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May 2005 / it's all happening :: email this story to a friend

May Days Are for Playing
By Amanda E. Doyle

Thursday, May 5
Rules, Expectations and the Art of Storytelling: An Adult Storytelling Workshop
Missouri History Museum, Lindell & DeBaliviere in Forest Park
Free, reservations requested, 4 p.m., 314-516-5948,

Are you one of those people who loses an audience the minute you start a rambling anecdote? Have you noticed your co-workers constantly interrupting to get you to the end of your tale? Sure, maybe you're surrounded by jerks, but maybe — just maybe! — your narrative skills are in need of upgrading. Get some tips at this free workshop, part of the St. Louis Storytelling Festival.

Saturday, May 7
Aloha Rock and Roll Prom
Way Out Club, Jefferson & Gravois
$8, 21-up, 9 p.m., 314-664-7638,

rock 'n' roll! We're big fans of the DIY scene in St. Louis, and Nancy and Kirk at the rockin' Pro-Vel Records are fine examples of the crowd. To wit: they started this awesome Rock and Roll Prom, and it's been the place TBS (to be seen) for a good while now. Still, innovate or die, right? They've decided to move on to kick ass at other events, but not before sending the prom out on a high note: thus, the Aloha Prom! Coconut bras, grass skirts and more are encouraged, as is regular prom gear, but the most important thing is to arrive before 10:15 to be in the running to be elected prom King or Queen. Tropical favorites The Electric and The Phonocaptors will play the soundtrack of your dreams.

Saturday, May 7 and Sunday, May 8
Independent Art Market
Fort Gondo Compound for the Arts, 3151 Cherokee
Free admission, all ages, noon-10 p.m. Sat./noon-5 p.m. Sun., 314-776-7271,

Sure, Laumeier's a great scene for Mother's Day, but if you're looking for some truly grassroots fine art and wearable/enjoyable craft, we suggest you get in on this event while it's still under the radar: from gorgeous handpainted textiles and jewelry by J. Marie Bannerot, to the fun and functional pottery of Carmelita Nunez, to the lost art of letterpress prints by Eric Woods at Firecracker Press, these are gifts for Mom (or yourself! We ain't gonna check) that will really resonate, much more so than the umpteenth pair of slippers from Target. Saturday night from 7-10 p.m. is the official reception, so if your mom will be impressed by some wine and cheese, by all means, pull out the stops!

Tuesday, May 10
Twilight Tuesdays: Aloha Mischeaux
Missouri History Museum, Lindell & DeBaliviere in Forest Park
Free, all ages, 6:30-8:30 p.m., 314-454-3150,

the delightfully named Aloha Mischeaux You have to admit, the Lou was representin' well this season on AI, and even if you're not a fan you have to love the exposure. Miss Aloha was a relatively early cast-off, but the singer (daughter of 3rd Ward scion Freeman Bosley, among other claims to fame) has pipes, and her hometown will surely turn out to show their love. Mischeaux will perform some covers along with her own original material, and you should bring a blanket, lawn chair, cooler and whatever else you need to enjoy music under the stars.

Wednesday, May 11
SLOWednesdays: Community Supported Agriculture
Schlafly Bottleworks, 7260 Southwest
5:30 p.m.,

This is the time of year at my house when we start flapping our jaws about how much we're going to go to Soulard and the other excellent farmers' markets around town, how we won't let anything pass our lips which is not at its locally grown prime, yadda yadda yadda. But what if there were a way to easily make such pledges come true, and support your honest-to-goodness local farmer-trying-to-do-the-right-thing at the same time? Gather round, kids: it's called Community Supported Agriculture (CSA for short) and you can be a part of it. Come meet some farmer types tonight and get your questions answered ... you could be that much closer to a big bale o'fresh squash on your porch.

Thursday, May 12
Performance: "Ancora il Piu Estinto II"
Dunaway Books, 3111 S. Grand Blvd.
Free, 8-10 p.m., 314-771-7150,

Do you like noise? Ambient, unexpected, arty, hushed? Returning this year to the ample space of Dunaway's stacks, Eric Hall (he of Third Lip Cabaret) brings a vast lineup of artists and musicians (including Darin Gray, Ben Hanna, Jason Hutto, Sunyatta Marshall and many more) to add to the sound performance installations happening throughout the store. It's improvisational, in the sense that the artists will all be working off each other and what they can hear from their various vantage points, although some folks may bring pre-recorded material to use in their evening's set. Speakers will contribute to the sonic environment as well, and you will wander the stacks, taking it all in. Oh, and the name? Reassuring to the novice, perhaps: "staying as soft as possible."

Friday, May 13
Grand Opening: Donn & Marilyn Lipton Fragile Forest
Saint Louis Zoo in Forest Park
Free, all ages, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., 314-781-0900,

The saddest thing at a zoo (besides watching some kid just convinced that those grabber games work and he'll eventually pluck out something plush and fun) is to see our nearest living relatives — the chimps, orangutans and simian siblings — sitting around in chain-link enclosures, too bored to even fling poo. No chance of that at the fab new Fragile Forest, which will comprise enormous open areas in landscaped habitats much more conducive to eliciting normal, happy behavior from these fascinating creatures. Innovative food delivery means the animals will have to use their noggins once in a while to chow down, and a high-tech Web Café lets you log on to read current keepers' notes, info about apes in the wild, bios and more.

Friday, May 13 through Sunday, May 15
National Conference for Media Reform
Millennium Hotel, 200 S. 4th St.
$85-$185, all ages, sessions at various times,

If you're one of the agitated, fed up with increasing media ownership conglomeration and homogenization, you'll be among thousands of kindred souls at this conference, co-sponsored locally by our own KDHX. Alt-media luminaries from Al Franken and Amy Goodman to Naomi Klein and Juan Gonzalez will be among the various panels, plenaries and workshops. Learn how to reclaim some control of your daily media diet! Power to the people! Keep reading independent websites!

Saturday, May 14
House & Garden Tour: Old North St. Louis
Tour start at 2800 N. 14th St.
$10 advance/$12 day of (includes free ice cream at Crown Candy Kitchen), all ages, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., 314-241-5031,

Smart tagline, this: "Downtown's Next-Door Neighbor." Well, it's true: the Arch looms large in the background of nearly every vista here, and in the foreground, you'll find more activity-per-inch — whether gut rehab, garden touch-ups, or painstaking, room-by-room preservation — than in many neighborhoods around town. Add to that neighborhood landmark Crown Candy, and you've got a very full afternoon! Plus, the neighborly can-do spirit of Old North is unmatched, in our humble opinions. Take some time out of your spring to celebrate possibility. You may find the project of your dreams...

Saturday, May 14
CD Release Party: The Floating City (with The Potomac Accord and Wake Up Report)
Mississippi Nights, 914 N. First St. on the Landing
$6 ($2 minor surcharge), all ages, doors 7 p.m./show 8 p.m., 314-421-3853

The Floating City's sound can be described, often, as "lush," which sounds perhaps intimidating but instead is meant to be evocative of the layers and layers of cello, organs, strings and other things...that can just as quickly turn into something more rock. Come hear the evolution of their sound on the new album, "Entering a Contest." They, and their record label, First Flight, can also be described as "earnest," which sounds damning these days but in this case isn't meant that way at all; rather, just an appreciation of folks who sincerely love what the do and want you to be as into the music they're putting out there as they are. To that, we say, "Amen."

Thursday, May 19
Film: "Confluence: The River Heritage of St. Louis"
Missouri History Museum, Lindell & DeBaliviere in Forest Park
Free, all ages, 7 p.m., 314-454-3150,

Documentarian James F. Scott has made a film exploring our city's relationship and development with regard to the Missouri and Mississippi rivers (remember them? Yeah, we really are built along rivers, even if we don't act like it). Big-time Post-Dispatch reporter Bill Lambrecht, author of a new book on a similar theme, will be one of the panelists sticking around after the film to continue the discussion on the relevance of rivers to today's civic and cultural life in St. Louis.

Sunday, May 22
Free Candy, with Amanda & Julia!
Hartford Coffee Company, 3974 Hartford St.
Free, 7 p.m., 314-772-5947,,

It's time again for everyone's favorite monthly, non-broadcast, live, living-room talk show, though frankly, after last month's show-stopping "Top Ten Actual Instructions for Playing the Tuba That Sound Dirty, But Aren't," we did consider quitting while we were ahead... This month, we're featuring brushes with fame in our "Almost Famous" show; don't you wonder who you'll meet? Hell, it could be you! Are you almost famous? Come on down for the talk, the totally hot hostesses, the rockin' rhythms of The Sugar Daddies and free, free candy!

Dulcimer Guy Thursday, May 26
Concert: Mike Anderson, "The Dulcimer Guy"
Carpenter branch of the St. Louis Public Library, 3309 S. Grand Blvd.
Free, all ages, 7 p.m., 314-772-6586

Dude, it's The Dulcimer Guy! As if that weren't enough, Mike Anderson also plays guitar, banjo and — wait for it...the noseflute. And tells stories! Bring the whole family for an evening of wholesome fun. Well, at least until the ribald noseflute tall tales bust out.

Tuesday, May 31
Concert: "Down From the Hill"
Sheldon Concert Hall, 3648 Washington Blvd.
$10, all ages, 7:30 p.m., 314-727-3355,

Well, surely y'all remember the "Down From the Mountain" craze that swept sub- and ex-urbia after the release of "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" Sometimes hammy, sometimes mournful folk and mountain and old-time music filled the air and folks who hadn't gotten any closer to the hills than the fake mountains in the background of their SUV commercials suddenly got religion. The hype's died down now, leaving in its wake the folks — real folks — who've been playing and respecting this music for a good long while. At St. Louis' own Folk School, the staff and students practice keeping this music and its American legacy alive week in and week out, hauling out their banjoes, guitars, dulcimers and more. Tonight, they haul them out for you, and perform alongside the likes of The Gordons, The Lonesome Pines and Tom Hall, all to benefit the fine programs at the school. Come on down and set a spell, won't you?

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