Arch City Chronicle
September 2001 (debut) edition
You don't see enough zines around town. E-zines, maybe. But political tracts, no. Punk rock manifestos, some, but not as many as you might think. Photographic or even personal zines? Not so much.
So it's a pleasure to welcome this new sheet and it is just a sheet. Photocopied on oversized paper, front-and-back, the Arch City Chronicle is the brainchild of D. Drebes and Will Winter, who contribute all the copy to the first issue. Running 150 copies per edition now, the pair tackle a variety of problems that concern a far larger number of people than that modest total would suggest.
Among the items addressed in issue one: aldermanic redistricting, job growth in the region, and a quick Q/A with Metropolis Prez Melanie Adams. It's a good read.
The pair are selling subs to the zine, priced at $15 per annum. You can get the latest copy by sending your cash to: Nextflood Publishing, PO Box 63303, St. Louis, MO 63163. Or write: email@example.com.
St. Hedwig Homecoming
Sunday, September 2
Compton & Pulaski
Held a week before the popular Polish Festival at the Falcons Nest in North City, the St. Hedwig 26th Annual Homecoming provided a glimpse at St. Louis' Polish past, muted though it might be these days.
The prayer service featured a healthy crowd and Polish hymns. When it ended near noon, the congregation moved outside, enjoying the usual small-scale carnival fare: no rides, but plenty of pull-tabs.
It was a lovely scene, really. Picture-postcard.
Heavy Petting Show
Saturday, September 8
In/Form Galleries, 3519 S. Broadway
A wide variety of alternative/underground arts shows have gone up in the multiple, roughed-in galleries of In/Form, part of the old Lemp Brewery complex. The space itself, with towering ceilings and weathered windows, is a palpable presence at any of the shows; you simply can't escape the raw, muscular feelings of the rooms, once home to brewing and the cobbling of shoes.
These days, though, the space might be heading towards a-bit-too-rough status, as a torrential rainfall threatened to put a black mark on the night's proceedings. Rain poured through a couple holes that seemed to form as the water fell from the heavens, leaving artists scrambling to move their artwork, while other rooms were untouched.
Held as a fundraiser for the Metro East Humane Society, the artwork was almost universally linked to animals, with a good number of four-legged creatures zipping through the building. A handful of bands also played, including the last show of Sexicolor, at least with bassist Joe "Finn" Thebeau. They rocked the remaining crowd, 'round midnight.
Less boisterous than some of the recent In/Form shows, the exhibit was a wildly varied affair, some of the pieces going for bestial shock, others recycled from other showings around town. Altogether, an interesting night, made more so by the indoor waterworks.
Monday, September 10
Some nights, timing becomes an issue.
Having scored Rollins Band tickets late in the day, I roamed the streets of University City, thoroughly unable to place the three extra ducats. This after vigorously working the phones and even sitting through half of the outrageously bad "The Goonies" at Frederick's. Alas.
Point being, I arrived at the show late, but not that late, though just late enough that the Rollins Band was already onstage. Henry was plenty lathered up, leading his troops through the band's patented neo-blues/hard rock stomp. A new band since I'd seen him last, probably a good six years back, and a potent trio, at that. The pit was suitably energized, though the audience was a bit lost in all that space; maybe 500 people on hand, in all.
Glowing in the simple white light, with no stage decorations of any sort, Hank still had a lot to say, and there's still a corps of disciples ready to lap it all up. Not as many as in the old days, but enough. And when the band closed the brief encore with the chestnut "Do It," you could tell these were fans weaned on the stuff. Ten years ago, this show would've been on my head all week; this time around, I could barely make it to the door, but it was proved worthwhile after the first handful of notes.
"Happy Birthday Mr. Brooks"
First Anniversary Show, Crowe T. Brooks Gallery
Saturday, September 15
1520 Washington, 7th floor
A spirited space located in the same building that houses Gold's Gym, a gardener and a work-clothes outlet, the Crowe T. Brooks Gallery has moved beyond the initial impressions a well-meaning place that'd be locked into featuring only the work of friends. Webster grads Jason Triefenbach and James Wohlrabe still highlight the works of contemporaries, but they've pushed beyond that a bit. (And, if nothing else, they've got talented friends.)
Their one-year anniversary show was a nice affair, with selections from Amber Slater, Christina Shmigel (with Robin Dryer), Jenna Bauer, Chris Moreland, Shane Simmons and Gary Passanise. The environment, early in the evening, was cool and sedated, with parents and kids intermingling and enjoying some light food. Later in the evening, the crowd was no doubt a bit more robust (the gallery sporting a rep for some uptempo parties).
If you've not been to the room, there will be another opening there in mid-October. A sharp space in a building brimming with potential, it's nice to see what's actually underway on Washington, seven floors up from the buzzing of jackhammers and the promises of politicians. They're doing it, they're getting it done.