The Mooney Suzuki, w/ White Light Motorcade, Longwave & The Raveonettes
Gargoyle at Washington University
I'll confess it: it was my first time in the belly of the beast known as the Gargoyle. Prodded there for the BIG ROCK SHOW! by a friend who does his best to shove me towards hipness in the face of my own unbelievable inertia I started feeling my years after several hours of standing on the hard concrete floor with way too many speakers for the size of the place.
But all that whining aside: The Mooney Suzuki are the masters of the aforementioned B.R.S., and were clearly basking in the reflected glory from the adoring kids smashed up against the stage. Frontman Sammy James Jr. (quite Zoolander-esque) was all energy and, when the situation called for it, admonishment; when two no-good-niks went obnoxiously whirling dervish-y down front, he suggested if they wanted to burn off negative energy they should "go over to the gym and throw around a football or something; it's 2003, not 1993, and the mosh pit is passé." TMS blitzed through one song after another, with their current single "In a Young Man's Mind" coming relatively early in the set. Guitarist Graham Tyler played most of the show teetering on the front lip of the stage, up close and person with fans who could and did reach out and touch their god. He also took several airborne forays out into the gleeful hands of the faithful, which spent the rest of the show in the trademark, index-finger-aloft TMS salute. All in all, definitely the sweatiest show five bucks has bought St. Louis lately.
And, um, The Raveonettes. I don't get 'em. But both White Light Motorcade (who rocked louder at 7:30 than many bands rock at 1 a.m.) and Longwave (whose slowed-down, Brit-pop set ended with the incongruous smashing of stuff) were crowd-pleasers, too. (AED)
Meshuggah Coffee House
University City Loop
Meshuggah has been an interesting spot in the U. City Loop for a while now. Though found on Melville, a tributary to the passing river of humanity on Delmar, the place always had an interesting story happening, even when only a few folks were inside or outside. And the latter is where you often would see people first. Hippies, raver kids, the veteran street characters of Delmar, Wash U sophomores playing hackey-sack. All of them have been found on the sidewalk there. Inside, you've had the changing art wall, the long counter and, for two glorious months in summer 2002, the World Cup on TV. Meshuggah is moving around the corner and down the block, to the space longed occupied by Addis Ethiopian Restaurant. It'll probably be a more workable space. Hopefully, it'll have a nicer bathroom. You'd have to assume that the drinks menu will remain the same. Still, it'll be different. Here's a quiet round of three cheers for the old space, a remarkable little joint to visit all these years. (TC)
3111 S. Grand, 314-771-7150
Locals along the South Grand strip may've just been happy to see Dunaway Books arrive simply as a civic positive, a business taking over a prime storefront in an area still needing a couple or key services and amenities to complete to the picture. Luckily, Dunaway's more than just another occupied space. While the fiction section of this used bookshop is a little bit hit-or-miss, the history sections, in particular, make it a needed stop. And the local and regional history section is definitely worth perusing, with a few dozen titles, including out-of-print St. Louis classics like "Catfish and Crystal" and "Sidestreets St. Louis," along with tracts, photo books and other quirky history titles. For that single shelf alone, you'll drop by. Then you'll drop by again. Just in case. (TC)
KDHX 88.1 FM
Weekdays, 8 a.m., kdhx.org
For a station that prides itself on high-quality local programming, it took a lot of thought to stick five hours of politically-tinged talk into the morning drive-time slot. In our current social climate, shows with diverse, divergent and dissenting voices are needed and those exactly the types of voices you'll hear on Amy Goodman's daily show. Even if you come from a left/progressive political background, "Democracy Now" will challenge. Folks come at issues from perspectives so far removed from the talking-head circuit of broadcast and cable television that you'll be forced to think and consider, even when disagreeing with someone's premise or theory. (TC)