It's All Happening

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

Hot Stuff
By Thomas Crone and Amanda E. Doyle

Friday through Sunday, August 2 through 4
Soldier's Memorial Park (Tucker and Market)
Free, all ages, 314-849-6322

Party at TC's!  I'll bring the milk! "Oom-pah-pah, oom-pah-pah, everyone knows; oom-pah-pah, oom-pah-pah, that's how it goes..." Not German?'s a little secret — at Strassenfest, nobody cares! (Kinda like Irish and St. Patrick's Day in that regard, only the beer's less likely to be green.) Lace into your best milkmaid bustier and shimmy on downtown to the three-day extravaganza that beer, brats and brass bands built. More lederhosen per capita than a drunken Saturday night at Thomas Crone's place. (Kidding!) (AED)

Sunday, August 4
Exhibit openings: "Expressions of Womanhood" and "Surface Impressions"
St. Louis Artists' Guild, 2 Oak Knoll Park (Clayton at Big Bend)
Free, all ages, 1-3 p.m., 314-727-6266

Tucked into a verdant, hidden bend off of Clayton Road, the St. Louis Artists' Guild is a cool, charming place to keep an eye on great art (especially in the dog days of summer, when any cool respite is welcome). Two exhibits of note open this month: "Expressions of Womanhood" is a national, juried, all-media exhibit exploring the theme of womanhood, curated by Constance Ehrlich of Lawrence, KS; "Surface Impressions" features regional prints, drawings and pastels. Also on display through September 21 are African masks created by students at Monroe Elementary School. (AED)

Monday, August 5
Girlush Figure with Sullen
Way Out Club, 2525 S. Jefferson
$4-5, 21-up, 9 p.m., 314-664-POET

Here's our first mystery show of the month. (You'll just have to read further.) A flier was spotted on the kiosk at KDHX. On it, only these words: "Girlush Figure Aug 5th with Sullen the Way Out Club." The photo: three women sitting on a couch, the middle one giving the middle finger. And a graphic with the crosshairs of a target below their name. Hmm. Vigorous web research has led us to find that Girlush Figure is a band from Richmond, VA, with at least one CD, "Target You." Band members are Pigpen, Donna and Squeaky, collectively weaned on Hole, Bikini Kill, L7, Babes in Toyland and 7 Year Bitch. If you've not gotten enough clues from that, then you probably shouldn't go anyway. (TC)

Tuesday, August 6
The Electric, Gentlemen Callers & Josh Wiese
Frederick's Music Lounge, 4454 Chippewa
$4, 21-up, 9 p.m. (doors at 6 p.m.),, 314-351-5711

One of the rising rock groups in St. Louis is The Electric, fronted by the wonderfully enigmatic Jason Wallace Triefenbach, who brings to bear a combination of Michael Stipe (circa-1984) and Iggy Pop (circa-anytime). The band's no-frills r'n'r borrows from '60s garage, '70s punk and '80s no-wave to create a fun, fresh sound all their own. Certainly, they were one of the highlights of the "heavyweight championship" at the SBAC. The group's joined on Fred's small stage this evening by the Gentlemen Callers and Josh Wiese. (TC)

Wednesday, August 7
Red Air Quality Alert!
Public Discussion of Air Pollution in St. Louis
Genesis House, 6018 Delmar
Free, all ages, 7 p.m., 314-727-8554

With as many marginal and downright poor air-quality days as we've had already this summer, we think it's high time someone started talking about what's going on with the air in the Gateway City. This panel discussion, assembled by the Green Party of St. Louis/Gateway Green Alliance, brings together a variety of perspectives on the issue, including Carolyn Griffeth of the North Side Neighborhood Clean Air Project, Dr. Daniel McKeel, an associate professor of pathology and immunology at the Wash U School of Medicine and Percy Green, a well-known figure on St. Louis' civil rights scene. Enjoy a cup of fair-trade coffee and what promises to be lively discussion. (AED)

Wednesday, August 7
Cinema in the City: "Motel Hell"
Beatnik Bob's Café, 15th & Lucas
$4, all ages, 7:30 p.m.,, 314-969-7487

Generally speaking, Webster U's "Cinema in the City" offerings have some type of relation to the month in which they show. So, for example, a holiday-themed film (even if tenuously "holiday") would unspool in December. How "Motel Hell" (dir. Kevin Connor, 1980, 101 mins.) works into the equation is beyond our guess, but the film does have a cult following. The Series supplies us with this delightful blip: "It's a nightmarish mix of delicacy and downright terror when you realize 'it takes all kinds of critters to make Farmer Vincent's fritters.' A sly, tongue-in-cheek film whose outrageous tale of terror continues to delight horror fans everywhere." Incidentally, the Series is taking the month off in August, at least at the usual venue of Moore Auditorium, so this is it, folks, for fans of the campus' crown jewel. (TC)

Thursday, August 8
One Step Shift
Fort Gondo Compound for the Arts, 3151 Cherokee St.

Here's our second mystery pick for the month. The flyer for the show doesn't give a phone number or any other contact info, but Fort Gondo shows (held in a space just three doors down from the old Way Out Club) usually offers all-ages/18-up shows, with a relatively low cover. Plus some art on the walls. This Bay Area band was described by the Eastbay Express like so: "One Step Shift is a melodic indie rock band from Oakland whose heartfelt lyrics and driving guitar melodies will be in your head for days." (TC)

Friday, August 9
Film: "Xiu Xiu: The Sent Down Girl"
Saint Louis Art Museum auditorium, Fine Arts Drive, Forest Park
$3, 17-up, 4 and 7 p.m.,, 314-721-0072

Part of a series of films about women, this drama was banned in China when it was released in 1999. Directed by actress Joan Chen, the film follows the story of a teenage girl sent on a journey during the Chinese Cultural Revolution in the early '70s, and the abuse and misfortunes she encounters along the way. Remember, kids, this film was made by a Chinese filmmaker about Chinese history, so let's not hear any groaning when the English subtitles appear to make the Mandarin understandable to the audience. (AED)

Friday, August 9
Urban Jazz Naturals
The Kastle, 3207 Washington
$5, 21-up, 9 p.m.,, 314-995-1936

The Midtown Arts Center was always a bit of a stepchild in the Grand Center scheme of things, located just a few blocks off the main drag, essentially cut off from the usual discussions about the arts district, even as plenty of events happened there. Taking up the mantle of the defunct space is The Kastle, which has been holding private parties and dance-oriented events for the past few months. One of the monthly events is a second Friday performance by the ubiquitous Urban Jazz Naturals, who've been in the studio of late with former Urge bassist Karl Grable. Upscale attire is requested. Ugh. (TC)

Monday, August 12
Gadabout Traveling Film Festival
Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center, 3301 Lemp Ave., 314-771-1096

"Gadabout" being one of my favorite descriptors, I was drawn to a small flyer announcing this event, which will present a goodly number of short films, from independent filmmakers from St. Louis, New York, Boston and other areas. The offerings range from "The Power of Feminist Art," a story told with Polaroids, to "Everything About Her," a comedy about a guy and his friends trying to meet Britney Spears when she makes a concert stop in his town. Animation, comedy, drama, what-the-hell-was-that''s all here. The festival screens on Tuesday, August 13, as well, at the Fort Gondo Compound for the Arts, 3151 Cherokee St. (AED)

Thursday, August 15
Reading and book-signing: Walter Ehrlich
"Zion in the Valley: The Jewish Community of St. Louis, Volume II — The Twentieth Century"
Left Bank Books, 399 N. Euclid
Free, 7:30 p.m.,

Zion in the Valley Playing off the title of the popular St. Louis history "Lion in the Valley," this second volume to UMSL history professor Ehrlich's earlier work is much anticipated. The book examines the more recent history of Jews in our fair city, and details how a schism between the German/Reform and Eastern European/Orthodox branches of Judaism was overcome to forge a new, unified, American Jewish community. (AED)

Saturday, August 17
Starlight Runabout 5K Run and Walk
Tower Grove Park pool pavilion, near Arsenal and Center Cross Drive
$10-20, all ages, 8 p.m.,, 636-939-0161

I think we'd all agree that the only civilized way to enjoy running or even vigorous walking in this infernal heat is to partake of it in limited doses, after the sun goes down*. In that spirit, consider registering for the 4th Annual Starlight Runabout, held in the urban oasis of Tower Grove Park, with proceeds benefiting the planting of new trees in the park. Hundreds of runners and walkers from all walks of life (and all over the metro area) descend for this fun evening event. Trust me, I "ran" it last year, and although severely out of shape, I wasn't even the last one who finished. I think I beat several octogenarians who were dragging along a bassett hound behind them...(AED) *Disclaimer: Amanda Doyle is not a certified athletic adviser, nor does she play one on t.v., so her fitness advice may not be exactly right. Although she does read a lot.

Monday, August 19
Hungry Young Poets
Duff's, 392 N. Euclid
$3, 7:30 p.m., 314-533-4541

the sultry Rebecca Ryan Is there anyone more pitiable than the Hungry Young Poet? There she is, all hungry and stuff, and she just wants to share her poetry with the world. How can you turn away? Well, you can't, so lucky for you her stuff's so good, and there are the added benefits of the setting (the venerable Duff's) and the between-poet musical musings of Rebecca Ryan, she of Languid and Cobalt Blue fame who's always described as "sultry," accompanied by guitarist Josh Kohn, whom I've never seen described as sultry. Still, in August, just about everyone can get away with sultry. Just pout a little and push your hair up off your forehead often. This month's featured poets are Ida McCall, Carrie Robb, Jim Mense, Hillary Dorwart, Eric Baggett and Aaron Belz. (AED)

Tuesday, August 20
SoGrand Parties in Tower Grove Park
Near park entrance on Grand
Free, all ages, 5-7 p.m.,, 314-772-5750

Well, last month's kickoff went ahead despite rain and threats thereof, so by this time around, all the kinks will be worked out and your only job will be to show up for free musical entertainment, beverages and food for purchase, and atmosphere and people-watching that's surely unrivaled anywhere. After all, this is near the haunts where photog Bob Reuter scrounges up all those arty types. Also, FYI, some neighborhood residents on Arsenal get kinda peevish about big, public do yourself a favor and don't litter or pee in their yards. (AED)

Friday, August 23
Exhibit opening: "Unreal: Sandow Birk, Kathleen Gilje, Kim Keever"
Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis (formerly the Forum of Contemporary Art)
Free, 6-8 p.m., 3540 Washington Ave. in Grand Center,, 314-535-4660

It's all about illusion in this new exhibit at The Contemporary, where what we're seeing requires a couple of deeper examinations to reveal its true nature. From "old master" paintings that are actually contemporary California landscapes to familiar paintings displayed alongside faux x-rayed canvases purporting to show what's underneath, nothing is quite as it seems. Interesting and waaaay cooler than those damn magic-eye collages that I can never, ever find. (AED)

Saturday, August 24 - Wednesday, August 28
YMCA Book Fair
Carondelet YMCA, 600 Loughborough
9 a.m.-9 p.m. on Saturday and Monday-Wednesday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. on Sunday,, 314-353-4960

Donations to this large book sale go 'til August 12 at the sale location and other spots, so share your junky, unread books with the world. Then, see them on display, as hundreds of St. Louisans sift through broken spines, cracked covers and tattered pages. And don't think that we're complaining about any of that. If you don't emerge from something like this with at least five titles, then your blood's stopped. Note: by Tuesday, prices are halved. On Wednesday, you can cart out what's left for $5 per bag or box. Great! More stuff's a comin'! (TC)

Saturday, August 24
NCAA men's soccer: SLU Billikens vs. UCLA Bruins
Robert R. Hermann Stadium, SLU campus
$4-6, all ages, 7 p.m.,, 314-977-3182

Last year, SLU's men's soccer team was 18-2, not a shabby mark by any means. Impressive, too, was the fact that the record was gathered under a new coaching staff, lead by Dan Donigan, with assistant Mike Sorber. The Bills, though, lost out on their quest for the NCAA Final Four, with what had to have been their most talented team in a decade. The team's fans, though, aren't looking for a long rebuilding process: the team's tradition suggests that the coaches need to at least get to the NCAA tourney for their starting benchmark of success. The home season doesn't begin in earnest until well into September, but this exhibition against perennially strong UCLA should serve as a fine early notice on what this year's edition might accomplish. Olé! (TC)

Saturday, August 24 (or Sunday, August 25, for you purists)
Moonlight Ramble
Starting point: 12th and Market
$10-15, all ages, ride at 12:01 a.m./pre-ride activities at 9 p.m.,, 314-644-4660

It's the world's largest nighttime bicycling event, and it's all ours! There's a very exciting press packet on the Gateway Council Hosteling International web site that details how all these other cities (including St. Louis "sister cities" like Lyon, France, and Stuttgart, Germany) have come to us, seeking guidance on mounting night-cycling events of their own. But we've got the original! So strap on your helmet, pull the old Huffy out of the basement, and head down to cruise through the groovy streets of the city with 13,000 other souls by the pale moonlight. Until we actually have a 24-hour downtown, the next best thing is to enjoy the wonders of vast, deserted urban streets...(AED)

Thursday, August 29
River Styx Birthday Bash Benefit
St. Louis Brewery Tap Room, 2100 Locust
$10, 21-up, 8 p.m. "until the cows come home," 314-533-4541

Fans of the River Styx are we, and so we exhort you to support their good work — and enjoy a complimentary beer or soft drink in the process! — by attending this benefit evening. "Sultry" Rebecca Ryan makes an appearance with Languid, joined onstage by country-folk ensemble Three Sheets to the Wind. For fans of the short form, a "Brew Haiku Poetry Contest" seems to be in the works, with fabulous prizes and a public airing of the winning entries. It's all in recognition and support of 27 years of good, literary fun, so let go of that ten-spot and head on down. Tickets available in advance or at the door. (AED)

Saturday, August 31
Bobby's Books reading: "The Little House," by Virginia Lee Burton and "Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type," by Doreen Cronin
Marty's Baking at the Left Bank, 395 N. Euclid
Free, all ages, 9:30 a.m.

Click, Clack, Moo What's not to like about Bob Duffy, co-owner of Marty's Baking and general Renaissance man, reading children's books on a Saturday morning in his chic café? Bring your kids, or some neighbor kids, or just sidle up close to someone else's (not too close, though, in these suspicious times). The best part of this morning's offerings — besides the tasty treats behind the glass cases at Marty's — is the second book, "Click, Clack, Moo..." This is a subversive tale about cows who get ahold of a typewriter and proceed to wreak havoc on the farm, what with their typed demands and rabble-rousing on behalf of the other animals. Destined to become a classic! You should buy it for any wee readers you know. (AED)

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