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Feb 2003 / it's all happening :: email this story to a friend

Come and Knock on Our Door
By Thomas Crone, Amanda E. Doyle and Brian H. Marston

Saturday, February 1 & Sunday, February 2
St. Louis Public Library's Book Sale Bonanza
Central Library-West, 1415 Olive St.
Free, all ages, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sat./10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday, 314-539-0345

Have you ever been casually perusing a friend's bookshelves and come across a total treasure — say, Ernest Kirschten's 1960 St. Louis history "Catfish & Crystal," now out of print — and thought, "I must have it! Where did you find it?" The answer is quite often, "the library book sale, pal; it's where you want to be." Come roam the aisles and boxes of hardbacks, paperbacks, magazines and even CDs to find your own treasures. Still in that January simplifying-your-life mode? C'mon, man, these are books: you can never have too many. Maybe if you're lucky, you'll find a book about simplifying your life; cost, a mere quarter. (AED)

Saturday, February 1
Christine Kane
Off Broadway, 3509 Lemp Ave.
$10-14, 21-up, 7:30 p.m. (show), 314-773-3363,

Christine Kane Yes, she's a chick with a guitar, and yes, many of her songs are emotional minefields, touching on subjects like lost love, missed connections in our sped-up world and longing for home, whether a physical or more ephemeral place. But don't write off Asheville, NC-based singer-songwriter Kane as sedate or for chicks only: she can also rock the house. Many of her best lyrics are laced with a sly humor, including the subject of "All the Relatives," who wears "weird little hats" and "smells kinda garlicky," traits so out of place in her conservative small town that all her relatives whisper that she's probably gay. Kane has a powerful voice and a great sense of humor; her songwriting, which she says was inspired in part by wanting to be "the next Mary Chapin Carpenter," has already passed the mark. Props to the Acoustic City series for bringing her back to town. (AED)

Sunday, February 2
Friends of Tower Grove Park Lecture Series: "The Birth of a Perfect Neighborhood: Tower Grove Heights, 1878-1929," by Mark Abbot
Stupp Center, corner of Grand and Arsenal
Free, all ages, 2 p.m., 314-771-2679

It's possible I could be biased: I do live in the aforementioned "perfect neighborhood." (And for what it's worth, it's far from perfect, what with the various garden-variety nuisances like angry neighbors, bark-all-day dogs and so on...) Still, the talk should be a good one, as Abbot is a professor of history at Harris-Stowe College and frequently called upon to explain how forces worked to shape early St. Louis neighborhoods like mine, which sprang up in what was then the far western edge of the city's consciousness. Come learn where that crazy street name "Juniata" came from, among other tidbits... (AED)

Sunday, February 2
Keith Rowe and Toshimaru Nakamura
The Galaxy, 1227 Washington
$10-12, all ages, 8 p.m. (doors)/9 p.m. (show)

Promoted in St. Louis by Eric Hall, Keith Row and Toshimaru Nakamura are slated to perform at the Galaxy, a venue surprisingly open to new and challenging music — especially on Sunday nights. Opening are the duo of Darin Gray and Chris Smentkowski, and then the trio of Ben Hanna, Toby Parks and Eric Hall. We'll let Hall discuss the headlining performers: "Keith Rowe is one of Europe's leading improvisational musicians and founding member of AMM, along with drummer Eddie Prevost, saxophonist Lou Gare, and bassist Lawrence Sheaff. He performs with prepared tabletop guitar and electronics and has released dozens of highly acclaimed recordings over the last 40 years. Besides his work with AMM and as a solo performer, he has worked with such fellow innovators as Cornelius Cardew, Evan Parker, Christian Wolff, John Tilbury, Taku Sugimoto, and Otomo Yoshihide. He was frequently referred to as a prolific teacher and great inspiration by Syd Barrett. Toshimaru Nakamura is a Japanese minimalist process composer and improviser. He performs with a no-input mixer by amplifying and manipulating the internal hum, buzz, and feedback of the mixer itself. The results are surprisingly dynamic and musical, as can be heard on the recordings released of his solo works and in the company of Rowe, Sachiko M, Jason Kahn, and Andrea Neumann, to name but a few." The two are out in support of an album, "Weather Sky." (TC)

Monday, February 3
"The Wire," KDHX 88.1 FM
7:30 - 8:00 p.m.;

Julia Smillie Carey The Wire, hosted by the folks writing this column, is slated to have a rare and special night on the evening as, ta-da, the phone lines actually go live.'s "Ask Julia," Julia Smillie Carey, will be on hand to dispense live advice to the lovelorn and confused of St. Louis. Call in your questions for the Advice Queen to 314-664-3688. (TC)

Wednesday, February 5
Cinema in the City: "Casablanca"
Beatnik Bob's, City Museum, 15th & Lucas
$4, all ages, 7:30 p.m., 314-968-7487,

It's assumed here — perhaps wildly inaccurately — that you know the basics about "Casablanca" (Michael Curtiz, 1942, 102 min.): Bogie and Bacall, a love story, a war story, Peter Lorre's eyes, etc. If you've not seen this 20th century classic, then the time is nigh to catch it on the semi-big screen at Beatnik Bob's, where they serve Moon Pies and Mountain Dew and let you cry at the endings. (TC)

Friday, February 7
Martini Madness - Stir Crazy, a benefit for Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis
Dante's, 3221 Olive
$25-75, 21-up, 6-9 p.m., 314-535-4660

Stir Crazy Nothing is better than serving self while serving others, and the annual puttin' on of the glitz that is Martini Madness is a perfect example: you pay a small fee for an evening of enjoyment (in the form of tasty Smirnoff martinis, hors d'oeuvres, DJ entertainment and beautiful people), and the newly rechristened Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis gets money for their activities. Like, the giant, new, Brad Cloepfil-designed building that's taking shape next to the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts: the Contemporary will relocate there later this year, and beauty, while it may be skin-deep, ain't cheap. If you've got the means, opt for the $75 VIP ticket that gets you all of the above plus entry to the VIP Lounge, a membership to the museum, valet parking and other goodies. (AED)

Friday, February 7
Photogrammar art opening
Art Coop, 1520 Washington, 7th floor
$3 minimum donation, all ages, 7 p.m.-midnight

It's a photographic extravaganza, with 120 works from 40 St. Louis shutterbugs on display at the wacky Art Coop. (Coop? Co-op? I continue to be plagued by this question...) Free hummus (say no more!), cash bar, live music and all good things. Perhaps your first foray down to celebrate the opening of zippered Washington Avenue? (AED)

Saturday, February 8
Puppy Love Adoption Day
Animal Rehabilitation Foundation, 612 Gravois Rd. in Fenton
Free ('til you fall in love with a pooch), all ages, noon-3 p.m.

An adoption open house jointly sponsored by Stray Rescue of St. Louis, Pound Pals and the Animal Rehabilitation Foundation, this is the perfect place to find that true love, who will always be there for you, who's never too busy to listen, who keeps at least one side of the bed warm... Before Valentine's Day, why not take a gamble on long-term love? Rescued dogs of all sorts, including mixed-breed puppies and adult dogs, just need another shot and will thank you endlessly for it. (AED)

Sunday, February 9
Wedding Connection, presented by Saint Louis Bride Magazine
Hyatt Regency-Union Station, Market & 20th St.
$5-10, 1-4:30 p.m., advance registration at, 314-968-4940

Ah, wedded bliss: ain't it grand? If you're betrothed, or you have a sneaking hunch that a certain someone is getting ready to pop the question over Valentine's dinner, head on down to the area's most chi-chi bridal show to get a jump on a decent DJ, the most to-die-for flowers, photographers who know how to handle bitchy bridesmaids and more. There's a bride/groom/attendant/flower girl fashion show that's always a hit, and if you plan your route right, several stops for champagne, cake and tasty delights before the afternoon's over. (AED)

Tuesday, February 11
Le Grand Cru wine tasting event
The Commonspace, 615 N. Grand in Grand Center
$10, 21-up, 6:30 p.m., reservations requested to or 314-533-8825

Le Grand Cru events have been packing in the crowds to various Grand Center venues since their inception, and this Tuesday promises another entertaining outing. For ten bucks, participants receive generous wine and food tastings, the company of beautiful people, fun diversions (rumor has it that both improv theater and tarot card readings are on tap...including the much-coveted Hello Kitty tarot deck!), a raffle for Southwest Airline tickets and much more. Although we're sure you've already been, it's also a chance to bring your happy hour pals down to check out The Commonspace, the hippest community center going, what with its art gallery, its wireless Internet access, its BookCrossing collection, its intriguing WC mural...(AED)

Friday, February 14 - Thursday, February 20
"Seven Samurai"
Tivoli Theatre, 6350 Delmar
$8, all ages, various times, 314-862-1100,

This absolute classic of Japanese cinema is brought back in new, and reputedly improved, form, including a new translation and subtitles. Unrelentingly bleak and shot in grainy black-and-white, "Seven Samurai" (Akira Kurosawa, Japan, 1954) is the taut, tense study of a group of mercenaries hired by an impoverished village to protect the locals from vengeful, marauding troops. Who'll survive the bloody battles? Who synchs up as members of "The Magnificent Seven?" And will it ever stop raining? Can't wait to find out, all over again. (TC)

Saturday, February 15
Baysayboos and the Whole Sick Crew
Radio Cherokee, 3227 Cherokee St.
$5, all ages, 8:30 p.m.,

We love the devil-may-care spirit pervasive down on Cherokee, encompassed within Fort Gondo's "hundred yards of chaos." To wit: this show is a 3-D affair, with glasses provided, but to make it all really work, attendees are asked to "wear blue and red attire." That, ladies and gentlemen, is high concept. (AED)

Sunday, February 16
Bicycle Swap Meet
Saint Louis Regional Bicycle Federation, 17373 Edison Ave. in Chesterfield
$2/free for Bike Fed members, all ages, noon-4 p.m., 314-621-0220, ext. 333,

Been jonesing for a new, cushier seat for your bike (if you're gonna ride that MS150, you want to be comfy)? Or just want to sell your car and buy the best two-wheeler money can get ya? Come for an afternoon of buying, selling, trading and the legendary bike b.s. stories (the one that got away, the bike trip from hell, etc.). Just kidding about that last part, actually; but we bet there are folks with such tales. All proceeds support the good work of the Bike Fed, who reminds you that bikers are people, too. (AED)

Sunday, February 16
Poetry Reading: Love (And Its Opposite)
The Commonspace, 615 N. Grand in Grand Center
Free, all ages, 6:30 p.m. (doors)/7 p.m. (show), 314-531-1707,

Ah, love. What better theme for a poetry reading? Local poets Chris Parr, Colleen McKee and Chris Hayden will address the ups and downs of the many splendored beast. Bring your sweetie (or your lonely, bitter self) and make Valentine's Day last all weekend long.

Chris Parr has been a performance poet for many years, reading his work at art spaces and music venues as much as at poetry events, both in his native New Zealand and in Boston, New York and St. Louis. His poems and texts have appeared in such Boston publications as Agni, Oak Square and lift, in the Black Mountain II Review out of Buffalo, in New Zealand journals, and in the St. Louis online magazine The Ampersand as well as Inter-Action St. Louis. In keeping with his intention to update American poetry's conjunctions with jazz by incorporating cadences and echoes from rock, new wave and even electronic dance music, Chris will be performing his poems through improvisations with DJ Curtis Judge.

Colleen McKee is an MFA student at University of Missouri-St. Louis and an editor of Confluence. Her work has appeared in a variety of publications, including Delmar, Inter-Action St. Louis, and Bridges, and she has performed at Venus Envy, The Forum for Contemporary Art, and other venues. Her poems are mostly short monologues, sensual and often funny.

Chris Hayden's work has appeared in numerous litmags and anthologies, such as Drumvoices, Break Word with the World, The Riverking Poetry Supplement, Intermission, Longshot and Ain't but a Place. He is a former member of the Creative Arts and Expression Laboratory and the So What Poetry Ensemble. He has two collections of poetry, The Brown Girl in the Library and Kongo Groove. He edited St. Louis Muse, an anthology of regional poetry. Chris' style is a musical, eclectic mix of ancient, modern and traditional, the formal and the colloquial, heavily influenced by the Beat and Black Arts Movements of the Sixties. (BHM)

Monday, February 17
A Night of Irish Poetry & Music, with Eamonn Wall, Gearoid O hAllmhurain and Susan Firer
Duff's, 392 N. Euclid
$4/5, all ages, 7:30 p.m., 314-533-4541

Could it be more perfect? An evening of all arts Irish, in the homey, woody warmth of Duff's, all brought to you by River Styx, that venerable monthly reading series — it warms the cockles of the heart. Two poets (Wall and Firer, whose work is described by no less a talent that Billy Collins as like entering "Kubla Kahn's pleasure dome") are joined by O hAllmhurain, a fourth-generation musician who holds five World Championship Irish music titles for concertina and uilleann pipes. (AED)

Tuesday, February 18
Webster University Film Series: "War Photographer"
Moore Auditorium, 470 E. Lockwood
$4-6, all ages, 7 p.m., 314-968-7487,

Webster University is currently unspooling the 2003 edition of the Human Rights International Film Festival, which is a series of fine documentaries and features on the late-winter calendar. Among the more intriguing titles is "War Photographer" (Christian Foe, 2001, 96 min.), which chronicles the life and job of James Nachtwey, who is no stranger to danger as he shoots in some of the most conflicted areas of the world. Note: Webster's Film Series has moved screenings up to 7 p.m., from the time-immemorial start of 8 p.m. So set your clock an hour earlier. (TC)

Wednesday, February 19
World Wide Wednesdays — BookCrossing Party: Vicarious Voyages
The Commonspace, 615 N. Grand
Free with donation of at least one travel-themed book, all ages, 6:30 p.m., 314-531-1707

BookCrossing It's the kickoff of a new series of monthly fun at The Commonspace: World Wide Wednesdays, which will bring various corners of the globe up close and personal for St. Louis. To get in the spirit, grab a travel book or two from your shelf where — admit it — they've been moldering since you nixed that trip to Turkey, and bring 'em down to the gathering. There, helpful volunteers will assist you in registering your book with (the coolest thing we've seen in a while, a way to trade and track books as they freely exchange hands), you'll toss it on the "free books" pile, and at the end of the evening, perhaps you'll go home with an Italian phrase book or a nice collection of "women on the road" essays, instead. Then, plan your own travels and watch your book travel, too, as future finders and readers of your copy will be able to update the book's registry online. Come and mingle with fellow travelers on life's road! (AED)

Thursday, February 20
Mad Art Gallery, 12th & Lynch in Soulard
Free, all ages, 7:30 p.m. (doors)/8 p.m. (show); 314-241-4950,

While recent Cine16 programs have featured a lot of fun and whimsy, this month's programming, timed to coincide with Black History Month, is armed with a bit more serious fare. A double feature is on tap with the Academy Award-nominated "American Shoeshine" (Sparky Greene, 1976, 30 min.) and "Eyes on the Prize: Ain't Scared of Your Jails" (Harry Hampton, 1987, 57 min.). This free monthly series has been drawing a fantastic audience and getting to the Mad Art early is recommended. (TC)

Monday, February 24
"Hour-and-Under Film Festival"
Frederick's Music Lounge, 4454 Chippewa
Free, 21-up, 6 p.m.-1:30 a.m., 314-351-5711,

Yours truly will mine the depths of the personal video library for some short films and mid-length features. These titles have never played in St. Louis, or have been limited to an extremely short run or festival appearance. Among the offerings (with some repeating during the evening): "Another Girl, Another Planet," the music-infused, PXL-2000 feature by "Nadja" writer/director Michael Almereyda; Errol Morris' look at America's strangest small town, "Vernon, Florida"; and Hal Hartley's look at millennial confusion, "The Book of Life," which stars P.J. Harvey. Plus miscellaneous shorts. (TC)

Friday, February 28
Concert: Anamude, Corey Saathoff & The Brain Regiment, Melody Den
The Commonspace, 615 N. Grand
$5 ($3 for Friends of The Commonspace), all ages, 7:30 p.m. (doors)/8 p.m. (show), 314-531-1707

No Depression-ites, this is your night. For fans of the homegrown music known as alt-country/roots rock/genre name du jour, tonight's show brings the folk-pop music of Anamude followed by the indie-garage sounds of Corey Saathoff & The Brain Regiment, who count REM, Uncle Tupelo and Guided by Voices among their influences. Headliners Melody Den assemble the star power of members of Waterloo and the Murder City Players, with straightforward, pleasing lyrics and music. Note to the hip: get there early to guzzle a Go Go Energy Drink, desirable for the anime-esque can art alone. (AED)


SLU Global Film Series
Kelley Auditorium, Saint Louis University
Free, all ages, 7 p.m., 314-977-2456

Rightly, Webster University has been the campus of choice for cinema lovers for the past two decades. But every so often, one of the other schools in town offers a quality, short-run feature program, such as this 11-film series brought to life by the campus' Office of Student Life and the Film Studies Program. On this evening, Sir Richard Attenborough's "Cry Freedom" (1987, USA, 157 min.), which is one of four American titles in this "international" series. A little funny, that, but these are all quality films, with notables like "The Tin Drum," "The Killing Fields" and "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," among them. (TC)

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