Diana Benanti

  • Blogs

    September 23, 2013

    30 Reasons to Love Drinking in St. Louis

    Craft beer has boomed over the past few years and with it, beer-centric events new and old -- attendance at Oktoberfests has ballooned, for example. But in St. Louis, spirited beer-drinking is too established and ingrained the culture to be called just a trend. Here are thirty ("Only, thirty?" you m ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 25, 2013

    The Best Shows in St. Louis This Week: February 25 to March 3

    St. Louis is nothing if not prolific in 2013. Last week's show announcements boasted an impressive seven releases-to-be across the board. This week, add three more sets of brand new local tracks to your music collection. DinoFight!, Les Gruff and the Billy Goat, and Mikey Wehling and the Reverbs all ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 16, 2012

    The Ten Best Neighborhood Bars in St. Louis

    ​Selecting Riverfront Times' Best of St. Louis 2011 was no picnic. Choosing the winner meant several worthy candidates would go unmentioned -- until now. In this RFT Music series, we're beeboping and scattin' our way through notable runners up in a number of categories.Diana BenantiThe Royale̴ ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 20, 2012

    The Ten Best 3 a.m. Bars in St. Louis

    Selecting Riverfront Times' Best of St. Louis 2011 was no picnic. Choosing the winner meant several worthy candidates would go unmentioned -- until now. In this RFT Music series, we're beeboping and scattin' our way through notable runners up in a number of categories. Not yet ready to call it a n ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 10, 2011

    B.o.B. Prefers Spaceships to Blunts and Talks Tyler, the Creator. But...

    Diana BenantiB.o.B. on the dais with Hot 104.1's Staci Static.​As promised: We waited around the Loft last night for Bobby Ray, better known to the Top 40 audience as rapper and earworm manufacturer B.o.B. He's known for the atrociously catchy "Airplanes," ("Can we pretend that airplanes in th ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 13, 2011

    Occupy St. Louis Gets Music Community Support: Weekend Shows At Kiener Plaza

    Last night's welcoming committee meeting. Photo by Diana Benanti.​It's Wednesday night, and the dulcet tones of Adele's lovelorn balladry are coming through a boombox. There's a documentary playing on a makeshift screen on the eastern side of Kiener Plaza. Everywhere you go, people are talking ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 6, 2011

    Mister Ben Presents Art Damage at Fort Gondo This Weekend: "Let's Be Happy Mutants Together"

    As the sign says, this weekend the art damaged working class is coming for you. Mister Ben, the affable madman behind the Freezerburn zine, is opening a new exhibit at Fort Gondo on Saturday. There will be hand-drawn cartoons, sculptures, experimental film, vegan pastries, noise and swastikas. Plus, ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 19, 2011

    Fleet Foxes, Playing A Sold-Out Pageant Tonight, Just Crushed Pitchfork

    Courtesy of the artist​It's not like Fleet Foxes needs endorsements -- its show tonight at the Pageant sold out with a quickness and the band's sophomore full-length, Helplessness Blues, peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard album chart. It's still hanging around at No. 61. And in spite of the f ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 3, 2011

    Fucked Up at The Firebird, 7/1/11

    Diana Benanti​Fucked Up | JEFF the Brotherhood | Bug Chaser July 1, 2011 The Firebird By all accounts, it was the best Fucked Up show in St. Louis in years. The crowd was into it, the band was into it - it was Canada Day, after all - and the Toronto six-piece gave as severe an ass-whooping as ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 20, 2011

    "Neo-Supper Club" Jumpin' Jupiter Opens in Maplewood

    Diana BenantiInside the Jumpin' Jupiter.​ St. Louis' first neo-supper club, the Jumpin' Jupiter, opened its doors in Maplewood this weekend in the old Jive and Wail location (7376 Manchester Road, Maplewood; 314-645-5867). We reported on the opening back in March, and now the wait is over. ... More >>

  • News

    May 26, 2011
  • Blogs

    May 9, 2011

    Lenard Blair on New St. Louis Art Collective Civil Ape

    Diana BenantiNasty Cat Bath performing last night at Civil Ape's studio. ​Last Friday we told you about Civil Ape's fundraiser for the St. Louis Arts Project (SLAP) Conference in conjunction with the weeklong Chautauqua Art Labs. About 125 people gathered to check out design collective Civil A ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 5, 2011

    Naked Women Invade the Loop!

    Diana BenantiHolly Kersten and Lauren Quillo stumping for PETA in the Loop. ​Nothing says animal rights like a couple of naked chicks standing on a street corner, right? Two St. Louis lovelies bared arms, legs and backsides for PETA in the Delmar Loop yesterday, hoping to educate passersby on ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 15, 2011

    Zola Jesus at the Billiken Club, April 14: Review

    Diana Benanti​Zola Jesus/Cult of Youth Billiken Club April 14, 2011 Sometimes, not often, but sometimes, an artist creates a moment, a fleeting second of absolute perfection that utterly crushes you the minute it's over. At least until the instant replay kicks in or until you get back in your ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 14, 2011

    Five Questions with Zola Jesus

    Judy Miller​Zola Jesus, aka Nika Roza Danilova, isn't an easy woman to track down. The Russian American singer celebrated her birthday earlier this week, and in between touring, recording and finishing her degrees in French and Philosophy at the University of Wisconsin, she managed to find a f ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 16, 2011

    Cherokee Street Shop Cranky Yellow Is Cranky About City Hall

    Diana Benanti details the struggles of 23-year-old Cherokee Street entrepreneur David Wolk.​We wanted to direct your attention over to some news on our sister blog, A to Z. In it, the RFT's Diana Benanti reports on the trouble that one local entrepreneur, Cherokee Street thrift shop/art gallery/mu ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 14, 2011

    Interview: Euclid Records New Orleans Manager James Weber Gives a State of the Store

    A to Z took an impromptu trip to our sweaty sister in the dirty south for the Mardi Gras festivities, and we were saddened to find the New Orleans outpost of Euclid Records shuttered. "We closed that Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. There was nothing happening," says James Weber, the St. Louis transplant ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 3, 2011

    Halfway Haus To Open in South Carondelet

    Spring is still being a big ol' tease, but new venues are blooming across the Southside like crocuses. The Heavy Anchor opens in a few weeks, The Warehouse has a new sign and is open for business, and Halfway Haus (7900 Michigan), a new bar and venue coming to South Carondelet, opens March 10.Diana ... More >>

  • Blogs

    March 3, 2011

    Restaurant Tidbits: Halfway Haus, Izakaya Ren

    Diana BenantiThe bar (unfinished) at Halfway Haus​Over at A to Z, my colleague Diana Benanti has filed a progress report on Halfway Haus, a new bar and music venue slated to open at 7900 Michigan Avenue on Thursday, March 10.According to Benanti, Halfway Haus won't have a kitchen, but they will ha ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 11, 2011

    School of Seven Bells' Alejandra Deheza on Remixes, Magic and Tarot Cards

    Abbey Drucker​Tonight at the Pageant, Interpol is returning to the venue in support of its latest, self-titled album. (Tickets are still available.) Along for the ride is the dreampop act School of Seven Bells. In this week's paper, Diana Benanti spoke with that band's Alejandra Deheza about h ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 19, 2011

    Ta-Da: St. Louis City Bars and Clubs That Have Applied for a Smoking Ban Exemption

    ​Okay, St. Louis puffers, you asked for it -- and here it is: the unofficial list of city bars that have applied for an exemption from the smoking ban. A quick word of caution: This is not a list of places that have officially been declared exempt, but rather a list of bars whose owners beli ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 13, 2011

    Ten St. Louis City Bars Where You Now *Can't* Smoke Indoors

    ​Walking into a bar in St. Louis now, your nostrils might have a little trouble adjusting to the smell. With the new smoke-free law, formerly hazy bars and restaurants are now places where all five senses can function without environmental interference. (Without that smoke smell though...well, ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 12, 2011

    Eleven St. Louis City Bars Where You Can Smoke Indoors

    We're twelve days into the smoking ban, and there's still no master list of places in St. Louis city exempted from the ordinance. In an A to Z post published yesterday, Kara Bowlin, Mayor Slay's press secretary, explained that exemptions are determined after the Department of Health coordinates its ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 10, 2011

    Menomena Returns to St. Louis, Albeit Without A Member

    Diana BenantiMenoemena at the Luminary Center for the Arts, October 2010​On Friday, word broke that multi-instrumentalist Brent Knopf was leaving Menomena. In a brief statement, the band said, "After 10 years of fruit­ful col­lab­o­ra­tion, Brent Knopf has decided to part ways with Menom ... More >>

  • Music

    January 6, 2011
  • Blogs

    January 3, 2011

    Mangia Italiano Closed Until January 12

    ​On A to Z, my colleague Diana Benanti reports that Mangia Italiano will be closed until Wednesday, January 12.Rose Bland, who tends bar at Mangia, said the bar/restaurant/venue will reopen under new management. In addition, the restaurant will receive some cosmetic updates -- including a full, ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 29, 2010

    Interview Outtakes: Crystal Method's Scott Kirkland

    In this week's paper, Diana Benanti spoke to Crystal Method's Scott Kirkland. He and collaborator Ken Jordan will be in town on New Year's Eve, spinning at Europe Nightclub. Below, read on to find out about DJ sets vs. regular music performances, potentially new music and what St. Louis can expect. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 8, 2010

    Ten Mini Local-Album Reviews

    ​We receive dozens and dozens of local CDs a year at the RFT. Although we review many in our weekly Homespun column, there just isn't space to touch on all of them. To remedy that, here are brief reviews of ten more releases that crossed our desks this fall. The ChalkBoyz Chalk Dirty to Me Be ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 18, 2010

    Photos Recap: Nelly Plays a Surprise Show at Blueberry Hill's Duck Room

    Diana BenantiFans lined up outside Blueberry Hill. ​Nelly treated 200 lucky fans to a free show at Blueberry Hill's Duck Room on Friday, in conjunction with a ceremony celebrating his star on the St. Louis Walk of Fame. The hip-hop superstar is the youngest person to have his own star, and tho ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 12, 2010

    Review Setlist: Menomena, The Globes and Tu Fawning Wake Up The Work-Week at the Luminary Center for the Arts, Monday, October 11

    Menomena packed the house last night at the Luminary Center for the Arts, with a three-act bill that was damned close to perfect. It's rare that two relatively unknown opening acts are treated with more than casual disinterest, especially when opening for a band that commands repeated listens like M ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 8, 2010

    Trifeckta Reigns Supreme at Red Bull Big Tune

    Twelve producers went head to head last night in front of a packed house at Pop's Nightclub in Sauget for the Red Bull Big Tune nationwide competition. Now in its fourth year, Red Bull Big Tune is the hunt for the one producer that can wow the crowd. Red Bull Photo Files/Carlos CruzThe final two p ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 1, 2010

    Afternoon Contest! Free Tickets! Joy!

    Diana BenantiMmm, smells like free tickets. ​ In honor of it being Friday, the first of October and nearly the end of the blessed work week, we've got freebies for music fans this weekend. Tonight, "Cooler than Me" singer and pop phenom Mike Posner plays the Pageant and we've got six free tickets ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 21, 2010

    Jonathan Franzen Comes to Town, Gets Adulation and a Marriage Proposal

    No photos were allowed while Franzen was reading (Kris Kleindienst threatened violence), but imagine, if you will, him standing behind this podium in a dark gray checked shirt and jeans.​All hail the Mighty Franzen, who finally returned to his hometown last night, just days after his anointmen ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 10, 2010

    Nightclubbing: HandleBar Grand Opening Tonight

    Here's one way to brighten up this dark, chilly Friday: Head over the brand-spankin' new HandleBar (4127 Manchester) tonight for its grand opening bash. $2 Fat Tire drafts, music by Box of Nerves, New Belgium and PBR giveaways and a "special surprise" from the bartender if you bike to the joint--tho ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 13, 2010

    Nightclubbing: HandleBar, A Bike-Friendly Watering Hole Opening in the Grove

    ​ The idea came to her at 3 in the morning on a Wednesday. "I had a mindgasm," said Tatyana Telnikova. Formerly of Cabin Inn at the City Museum, she's now the proud, proud new owner of HandleBar, a bike-friendly, sustainable and -- most importantly -- local bar in the old Bar 5/Church Key spo ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 6, 2010

    St. Louis to Get Blues Hall of Fame, 10-Day Bluesweek Musical Festival

    Photo: Diana BenantiLeft to right: Blues musicians Bob Case, Roland Johnson and Mayor Francis Slay. ​Organizers of a new music festival to be called St. Louis Bluesweek held a press conference downtown yesterday to announce their lineup and unveil plans for construction of a new Blues Hall of Fame ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 6, 2010

    Show Review: Warpaint and Javelin Thrill the Luminary Center for the Arts, Thursday, August 5

    Diana BenantiWarpaint last night at the Luminary Center for the Arts.​ Warpaint and Javelin Luminary Center for the Arts August 5 East Coast battled West Coast last night at the Luminary Center for the Arts, as dynamic Brooklyn sample sluts Javelin opened for Los Angeles' languid post-punk go ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 6, 2010

    Sci-Fi Lounge Re-Opens Tomorrow Night at Crestwood Court

    Diana BenantiGet yr geek on tomorrow night out at the new Sci-Fi Lounge in Crestwood Court. ​ Attention toy freaks and sci-fi geeks: The Sci-Fi Lounge is back with a new location at Artspace in Crestwood Court. The lounge, arcade and toy museum will celebrate its re-opening tomorrow night with ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 1, 2010

    Nightclubbing: Recent Bar and Venue Openings and Closings

    Drown your sorrows about the oil spill/World Cup/Wimbledon and beat the heat at one of the new nightlife spots in town. The Good News: Chesterfield's International Tap House opened its sister location last week in beery, cheery Soulard. The place is huge and swank, and features 500 beers in bottl ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 30, 2010

    You, Me, and the DuPrees: Eisley Enchants at the Old Rock House, Tuesday, June 29

    Diana BenantiEisley at the Old Rock House​While most of the free world was queued up at one of the local cinemas to take in the latest installment of the Twilight saga, about 160 people were treated to a fantastic show by Texas indie-poppers Eisley.

  • Blogs

    June 1, 2010

    Review Preview: Lola

    Diana Benanti​This week, I head to the loft district to visit the four-month-old restaurant-bar-music venue Lola (500 North 14th Street; 314-621-7277). It's a fun place to be a diner, especially when big parties are present. Follow me after the jump for a sneak peek.

  • Blogs

    May 28, 2010

    Ten Things to Do for $10 This Memorial Day Weekend: May 28-31, 2010

    Looking for something to do this Memorial Day weekend? Here's a list of ten events around town that will cost you $10 or less. ​Homecoming: Fluxus and Visual Poetry by Regional Natives (Opens Friday) This new art exhibition opens Friday. Writes Paul Friswold: "Some people will tell you that F ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 26, 2010

    Nightclubbing: Petra Cafe and Hookah Lounge, a People-Watching (And Bubble) Mecca on South Grand

    ​ It's a Tuesday night and we almost can't get a table at Petra Cafe and Hookah Lounge. The patio is full, every bar stool is occupied, and there's not a single empty chair inside. Most of the other bars on South Grand are empty; it's too hot to think, let alone drink. The obliging, apologetic ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 13, 2010

    Nightclubbing: Sol Lounge Brightens up the Central West End Clubbing Scene

    Le Castle Vania at Sol Lounge, 4/23/10, by Lee Harris. More photos here. Lindell Boulevard in the Central West End has never been a hotbed of clubbing options, but the owners of Sol Lounge have managed to breathe new life into the area with several expansive floors of nightclub bliss. The bar has b ... More >>

  • Blogs

    May 5, 2010

    Show Review Setlist: The Apples In Stereo Time Travel to the Billiken Club, Tuesday, May 4

    Diana BenantiThe Apples in Stereo got their space-disco on last night at The Billiken Club.​The Apples in Stereo have been around since the early '90s. It's one of the founding bands of the Elephant 6 Collective (others include Of Montreal, Olivia Tremor Control and Neutral Milk Hotel). A test ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 25, 2010

    Show Review Setlists: The Album Leaf and Sea Wolf Are Pleasant, But Not Transcendent at the Luminary Center for the Arts, Saturday, April 24

    Diana BenantiPost-rockin in the free world: After a slight delay (darn tornado) The Album Leaf played a 90-minute set at the Luminary last night to a politely enthusiastic crowd.​ The show started an hour late due to yesterday's mind-blowing storm. About two hundred people waited an hour in l ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 14, 2010

    Nightclubbing: South City Pinball, Punk and PBR Emporium The Silver Ballroom

    (Welcome to Nightclubbing, our new weekly feature where we highlight new bars and clubs in town -- or remind you of some old favorites you may have forgotten. Hear of any new bars/clubs/venues opening? Email our clubs editor, Diana Benanti.) Diana BenantiSilver Ballroom owner Steve "Doc" Dachroeden ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 1, 2010

    Photos: Xiu Xiu and tUnE-yArDs at Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center, March 30, 2010

    Here are more photos from Tuesday's Xiu Xiu/tUnE-yArDs show. For the full review, click here. Diana BenantiFemale noise duo Talk Normal brought their brand of grimy no wave from That Place in New York That Every Band Calls Home: Brooklyn.​​

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