Up To Date

Weekdays at 11 a.m.

Up to Date focuses on pressing issues, both local and national, including politics, economics, planning and design, history and entertainment - topics that have an impact on the lives of the Greater Kansas City region.

THIS WEEK:

  • Monday: Local Record Labels  / KU Cybersecurity Program
  • Tuesday:  TBD / Statehouse Blend
  • Wednesday: TBD / Local Listen 
  • ThursdayThe Importance of Being Little / Weekend To-Do List
  • Friday: TBD

The holiday weekend means plenty of time to catch a film . . . or two! If you're undecided which to see, here's some suggestions from one of Up to Date's indie, foreign and documentary film critics.

Cynthia Haines

Spotlight, R

  • Reporters working for the Boston Globe uncover evidence of the Catholic Church sex abuse scandal.

Brooklyn, PG-13

  • An young Irish immigrant is torn between her new home in Brooklyn and her life back in Ireland.

Carol, R

Whether you're anticipating the arrival of St. Nick or just enjoying a few days off from work, Up to Date's indie, foreign and documentary film critics have a few ideas about how to spend your vacation. 

Cynthia Haines

Brooklyn, PG-13

  • An young Irish immigrant is torn between her new home in Brooklyn and her life back in Ireland.

Spotlight, R

This was the year the Kansas City Ballet re-imagined “The Nutcracker.” Henry David Thoreau and Barbra Streisand got theatrical treatments, and the Kansas City Symphony had a variety of soloists. On this edition of Up to Date, we turn a critical eye to the arts in the Kansas City area this year.

Guests:

Facebook

Una Walkenhorst is attempting to establish a career in a city in which her father has been a prominent musician for more than 30 years. As a solo artist and as a member of the Rainmakers, Bob Walkenhorst is one of Kansas City’s favorite sons. Local Listen features the title track of his daughter Una’s album “Scars,” a song that indicates that talent runs in the family.

Here comes 2016 and with it, an ever-evolving set of elections that will have many of us hanging onto our seats from January all the way to November. On this edition of Up To Date, the Political Pundits discuss presidential elections, a big U.S. Senate race in Missouri and a governor’s race to boot.

Guests:

Capitol Records

By the time Dec. 25 actually rolls around, you may be tired of hearing Christmas music.  

How many versions of "The Twelve Days of Christmas" can one person hear before it drives them crazy?

And while "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" is timeless, you might be interested in one of Brenda Lee's lesser-known hits. To keep your Christmas playlist interesting, here's a list of songs that you (probably) won't hear on the radio.

At the end of the year, a lot of financial planning is about taxes, but retirement, education savings and gift-giving can play into the equation as well. On this edition of Up to Date, the Financial Planners give some year-end advice, and Steve Kraske chats with them about what the interest rate increase might mean for you.

KCUR

Republican Missouri Sen. Will Kraus from District 08 provides an insider perspective on the Missouri General Assembly as we discuss prefiled bills about conceal carry, voter IDs, and infrastructure. 

This is an excerpt from Statehouse Blend. You can listen to the full episode here, or by subscribing on iTunes.

Guests:

  • Will Kraus, Senator from District 08, Missouri General Assembly 
  • Nic Zweifel, Citizen
  • C.J. Janovy, Arts Reporter, KCUR
Independent Lens

Last-minute preparations for the holidays can be exhausting. Take a break this weekend and go see an indie or documentary film. Up To Date's  film critics share their recommendations:

Cynthia Haines

Spotlight, R

  • Reporters working for the Boston Globe uncover evidence of the Catholic Church sex abuse scandal.

Brooklyn, PG-13

  • An young Irish immigrant is torn between her new home in Brooklyn and her life back in Ireland.

Room, R

The Best Kansas City Music Of 2015

Dec 18, 2015

It's becoming a year-end tradition at KCUR's Up to Date: Reviewing the year's best work from area musicians.

This year's panelists are:

For decades, every game of Monopoly came with the same origin story —  a man named Charles Darrow, desperately struggling to support his family during the Great Depression invents a game to provide some entertainment. The problem? It isn't true. 

Guest:

Lisa Rodriguez / KCUR 89.3

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has once again thrown his support behind a fuel tax increase in order to fund highway improvements.

Speaking Thursday to host Steve Kraske on KCUR's to Date, Nixon says he hopes a bill pre-filed this month by Sen. Doug Libla (R-Poplar Bluff) "gets to his desk."

This was an incredible year for journalists —  from the battle to legalize gay marriage, to the student protests at the University of Missouri and then, of course, Donald Trump. The Media Critics discuss how the biggest stories of the year were covered and how the public perceives the industry.

Guests: 

Scott Hrabko

In his review of Scott Hrabko’s “Biscuits & Gravity,” KCUR music writer David Cantwell praised the Kansas City singer-songwriter's "sly and warm vocals" and the "slinky rhythms and brooding arrangements" documented on the new album. This week's Local Listen features Hrabko’s wistful reverie “I Dreamed I Quit My Job.”

Scott Hrabko & the Rabbits perform at the Westport Saloon on Saturday, Dec. 19.

Facebook - Niall

Running into the same old Kansas City-themed gift ideas?

Barbecue Sauce. Sports memorabilia. Plaza gift cards. Boulevard Beer.

All are great gifts to give and receive, but at this point they're a little ... expected.

Instead, you can innovate your gift giving and stuff those stockings with Kansas City-made gadgets and gizmos, while simultaneously letting loved ones know that Kansas City is the place for entrepreneurs and inventors.

There was a time when every kid hauled their toys around in a bright red Radio Flyer wagon. That toy, which started production in 1923, was a "must-have" Christmas present. The passing decades have given us plenty of “it” toys, from the Slinky to the Cabbage Patch Kid.

Guest:

Penguin Random House

Are you stumped looking for last-minute gifts for the kids and teens in your life? How about the gift of shape shifting or time traveling? 

It's all possible between the covers of a good book, and these selections represent the best that 2015 had to offer in the way of children's literature.

Johnson County Librarians Dennis Ross and Kate McNair and retired librarian Debbie McLeod offer some recommendations to keep kids and teens reading well into 2016.

For preschool through 2nd grade:

University of Kansas film professor Kevin Willmott's latest movie, CHI-RAQ has opened to lots of buzz. Steve Kraske and the film critics talk to the screenwriter about what he and co-writer Spike Lee were trying to say in this film. 

spotlightthefilm.com

It's the most wonderful time of the year — for movie lovers, that is. Awards season is around the corner and many of the year's most-anticipated titles are arriving at area cinemas. You can enjoy the season too, by hitting the movie theaters this weekend. Here are Up To Date's film critics' suggestions from the crop of indie, foreign and documentary films playing now.

Cynthia Haines

Spotlight, R

When America declared war on Germany in 1917, most radio stations came under government control, reserved for war efforts. On this edition of Up To Date,  we learn why ham radio operators were prevented from broadcasting during The Great War.

Guests:

The U.S. Secretary of Defense recently announced that as of January 2016, all gender-based restrictions on military service will be lifted. Despite this change, research by the Women's Foundation of Kansas City in conjunction with the University of Kansas and the Army Research Institute shows that females still face barriers within the military.

Guests:

Beth Lipoff / KCUR 89.3

He’s played with the likes of Kansas City-great Count Basie, though he’s best known for leading The Tonight Show band when Johnny Carson was hosting. 

Doc Severinsen is back in Kansas City for a holiday performance with the Kansas City Symphony and chorus this weekend.

He spoke with Steve Kraske on Up To Date earlier this week, where they talked about his early career and his time with The Tonight Show

But Severinsen wasn’t quite finished at the end of the interview. 

After his appearance on Up To Date, Severinsen wanted to stick around to talk about one of our favorite subjects — Kansas City. 

Doc Severinsen is best known for leading The Tonight Show band when Johnny Carson was host. In this conversation with Steve Kraske, Severinsen recalls starting under the tutelage of his father then moving on to the likes of Tommy Dorsey and Benny Goodman before landing the gig he would play for thirty years.

thecrowdedstage.com

Claire Adams was one of the Kansas City area’s most eclectic musicians even before she began collaborating with the chamber music ensemble Classical Revolution KC. Adams plays bass in the blues-rock band Katy Guillen and the Girls, and is the front person of the ornate folk-pop group, Claire and the Crowded Stage

For its 100th edition, Local Listen features “Enough,” a song that showcases Adams’ new venture with Classical Revolution KC.

Harvard-trained Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor studied schizophrenia and severe mental illnesses. Then, in 1996, she suffered a severe stroke that left her unable to walk, talk, read, write, or recall any of her life. Over the course of eight years she recovered and in this conversation with Steve Kraske, reveals what that experience taught her.

After his appearance on Up To Date, former Tonight Show band leader Doc Severinsen wanted to stick around to talk about one of our favorite subjects — Kansas City. Hear him rave about our music scene, our sports teams and the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. 

Jeremy Bernfield / KCUR

The year is winding down, and if this wasn’t already one of the greatest years in local sports history, here come the re-energized Kansas City Chiefs. The Royals took the crown, but as commentator Victor Wishna explains in the latest edition of A Fan’s Notes, this might really be “our time.”

So. how ’bout them Chiefs? No, really — if you'd asked a month or so ago, most would’ve said, “Uh…what about ’em?”

Matt Hodapp / KCUR

Republican Kansas Rep. Linda Gallagher from Lenexa provides an insider perspective on the Kansas Legislature as we discuss KDOT funding, education, and guns.

This is an excerpt from Statehouse Blend. You can listen to the full episode here, or by subscribing on iTunes.

Guests:

  • Linda Gallagher, Representative for the 23rd District, Kansas Legislature
  • Cameron Baraban, citizen
  • Maria Carter, News Director, KCUR

When Karl Rove set out to win the White House with George W. Bush in 2000, the role model he used for guidance had been dead for nearly a century. On this edition of Up To Date, Rove talks about  the "revolutionary" William McKinley and weighs in on Donald Trump's presidential prospects.

About 3.4 percent of American students are homeschooled these days, but in states like Kansas and Missouri, homeschoolers get little -- if any -- oversight from any authority. It's up to parents to decide on what and how to teach, and that worries those who think it may be time for some level of regulation. 

Guests:

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