Living the old axiom about writing on whatcha know, I’ve done two pieces for the West End Word over the years. The first was on Gaslight Square. The second, which appears in this week’s paper, is on STL United FC.

Here’s a link, which won’t go “hot”:


A person, or two, have indicated that they’ve been amused by some musings about the youth soccer team I coach, and there’s been a little uptick in posting over the last week, due our having a soccer camp over at McDonald Park. The teams will also start their league play this coming weekend.

Don’t know how amusing the posts are, but they are on the worldwideweb here:

New project

For the early part of summer, at least, I have a new project to work on, a blog and additional new media content for the Greening the Heartland Conference, which will take place at the America’s Center during June 22 – 24. During the event, other folks will come into the picture, but for now, I’m writing most of the content and am asking you this: if there are particular things in-and-about St. Louis that I should point towards on this blog, I’d appreciate links and tips.

Consider an out-of-town attendee in this. Any interesting new, WiFi-enabled coffeehouses near America’s Center? Any place to rent a bike Downtown? Any local environmental efforts that deserve a plug? Seriously, please let me know.

The conference site:
The blog:
The Myspace page:
The Flickr page: registered and coming shortly


Forgive the seriously meta nature of this post, but these two notes struck me as too ridiculous to not share.


I’m laying in a hospital bed on Monday night, desperately trying to not pay attention to the flickering image of Dateline NBC above me, dedicated as it was to a maudlin, 90-minute special on a woman’s watery demise. My nurse, a male Polynesian with seemingly no “indoor voice,” marched in around midnight for his rounds, loudly announcing “I knew you looked like somebody when I saw you before.”

I braced myself for the inevitable punchline.

“You’ve got that Jack Osbourne thing going on!”

Of course. Of course I do.


Everyone in St. Louis was watching Channel 9 on Sunday evening, after midnight, though some of them didn’t know they were watching Channel 9, thinking, instead, that they were watching the Food Network. I base on this on three people at the UEFA Champion’s League match at Barrister’s today stopping me to say that they’d seen me on “Sandwiches That You Will Like,” a PBS special that seems to have an unlimited lifespan. (Misidentifed by a couple as “some Food Network thing from a couple years ago.”)

Already this week, other people had said the same thing,* a weird pace for a late-night PBS showing. But to have another trio chime in today was almost too much. The kicker was a guy who had me sign the back of his business card – I’m not making this up, really – with an inscription to his girlfriend, who is, apparently, now obsessed with eating a St. Paul sandwich. As goofy as I felt, I obliged and suggested that she’d become hooked with her first bite.

Either that, or she’ll suffer from wrenching, day-long stomach cramps, a fact that I didn’t scribble on the card.

* Number now at 15. Need to contact producer Rick Sebak to tell him how popular his work is in St. Louis.


The “Topic A” radio programme’s family has grown by one, with the addition of Milo Henry Marston to the world’s human population. Born yesterday to my longtime radio associate Amanda Doyle and her dancing machine husband Brian Marston, Milo’s said to be doing well, as are the parents.

Mondays won’t be the same for the next few weeks, but I look forward to being back on the air with Amanda, in all good time. ‘Til then, much happy, healthy bonding!

Update: hey, he’s got his own website,


I was at my local pub last night, to pass-off of some print materials and to tilt a pint before the ride home.

The bartender, a mainstay of the South Grand scene, both at and behind the bar, welcomed me, saying that “it’d been forever,” even though I’d only seen him the week prior. Maybe that was a joke, but an onrushing cold kept my funny bone from getting the quip. It was otherwise the usual kind of night at that place: the Cards game on the TV; the regulars cursing at the pinball game; the smell of pizza dust in the air.

Sitting at Mangia this afternoon, clicking away and leeching the Wifi, word’s gone around that said bartender hung himself last night, that the owner of the venue found him this morning. The usual, “I saw him when” talk’s broken out and phone calls are already being made and received.


Wish you well in rest, man. Wish you well.

(Update: link to

Like, Sunday

Compliments of Tyson Blanquart, I’m reminded by this note that I signed on for duty with the NonProphets and that the time is nigh. Beyond the embarrassingly kind words, here’s the pertinent info for your Sunday, May 18 plans.


St Louis, MOThe NonProphet Theater Company, after rounding out its second theatrical season of critically acclaimed productions, gets back to what they do best: making people laugh.

The NonProphets bring their award winning sketch comedy show- The Militant Propaganda Bingo Machine- back into the city of St. Louis with two special appearances at legendary music club Off Broadway on Sunday, May 18 and Saturday, June 14. The show, which is now celebrating its eleventh year, takes 24 original sketches and pits them against the backdrop of a twisted bingo game in which the audience controls the order of the show and prizes are won by a lucky few. The show is a non-stop evening of break-neck comedy that will leave you exhausted and hoarse by night’s end.

The NonProphets are also excited to announce that the two forthcoming shows will be guest-hosted by some of St. Louis’ finest home-grown talent:

Sunday, May 18, 2008 – Writer, blogger, DJ, photographer, professor and savvy many about town Thomas Crone will host the festivities. Thomas has written for the Riverfront Times, The Post-Dispatch and is part of the local publication and blog 52nd City. You can also hear Thomas Monday nights on KDHX 88.1 FM’s show Topic A. A long time supporter of the NonProphets and St. Louis civic pride, the NonProphets are excited and honored to have him host. (Edit: the check is in the mail.)

Saturday, June 14, 2008 – The Chanteuse with the Sweet Caboose, the Mistress with a Derriere Beyond Compare, the Hostest with the Mostest, Lola van Ella, St. Louis‘ up-and-coming burlesque queen will host the second of the two shows. Lola is a regular performer with the Alley Cat Revue at Rue 13 on Washington Avenue, and has performed her delightful strip-tease and acrobatic abilities all over the city of St. Louis as well as all over the world. Lola brings a touch of class to an otherwise bawdy show, and the NonProphets are excited to have her return to their stage.

Each show begins at 8:00pm, and tickets are $10 at the door.

Off Broadway (located at 3509 Lemp in the Historic Cherokee-Lemp District in South City) is one of St. Louis‘ legendary music venues and boasts one of the best bar staffs in town. The venue, which recently went smoke-free, hearkens back the atmosphere created by the NonProphets’ previous home, the late, lamented Hi Pointe Café.

Directing the shows will be NonProphet founder and Artistic Director Robert A. Mitchell, and cast members include Nicole Angeli, Aaron Orion Baker, Tyson Blanquart, Paula Dean, Jonathan Ellison, Chris “Mr.” Jones, Theresa Masters, Ben Ritchie, Suzanne Roussin, B. Weller and Kirsten Wylder with special guests Brian Hyde and John Shepherd. The multi-talented Sarah Holt runs the show as Stage Manager.

Reservations are not necessary, but more info can be obtained by visiting their Web site at or by calling 314-752-5075.

Off Broadway is a 21+ venue.

Link fun & radio show

Tomorrow night, Amanda Doyle and I will be joined on Topic A (nearly typed in as The Wire, a second ago) by James Collier, who pens (as in writes and illustrates) a blog called Acting White. It’s an interesting read, for sure, and should yield some good conversation tomorrow, ‘tween 7:30 – 8:00 p.m.

The look at that site sent me on a strange run of web-reading, with some of the items well worth sharing. The first one’s got an obvious link to the above, the rest…

White people don’t like soccer, but like talking about liking soccer.

Bar admits to being gay. Some classic Onion, for sure.

Vegetarians aren’t all granola-chewing hippies.

And in a bit of video viewing, a trailer for a Michael Almereyda film that I wish would just go and get released already.

Share a link, pals.

Ministry, Chicago; Me, St. Louis

About a week back, I thought to look at Ministry’s homepage, wondering if the group’s tour was still going; and, for that matter, was still skipping St. Louis. Turns out the answers were “yes” and “yes,” with a pair of shows added at Chicago’s House of Blues this weekend, a four-night stint including what’s reputed to be the group’s final (ever!) show tomorrow night. Gripped with the fear of missing my fifth-favorite band’s last gig, I tossed out a note to potential interested parties, getting a tepid response, for the most part. Though my main man, Jim Utz, did set me up with not only ticket-buying tips, but also an itinerary to get to get to Chicago-and-back for $42 via Megabus, with an 8:30 departure on Sunday morning and a 5:25 a.m. arrival on Monday.

For days, I debated this 20-odd-hour, turnaround trip, turning it into not only a matter of whether, or not, to see/hear a band I really wanted to see/hear. Instead, the decision became some type of strange, existential journey. I mean: I’m too old for floor-sleeping, too aged for six-in-a-Tercel jaunts to see bands, too poor to simply fling a C-note at a musical whim, etc., etc., etc. How easy it is to turn the easy into the difficult!

Woke up today, though, with a debit card ready, clicking away for the show ticket first. Turns out that sometime between last night and this morning, the gig sold-out. Oh.

Since I’m plunging for meaning here, two options seem likely.

* I didn’t really want to go, using the multiple days of hand-wringing to allow the final tickets to be snapped up by closer-to-the-show (and I dare say, lesser) fans. In this scenario, my actual fandom comes into great question, as well as my willingness to do things that are vaguely uncomfortable, things like sitting in a bus for 11-hours.


* The gods of fate were actually looking out for me. Had I bought the ticket and walked the .9-miles from the bus to the venue, I’d have plunked down my ticket, gone in, watched the two heavy metal openers, eventually dipping into Ministry’s pit, where I’d be sucker-punched by a roided-out, 22-year-old gym attendant in a Mushroomhead t-shirt, which would set off a melee, end-resulting in my chipping six teeth, which would amount to about $560 in resentful dental work. I like to think this is the more likely, if somewhat ethereal scenario.

Ugh. Guess I’ll just watch the videos, while I sort all that out.

May’s 13

If you’ve peeked at a calendar, you might see that we’ve passed the first day, or two, of May, but things have been busy around the information age workshop lately. We now officially declare the beginning of May at with the wildly-popular May’s 13.

Performance, Magic Smoking Monkey Theatre: At some point in the last year, I decided to pursue a hobby of catching more live theatre. At least one show per month and/or all the shows of certain companies. Things are holding steady so far this year, with the latest production caught being the Magic Smoking Monkey’s hilarious send-up of “KISS Meets the Phantom of the Park.” Delightful to see longtime monkeys like Amy Elz, Julie Layton and Jim Ousley onstage. And equally fun to catch the performance in what was obviously a sold-out (and hot!) RAC space. Can’t wait for next year. Where do we sign the petition for two Monkey shows a year?

Daily read, St. Louis Beacon: Sometimes, it takes a while to retrain your daily surfing habits. A couple things on my guilty pleasure list should be stricken, while a few castor oil-type sites should be added. The St. Louis Beacon’s luckily got enough interesting content for me to become a regular reader, giving me some civic fiber as I go. Lots of familiar names in the ranks; looking forward to seeing some new ones crop up, as well. My daily surf’s a bit smarter thanks to the Beacon.

Advertorial, Cafe Chat: While on the topic of newspapers and their kin, I’ll note that a piece I alluded to a few weeks ago has come into being. The Cafe Chat advertorial feature in the RFT is live, with an interview with Michael Johnson (of, oh, 25 local restaurants) the first of the lot. Still strange seeing my name in the RFT, in any context, but such is life. Strange.

Browsing options, Firecracker Press: The publisher of many collectible posters, flyers, magazines and the like has up and moved, from the somewhat remote location it called home above the Chippewa viaduct to a nice, new location in a classic Cherokee Street storefront, just across from Apop Records and near to many of the hipper new Cherokee spots. Congrats to Eric, Matty and the crew for their digs. Next time you’re in the neighborhood, pop in. They’d be happy to let you browse and watch some work come off the line.

Mag sections, Apop: This month, we’re flowing from one idea to the next, so we have to take a moment to sing the praises of the magazine and zine sections at Apop Records. I’ve spent too much money there over the past month, snapping up a variety of cool, cheap zines, many of them in the black-and-white, cut-and-paste style of my relative youth. Happy to see those coming around again. And happier to see a place selling. Not since the days of the old Whiz Bam have I seen a finer collection of truly indie zines and print ephemera. Nice.

Question, the incorporation of fish into the ol’ diet: So, any vegetarian readers today? Any of you go from veg-only to eating fish? How’d that work out for you? The bones and muscles are barking and serious consideration is going into the adoption of fish (dead, dead, decapitated and scaled, dead fish!) into my daily diet. Need some info. One friend is advising the eating of buffalo and beef, instead, but something’s saying that ain’t going to happen. But dead fish? Maybe. Thoughts are welcome.

Hobby, urban exploration: A couple new spots have been accessed by the membership of the UEU 314 in recent weeks and photos will be going live on flickr in the near future. Here’s the rub with flickr, for me: I’m stuck at 999 shots. I have been for weeks. I don’t know why this is an issue, but I want the 1,000th to have some kick and I can’t seem to find that shot. What a weirdo. Anyway, take a peep at the flickr button on the right in a couple days. Should finally crack this mental block by then.

Flickr photographer, Lachance: Some props for Lachance, who is not Alicia Lachance, but who is a phenomenal photographer of industry and cities. Damn.

Season, the end of a school semester: Is there a finer season than school’s end? I don’t believe so. And I love fall. But the first/second week of May? Oh, how sweet!

Trend, babies: Okay, friends, who’s expecting next? Who’s due next? Out with the info, please.

Cable show, Miss Rap Supreme: Trying to diversify my cable bad habits, and Ego Trip’s Miss Rap Supreme seemed a way to bring some flava to my evening TV zombie-ing. Sadly, the femme-cee’s are just not bringing the dramatic heat I require in my crap TV viewing habits. Maybe the fact that actual talent is involved in competing in the show is ruining it for me. Hard to say. Giving this one a few more episodes, though my German favorite, Lionezz, has been shown the door. (Ach, nein!) Thinking that the Discovery show about crab fishermen might be next on the list.

Beer, Pyramid Apricot Ale: I love it, I merely like it, I love it. Such is life.

YouTube video/song/obsession, “Four Horsemen,” Aprhodite’s Child: Ladies and gentlemen, I leave you with a cut that’s been playing daily for weeks, if not months. Must find new musical obsession. Until then, zone out to the following, at your back-mask-frightening risk.