Arts & Entertainment

  • Best Local Artist

    Kim Humphries

    You may not even realize that you know Kim Humphries. He's the "kh" who posts all the "calls for artists" on the Critical Mass listserv. He's also president of Critical Mass itself, the organization that promotes art and artists in St. Louis. And he's a project manager at Arts in Transit, working to bring more public art to the region.… More >>
  • Best Music Festival

    River Splash

    In case you didn't notice, 2004 is a big anniversary year around here, what with Lewis, Clark and the World's Fair ice cream cone and all. And if there's one thing St. Louisans like to do, it's commemorate an occasion with music. Case in point, St. Louis 2004's River Splash concert series on the Arch grounds. This six-week summer festival,… More >>
  • Best Local Writer

    Qiu Xiaolong

    Did you know a poetry-loving Chinese detective walks among us? Well, not really. But we do rub elbows with the creator of fictional sleuth Chen Cao: Qiu Xiaolong. The Shanghai native came to Mound City in 1988 on a Ford Foundation grant to study at Washington University. He's been here ever since, writing, translating and teaching. So far Qiu has… More >>
  • Best Local Single of the Past 12 Months

    "Holidae In"

    So many throwdowns to choose from, in this, the most exciting St. Louis musical moment in at least 40 years. In 2003 and '04, Chingy, J-Kwon, Murphy Lee and (of course) Nelly bombarded the charts. The resulting coverage did wonders for St. Louis' national image, with Rolling Stone, The New Yorker, Billboard and others coming to the local party. The… More >>
  • Best Local Poet

    Carl Phillips

    An associate professor in English and African and Afro-American Studies at Washington University, Carl Phillips is the author of four books of poetry. The latest, The Rest of Love, published this year, follows in the footsteps of Phillips' previous (multiple award-nominated) work, melding the rhythms of classical poetry with the sensibility of a modern African-American man. Unlike too many of… More >>
  • Best Local Album of the Past 12 Months


    Cast away your aspersions: Julia Sets have arrived. They're veterans of the St. Louis scene, playing their Midwestern brand of garage rock to small, devoted crowds. But it wasn't until the release of Yes-Wave that they truly cemented their position as one of the more formidable local rock bands. They did it quite simply, too, with resonant guitar and vocals… More >>
  • Best Arts Organization

    Prison Performing Arts

    Go ahead, make the requisite joke about the "captive audience." Then acknowledge the fact that prison arts and education programs cut recividism rates. And that nevertheless, state and federal governments keep cutting funding for arts and education in prisons. Fourteen years ago, Agnes Wilcox began an arts-outreach program to St. Louis prisons and juvenile-detention facilities. Nowadays, as artistic director of… More >>
  • Best Concert of the Past 12 Months

    The Dresden Dolls at Frederick's Music Lounge

    If you're a fan of onstage theatrics, these days you're pretty much limited to the Flaming Lips and a bunch of bands that hop around wildly in the hope that it'll pass for bombast. But those lucky souls who were at Frederick's Music Lounge this past March to catch Boston's Dresden Dolls saw more than a concert. They saw a… More >>
  • Best Local Web Site

    OK! OK! Needlers, nitpickers and technophiles are correct: isn't technically a Web site; it's a blog. Score one for the digerati. But quibbles aside, the question becomes academic if what you're really after is the city's best round-up of local and regional politics. From Mound City to Chicago, the archpundit covers it all, seasoned -- it is a blog,… More >>
  • Best Local Act Gone National

    Gretchen Wilson

    Where's Pocahontas, Illinois? One answer is, "Thirty-odd miles south of St. Louis." Another answer -- and one you're more likely to hear these days -- is, "That's where Gretchen Wilson's from." The 31-year-old singer raced to the tippy-top of the country charts this past spring like a squirrel up an oak tree, powered by the raw jam "Redneck Woman." With… More >>
  • Best Strip Joint


    Sure, there are classier joints with glossier women and more refined amenities, but are you looking for "naughty" or "nice" when selecting a strip club? If you answered "naughty" -- and if you're honest with yourself, that's what you answered -- then there's no finer place in the land than Roxy's to plunk down your hard-earned $1 bills. Here it's… More >>
  • Best Appearance on a Hollywood Soundtrack


    There's only one moment in the dour Christmas fable Bad Santa better than the one that comes when a Santa-garbed Billy Bob Thornton tells a small child that he (Thornton) is sick because he "loved a woman who wasn't clean." The even-better moment occurs when the closing credits roll to the tune of "Seasons Freaklings," courtesy of the recently reunited… More >>
  • Best Speaker Series

    Washington University Assembly Series

    Sure, Washington University has the inside edge for lining up guest lecturers. Wash. U. is a well-endowed institution with a sterling academic reputation in the liberal arts. You expect them to lure your former secretaries of Housing and Urban Development (Andrew Cuomo), your environmental defenders (Robert F. Kennedy Jr.), your hip scientists (Dr. Charles Falco). And sure enough, all of… More >>
  • Third Best Band Name

    Camp Climax for Girls

    Camp Climax for Girls… More >>
  • Best Reading Series

    Left Bank Books

    Bibliophiles know there's no real substitute for experiencing an author reading his or her own work. Passages that are well-loved and familiar are recast when delivered in the voice of the person who wrought them. Accents and pauses change, the timing of the sentences alters slightly from your own reading, and the words are imbued with a special life that… More >>
  • Best New Artist

    Rough Shop

    They trade instruments onstage like eager kids swapping baseball cards, write expansive folk-rock songs called "Destination Anywhere" and "I Wonder What It Means" and, at times, harmonize with the evocative happenstance of the only band they resemble: The Band. The core of Rough Shop derives from the defunct One Fell Swoop, but the addition of Anne Tkach (whose voice, barely… More >>
  • Best Hair on a Local TV Personality (Male)

    Glenn Zimmerman

    After hitting snooze for an hour on a Monday morning, the last thing anyone wants to do is actually get up and face the workweek. How's a stressed St. Louisan to cope? Well, turning on the morning news on KTVI-TV (Channel 2) is always helpful. You can find out about traffic, get some local and national news updates and, most… More >>
  • Best Producers

    The TrackBoyz

    Boom! Thwap! Ba-boom thwap! J-Kwon's "Tipsy" was everywhere this year, from basement parties to Busch Stadium, and it all owed to the minimalist inspiration of the TrackBoyz. The beat is raw and propulsive -- "We Will Rock You" with crunk in the trunk. Few songs of 2004, or any other year, could be identified and cranked up so quickly. While… More >>
  • Best Hair on a Local TV Personality (Female)

    Vickie Newton

    Vickie Newton is no bubble-headed bleached blonde. But if she ever decides to ditch Larry Conners as co-anchor of KMOV-TV (Channel 4)'s evening newscast, she could star in one of Herbal Essence's erotic shampoo commercials. Vickie's sleek, black hair is gorgeous, bouncy and sexy. Her thick locks frame her elegant face then playfully flip upward on her shoulders. Vickie's got… More >>
  • Best Rock Band

    Riddle of Steel

    Proficient instrumental virtuosity can ruin a rock band. When a group's members get too good on their instruments, it can lead to grandiose pomposity or, even worse, jam-band wankery. Riddle of Steel falls into none of these traps, though its three members could claim the bass, guitar and drum thrones of St. Louis. Instead of showing off, they play intricately,… More >>
  • Best TV News Anchor

    Dick Ford

    Mick Jagger once said that fellow Rolling Stone Charlie Watts had a face that blossomed at 60 -- that the drummer's carved, sophisticated features seemed to mature at a late age, turning the odd-looking younger Watts into an incredibly handsome senior. The same can be said of Fox 2's Dick Ford, who has been an anchorman since 1957. He's aged… More >>
  • Best Blues Artist

    Bennie Smith

    Given the depth of the local blues talent pool, there are plenty of plausible contenders for this category, from revered elder statesmen to hardworking, talented younger players. Bennie Smith represents the best of both worlds. He's a veteran musician with a rich history who still gets out and works around town nearly every week. His idiosyncratic guitar style and expressive… More >>
  • Best TV Station

    KPLR-TV (Channel 11)

    St. Louis' local WB affiliate features the seven deadly sins of late-night entertainment: the Cardinals, the Blues, Kathryn Jamboretz, Melanie Moon, elimiDATE, Blind Date and, last but certainly not least, the incomparable 5th Wheel. True, Moon has been demoted to the weekend desk, and none of this fare is particularly intellectually stimulating, but all of it is entertaining. And if… More >>
  • Best Jazz Artist

    Willie Akins

    An old-school jazzman in the tradition of Sonny Rollins, Wayne Shorter and John Coltrane, tenor saxophonist Willie Akins blows both tough and tender while conjuring entire universes of sound from a few pounds of metal and a few lines on a score. On the bandstand, wielding his sax like a tool and a talisman, Akins can sketch dark fantasies in… More >>
  • Best Makeover

    KETC-TV (Channel 9)'s local programming

    PBS, as the old joke goes, stands for Primarily British Stuff, but on January 5 our own PBS affiliate, KETC-TV (Channel 9), stepped up to fill the glaring void of locally based programming. Now prime time -- or at least the first hour of it -- is our time. Living St. Louis airs Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, offering magazine-style pieces… More >>
  • Best Gospel Artist

    Levi King

    The founder and driving force behind Belleville's gospel-music juggernaut El-King Records, Dr. Levi King belts out the tunes that make you a believer. A favorite of local gospel stations, King can also be heard on a number of albums, most recently A Family Point of View. But to hear the gregarious, girthy King in all his glory you really need… More >>
  • Best Local TV Commercial

    Dirt Cheap Cigarettes Beer & Liquor (low-carb version)

    An obvious choice, perhaps, but a worthy one. Seriously, who among us wouldn't recognize Dirt Cheap chief cheapskate Fred Teutenberg on a city street? This year, though, the folks at Dirt Cheap decided to come clean about a dirty little secret. That's right kids, the Dirt Cheap Chicken used to be -- gasp! -- fat! Thanks to a low-carb approach… More >>
  • Best R&B Artist

    Coco Soul

    R&B cycles through divas faster than a high-school girl goes through crushes. Where is Erykah Badu? Why did it take four years for a Jill Scott follow-up? Where, oh where, is hometown star Toya? Beware, Coco Soul. A prodigiously talented singer built on the Jill Scott template, Soul is big and beautiful, with an even larger, even prettier voice. Like… More >>
  • Best Museum

    Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis

    The Contemporary is the new incarnation of the beloved, decades-old Forum for Contemporary Art, so its opening last September was accompanied by high expectations. It also had a new Brad Cloepfil building to deal with, a fairly prominent next-door neighbor (the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts), a new director (Paul Ha) and an ambitious inaugural exhibition (A Fiction of Authenticity:… More >>
  • Best Lounge Act

    Alex Failoni Jr. and Tom Kelly

    Any restaurant/bar that has the guts to be closed on Saturday and Sunday has to be something special. Don't judge a book by its cover, though. Failoni's is located in an unassuming building on Manchester Avenue on the outskirts of Dogtown. As you might expect from an Italian-American joint, it's a decidedly family affair, with a few exceptions. Failoni's opened… More >>
  • Best Museum (Wax Division)

    Black World History Wax Museum

    Josephine Baker is watching you. Oh, you thought she was dead? Well then, you obviously haven't been to the Black World History Wax Museum, where famous dead black people come to life via life-size wax figurines. Upon approach, one would be apt to wonder whether this St. Louis Avenue institution, founded in 1997, is even open, what with the boarded-up… More >>
  • Best Country Band

    Well Hungarians

    It's important for the well-being of all fans of country music that we have a local group to root for, a group that sings about beer, train wrecks and the one or two other staples of good country living. In St. Louis, that band is Well Hungarians. They've got that thick-through-the-middle sound passed down from the Skynyrds and Allmans, but… More >>
  • Best Museum Improvement

    Glen Gentele, director

    Laumeier Sculpture Park has long been one of the St. Louis art scene's greatest assets, but when Glen Gentele took on the directorship in 2001, he had his work cut out for him. The position was being redefined in the wake of lingering controversy surrounding the treatment of Beverly Pepper's Cromlech Glen, as well as some (ahem) questionable accounting on… More >>
  • Best Garage Band

    The Electric

    It's hard to define what the best "garage band" should be. A lot of what qualifies as rock & roll began in the garage. Same with punk rock, with its three-chord simplicity and brash attitude. That's why St. Louis' best garage band could also be its best rock band, or its best punk band. The Electric embodies rock & roll,… More >>
  • Best Museum Exhibition

    German Art Now

    Any time the Saint Louis Art Museum wants to bring in more German art, that's fine with us. We trust their judgment to pick the great from the good, and whether it's Gerhard Richter's devastatingly beautiful paintings (Kerze all the way rocks) or Max Ernst's stark, scratchy work, we think it's all pretty great. But the fact that the staff… More >>
  • Best Noise Band


    There's a Twilight Zone episode where a woman lies in a hospital bed while a shadowed group of doctors gently break the news: Your face is horribly disfigured. Funny thing is, she looks pretty normal. Then the lights come up, and the doctors are shown to be pig-faced horrors. You know: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, Rod… More >>
  • Best Public Art


    For a few days each September, Artica participants transform the industrial wasteland along the north St. Louis riverfront into an outdoor gallery of sculpture, music and anything-goes mayhem. The emphasis of Artica is public participation, with artists and audience members all taking part in the fun. Festivities include a parade along the riverfront, a boat launching (in which a flotilla… More >>
  • Best Metal Band


    Black metal, a subgenre of extreme music that's often best known for the Satanic, pagan antics of some of its more infamous figures (beheading lambs onstage, killing people -- that sort of thing), normally originates in the dark northern climes of Scandinavia. In a place where the sun doesn't come out all winter, it makes sense for the native music… More >>
  • Best Art Gallery

    Philip Slein Gallery

    As director of Washingon University's Des Lee Gallery downtown since 2000, Phil Slein has done an impressive job. So expectations were high in 2003 when he opened his own downtown gallery on the third floor of the historic Ely-Walker building at 1520 Washington Avenue. In its first year, the Philip Slein Gallery hosted some of the strongest shows in town:… More >>
  • Best Pop Band


    Touted on All Music Guide as "the world's cutest band" and defined by that all-knowing rock-nerd Web site as "cuddlecore" (see, Bunnygrunt was St. Louis' claim to fame on the college-rock scene in the mid-1990s era, which the band dominated. After breaking up, its members went separate ways to form equally cute and cuddly bands on the local scene.… More >>
  • Best Gallery Show (Single)

    Daniel Raedeke: Always Almost New

    For this summer show, the second in the Kranzberg St. Louis Exhibition Series at Laumeier Sculpture Park, Raedeke went all-out, exploring new media and pushing his concept of art-as-consumable-as-art to a new level. There were paintings, sculptures and digital animations, all based on a cast of new characters Raedeke introduced for our pleasure: eerO, woggy, landscapy, phasO and shopRs --… More >>
  • Best Jam Band


    This year Madahoochi went from being a local band to being somewhat of a local institution. Rest assured, at the head of the week if nothing is going on featuring a member of the Dead, Phish or Widespread Panic, you can find all your skirted, dreaded and patchoulied friends at Cicero's on Monday night. Madahoochi Mondays used to be a… More >>
  • Best Gallery Show (Group)

    Schmidt's Picks

    This inaugural show at the Philip Slein Gallery was curated by the inimitable veteran of St. Louis' art scene, Jim Schmidt, who was permitted to let his imagination run wild and bring together works by some of the best artists in the area. Schmidt made some terrific picks, including large paintings by Jerald Ieans, Brandon Anschultz and Michael Byron; sculptures… More >>
  • Best Cover Band

    Paint the Earth

    Cover bands usually don't get the respect they deserve. But do these bands not practice? Do they not have fans? Do their guitar-playing fingers and their drum-beating and microphone-holding hands not bleed? Well, of course they do, and Paint the Earth would know. The group is one of the hardest-working bands in the Lou. In case you haven't noticed, PTE… More >>
  • Best Place to Buy Local Art

    Xen Gallery - CLOSED

    This bright, inviting gallery occupies prime art-world real estate at the corner of Euclid and McPherson avenues in the oh-so-arty Central West End. But it doesn't try to compete with the neighborhood's higher-brow gallery trifecta, Smith-Shearburn-and-Schmidt. Instead Xen emphasizes the craftier arts, like ceramics, glass and metals (with the occasional foray into photography, painting and prints). And most of the… More >>
  • Best Concert Cover

    Ben Folds & Rufus Wainwright, "Careless Whisper"

    At face value, the pairing of Ben Folds and Rufus Wainwright on a multi-city tour should have been a disaster: the misogynistic "Brick"-meister in a frat-fueled piano duel with the precious, operatic Canuck crooner. And predictably, their sets at the Fox (which turned out to be a Folds crowd) were drastically different in texture. When a vest-clad Rufus strolled out… More >>
  • Best Casino

    Ameristar Casino

    Your kid's tuition money burning a hole in your pocket? Hell, that's what scholarships are for. Tell Junior to study a little harder and take your newly expendable income to Ameristar. Your best bet rides here. Not because the odds are that much better than on the other boats, but because of the sheer breadth of options for blowing your… More >>
  • Second Best Band Name

    Femme Fatality

    Femme Fatality… More >>
  • Best Actress

    Meghan Maguire

    We only saw Meghan Maguire in two plays this season. Both were by the same author (George F. Walker) and staged by the same troupe (Muddy Waters). One production (Zastrozzi: The Master of Discipline) was very bad; the other (Adult Entertainment) was very good. But the constant in both shows was Maguire. She's a pro who brings a seeming natural… More >>
  • Best World Music Band


    Waiting for the day we hear local Bosnian hardcore punishing the Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center is much less painful when we have the fearless Nashid bending convention and illustrating the future of Middle Eastern music in haunting, passionate arabesques. Is it Persian classical music? Jazz? Or rock? At times it seems like it's all music. With each measure, the slow… More >>
  • Best Actor

    Terry Meddows

    Yes, Terry Meadows again -- and without apology. In last year's "Best of St. Louis" we described him as "the most reliably original and accomplished actor in town." This year, in addition to underscoring those words, we also want to note the range of his work. Meddows turns up in everything from fluffy musicals to serious drama, from classic farce… More >>
  • Best Bluegrass Band

    The Lonesome Pines

    The Lonesome Pines might not be the most ubiquitous of area bluegrass bands, but it's certainly the most tenured. Members of the group have been playing bluegrass together since the early 1970s, and while today it's easier to catch them in one of their many rockabilly or zydeco incarnations (Rockhouse Ramblers, the Orbits, T-Wayne and the Swamptones), the Lonesome Pines… More >>
  • Best Theater Company

    HotHouse Theatre Company

    HotHouse took a real flyer last fall when its directors decided to devote the entire season to unfamiliar new plays. But the gamble paid off big-time. You could feel that payoff in the anticipatory audiences as each successive, unpredictable production informed the next. Theatergoers didn't wait for reviews; they flocked to the opening weekends. Viewers have long been conditioned to… More >>
  • Best Folk Artist

    Dave Landreth

    Once he brought old-time music to the hipsters at Tangerine; now banjo maestro Dave Landreth spends his Tuesday nights outside the Cabin Inn at the City Museum, leading a group of players half his age through fiddle tunes as labyrinthine as the tree branches and mangled metal above them. Outwardly, nobody dances; inwardly, they're spinning like a cotton gin. Landreth's… More >>
  • Best New Theater Space

    Soulard Theatre

    Take four theater groups in need of a permanent performing space, add some cleaning fluid, sweat equity and a former Czechoslavakian social club, and you've got the Soulard Theatre Collective. DramaRama, ECHO, Hydeware and Spotlight theater companies focused their forces on Preservation Hall (named after the Jazz Club in New Orleans), cleaning, priming and using gallons of paint donated by… More >>
  • Best Electronica Band


    Pity people who aren't blessed with eclectic tastes. Does a person who listens exclusively to heavy metal crank it up on a hungover Sunday morning? When enmeshed in the art of seduction? When getting dressed up so fresh, so clean? Think of how different life would be for our metalhead if he or she were to consider accompanying any of… More >>
  • Best Children's Theater

    Shakespeare Festival of St. Louis

    Nearly 20,000 area children saw the 40-minute "mini-play" As You Like It -- Lickety-Split, adapted by Shakespeare Festival of St. Louis education coordinator Christopher Limber and performed by a nimble cast of five actors. Touring to 90-plus schools, the program introduced students to Shakespeare, encouraged post-performance discussion and provided educational material for teachers. An even shorter Lickety-Split was performed twice… More >>
  • Best Band to Die in the Past 12 Months and Then Return from the Dead


    Sometimes couples break up but don't really mean it. They've said they're through, they keep insisting they're single, but then a lonely Saturday night rolls around and they hop back together. You can start calling that behavior "pulling a Nadine." A heavy contender for the best band to come out of St. Louis in a decade, the alt-country/indie rockers announced… More >>
  • Best Stage Production

    In a Little World of Our Own

    Gary Mitchell's explosive drama about three brothers conniving and surviving in battleground Belfast has the worst title of any play to receive its American premiere in St. Louis during this (or probably any other) year. Even the actors had trouble remembering the awkward title. In time, it simply came to be known as "the Irish play." The Irish play may… More >>
  • Best Hip-Hop DJ

    DJ Stan the Man

    They can make a night, or ruin it. They can negate a lovers' spat with the drop of a needle, with a single well-timed "Magic Stick" turn your foul ball into a stand-up triple out there on the dance floor. DJs are the unsung heroes of the St. Louis hip-hop revolution. They, not radio, broke Nelly, pushed him into the… More >>
  • Best Historical Performance

    Cool and Hip: Gaslight Square

    In a year largely given over to the Lewis & Clark bicentennial and the the 100-year anniversary of the St. Louis World's Fair, Historyonics Theatre Company took a step off the all-too-beaten paths with Cool and Hip: Gaslight Square. Adapted by Joe Dreyer, Cool and Hip celebrated a time during the mid-1950s when St. Louis -- and more specifically, the… More >>
  • Best Club DJ

    Mike Gow

    DJs must lead stressful lives. Sure, playing for the masses seems like a glamorous job, but think about it: These turntable masters are pretty much solely responsible for the quantity of fun you have at a club. If the record skips, if the mixes aren't hot, if the tracks suck, the dance-floor vibe is ruined, no matter how great the… More >>
  • Best Community Theater Offering


    Thirteen months ago Spotlight Productions in Chesterfield mounted a remarkably effective -- at times enthralling -- rendition of the 1997 Tony Award-winning musical Titanic. This August 2003 offering opened too late for inclusion in last year's edition of this issue. But the production, directed by Brad Schwartz, was too good to ignore. The ocean liner itself may have sunk,… More >>
  • Best Songwriter

    Chris Johnson

    As a creative idiom, the blues in St. Louis has barely survived; the well of songwriting from which all those bar bands guzzle all those tunes has all but dried up. Chris Johnson isn't a bluesman, not exactly, but his lyrical creations and gritty fingerpicking tap into the country blues with the idiosyncrasy and individualism of a Woody Guthrie or… More >>
  • Best New St. Louis Play

    Great Day in the Morning

    Everyone knows The Glass Menagerie and Meet Me in St. Louis are set in St. Louis. And it's fun to hear onstage references to the Jewel Box and the Skinker trolley. But let's face it: Those scripts have been seen. So what a treat it was to be exposed to a brand-new St. Louis-themed play -- and then to discover… More >>
  • Best Hip-Hop Artist

    Honors English

    Honors English are less defectors of the Soul Tyde crew than they are visionaries. Kash and Teflahn Poetix formed Honors English last year, and with the addition of Young Thunder this past spring, they've staked their claim to St. Louis' underground hip-hop scene. Hear them flow and it's hard not to see why they've come so far so fast. And… More >>
  • Best Musical


    Tough call. The Black Rep did a solid job with Raisin, complete with some breath-stopping choreography by Keith Tyrone. But last May's New Jewish Theatre production of William Finn's Falsettos continues to resonate in a vital kind of way that few productions do. Falsettos is actually two one-act musicals written and produced nearly a decade apart, in 1981 and 1990.… More >>
  • Best Vocalist (Female)

    Sunyatta Marshall

    Don't hate her because she's beautiful, or because she got the part in the Insurance Xpress commercial you also auditioned for. Among other things, love her for her voice, the timbre of which is so tightly, solidly wound you'll think you can reach out and grab the emotion she's pumping into the room. Like that of a Balkan chorister, Sunyatta… More >>
  • Best One-Person Show

    St. Nicholas

    We've said it before and we'll say it again: In St. Nicholas, Joe Hanrahan did a splendid job as a jaded theater critic whose pursuit of a beautiful young actress leads him into the unlikely clutches of a coven of vampires. This play-monologue by the vibrant young writer Conor McPherson first came to life in Dublin; then the mesmerizing Brian… More >>
  • Best Vocalist (Male)

    Mark Stephens

    It's not a cute stunt. The man who's lucky enough to be married to this year's Best Female Vocalist really is St. Louis' Best Male Vocalist. Where other raggedly glorious Midwestern crooners seem content with trying to break your heart, Mark Stephens succeeds, every time. When he goes into that beautiful, tattered upper register of his, you have to take… More >>
  • Best Two-Person Show

    The Last Five Years

    Jason Robert Brown's time-traveling musical The Last Five Years is sustained by two characters and sixteen songs in one act. Sounds like an ideal show for the St. Louis Rep Studio -- and it was. Under the direction of John Ruocco, this dissection of the life and death of a marriage was perfectly calibrated for the intimate studio space. Best… More >>
  • Best Album Name

    Stop and Smell the Stinking Corpse Lilies

    The Ded Bugs

    Stop and Smell the Stinking Corpse Lilies The Ded Bugs… More >>
  • Best Mother-Daughter Combo (Drama)

    Magan Wiles and Diane Peterson in The Glass Menagerie

    The Glass Menagerie chronicles the plight of a frustrated young son and brother whose immediate goal is to escape the confines of his drab St. Louis existence. (St. Louis, drab? Perish the thought!) For decades productions of The Glass Menagerie have been dominated by charismatic actresses like Katharine Hepburn, Maureen Stapleton and Joanne Woodward, whose showy interpretations of the valiant,… More >>
  • Best Rock Radio Program


    There are other shows on KDHX where you might hear The The, Johnny Cash, Pet Shop Boys and Neil Diamond all in the same hour, but few have the same seemingly effortless flow as Juxtaposition, where all of the songs, even the last-minute requests, seem to fit together as snugly as the last remaining pieces of a puzzle. Host Rob… More >>
  • Best Mother-Daughter Combo (Musical)

    Carly Jibson and Bruce Vilanch in Hairspray

    Anyone who attended Hairspray at the Fox last March saw a wildly entertaining mother-daughter act in Carly Jibson as pudgy teenager Tracy Turnblad and Bruce Vilanch in drag as Tracy's endearing blob of a mother, Edna. No sooner did Hairspray depart St. Louis for Denver than the show's savvy producers plucked Jibson out of the national tour and moved her… More >>
  • Best Jazz Radio Program

    All Soul, No Borders

    Josh Weinstein prefers his jazz free. Yeah, he'll inject structure, and funk and, of course, soul, but he prefers wide-open spaces and out-there improvisations. He knows his East Coast jazz, 1950 to the present, digs the Chicago scene and understands its strong connection to the absolutely vital (and underappreciated) St. Louis free-jazz scene of the late '60s and early '70s.… More >>
  • Best Star Power

    Variety Telethon

    What a night for theater buffs! In April St. Louis Variety brought in six award-winning Broadway performers to entertain at the megabucks charity dinner that precedes the annual telethon. Later that night KMOV-TV (Channel 4) televised the concert so that we peons could hear some real theater music performed by real theater practitioners. As Brent Barrett, Jason Danieley, Sutton Foster,… More >>
  • Best Music Web Site

    Ooh, an upset! The first year has had any real competition for "Best Music Web Site," we're giving the nod to the new kid. The difference? Variety. Sure, many non-punk bands list themselves on, but the 'scene strives to catch every flavor of St. Louis music, from dance to hip-hop. And the site's streaming-audio radio station makes it… More >>
  • Best Zoo Animal

    Giant anteater

    Children scream in delight at the monkeys, and the giant anteaters abide. People coo over the penguins, and still, the giant anteaters abide. The giant anteaters do not wish to impress you: They will not hurl themselves from treetops or trip adorably over their own feet. They seem to have loped in from a different epoch; they missed the memo… More >>
  • Best Local Label

    Pro-Vel Records

    Formed in late 2002 by Nancy Catalina and Kirk Filley and, according to the label's bio, driven by the local music scene "to sling releases by some of the unknown greats from the Midwest region out there for the rest of the world to finally taste and see," Pro-Vel Records has been making noise nationwide. Dealing in garage, psych, power-pop… More >>
  • Best AM Radio Personality

    Frank Cusumano

    Frank Cusumano is best known for his anchor exploits on KSDK-TV (Channel 5) and as the sometime host of the NBC affiliate's superb Sunday-night Sports Plus, but it's in his radio work where Cusumano really shows that he's head and shoulders above everyone else in St. Louis' saturated sports market. Teamed with Bryan Burwell, Cusumano peppers KFNS' morning Press Box… More >>
  • Best Band Name

    Dick Cheney's Dick

    Dick Cheney's Dick… More >>
  • Best FM Radio Personality

    "Radio Rich" Dalton

    Commercial FM rock radio is a washout, a racket we skip over in search of greener aural pastures. But we make an exception for KIHT-FM (96.3), commonly known as K-HITS. Why? Decent (classic-) rockin' and genial, veteran DJs, in particular "Radio Rich" Dalton. A KSHE jock from back in that station's better days (he still pulls a Sunday-night gig there),… More >>
  • Best Reporter (Radio Division)

    Andy Strickland

    Is there a more mundane media gig than St. Louis Blues beat reporter? In a typical year, no: Blues have slightly better than mediocre season, make playoffs, lose, fail to bring in impact player in off-season, repeat. That's been the upshot for a quarter-century and running. But this past year the Blues did bring in an impact player, and his… More >>
  • Best Radio Pitchman

    John Carney

    KMOX late-night radio personality John Carney is hawking a 2005 cruise to Alaska. The trip can only accommodate a hundred, Carney complains into the microphone, which is really upsetting, because he hates the idea of having to turn anyone away. Despite the fact that you can almost hear his nose growing as he talks, he is so disarming, so naturally… More >>
  • Best Radio Station

    WGNU (920 AM)

    The mystery of WGNU's call letters was finally revealed at station co-founder Chuck Norman's funeral earlier this year. "It stands for 'We've Got National Unity,'" declared Norman's wet nurse as she wept into Earl Holt's handkerchief. Just kidding. National unity is about the last thing WGNU stands for -- that's the way Norman wanted it, and that's the beauty… More >>
  • Best Weathercaster

    Ben Abel

    Weathercasting in St. Louis is a crapshoot. Any meteorologist worth his Doppler will admit it, but they still go through the motions. Why? Because all things considered, anyone (us, you, the neighbor's kid with the lazy eye) can half-ass predict tomorrow's weather. It'll rain or it won't. It'll be hot or it won't. As long as you mention "high humidity"… More >>
  • Best Traffic Reporter

    Tony J.

    Traffic jams aren't very sexy, and they sure as hell ain't fun. There's not much inherent excitement in the business, and the problem up until Tony J. arrived in town is that most Eye in the Sky copter guys and earnest, deep-voiced morning-show reporters were just plain dull. If you have to relay unexciting information, must you be so...boring? Enter… More >>
  • Best Reporter (Newspaper Divison)

    Todd C. Frankel

    We all fondly remember St. Louis Cardinals utility man José Oquendo, who had the tools to play every position -- and did. In 1989, Oquendo didn't miss a single game. Todd Frankel, then, is the José Oquendo of St. Louis journalism. Young, earnest and aggressive, Frankel gives his editors at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch a quality start each and every… More >>
  • Best Newspaper Columnist

    The Shadow

    Is The Shadow a man? A woman? One person, even? The guy who employs her (or him, or them), Evening Whirl editor Anthony Sanders, professes not to know. "It's probably like Jerry Berger," Sanders says. "Jerry Berger had people call him and tell him what was going on, and he had other people actually pen that stuff for him. So… More >>
  • Best Film Festival

    St. Louis Filmmakers Showcase

    A guy in a dress, a bass guitar strapped to his chest, screaming, "I feel like a woman!" The history of a seedy motel. Alien death invaders. And all of them from St. Louis! Home sweet home might never be known as a hotbed of filmmaking, but for the past four summers our heart has swelled with pride during the… More >>
  • Best Movie Theater

    Wehrenberg Ronnies 20 Ciné

    Ronnies teems with teens. Especially on the weekends. Teens dropped off by their parents, slipping into the bathroom to apply makeup or remove a piece of clothing that detracts from their outfits, which they were only wearing for Mom's benefit anyway. A trip to Ronnies will surely take you back to those first-date days. You sat down nervously next to… More >>
  • Best Art Cinema

    Tivoli Theatre

    St. Louis may not have much in the way of old movie palaces, but we do have the Tivoli, dammit! Built in 1924, the graceful theater -- or, as its owners at Landmark like to say, theatre -- now plays host to films you won't find at your average AMC. Sure, the Tivoli shows its share of foreign and midnight… More >>
  • Best Dirty Movie

    Raja's birth video

    Look, we're not implying any impropriety on the Saint Louis Zoo's part. We know that video of Raja the elephant being born -- the one shown on the endless loop in the educational pavilion just south of the River's Edge, where the elephants live -- is supposed to be educational. Miracle of birth, circle of life, all that jazz --… More >>

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