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Arts & Entertainment

  • Best Local Album of the Past 12 Months

    Sex Robots

    How could the Sex Robots' self-titled full-length be anything but fun? Just look at the album art: black-and-white photos of the trio exploding popcorn-kernel style on the cover; a color scheme that's a festive cotton-candy pink, orange and yellow; and the band's logo bursting forth with a cartoonish nod to the Batman TV show's pow! biff! bang! graphics. Fittingly, the… More >>
  • Best Theater Company

    Rep Studio

    There must be something in the air down there, some sort of compound that frees the imagination. Whatever it is, it allows St. Louis Rep staffers to cut loose and re-explore theater in ways that don't happen on the Mainstage. Right now the Emerson Studio Theatre is just about the only place in town where you can consistently expect the… More >>
  • Best Local Single of the Past 12 Months

    "Like a Pro"

    Ruka Puff's live show has always been outstanding: He tears the shirt off his flabby chest and crunks it up to eleven. The only rap against the mohawk-sporting, Hoo Bangin' Records MC is that the production on his debut, Escaped: Off the Chains, wasn't up to snuff. But that was forgotten with the release of his recent single, "Like a… More >>
  • Best Actor

    Kevin Beyer

    Anyone who needs reminding that acting eloquence does not require dialogue should have seen Kevin Beyer's tenebrous performance in the New Jewish Theatre production of Arthur Miller's Broken Glass. The drama, set in Brooklyn in pre-World War II 1938, probes the unhappy life of Phillip Gellburg, a Jew who "doesn't like Jews," prefers the company of WASPs and is reluctant… More >>
  • Best Hip-Hop Artist

    DJ Crucial

    With this year's release of Test Presses and Dub Plates—an album eight years in the making that features collaborations with everyone from MF Doom to MC Eiht—DJ Crucial went from being St. Louis' best hip-hop DJ to being our best hip-hop artist. The album's transitions, scratches and (most impressively) production show that Crucial is hip-hop's Steve Nash; in other words,… More >>
  • Best Actress

    Julie Layton

    Because HotCity Theatre's GreenHouse staging of Skin in Flames, an intense Spanish drama written by Guillem Clua in response to America's invasion of Iraq, was an American premiere, everything about the work-in-progress was a surprise. But as a poverty-stricken Third World factory worker, Julie Layton's spectral portrayal transcended surprise and approached revelation. Layton is a staple in the local acting… More >>
  • Best Rock Band

    Riddle of Steel

    With one member (drummer Rob Smith) living out of town, Riddle of Steel doesn't play St. Louis too often. But when the power trio does grace us with its presence, it's clear why Riddle of Steel is the best rock band in town, hands down: They're skilled purveyors of no-frills dude-rock inspired by stoner-kings Queens of the Stone Age, the… More >>
  • Best Newspaper Columnist

    Bernie Miklasz

    Regular readers of this particular fishwrap might be surprised to see us freely admit that we like and respect our counterparts at St. Louis' Only Daily. But we know good work when we see it, and good work does get done at the Post-Dispatch. The labors of Bernie Miklasz perennially put the longtime Post sports scribe at or near the… More >>
  • Best Punk Band

    That's My Daughter

    Idealistically speaking, nothing could be more punk than the miscreant, the misfit, the black sheep. Taking their name from an old porn movie and proclaiming "cuntcockdancerock" as their mantra, That's My Daughter ooze rebellious spunk. The trio of guitarist/vocalist Tim Dreste, bassist/vocalist Sara Oberst and drummer/vocalist Lindsay Reber has been tempting crowds to shake their dicks and shake their tits… More >>
  • Best Reporter (Newspaper Division)

    Jake Wagman

    Jake Wagman is your prototypical old-school reporter—scrappy, dogged, endlessly prolific. He also embodies the quintessential rumpled look, as if he just rolled out of bed or stayed up all night banging out the last few grafs for a Sunday banner story. The frenetic newshound prowls the corridors of city hall, eternally on his cell phone, a pen in his mouth,… More >>
  • Best Noise Band

    The Conformists

    The American Heritage Dictionary defines "noise" as: "Sound or a sound that is loud, unpleasant, unexpected or undesired." The term "noise band" (though nowhere to be found in the American Heritage Dictionary) carries some of those abrasive connotations, but connoisseurs of the genre posit that these ensembles mold cacophonous tones into transcendent compositions. Most of St. Louis' best-known "noise/experimental" groups… More >>
  • Best Reporter (TV/Radio Division)

    Cordell Whitlock

    If there's a utility player in local television news, it's got to be KSDK's Cordell Whitlock. Whether reporting live from a hailstorm in Granite City or just leaning over the desk to breathlessly deliver us the news as the station's primary fill-in anchor, Whitlock covers all the bases. In just seven years in St. Louis, the broadcaster's name already rises… More >>
  • Third Best Band Name

    The Fu Fops

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  • Best TV News Anchor

    Randy Jackson

    No more beating around the bush. The RFT loves Randy Jackson—and not just his hair (though it is fab). That's not to say Ol' Blue Eyes didn't have some tough competition: KMOV-TV (Channel 4)'s Larry Conners will always have a special place in our hearts, Rick Edlund on KPLR-TV (Channel 11) possesses a charming, timid style, and KTVI-TV (Channel 2)'s… More >>
  • Best Songwriter

    Casey Reid

    It's said that the best songwriters capture the human spirit in a way that's unique yet universal, without resorting to clichés or pretentious gestures. That certainly goes for Casey Reid, whose patchwork blues and junkyard folk tunes hit the musical sweet spot. A wizened old soul fond of Beck and Tom Waits, Reid released his debut, Cephalclog, this year. It's… More >>
  • Best Weathercaster

    Dave Murray

    Dave Murray is the Jose Oquendo of St. Louis weather. He's had the chief meteorologist gig at FOX 2 since 1989 and will freely and self-depreciatingly admit to being a weather geek. But he also reports for KSHE (94.7 FM), KPNT (105.7 FM), KIHT (96.3 FM) and fills in for other weathercasters like KWMU's (90.7 FM) Ben Abell. And God… More >>
  • Best Folk Artist

    Jeff Miller

    As founder of the Folk School, Jeff Miller is responsible for the most important resurgence of traditional American music in St. Louis in decades. But long before that institution came along, Miller was legendary as one of the purest and, not so paradoxically, fiercest claw-hammer banjo players in town, picking with the Big Note String Band, the Twang Brothers and… More >>
  • Best Hair on a Local TV Personality (Female)

    Rebecca Wu

    "It's like, 'How much more black could this be?' And the answer is, 'None. None more black,'" Nigel Tufnel says in This Is Spinal Tap. He could very well have been talking about Rebecca Wu's hair. The KSDK-TV (Channel 5) anchor used to wear it parted left to right, cut in a tragic, Aniston-in-Friends fluff bomb. Now it's more hard-hitting,… More >>
  • Best R&B Artist

    DeAndrae Perryman

    Life got interesting for East St. Louis native DeAndrae Perryman after he competed on American Idol last year. He didn't advance as far as fellow St. Louisans Nikko Smith and Aloha Mischeaux, but his showing blew open doors of opportunity. He subsequently crooned on a Royal Caribbean cruise to the Bahamas, at Disney World in Orlando and at the Savvis… More >>
  • Best Hair on a Local TV Personality (Male)

    Randy Jackson

    Randy Jackson's hair is befitting of a dude's dude. It seems entirely possible to run into him at Home Depot, buying some PVC pipe for a pond he's making in his backyard. You'd maybe spot that head of hair in one of those ads for boxer briefs that feature handsome but nonthreatening men with a sense of approachability, smiling at… More >>
  • Best Country Band (Traditional)

    The Linemen

    When it comes to distinguishing traditional from alternative country, it's the singer, not the song. Kevin Butterfield is a traditional country singer, but not because he's a stuffy purist or because he's mimicking the classic honky-tonkers he has devoured like bagsful of boiled peanuts. Lefty Frizzell, Faron Young and pre-jazz Ray Price echo through Butterfield's tenor, but he approaches every… More >>
  • Best Local TV Commercial

    Affordable Auto Credit

    INT: BATHROOMMIDGET sits on a TOILET, reading a newspaper. He spies an ad.ANNOUNCER: People are blowing their top...MIDGET'S head explodes.ANNOUNCER: ...over the hot deals at AFFORDABLE AUTO CREDIT.MIDGET, face sooty, climbs out of the hole his head-explosion caused. (MIDGET'S head is intact.)EXT: AFFORDABLE AUTO CREDIT PARKING LOTAt left, a WOMAN admires silver convertible. At right, CREDIT FAIRY, wearing wings and… More >>
  • Best Country Band (Alternative)

    Bad Folk

    If Jay Farrar didn't exist, Tim Rakel would've had to invent him, and he'd be the first to recognize Farrar's influence on his bleak and oblique leftist songwriting and his dour, peripatetic moan. And if Rakel's band, Bad Folk, has clung to the raw country punk Farrar has largely abandoned, its members find new ways of torturing their instruments until… More >>
  • Best TV Station

    My46 TV (WRBU-TV Channel 46)

    Most recent TV news has focused on the new, awkwardly named "the CW," which debuted this month and combines programming from the old UPN and WB networks. The CW can be seen on our former WB affiliate, KPLR-TV (Channel 11), and its lineup features America's Next Top Model, 7th Heaven, Smallville and Everybody Hates Chris. In other words, the same… More >>
  • Best Cover Band

    The Tiny Cows

    It's Friday night at the Tin Can Tavern (3157 Morganford Road; 314-865-3003). The Cards are trouncing the Rockies and you have an ice-cold PBR in hand. Suddenly the Tiny Cows—an acoustic band, not actual diminutive bovines—launch into a stripped-down rendition of Springsteen's "Thunder Road," and the weekend has officially started. Eric Lysaght, Jeff Gallo, Brian Hilgert and Jimmy Griffin have… More >>
  • Best Radio Station

    KCLC (89.1 FM) "The Wood"

    Those who lament the homogeneity and predictable playlists of traditional radio stations now often just switch to satellite providers to get their radio fix. But St. Louis is lucky to have our own version of satellite radio on the terrestrial airwaves, courtesy of the station run by students at Lindenwood University in St. Charles. Nicknamed "The Wood," 89.1 FM's only… More >>
  • Best Garage Band

    Long John Thomas and the Duffs

    Hey, daddy-o, be cool: Long John Thomas and the Duffs are here to shake your garage-rock world. A little bit rockabilly, a whole lot surf, and chock-full of retro-cool influences, the Duffs can do the watusi without spilling a drop of their dirty martinis. The trio's been shimmying in dives like Lemmons and the Hi-Pointe since 2004 and have signed… More >>
  • Best Radio Station After Midnight

    WIL (1430 AM)

    Rhinestone cowboys and Wichita linemen are best heard under cover of darkness, their dusky twang and lonely lyrics the very embodiment of solitude and/or desolation. No one knows this better than St. Louis country music stalwart WIL (92.3 FM), which in 2005 decided to flip the format of its sister station, 1430 AM, back to the "Country Legends" concept it… More >>
  • Best Metal Band

    Harkonin

    Harkonin earned "Best Metal Band" honors each of the past two years, but instead of resting on that skull-decorated throne, the quartet engineered a massive 2006. The group cleaned up its 2005 album Sermons of Anguish, ensuring that its bleak guitar tones ring with blatant menace and its vocals communicate malicious intent without having to slice through a mire. (Black-metal… More >>
  • Best Ongoing Bill Murray in Caddyshack Impression by a Local Radio Personality

    John Hadley

    Who said it—John Hadley or Carl Spackler? "I smell varmint poontang. The only good varmint poontang is dead varmint poontang." "I've been stressing, even in the downtime of last year, that the cavalry was on the way." "What an incredible Cinderella story! This unknown comes out of nowhere to lead the pack." "Anibal Sanchez, who has been en fuego, just… More >>
  • Best Jam Band

    Madahoochi

    The jam-band scene may have substantial amounts of hippie DNA, but it nevertheless rewards good old-fashioned hard work. While today's pop stars are born overnight in a manner akin to lottery winners, a successful jam band must evolve over time and prove its mettle onstage night after night, while attempting to build enduring relationships with fans instead of going for… More >>
  • Best AM Radio Personality

    McGraw Milhaven

    What a year it's been for McGraw Milhaven. Thrown on the trash heap during KTRS' restructuring last December, Milhaven returned in April when station management begged him to replace host Dave Lenihan. (Need we remind you of Lenihan's "coon" slip in reference to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice?) In the competitive morning slot that has him going head-to-head with KMOX's… More >>
  • Best Bluegrass Band

    Chris Talley Trio

    Chris Talley Armstrong may look like a hippie librarian with a banjo, but she's got native Southern Illinois twang in her soul. Her trio, now a quartet including veteran guitarists Zane Prosser and Bill Barttelbort, features some of the St. Louis area's sharpest pickers assailing bluegrass standards like they own the copyrights. They don't reinvent or deconstruct the old tunes.… More >>
  • Best FM Radio Personality

    Staci Static

    She shouts, she screams, she swings from totally bossy to warm and sweet, but Staci Static always commands your attention when she steps up to the mic on Hot 104.1, one of St. Louis' two competing hip-hop stations. Static used to host the 7-to-10-p.m. slot on Q 95.5 FM, where her dedicated fan base, which skewed heavily female, called in… More >>
  • Best Pop Band

    Tight Pants Syndrome

    The cult of power-pop geeks is small but fanatical. Picture a cadre of harmony aficionados who might name-drop obscure bands, or devoted vinyl crate-diggers who speak with hushed reverence about finding impossibly rare 45s at a flea market. It's fitting, then, that very few local bands specialize in preserving power-pop's legacy. Enter Tight Pants Syndrome. A quintet bolstered with new… More >>
  • Best Local Poet

    Carl Phillips

    Eight books of poetry, one book of essays, a translation of Sophocles' Philoctetes, two stints leading Washington University's writing program, and more awards for his poetry than your average writer has fingers and toes, there's no doubt about it: In a city known for its heavyweight poets, Carl Phillips is the reigning champ. Phillips' poetry tackles the thorny relationship between… More >>
  • Best Gospel Artist

    Praiz'

    "Ain't nobody mad but the Devil/Everybody's glad but the Devil," Vance Watt sings on "Selah Selah," the thumpingest track on his debut CD, The Take Over. Watt didn't invent gospel hip-hop, but as a producer and MC he has reason to be happy. He's found himself performing with OutKast and producing Chingy, over the years building a hip-hop ministry that's… More >>
  • Best Book by a Local Author

    Unveiling the Prophet

    "When I follow the thread of the Veiled Prophet Ball back to the myth that gave it its name," writes Lucy Ferriss, "I find rape, murder and battle." A portentous sentence, to be sure, smack-dab in the middle of Unveiling the Prophet: The Misadventures of a Reluctant Debutante —a book that's part memoir, part history lesson, part social treatise. But… More >>
  • Second Best Band Name

    Holy Shit and the Buzz Beamers

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  • Best Reading

    Crispin Hellion Glover

    Reading is a fundamental skill; most of us can do it with some degree of proficiency. (If you made it this far, you're golden.) But reading your own work aloud with enough verve to keep an audience hooked on every syllable—that's an art. And Crispin Glover is an artist. In town for a screening of his film What Is It?,… More >>
  • Best Blues Artist

    Bennie Smith

    Joni Mitchell said you don't know what you've got till it's gone. William Bell said you don't miss your water till the well runs dry. William DeVaughn said be thankful for what you got. It's a good thing that Bennie Smith, the patriarch of St. Louis electric blues guitar, got to play one last festival, see his many friends and… More >>
  • Best Reading Series

    River Styx Reading Series at Duff's

    Thinking back over the past year made us realize how blessed St. Louis is with literary endeavors. The St. Louis County Library has the Buzz Westfall series; the St. Louis Public Library brings in a host of authors; Left Bank Books has an admirably author-packed schedule that even spills over into other venues; universities and various other bookstores play host… More >>
  • Best Lounge Act

    Hugh "Peanuts" Whalum

    As cool and smooth as the perfect martini, Hugh "Peanuts" Whalum has provided sophisticated musical entertainment for several generations of St. Louisans, starting in Gaslight Square and continuing into the present day. A fine tenor saxophonist as well as a pianist and singer, Whalum somehow manages to be both suave and down-home, charming audiences even as he educates them in… More >>
  • Best Local Artist

    Sue Eisler

    Sue Eisler has ranked in the top ten of St. Louis artists for years, and has shown her art in private galleries and one-person exhibitions at the Saint Louis Art Museum. Now it's time to give her her due: Sue Eisler is St. Louis' best. Her work is frill-free, the antithesis of the fashionable, the trendy, the predictable. Probably, for… More >>
  • Best Jazz Artist

    Hamiet Bluiett

    There are giants among us. Well, one giant, anyway. See that man over there with the saxophone—the big horn with the funny-looking extra curve at the top? His name is Hamiet Bluiett, he resides in Brooklyn, Illinois, and he is one of the two or three baddest cats ever to pick up a baritone sax. Yeah, Gerry Mulligan was a… More >>
  • Best Art Gallery

    Hoffman LaChance Fine Art

    Hoffman LaChance Fine Art's Michael Hoffman, Alicia LaChance and William LaChance are artists of unique talent, exhibiting regularly throughout St. Louis and other cities. Collectively, the trio curates a rotation of shows that offer exhibition space to artists who, like the owners, are in the thick of the art world but not quite at the level of solo shows in… More >>
  • Best Live Act

    Femme Fatality

    Femme Fatality's energetic concert experience draws many comparisons; some attendees at a July Hi-Pointe show namechecked electro-geek Thomas Dolby and the space-age rap of the Beastie Boys' Hello Nasty as touchstones. But perhaps the greatest compliment the black-clad duo received was from an audience member who boldly stated that Femme Fatality was just how they wished Devo had been. And… More >>
  • Best Gallery Show

    Pearls are a Nuisance: A Retrospective of Art Chantry

    Art Chantry moved from Seattle to St. Louis a few years back and just kinda skulked around the weird, burned edges of the city, poking around in the crusty bits looking for crap. Crap here is not intended in the pejorative sense. In fact, "crap" is an all-purpose word in the Chantry lexicon, roughly translated as "stuff of interest." Anyhoo,… More >>
  • Best Electronic Band

    The Bureau

    Conga lines usually break out at musical events only if said happenings involve Jimmy Buffett, wedding receptions or lethal loads of tequila. Strangely enough, none of those (that we were aware of) were present at the Bureau show at the Pageant in May, during which the floor pit's giddy denizens broke into an impromptu bunny hop that quickly turned into… More >>
  • Best Public Art

    Forest Park's Animals Always

    It's a bigger sculpture than any other public zoo's; here in town it's second in size only to the Arch. Albert Paley's Animals Always has been heralded for many best, most, largest and first superlatives since its installation at Hampton Avenue and Wells Drive in late May. From afar it's hard to judge what exactly you're looking at, but a… More >>
  • Best Local Act Gone National

    7 Shot Screamers

    It's a classic interviewing trick, young bands giving props to their trailblazing elders; it's a sign of respect for these vets' musical talent and hard work. But it's not every day that icons such as Morrissey and punk queen Exene Cervenka dole out glowing compliments to whippersnappers half their age. In 2006 such kudos were all in a day's work… More >>
  • Best Museum

    Bigfoot 4x4, Inc.

    Art, schmart. History, schmistory. There's no better way to get the gray-matter gears turning than by visiting Bigfoot 4x4, Inc., the definitive monument to the monster truck that set off the entire car-crushing craze of the '80s. Check out the original Bigfoot, a Ford F-250 owned by Bob Chandler, as well as 30-plus years of memorabilia and the garage in… More >>
  • Best New Band

    Rats and People

    When the Whole Sick Crew disintegrated last year soon after playing a set at the June RFT Music Showcase, the local scene lost one of its most original acts, a band tagged with (and often burdened by) a "pirate rock" label. Thankfully, one-half of the Crew—drummer Robby Laptad, fiddler Beth Dill and vocalist/guitarist Brien Seyle—surfaced this year in the sextet… More >>
  • Best Science Exhibition

    Cheech Marin's Chicano Now: American Expressions

    At first we were skeptical. What did an exhibition of contemporary Chicano art have to do with science? With Richard "Cheech" Marin attached, it certainly seemed more Nash Bridges than John Forbes Nash—but if science taught us anything, it's that all hypotheses must be tested before a conclusion can be reached. And so we went—and we were pleasantly surprised. Much… More >>
  • Best Old Band

    The Schwag

    The "Best Old Band" is a bunch of "the oldest teenagers in the world," singing a bunch of old songs and paying tribute to one of the most worshiped old bands of all time. For St. Louis and dozens of cities across the Midwest, the Schwag is goin' down the road the Grateful Dead paved decades ago, floating on the… More >>
  • Best Craft Exhibition

    Rock <\#213>n' Roll Craft Show

    So craft fairs aren't sexy, or fun, or interesting. Craft fairs are something you're forced to attend because you're trying to appease your mother, or because you're trapped in Branson for the weekend and you swore you'd never go to another Baldknobbers performance, so help you God. But trust us, the Rock n' Roll Craft Show isn't your mother's craft… More >>
  • Best Producer

    Hardley Davidson

    Three years ago, 26-year-old rapper Aeneas "Hollywood" Middleton was living in New York City. He was ready to leave but didn't know where to go. "At that time, Nelly was number ten on TRL. Somebody told me, 'Yeah, the Midwest is where it's at,'" he says. And so, just like that, he pulled up stakes and brought his rhymes to… More >>
  • Best Museum Exhibition

    Contemporary Masterworks: St. Louis Collects

    St. Louisans can be a leetle touchy about how we're perceived. Ever since Chicago relegated our metropolis to second-to-Second City status, we've had a potent case of the "us too"s that sorta makes us look like chumps. "Deeds not words," as Ace Hunter once suavely intoned; deeds not words make the case. Contemporary Masterworks: St. Louis Collects proved that if… More >>
  • Best Local Label

    Undertow Records

    By now Undertow Records is the grandfather of St. Louis labels. But they certainly didn't rest on their laurels as they neared their tenth year in existence. In fact, the collective gave nationally known indie juggernauts like Merge and Matador a run for their money in 2006, judging from the number of quality albums it released—among them For What I… More >>
  • Best Loan

    Monets at the Saint Louis Art Museum

    The Saint Louis Art Museum has some good friends. Whereas most of us might borrow a pair of shoes or a CD every now and then, this year SLAM borrowed a trio of canvases from a local private collector. Three paintings from Claude Monet's famed water-lily series—Water Lilies (1916), Wisteria Number 1 and Wisteria Number 2 (both 1920)—were loaned by… More >>
  • Best Vocalist (Female)

    Casey Dean

    Perhaps the femputer from Futurama said it best: "Have you any idea what it feels like to be a fembot in a manbot manputer's world?" Casey Dean knows, and she's fighting back, ruthlessly firing sexy vocals in time with bullets from her chest. The female half of electric duo Polarized Mind litters musical megabytes with a fluttery mezzo-alto that could… More >>
  • Best Local Comedian

    Greg Warren

    "He always makes me laugh out loud," Last Comic Standing 4 semifinalist and St. Louis native Nikki Glaser says of Greg Warren. "He's a master and I've learned so much from him. He's one of the best headliners around town, for sure." In 2006 the Comedy Central and BET vet has traveled from CA to PA and everywhere in between,… More >>
  • Best Vocalist (Male)

    Marcel Strong

    He learned to sing in the churches of East St. Louis and supplemented his musical education by studying Ike and Tina onstage at the north side's legendary D.J. Lounge. In 1959 Marcel Strong wrote a song called "Mumble in My Ear (with Clarence Carter in Mind)," which he recorded at Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. When Clarence Carter himself… More >>
  • Best Casino

    The Argosy

    The Argosy Casino's decorating scheme is a mystery. There are planks. There's a suspended dinghy. There are barrels (both wooden and metal). Is it pirate-ship nouveau? Classic warehouse? Or pure pop-industrial kitsch (the vibe is kinda like gambling in the climax of Who Framed Roger Rabbit)? Even if there's not an authentic "Arrrrrrrg!" in "Argosy," St. Louis' first casino is… More >>
  • Best Band Name

    Spark Thugs

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  • Best Trivia Night

    Lemmons

    Every Wednesday at 8 p.m. (or 8:15, or 8:30, or, you know, however long it takes the teams of eight to settle in with those thick-crust pizzas), the first of five rounds (at ten questions apiece) begins. The creators: Lemmons booker Jamie Foehner and trivia maven Sandy Olive, whose weekly knowledge deathmatch turned one year old on September 8. The… More >>
  • Best Hip-Hop DJ

    DJ Mahf

    Dan Mahfood, a.k.a. DJ Mahf, is the younger brother of famed LA comic-book artist Jim Mahfood, and the DJ for local groups Earthworms, Essence of Logic and the Frozen Food Section. Life's not a hip-hop paradise for the south-county boy who lives with his parents and works at Best Buy, but he sure knows his ones and twos. While his… More >>
  • Best Local Impresario

    Steve Schankman

    As founder and president of Contemporary Productions, Steve Schankman had a hand in bringing countless national acts to perform in St. Louis. After SFX Entertainment (to whom he'd sold the company in 1998) was acquired by goliath Clear Channel Communications in 2000, Schankman decided to go it alone again and revived the Contemporary Productions moniker. Today Schankman concentrates on producing… More >>
  • Best Club DJ

    DJ Kid Delicious

    Kyo, Drunken Fish, Urban, the Crescent Room. No, this isn't a list of hot spots where Jessica Alba was spotted over the summer, but it is a partial record of where another patron-pleaser could be found: DJ Kid Delicious. This hard-working woman rocks the decks no matter where she goes—including Miami, where the RFT sent her to play the Winter… More >>
  • Best Strip Joint

    Larry Flynt's Hustler Club

    Too often the strip-club experience is predictable: anorexic bottle blondes with boob jobs always on the hustle. At Larry Flynt's local lair, things work a bit differently. Bettie Page look-alikes offer you "dollar dances," while up on stage, a woman you swear you saw on www.suicidegirls.com puts on a ridiculously athletic pole dance. And don't forget the attached sex shop,… More >>
  • Best Rock Radio DJ

    Mark Klose

    There are two types of DJ: the new version, front and center now, superstars to the beautiful people in clubs worldwide; and the old-school radio jock, an invisible presence playing music and selling stuff. If you're lucky you get a radio personality who functions like a buddy you can get together with and listen to tunes while you're advertised to.… More >>
  • Best Stage Production

    The Sugar Syndrome

    What a mesmerizing evening of theater this was, on every count. For starters, how many 22-year-olds write plays as exhilarating and immediate as Lucy Prebble's The Sugar Syndrome? The story concerns the quirky relationship between Dani, a bulimic teenager straight out of the hospital, and Tim, a middle-aged pedophile straight out of prison. In the lead roles, Magan Wiles and… More >>
  • Best Rock Radio Program

    Afternoon Delight

    Even if it was ill-advised for Loverboy's Mike Reno to wear those form-fitting red leather pants, he was right about at least one thing: Everybody's working for the weekend. In fact, by midday Wednesday we're dragging, weighed down by our cubicle walls, the too-close proximity of our co-workers and the thought of two and a half looooooooong days till we're… More >>
  • Best Musical

    A New Brain

    Talk about a sleeper. Throughout much of William Finn's A New Brain, our protagonist—a frustrated songwriter who is diagnosed with a rare, life-threatening brain disorder—is, if not asleep, at least in a coma. But in the ebullient hands (and feet) of ten gifted Webster Conservatory students, this offbeat musical about high-risk brain surgery became a joyous ode to life. Under… More >>
  • Best Blues Radio Program

    Blues in the Night

    As leader of the Soulard Blues Band, Art Dwyer is the organizing force behind one of St. Louis' most popular and enduring groups of the past 25 years. So it should come as no surprise that Dwyer's got a wide knowledge of blues, R&B, soul and jazz. His great taste in tunes carries over to his KDHX radio show, Blues… More >>
  • Best Children's Theater

    Beowulf

    Long before there were vampires and werewolves, there was Grendel, the legendary monster who terrorizes the land in Beowulf, the earliest extant epic poem in the English language. So right off the bat we have a conundrum. Any eighth-century story that's still around is by definition a classic, but it's also old — real old. How do you engage young… More >>
  • Best Jazz Radio Program

    Jazz Unlimited

    One part hipster, one part professor, Dennis Owsley brings a fan's enthusiasm and a lifetime of knowledge, study and contemplation to Jazz Unlimited, which airs Sunday from 9 p.m. till midnight on KWMU (90.7 FM). Owsley likes to organize his broadcasts around a theme, exploring the work of particular musicians, bands or composers in a way that illuminates as it… More >>
  • Best Theater Surprise

    King Hedley II

    When the Black Rep dedicated its past season to the memory of playwright August Wilson, they weren't merely paying lip service to a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer. This company has lived and breathed Wilson for years. These actors understand his rhythms; they know how to barrel through his overwritten passages and nurture the life in his pauses. They find shadings in… More >>
  • Best Radio Station Format Change (Alternative Division)

    KPNT (105.7 FM) The Point

    In the 1990s the music gods created Pearl Jam's Ten, Nirvana's Nevermind and Alice in Chains' Dirt. And it was good. But the gods giveth and the gods shelveth away: St. Louis' main alternative-rock station, the Point (105.7 FM), forsook much of that decade's fantastic music in favor of new releases from trendy bands—and banishing the earlier stuff to far-too-infrequent,… More >>
  • Best Costume Design

    Teresa Doggett

    A year has passed since Act Inc. and Fontbonne University served up Carlo Goldoni's eighteenth-century Italian romp, The Servant of Two Masters. But if any stage production in St. Louis since then has sported more impressive costumes—and that includes Opera Theatre and the big musicals that passed through the Fox—we didn't see it. Teresa Doggett did a spectacular job of… More >>
  • Best Radio Station Format Change (Satan Division)

    KSHE (94.7 FM)

    Like the Osama bin Laden tapes that pop up on Aljazeera every now and then, KSHE (94.7 FM) decided to capitalize on the media-friendly side of bad dudes on the most devilish of days, 6/6/06. From 9 a.m. till midnight, the station cranked Mike Oldfield's "Tubular Bells" (famously found in The Exorcist) and DJs read excerpts from the Bible's old-school… More >>
  • Best Set Design

    John Ezell

    Some scenic designs are feasts for the eyes, but John Ezell's voluptuous scheme for the Rep Studio production of Humble Boy was something to inhale. This was the most aromatic set to be seen in these parts in quite some time. Charlotte Jones' British comedy-drama is a contemporary riff on Hamlet set in a lush family garden. What delight Ezell… More >>
  • Best Concert of the
    Past 12 Months

    Gogol Bordello, October 11, 2005

    "Think locally," a mustachioed Ukrainian man yells from the bandstand. "Fuck globally!" A crowd doused in a frothy sweat cheers in return. As the last syllable trails off, two young women in flowery dresses, knee pads and face paint race to the front of the stage. One crashes cymbals and the other pounds a bass drum just over the heads… More >>
  • Best Ensemble Cast

    Going to See the Elephant

    Many notable examples of ensemble acting graced St. Louis stages during the past year, including some that are honored elsewhere in this section. But Going to See the Elephant, the Orange Girls' debut endeavor, still resonates in the memory, in part because it sneaked up so inauspiciously. No one knew the play, a curious concoction not so much written as… More >>
  • Best Concert Poster

    Hipsterphonic

    If there's one thing that disrupts an enjoyable walk down Delmar Boulevard, it's the horde urging you to sign this petition, save your soul before it's too late, attend their concert, visit their store. But last fall Hipsterphonic handed out fliers for their upcoming—and final—concert of the year. As we began to crumple the paper, we stopped, read it, laughed… More >>
  • Best Revival

    Bleacher Bums

    Maybe any play not being staged for the first time is a revival for someone. And usually this strait-laced term is restricted for Shakespeare or Shaw or even (forgive the expression) uncut productions of Eugene O'Neill. Compared to those heavyweights, Bleacher Bums, which is billed as a comedy in nine innings, is light fare indeed. But Hydeware Theatre's production was… More >>
  • Best Music Festival

    PolkaPalooza

    It's a sad but true music fact that most festivals are commercial orgies—from the time you buy your ticket (with service charges tacked on, of course) to the time you buy your last beer at the show. Not to mention that you usually have to sit through a dozen who-gives-a-crap bands before someone you like (or, hell, have even heard… More >>
  • Best Vagabond Theater

    After Midnight

    The dearth of good playing spaces in this town is kinda like the weather. Everybody likes to complain about it, but nobody does much about it. Except for After Midnight, or Midnight Theatre Company, or whatever they choose to call themselves from show to show. Call them what you like, it's Joe Hanrahan and David Wassilak. Although earlier this year… More >>
  • Best Local Music History Event

    Black Artists Group Retrospective

    Although the Black Artists Group (BAG) was active for only a relatively short time in the late 60s and early 70s, its influence still resonates. A multimedia collective whose performances combined music, drama, poetry, dance and visual art, BAG generated a lot of buzz during its time and helped launch the careers of many influential artists. Despite these accomplishments, the… More >>
  • Best Art Cinema

    Webster Film Series

    The Webster Film Series' year-round slate of films busts preconceptions that "art cinema" equals talky movies about the existential angst of butter cows, with an all-cello score and an ass-load of unintelligible symbolism. Over the past year, James Harrison and Mike Steinberg, the brains and cinephiles behind the WFS' programming, provided retrospectives focusing on the careers of Louis Malle and… More >>
  • Best Music Web Site

    MySpace.com

    New MySpace Message from: Best of St. Louis To: Local bands Subject: Best Music Web site Body: So, OK, you guys might think it's a little weird that we've decided to give "Best Music Web Site" to a global entity owned by Rupert Murdoch, an online networking destination that seems to have hit its hipness peak in about, oh, early… More >>
  • Best Film Festival

    True/False Film Festival

    Seems no one told Paul Sturtz and David Wilson that central Missouri is a helluva place for a film festival. Or maybe the True/False Film Festival co-founders just grinned and said, Yep, Columbia, Missouri, is one hell of a place. "We're playing up the romantic notion of coming to the Midwest," Sturtz said on the eve of the 2006 True/False.… More >>
  • Best Band to Die in the Past 12 Months

    Femme Fatality

    Although Femme Fatality's last show isn't until November 24, the electro-hop, dance-clash duo (bittersweetly also named this year's "Best Live Act") announced in late August that they were splitting up. In the three short years they were together, the pair—whose current lineup went by the stage-sibling names Hephaestion and Monanani Palermo—made quite the splash, with several national tours, opening slots… More >>
  • Best Movie Theater

    Moolah Theatre & Lounge

    Who wouldn't want to see one of Angelina Jolie's nostrils enlarged to the size of a two-car garage, her lips to the size of an eighteen-wheeler? The mighty Moolah in midtown ain't no converted Fotomat booth. It is an actual former Shriners temple, converted not for the use of grown men and their go-carts and fezzes, but for the delight… More >>
  • Best Theater Marquee

    Hi-Pointe Theatre

    Back in 2001 Sony Pictures got caught putting rave quotes from a made-up movie critic on its posters for such films as A Knight's Tale and Hollow Man. The studio was ordered to pay $1.5 million in restitution to duped moviegoers. Sony's money would've been better spent by hiring Paul Faur and Charles Evans, manager and assistant manager, respectively, at… More >>
  • Best New Movie About the Gateway Arch

    The Gateway Arch: A Reflection of America

    A former film documentarian once steered his students away from making movies about architecture, warning, "Never make a moving picture about things that don't move." The 630-foot tall Gateway Arch might be an exception. It doesn't move much—just enough on a windy day to spook you out if you're up top—but this new film by Scott Huegerich and Bob Miano… More >>
  • Best Zoo Animal

    Henrietta the prairie dog

    One year ago, a very special prairie dog appeared at the Saint Louis Zoo. When the pup surfaced, zookeepers saw that it had only one arm, evidently the result of a birth defect. Because prairie dogs' survival is largely dependent on their ability to dig, things didn't look good for the youngster. Yet here we are one year later, and… More >>
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