Thursday, May 29, 2008

Billy Butler Is Gone, and Let's Hope Tony Peña Jr. Is Next

Posted By on Thu, May 29, 2008 at 4:31 PM

By CHRIS RASMUSSEN

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Swing and a miss.

Jose Guillen's post-game tirade may have claimed a target.

Today, Billy Butler departs for Omaha. This is a shock, because in April, Butler and Alex Gordon were the two most-promising Royals hitters in the lineup. Butler may or may not have been a target of Guillen's clubhouse criticism of "babies" who are satisfied with collecting base hits but no victories.

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Claire, There Are Bears in Missouri

Posted By on Thu, May 29, 2008 at 3:15 PM

By HANNAH ZIMMERMAN

Anyone watching The Colbert Report last night saw Sen. Claire McCaskill give the show's host a Missouri flag. The flag, if you haven't seen one lately, features in its crest the very

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thing Stephen Colbert hates: bears. McCaskill then proceeded to promise that there were no bears in Missouri.

LIES! According to the Missouri Department of Conservation, there are black bears in Missouri. The official bear Web site (yes, there is, in fact, an official bear Web site) also confirms that numerous black bear sitings in southwest Missouri have been recorded within the last five years, proving that McCaskill is completely wrong and that Steven Colbert should still fear Missouri.

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Junkie Jukebox: Ratatat

Posted By on Thu, May 29, 2008 at 11:34 AM

By ANDY VIHSTADT

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Ratatat returns July 8 with its aptly titled LP3, and apparently the NYC duo has a soft spot for Schwarzenegger’s 1987 sci-fi flick, Predator. See for yourself on the video for new song “Mirando,” or just grab the MP3 right here.

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Kansas City: The New New York City

Posted By on Thu, May 29, 2008 at 10:56 AM

By CRYSTAL K. WIEBE

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Photo by Brad Walsh for Junk-Mag.com

NYC blogger Brad Walsh thinks Kansas City is the "New New York City." Why? Because we spawned the Republic Tigers, Alicia Solombrino, the Ssion and "20 or so transplanted club kids with more original style than I've seen around here in a long time." Walsh made his bold claim in a May 27 post on his blog at junk-mag.com. Also in the post: a bunch of artsy pics he took of Solombrino and streams of "Touch Me" by the Beautiful Bodies and "Buildings and Mountains" by the Republic Tigers. A second post features "Golden Sand" by the Republic Tigers.

Just who the fuck is Brad Walsh, though? He's a photographer and founder of Junk Magazine, an indie hipster culture rag that went all digital in 2005. Walsh's other claim to fame is being the boyfriend of Project Runway dude Christian Siriano. None of that makes Walsh's opinion worth that much -- but, hey, it's nice to see well-connected out-of-towners lovin' on our city and its almost famous peeps.

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Daily Briefs: Action News for the Post-ironic Urbanite

Posted By on Thu, May 29, 2008 at 10:11 AM

By CHRIS PACKHAM

The wondrous magic of imaginary Latinos: It's not that I actually hate unfunny old Garrison Keillor's A Prairie Home Companion. It's just that I think Archer Daniels Midland, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and listeners like you should be pledging money to worthier causes, such as E. Thomas McClanahan's Asthma Camp for Strict Constructionist Kids.

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Oh, I'm kidding. I actually do hate A Prairie Home Companion, but lately I've been taking my rhetorical cues from the Minutemen race-hatred organization. They've adopted an ingenious rhetorical strategy with regard to their blood foes, the Mexicans, of advocating for "stronger borders" and "enforcing the laws on the books." It's great, because they don't have to take their Topps holofoil race cards out of their protective mylar sleeves, plus they get to appear all patriotic and bald eagle-y.

But when push comes to shove, and the rubber hits the road and trouble rears its ugly, hydrocephalic head in the form of trailer park domestic turmoil, who takes the heat? If you're the wife of the founder of the Ozarks Minutemen, you tell the cops on the scene that three Latinos broke into your mobile home, sexually assaulted you and shot you in the knee with a handgun. Then, after the police spend 100 man-hours looking for the suspects, you admit that you accidentally shot yourself, probably while listening to Garrison Keillor sing the fucking "Rhubarb Pie" song while jauntily air-conducting with your snub-nosed .38. Oh, look! I've become Crime Scene KC.

Do££ar$ and ¢€nt$ and other symbols you can't find on your keyboard: A poll commissioned by the city demonstrates a plurality of Kansas Citians favoring a half-cent sales tax for rapid transit.

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I don't doubt it, and truthfully, as a Libertarian Christian Anarchist Objectivist, I'm kind of torn. On the one hand, not only do I want to get the government out of peoples' lives, I also actively want to smash the state, preferably with the cheapest well-vodka-based molotov cocktails money can buy. I'm a budget anarchist. But, on the other Ayn Rand-reading hand, regressive sales taxes are satisfyingly tough on the sub-poverty Untouchable caste, whom the last fifteen grinding years of laissez-faire economic liberalism haven't yet crushed completely flat. So, there's that on top.

While we're on the subject of your girly-ass pocketbook, Yael T. Abouhalkah took one look at the Kansas City sewer rate projections, clutched his heart and stumbled around like Redd Foxx having "the big one." I swear to TV's Bibleman's Son of God, I think Yael is going to move away from Kansas City when the first of those fat bills appears in his mailbox. But the main reason I'm drawing it to your attention is because nobody, including snotty 9-year-old girls who say things like "No doy," is more unintentionally hilarious about name-calling than the commenters at Midwest Voices. In comments, somebody called kcfella writes a, like, thousand-word essay calling Mayor Mark Funkhouser both "Mayor Buffoon," and -- gloriously -- "Mayor Smart With Nothinghouser." Kcfella, you! Are! The! Best! At! Humor! Henceforth and for all time, Daily Briefs will refer to Mayor Mark Funkhouser as "Mayor Smart With Nothinghouser."

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A Search For Optimism in KC Sports: Zach Greinke

Posted By on Thu, May 29, 2008 at 9:22 AM

By CHRIS RASMUSSEN

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This is Kansas City sports' low ebb. It is sometimes impossible for a Kansas City sports fan to find anything even vaguely optimistic.

The Royals are in last again and mired in a 10-game losing streak, using every bread, circus and promotion available to distract fans save batting Verne Troyer in the lineup. And then there's last night, which I'm not willing to talk about just yet.

The Chiefs also appear headed for a losing season, as their offense features an untested quarterback, three new starters on the offensive line and a moody star running back. We do not have an actual winter tenant for the Sprint Center, and even the minor league Brigade is in the cellar.

So I'm desperate for anything positive. By coincidence, last night was Zach Greinke's turn in the rotation.

Greinke's story is well chronicled elsewhere: Two years ago Greinke, the most talented pitcher generated by the Royals in decades, left the team suffering from clinical depression and social anxiety disorder. Now, after a successful comeback, he is one of the best pitchers in baseball. He is an artist on the mound, cunning and precise at an incredibly young age.

If I only read about his struggles and never heard him speak, I would root for him. Listening to him in an interview enhances my interest in Greinke; he does not spout clichés like other players trained by Scott Boras' minions. He is refreshingly honest and engaging in interviews, particularly compared to other athletes. Greinke's demeanor off the field makes him more human, helping me identify with both his previous struggles and his present success.

It is difficult to root for millionaires who were spoiled at an early age due to their athleticism. The late David Halberstam once described an athlete as "athlete-nice," meaning that the player was not a raging egomaniac and capable of some self-awareness. Greinke is "athlete-sympathetic" -- to the extent one is capable to sympathize for a multimillionaire, Greinke is a worthy candidate.

In a profession often devoid of sympathetic human beings, Greinke is a rarity. I root for him, irrespective of the name he wears on the front of his jersey.

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A Search For Optimism in KC Sports: Zach Greinke

Posted By on Thu, May 29, 2008 at 9:22 AM

By CHRIS RASMUSSEN

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This is Kansas City sports' low ebb. It is sometimes impossible for a Kansas City sports fan to find anything even vaguely optimistic.

The Royals are in last again and mired in a 10-game losing streak, using every bread, circus and promotion available to distract fans save batting Verne Troyer in the lineup. And then there's last night, which I'm not willing to talk about just yet.

Continue reading »

Goodbye Sarah's; Hello Twisted

Posted By on Thu, May 29, 2008 at 9:00 AM

By CHARLES FERRUZZA

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Thank goodness for little miracles: The fabulous Cheese Steak sandwich on the lunch menu at the short-lived Sarah’s restaurant at 1815 Grand survived the transition to its new incarnation, Twist Urban Eatery. Sarah’s opened in November but I waited until a few weeks ago to check it out. I had a very nice lunch in chef Sarah Walker’s namesake bistro and was so impressed that I decided to eat dinner there a couple of nights later. When I arrived for an evening meal, though, the big windows were papered over. Sarah’s was gone, obviously, and there were notices taped up announcing a new concept was moving into the space: Twist.

“Sarah decided to move on,” says her former business partner, Lana Todd (pictured at right), the new owner of Twist. I didn’t ask for more details because, frankly, it was none of my damn business. Todd had been an investor in Sarah’s because she was a friend of Walker’s and admired her culinary skills – Walker’s resume includes stints at the former Café Allegro, Joe D’s and the Capital Grille – and the venture sounded like a great idea. There was certainly room for a fresh new restaurant concept that offered breakfast, lunch, dinner – and art shows!

But many of the customers driving to the chain restaurants in the Power & Light District seemed to ignore the vivid orange awning in front of Sarah’s and I heard complaints about the price points. Sarah’s wasn’t a moderately priced dining experience in the evening: entrees ranged from $17 to $28 and the wine list included some lovely but costly vintages.

After briefly closing down the restaurant, Todd took over the operation herself, promoting Walker’s chef de cuisine Jonah Thompson to executive chef and boosting staffer Anna Miller to the chef de cuisine position. The interior is the same bright, airy and attractive space. Todd hired a curator, Billy Smith, to arrange for new art shows every month and starting in June, the restaurant will offer live musical performances on First Friday nights.

By day, the petite Todd is a business planer for IBM. She also teaches Pilates and yoga, which she attributes to keeping her feel energized and lively as she juggles two full-time jobs. The new Twist menu has a more moderate price structure: $12 for lemon fettuccine Alfredo, $11 for fish and chips and $17 for a Kansas City Strip.

And that same great Philly-style cheese steak sandwich, made with Cheez Whiz, baby.

As for Walker, she’s certainly talented and will show up, somewhere, again soon.

Yee-haw

Posted By on Thu, May 29, 2008 at 9:00 AM

by FLANNERY CASHILL

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Introducing Edge of Forever, Kansas's premiere Lynyrd Skynyrd tribute band. From their Myspace:

The drums, keyboard, guitars and bass guitar work have been meticuliously studied, polished and served up hot at every performance, with their stage show presentation of one 3 hr. non-stop set of everybody’s favorites with all of the stage props and the pounding southern/blues/rock pulse of Skynyrd.

Only a few artists have the audacity to play three hour concerts. Bruce Springsteen plays marathon sets, but he wrote Born to Run. Metallica can beat a dead horse for at least three hours, but they might play "Battery". Somehow this hairy, snakeskinned collection of bar-rockers has earned the right to three self-gratifying hours of Lynyrd Skynyrd nostalgia. If Springsteen can, why can't they?

In case you were wondering, Edge of Forever insist the prominent displays of Confederate flags represent "heritage not hatred". Nice try, wrong state.

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