March 30, 2007
Firecracker's For Sale
Next Saturday, the first Saturday of April, the Firecracker Press will be opening its studio doors for a special 12-5 p.m. sale of posters, which have apparently been building up over the winter, with the FP creating a whole slew of new designs for area clubs and other interested parties, enough, in fact, to where the posters are now taking over the shop and Eric Woods and John Vogl have little enough room to work that they'll be offering the pieces at special, spring prices next Saturday, the first Saturday of April.
Warhol's "Chelsea Girls" at PFA
Wow. Talk about a treat.
As someone who's gone through an inexplicable interest on all things Warhol in the past three - ordering all three docs from Netflix, reading "Factory Girl," collecting and wearing outlandish wigs, wait... - I couldn't be more excited by the arrival of "Chelsea Girls," the seldom-seen film by Warhol that essentially launched the American career of Nico, while featuring a host of his Factory Superstars.
On Tuesday, May 1 @ 7:30, the film will be screening at the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts, with the support of Cinema St. Louis. The film will be unspooling in its original, two-projector format in the PFA courtyard.
Damn. I'm nerding out already.
March 29, 2007
The Helenic Cowboy?
Attention late-night readers: 400 Washington University sorority and fraternity members are about to descend on the Atomic Cowboy, for a night of revelry in The Grove. Wow.
Okay, so watching that might not be your bag - and, really, it should be; the people watching of that ilk is quite amazing, as I found out at a Mad Art party a couple years back - but tomorrow, Friday, there's a hip-hop spin, featuring live breakdancing and graf. Two of the four hip-hop pillars, if not mistaken.
(And as not to toss out another post, the move of AMP down the street is actively underway. Looked in the windows of both the old and new sites and both were half-full/half-empty, with no owners in sight. I assume they were at dinner or trapped under a box. At any rate, looked like a weekend soft opening was a distinct, dark-horse possibility.)
March 27, 2007
Fragile Porcelain Manatees
Snatched a little flyer off the Black Bear Bakery counter this past weekend while shopping for bread at Soulard:
DIY Barter & Exchange Festival
Bring your favorite do-it-yourself stuff to exchange, barter or gift, from arts and crafts to 'zines and promises for help.
SATURDAY APRIL 7 10am-3pm
Black Bear Bakery
If you like, you can reserve a table for your DIY: call 773-1985
I'm trying to think if I have anything to bring, objects or promises of help that would appeal to anyone but me. I make good mashed potatoes every third or fourth try, and I have an excess of tiny porcelain animals that I collected out of imported boxes of tea. I'm not sure what the exchange rate is these days for tiny porcelain manatees, though. I'm sure there are lots of folks out there who actually have valuable stuff, or even better, valuable skills. Maybe some method for eighty-sixing some of those tedious Boomer-friendly shows from Channel 9?
March 25, 2007
Oh My: The Moody Blues
A few months ago, after nipping my cable subscription, I knew that television would change for me. With the disappearance of Channel 30 into a void of scratches and waves, my five stations provide only a reasonable amount of entertainment any given week. And when Channel 9 goes into Pledge Drive mode, that number drops by a solid one. Being driven close to madness by this week's dose of the Moody Blues, I feel as if 9's programming department's gone insane, as well, with the constant rebroadcasts of the same, dated Moody's concert; other years have seen a remarkable uptick in showings of Celtic Woman or Pink Floyd concerts or lectures by Wayne Dyer and Suze Orman.
Is anyone aware of why KETC goes this route so, so often? In fact, I don't begrudge the station the odd pledge drive, but this tendency to repeat, repeat, repeat the same small number of stock broadcasts is nothing short of painful. A rationale here? Please? Anyone?
I mean, they're on the right now... The MOODY BLUES. AIGHEEE!
March 21, 2007
The Bird Hoverer
I am pleased as punch to announce that Aaron Belz's new book, The Bird Hoverer, is officially OUT and available through the BlazeVox books site (and if you wait a fortnight, at Left Bank books). I saw Aaron last weekend at the Observable St. Pat's reading at the Royale, where he presented me with my own shiny (it is shiny!) copy of the book, whose cover bears an intensely colorful and beautiful painting by Conrad Bakker. Baker painted a painting of a book cover, if that makes sense - that is, the title and Aaron's name are painted, rather than typeset in a True Type font. The book is broken into two sections, "Among Birds" and "The Names of the Lost." If you've ever heard Aaron read "2005 is a Good Year for Alec Baldwin," and thought, "damn, I wish I had a copy of that poem," now you can have a copy of that poem. And many, many others of the same caliber.
March 20, 2007
Events: SOUND release and fundraiser
Sent this to the blog a couple days ago and - lo! - the entry's been whacked from the record. So sad.
The needed details on two upcoming events:
SOUND release event:
Saturday, April 14, The Royale, 3132 S. Kingshighway
4 - 7 p.m., free, CDs on sale for $8
SOUND/52nd City fundraiser:
Sunday, April 1, Mad Art Gallery, 2727 S. 12th
5 - 8 p.m., $5 cover/$10 with issue
Details for both on the main site: www.52ndcity.com.
AARG's Second Season Announced
For some reason, I've not been to a bout. Perhaps that will change in 2007. Perhaps. Here's info from the AARGs.
St. Louis – March 20, 2007 - The Arch Rival Roller Girls announced today their 2007 season. Local league bouts (games) will again be held at All American Sports Mall in South St. Louis County.
Season Two, scheduled to kick off May 26th, will consist of 7 monthly events, concluding with league championships in November. The league is also excited to announce the expansion to 3 local teams, the M-80s, the Smashinistas, and the Stunt Devils.
Saturday May 26th - 7:30pm; M-80s vs. Stunt Devils
Saturday June 23rd - 7:30pm; Stunt Devils vs. Smashinistas
Saturday July 21st - 7:30pm; Smashinistas vs. M-80s
Saturday August 11th - 7:30pm; M-80s vs. Stunt Devils
Saturday September 8th - 7:30pm;Stunt Devils vs. Smashinistas
Saturday October 27th - 8:00pm; Smashinistas vs. M'80's
Saturday November 24th - 7:30 pm; Championship Bout
Tickets will go on sale April 16th at Fifi’s on Delmar in the Loop, Evermore Tattoo Gallery in Edwardsville, and online at www.archrivalrollergirls.com. Individual games can be purchased for $12 in advance or $15 at the door on the day of event. Season tickets can also be purchased for just $72 through May 25th.
After parties will follow each event upstairs in the bar at All American, allowing fans, friends and press to meet and mingle with the rollergirls.
Media requesting additional information, interviews, press access on game day or invites to selected private practices are asked to contact Michelle Cassidy (aka EnYa Nightmare) at 314-606-0298 or by email at email@example.com.
The Arch Rival Roller Girls, LLC (ARRG) is Saint Louis ' all-female flat-track roller derby league dedicated to promoting and fostering the sport of women's flat-track roller derby by facilitating the development of athletic ability, sportswomanship, and goodwill among the skaters and fans. Formed in Fall 2005, the league is skater owned and operated with 60 active skaters comprising 3 local teams. ARRG is one of almost 200 such leagues now in existence or in formation across the United States , Canada , Europe , and Australia .
For more information visit
March 14, 2007
KOKO, the restaurant replacing Café Ivanhoe at 3257 Ivanhoe, stands for “Knock-Out” food, according to the server who helped us on our first visit. I’ve had the pleasure of dining in this cozy hot spot twice in the last month. Both times the service has been superb. I’m keeping my food review short and sweet. As my friend Hubert used to say, “Fried chicken so good it’ll make you slap your mamma.”
March 13, 2007
For April Fool's Day: #1
We are going to be telling you about a fabulous, if not fantabulous, event sponsored and organized (and benefitting) 52nd City, oh, tomorrow, or so. But we also want to note that a pretty interesting event is taking place at White Flag Projects the same evening. Once we roll out the absolutely special details on the other event, you'll see that both can be hit the next evening.
But enough prefacing. Here're details on the WFP event:
Grandpa's Ghost with James Fotopoulos
Christabel followed by The Prairie Drone Refractions
April, 1 2007 at White Flag Projects
4568 Manchester, St. Louis, Missouri 63110
Cost : FREE
A unique audio/visual immersion featuring the premier St. Louis screening of Fotopoulos' film Christabel (based on the poem by Samuel Taylor Coleridge and previously seen only has part of his exhibit at the 2004 Whitney Biennial), followed by the first St. Louis performance in 3½ years from Grandpa's Ghost (whose line-up for this event features Bill Emerson, Jack Petracek, and Eric Hall; plus live telephone contributions from Ben Hanna calling in from NYC) joined by new video works from Fotopoulos created especially for this event. In The Prairie Drone Refractions, a performance/installation concept designed by Hall, the group will perform four 15 minute movements. Each will be recorded then played back during the following movements through a different pair of speakers. By the final movement, eight circularly-arranged speakers will broadcast all four layers simultaneously. Ultimately, this will construct an over-dubbed, multi-channel, surround-sound work exploring texture, harmonics, poly-rhythm, and the acoustic character of the space itself.
Christabel is now available on DVD as released by Phosphorus Recordings.
Checkout www.phosphorusrecordings.com for other releases by James Fotopolous, Grandpa's Ghost, Tobi Parks, & others.
www.grandpasghost.com / www.jamesfotopoulos.com
DJs @ Pop's Blue Moon
For years, Pop's Blue Moon has been a haunt I enjoy hitting before the crowd actually rolls in for the evening. Since jam bands and bluegrass aren't my particular cups of tea, I tend to enjoy a sip at the Moon in late-afternoon, often driven to drink by another stellar class at WU. At that time, the sun's pouring through the glass block front walls and the whole room takes on a wonderful glow.
All that said, I wound up there on a recent Monday and a DJ going by J. Public was at a rig that included two turntables, a laptop, a mic and surely much more. The first set was chilled-out dub reggae, which completely works in the space; the second was a much harder, drum-and-bass set, which was odd in the DJ and his small crew enjoyed a breath of... fresh air, let's say, over a long, mid-set break. One would've thought the chill tracks would've come after, rather than before the... fresh air, but that's just me.
I've only recently ducked out of the cave long enough to hear about this "munny phenomenon" that's sweeping the country. Since Star Clipper is kind enough to sell our mags and since we want to jump on the munny bandwagon (who doesn't?), hears some munny news from our pals in University City:
You asked and we listened! By popular demand, Star Clipper will be hosting the second St. Louis MUNNY Show on Friday, May 18th.
ARTISTS: Pieces eligible for exhibition must be fully decorated MUNNY’s, QEE’s or other community-recognized do-it yourself blank vinyl toy. The new MUNNY v.3 is available now at Star Clipper as well as the 8" TREXI's!
FANS: Last year's event was amazing and this year's will be even more extraordinary as we solicit custom vinyls from artists nationwide! The blind figure swap kicks off at 6 PM (check out our Events page for details) and the Show starts at 7.
Artist applications are due April 15, 2007.
March 11, 2007
Cara Kahn's Nightmare
I'd confess to bad problem, an addiction, really, to reality television. But that'd only be half the story. Instead, I'm addicted to really, really bad reality television. For example, while I've never seen ratings giant "Survivor," I watched the entire, 10-episode run of "Filthy Rich Cattle Drive." Shameful, this. Just shameful.
I'm also copping to an addiction to magazines and one of my favorites is Topic. It's a quarterly, themed magazine (love the concept!) about various and sundry... topics. The current edition is Games, and one of the pieces in the mag is "Reality Check" by Cara Kahn. You may remember her as a cast member on "The Real World: Chicago," which ran earlier this decade on MTV. I believe that version was one of the last RW's I watched, in total, and Cara was a memorable "character," as she herself puts in.
As a read, it's pretty enjoyable, confirming many of the suspicions that viewers have about reality programming, including the story-shaping and intentionally-induced stress on cast. Plus a few nuggets, like: the fact that cast members aren't even able to control the lights in the house; and the confessional interviews can last upwards of eight-hours. (No wonder there're so many catty comments and tears.) You'll definitely gain at least a touch of sympathy for the author after reading this one, esp. since she's declined to part of the never-ending parade of spin-off "challenges" and reunions that MTV orchestrates.
At any rate, if you like mags, try Topic. Starting with this issue. Read a little more and you'll watch the tube a little less.
March 10, 2007
After a quick run-in with co-proprietor Tim Rakel earlier this evening, it appears that Typo, the internet-free coffeeshop at the corner of Compton and Cherokee, is no longer. The venue had been attached to the Tin Ceiling Theatre, both rooms was the core of the old Way Out Club. The business, open even last weekend, has poured its last cup, so for those who made their way to quirky space, don't go looking for a last sit in the comfy couches.
An Urge Summer?
A certain someone close to a particular member of The Urge - vague enough? - says that the late, lamented group will: certainly release a 20th anniversary DVD this summer; likely play a series of shows around the Midwest; and possibly entertain the notion of recording some new material.
Here's hoping. Miss those shows, I do.
Tonight: Poetry on Film
Just a quick note on the fly between hither and yon (that is, buying Dalmation Mollys at Pet Connections and eating food at the Shangri-La) on an event tonight at Winnie Moore Auditorium, a fundraiser for Poetry Scores, formerlly Hoobellatoo, an org led by our own fantastic regular contributor, Chris King. And I quote from the press release, because I can't say it better:
The new local arts org Poetry Scores and the Webster University Film Series are hosting a benefit for the local film production "Blind Cat Black" at 8 p.m. this Saturday, March 10 in the Winifred Moore Auditorium, 470 East Lockwood on the campus of Webster U. Suggested donation is $5, but you can pay more or indeed nothing at all; we will still let you in. Though the Moore Auditorium is dry as a bone, an afterparty will follow at The Schlafly Bottleworks, 7260 Southwest Avenue in Maplewood. At the afterparty, a cash bar will flow, snacks will be outspread and we will screen in a loop all of the footage for the film we have shot thus far.
We are billing "Blind Cat Black" as "surrealist sexy hip-hop zombie cinema from St. Louis," which pretty much sums it up. The film is being shot to the existing musical score to an epic modern Turkish poem about the Istanbul underworld. It stars local rapper Toyy Davis and features a large supporting cast of local actors, freaks and zombies, including Jason Wallace Triefenbach, Don Erickson, Ray Brewer, K. Curtis Lyle, Brad Young and many more. It is directed by amateur me, Chris King, shot by Chizmo and edited by Aaron AuBuchon. A little more info and various stills are at myspace.com/blindcatblack.
In the auditorium, we will screen rough cuts of select scenes from the film, and the director will spiel about the fine art of filming a love scene on top of a pile of zombies. Though we will let all of our naked footage roll at the Bottleworks, most of the benefit event will be dominated by the local musical performance group SHed SHot, which will premier its own short film, "Legendary Sand," and lead a live musical score to the German Expressionist silent film classic "The
Cabinet of Dr. Caligari." Check out SHed SHot at myspace.com/shedshot.
Saturday, March 10, 8 p.m
"Legendary Sand" & "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari"
With live musical score by SHed SHot
Suggested donation is $5
March 08, 2007
Show Me Yours!
Seeing art being made can be mesmerizing, entertaining, interesting and just plain fun. (Note the whopping success of Wall Ball).
Next weekend you can see our good friend and the printer of our magazine covers, Eric Woods of Firecracker Press, cranking out woodcuts at Mad Art Gallery. New York’s Cannonball Press returns to St. Louis and Eric will be representing the locals, doing a demonstration of sorts. “I figure it'll be kind of like a DJ spinning records but instead or turning out jams we'll be turning out prints,” he says.
- The show is from 7-11pm next Friday, March 16th.
- Maid Rite performs from 8-11pm.
- Limited-edition $20 prints too!
- More info here.
March 07, 2007
Tommorow Night's Observable Reading: "one of the best ever. No kidding."
Those words - that this will be one of the best Observable Readings ever - come from the curator himself, Mr. Aaron Belz, who's just on the threshold of becoming DOCTOR Belz (doctor of poetry, that is). So listen up, kids! This trio consists of one Bostonian and two professors from Central Missouri State in Warrensburg (where I still have kin. And I have to say, Warrensburg seems like a tough place to be a poet, though I've never spent more than a weekend there).
Rather than list their not-unconsiderable accomplishments, I'll cut and paste some snips from poems that Aaron forwarded my way, which may say more than a list of publication credits ever could ... though if you'd like to see that impressive information it is, as always, at Observable.org. In addition to the poetry, there will be live music by Tony and Patty Marshall.
A steady hail of ink-columns on mind's face-
paper: bilaterally symmetrical & small, double
-taken (from across the room) as
What I'll allow myself to beleive is admittedly
not much--the faint mirror of a blank wall,
the heart ringing with another's words
like the sympathetic vibration of a bell--.
The children are running across the field, each
Each on his or her spindly legs.
The field's a good field.
THE PERTINENT DETAILS:
March 8, 2007
Schalfly Bottleworks, 7260 Southwest, in lovely Maplewood
8 PM - FREE
March 04, 2007
Tension Head: R.I.P.
On a weekend in which I spent a chunk of both time than money on records - with visits to Vintage Vinyl, Record Exchange and the Czech Center's STL Record Show - I was foiled on one attempt.
Dropping by the tiny storefront that housed Cherokee's Tension Head, I noticed some partly-drawn blinds and a complete lack of stock in the magazine section. That, of course, boded ill for the rest of the store, which was 90% empty, based on a peep through the front glass.
We enjoyed Sherri Ford's attempts at bringing a "boutique-style" record store to the block, her commitment to the punk/metal scene and her consistent advocacy for the block. Maybe the wrong concept at the wrong time in the wrong stretch of street... who can say?
We pause to remember one of our past distributors, then, and wish Ford well in her next business endeavour. As well as hoping an interesting concept finds its way into the little space T.H. called home.
March 01, 2007
Jet Lag Online
Only hours ago, I posted about mags, thinking "hmm, something's slipping my mind." Well, it was noting that the late, lamented STL music zine "Jet Lag" is starting to go into the online form. Ol' pal Daniel Durchholz wrote about this for the P-D and the results are starting to show at: www.jetlagmag.net.
By hook, crook, theft, purhase, or fogotten borrowing, I managed to secure a bunch of these over the years, including two of of the first five editions, which are now online.
Amazing to look back on these and the world that was zine publishing in the 1980s. All power to this format, but I miss the old one.
Mags on the Move
The most-recent edition of the St. Louis Journalism Review - labeled for February, but coming out now - is eye-opening for two reasons. One, it's the last one run under the auspices of Webster University, a story that's been playing out over the past year-and-change. More notably, the publication's gotten a facelift, with (for SJR, certainly) a radical redesign, the first for the venerable publication in nearly a decade.
And Boots Contemporary Art - which I finally visited this past weekend; a quirky stop, at that - is launching its "Boot Print" mag, both online and in print. Here's the story, direct from the source:
Boot Print Volume 1 | Issue 1 Available On-line Now
Early in 2006, Boots Contemporary Art Space launched the idea of Boot Print, a publication dedicated to contemporary art and published by artists, that would serve as a non-commercial publication of cogitations, initiatives and information. Boots Contemporary Art Space is now proud to present the inaugural Issue of Boot Print. Volume 1, Issue 1 covers Boots exhibitions and happenings; looks at five different models of artist-run spaces in Mexico, Iceland, Turkey, and the United States; discusses forms of arts publishing and distribution; features Adelheid Mers insightful diagrammatic chronicle alongside Vilem Flusser's Crisis of Linearity (1988), the first translation into English; and last, speaks with established curatorial voices about their practice, the local and international art scene, as well as the debutant Destroy Athens Biennial.
Boot Print will reach 2000 art professionals in print form via postal mail in the United States and abroad; 3000 via email in its electronic form. It will be available at Boots Contemporary Art Space and can be downloaded here and from the Boots Contemporary Art Space website, www.bootsart.com.
Record Show: Sunday
Great deals on cheap vinyl. Even better people-watching. An occaisional "Pretzels, fifty cents... beer... soda pop," announced over the PA.
The five-times-annually St. Louis Record and CD Show runs this Sunday at the American Czech Center, 4690 Lansdowne @ Kingshighway, from roughly 10 a.m.-4 p.m. A mere $2.50 at the door, $1.50 with one of the timeless green cards you can spot around town.
A classic STL gathering, this.
Candles in the Sun: Tennesse Williams Comes Home
Right around Fat Tuesday, Channel 9 ran a special on New Orleans. I tuned in halfway, and was most curious to see that a huge chunk of the narrative was dedicated to St. Louis' own Tom Williams, better known to the world as Tennesse. I feel a bit of kinship with Mr. Williams, as he and I both spent some time clerking at a local shoe company which I'll leave unnamed; anyhow, I've always had a certain affection for his work, which has only been boosted by living here in St. Louis where he grew up. Though I don't know if I can ever go back and read "The Glass Menagerie" after getting married in the Jewel Box (I had much better luck with gentleman callers than poor Laura).
To celebrate the 70th anniversary of the first full-length production of a Williams play, the theatre department up at Urbana-Champaign is coming to town to do a staged reading of "Candles in the Sun" at the West End building, which was
known as the Wednesday club back in TW's day, where the play was first staged in 1937. The $10 admission goes to The Learning Center; you can get more info by dialing 314.361.1908. I should mention that this event was posted at the Left Bank Books site ... and that they have some other zingers coming up on their calendar, including appearances by Jonathan Lethem and Nikki Giovanni.