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JANUARY 23-29, 2019 I VOLUME 43 I NUMBER 3

RIVERFRONTTIMES.COM I FREE

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When George Garvin Brown sealed Bourbon in a bottle for the very first time, he did so knowing it would guarantee quality and consistency for Bourbon lovers everywhere. Five generations and nearly 150 years later, our family still watches over the production of every drop of Old Forester with that same care.

PLEASE SIP RESPONSIBLY. | RESPONSIBILITY.ORG Old Forester Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whisky, 43% - 57.5% Alc. by Volume. Distilled & Bottled by Old Forester Distiller Co. at Louisville in Kentucky. OLD FORESTER is a registered trademark. ©2017 Brown-Forman Distillers. All rights reserved.

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THE LEDE

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PHOTO BY THEO WELLING

“AlldayyoucansharestuffonFacebookandspeakandpreach,butuntilyouactuallyget outthereandstandwiththepeopleyouareworkingtowardsagoalwith,itdoesn’treally matter.Makeyourvoiceheard.” Mckenzie eston, far right, photographed at the third annual WoMen’s March in doWntoWn st. louis on January 19 riverfronttimes.com

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

Publisher Chris Keating Editor in Chief Sarah Fenske

The Best of Brunch

E D I T O R I A L Arts & Culture Editor Paul Friswold Music Editor Daniel Hill Digital Editor Jaime Lees Staff Writers Doyle Murphy, Danny Wicentowski Restaurant Critic Cheryl Baehr Film Critic Robert Hunt Contributing Writers Mike Appelstein, Allison Babka, Sara Graham, Roy Kasten, Jaime Lees, Joseph Hess, Kevin Korinek, Bob McMahon, Nicholas Phillips, Tef Poe, Christian Schaeffer, Lauren Milford, Thomas Crone, MaryAnn Johanson, Jenn DeRose, Mike Fitzgerald Proofreader Evie Hemphill Editorial Interns Ryan Gines, Benjamin Simon, Chelsea Neuling

32 St. Louis restaurants that excel at our favorite late-morning meal

A R T Art Director Evan Sult Contributing Photographers Mabel Suen, Monica Mileur, Theo Welling, Andy Paulissen, Micah Usher, Corey Woodruff, Tim Lane, Nick Schnelle

COVER

P R O D U C T I O N Production Manager Jack Beil

Cover photo by

JENNIFER SILVERBERG

M U L T I M E D I A A D V E R T I S I N G Sales Director Colin Bell Senior Account Executive Cathleen Criswell, Erica Kenney Account Managers Emily Fear, Jennifer Samuel Multimedia Account Executive Michael Gaines, Christine Knoll, Jackie Mundy Event Coordinator Grace Richards C I R C U L A T I O N Circulation Manager Kevin G. Powers E U C L I D M E D I A G R O U P Chief Executive Officer Andrew Zelman Chief Operating Officers Chris Keating, Michael Wagner VP of Digital Services Stacy Volhein Creative Director Tom Carlson www.euclidmediagroup.com

INSIDE The Lede News Feature Calendar

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District Merchants | Wittenberg | Homegrown | The Motherf*cker with the Hat | Fiddler on the Roof | Classic Mystery Game | Wolpertinger party

Film

Stan & Ollie

Cafe

Mike’s Hot Dogs

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Short Orders

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Music & Culture

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Out Every Night

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Dan Tripp at Good News Brewery | 808 Maison | City Foundry

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Turbo Widget | Guitar: The Instrument that Rocked the World | Cameo app

Dawes | The Auset Music Project | Trippie Redd

Savage Love 6

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NEWS

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Doubling Down Proves Costly for D.A. Written by

DANNY WICENTOWSKI

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ome fights just aren’t worth the cost. Consider the case of Cole County Prosecuting Attorney Mark Richardson, who insisted on appealing a circuit court’s 2017 order that he pay a record-setting $12,000 civil penalty over his stubborn refusal to follow the state’s Sunshine laws. But in a ruling announced last week, a panel of judges on the Missouri Court of Appeals’ Western District affirmed the decision to fine Richardson for “knowingly and purposefully” violating the state’s laws that ensure government records are open to the public. And that wasn’t the only bad news for Richardson. Along with the fine, Cole County must pay $24,070 in attorney’s fees — and on top of that, the county now owes thousands of dollars more in legal fees to the attorneys who beat Richardson a second time on appeal. As RFT reported in 2017, the initial decision against Richardson, delivered by Cole County Judge Patricia Joyce, included a hefty civil penalty — a rare result in a lawsuit brought against a sitting government official. The $12,000 fine assessed on the prosecutor’s office reflected that Richardson had willfully broken the law in order to withhold records from drug-policy activist Aaron Malin, Joyce wrote. “Just because you’re the elected prosecutor of Cole County doesn’t mean you’re above the law,” Malin said in an interview shortly after the civil penalty was announced. But Richardson didn’t let the matter go. He appealed one month later. Notably, he didn’t attempt to argue that he himself was blameless. He also didn’t challenge Joyce’s contention that he had intentionally violated the law. Instead, Richardson tried to

Aaron Malin’s fight to obtain public records of Missouri’s drug task forces has yielded some notable victories. | DANNY WICENTOWSKI split hairs. In his appeal, he argued that the circuit court had exceeded the $5,000 maximum civil penalty for Sunshine violations. He wanted the fee knocked down. Additionally, Richardson argued that despite his Sunshine law violations, his office was still not obligated to give Malin the records the researcher had first requested in 2015. (Malin was seeking records of communication between Richardson’s office and the region’s drug task force.) Previously, Richardson had tried to argue that drug task forces are not actually covered by the state’s open-records law, a contention rejected by Judge Joyce because, basically, that’s not how the law works: Drug task forces are governmental agencies, and like other governmental agencies, they are obligated to respond to Sunshine requests and to furnish “open records” as defined under the law. Richardson’s more recent loss came on January 15. In the unanimous ruling, appellate Judge Mark Pfeiffer rejected both of Richardson’s arguments and hammered the prosecutor — who lost his reelection bid in August to a Republican primary challenger — for once again trying to sidestep the consequences of his

In the unanimous ruling, appellate Judge Mark Pfeiffer rejected both of Richardson’s arguments, and hammered the prosecutor for once again trying to sidestep the consequences of his lawbreaking. lawbreaking. Pfeiffer noted that Richardson’s position had been met “with disdain” by the circuit court. “The circuit court’s judgment found the Prosecutor’s conduct to be undisputedly purposeful, knowing, dilatory, and non-responsive to the requirements of Missouri’s Sunshine Law,” Pfeiffer wrote.

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In the end, what buried Richardson was that he could not plead ignorance. In a footnote, Pfeiffer noted that Richardson had “practiced law since 1984, had served as a municipal judge for over seven years in his career, and had even taught state agency officials about their responsibilities regarding the Sunshine Law and responding to requests for public records.” And now it’s time to pay up. In addition to the $12,000 owed to Malin, Cole County is on the hook for the attorney’s fees incurred while taking the case to circuit court. That bumps the total to more than $36,000. That figure does not, however, include Richardson’s ill-fated appeal. Malin’s attorneys from the ACLU of Missouri and the Freedom Center of Missouri are now owed additional fees. Attorney Dave Roland, with the Freedom Center, estimates that the total cost to Cole County could hit $50,000. Cole County’s recently elected prosecutor, Locke Thompson, told ABC 17 News last week that he’s working with the county commission to find the funds to pay the fees and penalty. Thompson didn’t sound too pleased about it, telling the station, “You inherit some things you don’t always want to.” n

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Alderman’s Flip Dooms Airport Bill Written by

SARAH FENSKE

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lderman John Collins-Muhammad had been a cosponsor of the bill to require a public vote on any deal to privatize St. Louis Lambert International Airport. But when it came time for the crucial committee vote on the bill Thursday, Collins-Muhammad reversed his previous support, voting no. His flip doomed the bill, 3-2. Unless he or another “no” voter makes a motion to reconsider, and does it soon, the bill is dead this session. Alderwoman Cara Spencer, who introduced the bill, was audibly angry when reached after the Transportation & Commerce committee meeting. “I was floored,” she says. “This would have passed, and should have passed, today.”

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Alderwoman Carol Howard and Alderman Joe Vaccaro voted in support of the bill. Voting in opposition were Collins-Muhammad, Lisa Middlebrook and Marlene Davis. (Spencer is not a committee member, so didn’t get a vote.) Thanks to a push begun by former Mayor Francis Slay, St. Louis is actively exploring becoming the first major airport in the continental U.S. to lease its operations to a for-profit operator. The airport is currently city owned, and consultants funded (for now) by philanthropist Rex Sinquefield have been looking into what kind of deal it could get. In a public Facebook post, Collins-Muhammad linked his “no” vote to the fact that Spencer did not support his efforts on ward reduction. Previously, city voters agreed to reduce the number of wards in the city; Collins-Muhammad was a vocal voice last spring in a push to reverse the plan, saying that the smaller number of total seats would reduce black political power in the city. (Worth noting: He’s also a paid organizer for Board of Aldermen President Lewis Reed, who has supported privatization.) On Facebook, Collins-Muhammad wrote, “How can you really

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“I stand by my decision to vote no on BB 93 100%,” writes Alderman John Collins-Muhammad. | VIA YOUTUBE ask me to stand with you but you have refused to stand with me & my community. The airport is your biggest asset. My communities biggest asset is their voices in city hall! Airport Privatization. Ward Reduction. Don’t count on me, if I can’t count on you. You want a vote. Well my people

wanted a vote. I stand by decision to vote no on BB 93 100%.” He added, “I was an original co-sponsor on Board Bill 93 but after speaking to my residents, the process of leasing the airport is something they want to see. I stand behind my ward. They sand in front of me. That’s how’s real democracy works [sic].” A progressive group called STL Not for Sale has been gathering signatures in an attempt to put the idea to a city-wide vote. But getting enough signatures to make the ballot isn’t easy, and Spencer’s board bill would have been an easier way to give the public a chance to weigh in. Last week’s vote likely dooms that scenario until after April’s aldermanic elections, when Spencer (or other privatization critics) would be allowed to introduce a bill all over again. Spencer signaled she’s determined to do just that — but noted that the March Democratic primary, in which she’s facing an opponent, could be a wild card. “If I’m reelected, I absolutely will introduce this bill again,” she vowed. “This is the single biggest asset the city has. You’re damn right we’re going to make sure a vote happens.” n


Images of Mark Bertram’s hyper-realistic fingernail tattoo went viral last week. | VIA ERIC CATALANO

His Tattoos Are Tough as Nails Written by

DANNY WICENTOWSKI

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ast week, Mark Bertram walked into Eric Catalano’s tattoo shop in Hecker, Illinois, with an uncommon request: fingernail tattoos. Eleven minutes later, Catalano finished his work. There, on the smooth skin that caps the surgically shortened ring and middle fingers of Bertram’s left hand, were two brand-new fingernails. Bertram had lost both fingers to the first knuckle after the digits were caught in an air conditioner’s fan belt last year. But the tattoos made it look like his nubs were full fingers. “Oh,” he told Catalano, looking at the speedy ink work. “Those are really nice.” The internet agreed. Images of the tattoos posted to Facebook, Reddit and Imgur went instantly viral last week, racking up hundreds of thousands of views and numerous comments praising the double-take worthy realism of Catalano’s work. It’s the little things, Bertram says, that make the tattoo so remarkable. Using Bertram’s other

fingers as models, Catalano had inked the imperfections, the calcium spots, the roughness of the cuticles, even the dirt beneath them. The result was so real, it was almost eerie. “What I was looking for was exactly what he did,” Bertram says. “I knew the only person who could do it was him.” Catalano had never inked a fingernail tattoo before last week, but his anatomical artistry had already given him a unique reputation as a tattoo artist and body piercer. In 2010, his shop, Eternal Ink, offered free pink ribbon tattoos in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Over the years, Catalano began offering his services to cancer survivors, tattooing hyper-realistic areolas and nipples over the mastectomy scars that marked their battle with disease. (He also invented a custom piercing that functions as a prosthetic nipple, a project he’s still working on with the assistance of biomedical engineers.) Granted, creating the illusion of depth is hardly rare in contemporary tattooing; Instagram is filled with examples of hyper-realism and anatomy-inspired creativity. But replacing a lost fingernail was, to Catalano’s knowledge, something that had never previously been attempted. “Through my experience with the 3D nipple and areola reconstruction, I’ve learned how to mimic real-life body parts,” Catalano tells the RFT. “Using different skin tones, back shading, highlight features. When it came to doing

the tattoo, I had no reference except for just the other nails sitting next to it.” So Catalano painstakingly copied the other nails. By the time the process was over, both artist and customer were stunned by the resemblance. “We were all mesmerized, like, ‘What the hell,’” Catalano recalls. In the days since the photos of the fingernail work went viral, Catalano says he’s been swamped with messages, not just from other individuals with missing fingers and toes, but people asking about belly buttons and nostrils. “I’m not really sure where the limit is,” he says. However, Catalano adds that he is reaching his personal limit. As a matter of principle, he refuses to take money for tattooing nipples and areolas on cancer survivors, and he similarly refused payment from Bertram for the fingernails. Now he’s grappling with hundreds of requests for realistic tattoos, even as he’s not sure how much more free work he can do while still running a business. To make up the difference, Catalano launched a GoFundMe campaign last week with the goal of raising $50,000 to fund free tattoo work for cancer survivors and amputees. “I feel terrible charging the people who have already suffered pain and injury or battling life and death,” Catalano wrote in his description of the campaign, which as of press time has hit $4,367. “They’ve already been through so much.” n

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These 32 St. Louis restaurants excel at our favorite late-morning meal

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et’s face it: Much as we regularly stake our reputation on naming something the “best this” or the “best that,” there is no such thing as the best brunch in St. Louis. Brunch, after all, is too important for one middle-of-the-road, one-size-fits-all selection. The best brunch when you’re hungover is not the best brunch for

rocking out to heavy metal. And the best brunch to take your kids to is not the best bottomless brunch (much as our mom friends wish it was). Let the non-breeders have their fun! This year’s Brunch Issue is built on the idea that there’s a brunch out there for each of us. And by recommending 32 different selections tailor-made to various tastes and situations, we’re determined to help you find yours. Looking for a romantic brunch? A brunch buffet for less than $10? Maybe even a brunch with $4 Fernet shots on a Monday? We’ve got all three ... and so much more. Come explore with us! —Sarah Fenske

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THE BEST OF BRUNCH Continued from pg 12

BEST DANCE-PARTY BRUNCH The Wheelhouse

Weekend mornings at the Wheelhouse (1000 Spruce Street, 314833-3653) pick up where the night before left off, with the music turned up loud and the booze flowing freely. Both floors of the cavernous space fill up with young (and young-ish) brunch-goers feasting on sweet and savory brunch dishes including French toast, waffles, eggs Benedict and burritos stuffed with eggs and breakfast potatoes. Fifteen dollars gets you bottomless mimosas, and since brunch service runs a generous five and a half hours (9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays) you have plenty of time to make it count. Three types of mimosas are offered, and you can customize yours with fruit juice, sliced fruit and a cocktail umbrella at the mimosa bar. We didn’t see any actual dancing last time we visited, but we were pretty damn close to it. The DJ does yeoman’s work, pumping up the mood with a relentlessly ebullient soundtrack, and TVs in every corner allow you to keep up with whatever sports are on TV. Know in advance that a mandatory 20 percent gratuity is added to all checks. —Iain Shaw

BEST BRUNCH BUFFET Mac’s Time Out

Everyone in St. Louis knows Fast Eddie’s, but fewer outside of the immediate riverbend area know about Alton’s other sprawling powerhouse restaurant, Mac’s Time Out (315 Belle Street, Alton, Illinois; 618-465-1006). The sports bar and restaurant, which opened in 1983, takes up the better part of a downtown city block. It features a room dedicated to horse racing and an enormous heated beer garden crowned with televisions showing football, kickboxing, golf, you name it. And feel free to light up those cigars. The Sunday brunch buffet, which runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., is an extraordinary value: It’s just $9.95 and features prime rib, pork loin and an omelet station in addition to the standard brunch fare. Owner Mac Lenhardt is beloved in Alton for being a terrific guy, and the friendly long-term employees attest to that in their glowing remarks. “Mac takes care of

Grand Center’s Turn is our choice for the city’s best weekday brunch. | MABEL SUEN downtown,” says David Rauschkolb, who has been working here off and on since 2011. “He doesn’t just pick up the litter around our building, but all of downtown. He makes sure we greet everyone who walks in within 30 seconds. He’s adamant about that. He even helps out the homeless.” Oh, and did we mention he serves up one hell of a brunch? —Chris Andoe

BEST BRUNCH BUFFET THAT ISN ’ T A BUFFET SqWires

On a hungover morning, nothing might seem more tired than a brunch buffet line laden with half-warmed scrambled eggs and steadily cooling sausage patties. Yet there’s something undeniably appealing about getting to start munching right away without a server to hold you up. Enter the truly terrific bloody-mary bar at SqWires (1415 South 18th Street, 314-865-3522), which combines fresh food with pile-your-ownplate access for the best of both worlds without the downside of either. From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday, for the price of a bloody mary or $16 bottomless mimosas, you can gain access to a well-stocked buffet line featuring everything from fresh fruit and cubes of meat and cheese to pickled vegetables and cookies. SqWires’ is that rare bloody mary bar that’s just as good as the drink itself — one reason people who

skip the drinks still happily pay $9 a pop to access it. Either it’s spectacular or they’re spectacularly hungry. Maybe both? —Sarah Fenske

BEST DINER BRUNCH Affton Diner

Sometimes only a diner will do. At certain levels of hungry and hungover, only mountains of carbohydrates and cheese will cure your ills. If you find yourself in this situation, there is only one place to go: Affton Diner (10020 Gravois Road, 314-631-1911). Just a quick hop into the county down Gravois, this greasy spoon offers the kind of food that your pounding head craves, even as its take on the classics (omelets, toast, outof-this-world home fries) tastes a little more fresh than you might expect. On Sunday mornings the place is always nearly full, with regulars (and adorable oldies) happily slurping hot coffee and enjoying friendly service. The decor is nothing special, but don’t let those bowling-alley-style booths turn you off. Once you try the food at Affton Diner, you might become a regular yourself. —Jaime Lees

BEST BRUNCH WHEN YOU AREN ’ T HUNGOVER Pieces

When you’re hungover AF, the most brainpower you should be expected to devote to brunch is

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how you want the eggs cooked on your slinger. In this state, Pieces (1535 South Eighth Street, 314-2305184) is the last place you’d want to go. On a daisy-fresh weekend, though? Now that’s another story. Soulard’s board-game bar and cafe is a thinking person’s good time any day of the week, but on Saturdays and Sundays, the space becomes one of the city’s most entertaining brunch concepts. With a game library exceeding 850 choices, Pieces invites you to unplug for a few hours and experience good food and good old-fashioned low-tech entertainment. If healthy competition with friends makes you hungry, the kitchen has you covered, with everything from breakfast tacos to biscuit sandwiches to avocado toast. And if it makes you really hungry, try to take down one of Pieces’ monstrous five-egg omelets, stuffed with as many toppings as you can cram into it. If you think a night of drinking is fun, try taking down one of those behemoths while schooling you friends at Risk. Victory can be just as intoxicating. —Cheryl Baehr

BEST BOTTOMLESS BRUNCH Crafted

Ten dollars for endless mimosas sounds good, but there has to be a catch, right? There isn’t. At Crafted (3200 Shenandoah Avenue, 314865-3345), the glasses are the right

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THE BEST OF BRUNCH Continued from pg 15

size, the pours are fair and the mimosas are made with decent sparkling wine. There are no tedious games of find-the-server to get your refills — at least one member of the Crafted team is continuously circling the venue with a jug, ready to top you off. This isn’t a place to get messy drunk, though; you’ll want to stay sober enough to appreciate the quality and creativity that goes into the food. Try the “Crafted Benedict” with crab cakes, the “Crafted Hash” with spicy sausage, or chicken and waffles. Brunch is only available from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m on Sundays, and demand for tables quickly outstrips supply. Reservations aren’t an option at brunch, so go along early or prepare to take a seat at the bar as you wait for a table to open up. —Iain Shaw

BEST BRUNCH FOR YOUR BUCK Nadine’s

If you want piles of food for very little money, get yourself to Nadine’s (1931 South 12th Street, 314-463-3045). Though at night Nadine’s is a low-key Soulard bar that specializes in gin cocktails, during the day it’s a great place to load up on brunch for less. You can get a steak with two eggs, a massive breakfast burrito or the all-important slinger for less than $10 each. A three-egg omelet is less than $9 and even a mimosa bucket (one bottle of Champagne plus a carafe of orange juice) is only $15. Don’t forget to order a stack of pancakes ($5.95) or some cinnamon French toast ($6.95) for the table to share. And at Nadine’s, your continued patronage is rewarded: A punch-card loyalty system guarantees that every tenth brunch you eat here is on the house. —Jaime Lees

BEST INDUSTRY BRUNCH Three Monkeys

Nobody can party like restaurant people — yet the hours they work mean a boozy brunch is seldom part of their weekend. Enter the “industry brunch” at Three Monkeys (3153 Morganford Road, 314772-9800), which combines eight rotating brunch items with truly terrific drink specials on a weekend warrior’s day of rest. From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. each Monday, Three Monkeys pours out $3 Jamesons, $3 mimosas and $4 bloody marys

to a thirsty crowd of restaurant insiders — and, this being an industry crowd, naturally there are also $4 shots of Fernet. Themselves longtime industry workers, new owners Zachery and Mary Rice introduced the brunch in December with such attention-getting additions as a drunk Santa pouring shots of Jameson and a photo booth. Not surprisingly, word of mouth took things from there. “We’re getting people who work all weekend and want to blow off a little steam on Monday,” says Zachery Rice. “Yesterday we had nine people from Schlafly, another big group from Mission Taco, eleven people from Trueman’s.” Talk about a party! But you don’t have to flash your restaurant W-2 to join in the fun. Just be there and be prepared to let loose. —Sarah Fenske

BEST JAZZ BRUNCH Evangeline’s

When Don Bailey first opened the New Orleans-inspired Evangeline’s Bistro and Music House (512 North Euclid Avenue, 314-3673644), he knew that capturing the city’s soundtrack was every bit as important as serving its food. It’s why he’s made it a priority to offer live jazz and blues nearly every night of the week, giving guests something to tap their toes to as they nosh on Cajun and Creole classics. It’s a lively scene no matter when you go, but perhaps the most thrilling day of the week at Evangeline’s is Sunday when Swing Jazz Brunch is underway. Bailey and company convert the space into an all-out party complete with a bloody-mary bar and brunch-inspired cocktails, a decadent daytime menu (pork-chop slinger, anyone?) and, of course, music. And it’s not just any music that will do. Evangeline’s books the city’s most exciting swing and jazz acts, including the delightful Miss Jubilee, who offers a feast for the ears every bit as delicious as the kitchen’s feast for your tastebuds. It doesn’t get any sweeter than that — well, unless you order seconds of the famous “Strawberries Jubilee” stuffed French toast. —Cheryl Baehr

BEST METAL BRUNCH The Crow’s Nest

There is but one brunch in town where lovers of French toast mingle freely with trve cvlt headbangers sporting a dedication to the Dark One: Metal Brunch at the Crow’s Nest (7336 Manches-

ter Road, Maplewood; 314-7810989), naturally. Each Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., the Maplewood bar and restaurant keeps the soundtrack heavy — Mercyful Fate, Coroner, Sodom and more see regular rotation — and the food puns plentiful. Choose from “Decappitizers” including pork poutine, hummus and chili cheese fries before moving on to a “Mercyful Plate” — the three-bean veggie slinger is a standout, as are the biscuits and gravy. Got a Billy Milano-sized hunger? Dive into a “Judas Feast” (complete with your choice of “Geno-Side”) with stuffed French toast, eggs benedict and more to keep your butt appropriately bubble-shaped. At the Crow’s Nest, the food will fill your belly while the soundtrack keeps your head banging — just be careful not to get your hair in the syrup. —Daniel Hill

BEST BRUNCH FOR COFFEE LOVERS Half & Half

As you nosh on the famed blueberry pancakes at Half & Half (multiple locations, including 8135 Maryland Avenue, Clayton; 314725-0719), cooked in bacon fat

Conceived as a space equally dedicated to good eats and quality coffee, Half & Half was an area innovator in making your morning brew much more than a cheap jolt of caffeine. The restaurant boasts an impressive list of coffee selections in the way a nighttime spot might offer a cocktail menu. Different origins, different preparations and, of course, a variety of espresso drinks are available for your drinking pleasure, served by trained baristas who can educate you about the difference between Sidamo and Harar — but they also won’t bat an eye if you want to put cream and sugar in your cup of drip coffee while devouring a side of bacon. It’s the best of both worlds. —Cheryl Baehr

BEST DIM SUM Mandarin House

Entering Mandarin House (9150 Overland Plaza, Overland; 314427-8070), you are required to cross a shiny red, traditional Chinese-inspired bridge to get to the main dining room. It’s an intermediate step that helps ease the transition between the strip-mall parking lot and the authentic Chinese brunch that occupies Man-

The Shack offers the best brunch in the ‘burbs. | MABEL SUEN and smothered in melted blueberry butter, it would be easy to forget that the food is only part of the equation here. Then again, if you hit the coffee bar before your table is ready and surrender to the pleasure of a pour-over of single-origin from one of the guest roasters, it might be equally easy to forget to order food.

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darin House’s main dining room every Saturday and Sunday. Since 1979, this local institution has been offering diners a mix of both Western-style and traditional Chinese cuisine. It’s the latter on display during weekend dim sum service. You’ll find servers rolling metal pushcarts filled with

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BEST BRUNCH WITH KIDS Rise

Rise Coffee House is a surprisingly great place to brunch with the kiddos. | MABEL SUEN

THE BEST OF BRUNCH Continued from pg 17

everything from dumplings to steam buns to sautéed pea tips — an endless parade of one delicacy after another, each so enticing it’s impossible to pace yourself. You can make a feast from what is on those carts alone, but what makes Mandarin House dim sum so special is the buffet in the center of the room filled with even more dishes, some served steaming hot from a large griddle. Basking in your food-induced reverie after stuffing yourself, you’ll be convinced that bridge was a magical portal into another culinary world. —Cheryl Baehr

BEST MEXICAN BRUNCH Taqueria El Bronco

It doesn’t advertise “brunch,” but Taqueria El Bronco (2817 Cherokee Street, 314-762-0691) offers it in all but name. On both Saturdays and Sundays, this Cherokee Street mainstay serves menudo and pozole, two dishes Mexicans gather around the table to enjoy with friends and family on weekends. Menudo is a spicy tripe soup, pozole a hominy stew, and they’re both available in medium ($7) or large ($8.99) portions. These two dishes are highly shareable, and a staple of family get-togethers and celebrations — but Mexicans also swear by their hangover-curing properties.

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Taqueria El Bronco’s extensive menu also includes brunchfriendly egg-based items such as huevos rancheros and huevos con chorizo and plenty to drink. A michelada is the obvious hair-of-thedog choice, but other choices include a margarita, buckets of beer or even tequila. —Iain Shaw

BEST BRUNCH WITH A VIEW Cinder House

The stunning Cinder House (999 North Second Street, 314-8815759) takes your breath away the minute you step off the elevator and onto the eighth floor of downtown’s Four Seasons Hotel. Divided into a separate lounge and dining room, the space offers leather, velvet and turquoisestone elegance, inviting you to linger as if you were having dinner and drinks in an old friend’s luxe study. The imported Brazilian marble bar countertop alone makes the case for the lounge being deemed the most beautiful bar in Missouri (an honor recently bestowed by Architectural Digest). However, Cinder House’s greatest design detail is what sits outside of its four walls. Perched eight stories above Laclede’s Landing, Cinder House sits just north of the Gateway Arch — so close you feel like you could reach out and touch it. The restaurant’s Brazilian-inflected brunch fare would be dazzling in any setting; being able to enjoy it with the city’s best view of its most famous monument makes

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it all the more so.

—Cheryl Baehr

BEST COMMUNITY BRUNCH MoKaBe’s Coffeehouse If the word “brunch” sets your teeth on edge at the thought of all those Chads and Stacys ordering bloodies to recover from the previous night’s Soulardian follies, you owe yourself a visit to MoKaBe’s Coffeehouse (3606 Arsenal Street, 314-865-2009). Most of the time this cafe is a thrumming hive of activism, gay culture, doodling and caffeine-fueled pipe dreams. But Sunday mornings are when it really completes its potential as community hub, serving up an inexpensive ($15), generous and delicious buffet brunch to sate the proletariat. Almost everything on offer is vegetarian, and a goodly portion of that is vegan. It’s hearty, no-nonsense Midwestern fare — pancakes, truly excellent potatoes, veggie biscuits, egg or tofu scrambles, veggie sausage, bacon — shot through with more inventive offerings that the staff hustles to keep hot and fresh. Best of all is the company you’ll keep: On the way to your table you’ll probably pass at least one KDHX DJ, a local cartoonist, a polite hippie family, a lesbian reading group and/or a face you recognize from Ferguson protests. Unpretentious, satisfying and welcoming: This is what community looks like. —Evan Sult

As you struggle through the front doors of Rise Coffee House (4176 Manchester Avenue, 314-4058171), massive infant carrier in one hand, squirmy toddler on the other, you might feel as if you’ve made a mistake. Surely, this impossibly hip coffee shop, filled with childless singles bent over laptops and books (who are these people who have the time to read?), is the last place you should bring the kids for brunch. However, if you head up the narrow staircase just to the side of the door, you’ll be transported to a literal playland filled with toys, books, a wooden fort and, most thrilling of all, fellow caregivers who are blissfully reclined in their seats, lingering over a delicious meal. Rise is a sanctuary for anyone tasked with caring for children on a daily basis, in part because it provides a place to relax while the littles play in the safety of a gated room, but mostly because it’s kid friendly but does not force you to sacrifice your culinary and coffee standards. Rise’s wonderful brunch offerings include the foods you ate before your dining was reduced to chicken fingers and buttered noodles: fantastic pancakes (not in the shape of a funny face), flavorful hashes, Technicolor toasts and serious coffee. When the kids get hungry, there is a menu just for them — and when they leave behind a half-eaten grilled cheese, made on Union Loafers bread, no one will judge if you finish it off. —Cheryl Baehr

BEST ROMANTIC BRUNCH Soulard Coffee Garden It’s hard to imagine a more perfect setting for lazing away a Sunday morning with your love than the charming back patio at Soulard Coffee Garden (910 Geyer Avenue, 314-241-1464). The lush, tree-covered space feels like a hidden oasis in the middle of the city. Wrought-iron, umbrella-shaded tables spread over two levels of uneven brick patio and wooden deck offer just enough privacy to give the garden an intimate feel. You’ll need that subtle cover when you’re inspired to show a little affection to your partner — how could you not be caught up in such a feeling with the sun peeking through the foliage and the fairy-garden-inspired fountain and miniature brook bubbling in the background? Of course, the


setting is only part of Soulard Coffee Garden’s beauty: The quaint restaurant serves wonderful from-scratch daytime favorites like biscuits and gravy, omelets and several versions of eggs benedict. If you weren’t already in love, noshing on some blueberrycornmeal pancakes together will definitely put you in the mood. —Cheryl Baehr

fast burrito smothered in spicy green chile or give it a little local flavor with a green or red chilecovered slinger. However, the diner’s signature spicy dish, “Jonathan’s Famous Fiery Scramble,” makes those other offerings look like child’s play; the hotter-thanhot cheesy egg dish is so spicy it will make you hiccup. You’ll be sweating like you’re being fried

crepe topped with cinnamon and brown sugar along with a scoop of Bailey’s-flavored ice cream. Or maybe a s’more crepe, stuffed with cookie crumbs, marshmallow and dark chocolate and then topped off with a scoop of vanilla. Yes, these crepes are basically dessert in breakfast form, but is there anything wrong with that? —Sarah Fenske

BEST SIDEWALK BRUNCH Brasserie

If you walk by Brasserie (4580 Laclede Avenue, 314-454-0600) on a pleasant Saturday or Sunday morning, you might do a doubletake, momentarily wondering if you’ve somehow stepped through a wormhole and ended up on a side street in Paris. Interwoven black-and-cream wicker chairs and small bistro tables fill the sidewalk in front of the Frenchinspired restaurant, its red storefront providing a suitably dramatic backdrop. Tucking into one of these tables, a café au lait in one hand and a forkful of croque madame in the other, it quickly becomes clear that this is one of the best places in the city to pass a relaxed weekend day. Brasserie’s outdoor dining setup is not a patio — it’s an actual sidewalk café that places you firmly in the middle of the Central West End’s hustle and bustle. There is no better people watching and, in turn, no better way to occupy yourself while you wait for your delectable daytime fare. But no matter how entertaining the view, it will be hard to concentrate on anything else once that order of brisket tartine arrives. —Cheryl Baehr

BEST BRUNCH FOR HEAT LOVERS Southwest Diner

The New Mexican culinary tradition has blessed us with the glory of the Hatch chile, a sneakingly hot yet mouthwateringly flavorful pepper often prepared as a stew-like concoction simmered with pork. Green, red, Christmas style (that’s the in-the-know way to say green-and-red), smothered over a breakfast burrito, topping a cheeseburger — no matter how you eat this culinary masterpiece, you’ll feel the burn, but you still can’t stop. It makes sense, then, that the city’s homage to New Mexican cuisine, Southwest Diner (6803 Southwest Avenue, 314260-7244), is the place to go when you want to experience a heatfilled brunch. Here, you can get a traditional New Mexican break-

of respite; part general store, the space is filled with books, gifts and gadgets, inviting you to browse if you get bored with your newspaper. Add outstanding farm-to-table fare — literally, the restaurant sources its products from its own farm in Augusta — made by the skilled hands of chef Cassy Vires, and you’ll understand why it’s such a rare pleasure to bask in the moment. —Cheryl Baehr

BEST BRUNCH TO MEET A STRANGER Das Bevo

Brasserie offers a charming brunch that would be at home in Paris. | JENNIFER SILVERBERG by the sun in the middle of the desert, but it’s a beautiful pain — and precisely why you came. —Cheryl Baehr

BEST BRUNCH FOR THE SWEET TOOTHED Rooster

It goes without saying that Rooster (two locations, including 1104 Locust Street, 314-241-8118) has plenty of options for lovers of savory brunch. From the eatery’s much-praised bloody-mary options to its delicious scrambles, the menu is laden with salty, meaty, cheesy things. But where Rooster deviates from its rivals is in the sweeter side of things. Get your French toast or pancakes with toppings that include Nutella, cinnamon raisin and carmelized bananas and nuts. Or partake in a quartet of sweet crepes that actually come topped with ice cream. Try a roasted apple

BEST BRUNCH TO UNPLUG Winslow’s Home

You might think that a place without WiFi would be at a disadvantage in today’s over-connected culture, but at Winslow’s Home (7213 Delmar Boulevard, University City; 314-725-7559), it’s actually a selling point. Every day, general manager Josh Renbarger watches as usually harried customers — business executives, nurses, writers, stay-at-home parents — steal moments for themselves over a cup of coffee and pastry, unconcerned with the political arguments on Facebook or what the latest influencer is hawking on Instagram. You can actually watch as people relax, as unplugged from the world as you can get these days, and bask in the sanctuary the restaurant’s four walls provide. The warm, comforting surroundings add to this feeling

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Beneath the soaring woodwork of a century-old bierhall in Bevo Mill, Sunday brunch at Das Bevo (4749 Gravois, 314-832-2251) fills the vast space with the warmth of well-fed and somewhat-tipsy people. Along with regular seating, Das Bevo features “feast-style” tables with high bar chairs — a fine vantage point for sharing a table-wide toast with German-inspired, ten-ingredient bloody marys. After all, you can toast with beer any day of the week; on Sunday in Das Bevo, the glass includes not just spicy tomato juice but a hard-boiled egg, bacon, grilled chicken and a pretzel nugget. Das Bevo suggests RSVPs for brunch, which runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., though waiting guests can request a tour of the windmill’s upper floors. There are other comforts to be shared: On cold Sundays, there’s a roaring fireplace to warm up next to. Lingering here is the perfect time and place to strike up a conversation with someone new, perhaps on the finer points of how a beer baron would drink his breakfast. —Danny Wicentowski

BEST DESTINATION BRUNCH Chandler Hill Vineyards Chandler Hill Vineyards (596 Defiance Road, Defiance; 636-7982675) may be a mere twenty minutes from the outlet malls and big-box stores of Chesterfield Valley, but it certainly feels a million miles away from west county. As the rolling hills of State Road 94 give way to the town of Defiance and its pastoral landscape, you are filled with the sense that you’re in another world. That feeling continues as you roll up to Chandler Hill’s picturesque vineyard and winery; its main stone building and grounds are as beautiful as anything in Napa Valley. Inside, Chandler Hill’s Sunday brunch is

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served in a soaring room with exposed wooden beams, rustic stonework and candle-covered chandeliers, a cozy spot for relaxing and taking in the scenery just outside the window. Once you make your way to the buffet spread of brunch classics, complete with carving and omelet stations and a bagel bar, though, your sights will be firmly focused on the delicious feast laid out before you. It’s truly a transportive experience. —Cheryl Baehr

BEST BRUNCH FOR LAWYER GOSSIP Chris’ at the Docket

If you’re the quiet, nosy type, Chris’ at the Docket (100 North Tucker Boulevard, 314-977-4615) is a wonderful place to eat a pancake. And if you’d like to eat said pancake — let’s be honest, stack of pancakes — while sipping a bloody mary and listening to the city’s legal and political class chatter away, all the better. The downtown location of the beloved south-city restaurant Chris’ Pancake is the de facto cafeteria for anyone doing business in the St. Louis courts or at City Hall. Set in a long, open space at the base of Saint Louis University’s law school, Chris’ weekday clientele is largely lawyers, politicians, city bureaucrats, jurors wearing their plastic badges and law-school instructors. Come to see who is sharing a booth with whom. Watch allies and adversaries circle the wide dining room. And if you keep your ears open, you might just overhear the next big deal close or settlement take shape. Or just mind your own business and enjoy your breakfast. The food is good. —Doyle Murphy

BEST VEGETARIAN BRUNCH Tree House

Bay Tran, chef and owner of Tree House (3177 South Grand Boulevard, 314-696-2100), has a culinary pedigree that goes all the way back to the French embassy in prewar Vietnam. There, her paternal grandfather was the chef, a part of her family’s history that Tran didn’t learn until adulthood. As surprised as she was by this revelation, though, she was equally shocked to learn that her maternal grandmother, also a skilled cook, was vegetarian. Knowing these roots made everything fall into place for Tran — her passion for

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cooking and commitment to being a vegetarian were not accidents but a birthright that she honors every day at Tree House. Her roots shine through in the vegetarian restaurant’s outstanding weekend brunch with its thoughtful assemblage of daytime dishes and cocktails (that kimchi bloody mary is reason enough for getting out of bed on a Sunday). Tree House is not simply a good vegetarian brunch; it’s a great brunch, period — a factor that is apparent the moment you bite into some biscuits and gravy or a bánh mì. She sure knows how to make Grandma and Grandpa proud. —Cheryl Baehr

BEST BRUNCH IN THE BURBS The Shack

Brunch outside the city’s center doesn’t have to mean Denny’s or IHOP. The Shack (multiple locations, including 731 South Lindbergh Boulevard, Frontenac; 314-736-5900) offers a reliable and funky twist to breakfast and brunch seven days a week, and with five St. Louis locations stretching from Valley Park to O’Fallon, the homegrown chain has the outer-ring suburbs well covered. The eatery has everything you’d want at a traditional diner, but it’s elevated enough to satisfy the bougie suburbanite you’ve become. Bonus for those who haven’t given up brunch just because they’ve been breeding: The Shack is so family friendly it even encourages drawing on the walls. RFT readers have voted the Shack tops in town for both its bloody mary and its French fries, but there’s a lot more here worth sampling. Don’t miss the brioche French toast for an incredibly satisfying sweet start to your day, or any one of the omelet creations. —Ellen Prinzi

BEST WEEKDAY BRUNCH Turn

If you’ve dined at Turn (3224 Locust Street, 314-240-5157), you understand why chef David Kirkland decided to make brunch more than a weekend affair: With food this good, you have to let people enjoy it every damn day. From his kitchen inside Grand Center’s .ZACK multi-use arts space, Kirkland puts out the sort of mouthwatering fare most brunch restaurants save for lazy Sundays, including sage-kissed biscuits and gravy, English muffins smothered in smoked duck, brie and poached eggs, and whole-grain pancakes that taste like vanilla-scented fun-

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Cinder House’s brunch offers a great view in addition to top-notch cuisine. | MABEL SUEN nel cake. The bright, modern space only adds to the vibe, filling you with visions of dining in a contemporary museum’s restaurant and blowing off work to linger over the latest exhibition. Who could blame you for dreaming of being carried away to such a scene? Kirkland’s daytime-dining masterpiece makes the weekend nothing more than a state of mind. —Cheryl Baehr

BEST PLACE TO TAKE THE FUTURE IN-LAWS Cafe Madeleine

You’re a good person — thoughtful, cultured, urbane, helpful, financially responsible, not greedy but with an appreciation for the finer things in life. But how do you successfully make this impression on someone else … someone potentially very important to a question you’re hoping to ask soon? The answer is not cheap, but it is simple and ironclad: Treat the whole family to Sunday brunch at Cafe Madeleine (4256 Magnolia Avenue, 314-575-5658). Right in the center of Tower Grove Park, hidden within the historic and quietly magnificent Piper Palm House, Cafe Madeleine is one of the city’s under-appreciated gems. Open for brunch on the first Sunday of each month, as well Easter and Mother’s Day, Cafe Madeleine sits within a lovely, airy space: whitewashed walls suffused in light from the glass ceiling overhead and accented

with plants from the Palm House collection. It’s all situated around a giant buffet, complete with omelet chef, that works well for vegetarians and omnivores alike. Well-heeled, obviously wealthy diners surround you in their Sunday best — but this is St. Louis, so they can’t put on too much attitude. It’s quiet enough to talk and beautiful enough to dazzle. In all, the perfect place to let everyone know that you’ll be an asset to the family. Just make sure to get the check, and their blessings are assured! —Evan Sult

BEST MUSEUM BRUNCH Panorama

The moment you walk through the front doors of the Saint Louis Art Museum, the majesty of the grand hall fills you with awe. That feeling carries through no matter where you wander throughout the hallowed institution — across the way to the Beckmanns and Monets, upstairs to the Egyptian collection and into the contemporary East Building, where you can’t help but stand in gobsmacked witness to the genius of Kehinde Wiley. Should you happen to be hit with pangs of hunger while visiting this civic treasure on a weekend morning or afternoon, you’ll find in the museum’s full-service restaurant, Panorama (One Fine Arts Drive, 314-655-5490), thoughtful cuisine as inspired as the setting. Led by


At Southwest Diner, the heat is on. | JENNIFER SILVERBERG veteran St. Louis chef Ivy Magruder, Panorama offers exactly the kind of brunch you’d want on a day of museum-going: sophisticated, creative and well executed. Apricot and almond-coated brie, eggs benedict with Champagneinfused hollandaise, and fenneland-saffron-steamed mussels and clams embody the elegance of the space. And there’s no discounting the room itself: a contemporary, lofted area, brightened with light that filters through the floor-to-ceiling windows that look out over the St. Louis statue as it stands watch over the Grand Basin. It will remind you that beauty is not only to be found inside the museum’s four walls. —Cheryl Baehr

BEST ROOFTOP BRUNCH Vin de Set

When it comes to harbingers of spring, Sunday brunch at Vin de Set (2017 Chouteau Avenue, 314241-8989) is right up there with the return of Cardinals baseball. It’s not that you can’t dine here during the winter — the Frenchinfluenced food, after all, can be rib-stickingly good, and space under the heated awning is a big draw during cool weather. But there’s something extra about open-air dining high above the city on a warm April day, something that makes the brunch here greater than the sum of its parts. Maybe it’s the view; maybe it’s the complimentary mimosa. Either

way, the $26.99 brunch buffet, which includes a prime-rib carving station, is one of those simple luxuries that heralds good times coming again. —Sarah Fenske

BEST FARM-TO-TABLE BRUNCH Seed Sprout Spoon

For an organic brunch made in a sustainable way, head to Seed Sprout Spoon (3137 Morganford Road, 314-606-0165). This tiny eatery on the Morganford strip focuses on locally sourced and farm-totable foods. The restaurant was born out of Local Harvest Catering and still serves events off-site. But why wait for a special occasion when you can visit Seed Sprout Spoon’s brick-and-mortar location each Sunday for brunch? The menu is small but well-rounded, offering everything from breakfast burritos to slingers, all made from local ingredients. The meat comes from the famous Todd Geisert Farm in Washington, Missouri, but it’s not all about carnivores; a vegan selection is part of each week’s menu. If you’re not looking for something heavy like the fresh buttermilk waffle or the biscuits and gravy, Seed Sprout Spoon has lighter options, including a quinoa-and-blueberry salad and a vegetarian tofu scramble. There’s also a bloody mary and mimosa bar so you can make sure your brunch boozing is just right. —Jaime Lees

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Sunday Brunch Dinner Buffet

3212 SOUTH GRAND BLVD | BRASILIASTL.COM | 314-932-1034

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CALENDAR

BY PAUL FRISWOLD

THURSDAY 01/24 Money Trouble Playwright Aaron Posner reimagines Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice for an American audience with his drama District Merchants. Set in Restoration-era Washington, D.C., it tells the story of Antoine, a wealthy black merchant, and Shylock, a successful Jewish moneylender. Antoine’s friend Benjamin Bassanio wants to woo an heiress, but he’s blown through his own inheritance. He asks Antoine for a loan, but Antoine is cash-poor at the moment. Perhaps a loan may be agreed upon with Shylock. Shylock, who knows Antoine is an anti-Semite, grudgingly agrees on the condition that if Antoine forfeits, Shylock gets a pound of his flesh. Posner delves into racism, religious strife and the strained relationship between minority groups in America, as well as legal inequality and predatory lending. New Jewish Theatre presents District Merchants at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, 8 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday (January 24 to February 10) at the Wool Studio Theatre in the Jewish Community Center (2 Millstone Campus Drive; www.newjewish-

theatre.org). Tickets are $42 to $45.

FRIDAY 01/25 To Pass, or Not to Pass The Hamlet we know from Elsinore — dour, broody and downright uncertain — wasn’t always that way. Back in his glory days at the University of Wittenberg, Hamlet was a dedicated student focused on his studies and working steadily toward graduation. Yet in the fall of 1517 he returns to the university after spending his summer studying astronomy, armed with the knowledge of something that’s shaken him to his core. He’s not alone in his unease. Hamlet’s priest, Martin Luther, is finding it increasingly difficult to downplay what he sees as the failings of his fellow churchmen. Only Hamlet’s mentor, good old John Faustus, is happy now that he’s decided to marry his beloved Helen. David Davalos throws together some of the great troublemakers of fiction and reality in his comic play Wittenberg, which also incorporates witty repartee, duels on the tennis court and a sixteenth-century hit parade. Upstream Theater per-

forms Wittenberg at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 7 p.m. Sunday (January 25 to February 9) and 2 p.m. Sunday, February 10, at the Kranzberg Arts Center (501 North Grand Boulevard; www. upstreamtheater.org). Tickets are $25 to $35.

SATURDAY 01/26 Local Goods Local choreographers are the inspiration for Big Muddy Dance Company’s new show, Home Grown. The celebration of local talent features new works by Kirven and Antonio Douthit-Boyd, Sam Gaitsch and Keith Williams, with Big Muddy artistic director Brian Enos’ crowd-pleasing Jetstream thrown in for good measure. Home Grown is performed at 8 p.m. Saturday, January 26, at the Grandel Theatre (3610 Grandel Square; www.thebigmuddydanceco.org). Tickets are $25 to $35.

People Behaving Badly

The cast of Wittenberg. | PRO PHOTOSTL.COM

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Jackie’s back, baby. Returning home after a stretch in jail for drug dealing, Jackie just wants to stay out of trouble and see his girlfriend Veronica. She’s still using, and even worse, Jackie spots a hat in her apartment that isn’t his

— can she be double-timing him? Falling back into bad habits, Jackie gets a gun and goes to talk to his parole counselor Ralph, looking for moral support. Ralph, who has his own relationship problems, urges Jackie to get rid of his gun. You can’t live with ’em, but you can’t shoot ’em either, right? Stephen Adly Guirgis’ seriocomedy The Motherf*cker with the Hat is rife with morally questionable characters all advising one another how to be a better person. But can anyone in this soiled world actually be good? R-S Theatrics opens its new season with The Motherf*cker with the Hat. Performances are at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 7 p.m. Sunday (January 25 to February 10) at The .Zack (3224 Locust Street; www.r-stheatrics.org). Tickets are $18 to $20.

SUNDAY 0/127 A Legendary Party Urban Chestnut’s annual Wolpertinger party is a celebration of St. Louis’ craft-brewing community and the city’s German heritage. The Wolpertinger is a legendary animal spotted in the forests of Bavaria; it has a rabbit’s body, wings, fangs, antlers and — at Urban Chestnut, at least — lederhosen. Wolpi the Wolpertinger is the party’s mascot, and he shows up when the kegs are tapped. This year’s party fea-


One One of of these these people people isis aa murderer. murderer. || JOEY JOEY RUMPELL RUMPELL Bierhall (4465 Manchester Avenue; www.urbanchestnut.com). Tickets are $40 and include a commemorative glass and unlimited beer samples.

TUESDAY 01/29 Wonder of Wonders

Wolpi the Wolpertinger is ready to party. | JON GITCHOFF tures malty and full-bodied bock beers brewed by more than 40 local breweries, as well as food and music from Larry Hallar and the St. Boogie Brass Band. If you’re so inclined, you can make your own Wolpertinger costume and compete for Urban Chestnut prizes and beer in the Wolpi costume contest. It all takes place from 1 to 5 p.m. at Urban Chestnut’s Grove Brewery &

The Joseph Stein, Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick musical Fiddler on the Roof celebrates love in the shadow of violence, life in a time of strife, and joy in the face of uncertainty and hard times. The world it depicts — a village of Cossacks and Jews in early twentiethcentury Russia — is long gone, but violence, strife and hard times remain, and so the show’s message still resonates. Jewish milkman Tevye tries to hold his family together while a pogrom brews and the world he knows falls apart. Fiddler is a beloved classic, but even the classics may need sprucing up now and again. The current Broadway touring version, reinvigorated by choreographer Hofesh Shechter, has garnered much praise for its freshness and sparkle. The sun rises and the sun sets, but the dance of life continues. The Broadway tour stops in St. Louis for a run at the Fox Theatre (527 North Grand Boulevard; www.fabulousfox.com). Perfor-

mances are Tuesday through Sunday (January 29 to February 10), and tickets are $29 to $104.

WEDNESDAY 01/30 Well, Someone Did It The fun part of any mystery is in the solving of it. Putting all the pieces together so that the big picture emerges and the unknowns become known satisfies our human curiosity. Katy Keating and Michael Cassidy Flynn’s new play

Classic Mystery Game is a parody of the 1985 film Clue, which was itself inspired by the board game of the same name. The basic elements of the film (and the game) are intact. A group of stock characters — a military man, a dowager, an ingenue — are gathered in an old house while an investigator attempts to solve a murder committed by one of them. Classic Mystery Game opens Slightly Askew Theatre Ensemble’s thirteenth season. Performances are at 8 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday (January 30 to February 16) at the Chapel (6238 Alexander Drive; www.slightlyoff. org). Tickets are $15 to $20. n

The New Jewish Theatre presents District Merchants. | PETER WOOLSEY

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JANUARY 23 - 29, 2019

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FILM

25

[REVIEW]

Dance of the Cuckoos Stan & Ollie captures the elusive chemistry of the legendary comedy duo Written by

ROBERT HUNT Stan & Ollie Directed by Jon S. Baird. Written by Jeff Pope. Starring John C. Reilly, Steve Coogan, Shirley Henderson and Nina Arianda. Opens Friday, January 25, at the Landmark Plaza Frontenac Cinema.

S

tan Laurel and Oliver Hardy hold an unusual place in the pantheon of great movie clowns. They never had the ambitions of Chaplin or Keaton; they made many good films, but there’s nothing on the scale of The Gold Rush, The General or even The Bank Dick in their filmography. One could even argue that their comic style is essentially one of passivity: They don’t hang from buildings or leap across balconies, and performing a simple two-step is about as acrobatic as they get. And while they’re among the very few performers who crossed the barrier from silent films to talkies without even a hiccup — miraculously, their voices matched their images perfectly — they’re neither purely visual or verbal. For the most part, they simply react, innocent babes in a world that never stops startling them. Yet somehow their simplicity is endearing. Audiences love them unconditionally simply for being who they are. Stan & Ollie, written by Jeff Pope and directed by Jon S. Baird, is an unmistakably affectionate look at the comic legends in their later years, a warm portrait that shows the real men behind the on-screen images, while suggesting that the two aren’t that easy to separate. Set in 1953, at the twilight of their careers, the film follows the pair through a tour of British music halls as they wait for financing for

Together, Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy (Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly) were greater than the sum of their parts. | NICK WALL, COURTESY OF SONY PICTURES CLASSICS a new film. Challenged by an indifferent promoter and the eventual appearance of their protective, competitive spouses, they’re haunted by a sense of decline, with Hardy (John C. Reilly) trying to ignore his failing health and Laurel (Steve Coogan) frustrated by the sense that they never reached their creative potential. The historical details are reasonably accurate by movie standards, but Stan & Ollie is not a Hollywood biography. Its aim is not to tell the story of their lives but to explore their legacy. Details of their film career are handily summarized in a brief prologue set at the Hal Roach studio, which manages to establish their partnership and financial history but primarily serves as a way for Coogan and Reilly to recreate the irresistibly silly “At the Ball, That’s All” dance routine from Way Out West. It’s a brief moment, but enough to establish the film’s real subject: the elusive, irresistible Laurel and Hardy chemistry. Imitating Laurel and Hardy isn’t particularly difficult — you can wink innocently like Stan or

Stan & Ollie offers a sense of wonder, an artful analysis of the odd mixture of grace and outrage and comic nonsense that made the pair so unique. ruffle your tie with blustery outrage like Ollie — but Stan & Ollie, and Coogan & Reilly, goes further. Yes, both actors look and sound as much like their models as you could expect, Reilly heavily madeup to match Hardy’s rotundity and Coogan soft-pedaling his usual self-assuredness to capture Laurel’s ethereal, angelic naivety. But this isn’t simple mimicry. It looks past the comic mannerisms to show two very real men who are

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acutely aware of their on-screen doppelgangers. Pope’s script neatly inserts elements of the duo’s comedy into the real world, as if the two aging men were being shadowed by their own pasts. A simple exit from a railroad station echoes one of their greatest shorts, “The Music Box,” while another scene shows Laurel in an office waiting room, unable to resist performing simple gags in front of a receptionist who seems more alarmed than amused. For anyone with even a casual notion of film history, there are no narrative surprises in Stan & Ollie. What Baird’s movie offers instead is a sense of wonder, an artful analysis of the odd mixture of grace and outrage and comic nonsense that made the pair so unique. Coogan and Reilly capture the charm, the quick wit and even the occasional sense of discomfort that make their comedy so appealing. Beyond mere compatibility, they’re inseparable, tied together (as the author of Waiting for Godot understood so well) whether they like it or not; two clowns looking for a straight man. n

JANUARY 23 - 29, 2019

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CAFE

31

[REVIEW]

Perfectly Frank At Mike’s Hot Dogs, a former Cardwell’s chef dazzles in a counter-service setting Written by

CHERYL BAEHR Mike’s Hot Dogs 7293 Olive Boulevard, University City; 314-776-9225. Mon.-Sat. 11 a.m.-8 p.m. (Closed Sundays.)

M

ike Eagan has been in fine dining since he was a sixteen-year-old dishwasher at Charlie Gitto’s. He went on to Bon Appetit Catering and eventually the esteemed kitchen at Cardwell’s in Clayton, where he served as executive chef for ten years, creating dishes made for china plates and white tablecloths. Yet if you ask Eagan what kind of cuisine really gets him going, his answer might surprise you. “Hot dogs,” Eagan says without hesitation. “I have hot dogs in my blood.” Though Eagan made his career in upscale kitchens, he found his culinary passion in, of all places, Home Depot, thanks to the steel hot-dog carts inside its front vestibules. There, Eagan spent his days searing up sausages and garnishing them to order for hungry hardware shoppers, helping Catherine Carroll run her slew of CC’s-branded carts around town before eventually setting up his own stand, Double E Dogs, inside the Sunset Hills store. Since his Double E days, Eagan has gotten back into the more formal side of the restaurant business. In addition to his tenure at Cardwell’s, he owned his own restaurant, the since-shuttered Park West Grille, and helped open Kirkwood Brewhouse, where he was executive chef until he decided again to branch out on his own. That happened this past August, when Eagan opened Mike’s Hot Dogs, a humble fast-casual

You can pair specialty dogs like the “Volcano,” top left, with a house salad and Mike’s superior Texas-style chili. | MABEL SUEN restaurant on the corner of Midland and Olive in University City. Inspired by his love of hot dogs, Eagan decided to embrace all that is possible with fast food, bringing a chef’s sensibility to it — and having a good time in the process. At Mike’s Hot Dogs, Eagan evokes a 1950s nostalgic vibe without turning the space into a caricature. Red-painted cinder-block walls are adorned with black-and-white vintage photographs of various silverscreen stars, such as James Dean and Marilyn Monroe. The room is simply appointed with black painted tables and chairs and a single red-and-black leather half-booth. The order counter is around the back, making it the first thing you see when you enter from the restaurant’s side parking lot. In the rear of the building, there is an overflow dining room that Eagan hopes to convert to a bar as soon as soon as the restaurant gets its liquor license. You can tell Eagan is ready for that final piece to fall into place by the way he cranks up the restaurant’s sound system, filling the room with a blues-heavy soundtrack that gives the otherwise sparsely appointed space its character. B.B. King may be wailing away through the speakers, but if he

were eating Eagan’s food, he’d be singing a sunny little ditty. How could anyone be down when noshing on such whimsical offerings as the “St. Louis” dog, a messy, overthe-top homage to the Gateway City? A large Angus beef dog is smothered in molten Provel, bacon pieces and caramelized onions. By itself that might be too rich, but Eagen mitigates the fat with halved grape tomatoes, sport peppers and a dash of celery salt. It’s a delightful mess, yet the way he balances the flavors makes you understand the thought behind them. He’s not just trying to be extreme. The “Volcano,” another wild concoction, features the same beef dog, though this time it is split down the center and charred on the outside, giving it a more robust, meaty taste. It could be a heat bomb of a dish, with layer upon layer of spicy toppings including jalapeños, hot sauce, peppered bacon, sport peppers and jalapeño aioli. However, Eagan adds seared pineapple, and as it blends with the dog’s fat, the fruit’s sweet juice mitigates the heat. You might also think that putting cream cheese on a hot dog would make it overwhelmingly rich, but that addition proves the highlight on the “California.” Fresh toma-

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toes, avocado and cucumber slices adorn the frank, offering a contrasting refreshment to the cheese and meat’s richness. The result is a surprisingly bright — dare I say light? — offering that proved my favorite of all the specialty dogs. Eagan is clearly having fun with the wacky condiment combinations, but by no means is he using the accoutrements to make up for a lack of quality. The hot dogs, made locally by Ferguson’s El Ray Cooked Meats, are just as good when they are allowed to shine with only minimal adornment. The simple preparation of the “New Yorker” — just sauerkraut, caramelized onions and spicy mustard — shows the beauty of a classically dressed dog. The punch of the fermented cabbage, the sweetness of the onions and the vinegary pop of mustard are like a beautiful symphony that enhances, rather than covers up, the delectable hot dog. Though the name might lead you to believe otherwise, Mike’s Hot Dogs is much more than a sausage shop. Eagan’s outstanding burgers are plumper versions of griddlestyle patties, but they still get that beautiful crispness around the edge. I opted for a double (you can even get a triple) with the works

JANUARY 23 - 29, 2019

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MIKE’S HOT DOGS Continued from pg 31

and was treated to a beautiful, juice-and-condiment-drippingdown-your-wrists mess of a burger, the ooze coming from greasy patties, gooey American cheese and caramelized onions that taste like they’ve been simmered in gravy. The fried cod, too, is a magnificent sandwich. Unlike all too many fried fish sandwiches, this is coated in thick breading, not beer battered, giving it a delicate, flaky texture. In place of tartar sauce, Eagan dresses his version in jalapeño aioli for just a snap of heat, then adds shredded lettuce and tomatoes. Mingled with the aioli, the vegetables act like a spicy coleslaw. Eagan’s Texas-style chili has become one of his signature dishes over the years; once you’ve tasted it you realize why. The beefy concoction, made with minimal beans, is so thick you could eat it with a fork. There’s a hint of traditional chili spices, but the main flavor component, aside from pure beef-and-tomato richness, is a subtle sweetness redolent of molasses, maple sugar or even

Mike’s triple Angus burger is a highly worthwhile mess of a burger. | MABEL SUEN cola. It’s satisfying on its own, but he also serves it as a topping for magnificent, beef-filled tamales, also made by El Ray Cooked Meats. It’s a glorious riff on chili and cornbread. A few of the offerings were not as successful. The restaurant’s Cuban was not bad per se; in fact, the mix of smoky pulled pork and ham, dressed with cheese, pickles, mustard and barbecue sauce, was a tasty smokehouse sandwich.

However, if you are expecting a traditional Cuban, you might be shocked by how far from tradition it deviates. I was also unimpressed with the club sandwich. I do not like hot club sandwiches in general, and this one reinforced my opinion. Thick slices of turkey and ham are piled onto grilled sourdough bread, along with bacon, Provel, jalapeño aioli and shredded lettuce. Hot lettuce is rarely a good thing outside of Jack in the

Box tacos, and overall, the result here is a soggy, sliding mess. The flavors work, but the presentation is a problem. These misses were more than made up for by Eagan’s best offering: the grilled steak sandwich. Hunks of tender meat and melted Provel mingle with a mix of caramelized onions and mushrooms; the mélange of cooking juices tastes like hearty gravy. All of this soaks into the sandwich’s butter bun, infusing every bite with deep, beefy flavor that tastes like a cross between a pot-roast sandwich and a Philly cheesesteak. That sandwich may be served in a paper-lined red plastic basket from a counter-service hot-dog shop, but the flavors are as rich and developed as what you’d find at an upscale restaurant. And therein lies Eagan’s genius. He didn’t have to leave fine dining behind to live his passion; he simply had to apply his skill to a different format. And now hot dogs aren’t just in his blood. Thanks to Mike’s Hot Dogs, they’re in our hearts.

Mike’s Hot Dogs “New Yorker” hot dog ................................ $6 Double Angus burger with cheese ....... $7.75 Grilled steak sandwich .............................. $9

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Bobby’s Place is named after Bobby Plager, a former St. Louis Blues defenseman and cultural icon of the 70’s. Bobby’s Place is located in Valley Park and on Hampton Ave., and both locations offer their respective neighborhoods are a place where our patrons can feel at home. Bobby’s Place is known for their wide variety of flavors of Chicken Wings, their fresh meat Hamburgers and Chicken Sandwiches, and their not too thin Pizzas that come out on a rectangular metal tray. A wide assortment of freshly made appetizers, sandwiches, salads and pastas can be enjoyed while watching any of your favorite sports on the many flat screen TVs throughout the Bar & Grill. Beer you say? Well we have 16 local and regional tap handles of your favorites and countless bottles and cans to wet your whistle. Bobby’s Place is known for a $6.99 daily lunch special and a wide variety of drink specials. There is always something going on at Bobby’s Place, whether that something is Trivia Night, Beer Pong, DJ Music, or live bands. A full bar with signature drinks and shots will compliment a good night out with friends at Bobby’s Place.

As one of the premier vegetarian restaurants in the St. Louis area, Frida’s has earned accolades for serving hearty meals that are as tasty as they are nourishing. Owners Natasha Kwan-Roloff (also the executive chef) and Rick Roloff elevate vegetarian cuisine by marrying high-quality, local ingredients with innovative flavors. All items are made from scratch, have no butter or sugar and use little to no oil – but with the flavors and creativity at Frida’s, you won’t miss anything. The University City restaurant’s newest hit is the Impossible Burger – a massive plant-based patty that has the texture and juiciness of meat and often fools carnivores. Frida’s award-winning signature namesake burger is no slouch, either, with its tahini-chipotle slaw topping and local bun. The menu also boasts decadent favorites like tacos, wraps, pizzas and desserts, and a new Sunday brunch that just launched in April. Beer and wine are available, and many of Frida’s menu items can be modified for vegan or gluten-free diners.

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The fast-fresh, made-to-order concept has been applied to everything from pizza to pasta in St. Louis, but the sushi burrito surprisingly had no Gateway City home until BLK MKT Eats opened near Saint Louis University last fall. It was worth the wait, though, because BLK MKT Eats combines bold flavors and convenience into a perfectly wrapped package that’s ideal for those in a rush. Cousins and co-owners Kati Fahrney and Ron Turigliatto offer a casual menu full of high-quality, all-natural ingredients that fit NOT right YOUR AVERAGE SUSHI SPOT everything you love about sushi and burritos in your hand. The Swedish Fish layers Scandinavian 9 SOUTH VANDEVENTER DINE-IN, OR DELIVERY MON-SAT 11AM-9PM cured salmon, yuzu dill slaw, Persian cucumbers and avocado for aTAKEOUT fresh flavor explosion. Another favorite, the OG Fire, features your choice of spicy tuna or salmon alongside tempura crunch, masago, shallots, jalapeño and piquant namesake sauce; Persian cucumbers and avocado soothe your tongue from the sauce’s kick. All burrito rolls come with sticky rice wrapped in nori or can be made into poké bowls, and all items can be modified for vegetarians.

Housed in a retro service station, J. Smugs GastroPit serves up barbecue that can fuel anyone’s fire. Married teams of Joe and Kerri Smugala and John and Linda Smugala have brought charred goodness to the Hill neighborhood, nestled among the traditional Italian restaurants, sandwich shops and bakeries. Part of St. Louis’ ongoing barbecue boom, the J. Smugs’ pit menu is compact but done right. Ribs are the main attraction, made with a spicy dry rub and smoked to perfection. Pulled pork, brisket, turkey and chicken are also in the pit holding up well on their own, but squeeze bottles of six tasty sauces of varying style are nearby for extra punch. Delicious standard sides and salads are available, but plan on ordering an appetizer or two J. Smugs gives this course a twist with street corn and pulled-pork poutine. Several desserts are available, including cannoli – a tasty nod to the neighborhood. Happy hour from 4 to 7pm on weekdays showcases half-dollar BBQ tastes, discount drinks, and $6 craft beer flights to soothe any beer aficionado.

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Carnivore fills a nearly 4,000-square-foot space on The Hill with a dining area, bar lounge, and adjoining outdoor patio gracefully guarded by a bronze steer at the main entrance. Always embracing change, Joe and Kerri Smugala, with business partners Chef Mike and Casie Lutker, launched Carnivore STL this summer. As the Hill’s only steakhouse, Carnivore offers a homestyle menu at budget-friendly prices appealing to the neighborhood’s many families. Steak, of course, takes center stage with juicy filet mignon, top sirloin, strip steak and ribeye leading the menu. Customize any of the succulent meats with sautéed mushrooms, grilled shrimp, or melted housemade butters, such as garlic-and-herb and red wine reduction, on top of the flame-seared steak. Other main dishes include a thick-cut pork steak (smoked at J. Smugs) and the grilled chicken with capers and a white wine-lemon-butter sauce. St. Louis Italian traditions get their due in the Baked Ravioli, smothered in provel cheese and house ragu, and in the Arancini, risotto balls stuffed with provel and swimming in a pool of meat sauce. With an exciting new brunch menu debuting for Saturday and Sunday, Carnivore should be everyone’s new taste of the Hill.

There aren’t many businesses named after Adam Sandler movies, but at the Blue Duck, the food is as whimsical as its “Billy Madison” reference. Originally founded in Washington, Mo., owners Chris and Karmen Rayburn opened the Blue Duck’s Maplewood outpost in 2017, bringing with them a seasonal menu full of American comfort-food dishes that are elevated with a dash of panache. Start the meal with the savory fried pork belly, which is rubbed with coffee and served with a sweet bbq sauce and root vegetable slaw. For the main event, the Duck’s signature DLT sandwich substitutes succulent smoked duck breast instead of the traditional bacon, adding fried egg and honey chipotle mayo along with lettuce and tomato on toasted sourdough. Save room for dessert; the Blue Duck’s St. Louberry pie – strawberries and blueberries topped with a gooey buttercake-like surface – is a worthy tribute to the Gateway City.

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SHORT ORDERS

37

Previously an educator, Dan Tripp has built several businesses on the winning combination of beer, coffee and pizza. | JEN WEST

[SIDE DISH]

Dan Tripp Is a Brewer on a Mission Written by

CHERYL BAEHR

D

an Tripp spent his entire career dreaming of being a school administrator, earning his Ph.D in education and finally landing his dream job as an assistant principal. There was just one problem: He wasn’t happy. “I thought it was my dream job. My goal had always been to be a principal, but I didn’t like it,” Tripp says. “It wasn’t my passion.” Now that he is living his passion — brewing beer for a living as cofounder of Good News Brewing

(330 Sondoren Street, O’Fallon; 636-294-6593) — Tripp understands that his path had been right in front of him all along. A longtime lover of craft beer, Tripp began brewing on his own when he returned to Missouri from the East Coast after college. At the time, options outside of the major beer brands were limited. After he told his wife he’d like to learn how to brew, she bought him a Mr. Beer home brewing kit as a gift. It did not go so well. “It was a total failure,” Tripp laughs. “But a few years later, I heard there was a home-brewing store that would give you all the ingredients and teach you, so I decided to get back into it. I began researching like mad, reading books, watching videos and becoming obsessed with wanting to make good beer.” Tripp envisioned himself retiring one day and opening a microbrewery. However, that timeline accelerated when he met Matt Fair. Fair, who was also a home brewer, came to the weekly Bible study Tripp hosted in his home, and the

pair began talking about beer. Tripp showed Fair his brewing equipment, and from that moment on, the two developed a friendship and brewing partnership. “I always thought it would be neat to do church in a place that is not a traditional church — a way to connect with people,” Tripp explains. “It’s not about inviting people to church, but about community and connection. I asked myself, ‘How do you use your talents and skills to build that?’” Tripp and Fair expanded their home-brewing operation, building a one-barrel brewing system in Fair’s basement. The pair would throw monthly brewing and pizza parties, inviting their friends to come over, hang out and see what was brewing. Eventually, they began selling their beer on tap at a local home-brewing store. When that business sold, they decided to take matters into their own hands. Tripp, Fair and head brewer Josh Miller opened Good News Brewing in the summer of 2017. They chose O’Fallon not just because it is their neighborhood,

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but because they saw a void of local, mom-and-pop operations in an otherwise booming area. They wanted to keep things simple, offering beer and wood-fired pizza, but as they grew in popularity, they realized they would have to grow in capacity. That expansion began this past fall, when the trio opened Alpha & Omega coffeeshop and roastery, also in O’Fallon. They are also in the process of opening a much larger space in Defiance, right on the Katy Trail, which will serve as the home base of their brewing operation, as well as a small restaurant, event space and community gathering hub. Now living his passion, Tripp hasn’t looked back on his former life. But he’s still teaching high school students, leading a course on entrepreneurship at the St. Charles Center for Advanced Professional Studies. “My job is to teach high school kids about opening their own business, and I get to use my entrepreneur experience, which is really fun,” Tripp says. “Besides, I’m pretty sure I am their

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DAN TRIPP

Continued from pg 37

only teacher who brews beer for a living. They get a kick out of that.” Tripp took a break from brewing to share his thoughts on the St. Louis-area restaurant community, the importance of supporting small businesses, and why nothing is off limits in his brewery. What is one thing people don’t know about you that you wish they did? We started Good News Brewing and Alpha & Omega to share the Good News! What daily ritual is non-negotiable for you? Is drinking coffee and beer a ritual? If so, that is it. If you could have any superpower, what would it be? Remembering everyone I meet. What is the most positive trend in food or drink that you’ve noticed in St. Louis over the past year? More owner-operated establishments are opening. What is one thing missing or that you’d like to see in the St. Louis food-and-beverage scene? Our beer scene has really taken off, but I would love to see a better coffee scene. People think Starbucks and gas-station coffee is the standard. People used to also think Bud Light was the standard for beer. We have come a long way, but still have so far to go. Who is your St. Louis food or drink crush? Katie’s Pizza & Pasta. I stalk them on Facebook all the time. Which ingredient is most representative of your personality? Yeast. Always growing and trying to expand. If someone asked you to describe the current state of St. Louis’ foodand-beverage climate, what would you say? We are making great improvements, but there is still so much brand loyalty with big-box companies. Name an ingredient never allowed in your brewery. I think we would allow anything to try it out. What is your after-work hangout? My wife and I like to go to El Tio Pepe Mexican Restaurant in O’Fallon for date night. We love the Cadillac margarita. What’s your edible or quaffable guilty pleasure? Double IPA. What would be your last meal on earth? Beer and pizza, of course. n

At 808 Maison, escargot deviate from the classic preparation, with fennel and chorizo in addition to butter. | SPENCER PERNIKOFF

[FIRST LOOK]

808 Maison Brings Soulard Back to Its Roots Written by

ELLEN PRINZI

S

oulard is one of the oldest French settlements in the city, so it’s only fitting that the neighborhood’s newest restaurant is serving up traditional French fare. 808 Maison (808 Geyer Avenue, 314-594-4505) is a new concept from the owners of Mollys in Soulard. The historic neighborhood has long been a destination for its bar scene and legendary Mardi Gras, but since Franco closed its doors in 2016, it’s been without many highend dining options. That’s where owners Luke Reynolds and John Rogers saw an opening. The restaurant space, which is next door to Mollys, had been vacant for the last twelve years. The Mollys team owned it, but didn’t

quite know what to do with it. The answer proved to be right inside it. “It had its own spare kitchen, so a restaurant seemed like a logical choice,” says executive chef Jon Dreja. Dreja, formerly of Franco and Vin de Set, was already the chef at Mollys. His experience with French cuisine, and the desire to create something that paid tribute to the roots of the area, made him the perfect person to helm the new concept. The menu offers classic French dishes, even while pushing boundaries and experimenting beyond tradition. “So many restaurants want to play it safe with French cuisine,” says Drega. “We have created a menu that’s a mix of traditional and cutting edge.” The escargot, for example, come in butter sauce, as expected, but are given an unexpected twist with chorizo and caramelized fennel. The menu is broken up into small plates, fruits de mer, soups and salads, and entrees. From the Fruit de Mer section, expect a mix of both East and West Coast oysters flown in fresh daily. The rest of the raw bar can be ordered a la carte, including a scallop tartare and a trout caviar. Entrees include the usual suspects like cassoulet and mussels, but all come with untraditional twists. For example, the steak comes not only with frites, but also a smoked

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bone-marrow bearnaise and bacon-braised Brussels sprouts. The wine list is extensive, offering between 70 and 80 bottles. Many of the wines can be purchased by the glass to aid in exploration. There is a good French selection, as well as wines from California and Washington state. Becky Ward, previously of Cleveland-Heath, serves as bar manager, and in her words, “The bar program is still coming together — we didn’t want to rush anything.” The restaurant hopes to have its cocktail menu printed in the coming weeks, but look for standouts like a Calvados negroni, made with the eponymous fruit brandy instead of gin. The elevated menu pairs nicely with the sleek interior’s exposed brick, velvet chairs, bold floral wallpaper (not your grandma’s kind), and a beautiful mahogany bar that is the focal point of the restaurant. The atmosphere still remains somewhat casual — after all, this is Soulard — but the overall vibe is more conducive to date night than late-night boozing. 808 is here to bring the neighborhood back to its French roots. Like Soulard itself, 808 Maison is a mix of traditional and modern — it’s ornate but understated, conventional yet outside the box, a romantic spot connected to a bar, and the perfect amount of je ne sais quoi. n

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The owners behind Polite Society’s classic dishes will open a spot at City Foundry. | MABEL SUEN

[FOOD NEWS]

Food Hall at City Foundry Inks Lineup Written by

SARAH FENSKE

T

he food hall at the City Foundry project is taking shape — and has signed an all-star team. Among the luminaries announced by the Midtown development project for its STL Food Hall are Samantha Mitchell, formerly the chef of the Libertine and acclaimed for her food truck Farmtruk, and Brian Schmitz and Jonathan Schoen, who own Lafayette Square’s Polite Society. The food hall will be modeled on New York City’s Chelsea Market and other multi-eatery spaces. Within it, Mitchell will open a new concept called Crop Circle, bringing Farmtruk’s vibe to a brickand-mortar location with “hyper local country fair” foods like brisket mac and cheese, hot fried chicken and “a catfish plate featuring many down-home sides,” according to a press release from City Foundry. And Schoen and Schmitz will open Good Day, offering options that include “an authentic crêpe or delicious breakfast sandwich.” Other vendors in the 30,000-squarefoot food hall include: • Hello Poke, with build-your-own bowls, sushi burritos and more from native St. Louisan Amy Guo and her husband Daniel Jensen • Lost & Found: A Burger and Pizza Joint, from Michael Friedman, previously of Retreat Gastropub. “The 1,300 square foot

space will specialize in hand-tossed pizzas, burgers, freshly-cut fries, and substantial side items,” the release notes. • Juice Box Central, also from Friedman, will be “a delightful drink station offering fresh-pressed juices, boozy juice, smoothies, and seasonal specialty beverages.” • Mokyu Mokyu, from Laura Leister, James Lettau and Ameet Rawal of Pieces: The St. Louis Board Game Bar & Café, will be “St. Louis’s first eatery to offer Taiyaki, a fusion of Japanese cuisine and Korean ingenuity.” • Press Waffle Co., in which owners Bryan Lewis and Caleb Lewis will serve “Liege-style, made-to-order waffles.” Inspired by the ones the owners sampled in Belgium, they’ll be “reimagined in both sweet and savory styles for St. Louis palates.” • Sumax: Hummus & Wraps, which comes from Jason and Maria Sparks, owners of the Grove mainstay Layla. Their eatery will give “a taste of the Middle East,” with a variety of hummus, wraps and “power bowls.” • UKraft, from Matt Ratz and Mike Ratz, will serve macrobiotic breakfast bowls and sandwiches, paninis, soups and “whole wheat salad pockets.” “We shared our vision with top local chefs, who responded by developing concepts that are unique to our development and the region,” Steve Smith, principal owner of City Foundry STL and CEO of Lawrence Group, said in a press release. “There is no other dining experience in St. Louis like the one to be had at City Foundry STL.” The development, a reuse of Midtown’s ten-acre Century Electric Foundry complex, is currently under construction near IKEA. Other tenants include Punch Bowl Social and Alamo Drafthouse. n

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MUSIC & CULTURE

[ G U I TA R S ]

The Science of Six Strings A sprawling new exhibit focused on the evolution of the guitar comes to the Science Center Written by

DANIEL HILL

T

he world’s largest playable guitar, measuring 43 feet by 16 feet and weighing in at more than a ton, was crafted in the mid-2000s at a science academy in Houston. Certified by the Guinness Book of World Records, the behemoth six-string currently sits in a room at the St. Louis Science Center. Naturally, it’s a Flying V. “It sounds more like a UFO crash-landing,” HP Newquist says as he smacks the oversized instrument’s heavy strings, producing a racket that does indeed sound otherworldly. “But it’s still in the Guinness Book of Records — it was actually featured again last year in the actual published book. “People will come and they will want to play it, but they will probably end up sitting on it, walking on it and taking selfies on it,” he adds with a laugh. “We’ve had kids doing tightrope walking on here.” Newquist, the New York Citybased executive director of the National Guitar Museum, knows a thing or two about guitars. For years in the ’90s he served as editor in chief for Guitar Magazine; he’s also written several books on the subject, including Legends of Rock Guitar, Acoustic Masters and Metal Masters, just to name a few. But it’s a traveling guitar exhibit titled Guitar: The Instrument That Rocked the World, which opened last week at the Science Center, that has brought him to St. Louis. The public display sprawls across 7,000 square feet of the building, including more than 80 guitars with varying levels of cultural and historic significance as well as more than twenty interactive displays. “We currently have two exhibits

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HP Newquist, executive director of the National Guitar Museum, sits atop the world’s largest playable guitar. | DANIEL HILL on the road,” Newquist says. “The other one is an art-museum exhibit. Between the two exhibits it’s about two thirds of our collection; the other third is in a Connecticut warehouse. And we have no permanent home yet, because every time we plan on moving into a permanent home all the exhibits get booked again.” It’s a good problem to have, he reasons. Being in demand has brought the collection to 24 different states. It’s been deployed to look at guitars from every perspective, from the history behind them to the science that goes into creating them and enabling them to make sounds to the pop-culture effect that they’ve had on society for more than 500 years. The exhibit traces the history of the instrument from its oldest ancestors, such as the nyatiti and the tanbur, to the advances of present day. “What we talk a lot about in this exhibit is the science of sound,” Newquist explains. “People will experience different decibel levels, they’ll be able to hear how things relate from a decibel standpoint, they can see soundwaves captured in a tube, they can cre-

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This eight-headed beast of a guitar includes a mandolin, a bass, a twelve-string, and a ukelele, among others. | DANIEL HILL ate their own tones using a frequency wheel and tubes. The science of sound behind the guitar is really what drives this particular exhibit.” It’s also driven, of course, by a whole slew of really damn cool guitars, including Steve Vai’s first JEM, Joe Bonamassa’s ElectraGlide, a Lucille from B.B. King and a signed Tony Iommi signature

SG. But Newquist is quick to point out that those guitars owned by famous musicians are not, to his mind, the exhibit’s main draw. “For us it’s more important to show that, here’s a Stratocaster. Here’s why Eric Clapton, Jimmy Hendrix, Jeff Beck, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Buddy Guy — why those guys played this guitar,” he says. “It’s not really about the players


and the names — it’s about why the instrument is so important, in and of itself. Its design, the way the pickups were created, the shape, who created the shape.” To that end, the evolution of the instrument is a key part of the show. Newquist points to a Fabricatorie six-string from 1806. The Naples, Italy-based Fabricatorie family was the first to conceive of the guitar as a dedicated sixstring instrument; beforehand, guitars ranged anywhere from six to sixteen strings. The family noticed that more people were playing six-string guitars than any of the others, and made it their standard. The one on display is one of only seventeen left in the world. Another interesting piece is the Rickenbacker Frying Pan, created to play Hawaiian music, which was the most popular music in America in the 1930s. George Beachum, an American bandleader and guitar player who tired of being drowned out by the rest of his band, mounted magnets to the guitar, which ran to radio speakers, amplifying its sound. Since then, Newquist explains, every guitar manufacturer has tried to make their guitar the loudest. That brings us closer to the modern era of the guitar as a dominant feature of rock & roll. The exhibit features a Fender Telecaster, the first mass-produced Spanish-style guitar — one that is slung across the chest rather than held on the player’s lap — which debuted in 1949. Its introduction led directly to the creation of country and rock & roll music, Newquist says. He notes as an interesting aside that its creator and namesake, Leo Fender, never learned how to play the guitar — or even tune it. “More guitars in the world have his name on it than any other person,” he says. “Didn’t know how to play.” Newquist, meanwhile, has played for more than three decades. He says the roots of the National Guitar Museum, and by extension this exhibit, trace back to 2008, when a friend came to his house and marveled at the sheer number of guitars within, remarking that his home was akin to a guitar museum. That got Newquist thinking: Is there a guitar museum out there somewhere?

“There are several barbedwire museums. There are several ventriloquist-dummy museums. There are teacup museums. But there were no museums dedicated to the guitar,” he says. “So I got together with some partners and we said, ‘Let’s start a museum.’ Ten years later, here we are.” There are some who say guitarbased music is going by the wayside in recent years, replaced by an ever-increasing number of synthesizers and studio effects and computer programs like Ableton Live. Newquist takes issue with that characterization. He points out that in the days of disco, the guitar was also deemed dead. “Certainly electronic and hiphop and trip-hop and all that stuff is very popular,” he concedes. “But if you look at the music of the people who are charting, outside of hip-hop, you know, Taylor Swift plays. Taylor Swift was endorsing Gibson. Ed Sheeran. Any number of ‘band’ bands — Imagine Dragons, all those guys. Look at the popularity of Queen once again, with Bohemian Rhapsody. A lot of the history of the guitar is cyclical. “You’ll read that sales of electric guitars have declined over the years,” he continues. “What you don’t read is that sales of acoustic guitars have actually increased. And so, overall, people are still buying as many guitars as they’ve always bought. In America, every year 3 million guitars are sold — 3 million! That’s more than all other instruments combined.” Newquist hopes that Guitar: The Instrument That Rocked the World will help bring attention to the history and dramatic cultural significance of the guitar. And, of course, this being the Science Center, he wants people to get a scientific education on the subject as well. “I’m very happy if somebody walks out of here learning one thing,” he says. “If they learn a ton of things, great, but if they walk out and go, ‘Wow, that’s something I never knew before,’ then we have done a good job.” Guitar: The Instrument That Rocked the World will run through April 14 on the first floor of the St. Louis Science Center (5050 Oakland Avenue, 314-289-4400). Tickets are free for kids under four and $10.95 for adults. For tickets and more information, visit slsc.org.

Though a new app, Higgins has made money producing videos of her character Carla for customers including Tommy Hilfiger. | NATHAN PARKER

[COMEDY]

McScuse Me! HBD From Carla Written by

THOMAS CRONE

S

ocial media has long been jarring, but you might have been unsettled lately by something new. There you are, minding your own business and spacing out on Facebook, only to see a friend getting a video birthday greeting from The Wire’s Michael K. Williams, in full Omar mode. What the what? Chances are, you’re seeing the product of Cameo, a new site/app that allows fans a chance to buy (for themselves or others) a personalized greeting from a celebrity. The idea is both so profound and so easy to execute that the site

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has become flooded with names that are both household-familiar and hyper-specific. You can get a birthday or anniversary greeting from the first actor to be killed off on Game of Thrones (Bronson Webb, for $20), a famed philosopher-swimmer (Ryan Lochte, at the recently reduced price of $100) or the singer of your favorite ’80s metal band (Vince Neil of Motley Crue, for a healthy $300). Or, if you prefer, you can get McScused by the internet’s favorite uber-white-trash character Carla, the brainchild of St. Louis comedian Libbie Higgins. The most populated subsection of Cameo talent is in the category of YouTube stars. That shouldn’t be a surprise, considering that these are folks familiar with building a personal brand through social media. And in that stewpot of names is Higgins. Working with her alter-ego Carla, Higgins has become a quick and avid provider of content at Cameo, with Carla as the hook and some unexpected names — including fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger — counted as customers.

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LIBBIE HIGGINS Continued from pg 43

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Carla, Higgins explains, began as a character on Vine. “Vines were six-second videos so I created her to be a quick, one-liner character,” she says. “She was my most popular character on the app by far. After Vine died, I continued developing the character and making videos that were longer.” Then, in 2016, came Carla’s star turn: “Woman Rages Over Extra McRib.” That video has since amassed nearly 7 million views on YouTube. And it gave Carla the online fame to make her a great fit for Cameo. In many respects, Carla is perfect for the service: She’s a bawdy, shittalking, rough-around-the-edges type with a few patented catch phrases, such as her calling card, “McScuse Me?” Typically, a customer will provide a few sentences of what they’d like Higgins to say, and then she’ll improv a funny shout-out to close the video. She currently charges $15 per video; Cameo gets 25 percent of that. The whole process takes place within the app. Everything from performance to payment is fully digital. “I will get a notification through the app that says I have been booked,” Higgins says. “I get paid directly to my bank account, usually two to three days after I’ve completed the cameo. Everything is done on my phone and I upload the video through the app. Cameo then emails it to the customer. I never have any contact with the customer.” That said, there have already been moments when real life and app life mix. One, hilariously, involves the previously mentioned world-famous designer. With the app’s sense of partial anonymity, a Cameo she produced recently came into focus through several steps — including disbelief. “The name of the person I was to address in the shout-out was ‘Tommy Hilfiger,’” Higgins explains. “I recorded the video and made a few wisecracks, like, ‘Are you the Tommy Hilfiger that made jean jackets and stuff?’ I thought someone was just being silly.” A week or so later, Higgins was tagged on Instagram by Dee Ocleppo, Tommy Hilfiger’s wife. Ocleppo posted a portion of the cameo and thanked Higgins for making it for her husband’s birthday. “I laughed for several hours,” Higgins says. “So many celebrities commented on it, and that’s hilari-

ous and ridiculous.” Higgins says Cameo has been a great way to make extra income, on her own time. Even though Carla is a character that Higgins could do at a moment’s notice, she prefers to sit down and do several Cameos at once. “It’s easier for me to just do a big batch of them at a time,” Higgins says. “Sometimes I am not in the mood to do the accent and wear the wig.” On the best of days, Higgins is a humble, self-deprecating performer and writer. She’s now in that period of her career where she’s making videos for fans across the country one day and telling jokes or doing improv in front of a hometown audience of only a dozen the next. All told, it’s a fascinating place to be. But Higgins keeps one eye on what she’s going to do next. “I’m working on a one-woman show that I can travel with, so part of the show will be me doing my regular standup, and the other half will be Carla doing ridiculous things,” she says. “Dancing, singing, crowd work, food reviews.” She’s also started podcasting. Along with co-host Tina Dybal and recording engineer Randy Cash, Higgins has launched the podcast Slop City, a rambunctious show that’s funny and very much not safe for work. Typically, Dybal and Higgins riff on one topic, which quickly becomes ten, with occasional contributions from Cash. According to Dybal, the podcast was born of the two knowing each other for years, having cut their teeth in improv classes. “We wanted to keep it organic and just kind of see what happens without a format,” Dybal says. “I’m excited to see what it grows into, because I think we’re still figuring out what Slop City even is. It’s been a blast so far and has been really well received.” Dybal believes strongly that Higgins’ style presents a promising career for the comedian. “Standup, video, acting, improv, sketch, movies, TV. I think Libbie’s future lies in all of the above,” Dybal says. “She’s a jack of all trades, and she is hands down one of the funniest people I know. She creates such hysterical content that everybody can relate to. She does all of this while staying true to herself and what’s funny to her. Through that she has a really dedicated fanbase that can’t wait to see what she does next.” And for the low, low price of $15, you can create that next Higgins moment — with content delivered right to your pocket. n


Husband-and-wife duo Ben and Kim Hanvy have collaborated with musicians across the world for their Turbo Widget project. | VIA THE BAND

[HOMESPUN]

Singles Only Turbo Widget eschews the traditional album release for a song-per-month approach Written by

CHRISTIAN SCHAEFFER

A

s self-described “artsy weirdos,” Ben and Kim Hanvy take their happiness where they can — painting, hosting jam sessions, making goofy green-screen videos in their garage. “We’re constantly trying to do something that will bring other people joy,” Ben says. But in their group Turbo Widget, the traditional arc of musicmaking never seemed to fit. Ben tried a few novel approaches a couple years ago: He bought a drum kit despite not knowing how to play, just to make it easier for drummers to tap along with his guitar and Kim’s bass. He offered his recording services for free to bands on Craigslist, just to get the experience of engineering under his belt.

And while those experiences helped shape the sound of Turbo Widget, which leans toward modern rock with elements of bluesinspired classic rock, the pair soon abandoned the usual trappings of a many-membered band. “I struggled for a long time to get to know local musicians and get them to come over and record with us,” Ben, a New Orleans native, recalls. “In St. Louis it’s not hard to get someone to come over and jam, but it is hard to get someone to learn a part and commit that creative energy.” That struggle forced the couple inward, and the Hanvys decided to keep the band small at its core. “We wanted it to be as small and as performable as possible — we wanted to be able to do everything by ourselves,” says Ben. That led to the release of the group’s 2016 debut EP, First Light. The Hanvys say they got positive feedback from people within their circle but had trouble taking it to a larger audience. “We chased that for a little while after we released the EP,” Ben says of booking local gigs. “We really tried to book gigs for a little over a year — they were smattered here and there.” So rather than commit to another cycle of writing, recording, releasing and supporting a new al-

bum, the Hanvys are using 2019 to try a new approach. Turbo Widget is planning on releasing an original song (with an accompanying video) each month, alongside a sprinkling of cover songs and other surprises. The set kicked off in the middle of January with “Maria,” a flamenco-kissed border ballad with enough desert-noir to ensnare fans of Calexico and the Cactus Blossoms. “I’ve always enjoyed that Spanish feel,” Ben says of the track. “As far as style goes, we let the song dictate where it’s gonna go. We kind of have to do what seems to fit the song the best.” The Hanvys’ approach to the project’s first release — both in song and in video — speaks to their modern DIY methodology. The acoustic guitar part on “Maria” was played by a friend of the band years ago, with lyrics and overdubs added recently. The accompanying video, with close-ups of models and art-directed sets, is taken from copyright-free creative commons, giving a high production value to the shot. For upcoming tracks, Turbo Widget dove deeper into the web for collaborators. Rather than rely on band members or local players, the band has turned to the online freelancer hub Fiverr to

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recruit musicians. “If I want an upright bass or cello, I can do it all online,” Ben says. “Honestly, I’ve found some pretty darn amazing musicians. I have a kid somewhere in Scandinavia playing guitar on an upcoming song, and a piano player in Pakistan.” For her part, Kim is as excited about the visual element of the band, and has embraced its move to YouTube as a primary medium. “What I would love to see happen is continuing to make the music where there’s an audience for the music,” she says of the streaming site. “Anyone can go on YouTube and check out your music anytime you want, and that’s where my focus is. “I think I get a little more insight into the artist and the music in that medium.” Turbo Widget’s monthly release cycle is ambitious, but Ben sees it as more rewarding than the traditional release schedule most bands follow. “A lot of it stems from seeing other bands and how they release music. It’s more of a singles game now,” he says. “We like the idea of an LP, but you can only reveal that once. You drop twelve songs and people say, ‘What’s next?’ The idea is to continually create content that we can provide.” n

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OUT EVERY NIGHT

[CRITIC’S PICK]

Dawes. | MAGDALENA WOSINSKA

Dawes 8 p.m. Friday, January 25. The Pageant, 6161 Delmar Boulevard. $35. 314-726-6161. Contemplating the music of Dawes, celebrated rock critic Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “We live amid surfaces, and the true art of life is to skate well on them.” OK, he was actually contemplating the navel of the universe, but his words sum up the supremely transcendental superficiality of Taylor Goldsmith’s lyrics, which ring eerily true like Hallmark cards written by a Zen poet, elevated by music that’s as much like Steely Dan with zero jazz as it is the

THURSDAY 24

C.J. BOYD: w/ Mother Bear, Oxherding 9 p.m., $5. Foam Coffee & Beer, 3359 Jefferson Ave., St. Louis, 314-772-2100. CODY KO & NOEL MILLER: 8 p.m., $25-$80. Blueberry Hill - The Duck Room, 6504 Delmar Blvd., University City, 314-727-4444. JEREMIAH JOHNSON ACOUSTIC DUO: 4 p.m., free. Hammerstone’s, 2028 S. 9th St., St. Louis, 314-773-5565. JOHN MONDIN ACOUSTIC TRIO: 7 p.m., $15. Joe’s Cafe, 6014 Kingsbury Ave, St. Louis. KINGDOM BROTHERS: 8 p.m., free. Hammerstone’s, 2028 S. 9th St., St. Louis, 314-773-5565. MARTY STUART & THE FABULOUS SUPERLATIVES: 8 p.m., $35-$179. Off Broadway, 3509 Lemp Ave., St. Louis, 314-498-6989.

FRIDAY 25

BIG MIKE: 8 p.m., free. Rhone Rum Bar, 2107 Chouteau Ave, St. Louis, 314-241-7867. CARRIE NEWCOMER AND OVER THE RHINE: 8 p.m., $30-$40. The Sheldon, 3648 Washington Blvd., St. Louis, 314-533-9900. COVEN: NIGHTMARE AFTER X-MAS: w/ DJ Ashes 8 p.m., $5. Red Fish Blue Fish, 7 Hawks Nest Plaza, St Charles, 636-947-4747.

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band’s hero Jackson Browne. Last year’s Passwords is Dawes’ prettiest and wisest album, setting aside recent electronic affectations for keyboards and strings that shimmer and evanesce like memories of a time when the surfaces of this life weren’t cracked beyond repair. The music of Dawes still has a graceful, restorative power. In Case Your Us Magazine Subscription Ran Out: In November of last year, Goldsmith married effective altruist and Ryan-Adams-relationship survivor Mandy Moore. Their romance inspired more than a few songs on Dawes’ latest album. —Roy Kasten DAWES: 8 p.m., $35. The Pageant, 6161 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis, 314-726-6161. EMO NITE: 8 p.m., $10. The Ready Room, 4195 Manchester Ave, St. Louis, 314-833-3929. ERIC CHURCH: 8 p.m., $36-$126. Enterprise Center, 1401 Clark Ave., St. Louis, 314-241-1888. JOEL FERBER: w/ Thayne Bradford, Dave Brack 9:30 p.m., free. The Frisco Barroom, 8110 Big Bend Blvd., Webster Groves, 314-455-1090. LAMONT & THE HADLEY BAND: 7 p.m., $10-$20. National Blues Museum, 615 Washington Ave., St. Louis. LOOSE LOOSE: w/ The Saturday Brothers, The Bad Hats 7:30 p.m., $8-$10. Fubar, 3108 Locust St, St. Louis, 314-289-9050. NINA BEE: w/ 101 Da Exclusive 8 p.m., $10. The Firebird, 2706 Olive St., St. Louis, 314-535-0353. OLD CAPITOL ALBUM RELEASE PARTY: w/ Old Souls Revival, The Hague, Elliott Pearson & the Passing Lane 9 p.m., $10-$12. Old Rock House, 1200 S. 7th St., St. Louis, 314-588-0505. PATRICK SWEANY: w/ Greyhounds 8 p.m., $15. Off Broadway, 3509 Lemp Ave., St. Louis, 314-498-6989. RAYLAND BAXTER: 8 p.m., $15. Delmar Hall, 6133 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis, 314-726-6161.

Continued on pg 47


MARDI GRAS SAT MAR 2

[CRITIC’S PICK]

The Auset Music Project’s Brad and Auset Sarno. | VIRGINIA HAROLD

The Auset Music Project 8 p.m. Saturday, January 26. Focal Point, 2720 Sutton Boulevard. $12. 314-328-4810. It’s been quite a while since Auset Sarno has released music under her own name, but she performs her dreamy and incisive folk songs regularly enough around town. For her annual birthday show at the Focal Point, she and her regular trio (Stephen Nowels on upright bass and her husband Brad Sarno on guitar and pedal steel) will welcome a bevy of local musicians to the

OUT EVERY NIGHT Continued from pg 46

RELEASE THE HOUNDS: A BENEFIT FOR STRAY RESCUE ST. LOUIS: w/ the Lion’s Daughter as Motorhead, Slow Damage as Black Flag, The Gorge as Botch, Path of Might as Neurosis, Valley as Black Sabbath 8 p.m., $10. The Ready Room, 4195 Manchester Ave, St. Louis, 314-833-3929. ROLAND JOHNSON & SOUL ENDEAVOR: 8 p.m., $3. Hammerstone’s, 2028 S. 9th St., St. Louis, 314-773-5565. THE TRIBUTE BAND: 9 p.m., free. 1860 Saloon, Game Room & Hardshell Cafe, 1860 S. Ninth St., St. Louis, 314-231-1860. THE VINCENT SCANDAL: w/ Dear Genre, Sunset Over Houma, Lacie Williams and Devon Cahill 8:30 p.m., $7. The Heavy Anchor, 5226 Gravois Ave., St. Louis, 314-352-5226. THE WANDA MOUNTAIN BOYS: 7 p.m., $10. Jacoby Arts Center, 627 E. Broadway, Alton, 618-462-5222. WILLI CARLISLE: 8 p.m., $15-$20. The Focal Point, 2720 Sutton Blvd, St. Louis, 314-560-2778.

SATURDAY 26

ALLMAN ANTHOLOGY: A TRIBUTE TO THE ALLMAN BROTHERS: 8 p.m., $20-$25. Delmar Hall, 6133 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis, 314-726-6161. AUSET MUSIC PROJECT: w/ BAJA 8 p.m., $12-$15.

stage. John Wendland and Andy Ploof, the songwriters at the helm of both Rough Shop and the Wilhelms, will perform with the Sarnos as half of their collaborative BAJA project, and drummer Joey Dresslaer, keyboardist Jon Parsons and bassist Tony Estrada will also be on hand. Expect an evening of warm harmonies, wizened songwriting and palpable bonhomie. Let Them Eat: Since the show doubles as Auset’s birthday party, she has promised cake for all attendees. —Christian Schaeffer

The Focal Point, 2720 Sutton Blvd, St. Louis, 314-560-2778. BRETT ARNOLD AND DINGUS: 11 p.m., free. Mangia Italiano, 3145 S. Grand Blvd., St. Louis, 314-664-8585. DAN WHITAKER & THE SHINEBENDERS: w/ Ryan Koenig, Dock Ellis Band 8 p.m., $10. Foam Coffee & Beer, 3359 Jefferson Ave., St. Louis, 314-772-2100. ERIC CHURCH: 8 p.m., $36-$126. Enterprise Center, 1401 Clark Ave., St. Louis, 314-241-1888. THE GASLIGHT SQUARES: 9:30 p.m., free. The Frisco Barroom, 8110 Big Bend Blvd., Webster Groves, 314-455-1090. THE GRATEFUL BALL: w/ The Travelin’ McCourys, Jeff Austin Band 9 p.m., $25-$30. Old Rock House, 1200 S. 7th St., St. Louis, 314-588-0505. JACOB VI: w/ Matt F. Basler, Wax Fruit 9 p.m., $7. The Heavy Anchor, 5226 Gravois Ave., St. Louis, 314-352-5226. KIND COUNTRY: w/ Vince Herman 8 p.m., $12-$15. The Bootleg, 4140 Manchester Ave., St. Louis, 314-775-0775. MIKE MATTHEWS PROJECT: 9 p.m., free. Nightshift Bar & Grill, 3979 Mexico Road, St. Peters, 636-441-8300. RABBIT EAR MOVEMENT PLAYS R.E.M.: 5 p.m., free. Schlafly Bottleworks, 7260 Southwest Ave, Maplewood, 314-241-2337. REVOLUTION AND THE KING OF ROCK & ROLL: 6 p.m., $15. Casa Loma Ballroom, 3354 Iowa Ave, St. Louis, 314-282-2258.

DUKE’S LEGENDARY

FREE STREET PARTY & TENT

LIKE & FOLLOW FOR INFO & UPDATES @DUKESINSOULARD

Continued on pg 48

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OUT EVERY NIGHT Continued from pg 47 ROCK THE SPECTRUM BENEFIT CONCERT: w/ Al Holliday and The East Side Rhythm Band, Cree Rider, Bottoms Up Blues Gang, School of Rock 8 p.m., $20. Off Broadway, 3509 Lemp Ave., St. Louis, 314-498-6989. RYAN KOENIG: w/ Dan Whitaker Shinebenders, Dock Ellis Band 8 p.m., $10. Foam Coffee & Beer, 3359 Jefferson Ave., St. Louis, 314-7722100. SCANDALEROS: 8 p.m., free. Rhone Rum Bar, 2107 Chouteau Ave, St. Louis, 314-241-7867. SOUTHSIDE BLOOZY BOYS: 8 p.m., $5. Hwy 61 Roadhouse and Kitchen, 34 S Old Orchard Ave, Webster Groves, 314-968-0061. TRIBUTE NIGHT: w/ We’re a Happy Family (Ramones Tribute), Sour Grapes (Descendants Tribute), You Can’t Dance to Pain (Jawbreaker Tribute), Alien Boys (Wipers Tribute) 8 p.m., $8. Fubar, 3108 Locust St, St. Louis, 314-289-9050. TRIPPIE REDD: 8 p.m., $45-$99. Pop’s Nightclub, 401 Monsanto Ave., East St. Louis, 618-274-6720. TURNPIKE TROUBADOURS: w/ Jonathan Tyler & the Northern Lights 9 p.m., $22.50-$25. The Pageant, 6161 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis, 314-726-6161.

wednesday january 23 9:45 pm Urban Chestnut Presents

the voodoo players

tribute to the allman brothers thursday january 24 10 pm

the return of aaron kamm & the one drops friday january 25 10 pm

jeremiah johnson band saturday january 26 10 pm

SUNDAY 27

kim massie

AHNA: 3 p.m., free. Rhone Rum Bar, 2107 Chouteau Ave, St. Louis, 314-241-7867. ERIC JOHNSON: w/ Tommy Taylor and Kyle Brock 7 p.m., $40. The Pageant, 6161 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis, 314-726-6161. FRY BROWN BAND: 7:30 p.m., free. 1860 Saloon,

wednesday january 30 9:45 pm Urban Chestnut Presents

the 5th anniversary of the voodoo players at bob presenting their tribute to

jimmy buffett

[WEEKEND]

BEST BETS

Five sure-fire shows to close out the week

FRIDAY, JANUARY 25 The Vincent Scandal w/ Dear Genre, Sunset Over Houma, Lacie Williams, Devon Cahill 8:30 p.m. The Heavy Anchor, 5226 Gravois Avenue. $7. 314-352-5226.

The Vincent Scandal wouldn’t feel out of place in the background of a noir filmed in black and white — it’s a classy affair that stays subtly dark. The brainchild of musician Hugh Vincent, the band makes songs are self-aware with a sharp sense of humor. A bluesy swing carries the pop-sensible riffs to peaks of thematic rock while basking in the breakdowns that follow each momentous build. With the promise of a new EP on deck, the Vincent Scandal enters 2019 with a show alongside the indie-leaning Sunset Over Houma, the slacker pop of Dear Genre and a onetwo punch from St. Louis’ own Lacie Williams and Devon Cahill.

Release the Hounds: A Benefit for Stray Rescue St. Louis w/ the Lion’s Daughter and many more 8 p.m. The Ready Room, 4195 Manchester Avenue. $10. 314-833-3929

The Lion’s Daughter has made a habit

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Game Room & Hardshell Cafe, 1860 S. Ninth St., St. Louis, 314-231-1860. LADY J HUSTON’S ALBERT KING TRIBUTE: 7 p.m., $10-$20. National Blues Museum, 615 Washington Ave., St. Louis. NALANI & SARINA: w/ K.G. Robert’s Band, Roses!Hands!, Taylor James 6 p.m., $10-$13. Fubar, 3108 Locust St, St. Louis, 314-289-9050. ON THE CINDER: w/ Antithought, Bastard Squad 8 p.m., $8-$10. Fubar, 3108 Locust St, St. Louis, 314-289-9050. RANDI & STEVIE’S OPEN MIC: 9 p.m., free. Foam Coffee & Beer, 3359 Jefferson Ave., St. Louis, 314-772-2100. RIVER CITY OPRY: 1 p.m., $5. Off Broadway, 3509 Lemp Ave., St. Louis, 314-498-6989. WINTER JAM 2019: w/ Newsboys United 6 p.m., $15. Enterprise Center, 1401 Clark Ave., St. Louis, 314-241-1888. WINTER JAM TOUR SPECTACULAR 2019: 6 p.m., $15. Enterprise Center, 1401 Clark Ave., St. Louis, 314-241-1888. XIOMARA MASS: w/ Peter Henderson 7 p.m., free. The 560 Music Center, 560 Trinity Ave., University City, 314-421-3600.

MONDAY 28

GHOST ATLAS: w/ Landon Tewers 7 p.m., $13-$15. Fubar, 3108 Locust St, St. Louis, 314-289-9050. JESSE MCCARTNEY: 8 p.m., $30-$149. The Pageant, 6161 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis, 314-726-6161. THE NATIVE HOWL: 7:30 p.m., $12-$15. Fubar, 3108 Locust St, St. Louis, 314-289-9050. STILL WOOZY: 8 p.m., $12-$15. Off Broadway, 3509 Lemp Ave., St. Louis, 314-498-6989.

TUESDAY 29 of booking big benefit shows for Stray Rescue in recent years. This latest iteration follows the time-honored tradition of bands covering other bands. St. Louis has a special affinity for concerts like these, what with An Under Cover Weekend, Halloween punk cover shows and the litany of throwback gigs around the holidays. This night brings together local heavy-hitters for a night of tributes with the Lion’s Daughter as Motorhead, Slow Damage as Black Flag, the Gorge as Botch, Path of Might as Neurosis, Valley as Black Sabbath and a local super group covering Poison the Well. The Facebook event declares that “dogs > people,” and while that’s hard to argue, this show gives us humans a chance to prove our worth.

SATURDAY, JANUARY 26 Jacob Vi’s Birthday Show w/ Matt F Basler, Wax Fruit 9 p.m. The Heavy Anchor, 5226 Gravois Avenue. Free. 314-352-5226.

In some ways St. Louis is less of a city and more of a small town that’s been blown out of proportion. There’s a tightknit nature to the community, making for moments where the stars align and attendees are treated to amazing shows that cost less than a cup of coffee. Maybe a birthday party for musician Jacob Vi, who’s been in and out of local bands for over a decade, is such an event. If anything, Matt F Basler’s video calling the concert a conspiracy while Continued on pg 51


ST. LOUIS’

[CRITIC’S PICK]

BEST SPORTS BAR

Trippie Redd. | MATT KEANE

Trippie Redd 8 p.m. Saturday, January 26. Pop’s Nightclub, 401 Monsanto Avenue, Sauget, Illinois. $45 to $99. 618-274-6720. Trippie Redd has seen his star rise dramatically in recent months. The Canton, Ohio-born alt-rocker-turned-emo-rapper just released his debut LP in August, citing everyone from Jay Z and Beyoncé to Kiss and Nirvana as influences, and has since already risen to the top of the facetattooed Soundcloud rap pack. Now, the nineteen-year-old counts Kanye West,

THE AMITY AFFLICTION: w/ Senses Fail, Bad Omens, Belmont 7 p.m., $25-$30. Delmar Hall, 6133 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis, 314-726-6161. BLACK & WHITE BAND: 8 p.m., $5. BB’s Jazz, Blues & Soups, 700 S. Broadway, St. Louis, 314-436-5222. CHAMBER MUSIC SOCIETY OF ST. LOUIS: 7:30 p.m., $38. The Sheldon, 3648 Washington Blvd., St. Louis, 314-533-9900.

WEDNESDAY 30

CRUCIAL ROOTZ & NONSTOP REGGAE: 9 p.m., $10. Club Viva!, 408 N. Euclid Ave., St. Louis, 314-361-0322. THE DEVIL MAKES THREE: 8 p.m., $22.50-$25. The Pageant, 6161 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis, 314-726-6161. SORRY PLEASE CONTINUE: 8 p.m., $5. The Heavy Anchor, 5226 Gravois Ave., St. Louis, 314-352-5226.

THIS JUST IN 3 RING CIRCUS: Sat., Feb. 2, 9 p.m., free. Nightshift Bar & Grill, 3979 Mexico Road, St. Peters, 636-441-8300. AFTER MIDNIGHT: Sat., Feb. 16, 9 p.m., free. Nightshift Bar & Grill, 3979 Mexico Road, St. Peters, 636-441-8300. ALL THAT REMAINS: W/ Attila, Escape The Fate, Sleep Signals, Fri., March 15, 6:30 p.m., $27.50$30. Delmar Hall, 6133 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis, 314-726-6161. ANNE RHODES: W/ Drew Gowran, JoAnn McNeil, Thu., Feb. 21, 10:30 p.m., $7. Foam Coffee & Beer, 3359 Jefferson Ave., St. Louis, 314-772-2100. THE AVETT BROTHERS: Fri., July 12, 8 p.m., $50-

BEST BAR FOOD

Drake, Young Thug, Lil Wayne and Travis Scott among his fans, with his single “Dark Knight Dummo” going on to be certified platinum. Credit that success to his masterful handling of the woozy, syrupy flow and huge trap beats that lead the rap genre at this particular moment in time. Take Two: This show is a makeup date for an appearance that was scheduled for this past December but later postponed. Tickets from the original date will be honored for this one. —Daniel Hill

$85. Sat., July 13, 8 p.m., $50-$85. The Fox Theatre, 527 N. Grand Blvd., St. Louis, 314-534-1111. THE BAKER FAMILY: Sun., Feb. 17, 7 p.m., $15$20. The Focal Point, 2720 Sutton Blvd, St. Louis, 314-560-2778. BANJO ON MY KNEE: THE IMPACT OF THE BANJO ON EARLY AMERICAN MUSIC: Wed., March 13, 6 p.m., free. National Blues Museum, 615 Washington Ave., St. Louis. BEPPE GAMBETTA: Fri., Feb. 1, 8 p.m., $15-$20. The Focal Point, 2720 Sutton Blvd, St. Louis, 314-560-2778. BIB: W/ Q, Headbutt, Thu., Feb. 7, 9 p.m., $7. Foam Coffee & Beer, 3359 Jefferson Ave., St. Louis, 314-772-2100. BOB BOVEE: Fri., Feb. 22, 8 p.m., $15-$20. The Focal Point, 2720 Sutton Blvd, St. Louis, 314-560-2778. THE BOUNCING SOULS: W/ The Bronx, Swingin’ Utters, The Bar Stool Preachers, $25-$30. Delmar Hall, 6133 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis, 314-726-6161. THE BRIANNA BROWN BAND: Sat., Feb. 23, 8 p.m., $12-$15. The Focal Point, 2720 Sutton Blvd, St. Louis, 314-560-2778. THE CATAPULTS: Fri., Feb. 1, 9 p.m., free. 1860 Saloon, Game Room & Hardshell Cafe, 1860 S. Ninth St., St. Louis, 314-231-1860. THE CHIMPS: Fri., Feb. 15, 8 p.m., $12-$15. The Focal Point, 2720 Sutton Blvd, St. Louis, 314-560-2778. CHIN UP, KID: W/ Offended By Everything, As We Are, The Cinema Story, Positive Punk with Wes Hoffman, Sat., March 16, 7 p.m., $10-$12. The Firebird, 2706 Olive St., St. Louis, 314-535-0353. THE CONFORMISTS: W/ Healthy Realism, Apathist,

BEST HAPPY HOUR

duke’s in the heart of soulard

2001 Menard (Corner of Menard & Allen)

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Sat., Feb. 2, 9 p.m., $7. Foam Coffee & Beer, 3359 Jefferson Ave., St. Louis, 314-772-2100. CROWN LARKS: W/ Jane Wave, Kleb, Ronnie Rogers, Fri., March 1, 9 p.m., $7. Foam Coffee & Beer, 3359 Jefferson Ave., St. Louis, 314-772-2100. CRUCIAL ROOTZ & NONSTOP REGGAE: Wed., Jan. 30, 9 p.m., $10. Club Viva!, 408 N. Euclid Ave., St. Louis, 314-361-0322. DAMIEN ESCOBAR: Tue., May 7, 8 p.m., $54.50$84.50. The Ready Room, 4195 Manchester Ave, St. Louis, 314-833-3929. DAVE MATTHEWS BAND: Wed., May 15, 8 p.m., $45.50-$115. Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre, I-70 & Earth City Expwy., Maryland Heights, 314-298-9944. DEATH CAB FOR CUTIE: W/ Lala Lala, Mon., July 8, 8 p.m., $35-$99. Stifel Theatre, 1400 Market St, St. Louis, 314-499-7600. DELTA SLEEP: W/ Gleemer, Bogues, Sun., April 7, 7 p.m., TBA. Fubar, 3108 Locust St, St. Louis, 314-289-9050. DESIRE LINES: W/ Nalani Proctor, Andrés Gazca, Sat., Feb. 9, 8 p.m., $5-$10. Foam Coffee & Beer, 3359 Jefferson Ave., St. Louis, 314-772-2100. DIAMOND RIO: Sat., May 18, 8 p.m., $28-$58. River City Casino & Hotel, 777 River City Casino Blvd., St. Louis, 314-388-7777. DIMESACK: W/ Crush Crusher, Mala Leche, Dentist, Ace of Spit, Fri., March 15, 9 p.m., $7$10. Foam Coffee & Beer, 3359 Jefferson Ave., St. Louis, 314-772-2100. DRAGON FALCON: W/ Inches from Glory, AZN, Matt Ingram, Tue., Feb. 26, 8 p.m., $7. Foam Coffee & Beer, 3359 Jefferson Ave., St. Louis, 314-772-2100. ELECTRIC HOT TUNA: W/ Rob Ickes & Trey Hensley, Wed., Sept. 4, 8 p.m., $50-$65. The Sheldon, 3648 Washington Blvd., St. Louis, 314-533-9900. EOTO: W/ Filibusta, Quasar Camp, Sat., April 20, 11 p.m., $20-$25. Old Rock House, 1200 S. 7th St., St. Louis, 314-588-0505. ERIC MCSPADDEN: Fri., March 22, 7 p.m., $10. National Blues Museum, 615 Washington Ave., St. Louis. FARSEEK: W/ Complainer, Sun., Feb. 24, 8:30 p.m., $5. Foam Coffee & Beer, 3359 Jefferson Ave., St. Louis, 314-772-2100. FIREBIRD 10 YEAR ANNIVERSARY PARTY: W/ Boomtown United, Motherfather, Kilverez, Seashine, Voidgazer, Sat., Feb. 9, 8 p.m., $10. The Firebird, 2706 Olive St., St. Louis, 314-535-0353. FOALS: Wed., April 24, 8 p.m., $38.50-$43.50. The Pageant, 6161 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis, 314-726-6161. THE FOOTLIGHT DISTRICT: W/ The Phones, Beau Diamond, the Mindframes, Fri., Feb. 15, 8 p.m., $5. Foam Coffee & Beer, 3359 Jefferson Ave., St. Louis, 314-772-2100. FRY BROWN BAND: Sun., Jan. 27, 7:30 p.m., free. 1860 Saloon, Game Room & Hardshell Cafe, 1860 S. Ninth St., St. Louis, 314-231-1860. GENE DOBBS BRADFORD BLUES EXPERIENCE: Sun., March 10, 4 p.m., $10. National Blues Museum, 615 Washington Ave., St. Louis. GOALTENDER: W/ Eat Sleep Catapult, Fri., Feb. 8, 7 p.m., $10-$12. The Firebird, 2706 Olive St., St. Louis, 314-535-0353. GRIZ: Thu., May 16, 8 p.m., $39.50-$45. The Pageant, 6161 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis, 314-726-6161. HARMONICA: BIG SOUND IN A SMALL PACKAGE: Tue., March 5, noon, free. National Blues Museum, 615 Washington Ave., St. Louis. KAPOW!: Sat., Feb. 9, 9 p.m., free. Nightshift Bar & Grill, 3979 Mexico Road, St. Peters, 636-441-8300. KINGDOM BROTHERS: Fri., March 15, 7 p.m., $10. National Blues Museum, 615 Washington Ave., St. Louis. KNOCKED LOOSE: Wed., May 8, 6:30 p.m., TBA. Fubar, 3108 Locust St, St. Louis, 314-289-9050. LEIKELI47: Wed., March 20, 8 p.m., $20. Fubar, 3108 Locust St, St. Louis, 314-289-9050. LITTLE DYLAN: Fri., Feb. 22, 7 p.m., $10. National Blues Museum, 615 Washington Ave., St. Louis. LOKEY: Fri., Feb. 22, 9 p.m., free. Nightshift Bar & Grill, 3979 Mexico Road, St. Peters, 636-441-8300. LUKE BRYAN: W/ Cole Swindell, Jon Langston, DJ Rock, Sat., Aug. 17, 7 p.m., TBA. Hollywood

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JANUARY 23 - 29, 2019

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Casino Amphitheatre, I-70 & Earth City Expwy., Maryland Heights, 314-298-9944. THE MAINE: W/ Grayscale, Tue., May 28, 8 p.m., $25-$28. Delmar Hall, 6133 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis, 314-726-6161. MANIC FOCUS: W/ Russ Liquid, Fri., April 19, 11 p.m., $17-$20. Old Rock House, 1200 S. 7th St., St. Louis, 314-588-0505. MARDI GRAS PARTY: Sun., March 3, 2 p.m., free. National Blues Museum, 615 Washington Ave., St. Louis. MAREN MORRIS: W/ RaeLynn, Thu., May 9, 8 p.m., $40-$50. The Pageant, 6161 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis, 314-726-6161. ME LIKE BEES: W/ TREY, Wed., Feb. 20, 8 p.m., $7. Foam Coffee & Beer, 3359 Jefferson Ave., St. Louis, 314-772-2100. MIKE AND THE MOONPIES: Thu., March 7, 8 p.m., $10. Off Broadway, 3509 Lemp Ave., St. Louis, 314-498-6989. MISS JUBILEE: Fri., Feb. 22, 4 p.m., $10. National Blues Museum, 615 Washington Ave., St. Louis. MOUND BUILDERS: W/ Lightning Wolf, Bassamp & Dano, Fight Back Mountain, Sat., March 9, 9 p.m., $7. Foam Coffee & Beer, 3359 Jefferson Ave., St. Louis, 314-772-2100. MOUTON: W/ Brother Lee and the Leather Jackals, Pono AM, Boreal Hills, Tue., Feb. 19, 9 p.m., $7. Foam Coffee & Beer, 3359 Jefferson Ave., St. Louis, 314-772-2100. NEOROMANTICS: Wed., March 20, 7:30 p.m., $10-$12. The Firebird, 2706 Olive St., St. Louis, 314-535-0353. NEW MISSOURI FOX HUNTERS: Fri., Feb. 8, 8 p.m., $12-$15. The Focal Point, 2720 Sutton Blvd, St. Louis, 314-560-2778. NIBOOWIN: W/ Mystic Will, De L’orme, Mon., Feb. 4, 9 p.m., $7. Foam Coffee & Beer, 3359 Jefferson Ave., St. Louis, 314-772-2100. ODDSOUL: W/ Andrew and the Dolls, Boxcar, Thu., Jan. 31, 9 p.m., free. Schlafly Tap Room, 2100 Locust St., St. Louis, 314-241-2337. PAT REEDY & THE LONGTIME GONERS: Thu., Feb. 21, 7:30 p.m., $12-$15. The Focal Point, 2720 Sutton Blvd, St. Louis, 314-560-2778. PETER BRADLEY ADAMS: Thu., April 4, 8 p.m., $15. Blueberry Hill - The Duck Room, 6504 Delmar Blvd., University City, 314-727-4444. THE PROPHEC: Sat., April 13, 10 p.m., $15-$50. The Firebird, 2706 Olive St., St. Louis, 314-535-0353. RABBIT EAR MOVEMENT PLAYS R.E.M.: Sat., Jan. 26, 5 p.m., free. Schlafly Bottleworks, 7260 Southwest Ave, Maplewood, 314-241-2337. RANDI & STEVIE’S OPEN MIC: Sun., Jan. 27, 9 p.m., free. Sun., Feb. 3, 9 p.m., free. Sun., March 3, 9 p.m., free. Foam Coffee & Beer, 3359 Jefferson Ave., St. Louis, 314-772-2100. THE RED AFRO QUEEN SILKY SOL: Fri., March 8, 7 p.m., $10. National Blues Museum, 615 Washington Ave., St. Louis. SEAN CANAN’S VOODOO GRATEFUL DEAD: Fri., March 29, 8 p.m., $15-$20. Delmar Hall, 6133 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis, 314-726-6161. SEE THROUGH DRESSES: W/ Lightrider, Young Animals, Fri., Feb. 8, 9 p.m., $7. Foam Coffee & Beer, 3359 Jefferson Ave., St. Louis, 314-772-2100. SKEET RODGERS AND THE INNER CITY BLUES BAND: Fri., March 1, 7 p.m., $10. National Blues Museum, 615 Washington Ave., St. Louis. ST. LOUIS CHAMBER CHORUS: Sun., Feb. 17, 3 p.m., $10-$30. Ladue Chapel Presbyterian Church, 9450 Clayton Road, Ladue, 314-993-4771. STICKY FINGERS: Mon., March 18, 8 p.m., $22$25. Old Rock House, 1200 S. 7th St., St. Louis, 314-588-0505. THE VANDOLIERS: W/ Austin Lucas, Sun., March 10, 7:30 p.m., $12. Off Broadway, 3509 Lemp Ave., St. Louis, 314-498-6989. THREE MERRY WIDOWS: Fri., April 5, 8 p.m., $20$25. Delmar Hall, 6133 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis, 314-726-6161. TINY MOVING PARTS: W/ Free Throw, Worlds Greatest Dad, Thu., April 11, 7:30 p.m., $17-$20. Old Rock House, 1200 S. 7th St., St. Louis, 314-588-0505. TORI KELLY: Tue., March 26, 8 p.m., $35-$37.50. The Pageant, 6161 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis, 314-726-6161. THE TRIBUTE BAND: Fri., Jan. 25, 9 p.m., free.


1860 Saloon, Game Room & Hardshell Cafe, 1860 S. Ninth St., St. Louis, 314-231-1860. TWEET: W/ Isa Eliott, Gene Noble, Bird Williams, Darius Bradford, Sat., Feb. 23, 8 p.m., $35-$45. The Ready Room, 4195 Manchester Ave, St. Louis, 314-833-3929. VAMACHARA: W/ SeeYouSpaceCowboy, Sun., Feb. 10, 7 p.m., $7. Foam Coffee & Beer, 3359 Jefferson Ave., St. Louis, 314-772-2100. WAYNE HANCOCK: Wed., Feb. 27, 8 p.m., $14$16. Old Rock House, 1200 S. 7th St., St. Louis, 314-588-0505. THE WIRE PILOTS: Sat., Feb. 2, 8 p.m., $15-$20. The Focal Point, 2720 Sutton Blvd, St. Louis, 314-560-2778. YESSONGS: A TRIBUTE TO YES: Fri., March 15, 7 p.m., $20. Wildey Theatre, 254 N. Main St., Edwardsville, 618-692-7538.

UPCOMING AARON NEVILLE: Sun., March 3, 8 p.m., $45-$50. Sun., March 3, 8 p.m., $45-$50. The Sheldon, 3648 Washington Blvd., St. Louis, 314-533-9900. ALEJANDRO ESCOVEDO WITH DON ANTONIO: Tue., Feb. 5, 8 p.m., $25-$35. Off Broadway, 3509 Lemp Ave., St. Louis, 314-498-6989. AMANDA PALMER: Thu., May 30, 7 p.m., $35$45. The Pageant, 6161 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis, 314-726-6161. BAYSIDE: W/ Golds, Fri., Feb. 1, 9 p.m., $22-$25. Old Rock House, 1200 S. 7th St., St. Louis, 314-588-0505. COATHANGERS: Sat., April 6, 8 p.m., $12-$14. Old Rock House, 1200 S. 7th St., St. Louis, 314-588-0505. DEAD HORSES: W/ The Brother Brothers, Thu., Jan. 31, 8 p.m., $10-$12. Old Rock House, 1200 S. 7th St., St. Louis, 314-588-0505. DILLON FRANCIS, ALISON WONDERLAND: Mon., Feb. 4, 8 p.m., $35-$40. The Pageant, 6161 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis, 314-726-6161. FEMFEST 5: AN ALL FEMALE SHOWCASE: Sat., Feb. 2, 5 p.m., $10-$13. Fubar, 3108 Locust St, St. Louis, 314-289-9050. FIDLAR: Wed., Feb. 13, 8 p.m., $25. Delmar Hall, 6133 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis, 314-726-6161. FRAGILE PORCELAIN MICE: Sat., Feb. 2, 8 p.m., $15. Delmar Hall, 6133 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis, 314-726-6161. HARRY NILSSON’S “THE POINT ” LIVE: Sat., Feb. 2, 8 p.m., $15. Off Broadway, 3509 Lemp Ave., St. Louis, 314-498-6989. HARRY NILSSON’S “THE POINT ” LIVE KID’S MATINEE: Sat., Feb. 2, 1 p.m., $5-$10. Off Broadway, 3509 Lemp Ave., St. Louis, 314-498-6989.

BEST BETS Continued from pg 48

still promoting his band’s set is worth the price of admission — and that’s free! The space-faring Wax Fruit brings its sinewy synth songs to round out a night of quality bands and inside jokes.

FarFetched’s Prologue VIII Release Party w/ Katarra, Ackurate, Sam, Blank Generation 8 p.m. The Fellowship, 3453 South Jefferson Avenue. $10. No phone.

Out of all the art shows, monthly Link Up events and big blowouts the FarFetched Collective is responsible for, its annual Prologue show might be its most important party of the year. For one, the concert coincides with the release of a compilation packed with fresh faces alongside the label’s foremost artists. The production sets the tone for the year ahead, and this edition adds an extra layer: Its venue, the Fellowship, is a new space run by artist Darian Wigfall,

HELL NIGHT ALBUM RELEASE PARTY: W/ Ultraman, The Lion’s Daughter, Fri., March 1, 8 p.m., $10. The Ready Room, 4195 Manchester Ave, St. Louis, 314-833-3929. HUHT EP RELEASE PARTY: W/ Lord Soul, Fri., Feb. 8, 9 p.m., $5. Tim’s Chrome Bar, 4736 Gravois, St. Louis, 314-353-8138. JEREMY ENIGK: W/ Tomo Nakayama, Fri., April 26, 8 p.m., $16-$18. Blueberry Hill - The Duck Room, 6504 Delmar Blvd., University City, 314-727-4444. JOHN PRINE: Fri., May 17, 8 p.m., $59.50-$99.50. Stifel Theatre, 1400 Market St, St. Louis, 314-499-7600. LADYSMITH BLACK MAMBAZO: Sun., Feb. 24, 7:30 p.m., $30-$45. The Sheldon, 3648 Washington Blvd., St. Louis, 314-533-9900. LAURA JANE GRACE: W/ Mercy Union, Control Top, Thu., April 4, 7 p.m., $22-$25. Old Rock House, 1200 S. 7th St., St. Louis, 314-588-0505. MARTY FRIEDMAN: W/ Conquest, Wed., Feb. 6, 8 p.m., $20-$23. Pop’s Nightclub, 401 Monsanto Ave., East St. Louis, 618-274-6720. PAUL NIEHAUS IV: Thu., Jan. 31, 4 p.m., free. Hammerstone’s, 2028 S. 9th St., St. Louis, 314773-5565. PAULA POUNDSTONE: Sat., Feb. 2, 8 p.m., $41.50$44.50. The Sheldon, 3648 Washington Blvd., St. Louis, 314-533-9900. PRIESTS: Wed., July 10, 8 p.m., $12. Off Broadway, 3509 Lemp Ave., St. Louis, 314-498-6989. SLLAW : SAINT LOUIS LADY ARM WRESTLERS BOUT: Sat., Feb. 16, 8 p.m., $10. The Heavy Anchor, 5226 Gravois Ave., St. Louis, 314-352-5226. SNARKY PUPPY: Sun., May 19, 7 p.m., $35-$40. Atomic Cowboy Pavilion, 4140 Manchester Avenue, St. Louis, 314-775-0775. SOCCER MOMMY: W/ Hovvdy, Motiongazer, Wed., Feb. 27, 8 p.m., $12-$14. Off Broadway, 3509 Lemp Ave., St. Louis, 314-498-6989. STRFKR: W/ Shy Boys, Sun., March 3, 9 p.m., $20-$24. The Ready Room, 4195 Manchester Ave, St. Louis, 314-833-3929. THE HIVES, REFUSED: Tue., May 21, 8 p.m., $35-$37.50. The Pageant, 6161 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis, 314-726-6161. THREE MERRY WIDOWS: Fri., April 5, 8 p.m., $20$25. Delmar Hall, 6133 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis, 314-726-6161. TONINA: Thu., Feb. 7, 7 p.m., $15. Joe’s Cafe, 6014 Kingsbury Ave, St. Louis. VALERIE JUNE: Sat., April 27, 8 p.m., $25. Blueberry Hill - The Duck Room, 6504 Delmar Blvd., University City, 314-727-4444. n

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a key figure of FarFetched Collective.

Rock the Spectrum Benefit Concert w/ Al Holliday, Cree Rider, Bottoms Up Blues Gang, School of Rock 8 p.m. Off Broadway, 3509 Lemp Avenue. $20. 314-498-6989.

Area artists have come together to support Giant Steps, “a therapeutic school for children and teens with Autism Spectrum Disorder.” Three local mainstays in Cree Rider, Bottoms Up Blues Gang and Al Holliday (with his band in tow) make up the core of the show with a range of blues, Americana and soul. School Of Rock expands the scope of the night with a performance from its students — the future songwriters of St. Louis, no doubt. —Joseph Hess Each week we bring you our picks for the best concerts of the weekend. To submit your show for consideration, visit riverfronttimes. com/stlouis/Events/AddEvent. All events subject to change; check with the venue for the most up-to-date information.

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JANUARY 23 - 29, 2019

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SAVAGE LOVE FURRY ROAD BY DAN SAVAGE Hey, Dan: I’m an early-30s hetero woman in a monogamous relationship with my mid-30s hetero guy. We’ve been together 10 years, married seven, no kids. We have a lot of fun — traveling, shared hobbies, mutual friends, etc. We have sex fairly regularly, and it’s not bad. However, his primary sexual fetish and main turn-on is furry porn — namely, cartoon images. He doesn’t self-identify as a furry; he doesn’t have a fursuit or fursona. To his credit, he was up front about this with me once we started getting serious. However, I think at that younger age, I conflated the emotional openness and acceptance of his sexuality with actually being satisfied with the sexual component of our relationship. He seems only marginally attracted to me, and it bums me out that his more intense sexual drives are funneled into furry porn. I feel somewhat helpless, as his fetish doesn’t allow me to meet him halfway. Real-life furry action (fursuits and the like) does not interest him (I’ve offered). We have sex regularly, but I always initiate, and his enthusiasm is middling until we get going, at which point I think we both enjoy ourselves. But I’ve found that this turns into a negative feedback loop, where his lack of initial interest leads to me being less attracted to him, and so on. I consider myself a fairly sexual person and I get a lot of pleasure out of being desired. We’re talking about starting a family, and I’m scared that the pressures that come with parenthood would only make this worse. Fretting Under Relationship Shortcomings Nothing I write is going to fix this — and nothing I write is going to fix him, FURS, not that your husband is broken. He is who he is, and he had the decency to let you know who he was before you married him. But nothing I write is going to put you at the center of your husband’s erotic inner life. Nothing I write is going to inspire him to initiate more (or at all) or cause him to be more enthusiastic about sex. Nothing I write is going to make your husband want you

the way you want to be wanted, desire you the way you want to be desired, and fuck you the way you want to be fucked. So the question you need to ask yourself before you make babies with this man — the question I would have urged you to ask yourself before you married this man — is whether you can live without the pleasure you get from being desired. Is that the price of admission you’re willing to pay to be with this man? Maybe it once was, but is it still? Because if monogamy is what you want or what he wants or what you both want, FURS, then choosing to be with this man — choosing to be with someone you enjoy spending time with, who’s “not bad” at sex, whose most passionate erotic interests direct him away from you — means going without the pleasure of being wanted the way you want to be wanted, desired the way you want to be desired, and fucked the way you want to be fucked. Your husband was up front with you about his sexuality before you got married. Everyone should be, of course, but so few people are — particularly people who have been made to feel ashamed of their sexuality or their fetishes or both — that we’re inclined to heap praise on people who manage to clear what should be a low bar. At the time, you mistook “emotional openness” and your willingness to accept his sexuality for both sexual compatibility and sexual satisfaction. I think you owe it to yourself to be up front with your husband before you have kids. He’s getting a good deal here— decent sex with the wife and the freedom to take care of needs his wife can’t meet. And you’re free to ask for a similar deal — decent sex with your husband and the freedom to take care of needs your husband can’t meet. There’s a far greater degree of risk involved in you going outside the relationship to feel desired, of course; you seeing another man or men comes bundled with emotional and physical risks that wanking to furry porn does not. This isn’t an apples-to-apples comparison. But if your shared goal as a couple is mutual sexual fulfillment—and that should be every couple’s goal — and if you want to avoid becoming so frustrated that you make a conscious decision to end your

Nothing I write is going to make your husband desire you the way you want to be desired, and fuck you the way you want to be fucked. marriage (or a subconscious decision to sabotage it), FURS, then opening up the relationship needs to be a part of the discussion. Hey, Dan: Please discuss cuckolding in all its forms. Also all of the emotional risks and potential sexual rewards. A Potential Cuckoldress It would take two years’ worth of columns — even more — to discuss cuckolding in all its forms, unpack all the risks, and game out all the potential rewards. Since I can’t possibly do that, APC, I’m going to send you to Keys and Anklets (keysandanklets.com), a terrific podcast dedicated to “the cuckold and hotwife lifestyle.” The host, Michael C., is engaging, funny, and wise, and his interviews with cuck couples and bulls are incredibly illuminating. If you’re considering entering into a cuckold relationship, you’ll definitely want to start listening to Keys and Anklets. Hey, Dan: I’m a twentysomething woman engaged to a wonderful twentysomething man. I’m the kinky one. I’ve dabbled in BDSM and definitely have a taste for pain and degradation. My boyfriend, meanwhile, considers himself a feminist and struggles with degrading me. I’ve been very patient and settled for very vanilla sex for a couple of years now. However, every now and then, he’ll joke about peeing on me when we shower together. I’m curious about watersports and would totally give it a try! I’ve tried to get more information from him on where these jokes are coming from, but he always changes the subject. And recently when I tried

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to make a joke back, I said the absolute wrong thing: “Okay, R. Kelly, settle down.” This was right before we watched Surviving R. Kelly. I’m afraid that joke may have sent any potential watersports play down the toilet. (Pun intended!) Any advice on how to get him to open up next time he makes one of these jokes? Wants A Totally Exciting Relationship You might want to reread the first letter in this week’s column, WATER, and then dig into the Savage Love archives and check out the thousands of letters I’ve responded to from people who failed to establish basic sexual compatibility before marrying their partners. Settling down requires some settling for, of course, and everyone winds up paying the price of admission. But sexual compatibility is something you want to establish before the wedding, not after. At the very least, WATER, don’t marry a man to whom you can’t make simple observations about sex and ask simple questions about sex. Like this statement/ question/statement combo: “You joke about peeing on me, and I want to know if you would actually like to pee on me, because I would like to be peed on.” Pissing on you doesn’t make him R. Kelly, a man who has been credibly accused of raping underage girls and sexually and emotionally abusing — even imprisoning — adult women. If R. Kelly had raped numerous women and girls in the missionary position, WATER, all the other men out there who enjoy sex in the missionary position don’t become rapists by default. Where there is consent — enthusiastic consent — then it, whatever it is (missionary position sex, peeing on a partner), isn’t abusive. Sex play involving pain or degradation often requires more detailed conversations about consent, of course, but jokes and hints are a shitty way to negotiate consent for any kind of sex. Always go with unambiguous statements (“I would like to be peed on”) and direct questions (“Would you like to pee on me?”). On the Lovecast, a case against Grindr for online harassment: savagelovecast.com. mail@savagelove.net @fakedansavage on Twitter

JANUARY 23 - 29, 2019

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