Monday, November 26, 2007

As I Lay Dying on the Night Before Thanksgiving

Posted By on Mon, Nov 26, 2007 at 2:06 PM

As I Lay Dying, with All that Remains, Haste the Day and Through the Eyes of the Dead

Wednesday, November 21

The Beaumont

Review and Photos by Caleb Goellner

Touring atop the holiday season is a labor I’ve always admired bands for undertaking. I always picture heavily tattooed rocker dudes and dudettes spending their Turkey Days at a Denny’s, clocking massive cell phone charges to comfort metal mammas and progcore papas hundreds of miles away. Far from the homesickness I expected on the night before Macy’s declares Santa a demigod, Through the Eyes of the Dead, Haste the Day, All That Remains and As I Lay Dying melted a diverse crowd (skinny kids and older, meaner, balder, kids) with well-mixed metal.

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The Times We Live In

Posted By on Mon, Nov 26, 2007 at 11:40 AM

By ERIC BARTON

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This is not a scene from Arrowhead.

How insane is it that Mizzou is the No. 1 football program in the nation? According to this front page article in The New York Times today, it's like Albania playing for the World Cup title or Adam Sandler up for an Oscar. Yeah, it's that insane.

The article goes on to say that MU football typically does little more than cause reporters to use "thesauruses to find new ways to describe the Tigers’ football futility." The school is "better known for its journalism school than its football teams," the article continued.

But at least those in the ivory tower of journalism did come to this conclusion about Mizzou's season: "It would be difficult to make up a better story than the one that has unfolded this season in Columbia, Mo."

That's true as long as you're not a KU grad.

Monday Music Junkie: Outkast, Animal Collective, Murs, the Kills and more

Posted By on Mon, Nov 26, 2007 at 10:53 AM

BY ANDY VIHSTADT

My Grammys Weigh a Ton

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Outkast has been keeping 10 the Hard Way (most likely dropping in 2009 now, according to this) and next year’s solo effort from Big Boi on the down low. While you’re waiting for info, here’s something new from the duo courtesy of Spine Magazine. “Da Art of Storytellin’ Part 4” feature’s Floetry’s Marsha Ambrosius and will appear on DJ Drama’s Gangsta Grillz: The Album, out next week.

DJ Drama (feat. Outkast and Marsha Ambrosius): “Da Art of Storytellin’ Part 4” MP3

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Crankytown: Scrooged

Posted By on Mon, Nov 26, 2007 at 10:45 AM

By C.J. JANOVY

Saturday night’s big football game at Arrowhead was exciting for all of Kansas City, sure. But I have only one thing to say about the experience of watching it at home. The only thing I really remember about the night is this Aflac commercial that perversely bastardizes the classic 1964 stop-motion animated Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer television special. I’m old enough to have witnessed all sorts of commercial degradation of once-great pop-culture artifacts, and I’m cynical enough not to be surprised when it happens. But this one caught me off guard. Apparently this commercial isn’t new, but I’d never seen it before. Now, Christmas will never be the same. Fuck you, Aflac.

Ha Ha, You Lost a Billion Dollars

Posted By on Mon, Nov 26, 2007 at 8:10 AM

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I think it was Ludwig von Mises, considered by many to be the greatest economist of the 20th century, who said, “It’s the goddamnedest thing when the subprime lending market collapses and your mortgage division hemorrhages money for months on end and then your shareholders overwhelmingly reject your leadership by voting for dissident board candidates. Fuck.”

On the one hand, I have an antisocial personality spectrum diagnosis that causes me to take pleasure in the misfortune of other people. But then, over here, you have my short attention span, which makes it hard for me to follow the details of the collapse of the housing market. With H&R Block’s management shuffle, these two neurological pathologies have achieved a kind of equilibrium – I don’t necessarily need to know the details of chairman Mark A Ernst’s recent resignation. I just feel good knowing that the business community is regarding him pretty much the way Internet folks regard that photo of the poor bastard with elephantiasis of the testicles. I’ve been told that there’s an editorial injunction against posting that picture because we totally overused it during Saundra McFadden-Weaver’s trial on mortgage-fraud charges.

Now Ludwig von Mises’ words seem almost prescient. They’ll be chaining up a white ghost bike outside the H&R Block Center at 13th and Main in Ernst’s memory, and also pouring out a Labatt 50, but Richard C. Breeden, formerly of the Securities and Exchange Commission, is stepping forward as the new chairman to lead H&R Block back into the vanguard of tax-preparation services. The shareholders like him, but they also liked Ernst just fine when he was generating billions of dollars in a risky market. Now, all of a sudden, they’re feeling conservative again and wearing wingtips and decorating their houses with grandma furniture.

If anyone needs a mono-line subprime mortgage originator cheap, please call Breeden. He needs to unload Option One, Block’s mortgage unit, as quickly as possible, and will entertain any offer. --Chris Packham

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Thanksgiving Jerky in KCK

Posted By on Sun, Nov 25, 2007 at 5:01 PM

This was my second year to have the profound joy of attending the annual Thanksgiving Breakfast Dance at the National Guard Armory in Kansas City, Kansas. Unlike last year, I did not get trashed and end up at a former Chiefs player's house in exurban Jackson County. And that's OK, because I had a blast and a half and was fit for family activities afterwards. Though not for lack of trying. Heh.

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Thursday, November 22, 2007

Your Guide to Holiday Weekend Drinking

Posted By on Thu, Nov 22, 2007 at 7:31 AM

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Besides the ass-busting effort required to mount a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, is there any particular reason why turkey, mashed potatoes, yams, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie are only served in November? That’s my favorite kind of question: The kind that answers itself, freeing me up to spend more time on the things that matter, which, this weekend, will be drinking.

Yes, A Christmas Carol is playing at the Kansas City Repertory Theatre again, capping off another spectacular season of all the stuff the KC Rep does while prepping the next year’s production of A Christmas Carol. I don’t know who’s involved this year, so let’s just say Robert Gibby Brand. Also, Friday is a big shopping day – unless you’re celebrating National Buy Nothing Day, which, while a laudable blow against rampant consumerism, is pretty much ignored by everyone except for hippies. All that traditional stuff and more happens this Thanksgiving weekend, and what I’m saying is that you should instead ignore all of it and go run up some bar tabs around town.

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At 10 p.m. on Friday, hit the Karaoke Ball at the Brick (1727 McGee). David Wayne Reed joins Alicia Solo of the Beautiful Bodies for an amateur singing competition with prizes. The bar will feature holiday drink specials including pumpkin beer and Wild Turkey -- these may unnecessarily remind you that it’s a special special time of year that you should be spending with family and loved ones and being thankful for the religious freedom we gained when our puritan ancestors launched their helicopters against the British. But try to ignore all that until you get a good buzz going and then maybe belt out “The Final Countdown.”

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When anyone asks me the question, “If you could live your life as somebody else, who would you be?” the answer that immediately springs into my head is “A really hot chick.” But the one time I actually said it out loud, I totally came to regret it. So now I usually say I’d like to be Frank Sinatra, because what an unbelievably awesome life he led. Although I’d like to skip the final succession of heart attacks, please, if that’s OK.

Were you aware of the Copa Room at 3421 Broadway? It’s a shrine to Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack. So if you want to drink and you simultaneously need to entertain elderly relatives who came into town for Thanksgiving, the bar serves up signature cocktails with a Rat Pack theme, and hosts live music Wednesday through Saturday.

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No matter which radio station you listen to, all the music getting airplay these days has something in common: the songs eventually come to an end. The “weedla-weedla” guitar solos and similar forms of musical self-indulgence from decades past are increasingly rare. There’s nothing I like more than a good jam band, unless you’re talking about cherry pie, the undisputed king of pies. But anyway. The 75th Street Brewery (520 West 75th Street) hosts Brew Jam every Sunday night at 8. It’s billed as the longest-running acoustic jam in Kansas City, and we’ll give the band the benefit of the doubt and assume that they play only one song each night. And if they’re taking requests, I wouldn’t say no to a three-hour version of Elvis Presley’s timeless classic “Viva Viagra.”

And since the show takes place at a brewery, there will be beer, which is the whole point. -- Chris Packham

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Smokestack Series Sampling

Posted By on Thu, Nov 22, 2007 at 6:50 AM

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If you’ve been to one of the metro’s more spacious liquor stores lately, you might’ve spotted Boulevard Brewing Company’s newest brews. You really can’t miss them: The Smokestack Series, as they’re called, are sold in champagne-style bottles, complete with a cork and antique-looking labels. They sit on wire racks that might otherwise display the newest offering from Napa Valley, rather than Southwest Boulevard.

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I say the metro’s spacious liquor stores because not everywhere can carry these things. Some of the smaller shops complain that the 25.4-ounce bottles don’t fit in their beer cases. But if you’re looking for a bottle of beer to impress some dinner guest, these things are pretty damn striking (despite that they're so hard to uncork that it made several of us look like big pussies). And after The Pitch staff downed all four of them the other day, I’m happy to say the beer inside the bottles is pretty damn good.

Back in August, The Pitch reported that Boulevard was facing stiff competition from other specialty beers and was having trouble moving Lunar ale. But these four new Smokestack Series beers aren’t meant to be mass marketed like Lunar. That’s evident with the hefty price tag; I bought ours from Cellar Rat for $7.49 each, which is like buying two beers for the price of a six-pack. But it seems likely connoisseurs, at the least, will shell out a bit more dough for the uniqueness of a champagne bottle full of gourmet beer.

And unique they are. After our afternoon taste test, here’s our take on the four new brews:

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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

More JoCo Drama

Posted By on Wed, Nov 21, 2007 at 4:51 PM

Soon, there will be one less ego in the Josephine Collective. Keyboard player and singer Albert John Redwine is quitting. According to official MySpace ramblings credited to JoCo frontman Dillon Teague Devoe, the parting is amicable.

Said Devoe in a bulletin: “as far as albert goes, we are all still friends. we will continue to be friends. we will continue to fuck shit up around town. we will continue our quest for world domination.. haha.”

Redwine just wants to devote more time to his solo electronica project, Fire For Effect, which is on the list of acts performing this Saturday at the Jackpot.

Redwine will play with JoCo this weekend, too, at the Creepy Crawl in St. Louis on Friday. JoCo’s farewell-to-Redwine show is tentatively scheduled for December 16 at the Grand Emporium. Redwine’s departure will knock the rowdy Josephine Collective’s Warner Bros.-signed roster down to six. Word is that the band will continue making angsty emo pop without him. That’s probably for the best. They couldn’t possibly find a replacement with a better name.

The sad thing is, the moniker goes to waste in Fire For Effect. For that act, Redwine just calls himself ULTRADEMON. Seriously.

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ULTRADEMON. Of course.

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Inside the Chiefs Media Herd

Posted By on Wed, Nov 21, 2007 at 2:00 PM

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Back when I was a cub reporter, my editor sent me to cover an auction of wild horses. They had been collected on the Western plains and were being sold to farmers who would tame them. When I approached the pen, the dozen or so horses scampered away in a tight pack. Wild horses stick together for strength, and when approached by a stranger, they rushed together in a group to the farthest corner. As I rounded the pen, the horses pressed together and sprinted from corner to corner in their protective herd.

I thought of those horses a lot lately while watching the press corps that covers the Chiefs.

I spent a few days on and off over the last three weeks tailing Herm Edwards for this week's cover story in The Pitch. I found myself fascinated by the habits of the beat reporters who huddle together like those wild horses, day after day, as they churn out stories on who’s injured or which player is saying what.

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