Wednesday, November 26Must...practice... restraint. Ahhhhh, it's too difficult! Tonight at 9 p.m., a scant three hours before Turkey Day, Dr. Zhivegas will deliver its patented brand of disco-funk to all the jive turkeys not bound by family obligations! Whew, it feels better now that it's out. And out is exactly where you should be tonight, specifically at Blueberry Hill (6504 Delmar Boulevard, 314-727-0880). Think about it: You're facing a four-day weekend with your in-laws and their slack-jawed kids, including the one with the computer fetish and the sticky fingers (let's leave it at that, OK?). Seize this opportunity to get out of the house while you can, before you're sick to death of the smell of turkey and the mouth-breathers who will be exhaling it for the next 72 to 96 hours. Have a drink or eighteen, and enjoy the syncopated rhythms of Dr. Z's well-honed stage spectacular. Tickets are seven bucks.
Thursday, November 27After ingesting a gutful of turkey (or Tofurky, for the creature-lovers), all you're looking for is a place to park your glutted carcass so as to get a good head start on that long winter nap. Dude, fight that urge; what you should do is cruise down to the Lemp Neighborhood Art Center (3301 Lemp Avenue, 314-771-1096) and partake in the thoroughly damaged home-electronics project that is Rainbow Random. Featuring Twig Harper (from the death-electro duo Nautical Almanac), Fashion Flesh (of Super Madrigal Brothers) and Rotten Milk (Chicago noisemonger down for the holidays), performing open-circuit surgery on Peter B.'s scratch-built synthesizers, (a.k.a. "shinths"), Rainbow Random bring the scintillating sounds of their analog apocalypse to brighten your Thanksgiving. Did your shiftless cousin get the last piece of pie? Was the turkey too dry? Rainbow Random will provide a healthy outlet for all your pent-up rage. There will be time enough to sleep after you've had your brain scoured and your soul cleansed by the electronic onslaught. Besides, it's not a good idea to go to bed angry. Admission is $5 at the door, and the show starts at 8 p.m.
Friday, November 28Why would a bunch of people band together in a futile effort to try to convince the great horde of shoppers descending on stores today -- the biggest shopping day of the year -- that they should buy nothing at all? The international phenomenon known as Buy Nothing Day is a lefty overture that encourages us happy-go-lucky capitalists to think about what we're doing when we buy stuff and to consider the sweatshop in China that turned out that hot dress, our vast landfills brimming with discarded crap, our individual debt problems and other ideas that cut to the heart of American culture -- in other words, shopping may stimulate the economy, but our annual holiday gift-giving rituals may have some unintended and unkind consequences. The St. Louis Buy-Nothing-Day folks, like their brethren in other cities, run up and down the streets near malls -- such as the Saint Louis Galleria -- dressed as huge credit cards and waving signs. Readers of Adbusters magazine will be familiar with this sort of "culture jamming." Visit www.bndstl.org to learn more.
Saturday, November 29The Equinox Chamber Players can't stop making animal noises. At 2 p.m. they perform Jennifer Shaffer's "Five Frogs" (a work inspired by the leaping and croaking of our slimy friends), along with a piece by Katherine Murdoch and a sneak preview of a world-premiere work, John Lampkin's "Migrations." That last one is a commissioned tune inspired by the migrations of steelhead, salmon, hawks, crustaceans and a sloth (a migrating sloth? Sounds like Grandma's annual 40-mph drive from Cleveland to Miami). The classically minded ECP get busy in the concrete crib of the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis (3750 Washington Avenue). Admission is free, but checking out the museum's current exhibit will cost extra. To hear the full version of "Migrations," hit the architecturally uplifting Christ Church Cathedral (Twelfth at Locust streets) for a free 2:30 p.m. concert tomorrow. Call 314-862-5494 or visit www.equinoxchamberplayers.org for more.
Sunday, November 30So do you think Leonardo da Vinci was watching those maple seeds that fall from the trees like little spinning helicopters when he decided to draw up the world's first design for a man-made whirlybird? Find out at the St. Louis Science Center's Maple Seeds, Helicopters and Wind Tunnels, a workshop on "defying gravity with whirling and twirling." These Family Fun Weekends allow parents and children to work together to make science-related crafts and learn a thing or two. Attend the workshop from 10 to 11:30 a.m., 12:30 to 2 p.m. or 2:30 to 4 p.m. Saturday; or 12:30 to 2 p.m. or 2:30 to 4 p.m. today at 5050 Oakland Avenue. Admission is $15 per adult/child pair. Reservations are welcome at 314-289-4400, or head to www.slsc.org to learn more.
Monday, December 1The Winter Wonderland holiday lights display at Tilles Park (Litszinger at McKnight roads) has been around for so long, parents tell their children tales of the very first one in 1827. Back then, a gang of Native American orphans was forced by area fur trappers to assume awkward positions in forming the shape of an American flag made from twinkling candles. The crying, freezing, motherless children held their poses for as long as they could, desperately trying to shield the flames from a howling wind, while horse-drawn carriages full of laughing Americans clip-clopped along. Or not. Anyway, the St. Louis County Parks' labor-intensive display of millions of tiny lights has been around for eighteen years, and it gets grander each winter. Expect more than 100 scenes and a funky canopy of "moving" lights filling the park's 75 acres. Drive through the display from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. almost-daily through January 4 (and open for carriages only on Saturdays); admission is $8 per vehicle. Call 314-534-1111 to reserve a horse-drawn carriage.