New Media, Old News

February 5, 2009 at 5:09 pm | Posted in Chris Maue, Etcetra, restaurant, Review | 2 Comments
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Soup Man

I noticed a post on an stl blog about an ad for the Soup Man Kitchen, expressing surprise that a relic from the Seinfeld era of celebrity has set up shop in town… the only thing I can say is, having eaten at this place over a year ago, I can vouch that it’s at least that old, if not more… come on blogosphere keep up with the meatspace news!

For those of you who haven’t tried it out, It’s a pretty good place, with decent options (including Vegetarian and Vegan friendly options), and it doesn’t cost too much (the same as any quick lunch downtown). Check it out if you’re in the neighborhood (although I’ll still stick to Sen Thai, or the sandwiches at City Grocers).

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News of Import

April 15, 2008 at 9:08 pm | Posted in Etcetra | Comments Off on News of Import
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itunes friendly cover art for 52nd City\'s sound issueUpon attempting to import two CDs in my music collection into iTunes, “Sound” (compiled) by 52nd City and “In Rainbows” by Radiohead, failed to import album artwork. And while I’m glad that a favorite quarterly publication local to Saint Louis is in the good company of one of the most important bands of our time, it seems kind of a strange coincidence to would pair these albums.

On one hand is the Radiohead album: noted not just for it’s thoughtful musical compositions but also for it’s initial distribution by the band themselves over the internet; now it was being introduced to my iPod even having downloaded a copy already from myself. On the other foot was the issue of 52nd City: a publication I was introduced to because of their internet presence only to be incorporated with their printed issues today. By downloading this physical-media publication on to my iPod, I was completing some cycle of transforming this record originally meant to connect me with the local community and reintroducing it to the subjective listening experience on my own iPod.

Turns out there is supplemental aural media in the online editon of the issue, although no album artwork to be found. Anachronistically there is photography offered online, but nothing to add a cover image to my iPod. Perhaps I should make my own scan, and share it with the community for their own consumption? And if you haven’t already, consider ordering a copy of this back issue for yourself.

STLPunk.com is back?

March 10, 2008 at 1:38 am | Posted in Matthew Hurst | 5 Comments
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stlpunk.jpgIt was the Myspace of it’s day, and every band in town used to post their show dates on it. At one point, it seemed every teenager in town had an account there; today we had trouble finding anyone who had visited the site in the last five years.  STLPunk.com is still up and running we assure you.

Upon a recent inspection of this online hangout, we were surpised to hear that although the website is down, it’s not out.  In a recent update site owner John Mancuso wrote, “The new site is coming along very well and I am really excited about it.”  More recently the site announced an official re-release date of this coming Wednesday, March 12th 2008.

Don’t call it a comeback, it’s been here the whole time.  We tried contacting Mr. Mancuso for further details, but he could only reveal:

“I am unable to answer any questions at this time. I have a meeting on March 31st.  That will determine the level of the sites comes back. I will say that the site is coming back with some big changes (for the better) but that’s all I can say for now.” – John

It would appear that he would rather let this forthcoming revival speak for itself, and we have to admit we’re a little excited. Last we had heard, some entrepreneuring young punkster had bought a competing URL, StLouisPunk.com, and redirected it to their group on The Circuit.  But in our collective memory, local social networking still has one name.  The bands and usernames may have changed, but the game remains the same; the St. Louis Rock’N’Roll scene might be online again in the weeks to come.

Asking Archy

February 28, 2008 at 1:48 am | Posted in Editorial, Matthew Hurst, Video | 2 Comments
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We’re getting really excited for the Lo-Fi Saint Louis Reset Party on March 8th; excited enough to write another post about the night.  But since it would be impolite to repeat ourselves, maybe it’d be more fun to share one of our favorite clips from LoFiSTL.com.  You might call it the official promo for Lo-Fi’s original launch party:

And then we remembered that Lo-Fi has had trouble in the past with off-site coping of their original work.  So we wondered if it was something in the name of the site that might make it hard remember to link back and give them credit, but it has never the less been a successful website.  So we asked the best source for answers on the Internet, Archy, if “does adding STL in your website name make you more successful?”  For some reason Archy didn’t have any answers.

Almost all of the more successful sites that focus on Saint Louis, or at least those without a major media outlet to launch them with, use the prefix “STL” in their title: LoFiSTL.com, InsideSTL.com, STLPunk.com, and even STLToday.com.  Television station KTVI even went so far as to rebrand their website under the moniker myFoxSTL.com.  That isn’t to say that “STL” is synonymous with great (or poor) content, and we can think of a few notable exceptions to this rule, only that websites with a local focus tend to gravitate towards using that prefix in their names to attract their civic minded readers.

This three letter prefix, which is nearly indecipherable to those from outside the metro area, has sufficed where other local references are rarely attempted.  That is to say why not use an area code or that giant monument in the middle of a park instead?  Saint Louis city alone has 78 neighborhoods, which in any other urban area would probably factor into a few website names.  You don’t see an ORDToday.com or UrbanReviewLAX.com from their respective communities, although to be fair the density of those metros might contribute to a greater neighborhood orientation.  Gabe Bullard says that Louisville in Kentucky treats their neighborhoods like we treat our high schools, with the same fierce rivalries; growing up in and around Saint Louis can be a bit disorienting.  I’m not even going to bother with the etymology of making an abbreviation out of an abbreviation.

Highway 61 (revised) is in the process of obtaining one of those .com names, but not without some name change.  Hwy61.com is even a site that sells domain names. 
We were kind of hoping to unveil our own new name and new look around the same time as the Reset Party, and a couple other notable blogs (without STL in their names no less) have made similar transitions lately.  As our site transitions from a blog back into an online magazine again, something as simple as remembering the address and what is going to be important.  So far our name is a big part of forming the identity of what our site has been about, but we wanted to ask our readers first, especially since Archy doesn’t seem to have any answers for us – Just what’s in a name anyway?

STL Mall Santas in Retro-Spective

December 27, 2007 at 3:08 pm | Posted in Lauren Reid, Matthew Hurst | 1 Comment
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Between frantically shopping for friends and family, selling hams to angry mobs of holidaytime carnivores, and extended cases of the sniffles, I’ve decided to include some time for a quick blurb that I always look forward to checking out during the holidays: those fat, red and white threaded squatters who take residence for weeks on end at our local malls and don’t get kicked out by the cops.

Yes, I’m talking about MALL SANTAS. So here’s a little glimpse of what we saw this year (photos added for your own analysis, with more available on FlickR):

West County Mall
A true bibliophile, WestCo’s Santa had a library themed setup, though I doubt his surroundings did much to spur academic minds to desire a little Thoreau or Joyce in an age where Guitar Hero III reigns. Anyways, there was Santa as an intellectual (wire-rimmed glasses to boot), with few takers on that shopping night.

Chesterfield Mall
This setup was becoming more of a second venue for Glamour Shots than a midwest-north pole. Santa was stashed below an escalator to take his requests, and surrounded by more fiberoptics and photo price tags than anything else. Kinda reminded me of a happy sparkly cave that you explore, only to find yourself eaten up by an angry polar bear.

St. Louis Galleria
Sitting on a giant chair bordered by two phallic, gold towers straight out of Little-Mermaid video covers sat our guy in the atrium. Besides the Gallleria’s giant tree, a few surrounding presents, and the obligatory gate and queue setup, there wasn’t much to the scene – in my opinion, how it should be. As for old beardy, this was the most impressive Santa by far – when we walked by, he was balancing an entire army of kids on his lap – two on each leg. Plus, I was eyeing up the big batch of candy canes next to him, supposedly ready to combat the masses of screaming, crying, lap-wetting kiddies that I’m sure were encountered this season.

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