January 9â€“15, 2014 | free | Vol. 33 no. 28 | pitch.com
Mark Woodworth spent 17 years in prison for murder convictions that were later overturned. Now the state wants to send him back. By Michael Bar ajas
January 9-15, 2014 | Vol. 33 no. 28 E d i t o r i a l
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Mark Woodworth’s murder convictions were overturned after 17 years. Now the state wants to send him back to prison.
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Mark Woodworth spent 17 years in prison for murder convictions that were later overturned. Now the state wants to send him back. By Michael Barajas PhotograPhy By saBrina staires
january 9-15, 2014
ark Woodworth grew up in the fields just outside Chillicothe. By the time he could walk, neighbors found the boy wandering between the cornstalks, chasing his father with the family dog in tow. Woodworth, now 39, still pulls long hours harvesting these acres. His hair and goatee are salted with gray, his eyes heavy and tired. He has the same boyish grin that he flashed in a high school yearbook photo 23 years ago. At dusk, Woodworth retires to his parents’ basement; he still sleeps in his childhood bedroom. Woodworth is at the root of a deep rift that has spanned a generation in this central Missouri farming town. The split opinions of him are summarized on a pair of Facebook pages. “Peace for Cathy Robertson” gives the prosecution’s account of November 13, 1990: Woodworth swiped his father’s loaded revolver from his parents’ bedroom. Suspecting that his father would notice any missing bullets, Woodworth skulked across Missouri Highway 190 to his neighbor’s machine shed and stole six rounds from a box of Remington bullets. Then Woodworth crept through his neighbor’s house, found the master bedroom, flipped on the lights and shot Cathy Robertson twice, killing the 41-year-old mother of five as she slept. Then Woodworth circled around and fired four rounds into Robertson’s husband before slipping back into the night. “The Mark Woodworth Innocence Project” provides an alternate history, a saga that has emerged from years of legal wrangling: Law enforcement failed to fully investigate a prime suspect and ignored critical witnesses, instead zeroing in on a shy neighbor boy. A private detective spearheaded an investigation that wrongfully locked Woodworth in prison for 17 years. Many who drive past Chillicothe’s elegant, century-old courthouse at the center of this town warily eye the hall of justice and wonder how they could ever again trust what happens here. But the people of this community of about 9,400 remain divided on how the criminal-justice system failed. Either the neighbor boy spent 17 years in prison for a murder he didn’t commit or the system set a killer free. Over the past two decades, the state has twice tried and convicted Woodworth of murder. Those convictions have been overturned, freeing Woodworth from prison, most recently in February 2013. The history of State v. Woodworth is so rife with error, according to Boone County Circuit Court Judge Gary Oxenhandler (whom the Missouri Supreme Court appointed to review the case in 2011), that Woodworth’s murder conviction constituted “a manifest injustice.” In his 2012 report, Oxenhandler wrote that the case “could be the lyrics to a country-and-western song.”
Despite that history, the state is attempting to try Woodworth for a third time.
n the mid-1970s, Claude Woodworth and high school friend Lyndel Robertson settled on the outskirts of Chillicothe in rural Livingston County. They built humble, onestory farmhouses on opposite sides of twolane Highway 190. Lyndel and Cathy Robertson would have five children, Claude and Jackie Woodworth seven. The families grew together. They babysat each other’s kids, had mutual friends and barbecued on weekends. Woodworth and Robertson formed a business partnership with about 600 acres that grew to thousands. A couple of poor harvests forced them to file for bankruptcy in the 1980s, but they weathered the slump. By 1990, the business had a net worth of more than $1 million. A quiet boy who hated school, Mark Woodworth took easily to farming. When he was a child, his parents gave him a small plot of land near the house, where he gardened vegetables, corn and soy. Woodworth turned it into a testing ground for seed, telling his dad which varieties grew best and which ones to ditch. By age 16, Woodworth wanted to drop out of high school. He argued that his future was in farming, not college. His parents compromised: He could quit school if he enrolled in a local technical program and earned his GED. In court, years later, prosecutors called Woodworth a loner with “brooding eyes,” a “high-school dropout” with few friends, and a quiet teen capable of a coldblooded killing.
n November 13, 1990, Cathy and Lyndel Robertson retired to their bedroom shortly after watching the 10 p.m. news. Their 15-year-old daughter, Rhonda, went to her basement bedroom shortly thereafter. Around midnight, Rhonda awoke to the sound of her little sister frantically pounding on the door, shouting, “Dad’s sick and he’s throwing up blood. … Mom won’t wake up.” Rhonda ran upstairs to the first floor of the redbrick farmhouse. She got her 11-yearold brother and 8-year-old sister away from their parents’ bedroom. When she crossed the threshold, Rhonda saw her mother lying motionless on a blood-soaked mattress. She had been shot in the head and collarbone. Her father writhed and moaned on the floor. Two bullets had struck Lyndel Robertson’s mouth, shattering his teeth. He spit up a mix of bullet fragments and blood. One bullet pierced his neck, while another lodged in his liver. Paramedics took him to a local hospital, and he was later airlifted to Research Medical Center in Kansas City. The next morning, three of Lyndel Robertson’s friends drove the 90 miles from Chillicothe to visit him as he recovered from surgery.
John Quinn, a fellow farmer, recalled the scene later in court. “Who done this to you, Lyndel?” the men asked. Over the beeps of a heart monitor, they heard Robertson mutter the name “Brandon.” “I’m almost 100 percent sure,” Robertson later told police. Brandon Thomure was the boyfriend of the eldest Robertson daughter, Rochelle. (Despite mentioning Thomure’s name to friends and investigators following the shooting, Robertson has insisted in courtroom testimony and depositions that he never saw the shooter and only speculated that Thomure was responsible.) Thomure carried a reputation around town for violent outbursts. A witness told authorities that the high school wrestler once threatened his girlfriend with a gun. Another claimed to have seen Thomure grab Rochelle by the throat and threaten to choke her to death. Thomure’s mother and sister both testified that he was in Independence, where he had recently moved, on the night of the shooting. In Oxenhandler’s review of the case decades later, the judge called Thomure’s alibi “shaky, at best.” Thomure’s hands tested positive for gunshot residue 12 hours after the shooting. Prosecutors downplayed the evidence, saying that too much time had passed to rely on the results. Thomure had also stashed a duffel bag in the trunk of a woman’s car while staying at her Chillicothe apartment in the days after the killing. In the trunk, investigators discovered four .22-caliber bullet casings, the same kind used in the Robertson home. The car’s owner claimed that the shells may have come from her boyfriend’s gun. But there’s no record of authorities interviewing the boyfriend or questioning Thomure about the bag. A week after the shooting, Rochelle Robertson filed for a protective order against Thomure. “He has struck me in the past, and has made frequent harassing telephone calls to me since Nov. 1,” she wrote. “He may have murdered my mother and attempted to kill my father.” However, in 1995, a jury convicted Woodworth on all counts — second-degree murder of Cathy Robertson, first-degree burglary and first-degree assault of Lyndel Robertson — and sentenced him to 31 years in prison. A state appeals court overturned the convictions in 1997 due to the trial judge not allowing the defense to mention Thomure in court. In 1999, in a subsequent trial, Woodworth was again convicted and handed four life sentences. At that second trial in 1999, Thomure denied any involvement in the crime. Neither jury saw police reports showing that Thomure violated Rochelle’s protective order on several occasions after the slaying.
Thomure, who has a history of violent altercations since leaving Chillicothe, has been key to Woodworth’s subsequent appeals. Woodworth’s attorneys and supporters insist that Thomure is still the most likely suspect. They’ve brought forward witnesses who have contradicted his alibi, claiming that they saw Thomure in Chillicothe shortly before the shooting. Some of those witnesses say they contacted investigators 23 years ago but were never asked for follow-up statements or interviews. One of Thomure’s former friends testified before Judge Oxenhandler that Thomure threatened to kill him during a 2008 argument and bragged about getting away with murder. Thomure has insisted that a wrestling buddy drove him from Independence to Chillicothe the morning after the killing. However, in a deposition taken this past September, Thomure’s friend told lawyers that he didn’t drive Thomure to Chillicothe until two days after the shooting. In an October 14 deposition, another former friend of Thomure’s said he witnessed Thomure bragging “about how he had shot a couple of people in Chillicothe because they didn’t want him to date their daughter.” Thomure, who did not return requests for comment from The Pitch, told the Associated Press in 2009 that he “went through hell for nine years” due to the case. Thomure took the Fifth during a 2011 hearing before Judge Oxenhandler. “Though Thomure only briefly testified in court, his demeanor was that of a cool, tough guy,” Oxenhandler wrote in his case review. If ever there was a time to guess that Thomure’s “answers would have been unfavorable to him, this is it.”
“That boy didn’t do nothing.”
he p a r t ne r sh ip b et we e n C l aude Woodworth and Lyndel Robertson cratered months after the homicide. Claude says he split the business after hearing rumors that Lyndel considered him a suspect. Claude soon accused Lyndel of stealing from the partnership. A lawsuit followed. By mid-1991, the investigation into Cathy Robertson’s killing had stalled. A frustrated Robertson hired private detective Terry Deister, a former Platte County sheriff’s deputy, who had left law enforcement amid allegations of promoting prostitution. (Deister has denied the allegations.) Deister teamed up with Gary Calvert, Livingston County’s chief sheriff’s deputy, who had led the first Robertson murder investigation. The two kept Deister’s involvement in the case a secret from the local sheriff. Calvert gave Deister access to everything, including the active criminal case file and key evidence. Deister was quick to rule out a lead that had stumped investigators. continued on page 7 january 9-15, 2014
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mine the credibility of the evidence. The state is expected to continue fighting the ruling. Without a gun-bullet match, there’s virtually no case against Woodworth.
The Target continued from page 5 The night of the shooting, local farmer Chris Ruoff says he drove past the Robertson home twice: on a trip into town to drop off his girlfriend, then on his way back, when he spotted a car parked outside the Robertson home around midnight. Investigators also found tire tracks heading east toward town — not west toward the Woodworth home. Deister and Calvert sought to disprove Ruoff’s story in the fall of 1991. They parked Deister’s car in front of the Robertson home one night. After walking up and down the road, they determined that it was too dark to see the car, and Ruoff was either mistaken or lying. Ruoff insisted that he saw the vehicle. So Deister and Calvert asked Ruoff if he had been having an affair with Cathy Robertson. A stunned Ruoff denied it. “It was just stupid,” Ruoff said in court. “You may think I didn’t see anything, but I’d bet a million dollars I did.”
eister locked onto Woodworth as a prime suspect due to his familiarity with, and proximity to, the Robertson home. Deister spun several theories for a motive: Perhaps Woodworth would kill to get his parents’ attention or maybe, as the private detective said in a 1995 deposition, Woodworth harbored a “sexual fantasy toward Cathy or maybe even his own mother.” Both theories were unsupported by thousands of pages of court documents and various other records filed in the case. Prosecutors later considered other motives. Maybe Woodworth killed so his father could cash in on a $102,000 life-insurance policy on Robertson. Yet prosecutors presented no proof at either trial that Mark Woodworth knew about the policy. Robertson and his wife had also reportedly complained that Mark Woodworth kept the profits from about 60 acres of soy that the teenager planted and harvested himself. Prosecutors wondered if Woodworth might have killed to ensure that he could keep the money. On July 4, 1992, Deister and Calvert showed up at the Woodworths’ home while the teenager was home alone, claiming that they were investigating vandalism of nearby farm equipment. Woodworth went with the investigators to the Livingston County Sheriff’s Office. They took the teenager to a 10-by-10-foot soundproof interrogation room, and Calvert read Woodworth his Miranda rights. Shortly into the four-hour questioning, it became clear that Calvert and Deister weren’t interested in vandalism. “It was obvious they wanted to talk about the murder,” Woodworth says. Deister and Calvert questioned Woodworth about his father’s deteriorating relationship with Lyndel Robertson. Woodworth knew of the lawsuit accusing Robertson of stealing from the family business. He told
The highway on which the neighbors lived. investigators that his father “kind of made me think that he’s [Lyndel’s] an asshole.” Woodworth allowed the investigators to fingerprint him. Investigators later ran Woodworth’s prints and found a match: a single thumbprint on a .22-caliber box of bullets inside the Robertsons’ shed. Investigators suspected that the bullets in the shed were used in the homicide. At trial, the defense argued that Woodworth target-shot with other farmhands around the property. One witness testified to shooting around the farm with Woodworth in the months before the shooting. Deister and Calvert obtained a warrant for the Ruger six-shooter that Claude Woodworth kept in a nightstand next to his bed. Although investigators recovered bullets from the crime scene, the rounds were badly mangled. So, in August 1992, Lyndel Robertson consented to a risky surgery to remove a slug that had been buried in his liver for nearly two years. Investigators said it was their best chance for a gun-bullet match. But results from the Missouri Highway Patrol crime lab and an independent ballistics analyst in Kansas City were inconclusive. Deister phoned Steve Nicklin, a friend in England who’s a forensic analyst, and asked him to compare the newly recovered bullet with the Woodworth gun. “I really don’t think we will ever have a good case if this firearm can’t be identified as the shooter’s weapon,” Deister wrote in a letter stressing the importance of the results. The U.K. lab’s preliminary report repeated the other expert assessments: A gun-bullet match was “inconclusive.” Deister flew to England to visit Nicklin, and the lab there strengthened its findings in its final report. The gun barrel left scratches on the slug that “strongly suggested” the Woodworth gun fired the bullet, Nicklin later testified. But when pressed, Nicklin admitted that
there was still “not enough detail to form a conclusive association.” In October 1993, Woodworth was indicted for murder. After a polygraph test, the examiner accused Woodworth of lying. The exa m iner, according to records, told Woodworth that there were only two scenarios: He was either a coldblooded killer or he was pressured into shooting his neighbors. Woodworth claims that the examiner pulled his chair close, stared into his eyes, and began poking him hard in the leg with his index finger. “You could get the death penalty for this,” Woodworth recalls the examiner telling him. “They’ll execute you.” Woodworth’s reply hung over both of his trials: “Well, we all have to die someday.” In his case review years later, Judge Oxenhandler left little doubt as to his thoughts about Deister and the integrity of his investigation. Oxenhandler bristled that Deister was “clandestinely” given access to an active criminal case file and tried to lobby a forensic expert. According to Oxenhandler, Deister “disclosed and deep-sixed witness testimony as deemed necessary to keep tune with the theme of his investigation: Woodworth did it.” Deister’s conduct is central to the state’s case as prosecutors, for a third time, work to convict Woodworth. The case was assigned to Platte County Circuit Court Judge Owens Lee Hull Jr. when the Missouri Attorney General’s Office filed to retry Woodworth in early 2013. In April, Hull ruled to exclude the ballistics evidence from Woodworth’s third trial, squarely blaming Deister’s “odious” handling of the evidence. Hull characterized Deister and Calvert’s work as a “wildcat investigation.” He added: “There has been an egregious, flagrant, and cavalier disregard of evidentiary procedures and process.” In November, a Missouri Court of Appeals three-judge panel affirmed Hull’s order to exclude the ballistics from any future trial. In court, prosecutors from the AG’s office argued that a jury, and not a judge, should deter-
y the fall of 1993, Lyndel Robertson was fighting against time. He wanted Mark Woodworth charged, not just for murder but also for felony assault — the statute of limitations was set to lapse within months. Robertson urged longtime county prosecutor Doug Roberts to file charges. The prosecutor refused, citing a lack of evidence. So Robertson contacted Kenneth Lewis, Livingston County’s presiding circuit court judge, hoping to sidestep the prosecutor. In a September 1993 letter, Robertson begged the judge to convene a grand jury, calling the prosecutor inexperienced and unable to handle high-profile cases. Five days later, Robertson got his grand jury. The county prosecutor later sent Lewis a letter saying that the victim’s family mistook his “desire to make a thorough review of all the reports with this case with lack of enthusiasm.” The prosecutor continued: “I can understand his [Lyndel Robertson’s] frustration, but recall that soon after this crime, Mr. Robertson was adamant that we charge another young man,” referencing Thomure. “Had his decision been rubber-stamped by this office, an innocent person might have been prosecuted.” The prosecutor recused himself. With the local prosecutor out of the way, Lewis turned to the Attorney General’s Office, which sent its star prosecutor: Kenny Hulshof. Hulshof, who would go on to serve six terms in Congress, had traveled the state, assisting on high-profile cases. But in recent years, due to Hulshof’s conduct in court, appellate judges have freed two men, whom he helped convict of murder, and have commuted several death sentences to life without parole. In a letter to Hulshof, Lewis wrote: “To say that Doug Roberts had been uncooperative would be a monumental understatement.” Lewis scoffed that Roberts had “boycotted” the grand jury proceedings, even though the prosecutor had already recused himself. Lewis also referred to the statute of limitations that would soon run out: “I felt we could wait no longer for Mr. Roberts to act.” In his review of the case, Judge Oxenhandler wrote a stinging rebuke of Lewis, noting that the judge had “lost sight of his judicial sense of fairness. In effect, he became a prosecutor.”
ale Whiteside has no doubt about Woodworth’s innocence. “That boy didn’t do nothing,” says Whiteside, 83, a Republican who represented Livingston County in the Missouri Legislature for a decade. Since Woodworth’s first conviction in 1995, Whiteside has been an continued on page 8 january 9-15, 2014
The Target continued from page 7 advocate, insisting that Woodworth was “railroaded.” In the winter of 1996, Whiteside visited Woodworth often at the Missouri State Penitentiary in Jefferson City, also known as “the Walls.” (The state closed the crumbling prison in 2004.) In his cell, Woodworth would wake up to find a layer of ice formed inside the toilet and cockroaches scurrying across the cold floor. “That was not a happy place to be,” Whiteside says. “You could see it on Mark’s face. He never talked about it, but I think he was real scared in there.” John Quinn, who visited Lyndel Robertson in the hospital the morning after the crime and eventually succeeded Whiteside in the Statehouse, joined Whiteside on visits to the Walls. “Many of us just couldn’t believe it when they arrested him,” Quinn says. “We just felt like justice would be done in court.” Whiteside contacted St. Louis lawyer Robert Ramsey. “Look, I can’t find anybody else to help this guy, but I’ve got all these people in town who insist he’s innocent,” Ramsey recalls Whiteside telling him. Soon, Ramsey began visiting Woodworth in prison. “Dale was convinced this kid was innocent,” Ramsey says. “And when a guy like Dale says something like that, you listen.” Ramsey filed a series of u n s uc c e s sf u l p o s tconviction appeals in the following years, and by 2008 the case had stalled. Around 2000, Associated Press reporter Alan Zagier began digging into the prosecutorial record of Hulshof, who was running for governor. Zagier reviewed several cases prosecuted by Hulshof, including Woodworth’s. In an August 2, 2009, story on Woodworth’s case, Zagier unearthed letters written among Lyndel Robertson, Judge Lewis and a local prosecutor, who were discussing whether to indict Woodworth. Woodworth’s attorneys claimed that they’d never seen the letters. Ramsey insisted that the letters were Brady
From left: the Robertsons, in 1990; their children (Rhonda Robertson Oesch, far right) material. (Under the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case Brady v. Maryland, prosecutors must turn over any evidence that could be considered exculpatory or favorable to defendants. Failure to do so is a breach of the constitutional right to due process.) In his appeal, Ramsey argued the letters bolstered claims that Thomure was the most likely suspect in Robertson’s killing, and that, if used properly by the defense, the letters could have changed not just Woodworth’s first trial but also the entire trajectory of the case against him. The Missouri Supreme Court appointed Judge Oxenhandler to review the case in 2011. While he did not conclude that Hulshof intentionally concealed evidence, Oxenhandler wrote that the letters constituted Brady material the defense never saw. In his review, Oxenhandler outlined a host of other problems. Woodworth’s first defense attorney was also representing a small-time crook who brokered a lighter prison sentence by providing information in Woodworth’s case. Even though the information was never used
“Imagine someone proves to you there’s no God. That’s how I feel.”
by prosecutors, the situation presented a stunning conflict of interest, Oxenhandler wrote. Reports that Thomure violated the Robertsons’ protective order were never entered into the criminal case file and, therefore, never made it to the defense, even though Thomure was both a key suspect in the homicide and central to Woodworth’s defense. Oxenhandler questioned why investigators ignored some witnesses, and why information challenging Thomure’s alibi was never explored. “[T]his Court is hard-pressed to come up with a word or phrase in the English language that fairly describes the conflicts that existed with regard to Woodworth’s judicial process,” Oxenhandler wrote. “It is convincingly clear that our judicial process wronged Woodworth.” The Missouri Supreme Court agreed and overturned Woodworth’s conviction in January 2013. Woodworth was released on bond in February 2013. The state quickly filed to retry the case.
he Woodworth and Robertson children all passed through Laurinda Davison’s 4-H ceramics class by the time they reached middle school. Davison watched them grow. Davison, now a 63-year-old elementary school librarian, still considers Woodworth a
“sweet, gentle boy.” She served as a character witness in his first trial. She wept when the jury foreman read the guilty verdict. The tears weren’t just for Woodworth. Davison believed that the justice system was built to protect the innocent, but Woodworth’s conviction shattered her faith in the law. “Imagine you’ve attended church your whole life, prayed and sung hymns,” she says. “Then imagine someone proves to you there’s no God. That’s how I feel.” In early 2000, Davison gathered with about a dozen other supporters in the Woodworths’ living room. Large bay windows looked out onto the former Robertson home. Gene Thomeczek attended as a favor. Six months earlier, he had retired after nearly two decades as an FBI special agent in the bureau’s Kansas City field office. A former colleague told him about a decade-old slaying in Chillicothe and the nagging questions about the farm kid convicted. At the Woodworth home, neighbors threw a dizzying hodgepodge of documents and rumors at Thomeczek, who agreed to investigate on one condition: No matter what he found — good or bad for Woodworth — he would report his findings to state prosecutors and local law enforcement. Thomeczek gathered investigative reports from the Livingston County Sheriff’s Office
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Mark Woodworth says he’s at peace now. and interviewed witnesses in Chillicothe, following up on leads that authorities had hardly touched. He combed through local gun-registration records and found at least 200 people in Livingston County who owned the same model of pistol that prosecutors tied to the crime. Thomeczek won’t declare Woodworth innocent but says he’s stunned that the local justice system thought there was enough to arrest, try and twice convict him. Livingston County Sheriff Steve Cox agrees. Cox was a rookie Chillicothe police officer the night of the homicide. In 2000, Cox was elected sheriff. Soon after, he reopened the investigation. “I’m not here trying to walk in the door and immediately piss off judges and prosecutors, but this has weighed on my mind for years,” he says. Cox’s subsequent examination has convinced him not only of the shoddiness of the initial homicide investigation but also of Woodworth’s innocence. Cox also says he has enough probable cause to arrest another suspect if the state would drop its case against Woodworth. He won’t name the suspect.
n mid-November, Rhonda Robertson Oesch visited her mother’s grave at St. Columban Cemetery, not far from the farmhouse where her family lived and her mother died. Oesch’s mind wandered to Mark Woodworth. The latest Missouri Court of Appeals ruling, affirming a trial judge’s order to throw out ballistic evidence in the case, was handed down on November 12, 2013, the day before the 23rd anniversary of her mother’s death. That weekend, her washing machine had broken, and Oesch went to a Chillicothe laundromat. She washed her family’s clothes across from a woman wearing a “Mark Woodworth Innocence Project” T-shirt. The sight brought Oesch back to the night when she raced up the basement stairs to find
her mother’s body. For Oesch, Chillicothe has morphed into a town that celebrates her mother’s killer. “It’s like he’s a freaking hero now,” she says. Oesch sees a justice system eroding, letting a convicted murderer loose on a technicality if he fights long and hard enough. Oesch and her family remain convinced that prosecutors got it right. Oesch references inconsistent statements that Woodworth gave to authorities early on about how often he visited the Robertson home and shed. “Innocent people don’t lie,” she says. She says the bullet taken from her father’s liver will again send Woodworth to prison “if my mother can get a fair trial.” The outpouring of support and sympathy that the Robertsons received in the months after the slaying has disappeared. She wants to tell Woodworth’s supporters to shut up and just let the case play out in court. “All these people weren’t at my house that night,” she says. “I almost wish it was a cold case sometimes,” she says. Then, she says, the family wouldn’t have to relive this. They could try to move on.
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prison guard walked up to Woodworth’s jail cell and handed him some shabby clothes — oversized jeans, a Carhartt T-shirt that hung loosely on his shoulders and some ill-fitting sneakers — on the morning of February 15, 2013. Hours later, guards drove Woodworth 50 miles from the Daviess/DeKalb Regional Jail in Pattonsburg to the Livingston County Sheriff’s Office, where family members brought him clothes that fit. Woodworth put on a blue button-up shirt and pressed slacks. After posting a $50,000 bond — raised mostly by his supporters — Woodworth was greeted by a crowd of more than 200 outside the Sheriff’s Office. The Robertsons stayed indoors most of the day, hoping to avoid the festivities. The Woodworth family Christmas tree was still in the living room when he returned home later that day. His parents gave him more than a decade’s worth of presents that they had kept stashed in his old bedroom. Nieces and nephews helped tear through the packages and sang him Christmas carols. Standing in his basement bedroom in late October, Woodworth eyed a framed photograph on the nightstand next to his bed. The picture shows Woodworth and his fiancée at the Kansas City Chiefs’ spring-training camp in April. The two have yet to set a wedding date. Woodworth is trying to forget the murder indictment that has haunted him since 1993. He hopes that the system will soon be done with him. “I’m actually kind of at peace with everything,” he says. “I really would like to think it’s over with. For me, at least.”
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George W. Bush is finally out of office. The troops have come home from Iraq but not Afghanistan. And Green Day is … well, still putting out records that sound like 2004’s American Idiot. The 2010 Broadway musical, born of the album, is finally making its way to Kansas City for a two-day run Saturday (7:30 p.m.) and Sunday (1 and 6:30 p.m.) at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. Pay your respects to St. Jimmy with tickets ranging from $55 to $85, at kauffmancenter.org.
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George Rousis’ blacksmithing studio.
K r y s t in A r ne s on
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Going hammer and tongs inside
utside a weathered house on Woodland Avenue, the clang of metal striking metal reverberates up and down your spine as you approach the front door. You wonder if the man inside will hear you knock. You look at the intricately sculpted iron handle, and the sounds make sense. Beyond the door is the studio of George Rousis, metalsmith. The space is messy, a little ramshackle, but it is also a place where fine things are made. Some of his bronze, iron and copper statues are the size of a wedding ring. Others are as large as the entryway gates he fashioned for the Children’s Garden at the Kansas City Community Garden. In the bowels of his studio, Rousis could pass for a Vulcan working his forge: sturdy from years of swinging hammers, his beard full enough to be a fire hazard. He says wearing a kilt has cured his back pain, but he also needs to be able to move easily. He’s forever dropping things, dashing from one spot in the studio to the next, his trade a business timed in swiftly passing seconds. He heats up the forge and throws in the front half of the stake to get it hot, pulling it out when it glows red from the 2,200-degree heat.
He transfers it — handling the cool end without gloves — to the anvil in front of the forge. “I like to be able to feel what I’m doing,” he says. Rousis picks up a mallet and begins to flatten the end of the stake, da-da-da-dada, the last two taps directly on the anvil. It’s maybe a minute on the anvil before the black cold eclipses the red hot of the metal, rendering it again unworkable. Back into the heat it goes. When Rousis designs for a client — his work is largely commissioned; Organic Iron Concepts is his business — he sketches the idea using software. (“It’s very hard when you make something for someone and you never hear if they liked it or if it arrived,” he says. “If someone doesn’t like something I made for them, then I’m not done.”) For his own pieces, though, he’s more abstract. “Sometimes the metal speaks and tells me what it wants to do,” he says. At the anvil again, Rousis begins to flatten the metal. Using tongs, he then picks up the rod and plunges it into a metal tub of water. There’s a hiss, and the tongs fall to the floor. Rousis ignores the clatter and reaches into the tub with his hands. His bushy eyebrows shoot up with a polite “ow.” Hot metal still
seems to take him by surprise, but a telling tin of Burt’s Bees hand salve waits nearby. He switches to smaller mallets, hammering the top of the stake into what looks like a spear. Then come the finer tools, and a curved outline of a leaf appears. Eventually, he’ll take a tool with a wedged end and chisel veiny indentations into the metal. He wants a fold down the middle. He could chisel that, too, but instead he urges the metal leaf in on itself until the outside edges almost touch. Rousis puts the metal back into the forge so he can pry the sides open again. He works with the other end of the rod, keeping the leaf out of the heat now, pounding the metal into a scythe shape before curving it around the rod’s end using a blowtorch and his bare hands. It becomes a rose blossom, the base of which isn’t as sturdy as he had in mind. “There’s always a point where you need to stop, where it won’t look quite the same,” he says. “It’ll break if you push the metal.” When that happens, there’s nothing to do but start over. That doesn’t happen often anymore, but when it does, Rousis copes — playing disc golf or crushing the occasional Hamm’s empty in one of his weighted presses.
Clockwise from left: Rousis uses a blowtorch to curl metal; his workshop; one of his pieces; a rack of mallets. Now he heats the center of the rod and bends it into a U. The curve at the bottom gets pounded onto a flat surface until it starts to get a thicker base, the way a woman’s shoe heel does after months of walking. It’s called “upsetting” the metal. “It’s pissed off,” Rousis says. The second-to-last step is to get the scorched metal — the scabs — off the form, using a tool that resembles a metal pot scrubber coupled with a polishing brush. Rousis dashes away the bits, sending flakes into the air that look like pencil shavings, minuscule daggers that sting on contact. Taking off that rough exterior lets the iron glint between the matte particles. Rousis polishes the finished rose with a hunk of beeswax, which cools and polishes the iron, “sinking into its pores,” he says. The vine wraps around the stem like some prop from a steampunk Disney film. It’s for his wife. It’s their anniversary tonight.
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In Spike Jonze’s forward-gazing Her, AI evolves toward heartache.
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ith each successive film — including the Jackass movies he has produced — writer-director Spike Jonze excavates more of humanity’s emotional hidey-holes. His aptitude for the rough edges of character isn’t something you necessarily expect from someone so gifted at using the physical space of the frame (and so adept at freaking out the frame’s occupants). His new movie, Her, a romantic drama set in a distinctly familiar tomorrow, does a remarkable job of recognizing our individual quirks — and pressing on the nerves just beneath the surface. Whether you read its rendering of sentient technology as a bleak statement or a supportive musing, there’s no getting around how masterfully Her works. Theodore Twombly is a decent guy, an artist trying to hold the crumbling strands of his marriage in stasis. As played by Joaquin Phoenix, he isn’t a pawn in some cosmic wager or a wimp redeemed by finding his inner alpha male. He’s just a man who needs to be appreciated on terms he isn’t very good at defining. Gawky and charmingly reserved, Theodore keeps the big feelings inside, but Phoenix’s phenomenal performance shows the sadness that occasionally slips between the plates of a “doing fine” exterior. What he does is summon emotion from the ether, on call. Theodore’s job is to write other people’s personal correspondence, a task that makes him a surrogate for the affection and intimacy of his employer’s clients. All that disconnected empathy has set him adrift and left him ready to try out a new operating system for his phone and computer. The OS One becomes Theodore’s assistant, then his caretaker, then his companion. Naming itself — herself — Samantha (voiced by Scarlett Johansson), the system helps him get his life in order, then produces a whole new spectrum of interaction for him to navigate. We all want to define relationships in our own terms, and it’s never easy. Some lovers outgrow each other. But what can be done when your partner actually evolves in front of you? What makes Johansson’s performance a feat is how vivid a presence she makes Samantha without being seen. A catch in her voice comes to signal a potentially devastating leap in development. When Theodore says he wishes that he could touch her, the longing she expresses vocally is palpably carnal. As the personification of the old joke that we might as well be married to our mobile devices, she’s simultaneously a bridge, a dead end and a stepladder up from the fragmented isolation that passes for connection among a lot of us. That Samantha and her ilk feel like both a
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p lifeline and a death sentence for the lonely soul is only one of the reasons that Jonze’s film is such an extraordinary achievement. Some will see in Her an impetus to become more social, more alive, more willing to take emotional risks. Others will see it as an illustration that we’ve already passed too far into the realm of solipsism — that only through electronic approval do we now find the patience to deal with ourselves. Look around at how attached people are to their smartphones and you see that Jonze’s movie is a vision of a future already arrived. But Her also makes us dissect our wishes for instant gratification, our attempts to press love into molds we manufacture — and our helplessness when that love rebels. Jonze’s movie projects a kind of apocalypse, but it also offers an enveloping hug. Her is a reckoning that’s both deeply personal and reassuringly universal. n
August: OsAge COunty
hy don’t you go fuck a fuckin’ sow’s ass!” And so Meryl Streep’s matriarch introduces herself in August: Osage County. Drugged out, suffering from mouth cancer and oozing insolence, Streep’s Violet Weston fires this redneck salvo at her long-suffering husband (Sam Shepard). The older and less self-conscious she gets, the more fun Streep appears to have with her performances. And if ever a part called for restraint-free vehemence, it’s Violet, a bitter, miserable mama grizzly who sets everyone around her in a homicidal mood whenever she opens her mouth. But an earnest sympathy still seeps out of Streep, and that’s part of what makes this adaptation of Tracy Letts’
Phoenix listens in on the future. Tony Award- and Pulitzer Prize-winning play such a misguided slog. Directed with unnecessary sincerity by John Wells, August arrives on film housebroken — a scandalous Southern Gothic neutered and defanged for Oscar-bait purposes. Julia Roberts, Juliette Lewis and Julianne Nicholson play Violet’s daughters, who convene at the family homestead after their daddy is reported missing. The sisters have problems of their own. Roberts’ character has an embittered daughter (Abigail Breslin) and a husband (Ewan McGregor) on his way out. As you’d expect, the movie consists largely of Streep and Roberts trying to out-screech each other. The supporting cast, which also includes Chris Cooper and Margo Martindale as elder relatives, fortunately stays more even-keeled. The sentimental Wells truncates the source material (Letts gets screenplay credit), and his movie unfolds with a straight, solemn face, even when the events should inspire giggling at their trashy wrongness — chief among them the secret romance between Nicholson’s spinster daughter and her first cousin (a dunderheaded Benedict Cumberbatch). But the relationship is played out seriously and adorably. You wonder how William Friedkin, who has already adapted Letts’ Bug and Killer Joe for the big screen, would’ve handled August. Friedkin seems to understand that films based on the playwright’s work must be as grungy, insular, claustrophobic, hysterical and just plain fucked-up as they are onstage. The Harvey Weinstein-approved film version of August: Osage County is just the opposite — it’s too damn respectable. — Craig D. Lindsey
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Taco Republic brings street-food chic closer to Main Street USA.
Ch a r l e s F e r ru z z a
Taco Republic • 500 County Line Road, Kansas City, Kansas, 913-262-8226 • Hours: 11 a�m�–10 p�m� Monday–Thursday, 11 a�m�–11 p�m� Friday, 8 a�m�–11 p�m� Saturday, 8 a�m�–10 p�m� Sunday • Price: $–$$
acos are solid investments for a restaurant owner: cheap to make and popular with all ages. That means there’s a wide taco spectrum, one that runs from increasingly ambitious fast-food chains (Taco Bell, Taco Bueno) to more authentic and fashionable destinations. Well within that part of the range is the three-month-old Taco Republic, the latest culinary brainchild of Alan Gaylin’s Bread & Butter Concepts. Mind you, Taco Republic isn’t fancy — part of its intended charm is the self-conscious lack of pretense in this latest restaurant to take up residence in a former service station. What’s fashionable about the place is that it pushes the urban street taco inside the suburban perimeter. The food here isn’t substantially different from the folded-tortilla creations that you can buy more cheaply at less-hyped places: the Tortilleria San Antonio in Kansas City, Kansas, for instance, or Taqueria El Torito on Independence Avenue. But the experience isn’t one you’d have at a traditional taqueria. For one thing, you might wait for a table. I know people who have spent an hour idling so they could eat a cochinita pibil taco from a plastic basket within sight of Westwood. Taco Republic’s whitewashed brick walls, shiny concrete floors, and industrial fans mounted on the ceiling give the impression that the transition from empty mechanic shop to popular restaurant was a slow, organic process, but this is a carefully constructed stage set for customers who love the idea of authentic Mexican food but don’t want to drive too far into KCK to get it. e r Mo So Gaylin is on to something. And Taco Republic looks and feels at ine Onl .com like a prototype restauh pitc rant, an experience ready to be duplicated in Olathe or out toward the airport. Its vibe isn’t sexiness, but it does radiate a certain dry cool that helps offset its ersatz authenticity. This is not Tortilleria San Antonio (which is beloved by local restaurant workers because suburbanites don’t go there), but it’s not On the Border, either. Which means the food is good, and the place emits a palpable gladness not to be seen at Chipotle. Still, I wish the sauce on the grilled-chicken mole taco were more robust. Also, the porkbelly tocino taco I ate was overwhelmed by meat that was too smoky and chewy. But most of the other dishes I sampled here were delicious. I liked the two meatless choices: the “buena terra” canonizes bits of fried hearts
AngelA C. Bond
ter than the other two, which are dotted with too many ingredients. The chipotle version’s subtle smoked peppers fail to harmonize with of palm as an effective meat substitute, adorn- the chopped jicama and mango; the flavors and textures end up working against one another. ing them with avocado and fragrant cilantro. When Taco Republic’s dishes stay simple, And the “hongos” taco matches sautéed mushrooms with a sassy jalapeño puree, chipotle they’re pretty good. A tortilla folded over a filling of sautéed tilapia, guacamole and a sprinslaw and queso fresco. (More imaginative vegkling of garlic sauce, for instance, works well. etarian choices like these would make Taco ReBut the tamale here strays public different indeed from from the Mexican basics the metro’s other taquerias.) Taco Republic and is made unnecessarily T he b e e r- a nd- c h i le Fundido dip ���������������������������$8 complicated by stripping the braised beef brisket in the Chips and salsa �������������������� $2 corn-husk wrapper partly off “tecate barbacoa” taco is Frito pie ���������������������������������$8 the steamed masa filling to satisfyingly succulent, and Old School taco ��������������$2�95 present it open-faced; worse, the “Old School” taco, made Mole taco������������������������� $3�25 it’s over-sauced, with a salsa with ground beef, corn, poHongos taco ��������������������$2�95 that drowns what should tatoes and spinach, is worlds have a f lavor needing no away from the greasy beef help. The salsa verde on the tamale I tried tacos you shamefacedly accept at a drive-thru. last week was so astringent with lime juice The chips — salty and served in near-bushel that I couldn’t finish it. quantities — taste better with the citrusy, tart Similarly over-accessorized is the carne verde than with the flat rojo. The smoky chipotle salsa delivers more fire than the usual torta, a visually attractive grilled-tenderloin sandwich. A splash of chimichurri, that lovely such concoction; it lingers awhile. The Chihuahua cheese fundido dip, served Argentinian condiment of parsley, olive oil, cilantro and red pepper flakes, would be a perin a metal frying pan, turns rubbery too quickly fectly satisfying complement. But the torta but tastes great. There are three guacamoles, at Taco Republic doesn’t stop there, instead but the house version is light and silky and bet-
Clockwise from above: a trio of tacos, the grilled elotes, and Frito pie
adding a slather of cilantro-lime aioli and garlicky pickled jalapeños. It’s a three-ring circus of flamboyant flavors on a bun, when all you need is a dash of street carnival. Taco Republic’s theme park of Mexican food reaches Matterhorn heights with its Frito pie, a staple not of taco trucks but of Midwestern school-lunch menus. That’s not to say I didn’t order one right away. Made with either chicken chili or a brassy chorizo version, it’s delivered with a bag of Frito-Lay chips on the side and smothered with maybe one too many slices of jalapeño. It’s more satisfying as nostalgic novelty than as entrée, but it’s also way better than the mushy dish that used to get you through seventh period. Try it after you’re done with all the tacos. Taco Republic aspires to slip the showmanship of chef Patrick Ryan’s Port Fonda into an understated neighborhood cantina. I’d like to eat at a place like that, but this isn’t it. The menu has too much contrivance, and there's too little taste in the basket. To make his upscale version of inexpensive taquerias work, Gaylin should study those taquerias some more.
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Pig & Finch’s John Smith wants to take care of you.
Jon at h a n Be nder
eople always ask why I’m smiling,” John Smith says as he sits at the bar inside Pig & Finch. “I was in hell until I was 17 years old. I’ve seen the worst of the worst. I love my life today, and I’m going to enjoy it.” The 36-year-old executive chef at Pig & Finch Gastropub doesn’t shy away from talking about what it was like growing up on Chicago’s South Side. He lost five friends to violence by the age of 15, but he found a way out. Smith graduated high school and went to the University of Iowa, where he started cooking for his roommates on Sundays. A table for three turned into a meal for 25, his fellow students wanting to try the mac-and-cheese that he made from his mom’s recipe. “My quants professor came and told me that I was better at this than his class,” Smith says. The professor introduced him to the Cooking and Hospitality Institute of Chicago (now Le Cordon Bleu), and Smith began his culinary training in 1997. He also took a job at Park Avenue Café, working under David Burke and John Hogan. The hot-apps station there proved to be more challenging than culinary school. Smith finished the semester but decided to pursue the rest of his culinary education on the line. He spent six months in France before a near two-year stint at Craft in New York City. “I fell in love with Craft because it was all technique-based,” Smith says. “You have to know how to present and cook an item perfectly. I tell my cooks now that if you don’t have the right techniques, it doesn’t matter if you have luxury ingredients.” Smith learned about managing a restaurant while overseeing the Members Dining Room at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. He moved to Des Moines, Iowa, a decade ago to work at Splash Seafood. Sheri Osborn, a vice president with the 801 Restaurant Group, hired him away to be a sous chef for 801 Chophouse. When the Des Moines–based restaurant group decided to open an 801 steakhouse in Kansas City’s Power & Light District in 2008, they asked Smith to be the executive chef. After almost four years of living and working downtown, Smith left to become the Jacobson’s first chef. The Crossroads spot quickly became known for its burger with bone-marrow butter — the last item that Smith added to the initial menu. “That burger was a one-hit wonder I’m forever tied to,” Smith says with a laugh. In September, Smith returned to the 801 Restaurant Group, becoming executive chef for Pig & Finch. The gastropub is celebrating its first anniversary this month in Leawood’s Park Place.
“I’m looking forward to this being more like a celebration,” Smith says. “Just a place where people realize they can get great beer, great wine and great food and still be casual.” Here’s our conversation with Smith. The Pitch: What are you experimenting with? Smith: Next month, we’re going to roast short rib on the bone and get a nice pastrami crust in our wood-burning oven. We’ll serve it with beer mustard and bone-marrow-roasted potatoes and a nice little spinach salad. Some rye croutons will give it a play on the pastrami sandwich. What’s one food you love? Italian. I love pasta, especially fresh pasta. I always get pasta anywhere when I’m out, but I have to cut back on that. What’s one food you hate? Green pepper because if you put it with anything, it takes over the flavor of the whole dish. All you can taste are the peppers. What’s your guilty pleasure? Velveeta cheese and shells with hot sauce or Sriracha. I’ll heat that up and eat the whole thing. Where do you like to eat out in Kansas City? The Rieger and Port Fonda. I’ll eat whatever they feed me. I’ll go to the Vietnam Café and get their pho with the tendons and tripe and everything else they put in there. When I have people in town that are adventurous, I take them there. I go to the Peanut; I love their wings. Our new restaurant, 801 Fish. I had the linguini with clams, and it was great. When somebody takes something that simple and makes it beautiful, I know it’s going be a knock-it-out-of-the-park meal. What’s the best barbecue in town, and what are you ordering? Oklahoma Joe’s. I’m getting a slab of ribs, a Z-Man. They have good chicken — the dark
Smith can’t stop smiling at Pig & Finch. meat — some red beans and rice, french fries and a strawberry soda. Is there a moment in a restaurant you’ll never forget? One of the best meals I’ve ever had was at Café Boulud in New York City. I was working with [chef] Marco Canora, and he called over to make a lunch reservation for me during Restaurant Week. I got out of the train station and was walking by this guy for, like, six blocks. We kept turning the same way and passing each other at the lights. I went into the restaurant, and they had set up a table with one chair in the middle of the dining room. They told me that Marco called, and I shouldn’t worry about the menu. But I’m broke and I’m thinking that I only have $60 in my pocket, enough for the Restaurant Week menu plus tip. [Executive chef at the time] Andrew Carmellini comes out to greet me, and it turns out he was the guy I was walking next to. He’s like, “We could have been talking about what you want to eat the whole time.” He sits down with me, and the GM sits down and opens a bottle of wine. And the entire dining room is looking at me like, “Who is this kid?” Out comes course one and course two, and Andrew is bringing them himself and talking to me about each dish. He tells me to keep cooking. I got there around 12:15 p.m. and walked out at 2:45 p.m. after eight courses and two bottles of wine. My bill was $30, and I left a $30 tip. The community of chefs really takes care of each other. I got that treatment when I was just a kid. But that’s what restaurants do — we give somebody a great experience.
fat c i t y
Ch a r l e s F er ru z z a
Pastry chef Carter Holton gets creative at Sasha’s Baking Co.
arter Holton didn’t grow up going to bakeries. The 26-year-old pastry chef had a mother who baked his birthday cakes and a grandmother who taught him how to bake a pie. But Holton, like most of his fellow millennials, thought of a bakery as just another department at the supermarket, like produce or meat. The traditional small-business bakery isn’t extinct, but it’s a severely endangered species. And no, cupcakeries don’t count. “I think, thankfully, that novelty has come and gone,” Holton says. “It was strange to walk into a bake shop that only focused on one product. And not only that, but it was a pastry that most people could easily make themselves at home. A bakery should always be the kind of place with a variety of beautiful, enticing products, none of them easily made by a home cook.” That’s a pretty good definition, though it doesn’t apply to more than a handful of KC businesses. And fewer and fewer restaurants today — in any market — hire pastry chefs. Owners prefer not to add to their payrolls, and they find they can save money by purchasing baked goods wholesale from corporate commissaries or by asking a cook in the kitchen to prepare uncomplicated sweets. That job-market caution is one of the lessons Holton shares with his students at the Art Institutes International–Kansas City, in Lenexa, where he has taught pastry classes for the past three years. But he could be talking to headcount-minded restaurateurs when he adds: “A pastry just isn’t any dessert. It’s a creation that almost always requires a multistep process, with a real spectrum of textures. An ideal pastry, for me, would have elements of crunchy and soft, chewy and lush, sweet and salty.” Holton has created pastries for several Kansas City restaurants over the years, including Le Fou Frog and Anton’s Tap Room. More recently, he has juggled his teaching position with jobs at both the new Sasha’s Baking Co. (in the historic Cosby Hotel) and at the exclusive River Club, where he is the longtime pastry chef. Sasha’s Baking Co., at 105 West Ninth Street, evokes the neighborhood pastry shops of a different era — perhaps even a different century. Holton, as one of owner Jeremy Schepmann’s featured pastry chefs (Julie Steele is the other), is given a lot of creative space when it comes to filling the storefront bakery’s glass cases. Over Christmas week, Holton made a duck-egg custard — served in a tiny duck eggshell with a curl of candied kumquat — as well as a silky praline gâteau decorated with a wisp of silver leaf. You know,
B r o o k e Va n d e V e r
Holton: at home at Sasha’s things most people no longer make at home. Holton laughs: “These are the kind of pastries that no one ever made at home. There was a time when Kansas City housewives made their own bread. But that was a long time ago.” Sasha’s Baking Co. is competing with the plastic-wrapped loaves, most lovingly baked with preservatives, sold in every supermarket and convenience shop in the metro. But the preservative-free baguettes and the wholewheat, ciabatta and rye loaves created by local bread man Chris Glenn are selling well at Sasha’s, Schepmann says. Holton isn’t sure that Sasha’s will ever sell one home-cooked staple — fruit pie — no matter how much he loves it. “I don’t think this is that kind of bakery,” he says. “Sasha’s reminds me a lot of the first time I ever stepped into Andre’s Confiserie Suisse as a little boy. Those pastries were as beautiful as anything I’d ever seen.” Then again, there might be more of a demand for Holton’s Tarte Normandy — made with apples and almonds — than for his duckegg custard. “We have an interesting demographic coming into the bakery,” Holton says. “A lot of businesspeople and downtown workers. They have very adventurous tastes. We’ve introduced our new winter menu, and it includes some unusual things that patrons really like, including a cheesecake topped with black-currant gelée and macaroon. We’re also introducing a new chocolate tart made with salted caramel and chocolate mousse.” Pastries that could, perhaps, be made at home with a good deal of time and effort. But isn’t it easier to leave it to the professionals?
E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org pitch.com
january 9-15, 2014
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january 9-15, 2014
As they move from weird to “Normal,”
the Bad Ideas are making good plans.
N ata l ie G a l l a Ghe r
n a chilly Thursday evening, near the corner of Lloyd and 43rd Street, a few tentative guitar chords break the cold silence, the only sounds except for the occasional car crunching down a snow-packed road. Yellow light warms a few plastic-covered windows of the nondescript white house, from which that guitar screech emanates. The Bad Ideas are holding band practice in the garage. Guitarist Britt Adair, bassist Caitlin Curry and singer Dawn (who provides no last name) have been performing together as the Bad Ideas for a little more than three years. Drummer George Magers, the only dude in the band, joined eight months ago. “George is family,” Adair says. “We used to be an all-girl band. Our second drummer quit a month before we went on tour last year, and George just volunteered. He learned all the songs within a month, and then, when we got back from tour, we were like, ‘You’re not going anywhere.’” Wild-haired and wide-eyed, Dawn kneels in front of a microphone stand and arranges a pile of handwritten lyric sheets. She’s the Adair and Curry are drinking away some afterband’s principal songwriter, but Adair acts as noon downtime. Each wears a jacket adorned with innumerable buttons, patches and pins. I the band’s de facto leader. She handles the logistics, and it’s her garage where the group ask them what they get out of their punk band. “I feel empowered by the music,” Adair is now sprawled out, still wearing their winter says. “I feel a sense of community. All of us coats despite the space heater. Adair and Curry are pumped by it. We all share ideas. Punk each lights a cigarette. Magers has yet to arrive, rock is basically born out of frustration with and the women decide that they sound terrible things and how things are, whether that be without their drummer. Magers appears, waves hello to his band- with politics, lifestyle, rich and poor, whatever. There’s community in that.” mates and exchanges a few barbs. He sits down “It’s like, fuck it, you don’t have to be pretty. at the drums, and the energy in the small, twoYou don’t have to be cool,” Curry adds. “You car garage changes. Cigarettes are stubbed out. can just be weird.” Instruments are gripped. The Bad Ideas play mainly The band launches into The Bad Ideas, in people’s basements, “Normal” and burns a twowith Black on Black releasing rough cuts and minute hole in the air. and Steady States home recordings on tape or What’s it like to have Saturday, January 11, online. Yet even musicians everything you want in life? at the Jackpot who want to keep things as What’s it like? Dawn deDIY as possible recognize mands, her petite frame that there could be benefits to branching out. emitting a formidable volume. She practically So after three years of playing shows around growls the next lyric: I don’t want to be you. the country, Adair and Curry are working on Adair stands behind her pedals, stoic. She attacks her guitar more than she plays it, but a broader vision. “Everything’s kind of evolved since we what she coaxes from it is recognizable as a melody (an aggressive one). Curry arches into first started,” Adair says. “We’re starting to her instrument, her eyes shut, long blond hair all write some lyrics. I think we’ve moved past the whole ‘Pizza! Basements! Getting drunk! swaying as she pulls some impressive bass faces. In the corner, Magers gleefully pounds Boyfriends!’ I mean, our newest song is about Detroit falling apart. It’s morphing into a politiaway, like an attention-deficit child who never cal commentary, and that’s the direction that received the proper medication. we’re going.” If bands were rated in terms of caffeine, the “We want to say what really matters instead Bad Ideas would be a six-shot Americano. And of just saying some funny shit,” Curry says. “I this is just practice. like it. That makes me happy.” Sitting at Twin City Tavern another day, Barrett emke
WHERE THE BEST MUSICIANS IN THE WORLD PLAY
“We are all the rejects,” Adair says. Now, as the band writes new material and considers its options for recording and releasing, Adair and Curry say they’re more conscious of the effect they could have on a broader audience. “Sometimes we feel like we have some type of power or something because there aren’t a ton of women in the punk scene,” Adair says. “We have a lot of younger girls coming up to us, and that’s the coolest thing ever. They want a T-shirt. They want to start playing. They see us and they think they can do it. That’s awesome.” Curry says, “We want to inspire other young women to rock. It gives me chills thinking about it, inspiring younger women to do what we do.” “We are all the rejects,” Adair says with a small smile. “But when we come to a place to do a show, we’re not rejects anymore. I don’t feel rejected from the scene, I feel embraced and like I can be a part of it.” Curry: “Going to shows, putting them on, being part of them — that’s when I feel like I’m the most myself.” Back in the garage, the Bad Ideas tear through a new tune, “I’m Stuck.” Despite the raging sound, the band members’ faces are joyfully aglow. Dawn shakes her arms and snarls into the microphone. Their elation is infectious. “Do you have time for one more?” Magers asks.
january 9-15, 2014
No White Flag
Andrea Gibson’s Truce never surrenders.
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ndrea Gibson lays out certain truths that often go unsaid. She talks gender, sexuality and class. On Truce, the spokenword album that she put out last October, the 37-year-old poet and activist swings in like an unexpected garden-party guest who points out a bouquet of dead flowers. More than on her previous five releases, she pushes past surface-level politics to deliver intensely personal revelations at a furious pace. Put simply, Truce knocks the wind out of you. Ahead of Gibson’s show Monday night at Czar, I called the artist at her Boulder, Colorado, home. The Pitch: You get pretty dark on this album. There’s a poem called “The Nutritionist,” which addresses suicide, and another called “Panic Button Collector,” detailing your anxiety. How did you arrive at those? Gibson: Typically, when I do a show, it’s my community or in the world, and it reaches a certain point of having the poem in me and about 60 to 90 minutes, and when I’m talking needing to get it out. to folks after a show, selling merch and stuff, My goal is to speak about the things that I’m usually that lasts about two hours. Usually passionate about. I worked with a group called talking to people takes up the majority of the Vox Feminista for 10 years, and that was how I night. The night is as much me listening to people as it is me talking when I’m up onstage, started to write, so I was discovering this politiand the last year, I’ve just done more listening. cal world at the same time that I was discovering poetry. Their model was to comfort the I’ve done that throughout my career, just paydisturbed and disturb the ing attention to what’s not comfortable, and I’ve carried being said. And for myself, Andrea Gibson that with me through all my just struggling with depreswith Chris Pureka years of writing. I get up here sion and anxiety throughout Monday, January 13, at Czar and I’m thinking, “I want to my life, I realized that that comfort the disturbed and wasn’t something that I was disturb the comfortable in saying out loud. And when I every room I’m performing in.” started to listen to what people were saying to What responsibility do you have to your me each night, I just realized that not enough audience and representing yourself as an artist? folks were talking about it. Right now, my responsibility as an artist This [Truce] is the first time that I’ve talked directly about anxiety and depression and is to tell the truth in terms of how I see it, and also to be constantly willing to listen a lot more thoughts of suicide. With “The Nutritionist,” that poem is prob- than I talk. I’m finding, as I get older, that each year I know less than I knew the year before in ably the poem that I’ve needed to write for the last 10 years and just haven’t — God, just terms of what I’m certain of. So I think as an artist, just being willing to commit to wonderhave been afraid to speak about it publicly. ing and to commit to curiosity and to not come And then I got over that. to my work with as many answers as I come to Your poetry and your activism are tightly it with questions. linked. What is your goal in talking about the You want to know something? What’s so things you do and in taking up those causes? I had a professor years ago in college ask funny about this whole thing is that I am typime if I had to write, when I was 20, and I re- cally so terrible at interviews because when I member thinking, “You know, I don’t think I started writing poetry, when I was growing have to write,” and then he said, “Well, then, up, I could never articulate myself. And even don’t bother. If you don’t have to write, then now, I’m 37, and I have a hard time talking in conversation, even when I’m talking to my don’t bother.” friends and I’m trying to talk to them about I remember being shocked by that. But at this point, writing and performing for years, how I feel about a particular subject. And I’ll have written about it, and I can talk about it when I write something down now, it always comfortably within the context of a poem. feels like it’s something that I have to write. I I started writing poetry because I had so just notice something going on around me or in
“When I write something down now, it always feels like it’s something that I have to write.” much that I thought and so much that I felt and so much that I wanted to express and get out, and whenever I tried to open my mouth in conversation, I could never get it out right. And so now, whenever I do an interview, I think, “Wait a minute, this is why I’m writing the poem. Because I don’t know how to talk about it.” This is why I write poems — I’ve never been able to talk the way I wanted to talk.
J a z z B e at Deborah broWN, at the blue room
Kansas City jazz singer Deborah Brown happens to be an international star, better known in Europe — where she spent 12 years — than in her hometown. She has appeared with orchestras in Russia, Denmark and Sweden, and she has performed with an enviable list of jazz greats, including Clark Terry and Johnny Griffin. To hear Deborah Brown — when her voice is vividly rising over a bebop line, massaging a ballad or scatting to swing — is to hear a recognized master of jazz. And yet, she’s barely known in Kansas City, where she lives. On Saturday night, the Blue Room offers Kansas Citians a rare chance to discover a talent that the world relishes. — Larry Kopitnik Deborah Brown, 8:30 p.m.–12:30 a.m. Saturday, January 11, at the Blue Room, 1600 E. 18th St., $10 cover.
january 9-15, 2014
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n ata l ie G a l l a Ghe r
David Garrett (left) and the Zero Boys
CHECK OUT THE NEW ALL DAY HAPPY HOUR
For a relatively young band, Mime Game has quite the history. Frontman Dillon DeVoe (what a name) rose to almost-fame in the mid-’00s as the lead singer for Kansas alt-rock outfit Josephine Collective, which was signed to (and later dropped from) Warner Bros. Records. When that band split, DeVoe took up with Mime Game and relocated to Kansas City. This past October, Mime Game released a four-song EP called Do Your Work — a swift pop-rock gem that sounds like someone took a pinch of Third Eye Blind and threw it in a blender with a handful of earnest, proteinladen lyrics and healthy guitar juices and pulsed just so. With the Travel Guide, Psychic Heat and Jared Bond & the Tornadoes. Friday, January 10, at RecordBar (1020 Westport Road, 816-753-5207)
The Zero Boys
The Zero Boys are kind of like the ultimate Midwestern punk heroes. The hardcore foursome from Indianapolis — an unlikely birthplace for a punk legend — released its debut, Vicious Circle, in 1982. Though the band never quite achieved the same glorious heights as some contemporaries — the Dead Kennedys and Black Flag — it has remained widely acknowledged as a champion of the movement. And then, in February 2013, like some sort of jankety phoenix, the Zero Boys rose from the ashes and released a four-song EP called Pro
Dirt, their first new music in two decades. Pro Dirt isn’t hardcore, but it’s a bright pop-punk offering from a band that doesn’t really need to prove anything anyway. Sunday, January 12, at the Riot Room (4048 Broadway, 816-442-8179)
It seems that there are two camps when it comes to rapper Ras Kass. Either you’ve been a devoted fan since you first got ahold of his acclaimed 1996 debut, Soul on Ice, or you’ve never heard of the Los Angeles MC and don’t really get what the big deal is. If you’re in the former party, then you have already heard Rassy’s Barmageddon, a massive, 20-track album with unapologetic songs examining race and class issues in hip-hop, and studded with guest appearances from the likes of Kendrick Lamar and Talib Kweli. If you’re in the latter party, well, you should probably catch up and get down to Czar. Local hip-hop supergroup Yawn Johnson opens. Wednesday, January 15, at Czar (1531 Grand, 816-421-0300)
Scott Hrabko, Mikal Shapiro
Scott Hrabko doesn’t exactly have a name that screams “superstar musician.” (The “h” is silent, and he’s pretty quiet himself.) In fact, nothing about Hrabko really suggests stardom
f o r e c a s t
— except for Gone Places, the excellent debut he put out last month. Its 13 country and blues ramblers tumble out smoothly and assuredly. Hrabko doesn’t perform often, so count this as a rare opportunity to hear a brand-new artist who comes off like a veteran. Local roots singer-songwriter Mikal Shapiro is on deck as well, and her haunting, Appalachian-tinged voice will break your heart and then sew it back up. Bonus: This is an early show, so your weeknight can remain relaxed. Tuesday, January 14, at RecordBar (1020 Westport Road, 816-753-5207)
David Garrett — a 33-year-old violin virtuoso from Aachen, Germany, who began playing at age 4 — is devoted to making instrumental music sexy. He accomplishes this by performing contemporary-sounding original compositions and classicizing covers of modern pop and rock songs (“Smells Like Teen Spirit,” “Viva la Vida”), though his cause is helped by a smoldering gaze accentuated by perfectly intense eyebrows. And maybe smoke machines. So, yes, this does seem like an ideal Sunday evening — especially if you’re willing to bring your mom. Sunday, January 12, at the Midland (1228 Main, 816-283-9921)
K e Y
Pick of the Week
Worth the Weeknight
JANUARY HEAR THEM BEFORE YOU SEE THEM
//FREE MUSIC PLAYER ON THE MUSIC HOME PAGE OF PITCH.COM
january 9-15, 2014
continued from page 11
Thursday | 1.9 |
ART EXHIBITS & EVENTS Lynn Benson: Sidetrip | 12-4 p.m. Friday, Kiosk
Gallery, 3951 Broadway
Topeka Farm Show | Kansas Expocentre, 1 Expocentre Dr., Topeka
Charity Art Battle 3 | Tyson Schroeder vs. Steve Tulipana | 8 p.m. Sunday, RecordBar, 1020 Westport Rd.
Sebastian Maniscalco | 7:30 p.m. Improv Comedy Club and Dinner Theater, 7260 N.W. 87th St.
Charlotte Street Artist Walk, with Sonié Joi Ruffin | 6 & 7 p.m. Friday, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, 4525 Oak, nelson-atkins.org
Kira Soltanovich | 8 p.m. Stanford’s Comedy Club, 1867 Village West Pkwy., KCK
MIND & BODY
Capricorn, Saturn, the Devil, the Universe and You | 6:30 p.m. Hummingbird Touch Healing Center,
om ame f r A big n y s a E the Big
Crown Center Ice Terrace | 10 a.m.-9 p.m., $6 ($3
of Art, 4525 Oak
The Ice at Park Place |
Red Dog’s Dog Days | 6 a.m.
Kaws • Ups and Downs; Dylan Mortimer • Illuminate | Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, JCCC, 12345 College Blvd., Overland Park
Allen Toussaint | 8 p.m. at the Folly Theater, 300 W. 12th St., follytheater.org
Allen Fieldhouse, 1651 Naismith Dr., Lawrence CHILDREN’S EVENTS
Sesame Street Live: Make a New Friend | 6:30 p.m. Sprint Center, 1407 Grand
Danielle Grubb, the Family Bed, the Burdock King | 8 p.m. Czar, 1531 Grand John Paul’s Flying Circus | B.B.’s Lawnside BBQ,
1205 E. 85th St.
Neeta Madahar: Falling | Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, 4420 Warwick Blvd.
XO Blackwater with Steve Gardels | 10 p.m. MiniBar, 3810 Broadway
Friday | 1.10 | PERFORMING ARTS
Royal Opera of London presents Parsifal | Noon,
Tivoli Cinemas, 4050 Pennsylvania, tivolikc.com
John Keck’s Devils and Angels Songwriter Night | 8:30 p.m. Coda, 1744 Broadway Last Stop Outta Town | Jazzhaus, 926-1/2 Massachusetts, Lawrence
Kansas City Symphony: Symphony of Rhythm | 8 p.m. Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, 1601
Bartholomew | The Kill Devil Club, 61 E. 14th St.
Midnight Reruns | 10 p.m. MiniBar, 3810 Broadway
Bar, 1020 Westport Rd.
Rev Gusto, Westerners, the Fog | 10 p.m. Record-
Comedy Club and Dinner Theater, 7260 N.W. 87th St.
The Dead Girls and the Choosy Beggars play the Beatles and the Rolling Stones: a benefit for KKFI
Bram Wijnands Duo | 6 p.m. The Majestic, 931
90.1 | 8 p.m., $15/$20, Knuckleheads, 2715 Rochester
Eboni and the Ivories | 7 p.m. The Blue Room, 1616 E. 18th St.
Grand Marquis | 7 p.m. Jazz, 1823 W. 39th St. 26
january 9-15, 2014
CHILDREN’S EVENTS Club, 1867 Village West Pkwy., KCK
Sesame Street Live: Make a New Friend | 10:30 a.m. & 6:30 p.m. Sprint Center, 1407 Grand
Brodioke | 9 p.m. Bulldog, 1715 Main Playe | 10:30 p.m. The Uptown Arts Bar, 3611
Missouri Mavericks vs. Rapid City Rush |
Kira Soltanovich | 7:45 & 9:45 p.m. Stanford’s Comedy
Ahn! Con: A yaoi convention | 1 p.m.-2 a.m. Ramada NIGHTLIFE
The Ice at Park Place | 11 a.m.-10 p.m., $7 ($3 skate rental), 117th St. and Nall, Leawood
PRCA Championship Rodeo | 7:30 p.m. Kansas Expocentre, 1 Expocentre Dr., Topeka
Beau Bledsoe | 8 p.m. Mestizo, 5270 W. 116th Pl.,
Paul Shinn Trio | Green Lady Lounge, 1809 Grand
SNIPE HUNT | 12-6 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, Percolator, alley between Arts Center and Ninth St., Lawrence
Sebastian Maniscalco | 7:30 & 9:45 p.m. Improv
Lizzy Cruz | 9 p.m. Davey’s Uptown, 3402 Main
Tribe Studio, 5504 Troost, troostarthop.com
7:05 p.m. Independence Events Center, 19100 E. Valley View Pkwy., Independence
Primer 55, Dogs of Delphi, the Sibyl, Hossferatu, Insomniac | 8 p.m. The Riot Room, 4048 Broadway
Second Friday Troost Art Hop | 6-10 p.m. Vibe
Cash Levy | 7:45 & 10 p.m. Stanford’s on Broadway,
Megan Birdsall | 8-10:30 p.m. The Uptown Arts Bar, 3611 Broadway
Gorgeous & Outrageous: The Art of Tony Naponic | Leedy-Voulkos Art Center, 2012 Bal-
Impressionist France | Nelson-Atkins Museum
skate rental), 2450 Grand
11 a.m.-10 p.m., $7 ($3 skate rental), 117th St. and Nall, Leawood
Dressed Up | Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, 4420 Warwick Blvd., kemperart.org
SPORTS & REC
Charlotte Street’s 2013 Visual Artist Awards Exhibition | Grand Arts, 1819 Grand
Conference Center, 1601 Universal Ave., ages 17 and older, ahn-con.com
KC Film Fest: Animation Inside Out | 6:30 p.m.
SPORTS & REC
Crown Center Ice Terrace | 10 a.m.-11 p.m., $6 ($3
Damon Baily, Adriana Nikole, Michael Coldren | Coda, 1744 Broadway
skate rental), 2450 Grand
Kansas City Plaza Library, 4801 Main, kcfilmfest.org
The Belairs with Barnaby Bright | 8 p.m. Knuckle-
heads, 2715 Rochester
Connie and the Blueswreckers | 9 p.m. B.B.’s Lawnside BBQ, 1205 E. 85th St.
Young Friends of Art Second-Friday Happy Hour | 6-8 p.m. Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, 4525 Oak
Saturday | 1.11 | PERFORMiNG ARTS
David Hasselhoff on Acid, Maps for Travelers, Various Blonde | 9 p.m. The Riot Room, 4048
KC Symphony: Symphony of Rhythm | 8 p.m.
Dirty Few, Pizza Time, Lazy, All Blood | 10 p.m.
Billy Ebeling and the Late for Dinner Band | Jazz,
Cash Levy | 7:45 & 10 p.m. Stanford’s on Broadway, 3700 Broadway
MiniBar, 3810 Broadway
1823 W. 39th St.
Flannigan’s Right Hook | Kelly’s Westport Inn, 500
Forrester, Pink Royal, Catharsis of a Mute | 8 p.m. The Bottleneck, 737 New Hampshire, Lawrence
Kauffman Center, 1601 Broadway, kcsymphony.org
Sebastian Maniscalco | 7 & 9:45 p.m. Improv Comedy Club and Dinner Theater, 7260 N.W. 87th St.
Kira Soltanovich | 7:45 & 9:45 p.m. Stanford’s Comedy Club, 1867 Village West Pkwy., KCK ExPOS
Hidden Pictures | The Brick, 1727 McGee Hunky Newcomers, the Rackatees, Bummer, Mr. & the Mrs. | 10 p.m. Replay Lounge, 946 Mas-
Ahn! Con: A yaoi convention | 10 a.m.-2 a.m. Ramada Conference Center, 1601 Universal Ave., ages 17 and older, ahn-con.com SPORTS & REC
Tyler Jakes | 7:30 p.m. Czar, 1531 Grand Loaded Goat, the Calamity Cubes, Gas Pump Talent, Scratch Track | 10 p.m. Westport Saloon,
Loose Park, the Caves | 9 p.m. Davey’s Uptown,
Crown Center ice Terrace | 10 a.m.-11 p.m., $6 ($3 skate rental), 2450 Grand
The ice at Park Place | 11 a.m.-10 p.m., $7 ($3 skate rental), 117th St. and Nall, Leawood
KU vs. Kansas State men’s basketball | 1 p.m. Allen
Mime Game, the Travel Guide, Psychic Heat, Jared Bond & the Tornadoes | 10 p.m. RecordBar,
KU vs. Texas Tech women’s basketball | 7 p.m.
Old Crows | 7 p.m. RecordBar, 1020 Westport Rd.
Missouri Mavericks vs. Rapid City Rush |
Fieldhouse, 1651 Naismith Dr., Lawrence
1020 Westport Rd.
Rooms Without Windows, the Dead Girls, Grenadina | 9 p.m. The Jackpot, 943 Massachusetts, Lawrence
Allen Fieldhouse, 1651 Naismith Dr., Lawrence
7:05 p.m. Independence Events Center, 19100 E. Valley View Pkwy., Independence
Nick Schnebelen | 9 p.m. Knuckleheads, 2715 Rochester
PRCA Championship Rodeo | 7:30 p.m. Kansas Expocentre, 1 Expocentre Dr., Topeka
Paul Shinn Trio | 9 p.m. Green Lady Lounge, 1809
UMKC vs. Chicago State men’s basketball | 5:15
Jason Vivone & the Billy Bats | The Kill Devil Club,
UMKC vs. Chicago State women’s basketball |
James Ward Band | 8:30 p.m. The Blue Room, 1616
FOOD & DRiNK
61 E. 14th St.
E. 18th St.
Wells the Traveller | Jazzhaus, 926-1/2 Massachusetts, Lawrence
p.m. Municipal Auditorium/Music Hall, 301 W. 13th St.
2 p.m. Municipal Auditorium/Music Hall, 301 W. 13th St.
2014 Estate Norton Release Party | 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Jowler Creek Vineyard & Winery, 16905 Jowler Creek Rd., Platte City MUSiC
Brodioke | 9 p.m. Bulldog, 1715 Main
Black Bottom Band, Scott Moyer Band, Claire and the Crowded Stage (dinner show) | 6:30 p.m.
DJ Apollo | 9 p.m. Mestizo, 5270 W. 116th Pl., Leawood
Coda, 1744 Broadway
Five Star Fridays with JT Quick | Hotel, 1300 Grand
Black on Black, the Bad ideas, Steady States |
Girl 2 Girl Social | 7p.m.UptownArtsBar,3611Broadway
continued on page 28
9 p.m. The Jackpot, 943 Massachusetts, Lawrence
january 9-15, 2014
continued from page 27 Deborah Brown | 8:30 p.m. The Blue Room, 1616
SeSame Street Live
E. 18th St.
Dates and times vary.
Kutt Calhoun, Tali Blanco, L-Game, Versatile, Opium, and more | 8 p.m. The Riot Room,
American Idiot | Saturday-Sunday, Kauffman
Center for the Performing Arts, 1601 Broadway, kauffmancenter.org
Jason Craig & the Wingmen with Scott Ford |
Best Laid Plans: A Murder Mystery Dinner |
8 p.m. The All-Star Rock Bar, 7210 N.E. 43rd St.
7 p.m. Friday-Saturday, KCMT Tiffany Ballroom, 903 Harrison. grimprov.com/kansas-city
Elvis birthday show with the Blue Suede Lewds | 9 p.m. Westport Saloon, 4112 Pennsylvania
M. Butterfly | Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre, 3614 Main, metkc.org
Steve Hall Quartet with Laura Chalk | 5:30 p.m. Green Lady Lounge, 1809 Grand
mUSeUm exhibitS & eventS
Connie Hawkins & the Blues Wreckers | The Kill Devil Club, 61 E. 14th St.
Kilroy’s Elvis Birthday Bash | 8 p.m. Knuckleheads,
Sesame Street Live: Make a New Friend | 10:30 a.m., 2 & 5:30 p.m. Saturday, at Sprint Center, 1407 Grand
Lost Wax | Kelly’s Westport Inn, 500 Westport Rd. Mobile Deathcamp | 10 p.m. Replay Lounge, 946 Massachusetts, Lawrence
Ahn! Con: A yaoi convention | 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Ramada Conference Center, 1601 Universal Ave., ages 17 and older, ahn-con.com
David Garrett with Martynas | 7:30 p.m. The
Midland, 1228 Main
Honky Suckle, Calamity Cubes | 8 p.m. The Jackpot, 943 Massachusetts, Lawrence
Citizen Soldiers on the Prairie | Johnson County Museum of History, 6305 Lackman Rd., Shawnee, jocomuseum.org Convergence: Jazz, Film, Dance and the Visual Arts | American Jazz Museum, 1616 E. 18th St.
Real Pirates | Union Station, 30 W. Pershing Rd.
Sara Morgan | 9 p.m. Knuckleheads, 2715 Rochester
SPORTS & REC
Odd-O-Matic, Good Colonels | 7 p.m. Czar, 1531
Crown Center ice Terrace | 10 a.m.-9 p.m., $6 ($3 skate rental), 2450 Grand
Paul Shinn Trio | 9 p.m. Green Lady Lounge, 1809
The ice at Park Place | Noon-8 p.m., $7 ($3 skate
Mark Lowrey Trio jazz jam | 6 p.m. The Majestic,
Swello | 10 p.m. Czar, 1531 Grand
Kansas City Roller Warriors: Bout Two: Black Eyed Susans vs. the Knockouts, Victory Vixens vs. Dreadnought Dorothys | 2 p.m. Winnwood Skate Center, 4426 N. E. Winn, kcrollerwarriors.com
Lee McBee and the Confessors | 6-9 p.m. B.B.’s
Leopold and His Fiction | 7:30 p.m. The Riot Room,
Ray Price tribute show | 7:30 p.m. Knuckleheads,
Mark Lowrey Trio | 6 p.m. The Majestic, 931 Broadway
Bram Wijnands Trio | 7 p.m. Green Lady Lounge,
Tas Cru Band | 9 p.m. B.B.’s Lawnside BBQ, 1205 E.
ThunderKat | 8 p.m. Jazzhaus, 926-1/2 Massachusetts, Lawrence
rental), 117th St. and Nall, Leawood
Granada, 1020 Massachusetts, Lawrence
Cody Wyoming and friends, Heartfelt Anarchy, Middle Twin, the Outsides, Me Like Bees | 7 p.m.
4:30 p.m. Sprint Center, 1407 Grand FiLM
Royal Opera of London presents Parsifal | Noon, Tivoli Cinemas, 4050 Pennsylvania, tivolikc.com
DJ Candlepants | The Eighth Street Taproom, 801 New Hampshire, Lawrence
DJ Mike Scott | Hotel, 1300 Grand Dropout Boogie | 10 p.m. MiniBar, 3810 Broadway
Sunday | 1.12 | PERFORMiNG ARTS
KC Symphony: Symphony of Rhythm | 2 p.m. Kauffman Center, 1601 Broadway, kcsymphony.org
january 9-15, 2014
Lawnside BBQ, 1205 E. 85th St.
The Zero Boys, Ultraman, Mace Batons, Drop a Grand | 9 p.m. The Riot Room, 4048 Broadway
Monday | 1.13 |
Rural Grit Happy Hour | 6-9 p.m. The Brick, 1727
Taking Back Mondays live karaoke with Sovereign States | 8 p.m. The Bottleneck, 737 New Hamp-
Waldo Jazz Collective | 7-10 p.m. The Piano Room, 8410 Wornall
RecordBar, 1020 Westport Rd.
25th Anniversary Holiday Exhibit | Strawberry Hill Ethnic Museum and Cultural Center, 12-5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday, 720 N. Fourth St., KCK, strawberryhillmuseum.org
Sesame Street Live: Make a New Friend | 1 &
Uncountable Kings, Scrappy’s Attic, Lady Eagle 8, 88er, 18 Carat Affair, Airfield, Eric Daugherty, Between Floors, PLSD, Rebel Act | 5 p.m. The
Stan Kessler Quartet | 10 p.m. Green Lady Lounge,
FOOD & DRiNK
Blue Monday poetry and open mic | 8-10 p.m. The
Backsliders Brunch, with gospel music by T.J. Erhardt and A.J. Gaither | Westport Saloon, 4112
City Market | 8 a.m.-3 p.m., 20 E. Fifth St.
Uptown Arts Bar, 3611 Broadway
Drum Tribe | 7-10 p.m. Foundation, 1221 Union (at Foundation Architectural Reclamation)
Geeks Who Drink Pub Quiz | 8 p.m. Green Room Burgers & Beer, 4010 Pennsylvania Geeks Who Drink Pub Quiz | 7:30 p.m. Rhythm and Booze, 423 Southwest Blvd.
Jazz brunch | 11 a.m.-1 p.m. The Majestic, 931 Broadway A Midwinter’s Tasting | 5:30 p.m., $25, the Farmhouse, 300 Delaware
2014 Estate Norton Release Party | 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Jowler Creek Vineyard & Winery, 16905 Jowler Creek Rd., Platte City
Bob Bowman & Roger Wilder jam | 10 p.m. Green Lady Lounge, 1809 Grand
Andrea Gibson, Steph Castor | 6:30 p.m. Czar, 1531 Grand
Ben Leifer Plus Minus | 8:30 p.m. The Blue Room,
1616 E. 18th St.
Karaoke | 10:30 p.m. The Brick, 1727 McGee Karaoke with Baby Brie | 10 p.m. RecordBar, 1020
Sonic Spectrum Music Trivia | 7 p.m. RecordBar,
1020 Westport Rd.
Trivia with Matt Larson | 8 p.m. Bulldog, 1715 Main
Tuesday | 1.14 |
Live Music Live Music 7 nights 7 nights a week
FOOD & DRINK
January Taste Beering, with Tallgrass Brewery and chef John Smith | 7 p.m. Grinders, 417 E. 18th St. MUSIC
Billy Beale’s blues jam | 10 p.m. Westport Saloon,
Busker’s Banquet | 9 p.m. The Uptown Arts Bar, 3611 Broadway
Fake Fancy, Something and the Whatevers, Wight Light | 8 p.m. Czar, 1531 Grand Scott Hrabko & Mikal Shapiro | 7 p.m.
AY TU ESD
Joe McAdam, Nick Rouley, the Puterbaugh Sisters | 10 p.m. RecordBar, 1020 Westport Rd. Hermon Mehari Trio | 6 p.m. The Majestic, 931 Broadway
Midwest Got Next! with Brett Gretzky, Second Hand King, Middle Map Kids, Nub | 10 p.m. RecordBar, 1020 Westport Rd.
Mark Montgomery | Jazz, 1823 W. 39th St.
RecordBar, 1020 Westport Rd.
816.561.2444 www.erniebiggs.com nsas 4115 Mill Street West Port Ka
Author George Saunders | 7 p.m. Unity Temple on the Plaza, 707 W. 47th St., rainydaybooks.com
Shiner White Wing presents The Birds | 7:35 p.m. Alamo Drafthouse, 1400 Main
Naughty Pines Happy Hour Band | 6:30-8:30 p.m. Coda, 1744 Broadway
Nipsey Hussle, Erk Tha Jerk, Gee Watts, Stik Figa | 7 p.m. The Granada, 1020 Massachusetts, Lawrence Matt Otto Quartet | 9 p.m. Green Lady Lounge,
Acoustic jam session with Nicholas St. James | Jazzhaus, 926-1/2 Massachusetts, Lawrence
Each week, Pitch Street Team cruises around to the hottest clubs, bars and concerts. You name it, we will be there. While we are out, we hand out tons of cool stuff. So look for the Street Team... We will be looking for you!
American Discord, Max and the Lost Slice, Plug Uglies | 9 p.m. Davey’s Uptown, 3402 Main
Casey Donahew Band, Scott Perry Band | 7 p.m.
Rev Gusto, Guilty is the Bear, Chris Aytes and the Good Ambition | 8 p.m. Riot Room, 4048 Broadway
Billy Ebeling | 7 p.m. Jazz, 1823 W. 39th St.
Kanza Hall, 7300 W. 119th St., Overland Park
Trampled Under Foot | 7 p.m. B.B.’s Lawnside BBQ,
Chris Hazelton Trio | 5:30 p.m. Green Lady Lounge,
1205 E. 85th St.
Zeta June, 88er | 6 p.m. The Jackpot, 943 Massa-
Old No. 5’s | The Kill Devil Club, 61 E. 14th St.
Open-mic comedy night | 9 p.m. Hamburger Mary’s, 101 Southwest Blvd.
Tap Room Trivia | 8-10p.m.WaldoPizza,7433Broadway Trivia Bang Bang | 7:30 p.m. Helen’s Just Another Dive, 2002 Armour Rd., North Kansas City
Wednesday | 1.15 |
Organ Jazz Trio with Ken Lovern | 9 p.m. Green Lady Lounge, 1809 Grand
Rass Kass, Mickey Factz, Copywrite, Yawn Johnson, Mask & Glove, LEL of Highclass, Dark Gang | 7 p.m. Czar, 1531 Grand Shinetop Jr. | 7-9 p.m. B.B.’s Lawnside BBQ, 1205
E. 85th St.
Drew Six | 6-9 p.m. Cactus Grill, 11849 Roe, Leawood
E-mail submissions to email@example.com Classics Uncorked: Fiesta! with the KC Symphony | 7 p.m., $25, Kauffman Center, 1601 Broadway,
or enter submissions at pitch.com, where you can search our complete listings guide.
New Year’s Eve @ UpistotewdnXmas Tw @ Indie
New Yea The Pitch Prsents r’s Riff Raff @ Riot RoomCo @ KC Liv Eve ld e! N ve w ig ewPYear’s E The PN ith Ba hts, Hot Co itch rs r en n t w ts Crow @ untry Riff Raff @@R Upto VooDo iot Room o
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january 9-15, 2014
S ava g e L o v e
Gayed, Blacked, TransGendered dating.
Dear Dan: I recently wrote an article that described an MTF person I know as transgendered. The article was positive about transgendered persons I have known (she’s one of many). Upon seeing a draft prior to publication, this person flipped out so hard that I felt compelled to cut off all contact with her. I also killed the article. One of her complaints was that I used the word “transgendered” to describe her, and she identifies as something other than that. Have you heard of this? What is the new term if it’s not OK to say “transgendered” anymore? Confused in Straightland
Dating Easy made
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Dear CIS: “Let’s assume CIS got the subject’s identity right (versus genderqueer or agender) and is being respectful,” said Shadi Petosky, a writer, a trans woman and the cofounder of PUNY Entertainment. Transgender is an adjective like blue or tall, Petosky pointed out. It’s not a noun or verb. The correct term is “transgender man,” “transgender woman” or “transgender person,” not “transgendered man.” “You’re a gay man or you’re gay. You’re not ‘gayed,’” Petosky said. “To say that Dan Savage is ‘a gay’ or Barack Obama is ‘a black’ sounds homophobic or racist because it dehumanizes. If you are saying transgender or trans outside of ‘they’re transgender,’ you have to put man, woman or person (or human) after it. Because that is what we are.” If all you got wrong was that one thing and your transgender friend blew up at you, that’s unfortunate. (We’re assuming that “transgendered” was the only issue.) But let’s zoom out: Trans folks have a lot to be angry about, from anti-trans violence to discrimination against trans people in employment to a lack of access to basic health care. Yet righteous trans anger seems to get directed at whoever is nearest. Blowing up at you was easier than blowing up at, say, high-profile anti-trans bigot Bill O’Reilly because you were in the room. “If CIS’s friend recently came out, then he was dealing with a person who is probably going through a lot of trauma and anxiety,” Petosky said. “When I transitioned, I thought I was going to lose my business, kill my dating chances, and end up homeless. Many trans people do. People called me ‘he’ most of the time in those early months. My self-image was in shambles. I lashed out at some gay friends for saying things that were less than supportive.” So something about your article rubbed your trans friend the wrong way, and she suddenly felt less safe around you. Hopefully you two will be able to patch things up. On a related note: Media Matters for America has covered the anti-trans bigotry that Fox News spews. Far be it from me to give the
D a n S ava ge
trans-rights movement marching orders, but if a coalition of queer and trans-rights groups came together and called for a big demonstration outside the Fox News studios in midtown Manhattan, I would be there. How about it?
Dear Dan: I’m a 37-year-old straight male, and I’ve never had a girlfriend. I lost my virginity when I was 25 and had sex with dozens of women over the next five years, but none lasted more than a night or two. Over the next few years, I dated with the goal of finding a relationship, not sex, and found neither, then a few years of depression. Will women my age be willing to date someone with no relationship experience? Is it something I should be upfront about? Hope Over Personal Experience Dear HOPE: Tons of women your age have
similar dating histories — some with no dating histories — and you won’t be at a disadvantage if you’re willing to date one (or more) of them. Create a few online personal profiles and be upfront, honest and unapologetic about your dating history and your desire for a relationship. State that you’re looking for a woman understanding enough to look past your inexperience and offer that you’re willing and able to do the same. Good luck.
Dear Dan: I’m a 30-year-old straight male who
fell in love with a girl who didn’t want to proceed with a relationship. I’ve tried the gym, movies, socializing and dating other women, but I can’t get her off my mind. To make matters worse, I’ll be running into her a lot in a professional setting in a few months. It has been 1.5 years. I fear that my future interaction with her will make it impossible to move on.
She Moved On Dear SMO: For two years, I pined for a guy I couldn’t have, certain I wouldn’t get over him. So I called him one day and asked him to lunch. The plan: Throw myself at him and convince him to leave his boyfriend for me. Or convince him to resume cheating on his boyfriend with me. But five minutes into lunch, I realized I wasn’t attracted to him anymore. My ego hadn’t let me get over being dumped. With that realization, the spell broke. Maybe you’ll have the same experience when you run into this woman. If not, keep trying the gym, movies, dating, etc., until the spell breaks or your life ends, whichever comes first. The Savage Lovecast is at savagelovecast.com.
Have a question for Dan Savage? E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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We are a debt relief agency. We help people file for bankruptcy relief under the Bankruptcy Code. The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely on advertisement.
JANUARY 9-15, 2014
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