Hearne: In Case You Haven’t Figured it Out Yet…

IMG_4493I’ve been on vacation this past week…

Which isn’t to say, “Hurry up and burgle me before I get back.”

That base is covered – life goes on at KC Confidential Central - even in my absence. Besides, I’ll be home shortly and we can resume sorting out the issues of the day and Brandon can return to his alternate life as a mild manned, suburban JOCO family man.

And undoubtedly, we’ll be getting an update from Craig Glazer on how bad the Chiefs and Royals suck (and always will). I know many of you are waiting for that shoe to drop.

You know and Paul Wilson bought a house finally – can you believe he’s been renting all these years? – and just texted a pic of his splendid new writing area there while vowing to getting back to writing three times a week.

We’ll see. Continue reading

Posted in Hearne_Christopher | 10 Comments

Leftridge: The Pointlessness of NFL Training Camp Reporting

coverreporterAh, Training Camp. Are there any two words in the English language more apt to illicit sexual squeals from NFL beat writers across the land? (Perhaps “free sandwiches,” but my point stands.)

It’s clear that we’re firmly in late July when:

1) The Royals are holding “players only” meetings because they’re starting their inevitable swoon. (But hey, it worked everyone! ROYS ARE FIXED.)

2) Here’s sports director “Handsome” Henry Ballsack in his best summer Polo, standing in the parking lot of a college football facility in Elsewhere, MO. His eyes are bugging out as he sprays the camera lens with a fine spittle while explaining how “BACKUP TIGHT-END D’CARTRIDGE JACKSON HAS LOOKED AMAZING CATCHING WELL-LOFTED BALLS FROM A THIRD-STRING QB… OR MAYBE IT WAS THE EQUIPMENT MANAGER. IT’S TOO EARLY TO TELL, BUT THIS LOOKS LIKE A SUPER BOWL CONTENDER. BACK TO YOU, PLORT.”

Continue reading

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Leftridge: TV Time: The Strain is the Worst Thing I’ve Ever Seen

The-Strain-coverIf you were considering watching FX’s new original series The Strain, I’ve got some advice: DROP WHATEVER YOU’RE DOING AND DON’T WATCH IT, EVER.

It’s just… terrible.

See, I had reasonably high hopes, I guess. FX has a pretty good batting average with original programming; I find The Bridge, Justified, Fargo and The Americans to all be quality programming. Plenty of people like Sons of Anarchy and I guess they do some well-received comedies, too.

Not to mention, the first season has several episodes written and directed by respectable horror filmmaker Guillermo del Toro.

And that’s just splendid.

But The Strain is akin to fastening clothespins to your testicles. I mean, it’s something to do, but why? Continue reading

Posted in Brandon Leftridge, Entertainment | Tagged , , | 17 Comments

Whinery: The End of the World as We Know It – Jews, Russia, Rick Perry & McCartney

Protest in Manhattan over Israel's action in GazaYou may not have noticed but…

In the confusion and cacophony of everyday life we’re careening towards disaster. Go ahead, go about your business if you must, but chaos of the unbridled variety is just around the corner.

Right now, in the world we inhabit, the Israeli’s- MY PEOPLE- are at war in the Gaza Strip which is a disaster. And if the Israel defense forces are to be believed, 5 of their0 troops have already been killed. So its probably really five times that number.  And we’re ready for 23-1

What people fail to appreciate where this situation is concerned, is that after the Holocaust- all bets are off.

The Jews will resort to nuclear weaponry if pushed too far.  Continue reading

Posted in David Scott Whinery | Tagged , , , , , | 13 Comments

New Jack City: Coming Soon—Spirit Airlines—Release the Hate

imagesBuckle up!

The wait’s almost over and we’re in for new, ultra-cheap fares in a couple weeks.

Because on August 7th SPIRIT AIRLINES spreads its wings to KCI with a single daily non-stop departure to four cities (Service to the 5th—Houston—begins August 8.)

Think ultra-cheap.

Get a load of these all-in, sample fares I found for Friday, August 15′s Bare Fare departures: Continue reading

Posted in Jack Poessiger, Jack_Poessiger | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments

Hearne: The Case for Not Tearing Down Metcalf South

largeFull Disclosure: Wade Williams definitely has a dog in this fight…

The writer-producer-director-exhibitor who owns the largest independent library of science-fiction film rights, distributes his product worldwide and also lives in Kansas City, is the checkbook behind the Fine Arts Theatre Group. The group that operates the Rio, Glenwood and Leawood movie theaters.

So when new owners of the Metcalf South Shopping Center announced in March that the 1960s era mall would likely be razed, Williams was bummed.

That’s because his group operates a mini movie plex there called The Glenwood Arts. The three holer – formerly the Metcalf Theatre - is the titular successor to Dickinson’s Theatres once proud Glenwood Theatre at 91st and Metcalf.

Williams’ take on tearing down Metcalf South? Continue reading

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Donnelly: Sporting KC Blaze Trail to Keep Top American Talent at Home

Photo by Jamila St. Ann

Sporting Kansas City took a big swing recently by signing both Matt Besler and Graham Zusi to long-term, Designated Player contracts.

DP contracts are the ones that pay the big money, and up until now had been utilized mainly to attract aging, foreign talent, like Thierry Henry and David Beckham.

Kansas City has signed several DPs over the years, with limited success.  Their other DP currently on the roster is Claudio Bieler, a guy that has struggled to even find playing time this season.  He’ll be gone soon, probably before the season’s end.  Then there was Omar Bravo, who fizzled out before returning to Mexico, and before that Claudio Lopez.

But this is different.   Continue reading

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Leftridge: Will the Royals Blow the Trade Deadline by Pretending to be Contenders?

Billy+ButlerlBecause it is mid-to-late July, I am obligated by the Internet Sportswriter Code to talk about whether my city’s baseball team should be A) buyers, B) sellers, or C) do nothingers as the league’s trade deadline approaches.

The Royals are doing their part by 1) floating rumors about the departure of Billy Butler, 2) making dink-and-dunk moves like the signing of two old bullpen guys, and 3) hovering in a gray area of, “maybe they’re contenders, maybe they’re not,” which is the worst thing of all because SHIT OR GET OFF THE POT.

And this is only a discussion—whether they’re buyers, sellers or neither, I mean—because they’re a .500 baseball team who has had a ten-game winning streak this season, and is also in the “time to win is NOW” mindset. If you took this very same team and moved them back five years, I think you’re sellers, for sure. Four years ago, same. Three? Probably. Continue reading

Posted in Brandon Leftridge, Sports | Tagged , , | 10 Comments

Hearne: Police State Takes Care of Country Club Plaza’s ‘Urban’ Problem

a plaza security st pat'sSo many urban teens, so few entertainment districts…

With Westport engaged in a turf war to keep underage urban youth of a certain persuasion at bay, inquiring minds want to know how’s the situation on the Country Club Plaza progressing?

“The Plaza seems to be doing okay crime-wise but it’s run all the business off,” says a source familiar with both the Plaza and Westport kid kerfuffles. “The Plaza’s probably the safest place in town. It’s made a definite statement that it’s not messing around.”

So none of the so-called “flash mob” rioting then? Continue reading

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Hearne: Lefsetz Checks In As Winter Checks Out

imagesI got into Johnny Winter before he went mainstream…

To the extent that he ever really was mainstream, that is. My roommate in high school (from Saudia Arabia) turned me on to Winter’s first album, The Progressive Blues Experiment and I fell in love with its raw, grittiness, in spite the goofy pics on the album back of Winter dressed inexplicably in Renaissance fest garb.

Johnny Winter never really enjoyed much in the way of true mainstream success.

What that he did went down after he signed with Columbia Records and released his first major label album in 1969, a disappointment. He later crossed over into rock after hooking up with The McCoys (“Hang on Sloopy”) as his backup band, before returning mostly to touring and playing the blues, albeit without much in the way of hype or fanfare,

In recent years Winter drew decently with club shows at places like Knuckleheads and a more-or-less free show outdoors at the Lawrence Art Center last month.  He had to be wheeled on stage where he remained seated throughout his show and – according to some reports – had difficulties with his singing and guitar playing.

Speaking of which, did you catch Paul Wilson‘s review last year of BB King?

Winter died  Thursday in a hotel room in Switzerland while on tour. 

Which brings us to the frank, controversial assessment of Winter’s career by Bob Lefsetz, a music savvy dude who never quite crossed over into becoming a Johnny Winter fan but did manage to enrage some by speculating on Winter’s death.

Check it:
Continue reading

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Hearne: ID Check & No Booze Rule Halves Westport Kid Crowds

6a00e54f9bc55f883401539154a299970b-320wiJust as things were starting to look sunny side up…

As reported here in April, the handwriting’s been on the wall for this summer in Westport. Pressure had been brought to bear by merchants and bar owners against the Gusto Bar & Lounge in an effort to get the club dial back its dance music to something less urban. Because the late night crowds were already starting to look a bit Country Club Plaza like.

And the midtown entertainment was bracing for the worst with dress codes posted at Gusto and Kelly’s advising patrons not to bear arms (after all, it’s not Kansas) and cautioning against exposing their underwear or wearing baggy clothing and “jewelry that poses safety risks.”

So no big surprise that for several weeks Westport has had more than its share of urban outfitters from the wrong side of the tracks.

Ah, but Westport was ready. Continue reading

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Sutherland: Boats Against the Current & The Great Gatsby

9781594204746Critic and scholar Sarah Churchwell - a native of Chicago’s North Shore(like Gatsby’s “Tom Buchanan”) – has written the most significant book about the artistry of F. Scott Fitzgerald in many a year…

Churchwell is a graduate of Vassar and Princeton.  She is a professor of American Studies and Women’s Studies at the University of East Anglia in Norwich,England.  She also hosts a radio talk show on the BBC.

Ms. Churchwell has written with her signature wit and erudition before on such undry, unacademic subjects as the cult of Marilyn Monroe.  With her “Careless People: Murder, Mayhem, and the Invention of Great Gatsby”, she has displayed amazing insight into a work whose iconic significance to American letters has only grown with each passing year.  This is a breakthrough work for Churchwell but also for the general reader, who will readily appreciate her literary detective work. Continue reading

Posted in Dwight D. Sutherland, Jr. | 14 Comments

Jack Goes Confidential: Sparkless ‘Sex Tape’ Triggers Viral Coitus Cornucopia

sex-tape-posterJason Segel to Cameron Diaz: “Do you remember erections?…..We should have sex sometime.”

But 10 years earlier things sure were different. They couldn’t keep their hands off each other—doing the deed in all kinds of places, settings and positions.

That’s how SEX TAPE begins. Explicit from the get go.

However with busy careers, kids and the trials and tribulations of marriage, whatever little love making that’s left has been reduced to a sparkless, passionless exercise that’s going nowhere.

They still love each other, but the fireworks are long gone. Continue reading

Posted in Jack Poessiger | 8 Comments

Hearne: Local Art House Cinemas Facing Stiff Comeptiton

IMG_4292

Cinetopia Overland Park 18

It’s not easy being “the little guy” in the movie theater biz… 

Not only do they have to get by showing movies that a very small percentage of the movie going public care to see and hear or know much if anything about, they also have to deal with the same sort of overhead as the big boys, sans the economies of scale.

For example the Tivoli in Westport has only three screens, the Rio in Overland Park with but one and the Glenwood Arts in Metcalf South only three.

On top of that, those small cinemas have had to deal with the same six-figure struggle to pay to convert their projectors from film to digital that the big movie chains have had to deal with. Continue reading

Posted in Hearne_Christopher | 1 Comment

Hearne: The Gut Wrenching Fall of Radio Shack & Consumer Electronics Retailers

rs_adpReaders of this site are no strangers to the fast fading fate of audio/video retailers…

Kansas City - and probably soon Lawrence - are perfect examples. As recently as 10 years ago both still had at least a smattering of mid to high end electronics boutiques. Now Kansas City is down to essentially two stores – one really. There’s Overland Park’s AV Design Studio and in Lawrence, Kief’s Audio Video, which is facing a far from uncertain future following the recent retirement of owner/founder John Kiefer.

So while the jury’s still out, the Grim Reaper’s in and he’s licking his chops.

And it’s not much better on the national front. Continue reading

Posted in Hearne_Christopher | 6 Comments

Hearne: Lefsetz Turns Snowballs into Handgrenades, Lobs Them at Brownback

snowpiercer-poster-internationalWho else could possibly turn a seemingly commonplace movie review into an indictment of pretty much everyone and everything in this country besides eentertainment lawyer/scribe Bob Leftsetz?

That’s a rhetorical question, btw.

But take my word for it, Lefsetz “movie review” of Snowpiercer - may be incredibly long – but it’s a journalistic train trip that won’t disappoint.

Check it:                                                

*******

Continue reading

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Hearne: Cleveland, The One That Got Away from KU Coach Bill Self.

BdeqKGICIAAdelJWe told you so…

How many times, how many different ways, how many different reasons has KC Confidential laid out the past couple years to make the case that there really was a good chance KU basketball coach Bill Self would bolt to the NBA sometime in the not too distant future?

For starters, Self’s gone about as fer as he kin go in Lawrence.

Which as we’ve noted, is like living in a tiny fishbowl, especially for someone with the stature of Bill Self. Probably the worst case scenario of that went down a year and a half ago when tongues were wagging all over town about an alleged affair Self was having, with uh, somebody that lives really close to me. And no, not my wife.

That Self had been kicked out of his house and was holed up for weeks at a ritzy, big bucks condominium project in the burbs. My electrician friend here swears that construction buddies of his saw Self’s black SUV rolling out of the garage there every morning.

Plus college basketball isn’t what it used to be. Continue reading

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Hearne: All Eyes on KSHB & Departure of Anchor Mark Clegg

photo-1Let me let you in on a little secret…

Not many people in Kansas City television news circles were particularly surprised by word of the pending departure of KSHB TV news anchor Mark Clegg.

Trust me on this.

For starters, does anybody really think a successful news anchor with the stature of say a Larry Moore or Phil Witt would walk away from a six-figure paycheck in the prime of their careers? For a marketing position for which they have little to no qualifications, experience or training, no less? That’s what Clegg is doing, folks.

Voluntarily? Maybe. But probably not entirely. Continue reading

Posted in Hearne_Christopher, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Hearne: Scribe Says, Chiefs, Royals Will Never Win ‘Big One’ in Our Lifetimes

scriPut it back in your pants, sports fans…

The Kansas City Royals and Kansas City Chiefs will never again truly matter, says comedy club owner/sports scribe Craig Glazer.

“From the looks of things – based on our history, the current situation, ownership and management – I can’t see either organization winning a World Championship in the foreseeable future,” Glazer says. “And that includes many of our lifetimes. Not for Baby Boomers and Gen X-ers, anyway.”

Let’s start with the Royals. Continue reading

Posted in Hearne_Christopher | Tagged , , , , , | 50 Comments

Hearne: KCFX Backs into First in June Radio Ratings

Skid1-150

KCFX personality Skid Roadie

It’s not so much that KCFX dethroned longtime ratings leader KFKF…

Nope, the trip to the top of the June radio ratings slag heap was based more on the decline of the local country station than the rise of KC’s classic rocker.

“KCFX didn’t climb in the ratings, it went down some,” says a  local radio insider. “But KFKF went down farther.”

It’s like this… Continue reading

Posted in Hearne_Christopher, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 9 Comments