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

Oh, October!
By Thomas Crone and Amanda E. Doyle

Tuesday, October 1
"Streets and Streetcars of St. Louis: A Sentimental Journey," by Andrew D. Young, Reading and Signing
Left Bank Books, 399 N. Euclid
Free, all ages, 7 p.m., 314-367-6731,

What with all the talk of bringing an at-grade trolley to Grand Center, and the occasional glimpses of old rail lines underneath city streets in varying states of perpetual "repair," have you ever longed to know (or become reacquainted with) the vast streetcar system that used to criss-cross our town? If so, you're in for a treat as author Andrew Young presents his book, featuring several hundred photographs by St. Louisan Ray Gehl that document the unrelenting, line-by-line disappearance of the streetcar from St. Louis. Go, and then go back to your neighborhood...Imagine Streetcars Here. (AED)

Wednesday, October 2
Cinema in the City: "Plague of the Zombies"
Beatnik Bob's in the City Museum, 15th & Lucas
$4, all ages, 7:30 p.m., 314-968-7487,

Plague of the Zombies This month, the Halloween spirit takes over the Cine series, with John Gilling's 1966 horror "classic," "Plague of the Zombies." What's it about? It's described like so: "Young workers start dying from a mysterious epidemic in a little village. The doctor is helpless and elicits advice from a professor and his daughter. Soon, the dead are rising to serve their voodoo master in this nightmarish mix of mythology and reality." (TC)

Thursday, October 3
Tone Rodent with Cenozoic, Mao Mao and The Black Rainbows
The Hi-Pointe, Clayton and McCausland
$4-6, 18-up, 9 p.m.,,

This one promises to be an evening of diverse sounds, by some of St. Louis' most genre-blending rock bands. While the shoe-gazing Tone Rodent and droning Cenozoic have been ongoing (and somewhat underplaying) local groups, the Black Rainbows are a brand new combo, featuring the Electric's Jason Triefenbach and bassist Jenna Bauer, among others. One can imagine that members of the various acts will find themselves on and off stage with regularity on this evening. (TC)

Saturday, October 5
"Discovering African American St. Louis: A Guide to Historic Sites," by John Wright, Reading and Signing
Legacy Books, 6172 Delmar Blvd.
Free, all ages, 1 p.m.

Another fine edition from the Missouri Historical Society Press, this large-format paperback presents revised and expanded information about Dr. Wright's exploration of about 400 African American landmarks in the area, from Miles Davis' East St. Louis childhood home to the site of a former house on Lewis Place that was the subject of Shelley v. Kraemer, a case which rose to the U.S. Supreme Court and resulted in the barring of restrictive covenants across the country. Our advice? Pick up a copy to keep in your bike bag or glove compartment, so you can have it handy for reference as you make your way through St. Louis. (AED)

Saturday, October 5 & Sunday, October 6
Historic Shaw Art Fair
4100 and 4200 blocks of Flora Place, just east of the Missouri Botanical Garden
Adults $4, accompanying kids under 14 free, all ages, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. both days,

With all due respect to the hard-working folks up in Clayton and out at Laumeier Sculpture Park, we still say this is the best art fair in town. The convivial, neighborhood feel you get while strolling by some of the city's most beautiful homes, the manageable size of the festival, and the fact that, just across the street, the wacky fun of the Best of Missouri Market is taking place at the Garden...all these factors add up to two of the most wonderful autumn days to be had. (Just as an aside, do not fail to participate in the "milk-a-cow" activity at the Garden; hoo-wee, that's fun! And harder than it looks...) Two artists whose work we've particularly enjoyed in the past: Ken Konchel's black-and-white photography of architectural details around town, and Julia Thornburg's splendid watercolors. Support your local artists! (AED)

Sunday, October 6
An Afternoon of Art and Music for Our Little Haven
St. Louis Brewery and Tap Room, 2100 Locust
$10 minimum donation, all ages, 2-5 p.m.,,

Now in its eighth year, the annual event is one of the nicer afternoons you'd care to spend, with live music and an auction of local art in all formats. Playing this time out are Mary Alice Wood, Bellyfeel's Tim Gebauer (in a rare solo spot) and the Erin Bode Trio. Proceeds will benefit Our Little Haven, which is "a therapeutic residential treatment facility in St. Louis, MO, caring for babies and children ages birth through five years of age who are drug-affected, abused, or neglected, and who may be HIV-impacted." While the cause is a good one, we'll also tip you to this: you'll find some really, really nice artwork in the auction. Kudos to the participating artists. (TC)

Sunday, October 6
Book signing: Julius Hunter's "Stuff You Never Knew About St. Louis History!"
Schlafly Branch of the St. Louis Public Library, 225 N. Euclid
Free, all ages, 2 p.m., 314-367-6731

Julius Hunter Veteran St. Louis broadcaster (and now flack for Saint Louis University) Julius Hunter offers his lasting text on local culture with a day-by-day calendar, with this reading and signing. Offering up nuggets of trivia and history on St. Louis' storied past, Hunter's compiled 300 bits for this desktop work. This is a co-promotion by First Civilizations Inc. and Left Bank Books. (TC)

Tuesday, October 8
Saint Louis Symphony Chamber Concert Series
Piper Palm House at Tower Grove Park
Free, all ages, 7 p.m., 314-771-2679

Hey, kids, do you love the classical music? We always advocate experiencing it within the spectacular confines of Powell Hall, if you can, but the fine folks at the Symphony also keep it real by bringing the tunes to you — in this case, to the verdant wonderland of the Piper Palm House. Come early for a good seat, enjoy the culture and stick around for a free reception afterwards. Mmm, culture. (AED)

Thursday, October 10
Maserati, The Paper Lions and Southern Rise
Lemmons, 5800 Gravois
$4-5, 21-up, 9 p.m., 314-481-4812

A pair of Athens, GA, bands team up with St. Louis' slowcore kings, Southern Rise. We'd tell you more if we knew more, but we don't. And sometimes a little surprise is good for your club-going fiber. (TC)

Friday, October 11 through Thursday, October 17
"I Am Trying to Break Your Heart," a film about Wilco by Sam Jones
Tivoli Theatre, 6350 Delmar
Daily: 5:00, 7:10, 9:15; plus Saturday and Sunday, 12:45 and 2:45, 314-862-1100,,

Filmmaker Sam Jones attempted to create a documentary about one of America's highest-regarded, if fringe-selling, acts in Wilco. But he wound up finding a group in flux. Original members left during the process of creating the album "Yankee Foxtrot Hotel," while the group's label was less than enthusiastic for the final product, scuttling the work. (As luck would have it, another subsidiary of the same recording giant would wind up releasing the album, after the work had already become an Internet download sensation.) By all accounts, this is a classic of the rock-doc format, with some humor, as well; notably, poking some subtle fun at the group's massive amp and guitar collections. With Jeff Tweedy a household name in St. Louis, this one should see some big houses for The Tiv. (TC)

Saturday, October 12
Mask Making Festival
South City Open Studio and Gallery for Children, Tower Grove Park Gatehouse
$5 for mask makers, all ages, noon-4 p.m., 314-865-0060,

One of our favorite new places in St. Louis, SCOSAG offers kids a chance to learn arts throughout the week, with scheduled classes and open studio time. This will be one of the first chances for newbies to come into the compact Tower Grove location of SCOSAG for a special event. Organizers describe the afternoon like so: "Activities are designed for children 3 to 103 and include several different types of mask making activities and a few non-mask art activities, including the Grove of Words and painting on our community mural, as well as music provided by Celia on our back porch amphitheater. Be a rebel: create an anti-mask — fashion your persona in paint on cardboard cutting out a space for your face. Take items fallen from nature and bring them back to life, you little zombie. Make a mask from leaves, bark, needles, and twigs and flaunt your earthy side. And for the lover of sounds, create an ambient mask that 'talks' as you walk. This mask will include small items that jingle and clank as you collect your candy." A seasonal winner. (TC)

Saturday, October 12
The Green Center, 8025 Blackberry Ave. in University City
$10 first family member, $2.50 each additional family member, 4-up, 7-9 p.m., 314-725-8314,

The seasons are changing, and with them, the treasures of the night sky. Layer appropriately and bring the whole family down to gaze at the fall night sky and the first quarter-moon through telescopes set up by the St. Louis Astronomical Society. (Your own binoculars are recommended, too, if you've got 'em.) Just another in the ongoing, quality offerings from The Green Center, a not-for-profit center for environmental education and the arts. Pick up their calendar while you're there! (AED)

Friday, October 18
Carrie Newcomer in concert
The Sheldon Concert Hall, 3648 Washington Ave. in Grand Center
$15/$18, all ages, 8 p.m., 314-534-1111,

Carrie Newcomer Long before those upstarts Nickel Creek became overnight darlings, what with their precocious old-timey-but-hey-we're-young-and-hip-too fiddle playing and such, there was Carrie Newcomer. She penned the song "I Should've Known Better," a tune that Nickel Creek is currently piloting to fame. She's touted far and wide by folks like Alison Krauss and author Barbara Kingsolver, who admire her smoky alto voice and lyrical poetry. Don't miss her performance at the acoustically perfect Sheldon, brought to our 'burg by the outstanding Acoustic City series. (AED)

Saturday, October 19 & Sunday, October 20
ArtEAST, The Edwardsville-Alton Studio Tour
Start at either the Children's Museum in Edwardsville (727 Holyoake, 618-692-7578) or Mississippi Mud in Alton (310 E. Broadway, 618-462-7573)
Free, all ages, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. both days, 618-656-3348,

Now in its fifth year, this self-guided tour of art in the Metro East includes individual artists' studios, galleries and alternative art spaces. Visitors can peruse collage, ceramics, photography, sculpture, textiles, glass, digital art and more. Some of the stops will provide hands-on activities, from hand-coloring photos to basket weaving. (I suspect that if you're really, really nice, you might even be able to convince the artists to part with one or two of their works, in exchange for a nominal fee.) It's art, people, so don't be afraid to make that drive across the river. (AED)

Saturday, October 19 & Sunday, October 20
Paths of Flamenco: A Tale in Dance
Missouri Historical Society, Lindell Blvd. at DeBaliviere in Forest Park
$20/$25, all ages, 8 p.m. Saturday/3 p.m. Sunday, 314-534-1111,,

Today, many of us throw around the term "gypsy" as an all-purpose descriptor for wanderers/gadabouts (or in my case, it was often used to refer to the slovenly state of my room when I was growing up. Look, I'm not saying it was right, I'm just telling the truth...) However, the Gypsy people of Spain have a long, rich history, during which they have been persecuted and largely misunderstood by the rest of the world. This production tells their story, in music and dance, to a modern audience. (AED)

Tuesday, October 22
The Way Out Club, 2525 South Jefferson
$4, 21-up, 9 p.m., 314-664-POET,

Led by St. Louis expat Marwan Kanafani, this San Francisco three-piece delivers, solid pop-rock songs, with the barest traces of country and folk. Nice stuff. The group's out hitting the road in support of their debut CD, "Just Now Finding Out." (TC)

Thursday, October 24
"Guillaume: A Life," by Robert Guillaume, Reading and Signing
Barnes & Noble-Ladue, 8871 Ladue Rd.
Free, all ages, 7 p.m., 314-862-6280
Buy it at Left Bank Books

Robert Guillaume Okay, now, I think you know we wouldn't normally advocate heading to Ladue, not with all the fine entertainment possibilities in the heart of our city. But for Benson we will make an exception. It's Benson, dude! Actor Robert Guillaume, who hails from the Gateway City, has written an autobiography detailing his triumphs and trials; hear it from the man himself. (Bonus trivia: Guillaume's "co-author," David Ritz, wrote the lyrics for "Sexual Healing." How 'bout them apples?) (AED)

Friday, October 25
Film Screenings: Artists on Film
Washington University Gallery of Art, One Brookings Drive (near Skinker and Forsyth)
Free, all ages, 7 p.m., 314-935-4523,

Wash U's art gallery has recently reopened to the public, and there's no better time to check it out than during a free film series, in our opinion. This evening's offerings, from the mid-century film archives of the Museum of Modern Art, include Works of Calder, Jackson Pollack, and Willem de Kooning, The Painter, and are directed and scored by notable folks, as well. (AED)

Saturday, October 26 & Sunday, October 27
Gateway Arch Birthday Celebration
Gateway Arch Lobby, St. Louis Riverfront (yes, we have one)
Free, all ages, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., 314-678-1511

Look, there's just no getting around this fact: love it or hate it, the Arch is far and away the most recognizable symbol of St. Louis to the world. It's in Jay Leno's mumbo-jumbo faux skyline, it's the fade-in and fade-out of every Monday Night Football commercial break: it's here to stay. So, let's celebrate it on this, its 37th natal day. (For all the pro-life v. pro-choice sticklers out there, for our purposes, the "life" of the Arch is defined as beginning at completion, not conception.) The best part about this party is that many of the folks who built the Arch will be on hand to share their stories, memorabilia, etc. A special-edition poster from construction photographers Robert and Eldon Arteaga will be sold, and the fun Levee Mercantile general store will host an old-fashioned ice cream social, with hand-cranked ice cream. Arch-licious! (AED)

Monday, October 28
Monday Noon Series: "Women Artists of Saint Louis: Past and Present"
Room 229 of the J.C. Penney Conference Center, Univ. of Missouri-St. Louis
Free, all ages, 12:15 p.m., 314-516-5699

One minor quibble: it's called the "Monday Noon Series," yet the program starts at 12:15. What gives? Anyway, today's talk features Karent McCoskey Goering of the Missouri Historical Society, Joan Hall, professor of art at Washington Univ. and Nancy Kranzberg, local arts patron; these women will trace the history and current scene of female artists in St. Louis. Time for a little herstory. (AED)

Wednesday, October 30
Fred's Variety Group
The Way Out Club, 2525 South Jefferson
$4, 21-up, 9 p.m., 314-664-POET,

Occasionally, you can fall victim to the trap of forgetting about a local band, even when they're right in front of you. Such was the case with Fred's Variety Group, the three-piece with the lamentable name, but angelic harmonies. A truly democratic group, the band consists of Sunyatta Marshens on rhythm guitar; Sherman E. Sherman on bass and Mark Marshens on lead guitar. All three sing lead, well. All three contribute amazingly to the overall sound, a mélange of arty loungecore and traditional folk, mixed with rock, a pinch of rockabilly and some blues. It's a one-of-a-kind mix, played by a seasoned trio. They're around so much, you sometimes forget them. And that's a shame. They're one of the best we've got. (TC)

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