Art Papers, May/June 2004
"Surviving St. Louis," by Ivy Cooper
Cooper takes on the joys and heartaches of being a good artist in a non-top-tier city, and finds some pretty happy people making a go of it in St. Louis. She does a good job representing the breadth of arts in the Lou, from fancy-pants galleries like Elliot Smith and William Shearburn to crazy upstarts like Urbis-Orbis, Philip Slein, Fort Gondo and what do you know? The Commonspace. (That's not the only reason we're alerting you to this article, we swear.) Well-deserved props are given to Ken and Nancy Kranzberg, avid collectors of local work, as well as to the profile-enhancing additions of the Pulitzer and Contemporary collections. Overall, the theme is one we've been touting, too: bring your dream to the Lou, because your life will be so comparatively easy and cheap that you can really focus on what you love.
Velvet, 13th and Washington
I don't know a lot about club music, kids; I couldn't begin to tell you the nuanced differences that parse out drum-and-bass, deep trance, house, jungle and so on. But I like to put on the party clothes (even though my party clothes didn't disguise the fact that I'm over 30 and looked like a total narc) and dance, so the breakdance-loving husband and I made the scene at Velvet. DJ Icey hails from Orlando, and lays down what he calls "funky breaks," which to my untrained ear sounded, uh, pretty much like other club stuff. Which doesn't mean it wasn't good parts of the show were like being caught inside a euphoric video game. In fact, one of the most entertaining parts of the evening was watching the girl in front of me trip herself out using only her own hands. I think I just saw Ecstasy in action.
Waterloo CD release party (w/The Love Experts)
Lemmons, 5800 Gravois
You've gotta love the men of Waterloo, who spend more time collectively with the wife-and-kids set than the hard-livin', hard-rockin' types you'd find around the bar at, say, Frederick's Music Lounge. Which is not to say Waterloo can't rock out in fact, their live shows are the place to see this phenomenon break out, because a loyal fan base (and too-exposed groups, take note) the band's relatively infrequent nights playing out make for serious fandom when they do book a venue. The new CD, "In the Light of Day," has the same introspective lyrics over a beefed-up musical bed, but still all rooted in, well, roots. Keep your eyes peeled for their next show...and groupies, Waterloo baby-doll tees are now in stock!
"Super Size Me"
Tivoli Theatre, 6350 Delmar
Yeah, so by now you likely have an opinion about this movie, whether you've actually seen it or not Morgan Spurlock's over-the-top indulgence of the ultimate "what if I...?" musing seems to have captured the cultural zeitgeist of our simultaneous love affair/self-loathing with not just fast-food, but the entirety of our convenience-craving, consequences-of-actions-be-damned national lifestyle.
I started regretting the massive bucket o'popcorn I'd agreed to share with four friends as soon as the film started rolling. What's interesting, though, is that although the film and its approach are not subtle, Spurlock admits as much, and rather than just a lefty screed against Big Food, the end result was a rather thoughtful look at lots of trends, including the school lunch debacle. Spurlock admits his biases early on, and also admits he doesn't really have an entirely political agenda. Unlike his horrified vegan girlfriend, he freely cops to eating and loving the occasional McDonald's meal. And if nothing else, a viewing probably won't send you through the drive-through on the way home. That's bound to be a good thing.