Friday, March 26, 2010

Let's Talk About Ladue

Yes, let's...

I grew up in Ladue, I went to school there from kindergarden through high school. I know some great people that live/ed in Ladue. But... I have every confidence that the vast majority of the people who live there harbor some kind of racial predjudice. Whether that be the overt, unadulterated bigotry or the (in some ways) more dangerous and subversive "some of my best friends are black" sort. Want proof? Here it is:

It may not be hard and fast evidence but it's still pretty damning. The scary part is that these people are very, very wealthy and powerful. What can we do? Well, unfortunately, not a whole lot but shine a big-ass spotlight on these assholes and expose them for what they are.

I will reiterate though: This is not a representation of all the people that live in Ladue. Some of them just have money and want to take advantage of the awesome schools there. And they are awesome, I mean, let's give credit where credit's due.

So send this link to everyone you know that lives in the St. Louis area. Or shit, send it to everyone, so that forward-thinking people everywhere don't make the mistake of passing through, moving to or supporting any business in that god-forsaken place (I could think of no more colorful description. Nothing seemed insulting enough). Let those dickheads and their fucktarded, bat-shit insane, lunatic mayor of theirs waste away in their gated neighborhoods and country clubs while the rest of the world passes them by.

Short one today. Thoughts?


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

What do you think?

It's been a little while, I know. But I'm still not done bitching about this horrible place.

I have recently been lulled into a sense that this place isn't so bad. I know, I know. That's my bad. I did what every other lazy asshole here has done and thought that I was doing my part and things are coming along just fine. It's easy to do when you go through any sort of period of staying in. I even played a show that went really well and it was encouraging. Sure there weren't a lot of people there but, eh, it was a week night and I was essentially asking them to accept some pretty noisy stuff and they ate it up. So really I haven't had a whole lot to complain about.

Frankly I had all but forgotten about it until one day last week I ran into a friend of mine who is one of the people that actively nurture the culture in St. Louis and found that even he was starting to get worn out here. This was one of a very small number of people that I still look to as a beacon of hope that the wretched place will turn around.

I get it. We are stagnant. Anyone who actually succeeds in bringing some culture to this town finds very quickly that the ceiling is pretty fucking low. You climb just a little way before you reach the top and the view isn't that great.

Then another friend, a co-worker asked if I was going to post anything soon. I told him I hadn't much time lately, which I hadn't. But he sort of jokingly suggested I get contributors. I actually thought this was a great idea. So this time I want to hear from you. What pisses you off about this place? Have you had to deal with some nonsensical bureaucracy that you shouldn't have (specific to our city please)? Why did you leave, for those of you that are no longer here? What drove you away?

Leave a comment below or if you would like to write a piece say so and and maybe we'll start to see some other writers here.



P.S. I'll start posting some pictures to liven things up soon.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Hello to the four people that I know that follow this blog. By which I mean that I know you personally, though I do appreciate the support.

Not a lot to report at the moment. Or maybe there is a lot. I guess it just depends on how much I want to elaborate.

Well, a musician friend of mine has decided that he wants to move to a city that can offer more in the way of a career in music. I am in the process of telling him that there are still a lot of things here that he hasn't done as he, unlike myself, is not adverse to playing covers and weddings (see my comments on Dr. Shitheap, I can't remember what the date of that post is but frankly I'm also too lazy to check).

One of my favorite new examples of the TOTAL lack of anyone within the local government having an IQ that is even remotely close to being better than that of a SEVERELY retarded child or, oh I don't know, the vacuum of outerspace, is that St. Louis City suspended my girlfriend's driver license. That's not stupid right? I mean didn't she have like tickets or something? no. Well, like she was in a hit and run or got a speeding ticket, that must be it? Nope. Well I mean they don't just pick people at random and suspend their licenses?!? Oh yes they do! Or at least they did in this case.

If you want to know what happened read on:

I'll keep this short, I'm feeling exponentially lazy by the moment,


A Richmond Heights officer pulled her over a couple of weeks ago to inform her that upon running her plates his system told him that her license had been suspended. "Why?" she asked. The officer told her that the reason was unpaid parking tickets but he didn't know for what township. She proceeded to the Department of Revenue office to rectify the situation after calling U City, St. Louis City, Clayton and Richmond Heights to find that none of them had any record of tickets for her or her vehicle. When she got to the Dept. o Rev they said that the City of St. Louis had suspended her license for unpaid parking tickets. She informed them that she had checked with StL City and they said they had none. She had the clerk call them at which point the clerk told her that they had, in fact made a mistake and that it was simply a clerical error that had caused them to suspend her DL. But, this is the really fucked up part 'cause, hey, everyone makes mistakes, no biggie, but THEY STILL MADE HER PAY TO GET IT REINSTATED.

So yeah, anyway the coffee shop's closing. Anyway we just signed a year-long lease on a new place so it looks like we're stuck here for a bit longer.

Wanna make this place better? Go show the people trying to enrich your lives that you appreciate it and see a show. Music, art, whatever... but keep going.


Saturday, January 2, 2010

Your friends that have moved out.

Sorry about that. I tried to post this one from my phone but it wouldn't let me type in the little text spot. Anyway...

I understand there are some of you out there that still care enough about this foul little city to think that if we all pull together we can really turn this city around. I'm not here to tell you that you're wrong (actually I am). I'm here to say that no matter what you do, what community outreach activity you put together or what park you clean up or how much funding Metro transit manages to not lose, listen closely to this part 'cause it's really important.... Ready? I'm serious, this part will blow your mind...

None of your efforts will make any difference if people move the hell away.

"I know but we have to make this a place where people want to stay and work," many of you are probably saying (or probably not as I only have three readers). No, no, no no no no no no, no, no nonononono. No! How the fuck are you going to do this? Uh? The answer is that you are not. There is no way to stem the hemorrhage of decent music and art and computer science*. Are you going to magically move a large music publisher here? Major record labels? ASCAP, BMI offices? How are you going to do this? How? These are the things that musicians need to want to be in a city. Or how 'bout a public that cares enough to go see local music?

Here's a fun story about my co-workers:

First I must say that they are all awesome people and I love them to death. I also ask that if any of my three readers know where I work (you do), please don't disclose this information. I'm trying to stay somewhat anonymous and my co-workers certainly should be granted this.

K, so... There was this fellow I used to work with. Really nice guy, great guitar player, we talked about music all the time. The only problem was that we didn't see eye to eye, aesthetically speaking. One of my problems with him was that he was in several cover bands over the time that I knew him. I remember he used to ask me how he could make more money and complain about a $200/night pull.

Note: One of my bands played Friday night. We made $80. We were really happy with this.

Anyway, several of the other people I used to work with would put together trips to go see his band play cover songs. It's cool, we were all friends. The thing I didn't understand was why it took me several months to get a handful of them to come out to one of my shows. This isn't even a quality of music thing. They had never heard me play. They didn't know if it was good or bad. All they knew is that it was original music. So it can only be one of two things: either a feeling that I, personally, was incapable of making good music or that the thought of going to hear something they haven't heard before was actually a deterrent. These were my friends. How the hell can you make strangers give a fuck if you can't even get your friends to come out.

Fun story huh?

On to Art: How can we keep our artists? Easy: make it profitable to be an artist here. Wait, you can't magically do that over night? Okay, um, how 'bout a few months? No? Oh, um, well how can you expect anyone to stick it out?

Look, here's the point: For all of my bitter, angry banter and poor grammar all I'm really trying to say is:

You can't ask someone to put their aspirations on hold for a sense of responsibility to a city that has made it clear since the days of Miles Davis that they don't want any culture. This city does not want culture or to be progressive. Of all the people I have known that have moved away and found success they all say basically the same thing to the effect of "Sure, I would have liked to have been a part of building a scene but (some variation of no money to start a major corporation, they don't make movies here with enough frequency to really make a living, there's no school there that offers this thing I study, etc...)

I'm starting to get bored so... For those of you that agree I need to find a suitable way to reference the St. Louis (i.e. shithole, awesomely shitty shithole, you know only more accurate.).

For those of you that don't here's a challenge: what are you doing to make this a better place to live and work? The rules are that you have to live in the city (again U-city is NOT St. Louis city) and your efforts have to be focused in the city.


*I have a very limited knowledge of anything computer related but I have gotten a lot of comments from people in this field on my last post so I feel I have to include it. To be honest I don't even know if I'm using the proper term. What is the blanket term for all things computer related?

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

How It All Started

There's a really cool coffee shop a couple of blocks from my girlfriend's place that her and I like to go to to get out but not get caught up in all the bullshit (let's call it social politics) that goes with the regular string of places that all our friends hang out at. Not that our friends aren't awesome or that the places aren't awesome, it's just that sometimes it's nice to go somewhere low key, especially when one of us has to work early in the morning...

Anyway we were at this place one evening just killing time, enjoying our surroundings. It was getting late so I took my headphones off, packed up my computer and got ready to go. Well, when I took my headphones off, I overheard a conversation happening at an adjacent table. i only caught a piece but the gist of the conversation was the same old tired, "we just need more people to move into the city and talk about what a great place it is..." or something to that effect. The first thing that came to mind was "No fucking shit!" and a string of terrible thoughts about what a brain-dead fool this fellow must be to have just recently came to this realization. More than likely this guy was just as smart as anyone else you would meet or have a casual conversation with, I just had the bad fortune of hearing this little inane bit that really, at this point ought to be assumed and therefore not even needing of mentioning. Ever again. Ever. Because IT"S NOT GOING TO FUCKING HAPPEN! At least not in the numbers needed to make any significant difference.

I used to be idealistic and say "Oh, St. Louis is going to be just like Seattle was in the early-mid nineties, we just need like five to ten years." I realized a little while ago that I've been saying this for... wait for it... five to ten years! and I would venture to guess that we'll need... five to ten years to actually achieve this. I used to give my friends all kinds of hell for moving away or expressing any kind of interest in moving away, but now I totally get it! If you want a career, an actual career in say, film, music, art, software development, you something really cool, get the fuck out! Now. Run. Go. Faster. Finish reading this when you get somewhere that people give two shits about any of these things. It's cool I'll wait...

Here's the thing. It's not even that there aren't people that "care" about the aforementioned subjects. There are. But usually (I will be making broad generalizations quite a bit, though I don't think anyone would argue their truth) they care more about who the people involved in these things are and what kind of shit they can dig up, hold against, etc... This is very important. For those of you that need it spelled out, it goes like this: Often people involved in these professions are typically more concerned with if they LIKE that person rather than if they make good work and have the tendency to confuse the two. You don't have to like someone to like their work (Re: Roman Polanski, Phil Spector, Ike Turner, this could go on for a while). You have any idea how many complete assholes are in this city who also happen to be really good at their craft? Answer: Lots. How awesome would it be if all these assholes worked together rather than talking about what an asshole so-and-so is (and therefore they suck at what they do, of course). Who cares work with them. Call them out on being a prick. If enough people do they'll either go away or stop being a prick.

Here's the sad truth (at least about music): The only way people are going to listen to you is if you are in a cover band (Dr. Zhevegas, who will hereafter be referred to as Dr. Shitheap) or they can confidently wear tie-dye and patchwork corduroy to your shows and talk about how awesome Phish is. Dr. Shitheap is super popular and they actually make money. I mean fuck, they even opened a restaurant some years back. Any musicians making a living who do not fall into the Dr. Shitheap or Phish-phuck categories raise your hand... I didn't think so.

And you know who's to blame for this?

All. Of. Us. Yeah, me too. But also you. Yeah, you.

We are all complacent. We don't support shit unless it's our friends, we don't explore. We find our little corners of the city and talk about how much the rest of the city and all the people in it suck and then bitch and moan about how much it sucks that the city isn't in better shape... Fuck. Us. We deserve it.

Possible topics for next time:

- Why Ladue is a cancer on this region
- What to do with your money
- Why the RFT sucks
- Why anyone in the county has no business in a "how to make St. Louis better" discussion
- How to approach friends who have moved out

Yes, I am bitter,


Sunday, December 27, 2009


Hello Future Readers (if I ever get any),

I am a musician who lives and works in St. Louis, MO. I've lived here pretty much my whole life and I love this town. There is some really amazing music, art, food, people, schools, recreation, anything you could ever want here. Plus the cost of living here is REALLY low. But... for every person that really loves this town and wants to see it prosper there are (it seems like) dozens that either don't care or actively try to keep it down (Ladue, I'm talking to you, you racists fucks).

One of the biggest problems facing this city is that St. Louis city and St. Louis county are governed by completely different bodies with frequently conflicting interests. But more on that later... and for the record University City IS NOT part of St. Louis city for those of you that like to pretend it is. Let's face it, U City has become the Joe Edwards theme park. It's not a bad thing, in fact, I think that it's good that this formerly crappy part of town has improved by leaps and bounds. Though I suppose I should say that the part of town commonly referred to as "The Loop" does extend into the city limits, so, that's something, I guess.

My intention is not to scare people away from St. Louis, or even really to speak ill of this wonderful place. It's just that we've had soooo much goody, goody give me an "S", give me a "T"... what's that spell ST. LOUIS!!.... bullshit, half assed cheerleading by people who care, people who don't, people who live here, people who don't, etc... that HASN'T FUCKING WORKED. Maybe it's time that we take a good hard look at ourselves and see what we do (or don't) to contribute to this problem. To be clear, I would like to see this city become the cultural hotspot that it could be. But when I meet someone who was born and raised in the county who's almost thirty and can't even name one restaurant in the city, it reinforces my anxiety to get the hell out of here before I get to old to do anything with my life. Follow in the footsteps of the other people I have known in the arts.

I haven't decided yet if I'm going to provide links to some of the stuff I discuss here in this blog or if I'll leave them be and let them continue in their efforts. Stuff like the group devoted to bringing back St. Louis started by people who don't even live here, all the great bands, artists, restaurants, etc...

Also, I'm a musician. I see most things through the filter of music, art, culture in general. So I will try to limit my comments to these subjects or research my topics before commenting on them to any length.

Finally, I am expressing my OPINION, my stream-of-consciousness. You need not agree with it but keep in mind that most other opinions concerning the advancement of this city have failed.

More bitching and complaining to come...