July 31, 2006
What would Jim Utz do? Well, on Wednesday, he'd suggest going to Off Broadway. And since that club is the toast of the stlsyndicate this week, I'll go ahead and post-jack a missive Jim sent out to local music-heads, promoting a band he's been talking about for a few months now. When in doubt, trust the Vintage Vinyl publicist, say I.
Here you go:
I don't send "bulletins" out much anymore so it has to be something I am REALLY excited about to get me motivated to tell other people about it. This is actually only my second "you should check this show out" email of 2006 with Bobby Rush in February being the other, which won rave reviews from the half dozen or so people that got my email and attended.
The Black Angels are playing this Thursday (August 3rd) at Off Broadway. Their debut album, "Passover", has been my favorite record released so far in 2006 and I managed to catch them live in March in their hometown of Austin and they were great live.
Musically the band reminds me of what the Velvet Underground might have sounded like had they came out in the 2000s with maybe some Joy Division (the guitar oriented stuff) tossed in as well. Dark, edgy, sinister, psychedelic, droney all while unmistakably being rock music that is definitely 'groove' oriented, The Black Angels sort of are the 'anti-music' to anything poppy or punk. If I had to make contemporary comparisons, groups like The Warlocks & Brian Jonestown Massacre come to mind.
Want to know more..........
http://www.myspace.com/theblackangels (check out the song "Sniper at the Gates Of Heaven")
Need hear more?
The band has a huge 'buzz' on them that hasn't seemed to quite make it here to St. Louis but I expect will shortly. Also, Off Broadway has done some major renovations (the PA is hung from the ceiling---perfect sightlines from anywhere now) so this is the perfect venue to see them in as well as the perfect time.
Doors are at 8:00PM
Music starts at 9:00PM
There are two opening bands, Melody Grove & The Movement (which I know nothing about) and Tone Rodent (featuring Matty from The Electric).
Tickets are $5.00 if purchased at the link below and only $7.00 at the door
July 30, 2006
South City: It's All Happening
In tidying up a column for next month's Sauce Magazine, I just ran across a choice quote that won't quite fit in the article. But the sentiment of new Off Broadway owner Steve Pohlman is enough to make me want to share a thought of his, specifically on his feelings toward South City:
"If it's happening in St. Louis, it's happening down here. People here aren't watching from a safe distance."
Right on! That spririt alone makes me wanna spend a couple dollars at the guy's place, that's for sure.
July 28, 2006
City Bar Reviews
Forgive the bit of shillery, but I've been doing bar reviews for a site called InsideSTL.com for a couple months now. Apparently, interested parties have not yet found themselves tripping over my columns there in large number, so I need to do a bit of URL-pointing today.
In the past couple weeks, I've typed up a ton of city locations, including: Mangia Italiano, the Royale, Atomic Cowboy, Kickers Corner, Throttle, Milo's, Kilroy's, the Great Grizzly Bear, the Shamrock Pub and AMP, among others. Today's is on the Iron Barley.
Here's the URL.
I - and my pocketbook - thank you.
July 27, 2006
Int'l Student Film Fest Coming to WUFS
Straight from da release:
International Student Film Festival Debuts At The Webster Film Series
Eight Countries Represented By Student Filmmakers
St. Louis, Mo. (Aug. 1, 2006) – The first annual FilmGate International Student Film Festival will showcase a wide range of student films representing eight different countries from Aug. 18-20 at the Winifred-Moore Auditorium on Webster University’s campus. Over thirty short films in the categories of narrative, documentary, animation and experimental film will be featured during the three-day festival.
“FilmGate provides a venue for student filmmakers to showcase their talent without being overshadowed by professional filmmakers,” said Festival Director Christopher Abreu. “Unlike most popular films, these works were made uninhibited by studio limitations and mainstream expectations. Therefore, audiences will see and hear exactly what the filmmakers intend.”
Organized by two Webster University students in part with the Webster Film Series, the FilmGate International Student Film Festival curated the program from 120 entries from around the world. The festival serves to expose Midwestern audiences to a collection of international films as well as bring student filmmakers together to share thoughts with one another and the audiences. FilmGate organizers along with a jury of programmers and critics will award the student filmmakers responsible for the top two winning films of each category with donated prizes of production software and DVD films.
Admission is $2.50 for Film Series members and non-Webster students and $4 for the general public, with special 2-day and 3-day passes for increasingly discounted prices. On Fri., Aug. 18, a reception, open to the public, will begin at 7:00 p.m., followed by the opening night’s screening at 8:00 p.m. The next evening will feature a different variety of films beginning at 8:00 p.m., and Sunday’s final screening will begin at 2:00 p.m. Visit http://www.filmgateproductions.com for a detailed schedule and further information.
July 26, 2006
Thomas Goes to the Movies
Very interesting evening at the Tivoli last night, viewing part of the St. Louis Filmmakers Showcase.
During the 5 p.m. showing, three films screened, though only two had a large audience. After a short film on a local nut job called "Block Captain" played, the house was buzzing for "At Large with Mickey McTague," starring the lovable rake of the same name. More cable-access talk show than bio-pic, the McTague piece was odd viewing, in part because of the audience. They spoke, at normal volume, throughout the film. They were disbelieving that places and people they knew were on-screen, despite the evident fact that that's EXACTLY why they were there in the first place. And with a brief intermission after their fave screened, 75% of the audience, including the director, got up and walked out, chattering like monkeys all the way. Now, I've been taught to treat elders like treasures and as I'm approaching their age rapidly, I can dig that sentiment. Unfortunately, old people can be assholes, too. So, there you go.
The film they missed, "Nightwork," was a fascinating, hour-long doc on workers who labor after the sunset. Included were: a married, hotdog-vending team; a female impersonator; a shoe shine guy; and a couple of line cooks at The Buttery. This was a sharp-looking, serious, but never preachy look at the lives of people all around us. For those of us who are absolute night-owls, their existences are known. But the retelling here, by a team-approached project, no less, was just right. Bravo! Here's hoping the doc gets a lot of local life, if not some national play, too.
And, lastly, "A. (anonymous)" played the 7 p.m. show, to a full house. (In the interests of disclosure, I have a small bit in the mockumentary, opposite Ray Brewer.) The film, which screened only at some friends-and-family outings before, was getting its just due in front of a large audience, and it seemed to go over very well, indeed. The 70-minute picture, by expat Dan Bowers, seemed to have hit enough of a nerve with the audience to think that it could very well get some extra screenings at fests around the country; outside of the theatre, "Hooch & Daddy-O" co-writer and co-star Oscar Madrid was saying just that. Another Bravo, then, to Bowers, for his super-low-budget, but technically lovely feature film effort.
Plain Jane Tries to Buy a Sofa
A friend of mine has a great couch. Soft, big, easy to clean, throw pillows, the works. I wanted one just like it and was pleased to learn that posession of said couch required just a few minutes drive to a store called Good Works, located in the Loop.
Wearing my ususal uniform of jeans and a t-shirt, I traipsed down Delmar and into the store, wallet in hand.
I'm a Rambo-type, decisive shopper. I go in, make my move and get out as quickly as possible. Buying a previously identified piece of furniture shouldn't have taken me any longer than the time necessary to fill out delivery information and swipe my Visa.
I was blatantly ignored by three sales associates on a none-too-busy afternoon. Funny, though. When the Hollister and Abercrombie set hit the doors, the sales floor seemed to be a-buzz with helpfulness.
I was willing to wait it out a little bit and even found a bed that struck my fancy. Finally, when I was the only customer remaining in the store, I approached a clerk with a rather tentative, "Excuse me." She didn't even stop moving away while sneering, "Do you have a question?" Gone, she was, by the time I recovered sufficiently to answer in the affirmative. The Trio of Aloofness huddled behind the desk, no doubt lamenting a total absence of sales from the mall-clad, and recently departed, H&M group.
I also left, but in a cloud of indignation. I was there to buy! I didn't just stumble in, killing time while the rest of my party was trying to buy "urban hipster" clothes at Rag-O-Rama!
Their website states:
We Are Under Construction
We are building a window into our
showroom that should be available Aug. 1, 2005 or before.
In the mean time, feel free to:
Visit us at:
Good Works Furniture
6323 Delmar Blvd
St. Louis, MO 63130
Give us a call:
Or send an email:
Thanks, and we look forward to seeing you!
The Good Works Staff
Good Works, bad attitude. Really unfortunate about the couch (and bed).
July 25, 2006
2005 Kick Ass Award Winners, Stephen & Sara Hale, are just two of many folks working on The Art of Food fundraiser, which happens Saturday, July 29th and is presented by Sauce Magazine, Mad Art Gallery, and Schlafly Beer. This event will include a silent auction with artwork by local artists and food stations with St. Louis's top chefs, who will create hors d'oeuvres from the products of local purveyors. The theme will be all things food, from music to video to fashion, and will draw St. Louis foodies and art fans alike. Admission is $10 ($5 for Slow Food Members) and proceeds benefit Slow Food St. Louis.
Last night, I dropped of my piece for the auction--I'm donating a fiber piece from the 2005 Potato Eaters show at the Contemporary Arts Collective of Las Vegas. I got a sneak peek at some of the other art and it looks like you are going to be able to bid on some really nice stuff. Don't miss the opportunity to get some food-inspired art and support a really wonderful cause at the same time. Many local artists are involved, and there will be lots of yum yums of which to partake, so I encourage you to check it out.
Slow Food, founded in 1986, is an international organization whose aim is to protect the pleasures of the table from the homogenization of modern fast food and life. Through a variety of initiatives, it promotes gastronomic culture, develops taste education, conserves agricultural biodiversity and protects traditional foods at risk of extinction.
July 23, 2006
McClelland Mystery Revealed
Here is me with a Schlafly in one hand and another hand on the keyboard saying I hope that you have power, wherever you are. I know that if you are in St. Louis, though, there's only a 66.4 percent chance of that. Our power came on late Friday, and Thom opened the freezer only to find what he described as "a grotesque, fleshy mass with exploded red things all over it." He was ready to scream and run away until he realized it was an exploded Christmas stollen that had sat and sat in our freezer since Xmas because we didn't have a baking pan large enough to accomodate it. The pizzas, too, had grown in size. But I guess monster carbs are one of the less horrible things to find in your three-days-dead freezer after a heat wave.
Anyway, like a lot of folks, we liquidated the contents of the fridge into the trash, so I had no coffee this morning; I zipped down to Bread Co. on Grand to see if I could beg, borrow or steal some java and happened to park behind the power box in the lot, noticed the "Bill McClellan, Motherfuckers!" stencil on it and started to ruminate once again upon its meaning. Googling revealed nothing. And then, serendipity intervened; and I'm an idiot. I guess because I first saw the McClellan stencil during the spate of boneheaded blue spraypaint slogans (BURN DOWN THE PRISONS etc. on Schoemehl pots and houses) I was thinking it was just some sort of political comment on McClellan's choice of tie, or choice of words ... but as I was checking out the Lemp's sched for the next several weeks I discovered that BMMF, as I should've known from day one, is a band.
Don't seek, and you shall find.
July 18, 2006
Christian Herman - once the proprietor of the missed RE:Generation on So. Grand - is photoblogging about bricks, St. Louis bricks:
July 17, 2006
The Ditty Bops
This summer The Ditty Bops, Abby DeWald (vocals, acoustic guitar) and Amanda Barrett (vocals, mandolin, dulcimer) bring their quirky folk pop tunes and luminous vocal harmonies to the masses via a cross country bicycle tour of America in support of cycling, clean air, and their new album "Moon Over the Freeway". Paste Magazine says, "They just might be the strangest, most unlikely musical duo since Hall and Oates." Their music is a blend of folk, bluegrass, jazz, western swing, ragtime and musical theater, with the duo's performances often highlighted by period costumes from the 1920s and puppet shows. NOT TO BE MISSED!
July 14, 2006
James Weber, formerly of The Julia Sets, is debuting a new band, this Monday at South Grand's CBGB. Weber, a contributor to the new print issue of 52ndcity.com writes in with a bit of info on James Will & the Engines of Creation, his latest project:
Well, lesse. I've spent the last 2 years writing some tunes but not doing much of anything with them. About 2 months ago I took some hesitant steps towards putting a rhythm section together, which fell apart 1 practice in. My friend Matt Harnish suckered me into booking a show, and I had no band. Panic set in. These 2 young punk guys got a hold of my demos and out of nowhere emailed me saying, "Hey. We already learned your songs. Let's play this show!" So we got together for a practice or two, things clicked, and now I'm jumping outta my shoes to take these songs up in front of folks. It's at CBGB's with a great band from Canada called Lake Holiday on the 17th of July. Should be a blast (from the past?) and as far as any plans past that, we'll see how this one goes, eh? I'm excited to play in a way I haven't been in years. Hope you make it!
New Web Content
Greetings. New web content is now available at 52ndcity.com, with our web magazine updated for the quarter. Content includes stories, poems and photos from: Andrea Avery, Katherine Bish, Joe Esser, Randy Grim, Chris King, Jane Linders, Christian Saller, Rob Thurman. We're truly pleased to present work by this exceptional group of contributors.
Note, too, that issue #2 of our magazine, "Faith," will be distributed throughout the weekend at our normal distribution points: Hartford Coffee Company, The Royale, Left Bank Books, Subterranean Books, Dunaway Books, Vintage Vinyl and Tension Head; or tonight at Mad Art Gallery. Thanks.
July 12, 2006
How to be a Gentle Citizen
Quick, now: do a good thing for poetry in St. Louis--and be recognized for it--by visitng Aaron Belz' Observable Books site and pledging one dollar (one measly dollar)! to help keep the series afloat next season. It's a quick, painless PayPal transaction (That's what Ebay uses) and when I say, "it's the cost of your morning coffee" I really mean that! Get thee to www.observable.org.
FAITH and Guillotines
Just two days until our superfab Bastille Day Trivia! (Powdered wigs are optional, of course; cake is also optional; outdoor liquor is absolutely restricted).
I thought I would give a run-through of the groovy raffle & door prizes just to get everyone salivating. A partial list, but still:
Gift certificates for Mimi's Subway Bar
Gift certificates for Pasta House
Gift certificates Culpepper's
Some Bob Reuter photo books.
Some Bob Reuter/Thomas Crone photo books.
Some odd STL-related books.
Pageant tix for Reel Big Fish/MxPx;
Tix to the City Museum;
Tixto see the Chihuly exhibit at the Garden;
A '50s b-b-q set, with steer-head salt & pepper shakers and "chunks of meat" markers with little cow heads on them, so you can mark which cuts are roasted rare, medium & well-done, to avoid complaining guests (comes with a three-fer of Maull's);
A very peculiar set of lantern lights, to be given away with a peculiar colored-glass apertif set;
possibly some goth-y severed doll head lantern lights;
A big, brand-new cooler full of many flavors of Vess soda;
A gold mystery box, containing something I guarantee you have never seen in all your days. You want to know what's in the box? Play the raffle!
Once again, the details:
• Date: Friday, July 14, 2006
• Time: Doors 6:30pm / Trivia 7:00pm
• Price: $100 for a table of 10. (Sorry, but no partial payments accepted. Your table must pay in full at the door. Cash/checks only.)
• Place: Mad Art Gallery, 2727 S. 12th Street, St. Louis, MO 63118
• Reservations: Thomas@52ndcity.com or 314-776-6929
• Details: You can bring your own snacks, but there will be a cash bar. (No outside liquor of any kind.)
Of course, this is also the first chance to get your mitts on our next issue, themed "Faith." Authors & artists featured include Patrick Landewe, Andrea Noble, K. Curtis Lyle, Randall Roberts, Eric Erfan Vickers, James Weber, Franklin Jennings, Aaron Belz, Lindsey Durway, Kerry Zimmerman, Jane Linders, Carmelita Nuñez and Andrea Day. Watch for the updated website, too. Viva #52!
Always a sucker for circus arts, I'm super curious about the next production by the The Tin Ceiling Theatre Co., Zombozo, "an original circus/zombie play done in a silent film style" written and scored in-house. It opens this weekend, and since it's billed as a "silent tale of romance, murder, zombie clowns & bloody death," I am even more impressed with the scriptwriter, since I imagine it's subtitles and stage directions.
Yet another reason to amble down to Cherokee...
July 10, 2006
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle? ReStore!
Finally. I'm moving out of south county and into our fair city of St. Louis. One of my goals for the new digs is to use as much recycled material as possible. Some fellow urban dwellers directed me to a great rehabbing resource called the ReStore.
Here's the lowdown, courtesy of the Habitat for Humanity St Louis site.
The ReStore Mission
Our mission is to provide financial support for the St. Louis affiliate of Habitat for Humanity. We enable people to purchase building materials at substantial savings, and serve as an outlet for reusable but otherwise discarded items.
The ReStore Vision
Our vision encompasses a large view of building materials and their role in alleviating poverty housing. The United States has been blessed with a plethora of resources. The volume of home improvement material that is thrown away in this country is staggering. We hope to be the "destination shop" for anyone needing building materials, but especially for those who are attempting to rehabilitate deteriorating housing stock.
Last week's initial shopping trip yielded a full set of solid wood kitchen cabinets in excellent condition, a European style stainless steel double sink, four gallons of acrylic paint and some small harware items.
Grand total? One hundred and seventy five bucks.
I felt guilty paying so little - like I was swindling dedicated volunteers and their worthy cause. I suspect though, as the renovation continues, I'll get over it pretty quickly.
Habitat for Humanity St. Louis
3763 Forest Park Avenue
St. Louis, Missouri 63108
Open Tuesday-Saturday 9-4
I think it was in David Rakoff's book "Fraud" that I read an essay about being from the big city and trying to go hiking in vinyl loafers and thereafter detesting the outdoors. Though a great fan of Rakoff's snarky style, I don't get him at all, at least not when it comes to avoiding nature. Though I rarely go camping, floating, et cetera (I think because this city is blessed with so much green space) I do get a 19th-century sort of gnawing to go out into the wilderness from time to time. But this offer from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources (& I quote)
"Anyone camping at a Missouri state park or historic site campground for at least two consecutive nights on an individual campsite in July will receive a promotional certificate good for a free night of camping at any Missouri state park or historic campground..."
Makes me want to go camping for two consecutive days just to get a good look at this so-called free camping certificate. Is it on parchment? Is there a gold seal affixed to it? Is it signed in calligraphy? Does the watermark feature little trees and deer? My rational brain realizes that it probably looks a lot like a coupon you'd clip out of the Sunday paper, but I like imagining it looking like some sort of royal proclamation. Maybe even folded in thirds, and shut with forest-green sealing wax...
July 06, 2006
Live Les Aaron
Just got this note from Matt @ KYMC radio:
"Les Aaron will be spinning every Friday at Frazers( 1811 Pestalozzi) 9pm-1am. Featuring music past and present from New Music Sunday."
July 05, 2006
Mangia: New Art, Music on Tuesday
This coming Tuesday, July 11, Mangia will host the "Womb Boom Benefit," to raise funds for the costs associated with the preganancy of local musician Angela Ganter. (I have no idea how to truly phrase that line properly; hope that was sufficient and accurate, really!) Playing at Mangia will be Maid Rite and Celia. Donations will be accepted at the door.
Also, photographer David Garcia will be hosting a reception of his work in the space, the first time the artwork will be changed out in the new dining room. Garcia's work is seen on the frontpage of 52nd City currently.
July 04, 2006
Free Candy & Art Opening @ HCC
On Sunday, July 9, the Hartford Community Cafe will host two events.
The first will be an art opening, featuring the works of Genevieve Esson and Craig Downs, who's shown there previously. Their large number of pieces (already hung and currently on display) will be the hook for the reception running from 3-6 on Sunday.
An hour later, Free Candy will be held, with Ann Arbor-bound host Julia Smillie and remaining co-creator Amanda Doyle. Among the guests: local improv kingpin Bill Chott; and Karen Tedesco, who is hailed on the Candy website as a cook of some repute. The event begins at 7 p.m. and early arrival is recommended for those wishing to actually, you know, sit.
July 03, 2006
Thanks to the efforst of famed STL vlogger Bill Steeter, the Vloggercue 2006 will be coming to St. Louis in August. The event will feature a barbecue for local, regaional and national vloggers, as well as a live screening at The Royale. There's a running event update here.
Also, Streeter will begin a twice-monthly vlog screening at the same venue, The Royale, beginning in the next month. Check his site for more info on "Bill Streeter's Media Ditch."