The sad times for local newspapers continue. The Kansas City Kansan's print edition is dead, a story on the newspaper's Web site reported today. The Kansan will be an online-only publication as of January 10. Earlier this year, the Kansan switched to a twice-weekly print schedule. I only have one thought: damn. -- Justin Kendall
A lot of sweet sounds emanated from these parts in 2008. In no particular order, here is a list of the local tracks I dug the most this year, including some videos. Note: Several of these weren't officially released, but I heard 'em in the clubs or jammed 'em online.
"Strut," Beautiful Bodies. Touch Me. (self-released)
"Stupid Dance," Softee. Birds and Aliens. (Chauncey Recordings)
"The Battle of Josephine," Klangs. Khorky Custer Khrusty Presents the Klangs. (self-released)
"Tierra Firme," Making Movies. Tierra Firme Vol.1: Lobos.Wolves EP. (self-released)
"Nightmarer," Queens Club.
"Pills," Architects. Vice. (Anodyne)
"The Nerve," Republic Tigers. Keep Color. (Chop Shop)
"Sleepwalker," Flee the Seen.
Last weekend, I was reading Rolling Stone when I came across a tale of real-life superheroes called "The Legend of Master Legend." Master Legend is an Orlando-based masked crusader, complete with secret lair and sidekick, The Ace.
But what struck me in the story is that many real-life heroes are listed on the World Superhero Registry or the Heroes Network. (Damn, who knew Utah needed so many heroes?)
I wondered if we had a local caped crusader registered with any of these syndicates. Surely Alonzo Washington would be recognized for his heroism (albeit with a twist of homophobia, attention whoring and race baiting) among the Green Scorpion, Citizen Prime and Insignis (who, oddly, dresses like San Francisco's Zodiac killer). I mean, the guy calls himself "Alonzo Crimesolver." He also has an alter ego, Omega Man, who's "too black, too strong." And he has the Omega Mobile and
a scooter an Omega-Pod.
Alas, our hero isn't registered, possibly fearing a government ploy to unmask and ultimately control superheroes, just like in Marvel's Civil War, which preceded the death of Captain America, who saw registration as an afront to our civil liberties. Live free, Alonzo. -- Justin Kendall
Tis the season for setting weight-loss goals, and we at Plog are here to help: Eat less, exercise more.
In related news, People magazine reports today that one of greater Kansas City's most famous pound shedders, former North Kansas City schoolteacher and Biggest Loser contestant Marty Wolff, and his wife are expecting a child.
Wolff, a speech and theater theater at NKC High, arrived at The Biggest Loser ranch in 2006 weighing 365 pounds. Though he didn't win the grand prize, Wolff got his weight down to 219 pounds by the season finale.
In no particular order ...
The Architects, Vice (Anodyne)
New boots! New boots and truncheons! (Should be tellin' you something.)
Yeah it is -- that it's time to fuckin' lock and load.
Seriously, though, a solid rock album, start to finish, with hooks to spare. (review)
The Republic Tigers, Keep Color (Chop Shop)
Destiny fulfilled. (review)
Devil Blare, The Journeyman (Murder In the Living Room Records)
More than a concept album -- a psychedelic parade. Blare's follow-up, Here Comes the Winter, is fresh off the presses and Kinksy as all get out. (story)
Have maraca, will rock-a.
Olympic Size, You'll Miss Me When I'm Gone (self-released)
More than a Tuesday-night-at-the-bar-alone soundtrack or a nocturnal pop murmur, this album is achingly beautiful and desperate and also musically adventurous and expansive. (review + songs)
The ACB's, The ACB's (self-released)
Yeah, this one came out last year, actually (or maybe even before that), but 2008 was the year these clean-cut powerpop kings shook it on out. Such a fun, good album. Damn, Suzanne. (story)
(Confession: We're still not sure whether there's really supposed to be an apostrophe in the name.)
The Abracadabras, Be Still, Be Cool (self-released)
Sparklin' like T-Rex, yowlin' like Oasis and raisin' a glass to the Faces. (story)
The Wilders, Someone's Gotta Pay (Free Dirt Records)
Alternately, a murder-trial concept album and a whiskey-guzzling hurricane of broke-ass barroom stompers and suprisingly gentle come-hitherers. With this release, the Wilders did more than keep the classic-americana flame burning; they forced evolution upon the genre. (best band blurb)
MP3: "Hey Little Darlin" (WHOA-NOW: this song may get you laid)
Tech N9ne, Killer (Strange Music)
Tech has long outgrown his local status, but he continues to hustle hard and rep Kansas City wherever he goes -- which, by the way, is everywhere. No Kansas City musical artist works harder or has more money to show for it than this man. Ever heard a crowd in Denver, Alaska or Denmark chant KCMO-whoooaaaaoooooh? No? Then you haven't been on the road with Tech. Oh, and this album's really good, too. Look, it made our top 10 of the genre, period.
Suzannah Johannes, Suzannah Johannes EP (Range Life)
At various times throughout this year, more frequently than normal for a new tune, the four songs on Suz's debut would visit my head, often just the lyrics. They were always welcome.
Have you seen me on a good day/When all the boats pass by me?
MP3: "Kelly Ann"
Album that came out this year but that we picked last year:
Album that came out last year and that we picked last year but that arguably had more impact this year:
-- Jason Harper
Sounds like Viacom will pull the plug on 19 MTV Networks channels on Time Warner Cable if the two don't cut a deal before the stroke of midnight, Multichannel News reports. So Time Warner subscribers like me could be screwed come tomorrow if we want to watch The Daily Show or South Park.
Viacom wants more money from Time Warner -- they say $.25 per month per subscriber. Time Warner says "Viacom is trying to extort $39 million annually -- on top of the hundreds of millions of dollars our customers already pay to Viacom each year."
I'm trying to come to terms with the potential loss of Comedy Central (South Park, The Daily Show, Colbert Report) and Spike (TNA Impact).
I don't care so much about Nickelodeon, Nick at Nite, MTV, VH1, TV Land, Noggin, MTV2, VH1 Classic, Logo, MTV Hits, MTV Jams, MTV Tr3s, Nick Too, Nicktoons, The N, CMT Pure Country, Palladia and VH1 Soul.
Both sides are playing earnest negotiator. Look, I don't care how this gets done. Just get me my damn Daily Show. -- Justin Kendall
Kansans looking for home state props during tomorrow's Tournament of Roses parade can thank Bayer CropScience, a massive ag science company, for once again reminding millions of viewers worldwide that Kansas will never, ever be rid of The Wizard of Oz.
Bayer CropScience, which is part of the Bayer global health, science and technology conglomerate, has a Manufacturing, Research and Development plant on Hawthorne Road in Kansas City, Missouri, and a Research and Development facility in Stilwell, Kansas. They are happy to announce that their "Rose Parade Tribute Float with Kansas City ties" kicks off the movie's 70th anniversary.
Here's a picture of their fabulous float:
According to the company's description, the monstrosity "will feature enormous (20-plus-foot-tall) replicas of the movie's Tin Man, Scarecrow and Cowardly Lion coated in
more than 12,000 live flowers.... See if you can spot the yellow roses on the float -- named appropriately "Yellow Brick Road" roses -- at the characters' feet when the parade airs
on NBC, ABC and HGTV at 10 a.m."
Mark Schneid, Bayer CropScience's director of marketing, explains that the float team came up with the concept last spring, when the Tournament of Roses announced its theme for this year's parade: "Hats Off to Entertainment."
ESPN released its final NFL Power Rankings for the 2008 season, and Kansas City beat the World Wide Leader's low expectations. Yay! Oh, the Chiefs still finished 30th out of 32 teams. So much for that projection of 31st. Only the St. Louis Rams and Detroit Lions were more worthless. The Chiefs climbed as high as 27th, clinging to the spot for a mere two weeks. Simon on Sports charts the ups and mostly downs of the season, which most Chiefs fans, players, owners, groupies, etc. would rather black out. I suggest this. -- Justin Kendall
The drop-off center at 80th and Metcalf
Thanks to the tanking economy, the growing stream of recycled materials snapped up by hungry manufacturers in early 2008 has turned into a mountain of worthless trash entering 2009. Waste haulers, like Deffenbaugh Industries, have seen the market for recovered materials plunge to unprecedented lows. So it's no surprise that, in the New Year, area residents will have one less place to recycle their bottles and cans.
To all the readers out there (hi, mom!), here's to a happy new year and to not ending up with an oompa-loompa holding your hand as you're loaded into an ambulance.
Remember, be safe tonight. Holiday Cab's phone number is 816-777-1115.
See you in 2009! More specifically, on Friday. -- Owen Morris
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