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APRIL 16–22, 2015 I VOLUME 39 I NUMBER 16

Commission Impossible? Reverend Starsky Wilson and the ıght to make the Ferguson Commission matter BY DA N N Y W IC E N TOWS K I




APRIL 16-22, 2015

APRIL 16-22, 2015



the lede

If you could see any musician anywhere in St. Louis, who and where would it be?

“The Ramones at CBGB. That would be pretty –WILL LICKENS, SPOTTED ON CHEROKEE STREET, APRIL 9. cool, huh?” P H OTO BY JA R R E D G AST R E IC H



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VOLUME 39 NUMBER 16 APRIL 16-22, 2015

E D I T O R I A L Editor in Chief Sarah Fenske Managing Editor Jessica Lussenhop Editorial Operations Manager Kristie McClanahan Arts & Culture Editor Paul Friswold Music Editor Daniel Hill Staff Writer Danny Wicentowski Restaurant Critic Cheryl Baehr Proofreaders Evie Hemphill, Tricia Polley Contributing Writers Drew Ailes, Mike Appelstein, Allison Babka, Nicole Beckert, Mark Fischer, Sara Graham, Joseph Hess, Patrick J. Hurley, Roy Kasten, Dan LeRoy, Jaime Lees, Todd McKenzie, Bob McMahon, Tef Poe, Christian Schaeffer, Alison Sieloff, Mabel Suen, Ryan Wasoba, Alex Weir A R T Art Director Kelly Glueck Contributing Photographers Jarred Gastreich, Abby Gillardi, Matthew Harting, Jennifer Silverberg, Mabel Suen, Steve Truesdell, Micah Usher, Theo Welling, Corey Woodruff, Caroline Yoo P R O D U C T I O N Production Manager Robert Westerholt Production Designer Randy Lutz M U LT I M E D I A

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12 COMMISSION IMPOSSIBLE? Reverend Starsky Wilson and the fight to make the Ferguson Commission matter BY DANNY WICENTOWSKI


19 Night & Day® 23 Film C O U C H S U R F I N G .............................................. 24

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Rumors of Jewishness Nothing New in Missouri Campaigns


ay Kanzler was on the campaign trail when he first heard the rumors. It was the summer of 2002, and Kanzler, a St. Louis lawyer and aspiring filmmaker, had driven the 180-plus miles from St. Louis to the town of Willow Springs, deep in the southern of part of the state. He was chasing the GOP nomination for state auditor, and he liked his chances: He had the full backing of the Missouri Republican Party, and eventually he would attract more than $100,000 to his campaign coffers. Kanzler’s only opponent in the primary was a joke, an ornery septuagenarian with a criminal record. Still, the budding politician needed advice, so Kanzler made the pilgrimage to the home of Wendell Bailey, a fixture of Missouri Republican politics since the ’70s who served four

terms as state representative and two terms as treasurer. Kanzler remembers how they sat on the front porch of Bailey’s home, drinking iced tea and talking shop. “It was the perfect portrait of politics,” Kanzler says. “We were just talking, and I was telling him about myself. At the time, I was pursuing becoming an Episcopal priest, and he said, ‘That’s funny, I’ve heard people around here think you’re Jewish.’” Kanzler says he laughed the comment off, and recalls that he and Bailey traded a few ideas on why voters assumed the devoutly Christian Kanzler was Jewish. Maybe it was his name. Maybe it was where Kanzler lived, University City, with its significant Jewish population. Maybe it was because Kanzler was a lawyer? While it may have seemed funny at the time, Kanzler went on to lose the Republican primary for state auditor by a wide margin. With no money and virtually no campaign, Al Hanson, Kanzler’s opponent, took 65 percent of the vote, leaving Kanzler “nearly speechless, party officials mystified and the GOP’s U.S. Senate candidate perplexed,” continued on page 10




Tom Schweich wasn’t the only Episcopalian Republican rumored to be Jewish.

Wash. U. Grads Untangling the Mystery of Deep Sleep imin Hang and Ben Bronsther didn’t set out to improve sleep. Like many entrepreneurs before them, the young Washington University grads merely thought they could measure it better. They wanted to invent a device that would allow sleep research to be conducted in the patient’s own bedroom. Instead of intrusive caps that require study subjects to spend nights wired up in a lab, what about sensor sheets that could be tucked beneath their pillowcases to measure sleep patterns? Perfect the technology, and researchers would surely line up, checkbooks in hand. “We spent so much time and money on a patent to protect the technology that would do that,” Hang admits. “The technology literally doesn’t exist yet — but we have the patent.” On the path to exploring such a device, though, the friends stumbled onto a far more interesting idea: What if instead of merely monitoring sleep, their sensor sheets could actually improve it? That idea became Chrona — a soft foam



APRIL 16-22, 2015



Ben Bronsther and Zimin Hang.

pad that slides between the pillow and pillowcase and, via smartphone, monitors brain waves and pulses sound waves at them. By activating those sounds during certain phases of sleep, Hang and Bronsther believe, they’ll not only send users to a deeper sleep: They can keep them there longer, and ultimately ease them out, up and into their morning. Better sleep? They’re certain Chrona can deliver.

“We don’t plan on making any medical claims,” Hang notes. The government approval process is far too onerous. But, says Bronsther, “by using Chrona, in general, you’ll get better sleep.” Sleep, after all, is no longer entirely a mystery. Even as America tosses and turns, scientists have learned certain things about what gives the dreamlike state its powers. They know, for ex- continued on page 10

APRIL 16-22, 2015



Deep Sleep

ample, that “slow wave sleep” may be the most important stage to help the brain recover after a busy day. Many people who suffer from sleep disorders simply don’t get to this stage — or stay there long enough. Researchers also know that certain sounds that can bring people to the slowwave stage, and keep them there. These “binaural beats” have a powerful impact: If patients undergoing surgery are exposed to these pulsing tones, they need significantly less anesthesia. Recent studies have suggested a practical application for sleepdeprived consumers. Bronsther and Hang developed Chrona to deliver just that. Tiny speakers pulse binaural beats at the sleeper, while monitors within the device determine when the beats turn on and off for each individual user. The noises Chrona emits, the entrepreneurs believe, can be timed to pull the user both in and out of deep sleep so they rest thoroughly and wake refreshed. Their startup Ultradia, based in the Central West End, is preparing to launch a Kickstarter this week to bring the device to market. They hope to have it ready for consumers by fall — and anticipate a $169 price point. If everything goes as planned, they’ll be the first to market a product that uses an acoustic device to trigger slow-wave sleep. The pair is working with Dr. Larson-Prior to begin a sleep study at Wash. U.’s department of radiology. She offers a cautious affirmative as to whether Chrona has a practical application for the sleep-weary: “I think the answer has to be yes, although it is highly likely that benefits would not be universal as there are many reasons why sleep might be disrupted or disturbed.” The feedback that Hang and Bronsther are getting has been far less cautious. Everyone wants a magic bullet. Says Hang, “One of our managing partners asked me, ‘Why don’t I have one of these yet?’” His response: “We only have five [prototypes], you can’t have one!” Both Hang and Bronsther are from the Washington, D.C., area, where they attended rival high schools, but they didn’t meet until they landed at the same enterpreneurship class at Wash. U. For the last year they’ve been all-in on their sleep venture. Ultradia now includes four engineers, plus a public relations rep. Now they just have to show they can pull it off. Their hopes, and Ultradia’s, rest on being able to show actual results, both from their Kickstarter and the study at the Dr. Larson-Prior’s lab. The pressure is on. “My parents are traditional Asian parents,” Hang says. “My mom doesn’t even understand what a startup is.” Bronsther says, “My parents have been very supportive.” “My parents have been supportive too,” Hang agrees. “But they want results.” In this sleep-needy age, they might as well join the club. —SARAH FENSKE 10


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continued from page 8


Jay Kanzler: “Nobody in their right mind would run for office any longer.”

reported the Associated Press at the time. The loss would impact the state’s political future for years to come. Running against an opponent who was both little-known and underfunded, Democrat Claire McCaskill would go on to win the general election for Missouri auditor, launching her statewide political career. Bailey, now 74 and still living in Willow Springs, says he remembers the 2002 conversation with Kanzler, but only part of it: His memories about the Jewish stuff have drifted away. Still, he thinks such rumors could have been partly to blame for Kanzler’s befuddling election loss. “I come from deep in the Bible Belt, in the south central Missouri Ozarks,” Bailey says. “The Jewish whisper campaign would be a definite negative in a lot of our rural society down here.” “Whisper campaign” is arguably the most loaded term in Missouri politics these days. They were the words Missouri auditor Tom Schweich used when describing what he believed was an anti-Semitic strategy employed among top GOP officials to discredit his campaign for governor. Schweich believed GOP chairman John Hancock was behind the rumor. In late February, Schweich was found dead in his Clayton home from what investigators determined to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound. At Schweich’s funeral, former U.S. Senator John Danforth condemned the negative campaign ads that targeted Schweich, declaring during a thunderous eulogy that, “Words do hurt. Words can kill.” Last week, the state’s political sphere was sent reeling again when Schweich’s spokesman, Spence Jackson, also died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. In the wake of the suicides, Kanzler is hardly surprised that some are now looking back at his 2002 campaign in a new light. “What I do take from this is nobody in their right mind would run for office any longer,” he says. “Lots of good people aren’t willing to put their families through it or themselves through it. That’s the real story here.” Kanzler and Schweich worked in the same law firm, Bryan Cave. Both Episcopalians, they attended nearby churches and, of course, both ran for the same state office. But they

fought their separate whisper campaigns very differently. “I dismissed it all, I really did,” Kanzler says. “I’m sure there are exceptions to every rule, but I don’t believe that voters in the Republican party or the Democratic party are anti-Semitic.” Kanzler recalls there were a few signs that the misconception about his faith had gotten out of hand, but didn’t realize how far the false idea had spread until after the brutal primary loss. Colleagues and GOP acquaintances began calling. One prominent Republican donor asked Kanzler if, as a Jewish man, he would be willing to give speeches at Missouri synagogues. Then a dean at Washington University law school who was contemplating a political run called. He asked, “What was it was like to run statewide as a Jewish man?” “Well,” Kanzler remembers saying, “I don’t know, but I can tell you what it was like running as a perceived Jewish man.” Some were more overt. A blog run by a white nationalist blowhard wrote, “I sure wouldn’t vote for a lawyer or a jew or anyone acting like such or tolerate those who do.” “There were some knuckleheads out there,” Kanzler concedes. “They called me ‘the fucking Jew lawyer.’ Those are the idiots, they’re the crazies and I don’t lump them in with anyone else.” After losing the primary election in 2002, Kanzler moved into the background of Missouri Republican politics. Aside from a run for University City City Council, he never pursued elected office again. More recently, Kanzler produced and directed several film projects based in Missouri. Notably, he also served as legal representative and spokesman for the Ferguson Market, the store where Michael Brown allegedly stole a box of cigars before his fatal confrontation with then-Ferguson officer Darren Wilson in August 2014. For that, Kanzler was picked apart in the comments of an utterly insane blog called “Real Jew News.” “I was incredibly naive in 2002,” Kanzler recalls. “Voters will ultimately accept you for a hundred different reasons, and how you tap into that involves far more than whether you’re a particular religion, or how tall you are, whether you play baseball or went to college or some place.” — DANNY WICENTOWSKI

continued from page 8


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APRIL 16-22, 2015



Commission Impossible? Reverend Starsky Wilson and the ıght to make the Ferguson Commission matter



Above: Reverend Starsky Wilson can lead a church, deliver a sermon and run a nonprofit. Now he’s co-chairing the Ferguson Commission.


Right: Danielle Polk, a McDonald’s worker in Ferguson, told the commission she can’t make it on $7.80 an hour.



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petite young woman stands at the back of a convention hall in a line of people behind a microphone. Her brown hair is partially dyed red, an artistic touch that contrasts with the McDonald’s uniform she wears for her semi-regular five-hour shifts. She approaches the podium and faces the members of the Ferguson Commission, the sixteen-member body tasked by Missouri governor Jay Nixon with confronting the St. Louis region’s most intractable social and economic problems in the aftermath of the killing of Michael Brown. It’s a Monday night in February, and in the large college conference hall, about 100 people stare at her back. A few scribble notes on legal pads. “My name is Danielle Polk...I’m one of your young ladies that works at the Ferguson McDonald’s in the middle of Ferguson on West Florissant,” she says. “I was actually one of the individuals that was affected when the Mike Brown incident,” her voice breaks, “happened.” She continues, but the words begin to tumble over each other. “I had to walk two-and-a-half hours to get to work because I didn’t have any money, I couldn’t pay my electric bill, I couldn’t pay my gas bill nor my rent, OK? I saw my paycheck, it was less than $100, and I have a newborn, OK? When I first had my newborn, I had to leave off of maternity leave

hesitant applause. The next person steps up. “My name is —” “Hold on,” says Wilson. He stands up and walks toward the podium with his own microphone. He has a thin, perfectly groomed mustache, and square-frame glasses. His outfit is, as always, tailored and harmonious: A light gray suit with a white pocket square. “Thank you for sharing your story,” he says in a deep baritone. “Someone needed to hear it. And our commitment is to continue to share your story, Danielle. Thank you, we love you, and we will not let you down.” From the back of the room, Polk says, “Thank you, sir.” Wilson sits back down and listens to the rest of the line — the ex-con who wants funding for a children’s welfare nonprofit, a well-known activist urging the Federal Reserve Bank to distribute low interest loans to municipalities, a former cop railing against the school system. After the meeting’s conclusion, he and the other commissioners arrange for Polk’s $300 rent to be paid. “We can help the people in front of us, and we have,” Wilson says. “You can’t help each Danielle, but you can impact every Danielle by focusing on policy.” Five months have continued on page 14

Above: Not only did Wilson support protesters in the streets, he also courted nonprofits, such as the United Way, to send emergency aid and funds to Ferguson. Below: “We are ‘co’ in every way,” says Wilson, describing his partnership with Ferguson Commission co-chair Rich McClure (center).


in two weeks, I couldn’t stay with my daughter, now I have to wake up at four o’clock in the morning to drive my daughter outside in this miserable weather right now, she’s only six months. She doesn’t even know what’s going on in this world.” Her two-minute time limit comes and goes. No one stops her. “I was also one of the people that had to wake up on Christmas 2014, and Thanksgiving, and tell my kids, ‘I can’t give you anything,’” Polk continues. She gasps between words. Someone wraps an arm around her shoulders. She starts listing her expenses against the utter paltriness of her $7.80 an hour: $35 for diapers, the babysitter, the thrift-store crib. She’s 27 years old, and she’s been working at McDonald’s since she was 16. From his spot in the middle of the row of chairs, directly facing the podium, Reverend Starsky Wilson — the co-chair of the commission — digs his elbows into his thighs as he listens. He clasps his hands and rests his fingers on his lips. “Today I owe rent,” she says. “I don’t know what I’m going to do.” After eight minutes, she finally stops and leaves the podium. There is a smattering of

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Ferguson commissioner Reverend Traci Blackmon has known Wilson for fifteen years. “If there were no commission, he would still be doing this work,” she says. lina, for a weeklong preachers’ conference. He could only watch television reports from continued from page 13 the ground about the mass gatherings, the passed since Wilson accepted Governor Jay looted stores and the tear-gas canisters arching Nixon’s appointment to the Ferguson Com- through the sky above West Florissant Avenue. When he returned, Wilson convened meetmission. He’s a pastor who was often seen on the frontlines of the Ferguson protests, but he’s ings between clergy members and civic oralso the CEO of the Deaconess Foundation, a ganizations and, with the help of the United 126-year-old health and children’s advocacy Way, began providing emergency services to organization that’s doled out millions of dollars residents who suddenly found their town had in grants. He co-chairs the commission with a transformed into a military-style occupation. man from a very different background — Rich On August 20, Wilson and Deaconess anMcClure, an experienced Republican operative nounced a $100,000 grant to fund the burgeoning youth protest movements and businessman. that had only just begun makYet Nixon didn’t task “THE ONLY POSSIBILITY ing coalitions and demands for the commission with something as minute as WE HAVE AS A REGION TO sweeping change in Ferguson and St. Louis. paying a woman’s rent. At the same time, Wilson They were gathered that BE A FIRST-CLASS CITY, A hit the streets to join the pronight to begin to divine a FIRST-RATE METROPOLI- testers. broad solution to St. Louis’ “I first seen him when he collection of racial and soTAN AREA, IS THAT WE was out in Ferguson,” says cioeconomic woes. Rasheen Aldridge, an orga“The men and women LEARN THE LESSONS OF nizer with Millennial Activists selected to serve on this United and the youngest memcommission must be willFERGUSON.” ber of the Ferguson Commising to come together in sion. “He was out there at the good faith, endure the fierce crucible of public opinion and lead the late nights, out in front of the Ferguson Police hard work of change,” Nixon said on the day Department, being supportive and making he announced the group’s formation. “This sure the young people were being protected while they peacefully protested. He constantly work is not for the faint of heart.” And yet, the commission has no power on its showed up.” Reverend Traci Blackmon, arguably the own — the members only have Nixon’s promise that their recommendations and research most visible and vocal clergy member on the ground during the early Ferguson protests, will be seriously heeded. “My urgent worry is that it gets caught up remembers how Wilson bounced between his in politics and bureaucracy,” says Wilson. “My roles as nonprofit CEO and demonstrator in ultimate worry is that we don’t honor that this those early months. “I’ve seen him out there in a hoodie, and should be a moment of historic transition and change. If we don’t honor that, we don’t get this I’ve seen him out there in a three-piece suit,” back for three generations. The only possibil- she recalls. But for Wilson, making the leap to co-chairity we have as a region to be a first-class city, a first-rate metropolitan area, is that we learn ing the Ferguson Commission was fraught with tension, and there were plenty of reasons for the lessons of Ferguson.” him to avoid the role. Nixon remains a reviled character among n August 10, 2014, the day after Michael Brown was shot, Wilson was many activists. The governor’s doughy face on a plane to Durham, North Caro- graced numerous signs as marchers demanded





APRIL 16-22, 2015


n a Sunday in February, Wilson stands at the pulpit before a mostly black congregation, about 30 in all, who’ve braved the day’s bitter wind to make it to Saint John’s United Church of Christ in north St. Louis. Draped in green robes, he’s reaching the crux of a thunderous sermon on the Old Testament story of Joseph, a godly man sold into slavery in Egypt, who became second-incommand to pharaoh himself. Yet, Wilson says, Joseph never let himself forget his roots. “He knew what we need to know,” says Wilson, “that elevation, even to the right hand of pharaoh, does not constitute liberation.” The crowd murmurs back approvingly as Wilson’s voice rises. “You can’t underwrite the uprising, and you can’t sponsor the struggle, and you ain’t never going to find freedom while you’re on pharaoh’s payroll!” A few parishioners leap to their feet, clapping and shouting, “Yes!” This kind of energy defined Wilson from birth — it even earned him his unique first


he do more than issue curfews or call in the National Guard. Nixon’s role in the commission, therefore, was an immediate source of mistrust when he announced the initiative in October. By executive order, Nixon charged the commission with coming up with policy recommendations and a final report due by September 15, 2015. Observers wondered if this was merely a gesture. Commissions — while often called in the wake of a national crisis, such as after the Rodney King riots in LA — are often an ineffectual, bureaucratic method for politicians to appear to be taking action. As one activist put it, they are the “place where movements die.” “If you get a lot of people from a lot of the same mold, who all serve on the same boards together, I don’t know if you’re going to make a lot of progress,” St. Louis alderman Antonio French worried at the time. Nixon’s announcement of the commission came on October 21. The next day, he called Wilson. The governor made no overt promises, Wilson says, but he did affirm that the commission would have the weight of Nixon’s office behind it, not to mention some state funding. Still, Wilson worried; he knew the protesters he’d spent days standing with in the streets remained bitter toward Nixon, especially for his decision not to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Brown’s killing. “I was concerned about the relationships I’d already built on the ground, and whether those relationships were sustained, and whether they would understand what I was doing,” he says. There were more meetings and calls with Nixon. Wilson reached out to McClure. In late October, the two men went out to dinner with their wives. They talked about the commission; the couples prayed together. Eventually Wilson and McClure added their names to the application pool and were appointed on November 18. “You should know that this is personal for him,” says Blackmon, who now co-chairs the Ferguson Commission’s work group on policing. “If there were no commission he would still be doing this work. That’s what makes him the perfect person to be leading this charge.”

McClure has held public-policy positions on the staff of two former governors, Missouri’s John Ashcroft and Illinois’ Jim Thompson. Last year, McClure announced he was stepping down as president of UniGroup Inc. Indeed, it was around the time of those name. His mother, feeling her child kicking and moving in her belly, named him after the tragedies that Wilson decided he wanted to rough-and-tumble fictional cop from the 1970s find a way to help people. “I always figured I was heading to law school, television series Starksy & Hutch. As a gradeto work in government and help people,” he schooler, the name mortified him. “Once I knew you could change your name, says. “I thought government was how you do it.” But after Wilson’s first year as a law student I decided I would,” says Wilson, who started introducing himself by his middle name, Dar- at Xavier University in New Orleans, he began rell. “By the tenth or eleventh grade, I realized to feel inexorably drawn toward ministry. He no one ever forgot my name. It’s worked out left Xavier’s law program to take up studying nonprofit management, but he also entered the over the years.” He grew up in the Oak Cliff area of Dallas, ministry. He became officially ordained in 2006. When Wilson moved to St. Louis in 2000 Texas, a predominately black neighborhood that, during his adolescence, still clung to a along with his young wife, he met Don Calloway, legacy of segregated school systems and street a law student who quickly became Wilson’s crime. He was the third of five siblings raised confidant and frequent debate partner. “He’s able to take very speby a single mother, and cific situations and break them though he attended programs for gifted students “ONCE I KNEW YOU COULD down systemically,” says Calloway. “He’s a master of thought from an early age, he CHANGE YOUR NAME, I process.” wasn’t able to fully escape Those skills landed Wilson the violence in his own DECIDED I WOULD. BY the top job at Deaconess Founcommunity: His uncle dation in 2011, an organization was gunned down when TENTH OR ELEVENTH that lists more than $50 million Wilson was in middle in assets and distributed $2.6 school. A few years later, GRADE, I REALIZED NO million in grants during 2014, a drug dealer shot up the mostly to youth health services house where Wilson’s ONE EVER FORGOT MY and education. In 2012, Wilson older brother happened to be staying at the time, NAME. IT’S WORKED OUT led the organization’s pivot toward what he calls “community killing him. capacity building,” a sweeping “[Violence] caused OVER THE YEARS.” series of programs and allishifts in my life,” he says. ances that he hopes will build Wilson’s wife, LaToya, is a dentist at St. Louis Children’s Hospital, up leadership and new local institutions in St. and she credits her husband’s humble (and Louis’ most resource-strapped areas. It’s this kind of organizational know-how sometimes traumatic) upbringing for building the foundation for his future role as a that Calloway sees in Wilson’s handling of the Ferguson Commission. It’s not just his concommunity leader. “He has seen what it takes to keep a fam- nections, Calloway says, but his seemingly ily together, to thrive despite the economic unshakable calm in the face of a disheartencircumstances and challenges. I think that’s ingly complex set of social, economic and racial something that has motivated him to try to inequities. “He realizes that he’s in a unique posichange the community around him, so that everybody has an opportunity to thrive,” she says. tion. It’s a tremendous continued on page 16

APRIL 16-22, 2015




During Ferguson October, a crowd gathers and blocks Tower Grove Avenue at Manchester Avenue, chanting, “They think it’s a game. They think it’s a joke.”

Wilson continued from page 15

weight,” says Calloway. “I think he wouldn’t have taken it to put out a report to serve as an advisory document to be thrown on a pile of advisory documents.”


s Wilson feared, the Ferguson Commission got off to rough start. Its first public meeting convened eight days after the grand jury decided not to indict former Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in Brown’s killing. Audience members aired their frustrations (after sitting through three hours of interminable proceedings and introductions) by shouting down the commissioners and demanding their turn to speak. The second one went even worse. St. Louis Metropolitan Police Chief Sam Dotson took the stand, in the aftermath of massive protests in the Shaw neighborhood. “Fuck the police!” activists screamed in his face. “What about the tear gas?” “We’re...bringing opportunities to diversify and bring you people,” Dotson said at one point, sweeping his left hand in an inclusive gesture, “African Americans, new Americans, LGBT, we bring new groups...” “You people? You people?” one man jeered as the crowd erupted. “You hear yourself, you racist fuck?” Wilson managed to regain some manner of control, directing questions to commissioner Brittany Packnett — who then proceeded to grill Dotson on his officers’ use of tear gas against protesters. But Wilson says he sees tangible progress after eight full commission meetings and thirteen working groups. Public input at the Ferguson Commission meetings frequently touched on the predatory system of municipal courts that seemed designed to bleed residents dry in order to fill city coffers. Wilson and McClure petitioned Missouri attorney general Chris 16


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“I didn’t sign up to be a state bureaucrat,” Koster to do something about cities that flout the state’s Macks Creek Law, which caps the says Wilson. “We’ve had great help from the percentage of revenue a city can raise through office of the administration to make sure we traffic tickets at 30 percent. The two stood on get to those compliances, but no one signed up either side of Koster during the press confer- for that. We signed up so the community could ence announcing a lawsuit against thirteen reconcile some of its challenges.” Despite the brief flash of negative coverage, scofflaw cities including Normandy, Vinita Terrace and Pagedale. All but one city, Hillsdale, the commission meetings have managed to has since filed corrected reports showing they attract a fairly consistent audience, usually becomplied with the 30 percent limit, though the tween 100 and 200 people, including police ofMissouri legislature is now considering a bill ficers, city mayors, lawyers, teachers, nonprofit leaders and youth activists. The bitterness of that would lower the cap to 10 percent. The commission has also produced a docu- the first meetings has given way to the commisment titled “100 Days of Learning,” which sion’s collective push for comprehensive study. outlined the commission’s progress and the But there’s also a growing sense of urgency steps yet to be tackled. Drawing from exist- that the commission cannot end its work with ing research and community input, the report a nicely organized report left on Nixon’s desk. “There has to be some paints a chilling picture of monitoring body or vehicle inequality, such as how some “THIS SEEMS ASPIRAleft behind in order to meaimpoverished, largely black sure, on some scorecard, ZIP codes are separated TIONAL, BUT I THINK THE the community versus the from their affluent white recommendations. We’re neighbors by a mere handFERGUSON COMMISSION committed that there must ful of miles, yet show an be something,” says Wilson eighteen-year difference in IS PART RIOT COMMISfrom his twelfth-floor office life expectancy. overlooking downtown. “We “People needed to be SION, PART TRUTH COMjust haven’t figured out what listened to,” Wilson says. that looks like yet.” “This seems aspirational, but MISSION, PART COMMUHe insists that the FerguI think the Ferguson Commission is part riot commis- NITY THINK TANK. THAT’S son Commission’s September 15 report won’t be the sion, part truth commission, true endgame of the compart community think tank. THE WORK.” mission’s work. But he hopes That’s the work.” it can provide something of a But the work is only getting harder and more complicated, and some road map toward closing the economic, educaof Wilson’s worries are coming true. The com- tional and healthcare gaps in St. Louis and be a mission is slated to receive nearly $1 million guidebook that can be used in future incidents in state funds, which means it’s technically a in other cities and states. “The great hope is that all this work is going state agency and subject to the state’s bidding laws. That got the commission in trouble in late to benefit the children of our community more January when news broke that a consultant than it will benefit anyone else,” he says. “We agency received a $38,000 contract without need to be clear that the success or failure of first going through the competitive-bidding the region in this moment will be written over the course of the next twenty years.” Q process.

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New galleries open May 1,2015 with three new exhibitions Pulitzer Arts Foundation is free and open to the public. For hours and events, visit us at | @pulitzerarts



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Tonight LaShonda Katrice Barnett discusses her novel Jam on the Vine, which focuses on Ivoe Williams, an aspiring journalist who refuses to be confined to the traditional roles black women were subjected to in the Jim Crow-era South. Williams seeks education and a byline, no easy tasks for someone deemed less than human by the people in power. With the help of her mentor and professor, she obtains a printing press and begins a newspaper of her very own — Jam on the Vine. Over time, Williams is no longer satisfied with simply publishing stories and changes the tone of the paper to reflect the rampant injustices of her time. 7 p.m. Thu., Apr. 16. Left Bank Books (399 North Euclid Avenue; 314-367-6731 or www.left-bank. — NICOLE BECKERT com). Free admission.

Check out Thea Brooks (Lucy Ricardo) and Euriamis Losada (Ricky Ricardo) in the national tour of I Love Lucy Live on Stage at the Peabody. [THEATER]


Will Jacobs’ play Telegraph won last year’s A.E. Hotchner New Play Festival. Now it gets a full production through Washington University’s performing arts department. Telegraph is the story of Mr. Rivers, a lonely telegraph operator looking for his long-lost love amid the dots and dashes of Morse code. He may begin tapping to the beat of a different drum when a vibrant new woman arrives on the scene, introducing a new rhythm to his staid routine. But can he forget his lost love so easily? 8 p.m. Thu. & Fri.; 2 & 8 p.m. Sat.; 2 p.m. Sun. (Apr. 16-19). A.E. Hotchner Studio Theatre in Mallinckrodt Center on Washington University’s campus (6445 Forsyth Boulevard; 314-935-6543 or www.edison. $10 to $15. — M ARK FISCHER

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A dearth of bees marks a troubled time; bees’ disappearance foretells ecological turmoil and eventual collapse. In Tira Palmquist’s Age of Bees, it’s the year 2098 and a group of people are trying to rebuild life at an agricultural compound. Mel, a young woman seeking sanctuary, may be forced to bear a child for the volatile patriarch — unless she finds a way out with Jonathan, the bright and kind field researcher attempting to find glimmers of life in this desolate world. Tesseract Theatre Company brings Palmquist’s moving show to life. 8 p.m. Fri. & Sat., 4 p.m. Sun. (Apr. 17-26). Regional Arts Commission (6128 Delmar Boulevard; 314-496-4743 or www.tesseract— BROOKE FOSTER $5 to $10.



It’s a free country: Your life online is yours to shape, negotiate, fabricate and either limit or go hog-wild crazy with, as you see fit. Us, we’ll take the limiting; about ten minutes a day on social media is plenty, if not too much. For others, there is no limit. For the characters in Mustard Seed Theatre’s An Invitation Out, there’s just no life offline. This comedy of manners by local playwright Shualee Cook imagines a future in which everyone is digitized 24/7. Avatars do the heavy lifting of human interaction. But one person, Wridget, bravely voyages offline in search of answers even the almighty Web can’t provide. 8 p.m. Thu.-Sat., 2 p.m. Sun. (Apr. 17-May 3). Fontbonne University Fine Arts Theater (6800 Wydown Boulevard; 314-719-8060 or www. $25 to $30. — ALEX WEIR continued on page 20

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continued from page 19

Kumiko leaves Tokyo for Fargo this Saturday.



For more than 60 years the enduring charm of I Love Lucy has been an integral part of American popular culture. Now the zany antics of everyone’s favorite redhead, her Cuban bandleader husband and their neighbors, Fred and Ethel, have moved from the black-and-white era T H IS C O D E to the stage for a madTO DOWNLOAD THE FREE RIVERFRONT TIMES cap and colorful new IPHONE/ANDROID APP production. Audience FOR MORE EVENTS OR VISIT members are ported back to the Desilu sound stage of 1952 as the costumes, sets and atmosphere of early television are reproduced live, just like the old days. I Love Lucy Live on Stage presents two classic episodes of the show, with real advertising breaks and period jingles from the Crystaltone Singers between scene changes. 8 p.m. Fri., 2 & 8 p.m. Sat., 1 & 6:30 p.m. Sun. (Apr. 17-19). Peabody Opera House (1400 Market Street; 314-499-7676 or $27 to $82. — ROB LEVY [ART EXHIBITION]




Sixteenth-century Dutch artist Hieronymus Bosch has baffled the critics for years. Were his images of devils and fantastic animals merely for shock value, or were they satirizing corruption in the church? While the critics argued, the artists took note of the stark power of Bosch’s paintings and moved to capitalize on the sensation. Beyond Bosch: The Afterlife of a Renaissance Master in Print, the new exhibition at the Saint Louis Art Museum, explores the work done in the wake of Bosch, particularly in the world of printmaking. Artists such as Pieter van der Heyden and Balthasar van den Bossche made prints inspired by Bosch’s sense for the grotesque and the phantasmagorical, such as giant fish vomiting forth smaller fish and an old woman vomiting on a conjurer’s table (it’s not all vomit, though). Beyond Bosch opens on Friday, April 17, in galleries 234 and 235. Tue.-Fri. (Apr. 17-July 19). Saint Louis Art Museum in Forest Park (314-721-0076 or Free admis— PAUL FRISWOLD sion.



Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage have made science an explosive, kinetic, hands-on experience for the past thirteen years with their show MythBusters. The format allows them to demonstrate the scientific process through the applied use of physics, chemistry and good old trial and error. Once again they go on the road for a national tour titled MythBusters: Jamie & Adam Unleashed. This version of the program calls for audience help during some of the experiments, with behind-the-scenes stories and video experiments to round out the night. Get up close and personal with the pair tonight at the Fox Theatre. 8 p.m. Sat., Apr. 18. Fox Theatre (527 North Grand Boulevard; 314-534-1111 or www. $32 to $175. — PAUL FRISWOLD

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Pieter van der Heyden (b. Antwerp, c. 1530–d. after March 1572, Berchem) after Pieter Bruegel the Elder (b. c. 1525/30–d. 1569, Brussels); Big Fish Eat Little Fish, 1557; engraving, i/iv; image: 9 1/16 x 11 13/16 inches; published by Hieronymus Cock, Antwerp; Private collection.

Tab Hunter comes clean in Tab Hunter Confidential on Monday at the Tivoli.

The delightful David Sedaris. [QFEST]



Kumiko is a young Japanese woman who is completely isolated in crowded Tokyo. Stuck in a menial job and stuck under her mother’s thumb, her only escape is through movies. Or more accurately, through movie; a lone VHS copy of the Coen brothers’ Fargo is her singular source of joy. Her obsessive viewing of it causes Kumiko to believe that the treasure buried in the snowy plains of North Dakota early in the film is still there, just waiting to be discovered — by her. David Zellner’s Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter is about the joys of escapism and the magic of film. It screens as part of the Webster Film Series this weekend. 7:30 p.m. Sat. & Sun. (Apr. 18-19). Moore Auditorium on Webster University’s campus (470 East Lockwood Avenue; 314-968-7487 or www.webster. edu/filmseries). $4 to $6. — PAUL FRISWOLD

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Becoming an Olympic champion requires a lot of personal sacrifice. But what happens after the fame and glory dwindles is at the core of Cheryl Furjanic’s documentary, Back on Board: Greg Louganis. Tough times have befallen the HIV-positive, four-time gold medalist who was shunned by the diving world he popularized. As Louganis struggles to regain financial stability, he must also overcome adversity and prejudice as he dives back into the pool. It’s shown as part of Cinema St. Louis’ QFest, which focuses on LGBTQ issues and celebrates queer culture through the medium of modern gay cinema. 3:15 p.m. Sun., Apr. 19. Landmark Tivoli Theatre (6350 Delmar Boulevard, University City; 314-727-7271 or www.cinemastlouis. — ROB LEVY org). $12.


Only true champions of keeping it real get fired on their day off from work. Two decades ago the now-classic stoner flick Friday changed American culture forever. Today theaters nationwide observe this twenty-year anniversary with a screening of the Ice Cube and Chris Tucker comedic gem. Maybe you actually have a job, maybe you legitimately have things to do, and maybe you truly don’t care about Big Worm, but those are all poor excuses to not relive the both overt (John Witherspoon) and subtle (“Bye, Felicia!”) genius of Friday. Plus, it’s 4/20, so what else are you going to do? 7:30 p.m. Mon., Apr. 20. St. Louis Mills Mall (5555 St. Louis Mills Boulevard, Hazelwood; or — NICOLE BECKERT $12.50.


Tab Hunter was on top of the world in the 1950s. He beat out James Dean for the starmaking part of a young Marine who marries the girl next door in Warner Bros.’ tearjerker war film Battle Cry and then conquered the music charts with the song “Young Love,” an early rock & roll hit that took the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 for six consecutive weeks. But while the TinselT H IS C O D E TO DOWNLOAD THE FREE town dream machine RIVERFRONT TIMES was busy cementIPHONE/ANDROID APP ing Tab’s popularity FOR MORE EVENTS OR VISIT with the bobby-soxer crowd, he was living a deeply closeted gay life. In Jeffrey Schwarz’s Tab Hunter Confidential, the star, now in his 80s, jovially recounts continued on page 22


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continued from page 21

his adventures in Hollywood, where he went from teen heartthrob to B-list actor to dinnertheater performer before being rediscovered when cast as Divine’s beau in John Waters’ cult hit Polyester. Tab Hunter Confidential screens as part of Cinema St. Louis’ QFest. 7 p.m. Mon., Apr. 20. Landmark Tivoli Theatre (6350 Delmar Boulevard, University City; 314-727-7271 or $12. — MARK FISCHER

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At once tummy-achingly hilarious and heartbreakingly incisive, essayist David Sedaris writes humor like no one else. His books — about family, love, art, loss and the compulsive urge to lick light switches — paint indelible pictures of modern life and all of its attendant neuroses. Attend An Evening with David Sedaris, which includes a questionand-answer session with the internationally beloved humorist. Left Bank Books is selling Sedaris’ essay collections at the event, and he is signing autographs. Don’t miss the chance to meet the man behind pretty much all your NPR driveway moments. 7:30 p.m. Tue., Apr. 21. Peabody Opera House (1400 Market Street; 314-367-6731 or www.left-bank. — BROOKE FOSTER com). $40 to $55.

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February 22–May 17 Explore life along the rivers of the new frontier through the masterworks of Missouri’s most famous artist. Tickets are available at the Art Museum, through MetroTix or by phone at 314.534.1111. Free on Fridays. The exhibition has been organized by the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas, and the Saint Louis Art Museum. It is supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities and in part by generous grants from the Henry Luce Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. The St. Louis presentation is generously supported by the William T. Kemper Foundation—Commerce Bank Trustee. Financial assistance has been provided by the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency. George Caleb Bingham, American, 1811–1879; Jolly Flatboatmen in Port, 1857; oil on canvas; 47 1/4 x 69 5/8 inches; Saint Louis Art Museum, Museum Purchase 123:1944 22


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In the Mood is a brash, rootin’-tootin’ tribute to the Big Band sound that dominated American airwaves, dance floors and popular culture during the 1940s. Too cool for that? Get over yourself; this is the music that helped get countless people — Americans, Europeans, combatants and civilians alike — through history’s largest-scale war. Respect is due. The extravagantly staged homage to the music of Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, the Andrews Sisters and others, is replete with a real-life big band along with a battery of singer-dancers flashing period costume and choreography. It’s immodest, brassy, exuberant — and over here. 2 & 7 p.m. Wed., Apr. 22. Touhill Performing Arts Center at the University of Missouri-St. Louis (1 University Drive at Natural Bridge Road; 314-516-4949 or www.touhill. — ALEX WEIR org). $29 to $49. Planning an event, exhibiting your art or putting on a play? Let us know and we’ll include it in the Night & Day section or publish a listing in the online calendar — for free! Send details via e-mail (, fax (314-754-6416) or mail (6358 Delmar Boulevard, Suite 200, St. Louis, MO 63130, attn: Calendar). Include the date, time, price, contact information and location (including ZIP code). Please submit information three weeks prior to the date of your event. No telephone submissions will be accepted. Find more events online at

film Incompetence, Thy Name Is Blart WHEN DUMB COPS GO DUMBER Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 Directed by Andy Fickman. Written by Kevin James and Nick Bakay. Starring Kevin James, Raini Rodriguez, Daniella Alonso and Eduardo Verástegui. Now screening at multiple locations.


Above: Even with angel wings, Kevin James’ Blart isn’t quite “good cop. Right: Stopping bad guys at two miles an hour.

alone. Like from the hotel manager (Daniella Alonso) and head of security (Eduardo Verástegui), whose rightful disdain for Blart as he blunders onto their turf like an entitled idiot will inevitably morph into literal adoration. If director Andy Fickman initially cannot decide if he wants us to laugh at Blart or cheer him on, he eventually comes down on the side of Blart Is Awesome! I’ve said it before, and it’s worth saying again now: There is absolutely nothing that men can do or be — or neglect to do or be — no failing they can have, no emptiness they can embody, that Hollywood will not embrace as heroic. Don’t think that Our Hero Blart won’t be scuttling another crime plot stolen from a far superior film! It’s Vegas, baby, so this time it’s a faux Ocean’s 11 heist — led by Neal McDonough — that Blart will accidentally stumble into and derail through almost no genuine effort of his own. Fickman lays it out for us with all the gusto of a toilet-paper commercial, not a would-be action comedy, which is sort of fitting for a movie in which competence equals villainy and incompetence, Paul Blart style, is a virtue. If Paul Blart were a filmmaker, Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 is the sort of movie he would make. And Paul Blart would think that was a compliment. Q

A L L P H OTO S © 2 01 5 C T M G , I N C .

magine being asked to feel sorry for the Three Stooges. Except there’s only one of them, a combination of Larry and Curly (incorporating Moe would bring too much gravitas and intelligence to the character). Stir for 90 minutes, and leave for undemanding moviegoers to serve themselves. And then do it all again, though with even less sense of anyone involved givBY ing a damn or putting in any M A R YA N N actual effort, because the first such attempt made an unJOHANSON godly amount of money, so why bother? Presenting Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2. It sounds like a Saturday Night Live sketch that thinks there’s humor embedded in the title alone (there isn’t), and that has overstayed its welcome 90 seconds in. But it is a real movie that real people have unashamedly put their names to. Because a sweet paycheck trumps human dignity. Paul Blart (Kevin James) is still riding high, six years later, on the fame — which exists only in his head — of his thwarting a Die Hardtype plot at the New Jersey mall at which he is employed as a security guard. (That was the first movie. Now you don’t need to see it.) When he is invited to a security-guard convention in Las Vegas, he genuinely believes that he, as the savior of West Orange Pavilion Mall, might be the “surprise” keynote speaker... because keynote speeches are typically sprung as a spur-of-the-moment honor. Yes, Paul Blart is an idiot. He’s also gluttonous, clumsy, overbearing, self-deluded and obnoxious. He’s a veritable personification of the seven dullest sins, which the movie celebrates, inviting us to laugh at Blart as he stuffs his face, trips over things and generally behaves like a buffoon. Blart is the protagonist as punching bag. No, wait, he’s the protagonist as misunderstood everyman: Lonely. Hardworking. Just trying to do his best in an unfriendly world. And he earns — nay, deserves — the love and respect that of course comes his way. Like from his daughter, Maya (Raini Rodriguez), willing to sacrifice everything for him and forgo acceptance at UCLA because she cannot bear to leave her childlike father

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Unplugged THE SISTERHOOD OF NIGHT EXAMINES SILENCE IN THE FACEBOOK AGE The Sisterhood of Night Directed by Caryn Waechter. Written by Marylin Fu and Steven Millhauser. Starring Georgie Henley, Kara Hayward, Willa Cuthrell-Tuttleman and Olivia DeJonge. Available on VOD.


May 1s 1stt & 2nd, 2nd 2015




can’t imagine what it would be like growing up in a world drenched with social media and constant, instant connectivity. Kids’ lives and their self-images are radically different today than they were when I was a pup. This generation and the effects social media have on them have been explored in ďŹ lms before, but director Caryn Waechter and screenwriter Marilyn Fu’s The Sisterhood of the Night takes BY this ostensibly familiar matePAT R I C K rial and delivers it through their own artistic and poiCOOPER gnant ďŹ lter. It’s a ďŹ lm made by women about young girls and it is that female-centered viewpoint that really propels The Sisterhood of Night above what would otherwise be an after-school special. Adapted from Steven Millhauser’s 1994 short story, the film is essentially a

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A desire to disconnect from social media leads to dire consequence in Sisterhood of the Night.

contemporary witch-hunt with the rejection of social media bringing about cries of “hereticâ€? rather than a perceived devotion to Satan. Logging ofine and refusing to let their Facebook pages determine their self-worth, the girls increasingly become the target of small-town hysteria. They’re led by Mary (Georgie Henley) whose disgust with the cliques at school drives her to remove herself from Facebook — a “vow of silenceâ€? she calls it. Her close friends follow her lead, and soon they’re a full-fledged secret society: “The Sisterhoodâ€? (and, yes, they meet at night). What these girls actually do during their clandestine meetings in the woods is the central mystery of the film. Once the school’s resident scandalmonger Emily (Kara Hayward) leaks an ambiguous video of one of these nocturnal meetings on her blog, whispers of “secret lesbian sex cultâ€? and “witch lesbian sex cultâ€? start circulating around town — ďŹ rst in high school hallways and then the local newspaper. Speculation runs rampant, threatening the Sisterhood’s well-being and that of their guidance counselor, played by Kal Penn of Harold and Kumar fame. As the rampant speculation turns into a full-on media circus, Mary and her crew remain tight-lipped about what their group is all about, which drives Emily and most of the

townsfolk rapidly bonkers. It all culminates in a tragic act of cruelty that exempliďŹ es why the girls went ofine in the ďŹ rst place. Through it all Waechter and Fu submerge us in the lives of the Sisterhood, though I wish more time was spent on Mary. She is the ringleader, after all, and despite a brief back-story about her beeďŹ ng with Emily before the Sisterhood was formed, we are given the least amount of insight into her personal life. The film has a dreamlike quality that resonates throughout, particularly during the Sisterhood meetings. The only real hiccups are that the narration seesaws between the guidance counselor and one of the girls (having one storyteller would’ve given more focus) and the interviews that pop up in places. These documentary-style interviews disrupt that dreamy quality and don’t really serve any purpose. The Sisterhood of Night is a ďŹ lm that gives teenage girls the respect that they’re so rarely given in ďŹ lm. There are teen romance elements, sure, and a look at cliques and the desire to ďŹ t in, but they’re never overbearing or used for punch lines. The ďŹ lm is essentially about a group of female companions wanting to create a safe place for themselves. The plot’s central elements are ones we’ve seen before, but Waechter’s ďŹ lm puts a fresh, tautly wound spin on them. Q

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Sympathy for the Devil DAREDEVIL IS GOOD, BUT D’ONOFRIO’S KINGPIN STEALS THE SHOW Daredevil Created by Drew Goddard. Starring Charlie Cox, Vincent D’Onofrio, Deborah Ann Woll and Elden Henson. Now streaming on Netflix.


ot everyone is going to like Daredevil, Marvel and Netflix’s first collaborative entry into the ever-popular Marvel Cinematic Universe. Parents are going to be frustrated that a show based on a classic comic-book character has visceral depictions of violence — bones poking through flesh, strangulaBY tion, skulls crushed to literal T H A D D E U S pulp — peppered throughout the season. Those expecting M C C O L L U M blind-lawyer-cum-maskedcrime-fighter Matthew Murdock (Charlie Cox, Boardwalk Empire) to be a Spandex-clad, wise-cracking do-gooder in the vein of Spider-Man might be turned off by the moral ambiguity offered in a scene where the hero tortures a suspect to find the location of a kidnapped boy. Those who expect the central conflict of the show to be established in the first episode may give up early, just as viewers abandoned ABC’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. But those people are going to miss out. The creator and show runner behind Daredevil, Drew Goddard and Steven S. DeKnight respectively, seem to revel in being able to take thirteen hours to tell a year-one story about a fledgling vigilante hero, pacing the show as a slow burn rather than an over-the-top action spectacle. Plots are intricate. Scenes are

Bloody face, knuckles: This guy seems legit.

long. Characters develop over time. The show spends as much time showing Murdock’s coworkers Foggy Nelson (Elden Henson, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay) and Karen Page (Deborah Ann Woll, True Blood) as they collaborate with reporter Ben Urich (Vondie Curtis-Hall, Chicago Hope) to unravel the central criminal conspiracy, as it does tracking Murdock’s development as a superhero. But where Daredevil’s room to breathe really pays off is in Vincent D’Onofrio’s portrayal of criminal Wilson Fisk, the Kingpin. When we’re first introduced to him he almost seems meek, whispering his lines in an echo of the character’s desire not to draw attention to himself. Over the course of the season, we learn, of course, that there is a fountain of rage just below the surface, waiting to erupt into shockingly violent outbursts. But there is vulnerability as well. In an early episode, we get to see the mighty Kingpin brought low by the awkwardness of asking Vanessa (Ayelet Zurer), an art dealer whom he has a thing for, to dinner. As we learn more and more about his motivations and his past, the more sympathetic Kingpin becomes, to the point where his main objective — gentrification of a shitty neighborhood — seems to make a lot more sense than Daredevil’s — beating up everyone in a shitty neighborhood. Daredevil, then, comes off as Marvel’s Cinematic Universe version of The Wire. Black and white, good and evil, are muddled into shades of dark, dark gray. The roles of various institutions are explored, from criminal organizations to courts to law enforcement. Though there is an inherent un-reality that permeates a show about a man with supersenses who is secretly trained in martial arts, the show goes a long way toward making the world in which it takes place feel flawed, relevant and real. Q

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Through April 19 at the Kranzberg Arts Center, 501 North Grand Boulevard. Call 314-863-4999 or visit upstreamtheater. org. Tickets are $20 to $30.




tar) enhances the proceedings immensely with music and unearthly sound effects. The duo also play key roles in the onstage action. After seven days of starvation and dehydration on the windless sea, the ship is visited by Death and Life-in-Death. Sult, hooded and his face veiled by a tattered gray cloth, plays Death; Brubeck, veiled in white, is Life-inDeath. A menacing guitar riff that becomes a Peggy-Lee-cum-Bad-Seeds vamp presages their arrival. Behind her veil, Brubeck keens, “Who’s it gonna be?” with ferocity. The pair play dice for the lives of all on board, and Death wins everyone except the Mariner. Brubeck’s shrieks of joy — “I won! I won, I won, I won!” spiral into the night. Things look grim indeed for the Mariner. Blindauer and Gabrielle form a small line and then step forward again and again, their heads dropping with finality to a single drum beat as Death claims his prizes. It is a moment of sublime horror. As for the Mariner, still alive in a lifeless realm, he must press on still further before he reaches safety. Coleridge, burdened by his opium addiction, tangles his twin themes of God’s love and ecological responsibility in phantasmagorical visions of dead crew members coming back to life, visitations from seraphs and a cacophonous shipwreck. That wreck is the only time that the band drowned out the cast, which was strangely fitting. And the bulk of the audience didn’t seem

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Above: Patrick Blindauer and Shanara Gabrielle aboard The Ancient Mariner. Right: Jerry Vogel as the Mariner.

to mind. A large percentage of the crowd was there primarily for Sleepy Kitty, judging by the rousing applause the band received for walking across stage to the instruments. Clearly Sleepy Kitty’s work resonates more fully with a modern audience than Coleridge’s Romantic poetry does. Yet the audience may have left with a better appreciation for Coleridge’s genius, which is done great service by Siler and a supremely talented cast. Ultimately, the Mariner reaches home. What saves him is his unforced love for the aquatic dances of a pair of sea snakes. Blindauer and Gabrielle again play these roles, this time in blue-green halters and capes, swirling off the bow of the ship. When he finds the shore again, the Mariner is compelled to share this hard-won message.”He prayeth best, who loveth best/ all things both great and small/for the dear God who loveth us/He made and loveth all,” he sings, with Blindauer and Gabrielle joining in. Vogel’s face is illuminated by beatific joy, his eyes shining as he sings the lines. The play ends with the Mariner handing mysterious cards to members of the audience, and walking out of the theater and into the night. For the tale must be spread, and only the Mariner knows what the stakes are. Q


here was a ship. Its canted deck rose up from a green surface skeined with whorls and bubbles. Behind, a sail rose into the sky; off to one side, a rope ladder climbed toward the rigging. It was docked inside the Kranzberg Arts Center, and we were to bear witness to its final voyage, a journey that would change all who saw its passage from this world. That nameless ship was designed by Kyra Bishop, and it serves as the entire set for Patrick Siler’s gorgeous adaptation of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. Siler, who also directs, has attempted a syntheBY sis of poetry, theatricality and PA U L music that results in a totality of pure storytelling. The F R I S W O L D Ancient Mariner, the ship, the desolate realm on the brink of life and death, Coleridge’s message of love for all things on earth — they are overwhelmingly alive in a small black-box theater for as long as the spell lasts, and they linger long afterward in memory. Jerry Vogel is the Mariner, his blue eyes bright with the need to tell his story. He interrupts a wedding party to share his tale, and the wedding guests (Patrick Blindauer and Shanara Gabrielle) become sailors on the illfated ship. Blown off course by a storm, the crew find themselves in Antarctica; a lone albatross sails before them. This albatross is portrayed by a gray, diaphanous scarf, which is fluttered across the sea by Gabrielle. The Mariner shoots it with his crossbow, and as the bird flickers and shudders on the deck, he stomps on its neck with finality. When the ship is becalmed and runs out of water, the crew blames the Mariner. The albatross’ corpse is draped around his neck, and then things get metaphysical. The action is abetted by projections of Gustave Doré’s engraved illustrations for the poem, which fill the sail behind the players. The band Sleepy Kitty (Paige Brubeck on guitar and keyboard, Evan Sult on drums and occasional gui-



Riverfront Times is now hiring vivacious and outgoing individuals who will bring energy and excitement to our staff.

Alpha Brewing Co. 2 Year Anniversary



Alpha Brewing Co. 2 Year Anniversary

Look for the RFT Street Team at the following featured events this week: 28TH ANNUAL

Alpha Brewing Co. 2 Year Anniversary

Wednesday 4.15.15 What: No H8 Photo Shoot When: 7 - 9 PM Where: Clayton High School

Schlafly Repeal of Prohibition

Thursday 4.16.15 What: ITAP Fundraiser Night er for the Endangered Wolf Center When: 6 - 8 PM

Schlafly Repeal of Prohibition

Where: ITAP Soulard

Saturday 4.18.15 What: Record Store Day When: 12 - 2 PM

Schlafly Repeal of Prohibition

Where: Music Record Shop

Sunday 4.19.15 & Monday 4.20.15

Opening Day Pep Rally

What: Crawl for Cannabis When: All day both days Where: Cherokee Street For more photos go to the Street Team website at Opening Day Pep Rally

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Bomb’s Away

Above: Miss Leon’s four-piece fried chicken. Left: Croissant bread pudding with ice cream.

Miss Leon’s 3960 Chouteau Avenue; 314-652-0011. Tues.Thurs. 4-10 p.m.; Fri.-Sat. 4 p.m.-1 a.m; Sun. 2-9 p.m. (Closed Mon.)


n any given Sunday, beginning around 1:30 p.m., the line for Miss Leon’s all-you-caneat fried-chicken feast begins to form. By 2 p.m., it can stretch well into the Bombers Hideaway parking lot, while those in front clamor for tables and await the Southern-fried extravaganza. BY It’s quite the spectacle, espeC H E RY L cially considering that the St. Louis fried chicken market BAEHR is at peak saturation. Then again, how often do you get to eat some of the best Southern food in town cooked by a drag queen named Dieta Pepsi? Dieta Pepsi is Leon Augustus Braxton Jr., a mortgage-banker-turned-entertainer and chef who has been cooking down-home, Southernstyle food for most of his life. The soul behind Miss Leon’s soul food, Braxton first gained a cult following while cooking at Rehab Bar & Grill. There, he served his signature fried chicken to hungry patrons every Sunday until owners Chad Fox and Jim Weckmann gave him a space of his own at their new concept in the Grove, Bombers Hideaway. Braxton used the opportunity to expand his repertoire, fashioning Miss Leon’s into a full-service soul-food restaurant.



Braxton’s reputation as a Southern food maThose looking for a Miss Leon’s sign won’t find one — the restaurant is located within a ven is based on that fried chicken. The version sprawling gay bar and entertainment complex is quintessential soul food: a thin layer of light, that hosts everything from burlesque shows crisp batter seasoned with just a whisper of salt to country line dancing. Bombers is huge (it and pepper. Inside, the meat is searing hot and juicy, fresh from a precise seveven includes an attached enteen minutes in the fryer. warehouse converted into an Miss Leon’s It’s a simple, well-executed event space), and the friendly Buffalo chicken recipe that tastes more like bartenders are happy to direct wontons ..............$5.50 Sunday suppers at Grandma’s guests to the area carved out “Miss Leon’s Fried house than what is served at for Miss Leon’s. It’s a small, Chicken” ..............$9.99 trendy bourbon bars. austerely decorated dining Chicken-fried steak ....................... $10 Miss Leon’s is more than nook to the right of the enjust fried chicken, though. trance that manages to feels Tender, cornmeal-dusted catsecluded, even though it looks directly into the area behind the bar. Seating fish, simply trimmed with pickles and sliced is limited to three black vinyl booths and ap- white onions, gives local fish frys a run for their proximately eight tables. Thankfully, Bombers money. The pork chops are equally satisfyallows the Sunday fried-chicken event to spill ing. Miss Leon’s serves them either grilled or into the larger bar space or else the line would fried with the same seasoned breading used for the chicken. The coating continued on page 30 stretch to Kingshighway.

APRIL 16-22, 2015



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does not adhere that well to the meat, though this proves to be a minor quibble: It serves as an ideal sponge for sopping up the meat’s fryer-seasoned drippings. “Old-Fashioned Chicken and Dumplings,” described by the menu as “comfort food at its best,” lives up to the endorsement. Thickened chicken broth teems with hunks of chicken, carrots, onion and celery. Miss Leon’s dumplings are plump and rectangular, like thick, unfilled ravioli. This hearty feast is like chicken soup on steroids. Because Miss Leon’s is known for fried chicken, what follows is a bold statement: The chicken-fried steak is the best thing on the menu. In fact, in the comfort-food category, I can’t think of a better dish in town. Two pieces of tender cube steak are pounded thin, coated in seasoned breading, deep-fried and smothered in creamy chicken gravy. The jus from the fork-tender meat soaks into the crispy coating, sinfully mingling with the fryer grease and gravy. My only complaint is that it should be served with a side of aspirin — you can nearly feel your arteries hardening after one piece of this indulgent meal. Entreés at Miss Leon’s are served with two side dishes. The options are typical of a soulfood place: baked mac & cheese, corn, green beans and fries. I was disappointed that the mashed potatoes are instant. For a place that takes such pride in made-from-scratch cooking, this was a glaring anomaly. Next time, I’ll skip them and order a double portion of greens. This mix of collard, turnip and mustard greens had a hefty bit of spice that cut through the 30


APRIL 16-22, 2015

rich main courses. Miss Leon’s serves a handful of appetizers, though diners should skip them and go for the entreés. Spicy fried cheese balls, served with a side of ranch dipping sauce, are a forgettable bar staple — great if you’re looking to soak up six rounds of drinks, but not worth the calories when so much good food is yet to come. The buffalo chicken wontons are better, though deep-fried spicy buffalo chicken dip is something best consumed in moderation. Salads, including a wedge and crispy chicken, are standard save for the deliciously piquant house creamy garlic dressing. Forget gravy — ask for a side and use it as a dipping sauce for the chicken. Every main course at Miss Leon’s comes with a side of Braxton’s sweet and salty cornbread. Topped with caramelized maple glaze, this cakelike accompaniment would have easily satisfied if it were my only dessert. As soon as I saw the bread pudding, however, I was glad I saved room. Chocolate chips, craisins and pecans are interspersed amongst layers of buttery croissants, and the entire concoction is doused with custard. As if this weren’t enough, Braxton then finishes the dish with brown sugar, pecans, chocolate sauce and a caramel glaze. It’s an unspeakably decadent way to crown a sinfully indulgent meal. At Miss Leon’s, Braxton impersonates no one in his role as a bona fide soul-food chef. As word spreads of his scrumptious Southern fare, that line out the door is bound to grow. Q For more about food and St. Louis restaurants, visit Gut Check:

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Chris DiMercurio Brings Sicily to Russia with (His Grandmother’s) Love


andleBar’s (4127 Manchester Avenue; 314-652-2212) Chris DiMercurio has an impressive pedigree — cooking school at the Culinary Institute of America, stages at Le Bernardin and Aquavit in New York City, and a résumé that includes stints at some of St. Louis’ hottest restaurants, including Niche, Element and Elaia. That he now finds himself at the helm of, as he describes it, a “kitschy, hipster bar in the Grove” may seem like an odd career move, but DiMercurio doesn’t see it that way. “I’m having so much fun,” DiMercurio says of his gig as executive chef at HandleBar. “I’m really enjoying doing something that is totally out of my comfort zone. I think that, if you look at places like Quincy T H IS C O D E Street Bistro, you see TO DOWNLOAD THE FREE RIVERFRONT TIMES people doing really IPHONE/ANDROID APP fantastic food at casual FOR MORE RESTAURANTS OR VISIT places. That’s what I am trying to do here.” DiMercurio grew up with two Italian grandmothers who instilled in him a love of food early in his life. “On one side, I have a Sicilian grandmother who taught me all about food and patience with recipes. She made me see the love that comes from food,” he explains. “My other grandmother is from the middle of nowhere Alabama. She taught me to appreciate where food comes from, the importance of respecting it and utilizing everything.” The family connection to cooking continued with his stepfather, who gave DiMercurio his first job in the industry and encouraged him to cook professionally. “When I was in high school, he had me think about what I was going to do when I graduated,” DiMercurio recalls. “He asked if I would think about culinary school, and I said, ‘Sure, why not?’” It’s fitting, then, that DiMercurio finds himself in a position at HandleBar where he is responsible for connecting family and food. “[Owner] Tatyana [Telnikova] approached me to help her create a menu that would remind her of the food she grew up on,” he says of his boss’ Russian ancestry. “She told me, ‘Use my heritage as a touch point and just make good food.” DiMercurio took a break from HandleBar’s kitchen to share his thoughts on the St. Louis


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food and beverage scene, his guilty pleasure, and his Thomas Keller-influenced last meal on earth. What is one thing people don’t know about you that you wish they did? I have a near-encyclopedic — and utterly useless — knowledge of the Marvel Universe. And I’m a sweetheart. What daily ritual is non-negotiable for you? Spending time with my wife. I’ll rearrange an entire day to hang out with her. If you could have any superpower, what would it be? Reality manipulation, like Franklin Richards. What chef doesn’t want to bend the world to his will? Does that sound maniacal? What is the most positive trend in food, wine or cocktails that you’ve noticed in St. Louis over the past year? Food-wise, I think Niche’s intensely regional approach to cuisine is amazing. For cocktails, it’s the resurgence of the B-list classic cocktail and pretty much anything Ted Kilgore [of Planter’s House] does. Wine — Andrey Ivanov’s involvement with Reeds American Table. How do you not get excited about that? Who is your St. Louis food crush? It’s a tie between Matt Daughaday and Ed Heath and Jenny Cleveland [of ClevelandHeath].

Who’s the one person to watch right now in the St. Louis dining scene? Matt Daughaday, hands down. That guy is going to blow minds. Which ingredient is most representative of your personality? Foie gras — fancy, offensive to some, unapologetic and kinda bad for your health. If someone asked you to describe the current state of St. Louis’ culinary climate, what would you say? Finally getting some of the attention it deserves. Being in the shadow of the Chicago dining scene has been tough for this city. A lot of people — Gerard Craft [Niche], Kevin Nashan [Sidney Street Cafe], Josh Galliano [the Libertine], Ed Heath, Kevin Willmann [Farmhaus], Ben Poremba [Elaia] — have been working tirelessly to bring the St. Louis culinary scene into the national spotlight. Their efforts are invaluable to this place. What is your after-work hangout? Planter’s House. It’s like my own personal Cheers. What’s your food or beverage guilty pleasure? Little Debbie strawberry shortcakes, frozen. What would be your last meal on earth? A dish I had at Per Se during my bachelor party: roast foie gras with a tart cherry reduction and hazelnuts. Perfection. —CHERYLBAEHR

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B-Sides 36 Critics’ Picks 40 Concerts 42 Clubs


Lightning Bolt’s Sharp New Sound


9 p.m. Tuesday, April 21. The Luminary, 2701 Cherokee Street. Tickets are $12 in advance, $14 day of show. Call 314-807-5984 or visit



rian Chippendale, one-half of the two-man noise band Lightning Bolt, is on the campus of the Rhode Island School of Design in his hometown of Providence, supporting the school technicians who are striking for better benefits, when someone recognizes him. They exchange a brief “Hey!” It’s not a rock-star move. Chippendale may be in a band that was previously No. 8 on the Metacritic “Artists of the Decade 2000-2009” list, but today he’s getting more recognition for supporting the cause (his wife is a RISD grad student) and for wearing a headband than for his music. You can be a big man in the world BY of experimental noise rock. You can even perform with JASON Björk. That doesn’t mean R O B I N S O N people outside the scene shows tend to be the equipment. Chippenwill ever recognize you on dale’s drums have had it the worst as somethe street — especially if your times people hit them with their foreheads. role involves playing the drums in a knit face “Somehow,” he quips, “the IQ level of our mask, which also holds the tinny compact fans is high enough” that they don’t actually break the equipment. microphone that you sing/shout into. Chippendale is with Gibson in Providence Chippendale and his bandmate Brian Gibfor a few more days before son formed Lightning Bolt as they embark on their latest RISD students two decades “THERE WERE SOME short tour of the U.S., which ago. The duo specializes in includes a stop at the Lumiriff-heavy ear-bleeding tunes FALSE STARTS. YOU nary on Tuesday, April 21, that are equal parts math-rock precision and heavy-metal deKNOW HOW YOU DON’T followed by some dates in Europe. They’ll use that time molition. Forged by Chippento rehearse, see family and dale’s frantic abstract drums ALWAYS KNOW WHAT friends, and prepare for a and chanted ranting comhard few months. “We’re not bined with the bloody highYOU WANT, BUT YOU a raging tour band,” Chippenpitched bluster of Gibson’s dale says. “We do fairly well if bass, Lightning Bolt hurls out KNOW WHEN YOU’RE we’re working a lot.” full-throated anthems meant As for that work, Chippento be played fast, loud and in NOT FEELING IT?” dale says he “gets by” doing your face. Which they tend freelance work, mostly art to be, because the pair often performs on the floor, with the crowd sur- and illustrations — including the album art for their new release, Fantasy Empire — while his rounding them, rather than onstage. Still, the only casualties at Lightning Bolt bandmate Gibson cofounded and works for

Lightning Bolt’s Brian Chippendale and Brian Gibson chart a brave new course.

video-game company Drool. Their output has slowed of late: The pair hasn’t put out a record since 2009’s Earthly Delights. But Chippendale has kept busy recording and touring as Black Pus. This, too, is not the rock-star life. “I had found some van for like 500 bucks, fixed it for another 500 and then drove to Buffalo,” he recalls. “And the serpentine belt must have rubbed against an engine part and just melted.... Luckily I found a guy to fix it, some Dodge tech that I met through a Twitter connection. There we were in his back yard on a Sunday in Buffalo. I managed to get through it.” Getting through it is a recurring theme this year. The recording process for Lightning Bolt’s new album was set back a few times for various reasons. “There were some false starts with the record,” Chippendale admits, “a bunch of recordings just didn’t work out. We’re recording in a studio that’s new to us with a new engineer.... You know how you don’t always know what you want, but you know when you’re not feeling it?”

But they emerged on the other side with a clutch of noisy raw tunes that still sound far more polished than Lightning Bolt’s body of work to date — a side effect of their new recording arrangement. Previous efforts were noise-ridden, straight-to-tape and utterly DIY. “We’d never worked in digital editing before,” Chippendale says. “Or with Pro Tools. This was all new. It really opened up the sound.” Fantasy Empire drags a once bleeding-ear dissonant band into more clear-headed territory, a clarity enabled by the new recording setup. Now astute listeners can hear the frantic interaction between two players at the top of their musical game. But while it’s a great gateway into Lightning Bolt’s blistering style, it certainly doesn’t sound like the rest of the band’s albums. That might turn off diehards, but that’s OK. “It’s good to hit people with something new,” Chippendale says. “Keep them on their toes and keep us engaged.” And then, a pause. “I hope the van works.” Q

APRIL 16-22, 2015






he St. Louis music community is mourning the loss of Anne Tkach, a beloved bassist and vocalist who played with many folk and rock bands. Tkach died in an early-morning house fire April 9 in her father’s house in Webster Groves; her father, Peter Tkach, survived the blaze. She was 48. By day, Tkach was a manager at the Tower Grove South market Local Harvest Grocery, but after hours she could be found playing in a host of bands: in the rootsy quintet Rough Shop, where her plaintive voice and occasional turns on the upright bass were a highlight; performing backing vocals and percussion in the soul-fired combo Ransom Note; or laying down fervent bass lines in the fire-breathing Magic City. Few musicians in town had her reach, or energy, or comfort jumping in and out of genres. Tkach first came to national (and international) prominence as a member of the New Mexico-based alt-country band Hazeldine, a group that appeared on a few Bloodshot Records compilations but found more receptive

audiences in Europe. In the past few years Tkach lent her talents to the Skekses, Bad Folk and, most notably for early-aughts fans of local rock & roll, as a member of the beloved Nadine, which was set to play a much-anticipated reunion show at June’s Twangfest concert series. Her musical résumé is certainly a testament to her skill and intuition, but her spirit — warm, funny, uncompromising — drew other musi-

Above: Anne Tkach with her bandmates in Rough Shop. Below: Vintage Vinyl paid tribute to Tkach on its marquee last week.

cians to her. When I interviewed the members of Rough Shop this past winter in advance of the band’s annual Christmas concert, it was Tkach — the one member openly, smilingly ambivalent about seasonal music — who summarized the true spirit of the project and the musical bond the band had created. “Is it Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer where that’s the Christmas special where they go to



orgive the extended absence of a proper Educated Guess album. In the six years since West Skyline Drive was released, songwriter, composer, pianist and lead singer Charlie Brumley has written a Civil War-inspired song suite, staged the sci-fi musical Chrono Man and lent his talents to various acts around town. But the Educated Guess has long been his most fertile ground, and the protracted gestation period between albums allowed his skills — and his vision for the band — to grow. If Brumley’s earlier songs channeled Springsteen’s penchant for symphonic, cinematic scope through the confines of a four-piece rock band, this self-titled LP takes the Boss’ source materials and coats the tracks in technicolor brilliance. Brumley has always counted Phil Spector and Brian Wilson as inspirations, but with an army behind him — 42 musicians, including string and brass sections as well as a chorus, are listed in the liner notes — the Educated Guess has now constructed its own Wall of Sound. Along with those California pop signifiers, traces of Burt Bacharach, Motown and Philly Soul sneak through, and the girl-group harmonies of the Honeys serve as trebley angels on the shoulder of Brumley’s plaintive, somewhat limited tenor voice. From a sheer compositional standpoint, there’s been nothing to parallel the Educated Guess in the local pop and rock communities;



APRIL 16-22, 2015

these songs are precisely arranged and played with gusto and soul, and the scope of this self-titled album is both skillfully assured and musically ambitious. Love is the topic du jour — this is pure pop music, after all — though a little too often Brumley hammers home the point, and the L-word in particular, so much that it dulls the effect over fifteen tracks. Love may be eternal, but Brumley’s over-reliance on some of the outdated language and referential arrangements puts a few too many of these tracks in the realm of pastiche. For all the fun trainspotting that the album offers (it’s hard to tell if “Baby If You Want It” owes more to “Tracks of My Tears” or “Walk Away Renee”), the more these songs sound like the soundtrack of Grease, the less entrancing they become. But when the band strips back the simulacrum, the true beauty of the tracks seeps in. Kristin Dennis pairs off with Brumley on the gorgeous “Tomorrow’s World,” which drips with lush arrangements, a heavenly choir and a turn from Dennis that is as fragile as her work in Née was brash. Brumley channels some of that brokenness on the languorous “The Best Part” and ends the album with a home run on “Maybe.” On those songs and a few others here, he uses the language of big-budget pop orchestrations to tell his own story. —CHRISTIAN SCHAEFFER Want your CD to be considered for a review in this space? Send music c/o Riverfront Times, Attn: Homespun, 6358 Delmar Boulevard, Suite 200, St. Louis, Missouri, 63130. Email for more information.



the land of misfit toys?” Tkach asked. “I kind of feel that way about this group of people...I always feel like I’m in the land of the misfit toys at Rough Shop Christmas. It’s what we create together — we’re not doing it because somebody’s telling us to do it, or because of the commercialism out there — we’re doing it because we need family during Christmas too, and this is how we create that.” Anne Tkach was family to many — her bandmates, local showgoers, the customers at Local Harvest. To say that she’ll be missed feels like a massive understatement. — CHRISTIAN SCHAEFFER

APRIL 16-22, 2015




Lo-Fi Cherokee 2015


he fourth incarnation of Bill Streeterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Lo-Fi Cherokee hit the street on Saturday, April 11, at 9 a.m. For the next eleven hours, videographers captured eighteen bands at eighteen Cherokee Street venues. This jam-packed day is being distilled into videos that will premiere next month during a red-carpet event at St. Matthewâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Church. Photographer Steve Truesdell was on hand to catch some highlights. See the rest at



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9 p.m. Thursday, April 16. Off Broadway, 3509 Lemp Avenue. $15. 314-773-3363. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s become a spring tradition, these appearances by one of the great if under-recognized rock & rollers in American music. Chuck Prophetâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s warm-weather return to St. Louis affords anyone who wants the thrill of a tight and daring band and the wit and wonder of a proliďŹ c songwriter (last year Prophet released his thirteenth album, Night Surfer) a chance to mainline it all like the junk the rocker kicked years ago. Onstage, Prophet and the Mission Express put the bomp in the shooby dooby, the wang in the shama lama and the fear into any who would dare follow them onstage. Ford Econoline: One of Prophetâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s best new songs is a tribute to the vehicle thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s transported 10,000 bands across this land. Like the Telecaster heâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s always played, that van ought to be in the Hall of Fame some day. â&#x20AC;&#x201D;ROY KASTEN


8 p.m. Thursday, April 16, through Saturday, April 18; 3 p.m. Sunday, April 19. Kranzberg Arts Center, 501 North Grand Boulevard. $20 to $30. 314-533-0367. Samuel Taylor Coleridgeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s â&#x20AC;&#x153;The Rime of the Ancient Marinerâ&#x20AC;? is a multipart meditation on guilt and redemption, and its central image â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the cursed seaman with an albatross hanging around his neck â&#x20AC;&#x201D; has long since become a byword for the burden of oneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s sins. But if you only remember the CliffsNotes version of the poem from lit class, allow Upstream Theater to school you on Coleridgeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ďŹ ner points with its musical, theatrical adaptation. St. Louis noise-pop duo Sleepy Kitty has adapted parts of the poem into song and will perform alongside the cast for this limited run. Curtain Call: Patrick Siler adapted the poem for this show, and a trio of actors (Patrick Blindauer, Shanara Gabrielle and Jerry Vogel) comprises the ensemble. â&#x20AC;&#x201D;CHRISTIAN SCHAEFFER



APRIL 16-22, 2015


Above: Robert Glasper. Below: Chuck Prophet.



8 p.m. Friday, April 17. Blueberry Hillâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Duck Room, 6504 Delmar Boulevard, University City. $27.50. 314-727-4444. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Classic ska albumâ&#x20AC;? is a phrase rarely, if ever, uttered aloud by your average music enthusiast â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the eye-rolling and groans it would certainly elicit are completely justiďŹ ed. That said, there are gems that transcend the genre bias typically associated with ska and its afďŹ liates: the Specialsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; self-titled album from 1979, for example, and pretty much everything released during the ďŹ rst wave of Jamaican ska in the 1960s. The English Beatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s I Just Canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t Stop It, released nearly 35 years ago, ďŹ ts into this elite category of timeless albums â&#x20AC;&#x201D; a two-tone masterpiece with elements of Motown, post-punk, new wave and dub. Dancing is compulsory; skanking is optional. The Fourth Wave of the Apocalypse: The English Beatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s brand of ska is not to be confused with the radio vomit that was the Third Wave, popular in the mid-â&#x20AC;&#x2122;90s. Unfortunately, overproduced trumpets are heralding the latterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s revival, blasting via satellite radio into every imaginable venue where ironic nostalgia is marketed and sold.â&#x20AC;&#x201D;JENNDEROSE 7:30 p.m. Sunday, April 19. The Demo, 4191 Manchester Avenue. $10 to $12. 314-833-5532. Ellen no longer â&#x20AC;&#x153;the Felonâ&#x20AC;? Cook has always had musical ambition that outpaced her minimal instrumentation. Cookâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s labyrinthine arrangements are still matched by drummer Matthew Reylandâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Guitar Center drum-off winning chops, but the two are now joined by guitarist Pete Moss and cellist Jake Brookman under the new band name â&#x20AC;&#x153;Endora.â&#x20AC;? Cook says that this lineup, which made its debut March 21 at the Tap Room, will eventually expand alongside her growing keyboard collection. She will put these new synths to use to play what she calls â&#x20AC;&#x153;Stabbaret rockâ&#x20AC;? that will amp up the theatrics and place more emphasis on the groupâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s balladry while eschewing a cheesy stage show. Expect lots of new material as well as old favorites cast in a new light. A Well-Rounded Bill: Also playing are former St. Louisan Kristeen Young and STL favorite Middle Class Fashion. Arrive on time and stay late. â&#x20AC;&#x201D;BOB MCMAHON

7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 22, and Thursday, April 23. Jazz at the Bistro, 3536 Washington Avenue, $35. 314-289-4030. To say that Houston jazz pianist Robert Glasper has had an amazing run over the last six years is an understatement. The Blue Note Records signee has become one of the new leaders in jazz music, not only through his prodigious chops but also through his ability to effortlessly blend in with hip-hop, pop and rock, creating a seamless sound. In 2012 his quartet released Black Radio, which brought the group widespread critical acclaim and a Grammy to boot. The sequel, Black Radio 2, upped the ante and solidiďŹ ed Glasperâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s role as a must-watch modern jazz artist. For Free? Robert Glasper is one of the many artists featured on Kendrick Lamarâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s masterpiece To Pimp a ButterďŹ&#x201A;y, released earlier this year â&#x20AC;&#x201D; he went to high school with saxophonist and TPAB producer Terrace Martin. â&#x20AC;&#x201D;CHARLES PURNELL

Bowling the way it is now– FUN!

NEW MENU Love the sweet price of a burger and fries – $4.50


6191 Delmar · 314-727-5555

6261 Delmar in The Loop


APRIL 16-22, 2015








Tuesdays, April 28–June 2 6pm to 8pm • FREE • Museum’s Front Lawn Forest Park •

concerts THIS JUST IN The Adolescents: W/ the Weirdos, Wed., June 17, 8 p.m., $17-$20. Fubar, 3108 Locust St, St. Louis, 314-289-9050. Alarm Will Sound: Tue., Oct. 20, 8 p.m.; Fri., Nov. 20, 8 p.m.; Fri., Feb. 12, 8 p.m.; Thu., May 26, 8 p.m., $20. The Sheldon, 3648 Washington Blvd., St. Louis, 314-533-9900. American Idol Live!: Mon., Aug. 10, 7 p.m., $33-$63. Peabody Opera House, 1400 Market St, St. Louis, 314-2411888. Amy LaVere: Tue., April 28, 8 p.m., $10-$12. Off Broadway, 3509 Lemp Ave., St. Louis, 314-773-3363. Bjorn Ranheim: W/ Shawn Weil and the 442's, Wed., Jan. 20, 8 p.m., $25-$30. The Sheldon, 3648 Washington Blvd., St. Louis, 314-533-9900. Corey Smith: Fri., July 10, 8 p.m., $17.50-$20. The Pageant, 6161 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis, 314-726-6161. Emery: W/ Wolves At The Gate, Forevermore, Fri., May 29, 6:30 p.m., $18-$20. The Firebird, 2706 Olive St., St. Louis, 314-535-0353. Fair St. Louis: W/ Kool & the Gang, Blondie, Melissa Etheridge, Natalie Stovall and the Drive, Parmalee, Chris Young, Thu., July 2, 6 p.m.; Fri., July 3, 6 p.m.; Sat., July 4, 6 p.m., Free. Forest Park, Highway 40 (I-64) & Hampton Ave., St. Louis. Glass Animals: Fri., July 24, 8 p.m., $22-$25. Old Rock House, 1200 S. 7th St., St. Louis, 314-588-0505. Grieves: Thu., June 2, 8 p.m., $12-$14. The Firebird, 2706 Olive St., St. Louis, 314-535-0353. Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra: W/ Wynton Marsalis, Mon., Oct. 3, 8 p.m., $55-$65. The Sheldon, 3648 Washington Blvd., St. Louis, 314-533-9900. Jeff Radford: W/ Hazard to Ya Booty, Chris Nathan, Fri., May 15, 8 p.m., $10. The Firebird, 2706 Olive St., St. T H IS C O D E TO DOWNLOAD THE FREE Louis, 314-535-0353. RIVERFRONT TIMES July Talk: Tue., June 16, 8 p.m., $10. Off Broadway, IPHONE/ANDROID APP 3509 Lemp Ave., St. Louis, FOR MORE CONCERTS OR VISIT 314-773-3363. The Kingston Trio: Fri., April 1, 8 p.m., $40-$45. The Sheldon, 3648 Washington Blvd., St. Louis, 314-533-9900. Merchandise: W/ Bug Chaser, Maximum Effort, Mon., May 18, 8 p.m., $8. Off Broadway, 3509 Lemp Ave., St. Louis, 314-773-3363. Michael Franti & Spearhead: W/ Nattali Rize & Notis, Mon., June 15, 8 p.m., $27.50-$30. The Pageant, 6161 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis, 314-726-6161. Mike Gordon of Phish: Tue., June 9, 8 p.m., $25-$27.50. The Pageant, 6161 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis, 314-726-6161. Modern Life Is War: Fri., July 17, 7 p.m., $14-$16. Fubar, 3108 Locust St, St. Louis, 314-289-9050. Night Demon: W/ Cryptic Hymn, Sun., June 21, 7 p.m., $10$12. Fubar, 3108 Locust St, St. Louis, 314-289-9050. Nikki Hill: Fri., May 1, 9:30 p.m., $15. Ameristar CasinoBottleneck Blues Bar, 1 Ameristar Blvd., St. Charles, 636-940-4966. Radkey: Fri., May 22, 8 p.m., $10. Fubar, 3108 Locust St, St. Louis, 314-289-9050. Robert Earl Keen: Fri., July 24, 8 p.m., $30-$40. The Ready Room, 4195 Manchester Ave, St. Louis. Ruthie Foster: W/ Bottoms Up Blues Gang, Fri., Feb. 19, 8 p.m., $35-$40. The Sheldon, 3648 Washington Blvd., St. Louis, 314-533-9900. Sam Prekop of the Sea and Cake: Tue., May 19, 9 p.m., $13-$15. The Luminary, 2701 Cherokee St, St. Louis. San Fermin: W/ Natalie Prass, Thu., May 14, 9 p.m., $12$14. The Luminary, 2701 Cherokee St, St. Louis. St. Louis Folk and Roots Festival: W/ the Tillers, Blind Boy Paxton, Anna & Elizabeth, Sam Bush Band, Finnders & Youngberg, Fri., Sept. 25, 8 p.m.; Mon., Sept. 26, 8 p.m., $60. The Sheldon, 3648 Washington Blvd., St. Louis, 314-533-9900. Tim McGraw: W/ Billy Currington, Chase Bryant, Sun., Aug. 9, 7 p.m., TBA. Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre, I-70 & Earth City Expwy., Maryland Heights, 314-298-9944. Twiztid: W/ Kung Fu Vampire, Davey Suicide, The Damn Dirty Apes, Kissing Candice, P.O.W., NuttinXnycE, Freakz R Us, Sat., June 6, 6 p.m., $20-$22. Pop's Nightclub, 401 Monsanto Ave., East St. Louis, 618-274-6720.




APRIL 16-22, 2015

Volbeat: W/ Anthrax, Crobot, Sun., May 31, 7 p.m., $39.50. Pop's Nightclub, 401 Monsanto Ave., East St. Louis, 618274-6720. Wolf Alice: Sun., May 3, 8 p.m., $12-$14. The Firebird, 2706 Olive St., St. Louis, 314-535-0353.

THIS WEEK Bryan Adams: Wed., April 15, 8 p.m., $35-$125. The Fox Theatre, 527 N. Grand Blvd., St. Louis, 314-534-1111. Chuck Prophet and the Mission Express: Thu., April 16, 9 p.m., $15. Off Broadway, 3509 Lemp Ave., St. Louis, 314-773-3363. Cody Canada & the Departed: W/ The O's, Wed., April 15, 8 p.m., $15. Off Broadway, 3509 Lemp Ave., St. Louis, 314-773-3363. Cold Specks: Sun., April 19, 4 p.m., free. Vintage Vinyl, 6610 Delmar Blvd., University City, 314-721-4096. The Educated Guess Record Release: W/ Syna So Pro, Fri., April 17, 9 p.m., $10. Off Broadway, 3509 Lemp Ave., St. Louis, 314-773-3363. The English Beat: Fri., April 17, 8 p.m., $27.50. Blueberry Hill, 6504 Delmar Blvd., University City, 314-727-4444. Euclid Records - Record Store Day Weekend 2015 Day 1: W/ Hands And Feet, CaveofswordS, Brother Lee & the Leather Jackals, Fumer, Fri., April 17, 5 p.m., free. Euclid Records, 19 N. Gore Ave., St. Louis, 314-961-8978. Euclid Records - Record Store Day Weekend 2015 Day 2: W/ Neil C. Luke, Drew Sheafor, Beth Bombara, The Wilderness, Hilary Scott, *repeat repeat, Yankee Racers, Sleepy Kitty, The Feed, Middle Class Fashion, Foster and Lloyd, Bible Belt Sinners, Kristeen Young, Jans Project, Jon Hardy and The Public, The Bottle Rockets, Sat., April 18, 10 a.m., free. Euclid Records, 19 N. Gore Ave., St. Louis, 314-961-8978. Euclid Records - Record Store Day Weekend 2015 Day 3: W/ The Tennis Lesson, Hell Night, Black Fast, Indian Blanket, Sun., April 19, 1 p.m., free. Euclid Records, 19 N. Gore Ave., St. Louis, 314-961-8978. Hoodie Allen: Tue., April 21, 8 p.m., $20. Maryville University of St. Louis, 13550 Conway Road, St. Louis, 314-529-9300. Kristeen Young: W/ Middle Class Fashion, Endora, Sun., April 19, 7:30 p.m., $10-$12. The Demo, 4191 Manchester Ave, St. Louis. Lightning Bolt: Tue., April 21, 8 p.m., $12/$14. The Luminary, 2701 Cherokee St, St. Louis. Pile: W/ Sewingneedle, Laika, Con Trails, Fri., April 17, 8 p.m., $5. Foam Coffee & Beer, 3359 Jefferson Ave., St. Louis, 314-772-2100. Record Store Day: W/ Durango, Pat Sajak Assassins, The Vanilla Beans, Letter to Memphis, DinoFight!, Sat., April 18, 10 a.m., free. Music Record Shop, 4191 Manchester Avenue, St. Louis, 314-272-4607. Record Store Day After Party: W/ Matt Harnish’s Pink Guitar, Brother Lee and the Leather Jackals, Moseley, We Are Hex, Sat., April 18, 8 p.m., $7. The Heavy Anchor, 5226 Gravois Ave., St. Louis, 314-352-5226. The Rime of the Ancient Mariner: W/ Sleepy Kitty, Thu., April 16, 8 p.m.; Fri., April 17, 8 p.m.; Sat., April 18, 8 p.m.; Sun., April 19, 3 p.m., $20-$30. Kranzberg Arts Center, 501 N Grand Blvd, St. Louis, 314-533-0367. River Despair EP Release Show: W/ The Griddle Kids, Drew Sheafor, Sat., April 18, 11 p.m., free. Mangia Italiano, 3145 S. Grand Blvd., St. Louis, 314-664-8585. Speakers in Code Fifth Anniversary: Sat., April 18, 9 p.m., $10-$12. Off Broadway, 3509 Lemp Ave., St. Louis, 314-773-3363. St. Louis Symphony: Forces of Nature: Sun., April 19, 3 p.m., TBA. Powell Symphony Hall, 718 N. Grand Blvd, St. Louis, 314-534-1700. Sufjan Stevens: Mon., April 20, 7 p.m., TBA. Peabody Opera House, 1400 Market St, St. Louis, 314-241-1888. Tear Out The Heart: W/ The Former Me, Wings of the Morning, A Promise To Burn, Fri., April 17, 6:30 p.m., $12-$15. The Demo, 4191 Manchester Ave, St. Louis. Tef Poe: W/ T-Dubb-O, Bates Asylum, Fri., April 17, 9 p.m., $10-$15. The Ready Room, 4195 Manchester Ave, St. Louis. The Downtown Fiction: W/ This Is Our Dance, Thu., April 16, 6:30 p.m., $15. The Firebird, 2706 Olive St., St. Louis, 314-535-0353. Ticket to The Beatles: Thu., April 16, 7 p.m., free. St. Louis Public Library, Central Branch, 1301 Olive St., St. Louis, 314-241-2288. Tom Hall: Thu., April 16, 8 p.m., free. Thurman Grill & Provisions, 4069 Shenandoah Ave., St. Louis, 314-772-8484. T.O.S.: Sat., April 18, 6:30 p.m., free. Sky Music Lounge, 930 Kehrs Mill Road, Ballwin, 636-527-6909. Tree Blood: W/ Kneegrowpleez, Fri., April 17, 9:30 p.m., $7. Melt, 2712 Cherokee Street, St. Louis, 314-771-6358. Tribute to John Lee Hooker: W/ The Bottoms Up Blues Gang, Richie Darling and the Diamond Cut Blues Band, Billy Skelton, Ethan Leinwand, Sat., April 18, 8 p.m., $15. The Ready Room, 4195 Manchester Ave, St. Louis. Twin Shadow: Wed., April 15, 8:30 p.m., $15/$20. The Ready Room, 4195 Manchester Ave, St. Louis. The Wilderness: W/ Orion, Maness Brothers, Sat., April 18, 8 p.m., free. Foam Coffee & Beer, 3359 Jefferson Ave., St. Louis, 314-772-2100. Yonder Mountain String Band: Fri., April 17, 8 p.m., $25-$32. The Pageant, 6161 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis, 314726-6161. Zappa Plays Zappa: Mon., April 20, 8 p.m., $25-$75. The Ready Room, 4195 Manchester Ave, St. Louis.

clubs “Clubs” is a free listing open to all bars and bands in the St. Louis and Metro East areas. However, we reserve the right to refuse any entry. Listings are to be submitted by mail, fax or e-mail. Deadline is 5 p.m. Monday, ten days before Thursday publication. Please include bar’s name, address with ZIP code, phone number and geographic location; nights and dates of entertainment; and act name. Mail: Riverfront Times, attn: “Clubs,” 6358 Delmar Blvd., Suite 200, St. Louis, MO 63130-4719; fax: 314-754-6416; e-mail: Schedules are not accepted over the phone. Because of last-minute cancellations and changes, please call ahead to verify listings.

ROCK 2720 Cherokee Performing Arts Center: 2720 Cherokee St, St. Louis, 314-276-2700. The Magic Beans, w/ Consider The Source, Wed., April 15, 9 p.m., $3. Blumenhof Vineyards: Highway 94, P.O. Box 30, Dutzow, 800-419-2245. Michael Schaerer, Sat., April 18, 2 p.m., free. Cicero's: 6691 Delmar Blvd., University City, 314-862-0009. Ryan Hoffman, Fri., April 17, 8 p.m., free; Michael Kelsey, w/ The Pawnshop Junkies, Fri., April 17, 8 p.m., $10. Echotrace, Sat., April 18, 8 p.m., free. The Crack Fox: 1114 Olive St., St. Louis, 314-621-6900. Hero Jr., Fri., April 17, 9 p.m., $8. The Demo: 4191 Manchester Ave, St. Louis. Kristeen Young, w/ Middle Class Fashion, Endora, Sun., April 19, 7:30 p.m., $10-$12. Euclid Records: 19 N. Gore Ave., St. Louis, 314961-8978. Euclid Records - Record Store Day Weekend 2015 Day 1, w/ Hands And Feet, CaveofswordS, Brother Lee & the Leather Jackals, Fumer, Fri., April 17, 5 p.m., free. Euclid Records - Record Store Day Weekend 2015 Day 2, w/ Neil C. Luke, Drew Sheafor, Beth Bombara, The T H IS C O D E Wilderness, Hilary Scott, TO DOWNLOAD THE FREE *repeat repeat, Yankee RacRIVERFRONT TIMES ers, Sleepy Kitty, The Feed, IPHONE/ANDROID APP Middle Class Fashion, Foster FOR MORE CLUBS OR VISIT and Lloyd, Bible Belt Sinners, Kristeen Young, Jans Project, Jon Hardy and The Public, The Bottle Rockets, Sat., April 18, 10 a.m., free. Euclid Records - Record Store Day Weekend 2015 Day 3, w/ The Tennis Lesson, Hell Night, Black Fast, Indian Blanket, Sun., April 19, 1 p.m., free. The Firebird: 2706 Olive St., St. Louis, 314-535-0353. The Downtown Fiction, w/ This Is Our Dance, Thu., April 16, 6:30 p.m., $15; The Downtown Fiction, w/ This Is Our Dance, Thu., April 16, 6:30 p.m., $15. One Eye'd Doll, w/ Make Me Break Me, Fri., April 17, 7:30 p.m., $10-$12. The Hush List, w/ Made in Waves, The Hollywood Kills, Sat., April 18, 8 p.m., $7-$8. Smallpools, w/ Grizfolk, Vinyl Theatre, Sun., April 19, 7 p.m., $17.50-$20. Alesana, w/ Capture The Crown, The Browning, Conquer Divide, The Funeral Portrait, Another Day Drowning, Chapters, Tue., April 21, 6:30 p.m., $16-$18. Foam Coffee & Beer: 3359 Jefferson Ave., St. Louis, 314-772-2100. Pile, w/ Sewingneedle, Laika, Con Trails, Fri., April 17, 8 p.m., $5. The Wilderness, w/ Orion, Maness Brothers, Sat., April 18, 8 p.m., free. Fubar: 3108 Locust St, St. Louis, 314-289-9050. Partycat, Wed., April 15, 8 p.m., $8-$10. The Heavy Anchor: 5226 Gravois Ave., St. Louis, 314-3525226. Record Store Day After Party, w/ Matt Harnish’s Pink Guitar, Brother Lee and the Leather Jackals, Moseley, We Are Hex, Sat., April 18, 8 p.m., $7. Shitstorm, w/ Gnarly Davidson, Mon., April 20, 9 p.m., $5. Music Record Shop: 4191 Manchester Avenue, St. Louis, 314-272-4607. Record Store Day, w/ Durango, Pat Sajak Assassins, The Vanilla Beans, Letter to Memphis, DinoFight!, Sat., April 18, 10 a.m., free. Off Broadway: 3509 Lemp Ave., St. Louis, 314-773-3363. Chuck Prophet and the Mission Express, Thu., April 16, 9 p.m., $15. Old Rock House: 1200 S. 7th St., St. Louis, 314-588-0505. Clockwork, w/ Goodbye June, Fri., April 17, 8 p.m., $8.


The Ready Room: 4195 Manchester Ave, St. Louis. The Maine, Tue., April 21, 6:30 p.m., $20. Schlafly Tap Room: 2100 Locust St., St. Louis, 314-2412337. Keokuk, w/ The Homewreckers, Marie and the Americans, Fri., April 17, 9 p.m., free. Sky Music Lounge: 930 Kehrs Mill Road, Ballwin, 636-5276909. Ragged Company, Fri., April 17, 6:30 p.m., free; Jake's Leg, Fri., April 17, 9:30 p.m., free. T.O.S., Sat., April 18, 6:30 p.m., free; Big Rain, Sat., April 18, 9:30 p.m., free. Syberg's on Dorsett: 2430 Old Dorsett Road, Maryland Heights, 314-785-0481. Lunar Levitation, Fri., April 17, 5:30 p.m., free. Vintage Vinyl: 6610 Delmar Blvd., University City, 314-7214096. Cold Specks, Sun., April 19, 4 p.m., free. Way Out Club: 2525 S. Jefferson Ave., St. Louis, 314-6647638. General Discharge, Thu., April 16, 8 p.m., free. Moon Rocket, w/ Sage, Katie Young, Sat., April 18, 9 p.m., $5.

POP Blueberry Hill: 6504 Delmar Blvd., University City, 314-7274444. Liz Longley, w/ Brian Wright, Thu., April 16, 9 p.m., $10. The Demo: 4191 Manchester Ave, St. Louis. Harps, w/ Whoa Thunder, 3 of 5, Wed., April 15, 7:30 p.m., $10. The Fox Theatre: 527 N. Grand Blvd., St. Louis, 314-5341111. Bryan Adams, Wed., April 15, 8 p.m., $35-$125. Off Broadway: 3509 Lemp Ave., St. Louis, 314-773-3363. The Educated Guess Record Release, w/ Syna So Pro, Fri., April 17, 9 p.m., $10. The Ready Room: 4195 Manchester Ave, St. Louis. Twin Shadow, Wed., April 15, 8:30 p.m., $15/$20.

JAZZ Foam Coffee & Beer: 3359 Jefferson Ave., St. Louis, 314772-2100. Sidney Street Shakers, Wed., April 15, 8 p.m., free. Mangia Italiano: 3145 S. Grand Blvd., St. Louis, 314-6648585. Dave Stone Jazz Trio, Fri., April 17, 11 p.m.; Fri., April 24, 11 p.m., free. Schmitty's Bar & Grill: 102 N. Main Street, Smithton, 618416-8145. Miss Jubilee & The Humdingers, Sun., April 19, 4 p.m., free. The Sheldon: 3648 Washington Blvd., St. Louis, 314-5339900. The Sheldon 2015 Gala, w/ John Pizzarelli Quartet, Jane Monheit, Sat., April 18, 8:15 p.m., $40-$45. Swing Set, Tue., April 21, 10 a.m.; Wed., April 22, 10 a.m., $12-$15. Thurman Grill & Provisions: 4069 Shenandoah Ave., St. Louis, 314-772-8484. The Sherpas, Fri., April 17, 9 p.m., free.

HIP-HOP Fubar: 3108 Locust St, St. Louis, 314-289-9050. Hi Rez, Thu., April 16, 7:30 p.m., $12. DJ Unk, w/ Beastkingz, Prince P, Discrepancies, Fri., April 17, 8:30 p.m., $10-$12. Maryville University of St. Louis: 13550 Conway Road, St. Louis, 314-529-9300. Hoodie Allen, Tue., April 21, 8 p.m., $20. The Ready Room: 4195 Manchester Ave, St. Louis. Tef Poe, w/ T-Dubb-O, Bates Asylum, Fri., April 17, 9 p.m., $10-$15. Way Out Club: 2525 S. Jefferson Ave., St. Louis, 314-6647638. Ace Propane, w/ Nemo, Fri., April 17, 8 p.m., $10.

FOLK Blueberry Hill: 6504 Delmar Blvd., University City, 314-7274444. Saul Williams, w/ Sons of an Illustrious Father, Sat., April 18, 9 p.m., $20. The Demo: 4191 Manchester Ave, St. Louis. The Crane Wives, w/ Under The Willow, Sleeping Cranes, Tue., April 21, 8 p.m., $10. The Focal Point: 2720 Sutton Blvd, St. Louis, 314-560-2778. The Tall Trees, Sat., April 18, 8 p.m., $10/$15. Mangia Italiano: 3145 S. Grand Blvd., St. Louis, 314-6648585. River Despair EP Release Show, w/ The Griddle Kids, Drew Sheafor, Sat., April 18, 11 p.m., free. Peabody Opera House: 1400 Market St, St. Louis, 314-2411888. Sufjan Stevens, Mon., April 20, 7 p.m., TBA.

INDIE ROCK The Demo: 4191 Manchester Ave, St. Louis. Hey Rosetta!, w/ Kevin Garrett, Sat., April 18, 8 p.m., $12. Kranzberg Arts Center: 501 N Grand Blvd, St. Louis, 314533-0367. The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, w/ Sleepy Kitty, Thu., April 16, 8 p.m.; Fri., April 17, 8 p.m.; Sat., April 18, 8 p.m.; Sun., April 19, 3 p.m., $20-$30. Off Broadway: 3509 Lemp Ave., St. Louis, 314-773-3363. Speakers in Code Fifth Anniversary, Sat., April 18, 9 p.m., $10-$12. Way Out Club: 2525 S. Jefferson Ave., St. Louis, 314-6647638. Bitchin’ About Taxes, Wed., April 15, 9 p.m., free.

COUNTRY Off Broadway: 3509 Lemp Ave., St. Louis, 314-773-3363. Cody Canada & the Departed, w/ The O's, Wed., April 15, 8 p.m., $15. The Pageant: 6161 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis, 314-726-6161. Dan and Shay, w/ Canaan Smith, Tue., April 21, 8 p.m., $20-$23.

APRIL 16-22, 2015







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APRIL 16-22, 2015

savage love Ex Games Hey, Dan: I consider myself a straight guy — but for the last four years, I’ve been having an affair with “Connie,” a trans girl I met online. It was just casual at first, but over time we developed a deeper personal relationship but kept it hidden. At some point, I figured out she was in love with me. I love her too, but I don’t think I am “in love” with her. Several weeks ago, I went on a couple of dates with a girl I met on The new girl posted about our dates on Facebook, Connie saw it and was upset, and then Connie outed me to the new girl. The new girl and I weren’t dating anymore, but it still was a betrayal that Connie told her — told anyone — about our relationship and my kink. Right now, I can’t look at or speak to Connie, but her friends tell me that she is despondent. I can’t get past my anger. I’d like to keep her as a friend, but can I trust her? She reached out to me recently, but I told her to just leave me alone. Secret Telling Unnerves Nice Guy

“Right out the gate, STUNG has to declare his heterosexuality,” said Bailey Jay, an AVN Award–winning trans porn performer, writer, prolific BY (and hilarious) tweeter, and cohost of The Jim Norton DAN Show on “Unless he’s trying to say that trans S AVA G E women are men or that he’d be mortified to be mistaken for a gay person, then emphasizing ‘straight’ is unnecessary.” Also unnecessary: that “but” after “I consider myself a straight guy.” Guys who desire and fuck women exclusively are straight, trans women are women, so no need to drop a “but” before telling us you’ve been sleeping with a woman who happens to be trans. “The term ‘kink’ stuck out as well,” Jay added. “Sex with a trans woman can still be vanilla. I know lots of trans chicks who are a total bore in bed — so while something new can be exciting, sex with trans women is not innately kinky because of our bodies.” Vocabulary lesson’s over, STUNG. Now the advice… “STUNG says he feels betrayed by Connie blabbing about their relationship,” said Jay, “but it sounds less like a betrayal and more like embarrassment. The whole tone of his letter seems to imply that it’s a given that being with a trans woman is innately shameful. But take out all of the conditioned negative associations that some have with trans people, and what are you left with? At worst, we have a young lady who got jealous and acted immaturely.” Let’s pause for a moment to think about why Connie behaved immaturely and tried to screw up your (already DOA) relationship with the new girl.

“STUNG seems to feel that it’s a given that Connie should know better than to talk openly about their relationship,” said Jay, “because trans women are an embarrassment and Connie should know enough to keep quiet.” So you treated Connie like she was an embarrassing secret for four long years, STUNG, and that caused her pain. You caused her pain. Then you go on a couple dates with another woman — a cis woman — and it’s instantly all over Facebook. Connie was understandably upset, and not just by the fact that you were seeing someone else. All the hurt and anger that built up over the last four years — hurt at the way you treated her, anger with herself for putting up with it — overwhelmed her, and she lashed out. Connie isn’t a bad person, STUNG, she was just angry and upset. “And I don’t think STUNG is a bad guy,” said Jay. “His attitude toward trans women was shaped by a culture that treats trans women as either fetishes or punch lines. I am a transgender woman, and I have my own internalized transphobia that I’ve had to navigate around. So while I can dissect and analyze STUNG, I can hardly vilify him.” So what do I think you should do about Connie? You should call her and apologize. You should tell her that you treated her badly and you can understand why she lashed out. And you should tell her that, while you aren’t “in love” with her, you do love her. Then you should tell her you’re open to meeting up and talking things out. And what does Jay think you should do going forward? “I think STUNG should try to see every woman he sleeps with as fully human, regardless of their genitals.” Follow Bailey Jay on Twitter @BaileyJayTweets.

Diapers can be sexy –but only if both partners are comfortable with it.

Hey, Dan: I’m 26 years old and have been dating my boyfriend for a year. In the first week of dating, he disclosed his adult-baby side. Trying to be a GGG partner, I told him I supported him and dove right in, even though I felt uncomfortable. He likes me to dress him up and let him pee while wearing diapers, and he likes to dress me up. I feel “icky” and even violated afterward — though everything has always been consensual. I want to be comfortable with it, but I’m just not there. When I’ve expressed my discomfort, it’s made him upset and embarrassed. Another confusing thing: My vagina always gets way wetter than usual when he puts a diaper on me. But I can’t seem to get to a place where I actually feel like I’m enjoying it. Is it fair that I feel resentful for not being given more understanding for my mixed feelings? Is there a way I can break through and enjoy this? (We have plenty of vanilla sex, which he is totally into as well.) Adult Diapers Under Lover’s Terms

Something about being put in a diaper turns you on. But that turn-on is short-circuited by your discomfort. And if your turn-on is grounded in the sensations and/or the taboo, ADULT, you may never become comfortable with your boyfriend’s kink. Quite the opposite: The more you do it, the less surprising the sensations will come to feel, the less naughty it will feel, the less of an accidental/bank-shot turn-on diapers will become. Being GGG doesn’t require a person to do whatever the hell their partner wants. Remember what GGG stands for: “Good in bed (work on those skills), giving of pleasure (without always expecting immediate reciprocation), and game for anything — within reason.” It’s unreasonable of your partner to ask you to continue engaging in diaper play when it leaves you feeling violated. You gave it a shot, it’s not working for you, and you have to be able to discuss your feelings — and your limits — without him playing mad and/or hurt. Right now, you’re engaging in diaper play not out of a GGG desire to meet his needs, ADULT, but because you’re afraid of upsetting him. So you’re not consenting from a place of honest desire (a desire to do a particular thing, a desire to please your partner) but from a place of fear — you don’t fear him, but you fear hurting him. No wonder it leaves you feeling like shit. Here’s what you should say: “Hey, honey, it’s great that you have a fetish, and I’m glad you felt comfortable sharing it with me. But I don’t enjoy it, and I don’t think I ever will. So this is something you should explore with other people. Get yourself a diaper pal, play to your heart’s content, and then come home and have awesome vanilla sex with me.”

.....for tips and special offers from your favorite St. Louis venues! Look Lo ook k for o us att


On the Lovecast, Slate writer L.V. Anderson on why we don’t have better condoms: @fakedansavage on Twitter.

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300 Rentals


SOUTH CITY $400-$550 314-277-0204 3329 Lawn:studio; 38XX Gustine 1 & 2BR; 3901 Keokuk:1BR SOUTH CITY 314-504-6797 37XX Chippewa: 3 rms, 1BR. all elec exc. heat. C/A, appls, at bus stop

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APRIL 16-22, 2015

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Profile for Riverfront Times

April 16, 2015  

April 16, 2015