Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Attila- The Chaos tour at the Granada

Written By Mikhael Sublett              

             Sunday night The Granada, in Lawrence, KS, rumbled as Attila shook the foundations with a raw and stellar performance in support of their newest album, Chaos. If you missed it, you should repent. It was a thrill ride from beginning to end. From the audience chanting “Suck my Fuck” to Chris Fronzak’s villain salute Attila delivered one of the best metal shows of the year, and it was right in KC’s back yard.

             To be honest, until a few days before the show, I had never heard of Attila. My time in the metal community included getting bruised in Cannibal Corpse circle pits and blowing out my voice slamming out Glen Benton lyrics. Though I kept up with the new acts, Attila seemed to slip right by me. When I saw their name on The Granada’s upcoming act list, and Chelsea Grin opening for them, I was intrigued. Chelsea is one of my metal music affairs, and I was curious to who this band was that had such a phenomenal, and thrash god group opening for them. I shot an email to the Granada and requested the opportunity to review the show. They approved. Buckle up, this is a hell of a ride!
"Protest this, Bitch!"
        We got to the venue just after Emmure left the stage. We instantly regretted missing the first two acts, but got a play by play from the fans taking a smoke break while the venue changed sets. One fan, after seeing my press credentials, immediately began telling me the metal community was alive and well in Northeast Kansas, and thanked me for coming out to cover the show. Each fan I spoke with was warm and welcoming to us and expressed their high points of the show so far, and how juiced they were to see Chelsea Grin and Attila. A few of them even mockingly scolded us for being late. My response was simple “Metal is habitually 30 minutes late” and grinned. They laughed and threw up horns. The community hasn’t changed. It is still just as inviting as it’s always been.
          We made our way into the venue and took a spot near the steps to the balcony. Chelsea Grin was coming on. My writer, Mandy Thomas, reviewed their set. You can check it out here. If you missed it, you missed a hell of a show. Chelsea Grin still puts on a flawless performance and their interaction with their fans is beyond awesome. So, while I enjoyed the show, Mandy was working. Sorry Mandy, but it was Chelsea fucking Grin! That’s ok though, I was there to review Attila.  Chelsea finished their set and left the stage. As the roadies were setting up for Attila, Mandy and I took a better spot, closer to the stage. I wanted the whole concert experience, and I got it.
Photo Credit: Mandy Thomas
           The lights dropped and left us in complete darkness. The audience started chanting “Suck my Fuck” as if in a séance to summon the group. The PA speakers blared reports of the notorious acts of front man Chris Fronzack, boasting each incident as a life accomplishment and badge of honor. The lights came up, and the band came on stage with an explosion of profanity laden lyrics and instantly addictive riffs. Fronzacks energy and stage presence was synergistic with his audience. The fans sang, moved, and screamed with the members of Attila throughout the show.  At one point Fronzack addressed the audience stating, “There are no rules at an Attila concert! I want to see a circle pit in the middle of the crowd. I want to see crowd surfing. I want to get all of you to the front!”  The crowd was all too happy to comply.  
Metal Voice
           The high point of the show came when Attila’s front man invited two fans on the stage to sing with Attila. He called it “A metal version of The Voice”. The two audience members, both clad in red Attila tank tops, were given mics and were told to vocally try out. The band played some riffs and each ‘contestant’ KILLED it. Fronzack said both fans were talented and he could not bring himself to send one of them back. The three of them belted out ‘Payback’. It was a hell of performance, and he made the month of two fans.
         This was, by far, one of the best metal shows I’ve been to in years. The fans and venue were incredibly inviting and accepting. I was happy to see pit etiquette still being practiced. If someone goes down, two pick them up. That is the metal community practice, in and out of the pit.

           If you missed this show, do yourself a favor and go see them when you get a chance. Attila’s live show is an experience you do not want to miss. Also, do yourself another favor and check out their album, Chaos. You will not regret it.





The Twisted Chelsea Grin Show at the Granada

Written By: Staff Writer Mandy Thomas

Photo Credit: Mandy Thomas
              Being a lifelong resident of the Lawrence/Douglas County area I was unaware of the exceptional metal scene that the Granada had to offer until Sunday night when Chelsea Grin joined bands Skylar, Emmure and Attila for an evening of mosh pits, crowd surfing and a house full of metal fans that came from all walks of life to enjoy the show.

            Chelsea Grin kept the house rocking from the first note to the last echoes of the roof being blown off the classic venue by their set as fans joined in to sing along with the lyrics, bump their fists to the intense drumline and surf to the front of the crowd as the bassline worked in tandem with the wails from the guitar riffs to keep heads banging with each and every song the band played in their set.
Photo Credit: Mandy Thomas
           Based out of Salt Lake City and formed in 2007, Chelsea Grin seems to have carved out their own niche in the deathcore genre of metal and while their style does remind me of what one could expect if Slayer and A Perfect Circle had a metal love child, the similarities pale in comparison to the unique style this band offers by their stage presence alone.

            Despite the stereotypes metal bands and shows have, the crowd, venue, security and band worked incredibly well with one another to offer even the most novice or timid metal fan a positive experience in a safe atmosphere that offers a hospitable nature--even in the “pit” because from what I could see that if a man fell down, those around him were there to pull him back up. The band themselves seemed to be very interactive with the audience and showed their gratitude to those who came out by putting on an incredible show that left this smiling as big as a Chelsea Grin.  

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Metal Heads and Social Justice Warriors clash over Troglodyte show at the Granada

Written by: Mikhael Sublett

       Last Saturday, Troglodyte, a Bigfoot inspired death metal band,  performed at the Granada theater, in Lawrence, Ks in support of the Hammerween VII show.  When Troglodyte started their set, a mock protester came on the stage holding a sign that read "Bigfoot Lives Matter" ,(which was also written on the bands bass drum) and was promptly thrown off the stage by the band, The audience seemed to enjoy the spectacle and the band continued with their set. That is when the issues started.

from facebook

 The Facebook Group "I Heart Local Music" , a Lawrence media source that covers local acts in the city, posted a statement condemning Troglodyte claiming the band was mocking the Lawrence chapter of Black Lives Matter. The page went on to say they will not be covering Troglodyte due to the skit. The post got mixed reactions ranging from full support of their condemnation of the band to metal fans criticizing the ethics of the admin of the site, for being unable to remain impartial.


Granada apology from FB

         The next day, the Granada issued this apology to the fans and to the Black Lives Matter chapter for the incident. Social media exploded with comments condemning the venue for apologizing for the band and even accused the venue of censoring artists for the sake of politically correct behavior. Massev caught up with the Granada to discuss the apology and the backlash the event created on social media. 

       A spokesperson from the Granada stated she issued the apology statement to reinfirce their letter of solidarity to BLM issued earlier. She stated she had no idea the comments between the supporters of BLM and the fans of the band would have gotten so hostile. She said she knew the members of Troglodyte and they are not anti-BLM, that the opposite is true. She stated it is not the intention to censor any act that the Granada hosts but want to make sure each act respects the stance they hold. Concerning the comments, She said she wished she could have turned the comments off after the post.

We did reach out to Troglodyte for a statement, but as of the time of this writing we haven't gotten a response.

When we contacted the Lawrence BLM chapter coordinator Caleb Stephens and asked if he had a comment he said "Nope. The Granada and I Heart Local Music did a good job and actively communicated with us." 

Click Here for  a video of the Troglodyte show. the incident in question is in the first minute or two of the recording. 

Editors note: It is illegal to kill a Bigfoot in California. 

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Your Cable Guy and You-Things your installers wish you knew

Written by: Mikhael Sublett

     We all have a love/hate relationship with the cable companies. Like a scorned lover we complain incessantly about them. We slander the providers and hate ourselves for needing the 200+ channels of nothing to watch. God forbid we lose service while watching a ball game or the season finale of our favorite show. Even while waiting for installation, we are already contemptuous, believing the delusion that our installer only has our house to hook up.

     I often wondered what it was like to be an installer. I was pretty sure it was never easy to deal with cable subscribers. After all, we are conditioned to have such disgust with any telcom provider and I am sure that carried over to the installer. I caught up with a few cable installers and asked them about their jobs, and more importantly, what they wish we knew. Here are a few responses:

"When I arrive to do your install on a Sunday, don't act surprised that I am here on the weekend. You set the appointment." -William, TWC

"FBI Surveillance Van is not an original,or clever, wifi name. You will not freak out your neighbors with that SSID."-Andrew AT&T

"Don't be suprised that I am here on a holiday. You set the appointment. I am missing family time so you can catch Dexter on demand"-Mitchell, Cox communications

"Don't call me 'Larry'" -Angela, DTV

"Move your furniture away from the wall before I start working. I am a technician, not a moving company." -John, Charter

"Most of the remotes are the same design. From the remotes alone it really doesn't matter what company you go with." -Charles, Time Warner

" Please put your dogs away. I am sure 'they would never bite anyone' but lets not take that chance" -Justin, Dish Network

"A mu mu with nothing underneath is not appropriate attire for me to see you in. Drug use in front of me is also frowned upon."-Jacob, AT&T

"That Jim Carey movie, The Cable Guy, is not entirely accurate. Please stop asking me that.: James-WOW!

"Don't apologize for your messy house. You knew it was messy before I got here. Just make sure I'm not putting my knee in dog crap." -Daniel, Charter

"Yes, we do need training to do this job." -Cassie, Time Warner

"We already know that 'The lady on the phone who told you we would do a 5 story interior wall fish' does not exist. Please quit trying to convince us she does." Mitchell, Consolidated Communications

"When we tell you it can't be done, don't throw a fit. Don't call customer service saying I am incompetent. If I tell you it can't be done it is because it is a safety risk to me and/or a property damage risk for you." - Cody, Cox Communications

"Don't tell us how to do our jobs or freak out because "we touched your couch".- Jackson, Comcast

"Yes, we know it is 2016 and we still don't have wireless boxes" -William, Time Warner

"Your basement is finished. We can not fish a line from your basement to your interior office on the third floor. Call a magician." Carl, Comcast

"Don't expect our internet service is going to work on your windows 95 computer. Upgrade." -Jacob, Consolidated Communications

"We sometimes have to do 12 or more installs per day. Sometimes we don't have time for lunch. On the rare occasion that we get lunch, please don't interrupt it by asking me when your install is going to be. Just call customer service." -Henry, Time Warner

"If you see me in public and I am not wearing my uniform that means I am not working. Do not approach me, especially when I am having dinner with my family, and start complaining that your whole house DVR isn't recording The Walking Dead." Eric-TWC

" It's just TV, nothing to get worked up about." -Mario, COX

     So, there you have it. Your cable guy is just as human as you are. It may come as some surprise, but I bet if we keep these things in mind the experience will be positive for all of us.



Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Suicide Squad-A Massev Movie Review

    Written by:Mikhael Sublett  

           We all love the bad guys. A good bad guy is what makes any story. It doesn't matter if it's summer blockbuster selling out the multiplexes, or a book from the 50 cent bin at your local comic shop, we are attracted to the villain. The most memorable, and best villains, we actually cheer for. When you take some of the best villains from the DC universe and put them into one film, you get Suicide Squad.

         I will keep this review as spoiler free as possible. The film has only been out a week. before I get into the meat of the story, lets talk about the elephant in the room: Leto's Joker. Each actor played the Joker based on their own interpretation. I loved Nicholson's portrayal in Tim Burton's Batman, but Ledger stole the part. Leto brought something to the role that his predecessors neglected, or overlooked completely. That was the Jokers humanity. You see it, if only for a moment, but it is there.  That is what won me over. Leto is a douche, we all agree. However, his Joker works in Suicide Squad, and is horribly underutilized. I understand why this was necessary, as his complete inclusion would overshadow the story. He had to be in the background for the film to work. 

          Now, on to the film. IT WAS SPECTACULAR! The pace was amazing. The casting was spot-on. Will Smith's Deadshot was the perfect anti-hero in this group. He brought a believable performance of an assassin anti-hero with charm that only Smith could bring to the table. Margo Robbie's Harley Quinn was spot on. Sexy, dangerous, and psychotic with eyes only for her 'puddin'. The best part about her character, for me, was that the writers did not forget she is a doctor. Jai Courtney's Boomerang brought some comic relief into the team, and played his role well. My favorites, though, were Diablo and Croc. 

        Jay Hernandez as Diablo was fantastic! He was the villain that took a vow never to use his power. His back story was heart wrenching, to say the least. You instantly fall in love with this character, and cheer him on every step of the way.

         Adewale Akinnouye-Agbaje's Killer Croc was beyond description. His makeup was absolutely amazing, making him larger than life. He had, maybe six or so lines through the film, but he's Killer Croc for Christ sakes. He doesn't need a lot of words to get his point across. 

         As I said, this is spoiler free, but the best scene in the film, for me anyway, was the "Fuck it, lets get a drink" scene. The team breaks into a bar, in the middle of the fight, and starts throwing back shots. Trust me, it will be yours too.

     Visually, this movie is dirty pretty from the opening credits to the end and everything in between. Its been more than a decade since I've wanted to purchase a movie soundtrack. It was so well selected that it perfectly punctuated every scene. From the amazing soundtrack, to the chemical kiss scene, Suicide Squad is a must see, must torrent, and must buy. Let me know what you think after you check it out.


Friday, August 5, 2016

KCXW-Kansas City Xtreme Wrestling!

 Written by:Mikhael Sublett

KCXW Pro Wrestling

    Kansas City wrestling fans! There is a new sheriff in town. His name is Jordan Smiley, President of Kansas City Xtreme Wrestling.  July 30th KCXW hosted a double elimination event at Pearson Community Center in KCK. Two separate events, two cards, 14 matches.

     The organization does not use belts to signify a champion. Rather, they use a point system. Each event is worth a determined number, and the competition is between teams rather than individual wrestlers. For instance. When 'The Kingpin" Angel Medina faced off against Kyle King, and won, he didn't just take the point for himself, but for his team. It is a new, and fresh system to determine a champion, and sets the org apart from all other pro wrestling federations.

Captian Shabam
Jason Savior and JC Thunder
  The wrestlers are all incredibly charismatic and sell their personas well. Captian Shabam, dressed in a yellow and black costume taking on the persona of a super hero, instantly winning the hearts and imaginations of the audience. His small stature has one believing in his alter ego as every match is a David vs Goliath bout. Jason Savior, a persona trapped between "Hero" and "Heel", states he is a devout christian in the ring, claims to refuse to cheat, yet always finds that short cut. His match against JC Thunder, in the second event, is a great example. When the referee tells both men there will be no cheating in their match, and manages to break up cheating several times in the same match, the wrestlers turn on the ref. They simultaneously kick him in the balls and leave the ring. That match brought a lot of laughs and entertainment to the evening.

         We also got to see Curtis Wylde put through a table by Curt Gannon and Leo D, of  the Stranglers, from the top rope at the end of the Tag Team Table Match. The audience seemed to love that turn out. There is something special about watching a wrestler get slammed through a table, It is almost as classic as the folding chair.

David Cattin
President Jordan Smiley
          Heels are every bit as important in Pro Wrestling as the Hero. In some cases, I would say they are more important. David "Smooth as Satin" Cattin is a prime example of this idea. He is the wrestler everybody loves to hate. A cross between Chris Jericho and Cobra Commander, and cool simply because his mom says he is, takes the heel to a whole new level. His arch nemesis is not another wrestler. That would be too easy for Cattin. His nemesis is his boss, Org President Jordan Smiley, who flirts with the Heel persona himself. Cattin, the self professed "leader of the pack' is put in a lumberjack tag match by Smiley himself. Smiley also orders the other wrestlers to stand around the ring to keep Cattin from running. The match ended with Cattin losing, and "The Pack" eliminated. Cattin leaves the ring saying he needs to "think about this". Those words left the crowd wondering what Cattin was going to do next, knowing full well that he would not take that loss lightly.


 Then there's the folding chair. The most beloved of any wrestling character. We all love to see it. We all love the metallic thud it makes when someone is hit by it. It is the superstar of all foreign objects. It made several appearances between the two events.


        As the evening continued I found myself impressed by this organization of professional wrestlers. Their moves were fluid and believable. They stayed in a constant state of audience participation, with fights leaving the ring and landing on the floor, or wrestlers answering the hecklers from the ring itself. When the event was over, the wrestlers interacted with the fans. The ego was left at the door. They knew they did this for the people in the seats, chanting or cursing their names.They knew they brought the two hours of magic to the wrestling fans. They were happy and honored to do it.

     KCXW has several events planned throughout the year. The next one will be Sunday Night Takeover II on August 14th at 6:00 pm at the Alamo Drafthouse Takeover III is slotted for September 18, 6:00 pm, also at Alamo Drafthouse. You can learn more about the org from their website by clicking here





Friday, July 29, 2016

Hundreds meet at South Park in Lawrence, Ks for Black Lives Matter vigil

Written by:Mikhael Sublett      

           In the wake of the Alton Sterling and Philando Castile shootings, hundreds from all races congregated at South Park in Lawrence, Ks for a candle light vigil hosted by LFK and Black Lives Matter. The vigil was promoted to be an event to honor the lives of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, as well as to provide a safe place for people of color, as well as gay and trans to congregate and mourn and to be heard.The event started at about 8 pm and lasted past 10 pm.  The speakers each shared stories of fear and persecution at the hands of police officers, subtle racist remarks from white friends, and pleas for justice and conversation.

Caleb Stephens
  Event coordinator and inter-sectional clinician, Caleb Stephens, spoke passionately to the audience about love and justice. He said: ":The love you are sending to us is good, but it is not good enough. Because love without action is nothing." He also stated, "Justice lives and is active. Justice is not 'I will pray for you' it is ' I will walk and fight with you.'" and, he went on to say, "We have a right to safety, but not to comfort."

Jameelah Jones
           When Jameelah Jones took the mic, she began by reminding the white audience members that, "nice is not the opposite of racism." She then shared her 'stream of consciousness' Facebook posts surrounding the shootings.  Her statements ranged from "Holy God, #altonsterling" to "What happens when you realize the police officer shot Alton Sterling, then probably went home to make a left over plate from that BBQ they just had to celebrate freedom in America #heartbroken" She was interrupted midway through her speech when a white male took the mic, and began to quote the bible concerning unity, and how they are doing it wrong. The man was promptly escorted from the area and Jameelah continued.


    Of all the speakers, the two most profound for me were a man named Patrick, and a child named Quincy. Patrick's speech resonated Martin Luther King Jr. with his requests for conversation and communication. After telling his story, the trials he faced in his life and ultimately conquered, he left the mic with a single request. He said, "You know what I look like, come up and start a conversation."

          Little Quincy simply stated, "I matter."

          Of the 20 or so speakers, the theme seemed constant. Conversation, fear, anger, and demands for justice. I thought I got it. I had a few questions for Caleb, the coordinator and one of the key speakers. I approached him and started to ask him one. He put his hand up to me and simply said,

" I am speaking with people of color right now."

          I jokingly responded with, "I am Jewish! Does that count?" I don't think he heard me, as he was walking away. What I do know is I was shut out. I turned to my production assistant and asked him what just happened. He shrugged his shoulders in disbelief. Normally, when a journalist is shut out it is due to the interviewee being offended, busy, or just doesn't want to talk. I was shut out, at that moment, because people of color had priority. As my PA and I were walking back to the car, I finally got it. I finally understood. Caleb educated me. He showed me what it was like to be him. Educated, with something to say, but shut down because I did not resemble him. Because I was the wrong color. That lesson stuck with me. Determined, I was going to get my interview of three questions from him.

          The next day I reached out to him by phone. We agreed to have a phone interview that afternoon. However, from the morning to the interview I reevaluated everything I have seen and heard concerning the claims of BLM. Hell, the claims of every person of color I ever knew. I realized that something was, in fact, very broken, and excuses were no longer acceptable. It was time to acknowledge there is a problem in our country regarding race. That the end was not desegregation. The marches did not end when our parents came home from Selma. That the issue of race continues to rear its head, smirking at each one of us in our arrogance and ignorance of the issues of Black America. I thanked him for the incident. He taught me what it was like to be like him. He was glad that is what I took from it.

Caleb said, "Liberation is not the responsibility of the oppressed but of the privileged" Indeed.

Editor note: There were several speakers at this rally. All were inspiring and heartbreaking and they deserves to be heard. In an event of this size, I have my PA video the event for note taking purposes. I will be working on the video to post in the coming weeks, despite the picture quality, the sound quality is fantastic. Also, this event was much too large to cover in one article, so expect a few more after this,. Lots of exciting things coming up from the Lawrence BLM chapter. Stay tuned!.




Monday, July 18, 2016

Kansas City Area Couple's Date Night Ended By Violent Homophobic Attack

     Many couples have a date night they look forward to all week long. Especially, in today’s modern world where many couples have conflicting schedules. For instance, my wife and I go out to our favorite place once a week, to order our regular dishes and visit with our favorite staff members. On the evening of July 13th, 26 year-old Jessica and her girlfriend, Kay, went out for one last special date night. Their schedules had recently changed and this would be their final night for dancing to the live DJ at their regular Wednesday spot, Beaver Tap, in Lenexa, KS. The happy couple had no idea the night would leave them traumatized.

      The couple was excited to get to their spot, and took their regular place at a table near the DJ booth.  Jessica was dancing with friends and went to their table to coax Kay to come dance with her. Jessica and Kay noticed some remarks coming from a nearby four top table, occupied by two men and two women. The couple ignored the comments and thought nothing of it until they danced “too close” to the four top, according to its occupants.  

     One of the two women seated at the four top stood up and confronted Jessica, saying that they were dancing too close to their table. Before Jessica could diffuse the situation, one of the men, described as 6’ 2’, 260lb, white male in his early thirties, ripped off Jessica’s glasses, struck her in the face, all while calling her. “a fat dike,” and a “faggot.” The physical assault, and homophobic slurs continued until a server took Jessica to security, who then escorted the two assailants, and the rest of their party, out of the establishment.

     Jessica and Kay were horribly shaken, and sat down at their table. Kay checked Jessica’s injuries.
And before they could process what had just happened, they noticed the two assailants, and their party, had been allowed back into the bar. The on duty manager approached Jessica and Kay with one question. “Are we good?”
Jessica said, “Of course we aren’t good. They assaulted me, and you let them back in!”
The manager’s response was, “I didn’t see them hit you, so I can’t legally throw them out.”
The manager then walked away from Jessica’s table, despite protests from Jessica’s friends.

     Jessica, a bartender herself, knew this incorrect. Jessica told Massev Productions, “I was most shaken on a personal level. I have never been treated so carelessly. On a professional level, Kansas is a ‘Right to Serve’ State. We have thrown people out before for way less. I was very shocked.”
Kay told Massev productions, “I didn’t feel safe because the manager let the group back in.”

    Jessica went to the bathroom to pull herself together, and Kay noticed the two men get up and also head toward the restrooms. She became alarmed when the two women also got up and went toward the restrooms.

    When Jessica saw the women, they were going in as she was coming out. As Jessica came out, one of the girls threw her drink on her and attacked her. Jessica tried to yet again defend herself against their attack.  Kay had now arrived and tried to break it up, but one of the female attackers held her down.

    When the men came out of restrooms, the same male assailant grabbed the glasses off of Jessica’s face and broke them. He then proceeded to once again strike Jessica in the face, while one of the women held onto her by her hair.

     Security finally arrived, but instead of coming to Jessica’s aid, they placed her in an arm lock, and told her that she was, “going to jail.” Security then also escorted Kay out, meanwhile all their possessions were still inside. The 4 assailants were also escorted out, but were not separated from Kay and Jessica. The manager then came outside, and Kay asked her to call the police, as her and Jessica wanted to press charges. The Manager responded that she didn't want to do that because the attacker also had injuries. The Manager said if she did call the police, that she would point out that Kay had been drinking, and therefore Kay would be arrested for DUI.  Even though, Kay was not intoxicated, nor currently driving.

    Jessica and Kay helplessly watched as their attackers drove away in a black, GMC Yukon, with tinted windows and a chrome grill. The injured couple, traumatized, decided to go home and file a police report the next day. When they got home they assessed and photographed Jessica’s injuries. The following photographs document not only her physical injuries, but her emotional trauma as well.
Jessica After the Incident

Jessica a few months before the incident
Jessica After the Incident
When their families and friends heard of the attack, and the way Beaver Tap staff handled the situation, they took to social media to call for justice. They posted several negative reviews of the business on Facebook, Yelp, and the company’s Google Business page. The negative reviews became so numerous, Beaver Tap suspended their own Facebook page. Jessica said, “My dad is a calm man, normally, but both of our families are livid.”

    When Jessica and Kay called Beaver Tap the next day for information needed to file their police report, and to report to Beaver Tap that a young, African-American waitress had been very helpful, Beaver Tap staff stated they would not help them because of the, “bad social media rap.”

    Massev Productions reached out to Beaver Tap, first by contacting the Lenexa location. A woman identifying herself as a manager, but refusing to give her name, said,” I am not talking to you. You need to call during daytime business hours.” Massev Productions tried to reach Riley Drive, Inc , owners of Beaver Tap, Saints, and Tonic, by phone and by email. We have not yet received a response.

    Since the attack Jessica and Kay have both experienced the expected emotional fallout of their trauma.
    Jessica told Massev Productions.” It is literally just a feeling, that everywhere I go, I am looking at people and wondering if they are looking at me and trying to tell if they are acting a certain way. This happens everywhere I go. The other day I wanted to kiss Kay and I was looking around to see if people were looking at us.”
    She went on to say, she and Kay have both missed work, and have not been able to eat, or sleep much since the incident. We asked Jessica if Kay was nervous about leaving her alone. Jessica said “I think there is a certain protective factor there but Kay has also missed work and hasn’t been able to eat.”
    Massev Productions will continue to bring you updates on this story, including any public statements made by Riley Drive, Inc.


On the afternoon of July, 19th, Massev Productions was contacted by Kem Anderson, of Riley Drive, Inc, and owner of Beaver Tap. Below you will find her written statement.

"I am the owner of Beaver Tap and I am a woman. The General Manager and every assistant manager are women. We are likely one of the few bars in the Kansas City metro with an owner and an entire management staff that is female. The accusation that we are anti‐female or anti‐lesbian is offensive, without merit and made by people that do not know us.

I have spoken to my staff, read allegations by the couple and reviewed the video of the incident. The
video shows two females sitting at a table near the dance floor. The first female spends the majority of her time on the dance floor dancing with others, while the second female sits at the table alone most of the time. Periodically, the video shows the first female returning to the table where words are
exchanged with people at the adjacent table.

The video then shows the first female walk to the restroom hallway. Soon thereafter a scuffle breaks
out. As trained, security staff quickly arrived to break up the scuffle. The video then shows the two
women at issue walk out of the bar. I then observe security staff escort at least two other women out of the bar. Contrary to the allegations, our security staff reports that it was another female that hit this
woman, not a male.

The security video contradicts much of the story that has been circulating online. My staff also
contradicts much of what has been alleged by these two females.

Today a Lenexa police detective reviewed the video. While the matter is still under investigation, based on our conversations with the detective after his review of the video, we believe the detective will conclude that our statement of the facts is correct.

We treat all of our customers with respect. Unfortunately, we can’t control how our customers treat
each other.

Kem Anderson"

Per the Riley Drive, Inc. LinkedIn account.
"Riley Drive Inc. is a leading hospitality and management company. Founded by Marc Mundt and Scott Anderson in 2005, the company owns and operates numerous sports pubs and bars in the Des Moines, Omaha, and Kansas City metro areas. Riley Drive, Inc. also manages other investment interests."


Concerning the surveillance video, a spokesperson from Lenexa PD stated there were discrepancies between the video and story. Massev Productions should have a copy of the video incident within the next couple of days.

Also, in an email exchange between Scott Anderson, the owner of Riley Drive Inc and Beaver Tap and Massev Productions, Mr. Anderson offers a second possible series of events that leaves Jessica being assaulted in the parking lot, rather than inside the establishment. It was the first time anyone from Riley Drive Inc acknowledged the assault throughout the investigation. However, the setting of the assault was moved from inside of the bar to beyond its front door. When asked if he provided footage of the parking lot to the Police Mr. Anderson replied "There are no cameras in the parking lot."

An interesting twist in events.

Editor Note: One more thing, Guys. Mr. Anderson is also alleging his staff is receiving death threats. Massev Productions completely condemns this behavior. I completely condemn this behavior. If this is actually happening it needs to stop. That is not the way things are done, and that behavior makes you no better than the people who perpetrated the attack. Should Mr. Anderson wish to open an investigation and prosecute whoever are issuing those threats he has Massevs full support. Jessica maintains a group of patrons assaulted her, not the staff of the bar . Though the response of management was questionable through out the alleged  incident, it does not warrant that type of response. So...in other words...knock it off. 

Keep checking back for more updates!

 Editorial note: Last names withheld to protect the victims

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

KC Cares Benefit for Pulse Victims

Written by: Mikhael Sublett

              On Saturday, June 25, the LGBT community came together at Missie B’s for a fundraiser to benefit the victims of the Pulse shooting in Orlando, Florida. The benefit was hosted at Missie B’s but included several LGBT nightclubs including Sidekicks and Hamburger Marys.  The event hosted several vendors and local musical acts all serving the same purpose: To raise money for the Pulse shooting victims in a celebration of their lives. The event held a silent auction, drag shows, vendors, and live performances from local acts such as The Philistines, Holmes Street, and Vigil and Thieves.
               Massev caught up with Jan Allen, the general Manager of Missie B’s to discuss the event and community. When asked how the community has been affected by the Pulse incident Jan said “People are more aware of their surroundings” and “has seen more displays of affection, more ‘I love you’s’”
                Sidekicks Bartender Devin Young stated that the Pulse shooting “has made the community stronger and to be a community again, which is the purpose of the event. “Devin also said the shooting is not an LGBT issue but a human issue.  He also praised the contributing businesses for putting together a phenomenal benefit.
                 Love was the common theme of the evening. Comments from the patrons ranging from community strength, outpouring of love, affection, and compassion were common, and all had a central theme of family. This is what they could do for their brothers and sisters affected by this horrible act. Throughout the evening that sentiment was repeated, from the vendors, to the bartenders, from the performers to the patrons. Family, community, support.
               That same support was shared among the performers as well. During Vigil and Thieves set, when Steph Castor’s guitar malfunctioned, Susanna Barchak of the band Holmes Street provided her own instrument so Vigil could finish their set. It was an amazing illustration of the type of support this community discovered in the wake of this tragedy.
               Sources at Missie B’s report that over $25,000 was raised for the Pulse victim fund and the Pulse employee recovery fund. They were also quick to say the donations are still coming in and may not have an accurate number until later this week.
              The following evening, I returned to Missie B’s and spoke with Vince Gonzalez, security for Missie B’s, about his take on the previous night’s events. He stated “the event went well” and “there is a lot of love that comes through this bar.”
             The Kansas City LGBT Community came through for their brothers and sisters in Orlando. Their strength and compassion know no boundaries, and love for one another is their mantra.

            If you missed the event, photos can be found here Below, you will find interviews with Pam Allen, general manager of Missie B’s, Devin Young, bartender at Sidekicks Saloon, and Vince Gonzalez, security for Missie B’s. As usual they are unedited, so you experience what I did. Check them out:

                                         Jan Allen, GM of Missie B's

                                         Devin Young, Bartender, Sidekicks PT1

                                          Devin Young, Bartender, Sidekicks PT2

                                          Vince Gonzalez, Security, Missie B's

Saturday, June 25, 2016

BBQ, Live Music, and Senator Greg Smith all at one event!

     The Great Lenexa BBQ battle is in its second day at Sar-Ko-Trails park at the corner of Lackman and 87th street in Lenexa. The event runs until 5:00pm today and Admission is free. 

     I wasn't going to cover this event because of how busy my weekend has been. I decided to go check it out. What I found was live music, great vendors, and amazing bbq throughout the event. So, if you find yourself with nothing to do this afternoon, head over to the BBQ Battle and join your neighbors in an afternoon of fun. Here are some shots of the event.

     As I was leaving I ran into none other than Senator Greg Smith! We had an amazing conversation that I will write about later. Smith is a favorite among Johnson County conservative voters and seems to be turning the tides with a few liberal voters as well. His genuine nature makes him incredibly easy to speak with so, if you make it out there make sure you stop in and say hi. I will warn you, though, Senator Smith has a way of making you feel as if you are not talking with a law maker, but one of your neighbors. More on that conversation later.


Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Vigil and Thieves

    Written by: Mikhael Sublett

      The live experience of this four piece indie/alternative/punk band from Kansas City is something not to be missed. I caught their show during my coverage of KC Pride 2016 and got a video interview. But, before we get into that, let me tell you about the show itself.

      When they came on for their set, I was actually taking a break by the river, a couple hundred yards from the stage. Covering Pride, minus my PA, was tiring to say the least. However, they got my attention. So, I scarfed down my 'festival good' burnt end sandwich and headed over to check them out. 

      As I made my way to the stage, I first noticed the audience reaction to the band. All eyes were on them. The audience moved to the rhythm of the music and singing  along with vocalist Sarah Storm. I made my way past the audience, and around the barricade to the front of the stage. As Sarah sang and gazed out into the audience, it was as if she was making eye contact with every patron, serenading them with her gritty and honest lyrics. Matt Muckenthalers moved around the stage living his rhythm, eyes closed, lost in the music. Steph Castor, the guitarist played, mostly stationary, with an intensity and precision that manifested in her music.  Andrew Flaherty's unique beats seemed to be the driving force on all the songs on their set. His unusual approach was playing his beats to the lyrics. The band doesn’t interact much on stage, but it works. It was a stripped down, daytime, festival show with no special effects but they captured the crowd and had them fully participating in their show.  

     At one point, between songs, the KC Pride Crowd responded with enthusiastic cheers when singer Sarah Storm announced that she and Guitarist Steph Castor were girlfriends.

     Once home, I had a chance to listen to their recordings. The production quality of their recordings did not bring forth the intensity of their live performance, and that makes sense once you understand the album was self -produced in a living room. I would encourage the audience to see them live to get to truly experience all this band has to offer.

     When the show was over I approached them for an interview. Though they were leaving for a regional tour, promoting their debut, self produced album, Neverland, they took the time to talk to me. The interview is raw footage, simply because I want you guys to have the same experience I had. Check it out below:

 Vigil and Thieves will be playing the KC CaresPulse Victims benefit at Missie B's Saturday, June 25 at 7pm, followed by another show at Californos. Don't miss them!

Their album can be found here. Support your local artists. 

Sunday, June 12, 2016

The band played on

Written by:Mikhael Sublett      

   The Kansas City LGBT community held a vigil tonight in support of the victims of the Pulse shooting in Orlando Florida, where 50 people lost their lives and another 53 were wounded. The vigil was hosted by Like Me Lighthouse and The Kansas City Anti-Violence Project at Barney Allis Plaza. 

The  event began with a few words from Kansas City Mayor Shy James. The Mayor was met with applause as he said "We can't roll over on this, We can't say someone else is going to fix it. We must take control of this issue." He went on to say "if we do nothing it will happen again. Enough is Enough"

Normally, I would carry on with this story. You would all get a good 500-1000 words of my rhetoric about the importance of  solidarity among the LGBT community. However, like most of you, I am at a loss for words. My heart breaks for the families of the victims of that shooting. Those people, who were targeted simply because they were gay. Who were simply having a good time with friends and loved ones. Lives with hopes and dreams. Lives that matter,  All cut short by a cowardly homophobe with a gun. 

The vigil was communal mourning. Each speaker, each spectator, and those of us in the press all drew strength from one another to get through it. The Kansas City Police department stood watch at the four corners of the plaza, in tactical gear and prepared  to stand between us and those who wish to do us harm. To allow us to fellowship and to mourn without incident. 

The strength of the LGBT community is beyond measure. Though this is the worst assault, it was not their first. 

My daughter is gay. The Godfather of my children is Gay. Both I love dearly and beyond measure. I can only imagine the pain the families of the victims are going through, and it is more than I can imagine. In truth, it is more than I can bear.

Devin Young writes:

 "Steps have been taken, leaps and bounds made in the fight for equality, yet the fight for tolerance, acceptance, and understanding has got a long way to go.
50 dead, 53 injured, countless scarred and left damaged. All for what? Again question, and no answer...
My thoughts and prayers go out to the victims, families, and survivors. No words will ease your pain or take it away, this we know, however the support will help.
To the GLBT community at large, I ask be aware, be vigilant, be unintimidated and unafraid. Don't let the actions of one cause you to be afraid, be strong and be one with each other."

Truer words never spoken. You are right, Mr. Mayor.  Enough is Enough. Never Again.

If you missed the vigil check out the photos below. Don't forget to click on the video at the bottom to view Massev's interview with Mayor Sly James. 

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

To pee or not to pee

         Last weekend the LGBT of Kansas City celebrated Gay Pride 2016. Massev was there to cover it. Below is the first of several video interviews, led by the special guest anchor Kailyn Ash, of some attendees.  The first is of Ashton Graybill. Ashton discusses a wide variety of topics ranging from his role in the LGBT community to the fact that all he “really wants to do is pee”! 

Check it out.