Five for Friday: August 28

1. Have I been writing these under the wrong date, with no one correcting me? Or has the new site caused some type of time shifting? I’m guessing the former Thanks, readers! All four of you are so kind, as to not point out the error of my ways. Corrected, yo.

2. Countdown ’til new Nick Hornby book: four days. Countdown ’til finishing new Nick Hornby book: five days.

3. In the spirit of consistent shilling, there’s a DJ spin by yours truly at The Royale tonight. There’s a bachelorette party potentially rolling through, in case that’s an extra inducement to come on out. And thanks to Mike Tomko for the offer to spin at the Metropolis Lot this weekend, which wasn’t an option due to travel. Think about stopping out to that event.

4. The ghost pepper plant has been yielding results in the past few days and even mentioning them at the bar of Mangia Italiano yesterday casued a ripple of conversation, up-and-down the bar. Brought a few back and various workers singed their taste buds. No restaurant offered the peppers, to date, have committed to making a dish with them. Will alert when someone finally falls for it. And since I’m handing out these wicked things, feel free to bum one. Thanks, Jason Bayer, for the instant conversation starter.

5. Thanks to hyper-prolific Facebook poster James Weber Jr., I’m now familiar with this video, which I’ll watch again and again.

Five for Friday: August 21

Hey, a Friday-themed posting written on Saturday. So slack.

1. Despite evidence being right there in the open, I’ve just figured out that Flickr user plasticfootball = Darren Snow.

2. Last night I spun records for 90-minutes, prior to the Dread Zeppelin show at the Duck Room, a place I’d never had the opportunity to enjoy in that way. If you see me and indicate even a remote interest in hearing about the gig, please know that you’ll get a half-hour version of it, okay?

3. Big thanks to Brian Marston for organizing this week’s Metrpolis Walk in The Ville. Nothing like North City pours, old-schol jukeboxes and truly inexplicable and amusing conversations about race. Loved it! Let’s roll it back out soon, even if no Metropolis members show up (again).

4. Word’s going around that the Majestic Theatre’s been accessed.

5. Thanks to people who’ve listened to the Silver Tray radio show in recent months and thanks, more, for the feedback. There’s been an interesting energy shift on the program lately and it’s due to getting some measure of response. May sound vain, that statement, but knowing that people listen is an incentive to produce a quality gig. In couple days, I’ll note the next five weeks’ musical guests. Rock.

Five for Friday 2: August 14

1. Obviously, there’s a bit of changeover occurring here at HQ and things will be in flux for the next week, or so, until the new design is implemented. I’d like to thank the person heading up this massive operation, but don’t know if he would want that. Anyway, I have a feeling that the artists responsible for the 1975 Topps series of baseball cards will find something that they like.

2. Before today, I hadn’t thought about Squeaky Fromme in some time.

3. You gotta plug your friends, esp. when another friend ask you to do so. With just that bit of intro, he’s an even that could deserve your attention: “I hate to again impose on you for you web audience [ed: please, everyone, impose at your wish], but I was wondering, if you’re looking for something to post about, if you could give an event at the Pulitzer a shout-out.  The event is A Marathon Metamorphoses, a 2-day reading of the Metamorphoses. A couple readers I know you’re acquainted with are Stefene Russell and Chris King. The blog for it is, and people can RSVP through our Facebook page,”

4. For those of you interested in: local rock history, KSHE-95, the bands Pavlov’s Dog and Mama’s Pride and really great haircuts from the ’70s, please consider keeping your evening open on Friday, November 20. Updates to follow here.

5. Heading to the track to bid adieu to Fairmount during this abbreviated season and, possibly, forever. Though chagrined at spending money at a place that has horses competing before becoming part of someone’s dinner (yeesh!), I also will miss this fun, little, quirky, crooked-ass corner of St. Louis’ past and present. After all, a fool and his money…

Five for Friday 1: August 7

A wise man recently told me to “increase (my) online audience.” I take these words seriously. So, a new, li’l attempt at a mini-feature, Five for Friday.

1. You have never gardened before. You have a space that’s in need of some natural beautification. Your efforts become so lauded that that the New York Times writes a feature about you (and your gardens) on the cover of its Home section. And you share the learning curve with the world via a blog. You are Kristin Tobiasson. It’s all at: 66squarefeet.

2. Jim Jarmusch has been a hero for some time and “Mystery Train,” though seen only once, would crack my top 10 list any day, as would “Ghost Dog: Way of the Samurai,” again a single-view revealation. So it was a joy to finally pick up the man’s first feature, “Permanent Vacation,” since repackaged as part of the “Strangers in Paradise” DVD treatment from Criterion; as well as a solo release. Not exactly a must-see for non-fans, the film does linger in the margins of NYC street culture in the late ’70s, capturing well the grit and grime seen in similar films, such as “Downtown 81“; the teen lead’s beat musings also have a few great moments, though tedious ones are more common. A fun time capsule, if ultimately unsatisfying.

3. JJ’s Sport’s Tap is a bar in Lemay, with shabby signage and an unopen vibe even on a night when the subterranean club is very much in operation. (If “very much” means four people, inc. the bartender, playing a combination of pool and darts.) But you wouldn’t guess there’s a functioning bar from the street, unless you drove into the parking lot and looked down a window well, where a unexpectedly large tavern and game room exists in the operational part of a multi-story house on Bayless. Odd joint: only eight glasses for drinks on the backbar (seriously, eight!); UFC on the TV; the radio tuned to the Arch; and a uber-tan bartender that just. Can’t. Stop. Talking. All in all, a funky little diversion. Not a place to hang every weekend, but a spot to take friends jaded by every other, already-corrupted-by-hipsters corner tavern on the grid. Remember, just head around the back, and down the steps. Don’t forget to ask about the ghosts.

4. Three steps within the doorway of the University City Goodwill store: “Good morning, welcome to Goodwill!” Another step: “Welcome to Goodwill!” And then a few more: “Thanks for shopping at Goodwill!” My goodness, the store’s name doesn’t disappoint. And neither does the price tag of four shirts for $10.35. “Thanks, Goodwill!”

5. Wasn’t around for Kennedy assassinations and I also missed the streetcars getting rocked in Gaslight Square, after the 1964 World Series. I’m old, but not that old. But I do remember walking home from school in eighth grade on the day that Ronald Reagan was shot, hearing the news near the intersection of McKean and Arkansas; and I can specifically recall being in a bar called Frank’s, on MLK Boulevard, the first time I heard Nelly’s “Country Grammar.” Feels like yesterday, but it wasn’t. In fact, whole generations of Metropolis folk have come and gone since The Walk hit Frank’s oh-so-long-ago, on a night when “Country Grammar” lodged in my head for the rest of that summer. But on Thursday, August 20, the MLK Walk is coming back and there’s some hope that Zack’s Lounge lives up to its legendary billing, and that some Metropolis old heads can find sitters for the evening. Wouldn’t miss this one. Nope. No way.

KDHX x Two

Friday, August 7: A very special edition of the Silver Tray @ 12 noon. This will be the 52nd edition of the show, denoting all kinds of symbolic meaning. Planning all of this and more: a nod to the Breeders, who’ll be in town tomorrow night; and various tracks from Leadville, Camper van Beethoven, A Shoreline Dream, Viva Voce, the Dukes of Stratophear and, yes, Nazareth. World radio premiere of music by Wag, as well. So exciting, particularly if a possible drop-in guest comes through. (Fingers, crossing; wood, being knocked upon.)

Tuesday, August 11: Filling in for Sam Thompson on the venerable Green Eggs and Sam radio program, from 10 a.m.-noon. Planning on some: more Camper Van (just bought the greatest hits, doncha know?), Jayhawks, No River City and much, much more.

August’s 13

Drinks, Nature Factor Organic Young Coconut Water: Bought this on a whim at the local organic grocery and regretted it from the first taste. Not since attempting to consume a can of bird’s nest drink a few years back have I encountered such an awful product. Despicable. Foul. Warn all those around you.

Film, The Wrestler: Most realistic minor-league wrestling scenes ever committed to film. Most realistic strip club scenes ever committed to film. Thus… possibly the greatest movie ever.

Plants, basil: Easy to grow, easy to use. What’s not to like? A new friend, indeed.

Success, KDHX pledge drive: Thanks to the folks who contributed some coins to the recent summer pledge driver at KDHX, during the Silver Tray timeslot. Much appreciated.

Save the date, Friday, Nov. 20: The St. Louis International Film Festival will be running through that weekend and Friday night has some good programming. Guaranteed. Keep it open.

Choices, TV shows: If you were to get sucked into a new (to you) television program via Netflix, would be Weeds, The Sopranos or (fill in the blank)? Tempted to try something new, but not sure of the direction to take/amount of hours emotionally prepared to lose.

Tuesdays, Horse Hooky at Fairmount: In past years, I might’ve visited the track once a year, or once every couple. This season, sensing that the track might be closing for good in the near future, I’ve been ramping up my attendance, catching about five afternoons of racing at the down-at-the-heels raceway. Enjoyed a piece in the Post just today, detailing the fortunes and future of the track. Will lose my customary $10-20 tomorrow, in hopes of securing a safe future for the horse people of Sou’western Illinois. (I’d link, but it’d die in a week, so…)

Bands, Echo & the Bunnymen: For whatever reason, this flag-bearer of new wave never caught my ear like their contemporaries of The Cure, New Order, etc. But having just checked out the four-disc compilation “Crystal Days” at the St. Louis Public Library’s Buder Branch, I’m enjoying the cuts anew, remembering that songs such as “Lips Like Sugar” stand the test of time. Plan of dipping into this one for the next few weeks. Any gems in their catalog for you?

Music blogs, 33 1/3: More than just a space to discuss their book series, the 33 1/3 blog has a variety of quality posts dedicated to musicians past and present, written in the same smart style that defines their series of books. Quality stuff.

Zine sale, Big Takeover: We end this trio of pop music items by noting that Big Takeover back issues are for sale, including an entire set discount at a mere $135. I’m about to raid the piggybank to make this happen. What a great way to have two-decades of in-the-moment music reportage at the fingertips. Yes.

Lifestyle choices, HomeGrown Revolution: Attempting to fix every meal for a month, I’m intrigued by the growing practices of the Dervaes family in Pasadena, CA. They’re the subjects of the Robert McFalls documentary “Homegrown” and have produced works under a similar name, HomeGrown Revolution. Check out their YouTube page for a variety of pieces that they’ve created or been featured in; afterwards, see if you don’t want to run out to plant a crop.

Trailer, “New Orleans Mon Amour“: Have been waiting a couple minutes shy of forever to see this film by Michael Almereyda.

New site, Coming soon.