Clutch, with Murder By Death and Maylene and the Sons of Disaster
Thursday, February 28
The Beaumont Club, Kansas City, MO
By JASON HARPER
First of all, Cancun Fiesta Fresh is fucking good. Being wary of its placement in a doomed location -- across from the Westport Coffee House, set back from the street by a half-acre of concrete in a white storefront that has housed several failed restaurants over the years -- I would never have eaten there if a friend hadn't suggested it last night for the preshow vittles. My fish tacos were loaded with fresh cabbage and sweet, crispy peppers, and las quesadillas de mi concert amigo, Lethal D. of Bacon Shoe, were like big-fat packets of the chicken flavoring you put in Ramen noodle soup only with real stuff in them, and, uh, not in foil. They were good, I'm saying. The salsa was fresh and had raw onions and cilantro in it. Even at 7:30, the place was busy, with townies coming in to get takeout, including one Mitch Rich of the Rich Boys. When he was introduced to Lethal D., he confessed that he'd never seen Bacon Shoe, and D. confessed right back that he'd never seen the Rich Boys. I give them both a demerit -- I mean, WTF? Local musicians gotta support each other.
Meanwhile, across the street, a very non-local show with VERY local people attending it was underway. Parked outside was this monster, whose rider is so hardcore he (or she) prefers to sit on hard metal rather than on anything sissy, like a cushion.
Then again, it's likely that whoever rides this bike snatches up babies from along the roadside and uses them for cushions.
By CHRIS PACKHAM
Y'know, this has to be the toughest part of being a prosecutor. "Take somebody from the court, the prosecuting attorney, raise the dress and take a look.That's all they got to do," says Mishell Blomenkamp, who lives as a woman but never had sex-reassignment surgery. Blomenkamp is being prosecuted for perjury by the state of Missouri for applying for a marriage certificate as a man. It's all really complicated! I'm trying to imagine one of the KMBC Channel 9 producers slowly explaining it to Larry Moore.
"Stone walls do not a prison make, nor iron bars a cage. But I'ma cut you after lights-out!"Everyone: Look at the person to your left. Then look at the 99 people standing to their left. One of those people is going to jail. For the first time in American history, one out of every hundred people lives in prison. What with the privatization of the prison industry, the lobbying power of the prison guards union, the widespread popularity of "three strikes" legislation, and mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines, I guarantee you're pretty much going to jail sooner or later. I promise to sneak in a carton of Camel Snus for you, because they're totally like money in the slammer.
Don't cry for the hippo. Max and Tanna are claiming their firing from the former 99.7 KY is a case of age discrimination, right after traffic on the nines and three in a row from Joe Walsh. HAHAHAHA! You see what I did there? I totally implied they were old people who listen to Joe Walsh records.
"There's $50,000 hidden in the ... erggggh!" I like to pretend that at the end of this Mike Hendricks blog, where the copy trails off at the end into incoherent keyboard mashing, something dramatic happened — just like in a gothic horror story! Nothing like that ever happens in real life. It was probably just searing abdominal cramps. Here's a screen grab, in case somebody at kansascity.geocities.com logs in and fixes it:
He's writing about the Bodies Revealed exhibit at Union Station, opening this weekend. As regards the controversy, the AP Style Guide is unhelpful about the proper spelling of the loud raspberry fart noise that accompanies the eye-rolling jack-off gesture I reflexively make whenever I hear about it. Wake me up when you want to talk about the actually still-alive 7-year-old Vietnamese orphan who sewed the matching bra and panties your dad bought at Target to actualize his transgender inner-life. So that's where I stand on that whole thing. It makes me want to insult your dad.
Just smile and nod. Space stations: Do you have to live there forever? Or can you just stay a few days and come back? I'm hungry and fat — can pills make me feel not-so-hungry? That guy in China needs to talk to me! This video has a punchline that just might make you think. H/T to my pal Nadia.
By NADIA PFLAUM
Debra Higgs watched with relief as men wearing masks removed pile after pile of belongings and random debris from her neighbor’s house at 1806 East 36th Street. For years, she’d been asking City Hall to make her neighbors mow the lawn and stop using the property as a dumping ground for car parts and scraps of wood and metal.
But she faced a mighty stubborn opponent: The neighbor was Richard C. Tolbert — the same Richard Tolbert who recently circulated a petition to stop Bannister Mall from being redeveloped as a soccer stadium and office complex. The same Richard Tolbert who, when we last checked in on him, was running for Jackson County executive while facing numerous code violations and filing serial bankruptcy claims in what looked like an effort to avoid paying more than $100,000 in unpaid taxes and fines for code violations.
Last week, Tolbert, his brother “and some others,” were evicted from the property next door to Higgs, he told The Pitch February 27. “My brother got mixed up in one of those subprime mortgages,” he said, speaking on his cell phone while moving his belongings from the front lawn to a U-Haul pulled up next to the house. “He got behind. He got foreclosed upon. There was a trial. We appealed. We were granted a new trial. But before we got a new trial, they came and put us out without any real notice.… So we’re having to scramble and get our stuff.”
According to county records, the house is owned by Nationstar Mortgage LLC.
“The way they do it,” Tolbert said, “they put your stuff out of the house, and they made a big pile so you couldn’t get to anything. It’s taken us a week to dig out our important stuff from the stuff that isn’t so important. But we’re handling it. We’re dealing with it.”
Higgs, Tolbert’s long-suffering neighbor, said the same day that seeing the house turned inside-out was more disturbing than she expected.
“You would not believe someone living in that filth,” she said. “All these years I’ve been fighting about what’s outside the house, not knowing what’s inside the house.”
Tolbert the candidate in 2006
“I don’t want to tell, because then they’ll come and mess with us there. They been following me around,” he said. When I asked who “they” were, he said: “The authorities! The civil process! The people that handle evictions! No one has ever seen a case like this!”
He continued, “Nothing should happen until your appeal is decided, right? Isn’t that what most of us think? Everyone’s telling me, 'We’ve never seen a case like this before.' I said, ‘Yeah, I know.’”
Higgs and most of Kansas City are by now quite familiar with Tolbert’s determination.
“He’s the first one on TV talking about saving Bannister Mall,” Higgs said with a chuckle.
From the looks of the mountains of junk piled on the front lawn of 1806 East 36th, Tolbert saves everything.
By PETER RUGG
Photos by NADIA PFLAUM
On your way out of the Bodies Revealed exhibit at Union Station, as they spill you into the gift shop, a sign implores you to use what you’ve learned to make better health choices. The sign seems to reinforce what supporters, when faced with criticism about the source of the cadavers, have said about it having an educational value. But after touring the exhibit this morning, here’s the problem: It’s not that educational.
Wednesday, February 27
The Sprint Center
By CRYSTAL K. WIEBE
I’m going to be deaf one day and rock and roll will be to blame. But whatever damage I did to my ears last night at the Sprint Center was in no way the fault of any musician. I barely wore my bright orange earplugs while Rooney performed. Even on the floor of the Sprint Center, the sweet pop rock didn’t seem too oppressive. But when the music stopped and thousands of ‘tween girls started shrieking – that’s when I started to really fear for my ear drums.
Back in the day I screamed like that, too – at Boyz II Men, All 4 One and Kris Kross. Hell, if I found myself in the middle of a Justin Timberlake concert, I would totally squeal in a frequency that only a dog could hear. And I would do the same if Elliott Smith rose from the dead or the Faint gave me a shout-out from stage. But I wouldn’t make a poster or in neon puff paint write on my shirt “Will You Merry Me?” (sic) like one girl did – especially not for last night’s headliner, the Jonas Brothers. But I don’t hold those little girls’ enthusiasm against them. Everyone has to start rocking out somewhere. And we can’t all be as lucky as my plus one for the night, Miss Mandy Mustacha, whose first rock show was Joy Division – when she was 6.
The Jonas Brothers: WAAAAAAAAAAH!!!!.
(Click More for more.)
By CHRIS PACKHAM
High, Hard and Inside: Yael T. Abouhalkah, who does not approve of higher water rates or new sales taxes to pay for the estimated $3 billion cost of an upgraded sewer system, is surprised to see polls reflecting support for a half-cent sales tax to pay for the fix. Also: Is Yael phasing out his old tagline? If so, can I have it? I saw this on Prime Buzz this morning:
The caption used to be "High, Hard and Inside." If he's done with it, I'm going to need new business cards.
Anyway, WDAF Fox 4 reports that the sewer system is now pumping fecal coliform and e-coli, the Riggs and Murtaugh of gram-negative bacterial pathogens, directly into Brush Creek. I pretty much assume Fox 4 considered the possibility of spraying Brush Creek with fluorescing chemicals and then using the news chopper to shine a giant black light on it, which would actually have been a very pretty display for Plaza shoppers, if you think about it.
The smell of hate: Universally loathed Overland Park-based Sprint has fecal coliform in the Brush Creek of its customer service department. BusinessWeek has a big ol' story about Sprint's gutting of customer service following the completion of the Nextel merger, and it's a delicious umami broth of interviews with customer-service reps treated like children (monitored bathroom breaks; "I hear McDonald's is hiring!"), the nightmare stories of customers and executive-level decisions that turned the customer service into an unscrupulous sales department. FIVE BAGS OF POPCORN!
Marvel vs. DC: Venerable civil rights figure Rep. John Lewis of Georgia, a superdelegate, has switched his superdelegate supersupport to Sen. Barack Obama. Here is Lewis pictured with Sen. Hillary Clinton:
Also applies to Cheeseburger Jerry: The flu is filling Kansas City hospitals right now due to a largely ineffective vaccine this year. Distinguishing between influenza and the common cold can be difficult, but if you're suffering from body aches, coughing, sneezing, extreme coldness, fever, nausea, vomiting, fatigue and severe congestion, please stay the fuck away from me.
Although your mom thinks it's a hoot: Anachronistic irrelevance Wired magazine hired a formerly funny blogger named Lore Sjöberg to be its humor columnist, an editorial bat mitzvah whereby Sjöberg blossomed not into a woman but rather into smelly old unfunny Dave Barry. This week's hilarity involves really sticking it to the lyrics of an innocuous 20-year-old Madonna song — edgy! It's a 700-word marathon of unrelieved despair. So, y'know, fair warning.
By JEN CHEN
I’ve long been obsessed with Celsius Tannery’s catchy radio jingles. You know, that easily-stuck-in-your-head refrain, “Oooh, that Celsius Tannery/Love the way they flatter me.” So, when I heard that a new version recently made its debut, I had to track it down. Like the others, it has a Caribbean-reggae-hip-hop sound and includes such classic lines as “For peace of mind … and a dark behind” and “There’s only one place that can tan your cans, like the white sands of the Virgin Islands.”
It turns out that the jingles are penned and produced by BicMedia, a small, Leawood-based operation run by brothers Austin and Julian Bickford. According to 27-year-old Austin, their philosophy with jingles is to “create more songs that feature a business.” Julian and another staffer, Adrian Bartholomew, wrote the lyrics and found a woman who sounds like Pink to sing the chorus. Their first effort aired in 2005, and every year since then, they’ve kept the chorus and changed the verse.
Julian and Adrian also double as rappers in the commercials. “Adrian’s Trinidadian, so he’s able to contribute his island influence there,” says 30-year-old Julian.
Austin adds that Julian “fancies himself, once in a while, as the eighth-best white rapper in Kansas City." He adds, "He does a variety of things that most people wouldn’t recognize when you look at him.”
The Bickfords say that the song-style jingles have garnered a lot of attention from the radio-listening public. “I remember listening to the radio when someone called in and requested it,” Julian says. They've heard that one local DJ ran a contest: He included a snippet of their jingle with two others and asked, “Which one isn’t a real song?” They have also created an MTV-video-style commercial — complete with lip-synchers, tanning bed shots and nightclub scenes — which has just started airing on a few cable channels.
“It’s one of the first jingles [we] put out there. It’s been a fun one to have,” Julian says. “A lot of people recognize that more than our other work, really.”
BY DAVID MARTIN
Kansas City, Missouri, Councilman Terry Riley called me this morningto complain about this column. Riley accused me of misquoting him when I wrote that he said: “All you guys do is fuck me every time we interview.”
Riley said this morning that he used the verb “screw.”
I told the councilman that I quoted him accurately. “No, you did not quote me accurately,” he responded.
But a recording of the conversation exists, and it supports what appears in print.
A digital recording device was running when I approached Riley on February 7 and asked for an interview. The device was in my coat pocket, which explains (a) the less-than-stellar quality of the recording and (b) Riley’s apparent willingness to drop an f-bomb and later deny it. Here's the conversation:
By AARON LADAGE
He doesn’t look like the glutton-for-punishment kind of guy, but Nathan Reusch, co-founding father (or is it founding co-father?) of local-turned-national label the Record Machine has been burning the candle at both ends this week.
On Tuesday, the Machine launched a spit-polished new Web site, released the marvelously peculiar Mostly Ghostly by Ohio’s State Bird (who, coincidentally, was named Spin’s Band of the Day last week), and announced the signing of a new band – the Louisville, KY, electronic twosome Interstates.
Photo courtesy Recordmachine.net
Why would a nice fella like Reusch partake in such self-inflicted masochism? In his words, “I don’t like to sleep.” Somebody get this guy an Ambien – and while he’s resting, be sure to listen to some of the spoils of his hard work below.
Interstates: "Uniforms Forever" MP3
State Bird: "Gold Glowing Mask" MP3
The Ssion continues to blow up, this time on the shoulders of Tilly and the Wall, with a Critcheloe-created video for the Nebraska band's new single that premiered on Stereogum and was picked up by celebrity gossipppper Perez Hilton.
Wow. Some Peggy Noland costume-action up in there?
Tilly and the Wall: "Beat Control"
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