The American Civil Liberties Union is often castigated as a left-wing propaganda machine; still, after working all day to defend the Bill of Rights and various other American freedoms, the folks at the ACLU-Eastern Missouri Chapter like to go out and have a little fun, just like non-socially progressive people. So once a month they meet at an area watering hole and invite you to join them, and if you don't want to argue politics, you don't have to. Just buy 'em a drink or merely agree to politely disagree; they've fought hard so you can disagree peacefully with whomever you like. The ACLU-EM Happy Hour meets at 5:30 p.m. at the Pin-Up Bowl (6191 Delmar Boulevard), which means you'll have a wide range of fancy drinks to pick from, and bowling is not out of the question. Call the ACLU-EM at 314-361-2111 to find out more about their plans and drink preferences.
Thursday, February 26
Jackie-O Motherfucker is a name that begs to be screamed by adoring fans. Strangely, though, the music of Jackie-O Motherfucker is more likely to inspire thoughtful chin-scratching than rabid screaming. The group's hypnotic blend of reed instruments, unidentifiable noises and samples sounds at times like a faraway Rahsaan Roland Kirk concert coming over a HAM radio, or a shaky TV signal overlapping a psychedelic rave-up. It's good stuff, and you can experience the sound-schism at 8 p.m. at the Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center (3301 Lemp Avenue, 314-771-1096). Tickets are, as always, $5, and Skarekraü Radio will also be performing one of its shamanistic noise services. What a perfect way to blow your mind on a Thursday evening.
Friday, February 27
There are interior decorators, and then there's Preston Bailey. Mr. Bailey is more of a "set designer for real life" than a decorator, as he combines fabrics, props, lighting and flowers to create dramatic tableaus you can live in. No wonder his clients include the rich and stylish; when Oprah wants to do a room, she (or rather, one of her footsoldiers) summons Mr. Preston Bailey. Bailey appears at the Saint Louis Art Museum's Art in Bloom event this weekend; he'll be lecturing about his design ideology at 7 p.m. on Friday, February 27, and again at 11 a.m. on Saturday, February 28. Tickets are $5 to $10 (available through www.slam.org or by calling 314-655-5299), but the big question is, what can he do with Star Wars figures and a whole lot of pullout posters from Kerrang! magazine?
Saturday, February 28
While the St. Louis Blues are struggling to make the playoffs, women's hockey team the St. Louis Surge is gearing up to play two (and if need be, three) playoff games this weekend. Two of those games are in the same night; how tough a hockey player do you have to be to skate a double-header? The purple squad of the Surge takes on the St. Louis RedRaiders at 6 p.m. at the St. Peters Rec-Plex North (5200 Mexico Road), and then they head down to the Brentwood Ice Arena (2505 South Brentwood Boulevard) for a 10:15 p.m. puck drop with the same RedRaiders. Periods are thirteen minutes instead of the NHL twenty, but c'mon, two games in four hours? Ladies, we doff our helmets at your stamina. Keep your sticks on the ice, and maybe you'll get Sunday off. Check www.stlsurge.com for current stats and updates.
Sunday, February 29
Who here is not familiar with Aristophanes' comedic play Lysistrata? Titular heroine Lysistrata hatches a plot to end the Peloponnesian War by having all the women of Greece withhold sex from their significant others until there's a peace treaty, and hilarity ensues as the men attempt to change their ladies' minds. Webster University's Conservatory of Theatre Arts presents a modernized version of the play that should win over even the staunchest theater-hater, as it contains three words men love to hear: "Stripping Coeds. Stripping." Yes, it's for mature audiences, but it ain't a peep show. It's culture and comedy and comely ladies; ah, Theater! Showtime is 2 p.m. at the Loretto-Hilton Center (130 Edgar Road, 314-968-7128), and tickets are $3.50 to $8.
Monday, March 1
If you were listening to the February 16 and 17 broadcast of KDHX-FM's "Super Fun Happy Hour," well, you're automatically cool. Step to the front of the line and collect $200 worth of street cred. That was a particularly good show, though, following up the Dead Milkmen's "I Dream of Jesus" with the Day Glo Abortions' "Hide the Hamster." But that's nothing new: Every week, the SFHH plays the best in punk, and they do it while broadcasting live from the Hi-Pointe (1001 McCausland Avenue, 314-781-4716). Hosts Tim, Matt and Heather also turn their mics over to local bands, allowing them to rock you like a hurricane live on the air. So if you show up at the Hi-Pointe for the broadcast, you become part of St. Louis radio history. Some li'l punk in St. Chuck can hear you screaming, "Play it like you hate me!" while he listens in his bedroom. That's far out. Tickets for the broadcast are $5 to $7, the band plays between midnight and 1 a.m., and while no one has announced who the guest band will be this week, the Hi-Pointe has a well-stocked bar; you can cope if it's your ex's band.
Tuesday, March 2
Are we done being mad at France yet? If you're willing to drop that whole "freedom fries" tiff and get back to loving the French, Gallery 210 on the University of Missouri-St. Louis campus (8001 Natural Bridge Road) is currently in the middle of a French film festival, and this week's flick is Le Bossu. This is the 1997 Philippe de Broca adaptation of Paul Feval's popular swashbuckling novel, and it's been widely hailed for its stylish look and beautiful cast (they're French; what did you expect?). French swordsmen, scheming noblemen, a sexually charged relationship between a father and "daughter" (those are suggestive quotation marks, no?) and all the accent grave you can handle should be more than enough to nourish your inner Francophile. You don't have to admit the French were right; just enjoy the movie. Le Bossu plays at 4 p.m., and admission is only $1. Call 314-516-6546 for more information.