February’s 13

Thoughts, first thought, then compiled and typed, for the amusement of any…

Flickr user: You can go several pages into Metroblossom‘s photo pages without seeing a person, and that’s quite okay, as his shots of Chicago are some of the more striking you’ll find. Now that the winter’s in full effect, the gloomy, snowy, hazy, post-sunset atmospherics are only increasing, in frequency and interest. And there’re few flickr sets that I find as intriguing as the Isolated Building series on his flickr account, a great idea executed with time, patience and an artist’s eye. Anyone interested in Chicago and/or UE would be advised a visit here.

Retro photo site: Meanwhile, back in the early 20th century… the Thomas Kempland Collection of glass plate photography is a really sharp way to look back at the day-to-day life of St. Louis about eight or nine decades back. Can’t recall who originally pointed me towards these pics (thanks!), but they’re fun to visit every so often. While I love the motordrome racers and other curiosities of the period, the sense of viewing the everyday is really captivating. Check: “circus elephants on parade!”

RFT cover story: A few weeks back, I rifled through a few hundred old issues of the Riverfront Times, salvaging clips from the yellowing pages. I’m not going to get into that whole political conversation here, but it was a different paper then. Just. Different. This week’s cover story on River Styx, though, was the most literal throwback I’d read in the weekly’s pages in years. I don’t know the author, I’m not sure I completely understand the cover graphic, but, wow, how exciting to find a piece like this! An interesting, provocative and needed read.

Competition: I keep sending things. Yet, I keep not making the books, not making the magazines, not making the website. Found will eventually recognize. I dare to dream.

Pub: Soccer or beer? Beer or soccer? Were King Solomon himself forcing me to decide, I don’t know that I could face the choice of one over the other. Which make the Newstead Tower Public House such as joyous addition to the western edge of The Grove. To enjoy a Schlafly draft on a brisk weekday afternoon, while highlights of the Japanese J-League are playing on multiple screens… I grow misty at the mere notion of this. And to have actually lived such a moment? I may just burst into tears. Once I figure out what to call it (The Tower? The Newstead? The House?), all will be well.

Household item: Let’s say you live in St. Louis, a town given over to extremes in temperature and varying degrees of humidity. Let’s say that you’ve moved a half-dozen times in the last full-dozen years and you’ve got many of your belongings in cardboard boxes. And let’s say that one day while examining your many-and-varied treasures, you pick up a box, only to have the base stick to the floor when you lift. Don’t even ponder the repercussions of losing, say, little books that you wrote as a kid, or your actual, physical college degrees. Don’t think about it. Go out, right now, and buy your ass some plastic boxes. Someday, you’ll thank me.

Town: Paducah, KY, yo! Did you know that Paducah, KY, is just two-point-five hours from St. Louis. It is!

YouTube video: For class purposes, I have played a “Charlie Rose” interview of Malcolm Gladwell with guest interviewer Brian Grazer a half-dozen times. To this point, I still can’t figure out the exact moment at which Gladwell realized that he had to save the entire affair by taking over the interviewing mantle. But he did. Brilliantly. And it’s only one of many oddly fascinating moments during this half-hour of wonderfully disconnected chatter, featuring two characters with astounding heads of hair. (Zip 28-minutes into the clip for the beginnings this, or enjoy that much time with Salman Rushdie.) “Love and respect to Charlie Rose,” indeed.

Old-school show o’ the month: Monday, February 11 @ the Bluebird, with A.K.A.C.O.D. (featuring Larry Dersch, once of Common Ailments of Maturity) along with Bill Boll and the recently-reunited-for-special-gigs Aviation Club. Through the miracles of the interwebs, I played a small role in midwifing this gig, featuring STL players of the past and present, in both new and old guises. The combination of sounds is intriguing and the musicianship of this trio of acts is beyond reproach. The only problem is our generation has given on attending all that many shows, so perhaps some of you young folks can attend this, make a racket and appreciate the experience sans earplugs. Me, I think I might wear some.

Presidential candidate: With apologies to our own Blake Asbhy, has anyone seen anything remotely like Mike Gravel’s campaign? Damn! Weirdest. Marketing. Ever.

Water: Why drink it for free when you can have Snapple’s Antioxidant Agave Melon?

Celebreality show: Really, I’ve got to do something about the cable problem. Perhaps some therapy? Oh, no, I can’t, that’s part of my problem, already, in the form of “Celebrity Rehab.” Damn, these folks is jacked up. But I’m learning something, so time spent with Dr. Drew is both educational and so much more (morbidly) entertaining than “Make Me an Orange County Cop.”

Magazine: Dis chains all you want. In fact, let me join you: chains suck! That said, the magazine “A Public Space” only came to my attention because I popped into a chain, one with a mighty and strong magazine section. “APS” is a beauty. It’s well-written, attractively presented. Great cover and cool, eclectic content. Damn. I feel lucky that I came across this product at issue four, with the chance to buy back issues before they’re sold out. Worth the $12 cover price, okay? By the way, did you know about this magazine? Did you know about his magazine and not tell me? Why?