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Editor Scott Wilson Managing Editor Justin Kendall Music Editor David Hudnall Staff Writers Charles Ferruzza, Ben Palosaari Editorial Operations Manager Deborah Hirsch Calendar Editor Berry Anderson Clubs Editor Abbie Stutzer Food Blogger, Web Editor Jonathan Bender Proofreader Brent Shepherd Contributing Writers Tracy Abeln, Theresa Bembnister, April Fleming, Abel Folgar, Leslie Kinsman, Chris Milbourn, Dan Savage, Lucas Wetzel Editorial Intern Katie Miller

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QUESTIONNAIRE

TROY DIGG S

Fox 4 morning news producer

Hometown: Jonesboro, Arkansas Current neighborhood: Columbus Park, the neighborhood that nobody really knows is there, but it’s such an awesome place to be — great community, great history and great food. Who or what is your sidekick? It’s gotta be my iPhone. A few years ago, I was at a journalism convention in Miami, and all the network people were wandering the halls of the hotel with their eyes glued to their BlackBerrys — and I swore I’d never do that. Guess what happened. What career would you choose in an alternate reality? No lie, I’d love to be a game-show host or producer. I’ve always wanted to work in TV, and I love what I do, but I have a couple of friends who work on shows in Los Angeles, and I can’t deny that I’m jealous.

new faves. It’s casual but still classy enough that I can enjoy a pale ale with friends and not have to worry about screaming kids or drunk jerks.

Where do you drink? I’m not a big patron at any one particular bar in town. Some nights, I’m in a [Bistro] 303 mood, while others, I’m in a Missie B’s mood — and still others, I’m just up for sipping a latte at the 41st and Main Starbucks. What’s your favorite charity? There are three

that I’ve been working with recently that I love: Variety Kansas City, which helps out specialMORE needs children; Millennial League, which raises AIDS awareness in the T A E IN ONL .COM younger generation; and PITCH Kauffman Center, which does such a great job of exposing folks to the arts in this city.

Q&As

Favorite place to spend your paycheck: The obvious answers here are Trader Joe’s and Target, but if I have the money? I could do some serious damage at the Upper Crust Bakery. What local phenomenon do you think is overrated? I’m thrilled that the P&L has revived

nightlife downtown, but I’m just not convinced that it’s living up to potential. Alamo is awesome, and Cosentino’s is awesome, but the bar-restaurant district really needs some purely local flavor.

Where do you like to take out-of-town guests? If I’m trying to impress them, I’ll take them to the Liberty Memorial, the Nelson, and for dinner at Jack Stack. If it’s just a casual night in town, it’s a trip to Westport Flea Market and a cruise through the Plaza.

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

What was the last local restaurant you patronized? Beer Kitchen in Westport; it’s one of my

Finish this sentence: “Kansas City got it right when …” Sporting KC had their trans-

What TV show do you make sure you watch?

“Kansas City screwed up when it …” Let the

Apart from Rufus Wainwright, Jack’s Mannequin and Guster, my iTunes is mostly filled with podcasts of Car Talk, Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me, and Jamie Cullum’s jazz show on BBC Radio 2.

formation from the old-era Wizards. The local owners put the fan experience and achievement at the top of the priority list, and the result is something that other sports teams (here in town and across the country) need to look at. water and sewer system go to hell in a handbasket. It’s not just because of all the watermain breaks but because they cause so many road issues that linger for days.

“Kansas City needs …” Better mass transit. Something. Anything. The city has taken steps to get there, but there’s still an awfully long way to go. “People might be surprised to know that I …” Have a podcast about The Price Is Right.

My friend Matt and I tape it every week, and right now, we have tens of listeners. That’s more than we ever thought we’d have, and we love doing it.

“On my day off, I like to …” Explore things in

the city I haven’t seen before. I’ve lived here nine years, and there are still places I haven’t seen and things I haven’t done yet.

“In five years, I’ll be …” Still working in TV, even after winning the fi rst billion-dollar Powerball jackpot.

I watch The Price Is Right for the podcast, but I also TiVo MythBusters, Bitchin’ Kitchen and How It’s Made. (I go for shows that put you in a hypnotic trance.) It’s funny, but for somebody who works in television, I really don’t watch all that much of it.

take up a lot of space in my iTunes:

What movie do you watch at least once a year? Goldfinger — and luckily, it’s on cable somewhere at least once a year. It really included everything awesome about the Bond series.

Celebrity you’d like to ride the Mamba with at Worlds of Fun: Locally, I’d say Mayor Sly

James; I can’t think of another politician who’d have as much fun on it. Nationally, I’d go with Alton Brown ’cause I could see him using it as a method to prepare a turkey.

Favorite person or thing to follow on Twitter:

I work overnights, putting together Fox 4 morning news (along with an awesome team), but on Twitter, a bunch of producers, reporters, anchors, etc., from other stations talk to each other with the hashtag #AMNewsers. It’s part shop talk, part support group and all fun.

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What subscription — print, digital, etc. — do you value most? I subscribe to a podcast from

NPR called How to Do Everything. The hosts answer “how to” questions, and it’s brilliant. (I mean, they have a “most unique restroom of the week” contest going on now. You don’t hear that just anywhere.)

Last book you read: Bossypants by Tina Fey. Hilarity ensued.

Favorite day trip: Last year, a friend and I

took a day trip to the Shatto Milk farm, up in Osborn. It’s in the middle of nowhere, but it’s a pretty sweet operation and a lot of fun to visit.

What is your most embarrassing dating moment? I had a guy excuse himself to go to the bathroom in the middle of the date, then leave. I caught him online a few hours later, and he asked if I wanted to go out with him again.

Describe a recent triumph: I’ve lost (as of now) about 15 pounds since November! No crash dieting, no infomercial workout tapes, just calorie counting on the iPhone, physical activity daily, and a little motivation from friends and peers. I have a black Simon Cowell-esque T-shirt I’ve been wanting to wear for years but haven’t had the build for it. This is the year. Subscribe to Diggs’ Pricecast for free on iTunes. FMEOBNRTUH A RXYX–X 7 - 1X3, , 220001 X 3

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or a man who hosted a public-radio talk show, Jabulani Leffall speaks a lot about revolution. He referenced it during his on-air resignation January 16 as host of KCUR 89.3’s Central Standard. “This is a new world order on Central Standard and my last broadcast at KCUR 89.3 FM. I’m Jabulani Leffall, signing off in the words of Gil ScottHeron: The revolution LOGT will not be televised. The P E R O M INE A revolution is live.” ONL M / P L O G Leffall’s so-called revP IT C H .C O olution is against conventional journalism, a 9-to-5 workday, and his own broadcast career. He said he made the choice to walk away from KCUR in an instant, on live radio. “I made a conscious decision in one minute to end it,” Leffall told The Pitch. “That one minute was between 10:57 and 10:58.” The Pitch reached Leffall on his cellphone a few hours after the surprise resignation. “Hi, you’re on SoundCloud,” Leffall answered. “Who am I talking to?” A Pitch reporter identified himself and asked Leffall why he quit the job he’d held since October 2010 (in the time slot previously held by local broadcast legend Walt Bodine). Leffall, 37, agreed to talk about his decision to quit. But the interview complicated the story of his departure from the public-radio station. Leffall steered the conversation into strange territory, referencing race, eavesdropping, space aliens and God’s existence. The Pitch withheld publication of the interview until Leffall could provide context for his statements. This paper made numerous attempts to contact him in the two weeks after he quit. During that time, a friend of Leffall’s called The Pitch to say the former host wasn’t on drugs or alcohol. (Leffall said later that he has been sober nearly two years.) On January 26, Leffall e-mailed The Pitch a statement about his resignation, and he later agreed to a second interview. Leffall sat down with a Pitch reporter at the downtown Lattéland on January 31. He fiddled with an electronic cigarette (having quit real smokes) as he spoke between bites of granola with milk. Leffall refused to talk about interoffice politics. He also hesitated to touch on the most startling things he’d said in his initial interview. Asked if he was going through a mentalhealth crisis, Leffall denied that he had been in any kind of trouble before acknowledging one factor contributing to his actions. “Maybe. Possibly,” Leffall responded. “But when you lose sleep, that’s a mental-health component in and of itself.” Leffall, who has three sons (1, 3 and 7 years old), set the stage for what he was going through when he first spoke with The Pitch. He said he hadn’t slept much in the days before quitting. He claimed that he was extremely tired during his last show and the subsequent interview.

“When we talked, I was probably working on two and a half, three hours of sleep for the whole day,” he said. “I had just quit on-air. I was at a different location, kind of sitting there, pondering what I did. And everybody’s calling, wondering what’s going on. I got a lot of people [calling]. I probably said a lot of shit.” Leffall told the story of a guest on his show who suffered from schizophrenia. “I tell him before the show, ‘You got a friend in me,’ ” Leffall said. He added that he has never been diagnosed with the disorder. “I’ve been through similar traumas, similar circumstances.” Leffall likened his situation to Charlie Sheen losing his job on the CBS sitcom Two and a Half Men. “I think it’s easy to point to mental health when someone says, ‘Enough. I don’t want to be controlled anymore. I don’t want to be in fear about a job anymore. I don’t want to be in this control system,’ ” he said. “It’s like when Charlie Sheen says, ‘Tiger blood. I’m rich, so screw you. I don’t have to conform to anything. I don’t have to kiss up to my executive producer Chuck Lorre. I can do what I want. If I want to destroy myself with drugs or alcohol, that’s my right.’ ” During the first interview, Leffall claimed that KCUR treated him like a “black slave.” He refused to explain that accusation at Lattéland. He repeated his claim, however, that KCUR management had been “eavesdropping” on him. “I can’t confirm that they were, but I have my suspicions,” he said. Leffall said there were times when he was recording promos in the studio and he noticed

Jabulani Leffall is tired of being

BY

on someone else’s time.

BE N PA L O S A A R I

don’t die; they go into space to be eaten by aliens. In the follow-up, he stepped back from that view. “Dude, if I call you at 4 o’clock in the morning, you might be on some streamof-consciousness shit,” he says. Leffall claimed that he has a history of exhaustion. In late September 2011, he said, he was visiting his mother in Chicago. He was feeling the stress of financial issues, a baby on the way and work. He said his mother called an ambulance one night, and he was admitted to a hospital for fatigue. He said he spent between four days and a week “just trying to get healthy.” Leffall doesn’t believe that his bosses at KCUR knew where he was, and he didn’t have a chance to call them. “I couldn’t call them,” he said. “I was in the fucking hospital. I couldn’t call anyone.” A KCUR source told The Pitch that Leffall’s absence “set some alarm bells off around the station.” “It was odd behavior,” the source said. “He just didn’t show up for the show one day.” When Leffall returned to work, he hosted Central Standard’s first anniversary show at the Kansas City, Missouri, Central Library. Weeks removed from his resignation, Leffall said he doesn’t regret quitting. But he is still thinking about his decision. The subject Leffall is outside the booth now. of his final show was monopolies in the teleactive Skype calls placed to KCUR’s IT departcom industry. He said maybe his worries about ment. He said those calls turned the computers eavesdropping and that day’s topic might have into listening devices. played a role in his resignation. During his first interview with The Pitch, “The fact that it was that particular show — Leffall asked several times if he was on a speakif it had been casseroles, maybe I’m there right erphone or if people were listening in on the now,” he said. “Maybe. If it had been an artist, conversation. Told that no one else was lis- maybe I’m there right now.” tening, Leffall responded, “Do you have me Leffall admitted that his resignation didn’t on a closed-circuit loop like hit him until he walked out when they did the lethal of the studio that day. injection of me today and “The reaction after I got “If it had been executed me?” outside after I quit, that casseroles, maybe I’m Leffall said he was bewas taxing,” he said. “Then there right now.” ing figurative. “Leaving the I had to realize, Oh damn, show was a death, man,” he what did I just do? What did said. “That’s a metaphor.” I really just do?” Pressed about the meaning of the metaphor, Weeks later, he said, he “had a good cry.” Leffall said exhaustion and emotion had dic“I grieved about it because it was very tated his responses. important, and I co-created it,” he said. “It “I was sort of an insomniac, loopy after quitlasted three minutes. Maybe three minutes. ting my job,” he said. “And I said that.” I got it out.” KCUR General Manager Nico Leone denies Now, Leffall is moving on. A 1998 graduate that the station eavesdropped on Leffall or of the Missouri School of Journalism, he says treated him unfairly. he’s done with mainstream journalism. He “With regard to the eavesdropping comand musician Miles Bonny have recently put ment, we have not engaged in any attempts to out an album (Respect the Beard: Spoken Soul). listen to or monitor Mr. Leffall’s conversations, And he’s writing poetry, fiction and blog posts nor can we imagine any circumstances under for BlackArtInAmerica.com. which we or anyone else would have a reason “I’m going to create for a living,” he said. or desire to do so,” Leone tells The Pitch in a “I’m going to make albums, I’m going to do statement. books of poetry, I’m going to finish my nov“With regard to his treatment as an emels, I’m going to continue to blog. I might get ployee, Mr. Leffall was one of many part-time around to doing some DIY video. I’m going to employees of KCUR and was paid comparably.” create for a living.” In the first interview, Leffall also said God’s existence was a lie, and that people E-mail ben.palosaari@pitch.com

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Going live with the University of Missouri–Kansas City’s first student-run Internet radio station.

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niversity of Missouri-Kansas City center Ashli Hill’s elbow smashes the face of an opposing player. The crowd at the Swinney Recreation Center gasps as a bloodied Eastern Michigan University guard crumples on the hardwood during a late-December women’s basketball game. The silence on this Saturday afternoon is shattered by a boisterous voice from courtside. “That’s like taking a 9-iron to the snot factory!” Sterling Brown shouts into his microphone. Brown, 33, is the play-by-play voice of UMKC hoops on K-ROO, the university’s first studentrun station in four decades. K-ROO went live November 3, 2012, the same day as the first women’s basketball game of the season. More fans in the stands of Swinney Rec overheard Sterling’s colorful call than did those listening online. Before the game, Brown meets colorcommentator Cody Tapp and producer Ryan Witkowski at Mike’s Tavern for rounds of

Mexican beer, and they joke about how few people listen to their live streams. “We get eight or nine listeners,” says 30-year-old Witkowski, “and two of them are our wives.” Brown corrects him. Listenership is declining: His wife has stopped tuning in. All three men are nontraditional students, in their late 20s and early 30s. They see K-ROO as their best chance to launch careers in sports radio. Tapp, a 28-year-old waiter, is trim and wears Buddy Holly glasses. He never struggles to add pouches of analytical insight during Brown’s brief pauses from alliterative flourishes. Witkowski looks the part of a sports-radio producer: husky, with a scruff y beard, always wearing a baseball cap. He works as a part-time producer for 610 Sports. As a child, he recorded himself analyzing the Royals, which he says is his dream job. “I’d do my own Royals report,” he says, “and I’d give the tapes to my mom and make her listen on her ride to work.”

Brown, a hulking man who played on the defensive line for Truman State University from 1998 to 2001, started “calling games” in high school while playing football at Rockhurst. When he wasn’t on the field, he’d pretend to be an announcer. It carried over to college and even while playing Madden video games with his friend. He also admits to using a voice recorder to do mock play-by-play at Chiefs games. That has drawn more than a few strange looks from fellow bleacher bums. He’s not afraid to explain. “My ambition is to be the voice of the Chiefs,” he says. “Or any other major franchise.”

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ven though UMKC hasn’t had a studentrun radio station (terrestrial or online) for a little more than 40 years, the university has a history of student radio. KCUR 89.3 started as a low-power station in October 1957 and became a charter member of NPR in 1971. By 1984, UMKC students were no longer trained on-air at KCUR. Students, including KCUR arts reporter

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Laura Spencer, fi rst pushed the idea of an Internet radio station in 1999. But the station was denied funding. The latest attempt at student radio started four years ago. Starting a project like K-ROO has been a grinding labor of love for the station’s main proponents. The student volunteers have spent dozens of hours a week working for an Internet station with few listeners. That’s on top of their course loads and day jobs. Getting K-ROO on the air was a hassle of university bureaucracy and funding problems, and a recruiting nightmare. “It was brutal,” Witkowski says. In 2009, a group of students presented a plan for a student-run Internet radio station to the Student Government Association, which granted them $17,000 and a studio space. “We were stoked,” says Casey Osburn, K-ROO’s longest-tenured aspirant and the station’s music director. However, K-ROO failed to launch. Witkowski says the station was hampered by bad timing. The students who were trying to start K-ROO graduated continued on page 8 FMEOBN R TUH A RXYX–X 7 - 1X3,, 220001 3 X

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continued from page 7 just as the money rolled in. The students who were left weren’t natural leaders, he says. “You had a ton of interest and drive with no money,” Witkowski says, “and then you get money, and you have no interest and drive.” The university wasn’t impressed and reclaimed the studio space. Student involvement decreased. “I had to take a semester off of school,” Osburn says, “because this was so stressful for me.” Osburn was about to spend the summer running merchandise for the Beautiful Bodies on a tour of the East Coast and Canada when she heard from K-ROO’s faculty adviser. “I got a phone call the day before I left to fly to Canada for a tour, and I was gone for a little over a month,” she says. “I was like, I don’t even know if I’m going back to school. Is anything happening [with K-ROO]?” Something was happening.

I

n the summer of 2011, Witkowski decided to fi ll the void in station management. He bought equipment and invited people he trusted to join the station. “It’s just a matter of finding students motivated enough to make something out of nothing,” he says. Witkowski called Tapp, whom he had met at Penn Valley Community College a couple of years before, and asked him if he wanted to be K-ROO’s sports director. Tapp was in. Witkowski then called Osburn, whom he remembered from previous station meetings, and asked her if she wanted to be the station’s music director. Osburn jumped onboard. Brown had met Witkowski in a class a couple of semesters before, and the two discussed their dreams of working in sports radio. Tapp invited Brown to broadcast basketball games with them. “The rest, as they say, is history,” Witkowski says. K-ROO is still looking for a news director, someone who will work hard for minimal payoff. “We’ve got a campus of 12,000 students,” Witkowski says, “and I’ve only found two that have that drive and motivation and desire.” With a core staff in place, K-ROO’s stu82 TT H H EE P P II T TC CH H

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dents faced their fi rst significant decision: Should K-ROO broadcast on KCUR’s HD radio feed or stream online? They chose to stream. “The reason FM radio took 20 years to take off was the fact that everybody’s car had AM radio,” he says “Nobody had the [FM] stereo. Nobody has HD radio.” Once K-ROO was set to stream, Tapp asked the athletics department for permission to broadcast women’s basketball games. The athletics department agreed, giving K-ROO a goal: Go live by November 3, 2012. “I really thought the game was that big push,” Tapp says. “Finally, we had a deadline.”

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he green sportscasters fi nish their pregame beers at Mike’s and drive to Swinney Rec. Some aspects of sports journalism still amuse them. “They feed us lunch,” Tapp says. “It really surprised us.” The three men set up their broadcast table opposite the official scorer’s table and team benches, and far away from the Roos’ official broadcast partner, KCWJ 1030. Three laptops, a stat box computer borrowed from the athletics department, a small sound-mixing board, and three microphones take only a few minutes to prep. Lunch is catering from Jimmy John’s, and the crew eats with a handful of media members — mostly tall, athletic women a decade or so past college age — in a small room away from the court. Then it’s time for a brief pregame show and the play-by-play. Brown, who graduated the day before the game, commandeers the broadcast, howling bombastic descriptions of the on-court action. “Blocked with two hands!” he says of a swatted shot. “She played volleyball with that one.” “The bank’s not open that late on a Saturday,” he yells when a shot ricochets off the glass. Witkowski studies the stats and ensures that the equipment is running properly during the play-by-play. The game is knotted at 28 at the half. Witkowski hops on the mic while Brown, who seems to know everyone, glad-hands and schmoozes with fans. This late-December game is only the sixth college hoops contest that the K-ROO

Osburn (at left) works in the K-ROO studio. Above, Tapp (center) and Brown (right) have sports-radio dreams. team has covered. The three speak clearly and rarely talk over one another, making their sportscasts polished and professional. During the halftime show, the threeman crew chats about the Roos being in foul trouble and about head coach Marsha Frese’s demeanor. “She’s not going to accept boneheaded play,” Witkowski assures his listeners. “No, she’s very no-nonsense,” Tapp agrees. Witkowski also gives an update on the player who took the elbow to the schnoz. “Miranda Tate [is] now donning the mask a la [Chicago Bulls guard] Rip Hamilton,” he says. As the game winds down, Eastern Michigan pulls ahead, and the game slips away from the Roos. Final score: Eastern Michigan 74, UMKC 69. K-ROO’s broadcasters have their own problem with the score. “They won’t give us a player for an interview unless the team wins,” Witkowski explains off-air about UMKC’s athletics department. Without postgame interviews, he says, it’s harder for the trio to put together decent clip reels to send to potential employers. “It’s bullshit,” Witkowski says.

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n the UMKC student union during the second week of January, Osburn, Tapp and Witkowski toil in a sweaty room to make their broadcasts relevant on campus. K-ROO’s radio geeks have given up their lengthy winter break to work in the station’s studio, on the student union’s third floor. With red hair, a surface piercing on the left side of her face, and bright tattoos on her forearms, Osburn is the only member of K-ROO’s core staff who looks like a traditional college student. Her dry humor and wit are a check to Tapp and Witkowski’s thick banter, which occasionally veers broadcasts into boys-club territory. The floor resembles the starship Enterprise, if the craft were decorated by Ikea. Brightly colored, oddly shaped furniture fills the space. The three spend the morning applying foam acoustic panels to the studio’s walls and print-


ing stacks of fliers to distribute around campus. Theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re also updating K-ROOâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s website with a new logo. (The old image was phallic.) And theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re ordering K-ROO-branded koozies and bottle openers to give to students to help raise the stationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s profile. Their optimism verges on giddiness as they finalize a work schedule for the upcoming semester: A core member of the K-ROO staff will broadcast in the studio at all times, except from 10 p.m. to 10 a.m., when an automated program will stream music. When the student union is closed, K-ROO can be run from a remote laptop. At the beginning of the year, K-ROO acquired a music license, so that its DJs can play any artist they want. (Previously they were playing only local and independent artists.) Today, theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re streaming a sonic hodgepodge, from Lady Gaga and Fun to local Kansas City bands and indie artists. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been a recruiting problem in the past,â&#x20AC;? Tapp says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t play everything all the time. And now we can play anything all the time. Except for when they shut the student union down on us and we have to do it from our house.â&#x20AC;? A Rick Hornyak song plays on-air. In the months before K-ROOâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s music license, the station could play music only by artists who agreed not to take royalties. Hornyak was one of them and, therefore, in heavy rotation. Witkowski describes his songs: â&#x20AC;&#x153;If you took every ballad ever made by Lynyrd Skynyrd and had, like, a drunken Irishman singing.â&#x20AC;? Osburn says she wants to avoid Top 40 tracks in the future, even though K-ROO is licensed. After all, this is college radio. And as a touring manager for bands, she values stations that give airtime to up-and-coming bands. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Those places have been dear to my heart,â&#x20AC;? she says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;So I wanted to make K-ROO like that for bands.â&#x20AC;? The K-ROO crew also plans to keep the air free of the seven banned words. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re still going to follow FCC regulations with cursing and stuff,â&#x20AC;? Osburn says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want to teach people bad habits, especially if theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re trying to get a job.â&#x20AC;?

K-ROO also keeps a log of every song played, even though its license doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t require it. Witkowski says itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s better for everyone to learn the FCC rules before they graduate and start looking for work. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re using this to gain skills to go into radio, so we may as well,â&#x20AC;? he says. That kind of maturity has bolstered K-ROOâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s foundation, says Angela Elam, the stationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s faculty adviser. â&#x20AC;&#x153;There is a certain amount of altruism that comes from maturity,â&#x20AC;? says Elam, producer and host of the weekly public-radio show New Letters on the Air. â&#x20AC;&#x153;They realize that theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve only got this for a short time personally, but itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s up to them to help try to sustain it.â&#x20AC;? Elam has been working with students since 1999 to establish an online radio station. She says having a student-only radio outlet is crucial for UMKC, which doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have a journalism school (students can get a degree with an emphasis in journalism) or a dedicated broadcast program. Students can apply for internships at KCUR, but those jobs are open to students of all area universities. The only qualification to work at K-ROO is being a UMKC student. Elam says that rule will fill a gap for students interested in radio. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve got to have a way to practice your craft,â&#x20AC;? Elam says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I mean, you can learn theoretically about how to produce good radio. But if youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re not in there actually making it happen, then everything you think you might know in your head doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t necessarily translate into being good at it.â&#x20AC;? Elam likes K-ROOâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s odds of survival after this class graduates in May. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Anybody who comes here to be trained by them will pick up on that enthusiasm,â&#x20AC;? she says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s nothing more contagious than enthusiasm.â&#x20AC;?

â&#x20AC;&#x153;My ambition is to be the voice of the Chiefs. Or any other major franchise.â&#x20AC;?

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he next Monday night is a big one for K-ROO. The staff is hosting the stationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first live remote of a weekly show called Micâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d at Mikeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s from 6 to 9 p.m. (The title Roos and Brews was nixed.) Osburn, Tapp and Witkowski broadcast from tables on a tiny stage,

Elam (left, in photo above) has seen many incarnations of K-ROO fail before Witkowski (at right) and his posse succeeded. elevated about 6 inches above the floor, in the corner of the barâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s front room. The showâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s format is basic: The three do live segments and talk about the NFL playoffs, baseballâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Hall of Fame snubbing and the end of the NHL lockout. And they play recorded segments sandwiched by three-song sets. Theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve snagged some swag to give to the audience: flashlights, pens and tickets promoting the recent horror film Mama. The initial crowd is sparse. A few guys play tabletop shuffleboard and watch an NBA game on a monitor over the K-ROO tables. A couple sitting at the bar appear oblivious to the broadcast. The show doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t go exactly as planned. They had scheduled live interviews with two UMKC menâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s basketball players. Neither had a car, though, and the players were worried that if the hosts drove them, they would violate NCAA rules about the media providing transportation. So the K-ROO crew pretaped the interviews. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m not quite sure I consider myself a member of the media yet,â&#x20AC;? Tapp says, introducing the interview. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I mean, we do have classes with these people, so it seems a little silly that we canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t give them a ride.â&#x20AC;? In the midst of getting guests onstage, ordering $4 pitchers of PBR, and making sure the recorded parts are playing properly, theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re hit with bad news. K-ROOâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s funding has been withdrawn by the school. Osburn, Tapp and Witkowski appear unfazed. Theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d rather focus on the show and socialize with friends hanging out in front of the broadcast table. The show rolls on. The trio interviews Mikeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s redheaded barkeep, Avery. They left a jar on the bar for patrons to submit questions for the segment. Several of the questions are too racy to ask on-air, but the interview is the most intriguing part of the night. The audience, which has grown to a couple of dozen friends, is paying attention now. The hosts didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t bring speakers, so the crowd is quiet in order to hear the questions and answers. The show also features a trivia game and Tappâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s eight-and-half-minute radio drama, The Hunt for the Phantom Cat.

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At 9 p.m., Witkowski ends the episode with a modest plug for next weekâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s edition of Micâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d at Mikeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Check us out next week,â&#x20AC;? he says.

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eeks after pulling K-ROOâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s funding, the university reversed course. Angela Cottrell, director of UMKCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Office of Student Involvement, met with the K-ROO staff to discuss why the funding dried up. She discovered that in 2010, Mel Tyler, associate vice chancellor for student affairs and enrollment, said he wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t allocate K-ROOâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s funding because no progress was being made. Cottrell told Tyler about the stationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s advancement, and the money was released. Tapp, Witkowski and Osburn were in the mood to celebrate during their fourth edition of Micâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d at Mikeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s. Theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve brought speakers on this Monday night so the audience can hear the show. Witkowski tells The Pitch that the money will allow the station to host concerts and buy new studio equipment, which is important because the sound-mixing board broke earlier in the week. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It puts us in a position where we donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have to worry that if something breaks, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re out of business,â&#x20AC;? Witkowski says. Osburn remembers the long, pointless K-ROO meetings from a few years ago and the uncommitted volunteers. Picking at a plate of nachos, she admits that K-ROO seemed like a long shot until last November. â&#x20AC;&#x153;No, I definitely didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t think that I would be sitting here at Mikeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s having the equipment to broadcast,â&#x20AC;? she says. All three are on track to graduate in May. They fear for K-ROOâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s future. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s rough, making sure that thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s someone like us to keep doing this,â&#x20AC;? Osburn says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Part of me wants to go to grad school just to make sure it happens.â&#x20AC;? But Witkowski, Tapp and Osburn will have to trust that the new crop of DJs will turn KROO into a UMKC institution. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Ryan and I always joke that the studio is going to be named after us someday,â&#x20AC;? Osburn says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a terrible name for a studio. Like, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Hey, guys, letâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s go to the Osburn-Witkowski Studio to do some radio!â&#x20AC;&#x2122; â&#x20AC;?

E-mail ben.palosaari@pitch.com FMEOBNRTUH A RXYXâ&#x20AC;&#x201C;X 7 - 1X3, , 220001 X 3

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WEEK OF FEBRUARY 7-13 | BY BERRY ANDERSON

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PAG E

STAGE The Coterie Theatre’s Stars-crossed WWII story.

DAY SATUR

2.9

torso, on the Stress e feet not th

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PAG E

Climbing Anthony Baab at Grand Arts.

26 PAG E

MUSIC

A DECADE OF MODERN MOVES

For City in Motion’s 10th-anniversary presentation of A Modern Night at the Folly, 10 of KC’s leading choreographers, including Andrea Skowronek (an original company member of City in Motion) and Jennifer Cox (of Owen/Cox Dance Group), show their works. Get tickets ($20 at the door, $18 in advance) at the Folly box office (300 West 12th Street, 816-474-4444). The show starts at 8 p.m. For details, see follytheater.com or cityinmotion.org.

WILLIE LENOIR

ART

The hunt for Kansas City’s last jukeboxes.

BOUTIQUE REBOOT

Known for its handmade jewelry, Colfax (611 West 39th Street, 816-561-6059) has a new owner: Nikki Grant, formerly of Nikki Grant Boutique in Westport. She’s not changE R MO ing the styles, though. Former owner Terry Richardson is stickAT E N I ONL .COM ing around to work on PITCH brand mentoring and help with the transition, which begins at 5 p.m. at Colfax’s grand reopening. Check out the new, trend-forward inventory, with a glass of sparkling wine in one hand and a plate of hors d’oeuvres in the other. The event also includes makeup artists, raffle prizes and crazy-awesome earrings. It lasts till 7. Search for “Colfax KC” on Facebook for more information.

EVENTS

F R I D AY | 2 . 8 | “IT’S BLACK LIGHT, BITCH”

No, really — that’s the theme of the Millennial League’s flagship annual event, Val-O-Ween. KC’s affiliate of the AIDS Service Foundation encourages guests to wear neon or white to this ticketed 8 p.m. soiree, which includes bottomless cocktails, free HIV screenings and DJ Mike Scott, at the Foundation (1221 Union). “For those daring enough to wear less, there will be neon body painting,” says Josh Minnis, one of the event’s organizers. See mlkc.org for tickets ($20) or buy them at the door ($25).

LONDON CALLING

Maybe the only thing more British than the BBC Concert Orchestra is the E-minor cello concerto by Edward Elgar. The versatile former plays the melancholy latter today, with rising cellist Sophie Shao soloing. Conductor Keith Lockhart continued on page 12

F R I D AY | 2 . 8 |

BOOM BOOM ROOM

Cherry Typhoon

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ravel back to a simpler but not necessarily more refined time when Annie Cherry, Damian Blake and the rest of their old-timey crew present Hey-Hey Cabaret: An Evening at the New Century Follies Speakeasy at Arts Asylum (1000 East Ninth Street). “The ambience will be dark and mysterious,” Cherry promises. Tonight’s installment includes the People’s Liberation Big Band and Cherry Typhoon, a self-described “chubby, tiny dynamo” from Tokyo. Tickets ($20) are available at brownpapertickets.com (search “New Century Follies”). The doors open at 8:30 p.m. pitch.com

ANDREA HAUSMANN

T H U R S D AY | 2 .7 |

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FRIDAY

2 .8

Digger Grave s. rise

Presented by:

PULSE Party: Heart & Stroke Ball After Party Saturday, February 16th

Kansas City Convention Center — Grand Ballroom Cocktails & appetizers in the Pulse Party Lounge | Dancing to Lynne Jordan and the Shivers

To Give a Gift or Purchase Tickets visit www.kcheartandstrokeball.org

continued from page 11 also leads the ensemble through Benjamin Britten’s “Four Sea Interludes From Peter Grimes” and Felix Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 3 (the Scottish). The 8 p.m. program is at Yardley Hall at Johnson County Community College (12345 College Boulevard, Overland Park, 913-469-4445). Order tickets ($42 or $52) at jccc.edu/performing-arts-series. — SCOTT WILSON

to its members and the public, like the second annual Irish Winterfest, which features six musical acts and two local Irish dance companies as well as traditional food, tons of beer and whiskey, and plenty of craic between attendees. If you’re one of the more than 250,000 metro-area residents claiming heritage — or not — put down $5 and hang out from 3 to 10 p.m. For more information, see irishcenterkc.org.

SMELL THE GASOLINE

HEARTY MARDI (GRAS) PARTY

No fewer than 10 Monster Jam shows are going on this weekend all over the country. But the ones through Sunday at the Sprint Center (1407 Grand, 816-949-7000) are the only stops for Grave Digger the Legend and Eradicator. It all gets going tonight at 7:30. Tickets for adults cost $15–$50 (Sprint Center tacks on $2 at the door). Buy them online at monsterjam.com.

The Power & Light District lays out its version of Bourbon Street at its fifth annual Mardi Gras Festival. Purchase a wristband ($20 in advance, $30 at the door) to get unlimited cocktails from 8 to 11 p.m. and free cover at 15 bars. See powerandlightdistrict.com.

S AT U R D AY | 2 . 9 | IRELAND FOREVER

True Irish folks are Irish every day, not just after five beers or only on March 17. And those in Kansas City support the KC Irish Center (30 West Pershing Road, the lower level of Union Station), which in turn provides social, cultural and artistic programs

S AT U R D AY | 2 .9 |

RALLY SONGS

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ONLY AT UNION STATION TICKETS START AT $8*. BUY TICKETS AT

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price

I

f the history of America can be traced through its music, what does today’s pop music say about us? Or dial it back almost 100 years, to the popular music during World War I, when more than 35,000 pieces of sheet music were copyrighted. Pages of the sheet music that adorned U.S. pianos during the Great War are just some of the musical items on display at the National World War I Museum (100 West 26th Street, 816-888-8100) as part of Harmonies of the Homefront, a multimedia exhibit that opens today. Guest curator and 2012– 13 UMKC Distinguished Master’s Thesis Award–winner Kristin Griffeath talks about those songs at 1 p.m. For more information, see theworldwar.org.

This entertainment district is on fire.


S AT U R D AY | 2 .9 |

50% OFF DINING & SHOPPING!

Hit the Brick for beignets.

WORLD CHAMPION OF THE WORLD

G

enerally recognized as a hero among ancillary players, the actor, comedian and bit player par excellence Judah Friedlander usually takes on roles with the word “guy” or “man” in them: Cafeteria Guy, Drunk Man, Ice Cream Man, etc. The 30 Rock co-star brings his funny hats and Current Champion Future President Tour to Screenland Armour (408 Armour Road, 816-421-9700). For tickets ($20) to the 8 p.m. gig, call the box office or see screenland.com/armour.

ART JUICE

When we asked organizer Scott Burr what makes his Fresh Squeezed Art Market different from other fairs, he broke it down three ways. For one thing, he says, Fresh Squeezed features products (think home, gift and apparel items) that have never before E M OR been for sale. Second, he promises an “allaround interactive AT INE experience,” with live ONL .COM PITCH screen-printing and free children’s activities. And, Burr points out, “Fresh Squeezed is featuring a group of young emerging artists who are all developing their own signature brand, and our market provides a place for them to share their unique products with the public.” Sold! Get squeezed from 2 to 8 p.m. at Deadleaf Designs (1739 Walnut). For a list of vendors and pictures of their wares, search for Fresh Squeezed Art Market on Facebook or see squeezedart.tumblr.com.

EVENTS

S U N D AY | 2 . 10 | COMING OUT OF THE TINY CLOSET

Four short plays by William Inge — University of Kansas graduate, author of Picnic and rumored homosexual — are at the center of a world premiere at the Jewel Box Lounge, the late-1950s house of drag at 3227 Troost. An Otherwise Hopeless Evening of Very Gay and Extremely Grim Short Plays, performed by an all-male cast of regional performers, is directed by Travis Chamberlain and includes site-specific visual art by Joseph Keehn II. Read more about the production that prom-

ises to engage “directly with the audience” and buy tickets at brownpapertickets.com/ event/308390.

M O N D AY | 2 . 11 | BELTING IT OUT

One of the hallmarks of Musical Monday — Musical Theater Heritage’s bimonthly night of song — has become its “lottery singer” slot. That’s right: Someone is randomly selected from a pool of applicants to perform one number with little to no rehearsal time. “Every now and then, we get someone who has bitten off more than they can chew,” says host and co-producer Tim Scott. “Everyone likes to believe they can sing Jason Robert Brown or difficult Sondheim stuff, and at times, the material — and their nerves, perhaps — gets the best of them.” Tonight’s 7:30 show spotlights A Chorus Line and performances from five headliners, including Seth Golay, at Crown Center’s Off Center Theatre (2450 Grand, Level 3). Tickets cost $20; call 816-221-6987 or see mthkc.org.

T U E S D AY | 2 . 1 2 | FAT TUESDAY PARTIES

The Brick (1727 McGee, 816-421-1634). For lunch or dinner, the bar serves a New Orleans menu: gumbo, catfish, dirty rice, crawfish pie, muffalettas, beignets, and two different po’boys (deep-fried beef or soft-shell crab and shrimp). The Dropout Boogie spins from 8 p.m. to close. Czar (1531 Grand, 816-421-0300). Get $5 specials of PBR drafts and whiskey shots while the MGDs play power soul and funky

Southern hits. The show starts at 7 p.m., and cover is $3. Tanner’s Bar & Grill (7425 Broadway, 816-822-7525). Fat Tuesday totally falls on Taco Tuesday! That means $1 tacos to go with your $6.95 red beans and rice, $3 Mexican bottles and house margaritas, $4 SoCo hurricanes and $5 Patrón margaritas.

COMING SOON!

W E D N E S D AY | 2 . 13 |

.com

LOVE WILL TEAR US APART

On the eve of Valentine’s Day, Alamo Drafthouse’s Horror Remix turns its creepy eyes toward a familiar movie subject: love. “We play the very best moments of horror and exploitation films,” Remix creator and producer Edward Anttila says. The result is a kind of mixtape of VHS-era horror films. “It’s very fast-paced,” he says. “The material we are working with has such frail plots and characters, the movies can easily be edited down to 35 minutes without anyone noticing.” At 7:30 p.m., see if you do, in fact, notice. Killing Spree (1987), Haunting Fear (1990) and Super Vixens (1975) get the Anttila treatment at the Drafthouse (1400 Main, 816-474-4545). This event is free; see horrorremix.com for details.

GET THE INSIDER’S SCOOP! SIGN UP NOW!

HUMP-DAY SEXTETS

You know what they say at the office come 5:30 p.m.: You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here. (Well, that’s how we do it.) This evening, your pre-commute distraction involves sextets — one by Borodin and one by Tchaikovsky. The two pieces make up the latest Kansas City Symphony Free Happy Hour Chamber Music event, in which symphony players provide highbrow accompaniment for your cash-bar stolen glances. Get 45 minutes of midweek culture starting at 6 p.m. at Helzberg Hall, inside the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts (1601 Broadway, 816-994-7200). It’s free, but make a reservation at kcsymphony.org. — SCOTT WILSON E-mail submissions to Filter editor Berry Anderson at calendar@pitch.com. Search our complete listings guide online at pitch.com.

pitch.com

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little more than halfway through the performance at the Coterie Theatre, a schoolboy in the audience asked a classmate: “What’s so funny?” He was wondering why students from another group — four classes of fourth- to sixth-graders were at the theater — had erupted in laughter several times at Number the Stars. It’s not a comedy (though there is an occasional chuckle-appropriate line). Adapted for the stage by Douglas W. Larche from Lois Lowry’s Newbery Medal-winning juvenile novel, Number the Stars — about how the Nazi occupation and Hitler’s Final Solution played out in World War II Denmark — is designed for children 10 years old and older, with its clear, uncomplicated conflicts and plot. Directed by the Unicorn Theatre’s Cynthia Levin, the Coterie’s coproduction with UMKC Theatre is a high-caliber, involving drama about widespread and heroic resistance to German ideology and policy by both ordinary Danes and those in the government who protected Jewish compatriots (as well as Jewish refugees). An astounding 95 percent of Denmark’s Jews survived World War II. All of which means that this play is for grownups, too. In the 1943 Denmark of this story, the Johansens, a Lutheran family, and their close friends and Jewish neighbors, the Rosens, are set to dine together for Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. That plan changes when a sudden push by the Nazis to ferret out members of the underground and round up Jews for deportation spurs the resistance to quick action. They must hide Jews and try to ferry them away on fishing boats to neutral Sweden. In this climate, children, too, are investigated. A menacing Nazi soldier (Jacob Aaron Cullum) stops and admonishes three girls on their way home from school: “Do you think the street is to play in?” He admires the Aryan features of 10-year-old heroine Annemarie Johansen (Olivia Howell) and her 5-year-old sister, Kirsti (Catie Wolff ), but is suspicious of brunette

Coterie’s Number the Stars.

BY

DEB OR A H HIRS CH

dren in the audience that afternoon, but their laughter sounded like amusement, not nervous tittering. Perhaps they were just being kids, but what was so funny? The 1940s attire (costume design by Katharine Mott)? The German soldiers’ accents and native tongue (dialect coach Erika Bailey)? The harassment by German soldiers (a point made here by putting some uniformed characters on patrol in the theater’s aisles)? According to the Coterie, some teachers prepare their students in advance (the Coterie website makes available a range of educational materials, provided by the theater and, for this production, the Midwest Center for Holocaust Education), while others wait until afterward to discuss or study the subject matter. Wondering if the weekday audience I’d seen was typical (I was told that it wasn’t), I attended again on the weekend. The packed house was predictably different in makeup, composed of many more adults accompanying their children, and the audience remained still throughout the affecting performance. From left: Jacob Aaron Cullum, Heidi Van, The play’s tensions radiated from the stage, Brennan Leyh, Catie Wolff, Olivia Howell thanks to a commanding cast that, in addition to those previously mentioned, included El len Rosen (R ac hel Bren na n Leyh), Heidi Van as “Mama” Johansen; Martin Annemarie’s best friend. He fondles Kirsti’s Buchanan as her brother, Uncle Henrik; blond pigtail. Keaton Schmidt as resisL ater, A n nema r ie is tance fighter Peter; Manon walking through the woods Number the Stars Halliburton as Mrs. Rosen; on a mission but is stopped Through February 21 at the and Coleman Crenshaw by soldiers who, with their Coterie Theatre, Crown as Mr. Rosen. trained dogs, are searching Center, 2450 Grand, When the show confor Jews. 816-474-6552, cluded and people slowly The fierce German shepcoterietheatre.org filed out of the subdued herds aren’t live but are theater, I overheard a child clever animations, incorpotell her mother: “It was just like the book.” A rated in enlarged charcoal drawings projected connection was made. on backdrops to set the frequently changing scenes (projections designer Douglas Macur). I don’t know what entertained the chilE-mail deborah.hirsch@pitch.com

A L S O P L AY I N G

ANGELA C. BOND

ROBERT SCHRAEDER

GREAT DANES

Encountering resistance at the

C

harles Fugate (left) is the bigger-than-life Louis de Rougemont in Spinning Tree Theatre’s Shipwrecked! An Entertainment , with Jennie Greenberry, and Bob Linebarger (not pictured). The Donald Margulies play is onstage at Paul Mesner Puppet Studio (1006 Linwood) through February 17. Call 816-569-5277 or see spinningtreetheatre.com.

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structures at Grand Arts.

T R A C Y A BE L N

E.G. SCHEMPF

NONBEING THERE

Capturing Anthony Baab’s complex

T

he day after artist Anthony Baab’s A Strenuous Nonbeing opened, more than 50 people showed up at Grand Arts to hear him talk about his latest exhibition. Stacy Switzer, the space’s artistic director, said it was the largest crowd she’d seen there for such an event. The weather helped. January 19 was an unseasonably warm day, almost as hospitable as the previous night, when the show opened. And Baab has earned a following with his arresting, intricate images. But there was also the matter of the cats — about which, more in a minute. Baab has described his earlier work as “very controlled,” and the deep sense of detail in much of A Strenuous Nonbeing is in line with that self-assessment. These latest works are the result of nearly three years spent building, rebuilding, documenting and altering, and they add up to a soaring statement about in-between states, touching on ideas of scale, time, history and language. Those who are familiar with Baab’s previous work will recognize his signature tapedrawing method on the fi rst piece hanging inside the gallery door, titled “clod paerati.” The subject of the photograph is a symmetrical structure, centered in front of a garage door inside what, for a time, was Baab’s studio. Credit for the photo goes to KC’s go-to shooter for artists, E.G. Schempf. Baab’s tape drawings have often been made on others’ 16

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F E B R UA RY 7- 1 3, 20 1 3

Baab said he used the cats because they photos (with many on found images), so are beautiful and unpredictable. (More un“clod” both retraces a habit and hints at predictable still, perhaps, given that these Baab’s creative progress. The structure in “clod” — a cardboard cats aren’t Baab’s. Our metro, it turns out, thing, a model of a building never meant has its own professional cat wrangler, who to be built — has no practical use, Baab told spent a couple of days talking with the artist his January 19 audience. But a version of the about how to procure just the right animals.) 13-foot-high assemblage functioned very well They don’t act how you expect them to, he as a place for cats to perch, play and scuffle. added, but they always do a good job. Here, they add a bit of levity to what is a fairly In the video that shares a title with this exhiconcept-heavy and visually stark exhibition. bition, those cats’ antics were live-streamed All nine of the framed photographs at during the opening, and the three-hour loop is being projected in nearly life scale for the Grand Arts are impressively large (as tall or wide as 75 inches). Two remainder of the show. of them a re not sing le On the photo, innumerpr i nts u nder g la ss but able strips of narrow white Anthony Baab: A Strenuous Nonbeing rather layers and layers of tape give Baab’s towering Through March 30 at prints of other structures, geometrical “building” an Grand Arts, 1819 Grand, surviving as only the twoarmature, a faux scaffold816-421-6887, grandarts.com dimensional outlines of ing that recalls the iron latthemselves. The skeletal ticework of the Eiffel Tower and topographical results and seems to hold it up. In the video, which plays in Grand Arts’ dark, reveal Baab’s meticulous process of cutting away (décollage), as though he’s X-raying his small side gallery, the cats act as our proxy, own creation. Each is marvelous, a telescopic experiencing fi rsthand a model we’re uncollapse of time. able to access. The titles of the framed works are deAnd on the evidence, it’s a good time. It’s rived from captchas, the online security hard to know how many cats are taking part, measures that require a user to prove her and keeping track of them is a challenge as own existence by retyping a randomly genthey jump around, entering and exiting the erated phrase. Baab’s aren’t from routine frame, and picking at invisible treats. Much sites, though, such as the comments section of the time, they just lurk, as all cats do, of a blog or the ordering page of a retailer. indifferent to our presence.

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Left: “clod paerati” (detail) Above: “PTogen PETS” Instead, he has taken the linguistic fragments directly from captcha.net. For him, each short phrase is a beautiful snapshot, a two-word thought that exists for a moment and then disappears. They also tend to suggest real words, leading you to a kind of found poetry. “There is a certain amount of anonymity to them,” Baab said during his talk. That anonymity functions to obscure meaning — the works’ titles, he said, shouldn’t color our interpretations. We end up doing that here anyway, though, because even a seemingly random set of characters is more evocative than something called simply “untitled.” For example, the two “straight” photographs (one-shots that were not digitally altered), depicting spindly nests of bamboo sticks, seem aptly named, even if we are told the titles are nonsense. “Cave nuthywo” was shot in a cavelike place, and “patristic isizons,” which shows its structure on fi re, hints at a similar connection between the crackling sound of burning wood and the onomatopoeic isizons. The other prints are of models that look like strange houses, with projections and interjections fashioned after turbines, wheels and fi ns, or like parking garages or 1960s office buildings. As presented here, M O N T H X X–X X , 2 0 0 X

THE PITCH

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“Cave nuthywo” it’s impossible to tell their true sizes. (Baab’s use of pillars, to separate the models’ layers or hold them off the ground, recalls Le Corbusier.) After Baab built and photographed these structures, he added layers from other photographs he had taken, emphasizing the tactile — the dull sheen of a car door, say, or concrete. This Photoshop gluing of textures onto planes makes an entirely new picture and gives the models an otherworldly feeling. We could be looking at the isolated buildings that make up some stark outpost. In fact, we are looking mostly at found cardboard. Baab said it’s an affordable medium, one that allows him, with limited expense, to see what happens when you let something go. Besides providing a camoufl age for his choice of material, the black-and-white translucence of the photography allows Baab to compress information. In one shot, he shows us the construction process, the physical piece itself, and the image of the thing. Here, we also move past all that and on to what happens after a thing has been conceived and built and photographed — for example, when it’s crawling with cats or burning down in a culvert. Baab was inspired to start building after he picked up an old Cooper Union architecture textbook, illustrated with black-andwhite images of works by first-year students whose creations were made of standardissue blocks. He saw in them, he said, “a strange potential to become.” He also recalled for his January 19 audience a class he had taught at the Kansas City Art Institute. He said the subject had to do with “the gap,” the thing that exists between ideas and objects, the notion that things in the world possess the ability to act. A Strenuous Nonbeing explores that gap. But none of that conceptual loftiness is required to appreciate what’s at Grand Arts. Mainly there is the pleasure of figuring out the forms, discovering the textures — and waiting for the cats to do something. (Don’t worry, they will.) It works, and that’s all you need know. But you won’t know it if you don’t go see it.

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AMOUR A Film by MICHAEL HANEKE

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Amour director Michael Haneke is the season’s surprise Oscar nominee.

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ast October, if you had told the New York Film Festival press corps that Amour and its writer-director, Michael Haneke, would be major Oscar players, there would have been some chortles. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences tends not to reward a film as deliberate and exacting as the latest from Austria’s favorite taskmaster. It’s a pitiless examination of the effects of mental and physical deterioration on the marriage of two octogenarians (Jean-Louis Trintignant and Oscar nominee Emmanuelle Riva) after the wife is felled by a stroke. By the punishing standards of the director’s Funny Games (both versions) and Caché, the Palme d’Or-winning Amour is downright humane. Its tormentors are time and frailty, not other people. Yet Haneke remains cinema’s foremost cartographer of the contours of human cruelty, and any thought that he has somehow mellowed leaves you by movie’s end. I spoke to Haneke at the 2012 New York Film Festival (thanks to ace translator Robert Gray). The Pitch: Amour is structured very deliberately inside the apartment of Georges and Anne, except for two scenes in the first 10 minutes. Haneke: When you are elderly, very often your life is reduced to the four walls in which you live. This was the external reason for that choice. Certainly the film could have been opened up, and the drama could have included everything which goes on around the central story — the scenes in hospital and such — and it could have been a very socially critical film, as one often sees on television. But this was not my concern. There was another consideration for that aesthetic choice, which was that in dealing with something as serious as this, you must find a form that is worthy of what you are dealing with, and this was why I went back to the three classical unities of Greek drama: time, space and action. Does this film come from a personal place? It was an aunt whom I loved very much, and

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Trintignant (above) and Haneke (right) at the end of her life, she was suffering terribly, and it was an awful experience to witness such pain and to be unable to do anything about it. Was your aunt part of your discussions with your actors? They both do amazing work in the film. I am not a fan of discussions beforehand about backstory. I feel that the history of this story arises through the set design — the rooms that they are acting in. You do not need lengthy discussions about backstory when you are working with good actors. The danger, should you have those discussions, is that your actors will then act their opinions of those characters, or their situations, rather than acting the situations themselves. Here, I am speaking of my work in film and not in theater. With the very specific needs of your script, was it difficult finding the appropriate actors? I wrote the screenplay for Jean-Louis Trintignant and, in fact, I would not have made the film without him. Not only is he an exceptional actor but he exudes the human warmth, which was absolutely necessary for the role. It was different with Emmanuelle Riva. I had seen her, as a young man, in Hiroshima, Mon Amour and was smitten by her, but I had lost sight of her through the years, so when it came to that part, I did a normal casting in Paris with all the actresses who were of an appropriate age. It was clear from the first audition that Emmanuelle was perfect for the part — not only because she is a wonderful actress but also because she and Trintignant form a very credible couple. There are moments with Riva’s character that feel almost like a violation to watch. Did you have any difficulties getting her to the place the film requires? After Emmanuelle had read the screenplay and as I was meeting with her for the first time to discuss the part, I asked her if there was anything she found difficult or made her nervous,

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and she did reference the nudity. I told her that, unfortunately, the scene was unavoidable and that it was essential for the film. … She said she would shoot it but not as Emmanuelle Riva. She would shoot as the character of Anne, and that made it bearable for her. As a director, I did all that I could to preserve her dignity. I did not exaggerate the physical misery that she was going through. There’s a dramatic reveal early in the film. I decided to make the end of the film clear from the beginning so as to avoid any false suspense about where the film was headed. At a certain point in the story, it is clear where we are going. I wished to avoid any false suspense about how the film would end, focusing rather on how these characters got there. There’s been talk that the pigeon is supposed to be an avatar of death, or a signifier of the exterior world and Georges’ alienation from it. Images such as this in my films — I invite members of the audience to find their own interpretations of them. If I were to provide a commentary or user’s manual for the film, I would then be robbing the audience of the use of their own imaginations. That said, it is not unusual, in Paris, for pigeons to fly into apartments.

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FAT C I T Y

U N W R AP TH I S F

orget buffalo meat. The oldest dish in the Americas may be the tamale. The name comes from the Nahuatl word tamalli, and versions of the distinctive, cornflour-derived sustenance date back to the Aztecs and Mayans. Traditionally steamed in a cornhusk or a banana leaf, the tamale is also the fi rst fast food, a portable dish that’s filling enough to eat for breakfast before going out and hunting all day. There are plenty of opinions on who serves KC’s best tamales. Former restaurateur and cookbook author Lou Jane Temple, who frequently travels to Mexico, insists that there are no better tamales in the metro than those served at KCK’s Tortilleria San Antonio.

“They’re not heavy or doughy,” she says, “but made with a light hand. The texture and feel of the tamales are amazingly light and satisfying.” I can’t disagree, but my own vote goes to the freshly made pork tamales at El Patrón Cocina & Bar on Southwest Boulevard. They’re addictive, with or without the creamy queso that accompanies the fragrant, corn-wrapped comfort food. And maybe even better than the pork tamale is the meatless version — no lard ever used, promises manager Jim Nimmo — with a fluffy, masadough wrapper

Two great tamales face off.

enfolding cheese and strips of spicy jalapeño peppers. On a bitter-cold afternoon, tamales turn out to be not just nourishing but also warm comfort.

EL PATRÓN COCINA & BAR Value: Tamales are $2 each. balanced between the masa on the outside and the filling on the inside. They reheat very well without becoming soggy or chewy.

Eat in or carry out? When the tamales come out of co-owner Estela Cabral’s El Patrón kitchen, they’re freshly steamed and served with a bowl of silky queso sauce and, upon request, a ramekin of some kick-ass habanero salsa. It’s a presentation worth sitting down for and enjoying on the spot. Order like an insider: They aren’t always available, but ask if the kitchen made any sweet dessert tamales. Drink: The recently introduced c uc u mber- celer y-a ndavocado margarita. Very refreshing.

CHARLES FERRUZZA

THE TWINKIEMOBILE Michael Bradbury’s Funnel Cake Truck offers Hostess gifts.

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2905 Southwest Boulevard, 816-931-6400 Hours: 11 a.m.–10 p.m. daily

Texture: The tamales at El Patrón are evenly

BY

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830 Kansas Avenue, Kansas City, Kansas, 913-281-6433 Hours: 6 a.m.–10 p.m. Monday–Saturday and 6 a.m.–3 p.m. Sunday

Value: A sack of 12 fresh pork tamales sells for $12 at this combination butcher shop, café, tortilleria and supermarket.

Texture: Moist and fluff y. The masa dough absorbs the smoky flavor of the pork.

Eat in or carry out? Take the tamales home (they freeze well if you want to eat them later), but sit down for a chile relleno burrito or a basket of excellent barbacoa tacos with different house-made salsas. This place does a brisk breakfast business on Saturday and Sunday mornings.

Order like a regular: Don’t ask for cheese sauce or sour cream with these authentic tamales. The staff would be scandalized.

Drink: Jarritos grapefruit soda

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

ld Twinkies never expire — they just fade away. Devotees of the deathless yellow sponge cake discovered that the hard way at the end of 2012, when the snack staple vanished from shelves, following Hostess Brands’ bankruptcy liquidation. But there’s hope. Last week, Hostess identified two lead bidders for its iconic convenience-store pastry (a transaction expected to be valued at an eye-popping $400-some million). And now, Fat City brings you tidings of a four-wheeled Twinkie evangelist named Michael Bradbury. “I’ve got a few mortgage payments wrapped up in Twinkies,” says Bradbury, the owner and operator of the Funnel Cake Truck. Bradbury, who has what he conservatively estimates are 500 boxes of Twinkies (at 10 per box, that’s 5,000 Twinkies), got a tip from a Facebook fan late last year that what looked like the last shipment of golden submarines had launched for the Kansas City area. So he wheeled on over to a Hostess shop and filled the back of the Funnel Cake Truck with milk crates full of Twinkies. “I debated whether I wanted to spend all that money on Twinkies,” Bradbury says. “They could come back in a week or may never come back into circulation. In the end, I just had to do it.” His goal wasn’t snack-cake profiteering. Bradbury is still charging fair-market value for the product. A plastic-wrapped Twinkie goes for $1, and a deep-fried version (frozen, dipped in his grandmother’s secret fritter batter and then fried) runs $3. “I’m keeping it reasonable so that everybody enjoys them while I have them,” Bradbury says. “I’m trying to keep them alive as long as I can.” This winter, Bradbury and the truck (the business marks its third anniversary on St. Patrick’s Day) are making the rounds at corporate events and local schools. But in the spring, he’ll be back downtown to unlock the magic. — JONATHAN BENDER

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F E B R UA RY 7- 1 3, 20 1 3

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F E B R UA RY 7- 1 3, 20 1 3

THE PITCH

25


MUSIC

N

ot so long ago, the mechanisms that turned a coin into a song seemed futuristic, robotic. The smooth series of gestures inside a jukebox — sometimes visible under a dome, sometimes tucked under a cabinet — was made with music-embracing arms. The selector arm pulled the disc (shellac or vinyl or aluminum) close, cradled it, guided it to the platter, set it gently down. The tone arm (and then its laser offspring) found the groove and played the selection: B9 or C12 or D4. After the song, the machine tended to its inner workings, returning the disc to its rightful place on a stack or in a carousel, its arms ready to reach out again. That audible clicking of springs and drives is its own tune between tunes. But in recent years, it has become a rare melody. What you might call analog jukeboxes, once ubiquitous, have disappeared into the junk heap of obsolete technology, replaced by Internet jukeboxes. Numbered buttons are out; touch screens are in. Playing a song on these fancy devices costs 50 cents, sometimes $1. You also are no longer required to wait for your song to come on. In true capitalist fashion, Internet jukeboxes allow users to jump their songs to the top of the queue for an added fee — immediate gratification for the user. Ain’t that America. I became sensitive to the disappearance of the old-school jukeboxes a couple of months back, on a trip to Dave’s Stagecoach Inn, in Westport. I live in Lawrence now but I used to frequent Dave’s, when former bartender John Yuelkenbeck lovingly curated a jukebox packed with current indie rock, obscure 1970s and ’80s acts, and mix CDs featuring the occasional local band. My heart sank when I saw a hulking Internet machine in the back corner, blasting Top 40. I explained my woes to a younger customer at the bar. I described 26

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F E B R UA RY 7- 1 3, 20 1 3

those old mix CDs. He looked at me as if I’d asked where the wax cylinder had gone off to. Obviously, this young man saw no problem with the setup at Dave’s; he has never known any other way. But I see these Internet jukeboxes as just another means in which our public spaces are becoming homogeneous. And so, I set out over the next few weeks to scour the area for the survivors of the Internet-jukebox plague. From Kansas City’s downtown to the Plaza, as well as in Lawrence, I was able to find and play just nine jukeboxes — and two of those in Lawrence. (Though surely I missed a few, particularly in Kansas City’s other areas. Please e-mail feedback@pitch.com, and we’ll publish a comprehensive list soon.) Many old stalwarts have either vanished when the bars that housed them closed or been replaced with Internet boxes. That includes, in addition to Dave’s: Buzzard Beach, D.B. Cooper’s and the News Room (now Black & Gold Tavern). Most of the remaining jukeboxes in KC and Lawrence share a few standards: Patsy Cline, Garth Brooks, Otis Redding, Johnny Cash, Al Green. The View, a tiny gay bar in the Strawberry Hill neighborhood of Kansas City, Kansas, has a little more flavor than most. Its jukebox includes a wide selection of dance music and albums. James White, the bar’s longtime owner, explains that the View actually did make the switch to an Internet jukebox, but it didn’t last even a month due to customer complaints. “If you don’t select something already on the box, it costs $1,” he says, “and that is a crock of shit.” Today, as before, the View’s old-style jukebox plays five songs for $1, or 18 for $2. Two River Market spots — Harry’s Country Club and Caddy Shack — each boasts a juke. “Our customers just like it,” says Joe Moretina,

pitch.com

non-Internet jukeboxes?

BY

A P R IL F L E MING

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

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

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

J U K E OU T

Where are the metro’s last remaining

owner of Caddy Shack for 20 years. “It just adds to the atmosphere.” And while the jukebox at Caddy Shack has some great music, the box at Harry’s Country Club might be the most wellknown in town for its hundreds of custom mix CDs and for the artists deliberately scattered throughout so that, according to one bartender on a busy Friday night, “No one can play 20 Johnny Cash songs in a row.” One surprise holdout is the Quaff, where I met Joe Bonino, who has been running the bar for 46 years. Asked why he doesn’t make the switch, he cheerfully says, “We’re just an old place.” The jukebox features mostly oldies and classic rock, which fits the neighborhood-dive feel of the place. One of his regulars chimes in: “But you know they can spy on you through those Internet boxes.” (He’s referring to ASCAP — the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers — which vigilantly collects music royalties. And he’s right.) Heather Poort manages Lawrence’s Harbour Lights, which still houses an old jukebox. “You have more control over the music,” she explains. “[The jukebox] can change the feel of the bar.” She explains that the older jukeboxes become more difficult to repair as parts become scarce, and the people who can repair them are becoming harder to find. Maintenance aside, she explains, one of the most important features of her juke is the music of “local bands. You just won’t find it in the new ones.” Jeremy Sidener of Lawrence’s Eighth Street Taproom feels the same way about his jukebox, which has a mustache and is sometimes called “Jukebox Jones.” Of the new boxes, he says, “They don’t really fit into the context of the Taproom. A lot of times, you get a lot of really bad music cluttering it up.” Plus, he adds, “They’re hard to use. pitch.com

From left: Harry’s Country Club, Gilhouly’s and Chez Charlie keep it old-school. They’re expensive. You get two songs for $1. It’s a ripoff.” At least three old-school jukes are left in midtown Kansas City, where Jazz, Chez Charlie and Gilhouly’s are holding strong. Jazz loses points for keeping its jukebox in the restaurant end of the establishment (where it is less likely to get played) but perhaps earns them back for standing the box on mannequin legs. Chez Charlie earns a special place in my heart for being the only bar (that I’m aware of) with a jukebox still playing 45s (and it usually has free credits, plus a great selection). But the midtown winner in my book is Gilhouly’s, for making it a truly neighborhood affair. Gilhouly’s (and its jukebox) is owned by C.J. Mandacina, who has given the curating responsibility to Jason Ryberg, co-owner of Prospero’s Books, located directly across the street. Ryberg explains, “We have a big selection [of CDs], and I change them out once every couple of months or so. This neighborhood and bar are full of townies, artists … all kinds of people. This jukebox reflects that.” Stocked with everything from classic Beatles to Nirvana’s Incesticide to 1960s soul, the Gilhouly’s jukebox, like most of the jukes I visited, is a mirror of its patrons and, in some small way, of Kansas City. So stop by sometime and pump in a few bucks. It’s just about the least you can do to preserve a little civic heritage. What’d we miss? Write us at feedback@pitch .com, and we’ll publish a more comprehensive list of old-school jukeboxes.

E-mail feedback@pitch.com M O N T H X X–X X , 2 0 0 X

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MUSIC

RAP NASTY

Blowfly is still doing it dirty.

BY

A BE L F OL G A R

â&#x20AC;˘A LITTLE SLICE OF IRELANDâ&#x20AC;˘ IN DOWNTOWN KANSAS CITY

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C

larence Reid penned hit songs for such acts as KC and the Sunshine Band, Gwen McCrae, and Sam & Dave in the 1960s and â&#x20AC;&#x2122;70s. But it was his after-hours forays into funk and parody records that led to the creation of Blowfly, Reidâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s alter ego. Blowflyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s music â&#x20AC;&#x201D; mostly filthy raps about pussies and dicks and fucking â&#x20AC;&#x201D; has overshadowed his more straight-laced R&B records. Now a septuagenarian, Blowfly has been rediscovered by a younger generation of hip-hop fans (as well as some punk and metal kids). Heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s still touring and showing no signs of approaching the pearly gates with anything less than a freaked-out funky party in tow. The Pitch recently had a chance to speak to the Fly and his drummer, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Uncleâ&#x20AC;? Tom Bowker. This is how it went. The Pitch: When I was in college in the late â&#x20AC;&#x2122;90s, I went black a couple of times. Since that time, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve gone back. Can you posit any theories on the fallacies of my way?  Blowfly: I was singing to a girl, not to a male freak like you. But if you ever get some sugar in your tank and need some dick, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll bet you go black again!   It is 2013. How does Blowfly feel about modern technology?   Blowfly: You canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get funky with machines. Machines may show up on time. They donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t do coke off strippersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; asses or wreck the van we tour in. But they ainâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t gonna sound like my band. All kinds of rappers sample me, but does anyone sample them? No! If they were smart, theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d hire me and my guitarist Billy the Kid for funk lessons. Someone needs to consult these fools on the funk, â&#x20AC;&#x2122;cause they sure ainâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t doing it right!  Black in the Sack is the new album. What was the decision process behind releasing a teaser â&#x20AC;&#x153;collectorsâ&#x20AC;? cassette tape for it? Has the â&#x20AC;&#x2122;Fly finally embraced a â&#x20AC;&#x153;hipsterâ&#x20AC;? status of sorts?  Uncle Tom: Our friend â&#x20AC;&#x153;Momâ&#x20AC;? in California hipped us to her label, Burger Records, who immediately were up for the tape, and PATAC, our label for the CD/LP was cool with it. I came up on cassettes as a kid. If the hipsters want to discover Blowfly the way I did in the â&#x20AC;&#x2122;80s via tape hiss, more power to them.  After all is said and done, what is the collective feeling from the players involved after The

The caped crass crusader: Blowfl y Weird World of Blowfly documentary [released in 2010]?   Blowfly: Being a movie star is great. I love the movie. UT: For me, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s twofold. On one hand, Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m glad the film is out there and spreading the gospel of Blowfly. Having â&#x20AC;&#x153;Blowflyâ&#x20AC;? be a searchable term on Netflix and Hulu opens doors and means a lot less explaining to the uninitiated. The film looks good, and as entertainment, it is better than most music documentaries. On the other hand, the film was recut after the premiere at SXSW in 2010, and the end result is that a small minority think that the Fly and I donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t get along. That is dead-wrong. We are enthusiastic partners in musical perversion. Some selfdeclared critics think that Clarence should be in a nursing home and not doing what he loves, which is performing and being funky. To them, it is somehow â&#x20AC;&#x153;sadâ&#x20AC;? to be vital and able to rock the mic with authority into your 70s. To me, the guys in the band and Blowfly fans all over the globe, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s heroic and inspiring.  Do you feel that, all these decades later, America is ready for your brand of humor?  Blowfly: I want you to go to the beach. Pick up a handful of sand. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the dirty stuff you know. Then look at the rest of the sand on the beach. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the nasty stuff Blowfly knows.  But if you want to see some real freaky shit, watch a soap opera. The dad fucks the baby-sitter, the mom fucks her brother, and her brother kills the nephew to cover it up â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and they show that at 3 oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;clock in the afternoon! What are your thoughts on our president?  Blowfly: All the guys are screaming/All the bitches are creaming/Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a nigga in the White House again!    Do you feel that Obama has lived up to or exceeded his expectations? Blowfly: No. Jesus himself couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t do that. Obama is helping everyone who is righteous, which is good. However, he ainâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t the first black president â&#x20AC;&#x201D; I did that in 1988! [See: Blowflyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 1988 album, For President.]

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THE PITCH

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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

F R I D AY, F E B R U A R Y 8 Afentra’s VD Party with Shiny Toy Guns, Willy Moon, Beautiful Bodies, iamdynamite: The Midland, 1228 Main, 816-283-9900. BBC Concert Orchestra: Yardley Hall at JCCC, 12345 College Blvd., Overland Park, 913-469-8500. Blowfly, Pornhuskers: Davey’s Uptown Ramblers Club, 3402 Main, 816-753-1909. Jason Boland & the Stragglers, Starhaven Rounders: The Granada, 1020 Massachusetts, Lawrence, 785-842-1390. Dirtfoot, Tyrannosaurus Chicken: The Bottleneck, 737 New Hampshire, Lawrence, 785-841-5483. Garrick Ohlsson plays “Rhapsody in Blue”: 8 p.m., Helzberg Hall, Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, 1601 Broadway, 816-994-7200.

S AT U R D AY, F E B R U A R Y 9 BoDeans, Dave Fields: 8:30 p.m. Knuckleheads Saloon, 2715 Rochester, 816-483-1456. Camerata Chamber Orchestra Concert: Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral, 13th St. and Broadway, 816-474-8260. Chippendales: VooDoo Lounge, Harrah’s Casino, 1 Riverboat Dr., North Kansas City, 816-472-7777. Every Time I Die, the Acacia Strain, Vanna, Hundredth, No Bragging Rights: The Granada, 1020 Massachusetts, Lawrence, 785-842-1390. Garrick Ohlsson plays “Rhapsody in Blue”: 8 p.m. Helzberg Hall, Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, 1601 Broadway, 816-994-7200. Randy Rogers Band: Uptown Theater, 3700 Broadway, 816-753-8665.

From left: Pokey Lafarge and Victor Wooten

Bloodbirds

Over the past year and a half, local trio Bloodbirds has released a handful of EPs, the common denominator being a dark, psychtinged post-punk sound. The group is led by Mike Tuley, who has brought the same unhinged quality to Bloodbirds that he did to his former group, Ad Astra Per Aspera. Bloodbirds’ new LP, Psychic Surgery, is out online; the vinyl, which you can order at this show, will be available in April. With Ex-Cult and Lazy. Tuesday, February 12, at RecordBar (1020 Westport Road, 816-753-5207)

Tributes to Lauryn Hill and D’Angelo

Local singer Lee Langston organizes an evening of neosoul tributes. At 7 p.m., former Fugee Lauryn Hill gets the cover treatment from Natasha Ria El-Scari, ShavonQueen, MC Storm and others. At 9 p.m., Langston, Chosen Voice, Mike James, Kevin “Churchboi” Johnson and Les Izmore tackle the songbook of D’Angelo. Saturday, February 9, at the Gem Theater (1601 East 18th Street, 816-474-6262)

Pokey LaFarge

In 2011, I wrote in these pages that Pokey LaFarge “slicks his hair back, wears a baggy suit and generally looks like a character in Boardwalk Empire.” The producers of the show apparently concurred; LaFarge’s version of the old pop standard “Lovesick Blues” played during the closing credits of a Season 3 episode last year. LaFarge, who hails from St. Louis, keeps it old-timey, mixing ragtime, Dixieland, blues and folk. Nucky Thompson would approve. Saturday, February 9, at Davey’s Uptown Ramblers Club (3402 Main, 816-753-1909)

The Dropout Boogie Fat Tuesday Party

Carnival costumes are encouraged at this Mardi Gras celebration, and guests are also promised delicious New Orleans fare and drink specials. Work off all those heavy calories by getting down to some presumably Big Easy–centric soul and funk 45s from the DJ dudes in the Dropout Boogie. Tuesday, February 12, at the Brick (1727 McGee, 816-421-1634)

Cody Canada & the Departed

From the mid-1990s until a couple of years ago, Cross Canadian Ragweed seemed to tour nonstop. The red-dirt country group is currently on hiatus, but frontman Cody Canada is still moving, having founded a new group, the Departed, which released its second album last year. That record, Adventus, is full of blazing, Skynyrdstyle, Southern-rock jams that shouldn’t be too much of a leap for fans of Canada’s old band. Thursday, February 7, at Knuckleheads Saloon (2715 Rochester, 816-483-1456)

Routinely cited as one of the greatest living bass players, Victor Wooten holds down the low end in Bela Fleck and the Flecktones; he has collaborated with the likes of Dave Matthews and Stanley Clarke; and he has five Grammy awards on his mantel. His latest solo affair, Words and Tones, comprises 14 original Wooten compositions performed by female singers Meshell Ndegéocello and Saundra Williams (of Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings), among others. Friday, February 8, at Knuckleheads Saloon (2715 Rochester, 816-483-1456)

K E Y

..................................................Pick of the Week

.................................................Possible Fedoras

................................Possible Confederate Flags

.................................................. Locally Sourced

............................................. Prohibition Sounds

.............................................................O Canada

..................................................................Masks

...................................................... Deep Grooves

...................................................... Smoove Jams

...................................................Possible Gumbo

..........................................................Woot Woot!

.................................................... Miseducations

THE PITCH

F E B R UA RY 7- 1 3, 20 1 3

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Broncho, Skating Polly, the Empty Spaces: The Riot Room, 4048 Broadway, 816-442-8179. Emilie Autumn: The Granada, 1020 Massachusetts, Lawrence, 785-842-1390. Harlem Quartet: Yardley Hall at JCCC, 12345 College Blvd., Overland Park, 913-469-8500. Garrick Ohlsson plays “Rhapsody in Blue”: 2 p.m. Helzberg Hall, Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, 1601 Broadway, 816-994-7200. Taddy Porter: The Bottleneck, 737 New Hampshire, Lawrence, 785-841-5483.

M O N D AY, F E B R U A R Y 11 Mushroomhead, Final Trigger, Gemini Syndrome, Society’s Plague, In the Shadow, Moire: The Granada, 1020 Massachusetts, Lawrence, 785-842-1390.

Victor Wooten

F O R E C A S T

30

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T U E S D AY, F E B R U A R Y 12 The Rouge, Y(our) Fri(end): The Bottleneck, 737 New Hampshire, Lawrence, 785-841-5483. Chris Webby, JAMS, XSPO, the Suppliers, Chase Compton: The Granada, 1020 Massachusetts, Lawrence, 785-842-1390.

W E D N E S D AY, F E B R U A R Y 13 Local H: 9 p.m. RecordBar, 1020 Westport Rd., 816-753-5207. Jimmie Walker: Stanford’s Comedy Club, 1867 Village West Pkwy., Kansas City, Kan., 913-400-7500.

FUTURECAST FRIDAY 15 Zac Brown Band: Sprint Center Galactic: Liberty Hall, Lawrence SUNDAY 17 Electric Six, the Dead Girls: The Riot Room Nick Offerman: The Midland THURSDAY 21 Toro Y Moi, Sinkane: The Granada, Lawrence FRIDAY 22 Talib Kweli: The Granada, Lawrence WEDNESDAY 27 Maroon 5: Sprint Center

M O N T H X X–X X , 2 0 0 X

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NIGHTLIFE We Deliver!

FRANK JAMES

1515 WESTPORKÚI;ÚÜÚ816-931-9417

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T H U R S D AY 7 ROCK/POP/INDIE Davey’s Uptown Ramblers Club: 3402 Main, 816-753-1909. Take Me Captive, Too Cold for Spiders, Damned by the Pope. Jackpot Music Hall: 943 Massachusetts, Lawrence, 785-8321085. The Way Back, Hidden Pictures, Berwanger, Margo May. Replay Lounge: 946 Massachusetts, Lawrence, 785-7497676. Sundiver, Simple Lines.

BLUES/FUNK/SOUL B.B.’s Lawnside BBQ: 1205 E. 85th St., 816-822-7427. Levee Town. Jazz: 1823 W. 39th St., 816-531-5556. Grand Marquis. E R O M The Phoenix: 302 W. Eighth St., 816-221-5299. Dan Bliss with Rod Fleeman. S Quasimodo: 12056 W. 135th St., ING LIST E AT Overland Park, 913-239-9666. IN ONL Brody Buster and Jimmy Lacy Duo. M O .C H C PIT RecordBar: 1020 Westport Rd., 816753-5207. Underhouse Dogs, 9 p.m.

CLUB

ROOTS/COUNTRY/BLUEGRASS Knuckleheads Saloon: 2715 Rochester, 816-483-1456. Cassie Taylor, Living Room session, 8 p.m. PBR Big Sky Bar: 111 E. 13th St. Pony Express Band, 8 p.m.

DJ The Bottleneck: 737 New Hampshire, Lawrence, 785-8415483. Team Bear Club’s Goomba Rave, 9 p.m., $3/$5. MiniBar: 3810 Broadway, 816-326-8281. DJ Tequila Bear. The Riot Room: 4048 Broadway, 816-442-8179. Futuro with Nmezee, Sigrah, FSTZ.

JAZZ

Need some

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Double T’s Roadhouse: 1421 Merriam Ln., Kansas City, Kan., 913-432-5555. Blues Jam, 7 p.m. Jerry’s Bait Shop: 302 S.W. Main, Lee’s Summit, 816-525-1871. Blues, Country and Classic Rock Jam with Rick Eidson and friends.

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Afrobeat: 9922 Holmes, 816-943-6333. Reggae Rockers, 10 p.m. Jazzhaus: 926-1/2 Massachusetts, Lawrence, 785-749-1387. A Tribute to the Music of Bob Marley.

ROCK/POP/INDIE Czar: 1531 Grand, 816-421-0300. The Giving Tree, Elli Smith and the Commotion, My Oh My, 6:30 p.m. RecordBar: 1020 Westport Rd., 816-753-5207. The Doo-Dads, 5 p.m.; Fundraiser for Académie Lafayette with Federation of Horsepower, the Hillary Watts Riot, the Sexy Accident, the Quivers, 9 p.m. Replay Lounge: 946 Massachusetts, Lawrence, 785-7497676. Soft Reeds, Berwanger, Dark Satellites. The Riot Room: 4048 Broadway, 816-442-8179. Future Rock, the Supermassive Black Holes, DJ Gent.

17SUNDAY FEBRUARY

BLUES/FUNK/SOUL

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//FREE MUSIC PLAYER ON THE MUSIC HOME PAGE OF PITCH.COM F E B R UA RY 7- 1 3, 20 1 3

REGGAE

F R I D AY 8

@THERECORDBAR

THE PITCH

BAR GAMES/DRUNKEN DISTRACTIONS Mac’s Place: 580 S. Fourth St., Edwardsville. Karaoke. Missie B’s: 805 W. 39th St., 816-561-0625. Karaoke, 10 p.m. RecordBar: 1020 Westport Rd., 816-753-5207. Trivia Clash, 7 p.m. The Uptown Arts Bar: 3611 Broadway. Parle, 10:30 p.m.

GRAND OPENING PARTY

32

The Blue Room: 1616 E. 18th St., 816-474-8463. Round Midnight Reunion: Celebrating Wes Blackman, 7 p.m. The Brick: 1727 McGee, 816-421-1634. The Mike Dillon Band, the Phantastics. Chaz on the Plaza: 325 Ward Pkwy., 816-802-2152. Greg Meise Duo.

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B.B.’s Lawnside BBQ: 1205 E. 85th St., 816-822-7427. Crosseyed Cat. Czar: 1531 Grand, 816-421-0300. Janet the Planet, Wrong Kata Trio, the Jorge Arana Trio, 9:30 p.m. Icons Restaurant & Lounge: 1108 Grand, 816-472-4266. The Boss Kingz, 8 p.m. The Levee: 16 W. 43rd St., 816-561-2821. Lost Wax, 10 p.m.

Quasimodo: 12056 W. 135th St., Overland Park, 913-239-9666. Rick Bacus, 5:30 p.m. Sherlock’s Underground Coffeehouse & Pub: 858 State Route 291, Liberty, 816-429-5262. Knock Kneed Sally, 8:30 p.m. The Uptown Arts Bar: 3611 Broadway. Air Crew, 10 p.m.

DJ The Eighth Street Taproom: 801 New Hampshire, Lawrence, 785-841-6918. #Cake with DJ G Train. MiniBar: 3810 Broadway, 816-326-8281. DJ Nartan. Mosaic Lounge: 1331 Walnut, 816-679-0076. DJ Allen Michael, DJ Eric Coomes. The Quaff: 1010 Broadway, 816-471-1918. DJ E.

JAZZ Chaz on the Plaza: 325 Ward Pkwy., 816-802-2152. Michael Pagan Trio. The Phoenix: 302 W. Eighth St., 816-221-5299. Lonnie McFadden, 4:30 p.m. Take Five Coffee + Bar: 5336 W. 151st St., Overland Park, 913948-5550. Everette DeVan.

WORLD Jazzhaus: 926-1/2 Massachusetts, Lawrence, 785-749-1387. Soul Rebel and the Beast. The Kill Devil Club: 61 E. 14th St., 816-877-8312. Dan Doran, the Sons of Brasil. VooDoo Lounge: Harrah’s Casino, 1 Riverboat Dr., North Kansas City, 816-472-7777. Flirt Friday.

COMEDY ComedyCity at Westport Flea Market: 817 Westport Rd., 816-842-2744. Major League Improv, 7:30 p.m. Improv Comedy Club and Dinner Theater: 7260 N.W. 87th St., 816-759-5233. Lil Duval, 8 & 10:30 p.m. Stanford’s Comedy Club: 1867 Village West Pkwy., Kansas City, Kan., 913-400-7500. Dave Coulier, 7:45 & 9:45 p.m.

BAR GAMES/DRUNKEN DISTRACTIONS Double T’s Roadhouse: 1421 Merriam Ln., Kansas City, Kan., 913-432-5555. DJ, ladies’ night, karaoke. Hamburger Mary’s: 101 Southwest Blvd., 816-842-1919. Maryoke with Monique. Helen’s Just Another Dive: 2002 Armour Rd., North Kansas City, 816-471-4567. Trivia Riot with Roland, 7:30 p.m., $5 per person. The Red Balloon: 10325 W. 75th St., Overland Park, 913-9622330. Karaoke, 8 p.m., free.

S AT U R D AY 9 ROCK/POP/INDIE Czar: 1531 Grand, 816-421-0300. Run With It, Lesson7, Andrew Bruns, 6 p.m.; First Jason, the Haunted Creepys, Folkicide, 10 p.m. Double T’s Roadhouse: 1421 Merriam Ln., Kansas City, Kan., 913-432-5555. Villains Dance. Jerry’s Bait Shop: 302 S.W. Main, Lee’s Summit, 816-525-1871. The Shanks. The Levee: 16 W. 43rd St., 816-561-2821. Camp Harlow, 5 p.m.; the Patrick Lentz Band, 10 p.m. RecordBar: 1020 Westport Rd., 816-753-5207. A Masquerade Mardi Gras Costume Party with Mad Libby, Alice Sweet Alice, Molly Picture Club, the Clementines, Drew Black and the Dirty Electric, 6 p.m. The Riot Room: 4048 Broadway, 816-442-8179. California Voodoo. The Uptown Arts Bar: 3611 Broadway. Quirk & Ruckus, 10:30 p.m.

BLUES/FUNK/SOUL B.B.’s Lawnside BBQ: 1205 E. 85th St., 816-822-7427. Mardi Gras with Ernest James Zydeco, 9 p.m. Jazzhaus: 926-1/2 Massachusetts, Lawrence, 785-749-1387. Masquerade Ball Mardi Gras with SUNU, DJ Proof, 10 p.m. The Kill Devil Club: 61 E. 14th St., 816-877-8312. 51% Blues Band. The Phoenix: 302 W. Eighth St., 816-221-5299. The Brody Buster Band, 9 p.m. Quasimodo: 12056 W. 135th St., Overland Park, 913-239-9666. Doghouse Daddies, 5:30 p.m.; Cadillac Flambe, 9 p.m. Sherlock’s Underground Coffeehouse & Pub: 858 State Route 291, Liberty, 816-429-5262. Crawfish Pie, 8:30 p.m.

ROOTS/COUNTRY/BLUEGRASS The Bottleneck: 737 New Hampshire, Lawrence, 785-8415483. Truckstop Honeymoon, Cowgirl’s Train Set. Lenexa Longbranch Steakhouse: 8600 Marshall Dr., Overland Park, 913-894-5334. Riverrock.

DJ The Eighth Street Taproom: 801 New Hampshire, Lawrence, 785-841-6918. DJ Candlepants.


Hotel: 1300 Grand, 816-226-3232. DJ Eric Coomes. Kelly’s Westport Inn: 500 Westport Rd., 816-561-5800. DJ Chris. MiniBar: 3810 Broadway, 816-326-8281. Dropout Boogie. The Quaff: 1010 Broadway, 816-471-1918. DJ Chris.

Replay Lounge: 946 Massachusetts, Lawrence, 785-749-7676. Sam Club Karaoke with Scary Manilow, 10 p.m.

JAZZ

Barnyard Beer: 925 Iowa, Lawrence, 785-393-9696. Mudstomp Mondays. Davey’s Uptown Ramblers Club: 3402 Main, 816-753-1909. Songwriter’s Scene Open Mic with Jon Theobald, 7 p.m. The Uptown Arts Bar: 3611 Broadway. James Inman’s Open Mic, 10 p.m.

The Blue Room: 1616 E. 18th St., 816-474-8463. Wild Men of Kansas City, 8:30 p.m. Hotel Phillips: 106 W. 12th St., 816-221-7000. Candace Evans. 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. Jeff Harshbarger Quartet.

COMEDY ComedyCity at Westport Flea Market: 817 Westport Rd., 816-842-2744. Major League Improv, 7:30 p.m. Improv Comedy Club and Dinner Theater: 7260 N.W. 87th St., 816-759-5233. Lil Duval, 7 & 10 p.m. Missie B’s: 805 W. 39th St., 816-561-0625. Dirty Dorothy, 10 p.m. Stanford’s Comedy Club: 1867 Village West Pkwy., Kansas City, Kan., 913-400-7500. Dave Coulier, 7:45 & 9:45 p.m. Westport Coffee House: 4010 Pennsylvania, 816-756-3222. The Kick Comedy Theatre: the Kick-Off Improv Comedy Show, 8 p.m.

BAR GAMES/DRUNKEN DISTRACTIONS Power & Light District: 14th Street and Main, 816-842-1045. Fifth Annual Mardi Gras Festival, 8 p.m. The Red Balloon: 10325 W. 75th St., Overland Park, 913-9622330. Karaoke, 8 p.m., free. Wallaby’s Grill and Pub: 9562 Lackman, Lenexa, 913-5419255. Karaoke, 9 p.m.

OPEN MIC/JAM SESSIONS B.B.’s Lawnside BBQ: 1205 E. 85th St., 816-822-7427. Mama Ray Jazz Meets Blues Jam, 2 p.m. Sharks: 10320 Shawnee Mission Pkwy., Shawnee, 913-2684006. Rock and blues jam, 8 p.m. Sherlock’s Underground Coffeehouse & Pub: 858 State Route 291, Liberty, 816-429-5262. Open Blues Jam with Earl Baker, 4 p.m.

S U N D AY 10 DJ Hamburger Mary’s: 101 Southwest Blvd., 816-842-1919. Bad Music Sundays with Brett Dietrich, 3:30 p.m. Replay Lounge: 946 Massachusetts, Lawrence, 785-749-7676. Sunday Funday with DJ G Train on the patio.

BAR GAMES/DRUNKEN DISTRACTIONS The Fox and Hound: 10428 Metcalf, Overland Park, 913-6491700. Poker, 7 & 10 p.m. Hurricane Allie’s Bar and Grill: 5541 Merriam Dr., Shawnee, 913-217-7665. Karaoke, 8:30 p.m. RecordBar: 1020 Westport Rd., 816-753-5207. Art Battle. The Red Balloon: 10325 W. 75th St., Overland Park, 913-9622330. Karaoke, 8 p.m., free. Westport Flea Market: 817 Westport Rd., 816-931-1986. Texas Hold ’em, 3 & 6 p.m.

OPEN MIC/JAM SESSIONS

T U E S D AY 12 BLUES/FUNK/SOUL B.B.’s Lawnside BBQ: 1205 E. 85th St., 816-822-7427. Hudspeth and Shinetop. Czar: 1531 Grand, 816-421-0300. The MGDs Annual Fat Tuesday Celebration with TJ Ernhardt, 7 p.m. Slow Ride Roadhouse: 1350 N. Third St., Lawrence, 785-7492727. Lonnie Ray Blues Band.

ROOTS/COUNTRY/BLUEGRASS Californos: 4124 Pennsylvania, 816-531-7878. Mikal Shapiro. Czar: 1531 Grand, 816-421-0300. Elkheart’s Downtown Outlaw Fiasco, 7 p.m., free. RecordBar: 1020 Westport Rd., 816-753-5207. Miss Major and Her Minor Mood Swings, 6 p.m.

JAZZ The Blue Room: 1616 E. 18th St., 816-474-8463. Fat Tuesday with Necessity Brass Band, 8 p.m. Chaz on the Plaza: 325 Ward Pkwy., 816-802-2152. Max Berry and Rod Fleeman. The Phoenix: 302 W. Eighth St., 816-221-5299. Open Jam with Everette DeVan, 7 p.m.

BAR GAMES/DRUNKEN DISTRACTIONS Bulldog: 1715 Main, 816-421-4799. Double feature movie night. Coda: 1744 Broadway, 816-569-1747. Team Trivia with Teague Hayes, 7 p.m., $5 buy-in. Dukes: 1501 Grand, 816-527-0122. Beer pong tournaments, 9 p.m. Jackpot Music Hall: 943 Massachusetts, Lawrence, 785-8321085. It’s Karaoke Time! MiniBar: 3810 Broadway, 816-326-8281. Robert Moore’s Name That Tune, 7 p.m. The Uptown Arts Bar: 3611 Broadway. Tango night.

OPEN MIC/JAM SESSIONS The All-Star Rock Bar: 7210 N.E. 43rd St., 816-452-2660. Scott Ford Songwriter Showcase, 7 p.m. Quasimodo: 12056 W. 135th St., Overland Park, 913-239-9666. Dave Hays Band Open Jam. Stanford’s Comedy Club: 1867 Village West Pkwy., Kansas City, Kan., 913-400-7500. Open Mic Night.

The Riot Room: 4048 Broadway, 816-442-8179. Torn the Fuck Apart, Unmerciful, Macawber, the Lantern Hill Nightmare.

W E D N E S D AY 13 ROCK/POP/INDIE

Groove Station: 9916 Holmes, 816-942-1000. KC Blues Jam with Crosseyed Cat, 2-6 p.m. Knuckleheads Saloon: 2715 Rochester, 816-483-1456. Open Jam with Levee Town, 2 p.m., free. The Majestic Restaurant: 931 Broadway, 816-221-1888. Mark Lowrey Jazz Trio open jam session, 5 p.m. R.G.’s Lounge: 9100 E. 35th St., Independence, 816-358-5777. Jam Night hosted by Scotty Yates, Rick Eidson, and more, 5 p.m.

The Bottleneck: 737 New Hampshire, Lawrence, 785-8415483. Tea Leaf Green, Tumbleweed Wanderers. Coda: 1744 Broadway, 816-569-1747. Sonic Spectrum with DJ Robert Moore, 9 p.m. RecordBar: 1020 Westport Rd., 816-753-5207. Bob Walkenhorst, 7 p.m.

M O N D AY 11

B.B.’s Lawnside BBQ: 1205 E. 85th St., 816-822-7427. Shinetop Jr. Knuckleheads Saloon: 2715 Rochester, 816-483-1456. The Whammy with Slim Jim Phantom, Jonny Bowler and Tim Polecat, the Rumblejetts. Quasimodo: 12056 W. 135th St., Overland Park, 913-239-9666. Billy Ebeling.

The Bottleneck: 737 New Hampshire, Lawrence, 785-841-5483. Taking Back Mondays with Sovereign States, 9 p.m., free. Davey’s Uptown Ramblers Club: 3402 Main, 816-753-1909. Dark Mondays with DJ Desmodus, 10:30 p.m. The Riot Room: 4048 Broadway, 816-442-8179. The Koffin Kats, American Dischord, the Uncouth!

BAR GAMES/DRUNKEN DISTRACTIONS Bulldog: 1715 Main, 816-421-4799. Trivia, service industry night. Green Room Burgers & Beer: 4010 Pennsylvania, Ste. D, 816216-7682. Geeks Who Drink Pub Quiz. Hamburger Mary’s: 101 Southwest Blvd., 816-842-1919. Maryoke. Jazzhaus: 926-1/2 Massachusetts, Lawrence, 785-749-1387. Karaoke Idol with Tanya McNaughty. MiniBar: 3810 Broadway, 816-326-8281. MoshPit Bingo. RecordBar: 1020 Westport Rd., 816-753-5207. Sonic Spectrum Music Trivia, 7 p.m., $5.

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S AVA G E L O V E

CHEAT SHEETS Dear Dan: I’m a 27-year-old man in a two-year relationship with a 26-year-old woman. My last partner cheated and lied and did some unforgivable things. I wasn’t blameless — I stayed with her long after I realized it wasn’t working — but our relationship did unearth a kink. After I found out about her cheating, I got extremely turned on thinking about it. I never told her. Enter my next girlfriend. We were together a few months before I brought up my kink. She was very accommodating (dirty talk about her cheating, making up stories about cheating) and then, after some months, she admitted that it was something she wanted to try in real life. I said I was OK with it as long as I had the option to pursue other partners as well. We agreed on some rules and gave it a shot. She set up a date through OKCupid and had sex with someone; I hooked up with an ex. Everything seemed to be turning out great. Then two weeks later, she got drunk and told me that she had seen the OKCupid guy again without asking. I was so upset, I nearly broke up with her. Having the guidelines ignored felt like a betrayal. She later admitted to seeing him one other time without talking to me first. Are we going through the normal trip-ups of a newly open relationship? Or are these lies an indication that she can’t be trusted? I feel like it might be hard to find someone else who is into my kink, and maybe we’re just having a hard time navigating polyamory. I love my partner, and I want to make this cuckolding thing work if we can. Suck it up or break it off ?

Confused Upon Cheating Kink Dear CUCK: Your letter confused me. Here’s

why: You describe your relationship as open, then as poly, then as a “cuckolding thing.” First things first: Polyamorous relationships and open relationships are two different things. Some poly relationships are open, but many poly relationships are closed; that is, three people (or more) are involved with one another exclusively, and there are no randoms, no romancing potential fourths, fifths or sixths. The reverse is also true: Not all open relationships are poly. Two people in an open relationship may allow fucking around with other people with the understanding that there will be no dating or — God forbid — falling in love with anyone else. And then there’s cuckolding. The whole “cuckolding thing” is about the female half of a heterosexual couple breaking the rules and then rubbing her partner’s nose in the evidence of her cheating. (Some cuckolds get off on literally having their noses rubbed in the evidence.) Cuckolding is eroticized betrayal, and you spent months fantasizing with your girlfriend about being betrayed. All that dirty talk, all those made-up stories — remember? But when it came time to turn your fantasies into reality, you laid out the rules for what sounds like a fairly standard

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open-not-poly relationship: She could fuck other people, and so could you. Once again, I’m confused: The cuckold in a “cuckolding thing” typically doesn’t get to fuck around. He gets fucked around on. If your discussions with your girlfriend were as confusing as your letter, then it’s possible that she was likewise confused. It’s possible that she thought the rules applied to you and not to her. It’s possible that she figured she was free to break the rules because betrayal turned you on. Now she knows that betrayal turns you on as a fantasy and not a reality. I’m giving your girlfriend the benefit of the doubt here, but seeing as you love her and want to make this work, and seeing as girlfriends who are open to cuckolding are hard to come by, on and in, I think you should give her the benefit of the doubt, too. Time will tell if she’s an honest “cheater” who can be trusted or a lying cheater who must be dumped.

Dear Dan: I’m a guy who can’t orgasm during

oral sex. I can during vaginal. It’s frustrating because I can see it bothers my girlfriend. But while I get close, I don’t quite reach the apex of that hill. I suspect it’s a control issue. During vaginal, I have some level of control; during oral, I don’t. Help.

Almost There Dear AT: Maybe it’s not a control issue.

Maybe oral doesn’t do it for you — it can’t get you up and over them thar hills — because … oral doesn’t do it for you. If it were your girlfriend who had difficulty climaxing from oral alone — let’s say she required a vibrator to get her over them thar hills — the standard-issue, sex-positive, lady-empowering advice would be to accept that it’s just

BY

D A N S AVA G E

the way her pussy works. I would order you to incorporate the vibrator into oral and/ or vaginal sex and not stress out about it. And if you were putting pressure on your girlfriend — if you were making it clear to her that this “inability” to climax from your oral skills alone bothered you, if you were having a sad each time she “failed” to climax during oral — I would slap you around for being an insecure prick. Why shouldn’t the same advice apply here? Vaginal gets you all the way there. Oral gets you almost all the way there. Maybe that’s just how your dick works. On the off chance that there could be a psychological block, experiment with letting her get you almost all the way there and then stroke yourself to get the rest of the way there. Stroke to the point of no return — “orgasmic inevitability” — and then put your dick back in her mouth and blow your load. With time and without sads, you may find that the number of strokes you need to get up and over the hill will diminish until you don’t need them at all. Or you may not — because this may be how your dick works.

Dear Dan: My girlfriend and I are having sex

on a not-so-every-day basis, but that doesn’t matter anyways. The thing is, I’ve been lasting longer and longer every time we do have sex. However, she can’t last as long as I can, and eventually we’ll start having to use lube. And then, maybe 30 minutes later, it’ll start to hurt more. As if I’m “tearing” her or something. I’m left “blue balled” for fear of hurting her further, and she feels bad for not having me finish. What do I do? Fake it or just use copious amounts of lube?

Bluer and Bluer Balls Dear BABB: Who says you can’t fi nish? If it’s taking you forever, and your girlfriend’s pussy is giving out, pull out and stroke yourself until you fi nish. You could also incorporate strategic stroke breaks into your fuck sessions to get you closer to the edge and give her pussy a rest. And you might fi nd that she’s able to last longer if you engage in a little midplay — think foreplay, but halfway through — during those stroke breaks: Make out while you stroke yourself, eat her pussy, play with her clit. I bet your girlfriend will need less lube if she’s less bored and/or more turned on during those epic fuck sessions. Find the Savage Lovecast (my weekly podcast) every Tuesday at thestranger.com/ savage. My new book, American Savage: Insights, Slights, and Fights on Faith, Sex, Love, and Politics, comes out in May. Order it now!

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

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The Pitch: February 7, 2013