Interesting read in today's NY Times about the rise of web-only news (including our own STL Beacon, which gets a passing mention) and how it forces the hand of the local newspaper, too. We can only hope.
Great story (and, you know, front-page, above-the-fold placement doesn't hurt) and accompanying photos in today's paper about the promise and plight of North St. Louis YouthBuild, a GED prep and construction training program in North St. Louis (where the co-founder of this site happens to work). These kids have worked really hard to make positive changes in their lives and their neighborhood, and it's really nice to see someone tell their story.
Audio slideshow (make sure to turn on the captions) is highly recommended, too.
It's been a long time coming, but the KDHX-FM 88.1 (and KDHX-TV) website has been dramatically redesigned and launched late last night: check out the sleek! As a programmer and listener, (and, it must be confessed, beta tester of the new site, although the idea that anyone would entrust me with technological advising is hilarious), I think it's a great improvement and should provide plenty of functionality for people looking to connect even more with the community radio, uh, community.
Notice anything wonky? Then you, too, can be a beta tester.
Okay, it's old hat to everyone else in the technologically savvy world, but since I got my long-promised new computer yesterday — to replace one that literally required a hard reboot about 15 times a day — I've been enjoying online diversions I never would've dared try before. Like the cool audio slide show (first on left, under "News") from stltoday.com about the New Roots Urban Farm and its newest project, a farmers' market for north St. Louis.
I don't always plug my other projects here, but I must give a nod to the April 23 edition of The Wire, which I am honored to co-host with the estimable Thomas Crone on KDHX-FM 88.1, on Monday nights from 7:30-8 p.m.
Next week's show, in addition to being our spring Pledge Drive barnburner, features St. Louis mayor Francis Slay as our in-studio guest, and we'll be getting as much info packed into half an hour (plus asking for membership pledges!) as we can, so if there's something you're wondering, speak it here and we'll see if we can't pass your question along to hizzoner. Topics so far suggested: city schools, the Highway 64/60 project, downtown development, Prop P, and more!
Ah, you can always count on the Business Journal for some good, old-fashioned capitalist hatin'...(can you tell from these last two entries that I've just made it through the recent edition?)
So, the editorial in the Jan. 26 issue, entitled "Forest Park Forever," takes those tree-hugging, bleeding-heart "true believers" to task for their "faux populism" in wanting to deny BJC a long-term lease for that scrappy little easternmost patch of the park. The BJ paints the only "honest opposition in this fight" as "those who value green space over everything else." (Personally, I value copy-editing over everything else, so it pains me to see the candidate for aldermanic president misrepresented as "Louis Reid." But I digress.)
It takes both radical viewpoints, does it not? That's how we (potentially) get to good decisions that hew to the moderate middle, ostensibly where most people want to be. So, true believers, be ye nature-lovers or slaves to Caesar, keep on doing your thing.
Or, for the hard-core Baptists among us, would Jesus drink?
An article in the Post details the rift between The Journey -- one of those congregations with hipster members, modern music and oh, yes, a monthly outreach at Schlafly Bottleworks -- and the Missouri Baptist Convention, with whom it has a working (and financial) relationship. It's an interesting read, particularly as many of these so-called "emerging" churches have specifically chosen the city as their place of calling. We've run stories on two similar efforts, The Gathering and Midrash, in recent issues of TheCommonspace.org.
Well, all good things must come to an end, and that fate, it seems, has befallen KDHX's six-year-running "No Show," hosted by bon vivant bartender and man-about-town Brett Underwood. Read more about his decision to pull the plug here, and catch the last few broadcasts this week and next, before this passes on to that Great Community Radio Station in the Sky.
Even for the normally loose-lipped Joe Sonderman, this one's a doozy: in the Dec./Jan issue of the St. Louis Journalism Review, the end of his far-ranging column "AM/FM" is devoted to a slam of the RFT's "Best of" Awards that encompasses community radio station KDHX, too. Or maybe it's the other way around? In either case, Sonderman's doggin' 'em both out, after congratulating the staff of Lindenwood University's KCLC (89.1 FM) for taking home this year's RFT nod for "best radio station":
"Now, we all know the RFT rankings are a complete joke. Its arrogant, PC staff and many of their readers despise commercial radio, constantly naming KDHX (88.1 FM) the best station. The station would not last one minute if it was required to turn a profit...So, congratulations again to KCLC. At least RFT readers didn't pick KDHX again."
(We'll set aside for the moment the fact that, alas for Joe, the readers' choice *was* KDHX; he's muddled the staff's pick and the readers' pick.) While it should be noted I have a non-financial interest in the perception of KDHX, that's mighty big talk from a columnist whose own publication also can't support itself in the marketplace alone. Come to think of it, Joe must be outnumbered in his thinking over there, since in many ways they're casting their lot with the future of KDHX radio and tv: founder Charles Klotzer looks forward in the new issue to a potential new show on KDHX-TV that will "add to the presence of SJR in our community."
As first announced on "The Wire" tonight, G-Wiz and Needles are taking it to the airwaves on KDHX 88.1 FM with a new show called "Time's Up" starting next week. It will be broadcast on Mondays after "The Wire" from 8-10 p.m., in the slot formerly occupied by Kopper's "Wayback Machine" for more than a decade. Hip hop hooray!
Moment by moment, day by day
The world is just slipping away
Your future won't save your past
The time is now, it won't last
The time is nigh
Time to do or die
"Time's Up," Living Colour
I'm late in blogging this, but the last broadcast of The Science from Blueberry Hill was Friday, September 29. The weekly KDHX hip-hop show was broadcast from a live event since mid-1998. You'll still be able to catch it on 88.1 FM on Friday nights.
I first got in contact with the local bboy scene through The Science. The last few times I attended the event, the turnout was sparse, but I was hoping it would pick up with the fall return of Wash U students.
Blueberry Hill's calendar looks a lot more open without a regular Friday night event.
A couple of reviews of City of Gabriels: The History of Jazz in St. Louis, 1895-1973 by Dennis Owsley from around the blogosphere:
On the Pub Def website, Antonio French claims to have trademarked the phrase "Don't Hate the Players, Hate the Game," but according to the United States Patent and Trademark Office, no trademarks are registered to Antonio French, Public Defender or Pub Def. The phrase "Don't hate the player [singular] hate the game" is actually trademarked by Benji J. Davis DBA Holy Kingdom Enterprises in Pittsburgh.
This concludes this edition of the blog fact checking report. The truth is out there.
St. Louis is frequently mentioned in Idlewild, to the delight of moviegoers in the packed theater at the Chase last night, who showed our hometown much love each time it was alluded to. In the movie, St. Louis is the provenance of Paula Patton's character and the fancy fingernail polish used at Percival's mother's funeral.
Have we really fallen this far? In an article in Sunday's Jefferson County Journal (read by yours truly on stltoday.com), Blue Owl owner Mary Hostetter's psychic experience with the Food Network is explained in what I presume is an editorial intervention, thusly:
"Ironically, Hostetter had visited the Food Network Web site and read a promotional announcement about the Deen's TV show the very day she received the call from New York.
"I got all excited about the show because I thought it would be great if they could come to the Blue Owl," she said. "An hour and half later, I got the call from New York. It was like I had ESP (extra sensory perception)."
(And don't even get me started on how that whole situation is more coincidental than ironic....)
Your assignment: contemplate over a slice of Levee High Apple Pie, the culinary coup de grace that brought the foodies to town.
Fresh for summer's last month, St. Louis Magazine has significantly upgraded its web presence, making it much easier to find more of the content online. I'll just add my own personal shout-out here to the publication for being, well, better in general of late: if you can get past the reams of doctor advertorial in the current, 3-inch-thick issue (hey, someone's gotta pay for all those pages!), you'll find plenty of interest, including features on everyone-loves-to-hate-him Richard Callow ("snake or charmer?"), Undertow records, Typewriter Tim and much more.
That being said, the whole reason I went to the site in the first place was to add more fuel to my former observation about the love affair between St. Louisans and Michigan (there's a feature on said topic in the current issue, too)...and I couldn't find that online. Tra la la: plenty else to read there anyway.
A bit belatedly, we want to point out the emergence of "Urban Living," a sleek-looking little quarterly mag put out by the folks at St. Louis Homes & Lifestyles. We picked up a copy at the grand opening of Design Within Reach, and can report its pages are full of good things...but mostly the usual suspects, e.g. lofts and editorial about advertisers. It's nice to see a focus on St. Louis city, but I have to disagree with the editor's letter, announcing that "a city-savvy lifestyle can be lived almost anywhere in the metropolitan area." Actually, I *think* I disagree, but in fact, I'm not really sure what it even means.
Anyhoo, it's not bad and might be worth keeping on eye on for future issues.
You can find one answer this Sunday, June 4, when the premiere issue of St. Louis Sound magazine debuts with a 10-band concert at the Casa Loma Ballroom, off Cherokee Street in beautiful South St. Louis. The show starts at 5 p.m. (get more info here), and copies of the mag, hot off the presses, will be in full effect.
The brains behind the launch are listed (on their MySpace page, natch) as Rebecca Brogan, Samantha Collins and Jessica Snyder.
Over at ksdk.com, it appears anchor Karen Foss and sportscaster Frank Cusumano have been blogging since near the end of April.
Foss' entries thus far have been musings on the nature of news, especially of the local and broadcast varieties, attempting perhaps to give viewers a look behind the decision-making. She also wrote a piece about her experiences when temporarily laid-up in a wheelchair.
Cusumano's blog ("Let's Be Frank," natch) is a bit folksier, consisting of a once-weekly column which often comprises a whole bunch of "I believe..." statements. And he's also pimping his favorite restaurants pretty hard. These are pretty representative:
"I believe that the Cardinals better make a staggering offer to Mark Mulder very soon. If he goes into the open market, it's over. They have no chance. And Mulder is not a Randy Johnson. He's in his prime and a very coachable young man."
"I think Paul Manno's is one of the finest places to have pasta in St. Louis. Every time I go there, I feel like I am cheating on my family."
"ONE THING TO KEEP AN EYE ON. Lance Stemler, a wonderful player from Southwestern Illinois College has got to got to SLU. He's 6 foot 7with a great touch. The Billikens are recruiting him hard."
"Mo's Mexican restaurant is worth a try - very tasty and really affordable."
Welcome to the blogosphere, kids.
To follow up on Steve's post about the new issue of St. Louis Magazine and the article therein about STL's "creative class," here's a link to the web version of the story (whose name, in my house we wondered about the kosher-ivity of, as that's the name of Richard Florida's book? but I digress):
The Rise of the Creative Class, by Lynnda Greene
Like Steve, I was unfortunately misidentified, as being both the co-founder of Where Magazine (which celebrates its 40th anniversary in St. Louis this year, far outpacing my own chronology) and as being a St. Louis native who lived in Chicago. Though I love the place now that I'm here, and find Chicago delightful, neither one is true.
Unlike Steve, my comments all ended up on the cutting-room floor, I guess...or the web version thereof. The link jumps to a longer version of the article, but I don't see the interview transcripts promised on the mag's contents page.
UPDATE: Jeannette Batz Cooperman, the editor of St. Louis Magazine, tells me the web version has been corrected and interview transcripts are forthcoming soon. Good for them!
St. Louis Homes & Lifestyles, a glossy pub for the high-end lifestyle, is adding what it calls a "sophisticate, city-chic" magazine to its stable, when Urban Living premieres with a June/July issue. Articles planned include mixed-use developments, the city renaissance and loft living. It will be great if the formula of "nesting porn" can also somehow include the funky and real-life homes that draw folks in my demographic to city living.
(In a fun, such-a-small-town sidenote: my current day gig is the one formerly held by Homes & Lifestyles editor Anne Makeever. I'm glad she found that job, so I could have this one!)
We should all care about what our chief has to say on topics like the school board, downtown revitalization, citizen engagement in politics and private development, the budget currently before the city's Board of Estimate and Apportionment and more....and so, co-host Thomas Crone and I are pleased to bring you a conversation with the man himself, Mayor Francis Slay, this evening on The Wire.
It's on KDHX, dontcha know?
Cecilia Velazquez, the publisher of Red Latina ("Latin Network"), was deported to Mexico on Friday as an illegal immigrant after losing a five-year legal battle, sending the message to would-be immigration activists with questionable status to lay low and keep their mouths shut.
I have in my hands a copy of the debut print issue of 52nd City, and it looks great in its Firecracker Press jacket. Robert Straub makes a dashing centerfold. You'll definitely want to buy many copies of this volume, perhaps at the release party at the Atomic Cowboy on April 12. Even better, consider subscribing.
Did you know 52nd City has a Flickr group? Well, they do.
Congratulations headed out to the gang at "Hooch and Daddy-O" World HQ, on reception of the news this a.m. that the locally made mockumentary garnered the Audience Choice Award at this weekend's Portland-based Faux Film Festival.
Not resting on their laurels (where are the laurels located, anyway? beneath the gluteals?), principals Jim Ousley and Oscar Madrid and their Crunchy Cool Films are on to the next project, "The Bloodfest Club," details of which come your way here, courtesy of Thomas Crone and Playback STL magazine.
Maybe it's a homegrown response to the only other major music awards in town, but area fans may be cheered to hear that KDHX and Playback:STL are teaming up to produce The St. Louis Music Awards, to be handed out later this spring.
A quick check of the KDHX page devoted to the awards shows 30 categories (including "noise" and "producer--hip hop"), with instructions to nominate up to five of your faves in each category...but then no real clear explanation of how to do that? Once the kinks get worked out, we bet it'll be a hotly contested undertaking, with all those music geeks at both the radio station and the magazines joining forces.
UPDATE: new information on the awards: "awards ceremony will be held on May 2 at Mississippi Nights with live performances from local talent."
You go ahead on, Playback:stl magazine! The March issue, out now (and now, seemingly, getting $2.95 a pop for its bad self wherever it ain't free) is shiny, happy paper all the way through, and full-color, and pretty substantial.
Not bad for a project editor Laura Hamlett once described as resembling "the birth of a monster."
From today's edition (March 3-9) of the St. Louis Business Journal, a study in the problem of young-people retention: an ad, on page 9, for Jefferson Wells, a Clayton financial firm, reads as follows:
"They've got the new suits. We've got the old pros. Some firms hire right off the college campus, dress their new hires in nice suits, and put them on your critical assignment. Not us. Jefferson Wells only hires experienced professionals...On-the-job training is fine. But not when it's your job."
Is it any wonder that Anna Navarro's career advice column, about fifty pages later, addresses how "Young workers encounter age discrimination, too"?
Young people! Stay in St. Louis! No, wait: get the hell out.
The publication operates in the red and has relied on an annual $50,000 to $60,000 subsidy from Webster University for the last ten years. The possibility that they may move to an online blog format is amusing given Joe Pollack's rant in SJR's March 2005 issue entitled "Blogs are not journalism." Beware, print dinosaurs: your days are numbered.
Over at the Riverfront Times website, the times are a-updatin', with a fancy, new modular look (likely the better to standardize and match the network with, but hey), but a disclaimer notes the site's still under construction (at least they don't employ that hardhat guy!), and it's true that the site crashed and burned the few times I tried to load the whole thing. But then again, I am running on a Mac Caveman™ edition with, I believe, the precursor to DOS.
Looks like it'll be pretty cool when complete.
Now, since I can't find the graphic itself online, you'll have to find yourself a copy of yesterday's Post-Dispatch, but let me try to describe it.
Accompanying an otherwise acceptable article on B1 by Bill Lambrecht, the Post's Washington bureau chief, was a confusing infographic entitled "Some key woman leaders," with green squares representing the years various folks (Indira Gandhi, Corazon Aquino and so on) were in elected office around the world. Fine.
However, for various women, the years prior to those they served, or after the years they served, were shaded in a lighter green. But the "non-serving" years or decades weren't uniformly shaded in, across the board, just kind of...based on artistic feelings? I don't know. I thought the format of graphic chosen was poor, and the execution made it worse.
It's not too often I look at the paper version of the paper, and I'm surprised lately at how much I dislike it. I'm also not a fan of the entire column of comments from readers of the blog down the left-hand side of the "NewsWatch" section...I couldn't really care less what some gal in Ferguson thinks will happen in the future of TV, you know? I save those conversations for cocktail parties: use that space to hire some reporters and give me some news.
PLAYBACK:stl has majorly overhauled its website. The new version went live on Saturday.
On January 5, the look of STLtoday.com will change. Check out the static mockup of the new design. Personally, I'm underwhelmed.
Included in the Sunday, Jan. 1, edition of the Post, David Bonetti's arts roundup ends with a condemnation (actually, a good ole Shakespearean "pox," truth be told) of "the politicians, team owners, developers, architects and their apologists" who led to the demise of the Century Building, Busch Stadium and the Morton May House in the last year. It's not exactly the Bob Duffy eloquence of old, but since Duffy and something like 8 billion accumulated other staff years have left the building...we'll take what we can get.
In this week's print edition of the Riverfront Times (that adorned by the Cardinals Woodstock-y image), an announcement appears on page 6 that says, "Beginning with this issue, Riverfront Times is moving to a new schedule. Each week's edition will still appear in newsboxes and on the Internet on Wednesday, but to better cater to your planning pleasure, we'll be gearing our coverage to a Thursday-to-Wednesday week."
I always did feel a little sorry for those folks who had events and whatnot planned for Wednesday nights, so this is probably a smart move. On the other hand, so far today, the web site still has up last week's issue. But hey, we know how hard it is to publish in a timely fashion, so we'll let that nit lie unpicked and assume the kinks will be worked out!
90.7 KWMU-FM announced on Monday that Steve Potter has been tapped to be the host of "Cityscape." The weekly radio show focusses on the local arts and cultural scene. It airs on Fridays at 11 a.m. and again at 10 p.m.
It seems that even good ole Forest Park is on the blogwagon: check out the small sampling of entries here. Now, it's a little odd, in that some bits have a date, others don't and it seems a bit haphazard...but all in all, we're fans of civic and cultural institutions that have honest-to-God blogs that are informative, informal and helpful to your average citizen.
Unlike whatever the hell Janie P. was doing over there at Slay re-elect HQ...
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch editor has resigned, to be replaced by managing editor Arnie Robbins effective the first of December. Soeteber gives as her reasons an inability to "come to terms with management on financial issues, both personal and in terms of the resources needed to run the newspaper. But, she said, those were not the only factors for her decision."
Wonder if the honchos are getting way more bloodletting than they bargained for with this "early retirement" exodus and now this?
We'll just point you to their own story for the specifics.
UPDATE: We checked in, just for giggles, on the Mayor's latest mini-poll, which finds Ms. Soeteber clocking in second lowest on his odd "how well are true believers doing their jobs?" poll. Guess we won't have Ellen to kick around anymore.
Archbishop Burke, we're lookin' at you...the gauntlet is down. Also, does anyone else find it disingenous that lil' ole Fran Slay didn't include "Francis Slay, as Mayor of St. Louis" on the poll?
The Argus site is running a help wanted ad for people to "sell ads for a new political tabloid," presumably a new incarnation of Pub Def whose website is currently under construction.
Makes her a little more conspicuous among "the hot dog munchers, the Little League screamers and the multiple-piercings crowd."
The premier issue of The Gateway Gardener is out on the street. Their website (www.gatewaygardener.com) isn't up yet.
The Gateway Gardener promises to be "your guide to enjoyable gardening and easy-care landscapes" in the St. Louis region. I picked up a copy of the free, bi-monthly magazine at Sally's Floral & Garden Design on Cherokee. You can subscribe to have it delivered to your house for $15 for six issues.
Based in Glendale, the magazine is printed on color newsprint by Tribune Publishing in Columbia, MO. Robert Weaver is the editor; his sister-in-law, Joyce Bruno, is the publisher.
Thoughts from Mena Trott, co-founder of Six Apart, on the effects of the Internet on daily life and gender differences (women bloggers "don't need to be so loud") in blogging...along with her own interest in knitting blogs.
Over publicity lunch at Clayton's Finale, happily seated with our good friends from Playback STL magazine, we heard that Playback will be taking it to the next level, a.k.a. moving out of the spare bedroom, and has been welcomed into the fold at the midtown campus of the St. Louis Enterprise Center, pending finding some business financing.
So it's onward and upward for one of our favorite St. Louis-based publications, and we wish them much success. Just one of the handful of ventures out there putting the Lou on the the national-consciousness map...
Now, what's the SLEC's policy on office pets?
Welcome the newest member of the STL Syndicate: 52nd City, a blog about local pop culture by Thomas Crone, Stefene Russell and Andrea Avery. They'll cover such topics as Arts & Artists, Digital & New Media, Film & TV, Food & Drink, Galleries & Museums, Music & Recordings, Photography & Video, Poetry & Literature and Theatre & Improv. "52nd City" refers to St. Louis' rank among U.S. cities based on population.
Look for more good things to come from 52nd City, starting with a trivia night on August 26 at Mad Art Gallery.
In other news, the Internet Movie Database lists 134 titles that were filmed at least partly in St. Louis, including such classics as "I Spit On Your Corpse, I Piss On Your Grave." Allow me to recommend "The Great St. Louis Bank Robbery" for your viewing pleasure. It was one of Steve McQueen's first movies, and the action centers around Southwest Bank at Kingshighway and Southwest. There are also lots of shots of Tower Grove Park.
In a story by editorial intern Julie Moon in the current issue of the St. Louis Journalism Review (last month's is the most current one online as of this writing), she laments the lack of campus media attention paid by other, in-town college papers to the recent sit-ins for living wages by students at Washington University. The story should have resonated beyond Wash U.'s Student Life publication, she argues.
Included are several juicy, hand-wringing comments from Tammy Merrett-Murry, faculty adviser to the student paper at STLCC-Meramec, including:
"We can talk until we're blue in the face, and if they're just interested in tuning it out or loading up their iPods, there is nothing we can do about it...If a story doesn't fall into their laps, they're not interested."
Why, I remember being a young pup journalism student and having to actually leave campus! Interviewing and hobnobbing and whatnot. These kids today...
Just in time for summer, a bumper crop of new tiny mags has shown up in lit racks and windowsills of swell joints all over town. Their quality is, uh, varying, but they've all managed to find a first round of advertisers! Keep your eyes peeled for: Here & Now, which has the usual suspect restaurant/club/venue listings (though we'll bet the Associates won't be happy to see the "Fabulous Fox Museum" listed in Grand Center), plus some dubious English; Hipster magazine, devoted to "entertainment/fashion/lifestyle" and includes Red Moon, Boulevard St. Louis, Plush and Plaza Motors on its "Hip 20 List"; and unscene, (in which the "un" stands for "urban navigator"), devoted to independent businesses, restaurants, galleries and so on, grouped into neighborhoods. Maybe I'm just too old and today's text-happy, graphics-rich-environment kids will be all into it, but as much as I like the idea behind unscene, I found it to be sensorily jarring.
Hipsters, of course, may disagree.
Jack's in, as in the "anything-goes" adult radio format, sweeping aside the treacly unobtrusiveness of the Smooth Jazz that formerly reigned on the 106.5 FM frequency. Kinda like the Alice trend of dials past, this one (called The Arch here) is all about mashing-up songs that wouldn't be seen together on the tightly niched programming of a metal or a soft-rock station. (But there's a hilarious truth to one blog's comment that it "sounds like some lame-ass stranger's iPod.")
One neat feature for techies: if your ride's RDS-equipped, The Arch is one of the few stations in town that pushes out song names and artists for your driving (and probable wrecking) enlightenment. T'ain't cheap to do, evidently.
Okay, so now we're writing about people who write about people who write about us (still with us?), but we feel compelled to remind you about the existence of the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra blog, penned by former RFTer Eddie Silva. It's a good, quick, daily read and provides just enough food for thought for the casual symphony-goer (or aspirational symphony-goer), along with some fun backstage scuttlebutt. It's worth a bookmark.
"I'm from the Lou and what I do is a Lou thang"
Murphy Lee on "Midwest Swing"
Our very own A-Do lobbies for embracing our city's hip-hop nickname in a front-page story in today's Post-Dispatch by Todd C. Frankel.
What cracks me up is the vehemence of the opposition, the self-appointed defenders of all that is Right and Proper. I'm guessing there's a high degree of overlap between people who hate the term "the Lou" and people who call Town Talk.
In the poll on STLtoday.com, 50% of the 2,913 respondents hate "the Lou," 26% like it and 24% don't care.
"I used to be with it, but then they changed what 'it' was. Now, what I'm with isn't it, and what's 'it' seems weird and scary to me."
Blurb from the front page (as of 8:25 a.m.):
Authorities call it the largest weapons seizure in S. Illinois. More than 50 machine guns and seven hand grenades were comprehended.
I don't get it. Heh, heh.
From a story about "American Idol" by Kevin C. Johnson (get out your red pens):
Contestants where asked what about in the '90s stood out most for them ...
And Joe Pollack (see the entry below) says bloggers can't write.
There's an article by Kevin M. Mitchell in the current issue of St. Louis Magazine about local blogs, including members of the STL Syndicate. I haven't snagged a copy yet, but there's a teaser on the magazine's web site.
Based on that, it looks like a good antidote to the crusty old man commentary by Joe Pollack in the March issue of The St. Louis Journalism Review ("Blogs are not journalism"). Apparently, Mr. Pollack, who fancies himself a Journalist with a capital "J," is not a very adept web user and has difficulty evaluating the credibility of different online sources of information. Not knowing where to look to find the good ones, he lumps all blogs together as "the misspelled, ungrammatical, virulent opinions of someone ... whose maturity is non-existent." If he'd spend some time on the web, Joe would be surprised to learn that not all blogs are anonymously written (most of the good ones aren't), and unlike him, not everyone needs an editor to make his writing coherent and accurate.
A cautionary tale from today's NY Times: make sure at least a few breeders are included in your city's urban-core comeback. (Seattle has more dogs than kids, says one factoid: note for aspiring entrepreneurs! Another doggie daycare, anyone? Can Cesar Millan clone himself?)
Tune into 90.7 KWMU on Monday, 3/21 at 11 a.m. to hear our favorite radio personality, the adorable Tom Weber, talk about hip hop in St. Louis with Charlie Chan and DJ Needles. EI, EI!
Update: You can listen to the show here.
Oh, this crazy, mixed-up, self-referential, gonzo blogging world in which we live.
Brian Marston of the Commonspace was driving south on Grand Boulevard through Grand Center recently when his sharp eye spotted what he correctly identified as a "truly stunning and hilarious typographical error." The error is on a mural on the Woolworth building painted by Loyola Academy students, which features portraits of famous black artists from St. Louis. Each image is labeled with the person's line of work - and the line under Nelly's likeness simply says, "Raper." Whoa, Nelly!
I'd like to note that my name was boldfaced in the same Little Debbie as Nelly's. I'm waiting for my invitation to be Kato to Nelly's O.J. I'm also waiting for someone to fix the mural. I wonder which one will happen first.
Disconcerting, this. The final musical interlude on this morning's "Morning Edition," brought to us locally by KWMU, was -- am I hearing what I think I'm hearing? -- a schmoozy version of "P.I.M.P.", first (and probably only) popularized by the new darling of suburban Connecticut, 50 Cent. Turns out it's just one of the many hip-hop/rap numbers jazzified by the cats at Hidden Beach.
The St. Louis Argus launched its online forums yesterday. Antonio French, the paper's news editor, calls the Argus "St. Louis' true alt-weekly."
Speaking of online forums, the best ones in St. Louis are at readjulia.com. They're very active and populated by smart, funny people (unlike the trolls that hang out on the STLtoday boards). Julia's forums manage to be cozy without being xenophobic.
Mike Sampson, the host of KWMU's "St. Louis on the Air" program, passed away today. He was 53. The cause of death is unknown.
Mike Sampson became the host of "St. Louis on the Air" in 2003 after the show's previous host, Greg Freeman, died at age 46.
For the bleeding hearts who yearn for the return of the Great Liberal Hope, Ray Hartmann, to the STL media scene, rumor is that he is in negotiations with the St. Louis Journalism Review to be their DB (designated blogger). Stay tuned...
The St. Louis Argus has a nice-looking new web site, including a blog. I'm guessing Antonio French, former publisher of the Public Defender and current news editor of the Argus, is the driving force behind bringing Missouri's oldest black business online. The domain name registration is listed in his name.
Last night during a discussion about Melanie Blunt's ridiculous inauguration outfit on Donnybrook, the show's fossilized, slow talking provocateur Martin Duggan asked Wendy Wiese, "Who is Deb Peterson?" He was serious. Uh, Martin, if you're a media critic, shouldn't you keep up with, you know, the media?
Also, in a majority black city, why aren't there any black people on Donnybrook? Or young(er) people? Or more than one woman?
This just in, from Nico at KDHX-FM 88.1:
KDHX Top Ten releases of 2004 (by airplay)
1. Various Artists - Brown Eyed Handsome Man: Saint Louis Salutes the
Father of Rock & Roll
2. Tom Waits - Real Gone
3. Magnetic Fields - i
4. Elvis Costello - The Delivery Man
5. The Phonocaptors - Call It What You Want
6. Calexico - Convict Pool EP
7. Jay Farrar - Stone, Steel & Bright Lights
8. Wilco - A Ghost Is Born
9. PJ Harvey - Uh Huh Her
10. Franz Ferdinand - Franz Ferdinand
So now you know.
There's a delightful bit of zinger-flinging going on amongst the Post-Dispatch, Downtown's paid advocates and the (paid) pages of the Business Journal: in an article a couple of weeks ago, writer Diane Toroian Keaggy blasted Washington Avenue (among many other targets) as one of our town's underachievers, since clubs (now the "ugly stepsisters," as she terms them) have lagged while restaurants and lofts have boomed.
In an ad in next week's Business Journal, Downtown St. Louis Partnership honcho Jim Cloar fires back, saying that clubs have a "notoriously high turnover rate," and the area's other successes should be praised. No doubt he'd like Keaggy to join Charlie Brennan and others he calls "a better informed local citizenry" in finding the glass half-fuller, as our president might say.
As a snide aside, no one's yet asked publicly whether the Post-Dispatch should've included itself as an institution that could do better...
Best quote about this week's RFT cover: "It's driving up sales of magnifying glasses." (Dave Drebes)
People I think I recognize are Carrie Zukoski, Renee Duenow, Lyndsey Scott and maybe Mary Ann Russum. You go, girls!
For those of you who only pick up the RFT for the pictures, the cover is publicizing an event called Peace Out!
I wonder if the RFT would ever do the same cover with guys.
Maybe because it's Friday, maybe because I'm giddy still with all my newfound free time (RIP and RIP again, The physical Commonspace), but a typo in the online version of this story just made me laugh.
"Teachers reported some parents believed the child must be in trouble and that's why the teach had come."
A bit colloquial, no? I bet the kids on "Welcome Back, Kotter" would be equally suspicious of the teach.
OK, I'm a little late posting this, but I want to give ArchPundit a shout out for winning a nod in the RFT's Best of St. Louis issue. Last month, AP sucked up almost 11 GB of bandwidth on the server; world domination cannot be far behind. For the St. Louis content, head over to Blog St. Louis at bsl.archpundit.com.
I'd also like to give props to the RFT for giving out one of the weirdest door gifts I've ever seen at their awards party: lavender FM radios shaped like mountaineering carabiners with earbud headphones and tiny, built-in compasses.
A new blog chronicling life with the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra is up and running. The commentary will be dished out by SLSO staffer Eddie Silva, formerly of the RFT.
It's nice to see that even though they play old-school music, the symphony is down with this new-fangled web thing, thanks largely to the efforts of Dale Fisher, the Associate Director of Marketing.
Thomas Crone's new local boxing column debuted in The St. Louis American on Thursday, July 29.
Our fair city gets the USA Today travel treatment, with plenty of nice things to say about Forest Park, the Grand Center art nexxus, and food picks from predictable (Tony's, Ted Drewes, Pho Grand) to relatively new (Kitchen K, Moxy, Mirasol).
Send it to all your friends who haven't put the Lou on their life lists yet!
According to a post in The Commonspace Forums by Brian Horton, who picked up the news from an entry in the Arch City Chronicle blog by Dave Drebes, Tim Woodcock has been tapped to be the new editor at the West End Word.
Tim wrote the very first newspaper article about the physical Commonspace. It appeared in the 12/24/02 edition of the West End Word. The charming Brit lives in a house that was rehabbed by Amrit and Amy Gill, who were named "Best Developers" in The Commonspace's Editors' Choice awards.
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.
STLtoday has been redesigned. Among the changes is a headline ticker on the front page that rotates at warp speed, at least on my machine.
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.
Fresh on the heels of their participation in the June 4 panel discussion at The Commonspace, Bob Kraiberg and Matt LeMieux were in KWMU's studio yesterday to talk with Mike Sampson on St. Louis on the Air. You can listen to the discussion online.
An eye-opening article scheduled to appear in the next issue of the Arch City Chronicle lays bare the many and varied woes of Metropolis St. Louis, once touted as the city's greatest hope (and, in the interest of full disclosure, once led by both of the authors of this blog). Run, don't Walk, to get your hands on a copy this week.
A taste of the issues raised:
"Within the past month, the steering committee has suffered four resignations. But there hasn’t been any communication about this to the membership. It’s as if the organization is on auto-pilot as it nosedives. Meanwhile many big questions go unanswered: Does Metropolis have the financial wherewithal to continue? As its average age continues to creep toward forty, how does Metropolis keep from becoming a parody of itself? Has Metropolis become like those self-perpetuating organizations it used to despise?"
Just one damn sad departure after another these days: now, our favorite advice maven, Julia Smillie, hits the road, too...having solved all of the metro area's problems. Godspeed and all that.
Disclaimer: fatdays.com is me, your vertically integrated community network specialist.
Confirming a long-rumored deal, next week's St. Louis Business Journal carries on its editorial page the first of a new regular column by Arch City Chronicle publisher Dave Drebes (complete with a kinda smirky picture of the man); STLBJ publisher Ellen Sherberg comments at length on the addition in her column.
Among other things, she writes: "Mr. Drebes...is a former stock broker and a keen political observer. In the past his views sometimes disagreed with the official editorial stands we've taken, especially dealing with the development of the Old Post Office, a project this newspaper deems critical to the rebuilding of downtown. So some of his friends and cohorts will probably consider him a heretic to write for the business press and some of our friends might raise an eyebrow that we're keeping company with a rabble-rouser of sorts."
Rouse the rabble, young columnist! Your cohorts are behind you!
New managing editor notwithstanding, the RFT chalks one up in the "loss" category today, with calendar editor Byron Kerman being released from his employment there. Paul Friswold takes his place.
And the beat goes on...
And he's joining us from out of town — Seattle, to be precise. (Take *that*, Pacific Northwest! Brain drain in reverse!)
Ellis Conklin joins the staff of the local New Times outlet sometime in mid-Feb., our sources tell us.
Anyone else taken a gander at the recent redesign of the Journals? (At least the South Side Journal, which showed up in our yard recently). It's nice-looking! Enough to trick me into picking it up...though I haven't yet read it to see if my old favorites -- stories whose jump never jumps anywhere, and verbatim story reprints in successive issues -- made the cut in the new format.
A new Web site for the short-lived publication has shown up at pubdef.net. It sports one article and the claim that Pub Def has 30,000 readers. The forums promise that "Pub Def will return very soon." Is Pub Def a Phoenix or just another Icarus? And if it comes back, will Joe Daus' subscription be honored?
Mike Seely's RFT cover story on KDHX is a real corker. In a move I don't always make...I'd recommend you give it a read. Happily, I'm usually able to obliviously go about my business as co-host of "The Wire" (that's Monday nights from 7:30-8 p.m.) without hitting my pretty little head up against any of this drama. Although perhaps it's one of the talk shows that former staffer Tony Renner finds lacking?
Email messages addressed to Marcus "Ma'at" Atkins at the American (email@example.com) have started coming back with a reply that says:
Marcus Atkins no longer works at the St. Louis American Newspaper. Please send future entertainment emails to Bill Beene at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!
Maybe the ever-stylish scribe left to pursue his interests in theater and fashion.
Just spotted: Robert Putnam's (Mr. "Bowling Alone") new book, "Better Together," is out in hardback. Hopeful civics lessons? Find more about it here.