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MARCH 14–20, 2018 I VOLUME 42 I NUMBER 11

RIVERFRONTTIMES.COM I FREE

F LY I N G BLIND

St. Louis’ flirtation with airport privatization has the city barreling toward an unexplored frontier. Who’s really in the pilot’s seat? BY DANNY WICENTOWSKI

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THE LEDE

PHOTO BY THEO WELLING

“I grew up in the the Peabody projects. The roughest neighborhood you could ever grow up in — but I made it through. I made it. Now my mama owns like four properties.” 

—GeraldConway,foundattheinterseCtionofnewsteadandBelleavenueinnorthCityonMarCh3

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TABLE OF CONTENTS FEATURE

12.

Flying Blind

St. Louis’ flirtation with airport privatization has the city barreling toward an unexplored frontier. Who’s really in the pilot’s seat? Written by

DANNY WICENTOWSKI

Cover photograpy by

S SUA PHOTOGRAPHY

NEWS

ARTS

DINING

CULTURE

5

18

25

38

The Lede

Calendar

Your friend or neighbor, captured on camera

Seven days worth of great stuff to see and do

9

21

Criminal Justice

An inmate notches a key victory in the fight against no parole sentences for drug offenders

St. Patrick’s Day Guide

Where to be, and what’s different, for St. Patrick’s celebrations in STL this year

9

Cafe

Cheryl Baehr is raving about Thai Kitchen, which is so delicious, you’ll want to leave the city for it

30

Side Dish

Alex Henry has big shoes to fill at Nixta, but he’s up for the challenge

32

Taxes

First Look

The owner of Ex Cop Donut Shop is in trouble with the law

Nubby’s is serving up ‘backyard barbecue’ from an unlikely location in south county

32

Bars

Small Change offers craft cocktails and a host of tributes to Tom Waits

36

Beer

Wellspent Brewing Co. turns on the taps in Midtown 6

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MARCH 14-20, 2018

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Homespun

Heath Aldrich has become St. Louis’ ‘synth whisperer’

39

Art

Marie Enger’s illustrated Nosferatu! surpassed its Kickstarter

40

Openings

W Karaoke offers high-end karaoke in the Loop

41

Out Every Night

The best concerts in St. Louis every night of the week

45

This Just In

This week’s new concert announcements


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NEWS After Inmate Win, AG Fights On Written by

DANNY WICENTOWSKI

O

n January 1, 2017, a sweeping reform of Missouri’s criminal statutes eliminated one the harshest punishments meted out to repeat drug offenders — a special provision that barred the possibility of parole. Enacted in 1989, the provision had the effect of keeping certain drug offenders in prison far longer than other serious felonies. Parole allows the vast majority of convicted criminals— even murderers and rapists — to appear before a parole board, generally after serving around 25 percent of their sentence. The drug offenders were denied that opportunity. In 2014, the state legislature approved numerous revisions to Missouri’s criminal codes, among them those statutes defining the punishment for drug offenses.”No parole” was erased from the books. But the reforms were not considered retroactive, and the new statute did not address the fate of the more than 100 people actively serving no-parole sentences in Missouri prisons because of the old law. One of those inmates, Dimetrious Woods, was featured in a 2016 RFT cover story. Woods is serving a no-parole, 29-year sentence. Before his conviction in 2007 for drug trafficking, prosecutors charged him under the state’s “prior and persistent drug offender” statute, triggering the no parole provision. He was told he would have to serve around 75 percent of his sentence. His conditional release date? Not until October 2029. Yet last month Woods walked out of his first parole hearing. A Missouri Department of Corrections spokesman confirms that he is slated for release — as soon as this month. Woods is not the first no-parole prisoner to assert in court that the 2014 repeal is retroactive, and that it should clear the way for inmates

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Ex-Cop Is in Trouble Written by

DOYLE MURPHY

T

he owner of Ex Cop Donut Shop might want to keep an eye out for his former brothers in blue. Francesco “Frank” Loforte, who is indeed an ex St. Louis city cop, is wanted on a criminal charge of operating his popular Oakville bakery without a retail license, according to court records. He is also facing a civil judgment for stiffing a supplier out of thousands of dollars. Ex Cop Donut Shop was the target of a Missouri Department of Revenue investigation last year. The department had yanked the shop’s retail license in November 2016, records show. It also filed at least four liens totaling more than $2,000 in county court in 2017. On two days in May 2017, a supervisory special agent with the revenue department visited the shop in person and found it was still open for business, even without the license, court records say. A misdemeanor charge of making sales at retail without a license was filed in September 2017 by an assistant St. Louis County prosecutor, and a judge issued a warrant in October when Loforte did not show up for court. Loforte, 53, did not want to talk when reached by phone last week.

like him to face a parole board. But he appears to be the first to persuade a judge. After twelve years of incarceration, Woods, now 38, intends settle in with one of his adult-aged sons in St. Louis. He has a new grandchild to meet. He’s already planning a surprise visit to see his twelve-year-old son at school. But Attorney General Josh Hawley wants to send him back to prison. For years, Woods tried and failed to reverse his 2007 conviction. At trial, Woods’ criminal history — two felonies he’d committed as a teenager — allowed prosecutors to charge him as a prior offender. In 2006, Woods and another man were driving from Kansas City to St.

Ex Cop Donut Shop won kudos for its doughnuts. | BRITTANI SCHLAGER “Why would anyone need to know about my personal business?” he asked. He then said he had provided free doughnut holes for Riverfront Times events. Told that reporters don’t handle events, he hung up. The case is still pending, a spokesman for the prosecuting attorney confirmed. And Ex Cop Donut remains open for business and continues to turn out tasty doughnuts. The shop’s imaginative creations — the maple-bacon long john is particularly popular — have earned it critical praise in St. Louis media, including a few raves here in the RFT. Louis when they were pulled over by the Missouri Highway Patrol. Troopers discovered nearly twenty pounds of cocaine in the car’s trunk. Already on probation for a previous felony, Woods made the questionable decision to fight the charge in court. At a bench trial, a judge ruled Woods guilty and sentenced him to 25 years, to run consecutively with a four -year sentence stemming from violating his probation. No parole. In contrast, Woods’ accomplice struck a deal with prosecutors to avoid trial. He pleaded guilty and was paroled after seven years. After the legislature passed its repeal in 2014, Woods says he contacted the parole office, hoping it would take the legislature’s cue and provide him a parole hearing. The riverfronttimes.com

The coverage usually mentions that Loforte and his wife, Linda, are both former city police officers, who decided to quit chasing crooks in favor of frying dough. The catchy origin story, however, leaves out a troubling bit of background: The state permanently revoked Loforte’s law enforcement license after he was found responsible for “gross misconduct.” Loforte and another officer responded in July 2001 to the scene of a burning car. The engine had caught fire, and the car’s owner ran inside a relative’s house to call for help, acContinued on pg 10 cording to parole office responded that the new law only applied to new crimes. “I started researching retroactivity and parole eligibility issues,” Woods tells RFT. “I knew that it should make sense. How could [the legislature] make such progressive move and it be not applicable to someone like me?” In 2016, Woods exhausted his options for appeal. Looking for the next strategy, he began digging for cases that showed new legislation altering an old parole status. One case stood out: Nixon v. Russell, in which the Missouri Supreme Court ruled that a judge could grant parole eligibility in light of a new law. Most relevant to Woods, however, was the court’s test to deterContinued on pg 10 mine which

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TROUBLE FOR EX COP Continued from pg 9

DRUG OFFENDER Continued from pg 9

records from a state hearing. Once the fire was out, Loforte allegedly stole a gym bag containing a .22-caliber Beretta pistol out of the trunk and put it in his patrol car. The other officer and a firefighter later told investigators they saw him with the bag. According to records of the state Administrative Hearing Commission, Loforte denied he had even seen the bag. The commission was not buying it. “We conclude that Loforte’s actions in taking property and lying about it constitute gross misconduct indicating an inability to function as a peace officer,” the commission wrote in a 2002 recommendation to discipline his license. Loforte was never criminally prosecuted, but his police career was over. He had joined the force in January 1994 and his tenure ended in September 2001, about two months after the car fire, according to police records. His second act as a doughnut maker has run into trouble, too. In addition to the Department of Revenue action, Bono Burns Distribution sued Ex Cop Donut last October for breach of contract. The Maplewood-based bakery and brewery distributor claimed that Loforte had run up a bill of $12,894 since late 2016. In December 2017, a judgement was granted for the amount plus interest and attorney fees, increasing the total to $15,783. Following the judgment, the company sought a garnishment from Ex Cop’s cash flow. The total amount owed has now surpassed $16,000, according to documents filed in late February. A Bono Burns n official declined to comment.

laws can be applied retroactively. Any changes to the criminal statutes are presumed retroactive, the court stated, unless the new statute “reduces or increases the offender’s sentence” or changes the basic definitions of the crime. A change in parole status, the state’s highest court found, didn’t do that. Triumphantly, Woods realized what he’d found: “Parole eligibility issues have nothing to do with the sentence.” “I studied this; it was my life,” Woods says. “Instead of playing basketball or chess, I just studied this issue. And sure enough, the case law was on point.” Woods drafted a motion and gave it to his attorney, Kent Gipson. The lawyer confirms that it was his client who penned the argument that ultimately swayed Cole County Circuit Court Judge Daniel Green. “Dimetrious took the bull by the himself, and drafted the initial petition,” Gipson says. “I agreed to run with it.” The motion blasted the Missouri Department of Corrections for denying Woods access to a parole hearing, and stated that because of the department’s “inaction and failure to remove the now defunct ‘no parole’ stipulation,” Woods and approximately 120 offenders “are held in the same position under a statute that no longer exists.” The motion cited the 2004 Missouri Supreme Court case (among others) to build its argument. Regardless of parole, the convicted drug offender would still serve a 29-year sentence, the motion noted. The only difference is that, with parole, he could serve the rest of the sentence on probation, instead of behind bars. “Its repeal does not lengthen or

STREAK’S CORNER • by Bob Stretch

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shorten petitioner’s sentence,” the motion reads, before citing the Missouri Supreme Court decision. “Accordingly, Russell requires this Court to order respondent to apply the repeal of [the old criminal statute] retroactively to allow petitioner to be considered for parole.” The Attorney General’s Office objected, arguing that Russell is irrelevant. The state charged that Woods was trying to lessen his own sentence — which included no parole — thereby accomplishing the very thing the higher court Dimetrious Woods. | COURTESY OF AUNDREA RIFFLE intended to prevent. “Woods was sentenced as a prior drug offender like Woods, but Judge Green is optfor second-degree drug trafficking. ing to put those cases on hold while That sentence required the court to Hawley’s office appeals Woods’ win. impose a class-A felony sentence to Gipson predicts the matter could ulbe served without probation or pa- timately require input from the Misrole,” the state argued. “Despite the souri Supreme Court. The news is a mixed blessing for changes to the criminal code, Woods the roughly 120 inmates currently must still serve that sentence.” But Judge Green ruled for Woods. serving drug-related no-parole senOn November 3, he issued a ruling tences. It could take months or years noting the 2004 case and granting for the Missouri Supreme Court to Woods’ request for declaratory issue a ruling. It’s no easier for Woods. He gets judgement. The old criminal statute, with its to leave prison, but there’s no telling no-parole provision, “is not applica- how long that might last. “The state is still appealing,” he ble to determining parole eligibility,” Green wrote. “Respondent is hereby says. “How much can I get comfortordered to apply existing laws con- able creating my new life once I’m cerning Petitioner’s parole eligibil- released? Why are they steady fighting to hold people like me in prison ity.” For now, Woods’ legal victory is for a law that the legislature has allimited to his own case. Gipson tells ready said is too much? We’ve won, RFT that he has a handful of other we had a circuit judge agree with us, n clients serving no-parole sentences and they’re still fighting.”


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T

he city of St. Louis took generations to topple fully from its peak as one of the nation’s biggest cities. It took its airport less than a

decade. In 2000, the airport moved 30 million passengers, making it the 16th busiest in the country. The previous twenty years had seen Lambert-St. Louis International Airport strain under the pressure of its status as a TWA hub, with flights frequently left circling or delayed on the tarmac. Plans were made to build — and then came 9/11, the nationwide air-travel downturn, the Great Recession and airline industry shakeups. From 2003 to 2004, the number of passengers traveling by air through St. Louis dropped by seven million. In just a few years, daily flight totals plummeted by the hundreds, and those losses were cemented by the elimination of the airport’s American Airlines hub in 2009. By the end of the decade, the airport was moving only 40 percent of the traffic it had in 12

RIVERFRONT TIMES

2000 and no longer offered direct service to Europe. Like St. Louis, whose Gateway Arch serves as a memorial to the myth of non-stop expansion, Lambert Airport, too, has a monument to lost frontier: a 9,000foot concrete runway, built for $1.1 billion, the most expensive public improvement project in St. Louis history. Planned with the high traffic of the 1980s and ‘90s in mind, the runway erased a north county neighborhood only to open in 2006 to an industry that suddenly had little use for it. It’s currently being used for just 10 percent of arrivals and departures. As Francis Slay departed Lambert on a warm day last March, the city’s mayor would have been able to watch that stretch of concrete shrinking into the distance. Eleven years prior, he had cut the ribbon to open the runway for business. Even then, he’d known far too little was coming. But maybe it doesn’t have to be that way. That possibility propelled Slay to the nation’s capi-

MARCH 14-20, 2018

riverfronttimes.com

tal, where on March 22, 2017, he submitted the city’s preliminary application to the Federal Aviation Administration’s “Airport Privatization Pilot Program” — a program that provides a pathway for publicly owned airports to test the waters of the private sector. Though Congress created the pilot program in 1997, only two airports have ever completed it, and the first — a small airport in Orange County, New York — reverted to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey when its private operator cut bait after four years. Today, the only U.S. commercial service airport run by private means is the Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport in San Juan, Puerto Rico. In 2012, the Puerto Rican government signed a 40year lease with Aerostar Airport Holdings. For offloading its airport, Puerto Rico got a lump sum of $615 million and the promise of an additional $550 million over the life of the lease. The deal also included a $1.4 billion capital improvement plan.

In 2016, before storms decimated the island last year, the FAA ranked Luis Muñoz Marín as America’s 43rd busiest airport. If Lambert, which is 32nd on that list, were to go private, it would be largest American airport to make the leap. In April, the FAA announced that it was awarding St. Louis one of the five open slots in the pilot program, allowing the city to begin the process of searching for a private operator. The Trump administration, then championing a trillion-dollar infrastructure initiative, cheered the city’s first step. “As we’ve already seen in San Juan,” noted Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao, “this approach to airport management increases productivity, revenue and operating efficiency for airports, creating greater access to capital for infrastructure needs.” St. Louis’ new mayor, Lyda Krewson, added her own congratulatory statement, though she offered a more tempered optimism. She called the pilot program “a great opportunity to explore a


F LY I N G BLIND

St. Louis’ flirtation with airport privatization has the city barreling toward an unexplored frontier. Who’s really in the pilot’s seat? BY DANNY WICENTOWSKI

public private partnership for the airport,” adding, “As always, the key is in the details.” Since then, those details have proven scarce, and in their absence suspicion has grown over the matter like a blanket of ivy. Slay’s former top lieutenants, who stood alongside him as St. Louis considered the pilot program, are now connected to entities poised to profit from a privately run airport. And Krewson’s administration is keeping its cards close to the chest, angering other city lawmakers. Adding to the ire, the man funding the city’s free market exploration is none other than billionaire financier Rex Sinquefield, a figure variously described as either the city’s most generous benefactor or its shadiest bogeyman. The controversy has roiled for months. On one side, lobbyists and city officials insist that all they’re advocating for is an informed discussion. On the other, other lawmakers and some airport watchdogs warn that St. Louis is wagering its most valu-

able asset in a rich man’s game. Francis Slay’s new digs at the law firm Spencer Fane aren’t shabby by any stretch, but they’re no Room 200 in City Hall. The conference room where he meets a reporter on a recent Friday afternoon lacks the wood-paneled gravitas of his old office’s antechamber. Still, the new environment seems right for the former mayor, who’s dressed casually, tieless in a dark gray blazer and blue shirt. Since leaving office in April — capping a sixteen-year mayoral run — Slay has hardly made a peep on public issues. He says he declines all media requests that ask him to weigh in on his chosen successor, Lyda Krewson. He knows how hard it is to be mayor; she doesn’t need a critic harping from the sidelines. On the matter of his own administration’s role in airport privatization, though, Slay is willing to open up, particularly to defend himself from accusations that he’s somehow letting Sinquefield get his hands on the airport. But even

as the privatization process has become plagued by political infighting, he professes to have no regrets. “Looking back I don’t think we would have done it any differently,” Slay says. “Because if we would have done it differently we wouldn’t even be here.” Slay says his path to considering privatization began in late 2015, when he was approached by former Obama administration official David Agnew, who had moved on to lobbying for Australia-based investment firm Macquarie Group. Agnew pitched the FAA’s pilot program as a way to improve the airport and open up revenue sources for the city. Agnew’s firm wasn’t the only party eyeing a possible role of running St. Louis’ airport, and over the next year, Slay says he started looking into what it would take to nab a spot in the pilot program. But even with the city’s acceptance, there are numerous places the deal could stall. Privatization is, of course, dependent on finding a lessee with favorable terms. riverfronttimes.com

And any deal is subject to an army of potential vetoes, including ones from the FAA, the airlines, the Board of Aldermen and the city’s three-person Board of Estimate and Apportionment. The city charter would also have to be amended, which would require approval by either the aldermen or by St. Louis voters in a special election. To Slay, the pitfalls were worth the possible rewards. “Something bold and big needs to happen to our airport,” he says. Slay is quick to note the airport’s recent improvements under director Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge, whom he appointed. The airport moved nearly 15 million total passengers in 2017, and will add five flights to Iceland later this year. It’s increased passengers for four consecutive years. “But these are all baby steps,” Slay warns. He believes the airport can be more, and he holds up the past as potential: “We need to be where we used to be. And we’re not even close.”

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ics are missing the bigger picture. There’s not even a deal to debate yet. “I understood going in that this wasn’t going to be a simple smooth process,” he says. “But ultimately as mayor you have to be an opportunist, you have to be able to take advantage of those opportunities when they exist.” He set the table. Now he’s hoping Krewson can guide the city toward a good plan. “If it’s not good for the airport and the future of the region, it shouldn’t happen,” Slay argues. “But,” he continues, stabbing his finger into the table with each word, “we won’t know unless we know what that deal is.”

Slay knew the process, even under a rosy scenario, wouldn’t be cheap. Chicago, which twice came achingly close to privatizing Chicago Midway International Airport, reportedly spent millions on the snowballing costs to hire experienced consultants and negotiate with private operators. St. Louis was already spending millions to try to keep an NFL team and retain its contract with the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. Slay says he didn’t have the cash to throw around. “So,” he says, preparing to dig into arguably the most divisive aspect of the airport deal, “that’s when I talked to Rex Sinquefield.” The meeting, arranged at Slay’s behest, took place in the Kingside Diner in late 2016. At the time, Slay was eyeing the end of his political career. Sinquefield was one of Slay’s largest campaign donors, and the retired investor’s fortune had backed the 2012 initiative that gave the city control over its police department, something Slay had long desired. Still, in a Democratic city, Slay concedes, “Rex can be controversial.” The free-market enthusiast has tried unsuccessfully to eliminate the state income tax, and his dogged attempts to kill St. Louis’ earnings tax put him and Slay on opposite sides of a critical matter. “He has very strong feelings on issues that I’m diametrically opposed to,” Slay acknowledges. “But if he and I can work on things for the benefit of the people of St. Louis, then I’m going to do it.” And when it came to the FAA’s pilot program, “I was hoping that he would look at this as a civic gesture that would benefit the region.” The meeting also included Travis Brown, CEO of the PR shop Pelopidas and Sinquefield’s longtime lobbyist. To his audience of two, Slay laid out the case for privatizing the airport. Basically — in the best possible world — a competent private operator could take over Lambert, infusing the airport with cash for infrastructure improvements and money the city could use for desperately needed projects. Under federal law, a commercial airport’s revenue is locked in a circuit, redirecting its revenue back to the airport (although St. Louis has been grandfathered in under a small exemption that sees the airport kick $6.5 million into the general fund annually). Privatization could mean a much bigger windfall. 14

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In his final weeks as St. Louis mayor, Francis Slay shocked city lawmakers by setting Lambert Airport on a path to possible privatization. | DANNY WICENTOWSKI Philosophically on board for anything that shrinks government, Sinquefield “didn’t need a lot of convincing” to commit resources to backing the city’s application, says Slay. Aware of the whispers surrounding Sinquefield, Slay insists there’s no conspiracy at play — he says the retired financier expressed no designs on profiting from the venture. Still, during that meeting, he admits that Sinquefield suggested that a St. Louis flush with new revenue could start thinking about repealing that pesky earnings tax. “I’m not saying he didn’t bring it up,” Slay says. “There was absolutely no commitment on that at all. What I presented to Rex had nothing to do with the earnings tax.” After the meeting, Sinquefield was in. With only a few weeks left in office, Slay made multiple research trips to Washington D.C., along with Brown. On March 16, one week before submitting the preliminary application to the FAA, Slay and then-City Counselor Michael Garvin signed a “memorandum of representation” with the three parties who would guide the city through the FAA’s byzantine requirements: McKenna and Associates, a Beltway consultant firm; the Wicks Group, a

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private equity company that would prepare the actual application; and a Sinquefield-backed lobbying entity, Grow Missouri. The agreement was signed on the condition that any costs for the application would be handled by Grow Missouri and McKenna , but it included a crucial caveat: The money would only be reimbursed if privatization went through. Beyond the mayor’s office, other city and airport officials were in the dark. Slay says he understands the frustration with the secrecy, but he bristles at the suggestion that the process was somehow tainted. He was the mayor, after all. “I was elected to make decisions on behalf of the people of St. Louis,” he says. “What should I have done? You have a vote of the Board of Aldermen and decide whether or not you file the application? I don’t know what that means.” He acknowledges that the lack of transparency has its trade-offs. In recent months, city lawmakers have mounted a serious pushback, pointing to Slay’s deal with Sinquefield and a contract that appears to incentivize consultants to push a deal through, come hell or unfavorable terms for taxpayers. The former mayor is worried crit-

We still don’t know what the deal is. But the 82-page application Slay submitted to the FAA last year provides a compelling summary of what the city hopes it could accomplish. The Request for Qualifications, or RFQ, lays out the city’s objectives. Simply put, St. Louis has put too much money into the airport. And it needs cash. Servicing the airport’s debt, which at one time totaled $1 billion, currently eats up around 43 percent of Lambert’s annual budget. At its current rate of repayment, the city says, the airport won’t pay off its remaining $600 million of debt (plus $300 million in interest) until 2048. Airport officials tout recent credit rating upgrades from Moody’s, Fitch and S&P Global Ratings — which each upgraded Lambert from “stable” to “positive” — as reason for optimism. But any deal to lease the airport would do more than just get a good rate for the debt service; it would wipe out the debt entirely. Under federal law, privatization deal cannot go forward while an airport has debt on its books. And that could benefit not just the airport, but the city — officials anticipate that a privatized airport would send an annual remittance much bigger than the $6.5 million it currently gets. In fact, it foresees a windfall — payments “four to ten times larger than the city transfers expected today,” according to the RFQ. “If a private operator was selected and an upfront payment structure was chosen, the City would expect to free up more than one billion in capital for non-Airport uses,” the RFQ claims. A billion dollars is nearly twice the sum paid up front to Puerto Rico. And by virtue of being part of the U.S. but also located in the Caribbean, that airport clearly has more strategic potential for airlines.


TWA is bought by American Airlines. Months later, 9/11 disrupts national air travel.

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report. “There is no clear fiscal or policy rationale for the privatization of the airport,” Cohen wrote. “Privatizing the airport under these conditions would actually weaken the city’s financial future, constrain the economic development vision and plans for the area surrounding the airport and the region, and limit the ability to pursue transportation alternatives. It would also increase passenger costs and potentially reduce quality services at the airport.” One week later, three of the five members of the city’s selection committee — all three mayoral appointees — voted to pick Grow Missouri and Continued on pg 16

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On January 16, a notice taped to a wall with no fanfare announced a meeting of the city’s selection committee “for airport advisory services in the potential lease of St. Louis Lambert International Airport.” It was a sharp reminder that the privatization process had quietly continued under Mayor Krewson. When word of the meeting got out, several aldermen crashed it. (Krewson declined to be interviewed for this story.) It had been nine months

since Slay announced the application, and the meeting represented the first time city lawmakers had heard from the mayor about negotiations with Grow Missouri. In the information vacuum, criticism filled the air. The day before the meeting, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Tony Messenger wrote a column ripping apart the city’s lack of transparency. “If you are reading this and didn’t realize that the city might sell off its airport, don’t be surprised,” Messenger wrote. Messenger had interviewed Donald Cohen, a skeptic of privatization who blasted St. Louis’ plans in a

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marks has been hit. And if you ask some city lawmakers, the delay is a good thing. They want nothing to do with King Rex.

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But Travis Brown says the point isn’t just the dollar amount. He believes a private operator could increase flights. “Let’s face it,” says Brown, “we have a lot of debt, and it was built for a larger operation that has never materialized. We basically built an airport for 2,000 airport operations a day, and we’re not typically seeing 300.” Sinquefield hasn’t released any statements about his motivations. The billionaire generally shuns contact with the press, which leaves Brown fielding questions about the man Politico called “King Rex.” “Rex is not a king,” Brown says. Sinquefield has no plans to make money off airport operations, he insists, “now or in the future.” Rather, Brown argues, Sinquefield “should be considered the patron saint of St. Louis.” “He’s retired,” Brown says several times. “He doesn’t have any commercial interest in any airport. That presents him as a philanthropist of the region, who is uniquely poised to be able to carry a lot of professional assistance.” Ultimately, Brown estimates that Grow Missouri will have to hire “several dozen professionals” and put in “thousands of hours” of labor. And only if the airport goes private does Grow Missouri get reimbursement. Before that happens, Grow Missouri and its partners aim to conduct a full assessment of the airport, including a financial audit and a wider study of the strategies a private entity could use to take advantage of its potential. “This process can take two or three years to get right,” he says. “That’s why it’s cumbersome for most cities; that’s why you don’t see a lot of cities doing an application to get an initial slot. That’s why we were pleased that St. Louis is in pole position with this new infrastructure movement in Washington.” Whether such an infrastructure movement actually materializes, only Trump knows (and he probably doesn’t). But it’s worth noting that, despite Brown’s estimate of a two to three year process, the city’s FAA application suggested a more ambitious timeline. In fact, under Slay’s outline, the city should have already signed its contract with a consultant, released a request for proposals, negotiated with bidders, placed a charter amendment on the ballot, and agreed to a final lease with a private operator. Ostensibly, the deal would be signed and closed by May. Literally none of those bench-

Construction begins on massive new runway

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FLYING BLIND Continued from pg 15 two other firms to take the lead as the city’s consultants. The other two committee members, who represent the Comptroller’s office and Board of Aldermen President Lewis Reed, abstained. That day Krewson released a statement making the same essential argument as her predecessor: The airport is improving, but it could be better; let’s see what options are out there. “The advisor team,” Krewson’s statement read, adding bold for emphasis, “will work solely on behalf of the city of St. Louis.” Days later, eighteen of the city’s twenty-eight aldermen signed a letter asking city’s Board of Estimate and Apportionment to stop Grow Missouri while there was still time. The board — comprising the mayor, the president of the Board of Aldermen and the Comptroller — retains the final say on city contracts and expenditures. While the selection committee had chosen Grow Missouri, nothing was final without E&A’s approval. Both the Comptroller and Reed’s office had abstained on the committee selection; together, their votes would be enough to scuttle the deal. (Both offices declined requests for interview.) The aldermanic letter cited “grave concerns” about Sinquefield’s group. It warned that the city was advancing “under a shroud of secrecy, a lack of transparency, glaring conflicts of interest, and widespread public mistrust.” Additionally, the letter claimed that two of Slay’s former chiefs of staff appeared to be preparing to cash in on the deal. Mary Ellen Ponder, who served as Slay’s final chief of staff, had taken a job with First Rule — a PR shop run by Travis Brown. (Brown says Ponder “doesn’t work on airport matters.”) Ponder’s predecessor, Jeffrey Rainford, is now working for Oaktree Capital, a private investment firm that until last year owned a 50 percent stake in the Puerto Rican airport. The company is also pursuing avenues for leasing public airports in Nashville and Westchester County, New York. (Rainford did not respond to messages seeking comment. Oaktree declined to make a company spokesman available for interview.) On February 15, a crowd of aldermen squeezed around a cramped conference room for a briefing from Michael Garvin, deputy city counselor under Krewson. Garvin argued that the city had an opportunity for a “free look” at privatization, avoiding the costs in16

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curred by Chicago. But to 20th Ward Alderwoman Cara Spencer, the process didn’t seem so free. “I keep hearing that the consulting fees are being paid for, that this is an opportunity for the city because we’re not paying anything for it. I have to take exception to that,” she said. “All of us sitting around the table are getting paid by the city.” Garvin conceded her point. By the end of the meeting, the aldermen and Garvin had seemed open to allowing an aldermanic representative to join the “working group” overseeing the consultant search. That assurance seemed to mollify some aldermen. But not all. The next day, the board voted on a bill that would require the city’s chosen consultant to update the public every 60 days. Spencer eviscerated the deal in her remarks, pointing out that the city had allowed Grow Missouri to essentially shape the conditions for its own role. How, she asked, could the city independently consider its options if all roads flowed through Grow Missouri and its partners — who got a payday only if the deal went through? “Meeting every 60 days to have an update on where we’re moving forward from a process that has been flawed from the very beginning is putting lipstick on a pig,” Spencer declared. “I’m not saying we can’t make more money off the airport, but what I am saying is that this is a big gamble. This is a big choice. We should not take it lightly, and we should do it with objectivity.” Eight aldermen voted against the bill. Among the no votes was Ward 24 Alderman Scott Ogilvie. Sinquefield, he reminded the chamber, had tried to “bankrupt the city” with efforts to eliminate the earnings’ tax. “So why, for the love of God, are we trusting that same person to advise us on financial matters related to the airport?” he said. “This is pure insanity to have this person running this process and we oughtta say no.” In 1920, Albert Bond Lambert — a World War I pilot, Olympic medalist in golf and heir to a pharmaceutical fortune — leased about 170 acres of cornfield north of St. Louis. There, he built an airfield, and a few years later he hired a guy named Charles Lindbergh as the chief pilot shuttling mail back and forth from Chicago. Lindbergh, of course, would eventually squeeze himself into a silver plane called the Spirit of St. Louis and become the first person to fly nonstop across the Atlantic, burnishing the city’s aviation history with a spirit

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When Francis Slay came asking, Rex Sinquefield agreed to fund the city’s application to the FAA’s pilot program. | COURTESY OF FIRST RULE of adventure and risk-taking. That same year, in 1927, Lambert sold his airfield to the city for $68,000. The sale may have lacked the drama of Lindbergh’s flight, but, as the airfield became one of the first municipally owned airports in America, the move was arguably far more important to development of the region than one man’s daring do. To some investors, America’s airtravel industry is once again ripe for disruption. While U.S. airports remain almost entirely publicly owned and run, the rest of the world has already taken the leap to privatization. Britain moved to privatize its airports in the 1980s, and these days more than half of Europe’s air passengers travel through airports that are at least partially privately run. Canada uses a mixture of public-private ownership models, and all of Australia’s major airports are privatized. The practice is catching on across South America and in some Asian countries as well. Does that mean it could work for St. Louis? Greg Principato, who served eight years as president of the North American branch of Airports Council International, cautions that European airports don’t have the same options enjoyed by their American counterparts. Airports like Lambert can access municipal capital markets — tapping local governments to issue bonds — and the interest is often tax-free. European airports, meanwhile, turned to private companies just to raise capital. Struggling airports, says Principato, would have good reason to consider a private operator. But “airports in American are already

pretty well-run,” he notes. Fundamentally, Principato says the privatization question comes down to a city’s specific goals. “The best reasons to do it have to do with whether there are better and more efficient ways to run the airport,” he says. “Are there better and more efficient ways to generate the financing that you need? Probably the worst reason is to just get a pile of cash, because you can only do that once.” The airlines are also a critical factor. Currently, Lambert’s major source of traffic is Southwest Airlines, which commands more than 50 percent of Lambert’s air traffic by weigh. The FAA requires any privatization deal to meet approval from at least 65 percent. Without its approval, St. Louis’ application would be dead on arrival. (A Southwest spokesman says that while it is too early in the process to comment, the company is “open to working with the city and doing what’s best for the community and airport users.”) Airline consent could be a major complication for any private operator. In a 2014 analysis by the federal Government Accountability Office, private-sector stakeholders complained that privatization deals overseas generally include just two parties, the seller and prospective buyer. By including both airlines and the federal government, the FAA crowds the negotiations with four parties. A 2017 follow-up report warned that private investors angling to increase profit by jacking up airport landing fees or rent “may bring them into conflict” with the airlines. And


beyond that specter potentially souring the deal on the front end, it could have catastrophic effects for any airport they actually take over. “What do you think the biggest competition is for St. Louis’ airport right now?” Principato asks rhetorically. “The answer you usually get is Kansas City and Chicago. But the competition for your airport is every other airport. If I’m an airline, I can take my main asset and fly it 500 miles per hour away from you and you’ll never see me again. The airlines can go anywhere in the country where they feel they can make incrementally more revenue.” Still, airlines have shown themselves amenable to privatization in the past, and some strategies for a private operator would raise revenue without touching the airlines, such as expanding (or raising prices on) concessions, retail and parking services. Then again, as Chicago found out in 2008, even a done deal can be undone by outside forces. That year, an unanticipated economic collapse forced the winning bidder to back out of its promised $2.5 billion upfront payment and 99-year lease as its financing turned to sludge. In privatization circles, “Chicago” may as well be an epithet. The same year the Midway deal fell apart, the city, desperate to chip away at its $9 billion unfunded pension liability, inked a 75-year contract to lease its parking meter operation and fee collection to a private consortium for $1.15 billion — just the sort “pile of cash” mindset Principato warns against. Indeed, the deal soured almost immediately, as the consortium raised prices and positioned itself to reap long-term profits far above what it paid the city. The parking meter deal produced a scorching public rebuke for thenmayor Richard Daley, one reason the city’s next mayor, Rahm Emmanuel, took a far more cautious approach to a second attempt to privatize Midway. Emmanuel sought a shorter-term lease and required bidders to agree to revenue sharing and a “Travelers’ Bill of Rights” to protect customers from price-gouging. But those conditions cut too deeply into the bidders’ valuation. When one of two possible bidders pulled out in 2013, Emmanuel finally ended Chicago’s seven-year flirtation with privatizing Midway. “We must be willing to say ‘no’ when partnerships don’t measure up to our standards,” Emmanuel said at the time. In total, Chicago’s failed Midway experiment cost the city more than $16 million.

And the only successful version of the experiment, in San Juan, poses a “unique situation,” as Steve Van Beek warns. Van Beek worked directly with a bidder who bought a second round of shares at that airport. He notes that the airport wasn’t just looking to expand its capacity or optimize its concession sales; instead, Puerto Rico was struggling to fulfill the basic tasks of an airport even as it struggled with big debts. The airlines involved agreed that it would be better to remove the airport’s operation from government control. “That confluence of circumstances — a state in debt, airlines and airport agreeing that the current government authority isn’t working and therefore we need to change it — those are conditions that are aligned in very few places at very few times,” he says. “Puerto Rico is a good example of the [pilot program] working, but whether it’s a good example that can be applied to other airports, I’m less sure.” A former official in Clinton’s Department of Transportation, Van Beek has observed the FAA’s flirtation with privatization from its inception. “I always thought the program was doomed to fail,” he says. Nearly two decades later, he still believes privatization is a worthy option for airports, but he echoes Principato’s cautionary perspective. “There should be a rational chain of thought about what the issues are and why privatization is either the preferred method of doing it, or a method that should be considered,” he says. “The big question is, what is the problem they want to solve?” To Slay, that problem is an airport that left its potential in the past. But with his retirement, it’s up to Krewson and her allies to figure out what that means for the future. For now, the city’s leaders debate an unrefined idea wrapped in a mysterious and as-yet-unexplained contract with an unknown private company or companies. Its elected lawmakers struggle to adjust to the whiplash-realization that their city is even considering such a deal — while Rex Sinquefield, the man bankrolling the process, lurks in the background as every Democrat’s villain even as his spokesman insists he has the city’s best interests in mind. Perhaps we are like the public in 1927, waiting warily for reports of the Spirit of St. Louis’ safe landing. Our hands aren’t on the controls, but there is a sharp hope in the air. What a triumph it could be. Or, what n a disaster.

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CALENDAR

BY PAUL FRISWOLD

FRIDAY 03/16 We Will Rise

You’ll show up for the beer but stay for the choir. | DANNY WICENTOWSKI

SATURDAY 03/17 Beer Choir

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merica doesn’t have much of a tradition of public singing, unlike the rest of the world. We may grudgingly stand up for “Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” but we won’t sing about the Cardinals when a homer goes over the left-field wall. And yet every European, African and South American man, woman and child knows a whole songbook of soccer songs for events good and bad, and they’re not shy about belting them. Michael Engelhardt would like you to join him in song. The composer and musician founded Beer Choir in his free time, and he believes if you’ll just give it a shot, you’ll like it. He’s not going to twist your arm, but if he can get you to bend your elbow and throw back a beer, he believes you’ll find your inner singer. “After one or two beers, everybody’s willing to sing,” Engelhardt promises. “It’s most similar to an Oktoberfest in Germany, where everybody sings. Beer Choir is a social singalong, no talent required.” Engelhardt has been combining the joys of song and craft beer since 2015, but the choir really took off when Das Bevo invited it 18

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to perform in the newly reopened mill last year. The St. Louis Beer Choir is now the flagship in a group with chapters in fifteen American cities. “It varies by city and event, but here in St. Louis we’re pretty much a full house at Das Bevo every time. We’ll typically have around 120 to 150 people singing, with as many as 200,” Engelhardt boasts, noting that Das Bevo’s great selection of craft beers adds to the success. Of course, Das Bevo’s Grand Bierhall, where Beer Choir sings, has its own charms. “It’s built like a cathedral, so we sound awesome — you’ll want to sing along when you hear us,” Engelhardt enthuses. It’s true that a large contingent of the choir is professional musicians, but Engelhardt doesn’t want that to discourage amateurs. “Yes, the core at our events are people with musical background or who sing in everyday life; it draws people who are musically inclined,” he admits. “My network is all people who direct choirs.” But Beer Choir is most assuredly for the people. It doesn’t matter how poorly you think you sing; when human voices are massed together in song there’s an evening-out process that burnishes the rough edges. And with 150 people singing, it’s not like anybody is going to be able to single

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you out. Besides, the more you sing, the better you’ll get. Beer Choir’s next event is St. Patrick’s Day, which means your pump will already be primed, so to speak. Engelhardt typically prepares a hymn book for download so singers can familiarize themselves with the lyrics, with a selection that includes everything from German drinking songs to sea chanties. He has some St. Patrick’s Day treats in store. “It won’t be all-Irish, but it will be pretty heavily Irish,” Engelhardt hints. “My friend Scott Kennebeck, he’s the lead cantor for the Cathedral Basilica and a professional tenor. He and my keyboardist John Walsh are going to share things from their new CD of Irish music. And there will be lots of Irish sing-alongs.” Beer Choir’s St. Patrick’s Day gathering starts at 7 p.m. March 17, at Das Bevo (4749 Gravois Avenue; www.beerchoirstl.com). It’s free to sing, and joining is easier than you think. “Oh, there’s no joining involved,” Engelhardt practically pishposhes. “It’s non-committal. If you don’t want to sing, you’re still gonna be in a pub while we’re singing, so we’ll be entertainment. It’s inclusive and open to the public. Everybody’s welcome — it’s not a performance.”

The Gateway Men’s Chorus takes a stand for the civil rights of minorities with its spring concert, We Will Rise. The heart of the show is Joel Thompson’s sobering composition, Seven Last Words of the Unarmed. Using the structure of Joseph Haydn’s Seven Last Words of Christ, the piece takes the final words or communiques of seven black men (Michael Brown, Amadou Diallo, Kenneth Chamberlain, Trayvon Martin, Oscar Grant, John Crawford and Eric Garner) killed by armed authorities and weaves them throughout the music, which incorporates the old French tune “L’homme Armé” (the Armed Man). It is both a protest song and a cry of outrage. We Will Rise is performed at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday at Union Avenue Christian Church (733 North Euclid Avenue; www. gmcstl.org). Tickets are $20 to $25.

As It Is in Heaven The Shakers were a Protestant group who believed in celibacy, gender segregation and the benefits of hard work (the celibacy rule eventually led to a dramatic thinning of their numbers). In rural Kentucky in the 1920s, the hard work is left unfinished when three newcomers to the women’s section of the community announce they’ve been visited by angels. Instead of ushering in rejoicing, these purported visitations spark doubt and disbelief, a dangerous combination in a religious, utopian community. Arlene Hutton’s As It Is in Heaven features an all-female cast and single-melody songs, and it explores questions of faith, the plight of women and the nature of belief. Mustard Seed Theatre presents the play at 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday (March 15 to 31) at the Fontbonne Fine Arts Theater (6800 Wydown Boulevard; www. mustardseedtheatre.com). Tickets are $15 to $35.


WEEK OF MARCH 15-20

The Gateway Men’s Chorus sings out against injustice. | COURTESY OF GATEWAY MEN’S CHORUS

Opposition Ten years ago Chamber Project St. Louis embarked on a noble mission to bring contemporary and classical chamber music to the people. In the intervening years the group has expanded its roster of musicians (and expanded its tonal palette in the process), but the mission remains. Tonight at 8 p.m. at the Chapel (6238 Alexander Drive; www.chamberprojectstl. org) the ensemble presents Opposition, a program of music about rebellion, hope and waging heavy peace. The centerpiece of the evening is David Wilde’s The Cellist of Sarajevo, which is inspired by the actions of Vedran Smailović. The cellist performed for 22 nights in the ruins of a building destroyed during the Siege of Sarajevo, to honor the 22 civilians killed in the explosion. (Smailović in fact Planning an event, exhibiting your art or putting on a play? Let us know and we’ll include it in the calendar section or publish a listing on our website — for free! Send details via e-mail (calendar@riverfronttimes.com), fax (314-754-6416) or mail (308 N. 21st Street, Suite 300, St. Louis, MO 63103, attn: Calendar). Include the date, time, price, contact information and location (including ZIP code). Please submit information three weeks prior to the date of your event. No telephone submissions will be accepted. Find more events online at www.riverfronttimes.com.

played throughout the city for two years during the siege.) Also on the bill are Hendrik Andriessen’s Pastorale (a piece inspired by his imprisonment during the Nazi regime in his native Holland) and Shostakovich’s Piano Quintet in G minor, Op. 57. Tickets are $5 to $15.

SATURDAY 03/17 St. Patrick’s Day Parades St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Saturday, so St. Louis’ twin celebrations fall on the same day this year, and the start times are staggered. Do you realize what that means? You can enjoy both in one glorious, green Saturday. This year’s Dogtown St. Patrick’s Day parade is more family friendly, with a 10 a.m. parade start time (still at Tamm and Oakland avenues; www.stlhibernians. com), and an 8 p.m. closing time for establishments on Tamm. The same family-made floats will fill the streets, and outside bottles and coolers are still forbidden — but the neighborhood bars will ensure you won’t go thirsty. A Merchant Village on Clayton will feature vendors of apparel and collectibles, and Rusty Nail will be playing live music from 1 to 5 p.m. Admission

The Color Purple opens Tuesday at the Fox. | MATTHEW MURPHY, 2017 is free, but you’ll need to bring cash and a valid ID if you want to be served. The Downtown St. Patrick’s Day parade has a 1 p.m. start time. It kicks off at Twentieth and Market streets (www.irishparade.org) and will feature more than 130 units and 5,000 people marching. Area businesses will be open, and if you have kids with you, be sure to hit up the Leprechaun village. It has caricature artists, bounce houses and other activities for kids, as well as food for everybody. Once again, admission is free but bring your cash.

SUNDAY 03/18 The Pirates of Penzance When it comes to wily pirates, you can forget your Jack Sparrows and Blackbeard — there’s only one pirate king, and his name is the Pirate King. He’s not a bad sort; his crew are all orphans, and so he’ll always release any orphans they capture. In Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance, this character quirk ignites a series of ridiculous events that involves an argument when an apprentice pirate’s 21st birthday occurs, a wily major-general and his many daughters and the inherriverfronttimes.com

ent love every Englishman bears for his queen. The University of Missouri-St. Louis Opera Theatre presents The Pirates of Penzance at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday (March 16 to 18) at the Touhill Performing Arts Center on the University of Missouri-St. Louis campus (1 University Drive at Natural Bridge Road; www. touhill.org). Tickets are $5 to $10.

TUESDAY 03/20 The Color Purple Alice Walker’s novel The Color Purple has been a bestseller since its release, and the musical based on the book is similarly crowd-pleasing. The show tells the story of Celie, a black woman abused and stifled by the men in her life to the point that she sees no value in herself. But with the love of her sister, and the friendship she develops with her husband’s mistress and the other women in her small Southern town, Celie begins to realize that even she is worthy of love and respect. The current Broadway revival of The Color Purple is performed at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday (March 20 to April 1) at the Fox Theatre (527 North Grand Boulevard; www.fabulousfox.com). Tickets are $25 to $85. n

MARCH 14-20, 2018

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Big Changes in Dogtown

D 2018

Our complete guide to this Saturday’s shenanigans

ogtown’s St. Patrick’s Day celebration will be a little bit different this year — and for that you can thank St. Louis’ public safety department, the area’s new business association and the calendar. That’s because St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Saturday, a relatively rare occurrence. (The next time it’s set to happen? 2029.) And that put the city’s dueling St. Patrick’s Day parades on a collision course. Traditionally, the St. Patrick’s Day parade through downtown St. Louis is held the Saturday before March 17 — which, in 2018, becomes March 17 itself. That parade begins at noon. The parade through south city’s Dogtown neighborhood is always held on March 17, and it traditionally begins right at 12:30 p.m. And with the overtime budget for cops already depleted, that became a potential concern. Jim Mohan, a spokesman for the St. Louis County Ancient Order of Hibernians, which mounts the Dogtown parade, says the group was approached by the public safety department about possibly switching things up this year. They were happy to comply. “This only happens once in a while that both are on a Saturday,” he explains. “So, we’re going to try it and see how it goes.” To accommodate the city, Dogtown’s parade has moved earlier, with a 10 a.m. start time. Downtown’s moved later, with a 1 p.m. beginning. For the Hibernians, the earlier hour may well come with a bonus benefit: a more family-friendly atmosphere. After all, much of the parade itself is comprised of the city’s Irish clans, marching together no matter what their age. “People enjoy themselves on St. Patrick’s Day; we’re not trying to put cold water on that,” Mohan says. “But we want this parade to stand for something. This is St. Patrick’s feast day, and we want to go back to the families.” That’s not the only change. The Dogtown United association, which was formed to promote the businesses within a neighborhood that straddles several official city designations, is also hosting for the first time this year the Dogtown Irish Festival, featuring an Irish village. Continued on pg 23

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Where to Be on St. Patrick’s Day Alton St. Patrick’s Festival: From green beer to corned beef sandwiches, Irish drinks to fiddle music, the businesses along Third Street, Broadway and State Street in Alton will pull out all the stops. Participating businesses include Bluff City Grill, Bottle & Barrel, Catdaddy’s, Chez Marilyn, Firehouse Tavern, Hops House at Argosy Casino, Johnson’s Corner Restaurant, Morrison’s Irish Pub, Old Bakery Beer Co., Ragin Cajun Piano Bar, State Street Market and Tony’s Third Street Cafe. Argosy Casino will provide a free shuttle throughout the event. 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Free. altonstpats.com/ Big Daddy’s Big St. Paddy’s Weekend: Enjoy two nights of parties at Big Daddy’s on the Landing, with DJs, green beer and specialty drinks Friday. Come back Saturday for Irish-inspired food and cocktail specials all day, plus free shuttles to the downtown parade from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Special $50 premium Irish package on Saturday gets you unlimited beer, food and unlimited use of the shuttle until 5 p.m. Big Daddy’s-The Landing, 118 Morgan St., St. Louis, 314-6216700. Dogtown Irish Festival: The Ancient Order of Hibernians and Dogtown United have teamed up to revamp the Dogtown St. Patrick’s Day parade. This year’s celebration is more family-friendly, with a 10 a.m. parade start time and an 8 p.m. closing time for establishments on Tamm Ave. A merchant village on Clayton will feature vendors and live music from Rusty Nail from 1 to 5 p.m. www.dogtownunited.org. 1200 Tamm Ave., 1200 Tamm Ave., St. Louis, 314-623-2120. Downtown St. Patrick’s Day Parade: The 2018 parade steps off at 1 p.m. from 20th and Market Streets and proceeds east on Market and then south on Broadway where it will disband at Clark Street. Market Street will be closed at 7:30 a.m. from Compton to Broadway. The parade, also known as St. Louis’ “Rite

of Spring,” will feature more than 130 units, including floats, bands, marching units, large helium-filled balloons and more than 5,000 marchers. www.irishparade.org. Aloe Plaza, 20th St and Market St, St. Louis. Empire Groove St. Patrick’s Day Party: Sat., March 17, 9 p.m., $10. Blueberry Hill - The Duck Room, 6504 Delmar Blvd., University City, 314-727-4444. The Irish Tenors: The Irish Tenors — Finbar Wright, Anthony Kearns and Ronan Tynan — have been the acknowledged Celtic music kings since they burst upon the scene during a 1998 PBS special. With ten best-selling CDs to their credit, they share company with the Three Tenors and Andrea Bocelli as the biggest money makers PBS has presented. 8 p.m., $49.50-$89.50. Lindenwood University’s J. Scheidegger Center for the Arts, 2300 W. Clay St., St. Charles, 636-949-4433. Pot of Gold Party: Beginning at 8 p.m., join Ballpark Village in the Crown Room of Budweiser Brew House for the city’s biggest indoor St. Patrick’s Day party. Arrive early to receive party favors and swag and be entered into our pot-of-gold giveaway. All-night drink specials include $4 Michelob Golden Lights, $5 Goldschlager & Applesauce cocktails and $5 shot specials. Ballpark Village, 601 Clark Ave, St. Louis, 314-3459481. St. Patrick’s Day at McGurk’s: McGurk’s celebrates 40 years this year, and St. Patrick’s Day is as good a day as any to pay your respects. Mark the occasion with good craic and live music from Keepin’ it Reel (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.), Ladlane (4 to 8 p.m.) and Falling Fences (9 p.m. to 1 a.m.). John D. McGurk’s Irish Pub, 1200 Russell Blvd., St. Louis, 314-776-8309. St. Pat’s at Pat’s: The Pat Connolly Tavern celebrates the big day with a 6 a.m. opening and $7 breakfast plates, live Irish music inside all day starting at 8 a.m. and an outdoor party tent with food, drinks and live music. Pat Connolly Tavern, 6400 Oakland Ave., St. Louis, 314-6477287. St. Pat’s Run & Parade Day Bash: Enjoy green beer, Irish whiskey and a live DJ. With free parking on the Syberg’s lot, the Syberg’s shuttle will run to and from the Blues game. 10-1 a.m. Syberg’s on Market, 2211 Market, St. Louis, 314-231-2430.


St. Pat’s Whiskey Festival: Enjoy an intimate setting with whiskey reps showcasing a few of their top brands from 1 to 3 p.m. Admission fee gets you fifteen tasting tickets (additional tickets can be purchased). A portion of the proceeds benefit local charities. $28-$80. Lucas Park Grille, 1234 Washington Ave., St. Louis, 314241-7770. St. Pat’s Bar Crawl: Package includes two $5 gift cards, drink specials and a St. Pat’s shot glass medallion. There’s no cover (you may still have to wait in line). Photo hunt and online contest for best green group photos. Registration is open from noon to 2 p.m. Sat., March 17, noon to 6 p.m., $15, info@besocialscene.com, www.eventbrite. com/e/2018-st-louis-st-pats-barcrawl-saturday-rescheduled-eventtickets-41909099244. Lucas Park Grille, 1234 Washington Ave., St. Louis, 314-241-7770. St. Patrick’s Day Party: At Atomic Cowboy, DJ Uptown spins 10 p.m. to close in the lounge. Monkh And The People (Funk) 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. in the Bootleg. 21+. No cover. www.facebook.com/ events/1943689939277864/. Atomic Cowboy, 4140 Manchester Ave, St. Louis, 314-775-0775. Tigin’s St. Patrick’s Day Party: Get a jump on your day with pints and pancakes from 7 to 11 a.m., Irish breakfast and live music all day in the heated tent. $5 cover. Tigin Irish Pub & Restaurant, 333 Washington Ave., St. Louis, 314241-8666. Tin Roof St. Paddy’s Party: Enjoy live tunes from noon to 3 a.m. www.facebook.com/ events/1281729561927970/. Tin Roof St. Louis, 1000 Clark Ave, St. Louis.

DOGTOWN CHANGES Continued from pg 21 After the parade, Tamm Avenue will be blocked off from Nashville to Berthold, allowing vendors to sell food, drink, arts, crafts and Irish gear. A stage will host live music, with Rusty Nail playing from 1 to 5 p.m. Admission to the village is free, although attendees should bring money to support the vendors. Sales will continue until 6 p.m.; after that, the bars in the area will serve for another two hours, with last call just before 8 p.m. Since this is the first year for the festival, Mohan says the organizers expect there to be a few kinks. But if it does well, it’s something they’d like to bring back. “We’re really kind of getting our feet wet,” he explains. “Hopefully next year we’ll expand, and not just be bigger but better.” Next year, the parade may well move back to its original start time. But don’t expect its location to change — not then, not ever, if the Hibernians have anything to say about it. Their parade is now on its 35th year in Dogtown, and after one year in Clayton and the second one in Hazelwood, they feel confident they’ve found their forever home. For Mohan, the area’s narrow streets and low-key vibe provide just the right feel. “The floats in this parade are all homemade floats, made by the family clans,” he says. “It’s ingenious what they come up with. It makes it more like the parades they had in Ireland in the 1800s — the pubs used to be closed in Ireland on St. Patrick’s Day. It was a holy day. You’d end up at the church and have a festival.” Expect this year’s Dogtown bash to be something like that ... only no church and plenty of beer. —Sarah Fenske riverfronttimes.com

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CAFE

25

Thai Kitchen’s flavorful chicken satay, spring rolls, pad see ew and khao soi are all top-notch. | MABEL SUEN [REVIEW]

Destination Delicious Andie Ongartsutthikue’s Thai Kitchen is so good, you’ll want to leave the city to eat there Written by

CHERYL BAEHR Thai Kitchen

8458 North Lindbergh Boulevard, Florissant; 314-695-5039. Tues.-Fri. 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sat.-Sun. noon-9 p.m. (Closed Mondays.)

B

y the time Andie Ongartsutthikue immigrated to the United States twenty years ago, she was already a seasoned restau-

rateur. It wasn’t just that she’d watched her mother work in professional kitchens while growing up in Thailand; Ongartsutthikue herself owned an eatery there. But her U.S. ambitions would have to wait about fifteen years after emigrating. Though she and her late husband briefly owned a restaurant, the stay-at-home mom did not fully realize her culinary dreams until 2012, when she finally opened a place of her own. That effort, Thai Kitchen, opened smack dab in the middle of an O’Fallon strip mall — not exactly a part of town where you’d expect to find a bastion of authentic Thai cuisine. Ongartsutthikue did not let that stop her; in fact, the area’s dearth of Thai restaurants is what prompted her to choose the spot in the first place. Though residents of the exurb may not have been familiar with her offerings, she was confident that her family recipes and fierce commitment to quality

ingredients would bring in diners. She was right. The O’Fallon Thai Kitchen developed a legion of loyal patrons. The restaurant proved so popular that Ongartsutthikue decided to open a second location this past December, in another unlikely spot: A dated, nondescript strip mall off Lindbergh Boulevard in Florissant. Unlike O’Fallon, Florissant is not lacking in Thai food, or international cuisine for that matter. The delightful Pearl Café sits just a block or so down the road. In fact, Thai Kitchen is just one in a string of noteworthy international restaurants that occupy this stretch of the Florissant-Hazelwood corridor. There’s Pueblo Nuevo, Kaslik Mediterranean Restaurant, the Indian spot Aroma Grill, the small Saudi-inflected café inside Worldwide International market and even a host of Middle Eastern markets. This area may not get as much attention from the trendriverfronttimes.com

setters and food press, but it’s no less cosmopolitan than South Grand, which famously boasts cuisines from more nations than Epcot Center. Still, when you pull up to Thai Kitchen, you may wonder if Ongartsutthikue made a wise decision opening here and whether you’ve made one choosing her eatery for dinner. The restaurant sits between a decades-old tanning salon and an “Oriental massage” outfit (their words, not mine) that add a layer of seediness to the environs — even for this Florissant expat who is no stranger to north-county strip mall dining. On top of that, Thai Kitchen completely covers its windows with an ornate window shade that prevents prospective patrons from peeking inside. But when you step through the front doors, you have to wonder if the window covering is less about concealing (or keeping

MARCH 14-20, 2018

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HOmE o

THIS WEEK THE GROVE SELECTED HAPPENINGS

IN

Day or night, there’s always something going on in The Grove. Visit thegrovestl.com for a whole lot more of what makes this neighborhood great.

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MF EABRRCUHA R1 4Y - 2 80 -, M2A0R1 C8 H 5r ,i v 2e 0r 1f r8 o n tr ti ivme er fs r. oc no tmt i m e s . c o m

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THAI KITCHEN Continued from pg 25

NOW OPEN

SUNDAYS 10AM-8PM

SERVING BRUNCH 10AM-1PM

618-307-4830 www.clevelandhealth.com 106 N. Main | Edwardsville, IL The bright, stylish space looks nothing like you might expect from the strip mall outside. | MABEL SUEN

St. Louis’

#1

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2117 South 12th St. 314-772-5977

SOUTH COUNTY

3939 Union Rd. 314-845-2584

WEST COUNTY

14282 Manchester 636-227-8062

www.TuckersPlaceSTL.com 28

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out the glare) and more about fostering a dramatic separation from what’s outside. The difference in atmosphere compels a double take: The restaurant has the polished, modern brightness you’d find in a renovated home kitchen: sparkling granite countertops, marble-like tile floors and a contemporary color scheme of cool light and dark grays. Thai-inspired artwork, tapestries, statues and dishes decorate the space, just enough to give it personality but not so much as to look like a caricature. If the look of the restaurant is the initial clue that Thai Kitchen is the real deal, your first bite of Ongartsutthikue’s larb gai confirms that impression. Tender ground chicken kissed with fiery red chiles is tempered with a punch of razor-sharp lime juice and fresh herbs. It heats and cools in the same bite, an exciting effect. Traditional Thai spring rolls are perfection of the form. Herbs nestled into a sticky rice paper roll are so fresh, you’d think they were still attached to their stalks in the garden. Cool mint, tarragon and cilantro marry egg and tofu for a symphony of texture and flavor. If these are freshness embodied, the crispy cheese rolls exemplify richness. Sheets of rice paper are

MARCH 14-20, 2018

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stuffed with cream cheese, rolled up like a cigar and dropped in the deep-fryer. The crispy, golden exterior flakes off in layers like a buttery croissant, revealing its molten contents. Compared to their first cousin, crab Rangoon, these rolls’ delicate rice paper wrapper provides a better goo-to-crunch ratio. Ongartsutthikue is not afraid of spice, infusing a traditional papaya salad with the sting of red chile that is strong enough to leave a mark. The heat is muted by sweet lime, which dresses the shredded papaya, along with al dente green beans, carrots and tomatoes. Alone, the fruits and vegetables have crunch, but crumbled peanuts provide additional texture. Thai Kitchen’s menu consists of familiar Thai dishes, though the recipes are uniquely Ongartsutthikue’s, having been passed down for generations on her mother’s side of the family. Her version of the northern Thai noodle soup, khao soi, for instance, is spicier than others. The warm heat is more haunting than assertive, sneaking up on the back palate and lingering. Ribbons of rice noodles and hunks of tender chicken bob in a rich curry-coconut milk broth that is brightened by pickled greens, raw red onions and fresh cilantro. Crispy fried egg

noodles add a layer of crunch. In this town, you can’t speak of khao soi without mentioning the beloved restaurant Fork & Stix; this version is equally excellent. A tangier, more tomato-forward presentation of curry is the base of the gang quah shrimp, a rich, brothy concoction meant to be served over rice. Tomatoes and bell peppers accent the savory curry, but the star ingredient is pineapple, cut into chunks and warmed by the broth. This softens the fruit and concentrates it, making each bite explode with juice. Paired with the curry, it’s evocative of a sweetand-sour dish, though infinitely more sophisticated. The first bite of Thai Kitchen’s nam tok beef sets off fireworks in the mouth — not from its heat, but from the bright lime juice that dresses the meat. The flavors are brilliant and the meat tender and caramelized around the edges. It’s flawless. The only slight misfire on my visits was an off-the-menu Thai basil and crispy pork special. The flavors were exquisite — five spice and star anise fortified the pork cooking jus, and snappy green beans were perfectly cooked. The problem was the pork itself. The meat was chewy, lacking the


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FRESH & AUTHENTIC BRAZILIAN CUISINE

Andie Ongartsutthikue also owns Thai Kitchen in O’Fallon. | MABEL SUEN finesse shown on other dishes. That finesse was evident in the panang grouper, a marvel of texture. Somehow, Ongartsutthikue manages to keep the fish’s exterior crispy even while smothering it in luscious red panang curry. Everyone at the table agreed this was their favorite dish. While pho is not traditionally Thai, the style on offer dazzles from Ongartsutthikue’s deft touch. The broth is delicate, but also heady with rich beef flavor. Unlike other versions of the Vietnamese soup, this one has simple flavors; there’s no star anise, cinnamon or sweetness — just pure beef flavor like a light consommé that dances on the tongue. Slices of rare beef poach in the liquid alongside rice noodles and traditional accoutrements (jalapeños, bean sprouts, basil, lime) that infuse the liquid with flavor. It’s pure warmth, evocative of the simple pleasure you get from a grandmother’s chicken soup. The reference to childhood comfort is also literal: Thai Kitchen offers a delightful kids’ chicken

noodle soup that appears to be nothing more than pieces of meat and rice noodles. The broth, however, has a subtle umami depth, spiked with enough soy to be interesting, but not too much to offend a youngster’s picky palate. That Ongartsutthikue offers such a quality children’s menu shows just how much thought she puts into her restaurant — including the location. On the surface, that Florissant strip mall — or a St. Charles County one, for that matter — may not seem like the ideal place for a top-tier Thai restaurant, but Thai Kitchen will make you check that preconception. And that’s a good thing. After all, who wants to live in a bubble when such wonderful family recipes traveled halfway across the globe to get here — and all you have to do is drive twenty minutes north to enjoy them? n Thai Kitchen

Larb gai ���������������������������������������� $6.95 Khao soi���������������������������������������� $9�95 Panang grouper��������������������������$12�95

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32

SHORT ORDERS

[SIDE DISH]

Meet Nixta’s New Chef Written by

CHERYL BAEHR

A

lex Henry left his hometown of Merida, Mexico, when he was a little kid, so many of his memories of the place are not so clear. However, the new executive chef at Nixta (1621 Tower Grove Avenue, 314-899-9000) admits that the most vivid ones all involve food. “I remember hanging out with my grandmother in her kitchen in Merida,” Henry recalls. “She was a really good traditional cook. Also, when we would go out to eat, there was always some part of the kitchen that was visible — maybe it was women making tamales on the streets outside. Things like that just crept into my head and made me realize how much I loved food and cooking.” Though he moved to Missouri at a young age, Henry had more than enough experiences to develop a passion for his home country’s cooking. Every year, he and his family would spend their summers in Mexico, visiting with relatives and soaking up the local environs. Whether going out to eat or dining at relatives’ homes, food was central to their visits, and Henry decided to pursue cooking as a profession. Now 28, Henry enrolled in the culinary program at St. Louis Community College - Forest Park straight out of high school where he learned the fundamentals. However, he also developed his passion outside of the classroom, working for chef Robert Uyemura at Yia Yia’s in Chesterfield. Uyemura (now of Local Chef Kitchen) instilled in Henry the importance of sustainability in his cooking — well before the term was trendy. Something about that spoke to Henry, helping him see that his job was not only to cook food, but to do so in as conscientious a manner as possible. “The restaurant industry is hard, and there have been times when I’ve wondered if I should do it as a

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Alex Henry has big shoes to fill at Nixta, but the young chef is settling in and feeling good about the challenge. | MONICA MILEUR career,” Henry says. “But I feel that this is a chance to make an impact, even if it’s small.” Henry continued to rise in the culinary field, working in kitchens around town before ending up as one of the main butchers at Vicia. Though he loved his job and believed in the restaurant, he heard that Nixta’s owner Ben Poremba was hiring after the departure of opening chef Tello Carreon. Terrified, he made a call. “I had always wanted to cook Mexican food at a higher level, and I felt like this was my shot,” Henry explains. “I was scared to make the call, but I knew I would kick my shot if I didn’t go for it.” Henry found a receptive Poremba on the other end of the line, and the two met to discuss their vision for the restaurant. Though the restaurant was immensely successful, neither chef wanted merely to continue with business as usual, feeling that it was important for a new chef to make the place his own. After a few conversations, it was clear to both that new chef should be Henry. Henry intentionally took things slowly when he came on board, feel-

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ing that it was important to understand how things worked and to earn the respect of his colleagues. He admits it was intimidating taking over such an acclaimed kitchen and was conscious there would be criticism; it’s why he felt it was important to put his own stamp on the restaurant. “I wanted to take some of Tello’s dishes off the menu out of respect for him as a chef,” Henry explains. “I didn’t think it was right to be taking his creativity. At first it was a little disconcerting, but now I am getting positive feedback.” Henry’s menu is a love song to Merida, a culinary tradition he describes as having more in common with other Central American countries than with central Mexico. Tamales are central to the cooking, though they don’t often look like what Americans have in mind when they think of the dish. Chicken is rarely used; instead, turkey is the poultry go-to. Seafood plays a prominent role, as do bright citrusy flavors. “We try to do things seasonally, but I can’t wait for spring,” Henry laughs. Henry is humbled that Poremba had such faith in him and marvels at how quickly he handed him the

reins. Judging from the response he has been getting, Poremba made the right call. “He’s letting me really go with my creativity,” Henry says. “Right now, the kitchen is as close as it will ever be to being mine.” Henry took a break to share his thoughts on the St. Louis food and beverage scene, why you’ll find him out on his back porch no matter what the weather, and the pit stop he often makes on the way home from work. What is one thing people don’t know about you that you wish they did? Even though my name is Alex Henry, I am from Yucatan, Mexico, so I might know a little bit about the food I am trying to create. What daily ritual is non-negotiable for you? Drinking a cup of either tea or coffee outside on my porch, regardless of the weather. If you could have any superpower, what would it be? I would want the ability to clean up and decontaminate the environContinued on pg 36 ment.


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[FIRST LOOK]

Nubby’s Opens in South County Written by

CHERYL BAEHR

W Small Change’s roster of ten cocktails are all named in ways that reference Tom Waits songs. The classics are also on offer. | SPENCER PERNIKOFF

[BARS]

Small Change Dives Into Mixology Written by

ELLEN PRINZI

W

hen you think of a neighborhood bar, you’re probably more inclined to think Busch beer and whiskey shots than fresh juices, bitters and perfectly mixed cocktails. Leave it to the team behind Planter’s House to introduce us to the “new and improved” laidback corner bar. Meet Small Change (2800 Indiana Avenue), which offers everything you love about your favorite watering hole — casual, no pretension, affordable — along with killer cocktails. Never fear, Busch beer and whiskey shots are still included, but they’re served alongside house cocktails and classics like old fashioneds. The bar’s name is a tip of the glass to Tom Waits’ third album, and the ten cocktails on the menu all reference Waits songs,

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including the “Waltzing Matilda,” a perfect blend of Helix vodka, cassis, zucca, lemon and bubbles. The classic cocktails are the same as at sister bar Planter’s House, although here Manhattans are also on draft. As everyone knows, beer is a staple of neighborhood bars, and Small Change doesn’t disappoint, regardless of your personal poison. There will always be Stag on draft, and either Civil Life or Perennial on the other tap. Patrons can choose between fifteen whiskeys, sixteen canned beers and the aforementioned Busch in a can for only $2. Other than the aforementioned big-batch beers, almost everything on offer here is from small distillers or local producers. All the attention to detail is no surprise considering one of the proprietors is Ted Kilgore. Kilgore is one of the early pioneers of the St. Louis cocktail scene, who back in 2007, before cocktails were all the rage, was slinging Vespers and sidecars at Monarch in Maplewood (R.I.P.). He then moved on to helm the bar program at Taste before opening Planter’s House in December 2013. Like that bar, Small Change is co-owned by Kilgore’s wife and fellow mixologist Jamie and business partner Ted Charak. Their idea for the bar was part dive, part retro. As bar manager Harrison Massie explains, “We

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wanted it to fit in with the neighborhood, and create a really great casual bar.” The interior reflects the desired aesthetic, with vintage bar signs, exposed brick walls, local flair and novelties. You can even bring in your dog. Most days see revolving appearances of the who’s who of the Benton Park canine scene. Under construction is a 50-person patio being built just in time for spring, and Sunday is unofficially Motown night for music. The four TVs ensure you can catch all the local sports teams on any given night, as the bar is open seven days a week. The one thing not in the works is food. Patrons are welcome to bring in their own grub, or otherwise can enjoy snacks from a vending machine in the back. It does stock Red Hot Riplets, so we can’t complain. There is nothing better than a neighborhood bar, and nothing better than a good cocktail. Small Change is the perfect marriage of the two, and we can only hope more neighborhood bars take notice. Ellen Prinzi is our bar and nightlife writer, she likes strong drinks and has strong opinions. You can catch more of her writing via Olio City, a city guide app she started last year.

hen you first pull off South Lindbergh Boulevard in search of Nubby’s BBQ (11133 Lindbergh Business Court, 314-200-9123), you might think your GPS has led you astray. When it places you in front of All American Sports Mall at the very end of an industrial court, you’ll be cursing Google in earnest. However, the three massive steel smokers that sit in front of the recreation complex should be a dead giveaway that you are indeed in the right place — and as soon as you step through the front doors and smell the barbecue filling the atrium, you’ll wonder why you ever questioned yourself. To many, All American Sports Mall may seem like an odd location for a new smokehouse, but owner Matt Hines didn’t see it that way. The pitmaster knows the owner of the complex, and many years ago, he even worked at the mall’s bar, which is where Nubby’s is now located. He’d noticed the foot traffic that went through the building on any given day — roller and ice hockey teams, aspiring baseball players — and decided that it would be a good spot to launch his barbecue project. Hines is entirely selftaught, with no professional restaurant experience other than the fact that his parents owned one when he was a kid. A construction professional by trade, Hines owned a lawn and landscaping company, but has spent his off-hours cooking for as long back as he can Continued on pg 35 remember.


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NUBBY’S Continued from pg 32 About seven years ago, Hines got serious about barbecue, experimenting with different techniques in his backyard. As he gained confidence around the pit, he dreamed of opening his own barbecue restaurant, finally making that a reality in February. Hines quit his job to focus on Nubby’s full-time, and has already settled on a second location that will open on the Hill sometime this year. Hines describes his style as “backyard barbecue,” meaning that he does not necessarily adhere to a particular genre, like Memphis or Texas style. He simply does what he thinks tastes the best, including dry-rubbed baby back ribs glazed with sweet and tangy housemade sauce, pulled pork, and burnt ends, dressed with his signature sweet-and-savory “beef sauce.” Hines says that what sets Nubby’s apart is that he smokes the different meats over different woods, each in its own smoker. For this reason, he limits himself to preparing only two types of sauces, noting that the meat tastes

Hines describes his style as “backyard barbecue.” He doesn’t adhere to a particular style, but goes with what he likes best.

Baby back ribs are shown here with Nubby’s house-made baked beans. | CHERYL BAEHR

differently thanks to the various wood smokings. He makes as much as possible in-house at Nubby’s, short of items like hamburger buns and French fries. Hines prides himself in quality side dishes, like caramely baked beans, German-style

potato salad and crisp green beans. Even the crab Rangoon is handmade, as are the chickenand pork-stuffed wontons called “Nubby’s chorks.” Pizzas, salads, and a variety of burgers are offered in addition to the classic barbecue selections.

Hines is pleased with the reception Nubby’s has gotten. He’s even been surprised by visitors from across the country who heard about his new smokehouse on the SmokingMeat Forums. For a little place off the beaten track, it’s big buzz — and, if Hines has his way, it will only get bigger. Nubby’s is open daily from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m. Breakfast is served on Saturday mornings from 6 to 11 a.m. For more information on current specials, visit the restaurant’s Facebook page. n

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ALEX HENRY Continued from pg 30

Located in a former movie theater, Wellspent Brewing offers “yeast-driven” beers. | SARAH FENSKE

[BEER]

Wellspent Opens in Midtown Written by

SARAH FENSKE

W

ellspent Brewing Co. (2917 Olive Street), the new brewery and tap room that opened March 1 in Midtown, isn’t trying to offer something for everyone. There is no liquor here and no wine. There is not, at this point, even food. But what there is will delight beer drinkers — a light-filled space, a big patio and several taps of Wellspent’s “yeast-driven beer.” The beers break down into three types, says co-founder Kyle Kohlmorgen: Belgian styles inspired by his trips to Brussels, barrel-aged sour beers and lagers. All three, along with a few guest taps, are being served up in a smartly remodeled space that encourages people to linger. And that may, in fact, include 36

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the kids. Kohlmorgen and his wife Angela have two boys under the age of three; they include a pair of mini picnic tables on the expansive patio because they don’t find “beer” and “family time” to be mutually exclusive. There are also a host of board games on offer for game players of all ages. A n I n d i a n a n a t i v e , Ky l e Kohlmorgen got into home brewing during college. As he toiled for a decade in process engineering, he found himself increasingly captivated by the idea of both starting his own business and pursuing his hop dreams. “I realized I wanted to do my own thing,” he says. “I knew that about myself all along, but I thought it would take longer to get bored.” Instead, he and Angela decided to move back to her hometown and go all-in. They spent some time looking for Wellspent’s home before their real estate agent showed them a long-vacant building on Olive just across the street from the Saint Louis University campus. “The minute we saw the patio, we were done,” Kohlmorgen recalls. “It had everything we wanted.” Nearly a century ago, the brick building was a movie theater — and Kohlmorgen says it doesn’t seem to have been used for much since. When they took possession,

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the old balcony was still in place in the rear of the long main room. After some serious renovations, they’ve built a sharp-looking space that pays tribute to the building’s past; theater-style lights mounted to the ceiling suggest its history without being kitschy. In the coming months, the Kohlmorgens hope to find a chef who wants to take over the kitchen space. “We’re looking for a partner,” he says. “We just want to find somebody who is a good fit for us.” But in the mean time, there is beer. Wellspent has a five-barrel system (“bigger than Earthbound, smaller than 2nd Shift,” Kohlmorgen quantifies) and plans to focus on serving its own customers, not a broader distribution. Right now, just two Wellspent beers are on tap, with eight guest taps including Logboat Brewing Co. and Civil Life. But Kohlmorgen says customers can expect to see much, much more soon. “We’ve got nine different fermentation tanks so we can supply the tap room and take on special projects,” he says. “As we ramp up, we’re going to get more beer out there.” The tap room will be open Tuesday through Thursday from 4 to 9 p.m., Friday from 4 to 10 p.m. and Saturday from noon to 10 p.m. n

What is the most positive thing in food, wine or cocktails that you’ve noticed in St. Louis over the past year? A continuing move toward using using more local and sustainable products. What is something missing in the local food, wine or cocktail scene that you’d like to see? I’d like to see a greater use of foraged ingredients, especially those native to the region that may have been forgotten over time. Who is your St. Louis food crush? That’s tough, because there are so many good chefs out there, but if I had to pick it would be Michael and Tara Gallina. I’ve never seen a restaurant run with as much precision and intent behind every action as Vicia. Who’s the one person to watch right now in the St. Louis dining scene? David Bohlen of Bohlen Family Farms, because he grows some of the best produce around, and he always has a few new and exciting crops up his sleeve. Which ingredient is most representative of your personality? Corn, because I use it in all its forms somewhere in my menu. It’s the driving force among all of the ingredients that I use. If you weren’t working in the restaurant business, what would you be doing? I would be a professional scuba diver or park ranger — or any job where I could be outdoors and enjoy nature all the time. Name an ingredient never allowed in your restaurant. Chicken, because I have the availability of high-quality local turkey, which is a better bird in my opinion, and turkeys are always a native ingredient. What is your after-work hangout? Typically home, to try to rest up for the next day. What’s your food or beverage guilty pleasure? Sometimes on my way home I like to pick up a few doughnuts from John’s Donuts because they are coming out fresh around that time — especially the apple fritters. What would be your last meal on earth? A whole fried fish (probably a hogfish or snapper) smothered in pickled red onions over rice and beans and a glass of agua de jan maica.


Monthly RafFLe Prizes MARCH

JUNE

4 Redbird Club Tickets to the Cardinals Home Opener

Year Long Family Membership to Grant’s Farm/VIP tour and The Magic House

4 Tickets to The Gateway Arch and the VIP Brewmaster Tour at Anheuser Busch

JULY

OCTOBER

APRIL

$400 Gift Card to the Fabulous Fox Theatre

10th Anniversary

TO CELEBRATE OUR 10 YEAR ANNIVERSARY WE’RE HOLDING A RAFFLE EVERY MONTH THROUGH NOVEMBER ENDING WITH A GRAND PRIZE WINNER! RAFFLE TICKETS ARE $5 EACH OR 5 FOR $20. Tickets available at Pappy’s, Bogart’s, Southern, Dalie’s and Adam’s. Winners receive a complimentary meal at Pappy’s for four with a bonus SpeedPass. (no waiting in line) and tickets to one of our city’s notable attractions.

MAY

SEPTEMBER

Year Long Festival Membership Year Long Membership to The Saint Louis Science Center to the Missouri Botanical Garden which includes The Butterfly House & Shaw Nature Reserve AUGUST

Year Long Family Membership with 4 Adventure Passes plus Year Long Family Membership extras to the St. Louis Zoo to The City Museum

NOVEMBER

$300 Gift Card for the Peabody Opera House

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2951 Dougherty Ferry Rd (636) 529-1898 daliessmokehouse.com

2819 Watson Road (314) 875-9890 adamssmokehouse.com

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3108 Olive Street (314) 531-4668 stlsouthern.com

RIVERFRONT TIMES

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[HOMESPUN]

Heath Aldrich is a go-to resource for modular synthesis. | MABEL SUEN

Modular Magician Heath Aldrich is St. Louis’ ‘synth whisperer’ Written by

CHRISTIAN SCHAEFFER

F

or a host of local musicians, the name “Dave Anderson” is synonymous with “guitar.” His electric guitar and pedal steel work has livened up acts from his own Tenement Ruth to Grace Basement and May Day Orchestra, and he runs a cottage industry, Tritone Guitars, out of his south city basement. He’s repaired and set up hundreds of local axes over the years, and has become a trusted name for anything with strings, wood and magnetic coils. So how does one of St. Louis’ premier guitar authorities end up down the rabbit-hole of modular synthesis, an instrument built on circuits, voltages and switchboard-like patch bays? For Anderson, an off-the-cuff jam session with synthesist and multi-instrumentalist Kit Hamon turned him on to the instrument’s tone and mutability; listening back to the session’s recordings, he was drawn to the synth’s unique timbre and soon bought his own. He dug around the internet and joined some modular Facebook groups, but needed guidance with the oft-baffling terms and techniques. So who does the guitar guru call for all things modular? “I kept hearing the name ‘Heath Aldrich,’” Anderson says. And soon enough, Aldrich reached out. “He really answered a lot of basic questions and helped me get started.” Aldrich, a self-taught synthesist and experienced builder of modules and systems, has become something of a “synth whisperer” to local musicians thinking about making the plunge into the bottomless pool of modular synthesis. After ascending the stairs of his Clifton Heights home to his third-

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floor studio, Aldrich walks a visitor through his multi-colored, blinking and cable-connected rig. There’s a suitcase-sized rack populated by thin strips of knob-infested and input-pocked metal; above it is a wallmounted modern recreation of the famed ARP 2600, a grey slab favored by Stevie Wonder and Joe Zawinul. But Aldrich’s pride and joy is a home-brew replica of the Buchla Music Easel, a vaunted (and damned expensive) instrument used by Suzanne Ciani and Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith. A metallic keyboard triggers the notes from a plexiglass-housed panel of sliders and switches, all of which can alter the tone of the oscillator or the shape of its wave. Aldrich built it himself, spending somewhere around 50 hours to solder and screw the machine into being. “I always try to invite people over to see it,” Aldrich says of his rig. His hospitality speaks both to his gregarious nature and the relative obscurity of the modules, most of which are bought online and require D.I.Y. assemblage. “Half of what is terrifying to people about this stuff is that you can’t go to Guitar Center and check it out, and it’s too much of an investment to just jump in.” Which is exactly how Anderson and Aldrich hooked up. “Dave knew enough about synths to get himself in trouble,” Aldrich

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says. “He easily could have ran down a very, very dark hole of buying the newest thing. Sometimes you just need somebody to say, ‘Stop! Stop it! What is this going to achieve for you, aside from the fact that it’s cool?’ It’s really easy to be seduced by that. “So many people that I know are, like, guitar players that want to get into it, so finding something that makes music is really key to them,” Aldrich continues. Anderson concurs with Aldrich’s approach in seeking something musical, rather than atonal or noise-oriented, while embracing the mathematical approach to creation. “A lot of guitar players think in terms of pitch and velocity,” says Anderson. “It’s a lot about scales and harmony, and how to integrate that in a song. With synths, specifically modular, you begin to think in terms of syncopation and timbre because the sequence of notes is predetermined. You aren’t spending time thinking about technique, the composition style of manipulating control voltage becomes the technique.” Aldrich describes his preferred style of music as “doom metal with synths,” and his most recent project, Solid State Disaster, was a mix of electro-noise and industrial thrash. But up in his workspace, he usually introduces first-time knob-twiddlers to the world of modular synths with a softer palette of self-generating

repetitions. On a Wednesday evening in early March, his Buchla rig was emitting a slow pattern of warm, round and fuzzy tones, redolent of low brass. A few movements of sliders and knobs changed the frequency to a subterranean bongo and a resonant whoosh. “I went from doing more industrial stuff to, like, more long-format drone-y things, which may not be super interesting to everybody,” he says. “But I would love to be able to score TV or movies or commercials or things, because it’s so self-generative. I set up the rules, it makes the music, and together we can be a good team.” For now, Aldrich is prepping a series of songs and hopes to record them soon; because of the fragile and temperamental nature of the synth’s components, live shows are out of the question for now. But he remains committed to serving as a guide to the knotty and topsy-turvy universe of modular synth. “In my altruistic vision of the world, we all are doing things that make us the best version of ourselves — if that’s playing music or learning a new hobby or being part of something, I don’t want to leave someone in the dust,” Aldrich says. “I want everyone to get their fairenough shot. St. Louis is too small of a community to be an asshole to n your fellow musician.”


Marie Enger will release a Nosferatu-inspired comic book. | COURTESY OF MARIE ENGER

[ART]

Drawing Blood Written by

HAYLEY ABSHEAR

T

he first time Marie Enger had ever heard of Nosferatu was in high school. She was trying to impress a college design program during an interview, and she pretended to know about the film when her interlocutors talked about the “German expressionist vibe” art style. In reality, she wasn’t a fan of horror movies. Now, at 28, Enger is creating an illustration series based on Nosferatu. The St. Louis-based artist is making an art book with 92 pages of illustrations about that notorious blood-sucker Count Orlok. She calls it “a bootleg of a bootleg,” given that the original F.W. Murnau film introducing the count was made as a tribute to Count Dracula. “Orlok was F.W. Murnau’s love letter to Dracula, and this is my love letter to Orlok,” Enger says. She wants to bring this strik-

ing character to life for your local coffee table, but like many creatives, she’s still in her starving artist phase, and quality print publications aren’t cheap. So early this year, she made a Kickstarter to raise money for her project, with the help of her friends. The project proved popular with the donating masses. When all was said and done she’d raised $9,635, nearly doubling her goal. “If I didn’t have this Kickstarter, I could not afford to print these books,” Enger says. “I think it’s important to have the support, because there’s no other way to do this anymore. You need the community to give you something so you can put something back into it.” After growing up in Phoenix, Enger spent her teenage years in Washington. She graduated from Webster University in St. Louis with an animation degree in 2012 and headed to L.A. for a while before landing back here. She now does freelance comic book work all over the nation. Enger got her start in side projects from doing a werewolf illustration collection during Inktober (like regular October, but for artists with lots of ideas and ink) in 2016. Enger doesn’t even like were-

Funded by Kickstarter, Enger’s book will be a “love letter to Orlok.” | COURTESY OF MARIE ENGER wolves, but she knew they had strong social media presence. Sure enough, her series took off. Her work got a lot of attention through social media from artists all over the U.S. “I had no idea it was going to turn into something,” Enger says. “With the werewolves, it almost feels like a curse because now a lot of people ask me to do projects with werewolves and I’ve kind of gotten boxed in there.” Since, she has broken out of that box. In the most recent Inktober, she watched the Nosferatu film dozens of times and drew illustration after illustration of Count Orlok. riverfronttimes.com

“With Orlok, he was so striking and everything around him was so striking that it became something that I immediately adopted into everything I did since,” Enger says. Enger is always putting her art out into the universe for our consumption. In addition to working with vampires, she is currently working on her webcomic, “FHTAGN AND LOATHING,” which she describes as “if Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas had a one-nightstand with Dude, Where’s My Car? and woke up in a H.P. Lovecraft book.” For more information on Enger’s work, visit her personal website at so-engery.com. n

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-------MARCH 14-------

RHYTHM RENEGADES -------MARCH 15-------

TORREY CASEY & SOUTHSIDE HUSTLE

-------MARCH 16-------

IVAS JOHN BAND JOE METZKA BAND

-------MARCH 17-------

RHYTHM RENEGADES ROLAND JOHNSON -------MARCH 18-------

LOVE JONES

Like the karaoke palaces in Asia that inspired it, W Karaoke is sumptuous in every way. | SPENCER PERNIKOFF

[OPENINGS]

W Karaoke Comes to the Loop Written by

ELLEN PRINZI

I

n America, karaoke’s place in pop culture is largely a fixture of dive bars or one-off nights at neighborhood watering holes. But in Asia, the nightlife scene revolves around karaoke, and its glitzed-up version has taken the West Coast by storm. W Karaoke (6655 Delmar Boulevard, University City; 314-3764055), which opened in the Loop late last month, is hoping to capitalize on that growing popularity and fill a void in the St. Louis nightlife scene. As co-owner Cher Wei explains, the idea has been in her head for the last eight years. “Karaoke is so big in Asian countries, it’s the preferred form of entertainment for young people, and with the rise in Asian culture and food options over here, we wanted to be the first to offer an entertainment venue,” she says. Cher and her brother Ivan aren’t strangers to the hospitality business — they own and operate Corner 17, and previously had a hand in Joy Luck Chinese Buffet. They saw swanky karaoke clubs opening in both San Francisco and New York

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MARCH 14-20, 2018

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and realized the timing was right for their concept. They went to work transforming the space that formerly held Social House into private karaoke rooms, a center bar area with high ceilings, and a main karaoke stage in the front entrance. The result is nothing short of stunning, combining Asian-influenced design with Art Deco flair — it’s a lot like being in Hong Kong. The private rooms range in size; the smaller ones can accommodate groups of nine and up, while the larger rooms hold as many as 25. Each room comes with a stand-up mic and two wireless mics, wraparound leather benches, and a tablet for choosing songs and ordering drinks. The upstairs VIP room even has its own private bathroom. The emphasis is on the privacy the rooms afford, so there’s no need to be shy singing to a room full of strangers; you’ll only embarrass yourself in the presence of your closest friends. The rates run from $58 an hour to $108 an hour depending on the size of the room. If reserving a private room isn’t your thing, the common area adjacent to the bar has a small stage for your singing pleasure, and allows your one friend, the karaoke ringer, to belt out songs for everyone to hear. The music catalog is multilingual, with more than 200,000 songs in Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Mandarin and English captions. The “system,” as its called, is constantly downloading new songs in every genre from anime to country music.

W Karaoke Lounge offers full bar service to provide the necessary liquid courage. The cocktail menu is on the fruity and colorful side — think lychee and passionfruit martinis alongside cosmopolitans and lemon drops. The beer list is varied, with six craft beers on draft and bottled international favorites like Corona and Sapporo. A selection of Champagne, sake, and wine are also available by the glass or bottle. Guests opting for the private rooms are able to order bottle service for a more seamless, high-end experience. The food menu is heavy on appetizers for snacking, and less of a dinner destination. Small bites like the potstickers, edamame, and chicken wings are perfect to soak up alcohol or ward away hunger during late-night karaoke binges. You’re probably better off stopping by Corner 17 for a bowl of hand-cut noodles before (or after). W Karaoke is a great addition to the nightlife scene of the Loop and St. Louis, especially for the late night crowd: On weekends, the lounge stays open until 2 a.m. and on weekdays, midnight. When Wei says that “if someone blindfolded you and brought you in here you wouldn’t know you were still in the Loop,” she’s spot on. This is a place the likes of which St. Louis has never seen before. Ellen Prinzi is our bar and nightlife writer; she likes strong drinks and has strong opinions. Catch more of her writing via Olio City, the city guide app she started.


41

OUT EVERY NIGHT

The Firebird, 2706 Olive St., St. Louis, 314[WEEKEND]

[CRITIC’S PICK]

535-0353. THE DOLLYROTS: 7 p.m., $12-$14. Fubar, 3108

BEST BETS

Locust St, St. Louis, 314-289-9050. EASTSIDERS REVIEW: 9 p.m., $3. Hammer-

Five sure-fire shows to close out the week

stone’s, 2028 S. 9th St., St. Louis, 314-7735565. IVAS JOHN BAND: 7 p.m., $10. BB’s Jazz, Blues & Soups, 700 S. Broadway, St. Louis, 314-4365222.

FRIDAY, MARCH 16

JOE METZKA BAND: 10 p.m., $5. BB’s Jazz, Blues & Soups, 700 S. Broadway, St. Louis,

Decedy Album Release Show w/ We Should Leave This Tree, Pure October

314-436-5222. K.D. LANG: 6 p.m., $39.50-$95. Peabody Opera

7 p.m. The Firebird, 2706 Olive Street. $10$12. 314-535-0353.

According to brothers and bandmates Deric and Dylan Becker, the purpose of Decedy is simply to make rock music. And of all the rock prefixes — indie, punk, hard, et al — Decedy opts for good old-fashioned “classic,” a decision sure to raise the suspicions of skeptics and snobs steeped in tradition. Up to the challenge, the band’s debut 1979 makes a statement for the local trio, which has cut and carved the set of songs following five years of singles and EPs.

House, 1400 Market St, St. Louis, 314-4997600. KENT EHRHARDT AND THE BLUE MOON BLUES BAND: 7 p.m., free. Hwy 61 Roadhouse and Kitchen, 34 S Old Orchard Ave, Webster Groves, 314-968-0061. KID CHROME BAND: w/ Paddlefish, isabel rex, Waterproof 8:30 p.m., $5. Foam Coffee & Beer, 3359 Jefferson Ave., St. Louis, 314-7722100. LYFE JENNINGS: 8 p.m., $30-$50. Ambassador, 9800 Halls Ferry Rd, North St. Louis County,

Big K.R.I.T. | JAHRET RAINEY

THE MATCHING SHOE: 8 p.m., $10. The

Big K.R.I.T. 8 p.m. Friday, March 16.

314-869-9090. Bootleg, 4140 Manchester Ave., St. Louis, 314-775-0775.

For most artists, severing ties with the major label backing your music can be a pretty major blow. And that may have been the case for Mississippi rapper Big K.R.I.T. — after all, he took a two-year hiatus before independently releasing 4eva Is a Mighty Long Time in October on his newly formed Multi Alumni label — but the sheer scope of

the new record proves he’s not about to throw in the towel. A double LP featuring appearances by T.I., Lloyd, Bun B, Pimp C, CeeLo Green, Sleepy Brown and many more, the sprawling effort was received warmly by fans and critics alike, proving that, industry woes be damned, Big K.R.I.T. is here to stay. Heir to the Throne: Georgia rapper CyHi the Prynce, who has received prominent co-signs from Kanye West and Schoolboy Q, will open the show. —Daniel Hill

THURSDAY 15

PAUL NIEHAUS: 4 p.m., free. Hammerstone’s,

ANIMAL MOTHER: w/ Animal Children, Dave

2028 S. 9th St., St. Louis, 314-773-5565.

SATURDAY 17

Stone 9 p.m., $5. Foam Coffee & Beer, 3359

SHARK DAD: w/ Other People, the Defeated

BANDTOGETHER ANNIVERSARY CONCERT 2018:

Jefferson Ave., St. Louis, 314-772-2100.

County 8 p.m., free. Off Broadway, 3509

8 p.m., free. The 560 Music Center, 560 Trin-

BEN WENDEL: 8 p.m., $25-$30. The Ready

Lemp Ave., St. Louis, 314-498-6989.

ity Ave., University City, 314-421-3600.

Room, 4195 Manchester Ave, St. Louis, 314-

STEVEN HEIM: 7 p.m., $12-$15. The Firebird,

BIG RICH MCDONOUGH & RHYTHM RENEGADES:

833-3929.

2706 Olive St., St. Louis, 314-535-0353.

7 p.m., $5. BB’s Jazz, Blues & Soups, 700 S.

BLACK TIGER SEX MACHINE: w/ Kai Wachi,

TINSLEY ELLIS: 8 p.m., $18. Old Rock House,

Broadway, St. Louis, 314-436-5222.

SATURDAY, MARCH 17

Apashe, Lektrique 8 p.m., $17. 2720 Chero-

1200 S. 7th St., St. Louis, 314-588-0505.

BUCKETHEAD: 9 p.m., $20-$35. 2720 Cherokee

kee Performing Arts Center, 2720 Cherokee

TORREY CASEY & SOUTHSIDE HUSTLE: 10 p.m.,

Performing Arts Center, 2720 Cherokee St,

Buckethead

St, St. Louis, 314-276-2700.

$5. BB’s Jazz, Blues & Soups, 700 S. Broad-

St. Louis, 314-276-2700.

9 p.m. 2720 Cherokee Performing Arts Center, 2720 Cherokee Street. $20 to $35. 314-276-2700.

BROTHER JEFFERSON DUO: 7 p.m., $5. BB’s

way, St. Louis, 314-436-5222.

DAN WHITAKER & THE SHINEBENDERS: w/

Kid Chrome Band w/ Paddlefish, Isabel Rex, Waterproof 8:30 p.m. Foam Coffee and Beer, 3359 South Jefferson Avenue. $5. 314-772-2100.

Kid Chrome Band fires off contorted garage-rock wrung out from a Seattle-based group of noisy punks. The band offers as many live recordings as it does studio efforts — with the “studio” likely being a basement, warehouse or actual garage, judging by production quality. What you hear is what you get, with no polish or post-production mucking up the raw and honest vibe. While the jury’s out on whether that’s an aesthetic choice or one made purely out of financial necessity, the songs here shine through.

St. Patrick’s Day in St. Louis can either be a free-wheeling good time or a drunken nightmare, depending on your perspective on green beer, but all bets are Continued on pg 46

The Ready Room, 4195 Manchester Avenue. $25 to $125. 314-833-3929.

Jazz, Blues & Soups, 700 S. Broadway, St.

MIRANDA LAMBERT: 6 p.m., TBA. Scottrade Center, 1401 Clark Ave., St. Louis, 314-2411888. OPPOSITION: 8 p.m., $5-$15. The Chapel, 6238 Alexander Dr, Clayton. THE ROYAL NONESUCH: w/ the Lettuceheads 8 p.m., free. Off Broadway, 3509 Lemp Ave., St. Louis, 314-498-6989. THE COMEDY SHIPWRECK PRESENTS: FIRST THINGS FIRST: 8 p.m., free. The Heavy Anchor, 5226 Gravois Ave., St. Louis, 314-3525226. TUNE-YARDS: 8 p.m., $18-$21. The Ready Room, 4195 Manchester Ave, St. Louis, 314833-3929.

Trigger 5 9 p.m., $5. San Loo, 3211 Cherokee

Louis, 314-436-5222.

FRIDAY 16

GALACTIC: 8 p.m., $25-$30. Delmar Hall, 6133

BIG K.R.I.T.: 8 p.m., $25-$125. The Ready

DENDRONS: w/ Daysee, Pealds, Francis

Delmar Blvd., St. Louis, 314-726-6161.

Room, 4195 Manchester Ave, St. Louis, 314-

Maness, Daytime Television 8 p.m., $5. Foam

JEREMIAH JOHNSON BAND: 8 p.m., free.

833-3929.

Coffee & Beer, 3359 Jefferson Ave., St. Louis,

Hammerstone’s, 2028 S. 9th St., St. Louis,

DECEDY ALBUM RELEASE: w/ Pure October,

314-772-2100.

314-773-5565.

We Should Leave This Tree 7 p.m., $10-$12.

riverfronttimes.com

St., St. Louis, 314-696-2888.

MARCH 14-20, 2018

Continued on pg 43

RIVERFRONT TIMES

41


restaurants • shopping • arts • music

History of the Area

DUCK ROOM Blueberry Hill

JUST ADDED! Tues 6/5 Tues 6/19 Wed 6/20

Next came the Delmar Loop Planet Walk, a 2,880-ft scale model of the solar system. In 2011 The Loop unveiled the iconic Chuck Berry Statue, an eight-foot bronze statue dedicated to the Father of Rock & Roll along with the Centennial Greenway bicycle and pedestrian trail. In the 2010s, with the opening of the colorful Peacock Diner in 2014, The Loop became a true 24/7 neighborhood. And in 2016, the 800-capacity Delmar Hall music venue opened next to The Pageant. Many consider The Loop to be the live music center of St. Louis with its 8 stages showcasing music of all genres. The most exciting new attraction of 2018 will be the fixed-track vintage trolley. It will connect the #1 city park in America (Forest Park) to “One of the 10 Great Streets in America,” the Delmar Loop. Yesss! ★

The Toasters Speedy Ortiz Night Riots

Landmark restaurant & music club Six party spaces BlueberryHill.com • 6504 Delmar in The Loop

UPCOMING Wed 3/14 Sat 3/17 Sun 3/18 Mon 3/19 Sat 3/24 Sun 3/25 Tues 3/17

Hot Snakes Empire Groove St. Patrick’s Day Party I Wanna Laugh Okey Dokey & Zuli Pono Am Electric 6 Hart of the City Comedy Showcase

6504 Delmar in The Loop ★ 314-727-4444 BlueberryHill.com Tickets: At Blueberry Hill (no service fees with cash), BlueberryHill.com, all Ticketmaster outlets, Ticketmaster.com, 800-745-3000 42

RIVERFRONT TIMES

MARCH 14-20, 2018

riverfronttimes.com

Pin-Up Bowl Fantastic kids birthday packages PinUpBowl.com • 6191 Delmar in The Loop

2010s

IN T

2000s

1980s

! LIVEHE

In the 1990s the Delmar Loop MetroLink station opened, allowing visitors to ride right to The Loop. The elegant 1924 Tivoli Movie Theatre was beautifully restored in 1995 and, along with many new gift shops and clothing boutiques, signaled that The Loop had arrived. Fitz’s opened its vintage 1930s root beer & soda bottling line. Opening in 2000 was The Pageant, a 2,000+ capacity concert nightclub that has featured artists such as Bob Dylan, Imagine Dragons, Jason Derulo, Mumford & Sons, Dolly Parton and Pharrell. Also in the 2000s, Pin-Up Bowl bowling and martini lounge debuted, followed by the boutique Moonrise Hotel which features the world’s largest man-made moon rotating above the indoor/outdoor Rooftop Bar.

1990s

1970s

During the last 45 years, the Delmar Loop has evolved into one of the most vibrant and entertaining areas in the United States. The revitalization of The Loop began in the early 1970s with legislation that limited occupancy of first floor storefronts to retail shops, galleries and restaurants to attract more pedestrians. Nationally renowned restaurant and music club Blueberry Hill was the first of a new era of unique owner-operated businesses. In the 1980s dusk-to-dawn lights, trash receptacles, and flower planters were added to make The Loop brighter, cleaner, and more colorful. The non-profit St. Louis Walk of Fame was founded and became a unifying attraction for the area. Now more than 150 stars and informative plaques are embedded in the sidewalks.


[CRITIC’S PICK]

K.D. Lang 8 p.m. Friday, March 16. The Peabody Opera House, 1400 Market Street. $36.50 to $92. 314-499-7600.

It’s the bold artist who buries their standout track at the very end of an introductory album. Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers perfected this act by slotting “American Girl” at the close of their self-titled LP, and K.D. Lang pulled a similar move when she placed the mega-hit “Constant Craving” as digestif for her 1992 breakout Ingénue. It was hardly the most transgressive thing

OUT EVERY NIGHT Continued from pg 41

about an out-and-proud androgyne who still managed to captivate a huge swath of listeners with her cabaret and classic-pop inspired album. She’ll revisit that album on this week’s stop in St. Louis while showcasing a voice that has been burnished by a quarter-century of singing standards, swing, country and more. Honey & Smoke: Lang’s most recent effort was a collaboration with Neko Case and Laura Viers, which found the trio’s voices settling nicely against each other. —Christian Schaeffer 314-241-1888. GRAHAM NASH: 8 p.m., $41-$51. The Pageant, 6161 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis, 314-726-6161.

FESTIVAL OF LAUGHS: w/ Sommore, Earth-

LOVE JONES “THE BAND”: 8 p.m., $5. BB’s Jazz,

quake, Tommy Davidson, Bruce Bruce,

Blues & Soups, 700 S. Broadway, St. Louis,

Tony Rock, George Wallac 8 p.m., $52-$102.

314-436-5222.

Chaifetz Arena, 1 S. Compton Ave., St. Louis,

NIGHT TREE: 8 p.m., $12. The Bootleg, 4140

314-977-5000.

Manchester Ave., St. Louis, 314-775-0775.

HARMS WAY: w/ Ringworm, Vein, Queensway

RIVER CITY OPRY: MARCH EDITION: 1 p.m., $5.

7 p.m., $15. Fubar, 3108 Locust St, St. Louis,

Off Broadway, 3509 Lemp Ave., St. Louis,

314-289-9050.

314-498-6989.

JAKE CURTIS BLUES: 3 p.m., free. Hammerstone’s, 2028 S. 9th St., St. Louis, 314-773-

MONDAY 19

5565.

AMERICAN GRIM: w/ Ovtliers, Exit Wounds

MELVIN SEALS & JGB: w/ The Travelin’ Mc-

6 p.m., $12-$14. Fubar, 3108 Locust St, St.

Courys 8 p.m., $30. Old Rock House, 1200 S.

Louis, 314-289-9050.

7th St., St. Louis, 314-588-0505.

J.P. SOARS & THE RED HOTS: 10 p.m., $5. BB’s

O’SHAUGHNESSY’S TOUPEE: w/ The Radio

Jazz, Blues & Soups, 700 S. Broadway, St.

Buzzkills 9 p.m., $7. The Heavy Anchor, 5226

Louis, 314-436-5222.

Gravois Ave., St. Louis, 314-352-5226.

LECRAE: 8 p.m., $25-$27.50. The Pageant,

OUR LAST NIGHT: 6 p.m., $18-$20. The Fire-

6161 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis, 314-726-6161.

bird, 2706 Olive St., St. Louis, 314-535-0353.

OKEY DOKEY: w/ Zuli 8 p.m., $10. Blueberry

ROLAND JOHNSON & SOUL ENDEAVOR: 10 p.m.,

Hill - The Duck Room, 6504 Delmar Blvd.,

$5. BB’s Jazz, Blues & Soups, 700 S. Broad-

University City, 314-727-4444.

way, St. Louis, 314-436-5222.

ROCKY MANTIA & KILLER COMBO: 7 p.m., $10.

STEVE EARLE & THE DUKES: w/ The Master-

BB’s Jazz, Blues & Soups, 700 S. Broadway,

sons 8 p.m., $30-$35. Delmar Hall, 6133

St. Louis, 314-436-5222.

Delmar Blvd., St. Louis, 314-726-6161. THE LONE BELLOW: 8 p.m., $20-$99. The

TUESDAY 20

Ready Room, 4195 Manchester Ave, St. Lou-

FRANK MEADOWS: w/ Drew Gowran/Albert

is, 314-833-3929.

Patino Duo 9 p.m., $5. Foam Coffee & Beer,

TIM ALBERT & THE BOOGIEMEN: 9 p.m., $3.

3359 Jefferson Ave., St. Louis, 314-772-2100.

Hammerstone’s, 2028 S. 9th St., St. Louis,

GANGSTAGRASS: w/ Mathias and The Pirates

314-773-5565.

9 p.m., $7-$10. The Bootleg, 4140 Manches-

URBAN CHESTNUT BLACK LAGER LAUNCH PAR-

ter Ave., St. Louis, 314-775-0775.

TY: w/ Town Cars, the Vigilettes 9 p.m., free.

KEEP FLYING: w/ Nominee, Something More,

Off Broadway, 3509 Lemp Ave., St. Louis,

Pastures, Goaltender 7 p.m., $5-$8. Way Out

314-498-6989.

Club, 2525 S. Jefferson Ave., St. Louis, 314-

SUNDAY 18

NCAA TOURNAMENT WATCH EVERY GAME

THURS, FRIDAY, SATURDAY & SUNDAY

GETYOmUR YOUR DRINK DUKE’S GET GREENON ONAT SATURDAY

ST. PAT’S DAY

664-7638. LUCY ROSE: w/ Charlie Cunningham 8 p.m.,

AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION BENEFIT: 3

$18-$20. Off Broadway, 3509 Lemp Ave., St.

p.m., $5. BB’s Jazz, Blues & Soups, 700 S.

Louis, 314-498-6989.

Broadway, St. Louis, 314-436-5222.

RYAN CARAVEO: 8 p.m., $10-$12. The Mono-

ASEETHE: w/ Grand Inquisitor, Suicide Dive,

cle, 4510 Manchester Ave, St. Louis, 314-935-

Faustian Nihilist 7 p.m., $8. Foam Coffee &

7003.

Beer, 3359 Jefferson Ave., St. Louis, 314-772-

ST. LOUIS SOCIAL CLUB: 8 p.m., $10. BB’s Jazz,

2100.

Blues & Soups, 700 S. Broadway, St. Louis,

THE EAGLES: 6 p.m., $99.50-$229.50. Scot-

314-436-5222.

trade Center, 1401 Clark Ave., St. Louis,

Like & Follow us on Facebook @dukesinsoulard

2001 MENARD (AT ALLEN) IN THE HEART OF SOULARD

Continued on pg 45

riverfronttimes.com

MARCH 14-20, 2018

RIVERFRONT TIMES

43


s

s

T

You envision it. We bring it to life. H

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RIVERFRONT TIMES


SOULARD’S HOTTEST

OUT EVERY NIGHT Continued from pg 43

t’s a P

[CRITIC’S PICK] Steve Earle. | TED BARRON

St DANCE PARTY

Steve Earle and the Dukes 8 p.m. Saturday, March 17.

For decades, Steve Earle met polite requests and stoned heckles for “Copperhead Road” with the same scorn. He seemed to despise the song and loathe the songwriter, even as the tune remained the spark for a wildfire of outsider anthems to follow. But for all his fuck-y’all-and-therebel-tattoo-on-your-neck posturing, Earle knows an opportunity when it stares him down. 2018 marks the 30th anniversary of the album that made his name (it should

have been Guitar Town, but Nashville didn’t care), and he’s mounted a tour to play that cursed beast from start to finish. With the reformed Dukes behind him, the songs won’t just take you back to the birth of alt-country. They’ll kick your ass and light a whole new outlaw fire underneath it. Masters of Some: Married duo Chris Masterson and Eleanor Whitmore have been steadily building a following, and it should include you — so arrive early for the Mastersons’ highly-harmonized, hard-twanging opening set. —Roy Kasten

UNCOMMON NASA: w/ BRZOWSKI, 18and-

3929.

Counting, WHSKY GNGR 9 p.m., $5. Foam

PARSONSFIELD: 8 p.m., $10-$12. Old Rock

Coffee & Beer, 3359 Jefferson Ave., St. Louis,

House, 1200 S. 7th St., St. Louis, 314-588-

314-772-2100.

0505.

VILE CREATURE: 8 p.m., $10. Fubar, 3108

S. CAREY: w/ Gordi 8 p.m., $15. Off Broad-

Locust St, St. Louis, 314-289-9050.

way, 3509 Lemp Ave., St. Louis, 314-498-

Delmar Hall, 6133 Delmar Boulevard. $30 to $35. 314-726-6161.

WEDNESDAY 21

6989.

BIG RICH MCDONOUGH & THE RHYTHM RENE-

THIS JUST IN

GADES: 7 p.m., $10. BB’s Jazz, Blues & Soups,

AMERICAN AQUARIUM: W/ Cory Branan, Sat.,

700 S. Broadway, St. Louis, 314-436-5222.

June 2, 8 p.m., $17-$20. Off Broadway, 3509

CLERIC: w/ Seven)Suns, the Gorge 7 p.m., $8.

Lemp Ave., St. Louis, 314-498-6989.

Foam Coffee & Beer, 3359 Jefferson Ave., St.

AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION BENEFIT:

Louis, 314-772-2100.

Sun., March 18, 3 p.m., $5. BB’s Jazz, Blues &

MARTY SPIKENER & ON CALL BAND: 10 p.m.,

Soups, 700 S. Broadway, St. Louis, 314-436-

$5. BB’s Jazz, Blues & Soups, 700 S. Broad-

5222.

way, St. Louis, 314-436-5222.

AMOS LEE WITH THE SLSO: Fri., June 22, 7:30

MO LOWDA & THE HUMBLE: w/ Quiet Hollers 9

p.m., $49-$90. Powell Hall, 718 N. Grand

p.m., $7. The Bootleg, 4140 Manchester Ave.,

Blvd, St. Louis, 314-534-1700.

St. Louis, 314-775-0775.

ANIMAL MOTHER: W/ Animal Children, Dave

ORPHAN WELLES: w/ Sister Wizzard, Brian

Stone, Thu., March 15, 9 p.m., $5. Foam

McClelland 8 p.m., $5. The Ready Room,

Coffee & Beer, 3359 Jefferson Ave., St. Louis,

4195 Manchester Ave, St. Louis, 314-833-

314-772-2100.

FRIDAY & SATURDAY NIGHT DJ DAN-C

9 PM - CLOSE

COLLEGE NIGHT - THURSDAY $2 Tall Boy (16 oz) Cans Neon Beer Pong DJ Ryan - 9 PM to Close

2001 MENARD (AT ALLEN) IN THE HEART OF SOULARD LIKE & FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK: @dukesinsoulard

Continued on pg 46

riverfronttimes.com

MARCH 14-20, 2018

RIVERFRONT TIMES

45


THIS WEEKEND Continued from pg 41

jake’s leg

off now that the legendary Buckethead has been thrown into the mix. Flecks of J-Pop and Yngwie Malmsteen can be heard in equal measure among the bizarre and disparate influences throughout the guitarist’s staggering discography, which lists more than 300 full-length records. That’s more albums than most artists have songs, not to mention all the masked shredder’s cameos and guest riffage spread throughout the universe.

FRI. february THUR. FEBRUARY1615 sat. february Saturday, March 17 17 10pm wed. February 21 clusterpluck 10pmleg jake’s URBAN CHESTNUT PRESENTS Clusterpluck 10pm

Jack Toft w/ Cranky Yellow, Ex Salis, Li’l Smokie, Zak Marmalefsky

736 S Broadway • St. Louis, MO 63102 (314) 621-8811

THUR. FEBRUARY 15

736 S Broadway • St. Louis, MO 63102 (314) 621-8811

backup planet

Thursday, March 15 8pm (from nashville) THUR. FEBRUARY 736 S Broadway •9pm St. Louis,15 MO 63102

(314) 621-8811Band JOHN GROS backup planet FRI. february 16 (from nashville) FEBRUARY 15 from THUR. New Orleans clusterpluck formerly of papaplanet grows funk backup 9pm 10pm

FRI. february (from nashville) 736 S Broadway • St. Louis,16 sat. february 17MO 63102 friday, 9pm 16 10pm clusterpluck (314)march 621-8811

Funky Butt10pm Brass Band 10pm

backup planet

(from nashville) voodoo players 9pm sat. february 17 Wednesday, March 21 9pm tribute to the rolling wed. February 21 stones jake’s 10pm leg Urban Chestnut Presents

9 p.m. El Leñador Bar & Grill, 3124 Cherokee Street. $5. 314-875-9955.

URBAN 10pm PRESENTS FRI. CHESTNUT february 16 voodoo players Voodoo Players clusterpluck Thur. February 22 wed. February 21 stones 10pm tribute to the rolling Tribute to10pm Little URBAN CHESTNUT PRESENTSFeat URBAN CHESTNUT PRESENTS alligator wine sat. february 17 voodoo players Saturday, March 24 10pm Thur. February 22stones TRIBUTE to TOjake’s therolling grateful dead leg tribute the 9pmSupergroup 10pm New Orleans 10pm URBAN CHESTNUT PRESENTS

Jack Toft doesn’t call himself a rapper; he just claims to “do raps.” And the Buffalo native does so prolifically, putting out fifteen tapes in five years while carefully crafting such cuts as “Yer Man Sandals Must Be Destroyed” and “Bettin’ On An E-Cig.” Toft’s lyrics flow over a simple and punchy backtrack that helps to serve every bratty, sardonic syllable at play. Several years of touring has made Toft into a DIY journeyman with a wealth of work that was recently funneled into We Can’t Go Back Now, a “best of” collection put out by Cold Rhymes Records.

the New Orleans URBANCHESTNUT CHESTNUTPRESENTS PRESENTS URBAN SUSPECTS voodoo players alligator wine alligator wine wed. February February 21 22 TRIBUTEThur. TO the grateful dead 9pm

tribute rolling stones TRIBUTE to TO the the grateful dead 10pm 9pm

Thur. February 22 URBAN CHESTNUT PRESENTS

alligator wine TRIBUTE TO the grateful dead 9pm

Urban Chestnut Black Lager Release Party w/ the Vigilettes, Town Cars 9 p.m. Off Broadway, 3509 Lemp Avenue. Free. 314-498-6989.

International Women’s Day may have been last week, but no one needs a holiday to remind them of the many women who command St. Louis rock. The Vigilettes and Town Cars are both workhorse bands that kick up dust in dive bars across south city on the regular. Town Cars’ approach to pop craftsmanship comes with a rare sense of exploration while the Vigilettes deliver a symposium on songwriting atop a pulverizing rhythm section. Celebrate the age-old marriage of beer and rock & roll with a great femme-powered lineup. —Joesph Hess Each week we bring you our picks for the best concerts of the weekend. To submit your show for consideration, visit riverfronttimes. com/stlouis/Events/AddEvent. All events subject to change; check with the venue for the most up-to-date information.

46

RIVERFRONT TIMES

MARCH 14-20, 2018

riverfronttimes.com

OUT EVERY NIGHT Continued from pg 45 ASEETHE: W/ Grand Inquisitor, Suicide Dive, Faustian Nihilist, Sun., March 18, 7 p.m., $8. Foam Coffee & Beer, 3359 Jefferson Ave., St. Louis, 314-772-2100. BACH AND JAZZ: W/ Steve Schenkel, Kim Portnoy, Erin Bode, Tue., April 24, 6 p.m., $35. Ferring Jazz Bistro, 3536 Washington Ave, St. Louis, 314-571-6000. BADDAYDRE: W/ chris cannibal, MiKis, yugioh24k&Fiji24k, oboys, Fri., March 30, 7 p.m., $7-$12. The Firebird, 2706 Olive St., St. Louis, 314-535-0353. BARE KNUCKLE COMEDY: Sat., May 5, 9 p.m., $5. The Heavy Anchor, 5226 Gravois Ave., St. Louis, 314-352-5226. BIG RICH MCDONOUGH & RHYTHM RENEGADES: Sat., March 17, 7 p.m., $5. BB’s Jazz, Blues & Soups, 700 S. Broadway, St. Louis, 314-4365222. BIG RICH MCDONOUGH & THE RHYTHM RENEGADES: Wed., March 21, 7 p.m., $10. Wed., March 28, 7 p.m., $10. BB’s Jazz, Blues & Soups, 700 S. Broadway, St. Louis, 314-4365222. BROTHER JEFFERSON BLUES BAND: Fri., March 30, 10 p.m., $10. BB’s Jazz, Blues & Soups, 700 S. Broadway, St. Louis, 314-436-5222. BROTHER JEFFERSON DUO: Thu., March 15, 7 p.m., $5. BB’s Jazz, Blues & Soups, 700 S. Broadway, St. Louis, 314-436-5222. CHRIS CYR PRESENTS: I’M GONNA BUY COCAINE A MOSTLY UNPLUGGED COMEDY ROCK OPERA: Thu., April 26, 8 p.m., $7. The Heavy Anchor, 5226 Gravois Ave., St. Louis, 314352-5226. CLERIC: W/ Seven)Suns, the Gorge, Wed., March 21, 7 p.m., $8. Foam Coffee & Beer, 3359 Jefferson Ave., St. Louis, 314-772-2100. COMEDIANS WITH DAY JOBS, LIVE!: W/ Jeremy Hughes, Larry Smith, Fri., April 27, 9 p.m., $12. The Heavy Anchor, 5226 Gravois Ave., St. Louis, 314-352-5226. COREY DENNISON BAND: Fri., March 23, 10 p.m., $10. BB’s Jazz, Blues & Soups, 700 S. Broadway, St. Louis, 314-436-5222. CRUCIAL ROOTZ: Sat., April 14, 9 p.m., free. Arena Bar & Grill, 5760 W. Park Ave., St. Louis, 314-646-7171. DENDRONS: W/ Daysee, Pealds, Francis Maness, Daytime Television, Sat., March 17, 8 p.m., $5. Foam Coffee & Beer, 3359 Jefferson Ave., St. Louis, 314-772-2100. DUKE ELLINGTON’S BIRTHDAY CONCERT: Sun., April 29, 7 p.m., $15-$20. The Focal Point, 2720 Sutton Blvd, St. Louis, 314-560-2778. EARTH, WIND & FIRE: Fri., Aug. 24, 6 p.m., $40.50-$226. Peabody Opera House, 1400 Market St, St. Louis, 314-499-7600. ETHAN LEINWAND & FRIENDS: Tue., March 27, 7 p.m., $5. BB’s Jazz, Blues & Soups, 700 S. Broadway, St. Louis, 314-436-5222. FRANK MEADOWS: W/ Drew Gowran/Albert Patino Duo, Tue., March 20, 9 p.m., $5. Foam Coffee & Beer, 3359 Jefferson Ave., St. Louis, 314-772-2100. FROM BACH TO BERNSTEIN: W/ Marlissa Hudson, Sun., April 22, 3 p.m., $20. Ethical Soci-


ety of St. Louis, 9001 Clayton Rd, Richmond

MARTY SPIKENER & ON CALL BAND: Wed.,

Heights, 314-991-0955.

March 21, 10 p.m., $5. Wed., March 28, 10

GIRLS NIGHT OUT: THE SHOW: Tue., May 1, 8

p.m., $5. BB’s Jazz, Blues & Soups, 700 S.

p.m., $14.95-$34.95. The Firebird, 2706 Olive

Broadway, St. Louis, 314-436-5222.

St., St. Louis, 314-535-0353.

THE MAVERICKS: Thu., June 7, 8 p.m., $55-$60.

INDIGO GIRLS WITH THE SLSO: Sun., June 10,

The Pageant, 6161 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis,

7 p.m., $40-$125. Powell Hall, 718 N. Grand

314-726-6161.

Blvd, St. Louis, 314-534-1700.

MONEYBAGG YO: Fri., April 27, 9 p.m., $20-$25.

INTERN NIGHT #2: NIM STRIKES AGAIN: W/

Pop’s Nightclub, 401 Monsanto Ave., East St.

Daytime Television, Bucko Toby, Apex

Louis, 618-274-6720.

Shrine, Thu., March 29, 9 p.m., $5. The

P.O.S: W/ Serengeti, Wed., May 9, 8 p.m., $15.

Ready Room, 4195 Manchester Ave, St. Lou-

Blueberry Hill - The Duck Room, 6504 Delmar

is, 314-833-3929.

Blvd., University City, 314-727-4444.

IVAS JOHN BAND: Fri., March 16, 7 p.m., $10.

ROCKY & THE WRANGLERS: Sat., March 31,

BB’s Jazz, Blues & Soups, 700 S. Broadway,

4 p.m., $5. BB’s Jazz, Blues & Soups, 700 S.

St. Louis, 314-436-5222.

Broadway, St. Louis, 314-436-5222.

J.P. SOARS & THE RED HOTS: Mon., March 19,

ROCKY MANTIA & KILLER COMBO: Mon., March

10 p.m., $5. BB’s Jazz, Blues & Soups, 700 S.

19, 7 p.m., $10. BB’s Jazz, Blues & Soups, 700

Broadway, St. Louis, 314-436-5222.

S. Broadway, St. Louis, 314-436-5222.

JAY ALLEN: Thu., May 3, 8 p.m., $13-$15.

ROLAND JOHNSON & SOUL ENDEAVOR: Sat.,

Blueberry Hill - The Duck Room, 6504 Del-

March 17, 10 p.m., $5. BB’s Jazz, Blues &

mar Blvd., University City, 314-727-4444.

Soups, 700 S. Broadway, St. Louis, 314-436-

JOE JACKSON: Sat., July 21, 8 p.m., $55-$60.

5222.

The Pageant, 6161 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis,

RUPAUL’S DRAG RACE: WERQ THE WORLD: Fri.,

314-726-6161.

Sept. 14, 9 p.m., $55-$167. The Pageant, 6161

JOE LEWIS BAND: Fri., March 23, 7 p.m., $5.

Delmar Blvd., St. Louis, 314-726-6161.

BB’s Jazz, Blues & Soups, 700 S. Broadway,

SCHOOL OF ROCK: Sun., May 6, 4 p.m., $10.

St. Louis, 314-436-5222.

Delmar Hall, 6133 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis,

JOE METZKA BAND: Fri., March 16, 10 p.m.,

314-726-6161.

THIS WEEK

$5. Thu., March 22, 7 p.m., $5. BB’s Jazz,

SKEET RODGERS & THE INNER CITY BLUES

AMERICAN GRIM: W/ Ovtliers, Exit

Blues & Soups, 700 S. Broadway, St. Louis,

BAND: Sat., March 24, 10 p.m., $5. BB’s Jazz,

314-436-5222.

Blues & Soups, 700 S. Broadway, St. Louis,

JUSTIN HOSKINS & THE MOVIE: Sun., March 25,

314-436-5222.

5 p.m., $5. BB’s Jazz, Blues & Soups, 700 S.

SLSO TRIBUTE TO TOM PETTY: Sat., June 2, 7:30

Broadway, St. Louis, 314-436-5222.

p.m., $35-$68. Powell Hall, 718 N. Grand

KEY GRIP: W/ Bear Cub, 3 of 5, Fri., April 20,

Blvd, St. Louis, 314-534-1700.

9 p.m., $7. The Heavy Anchor, 5226 Gravois

SONGBIRD CAFE: W/ Ben Bedford, Erin Ender-

Ave., St. Louis, 314-352-5226.

lin, Kyle Nachtigal, Stephanie Lambring,

KID CHROME BAND: W/ Paddlefish, isabel rex,

Wed., March 28, 7:30 p.m., $20-$25. The Focal

Waterproof, Fri., March 16, 8:30 p.m., $5.

Point, 2720 Sutton Blvd, St. Louis, 314-560-

Foam Coffee & Beer, 3359 Jefferson Ave., St.

2778.

Louis, 314-772-2100.

ST. LOUIS SOCIAL CLUB: Tue., March 20, 8

KIEFER SUTHERLAND: Thu., April 12, 8 p.m.,

p.m., $10. BB’s Jazz, Blues & Soups, 700 S.

$25-$30. Delmar Hall, 6133 Delmar Blvd., St.

Broadway, St. Louis, 314-436-5222.

Louis, 314-726-6161.

SUICIDEGIRLS: BLACKHEART BURLESQUE:

KIMBRA: Wed., May 30, 8 p.m., $18-$21.

Wed., Sept. 19, 8 p.m., $25-$60. The Ready

Delmar Hall, 6133 Delmar Blvd., St. Louis,

Room, 4195 Manchester Ave, St. Louis, 314-

314-726-6161.

833-3929.

LA LUZ: W/ The Whiffs, Wed., May 30, 8 p.m.,

THIRD SIGHT “SPECIAL EDITION”: Mon., March

$12-$14. The Ready Room, 4195 Manchester

26, 9 p.m., $10. BB’s Jazz, Blues & Soups, 700

Ave, St. Louis, 314-833-3929.

S. Broadway, St. Louis, 314-436-5222.

LADY RE “JUST FOR LAUGHS”: Tue., March 27,

TOM HALL: Sat., March 24, 7 p.m., $5. Sat.,

$25-$30. The Ready Room, 4195 Man-

10 p.m., $5. BB’s Jazz, Blues & Soups, 700 S.

March 31, 7 p.m., $5. BB’s Jazz, Blues &

chester Ave, St. Louis, 314-833-3929.

Broadway, St. Louis, 314-436-5222.

Soups, 700 S. Broadway, St. Louis, 314-436-

BIG K.R.I.T.: Fri., March 16, 8 p.m., $25-

LEROY JODIE PIERSON: Fri., March 30, 7 p.m.,

5222.

$125. The Ready Room, 4195 Manches-

$10. BB’s Jazz, Blues & Soups, 700 S. Broad-

TORREY CASEY & SOUTHSIDE HUSTLE: Thu.,

ter Ave, St. Louis, 314-833-3929.

way, St. Louis, 314-436-5222.

March 15, 10 p.m., $5. Thu., March 22, 10

BIG RICH MCDONOUGH & RHYTHM RENE-

LOGIC: Fri., Aug. 3, 6 p.m., $25-$69.50. Hol-

p.m., $10. Thu., March 29, 8 p.m., $5. BB’s

GADES: Sat., March 17, 7 p.m., $5. BB’s

lywood Casino Amphitheatre, I-70 & Earth

Jazz, Blues & Soups, 700 S. Broadway, St.

City Expwy., Maryland Heights, 314-298-

Louis, 314-436-5222.

9944.

TREY: W/ Guys On A Bus, Tri Patterns, Thu.,

LOVE JONES “THE BAND”: Sun., March 18, 8

May 3, 9 p.m., $7. The Heavy Anchor, 5226

p.m., $5. Sun., March 25, 9 p.m., $10. Sat.,

Gravois Ave., St. Louis, 314-352-5226.

March 31, 10 p.m., $5. BB’s Jazz, Blues &

TRIGGER 5: Sat., March 24, 4 p.m., $5. BB’s

Soups, 700 S. Broadway, St. Louis, 314-436-

Jazz, Blues & Soups, 700 S. Broadway, St.

5222.

Louis, 314-436-5222.

LYLE LOVETT AND HIS LARGE BAND: Sat., Sept.

UNCOMMON NASA: W/ BRZOWSKI, 18and-

1, 7:30 p.m., $36.50-$126.50. Peabody Opera

Counting, WHSKY GNGR, Tue., March 20, 9

House, 1400 Market St, St. Louis, 314-499-

p.m., $5. Foam Coffee & Beer, 3359 Jefferson

7600.

Ave., St. Louis, 314-772-2100.

Karaoke Thursdays Wounds, Mon., March 19, 6 p.m., $12$14. W/ Ovtlier, Vices to Veils, Mon.,

March 19, 6 p.m., $12-$14. Fubar, 3108

Locust St, St. Louis, with KJ314-289-9050. Ray Ortega AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION BENEFIT:

KELLY’S FRIDAY NIGHT DANCE & KARAOKE PARTY Sun., March 18, 3 p.m., $5. BB’s Jazz, Blues & Soups, 700 S. Broadway, St. Louis, 314-436-5222.

ANIMAL MOTHER: W/ Animal Children,

Dave Stone, Thu., March 15, 9 p.m., $5.

Foam Coffee & Beer, 3359 Jefferson Ave., St. Louis, 314-772-2100.

ASEETHE: W/ Grand Inquisitor, Suicide

Dive, Faustian Nihilist, Sun., March 18, 7 p.m., $8. Foam Coffee & Beer, 3359

Jefferson Ave., St. Louis, 314-772-2100. GET YOUR GREEN & BANDTOGETHER ANNIVERSARY CONCERT 2018: Sat., March 17, 8 p.m., free. The YOUR PARTY ON 560 Music Center, 560 Trinity Ave., University City, 314-421-3600. ALL WEEKEND BEN WENDEL: Thu., March 15, 8 p.m.,

200 N. MAIN, DUPO, IL LIKE & FOLLOW US ON FACEBOOK @GOODTIMES.PATIO.BAR

riverfronttimes.com

MARCH 14-20, 2018

RIVERFRONT TIMES

47


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RIVERFRONT TIMES

MARCH 14-20, 2018

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SAVAGE LOVE WHAT IS LOVE? BY DAN SAVAGE Hey, Dan: I’m a 33-year-old woman from Melbourne, Australia, dating a 24-year-old man. We’ve been dating for about eight months; it is exclusive and official. He’s kind and sweet, caring and giving, and his penis is divine. The thing is, he confessed to me recently that he doesn’t really “feel.” The way he explained it is, the only emotions he feels are fear and anxiousness that he’ll disappoint the people he cares about. He says he’s never been in love. He said his dad is the same way. The only time I see him really “feel” are when he’s high, which he is semi-frequently. He uses MDMA and he comes alive. He seems the way a “normal” person does when they’re in love, but when he’s sober, it’s like he’s trying to mimic the things a person in love would say or do. I confessed I am falling in love with him recently and told him I wasn’t saying this with any expectation of him feeling the same; I just wanted him to know. He responded that he cares for me a lot — but that’s it. I’m now worried that he’ll never love me. I don’t want kids, so time isn’t critical for me, but I don’t want to be with someone who won’t ever love me. Lacking One Vaunted Emotion You didn’t use the P-word (psychopath) or the S-word (sociopath), LOVE, but both came to mind as I was reading your letter. Someone who isn’t capable of feeling? Isn’t that textbook P-word/S-word stuff? “The fear with someone who doesn’t ‘feel’ is that they may be a psychopath or a sociopath, terms that are used interchangeably,” said Jon Ronson, author of The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry. “And lots of the items on the psychopath checklist relate to an inability to experience deep emotions — like Shallow Affect, Lack of Empathy and Lack of Remorse. However, I have good news for LOVE! This line: ‘The only emotions he really feels are fear and anxiousness that he’ll disappoint the people he cares about’ is the critical one. Psychopaths do not feel anxiety. In fact, my favorite thing a psychologist said to me

about this was: ‘If you’re worried you may be psychopath, that means you aren’t one.’ Also, psychopaths don’t care about disappointing loved ones! All those emotions that relate to an overactive amygdala — fear, remorse, guilt, regret, empathy — psychopaths don’t feel them.” So your boyfriend’s not a psychopath. Not that you asked. But, you know, just in case you were worried. Anyway… My hunch is that your boyfriend’s problem isn’t an inability to feel love, LOVE, but an inability to recognize the feelings he’s having as love. (Or potentially love, as it’s only been eight months.) What is romantic love but a strong desire to be with someone? The urge to be sweet to them, to take care of them, to do for them? Maybe he’s just going through the motions with you — a conscious mimic-it-till-you-make it strategy — or maybe the double whammy of a damaged dad and that toxic masculinity stuff sloshing around out there left him blocked, LOVE, or emotionally constipated. And while MDMA can definitely be abused — moderation in all things, kids, including moderation — the effect it has on him is a hopeful sign. MDMA is not an emotional hallucinogen; the drug has been used in couples counseling and to treat PTSD, not because it makes us feel things that aren’t there (in the way a hallucinogen makes us see things that aren’t there), but because it allows genuine feelings to surface and, for a few hours, to be felt intensely. So he can feel love — he just has to learn how to tap into those feelings and/or recognize them without an assist from MDMA. Jon Ronson had one last bit of advice for you, LOVE: “Marry him and his divine penis!” I agree with Jon, of course, but a long, leisurely engagement is definitely in order. You’ve only been seeing this guy and his divinity dick for eight months — don’t propose to him for at least another year, LOVE, and make marriage conditional upon him seeing a shrink four times as often as he sees his MDMA dealer. Follow Jon Ronson on Twitter @jonronson, read all of his books (So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed? is urgently required reading for anyone who spends time online), and

check out his amazing podcast, The Butterfly Effect. To access all things Jon Ronson, go to JonRonson.com. Hey, Dan: My boyfriend of 1.5 years shared (several months into dating) that he has a fantasy of having a threesome. I shared that I had also fantasized about this but I never took my fantasies seriously. Right away, he started sending me Craigslist posts from women and couples looking for casual sex partners. I told him I wasn’t interested in doing anything for real. A few months later, we went on vacation and I said I wanted to get a massage. He found a place that did “sensual” couples massage. I wanted nothing to do with this. During sex, he talks about the idea of someone else being around. This does turn me on and I like thinking about it when we are messing around. But I don’t want to have any other partners. I’m like a mashup of Jessica Day, Leslie Knope and Liz Lemon if that gives you an idea of how not-for-me this all is. When I say no to one idea, he comes up with another one. I would truly appreciate some advice. Boyfriend Into Group Sex I’m Not Short answer: Sexual compatibility is important. It’s particularly important in a sexually-exclusive relationship. You want a sexually-exclusive relationship; your boyfriend doesn’t want a sexually-exclusive relationship — so you two aren’t sexually compatible, BIGSIN, and you should break up. Slightly longer answer: Your boyfriend did the right thing by laying his kink cards on the table early in the relationship — he’s into threesomes, group sex and public sex — and you copped to having fantasies about threesomes, BIGSIN, but not a desire to experience one. He took that as an opening: maybe if he could find the right person/couple/ scenario/club, you would change your mind. Further fueling his false hopes: you get turned on when he talks about having “someone else around” when you two have sex. Now lots of people who very much enjoy threesomes and/or group sex were unsure or hesitant at first, but gave in to please (or shut up) a partner and wound up being glad they did. If you’re certain you could riverfronttimes.com

49

never be one of those people — reluctant at first but happy your partner pressed the issue — you need to shut this shit down, Liz Lemon style. Tell him no more dirty talking about this shit during sex, no more entertaining the idea at all. Being with you means giving up this fantasy, BIGSIN, and if he’s not willing to give it up — and to shut up about it — then you’ll have to break up. Hey, Dan: I’m an 18-year-old woman who has been with my current boyfriend for a year, but this has been an issue across all of my sexual relationships. In order to reach climax, I have to fantasize about kinky roleplay-type situations. I don’t think I want to actually act out the situations/roles because of the degrading/ shameful feelings they dredge up, but the idea of other people doing them is so hot. This frustrates me because it takes me out of the moment with my partner. I’m literally thinking about other people during sex when I should be thinking about him! What can I do to be more in the moment? Distracted Earnest Girlfriend Requires A Different Excitement Actually, doing the kinky role-playtype things you “have to” fantasize about in order to come would help you feel more connected to your boyfriend — but to do that, DEGRADE, you need to stop kink-shaming yourself. So instead of thinking of those kinky role-play-type things as degrading or shameful, think of them as exciting and playful. Exciting because they excite you (duh), and playful because that’s literally what kinky role-play-type things are: play. It’s cops and robbers for grownups with your pants off, DEGRADE, but this game doesn’t end when mom calls you in for dinner, it ends when you come. So long as you suppress your kinks — so long as you’re in flight from the stuff that really arouses you — your boyfriend will never truly know you and you’ll never feel truly connected to him. Listen to Dan’s podcast at savagelovecast.com. mail@savagelove.net @FakeDanSavage on Twitter www.ITMFA.org

MARCH 14-20, 2018

RIVERFRONT TIMES

49


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String Quartet? Call the Musicians Association of St. Louis

(314) 781-6612 M-F, 10:00-4:30

(314)781-6612 Mon-Fri, 10:00-4:30

300 Rentals

SPECIAL-1 MONTH FREE! Great location near Hwys 170, 64, 70 & 270. 10 minutes to Clayton. Clean, Safe, Quiet.

RICHMOND-HEIGHTS-MAPLEWOOD $555-$645

210 Houses for Sale

NORTH COUNTY/PRE-SALE HOME $XXX,XXX 877-388-8235 STARTER HOME FOR SALE BY OWNER REP! 1.5 Story Home w/updates, 1.5 Bath,L, D, 2.5B, Kit, BSM, Invest Prop & near UMSL

245 RE Services

314-995-1912 SPECIAL-1 MONTH FREE! Near Metrolink, Hwys 40 & 44 & Clayton.

385 Room for Rent

MIDTOWN

Clean, Safe, Quiet!

$150 a week or $600 month 314-397-8422

SOUTH CITY $400-$850

ROOMS FOR RENT Friendly atmosphere, central location. Public transportation accessible, just minutes away from local shopping. Amenities includes C/A, fully furnished, satellite TV, onsite laundry, WIFI Available, all utils inc. 317 APARTMENTS FOR RENT

317 Apartments for Rent

NORTH-CITY $295 / $375 314-921-9191 4008 Garfield-1BR apt. $295 deposit. 5073 Ruskin-1BR $375 deposit ~Credit Check Required~

SOUTH CITY (Unfurnished) $695/mo 314-221-9568

1-3 BR Apts. Many different units. NO CREDIT, NO PROBLEM!

314-771-4222 www.stlrr.com

homes with no money down.

UNIVERSITY CITY $795 314-727-1444 2BR, new kitch, bath & carpet, C/A & heat. No pets.

Fresh Start Realty

CALL NOW! 314-337-1230

314-995-1912 SPECIAL-1 MONTH FREE! Nice Area near Hwys 64, 270, 170, 70 & Clayton. Patio, laundry, great landlord! Clean, Safe, Quiet.

NOTICE OF PUBLIC SALE Self-storage cube contents of the following customers containing household items and other goods will be sold for cash by CubeSmart 725 N. 23rd St., St. Louis, Mo 63103 to satisfy lien on March 21, 2018 at 1:00 P.M. at www.storagetreasures.com.

Self-storage Cube contents of the following customers containing household and other goods will be sold for cash by CubeSmart 2661 Veterans Memorial Parkway, St Charles, MO 63303 to satisfy a lien on March 21, 2018 at approx.3:00 PM at www.storagetreasures.com

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WESTPORT/LINDBERGH/PAGE $595-$635

$30 app fee, call to prequalify

NOTICE OF PUBLIC SALE

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Can get you up to $13,000 in down pymt/closing cost assistance. Call to get a FREE list of

2 br duplex, private basement, hdwds, w&d hookups.

Cube #1092, Elizabeth Caddell

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Cube # 1288, Marc Hargrove Cube # 1034, Gina Schad

• OUTCALLS TO YOUR HOTEL/MOTEL, HOME & OFFICE

Cube # 1244, Ronald Castro

Cube # 1171, Akeem Jones

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••••••••H••••••••

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b VOTED BEST CHINESE! ~2017 RFT Best of St. Louis Poll~

WONTON KING

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Fresh Start Realty CALL NOW! 314-337-1230 The Tattooed Gentleman Tattooed & uninhibited male offering services as

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VOTED FAVORITE INDIAN RESTAURANT! -2017 RFT Best of St. Louis Readers Poll 9720 Page Ave ~ (314) 423-7300 havelistl.com

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RFT WEEKLY E-MAILS For an Inside Look at Dining, Concerts, Events, Movies & More! Sign up at www.riverfronttimes.com

WEEKLY SPECIAL! 60 MINUTES ONLY $70 BY APPOINTMENT ONLY ASPORTSDEEPTISSUEMASSAGE.COM CALL 314-643-7309 (NO TEXTS) 11115 NEW HALLS FERRY ROAD SUITE 200 FLORISSANT, MO 63033

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