On assignment: International Photobooth Convention

I’m covering this event for the P-D, with a story running next Monday. I expected to go for an hour today and wound up staying for three. Plan on going back to Mad Art tonight to see “Amelie” and tomorrow, as well, for the jazz show. Lots of fun stuff to see, plus all the free photobooth pics you’d care to develop. If you find yourself at loose ends tonight or tomorrow, it’d be a good call:
http://www.photobooth.net/convention/index.php

Pinch hittin'

Who are you? Why are you reading this? More importantly: do you own a radio or streaming device on your computer?

If “yes” on the last query, I’ll be filling in for hosts Nico and Gordo on “Coin-Operated Radio,” tonight on KDHX 88.1 fm, from 6-8 p.m. Sitting at the station right now, about to preview tracks. Listen, if convenient. But only if convenient. Don’t go to any trouble.

The Gene-Jeanne Show

Wouldn’t be a week without some type of Gaslight Square mention. Intended to post last night, after attending the first of a two-night run of “Back to Gaslight Square,” a tasty musical revue at the quasi-posh Finale nightclub, featuring Jeanne Trevor and Gene Lynn and a fivesome of top STL players. But I was already beaten to the punch on that by the time I got home. This fast-moving web, it moves so fast!

The best moment came while stepping into the hallway, only to spot a comely, monied, young woman in a tight-fitting pink dress, loudly arguing on the phone with (boyfriend? girlfriend?) “Chris,” a real set-to if ever there was one. Cell phone manners be damned, this conversation had to happen then and there, no question. Meanwhile, audible from inside the venue: Jeanne Trevor working her way through the definitive Gaslight track, “Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most.” I would’ve suggested the irony of the moment to the lady in pink, but thought better.

Didn’t sell any books, but had a delightful time.

It's cereal time!

I’ve decided to transfer my phone service and mail delivery down to Hartford Coffee Company, to save time. Hell, in that vein, I should just move in. The only problem would be sleeping arrangements, as I like to zone out into the 9-10 range, while the pint-sized H.C.C. regulars, many under the age of three, love to raise Cain in the same, early hours. The racket of those wee noisemakers!

Actually, there might be a second problem. I just don’t dig traditional breakfasts; the toast and the jam and the what-not. To that end, I’m encouraging the Hartford braintrust to consider entering the world of hyper-post-hipster-irony by stocking breakfast cereals, such as Count Chocula, Froot Loops and Trix. Admittedly, these brands might mean supporting some of the world’s largest multi-national corporations, but I’m willing to sacrific a pinch of liberal cred in exchange for the delicious taste of, well, Boo Berry. Whether the venue is willing to bend on these principles is a matter that’ll be determined soon, with yours truly whining until resolution is attained.

In the meantime, I’d love to know of any sustainable, progressive, fair trade cereals that pack the same wallop as, say, Alpha Bits or Cocoa Puffs. Maybe something made with hemp or recycled rubber shavings? Or produced by indigenous farmers in Belize or Taipei?

Can anyone help me?

Can you help me?

Ah, the old Gaslight Square

It’s another week to ponder the memories of Gaslight Square with yours truly. Tonight, on The Wire, Amanda Doyle and I will be joined by Dan Warner of Webster Records, who’ll be discussing his new CD, “In the Afterglow,” a 20-song compilation disc of vintage Gaslight recordings. That’s 7:30 p.m. on KDHX 88.1 fm.

On Wednesday, meanwhile, I’ll be at the Brentwood Public Library at 7 p.m., discussing my Gaslight book with residents of that ‘burb.

NCfMR: Day one update

Big media is choking American democracy. Our government is complicit in this. The people need to act. More tomorrow.

(Or, as it turns out, “not more tomorrow.” Rather than falling into the same trap I witnessed a couple too many times at the Conference – i.e. liberals bashing one another – I’ll simply “opt out” of the negative vibes. Hope people had a good stay in STL over the weekend!)

Man, down

Last night, just prior to closing time, George, Ray and I end up in the tiny vestibule of CBGB, winding down from an evening of “Midwest Mayhem” at the City Museum. Suddenly, there’s a crash near the door and a young man – wearing one of those “flame shirts” that are still all-the-rage in certain areas of town – is lying on the ground. Thankfully, in some small measure, he’s face up, but there’s still a quality about him that suggests “more than drunk.” He’s actually Cartoon Drunk: arms splayed to his sides, momentary consciousness minimal, an almost beatific look about him.

After Ray and some other bystanders prop up the wobbly lad and deposit him in a nearby stool, he gives sitting the ol’ college try. But short minutes later, there’s another bang and the poor fellow’s in the same straits as before, marking time on the thinly-carpeted, seldom-scrubbed CBGB floor with upturned stools surrounding him like crime tape.

With a rush and a push, he’s hoisted back to his feet, where his three lady friends (oh! the crime of this!) compose him for that long, 15-foot walk to the front seat of someone’s car. There, he’s piled in, allowed to stew in his own juices for a moment, or two, as his trio of companions ponder the situation. Soon, the Pontiac with Illinois plates is moving, heading south on Grand.

All of which, of course, yields this obvious question: Is there any floor in St. Louis you’d less like to land upon than that of CBGB? Even with a night’s sleep to consider it, there seems no clear answer to this.

Graf

While at the Jacobsmeyer Tavern on a recent “business” visit, I noticed this salty – yet rather memorable – bit of advice on a bathroom wall:

Love is suckin
And fuckin
And not catchin nothin

Somehow, I was unable to work that ill-spelled witticism into the column appearing in today’s Get Out.