The Aviation Club: Reunion Show, January 4 at Off Broadway

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I have an odd fascination with bands and scenes that time forgot, the little-heard gems and forgotten groups that faded into obscurity, dwarfed by more commercially successfully music. (Perhaps this romantic view of such crumbling underdogs is why I love St. Louis so much?)

This, of course, means that St. Louis music history fascinates me. (Confidential to Matt Harnish: Dude, what's up with that new wave project you've been working on forever? And wasn't there a competing/complementary project also happening as well?)

Earlier this year, I wrote about the launching of the Jet Lag Magazine Web site, or the Internet archive of the infamous local music 'zine that launched the writing career of many a local critic.

It's an often-entertaining read today, especially to see how things don't change: In October 1981, we were still defensively claiming that Chicago isn't better than St. Louis (see a review of awesome co-ed punks the Revillos); a few months earlier, worries about underage drinking/all-ages venues and bands (i.e., Squeeze) hating club conditions were hot topics.

The mag is even a fine adjunct to other blogs in town; this ad for the Lawrence band Get Smart! reminded me of this excellent, informative post on Joe Stumble's Last Days of Man on Earth.

And heck, look: Even Bono liked the publication! Although in a review of U2's legendary 1981 Graham Chapel show, the reviewer (I think it's Steve Pick) said the band was "far too energetic, intelligent and just plain fun to be appreciated by truly massive audiences in America...I can't see them in the top 40." Hilarious!

So I'm extremely intrigued to receive this email from John the Mailman, regarding an upcoming show:

The Aviation Club (featuring Jon Ferber and Mike Burgett) will re-unite and play at Off Broadway on Friday, January 4, 2008. They will feature songs that haven't been heard for 20 years.

The evening will celebrate the first anniversary of the launching of the archival web site The site celebrates the earliest days of the St. Louis punk and wave scene with scans of each issue of that seminal fanzine, Jet Lag Magazine.

Proceeds from the event will help to send books to Peace Corps teachers.

John the Mailman founder/fmr. publisher Jet Lag Magazine

Who wants to englighten me? What does the band sound like? Help a nostalgia geek out, huh?

-- Annie Zaleski

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