Holy crap, GWAR's coming to town. GWAR, son; the legendary Scumdogs of the Universe, survivors of a spaceship crash landing, foilers of the nefarious machinations of arch-fiend Dr. Professor Skulhedface and stars of a very special episode of the Jerry Springer Show. Throw on your best slave gear and head to Pop's (1403 Mississippi Avenue, Sauget, Illinois; 618-274-6720) to pay your respects to the mightiest band of space-pirates-that-also-play-raucous-heavy-metal the Cosmos ever spawned. It's not just a concert, it's a bloody, oozing, throbbing WAR, with a kick-ass soundtrack. Tickets are $15, the show starts at 7 p.m., and with any luck, this will be the year that Gor-Gor (or what's left of him) returns to continue his fight with GWAR. Poor li'l dinosaur...
Thursday, May 20
On a typical lunch hour, most people don't get a chance to get away from their cells, er, desks to get something to eat, let alone look at something cool. Make a point to do so today. Take a long lunch and head over to the superb Gallery Urbis Orbis (419 North Tenth Street; 314-406-5778 or www.urbis-orbis.com) between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. for their semi-new show Order + Chaos. Classically trained painter Alan Brunettin (also part-owner of the gallery) and former tagger Daniel Jefferson have collaborated on some of the same canvases for this show, joining their artistic diversity and almost 25-year age difference. Take that spirit of collaboration back to the office with you. Help your coworkers see the value in working together (unless they're teaming up to get you fired because of your extended lunch).
Friday, May 21
At last! An event celebrating 2004 that doesn't rely on buckskin pants and beaver hats. Contemporary Moves 2004 is a dance performance commissioned by Dance St. Louis that features works by area choreographers representing the entire range of the St. Louis dance community. Beckah Voigt, Dr. Alice Bloch, Gen Horiuchi, Dawn Karlovsky and Cecil Slaughter are just some of the people who have created new works in honor of St. Louis. The performance is so grand it's been split into two programs over four days (Program A at 8 p.m. on Thursday, May 20, and Friday, May 21; Program B at 8 p.m. on Saturday, May 22, and Sunday, May 23), so you have to come back twice to experience it all. And with pieces set to music as diverse as Yanni, Miles Davis, Radiohead and Edith Piaf, you just might want to see each program twice. All performances are at the Touhill Performing Arts Center (1 University Boulevard, on the UM-St. Louis campus) and tickets are $25. Call 314-534-6622 or visit www.dancestlouis.org for more information.
Saturday, May 22
Food and flowers go together, well, like food and flowers. The dinner table is improved by both, and is nearly worthless without food (although apparently roses can be quite tasty). And a first date should include the couple (especially if a coupling is desired). The Downtown Kirkwood Junction Special Business District (223 South Kirkwood Road; 314-822-0084) sees the value in the pair and is celebrating them at their Festival of Food and Flowers from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visitors can check out the Chia Band (no joke!), peruse more than 40 stores and restaurants, taste some World's Fair food, and pick up free annual flowers. And to top it all off, there will be a free festival trolley to cart you and your food and flowers around!
Sunday, May 23
Almost every born-and-raised St. Louisan has heard the following exclamation at least once from a screaming parent: "If you don't quit hitting your brother/talking back/pinching the cat, you're going to put me on Arsenal Street!" For the newcomers/well-behaved children, Arsenal Street refers to the address of the old state mental hospital. The beautiful red-brick building is no longer used as such, but you and your crazy friends can climb up in its dome during the Southwest Garden Home Improvement Tour. Only the first 120 people will get to see the panoramic view of the city from up there, but a variety of styles and sizes of homes (including a vintage Airstream trailer!) are on the tour for the faint and late. Tickets range from $6 to $8 and are available in advance at The Bug Store (4474 Shaw Boulevard) and from noon to 4 p.m. at the self-guided tour's starting point (4950 Southwest Avenue; 314-772-6082, or log on to stlouis.missouri.org/southwestgarden).
Monday, May 24
So, you've found the only bassist in town who possesses no Jaco Pastorius pretensions, your guitarist has conceded that not every song needs eight bars of solo, and your drummer...well, it's his van, so you're stuck with him. You have seven songs, an excellent name ("Poncharello's Nightstick") and a girlfriend/manager. Now what do you need? According to the Music Business Keys to Success Workshop, the answer is a "Band Partnership Agreement." Sponsored by the St. Louis Volunteer Lawyers and Accountants for the Arts, this 7-to-9-p.m. seminar at the Regional Arts Commission (6128 Delmar Boulevard; 314-863-6930) will instruct your band how to clarify responsibilities for each member (driver controls the radio on the road), how to simplify decision-making (singer is always right) and how to prevent conflicts (drummer needs to shut the hell up). Attorney Danica L. Mathes and musician Chris Goddard will be on hand to lead this one, and it's only $10 to register at the door.