March 14, 2008 at 10:31 am | Posted in blogs, Matthew Hurst, meta, Rants | 22 Comments
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Highway 61 stands in solidarity with our fellow Midwest bloggers.  At first we were flattered to be be kept in the good company of so many other talented writers on BlogNetNews, but after repeated attempts of our own to contact the website administrator, we understand the frustration of our comrads.  When it comes to making money by borrowing the work of others without their permission (or reimbursement), “this just ain’t right“.

So what exactly went wrong?  Rebecca has one of the best explanations I’ve read:

“The site is using bloggers to make advertising revenue for itself. The site is taking the content of blogs without their authors’ consent, permission, or even awareness. The site is refusing to acknowledge the many requests by bloggers to have their blogs removed from the site. The site is using people’s registered trademarks against their will. The site is acting under the pretense that it creates community, when all it actually does is use bloggers in order to make a buck for itself. Heads up, Mastio and crew: angry bloggers united make a formidable foe indeed.”

Kids, there’s nothing more cool than being acknowledged by someone you like, but If someone uses your blog in a way or in place that makes you feel uncomfortable, “That’s NO GOOD.” It’s your body (of work), no one has the right to use it unless you want them to.  So what do you do?  First you say “NO!”, then you get out of there.


One more for the road

February 28, 2008 at 1:32 pm | Posted in Matthew Hurst, Rants | Comments Off on One more for the road
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Earlier this week I tried to sum up all those groups that meet up in watering holes around town, if only so that I wouldn’t bore regular readers with drink specials they wouldn’t like.  I find it remarkable that so many groups of professionals choose to meet around bars, but I don’t like repeating myself.  I promised myself I wouldn’t write about it again any time soon.

So when I found this flyer, for a Guitar Hero Tournament taking place tonight, I decided to break my own moral expectations.  It turns out nothing on the front or back of this flyer indicates that you should drink at all.  And with the exclusion of a registration fee and “no cover charge” we get the impression that adults under the legal drinking age may indeed be allowed entry and participation.  Although this neatly does coincide with their happy hour.

Although public Guitar Hero competitions are pretty common these days, this free competition is unusually exciting because the winner will receive a Free Xbox 360, and the best performance will garner a copy of Guitar Hero 3 and Remote.  Those prizes are probably being put forth by the event’s sponsor, which is new to me (so expect a full review of the site soon).  Those who wish to give this off campus competition a shot can do so  at Lucas Park Grille on Thursday night February 28th from 9pm until (near) the break of dawn at 3am

“Canceled due to Inclement Weather”

February 21, 2008 at 3:24 pm | Posted in Environment, Matthew Hurst, Rants, Webster Film Series, Winter | 5 Comments
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Five words you’ve probably heard more than once today, Or the post that might otherwise be titled “SNOW DAY!”  Of course one of the hurdles in becoming a grown-up person is getting past the fact that something so beautiful can also be so deadly (just ask Lauren Reid).  When you’re a little kid cancellations seem more like setting time aside for fun, instead of the logical protection of human lives that it actually represents.  Still, if you can figure out how to get to Art Hill alive, we can’t recommend it enough.

That is provided you have a great deal of newfound time on your hands, like students from these groups:

  • Dewey Decimal Drinks is being canceled tonight “due to the scary icy weather!”.  Curious Feet kindly requests you to “Please stay home, folks!” and promises to post more information about any replacement dates on that blog.
  • Webster University already closed their doors at 12pm, effective for their the main campus, the Old Post Office, WingHaven, WestPort, Scott AFB, IL and the Community Music School of Webster University.  And they have a cool SMS alerts system :P .
  • Also closed as a result is the Webster Film Series, who were scheduled to screen “The Magic Flute” and say they will try to reschedule the screening at a later date.  They would like you to consider coming to another screening of two different films on Friday and Saturday respectively.
  • Night classes have been canceled for both Sanford Brown College schools and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville campus.
  • Chippewa Chapel @ Off Broadway has been cancled tonight.  Steve Pohlman thinks that “The weather outside is frightful…so stay home tonite!”, but also extends this invitation: “Off Broadway loves you…see you Friday for Jon Hardy.”
  • University of Missouri St. Louis campus classes have been canceled for Thursday.
  • Classes at Meramac Community College, St. Louis Community College, East Central College, have been canceled.
  • Maryville University has been closed all day.  They also have one of those fancy Text Message alert systems.  Missouri Baptist University, which is practically next door, has also decided to cancel.
  • For everyone who’s inner “mom” makes you run to the store when it snows to stock up on milk and bread, Local Harvest Grocery is making the most of it’s day old bread with a one-day sale on Friday February 22nd.  According to their website:

    Happy Snow Day, Everyone! To celebrate the day, we are inviting all of you in the neighborhood to come by and take advantage of some fresh baked treats and some great deals.

    They’ll stay open from 8am to 7pm with deals on coffee, pizza, and some fresh loaves of bread.

  • Fontbonne University has a cool website, which prominently displays their closing with a neat illustration.  But nearby…
  • Washington University bucks the trend and REMAINS OPEN on Thursday February 21st.  If anyone shows up for their classes is an entirely another question.  They must have a lot of data to go over still.

We’ll try our best to keep you updated on any relevant closings we hear about, or else please check MyFoxSTL for a more comprehensive list of schools and organizations “canceled due to inclement weather”.

Diggnation STL

February 21, 2008 at 3:07 am | Posted in Events, Matthew Hurst, Rants, Video | 1 Comment
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It was the kind of event where individuals crawl out of the woodwork from all around, only to look at each other in amazement that so many other people could share the same interests.  This last Wednesday night, the Revision3 podcast Diggnation came to tape an episode in front a a live audience at the Moulin in Saint Louis, Missouri.  That audience, which I can only estimate as around 3000+ (or according to Digg probably everyone who voted for Ron Paul), gathered to celebrate the value of shared links that have evolved into a social culture.  Watch for yourself as Saint Louis’ most devoted Digg enthusiasts (and curious folk like myself) devolve into a sort of nerdcore fraternity chanting “Diggnation, Diggnation” following their deafening cheers (nearly 1 minute long by my measure):

My favorite moment is around 1:40 into the video when fans cheer alternately for Kevin as he raises his Apple laptop and then for Alex as he raises his PC laptop.  This live taping, sponsored and most likely arranged by local favorites Anheuser-Busch (who reminded our hosts to “drink responsibly”), was frequently interrupted by attending fans as exemplified in the above video clip.  Fortunately such taping in front of a live audience will be subject to lots of editing, and although the show will last only around 30 minutes the taping lasted nearly three times that long, so I thought it might be interesting to show some of the impromptu moments that will probably become outtakes.

Here the hosts lead the crowd to cheer for later editing into the episode:  

Some fans procured some free cans of AB’s newest beverage, an energy drink, upon the invitation of the hosts.

Our hosts wrap up their show, finally sucumbing to the crowd’s demands to chug their beers in defiance of AB’s wishes to “drink responsibly” at the 21+ only event:

Not that this was a production was anything less than professional; the techs made a point to show two LCD projected screens on either side of the stage showing live footage being captured and the material that will be edited in later using the same software the show is likely edited in.  There was a palpable sense of validation carrying the spirit of the crowd, their vocal enthusiasm merely some expression that their otherwise solitary activities has met some social acceptability in the presence of others, devolving into the a throng of cheers.  So yes, it was fun.  I can Digg.

Let’s Have Bizarre Celebrations

November 21, 2007 at 12:15 am | Posted in Concert, Matthew Hurst, music, Rants, the loop, Video | 2 Comments
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Of Montreal playing in The PageanNormally when I review a concert I try to include a few photos, or even a short video clip I managed to snag (without having my camera confiscated), but for a show last Monday night I found myself too engrossed dancing along to a band playing for visual documentation.  I was trapped in the aural bliss of celebrated pop act Of Montreal at The Pageant, a show I had meant to write about but was merely left included among our Upcoming events page.  So far, I’m sad to say, visual accompanyment hasn’t shown up there, although it’s easily at the behest of my fellow Flickrites and citizen journalists to fill this void.  Aural accompaniment was the real draw, the one luring us out on a school night of the 1st degree to bask in the radient bliss of “The Sunlandic Twins”, and more recently the irrational exuberence of “Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?”

The audience seemed unnaturally enthusiatic in comparison to a more typically subdued crowd for what could be commonly charecterized as an indie pop gathering, frequently jumping for joy and even cheering jubilantly for the sound check guy. The audience seemed dense around the bar and pit, although not quite a sell out.  As for any sell outs besides at the box office, let’s pretend they don’t exist.

Taco-Flavored Kisses

September 19, 2007 at 12:44 am | Posted in Matthew Hurst, Rants | 4 Comments

Saint Louis is urban oasis, filled with the trappings of city living, including street vendors.  We have Hot Dog stands and Ice Cream trucks. But what about Taco Trucks?

After listening to a story about the Taco Truck culture of scenic Oakland today, I have to wonder where in our auto-centric city exists these mobile meal machines?  I see our working Mexican-American population everyday, am an active patron of any number of wonderful mexican cuisine restaurants in town, and yet I yearn for the roving bean burrito.  Growing up in semi-rural Missouri I’ve only recently grown accustomed to meals on wheels urban culture (to say nothing of the drive-thru), so you’d think in a car centric town like this might have such a nomadic behemoth bevy of cheap, delicious food. Even New Orleans has received an influx of nature’s sandwiches delivered to the places people work  as of late.

How long must we live without the trappings of a multi-cultural environment invade our neighborhoods?  Yes, I love the almighty taco, nature’s own encasing of all that is delectable (or just vegetarian friendly).  Maybe they haven’t arrived in my neighborhood just yet.  Then again, I hear Ice Cream trucks rove South Broadway at night

Puny Muny

September 4, 2007 at 1:02 pm | Posted in Matthew Hurst, Rants, Webster University | Comments Off on Puny Muny

At risk of leaving the impression on our readers as institutionally centric, this open mic night at Webster University is also open to the public at large. Now starting its third season as a forum for oral expository and musical expressions, F1rst Fridays is quickly becoming a tradition.

Where: Outside Emerson Library @ Webster University, 101 Edgar Road in Webster Groves, Missouri
When: 8pm on Friday, September 7th 2007
Who: Poets, emcees, musicians, prophets, and the general public
Why: Because we have something to say.  Do you?

Civic Pride (Governor’s Cup)

September 2, 2007 at 11:35 am | Posted in blogs, contest, Matthew Hurst, Rants | 2 Comments

Gloating is not one of my talents, nor is it something I look well upon, but these circumstances negate those inhibitions. You might remember earlier last week when our blog, brimming with civic pride as it was, challenged Kansas City area blogger Chimpotle over the Gorvernor’s Cup? Following the Rams’ victory over our AFC cross-state counterparts the Chiefs, Chimpotle was obligated to fulfill his end of our bet by changing his color scheme to blue and gold.

Of course, we didn’t ask him do honor the bet this well. Complete with a post acknowledging our moral victory, our KC counterpart has decked out with site with a new logo featuring a monkey and his beloved football. We suggest you check out his handiwork today, but if not we’ve saved a couple screen caps for when his theme changes back (although I should mention that this looks better). Of course, had we lost the bet we’d be wearing Cardinals Cheifs red (in the same sense we’re “Royal retro powder blue” as is).

It should be mentioned that nary a blogger among us can be considered a pro sports fan, and yet our civic pride that drove this bet can be attested to rather well. According to, a site that tracks regional sport rivalries and the bets exchanged between elected officials, neither Kansas City’s or St. Louis’ mayors placed bets on this year’s Governor’s Cup game (insert Special Session joke here). Instead that site had to settle on writing up about our little wager this weekend, all of which (I needn’t remind you) our winnings will be collected. And as it turns out, I’m not o bad about this gloating thing after all :P

Cue theme music

August 29, 2007 at 2:34 pm | Posted in KWMU, Matthew Hurst, music, Rants | 1 Comment

I need to admit that I am a public radio junkie.  I have a radio in nearly every room of my home, usually pretuned to one of two local stations.  My name in Matt Hurst, and I am addicted to NPR.

Unfortunately for me, Saint Louis has the public radio affiliate equivalent of a cigarette company; KWMU is as iconic as it is addictive.  And while it may have lost it’s Marlboro Man in meteorologist Ben Abell, St. Louis on the Air remains an old habit of mine – a recent discussion of the CWE’s history is worth a listen.  But like so many otherwise interested citizens, I’m usually at work when the local show goes on the air (from 11am-noon on weekdays). 

So I’ve been using the show’s podcast to make my commute a little more civically engaging.  NPR uses their podcasts for nearly all their shows, but this week’s Fresh Air (with Terri Gross) might be worth a download; they’ll be interviewing hard rock bands, and thusly fulfilling Patton Oswald’s dream of making NPR sound more like the rebellious rocking intros of conservative talk radio.  As for more public radio recommendations, I can’t rule it out…

Previously: From the Department of Meteorology, Update on Ben Abell, and The Listening (Tap) Room.

Film-Geek Fridays: film student edition

August 24, 2007 at 4:19 pm | Posted in Film Student Fridays, Matthew Hurst, Rants | 3 Comments

Every week I’ve been collecting a short list of original films and screenings taking place around the Saint Louis area, so that film geeks like myself have a quick reference including directions and descriptions.  I’ve even written them on vacation.  Writing and hyperlinking a Film Geek Fridays post can take anywhere from 1 to 3 hours any given week.  But people read it, which means I’m helping.  Except the posts are usually read after the weekend they cover.  This is probably because fewer people surf on weekends, preferring to get out (which is what I’m trying to encourage).

So last week I decided to take a break.  And while I’m hopeful I’ll help someone find something they’d like to watch this weekend, I don’t think this feature will return.  If anything this feature may re-surface as a mid-week feature, so that people might actually make plans involving film.  Your feedback can/will help determine what that looks like, so if you regularly read this feature Please leave a comment.

One more Film-Geek Friday after the Bump.

Continue Reading Film-Geek Fridays: film student edition…

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