Art Onstage and Off

The November entertainment calendar in any college town is bound to be a little lopsided. There’s usually a flurry of shows and activities during the first few weeks before things quiet down following the Thanksgiving egress. Quietly,…

October Outings

Sadly, the ever-fabulous Lupus Chili Festival will not be held this year. There is no shortage of October festivals in mid-Missouri (Fayette, Hartsburg and Fulton to name a few, not to mention Stephens College’s Citizen Jane Film…

Endless Grooves

More than any of the blues fests I’ve attended over the years, this month’s Roots N Blues N BBQ Festival in Stephens Lake Park showcases local players front and center and in their best light. Any given year Chump Change, the Bel Airs,…

Farewell Chuck Berry

“Poetry is my life’s blood,” Chuck Berry said, on meeting Columbia Public Schools’ Linda Harlan, circa 1991. The best way to end this tribute is to begin at the end: Chuck Berry’s appearance in Columbia in 2009, an outdoor performance on…

Farewell Chuck Berry

“While no individual can be said to have invented rock and roll, Chuck Berry comes the closest of any single figure to being the one who put all the essential pieces together. It was his particular genius to graft country and western guitar…

Farewell Chuck Berry

Part One: Chuck Berry was, in so many ways, the iconic Missourian. He told tall tales and reveled in language, especially the poetry of vernacular. His seeming close-mouthed cussedness in later years was an attitude that kept many a…

Big Muddy Folk Festival

The world is so noisy ... music has been wounded by Steve Jobs’ technology ... the main role of the artist is to serve the song, as opposed to him or herself.” — Musician and actor Wil Oldham There is something sincere, in this ironic…

Delta Thrash

Photo courtesy of mollygenemusic.com. March is Women’s Month here in the United States. This is funny because it is just one month out of 12 when not only does this noble gender outnumber their male counterparts, they also, judging by…

Body & Soul

Oscar Micheaux was an African-American filmmaker and entrepreneur, who produced and directed more than 40 films from 1919 to 1948. Micheaux's movies were known as "race" films — made by black filmmakers, with an all-black cast for black…

“Middle Grounds”

When I first arrived at MU in 1975, Columbia didn’t even have cable TV. But, the History Department offered “Epic America,” a pair of courses on Native American culture in a kind of primitive virtual classroom — just a black and…

Contra Dancing

November puts us smack in the middle of the fall contra dance season, as good a time as any to familiarize yourself with this timeless and invigorating communal activity. Contra dances are so called not, as I once thought, because of some…

Les Burgers d’Antan

There's been a lot of Burger Talk around the Inside Columbia offices these past few weeks. It's set me to thinking, "How many burgers have I eaten in my life?" and "Ubi sunt les burgers d'antan?"  People point to the Booches Burger as…

Kevin’s World Wrestling

The year was 2006 — and one signature event stands out: the Women’s Arm Wrestling Championship and Hot Dog Eating Contest on the Kevin’s World patio. But first, let me roll back the tape a few years. I’d spent 25 years helping to build a…

Back In The Day

Back in the day, the area around Wabash Station was an essential warehousing district for goods brought into this market by rail. The bulky supplies were stored in and beneath nearby buildings before being picked up and disseminated. Many…

Here Come The Mummies

Can both of these statements be true? Here Come the Mummies is an 8-piece funk-rock band of 5,000-year-old Egyptian mummies with a one-track mind. Nashville’s Here Come the Mummies is a fun-rock band composed of professional…

Here Come The Mummies

Can both of these statements be true? Here Come The Mummies is an eight-piece funk-rock band of 5,000-year-old Egyptian mummies with a one-track mind. Nashville’s Here Come The Mummies is a fun-rock band composed of professional…

This Academy Rocks

Before there was “Rock School” (the documentary) or “School of Rock” (the movie and musical) there was Hickman High School’s very own Academy of Rock. It was just about 15 years ago that Hickman students approached their teacher, Phil…

In Sync

THOMAS HART BENTON’S AMERICA TODAY © THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART Last year, New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art commissioned pianist/bandleader Orrin Evans to put together an evening of music to celebrate its exhibition of…

The Music Maker

Ironically, the biggest loss to the local music scene in 2015 wasn’t a local at all. Producer/bandleader Lou Whitney died at home in Springfield in October. Recording at Whitney’s Column One Studio had been a rite of passage for Boone…

The August Assortment

Bust out of your ordinary arts routine this month and try something new, like a music festival over in Hartsburg, a retro concert at the state fair, and some Audubon engravings that will have you walking on the wild side.…