Sounds Good: William Elliott Whitmore@Granada, Craig Finn@Record Bar, moe.@Liberty Hall

 

 

I know it’s a ways off, but if you want to save a little coin now is the time…

The Wakarusa Festival, May 31st – June 3rd in beautiful Ozark, Arkansas, has been selling tickets at a breakneck pace.  That’s no real surprise, especially for anyone that’s made the four hour journey down to Mulberry Mountain before. 

The venue is spacious, amenities are plentiful, and there’s even a really nice river that you can swim in to cool off (and maybe even bathe your filthy carcass).

The $149 price for Early Bird tickets is only good thru this Sunday and it gets you full access to the festival.  Camping passes must be purchased seperately, and they range in price from $29 – $99 depending on where you want to throw your tent or RV down.

And if you do make it down, keep an eye out for me and my KCC crew.  I’ll be the guy dressed like Larry Bird

Here’s the link for Wakarusa’s ticketing:   http://wakarusa.com/2012/tickets.asp

On to this week’s picks…

Friday, February 10th

William Elliott Whitmore at the Granada in Lawrence

The Granada has been the place to be the last few weeks.  And it looks like they’re not letting up anytime soon with a stellar lineup of artists on the way. 

This Friday will be no different as William Elliott Whitmore rolls into town with his roots-blues-folk thing and a voice that could make you cry just reading the news.  His real strength lies in his live shows as he strums away on the banjo and guitar.

But he’s not just some sensitive troubadour.  Nope, he’s definitely part of the hard core punk scene that appeals to varied audiences across lines that you wouldn’t expect.  For instance, a buddy of mine who is into hard metal and screamo just loves this guy and never misses him when he’s in town.  Go figure.      

Also on the bill is Lawrence’s favorite old timey, mustachioed duo, Drakar Sauna

Saturday, February 11th

Craig Finn at the RecordBar in KC

Craig Finn is the front man for The Hold Steady, the Brooklyn-based quirky, rocking, storytelling band that pens memorable songs in the vein of the Boss mixed with Hüsker Dü.  Though The Hold Steady only formed in 2004-ish, they received critical praise early on, even snatching Blender’s 2006′s Band of the Year.

Finn just put out a solo album called Clear Heart Full Eyes that is a little less rockin’ than his full band’s efforts, though he sticks with his trademark storytelling style that packs tons of details into weirdly phrased verses and choruses.

"I wanted to do something with a little more storytelling and a lot less volume," he explained recently to the AV Club’s Steven Hyden.  "[The songs are] simpler and came from a much softer, quieter place. I don’t think it’s what The Hold Steady does, or what the guys in the band would be interested in doing. So it definitely seemed like my own thing, a solo thing." 

Sunday, February 12th

moe. at Liberty Hall in Lawrence

Damn!  moe. has been around since what, 1989?  These guys rose to prominence at the height of the jamband craze of the late 90s, early 2000s, and were mentioned alongside bands like Phish, Widespread Panic, and String Cheese Incident.  Though moe. always seemed a little more rootsy than those guys, save maybe Widespread’s southern roots jams.  They’ve played Bonnaroo something like five times, High Sierra Fest, 10,000 Lakes, Lollapalooza, and Jazzfest.

They’ve got a brand new album that dropped a week ago called What Happened to the LA-LA’s.  Recently they talked to The Guitar Squid about how they get through their live shows without really knowing what the hell they’re doing:

"There are a lot of things that we do and that we know how to do based on playing together for so long," explained guitarist Chuck Garvey.  "We have some little vignettes that all of a sudden when one person quotes it we all start playing it. There are certain points when we are playing where we know what we are doing and other times when we have no control over it whatsoever and everyone just has to keep their ears open. It’s not ESP, but sometimes when everyone is tuned into what the right thing is, we try and foster that as much as possible."

Posted in Entertainment | Tagged | 3 Comments

Glazer: My Life of Crime as Butch Cassidy

In 1983 Kansas City Star reporter Paul Wenske flew into LA to interview me…

A few weeks later he would write a front page story with a headline likening me to Butch Cassidy.  It would be my all-time favorite newspaper story about my life.

Over the years leading up to that story I had already been in the paper hundreds of times. Many during my 1974/1975 case when I was an agent for Kansas Attorney General Vern Miller. I had begun my public life with a family story in the early 1960′s when my brothers, Jack, Jeff and I appeared on the front page for Christmas riding a horse driven sleigh with my Grandpa Bennie.

Uh, that was a little different.

I was watching the 1969 movie BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID a few nights ago. I think I’ve seen that movie maybe a million times. In fact,. that was a screenplay we studied in acting/writing classes in LA when I got there in 1981. It’s considered one of the best written screen plays ever.

It’s the film that put my future life in my head; two outlaws robbing other bad guys and banks.

Hey, at least I didn’t rob any banks!

The story plays out in my book THE KING OF STING. On the back of the book is it mentions the BUTCH CASSIDY story with quotes below from comedian Lewis Black and the guy who wrote more than 200 stories on me, Hearne Christopher. He beat out Tommy Chong‘s quote and was picked by the books publishers:

 "A great read. It’s the life I would have lived if I didn’t care about my reputation," it reads.

So yeah, that one hit home.

Wenske’s interview took about a week and Paul spoke to many others in LA about me, my life and the death of my partner Don Woodbeck. That also garnered many front page stories across the country, even one in the New York Times. However, it was Wenske’s story that was the best of them all.

It started off at the Polo Lounge in Beverly Hills and Wenske some of the celebrities that we sat near or spoke to. Names like Arnold Palmer. Paul mentioned my conversation with Jack Lemon and my eating lunch with Warren Beatty, Orson Welles and my then fiancee Terri Gatewood. I had a brief friendship with Welles and Beatty tried to bed my gal, Terri, the thug. Ha.

Mostly it was a tale of two men who buddied up and became sting artists off and on for more than a decade. And how my life in LA was going and the violent death of Woodbeck. In fact, Wenske ended the Star piece kinda like Paul Newman and Robert Redford‘s film ended.

The big difference is – unlike Newman and Redford – I lived to tell the story.

Woodbeck died as they did. Every time I see that film, it brings back all the adventures, prison memories, Woodbeck, our crew (gang), lost loves, trials, and of course Paul Wenske’s story.

Paul was a very nice person and worked for weeks in LA and Kansas City putting together the lengthy article. Later he would attempt to write a book on Woodbeck and I, but it didn’t work out. It would be 25 more years before a book would be written and published.

The Star had several writers cover my ups and downs. In the early days it was Art Brisbane, Wenske and Roy Wenzl. Over the past 20 years the main writers were Jeff Flanagan, Joyce Smith, and of course Hearne.

You get to know each other pretty well over time. I had several people in LA cover my escapades including Variety‘s Army Archerd and Sal Manna. All pretty good people. Because of them I received more attention from among people in this area than any other outlaw since maybe John Dillinger or Jesse James.

Maybe because we haven’t had many colorful outlaws, if any, since then.

We’ve had Mafia guys, but that’s different.

People always say, "Why him, he was a crook, a bad guy, a criminal?" Well, maybe. It happens because  the story takes place over many decades and changes in tone over the years. It also happens cause the Outlaw usually does some good things as well, that’s why he is an Outlaw and not a villain. At least not all the time.

I liked being compared to my childhood hero Butch Cassidy, he was the smart one abnd Sundance was fast on the draw, like Woodbeck.

Posted in Craig_Glazer | Tagged | 27 Comments

Hearne: Finally, KC Lands Madonna Show at Sprint Center October 30th

At long last Kansas City is getting Madonna

To the best of my recollection, KC has never hosted a Madonna show. Back when she truly mattered – the early to mid 1980s through mid 1990s – the Material Girl’s concert tours hit the East Coast, the West Coast and Florida, but never here.

That’s about to change when the Madonna plays Sprint Center the night before Halloween on October 30.

When Madonna broke out in 1983, her early claim to fame was she was dating popular 70s/80s DJ John Jellybean Benitez who mixed her first album.

John Who, you may ask, assuming like most Kansas Citians you were largely resentful of the disco phenomenon that swept most of the country with the exception of gay bars in Midwestern burgs like KC.

But the Jellybean was long gone by the time Madonna’s second album, "Like a Virgin," exploded onto the scene in 1984 with three huge hits – Like a Virgin, Material Girl and Into the Groove. It was followed by a concert tour with the Beastie Boys as opening act.

And of course, no KC date.

The $64 million question: Does the 53 year-old Madonna still truly matter?

"Well, with her playing the Super Bowl, that’s evidence that she’s still a top draw," says local concert-a-holic Rick Dodderidge. "I’ve heard a lot of criticism of her show, but I thought it was good. I tuned in just to see it and I’m not really a fan."

Former Capital Automated Tickets (Ticketmaster forbear) honcho Mardi Silva doesn’t recall Madonna playing KC in her heady, early days either.

"No, I remember people coming in and asking if she was coming," Silva says. "Don Hall even sent one of his key people over and said, ‘How come we don’t get these shows?’ And I always thought it was because the artists could make more money and sell more records playing in the bigger cities. That’s what I remember."

Posted in Entertainment | Tagged | 13 Comments

Car: Fiat Abarth Wins Super Bowl Ad Sweepstakes, Edmunds Says

Long time no Fiat column…

Seems like only yesterday, KC Confidential was all over the triumphant return of Fiat to the United States. You may recall that in addition to covering the return of the Italian carmaker to America – as a result of Fiat’s rescue of the now wildly successful Chrysler – I made an impulse buy and signed on to buy one of the first 500 "Prima Edizione" Fiat 500s, sight unseen, price unknown.

Pretty smart, huh?

As the months dragged by, I reported on the tiny car (seven inches shorter than a Mini Cooper) and defended the little bugger against all comers in KCC‘s caustic, few-holds-barred comments section.

Was I totally gay? Did I not know Fiat stood for "Fix it again Tony?" Why not do the right thing and buy a Mini?

Even former KCC sports scribe Greg Hall laid into me in his farewell column, "The Top 10 Reasons Greg Hall Left KC Confidential."

"Hearne promised (me) a Fiat 500 but the delivery date turned out to be December 2015…in Rome."

The indignity of it all.

Well, the worm has officially turned. Not only did Fiat outsell the Cooper in just eight months of its first year – 26,000 versus 25,000 for the Mini in its first 12 months during much better economic times – Fiat knocked the cover off of the ball Sunday with its "Seduction" ad during the Super Bowl.

But don’t take my word for it…

"Fiat Super Bowl Ad Most Effective in Boosting Traffic," reads the headline today at respected automotive information provider Edmunds.

" In its first real-time analysis of the impact of auto advertising during the 2012 Super Bowl, Edmunds.com said the three most effective ads, in terms of driving Web traffic during the telecast, were Fiat (500) Abarth, Lexus GS 350 and Chevrolet Sonic.

"Edmunds measured real-time traffic increases to advertisers’ model pages at seven different periods during the game: The start of the game (the end of the pre-game analysis), the end of the first quarter, the end of the second quarter, the beginning of the third quarter, the end of the third quarter, the end of the fourth quarter and the end of the post-game show."

On the local front, the phone lines exploded Monday at Fiat of Olathe with interested parties vying to get in line to buy the smoking hot little Abarth performance edition of the 500.

And why not?

It may be a couple tenths of a second slower to 60 than the Mini Cooper S, but the sexy Super Bowl ad combined with the sexy, Italian, nobody-else-has-one Abarth, combined with a 50 percent larger trunk and more rear seat legroom proved to be an irresistible combination.

The bottom line: "The numbers suggest the most entertaining Super Bowl ads are not always the most effective," Edmunds concludes. "Although we did find the 500 Abarth ad hit the mark on both counts."

Face it, when you’ve got a sexy ad that already went viral with well over 3 million hits and nobody speaking English, what’s not to like?

Or as one commenter on Edmunds says of the ad, "That’s what happened to me when I drove a 124 Sport Spider in 1973. I took her home and loved her for 14 years. I still miss her."

Guess what? She’s back.

Posted in Car | Tagged | 6 Comments

New Jack City: Do-Gooders Outraged at Super Bowl ‘F You’

The Parents Television Council – protectors of everything wholesome over the airwaves – was appalled at the indecency and filth experienced during Sunday’s Super Bowl halftime show.

Specifically rapper M.I.A. flipping off America while performing with Madonna at center stage.

PTC president Tim Winter didn’t mince words when he got the finger during the NBC telecast.

His shock and indignation was clearly spelled out in a just-released statement to the press regarding M.I.A.’s middle finger malfunction.

And it’s worth sharing.

"NBC fumbled and the NFL lied because a performer known as M.I.A. felt it necessary to flip off millions of families," it reads. "It is unfortunate that a spectacular sporting event was overshadowed once again by broadcasting the selfish acts of a desperate performer.

"Last week the NFL formally told PTC—and the American public—that the Super Bowl halftime show would be ‘appropriate.’ Most families would agree that the middle finger aimed directly at them is not appropriate, especially during the most-watched television event of the year.

"The mechanism NBC had in place to catch this type of material completely failed, and the network cannot say it was caught off guard. It has been eight years since the Janet Jackson striptease, and both NBC and the NFL knew full well what might happen.

"They chose a lineup full of performers who have based their careers on shock, profanity and titillation. Instead of preventing indecent material, they enabled it. M.I.A. used a middle finger shamelessly to bring controversial attention to herself, while effectively telling an audience filled with children, ‘F-You.’

"A simple apology rings hollow after yet another slap in the face to families, especially when NBC has argued before the U.S. Supreme Court that it should be allowed to air all manner of indecent material at any time of day, even when children are watching.

"Either the NFL and NBC will take immediate steps to hold those accountable for this offensive material in front of a hundred million Americans, or they will feebly sit back and do nothing. The nation—and PTC—is watching."

Wow! And I missed it. Must’ve flipped by too fast.

Posted in Jack_Poessiger | Tagged | 5 Comments

Leftridge: Giants Win Super Bowl, Brandon Remains Unconvinced

And when the dust settled, only one could truly be called a champion.

Or some such bullshit.

But seriously, what a great game, right? If you had no rooting interest, if you hadn’t laid any money on the line, how could you possibly disagree with how awesome this game turned out to be? You can’t, plain and simple.

Oh wait… I can complain (shocking, right?). Again, as an unbiased, financially inculpable party. And why’s that? Because now, in the wake of Eli Manning’s second Super Bowl victory, as his brother sits by, nursing a broken-neck/tingly arm/age problem, the pundits will begin to decry, “Eli is the better Manning! Eli has two—count ‘em TWO rings to be placed in his safe!

But those people are idiots.

Dan Marino never won a Super Bowl. Is Eli Manning a better quarterback than Dan (Fucking) Marino? Of course not.  And is he a better quarterback than his brother? No way.

If we all know one unflappable fact about football, it’s that it’s a team sport. Occasionally, there will be one person who tries to single-handedly do it themselves, but it usually doesn’t work out too well (for a very recent example, see Tom Brady um, like, last night).

So Pats fans, what in the hell happened?

Were you guys outcoached? Well, no. The Grand Lord of the Dark Science did just about everything he could—within his wizardly power—to seal a victory. Oh sure, Manningham’s sideline catch late in the game—right in front of Bill Headband, by the way!—was a stupid challenge, but it was one that I think that everyone in his position would have taken. Grandpa Tom Coughlin, meanwhile, burned two of his three timeouts like they were spliffs, under some sick guidance of renegade commissioner Ricky Williams.  

Was your defense overmatched? Well, shockingly, not really. The Patriots’ much maligned defense, widely accepted as the worst ever (for all intents and purposes), actually held it together. Mostly. Brother Eli finished 30 for 40 with 296 yards and 1 solitary touchdown. All things considered, it could have been much, MUCH worse. I could have thrown for 296 yards against that weak-ass secondary (and been much more handsome doing it).

The Giants ground-game, spearheaded by two demonic backs who’s just as soon spit in an eye as buy a dehydrated man a bottle of Dasani, was affective, but not overwhelmingly so. They weren’t the difference. Bradshaw coughed up the ball like a kid with unchecked tuberculosis, but much to New England’s chagrin, it never resulted in an actual turnover.

Special teams was pretty even. Fantastic punting, fellas! Bully!

So what in HELL was it?

Honestly, I have no idea. Mario Manningham? Seriously, if it wasn’t for his 38 yard grab with 3:39 left—and the Giants down by 2—this game would NOT have been the same. At all. And that play? It had nothing to do with Eli. He heaved it, desperately, and the Tyree-like reception was all about Super Mario.

So was the the difference? Microcosmically, yes.

But what’s the REAL story? There’s a bigger story out there, waiting to be told. Something big, with a Danny Elfman score and amazing cinematography.

Well, the Giants won. Period.

 And last night, they were the better team. But not by much, and probably, if this game is played 100 times, the Patriots win it 75, maybe 80 of those times. I truly believe that.

But for now, the Giants are 2-0 against the Pats in recent Super Bowl history, Eli is the greatest thing to happen to NYC since Jay-Z and Beyonce’s baby, and Tom Brady, with his cascading plugs, supermodel wife and beautiful, straight teeth sits on 3 championships, perhaps one good linebacker away from immortality.

Football is both a whore teeming with gonorrhea and the love of your life on the day you got married, and sometimes, the two seem inseparable. So keep your head up, Tom. Gisele (probably) doesn’t have an STD.  And you’re only 34. And if Billy sticks around, and you guys don’t fuck up the draft (as you’ve been wont to do over the past few years—tight ends being the notable exception), you’ve got a long, winning road ahead of you.

That being said, keep your devilishly handsome eyes on the Giants, Tommy. I’m STILL convinced they’re not THAT good, but man, they sneak their way through the playoffs like a meth’d-out lab-rat in search of copper wiring, and once they get there, they’re fucking RELENTLESS. And they seem to have your number. Good luck.
 

Posted in Sports | Tagged | 9 Comments

Glazer: Scribe Lays Down Last Minute Super Bowl Bettors Guide

I have been going back and forth on my final pick…

If you’re a fan of Tom Brady, well, it’s just so damn hard to bet against him isn’t it guys? Like I said in my last column, everything points to the New York Giants as the winner today. They have the better team, no question. With the New England‘s tight end super star the RONSTER damaged, there’s even less chance for Brady to find a winning target.

HEY HOW ABOUT OCHO CINCO? 

Now that would be a story, huh, Chad Johnson wins it all for the Pats. Even if he ends up the MVP of the game, Chad wull be looking for a job somewhere else next season.

So, having said all that twice, I will stick to my NEW ENGLAND WINS prediction.

However, I’m not going to bet crazy on this one. It’s just to hard a game to pick. But it’s the Super Bowl, so let me give you two good ways to go.

ONE: If you are tied to the Pats, do this….New England on a parlay: -2 1/2 and under 54. Hey, you win 2 1/2 times money. So if you don’t need to bet big to win big it’s kinda chancy but could happen.

TWO: GIANTS on a tease over the Pats…..Giants 8 1/2 and under 60…this is the PRO bet…most likely call…

HEY YOU CAN DO BOTH AND WIN BOTH.

Like this example New England 24..New York 22…see you win both ways…

OK so I like the cool guys…Brady, Rodgers, Peyton Manning – I like to see winners win – they have earned it over long careers. But hey, Eli Manning is looking to join that group today.

My final pick:  New England -2 1/2 over the Giants.

HAVE A FUN DAY…I’ll be at Woodside for its Super Bowl party. I’m, not going big bucks on this one, so I’ll just enjoy the ride. Go Pats!

Posted in Craig_Glazer | Tagged | 7 Comments

Leftridge: NY Giants Order Pizza, Travel to Indianapolis for Some Reason

The week leading up to the Super Bowl is a long, arduous journey full of peril, ridiculousness and mostly, a lack of real intrigue. It’s “Media Week,” they say, but permit me to make a really bad pun and call it “Media Weak.” I’ll wait for your peals of raucous laughter to subside before continuing…

…all better? Good. Then let’s carry on.

During Media Week, reporters, writers and journalists of varying caliber all descend upon the host city—in this case, rusty old Indianapolis—and attempt to mine gold from what is more often than not, a freshly blown nose. They try to find angles that others haven’t covered—BREAKING NEWS: Tom Brady’s Pee Wee Coach’s Sister-in-law Grew Up Two Miles From Lucas Oil Stadium!—or they mercilessly beat to death stories that everyone else is writing about—Can Eli Step Out of His Brother’s Shadow… in His Brother’s Own City?!—dun-dun-DUN!

Others, those “lower-tiered” scribes with perhaps a bit less access (I’m talking about the Kansas City Star’s own Sam Mellinger), try to make steak out of shit, by any means necessary. And this is in NO way meant to be demeaning to Sam; frankly, I find him to be a gifted (though sometimes fluffy) writer. But you’ve gotta question the necessity of sending him to the Super Bowl so he can produce the pieces that he has over the past week. Example headlines?

“Indianapolis provides a super lesson for KC”

(In this episode, Sam rides the bus and finds out that Super Bowls are important to smaller cities.)

“Goal of playing football again helped Giants’ Herzlich beat cancer”

(NY Giants’ LB Mark Herzlich had cancer… but he kicked its ass! And just look at him now!)

“Tom Brady’s definition of adversity might be different than yours"

(Tom Brady just can’t relate to the common man… OR CAN HE???!!! Must. Read. On.)

Point being, Sam’s digging deep. But without a treasure map, it’s as futile as teaching a meerkat to pole-dance. He’s STILL doing better than Yahoo! Sports, though, as we’ll see in a moment.

Aside from the obvious storylines—Eli in Indy, the Rematch of a spoiled 2008 perfect-Pats campaign, Brady’s quest to join Montana and Bradshaw as 4-timers—there’s not many compelling things to say about this game. It’s not the Harbaugh Brothers Bowl, 2.0 (though I’m kind of starting to think that might have been a really great game), and the rift between the two teams—again, aside from the Giants beating the Pats in XLII—is minimal. Oh sure, it’s a Boston/New York thing, which *ahem* NEVER gets old, but the luster, like sex after marriage, just isn’t there.

It’s just not that interesting. You know, unless you pretend that it is.

From Yahoo! (and I SWEAR I’m not making these up):

“Wes Welker is a big fan of Tom Brady’s toilet”

This story is seriously out on Yahoo! right now. Go look. I’ll wait.

Are you back? Cool. Did you read the piece—categorized under their special Super Bowl XLVI heading—about Tom Brady’s toilet? And how it’s really nice and Wes Welker likes to shit in it? Are you more intrigued by the game now? Lord knows I am! But wait, there’s more.

“Giants safety Antrel Rolle enjoys Indy nightlife in advance of Super Bowl”

Oh shit… GOOD. I was worried about whether or not he was having a good time, IN SPITE of coach Tom Coughlin’s 9pm curfew. Rolle told Yahoo! Sports: “I like to party and boogie down.” If this doesn’t garner writer Martin Rogers a Pulitzer, I’ve lost my faith in humanity.

“Brandon Jacobs preps for second career in boxing”

The gist: Giants’ running back Brandon Jacobs was a hot-headed asshole growing up, became an amateur boxer, and he now hopes that someday, when he retires, he can be a fight promoter. Words cannot BEGIN to describe how much richer my life is after reading this.

“With help from a police escort, Giants get their hometown pizza in Indianapolis”

Umberto’s, a NY pizza joint, flew some pizzas to Indianapolis to feed the Giants, just as they have every week for the past four years. The tradition was started by now-retired defensive great Michael Strahan, and if there’s one thing that guy knows, it’s pizza… messy, public divorces filled with claims of homosexuality, and pizza.

Seriously, someone check with Vegas. Did this affect the line in any way? It HAD to, right?

And there are a million more stories just like this out there on the internet. You’d drive yourself mad reading all of the inane popcorn-pieces about Ahmad Bradshaw’s lucky jockstrap or Justin Tuck’s Beanie Baby collection.Maybe they just need to scale it all back… you know, talk about the GAME, provide some analysis. It’s like that old adage—“if you don’t have something reasonably important to say about the Super Bowl, then don’t say anything at all.” Or something like that.

Please, I beg of you… just wake me up when the game is on. 
 

Posted in Sports | Tagged | 2 Comments

Glazer: Scribe Wipes Away a Tear, Bids Adieu to Whitney Houston

One of the greatest singing voices and vocal talents of our time is gone…

Whitney Houston was found dead in her Beverly Hills Hotel room tonight, by her on again, off again boyfriend, the singer Ray J. Many feel, as do I, that Houston was the all time best female vocalist of our time along with Barbra Streisand.

It’s no secret that Whitney battled hard core cocaine abuse for the last two decades.

Houston’s massive career was shot down in the 1990′s by the drugs. She twice went to rehab and declared herself drug free as late as 2010. Many blame her former husband Bobby Brown for the daily coke use. Evidence also pointed to her using the ‘pipe," smoking it as well. Houston told Oprah that she used every day after work, and said her life was a "nightmare." 

Such a sad story.  What a tragic loss and waste of such a wonderful American Talent.

Houston will be best remembered for her many smash hits including "I Will Always Love You" from the hit film, The Bodyguard with Kevin Costner. And who can forget her best-ever version of the Star Spangled Banner at the 1991 Super Bowl that was so fantastic. It too became a hit single for Houston.

Whitney tried a comeback in 2009 with a platinum album, "I Look To You."  But it all went bad with her messed up interview and attempt at singing the song live on "Good Morning America." Houston blamed her voice that morning on her previous interviews weakening her voice. Everyone knew she was jacked on drugs. She looked pretty awful the last few months as recent photos reveal.

Whitney had it all – looks, talent, one of the greatest voices in music history. But she lacked one thing, true love.

She was a sad and wounded woman her entire adult life. Hearing she had passed choked me up. To this day, I often listen to her songs.

She will be badly missed, and that includes by me.

Posted in Craig_Glazer | Tagged | 20 Comments

Donnelly: Dr. Dog @ The Granada in Lawrence, February 2, 2012

With an album set to be released in a few days, Dr. Dog’s Thursday set at the Granada in Lawrence was sure to feature an excellent preview of their new tunes.

The band took the stage looking goofy and loose, wearing different winter caps and sunglasses.

Co-lead singer Scott McMicken warned the crowd early on, "We’ve got all these new songs, so bear with us."

Indeed, Dr. Dog played a decent chunk of songs off

Be The Void, including opener That Old Black Hole, Do The Trick, Lonesome and Vampire all within the first eight songs.

Though their stop in Lawrence was only the second date on the band’s current tour it was apparent these guys have been on the road non-stop and know how to put on a show. They even brought their own set that looked like a college dorm room, complete with posters and graffiti on the walls.

Audience members provided the haze…

The surprisingly strong, sound-board-deep crowd was receptive to the new stuff for the most part, and the band’s backloaded set worked out pretty well by delivering more familiar tunes to keep the energy going as the night wore on.

Dr. Dog brought its trademark, all-over-the-map sound, mixing formulaic sixties blues-rock doo wop with straight up folk with slow and swampy buzzing guitar rock, all of which was blanketed by strong harmonies. 

One of the better songs of the night, the plodding southern porch song Lonesome, saw the band at its most effective.  The chorus lament, "What does it take to be lonesome/ Nothing at all" was backed nicely by a dirty blues slide guitar that could’ve been cranked a little more. 

They went right back to their sweet spot by busting out the weighty double guitar brooder Vampire, that featured an extended jam.  A few songs later, perhaps their best song of the night, Hang On, got the crowd going and they rode the energy all the way, breaking out favorites like The Beach and Shadow People

Dr. Dog is an easy band to like.  They mix a lot of great elements, like good harmonies, catchy songwriting, the right amount of pop and the right amount of grit.  And the semi-regular psychedelic jam never quite mutates into what I consider traditional "jamband" mode. 

Sometimes, though, it seemed like there was almost too much mixing and matching to put together a really cohesive set.  Maybe that’s because the new material is still finding its proper place in the band’s repertoire

After Dr. Dog’s set, an encore was a sure thing, and the big crowd was happy to wait out what seemed like quite a long while before the boys returned to the stage to crank out a kind of weird, British-tinged new song, Warrior Man, before ending with the favorite Easy Beat

Like I said, I was a little surprised that Dr. Dog has grown in popularity so much in the last year, judging by the turnout.  And its new album’s pretty strong, so I expect they’ll keep pointing up and up. 

If you haven’t checked out Be The Void yet, you can still stream it free for another day or two at http://teamcoco.com/drdog

Set list:

That Old Black Hole
Stranger
The Breeze
The Ark
Do the Trick
Lonesome
Mirror, Mirror
Vampire
My Friend
Someday
I Only Wear Blue
Hang On
Heavy Light
Waste
The Rabbit, the Bat and the Reindeer
The Beach
Shadow People
Shame, Shame
 
Encore:

Warrior Man
Easy Beat

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New Jack City: Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway Lets the Good Times Roll

Enticed by a huge, month-long, multimedia ad campaign, I headed west on I-70 Friday afternoon to see what all the excitement created by Penn National Gaming at the Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway was all about.

Surely with all that rain we wouldn’t have any trouble ducking right in for a quick peek into the metro’s newest casino. After all, this was a sleepy Friday afternoon.

Wrong!

The parking garage and every parking lot and space close to the place was packed. So we parked adjacent to Livestrong Sporting Park and took a shuttle bus to the new gambling hall. The driver forewarned us that the place was jumpin’ and that there was a long line in the rain with a 45 minute to an hour wait—OUTSIDE!

 He was correct.

Let’s just say that we ventured beyond the line, and what we found once inside confirmed that we were not in Kansas anymore.

The HOLLYWOOD CASINO is a total class act.

From its design, layout and glitz, this $411 million jewel overlooking the Kansas Speedway at turn two could pass for a brand new casino on the Las Vegas Strip.

Except, of course, I couldn’t bet on the Super Bowl since according to Hollywood casino VP of Marketing Dean Doria, sport books are only legal in Delaware and Las Vegas.

About those servers hovering around the tables with free drinks for players…Only soft drinks and water are free. You must pay for beer or other alcoholic beverages according to Kansas law.

What percentage of the local gaming market is Hollywood Casino shooting for?

I don’t think I ever got a straight forward figure, but it’s apparent that the new complex is counting heavily on Johnson County patronage. Which is not to say that Wyandotte and Leavenworth counties won’t be a big factor as well. And crossing the state line from Missouri is definitely encouraged.

Speaking of Missouri, Hollywood’s sister casino, the ARGOSY has a ‘Marquee Rewards’ program with reciprocal priviledges at Hollywood.

Some other observations.

Currently Hollywood Casino does not have a showroom but is planning on adding one as part of phase 2 of the facility in a couple of years. Ditto an adjacent hotel which will also be part of phase 2.

How large a hotel?

To be determined by volume of  attendance in the near future.

Is there Baccarat gaming at Hollywood Casino? Yes, but it’s a small table game. (Same game just small tables.)

And what about Hollywood’s smoking policy?

It’s allowed in most of the gaming spaces although a small area has been set aside where puffing is a no-no.

Marketing VP Doria stresses that the building is equipped with a superior ventilation system, and smoking in any of the casino’s restaurants is prohibited.

And what if you’re a whale – you know – a really big spender?

Come on down, Hollywood says. The casino has no less than five special hosts to placate whales and will hire more if needed.

Maximum bets on table games is $5,000,  but can be adjusted upwards by customer demand.

The only problem is that Kansas law forbids the casino from extending credit to gamblers.

So the big boys will either have to make a lot of ATM and credit card use or carry the green stuff in their rucksacks.

It was apparent that many of the dealers we observed were still pretty green and pit bosses often had to be called to tables. But that should work itself out with time and practice.

Finally there is no dress code, including even in the most upscale restaurant at Hollywood called Final Cut.

The bottom line: the movie-themed Hollywood Casino is a class act and a major new destination for the greater Legend’s community as well as for the Wyandotte County and Kansas tax base.

Let the games begin!

Posted in Jack_Poessiger | Tagged | 16 Comments

Starbeams: Kelly’s TOP 5 PREDICTIONS FOR THE SUPER BOWL

TOP 5 PREDICTIONS FOR THE SUPER BOWL:

#5.  Millions of Americans will watch with the volume muted, not realizing Joe Buck is no longer calling the game.

#4.  Inspired by Tom Brady‘s old coach, I might ask Gisele Bundchen if she wants me to donate my organ.

#3.  A dozen people will get an unexpected look at Katie Couric‘s colon when they accidentally google Super Bowel.

#2.  The only person at the game representing K.C. will be Kelly Clarkson.

#1.  I will have to fork out $30 for the Domino’s guy to give me a ride home.

Kelly Urich hosts the morning show on The Point 99.7 FM

Posted in Starbeams | Tagged | 1 Comment

Hearne: The Little Known Fall From Grace of MSNBC’s ‘Morning Joe’

I watch a lot of politics on television…

That includes nearly all of the many Republican Presidential Debates. So it’s not like I’m completely clued out (though some might disagree). For example, I can practically recite every one of Michele Bachmann‘s many gaffes. I even just spelled her oddly-lettered name correctly without having to look it up. And I spotted her brother, KCTV weather wonk Gary Amble, looking somber, standing next to her on stage as she announced she was quiting the race.

I digress.

In recent months I’ve become a fan of MSNBC’s "Morning Joe" show. It’s headed by a cocky, former Florida congressman that I previously knew little to nothing about by the name of Joe Scarborough.

What makes the show work is the chemistry between the conservative Scarborough, his brainy, liberal, MILF co-host Mika Brzezinski, the dry-witted, 30-something Willie Geist and an impressive array of political, business and entertainment movers-and-shakers.

However I must admit, I liked the show more prior to Scarborough lapsing into a long spell of dominating certain aspects of the political discourse and repeatedly reminding everybody of his vast experience in congress.

Which got me to wondering things like, "How long was he in?" and "Why is he merely a television host now if he was so darn effective as a politician?"

It didn’t take long to come up with some interesting possible answers.

Answers to questions many of you might have wondered about but never looked into. So here goes.

For starters Scarborough was only in congress for seven years, from January 1995 until September 2001. That’s three and a-half terms for those of you keeping score at home.

Raising the question of why would a rising Republican star quit early into his 4th elected term at age 38?

After all, Scarborough loves nothing more than dissecting and discussing politics, espousing conservative views and reminding viewers of his experience and political successes in elected office.

So why leave?

Here’s where things get a little goosy. A closer look reveals Scarborough stepped down five months into his term after giving notice seven months earlier, barely having battling for re-election. The obvious question being, why? His kids, Scarborough said.

"The realization has come home to me that they’re at a critical stage of their lives and I would rather be judged at the end of my life as a father than as a congressman," Scarborough said at the time. Florida even had to pony up for a special election to replace Scarborough.

So why the sudden epiphany?

Here’s where it starts to get a little dicey.

Scarborough’s decision to quit congress came on the heels of his 1999 divorce and the hiring of 28 year-old aide Lori Klausutis, who was found dead in his office in July 2001. Although police said they didn’t find evidence of foul play, critics point to unanswered questions about her death.

However with Scarborough swiftly stepping out of the public spotlight and the media frenzy surrounding 9/11, little attention was paid to Klausutis’ death and the overlap between her hiring and his divorce.

Which brings us to the Web site, "All Hat No Cattle," which poses the question, "Which Republican U.S. Congressman had a dead aide found in his office while the media was hounding Democrat U.S. Congressman Gary Condit about his missing ex-intern, Chandra Levy?"

The Condit / Levy witch hunt also got lost in the 9/11 shuffle, however, the publicity cost Condit his re-election in 2002, even though Levy’s murderer was later found and convicted.

But back to "Morning Joe" and Klausutis.

"Needless to say, this story never made national TV," a September 15, 2001 editorial on All Hat reads. "The big boys of broadcast had their sights set solely on Condit and had no time to cover the unusual death of a healthy, politically active 28-year-old female aide in a U.S. Congressman’s district office."

There’s more.

"After all was said and done, a few things became quite clear," All Hat continues. "The authorities, mainly the police who investigated the scene, gave the appearance of a cover-up by immediately stating that there were no signs of foul play. It subsequently was revealed that the dead woman had a wound to her forehead, which seemed to fly in the face of the initial statements by investigators. If this wasn’t an example of poor police work, it most certainly was a case of bumbled media and public relations.
    

"How could police rule out foul play until they knew the cause of the wound, before an autopsy was conducted and toxicology tests performed?
    

"The local newspaper, the Northwest Florida Daily News, tried to get information from local authorities and claimed they were sandbagged at every turn .  No one suggested that the Congressman had anything to do with the death, but the manner in which authorities handled the press shows one thing.  They gave the benefit of the doubt to the popular Republican Congressman, and it is doubtful they would have done the same for any ordinary Joe."

Keep reading…

"In October 2006, Joe Scarborough sent a cease and desist letter to have all references to himself and his dead aide, Lori Klausutis, removed from this website," All Hat writes, providing a copy of Scarborough’s lawyer’s letter. "Nothing was removed from this site."

So less than a year from Scarborough landing his "Morning Joe" gig he attempted to silence practically the only media outlet aiming a critical eye at Klausutis’ death.

Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about the matter under the heading, "Resignation and controversy."

"Although the police concluded that there was no evidence of foul play, critics have said that there are unanswered questions about her death. According to Scarborough, soon after her death, allegations ‘spread all over the Internet’ that he had been involved. In 2003, he joked about the incident with Don Imus on Imus’s radio program In 2004, it was the subject of a public spat between Scarborough and filmmaker Michael Moore."

Here’s what’s intriguing to me about the whole Klausutis affair.

Given insinuations that Scarborough may have had a personal involvement with his deceased aide, his hasty and oddly explained exit from congress, combined with the fact that little to no evidence exists that Klausutis relatives pressed much, if at all, for further answers as to what she was doing alone at the office when she "fell" and killed herself  by hitting her head on a desk is perplexing at the very least.

This much is known, that Klausutis started working for Scarborough in 1999, the year he divorced his first wife Melanie Hinton. And that three months after Klausutis death he married current wife Susan.

Oh and one more thing. "No picture has ever been published of Lori Klausutis, the deceased aide of Joe Scarborough," All Hat says.

Hey, I haven’t been able to find a photo and I enlisted some pretty good help in looking.

So how is all of this not a mystery?

It remains a strange, loosely explained chapter in the life of Scarborough – one of today’s most popular news hosts – that lingers in the darkened shadows of Google searches and on Wikipedia.

Along with the question of why, in today’s tabloid news-driven world, further questions seemingly never really have been raised in the media about Klausutis death by her friends, relatives and/or co-workers. Along with Scarborough’s hasty exit from congress and politics, which had he remained, surely would have resulted in Klausutis death and questions surrounding his marital fidelity to become issues in future campaigns.

It’s all quite curious.

Posted in Hearne_Christopher | Tagged | 18 Comments

Glazer: Scribe Recalls Chiefs Glory Days, Wonders Where Things Went Horribly Wrong

Not counting my dad, I was blessed as a kid…

Every fall weekend all I could think about was, "Will the Chiefs win another one?"  It was the late 1960s. The Chiefs and Oakland Raiders were by far the two best teams in the AFL. As luck would have it, my Uncle Mort owned Glazer Chemical, so several Chiefs worked for him during the off season. That’s right, back then most football players made less than $35,000 a year, some far less. Today that might be a small bonus on a wild card play-off game…for the losers.

Yep, I would ride with my Dad or Uncle Mort after school, sometimes with All Pro Jerrel Wilson (the Chiefs great punter) or maybe Jim Tyrer (all pro lineman). Over the next few years Mort would have about six or seven players working for him selling his product. I even got to know players who you probably never heard of, like Super Bowl back-up guard Dennis Biodrowski. I liked him, pulled for him, but he never got to start. He did give me and my brothers an autographed football of the entire Chiefs team in Super Bowl One. That was cool.

I tried for a couple years to get a player to come to my school, Meadowbrook Jr. High, to give a talk, but no such luck.

However, my dad, Stan, befriended most of the name players and they would take turns having dinner at our house. Len Dawson, Bobby Bell and Fred Arbanas. Man, was Bell ever a gladiator, at 6′ 4" and 230 pounds. That was huge for a linebacker in late 60′s.

I asked Bobby at my dad’s 80th birthday party recently, if they kept track of sacks in the 60′s, what would have been your best year? And he said, "Oh man, I think I had like 20 or more a couple times, but we didn’t count them back then."

Yeah, Bobby Bell, in my opinion was the all-time best linebacker in the NFL/AFL. He was named to the all AFL team and had nine Pro Bowls and went into the Hall of Fame in 1980. Great guy. Today he is a speaker for the Chiefs and the League.

As the years rolled on I made tighter connections with a team mostly two decades or more older than myself.

Fred Williamson and I became pals in LA, where Fred continues his film work to this day. I did a Royals charity game with Fred "the Hammer" Williamson. Len Dawson and I bumped into each other for years in airports when he worked for NBC as a TV announcer and later for HBO and of course Channel 9 and the Chiefs. He helped me organize Red Fridays and was my neighbor at the Sulgrave.

Both of us tried in vain to get Otis Taylor elected to the Hall of Fame – that he isn’t in the Hall is a tragedy.

Yes, those 1965-1972 Chiefs were special.

They truly belonged to Kansas City. Bell even was one of the first black men to move into a nice home in Overland Park. They were loved, still are by most of us that saw them play and got to know them.

Another odd thing, most of them lived here. Today almost no current Chiefs live here or stay here during the off season. One more important thing about those teams; we all knew our Kansas City Chiefs were more than elite. Some say the 1969 Chiefs had the best defense in NFL history. I believe that.

Many of my childhood heroes have passed away - Jerry Mays (whose construction company built Stanford and Sons in Westport), Buck Buchanan, Aaron Brown, to name a few.

Maybe one day we’ll have a special group like that again.

THE SUPER BOWL TEAMS OF 1966/67 and 1969/70. They made us all so very proud to be from Kansas City. It was an honor for me to meet them and get to know them.

Posted in Craig_Glazer | Tagged | 14 Comments

Leftridge: How to Throw a Super Bowl Party Everyone Loves

To some, there’s nothing more important than the game itself. It stands alone in the pantheon of sports importance, a crowning achievement borne from months of blood, sweat and tears. One participant will be crowned victorious, their name forever etched upon the hallowed high cliffs of greatness; the other will be a footnote, their epic campaign all but forgotten, trampled under the sweaty sole of failure.

Will it be Tom Brady and his New England Patriots?

The new dark-lord of the modern football era.

The Yankees in shoulder pads.

Led into battle by two distinct forces: one, a handsome, unparalleled story of triumph, the other, a dour, stone-faced super-genius cloaked in both mystery AND a loose fitting hooded sweatshirt.  

Or perhaps it will be Brother Eli, eager to crawl from beneath the giant shadow of his more esteemed sibling. Eager to prove, perhaps, that his legacy should be built around more than a miraculous helmet-catch.

Or maybe, none of this matters. It’s just a fucking football game. What REALLY matters is what kind of party you throw. That’s right: you can make or break the Super Bowl by what kind of shindig you manage to perpetuate. I know, I know… that’s a ton of pressure. But look, Sunny Jim—if you follow my advice, you’ll be fine. So let’s begin.

First, it doesn’t get much more important than the guest list. A guest list says a lot about you as the host, and what you think about those around you. Does anyone REALLY want to be responsible for bringing the guy with the Hep C to the gangbang? Is that how you feel about the rest of your friends? That you’re cool with subjecting them to dickrot? That’s why it’s important to screen all potential attendees. Not for sexually transmitted maladies, necessarily, but for general suitability. There are a few simple rules to remember when it comes to building your list. 

DO invite celebrities, no matter how trivial their significance. Does your sister-in-law’s hairdresser know former Fresh Prince of Bel-Air star Alfonso Ribeiro? E-VITE. Does your daughter attend salsa-dancing classes with Channel 9′s Kris Ketz? TEXT HIM. Look, we live in a culture of celebrity where, no matter the relevance, fame (and infamy) trumps all. People NEED to hang out with those who they perceive to be more important than they are, whether it’s an actuality or not. We’re psychologically fragile creatures sucking from the teet of Entertainment Weekly and TMZ, and goddamnit, if you can get the drummer from Hootie and the Blowfish to hang out and have a few drinks while watching the game, YOU FUCKING DO IT. Your party will be an instant hit.

Do NOT
invite your wife’s coworkers. Look, the ladies themselves may be fine; they’re more apt to drink wine coolers and chuckle at the tired commercials than they are to kill your good time, but their HUSBANDS, on the other hand, their HUSBANDS are sure to fuck the fun right out of the proceedings. See, your wife’s colleagues’ husbands all work boring jobs (claims adjuster, crossing guard, pharmacist, etc.), and they want to tell you ALLLLL about it. They want to regale you with tales of misfiled paperwork, the horror story about that time they forgot to go in because they thought it was Saturday (OMG!!!! LOLZ), and how this one time—oh man, this is great, I hope you’re sitting down for it—Abe Parnuss in receiving forgot to stamp the transaction summary before sending it to corporate for approval! Holy monkey-penis, CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT?!?!

Oh, and when they’re not telling you about their mind-blowingly awful jobs, they’ll be pretending like they know about football. They don’t. Your cocker spaniel knows more than they do. “Gracious!” they’ll exclaim. “I really thought Jenkins was going to receive that pass for a touchdown score! It’s a crying shame that the fella’ marked ‘Anderson’ was able to put his own hand on the football first!

Idiots.

DO invite friends, but don’t invite the friends who are liable to get wasted on energy-drink beer, blackout and piss on your furniture. Your wife will never forgive you.

Do NOT invite people from church. Just in case YOU get wasted on energy-drink beer, blackout and piss on your furniture. That just looks bad, and will probably cost you an extra 10 Hail Mary’s or lashes, or whatever it is that your God dishes out as punishment.

DO invite: the mailman, that guy who works where you buy your beer, the 1993 Boston Bruins, Hearne Christopher Jr., Tom Waits, that guy who works at the OTHER place you buy your beer, a bunch of people on Facebook (by accident), and a bunch of strippers.

Do NOT invite: your parents, your grandparents, any of your grandparents’ friends, Harley, Horatio Sanz, homeless people (or anyone else, for that matter, who may defecate in your laundry hamper out of pure spite) or any of your neighbors. Unless they’re cool. And then? It’s up to you.

It’s THAT SIMPLE, folks. So now you’ve built this action-packed guest list for the party of the millennium, and all you have to do is keep everyone full of food, boozed-up and overwhelmingly entertained. The last part should be handled by the Pats and the Giants—unless shit gets stupid early, and the Patriots put up 40 in the 1st quarter—but the libations, my friend, are entirely up to you. If you screw it up, you fail. No pressure.

DO have the following: chicken wings (and none of that boneless, parmesan-garlic crap—we’re talking REAL buffalo chicken wings), chili, chili accoutrements (crackers, cheese, sour cream, green onions, chicken wings), pizza, chips and dips (both of assorted varieties), peanuts (just kidding—only old people like nuts as a snack food), a build-your-own Banh Mi station, tiny meatballs, ‘lil smokies in BBQ sauce, brownies, a cake decorated with tiny goal-posts, and finally, beef wellington.

Take this list as a declaration of REQUIRED items. This list can be added to, but it’s not necessary. This list is perfect in every way, like the Beatles’ “Abbey Road,” or a Number Two nacho from Claycomo’s jewel of Mexican-like food, El Sombrero.

What’s that, you say? Nothing for vegetarians? Too bad. If you’re friends with vegetarians, you probably don’t like football to begin with and you’re surely not throwing a kick-ass football party. Screw tofu, and screw these other things that have no business being served at your bash:

Do NOT have the following: Pasta (too sloppy), loose-meat sandwiches (see: pasta), yogurt, veggie tray (nobody ACTUALLY likes the veggie tray with ashen carrots and warm, wilted celery; they eat it because it’s there), horse-meat, goat-meat, goblin or ghost meat (sorry—I was momentarily raped by the spirit of Dr. Seuss), omelet station, Chinese food (too many choices leads to confusion), fish-sticks (not really food) and McNuggets (actually food, but you’re not allowed in the McDonald’s anymore– drive-thru OR lobby– you crazy bastard, you).

Finally, you’re left with only the drinks. And really, this is way easy: do not pass go, do not collect any bottles of Riesling or martini-making-materials… just buy beer. From the saltiest grandfather to the most heroically pimpled teen, we’re all crazy about alcohol.

For years, my wife thought she didn’t like beer. She’d turn her nose up at it, throw her head back and prissily tiptoe toward whatever taste-bud-assaulting lemon flavored fizz she could get. Eventually, she learned. Oh yes, under my wise tutelage (and with the knowledge that it’s much less acceptable to guzzle Smirnoff Ice when you’re no longer a sorority girl), she learned to drink beer. And though it’s not her favorite—when we go out, she’s still partial to a Cape Cod—she CAN drink it, when necessary. Point being, no excuses.

Only buy beer. Everyone will enjoy it, even Carlton Banks.

So there you have it. A quick, painless guide to throwing the rip-roaringest Super Bowl bash ever.

(Oh, and you may want to invest in some handcuffs, industrial strength trash bags, several rolls of duct tape, and a whole mess of that shit they use to clean up vomit in schools and at amusement parks. You’ll thank me later!)

The Super Bowl airs on NBC, Sunday, beginning at 5:29 CT (?).
 

Posted in Entertainment | Tagged | 3 Comments

Donnelly: The Granada Wants You to Come & Play; Win Season Pass for Two

Like free stuff? 

If not, stop reading this right now.

OK, here’s the deal, people of the night:

What if I told you that you could take a friend (or enemy, or anyone really, so long as they’re legal) to every upcoming show at The Granada in Lawrence… FOR FREE!!?

What if I told you that you’d be seeing William Elliott Whitmore, Railroad Earth, Stephen Malkmus, Blind Pilot, The Head and the Heart, Rachael Yamagata, M83, and Robert Earl Keen just to name a few. And there’s like 30 more.

Well, first off, if you only recognize, maybe, two of those names, punish yourself right now. Go ahead, I’ll wait.  You need to get with the program because you’ve been missing out on some seriously good music.

Here’s how to get the free stuff, but you only have until Monday to cash in…

The Granada is running a contest to see who can tweet the most creative picture that involves the poster featured in this article that has all the bands listed (the poster is also in the University Daily Kansan for those without printing access). 

A couple things you have to do to enter:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. "Like" The Granada on Facebook

2. Follow The Granada on Twitter (@thegranada)

3. Tweet a creative picture that involves the poster and tag @thegranada. 

I’ve been told that special props might go to anyone who can get a pic with the poster inside Allen Field House.  Maybe with the poster stuck to the backboard, or pinned like a "kick me" sign on Bill Self’s back. 

Or, just tweak the poster using some crazy app or something.  Either way, they’re looking for something CREATIVE. 

If you win you get two tix to every show from now thru May. 

Second place is two tickets per month thru May. 

And third gets a big ol’ slap in the tits. Just kidding. Third gets one pair of tickets for the show of your choice. 

There you have it KCC Nation.  See you at the Granada. 

P.S. I’ll be there tonight for Dr. Dog, can’t wait.  Come buy me a beer. 

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Hearne: Frosty Who? KC Faces First Ever Snowman-less Winter, Lezak Says

Fetch the sunglasses and the cocoa butter, it’s Ground Hog Day

Not just any Ground Hog Day, mind you, this one’s likely to go into the record books in the most benign winter in KC ever.

So says KSHB weather wonk Gary Lezak.

"Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow, so that means he goes back inside and we have six more weeks of winter," Lezak says. "So what we’ve been doing already for six more weeks."

What "we’ve been doing already" is scampering about in sweaters and light jackets and celebrating astonishingly low heating bills. What we’ve not been doing is buying driveway melt, winter coats, snowblowers and so forth.

And while that could change, don’t hold your breath, Lezak says.

"It might snow Saturday night or Sunday morning," he says. "But then after Saturday night and Sunday morning, there’s nothing.

"It’s going to rain all day tomorrow a whole bunch – we’ll probably set a record for rainfall tomorrow – with one to two inches and a chance of three inches of rain."

As for our all-time low snowfall of 4.5 inches, think of it as a record about to be broken.

"It is now the record least amount of snow between December 1st and now," Lezak says. "There’s never been a season with less snow than we’ve had so far in 130 years of record keeping.

"This is ridiculous. But I’m not bummed, I’m baffled. This is absolutely baffling, when we had two of the five snowiest winters last year and the year before, followed by the least snowiest winter ever. And it’s not just in Kansas City, it’s everywhere all across the United States with a couple of exceptions – Denver and Boulder, Soutwest Texas and Seattle. Other than those the rest of the nation is way below average on snowfall."

The unthinkable, awful truth:

"If it continues," Lezak says, "it will be the first winter in Kansas City that you couldn’t make a snowman."

Posted in Hearne_Christopher | Tagged | 5 Comments

Glazer: Against All the Odds, Scribe Goes with Brady & New England in Super Bowl

Man oh man, this is as tough a call as it gets…

This year’s Super Bowl, with the Patriots fielding all-time best quarterback in Tom Brady and the New York Giants with the better team.That’s right, without argument the Giants are better everywhere, except tight end and maybe at quarterback. The Giants defense is better, its running game is better, its receivers are faster, younger and better.

At quarterback, it’s maybe a tie.

Eli Manning is 31 Brady is 34. Eli is much more mobile. Remember when the Chiefs broke Brady’s leg? It’s never been quite the same since.

Yet the New England Patriots, who lost to New York earlier this year at New England, are a 3 point favorite.

WHY?

Oh yeah, and the Giants beat Green Bay on the road at Green Bay, 37-20. Green Bay, who everyone including me picked to win it all! So why on earth are the Pats the favorites? Why?

Still as of today – and this could change – I’m picking New England.

Remember when a younger, less experienced Giants team beat the undefeated Patriots in the 2007 Super Bowl?

So why again are the Pats the favorite?

My answer is we love Tom Brady. He’s handsome, he’s a winner, he’s our boy. Even though his year was saved by one receiver, Rob Gronkowski. But Rob has a messed up ankle, which is not good. The Pats’ Wes Welker and Deon Branch are not as fast or deadly as the Giants young guys, Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks. And the Giants have a new kid named Mario Manningham that’s on fire as well.

So it doesn’t look good for Brady.

Sure the astro turf will speed up Branch and Welker, but it puts the fire under the Giants young guys as well.

No, it looks uphill for the New England Patriots. Most of us don’t want Brady to leave the game and join Peyton Manning with a 3-2 Super Bowl record. If you’re like me, we think this maybe is the last Super Bowl for Brady. The Pats are aging and so is Tom.

It all points to the Giants.

Yet why oh why do I still see a New England Win? Help me out here guys, what do you think?

Posted in Craig_Glazer | Tagged | 14 Comments

Jack Goes Confidential: Harry Potter Grows Up, Goes Ghost Hunting

Is there life after Harry Potter for Daniel Radcliffe?

You’ll have an opportunity to judge for yourself as Radcliffe ventures beyond the mega franchise for the first time this weekend.

Ironically he chose a good old fashioned ghost story for the transition.

In THE WOMAN IN BLACK Radcliffe plays young, widowed-with-kid lawyer Arthur Kipp who travels to a remote village. His assignment, to do the legal follow-up on a recently deceased older woman’s property.

The job’s location: a creepy gothic ‘house on a hill’ type setting where at every turn something could—and does go bump in the night.

And what of the ghostly woman who now messes with Radcliffe’s mind all throughout his spooky visit?
Not to mention the less than hospitable local town folks who welcome him to their little burg with less than open arms.

Hint: ghost woman (a.k.a. The Woman In Back) is grieving for her lost child in the most dispicable ways.

So is this tale of ghostly revenge a gruesome and blood laden slasher-fest?

Not by a long shot!

Most of the film’s fright jolts are achieved through overmodulated audio bumps and dark creepy scenery – basically theater of the mind – and it definitely works. The people around me at the advance screening were jumping like frogs.

And for a minute I thought the lady sitting next to me was going to wet her panties.

Don’t take that the wrong way, by the way.

There’s a piece of advice offered to Radcliffe in the movie when he’s warned. "Don’t go chasing shadows, Arthur!" Well he does anyway, and pulls it off rather convincingly.

Noted in the introductory credits: ‘A Hammer Films Presentation.’
For lovers of that old British horror brand I’m confident you’ll be able to detect comparisons to this once proud studio’s output. The only thing missing here is Christopher Lee.

THE WOMAN IN BLACK, adapted from Susan Hill’s popular 1983 novel and co-starring Janet McTeer and Ciaran Hinds, is new this weekend everywhere.

I’m rising 2-1/2 out of 5 sinister fingers.

JACK GOES TO THE MOVIES on radio Friday mornings at 6:40 a.m. on NewsRadio KMBZ Am & Fm / at 8:20 a.m. on 1660 RADIO BACH / and anytime on Time-Warner Cable’s K.C. ON DEMAND, Channel 411.

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Donnelly: Is Sporting KC (& The Cauldron) Becoming the Hottest Ticket in Town?

Do you ever wish that things could be the way they used to be?

I do, but I also know that can’t happen. Yes, I realize it’s just my own selfishness that makes me long for simpler times. But I was there, man!

I was there before there were crowds of 18,000 plus at Wizards and SKC games.  Before the huge video boards.  Before the snappy new colors and cutting edge stadium.

Those were simpler times. 

You could sit anywhere for five to 10 bucks. The stands were so sparsely littered with fans you could heckle players with elaborate chants they were sure to hear.

Those days are gone, people.  With the home opener less than two months away, Sporting Kansas City is the hottest ticket in town…  

There are a bunch of reasons Sporting has exploded over the past year. There’s the stadium of course, which is the biggest factor.  There’s the winning, which will be the biggest factor going forward, once the “new stadium” thing wears off. 

But there’s also this grass-roots movement that involves several informal supporter groups, the largest of which calls themselves “The Cauldron.”  (Wizards… Cauldron… eh? Eh?).   

Years ago, when the Wiz were still toiling away at Arrowhead and the players on the field nearly outnumbered the fans in the stands, there was a guy – a fanatic really – who decided to throw his passion behind this rainbow-colored crew. His name is Sam Pierron and he founded The Cauldron. With little more than some beer, a couple dozen other crazies, and a drum, The Cauldron was born.

That was then.  Fast forward a decade plus later and…

Sam now works for Sporting in several capacities, one of which is as a ticketing guru.  He, along with the forward-thinking ownership group, understands the relationship between the team’s biggest supporter’s group and the long term economic success of professional soccer in Kansas City.

But hold it right there; the first rule of The Cauldron is that you do not talk about The Cauldron.

“There’s no such thing as Cauldron membership, which is by design,” says Pierron.  “But by any reasonable measure, affiliation has tripled [in the past 12 months], at the very minimum.”

Yes, business is booming at 1 Sporting Way.  Though he couldn’t give a specific number, Pierron says more season tickets have already been sold than at this point last year.  And last year, with about a month to go before the home opener they had sold over 11,000.  I think the final number for last season ended up north of 12,000 season tickets sold.

Pierron sees nothing but growth heading into 2012’s season opener on St. Patty’s Day. 

“I’m quite confident that, in the final analysis, our season ticket numbers will be improved from 2011,” he says confidently. 

So what’re we looking at then? Maybe 15,000 or 16,000 season tickets sold in 2012?  With a capacity of almost 19,000 at LIVESTRONG, you can see why Sporting tickets are a hot commodity, especially the home opener.   

And The Cauldron is a big part of that.

“The power of The Cauldron has been most strongly felt as a force multiplier for any and all of our efforts,” explains Pierron.  “Whether that’s working to create an authentic atmosphere inside the stadium, attendance at public events, spreading the word through social media, you name it.  Also, there are situations where it’s best for us to let them run with their ideas, independent of us, because that provides more flexibility.”

Part of harnessing that power comes from the accessibility Sporting brings to the table, which includes a high level of personal interaction with diehard fans.  Sporting main man Robb Heinemann regularly tweets about Cauldron events, discusses club matters with fans and local media, posts on soccer related blogs, and even throws down for a keg or three for tailgating on occasion. 

Think about that; you can tweet @RobbHeinemann and he will probably answer you.

All that said, everything falls apart if the team doesn’t win.  All the social media, all the bells and whistles of a new stadium and supporter’s club are mere accessories.

Last season saw Sporting win the East, and they are favorites heading into the 2012 season after adding some top players to replace Omar Bravo and provide depth at key spots.  Plus, their schedule doesn’t include a three month road trip to start off.

Single game tickets don’t go on sale until mid-February, so keep an eye out if you want to get in on the green beer-soaked party.

** Above photo credit to Thad Bell**

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