Admit it: You have grown weary of nailing down that bar stool with your keister, debating about the Blues' chances next season with the same crowd of idiots you see every night. Yes, they're your friends, but just once, couldn't you discuss something other than sports or sports-related injuries? Buddy, call in sick and make plans to attend the 1 p.m. Kirkwood Public Library's English Tea (140 East Jefferson Avenue, call 314-821-5770, ext. 23 for reservations). You will enjoy a lovely spot of tea and perhaps the butteriest crumpets this side of London, and Marsha Coplon of the St. Louis Repertory Theatre will discuss the comedies of Noel Coward and Oscar Wilde in a presentation entitled "Being Cowardly and Having a Wilde Time." There is no hockey in either of these writers' plays, and Noel Coward is no relation to Blues great Noel Picard. Admission is $5.
Thursday, April 8
Gravity Propulsion System came through St. Louis back in December, and great things were written about the band right here in this very paper. So there is no small amount of personal bias influencing this recommendation: Go witness GPS. A bass-heavy three-piece with a penchant for smothering its Midwestern power-riffage in thick, scratchy fields of static, stray radio frequencies and random magnetic pulses, Gravity Propulsion System welds science fiction and rock & roll together in exciting ways. Oh, and you extreme kids, with your face jewelry and crazy haircuts, you might recognize GPS's space-lullabies from the Mat Hoffman (that's extreme bike-riding Mat Hoffman) series of home DVDs. Yeah, that makes sense. When you're piloting an aluminum-framed crotch scrambler through upside-down gyrations, you want a soundtrack that induces vertigo and fist-pumping. Bonus points on that tailwhip if you knock yourself out while "Sleep (They're Coming)" is playing, brah. Gravity Propulsion System throws the "on" switch at 9 p.m. at the Rocket Bar (2001 Locust Street). Visit www.rocketbar.net for ticket prices and more information.
Friday, April 9
If the thought of wearing another man's hip-waders neither confuses nor alarms you, then the St. Louis County Department of Parks and Recreation Fishing and Outdoor Equipment Swap Meet at Jefferson Barracks Park (Telegraph Road and Kingston Drive, 636-391-3474) is worth your time and the $1 admission charge. From 6 to 10 p.m. Friday, April 9, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 10, other people's fishing tackle, camping gear, hiking equipment and yes, outdoor clothing, will all be available for sale or trade. Spring has sprung, and if you recently cleaned out your garage and/or tool shed, this is a perfect chance to reclaim some of the stuff your wife made you discard. And this time you'll probably only pay half of what you originally paid! Women love bargains, but just in case, buy her a new fisherman's hat; ladies do so love their chapeaux.
Saturday, April 10
Have you ever heard the majestic honking of migrating geese, looked skyward at their orderly "V" formation and wondered why one side is always longer than the other? It's because there are more geese on the long side, silly. If you laughed at that one, you are perfectly suited to take part in the Bird Brain Dance Project at 1 p.m. at the Mississippi Riverfront Trail (Biddle Street and Leonor K. Sullivan Boulevard, www.birdbraindance.org or www.artica.org). Local arts organization Artica welcomes the Bird Brain team of dancers and choreographers, who will instruct participants in the art of dancing like geese. Talent is far less important than an open mind and great spirit; Artica executive director Hap Phillips hopes the free event will draw a crowd of fun-seekers, picnickers and animal lovers. There are worse ways to spend a sunny Saturday than shaking your tailfeathers with strangers along the banks of the mighty Mississippi.
Sunday, April 11
Back in the old days, cars didn't look like all-terrain assault vehicles. No sir, they had fins and curves and round windows and a thousand other nifty features, because they were each as long as an Olympic-size pool. Except for the Nash Metropolitan, which was so wee that you could carry it up a flight of stairs to your apartment if you were reasonably strong. The annual Concours d'Elegance car show (Upper Muny Parking Lot in Forest Park, 314-991-4665), sponsored by the Horseless Carriage Club of Missouri, promises more than 600 vintage, antique or collectable cars, and you can bet the majority of 'em will have more style than today's fuel-efficient utility boxes. Admission is free, and the cars will be assembled from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., so you'll have plenty of time to ask yourself, "What price, progress?"
Monday, April 12
Have we officially reached "special day" overload? April 12 is National Licorice Day, according to the National Confectioners Association, and while the confectioners probably have an ulterior motive for the existence of NLD (what could it possibly be?), who are we to knock a holiday? Will you spend your day off lounging in bed, eating your weight in tasty red ropes of the stuff, or will you roam the streets throwing handfuls of licorice allsorts to a joyous people? If you're undecided, head over to Frederick's Music Lounge (4454 Chippewa Street, 314-351-5711), where they celebrate National Licorice Day in the traditional fashion with a free screening of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory around 8 p.m. Does licorice go well with Stag and popcorn? Past experience has taught us that Twizzlers with the ends bitten off make excellent straws, so perhaps a kir royale is in order.
Tuesday, April 13
Whenever possible, you should listen to an artist talk about her own work. The ideas and emotions of artists run rampant in their pieces; elements they feel are so obvious are rarely what you, the impartial viewer, notices most. These personal observations may convince you that you have missed the artist's point or misunderstood the work, but that's OK. It's often unsettling to see the world through another pair of eyes, and that's what art is supposed to do for you. Embrace your confusion! Photographer Yolanda Andrade discusses her work, currently hanging in the group show El Ojo Fino/The Exquisite Eye: 9 Mexican Women Photographers, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Sheldon Art Gallery (3648 Washington Boulevard, call 314-533-9900 for reservations). Andrade's gallery talk is free, and the Hispanic Arts Council sponsors a wine-and-hors d'oeuvres reception following the lecture. Everyone can agree on free eats.
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