Archive for January, 2008

RIP Streetside Records

Monday, January 14th, 2008


Ah, the spring semester is upon us, and slowly into St. Louis the WashU student body trickles in. Hopefully fresh faced for the new semester, maybe they’ll notice the empty storefront on the Loop that was once Streetside Records. Only an address sign, the graffiti wall, and memories remain.

Most likely they won’t.

Well, at least we’ll have Chipotle.

More on that later, I should introduce myself. My call on the radio is DJ Meatface, and I do a house/techno/electronic show on sundays, 4-5. In real life, I’m Brian Mita, the new Electronic Music Director at KWUR. We haven’t had one for a bit, and I’m pretty damned excited to be given this position, because I really enjoy a lot of electronic music; House, Techno and all the derivatives and crossovers in between. Being from Chicago, the birthplace of house music, really helped that. I originally went to WashU waaay back in ’96, dropped out after a few years, and now I’m back finishing up the sculpture degree.

Back to Streetside; yes, it is gone. Not that I missed it, I haven’t stepped foot in it since 2000. It was bought by Trans World some years ago, and it really wasn’t anything special since then. I do remember back when I first went here, that three music stores thrived on the Loop, Vintage, Streetside, and Deep Grooves (catered to DJ’s). It was a different neighborhood then, a little less gentrified, maybe a little seedier, but it seems these days, the unique “hip” neighborhoods are getting “nicer.” If you’re from Chicago, look at Clark and Belmont 10 years ago, and the Six Corners area 10 years ago, compared to today. Is that happening here on Delmar? Does it really matter?

No, it probably doesn’t, because neighborhoods change, and hopefully for the better. With cd sales dropping 50% and music downloads skyrocketing in 2007, the writing is on the wall for most music stores, as it was for travel agencies when the internet first hit. Still, Streetside will be missed as a Loop icon.

Here’s an article about it at PlayBackSTL, with a lot of personal commentary:
http://www.playbackstl.com/content/view/6980/231/

And here’s a couple of articles about the changing face of the Loop:
http://www.riverfronttimes.com/2007-04-25/news/loop-chained/full
http://blogs.riverfronttimes.com/stlog/2007/03/streetside_out_restaurants_in.php

and if you didn’t hear about the CD dying, pay your respects here.
http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5jGK2CZZu1nEJtZekM7K39jfiLhWAD8TUP10O0

Hope the semester goes well!
Brian

Band to Watch: Cut Off Your Hands

Saturday, January 12th, 2008

Anyone can tell you that Black Kids are going to be huge in 2008. Everyone has told you that Santogold will be as well known as Barack Obama. But one band that might sneak up on people this year is Cut Off Your Hands. They’ve been around in New Zealand for a couple years now, and finally released their debut EP, Shaky Hands, in the US last year. The EP is 6 songs of twitchy, catchy, glorious post-punk in the vein of Gang of Four (obviously, my New Year’s resolution was not to make grandiose comparisons). What separates Cut Off Your Hands from a band like Radio 4 is that instead of trying to do their best Gang of Four imitation, they really carve out their own niche, and make something that is uniquely theirs. Personally, I like all the “oh oh”s in the songs – can’t get enough of it. They released another EP, Blue on Blue, last year in New Zealand, and recently put out a new single. You can check out an MP3 of my favorite song off Shaky Hands “You and I” here (thanks SXSW!).

Odds and ends

Friday, January 11th, 2008

From Dividing By Zero, via RFT: The New Pornographers (along with Neko Case) and Okkervil River will be playing at the Pageant on April 19. This may become the most anticipated non-KWUR Week show of the semester (good thing you don’t have to choose, because KWUR Week will blow this out of the water). Check out the updated concert calendar more listings.

From RFT, via the Ladue News: Will “not Win” Butler of Arcade Fire got married – at Holmes Lounge! The next time you get a carvery wrap, remember – Arcade Fire was there. Here’s a question: if there was an Arcade Fire sandwich (like the celebrity sandwiches in delis), what would be on it? For some reason, I can see it being drenched in mayo.

It’s nothing compared to Pete Doherty’s page…

Tuesday, January 8th, 2008

Before the Wikipedia police showed up, this is what Shins keyboardist/ex-girlfriend beater Marty Crandall’s Wikipedia page looked like:

(courtesy of http://ultragrrrl.blogspot.com/2008/01/shins-in-troubs.html)

José González at Graham Chapel?

Monday, January 7th, 2008

I was looking at José González’s recently announced tour dates, and apparently, he’s playing Graham Chapel at Washington University of March 19th. Does anyone know what the story is with this? The Gargoyle website has nothing to say about it, and I’ve never really heard of a musician like this playing in Graham Chapel. Any info would be greatly appreciated.