TCB > The Commonspace

First Night 2007

The bboys and poppers were in full effect again this year at First Night. They performed on the main stage at Grand and Lindell just before midnight.

DJ: Needles
Dancers: Chippa, Grand, Rugburn, Boogie IQ, Otter, JS One, Kevin
Camerawork: DJ Play
Video editing: Grand

Posted by Brian Marston on Wed., Jan 31, 2007 at 4:42 PM
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It was a night of many firsts: the first time any part of Free Candy was recorded in video form, the first time Matt Brinkmann and DJ Play had discussed what they were about to do, and, quite possibly, the first time a tuba player (Matt) and beatboxer (Play) have ever performed something approximating Bow Wow Wow's "I Want Candy." The video was shot by Chris Carey using a lowly Canon PowerShot A60.

Posted by Brian Marston on Mon., Dec 4, 2006 at 4:49 PM
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We, Like, Totally Made the Team

Yesterday's email message from Mayor Slay promoting the "Pom-Pom Squad" poll on his site included a nod in our direction:


We're off to make out with the quarterback under the bleachers.

Posted by Brian Marston on Fri., Sep 8, 2006 at 12:58 PM
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Blessed Are the Advertisers

Last month, the STL Syndicate network of sites got 111,843 banner ad views. For a mere $1,118.43 you could have bought them all, thereby getting your message out to the masses and advancing your plot for world domination. Be sure to check out our newest advertiser, Grove Furnishings. They've got nice furniture and accessories at nice prices. Isn't it time you started living like a grown-up?

Posted by Brian Marston on Fri., Sep 1, 2006 at 8:40 PM
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We Love When They Talk About Us

It's only Monday and we've already gotten some good buzz for this week: click on over to the Rome Group site (you'll find it under "The Next Great Thing?" as if it's even a question!) and read a little about their take on the effectiveness of blogs as a communications tool. Our good friends at Blog St. Louis are mentioned, and alongside, there we are (with slightly garbled, but nonetheless welcome!, versions both of our names), with our "fresh look at grassroots civics and culture in St. Louis."

Yeah! We're pretty much the Next Great Thing.

Love this quote: "Paul Rand, global chief development officer at Ketchum Public Relations recently told the Baltimore Business Journal, 'If you're in business or you have a pulse, you're being talked about in the blogosphere. And if you're not, you ought to be concerned about that, too.'"

Posted by Amanda Doyle on Mon., Aug 14, 2006 at 5:18 PM
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I'm an American

The St. Louis American picked up my article in the spring issue of The Commonspace.

Posted by Brian Marston on Fri., Apr 7, 2006 at 12:12 PM
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Dancing in the New Year

The bboys and funkstylists were crowd pleasers (and a big crowd it was) at First Night. They performed during the countdown to 2006 in Grand Center on the main stage at Grand and Lindell. DJ Sarah Cox held it down on the ones and twos. (Literally, she had to hold it down because the dancing kept skipping her needles.) If you've got a fast Internet connection, check out the video, which was shot by me and digitized and edited by Tom Evans of Detour Production (158 MB, 24:27, WMV). I like that you can see the dancers' breath.

Posted by Brian Marston on Sat., Jan 7, 2006 at 3:05 PM
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Schah, and Monkeys Might Fly Out My...

former community center/coffeeshop! Yes, folks, it was a bit surprising for us to read, among the many venues and planned performances for First Night, that the former physical home of The Commonspace (TheCommonspace is dead! Long live TheCommonspace!) will be transformed for New Year's Eve into the "Flying Monkey Coffeehouse," complete with performances from singer-songwriters including the wonderful Ellen Gomez.

Sniff. We might have to stop in, for old times' sake.

Posted by Amanda Doyle on Thu., Dec 29, 2005 at 11:44 AM
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Breaking for Broken Lives Wrap-up

Breaking for Broken Lives brought together an eclectic group of performers and spectators. We raised $542 for the Hurricane Katrina relief effort. Tom Evans from Detour Production put together a nice video of the event (WMV, 10:15, 19.4 MB).

Posted by Brian Marston on Tue., Oct 25, 2005 at 3:33 PM
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Free Candy for President!!

Okay, I swear this was an unpaid and unsolicited testimonical, but Paul from the great and newsy has a ridiculously positive review of Free Candy! with Amanda & Julia on the front page of his site right now. Read it now and believe it Sunday, baby!

Also, I pretty much love anyone who calls me "adorable." *blush*

Posted by Amanda Doyle on Fri., Jul 29, 2005 at 4:14 PM
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Advertise with the STL Syndicate

See that banner ad up there at the top of the page? It'd be a great place to promote your local business, organization, event or website.

I'm hoping to finish rolling out the ad system to the rest of the sites in the STL Syndicate, St. Louis' online news network, this week. Advertisers pay just a penny per ad view. Cheap, cheap! Fun, fun! In April, the sites collectively had 82,783 page views. See the STL Syndicate site for more information.

Posted by Brian Marston on Tue., Jun 14, 2005 at 9:17 PM
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Durte Tactixs

Congratulations to Milwaukee-based Motion Disorderz for taking home the $800 prize at the Durte Tactixs bboy battle on Saturday. The neo-punk Ground Syndrome crew out of Chicago came in second. About 100 people came out to watch ten crews go at it on the dance floor. Props to Skytlez for throwing his first jam in St. Louis and to Friedens Church for having the faith to try something new.

Update: View photos of the event taken by Thomas Evans (Detour Production)

Posted by Brian Marston on Mon., May 23, 2005 at 12:26 AM
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Break It Off

Jordan Harper's "Radar Station" column in this week's RFT highlights the Settle the Score 2004 DVD and the Durte Tactixs bboy jam. It was an unexpected and much appreciated boost for the local bboy scence. He got the distinction between funkstyles and breakdancing backwards (see the Electric Boogaloos site to be edified) and forgot to mention the date for Durte Tactixs (it's today), but we'll spot him that for his enthusiasm.

Posted by Brian Marston on Sat., May 21, 2005 at 12:02 AM
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New Discount for Members

In case you haven't noticed, The Commonspace has a chummy relationship with Hartford Coffee Company (3974 Hartford St., 314-771-JAVA), your community café and coffee roasters. To help spread the love, James and Shannon at Hartford have agreed to give card-carrying Commonspace members a 10% discount on food, beverages and whole-bean coffee. How's that for a reason to join or renew your membership? Just think, if you sign up as a Friend of The Commonspace now, you can use your discount before the next episode of Free Candy. And if you haven't been to Hartford Coffee yet, be sure to stop by soon.

Posted by Brian Marston on Thu., Apr 7, 2005 at 4:05 PM
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STL Syndicate Update

You can now view a chronologically sorted list of the 15 most recent headlines from across the family of STL Syndicate sites. You can still view the headlines sorted by source, too, if you prefer that.

Accomplishing this required re-teaching myself enough Perl to be dangerous. Man, I love it when things work. It makes me feel like I actually know what I'm doing.

Posted by Brian Marston on Thu., Mar 31, 2005 at 11:13 PM
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Settle the Score at Hartford Coffee

Are you ready to battle?

You can buy the Settle the Score 2004 DVD at Hartford Coffee Company (3974 Hartford Street, 314-771-JAVA). The action-packed disc features footage from the breakdancing and popping competition that was held in St. Louis last November. Always at the forefront of grassroots culture, Hartford Coffee is the first retail outlet to carry the DVD.

Posted by Brian Marston on Tue., Mar 29, 2005 at 11:43 AM
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Free Photos

I've posted a few photos from the Chick Power episode of Free Candy that "aired" on March 20. Guests that night included Margie Newman, Kathleen Shue and Sherri "Danger" Lucas.

Posted by Brian Marston on Wed., Mar 23, 2005 at 3:41 PM
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St. Louis Web Site of the Year Awards

STL Syndicate won third place for Best Web Content in the annual contest. It was up against 54 other sites and was probably the only one created for free in a weekend.

Posted by Brian Marston on Mon., Feb 28, 2005 at 9:47 AM
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Free Photos

Julia Smillie has lots of new photos of past Free Candy shows up at

Posted by Brian Marston on Wed., Jan 26, 2005 at 12:39 PM
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Just a Click Away

There's a nice article about The Commonspace by Julie Randle in today's South Side Journal and South City Journal.

Posted by Brian Marston on Wed., Jan 26, 2005 at 11:19 AM
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Just a Tease

The Settle the Score 2004 DVD Teaser (QuickTime, 6.1 MB) is out, and it is hot! This disc will put St. Louis' underground dance scene on the map (even though all of the finalists at the event were from out of town). It hits the streets on March 18.

Posted by Brian Marston on Mon., Jan 17, 2005 at 11:56 AM
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Knitty in the City

There's a story by Judith Vandewater in the business section of today's Post about the Urban Knitters. The print edition features a couple of photos of the group that were taken at Hartford Coffee Company.

Posted by Brian Marston on Fri., Jan 14, 2005 at 7:34 PM
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The Commonspace Video Remix

Breakin' @ The Commonspace lives on in this new video by Grand (Windows Media Video, 8.2 MB).

Posted by Brian Marston on Wed., Jan 12, 2005 at 5:37 PM
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Rawk 'n' Roll Photos

This just in: photos from the July 15 Bagheera and Red Eyed Driver concert at The Commonspace (you remember that place, right?). Those familiar with MU 330 will recognize Ted Moll, the man behind the kit for Bagheera. And check out out rehabber John "Obie" O'Brien rockin' the bass. Any of you who have been to Mangia Italiano will recognize half of Red Eyed Driver.

Posted by Brian Marston on Sun., Dec 19, 2004 at 11:44 PM
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Civic Strategies

Atlanta-based Civic Strategies has some very nice things to say about Blog St. Louis and The Commonspace in its roundup of urban blogs. Both blogs are members of the STL Syndicate. Thanks to fellow Syndicate member Steve Patterson for letting us know about the Civic Strategies nod.

Posted by Brian Marston on Sat., Nov 27, 2004 at 9:24 PM
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Media Roundup

Recent coverage of Commonspace events:

Settle the Score 2004 was Alison Sieloff's pick of the day for Nov. 13 in the RFT's calendar.

The St. Louis American gave a pre-event plug for STS 2004 and followed it up with a Partyline entry by Delores Shante about the results of the event.

WB 11 did a segment about STS 2004 on the news.

Mark Dischinger at the RFT did a very nice "Urban Experience" write-up about Free Candy. See ya at the show on Sunday at Hartford Coffee at 7 p.m.

Much love to everyone who helps get the word out about our events.

Posted by Brian Marston on Thu., Nov 18, 2004 at 11:21 AM
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STS 2004 Photos

Photos from Settle the Score 2004 have been posted on the Digitronical site.

Posted by Brian Marston on Tue., Nov 16, 2004 at 2:26 PM
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Notes from the Underground

Three hundred people came out to the A.D. Brown Building in downtown St. Louis on Saturday to watch dance crews from all over the Midwest compete at Settle the Score 2004. The Chicago-based Brickheadz (Evol, CeeJay and Waka) took home the $750 prize for the three-on-three breakdancing battles. Jigsaw out of Kansas City won the one-on-one funkstyle competition. The event was presented by Digitronical and co-sponsored by The Commonspace, World Class Gymnastics, Just Dancing Studios, 99 Dealers, Studio 7 and Red Bull. The Settle the Score 2004 DVD will be out sometime in 2005.

Posted by Brian Marston on Sun., Nov 14, 2004 at 10:56 PM
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1,500 and Counting

The Commonspace's monthly email newsletter has passed the 1,500 subscriber mark. You can sign up to be like the cool kids by sending a blank email message to

Posted by Brian Marston on Mon., Nov 8, 2004 at 10:10 AM
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STL Syndicate

There's a new website in town:

The STL Syndicate is a loose affiliation of blogs about St. Louis written by interesting people in the know. It's a new way of reporting and distributing information that delivers frequently updated content to twitchy news junkies hitting Refresh. Recent headlines from individual sites in the syndicate are pulled together on the umbrella site ( using a file format called RSS (Really Simple Syndication), giving you one place to go to for all the latest St. Louis news before it hits other media outlets. You can take part in the conversation by posting comments on syndicate members' blogs. If you'd like your own blog and you think you've got the chops to be a member of the STL Syndicate, contact Viva local nanopublishing!

Posted by Brian Marston on Fri., Oct 22, 2004 at 1:51 PM
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So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish

Thank you to Sarah and Max Rodhouse, Christina Meneses, and especially Matt Brinkmann and Ben Keep for helping us load all the stuff worth keeping from our public living room into a diesel-burning U-Haul of Death last Thursday and unload it on the other ends. In classic Commonspace form, just as we were trying to figure out what to do with the stuff we didn't want (the majority of stuff in the room), a guy wandered in, asked if we were getting rid of everything and made an urgent call to some friends ("You need to get here, now! Why are you still talking to me?") who showed up with a truck and cleaned the place out in less than 15 minutes. It was a fitting end — things have a weird way of working out if you're open to the opportunities. I'm gonna miss that place, but I'm looking forward to what comes next.

Posted by Brian Marston on Wed., Oct 6, 2004 at 12:40 AM
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Closing Time

We thought about starting this off with a rousing rendition of "To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn) There Is a Season," but it's usually best if we don't sing. So we'll try prose instead.

It has been an incredible two years on North Grand: we've held many events that have brought thousands of people together to experience grassroots civics and culture at The Commonspace...and that's not even including the countless meetings, book groups, Meetups and other informal gatherings that it's been our pleasure to host. We've been lucky to get connected to some amazing groups doing amazing work for our city and our community, and to spend time getting to know many of you.

As September comes to a close, we find that another season is ending, too, and this one is bittersweet: The Commonspace will close the doors at its current location in Grand Center at the end of September. It has been our privilege to offer two years of our time and energy, on a completely volunteer basis, as our gift to St. Louis. However, the character flaw known as "lack of moderation" has meant that we've been single-mindedly focused on this project and have put some important personal priorities on indefinite hold during that time; now we're feeling the need to return some of them to the top of the life list.

The Commonspace, as an outlet and promoter of grassroots civics and culture in St. Louis, will not cease to exist: we plan to return to regular publication of our web magazine (remember that little thing? We miss it, too) and hope that our "real world" events and projects will find a reincarnation in the future, too.

We have more events still planned for the remainder of September, and of course hope that you will be able to attend one or more. We will continue to hold our regular open hours on Tuesdays (6-10 p.m.), Thursdays (6-10 p.m.), Saturdays (11 a.m.-4 p.m.) and Sundays (noon-4 p.m.) until the end of September, so stop by and see us.

We owe a debt of gratitude to the hard-working third member of our board, Jason McClelland, and to everyone who heads up a project that found its home at The Commonspace.

And finally, please accept our sincere thanks, from the bottom of our little St. Louis-lovin' hearts, for all the support you have given us: your money, your time and your welcome words of encouragement. This has been an amazing experience for us, made more so by all of you.

We will be in touch with more information about future projects of The Commonspace; 'til then, we encourage you to get out and do something bold for your community!

Viva St. Louis!
Amanda Doyle & Brian Marston
For The Commonspace

Posted by Brian Marston on Thu., Sep 23, 2004 at 1:58 AM
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MS 150 Wrap-Up

Shouts out to my fellow Commonspace - Bike Fed teammates who rode the MS 150 in Columbia: Jeanne Fitzler, Bob Foster, Katy Gordon, Martin Jansky, Dave Luecking, Jason McClelland, Matt O'Leary, Wes Ridgeway, Kent Shaw, Sara Shipley, Amy Stringer, John Sweet, Darryl Swint, Joe Tank, Russ Willis, Tim Woodcock and Ralph Zuke.

Commonspace - Bike Fed Team

Special thanks to Jason McClelland for serving as team captain and den mother, Swint Design for designing our team jerseys, Big Shark for subsidizing the jerseys, Steve Patterson for sponsoring the pre-party at The Commonspace, Vito's for giving us a discount on the pizzas, Dave Luecking for picking up the bill at Shakespeare's (and making us look really cool to the cashier who was a Blues fan; that's right, buddy: Dave Luecking is buying our pizza!), and everyone who sponsored me and all the other riders.

Congrats to the few, the proud, the double-century riders: Jason McClelland, Kent Shaw, Bob Foster and me.

Who's in for next year?

Posted by Brian Marston on Mon., Sep 20, 2004 at 5:23 PM
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Show Me St. Louis

Because you can never have enough breakdancing videos on the web, here's a clip from the "Show Me St. Louis" show that aired on Monday, July 19 on KSDK (NBC, channel 5). It also includes some plugs for The Commonspace.

Posted by Brian Marston on Mon., Sep 20, 2004 at 1:41 PM
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Jammin' at the Zoo

Roll the tape of the bboy performance at the Zoo.

Shouts out to Ryan "Opie" McCoy for the camerawork, DJ Espi and DJ Trackstar for the turntable work and the dancers for the footwork.

Posted by Brian Marston on Mon., Sep 20, 2004 at 1:18 PM
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Roommate Wanted

If you know somebody who's looking to get into the café business or to expand an existing business, let us know. We're looking for someone to share our space in Grand Center with us.

Posted by Brian Marston on Thu., Sep 9, 2004 at 1:12 AM
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Come Visit Us

The Commonspace's new regular hours are:

Tuesdays, 6-10 p.m.
Thursdays, 6-10 p.m.
Saturdays, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Sundays, noon-4 p.m.

Posted by Brian Marston on Thu., Sep 9, 2004 at 1:11 AM
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Roll with Us

In 32 days, a few thousand cyclists will descend upon Columbia, MO for this year's MS 150. Will you be one of them? If you'd like to ride, but do not yet have a team, why not ride with us? The St. Louis Regional Bicycle Federation has joined with the formiddable contingent from The Commonspace to create an "über-team." Certainly, you will want to get in on this action.

For those of you who don't know, the MS 150 is a two-day, 150-mile bike tour benefitting the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. The monetary requirements of riding are a $20 entry fee (for members of a team) and a fundraising minimum of $200. The physical / psychological requirements center around the desire and ability to bike 75 miles per day for two days.

Are you interested, or do you know someone who might be? If so, you can register online.

Our team name is: STL BikeFed Commonspace
Our team code is: MOSBTHEO01
Our team captain is: Jason McClelland

Questions? Please feel free to contact Jason at

Posted by Brian Marston on Tue., Aug 10, 2004 at 1:49 PM
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Geek Alert

I ordered three computers for The Commonspace today. (Well, parts for three computers — I've got to put them together when they get here. If anybody is up for helping with that, let me know. I could also use some help configuring the webcam.) The total cost, including shipping and the webcam, was $2,268.14.

The interesting/weird thing about these machines is that they won't have hard drives. Instead, they'll run Morphix off a CD. Oh yeah, and the cases have colored bubble lights. Tacky, yet cool!

Here's the parts list:

PCChips M811LU Motherboard
AMD Duron 1.8GHz Processor
SPEEZE 60mm CPU Cooler for Socket A/370
eVGA nVIDIA GeForce4 MX440-8X Video Card
Crucial 184 Pin 256MB DDR PC-2100 4T
ASUS Black 52X QuieTrack CD-ROM Drive, CD-S520
ASUS Black 52X32X52 QuieTrack CD-RW Drive, CRW-5232AS
NEC 1.44MB Black Internal Floppy Drive
D-Link Air 2.4GHz Wireless PCI Ethernet Adapter, DWL-520
CTX International 15" LCD Monitor with Speakers
Maxtop Sentinel Type II Riot Black Mid Tower with 350W Power Supply, CSX-7788KEB
GrandTec Virtually Indestructible 109-key USB keyboard, FLX-2000, black
Designer Scroll Optical PS/2 Mouse

Posted by Brian Marston on Mon., Jul 26, 2004 at 8:26 PM
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Show Me Da Lou

Tune into "Show Me St. Louis" on channel 5 today at 3 p.m. for a segment about The Commonspace breakdancers. It's a promo for the Jammin' at the Zoo party on Wednesday.

Posted by Brian Marston on Mon., Jul 19, 2004 at 1:01 PM
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Blake Brokaw

This week's RFT features a really good cover story by Ben Westhoff about Blake Brokaw that includes a quote from an interview I did with him in September 2001. Blake is a great source of inspiration, cautionary tales and business lessons.

Posted by Brian Marston on Tue., Jul 13, 2004 at 1:56 AM
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Brent Hall

Every once in a while, something amazing happens that makes the world seem like a magical place. Last night, 20-year-old Brent Hall showed up at The Commonspace. He's biking back to Bangor, ME, from Flagstaff, AZ. His last visit to The Commonspace was on August 29, 2003, when he was headed the opposite way and left the most amazing entry in our journal. He's staying with Amanda and me tonight before he heads out in the morning.

Posted by Brian Marston on Tue., Jul 13, 2004 at 12:13 AM
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Jammin' at the Zoo

Media Contacts:
St. Louis Zoo (314) 781-0900
Janet Powell, ext. 233; Christy Childs, ext. 239


Gather your friends together for the coolest patio party in town this summer!  The Young Zoo Friends will host Jammin' at the Zoo on Wednesdays, July 21 and August 18, from 5:30-10 p.m. (rain or shine).  Enjoy two great evenings of live music and entertainment, food and drinks lakeside at the St. Louis Zoo.  

Enjoy the "ice-cold" party on July 21 with music by Javier Mendoza and Brandy Johnson, plus special performances by Commonspace breakdancing troupe

The party on August 18, features music by Paint the Earth, Soul Tyde, DJ Mark Lewis and an art exhibition by Justin Tolentino

Cash bars will serve beer, wine, soda and frozen specialty drinks.  A variety of food will be available for purchase.  Party-goers can register to win a trip for two to Las Vegas.  One trip will be given away at each event.

Meet the Zoo's WildCare Institute staff involved in conservation projects across the globe.  Proceeds from the parties help support the Zoo's conservation efforts at home and around the world.

Admission is $5.00 per person at each event.  Zoo Friends members (with valid membership card) and one guest receive free admission.  Those who purchase a membership at the door will receive free admission for two.  Ages 21 and up only, please.  Reservations are not needed.  Enter at the south entrance on Wells Drive near the Z-O-O pylon and Highway 40.  Free parking provided on the south lot.

The Young Zoo Friends are a group of professionals in their 20s and 30s who support the future success of the Zoo through volunteer, fundraising, educational and social opportunities. 

Jammin' at the Zoo co-chairs are Tori Clear and Greg Schowe.

For more information, call 314/768-5440 or visit online at

Jammin' at the Zoo is supported by Riverfront Times, Funjet Vacations, Stardust Resort and Casino, and Z-107.7.

Posted by Brian Marston on Mon., Jul 12, 2004 at 2:21 PM
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MS 150

Special offer! This week only! Register for the MS 150 team sponsored by The Commonspace and the St. Louis Regional Bicycle Federation and see Stage 13 of the Tour de France live on the Big Screen at Regal Cinema at St. Louis Mills this Saturday FREE, as our guest!

In collaboration with Regal Cinemedia and OLN, the Tyler Hamilton Foundation will present a live viewing of Stage 13 of the 2004 Tour de France. Come view the fireworks on the 3rd Mountain Stage from Lannemezan to the uphill finish at the Plateau de Beille. So join us for breakfast and watch the Tour de France on the BIG screen while hooting and hollering with fellow cyclists.

Saturday, July 17, 2004
6:00 AM
Regal St. Louis Mills 18
5555 St. Louis Mills Blvd
Hazelwood, MO

This is a fundraiser for the Tyler Hamilton Foundation, which champions two causes: competitive cycling and the fight against multiple sclerosis.

To join the MS-150 Commonspace/Bike Fed team, drop a line to Jason McClelland, at

For info about the Tour viewing, visit

If you can't be in Plateau de Beille, be at the theatre!

Posted by Brian Marston on Mon., Jul 12, 2004 at 1:59 PM
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I Got Served

The votes are in, and Ryan "Opie" McCoy won the bboy video contest. His entry is dope. (QuickTime, 320 x 240, 4:55, 13.4 MB)

Posted by Brian Marston on Wed., Jul 7, 2004 at 2:32 PM
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Studda Step

Combine 194 still photos and what do you get? My entry in the video contest for the June Breakin' session. Check it out y'all. (QuickTime, 240 x 180, 1:45, 3.4 MB)

If you're gonna do something, be obsessive, I say.

Posted by Brian Marston on Sat., Jul 3, 2004 at 2:45 AM
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Free Candy Photos

Photos from the June episode of Free Candy are up. The theme of the show was "vices."

Posted by Brian Marston on Fri., Jul 2, 2004 at 2:51 PM
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The new website for Free Candy is up and running. Check it out at, and be sure to peruse the fabulous new merch. From thongs to hats, we've got you covered.

Posted by Brian Marston on Mon., Jun 28, 2004 at 4:47 PM
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I Always Feel Like Somebody's Watching Me

Tim Woodcock wrote a well-balanced article about surveillance for the front page of the June 16-22 issue of the West End Word. It's entitled "Big Brother or Neighborhood Watch?" and features coverage of the community forum about the plan to install cameras in Soulard that was held at The Commonspace, including quotes from some of the participants.

Bonus points if you can name the one-hit wonder responsible for the lyrics in the title of this post. Hint: Backing vocals on the track were provided by two of the Jackson 5.

Posted by Brian Marston on Fri., Jun 18, 2004 at 11:02 PM
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Quilting the Lilly

Cynthia Billhartz's article about Gen Obata, the artist whose work currently graces the walls at The Commonspace, topped the list of yesterday's most e-mailed stories on The story ran on the front page of the Everyday section of the Post-Dispatch. It helped spike the page views on our website to 3,147 on June 15. (We've averaged 1,757 page views per day this month, according to AWStats.)

Posted by Brian Marston on Wed., Jun 16, 2004 at 11:26 PM
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My Obsession

Last night around midnight I became fixated on the idea that I should learn how to use iMovie. The result is a little movie of the 5/15/04 Breakin' @ The Commonspace session (QuickTime, 240 x 180, 2:21, 5.5 MB). It's my first-ever attempt at video editing — no fair laughing.

I shot the video with a Canon PowerShot A60 digital camera. iMovie 3 is very intuitive, which is a nice way to say "limited." For folks that know anything about digital video editing, that's about as low-end as you can get — no fancy camera, no fancy software. The (fitting) audio track is from DJ Kram's mix CD, "Breakin' to the Oldies II."

Posted by Brian Marston on Sun., Jun 6, 2004 at 9:17 PM
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Yum in the Tum!

People's Coffee at The Commonspace has a bunch of new grilled panini sandwiches. Stop by and try one (or two). All hail the miracle of the George Foreman Grill!

Posted by Brian Marston on Thu., Jun 3, 2004 at 10:17 PM
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Be Our Friend

We have some new membership levels and cool new premiums for Friends of The Commonspace. Join or renew today!

Posted by Brian Marston on Thu., Jun 3, 2004 at 9:47 PM
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Our New Hours

Mon., Tues.: 7 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Wed., Thur.: 7 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Fri.: 7 a.m. - 9 p.m.
Sat.: 10 a.m. - 9 p.m.
Sun.: 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.

We'll be closed on Memorial Day.

Posted by Brian Marston on Fri., May 28, 2004 at 10:25 AM
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Our Famous Parking Lot

Our parking lot was on TV! During a KSDK segment featuring Mary Strauss complaining that the Fox doesn't have enough surface parking (puh-leese!), our own little slab of asphalt took a star turn. The audio went like this: "Wednesday was a big night at the Fox Theater. Hundreds of students took the stage. Their parents packed the parking lot." The video showed the lot reserved exclusively for visitors to Gary's / People's Coffee / The Commonspace, which was indeed packed by Fox patrons. You can tell the cars' owners weren't at Gary's because there weren't any cars down the middle of the lot blocking in everyone else.

On the night of the recent David Bowie concert at the Fox, I counted 11 cars in our lot. Gary's and People's Coffee / The Commonspace were closed at the time. Gee, I wonder where those people were.

Posted by Brian Marston on Wed., May 26, 2004 at 12:58 AM
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Get up!

Mad props to Martell for taping and editing a nicely done video of the 4/17/04 Breakin' @ The Commonspace session. Download it while you can; it's taking up 19 MB of disk space on our server, so I'm not sure how long I'll leave it up there. Put that broadband connection to work!

Update: I took the video off our server to free up some disk space. But don't despair — thanks to Danne, you can download it from

Posted by Brian Marston on Wed., May 19, 2004 at 8:33 PM
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Can America Go Public?

An interview with landscape architect Martha Schwartz in the 5/16/04 issue of The New York Times Magazine fits nicely with this month's From the Editor piece in The Commonspace.

Choice quote:

The problem is that our notion of the quality of life ends at our front door.

Posted by Brian Marston on Wed., May 19, 2004 at 8:00 PM
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I Want Candy!

In addition to being a great writer and talk show host, Julia Smillie is also an accomplished webmaster. She's the Queen of All Media! Over on the Free Candy site, she's posted new photos from the first three episodes, complete with funny captions. Check them out, and be sure you're in the house for the next show on Sunday, May 23. Once you miss it, it's gone.

Posted by Brian Marston on Sat., May 15, 2004 at 2:20 AM
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Arkimedez vs. Ultraviolet Atmosphere

Yes, yes y'all: it's another video clip of Breakin' @ The Commonspace

Posted by Brian Marston on Fri., May 14, 2004 at 2:26 PM
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Arts Interview

Tune into KDHX 88.1 FM on Wednesday, May 19 at 7:50 p.m. to hear Nancy Kranzberg interview me about The Commonspace on her Arts Interview segment.

Posted by Brian Marston on Thu., May 13, 2004 at 2:13 PM
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Meat Space Meets Cyberspace

I ordered the webcam for The Commonspace today, a D-Link DCS-1000W from Soon, you'll be able to see if your friends are at 615 North Grand by visiting our website, and we'll be able to webcast our events (sans audio).

Posted by Brian Marston on Thu., Apr 29, 2004 at 1:15 AM
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Considering It

Tune into "All Things Considered" on 90.7 KWMU tomorrow (Wednesday, April 14) between 4 and 6 p.m. National NPR reporter John Ydstie was in town to hear about the issues that are on people's minds in the Heartland. The interview took place at The Commonspace. On the distinguished panel convened by Arch City Chronicle publisher Dave Drebes were Kraig Schnitzmeier, Butler Miller, Mary Lisa Penilla, Dave, Amanda and me. We talked about a whole lot of things, from local issues to the Bush administration's foreign policy. As a follow-up, we'll meet at Dave and Mary Lisa's house tonight to give our reactions to President Bush's press conference while munching on Black Thorn Pizza.

I don't know how they're going to edit down 4+ hours of conversation to a 7-minute package by tomorrow. Hooray for producers! I'm still amazed that this came together. When Dave told me about it a couple of days ago, I thought there must be some misunderstanding. On the Internet, nobody knows you're a dog.

Update: NPR ran the story about the local reaction to Bush's press conference as a separate piece on "Morning Edition." On hand for that interview were David Stokes, Dave Drebes, Kate, Tom Reitenbach, and Amanda. The important thing is that they captured our pizza order on tape.

Americans React to Bush's Speech

NPR's Jeff Brady, NPR's John Ydstie and Brian Mann of North Country Public Radio get reactions from around the country to President Bush's press conference Tuesday night.

And here's the story that ran on "All Things Considered":

American Pulse: St. Louis

In the first of three stories about the national mood, NPR's John Ydstie meets with a group of 30-somethings from St. Louis. The most important issues for them are local revitalization -- and Iraq. While most of the group did not vote for President Bush, there is division about the war in Iraq. There is also concern that the Sept. 11 commission hearings are becoming more about finger pointing than finding answers about what happened and how to prevent attacks.

Posted by Brian Marston on Tue., Apr 13, 2004 at 6:43 PM
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Breakdancing Gorloks

There's an article in The Webster Journal about the university's breakdancing club. It gives a nod to the monthly breaking session at The Commonspace and features photos of Commonspace regulars John Bolduan and Ben Pierce (AKA the most photographed b-boy in the Lou). Come see them in action at The Commonspace this Saturday from 2 to 4 p.m.

Posted by Brian Marston on Thu., Mar 18, 2004 at 12:57 PM
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Knitting Ink

A pair of recent stories mentioned the knitting groups that meet at The Commonspace.

Purl of Wisdom (Riverfront Times)

On Hooks and Needles (Post-Dispatch)

Knit on!

Posted by Brian Marston on Fri., Mar 12, 2004 at 11:39 AM
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Where Break Dancers Go for a Spin

"The Commonspace on North Grand Boulevard brings together people from all over to take part in an art form."

Read the story in the North Post section of today's Post-Dispatch.

Posted by Brian Marston on Thu., Feb 26, 2004 at 2:25 PM
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Mini Breakin' Videos

These were shot at The Commonspace on February 21. Thanks to Ryan McCoy for capturing the moment with his itty bitty hidden spy cam.

Steps / Kentrel
??Ill side??
Kentrel Tuts
Steps / JSone / Kentrel
Steps / JSone / Kentrel

Posted by Brian Marston on Mon., Feb 23, 2004 at 4:50 PM
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The new St. Louis Rehabbers Club website is live. Shouts out to Gayle Van Dyke for putting it together.

Posted by Brian Marston on Mon., Feb 23, 2004 at 1:15 AM
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Smash Around Town

Smash, a Local King of All Media, did a live broadcast from The Commonspace last night for the Smash Around Town segment on FOX 2 News. Despite the freezing weather, board game night was big fun. There was a raucous game of Catch Phrase, a cerebral round of Connect Four (pretty sneaky, sis!), a romantic hand of UNO and a family friendly Simpsons chess tournament.

Posted by Brian Marston on Fri., Jan 30, 2004 at 10:02 PM
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Double OG Goes Down

Check out this heartwarming display of tenderness when the b-boys at Breakin' @ The Commonspace are confronted with the physical pain of one of their peers. Video brought to you by the Digitronical crew.

Posted by Brian Marston on Tue., Jan 13, 2004 at 7:48 PM
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Get Sauced

There's a great two-page spread about The Commonspace in the January issue of Sauce Magazine. It's got pictures and everything. Pick up a copy at one of these fine establishments, and turn to page 24. Thanks to Jen Meyer, the Regional Arts Commission and Sauce Magazine for the ink.

Posted by Brian Marston on Fri., Jan 9, 2004 at 3:00 PM
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400 Squares of Fun

If you haven't been to The Commonspace yet this year, come check out our new carpet. Shouts out to Jason McClelland, Maddie Earnest, Nancy Marston (AKA mom), John "Cove Base King" Colbert and Lynn Josse for coming in over the holiday break to help Amanda and me tear out the old carpet and put down 400 new 18" carpet tiles. Be sure to look for the Square of Whimsy! In addition to carpeting, we also repainted the gallery walls and gave everything a thorough cleaning. Thanks to Steve Patterson for telling us to paint the door white (you were right — it looks a lot better).

Posted by Brian Marston on Fri., Jan 9, 2004 at 1:38 PM
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Team St. Louis Grant

The Commonspace is happy to announce that we've been awarded a $2,200 grant from Team St. Louis to buy a Web cam and three Internet-connected computers running Linux. The computers will be available for free public use. This equipment will allow us to tie together what we do in cyberspace with what we do at our physical space. The Web cam will broadcast images of events at 615 North Grand on our Web site, and people will be able to use the computers to read our e-zine while they're at the space. The grant will also help us introduce more people to Linux and Open Source software. Team St. Louis is an initiative of St. Louis 2004.

Thank you Team St. Louis!

Posted by Brian Marston on Thu., Dec 18, 2003 at 1:40 PM
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All Links Lead to The Commonspace

I've been digging through our log files today. Here are some funny Google searches that brought people to

Thai teak products and its reputation

"Chip Chip Chippewa"

innate need for motorcycle

how to dress like a beatnik

field champion bunny coonhound

Posted by Brian Marston on Mon., Dec 15, 2003 at 2:25 PM
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RFT Redux

As an interesting update to my original entry about the RFT/KDHX dust-up, I note that at the time of my arrival at the KDHX studio on Monday night, the RFT rack (typically still holding at least a few copies of the prior week's issue) was curiously empty. Expunged from the building? A hot commodity among the station's peons? Lining birdcages at the homes of Bev 'n' Bob?

Posted by Amanda Doyle on Wed., Dec 10, 2003 at 3:17 PM
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We had a nice turnout for Breakin' @ The Commonspace on Saturday. About eight dancers were there. DJ Reign played a great set -- lots of turntabilism. One guy drove 65 miles to attend the event with his eight-year-old daughter because he saw the story in the Post.

Posted by Brian Marston on Mon., Nov 17, 2003 at 1:08 AM
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