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

Sweet, Sweaty July
By Amanda E. Doyle, Thomas Crone and Brian H. Marston


St. Louis Go Club
The Commonspace, 615 N. Grand in Grand Center
Free, all ages, noon - 4 p.m., 314-531-1707,

You may recognize the game from the movies "Pi" and "A Beautiful Mind." The American Go Association sums it up like this: "Go is an ancient board game that takes simple elements — line and circle, black and white, stone and wood — combines them with simple rules and generates subtleties that have enthralled players for millennia. Beyond being merely a game, Go can take on other meanings to enthusiasts: an analogy with life, an intense meditation, a mirror of one's personality, an exercise in abstract reasoning, or, when played well, a beautiful art in which black and white dance across the board in delicate balance. But most important for all who play, Go is challenging and fun." Whether you're a ranked expert or interested in learning how to play, stop by to pick up a game, and be sure to sign up for the stlgo Yahoo! Group. (BHM)

Board Game Night
The Commonspace, 615 N. Grand in Grand Center
Free, all ages, 7-10 p.m., 314-531-1707,

What could be more fun and wholesome than an evening spent playing board games? We've got about 20 different games to choose from, and you're also welcome to bring your own. Come with a friend or make new ones. (BHM)

Webster University Film Series: "Fassbinder"
Moore Auditorium, 470 East Lockwood
$4-6, all ages, 8 p.m., 314-968-7487,

Rainer Werner Fassbinder Continuing a retrospective series that began in late June, the Webster U Film Series is bringing a big chunk of Rainer Werner Fassbinder's catalog to the friendly confines of the Wini Moore this month. The 10 programs this month include shorts and features, with longtime local film critic Robert Hunt offering introductory comments on select Saturday night screenings. For a look at the complete schedule, check out the Film Series site, giving yourself a chance at a quick education on one of Europe's most important filmmakers of the last 40 years. (TC)

Wednesday, July 2
Cinema in the City: "Gimme Shelter"
Beatnik Bob's Café @ the City Museum, 15th & Lucas
$4, all ages, 7:30 p.m., 314-968-7487,

Our sincere hope is that the Rolling Stones don't actually get a cut of the profits, when this 1970 concert classic plays town. (The band's got enough money, we say!) See Mick Jagger prance and dance upon the stage! See Hell's Angels defy the rules of combat by killing an attendee at knifepoint! Smile at the fashions! Wince at the drug usage! Enjoy the songs thoroughly, or stop up your ears, depending on how well the Stones' hoary chestnuts wear on you! A counter-cultural time capsule, this film. (TC)

Thursday, July 3
"Leo Connellan: Crossing America" listening party
Geoffrey Sietz Violin Maker, 4171 Loughborough
Free, all ages, 7 p.m., 314-353-1312,,

We could laud the virtues of the CD "Crossing America" all day, citing the wildly appropriate blend of roots music and beat poetry. But it might be better to simply recommend a listen for your own darn self. On this evening, the CD will be played, along with live performances by some of the musicians featured on the disc, including the Dave Stone Trio and Geoff Seitz, who'll be hosting the event at his charming violin shop. You'll enjoy the disc, but you'll also enjoy the chance to visit this music shop, where the handcrafted violins line the walls like works of fine art. (TC)

Saturday, July 5
Film: "Colin Powell"
Walnut Park branch of the St. Louis Public Library, 5760 W. Florissant Ave.
Free, all ages, 3 p.m., 314-383-1210

Get to know the man behind the uniform in this one-hour documentary; Powell himself narrates the story of his life, from a childhood in the South Bronx to his military career to his position in the loftiest levels of the United States government. Agree or disagree with his politics, his story is a fascinating one. (AED)

Sunday, July 6
World's Largest Catsup Bottle Summerfest Birthday Party & Car Show Bash
Downtown Collinsville, IL
Free admission, all ages, 11 a.m. start, 618-345-5598,

the world's largest catsup bottle It's too bad the organizers decided to stop with just a ten-word title for this blowout event, because there's so much more they could've included: "Attack of the Killer Tomatoes" singing contest! The Farewell Twirl by Hayley Martin! Celebrity Catsup Taste Contest! Sidewalk Chalk! Well, it's fun no matter how many words you use to describe it, and it's hard to imagine who wouldn't be charmed by this much kitsch. Come for the catsup, stay for the Zydeco Crawdaddies, who perform at 6:30 p.m. (File this under "next trivia night knowledge:" that Brooks bottle is 170 feet tall and was built in 1949. And yes, that's Becky, Queen of Carpet, zipping around the bottle in her new ads.) (AED)

Wednesday, July 9
Black Lipstick and Octopus Project
Way Out Club, 2525 So. Broadway
$4-6, 21-up, 9 p.m., 314-664-POET,

One of the more eccentric and appealing acts working the indie circuit today, the Octopus Project come to St. Louis for a one-off with fellow Austin, Texans Black Lipstick. Octopus Project combine herky-jerky rhythms with fun melodies, using usual rock instrumentation like guitars and seldom-seen inventions, like the theremin. They're terribly amusing, which is to say they're quite amusing. Very. Really. (TC)

Wednesday, July 9 - Thursday, July 31
The Commonspace, 615 N. Grand in Grand Center
Free, all ages,

This show features visual art pieces created by students and mentors in the IMAGINE program, which partners incarcerated adolescents with working artists, as a collaborative effort to allow the students to learn healthy outlets for self-expression. Media include photographs, paintings, drawings, ceramics and more; come enjoy the lively mix of art and people! (AD)

Friday & Saturday, July 11 & 12
Friday & Saturday, July 18 & 19
Barfly Theater: David Mamet's "Sexual Perversity in Chicago"
$11 ($8 for card-carrying Friends of The Commonspace), mature audiences, 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. each night,,

"Sexual Perversity in Chicago" is about two young men, Bernie and Dan, and two young women, Deborah and Joan, trying to sort out their sex lives amid filing cabinets and the nervous regimentation of the singles bar scene. In a series of short scenes, we see them falling in and out of love in a comedy of failure to learn. Two of them have an affair that their two friends coach from the sidelines, helping to break up the relationship. The 1986 film "About Last Night..." was based on this play, and storefront theater is the best entertainment on Grand.

Saturday, July 12
Cohousing Salon
The Commonspace, 615 N. Grand in Grand Center
Free, all ages, 10 a.m. - noon, 314-534-4780,

Come join us for coffee and conversation on cohousing. Find out about this new opportunity to live in cooperation with your neighbors and in harmony with nature. There are three cohousing communities forming in St. Louis; we'll have information on all of them. This is a chance to get your questions answered and meet some of the people already involved, including leaders of the Culver Way Cohousing community near The Commonspace. (AED)

Saturday, July 12
Our Lady of Artica Spaghetti Dinner
Mad Art Gallery, 2525 So. 12th
$12 (and cash bar), all ages, 7-11 p.m., 314-752-9528,

In order to raise some needed dough for the Artica 2003 experience along the City's north riverfront, organizers are throwing a "traditional spaghetti dinner" (including cake walk!) at the decidedly appropriate venue of the Mad Art. Our guess is that a rather colorful assortment of people will be on hand. (TC)

Saturday & Sunday, July 12 & 13
Third Annual International Funfest
Missouri History Museum, Skinker and DeBaliviere in Forest Park
Free, all ages, noon-4 p.m. both days, 314-454-3150,

How's this for exposing your kids to the wide, wide world? In the span of two short days, you can experience samba, klezmer, Japanese drumming, African dance and Celtic pipe tunes, all without renewing your passport. This family-friendly event also features magic from Terry Richison, balloon animals, caricatures and the ever-popular face-painting. (Try to steer the teens away from the Marilyn Manson look...) (AED)

Tuesday, July 15
The Commonspace Computer Club
The Commonspace, 615 N. Grand in Grand Center
Free, all ages, 7:30 p.m.

The CCC is an opportunity for the geekily inclined to get together informally and share information about cool Web sites, software and hardware they've been playing with. In July, Brian Marston will talk about Fotolog, and Xperience, Inc. will discuss KNOPPIX. Bring a laptop to try them out yourself. If you'd like to make a presentation, email (BHM)

Thursday, July 17
Welcoming the Stranger: A Dialogue on Diversity and Acceptance
Sheraton Clayton Plaza, 7730 Bonhomme Ave.
$35 (includes breakfast and lunch), 8 a.m.-2:30 p.m., 314-776-8885,

Despite great progress on some fronts, current tensions in the world continue to highlight how much we all can't seem to just get along. For those interested in dialogue and understanding, this day-long conference offers breakout sessions including hate crimes, interfaith issues, law enforcement and civil liberties and service learning for youth. Panelists will be drawn from a variety of professions, religious groups and ethnicities. Come take a look, and you'll see The Other is a lot like you. (AED)

Thursday, July 17
Peco & the Messenger
Frederick's Music Lounge, 4454 Chippewa
Free, 21-up, 7-9 p.m., 314-351-5711,

The Thursday night "Hootenanny" at Fred's is a mixed bag, as we've warned you about before. On some nights, the music's inspired; on some, it's insipid. Most of the time, it veers between the two. One of the acts that consistently wows the room, though, is Peco & the Messenger, a duo (sometimes a trio) that works in the field of slow soul, with ear-pleasing harmonies and the combination of hand drums, acoustic guitar, voice and saxophone. Though the usual Hoot will be on tap later in the evening — headed up by Tommy Halloran, soulful himself — the evening's highlight might come earlier than later. (TC)

Thursday, July 17
Cine16: "Lost Films from the AFA Archives"
Mad Art Gallery, 2525 So. 12th
Free, all ages, 314-241-4950,

Last year, Geoff Alexander of the Academic Film Archive of North America deemed St. Louis a great spot to hold regular screenings of "lost" 16-mm films. With knowledgeable curators, a great venue and a seemingly endless supply of good films to draw upon, the idea to use St. Louis as a satellite to San Jose has proven quite smart. For this special edition of the monthly series, Alexander comes to town, bringing six films with him, including the timely "Iran" (1971), a musical and visual journey into that land, 30-plus years back. Alexander's also in town for another curious event, detailed below. (TC)

Thursday, July 17 through Sunday, July 20
St. Louis Public Library Book Sale
Former Sears store, east end of the Marketplace, 6524 Manchester Ave.
Free (except $5 for Thursday night), all ages, 4-8 p.m. Thurs., 3-8 p.m. Fri, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sat., 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sun., 314-539-0345

There was a time, dear hearts, when yours truly had to stop attending large, inexpensive book sales, due to her propensity to come home laden with boxes full of classics, couldn't-pass-ups and willing-to-take-a-chance-on titles. When my volumes outstripped my shelf space, I had to take a hiatus...but this year might be the year I'm back in the used book game. With such bargain-basement prices — 10 cents for magazines! 50 cents for hardbacks! — I can milk an entire day's browsing out of ten bucks. (Now you see why no casino in the land has ever offered me a high-roller card, either...) More than 70,000 items on hand mean no one leaves empty-handed. (AED)

Friday, July 18
"Make Mine Morlam: Cutting Edge Culture from the Rice Paddies of Roi-Et to the Back Streets of Bangkok"
Gallery Urbis Orbis, 1409 Washington
Free, all ages, 314-241-4950,

Even for a hip gallery like Urbis Orbis, bringing a night of videos from Thailand is... well, unique. At one of Washington Avenue's new destinations, you can catch up with what's said to be "some of the hottest music coming out of Asia today," compliments of Geoff Alexander, the founder of the American Film Archive of North America. In addition to prerecorded video of the music, there will be live performance incorporated. We'll let Alexander pick up the details: "We'll be featuring 20-odd songs from our extensive Morlam video CD library, PLUS the brand-new VCD made of Jintara Poonlarb's red-hot road show. This show includes 50 dancers, twelve musicians, and she performs morlam, lukthung, and string music from Thailand. She is an exceptional performer, and this is a rare opportunity to see her in action." Just another Friday night in St. Louis! (TC)

Wednesday, July 23
World Wide Wednesdays: "Japan, A Study in Contradictions," with Robin Hattori
The Commonspace, 615 N. Grand in Grand Center
Free, all ages, 7 p.m., 314-531-1707,

Our series of global adventures (via folks who've been there, done that) continues with Robin Hattori, who's lived in the neon jungle of Tokyo and the rice paddies of rural Kyushu. She will speak about Japan based on her five years there in the '90s. Think high-tech toilets next to Barbie Doll washing machines. Picture old-world temples alongside nuclear-bomb-building cults. Learn the real reason why Japanese drive on the left side of the road! Robin will share these stories and more as well as bring some visual aids from the visually stunning Japanese archipelago.

Friday, July 25
Hitchcock's America: "Vertigo"
Saint Louis Art Museum auditorium, One Fine Arts Drive in Forest Park
$5, rated PG, 7 p.m., 314-721-0072,

There's just something so sublimely creepy about Alfred Hitchcock, the British master of suspense who made his home — and his reputation — with slightly off-kilter tales set in the states. In Vertigo, Jimmy Stewart plays a retired police officer trying to master both his vertigo (difficult to do in the sensory-overload setting of San Francisco) and his passions. Come see what real filmmaking is all about. (AED)

Saturday, July 26
Breakin' @ The Commonspace
The Commonspace, 615 N. Grand in Grand Center
Free, all ages, 2-4 p.m.,

Freeze! Yo! Once again, The Commonspace brings you a heapin' helpin' of hip hop culture. Groove to the sounds laid down by DJ Espi and watch the breakdancers do their thing. Got some moves of your own to show off? Get out on the linoleum and strut your stuff. Ain't nothing but a party, baby! (BHM)

Sunday, July 27
A Short Journey with William Least-Heat Moon
Missouri History Museum, Skinker and DeBaliviere in Forest Park
Free, all ages, 2 p.m., 314-454-3150,

Timed to coincide with the fun new "American Wanderlust" exhibit, Least-Heat Moon's appearance promises riveting tales from America's byways, where he spent much time gathering the anecdotes that fill his book "Blue Highways," among others. Even better, those nice folks at the History Museum are happy for you to bring books you already own for the author to sign...though they'll be happy to sell you one, too. (AED)

Sunday, July 27
Kangaku Book Club
The Commonspace, 615 N. Grand in Grand Center
Free, all ages, 3-5 p.m.,, 314-795-2663

July's book is Ordinary Resurrections: Children in the Years of Hope by Jonathan Kozol. According to Education World editor Lois Lewis, "Kozol offers a moving glimpse into the everyday lives of young children growing up in the South Bronx area of New York City." The Kangaku Book Club encourages learning to promote social justice. Its goal is to create a community of learning in the search for justice and truth. The group seeks to learn about local, national and international issues through books and through each other. Each month, they will choose a book related to various themes such as globalization, poverty, politics, education equity, the death penalty, women's issues, indigenous rights and struggle, etc.

Thursday, July 31
Savory Summer Concert Series, featuring Tim Albert and Danny Jackson of Uncle Albert
Whitaker Theater at the Pool Pavilion, Tower Grove Park
Free, all ages, 7 p.m., 314-968-5554, ext. 21,

The folks at Young Audiences have cooked up another delightful series of concerts for the whole family, and the last July installment features down-home music from blues to bluegrass, with a couple of fellows from the blues band Uncle Albert holding court. Bring a picnic or grab some take out from one of the many eateries along South Grand, and enjoy the show. A few audience members will be chosen to help create an original blues song; remember, all good blues includes bad women, bad liquor and preferably, a hound dog. (AED)

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