Happy In Bag

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Off With His Head

I repeat myself once a year at Happy In Bag. Shakespeare In the Park provides the best way to spend a summer evening in Kansas City. Audiences get their money's worth in 2010. The current production of Richard III lasts almost three hours. Don't worry- it's very entertaining. Hurry though- the last showing is July 3.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Mixed Plate

I gave in to the power of suggestion yesterday. After witnessing Tech N9ne perform his new tribute to Gates Bar-B-Q last weekend (here's my review), I finally succumbed to the tantalizing temptation of tasting Gates' mixed plate. I'm ordinarily a slab or a beef-on-bun guy, but I splurged on Tech N9ne's suggestion. Man, that's a lot of food!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Moore Please

It may be too hot outside for normal people, but I don't mind walking around slathered in sweat. Some of the most memorable moments of my recent weeks have occurred on the largely abandoned lawn and in the sculpture gardens of The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. Except for the oddballs constantly shadowboxing on the museum's south steps, I've had my run of the place. The pleasures to be had extend far beyond Henry Moore and shuttlecocks.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Kansas City's Star-Spangled Banners

Congratulations, Kansas City Royals, on securing the 2012 All-Star Game for Kauffman Stadium!

Now it's time to start thinking about the most important decision you'll need to make- whom will you select to perform the national anthem before the game?

The massive entertainment conglomerates will probably insist on making your selection for you. Don't let them. Show the world that Kansas City is truly "the home of the brave."

Don't settle for an obvious pick like David Cook, Sheryl Crow, Melissa Etheridge or Martina McBride. That's been done. And disallow superstar outsiders like Michael Buble, Miley Cyrus, Elton John and Alicia Keys.

Go local. Make your hometown proud by shining your spotlight on a musician with a direct connection to Kansas City.

I've taken the liberty of making 25 suggestions. They're ranked in order of my personal preference. If you're looking for a Marvin Gaye moment, Pat Metheny and Tech N9ne are candidates capable of creating headlines with an unconventional arrangement. If you'd rather play it safe, try Marilyn Maye, Kevin Mahogany or Karrin Allyson.

Good luck. I trust you'll do the right thing.

1. Bobby Watson- The top jazz artist in a jazz town.
2. Tech N9ne- This would be killer. Krizz Kaliko can provide the hooks.
3. Pat Metheny- I have no idea what he'd deliver, but I'd like to find out.
4. Myra Taylor and the Wild Women of Kansas City- Wild indeed.
5. Quixotic Fusion- The performance art ensemble would be extraordinary.
6. Marilyn Maye- Marvelous.
7. Joyce DiDonato- Classy.
8. Jonelle Monae- As fresh as it gets.
9. Ahmad Alaadeen- The preeminent elder statesman of KC jazz.
10. Ida McBeth- Long a sentimental favorite.
11. Eldar- Tremendous piano.
12. Marva Whitney- The soul legend is cooling her heels in KCK.
13. Kevin Mahogany- Elegant.
14. Sellie Truitt- He rubbed shoulders with Buck O'Neil and Satchel Paige.
15. Karrin Allyson- A natural.
16. The Elders- The Celtic rockers are one of KC's most popular acts.
17. Diverse- The most celebrated young jazz act in KC.
18. Megan Birdsall- Introduce the world to a fresh face.
19. The Wilders- KC's top bluegrass act.
20. Hearts of Darkness- An international vibe would surprise.
21. Angela Hagenbach- Beautiful.
22. Oleta Adams- Warm and inviting.
23. The McFadden Brothers- Old-school show-stoppers.
24. Ron Ron- Maybe Ron Ron will be a star by 2012.
25. Rich the Factor- Try keeping it real.

(Cross-posted from There Stands the Glass.)

Friday, June 18, 2010

Suburban Archeology

The most notable accomplishment of my week has been the retention of all ten fingers. I've been recklessly wielding a carpet cutter in my basement. The gradual revealing of decades-old concrete graffiti has provided the sole enjoyable aspect of the task of excavating wet shag carpeting.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Alvin is Absent

The elusive two-fer is the dream of every backyard trapper. The only thing better than capturing the tandem of Theodore and Simon would be netting a pair of squirrels. This pair has been "relocated." Alvin's next.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Got a Bill That's Big Enough

Sports Armageddon? The "worst day in KC sports history"? Nah. That would be the day the Kings left town. At the risk of sounding like a typical Kansas jerk, I'll confess that the fortunes of Nebraska, Texas and Missouri don't interest me. I really only care about one thing in college athletics- winning basketball games.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Non-event Horizon

I recently crisscrossed my home state of Kansas. I was consistently awed by its subtle beauty. I'll always appreciate Colorado's mountains and California's beaches. There's something about the vastness of the plains, however, that feels like home.

Saturday, June 05, 2010


Getting TP'd is no fun. Discovering dog poop in your yard is always awful. Worse still are mysterious clumps of eviscerated animals. I assume the putrid piles have been regurgitated by cats or hawks. Or is something sinister afoot?

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Kansas City's Corner

Have you tried to stand on the corner of Twelfth Street and Vine? It's a depressing ritual. I write about the fabled intersection at Plastic Sax.