What St. Louis Taught Me
This is my last day as music editor of the Riverfront Times. It's been 21 months and two weeks since I moved to St. Louis from Denver, and there has not been a more dynamic stretch in my life.
My predecessor, Annie Zaleski, offered me some tips when I started, just as her predecessor had. Daniel Hill, who will start on Monday as the new editor of this section, doesn't really need my advice: He knows more about St. Louis, the city and the music, than I ever would have. Instead, I'll just offer a scattering of the many things I got here that I'll take with me to Dallas. Thanks, St. Louis.
-Say hello to groups of people with laptops sitting at the one big table at the Royale, and listen to any show suggestions they make.
-Forget everything you learned in high school French class.
-There is no such thing as winning an argument on Facebook or Twitter. Still, don't back away from them. Unless it's with KDHX marketing director Chris Ward, in which case don't even bother trying.
-Take any opportunity to spend time near the Mississippi River, especially if someone is throwing a show near it.
-If someone suggests going across said river and it is already past 2 a.m., do not encourage him.
-Show up. When in doubt, just show up.
-There is no better way to spend $20 than on an afternoon at Fairmount Park, especially if Tap Room talent buyer Brett Underwood is there to show you where the perfect tacos are nearby.
-At the very least, don't cross your arms while you're watching a show.
-Music communities are full service: You can find anything from a meal to amateur therapy to odd jobs to the best tour guides a city has to offer if you hang around them long enough.
-If you are around Juggalos and one of them yells, "Woop woop," make sure you yell, "Woop woop" in return.
-There is never nothing going on.
-There is no one in St. Louis you can't meet if you want to.
-If you ever have a chance to see Old Lights drummer John Joern sing, don't miss it.
-No one sings along more consistently and with more devotion than hip-hop fans in this city.
-The only thing more enjoyable than your first Ransom Note show is your first visit to the City Museum.
-Good luck getting people to a show when the Cardinals are in the playoffs.
-Stag is the best-tasting beer you can get in a tall boy can.
-Pretty much every venue in town does something well. Figure out what it is and you'll almost never have a bad time anywhere.
-It's a lot more fun to stand by someone than by yourself at a show.
-Everyone involved in music in any serious way, whether it's musicians or venue owners or bloggers or devout fans or bartenders or engineers or publicists or photographers or DJs or talent buyers or basically anyone you see regularly at shows has made great sacrifices to be there. We're all on the same team.
I am missing one million things and people. There have been way more good times than bad times here. Alright, that's enough navel-gazing for the foreseeable future. I leave you in the spectacularly capable hands of the writers of RFT Music, Clubs Editor Mabel Suen and the singular Daniel Hill.