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Tag Archives: Morgan Ryman
April 21, 2009
April 11, 2008
How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Smoking Ban
by Morgan Ryman
As of late, I spend little time on the Longview campus. If you do see me on campus, odds are that I am in the Campus Center heading to or leaving class (perhaps sticking around if there is Lazer Floyd available), or walking to and fro from the building, lighting up a cigarette. Nasty habit, yes, but damned if I don’t really like smoking. I have long thought that school would be much more hep if I could smoke in class, but if this were so, our classrooms and corridors would be a nasty, raunchy shade of yellowish with cigarette burns everywhere and the clouds would make the place almost impossible to steer through. Also, the building would stink like butts. I recently went to visit a friend who quit and disallowed the practice in his house. Now instead of smelling like three to four packs a day, his house smells like potpourri, or incense, or whatever it was he was lighting up. That’s all well and fine for my friend, who has quit smoking by choice, but what about the private businesses that aren’t allowed an option in the matter? The ban on the April 8 ballot in Kansas City, Mo. seemed perfectly appropriate. No smoking in restaurants doesn’t seem to be much of a change for the most part; I typically have to wait until I get outside to light up anyway, unless a bar is attached. Even in the bar-and-grills, smoking is allowed after nine, once the kids and pink-lungs have all gone off to a safe evening of rest and healthy activity. At the local holes-in-the-wall without food service, full smoking rights prevail. I see little to no health problem because if you go to a place that serves only booze, there is not much health to be had there anyway. Come April 8, it will be a battle between the nanny state and Big Tobacco. These are blunt views, but it’s what it boils down to. Sure, winter will really suck smoking in the cold, but maybe it will be time to quit then.
February 15, 2008
World renowned turntablists bring a cumulative 50 years of DJing to Kansas City
by Morgan Ryman
I was told rather agressively the other night that seven inch vinyl was going to take over digital downloads as the preferred access point for music. I thought it was little more than a ridiculous hard sell, but that’s exactly what DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist were going for.
Performed at the VooDoo Lounge at Harrah’s, The Hard Sell was an hour plus dual DJ set exclusively utilizing vintage 45 RPM records, played on eight turntables and looped using guitar pedals. This set marked the debut performance of Shadow and Chemist in Kansas City, but this was not DJ Shadow’s first visit to the 816. He lamented the loss of The Music Exchange, and even would interrupt the performance to note 45s he had purchased there.
The 1200 SRO VooDoo Lounge provided a vibrant, well lit venue, with entertaining bartenders, offered VIP service, and of course, a casino if you lost interest in the show.
Musically, the Hard Sell went everywhere, from Alliyah to Led Zeppelin, the Foo Fighters to the Ying Yang Twins, from “I Only Have Eyes For You” by The Flamingos, to “One” by Metallica.
Shadow and Chemist set out to expand people’s musical vocabularies, not only through the sounds themselves, but also to appreciate a format with groove, as opposed to the overly compressed white earbuds taking over modern music.
February 15, 2008
by Morgan Ryman
The future of classic rock in Kansas City has been changed forever. That is to say that you now have fewer choices for a radio station that hasn’t updated its play list since the early 1990’s. Classic rock station 99.7 KY was shut down for the second time in over 30 years recently in favor of The Boulevard, a cold, refreshing, unfiltered station that you could hear all night, but might trouble you in the morning.
At first, The Boulevard seemed exactly the same as its hippo predecessor, until Coldplay kicked in. In addition to contemporary quasi-rock, the classics are dug even deeper, as there is an increased presence of classic artists such as the Beatles, Grateful Dean and Velvet Underground, thus evolving classic rock radio into full blown legendary radio. Those artists, and the “Shock the Monkey” song. Freakin’ love that song.
The loss of a classic rock station itself is not that much of a bummer. There are plenty of places to hear Free Bird, it’s the removal of the human element in the name of cost efficiency that bothers me. The role of the DJ has been trivialized for years, decades even. Trusting one person to have a good enough taste in music to entertain the masses isn’t good for business-letting test research and payola determine the play list apparently is.
There is something to be said, though, for a comfortably familiar set of songs, sometimes Foreigner or Pink Floyd just hit the spot, and listen to the average classic station, and you’re likely to hear one of the familiarly crammed little ditties. Hell, even the Soulja Boy isn’t that bad every once in a while…and that’s basically guaranteed one play an hour on one of our many pop/pop-rap stations.
Even the most open ears like to hear their own set list, as opposed to someone new coming in and playing strange, bizarre music that they are unaccustomed to. Nothing wrong with familiarity, but you would be surprised how changing your listening habits can improve, or even hinder your life. It is that fear of hindrance, hearing something depressing, unexciting, or just something flat out lousy that keeps our ears closed. But do you really want to end up like your folks, listening to Phil Collins 30 years later? Well, maybe you do, but I can’t freakin’ stand Phil Collins.
Do yourself a favor and listen to something different, something new, something truly out there, something that everyone assures you sucks hard-they may be proven wrong. And if they’re right, write the crappy guitarist and tell them you want the last three and a half minutes of you life back.
If you would like an iPod with commercials and no rap, enjoy the new station. Or do like me and turn the radio off until the weekend. It’s the closest we’ll get to open format…and someone, please start dreaming of the return of Radio Free Longview.
November 9, 2007
by Morgan Ryman
Missouri College Media Award: Third Place, Special Section
Ah, Thanksgiving, that most uniquely American of holidays devoted to eating, spending time with family, and enjoying the ensuing food coma. This phenomenon of food coma was celebrated in an episode of The Boondocks called, “The Itis.” The centerpiece of the episode is a massive artery-clogging monstrosity known as “The Luther,” or simply the Doughnut burger.
Allegedly first conceived in Decatur, Georgia at Mulligan’s Bar, “The Luther” consists of a single, one pound patty, five strips of bacon, cheese, and is served between two Krispy Kreme donut.
Tipping the scales at a minimum of 1,000 calories, The Luther is named for famed R&B singer Luther Vandross. According to urban legend mill snopes.com, some allege that Vandross was a fan of the burger, and some even go as far as to claim that he created the concoction out of necessity when he ran out of hamburger buns, but like most urban legends, these are unsubstantiated.
To cook this behemoth, I went to my place of employment, Top of the Wornall on 90th and Wornall in south Kansas City. The one pound patty took about 15 minutes to cook, the bacon took half that time, and the donuts were only lightly toasted. I added only three slices of cheese, as I am trying to watch my girlish figure. As I stacked the bacon onto the patty, I had the oncoming feeling that I was in for a world of pain and disgust. I added the donuts and placed a piece of bacon on top as a garnish of sorts. My fellow employees watched in awe as I picked up this least kosher of burgers, and took the first bite. My expectations of gluttonous displeasure were tossed aside.
It tasted good, this being the only positive attribute of the burger. The sugar from the Krispy Kreme blended with the meats quite well, the burger was cooked to a perfect consistency, it was pretty tasty. The whole thing took about 15 minutes to eat, and almost immediately following the meal, I went home and took a very long nap, experiencing “The Itis,” as promised. There were no immediate stomach problems, and I was able to move around and go about my day just fine.
Andy, my manager at Top of the Wornall said that he thought “The Luther,” at least a lighter version, would be a good addition to the menu. I thought not, I feel that if the Food and Drug Administration were operated in a similar manner to the Drug Enforcement Agency, The Luther would be placed in Schedule one-no legitimate medical use, high risk of abuse, and in heavy enough doses, probably lethal.
Ladies and gentlemen, I do not recommend you eat “The Luther” at all.
Special Section: It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year