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Mar 2002 / it's all happening :: email this story to a friend

March Madness
By Thomas Crone and Amanda E. Doyle

Friday, March 1
John Singer Sargent Film Series: "House of Mirth"
Saint Louis Art Museum, 1 Fine Arts Drive, Forest Park
$6, all ages, 7:30 p.m., 314-655-5265

The Art Museum's continued efforts at wooing new audiences are certainly welcome, especially with the Friday night offerings of music, movies and extended hours. This month's films, though, shouldn't alarm most of the SLAM regulars, who occasionally have found the racier selections ("Blow-Up") to be a bit displeasing to the eye. This time around, with period pieces the rule, that shouldn't be a problem. Here's a quickie sketch of tonight's film, 2000's "House of Mirth": "Terence Davis' adaptation of Edith Wharton's 1905 novel describes the progressive defeat of socialite Lily Bart by the ugly indifference of Wharton's own leisure class. The exquisite feeling for decor and costumes is derived from both John Singer Sargent's paintings and Orson Welles' 'The Magnificent Ambersons.' With Gillian Anderson, Dan Aykroyd, Terry Kinney, Laura Linney, Elizabeth McGovern, and Eleanor Bron. (140 min.)" (TC)

Several other films are planned in coming weeks:
Friday, March 8, 7:30 p.m.: "Mrs. Dalloway" (1998, 97 min.)
Friday, March 15, 7:30 p.m.: "Behind the Lines (Regeneration)" (1997, 105 min.)

Saturday, March 2
"Taunt" art opening
Mossa Center, 1214 Washington
Free, 7-9 p.m., 314-241-5199

Don't know too much about this one, other than this is a group exhibition, which will run through April 5. A large cast of participants includes: Ryan Thayer, Doug Johnston, Jennifer Wrobleski, Kyle Jeffries, Cozette Phillips, Matt Boyko, Kevin Boyko, Mikel Rosenthal, Dax Bedell, Sarrita Hunn, Caleb Carter, OHIO and The Corps. During the course of the week, the gallery and shop is open between 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Saturday. (TC)

Sunday, March 3
Lecture: "In Search of Spinous Beauty: George Engelmann, Henry Shaw and the Cactus Connection"
Stupp Center, Tower Grove Park, corner of Grand and Arsenal
Free, all ages, 2 p.m., 314-771-2679

spinous beauty Okay, I'll admit it: I'm a sucker for this on name alone. Spinous beauty? The Cactus Connection? These could be great film-noir titles, too. Michael Long, a biographer of Dr. George Engelmann, will give this talk on the famous German-American botanist who worked in the 1800s and who is immortalized, among other ways, by three plant genera and numerous species that bear his name. (AED)

Sunday, March 3
The Rotund Sound System
Upstairs Lounge at Mekong, Grand & Hartford
21-up, 8:30 p.m.-1 a.m.

The Internet is most enjoyable. You can ask questions of folks, they respond. Recently, I asked Lil' Edit (a.k.a. Randall Roberts of KDHX's can't-miss "Sovereign Glory") about his live dates, when he spins with associate Dirt. Playing every other Sunday night in the friendly confines of the Upstairs, the pair spin a variety of tracks. Here's a sample of one night's playlist: King Tubby, Lee "Scratch" Perry, Boards of Canada, Matthew Herbert, Paul B. Davis, Miss Dinky, Baby Ford, Aphex Twin, Andrea Parker, Van Delta, Massive Attack, Sensorama.

Summing up the vibe of the nights, Lil' Edit notes: "In essence, we play new electronic music, some of which is designed for dancing, some of which is more angular and less dominated by a 4/4 beat. Also throw in some dub and downtempo stuff. It's never a banging set; it's Sunday night electronic music — pretty and subtle. We also show films with the volume turned down; we've done Dead Man, Gray Gardens, Toby Dammit and a load of experimental shorts by Kenneth Anger, Maya Deren and Matthew Amato (St. Louisan who's directed videos for the American Music Club, Red House Painters, Ann Magnuson, Nortec Collective and others). More information than you probably need, but ..." No, not at all. Just enough to tempt, in fact. (TC)

Sunday, March 4
KDHX Trivia Contest
St. Louis Brewery & Tap Room, 21st & Locust
$10, all ages, 1-5 p.m., 314-664-3955

The annual KDHX Trivia Contest is one of the more amusing dates of the radio station's annual calendar, with on-air personalities mingling, playing and reading the questions, which tend towards the tough. Though you'd expect a heavy dose of music and pop culture (which you get), there's enough of a general feel that players versed in all genres are well advised to take part.

Tables can still be gotten, even at this late date, by calling Bev Hacker at the number listed above. There's also a need for individual players, since teams often lose a member or two in the last week. There're usually some long tables filled with silent auction items, too; browsing them makes the day pass quickly. A good time and a good cause. (TC)

Wednesday, March 6
City Home Buyer's Workshop
RealtyNET Walsh, 4924 Hampton Ave.
7 p.m., free, 314-504-5568
(same program offered on Saturday, March 9 at 11 a.m.)

Guess what? We love St. Louis, and we think you do, too. Which is why this tidbit over the fax transom might be of interest to those readers who don't already own a home in the city, or who do, but think they might've made a few mistakes the first time around. The good folks at the Walsh realty office have this handy seminar set up to advise folks on the ins and outs of city home purchasing, with formal presentations, time for one-on-one questions and more. Of special note: they welcome immigrants especially, for a quick-and-dirty education in the rules, regulations and minutiae that only buying a house in America can introduce you to. It's free, people, and knowledge is power. (AED)

Wednesday, March 6
Cinema in the City: "Blonde Venus"
Beatnik Bob's Cafe, City Museum, 15th & Lucas
$4, all ages, 7:30 p.m., 314-968-7487

Marlene Dietrich Directed by Josef von Sternberg, this 1932 black-and-white classic stars Marlene Dietrich, reason enough to assume a healthy selection of St. Louis' drag culture at this showing. Here's the quickie take on the flick: "'Blonde Venus' tells of a woman accepting money from a playboy to finance a treatment for her husband's terminal illness. When the husband misunderstands, she sets out on a journey across America. Highlights include Dietrich singing 'Hot Voodoo' in an ape suit and a luminous New Orleans bordello sequence that matches anything Sternberg has shot." (TC)

Thursday, March 7
The Films of Frederick Wiseman: "The Store"
Winifred Moore Auditorium, 470 E. Lockwood
$4-6, all ages, 7 p.m., 314-968-7487

The acclaimed documentary filmmaker's work is significant enough to call for multiple series, but Webster's Film Series has shown a deft touch in culling from the best of Wiseman's catalog in February and March. This, the second-to-last in the series, brings a 1983 release date and "provides an insider's view of the flagship Neiman-Marcus store and corporate headquarters in Dallas, Texas. The sequences in the film include the selection, presentation, marketing, pricing, advertising and selling of a vast array of merchandise. The internal workings of a large corporation are shown in irreverent detail."

The final selection in this run is "Public Housing," a look inside the Ida B. Wells housing project of Chicago. That work will unspool on March 21, with the same info as noted above. (TC)

Thursday, March 7
The Bottle Rockets, with the Jenny Kavanaugh Band
Friday, March 8
The Bottle Rockets, with Bob Reuter
Blueberry Hill's Duck Room, 6504 Delmar
$10 advance/$12 day-of-show, 21-up, 9 p.m., 314-727-0880

Even when the band was signed to a major label, the Bottle Rockets never played St. Louis all that much, preferring to keep a lower profile than most. These days, the band's frontman, Brian Henneman, is occasionally found on the touring circuit with Jay Farrar (ex-Son Volt/Uncle Tupelo), though he'll also pop up around town on occasion for a solo show. The band's latest album, which will no doubt be touched upon over these nights, is a tribute to the late Doug Sahm, "Songs of Sahm."

Two fine local acts, Jenny Kavanaugh and Her Band of Outlaws (Thursday) and Bob Reuter (Friday) open the gigs. (TC)

Monday, March 11
Monday Movies: "Almost Famous"
Frederick's Music Lounge, 4454 Chippewa
Free, 21-up, 7 & 10 p.m., 314-351-5711

Almost Famous The weekly series features a recent addition to the canon of rock'n'roll film, Cameron Crowe's "Almost Famous." The rather loving look back on the life of a young music journalist and his misadventures on the road is clearly inspired by Crowe's own ascension into the ranks of "Rolling Stone," while still a student in high school. An all-star cast combines in lead and cameo roles, with plenty of early-70s rock providing the soundtrack. This will be a screening of the director's cut, for those who feel they missed critical backstory elements while catching the flick in the theatres.

There are two showings, with selected, fun odds-and-ends shown between. (TC)

Wednesday, March 13
Washington University Assembly Series lecture: Strobe Talbott
Graham Chapel on the Wash U campus, Forsyth and Skinker
Free, all ages, 11 a.m., 314-935-5285

Set your policy wonkinator to stun and join the no-doubt hard-core politicos as former deputy secretary of state (in the Clinton administration) Talbott takes the podium to expound upon U.S. foreign policy, diplomacy and the post-September 11 world. The man knows his stuff: before holding public office, he was a foreign correspondent and editor at Time magazine, and was widely regarded for his expertise on U.S.-Soviet relations. You never know when you'll need a foreign policy tidbit tucked away in your brain...(AED)

Thursday, March 14
Urban Forum: An Experiment in Consolidation
Missouri Historical Society, Lindell and DeBalivere
Free, all ages, 7 p.m.

The excellent monthly series brings an interesting twist to the ever-shifting debate on local civics and how the City can thrive in relation to the surrounding counties. As always, a national perspective is offered, along with a local response and an often robust Q-and-A session. Here's the skinny on this month's event: "In November of 2000, Louisville became the first major American city to consolidate with its surrounding county since 1969. For a long 45 years, reformers had worked toward consolidation and had failed three times. What finally convinced voters to try a consolidated government? Why do some cities opt to merge with their surrounding counties? Will these consolidation efforts prove beneficial to both the city and the county? Explore these questions with Alan Ehrenhalt, Executive Editor for 'Governing Magazine' and author of 'The Lost City.' Mr. Ehrenhalt will draw upon his longtime experience as a journalist to discuss regional consolidation efforts throughout the nation." (TC)

Wednesday, March 20
Shelby with Little Grizzly
Frederick's Music Lounge, 4454 Chippewa
Suggested donation, 21-up, 9 p.m., 314-351-5711

An interesting local pop group with a tendency to not play a lot of gigs, Shelby takes the small stage of Frederick's. They've got a self-titled disc out, their second, which you can pick up around town. If you're a fan of Cat Pick's "Emotional Rescue" show on KDHX, this band's for you, combining different and complementary elements of indie rock. (TC)

Saturday, March 23
St. Louis Association of Community Organizations' 7th Annual St. Louis Neighborhoods Conference
St. Louis Community College - Forest Park, 5600 Oakland
$10 (includes breakfast and lunch), 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m., 314-533-9104

SLACO This annual gathering is regarded by many as one of the best civic see-and-be-seen opportunities all year. (It's also regarded by many as the single best food-for-your-dollar value, as registration includes all conference activities AND a monster breakfast and lunch spread...but we digress.) Sessions of interest to neighborhood activist types include New American issues, community/school partnerships, innovative ways to manage crime, economic development tips from successful commercial districts, building your community organization using technology and much more. This year's keynote speaker is Bob Archibald, president of the Missouri Historical Society and all-around interesting guy. The afternoon feature — a town-hall forum moderated by our town's most ubiquitous moderator, Greg Freeman — will focus on the home rule efforts underway for the City of St. Louis. Recharge your civic batteries by meeting other folks fighting the good fight; I offer it my highest praise: worth getting out of bed for on a Saturday morning. (AED)

Saturday, March 23
Brandy Johnson CD release show
Blueberry Hill's Duck Room, 6504 Delmar
$7, 21-up, 9 p.m., 314-727-0880

Local songwriter and vocalist Brandy Johnson will offer up her first album under her own name, "worried/well." Her portion of the evening begins at 10:30, with Languid's Rebecca Ryan and Josh Kohn opening the night at 9:30; the Turnstyles close out the evening. (TC)

Wednesday, March 27
Washington University Assembly Series lecture: Rita Mae Brown
Graham Chapel on the Wash U campus, Forsyth and Skinker
Free, all ages, 11 a.m., 314-935-5285

Hey, kids, it's Women's Week! Forget those cheesy "Working Women's Survival-thons" and come hear a real survivor, outspoken author and activist Rita Mae Brown. She's prolific (more than a dozen novels, much poetry and many screenplays) and sometimes controversial, but beloved by her fans for her groundbreaking work portraying lesbians as fully developed characters. Rubyfruit Jungle, her 1983 bestseller, is about growing up lesbian in America "and living happily ever after." (She's also gone on to write a hugely successful line of mysteries with her cat, Sneaky Pie Brown, listed as "coauthor." Dunno what that's all about.) (AED)

Saturday, March 30
Venus Envy
IN/FORM Gallery, 3519 S. Broadway
$5-$10 suggested donation, "mature" audiences, 7-11 p.m., 314-324-7468

From there it's not too far a leap to Venus Envy, a spectacle of female-produced art, performance and energy the likes of which you may have never seen. In St. Louis, the event is in its fourth year, and 2002 marks the expansion of Venus Envy to a new market, with a show simultaneously opening in Memphis, TN, our sister city down the mighty Mississippi. The show's a juried collection of submissions from female artists around the area, and attracts thousands of visitors of all the gendered persuasions. Food and beverages are offered, and the crowd is often gawk-worthy, too. Girl power!! (AED)

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