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New Book — St. Louis Sound: An Illustrated Timeline by Steve Pick with Amanda E. Doyle

March 15, 2019 Books, Featured, History/Preservation, Popular Culture Comments Off on New Book — St. Louis Sound: An Illustrated Timeline by Steve Pick with Amanda E. Doyle

I like music — I have a decent music collection (digital & vinyl), but I’ve never been to a concert. Well, I did see & hear Bonnie Raitt and many others at the New Orleans Jazz Fest in 2004. Though I’ve lived in St  Louis for 28+ years, I haven’t participated in the local music scene other than hearing the Bosman Twins in 1990 and Kim Massie at a few events.

So when I received the new book St  Louis Sound: An Illustrated Timeline I wasn’t sure I’d find anything of interest to write about. Boy was I wrong.

Let’s start with the publisher’s description:

From the French fiddlers of the fur trading days to the rock and hip hop icons of the present millennium, St. Louis has been a town rich in musical history. Though it has rarely been cited as a center of any scene, any area that has been home to Chuck Berry, Miles Davis, Ike & Tina Turner, Grant Green, Pavlov’s Dog, Uncle Tupelo, Nelly, and Pokey LaFarge has clearly deserved more attention. This book tells the story of music in St. Louis, from the symphonic to the singer/songwriter, from the radio stations that propelled it to the fanzines that documented it, from the musicians who left here for greater fame to those who stayed and made this town more vibrant. This is the first time that all the tributaries of the great St. Louis river of song have been covered in one place; classical, jazz, blues, r&b, rock’n’roll, country, hip hop, and more.

I’ve learned so much flipping through the photo-filled pages. For example, I’m a huge fan of Missy Elliott’s 1997 song The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly).  If you don’t know it you can see the creative video here. Anyway, I’d long thought the chorus included a sample of an older song, but I’d never researched it. Then on the page after the venue Blueberry Hill was the entry on Kinloch-native Ann Peebles. It mentions she co-wrote her 1973 hit “I can’t stand the rain.” To Wikipedia and YouTube I went.

One comment on YouTube nailed it — that she sounds like a female version of Al Green. A very high compliment! The book mentions she worked with Green’s producer, Willie Mitchell. Online I learned about a 1978 disco cover by Eruption and a 1984 cover by the Tina Turner on her Private Dancer album. Peebles had previously worked with Oliver Sain (1932-2003), best known for Soul Serenade (YouTube). I also learned Sain had a recording studio in the 1905 building at 4521 Natural Bridge. Ann Peebles retired following a stroke.

I can’t think of another book that has brought me so many hours of joy as I combed through the intense level of detail, looking up names & songs on YouTube & Wikipedia, Googling venues to get addresses to look up.

If you’re into St. Louis and/or its music this book should interest you. Released today, it’s available via Left Bank Books, Amazon, etc.

— Steve Patterson

 

Tickets Will Not Be Sold Here

March 4, 2019 Featured, Planning & Design, Popular Culture Comments Off on Tickets Will Not Be Sold Here

At least personally, paper tickets have been obsolete for a while. I either print my ticket or show it on my phone. The latter is what we did last month on our round trip to/from Chicago via Amtrak.  What about for local events?

If you plan on going to a St. Louis Blues game this season, you’ll need to have a smartphone or at least an e-mail address. Tickets to the game are now completely mobile.

Staff said you can purchase tickets through the NHL app and pull them up on your phone. (Fox2)

I use a card for transit, not a paper pass, transfer, or ticket.  All this change has me wondering about ticket windows.

I doubt these 3 ticket windows at the Forest Park MetroLink station have ever been used. These were built in 2006 when the station changed for the Blue Line to Shrewsbury.
The Dome at America’s Center (aka convention center) has ticket windows scattered around the perimeter. Several have regular signs indicating “TICKETS WILL NOT BE SOLD HERE”
Here’s another
The main ticket area is in the center of the East (Broadway) side. There are seven sections for 14 total windows, but only seven have ever been set up with transaction drawers.

These are always closed when I pass by, not much going on that requires tickets. The recent UMC conference was busy, but no ticket sales.

Then lsat week I saw activity at the far window. The sign for tickets/will call was rolled out.
Yes, people & activity at one window.
Friday last week I noticed this trailer had been put into place along Convention Plaza (aka Delmar)

The event with physical ticket sales was the 2019 Monster Jam truck show held the last two days (March 2-3). Even they link to Ticketmaster for tickets.

The days of the ticket window are numbered.

— Steve Patterson

 

Readers Not Rams Fans

February 6, 2019 Featured, Popular Culture Comments Off on Readers Not Rams Fans
Football will be back in the Dome beginning in 2020

Next year professional football will return to St. Louis when the XFL league begins play in 8 cities.  Can it compete with the NFL, will it outlast its initial 3 years of funding?  Hard to say, but it seems the NFL isn’t the sure thing it once was:

The lowest-scoring Super Bowl in history turned off fans Sunday, with the matchup between the New England Patriots and Los Angeles Rams drawing the game’s smallest TV audience since 2008.

TV’s most-watched annual event drew 98.2 million viewers, down 5% from last year when 103.4 million viewers watched on NBC, according to Nielsen data.
 
Counting those who watched the game on streaming platforms, CBS put the total audience at 100.7 million viewers, down 4.5% from the 105.4 million who watched on all platforms last year when the Patriots played the Philadelphia Eagles. (Los Angeles Times)

On Sunday we asked Siri a couple of times for the current score, but we didn’t watch the game at all. Yawn.

Here are the results from the non-scientific poll:

Q: Who do you want to win in today’s NFL Super Bowl?

  • Don’t care: 16 [53.33%]
  • New England Patriots: 9 [30%]
  • Los Angeles Rams: 4 [13.33%]
  • Undecided: 1 [3.33%]

More backed the Patriots over the Rams, still far less than the “don’t care” crowd.

One Kansas City politician has a solution to the lack of an NFL team in St. Louis:

City Councilman and mayoral candidate Quinton Lucas told St. Louis television station KMOV that if it comes down to losing a home game, he thinks the Chiefs would be better off trying to build a regional footprint rather than an international following.

“I don’t think it’s just a pie in the sky thing,” Lucas told a St. Louis reporter.

The Chiefs lost a home game to play against the Detroit Lions in London in 2015.

The Chiefs were scheduled to play an away game in Mexico City in 2018 only to have that game moved to Los Angeles due to poor field conditions. They’re scheduled again for an away game in Mexico City in 2019.

Lucas thinks the team would be better off playing across the state than across the world. (KMBC)

Interesting. Given that the XFL plays at a different time of year than the NFL there wouldn’t be a venue conflict. The NFL’s reason for playing a home game abroad is an attempt to compete with football (aka soccer).

— Steve Patterson

 

On This Day: Fields Foods Opens (2014), Rams Ask To Leave (2016)

January 4, 2019 Featured, Popular Culture, Retail Comments Off on On This Day: Fields Foods Opens (2014), Rams Ask To Leave (2016)
Produce at the opening of Fields Foods

A couple of interesting events took place on January 4th in recent years.

Five years ago, in 2014, Fields Foods opened for its first day of business. A red ribbon was cut at an event the night before.  Since then a Tim Hortons opened & closed out front.

Field Foods is set to expand from their original location by adding locations in Dogtown & Downtown West this year.

Three years ago the Rams formerly asked the NFL to relocate to Los Angeles.

The St. Louis Rams, along with the Oakland Raiders and San Diego Chargers, have filed relocation requests with the National Football League, league officials said Monday.

The requests come less than 24 hours after the application period began and sets the stage for a key owners vote on relocation expected to happen next week in Houston. There, owners will vote on which team or teams will be allowed to move to the Los Angeles market in the 2016 season.

The applications will be reviewed this week by league staff and three league committees, which will make a recommendation to owners on the issue.

In a statement on the team’s website, the Rams said, “The St. Louis Rams informed the National Football League today that the Rams propose to relocate to the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area. The relocation would be effective for the 2016 NFL League Year.”

The St. Louis stadium task force, which has proposed a $1.1 billion stadium in an effort to keep the Rams in St. Louis, said the Rams’ relocation request was expected. (St. Louis Business Journal)

Eight days later the NFL owners approved the Rams request 30-2.

As recently announced, St. Louis will be getting an XFL football team. Games begin in just 13 months! It’s hard to predict how well the XFL will do financially, if it’ll survive the initial 3 years of funding set aside.

Even though we knew it was coming, it was still a blow when the Rams asked the NFL to leave. As we welcome the XFL next year, and collecting more rent per game, we might look back on January 4, 2016 as a blessing.

— Steve Patterson

 

Holiday Nostalgia

December 24, 2018 Featured, Popular Culture Comments Off on Holiday Nostalgia
Christmas 1972-ish with me (right) and my brother Randy (left). This is the last Xmas that we’re both in our 50s.

I’d originally planned to write about retailing, gift giving and such, however, I ran out of time. Instead you get some nostalgic ramblings.

My husband and I are both atheists, but Xmas is an important time for us. It’s about recalling childhood memories, watching favorite movies, and having a meal with family. For us this means my husband’s family (mom, brother, uncle) coming to our loft for Xmas lunch tomorrow.

I love getting to host a holiday meal, this is the 6th Xmas that we’ve had them over. As a kid we’d go to my grandparent’s houses for the holidays. At my maternal grandparents, Mennonites, that meant the men in one room and the women in another (kitchen/breakfast). After we were served, they’d eat. I wasn’t allowed in the kitchen to learn from my grandmother (1902-1982), or hang with my cousin. They never did a tree.

My paternal grandmother’s (1905-1994) house was very different. There everyone was in the kitchen enjoying the company and abundance of food, and her endearing laugh. She always had a huge tree.

Since marrying I’ve learned of traditions in his family, one year I made a traditional German stollen from scratch. His ancestors came here around WWI, fought in WWII.

I hope you have great memories, traditions, and plenty of food. To me, this holiday was never about what it has become: consumerism.

— Steve Patterson

 

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