May 31, 2008
Best of Idaho Avenue Film Fest
Looks like it's tonight, according to organizer Brian Spath. By the by, he's looking for short films for the next round of showings this fall. Here's the info on tonight's Feasting Fox screening:
I just wanted to send a quick note to let you know that the Idaho Avenue Film Festival is holding a best of screening tonight at the Feasting Fox in conjunction with FrontYard Features. The screening will start closer to 9 pm (since it will be darker then) and the weather should be perfect! Remember to bring a lawn chair with you and be prepared to laugh!
May 30, 2008
On June 10, Sonic Youth will release a best-of album to be sold exclusively at Starbucks. The band recorded one new song for the album and let their celebrity pals pick the rest of the tracks that appear on the comp.:
Bull in the Heather (selected by Catherine Keener)
Sugar Kane (Beck)
100% (Mike D)
Kool Thing (Radiohead)
Disappearer (Portia De Rossi )
Superstar (Diablo Cody)
Stones (Allison Anders)
Tuff Gnarl (Dave Eggers and Mike Watt)
Teenage Riot (Eddie Vedder)
Shadow of a Doubt (Michelle Williams)
Rain on Tin (Flea)
Tom Violence (Gus Van Zant)
Mary-Christ (David Cross)
World Looks Red (Chloe Sevigny)
Expressway to Yr Skull (Flaming Lips)
Slow Revolution (new track)
Steve Albini was right when he said, "Breaking up is an idea that doesn't occur to enough bands."
I bought "Sister" by Sonic Youth when I was 14; the album was released in 1987, a year after I was born. But in the end, the years between "Sister's" release and the beginning of my adolescence didn't matter at all. I loved every song on that album (some, like Lee Ranaldo's 'Pipeline/Kill Time,' a little less than others) and, using the money my parents gave me to buy lunch, quickly added the rest of Sonic Youth's discography to my record collection. I even owned Sonic Youth videos (Goo and 1991: The Year Punk Broke) and biographies, and I didn't believe Melody Maker writer Everett True when he called the members of Sonic Youth "a bunch of middle-age, middle-class jerk-offs."
But it's 2008, and Sonic Youth just doesn't know when to quit. I'm not bothered by the fact that every single member of the band is old enough to be my parent. (Ranaldo's son Coady just graduated from Washington University.) I'm bothered that a once great band, a band whose albums were monumentally important to me, has spent the last ten years creating albums that are the audio equivalents of tranquilizers: 2002's "Murray Street," 2004's "Sonic Nurse" and 2006's "Rather Ripped."
And when Sonic Youth realized its new material wasn't quite hacking it, the band dug into its vaults and began reissuing old albums, including 1988's "Daydream Nation" and 1992's "Dirty." This seems exploitative. Why would anyone be interested in paying $17 for a digitally-remastered copy of an album they already own and love in its original format? When I heard last summer that Sonic Youth would be touring and playing "Daydream Nation" in its entirety, I was full of scorn. Watching Sonic Youth rehash Daydream Nation in 2007 would be like watching a Civil War reenactment! In an article for the Chicago Reader, music writer Jessica Hopper contends, " ... it seems incredibly self-serving for Sonic Youth to be pimping their past triumphs ... We don't dare point out that they're working the underground the way a washed-up one-hit wonder works the state-fair circuit."
Steve Albini was right, and maybe you don't think Steve Albini's too credible, because you remember far back enough to know that he was the audio engineer for Bush's "Razorblade Suitcase." That's pretty embarrassing, but then again so is every single track on "Rather Ripped."
May 29, 2008
Poetry Scores Experiential Auction: Postponed
For those of you (bless you) who purchased a copy of our newest issue, SEXY, you may have noted that in the back - yes, with the ads - there was a notice for something called the "Experiential Auction," a fundraiser for Poetry Scores (who I also work with, FYI). Due to all kinds of factors, we're now bumping that event from June 1 to September, hard date TBA soon - always good to spend a breezy Sunday on the patio at Atomic Cowboy, but you won't have a chance to bid on experiences until the fall. So if you have June 1 in your Month-at-glance naugahyde calendar, scratch that out for Sunday. We'll keep you posted on the date in September. Namaste!
Also want to take this chance to note: it's only been a week or so with DSL after moving (and houseguests mixed up in there somewhere) so more poetry posts coming soon from yours truly.
May 28, 2008
Revisiting the Mansion
The first piece that I'd written for the print edition of 52nd City was a look at my inability to access the Mansion Motel, a beast of a building in North City, at Bulwer and Gano. Recently, though the space has been vacated and business has (mostly) ceased at the hourly motel.
Over at STLStreets, a video tour has been posted. It's kinda wack. Enjoy.
May 27, 2008
Firecracker Officially Open
Our main man, Eric Woods at Firecracker Press, sends along word that his already up-and-running new location will be given the official baptism in early June. We'd encourage you to go and to drop into Apop Records, just across the street, while on the block.
GRAND OPENING - Show and Sale
FRIDAY - JUNE 6th from 6-10pm
The Firecracker Press recently moved! We've expanded our letterpress print studio and added a spacious retail shop. Please join us for our Grand Opening show and sale.
- Press demos
- New posters and artwork for sale
- Music by MAID RITE
- and tons more.
Make a night of it! There are shows and openings at Fort Gondo, Snowflake, Typo, PHD, and Boots not to mention all the great food and funky good times that Cherokee Street has to offer.
The Firecracker Press
2838 Cherokee St.
Wente/KWMU in Current
At least one writer here at the ol' 52nd City office is fascinated by the continuing discussions about the role of station topper Patty Wente of KWMU. A national publication covering public TV and radio stations - did you know such an animal existed? - has weighed in on the subject. And we have a link to that "Current" piece right here.
May 26, 2008
Summer reading list
I promise this isn’t one of those pretentious reading lists where I pretend to enjoy — or even understand — Kafka and Sartre. Rather, it’s a documented effort not to be one of those shitty adults who still lists Lois Lowry’s The Giver as her favorite book. This summer I’m reading:
Literal Madness by Kathy Acker
I read Acker’s Blood and Guts in High School over winter vacation and liked it so much that when I later stumbled upon a scrawl of bathroom graffiti proclaiming: “Joseph Campbell gave me hope, and now I have been saved,” I scratched out “Joseph Campbell” and wrote “Kathy Acker.” Literal Madness is a collection of three of Acker’s novels, and I’m still plodding through the first, Kathy Goes to Haiti.
Neon Wilderness by Nelson Algren
My only reason for wanting to read this book is that Windy City music maven Jessica Hopper recommended it several times in her Punk Planet column.
All the required readings from my friend Jenn’s women’s studies class
So far, I’ve made it through Laurie Notaro’s The Idiot Girls’ Action-Adventure Club and Koren Zalickas’ Smashed: Stories of a Drunken Girlhood. I really liked the former. Notaro, a Phoenix humor columnist, reminds me of David Sedaris, and the two undoubtedly function on the same level of estrogen. Meanwhile, Zalickas’ book wasn’t nearly as much fun — probably due to the subject matter with which it dealt. Somewhere around page 250, I noticed the book begin to drag. Burdened with an attention span rivaling a gnat’s, I’ve always been drawn to Ramones songs and novellas, and Zalickas’ determination to recount every one of her benders started to irk me. Still, reading Zalickas’ account of her struggle with booze is better than reading Elizabeth Wurtzel’s memoirs, but then what isn’t? Up next is what promises to be a riveting read: a book called Women and Workplace Discrimination.
Blogger Roundtable on Topic A Tonight
From 7:30 - 8:00 p.m., Topic A is dedicated to a local blogger roundtable. This is notable not only for the content, but for the fact that we found enough people to take time out from the BBQ rounds to take part. In the mix is yours truly, special guest co-host Maddie Earnest of the Local Harvest Dish, Bill Streeter of the Lofisessions and Lofistl and Michael R. Allen of the Ecology of Absence. Tune in, or find yourself a podcast in coming days.
May 25, 2008
Soldier's Memorial : 9 p.m. : Rib America Fest
Rain, rain go away,
'Cause Night Ranger's in town today.
May 24, 2008
Building Foundation Bennie Tonight
Joe Thebeau of Finn's Motel sends along word of a show that we should've noted days ago. It's the "Get on the Grid" bennie for the Building Arts Foundation and it'll allow for power to be turned on at the Building Museum, in our second-favorite East Side locale, Sauget. So, better late than never:
Sat May 24
Doors @ 7 (Matt and I around 7:30-8)
4065 Shaw at Truman
The Red Headed Strangers
Joe/Matt of Finn's Motel
Special guest TBA
May 23, 2008
We're hearing that the Nukes will be in town later this summer, with the following lineup: vocals, Packy Reynolds; bass, Chuck Lindo; guitarist, Mike Eisenbeis; and drums, John Pessoni. The LucaBrasi/ex-Urge skinsman is the only member of the group to not hail from the "classic" Nukes lineup of yore. Look for a Duck Room date with LucaBrasi in support.
I am wadding up paper right now, in anticipation of this one.
May 22, 2008
Gondolfi : Champaign : Sunday!
Galen Gondolfi tipped us to an amazing show in Champaign this weekend. For those who remember these sorts of things, Champaign cranked out an inordinate amount of quality rock bands in the early/mid-'90s and a bunch of them are reuniting this holiday weekend. More than a few of these groups were regulars at Cicero's, the Side Door and other great rock clubs of STL lore. I am sorely tempted by this one!
The details, compliments of G-squared:
In short, this Sunday, May 25, various bands on Champaign's Mud/Parasol label will be reuniting with their original line-ups. Tix are $10 and the show is expected to sell out. Ticket purchasers are pilgrimaging from NYC, Boston, LA and London. Some of the bands have myspace pages; Parasol also has a website as does The Highdive - the club hosting the show.
Driver Has No Cash
Corndolly (has members residing in Brooklyn and SF; Matt Friedberger of the Fiery Furnaces was their sole male member)
Dick Justice (I drummed for this band, the bass player Rob Arrol now also resides in St. Louis. The myspace page is very embarrassing - a bit over the top. We were named after the Dick Justice of the University of Illinois' Senate Committee on Judiciary Affairs - no joke. He will actually introduce us that night. The last time we played St. Louis was at the Gargoyle with Arcwelder in 1992 or so. We opened for Pavement, Yo La Tengo and Joan Jett back in the day. We later put material out on Thick Records out of Chicago).
Moon Seven Times (released material on Roadrunner)
Mother/Menthol (eventually signed to Capitol Records)
Honcho Overload (included members of Hum who eventually signed to MCA)
Showtime is 8:00 pm.
Sorry, no Judge Nothing.
Geriatrics in the Hall
On Tuesday night, I took a break from making nonfat lattes for ungrateful Claytonites and trekked to The Pageant to see Canadian comedy troupe Kids in the Hall. I’ve been a Kids in the Hall enthusiast since middle school — a time when the group’s eponymously titled show was in syndication on Comedy Central and teenagers swathed their legs in generous folds of denim bearing names like JNCO and KikWear. Today, Comedy Central airs four hour-long blocks of “Mind of Mencia,” a show as banal as original-flavored oatmeal, and all the hip kids have traded their ultra wide-legged JNCOs for skinny jeans. What with the shifts in Comedy Central’s programming and the circumference of pant legs, I wondered if the Kids in the Hall had changed too. For one thing, the Kids in the Hall aren’t really kids anymore. In fact, their composite age is 235, and they have been on hiatus since 2002. I had my misgivings, but that didn’t keep me form requesting off work, plunking down $25 for a ticket and attempting to sneak into The Pageant’s VIP section. (I was booted from the VIP area when a flashlight-toting usher reviewed my row’s tickets and discovered mine was standing room-only. I could appreciate the irony of being made to leave the section the same way an unruly kid is asked to leave class and sit in the hall.) In the end, it didn’t matter if I sat, stood or maintained a painful stress position. Showing no signs of their age, the Kids in the Hall delivered a spirited, two-hour sketch comedy routine, with Bruce McCullough and Scott Thompson reprising their roles as the Cathys (two white collar women who prattle about inconsequentials, like their most recent diets and favorite Yankee Candle scents, while performing clerical work) and Mark McKinney redeeming himself for that awful cameo in “Spice World.” Okay, Kevin McDonald’s knee did give out during the first skit, but otherwise, the Kids performed tirelessly. Filing out of The Pageant, humming the Kids in the Hall theme song under my breath, my face ached from smiling widely.
May 21, 2008
Okay, somebody just sent a strange note to my flickr page, referencing Ed Boxx and the possibility that he was killed while painting:
Has anyone seen/heard/read something about this, anywhere?
I've been wanting to interview this cat for forever.
Just had this sent to me:
as soon as i got on the st louis graffiti fourm at bombingscience.com
this is the message i see, it diddnet really get into much detail but
here it is
"R.I.P. ED BOXX!!!!
He was stabbed and shot while painting on the east side. post pics of
one of the best writers to come outta the lou.
then the next message i saw confirming that one...
"True story. cristo was with him and just got out the hospital. dude
got shot in the leg and neck . but will be alright. except for seein his
homie get shot in front of him. shits fucked up.
If we can't claim Lumberyard as our sister publication - it's published by Eric Woods of Firecracker Press and his sister Jen Woods, of Sarabande Books and a contributor to 52nd - we can claim it as at least a cousin.
So with cousinly love, we note that the publication's gotta a nice chunk of play recently, at Luna Park Review. Click the link, yo.
May 20, 2008
Incisors inside her
Why, why is "Teeth" not playing anywhere in St. Louis? Sure, the trailer looks kind of bleak. But after reading an NME review that lauds the film as a "vagina dentata tragicomedy/teen gross-out vehicle with a dim/grim view of patriarchy and shades of Watersesque camp and 'Donnie Darko' suburban-magic realism," I called both the Tivoli and the Hi-Pointe and pleaded with them to screen it. Meanwhile, the "Sex and the City" movie, a bona fide chick flick sure to make Andrea Dworkin turn in her grave like a rotisserie chicken, will hit theaters nationwide on May 30.
P.S. I'm posting from the Kingshighway Library, where a security guard just busted me for eating an apple. He appeared from nowhere and squatted to make eye contact with me: "Go ahead and finish your apple, but you can't eat in the library. It's cool if you wanta drink water, but when there's food in the library, the librarians get shit, and I catch heat too." Aw, the classic good cop with a cuss thrown in, so I don't mistake him for "the man." He's just a guy doing his job, and his job is sneaking up on people and their apples.
May 18, 2008
LucaBrasi Video Shoot:
A week ago, LucaBrasi played the Lucas School House on a bill with Fragile Porcelain Mice. This coming week, they'll be back at the venue for a video shoot on Wednesday, May 21. Though the event's not listed on the Lucas site, the group is looking to fill the room for obvious purposes. Matt McInerney fills us in on the details:
52nd City: Give me the basics about this video shoot: the song, the hours you need people on set, the activity you'd imagine taking place in the room, etc..
McInerney: We will be letting folks in at 7 p.m. and shooting soon after. Every one who comes in gets a screen printed poster commemorating the shoot (courtesy of John Vogl at the Bungaloo) and a free LucaBrasi CD. It will be about an hour or two of shooting with the crowd and the bar will be open for business. It's your typical 'band in a rock club' shoot but there will be a funky technology used in the editing phase. It's mysterious and magical and I have no idea how it works. The great news is that after the shoot, we will hang out, drink more than we should on a Wednesday and have some fun.
52nd City: Why the Lucas School House?
McInerney: David Von Allman, who is the brain child of this video, scouted a bunch of joints around town to find what was in his head. He needed to be able to shoot from all 3 sides of the stage, which I believe was the number one issue... Lucas does the job.
52nd City: Tell me about the production company working on this event. They sounds interesting, esp. since they have multiple horror films coming up. How does the form of music video fit into their approach?
McInerney: It’s called Drive Productions and they are right here in St. Louis. You're right – they have a couple of horror flicks in the works, have a movie called "Say Goodnight" in the can and now our video. We fit right in there, Tom, as you can plainly see. Actually, David has a load of things swirling around in his head which is good. Just last week, when we played a show with Fragile Porcelain Mice, David, Karl Grable and I kicked around some Kazaam 2 and White Shadow remake possibilities for major motion picture productions... all in a night's work, Tom.
52nd City: What are the goals and expectations for this video? In the post-MTV-as-music-player age, I'm intrigued with how people want their work seen.
McInerney: Dunno, really. It's more about getting Drive a nice, final video for their reel while we have something nice to represent the band on YouTube and Myspace. It's all YouTube and Myspace these days, you know...
52nd City: Do St. Louisans still love the rock?
McInerney: It seems so. People have been quite receptive when they happen upon us. We aren't exactly the lightning rod for all things rock in the STL, but the response to what we've been doing has been great. We write the songs we love to play and people respond positively. Can’t get better than that.
52nd City: What's new with your Mammal clothing concern?
McInerney: It's been sleeping as of late, but thank you for asking. My wife Marie and I have been talking about a possible late summer tee shirt show at some point. The summer seems to bring out the tees and the events and we plan to make something kick ass for late summer... but I have no details thus far... except that we plan for it to be completely kick ass! So watch out St. Louis!! Kick ass-ness is coming your way!!!
May 17, 2008
SBAC Wrestling: Nation-Wide
Two friends - one local, one expat - have sent along word of the SBAC being featured on America Public Radio's "Weekend America," thanks to KWMU's Adam Allington. You can find audio, text and video here.
Clemens Chapel: Collapse
Sad news and commentary on the Clemens House Chapel collapse over at Curious Feet.
Jaime Lees is online here.
May 16, 2008
STLAS: Next Season Announced
The 2008/09 season of the St. Louis Actors Studio has been announced, with a season-ticket packet available here.
And while we're in the building, has anyone eaten at the West End Grill and Pub? Any thoughts?
May 15, 2008
Steve Smith and I put heads together at the Royale last night and decided to drop into the Black Thorn, to toast the recently-departed Miko Fleming. Upon entering, though, we were struck by the fact that there weren't any regulars on-hand, per se. A softball team in one corner. A couple of random drinkers in another. A modest house, all-in-all.
Behind the bar: an employee working her first shift. And: Dave Difani, the landmark's longtime owner. We ordered a round, clinked glasses, then found ourselves unsure of what to say, or do. We heard a few details, random scraps of info gleaned from conversations and phone-calls. Nothing to pass along, really, nothing that would add good thoughts to the memory of a good guy.
Miko and I ran in some of the same circles, though we weren't friends-friends, if you know what I mean. We both worked the door at the old Frederick's and laughed when we had to card one another, per management's orders. A few weeks ago, I waived that formality when he walked into the Royale, smiling. He sold me many shirts and ties during his Vintage Hab days and I recall talking about softball with him for a period; I guess we played against one another in Tower Grove Park, and it was a reference point for a bit. If there wasn't any new thing to say, we always could chat about bands or the people in those bands.
For whatever reason, I didn't go to the Thorn much over the last year, though I was in on Tuesday night. Saw Miko. Ordered a round. Exchanged a warm greeting. Ordered another round. Paid the tab and put the receipt in my wallet. Didn't think that the moment was anything but a random moment.
My sympathies go out to those who knew him so-much-better.
And my hopes are that this every-other-year-or-so storyline doesn't visit us again anytime soon.
It might not compare with the passing of a man, but there's been word that the Alternative Music Pub, almost universally-known as AMP, has departed our Grove rounds. After the experience at Black Thorn, we decided to head over for a peek, maybe ask the bartenders what was in the club's future. Too late? Drove up, ten-ish on a Wednesday. No lights were on. No chairs were on the floor. No people to ask anything.
If true, this'd be a bit of a shot to the Grove, as AMP predated the rush of businesses to the area, a solitary magnet at the corner of Manchester and Boyle, drawing on the coolest set of people you could imagine. Though owned by a gay male couple, the bar drew every kind of person and that was a credit to the owners' personalities, to their musical tastes and to the dark, dark interior which always seemed to exude a certain ever-so-slightly-dangerous cool.
If I were to put together a personal list of the 10 best clubs I've known in St. Louis, the old AMP would make the list. I can't recall a time there when I didn't enjoy the stay. And though the new AMP never grabbed me in quite the same way, the staff was still excellent and the clientele was the best mix of St. Louis: young, old, black, white, hip, square. A club like AMP brings diverse people together. Hopefully, it'll do so again.
Maybe this departure's just a fleeting hiatus, not a permanent one. I do hope so.
May 14, 2008
Some Pro-Development Talk
Local preservation blogs are sometimes nipped for the negative vibes that can ripple through them. Certainly, there's enough bad news about our aging core of buildings to fill several blogs.
So it's nice to see/hear Michael R. Allen's piece on the Washington Avenue Apartments (nee the old Days Inn) at the KWMU site. This is a building worth celebrating in its new skin.
Crunchy Cool is Back
Jim Ousley reminds of us of an event coming up next week, in which we're a name sponsor. Win some 52nd City's! And get yourself cast in the next Crunchy Cool film.
We're holding a benefit concert and scouting talent for a walk-on role in our upcoming feature film, "The Bloodfest Club,” at the Lucas School House on Friday, May 23. The horror/comedy is the next exciting project from Crunchy Cool Films, the creators of the award-winning mockumentary, "Hooch & Daddy-O.” Actors and non-actors alike will be encouraged to pose for headshots at the event which will be used to make a casting
selection. Doors open at 7 p.m. and music begins promptly at 8 p.m. Tickets are $8 and can be purchased online at: http://www.lucasevents.com or in person at the Lucas School House box office (314-621-6565). The event will be hosted by the legendary Beatle Bob and include performances from
local bands Cavo, Jonathan Cour, Vijoy Rao and the Removers, and Willow. A raffle including CDs, DVDs, and Cardinals tickets will be awarded at the benefit. The event is sponsored by 52nd City, Jupiter Studios, PlaybackSTL, Slackers, St. Louis Actors’ Studio, West End Grill & Pub, and West Model & Talent Management. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the American Red Cross.
"The Bloodfest Club" is the sophomore effort from the St. Louis-based film production company, Crunchy Cool Films. Their first film, "Hooch & Daddy-O" attained nation-wide distribution from Echelon Studios and is available through Netflix, Amazon.com, and AT&T Video-On-Demand. In "The Bloodfest Club," a Chuck Norris-obsessed janitor leads a brat pack of prep school students in a
battle against alien zombies on the eve of graduation.
Previous honors for "Hooch & Daddy-O" include:
'Best Comedy' - Planet Ant Film & Video Festival (2006 – Detroit, MI), 'Audience Award' - Faux Film Festival (2006 – Portland, OR) and 'Outstanding Original Story/Screenplay' - Dixie Film Festival (2005 – Atlanta, GA).
What the critics are saying about "Hooch & Daddy-O":
"Wild! Funny! An excellent multi-purpose parody." - Film Threat
"Smart. Irreverent. A Scream!" - CBS Radio
"A wholly original, delightfully edgy debut." - Riverfront Times
"Laugh out loud funny!" - PlaybackSTL
Learn more about The Bloodfest Club at: http://www.bloodfestclub.com
Learn more about Hooch & Daddy-O at: http://www.myspace.com/hoochanddaddyo
Learn more about Crunchy Cool Films at: http://www.myspace.com/crunchycoolfilms
May 12, 2008
The Helium Tapes - "Magnolia Bloom"
David "Wraith" Dandridge was kind enough to send along word of a recent video project of his, a music video for The Helium Tapes' "Magnolia Bloom."
May 11, 2008
Mary Jo Bang
When I think of the Underwood Poetry series that ran in St. Louis for around five years around five years back, I think of the poet Mary Jo Bang. Not just because she read at the series (at the second Urbis Orbis, I believe), but because founder Kent Shaw sang her praises whenever possible.
The St. Louisan is given the Q/A treatment in the current edition of Stop Smiling Magazine, but the full interview is found online here.
Debuting: The Trade
Noticed Jason "Homey" Smith at the Royale the other day. I asked him about his new bar, The Trade, in which he's a co-owner. Apparently, the word's gotten out, a touch. A local industry veteran, Smith pointed to the RFT, where Annie Zaleski had written up a blip about the room, which you can read here.
I asked Homey a few questions about the space. While it wasn't the longest interview, it might give you an inducement to drop in, esp. if you're tooling around Midtown, as I was last night, my first visit to the new spot.
52nd: What was appealing about the room?
Smith: It just had a good, underground vibe. It reminded me of the downstairs of the Hi-Pointe, just smaller.
52nd: Definitely, people know about the Complex, so that's an interesting place to start another bar.
Smith: Yeah, it was one of the first things we thought about. It's a gay bar, but it's not just a gay bar. And everyone knows where it's at.
52nd: I imagine you'll do a lot of business after 1:30.
Smith: We do, but we want to try to have a happy hour. There're a lot of businesses right around there and we going to try the happy hour for them. But we'll probably have the later crowd. We'll cater to industry people, off work at 1:30. We'll have a late-night industry happy hour.
52nd: What's the story behind the name?
Smith: We went through a bunch of names. It's for everybody. Bartenders or electricians. We're trying to include everyone.
52nd: What's on the drinks menu?
Smith: It's kind of a drinker's bar. We don't have any drafts. We don't have a menu, but we can pretty much make any drink you want. No specials menu, or anything like that.
52nd: How will you bounce off of the Clubhouse?
Smith: I know Brandon the owner and he's going a different direction than what we're doing. It's more of a SLU crowd. But we'll work together. Howard, who owns the Complex, owns that building, too. So we're all good.
May 10, 2008
Museum Mutters: Avail. for Download
James Weber Jr., noted pinball fan, songwriter and man in possession of South City's greatest shock of hair, sends along word of his band's newest album, available for download on the world wide web.
Here's the g00diez
Ok kids, it's done and mastered and then de-mastered (hah!) into some
highest-of-fi 192 bit mp3 filez.
You can download the whole kit'n'caboodle right here:
Enjoy in good health and good spirts and *with* good spirits. Share with your friends, your family, your enemies and your awkward, "I Don't Even Know *What* The Hell We Are" make-out budz.
We love you, all of you, each and every god damned one of you, so thanks and stuff for the last year of completely satisfying rock.
We'll be playing the RFT Showcase on June the 1st at the Delmar Lounge. Times to be posted yet, but we'll let y'all know.
If you just walk around and talk to enough people, blog entries write themselves. In what we'll call "people news"...
* Lori White, St. Louis reigning Queen of Omnipresence, will be given a run for the title of Most There St. Louisan with the re-arrival of Ray Brewer, who's back in the STL, after some time in Indiana. The improv comic, commercial actor and world-class roustabout was spied at both Soulard Market and the garden patio of Hammerstone's this morning; in the former case, clinging to a bag of alligator-on-a-stick. Of course. Hail, Ray.
* Little birdy tells us that... Broadway is now the block for professional underground wrestling. And we're not talking about the long-running, monthly show at the SBAC. Nope, we're talking some type of wildcat, women's only bouts at the Iron Horse (way down on South Broadway) on Tuesday nights; and at the On Broadway Bistro (way up on North Broadway) on Thursdays. Don't know the promoters, the staging, the plotlines - don't know nothin'! - but we aim to find out for you, the reader. That is our commitment to you!
New Blogs: Cinema STL, KWMU reformers
We've been tipped to the arrival of two new blogs.
Cinema St. Louis executive director Cliff Froehlich sends along that Friday, May 16 will see the debut of The Lens. The blog will be accessible through two sources: the St. Louis Beacon and the Cinema St. Louis homepage. Either one will send you to the site, which Froehlich hopes to populate with a variety of correspondents, many of whom date back to his days as a film critic and editor at the Riverfront Times and the Post-Dispatch.
In light of this week's cover story in The Riverfront Times, a new blog's been created to stimulate some changes at KWMU. The site's located at http://helpimprovekwmu.blogspot.com/. A tipster notes that comments are welcome and we're assuming that some interesting and colorful conversations will take place about station management and the oversight given by licensee UM-St. Louis.
May 09, 2008
An Explosive Interview with FPM
Explosivity, I tell you, that's the mood generated by an e-mail exchange between myself and Mark Heinz, drummer and co-founder of Fragile Porcelain Mice. The group's onstage tomorrow, at the border of Soulard, inside the Lucas School House, along with LucaBrasi. I've already called in sick to work so that I can enjoy the May 10 show, as should you.
52nd City: Fragile at the Lucas School House. Not a combo I'd have ever imagined. How'd that venue come about for this show? Will the couches be safe?
Heinz: We got together with our friends, LucaBrasi, and set it up. Everyone was into the venue, and both bands wanted to play together, so we made it happen. Beautiful thing, rock 'n roll. And I do believe the venue owner, Dan, will have the foresight to have the furniture sealed and protected before our crowd walks through the door.
52nd City: It seems as if you've been a bit more active in the last year. Am I imagining that? Or are you guys back out in the public a touch more? How many gigs a year are ideal?
Heinz: We have been poking our heads in here and there and having some fun. The stage is home. It's where you hang your hat, and as many shows as possible is ideal for any guy that truly loves what he does. We always appreciate an invitation to take the stage and do our thing for you for a while.
52nd City: What's the status of Fragile and recording? Anything in the works?
Heinz: The band has been in our secluded studio space tooling away at some very interesting new material. You put a couple of us in the room together and hit RECORD, and out comes a Fragile song. Again, the beauty of rock 'n roll. Of music and people that were apparently born to make music together.
52nd City: Any plans for additional musicians for the show? Know that you guys like to bring on some guests. Any surprises on that level? Horns? Harps?
Heinz: No additional players for this show, but you never know from show-to-show what we might whip out.
52nd City: What would be the ideal oddball gig for Fragile, at this point? Is there an opening set, a venue, or another type of opportunity that you've always wanted to do but haven't been able to do?
Heinz: I think that a very cool festival abroad would be nice, in terms of an oddball gig for us. I think it would do the band some good to "get away" for awhile together in a foreign land. Then again, I love being at home. Yes... oddball. That was the question.
52nd City: Do you feel that Fragile is helping bridge the eternal Missouri vs. Illinois divide? Where does LucaBrasi fit into this play for peace?
Heinz: What's to divide compatriots? And members of LucaBrasi are definitely our contemporaries. We've collectively been through a lot with individuals in LucaBrasi over the years, and it's good to see them out and leveling crowds together. Come to Illinois, guys!
May 08, 2008
Darfur Play @ SLU
I know there are issues in Darfur. Serious, serious issues. But what do I really know about the politics there? Honestly? Woefully little. Perhaps I'll change that information base around during the remainder of 2008. Here's a start.
Complacency of Silence: Darfur
Written by L. Patton Chiles
May 23 - June 8, 2008
Fridays and Saturdays 8:00 p.m Sundays 2:30 p.m.
St. Louis University Theater-Xavier Hall
3733 West Pine Mall
St. Louis, MO 63103
(Located in the center of the campus quadrangle between Lindell Blvd. on the north, Laclede Ave. on the south and Grand Avenue on the east.)
Tickets Now On Sale (Metrotix)
Their names are Hama, Fatima, Hawa, Khadija ... Their stories of courage and resilience will inspire you, and give you strength. They are waiting for you to shout their stories to the world – waiting for America to break the world’s complacency of silence – waiting for the world to notice Darfur. Their greatest hope is America... How long they wait depends on how much you care. They are waiting for you.
» 400,000 Dead and Counting......
» 2 Million Homeless in Darfur......
» 200,000 Refugees in Chad.......
(The entire population of the Darfur region is only 7 million!)
Tickets $10 Adults
$5 Children 12 and under (Parental Guidance Recommended)
To purchase tickets call Metrotix at 534-1111 or visit Metrotix.com. Metrotix outlets include Macy's, Plaza Frontenac, Fox Theater and select Schnucks stores. You may also purchase tickets at Afro World at 7276 Natural Bridge and Screenz at 6680 Delmar Blvd. in the University City Loop.
A few weeks back, I went to a play at the Tin Ceiling. This might not seem remarkable, but it struck as somewhat cool (quite cool, really) that there's a live theatre within walking distance of my house. The Non-Prophets have been working in the room lately, and Tyson Blanquart of the NPs sends along word of a show being produced by the Tin Ceiling and the NPs, which, if I'm reading correctly, will take place a couple other blocks from my house.
Here's the info:
St. Louis, MO – The Tin Ceiling- producers of engaging and original theater in St. Louis for nine seasons- announce an exciting collaboration with The NonProphet Theater Company for their annual 24 hour play festival, seven/24.
seven/24 is a mad dash to write, cast, rehearse and perform seven 10 minute plays in the course of 24 hours. Fourteen writers will be paired up into seven teams, and will have 12 hours to write a short play. Once the plays are completed, they are handed over to seven directors, who then cast the shows from auditions held the night before. The cast and directors then have 12 hours to get the play ready for a public performance at 8:00pm that night, come hell or high water. It's always exciting, it's always fun, and you never know what will happen.
This is the seventh installment of seven/24 that the Tin Ceiling is producing, and joining them on this adventure will be the NonProphet Theater Company, known in the St. Louis region for producing critically acclaimed theatrical productions, as well as their award-winning sketch comedy show which is now celebrating its 11th year.
"This collaboration is absolutely perfect for our two companies," says NonProphet Managing Director Tyson Blanquart. "The Tin Ceiling is one of the most daring theater companies in St. Louis, and the manic energy that goes into these shows fits the NonProphet motif quite well."
Auditions for seven/24/seven will be held the on Friday, May 23 at the Tin Ceiling Theater, located at 3159 Cherokee Street at Compton Street, St. Louis, MO 63118. Those auditioning will be asked to read from a side, or a monologue may be prepared if desired. Head shots and resumes are welcome but not required. Those auditioning without a head shot will have a picture taken for casting purposes. Casting calls will begin the morning of Saturday, May 24. If auditioning, please be available beginning at 9:00am. Rehearsals will continue until show time.
seven/24/seven will be produced on Saturday, May 24 at 8:00pm at Sidney Street Theatre located at 2600 Iowa St. in St. Louis, MO 63118 .
Admission is $10, and tickets are available at the door. For more information on seven/24/seven, including ticket info and reservations, contact Maria Straub at 314.374.1511, or visit The Tin Ceiling's Web site at http://tinceiling.org/.
May 02, 2008
EXCLUSVE Six Question Interview with Jimmie G. Ousley of the Magic Smoking Monkey Theatre's "KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park"
All the info is in the title! Let's go!
1. To establish a fact: is there a bigger KISS fan in St. Louis than yourself? Yes or no. If "yes," who?
If there is a bigger KISS fan in St.Louis, it would be hard to believe. As a member of the KISS Army, however, it's not about competition...it's about a rock and roll love affair that has lasted 35 years and counting. Everyone should be a KISS fan.
2. What scenes, gags, riffs resonated with the audience last weekend?
Lots! Chris Jones growling as Gene, Colin Preciado "Acking" it up as Ace, me posing up a storm as Paul, and Ben Ritchie being a cooler Peter Criss than anyone has a right to be. The romantic angle that Rory Flynn and Aaron Orion Baker bring to their roles is also undeniable. Sickening, but undeniable.
3. Tell us about the blend of performers this time out. A bit of old-school, a bit of new-school from the Monkey, it seems.
This has been a really terrific and fun cast. Lots of veteran Monkey actors like Julie Layton, Amy Elz, Diane Wittling, Roger Erb and the legendary Rory Flynn. Mixed in with newer Monkeys like Adam Thenhaus, Luke Lindberg, Kurt Jarvis, Kim Sansone, and Colin...well, that is dangerous cocktail, my friend.
4. Were there any obvious "issues" in staging this one? How did the Monkey crew go about creating the visual spectacle of the original film on a fixed budget, in a small house?
Through the miracle of theatre, we really didn't have any issues. We have a set designer by the name of Dave Froeckmann, also a lifelong member of the KISS Army. Dave created a set that goes well beyond Monkey sets of the past. The set consists of a row of rotating panels that allow for instant scene changes. And the giant KISS logo? Yeah, it's there, and it is bangin'. Who cares about a fixed budget when you have an unfixed imagination and a lot of talented people?
5. Because I need to know for myself: how do tickets look for the weekend? What's left? What's sold-out?
The 8:00 shows are always at capacity, so the earlier you reserve tickets, the better. Even the 10:30 shows have done well, so make sure you call 314-361-5664 to reserve your right to rock. This show seems to have created a nice buzz, and the lines have been as long as Gene's tongue. Don't be left out in the cold, all unhip and deprived of some Monkey KISS action!
6. Any advance word on what might be next for the Monkey?
There have been various ideas thrown around - a big contender seems to be Tron. Of course, any suggestions from Monkey audiences are not only accepted, but they are taken to heart. My dream would be to do Caligula, starring my favorite actor with a double-phallic name - Peter O'Toole. Something tells me that may have to stay in my dreams though.
May 01, 2008
Caught a few minutes of Harptallica at Vintage Vinyl yesterday afternoon. As you surely know, Harptallica is America's greatest harp duo tribute specializing in the music of Metallica.
They played this one, The Unforgiven. Sweet.