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

September Swings!
By Thomas Crone and Amanda E. Doyle

Sunday, September 1
Dan the Automator
Vintage Vinyl, 6610 Delmar
Free, all ages, 2 p.m., 314-721-4096,

Dan the Automator In town for the twice-annual Washington Avenue Beat Festival, the omnipresent Dan the Automator will work the house system at Vintage Vinyl for a special appearance and workshop. We'll let VV guru Jim Utz supply the basics: "Beatmaker Dan the Automator will be stopping in for a special DJ set/clinic at the Vintage Vinyl. This much sought-after producer is the creative mastermind behind the massive Gorillaz (with Damon Albarn of Blur) and Handsome Boy Modeling School (with hip hop legend Prince Paul), along with Deltron 3030 (with Del The Funky Homosapien) and Dr. Octagon (with Kool Keith). Dan has produced Primal Scream and Cornershop and has refreshed tracks for Stereolab, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Depeche Mode and Air as well." (TC)

Sunday, September 1
Washington Avenue Beat Festival 6
Various Downtown venues
$12, 21-up, 9 p.m.-3 a.m.,

The sixth installment of the stellar Washington Avenue Beat Festival takes place on the first of the month (that's tonight, you early birds!) with another year of mixed local and national talent. Of special joy to yours truly is the arrival of Berlin-based beats team Jazzanova, who'll grace the stage of Rue 13, along with the Hot House Sessions and DJ Scott McMurray and Mark Churchill. Noted above, Dan the Automator takes over the headlining slot at the Galaxy, where he'll share the stage with DJ Platinum and Flex Boogie. Also on the card: at Velvet, DJ D, Fuse, David Alvarado, Lovemix Live, DJ Steve-O; at Tangerine, Urban Jazz Naturals, Pat Nice, Kenny Kingston; and at Lo, Storm, Empress, Kristen. See you on the strip. And watch your step! In more ways than one. (TC)

Monday, September 2
Monday Movies: "The Decline of Western Civilization"
Frederick's Music Lounge, 4454 Chip-Chip-Chippewa
No cover, 21-up, 7 p.m. & 10 p.m., 314-351-5711,

The classic take on LA punk rock at the turn of the '80s, "The Decline of Western Civilization" (dir. Penelope Spheeris, 1981) chronicles the zany antics of the Alice Bag Band, Fear, the Germs and other lesser lights of the time. The film would spawn an even more hilarious metal-themed sequel. This one, though, has the energy and the spunk. Two decades later, it's still well worth a view. (TC)

Wednesday, September 4
Ciné in the City: "Midnight Cowboy"
City Museum, 15th & Lucas
$4, all ages, 7:30 p.m., 314-968-7487,

This month's edition features a Best Picture winner from the Academy Awards, a far cry from some of the film works on display on the Beatnik Bob's Screen. "Midnight Cowboy" is described like so: "Joe (Jon Voight), a naïve Texan, is convinced he can make a living in the city by selling himself to lonely rich women. He befriends Ratso Rizzo (Dustin Hoffman), a seedy, crippled con artist. The film focuses on the relationship between the two and shows how people can survive the ferocity of our world with a bit of trust and a bond of friendship." The film checks in at just under two hours, but with reel changes, add another half-hour onto your evening's primer. (TC)

Wednesday, September 4
"Gaslight Square: The Forgotten Landmark"
KETC-Channel 9
8 p.m.,

Set the VCRs for this one, for two reasons: first, then you can still catch "Midnight Cowboy" downtown and second, you'll want to preserve your own record of the time when St. Louis was beat, man, and squares needed not come around. Yes, it's venerable Gaslight Square, a several-block-long section of Olive Boulevard that flickered, raged and then quickly died out as a world-renowned entertainment and nightclub district during the 1960s. (Read a personal reminisce of the crazy times here.) Local filmmaker Bruce Marren teamed up with former Gaslight gadabout Daniel Pearlmutter to produce this exceptional look back, incorporating interviews from folks who took the legend of Gaslight Square with them into their lives around the world (think the Smothers Brothers, Bob Kuban, Barbra Streisand and more). (AED)

Thursday, September 5
Gallery Talk: "Elegant Outside, Yucky Inside: An 18th-Century Chamber Pot"
Gallery 211 of the Saint Louis Art Museum, One Fine Arts Drive in Forest Park
Free, all ages, 11 a.m., 314-721-0072,

porta-potty Oh, how I have longed for this day on my calendar since first I heard of a talk on a chamber pot. Now, I recommend you take young children along, too; take them out of school, if you must! We're talking about a chance to ignite a life-long love of art, and it all starts with captivating interest. You could learn a lot from a potty. (AED)

Thursday, September 5
Contemporary art lecture by Valerie Cassel, Associate Curator at the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston
The Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, 3540 Washington Ave. in Grand Center
Free, 7 p.m., 314-535-4660,

Don't be afraid of the contemporary art, people: imagine it in fun, familiar terms, like, for example, cartoons! An upcoming exhibit curated by tonight's guest speaker is entitled "Splat Boom Pow! The Influence of Cartoons in Contemporary Art (1970-Present)." There. Easy, right? Cassel, a guest of the Contemporary as part of the Emerson Visiting Critics/Curators Series, also has a hand in organizing the upcoming "Afrotemple" by Sanford Biggers and was the co-curator of last year's acclaimed Biennial Exhibition at the Whitney in New York. (AED)

Friday, September 6 and Saturday, September 7
28th Annual Polish Festival
Polish Falcon Gardens, 2013 St. Louis Ave.
Free, all ages, 11 a.m.-11 p.m., 314-421-9614

The most important thing to know about the Polish Festival, at least according to the frequency with which it's repeated on the handbill, is that it was, apparently, at some point, by some one, "voted #1 Ethnic festival." Take that, ye Japanese and Croats! Second most important thing to know about Polish Falcons in general is more of a cocktail party tidbit: did you know that the local units of the Polish Falcons fraternal organization are called "nests"? Yep, that'll stop the room cold when you casually toss it out in conversation. Anyhoo, hustle on up to the stately and well-kept St. Louis nest, incongruous in its current location on St. Louis Avenue, and enjoy more food than you can shake a kielbasa at (and please, sir, don't shake your kielbasa), music by the E-Z Tones from Michigan City, Indiana, games, Polish artifacts, a beer garden and much more. Poles are comin' home to roost! (AED)

Friday, September 6
St. Louis Social Club
The Famous Bar, 5213 Chippewa
Approx. $4, 21-up, 9 p.m., 314-832-2211

Arguably South City's coolest (but not necessarily trendiest) neighborhood bar, the Famous Bar offers live music on the weekends, including tonight's set by the St. Louis Social Club, an all-star group, of sorts, featuring a handful of alumni from the Soulard Blues Band. This group's got a century's worth of live experience and knows how to bring the goods home to momma. (TC)

Saturday, September 7
Conversation Café
Brevé Espresso Company, 417 N. 10th St.
Free, 10 a.m.,

This is the sort of thing that should be springing up all over the city, and with a little time, maybe it will: Hungry Minds in the City, a discussion group whose guidelines include "suspend judgment as best you can," "listen with respect" and "go for honesty and depth without going on and on," sponsors the second in a series of 90-minute conversations, this go-round on the topic of Justice. Weighty matter, that, best contemplated in the company of fair-minded others, and perhaps over a tasty Brevé panini... (Well, that last part was just my own editorial suggestion.) Come on down and talk it out! (AED)

Monday, September 9
Get on Board: Get on City and State Public Commissions
Grand Hall of St. Francis Xavier College Church, 3628 Lindell
Free, 6 p.m.-8 p.m., 314-621-6785

Part of an ongoing effort by Metropolis St. Louis to gain greater representation for young people on boards of import, this session will introduce attendees to such city board opportunities as the Convention and Visitors Commission, the City Airport Commission, the Forest Park Advisory Council, the Preservation Board and many more. We can't beat 'em, but we might be able to join 'em (and then beat 'em into seeing things our way...) Rumor has it that Mayor Slay will be at the event, and young people interested in being considered for board vacancies are encouraged to bring copies of their résumés to submit. (AED)

Wednesday, September 11
"Underground Zero I & Underground Zero II"
Webster University Film Series, 470 East Lockwood
Free, all ages, 8 p.m., 314-968-7487;

It'll be interesting to see how all of us react around 9/11 as the media will undoubtedly and endlessly seize upon the one-year anniversary of terrorist strikes on the East Coast. For those wanting to remember — but also wanting to see/hear alternative takes on history — this event is for you. San Francisco filmmakers Jay Rosenblatt and Caveh Zahedi had 150 different indie filmmakers work up shorts on the topic; these programs break out 13 and 18 of the finished works, respectively, each at feature length. (TC)

Wednesday, September 11
The Whole Sick Crew and Jonathon Baer
Frederick's Music Lounge, 4454 Chippewa
$4, 21-up, 9 p.m., 314-351-5711;

A promising band that blends equal parts: traditional Irish folk, sea songs and punk rock. Formed by members of the all-too-brief Bureau of Sabotage, this seven-piece group has only been playing for a couple of months but has tons of promise. Catch them on the ascent. (TC)

Friday, September 13
Sci-Fi Film Fest: "King Kong" with "Big Top Bunny"
Outside on the side of the McDonnell Planetarium in Forest Park
Free (concessions for purchase), all ages, 7:30 p.m., 314-289-4444,

Jungle VIP It couldn't be more beautiful: a writhing, blonde Fay Wray, in the clutches of the mizzundastood King Kong, all projected mile-high for your viewing pleasure. That's to say nothing of the cartoon that precedes the feature! In Forest Park, our urban jewel, no less! Bring lawn chairs, blankets and your best blood-curdling scream; you can get popcorn and such there. Other films in the fall series include: "Frankenstein" (with "Baby Buggy Bunny", Sept. 27) and "The Invisible Man" (with "Duck Dodgers in the 24th Century," a modern classic). (AED)

Saturday, September 14 and Sunday, September 15
Rediscover Cahokia Mounds
Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site, 30 Ramsey St., Collinsville, IL
Free, all ages, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., 618-346-5160,

I am loath to admit it, but for me, this event should be more properly called "Discover Cahokia Mounds," since I've never quite made it over the mighty Mississipp to explore the City of the Sun. (See, it all comes from not being from here, and therefore not having been on a forced-march field trip...) Anyway, today's the perfect time for me and perhaps you, as the site's biggest event takes place with experts on hand to demonstrate everything from basketry to fingerweaving to Native American beadwork. Wanna carve a gourd? Check. Make a bow and arrow? Can do. Rounding out the day's festivities will be Native American dancing and a market. (AED)

Tuesday, September 17
SoGrand Parties
Tower Grove Park, Grand near Arsenal
Free, all ages, 5 p.m.-7 p.m., 314-772-5750,

Okay, kids, do you love the parties held in parks? (Note my careful phraseology, designed to keep us out of copyright court...) September presents you with one final chance to whoop it up in Tower Grove Park, just adjacent to the Grand South Grand international district, and in easy proximity to live music, food for sale and general merriment. While you're there, buy a house in the neighborhood and then you can just stroll on home. (AED)

Wednesday, September 18
"Chicks on Bikes"
Way Out Club, 2525 So. Jefferson
No cover, 21-up, 9 p.m.-1:30 a.m.,

A few months back, Russ Meyer films unspooled on the big screen at the Way Out Club, a shocking site, really, when you walked up to the club. Meyer's female actors, after all... well, you get the idea. Might be in for more of the same this evening, as Camel promotes a night of "motorcycle women movies" from the cult classic bins, a.k.a. the personal collection of Bob Putnam and Sherri Lucas. No cover and the pretzels are free. (TC)

Friday, September 20
Literary St. Louis/Arts in Transit unveiling
Mad Art Gallery, 2727 S. 12th St.
Free, all ages, 7:30 p.m.-9:30 p.m., 314-982-1400, ext. 1386,

To be honest, even though it doesn't sound all that flattering from a civic-pride kinda viewpoint, didn't you just nod your head in sad agreement when you first saw a bus with the quote "The air is like wet noodles" on the side? That rumination on St. Louis, courtesy of Harold Brodkey, is just one of the literary observations gracing MetroBuses and MetroBus shelters across the area, as part of a joint partnership between Arts in Transit and the editors of "Literary St. Louis: A Guide." Other notables including Mark Twain, Charles Dickens and Herman Melville have been drafted into posthumous service of public art. In case you've missed any, an exhibit of all the Literary St. Louis designs thus far — and an unveiling of the next additions to the program — takes places at the wacky Mad Art Gallery in Soulard tonight. (AED)

Saturday, September 21
12th Annual Great Green Pesto Feast
Eden Theological Seminary - Commons Building Dining Hall, 475 E. Lockwood Ave.
$15 advance/$20 door, all ages, 5 p.m.-10 p.m., 314-727-8554,

If it's fall, it must be pesto-eatin' time, and there's no better place to sample the goods than this annual pasta orgy. Vegetarians and vegans will dance a pinko jig; if tradition holds, some of the most entertaining gals in town will perform as the "Radical Cheerleaders." (Caveat emptor: these girls are kinda crude...) This year's keynote speaker is Percy Schmeiser, a Canadian farmer who is being squeezed big-time by hometown corporate conglomerate Monsanto, in a dispute over whether he did or did not use their freaky, genetically engineered seeds. Schmeiser has been sued by Monsanto, and has filed his own countersuit; hear him tell his tale at 5:45, 7:15 or 8:45 p.m., or follow the action online at (AED)

Saturday, September 21
Middle Eastern Dance Party
Olivette Community Center, 9723 Grandview
$10, 7:30 p.m.-11:30 p.m., 314-504-4867,

dancing queens Well, you've got to warm to the spunkiness of "We're having a Middle Eastern Dance party and you're invited!" Seems the talented dancers of Sahara Sands and their pals from other dance companies in town are ready to throw down, with performances and open dancing, a cash bar and even Hawaiian dance and a martial arts demonstration. Come for the belly dancing, stay for the jujitsu! That's good, wholesome fun. (AED)

Saturday, September 21
DJ Lady D
Lo, 500 N. 15th
21-up, 9 p.m.,

Soulful Chicago spinner DJ Lady D brings her unique vibe to the friendly confines of Lo, part of her regular bi-monthly residency at the cozy, red venue. (TC)

Friday, September 27
Film: "Faat Kine"
Saint Louis Art Museum auditorium, Fine Arts Drive, Forest Park
$3, 17-up, 4 and 7 p.m.,, 314-721-0072

Wrapping up the art museum's series of films about women (how's that for broad? Ha, ha, no pun intended...) is this African film (presented in French and Wolof with English subtitles) about Faat Kine, a woman who succeeds despite all life throws at her. Which is plenty: a murderous father, a philandering academic mentor, a no-good man and kids to raise. Made by Ousmane Sembene, the father of African cinema, the flick is described as "a tribute to the everyday heroism of African woman." Amen to that, sister. (AED)

Friday, September 27 and Saturday, September 28
Ann Arbor Film Festival
Webster University Film Series, 470 East Lockwood
$4-6, all ages, 8 p.m.

One of the best indie film festivals in the country, the Ann Arbor Fest routinely brings together a top-flight roadshow of indie short films. Each evening brings two programs to the Winifred Moore screen, about two hours of total screentime. Catch tomorrow's stars today and all that good stuff. (TC)

Friday, September 27 and Saturday, September 28
Way Out Club's Eighth Anniversary Weekend
Way Out Club, 2525 So. Jefferson
$5-6, 21-up, 9 p.m.-1:30 a.m.,

"Your home away from home" (ain't it the truth?) celebrates eight years in the bar business with two blowout shows on this weekend. On Friday, it'll be Photo by Husband, the Skulls and Voodoo Lounge. On Saturday, the Dead Celebrities will headline, along with guests TBA. People may not be dancing on the bar during the festivities. Then again, they may be. Congrats to Bob'n'Sherri and here's hoping for another daring eight years. (TC)


Live Music
Mangia Italiano, 3145 So. Grand

Enlightened folks have been clamoring for more live music on the South Grand strip for some time now, with no one music-first venue in place. Mangia Italiano, under its still-new ownership, seems to be filling the gap quite nicely, broadening out the jazz that's been a staple on the weekends for a few years now. Here are some of the dates confirmed in September: 5th, Highway Matrons; 6th, Dave Stone; 7th, Jenny Kavanaugh; 12th, The Round-Ups; 14th, Potomac Accord; 19th, Fred's Variety Group; 20th, Dave Stone; 21st, the Ambassadors; 26th, Bottoms Up Blues Band; 27th, Dave Stone; and the 28th, The Good Griefs. (TC)

Mondays, 7-9 p.m.
Jake Muckler
Soulard Coffee Garden, 910 Geyer

Singer-songwriter Muckler — who participated in two sets during the wildly successful summer tribute show to Jeff Buckley — brings his Americana-tinged tunes to this inviting venue each Monday. Come for the music, stay for the scones. (TC)

Tuesdays, 10 p.m.-12 a.m.
KDHX, 88.1 FM
"Mindfield" with Mike DeLeon

There are shows on KDHX with a singular vision and aesthetic and those that hopscotch merrily down crazily varied paths. Mindfield might be a show that does both. Host Mike DeLeon (guitarist of Tomorrow's Caveman, by the by) spins psychedelic rock from the past four decades, with an emphasis on the unique. A regular at St. Louis Record Collector's shows, his collection is broad and deep; in addition to pure, freak-out psych, you'll hear pinches of classic rock, blues and garage. (TC)

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