I'm not against the Power and Light District's dress code, but it seems unfair for a project that leaves the Kansas City taxpayer with such a large portion of the bill to prohibit certain taxpayers from using its facilities. Sweat suits and work boots are not against the law. I think it would be a worthwhile venture to test the extent of dress-code enforcement. For instance, are white people held to the same standard as minorities? Are gold chains, backward-turned caps, and gold teeth acceptable? Can construction workers who built the Power and Light District show up at a bar in sleeveless shirts and work boots after their shift is over? I think this would be an interesting and humorous column for Burnt Ends to investigate.
Bryan Stalder, Kansas City, Missouri
Nadia Pflaum's article, "How Not to Be a Rap Star," explains my problem with hip-hop (girls, bling, drugs, etc.). I'm a producer, and I also have a band that I bring out to do live hip-hop shows with the artists I produce. (I say that so you know where I'm coming from.) I think that the whole game is messed up because the image is more important than the content — an image that is for the most part negative in nature, so no wonder club owners shy away from it. I think your story gets that point across very well, and I just want to say thank you. You make me feel a lot better about what I'm trying to do here in KC: keep real hip-hop alive at all costs. Everyone I work with is focused on quality of content, not image. I think that if Paul Mussan had stayed true to the music and not the image, things would have worked out better for him. The problem with keeping up with an image is that it never tops off. In 2000, if you had 20-inch rims you were hot; now you gotta have 28-inch. I also wonder if these rappers realize how much influence they have on young people and the responsibility that comes along with that, because these images that they show in their videos aren't reality, and I'm sad to say that I know several people who buy into it.
Thanks again for writing these articles about hip-hop.
Thomas Turner, Lawrence
I just got around to reading Charles Ferruzza's review of the Harvey House Diner, and I agree that the food is infinitely better now that PB&J has taken over. I was, however, surprised by his comment that "even Chubby's uses real china." If I'm not mistaken, Chubby's has never used china but rather has relied on white plastic tableware that, in my experience, is usually chipped or cracked or both.
Actually, my friend Ed and I gave up on Chubby's a couple of months ago. After the founding family left, the food went steadily downhill, especially the eggs, which they quite simply don't know how to cook. We'd order an omelet or basted eggs (actually, they're steamed on the grill), and invariably, the whites wouldn't be set. The last time we were there, Ed ordered two basted eggs, took a look at them and asked that they be returned to the kitchen. When they came back, they were fried brown. The two of us were also "fried" and never went back. We do miss the wait staff.
Allen Kleinbeck, Kansas City, Missouri
Andrew Miller's "Mom" sure does sound a lot like ... well, like she was coached on her answers. Not only can we give away our latest record, All the Love You Need, we are giving it away. See, we got the bulk discount.
Jeff Wareing, Golden, Colorado
I was happy to read Jason Harper's story about the punk scene. However, it's no surprise that I've run into the same problem the article talked about. After renting a basement to help a friend book a show for some touring bands, we were told that "our crowd" was not wanted there anymore. Minor damages, fixable with a few screws and a tiny bit of paint, and a closed mind killed one more decent location for shows.
Mickey Ortiz, Olathe, Kansas