Music » Music Stories

Last Call (Again)

The Hi-Pointe shuts its doors, even as the RFT Music Awards lineup shines the spotlight on St. Louis' best.


The MySpace bulletins and e-mails arrived fast and furious on Friday, August 25, as word spread around the city that the Hi-Pointe (1001 McCausland Avenue; 314-781-4716) music venue is shutting its doors, with the last show happening on Sunday, September 3. (The adjacent movie theater is not affected by the closure.)

The closing came as a surprise to many, as the Hi-Pointe had scheduled shows (including Elf Power and Man Man) for later in September. But Lisa Andris, the lifelong managing officer of the venue (she's been there since 1987, three years before the upstairs music room opened), is coming to terms with an era ending.

"I'm very sad, don't get me wrong," she says. "But I'm ready to move on. I'm way too crotchety to tend bar anymore.

"When I look back at my twenty years [there], I will cherish it for the rest of my life. My life would have probably been really boring without the Hi-Pointe." She laughs.

Concert plans for the final weekend were still coming together at press time. However, Robb Steele is confirmed for Friday, September 1; tickets are $6 and doors are at 9 p.m. And on Saturday, September 2, expect the venue's final big local blowout: Gordo, the Spark Thugs, LoFreq, Scene of Irony and the Trip Daddys are scheduled to perform, with doors at 8 p.m. and tickets again $6.

The Advantage show scheduled for Sunday, September 3, will go on as planned — see Critics' Picks on page 60 for more information — and the NonProphets comedy troupe is also doing an early show that same night (from 7 to 9 p.m.).

See A to Z's column in next week's issue for further news and updates about the Hi-Pointe's final week and future.

A to Z is what you might call a "nervous Nelly," sometimes to an obnoxious degree. (Just ask her friends or co-workers.) But often her anxiety simply stems from wanting things to be perfect — especially things she's put a lot of hard work into.

Take the RFT Music Showcase on Sunday, September 10, now only a little over a week away. On that day you'll want to be in the Loop from noon onward, in order to catch national headliners the Minus 5, Grant-Lee Phillips and Glenn Kotche (of Wilco), along with 40-some local bands. Admission is only $10, and advance tickets are available now via Ticketmaster.

To A to Z the shindig is akin to hosting a dinner party. Will people remember to show up? Will they like the tunes? Will there be drama between person X and person Y? And oh my God, what if the chicken is undercooked? In her heart A to Z knows that on September 11 she'll probably wake up, hungover as all get-out, and realize she worried for absolutely nothing. Yet until that point, it's nothing but fretting and people telling her to chill the fuck out.

In the meantime, next week's issue will contain interviews with all three national headliners, along with a comprehensive guide to every music-award nominee and a handy-dandy paper ballot you can take with you and fill out. Or go online to any time to vote, and/or hit up for more info.

Visitors to the MySpace page during the past week may have noticed something exclusive: a list of local performers and the venues where they'll be found. Because A to Z aims to please, here's the official list of who you can see where on September 10.

Main Stage (Leland Avenue and Delmar Boulevard), starting at 1 p.m.: Magnolia Summer, Love Experts, Glenn Kotche, Grant-Lee Phillips, the Minus 5

Market in the Loop (outdoor stage), starting at noon: The Pubes, the Vultures, So Many Dynamos, That's My Daughter, Superfun Yeah Yeah Rocketship, the Schwag

Blueberry Hill's Duck Room, starting at 6 p.m.: Caleb Engstrom, Grant Essig, LaPush, Jonathan Cour, Red Eyed Driver

Blueberry Hill's Elvis Room, starting at 7 p.m.: DJ Trackstar, Big Will/Da SLU Cru, Earthworms, Spaide R.I.P.P.E.R., Ruka Puff

Cicero's, starting at 6 p.m.: Bad Folk, Casey Reid, Skarekrau Radio, the Bureau, Madahoochi

Riddles Penultimate Café & Wine Bar, starting at 6 p.m.: Berlin Whale, Rats and People, Tight Pants Syndrome, Joe Stickley, Bob Reuter & Thee Dirty South, Dirty 30's

609, starting at 6 p.m.: Erin Bode, Kim Massie, LaMar Harris, Bennie Smith, Soulard Blues Band

Delmar Lounge, starting at 7 p.m.: Dubtronix, Dogtown Allstars, James Will and the Engines of Creation, Ghost in Light, Sex Robots, Bunnygrunt

Halo Bar, starting at 6 p.m.: Harkonin, Est. 1974, Corbeta Corbata, Johnny O & the Jerks, Gentleman Callers, Trip Daddys, 7 Shot Screamers

Pin-Up Bowl, starting at 8 p.m.: Mike Gow, DJ Kid Delicious, DJ Crucial, DJ Needles

Think going out on a school night is passé? Riddle of Steel's Jimmy Vavak begs to differ, judging by the new DJ night he's helming Tuesdays at Mangia Italiano (3145 South Grand Boulevard; 314-664-8585). Nicknamed Totally Wicked Awesome Tuesdays, the themeless night will feature music Vavak and compatriots — including Bureau vocalist Mike Cracchiolo, sassy gal-about-town Bobbi Jo and even A to Z on occasion — love. Period. No genre is safe, if you go by the tunes played on the first night, which ranged from swell Britpop to choice indie classics (Dismemberment Plan!) and a well-timed drop of Van Halen's "Hot for Teacher."

— Annie Zaleski Contact the author

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