Last week, we told you about some exciting changes taking place at Mangia Italiano. The revitalization is a work in progress, and continues this week with the very first installment of the St. Louis Shuffle.
DJ Matt Harnish is taking on the task of filling a local staple with local tunes for a few hours every other Wednesday.
I asked Matt a few questions about what is likely the first-ever all-St. Louis artist DJ spin.
Chrissy Wilmes: First and foremost, was it your idea or Mangia's idea to do the local DJ spin?
Matt Harnish: Eric Hall is the bartender down there on Wednesday nights now, and he's been looking for ideas for things to do. He approached me with that idea.
You were asking people for suggestions for names last week. Did you end up coming up with the name, or did you choose someone else's? Actually, that was one of the first names that occurred to me, and I wasn't crazy about it. Then I asked seven or eight other people, and two or three of them also suggested that. So, I was like, "Oh well, I guess that's the one." I didn't get anything that was better than that. I grew to like it, though. I really like it now.
Is it an all vinyl spin? It'll be vinyl and CD.
Are you planning on doing any sub-themes? It's going to be all local all the time. Wednesday's the first one, so I'll see what happens. I definitely have tons of music. It won't be a question of running out of stuff, but I'll have to figure out, you know, if I'll do special theme nights or that kind of thing. I'll see what the future brings with that.
Is there one record that you're really excited to play that this gives you an excuse to play? I'm really looking forward to playing the Human Arts Ensemble in a bar. It was an early '70s free-jazz collective out of St. Louis. It's really amazing, and it's going to be really cool hearing that playing in a bar.
The St. Louis Shuffle takes place the first and third Wednesdays of the month, from 11 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. at Mangia. There's no cover charge, but it is 21+.
If you have some local music you'd like to hear played at the St. Louis Shuffle, bring Matt a copy, and he just might play it.