As November wanes toward its inevitable tryptophan haze, and St. Louisians begin preparations for the holiday slog, a quick reminder of the not so distant past -- 75 degree days, sunlight until 9 p.m. instead of 5 p.m. -- is more than welcome.
The Sheldon recently debuted a new St. Louis anthem, "Live it Up in New St. Lou," a bluesy little number penned by the Sheldon's Executive Director, Paul Reuter. The song and accompanying video extol the virtues of River City. The latter features imagery of familiar landmarks that'll make you want to give St. Louis a big wet kiss and maybe a little pat on the butt for being so damn beautiful.
Allow us to do so in song:
So what's the story behind the tune?
"I wrote the song about a year ago," Reuter says. "I had a conversation with [chief marketing officer for Convention & Visitors Commission] Brian Hall. He was saying except for the 'St. Louis Blues' there's not really a well known St. Louis song to promote the city.
"The Sheldon Art Gallery had asked me to write some music for a gallery fundraiser, and it was while we had the blues exhibit in the gallery. This song was kind of the nucleus for that piece. Then Mary Strauss heard the song and said, 'We should put a video to it.'"
Inexhaustible arts benefactor Mary Strauss underwrote the video, and it was filmed by Bob Miano. The vid casts St. Louis in its best light: The city is clean, bright, and looks primed for hordes of tourists to descend and revel in the "new St. Lou."
"The video was a big job -- we needed permissions from anyone whose face appears prominently," Reuter says. "It was fun working with Bob to come up with the concept of it all. There's a lot of fountains and water imagery, I think Bob was probably drawn to it. We do have a lot of great fountains in St. Louis, as it turns out."
The video features vocalist Lisa Campbell, music director for Stages St. Louis, and jazz pianist Peter Martin tickling the ivories.
"Peter plays better than me by a bunch, and I like Lisa's singing," Reuter says. "It was a way to draw attention to the great arts and cultural attractions and sports and food; everything that might draw people to St. Louis. So it had a kind of purpose to it, for people outside the city, and to remind us in the city of all the good things that we have."