Valentine: Kansas City in B Reel of a Batman Movie

kcbatIs Kansas City trapped in a Batman movie?

Suddenly, villains and mayhem are at every turn. The vile stream began with the wild shoot out at The Zoo. It was a nice day in a peaceful setting when evil erupted upon an unsuspecting populous. Shaken, but believing it was an isolated incident, the metropolis moved on.

Then before the citizens could catch their breath, news of random highway shootings put them in the national spotlight again. How many shootings? Was it 12 or 20? Are they connected? The pompous local mayor took to the airwaves to try to restore the calm.

“It is nothing unusual. This is going on right now in other cities,”the mayor told  innocent city dwellers as they awaited a plan from the mayor that never was spoken. Continue reading

Posted in Mark Valentine | 2 Comments

Paul Wilson: Finding Meaning & Purpose in the Face of Ignorance & Hate

images

Adam Hamilton

This past Sunday Kansas City and the nation saw another needless outpouring of hate…

When Frazier Glenn Cross - a white supremacist from Aurora, MO –  shot and killed three people, one at Village Shalom, a Jewish run nursing home, and two in the parking lot of the Jewish Community Center a few blocks away..

Most of us have moments in our lives when we reexamine or change previously held fundamental tenets of faith or our belief system – interracial marriage, homosexuality, religious viewpoints and any number of other social norms that evolves with time.

No such nuance existed in Cross.

He’s held fast to his beliefs for decades and it’s a pretty safe bet what was on his mind when he got in his car and made the three hour drive to his own personal killing fields. Seems Cross has had basically but one motivation his entire life, that of racial and religious bigotry. Clearly, he’s no garden variety disgruntled man, merely testy about a few things that rubbed him the wrong way.

No, there simply was no room in Cross’ world for blacks, Jews, “mud people,” or anyone that was not white or didn’t see the world through his horribly clouded vision. Continue reading

Posted in Paul Wilson | 45 Comments

Sutherland: Predictable Round Up of the Usual (Conservative) Suspects

bqRvbfOI was wondering how long it would take the Kansas City Star to place the blame for Sunday’s shootings at the Jewish Community Center in Overland Park on conservatives…

Forty-eight hours after its first story appeared the Star ran an story under the by-line of Dave Helling and Judy Thomas which talked about alleged shooter F. Glenn Miller’s prominence in “ultra-conservative” political circles.  It’s not that big a jump to blame it on conservatives in general, as well as the Republican Party and its adherents in particular.

I went on-line and found dozens of images posted by Occupy Wall Street on its website.

The movement clearly has an open and pronounced anti-Semitic aspect but has been publicly embraced by prominent Democratic office holders, including President Obama and former Speaker of The House Nancy Pelosi.  The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee even solicited petitions expressing their party’s solidarity with the Occupy movement. Continue reading

Posted in Dwight D. Sutherland, Jr. | 21 Comments

Hearne: A Moment of Silence for Kanrocksas Promoter Who Cared

984259_607980282546128_1903669953_nLet’s give credit where credit is due…

Nobody gets in business to fail or go broke – including now-former Kanrocksas promoter Bill Brandmeyer.

Brandmeyer went down hard last summer after failing ticket sales forced him to cancel what would have been his second huge summer spectacle at the Kansas Speedway. And while he was on the receiving end of some ultra harsh criticism from both music fans and the very industry insiders who encouraged him to absorb yet another multi-million dollar hit, I can tell you in no uncertain terms that Brandmeyer’s heart was in the right place.

Was he naive to think he could come out of nowhere and swack one out of the park?

Obviously. Continue reading

Posted in Hearne_Christopher | 24 Comments

Starbeams: Miley Beams

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Miley Cyrus cancelled her Tuesday night concert at Sprint Center due to an allergic reaction to antibiotics.  Actually, it was the antibiotics that had an allergic reaction to HER!

     *******

I guess this is what happens when you lickeverything.

*******  Continue reading

Posted in Starbeams | 1 Comment

Hearne: Life After Kanrocksas – Crossroads Gears Up for Biggest Concert Season Yet

kanrocksas-headerTalk about the Top 40

With Vampire Weekend, O.A.R., Pat Metheny, 311,  Ziggy Marley, The Rainmakers, Robert Randolph and 33 more acts – and still counting – this summer at Crossroads KC promises to be the biggest and brightest yet at the 8 year-old outdoor venue in downtown Kansas City.

“Yeah, there are way more bigger shows this year and there’s a reason for that – no Kanrocksas”  says promoter Brett Mosiman. ”We’re barely into April and we already have 40 shows booked and we’ll probably have another 5 or 6 shows.”

kanrocksas

Joss Stone

For example, yet to be announced are shows featuring acclaimed British soul singer Joss Stone (September 7th), Bruce Hornsby (July 26th) and the Under the Sun tour with Sugar Ray, Smash Mouth, Blues Traveler and Uncle Kracker. Continue reading

Posted in Hearne_Christopher | 16 Comments

Starbeams: Weather Channel Love, Royal Bust & Cool Crest

maxresdefaultThe Royals have been a great symbol for Kansas City this season.  They’ve been completely shot on the road.

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A string of warm days finally reached the metro last week.  I made some extra money by renting myself out as a caddie at Cool Crest.

                                                               ******* Continue reading

Posted in Starbeams | 2 Comments

Sounds Good: Particle @ Bottleneck, Bill Maher @ Midland

New record to check out: The Nels Clines Singers’ Macroscope, which drops on tax day, April 15th.

For those unfamiliar, Cline is the short-pants wearing, mad scientist guitar virtuoso for Wilco (and he also kinda looks like Hearne).  But he’s also one of the most recognized and experimental jazz and free-form guys around, treading into massive improv, odd meters, weird sounds, you get the deal.  He’s consistently named in every publication’s “Top 100 Guitarists of All-Time,” and that’s due in no small part to his vast versatility.  He can literally play anything.

Check it…  Continue reading

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Hearne: From Worst to First — Kansas City’s Best BBQ Ribs & Burnt Ends

65b52051121aec96574b00cb4bd74038Once upon a time there were only private clubs

So when you wanted to go out to a nice restaurant in Kansas City – with rare exception – it wasn’t in the state of Kansas. Kansas City, Missouri was where the action was at when it came to credible dining options. Because in the 1970s Kansas was still sorting out its antiquated liquor laws and you had to “join” a “club” to be able to order liquor by the drink with your meal.

But as the 1980s unfolded a bold Johnson County barbecuer by the name of Hayward Spears bought up a bunch of land at College Boulevard and Antioch and moved his popular rib roost south from 95th Street into a gorgeous, new space with a scenic view of the city to the north. Oh and he got one of those new-fangled liquor licenses Kansas was starting to give out and – just like that – fine dining was born in Overland Park.

However unlikely though because Hayward’s was a mere barbecue joint. Continue reading

Posted in Hearne_Christopher | 20 Comments

Sutherland: The Kansas City Star’s Exploitation of ‘Po’ Folks’

fatandyz_94671345233243 “Po’ Folks” was the name of a treacly country and western song from 1961 by “Whisperin” Bill Anderson.  It’s about a family so poor that even a wolf would know not to bother coming to their front door without bringing his “own picnic lunch.”

As music critic Richard Peterson says in his You Wrote My Life:  Lyric Themes In Country Music, Anderson’s impoverished family; “had in their shack something ‘money can’t buy,’ and when they become hungry and cold they ‘simply patched the cracks and set the table with love’.”

 This romanticized view of poverty was bad enough as far as exploiting other peoples’ suffering for financial gain.  (The college-educated Anderson was careful to hide his background from his peers in the music industry in Nashville.)  What made it doubly exploitative (and a wonderful example of poetic justice), didn’t become clear until almost 30 years later. Continue reading

Posted in Dwight D. Sutherland, Jr. | 17 Comments

Leftridge: TV Time; Channeling Fargo

fargo-fx-tv-series-posterA month or so ago, my wife made a startling revelation: she’d never seen the darkly comedic, melodically disturbing 1996 masterpiece Fargo

After consulting a divorce attorney—who hung up on me after explaining that this was “a grotesquely ridiculous reason to consider marriage dissolution,” and that, “if (I) didn’t stop calling, (he’d) call the cops,”—I decided that things could be saved if we just watched the movie.

And so we did.

Much to my disappointment, however, it wasn’t as good as I remembered. It had been years since I’d seen it, and I’d gone into the viewing thinking that I LOVED it. Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s a very good movie; it is not, however, a great movie. Continue reading

Posted in Brandon Leftridge, Entertainment | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Starbeams: Sebelius Escape, Chimpanzee Escape, Bed, Bath & Blasphemy

Kathleen SebeliusFormer Kansas governor Kathleen Sebelius resigned from her post as Health & Human Services Director following the Obamacare rollout debacle.  She plans to spend the next several months figuring out how to navigate JOB.COM.

                                                                 *******

Seven chimpanzees escaped from the Kansas City Zoo Thursday afternoon.  They quickly returned once they heard gunfire on I-435.

                                                                 ******* Continue reading

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Paul Wilson: A Moment of Silence Please for Death of the Beloved VW Bus

bus doneThink of it as a blow to hippies everywhere…

It’s with great sadness that I  must tell you  that the  Volkswagen Kombi a.k.a. the VW Bus is alas no more. After producing more than 1.5 million units between September 1957 to September 2013, it turns out that the last-ever Type 2 Kombi rolled off the production line in Brazil on this past December 31, 2013.

Ah, the memories…

My second vehicle was a VW Bus – it was the Prius of the 1960’s and 1970’s – and the standard equipment of surfers everywhere. Not to mention the official vehicle of Grateful Dead Heads worldwide.  Continue reading

Posted in Paul Wilson | 25 Comments

Jack Goes Confidential: Kevin Costner Scores High Marks With ‘Draft Day

draft-day-kevin-costner-636-380Make no mistake, Kevin Costner knows his sports movies…

BULL DURHAM, FIELD OF DREAMS, FOR THE LOVE OF THE GAME and TIN CUP to mention a few.

Meanwhile filmmaker Ivan Reitman of UP IN THE AIR, GHOSTBUSTERS, STRIPES and ANIMAL HOUSE fame knows GOOD movies.

Now they’ve teamed for a solid new sports themed movie called DRAFT DAY.

Think a football version of MONEYBALL. Continue reading

Posted in Jack_Poessiger | 1 Comment

Hearne: Hold Your Noses & Admit It — Country Is King

TNTHard as it may be for many of us to admit, in Kansas City today country music is king…

I almost can’t believe I even wrote the above words.

Look, I grew up here in Kansas City and worked for many years as a merchandiser of grain – corn, wheat, milo and soybeans, to name four. I worked closely with farmers and grain elevators throughout the midwest and south. I even was trained in the inspection of grain by the USDA grain inspector in Cairo, Illinois. And I still buy country ham and moonshine on my yearly swings through Kentucky and Tennessee.

The flip side of all that: I ran and built up The Pitch during its most critical formative years and was a key player in promoting alternative rock bands like Green Day in Kansas City and Lawrence – long before anybody in radio here had the guts to roll the dice on an alt station like The Buzz.

So country music has always been something of an anathema to me. Continue reading

Posted in Hearne_Christopher | 44 Comments

Hearne: Chris Tucker Headed to Stanford’s Easter Weekend

Chris Tucker Pic 5.17.13This just in…

In barely one week superstar actor and comic Chris Tucker will headline Stanford & Sons comedy club at The Legends in Kansas City, Kansas.

“We just got him booked,” says Stanford’s main man Craig Glazer. “He’ll be at Stanford’s  April 17, 18 and 19, which is Easter weekend. He’ll be doing one show on Thursday and two each night on Friday and Saturday.”

In addition to Tucker’s more recent role in the Academy Award-winning movie Silver Linings Playbook with Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper, he’s best remembered “rom when he was in the Rush Hour movies with Jackie Chan,” Glazer says. “And he played Smokey in the Friday movies. At one point he was the highest paid actor in Hollywood.” Continue reading

Posted in Hearne_Christopher | 41 Comments

Paul Wilson: The Quest for Meaning in Your Career Afterlife

bush_putin_paintingI’m gonna to deliver the punch line, the money quote, right up front…

Why? Because in an effort to save time for Harley so he can get right to his negative spin and not have to read the whole story, big words and all. It’s a beautiful day and I want to start things off right for our short bus brother by serving one up high with plenty of hang time so he can effortlessly spike his comment ball of illiteracy back over the net of mediocrity.

This July, I turn the Big Six Zero.

That’s right, sports fans. Your well-coiffed scribe is aging, but – I’d like to think – doing so with style and grace.

Maybe not Craig’s version of grace and style, but grace and style nonetheless. Continue reading

Posted in Paul Wilson | 63 Comments

New Jack City: Southwest Airlines Holiday Booking & Rapid Rewards Alert

rapidrewardsbirthday-sweeps[1]It goes without saying that Southwest Airlines provides the biggest lift out of KCI

Yet despite what you may believe, Southwest is not necessarily the lowest ticket in the market anymore. It all varies by where you are flying to.

However that price differential is often determined by the fact that you can still check TWO FREE BAGS with Southwest. Try doing that with other carriers where a pair of checked bags can set you back $120.- on a round trip flight.

And God forbid you have to reschedule your already ticketed trip on another airline. You are looking at a ticket-change fee of $200.- PLUS the difference in the price of the new ticket. Continue reading

Posted in Jack_Poessiger | 5 Comments

Hearne: Tale of Troubled KC Jeweler’s Woes Soldiers On

FFTime flies whether you’re having fun or not…

And so it is that more than a month ago a local jeweler rumored to be up you-know-what creek fled his nicely appointed Johnson County office in what is said to have been a late night move, for a space far less fashionable. And frankly, that’s accessing the new digs very generously.

Two weeks later I visited the jeweler’s former offices before checking out his new haunt. And since nobody was home, I took a peek through the mail slot in the front door where to my surprise I saw was a very small, very plain room, loaded to the gills with plastic and cardboard storage boxes filled with what appeared to be business records.

They were strewn and stacked about the room, filling the viewable space as if someone had brought them there in great haste and plopped them down willy-nilly. Continue reading

Posted in Hearne_Christopher | 15 Comments

Hearne: Am I Jinxed or What?

BMO_MacSheesh!

It’s one thing to lose a hard drive for the very first time. A long overdue right of passage, the geniuses at the Apple Store on the Plaza told me. And I didn’t even really have to man-up or anything.

My Applecare had about a month left and the helpful, knowledgeable genius dude slapped a brand new hard drive in my computer in practically no time, before my very eyes, free of charge.

It was magical really.

All that remained was for me to synch it to my backup drive at home and reload a program or two. No problem.

Or so I thought. Continue reading

Posted in Hearne_Christopher | 8 Comments