Let’s recap:

Thursday, June 25: Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, 6 – 8:03 p.m.
Friday, June 26: The Royale, 10 p.m. – 1:21 a.m.
Sunday, July 12: The Halo Bar, 10 p.m. – 2:48 a.m.

Would be lovely to see you soon.

Summer Reading List

Whoa. So what’ve you read off this here list?

“King of the Ring: The Harley Race Story,” by Harley Race and Gerry Tritz (compliments of the inimitable Wayne St. Wayne)

“It’s Not News, It’s Fark: How Mass Media Tries to Pass Off Crap as News” by Drew Curtis (compliments of incomparable Rich Quinn)

“Fool for Life” by Wm. Stage (compliments of the esoteric author, himself)

“Globalization: Tame It or Scrap It?” by Greg Buckman
“Lost Highway: Journeys and Arrivals of American Musicians,” by Peter Guralnick
“O.K. You Mugs: Writers on Movie Actors,” edited by Luc Sante
and “This is Our Music: Free Jazz, The Sixties and American Culture” by Iain Anderson (all compliments of the free-to-be-me Webster Emerson Library)

“Spent: End Exhaustion and Feel Great Again,” by Frank Lipman, M.D. (compliments of Border’s and their continual sales pitches to my e-mail box)

Plus about 35 unread magazines, of varying titles.

See you in August.

The Wedge

Walked into The Wedge last night, about 9:29, just in time for my 9:30 record spin. The first thing striking me was that the bartenders were new. They were… how do I put this?… not necessarily cut from the same cloth as previous Wedge bartenders. And then it struck me that the entire DJ booth had been removed from the venue, replaced by a utilitarian, six-foot folding table. This should’ve been the first thing to strike me, since the booth had been located just inside the first-floor doors and was arguably the coolest element of the bar. But, no, the bartenders caught my eye first. How sadly predictable.

Anyway, a manager informed me that the venue had gone through a second round of changes since opening night, with some ownership swapping involved. Now, a fellow from D.B.’s is on the ownership end and the bartenders followed from that edge-of-Soulard location. And if you’ve been to D.B.’s you know the “type” of bartender referred to here. (Though, for accuracy, The Wedge’s versions were far more clothed.) The DJ rotation had now been changed, too, with more of a tab-and-dinner approach to payment, which I can understand for a venue facing some revenue issues. My contact was nice about it, but some gigs you do for fun, some for money.

After a second’s thought, I grabbed my Domino’s bag of CDs and headed back to the car, thinking about a stop at Fred’s Six Foot Under, but too mystified to walk down the steps. A premonition had come true. See, what had struck me is that when walking up to the venue, I knew (just knew) that something was going to be off for the evening. In fact, I’d had that thought all afternoon and sure enough… poof. A gig gone. Such is life.

Alas. I wish the good folks remaining at The Wedge a successful run. And I look forward to visiting in a month, or two, for what’ll surely be a very different room, with bartenders’ necklines dipping and hemlines rising. That’s just a guess, but I’ll lay a dollar on the outcome.

Welcome to!

Greetings to curious readers of who may’ve been induced to visit here thanks to my somewhat bemusing addition on this week’s Mini-Poll.

To prove that I deserve to program your three-hour roundtrip, I can offer these qualifications: I am presently spinning music on St. Louis’ commnity radio station, KDHX, with my show Silver Tray; I’m also spinning records tonight at The Wedge, from 9:30 – 1:20; and I’m going to post up an actual three-hour playlist here, when not quite as pressed for time as I am at this second.

Nonetheless, I think I’ve satisfied Mayor Slay’s incentives in (ahem…) “his” inclusion of me in the Mini-Poll, as I’ve now Tweeted, Facebooked, personal blogged and radio mentioned this competitive situation.

S-U-C-K-E-R. I’m a sucker.

But I can’t lose to Kevin Johnson, I’m sorry…

June’s 13

After a month-and-change disappearance from the world’s bandwidth,’s favorite monthly feature returns. With a whimper or a vengeance, depends.

Sites 1, The soccer kids have their own corner of cyberspace. Thanks to Bill Streeter for creating it and cutting the video and to Brian Marston for the hosting. And that’s all I have to say on that!

Sites 2, The Art of Manliness: Though it’s been some time since I’ve given the sport of boxing a lot of thought, I still get interesting e-mails and links on the subject and this one’s got a nice, overall primer on the sport’s history. Better yet, it got me looking at this overall site, which is filled with exactly the kind of content you’d expect from its name. A few entertaining reads here

Blogs, 52nd City: As soon as I’m done with this fascinating business, I’m going to set up a 52nd City Twitter feed and will note on the actual blog that we’re going with a new, stripped-down version. (Even more stripped-down than present.) Because all three, primary members of our blogging team has been b(l)ogged down by life’s other challenges, joys and vexations, we haven’t been updating it a ton. Instead of simply nixing what’s up, we’ll leave it up for special pieces or series and will note when new content is up via Twitter. So let us lightly-clutter up you Twitter page; we promise not to tell you when we’re getting coffee.

Fish, catfish: It’s a humble fish. It’s a tasty fish. And I’m truly sorry for killing y’all, catfish. But thanks for your delicious flesh.

Show of the month, Viva Voce: Tuesday, June 9 at the Firebird (forever known in advertising and marketing as “formerly the Bluebird”). A few years back, I happened into the Way Out Club on a random night and caught this husband-wife/guitar-drums duo with no prior knowledge of them. The other dozen people and myself were transfixed by the set, which moved me to buy every piece of merchandise that the group was selling. At that point, it was only a pair of albums, but those two cemented the band as a lifelong fave. Looking forward to this one, much.

Book, “The Dumbest Generation“: You’d think that teaching a bunch of college classes would equate to a good number of free books. And that’s sorta true, if you’re jonesing for a dozen different texts on your specific subject matter, which never stop arriving. This week, though, paydirt was hit with the arrival of “The Dumbest Generation,” Mark Bauerlein’s readable evisceration of the today’s collegians. According to the work (and you’ve probably guessed this from the title, if you’ve not heard of it before), all of us oldsters should be bemoaning the current crop of kids, who spend their time on video games rather than classic literature; in lieu of trips to museums and galleries, there are countless visits to the sites of those institutions; instead of boning up on culture in old-fashioned ways, they’re committing time to blogging on personal websites. Now I’m convinced: we’d better prepare for the worst.

Films 1, “Terminator Salvation“: Great explosions. Great cheekbones on Christian Bale. Great closeups on Moon Bloodgood. Great expectations. Not met. Oh, well.

Films 2, “The Third Man“: Working with a student on a summer film project has plunged me back into the long-discarded project of viewing the Top 100 AFI films, along with a Time magazine list of 100 worldwide films worth watching. The best film of the recent run has been “The Third Man,” a classy noir with all the needed elements of the genre: dark alleyways, a gorgeous (and troubled) femme fatale, erroneous decision-making, abandoned urban spaces, clever one-liners, et al. Delicious. Delightful.

(Debates, Zima: While typing this up, a Mangia bartender just brought in a Zima sign, purchased earlier today for $25. Is this iconic sign worth a $50 bid, to free it from her clutches? I’m weighing the options as this is assembled. By the way, Zima, according to Wikipeia, was part of the clear culture craze of 1993, which also included Clear Tab, Miller Clear and the eventual Zima offshoot, 1994’s Izen Klar.)

Countries, China: We should probably all think about this more, shouldn’t we?

Trends, pop: Lately, I’ve fallen on-off-on-off the bandwagon of boycotting soda pop. My request is that those who read this, then see me guzzling soda pop, take the initiative to slap that s–t outta my hand. You can crack me in the head, too, which would be appreciated and might reinforce the need for boycotting. The stuff’ll kill you.

Rides, City Museum Ferris wheel: The word is out, that City Museum’s roof will “go live” tomorrow evening, with a $5 charge added to your CM adventure. Tell you what, though, I was lucky enough to ride the Ferris wheel a couple weeks back, just after dark. And the views were spectacular. I would think that timing a visit to dusk and getting more than a couple, quick revolutions would be a valuable way to spend some quality minutes in Downtown. That rooftop is really quite a sight, altogether, with fountains, the mantis, a chance to see the infamous bus and, of course, the wheel. I do go on…

Bands, Blodwyn Pig: Was recently treated to a gift of “Ahead Rings Out,” by Blodwyn Pig. The cover is rather reminiscient of the mascot of a certain local radio station. We give a nod to the BP’s today.

Grand Ole Party

Let me join everyone else on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, et al, who are writing a variation on this.

“Saw Grand Ole Party opening for the Yeah Yeah Yeahs at (insert club name of hometown here) on (this particular evening) and they were great.”

And they were.