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Welcome to this lovely, dishwater-colored Thursday! Aside from the Hazardous Weather Outlook that was issued this morning by the National Weather Service, things are fairly peachy. No tornado warnings so far. And a lot of cool stuff going on:
Tonight, City Affair is throwing a sort of STL-centric party called GROUPHUG St. Louis. (More here on their Tumblr, Facebook page and Twitter). The organizers describe it as city lovers gathering to "give St. Louis a proverbial hug." People have been submitting photographs of themselves hugging something they love in St. Louis, but you don't have to be a photo-submitter to go to the event. The Mangia truck will be there, serving up toasted ravioli, and the Cleveland-based group Saving Cities will be there to film the event, which organizers bill as "the first of its kind in the nation." It starts at 7pm, is free, and happens at STyLehouse, 3159 Cherokee.
Tomorrow night, June 3, right down the street at Fort Gondo (3151 Cherokee) starting at 6pm, Chris Smentkowski (who you may know from noise band Brain Transplant) opens a solo art show, "Transcendental Voyeurism." According to Chris' description of the show, it is what you might call tripartite, made up of paintings ("bizarre, fantastical, sometimes surrealistic, abstract landscapes and/or alternate imagined realities"), ceramics ("Primitive, phallic, mini mountains. Earthy spikes that are rolled into the earth behind my studio before firing. I will also have a limited run of sake sets in similar fashion") and (naturally) a sound installation ("I will have live feedback guitar drone that mimics much of my playing in Brain Transplant, however nobody will be playing the guitar, it will be set up to resonate against itself and the tone settings will be deep, dark, and mildly foreboding. The sound will be emitted through the floor of the studio space while blackened Tibetan prayer flags hover above in the ceiling"). There may be hugging, there may not be hugging. No matter. We recommend.
Speaking of Mr. Smentkowski, he and a bunch of other musicians, some local, some from as far away as Florida, will be playing this weekend at the two-day Float Yr Face Experimental Music Festival at Floating Laboratories (4528 Ohio). Tix are $10 per night, $15 for a two-day pass. Friday's lineup includes Ghost Ice, Rich O'Donnell + Anna Lum (of HEARDing Cats and New Music Circle), Fabric, Rene Hell, Outer Space, Dust Bunny, Expo 70 and Brett Naucke. Saturday's lineup includes a 4 p.m. lecture by electronic musical genius Dr. Mabuse on advanced modular synthesis. (That's free.) Then the music kicks off again at 7pm, with these acts in the queue: N.N.N. Coo, 56K, Sirrah Nivek, Raglani, Keith Fullerton Whitman, Father Finger, Brain Transplant, Fielded and Lazy Magnet. For more info on Day One, go here; Day Two, here.
And if you're too tired to push yourself away from your computer and go do something this weekend (overexposure to tornado sirens has been known to cause this condition), here are some things to dial up on the screen:
Pokey LaFarge and the South City Three have a new video for "So Long Honeybee, Goodbye," off the new record, Middle of Everywhere, due out in July. The video was shot mostly in Kirkwood, and produced by Bill Streeter:
Jim Ousley and Oscar Madrid, who produced the well-loved local film Hooch and Daddy-O,are working on a new project, The Bloodfest Club. Ousley plays Sonny Kane, "a Chuck Norris-obsessed high school janitor is forced to confront the face of evil on graduation night." They are currently are in pre-production, but have released a trailer:
And while I'm cobbling together this incredibly video-clip-heavy post (it happens sometimes) I'll note, somewhat belatedly, that another fine local film project, the much-anticipated Love Stalker, screened at Cannes Marche du Film in mid-May. Here is the trailer, if you've not seen it:
And finally, two news items not requiring video clips. Artist Robert Powell, Grand Center pioneer and proprietor of Portfolio Gallery, is looking to sell the 5,000-square-foot mansion that has housed his gallery for decades. Duffe-Neuberger is handling the sale; you can see more details here. Powell walked us through the space earlier this spring to show us not just the building, but the artists he is currently working with, including Dean Mitchell, the watercolorist who produced the image for the Louis Armstrong stamp. His goal is to sell the building to provide startup capital for a business that focuses on replication of artworks, which will not only provide a regular living for the artists, but give regular people the ability to bring real art into their home. Powell has been looking at property on the city's northside, and hopes to make the leap as soon as he can sell the building; more on that business venture in the future, as soon as we know more. And finally, St. Louisan Christopher Davis has set up a great resource for anyone interested in local music: Saint Louis Music Press, which offers a newsfeed, concert calendar, venue listing, and interviews with musicians. Worth takin' a second to bookmark for sure...