Lefsetz: Music First, Stardom Later

1428707766_katy-perry-467I can’t get an Apple Watch, but every celebrity known to man has been seeded one to make them look cool…

Who’s using who? And if you think it’s the musicians who are coming out ahead, you own no Apple stock.

Used to be different.

Players weren’t rich. They were in it for the dope, the sex, the hang and the music. It was a lifestyle. What did Donald Fagen sing in “Deacon Blues”?

“I cried when I wrote this song, sue me if I play too long”

There are no blues in popular music today. No one’s crying, unless it’s about the loss of recorded music revenue as they charge a zillion dollars for a ticket.

Once again, watch this video:

In it you’ll see how rich Jay Z and Madonna and the rest of the Tidalites truly are. Turns your stomach, makes you lose sympathy. Continue reading

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Steele: Why Did Anti-Sprint Tweet Become The Star’s Top Story?

Marcelo Claure & J Lo

Marcelo Claure & J Lo

About that dustup over Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure‘s use of the king’s English…

Apparently, Brett Schulte, an LA-based social media consultant that no one had ever heard of, tweeted the following:  “I think they meant @marceloclaure for an MVNO. He’s so outclassed he can barely speak the language. @sprint sucks.”

For those who might not be aware, Twitter is designed for people who like to send moronic insults. I have received a few already today, but I lack the ethnic mojo to take out my tweeting morons.

Claure, by contrast, seems to have it. He tweeted back, “YOU are an ignorant racist. You should be ashamed of yourself and your dumb comments.”

Incredibly, this trivial exchange resulted in the top story on the Kansas City Star’s Friday Email blast, headlined, “Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure calls writer of Twitter comment ‘an ignorant racist.'”

For the record, Claure is a Bolivian native with a seemingly French name. He hails from a wealthy family going back several generations and speaks with a slight accent.

As to his race, I haven’t seen a DNA breakout, but he looks pretty white to me. Continue reading

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Hearne: Skeen & Wife Wanted to Buy ‘Duke’s on Grand’

Dennis Skeen Selling Jersey Dogs in Westport 2012

Dennis Skeen
Selling Jersey Dogs in Westport 2012

Saturday’s downtown sports bar rape story just keeps getting weirder…

For starters, turns out alleged rapist Dennis Skeen is married. Add to that, sources say that Skeen and his wife Michelle have been trying to buy Duke’s on Grand, the downtown bar where this sordid whole mess went down last weekend. On top of which, Duke’s liquor license has now expired – all of which may make it a cold day in hell before Duke’s reopens…if ever.

But before we delve into the particulars of those new details and more, let’s clear up some embarrassing misinformation put out earlier today by Kansas City Star columnist Mary Sanchez.

“Many will probably question what the woman was doing having drinks alone with a man after hours,” Sanchez wrote. “Maybe she was an employee. Maybe she was a customer. Maybe she was too gullible.”

Maybe Sanchez should have checked with police before she wrote her column.

Because according to Kansas City Police, the 23 year-old woman in question was indeed an employee of the downtown sports bar where the unseemly event went down. Nor was she having drinks alone with Skeen, as other Duke’s employees left the bar only minutes before the alleged assault took place. Continue reading

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Leftridge: Ventura Poised to Destroy Royals’ Season

volquexfightKansas City Royals’ ace Yordano Ventura needs to knock this shit off…

In case you missed the highlights from last night’s late inning victory against the Chicago White Sox, here’s what happened: In the seventh inning, Chicago’s Adam Eaton hit a comebacker to the mound that Ventura fielded cleanly before throwing to first for the out. In the middle of the play, however, before Ventura threw to first, he unleashed a very clear “FUCK YOU” as Eaton made his way down the line. This resulted in an altercation at the end of the inning in which both benches cleared, and several players from both sides were ejected. This was the second ejection for Ventura in as many games, and the third incident sparked by the pitcher in the past month.

Yordano Ventura is acting like a total dipshit and someone needs to tell him to fucking cool it. Continue reading

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Hearne: Boonville a Vacation Destination, Seriously?

Screen Shot 2015-04-23 at 1.30.56 PMBoonville, Missouri a vacation destination?

No way, trust me – I’ve vacationed there (if you wanna call it that) – more than once even.

Yet here comes Smithsonian Magazine positioning Boonville up there alongside legit small town getaways like Nantucket, Massachusetts, Stuart, Florida, Port Townsend, Washington, Estes Park, Colorado and Cooperstown, New York.

Which of course is insane.

To the extent it calls into question the Smithsonian’s credibility as a research center.  And after reading the mag’s description of Boonville, one has to wonder if story’s author even bothered to visit. She did get a nice photo from the town’s tourism office.

For starters, Smithsonian writer Bess Lovejoy bogusly claims Boonville was “settled” by the sons of famous frontiersman Daniel Boone.

Au contraire. Continue reading

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Hearne: There’s Lots More to the ‘Dukes on Grand’ Rape Story

Dennis Skeen

Dennis Skeen

There’s almost always more to the story than what you get in newspaper and TV news….

Take the young woman who passed out Saturday and allegedly was molested by skeezy downtown restaurateur Dennis Skeen.

Buried in the loosely-but-widely reported particulars of the story were the details of what lead up to Skeen being spotted by passersby doing the dirty deed in the Dukes on Grand sports bar around 6 a.m.

More to the point, exactly what went down between 3 a.m. when the woman told police that after a couple beers Skeen fed her two shots and she can’t remember anything else.

“I heard she was a 19 year-old stripper,” says an entertainment source who asked not to be named. “That’s what some of the bar people have been saying.”

Actually, according to police, the woman in question was 23 and an employee of Dukes. Continue reading

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Starbeams: Next Up @ The K, Fossilized Dinosaur Eggs Anyone?

7507764_GConstruction workers in China dug up 42 fossilized dinosaur eggs.  They’re being carefully removed and shipped to a breakfast buffet at Kauffman Stadium.

                                                       *******

Aramark addressed concerns about sub-par food and claims of molded buns at The K.  It’s safe to say every baseball fan feels like they’re jamming a wiener in our buns.

                                                       *******

Despite the problems they say food sales at the park have doubled, primarily because of the Royals hot streak.  Winning has done for them what 4/20 Day does for Taco Bell.

                                                        ******* Continue reading

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Paul Wilson: Olathe PD Unleashes SWAT on Sleepy Suburbs

Police_standoff_in_Ola57ec2bb4-a208-4c9e-837a-f0c301ff80b20000_20120530223641_640_480Talk about the Big Bang…

On April 13th, the Olathe PD issued a memo to residents in the neighborhood around Winterbrooke and Sheridan Bridge alerting them to a training exercise that would take place between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. today.

Focused on a vacant house at that intersection, it alerted residents that they may hear one or two loud sounds, “consistent with an explosion” and possibly notice the presence of “large police trucks and armored vehicles.”

Hardly a normal sight for this quiet neighborhood. 

A less publicized exercise took place about three months ago, alarming several residents. I received the tip from Chris and Crystal Grohs, the owners of Kansas Coffee Company, who sent me pictures of the scene as they drove by.

“I think this is the last thing children and adults need to be seeing in their back yards,” Crystal said. “Such violence is blasted on social media, TV and it’s not a positive way to improve the relationship between the general public and law enforcement.”

I happen to agree.  Continue reading

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Steele: Why Bishop Finn Had to Go

Catholic Bishop ChargedAllow me to put my biases out in the open…

Bishop Robert Finn is quite possibly the saintliest man I have ever met. He is everything a good bishop should be: kind, wise, prudent, and faithful. The kind, wise, and prudent part local progressives could tolerate.

The faithful part set their teeth on edge.

Many of these progressives, Catholic and otherwise, subscribe to what the great Whittaker Chambers called man’s “second oldest faith,” the one Adam first signed on for when he bought the line, “Ye shall be as gods.”

To Chambers, a recovering Communist and atheist, these “miscellaneous socialists, liberals, fellow travelers, unclassified progressives and men of good will” were all of a type. Like communists, they believed that man should call his own shots.

Bishop Finn through otherwise.

To understand his resignation, it is helpful to know a little about the world he walked into when he came to Kansas City in 2004. From the beginning, he was not particularly welcome. Continue reading

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Glazer: Step Aside Haters, Barack Rocks!

saint-obamaBarack Obama will finish his second term as clean a prez as there’s been in decades…

With no real accusations of wrong doings – none that were real anyway. And this president was under a microscope like no other. Social media has come a long ways during Obama’s presidency. Yet even with the constant attacks on the president and his wife, Michelle nothing really landed on Obama’s front door that mattered.

On Obama’s watch the economy came back. The stock market tripled to 18,000 plus from 6,000, Osama Bin Laden got snuffed. Most major combat has ended in the Middle East with a majority of US troops coming home. Health care was finally addressed with Obama Care. Even the price of gas has come down to under $2.50 a gallon.

So, Republicans and Tea Party types aside, what’s not to like? Continue reading

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Paul Wilson: Global Warming — It’s Hot!

global-warming_zps24b3462aOver the past decade or two, manmade global warming  – aka AGW – has become a culpable cultural credo…

Yet all too often, the focus has been on the negative side of this much maligned malady.

However as we all know, every dark cloud has its silver lining.

And global warming’s no exception.

If there wasn’t a humorous angle, I’d have nothing to write about. I’d just be sitting here fat, dumb and happy, waiting on the next ice age prediction (like the one we barely survived in the 70’s).

So lighten up, it’s not like it’s the end of the world.  Continue reading

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Hearne: Anatomy of a Precipitous Sales Slide & The Star

IMG_5512Here’s why the economy has nothing to do with the steep slide at the Kansas City Star

The Greater Kansas City area – the whole shebang, not just the Omaha-sized part – is home to more than 90 new automobile dealerships.

That’s a ton – and car and truck sales are up, up, up – well past the doldrums of 2008-2010.

And guess who one of the largest advertisers in the Star used to be?

You got it, car dealers.

For years the newspaper cultivated relationships with local dealerships and practically minted money via its Saturday and Sunday auto ads. The Sunday action has long since gone away – it didn’t help that classified advertising went almost exclusively online.

So Saturday became Car Day at the Star. Continue reading

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Hearne: Editor Sees KU Football Team 0-12 in 2015

Lawrence Journal World sports editor Tom Keegan

Lawrence Journal World sports editor Tom Keegan

What a difference a year makes…

One year ago Lawrence Journal World sports editor and columnist Tom Keegan preached a doctrine of faith to the KU football faithful: Don’t be so gol dang negative.

Look at the cup half full – have some faith in the future. Clearly Keegan was reaching out to former Kansas basketball coach Roy Williams “whine and cheese” crowd.

That was then.

And now as the fall football season approaches (forget the Kansas City Royals the Journal World didn’t even send a reporter to cover the World Series) once again Keegan is peering into KU’s football future – this time with a startling projection. Startling in light of the fact that KU’s football future has been steeped in hype,  hope and optimism in recent months based on the hiring of new head coach David Beaty.

Now it’s time to forget about Keegan’s previous call for optimism with now fired KU football coach Charlie Weis. Weis’ rewarded Keegan’s faith with a three win, nine loss season in 2014.

Today’s headline reads: “Blame Weis for 2015 Struggles” 

And just like that, a year after chastising KU fans for their negativity, Keegan’s throwing in the complete towel. Continue reading

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Lefsetz: The 2015 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Sham

ringo starr hall of fame apHow did we get here?

Where the only people who seem to care are those desirous of getting third-rate talent inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and the old men who are on the nominating committee?

Once upon a time rock and roll ruled the world. They said it would never die.

But it did.

The problem with rock is innovation has stopped. There are some good bands, but they barely test the limits, stretch the dynamics, of those who’ve come before. It’s endless repeats of an old formula. And if you think that’s interesting, you’re probably addicted to your Nintendo 64.

Whereas music has twisted and turned, completely mutated since the core members were inducted.

Now the R&RHOF is all politics. Continue reading

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Steele: The Entirely Predictable Demonization of Jeff Roe

Tom Schweich

Tom Schweich

Kansas City political consultant Jeff Roe made news the other day when he acknowledged that he, not gubernatorial candidate Catherine Hanaway, paid for the House of Cards parody ad that was said to have inspired auditor Tom Schweich‘s suicide…

For those who have not heard the ad, it should be noted that by local Steve Glorioso-Pat Gray standards, it was a swat to the butt with a Nerf Bat.

Former Missouri senator John Danforth thought otherwise.

“Words have consequences,” Danforth said piously at Schweich’s funeral.

But then again there is little that Danforth says these days that isn’t said piously, and it is usually directed at his fellow Republicans.

In 2005, for instance, the self-described “pro-life” Danforth took to the pages of the New York Times to attack Christian conservatives for opposing, among other lovely things, embryonic stem cell research (a scientific bust, in any case) and the forced death of Terri Schiavo.

According to Danforth, good Republicans did not fret about gay marriage, euthanasia and human cloning but “believed in limited government, in keeping light the burden of taxation and regulation.” Continue reading

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Leftridge: Will Billy Butler Be Booed? Brobably.

??????????????When Johnny Damon returned to the Kansas City Royals as a visitor—first after being traded to the Oakland Athletics and later after signing with the Boston Red Sox in free agency—he was booed mercilessly. The affable, dopey-faced kid with endless talent had once been pegged as “the face of the franchise,” and yet there he was, first in primary green and yellow and later in navy and red.

And maybe it wouldn’t have been so bad if he hadn’t previously gone out of his way to pretend that he wanted to stay in KC. The vitriol mostly stemmed from just that: his constant assurance that he planned on being a Royal for life, and that maybe he’d even take less money to do so.

But it wasn’t to be. Continue reading

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

Donnelly: Ike Likely Done for Season, Long-Throw Haters Hating

Matt Besler

Matt Besler

Sporting Kansas City head to LA this weekend to take on the Galaxy and attempt to snap the reigning MLS Champions’ 25 game home unbeaten streak…

Tall task?  You bet.

Especially without KC’s leading goalscorer and best defender of this young 2015 season, Ike Opara, who went down last week with a season-ending ruptured achilles in a 0-0 draw with Real Salt Lake.

Bad break for KC, who now are pretty thin in the back.  And of course, bad break for Ike, who suffered a season-ending broken ankle just last year.

KC boss Peter Vermes has confirmed that the team is looking to sign another central defender quickly in the wake of Ike’s injury.

Oh, and did you hear about those “garbage throw-ins” heading into the Salt Lake match last week? Continue reading

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Sounds Good: Farmer’s Ball @ Bottleneck, Whiskey Myers @ Granada

11096607_10153296593396694_5889120209223515956_oSaturday, April 18th

KJHK Farmer’s Ball Semifinals at the Bottleneck in Lawrence

This annual battle of the bands has featured some pretty strong acts over the years, with many of the winners going on to decent local, and even national, acclaim.  Past winners include Psychic Heat, La Guerre, Stik Figa, and Your Friend, who recently signed with Domino Records.  This year’s winner gets $2,000 (and I’m assuming, a free pitcher or two of PBR).  Check out the full lineup and details here. Continue reading

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Jack Goes Confidential: ‘True Story’—Strange Tale Of Opposites Attracting

imagesTeam Jonah Hill with James Franco and you’re in for a laugh-a-minute at the movies, right?

WRONG!

What we’ve got instead with TRUE STORY is a hard hitting, psychological drama of a psychopath and a redemption seeking reporter whose identity he stole.

It’s a true story…and a bizarre one.

Jonah Hill plays ex-New York Times reporter Michael Finkel whose latest expose of modern day slavery in Africa backfires. Seems he “enhanced” it a bit to make it come across—well, sexier.

“You have a great future ahead of you. Just not here.” Continue reading

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Hearne: ‘99.7 The Point’ Powers It’s Way to Numero Uno

KELLY_POINT_BIO_HEADER(1)There’s a new top gun in town…

Three years in and 99.7 The Point  (the radio station formerly known as KY) has clawed it’s way to the top of the ratings heap in listeners 12 and older, Monday through Sunday, 6 a.m. to midnight.

That’s right, a “chick station” now rules Kansas City’s radio roost.

The Point displaces longtime classic rocker (and dude magnet) KCFX FM. Think of this as a really huge deal.

Insiders talk of Point owner Entercom creating a void by blowing up adult contemporary station KUDL FM three years back and then filling it with the younger, hipper Point.

And check out the Point’s half million plus listener cume.

That’s nearly 100,000 more listeners than No. 2, KCFX.

However, that’s not all Entercom’s celebrating today.

Not only does Entercom have four out of the top five stations in adults 25-54, they’ve got the top four stations in the marketplace in adults 18-49.

As for Steel City – the company that bought out Wilks this past year (and for a pretty penny) – it’s fortunes continue to plummet.

Mike Kennedy

Mike Kennedy

Q104 has plunged to 17th place. Sources say Steel City’s new consultant is wreaking havoc with the music programming on both Q and KFKF. Much to the chagrin reportedly of new country hall of fame inductee Mike Kennedy.

As for Cumulus (KCFX, Magic, Jack, The Vibe and Oldies 95 (they hate me calling it that), but outside of the Vibe, their stations are stuck in a time warp with classic rock, classic R&B, classic hits and classic 80s. That’s a lot to have invested almost exclusively in geezer demos.

And surprise, surprise!

Look who showed up in the ratings – the boyz from sports talker WHB.

Somebody must have coughed up some serious cash to pay Nielsen, because the company usually doesn’t publish the ratings of non subscribers.

Speaking of WHB, while a 16th place finish is hardly anything to brag about, that’s still a half a share point better than rival 610 Sports (which by the way has a larger cume).

Unfortunately for WHB, 610 has the Kansas City Royals and the Royals are on fire. Which could make for a long, lonely summer for Kevin Kietzman and company.

Once again The Buzz topped The Rock, which is something everybody is probably going to have to get used to. Newer, younger rock music usually trumps the oldsters. Like when The Rock helped snuff KY102/99.7KY.

Funny thing though, as Rock main man Johnny Dare approaches the Big 5-0h, Buzz head dude Lazlo apparently isn’t all that far behind. There really is no young,hip  up and coming Johnny Dare type right now. Not that I know of anyway.

However sources say Dare still dominates in men listeners.

But one of The Buzz greatest strengths is that it appeals almost equally to both men and women  listeners.

Anyway, on with the ratings… Continue reading

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