Download our Free Best Of App

Arts & Entertainment

  • Best Local Impresario

    Joshua Grigaitis

    Drive past 2720 Cherokee Street on most weekend nights, and you'll find a gaggle of people, from teenagers through thirtysomethings, lined up on the sidewalk to gain access to the club. Though 2720 has been in operation for a little less than a year, its magnet-like ability to draw in music fans is due in no small part to the… More >>
  • Best Museum

    Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts

    The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts stays true to its name: "arts," plural. The curators are nothing if not multidisciplinary, incorporating poetry readings, theater and musical performances into exhibits of visual art. "Incorporate" is the right term; the foundation's mission has always been to blend the work on display with the building's architecture, and to direct the viewer's thinking to… More >>
  • Best Reporter (Newspaper Division)

    Elizabethe Holland

    Elizabethe Holland was awarded a prestigious Gerald Loeb Award in 2010 for her teamwork on a series of articles exposing the shady transactions of auto-warranty firm US Fidelis. But that's not why Holland caught our attention this past year. More impressive was Holland's dogged coverage of the shenanigans within the Northeast Ambulance and Fire Protection District. Holland's reporting revealed how… More >>
  • Best Gallery Exhibition

    Erik Spehn: Six Whites/Three Reds - CLOSED

    This solo exhibition by local artist Erik Spehn featured a suite of large-scale paintings deploying his signature abstractions of obsessively woven textures, but with new strains of scarlet and underpaintings of golden maize. The added color infuses depth and a kind of emotional narrative to work otherwise intent on the study of restrained, process-oriented subtlety. Thin strands of cut canvas,… More >>
  • Best Theater Company

    Upstream Theater

    It all comes down to what you want from your theater. If you're seeking escapism, a good time, a few laughs or an easy lump in the throat — and there's nothing wrong with any of those nice things — then you might want to look elsewhere (and there are lots of options). But if you're open to having your… More >>
  • Best Actress in a Play

    Brooke Edwards

    Passionate theater, persuasively rendered, was the stock-in-trade of the Orange Girls theater company, which concluded its brief but exhilarating four-year tenure with an effervescent production of David Lindsay-Abaire's madcap comedy Wonder of the World. In the pivotal leading role of a rudderless woman on the run from reality, Brooke Edwards somehow managed to anchor the anarchic evening even as she… More >>
  • Best Local Metaphor for How the World Really Works

    Hippopotamus Exhibit

    Beside the swimming pool in which the magnificent hippopotamuses laze about their days at the Saint Louis Zoo is a simple interactive display: Turn a crank and the tail of a cartoon hippo spins, scattering its poop among the small fish swimming around it. The point is to educate zoogoers about the food chain. The smallest fish feed on the… More >>
  • Best Local Act Gone National

    Theodore

    Theodore's latest release, Hold You Like a Lover, is at once foreign and familiar, homesick and homeless, gorgeous and damaged in ways only residents of a confused blank slate of a city like St. Louis could create. Referencing guttural blues, alt-country icons Uncle Tupelo and free-jazz-era Miles Davis — multi-instrumentalist J.J. Hamon plugs his harmonica into guitar pedals much like… More >>
  • Best Jazz Artist

    Peter Martin

    St. Louis has produced many well-known jazz musicians through the years, but few have made their homes here after finding success on national and international levels. Pianist Peter Martin is one current exception; the University City native had moved to New Orleans in the early 1990s but returned here with his family after Hurricane Katrina and decided to resettle. Since… More >>
  • Best Blues Artist

    Marquise Knox

    Blues enthusiasts in St. Louis have known about Marquise Knox since he was fifteen years old and already demonstrating vocal skills and stage presence that rivaled veteran performers two or three times his age. Now people elsewhere are beginning to catch on; Knox has been fielding requests to appear at blues festivals across the United States and in Europe, in… More >>
  • Best New Band

    Sleepy Kitty

    You might have seen Sleepy Kitty before you heard them: The Cherokee Street duo's Technicolor concert posters have spread across town like the flu, and principal members Paige Brubeck and Evan Sult are an inseparable fixture at local events and shows. The pair's music, however, is just as striking. Brubeck's time-warp vocals can be unadulterated (think Cat Power on Broadway… More >>
  • Best Country Band (Traditional)

    Colonel Ford

    Sometimes a duo, sometimes a trio or a quartet, almost always featuring St. Louis music veterans Gary Hunt and Dade Farrar, Colonel Ford keeps pre-outlaw, traditional honky-tonk alive with Hunt's original compositions and a slew of classic covers heavy on the Buck Owens. "We play pop music," Farrar explained when the duo opened for his brother Jay in June. "Music… More >>
  • Best Music Blog

    Music of the Hour

    Music of the Hour's heart beats with two things: music and community. Just five months old, the website (known colloquially as MOTH) has become an integral, positive element of the city's artistic infrastructure. Reviews, interviews and recommendations are MOTH's bread and butter, although the site's social networking aspect — on which its cadre of passionate users chatter about their latest… More >>
  • Best FM Radio Personality

    Finsta

    When popular hip-hop station the Beat fell silent last fall, HOT 104.1 FM became the place to hear hip-hop and R&B on the St. Louis airwaves. It's a powerful position that Finsta — host of Sunday night's local/regional show, STL Home Jamz — doesn't take lightly. The veteran radio host, who has also helmed shows on KDHX and Q95.5, is… More >>
  • Best Book by a Local Author

    Devil at the Confluence

    With the announcement of the new blues museum downtown, maybe St. Louis will finally get its due as the music town that it always was. And if you aren't aware that St. Louis was an influential music city, you're not alone. Our city's musical history has not been well documented — until now. Last year Kevin Belford published Devil at… More >>
  • Best Place for Belly Laugh

    The Improv Trick

    Comedian Bill Chott has gotten plenty of laughs outside of St. Louis through the years, thanks to his gigs on Saturday Night Live, The Dana Carvey Show and in The Ringer. But he gets even higher marks for never forgetting his hometown. The Overland native opened the Improv Trick, an improvisational comedy school and troupe, on Cherokee Street several years… More >>
  • Best Street Artist

    Jonny Xacto

    Sometime in mid-June, at the nadir of the oil-spill crisis in the Gulf of Mexico, a massive, fifteen-foot-tall stencil of a heron appeared on the graffiti-covered flood wall that runs along the Mississippi bank just south of downtown. The bird was emaciated, its narrow beak gaping wide. The wings and body melted into globs of spray paint the color of… More >>
  • Best TV News Anchor

    Melanie Moon

    After a decade on the St. Louis airwaves, Melanie Moon is officially an old-timer — not that anyone is going to confuse her with John Auble any time soon. Still, Moon has been around the block, so to speak, and St. Louis news junkies are the better for it. As she demonstrates every night during KPLR-TV (Channel 11)'s poorly scheduled… More >>
  • Best Theater Event

    August: Osage County

    Theater doesn't get any more enthralling than Tracy Letts' Pulitzer Prize-winning drama August: Osage County, which detonated on the Fox stage for two weeks this past March. August was a far holler from the typical musical fare the Fox usually presents. This booking was yet another example of Mike Isaacson, vice president of programming for the venue, bringing a play… More >>
  • Best Zoo Animal

    Coquerel's Sifaka

    "It's Zoboomafoo!" The shouts of countless kids resound throughout the zoo's Primate House. The Coquerel's sifakas regard the scene with their perpetual wide-eyed stares — equal parts curious, bemused and confused: who or what is this Zoboomafoo you speak of? — and then return to the business of leaping from branch to branch. Their strong legs let these lemurs leap… More >>
  • Best Music Festival

    LouFest

    Unlike sports fans, the twenty- and thirtysomethings that make up the indie-rock community don't hang their civic pride on a World Series or Super Bowl win. They measure one another against the vitality of their music festivals. Austin has South by Southwest and the Austin City Limits Music Festival; Chicago has Lollapalooza and the Pitchfork Music Festival; even little old… More >>
  • Best Jazz Radio Program

    Jazz Unlimited

    With WSIE (88.7 FM) eliminating local hosts in favor of syndicated programming and Don Wolff's weekend jazz broadcast going Internet-only after the sale of KFUO (99.1 FM), Dennis Owsley's Jazz Unlimited is the longest-running jazz radio program in St. Louis. Airing Sundays from 9 p.m. to midnight on KMWU (90.7 FM), where Owsley has done a jazz broadcast of some… More >>
  • Best Concert Poster

    Form A Log

    In a music community that sports posters littered with pixelated jpegs, awful kerning and little regard for design, it's easy to spot those made by folks who care for the craft of the concert poster. Collage enthusiast Jeremy Kannapell is one of few in our great city determined to bring life to the art of promotion. Working outside of the… More >>
  • Best Punk Band

    Doom Town

    In less than a year Doom Town has made waves in the punk scene of St. Louis. Rising from the ashes of local sock-hop heroes the Vultures and angular combatants Corbeta Corbata, Doom Town writhes in the filth and fury of south-city degradation. Illustrating their love for the D.I.Y. aesthetic, all four members have played in bands, released zines, put… More >>
  • Best Folk Artist

    Ryan Spearman

    Consider Ryan Spearman the jujitsu master of folk music. Whether as a solo artist or performing around town with formal and informal blues and old-time groups, he uses his considerable knowledge of folk material and unassailable skill on guitar, mandolin, banjo, harmonica and fiddle to disarm any attempt to fix tradition in history books or on wax cylinders. Spearman's 2010… More >>
  • Best Band to Die in the Past 12 Months

    Target Market

    As mastermind of the recently disbanded group Target Market, Nathan Bernaix yelped, crooned and whammy-barred his way through multiple stylistic evolutions and member rosters. Not only did the shifting nature of the band document the changes in Bernaix's personal record collection, but each cocoon-to-butterfly transformation injected a newfound energy into the St. Louis community. When locals Sullen disbanded in the… More >>
  • Best AM Radio Personality

    John Carney

    We won't lie: When we flip over to the AM dial, KMOX (1120 AM) is the first place we hit. Go ahead and chalk it up to the station's notorious high wattage or St. Louis nostalgia (anyone else excited that the Cardinals are coming back to KMOX next year?). On weeknights from 8 p.m. until midnight, John Carney holds court… More >>
  • Best Film Festival

    "Kurosawa at 100"

    A film festival within a film series, the Webster Film Series' "Kurosawa at 100" featured seventeen of Akira Kurosawa's thirty-odd films in the span of one month — chronologically by date of release, with the notable of exception of the series-opening Ran. The result was not just a buffet of classic cinema, although it most definitely was that, it was… More >>
  • Best Stand-Up Comedian (Male)

    Tommy Johnagin

    Tommy Johnagin's sets sound like business presentations gone off the rails. When the clean-cut 27-year-old with the flinty blue eyes tells stories of deviant-sex safe words and ugly strippers, he's all confidence — and no cussing. "I like to have a large percentage of my stuff be able to be on TV immediately, that's basically the only reason," he once… More >>
  • Best Local Artist

    Sarah Paulsen

    Collaboration is a formidable art, as Sarah Paulsen has proven through her distinct community-minded approach. With works that range from the organization of a newly minted annual event — the People's Joy Parade (which celebrates the general, creative effusion of Cherokee Street in tandem with the neighborhood's Cinco de Mayo festivities) and the Chautauqua Art Lab (an annual series of… More >>
  • Best Director

    Bobby Miller

    What does the director do? With some productions it's easier to discern what the director did not do. If a show seems rudderless, if actors are rushing their lines and not listening, if as a viewer you feel a sense of discomfort, there's a good chance that (for any of a number of reasons) the director was unable to effect… More >>
  • Best Shakespeare Production

    Romeo and Juliet

    Nowhere in the script does it call for an all-cast, three-number dance scene, and yet there one was in the first act of Romeo and Juliet, a glorious Motown dance party in fair Verona. Shakespeare's script also doesn't specify that Mercutio should gradually break down into hysterical fear while delivering his "Queen Mab" speech on the nature of dreams, nor… More >>
  • Best Goodbye

    Classic 99 going out on Beethoven's Ninth

    On the evening of July 6, 2010, a mighty voice was stilled. The sale and transfer of KFUO (99.1 FM) — Classic 99 to friends — was a done deal, and in the morning the airwaves would be the provenance of contemporary Christian pop and the new Joy FM. But that was in the offing; here in the gloaming, Classic… More >>
  • Best Vocalist (Female)

    Miss Molly Simms

    If Janis Joplin didn't answer the question "Can a white girl sing the blues?" Miss Molly Simms has. Though she's only 21, Simms has been playing out for five years (originally in Houston) and has become a force to witness on the St. Louis blues scene, whether performing solo, with a full band or with harmonica maestro Eric McSpadden. Her… More >>
  • Best Country Band (Alternative)

    Prairie Rehab

    Prairie Rehab is a relatively new band, but its roots come from one of St. Louis' best-loved country acts. Three-fourths of the band played in the Linemen, a classic-country quartet that disbanded when lead singer Kevin Butterfield left town. The three remaining members — bassist Greg Lamb, pedal steel player Scott Swartz and drummer John Baldus — put out a… More >>
  • Best Concert of the Past 12 Months

    Leonard Cohen

    Before Leonard Cohen's Fox Theatre concert even transpired, it had the air of the Earth passing through the orbit of a seldom-seen comet. At the age of 75, Cohen was on his first U.S. tour in fifteen years — and was making his first performance in St. Louis, ever. Cohen didn't disappoint: Clad in an elegant black suit, the silver-haired… More >>
  • Best Noisy Band

    Egg Chef

    Possibly the weirdest thing to ever come out of Belleville, Illinois, Egg Chef's noxious blend of hardcore, punk, noise and all-around insanity has earned the band opening slots at countless undergound shows over the past year. Sans their stage garb — hazmat suits — the members of Egg Chef are fresh-faced youngbloods, but while playing they're sludge masters of the… More >>
  • Best Songwriter

    The Bottle Rockets

    Brian Henneman has always delivered the songs of the Bottle Rockets as though he has lived every line, and yet that's just a persona created by his underrated vocal muscle. In truth, the Bottle Rockets have always taken a collective approach to songwriting, working together and apart, getting songs from friends like Bob Parr and Scott Taylor, and cowriting with… More >>
  • Best Local Album of the Past 12 Months

    Theodore, Hold You Like a Lover

    Theodore set the bar high for itself with its second album, Defeated, TN, which was based on a stack of letters found in an abandoned house. Yet the band has outdone itself with LP No. 3, Hold You Like a Lover, which saw national distribution via Moon Jaw Records (www.moonjawrecords.com), a label associated with well-respected Texas label Misra. Lover hovers… More >>
  • Best Newspaper Columnist

    Evan Benn

    Doesn't it seem like newspapers have become, well, old news? Pages are thinner, the gossip column's gone the way of the dodo, and scribblings about cops and robbers are just so...depressing. What Twitterific people really wanna read these days is fun stuff!!! Enter the beer columnist. Evan Benn, an editor of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's entertainment section, does an admirable… More >>
  • Best Movie Theater

    Chase Park Plaza Cinemas

    Movies are the classic American escape activity. Whether you're trying to escape the humidity of summer that makes walking down the sidewalk feel like water aerobics, the gloomy showers of fall and winter or you just need a break from the everyday grind, the Chase Park Plaza Cinemas offers the ideal respite. Sure, it's commonplace for area movie theaters to… More >>
  • Best Casino

    River City Casino

    As anybody who has been to Vegas has learned, a casino isn't just about gambling. OK, that's a large part of it, but while you gulp down drinks and ogle cocktail waitresses and lose your money, something else is going on. You're being transported to another place and time, to Paris, to Venice, to ancient Egypt! River City Casino is… More >>
  • Best Arts Reporting

    Sarah Bryan Miller on the sale of KFUO (Classic 99)

    Good reporting tells you the facts of a situation; great reporting tells you something about the world. Sarah Bryan Miller's long series documenting the sale and resulting format change of KFUO (99.1 FM) related all the necessary facts and figures from the business end, but it also documented the human element of the story, both within the station and in… More >>
  • Best Ensemble Cast in a Play

    Fires in the Mirror

    Anna Deavere Smith wrote Fires in the Mirror, a kaleidoscopic account of a 1991 race riot in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn, as a virtuoso one-person evening of monologues. Male, female, black, white, young, old were all to be portrayed by the same actor. But in a production that focused on division, Mustard Seed Theatre split the cacophonous evening… More >>
  • Best Set Design

    Gianni Downs

    The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis' Emerson Studio stage is small — some would say "intimate" — and hard to disguise as anything other than a stage. Gianni Downs not only transformed the space into a dreary, claustrophobic apartment nestled under the stairwell of a Russian boarding house, he accurately depicted the tortuous warrens of Raskolnikov's mind and evoked the… More >>
  • Best Hair on a Local TV Personality (Male)

    Mike Roberts

    When toupees fall asleep, they dream of KSDK-TV (Channel 5) weathercaster Mike Roberts the way Pinocchio dreams of becoming a real boy. Roberts' voluminous mass is a textbook template for styles synthesized by plugs and rugs worldwide. Do not let the perfection fool you: These follicles are real, and they are fantastic. Roberts' jet-black loaf of hair emits confidence and… More >>
  • Best Hip-Hop Artist

    Black Spade

    Black Spade does not want to be lauded as the best hip-hop artist in St. Louis. If he had his druthers, he would share the honor with a dozen different members of his crew, the Force. Still, while all of them are incredibly talented artists in their own right, Spade's on another level. His production work, done under the name… More >>
  • Best Cover Band

    Griffin & the Gargoyles

    There has been a recent trend in the St. Louis bar-band scene, in which "tribute" acts (which re-create the experience of seeing Bruce Springsteen, for instance, or Van Halen) receive much more love and attention than their cousins, the cover bands. But consider for a moment the versatility that is required of a really great cover band. Any drummer worth… More >>
  • Third Best Band Name

    Snooty Kicks Asteroids

    More >>
  • Best Jam Band

    Fresh Heir

    Horn sections are the new black. Just ask math rockers like So Many Dynamos or Americana bands like Magnolia Summer, both of which, onstage or in the studio, have gotten a cool sonic bump and blast from going brassy. Fresh Heir's horns, however, aren't just a one-off. Integrated into the ensemble, the band's brass, wickedly charted and smoothly played, makes… More >>
  • Second Best Band Name

    Glow Dick

    More >>
  • Best Local Single of the Past 12 Months

    Rockwell Knuckles, "Government Name"

    One way to hear the year's most outstanding local single is to purchase a copy of Everybody Wins and play it on random. The record, a compilation of singles from artists in the local hip-hop collective the Force, includes a slew of strong candidates for this honor. But when the booming string arrangement that kicks off "Government Name" almost blows… More >>
  • Best Arts Organization

    Sloup

    The sounds of enthusiastic chatter and clinking silverware fill a small room on Cherokee Street. You walk straight into the thick of it and are welcomed warmly by your hosts, Maggie Ginestra and Amelia Colette Jones. Your donation of $10 nets you a bowl filled to the brim with soup donated by a local restaurant, accompanied by bread provided by… More >>
  • Best Radio Station

    KDHX (88.1 FM)

    KDHX (88.1 FM) has had an up-and-down year. In January long-time operations manager Larry Weir passed away suddenly after suffering a traumatic brain injury. Late this summer, though, the station announced that an anonymous supporter had donated a four-story building in Weir's honor — allowing KDHX to move its radio and media-arts operations to Grand Center. Despite the impending relocation,… More >>
  • Best Local Poet

    Adrian Matejka

    There's a rhythmic urgency to Adrian Matejka's poetry that mirrors the music he turns to as one of his many sources of inspiration. His newest collection, Mixology, nominated for an NAACP Image Award and winner of the 2008 National Poetry Series, is a case study in disparate meldings. In "Language Mixology" Matejka writes: When he's not writing, editing the journal Sou'wester… More >>
  • Best Local Cartoonist

    Matt Kindt

    The last time Matt Kindt appeared in this publication as Best Local Cartoonist — 2008 — he was just beginning work on 3 Story: The Secret History of the Giant Man. Like Pistolwhip and Superspy before it, 3 Story attracted a bunch of accolades, awards and recognition in the national press. This year Kindt released yet another epic: Revolver. The… More >>
  • Best Ensemble Cast in a Musical

    Titanic

    Titanic was surely the best thing to happen to the Muny this past summer — if for no other reason than that it shook and even disturbed its audiences. A week after the production closed, subscribers were still asking each other, "What did you think of Titanic?" If some viewers were disappointed that there didn't seem to be a single… More >>
  • Best Hair on a Local TV Personality (Female)

    Mandy Murphey

    News broadcasts are often harsh reminders of our tumultuous times, wherein tales of murders and robberies are commonplace. Left to search for traces of light in these dark times, we find solace in the optimistic rays of sunshine radiating from Mandy Murphey's cranium. The FOX 2 news anchor's shoulder-length 'do is a fair and balanced blend of familiar sitcom-mom styles… More >>
  • Best Weathercaster

    Matt Chambers

    With his baby face and boy-next-door charm, Matt Chambers is an everyman weathercaster with more cross-cultural appeal than most political candidates. His midday KMOV-TV (Channel 4) forecasts are bipartisan affairs landing comfortably between Al Gore science jargon and willfully ignorant Bushisms. Chambers has the technical know-how to construct factual prognoses and the credentials to back them up, but his broadcasts… More >>
  • Best Live Sound Engineer

    John John

    In the land of inadequate PA systems, "Turn the vocals up!" is among the most common proclamations by tactless audience members. Not at Cicero's, not when mixing-board veteran John John is at the helm. The sound engineer so nice they named him twice always does good by his bands, making their guitars punch and their drums kick. Most important, he… More >>
  • Best Local Act Gone International

    Pokey LaFarge and the South City Three

    Even before he moved to St. Louis from Louisville, Kentucky, genteel songsmith Pokey LaFarge was a road warrior. But after the February 2010 release of Riverboat Soul — a collection brimming with sepia-toned blues, folk and country signifiers — LaFarge has barely had time to unpack. An August appearance at Rhode Island's prestigious Newport Folk Festival (and being named "Best… More >>
  • Best Rock Band

    Karate Bikini

    The name Karate Bikini screams retro band — a beach-blanket-bingo scene, say, or a cult B-movie horror flick. Unsurprisingly, that's the vibe created by the quintet on its four-song debut, A Demonstration. The EP recalls the chewy psych-jangle of the Dream Syndicate or Robyn Hitchcock and the drawn-out fuzzpop of Yo La Tengo, in between moments of harmony-stacked power pop… More >>
  • Best Pop Band

    The Blind Eyes

    "Pop" is a meaningless descriptor these days. But in the case of the Blind Eyes' brand of rock & roll, the term is apt. The power trio has the knack for constructing tunes that don't overstay their welcome, thanks to airtight choruses, concise verses and measured bridges. Ted Leo's agit-punk, Elvis Costello's brusque pop and the Jam's mod Britpop are… More >>
  • Best Telecaster Player

    Gary Hunt

    The Fender Telecaster is the sine qua non of electrified American music — the workingman's axe, at once the simplest guitar to play and the hardest instrument to make one's own. To quote Bill Kirchen, one of country music's mightiest guitarists, the "hammer of the honky tonk gods [was] forged at the junction of form and function." In St. Louis… More >>
  • Best Strip Joint

    PT's Sports Cabaret

    What's better than an awesome strip club? How about an awesome strip club that's completely sports-themed! With eighteen TVs and three big screens, PT's Sports Cabaret patrons can check out up to eight different sporting events at once. If watching sports on screens fails to trip your trigger, mark your calendar for one of their sporting-themed events — such as… More >>
  • Best Nomadic Art Show

    Art Underground

    Art Underground started out as a house party with a twist. Knowing that many of their talented friends rarely had the chance to show their work in a gallery setting, Brad and Hannah Edwards offered the walls of their own Lafayette Square apartment. They then invited a few dozen friends over for a casual gathering. The deal: If any of… More >>
  • Best Reading Series

    Hungry Young Poets

    Poetry might call to mind genteel sips of wine, but appetites at the Hungry Young Poets summer reading series are fed by topped-off pint glasses and after-party shots. All cozied up at Duff's in the Central West End, you'll find music and laughter — among other things you may not have envisioned taking place at a poetry reading. Locally based… More >>
  • Best Theater Surprise

    Abie's Irish Rose

    Abie's Irish Rose, which ran on Broadway for five record-setting years beginning in 1922, might well be the first Teflon play (even though it predates the invention of Teflon by sixteen years). Reviewers had few words of praise for Anne Nichols' lowbrow comedy about the uproar that ensues when a good Jewish boy (Abie) brings home a Catholic bride (Rose… More >>
  • Best Actor in a Musical

    Zachary Allen Farmer

    Effectively portraying an emotionally shut-down middle-aged man who's squarer than a block of wood is difficult enough; but to do it in a musical — about spree-killer Charlie Starkweather no less — requires an exceptional combination of talent and technique. Zachary Allen Farmer met both requirements in spades. His eyes hidden behind bulky glasses, Farmer conveyed Sheriff Merle Karnopp's repressed… More >>
  • Best Intermission

    The Muny

    Intermissions can be tricky commodities, which may explain why they're being omitted from more and more plays. The break should be long enough to give the viewer an opportunity to digest what has been seen in Act One — but not so long that people begin to forget what they've just seen. We've attended plays that have barely a dozen… More >>
  • Best Local TV Commercial

    The Bedroom Store

    At first we were uncomfortable welcoming Denny Boyd, president of the Bedroom Store, into our boudoir each morning and evening. After all, we hardly knew him (and he wasn't invited). But nowadays Denny's like an old friend, and we look forward to seeing the dude on the tube, whether before we shut our peepers at night or when we arise,… More >>
  • Best Rock Radio Program

    The Record Sto'

    Doug Morgan's velvet pipes make him sound like he should be on late at night, coaxing the heartbroken through their pain. But Morgan's Thursday 2 p.m. slot on KDHX (88.1 FM) is the perfect aperitif for the twilight of the workweek. The Record Sto' focuses on deep cuts from hip-hop greats (De La Soul, Nas), classic rock icons (ZZ Top,… More >>
  • Best Local Label

    BDR Records

    On its website BDR Records states that its mission is to "document the St. Louis punk, new-wave, power-pop, post-punk, etc bands from the '70s and '80s on vinyl and shiny compact discs." So far, so good: The label, cofounded by Bunnygrunt's Matt Harnish and local punk expert Jason Rerun, had a bang-up first year. BDR's debut offering was a collection… More >>
  • Best Vocalist (Male)

    Samuel Glover

    He may be a skinny white dude, but Natural Selection frontman Samuel Glover is a soul man at heart. On Natural Selection's latest, White Picket Fence, Glover uses his sweetly weathered pipes to be emotive, expressive and direct on these songs of new romances and fractured relationships. The Natural Selection may have started as a soul cover band, but it… More >>
  • Best Hip-Hop DJ

    DJ Sno

    Being a hip-hop DJ is more than just spinning records that inspire people to get down on the dance floor. That is an essential part of the equation, no doubt, but the most talented turntablists separate themselves from the pack by expanding their repertoire. DJ Sno is a prime example of diversification paying dividends. He mans the wheels of steel… More >>
  • Best Producer

    Phaseone

    You can try to hang a label on Phaseone (known to his mama as Andrew Jernigan), but it's a fool's errand. His mixtapes have garnered praise on Pitchfork and elsewhere for their juxtapositions of Aphex Twin, J Dilla and Fleetwood Mac. Likewise, his remixes of Animal Collective and Bloc Party have blazed across P2P networks. Phaseone has proven himself to… More >>
  • Best Burlesque Act

    GoGo McGregor

    There's more to burlesque dancing than sequins and a great pair of tassels. It's about being sassy and sexy and grabbing the audience in a fabulous way (if by the balls). It takes a special kind of woman to pull all that off, and the lady who has teased her way into our hearts is GoGo McGregor. The Gorgeous Gal… More >>
  • Best Art Gallery to Die in the Past Year

    Boots Contemporary Art - CLOSED

    After an impactful four years of programming, this Cherokee Street "art lab," founded by artist Juan Chavez, closed its doors. The small nonprofit space, which hosted performances and published a newspaper of sorts (Boot print) that featured interviews and reflections on the state of contemporary art, was the site of innumerable exhibition experiments, ranging from residencies to the Pedestrian Project… More >>
  • Best Reporter (TV/Radio Division)

    Mike Owens

    Mike Owens, who spent 27 years chasing down scoops at KSDK-TV (Channel 5), was the role model several younger local reporters say they aspired to emulate — until September 3, when he left TV news to practice law alongside legal eagle Chet Pleban. He may have departed the news biz, but he still gets juiced up when asked about the… More >>
  • Best Stage Production

    Helver's Night

    Quick: When's the last time you saw a really good Polish morality play? As adapted and directed by Upstream Theater artistic director Philip Boehm, Helver's Night, a parable about two misfits trying to exist in an oppressive totalitarian society, delivered a jolt of harrowing theater enacted by two brilliantly modulated performers. Christopher Harris was a simpleton who was desperate to… More >>
  • Best Actress in a Musical

    Taylor Pietz

    History will remember Caril Ann Fugate as either Charlie Starkweather's hostage or his willing accomplice on his multistate murder spree. Taylor Pietz's portrayal of Fugate in Kyle Jarrow's musical Love Kills offered a third possibility: Maybe she was an overwhelmed teenager who was both options at various times. Pietz played Fugate as a defiant juvenile delinquent, a lovesick young girl,… More >>
  • Best Audience

    Our Town

    Thornton Wilder's 1938 ode to the wonder of life remains one of the most modern plays ever written. Set in Grover's Corners, New Hampshire, the play ultimately involves three generations of townspeople. As lovely as the cast was in the finely tuned Stray Dog Theatre staging, what made the evening doubly moving was to gaze upon the audience seated in… More >>
  • Best TV Station

    KMOV-TV (Channel 4)

    Why do we like KMOV-TV (Channel 4)? Because the station hasn't forgotten its roots. While other St. Louis channels trim local content for syndicated shows and reruns, KMOV offers five hours of local programming Monday through Friday. That's two hours of morning news, an hour of Great Day St. Louis mid-morning, the noon news and the conventional 5, 6 and… More >>
  • Best Bluegrass Band

    Michael Jonas and Wayward Mountaineers

    Missouri ain't the Bluegrass State, but our connection to the music Bill Monroe invented endures. Pivotal figures like the Dillards and Rhonda Vincent hail from Missouri, festivals grow (and sometimes smoke) like weed around St. Louis in the summer and John Hartford, as we all know, was a University City native. Among the younger generation of our city's bluegrassers, Michael… More >>
  • Best Band Name

    Breakdances with Wolves

    More >>
  • Best Gospel Artist

    Slim and Zella Mae Cox

    Even if you ordinarily wouldn not stop and linger at Rev. Larry Rice's KNLC-TV (Channel 24), but you can't resist. They're the octogenarian couple singing that beautiful gospel music against a backdrop of fake wood paneling and plastic plants. Slim and Zella Mae Cox have been playing together since 1948, when as young lovers working the cotton fields of their… More >>
  • Best Club DJ

    DJ Needles

    The Hold Steady song "Most People are DJs" has become a fact of life. We live in an age when any iPod- and laptop-toting music hound can be a DJ — which is why watching a real turntablist tear up the decks is a thing of beauty. In his sixteen-year career, James Gates, a.k.a. DJ Needles, a.k.a. Nodzilla, has established… More >>
  • Best Recording Studio

    Firebrand Recording

    St. Louis has no lack of high-priced, über-fancy recording studios or DIY basements with ProTools rigs. Until Firebrand Recording opened its doors in 2006, the lack of middle ground led legions of artists on pilgrimages out of town in order to realize their aural visions in an economical manner. Owners Brian Scheffer and Nelson Jones have done their part to… More >>
  • Best Art Gallery

    PSTL Gallery at Pace Framing

    Sandra Marchewa and Paul Young — artists, framers and co-owners of Pace Framing — consistently maintain a challenging exhibition space that champions local artists with a distinct mix of modesty, sensitivity and acute aesthetic intelligence. Their former space, on North Grand Boulevard, featured a sliver of a window gallery that posed a unique challenge to the artists invited to create… More >>
  • Best Stand-Up Comedian (Female)

    Nikki Glaser

    It's impossible to describe Nikki Glaser's comedy without reference to Sarah Silverman, whose influence on the 26-year-old blonde from Kirkwood is blatant (both skip gleefully into the taboo pastures of rape and abortion). But while Silverman assumes the persona of the naive boor in order to lampoon A-listers and all things PC, Glaser offers a different emphasis: She sounds like… More >>
  • Best Museum Exhibition

    for the blind man in the dark room looking for the black cat that isn't there

    This philosophical group exhibition, which explored the phenomenon of not knowing with playful stabs at replicating the experience of enigmatic bewilderment (and, at times literally, groping in the dark), may have been the most revelatory art show of the past year. Disparate works by Rachel Harrison, Peter Fischli and David Weiss, Marcel Broodthaers, Matt Mullican and the design team Dexter… More >>
  • Best Musical

    Ragtime

    How do you like your musicals? Big and splashy? Thoughtful and substantive? Ragtime, a panorama of American life at the turn of the twentieth century, has something for everyone. So much is happening in this show that it's too ambitious for most theaters to even attempt. But this joint venture between the Washington University Performing Arts Department and the Black… More >>
  • Best Actor in a Play

    Alan Knoll

    Sometimes we think we know actors so well that we don't really see them at all. When wasn't Alan Knoll a familiar part of the local theater scene? He could always be counted on to deliver amusing, sometimes exaggerated, performances. But it wasn't the kind of acting that made viewers sit up and take notice. Then a few years ago… More >>
  • Best Musical Performance by a Dog

    Wally the Labrador

    It's a cardinal rule in show business that one should never perform with children and animals. There were no children onstage at the Roberts Orpheum Theater the night in April when Steve Martin and the Steep Canyon Rangers came to town, but there was Wally, Martin's yellow Labrador. Wally wandered onstage briefly during sound check to survey the audience, but… More >>
  • Best Trend

    Up with the St. Louis music scene!

    The stars have aligned, and the writing is on the wall: 2010 has been a watershed year for music in our fair metropolis. From LouFest, our first legitimately eco-friendly festival with national headliners, to the recently announced St. Louis Blues Hall of Fame, St. Louis is shaking its too-long-held status as a flyover city. We sweated through Lady Gaga and… More >>
  • Best Side Project

    The Fuck Off and Dies

    As lead singer of Story of the Year, Dan Marsala has seen his share of fame and rock & roll stardom. Thankfully, he's not one to rest on his laurels. His punk-rock side project the Fuck Off and Dies takes everyone's favorite four-letter word and inserts it into the title of every one of the band's snotty, punchy tunes. Marsala's… More >>
  • Best R&B Artist

    Aloha Mi'Sho

    Aloha Mi'Sho — you might know her as Aloha Mischeaux, or, perhaps, just Aloha — has come a long way since her days as an American Idol finalist. Now 24, the singer is shedding her youthful reputation in favor of a grown-up look and sound. So far the maturation is a rousing success: Backed by a full band as an… More >>
  • Best Metal Band

    Sine Nomine

    Coming up in the age when metal was bastardized by a lack of musicianship and a flood of emotion, Sine Nomine came on to the scene like a beast in the night, stripped of all pretense. Formed in the early '00s as a quartet, the band emerged as an unrelenting force defined by the technical prowess of its members. Never… More >>
  • Best Tribute Band

    Superjam

    The genius of Superjam is that, rather than paying tribute to a specific group, the band evokes an entire time period — specifically, the arena-rock era of the '70s and '80s, when KSHE and its porcine mascot, Sweetmeat, ruled the local-music radio airwaves. Tongues planted firmly in cheek, the five members of Superjam — all seasoned veterans of many other… More >>
  • Best Poster Designer

    Boxing Clever

    When Vintage Vinyl needs eye-catching art for an in-store musical performance or band appearance, the record shop calls on Boxing Clever. The two-year-old ad agency prides itself on diverse designs and the egalitarian way they're commissioned. In fact, the company stresses that its fleet of art directors contributes to the creativity. Sometimes these designs are literal (a comic-book-zombie-esque rendition of… More >>
Loading...