Friday, November 30, 2007

How to Get On MTV: Olympic Size Edition

Posted By on Fri, Nov 30, 2007 at 12:13 PM

Forget TRL. These days, the best music on MTV gets played during the reality shows, during the truly emotional moments. Like on this recent episode of The Real World (Sidney), when mean, old Trisha gets sent home. The totally appropriate acoustica about “pissing off all of your friends” that plays as everyone hugs is a song called “Friends” by none other than KC’s own Olympic Size. -- Crystal K. Wiebe

Listen to the whole song after the jump.

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Weekend Events Roundup: Public Apology Edition

Posted By on Fri, Nov 30, 2007 at 8:42 AM

By CHRIS PACKHAM

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Look: We admit it. We were scooped by The Kansas City Star Thursday so forcefully that a tiny, vital part inside of us broke. Now we can feel it rattling around inside, like a cigarette butt in a beer can. I’ve personally apologized to our entire editorial staff for the complete failure of The Pitch's Night & Day section to highlight what is obviously the biggest entertainment story to hit Kansas City since marshmallowy singer Garth Brooks occupied the Sprint Center for a record-setting nine nights. Note that I’m using the word occupy the same way that hippies were described as “occupying” university administration buildings, often while wearing nothing but hemp sandals. Like the hippies, Brooks had to be forcibly dislodged by a hail of obsessive Timothy Finn blog reviews. And come to think of it, we totally missed the Garth Brooks story, too. So we’re 0-2 on this whole thing.

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You win this round, Kansas City Star Preview section. Tonight, the 2006 Disney sensation High School Musical makes its Sprint Center debut translated into the girly idiom of figure skating — as clearly pictured in this huge image, reproduced in color at enormous expense, on the cover of yesterday's Preview section.

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Adapting classic works for ice makes them that much better, the same way that reinterpreting Star Trek in the idiom of teddy bears adds layers of semiotic complexity to the glass case where your grandma keeps her Hummel figurine collection. Though I am forced to follow the example of the Kansas City Star Preview section in explicitly recommending High School Musical: The Ice Tour to readers of The Pitch, I would also like to point out that the excellent pun in the Preview headline, “High School Musical: The Ice Tour Is on the Rink of Success,” is followed up by this amazing play on words in the subhead: “Disney’s super franchise shows no signs of melting down anytime soon.” Then, inside, I found the headline “Ice Cool Musical.” While we’re doing our Daniel-san wax-on, wax-off in Preview’s backyard, hopefully Preview will also teach us which odd jobs will give us the muscle memory for crafting puns.

Shows are at 7 p.m. Friday; 11 a.m., 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday; and 3 p.m. Sunday.

It seems really weird that other events are happening on the same weekend — mostly on regular-friction terra firma rather than ON ICE! But outside the Sprint Center, things are proceeding pretty much normally. On Saturday alone, you can see:

Sterilize Stereo, American Catastrophe and Red Water Revival at the Brick (1727 McGee, 816-421-1634)

Hopeless Destroyers, Young Livers, the Rich Boys and Brutally Frank at Davey's Uptown Ramblers Club (3402 Main, 816-753-1909)

Electric Six, Willowz and We Are the Fury at the Record Bar (1020 Westport Road, 816-753-5207)

Ad Astra Per Aspera at Love Garden Sounds (936 ½ Massachusetts, Lawrence, 785-843-1551)

It's like they didn't even realize that High School Musical on Ice was getting "Japan Bombs Pearl Harbor"-grade front-page status in the Preview section. Maybe the bands will get some small turnout of their most hardcore fans.

Finally, after the prolonged weekend of rocking, you might consider attending the free screening of the 1980 East German film Solo Sunny at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art (4420 Warwick, 816-753-5784) as part of the Behind the Wall Film Classics Series. I'm assuming that you somehow didn't manage to get tickets to every single performance of a certain lip-synced ice-skating extravaganza and you still need something to do. The film, which screens at 2 p.m., was the recipient of the coveted Silver Bear Award, which was the rickety and unreliable Party-sanctioned version of the Oscar, kind of the Yugo to the Academy Awards' Gran Torino. It addresses the longings and frustrations of German youth at the time — much the same way that High School Musical on Ice addresses the hopes and dreams of privileged Western kids on a smooth, Zambonied expanse of ice.

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As a final act of contrition and an apes-in-the-wild display of submission to The Kansas City Star, I have crafted the image at right. Like a disgraced Japanese business executive in a movie caricaturing Japanese business culture, I now end my period of public self-flagellation.

I hope to demonstrate better judgment in the future.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Grand Marquis CD-Release Party

Posted By on Thu, Nov 29, 2007 at 5:17 PM

Playing in the Grand Marquis must be one of the best gigs in Kansas City. After all, the band's been together for years and plays constantly, bringing the energetic gospel of old-timey jump blues and swing jazz same juke joints every week. Not only has the Marquis stayed together all this time without a break, they've just minted a new album, One More Day (appropriate title, no?). I listened to it today, and it's nothing less than sweet cider for the soul, baby.

Pick it up at the official CD release party this Sunday, December 2, at the Mission Theater. The show starts at 7 p.m., and before the Marquis gets on stage, Esencias Flamencas struts out the flamenco, and local auteur Anthony Ladesich presents his short film "Be It Ever So Humble, There's No Place." In the meantime, here's an exclusive download for ya' muggin' pleazure.

The Grand Marquis: "Safronia B" MP3 (orig. by Calvin Boze)

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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

If You're a KU Fan, This Might Hurt

Posted By on Wed, Nov 28, 2007 at 2:52 PM

After all that smack talk last week between KU and MU fans, it appears Missourians have gotten the last laugh. Here's the latest e-mail volley.

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Public Beardectomy at Hearers Show

Posted By on Wed, Nov 28, 2007 at 2:24 PM

Darren Welch, a member of the Hearers and In the Pines, had, until very recently, the kind of monstrous beard 11th century yeomen would cultivate to keep themselves warm whilst protecting the king's deer from poachers.

Last Wednesday at the Brick during a rousing performance of "Bob Fox's Wallet," Darren squealed like a mad hillbilly, shaved, and squealed some more. That flippin' beard fell to the floor like a dead marmot. There's got to be a law against that, but fuck it. Here's footage, sent in by Hearer David Moore.

The Hearers' new CD, Flowers & Flames, comes out soon on Anodyne Records.

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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Minus Story's New Video (Huh?)

Posted By on Tue, Nov 27, 2007 at 2:26 PM

Lawrence band Minus Story has released a new video on YouTube. It's for the single "Stitch Me Up" from the band's album, My Ion Truss, put out earlier this year by Jagjaguwar. And hoo is it weird. Sort of. It's basically this cute artsy chick hanging out in her house. She compares her face in the mirror with a gold skull. She bakes a white lump of clay that by video's end has become a crude, yellow rabbit (evidently, the baking required very little heat, as she removes the rabbit from the oven with her bare hand). She sits at her desk, plays with a toy airplane, then plays piano and guitar along with the music.

The video did not take long or cost much to make and is highly arbitrary (unless I'm missing something), but I wish more local bands would take the time illustrate their songs. It's fun to sit here and watch stuff like this rather than doactual work. I think I'm going to go home and bake a bunny.

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Peter, Bjorn and John at the Madrid (Swedes Have More Fun)

Posted By on Tue, Nov 27, 2007 at 11:18 AM

Maybe the reason that so much good "American" pop and rock music comes out of Sweden nowadays is that Swedes are genetically predisposed to having more fun when they pick up guitars or get behind drums. They charm, rock like monkeys and radiate goodwill and humanity. It's been true with every Swedish act I've seen here over the past two years, including the Shout Out Louds, Jens Lekman and the Perishers. Also, each of them has stuck around to meet the audience and even sign autographs -- which, in the case of last night's act, is pretty impressive, considering the indie credentials this band has seized over the past year.

It's trite to credit a band with playing to a small house just as energetically as if it were a packed arena, but last night, the Swedish guitar-pop trio Peter, Bjorn and John treated the half-empty Madrid Theatre like it was a sold-out Tiger Stadium. Though their breakthrough album, Writer's Block, came out overseas sometime in the middle of '06 (making many top-ten lists last year, including mine) it didn't see stateside release until early this year, coming with a push that included a heroic performance at SXSW, which I was lucky enough to catch.

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You tell 'em, Bjorn.

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Monday, November 26, 2007

“Obesity Lives Here” ... And Other Touching Game Memories

Posted By on Mon, Nov 26, 2007 at 4:10 PM

By JEN CHEN

A fan caught the scripted insanity of ESPN’s

College GameDay at Arrowhead.

In the aftermath of Saturday’s big game, here’s the only post-game analysis you need. And by “analysis,” I really mean my random thoughts about things other than yards and downs.

I sat through ESPN’s College GameDay, which broadcast that morning from the Arrowhead lot. The GameDay crew divided Kansas and Missouri fans into two sections that were separated by an aisle. Both sides brought clever signs. On the Kansas side, I liked the cutout of Grandpa Simpson. Near it was a talky bubble with his famous quote, “I’ll be deep in the cold, cold ground before I recognize Missourah!” (For Simpsons nerds, that’s from the “Gummi Venus de Milo” episode, when Homer’s accused of sexually harassing the babysitter. In it, Marge asks Grandpa why his American flag has 49 stars; hence, his response).

Missouri and KU fans clearly put a lot of thought into their signs, which included:

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  • “Obesity Lives Here.” OK, that’s a cheap shot about Mangino’s weight, but the play on ESPN’s “College Football Lives Here” slogan is still kind of funny.
  • “Kansas Football: A Tradition Since September.”
  • A cutout of Mangino’s head accompanied by another massive cutout of a cupcake with a Mizzou logo on it.

During GameDay, the Mangino-cupcake was standing on the Kansas side. I was confused by that – where these Kansas fans implying that Mangino plays cupcake teams? Or were they Missouri fans who crossed the Home Depot-sponsored border and infiltrated the Kansas section? My boyfriend figured out that they meant that Mizzou’s a cupcake team. Apparently, the Star was confused, too; it printed a picture of these guys in Sunday’s paper and identified them as Mizzou fans (even though they’re clearly wearing KU shirts).

After the game, I also sat through Channel 9’s hilariously awful post-game broadcast. Here’s a brief rundown of its painfulness:

  • KMBC’s Jim Flink interviews sports guy Andy Fales for like 10 minutes in a post-game circle jerk. They’re standing on the field, right in front of one of those crane-operated cameras. Jim starts of by saying something like, “It’s bedlam here!” Behind them, beyond the crane, the stadium is clearing out. Jim sounds like he’s auditioning for ESPN, as evidenced by his use of the term “big daddy mo.” Apparently, in sports dork talk, that means “momentum.” Hey guys, we just watched the game too. How about interviewing some players instead of each other?
  • After the Jim-n-Andy show, the news switched to the standard “fan reaction” story. It cut to reporter Marcus Moore, who was supposedly at a raucous gamewatch at someone’s apartment up north. Yeah, behind him were six guys sitting on sofas. This just in: Sausagefest in NKC! Marcus swore that the party really was rockin’ earlier that night.
  • The only useful part of the news was a snippet from Gary Pinkel’s press conference. Then, Karen Kornacki interviewed a Fiesta Bowl official. She asked him if the KU-MU game would influence who they’d pick for their game. He was like, hello, there’s a formula (note: this is an approximation of the actual interview, since I was a bit sleepy by this point). Karen then wrangled a KU player for an interview, but a couple of sentences into it, he got pulled away from some KU authority type.

Other than that, the game was great. Let the overhype begin for next weekend’s game!

The Ballad of Clay Chastain

Posted By on Mon, Nov 26, 2007 at 2:41 PM

Seems that our city's light rail fanatic has earned himself some folksy mockery. Not sure who Jim Abel is (this guy?); a gal named Martha sent this in today around noon. And we're always up for musical satire here at the WB, especially when it involves local jokers like Clay Chastain.

Jim Abel: "The Ballad of Clay Chastain" MP3

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Hey, Clay! You just got balladed, ya shmuck! (Photo by Angela C. Bond)

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