Building a Better Blog

Now with new venues! New shows! New beefs!

In recent weeks, a few people around town have asked me where my column has been. For starters, no, I'm not being phased out, nor am I going anywhere.

But in the last month or so, I've been throwing my attention and energy toward reporting for, posting on and building up our music blog — which is also named A to Z. (It's quite handy to have such cool initials — thanks, Mom and Dad!) Thanks to a few well-timed posts and rabid commenters, we've built up quite an audience, something that makes me extremely happy.

In fact, the flexibility I now have to post multimedia content along with news — and especially the instantaneous nature of blogging — fits in quite well with the way music journalism is heading and the way I'm now used to consuming music and new bands. In the coming months, I'm hoping to shore up our multimedia content while continuing to post about the widest variety of events, happenings and shows going on around town.

The URL is blogs.riverfronttimes.com/atoz; below is a sampling of information I reported first online.

New venues When it rains, it pours: After several years of venues closing, the coming months will see several new clubs opening around the city. One — called the Bluebird — has already opened at 2706 Olive Street, with shows scheduled this weekend featuring both locals (Jumbling Towers, Berlin Whale, Say Panther) and national touring acts (Ladybug Transistor, Bound Stems, Bears, Undoing of David Wright). For more information, see bluebirdstl.com.

The Old Rock House St. Louis (1140 Seventh Street; oldrockhousestl.com), Camp Concentration and the Cavern (the latter two basement venues on Cherokee Street) are also booking bands now, as is the comfort-food joint Iron Barley (5510 Virginia Avenue).

Other venues scheduled to open in the fall include 2 Cents Plain (1114 Olive Street), a coffeehouse/microbrewery/performance space called Foam (Cherokee Street) and a few others Im in the process of sussing out.

New hip-hop nights Lyfestile is behind a new Wednesday hip-hop night at the Ethiopian restaurant Queen of Sheba (6665 Olive Boulevard, University City), while DJ Trackstar is collaborating with Finsta and Tech Supreme on Integrity, a Saturday night open-mic/performance/beat-battle at Blueberry Hill.

Hip-hop beef Young rap upstart Huey and scene stalwart Nelly are embroiled in a war of words involving the latters alleged refusal to appear on the formers debut CD, The Notebook. (Dis tracks were exchanged.) The Nelly vs. Huey saga continued in front of Vintage Vinyl a few weeks ago, when members of the New St. Louis — a movement found by DJ Bishop of Hitmenn DJs — rallied for its cause and filmed the event for YouTube.

Great new Web sites Bill Streeter is the founder of a social-networking/event/music site The Circuit, which is found at http://lofistl.ning.com. The sites genius is in its seamless integration of technological bells and whistles. Message boards, sound files, podcasts, videos, comments, friends lists, personal profiles, band profiles, groups, venues, show information — all of them are in one easy-to-use user homepage thats well-designed and easy to navigate.

Big shows coming to town Adam Franklin of Swervedriver (The Bluebird, October 13), Ted Leo and the Pharmacists (The Gargoyle, October 10), Bloc Party (The Pageant, September 14), Of Montreal (The Pageant, November 19). — Annie Zaleski In recent weeks, a few people around town have asked me where my column has been. For starters, no, I'm not being phased out, nor am I going anywhere.

But in the last month or so, I've been throwing my attention and energy toward reporting for, posting on and building up our music blog — which is also named A to Z. (It's quite handy to have such cool initials — thanks, Mom and Dad!) Thanks to a few well-timed posts and rabid commenters, we've built up quite an audience, something that makes me extremely happy.

In fact, the flexibility I now have to post multimedia content along with news — and especially the instantaneous nature of blogging — fits in quite well with the way music journalism is heading and the way I'm now used to consuming music and new bands. In the coming months, I'm hoping to shore up our multimedia content while continuing to post about the widest variety of events, happenings and shows going on around town.

The URL is blogs.riverfronttimes.com/atoz; below is a sampling of information I reported first online.

New venues When it rains, it pours: After several years of venues closing, the coming months will see several new clubs opening around the city. One — called the Bluebird — has already opened at 2706 Olive Street, with shows scheduled this weekend featuring both locals (Jumbling Towers, Berlin Whale, Say Panther) and national touring acts (Ladybug Transistor, Bound Stems, Bears, Undoing of David Wright). For more information, see bluebirdstl.com.

The Old Rock House St. Louis (1140 Seventh Street; oldrockhousestl.com), Camp Concentration and the Cavern (the latter two basement venues on Cherokee Street) are also booking bands now, as is the comfort-food joint Iron Barley (5510 Virginia Avenue).

Other venues scheduled to open in the fall include 2 Cents Plain (1114 Olive Street), a coffeehouse/microbrewery/performance space called Foam (Cherokee Street) and a few others Im in the process of sussing out.

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