Best of Kansas City 2005


Back in mid-July, the Pitch turned 25. We understand that in some corners, such milestones merit long-winded retrospectives, entire issues or yearlong features dedicated to the publication's distinguished history. Us? We're not exactly the sentimental types. Like most 25-year-olds, we're all about the here and now. Mostly, we just slapped an "Our 25th Year" stamp on our cover and got on with the usual work of putting out a weekly paper.

And putting on the year's coolest party.

That would be the Violent Femmes concert at the Madrid on October 7. The Femmes haven't spent much time on the charts or in the mainstream, but they created one of rock's great anti-anthems with "Blister in the Sun," on their self-titled 1983 debut. The tightly wound, twitchy trio from Milwaukee grew out of the same punky, charged-up, do-it-yourself spirit that was also giving rise to alternative weekly papers all around the country. The Pitch had started just three years earlier as a music newsletter published out of Hal Brody's PennyLane Records (now Streetside) in Westport.

Look back on the summer of 1980 however you want; you won't get any reminiscing here. You want to know what we were about ten, 15, 20 years ago, you're welcome to come dig through the dusty basement here at 17th and Main. You expect props thrown out to all the people who ever worked here over the years, the ones who made us who we are today? Consider a glass raised. If you've been reading the Pitch for any length of time, you know what we're about.

So back to the party.

It's a party in our pages, too. Because, if you're even an occasional Pitch reader, you know that we devote one week a year — just one — to simply feeling the love. One week a year to being totally, 100 percent, pure-grain nice — one week a year to getting stinking drunk in love with this town and, hell, with you, too.

Many of you run the shops, create the art and music, perform the everyday acts of heroism celebrated in the following pages. You're the revelers who pack into what had been an empty storefront at 20th Street and Grand, spilling out of its wide-open windows and onto the sidewalk, transforming an abandoned room into the city's best new bar. You're the toughs who test yourselves against the rest of the city's Saturday-morning ballers at a park on 78th and State Line Road, scrapping in the city's best pickup basketball game. You're the freaks who let a tattoo artist pierce rows of holes along your back to lace up your skin like a corset during a fetish performance in a rickety building that's since been torn down for a new arena.

That's the spirit we're celebrating. And, as befitting a party put on by 25-year-olds, we've gone all out for this Silver Edition. So here's a quarter in that glass, friends.

Drink up.

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