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Jan 2004 / it's all happening :: email this story to a friend

Let's Get this Party Started
By Amanda E. Doyle

December Events

Wednesday, January 7
Forum: Biotech and the Corporate Takeover of Food
Genesis House, 6018 Delmar
Free, all ages, 7 p.m., 314-771-8576

Kids, it's no secret that regardless of your feelings about genetic modification of foodstuffs and livestock, we here in the heartland are obliged to be informed about the issues, due to our proximity to corporations like Monsanto. So, here's an opportunity: hardly unbiased, but the evening will focus on the evils of biotech corporations and the consequences for small-scale farmers, including the movement's hero, Percy Schmeiser, who will join the panel by phone from Canada. (AED)

Friday, January 9
Art Opening: Paintings by Tim Meehan and Craig Downs
The Commonspace, 615 N. Grand in Grand Center, one block north of the Fox Theatre
Free, all ages, 7-10 p.m., postcard,

Lush, floating poppies and other ethereal florals characterize the work of Meehan, a filmmaker at heart who recently returned to St. Louis after a long absence. Downs' canvases have a van Gogh-esque sense of motion and bring brilliant color to bear on winter scenes, village squares and an homage to Frida Kahlo. Capping off the evening will be a performance by Copernicus 9, a band you really must see to believe. (AED)

Thursday, January 15
Reading/Signing: Elaine Viets
Machacek Branch Library, 6424 Scanlan
Free, 7 p.m., 314-781-2948

You can't swing a cat in this town without hitting someone who thinks expat and writer Elaine Viets was the last good thing to happen in this burg. Well, those folks (and perhaps mystery fans in general) will get their fix when Viets arrives to gab about her newest novel, Mystery Between the Covers. (Ooh, saucy! The imagination runs wild.) Even better, it's the second in a series Viets is calling the "Dead-End Job" set. Perfect for these jobless recovery times. (AED)

Thursday, January 15
Ciné16: "Nothing Strange"
Mad Art Gallery, 12th and Lynch in Soulard
Free, 8 p.m.,

New year, new chance to revive some of those old traditions you let slip by the wayside during those hurly-burly holidaze. Chief among them should be a monthly visit to this popular (and did we mention FREE??) film series, curated by local film luminaries Margie Newman and Marc Syp. This month's program offers the typical indescribable mayhem, with a particular gem in "The Big If," a Czech director's hypothesis on what might happen if the tools of war turned into giant balloons. That's a fantasy I can get with. (AED)

Friday, January 16
Concert: Carrie Newcomer
Sheldon Concert Hall, 3648 Washington Blvd.
$38/$42, all ages, 8 p.m.,

Sure, girlfriend has been praised up and down by the likes of Barbara Kingsolver and the Village Voice, but all you need to know is this: Carrie Newcomer is everything that's good about the neo-folk/songwriter revival. She collects a disparate array of influences (blues, classical and more) into a distinctive strain of truth-telling, midwestern style. Although she's written plenty of good songs that others have made famous (last year's Nickel Creek hit "I Should've Known Better," for one), we believe in going straight to the source. (AED)

Saturday, January 17
Breakin' @ The Commonspace
The Commonspace, 615 N. Grand in Grand Center, one block north of the Fox Theatre
Free, all ages, 2-4 p.m.,

DJs Origami and Espi will bring da noise, the b-boys will bring da funk and all you need to bring is your own bad self to enjoy an afternoon of hip hop in our public living room. The beat-up piece of linoleum is a testament to how much it gets worked every third Saturday. Watch the video to see what we mean. (AED)

Saturday, January 17
Concert: Little Anthony and the Imperials
Ameristar Casino, St. Charles riverfront
$25-$35, 21-up, 7 and 9 p.m., 1-877-444-2637

Now, I know: I'd better have a damn good reason for recommending a trip to either St. Charles or a casino, much less both! Trust me on this one, though: you haven't lived until you've heard Little Anthony sing "Tears On My Pillow," backed by the smooth-as-satin-sheets Imperials. It was a hit for them in 1958 and it's a hit today, dammit. (The perkier among you will also recognize "Shimmy, Shimmy Ko-Ko Bop"). Go and relive your own young adulthood...or perhaps the nerdy childhood that was forced upon you by an oldies-lovin' dad. Ahem. (AED)

Sunday, January 18
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,,

The winter-season book (that's what you call it when December/January get together!) is "Affluenza: The All-Consuming Epidemic," by John DeGraff. If you've ever found yourself wandering the mall for no good reason, that's reason enough to read this book. 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 at the library or Left Bank Books.

Friday, January 23
Film: "Death in Venice"
Saint Louis Art Museum auditorium, One Fine Arts Drive in Forest Park
$5, rated PG, 7 p.m., 314-721-0072

The 1971 film adaptation by acclaimed director Luchino Visconti, of the novel by Thomas Mann, explores the decadent decline of avant-garde musician Gustave von Aschenbach. He repairs to a seaside resort in Venice for a bit of personal recovery and stress relief, only to fall into a troubled relationship with a young boy visiting with his family. Decline ensues all around. (AED)

Saturday, January 24
Concert: Panic Attack with The Honeyshakers
The Commonspace, 615 N. Grand in Grand Center, one block north of the Fox Theatre
$5/free for Friends of The Commonspace, all ages, doors 7:30 p.m./show 8 p.m., 314-531-1707

Let's get one thing straight: though we love the boyz, we are big-time suckers for rock bands with (a) a female vocalist or (b) a female bassist. If you are, too, then make plans now to be here for this special acoustic version of the rock-pop of Panic Attack, a quartet led by singer Lisa Huffman. (She's a girl.) PA has built a solid reputation and put out their debut CD last year; the addition of bassist Greg Coan (he's a dude) has only made them better. The Honeyshakers (two girls) open with their distinctive, drummerless poppy rock. (AED)

Sunday, January 25
Chick Soup for the Venus Soul fundraiser
10 Westmoreland Pl.
Suggested donation $25, 2-4 p.m.,

Those wacky women of Venus Envy are so good at the creativity that we think you should attend this on the strength of the name alone. So, here's the scoop (soup?): in exchange for your donation, you'll get a heapin' helpin' of your choice of several delicious, homemade soups, equally delightful wine (and for you Atkins addicts, Mich Ultra), and a great introduction to the programs and big plans in the works for Venus Envy, a juried, all-female art show that started right here in River City and has now grown to include Memphis and Baton Rouge. An added plus will be the harp music of Terri Langerak and your chance to peek around in a fabulous CWE manse. RSVP required to 314-865-0181 or (AED)

Tuesday, January 27
Discover St. Louis: "The Power of the Past: The Role of Historic Preservation in a Multi-Cultural Society" with Robert Weyeneth
Des Lee Auditorium of the Missouri Historical Society, Forest Park
Free, all ages, 7 p.m.,

This is a topic near and dear to the heart of MoHist topper Bob Archibald, and a very interesting question, in general: how do you make sure that the kinds of choices and values that are brought to bear in historic preservation tell the whole story from more than one (i.e. the "winner's") perspective? Weyeneth, a social historian from South Carolina, offers examples of how historic preservation shapes popular understanding and why it is so often fraught with controversy. It's no longer good enough to gloss over the past's problems. (AED)

Friday, January 30
Play: "Love of Last Resort"
The Theatre at St. John's, 5000 Washington Pl. (@ Kingshighway)
$10/$12, 8 p.m., 314-276-8693,

It's just too good a setup to be true: two men (one stranded there for years, the other an overboard escapee from a gay cruise) find themselves the only inhabitants of a tropical island, with only each other and a trove of Martha Stewart Living back issues for amusement and survival. Is the blossoming love between them the real thing, or just the only thing currently available? Mr. Right, or Mr. Right Now? (It's a question that's plagued single gals, too). Get your tickets now to find out — and to enjoy the show's original music! (AED)

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