There are always pros and cons about going out during the week. An obvious positive about a Wednesday outing is that upon returning to work, the week will be more than half over. But the bad side is suffering through early Thursday smelling like a wino (and feeling like one). A great way to counteract that mid-morning mopiness is remembering that the previous night's booze and BLTs (the best ever) helped a good cause. But what wonderful bar turns pinot gris and grub into charity? Nik's Wine Bar (307 Belt Avenue; 314-454-0403 or www.nikswinebar.com), where else? Come by from 5 p.m. to midnight to view Donna Lochmann's Tails from the Streets exhibit. The photos of the city's stray dogs will probably be depressing, but that hopelessness becomes hope with each purchase: 10 percent of Nik's sales that night support Stray Rescue.
Thursday, June 10
Summertime is movie time, but unfortunately for movie lovers, the drive-in theater (the greatest movie development of all time, bar none) is almost a thing of the past. You can still find the simple pleasures of open-air cinema, if you know where to look. Here's a hint: Look in January-Wabash Memorial Park (501 North Florissant Road; 314-521-4661) around 8:45 p.m. The City of Ferguson Parks and Recreation Department sponsors free family movies during the month of June, with Daddy Day Care (starring a very toned-down Eddie Murphy) kicking off the proceedings. We didn't see it, but it's a free movie under the stars, and they have a concession stand. Ergo, it's our new favorite movie.
Friday, June 11
The old punks can tell you, back in the '80s, you bought your Black Flag tapes (that's right, cassette tapes; CDs weren't invented yet, and music sounded good) the same day you bought your Cure tapes. The line between angry/lonely guys and loud music and angry/lonely guys and mopey music was not as clearly defined in those days.
Decades of Regression at the Creepy Crawl (412 North Tucker Boulevard; 314-851-0919) returns to those thrilling, blurred-boundary days of yesteryear by sticking a good, old-fashioned '80s-music dance party in the friendly confines of the city's punkest punk club. Starting at 10:45 p.m., all those soft-hearted kids in the 21-and-older crowd get in for $3, so they can dance to the soundtrack of the John Hughes decade. Even better, cocktails are free from midnight to 1 a.m., so as to better fuel the drunken "lights low slow dance session" that begins at 1 a.m. Commence to gropin', crusties! Just like heaven, indeed.
Saturday, June 12
Just so you know, if you're planning on catching up with a long-lost friend at the Mike Doughty's Band show, think again. Speaking from experience, the former Soul Coughing frontman doesn't like the chatty during the singy. He will even stop the show until all the loquacious ones settle down. So do get all your talking out beforehand, and don't interrupt. You won't want to miss anything anyway; Doughty's solo stuff is great (and may be available in retail stores soon; Rockity Roll is still available at the artist's Web site at www.superspecialquestions. com). This time around, Doughty will be stopping by Mississippi Nights (914 North First Street; 314-421-3853) at 8 p.m. with keyboardist Thomas Bartlett and drummer Shahzad Ismaily. The show's super-cheap (only $10!), and tickets are available through MetroTix (314-534-1111). So buy one, hush up and have fun!
Sunday, June 13
ABBA has a musical based on its works from the '70s, so it seems only fair that John Denver (R.I.P.) should get the same treatment (especially since he has tons more albums). The nonprofit Arrow Rock Lyceum Theatre agrees. This company, located just west and north of Columbia, Missouri, is giving some posthumous recognition to the folk favorite with the presentation of Almost Heaven: The Songs and Stories of John Denver from Wednesday, June 9, through Sunday, June 20 (check www.lyceumtheatre.org for times). Tickets range in price from $14 to $30 and can be ordered by calling 660-837-3311. Enjoy the sunshine on your shoulders as you make a country road trip out to Arrow Rock. It's not as far as West Virginia or Colorado, plus you may finally get to see just what a "mountain mama" is. Let's hope she looks better than she sounds like she'd look.
Monday, June 14
The Jewish Film Festival of St. Louis opened on Sunday, June 13, with a lavish bash, and now they get down to the corned beef and potatoes of any film festival: the films. Beginning at 2 p.m. at Landmark Plaza Frontenac Cinema (Clayton Road and Lindbergh Boulevard), you can see Shalom Ireland, the story of how the Hebrew people have shaped the Emerald Isle, and Thunder in Guyana, which explains how a nice Jewish girl from Chicago became Guyana's head of state. There's also a 5:30 p.m. showing of Secret Lives, with post-movie commentary by Barbara Voss Morrman, who is featured in the film. Morrman will discuss her family's role in the hiding of Jewish children during World War II, which is also the subject of the film. Tickets are $9 for both the 2 and 5:30 p.m. shows; call 314-442-3299 for more info or check out www.stljewishfilmfestival.org for the whole schedule.
Tuesday, June 15
If you missed the opening reception for Disseminate, the new multimedia art show by Sandra Abrams and Ron Laboray, at the St. Louis Community College-Meramec Art Gallery (11333 Big Bend Boulevard; 314-984-7632) on Friday, June 11, you still have lots of time to see the show. Why not today? The gallery is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and the show, which features a technologically diverse blend of installation art, digital projection, painting and drawing, is better than anything you'll find on daytime television. Laboray's past work has included the gentle One Hour of Spontaneous Beauty, which was a digital projection of rain on glass, and paintings that combined geological-survey mapping with wry pop-culture sensibility. Batman Superman Team-up, Little by Little #3 remains a personal favorite.