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JULY 10-16 I VOLUME 43 I NUMBER 26

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HONORS & AWARDS: • Charles Shaw Trial Advocacy Award • Missouri and Kansas Super Lawyers • St. Louis Magazine, Best Lawyers in St. Louis DWI • Riverfront Times Best Lawyer • Best Lawyers in United States • 10 years of law enforcement training, including time as a narcotics agent • Invited to speak nationally on the topic of DWI defense • A proven record of successfully defending difficult DWI cases • A graduate of the National College of DUI Defense at Harvard

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THE LEDE

PHOTO BY THEO WELLING

“This is how we spend our Sundays, as a family. We have breakfast, we go to church and then we enjoy each other’s company, at a park or fishing or home for backyard movie night. It’s just what we do. We come together on Sunday.” HAROLD BRADSHAW, PHOTOGRAPHED WITH (FROM LEFT) ISABELLA, DANNA, IMANI AND CHEYENNE BRADSHAW, IN FOREST PARK ON JULY 7 riverfronttimes.com

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TABLE OF CONTENTS Publisher Chris Keating Editor in Chief Sarah Fenske

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 Columnist Ray Hartmann Contributing Writers Mike Appelstein, Allison Babka, Thomas Crone, Jenn DeRose, Mike Fitzgerald, Sara Graham, MaryAnn Johanson, Roy Kasten, Jaime Lees, Joseph Hess, Kevin Korinek, Bob McMahon, Lauren Milford, Nicholas Phillips, Tef Poe, Christian Schaeffer Proofreader Evie Hemphill Editorial Interns Katie Counts, Joshua Phelps, James Pollard

COVER

Here Comes the Green Rush

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

Marijuana growers, processors, and sellers can begin applying for licenses in Missouri next month — and everyone wants a piece of the action

P R O D U C T I O N Production Manager Haimanti Germain 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 Sales Manager Jordan Everding Senior Account Executive Cathleen Criswell, Erica Kenney Account Managers Emily Fear, Jennifer Samuel Multimedia Account Executive Chris Guilbault, Drew Halliday, Jackie Mundy

Cover illustration by

EVAN SULT

C I R C U L A T I O N Circulation Manager Kevin G. Powers

INSIDE The Lede Hartmann

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News Feature Calendar

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Mizzou’s land-sell sell-out

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Let Them Eat Art | Art Hill Film Series | BrickUniverse Lego Convention | etc.

Film

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The Pieces I Am

Cafe

Kirkwood Deli & Grocery

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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 N A T I O N A L A D V E R T I S I N G VMG Advertising 1-888-278-9866, vmgadvertising.com S U B S C R I P T I O N S Send address changes to Riverfront Times, 308 N. 21st Street, Suite 300, St. Louis, MO 63103. Domestic subscriptions may be purchased for $78/6 months (Missouri residents add $4.74 sales tax) and $156/year (Missouri residents add $9.48 sales tax) for first class. Allow 6-10 days for standard delivery. www.riverfronttimes.com The Riverfront Times is published weekly by Euclid Media Group Verified Audit Member Riverfront Times 308 N. 21st Street, Suite 300, St. Louis, MO 63103 www.riverfronttimes.com General information: 314-754-5966 Fax administrative: 314-754-5955 Fax editorial: 314-754-6416 Founded by Ray Hartmann in 1977

Short Orders

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Culture

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Out Every Night

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Andy Hirstein at Acero | Mayo Ketchup | Piccione

Justin Ra | David Kirkman’s Static

Chuck Prophet and the Mission Express | The Beths| Reel Big Fish and The Aquabats

Savage Love 6

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Riverfront Times is available free of charge, limited to one copy per reader. Additional copies of the current issue may be purchased for $1.00 plus postage, payable in advance at the Riverfront Times office. Riverfront Times may be distributed only by Riverfront Times authorized distributors. No person may, without prior written permission of Riverfront Times, take more than one copy of each Riverfront Times weekly issue. The entire contents of Riverfront Times are copyright 2018 by Riverfront Times, LLC. No portion may be reproduced in whole or in part by any means, including electronic retrieval systems, without the expressed written permission of the Publisher, Riverfront Times, 308 N. 21st Street, Suite 300, St. Louis, MO 63103. Please call the Riverfront Times office for back-issue information, 314-754-5966.


HARTMANN Flop of a Flip In selling off breathtaking acreage for a profit, Mizzou is putting pennies before principles BY RAY HARTMANN

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he University of Missouri has a side hustle. It’s flipping real estate. Now, this is not your everyday house-flipping enterprise. No. The university — my alma mater — is in the process of turning a profit from the sale of land the federal government gave it in 194 for the purposes of research and stewardship. This is the public-institutional e uivalent of taking that nice watch Grandma gave you for your birthday and hawking it on eBay. And that’s not even the worst part. The folks at Crazy Tiger’s

Overstock are about to unload some of the most pristine, beautiful and breathtaking scenic land in the state — some 14 acres in the area known as the Missouri Bluffs in St. Charles County — to facilitate construction of a couple hundred homes and multi-family residences. Just a small, commercial helping hand to Mother Nature. The university boasts that its College of Agriculture offers “the Midwest’s only school with a comprehensive natural resource program.” Perhaps that’s its day job. But overlooking the Missouri iver, it’s doing plenty to spoil part of the Great ivers Busch Greenway, the Busch Conservation area and the Katy Trail, cherished by hikers, cyclists and other nature lovers in our region and beyond. There’s also this detail: Beautiful as the area is, concern lingers that radioactive contamination remains from the munitions plant the federal government operated on site before it graciously handed off the property to the uni-

versity. The waste from the plant famously created an environmental crisis at Weldon Springs that, despite cleanup efforts, remains a health concern for St. Charles County residents. “We don’t really know if the area is contaminated, but it would be prudent to test thoroughly and then perform an environmental impact statement,” says Kay Drey, Missouri’s grand dame of environmentalism. That hasn’t happened. But, hey, realestate flippers gotta do what realestate flippers gotta do. The university may close the deal this month if the St. Charles County Council approves the umpteenth version of a plan by developer Greg Whittaker’s NT ome Builders. The council is expected to do so. Still, the process is not without intrigue. The plan was initially rejected -1 by the St. Charles Planning and Zoning Commission, a group seldom confused with Greenpeace. After that, the

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developer went back to the drawing board — or otherwise finetuned the political process — and the County Council voted 5-1-1 to greenlight the project. The lone “no” vote came from Councilman Mike lam, a epublican and hardly a radical himself. “This is a great example of just because you can, doesn’t mean you should,’” lam told me. “I think we’ve heard from a thousand opponents, and the only support has come from people with some financial interest in the project going forward. I do think Gary Whittaker is a fantastic builder whose heart is in the right place. e wants to do the development right and in an eco-friendly way. But this is the wrong place to be doing it.” lam believes the only way to stop the project at this point would be for public outcry to compel the university to back out of the deal. I’m no expert on St. Charles politics, but I don’t doubt

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him: A friend who lives in the city shared this nice response she got from Councilman David ammond after weighing in with her concerns: “Since your [sic] not a resident of St. Charles County your opinion means nothing.” Well, there’s that. University officials have faced mounting pressure to cancel the deal, but to no avail. In April, they lamely tried some too-little, toolate damage control, announcing that after hearing from “many interested parties” at angry public hearings, they would put out for bid a sale to public entities of the 200-acre Missouri Bluff Golf Course, which adjoins the controversial housing development, along with an additional 100 acres given by the feds. These acres would be given “specific development restrictions,” as the university said in a statement, to “guarantee the land remains in a natural state for generations of Missourians.” ow nice. Too bad the university wasn’t concerned about public bidding and preserving the “natural state” before embarking on its little real estate deal. And I still have a problem with the larger issue: Why should the university sell land it was gifted at all If it’s not needed for research, why not give it the Missouri Department of Conservation or to the St. Charles County Parks Department ou’re a university, not a real estate investor. Dan Burkhardt, who with his wife Connie is among the state’s leading environmentalists (and guardians of the Katy Trail), says, “I think the university has completely abdicated its role as a leader and as a land-grant university. [University officials] had a chance to do something creative and beneficial and important with a piece of property they had, and they failed to do so. It’s malfeasance.” Connie Burkhardt, a former member of the Board of Curators, resigned last year from a group called Missouri 100 — comprised of top donors to the institution — in protest over the Missouri Bluffs sale. That didn’t seem to matter. Throughout this deal, the University of Missouri has behaved abominably. Not only has it violated the public trust by abdicating its stewardship responsibilities, and set a new standard for tackiness by cashing out a gift, but the whole sordid affair been shroud-

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ed in secrecy by the university that proudly opened the first journalism school in America. Its actions have damaged its reputation with thousands of Missourians, and rightfully so. And if all that weren’t enough, it turns out that the university has brought all this anguish upon itself for phone change. The side hustle isn’t even a great side hustle. The carefully guarded agreement between the university and NT omes has fallen into the wrong hands: mine. I was leaked a copy of the deal, executed almost two years ago, one that the university had guarded so closely that it refused to share it with St. Charles County Council members. (This is consistent with the principles they taught us at the J-School in a course entitled “ especting State Secrets 0 .”) While it’s pretty clear that the agreement has changed significantly — it initially provided for 0 lots, a number that certainly has been slashed, according to the county councilmen I spoke to — there’s one item, heretofore not reported, that rather jumped out at me: the price. In the agreement, the university agreed to sell at $24,250 per acre for 14 . 1 acres (and possibly another 40, now apparently off the table). Unless the price has changed, which is unlikely, the entire fiasco will net the university no more than $ . million, and probably less, as the acreage has apparently been reduced. Are they kidding In the upcoming season, Mizzou will pay football coach Barry Odom $ .05 million and basketball coach Cuonzo Martin $2.9 million. And those are annual numbers, not one-time hauls. Did the University of Missouri — a $2.9 billion annual enterprise — actually engage in this nonsense for little more than the price of one season’s coach That’s not the main reason to oppose this deal, not even close. But the numbers speak to the underlying issue here: awful judgment. “This is such bad leadership, it’s shameful,” Burkhardt says. “They just cannot be shamed into doing the right thing.” No, they cannot. But this isn’t some academic matter awash in principle. They’re flipping real estate here. n Ray Hartmann founded the Riverfront Times in 1977. Contact him at rhartmann@sbcglobal.net or catch him on St. Louis In the Know With Ray Hartmann and Jay Kanzler from 9 to 11 p.m. Monday thru Friday on KTRS (550 AM).


NEWS SWAT Raid Ends with $750K Payout Written by

DANNY WICENTOWSKI

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ore than five years after a St. Louis County SWAT Team raided her home in order to conduct a property inspection related to a missed gas bill, Angela Zorich is walking away with a $750,000 settlement — and promises of change from the police department. The settlement, reached last week, follows a lengthy civil case that finally went to trial in federal court last month. The settlement stands out — the exact financial figure is often kept confidential between the two parties, especially when one of those parties is a police department. According to Dan Kolde, one of the attorneys who represented Zorich, the settlement is among the largest ever reached in a case of a U.S. cop shooting a dog. And that should send a message to police departments, not just around St. Louis “but across the United States,” he says. “This happens a lot, this is a routine occurrence where police shoot a family dog,” says Kolde, who specializes in cases involving animals. “We hope that St. Louis County takes a very hard look at its use of its tactical operations unit. Sending a SWAT team out for an unpaid gas bill and a deck that maybe needs some repair we consider to be overkill. Shooting someone’s pet is not an acceptable response.” Granted, the SWAT raid was connected to more than a gas bill. As RFT first reported in 2015, the official police incident report indicated that members of the county SWAT team had been informed pre-raid that the two occupants of the home had “extensive violent history [sic] and were known to be armed and violent.” The raid took place in the early

Pit bull Kiya was killed by a SWAT team. | COURTESY OF JUSTICE FOR KIYA afternoon of April 29, 2014. Officers burst through the unlocked front door to Zorich’s home in south St. Louis County, which a

county property inspector had deemed an official nuisance after a previous visit. According to the police incident report, once inside the home, a member of the SWAT team spotted the family pet, a white pit bull named Kiya, “running full speed toward him and his team.” The officer fired two two-round bursts from his rifle, killing Kiya. “I was devastated,” Zorich says now. “This has haunted me for over five years. It was an extremely violent raid.” But rather than overkill, deploying a SWAT team to serve a property inspection was standard practice for the department. That may lead to some changes: St. Louis County attorney Priscilla Gunn told St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Tony Messenger that the county is “making changes because of this incident,” though what those changes are — beyond “more risk assessment” than cur-

Blind Pot Farmer Doing Hard Time Written by

DOYLE MURPHY

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upport is growing for a 79-year-old, legally blind pot farmer serving a ten-year federal prison sentence — but that doesn’t mean he’ll do less time. In the past month, more than 30,000 people have signed an online petition in hopes of persuading state and federal politicians in Missouri to advocate for the early release of Charles Frederick White. Members of an Ozarks-based drug task force searched White’s property in 2012 and discovered a large growing operation. In a pair of sheet metal barns, set back in the woods about an hour north of Springfield, investigators counted more than 1,700 plants neatly arranged on tables under lights. White eventually pleaded guilty in 2017 to the federal crime of conspiracy to manufacture more than 1,000 marijuana plants. During a remarkable sentencing hearing that September, a U.S. district judge in Springfield noted White’s failing health and told him he had tried to find any avenue that would allow him to impose a lesser punishment than the ten-year minimum. “I postponed your last sentencing hear-

Charles Frederick White was sentenced in 2017 to ten years in federal prison. | COURTESY GREENE COUNTY SHERIFF ing because I did a lot of independent research, frankly, to try to find a way around the minimum sentence, including calling the U.S. Sentencing Commission and asking for input if there was a way to get around it,” Judge Douglas Harpool told White, according to a court transcript. But Harpool ultimately concluded he had no other option under the law. White had at least three prior marijuana convictions that prevented other alternatives, the judge noted. Harpool did, however, suggest one possible ray of hope. As part of his sentence, the judge encouraged the federal Bureau of Prisons to consider seeking “compassionate release“ for White, whose health was bad and getting worse.

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rently performed for SWAT deployments — is unclear. After the long legal fight, Zorich credits the settlement in part to Jim Crosby, a retired Florida cop and expert witness who testified that, based on his analysis, Kiya had in fact been shot in the side or back. (At trial, additional evidence contradicted the police narrative: Kolde tells the RFT that they recovered a photo of Kiya showing exit wounds that couldn’t be made if the pet was in a forward change.) Without Crosby, Zorich believes her case would have been lost at trial. “Now,” she says, “we know that my Kiya was shot in the back, trying to run away from them.” Asked about the significance of the settlement, Zorich answers, “Money is great, but to see positive changes occur in St. Louis County, I definitely want that to be a part of it, too.” n If the Bureau of Prisons were to evaluate White and make such a request, Harpool said, he “would be inclined to approve any request for compassionate release under certain terms if presented to me... “ So far, it has not played out that way. White sought a compassionate release shortly after his sentence. His eyesight has gotten progressively worse in recent years due to macular degeneration, and he also struggles with bad knees, high blood pressure and Hepatitis C, among other problems. The Springfield News-Leader, which has covered the case extensively, reported last month that Harpool rejected White’s motion for a couple of reasons. First, White needed to serve at least half his sentence to be eligible. And Harpool added that a compassionate release for a medical condition was an “extraordinary and rare event,” and he did not think White’s health was that bad yet, the newspaper reported. A Change.org petition in support of White launched the day after the story published. “This man has not hurt anyone while child molesters walk free a 79 year old half blind man will spend probably what’s left of his life in prison,” the online petition reads. “We cant fix the world but we can start by fixing the justice system.” Ultimately, however, the petition is only a request. White can make another request in the future. For now, he remains at a federal prison in Leavenworth, Kansas. n

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City Contracts Under Fire Written by

DANNY WICENTOWSKI

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t. Louis has removed five businesses from its list of certified minority-owned firms. The move comes after those companies were featured in a massive L.A. Times investigation that revealed how businesses use “unsubstantiated claims” of Cherokee ancestry to land contracts intended for minorites. Milking affirmative action programs has proved lucrative. Times reporters Adam Elmahrek and Paul Pringle found that federal and state authorities have awarded more than $300 million through minority contracting programs since 2000 — and in St. Louis, some of it has gone to firms that claim Native American ancestry without qualifying under current federal criteria. St. Louis is front and center in the Times story. Of the fourteen questionable companies analyzed, four are based in St. Louis and one in Union, Missouri. All five scored contracts with the city. In response, a city spokesman says St. Louis “has already begun more critical reviews” of companies which claim Native American heritage to qualify as a minority-owned business. That includes returning an application for minority status submitted by a company that failed to produce a tribal identification card from a federally recognized tribe. Even before the Times story was published on June 28, city officials were scrambling to get ahead of the news. On June 6, the city board that regulates certifications for minority-owned businesses met and took action to decertify five companies, although that process is on hold for now pending possible legal action. CCI Environmental Inc., Global Environmental Inc., Premier Demolition Inc. and D.W. Mertzke Excavating & Trucking, Inc. — all of greater St. Louis — had all claimed heritage through a Cherokee tribe not recognized by the federal government, the Times story revealed. So did Taylor Electrical Services of Union, Missouri. They are a small fraction of the 550 companies certified by St. Louis city as minority-owned business enterprises, or MBEs. Most of the total are black-owned businesses; the five that lost certification are among just twelve that had registered as being owned by Native Americans. Last week, St. Louis city counselor Julian Bush confirmed to the RFT that city officials “came to have qualms” over whether the five companies “truly were American Indians” as defined by city statutes. The federal government recognizes just three Cherokee tribes (the Cherokee Nation, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians), qualifying them to receive aid through the minority-hiring

Kenn “Grey Elk” Descombes, chief of the Missouri-based Northern Cherokee Nation. | SCREENSHOT requirements built into municipal, state and federal contracts. Instead, the Times revealed, that aid has also gone to companies whose owners claimed ancestry through groups like the Northern Cherokee Nation, or NCN, a tribe headquartered in the tiny rural town of Clinton, Missouri. In its opening lines, the Times story highlighted how, in 2017, the office of St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson announced a $311,000 contract to Premier Demolition, described at the time by the St. Louis American as “a local minority union contractor.” That’s not how the city sees the company today, and the $311,000 payout is no longer an example of a successful affirmative action program, but an embarrassing oversight. The board in charge of approving MBE certification for city contractors is based at St. Louis Lambert International Airport. (It’s strange, yes, but makes a certain amount of sense, since so much of the city’s contracting work is connected to maintaining the airport.) In an email, airport spokesman Jeff Lea says that the board, known the Program Review Committee, concluded that “the Northern Cherokee Nation was not recognized by the Bureau of Indian Affairs” and therefore companies claiming tribal affiliation “are ineligible for participation in the Local Program and must be decertified.” Lea added that the board’s actions were limited only to the certification, a scope that did not address “evidence or [statements] regarding any acts of misrepresentation on behalf of the certification process.”

Lea acknowledges, though, that the city of St. Louis approved minority-owned businesses without seemingly understanding the laws that governed them. After a federal policy change in 2011, Lea says, St. Louis officials “did not reexamine the minority status of any of the firms after the initial certification.” Curiously, Lea’s statement claims St. Louis “initially relied on the State of Missouri’s approval of the Northern Cherokee Nation membership as a basis for Native American status” — even though the Times cites statements by both Missouri’s Secretary of State and Attorney General saying the state never gave such approval. (The faux tribe has apparently been recognized through resolutions passed in the Missouri General Assembly, although those resolutions are non-binding and not equivalent to passing a law.) If it’s any consolation, it wasn’t just St. Louis officials caught flat-footed: One Missouri company’s owner, who claimed one-sixteenth Cherokee blood and membership with NCN, ultimately received $19 million in federal contracts, including work on a Native American museum in Kansas City. That’s even though, again, NCN isn’t a federally recognized tribe. The Times bombshell sheds light on a failure of government officials at every level. But it’s also devastating in its depiction of the business owners who benefited; the piece’s authors go to great lengths to blow up the cover stories offered by the company owners and tribal leaders. It takes more than “family stories” to prove tribal membership, and the Times investigation doesn’t just find conflicts in present-day records, but taps

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experts and genealogy records to aid in the fact-check. For instance, consider American Legacy Construction Group, the aforementioned Lee’s Summit-based company that won that $19 million in federal contracts: “In an email to the Times, [owner Randal McKinnis] said his great-great-grandfather was listed on a nineteenth century Cherokee census. The person on the Cherokee census had the same name as McKinnis’ ancestor, but census records show McKinnis is not related to him.” Asked about the discrepancy, McKinnis said a cousin gave him “bad information” about his great-great-grandfather, but he said an uncle’s DNA test proved the family was Native American. He declined to provide the result to the Times. That said, determining what makes a particular claim to Native American heritage “real” is highly fraught. Even the three federally recognized tribes maintain different standards for membership. In general, though, authentic Cherokee membership is often traced to specific documents compiled by the federal government in the early twentieth century. That’s not the case with NCN. According to the Times, chief Kenn “Grey Elk” Descombes claimed to possess “a secret Cherokee ancestry roll that is kept in a bank vault.” He apparently declined to provide it to the reporters, saying, “We would never let anyone get their hands on it. ... It’s not for white people.” Overall, Descombes does not come off particularly well in the Times story. The very next paragraph describes him making a seemingly abrupt racist comment about other minority contractors: “Asked whether NCN members should benefit from minority contracting programs, Descombes said they should, and he then called African American contractors “professional liars and thieves.” Still, St. Louis attorney Matt Ghio contends that NCN should be considered legitimate. Before the June 6 meeting of the St. Louis board, Ghio contacted the city and threatened to seek a federal restraining order. And while the meeting ended in a formal decision to decertify Premier Demolition, CCI Environmental, Global Environmental and D.W. Mertzke Excavating & Trucking, the threat by Ghio put the city on difficult footing. Instead of dealing with a rapid (and likely expensive) legal battle over a temporary restraining order, city counselor Bush tells the RFT that St. Louis “agreed to stay enforcement of the decertification, pending the federal lawsuit.” For now, that means the four companies Ghio represents can continue to claim to be city-certified as minorityowned businesses. Reached by email Monday, Ghio declined to comment on the record, though he did say that his clients have yet to sue. Still, city officials believe it’s likely coming. In an interview, Bush sums up the city’s position: “We’re just waiting for them to file a lawsuit.” n

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Marijuana growers, processors and sellers can begin applying for licenses in Missouri next month — and everybody wants a piece of the action BY MIKE FITZGERALD

F

OR A GLIMPSE OF

ST. LOUIS’ FUTURE,

pay a visit to the Cortex district, located in a once-quiet neighborhood between Washington and Saint Louis universities. ou will find it in a low, red-brick building at the corner of Sarah Street and Forest Park Avenue. Inside, on the first floor, is an open floor area filled with tables and expensive office chairs, young people huddled in conversation or staring raptly at laptops. Welcome to the Cambridge Innovation Center coworking space, or, as its founders like to call it, the region’s “largest innovation hub.” ere is where aspiring entrepreneurs can find room to work in temporary offices and labs. It’s also where ideas and ambitions collide. Where smart people meet, hang out, trade ideas, network. And where maybe — just maybe — they will launch that next billion-dollar business. And that is what Derek Mays, 4 , wants for his fledgling company. But unlike the other entrepreneurs toiling away at CIC, Mays envisions his company’s future flourishing not via pixels, algorithms and fiber-optic lines, but through plants. Well, one family of plants, really. Mays sees the pathway to riches — as well as the creation of much-needed jobs in St. Louis’ neglected neighborhoods — following along the buds, nodes and leaves of a family of plants that humans have cultivated, harvested, smoked, cooked with, outlawed at various points and in various places either demonized and exalted, not to mention used in a myriad of therapeutic and enjoyable ways, for at least 10,000 years. Mays, an intellectual property lawyer and compliance attorney, is founder and C O of AL Cannabis Co., which is set to apply for licenses for at least one medical cannabis processing center and several dispensaries, with plans to locate facilities in Midtown St. Louis and north St. Louis County. Setting up shop in Cortex makes a lot of sense, says Mays, because Missouri’s medical cannabis industry is a startup just like its high-tech counterparts. “With this environment, it just encourages creativity and a thought process that is conducive to our team,” Mays says. “We just feed off that energy.”

THE

OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE MONEY on marijuana legally in Missouri finally became a reality last November. That’s when more than two-thirds of voters in the state approved Amendment 2, one of the three medical cannabis measures on the ballot and the only one to pass. August is the earliest that Missouri applicants can submit applications to obtain licenses for the state’s voter-authorized 0 grow centers, manufacturing facilities and 192 dispensaries — that’s 24 retail outlets for each of the state’s eight congressional districts. The applications cover everything from cultivation to manufacturing, product infusions, testing labs, dispensaries and transportation facilities. Interest is high. As of early June, a total of 52 applicants had paid the fee to start the application process, including 155 seeking to open grow facilities, 2 for manufacturing centers and 2 9 for dispensaries. Along the way, the state has raked in about $ . million in fees, according to the Missouri Department of ealth and Senior Services, or D SS, which oversees the medical cannabis program. State officials have 150 days from the application deadline to decide who gets a license. That means the first facilities could open as early as January. Meanwhile, Missourians who wish to grow their own medical cannabis — up to six plants apiece — may begin applying for licenses on July 4. For Missouri cannabis entrepreneurs like Mays, the “green rush” is on for a slice of an industry that is soaring, both globally and nationally, with no end in sight. In 201 , the value of the legal North American weed industry was about $10.1 billion. By 2025, the U.S. market alone is projected to climb to $24 billion and create 255,000 jobs, according to New Frontier Data, a cannabis market research firm. It could reach $ 0 billion by 20 0, according to a January 2019 report by market analyst ivien Azer. Internationally, it will be even bigger, with Canada and Mexico both legalizing its use. Consumer product heavy-hitters Coca-Cola, Altria (the parent company of cigarette giant Philip Morris) and Coors have already started investing heavily in Canadian cannabis companies.

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THE GREEN RUSH Continued from pg 13

And in Missouri, the economic impact could be significant from the get-go. The Missouri Cannabis Industry Association estimates that Missouri’s medical cannabis market could exceed Colorado’s, which in 2017 was worth $440 million. Industry experts such as James Yagielo, CEO of Florida-based empStaff Inc. projects that Missouri’s industry could be serving as many as 200,000 patients by 2021. “ verybody likes cannabis,” agielo says.

MAYS WALKS INTO THE FOYER OF THE

CIC building late on a Friday afternoon in May. Accompanying him are the other members of AL Cannabis’ partnership team: Dr. Cheryl Watkins-Moore, the chief strategy and marketing officer and Justin Gage, the chief relationships officer. Watkins-Moore, a physician and former pharmaceutical company executive, has spent the past decade as a major player in the St. Louis startup scene. She cites the building’s “synergistic energies,” noting that some companies based there have already engaged them about providing technology to AL Cannabis. “This is great that you get those type of collisions and connections,” says Watkins-Moore, who serves as director of bioscience and entrepreneurial inclusion at BioSTL, a group that promotes collaboration and builds regional infrastructure to achieve St. Louis’ potential in biosciences. Gage, a stand-out wide receiver for the Mizzou football team in the early 2000s, played for the Chicago Bears and Tennessee Titans. Since leaving the NFL, Gage says he’s been interested in doing something with cannabis. A native of Jefferson City, Gage could have headed to California or Colorado, two states where the medical and recreational cannabis industries are flourishing. “But I didn’t want to do that,” he says. “So when Missouri legalized, I knew that this was definitely something that I wanted to be a part of and be an advocate for medical marijuana.” Gage notes that he, like other NFL players, had felt pressure to take opiate-based painkillers during his playing days to treat the pain from injuries. “That was a week-by-week thing,” Gage says. “ ou beat yourself up on one Sunday and you got

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Would-be marijuana entrepreneurs flocked to CannaConStL in St. Louis this April. | ZIA NIZAMI to figure how you can be 100 percent the following week.” Opiates are highly addictive, and Gage says many of his former teammates struggle with dependency as a result of treatments for football injuries. Cannabis is different. Gage says it allows him to wake up “and feel good about myself and not worrying about certain aches and pains that I’d have to take heavier medication for,” he says. “Just being down that path. Ultimately, it was seeing how destructive a lot of medications could be. I got to stand up for what I believe in. And for me it was marijuana.” But there is another aspect to the AL Cannabis founders’ advocacy. It is the recognition that America’s expensive war on drugs was born of racism and xenophobia, a legacy that has sent millions of Americans to prison, shattered countless families and wrecked inner-city neighborhoods. arry Anslinger, a notorious racist who in the 19 0s was the first commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, promoted the idea that cannabis — or as Anslinger dubbed it, “marihuana” — “is a violence-inducing drug, connected it to black and Hispanic people, and created a perfect package of terror to sell to the American media and public,” according to Steven W. Bender’s “The Colors of Cannabis: Race and Marijuana,” a history of cannabis prohibition published in 201 in

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REAL Cannabis Co.’s Justin Gage, left, and Cheryl Watkins-Moore, center, with the company’s founder and president Derek Mays. | ZIA NIZAMI the University of California-Davis Law Review. For Gage, the results of those policies have hit home, with close family members jailed for cannabis possession. “And you wonder, how can you fix this whole trend ” Gage says. “I knew hands-down that’s where I got to go. I got to be in a position to help empower people that look like me and help change the economic status of what we have. That’s our goal, one person at a time, one business at a time. I see it as a big step forward in revitalizing [north St. Louis], but ultimately I think this is a big step

forward in the right direction.”

NEARLY 50

YEARS AGO, CANNABIS

was a reliable battlefront in America’s steadily intensifying culture wars between liberals and conservatives, along with gun rights, abortion, gay marriage and immigration. Then, about twenty years ago, to paraphrase Hemingway, the public’s acceptance of cannabis occurred gradually, then suddenly. Missouri is the rd state in the U.S. to legalize medical cannabis, and if other states are any guide, it won’t be many years before Missouri legalizes “adult use” or


Jamila Owens-Todd’s Green Care Inc. is applying for a dispensary license. | COURTESY OF JAMILA OWENS-TODD recreational cannabis. It has already been effectively decriminalized in both St. Louis city and St. Louis County. In the city, in 201 , aldermen voted 22to allow police to cite individuals instead of arresting them for small amounts of cannabis. Cited persons would be processed in municipal court, not state court, and ordered to pay a fine between $100 and $500. The aldermen further reduced penalties in February 201 , voting unanimously to set a $25 fine for possession of 5 grams — which is a tad more than an ounce — or less. And last January, St. Louis County effectively ended criminal prosecution of cannabis possession of amounts less than 100

grams, or about .5 ounces, unless “evidence suggests the sale/distribution of marijuana,” according to a memo drafted by St. Louis Prosecutor Wesley Bell. Many legal and political experts predict it won’t be long before Congress strikes down the federal law prohibiting cannabis use and possession, turning the matter over to individual states — which would be a virtual replay of how Congress ended alcohol prohibition in 19 . Mays, the C O of AL Cannabis, said he believes the legalization of recreational cannabis is almost a foregone conclusion. “Absolutely. I don’t know if federal laws will evolve and change before our state laws do,” Mays says, “but it’s clear that this is an evolu-

In Missouri, a Program That Benefits from Illinois’ Mistakes

will make it possible for nearly 200 dispensaries and dozens of production and grow centers to open as early as next year. And because the constitutional amendment permitting medical marijuana includes such widespread conditions as sleep disorders and chronic pain, Missouri’s market could easily ramp up to 200,000 patients over the first several years, according to Viets, who played a key role in getting Amendment 2 on last November’s ballot. One of the states whose mistakes Amendment 2 backers learned the most from is Missouri’s neighbor to the east. Illinois relied on its legislature to set up its medical cannabis system, which Viets says was problematic, because legislatures are naturally cautious. Says Viets, “They’ll compromise the hell out of anything if it’s in the least controversial.” The Illinois General Assembly passed the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act in 2013, and it took effect the following

M

issouri is late to the party when it comes to medical cannabis. But for once, this could pay off, says Dan Viets, the director of the Missouri chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. The plan approved by Missouri voters last November was based on the hardwon lessons learned by activists and state officials in the 32 other states that came first. The Missouri program allows registered caregivers to grow up to six plants. It imposes a four percent tax on marijuana sales. Instead of slowly phasing in dispensaries and eligible medical conditions, as Illinois did, the Show Me State

tion towards the overall legalization of cannabis in this country.” The economic pressure on Missouri to legalize recreational cannabis certainly will be intense. Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed into law last month a measure legalizing recreational cannabis. The law is set to take effect January 1, 2020, and would make it legal for people who are 21 or older to possess an ounce of flower weed. At that point, Illinois will become the eleventh state to legalize recreational marijuana use and sales. ven if Missouri only participates in the medical marijuana market for now, that still means plenty of money-making opportunity — with more to come if the state goes all the way. Consider the case of Oregon. Sure, it’s a politically liberal state on the West Coast, but in many ways it is similar to Missouri. Oregon’s population is smaller than Missouri’s (4.2 million versus .14 million), but otherwise the two states are strikingly similar, in that they both feature a few major metro areas in what are otherwise rural states heavily dependent on agriculture. By the end of 2019, Oregon’s legal cannabis industry expects direct sales to approach $4 million, with $270 million in medical marijuana and $1 million in recreational weed, according to New Frontier. Overall, Oregon’s cannabis industry has made an economic impact of more than $1.2 billion, creating more than 12,500 jobs with an average wage of $12.1 an

January 1. The law rolled out slowly. While Illinois’ list of approved medical uses covered 39 conditions and illnesses, it omitted a few big ones, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, sleep disorders and chronic pain. What’s more, the patient application process was widely criticized as cumbersome and expensive. Patient applicants had to be fingerprinted for background checks at their local police stations, and had to get a physician with a “legitimate” doctor-patient relationship to sign their patient cards. Few physicians proved willing. As a result, by 2016, only 4,000 Illinois residents had patient cards. That was less than one-fifth the number the Illinois cannabis industry said was needed to make businesses sustainable. On top of those problems, Illinois lawmakers made it hard for entrepreneurs to obtain dispensary licenses. After showing the state they had $400,000 in liquid assets, dispensary applicants

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hour, according to a 2017 report by economist Beau Whitney. (Those job numbers apply to plant-touching companies, such as dispensaries and grow centers, and do not include tangential services, such as attorneys or security services.) Because medical marijuana in Missouri will be heavily regulated, it’s the state D SS that will determine the winners and losers. It will use a points system to determine which applicants win the first coveted licenses to grow, process and sell medical cannabis. In evaluating applicants, D SS has focused on two priorities: avoiding the perception of preferential treatment for applicants, and making sure the facilities are spread around geographically to ensure fair competition and patient access. Applications will be judged anonymously, in a redacted format by a third-party company. “So no one will know who the applicants are, and the judges are out of state and don’t know any of us anyway,” notes local cannabis entrepreneur Mitch Meyers. After an initial scoring, applicants who propose a facility in a ZIP code with an employment rate of 5 to 9.9 percent will receive bonus points. If the ZIP code’s employment rate is below 5 percent, the bonus is bigger. D SS may award another bonus to a dispensary that is at least 25 miles (in a straight line) from any other proposed or existing dispensary. The contractor performing the judging will rank all the applicants Continued on pg 16

had to pay out $60,000 in fees just to apply, with no guarantee they’d be awarded a permit. Illinois’ medical cannabis program continues to underperform today. The state has twice as many residents as Missouri, yet has certified only a little more than 73,000 qualifying patients — about one-third the patient total some industry sources expect in Missouri by 2022. Bowing to public demand, the Illinois General Assembly in August 2018 expanded medical cannabis use by allowing it to be used as a replacement for opioid painkillers. The legislation also eased the application process: applicants will no longer have to be fingerprinted or undergo criminal background checks. Some industry analysts estimate the expansion could bring in up to 365,000 new patients into Illinois’ medical program, generating at least $425 million in new revenue for the state. —Mike Fitzpatrick

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Kim Engelhoff, left, looks at products at the American Shaman booth at CannaConStL. | ZIA NIZAMI

THE GREEN RUSH Continued from pg 15

in order from highest to lowest score, then submit them to D SS, which will unseal their names and make sure the top scorers have everything they need to be awarded the licenses. “There was a big effort by D SS to influence where these operations will be placed, as they gave bonus points for locating in areas where unemployment is highest,” Meyers writes in an email. “They are looking to rebuild communities and provide work in distressed areas. That had people rethinking their real estate choices.”

MITCH MEYERS MADE HER NAME IN

St. Louis as a trail-blazing marketing guru for beer titan Anheuser-Busch. Spuds MacKenzie, the adorable fictional dog used to sell Bud Light in the 19 0s, was her brainchild, among other feats. Meyers later scored other successes after striking out to start a marketing company of her own, but sold it to a bigger firm to take a break from the business world. She moved to Colorado, where she saw for herself how effective medical cannabis can be for certain medical conditions, such as childhood epilepsy. She became not just a believer, but an evangelist. A few years ago Meyers took a chance by investing in cannabis operations in both Illinois and Missouri. er company, arth

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City-based BeLeaf, won one of the first Missouri licenses to make and sell CDB oil to treat seizure disorders. (CBD, which won’t get you high, is also derived from the hemp plant. Its production won limited approval in 2014 from the Missouri legislature.) Today, after toughing out lean times in Missouri, Meyers now helms a partnership team seeking to apply for medical cannabis licenses covering cultivation, production and dispensaries in St. Louis and St. Louis County. Meyers has seen firsthand the difficulties of growing cannabis, and growing a business. She downplays reports that Missouri could have an oversupply of medical cannabis when the first production centers and dispensaries open next year. “If everybody got up and open, and they were a very capable grower and they were maxing out the amount we could grow under the law, I would tell you we would have way too much product,” Meyers says. “But I know from experience that won’t happen. Some people will get a license, but they won’t get their funding to open uickly. I know a lot of people will start much smaller than the total amount you’re allowed to grow. Because none of us wants to spend $15 million and find out the demand isn’t there yet.” Meyers believes a major factor in the public demand for medical cannabis is the human toll caused by America’s opiate epidemic,

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which was responsible for the bulk of the 70,000 drug overdose deaths last year in America. Cannabis has been shown to be an effective alternative as a painkiller. A 2014 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that states that legalized medical cannabis showed a 25 percent drop in opiate-related deaths compared to states that had not. “ ow many of us know someone who was touched by this issue ” Meyers says. “They’re trying to get off these opiates, and cannabis is one of the tools that should be in the tool box.” It’s not just marijuana plants that will be blossoming in increased numbers in Missouri. Last year’s federal farm bill made it legal to grow agricultural grade hemp, a form of the cannabis plant that contains little to no THC, the psychoactive component that gives marijuana its buzz. This means hemp can be grown nationwide and on an industrial scale. That’s good news for Missouri farmers, who 150 years ago reigned as world leaders in hemp production. They can grow a plant that today around the world is being used to make plastic, textiles, fuel and other basic commodities. They can also start seriously competing against China, which dominates the global hemp market.

JAMILA OWENS-TODD

CAME

TO

cannabis in an indirect way. She started out as a research chemist

who worked for pharmaceutical companies testing, among other things, synthetic opiates. But Owens-Todd always pursued an intense side interest in plantbased medicine, which led her to quit the pharmaceutical industry to become a naturopathic physician practicing in Webster Groves. “Naturopathic medicine is all about plant medicine,” she says. “For me, it is about understanding that health care is all-encompassing and not just relying upon pharmaceuticals.¨ Owens-Todd is one of the partners in Green Care Inc., an investment team seeking to open four dispensaries: one in south city, one in St. Louis County, one in the Kansas City area and one around the Lake of the Ozarks. As a chemist, Owens-Todd knew that synthetic medicines can do a lot of good and even save lives. But there is a lot they can’t do, and often their side effects hurt patients. For Owens-Todd, this realization hit home when she began treating children suffering from epilepsy and other seizure disorders. Conventional drugs were not working and caused harmful side effects. As a result, desperate parents were risking going to prison by going to Colorado to bring back medical cannabis, which actually worked to stop the seizures, Owens-Todd recalls. After conducting her own independent research, Owens-Todd became convinced that cannabis is effective not only for treating seizures, but for many other medical problems. “Once I saw that, it kind of flipped the switch on for me, that this is viable medicine,” she says. “So I really have to consider that in my practice and how I can support families on this and see that it is viable medicine.” Every day, Owens-Todd says she sees people who receive conventional medical diagnoses that provide only few options, such as taking a pill. “When you use plants as an option, you see there are hundreds of options in many cases,” she says. “Opening up options with plants opens up options physically with healing. It does create this bigger stage for health wellness and longevity.¨ What’s more, this information is available to everyone, she says. “A patient goes to a dispensary to find ways of healing themselves with cannabis. So now they have to find which strains are best for me,” she says. “That takes ownership. Which method of delivery Continued on pg 17


THE GREEN RUSH Continued from pg 16

do you want This information is available to everyone. It’s not going to be limited by your ZIP code or socio-economic status. It’s going to be available to everyone.¨ Green Care vows to price its cannabis low enough to make it affordable to everyone living in the neighborhoods it’s serving, Owens-Todd says. “We will not eliminate anyone from our dispensary,” she says. “That’s a key component of why we do this. Is that there is going to be something for everyone. And we’re going to make sure we get it in your hands the best way possible.”

TALK

TO ANYONE APPLYING FOR

a cannabis license in Missouri, and chances are, they’ll tell you they’re doing so because they have already witnessed how cannabis has helped someone close to them — a parent, a son or daughter, a spouse. A.J “Joe” Ingrande, runs a notfor-profit group in Troy, about an hour’s drive northwest of St. Louis. Grande’s group, Mission 22, helps troubled military veterans. It’s named for the estimated 22 military veterans who kill themselves on average each day. Ingrande, who speaks in an earnest tone and calls himself “a big Second Amendment guy,” is all in on cannabis. e says he knows first-hand how much it’s helped him and many people he knows. An Army infantry veteran of Operation Desert Storm, and the survivor of a friendly fire incident that left him with PTSD, Ingrande uses medical cannabis to treat a sleep disorder. It also helps his wife, who suffers from seizures, he says. “And I saw that my friends were getting help from it,” Ingrande tells a reporter while attending CannaConStl, a two-day cannabis trade show that occurred in April at a hotel near St. Louis Lambert International Airport. The event drew dozens of vendors and hundreds of aspiring entrepreneurs, included a long list of featured speakers, including keynote speaker Keith Stroup, the founder of the National Organization for the eform of Marijuana Laws. The vibe throughout the twoday conference was a sort of energized chill. After years, even decades of fighting the system — often risking lengthy prison sentences — these activists, entrepreneurs and medical professionals knew they had won. Society had finally caught up with them.

Kathy Baldwin wants to open a dispensary in St. Charles County with three of her sisters. A retired dental hygienist in her early 0s, Baldwin said she’s learned how medical cannabis could have helped her late father, who passed away from lung cancer and Alzheimer’s. “People seem to be educated,” she says of conference participants. “I think if you’re educated, it could really change your mind.” For his part, Ingrande has already ponied up $10,000 in a license application fee for a dispensary, and he’s paid a consultant another $15,000. None of that money is refundable if his group doesn’t get a license. But the financial risk is worth it, he says. “It’s like racing,” he says. “ ou don’t go into it to finish second. I see a huge market for this in terms of who is actually going to be considered patients.” One month later, the same spirit motivating Ingrande propels Steven Burroughs to rise early on a Saturday morning, drive about an hour from his home in Ste. Genevieve and spend $250 of his own money to attend a four-hour “budtender” training seminar put on by Florida-based HempStaff. Held at the Embassy Suites St. Louis, the seminar draws three dozen aspirants to learn about a career field that, on average, pays more than $ 2,000 a year, as well as laws governing Missouri cannabis and the intricacies of providing patients with the strains of weed most helpful to them. “There is a lot to benefit from, from a young age to death-bed type of thing,” says Burroughs, 25, a food service worker. “There is a lot more to extract from it that everyone can benefit, not even psycho-actively. It’s wild.¨ Burroughs acknowledges that his family is against cannabis. But when they learn more, “They will change their minds,” he says. ¨They will. I guarantee my family will benefit from it.” Lauren Deroffett, 27, of St. Louis, says she has long used cannabis for recreational and medical reasons. Budtending seems a natural extension of that interest, she says. “I’d love to be involved with it,” she says. “The medicine of everything. It’s a miracle. A lot of young people prefer to smoke cannabis instead of drinking. Drinking, you are not yourself. It completely changes you. But smoking doesn’t have that effect.” Mike Fitzgerald is an RFT contributing writer. He can be reached at msfitzgerald2006@gmail.com

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BY PAUL FRISWOLD rest of this summer’s schedule and more information, visit www.slam. org arthillfilms. Admission is free.

Educational Display

St. Louis gathers on Art Hill for movies this summer. | COURTESY OF SAINT LOUIS ART MUSEUM

FRIDAY 07/12 French Maplewood Maplewood’s arts-based street festival, Let Them Eat Art, is a cheeky tip of the cap to Bastille Day, France’s own national day of celebration. Maplewood’s version features more than 50 local artists creating new works and discussing their inspiration and methods in

the 7300 block of Manchester Road and farther east from 6 to 11 p.m. Friday, July 12. Live music is provided by the Gene Dobbs Bradford Blues Experience, Jazz in Space and headliners Dawn Weber and the Electro Funk Assembly. Kids activities take place in Sutton Loop Park from 6 to 9 p.m. Admission is free. For more information visit www.cityofmaplewood.com/fun.

Summer Classic The Saint Louis Art Museum’s Art

Hill Film Series still feels rather new, but in fact celebrates its tenth summer this year. The first film of this summer is suitably monumental: Marvel’s Black Panther. The record-smashing superhero flick has action, drama and a truly great — and different — hero, and it starts at 9 p.m. Friday, July 12. Prior to the film, there will be live music, food trucks and picnicking, if you’re so inclined. Coolers and baskets are allowed, and in the event of bad weather the museum will post updates on its Facebook page. For the

Several generations of children have gained valuable hands-on experience with art at the Craft Alliance. From ceramics to hot glass to textiles to comic book creation, untold numbers of kids have taken their first serious creative steps there. It is the Craft Alliance’s teachers — artists all — who have made all of that possible. The Biennial Faculty Exhibition showcases the work of those educators, and it features a wealth of items from metalsmithing to painting. The Biennial opens with a free reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, July 12, at the Craft Alliance in the Delmar Loop (6640 Delmar Boulevard; www.craftalliance.org). The gallery is open Tuesday through Sunday, and the exhibit continues through August 18.

SATURDAY 07/13 Brick by Brick Everything is awesome in St. Louis as the BrickUniverse Lego

Conservators restore the Saint Louis Art Museum’s Panorama of the Monumental Grandeur of the Mississippi Valley. | COURTESY OF SAINT LOUIS ART MUSEUM

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WEEK OF JULY 11-17 Star break) as well as a National League-leading 81 RBI. If you’re a baseball fan, watching a player like Bell hit is as good a reason as any to buy a ticket to the Cardinals three-game series against the Buccos. First pitch is at 7:15 p.m. Monday and Tuesday and 12:15 p.m. Wednesday (July 15 to 17) at Busch Stadium (700 Clark Avenue; www.stlcardinals. com) and tickets are $10.90 to $240.90.

TUESDAY 07/16 The Restoration Jeff Hornung’s Morocco Sunset is shown in Craft Alliance’s Faculty Biennial. | COURTESY OF CRAFT ALLIANCE Convention hits Queeny Park’s Greensfelder Complex (550 Weidman Road, Ballwin; www.brickuniverse.com/stlouis) this Saturday and Sunday (July 13 and 14). Thirty of artist Jonathan Lopes’ creations will be on display, including his eight-foot Lego replication of New York City’s Woolworth Building. Rocco Buttliere, a Chicago-based Lego modeler, will display 50 of his 1:650 scale versions of famous landmarks. Other attractions include a building arena where kids and adults can work on their own creations, and a big brick building space for those who want work in a larger scale. A Star Wars zone, Lego retail space and numerous vendors offering specialty and custom bricks, as well as other Lego-related items, will be on site both days. BrickUniverse is open from Saturday July 13 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $18 to $20. —Joshua Phelps

The Local Show The St. Louis Filmmakers Showcase is the best place to see features and shorts created by locals. This year’s festival takes place on two consecutive weekends (Friday through Sunday, July 12 to 21) at Brown Hall on Washing-

ton University’s campus (Forsyth and Skinker boulevards; www. cinemastlouis.org). Highlights on the opening weekend include the 1 p.m. Saturday, July 13, showing of Lou Baczewski’s documentary Path of the Past, which is about his namesake grandfather’s WWII experience in a Sherman tank. Louis “Louch” Baczewski survived all five campaigns in the European Theater, from Normandy and into the heart of Germany and eventually back home to Pocahontas, Illinois. The always popular Comedy Shorts program screens at 6:30 p.m. Saturday as well, and includes Gary Lobstein’s “Catlove,” which won this year’s Cat Clips film competition. Tickets for all programs are $10 to $13.

MONDAY 07/15 Ring the Bell The St. Louis Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Pirates are about even in the standings, which is a sure sign of how this season is playing out for el Birdos. Still, there’s half a season left and a lot can happen between now and September. Pirates’ man-mountain Josh Bell is raking this year, tallying an unbelievable 57 extra-base hits and monster home runs (26 at the All-

Sean Canan’s Voodoo Tribute To Eric Clapton Thursday July 11 9PM

Roland Johnson and Soul Endeavor Friday July 12 10PM

Flow Tribe

NOLA Style Funk Saturday July 13 10PM

Marquis Knox Blues Phenom

Sunday July 14 8PM

Soul, Blues and R&B Legend Kim Massie

Before the advent of film, the only way to see the parts of America where you didn’t live was through an artist’s representation. Enterprising artists such as Irish immigrant John J. Egan realized that if you could recreate in a painting the feeling of traveling through the country, audiences would pay to see it. The result were the geographic panoramas of the nineteenth centuries, immense paintings mounted on pairs of rollers. Crowds purchased tickets to see these spooling paintings (some of which were hundreds of feet long) unroll to reveal the natural wonders of America. Egan’s Panorama of the Monumental Grandeur of the Mississippi Valley is a 350-foot piece of fabric that features 25 individual scenes of life along the Mississippi River in the mid-1800s. The Saint Louis Art Museum in Forest Park (www. slam.org) currently owns the panorama and has it set up in Sculpture Hall on a pair of metal drums controlled by a custom-built motorized system. Unfortunately the constant unfurling of this brilliant work of art degraded its surface. Eight years of diligent work by museum art conservators have restored numerous panels to their original glory, and now only three damaged panels remain. A team of conservators is at work on those final bits even now. isitors are able to observe their work, and ask questions of conservators, at 11 a.m. on Tuesdays in July. n

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Wednesday July 10 9:30PM

Wednesday July 17 9:30PM

Sean Canan’s Voodoo

Tribute To The Doctor, Dr. John

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FILM

[REVIEW]

Beloved Toni Toni Morrison’s life and times are revealed in the documentary The Pieces I Am Written by

ROBERT HUNT Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am Directed by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders. With Toni Morrison, Russell Banks, Angela Davis and Oprah Winfrey. Opens Friday, July 12, at the Landmark Plaza Frontenac Cinema.

W

riters have appeared on film for about as long as it has existed — you can find silent footage of Leo Tolstoy cutting wood and Mark Twain wandering across Thomas dison’s estate, seemingly caught off-guard by a medium that didn’t allow speech. et the actual work of writing is hard to capture on screen. In fictional films, writers tend to divide their time between filling wastebaskets and ashtrays. In documentaries, their lives are reduced to a catalog of best-seller lists and talk-show appearances. The interior world — the majority of a writer’s life — remains elusive. Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am breaks through the usual barriers surrounding a literary life by acknowledging the many facets of its subject, the Nobel Prize-winning author of Beloved and Song of Solomon. It’s a memoir of Morrison’s life as well as a re-creation of the times she’s lived through. Director Timothy GreenfieldSanders, an accomplished photographer as well as a filmmaker, has made previous films about creatives from performance artists to porn stars, as well as a near-definitive portrait of Lou eed. e uses interviews with Morrison’s friends and admirers (Angela Davis, Walter Mosley, Oprah Winfrey), shot against a grey background that seems both warm and neutral, but the author herself dominates the narrative with her own stories. Throughout the film, the screen is filled with a rapid-fire barrage of portraits — drawings, paintings, illustrations

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Toni Morrison doing what she does best: writing and thinking. | ©TIMOTHY GREENFIELD-SANDERS/COURTESY OF MAGNOLIA PICTURES from Morrison’s novels or covers from various editions — as well as historical art and stylized renderings (a portrait of a slave revealed behind George Washington). Portraiture is a recurring theme in Greenfield-Sanders’ films, and he uses this fast-paced collage to offer many faces of Morrison, keeping her present even as the film speeds through several decades of cultural history. In an early scene, Morrison recalls her early love of words and her fondness, as a child, for copying them onto the sidewalk in chalk. When a four-letter one she didn’t understand sent her mother into a panic, she knew she was dealing with a very powerful medium. That sense of the strength in words never left her. While raising two sons as a single mother working as an editor at andom ouse, she wrote her first books early in the morning hours. As an editor, she supervised some the most important black writers of the 1970s (including uey Newton, Angela Davis, and — posthumously — George Jackson), hands-on to the point of setting up her authors’ signing tables. Morrison even shepherded Muhammad Ali through a book tour, winning his respect only after she determined that she needed to strike a

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Morrison’s writing took off when she stopped assuming that she needed the approval of white readers — and that discovery gave her the courage to devote her time solely to her own work. stern maternal pose. According to the film, Morrison’s 1974 anthology of African-American history, The Black Book, was a turning point. er writing, Morrison recalls in the film, took off when she stopped assuming that she needed the approval of white readers — and that discovery gave her the courage to stop editing and devote her time solely to her own work. The result, as Morrison’s readers know, was liberating. De-

fying the traditional strictures by which black writers are judged, she addressed her own experiences and created narratives about women whose lives had largely remained absent from literature. er success was gradual but gratifying. In 19 , an open letter signed by 4 prominent black writers criticized the literary establishment for its failure to recognize Morrison’s work. A few months later, the Pulitzer Prize committee responded by giving their award to Beloved, a recognition compounded in 199 when she received the Nobel Prize for Literature. Achieving both literary posterity and popular success (four of her books have been selected for Oprah’s Book Club), Morrison appears in The Pieces I Am as a serious and reflective figure, but one with well-deserved contentment. (Although open in her recollections, she clearly holds some things in reserve, noting that Chloe Wofford — her name at birth — doesn’t appear in documentaries.) A powerful presence on film as in literature, she tells her story with openness and an admirable sense of self-confidence. Asked by a reporter why she thinks the Nobel committee chose her, she gives a straight and honest answer: “I think I write well.” n


STAGE [REVIEW]

Simply LaBest The plays in the first half of this year’s LaBute Fest set a high bar Written by

PAUL FRISWOLD LaBute New Theater Festival Presented by St. Louis Actors’ Studio through July 28 at the Gaslight Theater (358 North Boyle Avenue; www.stlas.org). Tickets are $30 to $35.

L

et’s come out and say it plainly: You need to go see the first half of the LaBute New Theater Festival this weekend. St. Louis Actors’ Studio’s long-running partnership with playwright director Neil LaBute is always worth your time, but this year, a new bar has been set. The four plays in the first half of this year’s festival are provocative, invigorating theater, presented at a fever pitch. There are big ideas, clever scripts and top-notch performances across the board. LaBute’s own “Great Negro Works of Art,” directed by John Pierson, opens the evening with a catastrophe. Jerri and Tom meet at an art gallery for a blind date. Tom (Jaz Tucker) is black and late Jerri (Carly osenbaum) is white and “woke.” It’s a dangerous combination for a self-assured young woman who doesn’t understand the difference between saying “I’m woke” and actually knowing what racism really looks and sounds like. Jerri finds the gallery’s painted lawn jockeys “cute,” which ba es Tom. is explanation of the racist history behind them puts her on the defensive, and her stated love for “black artists” results in a painful, embarrassing line of uestioning that ends with Tom affirming that, yes, Picasso was white. The more they try to engage honestly with each other, the more contentious their date becomes. “No more sorries’ between us,” Jerri promises at one point. “We’ve got to move on.” LaBute’s script hums along with

Aaron and Stacy (Shane Signorino and Colleen Backer) are on a horrific first date. | PATRICK HUBER/STLAS blind malice, as Jerri piles on unintended insults and then is deeply hurt when Tom calls her on racist thinking. osenbaum is excellent as the blithely awful Jerri, while Tucker slowly crumbles under another assault on his intelligence, dignity and basic humanity. Michael . Long’s “Color Timer” is also about an ill-fated first date. Stacy (Colleen Backer) works on the technical side of reality T and has a florid vocabulary, which she delivers at machine-gun speed. Aaron (Shane Signorino) is a uiet, carefully spoken psychologist overwhelmed by the torrent of words pouring out at him. When Stacy tells him she’s drawn a gun and will kill him if he leaves, then open fire on the other restaurant patrons, Aaron is stunned and wants to know why. Well, because Stacy wants an engaging conversation, and she believes highstress situations focus the mind to a state of genius. Backer is charming and witty and downright conversational throughout, while Signorino conveys the stillness of a man caught in a slow-motion, familiar nightmare. Director Jenny Smith barely gives you time to breathe, which keeps you in suspense until the end. Then Long’s script clonks you over the head and puts a bullet in your heart. It’s an exhilarating play. “Privilege,” by Joe Sutton, is something of a legal thriller. Law student Peter White (Spen-

The four plays are provocative, invigorating theater, presented at a fever pitch. There are big ideas, clever scripts and top-notch performances across the board. cer Sickmann) is undergoing the character examination portion of the bar system. uestioned at length by an unseen panel about his family and whom exactly he’s related to, Peter remains calm. In a subse uent meeting with his Uncle Mark (Chuck Brinkley), he’s anything but. attled by the determined barrage of uestions about his father’s side of the family — almost all of them are lawyers — he discovers a family crime that’s been kept from him. The character exam and his investigation into what happens are inter-

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spliced, but director Jenny Smith divides the stage in thirds, each third clearly defined by what happens in that space. The title is a bit of a puzzler, until Uncle Mark points out that Peter didn’t have the grades to go to law school, yet here he is. Many members of the White family have had strings pulled on their behalf, both to get them where they are and then to keep them there Peter never uestioned the benefits he reaped. It’s a sharp piece of theater, wellrealized by Sickmann and the cast, which also includes Shane Signorino and Carly osenbaum. As is unofficial tradition, the evening ends with a comedy. Carter W. Lewis’ “Kim Jong osemary” is about a tired and angry single mom, honda, played by Jenny Smith, and her gender-fluid child, Beth ( li urwitz, who uses they them pronouns in their normal life). honda enters wheeling a massive, bulky sack, which she declares is her anger. This is your first clue that Lewis is going off the map into meta territory, a suspicion confirmed when a character named Carter W. Lewis, “a pansexual, gender-neutral performer” played by Colleen Backer, enters the play and starts explaining what Lewis the playwright is trying to do here. “I wanted to write a play about the current popularity of anger, specifically women’s anger,” Lewis Backer begins. This statement sets off a philosophical and metaphysical conversation between the characters about the appropriation of women’s anger by a white man, the sources of that anger and a surprise declaration from Lewis Backer that the playwright “sounds like an asshole.” honda and Beth level Lewis Backer a tough-but-fair punishment, and then honda tenderly explains to Beth that despite the beliefs of the young, things won’t get better in their lifetimes. Women have a hard road in America, and improvements come slowly (and are occasionally snatched back by theocratic white congressmen). It will take generations of conscientious action by people like Beth to make change, and you must proceed knowing you won’t see the results. Lewis’ ambitious and funny script is beautifully handled by the cast and director John Pierson. It’s a perfect finale to an evening of essentially flawless live theater. n

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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.

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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Spencer’s Grill is a historic diner in the heart of downtown Kirkwood. Bill Spencer opened the Grill on Route 66 back in 1947. Over 70 years later a lot has changed but the diner is still a timeless staple cherished by locals. These days Alex Campbell is the owner and the road goes by S. Kirkwood, but the old grill lives on. Known for its breakfast, Spencer’s cooks up crispy pancakes, from scratch biscuits and gravy, omelets, hash browns, and other traditional breakfast favorites. For the after breakfast crowds, Spencer’s offers a variety of lunch options including sandwiches as well as some of the best burgers in town. Jake Sciales (previously head chef at Farmhaus) runs the kitchen at Spencer’s and creates delicious off-menu specials daily. His culinary excellence makes even the most familiar dishes divine.The charming breakfast bar is welcoming and the service is friendly and fast. Mornings can be busy but the lines move quickly and breakfast comes out fast. Looking for a new breakfast spot? If you haven’t tried Spencer’s yet, you need to check it out. Spencer’s Grill is open 6AM until 2PM seven days a week.

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314.449.6328 5257 SHAW AVE, ST. LOUIS, MO 63110 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.

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Like pizza? Nobody does it better than Café Piazza, a Sicilian Café & Bar in Benton Park & a stone’s throw from Anheuser-Busch (enjoy this iconic St Louis vista from our patio). Our “Big Momma” (a 4-ton laser wood-fired pizza oven) has been firing out pizzas since 2017. Try the original 11” Italian style: bestsellers include our Pizza Bianca (garlic infused alfredo sauce, grilled chicken, bacon and parmigiana) or Queen Margherita (fresh mozzarella, tomato and basil). Prefer a deeper dish? Try our Sicilian pizzas baked in Extra Virgin Olive Oil & tomato fillet sauce with your choice of toppings. Heard of our famous graffiti mural which covers the entire ceiling? Created by legendary artist Paco Rosic, it depicts famous St Louis luminaries: kudos to those who can name all eleven! If pizza isn’t your thing, our appetizers, paninis, and salads definitely will be. Open for lunch & dinner daily. Brunch served Saturday, Sunday 10am – 2pm. $7 original 11” Italian pizzas all day every Monday! Happy Hour 4pm – 6pm weekly ($3 draft beer), all-day Sunday. Open until midnight Friday & Saturday. Group catering also available.

JULY 10-16, 2019

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314.305.8647 1031 LYNCH ST, ST. LOUIS, MO 63118 Treat yourself to an elevated culinary experience. With spring’s arrival, OAKED introduces its Pink Moon menu. Diners can order the entire menu inside the speakeasy-feeling lounge, upstairs in the spacious dining room, and now on the beautiful New Orleans-style patio dubbed “the Veranda”. Chef Stephan Ledbetter and crew create new dishes each menu using the finest available ingredients while keeping past winners. This time around includes Duck Breast with charred Cabbage; Ratatouille with Spaghetti Squash and Vegan Burrata; and the housegem - Wild Mushrooms served with Duxellé, Truffle and Mushroom Tea. OAKED ensures their menu includes several vegan and gluten-free options so everyone can savor their evening. OAKED also has one of the better curated wine list in town alongside a selection of whiskeys and craft cocktails. It even has a small cigar bar outside on “the Gallery”. Offering Happy Hour specials from 4-6 daily. Music in the lounge Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Ample parking. Walk-ins are welcome, but reservations are recommended.


CAFE

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[REVIEW]

Quickie Mart Magic A Kirkwood bodega boasts that it has the best gyro in town — and it just might be on to something Written by

CHERYL BAEHR Kirkwood Deli & Grocery 500 West Essex Avenue, Kirkwood; 314-9666699. Mon.-Fri. 6 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sat. 7 a.m.-9 p.m. (Closed Sunday.)

K

irkwood Deli & Grocery looks like any other suburban corner market — the sort of place you go to pick up a sixpack of Corona, a lotto ticket or a pack of Band-Aids when you’re desperate but too lazy to run to the supermarket. In fact, it looks so basic from the outside, you tend to drive by without even noticing the place; you certainly don’t give a second glance to the handwritten sandwich board erected in its parking lot, certain that it advertises nothing more than the week’s special on Coors Banquet. However, if you happen to pause at the four-way stop at Essex and Geyer a little longer than normal and look more closely, you’ll see that the sandwich board makes a bold statement that has nothing to do with beer prices. “Best Gyro in Town,” it reads, leaving you to rub your eyes, look again and then wonder what in the hell a quickie mart could possibly bring to Greek cuisine. Mike Bahour, the owner of Kirkwood Deli, is used to getting skeptical looks when new customers decide to venture in and check out the place. He’s gotten them ever since he took over the 35-year-old market roughly two-and-a-half years ago. He’s also grown accustomed to what happens after those customers take their first bite of the massive, tzatziki-covered wrap: a look of shock that turns quickly into utter bliss. Though Bahour has only owned Kirkwood Deli & Grocery for a

Kirkwood Deli’s gyro utilizes both lamb and beef, topping the meats with tomato, red onion and tzatziki. | MABEL SUEN few years, he is no stranger to the mini-market food business. For two decades, he has owned similar bodega/food counter concepts, serving everything from sandwiches to fried chicken. However, this particular venture inspired him to go bigger than he had in the past. As soon as he took over, he got to work expanding the market’s existing sandwich counter into a full-fledged deli. It’s a striking setup. When you walk through the front doors of what was once an old Magic Market, the first impression is just how large and open it is. Like most corner markets, the walls are lined in beer and soft drink coolers, leaving space in the middle of the room for shelves filled with staple groceries and sundries. And if you hit these aisles before checking out the deli counter, you’ll see your first clue that this is no ordinary corner store. Two aisles contain a wine selection at least as good as what you’d find at your

average small grocery store; that a mini-mart divides its wine aisle by region is telling. Just as impressive as the wine selection is the sandwich counter setup. That’s not necessarily in terms of size, but in what the small staff of cooks (typically two) is able to accomplish with such humble accommodations. With little more than the sort of electric griddle you use in a home kitchen and a toaster oven, Kirkwood Deli serves not only gyros, but a comprehensive sandwich selection, using all Boar’s Head meats. That includes such offerings as the “Southern Comfort,” a hot melt of garlicky fried bologna, bacon and gooey Provel. It’s a rich, decadent pile of meat and cheese, but pungent yellow mustard cuts through the fattiness, giving it a piquant punch to balance out the other components. The “Smoke Stack” takes all the components of a classic club — ham, turkey and bacon — but

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has an added depth because the meats and accompanying gouda cheese are smoked. Piled high and finished with lettuce, tomato and a generous smear of mayonnaise, this flawlessly executed offering is magical. So is the “Sink,” another nobrainer combination of roast beef, ham, turkey and Provel. Here, however, Bahour adds salami, which gives the sandwich garlic and fat. He also tops it with banana peppers, which infuse every bite with mouth-puckering spice. The “Hot Italian” is a similar offering, but the addition of pepperoni and hot peppers makes it decidedly more fiery. Kirkwood Deli serves adequate cheesesteaks, filled with shaved roast beef and molten Provel that is a good as a substitute as any for a classic Philly’s Cheez-Whiz. My only quibble is that, at least during lunchtime, these sandwiches are prepared in advance and served

JULY 10-16, 2019

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KIRKWOOD DELI Continued from pg 23

out of a warming case; this takes away the greasy goo factor of a hot-off-the-presses cheesesteak. I understand you can only do so much with limited cooking equipment, but it makes a big difference. The deli does manage, however, to execute an outstanding Reuben to order. Stacked high enough for heft without being obnoxiously overstuffed, the corned beef is shaved thin, covered with melted Swiss, sauerkraut and thousand island dressing and sandwiched between two slices of buttery griddled marble rye bread that soaks in every last condiment and drop of fat from the meat. This is not a great Reuben for a mini-mart; it’s a great Reuben, period. If the Reuben is Kirkwood Deli’s nod to New York, its “Pioneer” is all St. Louis. The ham and cheese melt is a riff on the Gerber, which is arguably our city’s best contribution to the culinary world. Here, crusty French bread is soaked in garlic butter, covered in Provel that is melted until it forms golden-hued bubbles and then piled with ham that’s shaved so thin, it’s reminiscent of prosciutto. A dash

Owner Mike Bahour, left, with employee Josh Frahm. | MABEL SUEN of paprika gilds this mouthwatering lily, which gushes with garlic butter in every bite. The “Pioneer” would be Kirkwood Deli’s best offering were it not for what draws you into the spot in the first place: the gyro. ou don’t even need to take a bite to realize it’s good; when Bahour hands

you the foil-wrapped sandwich, its heaviness is shocking. As you peel back the silver wrapping, its heft reveals itself in the form of a lightly toasted pita stuffed with what looks like at least two sandwiches’ worth of filling. But it’s not just the size that matters. The meat, a combination of lamb and beef, is

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tender, well-seasoned and juicy Bahour slices it thicker than most, which only adds to the sandwich’s overall beauty. Tomato, onion and tzatziki finish the offering. ustic in texture, almost like a chunky cucumber garlic dip, the rich, housemade tzatziki brings everything together with a creamy zest. Bahour is immensely proud of this gyro — and he should be. If it’s not the best gyro in town, it’s certainly one of them, a distinction that’s even more impressive considering how unexpected it is. Were you to get this at a Greek restaurant, you’d say “wow.” That it’s coming from a quickie mart knocks your socks off. And Bahour is rightfully proud of much more than the gyro. What he’s been able to accomplish at Kirkwood Deli is nothing short of impressive, and the speed and friendliness of his small staff only adds to the charm. Next time he’s writing up that sandwich board sign, he might go with an even bolder statement. His fans, at least, wouldn’t object to “Best Deli in Town.”

Kirkwood Deli Gyro ........................................................ $7.50 Reuben .................................................. $7.50 ”Smoke Stack” .................................... $7.75

JULY 10-16, 2019

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SHORT ORDERS

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[SIDE DISH]

Acero’s Chef Wants Food from the Heart Written by

CHERYL BAEHR

A

ndy Hirstein knows the dreamy caricature people have about life in the country — farm-to-table meals, fresh ingredients, seasonal produce. In his reality, though, that simply wasn’t the case. “I grew up in a small town in Illinois, about 60 miles outside of St. Louis,” Hirstein explains. “It’s the middle of farm country, and this is odd — you’d think you could get a good meal there, but it’s not the case. Really, it’s just fast food or diners. There’s nothing wrong with those places, but it’s not the kind of food you think you’d get out there.” Now executive chef at Acero (7266 Manchester Road, Maplewood; 314-644-1790), Hirstein is closer to that romantic ideal of cooking than he was as a kid in rural Illinois. He says his childhood surroundings shaped him by forcing him to learn how to prepare quality food himself. With two working parents (Hirstein’s dad was a union laborer, and his mom worked for the Illinois State Police), Hirstein often found himself in charge of cooking. It never felt like a chore, though; Hirstein used his time in the kitchen to experiment. After he graduated high school, Hirstein followed in his father’s footsteps, doing labor and construction work. But even when he briefly left town for North Carolina, unsure what he wanted to do, restaurant work never came to mind as an option. That’s even though Hirstein continued to cook at home, becoming increasingly skilled at it. It finally dawned on him that this just might be his path, so he enrolled in culinary school at L’ cole Culinaire and focused on learning

Andy Hirstein, executive chef at Acero, is throwing down on his crush on Edwardsville, and much more. | JEN WEST everything he could in a professional environment. However, his most foundational cooking experience came many miles away, outside of the classroom. “In culinary school I went to Italy. It was a life-changing experience,” Hirstein says. “The way they do things there — it’s real Italian food and it’s simple. I still say to myself, ‘OK, here’s what I would do, but what would I do if I was an Italian grandma?’ That answer changes things.” After returning from Italy and finishing culinary school, irstein got a job as a sauté cook at the Fox Theatre, where he worked for two years before departing for the St. Louis Club. There, he learned classical French cooking in an extremely rigorous environment. It wasn’t always fun, but he says it helped him become the chef he is today. After two years, Hirstein wanted a change. Through a mutual connection, he met Jim Fiala, owner of the Crossing and Acero, and was offered the opportunity to come on board. He’s never looked back. As executive chef at Acero, Hirstein takes as his inspiration from his time in Italy, where he learned the art of doing things simply. He admits the transition

from classical French to Italian was not exactly seamless, but that the whole point of cooking is to keep learning lest you stagnate in your role. More importantly, he’s discovered how much he loves hospitality and the joy good food can bring to people — something that’s appealed to him for as long as he can remember. “I get a high from putting something on a plate and seeing the look on someone’s face when they love it,” Hirstein says. “There are days when you wonder why you do this to yourself, but then someone comes in and says they want to meet you and thank you, and you realize why you do it. You have to have a passion for service and doing things for others.” Hirstein took a break from the kitchen to share is thoughts on the St. Louis food and beverage scene, why nothing is off limits in his kitchen (except lima beans) and his sure-fire way to find the best food in town. What is one thing people don’t know about you that you wish they did? I have three beautiful daughters and an amazing fianc I’m a proud cheer dad and they’re the four most important things in my life.

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What daily ritual is non-negotiable for you? Coffee on my drive in to work. I’m a real pain when it doesn’t happen — ha If you could have any superpower, what would it be? The power of persuasion, I guess. What is the most positive thing in food, wine or cocktails that you’ve noticed in St. Louis over the past year? I feel like we’re getting back to cooking honest food from the heart. There’s still foams and silly stuff like that out there, and that’s fine, but I think its trending back to good old honest food that our grandmas would be happy that we’re making. What is something missing in the local food, wine or cocktail scene that you’d like to see? I guess there’s always room for improvement, but I don’t know what else you could ask for from the local food and drink scene. I think we stay a little under the radar, nationally speaking, but that may be a good thing. I mean, if you want a great burger, there’s probably one not to far away. Great steak or seafood Plenty of options there Great and fresh pasta Come see us at Acero Great BB very corner

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ANDY HIRSTEIN Continued from pg 29

Great drinks? Everywhere. Like I said, I guess we should always look to improve, but I think we cover the spectrum pretty well here in St. Louis. Who is your St. Louis food crush? Well, actually my food crush is in Edwardsville. I live a little north of Edwardsville in a small town by the name of Gillespie. So, having a small family, when we do get out, it’s usually to Edwardsville and when we do its to have spicy ramen at Oriental Spoon. It’s a small place that serves up Korean fare. Get the spicy ramen with kimchi and you won’t be disappointed. It’s good for a hangover as well. Who’s the one person to watch right now in the St. Louis dining scene? Nick Bognar seems to be doing some pretty fun and interesting stuff. Brian Moxey’s moved over to Sardella and he seems to be having a lot of fun there too. Rick Lewis is always having fun at Grace Meat + Three. I know that’s more than just one person to watch, so I guess my point is go check out anyone who looks like they’re having fun doing what they’re doing. That’s where the good stuff is going to be. Which ingredient is most representative of your personality? Candied pistachios. Sweet and salty. If you weren’t working in the restaurant business, what would you be doing? Something outdoors. Farming or maybe a professional forager. Name an ingredient never allowed in your restaurant. Why would you limit yourself? All ingredients are welcome. xcept lima beans No lima beans. What is your after-work hangout? My couch. What’s your food or beverage guilty pleasure? A Sazerac made by my coworker, Andy, after a long Saturday. What would be your last meal on earth? Cubed steak, mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet corn. The only catch is it has to prepared by my mom. The meal itself isn’t as important as the nostalgia of having it made by my mom. n

[FOOD NEWS]

Plantain Girl Finds a New Home Written by

SARAH FENSKE

C

hef Mandy Estrella, the “Plantain Girl” who won raves for her Latin cooking during a one-year run at Alphateria, says she will open her first stand-alone concept in Lafayette Square — a restaurant called Mayo Ketchup. The eatery will be located at 2001 Park Avenue, replacing Laredo on the Square. The Mexican restaurant opened in 2012, taking the lovely 4,000-square-foot space at the corner of Park Avenue and Mississippi. In a press release, Estrella said that Mayo Ketchup would open in the late summer and serve Puerto ican, Dominican and Cuban food, which she has long specialized in. “Mayo Ketchup,” she explained, is “Puerto Rico’s most beloved condiment.” “The overwhelming response we received over the past four years from catering, pop up events and our year operating the

Chef Mandy Estrella, known for her Caribbean food, is preparing to open her first standalone concept. | MABEL SUEN Latin-forward kitchen Alphateria has encouraged me to pursue a permanent location,” Estrella said in the release. “Everyone has a deep connection to the food culture they were first exposed to with family and friends, imagine if you couldn’t find that in the city you lived in. I began this journey thinking there was a demand for this cuisine in the St. Louis area that wasn’t being fulfilled, without knowing how that belief would be come so apparent. “The historic and beautiful Lafayette Square, centrally located from Illinois, St Louis County, and St. Charles, as well as our loyal city followers, was the right fit.” Estrella said the concept had

been in development for four years as she waited for the right space and timing. Hers is not the only restaurant concept aiming to open in Lafayette Square this summer. Last week, St. Louis Magazine reported that Red Stag BurgerHouse will soon open its doors at 1801 Park Avenue. The restaurant is slated to fill the space that previously held Balentine’s, and before that Tripel Brasserie. The magazine reports that management company McNeil & Partners L.P. is taking ownership and plans to serve “high-end gourmet burgers in a casual, pubby atmosphere. (Think heavy wood tables, vintage signs, etc.).” n

Piccione Readies for a Long Goodbye Written by

KATIE COUNTS

A

fter six years, Piccione Pastry (6197 Delmar Boulevard, 314932-1355) will close September 22 when its lease with Washington University ends. Richard Nix Jr., who owned Piccione with his wife Elizabeth Nix, says Piccione’s closing will allow his family focus on their other businesses. “Now’s the time to evolve into something different,” Nix says. The Nixes also own the catering service Butler’s Pantry and Cafe Madeleine in Tower Grove Park. (They previously owned Bixby’s, located in the Missouri History Museum, which closed last year.) The Italian bakery and food-stop served a variety of desserts, including

Piccione Pastry will close in September after a six-year run in the Loop. | MABEL SUEN cannoli, tiramisu, Italian cookies, and a whole lot more. But just because it’s closing doesn’t mean people won’t be able to buy Piccione products. According to Nix, these products will still be offered for both business and personal purchase through Butler’s Boardroom. And... “If we found the right spot to resurrect it, we would,” Nix says. The full menu and brunch will continue to be served until closing. For the last ten weeks, Nix says Piccione will run

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a “Top Ten” special featuring some of its popular items. If there is any takeaway, Nix says, it’s how great Washington University has treated the business while it leased the space. “We can’t thank Wash U. enough,” he says. He also says how grateful Piccione was to be a part of the “fabric and the diversity” of the Delmar Loop. “One is the things I’ll be saddest about is leaving that corner,” Nix says. n

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[DESSERTS]

Poptimism Rolls Into Town Written by

SARAH FENSKE

I

f you love popsicles, but prefer to skip the sticky-sweet syrupy versions on most freezer shelves, now St. Louis has a truck for that — and it’s positively adorable. Poptimism, a new “ice pop truck” made out of a retrofitted 1984 AM General postal truck, is the newest project from Kaylen Wissinger, the owner of Cherokee Street’s Whisk: A Sustainable Bakeshop (2201 Cherokee Street). The truck, which Wissinger has dubbed Toto, hit the road last month. In a release, Wissinger says she’s been dreaming of this moment since making her first strawberry-lemon ice pop at home, a con-

Kaylen Wissinger’s ice pops now have a vehicle: a former postal service truck nicknamed “Nana.” | COURTESY OF POPTIMISM coction inspired by the gourmet ice pops she sampled on a trip to Nashville. That was back in 2012, the same year she opened her bakery on Cherokee Street. Wissinger has continued to sell her ice pops at the Tower Grove Farm-

ers’ Market — and after regularly selling out, realized there was a market for a new kind of ice pop truck. With its stylish logo and social media savvy (follow it on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter ), it’s a truck for people who like their

ice pops made locally, with seasonal ingredients. “We wish we would have had the truck ready to go earlier this year, but honestly — the timing is great right now,” Wissinger says in the release. “Some of the best summer flavors are on deck peach basil, watermelon, sweet corn, concord grape, blackberry goat cheese, blueberries and cream — there’s just so many Summer is one of the best times to be working with all of the local farmers and producers in the St. Louis region — the bounty of product is incredible this time of year, and we love turning their hard work into treats everyone can enjoy.” In addition to Wissinger’s usual booth at Tower Grove Farmers Market on Saturdays, she says Toto and Poptimism will appear weekly at the Tuesday Tower Grove Farmers’ Market from 4 to 8 p.m. and the Sunday Boulevard Farmers’ Market from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. They’ll also pop up at your wedding or special event if you’d like. Poptimism already made Tower Grove Pride last Saturday, June 29. “ ow perfect is it that our first major event will be a homegrown Pride festival? Toto will be a joyous addition to this gathering,” Wissinger says. n

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MUSIC + CULTURE

35

[HOMESPUN]

A New Age Multi-instrumentalist Justin Ra stakes his claim as a solo songwriter with new album Age of the Spirit Written by

CHRISTIAN SCHAEFFER

I

f you’re reading this, it’s possible that you’re interested in local music enough to have spent a recent weekend in the Grove, show-hopping up and down Manchester Avenue at the Riverfront Times’ Showcase STL festival. (And if you did so, thanks! We throw a good party.) A few hundred musicians filled the clubs and venues with nearly every conceivable style of music made in St. Louis. If you looked closely, you may have noticed one guy dipping in and out of a few different sets; sometimes he was behind the drum kit, sometimes he was on auxiliary percussion and sometimes he was leading his own one-man band. He may have been playing a didgeridoo; it’s possible he was shirtless. That musician was Justin Ra, a multi-instrumentalist who performs under his own name alongside instrumental duties in the bands We Are Warm and Two Cities One World. His busy schedule at Showcase STL required some forethought, some Tetris-level skills in packing his car and a helpful roadie/buddy to help schlep all the gear. “We had to strategically plan this out, even putting it in the cars a certain way,” Ra says of prepping for the gigs. “I had to fill one car with my We Are Warm stuff — congas and all that — and in my car I had to put my drum kit in.” In We Are Warm, an atmospheric folk-rock band, Ra plays keyboards, percussion and acoustic guitar. He’s a little more streamlined in Two Cities One World, playing drums behind Jared Cattoor and Anna Yanova-Cattoor’s jazz- and beat-oriented songs. For Two Cities One World, Ra

Justin Ra performs as a member of We Are Warm and Two Cities One World, but his solo work is his latest passion. | KURTIS GIBBS had never played a live set as a drummer before. It was a fun challenge but a challenge nonetheless. “Their music isn’t easy,” he says. “They play in odd meters.” In comparing his own songs to We Are Warm, Ra notes that “mine is a little bit more upbeat; there’s is more stadium rock, with really big, chunky chords and crazy leads. Mine is more tucked in the back, but it’s still high-energy.” Playing in and out of different bands is nothing new for Ra; he’s performed in a variety of rock bands over the years. But with the just-released Age of the Spirit, Ra (whose birth name is Justin Robert Gates) is ready to stake his claim as a solo artist with a psychedelic folk soundscape supporting lyrics that are interested in transcendence, unity and the unburdening of excess baggage. “There’s just too much to do on this planet — enjoying good company, going places, seeing people, dancing, singing — than all of the B.S. that’s going on. That’s wasted energy. We’re just distracted by all of this,” he says, gesturing around not only to the Hartford Coffee shop where we’re seated but to the pace of the modern world at

large, “and we need to be more connected with each other.” a clarifies that the undercurrent of “all of this” is not specific to our current political, environmental or social moment. “It’s not, like, these last few years; it’s the existence of humans almost completely fighting all the time,” he explains. “We know more now because we’re more connected, but we’re connected in a negative way, I think.” He cites Bjork and Radiohead as two of his key musical influences but strives for what he calls a “tribal, earthy influence” in his solo work through looping and electronic percussion. Both tools are something of a necessity for a solo performer, permitting Ra to sing and supplement over looped beats and chord changes. Figuring out how to loop both guitar and keys provided the breakthrough for Ra to conceptualize his solo performance of the songs. “I had these song structures ready for recording purposes, but [playing live] I don’t want to use a laptop,” he says. “I want to keep it live.” For now, Ra is happy to perform as a one-man band; that may change as he gigs more, but he felt

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the impetus to release the music as soon as possible. “I’m not opposed to turning this into a band, but I just wanted to get the idea out there, this style of music,” he says. “I wanted to let people know who I am.” Ra’s look, and the album’s iconography, gives first-time listeners a little sense of who he is. Posing shirtless in loose-fitting pants, with his didgeridoo in hand and a healthy swab of metallic face paint bisecting his chin, Ra’s album cover is a bit like a mix of Aladdin Sane and old Korla Pandit LP covers. It’s exotic without being specific, a little alien while staying rooted to the earth. “It’s my respect for all cultures,” he says of his image. He notes the use of the African djembe drum alongside the aboroginal didgeridoo and says he’d love to incorporate Celtic influences as well. “I take a little bit from a lot of stuff,” he says. And with the strength of his first few solo gigs, Ra has his sights on a new album early next year and hopes to gig far and wide. “I’ve had a lot of good reception,” he says, “so I’m just gonna keep on going.” n

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The Director’s Character Arc

[FILM]

Culture Shock Made for $3,000, St. Louis filmmaker David Kirkman’s Static is opening doors Written by

JAMES POLLARD

W

hen David Kirkman first began filming Static in December 2017, his idea was to make a ten-minute short. But after reviewing the footage with cinematographer Michael Parks, they both agreed — ten minutes wasn’t enough. “We’ve got to go all the way with it,” Kirkman realized. The 24-year-old director, who was raised in Ferguson and is currently based in St. Louis city, ended up turning Static into a 44-minute film, one that’s earned more than 750,000 views on YouTube, a place at an Afro-futurism conference in Berlin and a screening at a Black History Month event at Netflix head uarters in Silicon Valley. Last June, it won the Gentleman Jack “Reel to Reel” local competition, which highlights upand-coming black filmmakers and diverse voices. A “fan film” based on the Milestone Media/DC Comics character “Static Shock,” Static tells the story of high school student Virgil Hawkins. Played by Maalik Shakoor, Hawkins “struggles with finding his place in the world and his new-found superpowers” as his dad runs for mayor, according to the YouTube description.

Electric Response

Shakoor, who grew up watching the animated television series, says he felt a lot of pressure portraying Static, but that the response shows the cast and crew are affecting people in a positive way. “A little extra pressure because Static is such a beloved body of work and there’s a lot of fans of the animated series who probably want to see it done justice,” he says. Kirkman credits the Reel to Reel competition, his film’s first public screening, with validating his project to both the public and artistic community. Gentleman Jack is a national organization that partners with Codeblack Enter-

36

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David Kirkman made his DC Comics-inspired film on a shoestring budget. | COURTESY OF DAVID KIRKMAN tainment, a self-described “leading producer and distributor of urban and pop culture entertainment,” which gave his film more exposure. A former film production major who dropped out of Webster University during his junior year, Kirkman says public perception of the film was an initial barrier. Some people questioned why he was making a fan film — something he’d been talking about doing for years. And he and Parks, who had never dealt with visual effects, had to learn. Funding was another issue. Scraping together the $3,000 budget as he went along, Kirkman relied on GoFundMe, investments from the crew and his own personal speaking fees. But it all paid off. Static’s free showing at the Tivoli Theatre last September sold out in a day. Shortly after that, Kirkman went to Dallas for two screenings — also sold out. A few weeks later, he and some cast members were in Germany — his first time overseas. Black Entertainment Television even tweeted at his page. And Jared Jordan, a senior engineering manager at Netflix, messaged Kirkman on Instagram, inviting him and two guests (Parks and actor Bruce Carlton Cunningham, Jr., who plays the mayor of Dakota City) to one of Netflix’s Black istory Month events. There, Static

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“It’s not just comic book people who are watching the film anymore. Now it’s people who care about social issues.” was screened as part of a showcase of independent black artists. “I didn’t even know it was an employee from Netflix until they gave me their email address,” Kirkman says. “We were on Cloud 11 for a whole month.” While the film has taken him all over, it is, oddly, most popular in Brazil. More than half of its views on YouTube come from the South American country. After Static’s trailer was released last May, a Brazilian man offered to translate the film into Portuguese. That move, Kirkman says, proved “crucial” to its success. While Kirkman can’t understand the language, he says he can “feel the enthusiasm.” “I’ve never even been to Brazil,” Kirkman says. “People have been asking me, ‘Are you from Brazil?’ I’m like, ‘Nah. I’m from Ferguson.’”

Kirkman prides himself on having brought a diverse group of people together in St. Louis on a low budget. For some of the cast, it was their first time acting. Others, like Parks and Shakoor, had worked with Kirkman on other projects. “It wasn’t a black set. It wasn’t a white set. It wasn’t a Latino set or anything like that,” he says. “We just had diversity across the board as far as ethnicity-wise, age-wise, experience-wise.” Ferguson isn’t just where Kirkman is from. The events that thrust the north county suburb into the national spotlight came at a time when he was “just trying to figure myself out” — his sexuality, spirituality and other aspects of his identity. In August 2014, after eighteen-year-old Michael Brown was shot and killed by police officer Darren Wilson, he recalls going to protests “every once and awhile” that fall. As a black, gay man, he says, “just seeing black people together, in that way, on a united front, was very powerful.” Subconsciously, he says, “the Ferguson event” had an impact on him and Static. Early on in the film, 2 kids are killed in a police raid, sparking outrage against the mayor who ordered it. “So it’s not just comic book people who are watching the film anymore,” he says. “Now it’s people who care about social issues.”

Reclaiming the Imagination

Kirkman doesn’t see himself as a gay filmmaker, but as a filmmaker who happens to be gay. While he feels people’s attitudes toward the LGBTQ community are changing, he says that being in Missouri, he has to “play the game” strategically, because his identity could block opportunities. He also says the black voice is an under-represented voice, and that, generally, only one “monolithic” side of the black experience is being told. He wants to help reclaim the “black imagination,” and sees the media is the gateway to that goal. He cites Marvel’s Black Panther as a film that challenges the monolith. “We’ve seen so many stories of the hoodlum, of the gangster, of the black kid just wanting to get out of the hood, that sort of thing,” he says. “Part of my mission is to really challenge that and put our imagination in another place.” Kirkman’s storytelling technique is unconventional. He never held a formal read-through of the script — he likes to keep people on their toes. Continued on pg 37


DAVID KIRKMAN Continued from pg 36

Shakoor appreciates this directing style, saying there were times when he would tell Kirkman he planned on improvising a scene to “see how it goes.” And while Shakoor says Kirkman had “some good nuggets” in the script, the director also told him the script is a recommendation. “Writers, directors will be like, ‘No — stick to the script. My word is my bible,’” Shakoor says. “There are times he just lets me go. That’s quite a luxury, quite a freedom.” Static is based more on the comic book than its short-lived television series, in part because Kirkman says the comics had a darker tone. The film’s emphasis on empowerment adds positive black images, not just representation. Throughout the film, irgil awkins wears a bright yellow hoodie with the words, “Black men smile too” emblazoned across the front. In another scene, Hawkins wears a necklace with the African continent at the end.

Looking to the Future

The film’s main message, Kirkman says, is delivered in a classroom scene. After Hawkins arrives late to class, his African studies teacher, played by Gina Cheatham, continues lecturing: “When you realize who you are, where you come from, what you’re capable of, nothing and no one can stop you,” she says. And Kirkman might have realized that himself. Following the success of Static, he has begun developing the rest of the Milestone Media superhero universe, and is currently filming Icon. With more than 17,000 subscribers to his YouTube channel, he also wants to share other directors’ work. On June 27, that was director Johnny Dutch’s Float. “Nearly any man can stand adversity,” Virgil Hawkins says before the first credits roll. “But if you want to test a man’s character, give him power. Little did I know, it was only the beginning of my test.” Like Hawkins, Static might only be the beginning of director David Kirkman’s cinematic test. Shakoor believes so. “This is a project made basically off the passion, work ethic of some great St. Louis local talent,” he says. “This is what happens when you come together and collaborate — all put forth effort to one goal. St. Louis is a very unique and talented city and expect more to come.” n

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OUT EVERY NIGHT

[CRITIC’S PICK]

Chuck Prophet. | VIA MONGREL MUSIC

Chuck Prophet and the Mission Express 8 p.m. Friday, July 12. Off Broadway, 3509 Lemp Avenue. $20 to $25. 314-773-3363. Surveying the last decade of Chuck Prophet’s recorded work, it’s clear that his native California, from his southern roots to his northern residence, is his deepest obsession, but rock & roll remains his greatest theme. No musician strangely tagged as a singer-songwriter has ever cast a wider net — his punk protests and pungent satires are as convinc-

THURSDAY 11

ADULT MOM: w/ The Sidekicks 8 p.m., $13-$15. Blueberry Hill - The Duck Room, 6504 Delmar Blvd., University City, 314-727-4444. AMANDA SEALES: 8 p.m., $34.50-$100. The Pageant, 6161 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis, 314-726-6161. BACKWASH: w/ Forager 9 p.m., $7. Foam, 3359 Jefferson Ave., St. Louis, 314-772-2100. BUTCH MOORE: 6 p.m., free. Broadway Oyster Bar, 736 S. Broadway, St. Louis, 314-621-8811. HR OF BAD BRAINS: w/ Downtown Brown, Boomtown United, Lysergic Acid 8 p.m., $15. Fubar, 3108 Locust St, St. Louis, 314-289-9050. IVAS JOHN & BRIAN CURRAN: 7 p.m., $5. BB’s Jazz, Blues & Soups, 700 S. Broadway, St. Louis, 314-436-5222. JOHN CLIFTON BAND: 10 p.m., $10. BB’s Jazz, Blues & Soups, 700 S. Broadway, St. Louis, 314-436-5222. LULLWATER: w/ Dark Below, The Many Colored Death, Bloom 8 p.m., $8. The Firebird, 2706 Olive St., St. Louis, 314-535-0353. RICH MCDONOUGH & RHYTHM RENEGADES: 8 p.m., free. Hammerstone’s, 2028 S. 9th St., St. Louis, 314-773-5565. ROLAND JOHNSON & SOUL ENDEAVOR: 9 p.m., $8. Broadway Oyster Bar, 736 S. Broadway, St. Louis, 314-621-8811. SETH WALKER: 8 p.m., $10. Old Rock House, 1200 S. 7th St., St. Louis, 314-588-0505. THE STORY COLLIDER: 7 p.m., $12. The Ready Room, 4195 Manchester Ave, St. Louis, 314-833-3929. VICKI LAWRENCE & MAMA: 8 p.m., $28. River City Casino & Hotel, 777 River City Casino

ing as his aching ballads and libertine rockabilly — or flat-out rocked so hard, with so much fun and purpose. He gets the glory of a band owning the road in a Ford Econoline, and he gets sounds from a beat-to-shit Telecaster that are so dazzling and funky and cool you just might believe and dance again. Check-Out Time: At a recent event for the newly published book St. Louis Sound, Finn’s Motel played the gig of its life. As openers for Prophet, the local rockers just might do it again. —Roy Kasten

Blvd., St. Louis, 314-388-7777.

FRIDAY 12

THE AVETT BROTHERS: 8 p.m., $50-$85. The Fox Theatre, 527 N. Grand Blvd., St. Louis, 314-534-1111. THE BETHS: 8 p.m., $10-$12. The Ready Room, 4195 Manchester Ave, St. Louis, 314-833-3929. BROTHER JEFFERSON BAND: 10 p.m., $10. BB’s Jazz, Blues & Soups, 700 S. Broadway, St. Louis, 314-436-5222. CHELSEA HANDLER: 8 p.m., $45-$65. The Pageant, 6161 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis, 314-726-6161. CHUCK PROPHET AND THE MISSION EXPRESS: 8 p.m., $20-$25. Off Broadway, 3509 Lemp Ave., St. Louis, 314-498-6989. DAISY CHAIN: w/ Whiskey & Thunder, The American Professionals, Haze Bond 8 p.m., $10. Way Out Club, 2525 S. Jefferson Ave., St. Louis, 314-664-7638. FLOW TRIBE: 10 p.m., $10. Broadway Oyster Bar, 736 S. Broadway, St. Louis, 314-621-8811. KAMIKAZE ON BROADWAY: w/ Del Broadway, Kamikaze Cole 8:30 p.m., $10-$15. Pop’s Nightclub, 401 Monsanto Ave., East St. Louis, 618-274-6720. LEROY JODIE PIERSON: 7 p.m., $5. BB’s Jazz, Blues & Soups, 700 S. Broadway, St. Louis, 314-436-5222. THE LONESOME PINES: 9:30 p.m., free. The Frisco Barroom, 8110 Big Bend Blvd., Webster Groves, 314-455-1090. LUCKY OLD SONS: 8 p.m., $3. Hammerstone’s,

Continued on pg 41

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[CRITIC’S PICK]

The Beths. | MAISON FAIREY

The Beths 8 p.m. Friday, July 12. Ready Room, 4195 Manchester Avenue. $10. 314-833-3929. The ongoing resurgence of the sounds of the mid-’90s — the crunch of grunge guitar, the nervy pep of punk-pop, the slippery and fuzzy guitar work of college rock — would be an empty signpost if the current crop of new bands missed out on the sense of fun and discovery in those sounds. New Zea-

OUT EVERY NIGHT Continued from pg 39

2028 S. 9th St., St. Louis, 314-773-5565. ODDS LANE: 7 p.m., free. Hwy 61 Roadhouse and Kitchen, 34 S Old Orchard Ave, Webster Groves, 314-968-0061. SET TO STUN: 6 p.m., $12. Fubar, 3108 Locust St, St. Louis, 314-289-9050. SURVIVOR: 8 p.m., $35. River City Casino & Hotel, 777 River City Casino Blvd., St. Louis, 314-388-7777. THIS IS ME BREATHING ALBUM RELEASE: w/ Summoning the Lich, As Earth Shatters, Skylines, Vaernima 7 p.m., $10. Fubar, 3108 Locust St, St. Louis, 314-289-9050.

SATURDAY 13

AARON GRIFFIN BAND: 10 p.m., $5. BB’s Jazz, Blues & Soups, 700 S. Broadway, St. Louis, 314-436-5222. AERACO: 6 p.m., $12. Fubar, 3108 Locust St, St. Louis, 314-289-9050. ALL ROOSTERED UP: noon, free. Broadway Oyster Bar, 736 S. Broadway, St. Louis, 314-621-8811. THE AVETT BROTHERS: 8 p.m., $50-$85. The Fox Theatre, 527 N. Grand Blvd., St. Louis, 314-534-1111. BAD HABIT: 9 p.m., free. Nightshift Bar & Grill, 3979 Mexico Road, St. Peters, 636-441-8300. BOXCAR: 10 p.m., free. Tower Grove Farmers’ Market, Main Dr & Center Cross Drive, St. Louis, 314-771-4410. DARLING SKYE: w/ The Midlife, Morning Mtn, An Unfortunate Trend, Chief Swiftwater 6:30 p.m., $10. The Firebird, 2706 Olive St., St. Louis, 314-535-0353. DR. ZHIVEGAS PERFORMING THE MUSIC OF PURPLE RAIN: 9 p.m., $15. Old Rock House, 1200 S. 7th St., St. Louis, 314-588-0505. EMPIRE: A TRIBUTE TO RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE: 8 p.m., $10. Delmar Hall, 6133 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis, 314-726-6161.

land trio the Beths is near the top of that pile, and the band’s 2018 debut Future Me Hates Me nails a tricky mix of overdriven, tube-screaming energy and singer-songwriter Elizabeth Stokes’ ability to show control over her songs of energy and ennnui. Ladies First: Los Angeles-based quartet Girl Friday opens the show with a mix of punk fuzz and underound girl-group harmony. —Christian Schaeffer

EUGENE & COMPANY: 9 p.m., $3. Hammerstone’s, 2028 S. 9th St., St. Louis, 314-773-5565. AN EVENING WITH JACKOPIERCE: 8 p.m., $40-$75. Off Broadway, 3509 Lemp Ave., St. Louis, 314-498-6989. GRIND: A TRIBUTE TO ALICE IN CHAINS: w/ Core: A Tribute to Stone Temple Pilots, Somewhat Damaged: A Tribute to Nine Inch Nails 8 p.m., $10. Pop’s Nightclub, 401 Monsanto Ave., East St. Louis, 618-274-6720. HAYBABY: w/ Frankie Valet, Starbelly 8:30 p.m., $7. Foam, 3359 Jefferson Ave., St. Louis, 314-772-2100. HOOTIE & THE BLOWFISH: w/ Barenaked Ladies 7 p.m., TBA. Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre, I-70 & Earth City Expwy., Maryland Heights, 314-298-9944. LEIKELI47: 7 p.m., $20. The Ready Room, 4195 Manchester Ave, St. Louis, 314-833-3929. MARQUISE KNOX: 10 p.m., $8. Broadway Oyster Bar, 736 S. Broadway, St. Louis, 314-621-8811. MATT “THE RATTLESNAKE” LESCH BIRTHDAY BASH: 8 p.m., $5. Hwy 61 Roadhouse and Kitchen, 34 S Old Orchard Ave, Webster Groves, 314-968-0061. MAZE FEATURING FRANKIE BEVERLY: w/ Kem 7:30 p.m., $57-$128. Chaifetz Arena, 1 S. Compton Ave., St. Louis, 314-977-5000. NON-STOP REGGAE BAND: 6 p.m., free. Greg Freeman Park, Kingsbury Ave. and Des Peres Ave., St. Louis. PICTURESQUE: w/ Sunsleep 7:30 p.m., $15. Fubar, 3108 Locust St, St. Louis, 314-289-9050. REEL BIG FISH, THE AQUABATS: 7:30 p.m., $25$28. The Pageant, 6161 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis, 314-726-6161. ROCKY & THE WRANGLERS: 4 p.m., $5. BB’s Jazz, Blues & Soups, 700 S. Broadway, St. Louis, 314-436-5222. TOM HALL: 7 p.m., $5. BB’s Jazz, Blues & Soups, 700 S. Broadway, St. Louis, 314-436-5222. TROPHY MULES: 4 p.m., free. Alpha Brewing Company, 4310 Fyler Ave., St. Louis, 314-621-2337.

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[CRITIC’S PICK]

Reel Big Fish. | VIA EARSHOT MEDIA

Reel Big Fish and the Aquabats 7:30 p.m. Saturday, July 13. The Pageant, 6161 Delmar Boulevard. $25 to $28. 314-726-6161. If the wild popularity of St. Louis’ own Boomtown United is any indication, ska is in vogue again. The upstroked guitars, checkerboard patterns and wild skanking were bound to come back for a fourth wave — after all, music trends tend to move in cycles, and it’s been a little more than twenty years since the third wave took over popular culture. But some bands have continued playing the

OUT EVERY NIGHT Continued from pg 41

UNCLE DAVE: 55 AND STILL ALIVE BIRTHDAY BASH: w/ Kill Their Past, Murtaugh, Placeholder 8 p.m., free. The Sinkhole, 7423 South Broadway, St. Louis, 314-328-2309.

SUNDAY 14

AND THE KIDS: w/ The Harmaleighs 8 p.m., $10-$12. Blueberry Hill - The Duck Room, 6504 Delmar Blvd., University City, 314-727-4444. THE FAITHFUL STRAYS: 4 p.m., $5. BB’s Jazz, Blues & Soups, 700 S. Broadway, St. Louis, 314-436-5222. GATEWAY FESTIVAL ORCHESTRA: BIENVENIDO DARWIN: 7:30 p.m., free. The 560 Music Center, 560 Trinity Ave., University City, 314-421-3600. KIM MASSIE: 8 p.m., $10. Broadway Oyster Bar, 736 S. Broadway, St. Louis, 314-621-8811. LOVE JONES “THE BAND”: 9:30 p.m., $10. BB’s Jazz, Blues & Soups, 700 S. Broadway, St. Louis, 314-436-5222. STL LOCAL BAND JAM: noon, $10. Delmar Hall, 6133 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis, 314-726-6161. TIM BUCHANAN: w/ Jack Grelle, Jenny Roques 9 p.m., $7. Foam, 3359 Jefferson Ave., St. Louis, 314-772-2100. THE USUAL SUSPECTS: 7 p.m., $10. BB’s Jazz, Blues & Soups, 700 S. Broadway, St. Louis, 314-436-5222.

MONDAY 15

DEVIN THE DUDE: 8 p.m., $20-$23. The Ready Room, 4195 Manchester Ave, St. Louis,

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oft-maligned music throughout its fallow period. Take, for example, Reel Big Fish and the Aquabats, two of the most dedicated torchbearers of ska. Both bands got their start in the early ’90s and rode the genre’s popularity to the top, and both bands are still playing it today. Dust off your suspenders and wingtip shoes and join them at the Pageant this week. Speaking of Boomtown United: We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention that our local boys are opening for HR from Bad Brains across town at Fubar on Thursday. Rudeboys and girls should see to it that they attend that show as well. —Daniel Hill

314-833-3929. DISRUPT TOUR: w/ The Used, Thrice, Circa Survive, Sum 41, Atreyu, Sleeping with Sirens, Andy Black, Memphis May Fire, Four Year Strong, Trophy Eyes, Juliet Simms, Hyro the Hero 1 p.m., TBA. Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre, I-70 & Earth City Expwy., Maryland Heights, 314-298-9944. JOCKO: w/ Prevention, Soul Craft, Jay Coast 8 p.m., $7. The Sinkhole, 7423 South Broadway, St. Louis, 314-328-2309. ROCKY MANTIA & KILLER COMBO: 8 p.m., $10. BB’s Jazz, Blues & Soups, 700 S. Broadway, St. Louis, 314-436-5222. SOULARD BLUES BAND: 9 p.m., $8. Broadway Oyster Bar, 736 S. Broadway, St. Louis, 314-621-8811.

TUESDAY 16

ERIC LYSAGHT: 9 p.m., free. Broadway Oyster Bar, 736 S. Broadway, St. Louis, 314-621-8811. THE GASLIGHT SQUARES: 7:30 p.m., $15. Gaslight Theater, 358 N. Boyle Ave., St. Louis. SPACETRUCKER: w/ the Stone Eye, Kilverez 9 p.m., $5. The Sinkhole, 7423 South Broadway, St. Louis, 314-328-2309. ST. LOUIS SOCIAL CLUB: 8 p.m., $10. BB’s Jazz, Blues & Soups, 700 S. Broadway, St. Louis, 314-436-5222. SUPERSUCKERS: 8 p.m., $15. Fubar, 3108 Locust St, St. Louis, 314-289-9050. USNEA: w/ Chrch 9 p.m., $12. Fubar, 3108 Locust St, St. Louis, 314-289-9050.

WEDNESDAY 17


BIG RICH MCDONOUGH & THE RHYTHM RENEGADES: 7 p.m., $5. BB’s Jazz, Blues & Soups, 700 S. Broadway, St. Louis, 314-436-5222. BOXCAR: w/ Andrew and the Dolls 7 p.m., free. Angad Arts Hotel, 6550 Samuel Shepard Dr, St. Louis, 314-561-0033. GHOSTLEG: 10 p.m., $5. BB’s Jazz, Blues & Soups, 700 S. Broadway, St. Louis, 314-436-5222. JIM BREUER: 8 p.m., $30. The Pageant, 6161 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis, 314-726-6161. SEAN CANAN’S VOODOO PLAYERS: DR. JOHN MEMORIAL SHOW: 9:30 p.m., $10. Broadway Oyster Bar, 736 S. Broadway, St. Louis, 314-621-8811. SEBADOH: w/ Eleanor Friedberger 7 p.m., $22. The Ready Room, 4195 Manchester Ave, St. Louis, 314-833-3929.

THIS JUST IN BIG RICH MCDONOUGH & THE RHYTHM RENEGADES: Wed., July 17, 7 p.m., $5. BB’s Jazz, Blues & Soups, 700 S. Broadway, St. Louis, 314-436-5222. BOOTS, BLUE JEANS & BOOGIE: Fri., Aug. 9, 7 p.m., free. Cedar Lake Cellars, 11008 Schreckengast Road, Wright City, 636-745-9500. CASH UNCHAINED: THE ULTIMATE JOHNNY CASH EXPERIENCE: Fri., Aug. 2, 8 p.m., $10. Fubar, 3108 Locust St, St. Louis, 314-289-9050. CAVERN COMPANY: W/ Kerplunk!, The Shaved Cat Project, Malibu ‘92, Thu., July 25, 7 p.m., $10. The Firebird, 2706 Olive St., St. Louis, 314-535-0353. CHRIS WEBBY: W/ Jarren Benton, Locksmith, Ekoh, Sun., Oct. 27, 8 p.m., $25. Fubar, 3108 Locust St, St. Louis, 314-289-9050. CULTURAL DANCES FROM NORTHEAST CHINA: Sat., Sept. 21, 8 p.m., $20. Blanche M Touhill Performing Arts Center, 1 University Dr at Natural Bridge Road, Normandy, 314-516-4949. DALE WATSON: W/ Amy Lavere, Will Sexton, Sat., Oct. 26, 8 p.m., $22. Off Broadway, 3509 Lemp Ave., St. Louis, 314-498-6989. DANIEL ROMANO: Mon., Sept. 16, 8 p.m., $12$15. The Ready Room, 4195 Manchester Ave, St. Louis, 314-833-3929. DERVISH: Thu., Feb. 27, 7:30 p.m., $20. Blanche M Touhill Performing Arts Center, 1 University Dr at Natural Bridge Road, Normandy, 314-516-4949. ERIC LYSAGHT: Tue., July 16, 9 p.m., free. Broadway Oyster Bar, 736 S. Broadway, St. Louis, 314-621-8811. THE FAITHFUL STRAYS: Sun., July 14, 4 p.m., $5. BB’s Jazz, Blues & Soups, 700 S. Broadway, St. Louis, 314-436-5222. FATHER BRAN MISTY: Thu., Oct. 10, 8 p.m., $10. Off Broadway, 3509 Lemp Ave., St. Louis, 314498-6989. GHOSTLEG: Wed., July 17, 10 p.m., $5. BB’s Jazz, Blues & Soups, 700 S. Broadway, St. Louis, 314-436-5222. GUERRILLA WARFARE: W/ Fox Lake, Atlas X, Acid Bridge, True Self, Tue., Aug. 6, 7 p.m., $10. The Firebird, 2706 Olive St., St. Louis, 314-535-0353. GUITAR MADNESS 2019: W/ Jeremiah Johnson, Rich McDonough, Craig Straubinger, Fri., Dec. 6, 8 p.m., $15. Off Broadway, 3509 Lemp Ave., St. Louis, 314-498-6989. IVAS JOHN & BRIAN CURRAN: Thu., July 11, 7 p.m., $5. BB’s Jazz, Blues & Soups, 700 S. Broadway, St. Louis, 314-436-5222. JOCKO: W/ Prevention, Soul Craft, Jay Coast, Mon., July 15, 8 p.m., $7. The Sinkhole, 7423 South Broadway, St. Louis, 314-328-2309. JOHN CLIFTON BAND: Thu., July 11, 10 p.m., $10. BB’s Jazz, Blues & Soups, 700 S. Broadway, St. Louis, 314-436-5222. KAMMERRAKU ANNIVERSARY: Fri., April 3, 8 p.m., $25. Blanche M Touhill Performing Arts Center, 1 University Dr at Natural Bridge Road, Normandy, 314-516-4949. KILVEREZ ALBUM RELEASE SHOW: W/ Subtropolis, Bad Investments, Killing Fever, Sat., Aug. 31, 8 p.m., $10-$12. Fubar, 3108 Locust St, St. Louis, 314-289-9050. KIM MASSIE: Sun., July 14, 8 p.m., $10. Broadway Oyster Bar, 736 S. Broadway, St. Louis, 314-621-8811. LOVE JONES “THE BAND”: Sun., July 14, 9:30 p.m., $10. BB’s Jazz, Blues & Soups, 700 S. Broadway,

St. Louis, 314-436-5222. THE MARTIN HAYES QUARTET: Sat., March 28, 8 p.m., $20. Blanche M Touhill Performing Arts Center, 1 University Dr at Natural Bridge Road, Normandy, 314-516-4949. MAX WEINBERG’S JUKEBOX: Tue., Oct. 1, 8 p.m., $35-$150. The Ready Room, 4195 Manchester Ave, St. Louis, 314-833-3929. MONOLORD: W/ Blackwater Holylight, Fri., Nov. 22, 8 p.m., $18. Fubar, 3108 Locust St, St. Louis, 314-289-9050. NEW AGE MIDWEST: W/ Mean Season, Treason, Decline, the Dividing Line, Redbait, Life Force, Abraxas, Dying For It, Thirdface, Sat., Sept. 28, 2 p.m., $18. Fubar, 3108 Locust St, St. Louis, 314-289-9050. NOBUNTU: Fri., Oct. 18, 8 p.m., $20. Blanche M Touhill Performing Arts Center, 1 University Dr at Natural Bridge Road, Normandy, 314-516-4949. NOTES FOR HOPE: SUICIDE PREVENTION SHOW: W/ Local Man, Darling Skye, Morning Mtn., Tom Kennedy, Sat., Sept. 7, 4 p.m., $7. The Firebird, 2706 Olive St., St. Louis, 314-535-0353. NYDIA LONDON: W/ JDeala T aka PapiChino, Lil Heartbreak, Ghetti Sqwad, Camo Caponee, MadMike MgeCeo, Hundun, Task, Dk Most, FNG Bob, LuhGoonie, Livique, N1CK, K R!LLA, Lundymobb, Cruz Hargove, e.l.bennett, ALIGOLD, Thu., July 25, 7:15 p.m., $12. Fubar, 3108 Locust St, St. Louis, 314-289-9050. PILFERS: W/ Stop The Presses, Sat., July 27, 8 p.m., $15. Blueberry Hill - The Duck Room, 6504 Delmar Blvd., University City, 314-727-4444. THE RED FLAGS: W/ Whiskey & Thunder, Postal Modern, Sat., July 27, 8 p.m., $5. CBGB, 3163 S. Grand Blvd., St. Louis. ROCKY & THE WRANGLERS: Sat., July 13, 4 p.m., $5. BB’s Jazz, Blues & Soups, 700 S. Broadway, St. Louis, 314-436-5222. ROCKY MANTIA & KILLER COMBO: Mon., July 15, 8 p.m., $10. BB’s Jazz, Blues & Soups, 700 S. Broadway, St. Louis, 314-436-5222. ROLAND JOHNSON & SOUL ENDEAVOR: Thu., July 11, 9 p.m., $8. Broadway Oyster Bar, 736 S. Broadway, St. Louis, 314-621-8811. SEAN CANAN’S VOODOO PLAYERS: DR. JOHN MEMORIAL SHOW: Wed., July 17, 9:30 p.m., $10. Broadway Oyster Bar, 736 S. Broadway, St. Louis, 314-621-8811. THE SHOWCASE TOUR: Wed., Sept. 4, 7 p.m., $10$15. Fubar, 3108 Locust St, St. Louis, 314-289-9050. SOULARD BLUES BAND: Mon., July 15, 9 p.m., $8. Broadway Oyster Bar, 736 S. Broadway, St. Louis, 314-621-8811. SPACETRUCKER: W/ the Stone Eye, Kilverez, Tue., July 16, 9 p.m., $5. The Sinkhole, 7423 South Broadway, St. Louis, 314-328-2309. ST. LOUIS SOCIAL CLUB: Tue., July 16, 8 p.m., $10. BB’s Jazz, Blues & Soups, 700 S. Broadway, St. Louis, 314-436-5222. STELIOS PETRAKIS CRETAN QUARTET: Sat., Feb. 8, 8 p.m., $20. Blanche M Touhill Performing Arts Center, 1 University Dr at Natural Bridge Road, Normandy, 314-516-4949. STL LOCAL BAND JAM: Sun., July 14, noon, $10. Delmar Hall, 6133 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis, 314-726-6161. STL SUMMER BASH: W/ Tony Pezzo, Sat., July 20, 7 p.m., $5-$15. Dayspring School of the Arts, 2608 Metro, Maryland Heights, 314-291-8878. TEENAGE BOTTLEROCKET: W/ Mean Jeans, Clowns, Jen Bombpops, Mon., Sept. 9, 7:30 p.m., $16. Fubar, 3108 Locust St, St. Louis, 314-289-9050. TIM BUCHANAN: W/ Jack Grelle, Jenny Roques, Sun., July 14, 9 p.m., $7. Foam, 3359 Jefferson Ave., St. Louis, 314-772-2100. TROPHY MULES: Sat., July 13, 4 p.m., free. Alpha Brewing Company, 4310 Fyler Ave., St. Louis, 314-621-2337. UNCLE DAVE: 55 AND STILL ALIVE BIRTHDAY BASH: W/ Kill Their Past, Murtaugh, Placeholder, Sat., July 13, 8 p.m., free. The Sinkhole, 7423 South Broadway, St. Louis, 314-328-2309. THE USUAL SUSPECTS: Sun., July 14, 7 p.m., $10. BB’s Jazz, Blues & Soups, 700 S. Broadway, St. Louis, 314-436-5222. YOUNG AR: W/ Hitman Tazzo, Sunny with Special Guest J. Fitzgerald & Jennices Omega, B$B WAVY, Thu., Aug. 15, 7:15 p.m., $12-$15. Fubar, 3108 Locust St, St. Louis, 314-289-9050. n

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SAVAGE LOVE QUICKIES BY DAN SAVAGE Hey, Dan: My fiancé and I have been in a relationship for eleven years. His best friend is one of his exes, and that has always bothered me. What do I do? Needing Guidance After Getting Engaged You could make up your mind to get over it, NGAGE. Or you could threaten to break off the engagement unless your fianc cuts his best friend out of his life. That would be an asshole move — that would be an emotionally manipulative asshole power move. But, hey, you wouldn’t be the first person to wait for the moment of maximum leverage before telling your partner that, despite what you led them to believe (or allowed them to assume), they are going to have to choose between their best friend(s) and the person they’re about to marry or just married. Fair warning: If you issue that ultimatum and your fianc (or husband) writes in and asks me what to do, I’m going to tell him to leave you. Hey, Dan: I’m a 58-year-old happily married gay man, and I have a well-hidden kink that I’ve had since childhood: I get off on destructive, city-smashing giants — think of Godzilla as a muscular man smashing things with his dick. Since this is impossible to realize, I rely on drawings and other images. After Tumblr removed the adult content, I found my way to newer websites. Some featured manga-style drawings of giant prepubescent boys. I’ve NEVER experienced any attraction to children, but these cartoons are a turn-on. Does lusting after cartoon images of boys make me a pedophile? Freaky Erotic Art Requires Serious Self-Scrutiny If you aren’t sexually attracted to children, FEARSSS, you aren’t a pedophile. Pedophilia is not something a non-pedophile drifts into after viewing a little squicky manga. Pedophilia, according to the best and most current research,

is a hardwired sexual orientation — one that can never be acted on for moral and ethical reasons. That said, I would urge you to avoid viewing or downloading this stuff. It’s illegal in the United States (and lots of other places) to possess drawings or computergenerated images of children that depict “a minor engaging in sexually-explicit conduct,” per federal law. I don’t know whether your local prosecutor would consider viewing drawings of giant prepubescent boys smashing buildings with their dicks as a criminal offense, but I’m sure you don’t want to find out. Avoid those websites. Hey, Dan: I understand the pleasure received by the “suckee,” but I need help understanding what benefit or pleasure the “sucker” derives from the exchange. Is it the taste of come? Confusion Over Cocky Knobblers We do it for the glory, COCK, and that warm feeling that comes over us when we can look up and say, “Emission accomplished.” (Sorry about that.) Hey, Dan: Where can a gal go to find reluctant/nonconsensual porn that isn’t overly rapey? I really love power play (think “naughty secretary gets punished”) — but when I look for reluctant/nonconsensual porn, I often come across male-perspective rape fantasies. I’d love to wank to a video or story about a woman reluctantly enjoying herself while her aggressor fucks her up the ass, but every search is fraught with the perils of finding something truly rapey. And that just makes me feel sad and icky. I’m willing to spend money if I trust the source. I just don’t know where to look! Is the issue with my keywords? Help! Really Enjoys Specific Pornographic E-Content, Thanks “This is one of the things people don’t understand about ethical and feminist porn — it’s not just soft lighting and sweet lovemaking,” said Tristan Taormino, the feminist author, sex educator, podcaster, and porn director (tristantaormino.com). “Ethical and feminist porn can also have an edge and feature power play, so long as there’s consent. My series ‘Rough Sex,’ which has three

“I have a wellhidden kink that I’ve had since childhood: I get off on destructive, city-smashing giants — think of Godzilla as a muscular man smashing things with his dick.” volumes, is all about real women’s kink fantasies, and there will be something in there for RESPECT (you can find it on gamelink.com). In addition, I recommend bellesa. co, where she can use the search term ‘rough,’ and xconfessions. com, where she should search for ‘BDSM.’” Hey, Dan: I’ve written before to ask if there is a newspaper or online publication that translates Savage Love into Spanish. If there is, I can’t find it. I can hardly believe no one does this. Can you give me a simple answer, please? Something’s Lost In Translation Simple answers are my specialty, SLIT. As far as I know, my column isn’t translated into Spanish. But it can be read in Italian in Internazionale (internazionale.it), the weekly Italian newsmagazine. (I have to give a shout-out to Matteo Colombo, who does an amazing job of translating my slang-laden, neologism-packed column into Italian every week! Thanks, Matteo!) Hey, Dan: I’m a 57-year-old man, and I have been in a relationship for ten months. I have some erection problems that are helped by ED meds. The issue is I haven’t told my girlfriend I’m taking them. I take a pill when we are together “just in case,” but this is costly and the resulting lack of spontaneity

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makes me anxious. Also, I feel like I’m holding on to this secret. Please Send Advice Call your girlfriend. It’s time you had the talk. Give her your reasons. Tell her it’s not her fault — and, really, it’s not her fault or yours. Men don’t take boner pills because they aren’t attracted to (or horny for) their partners, as some fear. The reality is quite the opposite: Horny men take ED meds. She may need to hear it a few times before it sinks in, PSA, but you have nothing to be ashamed of. And, if she enjoys the sex, she should be as grateful for these meds as you are — and she shouldn’t want you to waste them any more than you do. Hey, Dan: I’m a bi guy in my late twenties. I date women and occasionally hook up with guys. In between, I have toys. My question has to do with something that happens when I’m using a dildo and stimulating my prostate: During intense stimulation... I pee (I think)? My confusion lies in the fact that what comes out is clear and doesn’t smell like urine. I know there’s a debate about female squirting and whether it’s urine, but I’m still very confused. But is this normal for a man? Should I worry? Leaking Everywhere And Knowing It’s Not Good Your dildo isn’t just stimulating your prostate gland, which produces the milky fluid that comes flying out of your cock when you ejaculate, but your Cowper’s glands as well. The Cowper’s glands are located just under your prostate and they produce a clear fluid, aka “pre-come,” that basically flushes out your urethra during arousal. Urine is acidic, and acids can harm sperm cells. So pre-come neutralizes whatever acids might be lurking in your urethra — basically, pre-come makes sure your urethra is a safe space for your sperm cells. Some men produce very little precome, some men produce buckets of it, and some men produce more under particular circumstances. Don’t worry, LEAKING, just enjoy. Listen to Dan’s podcast at savagelovecast.com. mail@savagelove.net @fakedansavage on Twitter ITMFA.org

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HAPPY HOUR SPECIALS

OLD HERALD SPO SORED CO TE T

Recently opened and rapidly growing, Old Herald Brewery and Distillery in Collinsville lights a fire with their house ardent spirits! While competing in the 19th San Francisco World Spirits Competition, Old Herald received a bronze medal for their agave and a silver medal for their rum. Starting the line off with rum as the first spirit fermented and distilled from scratch on site, an agave recipe shortly added to the menu. Their bourbon, single grain and malt whiskey programs are on the way but will take a couple years to mature. If you’re in the mood for something new and fresh, Old Herald also features a unique Citrus Forward Gin. Bloody Mary fans love the new Horseradish Vodka to add an extra kick to their drink.

All specialty cocktails use in-house spirits that are produced or blended and finished onsite, fresh squeezed juices and house made syrups, bitters and garnishes. Also included in their delicious drink selection are a broad range of house-made beers, with revolving taps, and new releases every couple of weeks. Executive chef rissana Frawley, previously worked with Beast BBQ and Cleveland-Heath, created a full menu including comfort food favorites for everyone to enjoy such as Bacon Beer Mac & Cheese, ashville Hot Chicken Sandwich, and Chocolate Stout Brownie. Old Herald Distillery and Brewery is bringing a new spot to sit back and relax to the Metro East.

OLD HERALD 11 E CLA ST, COLLI SVILLE, IL 62234 OldHeraldBrewing.com

HAPPY HOUR

St. Louis’ ONLY Axe Throwing Bar and Grill FREE Axe Throwing with Food and Beverage Purchase!

720 N. 1ST ST, ST. LOUIS, MO 63102

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