Sun Ra said, "Space is the place," and Mr. Ra was correct; space is indeed the place -- but just for hanging out while listening to, or making, music. Star Wars aside, the idea of junking up space with a bunch of floating weapons platforms and some form of interplanetary border patrol would totally harsh the mellow of Earth's uppermost atmosphere. How are the aliens going to probe our hillbillies if we throw up an armored cordon? Arsenal of Hypocrisy: The Space Program and the Military Industrial Complex, a video screening for Green Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Genesis House (6018 Delmar Boulevard, 314-727-8554; free), exposes the dangers of projecting the arms race into space. It's followed by an open discussion on the effects of increasing militarization. Someone assemble George Clinton and the P-Funk All Stars: We need to keep space free for the Nation of Groove.
Thursday, March 4
Does it bother anyone else that the movie Car Wash was written by Joel Schumacher, the same man who wrote and directed St. Elmo's Fire? No? Despite what you may think of Schumacher's post-Car Wash work (he directed INXS videos, people!), his story of a particularly crazy day at an LA car wash remains a classic disco comedy. Of course, if you figure out a way to get the Pointer Sisters, Richard Pryor and George Carlin into the same film, most of the work is already done for you. Car Wash, which screened last night (Wednesday) at Beatnik Bob's in the City Museum, gets an encore showing at Webster University's Moore Auditorium (470 East Lockwood Avenue, 314-968-7128) at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are a low $4, and unlike Beatnik Bob's permissive policies, there will be no smoking or drinking at this show. But you know if they were showing the Snoop Dogg remake, they'd have to let you smoke something.
Friday, March 5
The last few times Rex Hobart and the Misery Boys visited St. Louis, a heaping helping of Rex's kin made the long drive up from St. James to enjoy the show. While this is nice for Rex on a personal level, it's also great for his legions of fans, because the showman in Rex makes him and his Boys play extra sweet when Moms Hobart is in the crowd. Just two winters past, at Frederick's Music Lounge (4454 Chippewa Street, 314-351-5711), after a heartbreaking version of "Mother of a Member of the Band," the ever-gallant Fred Friction and Mrs. Hobart tripped the light fantastic while the band honky-tonked to wild applause. It was one of those moments that made you glad you were alive and also made you appreciate your own mother. Show up at 8 p.m., pay your cover ($7) and get your heart broke and put back together better than before. And be sure to thank Mrs. Hobart for all her fine mothering on your way out the door.
Saturday, March 6
Man, disco totally sucked. But the clothes, well, that's something else entirely. Place any guy in a white suit, or even just a pair of flares, and nine times out of ten, he'll do that Travolta "point at the floor, point at the ceiling" move that he thinks is so dumb it's cool. Ladies, take advantage of your man's misplaced sense of irony, and make him take you dancing. Studio 54 at Velvet (1301 Washington Avenue, 314-241-2997) is Velvet's re-creation of the famed NYC nightclub, and they're going all out. Mike Gow will be spinning with live female vocalists, they're bringing in hot drag queens, and there's a scheduled snowfall to cool things down (see, that's a li'l in-joke if you're familiar with the story of Studio 54). Even better, if you "dress the part" you'll get half off the $10 admission. Put that arm candy of yours in the white suit, and then unleash his awesome moves on an unsuspecting populace. It beats watching SNL in his parents' basement again.
Sunday, March 7
Although people familiar with the career of Josephine Baker might be a little surprised to see her life story played out in a church (not a traditional locale for fan-dancing antics), there's no denying Baker's life makes for compelling drama. The St. Louis Black Repertory Company's production of If an Orchid Could Sizzle (at 613 North Garrison Avenue at 5 p.m.) presents Baker (portrayed by Linda Kennedy) looking back on the last 50 years of her life: Her rise from burlesque entertainer to superstar, her public feud with publisher Walter Winchell and her eventual exile from the United States play out against the backdrop of her lifelong struggle for acceptance as an African-American in white America. This production of Orchid is a benefit for the Washington Metropolitan A.M.E. Zion Church and its building-repair fund. Tickets are $12 for students and seniors, $20 for general admission and $100 for VIP performance with pre-reception. Call 314-534-3810 for more info.
Monday, March 8
In the dim and faraway days of broadcast news' infancy, Edward R. Murrow was The Man. His dramatic delivery and unwavering moral compass became the template for a generation of talking heads. Perhaps the most important moment of his career came on March 9, 1954, when he challenged Senator Joseph McCarthy's "Red Scare" tactics simply by broadcasting excerpts and images from McCarthy's previous speeches, thereby trapping the senator in his own contradictions and falsehoods. New York Times television critic Jack Gould wrote that this episode of Murrow's See It Now program may be remembered as "the week that broadcasting recaptured its soul." (What would Gould make of Geraldo?) The Center for the Humanities at the University of Missouri-St. Louis commemorates the 50th anniversary (minus one day) of Murrow's broadcast with "Murrow and McCarthy: The Broadcasting Landmark Revisited," a lecture by Michael Murray. The free lecture is part of the Monday Noon Series, held at 12:15 p.m. in room 229 of the J.C. Penney Conference Center (8001 Natural Bridge Road, 314-516-5699). Bring a lunch if you like.