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

Now, November
By Thomas Crone, Amanda E. Doyle and Brian H. Marston

Continuing through November 21
Art Exhibit: Recent Works by Terrell Carter and Benjamin Pierce
The Commonspace, 615 N. Grand in Grand Center, one block north of the Fox Theatre
Free, all ages, open daily, 314-531-1707

St. Louis artists Carter and Pierce share the gallery walls and an aesthetic dialogue, from representational images in response to the imagined effects of war on the family to an ethereal, hip-hop-infused gallery of characters from a dreamscape. Good stuff at ownable prices. (AED)

Continuing through November 26
Fall Fusion Festival
Gilberg Farms, 4 miles west of Shaw Arboretum in Robertsville, MO
All ages, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily, 636-530-3603,

Why just celebrate one fall holiday at a time, when you can get a triple dose (that includes Halloween, Thanksgiving and the Day of the Dead) in one shot? Doug Gilberg, who spends the rest of the year supplying perennials and other garden gear to folks across the area, dreamt up this full-on autumn extravaganza to honor the traditions of both the U.S. and Mexico. Take a gander at some of the offered activities: hayrides, pumpkin patch wandering, gift shopping for authentic Mexican collectibles, bonfires and delicious Mexican food (on weekends only). Throw the kids in the car and head for the Meramec River Valley! (AED)

Sunday, November 2
"Day of the Deadbeats"
Focal Point, 2720 Sutton
$3, all ages, 7 p.m., 314-821-5834

A now-annual tradition, "Day of the Deadbeats" features a variety of local performance artists, poets and other lovers of the written (and spoken, and shouted) word giving "spirited" voice to favorite works by the Beat Generation's finest authors. Most of the usual cast will be in place for this year's reading, including organizer Paul Thiel, publicist Brett Underwood and cohorts like Michael Castro, Ann Haubrich, Tom "Papa" Ray, Elizabeth Vega and many others. The centerpiece, as in the past, will be the group reading of "Howl," which is a multi-member affair with drum accompaniment. Always an interesting evening, for sure. (TC)

Sunday, November 2
Tigersmilk, Darin Gray, Hanna/Hall, Joseph Potthoff
Upstairs at Mekong, 3131 S. Grand
$7, 21-up, doors 9 p.m./show 10 p.m., 314-773-3388

Bringing a host of experimental players to town for one evening, local musician and reluctant booking agent Eric Hall pulls off one of his more adventurous evenings yet, with a host of players and styles on this bill. Fitting into the tight confines of the Upstairs' performance space may be the trickiest part of the evening for this crew, who'll bring all manner of instrumentation to life. And with a lineup this large, expect some cross-pollination among groups and the chance for the club's 3 a.m. time limit to be tested. (TC)

Monday, November 3
Miranda Sound
Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center, 3310 Lemp Avenue
$5, all ages, 8 p.m., 314-771-1096,

An indie rock band from Columbus, OH, the Miranda Sound make an appearance at the increasingly active Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center, in support of their album "Engaged in Labor" on the Standard Recording Company label. The band's album has been hailed like so: "Full of hooks and immediately accessible, but ("Engaged") retains its sparkle listen after listen by revealing seemingly infinite nuances." Space is tight at the Lemp so if the band's edgy pop is your bag, get there early. (TC)

Wednesday, November 5
Lecture: "Don't Cry for Me, Ike and Tina — St. Louis and the National Imagination," presented by cultural historian George Lipsitz
The Knights Room in Pius XII Memorial Library, SLU, 3650 Lindell Blvd.
Free, all ages, 7:30 p.m., 314-977-3516

Dr. Lipsitz, professor of American Studies at UC-Santa Cruz, comes to put St. Louis in its place, at least in terms of how the rest of the country sees us. Lipsitz has impressive credentials, including authorship of "A Life in the Struggle: Ivory Perry and the Culture of Opposition" and "The Sidewalks of St. Louis: Places, People and Politics in an American City." Fringed dresses, a la Tina Turner ca. 1971, optional. (AED)

Thursday, November 6
"Overarching Issues: Planning and Development, St. Louis-Style" symposium
Harris-Stowe Stage College's Emerson Performing Arts Center, 3026 Laclede
Free, 2-5 p.m., 314-340-3687

Local development wonks and planning fans will delight in this afternoons sessions, featuring such St. Louis notables as former deputy mayor Mike Jones, Harris-Stowe prof Mark Abbott, and Landmarks topper Carolyn Toft, participating in sessions including "Singing the Blues: St. Louis' Planning Past" and "Looking Backward: How St. Louis Got it Right." Come put your neighborhood's struggles in some historical context. (AED)

Saturday, November 8
Readings at City Museum: Jarek Steele and Kari EdwardsB Beatnik Bob's at City Museum, 701 N. 15th St.
$5, 8 p.m.,

The monthly reading series continues with works tonight from two gender activists, both using powerful poetry to confront society's notions of gender and power. Steele's poem "Trans-Substantiation" won the first-ever poetry slam sponsored by at the Los Angeles BookExpo America earlier this year. Edwards graduated from Wash U and now lives in San Francisco, and last year won the New Langton Art's Bay Area Award for literature. (AED)

Friday, November 7
Jeff Miller's "Along These Lines"
Gallery Urbis Orbis, 419 No. 10th Street
Free, all ages, 5-11 p.m., 314-406-5778, 314-406-5778,

Mixing and matching all types of media, artist Jeff Miller touches on painting, sculpture, furniture design and large-scale installations, all of which will find exploration in this show, the first at Urbis Orbis' new space in the 10th Street Lofts. That alone should bring out the curious, but Miller's idiosyncratic work should keep them — in addition to what's on the walls, Miller plans on some live performance through the evening, including a Bjork cover. Okay, then. Though trains will be a running theme in the work this evening, expect everything but the kitchen sink (and maybe even that) to be in the final lineup for a show that was still coming together at press time. (TC)

Saturday, November 8
Enormous Richard with Fred's Variety Group
CBGB, 3163 So. Grand
Price TBA, 21-up, doors 9 p.m./show 10 p.m.

In the early 1990s, St. Louis was home to a variety of groups making waves on the national scene. And though any type of full-blown, traditional "success" eluded most of those groups, Enormous Richard had more fun along the way than any of the rest. A cult band with a rabid following in places as scattered as West Virginia, Louisville, Chicago and the old Cicero's, (of course), ER put a lot of miles on their van(s) as they brought their brand of "skuntry" rock to the unsuspecting. This show will feature the more-or-less original lineup of the group, circa the group's classic cassette release, "Why It's Enormous Richard's Almanac," a tape of hilarious near-country and garage rock rave-ups. Getting by on charm and wit as much as on pure talent, it'll be interesting to see how loose and shambolic this one-off reunion show will be. For old fans, a sudden, sharp nostalgia burst. For newcomers...well, you'll just have to explain in your own words after the show. They're that kind of band. (TC)

Sunday, November 9
The Music of Jefferson and Lewis
Missouri History Museum, Lindell & DeBaliviere in Forest Park
Free, all ages, 3 p.m., 314-454-3150

Ever wanted to get down the way Meriwether Lewis would've? Here's your chance, as the Laclede Quartet recreates some of the music that was popular on the society circuit at winter balls and cotillions that Lewis attended during his 1903-04 preparations for the Big Trip West. Probably some of the last civilized stuff he savored before spending countless nights chowing down on hardtack and fatback. (AED)

Tuesday, November 11
Joia! 10th Anniversary Concert
Sheldon Concert Hall, 3648 Washington Ave.
$5 (at door only)/free for kids under 10, all ages, 7:30 p.m.,

You just haven't shaken it until you're shakin' it with Joia, St. Louis own percussion amalgam that's always having the best time of anyone on stage or in a parade. Free egg shakers will be handed out, allowing you to shake more than just your booty to tunes from the band's latest CD, "9th and Geyer." Guaranteed to send you out the door jumpin'. (AED)

Thursday, November 13
Underwood Poetry with Rachel Zucker and Emily Wilson
Gallery Urbis Orbis, 419 No. 10th Street
Free, all ages, 7 p.m.,

At its new home at Gallery Urbis Orbis, Underwood's 2003-04 season kicks off with readings by Rachel Zucker and Emily Wilson, who'll be reading selections from recent works. The first 20 to enter the doors this evening will receive a letterpress bookmark of the series, and the authors' books and exclusive letterpress editions of their work will be available for sale. (TC)

Friday, November 14
"Civilian Spirits"
City Museum, 15th & Lucas
$7.50 (includes museum admission), all ages, 7 p.m.-12 a.m., 314-496-6112,,

Featuring multiple media reactions to the "effects of globalism, consumerism, foreign policy and trade," especially in relation to recent U.S. policies towards the Middle East, this evening will blend lectures, live music and an art opening. The highlighted speaker is Bill Ayers, a one-time member of the Weather Underground, now living in Chicago as a professor and lecturer and the author of the compelling memoir "Fugitive Days." With what should be a wildly varying evening of approaches and moods, this event is in possession of a lengthy manifesto, which we'd invite you to read the website listed above, in order to not paraphrase and lose the meaning of the evening, organized by Brett Underwood (who's having a busy month) and Gena Brady. Safe to say that some of the kids on date-night-out at the Museum might get an earful on this weekend night. (TC)

Friday, November 14 & Saturday, November 15
Designs for Dignity Holiday Boutique
Women's Support and Community Services, 2165 Hampton
Fri. night preview $25 (includes live music & refreshments)/Sat. shopping free, 6-9 p.m. Fri./9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat., 314-646-7500, ext. 102

Admit it, just about no one you know is going to stick to your "no gifts, please" plea, even if they say they will, so you might as well be prepared with some lovely items for holiday giving. And this beats the heck out of slogging through the mall. Instead, a charming collection of local, artist-made wares — from notecards to tortilla warmers to soaps and jewelry — will make your spirits bright. Friday night is tops, because non-mass-produced goods are very often one-of-a-kind...and you want the best shot, right? We knew you did. A portion of the proceeds benefits the good works of WSCS, a counseling and advocacy agency for survivors of domestic violence. (AED)

Saturday, November 15
10th Anniversary Celebration for the Missouri Center for the Book
Schlafly Branch library, 225 N. Euclid
Free, all ages, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m., 314-367-4120

Yay! The Book! We at The Commonspace, despite our digital leanings, are big fans of The Book. An all-star lineup of Missouri authors will read during the day: if you must pick just one, we recommend the 2:30 p.m. session with Laurell K. Hamilton, who writes of vampire killers and a dark world where the living, dead and undead mingle with alarming frequency. See the full roster here. (AED)

Saturday, November 15
Breakin' @ The Commonspace
615 N. Grand in Grand Center, one block north of the Fox Theatre
Free, all ages, 2 to 4 p.m., 314-531-1707,

DJ Reign from the Squatch Ahulicz crew will cook up something nice for you on his wheels of steel, and we'll be previewing the bboy documentary Owen Woodard produced for dhTV. As always, our linoleum will be in full effect. Breakdancing isn't back; it was never gone. (BHM)

Sunday, November 16
Metropolitan Congregations United Public Meeting
America's Center, 8th and Washington, downtown
Free, all ages, 4-5:30 p.m.

Want to know what points are on the agenda that many local groups agree to throw their weight behind? Any student of the urban condition in St. Louis will benefit from attending this afternoon session: you'll get a preview of some talking points of the powerful MCU caucus for the upcoming legislative session, plus a powerful dose of civic pride and activist vigor, as the crowds here (and we do mean crowds — many local churches pack several school buses full and channel those folks in the door) tend to be large, excited and ready to do war for the cause of a stronger St. Louis. Also one of the best places around, outside lunch at St. Raymond's, to spot area politicos glad-handing. (AED)

Monday, November 17
"Reconnecting St. Louisans to the River" talk, Professor Andrew Hurley
UMSL J.C. Penney Conference Center, Room 229
Free, all ages, 12:15-1:15 p.m., 314-516-5699

Hey! There's a river over there! All too often, it seems that our fair river city exists wholly separated from the river that spawned our growth. Hurley, author of "Common Fields: An Environmental History of St. Louis," will discuss recent initiatives to focus on St. Louisans' bond with the mighty Mississippi. Bring a lunch, if you like. (AED)

Monday, November 17
River Styx at Duff's with Stephen Dunn and David Clewell
Duff's Restaurant, 392 No. Euclid
$4-5, all ages, 7:30 p.m., 314-533-4541

The long-running River Styx reading series enters its 29th year with selections from two poets: Stephen Dunn, author of 12 collections of work and a fellow and professor at Richard Stockton College in New Jersey; and David Clewell, a well-known professor and poet from Webster University. (TC)

Monday, November 17
Reading: Katherine Paterson
Washington University's Hilltop Campus (location TBA)
Free, all ages, 8 p.m., 314-935-5576

A blast from my past, anyway: Paterson is the author of several young adult books that received wide acclaim, including "Jacob Have I Loved" and "Bridge to Terabithia," both of which received the Newbery Medal, along with several winners of the National Book Award. Her personal history is almost as interesting as her fictional realms: born to missionary parents in China, she grew up in China and the U.S., and now lives in Vermont. This is a rare opportunity to hear this celebrated author read and speak about her work. (AED)

Tuesday, November 18
Discover St. Louis: "The Surveillance Society" with Jeffrey Rosen
Des Lee Auditorium, Missouri Historical Society, Forest Park
Free, all ages, 7 p.m.,

Part of the continuing Discover St. Louis series, this evening's topic may be the most controversial, or "hot button" of the lot, "Reclaiming Privacy and Security in an Age of Terror." According to the Mo History text about the event: "How does a region protect itself from terrorism and respond to national crises? How do governments protect their citizens without compromising civil rights? Join Jeffrey Rosen, the legal affairs editor of The New Republic and law professor at George Washington University, for an exploration of the legal, technological and cultural implications of becoming a surveillance society." And did we mention that cocktails will be available? Might loosen the mood, if only a touch. (TC)

Thursday, November 20
Concert: Scott & Michelle Dalziel with Alex Sutherland
The Commonspace, 615 N. Grand in Grand Center, one block north of the Fox Theatre
$6 (free for Friends of The Commonspace), all ages, show 8 p.m., 314-531-1707,,

Fresh off an opening slot at Off Broadway, the Dalziels spend the second night of their St. Louis homecoming in our public living room, the perfect place to showcase their catchy folk-pop. They will perform many of the tunes off their just-released CD, "Diary," which, coincidentally enough, will also be available for sale! What serendipity. Celtic singer-songwriter Alex Sutherland will open with a mixture of historic, nostalgic and fun Scottish folk songs. The perfect early start to the weekend, 'cause Thursday's the new Friday, you know. (AED)

Thursday, November 20
Cine 16: "Behind the Screens"
Mad Art Gallery, 2727 So. 12th Street
Free, all ages, 8 p.m.,

This month's presentation of Cine16 will be co-sponsored by Cinema St. Louis, as the St. Louis International Film Festival will be running during this week. With that in mind, the curators have chosen a night dedicated to films on filmmaking, including a couple of really promising titles in Will Vinton's "Claymation" and "The Magic World of Karel Zeman," which studies the whimsical animation techniques of that special effects master. After a challenging, let's say, October program, this Cine16 brings back the crowd-pleasing stuff. And at a price you can't beat. (TC)

Friday, November 21
"In a Little World of Our Own" theatre production
HotHouse Theatre at the ArtLoft, 1527 Washington Ave.
$15-$20, 8 p.m.,

Continuing their season of St. Louis premieres, Hothouse brings us this award-winning play set in the Troubles of Northern Ireland. The production questions family loyalty and how to maintain personal dignity when long-term violence has become a fact of life. Not just a St. Louis first, it's an American premiere, as well. Continues through Dec. 7. (AED)

Saturday, November 22
Presentation: "The Possibility and Limits of Political Clairvoyance"
The Commonspace, 615 N. Grand in Grand Center, one block north of the Fox Theatre
$3 to cover copying costs (free for Friends of The Commonspace and Arch City Chronicle subscribers), all ages, noon - 1 p.m., reservation required,

We will start with a quick consideration of why events that seem obvious in hindsight were obscured from foresight. We will introduce a theory on accurate ways of imagining the future as well as several techniques to think through possible futures. It's all guesswork, but it should be fun. Dave Drebes, publisher of the Arch City Chronicle, a biweekly broadsheet covering St. Louis people and politics, will lead the discussion. (BHM)

Friday, November 28
"Wings of Desire"
Saint Louis Art Museum auditorium, One Fine Arts Drive in Forest Park
$5, 7 p.m.,

Wim Winders' 1987 classic follows the wanderings of the angel Damiel through post-war Berlin. Worn-out and depressed by all the comfort he must provide, Damiel makes decision to forego his own immortality for the chance to find true love. (AED)

Friday, November 28 - Sunday, November 30
"Monty Python and the Holy Grail"
Webster University Film Series, Wini Moore Auditorium, 470 East Lockwood
$4-6, all ages, 7 p.m.,

The Webster University Film Series has gone through some major personnel changes in 2003, but the high quality of programming has remained steadfast. On this weekend, the Series takes a decided change towards the popular — if cult popular — in bringing a classic "Monty Python" film to another shot at life on the big screen. You probably know the conceit of this film, a parody of the British knight-in-shining-armor epics. You might not know that this was one of Elvis Presley's favorite films late in life. Any why shouldn't it have been? (TC)

Saturday, November 29
Reading/Book Release: "Surrender (But Don't Give Yourself Away)," by Spike Gillespie
The Commonspace, 615 N. Grand in Grand Center, one block north of the Fox Theatre
Free, 7 p.m., 314-531-1707,

Kids, you're in for a treat tonight, as one of our favorite expats returns to town for a one-night-only reading of her ruminations and essays. Spike Gillespie's new book is chock full of the significant, the mundane, the ridiculous and the often unexpectedly poignant. But she also swears a lot and is a, shall we say, somewhat unconventional person...and a whole lot of fun. Come meet her Spike-ness yourself, and you may very well find your love affair with the world renewed. As Spike concludes, "As long as a crush remains a crush, a crush offers hope. False hope = Better than no hope." (AED)

Sunday, November 30
"Portraits Along the River" book release
Mangia Italiano, 3145 So. Grand
Free, all ages, 3-5 p.m., 314-664-8585,

Okay, the height of shillery here. Yours truly worked on a book project over the past two years with photographer Bob Reuter. The book's in our hands now. And we'd like to in yours. This release event will offer the first chance to purchase the work, which features 50 St. Louisans discussing their jobs and all the elements around it — like their backgrounds, their neighborhoods, their hopes and dreams and goals and all that stuff. We'd like to think it's a solid addition to the growing collection of works on local civics. You don't even have to like to read, since the book's full of photos. And you don't even have to like photography, since we'll have a buffet and complimentary refreshments. Do drop by if you get the chance. (TC)

Sunday, November 30
Kangaku Social Justice Book Club
The Commonspace, 615 N. Grand in Grand Center, one block north of the Fox Theatre
Free, all ages, 3-5 p.m., 314-795-2663,

November's book is "All Our Relations: Native Struggles for Land and Life," by Winona LaDuke. 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. We, of course, encourage you to get your copy of the book at the library or Left Bank Books. (AED)

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