastily.”

In Knapp’s vision, Invicta becomes an internationally known brand that reaches a generation of young girls. Her Invicta of the near future, she says, has a broadcast partner that’s more than just a larger entity throwing money at a project. “I promise you, we’ve already got stars,” Knapp says. “We just need that platform, that broadcast partner.” Knapp is already planning Invicta 6, featuring Marloes Coenen against the winner of the Santos-Muxlow fight for the 145-pound championship. “I just love the sport,” Knapp says. “I would fight for it, and I do every day.”

E-mail justin.kendall@pitch.com

K

napp runs Invicta from her home in Overland Park, employing six full-time workers and, during fight weeks, numerous contractors. “It’s not a 9-to-5 job,” she says. “You wake up [early]. You go to bed late. I like the hustle of it. Maybe that’s my fight. We have growing pains. But we haven’t even been in business for a year.” Knapp says the goal, as with any startup business, is to keep overhead low without compromising the product. That means Invicta events are likely to remain in Kansas City, at least for now. “This is our home,” Knapp says. “I would defi nitely say that we are going to promote out of the state at some point, but this is where we’re building our foundation.” It’s also home to Knapp’s 19-year-old daughter, Chace, who attends a junior college here. (A single mother, Knapp was divorced in 2004.) “This is the first time that I’ve gotten to be home in years and years and years,” Knapp says. “When my daughter says to me how proud she is, after all of the sacrifices that she’s made over the years with my time, to me it’s worth it.” This weekend’s fi fth edition of Invicta marks the promotion’s second attempt at Internet pay-per-view. January’s card was set for Ustream, but a failure kept paying fans from accessing the content. The snafu made the night even more hectic for Knapp, who made the call to pull down the paywall, offer the fights for free and refund all the customers’ money. This time, she has purchased satellite time, allowing the fights to stream in HD. But IPPV has its limits. “You’re not going to create new fans on an Internet pay-perview,” Meltzer says. “You’re only going to get the super-hardcore fans, whatever that’s going to be, whether it’s 500 or 3,000. You’re not going to get 30,000 or 50,000 or 200,000

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APRIL 4-10, 2013

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11


25 YEARS FIGHTING AIDS IN KC And there’s still no cure.

Help us fight AIDS in Kansas City! Create a fundraising page

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Start a team with friends. Invite people to donate. Join us on April 27th. Theis Park in Kansas City on Saturday, April 27, 2013 Learn more at

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Thank You to our generous donors, sponsors, walkers and volunteers for helping provide food, housing, guidance and medical services to thousands living with HIV/AIDS in Kansas City for the past 25 years. You’re educating those at risk to prevent new infections. We can create an AIDS-free world together. UNDERWRITING SPONSORS

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pitch.com

Steve Metzler Brian Williams


WEEK OF APRIL 4–10 | BY BERRY ANDERSON

17

PAG E

FRIDAY

4.5

r finds ot Kille Hipsh ter. its Cen

ART Figuring out Molly Kaderka at her studio.

20 PAG E

Sneak a peek at the Kansas City FilmFest lineup.

26 PAG E

MUSIC Sigur Rós brightens Starlight.

T H U R S D AY | 4 . 4 | SENSATION RAG

When Benny Goodman and his 15-piece band played Carnegie Hall in 1938, the sellout crowd signaled that swing had conquered E MOR America. This evening, the KC Jazz Orchestra, with guest clarinetist T A E IN Ken Peplowski, pays ONL .COM PITCH tribute to that gig’s 75th anniversary. The Celebration of Benny Goodman’s 1938 Carnegie Hall Jazz Concert is in the Muriel Kauffman Theatre at the Kauffman Center

EVENTS

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

FILM

SOUNDS OF THE CITY It’s so DIY, it doesn’t even have its own website, but Center of the City Festival returns to 3740 Broadway for a second year. Taking over the spot formerly known as the News Room (now it’s a satellite of Columbia’s Black and Gold Tavern), 36 local punk and (1601 Broadway, 816-994-7222) at 7:30 p.m. For tickets ($40–$75) and information, see kauffmancenter.org.

F R I D AY | 4 . 5 | FIRST-FRIDAY GOINGS-ON

At the Next Space (512 East 18th Street, 816-838-3638), Amnesty International puts on Jamnesty, three hours of storytelling and live music to spotlight wrongful convictions. Performers include Eddie Lowery, a KC man who spent nine years in prison. From 6 to 9 p.m., learn more of Lowery’s story and toast to not being locked up. The newly opened continued on page 14

hardcore acts perform on two stages for three nights, starting at 7 tonight. The lineup includes Bent Left (performing acoustically), Hipshot Killer and the Uncouth, among others. “The show of support from last year’s show was absolutely phenomenal, and we

wanted to continue it again to help show KC that this punk-rock scene can stand toe-totoe with any other fest in town,” says organizer Mike Yeager. Admission is $5 a day. For a schedule, search Facebook for Center of the City’s page.

T H U R S D AY | 4 . 4 | THEY’RE ALL GONNA LAUGH AT YOU

W

hat’s the most outrageous part of Brian De Palma’s 1976 adaptation of Stephen King’s Carrie? The shower scene? The prom coronation? What happens to Carrie’s mother? Re-evaluate at the Carrie Slaughter Prom 2013, with host Slaughter Movie House. Break out your gowns and tuxes, the better to match themed drinks and vintage film trailers. Then zombify your formalwear for a screening of the 2013 Evil Dead remake. Tickets cost $5. It all goes down at Screenland Armour (408 Armour Road, North Kansas City) at 7 p.m. See slaughtermoviehouse.com and click on the Facebook link.

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DAY SATUR

4.6

Stomp rd. the ya

continued from page 13 Westside Storey Antiques (1701 Summit, 913-238-3865) is the brainchild of four folks from the neighborhood who wanted to up the West Side’s urban-design game. The gifts-and-antiques boutique is celebrating its debut First Friday from 5 to 8 p.m. with wine and treasure hunting. Locust Factory (504 East 18th Street, 816-716-5940), Slap-n-Tickle owner Apryl McInerney’s latest endeavor, spreads new artists and upstart businesses over 3,000 square feet. From 6 to 9 p.m., find sculptures by Erick Bachmann, mixed media by KC Academy students, acupuncture from Sarah Koron, and the unveiling of the first issue of Show Me Magazine.

MOMIX – Botanica

p.m. Fri. Fri. and and Sat., April 5-6 88 p.m. Mind- and and eye-bending Mindtheatrical dance

TOWELS OFF

Don’t drop the kids off at the pool tonight. Get in yourself when CoCo Key Water Resort, the 55,000-square-foot indoor water park inside the Holiday Inn Kansas City-SE (9103 East 39th Street, 877-425-2746) puts on its Adult Night. Be prompt if you want to see the swimsuit fashion show, then stay for the DJ, the drink specials and the, uh, hot-tub action. Tickets cost $10 in advance or $15 at the door for the 18-and-older party, which runs from 9:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. See cocokeykansascity.com.

of Kansas, co-sponsors the Spirits for the Spirited Paranatural Conference at Moose Lodge (1901 North Kansas Avenue, Topeka), from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Your $15 admission gets you into seminars on demonology and dowsing-rod training (among other topics) and access to vendors selling smudging supplies and spell kits (among other items). Naturally, E MOR you’re also able to listen for those Moose Lodge spirits (for another $15). T A E IN ONL .COM “The most notable ghost H C IT P is that of a little old lady who was attached to some furniture that was donated to the lodge many years ago,” Ramirez claims. For information, call 785-851-0856 or e-mail info@ ghostoursofkansas.com.

EVENTS

NOISEMAKERS

Thirty brooms, 15 pounds of sand, eight lids, six trash cans and four blocks of athlete’s chalk — those make up just part of a typical manifest for the percussion-happy cast of Stomp. Immerse yourself in beats inside the Muriel Kauffman Theatre, when the Kauffman Center (1601 Broadway, 816-994-7222) hosts 5 and 9 p.m. performances by the 12-person crew. Additional shows run April 5 and 7. Tickets start at $20; see kauffmancenter.org.

An Intimate Evening with

LINDSEY BUCKINGHAM

BRINGING SEXY BACK

It’s been little more than a month since the resurrection of the Empire Room (334 East 31st Street, 816-561-1300), the Martini Corner hot spot formerly known as the Monaco. “Everybody loved Empire Room so much, and it felt like the right time to reopen,” owner Chris Seferyn says. What he calls “the new and improved glam version” shows off its class when Sex Panther, the Newport Beach, California, LMFAO-style DJ pair, takes the booth around 9 p.m. For details, see facebook.com/empireroomkc.

S AT U R D AY | 4 . 6 |

www.jccc.edu/TheSeries || 913-469-4445 913-469-4445 www.jccc.edu/TheSeries

Performing Arts Arts Series Series Performing

TOP CITY SPECTERS

At least four ghosts haunt Topeka’s Moose Lodge, according to paranormal researcher Cathy Ramirez. Her business, Ghost Tours

JohnsonCounty County Community Community College College || NO NO ONLINE FEES | FREE PARKING Johnson ONLINE FEES | FREE PARKING 14

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APRIL 4-10, 2013

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4.776x4.822MOMIX.indd

Pitch

DOGS’ DAY OUT

This is a big day for art lovers who are equally devoted to their four-legged companions, thanks to the Innovation Lab (a program awarding $40,000 to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art to help get the public more engaged in the institution). Dogs on the Lawn, from 1 to 4 p.m. on the Nelson’s south side, is your destination for making dog T-shirts, dipping your pet’s paws in paint, and taking photos with your best friend. A self-guided, human-friendly tour inside the Nelson (4525 Oak) features artwork, though the mutts stay outside, of course, for that part. Call 816-751-1278 for details.


M O N D AY | 4 . 8 |

VIOLENCE HAS ARRIVED

S

cumdogs of the universe, rejoice! Oderus Urungus, Balsac (the Jaws of Death), Pustulus Maximus, Beefcake the Mighty and Jizmak Da Gusha — the monsters of metal known collectively as Gwar — appear today at Grinders (417 East 18th Street, 816-472-5454) for a special Meat & Meet. Promoting the second half of its Fate or Chaos tour, the band is also launching its new product, Gwar-B-Q sauce. Knock another item off your bucket list by joining the gentlemen for a beer from 4 to 6 p.m. For more information, see facebook.com/grinderspizzakc.

DOWN AND DIRTY

A race involving a lake of mud and a pile of tires? That’s how the adventurous and fit play: in the Ruckus Run at the Valley Speedway (348 East Old 40 Highway, Grain Valley, 816-349-9893). Race-day registration costs $75 for the two-mile course or $90 for the four-mile challenge. For more details, including times of heats, see runruckus.com and click on the Kansas City location.

S U N D AY | 4 .7 | WORD PROCESSING

“Communication depends on my acceptance,” deaf author and public speaker Shanna Groves writes on her blog, lipreadingmom.com. The Olathe mother of three suffered hearing loss that progressed through the raising of her children, making her one of an estimated 42 million–45 million Americans experiencing hearing loss — two-thirds of whom are younger than 60. Today she launches her second book, Confessions of a Lip Reading Mom. “I think this book will be helpful for the many, many people who are losing their hearing and feeling alone,” says Sandy Kelly, executive director of Olathe’s Deaf Cultural Center. Groves speaks about her work and her journey at the DCC (455 East Park, Olathe) at 2 p.m., and you can buy the book there for $12. For more information, see kefdcc.org.

T U E S D AY | 4 . 9 | WATER SPRINGS ETERNAL

Much to the chagrin of local copper thieves, all 48 of the city’s public outdoor fountains are about to get turned on. This is Fountain Day, and the official celebration happens at 11 a.m. at Children’s Fountain in Waterworks Park (North Oak at Northeast 32nd Street). The unofficial celebration happens daily from now through fall as Kansas Citians remind themselves that their city isn’t, you know, Tulsa. For the locations of all fountains, see kcparks.org/fountains.

W E D N E S D AY | 4 . 10 | SUPERNANNY

Much different from the Disney film, the musical stage version of Mary Poppins more strongly emphasizes the incorrigibility of Poppins’ charges, Jane and Michael, and the waning relationship of their parents, George and Winifred. It’s kind of like real life but with dancing chimney sweeps. See it at 7:30 p.m. as it continues its run, through April 14, at the Music Hall (300 West 13th Street, 816-513-3000). Tickets start at $30. Call 800-745-300 or see kansascity.broadway.com and click on “shows.” E-mail submissions two weeks in advance to calendar@pitch.com. Search our complete listings guide online at pitch.com.

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APRIL 4-10, 2013

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A

5 2 – 1 1 P R IL

N O I T C U A D N A B ry

niversa n h A t 25

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olo ac t s

Rock, Blues, Jazz, Country, Americana...and more!

Full Schedule at w w w.KKFI.org

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ART

INSIDE OUT

Molly Kaderka figures out

THER E S A BEMBNIS T ER

BARRETT EMKE

BARRETT EMKE

the past for her paintings.

BY

M

olly Kaderka’s mysterious, emotionally charged figurative paintings stand out in an art scene saturated with abstractions and social practices. Their fleshy figures occupy fantastic wooded landscapes or domestic interiors that resemble midtown Kansas City apartments. The Pitch stopped by Kaderka’s E MOR Urban Culture Project studio as she prepared for two exhibitions at T A E IN ONL .COM Spray Booth Gallery, the PITCH first of which opens on First Friday. She has made this former office space her own, fi lling it with props (oriental rugs, cushy comforters, fake flowers) and covering the walls with what seems like an endless supply of her own paintings and drawings. The Pitch: Why paint the figure — a subject that has been revisited for centuries — in this day and age? Kaderka: People are always inclined to look at and empathize with images of other

ART

people. For this reason, the figure has always been relevant and will continue to be relevant. I want to make work that is relevant to my audience, and I want to engage senses and emotions that are a part of the basic human experience. For me, the figure is the most important, complex and challenging subject to work with. I always want to be functioning on the edge of my own limitations as a painter to ensure that my work is always evolving and is in danger of failing. I reach this place most often when I am working with the figure. It’s very exciting. Is your work autobiographical? I would say that my work is inspired by my own life, but it is not autobiographical. I paint myself as a part of my search for meaning and reflection in my own life. And I paint the people who are important to me because I want to paint things and people who I love. As for objects, I paint the things that I like, trusting that they will lead me somewhere new and interesting. Right now you have poinsettias, animal bones

and fruit in your studio as props for your paint- Kaderka (left) and her take on the figure. ings. What attracts you to those forms? My work in general is about taking a look beautiful, perfect paintings, which is a goal I at interior emotions and bringing those emo- want to accomplish in my lifetime. I admire tional states to the surface through painting. them for the worlds they create, for their use Bones are, quite literally, something inside all of color and their ability to be so convincing. Mannerism, a movement associated with of us. I like using bones as an object because they are a physical manifestation of something the exaggeration of forms for emotional effect, is one term that applies to your work. Why do from the inside being shown on the outside. you choose to distort figures, objects or spaces I like and use poinsettias for the opposite reason. Where bones are rigid, linear objects in your paintings? For me, composition is everything. The prowith little color, poinsettias have a rich satuportions and perspectives of figures, forms and rated color and a soft organic shape. Where space can always be distorted to serve a combones are often used as a reminder of death, poinsettias, for me, are a bold reminder of life. positional purpose. A distorted figure, whether Used together, these objects create a dynamic the viewer recognizes it or not, allows that image to become symbolic or even allegorical tension in the painting. You have books in your studio open to display because it is not a documentation or study from life. It becomes something beyond reality, works by old masters, and you double majored in painting and art history at the Kansas City Art which is where meaning and truth lie. I think! Like writing, if an image is illegible, then Institute. Who are some of your favorite artists? It is my firm belief that if one is going to it cannot convey anything and is therefore meaningless. Writers have work within the tradition of words with inherent meanpainting, you have to know Molly Kaderka ing assigned to those words. its history. This is an integIn the Frame, April 5–30 Painters have brushstrokes rity issue for me. Lovely Lonely, May 3–June 1 that gain meaning by the My top favorite painters Spray Booth Gallery way they are assembled. are Titian, Pontormo, Velas130 West 18th Street sprayboothgallery.com Some areas of your paintquez, Bonnard and Lucian ings are rendered in more deFreud. They are all masters tail than others. at creating thrilling and conThis is a way for me to create a composivincing worlds within their paintings. They tional hierarchy. The moments in the painting are all masters of color, form, etc. But mostly, these are my favorite painters because when- that have more visual information are imporever I see one of their works, the paintings tant moments in the narrative of the work. speak to me and cause an emotional response. These moments allow me to lead my viewer’s eye around the composition. How do those artists influence your work? In my work, there are multiple narratives: I look at these painters because they show me what can be achieved. They have all created the narrative of the continued on page 19

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Presents s

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

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The Elders @ Uptown

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Samplings from over 15 local restaurants including: See moreYes on the “promotions”AIDS linkWalk at p Open @ The Midland

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Upcoming Events

4.5 - First Friday in the Crossroads 4.5 - Benefit for AIDS Walk @ 2020 Baltimore 4.6 - Ruckus Run @ Grain Valley Speedway 4.11 & 12 - KC Film Fest @ Alamo Drafthouse

See more on the “promotions” link at p 18

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APRIL 4-10, 2013

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FIND MOVIE TIMES P ON

p

continued from page 17 image and the narrative of the surface. The way the paint is applied tells its own story and creates a specific effect that explains and enhances the image it is describing. Ideally, the whole image is constructed under this principle: that every brushstroke has a deliberate relationship to every other brushstroke in the piece. For me, moments of touch between figures are the most important moments in my compositions.

FIRST-FRIDAY HIT LIST

A

t the Blue Gallery (118 Southwest Boulevard), Brooklyn artist Alyssa Monk’s Presence offers a striking display of hyperrealistic oil-on-linen paintings with an edge of surrealism. There’s affordable art at Mattie Rhodes Gallery (919 West 17th Street), where Maria Calderón is divesting herself of as many of her past works as possible. She’s off to the Amazon next fall to delve deeper into her Peruvian heritage, and besides the de rigueur Kickstarter campaign, the spirit-minded chakra diva behind the Pop! Street Dance: Workout to Waters mini parades of joy last summer is auctioning off the contents of her studio. The preview is Friday, and the auction is Saturday. Cameron Gee’s photography makes everyone look good. His portraits of Kansas City’s visual and performing artists, and the folks who support them, show his subjects at ease and seemingly ready to take on the world. See for yourself at Look at Me, his exhibition at Todd Weiner Gallery (115 West 18th Street). In some families, art is just in the blood. There are, for instance, the Rocha men: Pat and his sons, Luke and Patrick Jr. All have mad skills and have been successful in getting their works in the pages of national magazines and other shows. Pat Sr. grew up with 10 siblings (many of whom are artists, too) in a Topeka house that they were convinced was haunted. After an exorcism, the place was destroyed by a tornado, and his paintings and

Top: Vanishing Circles at Leedy-Voulkos; above: “Andy Chambers” by Cameron Gee drawings reference the myth of the “golden era” of memories we all have. See what stories you remember at Old Souls Tattoo Parlour and Gallery (2006 Main). Speaking of things lost, Vanishing Circles takes up the front gallery at Leedy-Voulkos Art Center (2012 Baltimore), where it looks a little incongruous at first glance. What’s a naturalhistory museum doing here? But give the paintings a bit of attention, and you’ll learn as much as from watching a Nature special. Former L-V curator Holly Swangstu, now director of the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum Art Institute in Tucson, Arizona, brings this new angle to us, along with a couple of Saturday lectures upstairs at the Beggars Table (2010 Baltimore) that address the Endangered Species Act and working as a freelance illustrator. Companion shows provide even finer opportunities for contemplation. There are the quietly eerie etchings of Sheridan Oman, who vanished mysteriously in the desert (after allegedly conducting a mercy killing of his terminally ill wife). His obsession with wildlife and his command of the medium coexist in 40 images selected from decades of his work. Downstairs, eight local artists respond with poignancy to the idea of nature’s fading, in Champions of the Forgotten. —TRACY ABELN

E-mail feedback@pitch.com

STARTS FRIDAY, APRIL 5 pitch.com

CHECK LOCAL LISTINGS FOR THEATERS AND SHOWTIMES

APRIL 4-10, 2013

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19


FILM

LOST AND FOUND

The Kansas City FilmFest ups its Q rating,

BY

uncovers a gem and brings home a native.

D A N LY B A R G E R

T

his year’s KC FilmFest, which runs April 10–14 at the Alamo Drafthouse Mainstreet (14th Street and Main), comes loaded with discoveries — movies neglected or rarely screened or almost entirely unseen. It also offers local audiences a crack at films that have won awards at other festivals. And it has booked some talented filmmakers and cult heroes to appear at screenings. Full passes run $50. See kcfilmfest.org for a schedule.

OTHER FILMFEST HIGHLIGHTS

Q Meets the Bronies

Actor John de Lancie has built his considerable fanbase on a wide array of roles. He’s recognizable as the mischievous and enigmatic Q, from Star Trek: The Next Generation, but also known as Donald Margolis, a small but key character in Breaking Bad. And he has grown accustomed to signing autographs for people who simply recognize his distinctive voice as the villain Discord in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. He had forgotten the recording sessions, so when e-mails from young fans started rolling in, his wife reminded him that he had participated in a cartoon intended to entertain little girls. Then de Lancie reread the senders’ names and told her, “These aren’t little girls.” His new correspondents were Bronies: grown men who also happened to love this latest version of My Little Pony. They held jobs, served in the military, gave generously to charities. Some would find spouses at Bronie conventions that began to pop up, and which de Lancie began to participate in. And he’s an executive producer of the documentary Bronies: The Extremely Unexpected Adult Fans of My Little Pony. “I haven’t had anything like that happen before,” de Lancie says from his home in Los Angeles. “I’ve been on a number of shows that were really successful shows, where I was brought in for what was intended to be a oneshot and the character became very popular, but nothing where I had walked away, never expecting to hear anything more about it.” He adds, “I began to have an opportunity to talk with them, and I found them to be very reasonable kids. The notion that they were all a bunch of creepy perverts walking around was immediately out the window.” He and fellow producer Michael Brockhoff are at the Alamo Drafthouse at 7:15 p.m. Thursday, April 11, to present the film at a screening. (It costs $20 to get into that event; for a separate $30 ticket, there’s also dinner with Discord himself, at 5:45 p.m.) The show’s creator and former head writer, Lauren Faust, is also coming to town, for a separate screening at 8 p.m. Saturday, April 13 (also $20). De Lancie figures that his character resonates for a simple reason. “These are stories 20

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APRIL 4-10, 2013

Differing generations: The Summer Children (above) and Bronies

that are intended to be parables: Getting along and all that type of stuff. While the main characters might have confl icts and different points of view, they generally try to make things work in the end. To get a character in there who’s just plain naughty … guys were liking that naughtiness. I think those two elements came into play.”

How the Summer Children Grew Up

The five-decade odyssey of Springfield, Missouri, native and Universal Studios employee Jack Robinette started with a game of tennis. He was playing at the home of Jack Ryan, the Mattel engineer who helped design the Barbie doll. Another aspiring filmmaker named James Bruner was there, and he and Robinette would team up to make The Summer Children, a 1965 SoCal sun-and-surf story that owed more to Jules and Jim than to Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello. Most films of that period portrayed teens and young adults as either marauding delinquents or giddy Beach Blanket Bingo players, but The Summer Children followed attractive young people through real problems, set against a gorgeous landscape — captured by

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Vilmos Zsigmond, who would become one of cinema’s most admired cinematographers. Robinette is scheduled to be on hand to present his infrequently screened film at 9:20 p.m. Friday, April 12. “What we were looking for was the French New Wave or Italian neorealism,” Robinette says. “We were totally enamored with that style of film. This was really a ’60s pop-culture film. What little I knew about reading a script at that time, I identified with people or combinations of people who would fit those various characters.” Children was more sexually frank than most of what played in the United States at the time. Robinette says, “We were trying to push the envelope. This was not any more explicit than European films that were our influence at the time. We probably didn’t even think that far ahead. We just went for it.” Distribution stalled, though. “We signed with a distributor, and part of the arrangement was that he was going to pay the lab bill,” Robinette says. “We thought he understood the film. Yes, he understood the film, but he forgot to do this little thing called paying.” The finished movie got shelved, and its makers lost track of it. After years of false leads and a point when Robinette accepted that the negative had likely been destroyed, he resumed the hunt with his cousin Edie Robinette-Petrachi (who’s also coming to the Alamo). At a family reunion, the two decided to renew the search; when they came across Children again, Robinette says, “We were two weeks from it being destroyed.” He was able to buy back the fi lm, allowing the cousins to present it finally as something other than a fond memory.

The Discoverers The Discoverers Griffin Dunne (Martin Scorsese’s After Hours) stars as a struggling history professor and single parent whose effort to pull his estranged father (Stuart Margolin) out of a catatonic state results in the two taking part in a re-enactment of Lewis and Clark’s expedition. The setup sounds gloomy, but the film is clever and often quite funny. Margolin, probably best known for playing James Garner’s former cellmate on The Rockford Files, is scheduled to accept a Lifetime Achievement Award at the fest. Twenty Feet From Stardom Morgan Neville’s documentary follows a group of backup singers — mostly women — who often stole songs out from under the lead voices. Darlene Love sang lead on a record or two by the Crystals, but she, Merry Clayton, Lisa Fischer and others did most of their work behind someone else and remain obscure. Stars such as Sting and Bruce Springsteen appear in the film to acknowledge the importance of these singers’ contributions. Neville’s movie is worth the time just for the chance to hear Clayton’s terrifying, isolated vocal track from the Rolling Stones’ “Gimme Shelter.” A Teacher This grim, Austin-shot drama was a hit at Sundance and South By Southwest. A lonely high school teacher (Lindsay Burdge) tries to get out of an affair with one of her students, but the crop of men her own age seems slim and less than ideal. During its short running time, the movie burns like a 10-alarm fire. It’s not pretty, but it’s impossible to look away. Hannah Fidell’s unsentimental direction and Burdge’s vulnerable performance leaven the story’s sordidness. For showtimes, see kcfilmfest.org.


INVITE YOU AND A GUEST TO SEE

Running Home

Jason Wiles grew up in Lenexa and Kansas City but left the area at age 19 to try his luck at acting. He beat the odds, with a role in Beverly Hills 90210 and then as a lead in Third Watch, which lasted six seasons. There have been movie parts (he’s in David Fincher’s Zodiac), and he has directed a couple of projects (including the 2006 movie Lenexa, 1 Mile, aka Full Count, which he shot around here). Wiles is at the Alamo for a 9:15 p.m. screening Friday, April 12, to present The Jogger, a film in which he plays the manipulative best friend of the beleaguered title character, Paul (Derek Phillips, Friday Night Lights). Paul’s marital and work problems begin to seem small when a psycho chases after him in the woods. “He’s a guy who’s always in control,” Wiles says of his character, a sleazy salesman. “He’s going to dictate how he’s perceived almost. I was lucky enough not to have to work in those situations, but I had a lot of friends who went down that road and talk a big game. You never know what’s underneath and where some of these insecurities lie. It was such a fun role to play because there weren’t too many rules with that character.” Wiles isn’t the only one fond of the Oklahoma-shot movie. On March 24, it won Best Narrative Feature at the L.A. Indie Film Festival. Its writer-director team, Casey Twenter and Jeff Robison, met playing fantasy football. “I’m really excited for Casey and Jeff,” says Wiles, who plans to work with them again. “Some of their other scripts are really great. There’s talented people everywhere. You just have to take your shot and believe in it.”

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Jason Wiles jogs back into KC. The film is worth another look for Hungarianborn Zsigmond’s lovely work. Over the next 15 years, he would shoot Robert Altman’s The Long Goodbye, McCabe & Mrs. Miller and Images, and win an Oscar for his work on Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Robinette says the film has had a lasting effect on him, but he adds that one of its actresses remembers the original shoot less fondly. “Sandy Gabriel remembers we had a lot of bologna sandwiches and white bread. She says, ‘There’s now two things I hate in life, and that’s bologna and white bread.’ ”  

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Renée Kelly’s Harvest • 12401 Johnson Drive, Shawnee, 913-631-4100 • Dinner served 4–10 p.m. Wednesday–Saturday, Sunday brunch 10 a.m–2 p.m. • Price: $$$

I

keep waiting for some enterprising TV producer to build a reality show around Renée Kelly. She’s a natural for the Food Network: a young, photogenic and smart chef and restaurateur, ready to be captured in her namesake venue, a century-old stone farmhouse in a Kansas City suburb. The star’s vivacious personality would be on display, as would an eclectic staff and a larger-than-life mother who plays a dominating role behind the scenes. If you added some local color from the hamlet of Shawnee, you’d have serious video competition for the likes of Paula Deen and Robbie Montgomery. Her eight-month-old restaurant, Renée Kelly’s Harvest, is waiting for its big break, too. Kelly has been serving food in this remarkable building since 2004, but her business centered MORE on catering and special events until she decided T A to take the gamble and E IN ONL .COM turn it into a full-service, PITCH farm-to-table restaurant (open only for dinners from Wednesday through Saturday). Lest you miss the farm-to-table part of the concept, there’s a blackboard sitting on the mantel of one of the two gas-fueled fireplaces in the main dining room that lists the night’s regional purveyors. On a recent Wednesday, Two Sisters Farm (lettuce); Cultivate Kansas City (produce); and the Goode Acres Farm in Wathena, Kansas (produce), were chalked up. Kelly’s is hardly the first local restaurant to use regional farm products, but in her neck of the woods (you pass an Applebee’s and several other chain operations on the way to Harvest), it feels a little revolutionary. Yet she has fitted this trend inside a throwback, to a dining style that was popular in the 1940s and ’50s: a restaurant inside a former private home that hasn’t quite stopped feeling like a residence — the long-razed Wishbone Restaurant on Main Street was probably the best example of this — and serves home-style dishes. The menu here isn’t a nostalgic tribute to the days of fried chicken and Swiss steak (though “grandma’s chicken pot pie” and roast chicken are on there right now), but it does attempt to spin traditional favorites toward the modern. Because Harvest features dishes based on seasonal produce, the menu changes every six weeks, Kelly says. The one from which I recently sampled is a hybrid of the winter menu and a planned spring revision. (“We haven’t actually had a spring yet,” she told me

ANGELA C. BOND

CAFÉ

dish “Happy Chicken” (which suggests something less than sanguine from a low-rent Chinese menu): “The chickens are free-range,” she told me. “They lived happily.” In their last week.) The winter holdovers are hearty presumably pleasant afterlife, the birds are and filling — I’m glad that this extended cold weather allowed me to eat a plate of succulent, brined in salt, molasses, star anise, pink pepexquisitely tender short ribs, braised in beer percorns and juniper berries. By the time the meat reaches the table, it’s moist and flavorful and perched on a hefty mound of three-grain under an evanescent amber skin, hot from risotto. Another night, a thick sirloin arrived the oven and sided with a dollop of perfectly perfectly grilled and still sizzling, fragrant fluffy polenta and dark-green with fresh garlic and topped puffs of garlic-sautéed kale. with buttery, layered Anna Renée Kelly’s Harvest I’ll never know whether the potatoes. It was heavy, sleepSwiss-chard dumplings ......$8 poultry I ate experienced joy, inducing food — welcome Braised-rabbit ravioli .......$23 but I came close. comfort to the snow-weary Happy Chicken ....................$21 I enjoyed the chicken on another cold night. Beer-braised short ribs ....$24 with one of Kelly’s least conHarvest currently offers Grilled steak .......................$22 S’mores..................................$8 ventional side dishes: soultwo variations of ravioli, one inspired greens — in this of them quite clever: a starter case, chewy heads of pak of tissue-thin pasta dumplings stuffed with house-grown Swiss chard, choy (“It’s like bok choy’s cousin,” our server explained) and chard, sautéed in molasses to crunchy pecans and parmesan, and dappled give it a subtle, caramel sweetness. with a savory — not even a hint of sweetness One of the servers, Keith Cheeseman, is a — mahogany pumpkin cream. The other, an former baker who also works in Kelly’s kitchen. entrée-size ravioli, pillows spoonfuls of braised He takes credit for the excellent sliced bread rabbit and vegetables under a chunky, pretty and one of this restaurant’s finest desserts: a blanket that mingles jewel-like cubes of butwedge of supple, delicately spiced four-layer tered carrots with braised fennel. carrot cake that comes generously doused I asked Kelly why she calls her roast-chicken

Harvest is the latest place to come undone for s’mores.

with ginger syrup. There’s a personal pie (pecan during the cold months), which can be topped with ice cream, and there’s also a velvety crème brûlée. Kelly couldn’t resist attempting a version of a novelty that has become perhaps too familiar lately: a dessert based on that cloying campfire creation, s’mores, served deconstructed. That means chewy hunks of house-made marshmallows and chocolatechunk cookies. It’s messy to eat and only modestly satisfying, even if you’re a Scout. Harvest’s servers may well be former Scouts, given their keen sense of attention, uncanny ability to answer any question (about the menu, the many lives of the old house, Shawnee politics) and cheery demeanor. You’re not sure whether to tip them or hand them a merit badge. Their skill and polish help make Kelly’s restaurant an exceptionally appealing dining experience. Those who tend not to search out great meals farther west than the Prairie Village Shopping Center will miss out if they don’t make an exception. Kelly’s culinary style is worth investigating — you should discover her before cable does.

Have a suggestion for a restaurant The Pitch should review? E-mail charles.ferruzza@pitch.com

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JON AT H A N BENDER

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THE PITCH

APRIL 4-10, 2013

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Y

ou could call it the greenhouse effect: A $4 million plan that not only encourages Kansas Citians to buy locally grown fruits and vegetables but also generates so much local produce that local food becomes the norm. A small crowd of politicians and urban-agriculture advocates gathered March 25 at City Hall to announce that the Port Authority of Kansas City and Brooklyn, New York’s BrightFarms, an urban greenhouse builder, had worked out a 10-year lease for a multimilliondollar project. BrightFarms would build a hydroponic farm on a nearly five-acre plot of land adjacent to Berkley Riverfront Park. The 100,000-square-foot development is expected to produce 1 million pounds of tomatoes, lettuce and herbs annually. “Our mission is to improve the environmental impact of the food-supply chain and increase people’s consumption of healthy, fresh food,” BrightFarms CEO Paul Lightfoot tells The Pitch. “And we do that by growing in the same community where we are selling, rather than growing something to ship to an entire continent.” BrightFarms began as a greenhouse consultancy in 2006, designing rooftop gardens for clients in New York City. Today, the organization is arguably the country’s foremost urban hydroponic operation (a method of growing plants in which water substitutes for soil). A greenhouse opened last month in Lower Makefield Township, Pennsylvania, and there are plans for similar facilities in Brooklyn; Oklahoma City; St. Paul, Minnesota; and St. Louis. When BrightFarms set out to expand beyond its initial farm properties last fall, KC was one of 20 cities that the company scouted. “Kansas City responded aggressively, and our development team came back after a visit and said the future is here in Kansas City,” Lightfoot says. KC Port Authority CEO Michael Collins, who has made the redevelopment of Berkley Riverfront Park a priority, remembers being intrigued by BrightFarms’ proposal. It represented a potential economic windfall that wouldn’t impede his organization’s plans for multifamily residential developments along the remaining 10 acres of waterfront property. “While we’d considered some commercial and office use, BrightFarms was, in many ways, a better fit for the space,” Collins says. The KC project could move ahead quickly, with the greenhouse opening by the end of the year. BrightFarms is in talks with several area grocery stores, and Collins says the lease could be finalized in the next month. As part of the deal, the Port Authority would

What urban growth might look like. upgrade the public infrastructure, building out water, sewer, gas and electricity lines for the development. It would not provide any economic incentives for the project, though the greenhouse operator could apply for a property-tax abatement from the Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority. Collins sees BrightFarms as an extension of the Port Authority’s efforts over the past several years to integrate Berkley Riverfront Park into the social and economic fabric of KC. “It helps our momentum because we already have a project in development,” he says. “We just can’t build anything the size of the Sears Tower, because they need their sun.” Both Collins and Lightfoot maintain that the greenhouse would not stifle residential development, beyond height requirements. The hydroponic farm, they say, would produce no agricultural runoff. Whereas farmers who till crops in soil use fertilizer or pesticides, which leach into surrounding water, hydroponic greenhouses operate on a closed loop, with their water filtered and recirculated. “The Berkley Riverfront is our front door to downtown,” Collins says. During his recent visit to KC, Lightfoot stopped for lunch at Anton’s Taproom to see that restaurant’s basement hydroponic operation, and he toured the City Market. “People think Kansas City is about barbecue,” Lightfoot says. “But there’s this incredibly strong local-food movement. When we were first exploring the idea, I thought maybe the heartland wasn’t ready. Then I came here and realized I was wrong. I think Kansas City will be a top-five city for progressiveness when it comes to urban agriculture.”

E-mail jonathan.bender@pitch.com


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25


MUSIC

SIGUR FREE

Sigur Rós’ Georg Hólm on band films, hitting reset,

BY

and occasionally being taken a little too seriously.

A PR IL F L EMING

I

n 2010, Icelandic post-rock act Sigur Rós announced what sometimes amounts to a coded death knell: the dreaded “hiatus.” But there’s a happy ending: Sigur Rós has emerged from its two-year break re-energized and once again eager to release new music and tour. Not everything is the same: Longtime keyboardistinstrumentalist Kjartan Sveinsson has departed, after more than 10 years with the band. And frontman Jónsi Birgisson released a highly acclaimed solo record. But according to bassist Georg Hólm, with whom The Pitch recently spent some time on the phone, the members of Sigur Rós are more amped E MOR about this summer’s impending release than anything since their T A E IN ONL .COM breakthrough album, PITCH 1999’s Ágaetis Byrjun. Sigur Rós performs at Starlight Theatre April 4. The Pitch: The band is nearing its 20th anniversary. Rather than start by asking you what has changed about the band, what do you think has remained the same? Hólm: With every album that we make, we change the process in some way. Every album that we’ve made has been different — it just happened. I think the music that we make — put it this way: We wouldn’t put out anything that we’re not 100-percent happy with. That is something that has never changed. We don’t just release a record to release a record. We do it because we feel that there is something really excellent or something that we really love. Between Valtari and the new album that might come out this summer, what has changed the most? I guess the main difference between those two, for me, is that Valtari was something that was bits and pieces that we sort of accumulated over the years. It’s not a record where we sat down, wrote music and released the record. One song, or a part of a song, was written and recorded in 2005, and another bit in 2012. It’s a very strange record — one reason we’ve always found it difficult to talk about this record is, we don’t understand it. But the new one will be released in a few months’ time, I guess, and you could call it more traditionally written. The three of us sat down and played our instruments and computers. We just started adding on to that, and songs took form, basically. And rather quickly, also. It didn’t take long for the songs to get there. It took longer to produce them and record them and mix them. I haven’t heard much of the new material other than the preview in your tour video. Sigur Rós has never really shied from being loud, but

M US I C

26

THE PITCH

APRIL 4-10, 2013

what I heard sounded a bit harder and maybe even more electronic. Is that the case? Absolutely. It’s definitely sort of rougher and rawer. It’s — I don’t know, I always find it really difficult to talk about music. I always struggle to find the words to describe what I think about the music. Perhaps because I have a different view or I hear it with different words. For me, it is more gritty and in-your-face than what we’ve done before. That has to be an exciting change, embarking on a new sound. We’ve been talking about it since we finished recording this record. We’re almost finished mixing it. We’ve been talking that we haven’t really been this excited for many years, really. I personally, and these may be big words, but I haven’t been this excited for a record since Ágaetis Byrjun, you know, the blue one with the fetus on it. In reading press about your band, I’ve noticed that people take your music very, very seriously. For good reason — it’s beautiful — but it seems to be more the case for you guys than for a lot of other acts and musicians. Do you think that sometimes people take it too seriously?

pitch.com

The icemen cometh. Absolutely, yes. Personally, I think music is a very powerful thing. It can really matter to someone. To say that you don’t take what you do seriously would be wrong, really, because we do. But we’re not very serious people. We’re just guys, and we like joking around. We also like joking around about our music. But at the same time, we get letters from people that decided, you know, to not kill themselves or something because they heard a song. Serious stuff. And you think, whoa. And we have to take that seriously. But we do treat our music with respect, even though we make fun of it and we’re not serious people. How people sometimes react to music can be a serious thing. Your music lends itself very well to atmosphere, which I think is part of what makes it so appealing to filmmakers and what made it so good for your documentary, Heima. How do you collaborate with visual artists? Do you just make contact with people you’re interested in? That’s always been one of our weak points, actually. Well, not weak points, but it’s always

been a difficult thing for us, I’d rather say. Making Heima and our music videos, we always have a strong opinion on what it should look like. Usually, the idea has to come from us. We’re very much involved with the whole process. I guess that makes it difficult, when you have a band actually saying, “I don’t like this,” to the directors, and it becomes a bit of an argument. It’s always been a very long process for us to create anything visual for us because we have such strong opinions. But at the same time, letting go with the project that we did last year, the [Valtari] Mystery Film Experiment — I think that was kind of a nice thing for us because we just completely let go. We just got to see it the day before it was released. Were you surprised by the output for that? I think it’s amazing. I mean, I would say 99 percent of those films would be something that we wouldn’t have created. If we had created the visuals, we would have done something different. It’s just nice to let go. I think all of them were good, in their own way. It was interesting how different they were. The film for “Ekki Múkk,” the one that had the fox in it — that one is so strangely affecting and odd and beautiful, even though I have no idea what is happening. That one was done by Nick, a good friend of ours. On the topic of visual elements, the last time I was able to see Sigur Rós was about seven years ago in Kansas City. We were so blown away by the lighting and the stage design on that tour, like how the opaque screen was in front of the band, and the lighting was behind the screen. Are you bringing any new visual elements this time around? We have completely redesigned everything that we’re doing at the moment. It’s a bit more of a — it might sound bad, but it’s a little more of a show now. It’s more impressive than ever before. We wanted it that way. We wanted to do something bigger than we’ve ever done before. So the smallest that your band has been memberwise, but the biggest visuals? We’re still 13 people onstage, so it’s pretty good. How long has it been since you did a proper tour? When we started last summer, I think it had been almost exactly four years since we had played live. It was awhile, but we started last summer. It’s definitely a completely different show than we had last year in the States. It’s not the same — same musicians, but not the same show.

E-mail feedback@pitch.com


pitch.com

APRIL 4-10, 2013

THE PITCH

27


WHERE THE BEST MUSICIANS IN THE WORLD PLAY

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

MUSIC

ON THE MAP

New releases from some Middle of the Map performers

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3: The Crayons 4: Sonny Moorman 5: Trampled Under Fish Trampled Under Foot & Samantha Fish 5: Amy Lavere A Living Room Session

SATURDAY, APRIL 6TH 8th Annual Prom with the Belairs,

BLOODBIRDS Psychic Surgery

Morgan & The 78’S

Bloodbirds is the latest venture from Mike Tuley, best known for leading beloved Lawrence group Ad Astra Per Aspera. Since that band went kaput, Tuley has tooled around with some other local bands (the Grisly Hand, Dark Ages) and fronted the sprawling and infrequent freak-rock act Ad Astra Arkestra. But Bloodbirds seems like a more deliberate endeavor: The trio plays shows on the reg, and now it has pressed vinyl for its debut LP, Psychic Surgery. Those familiar with Tuley’s old bands will recognize his fingerprints on Psychic Surgery, most noticeably in the wild, squealing fretwork. The tone is set in the rhythm section, though. Anna St. Louis’ thick, sludgy bass and Brooke Tuley’s cold-and-steady drumming create a grimy dungeon groove to support the ferocious, distorted chords and sirenlike wails coming off Tuley’s guitar. “Rings,” the album’s most melodic and memorable track, breaks the mold and mood of the album, which is basically post-punk plus psych freakouts. But it’s not necessarily the best track. “Post-punk plus psych freakouts” is a pretty good look for a band, and I can’t think of anybody else wearing it as well as Bloodbirds.

Nikki Hill, & Whitey

APRIL 9TH

JJ GREY & MOFRO with The Slide Brothers

MAY 10: BJ Thomas JUNE 7: Ray Price JUNE 29: Los Lobos Los Lonely Boys & Alejandro Escovedo

For more info & tickets: knuckleheadskc.com 28

THE PITCH

APRIL 4-10, 2013

(Self-released)

THE ACBS Little Leaves (High Dive Records) The best song on Little Leaves, the new LP from pop savants the ACBs, is unfortunately also the shortest: “Surface” clocks in at only a minute and 40 seconds. That leaves you no other viable option but to just keep queuing up the song, over and over, to soak up its gorgeous, heartbroken melodies. (I’m

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you adorn it with pedal steels, disco beats or up near 33 plays, according to my iTunes lyrics about SSRIs is, in some ways, beside counter.) I only wanna see your face/And find the point. out how you’ve been/Oh, oh, oh, sings frontman Konnor Ervin, sounding roughly as wounded and weary as Christopher Owens THE CONQUERORS of Girls. “Xanies,” a song that is probably The Conquerors about Xanax, follows the theme: About to (Self-released) walk through a crowded group of folks, and I forgot how to smile/Nobody wants me there, You don’t hear a lot of cool young bands talkbut I’m on my way. Ervin, you surmise over ing about Jimi Hendrix these days. His influthe course of Little Leaves, is not an espe- ence is felt more deeply among junior-high cially comfortable adult. guitar beginners and old dudes with ponyIt makes for pretty great listening. The tails who hang out at Guitar Center. Judging ACBs started out playing energetic power by the huge, heavy, hallucination-inducing pop, but as their lineup has changed and shows that the Conquerors have been putthey’ve grown older, they’ve embraced a ting on of late, though, the band is on a bit more complex, alienated of a Jimi kick. They more worldview while retainor less confi rm it on their ing their pop convictions. new self-titled release: The Bloodbirds Ervin works as an indeslyly named “Proxy Shady” 8 p.m. Thursday, April 4, pendent landscaper, and steals the famous “Foxy at RecordBar Little Leaves teems with Lady” riff, before the song the kinds of observations transitions to singer Rory The ACBs that might accompany an Cameron’s screaming into 10:45 p.m. Friday, April 5, afternoon of pushing mowa distorted microphone at the Gusto Lounge ers and trimming hedges in amid a haze of droning guisolitude. Note the despertars and busy drumming. ate but determined Zen of (There are now two drumThe Conquerors “Attic Fan”: Little leaves in mers in the Conquerors: 12:30 a.m. Saturday, April 6, at the Riot Room the blade, I don’t get angry, Continents’ Jim Button and oh no/Midnight, shoveling the Caves’ Jake Cardwell.) snow, I don’t get angry, oh On “Cave Wave,” they more no/I don’t get mad, I just or less do the same thing turn on my attic fan. Musically, there are with the riff from the Animals’ “House of the echoes of Real Estate’s breezy beach jams, Rising Sun.” It somehow works, though it’s Phoenix’s glossy guitar rock, and the aforenot exactly the most inventive approach to mentioned Girls. “Lover Yeah” is the oddball songwriting ever known. The tremendously of the mix but seems destined to be a crowd named opener, “Every Time I Throat Sing favorite — its polished dance-funk tones (I Puke),” is seven minutes long, and closer are a dead ringer for “Billie Jean.” You get “Bung Shui” fl irts with 10 minutes, but the the feeling that the ACBs could pull off an earthquake garage-psych grooves that these entire album of songs like “Lover Yeah” if guys are laying down justify the drama.  they wanted. They understand a core music truth: A good song is a good song. Whether E-mail david.hudnall@pitch.com


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APRIL 4-10, 2013

THE PITCH

29


MUSIC

RADAR

M U S I C F O R E CAST

BY

Other shows worth seeing this week.

D AV ID HUDN A L L

T H U R S D AY, A P R I L 4 Acid Baby Jesus, Hellshouvel: 8 p.m. Davey’s Uptown Ramblers Club, 3402 Main, 816-753-1909. Parkville Drive, the Word Alive, Veil of Maya, While She Sleeps, Embrace this Day: 6:30 p.m. The Granada, 1020 Massachusetts, Lawrence, 785-842-1390.

Middle of the Map Fest

Year three of Middle of the Map is shaping up to be the music festival’s liveliest yet. More than 100 acts — many local, some national — play in and around Westport Thursday through Saturday. Who should you be hopscotching to see? Forecast has you covered. (See middleofthemapfest.com for the full schedule.)

F R I D AY, A P R I L 5 Center of the City Fest: 7 p.m. Black & Gold Tavern, 3740 Broadway. Amy Lavere: 9:30 p.m. Knuckleheads Saloon, 2715 Rochester, 816-483-1456.

S AT U R D AY, A P R I L 6

Thursday, April 4

Center of the City Fest: 7 p.m. Black & Gold Tavern, 3740 Broadway. The Belairs, Nikki Hill, Whitey Morgan & the 78’s: 8 p.m. Knuckleheads Saloon, 2715 Rochester, 816-483-1456. The New Atlantis, Candlemas by Candlelight, Here Comes the Sun: All Saints Episcopal Church, 9201 Wornall, 816-363-2450. Prophet Massive, Thumpur, Dreadheadedslut, VibeTribe: 9 p.m. The Granada, 1020 Massachusetts, Lawrence, 785-842-1390.

White Lung ’s blasting, visceral punk is tem-

pered by the controlled rage of singer Mish Way. The Canadian quartet is riding a nice buzz after blowing some minds last month at South By Southwest. They’re on at RecordBar at 9 p.m. and will definitely get your blood pumping — unless, of course, you arrive at the venue at 8 p.m., for Bloodbirds (see CD review, page 28), in which case you’ll already be nicely wound up. Stay late for the epic post-rock of Milwaukee 12-piece Altos (10 p.m.) and electrotinged psych jams from semi-locals Thee Water MoccaSins (11 p.m.). RecordBar (1020 Westport Road) Looking to ease in to the fest with something a little gentler? Local label Golden Sound Records hosts a showcase of its roster at Westport Coffeehouse. It features screwball 1950s surf sounds from Fullbloods (7:30 p.m.); stormy, acoustic rock from the Caves (9 p.m.); and yelping punk lite from the Empty Spaces (10:30 p.m.). Westport Coffeehouse (4010 Pennsylvania) If you’re not working Friday, the Appleseed Cast’s heavy, cinematic emo at the Riot Room (12:30 a.m.) is a solid bet; stick around for a dance party on Riot’s patio with DJ Mahf. The Riot Room (4048 Broadway)

Friday, April 5

When the Beaumont Club closed in January, it left MOTM without a Westport venue large enough to hold its bigger national acts. So the Uptown Theater has been added to the mix. It’s a good 10-minute walk from the heart of Westport, but then so is RecordBar. And on Friday, it’ll be worth the hike. The fest’s biggest get, baroque-rock darling Grizzly Bear, headline at 10 p.m. It’s preceded by Welsh alt-rockers the Joy Formidable (8:30 p.m.) and Owen Pallet (7:30 p.m.), a violin-and-looppedal-wielding virtuoso. The Uptown Theater (3700 Broadway) Over at RecordBar, there are big, catchy, dream-rock anthems — think that first MGMT album — from Guards (11 p.m.) and spazzy 30

THE PITCH

APRIL 4-10, 2013

S U N D AY, A P R I L 7

(but delightfully precise) art-pop from Deerhoof (midnight). RecordBar (1020 Westport Road) The Riot Room offers the young, angry and critically acclaimed Danish punks Iceage (11:30 p.m.), and for fans of goofy-smart power pop in the vein of Weezer and Ween, there’s Jeff the Brotherhood at 12:30 a.m. The Riot Room (4048 Broadway) The Gusto Lounge hosts a showcase from new label High Dive Records, home to jangly folkrockers Fourth of July (8:45 p.m.); gentle revivers of 1960s pop Shy Boys (9:45 p.m.); the ACBs (10:45 p.m.; see CD review page 28); and intricate indie-rock trio Ghosty (11:45 p.m.). The Gusto Lounge (504 Westport Road) There’s a new all-ages venue in Westport, Art Closet Studios, located inside Open Fire Pizza, and you can see some of the finest local country and roots acts there. Highlights include A.J. Gaither (6 p.m.), Starhaven Rounders (8:15 p.m.) and the Blue Boot Heelers (10 p.m.). Art Closet Studios (3951 Broadway) All you wanna do is dance? Lawrence’s DJ party crew Team Bear Club holds it down on the Union patio from 10 p.m. until 3 a.m. The Union Patio (421 Westport Road)

Saturday, April 6

Some of the best shows are happening Saturday on the Outdoor Stage, where the lineup peaks, at 9 p.m., with Divine Fits, a new project from Spoon frontman Britt Daniel and Wolf

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Grizzly Bear hides out at the Uptown. Parade’s Dan Boeckner. Their sound isn’t too far from Spoon’s — spare, pounding post-punk — which is to say, it’s pretty great stuff. Before that, it’s Futurebirds (8 p.m.), an Athens, Georgia, group that traffics in spaced-out country rock. Arrive in the afternoon to sample a wide variety of popular KC acts. At 2 p.m., Hearts of Darkness does its Afrobeat-funk thing. Then it’s Lumineers-like folk pop from She’s a Keeper (3 p.m.), brotherly punk from Radkey ( 4 p.m.), dark new wave from Roman Numerals (5 p.m.), loud dance-rock from the Beautiful Bodies (6 p.m.) and jittery glam from Soft Reeds (7 p.m.) Outdoor Stage Gusto Lounge also boasts some local talent. Among the highlights: full-throated heartland rock from John Velghe & the Prodigal Sons (4 p.m.), slightly geeky indie funk from Antennas Up (8:15 p.m.) and hazy pop from Akkilles (9 p.m.). The Gusto Lounge (504 Westport Road) At RecordBar, hometown Latin-rock quartet Making Movies (11 p.m.) paves the way for the tuneful, occasionally twee pop sounds of Denver’s Tennis (midnight). RecordBar (1020 Westport Road) The soulful garage-rock of the Whigs (12:30 a.m.) gets you within an hour of last call at the Riot Room. From there, you’re on your own. The Riot Room (4048 Broadway)

E-mail david.hudnall@pitch.com pitch.com

Center of the City Fest: 6 p.m. Black & Gold Tavern, 3740 Broadway. Chevy Woods, Berner: 8 p.m. The Bottleneck, 737 New Hampshire, Lawrence, 785-841-5483. Mike Epps, Doug E. Fresh: 7 p.m. Municipal Auditorium/ Music Hall, 301 W. 13th St., 816-513-5000. Hyper Crush, Projekt-X, WestEndGrl: 8 p.m. The Riot Room, 4048 Broadway, 816-442-8179. Purity Ring, Blue Hawaii: 7 p.m. The Granada, 1020 Massachusetts, Lawrence, 785-842-1390.

M O N D AY, A P R I L 8 Bad Religion, the Bronx, Polar Bear Club: 7 p.m. The Granada, 1020 Massachusetts, Lawrence, 785-842-1390. Dave Douglas Quartet: 7:30 & 9:30 p.m. The Blue Room, 1616 E. 18th St., 816-474-8463. Excision, Paper Diamond, VASKI: 7:30 p.m. The Midland, 1228 Main, 816-283-9900. Fu Manchu: 10 p.m. RecordBar, 1020 Westport Rd., 816-753-5207.

T U E S D AY, A P R I L 9 J.J. Grey and Mofro with the Slide Brothers: 8 p.m. Knuckleheads Saloon, 2715 Rochester, 816-483-1456.

W E D N E S D AY, A P R I L 10 Florida Georgia Line: 7 p.m. The Granada, 1020 Massachusetts, Lawrence, 785-842-1390. Garbage: VooDoo Lounge, Harrah’s Casino, 1 Riverboat Dr., North Kansas City, 816-472-7777.

FUTURECAST THURSDAY 11 David Allan Coe: VooDoo Lounge, Harrah’s Casino SATURDAY 13 Bon Jovi: Sprint Center MONDAY 22 Weird Al Yankovic: Uptown Theater MONDAY 29 James Blake: Liberty Hall, Lawrence Fleetwood Mac: Sprint Center

M O N T H X X–X X , 2 0 0 X

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1


K I T C H EN IS OPE N !!!

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APRIL 4-10, 2013

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31


NIGHTLIFE

--------------APRIL 13th Psychostick w/

Pokadot Cadaver, 7pm - All Ages

--------------APRIL 14th

otep w/ one eyed doll 7pm - All Ages

Send submissions to Berry Anderson by e-mail (berry.anderson@pitch.com), fax (816-756-0502) or phone (816-218-6775). Continuing items must be resubmitted monthly.

T H U R S D AY 4

ROOTS/COUNTRY/BLUEGRASS

BLUES/FUNK/SOUL

The Bunk House: 17965 Hwy. 45 N., Weston, 816-640-0000. Hazzard County, 8:30 p.m. The Granada: 1020 Massachusetts, Lawrence, 785-842-1390. Brandon Rhyder, Aaron Barnes Band, Ryan Triggs & the Rivetbusters, 8 p.m. The Kill Devil Club: 61 E. 14th St., 816-877-8312. KC Bear Fighters, Good Time Charlie, 10 p.m.

B.B.’s Lawnside BBQ: 1205 E. 85th St., 816-822-7427. Samantha Fish Band, 7:30 p.m. Black & Gold Tavern: 3740 Broadway. DJ Soulnice. Knuckleheads Saloon: 2715 Rochester, 816-483-1456. Sonny Moorman, 8:30 p.m., $8. Quasimodo: 12056 W. 135th St., Overland Park, 913-239-9666. Brody Buster & Jimmy Lacy, 7 p.m. Trouser Mouse: 625 N.W. Mock Ave., Blue Springs, 816-2201222. Blue Fruit Snacks, 8 p.m.

DJ The Bottleneck: 737 New Hampshire, Lawrence, 785-841-5483. DJ G Train, 8 p.m.; Team Bear Club’s Goomba Rave, 11 p.m. The Brooksider: 6330 Brookside Plz., 816-363-4070. DJ Jolly. The Gusto Lounge: 504 Westport Rd., 816-974-8786. Thumpin Thursdays with *thePhantom. MiniBar: 3810 Broadway, 816-326-8281. DJ Tequila Bear. Replay Lounge: 946 Massachusetts, Lawrence, 785-749-7676. DJ Soulnice, 10 p.m. The Uptown Arts Bar: 3611 Broadway. Playe, 10:30 p.m.

JAZZ

•A LITTLE SLICE OF IRELAND• IN DOWNTOWN KANSAS CITY

Come Shake Your Shamrocks! THURS April 4th: Grasshopper & the Drunk Club 8-12 FRI April 5th: The Disappointments 10-2 SAT April 6th: The Disappointments 10-2

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nights

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$1 Night with Dueling Pianos 8:30-3am

THURSDAY:

Live Band Karaoke 9pm-3am

FRIDAY AND SATURDAY: Dueling Pianos

SUNDAY:

Folk and Country night with AJ. Gaither and Tyler Gregory 10pm-3am

MONDAY:

VISIT

WWW.ERNIEBIGGS.COM

Jazz and Blues with James Sullivan and special guests 7pm-3am

FOR SPECIALS AND LINE UP. LIKE US ON FACEBOOK FOR UPCOMING PROMOTIONS AND SPECIAL OFFERS.

TUESDAY:

Brian Babcock covers whatever the hell he wants 10pm-3am 32

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APRIL 4-10, 2013

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JAZZ The Blue Room: 1616 E. 18th St., 816-474-8463. Indigo Hour with Lady D., 5:30 p.m.; Jazz Disciples with Clint Ashlock and Jason Goudeau, 8:30 p.m. Lucky Brewgrille: 5401 Johnson Dr., Mission, 913-403-8571. Rob Scheps, Jerry Dodgion, Ron Carlson, Bob Bowman, 7-10 p.m. The Phoenix: 302 W. Eighth St., 816-221-5299. Lonnie McFadden, 4:30 p.m.; JLove Band, 9 p.m.

COMEDY Improv Comedy Club and Dinner Theater: 7260 N.W. 87th St., 816-759-5233. Aries Spears, 8 & 10:30 p.m. Skylight Restaurant and Sports Bar: 1867 S.W. State Rt. 7, Blue Springs, 816-988-7958. Mike’s Comedy Club, 8 p.m. Stanford’s Comedy Club: 1867 Village West Pkwy., Kansas City, Kan., 913-400-7500. Adam Cayton-Holland, 7:45 & 9:45 p.m.

The Blue Room: 1616 E. 18th St., 816-474-8463. Matt Kane’s KC Generations Quintet. Chaz on the Plaza: 325 Ward Pkwy., 816-802-2152. Ron Gutierrez & Michael Pagan Duo, 6 p.m. The Kill Devil Club: 61 E. 14th St., 816-877-8312. Brandon Draper. The Phoenix: 302 W. Eighth St., 816-221-5299. Rod Fleeman and Dan Bliss.

The Brooksider: 6330 Brookside Plz., 816-363-4070. Jeff Jenkins, 10 p.m. Take Five Coffee + Bar: 5336 W. 151st St., Overland Park, 913948-5550. Victor & Penny, 8 p.m., $3.

E X P E R I M E N TA L

S AT U R D AY 6

The Brick: 1727 McGee, 816-421-1634. Scammers, Blind Texas Marlin, Kasey Rausch & Chad Brothers. Davey’s Uptown Ramblers Club: 3402 Main, 816-753-1909. The UFO Show with Pat Hopewell, 10 p.m.

SINGER-SONGWRITER Coda: 1744 Broadway, 816-569-1747. John Keck’s Devil’s and Angels, 8 p.m. Jerry’s Bait Shop: 13412 Santa Fe Trail Dr., Lenexa, 913-8949676. Jason Kayne, 9 p.m.

F R I D AY 5 ROCK/POP/INDIE

Live Music

Quasimodo: 12056 W. 135th St., Overland Park, 913-239-9666. Crosseyed Cat, 5:30 p.m.; Filthy 13, 9 p.m. Trouser Mouse: 625 N.W. Mock Ave., Blue Springs, 816-2201222. Bob Harvey, 9 p.m.

Aftershock Bar & Grill: 5240 Merriam Dr., Merriam, 913-3845646. Scattered Hamlet, Quietly Violent, 7 p.m. The Bottleneck: 737 New Hampshire, Lawrence, 785-8415483. Sovereign States, Brain Food, Brody Buster Band, Cloud Nine, Rooms Without Windows, 7 p.m. Czar: 1531 Grand, 816-421-0300. Untapped Market, Conflicts, Solace and Stable, Sovereign States, 8 p.m. Davey’s Uptown Ramblers Club: 3402 Main, 816-753-1909. Club Wars with Attic Light, Bound to Happen, Population Not, Last Nights Regret, Deranged, Riski B., Skribble, Versatile Vizion, 9 p.m. Groundhouse Coffee: 103 S. Elm, Gardner, 913-856-5711. Tara Elisha, 7 p.m. Kelly’s Westport Inn: 500 Westport Rd., 816-561-5800. Groove Pilots. Replay Lounge: 946 Massachusetts, Lawrence, 785-749-7676. Ambulants, Janet the Planet, Grizzly J. Berry, 10 p.m. The Landing Eatery & Pub: 1189 W. 152 Hwy., Liberty, 816792-5230. Charlie and the Stingrays. VooDoo Lounge: Harrah’s Casino, 1 Riverboat Dr., North Kansas City, 816-472-7777. Killer Queen, Landslide, Saucy Jack.

BLUES/FUNK/SOUL B.B.’s Lawnside BBQ: 1205 E. 85th St., 816-822-7427. Lee McBee and the Confessors, 9 p.m. Coda: 1744 Broadway, 816-569-1747. Jason Vivone and the Billybats. Knuckleheads Saloon: 2715 Rochester, 816-483-1456. Trampled Under Foot and Samantha Fish, 9 p.m.

EASY LISTENING

ROCK/POP/INDIE Aftershock Bar & Grill: 5240 Merriam Dr., Merriam, 913-3845646. Orgy, Vampires Everywhere, Davey Suicide, 6:30 p.m. The Brooksider: 6330 Brookside Plz., 816-363-4070. Teacherz Pet, 10 p.m. Coda: 1744 Broadway, 816-569-1747. E R Solid Gold Easy, 7-9 p.m. MO Danny’s Bar and Grill: 13350 College Blvd., Lenexa, 913-345-9717. Blown Cover, Johnny Rampage. S G IN Davey’s Uptown Ramblers LIST E AT N I Club: 3402 Main, 816-753-1909. ONL M Odd-O-Matic, Il Da Morte, Lantern PITCH.CO Hill Nightmare, Enter the Sinner, Underwater Knife Fight, 8 p.m. Jazzhaus: 926-1/2 Massachusetts, Lawrence, 785-749-1387. The Crumpletons. Replay Lounge: 946 Massachusetts, Lawrence, 785-749-7676. Bruiser Queen, Scruffy & the Janitors, Mr. & the Mrs., 10 p.m. Kelly’s Westport Inn: 500 Westport Rd., 816-561-5800. Flannigan’s Right Hook.

CLUB

BLUES/FUNK/SOUL B.B.’s Lawnside BBQ: 1205 E. 85th St., 816-822-7427. Mama Ray’s Jazz -Meets-Blues Jam, 2-5:30 p.m.; Lil’ Slim Blues Band, 9 p.m. The Kill Devil Club: 61 E. 14th St., 816-877-8312. Eboni & the Soul Sessions, 9 p.m. The Phoenix: 302 W. Eighth St., 816-221-5299. Cadillac Flambe, 9 p.m. Quasimodo: 12056 W. 135th St., Overland Park, 913-239-9666. Monsters Inc., 9 p.m.

JAZZ The Blue Room: 1616 E. 18th St., 816-474-8463. 18th and Vine Big Band with Bobby Watson and Joe Chambers. Chaz on the Plaza: 325 Ward Pkwy., 816-802-2152. Terry Hancock Trio, 7 p.m. The Phoenix: 302 W. Eighth St., 816-221-5299. Tim Whitmer & KC Express, 4:30 p.m. Take Five Coffee + Bar: 5336 W. 151st St., Overland Park, 913948-5550. Tyrone Clark Quartet, 8 p.m.


COMEDY

T U E S D AY 9

Improv Comedy Club and Dinner Theater: 7260 N.W. 87th St., 816-759-5233. Aries Spears, 7 & 10 p.m. Stanford’s Comedy Club: 1867 Village West Pkwy., Kansas City, Kan., 913-400-7500. Adam Cayton-Holland, 7:45 & 9:45 p.m. Westport Coffee House: 4010 Pennsylvania, 816-756-3222. The Kick-Off Improv Comedy Show, 8-9:30 p.m.

ROCK/POP/INDIE

BAR GAMES/DRUNKEN DISTRACTIONS The Brick: 1727 McGee, 816-421-1634. Bingo, Burgers and Beer for Pendleton Heights, 4-8:30 p.m. ComedyCity at Westport Flea Market: 817 Westport Rd., 816-842-2744. Major League Improv, 7:30 p.m. 403 Club: 403 N. Fifth St., 913-499-8392. Pinball tournament, cash prize for winner, 4:30 p.m. The Red Balloon: 10325 W. 75th St., Overland Park, 913-9622330. Karaoke, 8 p.m. The Uptown Arts Bar: 3611 Broadway. KC Cabaret, 9:30 p.m.

EASY LISTENING Coda: 1744 Broadway, 816-569-1747. John Nicholos, Christopher Murdock, Sterling Witt, 9:30 p.m.

RAP Czar: 1531 Grand, 816-421-0300. OoberGeek, Huey P. Nuisance, Les Paul, Second Hand King, Sinple, 9:30 p.m.

S U N D AY 7 ROCK/POP/INDIE RecordBar: 1020 Westport Rd., 816-753-5207. Hey Marseilles, Blackbird Revue, 8 p.m.

BLUES/FUNK/SOUL B.B.’s Lawnside BBQ: 1205 E. 85th St., 816-822-7427. Hope House benefit with the Everette DeVan Quartet, True Blood Blues Band, Crosseyed Cat, Bobby Smith Blues Band, the Old Crows, Mike Smith and the Kings of Sax, FEO Band, 1-9 p.m.

ROOTS/COUNTRY/BLUEGRASS Replay Lounge: 946 Massachusetts, Lawrence, 785-749-7676. Truckstop Honeymoon, Danny McGaw, 6-9 p.m.

M O N D AY 8 ROCK/POP/INDIE The Riot Room: 4048 Broadway, 816-442-8179. Mount Salem, the Conquerors, the Devil, 8 p.m.

JAZZ The Majestic Restaurant: 931 Broadway, 816-221-1888. Mark Lowrey Trio, 6 p.m. The Phoenix: 302 W. Eighth St., 816-221-5299. Millie Edwards and friends, 7 p.m.

BAR GAMES/DRUNKEN DISTRACTIONS The Brick: 1727 McGee, 816-421-1634. Karaoke with Kelly Bleachmaxx, 10:30 p.m., free. Bulldog: 1715 Main, 816-421-4799. Trivia, service industry night. Hamburger Mary’s: 101 Southwest Blvd., 816-842-1919. Maryoke, 8 p.m. Jazzhaus: 926-1/2 Massachusetts, Lawrence, 785-749-1387. Karaoke Idol with Tanya McNaughty. Moxie Bar & Grill: 4011 N. Oak Tfwy., North Kansas City, 816455-9600. Beer Pong Mondays with DJ E-Rock. Nara: 1617 Main, 816-221-6272. Brodioke. RecordBar: 1020 Westport Rd., 816-753-5207. Sonic Spectrum Music Trivia, 7 p.m. Replay Lounge: 946 Massachusetts, Lawrence, 785-749-7676. Sam’s Club Karaoke, 10 p.m.

OPEN MIC/JAM SESSIONS The Bottleneck: 737 New Hampshire, Lawrence, 785-8415483. Taking Back Mondays with Sovereign States, 9 p.m. The Brick: 1727 McGee, 816-421-1634. Rural Grit Happy Hour, 6 p.m. Davey’s Uptown Ramblers Club: 3402 Main, 816-753-1909. Songwriter’s Scene Open Mic with Jon Theobald, 7 p.m. Thirsty Ernie’s: 1276 W. Foxwood Dr., Raymore, 816-322-2779. Acoustic open mic with Brad Allen, 7-10 p.m. The Uptown Arts Bar: 3611 Broadway. Blue Monday poetry and open mic, 8-10 p.m.

The Bottleneck: 737 New Hampshire, Lawrence, 785-841-5483. The Werks, Mouth, 8 p.m. The Riot Room: 4048 Broadway, 816-442-8179. Wicken, Pyridial, Severed Path, 8 p.m.

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JAZZ Chaz on the Plaza: 325 Ward Pkwy., 816-802-2152. Max Groove Trio, 6 p.m. The Phoenix: 302 W. Eighth St., 816-221-5299. A La Mode, 7 p.m.

EASY LISTENING Davey’s Uptown Ramblers Club: 3402 Main, 816-753-1909. Ashley Raines, Brian Maloney & the Simple Story, 9 p.m. The Riot Room: 4048 Broadway, 816-442-8179. Tom Bertram, Nathan Corsi, Tim York, 7 p.m.

OPEN MIC/JAM SESSIONS Black & Gold Tavern: 3740 Broadway. Bourbon & Bands Open Jam. Jazzhaus: 926-1/2 Massachusetts, Lawrence, 785-749-1387. Acoustic Open Mic with Tyler Gregory. Jerry’s Bait Shop: 13412 Santa Fe Trail Dr., Lenexa, 913-8949676. Jam Night, 9 p.m. Take Five Coffee + Bar: 5336 W. 151st St., Overland Park, 913948-5550. Open Mic with Philip Wakefield, 7 p.m. Tonahill’s 3 of a Kind: 11703 E. 23rd St., Independence, 816833-5021. Blues, country and classic rock hosted by Rick Eidson and friends. The Uptown Arts Bar: 3611 Broadway. Poetic Underground, 9 p.m.

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APRIL 4-10, 2013

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33


S AVA G E L O V E

SHORTIES Dear Dan: I’m trying to understand some sexual

fantasies I have. They involve having sex with a woman who has a penis. Sometimes I fantasize that my wife grew a penis. The fantasies started when we first tried pegging a few years ago. We recently had our first child and can no longer find the time for such kinky sex. These transsexual fantasies have caused a large strain in our relationship, and I don’t understand why I’m having them or what I should do about them. I don’t want to engage in a relationship with another person, I just want to know if it’s normal to have these fantasies.

Confused but Hopeful Dear CBH: For now, shut up and fantasize. Your

sex life has taken a hit because you’re new parents, and your wife probably doesn’t have time or energy for sex without you also asking her to do something impossible (grow a penis) or something risky (give you the OK to fulfill this fantasy elsewhere). And your wife may worry where your fantasies will ultimately lead, e.g., cheating or leaving. That’s not something a new mom (or a new dad) wants to contemplate. So shut up and beat off for now. In a year or two, after your sex life has kicked back into gear, your wife might be willing to explore your fantasies through role-play games or give you a pass to get with a woman with a dick. To understand more about your fetish, Google “gynandromorphophilia.”

Dear Dan: My boyfriend recently became inter-

ested in motorcycles, which makes me nervous for his safety. We had a good talk about it, and he settled on a motorcycle-scooter hybrid, but now he’s looking into upgrading. I’m genuinely worried for his safety in taking a motorcycle on the freeway. It’s his life, we don’t have kids, and I certainly don’t control him. How do you deal with your fear over a loved one’s safety when they do something that makes you nervous?

Wants Improved Motor Practices Dear WIMP: My husband was recently interested in growing a mustache, which made me nervous for my sanity. (My uncles had mustaches when I was a kid, so his mustache made me think of kissing my uncles.) He grew one while I was out of town. It’s his face, and I don’t control him. But I control my face, and I refused to press mine to his — or any other part of my body to any part of his — until the mustache was gone. It was gone the next day. Dear Dan: I’m a 29-year-old straight male. I was introduced to Fetlife — and to BDSM — by my former girlfriend, who has a profile on the site. The relationship ended a year ago. We tried to 34

THE PITCH

APRIL 4-10, 2013

pitch.com

BY

D A N S AVA G E

be friends, but she changed her mind, and now we don’t speak. After our breakup, I occasionally looked at her profile. I joined Fetlife recently, and when she posted a couple of nice photos of herself, I stupidly liked them. She’s messaged me a couple of times. There are no pictures on my profile, so she doesn’t know it’s me. Do I ignore the messages or come clean?

Ex Currently Keeping Secret Dear ECKS: You stepped over the line when you liked the photos. That act amounted to initiating contact with a woman who no longer wishes to be in contact with you. There are lurkers and flakes on dating sites, and it’s pretty common to send one or two messages to someone and never hear back. So don’t respond. Dear Dan: I’m a 20-year-old full-time college student. I work two jobs and have little time to myself, let alone time to find someone to share that time with. But I recently became “involved” with a member of the faculty. He’s 20 years older than I am, and we have so much in common that it should be illegal! Should I cut the cord now or continue enjoying the hottest, sweetest, most thoughtful person I’ve ever met?

Sincerely Smitten Student Hesitates Dear SSSH: Enjoy. And if your hot, sweet,

thoughtful faculty member honors the Campsite Rule, i.e., he leaves you in better shape than he found you (no diseases, unplanned pregnancies, trauma), you are in turn obligated to honor the Tea and Sympathy Rule, i.e., when you speak of this in future years, you will be kind (no nuttiness, no anger, no sabotaging his career in a tell-all post on fuckedmyprof .tumblr.com). Have fun.

Dear Dan: I take issue with your recommendation to Socially Interactive Sister, who was thinking of hiring someone to relieve her 22-year-old brother of his virginity. You recommended a sex worker rather than professional surrogate partner therapists. These professionals work with licensed sex therapists and train (within a curriculum) to work therapeutically with folks like SIS’s brother and others. Also, you incorrectly associate sex work with the movie The Sessions, which deals with surrogate partner therapy, a field looking to legitimize. I have no issue with sex work, but SPT is truly different. You can find more info at surrogatetherapy.org.

Advocate for Surrogate Partner Therapy Dear AFSPT: Thanks for sharing. Have a question for Dan Savage? E-mail him at mail@savagelove.net


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The Pitch: April 4, 2013