The Pitch: December 18, 2014

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december 18-24, 2014 | free | Vol. 34 No. 25 |

l to sell e u d s p u t r a all st Two ultra-sm band to Lawrence. oad ultrafast br krodt By Steve Voc

december 18-24, 2014 | Vol. 34 no. 25 E d i t o r i a l

Editor Scott Wilson Managing Editor Justin Kendall Music Editor Natalie Gallagher Staff Writers Charles Ferruzza, David Hudnall, Steve Vockrodt Editorial Operations Manager Deborah Hirsch Events Editor Berry Anderson Proofreader Brent Shepherd Contributing Writers Tracy Abeln, Jen Chen, Liz Cook, April Fleming, Larry Kopitnik, Angela Lutz, Dan Savage, Nick Spacek

fi b er won Two ultra-small startups duel to sell ultrafast broadband to Lawrence. b y s t e v e vo c k r o d t


a r t

Art Director Jeremy Luther Art Assistant Vu Radley Contributing Photographers Zach Bauman, Angela C. Bond, Barrett Emke, Chris Mullins, Sabrina Staires, Brooke Vandever

spa re me

P r o d u c t i o n

Production Manager Christina Riddle

a d v E r t i s i n g

Sales Manager Erin Carey Senior Classified Multimedia Specialist Steven Suarez Multimedia Specialist Becky Losey Director of Marketing and Operations Jason Dockery Digital Marketing Coordinator Ashley Reed Sales and Marketing Assistant Jason Haflich

c i r c u l a t i o n

Circulation Director Mike Ryan

B u s i n E s s

Accounts Receivable Jodi Waldsmith Publisher Joel Hornbostel

Hungry bowlers can find a few good things at Pinstripes.

s o u t h c o m m

Chief Executive Officer Chris Ferrell Chief Financial Officer Patrick Min Chief Marketing Officer Susan Torregrossa Chief Technology Officer Matt Locke Chief Operating Officer/Group Publisher Eric Norwood Director of Digital Sales and Marketing David Walker Controller Todd Patton Creative Director Heather Pierce Director of Content/Online Development Patrick Rains

n a t i o n a l

by charles ferruzz a


b ri ng on the b eat

a d v E r t i s i n g

VMG Advertising 888-278-9866, Senior Vice President of Sales Susan Belair Senior Vice President of Sales Operations Joe Larkin

DJ Ray Velasquez has big plans for Kansas City.

d i s t r i B u t i o n

The Pitch distributes 45,000 copies a week and is available free throughout Greater Kansas City, limited to one copy per reader. Additional copies may be purchased for $5 each, payable at The Pitch’s office in advance. The Pitch may be distributed only by The Pitch’s authorized independent contractors or authorized distributors. No person may, without prior written permission of The Pitch, take more than one copy of each week’s issue. Mail subscriptions: $22.50 for six months or $45 per year, payable in advance. Application to mail at second-class postage rates is pending at Kansas City, MO 64108.

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The contents of The Pitch are Copyright 2014 by KC Communications, LLC. No portion may be reproduced in whole or in part by any means without the express written permission of the publisher. The Pitch address: 1627 Main, Suite 700, Kansas City, MO 64108 For information or to leave a story tip, call: 816-561-6061 Editorial fax: 816-756-0502 For classifieds, call: 816-218-6759 For retail advertising, call: 816-218-6702

on the coVer

3 5 11 13 17 19 21 24 26 28 34 38

Questionnaire feature agenda stage film café fat city on tap this week new year’s eve listings music d a i ly l i s t i n g s savage love

m ea nw hi le at p i tch. com

cover illustration by andy brinkman


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Raygun creates ROADRuNNER T-shirt in honor of blinded dog, donates profits to KC Pet Project. CELiNA TiO taps Jolly Pumpkin blend, helps brew beer for national release. NEuTRAL MiLK HOTEL stops at Liberty Hall in April.



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

Luke Wade

Co-founder of

Hometown: Cape Girardeau, Missouri Current neighborhood: Coleman Highlands Occupation: Creator and operator of KC Crew,

owner of Liquid Knowledge Consulting and Tasteful Touch

What I do (in 140 characters): I like to say I

solve problems through multiple ventures, but I also create fun through recreational leagues, pub crawls, happy hours, charity events and parties, and more.

What’s your addiction? Meeting new people

and creative problem solving. I love hearing stories of how people came to where they are in life. The story of how they got there intrigues and motivates me. Also what problems they have and seeing how I can solve them.

“I’ve been known to binge-watch …” Shark Tank

or How I Met Your Mother.

“I can’t stop listening to …” The Lonely Biscuits.

“I just read …” Think & Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, as well as about 50 articles on

The best advice I ever got: Life is 10 percent

what happens to you and 90 percent how you react to it. Just because someone is negative toward you doesn’t mean you can’t spin it into something positive.

Worst advice: Give up. My brush with fame: I was lucky enough to

backyard game (cornhole, washers, etc.)

be the stage manager for a charity event in which Sinbad was performing, so I got to talk to him and be around him for several hours. He is a very funny and nice guy.

What’s your drink? Boulevard Tank 7 or

My 140-character soapbox: I’m very excited

What’s your game? Sand volleyball or any

Maker’s Mark

Where’s dinner? High Dive or Haus What’s on your KC postcard? Downtown but showing both old downtown and the new revived downtown. Finish this sentence: “Kansas City got it right when …” It spent money on renovating downtown and appealing to a younger demographic.

“Kansas City screwed up when …” It didn’t get

Sporting KC’s stadium.

“Kansas City needs …” Better schools and public transportation.

about KC Crew’s winter leagues starting in January (at and the Truce Tournament the day after Christmas in partnership with Sporting KC (

What was the last thing you had to apologize for? Breaking a friend’s chair. I always sit

down too hard.

My recent triumph: Leaving the corporate

world and venturing out on my own to grow my ventures full time. For more on the Truce Tournament, featuring a three-on-three soccer tournament and bar games, Friday, December 26, at the National World War I Museum at the Liberty Memorial, see

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Fiber Won O

n June 1, Dustin Brown opened his third business in Lawrence. Already an established wedding photographer and software consultant who operated out of a studio just north of the Kansas River, he started Prime Edits with a simple concept. Subscribers would upload raw photos, and Brown would edit the images and beam them back. The business plan was complicated by Brown’s slow Internet connection. Like most people in Lawrence, Brown was a WideOpenWest customer. The company — usually referred to as WOW — was the college town’s dominant cable and Internet provider. A typical photo package coming Brown’s way might total 80 gigabytes. Downloading files of that bulk took awhile, and getting them back to clients ate up even more time. “It was taking half a day to upload a wedding,” Brown tells The Pitch. Given that his business model hinged on editing 10 weddings a day, this was a problem. “The math on it just kind of freaked us out.” Brown hoped to secure a fiber-optic connection from WOW and pay a business rate. The company’s offer to Prime Edits: a budget-busting $1,200 a month. He considered loading photos onto a drive and hiring a courier to make daily trips to Kansas

City’s Startup Village, which enjoys a connection to Google’s gigabit fiber. But a friend suggested an alternative: Connect with Wicked Broadband, a startup trying to cement a place in Lawrence’s fiber scene. Wicked Broadband’s history in Lawrence goes back nine years and includes previous corporate names. It’s run largely by a Lawrence native named Josh Montgomery, who wired Brown’s building with a fiber line that ran about 100 times faster than his cable connection allowed (an advantage that Google subscribers in Kansas City had realized for more than a year). “Honestly, it went from my editors saying I’m going to leave for the day and hoping it [the upload] wouldn’t break in the night to not hearing about it anymore,” Brown says. Montgomery says he wants to put gigabit fiber in every home and business in Lawrence through an open-access network — meaning that anyone, not just Wicked Broadband, could lease fiber from Montgomery’s infrastructure and offer Internet service or use it for something else, such as video security. It’s a pioneering idea but one that carries some risk to Lawrence taxpayers: Montgomery has asked

the city to guarantee a $300,000 loan. He has been waiting more than a year for the Lawrence City Commission to give him an answer. Part of why he’s still waiting is Mike Bosch.


i l l u s t r at i o n b y a n d y b r i n k m a n

Two ultra-small startups duel to sell ultrafast broadband to Lawrence. By Steve Vockrodt

osch struck all the right chords October 7 when selling his own fiber-optic business plan to the Lawrence City Commission. Before a packed meeting chamber, he deftly played the earnest small-town startup seeking the city’s approval to do business. “I love raising my family in a small town in Baldwin City,” Bosch told Lawrence’s five-member commission. He explained how his company, RG Fiber, could bring high-speed Internet to Lawrence without asking much in return. All he wanted was access to the city’s rights of way, to lease just a few of the unused fiberoptic strands that the city had buried years ago, and perhaps some land at VenturePark for future office space. He didn’t want any of the city’s money, he said. He also used the moment to take a shot at Wicked Broadband for requesting a loan guarantee. “I want to be very clear in making the statement that we’re asking you not to fund our competitor, Wicked Fiber,” Bosch said. “We continued on page 6

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barrett emke

Wicked Broadband’s Josh Montgomery at his Lawrence office

continued from page 5 simply think that it’s not fair for us to do the hard work to attract the investment to build the business plan, to be vetted by the community of investors and entrepreneurial organizations, and then go in and compete with a competitor who is supported and funded by the city.” Bosch used Wicked Broadband’s reported 2012 franchise fees to extrapolate that the company had made no more than $200,000 that year. “They simply don’t have the capability,” Bosch told the commission. But Bosch hasn’t yet demonstrated his own acumen. The Dallas native started Reflective Group in 2011 as a software company, then began RG Fiber as a Reflective subsidiary, with the goal of stringing fiberoptic cable to Baldwin City and Lawrence. Bosch said at a later Lawrence City Commission meeting that he has never built a fiber network; his main investor, Rex Schick, owns a company in Olathe called K&W Underground, which buries fiber-optic cable. RG Fiber has no paying customers yet and is not a functioning Internet service provider. Bosch’s previous business projects include shipping-industry startups that failed. Other abandoned ventures have left behind frustrated and jilted business partners.


ust as Google first plugged ultrafast fiber into Startup Village, tiny Cortez, Colorado, had laid its fiber-optic network. The Rocky Mountain town of about 8,000 people installed the first phase of its fiber network in 2011. The small city, which built the network, decided it wouldn’t sell Internet service to customers; instead, it invited Internet


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service providers to lease part of the network and then sell service directly to customers. Such an arrangement is called an openaccess or a common-carrier network. The idea is to bury one fiber network and then charge usage fees to whatever entities contract with the owner; those entities then charge their own retail clients. Seven ISPs now operate in Cortez, competing to sell high-speed Internet to that city’s residents and businesses. Common-carrier networks are rare in the United States, due in part to resistance from major telecom companies such as AT&T, which can afford to lobby governments against open access. And so far, the results with open-access networks are mixed. The Cortez network seems to hold promise, but Utah’s UTOPIA network has chronically underperformed. A similar network in Burlington, Vermont, has also struggled financially. In Lawrence, Bosch says he has no interest in pursuing an open-access network. He would prefer to fight it out with AT&T and WOW. Montgomery, however, favors open access. He believes that his model would bring more competition — meaning more business — to Lawrence.


nlike RG Fiber, Wicked Broadband has customers and is a functioning Internet service provider. Montgomery counts among his subscribers 26 of the University of Kansas’ 29 fraternity and sorority houses. Montgomery, a short, sturdy redhead who frequently wears an FBI hoodie, enjoyed a little fame in 2005 as the creator of a novelty device called the Fox Blocker. Wired to a television, the device could keep its user from stumbling across the Rupert Murdoch-owned conservative cable network. The ABC TV series Boston Legal referred to Montgomery’s innovation with an episode in which a high school principal attaches the Fox Blocker to all the televisions in his building to keep the channel’s “hate speech” out of classrooms. Montgomery first proposed installing a fiber-optic network in Lawrence in 2008, when his company was called Lawrence Freenet. His idea then was to wire the city and offer discounted or free service to lowincome residents. Lawrence leaders weren’t interested. Montgomery has a prickly relationship with key staffers at Lawrence City Hall, including City Manager Dave Corliss, whom Montgomery chewed out during a public meeting in January 2006. Today, he says that encounter — when Montgomery’s company was receiving an award from the city — was a product of his being a rash 27-yearold. Montgomery says he and Corliss have patched things up some, though he believes that city leaders are stacking the deck against his latest proposal.

Montgomery began a January 29 e-mail to Corliss and other Lawrence staffers, discussing proposed legislation in Kansas that would forbid the lease of municipal-owned fiber, “I know the three of you don’t like us much and that you’ve come out against our project, but right now we are the only game in town.” It helps to have friends at City Hall when you’re requesting taxpayer assistance for your project. Montgomery’s request involves the city’s guaranteeing a $300,000 private loan to get his pilot broadband project to about 300 residences. The city wouldn’t put down cash or a direct subsidy to secure the loan; it would instead be on the hook for up to $300,000 only if Wicked Broadband failed and couldn’t repay the private loan. Montgomery says the loan guarantee isn’t so much an indication of financial need as it is a token to show investors that the city is committed to Wicked. Corliss tells The Pitch that he cannot recall a time when the city guaranteed a private company’s loan, and Montgomery’s ask has been criticized on the editorial page of the Lawrence Journal-World. In a November 10 editorial headlined “Gigabit Gimmick,” the Journal-World’s editorial board wrote that Wicked’s loan guarantee “isn’t a wise investment for the city.” Montgomery says Lawrence’s newspaper has a beef with him because he has tried to compete with Dolph Simons Jr., that city’s media mogul. Simons’ family owned Lawrence’s dominant cable and Internet company, Sunflower Broadband, until 2010, when it was sold for $165 million. The family still owns the Journal-World. But it’s Bosch who is haunting Montgomery. The city and the Journal-World’s editorial board have taken to heart RG Fiber’s threat that it won’t enter the Lawrence market if one company is given a financial advantage over another. RG Fiber hasn’t asked Lawrence for incentives, though it did pursue $5 million in tax breaks from Baldwin City — a proposal that Bosch eventually abandoned. Montgomery points out that the city offers taxpayer-assisted advantages to private developers frequently, most recently a tax rebate for a developer looking to build apartments near the KU campus. “Nobody calls them [developers] on the hypocrisy of not actually needing the money but getting corporate welfare from the community,” he says. The Lawrence commissioners’ recent wariness of Montgomery may owe something to a couple of embarrassments the city has suffered in recent weeks. Journal-World readers learned on November 14 that the city would be liable for $10.45 million of a total $11.59 million in infrastructure costs for Rock Chalk Park, a privately owned athletic facility that KU leases for its nonrevenue teams, including track and women’s soccer. And continued on page 8

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continued from page 6 earlier that month, Lawrence voters had turned down a sales-tax increase to fund public-safety projects, a defeat that opponents of the tax interpreted as a mandate against the current commission’s management of the city. If Montgomery defaulted on his loan, the $300,000 guarantee would represent a small portion of Lawrence’s $85 million generalfund budget. But Wicked has been dogged by liens filed in 2011 ($3,276) and 2012 ($2,794) by the Kansas Department of Revenue for unpaid taxes. The liens have been paid, but the memory of them remains in the minds of Lawrence commissioners, and Montgomery has so far been unwilling to show the city detailed financial data. He says that’s because the data would become an open record that Bosch or another competitor could view. He counters that a third-party company has looked at Wicked’s books and said the company showed positive cash flow in 2013 and has a decent credit rating. And Montgomery says Wicked is profitable and has more than doubled the $200,000 annual revenue that Bosch cited in the October meeting. So how can Wicked Broadband, which Montgomery calls a roughly $500,000 revenue company, secure another $30 million? “The next thing I do is put on my monkey suit and go raise money,” he says. “Something I haven't done since 2008.”

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his is why I want fast Internet,” Bosch says on a dreary November afternoon in Baldwin City. He has just opened a browser on his MacBook, but the page he wants is loading slowly. In Baldwin City, a town of about 4,500 people, eight miles south of Lawrence, CenturyLink and Mediacom are the primary cable Internet providers. Bosch’s Reflective Group has just moved into new offices off the main drag in downtown Baldwin City, a street where speakers mounted onto light poles play 1980s hits — Genesis’ “In Too Deep” and Heart’s “These Dreams” are two so far today — at curiously loud volumes. Reflective’s space isn’t much to look at yet. Wood beams on the first floor demarcate where not-yet-hung drywall will form office and conference-room walls. The second floor is a lake of sawdust. Bosch is trying to show his visitor where the backbone of North America’s fiber-optic network can be found. Massive runs of fiberoptic cable largely follow major interstates. He points to a city-owned fiber ring at Seventh Street and Vermont in downtown Lawrence, the starting point for his proposed network. From that nexus, Bosch wants to run a fiber-optic line to Baldwin City so he can start hooking up gigabit lines to residents there. He says a preregistration drive by RG Fiber has yielded 300 potential customers

in Baldwin City, which he calls home. He has an agreement to connect fiber to Baker University, a small private school in Baldwin City, by the end of the first quarter of 2015. Baker would be his first customer. That’s why Bosch wants Lawrence commissioners to make their decision quickly. He can’t plug the university in until he runs that fiber-optic line from Lawrence. Connecting through Lawrence has another advantage: the potential to sign up customers in Lawrence. Bosch says he’s backed by $2 million of private equity, much of it coming from Schick. He says he has commitments for future investments but adds, “I’m not going to share details on who or how much.” Bosch graduated from KU in 2004 with a political-science degree. Starting in 2000, while he was a student, Bosch spent the better part of a decade working for UPS and FedEx. While working for UPS, Bosch became Cindy Bracker's shipping representative. Bracker, a Lawrence native, runs a ceramics shop not far from the Lawrence Municipal Airport. The two struck up a friendship, which later turned into plans to open an Internet café that would include an Appleservice store in Lawrence. Their iCafé opened in May 2009; Bracker owned 51 percent of the partnership and Bosch the rest. In order to service Apple products outside an Apple-owned store, iCafé struck a deal with MacXprts, an authorized network of Apple service and resale franchises. Apple is strict with companies such as MacXprts, which in turn impose precise rules on their retail partners. MacXprts operated an outlet inside iCafé, similar to the way a Starbucks franchise opens inside a Target store. Bracker says Bosch started bending MacXprts’ policies soon after iCafé opened. When Bosch tried to run MacXprts’ sales and services through iCafé's accounting system, she adds, MacXprts threatened to deauthorize iCafé. Bracker exercised her majority rule and fired Bosch. “I had to make a business decision,” she says. “I felt Mike was smart enough that this was the only choice. It would be bad enough for both of us if we got deauthorized. We were four months into our three-year lease. We bought custom furniture. We had a $30,000 loan at the bank. We couldn’t let the business fail. The only other option was Mike had to leave. He didn’t have any other ideas.” Bosch’s version of events differs. He says he was working too many hours at iCafé, while Bracker spent time with her family and volunteering with Girl Scouts. “If she’s not there, I have to be there — and I ended up being there all the time,” Bosch says. “That became really difficult.” He adds that he tried to grow the business while Bracker seemed to want to keep it small. Either way, Bosch arrived at the store one day and found that the locks had been

changed. (Bracker says she called the locksmith only after Bosch had shut down her website without warning.) Bracker assumed all of iCafé’s debt after she and Bosch couldn’t reach a buyout agreement. She says she didn’t see Bosch again until that October 7 Lawrence City Commission meeting. That night, she told commissioners about her business dealings with the Baldwin City entrepreneur. “Mike once described himself to me as a serial entrepreneur,” Bracker said. “And it concerns me that the city of Lawrence would want to get into business with somebody who might not be around tomorrow.” Around the time that Bosch and Bracker started iCafé, Bosch was trying to establish other startups tied to the shipping industry. Those companies, Shipping Guru LLC and Shipnotic LLC, didn’t make it. Bosch's Reflective Group counts among its successes a phone system that the Osawatomie Police Department uses and an enrollment app employed by the Baldwin City school district. When Bosch wanted to get into the fiberoptic business in Baldwin City, in 2013, he partnered with Kennis Mann, a former Black

acknowledge. The commission has delayed approving anything throughout a series of meetings, study sessions, staff reports and fiber-policy changes. The most recent study session took place December 9. Bosch was seated at a conference table with his investor, Rex Schick. Across the table were Lawrence’s five commissioners. Directly behind Bosch was Montgomery, punching away at his computer as Bosch spoke. The commissioners asked Bosch why he wanted the city to reject Montgomery’s request for a loan guarantee when he had asked Baldwin City for tax breaks, which he later abandoned. They wanted to know whether he had the financial wherewithal to build a fiber network. (Bosch said he would provide financial data if the city wouldn’t allow the data to become public record.) And the commissioners quizzed him extensively on his opposition to open-access networks. “I’m in no way endorsing open-access or common-carrier networks,” said Mike Dever, a longtime member of the commission. “I’m trying to understand why it’s a bad thing.” Bosch pointed to the failed open-access networks in Utah and Vermont but admitted that he hadn’t studied the matter exten-

“It concerns me that the city of Lawrence would want to get into business with somebody who might not be around tomorrow.” & Veatch engineer, to start Dawn Fiber LLC. But that partnership collapsed acrimoniously, and neither side will say much about why, owing to the out-of-court settlement that dissolved the partnership. Bosch bought out Mann’s stake. “It was ugly,” Bosch says of the breakup. RG Fiber started in Dawn Fiber’s place, with a logo nearly identical to the previous enterprise. Bosch still sometimes uses Dawn Fiber letterhead in his communications with Lawrence.


hen Google Fiber came to Kansas City and its surrounding suburbs, the company left Lawrence out of its plans. It has since expanded tepidly into other cities, including Austin, Texas, and Provo, Utah, but Lawrence still doesn’t appear to be part of Google Fiber’s equation. WOW remains the dominant cable provider in Lawrence, though the company announced a rate hike in early December, followed the next day with staff layoffs. That leaves Lawrence with two startups as its most immediate prospects for highspeed Internet — neither of which the Lawrence City Commission seems excited to


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sively. The answer didn’t seem to satisfy Lawrence commissioners, who asked city staffers to analyze the track record of openaccess networks. Afterward, Bosch felt that he’d gotten the kind of treatment Montgomery has complained about. “It seems like the city is really trying to figure out how they can support Wicked and give them a possibility to stay in the game,” Bosch said. “On one hand, I can understand. But on the other hand, it doesn’t sit well for a startup that’s sitting on capital.” Google Fiber isn’t a startup and doesn’t lack for capital. That’s why Kansas City is the first metropolitan area to get plugged in quickly to the possibilities of high-speed broadband. Google has been highly selective about where else it will go, and Lawrence doesn’t appear to be in its immediate plans. That’s why the college town has ended up looking at two companies with fewer than 10 employees apiece. But its fiber-connectivity future doesn’t necessarily depend on these companies’ proposals, which come with risk and unanswered questions. City commissioners may decide there’s no rush.


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W e e k o f D e c e m b e r 1 8 - 24, 2 0 1 4

Not-So-Silent Night Last month’s Third Thursday party at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art — the series’ debut, pictured here — drew hundreds of people to the Bloch Building for coffee, beer, music, crafts and a gallery talk. Tough act to follow, we thought. Now comes Rad Tidings, from 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, and it sounds at least as cool: Katy Guillen & the Girls play three sets, world-champion air guitarist Eric “Mean” Melin performs and puts on a clinic, Two Tone Press helps you make wrapping paper, and hot chocolate helps you want to buy gifts from Two Tone, KC Cool, UrbanPleat and LKD Kustom Kreations. At opposite ends of the cultural spectrum: Kate Garland and Kimberly Masteller talk about the Jain Shrine, and a bunch of people see how far they can fling a fruitcake. The museum is at 4525 Oak; details, including a full schedule, are at

Daily listings on page 34 

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s ta g e


A Last LAugh

The Unicorn deftly summons Sue Mengers’ funny, gossipy spirit.




Debor ah hirsch

Cynthia Levin



ue Mengers wasn’t larger than life, but the Hollywood superagent lived large. A major player in the industry from the 1960s to the ’80s, she suited herself for a man’s game, one in which the rules of the time didn’t include female competitors. In the Unicorn Theatre’s one-woman show I’ll Eat You Last: A Chat With Sue Mengers, we get a glimpse of that powerful, very real woman (who died in 2011) in Donna Thomason’s captivating portrayal. Learning from her father — who died, Mengers says, of “thwarted dreams” — she reached out for the parallel universe of her desire, that of film, where “everybody was making themselves up.” Facing the audience throughout the funny and biting 80-minute play, wearing Mengers’ characteristic caftan and blond hair, Thomason doesn’t budge from the sofa on which she’s seated. In the capable hands of director Sidonie Garrett, this veteran actress holds us rapt with Mengers’ stories, told with a sharp tongue as she drinks and smokes cigarettes and pot incessantly. It’s as though we’re guests at one of her famous Hollywood dinners. Except we’re not, and she lets us know it. “My own mother wouldn’t have gotten in,” she says, “if she was standing outside in the rain.” There’s the A list, and there’s the B list, and Mengers’ table was reserved for the former: Mike Nichols, Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, Julie Harris, Michael Caine, Brian

De Palma. There was also, most important to her, perhaps, Barbra Streisand, whom Mengers met when the singer’s first name still had the third “a.” Mengers awaits an important phone call from Streisand as she talks with us before one of her parties. We learn that, as an immigrant from Nazi Germany living in Utica, New York, Mengers lost herself, as a child, in the movies at her “local fleapit movie house.” She fell in love with movies there, and used them to teach herself English. “That’s why I still talk like a gum-cracking Warner Bros. second lead,” she says. She may have transformed herself from a shy, overweight outsider to an influential starmaker, but Thomason’s commanding yet sensitive performance lets us keep sight of that young alien working to fit in. Playwright John Logan (who wrote the Tony Award–winning Red and the films The Aviator and Hugo, among others) plausibly re-creates the famous, charismatic personality, and his artful script braids facts with delicious details. The stories appear real: Mengers’ trip to Virginia to visit Sissy Spacek at the actress’s muddy farm, her discovery of an unknown Streisand in a crummy gay bar with a 40-watt spotlight. Who isn’t seduced by a little gossip, after all, “the lube by which this town slips it in,” Mengers says. We’re ta ken in by t h is persona as Thomason dances from one tale to the next — all ultimately about the business, the deals. We don’t take our gaze off her, except,

Thomason’s Mengers wheels and deals. perhaps, to warm our eyes on the pastelcolored and richly decorated environs of Mengers’ Beverly Hills home (set design by Gary Mosby and properties design by Shawnna Journagan), a house formerly owned by Zsa Zsa Gabor, she tells us, that had to be “de-sequined.” The film business is changing as this play takes place. It’s 1981, a time when Hollywood is driven less by artists who love the movies and more by CEOs preoccupied with corporate finance. “What’s an Ewok?” she asks us. Mengers, too, is at the cusp of a career shift, a decline she equates to that of other A-listers who eventually fade away, but a fall of her own making, one having something to do with that phone call from Streisand. A porous fourth wall separates this brutally honest and barrier-breaking big shot from her audience during the play, and I couldn’t help feeling a little bit sad when she prepared to take her leave. But she had guests arriving soon, a party to savor while it lasted.

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s ta g e


Hannibal Buress’ moment is about more than just the Cosby thing.


Natalie GallaGher


ifteen minutes on the phone with Hannibal Buress feels like catching up with your most ridiculous college friend. The 31-year-old comic and co-star of Comedy Central’s Broad City doesn’t deliver zingers or punch lines — he’s just an unusually amusing conversationalist. And lately, he has been in the middle of a significant cultural conversation. It was partly Buress’ onstage labeling of Bill Cosby as a rapist that propelled charges against the comedy legend back into the news cycle. Buress’ publicists made this interview with him contingent on my not asking him about the Cosby thing when I called him at his hotel in New Orleans. That freed us up to cover such innocuous topics as baseball and human fertility. At no time during our talk could I be 100-percent sure whether Buress was being a little serious after all. The Pitch: How does your material vary from night to night on this tour? Do you have specific talking points you plan to address in Kansas City? Buress: I’ve got prepared material, and I write material as I go along. I’ll talk about how the Royals lost and how it looked like they would win and how heartbreaking that was for the city, and how, when I watched Game 7 of the World Series, I wished that — you know, when the Royals lost at home, they didn’t do enough reaction shots of sad Royals fans. That’s a big part of sports, when they show who’s upset, and they didn’t really show that on the game. Nothing against the Royals. I just wanted to see sad fans. If the game was in San Francisco, I would have wanted the Royals to win. I have no allegiance to San Francisco or Kansas City. It’s just situational. You just signed on for a role in Daddy’s Home, with Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg. You’re playing a handyman who’s concerned that Ferrell’s character is a racist. What attracted you to that role? I think somebody else couldn’t do it, and that’s how I got it. [Laughs.] I’m pretty sure that’s what happened. I doubt that. I saw that you went to Cracker Barrel in Georgia. You did a pretty funny restaurant review for Twitter. Can we expect more of that? Are you looking for some KC barbecue to critique? I would love to review a barbecue place. The thing is, the reviews I did, I was on a tour bus. I was with an opening act and a tour manager and my DJ, and it was easier to travel on a bus like that. But if I’m flying into Kansas City and I’ve got to get my [video] guy to come so I can review some goddamn barbecue, that’s work, you know? I’m kind of a frugal dude, so I don’t want to pay, like, $400 for a flight for my video guy and whatever just to get there so I can comment on some ribs

Hannibal Buress Thursday, December 18, at the Folly Theater

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for YouTube. But that could be a new foray for me, just getting into restaurant reviews. I have a very unsophisticated palate, though. What can you tell me about Season 2 of Broad City? Does the woman you’re in love with, Ilana, finally come around? Me and Ilana in Season 2 — there’s a subtext there. You have to catch it. You have to watch. There’s an underlying energy that we’re carrying, but it’s not stated or that obvious. Ilana gets pregnant with twins! That’s your headline. I feel like you might be making that up. [Laughs.] Twins. So, if you had triplets, would you keep all three or would you give one away? What? I guess I would probably give all three away. How do you know? Well, I mean, you can’t break up the band. You keep them all or you give them all away. No. I think triplets are too many. I think two babies is OK. If I had triplets, I would give one away. OK. What do your real-life romantic relationships have in common with your onscreen relationship with Ilana? Are you the sweet, lovable character you play or are you, like, a player? There’s no middle ground with you, huh? I have a lady in my life. We call each other exes, but we talk pretty much every day. I think

Buress: Mostly kidding. Maybe. it’s gonna fix itself. I’m just a man out here trying to work in show business, and I’m just trying to make enough money to get out of the business. It’s like a drug to me. I want to make a lot of money and then get out before it gets too crazy. You seem to be doing well. You’ve gone from writing for comedy shows to starring in comedy shows. What are some of the perks? Concert tickets? I don’t know. One cool thing is being able to work with people and meet people I’ve been a fan of for a while. One minute I’m touring, then I’m on a movie set in New Orleans, doing a scene with Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg. That’s pretty fucking weird. Things like that happen, and I’m grateful and I appreciate that. And then I come to New Orleans a lot, for work, but also sometimes just to kick it, just to experience those different aspects of life — visiting New Orleans on vacation is different than being here performing and working. So just being able to experience life in different ways, being able to do what I love to do, I’m grateful for that. I’ll keep doing it until somebody finds out about all my skeletons. [Laughs.]


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Traveler’s Prayer

Wild: a song of herself rising to a spiritual hymn.



S c o t t W il S on


here’s the suffering you choose, and there’s the suffering that chooses you. Walking the sometimes desolate, sometimes beautiful border between the two is Wild, Cheryl Strayed’s essential 2012 memoir and, now, this haunting film version of it, starring Reese Witherspoon. Strayed’s book is as interior as its setting is exterior. It recounts her 1995 hike from the Mojave Desert to the Oregon–Washington line, a journey that she undertook impulsively following the death of her mother, a heroin-fueled descent into promiscuity, and a divorce from her first husband. Before all of this, she’d never heard of the Pacific Crest Trail. And then, suddenly, it seemed to her that strapping on a dreadnought of a pack, broiling under the cloudless sky and following the trail seemed her only course. Suffering as homeopathy, maybe. Risk, certainly. Dialogue, not so much. Beyond Strayed’s musing to herself and recalling the conversations and encounters that led her to the trail, Wild the book isn’t long on talk. It is instead a masterpiece of self-revelation, told with minimal human interaction. Nick Hornby’s screenplay is perfect in its own way, finding the rue and the pride in Strayed’s narrative and giving a fierce, believable Witherspoon (and, as the mother, Laura Dern) deep opportunities even in near silence. Like Jean-Marc Vallée’s direction, Hornby’s script is constantly aware of distance. There aren’t many people in Wild, and most of the time, the characters are held apart. And when it’s just Witherspoon in the frame, even when she’s in close-up, nature’s impossible vastness dominates. Echoing the book, some of the distance, some of the vastness, is temporal. Early reviews of the movie reported flashbacks within flashbacks — a storytelling head-scratcher that I was dreading. But Hornby and Vallée (Dallas Buyers Club) more than justify the




Passes are limited and first-come, first-served. Rated R for language throughout, and for some sexuality/nudity. No purchase necessary. Please note: Arrive early! Seating is first-come, first-served, except for members of the reviewing press. Theatre is overbooked to ensure a full house. Theatre is not responsible for overbooking. Seating is not guaranteed.


choice. What could have been a defeating jumble achieves something rare: the pace, repetition and super-collision of grief-stricken memory. (Part of the glue comes from snippets of song, most memorably a couple of Simon and Garfunkel standards, heard as Cheryl tries to keep herself together. Hornby, the novelist who gave us High Fidelity, flashes his recordgeek badge in clever ways here.) Strayed’s writing doesn’t lack specificity, yet the experience she so deftly chronicles in Wild (helped by nearly 20 years of germination) is less about a hard physical journey than it is about an elemental spiritual thirst. It has justifiably become a book of common prayer for people who otherwise avoid the self-help shelf. Which means that Wild didn’t cry out

to be a movie; almost any production of it was likely to be a syrupy, voice-over-heavy mess. But Vallée, Hornby and Witherspoon (a producer) have instead made a triumph out of a triumph. Take a walk alone down your own block and write down every image or word that zaps through your brain. You may not end up with the signposts of illness, despair or panic that blink through Wild in its early going. But if you’re lucky, you’ll note little bolts of forgiveness and wonder, as Wild does — and does without obviousness or sentimentality.

great performance.) And Top Five is Rock’s distillation of his own stand-up, Louis C.K.’s FX show, Preston Sturges’ Sullivan’s Travels, and a couple of semesters’ worth of NYU film school (if Martin Scorsese and Spike Lee were among the lecturers). You get the feeling that Rock has thrown every good idea and every creative impulse at his disposal into Top Five. You get the feeling because he has pretty much said as much, in a recent tidal wave of press (with nearly every interview its own memorable demonstration of wit and political savvy). If this thing flops, he’s been telling people, his fourth directing job may be a long way

off. Yet there is nothing desperate about Top Five, which is instead utterly confident without overstating its swagger. It’s as original as mainstream American comedies get anymore — and as outside the mainstream as the best of our indie movies. It’s also — let’s skip the synopsis and the analysis of Hollywood and race and race and everywhere else — flat-out funny. Top Five came out last Friday, stuck between Exodus and the last Hobbitorama, and it’s about to go up against the season’s biopics and awards bait. Rock and his movie deserve a big chunk of that attention. I want to see his next movie, the sooner the better. — S.W.

Witherspoon gets un-lost.




now playing top five


op Five is Chris Rock’s Woody Allen movie. Its romantic tensions evoke those of Annie Hall, and its disgust with celebrity culture, with fame, recalls Stardust Memories. (Rock plays Andre Allen, recovering user, recovering comic and soon-to-be-recovering badly reviewed serious actor.) Top Five is also writer-director-star Rock’s Richard Linklater movie — the Linklater of Before Sunrise and its two sequels, Linklater the walking-andtalking enthusiast and improvisational collaborator. (Andre is spending the day with Chelsea Brown, a reporter of unlikely sensibilities rendered whole by Rosario Dawson’s

ENTER-TO-WIN A COMPLIMENTARY TICKET! LOG ON TO THIS FILM IS RATED R FOR strong and disturbing war violence, and language throughout including some sexual references. Please note: Passes are available on a first-come first-served basis. While supplies last. No purchase necessary. Limit one admit-two pass per person. Employees of participating sponsors are ineligible. Arrive early! Seating is first-come, first-served, except for members of the reviewing press. Theater is overbooked to ensure a full house. Theater is not responsible for overbooking.

IN THEATRES NATIONWIDE 1/16/15 #americansniper

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Spare Me

Hungry bowlers can find a


few good things at Pinstripes.

Charles Ferruzza


Keep Warm! Eat Pho!

Pinstripes • 13500 Nall, Overland Park, 913-681-2255 Hours: 11:30 a.m.–11 p.m. Monday–Thursday, 11:30 a.m.–12:30 a.m. Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m.–10 p.m. Sunday • Price: $$–$$$



511 Cherry St. KCMO 816.221.8892 | pinStripeS

angela C. Bond

can probably count on two fingers and a thumb the number of times I’ve eaten in a bowling alley — a pretty good cheeseburger here, a damn fine chili dog there. I recall a surprisingly satisfying plate of sweet-and-sour chicken at the Chop Stix restaurant about 20 years ago, when that place was connected to the Ward Parkway Lanes. In fact, I admit thinking that the chicken was delicious, so I’m not about to say I’m above eating the occasional bowling-alley dish. The problem isn’t the food — it’s that I’ve never been a decent bowler. But if I ever improve, I’ll roll at Pinstripes, the six-month-old bowling alley and bocce court in the new-ish Prairiefire complex, and I’ll at least order some dessert to celebrate breaking 100. The place boasts an appealing little restaurant (which claims to have a “90-percent-scratch kitchen”) where mushrooms are stuffed, short ribs are braised, breads are baked, and pizzas and flatbreads are cooked in a wood-burning oven. Not everything works, but what does far surpasses that sweet-and-sour chicken. The name Pinstripes suggests a men’s clothing store — indeed, the Country Club Plaza had such a place for a time — more than it does a bowling alley. But this isn’t your neighborhood 10-frame emporium. Here, the classic blue-collar game is played on what could be a leftover Blade Runner set, and the shiny, happy patrons look to have more in common with Arrested Development characters than with the swaggering roughnecks my father used to bowl with. Pinstripes feels something like a futuristic country club. The dining room is cut from the tweedy cloth of a members-only affair, with a decent wine list, Intelligentsia coffee (or a Ghirardelli mocha latte), a rotating array of daily soups, a Cobb e r Mo salad, seafood tagliatelle in which lump crab floats in a saffron broth, and a t a ine filet mignon. Onl .com pitch Maybe potential diners feel intimidated. I enjoyed three meals in the Pinstripes “bistro,” and while the bar always seemed to be doing a hectic business, the dining room was never more than 30-percent full on the nights I was there. “During the week,” a server explained to me, “people come in here mostly to play. On the weekends, we get a lot of people who come here only to eat. They don’t care about bocce ball.” I don’t, either. I was more interested in sampling Pinstripes’ meatballs. They turned out to be adequate but hardly bigger than the Nike One Platinum golf balls favored by Tiger Woods. I ate them as part of a satisfac-

Grilled vegetable flatbread ...........................$12 Chicken dumpling soup ..................................$6 Veggie burger ..................................................$13 Spaghetti and meatballs ...............................$13 Baked lasagna .................................................$16 Flight of desserts ...........................................$12

tory but unmemorable bowl of spaghetti with meat sauce. Chef Eric Camacho does much better with lasagna, a thick and cheesy slab of layered noodles, ricotta and meat ragu that’s served in a little iron frying pan. (That conceit works better with cornbread.) Italiano meets jambalaya in an offbeat risotto dish made with rustic arborio rice, spicy chicken and sausage, and sautéed shrimp in an intense basil glaze. I found it restorative on a cold night — as I also did a bowl of the house chicken-dumpling soup, a hearty concoction with lots of doughy little dumplings. The soups at Pinstripes are available only in $6 bowls. If you ask for something resembling a cup, the servers stare you down. “I’m not trying to get away with anything,” I told mine one evening. “I just don’t want to be too full to actually eat a meal.” Bowling is the game at Pinstripes, but requesting substitutions is the foul. And I would have been thrilled to substitute anything — even meat — for the sandwich billed here as a veggie burger. It deserves a point for being, the menu says, house-made, but many more points must be deducted for the patty: a gluey mess of brown rice, black beans, beets, mushrooms and an indulgent amount of molasses. Stuck in an oversized bun, it was too crumbly and mushy to eat in any civilized manner, let alone topped with tomato, lettuce and a slice of avocado. The prime-rib sandwich, on the other hand, was magnificent: tender, delectable meat lavishly tucked into a soft pretzel bun. It was

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only a couple of bucks more than that meatless monstrosity, making it a relative bargain. If I went veggie here again, I’d order the grilled vegetable flatbread. The crust I sampled was light and crispy, and the chopped asparagus, onions and squash blended nicely with creamy Fontinella cheese (which my server insisted on calling “Fontella,” like the singer of “Rescue Me”). I preferred it to the $13 sausage-and-peppers pizza, which was tasty but no better than what you might get at any suburban bowling center. Among the desserts, a rich, flaky cheesecake with a brûlée-style sugared crust was the best of what I tried. Thickly glazed breadpudding triangles were not fruity enough, and the thin portions of chocolate torte were dusted with enough powdered sugar for five more servings. Cheery employees offered me tours of the facility on each of my visits. The suggestion was that, on seeing the swanky premises, I’d want to bowl or play bocce. There was almost no chance I would succumb to temptation, so I politely declined. I’m not about to take up bowling. But I might go back to Pinstripes for another sandwich and dessert.

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Fat C i t y

New ProsPects

Prospect Avenue evolves into a dining destination.


Charles Ferruzza

t’s easy to find lots of good things to eat on Prospect Avenue. Last week’s Pitch cover story, “Comeback Street,” detailed the restaurant resurgence going on along the historic East Side thoroughfare, which was the racial dividing line in Kansas City for decades, until the late 1960s. A new generation of restaurateurs has taken over — even on the most forlorn stretches of the avenue — and created one of the most vibrant dining environments this street has seen in years. There is a caveat: Because of the avenue’s slow decline (precipitated, many believe, by the long construction of midtown freeway Bruce R. Watkins Drive, which razed and disrupted properties east and west of Prospect), it’s still not easy to find a good cup of coffee. Starbucks and Kaldi’s haven’t landed on Prospect. If you want to find anything resembling a cappuccino, you’ll have to use the self-service machine at the Pick ’n Save Market at the corner of 58th Street and Prospect. There you’ll find the sweet, foamy brew, sold by many big-name convenience stores, that has more in common with hot chocolate than it does with coffee. But the Pick ’n Save — which sells cigarettes, prepaid phones, and a couple of green peppers that have seen better days — is as close to an upscale coffeehouse as you’ll find on this street, even if you have to pay a cashier who sits behind a thick pane of bulletproof glass. On Prospect, most of the restaurants are strictly takeout venues with, typically, one table and a few chairs in awkwardly small “dining rooms.” There are exceptions to the rule — Mo’s Italian Spot and Chicken Macaroni & Cheese, both of which have plenty of comfortable seating — but most of the newer Prospect restaurants are essentially waiting rooms. That includes the eight-month-old E&J’s Soul Food and More, at 5311 Prospect, which moved into the location formerly occupied by Chicken Macaroni & Cheese after that restaurant’s owners, Dyamund Shields Sr. and Dyamund Shields Jr., created a much more elaborate sit-down dining spot at 7025 Prospect. Past a thick steel door is the E&J’s unglamorous waiting room. During daylight hours, soap operas play on a monitor mounted near the counter, where manager Michelle Walker barks orders to the kitchen crew in the back for carryout pork-chop sandwiches, fried-chicken dinners, or biscuits and gravy. (Breakfast is served all day at E&J’s.) The owners, Earl Morgan and Jamesetta Rhodes, wanted to start with a smaller

AngelA C. Bond


venue for their first restaurant, which is why the Prospect location seemed ideal. “We thought the neighborhood needed us there — and they do,” Rhodes says. “And maybe we should have opened in a bigger place. We get calls every day, asking if we have sit-down dining, which so few restaurants on Prospect offer. And maybe we will have that, eventually.” Rhodes says she would like to believe that there’s a shift in perception about Prospect Avenue with the newer restaurants opening. But, she admits, she admits, “I still have friends and relatives who just don’t want to come to Prospect.” The exterior appearances of some restaurants on Prospect can be more than unfriendly; they’re almost foreboding. The glass-sheathed structure that houses the Jamdown Kitchen Jamaican Restaurant, at 6836 Prospect, is armored with black steel bars. The door is unlocked during business hours, and the lobby of the space is big enough for only one table with three chairs and a granite counter with two stools. The menu is handwritten on a board above the entrance to the kitchen. An employee with shoulder-length dreads waits patiently for me to decide on curry chicken, brown stew or curried goat. Most of Jamdown Kitchen’s patrons take their food to go, but I sat at the counter and stuffed myself with a heap of fragrant curried chicken and washed it down with a bottle of Grace pineapple-ginger drink (made in Jamaica and really gingery) while watching reggae-music videos playing on a TV screen.


Michelle Walker, at E&J’s Soul Food, shows off the smothered pork-chop dinner. I also attempted to memorize the national anthem of Jamaica. The words are printed on a banner near the kitchen pass-through window, where white Styrofoam boxes appear every so often filled with fat piles of fried rice and beans, spicy jerk dishes or a meaty, slow-braised oxtail. Most of the new restaurants opening on Prospect are choosing the area south of 49th Street. But one business owner at 4424 Prospect has been holding his own in the same location for more than four decades. Johnny Pryor has been running Johnny’s Donuts and Hamburgers from an unassuming buff-brick building since 1981. (Pryor worked in the combination pastry-andsandwich shop owned by Louis Walker for 12 years before buying the place.) The fresh doughnuts at Johnny’s are featherlight and delicious. “We’ve always sold burgers, cheeseburgers, doughnuts and filled pastries here,” Pryor says. “But over the years, I’ve added a lot more to the menu, like pork chops, chicken wings and fried mushrooms.” The Prospect Avenue neighborhood has been good to him, Pryor says. “I have a lot of regular customers who come in every day,” he says. “It’s a neighborhood that’s seen a lot of ups and downs, but I say, ‘You’ve just got to take one day from the next and be your best.’ ”

check out FIND


time, feature, name or location ON YOUR



d ec e m b e r 1 8 - 24 , 2 0 14

the pitch


fat c i t y

assemble my first charcuterie plate.


Natalie GallaGher

zach bauman

Speck Sheet

Broadway Butcher Shop helps me


tuart Aldridge cannot stop smiling. On a Friday afternoon, as customers peer into the illuminated cases at the Broadway Butcher Shop, where Aldridge has been owner-operator for a little more than a year, he is an enthusiastic blur of energy. I am here to ask him about charcuterie: cured meats, sausages, terrines and pâtés. And there seems to be no topic that could bring him greater joy. I’m hoping that Aldridge can teach me how to assemble a party-appropriate charcuterie. I want a platter that will give the illusion of sophistication without causing me to go broke. Aldridge nods. He knows exactly what to do: “Let’s start with the cocktail weenies!” I am expecting to see those teeny-tiny sausages that you stick toothpicks into, but Aldridge gestures to some plump links ($8.50 a pound) labeled “Mint Julep Cocktail Weenies” and “Old Fashioned Cocktail Weenies.” “These are really good roasted and sliced thin,” he says. “I’ve worked at some places that do some really good cocktails, so it was just taking that knowledge and applying it in a different way. There’s fresh mint, bourbon and a little simple syrup in a mint julep, and we use the same ingredients. We use dehydrated mint because the mint flavor lasts longer once you’ve steamed and roasted them off. For a


the pitch

meat and cheese tray, you can have those sliced and sitting out on a tray for 30 or 45 minutes and they’ll be room temperature, but they’ll still taste, you know, like a mint-julep cocktail.” Sausages that imitate booze sounds either brilliant or disastrous, I think, but I take Aldridge up on it. Two weenies for me, I say. He nods, and we head over to the cured meats. This case is filled with promising hunks: a long, rectangular mass of Italian-imported Recla Speck Alto Adige ham ($16 a pound); heavy-looking loaves of Molinari salami, Molinari Finocchiona and Citterio sopressata; 18-month-aged Spanish jamón serrano ($29 a pound) sitting proudly in the back. Aldridge has already made up his mind that my charcuterie tray should involve, at a minimum, the speck ham and the serrano ham, and he begins slicing off tastes. “The speck is smoked prosciutto,” Aldridge tells me. “It’s very Northern Italian. We get this from the upper part of the [pig] thigh. It’s probably the single best-selling item we have in the case.” Aldridge shaves off a paper-thin slice that’s marbled like a $1,000 countertop. The meat looks almost too artful to eat, but of course I do. After the wood-oven smokiness melts away, I taste a sweetness that reminds me of country honey and rosemary.

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“Jamón serrano is Spanish-style prosciutto,” Aldridge says. “I equate the taste to almost an attic-y flavor because you can taste where it was hung and where it aged. It’s definitely on the drier side. Some people like to wrap things in prosciutto, for cooking, but that’s not what this is for.” He’s right. This meat’s dry texture and woody flavor make it easy for me to imagine myself standing in a shop in some hilly, tree-lined Spanish town. To finish my charcuterie project, Aldridge talks about his house-made country pâté ($15 a pound). It is equal parts pork shoulder and liver, he tells me, steamed off slowly and allowed to settle overnight. “We sell the bejesus out of it,” Aldridge says with a grin. “Charcuterie is kind of allencompassing, a labor of using scraps to make something awesome. We use the trimmings from our pork shoulders and chops — those go in the pâté. We utilize those products to make something beautiful and clean and rich. And in the colder months, something rich is always good. I look at it like this: To me, charcuterie is just utilizing the product to its full potential to make someone happy.” Sold. At home, I prepare the cocktail weenies according to Aldridge’s instructions — oven-

Aldridge puts together a perfect platter. roasted at 375 degrees for 12 minutes — and slice them thinly. I try his Old Fashioned sausage first, and I’m rewarded with something aromatic and juicy and packed with flavor. A hint of bourbon, lots of sweet cherry and a little citrus tart zing around in my mouth. The Mint Julep weenie is just as hearty and promising, and the mint does indeed come through loud and clear. My skepticism is gone. I am impressed. The pinkish pâté is thick and coarse, and I realize that I have forgotten to pick up some crusty bread. I have to settle for unearthing an old box of water crackers, but no matter. Aldridge’s recipe is properly fatty and highly filling, the pork salted to perfection. I understand why he frequently sells out of it. Aldridge has chosen well for me — the cocktail weenies, the speck and the serrano, the pâté. I should probably have listened to him when he recommended Dijon mustard, too, or the cornichons from his small drygoods section. In fact, I think, as I spread more of the pâté on another cracker, I should probably just let Aldridge run all my parties. I’d be so popular.


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the pitch


fat c i t y





Westside’s Favorite Since 2000 1667 SUMMIT KCMO




1404 Westport Rd, KCMO (816) 931-8575

ALL YOU CAN EAT BUFFET & MARKET Our Waldo Location is now







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1106 WESTPORT ROAD / K.C., MO 1 BLOCK W. OF S.W. TRFWY. 816-561-3500


the pitch

Big Bear


Ju s t in K e nd a l l

The stars align for Ursa Major at McCoy’s.

Thursday, december 18 Boulevard Smokestack Series celebration,


oxes of empty bottles sit outside the glassed-off brewhouse of McCoy’s Public House. Soon, those bottles will be filled with Ursa Major, the brewpub’s Russian Imperial Stout, named for the constellation and made to mark the winter solstice. This year’s Ursa Major is astronomically ontarget, arriving at 4 p.m. Tuesday, December 23, at McCoy’s (4057 Pennsylvania) and at the neighboring Foundry. Head brewer Morgan Fetters admits that he isn’t looking forward to filling eight cases of 750 ml bottles. That’s 12 bottles per case. “The bottling is what I look forward to the least,” he says. The work will be worth it. Ursa Major (10.1 percent ABV) is arguably McCoy’s most anticipated release of the year, and its bottling happens rarely. McCoy’s will sell those bottles for $15 apiece, and they’re likely to go fast. “We only have 220 gallons, give or take,” Fetters says. “And we’ll save back three kegs for future tappings. It’ll be short-lived. A lot of people buy them for Christmas gifts and stocking stuffers and whatnot. Usually we don’t have very many cases left after that first night.” Randyl Danner, Beer KC’s director of beer, says there’s no bottle limit yet for purchases. In addition to bottles, McCoy’s will tap kegs of 2012, 2013 and 2014 Ursa Major, so drinkers can compare the three most recent releases (though they’ll do it a la carte rather than in flights, which won’t be offered). The 2014 version will be sold in commemorative tulip glasses for $12, with $7 refills. Six-ounce pours of each beer will be available for $3.50. This is the last chance to taste Ursa Major ’12, and it shouldn’t be missed. “From my experience, they usually age very, very well,” Danner says. The most recent Ursa Major was aged for about three months in Dark Horse Distillery rye and bourbon barrels. “This year, we did 100-percent barrel-aged after the primary fermentation,” Fetters says. “You’ll pick up a little bit of the spicy characteristics from the rye barrels and definitely some bourbon-barrel characteristics,” Danner says. “And all of the barrels add a nice vanilla, oaky, toffeelike flavor.” “It has that real strong boozy aroma,” Fetters adds. “But you don’t get a whole lot of that super-strong boozy heat because you have a lot of malt to back up all of that big alcohol.” Don’t expect any changes in the Ursa Major recipe. The malts (Pale 2-Row, Vienna, roasted, chocolate, melanoidin, Biscuit, and Belgian candied sugar) and the hops (Ameri-

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featuring Imperial Stout, Collaboration No. 4, Harvest Dance and Silver Anniversary Ale, at Local Tap (7300 West 119th Street, Overland Park), 6:30 p.m.

Cinder Block ugly sweater party (110 East 18th Avenue, North Kansas City), 5 p.m.

North Kansas City Beverage Co. happy hour, at Side Pockets (600 Northwest Englewood Road), 4–7 p.m.

Odell tap takeover, featuring Friek, Mountain Standard, 180 Shilling, Gramps Oatmeal Stout and 5 Barrel Pale Nitro, at the Other Place (16590 West 135th Street, Olathe), 5–9 p.m. River North Brewery beer dinner, at Happy Gil-

lis Café & Hangout (549 Gillis), $60, 6:30 p.m.

Samuel Adams Merry Maker, Breckenridge Vanilla Porter Nitro and Founders Double Trouble tap, at Waldo Pizza's taproom (7433


Tallgrass tasting, at Lukas Liquor (7541 West 119th Street, Overland Park), 4:30–6:30 p.m. Friday, december 19 Lagunitas “Mumbles,” featuring Bad Santa,

at Screenland Armour (408 Armour Road, North Kansas City), $10, 10 p.m. b r o o k e va n d e v e r


Ursa Major: an early holiday gift can Horizon and East Kent Golding, from England) remain the same. “There’s nothing broken with this beer,” Danner says. “I know for me, a lot of the bitterness that I get from this beer is from the malt.” Danner takes a whiff of the beer. “Lots of chocolate,” she says. “For the big monster that it is, I think it only has 5 pounds of bittering hops,” Fetters says. “That’s exactly what we do for our IPA. “It balances out the sweetness of the wort, pretty much,” Danner says. “It adds more body. It’s more of, like, a coffeelike bitterness with the malt bitterness than it is a citrusy, pine kind of hop bitterness.” Like the solstice, Ursa Major won’t last long. “Once the bottles are gone, they’re gone,” Danner says.


Odell tap takeover, featuring Barrel Thief Oak-Aged Myrcenary and 180 Shilling, at the Other Place (7324 West 80th Street, Overland Park) River North Brewery tasting with owners Matt and Jessica Hess, at Lukas Liquors (7541 West 119th Street, Overland Park)

75th Street Brewery releases XXX-Mas Spiced Belgian Dubbel (520 West 75th Street) Tallgrass tasting, at Gomer’s Midtown (3838 Broadway), 4–6:30 p.m. monday, december 22 Founders Backwoods Bastard tapping, at Bier Station (120 East Gregory Boulevard), noon

Tallgrass tasting , at Lukas Liquor (13657 Washington), 4:30–6:30 p.m.

Tuesday, december 23 Ciderboys tasting , at Price Chopper (520

South Commercial, Harrisonville), 4–7 p.m.

Free State tasting, at Rimann Liquors (3917 Prairie Lane, Prairie Village), 4:30–6:30 p.m. Ursa Major Russian Imperial Stout release party, at McCoy’s (4057 Pennsylvania), 4 p.m. Out now: Boulevard Crown Town Ale

d ec e m b e r 1 8 - 24 , 2 0 14

the pitch


It’s what they want for


Dogs World of Fun All events take place December 31, 2014, unless otherwise indicated.


1220 W. 31ST STREET, KANSAS CITY, MO 64108 816.931.5822 • DOGSWORLDOFFUN.COM


CHAMPAGNE CHIC 5 1 0 2 e v E s ’ r a e Y New Ring in 2015 at The View @ Briarcliff

Dinner Drinks & Entertainment

Cherry Bomb and DJ Kevin

Champagne Toast & Balloon Drop at Midnight Party Packages with and without Hotel Room in the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel available For more information, Contact Shelley at 816-841-2362 or

4000 N Mulberry Dr., KCMO 64116


the pitch

Ameristar Casino Hotel Kansas City, 3200 N. Ameristar Dr., 816-414-7000, Featuring Vince Neil in the Star Pavilion; balloon drop and free live entertainment on the Ameristar Streetscape. ASA Sushi & Hibachi Lounge, 10088 Woodland Rd., Lenexa, 913-393-1088, Countdown Party, with restaurant and bar open late. Packages available: $100 Sushi VIP, $100 Hibachi VIP and $50 late-night VIP. Entertainment by DJ Steve, karaoke from 9 to 11 p.m. and dance mix from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m., no cover. The Blue Room, 1600 E. 18th St., 816-474-8463: Featuring Charles Williams’ Motown Revue, Eboni Fondren and Ron Gutierrez, $80 a person or $150 a couple, 7 p.m. Bluestem, 900 Westport Rd., 816-561-1101: A seven-course dinner for $135, plus tax and gratuity, with available wine pairing for an additional $65 per person. Reservations are required. The Bottleneck, 737 New Hampshire, Lawrence, 785-841-5483: Split Lip Rayfield, Dewayn Brothers, and Loaded Goat. The BrewTop Pub and Patio, 8614 N. Boardwalk Ave., 816-584-9292: Eighties-Style NYE, 10 p.m., with live music by the Transients and a free toast at midnight. The BrewTop Pub and Patio, 6601 W. 135th St., Overland Park, 913-897-5500: Entertainment by Twice on Sunday, and midnight bomb toast. The Brick, 1727 McGee, 816-421-1634, The 15th annual Hair of the Dog Day on New Year’s Day, January 1, with comfort food and $1 bloody marys. Broadway Jazz Club, 3601 Broadway, 816-298-6316: Entertainment by Molly Hammer. Café Provence, 3936 W. 69th Terr., Prairie Village, 913-384-5998. Prix fixe menu available with seatings at 6, 6:30, 8 and 8:30 p.m. Californos, 4124 Pennsylvania, 816-531-7878, the Black Party, including four different party areas with DJs; ticket packages starting at $80, 9 p.m. Club 1000, 1000 Broadway, Four levels of parties; entertainment by Dolewite, DJ Mike Scott, the Patrick Lentz Band and DJ Craig Loftis; premium-labelhosted bar, plus hors d’oeuvre stations; and post-party transportation to major hotels downtown, at Crown Center and on the Plaza, 9 p.m. Coda Bar & Grill, 1744 Broadway, 816-569-1747: Dinner party with the Promise Makers, 7 p.m. Comedy City, 3600 Broadway, Ste. 107: Featuring a special appearance by Jackson County 5 and the Black Eyed OPs, and a late-night improv jam with Three Blindfolds, Six Bare Feet and One Hundred Mousetraps; midnight champagne and cupcake toast; no discounts or coupons, $30. Davey’s Uptown Ramblers Club, 3402 Main, 816-753-1909, Music by the Revolvers. Drunken Fish, 14 E. 14th St., 816-474-7177: Four-course meal with complimentary cocktail. $45 per person. Extra Virgin, 1900 Main, 816-842-2205: Service from 6 p.m. to midnight with the full menu and a four-course menu featuring lobster tail for $55, and entertainment by the Grand Marquis. Flying Saucer, 101 E. 13th St., 816-221-1900: Brew Year’s Eve, featuring special tappings, a DJ, special table packages, raffles and a midnight toast, 6 p.m. The 403 Club, 614 Reynolds Ave., KCK, 913-499-8392, Free champagne toast at midnight. Green Lady Lounge, 1809 Grand, 816-215-2954: Entertainment by the Organ Jazz Trio. Hangar 9 at the Airline History Museum, 201 N.W. Lou Holland Dr., 816-421-3401, Featuring six top-shelf

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open bars, champagne and vodka ice luges with exotic fruitfusion options; red-carpet flight tours over downtown and the Plaza; catered cuisine and dedicated dinner seating; music by DJ Ashton Martin; a heated, 30,000-square-foot venue with a 10,000-square-foot dance floor, plus laser- and light-show visuals and aerialist performances; midnight champagne toast with a balloon drop; complimentary staffed coat-check room with security; and round-trip transportation to three designated pickup and dropoff locations throughout the evening; $85–$100 per person, 8:30 p.m. Holiday Inn Overland Park–West, 8787 Reeder, Overland Park, 913-206-0342, Featuring the Bon Ton Soul Accordion Band; also, the Brody Buster Band and Dan Doran; $50 advance, $75 door; 3 p.m.-2 a.m. The Jacobson, 2050 Central, 816-423-2888, Special seasonal holiday menu, wine and champagne pairings, build-your-own three-course options, and featured desserts. Jax Fish House & Oyster Bar, 4814 Roanoke Pkwy, 816-437-7940: Five-course prix fixe or special a la carte menu, $85 per person, wine pairings optional. Jazzhaus, 926-1/2 Massachusetts, Lawrence, 785-749-3320: Entertainment by the Phantastics, $10 cover. Jerry’s Bait Shop, 13412 Santa Fe Trail Dr., Lenexa, 913-894-9676: NYE Masquerade Ball, featuring party rock from the Suburbans, costume contest, $6 all-night pizza buffet, $2.75 domestic bottles, $3.50 import bottles, and $3 Fireball and Jagermeister, $7 cover, 9 p.m. Journey Steakhouse at Argosy Casino Hotel & Spa, 777 Argosy Casino Pkwy, Riverside, 816-746-3100, Four-course prix fixe menu with choices of appetizers, soup or salad; entrée choices of petit filet and lobster tail, twin lobster tails, 14 -ounce prime rib or KC strip; and dessert; $60 per person. KC Live Block at the Power & Light District, 14th St. and Grand, #NYELiveKC, NYE’s “Biggest Party,” including exclusive access to more than 10 bars and nightclubs, all-inclusive food-and-drink packages, live music, DJs, NYE-themed party favors, champagne toasts, confetti cannons, Times Square ball drop and fireworks, $45 with code NYECREW, 8 p.m.–midnight. KCMT Tiffany Ballroom, 903 Harrison, Murder on the Ornament Express, presented by the KC Mystery Train, $59 per person includes dinner, 6:30 p.m. Knuckleheads Saloon, 2715 Rochester, 816-483-1456, A Rockin’ Blues New Year’s Eve with Samantha Fish and the Rainmakers; in the Retro Lounge, Dos Lobos, with Watermelon Slim and Mike Newberry; champagne, party favors and late-night food, $100. Madrid Theatre, 3810 Main, 816-753-8880: Midnight Rodeo 2015 — a Country Kansas City New Year’s Eve, featuring a five-hour premium open bar, dancing, and music by Travis Marvin and official DJ Mr. Kristopher, 8 p.m. Martin City Brewing Co., 500 E. 135th St., 816-268-2222: Including $25 for two buffets, bands and entrance to three different Martin City locations. Martini Corner, 31st St. and Oak, Countdown at the Corner, including entrance to five bars; five DJs; champagne toast; and all-you-can-drink domestic beer, house wine, super or super-premium liquor all night; $60 or $80 per person, 9 p.m. McCoy's Public House, 4057 Pennsylvania, 816-960-0866: A $10 cover charge includes admission to Foundry, Beer Kitchen and Char Bar. Michael Smith, 1900 Main, 816-842-2202: $75 four-course tasting menu (seatings at 6, 6:30 and 7 p.m.) and $95 fivecourse tasting menu and champagne toast (seatings at 8, 8:30 and 9 p.m.), optional $35 wine pairings available.

Mission Bowl, 5399 Martway, Mission, 913-432-7000; and 1020 S. Weaver, Olathe, 913-782-0279, Ticket price at both locations includes unlimited bowling, shoe rental, barbecue buffet dinner, party favors, a bottle of champagne per lane, and drink specials all night; $35 (ages 17 and older) or $27.50 (ages 16 and younger). Neon Wild, 1802 Clay, North Kansas City, 816-421-6366: Party favors, champagne toast, balloon drop with money and drink tickets, and confetti cannons, $5 per person. One Block South, 7300 W. 119th St., Overland Park, 913-451-0444, Entertainment by KC Groove Therapy at Local Tap, DJ Boogie B and MC Jody at Fuel, and DJ Bowtie Bandit at Kanza Hall, $20, 7 p.m. The Phoenix, 302 W. Eighth St., 816-221-5299: Two dinner seatings (5:30 and 7 p.m.) and a 9 p.m. no-reservations party, with Tim Whitmer and the KC Express, 5:30 p.m. The Quaff, 1010 Broadway, 816-471-1918: Entertainment by DJ E, party favors, games and trivia, $15 in advance, $20 at the door. The Raphael Hotel, 325 Ward Pkwy., 816-756-3800: Three romantic, couples-package options, including wine, choice of accommodations, late checkout and more, beginning at $229. RecordBar, 1020 Westport Rd., 816-753-5207, Punk Rock New Year’s Eve Party, featuring Radkey, Drop a Grand, Bummer, Mace Batons and Scruffy & the Janitors; champagne toast at midnight, $15 advance, $20 day of show, 9 p.m.-1 a.m. Replay Lounge, 946 Massachusetts, Lawrence, 785-749-7676: New Year's Evil with Hammerlord and Psychic Heat; DJ Cruz on the patio. The Riot Room, 4048 Broadway, Entertainment by Scumbag (DJs Spinstyles and Trace), Futuro (DJs Sigrah and Nmezee) and Brent Tactic, doors at 8 p.m. Rye, 10551 Mission, Leawood, 913-642-5800, Special dinner menu and champagne specials. The Scene, 14816 E. U.S. Hwy. 40, Independence, 816-313-5846: Lita Ford and the Problems, with ticket packages that include dinner and champagne toast, $10 upcharge for 21-and-younger, 8 p.m. Scottish Rite Temple, 1330 E. Linwood Blvd., NYE at the Temple V — the Fifth Anniversary Glow Edition, featuring six-hour unlimited premium open bars, four levels, five DJs, eight party areas, laser light show, confetti cannons, shuttles, added restrooms, and a 1:50 bartender ratio, starting at $80 December 9 and going up to $100 on the day of the event. Sharks, 10320 Shawnee Mission Pkwy., Shawnee, 913-268-4006: Entertainment by DJ Jolly, Jagermeister snowboard giveaway, $5 Jager bombs, $4 chocolate-cake shots, $3 wells, $2 apple-pie shots, $1 Jell-O shots, and champagne toast. Stanford and Sons, 7328 W. 119th St., Overland Park, 913-400-7500, Shows at 8 and 10 p.m., featuring Jeff Richards from Saturday Night Live, plus dinner specials, champagne and midnight toast. The Tank Room, 1813 Grand, Entertainment by Danny Boi, all-you-can-drink from 8 p.m. to midnight, champagne toast and shot specials, $20 presale tickets or $30 at the door. Tanner's, 7425 Broadway, 816-822-7525: Steak-night special, entertainment by DJ Savoy, champagne toast, balloon drop, party favors, and midnight trip giveaway. The View at Briarcliff, at the Courtyard by Marriott, 4000 N. Mulberry Dr., Champagne Chic New Year’s Eve, featuring a buffet, entertainment by Cherry Bomb and DJ Kevin, a champagne toast and a balloon drop, hotel room packages available, 6:30 p.m. VooDoo, Harrah’s Casino, 1 Riverboat Dr., North Kansas City, 816-889-4237, Featuring “One More Time” — a Tribute to Daft Punk, with special guest DJ JT Quick, presented by 95.7 the Vibe; VIP tables available; advance tickets through Ticketmaster or $33 at the door; 21 and older only with a valid domestic ID;, 9 p.m.-3 a.m. The Well, 7421 Broadway, 816-361-1700, Open until 3 a.m. Entertainment by the Zeros and Vinyl Ritchie. Westport Saloon, 4112 Pennsylvania, 816-960-4560: New Year’s Eve Extravaganza, featuring music from the Blue Boot Heelers, Dusty Rust, A.J. Gaither, Billy Beale, and Western Automatic, 8 p.m.

816.229.8006 600 S. 7 Hwy Blue SpRingS, MO 816.361.9555 7621 TROOST KanSaS CiTy, MO

One Block South Presents





d ec e m b e r 1 8 - 24 , 2 0 14

the pitch



Girls in the Wild


harlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre was perhaps English literature’s first feminist, an independent woman guided by heart and instinct rather than by society’s expectations. The four young women in Miry Wild have taken their band’s name from a phrase in Brontë’s 1847 landmark — a reference I keep in mind when I drop in on their weekly practice at keyboardist and guitarist Holly Grimwood’s Raytown home. Grimwood and her bandmates — guitarist and lead singer Julia Hamilton, bassist Katelyn Miles and drummer Emily Marriott — don’t seem to be drowning in Victorian woe. All are between 20 and 23 years old, with

Grimwood the only one not still in school, a fact that the other three bemoan throughout the evening. “Forming an all-girl band, that was a conscious choice for me,” Hamilton says. She’s sharing Grimwood’s couch with the rest of the group as a friendly German-shepherd mix named Buckley sits at her feet. “All my heroes have been female musicians. One of my favorite quotes is from Brandi Carlile. She said that women’s music is not a genre, and I think that’s important to remember. I want to represent that with what we do.” That idea, Hamilton says, is what helped Miry Wild through a transition in sound as

Miry Wild forges its own path.

Above, from left: Miles, Grimwood, Hamilton and Marriott the band began recording its self-titled EP last spring. “I mean, we’re a group of girls with an upright bass and a piano,” Grimwood says. “You take one look at us and you’re like, ‘That’s a folk band.’ During the recording, Julia was playing an acoustic guitar, and they [the engineers] encouraged us to play a certain way, so we could better fit into that category rather than make our own. With the release of the EP [in March], it just confirmed the assumptions. Like, ‘Ah, yes, this is a great all-girl folk band.’”

Miry Wild With Katy Guillen & the Girls, and the Clementines

photos by zach bauman

Saturday, December 20, at Coda


the pitch

d ec e m b e r 1 8 - 24 , 2 0 14


Natalie GallaGher

Grimwood’s tone is genial, but there’s a hint of something else in her voice as she recalls encounters with venue managers, bookers and casual listeners. “We love what we do, but one of the cons of being in an all-girl band is that a lot of the time, you’ll get a pat on the head and [they’ll] be like, ‘Oh, that’s cute. What are you playing for us tonight, little lady?’” The women share a laugh as Hamilton continues: “And then they’re like, ‘Oh, I guess you guys kind of know how to play music.’ That’s hard. I don’t like it when people are surprised by the fact that we can play good music and write good music, like they assume we would naturally be bad at it.” In Miry Wild’s practice room, no one could accuse this band of ineptitude. Nine months after the release of that EP, folksy inclinations have given way to a sound that’s more danceable, more groove-driven. Hamilton has swapped her acoustic guitar for an electric, and Marriott — who joined the band in April, a month after the EP came out — drives the songs with moody drumbeats. “When we added Emily, she totally changed the sound of all our music,” Grimwood says. “As we started evolving, we realized we didn’t really like the folky thing that some people were trying to push us into. That just wasn’t us. So we started tweaking our sounds, and we’re getting a little poppy, and some songs have some jazzy undertones. I don’t know what you’d call it.” Grimwood and her bandmates share amused looks and shrugs. That Miry Wild does not particularly care to define its sound is not really an issue — most of the members are about to take final exams. “The fact that we’re even having practice right now is a miracle,” Hamilton says. “Like, I have to write a 12-page paper tomorrow, and Emily has a huge project due. It’s nuts.” “I think that, us all being here, you can tell that this is so important to all of us,” Grimwood says. “We use this time to write songs together, to figure out parts, and no one wants to give that up.” The women nod together. The conversation has been nothing but affirmative already, and Hamilton isn’t done. “It’s hard to be in Miry Wild right now because we’re all in school and working full time, and we’re all involved in about 16 other things,” she says, “but I really take pride in that. I brag about my bandmates because we’re not just a bunch of dropouts sitting around playing music when we feel like it. We’re all busy and we’re playing music. We’re determined and we’re dedicated.”


d ec e m b e r 1 8 - 24 , 2 0 14

the pitch



Bring on the Beat

DJ Ray Velasquez has big plans for Kansas City.


Natalie GallaGher









the pitch

d ec e m b e r 1 8 - 24 , 2 0 14

Deep Friday, December 19, at MiniBar john adair



n the 1990s, Ray Velasquez was the DJ you wanted in your venue, at your party, running your show. From 1993 to 2003, he was the voice behind popular radio show Nocturnal Transmissions, on what was then the Lazer (KLZR 105.9). Before that, KC’s house-music authority had been on KKFI 90.1 and KJHK 90.7. And after, Velasquez moved to New York City. Following 15 party-filled years away from his hometown, though, Velasquez moved back in October. It hasn’t taken long for him to get down to business. Monday, December 8, Velasquez debuted a new weekly DJ night at MiniBar (he calls it Rebel Rebel), and Friday, December 19, he introduces another weekly gig at the same venue. The Pitch: What prompted the return to KC? Velasquez: Family, really. I’d been away from them long enough, and that’s the main reason. Just wanting to spend time with my family. It’s great to be able to see them whenever I want. I imagine moving from a market like Kansas City to New York was a huge adjustment. How were your music and your career affected by the change? To tell you the truth, I sort of hit the ground running when I arrived in New York. I was already prepared — musically, at least — to sort of meet the demand. Of course, it’s important to always remain curious and to keep learning, and you can do that anyway. And I did that here before I left, and I’m continuing to do that here. The stuff I learned, that came from the actual experience of just living in New York City and understanding the history of nightlife. You understand it better just by being there. In terms of my career, there were some very interesting opportunities that came up there. Opening up for Bebel Gilberto at the Central Park SummerStage [in 2001], that was incredible. Being able to open up for legendary punk band Suicide at the Knitting Factory [in 2005]. Opening for Moby at the Hammerstein Ballroom — I had performed with him before, but being able to do it in that space, at that time [in 2000], was really special. Being able to do those interesting things did broaden my horizons. These are the cool things I was able to do, performance opportunities that I would never have had if I had stayed [in Kansas City]. I see coming home as just another part of my life, another chapter. What do you make of the scene here now? First off, I’m incredibly impressed with the cultural, musical and artistic renaissance that Kansas City is going through at the moment and in recent years. In many ways, there’s been a maturation of the culture. But there’s also a lot of work to be done.

I really want to provide a musical environment for the underserved. It’s easy to find certain things here. I had a blast here during the [Royals] playoffs, and there are plenty of club-music spots, but not that many places exist here to hear interesting music outside of the same 100 songs any given night in any Top 40 place. It’s almost like going to a wedding reception every night. There seems to be an enthusiasm for something fresh. Also, I’m excited about the talent I’ve met. I’ve met some talented DJs and very cool musicians since I’ve been back, and they’ve welcomed me graciously and with open arms. You have two brand-new gigs at MiniBar. Tell me about those. On Monday nights, we’re doing a rockoriented event called Rebel Rebel. Steve [Tulipana, co-owner of MiniBar] and I decided we wanted to do something on Monday night to attract the service industry, and maybe for people who don’t have things to do on Monday night. What I’m trying to do there is connect the dots from 50 years of pop history. I’ll play something from the Beatles to the Chemical Brothers, then music from Primal Scream or the Clash. Just connecting the dots historically and in a way that feels right. Then there’s a proper club-music night on Friday nights — beginning on December 19 — called Deep, happening upstairs in the Disaster Room at MiniBar. That was a con-

Rebel Rebel Mondays at MiniBar

Velasquez: Rolling in the Deep cept that I came up with when I was still in Kansas City. I put it together in an abandoned warehouse in downtown KC, and we’ve sort of resurrected that concept. It’ll have more of a global feel to it. Most of the music I’ve heard around town is like booty house — that’s what I would call it — and this is much more global, stuff you might hear in New York or Europe. I’m very excited about that. I know you have a few other things in the works, too. I would like to be able to find a more sophisticated lounge environment or restaurant to do an after-work, happy-hour sort of vibe, with more jazz-oriented music. Jazzinfused house music or downtempo stuff that’s fit for conversation. After-work events are very popular in New York because not everyone can stay out until midnight or later, or they have other plans. So I love the environment where people can get off work and meet friends for a drink and listen to some cool music, something different, with a more sophisticated environment. Eventually, I’d like to bring in some outside talent — I’m friends with some prominent DJs around the world, and I’d like to get them here. The endgame for me, really, is just to add to and grow the culture here.


City’s s sal record st

Ka vi n


12/19 - Junebug and The Porchlights 12/26 - Allied Saints



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RURAL GR 6-9P M KARAOKE 10ITPM sat 12/20: DREw BLAcK An DIRTy ELEc Ic D ThE , ThE ThUnDETR VIDAL BABOOnRcLAPs, Fri 12/26: scAMMERs, ORGA nIzED cR sat 12/27: IMEs, RhUnEs PUnKfOLKPOLK A, GAwD & RO wed 12/31: yALPhOnIc KEEPInG IT cAsU BURGERs & BEERAL, thur 1/1: hAIR Of ThE DO s G sat 1/17: ThE fLUOREscEn DAy T





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d ec e m b e r 1 8 - 24 , 2 0 14

the pitch












The Black Keys take the arena. The Black Keys, St. Vincent

It’s odd to think of the Black Keys playing the Sprint Center, where, in the last year, Miley Cyrus wagged her tongue, Eric Church channeled a fire-breathing demon and Paul McCartney reminded us of his greatness. But the musicians making up the Grammy Award–winning duo — guitarist-singer Dan Auerbach and drummer Patrick Carney — have earned their stadium shows. The Akron, Ohio, duo’s latest album, Turn Blue, is as epically rocking as any previous Keys release. Yet the band has added elements — gothic riffs and psychedelic-charged solos — to its formula, new wrinkles that show the Keys are still evolving. St. Vincent, the patron saint of weird pop, opens. Sunday, December 21, Sprint Center (1407 Grand, 816-949-7000)

John McCutcheon

Ida McBeth

The Murder Ballad Ball

Ida McBeth has a voice that glides effortlessly through decades of jazz music, and she does it so warmly, so joyfully, that you might forget that she is in her 60s. There are plenty of locals who fondly recall the era in Kansas City jazz when McBeth reigned supreme and regularly filled Jardine’s. Saturday, McBeth uses her formidable talent to breathe life into a few holiday favorites. Seeing her in a setting as intimate as Knuckleheads’ Gospel Lounge should jog a few more memories and create some fresh ones. Saturday, December 20, Knuckleheads Saloon (2715 Rochester, 816-483-1456)

the pitch

d ec e m b e r 1 8 - 24 , 2 0 14

P rol i f ic fol k si nger-song w r iter Joh n McCutcheon created a different kind of Christmas music in 1984 when he wrote “Christmas in the Trenches” for his Winter Solstice album. The song recounts World War I’s Christmas Truce of 1914, and it is far more somber and eloquent than any rendition of “Jingle Bells” sung by disposable pop stars. Saturday at the National World War I Museum, McCutcheon performs that song and others at the Christmas in the Trenches Centenary Concert. Friday, December 19, National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial (100 West 26th Street,

If you like your folk music with a side of death, the annual Murder Ballad Ball should satisfy your bloodlust. Now in its sixth year, the ball features a lineup of local stars — fiddler Betse Ellis, John Velghe & the Prodigal Sons, Rural Grit All-Stars, the Silver Maggies, Mikal Shapiro, the Blackbird Revue, and others — who perform classic murder ballads with all the menace and gloom that they can muster. If you’re over Christmas carols, consider this show your respite. Bonus: discounted tickets at the door for those who dress fancy. Friday, December 19, the Dubliner (170 East 14st Street, 816-268-4700)

J A Z Z B E AT New Jazz Order Big Band presents Ellington’s Nutcracker, at Take Five Coffee + Bar

If you pay any attention to the local jazz scene, you’re bound to recognize the name of trumpeter Clint Ashlock. You might even have had the pleasure of watching him in action as he directs the prestigious Kansas City Jazz Orchestra or leads the New Jazz Order Big Band at the collective’s longstanding Tuesday-night residency at Harling’s. In whichever environment, Ashlock’s talent is indisputable. Friday night, his New Jazz Order makes a special trip to Johnson County to perform Duke




Trans-Siberian Orchestra

If you’re one of those Christmas-cheer maniacs who has been running around in a reindeer sweater and sipping eggnog since Halloween, you probably already have tickets to one of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s two performances Tuesday. The New York group performs The Christmas Attic, its original rock opera, which promises more holiday warm fuzzies than you could fit into a holiday stocking. Plus, expect arena-rock jams that even your burned-out uncle can get down with. Trans-Siberian Orchestra is a must for those who don’t do Christmas in a small way. Tuesday, December 23, Sprint Center (1407 Grand, 816-949-7000)



Ellington’s 1960 take on The Nutcracker Suite. As conceived by Ellington and Billy Strayhorn, this is a no-holds-barred, swinging rearrangement of the Christmas classic. (The movement “Sugar Rum Cherry” turns Tchaikovsky’s fairy into quite the lush.). Ashlock’s New Jazz Order is just the big band to do these jazz arrangements justice.


New Jazz Order Big Band Presents Ellington’s Nutcracker, 8 p.m. Friday, December 19, at Take Five Coffee + Bar (6601 West 135th St., 913-948-5550), $5 cover.


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

................................................... Family Friendly

............................................................. Folk Hero

................................................. Rock of the Ages

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

.......................................................In Memory Of

....................................................’Tis the Season

.............................................................Jazz Diva

................................................. Doom and Gloom

d ec e m b e r 1 8 - 24 , 2 0 14

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continued from page 11

Thursday | 12.18 |

writEr’s DEn: Play thing

Art Exhibits & EvEnts Across the Indian Country: Photographs by Alexander Gardner, 1867-68 | Nelson-Atkins

Performing Arts

Museum of Art, 4525 Oak,

organ and Violin Brown Bag Concert, with Don Crawley and marvin gruenbaum | Noon-1 p.m. Grand Avenue Temple, 205 E. Ninth St.

family tour Hour | 2-3 p.m. Saturday, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, 4420 Warwick Blvd.,

L i t e r A r y/ s P o k e n W o r D

John Ferry: Disintegration | Lawrence Arts Center, 940 New Hampshire, Lawrence,

storytelling with Laura Packer | 7-9 p.m. Uptown

Arts Bar, 3611 Broadway


Highlights from the Collection of the National Museum of Toys and Miniatures

Hannibal Buress | 8 p.m. Folly Theater, 300 W. 12th St.,

| Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, 4525 Oak

y M o n da

6-9 p.m. Replay Lounge, 946 Massachusetts, Lawrence

in Works s es p ro g r

kauf Drops with Dustin kaufman | 9 p.m. Uptown Arts Bar, 3611 Broadway

April macie | 8 p.m. Stanford’s Comedy Club, 7328 W.

Writer’s Den: Plaything by Brian Huther | 8 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, the Living Room, 1818 McGee,; above: a Writer’s Den reading earlier this month, with (from left) Jennifer Mays, Kelsey Kallenberger, Scott Cordes, Matt Leonard, and Bryan Moses.

119th St., Overland Park

tony rock | 7:30 p.m. Improv Comedy Club and Dinner Theater, 7260 N.W. 87th St.

S!NG: The Improvised Musical | 7:30 p.m.

ComedyCity, 3600 Broadway

Wolvhammer, Amenaza | 10 p.m. Replay Lounge, 946 Massachusetts, Lawrence



karrin Allyson Quintet | 8 p.m. Folly Theater, 300

W. 12th St.,


Elf quote-along | 9 p.m. Alamo Drafthouse musiC

Aplsoz | 8 p.m. The Bottleneck, 737 New Hampshire, Lawrence

Augustana, scars on 45 | 7 p.m. Granada Theatre, 1015 Minnesota Ave., KCK

DJ tulipana: Around the World set | 10 p.m.

Almost kiss merry kissmas | 6:30 p.m. Uptown

rude revue and Burly Q | 9:30 p.m. RecordBar, 1020 Westport Rd.

Jimmie Bratcher’s “man it’s Christmas” show | 8 p.m., Knuckleheads Saloon, 2715 Rochester

spaghetti Western thursday | 6 p.m. Westport

Coyote Bill, Brody Buster | 10 p.m. Westport Saloon,

thrift store thursday | 10 p.m. Replay Lounge, 946

California Voodoo | 7 p.m. The Riot Room, 4048

MiniBar, 3810 Broadway

Saloon, 4112 Pennsylvania

Massachusetts, Lawrence

Theater, 3700 Broadway

4112 Pennsylvania


Daisy Buckët with the michael Pagan trio | 6-10 p.m. Broadway Jazz Club, 3601 Broadway

John D. Hale Band and Cole Porter Band | 8 p.m.

Karen Matheis: Chronic City | Lawrence Arts Rusty sneaRy


Harpoon presents good time at the replay |

thursdays and the Banshees with DJ erok | 10 p.m. Vandals, 3740 Broadway

Friday | 12.19 |

Knuckleheads Saloon, 2715 Rochester

Cimino album-release show with Bentt, syn City Cowboys, red Velvet Crush | 6 p.m. Aftershock, 5240 Merriam Dr., Merriam

Center, 940 New Hampshire, Lawrence

Painting a Peace of America , plein air– style paintings by R. Gregory Summers | Kansas City Artists Coalition, 201 Wyandotte, The Plains Indians: Artists of Earth + Sky | Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, 4525 Oak

Summoning Ghosts: The Art of Hung Liu

| Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, 4420 Warwick Blvd.,

third thursday at the nerman | 3:304:30 p.m. Thursday, Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, 12345 College Blvd., Overland Park, Worldly Luxuries: Repetition in Renaissance Textiles | Nelson-Atkins Museum of

Art, 4525 Oak

MUsEUM Exhibits & EvEnts Cowtown: History of the Kansas City Stockyards | Kansas City Central Library, 14 W. 10th St.,

The Land Divided, the World United: Building the Panama Canal | Linda Hall Library,

Doug talley Quartet, gray matter | 5:30 p.m. The

5109 Cherry

everette DeVan | 5:30 p.m. Green Lady Lounge,

Mythic Creatures: Dragons, Unicorns & Mermaids | Museum at PrairieFire, 5801 W.

Blue Room, 1600 E. 18th St.

mark Lowrey trio | 6 p.m. The Majestic, 931 Broadway


maria the mexican’s Christmas Party | 8 p.m.

April macie | 7:45 & 9:45 p.m. Stanford’s Comedy Club, 7328 W. 119th St., Overland Park

1809 Grand

135th St., Overland Park,

t.J. martley trio | 7 p.m. The Blue Room, 1600 E.

tony rock | 8 & 10:30 p.m. Improv Comedy Club and

fast Johnny ricker | 9 p.m. B.B.’s Lawnside BBQ,

Xtreme BUGS | Union Station, 30 W. Pershing Rd.,

oil, mild riot, folkicide | 10 p.m. MiniBar, 3810


$taxx, ktown the rapper, DJ fleetwood Caddy James | Jackpot Music Hall, 943 Massachusetts,

screenland riffs Jingle All the Way | 8:30 p.m. Screenland Crown Center, 2450 Grand, third floor,

Knuckleheads Saloon, 2715 Rochester

18th St.




the pitch

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

d ec e m b e r 1 8 - 24 , 2 0 14

1205 E. 85th St.

filthy 13 | Jazz, 1823 W. 39th St. Liz finity Affair | 9 p.m. Coda, 1744 Broadway 40 Watt Dreams | Jazzhaus, 926-1/2 Massachusetts,


free state Brewing Co. Holiday show, with Ashes to Immortality, KC Bear Fighters, Old Fangled | 8:30 p.m. Granada Theatre, 1015 Minnesota Ave., KCK Anthony gomes | 8:30 p.m. Knuckleheads Saloon,

2715 Rochester

Grand Marquis | 8 p.m. Trouser Mouse, 410 S. Hwy.

john M C CutCheon

7, Blue Springs

theater Dates and times vary.

Hidden Planets, Global Warmers, Books of Bokonon | 10 p.m. Replay Lounge, 946 Massachusetts,

Writer’s Den: Plaything by Brian Huther | Monday and Tuesday, the Living Room, 1818 McGee,


Margo May, STITCH81CLASSIC, Laydeefish, Miss Conception, Negro Scoe with Drugs & Attics, Whiskey for the Lady, Bring the Ruckus | 8:30 p.m. Davey’s Uptown Ramblers Club,

Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo | Unicorn Theatre, 3828 Main,

3402 Main

I’ll Eat You Last: a Chat With Sue Mengers | The Unicorn Theatre, 3828 Main,

Ronnie Milsap | 6:30 p.m. VooDoo, Harrah’s Casino, 1 Riverboat Dr., NKC

Mystery on the Ornament Express | KC Mystery Train, venues vary,

Murder Ballad Ball, with the Silver Maggies, Mikal

Shapiro, the Blackbird Revue, John Velghe & the Prodigal Sons, Wink Burcham, Ali Harter, Copper Threading, Freight Train Rabbit Killer, Maw, Betse & Clarke, John Brown Boys, the Hardship Letters, Rural Grit All-Stars | 6 p.m. The Dubliner, 170 E. 14th St.

Oliver | Musical Theater Heritage, at Off Center Theatre, Crown Center, 2450 Grand,


New Jazz Order Big Band presents Ellington’s Nutcracker | 8 p.m. Take Five Coffee + Bar, 6601 W.

Pet Comfort Reunion Show, with Maps for Travelers, World Record, Sons of Great Dane | 9 p.m. RecordBar, 1020 Westport Rd.

Shades of Jade | 9 p.m.-1 a.m. The Tank Room, 1813


Yung Grandpa | 8 p.m. The Bottleneck, 737 New Hampshire, Lawrence

9229 Foster, Overland Park,

Saturday | 12.20 |

nd War a s ma Christ

135th St., Overland Park

The Night the Buzz Stole Xmas, with Cage the Elephant, Cold War Kids, the Orwells, Beautiful Bodies, the Architects | 5:30 p.m. The Midland, 1228 Main

Shear Madness | The New Theatre Restaurant,



John McCutcheon: Christmas in the Trenches Centenary Concert | 7 p.m. National World War I Mu-

seum, 100 W. 26th St. (Liberty Memorial),

DJ E | Quaff Bar & Grill, 1010 Broadway Ladies & Lingerie with DJ Shaun flo | Hotel

Nightclub, 1300 Grand

April Macie | 7:45 & 9:45 p.m. Stanford’s Comedy Club, 7328 W. 119th St., Overland Park

Tony Rock | 7 & 10 p.m. Improv Comedy Club and

Party Jamz with DJ Madeline | 10 p.m. MiniBar,

3810 Broadway

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

Soul Preservers Record Party | 8 p.m. The Ship,

RK Gun & Knife Show | 8 a.m.-5 p.m. KCI Expo Center,

sachusetts, Lawrence

Ugly Sweater Bash | Howl at the Moon, 1334 Grand


Mingle with Tom Richmond & Team Bear Club |

Ugly Sweater Party | 9 p.m. Maloney’s Sports Bar

Cartoon Cereal Party: Christmas Edition |

Kimbarely Legal | 10 p.m. Replay Lounge, 946 Mas-

1217 Union

11728 N. Ambassador Dr.


Deep with DJ Ray Velasquez | 10 p.m. MiniBar, 3810 Broadway

10 p.m. The Eighth Street Taproom, 801 New Hampshire, Lawrence

and Grill, 7201 W. 79th St., Overland Park

11:30 a.m. Alamo Drafthouse, 1400 Main

continued on page 36

d ec e m b e r 1 8 - 24 , 2 0 14

the pitch


trans-sibErian orchEstra

holiday shows and EvEnts Breakfast with Father christmas | 9 a.m.noon Saturday, Alexander Majors House, 8201 State Line Rd.

the Kings Singers Holiday concert | 8 p.m. Saturday, Folly Theater, 300 W. 12th St.,

central Standard Men’s A cappella ensemble Holiday concert, also featuring Double Date, World Mixed 2014 quartet champions | 7 p.m. Saturday, Rose Theatre

the Kinsey Sicks’ Oy Vey in a Manger |

7 p.m. Sunday, Folly Theater, 300 W. 12th St.,

of Rockhurst High School, 9301 State Line Rd., 816-363-2036,

John Mccutcheon: christmas in the trenches centenary concert | 7 p.m. Friday,

National World War I Museum, 100 W. 26th St. (Liberty Memorial),

A Christmas Carol | Kansas City Repertory

Theatre, 4949 Cherry, UMKC campus,

The Nutcracker, presented by the Kansas City

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: the Musical | The Coterie Theatre, Crown Center, 2450

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


the Kansas city Symphony: christmas Festival | Thursday-Sunday, Kauffman Center for the

Theatre, Copaken Stage, 13th St. and Walnut,

The Kansas Nutcracker | Lawrence Arts

A Spectacular Christmas | Mondays, Musical Theater Heritage, Off Center Theatre, Crown Center, 2450 Grand,

The Santaland Diaries | KC Repertory

Performing Arts, 1601 Broadway,

Center, 940 New Hampshire, Lawrence,

SportS & rec

the Kessler-embrey conspiracy | 8 p.m. Take Five

2 p.m. Allen Fieldhouse, 1651 Naismith Dr., Lawrence

Ida McBeth’s christmas Special | 9 p.m. Knuck-

texas A&M vs. Kansas State men’s basketball | 6 p.m. Sprint Center, 1407 Grand

the Night the Buzz Stole XXmas, with Glass

2014 NcAA Division II Football championship: Minnesota State-Mankato vs. colorado Statepueblo | Sporting Park, 1 Sporting Way, KCK

leheads Saloon, 2715 Rochester

Animals, Bleachers, Banks, Misterwives, the Outsides | 5:30 p.m. The Midland, 1228 Main

paula Saunders cD-release show | 8:30 p.m. The

Blue Room, 1600 E. 18th St.


Drew Black and Dirty electric, the thunderclaps, Vidal Baboon | The Brick, 1727 McGee the Brothel Sprouts, the Sluts, Helen Kelter Skelter | 10 p.m. Replay, 946 Massachusetts, Lawrence the clique | Local Tap, 7300 W. 119th St., Overland Park Good time charley, the Author and the Illustrator, clairaudients | 8 p.m. Davey’s Uptown, 3402 Main Angela Hagenbach | 7-11 p.m. Broadway Jazz Club,

3601 Broadway

Hollowmen reunion Show | 7 p.m. RecordBar,

rogvery p Have a istmas. hr rock C

trans-Siberian orchestra: the christmas Attic | 4 & 8:15 p.m. Sprint Center, 1407 Grand

cinemaphonic with cruz & cyan | 10 p.m. Replay Lounge, 946 Massachusetts, Lawrence

Dropout Boogie | 10 p.m. MiniBar, 3810 Broadway

Coffee + Bar, 6601 W. 135th St., Overland Park

Lafayette college vs. KU men’s basketball |


Jason McEachErn

10 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 5:30-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Longview Lake, 11100 View High Dr.

continued from page 35

y tuesda

Ballet | Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, 1601 Broadway,

christmas in the park: Jackson county’s drive-thru winter wonderland | 5:30-

Shoot the Hero, Greed Kills, Shoot for Wednesday, In the Shadow, empyrean, 12 Honest Men, A Great Divide | VooDoo, Harrah’s Casino, 1 Riverboat Dr., NKC

Gold Label Soul with Hector the Selector | 10

p.m. The Eighth Street Taproom, 801 New Hampshire, Lawrence

Saloon, 2715 Rochester

the Black Keys | 8 p.m. Sprint Center, 1407 Grand christmas Ain’t a Drag, with Shay Estes, David George, Ben Byard and Bernadette | 7:30 p.m. RecordBar, 1020 Westport Rd.

Mind the Gap club Night, with J Zed, DJ Avant

Amanda Fish’s acoustic jam with Dave Shields, Lou paul and Dave Hays | 2-5 p.m. Knuckleheads

Moullinex | 10 p.m. The Riot Room, 4048 Broadway

Jazz brunch with t.J. Martley | 10 a.m. Take Five Coffee + Bar, 6601 W. 135th St., Overland Park

Garde, DJ Bobby Bohn and DJ the DJ | 10 p.m. MiniBar, 3810 Broadway

NrGize: the Awakening with MAteJ B vs. Sicknifty and Marcobiotics | 9:30 p.m. RecordBar, 1020 Westport Rd.

pajama Jam | Shark Bar, 1340 Grand

Saloon, 2715 Rochester

oXc tour with tFr, yung Murda, Blocc Woods, Shaun tha Hustler, Buck Baby, rashid Ashon, $taxx, payneKc | 8 p.m. The Riot Room, 4048 Broadway


Santacon Kc 2014: a pub crawl through Westport, Waldo and Martini corner, and benefiting

tater’s Honky-tonk christmas Show with Justa Billy & the Bullhaulers | 8:30 p.m. Knuckleheads


Holiday music-video party | 7 p.m. The Tank Room,

Big Brother Big Sisters of Greater Kansas City | 4 p.m. Kelly’s Westport Inn, 500 Westport Rd.,

1813 Grand

Ugly Sweater and Karaoke party | 8:30 p.m.

Minnesota Ave., KCK

Where the Wild things Are, obi, chess club, Janet the planet, After Nations, Hyberbor, Braingea | Jackpot, 943 Massachusetts, Lawrence

Tanner’s Bar & Grill, 12906 W. 87th St. Pkwy., Lenexa

Miry WIld, the clementines, Katy Guillen & the Girls | 9 p.m. Coda, 1744 Broadway


Sunday | 12.21 |

Spectacle de cirque | 6 p.m. Granada Theatre, 1015

Monday | 12.22 | FILM

1020 Westport Rd.


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

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation quote-along | 7 p.m. Alamo Drafthouse, 1400 Main MUSIc

ernest James Zydeco | 9 p.m. B.B.’s Lawnside BBQ, 1205 E. 85th St.

Stan Kessler & Kathleen Holman | 11:30 p.m.

Broadway Jazz Club, 3601 Broadway


the pitch

Annual christmas Formal with the Jazzhaus Big Band | Jazzhaus, 926-1/2 Massachusetts, Lawrence christmas Swap & Shop craft Fair | Noon-5 p.m.

RecordBar, 1020 Westport Rd.

d ec e m b e r 1 8 - 24 , 2 0 14


rK Gun & Knife Show | 9 a.m.-3 p.m. KCI Expo Center,

11728 N. Ambassador Dr.

the Brothel Sprouts, Missouri Homegrown, Via Luna, Western Automatic | 6 p.m. The Riot

Room, 4048 Broadway

Crystal Baller, Dangerfield, Brooklyn Rye |

ice skating

10 p.m. RecordBar, 1020 Westport Rd.

Intuition | 9 p.m. Green Lady Lounge, 1809 Grand Louis Neal Big Band | 7:30 p.m. The Blue Room,

Days and hours of operation vary. Contact venues for more information. Crown Center Ice terrace | 2425 Grand,

1600 E. 18th St.

Open Mic with Brody Buster | 7-11 p.m. Westport

the Ice at Park Place | 117th St. and Nall,


Library Plaza Skate Rink | 707 Vermont,

Saloon, 4112 Pennsylvania

Karaoke | 10:30 p.m. The Brick, 1727 McGee Karaoke Sammitch | 10 p.m. Replay Lounge, 946

Massachusetts, Lawrence



the Rink at Burlington Creek | 6109 N.W. 63rd Terr., NIghtLIfe

Punk Mondays with Andrew Perry | 10 p.m. Vandals, 3740 Broadway

Rebel Rebel with DJ Ray Velasquez | 10 p.m. MiniBar, 3810 Broadway

Tuesday | 12.23 | fILM

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation quote-along | 7 p.m. Alamo Drafthouse, 1400 Main MuSIC

DJ Rico & the Boss hooligan Soundsystem | 10 p.m. Vandals, 3740 Broadway

Blues Jam with Coyote Bill | 9 p.m. Westport Saloon,

Karaoke with Paul Nelson | 9 p.m. MiniBar, 3810

the Return of tallboy tuesday, with DJs Chadillac and HoodNasty | 6 p.m. The Riot Room, 4048 Broadway

Wednesday | 12.24 | fILM

Christmas Evil | 8 p.m. Alamo Drafthouse, 1400 Main MuSIC

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

heads Saloon, 2715 Rochester

Lyric Lab: Music Open Mic | 9-11:30 p.m. Uptown

hermon Mehari trio | 6 p.m. The Majestic, 931

hermon Mehari trio | 6 p.m. The Majestic, 931


Mikey Needleman | Local Tap, 7300 W. 119th St.,


Overland Park

Mime game, the Invisible World, Cauldron Point | 9:30 p.m. RecordBar, 1020 Westport Rd.


the Nace Brothers’ Christmas Show | 8 p.m.

Dave Shelton’s Soul Visionaries | Jazzhaus, 926-1/2

Knuckleheads Saloon, 2715 Rochester

Lawrence Peters Spins the Mutant hit Parade with Jon harrison | 10 p.m. Replay, 946 Massachu-

Organ Jazz trio | 9 p.m. Green Lady Lounge, 1809

Massachusetts, Lawrence

Bagel Bash | 9 p.m. Westport Ale House, 4128 Broadway

L.A. Price and Band | 6:30 p.m. RecordBar, 1020

Chrissy Murderbot | 8 p.m. The Riot Room, 4048

Nick Schnebelen | 7 p.m. B.B.’s Lawnside BBQ, 1205

girlz of Westport | 8p.m.Californos,4124Pennsylvania

E. 85th St.

trans-Siberian Orchestra: the Christmas Attic | 4 & 8:15 p.m. Sprint Center, 1407 Grand



setts, Lawrence

Westport Rd.




land Park

Arts Bar, 3611 Broadway

Wed 12/17 - Troy Allen & Friends Thu 12/18 - Turkeybone blues JAm Fri 12/19 - TbA sAT 12/20 - Full CounT bAnd

sachusetts, Lawrence

4112 Pennsylvania

Brody Buster | Local Tap, 7300 W. 119th St., Over-

1515 WESTPORT RD. • 816-931-9417

happy-hour karaoke | 6-9 p.m. Replay, 946 Mas-

Billy Beale and the Blues Jam | 5:30-7:30 p.m. Fitz’s

Blarney Stone, 3801 Broadway




trivia | 7-9 p.m. Westport Saloon, 4112 Pennsylvania E-mail submissions to or enter submissions at, where you can search our complete listings guide.


d ec e m b e r 1 8 - 24 , 2 0 14

the pitch


dating. Erotic Playground

Meet Sexy Singles try for fr18E+E! in your area

1-888-660-4446 Hot local cHat 1-708-613-2100 gay & Bi 1-708-613-2103

10 Buck PHonE SEx 1-8778919-3279 rEal Horny girlS 1-800-811-4048

ld ratES aPPly

S ava g e L o v e

At the NeptuNe W

My partner wants me to pee on him. I’m not so into it. Now what? Should I do the “one and done” thing or put it on the big “no way” list? One and done — and with any luck, after seeing what a big nothing peeing on someone actually is, you’ll have a change of heart, and peeing on your partner will wind up on your “once in a while, if you’re good, and only after I’ve had few beers so it’s basically just hot water” list. My boyfriend seems to love the dog more than me. What gives? Apparently, the dog does.

Would you let a grateful, mostly straightish guy give you a handjob for all the good work you’ve done in the world? And would you let a straightish woman watch? Yes and no. Is it immoral to fuck an ex-professor who’s married and has three kids if his wife hasn’t fucked him since March? Yes (if he’s lying) and no (if he’s not). What is the proper etiquette at most fetish/sex clubs? Can you go and simply observe and not participate? Some fetish/sex clubs allow people to observe on the theory that today’s nervous newbie observer is tomorrow’s confident active player. Other fetish/sex clubs welcome only active players because they don’t want to be overrun by voyeurs, gawkers or tourists. Most clubs have contact info on their websites, so your best course of action is to e-mail the place you want to attend and ask them. In the past, I’ve had boyfriends who were horrible gift-givers. Is the thought and time a guy 38

the pitch

d ec e m b e r 1 8 - 24 , 2 0 14

D a n S ava ge

I’m a 25-year-old female. I started feeling attracted to girls in college and lost all attraction to men for three years. A year ago, I started feeling attracted to men again and lost all interest in women. What is going on? LUGgage.

e just did a live taping of the Savage Lovecast at Seattle’s Neptune Theatre. Audience members submitted more questions — anonymously, on index cards — than we could possibly answer during the Q&A segment of the show. So I’m answering some of the questions we didn’t get to in this week’s column. Here we go.

My dick gets dry and kinda bumpy. Lately, there have been more bumps. Why? You might want to ask someone who reads Braille to run their fingers over your cock. You might also want to see a doctor. It could be HPV (sexually transmitted) or molluscum contagiosum (sometimes sexually transmitted), both of which require treatment, or it could simply be “pearly penile papules,” which are harmless and do not require treatment.


puts into gift-giving an indicator of a good mate? I’m a lousy gift-giver but a decent mate — at least that’s what my husband tells me — so I may not be the best person to answer this question. But you’ve had multiple boyfriends who were lousy gift-givers, so this may be a question you can answer for yourself. Set aside the gift-giving issues and ask yourself if your boyfriends are decent mates otherwise. I have not come from a blowjob since I was a 17-year-old boy. Do I give up on my quest to orgasm in someone’s mouth or do I continue to subject poor women to failure? Mix blowjobs and handjobs together — jerk your cock to the point-of-inevitability place — and you’ll not fail. My gay husband of five years knew what he was getting when he got into our relationship: a total bottom. Now he wants to find a top to play with, but he also knew that I was not “open to open.” That was the price of admission. Can you tell him to stop annoying me? The price of admission cuts both ways. The price of admission he had to pay to be with you: no other partners for him, no getting topped again, ever. But if he’s not willing to keep paying that price, then you may have to decide whether you’re willing to pay his price: He gets to play with another top — always safely, once in a great while, maybe with you — or he walks.

I provide counseling to a client who accesses the S&M community fairly frequently. She has shared with me that she often attends a dungeon to have someone inflict pain on her — not because she enjoys it but because she’s hoping they’ll go far enough to put her life in jeopardy. She doesn’t use the safe words provided to her. What are the ethics of this? Unless the kinksters at the dungeon she attends are engaged in extremely risky forms of edge play — breath control, asphyxiation, fire play, gunplay — her life is not in danger. (Suicide-by-cop is a thing, suicide-by-tit-clamp is not. So here’s hoping she’s bullshitting you.) But if she somehow managed to find the one public dungeon where tops rely on bottoms to use their safe words to prevent their own deaths during edge play, then what your client is doing is unethical and unfair. A top’s consent matters in a BDSM scene, too — and the people she’s playing with consented to top her, not off her. Tell her to knock it off. I’m a 40-year-old vegetarian guy living in a small college town and looking for an LTR. Sadly, most women my age eat meat. How do vegetarians and meat eaters compromise in LTRs? The meat eater agrees to keep a meatfree home; the vegetarian agrees to keep a Morrissey-free home. I have a glass dildo that I love, but I worry it might break if I go at it too rough. Is this possible? I don’t want to show up in the ER with glass in my vagina. Glass dildos — top-quality ones — are safer than many other kinds of dildos (nonporous surfaces, no icky chemicals), and one would have to be dropped from a great height onto a very hard surface to actually shatter. So unless you have a diaphragm made of marble and you’re relying on velocity to insert your glass dildo — your partner drops it from the top of a building, you catch it with your pussy — you’re in no danger. Thanks to everyone who came to the live taping of the Savage Lovecast, and a very special thanks to the iTunes editorial team for naming the Savage Lovecast one of the iTunes Best of 2014, along with Serial, WTF, The Moth, and TED Radio Hour. Such amazing company!

Have a question for Dan Savage? E-mail him at

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the pitch


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d ec e m b e r 1 8 - 24 , 2 0 14

the pitch


Urban Living at it’s Best




DecemBeR 20, 10Am-1pm Holiday Inn Express

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the pitch

d ec e m b e r 1 8 - 24 , 2 0 14

Follow on Twitter: @Phillips_Jobs Like on Facebook: Hotel Phillips Employment Opportunities Link to apply:

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the pitch




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DECEMBER 18-24, 2014

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Don't miss our. NEW YEARS EVE PARTY! Catering to all lifestyles, bdsm, swing, TS/TG & all other fetishes. Hookahs Welcome! Every Fri. & Sat. Night 8pm-5am Hot Tub, Dance Area w/pole, Live DJ, Pool Table 816-892-0322

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