Juxtaposition

I’ve waited 19 years to spin the set I’ve planned for tonight’s edition of “Juxtaposition,” as I fill in for the honeymooner, Rob Levy. All wave. All vinyl.

Pulled the set together last night. Records from: Zot, Vitamin Z, ABC, Arcadia, Housemartins, the Church, the Producers, Rain Parade, Let’s Active, among many others.

Juxtaposition, tonight, 8-10 p.m., 88.1 fm, www.kdhx.org.

Update: the sets went like so. I might even go streamin’, myself:

Vitamin Z – Angela – Rites of Passage – Geffen; Arcadia – Goodbye is Forever – So Red the Rose – Capitol; The Church – Columbus – Heyday – Arista; Cactus World News – The Bridge – Urban Beaches – MCA

Talk Talk – Life’s What You Make It – The Colour of Spring – EMI; Talking Heads – Air – Fear of Music – Sire; The Jam – Here Comes the Weekend – This is the Modern World – Polydor [From 1977. Breaking the rules here.]; The Producers – What She Does to Me – The Producers – Portrait; Let’s Active – Every Word Means No – Afoot (ep) – I.R.S.

The Cure – The Baby Screams – Head on the Door – Elektra; Echo and the Bunnymen – The Puppet – Songs to Learn and Sing – Sire; The Bangles – September Gurls – Different Light – Columbia; The Housemartins – We’re Not Going Back – The People Who Grinned Themselves to Death – Elektra; The Three O’ Clock – Suzie’s on the Ball Now – Ever After – I.R.S.; Aztec Camera – Oblivious – High Land, Hard Rain – MVM (Portugal)

ABC – Show Me – The Lexicon of Love – Mercury; The Smiths – Bigmouth Strikes Again – The Queen is Dead – Sire / Rough Trade; The Lucy Show – Sun and Moon – Mania – Bigtime; R.E.M. – Letter Never Sent – Reckoning – I.R.S.; Pylon – Gravity – Gyrate – DB; Rain Parade – Mystic Green – Crashing Dream – Island

Love & Rockets – No New Tale to Tell – Earth Sun Moon – Bigtime; Ten Ten – Million Miles Away – Walk On – Chrysalis; Face to Face – 10-9-8 – Face to Face – Epic; The Smithereens – Only a Memory – Green Thoughts – Capitol; Go-Go’s – This Town – Beauty and the Beat – I.R.S.; Transvision Vamp – Tell That Girl to Shut Up – Pop Art – UNI

Ultravox – Passing Strangers – Vienna – Chrysalis; Zot – Uranium – Zot – Elektra; Tears for Fears – Suffer the Children – The Hurting – Mercury

New Order – The Perfect Kiss – Low-life – Qwest

R.O.L. III

Writing this while on break, from the hallowed halls of Webster University. A student just turned in a paper, featuring a recent Webster grad who is working, freelance, for the VH1 hit “Rock of Love III,” which is apparently in town for the week, casting at local strip clubs.

Some questions:

1. Can this be true?

2. Anyone have an idea on which clubs are the casting locales?

3. How great is it that our region gets this attention, am I right?

and

4. Could we be so lucky, as to have another contestant from our area? (“RoL II” winner Ambre Lake, of course, was a local native. Which you knew.)

Gimme the info. There are stories to be had.

The UE3

Three things you don’t wish to see on a UE outing:

1. Agitated, barking dogs.

2. Rooms full of dung.

3. Fleas.

When they all visit you at roughly the same time, punt. And make a mad dash to the nearest washing machine.

Yeesh.

Greetings, Beaconites!

On today’s edition of the STLBeacon.org, I have a story about the local blogging conference InterPLAY, which will take place this weekend in the U. City Loop. The piece references back to both 52nd City and this space and I’m thinking that hundreds, if not thousands, of new readers are digitally flooding into the sites today.

Exciting!

Urban Explorers: Into the Darkness

Though this has been plugged elsewhere in the Thomas Crone Media Empire, I only learned today that I’ll be introducing the film noted above, “Urban Explorers: Into the Darkness,” on Thursday night at the Winifred Moore Auditorium; start time is 7 p.m. The film’s being co-sponsored by 52nd City and we’re happy to do so. In fact, we recently ran an interview with the doc’s director, Melody Gilbert, which you can find here.

If you happen to attend, the students you’ll see scattered through the venue looking like they’re working for some extra credit will probably be students of mine working for some extra credit. Just so you know.

If this is the first you’ve heard of it, the film’s description goes like so: “Plunging into the world of urban exploration, a growing international subculture of adventure-seekers who explore places where most people would never dream of going, documentary filmmaker Melody Gilbert follows Max Action, Shane, Katwoman, Mr. X, Slim Jim and Turbozutek on their ‘missions’ to infiltrate sewers, ‘lunatic asylums,’ storm drains, faded tourist attractions, secret U.S. government sites and even the forbidden Catacombs in Paris. Some do it for the thrill of being where they’re not supposed to be and not knowing what lies ahead. Others do it to document history before these long-forgotten places are demolished.”

It’s a sharp li’l motion picture. Hope you can drop in.

Phuc Loi

After becoming a fan of Truc Lam, I’ve found myself traveling to the corner of Spring and Gravois on a more regular basis. As is usually true of Vietnamese spots in So. City, Truc Lam’s got a one-day-off-per-week policy and it turns out that Wednesday is their day of rest. Across the street, though, is Phuc Loi and the lights of Phuc Loi were still on last night, just prior to 8:00 p.m. Oh, blessings be to Phuc Loi! (A fun name to type and just as fun to say.)

Though Phuc Loi is supposed to close at 8, the kitchen seemed to have no problem keeping the stove on for a couple vegetarian, off-the-menu orders last night, which were delivered in short order and quite tasty. The venue itself is nothing to look at; the biggest influence is a huge dose of paintings-from-a-yard-sale flair. And most of the folks coming through, even at closing time, were proving that the “Viet Food to Go” slogan was correct.

Maybe the best thing about Phuc Loi is that it’s non-smoking. For those of you who’ve gone to authentic Vietnamese places – those that fall just off of the So. Grand grid – you know that the interiors are often smokier than your lungs (and clothes) prefer. P-U. So the no-smoking signs at Phuc Loi were a positive, for sure, and the diners spent their time furiously making cell phone calls and texting, rather than smoking. At moments, it appeared that every person in the joint was working away at their Motorola.

Anyway, I do go on.

Try the Number Six. They’ll make it how you want it. Every night but Monday.

Phuc Loi
3729 Gravois #C, 63116
314-772-7742
Tues.-Thurs., 8-8
Fri.-Sat., 8-9
Closed Monday

September's 13

Technology, Flip Mino: Can’t say I completely love the new Flip Mino, as it seems to be a truly herky-jerky visual affair when loaded onto public systems like YouTube. And the audio can come across as rough. Truth be told, the editing software is primitive. But for those of us with tech limitations, but also with the desire to easily and simply load motion pictures onto the web… well, the Flip Mino has its charms, at an affordable pricetag, to boot.

Books, Dave Gray’s Reading List: I think Dave Gray’s a pretty smart guy. What he knows, he really knows. For example, visual thinking. I am fairly sure I wouldn’t be able to attack even a small portion of this list before the year ends, but as a long-term project, a way to start learning about a pretty interesting slice of mass communications… on that level, I’d love to delve into this deep pool of books. Wish me luck. Gonna need it.

Torture, waterboarding: Have you ever heard a phrase enough to have a pretty good for what the topic’s about, without really knowing it? Conversely, have you ever been completely surprised by how little you know about a topic, one that you really should have a sense of, even when it usually takes place half a world away? Yup, me too. On both counts. I never really knew what waterboarding entailed, which has now been graphically shown to me via a video and article by Christopher Hitchens, in which the venerable writer is tortured for mere seconds, before he succumbs to the act. Think you’re tough? Really mentally tough? Think about that when peeking at this vid.

Teaching, the challenge of the millennials: For those of you who deal with the young peeps, consider reading this missive from Alex Berger, who touches on subjects that will have you shaking your head in both dismay and agreement. If possible, while reading (or listening to the podcast), multi-task on four-six other forms of media. (Thanks, Jo Guldi, for the intercepted link.)

Food, exotics: A few months back, I began eating fish and seafood, after 20 years of not doing so. Chewing through octopus and squid has been an odd experience, at times, but not as trying as the meal undertaken by Bill Plaschke, who’d been covering the Olympics for various mass media outlets. He seemed to get his proverbial money’s worth. And he definitely got a story.

Gimmick sites, Cassette From My Ex: Mind you, I love gimmick sites, those single-idea gems that seem to just make a ton of sense the second you come across them. And few have hit me with more “oh-you’ve-got-to-be-kidding-me-it’s-so-right-there” power than Cassettefrommyex.com, which is dedicated to exactly what you’d expect. Some “name” writers discuss their favorite tapes – and we’re talking tapes here, people – and the stories behind them, with steaming content of the actual cassettes. What an idea! It’s always been there! D’oh!

Flickr user, BLANK: Original shout-out cut due to the fact that featured individual, in person, turns out to be a complete braying jackass.

Documentary I, “Goth Cruise“: Those of you who missed the film at the Wini Moore recently, should keep a look out for this subtle charmer on the IFC, where it’ll soon be given a cable second life. Funny stuff and the soundtrack’s more than a bit reminiscent of my own stereo in 1993, if not 2008. (Meeting the director, though, proved that you someone’s don’t actually want to meet the people you think you want to meet. They can be bummers. Or something. Socialization can be overrated.)

Documentary II, “Man on Wire“: Crazy Frechman decides to cross the World Trade Center Towers via metal wire, with no harnesses or nets. Crazy Frenchman decides to bring in his best friends (and some absolute strangers) for site support. Years later, a film on said Crazy Frechman appears, with inventive storytelling, outright gasp-worthy photography from the time and a strange sense of tension for an event that occurred over three decades ago. What a movie, based on the wild ideas of a man, Philippe Petit, who deserves respect for his lunacy, an ultimate act of audacious, prank-based UE.

Album I, Wire, “Chairs Missing“: Thanks to iPods, those albums that you’d kinda/sorta thought about for years, without ever listening to them, are so close to your ears. To think that I’ve robbed myself of “Chairs Missing” for all this time is quite alarming. I’d be sad, if I didn’t have instant access to this gem… right now. What a bit of brilliance. Thanks, iPod!

Album II, Bloc Party, “Intimacy”: It’s available. Now. Must buy. Must buy now. Why am I typing all these words and not buying this album, right now?

Agriculture, SPIN farming: So I learned something today, a bit of knowledge about SPIN farming, a concept that’s becoming more popular around the country, as people turn their otherwise (insert: disappointing, weedy, unkempt, unused, underused, decrepit) back yards into small-plot farms, which can combine into CSA-style micro producers of organic foods. Heard about it while running the board on tonight’s edition of “Topic A” on KDHX and the idea’s already been turning in my head for the past-90 minutes. Thinking that my weeds could soon be banana peppers, my weed trees could be cucumbers… Could live with that. Definitely could. Just need to turn these “coulds” into “wills.”

Bravo star who needs to be stopped, Tabatha: Oh, gosh. Where to start? Maybe by killing cable? I am getting nearer every day. Every day, a little bit nearer. Soon. Soon.