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Part Top Gun, part Super Bowl: the ultimate busman’s holiday in KC. by Tony MoTon

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BOuLEVARD will partner with Colorado’s Odell Brewing to release an English strong ale in November. Kansas City, Missouri, City Council changes ordinance to close LyFT loophole. uBER has officially arrived in Kansas City.


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Diallo Javonne French

Photographer and filmmaker

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Hometown: Kansas City, Kansas Current neighborhood: Hyde Park What I do (in 140 characters): I’m a black-andwhite music photographer and filmmaker. I try to inspire through my images. What’s your addiction? Cupcakes What’s your game? Basketball. I’m older so I’m

not what I used to be, but don’t leave me open.

Where’s dinner? Gates. I really missed Gates when I lived in Atlanta. What’s on your KC postcard? 18th and Vine. My grandparents met in the original Blue Room.

Finish these sentences: “Kansas City got it right when ...” The American Jazz Museum and Negro

League Baseball Museum opened.

“Kansas City screwed up when ...” They stopped having the Jazz & Blues Festival.

“Kansas City needs ...” An NBA team! “In five years, I’ll be ...” Hopefully a full-time photographer and filmmaker. I would love to create a music foundation that gives inner-city kids that can’t afford music lessons the opportunity to learn how to play instruments. “I always laugh at ...” Old pictures of myself. “I’ve been known to binge-watch ...” Seinfeld and

Miami Vice.

“I can’t stop listening to ...” Michael Jackson Off the Wall. It was my first record as a kid. I have never gotten tired of it. “I just read ...” The Tipping Point.

The best advice I ever got: Never sleep with a woman that you wouldn’t want to have your baby. Worst advice? Don’t be a dreamer. My sidekick? My cousin Regina Robinson and many of the Kansas City jazz artists. I love going to their gigs and photographing them. I feel like I’m documenting this era of KC music.

My dating triumph/tragedy? One of the most

beautiful women I ever met asked me out on a date. We never became a couple because she lives in California, but I was so honored to spend time with her. She was movie-star gorgeous.

My brush with fame: A few years ago, my short

film May This Be Love aired on national television. It was a BET show called Lens on Talent hosted by actress Sanaa Lathan. The beautiful Sanaa introduced my film and said my full name.

What was the last thing you had to apologize for? Forgetting to tell my family about an exhibit I had last summer. They had to read about it in the newspaper. They were not happy.

Who's sorry now? People who doubted my abilities as a filmmaker and photographer. I’ve been able to win film festivals, and my photos have been used all over the world.

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My recent triumph: Several months ago I had an exhibition of my jazz photography at the Box Gallery. The exhibit was called KC Swing, the Jazz Photography of Diallo Javonne French. French’s Kickstarter project to help pay for his feature film, A Song for You, a love story about a soul singer’s inspiration to make music, expires at 8 p.m. May 16.

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f you’ve driven on Troost Avenue with any regularity over the past year, you’ve probably seen Jerry Crowell’s building at 4337 Troost. It’s hard not to notice. The lower level is painted a vivid pink, with purple trim. “I thought the paint was red when I got the paint,” Crowell says, “but when I opened the first can and saw the color, I felt it was Campuses in KC & Lawrence • 1.866.443.9140 • www.wellsping.edu an omen.” Not all of Crowell’s neighbors in the historic Mannheim neighborhood have been pleased at this omen. “One of the board members of the Mannheim Neighborhood Association came to me while I was painting and said, ‘Please don’t paint the building that color. I’ll pay to have it painted any other color,’ ” Crowell says. “But I told him that I like this color.” The other eye-catching features of Crowell’s building are the hand-painted signs announcing his future plans for the site and his need for donations. Crowell wants to turn the dilapidated two-story structure —  it’s been on Kansas City’s Dangerous Buildings list since 2011 —  into a combination community center, theater space and catering kitchen that he’ll call A Splash of Life Center. (He’d also like to live on the top floor.) “If I could live in the building and make some money renting out the first floor, I could make a life for myself,” Crowell says. Making a life isn’t just small talk from the diminutive Crowell. Two decades ago, the Leawood, Kansas, native (his parents still live there) had returned from Los Angeles, where he was trying to break into the film business, when he was involved in a car accident in Kansas City. While checking his injuries, the emergency room physicians discovered that Crowell had a brain tumor. “It was brain cancer,” Crowell says. “I had a nine-hour operation and radiation. It’s caused all kinds of side effects, affecting the way I walk and talk.” “Jerry is impaired, but he is not disabled,” says artist and Troost neighborhood activist Bill Drummond, who has become Crowell’s friend and supporter. After Crowell started receiving citations for building violations, Drummond took Crowell to meetings with the city’s code enforcement officers. “Jerry has never had the experience interfacing with the world of official ways,” Drummond says. “He’s never had to deal with bureaucracy.” Crowell faces a learning curve. When I asked him if he had established Splash of Life as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization to collect tax-free donations, he asked, “What is that?” At this point in this project, Crowell needs some kind of cash infusion, donations or 4 t h e p i t c h m ay 1 5 - 2 1 , 2 0 1 4 pitch.com JOB PLACEMENT RATE

Jerry Crowell dreams big for his

otherwise. Most of Crowell’s monthly disability check goes to pay the interest on his mounting credit-card debt. “Some people have offered to help me with physical labor on the building, but they never follow through,” Crowell says, “One guy promised to help me fix the brickwork, but only if I paid $900 to get his truck fixed. “I don’t want a partnership thing,” Crowell adds. “Partnerships are where the big problems start. A partner will come in and take the building away from me. This isn’t about money, it’s about me trying get help help to finish this building.” On the wet day that Crowell showed me the interior of 4337 Troost, the rain outside had stopped, but inside the structure water was still dripping from the rafters. The building no longer has a roof over the second floor, and rainwater was soaking piles of toilets, lawnmowers and furniture that Crowell has stored in the space. “The roof was holding the building together,” says Seft Hunter, a local real-estate agent and president of the Mannheim Neighborhood Association. “It’s on the Dangerous Buildings list and slated for demolition. Jerry bought the building knowing this. You can buy buildings on this list, but you can’t inhabit them until you bring them up to code. He’s way over his head with this project. The neighborhood isn’t fighting him. He’s free to make his own decisions. We’re sitting back and letting it play out.” Crowell paid $8,000 for 4337 Troost. He bought it from an organization called the Houston Space Society. He says he has already spent, including the initial purchase, at least

Is this A Splash of Life or a nuisance? $80,000 on the building, which has serious structural issues. Bricks falling from it have concerned the owner of the building to the north of A Splash of Life; she leases the space to a day-care center. “This building is over 100 years old,” Hunter says. “It’s had dozens of lives. It has been a stable, a furniture repair shop, a restaurant. But it’s a monumental project.” Drummond disagrees: “It’s structurally sound. It does need a lot of work. If a conventional developer purchased the building, it would be torn down for the value of the land underneath the structure. But this is not a development project. Jerry is committed to making it a public-use facility. That’s why I’m advocating for him.” Crowell needs more than one advocate and probably much more than the $80,000 he’s already spent. (“I’m in a lot of debt,” he says.) He says he’s committed to his project. “See that area over there?” Crowell says, pointing to a hole in the floorboards. “That’s where the stage will be. Local musicians will have a place to perform here. We might do drag shows, too. Back there will be the catering kitchen. The hood is still there from when this was a restaurant. We’ll have a community garden in the back.” The building’s uncertain future hasn’t fazed him. “Jackson County wants to demolish my building,” Crowell says. “But I survived cancer. I’m going to survive this.”

E-mail charles.ferruzza@pitch.com


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Roadeo Part Top Gun, Part SuPer Bowl: the ultimate BuSman’S holiday in KC.

By tony moton PhotoS By ChriS mullinS

N

icholas Miller was 3 when he found his calling. The year was 1971, and Pinkie Miller had driven with her kids — Nicholas and sisters Kim, 9, and Rhonda, 7 — to see a family friend. Afterward, she stopped at a neighborhood convenience store, near 43rd Street and Cleveland. It was about 10 p.m. when she left her kids in the car and ran inside to grab some milk. Nicholas Miller sensed his chance. The boy escaped from his child safety seat, got his hands on the steering column’s gear shift and put the green Chevrolet in neutral. “That was when you didn’t have to put your foot on the brake to put the car in gear,” Miller, now 46, says. The Chevy lurched forward. Kim, startled from sleep, felt the car start to move down an incline and clambered over the front seat to take charge. Her brother, she says, was moving the steering wheel back and forth. “I didn’t know how to make the car stop,” says Kim L. Hunt, now a Chicago resident. “I thought there was magic in the gears, but I could kind of hear my mother in the background asking for someone to help.” The car rolled several yards and smashed into a tree. “We weren’t going real fast,” Hunt says, “but because I got in the front seat, I hit my head on the steering wheel.” Rhonda busted her lip in the mishap, but Nicholas emerged unscathed — at least physically. “When we got home, he ran into his hiding place,” Hunt recalls. “He went into the kitchen cabinet so he could be invisible and deal with our wrath. We never let him forget that, either.” “The tree is still there,” Miller says. “My

of a driver I actually was,” says Miller, a single father of three. He’s talking about the 2014 International Bus Roadeo. Sponsored by the American Public Transportation Association as part of its Bus & Paratransit Conference, the roadeo (think “road”) pits bus operators against one another (as well as face-offs between maintenance teams) in a series of skill-testing competitions. It’s Top Gun for bus jocks. Miller, along with other local participants, had been tapped to represent the KCATA at the event, which dates back to the late 1970s and was this year coming to Kemper Arena May 2-6. Though not the sort of party that gets mainstream attention, the roadeo draws a dedicated convention crowd. The Kansas City Convention & Visitors Association predicted that the 2014 International Bus Roadeo, with some events in the American Royal Arena and the Kansas City Convention Center, would be good for $2.1 million of local economic impact (based on spending by the organization and its attendees). Roadeo drivers steer metro buses through a maze of orange traffic pylons, barrels and tennis balls and perform a series of common turns and maneuvers in a timed sequence lasting 7 minutes or less. Completing the scoring is a compulsory pretrip vehicle inspection, during which drivers are timed and graded by identifying eight equipmentrelated defects and one security hazard (does that package look suspicious?) planted on or in a bus. There also is a customer-service competition, testing an operator’s ability to handle the human element of sitting in the driver’s seat and dealing with various job hazards — fare disputes, tardiness complaints,

“The roadeo helps me do my job so much beTTer. IT makes me safeTy conscIous, because If you have an accIdenT, you can’T compeTe.” mother used to tell me, ‘There’s your mark.’ ” Hunt can still see the scar caused by her brother’s zeal for speed, but she says she now considers Nicholas an impeccable driver. If she hadn’t moved away from Kansas City two decades ago, she wouldn’t mind riding along with him now. Plenty of other people do just that every day. Miller has spent the past 14 years as a bus operator for the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority. The 1985 Paseo High School graduate has emerged over that time as one of the KCATA’s finest drivers — a fact he was ready to prove publicly this month. “I love competition, so I thought this would be a great opportunity to see how good

public drunkenness, the occasional physical altercation. “It’s a tough job, day in and day out,” says Mark Catenacci, chairman of the International Bus Roadeo and senior project manager for the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority in Philadelphia. “They won their local competitions to score a ticket here, but attendance, chargeable accidents and other incidents are weighed as part of their evaluation process of getting to the roadeo. They get to compete with the best of the best, and we’ll see who comes out on top.” On the mechanics’ side, teams of three maintenance employees are asked to diagnose and repair a continued on page 8

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“I thInk that our buses, somethIng that we are used to handlIng, wIll gIve us a lIttle advantage.”

Nicholas Miller, a veteran KCATA bus operator, went up against five-time champ Daniel R. Schmidt (who shows off his victory rings below). continued from page 7 timed series of seven modules, including brake systems, vapor-door systems, air-conditioning systems and engines. Scores from the bus and mechanic roadeos are combined to determine a grand-champion agency. Last year, that was the Southern Pennsylvania contingent. Drivers in the 2014 event, representing bus agencies from metropolitan areas across the United States and three Canadian provinces, are quick to liken the International Bus Roadeo to the NFL’s Super Bowl — only without the worldwide TV audience, the endorsements, the commercials or the fat paychecks. But there are Super Bowl–sized rings, and Daniel R. Schmidt has a fistful of them. Schmidt is a 23-time International Bus Roadeo participant and five-time champion. (Last year, in Indianapolis, he was a runner-up.) But if this is Schmidt’s Super Bowl, he doesn’t talk about it like a hungry quarterback. “The roadeo helps me do my job so much better,” he says. “I like meeting other drivers to see what they do, and it helps me be more aware of how I’m driving. It makes me safety conscious, because if you have an accident, you can’t compete.”

T

o beat a veteran driver like Schmidt, a first-time roadeo contestant like Miller needs an edge. Miller figured he had a couple. Earlier this year, Miller won the KCATA’s

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local competition for operators of 40-foot buses — and he did it on the same Kemper Arena parking lot where the international final was scheduled for Sunday, May 4. “I think that our buses, something that we are used to handling, will give us a little advantage,” Miller tells me in the runup to the contest, referring to the 2007 40-foot, lowfloor bus manufactured by Gilling and weighing 26,630 pounds. But the course designs for the international finals would turn out to be much more difficult than the setup that Miller and teammate Gera n McCon nell (competing in the 35-footer category) had seen at their local qualifier. Assembled by course eng ineer Napoleon Jones — the bus roadeo’s version of golf great and course designer Jack Nicklaus — the obstacle-laden layouts for the 7-minute runs were built to be more expansive and challenging than in years past. During the operators’ orientation session at the downtown Marriott Hotel, Jones offers blunt advice. “If you are over 8 or 9 minutes, you can’t win the roadeo,” he says. “If you’re under 4 minutes, you’re dangerous. We had

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a guy a few years ago do 4 minutes and 36 seconds. We had to pull him off the course.” Drivers would have just one practice round the day before the Sunday finals. Among the challenges on the pavement: a series of turns, reverses and passenger stops (marked “10th and Main” and “18th and Vine” in homage to the host city), and a diminished-clearance obstacle calling for the vehicle to ramp up to at least 20 miles an hour (checked by radar) and pass through a V-shaped series of barrels barely wider than the bus’s 8.5-foot width. A maximum of 700 points are attainable during the driving competition, with deductions for attempting obstacles in the wrong order, touching cones, hitting curbs and running over anything not deemed part of the competition (like, say, one of the dozens of judges on the course taking measurements). It’s a gauntlet of rules, and a laser-focused Miller wants to be prepared. During a prepractice briefing, he raises his hand to ask a whether operators must “bump the horn” a second time when reversing. “Just wanted to make sure,” Miller says. Gabe Bel iz, t he defend i ng roadeo

champion in the 35-foot class, was once in Miller’s shoes. Five years ago, he was a neophyte roadeo operator with more questions than answers. Now, Beliz puffs out his meaty chest among conference attendees, confident that his countless flawless hours on the road will once again translate to victory. He’s a favorite to repeat. “My first roadeo, I had no idea what to expect,” Beliz says. “I went with a co-worker to Wenatchee, Washington, and when I got there, it was just a parking lot with buses and cones. There were no horses, no cows, no clowns or nothing. I thought it would be boring, but it’s exciting when you know what you’re looking for.” Beliz is a protégé of five-time winner Schmidt, with Washington state’s Ben Franklin Transit. “He’s taught me how to do the obstacles, how to be patient and what to look for,” Beliz says. “In the bus, I am constantly applying the principles he’s taught me.”

A

fter Miller finishes his roadeo practice run, I ask him to direct me to a bus line that might offer a reasonably interesting cross-section of riders and scenery. I want to see whether things have changed since I left Kansas City. Miller’s sister Kim Hunt has already given me reason not to expect a big improvement.


Reversing a bus through a narrow set of traffic pylons is one of the challenges. “The history of the automobile in Kansas City has such a huge impact,” she says. Hunt has a master’s degree in urban planning and policy with a transportation focus from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and she worked for the Chicago Transit Authority, trying to solve that city’s transit woes. And before all of that, she was familiar with KC’s bus problems. “It takes a certain community culture and leadership to be willing to pay for public transportation,” she says. “Cities look at public transportation as something for low-income people, but in some cities, like Chicago and New York, it’s for everyone.”

That low-income-only attitude was prevalent when I lived in KC (including a year and a half writing for this publication when it was called Pitch Weekly, at the start of the new century). Back then, riding the bus felt akin to wearing a “kick me” sign around Westport. I owned not one but two cars, partly in an effort to avoid ever getting on a bus. Growing up in Chicago, I’d ridden public transportation everywhere and didn’t even own a car the year I covered the Chicago White Sox as a beat writer. In this town, as Hunt has reminded me, issues of race and money are intimately

tied to generations-deep perceptions about — and failures of — public transportation. From the dismantlement of the old streetcar system to the light-rail debate of recent years, Kansas City just isn’t a place where the nondriver is much considered. People without access to a car are often simply out of luck; buses here don’t run after hours, and the routes to areas such as the East Side and Kansas City International Airport remain poor or nonexistent. A 2011 Brookings Institution study puts Kansas City near the bottom of major metropolitan areas enabling access to jobs via mass transit. That report, titled “Missed Opportunity: Transit and Jobs in Metropolitan America,” ranks Kansas City 90th out of 100 in combined access of coverage and job access via public transportation. The share of working-age residents near a transit stop was just 47 percent, compared to a metro average of 69 percent for the top 100 U.S. markets. The share of all jobs reachable via mass transit within 90 minutes in Kansas City was 18 percent, compared to an average of 30 percent for the rest of the 100 metros. And the median wait for a transit vehicle in Kansas City during rushhour traffic was 14.2 minutes — more than 4 minutes above the average. (The top city for coverage was Honolulu, Hawaii, with 97 percent; the lowest, Chattanooga, Tennessee, was 22.5 percent.) Kansas City, Missouri, Councilman Russ

Johnson, chairman of the City Council’s transportation and infrastructure committee, contends that the statistics are a little misleading; most major corporations with the largest share of employees, he says, are located outside the city center and the downtown hub of metro bus service. Johnson hopes that the new 2-mile streetcar system, scheduled to begin service sometime in 2015, changes the perception of Kansas City’s transit capabilities and influences big companies to locate within the city limits. “Our urban core has had a lot of job exodus, and to a large degree I don’t think that’s the fault of the transit or transportation services,” Johnson says. “There is a lot of cheap land on the ring of Kansas City, and big companies are not willing to put employees where land prices are going up like downtown.” Miller, a “board operator” who fills in on a variety of routes instead of sticking to a set course, doesn’t hesitate before offering his idea for my ride. “The most challenging route is probably the 71 Prospect,” he tells me. Why? “There’s a lot of problems on Prospect,” Miller says. “It’s one of your lower-income areas, so there’s not a lot of positive up and down Prospect.” He recalls the time he spotted a handgun under the jacket of a young man boarding the Prospect at a stop near 39th Street. “I told him, ‘I notice you have a gun continued on page 11

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continued from page 9 inside your jacket there,’ ” Miller tells me. “I said, ‘There are other people who probably saw it as well and I am going to have to call it in. If the police come, you’re going to jail. You can’t ride out here with it.’ ” The man got off the bus. “I have to protect myself,” Miller says. “I don’t know if this person has two strikes or what. But I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt to free yourself.” Physical risk comes with the territory for intercity bus drivers, who have a median annual wage of $36,600, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Greg Hull, assistant vice president of public safety, operations and technical services for APTA, says drivers also face rates of diabetes, obesity and sleep apnea associated with sedentary types of work. “There is shift work often involved, too, and until you can accrue the seniority to pick and choose the work that suits you, it’s more difficult in the beginning years,” Hull says. “But after two or three years dealing with the traffic and volumes of public, people who want to make a career of it do last.” Plenty of people do make a career of bus driving. According to APTA, 134,743 operators work for approximately 1,365 bus, commuter bus and bus rapid transit agencies in the United States. In 2013, 5.4 billion trips were taken on public transit buses. “As an operator, you’re in essence the captain of the vessel,” Hull says. “A lot of people enjoy the challenge and responsibility. But those that find it’s not for them tend to weed themselves out.”

R

idership on the Prospect bus, as it heads south from 10th Street and Main, is fairly heavy this sunny Saturday afternoon, a mix of teenagers, single parents with young children, the elderly, the handicapped and working professionals. Some have earbuds in. Some read with practiced concentration. The driver, who asks not to be identified, appears courteous and attentive, always making sure to “kneel” the bus — lowering the hydraulic front end — to make boarding and departing easier for passengers. Shirley Swan, 64, reminds me of my late aunt as she plops down in the seat in front of me. A retired merchandise handler from the J.C. Penney sort line, Swan tells me she doesn’t own a car and depends on the bus to get her around. Today, she is taking a total of six buses to visit someone near 38th Street and State Avenue in Kansas City, Kansas, and return to her own home, near Swope Park. “I have to ride the bus, so I have no choice,” Swan says. “Sometimes people get on the bus and act stupid, but I try to stay out of the way of stupidness. You get drunks on the bus, and sometimes people get on and they don’t want to pay their fare.” A few stops after Swan and I start talking, a woman gets on the bus, flashes a $5 bill

A competitor crushes traffic pylons under the watchful eye of a course judge. and asks for change. A woman in the seat across from me reaches into her purse and hands the customer a dollar to help her pay the $1.50 fare, the charge on most metro Kansas City buses. “That was nice of you,” I tell the woman. “That’s the Christian thing to do,” she says. “Somebody might help me one day.” Boarding the bus near 39th Street and Prospect is a family of four: Chris; his girlfriend, Amy; and two of their six daughters — Riemmie, 7, and Yazmyne, 6. Chris, who says he recently moved back to Kansas City from Chicago, isn’t a fan of KC’s bus system. “It’s good, but it sucks because of the way they treat people,” he tells me. “Sometimes, they [drivers] will hit the gas real fast and won’t let people on. You got these young thundercats that get on the bus who are disrespectful and want to take things out on everybody else on the bus.” Chris gives today’s driver high marks for running the vehicle’s air-conditioning as the outside temperature approaches 80 degrees. I relay the compliment to the driver, and as we talk he mentions his own desire to compete in the bus roadeo. Unfortunately, the driver had a minor preventable accident during which he broke a front mirror by hitting a metro bus sign that was bent close to the road along Prospect. He reported it, knowing the small infraction would disqualify him from the next roadeo. “I could have had a perfect record,” the driver says. “That’s how it goes.”

D

uring his practice run, Miller estimates he hit four cones. Now he’s prowling the sidelines, watching his competition. In the Sunday-afternoon sun, sweat beads on Miller’s shaven head. When it’s Miller’s turn for his official judged run, the DJ cranks the Rolling Stones’ “Start Me Up.” Miller puts the bus in gear and enters the first gate for a clean start. But then

he knocks over a cone on a reverse maneuver, looks well off the curb at the second customer stop, and grazes a last barrel while zooming through the diminishing-clearance channel. “If I had to grade myself,” he says right after the run, “I’d give me a C-plus.” A few days later, at Tuesday evening’s award ceremony, Miller learns his results: a respectable 13th place out of 53 operators in the 40-footer competition, with a score of 491 out of 700 points. His teammate McConnell ends up in 13th place in the 35-foot category, against 16 opponents, with 457 points. Gabe Fernos, of Spokane, Washington’s Transit Authority, takes the large-bus title with a 649-point total, keeping back-to-back runner-up Schmidt from winning a sixth ring by a mere 5 points. But Beliz, Schmidt’s student, successfully defends his 35-foot busroadeo championship with a score of 653. The Kansas City team of Jeff Clark, Thomas Seymour and Ralph Salmon wins the multiplex electrical system competition, making good on a vow to improve past showings. The crew earns a perfect score of 350, having found seven defects in the fastest time against 31 rival teams. “The roadeo teaches you how to win gracefully, lose gracefully,” Clark says. “It gives you a sense of value and more purpose.” Miller says you can count him among those with a rejuvenated sense of purpose. He has already circled his calendar for the 2015 International Bus Roadeo in Fort Worth, Texas. “I’m going to work on the little mistakes I did make, win again in Kansas City and be in Texas,” he says. “I was telling a couple members of [KCATA] management that I’m ready to go at it. Once you attend [the international], it sets the bar higher. All I want to do is win.” And do some driving along the way.

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Kansas City finally boasts the reigning world champion of competitive air guitar, Eric “Mean” Melin. Before Melin assaulted Finland with his airness, he worked his way up the ranks at U.S. Air Guitar competitions, like Friday night’s regional qualifier at RecordBar (1020 Westport Road, 816-753-5207). Melin won’t be competing — that’s a perk of being the champ — but upstarts like “Thunderball” Nielsen Nacis (pictured) and Peter “Stiff ” Dickens will be in the hunt to advance to nationals, also in Kansas City (August 9). Doors open at 8:30 p.m. The show starts at 9:30. Tickets cost $8.

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Daily listings on page 28

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t can be tough to stay optimistic about young theater companies. When the life­ span of a theater is less than five years, in­ vesting in one emotionally can feel as risky as embarking on a new relationship. So heed this bold proclamation from a commitment­phobe: Spinning Tree Theatre is going to make it. The theater’s third season ends on a high note with its production of Stephen Sondheim’s A Little Night Music, a refreshingly clear­eyed romantic musical inspired by Ingmar Bergman’s film Smiles of a Summer Night. It’s Sweden, circa 1900, and three couples are engaged in a waltz of infidelities. Fredrik Egerman finds superficial comforts in his trophy wife, Anne, a flighty young virgin less than half his age, but he still carries a torch for touring actress Desiree Armfeldt. Desiree prefers a rotating cast of lovers and feels trapped in a dalliance with jealous dragoon Count Carl­Magnus Malcolm. The count’s wife, Charlotte Malcolm, resents her humiliating attachment to an unfaithful husband. The setup is hardly novel — unsteady stasis giving way to the expected quarrels and complications — but the music is unmistakably Sondheim, a convergence of intricate rhythms and modulating melodies that command attention. Director Michael Grayman elevates a formidable cast to new heights with a few smart adjustments, such as shaving the five­person chorus to four. It’s the right call also a rich mezzo whose range powers the stirring “Every Day a Little Death.” Vigthor for this space, where subtlety and intimacy help emotions cut deep. And each performer Zophoniasson is imposing as Count Malcolm, and Liz Golson lends her strong voice and makes a sizable impression. keen edge to Petra, a maid who attempts Molly Denninghoff brings infectious, youthful energy to Anne, delighting in silly to seduce Fredrik’s brooding son, Henrik (played by Daniel Beeman). pursuits and simple pleasures. As Fredrik, The orchestra, directed Charles Fugate masters by Angie Benson, buoys Sond hei m’s compou nd A Little Night Music Spinning Tree’s skilled meters a nd wa nder i ng Through May 24 performers. Kaytee Dietrich lines, wringing crisp humor Spinning Tree Theatre a nd A ndy Joh nson, on from each tongue twister in at Off Center Theatre, reeds and French horn, songs such as “Now.” 2450 Grand, Crown Center, respectively, are especially Mel i nd a M ac D on a ld 816-545-6000, spinningtreetheatre.com sure­footed with Sondheim’s portrays the aging Desiree punishing score. with confidence, and her Act 2 veers at times husky lower register has a into overly familiar romantic farce, but the resonance in which we can splash around. Her talent is on full display in an expressive musical’s book, by Hugh Wheeler, is laced with enough self­referential jabs and social “Send in the Clowns,” a cabaret mainstay that critique to temper the plot’s most obvious she makes her own. Lauren Braton is exceptional as the conveniences. That’s part of A Little Night Music’s charm. The turnstile romances might caustic Charlotte, who relies on wry humor feel artificial, but the characters never do — to mask her wounds. Braton has some of the show’s sharpest comic timing, but she’s their emotions are as affecting as they are manon halliburton

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Braton is Countess Charlotte Malcolm. authentic, capturing the bittersweet ache of finding the right person at the wrong time. It’s smart about aging, too, with multiple lyrics lampooning youth’s inconstancies and indiscretions. But Sondheim and Wheeler complicate that theme by fitting the play’s final wisdom to the mouth of its youngest character. Desiree’s daughter, Fredrika (played with age­defying pragmatism and poise by Allison Banks), finds herself bewildered by the amorous antics of the adults around her. “It must be worth it,” she concludes. It is. Spinning Tree’s production is nearly unerring. The only weak point is incidental but not a one­time matter. The occasional ear­splitting death knell of a lav mic is a problem I’ve noticed at other productions at Off Center Theatre. Sound designers, get on that. Audiences, get on that, too. Lav mics are expensive, and this critic would like to see Spinning Tree stick around.

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tively — with just a little more vigor than they might have summoned for a Lifetime movie. Edwards’ 3-D movie is at least smart about its visual storytelling, with up-facing action shots that are sometimes so ground-based, you keep thinking the people in the row ahead of you are getting up to buy popcorn. It’s too bad that the best sequence — a paratrooper drop from heaven into hell — got its own teaser trailer months ago, but there are still enough strong moments to make this Godzilla worth a matinee ticket. The de rigueur skyline smashing occurs in Honolulu and San Francisco, where Aaron Taylor-Johnson plays the estranged son of Cranston’s character (and the parent, with Elizabeth Olsen, of a Spielbergian moppet). He’s also a Navy officer who knows how to work an H-bomb, a valuable skill when radiationeating dinosaurs — this Godzilla doesn’t skimp on head count — threaten the planet. And here we come to an odd reversal in the Godzilla mythos. This version of the story doesn’t make you shudder at nuclear weapons and their aftereffects but instead forces a rooting interest in their tactical deployment. When Watanabe’s character mentions Hiroshima, it’s a vague caution that vanishes fast, making way for the last battle’s minor pleasures. Because without nuclear energy, this Godzilla wouldn’t have the strength to face off against his more dangerous adversaries. And the power-plant accident that opens the movie turns out to be without radioactive consequence, so, uh, sorry, Fukushima. The movies’ scaly old nonukes metaphor has evolved into just another Hollywood ATM.

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fat c i t y By

battling it out at Taste.

A ngel A l u t z

chris mullins

Fork Yeah

A taste of our conversations with the chefs

I

t’s that tine again: The Pitch’s Golden Fork contest is back. The competition is at the center of our annual Taste event, where five chefs go utensil to utensil for top honors as hungry Kansas Citians go booth to booth to sample some of the metro’s coolest food and beverages. We interviewed six chefs for the Taste supplement included in this week’s print edition (which went to press before Brian Bromwell, of Anton’s, exited the contest). Their answers reveal just how unpretentious and approachable these dudes are. Just because a guy knows how to break down a duck or butcher a pig doesn’t mean he’s, you know, fancy. Excerpts from our conversations follow. And Taste tickets ($40, or VIP for $50) remain available at pitch.com.

The Pitch: What’s your favorite ingredient? Shaun Brady (Ambassador Hotel, 1111

Grand): I would say bread because you can do a whole menu just around bread. Since I moved to Kansas City, Farm to Market is really good. I’m in love with their Grains Galore. It is one of the best breads around. I have it on the menu at the hotel, and I sell so much of it, it’s ridiculous. Bobby Stearns (Ophelia’s, 201 North Main, Independence): There are so many different things you can do with pork, whether it’s

pork chops, pork belly or bacon. One of my them a dozen different ways off the top of other favorite ingredients is cheese because my head. Most people seem to like them. I there are so many different kinds and there’s really like duck — it’s a very underutilized so much you can do with it. I also love cook- bird. On my one day off a week, five years ing with mushrooms. I just got into a bunch ago, I’d go to the store, get a duck, and just of yellow morels, and they’re just beautiful. break it down and cook it all day. You can only get those at certain times of the year. Right now that’s what I’m really What three things are always in your reexcited about. frigerator at home? Jason Wiggin (InterContinental, 401 Brady: Milk, bread and cheese. Ward Parkway): It’s always fun when I find Stearns: Oh, my gosh, nothing. I’m here something that someone else is passionate all the time, so when I get home, I’m not about — something as simple as a tomato. cooking anything. I go out to eat a lot. I Like this guy on this farm don’t have kids and I’m not lives, eats and breathes married, you know what I Taste of Kansas City these tomatoes like they’re mean? I guess you could 6:30 p.m. Thursday, May 22, his children. That passion say cereal in my cupboard, KC Live Block in the transfers to me, too. I feed and maybe water, beer and Power & Light District, off of that. I’m like, “That’s milk? Maybe Gatorade to 14th Street and Grand, pitch.com so awesome — this guy slept recover from these long with his tomato in his bed to nights. make sure it ripened right!” Wiggin: Three types of Charles d’Ablaing (Chaz on the Plaza, 325 hot sauce: Cholula, Sambal and Sriracha. I eat much different at home. I’m on a crazy Ward Parkway): It’s kind of a tossup between beef and seafood. You can take a really good diet right now, and I’ve lost, like, 40 pounds. piece of beef and make it excellent, or you d’Ablaing: Cheese of varying sorts, sour can take a really good piece of beef and muck cream, fresh juice. it up horribly very easily. Voldan: Water. I’m a single guy. I don’t have Justin Voldan (Hotel Phillips, 106 West much. I usually have some kind of Cajun-style sausage, almond milk and garlic — I think 12th Street): I really enjoy cooking with scallops. They’re very versatile, and I can do those are always in there.

Voldan (left), of Hotel Phillips, and Stearns, of Ophelia’s What is your go-to restaurant meal?

Brady: I’ve been here not so long, so I’m

still trying out everywhere. ABC Café in Overland Park has unbelievable beef curry. Stearns: I live in Waldo now, so I always go to Jasper’s on my day off. I get the chicken parmesan or go to the deli and get the Venetian sandwich, which is like an Italian porksteak sandwich. I could probably go there once a week. Another place is Bo Lings. Their food is always consistently good. Wiggin: I have so many friends who have restaurants that if I say just one, I’m going to get beat up. I’m really big into Latin food, and that’s something I don’t do. My background is all French cuisine, and it’s all high-end fine dining. They always say the better your restaurant, the worse you eat. If I could cheat, I would totally smash some crazy Mexican food like tamales and menudo. I like home-style foods. d’Ablaing: We’ve got a 2-year-old, so if we do go out, it’s usually someplace simple where we know exactly what we’re going to get and exactly how it’s going to taste. I would say Fogo de Chao. My wife is Brazilian, so that’s the place we’ll head if we get a chance to go have lunch. continued on page 19

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Voldan: I go to Aixois Brasserie, and ev-

ery time, I get the escargot. It’s not an easy thing to find. What do you make for company? Brady: When people come over to the house, I generally always have to do a bread pudding. Another quick and easy one I can make and have ready is a steak-andGuinness pie. Stearns: I like to grill some nice steaks. I go to McGonigle’s, because it’s right by my house, and do a sliced beef tenderloin with shrimp scampi. I deal with some picky eaters. I try to keep it basic when I’m cooking for them. I either grill steaks or make some type of pasta dish. Wiggin: Today is my daughter’s birthday, and we’re grilling outside. We have Local Pig sausages, and I’m grilling up some flank steak, and we’re making fajitas. For company, for a long time I tried to impress everybody. But I’ve been doing this for so long that I just cook good food. It doesn’t have to be super-fancy-schmancy — I do that every day at work. I just want everyone to be happy. d’Ablaing: I just had a house party the other day. I did garlic-and-gorgonzola crostini and sea bass with vegetable risotto. Voldan: I usually make a simple pasta or a green and some salmon with quinoa or some brown rice. I just hit 30, so I’m trying to be a little more healthy. What do you wish someone would make for you?

chris mullins

BREAKFAST:

Brady, of the Ambassador Hotel Brady: Anything. People are always afraid to cook for chefs, but we’re probably the easiest people to please because we’re just happy to have a plate of food that we didn’t have to make. Stearns: Anything that I don’t have to cook. People are like, “Well, you’re a chef. I don’t know if I want to cook for you.” I’m like, listen: Anything that I can just sit down and you can bring to me and I don’t have to cook it and I get waited on — it’s good with me. I’m not very picky. Wiggin: I wish someone would make me something good. There’s not a dish I can’t go and get somewhere. This is going to sound bad because I just said I was on a crazy diet, but what I wish we had here is El Pollo Loco and In-N-Out Burger — those are things I miss about California. Ultimately, I just want someone to make me something that makes them happy. d’Ablaing: Enchiladas. I love enchiladas. About once every three weeks, I make a giant pan of enchiladas for myself at home. Then I eat as many as I can, and the rest I individually wrap and put in the fridge and eat throughout the week. Then I can’t stand the sight of them for another month. I wish somebody would make them for me. Voldan: I always wanted somebody to make me a Christmas goose. I’ve never had a Christmas goose.

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Fat C i t y

Cr ane KiCK

Michael Crane takes his homebrews

By

on the festival circuit.

Ju s t in K e nd a l l

HopFest Goes BiG

barrett emke

B

H

omebrewer Michael Crane doesn’t dislike beer. It’s just, well ... “I’m a lightweight, I guess,” he says. “It doesn’t take much to get me quite buzzed.” Crane likes to quote his business partner, Christopher Meyers, who gave this analogy: “He’s like the grandmother who will spend all day shopping and cooking to prepare the meal to bring his family together to enjoy each other’s company.” The kind of grandmother who forgets to eat her own meal. But that’s the perfect description for what he’s doing with Crane Brewing Co. So he may not drink much of his own stock, but he is causing a buzz. Crane Brewing was the toast of the Parkville Microbrew Fest. That Saturday, a steady line of people waited to taste Magenta (his beet beer), Saison Duchamp (his dry-hopped farmhouse ale) and the eight other varieties he’d brought with him. Within a few hours, his supply was tapped out. “We gave away every drop of it,” Crane says. And he gained some new followers. Crane spent a few minutes talking with Blind Tiger brewmaster John Dean, who he says heaped praise on Crane’s saison. Dean’s wife returned to Crane’s tent to say that her husband rarely speaks so enthusiastically of other brewers. “I’ve just been overwhelmed for the positive response,” Crane says. “I was just nervous about people liking them.” Not every shock that day was a good one. As the festival wound down and Crane’s team was packing up, the knob on a brand-new carbondioxide cylinder broke off. The escaping gas sent the cylinder spinning around before it rocketed into Crane’s arm, shattering it and leaving the bone exposed. 20

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Crane: reluctant drinker, eager brewer “I was in shock,” Crane says. Someone from the crowd grabbed him and tightened a towel against the wound as he lowered Crane to the ground. “I will be forever grateful to that guy.” (The Samaritan turned out to be an Army paramedic.) Crane was taken to St. Luke’s on the Plaza, where doctors operated the next morning. He now has a 5-inch plate in his arm. Crane’s bad break at Parkville isn’t keeping him off the summer beer-festival circuit. Crane Brewing will be at Hopfest Saturday, where the plan is to haul a bigger stock than was at Parkville: 10 gallons of his beet beer ready as well as his Rosee Selavy (a Belgian-style framboise), Alban (Belgian Kriek), Pierrot (a Flanders-style red ale aged on fresh blackberries), and more. Crane started brewing in his basement four years ago as something fun to do with his sons, Joey and Jonathan. It soon became an obsession. Next year, he’ll open a brewery in Raytown. He already has an 18,000-squarefoot building there, home to his other business, Funblock Inc., which manufactures classroom and storage furniture. Crane plans to make sours, saisons and farmhouse ales — from various fruits, wine grapes and, of course, beets — his specialties. “All of the beers that are the focus of the brewery are beers that I’ve won multiple awards within homebrewing throughout the years,” he says. He counts about 75 medals awarded to him in competitions across the country over the past two years. “I have that to go along with the hardware in my arm.”

E-mail justin.kendall@pitch.com

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eer-festival season is officially here, and the weekend’s biggest event is HopFest, from 2 to 6 p.m. in the parking lot of the Well (7421 Broadway). (VIPs start at 1 p.m.) Chris Lewellen, owner of the Well and Lew’s, says this year’s event includes more than 50 breweries and 250 craft beers. Cinder Block, KC Bier Co., Martin City Brewing Co. are among the local names, and Boulevard is bringing an 11-beer lineup that includes recent releases Entwined Ale and both Tasting Room beers (ESB and Ginger-Lemon Radler). George Clarke, general manager at Lew’s, says HopFest’s lineup includes 15 breweries that weren’t there last year, including Lazy Magnolia; Boulevard’s parent company, Duvel

Moortgat (and Boulevard’s new corporate sister, Ommegang); Bell’s, Santa Fe; Rogue; and Original Sin Cider. Clarke also promises a layout designed to keep lines moving. He says some high-end breweries are parking in the back, by the food trucks (which include Taco Republic). Besides the fourth annual homebrew contest, t here’s a st u mp -t he-brewer competition and a lineup of speakers that features Free State’s Steve Bradt; Boulevard’s Jeremy Danner and Harold “Trip” Hogue, Martin City co-owner Matt Moore, Santa Fe head brewer A.J. Condit, Mother’s assistant brewer Doug Riddle, and KC Bier Co.’s Steve Holle and Karlton Graham.

10 Can’t-Miss Beers at HopFest

Q

uantities of these beers may be limited; that $50 VIP ticket might be your best bet if you need to get your hands on one of these.

Ommegang Fire and Blood (red ale inspired by Game of Thrones) Stone Southern Charred (strong ale aged in bourbon barrels) Firestone Walker Parabola (Russian imperial stout) Mother’s Chocolate Thunder (chocolate porter) Lagunitas Waldo’s Special (double imperial IPA) Founders KBS (bourbon barrel aged imperial stout) Goose Island Bourbon County Stout Deschutes Class of ’88 (barleywine collaboration with Goose Island) New Belgium La Folie (sour brown ale) Bell’s Hopslam (double imperial IPA)

BiG rip tears it Up

I

f you’re looking for a smaller craft-beer experience, Big Rip Brewing Co. (216 East Ninth Avenue, North Kansas City) is throwing an anniversary party from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday. “It should be a good fest,” says Josh Collins, who founded the brewery with Kipp Feldt. “It’s designed to be a super-laid-back festival where, if you want to try a beer, you’ll be able to try that beer. You may not have to wait in line to do it. If you want to talk to brewers about their beer, you’ll be able to do it because there’s only going to be about 15 people for every brewery.” Breweries joining Big Rip’s “Get Ripped Brew Fest” include the High Noon Saloon, Rock and Run, Green Room, Tallgrass, Cinder Block, 23rd Street, 75th Street, Weston Brewing Co., McCoy’s, Defiance Brewing Co., S.D. Strong Distilling, and KC Bier Co. What’s on tap: Cinder Block is unveiling one of the IPAs in its Hop Maven series. McCoy’s is bringing a hop-filled imperial IPA. Green Room is sharing a cask ale with Kahlua oak chips and vanilla beans. And KC Bier Co.’s

offerings include its new Pilsner and seasonal weizenbock. Big Rip is also making something special: a banana-cream ale (5 percent ABV). “It’s a vanilla cream ale base loaded up with banana chips,” Collins says. “It is always our lightest one, but it’s easy-drinking session beer, especially in the summertime. Right now, I think we’re up to 60 vanilla beans per batch, because we don’t use extract on it.” Every beer on tap at Big Rip is coming from the brewery’s new four-barrel brewing system. “We’re finally hitting our stride and not sure where we’re going to put all of this beer because our cold room is too small for the new system,” Collins says. “So we’re getting ready to build a new one.” A limited number of tickets are still on sale ($25 for “Mug Club Members,” $35 for everyone else). Expect a tailgate atmosphere with a big tent, the Three Dollar Band, a taco special from El Burrito Loco, and a full-sized sampler glass that resembles an aluminum can.


Fat C i t y

Romagna Style

Pezzetino Italian Deli and Market adds a little bite to the Crossroads.

By

Charles Ferruzza Not what you’d expect... Bar oPen till 3am • reverse HH 10-12 live entertainment • Private Party venue

Join Us For LUnch or Dinner

happy hoUr 4:30-7:30 • F r e e Pa r k i n g •

813 Walnut • 816.471.0196

Are you a

FOODIE? AngelA c. Bond

Sign up for DINING NEWSLETTER

I

’d like to suggest an advertising tagline for the terrific new Italian delicatessen Pezzetino, at 2101 Broadway: “So good, you’re willing to circle the neighborhood half an hour trying to find a parking place.” Chris and Annie Barbieri Spohn opened the beautifully designed Italian deli and market on April 16, on the first floor of the dark brick warehouse building originally constructed for the Piggly Wiggly supermarket chain. They knew they faced a parking challenge along this stretch of Broadway, where the Jacobson, Café Gratitude and Lulu’s Thai Noodle Shop were already competing for a limited number of parking spots. Now that they’ve had their space open almost a month, though, they’re looking at an outside-the-lunchbox answer: valet service. “We’re investigating the costs of that,” Chris Spohn tells me. “It may be a very viable solution.” Parking difficulties are a bit of a legacy for Annie Spohn, granddaughter of Sicilian-born restaurateurs Vincenzo and Antonina Sola. The couple operated an urban Italian deli of their own, Sola’s, in Columbus Park from 1939 to 1946. Later, they ran a saloon serving Italian food at 409 East 33rd Street (a space that’s now incorporated as part of a gay bar called Sidestreets). In those days, though,

customers who didn’t want to fight downtown traffic could take the city’s streetcars to pick up sandwiches and cold cuts. The Spohns, who moved back to Annie’s hometown from California to open their dream business, fell in love with the space at 2101 Broadway the first time they saw it. “We had an idea of what we wanted,” says Chris Spohn, “something urban, yet very Italian. We looked at dozens of locations all over Kansas City, but this is the place that resonated for us.” Pezzetino (the name translates, roughly, as “small bites”) offers immediate visual appeal in this art-centric Crossroads neighborhood. Through the oversized windows, you can see the restaurant’s shiny concrete floors and gleaming marble-topped and refrigerated cases full of attractive salads, cured meats, olives and tapenades. That food (served from 11 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.) isn’t just beautiful but also tasty, thanks to the skills of Argentinian chef Tomas di Gregorio, known for his tenure at the Northland’s Piropos restaurant. He joined the Spohns as Pezzetino’s executive chef when the restaurant was still in its planning stages. Pezzetino is for now primarily focused on lunch and happy hour, so di Gregorio has created a basic but satisfying array of

Now Open

The Spohns (left) and di Gregorio at Pezzetino Romagna-style flatbread sandwiches (called piadina) and more familiar grilled Panini sandwiches. (Some of the bread is baked inhouse; the rest comes from Sasha’s Baking Company.) The venue serves both domestic and imported wine and beer, along with a limited selection of seasonal cocktails, and stays open later than 7:30 p.m. on First Fridays. The Spohns say they’re planning a few special chef’s dinners for the summer, for which they’ll stay open later. Di Gregorio’s one-page menu is “still in the experimental stage,” he says. “We haven’t made many changes to it since we opened, but it’s an evolving process. I’m offering six or eight daily specials that we post on our blackboards for lunch and probably as many for the apertivo.” “We’ve only been open for three weeks, and we’ve done no advertising, but our sales are very, very good,” Chris Spohn says. “We already have so many repeat customers that we’re certain we chose the right place in the right town for our idea. We’re very pleased.”

641 Grand Ave • 816-474-8000

E-mail charles.ferruzza@pitch.com pitch.com

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music

The Breakdown

Cowboy Indian Bear’s latest wouldn’t have happened without a mishap.

By

Natalie GallaGher

n a cool Saturday evening, the five members of Cowboy Indian Bear cluster around a metal table outside Grinders. They’re about an hour from taking the stage at Crossroads KC for the venue’s Spring Fling. It’s not a small gig, but in the fading daylight, the group is at ease, talking on the patio and exchanging high-fives with friends as they pass by. Drummer Beau Bruns is strategically decimating a cup of frozen yogurt. Keyboardist Katlyn Conroy and guitarist Marty Hillard are perched on a windowsill, leaning against the building. On April 22, Cowboy Indian Bear announced on its Facebook page that a new EP was coming — a free, digital-only release scheduled for May 20. Considering the three years of labor that went into last year’s Live Old, Die Young, the unscheduled Vandeventer is a delightfully swift surprise for fans. It’s also, say the members of Cowboy Indian Bear, an unexpected turn for the band. “There’s kind of a weird background to it,” says guitarist and frontman C.J. Calhoun. “We were heading out on tour in November, and the van broke down in St. Louis, our first stop. It was too expensive to fix, so we were in St. Louis for maybe three days, waiting for someone to come pick us up.” “We were all pretty depressed about having to cancel the tour,” Conroy says. “It was our last one for the year, and we had all already taken off work. So we were like, ‘Why don’t we do something cool out of this?’ ” The seven songs on Vandeventer don’t sound like music cranked out over a couple of weeks, tracked on laptops during the haul from friends’ couches in St. Louis back to Calhoun’s Lawrence living room. What’s more, they don’t sound quite like anything else Cowboy Indian Bear has put out since forming in 2009. The recording starts innocently enough. “Figure” opens with a heavy electronic drumbeat, and Calhoun’s voice carries the track over f litting synths. The next two songs begin in much the same way, with “Ruffians” building darkly over crashing cymbals and thudding bass lines. But then the vibe changes. Conroy comes in airily on “AC,” a breathy nugget of electro pop that turns out to be a mere warm-up for a bigger surprise. On “Jacob,” Hillard raps at a purposeful pace over an inky beat and a whistling piano. Then Conroy swings in again for the shimmering, R&B-style “Push,” her voice swinging with a playful sass that suggests Tennis’ Alaina Moore. The band ties a pretty bow around the whole thing with the danceable, sweet-toothed “Candy.” 22

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zach bauman

O

Cowboy Indian Bear’s new EP is short but full of surprises. Vandeventer sounds like a sampler of sorts. The band considers it an experiment — a successful one. “It has a lot to do with the experience of working with each other,” Conroy says. “A couple years ago, this EP would have taken us a long time to get through, and now it’s just easy.” Calhoun adds: “We’ve been together over five years now, and I think this process gave us some confidence. We went into the process in a different way than we typically would. It’s not at all overthought. Not to say that we overthink everything else we’ve done, but I think we were a little quicker to be like, ‘That sounds cool, let’s go with that.’ ” The members seem in good spirits about their scotched tour, now that they have something to show for it. The EP’s cover is a photo that lead guitarist Danny Bowersox snapped of Bruns leaning out of the dead van as it sat in a neighborhood covered with bright-orange fall leaves. The EP takes

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its title from a street near the breakdown. “I don’t think that if this happened three years ago, we would have made a record,” Bruns says. “If it had been a band for two months — or two years — and that happened, it would have hurt. I think this EP is kind of a byproduct of being Cowboy Indian Bear for five years. It taught us to do so many things and turn negatives into positives.” Fittingly, the serendipitous EP has given Cowboy Indian Bear a fresh take on how the band approaches music — and cemented the bandmates’ sense of their craft. “I feel like we’ve built up a level of trust, with ourselves and with our community of listeners,” Calhoun says. “People believe that whatever it is that we put out, like this EP, it’s not something we were just like, ‘Oh, whatever, here you go.’ People know how much we care. We work our asses off, and I think you can hear that with us.” Cowboy Indian Bear’s new EP, Vandeventer, comes out digitally on Tuesday, May 20.

E-mail natalie.gallagher@pitch.com

J a z z B e at Massey Hall 60tH anniversary, at tHe GeM tHeater

In May 1953, Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie recorded a legendary jazz concert in Toronto’s Massey Hall. The saxophone that Parker played that night is on display in the American Jazz Museum. The Gem Theater marks that show’s anniversary Saturday. Pianist Bill Charlap (who has backed Tony Bennett and Barbara Streisand) brings his trio, adding alto saxophonist Jesse Davis and trumpeter Jon Faddis. Faddis thrilled last year when he joined Bobby Watson’s big band at the Prairie Village Jazz Festival. Bebop lines, peppered with high registers that few trumpeters try, could have come from his mentor, Gillespie, whose shoes he fills Saturday. — Larry Kopitnik Massey Hall 60th Anniversary, 8 p.m. Saturday, May 17, at the Gem Theater (1615 East 18th Street, 816-474-6262), $35–$55.


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23


WHERE THE BEST MUSICIANS IN THE WORLD PLAY

KNUCKLEHEADS

MAY: 14: Seth Walker & Bobby Bare Jr.

THURSDAY, MAY 15 TH roger clyne and The Peacemakers w/ The Barefoot Movement

16: The Legendary Johnny Rivers The Whiskey a Go Go 50th Anniversary Tour 17: Sara Morgan - GL 17: The Rainmakers & The Nace Brothers 18: Tater’s Honky Tonk Happy Hours

SUNDAY, MAY 18 TH

TOMMY CASTRO w/ Mojo Roots

TUESDAY, MAY 20 TH IAN MOORE

For more info & tickets: knuckleheadshonkytonk.com 2715 Rochester, KCMO

816-483-1456

24

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Rooting Down

Wye Oak’s latest album ditched the guitar, saved the band.

By

Natalie GallaGher

J

enn Wagner had hit a creative wall. Two years of nonstop touring and playing had fatigued Wagner, the lead singer and guitarist for Wye Oak, and percussionist Andy Stack on the songs that had made their 2011 album, Civilians, a breakthrough success. Wagner couldn’t force herself to write anything that sounded similar, leaving Wye Oak’s future in doubt. Then Wagner put down her guitar and tried writing with a bass. Her mind opened up and out came Shriek. Wye Oak’s latest release is markedly different from the band’s previous folk-rock creations: delicate synths, booming electronic beats and spacey digital effects. Yet it sounds unmistakably like a Wye Oak album — a credit, perhaps, to Wagner’s talent for enigmatic, layered songs. Ahead of Wye Oak’s show at the Granada like a natural progression in a lot of ways. on Saturday, May 17, The Pitch phoned Wagner I think you set a precedent with the things to discuss the band’s reinvention. The Pitch: Shriek was a huge, drastic change that you do, and neither of us ever wanted to for you guys. Were you afraid that entirely become a guitar band — it was just whatever dropping the guitar from your music would felt best, and for a while, that happened to be one thing, but it was never meant to be end up costing the band? Wagner: Honestly, I think that I had a lot of the focus. To me, it almost feels like Shriek was a fresh faith in people. I was confident that if the mastart, a rebirthing moment. What surprised you terial was good, people would see that. I was most about how this record turned out? more curious than anything as to how people [Laughs.] The most surprising part was would react to this, but the important thing was for me to go after what would make the probably that it happened at all, because there was a very long period of time where best material and the most inspired-sounding material. It’s far better to make risky deci- I thought we would quit. I couldn’t write, sions and potentially alienate people than to and I honestly didn’t even want to for a minute there. I had convinced ignore what you want, and myself that nothing I had I wanted to make a record Wye Oak to say was any sort of worth that sounds inspired. Saturday, May 17, or value and that I should For me, it [the change in at the Granada figure out something else sound] was less of a choice shervin lainez

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

music

because it was impossible for me to write in the way I had in the past. It was either make the record we made or not make a record at all. So I had a lot of faith in pursuing whatever path would lead to the strongest material and hoped that would really shine through. I’ve read a few interviews where you talked about the darkness surrounding your writer’s block. A big part of the process was learning how to have fun again and learning how to enjoy making music again and finding whatever connection I had lost previously. I had this really unhealthy detachment from the music we were playing [from Civilians], and it was a sad time. And this is joyous again — I remember why I love music. I think we’re both really grateful and really relieved that this album exists. It feels

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to do with my life. The fact that I ended up enjoying this process as much as I did was a pretty big surprise for me. You’ve done some other synth-heavy projects: solo projects like Flock of Dimes and your collaboration with Jon Ehrens, Dungeonesse. How did those projects inf luence this new sound? They didn’t necessarily have an influence on the songwriting I was doing, but they were integral parts of my learning. They shaped the important part of the process that helped me write. Those projects were really important parts of my learning that I now consider integral, but when I started writing songs again, there was never any doubt in my mind that they were always very definitively Wye Oak songs. Now that Shriek is out and you’re on tour

Wagner: “I remember why I love music.” again, how are you feeling? Are you worried about getting worn out on these songs? Things are good right now. It’s not touring that I hate, but touring in excess that I struggle with. We’re trying to make sure that we do it in a healthier way this time. But to be totally honest with you, left to my own devices and in a perfect world, I wouldn’t tour at all. It’s an important part of my job and something I’m willing to do, but I would rather spend all of my time writing and creating new things. I feel stranger and stranger about it with every passing year. I’ve come to realize it’s not really what I consider to be my true calling. It’s the writing and creating side of things [that I prefer]. As we get older, it’s harder and harder to do this. It’s tough to disrupt your life completely for something like that. This is a 24hour job. But there are things that we really enjoy, and as long as we don’t do it too much, we enjoy touring. It’s not like we’re miserable on the road and hating every minute of it. It sounds like your vision for Wye Oak has evolved over the past few years, and now — especially with this new album — it sounds like you feel free to explore more things within the band. What does this mean for the future of Wye Oak? Honestly, once you put yourself out there, people come to accept you and what you do. The future of our band really hinged upon this happening and working out, and it seems to be working out quite well. I feel like it’s inevitable that I’ll have moments of weakness and writer’s block again, but having already lived through one, I imagine it’ll be easier to get through it next time.

E-mail natalie.gallagher@pitch.com


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25


Music

Music Forecast

By

n ata l ie G a l l a Ghe r

Morrissey

CIRQUE DU RISQUE

COMEDY, MAGIC & BURLESQUE DANCING THURSDAY, MAY 15

M-80s The Bucket Band Riptide FRIDAY, MAY 16

JEFF WOOD SATURDAY, MAY 17

SUPER WARS SUNDAY, MAY 18

POOL TOURNAMENT Win VIP tickets to Rockfest THURSDAY, MAY 22

It has been five long, sad, lonely years since Morrissey last graced the area with his immaculately coifed presence. After two canceled tours, a bleeding ulcer and many broken hearts since his 2009 Midland date, it seems that everyone’s favorite melancholy man is returning for real this time. Morrissey is also preparing to release his 10th solo record in July, the miserably titled World Peace Is None of Your Business, featuring tracks like “Neal Cassady Drops Dead,” “Kick the Bride Down the Aisle” and “Earth Is the Loneliest Planet.” So there’s a lot to look forward to Tuesday at Liberty Hall. Tuesday, May 20, Liberty Hall (644 Massachusetts, Lawrence, 785-749-1972)

Blood Red Shoes

The latest self-titled album from Brighton, England’s Blood Red Shoes opens with nearly two minutes of bone-rattling, instrumental fury. It’s an introduction that sets the pace for the rest of the record’s 11 blistering songs, as Laura-Mary Carter and Steven Ansell, who share lead vocals, drag their demons out by the horns and beat them senseless. It’s hard to believe Carter on “Speech Coma,” as she delivers the chorus like blows to a punching bag: I can’t get the words out/It’s like someone cut out my tongue. You’ve got to admire a band that, 10 years in, still manages to sound convincingly angry all the time. Wednesday, May 21, Czar (1531 Grand, 816-421-0300)

Perfect Pussy

Perfect Pussy lead singer Meredith Graves provided me with a most surprising and memorable phone conversation when, in December, we spent nearly an hour discussing the politicizing of her band’s music, her views as a feminist and her love of Roland Barthes. Graves is a sharp observer, full of opinions — opinions that spill out on the violent and heady debut recording (really a four-track demo) that Perfect Pussy put out

HEN 7230 W 75th St K I T C N!!! is OPE 913.236.6211 calendarwiz.com/theroxy /roxybar.overlandpark the pitch

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last November. In March, the Syracuse noisepunk band released its long awaited Say Yes to Love, a voracious onslaught of purposeful chaos. Its 23 minutes pound you with all the force of a battering ram, one on which Graves proudly sits, leading the charge. Sunday, May 18, Czar (1531 Grand, 816-421-0300)

Little Green Cars

Despite the massive hype that accompanied Absolute Zero, the 2013 debut album from Dublin folk-rock quintet Little Green Cars, the record sounded not too far from the Lumineers’ debut a year earlier: steroiddriven crescendos, swaggering vocal harmonies and exuberant choruses recounting the oh-so-relatable follies of love. It’s an excellent album, to be sure, but the remarkable thing about Little Green Cars is Faye O’Rourke, the lone female singer. She’s the Florence Welch-like powerhouse, the secret weapon that should be up front and in charge more often than the quarter or so of the album she

f o r e c a s t

C’MON BACK 26

Morrissey

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gets this time. Listen to the stirring single “My Love Took Me Down to the River to Silence Me” for proof of her talents — or hear them in person Monday night. Monday, May 19, RecordBar (1020 Westport Road, 816-753-5207)

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart

It’s a charming enough tale: A band with a twee name worthy of an extra-long Liz Lemon eye roll manages to climb above its assumed limitations, thanks to a mighty hero and a bit of luck. In the case of the Pains of Being Pure at Heart, the protagonist is Kip Berman, a frontman with all the right ideas. Somehow, since forming the Pains in 2007, Berman has managed to push the group’s sound forward by deftly upcycling smart elements of late-1980s and early ’90s pop. If the early reviews of the Pains’ forthcoming Days of Abandon are accurate, we can expect similarly minded silky, perky jams, just in time for summer. Thursday, May 15, RecordBar (1020 Westport Road, 816-753-5207)

K e Y

Pick of the Week

 Band to Watch

 Worth the Weeknight

Living Legend

 Songs You Hear at the Gap

Folk Rock

 Sad Bastard Songs

 Bring Your Earplugs

 From Across the Pond

 Pretty in Pop

 Fast and Furious

Anger Management


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COLLECTIVE SOUL June 8, 2014

July 26, 2014

O FR N S A ID L E AY

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August 16, 2014

August 9, 2014

UPCOMING SHOWS: 5/16 5/17 5/23 5/24 5/30 5/31

Flirt Friday FAME featuring DJ Q HooDoo at the VooDoo with Maria The Mexican, Soca Jukebox and Under The Influence School’z Out Party with Teacher’z Pet Stairway to Zeppeling w/ Mr Mojo Rising Me Like Bees, Not a Planet and Eyelit 1-800-745-3000

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5/8/14 12:56 PM


AGENDA

continued from page 13

Thursday | 5.15 |

TOUR DE BIER

ART EXHIBITS & EVENTS

PERFORMING ARTS

Joe Bussell & Fred Trease: The Petri Dish | 6-9 p.m. Friday, Kiosk Gallery, 3951 Broadway

Cirque du Soleil’s Varekai | 7:30 p.m. Sprint Center,

1407 Grand, sprintcenter.com

Color and Line: Masterworks on Paper

Classics Uncorked: Women of Note(s) | 7 p.m.

| Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, 4525 Oak, nelson-atkins.org

FILM

Conversation — Marking 20 Years | Kemper

Kauffman Center, 1601 Broadway, kcsymphony.org

Museum of Contemporary Art, 4420 Warwick Blvd., kemperart.org

Royal Opera House presents Placido Domingo in Nabucco | 1 p.m. Tivoli Cinemas, 4050 Pennsylvania

Y S U N DA

5.18

SPORTS & REC

Royals vs. Orioles | 7:10 p.m. Kauffman Stadium

icycle KC’s b awl ba r c r

T-Bones vs. Lincoln Saltdogs | 7:05 p.m. Com-

munityAmerica Ballpark, 1800 Village West Pkwy., KCK MUSIC

Bobby Bare Jr. | 10 p.m. Replay Lounge, 946 Massachusetts, Lawrence

Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers | 8:30 p.m.

Knuckleheads Saloon, 2715 Rochester

Everette DeVan Trio, Paul Shinn Trio | 5:30 p.m. Green Lady Lounge, 1809 Grand

Tour de Bier, proceeds benefiting BikeWalkKC | 7, 9 & 10 a.m. Knuckleheads Saloon, 2715 Rochester

The 5 Browns | 8 p.m. Kauffman Center, 1601 Broadway Kansas City Ballet presents Cinderella | 7:30 p.m. Kauffman Center, 1601 Broadway, kcballet.org

Paganfest 2014 with Korpiklaani, Turisas, Chthonic, Varg, Winterhymn | 6 p.m. The Riot Room, 4048 Broadway

FA S H I O N & S T Y L E

Rock the Block Fashion Show | 6:30-11:45 p.m. KC

The Legendary Johnny Rivers | 8:30 p.m. Knuck-

MBird Songwriter’s Showcase with Megan Birdsall | 8-10:30 p.m. Uptown Arts Bar, 3611 Broadway

SPORTS & REC

Paul Shinn Trio | 9 p.m. Green Lady Lounge, 1809

Royals vs. Orioles | 7:10 p.m. Kauffman Stadium

Needtobreathe, Foy Vance | 7 p.m. Uptown Theater,

CommunityAmerica Ballpark, 1800 Village W. Pkwy., KCK

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart | 10:30 p.m.

MUSIC

Trig County, the Lucky Bastards | 7-11:45 p.m. PBR

Bill Bergman & Friends, the Creighton Organization | 5:30 p.m. Broadway Jazz Club, 3601 Broadway

12th Street Jump with Bob James | 7:30 p.m.

Caught a Ghost, the Invisible World, Foes of Folly | 7 p.m. Czar, 1531 Grand

3700 Broadway

T-Bones vs. Lincoln Saltdogs | 7:05 p.m.

RecordBar, 1020 Westport Rd.

Big Sky Bar, 111 E. 13th St.

Broadway Jazz Club, 3601 Broadway

Friday | 5.16 | Cirque du Soleil’s Varekai | 7:30 p.m. Sprint Center,

1407 Grand, sprintcenter.com

Brick, 1727 McGee

Grand

Stone Cutters Union | The Kill Devil Club, 61 E. 14th St. Johnny T., Garry Lincoln | 6-11 p.m. PBR Big Sky

Bar, 111 E. 13th St.

the pitch

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

In the Looking Glass: Recent Daguerreotype Acquisitions | Nelson-Atkins Museum,

Living With the Spirits: Decorating Homes in Traditional China | Nelson-Atkins Museum, 4525 Oak

M(i) (A)cro: a contemporary drawing exhibition | Lawrence Arts Center, 940 New Hampshire, Lawrence

Roads of Arabia: Archaeology and History of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia | Nelson-Atkins Museum, 4525 Oak

Reality and Fantasy: Land, Town and Sea

U.S. Air Guitar Regionals | 9 p.m.RecordBar, 1020

| Nelson-Atkins Museum, 4525 Oak

The Wanted, Midnight Red, Cassio Monroe |

The 17th Annual Spring Studio Show and Sale | Philomene Bennett’s Studio, 1331 Union,

7 p.m. Uptown Theater, 3700 Broadway

Saturday | 5.17 | PERFORMING ARTS

Cirque du Soleil’s Varekai | 4 & 7:30 p.m.

second floor

The Starr Miniature Collection: Masterworks in Miniature | Nelson-Atkins Museum,

4525 Oak

The Stench of Rotting Flowers | La Esquina,

1000 W. 25th St.

The Zack Mufasa Band, the Tektites | 9 p.m.

Confessions of a Belly Dancer: Secrets of the Hieroglyph | Viewer discretion advised, 7:30 p.m. City Stage Theater, Union Station, 30 W. Pershing Rd.

Third Thursday at the Nerman | 3:30-4:30 p.m. Thursday, Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, JCCC, 12345 College Blvd., jccc.edu/museum

Matt Otto Quintet | 8:30 p.m. The Blue Room, 1616

Kansas City Ballet presents Cinderella | 2 &

This American Life | Fridays and Saturdays,

E. 18th St.

7:30 p.m. Kauffman Center, 1601 Broadway, kcballet.org

continued on page 30 28

Museum of Contemporary Art, 12345 College Blvd., Overland Park, nermanmuseum.org

Sprint Center, 1407 Grand

Grieves, Son Real, Fearce Vill, Grooms and Katie | 8 p.m. The Granada, 1020 Massachusetts, Lawrence

Californos, 4124 Pennsylvania

PERFORMING ARTS

leheads Saloon, 2715 Rochester

Westport Rd.

Gardienne, John McKenna, Common Folk | The

Whitechapel, Revocation, Rivers of Nihil, Conflicts, On the Shoulders of Giants, Lantern Hill Nightmare | 6:30 p.m. Czar, 1531 Grand

dy/nas/ty • Ebony G. Patterson | Nerman

4525 Oak

Global Dub Festival featuring Krewella with Gramatik and Caked Up | 7:30 p.m. Midland, 1228 Main

Mushroomhead, Erasing Never, Unsaid Fate, more | 6 p.m. Granada, 1020 Massachusetts, Lawrence

4525 Oak

History & Hope: Celebrating the Civil Rights Movement | Nelson-Atkins Museum, 4525 Oak

Casey James Prestwood & the Burning Angels | 10 p.m. Replay Lounge, 946 Massachusetts, Lawrence

Live Stage at the Power & Light District, 14th St. and Grand

Edgar Degas Pastels | Nelson-Atkins Museum,

pitch.com

Kemper East, 200 E. 44th St.


pitch.com

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29


TheaTer Dates and times vary.

sitional Housing of Platte County | 8 a.m. Zona Rosa, 8640 N. Dixson Ave.

First Lady? by de de deville | Fish-

Royals vs. orioles | 6:10 p.m. Kauffman Stadium

DAILY MENU

tank Performance Studio, 1715 Wyandotte, fishtanktheater.blogspot.com

HAPPY HOUR

Flowers in the Wardrobe | For audiences

SPECIALS

MONDAY-FRIDAY

UPCOMING LIVE MUSIC: No Cash Value Band 5/16/2014 - 9:00pm Irieplaceables Ska Orchestra 5/17/2014 - 9:00pm

16 and older, Arts Asylum, 1000 E. Ninth St.

A Little Night Music | Spinning Tree The-

CommUnity events

Tuesday-Thursday, Polsky Theatre at JCCC, 12345 College Blvd., Overland Park

Confederate spring muster: American Civil War encampments | 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Shoal Creek Living History Museum, 7000 N.E. Barry Rd.

mystery train: Funeral for Brother John | The

Revolve KCK Bike month Fundraiser withtrio Aztlan & iron sunshine | 2-6 p.m., 554 Central Ave.,

No Dogs Allowed | Theatre for Young America,

Warrior Appreciation Rally | 9 a.m. Worth Harley-

KCK, suggested donation $20, revolvekc.org

4112

816.960.4560 Mon-Fri 4p-3am Sat-Sun 12pm-3am

Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion: A staged Reading | 8 p.m. Friday, Missie B’s,

Big Rip’s Get Ripped Fest | 1-5 p.m. Big Rip, 216 E.

Schoolhouse Rock: Live | The Coterie Theatre, Crown Center, 2450 Grand, coterietheatre.org

7421 Broadway, waldowell.com

Water by the Spoonful | Unicorn Theatre, 3828 Main, unicorntheatre.org

and Oak

805 W. 39th St.

Theatre, 3051 Central

continued from page 28

Send your info to: bwmissionbowl@yahoo.com

Keith Plus one and Kenzie West, dog and Frienddog, Babelfish | 10-11:30 p.m. Kick Comedy

May 17 Crosseyed Jack May 24 New Common Ground May 31 Uncle Jam June 7 Scott Duncan

5399 Martway Mission, KS • 913.432.7000 pitch.com

HopFest Craft Beer Festival | 2-6 p.m. The Well,

taste of local | 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Theis Park, 47th St.

mUsiC

everyone’s not a Rapper | 8 p.m. Uptown Arts Bar, 3611 Broadway

Comedy

from 9:00pm - Midnight | www.missionbowl.com

Do you want to play at Mission Bowl?

Ninth Ave., North Kansas City

White Sangria | 7:30 p.m. Just Off Broadway

westportsaloon.com

m ay 1 5 - 2 1 , 2 0 1 4

Davidson North, 6609 N. Oak Tfwy.

Food & dRinK

LIVE B AND S AT

the pitch

munityAmerica Ballpark, 1800 Village W. Pkwy., KCK

H&R Block City Stage Theater, Union Station, 30 W. Pershing Rd., tya.org

APPEARING LIVE THIS WEEK THURSDAY, MAY 15TH THE BIG IDEA, FRONT PORCH 40’S, HANDMADE MOMENTS, TYLER GREGORY FRIDAY, MAY 16TH DINNER SHOW W/ THE SOUVENEERS, CASH O’RILEY, THE WAY DOWN WANDERERS, BLOODY OL’ MULE, DEEP FRIED SQUIRREL SATURDAY, MAY 17TH DINNER SHOW W/ THE GARAGE KINGS, DEENO & THE ESKIMO BROS, THE NEW SUITS, JASON VIVONE & THE BILLY BATS

30

t-Bones vs. lincoln saltdogs | 7:05 p.m. Com-

A Mighty Fortress Is Our Basement |

Golden Ox, 1600 Genessee, kcmysterytrain.com

Pennsylvania Ave

816.960.4560

Casino Hotel Kansas City, 3200 N. Ameristar Dr.

Urban Kids Fishing derby | 8 a.m.-noon, KCKCC Field House, 7250 State Ave., KCK

303 W. 10th St., qualityhillplayhouse.com

TILL 4AM

shamrock FC mixed martial Arts | 7 p.m. Ameristar

atre, at Off Center Theatre, 2450 Grand, spinningtreetheatre.com

Musical of Musicals | Quality Hill Playhouse,

SERVING FOOD

Hawaii 5k Run/Walk, benefiting Hillcrest Tran-

Theater, 4010 Pennsylvania

Ron White | 7 & 9:30 p.m. The Midland, 1228 Main exPos

Heart of America Concours d’elegance, pre-

sented by the Heart of America Jaguar Club | 9 a.m.3:30 p.m. Crown Center, 2450 Grand F e s t i vA l s

the irieplaceables ska orchestra | 9 p.m. Llywelyn’s Pub, 6995 W. 151st St., Overland Park Jammin’ at the Gem: massey Hall 60th Anniversary with Phil Woods, Jon Faddis, the Bill Charlap trio | 8 p.m. Gem Theater, 1615 E. 18th St. Koan sound, minnesota, Wet Paint | 8 p.m.

Valentine Room at the Uptown Theater, 3700 Broadway

levee town | 9 p.m. B.B.’s Lawnside BBQ, 1205 E.

85th St.

ida mcBeth, shay estes Quartet | 6 p.m. Broadway

Jazz Club, 3601 Broadway

merriam turkey Creek Festival & 5k Run | 7 a.m.-5 p.m. Antioch Park, 6501 Antioch, Merriam

sara morgan | 8 p.m. Knuckleheads, 2715 Rochester

British Gala | 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Grace and Holy Trinity

Chris murray, the new Riddim | 10 p.m. Czar,

sPoRts & ReC

the Pale Blue dot, drew Black and dirty electric, drunkard’s dream, leering Heathens, Whiskey for miles, Jorge Arana trio | 2 p.m. RecordBar, 1020 Westport Rd. continued on page 32

Cathedral, 13th Street and Broadway

Go Project Family 5k, benefiting the Global Orphan Project | 9 a.m. English Landing Park, First St. and Main

1531 Grand


pitch.com

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31


P p

or

FOSTER THE PEOPLE

on your mobile device.

DAY

5.17

SATUR

Amer ican

umped your p Put on ks. up kic

GaBArRage

1515 WESTPORT RD. • 816-931-9417

r:

ANN BROWN

happy hou

4 -7pm, M-F

Bike Nite Every Tuesday w/ Live Music by Cover Me Badd

Foster the People, Twenty One Pilots, St. Lucia, NONONO, Hunter Hunted | 4 p.m. KC Live Stage at

RIDE OUT TO AMERICAN GARAGE & PARTY W/ THE BEST PEOPLE AROUND

1 SE 4th St. • Lee’s Summit, MO • 816.525.1121 americangaragebar.com

WIFI NOW AVAILABLE!

the Power & Light District, 14th St. and Grand

CHECK OUT THE NEW ALL DAY HAPPY HOUR

continued from page 30 Powerman 5000, 9Electric, 9 Volt Junkie, Razorwire Halo | 7 p.m. Aftershock, 5240 Merriam Dr., Merriam

mon: ru

ral gr karaoke @ 10pmit happy hour 6-9 thu 5/15 opKC May 17 - Signal Fri 5/16 Johnen miC 8pm - DJ Ser matt 10pm mCkennaHeart , garDienne, May 31 - My SixComGun Sat 5/17 karamon Folk June 7 - Runaway e B-Day part Fri 5/23 the B’okTrain DinaS, DollS ony 9pm June 14 - True thBlood BluesFire, Sat 5/24 theepeClementineS DalJetS, the Sa FeS, m Sat 5/31 CaatrDt Shoare io mom

The Rainmakers with the Nace Brothers | 9 p.m.

Knuckleheads Saloon, 2715 Rochester

upcoming live music 6-10pm: May 17: Signal KC May 31: My Six Gun Heart June 7: Runaway Train June 14: True Blood Blues 1218 Swift Ave. North KC

SmokinGunsBBQ.com • 816-221-2535

Margo Rey | 9 p.m. The Kill Devil Club, 61 E. 14th St. Paul Shinn Trio | 9 p.m. Green Lady Lounge, 1809 Grand Sidewise, Restraint, At the Left Hand of God, Arson City, Sober Overdose | 7:30 p.m. The Riot

a week

816.561.2444 www.erniebiggs.com nsas 4115 Mill Street West Port Ka 32

the pitch

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pitch.com

Cowtown: History of the Kansas City Stockyards | Kansas City Central Library, 14 W. 10th St., kclibrary.org

The Discovery of King Tut | Union Station, 30 W. Pershing Rd., unionstation.org/tut The Kansas City Canvas: Thomas Hart Benton and Beyond | Kansas City Museum, 3218

Those Gypsies, Nuthatch-47, Consider the Lemming, the Monarchs | 9 p.m. Davey’s Uptown

Kansas City WWI Memorial Trolley Tour |

Wye Oak | 8 p.m. Granada, 1020 Massachusetts,

Lawrence

Sunday | 5.18 |

Gladstone Blvd.

1 p.m. Saturday, National World War I Museum, Liberty Memorial, 100 W. 26th St., theworldwar.org

The Land Divided, the World United: Building the Panama Canal | Linda Hall Library, 5109 Cherry

PERFORMING ARTS

Cirque du Soleil’s Varekai | 1:30 & 5 p.m. Sprint

On the Brink: A Month That Changed the World | National World War I Museum, Liberty

Center, 1407 Grand

Memorial , 100 W. 26th St., theworldwar.org

Kansas City Ballet presents Cinderella | 2 p.m.

Outstanding Women of Missouri | Fort Osage

COMEDY

Take Five Tour | 6 p.m. Tuesday, American Jazz

Kauffman Center, 1601 Broadway, kcballet.org

Tracy Morgan | 7 p.m. Uptown Theater, 3700 Broadway

City

Citizen Soldiers on the Prairie | Johnson County Museum of History, 6305 Lackman Rd., Shawnee,jocomuseum.org continued on page 36

Room, 4048 Broadway

Ramblers Club, 3402 Main

Live Music Live Music 7 nights 7 nights a week

MUSEUM EXHIBITS & EVENTS

SPORTS & REC

Dead Girl Derby co-ed match | 5 p.m. B&D South

Skate Center, 13903 S. Noland Ct., Independence

Education Center, 107 Osage St., Sibley

Museum, 1616 E. 18th St.

Dine-in Theater: Sporting KC away game | 2 p.m. Alamo Drafthouse, 1400 Main

continued on page 34


FRI MAY 23 SAT MAY 24 SAT MAY 31

Clownesque:

CACHE MONET National Pimps & Hos - The Musical tap dance day

CELEBRATION

FRI MAY 16

Billie

hosted by the legendary Mahoney

Spring Time

in Clown Land

Clowning +

BURLESQUE 8:00 pm • $10 a benefit for

City In Motion us on

•Live Music •Burlesque •Prizes •Drink Specials 9:30 pm • $10 $10 acebook

Bring your instruments and your tap shoes!

a benefit for Planned Parenthood Music and Spoken Word from an all-female lineup 7:00pm - $5

7:00 pm • $10

See Our Full Calendar at uptownartsbar.com

509 DELAWARE ST KANSAS CITY, MO 816-221-FOLK (3655)

MAY 17

saturday

BLUEGRASS WORKSHOP and jam

1:00pm to 4:00pm

hosts:

garrett white mark franzke brett hodges betse ellis

May 31st Porchfest Pre-Party New and Vintage Instruments for sale brands include

Gibson Fender Gretsch Guild Silvertone The Loar Recording King JHS pitch.com

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33


GUITARS • JORGE ARANA TRIO REV GUSTO • FRENCH FRIES ART STUFF • MAT SHOARE • LA GUERRE PLASTIC LAWN FLAMINGOES LOOSE PARK • METATONE ASTROTURF • THE ACBS MORE BEER THAN EVER BEFORE FRIENDLY NEIGHBORS • FORRESTER

P FIRST FRIDAY, JUNE 6

farmers markets BadSeed | 4-9 p.m. Friday, 1909 McGee

KC Timber Challenge 5 | 9 a.m. Adventure Zip KC,

City Market | 6 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, 8 a.m.-

High Dr.

1 p.m. Saturday, Border Star Montessori, 6321 Wornall,brooksidefarmersmarket.com

3 p.m. Sunday, 20 E. Fifth St.

Cottin’s Hardware Store | 4-6:30 p.m. Thurs-

day, back parking lot of 1832 Massachusetts, Lawrence, cottinshardware.com/farmersmarket

deSoto Farmers Market | 8 a.m.-noon Sat-

12829 Loring Dr., Bonner Springs

KC Triathlon | 7:30 a.m. Longview Lake, 11100 View

Royals vs. Orioles | 1:10 p.m. Kauffman Stadium T-Bones vs. Lincoln Saltdogs | 5:05 p.m. CommunityAmerica Ballpark, 1800 Village West Pkwy., KCK

urday, St. Andrew’s United Methodist Church, 1004 Rock Rd., De Soto

| 7 a.m. Wednesday and Saturday, Second St. and Douglas

FOOd & dRinK

Steaks, Stockyards, and Sin: Kansas City’s Meat & Potato Past with Charles Ferruzza | 2 p.m. Central Library, 14 W. 10th St., kclibrary.org MuSiC

downtown Overland Park Farmers Market

| 7:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays, 6:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Wednesdays, on Marty between 79th and 80th streets

Gladstone Farmers Market | 7 a.m.-noon

Created by Golden Sound Records

N.E. Winn

Brookside Farmers Market | 8 a.m.-

downtown Lee’s Summit Farmers Market

6:00 - MIDNIGHT W 19th & Wyandotte

continued from page 32 KC Roller Warriors vs. STL Arch Rival Roller Girls | 2 p.m. Winnwood Skate Center, 4426

Barkley • Hint • Raygun • KC Street Car • Mpress ALC Group • Tail Waggin’ PetStop • ej4 • Snow & Co.

There’s a NEW game in town!

Saturday, 2-6 p.m. Wednesday, Gladstone Hy-Vee, 7117 N. Prospect

Grand Court Farmers Market | 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, Grand Court Retirement Center, 501 W. 107th St. independence Farmers & Craft Market |

5 a.m.-1 p.m. Wednesday and Saturday, the corner of Truman and Main, Historic Independence Square, 210 W. Truman Rd.

KC Organics and natural Market | 8 a.m.12:30 p.m. Saturday, Minor Park, Holmes at Red Bridge Road

Antennas up, Sons of Great dane, Latenight Callers | 8:30 p.m. RecordBar, 1020 Westport Rd. Approach, Secret Levels, Smoov Confusion | 8 p.m. The Riot Room, 4048 Broadway

Tommy Castro with Mojo Roots | 8 p.m. Knuckle-

heads, 2715 Rochester

Genitorturers, 20 Years of depravity, Sinful Sideshow | Aftershock, 5240 Merriam Dr., Merriam Christian Lee Hutson, danny McGaw | 6 p.m.

Replay Lounge, 946 Massachusetts, Lawrence

Perfect Pussy, Potty Mouth, the Bad ideas, RLT | 8 p.m. Czar, 1531 Grand

Monday | 5.19 | COMedY

Lawrence Farmers Market | 8 a.m.-noon Saturday, 4-6 p.m. Tuesday, 824 New Hampshire

KC’S ONLY FM SPORTS STATION!

Liberty Farmers Market | 7 a.m.-noon, Feldmans Farm & Home, 1332 W. Kansas

COMMuniTY evenTS day, 4-7 p.m. Wednesday, Merriam Marketplace, 5740 Merriam Dr.

Olathe Farmers Market | 7:30 a.m. Saturday

SPORTS RADIO 102.5 THE FAN LINEUP:

34

the pitch

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pitch.com

Czar, 1531 Grand

Merriam Farmers Market | 7 a.m.-1 p.m. Satur-

and Wednesday, Black Bob Park, 14500 W. 151st St. (Field 1)

5AM-8AM: Tiki Barber, Brandon & Dana 8AM-11AM: John Feinstein 11AM-2PM: Jim Rome 2PM-5PM: Doug Gottlieb 5PM-9PM: Chris Moore & Brian Jones 9PM-1AM: Scott Ferrall 1AM-5AM: D.A. - Damon Amendolara

Brad ellis, norman dexter, Patrick Moore, Zack White, denise O’ Young, Maeret Lemons | 8 p.m.

Parkville Farmers Market | 7 a.m.-noon Satur-

day, 2-5 p.m. Wednesday, English Landing Park, First St. and Main

Waldo Farmers Market | 3-7 p.m. Wednesday,

Habitat for Humanity ReStore, 303 W. 79th St.

Midwest Symposium on Social entrepreneurship | 8 a.m., $85 per person, Kauffman Foundation,

4801 Rockhill Rd.

SPORTS & ReC

Royals vs. White Sox | 7:10 p.m. Kauffman Stadium MuSiC

Classical Revolution KC | 8 p.m. Californos, 4124

Pennsylvania

Last Remaining Pinnacle, Gemini Revolution, HMPH | 7:30 p.m. The Riot Room, 4048 Broadway continued on page 36


TH

Y 14 WED. MRAICK IMMING T RYAN PA

TH

Y 15 Y THU. AMBA RNATH E D A CH TH 8 1 Y A M SUN. AND CASEY COLBY ST 1 2 Y A WED.LM GUILD ’S R E E V TRA ND 2 2 Y THU. MRA T A HER MITCH P

pitch.com

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35


COOK FOR COURAGE

SHOTGUN START AT NOON

P p CALL

816.561.6061 OR VISIT

GOLF

5.18

s for rbecue Tio ba cause. a good

TOURNAMENT

JUNE 5, 2014

MINOR PARK

11215 HOLMES RD, KANSAS CITY MO 64131

CAROL MEUNIER

P SUMMER GUIDE

Y S U N DA

Cook for Courage, featuring Novel’s Ryan Brazeal, the American’s Michael Corvino, Bluestem’s Colby Garrelts, the Rieger’s Howard Hanna, Port Fonda’s Patrick Ryan and Julian’s Celina Tio, with proceeds benefiting Child Protection Center | 6 p.m., 12th Street Bridge, 12th St. and Hickory, cpckc.org/events

continued from page 34 Little Green Cars | 10:30 p.m. RecordBar, 1020 Westport Rd.

Tuesday | 5.20 |

PUTTING & CHIPPING PROCEEDS BENEFITTING:

SPONSOR

• Free Lunch • Straightest Drive contest • Closest to the Pin contest • Longest Drive contest • Free goodie bag with promos • Free dinner & drinks • Win prizes from P

p

SINGLE & PAIR PRICE AVAILABLE!

BUY A

FOURSOME FOR $400

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Midwest Symposium on Social Entrepreneurship | 8 a.m., $85, Kauffman Foundation, 4801

The Kansas City NotWedding | 7 p.m., $30-$40,

m ay 1 5 - 2 1 , 2 0 1 4

pitch.com

Berg Event Space, 1525 Grand

FOOD & DRINK FOOD & DRINK

Dishing in Brookside | 7-9:30 p.m., $45, 63rd St. and

Brookside Plz., dishcrawl.com

Wine Tasting: Affordable Wines | 6-8 p.m., $25, Overland Park Arboretum, 8909 W. 179th St. SPORTS & REC

SPORTS & REC

Royals vs. White Sox | 7:10 p.m. Kauffman Stadium

Royals vs. White Sox | 7:10 p.m. Kauffman Stadium MUSIC

MUSIC

Doe Eye, Thommy Hoskins, KurtVee | 7 p.m. Czar,

Blood Red Shoes, A Gecko Named Terrance, Instant Karma | 7:30 p.m. Czar, 1531 Grand

Good Graeff | 7:30 p.m. The Riot Room, 4048 Broadway

Amy Farrand’s Weirdo Wednesday Supper Club | 7 p.m. Davey’s Uptown Ramblers Club, 3402 Main

1531 Grand

Ian Moore | 8 p.m. Knuckleheads, 2715 Rochester Morrissey, Kristeen Young | 7 p.m. Liberty Hall, 644

Massachusetts, Lawrence

Kylie Rothfield, Megan Birdsall | 10 p.m. RecordBar,

1020 Westport Rd.

Brett Gretsky, Prettygirlhatemachine, Natty Light | 10 p.m. RecordBar, 1020 Westport Rd. John Velghe & the Prodigal Sons, Kirsten Paludan & the Key Party, Chris Meck & the Guilty Birds | 8 p.m. Knuckleheads Saloon, 2715

Rochester

Wednesday | 5.21 | L I T E R A R Y/ S P O K E N W O R D

Central Library, 14 W. 10th St., kclibrary.org

the pitch

Village West Pkwy., KCK

EXPOS

Kimberla Lawson Roby discusses her latest novel, The Prodigal Son | 6:30 p.m. Kansas City 36

Jon Schieszer | 8 p.m. Stanford’s Comedy Club, 1867

COMMUNITY EVENTS

Rockhill Rd.

4 - SOME INCLUDES:

COMEDY

E-mail submissions to calendar@pitch.com or enter submissions at pitch.com, where you can search our complete listings guide.


1

ey Go to pitch.com/readersurv

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3

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win one of

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Contest begins at 12:01 am [ct] 11/27/13, ends at 12:01 am [ct] 5/29/14. By filling out this survey, you’ll be filling us in on details about who you are, how you spend your time and what you like and dislike. We’ll then use the information you provide to serve you better resulting in more personalized content on our website and in our newspaper. Go to pitch.com/readersurvey now to start letting your voice be heard, as well as your chance to score a sweet prize. pitch.com

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dating.

S ava g e L o v e

Hookup SHook up

Dear HBF: Ten years without sex frees your

Moral Blue Screen of Death

Dear Dan: I’m a 23-year-old gay male who was diagnosed four years ago with ADHD. The prescription that I’ve been taking has turned my life around. Within the course of my first batch of pills, I noticed drastic changes. From the evaporation of my paralyzing academic anxiety to the willpower to practice better hygiene, medicated me has control over my actions. A side effect of this medication is a drastically increased libido. While I’ve always had kinky tastes in porn, it is only while on Dexedrine that I go on Recon and look for men to tie me up and dominate me. Part of me feels like I should be wary of my kinky self, because “sober” me wouldn’t make the same sexual choices. The other part just wants to say “fuck it” and embrace my kinks, because the same high that makes me kinky also made it possible for me to graduate from college and practice good personal hygiene. Are my concerns valid?

Dear MBSOD: If your description of events is

accurate, that shameful erection of yours — which was nowhere close to being history’s most shameful erection (that distinction belongs to the erections on the Catholic priest who raped the most kids) — was an innocent, unconscious, physiological response to some highly awkward and clearly unwelcome bodily contact. Just because your dick got hard doesn’t mean you were enjoying yourself. Again, if your recap is accurate: You were struggling to leave, and this drunk wouldn’t stop pressing her body against yours? You were the victim, not the perp. As for other women you’ve hooked up with at or after parties … The line between buzzed enough to go for it and too drunk to consent can be fuzzy and subjective. Some people argue that one drink renders a person incapable of consenting. By that standard, nearly all of us — male and female and SOPATGS* — are guilty of raping scores of people. (By that standard, millions of sexual encounters are simultaneous rapes, i.e., two tipsy/buzzed/drunk people having sex that neither party was capable of consenting to.) But sensible people recognize that alcohol functions as a social lubricant and an effective way to overcome social or sexual inhibitions, the pitch

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D a n S ava ge

Dear Dan: I’m a 21-year-old straight male, and

I’m mildly autistic. This means that I have difficulty picking up on social cues. I’ve learned to manage my disability in most areas of my life, but I’ve recently become concerned about how it pertains to hooking up. My approach to hooking up is how I imagine most other people’s must be: find someone who I can have a flowing conversation with, attempt to flirt with them, and then awkwardly make a move. But a few weeks ago at a party, I was flirting with a girl when I suddenly realized that she was wasted. I had suspected that she was tipsy like myself, but I didn’t understand how far gone she was until she invited me outside and was unable to keep her balance while walking. What followed was a horrifyingly surreal exchange where I struggled to leave, she kept insisting that she wasn’t drunk, and all the while she kept pressing against me. By the time I got away, she was angry, people were staring, and I had history’s most shameful erection. Prior to that night, I thought I could tell when someone was too drunk. I’d been certain about the agency of everyone I slept with. Now I have doubts about myself. Severe intoxication renders a person incapable of giving consent, and taking advantage of someone that impaired is the same as rape in my mind. Am I a rapist? Was it wrong for me to participate in hookup culture as I struggle to read social signals?

38

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friend from an obligation to disclose, but for her peace of mind, she should sit her husband down and say something like this: “I love you and I want to stay married to you forever. We both know that sex has never been an important part of our connection or our marriage. If you should ever seize an opportunity to get it elsewhere, I trust you’ll be considerate and discreet and leave me in the dark. I promise to do the same.”

and that it’s possible for two people (or more!) to have consensual sex after a drink or two or even three. I’m sorry to say that it’s possible you hooked up with a girl who was completely shitfaced but, unlike that drunk girl at the party, was not giving off too-shitfaced-to-consent cues that you could pick up on. Since you can’t go back in time and unfuck all the buzzed/tipsy/ drunk girls with whom you’ve already hooked up, you can only resolve to be more cautious going forward. If drunkenness is one of those social cues that you have a hard time reading, you’re going to ask a friend for his or her read on the girl you met, or you’re going to stick to dance-floor make-out sessions at parties and reserve getting naked for sober/soberer second or third dates. And when you do decide to really go for it, you’re going to err on the side of making active, ongoing, explicit requests for consent, i.e., you’re not going to “make moves,” awkward or otherwise, you’re going ask questions (“I’d really like to kiss you — that OK?”) and keep asking questions (“OK, I got the condoms out — you still wanna fuck?”).

Dear Dan: My best friend is in a relationship with a great guy who is a loving father to their kids. There are no issues in their relationship other than this: zero sex in 10-plus years. She is DESPERATE. She is in contact with a former lover who is not the LTR type. She wants to hook up with her ex. Is she required to disclose? If so, what do you recommend she say? Or does 10-plus years of sexlessness constitute a free pass? Her Best Friend

Aroused Distractible Dominated Dear ADD: You were looking at kinky porn be-

fore you got on meds and started hooking up with kinky guys, so your meds didn’t make you kinky. Instead, your meds have had the same impact on your sex life that they had on your college career and your commitment to good personal hygiene: They gave you the ability to realize your dreams — educational, sexual and ablutionary. Just as Sober You couldn’t get your ass to class or into a shower, Sober You couldn’t get your ass into a hot top’s dungeon. Medicated You, on the other hand, gets shit done. The question you should be asking yourself is “Am I being reckless about how I realize my kinky fantasies?” If you’re not taking unreasonable risks, and if you’re employing best online hookup practices — meet in public first; know their real names and phone numbers; tell a trusted friend where you’re going, who you’re with, and when they can expect to hear from you again before going to someone’s place to get tied up— then this isn’t a problem. * Some other point along the gender spectrum.

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


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