Friday, February 27, 2009

The Download: Leonard Cohen Live

Posted By on Fri, Feb 27, 2009 at 8:55 AM


Last Thursday, the legendary Leonard Cohen performed in front of an American audience for the first time in 15 years at NYC's Beacon Theater. NPR has graciously posted a dozen of the songs on its All Songs Considered podcast (this link will fire up your iTunes, or you can settle on the streaming version).

Here's the shortened setlist:

"Dance Me to the End of Love"

"The Future"

"Chelsea Hotel"

"Tower of Song"


"The Partisan"


"Recitation With N.L."

"Take This Waltz"

"So Long Marianne"

"First We Take Manhattan"


At the ripe age of 74, there's a good chance that this will be the last tour to hit the US, so if you're a fan, plan on making a road trip this Spring.

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Phill Kline faces ethics complaint

Posted By on Fri, Feb 27, 2009 at 8:45 AM

Phill Kline
  • Phill Kline

Kansas couldn't go two days without a negative Phill Kline story. A couple days ago, we learned that Wichita abortion doctor George Tiller would go on trial for 19 misdemeanor charges for allegedly violating Kansas law by failing to get an independent second opinion for some late-term abortions that he performed. The judge found nothing wrong with Kline's conduct in the investigation. But now comes news that Kline and two top deputies -- Eric Rucker and Stephen Maxwell -- are facing an ethics complaint.

The Associated Press received a copy of the letter yesterday (I'm trying to

get a copy). The letter is dated February 19 but doesn't give any

details of what led the state's disciplinary

administrator to believe Kline violated the rules of professional conduct. The letter comes on the heels of a scathing Kansas Supreme Court opinion in December that criticized Kline's handling of medical records in an investigation of two abortion clinics and his conduct before the court. The Kansas Supreme Court suggested Kline could be disciplined or disbarred for his conduct during the investigation but didn't find him in contempt or say

he violated patient privacy.

The AP says:

The letter said a

review committee for the Kansas Board for the Discipline of Attorneys

found probable cause to believe Kline and his former deputies had

violated rules of professional conduct. ... The majority sent

its opinion to [Disciplinary Administrator Stanton] Hazlett and said Kline's conduct ultimately could

warrant action "up to and including disbarment."

I left a message for Kline's attorney, Caleb Stegall, this morning and

will let you know what I hear from him. But I imagine Stegall, who is

also representing Maxwell and Rucker, will tell me what he told the AP:

Kline, Maxwell and Rucker are eager to "vindicate" their work.

Update (3:31 p.m. Friday, February 27):
Finally got a copy of the letter. Check it out.

Kline Disciplinary letter page 1.pdf

Kline Disciplinary letter page 2.pdf

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Tomorrow Night: A Benefit for Kyle Frick

Posted By on Fri, Feb 27, 2009 at 7:55 AM

Season to Risk rocks for Frick this weekend.
  • Season to Risk rocks for Frick this weekend.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of celebrated local band Season to Risk. It's also the 22nd year of Kyle Frick's battle with Ewing's sarcoma, which he was diagnosed with at age 16. This weekend, Season to Risk reunites to play a benefit for Frick, who was a doorman at the Hurricane (between recurrences of cancer) from 1993 until the club's close. "We probably tormented Kyle with our rowdy-ass shows in the '90s, so why not give him another dose?" STR frontman Steve Tulipana says. Actually, Frick says he remembers Tulipana's other project, the Pornhuskers, as being the band whose antics would nearly bring the house down. Shenanigans and good will combine at the Record Bar (1020 Westport Road, 816-753-5207) tonight, when two other area acts, Restless Breed and the Mendoza Lie, join STR in raising funds for Frick.

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Daily Briefs: Friday National News Briefs and Precious Pony Dream Journal

Posted By on Fri, Feb 27, 2009 at 7:54 AM


U.S. in the leathery driver's seat of Citibank, and a dream about an eccentric musician: Welp, here it is: Lee Greenwood's boyfriend, the United States of America, is going to control up to 36 percent of Citibank, having already handed it $45 billion as a kind of prize for being so catastrophically inept at being a bank. Do not call it "nationalization," or Jim Cramer's head will pop like a zit on your girlfriend's back. Seriously, I think she needs a dermatologist or something? On the other hand, since the United States is converting preferred Citibank shares to common shares, the plan protects shareholders, the tiny, precious puppies caught in America's torrential economic flood, without actually devoting any more tax dollars to Citibank. It is very important to protect the shareholders from their stupid investments. And last night, I had a dream that I was at Denny's having a conversation with Daniel Johnston about his music, which was probably triggered by hearing "Premarital Sex" on the Hype Machine the day before yesterday, and was inexplicably too absent-minded to download it for free when I had the chance. Proably because at the time, I was preoccupied with posting TEN ITEMS IN ONE DAY, which I literally did with one of my brain's hands tied behind my brain's back. So easy for my brain. Why do I have to ruin my petal-soft, lilly-white hands with manual labor when I was clearly made for finer, more velvety things?

When Johnny Comes Marchin' Home From Khorramabad: President Barack Obama has said he would withdraw America's army men from Iraq on a sensible timetable dictated by the advice of his military advisers, which apparently nobody believed, because now a bunch of Democrats are unbelievably angry that he's actually doing that. Instead of pulling them all out immediately, I mean. Today, Obama announces plans to withdraw the bulk of U.S. forces by August 31, 2010, so mark your Kittens in a Basket calendars and tie a yellow ribbon 'round the old oak tree and keep reachin' for the stars. While I'm on the subject of Barack Obama, a note to all you lefty bloggers: I like Obama as much as the next America-hating socialist commie abortionist Muslim, which is actually my second job, all praise to Allah, the Creator, the Originator, The Fashioner, to Him belong the most beautiful names: whatever is in the heavens and on earth, do declare His praises and glory, plus it's DOUBLE COUPON DAY down at the clinic all day Friday.

But if I was creeped out by all the Republicans who went around talking about "Our President" back when Bush was in office, I'm doubly creeped out when you do it, because Jesus, you know better. Knock off the "Our President" and "Our Commander-in-Chief" business. Barack Obama is not my fucking Commander in Chief, because I am not in the goddamn Army. Jesus, we elect one good Dem as President and it's like you all turn into a bunch of creepy ghost twins. This is you:


Finally, last night I dreamed that my friend Nadia was making fun of me because my favorite videogame console from two generations back was the Nintendo 64 and not the original 32-bit Playstation, because Jesus Christ, those fucking load times.

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Killa City: Man found dead outside La Cascada in KCK

Posted By on Fri, Feb 27, 2009 at 7:40 AM

KCK Police found a Hispanic man dead in the parking lot of La Cascada, 6550 Kaw Drive, just before 1 this morning. There's little information other than the shooting victim is in his mid-twenties.

View Larger Map

KCK Police don't have any suspects.

I don't know much about La Cascada, but here's a Yelp review from last August.

If you know anything about the shooting, call 913-573-6020 or the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-8477.

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Fearsome cowskull truck terrorizes, enchants

Posted By on Fri, Feb 27, 2009 at 7:05 AM

Westside residents may already be familiar with this awesome sight, but it was only recently that we at The Pitch noticed it cruising down Southwest Boulevard.


Looking straight out of a Robert Rodriguez movie, this mightily ornamented truck belongs to the owners of Los Alamos Market y Cocina at 17th and Summit, our 2007 Best Mom and Pop winners. We spotted it parked outside the well-stocked cafe and convenience store while picking up Mardi Gras supplies (tequila and a sixer of Bud Light Lime) and were struck not just by how fiercely it comes off but also by the detailed craftsmanship -- that faux-weathered white enamel, the squiggly "cracks" in the skull. It's a work of art. But not one you'd want coming at you at 45 miles an hour.

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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Giving the dog a bone

Posted By on Thu, Feb 26, 2009 at 3:23 PM

Could you deny PJ the Dog a pair of testicles?
  • Could you deny PJ the Dog a pair of testicles?

I'm not sure if Neuticles has Bob Barker's blessing, but the Kansas City company makes testicular implants for neutered pets. See, your ball-less dog may be suffering from "post-neutering trauma" and feeling "emasculated." That's what Neuticles' founder and president, Gregg Miller, told me this afternoon.

"You have to be a pet owner to appreciate Neuticles," Miller said. "If you're not, it's the stupidest thing in the world."

Pitch freelancer Emily Farris brought Neuticles to my attention. They're supposed to help restore the pet's "identity and self esteem," Miller said. The implant maker's Web site says the fake balls "replicate the pet's

testicles in size, shape, weight and feel."

Feel? This is apparently really important to Miller's customers. He said they demand "attention to detail," and he's

developed four different types of Neuticles "based on consumer demand." A pair of balls for PJ the Dog could cost you as much as $1,299 or as cheap as $139.

"We feel the removal of a God given body part -- leaving a male pet

looking unwhole after the traditional form of neutering is not only

unethical but unnatural," Neuticles Web site says. "With Neuticles it's

like nothing ever changed."

Who could argue with such moral conviction?

Miller has been in the prosthetic testicle business for 14 years. It

all started when his bloodhound Buck ran off to find love in the wrong

field. Buck had found him a dog in heat. Miller knew he had to get Buck

neutered. But when he asked his dog's vet about implants, his doctor

told him that's "the craziest damn thing I've heard of." But the idea

became a business opportunity for Miller.

Miller said he's sold 260,000 pairs, and the sour economy hasn't hurt his business. Sales have been

higher than they were five or six years ago, Miller said. His Internet

presence and international sales have helped.

Miller knows this sounds strange but he says providing testicular

implants for pets helps encourage people who wouldn't neuter their pets

to do it. It helps reduce the pet population, and dogs live longer,

happier lives.

"This is a good thing," he said. "It's not a silly, stupid thing."

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Cynthia Davis' pants are on fire

Posted By on Thu, Feb 26, 2009 at 2:25 PM

Cynthia Davis
  • Cynthia Davis

Missouri state Rep. Cynthia Davis says -- and does -- a lot of crazy things. If the O'Fallon Republican's mouth is moving, there's a good chance the words coming out are completely untrue. Like when Davis wrote a letter to a constituent denying telling a reporter that her bill offering scholarships to stay-at-home moms who watch "soap operas and eat bonbons all day" excluded stay-at-home dads because fathers aren't "natural nurturers." You know, because men can't breast feed.

"I can assure you that I would never say such a thing especially since I am married to one of the most marvelous men in the country," Davis wrote. "He is the one who is picking up the slack at home with our children while I am at the Capitol."

You wouldn't?

Cynthia Davis interview excerpt by KOMU intern Sarah Hollenbeck


Good thing Davis' husband is at home taking care of the kids. Especially with Cynthia Davis' special nurturing style.

KOMU-TV has the full interview. Hat tip to Fired Up! Missouri.

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Now that's how you sell an album: Josh Freese's Since 1972

Posted By on Thu, Feb 26, 2009 at 1:35 PM


You may not have head of Josh Freese. The L.A.-based session drummer has pounded the skins for Devo, Nine Inch Nails, A Perfect Circle and others, appearing on over 300 records. He's also a very, very funny man.

For his latest solo album, Since 1972, the YouTube-proclaimed uber drummer is offering various album packages, ranging in price from $7 (includes digital download and three videos) to $75,000 (includes CD/DVD and T-shirt, getting to tour with Freese, having Freese write and record a 5-song EP about "you and your life story," having Freese be your "personal assistant/cabana boy" for two weeks, a flying trapeze lesson with Josh and Robin from NIN, plus getting to go back to Josh's house and having his wife make you a raw lasagna, among many other specials).

Read about it all at, and/or watch the appropriately bizarre promo video below.

Local tie-in/Fun fact: Freese was hired to play the drummer in Juliette Lewis' band in the movie Strange Days. You know who else was in that movie? You do!!?? Yes, Ralph Fiennes, the English patient. But so was Kansas City band Season to Risk. Remembers S2R frontman Steve Tulipana: "Malinowski and Freese created some mayhem on set every day.That guy is super cool and hilarious. I wonder how many of these he might sell."

If you haven't heard already, S2R is reuniting this weekend to play a benefit show.

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Now Closed: Seven is 86

Posted By on Thu, Feb 26, 2009 at 12:50 PM

Angela C. Bond

One of the most sophisticated restaurant-nighclub venues in Kansas City, Seven, closed on Monday, February 23 after 22 months of operation. Owner Bill George -- who originally opened the restaurant in the historic Western Union Building at 7th and Walnut with legendary restaurateur Victor Fontana -- said it was a number of issues that led him to close Seven. The weak economy, of course, topped the list, but the decision by Kansas City, Missouri to ban smoking in restaurants and nightclubs was an even bigger blow.

"And because Seven is located in a historic building," George added, "we couldn't add an outdoor deck or patio to accommodate smokers. That was hard, because we had built up a very steady nightclub clientele." The addition of the new nightclubs in the Power & Light District also took its toll on Seven's cocktail crowd.

George and Fontana parted ways after Seven was about a year old and George operated the business himself. I asked him if he'd consider opening another restaurant someday.

"My background is in the transportation business," he laughed. "Let's just say that I've had my enjoyment. It was a lot of fun, but the restaurant and nightclub business is very hands-on. You need to be there all the time."

Not quite seven days a week, but you get the idea. George has the business up for sale. Maybe Seven will be a lucky number for someone else.

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