An RFT Two-Fer

Delighted to have written two articles that appeared in this week’s Riverfront Times. That phrase last happened in, oh, the 20th century.

One feature details the efforts of Phil Berwick and his associate Kapp, as they merrily decorate the streets of St. Louis with Berwick’s decades-in-the-making Merferd character. The article grew out of a very different initial angle, which would’ve bounced out of the presumed arrest of the tagger Super. With this approach, the article would’ve delved into more the “traditional” graffiti scene, if such a phrase exists. Instead, I came across the works of Berwick and quickly shifted focus, ditching the usual names for this relative newcomer – and complete outlier – to the local street art scene. Glad to have been able to do so, aided by an understanding editor realizing the real story presented itself later-than-expected.

In the same issue, I interviewed Andrew Franklin, a bass player, only 29, working through the serious effects of cancer treatments. The story touches on his health, his new band (The Sugar Kings) and his approach to life. Was an intense piece to work on, giving a sense of someone creatively flowering, even as their body strains to keep up. Glad to have been entrusted with telling such a story, by both editor and subject.

EDIT: As if on cue, I was invited to DJ Wilson’s KDHXtra blog, Collateral Damage. Talked about the stuff above. Here’s that clip.