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M AY 2– 8 , 2 0 1 3 | V O L . 3 2 N O . 4 4

enter to win

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E D I T O R I A L

Editor Scott Wilson Managing Editor Justin Kendall Music Editor David Hudnall Staff Writers Charles Ferruzza, Ben Palosaari, Steve Vockrodt Editorial Operations Manager Deborah Hirsch Events Editor Berry Anderson Proofreader Brent Shepherd Contributing Writers Tracy Abeln, Theresa Bembnister, Jonathan Bender, April Fleming, Leslie Kinsman, Chris Milbourn, Dan Savage, Lucas Wetzel Editorial Intern Katie Miller

to the

FOULED How TIF flushed Swope Ridge to make way for soccer. B Y S T E V E VO C K R O D T

7

A R T

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

IT TAKES A VILLAGE

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at the

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Accounts Receivable Jodi Waldsmith Publisher Joel Hornbostel

S O U T H C O M M

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With Google putting Fiber in Austin, Kansas City Startup Village confronts an uncertain future. B Y B E N PA L O S A A R I

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LEBRON JAMES and the MIAMI HEAT are coming back to Kansas City. TODD AKIN says he still regrets rape comments; is still mad at the GOP.

M O N T H X X–X X , 2 0 0 X

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QUESTIONNAIRE

WILLIAM WHITENER

Artistic director, Kansas City Ballet

Hometown: Seattle Current neighborhood: Columbus Park Who or what is your sidekick? Jason Pollen, artist and former chair of the fiber department at the Kansas City Art Institute What career would you choose in an alternate reality? Singer

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Q&As

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What was the last local restaurant you patronized: Blue Koi

Where do you drink? Bistro 303 What’s your favorite charity? National Public Radio (KCUR 89.3)

Favorite place to spend your paycheck: In the

bank

What movie do you watch at least once a year?

I’m a film buff, so I rarely repeat viewings.

What local phenomenon do you think is overrated? Texting Where do you like to take out-of-town guests? The Todd Bolender Center for Dance

What local tradition do you take part in every year? The Nutcracker

and Creativity

Celebrity you’d like to ride the mamba with at Worlds of Fun: Jim Carrey

Finish this sentence: “Kansas City got it right when …” It developed and claimed jazz and

I’m not “atwitter.”

cabaret performers and clubs as an essential part of Kansas City life.

“Kansas City screwed up when it …” Stalled

on light rail/mass transit.

“Kansas City needs …” A light-rail system that can take you to a new cabaret/jazz club named in honor of the great singer Marilyn Maye. “People might be surprised to know I …” Am the son of a woman who had her airplane pilot’s license and helped in the relief effort in WWII. “On my day off, I like to …” Recline.

Favorite person or thing to follow on Twitter: Person or thing you find really irritating at this moment: Someone asking about Twitter. What subscription — print, digital, etc. — do you value most? The New Yorker Last book you read: How Music Works by David

Byrne

Favorite day trip: To Lawrence What is your most embarrassing dating moment? Probably something that I’ve blocked

out of my mind.

Interesting brush with the law? I had a couple

time.

of skirmishes in my youth and danced my way out of them.

What TV show do you make sure you watch?

Describe a recent triumph: Seventeen years as

take(s) up a lot of space in my iTunes.

Whitener’s 17th season with Kansas City Ballet is his last, concluding with performances at the Kauff man Center for the Performing Arts May 3–12.

“In five years, I’ll be …” Younger than spring-

Mad Men

I hear music all day in rehearsals and performances, so I don’t plug in at night. Silence is golden.

artistic director of Kansas City Ballet

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NEWS

FOULED

How TIF f lushed Swope Ridge

BY

to make way for soccer.

S T E V E V OCKROD T

at Humston moved to Swope Ridge in 1968. Back then, she and her husband, Jim, liked that the neighborhood felt almost rural, though it was well within Kansas City’s borders. Nestled near Swope Park, south of where 63rd Street meets Interstate 435, Swope Ridge is a working-class enclave that even today seems bucolic thanks to its narrow, winding, hilly streets, and the buffer against noise and commerce that its proximity to one of the Midwest’s biggest city parks provides. “It was quiet. It was countrylike,” Humston says. “That’s why I moved there.” So Humston and her neighbors were annoyed to learn, in 1991, that Kansas City wanted to help spur the development of a business park near Swope Ridge. Her concerns were assuaged somewhat by the underE MOR standing that the plan would at least y ield some improvements to AT E N I ONL .COM the neighborhood. After PITCH all, the city had agreed to tax-increment financing to ease the developer’s costs — an indication that Swope Ridge was nearing blight, a condition that TIF supposedly cures. The business park’s original TIF proposal points out that almost all of the 70 houses there had problems associated with age, weathering and, in some cases, poor maintenance. Perhaps most problematic: All but two of the houses in Swope Ridge were not served by the city’s sewer system. The septic tanks that Swope Ridge residents had long relied upon made for a nasty situation, according to 1991 development plans drawn up by Kansas City officials with a group called Winchester Ventures. The rocky ground just below the surface of the Swope Ridge neighborhood caused sewage to run off and sometimes contaminate groundwater. The main objective of what was eventually called the Winchester TIF plan was to build a relatively small business park, and that’s what happened. Time Warner Cable has its local headquarters there, and other companies occupy offices. But no sewer lines went in. Humston and her neighbors still rely on those septic tanks — equipment that has aged another couple of decades. “We haven’t gotten one thing, one piece of what they said they would do,” Humston says. She’s 77, and her husband is 79; she points out that many of those living in Swope Ridge around at the time of those 1991 discussions are now dead. But last year, she learned that the Win-

NEWS

BARRETT EMKE

P

chester TIF plan would finally help pay for a new project: soccer fields.

W

hen Kansas City leaders first thought of building a soccer field in Swope Park, off 63rd Street and Lewis Road, the city didn’t have enough cash to do it on its own. But there was $11 million of untouched money in the Winchester TIF plan that hadn’t gone toward building the business park, or adding sewers to Swope Ridge. Enter the squabble over Swope Park Soccer Village. Money for TIF, which redirects property taxes back into a project, comes from several different parties, each governed by its own elected or appointed officials whose agendas don’t necessarily line up. School districts and library systems, for example, have grown particularly sensitive about how TIF money gets spent. Tension bubbled over in 2009 when Jackson County and other taxing jurisdictions filed a lawsuit against Kansas City over their voting rights on the Tax Increment Financing Commission, an appointed body that makes recommendations to KC’s City Council about how to carry out TIF. Kansas City, not keen on going to court, largely gave taxing jurisdictions the additional power they wanted. Another way TIF works also generates friction between Kansas City and other taxing jurisdictions. Redirected property and economic-activity taxes go into a special account that a developer can access when incurring project costs eligible for taxpayer reimbursement. When a developer doesn’t request reimbursements, though, the money just piles up in that account.

Not quite blight, but close. Kansas City, in particular Mayor Pro Tem Cindy Circo, saw the Winchester TIF’s leftover $11 million as just right for building seven soccer fields and expanding a training facility that Sporting Kansas City uses there. It’s true that Swope Park’s public soccer area could use some work. The grounds are rutted, uneven surfaces that turn to muddy ruins when it rains, and parking often exceeds capacity in good weather. But the Raytown Quality Schools bristled at Kansas City’s plan. Of the $11 million that KC sought to use, $4 million was tax revenue generated within the Raytown school district’s boundaries, where more than half the students live at the poverty level. KC’s plan would have steered Raytown’s $4 million to an improvement that was inside the Kansas City Public Schools’ boundaries. Officials with Mid-Continent Library and Jackson County didn’t find the plan too appealing, either, and discussion of the Winchester-soccer TIF was long and contentious. The TIF Commission is made up of six people whom Kansas City Mayor Sly James appoints, with five other members representing Jackson County, the Raytown school district and the library district. Those taxing jurisdictions wanted to put off a vote on the soccer plan until early 2013, and they found an unexpected ally in Rhonda Holman, the only one of James’ appointed commissioners willing to delay. (Her unexpected vote caused some officials to joke about whether she’d turned off her phone, a reference to James’ practice of keeping signed, undated resignation letters from all of his appointees.) The delayed vote was followed in December and January with prolonged negotiations between Raytown Quality Schools Super-

intendent Allan Markley and James. (See “Un-TIF’d: Raytown’s school superintendent earns a rare victory against TIF,” April 11, 2013.) Eventually Kansas City backed down, gave Raytown its money and terminated the Winchester TIF. Missouri state Sen. Will Kraus noticed the wrangling. The Lee’s Summit Republican used the occasion to champion TIF reform in Jefferson City. “Kansas City did the right thing and did not build the soccer park with the TIF money,” Kraus tells The Pitch. “But that builds up a concern with how TIF dollars are used.” Kraus’ bill, which would have let school districts and other taxing jurisdictions opt out of having their tax revenues used for TIF, got a hearing during this legislative assembly but didn’t make it much further. While the end of the Winchester TIF meant that the Raytown school district got its money back, Kansas City and Jackson County struck a deal to use their surplus revenues from the TIF to build the soccer project. They also agreed to put $2.4 million toward long-awaited neighborhood improvements. But the money isn’t buying what some of Swope Ridge’s residents thought they’d been promised.

T

he first agenda item on the April 18 Swope Ridge Neighborhood Association’s meeting: May’s election of a new association president and other officers. But the 18 residents who showed up at the International Association of Fire Fighters Local No. 42 meeting hall weren’t in a waiting mood. On this foggy, gloomy evening, talk quickly turned to continued on page 9

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continued from page 7 making sure that Patricia Losiewicz, president for the past year, could, effective immediately, serve another year — or at least until the Winchester matter was over. That measure passed unanimously. The month before, Losiewicz spent a day of vacation time at City Hall, attending a meeting of the Kansas City Planning, Zoning & Economic Development Committee. On that meeting’s agenda: the TIF Commission’s blessing of the Soccer Village compromise. Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders applauded the plan as a show of city-county cooperation to get a recreational amenity built. Sanders’ son plays competitive soccer, and the dearth of high-quality fields on the Missouri side of the metro has sent his family to Overland Park’s Soccer Complex, a collection of 12 fields that keeps a full schedule of local and regional tournaments. He saw the Swope Park project as KC’s first step toward attracting similar events. “What ultimately started out, I think, as a fairly acrimonious process, through this process is a project I think we can all get behind,” he said. Losiewicz didn’t see the advantage to Swope Ridge. She asked the City Council to put off voting on the plan until her neighborhood could, through a mediator, get a better deal — a deal that delivered on an old promise. The TIF plan in 1991 was unequivocal about whether Swope Ridge needed sewers. The plan spelled out how much that improvement would cost (though the $195,000 figure outlined for the project was, even in 1991 dollars, optimistic). A study authorized by the TIF Commission in 2012 found again that Swope Ridge needed sewers. “As identified in previous TIF plans, the soil conditions in much of the area are not conducive to the use of septic tank absorption fields and can negatively affect the public health through excessively slow absorption of effluent, surfacing of effluent, seepage or contamination of ground water,” reads a report by Development Initiatives, a company often called upon by the TIF Commission to carry out blight or conservation studies to help grease the skids for TIF. Scott Wagner, a Northland councilman, sounded troubled. “Raytown will get theirs, the library will get theirs, so now it’s a matter of taking this godawful 1991 document with the promise of the world that we’ll never deliver on,” Wagner said. Circo, second in command after Sly James, said she understood the frustration of the neighborhood. But she added that even if the city built sewer lines in Swope Ridge, residents wanting service would have to pay to connect to the sewer line. A private plumber tells The Pitch that cost can start at $3,000 and go higher than $10,000, depending on a number of circumstances. “Even if it was affordable to put in the sanitary sewer system, we can’t force the homeowner to tie into that, and there’s no

Losiewicz wants sewers. guarantee they would utilize that,” Circo told her fellow council members. The original TIF anticipated Circo’s objection. It included a home-improvement grant program that freed up funds for property owners (up to $3,000 each) to pay either for sewer hookups or exterior improvements to their homes. (Those grants never materialized.) The deal that Swope Ridge property owners have now isn’t a great one. Each house in the Winchester TIF district is eligible for a $750 grant for septic-tank improvement. After that, each property can apply for up to $22,500 in funding to have septic tanks replaced, if necessary, or for exterior home improvements.  And there’s a catch. Unless the property owner’s income is less than median, he or she must match the grant dollar for dollar for home improvements. Those who earn more than 125 percent of median income must match 2-to-1. Those who get grants also get a five-year lien on their property. “What we’re getting is a piddly dab,” says Humston, the longtime Swope Ridge resident. “I think it’s a rotten thing.” Other benefits are coming, such as improvements to (and a widening of) Bennington Road, one of the neighborhood’s main thoroughfares. But at the Swope Ridge meeting in April, everyone was talking sewers. “The money was there for the sewers,” says Cheryl Wagner, another Swope Ridge resident. “But the city deemed soccer fields more important than our sewer systems.” Some of the neighbors are hoping that they can get their hands on the grant money, if only to spend it. Others aren’t looking forward to the home inspections required for any septic or home-improvement grant. “We’re not rich by any means,” Losiewicz says. “We’re just a bunch of people who work to have a living. We shouldn’t have to keep fighting for what someone promised us. It’s not fair.”

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< IT TAKES A >

VILLAGE With Google putting Fiber in Austin, Kansas City Startup Village

confronts an uncertain future.

Startup Village founding member Local Ruckus is making noise about its neighborhood.

by Ben Palosaari photography by Sabrina Staires

O

h, it was a shit show,” Alexa Nguyen will say later. Nguyen, a 22-year-old entrepreneur with a 3-D home-printing startup called Handprint, is recalling a recent tense meeting of Kansas City Startup Village. The village has been under way only a short time. It started in October 2012, when the startups Local Ruckus and FormZapper moved into a building at 4454 State Line to be among the first hooked up with Google Fiber. Others followed, filling homes along the border between Kansas City, Kansas’ Hanover Heights and Spring Valley neighborhoods and the Missouri side’s West Plaza. About 20 startup founders, business owners and entrepreneurs are in the village now. And at this April 10 meeting, they’re not happy.

I

t’s just an hour after Kauffman Labs’ weekly showcase of startups, 1 Million Cups, has finished celebrating its first anniversary with bagels, coffee and a stream of success stories, when 30 members of the village sit down to discuss their future. The day before, Google said it would offer its ultrafast gigabyte Fiber to Austin, Texas. (A week later, the Internet goliath will announce another expansion city: Provo, Utah.) These developments have left the villagers feeling uneasy and in a less-thancelebratory mood. “We want to talk openly about ideas and how we can re-energize the movement, especially with Austin getting Fiber,” says Matthew Marcus, CTO of Local Ruckus, who’s trying to build a better online events calendar. Marcus was among the first villagers, but he’s not the village’s leader. The village has no hierarchy or guiding board, and inhabitants call themselves “co-leaders.” Marcus, 40, admits that Startup Village is in the midst of an identity crisis. In the last couple of months, he says, the village has become the de facto point organization for all

startups considering a move to Kansas City. “The problem I see is that we’re muddling lines here,” Marcus says. “This started as a village, an entity, an area. And now we’re talking about Kansas City as a whole, which I love. But do we want the Kansas City Startup Village to continue to be that entry point for the whole of Kansas City?” Marcus shifts the discussion to sponsorships. Is it time to involve major corporations — Sprint, Garmin, Hallmark and others — to grow the village? “Put your money where your mouth is,” Marcus says. “You guys love what we’re doing; get involved. It feels like that is a missing component.” Ray Barreth disagrees. “Don’t desert your organic roots,” says Barreth, whose son, Ben Barreth, owns the Hacker House communal work and living space in the village. The older Barreth, who has a decade or two on most in the room, has spent the meeting carving out a role as a quirky elder statesman and business adviser who is quick to dole out kicks in the pants

with his crusty voice. “This whole concept of a village is a beautiful thing.” The concern shouldn’t be Austin getting Fiber but maintaining the communal atmosphere here, Beth Sarver argues. “Google Fiber is not the wholeness of what we have here,” she says as about a dozen people nod in agreement. “It’s a huge piece, but it’s like a cornerstone or something. It’s not the foundation. The foundation is our human connectedness and great ideas.” The hourlong meeting winds down with no plan or decision on how to refocus the group’s efforts. Cross talk and chitchat pollute the room. Sarver raises her voice, likening Startup Village’s moment adrift to her experience with the local artistic community. “One of the biggest problems we’ve had in growing that epic artists community is a fear of systems,” she says. “Our whole world is full of systems. So we can have systems and still be organic. I propose that we build a strategic visioning event ASAP and figure out, ‘What is this vision, exactly?’ ” continued on page 13

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etite one- and two-bedroom bungalow homes line narrow, potholed streets in Kansas City’s Startup Village, in the area of State Line Road and 45th Street. The houses, most with full-size ground floors and modest second stories, are bunched together. Antique shops dot the neighborhood. The quaint, blue building at 4454 State Line could easily be another storefront of forgotten treasures. Marcus owns the building, and he’d planned to make it just that. But the basement became the headquarters for his startup. Then, in November 2012, Leap2, maker of a mobile-app search engine, moved into the house’s ground floor. Barreth’s Hacker House opened six doors north in November. A half-block south, business incubator Pipeline, eye-recognition-application company EyeVerify and two other startups moved into the building at 1911 West 45th Street. “Next thing you know, you have a village,” Marcus says. Local Ruckus now shares the basement work space with FormZapper, an online paperwork depository. It was joined at the same time by Rivet Creative, a design, marketing and advertising firm. They came to be part of the first nonresidential space connected to Google Fiber, which went live last November. Local Ruckus founder Adam Arredondo, 28, says the village’s growth has been remarkably coincidental. “Three startup properties came to be in the first neighborhood in the world to get Google Fiber, within half a block of each other with no planning,” he says. For the village to grow, Marcus says, it’s time to court local corporations to buy houses, paint them in their colors and open innovation centers. He envisions a Sprint home, a Garmin home, a Hallmark home. “If we could get them to have a home down here,” Marcus says, “I think that would be so powerful.”

B

en Barreth, 34, is stripping beds and replacing the sheets inside his Hacker House on a mid-April Monday. In November, Barreth bought the gray twostory house at 4428 State Line, not to live in but to offer to startups for three months of rent-free housing and access to Google Fiber. “People usually ask me why I’m doing it,” he says. “I really believe in Kansas City. I believe in the startup scene.” Barreth, with a curly blond widow’s peak and dark-rimmed glasses, throws a pile of dirty sheets into the passenger seat of his red Toyota Echo and moves on to the next task, attaching a door to the house’s fuse box. He opens the outside basement door, revealing a crumbling set of 2-foot-wide stairs, and descends into the musty, damp cellar. His original project, Homes for Hackers, was meant to enlist homeowners with Google Fiber who would be willing to let startup founders

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live with them rent-free while working on their companies. But getting potential volunteer homeowners hooked up to Fiber would take a year. Barreth didn’t want to wait. Last September, he joked with his wife about buying a house in the first neighborhood to get Fiber. “I remember telling her, ‘Hey, honey, what if we just bought a house?’ ” Barreth says. “We both laughed. It was a stupid idea. That was Wednesday morning. Saturday, we found this house. Sunday, we put an offer in on it. We closed on Halloween.” Barreth’s Hacker House functions mostly as a crash pad for people interested in trying Fiber and peeping Kansas City’s startup scene. One of the bedrooms is available for rent on airbnb .com for $49 a night, while others are used by visitors who arrange stays through Barreth. The rent covers about half of the home’s mortgage and utilities, which total $850 a month. Barreth says the village is in a state of constant change. He says five new startups are scheduled to move into Hacker House May 31. Being a part of the Startup Village has made him comfortable with the ebbs and flows of startups looking to come to town, although he was a little worried a month ago. “We reached one of those ebb moments,” he says. “I thought, OK, interest is dying off.” But is he concerned about the village’s viability or a threat from Austin? “The short answer is no,” Barreth says. “I’m not worried about that. My house is full starting May 31 for three months.” After those three months, an Arizona-based company is slated to move into Hacker House. “People [are] willing to move to Kansas City from way out of town,” he says. “This guy is from Tucson, Arizona.” But what the neighborhood really needs is a coffee shop, Barreth says. The nearby Eddie Delahunt’s Café (which opens daily at 7 a.m. and closes between 2 and 3 p.m.) is for sale, and he says the village residents are hoping that someone will buy it and expand its hours. “We need a 24-hour place where people can meet and hang out,” Barreth says. “We need, like, a local version of a Starbucks.”

Jaycox and a cardboard cutout of Barreth feel right at home in the Hacker House.

INFORMED?

Barreth is also hopeful that people will buy more houses and allow entrepreneurs to stay in them. He knows of a pair of startup founders who recently closed on a house down the street. And in the past few weeks, he has shown other potential homeowners around the neighborhood, including Tam Nguyen, of San Jose. Nguyen is wrapping up a weeklong stay at the house. He says he came to try Fiber, but the community has impressed him, and he’s considering buying a house in the village and renting it to other startups. “The vibe here is cool, man,” he says. “Everybody is like family.” Barreth hopes to see the family grow: “I’m just doing this to help put Kansas City on the map. In a year, the goal is 50 startups.”

A

big whiteboard hangs on Hacker House’s living-room wall and serves as a makeshift guestbook, covered with visitors’ Twitter handles. In an adjoining dining room, desks and chairs line the walls beneath another large whiteboard, which displays a schedule of upcoming visitors. Two bedrooms — one with bunk beds, the other with a solo bed for the Airbnb renter — are on the first floor. Phil Jaycox, 23, moved from St. Louis to Hacker House in January and is the only fulltime resident. It’s midday, and he’s barefoot, wearing sweatpants and a T-shirt, and clacking away on a Google Chromebook while sitting on a green, L-shaped couch in the living room. Jaycox is building a platform for his social courier business, Dealivr, which allows potential delivery drivers to sign up and accept jobs from other users. He says the idea struck him in college when his drunk friends would call and ask him to deliver Taco Bell. Thirty potential local delivery drivers are awaiting Dealivr’s launch. “Even Wal-Mart is looking into delivery,” Jaycox says. “That really validates my idea.” continued on page 15

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“If they don’t pick up properties, then the longevity of this project is at risk,” Demarais says. “The reason we stayed in this neighborhood is that without a dense community and without more people planting the flag in the ground, saying, ‘This is where we are, come here,’ the scene can never fully emerge and develop.”

It Takes a Village continued from page 13 Jaycox likes Startup Village’s homey atmosphere, but he admits there have been struggles in the past six months: the lack of residents at Hacker House, few companies moving into the neighborhood, and the village’s lack of identity. He says the villagers are making an effort to avoid the chaotic meeting atmosphere that occurred at the previous meeting. Now they’ll discuss village business exclusively at meetings biweekly. During the alternating weeks, they’ll focus on the citywide startup community. “Nobody knew what direction we were going in,” Jaycox says. “Some people thought we were for Kansas City as a whole. Other people thought we were for the village. [Now] there’s a focus. They’re going to make it so it’s not a free-form meeting.” On a cloudless, 60-degree April day, Jaycox ambles through the village on his daily “Steve Jobs walks,” named after the Apple founder’s workday strolls. Backyards are a lush emerald from recent rain. Tall trees intermingle. The chirping of birds never ceases. He points to a black-and-amber-striped cat. “That’s a new mommy cat,” he says. Jaycox, who owns a car, says he has spent about $50 on gas since moving here. He walks everywhere, especially to the QuikTrip on Westport Road to indulge his Dr Pepper habit. “The way I’ve learned everything about Kansas City is that I walk about 80 percent of the time,” says Jaycox, who goes to the Plaza, where the art inspires his work on Dealiver. “Sculptures are cool because people can take a huge blob and turn it into a masterpiece,” Jaycox says. “If you think about it, sculptures and statues — in a way, they hacked something together. They turned nothing, an amorphous block, into a Poseidon shooting water.” Jaycox’s time in the house is coming to an end; he’ll move out sometime in May before the new Hacker House crop moves in at the end of the month. He plans to stay in Kansas City, crashing on floors of other villagers. Until then, he has only one complaint about the house: a lack of toilet paper. “People use a lot of toilet paper when they come to visit,” he says.

I

Handprint’s village rugrats, from left: Caneja, Franzen, Alexa Nguyen and Demarais.

K

ansas City Startup Village’s latest residents moved into the Feld Fiberhouse April 17. Boulder, Colorado, investor and startup evangelist Brad Feld bought the Cambridge Street house in early February and took applications, awarding one startup free rent and Fiber for a year. Handprint, a software company trying to build easy-to-use 3-D printers, won. Handprint’s four founders are the youngest members of the village. Mike Demarais, 20, is the first alumnus of Hacker House. After his three-month stint, he returned to suburban Boston and started Handprint with Alexa Nguyen; Derek Caneja, 19; and Jack Franzen, 19. The Feld house sits catercornered across a gravelly alley from the Hacker House, and a few doors away from Local Ruckus’ offices. It features a new wood deck on its side, a front porch and a long backyard with two meat smokers. But the real draw for the Handprint team isn’t the house’s Fiber connection. “We didn’t move here because of Google Fiber,” Demarais says. “We moved here because of the community. Back in Boston, there’s a huge startup scene. In the Valley, there’s a huge startup scene. But it’s really

hard to have real conversations with people, to get advice, to get feedback about stuff.” Alexa Nguyen says asking for help in other startup markets can also cost equity. “It’s, like, you need help with this problem, give me 5 percent,” she says. That hasn’t been the case in Kansas City. Google lent the Handprint team laptops for a Big Kansas City conference presentation. Sprint lent them a couple of 4G hot spots when their previous apartment didn’t have Internet access. And another villager offered to build shelves for them. “We can’t believe how generous everybody is and how hospitable and supportive,” Nguyen says. The quartet doesn’t view Austin, home of the South by Southwest festival, as a threat to Kansas City’s startup scene. “Some people around here are like, ‘Oh, man, we got to step up our game,’ ” Demarais says. “Here’s the thing: Austin already has an established startup community. And this isn’t going to make anybody go to Austin who wasn’t already going to go to Austin.” The Handprint team agrees that it’s an awkward time for the village. What should the collective’s next move be? Demarais argues that startup-friendly people with ties to the village should be buying area homes.

n late April, Hallmark employees Todd Navrat and Rob Bensman announce that they have bought the blue house on the corner lot at West 45th Street and Cambridge. Navrat and Bensman put their own money into buying the house for a project they’re calling Cambridge Fiber. The newest members of the village won’t divulge the exact use of the house but have made it clear that their philosophy fits the village’s mission. “My personal ethos is, I want to give back to people who want to help themselves, people who need a little bit of help or a little bit of mentoring or a bit of space,” Bensman says. “That’s exactly what’s happening in the Startup Village. These people are taking enormous personal, professional and financial risk. They’re working 20 hours a day. They’re doing so much.” Bensman, Hallmark’s vice president of strategic alliances, stresses that his employer is playing no role in buying the house. He and Navrat, Hallmark’s assistant general counsel, aren’t sure what they’re going to do with the former rental property. “We’re building out a plan,” Bensman says, “and we’re starting by doing what’s right for the community.” Local Ruckus’ Arredondo sees the Cambridge Fiber house as a vote of confidence for the village’s future. “They’re Kansas City guys, they believe in what’s happening here, and they were in a position to take a risk with all of us and drive this thing forward,” Arredondo says. In a year, he’d like to see the village double in size. “What we want to get to the point of is far less intentional and far more sustainable,” he says. “You’ll just feel it when we get there. We know we’re not there yet.”

E-mail ben.palosaari@pitch.com

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WEEK OF MAY 2â&#x20AC;&#x201C;8 | BY BERRY ANDERSON

FRIDAY

5 .3

21

PAG E

ew onth, n New m s w o h ys galler

STAGE An intimate portrait of Asher Lev at the Unicorn.

23 PAG E

Works by Michael Stack at Leedy-Voulkos Art Center

FIRST FRIDAY HIT LIST

Iron Man shoots to thrill.

34 PAG E

MUSIC FORECAST Big Boi leaves the A for KC.

T H U R S D AY | 5 . 2 | DO TELL

The news is bad enough these days, but at least some events can also be funny. National Public Radioâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Wait Wait ... Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t Tell Me features Americaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s jokiest liberals, and a live screening of the program â&#x20AC;&#x201D; with Peter Sagal, Paula Poundstone, Mo Rocca and Tom Bodett â&#x20AC;&#x201D; keeps you guessing in six metro movie theaters (including Cinemark 14 on the Plaza), beginning at 7 p.m. Tickets for the show cost $22 for adults and donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t include a personalized voicemail message from Carl Kasell. Buy them at fathomevents.com.

3/8*3URMHFWVFRIRXQGHU1LFROH0DXVHU VKRZVKHUPRVWUHFHQWZRUNDWBeggarâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Table %DOWLPRUH  :LWKLacunaKHUSDLQWLQJVWDNHLQVSLUDWLRQ IURPRQHDXGLHQFHÂśVH[SHULHQFHRIVHHLQJD VXUUHDO-RVHSK&RUQHOOILOPFDWFKILUHGXU LQJDVFUHHQLQJ7KHZRUNVFDQEHDSSUHFL DWHGDVDQHOHJ\IRUZKDWPHOWHGDZD\ The Leedy-Voulkos Art Center (2012 Baltimore, 816-474-1919) continues with the Michael Stack and Ada Koch exhibi-

F R I D AY | 5 . 3 | FIRST-FRIDAY PARTY ROUNDUP

Artists Take Flight at the Roasterie Factory CafĂŠ (1204 West 27th Street, 816-931-4000). The newly opened â&#x20AC;&#x153;bean hangarâ&#x20AC;? is hosting an art show featuring the work of students at downtownâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Crossroads Academy. Take in the creativity from 5:30 to 8 p.m. with light apps and drinks. Kacico Dance and Flanniganâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Right Hook at the Promise Wedding and Event Space (1814 Oak, 816-316-0333). Part of the 2013 Song and Dance Project, Kacico (a professional contemporary-dance company) and FRH (a party band continued on page 18

tions and adds three new shows. University of Kansas MFA candidate Jared Flamingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s glossy, large-scale paintings in Parergon are amalgamations of objects and text. Downstairs, Keith Young, who is off to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago this fall, gives us mixed-media collage work in Assemblage, and itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a good opportunity to see his quiltlike aesthetic and soft, blended colors. And Angela Burson uses materials such as family-photo fragments, portrait miniatures and antique toys to create paintings and needlework pictures that scratch our own sepia-toned memories. Be sure to see how Molly Kaderkaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s

narrative has evolved since last First Friday at Spray Booth Gallery (130 West 18th Street, 816-471-5555), where her In the Frame gives way to Lovely Lonely. Around the corner and up the stairs at Windhorse (1717 Wyandotte, 816-283-0500), Danni Parelman, who has collaborated recently with La Cucaracha Press and textile artist Tabbetha McCale Evans to turn her hatched-made drawings into scarves, gives us a new set of large prints. Her style turns 2-D space into what looks like woven architecture, with figures that seem to be dressed in chain mail. â&#x20AC;&#x201D; TRACY ABELN

F R I D AY | 5 . 3 |

â&#x20AC;&#x2122;SHROOM OUT

D

o you like your mushrooms dried with the faint smell and taste of cow chips or do you prefer them sautĂŠed in butter with a cracker crust? Do you worship at the altar of the morel? If so, head an hour northeast for the 33rd Annual Mushroom Festival in Richmond, Missouri. More than 120 craft and food booths, the Fungus 10k and 5k, a kiddie tractor pull, the Little Mr. and Miss Mushroom Pageant, a parade, an art show, music, and the Largest Morel Contest bring folks to Richmondâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s town square (at Main and Thornton). Todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s events begin at 10 a.m. See richmondchamber.org for the full schedule. pitch.com

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ART CREDIT HERE

FILM

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continued from page 17 with Irish flavor) are teaming up for two consecutive First Friday shows: tonight at 7 and June 7. Admission is free. For details, see kacicodance.org. Rock N’ Rally 2.0 at the Bulldog (1715 Main, 816-421-4799). This parking-lot party and fundraiser for Game Dog Guardian promises outdoor beers, live art and music from the Green GodDammits, the Uncouth and more. It’s cover-free, but we suggest buying at least one $1 raffle ticket. The party starts at 5 p.m. For more information, search “Rock N’ Rally” on Facebook.

S AT U R D AY | 5 . 4 |

Poles on parade.

YOU BET YOUR DUPA

Since 1902, Poles in the Kansas City, Kansas, area have been coming together at St. Joseph’s Church at All Saints Parish. And since 1984, Poles and their descendants, from all over Kansas City, have come to the same spot, at Vermont Avenue and South Eighth Street, for Polski Day, the festival of ethnic food, music and beer. The 2013 event kicks off with a noon parade on Central Avenue, from 12th Street to Eighth Street, and generally ends a few hours after the 4 p.m. Polish Mass. Fill up on pierogi, golambki, sausage, pastries and more, inside or out. Admission is free to the family-friendly neighborhood party. For more information, see polskiday.com.

THE GREATEST TWO-MINUTE PARTY

The post time for this year’s Kentucky Derby is approximately 5:24 p.m., CDT. That means you have a little less than two and a half hours at KC Derbyfest to soak up the Churchill Downs–cum–Kansas City culture — mint juleps, a Derby hat contest, a parade of horses — before you need to shut up and pay attention to the race. Tickets for the 3–6 p.m. watch party, sponsored by Maker’s Mark (1333 Walnut, 816-442-8115), in the Power & Light District’s Living Room, start at $35 and include a reception cocktail, raffle opportunities and viewing of the race on the P&L’s big screen. Formal Southern attire is suggested. See kcderbyfest.com for more information. Proceeds from the event go to KU Alzheimer’s Disease Center. 18

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MO WINE

The Missouri Life Festival features items from every corner of the state, including moonshine from Copper Run Distillery in Walnut Shade, fruit butters from Berry Nutty Farm in Grandview and Kakao Chocolate in St. Louis. Sponsored by Missouri Life magazine, the festival gathers more than 100 wine and food vendors. Get your fill in centrally located Kirkwood Hall inside the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art (4525 Oak, 816-751-1278) from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tickets cost $20; see missourilife.ticketbud.com/ missouri-life-festival.

S U N D AY | 5 . 5 | BEEF ON BUN, PLEASE

Enjoy some kosher Kansas City-style barbecue at the Torah Learning Center (8800 West 103rd Street, Overland Park), which serves up Real Kosher BBQ, from 5 to 8 p.m. This means a buffet of brisket, chicken, beans, corn on the cob, cornbread, fresh cole slaw and apple cobbler, catered by chef Steve Ellenberg. “Kosher food has become very integral to the Jewish tradition, and even Jews that are not very observant identify with kosher-style food,” says Rabbi Simcha Morgenstern, of the learning center. And, he reminds us, “Barbecue sauces must have a kosher symbol on them.” Buffet tickets cost $35 for adults ($12 for kids 12 and younger). Buy them and reserve takeout foods at tlcafebbq.eventbrite.com.

YO QUIERO KANSAS CITY

KC is making a second attempt to break the Guinness Book of World Records for the “Most Dogs in Costume” with the Kansas City Chihuahua Parade at Barney Allis Plaza (12th Street between Central and Wyandotte). The rules state that pets in costumes don’t have to be of the Chihuahua breed, but must be dogs (a vet will be on hand to verify). The entry fee for each dog is $5, and the parade begins at noon. Register at kcdogparade.com.

CINCO DE MAYO FIESTA ROUNDUP

El Patrón (2905 Southwest Boulevard, 816-931-6400). Starting at noon, the locally owned cocina and bar starts its annual parking-lot tent party, with sets by DJ Ashton Martin, VJ Los and party band Strike Back. Free cover; see elpatronkcmo.com. La Bodega (703 Southwest Boulevard, 816-472-8272; 4311 West 119th Street, Leawood, 913-428-8272). The classy tapas joints are definitely Spanish and not Mexican, but we still endorse their $5 carnitas street tacos and all-day specials on margaritas and Modelo. See labodegakc.com. Bonito Michoacán (1150 Minnesota Avenue, Kansas City, Kansas, 913-371-0326). Many of the free, community-friendly Cinco de Mayo events take place Saturday, but organizers have left room today for live music, a mural contest and stagecoach rides, starting at noon. See bonitomichoacankck.com.


M O N D AY | 5 .6 |

Freaky Friday Special! Miss

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In a city where the mic is king, the DJ is a loyal servant to its followers. And to the early-in-the-week beat. Name: Jochen Silveira DJ alias: DJ Jochen Hometown: Born in New Jersey, moved to Parkville at age 6. Now resides in Northeast. Previous residencies: Riot Room, the Union and the former Gusto Lounge. Current residency: Every other Monday at Gusto Lounge for Thirsty; Nara every Friday. Beat vehicle: Serato setup with two Technics 1200s and a Mackie Mixer. Description of set: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a Friday-night dirty-club set for service people, single moms, birthday parties and Westportians on Monday night,â&#x20AC;? Jochen says. Current Top 5: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Bubble Buttâ&#x20AC;? by Major Lazer, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Fuckinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Problemsâ&#x20AC;? by ASAP Rocky, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Go Crazyâ&#x20AC;? by Young Jeezy, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Sean Maltoâ&#x20AC;? by Dutch Newman, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Booty Me Downâ&#x20AC;? by DJ K Styles. Thirsty with DJ Jochen runs from 10 p.m. to close at Gusto Lounge (504 Westport Road, 816-739-4247).

HEY-HAY, GOING TO KANSAS CITY

Dancer: Logan Pachciarz. Photography: Kenny Johnson.

SPIN CITY

May 3-12, 2013 At the magnificent:

Kauffman Center FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS

CH-CH-CH-CH CHIVAS!

Chivas USA easily serves as Major League Soccerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most enigmatic team. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s supposedly an affiliate of one of Mexicoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s top teams, Chivas Guadalajara, although itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s difficult to tell what benefits that relationship bestows on one of last seasonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s worst MLS franchises. Add new manager Jose Luis SĂĄnchez SolĂĄ to the mix this year; his blend of sartorial splendor and swashbuckling style brings an element of absurdity to Los Angelesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Chivas USA. The team has done surprisingly well early this season. Sporting Kansas City plays host at Sporting Park (1 Sporting Way, Kansas City, Kansas) at 4 p.m. General-admission tickets cost $34.75; see sportingkc.com. â&#x20AC;&#x201D; STEVE VOCKRODT

T U E S D AY | 5 .7 | BONING UP

In 2012, the Kansas City T-Bones had 51 wins and 49 losses. Were you one of the 260,620 fans who saw a game in the regular season last year? See them in league action at home for their first exhibition game this season against the Lincoln Saltdogs. Much like the past 10 years, tickets are dirt-cheap ($16 for good seats), the parking is free and hot dogs are $2. The game starts at 7:05 p.m. at CommunityAmerica Ballpark (1800 Vil-

lage West Parkway, Kansas City, Kansas, 913-328-5618). For more information, see tbonesbaseball.com.

W E D N E S D AY | 5 . 8 | KING OF THE CAT PEOPLE

The methods of Animal Planetâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s resident professional animal behaviorist, Jackson Galaxy, are simple. â&#x20AC;&#x153;What Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m doing is throwing exercises, throwing homework, and throwing solutions out at the problem. And when something sticks, then I can start forming a theory about the animal,â&#x20AC;? he wrote on his website about Tony, the perpetual fountain of cat spray who defiled his ownerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s home office. This dude has all the answers. Find out more at Unity Temple on the Plaza (707 West 47th Street) at 7 p.m., when Galaxy promotes his new book, Cat Daddy: What the Worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Most Incorrigible Cat Taught Me About Life, Love and Coming Clean. Tickets cost $15.95 plus tax and include a softcover copy. See rainydaybooks.com or call 816-384-3126. Need more than that? Galaxy hosts a VIP reception at 5 p.m. Find out more at jacksongalaxy.com. E-mail submissions two weeks in advance to calendar@pitch.com. Search our complete listings guide online at pitch.com.

3 HOT DANCES PUT THE SIZZLE IN SPRING! KCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s favorite saxman BOBBY WATSON wails live for the World Premiere multimedia ballet Energy Made Visible by Karole Armitage. The rock ballet Common People puts William Shatnerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s wild voice to Ben Foldsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; music and Margo Sappingtonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s dance. Hey-Hay, Going to Kansas City is classic KC swing with music by Basie and McShann.

DONâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;T MISS IT!

Season Sponsors:

ART I ST I C DI REC TO R WI LLI AM WHITE NE R

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GET YOUR TICKETS TODAY AT KCBALLET.ORG OR BY CALLING 816-931-2232. pitch.com

M AY 2 - 8 , 2 0 1 3

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S TA G E

ASHER TO ASHER

At the Unicorn, an artist’s

BY

spellbinding journey

DE BOR A H HIRSCH

A

CYNTHIA LEVIN

rt is Asher Lev’s passion, his language, his way of interacting with everything around him. He can’t remember a time when he didn’t paint or draw. But this need clashes with his ultra–Orthodox Jewish faith and upbringing. It’s narishkeit (foolishness), time stolen from studying and serving God. And Asher’s subject matter goes against his religious teachings — surely driven, he’s told, by the Sitra Achra, the forces of evil. We will come to know him well in My Name Is Asher Lev, by Aaron Posner, adapted from Chaim Potok’s novel of the same title and now onstage at the Unicorn. He’s a character pulled by opposing forces: religious tradition and artistic tradition. Asher (Doogin Brown) is our narrator, and he makes us, the audience, his confidant, clergy to his confessions. We see his life through vignettes, meeting “A little Picasso,” his religious but laidhim at ages 6, 10, 13 … nearly a man, with back Uncle Yitzchok (Robbins) calls Asher his father, Ari (Mark Robbins), his mother, Rivkeh (Manon Halliburton), and other char- at 6, “a little Chagall.” Though Yitzchok, too, is a Hasid, he buys the child’s work — acters portrayed by Robbins and Halliburton. “an early Lev,” he calls it. But Ari and the Watching Asher and his family is like takHasidic community and ing in the museum paintrebbe don’t comprehend ings that he studies and My Name Is Asher Lev his obsession. copies: the more we look — Through May 12 Asher strives to meld his and we want to look — the at the Unicorn Theatre, religious observance with more we see, each scene ex3828 Main, 816-531-7529, his artistic yearnings, but posing another dimension unicorntheatre.org the divide is difficult, tearto these complicated, inteling him between outer recligent people. Directed by onciliation and inner peace. Cynthia Levin, the one-act held an audience We feel the pain of the opposing parties, rapt for 90 minutes on the Sunday afternoon who may be more similar than their views I saw it. Initial rustlings and coughs rattled would indicate. Empathy is wanting, and the packed house at the start, but the room breakthroughs often appear unattainable. quieted to a stunning stillness.

Family turmoil versus inner solace — from left: Robbins, Halliburton and Brown. Sculptor Jacob Kahn (Robbins) introduces Asher to the secular art world, one bound by its own traditions — the “religion called painting,” says Jacob, who is so impressed by Asher’s talent that he introduces him to the gallerist Anna (Halliburton). “You are entering the wrong world,” she tells Asher. “Art is not for people who want to make the world holy.” My Name Is Asher Lev is a small show — three actors, eight roles — elegantly written, with clarity and precision. Time and place shift easily with lighting (design by Alex Perry) and a simple set (design by Gary Mosby). Few flourishes are needed to take us from a Brooklyn apartment to a shul to a gallery to a studio. Most dramatic are the backlighted windows that reflect season, time of day, tone and mood.

Good writing deserves good acting, and there’s no shortage of that here. Brown moves seamlessly among Asher’s different ages, and he takes hold of us and pulls us into his story. Robbins, too, commands the stage in his supporting roles of father, sculptor, uncle, rebbe. And Halliburton transforms as well into distinctive characters as gallerist, art model and, in particular, mother. I was locked on these sympathetic and strong characters’ every word, absorbing their joys, pains and disappointments as though onstage with them, sometimes even holding my breath. I wasn’t alone. “That’s the best thing I’ve ever seen,” a woman said at the end of this spellbinding play. “It got me,” a man nearby responded.

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E-mail deborah.hirsch@pitch.com

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FILM

TWIG OF LIFE

Lower your expectations and you might

BY

see what’s so good about To the Wonder.

JIM R IDL E Y

I

t’s probably best to see Terrence Malick’s To the Wonder or any Terrence Malick movie — or any movie, really — with diminished expectations. Two years ago when Malick released The Tree of Life, only the fifth feature film in a career going on four decades, the rapturous reviews produced a critical lock step that kept a lot of viewers away or, worse, sent them in with chips on their shoulders. Who can blame them? Nothing spoils a cold viewing of Citizen Kane or The Rules of the Game, entertaining movies both, like loudspeakers blaring “The greatest film ever made!” on your way into the theater. So I’ll try not to raise anyone’s hopes for To the Wonder, which was greeted on last fall’s festival circuit as weak Malick — though singling out the weakest movie by the writerdirector of Badlands, Days of Heaven, The Thin Red Line, The New World and The Tree of Life sounds like complaining about Mozart’s least tuneful opera. The big knock against the movie so far is that it verges on self-parody, all ponderous voice-overs and classical gas and people running like Maria von Trapp through fields of waving grass. And to be sure, those elements are present. But as Steve Erickson has pointed out, the problem isn’t that Malick’s movies look like shampoo commercials; it’s that shampoo commercials now look like Malick’s movies. That’s what happens to a filmmaker who develops an original and arresting visual style. The easiest thing to copy (or mock) about Malick’s filmmaking — the items mentioned above — is probably the least impressive thing about To

the Wonder, in which an artist who has spent his career making period pieces arrives firmly in the here and now. And by here and now, I don’t mean some gauzy, indistinct present. I mean the king of magic-hour lighting and burnished bygone Americana trains his eye on the suburbia of strip malls and sprawl that we drive through every day on the way home. (Through the lens of Malick’s marvelous cinematographer, Emmanuel Lubezki, a Sonic at nighttime becomes a jewel box of hot bright color.) Immediate and impressionistic where The Tree of Life strove to be monumental, To the Wonder essentially covers the trajectory of a rocky relationship from Mont-St.-Michel to the Oklahoma prairie, as Neil (Ben Affleck) and the French émigré

The wonder of it all: Affleck and McAdams Marina (Olga Kurylenko) cycle through breakups, reconciliation and mutual infidelities. I will not pretend this isn’t the film where the limits of Malick’s let’s-find-it-in-theediting-room approach to structure, character and resolution are felt most keenly: at the lovers’ willful comings and goings, at the lack of concrete character detail, at the director’s occasional reduction of actors to props that populate his treasured tropes. (Faring worst is Affleck’s rancher love interest, Rachel McAdams, posed stiffly among bison as if awaiting a Garden & Gun pictorial.) And yet the wonder of To the Wonder is how much Malick, who made his early mark

as a writer, conveys without words. A simple repeated camera movement of characters rushing toward something, only to be cut off in an ecstatic upward tilt of the camera (mind you, this lasts maybe a second or two), trumps pages of dialogue about a yearning for spiritual connection. This R-rated, frankly carnal movie, so rapt in its appreciation of flesh warmed by sunlight and lust, is also the most explicitly Christian film in theaters, with Marina’s Middle American isolation juxtaposed against that of a stricken priest (Javier Bardem, whose silences are harrowing) wracked by doubt, and the suffering and squalor in his parish. Ecstasy and alienation are the twin poles of Malick’s work, which has morphed considerably from the chilling ironic distance of Badlands to the awestruck semi-autobiographical Tree. To the Wonder may be the director’s most problematic film, but it’s also the one that evokes those sensations most piercingly. The dizziness caused by a new love’s kiss, the impulse to put your fist through a wall as a breakup nears: Malick makes elation and frustration as tangible here as a honky-tonk song. A signature shot in Malick’s movies, repeated here, is of a woman in a swing poised between earth and sky — the human condition relayed in a single soaring image. To the Wonder is studded with moments that are boundlessly suggestive and evocative. It’s not perfect, but sometimes the imperfections of Malick’s movies can help you see their surrounding glories more clearly — as clearly as the neon buzzing atop a Sonic, straining into the night. Q

OUT THIS WEEK IRON MAN 3

T

his will sound like faint praise, but it’s something of a wonder that we aren’t sick of seeing Robert Downey Jr. suit up as Iron Man. Unlike Johnny Depp’s Jack Sparrow, whose appearance in even the first, delightful Pirates of the Caribbean film diminishes in the memory with each lame successive installment, Downey’s Tony Stark has managed to stay in our good graces. In part, that’s because Downey knows how to deliver a joke. And with superhero movies now ubiquitous, there’s something to be said for a franchise that refuses to take itself too seriously. But can endearing goofiness work against a movie? If we are to take the enormously entertaining — but thoroughly disposable — Iron Man 3 as evidence, then … maybe. This funniest and least consequential of the Iron Man films (not counting last year’s The Avengers) is notable also because it marks

Shane Black’s return to the director’s chair. In the 1990s, Black became a minor celebrity (and a punching bag for critics) as Hollywood’s highest-paid screenwriter, a guy whose specialty was over-the-top, wisecracking buddy action movies (Lethal Weapon, The Last Boy Scout). He seemed to disappear for a while, then returned in 2006 with Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, a somewhat smaller-scaled over-the-top, wisecracking buddy action movie starring Downey and Val Kilmer. That film was more of an outright comedy — as is Iron Man 3, which for all its CGI mayhem can’t resist the chance for a good one-liner or an odd bit of unrelated banter. The villain this time is an Osama bin Laden– like terrorist mastermind called the Mandarin (Ben Kingsley, doing the worst John Huston impersonation ever). Somehow he has something to do with Aldrich Killian (Guy Pearce), a brilliant scientist who wants to re-engineer humans. Their bizarre plan involves kidnap-

Iron Man: steel funny ping the president in a way that makes the kidnapping-the-president plot from the G.I. Joe movies look like gritty realism.  The rest is fairly standard what-happenswhen-a-hero-loses-his-powers stuff. Stark is suffering from panic attacks as a result of the

events in The Avengers — an odd note given that one doesn’t expect such a lighthearted movie to haunt anyone’s dreams, even if its finale wrecked half of New York and ripped a hole in the time-space continuum. Then again, the Iron Man movies were the animating spirit of Joss Whedon’s superhero-team-up blockbuster, with its mixture of wiseassery and epic carnage. But Black’s flip tone makes it hard to believe that anyone here is ever in real danger. What made the first Iron Man successful was not just its irreverence but also Stark’s genuine vulnerability — a guy with shrapnel in his heart, in more ways than the obvious. Even the lax and uninvolved Iron Man 2 wrung some pathos from Stark’s weaknesses. That has never been Black’s thing. What he does is wisecracking buddy movies with lots of explosions. And in Iron Man 3, for both good and ill, he gets his biggest canvas yet. — BILGE EBIRI

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BREAKFAST LUNCH DINNER & FULL BAR

39th St. & SW Trafficway Kansas City, MO 816-531-SOSA (7672) /Sosas39thStreetDiner


CAFÉ

REBOOT

Anthony Accurso gives his family’s

BY

CHARLES FERRUZZA

namesake restaurant a kick in the mozz.

Accurso’s Italian Restaurant • 4980 Main, 816-753-0810 • Hours: 10:30 a.m.–10 p.m. Monday–Friday, 4–10 p.m. Saturday, closed Sunday • Price: $$–$$$

T

Penne in a spicy tomato-cream sauce leaves room for Mimi's Famous Cheesecake.

ANGELA C. BOND

here was a time when it was unheard of for an Italian restaurant not to serve spumoni, that slab of Neapolitan with attitude. The confection — two layers of ice cream folded around a center of sweetened whipped cream flavored with rum and toasted nuts, and doused with a rummy sauce — was often the only dessert you could order in such a place, unless the joint also served cannoli. When I was a kid, I disliked both of those staples, which I found visually unappealing and not all that tasty. I still haven’t touched the stuff in decades. Anthony Accurso is right there with me. When the 26-year-old purchased his cousin Joe’s namesake Sicilian-American restaurant two years ago, he planned no drastic menu changes until he had run the business for at least a year. But within months, he had given spumoni the boot. His nose wrinkles when he talks about the decision. “It wasn’t just that it was an old-fashioned dessert,” he tells me. “It was that almost no one was ordering it.” Accurso’s Italian Restaurant was older than Anthony when he and his father purchased the glass-walled pad at 4980 Main. For nearly three decades, Joe Accurso had served familiar Italian comfort dishes: lasagna, spaghetti and meatballs, fettuccine Alfredo. Nothing Chapel’s ceiling might have looked like if Montoo fancy, nothing too expensive. It was solid, drian had painted it instead of Michelangelo. 1950s-style Italian restaurant cooking, and But different doesn’t necessarily mean better, Kansas Citians always came. A year after taking ownership, Anthony was and so it goes with this bread: chewy baguette topped with a hearty dab of sweet mascarready to put his own imprint on the menu (he had worked in the kitchen as a line cook for a pone cheese, a sheath of pink prosciutto and a few dollops of sticky strawberry jam. I’d year), and he took a cleaver to Joe’s recipe box. Out went the fennel-heavy, house-made sau- probably love the mix of sweet and salty in the morning, with an espresso sage. (“It was very labor-inor two, but it’s not a true tensive,” Anthony says, “and Accurso’s Italian bruschetta — for one thing, our patrons prefer Scimeca’s Restaurant it’s not toasted — and it’s too sausage anyway.”) Chicken Bruschetta Accurso ............$8 eccentric for its own good. romano, stuffed with a fluffy, Spaghetti carbonara ..........$16 Still, I prefer that brudemure spinach mousse, Southern Italian pasta.......$14 sc het ta to t he breaded joined it at the curb. Chicken romano ..................$17 cannelloni on the starters Anthony’s aggressively Cheesecake .......................... $7 list. It’s a prefab vulgarity different version of chicken that doesn’t belong among romano is a far more macho some fine alternatives, notably the wineconcoction. You can picture Clint Eastwood eating it in A Fistful of Dollars. It’s an over- simmered mussels, a sumptuously crispy fried calamari, and garlicky seared scallops. sized breaded breast rolled around a center of (One update I can get behind, though, is romano and bubbly cream cheese mixed with Anthony’s meatball soup, with its pingpongbacon and spinach. It comes blanketed in the familiar, though: the slightly sweet Accurso- ball-sized meatballs; it deserves more glory than its small serving cup allows.) family recipe for sugo, one of the few culiAnthony and his kitchen crew have added nary traditions at this restaurant that hasn’t several pasta dishes over the past few months, changed with the ownership. Anthony can also take credit for an inven- including a robust and relatively authentic spin on pasta alla carbonara, presented simply as tive bruschetta that suggests what the Sistine

spaghetti in a light, almost translucent creamand-egg sauce, with a few spoonfuls of very crispy crumbled bacon and vivid green peas. The legendary pasta of the whores, puttanesca (allegedly invented by hungry Roman puttanas by combining pasta, olives and capers in a skillet over a hot plate in their rooms) isn’t as spicy at Accurso’s as it is elsewhere, but the flavors are complex and seductive, with salty anchovies complemented by sweet currants. Another new offering, a meatless Southern Italian creation of penne, thrown together in somewhat helter-skelter fashion with ribbons of fresh basil, blocky quarters of marinated artichoke hearts, chopped tomatoes and black olives (sliced thinner than the shroud of Turin), is far more interesting in concept than execution. It’s a dish that needs something — maybe goat cheese or shards of parmigiano-reggiano — to lend it weight. Chicken Marsala, which over the years has made more entrances and exits at this place than Maria Callas in Tosca, is back again, if not in especially memorable fashion. It’s now a little miserly — avaro, as they say in Rome — but its smoky, mahogany-colored wine sauce is delightful. Anthony says he wants to put chicken piccata on his menu (it would be a welcome

addition), along with a puttanesca-style pizza and a 12-ounce Kansas City strip. But he’s not tinkering with his dessert list anytime soon. With spumoni in permanent exile, he’s having great success with house-made chocolate brownies (not very Italian, but by that point in an Accurso’s meal, who gives a damn) and his own version of tiramisu. But the best-selling dolce at Accurso’s remains his grandmother’s light, fluff y cheesecake — one of the best in the city. “My grandmother put her foot down and will only make two fresh cheesecakes for us a week,” Accurso says. “But we sell much more than that, so she came in and taught my kitchen staff to make it to her specifications, and they’ll make the rest of the cheesecakes for the week.” He tells me this, and then he’s off again to work the room like the old-school Italian restaurateur he really isn’t, the kind forever shaking hands, kissing babies, gossiping. Anthony Accurso is in perpetual motion from the moment he walks into the sage-colored room until he leaves, but all that activity seems designed to coax his patrons into the future, at least a little. “There are still some people who don’t know that this is a different Accurso’s,” he says. “They need to come in and find out that this is my Accurso’s.” Trust me, people who venture in just once will see that there’s a new Accurso running things at Joe’s old place. And he has plenty of charisma, this Anthony. You might resist a few of his dishes, but you’ll feel some amore for the kid — and for the best of his food.

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

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M AY 2 - 8 , 2 0 1 3

THE PITCH

25


FAT C I T Y

RIPE PL AN

Bruce Steinberg pours himself into

BY

Fine Vines Artisanal Ketchup.

CHARLES FERRUZZA WALDO EXIT

W

hen pharmaceutical sales executive Bruce Steinberg decided to leave the world of pills behind after 35 years, he picked a different kind of feel-good product to push: ketchup. “In my role as a pharmaceutical salesman, I was always looking for a hole in the marketplace,” Steinberg says. “And I think I’ve found one in the E R O M world of specialty foods. If you go to the supermarket, all the ketchup prodT A INE ONL .COM ucts look exactly alike. H C PIT And that’s because, with few exceptions, they are.” He’s right. Call it ketchup or catchup or catsup, but your basic grocery-store red stuff doesn’t vary much from brand to brand when it comes to the ingredients: tomatoes, vinegar, high-fructose corn syrup. So after graduating from the Kauff man Foundation’s FastTrac program for new entrepreneurs, Steinberg spent two years on research and development, scoping out the specialty-foods marketplace. He launched his company four months ago: Fine Foods of America, which offers a collection of 12 ketchups under the name Fine Vines Artisanal Ketchup. All are made without high-fructose corn syrup or preservatives. He started with just one product, a sweet and savory ketchup, but a retail consultant advised him that, for maximum impact in supermarkets, he needed at least three versions of his product (or, better still, five). By the time Steinberg was setting up appointments with local stores and showing up with samples, he had created his full dozen. The lineup includes Thai ginger, lemon twist, lime fresco, and black truffle, but he

FAT CITY

26

THE PITCH

M AY 2 - 8 , 2 0 1 3

says his best-selling product to date is his collaboration with the Roasterie: coffee ketchup. (“It’s unbelievable on a hamburger,” Steinberg says.) Roasterie founder Danny O’Neill and his staff helped Fine Foods develop the flavor, using ground Ethiopian Sidamo as the dominant note. “It’s the coffee they use for [Boulevard Brewing Co.’s] coffee ale,” Steinberg says. Steinberg credits his interest in barbecue — he’s a certified American Royal judge — with leading him to ketchup. “Ketchup is the major ingredient in sauces and beans,” he says. “I started making my own ketchup to use for my barbecue.” As a potential business venture, however, ketchup’s popularity in this country was the incentive. “It’s the largest condiment category in the United States,” Steinberg says. “Heinz sells over a billion bottles of ketchup in the retail market, not including the packets you get at fast-food restaurants or even the bulk product used at those restaurants. It’s a very big business.” Steinberg makes his ketchup in the commercial kitchen at the Ennovation Center, in Independence, a business incubator for 30 culinary companies. His glass jars come from China (“My ketchup is too thick to pour, although some places are using it in a squeeze bottle,” he says), and he washes them himself before applying his labels by hand. Fine Vines is available at the Cosentino’s Market locations in Brookside and downtown, as well as both Better Cheddar stores, the Best of Kansas City shop, the Hy-Vee supermarkets in Independence and Mission, and several Price Choppers. Steinberg says he has also heard from a couple of national distributors. “My goal is to change the way that people

pitch.com

Steinberg and his product: no corn syrup, no preservatives. think about ketchup — how they use it, how they cook with it, how they buy it,” he says. And to make his case, he points to that other condiment: mustard. “Until Grey Poupon mustard was mass-marketed to American consumers in the 1980s, everyone’s idea of mustard was the bright-yellow stuff sold by French’s,” Steinberg says. “Now, if you go to supermarkets, there are dozens of different kinds of mustards on the shelves. I want to do that with ketchup. And I will.”

Remedy chef Max Watson looking to make his bread elsewhere.

T

he chef who helped build the identity of the yearold Remedy Food + Drink has left its kitchen. Max

Watson’s last day was Tuesday. The restaurant’s sous chef, Charlie Denzer, has taken over as executive chef at the Waldo restaurant. “I have faith and confidence in Charlie,” Watson says. “In the long term, I just saw myself growing and doing m y own thing. This is really about me wanting to do my own thing.”

HELLO, LARRY

C

hef and restaurateur Robert Krause, the Lawrence entrepreneur behind the wildly popular Burger Stand at the Casbah (and the short-lived Esquina, on Massachusetts Street), operates like a Broadway producer. He likes assembling the details of a new project: the concept, the staging, the cast and crew. But once the show — or, in his case, the restaurant — is up and running, he’s ready to move on to something new. Since selling Esquina last year (it’s now chef Jim Vaughn’s Intorno), he has been plotting his next move. Krause tells The Pitch that he and WheatFields Bakery co-founder Charles Rascoll plan to open a comfort-food restaurant called Larry’s Kitchen. Expect an old-school breakfast-lunch-and-dinner setup. Krause says he’s negotiating to buy a building on Massachusetts. — C.F.

E-mail charles.ferruzza@pitch.com

Watson, who had previously cooked at Room 39, the Rieger Hotel Grill & Exchange and Port Fonda, became the executive chef at what was then Kennedy’s in April 2012. He designed the first menu for Remedy, which opened last June. Watson is in talks with Farm to Market about becoming a baker in its new downtown location. “If I were getting drafted,” Watson says, “it [Farm to Market] would be the team I wanted to get drafted by. I’m really interested in learning about baking bread on a production level.” Watson is not the only kitchen talent departing Remedy. Chef de cuisine Andrew Heimberger, who has worked alongside Watson since he was a prep cook at the Rieger, is also moving on. Heimberger is in Baltimore attending a food-safety conference and has submitted applications to several downtown restaurants. Watson says he expects that the two will work together again on a future project. — JONATHAN BENDER


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Monday-Saturday: 6:30am-8pm Sunday: 6:30am-2:30pm

6740 W. 75th St., OP, KS 66204 913-236-0003 www.cozyscafe.com

4010 Pennsylvania (816) 216-7982 GreenRoomKC.com pitch.com

M AY 2 - 8 , 2 0 1 3

THE PITCH

27


FAT C I T Y

PLOW TOWN

BY

JON AT H A N BENDER

American Royal champ Plowboys is headed for Blue Springs.

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

Panic Fest Crossroads @ Screenland

The Pitch’s Artopia

SeeWe more ird Alon Yanthe kovic“promotions” link at p Weird Al Yankovic @ Uptown

@ Uptown

Events coming Morgan Up5.2 @ Uptown - Tracy

5.3 - First Friday @ Indie Bar 5.3 - First Friday @ Blue Djinn Gallery 5.4 - Missouri Life Festival @ Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art 5.5- Engaged Perfect Wedding Guide Bridal Show @ KC Convention Center

See more on the “promotions” link at p 28

THE PITCH

M AY 2 - 8 , 2 0 1 3

pitch.com

O

nce a pitmaster has won the American Royal, there’s really only one last mountain to climb in Kansas City: opening a barbecue restaurant in a town that demands smoking excellence. So four years after he hoisted an oversized check as the American Royal Invitational Grand Champion, Todd Johns is firing up Plowboys BBQ in Blue Springs. “We want to make this a local Kansas City thing in the midst of all the chain restaurants out in the suburbs,” Johns says. He’s in the final stages of purchasing a former Wendy’s at 310 Northwest State Route 7. Once that former chain restaurant gets a renovation, Plowboys BBQ could open as soon as mid-July, with a 74-seat dining room and drive-thru service. Johns, a 13-year veteran of the barbecue circuit, plans more than just a drive-thru lane to help his barbecue joint stand out. In addition to the standard offering of ribs, chicken and brisket, Plowboys BBQ’s menu should include open-faced brisket sandwiches with mashed potatoes and gravy, smoked meatloaf, pulled-pork nachos and barbecuetopped salads. “We’ll take barbecue and use it in a different way,” Johns says. “It’s things that are a little bit more of an adventure but still are comfort food.” The recipes have evolved from what Johns calls “Monday leftovers” — the refrigerator full of meat the day after a barbecue competition ends. “It was something I just invented when I came home from work one day,” Johns says of one such result: the brisket taco panini. “It was late, and the family had already eaten. I went to the fridge, and we had some brisket from a competition, some provolone cheese and tortillas. I got out my panini press, and it was just awesome. You take a couple or two or three of those, add a basket of fries, and you’ve got brisket taco paninis.” At contests, the Pork Pullin’ Plowboys cook with pellets, but at the restaurant, Johns expects to use a combination of oak and hickory. He figures that the smell alone will pull in customers driving by on Highway 7. “We’ve got an Ole Hickory pit. It’s just a matter of figuring out what we like,” Johns says. He also wants Plowboys BBQ to feature items from other local barbecue competition teams. He’s in talks with Jason Day, of BBQ Addicts (which has long sold Plowboys’ rubs), creator of the Bacon Explosion, to feature that dish. Johns is also keeping a channel open to Smoke on Wheels Competition BBQ’s Andy

Johns plows new ground. Groneman, who sells marinades and teaches barbecue classes across the country. Meanwhile, Johns is attempting to perfect a new sauce, something between his Sweet 180 (named for the perfect score that the chicken basted in it received from American Royal judges) and his En Fuego. “I want a vinegarbased sauce — what I call a more KC style,” he says. “It’s balanced, not really sweet. It’s tomato and vinegar and spices.” Johns plans to sell his sauces and rubs at the restaurant, along with yet another new notion. He’s creating a pit-bean starter kit that would allow home cooks to add the beans of their choice to Johns’ blend of molasses, vinegar and spices. Johns still feels that he’s in a contest, only this time he aims to convince people to come back to Plowboys BBQ: “I want people to look at the awards on the wall and feel like they got the same food that won those awards.”

E-mail jonathan.bender@pitch.com

LUNCH LIKE THEY DID IT ON THE TRAIL

T

hose craving barbecue for lunch have a new option in Kansas City SmokeShack BBQ. Glenn Yeager and his son Josh opened their new joint earlier this month at 900 Swift in North Kansas City. The Yeagers are using a family recipe for their rub, one they say dates back to Glenn’s great-greatgrandfather’s days herding cattle in Sedalia, more than 150 years ago. The daily lunch combo ($9) features a choice of meat — brisket, pulled pork, sausage (hot or mild), chicken — or a two-meat combo (you can add two ribs for $2); two sides (smoky campfire beans, smoky cheesy mac, coleslaw, french fries); and a drink. Kansas City SmokeShack BBQ is open from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday; see kcsmokeshackbbq.com.


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M AY 2 - 8 , 2 0 1 3

THE PITCH

29


30

MUSIC | STREETSIDE

CANNONBALL!

Hi-Dive makes a well-timed

BY

splash in 39th Street West.

D AV ID HUDN A L L

T

he 39th Street West neighborhood is home to a number of city-famous establishments — Jazz, Donna’s Dress Shop, d’Bronx, Room 39 — but is not exactly an entertainment district. At least, not in the way Westport, the Plaza and the Power & Light are. It’s a great area for happy hour, dinner and maybe a drink after dinner, but by about 1:30 a.m., the streets are sleepy and quiet. Nobody in the neighborhood has a 3 a.m. liquor license. (That said, D.B. Cooper’s does open back up at 6 a.m. for marathon partiers seeking the drinking-binge equivalent of eating six saltine crackers in a minute.) That is part of 39th Street West’s charm. The peaceful liberal residents who make up the neighborhood get the food, culture and commerce without having to deal with bar fights and dubstep. And yet, you wonder how long it will last, given the boom happening down the block at the University of Kansas Medical Center. The last year has seen a Holiday Inn Express constructed at a location — 39th Street and Rainbow — that would have been laughable a mere five years ago. On the ground floor of the structure, a new Five Guys is slinging up burgers and free peanuts, and phase two of the project calls for more retail and the construction of more medical facilities. At 39th Street and State Line, a site once occupied by a dinky Qdoba is being transformed into a mixed-use space with 3,900 square feet of retail and 70 luxury residential units. Most of the bars on 39th Street West give the impression that they have existed since the Eisenhower presidency. That, too, is charming, but also suggests opportunity for new business. Until last summer, Grant Naugle had been scouting out locations for a new bar all over the Kansas City area. His first venture, the sports-y Tower Tavern (which he opened with Damian King), has been a suc-

cess on Martini Corner, and he has wanted to try out a new concept somewhere else. Naugle looked at spaces out south, in Waldo and in Brookside, but nothing panned out. Then he got wind that the Minsky’s Pizza at 1411 West 39th Street was finally closing after many years of serving terrible food. (The location was a rogue Minsky’s operation, legally allowed to use the name of the beloved local chain but no longer under its control.) “It was a shithole in there, but I loved the location,” Naugle says. “We felt like we could do what we wanted to do and have it fit in with everything we loved about the 39th Street neighborhood.” He and his business partner, Bill Howgill, closed the deal, and in late February Hi-Dive Lounge opened for business. The concept is in the name. “We wanted to do a high-class bar that felt a little like a dive,” Naugle says. “A cool neighborhood place that could bridge the gap between nice restaurants like Room 39 and a dive like Gilhouly’s. We didn’t see anything else on 39th Street that was in that middle-ground area.”

They’ve pretty much succeeded. Hi-Dive is mellow, unpretentious, clean and, most important, dark enough. You can watch a Royals game on a flat-screen TV, but you can also order yard beers that come tumbling out of a vending machine behind the bar. (Alas, only the bartenders are allowed to use it.) There are places to hide, too: outside on the small smoking patio, inside at a glassedin booth, in the back at a high table. It’s not cheap, exactly, but if you order smart, you can drink cheap enough. And come to think of it, Gilhouly’s charged me $3.50 for a Budweiser last time I was in there — reasonable, I guess, but not a dive-bar price, either. The food is also a high-low balance. Naugle brought in Tim Daggit, who designed the original menu at Tower Tavern and had been working as a sous chef at Tannin, to run the kitchen. He has combined some comfort-food basics — meatloaf, pork chops, mashed potatoes — with items like the shortrib tacos, a customer favorite. “We gave him free rein,” Naugle says. “He’s making everything in-house; he switches up the menu;

Hi-Dive: home to KC’s most inviting vending machine. he does a daily pasta special for lunch; he makes his own soups, which are delicious. We’re letting Tim have the run of the place, basically.” Naugle says the response from the neighborhood has been positive. (The three nights I popped in, business was between steady and bustling, a healthy mix of tattoos and neckties.) “We’ve had a lot of people come in and say that it’s exactly what 39th Street needed, which is really what we were hoping for,” he says. “That’s going to be our bread and butter, getting neighborhood people into it. And, you know, it won’t be for everybody. I saw a guy posted something on Yelp ripping into us for calling ourselves a dive. It’s like, ‘Of course we’re not a dive: We just opened.’ I’m sure Gilhouly’s wasn’t a dive when it opened 85 years ago or whatever. You can’t just create a dive bar.”

E-mail david.hudnall@pitch.com

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THE PITCH

M AY 2 - 8 , 2 0 1 3

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M AY 2 - 8 , 2 0 1 3

THE PITCH

31


MUSIC

B E AT D O W N

Local producers get their due

BY

at the Sucka Free Showcase.

C HR I S MIL B OUR N

LOCALLY SOURCED

AKKILLES

W

I

don’t want to rap. I don’t want to be a DJ. I just want to make some dope fucking beats.” So says local hip-hop musician Sephiroth. And he’s not alone. Particularly since the death of legendary producer J Dilla, in 2006, interest in producing has grown, and the art form continues to evolve. This is true both at the national level and the local, and if you’re looking for proof of the latter, you’d do well to stop by RecordBar Thursday, May 2, for the Sucka Free Producer’s Showcase. Hosted by Sephiroth, it’s an attempt to instill solidarity among active local producers and expose casual listeners to how beats get made. The Pitch recently sat down with a very enthusiastic Sephiroth to talk about the event. The Pitch: Why should somebody come out to Sucka Free? Sephiroth: Because they like music. That’s it. It’s music. For people who don’t fully get the composition and the beauty of hip-hop, this is the backdrop before you hear vocals. This is for people who want to listen to something actually thought out. This isn’t a band onstage repeating the same things. These are producers who are trying to push their next limit. These dudes aren’t “beat makers.” They’re producers. They’re producing the track. They’re making this into the most orchestrated monstrosity that they can. So if you like music, you like to move, this is the 32

THE PITCH

M AY 2 - 8 , 2 0 1 3

thing for you. Across the country, people are Dan Matic (left) and Wandering Mayor lay digging this shit. There’s a scene for this. it down on Thursday. There’s people who want to hear this. And this new beat scene is not just to be but in his death, all these producers started heard. It’s to be seen. The same feeling you showing up. The first two or three years after his death, there were so many Dilla clones. get when someone is shredding on the guitar is the same feeling you should get when this You could hear Dilla drums in people’s beats. That’s what pushed it forward, people realdude is taking 16 pads and going crazy. It’s izing, “This dude made all this shit. This three hours of beats. one man made all this music I like, and I Tell us about the performers participating never knew his name until in the Sucka Free Producer’s he died.” That’s what hit a Showcase Thursday. The Sucka Free lot of people. So in this new Leonard Dstroy, known Producer’s Showcase beat scene, there’s people for producing for Stik Figa. Hosted by Sephiroth, stepping up like, “I made He had four beats on the featuring Dan Matic, this music. Pay attention.” last CES Cru record [ConWandering Mayor, Topp Boom You’re planning on restant Energy Strug gles]. and Leonard Dstroy. leasing a mixed-beat tape And he produced the whole Thursday, May 2, at RecordBar in June featuring past Sucka CES Cru record before that Free performers. [The Playground, 2009]. A nd I’m look i ng for Dan Matic, who’s on some more producers for Sucka Free. I know they crazy future funk. Wandering Mayor, a very exist. It could be some dude in an apartment tribal-like producer, vibey. And Topp Boom [who also plays in local psych-funk outfit right over there, banging out beats and just Your Reflection], he just takes it to the roots not know [about this scene] because to him, the scene’s on the coast, and it’s not at home. with good sample picks. He shows you what But it is. those old-school producers were trying to do, and he does it correctly. I’m hosting. Chris Milbourn also writes about local music What kind of impact do you think J Dilla’s online at demencha.com. legacy has had on this current climate of beats? The resurgence of this whole beat movement is [due to] Dilla. Sorry the man died, E-mail feedback@pitch.com

pitch.com

hen David Bennett started playing music, he gravitated toward conventional folk songs: “These kinds of ballads where it’d be just me and an acoustic guitar, maybe a girl singing harmonies or something,” he says. “I got a little bored of that.” For the past few years, the 26-year-old Kansas Citian has been recording homemade demos as Akkilles. On these recordings (you can find them on SoundCloud, or on Bandcamp, where his Demo Treasure EP is available), he retains some of those old folk ideas but adds to them ambient washes and an ear for pop. The outcome is a sound not far from the terrain that popular indie artists like Kurt Vile and Deerhunter are working. “I’ve always been into old crummy recordings of folk music,” Bennett says. “I was really into Dylan’s Basement Tapes and Glen Campbell. I don’t think the stuff I’m doing now sounds like those guys, but there’s probably some kind of subconscious influence there.” Of late, Akkilles has gradually been moving from the bedroom to the stage. Bennett has recruited a five-piece band that’s gigged at local venues such as RecordBar and the Gusto Lounge (during Middle of the Map). The band also is playing the Crossroads Block Party, in June, as well as a handful of other dates to coincide with the release of Akkilles’ first full-length, which will be available on vinyl sometime this summer via local label the Record Machine. “When I play by myself, I do a lot of loops and effects and play with microphones that accentuate vocals,” Bennett says. “With the band, it’s a little more like straightforward experimental pop. I’m drawn toward what I guess you’d call ambiguous writing, and I like jacking the sound of pop music a little, both musically and lyrically. “I’ve spent a lot of time the past few years trying to really learn how to write and record,” Bennett says. “Now it’s getting to the point where I’m recording a lot more and getting a lot of material down. I think there’ll be another Akkilles EP in the fall and maybe another album sometime in 2014. I like doing crummy demos by myself, but it’s also cool to go into a studio with a real band.” — DAVID HUDNALL

Stream Demo Treasure at akkilles.bandcamp.com.


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M AY 2 - 8 , 2 0 1 3

THE PITCH

33

4/24/13 3:19 PM


MUSIC

RADAR

M U S I C F O R E CA S T

BY

Other shows worth seeing this week.

D AV ID HUDN A L L

T H U R S D AY, M AY 2

Bill Callahan

Part of me thinks that Bill Callahan is a ghost. Few in the RecordBar crowd, last time he was in town, seemed to even notice that he had taken the stage; the set started both abruptly and unassumingly. After the last song, he thanked the crowd, put down his guitar and walked right out the front door and into the parking lot. He opened his van, got in and sat by himself in the backseat. Essentially, he existed neither before nor after his performance. Callahan’s supernatural gift for writing deeply strange, yet oddly accessible country music — 2011’s Apocalypse is, by my count, his fourth consecutive instant-classic album — serves to support my theory. Wednesday, May 8, at RecordBar (1020 Westport Road, 816-753-5207)

F R I D AY, M AY 3 Mark Lowrey & the Project H present: Song Reader with Shay Estes and Jeff Harshbarger: 10 p.m. RecordBar, 1020 Westport Rd., 816-753-5207. Mushroomhead, Klehma: 6 p.m. Aftershock Bar & Grill, 5240 Merriam Dr., Merriam, 913-384-5646. Sugar Ray, Aztlan: 6 p.m. KC Live! Stage at the Power & Light District, 13th St. and Grand.

S AT U R D AY, M AY 4

Bill Callahan (above) and Crystal Castles

Big Boi

Big Boi’s most recent album, Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors, is not his best work — a guest spot from Nathan Williams (of surfpunk group Wavves) is just one of many genre-bending ideas that fails to excite. Then again, it’s an album full of Big Boi rapping, which makes it better than roughly 96 percent of the rap albums that have been released in the history of the world. And it still boasts some trunk rattlers, like “In the A,” which fi nds Big Boi, Ludacris and T.I. dropping the kind of fi rst-class bars that remind you, in case you’ve forgotten, that the best hip-hop of the last 15 years was created in Atlanta. Sunday, May 5, at the Granada (1020 Massachusetts, Lawrence, 785-842-1390)

Crystal Castles

Everything I know about Crystal Castles leads me to believe that they’re humorless assholes, but if your goal is to make frightening electronic music, then I suppose it makes a certain amount of sense to frown in press photos and lament global injustices in interviews. The Canadian duo fleshes out its

dark, pounding dance beats with occasional Nintendo bleeps; sometimes there is also shrieking and, live, aggressive stage diving. Friday, May 3, at Liberty Hall (644 Massachusetts, Lawrence, 785-749-1972)

In Back of a Black Car, Molly Picture Club

This bill of local acts is anchored by Molly Picture Club, a likable dance-pop group that worships at the altar of Byrne. MPC is celebrating the release of its new EP, I’m My Own Time Machine. Joining in is In Back of a Black Car, which also traffics in new wave (“Lips,” which you can stream on its Reverbnation page, is an impressively crafted ode to 1980s synth pop), and the bright-eyed garage-pop act Rev Gusto. Saturday, May 4, at the Brick (1727 McGee, 816-421-1634)

Trapper Schoepp and the Shades

I caught Trapper Schoepp (who is 22 years old) and his band, the Shades, a couple of months back in Austin, during South by Southwest. The Milwaukee group was play-

F O R E C A S T

34

ing poppy country-rock tunes — a little bit Exile on Main Street, a little bit Lucero — on a makeshift stage on the patio of a barbecue joint called Freedmen’s. At the end of the set, Jakob Dylan joined them for the Band’s “The Weight” and the Wallflowers’ “One Headlight.” This show might not be quite that cool, but there’s a decent chance you’ll come away with a new favorite roots-rock group. Monday, May 6, at RecordBar (1020 Westport Road, 816-753-5207)

The Carper Family

The aesthetic of Hank Williams’ music is not particularly alive in Hank II or III. But it lives on regardless. In the case of the Carper Family, it resides among three harmonizing women from Austin, Texas, who play waltzes, swings and bluegrass tunes on acoustic instruments. If you’ve ever gotten tingly listening to the pedal-steel cry during a Hank tune, these ladies might be your jam. Friday, May 3, at Davey’s Uptown Ramblers Club (3402 Main, 816-753-1909) Sunday, May 5, at the Replay Lounge (946 Massachusetts, Lawrence, 785-749-7676)

K E Y

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M AY 2 - 8 , 2 0 1 3

pitch.com

Designer Drugs, DJ Sheppa: 8 p.m. The Riot Room, 4048 Broadway, 816-442-8179. The Piano Guys: 7 p.m. The Midland, 1228 Main, 816-283-9900.

M O N D AY, M AY 6 Zion I, Approach & Deep Thinkers: 7 p.m. The Granada, 1020 Massachusetts, Lawrence, 785-842-1390.

T U E S D AY, M AY 7 Iamdynamite, the Virgin Marys: 10 p.m. RecordBar, 1020 Westport Rd., 816-753-5207.

W E D N E S D AY, M AY 8 Katchafire, Maoli, 77 Jefferson: The Bottleneck, 737 New Hampshire, Lawrence, 785-841-5483. Andre Nickatina, Roach Gigz, MUMBLS, DJ Spinstyles, Ir Neko: 8 p.m. The Riot Room, 4048 Broadway, 816-442-8179.

FUTURECAST THURSDAY 9 Casey Donahew Band: The Granada, Lawrence MONDAY 13 Fabolous and Pusha-T: The Midland THURSDAY 16 Rodney Carrington: The Midland MONDAY 20 Insane Clown Posse: The Granada, Lawrence WEDNESDAY 22 Soundgarden: The Midland

JUNE

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

THE PITCH

Big Sandy and His Fly Rite Boys: 8 p.m. Knuckleheads Saloon, 2715 Rochester, 816-483-1456. Collie Buddz, Chris Cab, New Kingston: 8 p.m. The Bottleneck, 737 New Hampshire, Lawrence, 785-841-5483. Ramblin’ Jack Elliott: 8 p.m. Knuckleheads Saloon, 2715 Rochester, 816-483-1456. Har Mar Superstar, the Dead Girls, Baby Boys: 7 p.m. The Granada, 1020 Massachusetts, Lawrence, 785-842-1390. Tracy Morgan: 7 p.m. Uptown Theater, 3700 Broadway, 816-753-8665.

SUNDAY 2 Guns N’ Roses: The Midland TUESDAY 4 The XX: Uptown Theater MONDAY 17 Mumford & Sons, Michael Kiwanuka, Mystery Jets: Cricket Wireless Amphitheater, Bonner Springs FRIDAY 28 Kanrocksas: Kansas Speedway, Kansas City, Kan. SATURDAY 29 Kanrocksas: Kansas Speedway, Kansas City, Kan.


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M AY 2 - 8 , 2 0 1 3

THE PITCH

35


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

T H U R S D AY 2

Trouser Mouse: 410 S. Hwy. 7, Blue Springs, 816-220-1222. Justin Andrew Murray.

COMEDY/DRUNKEN DISTRACTIONS

Jackpot Music Hall: 943 Massachusetts, Lawrence, 785-8321085. Tennis System, Saint Lux, Hot & Ugly, 9 p.m. Jazzhaus: 926-1/2 Massachusetts, Lawrence, 785-749-1387. King Dong, the Magentlemen. Replay Lounge: 946 Massachusetts, Lawrence, 785-749-7676. Skating Polly, 10 p.m. The Riot Room: 4048 Broadway, 816-442-8179. The Agonist, Night Creation, Moire, In the Shadow, 8 p.m.

Bulldog: 1715 Main, 816-421-4799. Brodioke, 9 p.m. Improv Comedy Club and Dinner Theater: 7260 N.W. 87th St., 816-759-5233. John Heffron, 7:30 p.m. RecordBar: 1020 Westport Rd., 816-753-5207. Trivia Clash, 7 p.m. The Red Balloon: 10325 W. 75th St., Overland Park, 913-9622330. Karaoke, 8 p.m., free. Stanford’s Comedy Club: 1867 Village West Pkwy., Kansas City, Kan., 913-400-7500. Brian Dunkleman, 8 p.m. The Velvet Dog: 400 E. 31st St., 816-753-9990. Skeeball league night, 8 & 9 p.m. Westport Flea Market: 817 Westport Rd., 816-931-1986. Trivia, 9 p.m.

B L U E S / R O C K A B I L LY

EASY LISTENING/ACOUSTIC

R O C K / M E TA L / P U N K

B.B.’s Lawnside BBQ: 1205 E. 85th St., 816-822-7427. Samantha Fish Band, 7:30 p.m. Danny’s Big Easy: 1601 E. 18th St., 816-421-1200. Millage Gilbert Big Blues Band, 7 p.m. Jazz: 1823 W. 39th St., 816-531-5556. Grand Marquis. Jazz: 1859 Village West Pkwy., Kansas City, Kan., 913-328-0003. Rich Berry, 6-9 p.m. Quasimodo: 12056 W. 135th St., Overland Park, 913-239-9666. Brody Buster & Jimmy Lacy, 7 p.m.

DJ The Gusto Lounge: 504 Westport Rd., 816-974-8786. Thumpin Thursdays with *thePhantom. Milieu: 7300 W. 119th St., Overland Park. DJ Mike Scott. Replay Lounge: 946 Massachusetts, Lawrence, 785-749-7676. DJ Soulnice, 10 p.m. The Uptown Arts Bar: 3611 Broadway. Playe, 10:30 p.m.

HIP-HOP/RAP RecordBar: 1020 Westport Rd., 816-753-5207. Sucka Free Producers Battle with opp Boom, Wandering Mayor, Dan Matic and Leonard Dstroy, 10 p.m.

JAZZ/LOUNGE The Blue Room: 1616 E. 18th St., 816-474-8463. Alaturka. Green Lady Lounge: 1809 Grand, 816-215-2954. T.J. Erdhardt. The Kill Devil Club: 61 E. 14th St., 816-877-8312. Brandon Draper. The Majestic Restaurant: 931 Broadway, 816-221-1888. Bram Wijnands and Joe Lisinicchia, 6 p.m. The Phoenix: 302 W. Eighth St., 816-221-5299. Rod Fleeman and Dan Bliss, 7 p.m.

COUNTRY/BLUEGRASS Fuel: 7300 W. 119th St., Overland Park, 913-451-0444. Drew Six.

36

THE PITCH

M AY 2 - 8 , 2 0 1 3

Californos: 4124 Pennsylvania, 816-531-7878. Kiel Williams. Jerry’s Bait Shop: 13412 Santa Fe Trail Dr., Lenexa, 913-8949676. Jason Kayne, 9 p.m.

F R I D AY 3 R O C K / M E TA L / P U N K The Boobie Trap Bar: 1417 S.W. 6th St., Topeka, 785-232-9008. Get Shot, My Fathers Gun, the Rackatees, Itching Regret, 9 p.m. Bulldog: 1715 Main, 816-421-4799. Rock n’ Rally with the Uncouth, Blarney Stoned, Scott Eggleson, Green GodDammit, 5 p.m. Czar: 1531 Grand, 816-421-0300. Mustache Leos, the Go-Karts. The Granada: 1020 Massachusetts, Lawrence, 785-842-1390. Opiate: The Tool Experience, Dead Man’s Hand, 7 p.m. Jazzhaus: 926-1/2 Massachusetts, Lawrence, 785-749-1387. Brownbeckistan, Paper Buffalo. The Riot Room: 4048 Broadway, 816-442-8179. Shaman’s Harvest, Evalyn Awake Changing Faith, Second Signal, 7:30 p.m.

B L U E S / R O C K A B I L LY B.B.’s Lawnside BBQ: 1205 E. 85th St., 816-822-7427. Knock Kneed Sally CD-release show. Coda: 1744 Broadway, 816-569-1747. Jason Vivone and the Billybats. Jazz: 1823 W. 39th St., 816-531-5556. Cold Sweat. Jazz: 1859 Village West Pkwy., Kansas City, Kan., 913-3280003. Dwayne Mitchell Trio, 7 p.m. Knuckleheads Saloon: 2715 Rochester, 816-483-1456. Merle Jam, 8 p.m. Quasimodo: 12056 W. 135th St., Overland Park, 913-239-9666. Old Crows, 5:30 p.m. RecordBar: 1020 Westport Rd., 816-753-5207. Danny Cox and friends, 7 p.m., free. RJ’s Bob-Be-Que Shack: 5835 Lamar, Mission, 913-2627300. Rumblejetts, 8 p.m. Trouser Mouse: 410 S. Hwy. 7, Blue Springs, 816-220-1222. The Bluz Benderz.

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I N D I E / P O P / E X P E R I M E N TA L The Bottleneck: 737 New Hampshire, Lawrence, 785-8415483. The Monarchs, 8 p.m. Jackpot Music Hall: 943 Massachusetts, Lawrence, 785-8321085. Ben Kres, 9 p.m. Replay Lounge: 946 Massachusetts, Lawrence, 785-7497676. Soft Reeds, the Caves, Schwervon, 10 p.m.

DJ Beer Kitchen: 435 Westport Rd., 816-389-4180. DCal. Black & Gold Tavern: 3740 Broadway. DJ Sam Blam. The Foundry: 424 Westport Rd., 816-960-0866. DJ Leo Night Us. The Gusto Lounge: 504 Westport Rd., 816-974-8786. Gruv with Mike Dileo & Trevor Shaw. The Quaff: 1010 Broadway, 816-471-1918. DJ E. Z Strike: 1370 Grand, 816-471-2316. DJ Nuveau, 9 p.m.

JAZZ/LOUNGE The Blue Room: 1616 E. 18th St., 816-474-8463. Indigo Hour with Gray Matter, 5:30 p.m.; Heat Index reunion show, 8:30 p.m. Chaz on the Plaza: 325 Ward Pkwy., 816-802-2152. Sons of Brasil, 4-7 p.m. Green Lady Lounge: 1809 Grand, 816215-2954. Paul Shinn Trio, 5:30 p.m.; M OR E Mark Lowrey Trio, 9 p.m. The Majestic Restaurant: 931 Broadway, 816-221-1888. Patrick Gilbert, 4 p.m.; Bram Wijnands INGS LIST E AT Trio, 7 p.m. IN ONL The Phoenix: 302 W. Eighth St., 816M PITCH.CO 221-5299. Lonnie McFadden, 4:30 p.m.; JLove Band, 9 p.m. Take Five Coffee + Bar: 5336 W. 151st St., Overland Park, 913-948-5550. Shades of Jade, 8 p.m.

CLUB

COUNTRY/BLUEGRASS The Landing Eatery & Pub: 1189 W. 152 Hwy., Liberty, 816792-5230. Outlaw Jim & the Whiskey Benders, 9 p.m. Replay Lounge: 946 Massachusetts, Lawrence, 785-7497676. Wells the Traveler, 40 Watt, 6 p.m.

COVERS The Dubliner: 170 E. 14th St., 816-268-4700. The Disappointments. VooDoo Lounge: Harrah’s Casino, 1 Riverboat Dr., North Kansas City, 816-472-7777. Switch, the M80s.

COMEDY/DRUNKEN DISTRACTIONS The Brooksider: 6330 Brookside Plz., 816-363-4070. Trivia, 6 p.m. ComedyCity at Westport Flea Market: 817 Westport Rd., 816-842-2744. Major League Improv, 7:30 & 10 p.m. Hamburger Mary’s: 101 Southwest Blvd., 816-842-1919. Maryoke, 9 p.m.

Helen’s Just Another Dive: 2002 Armour Rd., North Kansas City, 816-471-4567. Trivia Riot with Roland, 7:30 p.m. Improv Comedy Club and Dinner Theater: 7260 N.W. 87th St., 816-759-5233. John Heffron, 7:30 & 9:45 p.m. Kanza Hall: 7300 W. 119th St., Overland Park, 913-451-0444. Country dance lessons, 8-9 p.m. Maker’s Mark Bourbon House & Lounge: 1333 Walnut, 816-442-8115. La Femme. Stanford’s Comedy Club: 1867 Village West Pkwy., Kansas City, Kan., 913-400-7500. Brian Dunkleman, 7:45 & 9:45 p.m.

S AT U R D AY 4 R O C K / M E TA L / P U N K Jackpot Music Hall: 943 Massachusetts, Lawrence, 785-8321085. Sobriquet, Alien Jones, 9 p.m. Uptown Theater: 3700 Broadway, 816-753-8665. Kilroy’s Spring Bash, 7 p.m.

B L U E S / R O C K A B I L LY B.B.’s Lawnside BBQ: 1205 E. 85th St., 816-822-7427. D.C. Bellamy; Mama Ray’s Jazz -Meets-Blues Jam, 2-5:30 p.m. Jazz: 1823 W. 39th St., 816-531-5556. The Big 3. Knuckleheads Saloon: 2715 Rochester, 816-483-1456. Merle Jam, 6 p.m. The Phoenix: 302 W. Eighth St., 816-221-5299. Cadillac Flambe, 9 p.m. Quasimodo: 12056 W. 135th St., Overland Park, 913-239-9666. Crosseyed Cat, 5:30 p.m.; Brother Bagman, 9 p.m.

HIP-HOP/RAP Czar: 1531 Grand, 816-421-0300. Steven Cooper, Lauren Price, DJ Lee, 8 p.m. Qudos Cigar & Cognac Bar: 1116 Grand, 816-474-2270. Grown & Sexy Saturdays.

JAZZ/LOUNGE The Blue Room: 1616 E. 18th St., 816-474-8463. Tyrone Clark Quartet, 8:30 p.m. Chaz on the Plaza: 325 Ward Pkwy., 816-802-2152. Paul Roberts Trio, 4-7 p.m. Green Lady Lounge: 1809 Grand, 816-215-2954. Shades of Jade, 9 p.m. Jazz: 1859 Village West Pkwy., Kansas City, Kan., 913-3280003. Cool Breeze Jazz Trio, 7 p.m. Take Five Coffee + Bar: 5336 W. 151st St., Overland Park, 913948-5550. Megan Birdsall, 8 p.m.

COUNTRY/BLUEGRASS Jackpot Music Hall: 943 Massachusetts, Lawrence, 785-8321085. Getty Township, 6 p.m. Replay Lounge: 946 Massachusetts, Lawrence, 785-749-7676. The Von Ehrics, the F Holes, 10 p.m.


COVERS

EASY LISTENING/ACOUSTIC

The Bottleneck: 737 New Hampshire, Lawrence, 785-841-5483. Sellout, 8 p.m. The Brooksider: 6330 Brookside Plz., 816-363-4070. KC/DC. The Dubliner: 170 E. 14th St., 816-268-4700. Flipside, 10 p.m. Jazzhaus: 926-1/2 Massachusetts, Lawrence, 785-749-1387. The Crumpletons, 7 p.m.; the Green Goddamnits, 10 p.m. Jowler Creek Vineyard & Winery: 16905 Jowler Creek Rd., Platte City, 816-858-5528. Chasing Fire, 6 p.m. The Landing Eatery & Pub: 1189 W. 152 Hwy., Liberty, 816792-5230. Switch, 9 p.m. RecordBar: 1020 Westport Rd., 816-753-5207. Dirty Work, 7 p.m.; The Zeros, Spud Patrol, 10 p.m.

Chaz on the Plaza: 325 Ward Pkwy., 816-802-2152. Les Mengel Duo, 5-9 p.m. Jazz: 1823 W. 39th St., 816-531-5556. Rich Berry. Jazz: 1859 Village West Pkwy., Kansas City, Kan., 913-3280003. Brendan MacNaughton. Johnny’s Tavern: 13410 W. 62nd Terr., Shawnee, 913-962-5777. Chill with Phil. The Landing Eatery & Pub: 1189 W. 152 Hwy., Liberty, 816792-5230. Bob Harvey, 6 p.m. Take Five Coffee + Bar: 5336 W. 151st St., Overland Park, 913948-5550. On the Record, 7-10 p.m. Tomfooleries: 612 W. 47th St., 816-753-0555. Phil and Gary, 8 p.m.

COMEDY/DRUNKEN DISTRACTIONS ComedyCity at Westport Flea Market: 817 Westport Rd., 816-842-2744. Major League Improv, 7:30 & 10 p.m. 403 Club: 403 N. Fifth St., 913-499-8392. Pinball tournament. Improv Comedy Club and Dinner Theater: 7260 N.W. 87th St., 816-759-5233. John Heffron, 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. Brian Dunkleman, 7:45 & 9:45 p.m. The Uptown Arts Bar: 3611 Broadway. KC Cabaret variety show, 9:30 p.m. Westport Coffee House: 4010 Pennsylvania, 816-756-3222. The Kick-Off Improv Comedy Show, 8-9:30 p.m.

S U N D AY 5 R O C K / M E TA L / P U N K Jackpot Music Hall: 943 Massachusetts, Lawrence, 785-8321085. Mad Anthony, 7 Stories, Ask An Adult, 9 p.m. The Riot Room: 4048 Broadway, 816-442-8179. Sharp Weapons, Moire, the Slowdown, 8 p.m.

DJ The Foundry: 424 Westport Rd., 816-960-0866. Radstar Glitters Gold. Hamburger Mary’s: 101 Southwest Blvd., 816-842-1919. Bad Music Sundays with Brett Dietrich, 3:30 p.m.

HIP-HOP/RAP Czar: 1531 Grand, 816-421-0300. Twisted Insane Tour with Dirty Adville, J Sheetz, Grimmace, Freddy Grimes, Opium, Mobbstarz, Citylife, EX-O, Deranged, Turf Smurf, 6:30 p.m.

JAZZ/LOUNGE Green Lady Lounge: 1809 Grand, 816-215-2954. Bram Wijnands, 7 p.m. The Majestic Restaurant: 931 Broadway, 816-221-1888. Rich Hill’s jazz brunch, 11 a.m.

WORLD/REGGAE RecordBar: 1020 Westport Rd., 816-753-5207. Marimba Sol de Chiapas, 8 p.m.

OPEN MIC/JAM SESSIONS The Hideout: 6948 N. Oak Tfwy., 816-468-0550. Open blues jam, 7 p.m. Knuckleheads Saloon: 2715 Rochester, 816-483-1456. Open Jam with Levee Town, 2-7 p.m.; Back Room Jam, 1-5 p.m. R.G.’s Lounge: 9100 E. 35th St., Independence, 816-358-5777. Jam Night with Dennis Nickell, Rick Eidson and Jan Lamb, 5 p.m. Thirsty Ernie’s: 1276 W. Foxwood Dr., Raymore, 816-322-2779. Rockin’ Blues, Brews & BBQ Jam, 4-8 p.m.

M O N D AY 6 R O C K / M E TA L / P U N K Czar: 1531 Grand, 816-421-0300. Lich King, Smash Potater, Vanlade, Meatshank, 9 p.m. Jackpot Music Hall: 943 Massachusetts, Lawrence, 785-8321085. Brett Newski & the Corruption, Electric Lungs, Appropriate Grammar, 9 p.m.

I N D I E / P O P / E X P E R I M E N TA L The Bottleneck: 737 New Hampshire, Lawrence, 785-8415483. Yellow Red Sparks, 8 p.m.

JAZZ/LOUNGE The Blue Room: 1616 E. 18th St., 816-474-8463. Jazz Disciples with Pablo Sanhueza. The Majestic Restaurant: 931 Broadway, 816-221-1888. Mark Lowrey Trio, 6 p.m. The Phoenix: 302 W. Eighth St., 816-221-5299. Millie Edwards and friends, 7 p.m.

COUNTRY/BLUEGRASS The Brick: 1727 McGee, 816-421-1634. Rural Grit Happy Hour, 6 p.m. Davey’s Uptown Ramblers Club: 3402 Main, 816-753-1909. Adam Lee & Matt Woods, Alone at 3am, 10 p.m. Knuckleheads Saloon: 2715 Rochester, 816-483-1456. Levi Lowrey, 8 p.m.

COMEDY/DRUNKEN DISTRACTIONS The Brick: 1727 McGee, 816-421-1634. Karaoke with Nanci Pants, 10:30 p.m.

Bulldog: 1715 Main, 816-421-4799. Trivia with Matt Larson, 8 p.m. Czar: 1531 Grand, 816-421-0300. Slaughter Movie House, 7 p.m. Jazzhaus: 926-1/2 Massachusetts, Lawrence, 785-749-1387. Karaoke Idol with Tanya McNaughty. Missie B’s: 805 W. 39th St., 816-561-0625. MANic Monday, 10 p.m. Moxie Bar & Grill: 4011 N. Oak Tfwy., North Kansas City, 816455-9600. Beer Pong Mondays with DJ E-Rock. Nara: 1617 Main, 816-221-6272. Brodioke. RecordBar: 1020 Westport Rd., 816-753-5207. Sonic Spectrum Music Trivia, 7 p.m. Replay Lounge: 946 Massachusetts, Lawrence, 785-749-7676. Sam’s Club Karaoke, 10 p.m. The Uptown Arts Bar: 3611 Broadway. Uptown Comedy Night with Norm Dexter, 10 p.m.

OPEN MIC/JAM SESSIONS Californos: 4124 Pennsylvania, 816-531-7878. Open Mic Night, 7 p.m. Davey’s Uptown Ramblers Club: 3402 Main, 816-753-1909. Songwriter’s Scene Open Mic with Jon Theobald, 7 p.m. Thirsty Ernie’s: 1276 W. Foxwood Dr., Raymore, 816-322-2779. Acoustic open mic with Brad Allen, 7-10 p.m. The Uptown Arts Bar: 3611 Broadway. Jonny Green and Jake Stanton open mic and jam session, 8 p.m.

Stanford’s Comedy Club: 1867 Village West Pkwy., Kansas City, Kan., 913-400-7500. Open Mic Night.

W E D N E S D AY 8 R O C K / M E TA L / P U N K Davey’s Uptown Ramblers Club: 3402 Main, 816-753-1909. Barbed Wire Dolls, American Discord, 9 p.m. Jackpot Music Hall: 943 Massachusetts, Lawrence, 785-8321085. The Sideshow Tragedy, Brody Buster Band,, 9 p.m. RecordBar: 1020 Westport Rd., 816-753-5207. Bob Walkenhorst, 7 p.m.

B L U E S / R O C K A B I L LY B.B.’s Lawnside BBQ: 1205 E. 85th St., 816-822-7427. Shinetop Jr. Jazz: 1823 W. 39th St., 816-531-5556. Dan Bliss. Quasimodo: 12056 W. 135th St., Overland Park, 913-239-9666. Billy Ebeling, 7 p.m. The Uptown Arts Bar: 3611 Broadway. Briar Blues Band, 5:30 p.m.

DJ

T U E S D AY 7

Coda: 1744 Broadway, 816-569-1747. DJ Robert Moore, 9 p.m. The Gusto Lounge: 504 Westport Rd., 816-974-8786. Vinyl Awareness with Bill Pile, Mike Scott, DJ Clockwerk and DJ Rico.

R O C K / M E TA L / P U N K

EASY LISTENING/ACOUSTIC

Czar: 1531 Grand, 816-421-0300. From the Hips, Sovereign States, the Denison, Grenadina, 7:30 p.m. Tomfooleries: 612 W. 47th St., 816-753-0555. The Transients.

JAZZ/LOUNGE Green Lady Lounge: 1809 Grand, 816-215-2954. Bram Wijnands and Laura Glaeser, 7 p.m. The Majestic Restaurant: 931 Broadway, 816-221-1888. Hermon Mehari Trio, 6 p.m. The Phoenix: 302 W. Eighth St., 816-221-5299. Open Jam with the Everette DeVan Trio, 7 p.m.

COUNTRY/BLUEGRASS Davey’s Uptown Ramblers Club: 3402 Main, 816-753-1909. The Concrete Rivals, Old Country Death Band, 8 p.m. RecordBar: 1020 Westport Rd., 816-753-5207. Rex Hobart’s Honky Tonk Supper Club, 7 p.m.

EASY LISTENING/ACOUSTIC The All-Star Rock Bar: 7210 N.E. 43rd St., 816-452-2660. Songwriter Showcase with Scott Ford, 7 p.m. Jazz: 1859 Village West Pkwy., Kansas City, Kan., 913-3280003. Brendan MacNaughton.

OPEN MIC/JAM SESSIONS Danny’s Big Easy: 1601 E. 18th St., 816-421-1200. Open jam with El Barrio Band, 7 p.m. Quasimodo: 12056 W. 135th St., Overland Park, 913-239-9666. Dave Hays’ Open Blues Jam.

Fuel: 7300 W. 119th St., Overland Park, 913-451-0444. Colby & Mole. Jazz: 1859 Village West Pkwy., Kansas City, Kan., 913-3280003. Brian Ruskin. Knuckleheads Saloon: 2715 Rochester, 816-483-1456. Carl Butler’s Gospel Lounge, 7:30 p.m. Nara: 1617 Main, 816-221-6272. Ladies’ Night with Matt Shoaf.

JAZZ/LOUNGE Chaz on the Plaza: 325 Ward Pkwy., 816-802-2152. Max Groove Trio, 6 p.m. Green Lady Lounge: 1809 Grand, 816-215-2954. The Stan Kessler Latin Trio. The Phoenix: 302 W. Eighth St., 816-221-5299. A La Mode, 7 p.m.

COMEDY/DRUNKEN DISTRACTIONS The All-Star Rock Bar: 7210 N.E. 43rd St., 816-452-2660. Ultimate Karaoke. The Blue Line: 529 Walnut, 816-472-7825. Karaoke. Californos: 4124 Pennsylvania, 816-531-7878. The Girlie Show, 8 p.m. Improv Comedy Club and Dinner Theater: 7260 N.W. 87th St., 816-759-5233. Professional comedy showcase, 7:30 p.m. Kanza Hall: 7300 W. 119th St., Overland Park, 913-451-0444. Country dance lessons, 8-9 p.m., free. Missie B’s: 805 W. 39th St., 816-561-0625. Dirty Dorothy, 10 p.m. The Quaff: 1010 Broadway, 816-471-1918. Karaoke. The Red Balloon: 10325 W. 75th St., Overland Park, 913-9622330. Karaoke, 8 p.m. The Roxy: 7230 W. 75th St., Overland Park, 913-236-6211. Karaoke. Westport Flea Market: 817 Westport Rd., 816-931-1986. Trivia, 8 p.m.

pitch.com

M AY 2 - 8 , 2 0 1 3

THE PITCH

37


S AVA G E L O V E

38

MOV E O N

Dear Dan: I am a 23-year-old straight male. My ex-girlfriend and I started dating in high school, when we were both 17, and continued dating until I broke up with her the summer after our freshman year in college because things felt too serious. We continued to have sex, but I blocked out all my feelings for her, while she was open about still wanting to be with me. She started dating someone else sophomore year. I realized then that I still wanted to be with her, and I broke down emotionally and made both our lives difficult while she was dating this new guy. I was a very unattractive person then. I also found out other details by snooping. I know that during the time we dated, she faked orgasms with me. She didn’t have one with me until she introduced a vibrator the year I was having emotionless sex with her after the breakup. This made me feel inadequate. Since then, we have forgiven each other and tried several times to rekindle our romantic relationship. Unfortunately, while for me there is a sexual attraction, she says she is no longer attracted to me. I’m sensitive, fashionable and artistic, and she tells me that she’s more attracted to the “all-American man” type. She is dating someone long-distance, and they have been together for seven months. But we still talk about “us” and still cuddle, and she’ll say things like, “When I think of growing old, I imagine doing so with you.” She views our intimacy as “friendly,” while I view it as more romantic. I try to be a good friend, but hearing emotional crap about her relationship makes me want to scream, “WTF are you doing? No guy will ever clear your bar because I set the bar!” Do you think there is any chance that we will be together again? Am I nuts to still want this girl? Her Ideal Mate Dear HIM: There are six other continents on

this planet — six in addition to the one your exgirlfriend resides on — and my advice for you is to pick any other continent and move there. Get. The. Fuck. Away. From. Her. Not because your ex is evil but because this relationship is over. She is not only seeing someone else but has also made it clear that you’re not her type. She’s not into sensitive, fashionable and artistic types — she may not be into entitled assholes, either — and it’s time to take the hint that she’s practically pegging you with. And I gotta say … This relationship is never going to be what it was because neither of you is ever going to be what you were — you’re never again going to be 17 and in love for the first time. The bar you’re talking about? Hormones set it, you didn’t. Also: It sounds like you behaved terribly after you dumped your ex. When you wrote that you made both your lives difficult, I read, “I stalked my ex.” (Snooping after a breakup? 38

THE PITCH

M AY 2 - 8 , 2 0 1 3

pitch.com

BY

D A N S AVA G E

Dear WIFE: If my husband were about to

That’s a stalker move.) And having “emotionless sex” with someone who has “blocked out all [his] feelings” — being treated like a Fleshlight by someone you still have feelings for — is rarely a pleasant experience, and it must’ve been particularly painful for your ex back when she still wanted to get back together with your arty-farty ass. So perhaps she’s treating you this way — keeping you on call for cuddles, dropping hints about getting back together (in old age!), dumping “emotional crap” on you about her current boyfriend — in a subconscious effort to get revenge. You tormented her then; she’s tormenting you now. But whatever her deal is, the bottom line is this: When two people aren’t good to each other, when they’re not good for each other, they should get the fuck away from each other.

Dear Dan: My husband and I are both in our mid-

20s. He’s in the military, and our relationship, though imperfect, is strong; we’re both happy with — and good to — each other. Not long ago, we decided that a “monogamish” arrangement appealed to us both, and we renegotiated the terms of our relationship. He recently got orders for a yearlong deployment, and one of the many things we need to do before he leaves, I think, is have another conversation about nonmonogamy. I think we should adopt a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. I doubt that I could tolerate the inevitable stress of this upcoming year if I were expected to abstain from sex for the duration. But it’s unlikely that either of us would want to hear about the other’s casual hookups. Yet I can’t bring myself to speak up because I’m already so jealous of the people he might fuck while I’m on the opposite side of the world and unable to fuck him myself. Suddenly, the thought of my husband with someone else is nearly intolerable. What would you do in this situation?

Worried I Fear Estrangement

deploy to a war zone, I would probably do what you’re doing: I would worry about sex — I would worry about the people who might want to fuck my deployed husband — because that would provoke less anxiety than worrying about the people who might want to harm my deployed husband. Talk to your husband and put that “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on the table. Considering that you’ll most likely have more opportunities than he will over the next 12 months, a DADT policy may be precisely what your husband wants while he’s deployed. And share your feelings of jealousy with him. Those feelings are not only normal and natural, they’re a good sign. It would be more worrisome if you didn’t care who he fucked, and he didn’t care who you fucked. And your husband may share your chief concern: It’s one thing to think about your partner fucking someone else when you’re around (and you’re able to fuck your partner, too, and remind your partner why he’s with you), and it’s quite another thing to think about your partner fucking someone else when you’re not around. Feelings of jealousy and insecurity can make a person feel like she’s not cut out for a monogamish relationship. But it’s working through those inevitable feelings of jealousy and insecurity — with your partner, not your sex-advice columnist — that proves you are cut out for one. Good luck, and I hope your husband comes home safe and sound.

Dear Dan: If you have two friends, one male

and one female, who are both married (not to each other) and looking for an affair, is it OK to put them in touch with each other? May I bring them together in the same way I would two single people: Throw a party with lots of alcohol? The man is in a sexless marriage and wants to get laid. The woman is getting divorced and needs to get laid. Note: The man and I have sex every few months. It’s awesome sex, and he has a gorgeous body. I would like to offer this to my female friend, but I’m not sure how he would feel about being passed around. What should I do?

Is This How Ashley Madison Got Started? Dear ITHAMGS: You should go to the liquor store.

Find the Savage Lovecast (my weekly podcast) every Tuesday at thestranger.com/savage.

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


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