The Prairie Dogg goes into permanent hibernation.

Down His Hole 

The Prairie Dogg goes into permanent hibernation.

Leaving things behind has been easy for me ever since Dr. Brown gave my foreskin the big snip. But I'm no good at goodbyes. Which is why I keep my penis-poncho in the freezer next to my umbilical cord and the frozen lasagna.

Kidding. But arrivederci still ain't easy. I've found that music's most misguided myth is that it's better to burn out than to fade away.

The opposite was true in this fair city -- at least when I caught a searing blast of mace courtesy of Kansas City's finest during last year's riotous Mardi Gras celebration.

I discovered a few other impervious truths about Kansas City music in the past year and a half. Perhaps the most resonant: Rappers have feelings, too.

There are two camps of Kansas City hip-hop -- gangsta and angsta. And although it's not surprising that the Das Kapital crowd can easily get its hemp panties in a twist, it was a revelation to find that thugs need hugs, too. I will take the song "Fuck Nathan Dinsdale" -- the Tech N9ne camp's vitriolic rebuttal to my reportage -- to my grave. Which I suppose was the point of lyrics like I'm unswitching the blade, slowly slicing your legs/Cut you up like ham and crack your bones like eggs.

The aptly named Los Cauz also left a nice forget-me-not: a two-page protest letter attached to 20 pounds of raw meat left at the front door of the Pitch.

I cringed through a lot of epically shitty shows, but despite my misanthropic tendencies, local acts routinely blew off my sneer goggles.

There were the Wilders at the Holiday Inn, the Get Up Kids at The Granada and Season to Risk at the Brick. C.E.S. Cru ruled Kabal, Descenscion camped up the Hurricane and Vibralux vamped out at the Bottleneck. Brent Scholz, Paul DeMatteo and Brennan Shirk went toe to toe during a turntable throwdown at Jilly's. I'll remember Empire at the Grand Emporium, Mac Lethal at Verizon Wireless and the carnival that was Fat Tone's performance at the Juneteenth celebration. It was a thrill to hear Ida McBeth at the Blue Room, watch D.C. Bellamy deliver a scorching summer set at the Kansas City, Kansas, Public Library, and hold back a tear as generations of Kansas City musicians paid tribute to Claude "Fiddler" Williams. Not to leave out Doris Henson, the Golden Republic, Rex Hobart, Namelessnumberheadman and plenty of others.

Thousands witnessed maligned homeboy Wes Scantlin bring his tortured energy to Memorial Hall, but virtually nobody listened to Everybody's X and Intent play their hearts out in a muddy field beside a crumbling drag-race strip.

I was there for it all, and the honor was mine.

Now the honor is Jason Harper's. My replacement as Pitch music editor is a voracious music scholar, an outstanding writer and a tenacious editor. Plus, he has a taut ass. I leave you in good hands.

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