Threes

I’m sitting here on the last day of fall break, thinking about all the wonderful times and activities I’ve had over the past week-and-change. Ah, joyous days!

My thought is this: with my divorce from cable TV and with my television going into the shop for repairs, I’ve been left with inordinate amounts to time to do… well, real things. Like going to the theatre. (Four shows in the past three weeks, some sort of personal record.) Attending art shows. Reading books. Supporting South City coffeehouses, $2.90 at a time. Hittin’ that Instant Netflix.

What I need to continue this head-freshening is your input, taken in the comments section below. I’d like your recs on: a) a piece of music; b) a book; c) a film, all worthy of investigation. I know there are a million-and-one social networking applications I could subscribe to, for the same purpose, but let’s go digital old school here.

For me:

Album: Maps, “We Can Create.” Lovely, shoegaze-y, droney, yeah. Found Maps through Wikipedia, oh my.

Book: Thomas L. Friedman’s “The World is Flat.” Took more than a month to fully read, but worth every minute. Breathtaking in scope, yet completely readable. Admittedly repetitive, at over 600 pages, but what a dissection of modern culture’s reliance on new technologies. And the analysis of: how the next crop of American workers are going to get their economic hats handed to them, compliments of every English-speaking, computer-savvy kid in India.

Film: “Downtown 81” starring Jean-Michel Basquiat. A strange little work that I’d never heard of until scrolling the Netflix Instant section. Basquiat, portraying himself (more or less) mopes around the cityscape of New York in a fictional “day,” spray-painting walls and making women fall in love, as he attempts to sell a painting for rent money. Only too cool and very Jarmusch-like. Download it tonight.

Thanks to the three of you who’ll take the time for your input!

Zima

This is troubling. It’s as if someone is trying to invalidate my entire mid-to-late-20s existence. Next, someone’s going to tell me that Kill Creek and Paw records are going out of print. Or police will come to my door, demanding my entire collection of Pagan Kennedy books.

The sad news: Zima’s being cancelled.

The end result: I’m laying in a stockpile worthy of 1950’s-era “nuclear cupboard.”

It is time to act…

Frontline: Growing Up Online

As something spending time with plenty of youth folks, I found this episode of Frontline a really, really interesting view. If you’re in teaching or coaching, this balanced hour of video is well worth the time. Here’s the preview clip.

KDHX

This Monday, October 13, Tim Collins will be the guest on the KDHX talk show Topic A. For this month, the show’s theme is “Good” and Collins is featured in a one-man show called “A Fire Brighter than Heaven.” The production, which Collins wrote and stars in, is being performed at the Gaslight Theatre through this coming weekend, part of the St. Louis Actor’s Studio’s “Power and Politics” season. Topic A airs Monday night at 7:30 p.m.

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On Friday, October 17, Silver Tray host Thomas Crone will be joined in-studio by Padraig “Packy” Reynolds, frontman of the legendary punk/mod band The Nukes. That group will be reuniting at the Blueberry Hill Duck Room on Saturday, October 18, playing alongside local faves LucaBrasi. Crone and Reynolds will discuss the group’s history and impact on the local scene, playing several cuts from their albums during the show’s second hour. Silver Tray airs on KDHX on Fridays, between noon – 2 p.m.

DJ-inG

Friday, October 10, Royale, 6-10, final early spin at the old joint; boo-hoo!

Friday, October 24, Royale, 10 – 1:15

Wednesday, October 29, Halo Bar, 10 – 2:30

(Looking ahead, it’s possible that Jim Utz and I will be spinning there after Pale Divine’s set on December 29. Oh. Yeah.)

And there’s always radio. In fact, this week, I’ll be appearing on Double Mayhem, pledge pitching between 10 – 12 midnight on Thursday; the next day, I’ll be on Silver Tray at noon, with guest Doug Morgan, drumming up the lucre. Please consider a membership, of course.

On Bill Ayers

As the election draws near, the friends-and-associates-of-friends-and-associates game is being played, discrediting candidates through their allegiances with the controversial among us. And I’m not so naive as to think both sides don’t play this game; knowing local Democratic politicians and their circles, I’m convinced there’s plenty of similar jackassery among that crowd. That said, the recent chipping away at Barack Obama through his board service with one-time Weatherman and SDS-er Bill Ayers is Classic Republican Chicanery, linking Obama to someone that right wing radio types are already surely casting as “an American terrorist” or “a homegrown terrorist.”

Sometimes, you feel as if you get the measure of a person in a very short amount time. Maybe that’s naive, but in 2003, I had the chance to interview Bill Ayers at Left Bank Books. He was sitting in the cafe space (R.I.P.) that sat alongside Left Bank and we discussed all manner of things political in the hour before his lightly-attended lecture and reading. The notes, in small part, were punched up for The Commonspace’s website; in retrospect, I wish I’d committed the entire audio tape to the screen.

Having just run across some comments by Sarah Palin attaching Obama to Ayers, I remembered the interview and the piece, which had otherwise long slipped from active memory.

I can say this confidently after re-reading the notes: there are people you’d be lucky to have as a teacher, a mentor, a neighbor or a friend. I can’t say I qualify as any of those in relation to Ayers, though I was lucky to have had an hour to sit and chat with him. While I’m sure I didn’t agree with every word spoken by him that hour (only about 96.7%), I had (and have) much respect for the man. And I hope that Democratic lifers have the same respect, understanding that time and distance separate us from our youthful thoughts and actions.

An interview with Bill Ayers.

October's 13

Photography, Chad Schneider’s “new york is a friendly town“: Webster University tends to not possess that definitive gallery space, though a couple of small ones exist on campus, including the modest, little May Gallery, a thin stretch of hallway arts space on the second floor of the Sverdrup complex. For some happy reason, the shows this semester have been quite interesting and one that’s really caught my attention is the current display, a selection of Holga photographs from Chad Schneider. They’re sneaky shots, seemingly taken at random, depicting regular people in their daily activities. The satured colors really make the pieces pop off of the drab Sverdrup walls; I’ll be sad to see these images go, but plan on lingering in the hall as much as possible through October 24.

Cabaret, Fran Landesman: A classic name from the heyday of Gaslight Square, Fran Landesman will be performing a varied show at the Gaslight Theatre during October, featuring songs and stories. As one sign of how cool this event is, Al Becker of KDHX has never quite sounded so upbeat about a gig and as the man knows his female jazz vocalists, that’s a sound endorsement. (And he used to live in a building owned by the Landesman family, on the western edge of Gaslight.) What a great time it should be; hope to catch one show, if not two.

Dillweeds, Joe Lieberman: Early yesterday, I was standing at Commerce Bank, watching the piped-in Fox News broadcast from Washington University, with Joe Lieberman waxing on about the strengths of the Republican ticket. Just as I was musing on what a foul person this individual seems to be, a voice behind me volunteered, “I cannot stand that guy!” Turning around, I joined by teller-window neighbor in political talk for about four-minutes, as each of us waited for transactions to complete. It was a fascinating little discussion and reminded me that this type of thing only happens so often, when political conversations break out at random. While I’ll be as happy as anyone to be past November 4 (for more than one reason), I’ve found more political talk recently than I recall in a long time. That’ll be missed. Right? We’ll stop talking about this? Won’t we? Curious. In the meantime, I’m irritated to even live on a street called Connecticut.

Books, “The Exes” by Pagan Kennedy: Got in a long spiel the other day, extolling the virtues of “The Exes,” a rock’n’roll novel by Pagan Kennedy, set in the rock’n’roll prime of the rockin’n’rollin’ mid-’90s. Walked up to Dunaway to see if the book was in-stock and it wasn’t, which isn’t surprising since I’ve never found a book that I was actually seeking while at Dunaway, though I’ve bought plenty of books I wasn’t looking for, you know? And I used to own “The Exes,” but it was either given away or loaned out. To whom? I ponder these questions now, while having a strong desire to re-read the book. And to have my long-awaited heart-to-heart with Pagan Kennedy. One thought leads to another, no…?

Generations, “The Dumbest Generation“: Speaking of books I cannot wait to read, I wasn’t even aware of this work until this week, but it’s so up the proverbial alley that it demands an immediate order from the library. Apparently, author Mark Bauerlein believes that today’s youth is too enamored of texting, Googling and instant messaging to get down to the serious business of life. Got a feeling this one’s possessing a real Andy Rooney-esque vibe, but I’m looking for a good laugh at young folks’ expense.

Travel, Memphis and/or New Orleans: Fall break is coming up. Recommendations on flops sought. No conditions too rough, for the right, low, low price. Seriously. You folks that are able to summon up the best deals: hook a brother up.

Change, O’Connells: Prices are up. This happens from time-to-time. Every, oh, two years. In more shocking news, at least one new server has been added to the front-of-house staff. Now this happens, oh, every decade. And earlier this week, the prominent menu in the bar area was taken off the wall, to affix the aforementioned new prices. When the mundane shocks, it is a great shock, indeed.

Food, quinoa: Loaded with nutrients. Weirdly neutral in taste. Kinda yucky. Who knew?

Soccer, Cabrini Academy: The lads, broken into two leagues, have staggered out of the gate, with a combined 1-10 record. Anyone know a good sports psychologist?

Money, KDHX: It’s that time of the year. The fall membership drive at KDHX. Ah, yes, many an hour spent eating food from restaurants that I’ve never visited/never will visit, cut with doses of asking for cash to support the best station in town. Today, I began my personal, 10-day journey into pledge solicitation, with guests Darren Snow and Doug Morgan on “Silver Tray”; Monday’s got a short sprint on “Topic A.” Followed by round of metal on next week’s “Double Mayhem” and that following day’s “Silver Tray.” What a week-and-change! Do call in, friends.

Racy French singer/songwriter, Sebastien Tellier: Of course!

Blogging, 16 Tips: For the life of me, I cannot recall if I’ve posted this in the past, but as I’ve not yet gone through all the articles myself, I’ll go ahead and note a nice, rounded selection of pieces giving bloggers tips about… well, what you’d expect.

Pests, fleas: Harder to remove from clothing than you might think. And you might even start out thinking that they’re hard to remove from clothing. And, yet, they exceed those lofty expectations. Bastards!