From time-to-time, I launch some type of crazy idea, usually foisting it upon the world via the web. I also have a bit of a need-for-collaboration issue. These are the past, present and future works of note.
In 2021, I discovered the joy of self-publishing through Substack. Here’s what I’ve cooked up so far:
Thomas Crone’s Memory Hall: Life and times, 2021-23.
Newbie Orelans: A newbie takes on the South’s greatest city, 2023-present.
“Painkillers,” The Painkillers (Euclid Records Records, 2011): In 2011, Joe Schwab of Euclid Records Records (yes, it’s ERR), re-released a pivotal St. Louis album of the 1980s, the self-titled cassette of The Painkillers. The new, CD-only edition contains over 20 cuts, pulling together the band’s total recorded output. It’s pretty awesome to have played a role in the disc’s creation. Here are four online clips: the first is my initial, “I wanna see this happen” post to this site; the second and third are interviews with Joe Schwab as the record was released; the third is a link to the liner notes that I wrote for the re-release. This was a true labor of love and well-worth every minute spent.
The Great Unload I, Jeff Barbush/Painkillers, thomascrone.com, 8.31.10
Power-pop band The Painkillers reunites for Off Broadway show, stltoday.com, 4.14.11
Hear Music from the Newly Reunited, Newly Reissued Painkillers, riverfronttimes.com, 4.15.11
Liner Notes of “Painkillers,” Euclid Records Records
52nd City: A magazine, an online publication, a blog… over a couple-year period, 52nd City was a multi-platform approach to covering St. Louis civics and culture. Co-founded by Stefene Russell, Andrea Avery and I, the bones of the site remain.
The Commonspace: For a couple of years, Amanda Doyle, Brian Marston and I created a nice web magazine dedicated to “grassroots civics and culture in St. Louis.” The duo kept it running for a time after that, establishing a physical presence in Grand Center along the way. The content remains online, featuring some pretty good writing by a variety of STL folks and select expats.
Half Order Fried Rice: Having civic fun is healthy. The idea here was to create a story-plus-video release with a new episode going live every day for five weeks. Amazingly, I talked enough people in believing in this that I was able to put out the 25 episodes. There’s some life for the videos, but none for the text, long since hacked and sent into the digital void.
The Kick Ass Awards: For a full decade, I was part of a collective that nominates folks for this unconventional awards ceremony. We host a live event every fall, at varying, fun locations. You can find former winners and event info via the link. Serving, too, on our advisory group: Stefene Russell, Andrea Avery, Brandyn Jones and Ann Haubrich. Good people, every one, no lie. Clips follow.
The Ass in “Gracias,” Jason Toon, riverfronttimes.com, 11.9.05
Kick Ass Thank You, Robert Duffy, stlbeacon.org, 11.11.10
Encore: A Kick Ass decade comes to a close, stlbeacon.org, 11.13.12
The Magic Door: For one year, beginning in December of 2012, I photographed people in front of what I’ve dubbed The Magic Door. There’s lots of info in two places: at St. Louis Mag’s website; and at The Curator. The idea lives on, in the form of very-occasional revisits.
Second Set/Encore: During 2012, I enjoyed the opportunity to write about St. Louis music, as enjoyed over the past couple decades, in a series called Second Set. Over 52 weeks, I was able to pen 52 stories about bands, venues, artists, record stores and various contributors to local music culture. A quarter of those stories, plus another 30, new clips, have been compiled in an e-book published by the Beacon. During 2013, I’ maintained the coverage with Encore, published every-other-Thursday and featuring the same type of content. Some of the clips are here, though much of the source site was hacked.
The Same Five Questions: For one year, I attempted to ask 100 people the same five questions. Turns that few of those folks were reachable or wished to talk to me. That said, others did, many of them quite unexpectedly. And the results live on, indefinitely, in web amber. In a fit of pique, I decided to reboot this project at some point in 2012, in true half-assed fashion. A couple extra pieces emerged, but to no good end. Yikes. Probably, this one stays asleep in the digital amber. (Update: hacked, dead, gone.)
The Schwag: The St. Louis band, aka The Grateful Dead Experience, tours the country while bringing the sound’n’feel of the Dead to an avid selection of fans nationwide. Sometimes, I jumped in the bus, but I mostly just posted things to Facebook. Was a fun social media gig, with three different li’l runs.
The South Side of Luck: Originally created as a summer-only project for 2011, more content came to this site in the fall of the same year. Working with students of mine at Webster University, this site spawned the creation of original web video and web audio over a few different semester. At this point, the best place to find any of this content is via YouTube.
STL Graffiti: In the summer and fall of 2013, I pursued a series on St. Louis’ graffiti culture. I won’t say that I exactly found what it was I was looking for, but it was an interesting attempt. Funded by nextstl.com and a Kickstarter grant from the masses.