This Week's Day-by-Day Picks

Week of May 12, 2004

May 12, 2004 at 4:00 am
Wednesday, May 12

What is the best day for the booze? If you are like most stressed-out, underpaid, overworked slaves to the Man, every day is the best day. But what is the best day for the wine? Wednesday, of course! That's why Whole Foods (1601 South Brentwood Boulevard, 314-968-7744) offers a Wine on Wednesdays "Pinot Envy" class from 6:30 to 8 p.m. The instructional session is only $10 and attendees get to study pinot noir grapes, the best fruit in the whole world. Pinot noir, oh how you are loved! You complement life and give purpose to Wednesdays! You add taste to ramen noodles, add class to American cheese slices straight from the plastic wrapper, and you graciously leave behind only a small headache in your wake. Thank you, pinot noir! You, too, can share this enthusiasm. Now go and learn!

Thursday, May 13

For the first time this century, you have no Friends to comfort you on Thursday night: What will you do? Thursdays at Joe's is the perfect casual re-introduction to human interaction. While Joe's interior (6014 Kingsbury Avenue) is small and cozy with a collection of bric-a-brac that beggars description, the outdoor sculpture garden provides ample space and opportunity for conversation. Part magic kingdom, part pirate hide-out, the garden is a hilly realm of mystery, littered with objets d'art such as the Giant Buffalo and a huge chunk of the World's Fair wall that once bordered Forest Park Parkway. Complete with a moated island where local musicians set up and jam from 8 to 10 p.m., Joe's offers weary souls a night under the stars, surrounded by art and music and with like-minded people. Five bucks gets you in (and supports the musicians), and BYOB is encouraged by the proprietor. And guess what? No commercial interludes.

Friday, May 14

There aren't many secrets about this fine paper, but if you keep reading, Mr. Night and Ms. Day will let you in on a little-known fact. Ready? The RFT has a dancing bear at the office! It's true! This bear dances to any old kind of music and makes RFTers happy when they are sad. Just knowing about Dancin' Bear probably makes you merry. But sadly, Dancin' Bear is not in good spirits. Mid America Dance Company is presenting an evening of dance called The Feet of St. Louis, and the bear's feet weren't included. It'll hurt the bear's feelings, but you should still check out the works (and feet) of dancers and important St. Louis choreographers such as Rob Scoggins and Stacy West at 8 p.m. tonight and Saturday, May 15, at the Saint Louis University High School Performing Arts Center (4970 Oakland Avenue). Tickets are $10 to $18 (314-534-1111, and include a complimentary wine tasting at 7 p.m. But get there early for your drinks -- Dancin' Bear might be drowning his sorrows.

Saturday, May 15

NASCAR Nation may have been outraged by Jeff Gordon's temerity at Talladega a few weeks back, but in the World of Outlaws Sprint Racing, sketchy maneuvers and the wildcatter mentality Gordon displayed are an essential part of the game. When you're racing on a short dirt track in what is essentially a souped-up go-kart with an airplane wing affixed to the roof, you learn to seize your opportunities as they appear. Otherwise, these throttle jockeys are bumped, spun and off the track before anyone in the crowd has time to pop a beer, let alone chuck one on the track. The Outlaws return to the Tri-City Speedway (I-270 and Route 203 in Granite City, Illinois; 618-947-7287) at 7 p.m., and tickets are a mere $15 to $32.

Sunday, May 16

Ask any cat owner: Providing profane voice-overs for your cats while they go about their daily business is ridiculously funny. There's something so absurd about gangsta-rap clichés coming out of those furry little punims that it never fails to amuse. Tamala 2010: A Punk Cat in Space takes this conceit and does it one better, anthropomorphizing the swearing cat (in that totally dope Japanese style that combines cute with cool), then adding sci-fi action, a planet of dogs and plenty of karate to sweeten an already candylicious pot. Anime collective Trees of Life has crafted an entertaining and stylish movie geared toward the young hooligan in every adult; think of it as the anti-Finding Nemo. Tamala 2010 screens again at 8 p.m. (it screened on Saturday, May 15, at the same time) at Moore Auditorium (470 East Lockwood Avenue, 314-968-7487). Tickets are $4 to $6. Hells yeah, Socks! Hell-damn-fart!

Monday, May 17

Maybe, somehow, you missed seeing Les Triplettes des Belleville during it's l-o-o-o-o-ng engagement at the Tivoli. Perhaps you assumed it was some sort of Mel Gibson-type buddy/buddy/buddy cop movie (pre-The Passion Mel, obviously) set in our neighboring fair city of Belle Vegas (that's what we thought). Friend, atone for your horrible assumption by hop-skip-slumping over to Frederick's Music Lounge (4454 Chippewa Street; 314-351-5711) for a free screening of the animated marvel. The story of a young bicyclist, his grandmother and their outlandish musical adventures may not be set in the Midwest, but you'll have no problem at all following the plot. It's about family, love and the amazing feats familial love can accomplish. It's French, so you may want to order a Cognac while you watch --- or just have 'em pour that Stag into a snifter and make like you're classy.

Tuesday, May 18

Chris Jackson is a Night & Day favorite. He writes catchy songs in the Broadway musical style, and as the theater critic for EXP magazine, he has an acid pen that makes our hearts swoon with envy. He combines those two gifts in his new cabaret show, Not the Boy Next Door: The Darker Side of the Music & Lyrics of Chris Jackson, with the help of Damien Brett and Gary Cox (7:30 p.m. at the Sheldon Ballroom, 3648 Washington Avenue). Here Jackson explores the seamy side of relationships, unleashing his prowess in songs about male hustlers, go-go boys and "toilet sex." Nothing like heading into the office the next day humming a showstopper about go-go boys. If you miss it at the Sheldon, catch it at the Heights Piano Bar & Restaurant (South Jefferson and Shenandoah avenues) at 3 p.m. on Sunday, May 23. Call 636-227-8762 for ticket information.