Hearne: The Jazz Train Wreck Known as Jardine’s Erupts into Bidding War

 

Who doesn’t love a good, old-fashioned train wreck?

And for the past four months, the wreck that won’t go away involves Kansas City’s leading jazz club Jardine’s. But hold it a minute before we go any further.

I hereby promise not to bog down in the endless stream of details – the few ups and many downs of this pathetically sad, ridiculously lame tale of musical chairs.

Suffice it to say, there are plenty of losers and villains in this jazz soap and precious few good guys and gals. But after making contact with Jardine’s owner Beena Raja and most of the key players yesterday, I can now report that…

It’s still a nightmare of monumental proportions.

Where to begin?

How about that despite a dearth of living, breathing, club-going jazz heads, cheerleaders like the Kansas City Star and oldsters of a certain stripe like little more than to pretend that Kansas City Jazz remains an important art form. Cherished by the masses who somehow are nowhere to be found in numbers greater than 20 to 50 – sometimes maybe 100 – on any given night.

Don’t get me wrong.

Having personally witnessed dozens of up-and-coming jazz musicians here  (and their substandard counterparts in other cities), Kansas City is in a league of its own for quality jazz talent.

But in a city of 2 million people Jardine’s was lucky to lure a hundred or two on the best of its nights.

Leaving amazingly talented musicians like Mark Lowery, Hermon Mehari and Mark Southerland to play tiny, often ill equipped venues and chain restaurants and hotel lobbys before audiences more interested in polite conversation than revering KC’s live art form.

Jardine’s was the exception to that unfortunate rule, but since late last year it’s gone dark.

A number of people stepped up to try and save the club but one by one they fell by the wayside.

Until a pair of gay dudes with few connections to jazz came to the rescue. Or so it seemed. However none of the local jazz players seem to have a clue what happened to them, and they’ve not returned calls or texts requesting a comment for weeks.

More recently landlord American Century put the club up for lease to any and all.

The latest? At least three suitors hoping to buy Jardines remain in play.

Beleaguered Jardine’s owner Beena Raja says they include a member of former local band The Nortons, the owner of the Phoenix jazz club, former Sprint exec Paul Wilson and possibly the two dudes who pulled the wool over Fox 4 and The Pitch, announcing last December that they’d purchased the club.

The current state of the club according to Raja?

"American Century still has not given me a repossession notice yet so it’s still up for sale," she says. "And they’re taking the position now that they’re not asking for any back rent."

Until recently sources say American Century’s leasing rep was asking for back rent in the neighborhood of $25,000 to $30,000 for parties interesting in reopening Jardine’s as a jazz club.

"The position they’re taking as of last Monday is the property managers are allowed to show the space to anybody and negotiate a new lease," Raja says. "So they’re cutting their losses."

New owners would have the option but not the obligation to pay former owner Greg Halstead for Jardine’s innards – tables, chairs, fixtures and restaurant equipment. Because Raja defaulted on a $50,000 note still owed to Halstead and secured by the club’s contents.

They wouldn’t have to pay Raja either except for one thing.

They would have to pay her if they wanted to retain Jardine’s the 3 am liquor and Sunday licenses which they would be foolish not to hang onto while the getting’s good.

"I guess they could rent the place but if they want the 3 am license, they’ll have to come to me," Raja says. "I mean, they can apply for a new liquor license and they’ll have to pay the back taxes, but they’ll never get the 3 am license and the Sunday license will be hard to get."

For the rights to the Jardine’s name and to transfer the licenses before the time to do so runs out, Raja is asking $20,000.

As for the dudes who claimed ownership of Jardine’s last year and later told KCC they planned on reopening by early February, "They’re just complete fakes, I don’t know what they want to do," Raja says. "The Phoenix guys are interested in buying it, I’m meeting with them…"

The gentlemen did not return requests for comment for this and the last several columns.

Raja’s take on who the best bet to get Jardine’s is?

"I don’t want to predict that and jinx myself again," she says. "But I don’t think the gay guys are gonna get it – it’s just a mess."

Posted in Hearne_Christopher | Tagged | 73 Comments

Hearne: New KMBZ Biz Channel Faceplants After Mike Shanin Refuses to go on Air

Radio can get messy at times…

It’s pretty much a bloodsport anymore with kickass air talent having to work for pennies on the dollar with precious little support.

And if you think the nearly 1,500 people that have bought the farm at the Kansas City Star in recent years is an anomaly, think again.

Stroll through the ghost town headquarters of local radio stations here and count the empty desks.

But let’s move on, shall we?

To the under-reported mess at the Entercom-owned station at 1660 AM.

You may know it as classical radio station KXTR-FM. Or the hastily conceived Radio Bach (a name change enacted last year so Entercom could prevent its legendary call letters KUDL from being pirated by the competition.

That after Entercom somewhat foolishly blew up KUDL FM last spring in order to simulcast KMBZ News Radio 980 AM on the FM dial to try and pick up the more affluent, FM listeners.

Just one problem…

Not only did Entercom kiss hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenues that KUDL was billing goodbye, the combined ratings of KMBZ on both AM and FM not only failed to increase – they declined!

In short, the move backfired because not only did Entercom lose revenue, it lost listeners.

In its latest gamble, Entercom announced recently it would kill off Radio Bach and launch an all-business, KMBZ sister station March 5th on 1660.

However, in one of the most under-reported local business stories in years, the poster boy for KMBZ’s new business station – Mike Shanin - reportedly refused to go on the air hours before the launch. Placing Entercom in the embarrassing position of having to find a new lead host and delaying the station’s official launch an additional month when Krista Klaus steps in for Shanin. Klaus will debut Monday, elevating the station out of its current "soft opening" status.

After Entercom can locate and hire a producer for her show. Radio Bach and KXTR main man Patrick Neas had reportedly been offered the producer job at the new KMBz biz channeled but had turned it down after being offered only a fraction of what Entercom had been paying him on Radio Bach.

Entercom was able to do damage control by getting a local media blogger to gloss over the mess.

Allowing KC Confidential to share with you now what radio insiders have been saying about Shanin’s puzzling behavior for weeks.

"Supposedly two hours before Mike’s show was scheduled to launch, he said he was not going to go on the air," says one source.

The reason being?

"Well, it wasn’t because he wanted more money, he wanted Entercom to hire a producer for his show to do show prep and schedule guests, freeing him to come in, read the prepared news and banter with callers."

In other words, rather than do the leg work, the stodgy septuagenarian reportedly only wanted to show up and showboat.

Cutbacks in radio revenues had largely forced KMBZ and other stations to eliminate the producer position leaving only what in the trade they call "board ops" to answer, screen calls and make sure commercials, news and the like are properly embedded.

Prior to Shanin’s recent demotion from co-host of KMBZ’s embattled afternoon drive, his partner Scott Parks was the dude mainly responsible for acting as the show’s producer, sources say.

As part of Shanin’s new gig he was to do morning, mini business reports on KMBZ.

Shanin also was reportedly pissed because the first two VIP guests he’d book were unaware that Entercom hadn’t really promoted the show – opting for a soft opening – and Shanin was embarrassed they’d be going on the air with fewer listeners than I have IQ points.

And as might be imagined, Entercom head Dave Alpert was reportedly furious with Shanin and checked with Entercom’s lawyers about firing him. However with large advertsing cutbacks in the wake of Rush Limbaugh‘s stunningly sexist blunder a few weeks back, KMBZ could ill afford to risk pissing off and losing Shanin advertisers, so it reportedly decided to keep him on for the time being at KMBZ, says another source.

"So they cancelled Mike’s contract with KMBZ and kept him on on an hourly basis," says the source.

The odds of Entercom keeping Shanin on for long now that he’s bitten the hand that feeds him?

"Not very good," says the source. "When you know you’ve pissed off Dave Alpert, the odds of Mike hanging onto that job very long are slim and none."

Now here’s a little reward for readers who waded thru this long and wearisome mess:

"If this new KMBZ business station works, the tentative plan is to move it from 1660 AM to KMBZ 980 AM’s signal which is much stronger. So it will be KMBZ FM’s business partner and Entercom will leave the main KMBZ on FM."

Posted in Hearne_Christopher | Tagged | 32 Comments

Glazer: Going Up? Local Funny Guy AJ Finney’s Career Achieving Liftoff

As much as any KC comic in recent years, A.J. Finney has moved into the "making it" group…

AJ was just signed by Parallel Management in Los Angeles. It’s a top notch management team that reps Larry The Cable Guy, Jeff Foxworthy and Lisa Lampanelli. It’s a tough agency to get into and they only have a few clients, most of whom are stars in the industry. Lisa for example was at the Uptown last weekend.

And all of the above names have been Stanford’s regulars over the years.

AJ started with Stanford’s doing open mic work in the early 2000′s. He moved up the food chain quickly. He was also the comedy morning guy with Max, Tanna and Moffitt  on KY for a couple years before they were taken off the air.

AJ’s career took off a couple years back when he won an HBO national contest, called HBO 21 in Las Vegas. He also placed in the San Francisco Comedy Fest (where Robin Williams got his break) and landed a national CD deal. The new CD is often played on comedy radio today, and landed in the iTunes Top 10. The CD is titled "My Brain Ain’t Workin."  And AJ was kind enough to give Stanford’s and my brother and I a nice write up inside the CD jacket. Loyal guy.

Finney is moving out to LA so he can attack more options and continue advancing his career. Finney worked this past weekend at Stanford’s and was a joy to work with, a pro, and one of the kindest people I’ve had the pleasure to see move to the top of his game.

It’s always an inner joy to see one of your guys careers take off. It doesn’t happen often, trust me. Even Johnny Dare has become a fan and we did his show last week.

Sadly, I didn’t get to work with AJ after late last week because I was in Las Vegas. I was in the air when KU thumped NC State. Damn it.

My trip was both business and believe it or not a slight rest. I’m in Vegas often so I don’t really gamble too much. I work out, hit the pool and catch some sun. Nice thing is I will be a guest of Kevin Hart‘s at Mandalay Bay Theater. Kevin also started early on with Stanford’s.

Hart worked our Westport club several times on his way up and has since become THE guy of black performers in comedy. Hart was recently in KC for a sold out theater show. The room he has in Vegas seats 8,000 and is sold out. Kevin is best known for his many films, like Soul Plane and his ABC TV series The Big House. He has replaced Katt Williams as the new No. 1 comedy man of color.

It’s also nice to see out-of-town comics you helped on the way to the top, like Kevin. Hart, like AJ, was a pleasure to work with back in the early 2000′s. He hasn’t let money and fame change him much. And yes, I will drop in on old pals Jimmy Walker and maybe David Brenner. Both live in Vegas.

It took AJ eight years to finally get a shot at money and stardom.

I really hope it all continues to come his way. I have so many young comics tell me, "I’m ready to headline, Craig!" This after about two years as an opener or feature act. As with AJ it usually takes 8-10 years to find your voice in this tough game.

AJ is a thinking man’s comic. You should check him out.

P.S. Yes I am taking the OVER on the Kansas City Royals.

As of yesterday that number was 78 1/2 games. Meaning I am betting they win more than that number. So yes – once again – I’m believing in our local team. If you win you have to wait until October to get paid – baseball is a long season.

Posted in Craig_Glazer | Tagged | 5 Comments

Donnelly: Sporting Stays Perfect in Come From Behind Win Over Dallas

 

Despite beating FC Dallas by but a single one goal, Sporting Kansas City was dominant on Sunday…

“They are much further ahead than any other team in the league and they have a lot of weapons,” said losing coach Schellas Hyndman after the match.  “They play a style of soccer that is very disruptive, both going forward and defending. I don’t think there is another team in the league playing at the level they’re playing at.”

That’s high praise considering the game was knotted at 1-1 going into the 88th minute.  If not for several top notch saves by former KC keeper Kevin Hartman, Sporting could have easily scored 4 or 5 goals.

Sound familiar?

If you’ve been paying attention, you know that KC’s boys in blue have pretty much dominated their opposition this season in terms of possession, shots on goal, and passing percentages.  And they certainly did so against Dallas, who were missing their best player Brek Shea to the US Olympic squad.

But despite outshooting the visitors 18-8, and allowing Dallas only one shot on goal for the entire game, KC found themselves trailing 1-0 at the 25 minute mark.  The Dallas goal came after a long ball was played toward the edge of KC’s penalty area.  Several Sporting defenders challenged for the ball, and the Dallas forward seemed to go down like he was shot.  The ref, who was shaky at best throughout the match, awarded a free kick that Dallas forward Ricardo Villar coolly curled over the wall and into the back of the net, leaving no chance for Jimmy Nielsen.

This weak call and subsequent against-the-run-of-play goal seemed to piss Sporting off a bit.

In the next 10 minutes a pair of KC fullbacks unleashed brutal hits on their opposition.  The first of which was notorious French mauler Aurelien Collin, who launched himself into the back of a Dallas player at midfield while challenging for a head ball.  Collin earned a yellow for his body blow and stopped the game for a few moments while the Dallas player shook it off.

Not to be outdone, though, was laid back surfer dude and fellow defenseman Chance Myers.  Myers absolutely destroyed Villar, going straight through his chest as the two were jostling for the ball on the flank.  The Dallas player crumpled to the ground and immediately raised his hand indicating that he was injured and needed to come off.  He stayed down for quite awhile and was taken off the field on a stretcher, though he did eventually return.

I’m guessing SKC coach Peter Vermes was smiling inside.  The blunt Jersey boy is known to love “hard” players, and Chance’s persona is nothing if not West Coast style.

Sporting finally got on the board in the final few seconds of the first half after Roger Espinoza won a loose ball in the attacking third and was fouled.  Graham Zusi played the ball straight into the box toward the penalty spot finding Collin, who skipped the ball off his shaved head and into the net.  From that point on, it was all Sporting, though they should have iced the game by scoring a couple goals instead of just the one in last few minutes of the game.

Sporting’s best chance to bring the wood was in the 51st minute, but Hartman came up big again, deflecting Kei Kamara’s penalty shot out for a corner.

Despite KC’s overall dominance they remained deadlocked until the 88th minute when a nice combination play down the right flank found Myers, who played in a ground cross that Kei slipped past the near post to redeem himself and make it 2-1, which was the score when the ref signaled full time.

After the game, Wildman Collin told MLSSoccer.com’s Steve Brisendine, “This is the proof of where we are right now.  Confident. Fighting, but not crazy. The cold blood. I’m proud of the team tonight.”  I’m not quite sure what that means, but I do know that Collin and his back line have meshed nicely after playing nearly a full season together in 2011.  Of particular note was left back Seth Sinovic, who had one of his best games in a Sporting jersey.   

Three points is three points, I know.  But KC simply need more goals out of the run of play, especially given how well they are holding the ball and controlling tempo generally.  They are heavily reliant on set pieces and crosses for their scoring, with few legit chances being created at the top of the box.

Part of that falls on second year man CJ Sapong, who was a ghost for most of the night after scoring goals in KC’s previous two games.  He needs to bounce back, not necessarily by scoring, but he has to be more involved for this team to be at its most effective. 

And of course goals wouldn’t hurt either.

But perhaps this type of game will prove useful for Sporting as a learning experience. Just like many point to KU’s come from behind victory over Mizzou at Allen Fieldhouse as an important building block going forward.

**Photo credit to Gary Rohman Photography**

Posted in Sporting_Kansas_City | Tagged | 3 Comments

Edelman: KC REP WHIPS UP CIVIL WAR DRAMA

Some first class acting in the service of an intriguing if not fully mature script makes THE WHIPPING MAN (now through April 8 at KC Rep on the UMKC campus) a thought-provoking two hours of theater.

Though by no means fearless or adventurous (when is the Rep gonna give up on those superlatives?), Matthew Lopez‘s new play– competently staged by Rep Artistic Director Eric Rosen– takes us back in time to what must have been one of the strangest moments in our country’s history.

It’s April, 1865.  One day, you’re a slave; the next, you’re free. One day, you’re a master– the next, just a guy with control issues.

The War Between the States (as WHIPPING MAN suggests, not that Civil an undertaking) has come to its bloody end, Lee surrendering to Grant at Appomatox. Coincidentally, it’s the first night of Passover (who knew?). Rebel soldier Caleb stumbles into his bombed out RIchmond home, a bullet in his leg. Only Simon, the family’s retainer, has remained behind, defending the homestead against the looting rabble. Caleb’s father and mother have fled, taking their slaves– Simon’s wife and daughter– with them.

Did I mention Caleb’s family was Jewish? Every Passover, for all those years, they recited the story of the exodus from Egypt– from slavery to freedom and the Promised Land. They ate a sumptuous Passover meal prepared by their—slaves. Wasn’t that just a tad hypocritical, y’all?

WHIPPING MAN probes the shifting ground between Simon and Caleb. Add to that treacherous terrain charming con man John, a slave who grew up with Caleb in the Richmond house. Simon and John may have had it better with Caleb’s family than the African-Americans who toiled in the cotton fields; but there was plenty of Tom Jefferson-style shenanigans going on under that roof. Worse, John faced the eponymous Whipping Man whenever the master felt the time had come.

Not a guy you want to turn your back on, if you know what I mean.

In this three-hander, the secrets and lies flow fast and loose– they have to, or the whole enterprise would bog down in the unrelenting rain that threatens to wash away this part of Richmond (nice job by lighting designer VIctor Tan and sound designer Andre Pluess on the thunder and lightning). Lopez veers into melodrama land with a series of startling revelations— a sophomore slip-up that I expect the playwright will grow out of with future iterations of his opus. Still, when there’s an audible "ooooh" from the audience every time Lopez turns that plot screw, you have to appreciate the craftsmanship.

In the role of Caleb, Kyle Hatley reminds us he’s one of our town’s most exciting young actors– and a good looking lad to boot (why he hasn’t tried his luck in New York or Hollywood is hard to figure out). Josh Breckenridge– fresh from a stint in Kander and Ebb’s much-admired Broadway effort THE SCOTTSBORO BOYS– makes John a likable scam-artist, smooth as silk  gliding from one petty theft to another. He’s a survivor– Breckenridge makes John the one character you’d bet on to get out of this hell hole and wind up selling moccasins to the Injuns.

But the scenery chewing prize– and I mean that in a complimentary way–  goes to Michael Genet‘s Simon. Stooped-over servant one moment, outta-my-way giant another, he personifies the strange change of circumstances and expectations we call Emancipation.  Reading high school history books, you probably never stopped to think about what it must have been like to be a slave one day and free the next. Genet and THE WHIPPING MAN provide some compelling insights into what must have been on the minds of those African-Americans, whose world turned upside down on Passover, back in 1865. 

Posted in Entertainment | Tagged | 6 Comments

Hearne: The Myth that Roy Williams Has Been Forgiven

As Jayhawk fan extraordinaire Brett Mosiman eloquently stated last week that many, if not most, KU basketball fans have moved beyond their bitter hatred since being cruely jilted by North Carolina coach Roy Williams nine years ago…

I’ve got a slightly different outlook on the subject.

When someone lies to, pledges eternal devotion and then summarily dumps their significant other it can get ugly. Starting with the five stages of grief, which I unfortunately experienced first hand the hard way three years ago courtesy of my ex.

You know, denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance.

I messed up in 2008 – my mom died in July, my dog in August, my job in November  and my marriage in December. Not exactly the kind of roll many people would relish going thru, especially in such short order. And that doesn’t EVEN count the ridiculously dumb dating and romantic misadventures that ensued.

But life goes on right?

Three years later, my ex’s polished off four out of five but she’s hanging on to anger for good measure.

Make no mistake it was a difficult time.

But let’s get back to Roy Boy and the tens of thousands of KU fans who hated his guys.

The all-knowing sports media types love to pretend that they and they’re all knowing and KU fans are over hating Roy Williams. But I’m going to offer up an other point of view, then you guys can rip me for not having a clue.

So hang with me here…

Your wife, girlfriend, husband or boyfriend drop you for somebody else like a bag of boiling hot peanuts.

That after vowing eternal, undying love. You hate their guts, right?

No way parting is anything approaching sweet effing, dad gum sorrow.

So it was in the case of Roy Willimas – for years KU fan hatred towards him was palpable.

As it generally is with the spouse on the losing end of the romantic stick.

Until maybe the dude or woman who stole your significant other loses their life savings and/or job or gets crotch cancer or whatever. That kinda closure can ease the pain and suffering.

Making it far easier to move on and not look back.

But if the low down, no good departing scumbag lives happily ever while you go to heck in a handbasket, screw ‘em. Chances are you’ll carry that grude for a while.

In the case of Roy Williams and his replacement Bill Self, KU’s beating Roy and winning a National Championship in 2008 went a long way towards taking out the sting of Roy bailing. As did beating Williams and North Carolina yesterday and heading to the Final Four.

But why pretend, no way KU fans didn’t relish laying the pipe to Roy and North Carolina.

And we don’t need media suck ups to tell us differently.

Clearly Roy wants to be remembered as a totally cool guy – not half hero and half you-know what hole.

I can tell you this because I’ve experienced and talked to others who’ve seen the flip side of Williams personality that most fans will probably never see. Because with rare exception sports fans only see what they wanna see – the winsa versus the losses and the carefully meted out aw shucks comments.

There’s a reason why they seldom see that other side..

Two, actually. First because beat writers NEVER want to piss off their sources – especially popular ones like Roy Williams.  Because it handicaps their ability to get much needed quotes and behind-the-scenes scoops from the pissed off party. And that affects their job ratings and thus their paychecks.

Secondly, most sportswriters and broadcasters are groupies at heart.

Don’t think for one minute they don’t relish having cozy relationships with rock star like players and coaches. And to cement those relationships they try their darndest not to hound or piss those people off.

There are exceptions but…

I can tell you that behind the scenes Roy Williams has an explosive temper and he won’t hesitate to unleash it if one goes so far as to ask him a tough question he doesn’t want to answer. And since reporters seldom do – Williams has become spoiled over the years and has little tolerance of those who do.

Want an example?

In the early years after KU athletic director Al Bohl had come to KU I was up in the newly redone football press box and high dollar donor suites area at Memorial Stadium during a football game.

Williams had a nice schmooze suite to recruit basketball players and when I politely ducked in to say hello, he was very cordial. After a bit of small talk, I asked the question I really wanted the anwer to; was the talk about KU wanting to tear down Allen Field House and replace it with a state of the art venue that could hold thousands more fans and bring in beacoup bucks something he was in agreement to.

At that point it appeared like to be on a fast track to becoming a reality.

In the blink of an eye Williams face grew red and he snapped out a very angry answer to the effect that it would be over his dead body before that happened. That ended our cheery talk.

William knew I was a reporter with The Kansas City Star and that he’d lost his temper and there was a good chance he’s his angry answer dissing KU management. So he trioed to nip it in the bud.

Uncomfotable as it had suddenly become, I thanked Williams and exited his suite.

That was on a Saturday,

In Monday’s mail a letter to my editor at the Star arrived saying I had no business being in the press box and KU greatly resented that I’d come there and invaded Williams space.

Bear in mind I’d shown my Star credentials and been invited in. I’d also touched base immediately with KU’s sports media main man and had been given a warm welcome.

However Williams had reported me to his PR protector and made sure my editor knew I’d tresspassed. She was in the early morning news meeting of editors and I was instructed she wanted to see mean immediately aftre the meeting adjourned.

Naturally I gulped, knowing as most Star reporters do that you’re was pretty much guilty until proven innocent when a local big shot complains you did something wrong.

However the mail arrived when I waited on Death Row for my dressing down and lo and behold in it was a personal note from KU AD Al Bohl thanking me for coming up the the press box and basically saying I was welcome any time.

Uh, saved by the Bohl!

In other words, Williams tried to get me in trouble at the Star but had narrowly missed.

When the editorial meeting at the Star was done, I handed my editor my get out of jail free card, she smiled a smile of relief and the matter was resolved without Williams having laid a glove on me.

As for what Williams told me that fateful Saturday about tearing Allen Field House was, it would be over his cold, dead body.

That’s the Williams I and others got a glimpse of. A short tempered control freak who liked to play the, "Well, I’ll be dad gummed" card with the public as long as the media played along – which they largely did.

So hey, don’t mind me – go ahead and forgive the due – even you "wine and cheese’ ticketholders.

Posted in Hearne_Christopher | Tagged | 10 Comments

Hearne: Never Ending Saga of Jardine’s Takes Another Confusing Turn

The following is a rhetorical question and requires no response from inhabitors of the Comments Section…

Like they give a darn about what I think, but here goes.

In what amounts to another confusing turn of events, it appears that American Century has green-lighted its leasing agents to open the bidding for the closed-since-last fall jazz club known as Jardine’s.

Giving the appearance that the dudes who leapt into the media spotlight last fall – Messrs. Robert McCain and Joseph FulgenzI – have failed to do what they reportedly told the Pitch and Fox 4 three months back; that they’d they secured and finalized a deal to buy the fabled Plaza area jazz club.

The latest?

According to Jardine’s suitor Paul Wilson the leasing agent for Jardine’s space got the "first proactive call" from leasing agent Scott Padon late last week, saying, "He just got (the) green light from the attorneys to market the space."

Prior to that Wilson was having a hard time getting any answers from the landlord’s reps, who according to several sources had done its due diligence on McCain and Fulgenzi’s "backers" and were hoping to see the sale of the business and other details with beleaguered Jardine’s owner Beena Raja and founder Greg Halstead.

You may recall that McCain and Fulgenzi made Raja’s $1,200 monthly January payment on Raja’s note to Halstead in order to keep their buying game afoot. However they – along with Raja – missed the February and March payments, appearing to give Halstead the right to foreclose on Raja’s note and to sell off the remaining physical assets of Jardine’s.

However several sources say that as late as last week McCain and Fulgenzi continued to try and work something out with Raja’s attorney.

Raja and McCain could not be reached for this column and Halstead declined to comment.

So what’s next?

"I have no idea," says former Jardine’s co-owner Pat Hanrahan, who has been in ongoing discussions with McCain, Raja and Halstead. Discussions that seemed to indicate that once a deal was struck Hanrahan would help manage and/or operate the new Jardine’s.

"I know Paul Wilson is still interested," Hanrahan says. "And I know other people are still interested."

Including McCain and Fulgenzi?

"From what I hear yes," Hanrahan says. "But I haven’t talked to them (lately)."

Hanrahan’s best guess on the current status of the two dude’s efforts to procure Jardine’s:

"I think American Century got tired of waiting on them. I think everybody got tired of waiting on them. You know, they’d go weeks at a time without anybody being able to reach them. I’ve been trying to get ahold of them since last Monday and they haven’t returned my calls.

"And I know they had a long conversation with Beena’s attorney late last Monday afternoon. And I thought – and what most people thought – was that the attorneys were working out the wording for a final agreement."

And that’s the name of this weary tune…for now.

Posted in Hearne_Christopher | Tagged | 33 Comments

New Jack City: HUNGER GAMES Takes Giant Bite Out Of The Boxoffice

There’s an old saying in the movie biz that proved itself again this past weekend…

"There’s nothing wrong with the industry that a good movie won’t cure."

THE HUNGER GAMES did just that. This first of three films in the new franchise has instantly become the third biggest movie debut of ALL TIME!

And biggest of all film outside of the summer movie season.

THE HUNGER GAMES has sold an estimated $155 Million worth of tickets. Approximately $20 Million of that amount came from the film’s Friday morning 12:01 a.m. midnight showings in North America alone.

Worldwide The Hunger Games generated approximately $214 Million in ticket sales this weekend.

How does that stack up against the other two blockbusters?

Number 1 was 2011′s HARRY POTTER & THE DEATHLY HALLOWS-PART 2 with an opening weekend boxoffice take of $169.2 Million followed in second place by THE DARK KNIGHT which in 2008 made its debut with $158 Million in domestic ticket sales.

And we’ve only just begun. Look for 2012 to be a banner year at the movies!

Posted in Jack_Poessiger | Tagged | 2 Comments

Hearne: The Truth & Nothing But The Truth (Wink) About KU, MU & Roy Williams

With a pair of Kansas teams in the Sweet Sixteen and Missouri on the ropes, it’s time to check in with Brett Mosiman, one of KU’s staunchest supporters and local promoter of Crossroads and Wakarusa fame…

First a little handicapping.

The surprising KU women’s basketball team – its ranks depleted by crippling injuries to frontline stars – faces perennial powerhouse Tennessee Saturday.

"They lose by 30 to Tennessee," Mosiman predicts.

And KU’s mens team tonight against North Carolina State?

"The mens team skates into the Elite Eight against North Carolina."

The $64 million question: Do KU tried and true still hate Carolina coach Roy Williams for leaving them for NC?

"No," Mosiman says. "The vast minority maybe, but the average fan is way over it. It wouldn’t hurt any more to lose at the hands of Roy than it would anybody else. I think by beating him in the Final Four in 2008 the fans got over it. And the day after that when we were in the championship game Roy was very cool about it. He showed up in the stands with a KU sticker on. And he took a lot of shit for that with the Carolina fans and I think that was pretty cool of him. And I think that healed it for KU and he’s doing the same thing this week. He’s saying, ‘If we can’t win it, I want KU to win it."

All of that said, won’t there be a little bit of extra joy in Mudville – I mean Lawrence – if KU can beat NC?

"I don’t think so," Mosiman says. "Not for me. I don’t care who it is we beat."

His  take on Missouri’s choking to nobody school Norfolk State… Mosiman get any joy out of that one?

"Oh, yes," he says. "Best day ever for KU fans – that was huge.

"I had MU going to the Final Four and I was shocked because I thought they were for real. But they did have a pretty thin schedule and they were just horribly prepared for the tournament."

As for going forward in the SEC, "If Missouri didn’t go to the Final Four this year, they’re never going," Mosiman says.  "For one thing, they’re never going to be able to recruit in the SEC. I think they’re about to go into a dark period."

Meaning Missouri will have a hard time recruiting from the Big 12 because area kids friends and families won’t be able to go see them play anymore for one thing, Mosiman says.

"They left the Big 12 because there’s only one revenue sport, football," Mosiman says. "But there are 13 to 15 other sports and do you know how much it’s going to cost Missouri to take their golf and tennis and softball and volleyball teams to Florida?" Mosiman asks. "Do you know how much it’s going to cost to do that? It’s never going to pay off overall – it was totally shortsighted of them to leave the Big 12."

Posted in Hearne_Christopher | Tagged | 15 Comments

Whinery: The Afghan Massacre versus Harry’s War

Was this tragedy predictible?

The shocking Afghan Massacre that reminds me of a certain war movie you may have seen.

“Charging a Man with murder in this place was like handing out speeding tickets at the Indianapolis 500.” Captain Willard, Apocalypse Now.

On March 11, 2012, Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, 38, “allegedly” killed 16 Afghan Civilians during his fourth tour of duty to a warzone. And today, Mr. Bales is to be officially charged with 17 counts of murder, 6 counts of attempted murder and 6 counts of aggravated assault.

So why does something like this happen? 

In a report recently issued by the US Army it notes that the average infantryman in World War II experienced a total of 40 days of combat during the ENTIRE war and in Iraq and Afghanistan a soldier is in almost constant combat conditions with very little downtime.

Is it any wonder a guy snaps?

And why are we still in Afghanistan anyway?

We went to war to get Osama Bin Laden and to remove the Taliban from power: Done and done.

Now we’re occupying a Country where its President stirs up Anti- American sentiment at every opportunity and threatens to join the Taliban. Where Afghan troops we have trained have gone rogue and killed hundreds of NATO troops. We can’t even insulate the US Embassy from attacks.  I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that after 10 years and untold billions of dollars- we have lost the war in Afghanistan.

And I believe that the massacre committed by Sgt. Bales is not going to be the last.

And you know what. If I was defending him, I would plead not guilty and take it to trial. This is war and killing is a business and business is good. If anyone is guilty it’s the US Government for asking so much of our troops.

Sgt. Bales is not the problem. He’s the solution. War is hell and if you want to win there are no “rules.” Were there rules when we leveled Tokyo & Dresden in World War II? Not to mention nuking Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

If you don’t have the stomach to kill with impunity- then you shouldn’t go to war!

Where’s Harry Truman when you need him?

Posted in News_and_Views | Tagged | 11 Comments

Tales From the Tweet: Timsanity Strikes NY, NFL Strikes Saints & Soria Strikes Out

There are literally 1,313,045 things happening in the world of sports right now that are raping my Twitter feed. So while I usually like to spend my opening paragraph waxing poetic about the modern era of “sports and social media; what they mean to you,” I figure we should treat this like Whitney in the bathtub and dive right in.

First up, Denver, Colorado, best known for their… shit, I don’t know… cheeseburgers? (Seriously—is Denver known for anything other than mountains and John Elway? Help me out here) Anyway, Denver, best known for their stuff, made waves like… Whitney slipping quietly into the bathtub? by signing Jesus H. Manning and then trading Jesus H. Tebow (or did they?! dun-dun-DUN) to the Jets.

Local radio personality/aspiring Mensa member Bob Fescoe watched the press conference and had this to say:

@bobfescoe (610 am)
“Peyton has a huge forehead”
“John Elway looks like the team mascot”

Brilliant, Bob, just… brilliant.

But seriously folks: SO. WHAT. According to multiple sources, the Chiefs were never on Peyton’s radar, he wouldn’t give Pioli the time of day, and blah blah blah.

Here’s the deal: if Peyton is healthy—repeat, IF PEYTON IS HEALTHY—he automatically makes the Broncos a much better team. Duh. But—I repeat: BUT—if he’s NOT healthy but tries to be, and gives the Broncos just enough to keep that contract-a-goin’, it could be a miserable couple of years over in the Rockies.

Peyton Manning is no spring chicken. He’s not even a SUMMER chicken at this point. After 14 years in the league (well, 13 played), two major neck surgeries and a whole stew of cumulative bumps and bruises, he’s a goddamned autumnal chicken, and he’s rapidly approaching Denver’s Winter (Chicken) of Discontent. Oh, and he’s played over half of his professional career IN A DOME. Have fun with your… cheeseburgers, Peyton. 

So with the arrival of Sir Manning of Indy, Denver had no choice but to jettison the crack-lipped face of their franchise, Timothy Richard Tebow.

@JayGlazer (NFL Dude)
“Breaking news: Ny Jets have just traded a 4th round pick for Tim Tebow”

Holy shit! Can you PICTURE this? A rabid, eclectic New York fan base and the guy who probably closes his eyes and says a silent prayer whenever he sees two gay guys holding hands? This is too much! They’re gonna eat him alive in NY! But wait… what?

@ShawnZobel_DHQ (Draftheadquarters.com)
“Breaking: A trade between the Denver Broncos and Jacksonville Jaguars for Tim Tebow is imminent. Fourth and Seventh with JAX picking up $$$”

Oh, whatever. I don’t care. Tebow’s going to end up somewhere, and he’ll probably be really, really average for the next several years, and when my grandkids say, “Pep-pep, tell us about Tim Tebow!” I’ll hit them with the switch I made them cut themselves because I’m suffering from dementia and mistakenly arrived at the impression that they were speaking ill of their dear, late Grand-Mammers.

I don’t care about Tim Tebow anymore, frankly. The sooner he lands and the sooner he begins to rot, the sooner we can all get on with our lives.

(This just in: Tebow’s back to the Jets. I give up on this whole, “internet-trade-rumor” thing.)
 

In other, extremely un-Christlike NFL news, Gregg Williams, Sean Payton and the New Orleans Saints were trying to murder their opponents, and commissioner Roger Goodell was awfully angry about it.

@AdamSchefter (ESPN NFL Insider)
“ Sean Payton suspended one year. Mickey Loomis 8 game and $500,000 fine. Saints fined $500,000 and a second round pick in 2012 and 2012.”

What Schefter failed to note is that Gregg Williams, the former Saints defensive mastermind who orchestrated the whole thing, was severely punished as well. The Excelsior Springs native– only recently hired as the defensive coordinator for the St. Louis Rams– was suspended indefinitely. Goodell stated that his punishment would be reviewed at the conclusion of the upcoming season.

I said it before and I’ll say it again: this is all terribly stupid.

Bounty programs started back when Dutch Clark was wearing one of those weird, leather aviator helmets and chucking the pigskin for the Portsmouth Spartans. It’s not new, it’s not shocking and frankly, the whole thing comes across as hypocritical from a league that pushes PLAYER SAFETY! above all else, but would love nothing more than to subject participants to an additional two games each season. You know who else agrees with me? JOE HORN, BITCHES:

@LeeZurick (News anchor, WVUE-TV, New Orleans)
“Former Saint Joe Horn says EVERY NFL team has a program like the Saints bounty program. Says in KC and ATL players were paid for cart offs.”

Former Saint AND former Chief, telling it like it is.

What did noted gun and drug enthusiast Bill Maas have to say?

@BillMaas (Former Kansas City Chief, scoundrel)
“What I am shocked about is that people are acting as though this isn’t common place. PC NFL nice.”

And current KC wide receiver “Stevie Phantom”?

@SBreaston15
“Defensive players are always going to go hard,there is thousands, even millions of dollars n incentives for sack numbers, that not a bounty?”

Perhaps the best, and most honest take came from former KC defensive great Neil Smith.

@theprogramkc (Soren Petro, 810 am)
“Neil Smith says the bounty thing didnt just start. It happened before he was in the league. On the air now.”

“Neil Smith also calls the one year suspension to Sean Payton "ludicrous"”

“Neil Smith says he doesnt believe bounties will stop. Figures players will just do it on their own.”

1) This series of Tweets reminds me of Jimmy Kimmel doing Karl Malone—“Karl Malone say, no runnin’ by pool with scissor.

2) I was right, and the NFL (and “Rog”) can suck it. Hard.
 

Meanwhile, in news that wasn’t football related, but was injury-tinged and terribly discouraging for fans of Kansas City Royals’ baseball, ALL OF THE ROYALS ARE DYING. That’s right, before the first real pitch has been made, before the first bag of errantly thrown peanuts has had a chance to whack you in the side of the head, tendons and ligaments have exploded like the world’s worst fireworks display.

After young-stud/recent-long-term-signee catcher Salvador Perez tore his meniscus, it was announced that he needed surgery and would be out 12-14 months. BRILLIANT SIGNING, DAYTON. Okay, that’s not fair, I’m just a little worked up. This really, really sucks, though. “Salvy,” as he is affectionately known (and can we cut that “y” shit out, already? I know it’s old-school, classic baseball, but so is Ty Cobb stabbing a dude and keeping black people in another league. Enough already), is the catcher of the future and figures to be a key component of any potential “Royals Rise to Prominence.” While this isn’t the end of the world—unless it signals the start of long-term health issues—it would have been nice to see what he could do over a full season. Now, even when he returns he’ll be limited in action for the remainder of ’12. Knowing that something monumental HAD to be done, Moore went out and signed a few dudes.

@goldbergkc (Joel Godberg, Host “Royals Live” FSN)
“Royals acquire C Humberto Quintero & OF Jason Bourgeois from Astros for minor league LHP Kevin Chapman & player to be named.”

Quintero is a veteran with a good glove and a sorrowful bat. Bourgeois is Mitch Maier, but a smidge older. Hardcore baseball geeks were a bit miffed by this, because the departing Royal, Kevin Chapman, is a lefty who throws in the almost-mid nineties. And while those guys don’t come around all that often, it’s quite possible that Chapman would have never turned into more than a setup guy. But still…

Bulldoggy Dog Fescoe– who, according to his bleached tips is still stuck in 1999—thinks that 1999’s AL MVP should have been given a look:

@bobfescoe
“#royals should have signed pudge instead of making trade”

Eh, tomato/tomotto. It doesn’t really matter. Rodriguez is weak and old, Quintero is just weak. Either would do an adequate job as a stop-gap placeholder until Perez returns, and the Royals can then flip fill-in-the-blank for someone in A-ball and some KFC coupons. I’m not mad about this.
 

Oh, but that’s not the ONLY Royals injury news, and it’s probably not the biggest. It appears that Joakim Soria maybe, just MAYBE, threw his last pitch for KC.

@Royals_Report (Bob Dutton, KC Star)
“News on #Royals closer Joakim Soria couldn’t be much worse. Another Tommy John surgery is possible.”

The good news is, it’s not official. Yet. The bad? The track record of players successfully returning from a second Tommy John surgery is poor (most statistics point to a 20% success rate). Good thing we’ve got a recently inked former closer who can step right in and fill the role, yes?

@jaysonst (Jayson Stark, ESPN baseball insider)
“One scout in Ariz doesn’t see Broxton as effective Soria replacement: "Not close to what he was..more of a middle-relief guy for me" #royals.”

Oops. Greg Holland it is, then!

Look, if this does indeed spell the end of Soria, that’s too bad. At one time, he was one of the more elite closers in the game. His fluid windup, bevy of pitches and adult braces made him an imposing figure for opposing teams to see late in a game. Anyone who watches the team with any sort of regularity, however, knows that he hasn’t been himself in some time. Perhaps his wild bouts of ineffectiveness through most of 2011 should have been an omen; perhaps the Royals should have moved him when he was at the pinnacle of his value. Regardless, I wish him well. May he follow in his father’s footsteps and finally realize his dream of being a dentist. Seriously. He wanted to be a dentist growing up. Godspeed, Joakim.
 

Finally in MORE baseball-related injury news, the Detroit Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera took a wicked one-hopper off of the eye socket while trying to learn third base all over again. The video is gruesome. I recommend watching it, though I’d discourage you from eating a giant plate of spaghetti while doing so.

@Buster_ESPN (Buster Olney)
“Miguel Cabrera has a small fracture under his right eye, but they have told him he’ll be out only a couple of weeks. He had eight stitches.”

Miguel Cabrera is a douche. This was Karma. I’m glad his injury wasn’t permanently crippling or debilitating, but I’m not sad about it.
 

In other Marlins-turned-Tigers (and then turned a bunch of other things) news:

@jcrasnick (Jerry Crasnick ESPN baseball writer)
“Dontrelle Willis is signing a minor league deal with the #Orioles, says a baseball source”

This is just… sad. After signing a 1-year/1-million dollar deal with the Phillies in December of last year, he was released in March. Since being released by the Tigers in 2010, D-Train has spent time with the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Fresno Grizzlies, the Cincinnati Reds, the Philadelphia Phillies, and now the Orioles. At one point in time, Willis was one of my favorite pitchers. He was a hot, tornadic mess of gigantic teeth and corkscrew limbs, all topped off with a flat-billed hat. I thought so highly of him that I started a Myspace group in his honor (remember Myspace? Remember “groups” on Myspace? Whoa.) But time waits for no quirky pitcher, and as surely as the sun rises, we also know that it sets. Move along, Dontrelle, for the sake of your legacy.
 

In other retirement news, a hard-nosed great called it a day in the NFL:

@Jon_Baldwin (Chiefs Wide Receiver)
“S/o to Hines Ward who retired today Class Act stand up guy! Must respect for him and all he has accomplished in his career.”

I completely agree with Jon Baldwin. Unless you were an opposing team’s defenseless defensive back who just got the shit blocked out of you, Ward was fun to watch.
 

And the Chiefs welcomed fresh faces:

@Leabonics (Todd Leabo, 810 am)
“Brady Quinn says the #chiefs told him Cassel is the starter, but he will have a chance to compete”

Sam from Quantum Leap: Oh, boy.

@JACKHARRYKSHB
“Eric Winston says Chiefs weren’t even on his radar. Says he fell in love with the city because of fans. I’m sure the $22 millon helped!”

No, Jack… it was your sexy, sexy flattop.
 

Yeah, so what about the Chiefs’ best offseason acquisition, former collegiate All American/Houston Texans’ tackle Eric Winston? What say you, Eric?

@ericwinston
“Hello Kansas City! Anyone know where some good neighborhoods to live in?”

@karenkornacki (KMBC Sports Monster)
“@ericwinston welcome. we are so happy to have you in k-c. lots of great places to live.”

Eric: DO NOT LISTEN TO ANYTHING KAREN KORNACKI SAYS. HER CLOWN-PAINT WILL DEVOUR YOUR SOUL.

 j/k. lol.
 

Posted in Sports | Tagged | 5 Comments

Glazer: NFL Makes New Orleans Bounty Program Scapegoat

Seems like only yesterday New Orleans head coach Sean Payton was an American Hero...

Quarterback Drew Brees, and Payton’s Saints had just won the Super Bowl upsetting Peyton Manning and the Colts. More importantly the nearly destroyed city of New Orleans got a much needed shot of hope and pride. Even the President saluted their incredible efforts.

It was the feel good story of the year, but what a difference a year makes.

Today Payton has been destroyed.

He didn’t stop the BOUNTY PATROLS – players who pool money before games to promote INJURING a player on the other team. Money paid to lay out guys and cart them off on stretchers. Yes, the head coach knew about it and didn’t stop it and it went on for years. Other teams participated, but thus far only the Saints have been hit and hit HARD.

Now Payton is OUT FOR THE YEAR with fines up to $7 million just for him.

Saints defensive coach Greg Williams is out maybe forever and asst. coach Joe Vitt is out for six games and has been fined. Meanwhile the Saints owner pays just $500,000 and the Saints lose two years worth of No. 2 draft picks.

In other words, it’s a mess.

According the the Associated Press Brees said, " I’m speechless, the man is like a father to me."

Former NFL star Warren Sapp - now an analyst for NFL Network – says the snitch was Jeromy Shockey, the former Saints tight end. Shockey denies it and is a free agent. Even the Saints G.M.  Mickey Loomis got an eight game suspension. Damn.

This is the biggest NFL scandal of all time, so it seems.

Or is it?

In December the Feds busted a huge drug ring in Chicago led by an NFL player. Remember that one? But not one word on that one since. So how do we read this one?

Apparently all NFL teams did this, or so we hear from Jim Rome and his guests. New Orleans was just the example team. Pretty harsh. But so are mean spirited hits in a tough game to begin with.

I see it this way, players can use dope, roids, not finish college or have any real education and that’s okay. And for the most part the NFL doesn’t check much for weed or roid usage because they know almost every player uses them.

Remember, in baseball roids’ are cheating, in the NFL they’re just strong vitamins.

You can do all those things, but…DON’T MESS WITH OUR QUARTERBACKS. WE NEED THEM HEALTHY…THEY COST TOO MUCH MONEY….THAT’S NOT OK.

According to sources it was Brett Favre who was targeted in the 2009 NFC title game for 10 grand by linebacker Jonathan Vilma. He’ll soon also be dealt with. As you recall Favre was badly hurt in that contest.

I think its unfair to single out one team and one coaching staff when most teams did the same thing.

I know life ain’t fair. You know that too. And I do feel badly for Sean Payton, as long as he didn’t participate in the bounty hunting.

P.S.: Drew Brees we have a job waiting for you in Kansas City – PLEASE COME – five years $125 million dollar deal….WE NEED YOU DREW…

Posted in Craig_Glazer | Tagged | 13 Comments

Jack Goes Confidential: Tense ‘HUNGER GAMES’ a Post-Apocalyptic Love Story

Let me say it right upfront..

When millions of fans invade movie theaters this weekend to experience THE HUNGER GAMES, they won’t be disappointed! The screen adaptation takes the storyline beyond just Katniss Everdeen‘s viewpoint by putting digital warfare emphasis in the game’s master control room.

And that’s a good thing.

For those not yet in the loop, THE HUNGER GAMES is the first of three Orwellian event movies set in a not-too-distant, totalitarian future of the United States which is divided into 12 civilian sectors.

The government maintains tight control and intimidation by staging the annual Hunger Games—nationally televised gladiator like spectacles pitting two so called Tributes from each district (a boy and a girl) in a winner takes down all bloodbath until just one of the 24 chosen participants remains.

"Happy Hunger Games and may the odds be in your favor!"

The books by Suzanne Collins to date have sold in excess of 26 million copies and by all rights the movie version should’ve been rated R. But the studio wisely kept the bloody impact sequences to quick impulses and glimpses thus earning the all important PG-13 rating necessary for admitting a huge chunk of the film’s target audience.

But unlike the TWILIGHT franchise, HUNGER GAMES features not only superior production values and the performances by its lead players far exceeds the other movie’s acting chops.

WINTER BONE’s Jennifer Lawrence is terrific as Katniss. And Josh Hutchersonm playing her District 12 tribute competitor, is also right on the mark. Liam Hemsworth in the role of Gale just OK.

But what really makes this production flourish is its supporting cast.

There’s Woody Harrelson‘s top notch performance as tipsy Haymitch. Elizabeth Banks almost unrecognizeable as Katniss’ escort Effie. Donald Sutherland as sinister President Snow and Lenny Kravitz as Cinna.
But it’s Stanley Tucci, super wig and all, as cheesy reality TV game host Caesar Flickerman who almost steals the picture.

Ryan Seacrest, anyone?

As for the film’s age appropriateness, I’ll let the M.P.A.A. rating speak for itself.

Then again it really depends on the muturity of the child. If they’ve read the book and know what to expect, that’s one thing. Otherwise I would limit the admittance to this movie to ages 11 and older.

For the 2 hours and 20 minute long, futuristic, Joan of Arc- like HUNGER GAMES, I’m raising 3-1/2 out of 5 intense fingers.

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

Posted in Jack_Poessiger | Tagged | 5 Comments

Starbeams: Hunger Games, Cricket, Manning & John Carter

ATTENTION PEOPLE OF KANSAS CITY: "The Hunger Games" is NOT a movie about burnt ends.

*******

Chiefs G.M. Scott Pioli has confirmed why Peyton Manning refused to talk with the team – he refused to pay Arrowhead‘s outrageous parking prices.

*******

 

Disney’s John Carter has lost so much money, when it comes out on Blu Ray they’re going to change its name to Power and Light District.

*******

Sandstone is now Cricket Wireless Ampitheater. That name narrowly beat out Fun Place to Watch Drunk People Walk Up Steep Hills Ampitheater.

 

Kelly Urich is the morning show host on The Point 99.7 FM

Posted in Starbeams | Tagged | 2 Comments

Donnelly: The Million Dollar Quartet @ Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts

Most people are familiar with the iconic photo of Elvis, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis…

The one taken the night of December 4, 1956 at a jam session at Sun Studios in Memphis.  Part of what makes the photo so powerful is the youth of the musicians all but one of whom (Lewis) are deceased.

It was a simpler time, before the sequined jumpsuits, the scandals and the drug abuse.

Obviously, all of them went on  to become legends.

And that night is what The Million Dollar Quartet is all about. It unfolds now through Sunday at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.  I caught the show Wednesday night before a packed house.   

The musical opens with Sun Records main man Sam Phillips trying to decide whether to accept a lucrative deal to follow Elvis to New York City and RCA Records or stick with his pride and joy, a little upstart record company that introduced future stars to the world.

Early on, we’re introduced to Perkins (Lee Ferris) and Lewis (KC native Austin Cook) in the midst of a recording session at the studio. Cook’s version of the Louisiana ivory tickler was about as off the wall and backwoods as could be. Complete with a thick accent and constant aww-shucks-I’m-a-fool one liners meant to paint him as an unknowing court jester.  At times, the dialogue gets a little hoaky but Cook made up for it with his superb playing that included the classic Jerry Lee thrashing, stomping, and climbing all over his upright piano.

In contrast, Ferris’ Perkins was understated, even if his exaggerated southern drawl got in the way a few times.  However he was more than capable on the electric guitar, dishing out chunky blues riffs and backwater swamp honky-tonk accompanied by the strongest vocals of any of the performers.  Ferris stole the show, in my opinion.

And of course, there’s Elvis played by Cody Slaughter, who resembled the King quite closely. 

His smooth and sultry baritone was solid, but his swiveling and sliding was so over the top, I thought he’d dislocate something. That said, Slaughter did pull off some impressive moves, especially toward the end of the show when he did a running knee slide across the stage.    

The Johnny Cash character (Derek Keeling) was the most understated of all, with a ridiculously low bass voice that would even intimidate the Man in Black himself.  His singing was solid except for one spot in I Walk The Line where his voice crackled a bit as he pushed it to subterranean depths.

This show is all about the songs and the musical numbers were by far the strongest part of the show. 

Especially considering that all the music was performed live, onstage by the performers. 

No recorded backing tracks or orchestra pit help here. 

The numbers perfromed include Blue Suede Shoes, Fever, That’s All Right, Sixteen Tons, Great Balls of Fire, Walk the Line, Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On, Who Do You Love?, Matchbox, Folsom Prison Blues, Hound Dog and more.

At the end of the night W.S. “Fluke” Holland, a REAL musical legend, emerged from backstage.  He was the drummer that night in Memphis, and the only drummer Johnny Cash ever used. 

Holland sat in on the drums for a song and told a couple stories about what it was like hanging with the Million Dollar boys, recalling the heady early days of rock’n’roll.  Yet it wasn’t as dramatic at the time, he said.

“I wish they would’ve sounded as good as these boys on stage tonight," Fluke told the audience.  " I wasn’t hanging out with legends at that time, they were just boys who were trying to become stars.”

Posted in Entertainment | Tagged | 6 Comments

Hearne: Beleaguered Head of Star Parent Company McClatchy Hits The Road

Go figure…

In a curiouser and curiouser unfolding of events, the head of the Kansas City Star‘s parent company McClatchy is stepping down to take the top spot at The Associated Press.

Which comes as a bit of a head scratcher.

Because prestigious as heading up "one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering" as the AP describes itself may be, it’s hard to imagine Gary Pruitt taking down the kind of coin he has at McClatchy at a not-for-profit.

For example Forbes pegged Pruitt’s "total compensation" for 2009 at $3,753,229.00.

Now add to that the value of Pruitt’s 2009 "unexercised options, currently exercisable at $6,788,500.00" and it’s clear that the one time McClatchy Golden Boy has been in the chips big time, despite spearheading the most disastrous financial move in his company’s 155 year history.

That being, of course, the purchase of then Star parent Knight Ridder in 2006.

Pruitt bet McClatchy’s farm on Knight Ridder and the Star at exactly the wrong time, paying $40 a share before riding the stock down last year to just over a buck. McClatchy’s stock has since rebounded to around $3 a share, but bear in mind it was trading as high as $63 in 2005.

Last October I sorted through how bad things were at McClatchy under Pruitt in a story headlined, "How Long Can Star Czar Keep Job With News Company in Six Year Freefall?"

Speaking of the Associated Press, on March 12 it reported that, "McClatchy Co. says advertising revenue declined nearly 6 percent from a year ago, an improvement from a drop of about 10 percent during the first nine months of the year. However, ad revenue in January was down about 8 percent from the same month in 2011."

Which undoubtedly explains the unexpected recent round of layoffs, furloughs and cutbacks at the Star.

If Pruitt wasn’t on thin ice at McClatchy, it’s hard to imagine who was. And if he wasn’t feeling the heat from management, it wouldn’t be surprising if he’d pretty much had about as much fun sorting out the nightmare he created as he could stand and was looking for an out.

As for McClatchy, it appears the company’s had enough of golden boys and has fingered a bean counter to take Pruitt’s job. Patrick Talamantes, McClatchy’s vice president of finance and CFO will succeed Pruit in July.

Which brings us back to the curious side, given Talamantes pedigree was in broadcasting.

In other words, he was a radio dude in St. Louis.

One last thing; in the AP’s release describing Pruitt’s qualifications they cite his "acute business sense."

Right…

Posted in Hearne_Christopher | Tagged | 13 Comments

Starbeams: Sticky Whitey Tighties, George Clooney & Exercise Orgasm

I saw a group of Latinos get into an argument with a group of Irish celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day in Westport.  I wanted to get involved, but I never act until I consult with George Clooney.

*******

The Broncos may have cut and run on TIM TEBOW, but the Jockey underwear people are sticking with him. The company says, quote, "Jockey brought Tim Tebow on as a spokesperson before he took his first professional snap and even before he finalized his contract with an NFL team." 

That’s the reason I don’t wear jockey anymore….they kept sticking with me.

*******

A new study has found that as many as 5 percent of women have experienced orgasm while they were exercising.  And they weren’t even fantasizing…it’s purely physical.  The researchers aren’t exactly sure how or why it happens, but they did find that it’s most likely to happen during ab exercises.  My wife assured me, she never fakes it when she’s exercising with me.

Kelly Urich hosts the morning show on The Point 99.7 FM

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Glazer: Scribe Unleashes His Chompers, Drops the Hammer on Plaza Nightlife

The Plaza decided this past year to add some hot new restaurants to the mix…

The hope; to bring in new energy to what had become a way slowed down night life. The powers that be didn’t want any more down and dirty dance clubs like Blonde. Fear of blacks raiding the nearly all white Plaza at night was the obvious reason for that.

In fact one of the restaurants to get the boot, reVerse, was doing quite well.

It was replaced with yet a fourth new concept, Coal Vines. And while the "pizza and wine bar" has done pretty well – even with no bar biz and no early or late night biz, it’s not an energy builder for the ghost town the Plaza has become at night.

In fact on Sunday-Thursday you see almost nobody out walking around the Plaza after 9 PM.

And it’s not much better on Friday and Saturday. Why? There’s really nothing to do.

Yes, there are a couple – and just a couple – fairly decent crowds until 11 PM at the sports and one or two of the restaurant bars – but not much. I live near the Plaza on the Kansas side and go there often. I’m a huge fan of the Plaza.

I lived at the Sulgrave/Regency for nine years upon my return from LA in the early 90′s. In the 90′s the Plaza was a far cry from its glory days of the 70′s/80′s when it ruled the upscale night spots and clubs here. Back then, there was no hip-hop, no rap and far less trouble with the urban crowds. With the exception of Dirty Sally’s there were few race problems.

And the Plaza had triple the night crowds of today.

Now here’s the bad news, the Plaza’s three new restaurant/bar spots are all in deep trouble from what I can see.

Zocalo, the one that started out hot is now pretty quiet. I love its bar but the food is just OK. On my last three trips there the crowd was all dudes. Even on my birthday last Sunday Zocalo had last call at 10 PM because nobody was there. And this was just after the KU basketball win.

The guy behind the bar said it had been very slow lately – even St. Pats was not a biggie as Hearne reported.

They need some promo, live music, drink specials at night and a floor person with some heat to welcome people and make the place come to life. Zocalo has a lot to sell, including a nice looking bar and restaurant. It just isbn’t selling it.

And the menu does not have to be a high grade Mexican trip. Maybe a new, easier food concept would work better. Unfortunately, the word’s out on the food at Zocalo and it’s just not very popular there. It was a lot better when it first opened but that time has passed.

I also ate at Gram and Dun on birthday weekend.

Again, a beautiful bar and restaurant. Even the outdoor patio is a treat – remember Parkway 600 and Baja 600?

Gram and Dun’s problem again is THE FOOD.

I’ve been told by many others that it’s just fair. We had seafood stew and chopped chicken salad. How do you mess up a salad? Everything was just boring. It’s kinda reminds me of Sam Wilson’s in 1985!

It’s about a 40 to 50 buck a person check. It too was slow on the weeknight I was there.

I’ve not eaten at Seasons 52, but I’m hearing the same thing, average food, not very busy - well done restaurant as far as the decor ONLY.

Plaza’ winners:

The Capital Grille which is maybe the No. 1 nice restaurant in KC. I was there last Monday and had a wait for a table on a Monday night! With a $60-$80 check average in this economy that’s damn amazing.

Houston’s is still rock solid, even though we often forget how hot it was years ago. It’s not getting the crowds of the 90′s but it’s still going strong.

And the Cheesecake Factory of course is down from the record $14 million a year when it first opened, but still breaks $8 million a year.

And PF Chang’s still packs them in on weekends.

Stanford’s tried to put a comedy club on the Plaza twice.

The Plaza needs something like that. An energy builder for after dinner when there’s little to do.

We had landed the former 210 spot next to what became George Brett’s, but Carl Peterson (the real owner) nixed it back in 2003 due to management’s fear of young urban crowds coming to the club. Maybe they should have checked out The Legends where we are a strong, non urban theater. Legends enjoys the fact we offer the restaurants near us an extra 1,000 dinners a weekend and several hundred on weekdays. Nice.

Here’s the deal, younger crowds are needed on the Plaza.

The right crowd controlled by the right night spots. Westport finally figured that out and has doubled its attendance on weekends.

I love the Plaza, but it needs to get younger and add some fun.

It’s not a crime to have one or two nightclubs, that adds more customers to the mix. Just make sure they’re upscale clubs for the techno crowds of today.

I hope all three of these new restaurants that are off their game will fix things. It can be done.

They undoubtedly have big investments. And to be honest, Baja 600 was busier than the new Gram and Dun. when it got dumped. Zoclalo can bounce out of this funk with some changes in its format. Coal Vines is fine but needs to get a full booze card and add liquor.

The Plaza is still our best shopping and entertainment district…or it can be with a few fixes.

Posted in Craig_Glazer | Tagged | 29 Comments

Hearne: KU Women Giant Kill Their Way into NCAA Sweet Sixteen

Don’t look now but KU‘s basketball team is headed to the Sweet Sixteen

And no, I’m not talking about the lucky devils on the KU mens team that squeaked past Purdue the other day.

Nope.

I’m referring to the AMAZING KU womens basketball squad who have been playing the best basketball in the state of Kansas the past two weeks since entering the NCAA Tourney.

That’s right, bring on the hyperbole because these ladies deserve it.

Check out what former Star sports scribe Mechelle Voepel wrote about the Lady Jayhawks for ESPN:

"Coaches always say that every bit of adversity for a team brings an opportunity for under-the-radar players to emerge That’s the optimist’s way of looking at a pessimistic situation. But a lot of the time it’s just wishful thinking," Voepel begins.

"Teams usually don’t have one potentially rising star (Keena Mays) transfer and another established star (Carolyn Davis) get hurt during a season, yet still come back to earn an at-large bid in the NCAA tournament. And even if they do, they don’t make the Sweet 16. But Kansas did."

Kansas did indeed.

And here’s the headline to prove it from last night in the Lawrence Journal World:

"KU women advance to Sweet 16 with upset over third-seeded Delaware."

In other words, after losing its two brightest stars – instead of choking to a nobody like Missouri’s mens team or barely beating a lower seeded team like KU did Purdue – the 11th seeded KU women have been engaged in a game of Giant Killer.

And speaking of giants…

They did it on the coatails of KU’s 5-foot-4 captain, junior point guard Angel Goodrich.

Which reminds me, James Brown sang, It’s a man’s, man’s, man’s, man’s world, "but it wouldn’t be nothing, nothing without a woman or a girl."

So get over yourselves, dudes; don’t sell these women short.

Check out the game story on the Journal World here and be sure to watch when KU plays all-powerful Tennessee Saturday morning at 11 on ESPN.

May the force be with them.

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Sounds Good: Yonder Mountain@Liberty Hall, Andrew Bird@Uptown, Kinetiks@Jackpot

Thursday, March 29nd

Yonder Mountain String Band at Liberty Hall in Lawrence

It’s hard to believe these fresh-faced jamgrass revivalists have been around for almost 15 years now.  Starting out as just a couple dudes in the mountains west of Boulder, playing open mics and bonfires, and eventually self-releasing their first record, it’s not a stretch to say that both their initial and sustained success was unlikely.

But here they are in 2012, headlining their own festivals, and still selling out shows.  They’re in St. Louis at the Pageant for two nights right before Lawrence, and two-day passes are sold out.

So what can you expect out of YMSB on their Spring tour?

"You better come with shoes tied tight because it’s going to happen and it’s going to happen for a long, long time,” mandolin player Jeff Austin recently told Pollstar’s Jay Smith. “We don’t do a 75-minute set, thank everybody and come out for an encore or two. That’s our first set, about an hour and a half. Expect the unexpected and get ready to have a big fuckin’ party.”

Friday, March 23rd

Andrew Bird at the Uptown Theater in KC

This guy has been doing music basically his entire life, growing up as a multi-instrumentalist who focused mainly on the violin.  You may have recently caught him performing live on the Colbert Report, singing Eyeoneye off his recently released album Break It Yourself.

And, oh yeah, he’s probably the baddest-ass whistler you will ever see.  Seriously.  Here’s what Mr. Bird recently said about his new album:

"This is the first time I’ve trusted a group of musicians to just play what they hear and use our collective instincts. The session that yielded this record was to be no more than a week-long rehearsal. I wanted to show my band these new songs and give us all time and space to feel them out," Bird said.  "This is not the carefully crafted, one-layer-at- a-time puzzle that recording/producing often turns into. This is just musi- cians playing together in a room."

Saturday, March 24th

The Kinetiks at the Jackpot in Lawrence

This is the last ever show for Lawrence indie-dance-rock band the Kinetiks, so you know they’re going to pull out all the stops.  Comprised of 2 guys and 2 girls, they’ve been known for their high-energy sets that sometimes result in people sweating and shedding clothing. 

I’m going to go and try and get them to break their instruments.  What better time to smash a bunch of expensive stuff on stage than your band’s last show ever, right?  

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