By Ben Westhoff and Sarah Purkrabek
By Steve Brennan
By Joseph Hess
By Allsion Babka
By Kelsey McClure
By RFT Music
By Christian Schaeffer
By Gabriel San Roman
Ah, Valentine's Day! So many ways to revel in the romance, to make with the mush, to abase oneself before the mighty Cupid! Some people will celebrate the occasion by eating expensive dinners in candlelit restaurants, shoveling delicate forkfuls of tiramisu into the waiting maw of Mr. or Ms. Wonderful. Others will plant their sad asses on the couch and watch skankedelic thongbird Christina Aguilera humiliate herself on 20/20. The even-less-fortunate will fuck themselves up on dirt beer and Theraflu and spend those interminable hours before precious oblivion descends making prank phone calls to ex-lovers. A lucky few will decide whether to wage war on Iraq (surely the most romantic gesture of all!).
VD 2003 offers several intriguing alternatives to the aforementioned scenarios. Instead of getting all googly-eyed with that special someone -- or getting all bleary-eyed because that special someone trampled your tender ticker -- why not check out some live music? There's a ridiculous amount of stuff going on Friday, from the Valentine's Day Assfest at Lo, featuring DJ Assault and Bitch Ass Darius, to the controlled chaos of experimental rockers Lozenge and local "singsong prog revolutionaries" Hroom Hroom, who throw down at the Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center. The backpackers will be out in full force, marveling over the organic hip-hop of the Roots at the Pageant, and alt-country addicts will pack Off Broadway, where seminal cowpunk Jason Ringenberg and working-class hero Brian Henneman will get their twang on.
Yeah, the options are almost overwhelming, but for some the decision will be easy. If your idea of the perfect VD celebration involves $1 Jager shots and raunchy minimalist rock & roll, get thee to the Hi-Pointe, horndog, and quick! The Misses, four St. Louis women who like to sing about sex, are tireless advocates of drunken debauchery (their official slogan, adapted from the Dirt Cheap liquor ads, is "The more you drink, the better we sound"). Misses T, Mmm, Robinskinand Sikki Nixx have been playing together for just over a year, and make no mistake: Virtuosas they're not. But they've got an unerring sense of what they can do, and they do it with unusual panache. Love Experts bassist and Vintage Vinyl manager Steve Scariano describes the Misses' sound as "the Cramps meet the Shangri-Las," which just about nails the quartet's pussycentric brand of cock rock. Watching glamorous blond frontwoman Sikki Nixx's perfectly unselfconscious drag-queen-inspired dance moves, you get the feeling that she couldn't be happier, that she's in her element and, goddamn it, she's gonna enjoy herself. Sounding a bit like a cross between Ann Wilson and Pat Benatar, she has the sturdy karaoke-trained pipes of someone who was born to entertain, who's spent hours in front of her bedroom mirror finding the exact right tiger-print leotard to go with her fuchsia feather boa, who genuinely loves to sing about hair dye and foxy young dudes with mullets. For more information on the Misses, see www.stlvbug.org/misses.
True believers will want to prolong the romance all weekend long. We can think of no better way to do this than by attending the Litterthugz prom, "Almost Paradise," which takes place Saturday at VFW Post 3500 (1717 South Big Bend). If your senior prom was anything like Radar Station's (that is, you went with a guy who wasn't really your boyfriend because your real boyfriend, the reluctant chauffeur for the evening, was in his twenties and understandably embarrassed about dancing with a bunch of stupid eighteen-year-olds at the Cheshire Inn), well, you probably don't want to relive the experience exactly (especially the part when your teenage escort spews White Castle vomit all over the chauffeur boyfriend's car). A shitty prom experience is all the more reason to rent that tux, pin on the corsage and try again. It's got to be better this time around, what with the free beer, music from Sounds Familiar entertainment (Kenny Kingston, DJ Animal and assorted Litterthugz), Polaroid prom portraits and the crowning of the first-ever Litterthugz prom king and queen. Mike 2600, one of the event's organizers, is a true prom aficionado: He went to three of them in high school, but apparently that wasn't enough. "It's going to be a true prom atmosphere," he explains. "We're trying to re-create our own original prom experiences. A lot of people are talking about wearing their original prom dresses, too, which should be pretty funny. Hopefully we'll see some good crimped early-'90s hairdos."
The cost is $25 per couple ($15 stag), and the event is all-ages. Advance tickets are highly recommended: www.twelvecarpileup.com/prom.