Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Best of Extra: Leon Brady instructs the youngins in the ways of jazz

Posted By on Wed, Sep 30, 2009 at 9:04 AM

One of our profile subjects in this year's Best Of Kansas City issue is jazzman Leon Brady ("The Teacher"), who leads his young students into battle against the perception that this music is fading.

Brady says, "I tell people: If you think jazz is dying or dead, visit 1317 Central."

Here's Brady doing his thing at the Kansas City Youth Jazz Studios on a typical Saturday morning.

(Video by C.J. Janovy)

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Breakfast Buffet: Wednesday, September 30

Posted By on Wed, Sep 30, 2009 at 9:01 AM


A celebration of Boulevard's next installment in the Smokestack Series -- Harvest Dance Wheat Wine -- apparently scheduled for a November release. [Show-Me Beer]

A visit to Manifesto includes being fed a red bell pepper cocktail through a straw -- we should all have such Friday nights. [KC Beer Blog]

Starbucks' turnaround is apparently going full-steam ahead, in light of a recent rise in the stock price. [The Economist]

Should your cheese be flavored with inclusions (think, bacon bits or fruit)? Or is it best to let cheddar be cheddar? [The Guardian]

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Welcome to The Pitch's Best Of Kansas City 2009: We love Matt Hawkins

Posted By on Wed, Sep 30, 2009 at 9:00 AM


The scene on the cover of this year's Best of Kansas City issue was created by 34-year-old Matt Hawkins.

A Shawnee Mission North High School grad, Hawkins went on to work at Hallmark -- where he eventually got bored and started building toys out of paper.

These days, he works at C-3, an Overland Park company that designs kids' meal toys for national restaurants, and he has freelanced for Disney. A new book, Urban Paper, collects work by Hawkins and other paper artists. He celebrates its publication with a First Friday party this week at the Scion Lab (on Oak between 18th and 19th streets).

We wondered whether, after designing the paper-robot Pitch box, Hawkins had grown tired of seeing the red dispensers around town.

Continue reading »

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Throwback MP3 of the Week: the Touchdowns, "Drunk and Loaded"

Posted By on Wed, Sep 30, 2009 at 9:00 AM

It's football season. The Chiefs are losing terribly, but the Jayhawks are 4-0 going into conference play, so I don't really care (and, honestly wouldn't anyway, but my kid does, so I try and show some form of support). Still, the football season always brings to mind cooking meat with fire, drinking beer, and loud music that gets you fucking pumped. That's why we bring you the Touchdowns, and their song "Drunk and Loaded" this week. What better way to rock out before a game than something that actually rocks, as opposed to the Black Eyed Peas?


The Touchdowns put out three records over the history of the band: two EPs, Rookie Phenom and Rock, and a full-length, My Wonderful High School Life. The band was pretty much Podstar with Ryan singing and playing drums for the last year of two of its existence, after Chris and Dillon left the band.

A bunch of high school kids from Iola, Kansas, the Touchdowns won best new band at the Pitch Awards (then known as the Klammies: the Kansas City Lawrence Music Awards) in 1999. I was in attendance with the webzine I was writing for at the time, and after the show, ended up at the home of another best new band contender, Lushbox, after the ceremony.

We all ended up hanging out until the wee small hours of the morning, and Dillon, Chris, and Ryan all drank our beer and bummed my cigarettes. By the end of the night, everyone was cool and new friends forever. Ryan is still around, playing in bands, and being a generally awesome scenester. I ran into him at the KU's graduation this past May, and we ended up working our way down the Hill together, as we worked our way through a flask of whiskey.

This track ought to get your next tailgate riled up and ready to go.

MP3: the Touchdowns, "Drunk and Loaded"

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Chad Price to Play 10 Shows In 1 Day

Posted By on Wed, Sep 30, 2009 at 9:00 AM

Chad Price, of Drag the River and All, embarks on what seems like the most fun tour ever. First of all, it's short -- only one day long. Secondly, it's a tour of Colorado breweries.


The tour is to celebrate the release of Price's first solo album, Smile Sweet Face, on Suburban Home October 20. Being as how the Suburban Home folks are passionate about two things: independent music and craft beers (they even made a t-shirt), it stands to reason that Price will play 20-minute sets at ten different Colorado breweries in Boulder, Ft. Collins, and Denver.

If there was ever a reason for a designated driver, or a fleet thereof, this is it.

MP3: Chad Price, "Cursed"

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Cynthia Davis is waiting by the phone

Posted By on Wed, Sep 30, 2009 at 8:00 AM

Sens. Claire "Bear" McCaskill and Kit Bond send O'Fallon loon (and Missouri state Rep.) Cynthia Davis' calls straight to voice mail. They also don't write her back (Bond did send her a form letter; not sure if he also sent an autographed 8x10).

Sharp Elbows StL interviewed Davis who claimed: "I guess they don't have logical answers to my questions." See for yourself.

Bond and McCaskill are passing up a teachable moment. Then again, Davis' latest deep thoughts on race and birther conspiracy would make me screen my calls.

Via The Turner Report.

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Former Kansan reporter now blogging

Posted By on Wed, Sep 30, 2009 at 7:30 AM


Former Kansas City Kansan reporter Sam Hartle has started a blog: Strange Conversation. Looks like he'll focus on the future of media; the first post is about newspapers using social media to drive traffic to their Web sites but erecting pay walls in which readers would have to pay to view the content.

Hartle did a really good job covering the Kansas City, Kansas, Board of Public Utilities for the Kansan. But this just reminded me that there's no one regularly reporting on the BPU (Mark Wiebe left the Star earlier this year).

Best of luck to you, Sam.

Via Nick Sloan.

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Kyle Farnsworth didn't disappoint ... Yankee fans last night

Posted By on Wed, Sep 30, 2009 at 7:05 AM

Kyle Farnsworth
  • Kyle Farnsworth

Over at our sister paper, the Village Voice, Crazy Yankee Chick has dubbed Royals reliever (and former Yankee) Kyle Farnsworth "the human white flag" and "a human victory cigar" (hey, isn't that Darko Milicic?) after last night's 4-3 loss to the Yanks.

Farnsworth's mere presence was enough to give the Yankee faithful a surge of optimism, according to Crazy Yankee Chick.

The Yanks scored 2 in the 9th, and an infield "single" (if it can be called that, though I'd say "Farnsworth's Defensive Indifference" is a better term) off the bat of Juan Miranda, marked the 15th walk-off and the 50th come-from-behind win in this season.

Hell, even the lead story on the Royals' Web site is titled: "Farnsworth melts against former club in defeat." The good news (?): The game didn't matter for either club. The Yanks are in the playoffs and the Royals are thinking about next year.

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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

JaCo pays assistant prosecutor to go away

Posted By on Tue, Sep 29, 2009 at 4:11 PM

Amber, and her father, Boyd McGathey, in 2004.
  • Amber, and her father, Boyd McGathey, in 2004.

Jackson County will pay $70,000 to assistant prosecutor Dan Miller to drop his lawsuits and go away, KSHB Channel 41 reports. The JaCo Legislature voted unanimously to pay Miller to drop his lawsuits claiming that he was discriminated with.

The lawsuits stem from a Jackson County judge's reprimand of Miller for withholding evidence from the defense attorneys of Matthew Davis, who was accused of abandoning the body of his girlfriend, Amber McGathey, after she died of a drug overdose in 2004.

For a refresher on the Davis case, read Nadia Pflaum's very personal story about attending college with McGathey and trying to piece together what McGathey's life was like in Kansas City.

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Flier of the Week: It Starts With Murder!

Posted By on Tue, Sep 29, 2009 at 4:00 PM

Just announced is the big screen premiere of Scarum Harum's first film production, It Starts With Murder!


Directed by Scary Manilow of the Spook Lights, and featuring a cast of Lawrence regulars, including the Spook Lights' own Curvacia Vavoom, Andy Stowers, Misty Nuckolls, and more, it's a no-budget film. It cost $700 to make, and that included the cost of the DV camera they used to shoot it.

It Starts With Murder! premieres on the big screen at Liberty Hall in Lawrence on October 21. We'll have an interview with the director later this week. In the meantime, whet your whistle with the trailer below (slightly NSFW, as I believe there is man ass and wang).

In the interest of full journalistic disclosure, your blogger is in the film, playing two separate pieces of man candy. However, he has no speaking lines, nor will you notice at all.

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