Music, Bar Games, Drunken Distractions
If the names David Robert Jones and John Simon Richie mean anything to you, it's probably time to ditch your typical trivia night and head on over to Sonic Spectrum Music Trivia at the Record Bar. David Bowie and Sid Vicious would be pleased as punch that you remembered their given names, and trivia host Robert Moore might even give you props. The host of KRBZ 96.5's Sonic Spectrum and owner of OxBlood Records now moonlights as a trivia honcho from 7 to 9 every Monday night. "It's something I've wanted to do forever," Moore says. The format is modeled on Thursday night's Trivia Clash: Each participant buys in with $5, and the winning team takes 60 percent of the pot, with the runner-up netting 40 percent.
Last year, Playboy named the Mutual Musicians Foundation (1823 Highland, 816-471-5212) one of the greatest bars in the country, alongside such hot spots as San Francisco's Top of the Mark and New York City's King Cole Bar. But it's not all about the late-night vodka tonics and beers at this 81-year-old music hall off 18th Street and Vine. "Jazz is our mainstay, but we are also about the perpetuation of music as an art form, expanding out into the music community and bringing in musicians from all genres," says Anita Dixon, vice president of the foundation's executive board of directors. The MMF gets bluesy every Monday when it holds an open jam session at 8 p.m. Money from drink sales goes to educational programs at the foundation. Barbecue from Smokin Aces is for sale at the free event.— Berry Anderson
no cover charge
Food & Drink (General)
Get into a Mexican spirit by eating some tacos. They come cheap at Jalapeños Mexican Restaurant (6318 Brookside Plaza, 816 523-5462) every Monday. Stuff two corn shells with beef or chicken for the price of one ($2.65 and $2.85, respectively). Wash them down with $1.50 domestic draws. For most people, two tacos are enough to "get you," according to Jalepeños owner Ben Hernandez. "They're pretty full of meat," he says — plus lettuce, tomato, green onion and cheese. The deal is restricted to dine-in only.
Jazz, All-Ages, Jam Sessions
It's been said that John Coltrane and Charlie Parker met for the first time at the corner of 18th Street and Vine. If you've neglected your civic duties and have yet to see the American Jazz Museum, it's closed today, but musically inclined types can still bring their instruments for the Blue Monday Jam at the museum's attached nightclub, the Blue Room (1616 East 18th Street, 816-474-8463). This week, sit in with — or sit back with a drink and listen to — tenor saxophonist Matt Otto and vocalist Shay Estes Drink specials include a $4 Blue Room martini and $3 beer, wine and wells. There's no cover on Mondays. The Blue Room opens at 5 p.m., and the jam (open to minors accompanied by adults) starts at 7.
Music, Drunken Distractions, Karaoke
The Pitch's pick for Best Karaoke in 2010
There isn't a karaoke bar in the city as reliable as the Red Balloon, the Overland Park dive that allows amateurs to stand up and belt out Foreigner songs seven nights a week, from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. The Balloon is a popular spot for birthdays, going-away parties, or any event that's enhanced by watching friends and strangers sing poorly in public. The crowd varies from night to night. Sometimes it's hard-drinking vets, there for the pool and darts. Sometimes the place is taken over by young professionals in khakis and polos flipping through the KJ's impossibly large songbook. Regulars know to come on Sundays, when 32-ounce domestic schooners are $3, and on Thursdays, when 24-ounce Pabst cans are $2 and help the endless pitchiness go down easy.
First Monday, Tuesday, Saturday of every month, 10:30 a.m. & 12:30 p.m.
Public Interest, Cultural Events, Free Events
Those who braved the open house for the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts
might tell you that the experience could have been more agreeable. The lines were prohibitively long, and there was rain. But they'll also tell you that the Kauffman Center is something to behold. The glass-walled Brandmeyer Great Hall (the other name for the lobby) is larger than a football field, with Guggenheim-like circular walkways leading up to the balconies of Helzberg Hall and the Muriel Kauffman Theatre. If you skipped out on the grand opening, you haven't missed your chance. The center offers free, small tours (of 15 or fewer people) on Mondays, Tuesdays and Saturdays at 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Reservations are required. Call 816-994-7200 or see kauffmancenter.org
Food & Drink (General)
Addicts know that sushi can be an expensive habit, especially in the landlocked Midwest. But $1 sushi specials make it possible to get your raw-fish fix for little more than the cost of fast food. Friends Sushi and Bento Place (1808 West 39th Street, 816-753-6666) shills sashimi and sushi pieces for a buck each between 5 and 9 p.m. Mondays and from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays. Rolls go for $3.99 at the same times. The menu at Friends includes staples such as tuna, plus some more adventurous cuts. The crunchy, spicy salmon roll makes our scalp tingle. Just make sure you get to Friends early and without too many friends in tow. During the sushi sale, this tiny eatery can feel like a sardine can.
select sushi pieces $1