Wednesday, April 30, 2008

CD Review: Innate Sounds' Alpha

Posted By on Wed, Apr 30, 2008 at 9:00 AM

By JASON HARPER

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Lots of locals are crewing up nowadays on the underground hip-hop scene. On the one hand, it reflects a pattern that hip-hop has always relied on; try to find a rap album that features the talents of only one MC or DJ and you may be looking a while. On the other hand, it makes it hard for potential fans to tell artists apart. The first team release from Kansas City’s Innate Sounds, Alpha, represents the pooled resources of nine vocalists and six producers (with some overlap -- Miles Bonny, Reggie B and SG all work both boards and mics), and that’s not even everyone on the crew’s roster. If this were the only recent release from the IS camp, there might be cause for concern, as if our region’s scene were full of candidates for Co-Dependents Anonymous. But with a healthy stream of solo projects from its members -- including recent joints from CES Cru, Stik Figa and crew founder Miles Bonny – the whole of Innate Sounds seems in no danger of eclipsing the parts.

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Concert Review: The Raconteurs

Posted By on Wed, Apr 30, 2008 at 7:52 AM

The Raconteurs, with Birds of Avalon

Tuesday, April 29

The Uptown Theater

By JASON HARPER

Photos by SCOTT SPYCHALSKI

Had Kevin Arnold and Paul Pfieffer from The Wonder Years discovered weed and the Yardbirds and Black Sabbath just before graduating, gotten cool and formed a band, they would've been the Raconteurs.

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Yes! We have a slideshow! Go Go Gadget Slideshow!

But in actuality, the Raconteurs is a supergroup consisting of Detroit powerpopists Brendan Benson, Jack White of the White Stripes and backing vests the Greenhornes. (Oh yeah, and Paul Pfeiffer is really Marilyn Manson.)

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Touring behind their second album, Consolers of the Lonely, the Racs came to the Uptown last night, playing with openers Birds of Avalon from Raleigh, North Carolina.

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Totally Tempting Family Photo-op at Temptations

Posted By on Wed, Apr 30, 2008 at 7:19 AM

By JUSTIN KENDALL

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Michael Van De Carr wants husbands to round up their wives and children and come on down to Totally Nude Temptations at 1517 Grand today at 12:30 p.m. for a free family portrait outside the club.

Van De Carr, a family photographer and 33-year-old father of six, put out a press release Monday morning offering the downtown club's regulars a free family portrait.

“If they like the place that much, and they don't think it's a harm to any families, why don't they bring them down there?” Van De Carr says. “It's free.”

Van De Carr already knows the answer to his question. Though he says he's not sure if anyone will take him up on his offer, the stunt is meant to demonstrate that none of Temptations' customers will accept the offer.

“They would never in a million years think of bringing their families around this,” Van De Carr says. “They know that it's not good for their families, so therefore they keep their families away.”

The publicity stunt is also meant to draw attention to Temptations’ proposed expansion. In exchange for getting permission to expand, Temptations' dancers would wear pasties and g-strings. Temptations would also increase the entry age from 18 to 21, which would allow the club to sell liquor, and replace the “Totally Nude” sign on the building's façade.

The club would seemingly get less raunchy under the changes, but Van De Carr says: “If it’s wrong for somebody to be in there under 18, it’s wrong for somebody to be in there that's 21. It’s morally wrong.”

On the change from naked to scantily clad: “I don't think there's a difference,” he says. “I wouldn't take my kid or any of my kids or any kids I know at all to a beach in Europe that's topless. While that's fine out there – that's the way that it is in their society -- it’s still not right. It's not right.”

On replacing the “Totally Nude” sign: “It’s going to be perceived as a more legitimate place to hang out at because it doesn’t have the sign,” he says. “They’ll put it off as a gentlemen’s club where anyone but gentlemen would be there.”

Of course, rounding up the clan on a weekday isn't easy. People who frequent strip clubs need to work to make all those dollar bills. Wives work, too. Plus, the kids likely will be in school at 12:30 p.m. on a Wednesday. Van De Carr says that’s no excuse.

“I know that there are going to be at least 60 people down there for a fact that have taken off work and gotten away from what they need to do during the regular day because they are that passionate about stopping the expansion,” Van De Carr says. “If the people who frequent the place aren't passionate enough to come down there and make a stand that they believe the expansion should be allowed, that paints another picture for the city.”

Van De Carr expects Phillip Cosby with the National Coalition for the Protection of Children and Families to be among the 60 people protesting the expansion and taking part in a prayer vigil. After the photo op, they'll march to city hall, Van De Carr says.

I called Temptations but the manager wasn't immediately available.

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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Kline Continues War With the Star

Posted By on Tue, Apr 29, 2008 at 3:10 PM

By Justin Kendall

Johnson County District Attorney Phill Kline fired another salvo in his ongoing media war with

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The Kansas City Star. This week’s installment of the liberal, abortion-loving media hating on Phill Kline came in an e-mail from the DA’s office titled “The Kansas City Star's modus operandi: Ignore facts, focus on controversy, attack with editorials.” (Click on the image at right to read the full text of the message.) The e-mail was a response to the Star claiming that a judge’s ruling applied only to Kline and not Planned Parenthood. The Star was wrong, and Kline went on to cite his history of oppression by the daily.

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Omaha Venues Now Require Notarized Letter From Your Parents

Posted By on Tue, Apr 29, 2008 at 1:22 PM

By CRYSTAL K. WIEBE

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Hey, Kansas City kids! Ever wish you lived in the utopian Omaha music scene, where indie rock flows endlessly and members of Saddle Creek bands tend the bars? Well, if you’re under 18, don’t get so wistful. Starting tomorrow night, music fans age 17 and under will need a notarized letter from their parents in order to get into a show at the Slowdown or the Waiting Room, the city’s most happening rock bars.

The new rule – along with requirements for the bars to have extra security, wrist bands for the 21-and-over folks and different cups for booze and non-alcoholic beverages – is part of a music venue ordinance passed by the Omaha City Council earlier this month. It’s annoying for club owners and patrons both. But it could be worse. The council had considered banning the youngins from the clubs altogether because as stand-alone bars that don’t admit minors on nights when there isn’t music, the venues fell into a legal gray area.

Read more about the ordinance in this Omaha World-Herald article and at the Slowdown’s Web site.

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Junkie Jukebox: Fleet Foxes MP3

Posted By on Tue, Apr 29, 2008 at 12:23 PM

Urban Hymns

By ANDY VIHSTADT

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After a couple of stellar EPs, and a recent appearance at the Jackpot, Seattle’s Fleet Foxes will issue its self-titled LP on June 3 via Sub Pop. For a preview, download “White Water Hymnal” below and check out the band’s Daytrotter session.

MP3: Fleet Foxes, “White Water Hymnal”

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Scene Snapshot: Ghosty, Suzannah Johannes and Neil Young

Posted By on Tue, Apr 29, 2008 at 10:26 AM

I probably should've posted this yesterday. Forgive me. Saturday night's Sonic Spectrum Anniversary show yielded a moment of pure bliss when up-and-coming Lawrence songwriter and Range Lifer Suzannah Johannes joined Ghosty on stage for a lovely cover of "Tell Me Why," the first song off After the Gold Rush.

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Not familiar with the song?

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Send your scene snapshots to jason.harper@pitch.com.

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Last Chiefs Blogpost Until August (Barring Unexpected Arrest)

Posted By on Tue, Apr 29, 2008 at 10:05 AM

By CHRIS RASMUSSEN

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Four thoughts on the draft the day after the Chiefs showed off 650 pounds of their future:

1. Nobody Has a Clue About the NFL Draft, But Everyone Will Voice Their Opinion Anyway

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Self-esteem and hygiene remain unselected.

Until recently, the most annoying sports fan possible was one who referenced his fantasy football team. Now? It’s the draft geeks. These people perform their own NFL mock drafts, which is sort of like fantasy football for people without friends. At the water cooler, they will opine how "it was a reach" for the Chiefs to draft tight end Brad Cottam in the third round or that Brian Johnston is a "project with tremendous upside despite playing at a small college." Chances are, none of these people has seen any of these players play in college, let alone break down the game film.

No one knows. Hell, the draft experts and even the people making the selections, most of whom were absolutely certain that Ryan Sims was going to be a dominant defensive force, don't know.

2. Everyone Has Potential. Most Don't Utilize It

Ultimately, during the draft we are making blind guesses concerning the maturity of 23-year-old males provided millions of dollars and unlimited fame. Chances are, many of those selected will not fulfill their promise because of:

(a) the pursuit of hedonism

(b) complete indifference

(c) bad luck.

Hey, everyone thinks Glenn Dorsey could be a starter for a decade. He also could fracture his tibia, requiring Carl Peterson to put him down like Barbaro.

3. The Best Possible Thing to Have Happened to the Chiefs Was Larry Johnson Getting Hurt Last Year

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WHB 810's Soren Petro made this point last week: What if Larry Johnson hadn't missed half of last season? Rather than 4-12, maybe the Chiefs would have been 7-9, with a few close victories. Then they would have persuaded themselves — again — that they were just a few additions away. Jared Allen would still be on the team, and we would be drafting in the middle of the first round, again making modest changes when a sledgehammer is more desirable.

The Chiefs needed to hit bottom hard. We weren't a tweak away from a championship. The injuries last year provided an opportunity for everyone, including Carl and, yes, Chiefs fans to see how far away from contention we really were.

4. Carl Peterson and Herm Edwards Have More Job Security Than Fans Suspect or Want

Carl Peterson is in the midst of the longest five-year plan since the existence of the U.S.S.R. Chief fans, along with the media, have completely turned on him. He is deeply unpopular with the team's fan base, blamed for everything from draft busts during the Clinton administration to long lines at the concession stands.

Despite this, both he and Herm Edwards have free rein to rebuild this team until 2010, when the stadium renovations are completed. It is only someone completely secure in their job who would take the step of trading Jared Allen for draft picks, despite the near certainty that it will make the 2009 Chiefs uncompetitive. The Chiefs aren't aggressively seeking a QB to replace Brody Croyle, the first thing a team seeking a playoff spot would do.

They are completely safe, providing two years of fodder for Jason Whitlock and talk-radio hosts.

Last Chiefs Blogpost Until August (Barring Unexpected Arrest)

Posted By on Tue, Apr 29, 2008 at 10:05 AM

By CHRIS RASMUSSEN

albert_and_dorsey.JPG

Four thoughts on the draft the day after the Chiefs showed off 650 pounds of their future:

1. Nobody Has a Clue About the NFL Draft, But Everyone Will Voice Their Opinion Anyway

mockdraft.jpg


Self-esteem and hygiene remain unselected.

Until recently, the most annoying sports fan possible was one who referenced his fantasy football team. Now? It’s the draft geeks. These people perform their own NFL mock drafts, which is sort of like fantasy football for people without friends. At the water cooler, they will opine how "it was a reach" for the Chiefs to draft tight end Brad Cottam in the third round or that Brian Johnston is a "project with tremendous upside despite playing at a small college." Chances are, none of these people has seen any of these players play in college, let alone break down the game film.

No one knows. Hell, the draft experts and even the people making the selections, most of whom were absolutely certain that Ryan Sims was going to be a dominant defensive force, don't know.

2. Everyone Has Potential. Most Don't Utilize It

Ultimately, during the draft we are making blind guesses concerning the maturity of 23-year-old males provided millions of dollars and unlimited fame. Chances are, many of those selected will not fulfill their promise because of:

(a) the pursuit of hedonism

(b) complete indifference

(c) bad luck.

Hey, everyone thinks Glenn Dorsey could be a starter for a decade. He also could fracture his tibia, requiring Carl Peterson to put him down like Barbaro.

3. The Best Possible Thing to Have Happened to the Chiefs Was Larry Johnson Getting Hurt Last Year

Larry_Johnson_likes_NY.jpg

WHB 810's Soren Petro made this point last week: What if Larry Johnson hadn't missed half of last season? Rather than 4-12, maybe the Chiefs would have been 7-9, with a few close victories. Then they would have persuaded themselves — again — that they were just a few additions away. Jared Allen would still be on the team, and we would be drafting in the middle of the first round, again making modest changes when a sledgehammer is more desirable.

The Chiefs needed to hit bottom hard. We weren't a tweak away from a championship. The injuries last year provided an opportunity for everyone, including Carl and, yes, Chiefs fans to see how far away from contention we really were.

4. Carl Peterson and Herm Edwards Have More Job Security Than Fans Suspect or Want

Carl Peterson is in the midst of the longest five-year plan since the existence of the U.S.S.R. Chief fans, along with the media, have completely turned on him. He is deeply unpopular with the team's fan base, blamed for everything from draft busts during the Clinton administration to long lines at the concession stands.

Despite this, both he and Herm Edwards have free rein to rebuild this team until 2010, when the stadium renovations are completed. It is only someone completely secure in their job who would take the step of trading Jared Allen for draft picks, despite the near certainty that it will make the 2009 Chiefs uncompetitive. The Chiefs aren't aggressively seeking a QB to replace Brody Croyle, the first thing a team seeking a playoff spot would do.

They are completely safe, providing two years of fodder for Jason Whitlock and talk-radio hosts.

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Daily Briefs: Economic Defibrillation, Hillary Clinton Feels Your SUV's Pain

Posted By on Tue, Apr 29, 2008 at 9:45 AM

By CHRIS PACKHAM

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Stimulate This: Your free money from the government is coming early. How awesome is that? We're all getting a $600 check from Grandma! The IRS has started direct deposits of economic stimulus payments. Did you know that Wal-Mart will cash your economic stimulus checks at no charge? I'm going to spend my free government money on some Yosemite Sam mudflaps for my house. And I'm not going to think about the desperation of bureaucrats who would give away money from the treasury to smelly old regular people.

There Will Be Super Premium Unleaded: Are you prepared for $10-per-gallon gasoline? HAHA! Of course you're not. That's like preparing for heart cancer! Nobody plans for heart cancer. I guaran-damn-tee it's not penciled in on my — whatever, my list of "things to watch out for." And if I get bad news from the minimum-wage teenagers who run the clinic at Wal-Mart, I'll probably just spend my economic stimulus check on a Sam's Choice coffin.

But anyway. There are these two oil industry analysts? Who work at some think tanks? And they say gas prices in the United States are about to get heart cancer. Globally, this isn't a big deal — in John Kerry's Europe, gas already costs whatever the metric equivalent of $10 is. It's crazy over there! They have tiny cars that get, like, 700 hectometers to the decilitre.

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They're the size of the Jarvik 12 artificial heart you're going to have to buy when you get the heart tumor. Additionally, the Europeans also make a kind of "transportation" available to the "public." This will come as a shock to Americans, though, because even our artificial hearts run on two-stroke internal-combustion motors. The Jarvik 12 starts with just one pull!

Is your vote available for purchase? Just asking: Sen. Hillary Clinton is strongly in favor of petroleum-based government money handouts in the form of a suspension of the federal excise tax on gasoline during the summer travel season. That's, like, 18 cents a gallon. Nice! They might as well go ahead and crown her the President of Transportation now, because her elitist opponent and incandescent new star of Fox Sunday, Sen. Barack Obama, says that approach would save consumers little and wouldn't curtail oil consumption. How out of touch can you get? Game, set, match, Muslim terror agent Barry Obama. We'll be listening to the antiseptic, monotonous drone of Hillary Clinton reciting her policy bullet-points for the next eight years.

Come back to the raft ag'in, Huck honey. The awesome thing about college fiction-writing workshops is the sheer number of short stories set in coffee shops, in which every character smokes cigarettes. And the other short story produced by freshmen authors is about a girl who gets pregnant and has her asshole boyfriend leave her. Optional: The climactic abortion. This is the 19-year-old girl version of a post-apocalyptic nuclear scenario.

But now, UMKC students will be writing short stories about abortion-having 20-year-olds who float down the Mississippi. The Mark Twain Creative Writing Workshop returns to UMKC for the 29th year June 7-29. Also: It's totally not restricted to students. Anyone of college age or older can participate. Call 816-235-1305 for more information. Here is an actual scene from the claymated life of Mark Twain:

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