"One doesn't support this institution because it's a capitalistic commodity, but because it's neat. Because tree houses temporarily offer the kind of fun that an evening with Mom and Dad ain't gonna."

In April 2012, Marmalefsky returned to Pig Slop. After a solid spring and summer lineup, the space had its last official show on Sunday, July 15, with Demon Lover, Kisser, Bug Chaser and Chicago's Mayor Daley. "At one of our last shows someone noted the ages of audience members ranged from teenagers to mid-fortysomethings," says Marmalefsky. "I was always personally just interested in bringing a broad range of people together to have fun, probably get pretty drunk, listen to live music — any kind of music — and dance." With future plans to live and collaborate together, Marmalefsky and Bethany view the end of Pig Slop as just the beginning of a long-lasting creative partnership.

Although Pig Slop's day has come to a close, the space will live on with its newest leader, Krutie Thakkar. Rebranding the space as mushmaus, Thakkar plans to transform the former Pig Slop venue into both a functioning studio and exhibition space for artists to conceptualize and communicate art with a DIY aesthetic.

Pig Slop worked as an incubator for all kids of eccentric art.
Pig Slop worked as an incubator for all kids of eccentric art.

St. Louis' long history with the underground venue has been an integral factor in local DIY culture over the past few decades. Equal in importance to the artists and audiences that fill each space, a DIY venue often has but a short window of time to make its mark. From the anarcho-punk days of the 2008 Space and Centro Sociale to the mélange of freeform experimental sound that defined venues like Spooky Action Palace and Open Lot, these places have harbored innovation, creativity and community among music lovers who dare to dig deeper.

"It was an art-damaged antidote, a place where accepted rules could be questioned with exuberance, because this was a space where its sponsors lived, ate, showered and slept," says Stegman of Pig Slop. "If they could do it and still dance at two in the morning, then the rigidity of our workaday lives could be questioned." 

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