HD video of new Ossie Dellimore tune

“The Secret To Success” is a crucial unreleased track from Ossie Dellimore and will be featured on his soon come release, “Ethiopia Rejoice.” He’s an extremely talented bredrin from St. Vincent And the Grenadines. Check it out.

HD version at YouTube

Reunion Season

Musically, this season of year has always been my favorite, largely because the holidays are a natural time for local bands to reunite. Whether those are one-off shows or annual events, it seems that the late autumn/early winter is filled with that wonderful let’s-get-back-at-it vibe.

Yours truly has a lucky opportunity to celebrate the local rock scene of the last two-decades (and change), with some special shows set for the coming couple of weeks.

This Friday, Nov. 20, STL pop kingpins The Boorays will play a live set on KDHX’s “Silver Tray,” coming on at roughly 12:40 p.m. The group – Bob Kaemmerlen, Andy Thomson, Mike Hellebusch and Mark Stephens – are coming together for a Saturday, Nov. 21st show at Blueberry Hill’s Duck Room and to help promote that gig, they’re coming by the KDHX studio for a four-song set on the “Tray.” Expect four cuts from their pair of CDs, “Pumpkin Pie Crustacean” and “Hollow in the Middle,” which the group’s been tinkering with recently, re-mastering the old cuts and reorganizing the orders. While not quite the same environment as the boozy, smoky club show of a night later, it’ll be great to catch the band in any form, after (too) many years apart.

The next week – on Thursday, Nov. 26th and Friday, Nov. 27th – I’ll toast the Thanksgiving holiday with another four-hour round of St. Louis related tracks, playing deep cuts from noted acts and favorites from the obscure. On Thursday, I’m lucky enough to fill in for Doug Morgan on his “Record Sto’,” while on Friday I’ll be back at the helms for “Silver Tray.” As has been the case the last couple of years, I’ll go with an all-STL lineup for both, kicking out the jams from: Judge Nothing, Times Beach, Sullen, the Oozkicks, the Painkillers, the Unconscious, the Finn Brothers, A Perfect Fit, E.J. Quit, Three Foot Thick and Club Zero, among countless others. Based on listener response the last few years, it’s a show that gets some feet tapping, even when they’re doing so with one eye on the dinner table.

But we’ll worry about next week, next week. For this week, tune in your radio to 88.1 on Friday at 12:40 and catch some glorious pop, as only The Boorays can bring it.

Put Your Hands Together on Bittersweet Melody

Many different kinds of percussion instruments outside of the traditional drum kit have been used in rock n’ roll over the years.  The tambourine and maracas are quite common.  The harpsichord and the xylophone have both found their place in the occasional song. Tilly and the Wall has even added a tap dancer to their percussion. And who can forget the infamous cowbell in “Don’t Fear the Reaper”?

But, to me, no other percussion instrument can be more fun and interesting than the simple handclap.

Tune in to 88.1 (or stream the show online) the morning of Monday, November 30 from 5-7AM for a show devoted solely to songs featuring handclaps.  Just a few of the artists you’ll hear will be The Velvet Underground, Fairport Convention, Feist and The Beatles.  So, feel free to clap along with Bittersweet Melody as you wake up after the long Thanksgiving weekend.

Photo Set: Neko Case at the Pageant

Neko Case and her band performed for an appreciative and attentive crowd at the Pageant last Thursday, November 5, 2009. I took some photos. View more after the jump and check out my Flickr site for more concert photography.

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So Much to Be Thankful For in St. Louis

Photo by Sara Finke

Photo by Sara Finke

This Thanksgiving I find myself thankful for the people and the ideas that will hopefully bring us closer to the peace and prosperity we pray for every holiday. There are many people all over the area who have been working tirelessly to make their communities the best that they can be.

Tracy Panus, Media Relations Officer for the St. Louis County Police Department, spoke with me to address current worries about crime rates and the violence between the police and members of the public.

“[It's a] matter of respect going both ways. We’re trying to keep people safe. People are generally good. [There needs to be] a measure of respect that people are trying to go about their business,” said Panus.

According to Officer Panus, communication is a key element to law enforcement. She has spent time interacting with the public as an officer.

“Communication is one of the most important skills we have as police officers,” says Panus. “Most interactions are very brief, and people tend to make quick assessments of the police because of those interactions…that affects whether [they say something when they] see something that they should report. Our communication skills are essential to our job.”

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Overview of the 18th Annual Whitaker St. Louis International Film Festival

Each November throngs of cinema fans gather for the annual conclave that is the St. Louis International Film Festival. The 2009 edition is monumental in scope and diversity.

There is programming for everyone — whether you are a hardcore film buff or a casual fan. In addition to over 100 feature films, shorts and documentaries, SLIFF is offering children’s programming, animation, awards, film criticism, as well as special appearances from Jason Reitman, Connie Stevens and the cast of Mystery Science Theater 3000. Tickets for films and events may be purchased at the screening venue. It is a good idea to purchase tickets in advance, as many films will sell out.

The primary venues for this year include Webster University, the Hi-Pointe Theatre, the St. Louis Art Museum, Tivoli Theatre and Plaza Frontenac.

This past Wednesday, November 4, on my show Juxtaposition on KDHX, I chatted with Chris Clark from Cinema St. Louis. Listen to and download the podcast:

Interview with Chris Clark of Cinema St. Louis

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Here are some programming highlights.

An Education

With a screenplay by author Nick Hornby and a buzz-worthy turn from star on the rise Cary Mulligan, An Education is the perfect opening night selection for the Festival. Belleville’s Peter Sarsgaard stars in this coming of age film set during the onset of swinging Sixties London.

Up In the Air

In case you hadn’t heard, George Clooney spent a lot of time here earlier this year filming this movie about a corporate downsizer whose life is being turned asunder. Director Jason Reitman’s film has generated a strong Oscar buzz on the festival circuit. St. Louisan Kevin Renick is featured on the soundtrack, and you can listen to or download my interview with Kevin and his performance of the song “Up In the Air,” recorded live at KDHX on November 4.

Kevin Renick Interview

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Kevin Renick, “Up In the Air” Live at KDHX

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The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassuss

Heath Ledger died during principle filming. Good thing Jude Law and Johnny Depp stepped in to replace him. This mythical fantasy also features Tom Waits as the Devil. Terry Gilliam always makes interesting films and this one is not to be missed.

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Dum Dum Girls, Hercules and Love Affair and VEGA at CMJ

Went to the CMJ Music Marathon in NYC last week. Here are a few videos I took while there. A little shaky, but the sound isn’t bad.

Dum Dum Girls at Music Hall of Williamsburg:

Hercules and Love Affair at “The Fillmore” at Irving Plaza:

VEGA at the Studio at Webster Hall:

Also, the KDHX Membership Drive begins Thursday, November 5 and lasts through Sunday, November 15. The Beep Beep Boop Boop edition will occur on Wednesday, November 11 from 10 p.m. to Midnight CST. Show your support by calling 314-664-3688 during this time or by visiting KDHX.org to keep community radio alive and well in Saint Louis.