STL Open Media Integration Center to Occupy Former KDHX Building

Categories: Live and Local

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Photo by Mabel Suen
The new home of STL Open MIC on Magnolia Avenue.

"There's a thousand little ideas behind every big idea," says William Gelb, acting Executive Director of the St. Louis Open Media Integration Center (Open MIC). His big idea involves transforming the former KDHX 88.1 FM building, located on Magnolia Avenue in the Tower Grove East neighborhood.

Gelb is no stranger to the space. He might be better known as his alias Wil Wander, DJ of Elevated Rhymestate on KDHX. Gelb, a graduate of UMSL's Nonprofit Management and Leadership Program, seeks to change the old space into a general center for media in south city.

Using the infrastructure once built for radio, he and his team of volunteers aim to provide local artists with the means to record and expand upon their art. And while the station once used the space specifically for recording, Gelb imagines many more possibilities:

"Three parts to the mission are to enable musicians to access tools, space and education. Anything that is media is within our range of possibilities. We're going to work and collaborate with other organizations. They'll be able to use our multi-purpose rooms for their classes and education as well," he adds.


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St. Louis' Bo & the Locomotive Is Poised for the National Stage

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Buy Bo & the Locomotive some smoothies, and these guys will be yours forever.

Every great band has a story about the time it turned the corner, when something magical happened that brought its members' dreams of creativity and stardom just a little closer. Perhaps a record label fat cat takes notice of the group performing at a local dive bar. Or a talent agent catches a musician busking in the park. Or a local news station starts a band down a path of progressively bigger gigs just by having the group perform on a morning show.

Or maybe it all starts on Craigslist.

"I was looking for nude models for my private drawing sessions," Bo Bulawsky explains.

"Goth twink is what you were looking for, Bo; don't be silly," Peter Garea interrupts.

"Anyway, he responded and wanted to be my nude model," Bulawsky continues. "Turns out, he also was a band manager."

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The Demo Launches Indiegogo Campaign: "Help Save The Demo"

Categories: Live and Local

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The Demo. | Mabel Suen
Last month, RFT Music took an in-depth look at a conflict arising between residents and club owners in the Grove. The story concerns the Ready Room (4195 Manchester Avenue; 314-833-3929) and its smaller sister venue, the Demo (4191 Manchester Avenue), a 200-capacity space that closed its doors in the midst of a liquor license application process owing to neighborhood noise complaints. On August 7 the Demo launched an Indiegogo campaign to help replenish its subsequently depleted funds.

"You know the story by now, and we've nearly been shut down for an entire quarter because of it," said the Demo's proprietors in a recent Facebook post. "Now we're asking you to help us weather the storm."

See also: The Grove's Close Confines Have Residents and Club Owners Battling Over Noise

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Doorway's Jammie Jam Promises a Night of Sweet Dreams

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Press photo
Doorway asks, "What's your jam? Your pajammie jam?"

Wearing pajamas makes any activity infinitely more fun. Just think about how much cooler checking out library books, doing taxes or even attending world peace summits might be if everyone wore those old-timey PJs with the flap on the butt.

Imagine, then, the kind of epic party local hip-hop group Doorway will throw down with all four of its members performing in sleep pants and boxers.

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Whoa Thunder to Make Live Debut Tonight at Venice Café

Categories: Live and Local

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Via Whoa Thunder's Facebook
Whoa Thunder's lineup on You're Under Attack.
Brian McClelland has been a key sideman for such St. Louis heavyweights as Middle Class Fashion and Tight Pants Syndrome, but he's stepping back into the spotlight this Thursday at Venice Café with his Whoa Thunder project.

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Open Highway Music Festival Expands to Five Days, Features Former R.E.M. Members

Categories: Live and Local

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Jon Gitchoff
Cory Chisel will kick off this year's Open Highway Music Festival on August 5 at Off Broadway.

Last August, Off Broadway concert promoter John Henry told RFT Music that he wasn't sure how big the hugely successful Open Highway Festival ultimately would become, but he shared that he and club owner Steve Pohlman wanted to continue to surprise concertgoers with a variety of musical genres and perhaps even lengthen the event's duration.

This year, Henry and Pohlman are making good on those promises.

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The Feed and the Sun and the Sea Prepare for Dual Billing at Blueberry Hill

Categories: Live and Local

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St. Louis bands The Feed and The Sun and the Sea couldn't be more different. The Feed jumps genres from song to song but retains a bluesy growl and ferocity no matter if they're playing punk, noisy psychedelic or straight-up pop-rock. The Sun and the Sea generally stays within its own polished indie-rock confines but adds plenty of twinkly riffs and heart-racing drum fills that stay with you long after the music ends.

But man, do the bands complement each other. And, uh, compliment, each other.

See also: The Feed To Release Debut LP Outsider This Saturday

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Art Gallery To Host Fundraising Benefit For Venice Cafe Tonight

Categories: Live and Local

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Steve Truesdell
Fred Friction, one of the performers tonight.
1900 Park, a new art gallery located in Lafayette Square, will be hosting a fundraiser tonight to benefit the Venice Cafe, which was recently burglarized. Thieves stole the cafe's safe and computer, shutting the venue down for a few days and setting its owners back a great deal financially.

See also: Venice Cafe Closed Indefinitely After Burglary

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STL's Play It Forward Program Puts Instruments in the Hands of Needy Kids

Categories: Live and Local

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Being a musician is expensive. Equipment can be nightmarishly costly, often running up into the hundreds of dollars just to get your hands on decent gear. Decent , that is. Not even "great." (And God help you if you are a drummer.)

So how are kids supposed to get into playing music without serious financial backing? St. Louis' Samantha Fisher has found a way.

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Utopia Studios' New Music Venue, the Mecca, Hosts Inaugural Show This Saturday

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The Mecca at Utopia Studios. | Photos by Mabel Suen
In midtown -- just west of Cardinal Glennon Hospital off of South Grand and just a few blocks away from the Grove -- Utopia Studios (3957 Park Avenue; 314-773-3660) manages to remain fairly incognito between busy neighborhoods. If it weren't for the vibrantly painted green building labeled with the company's signature tiki logo, passersby might not even notice that the connecting warehouse spaces were occupied -- and with a daily, rotating roster of musicians making loud noises, at that.

For the past nine-and-a-half years, Utopia has served as a band-rehearsal hall with 26 rentable practice rooms -- both hourly and long-term. Over time it has adapted its space to also function as a recording studio, dance studio, gear-rental headquarters and -- since last year -- a full bar with a colorful lounge to coincide the facility's retro vibe. This Saturday, July 12, it will add another facet to its multipurpose space: a new live-music venue dubbed the Mecca.

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