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Wednesday, July 1, 2015
The festival that was (and should be again) (09/14/12)
With summer fading out, I can't help but think about a fall festival that's long gone now. Every fall for 14 years, music filled the air in downtown Cape Girardeau. Local and touring talent was put on display on both indoor and outdoor stages. The River City Music Festival, originally the City of Roses Music Festival, always brought together the great musical talent of the area with the beautiful and historic environment of downtown...
Why songs get stuck in your head (09/07/12)
I just spent all week singing "Martha My Dear" by the Beatles under my breath. The week before, it was "I Like Fish" from Yo Gabba Gabba (my daughter's favorite show). But why? As is all too often the case with the interesting parts of science, we don't know much about this phenomenon but we have a good name for it: earworm. ...
It's a mad Madden world (08/31/12)
I have an addiction, and my wife is perfectly fine with it. I indulge after she goes to sleep, and try to keep it down. I wouldn't want to wake her or my baby daughter and let them see me in the middle of it. I have had this addiction for more than a decade. Coping with it has seen its share of highs (2005) and lows (I don't even talk about 2009). But I've stuck it out, and I'm not quitting anytime soon...
Cut the cord and get more from TV (08/24/12)
In these rough economic times, especially with a new baby, cutting back on everything from utility bills to eating out is standard procedure for me. But my wife and I just recently built up the nerve to finally cut the cord and do away with satellite TV...
More people, more everything (08/17/12)
As the immortal Vanilla Ice once said, "Ring the bell; school's back in." You can see Cape Girardeau filling up with scores of college students, eager to begin the semester at Southeast Missouri State University. You can see the younger children in the stores with parents, getting supplies and clothes that comply with a new dress code. And you can see the "For Rent" signs disappearing, as dorms fill up and students claim off-campus properties...
‘The Campaign' focus on funny side of politics (08/10/12)
Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis have brought the campaign trail to the big screen, and the timing couldn't be better. In "The Campaign," which opens today, they play two North Carolina politicians competing in an increasingly nasty congressional race in a small district. ...
Cape not necessarily a college town (08/03/12)
I hear it said all summer. "Cape is so slow right now because it's a college town. It will get better once school starts back up." It's something I've noticed from time to time, too. When the Southeast Missouri State University students leave Cape Girardeau for their respective hometowns, the city can seemingly start to feel bogged down in summer sludge. Downtown isn't as crowded from weekend to weekend. There are fewer bands playing out. And weeknight event schedules slow down considerably...
Olympics combine both sports and entertainment (07/27/12)
I always enjoy the Olympics. But this year, before they began, I thought I'd hardly want to watch them. I'm a big sports fan, but tuning in to some of the Olympic trials bored the heck out of me. However, after catching a preview of the opening ceremonies, I am now officially intrigued...
A&E holds the key (07/13/12)
Across the country, cities are looking for ways to stimulate their economy, attract new residents and encourage the cosmopolitan life. For me, one of the best ways to do this is through the arts. When I think about urban areas affected heavily by the arts, places like Manhattan's West Side, Delmar in St. ...
Batman vs. Avengers: Battle of the comic book films (07/06/12)
If one guy were going to take out a whole team of superheroes, you'd have to assume it would be Batman. The gauntlet has been laid, the challenge set. Marvel's superhero spectacular "The Avengers" recently opened to the tune of $200.3 million in the U.S., making it the biggest opening weekend release of all time. ...
A different brand of fantasy (06/29/12)
Football season may seem far off, but fantasy football drafts are already in full swing. In fantasy football circles, players will debate about using a first-round draft pick on a running back or quarterback; a Ray Rice or an Aaron Rodgers. In new fantasy leagues that several websites have started, however, it's all about choosing an "It Girl" or a "Heartthrob"; a Kristen Stewart or a Channing Tatum...
Fireworks are awesome (and dangerous)! (06/22/12)
If you drove much around the area this week, you probably saw them. The fireworks stands annually pop up like weeds sometime around the first day of summer, only to disappear July 5. These stands are a great indicator that Independence Day is right around the corner, and they remind me to ask readers to be careful while you enjoy them...
It's Father's Day ... no big deal (06/15/12)
As a new dad, I realized something -- nobody really makes a big deal out of Father's Day. But that's just fine with us, we're not sure we deserve a day, anyway. That's why we're able to laugh off bad gifts, like an ugly tie, a wrench or a half-eaten box of candy...
Sun and song, what a perfect combination (06/08/12)
Almost everyone loves summer, and for good reason. Schools are out, vacation plans are realized and the weather is perfect for camping or hitting up a swimming hole. It's also a great time for relaxing with your summer soundtrack. These are the songs that instantly make one think of past summers with late night bonfires, old relationships or spending the day in the park. ...
June is known for summer blockbusters (06/01/12)
The summer movie season is here again, and June releases look to be what we've all come to expect from summer films: lots of superheroes, comedies, remakes, sequels and big budgets. Here's my small rundown of what's in store for moviegoers this month...
Take a minute to salute our heroes (05/25/12)
What does Memorial Day mean to you? A day off? The start of summer? Parades and picnics? The opening of public swimming pools? You can -- finally -- start wearing white shoes again? If public opinion surveys are accurate, many Americans don't know much about Memorial Day's purpose or history. That's a pity because it removes an important bond with those brave men and women who have given their lives in our nation's service...
Ways to make child care work for you (05/18/12)
Dread. It's one of the most common feelings expressed by parents this time of year. No, they're not dreading swimsuit season, or even the fact that graduation ceremonies now start at the ripe old age of 4 (seriously, do we really need caps and gowns for kids heading off to kindergarten?)...
For all the moms: Thanks for being the best … (05/11/12)
My mother dealt with some obnoxious behavior, and now that I'm a father I don't know how she did it. She deserves some sort of medal for her service, and I never before fully understood just how hard it probably was to raise me without trying to escape the madness I created on a daily (or hourly) basis. She continues to amaze me, and is graduating from Three Rivers College next weekend. I couldn't be more proud...
A man walks in to a bar ... in Cape Girardeau (05/04/12)
"If you don't laugh, you cry" goes the adage. While this isn't necessarily true, considering the vast emotional range between "happy" and "sad" (including boredom, smugness and sitting next to a sleepy and dribbling person on a bus), laughter is still an important part of our culture, and part of the argument that we as humans need comedy...
A circus for all of us (04/27/12)
"The Greatest Show on Earth" is what Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey tag their circus performances, and I have to agree. This weekend, they come back to the Show Me Center, and I'm sure they will leave audiences happy. I last went as a kid, and remember having an amazing time. My friends and I used to get excited days ahead of time just knowing that we were going to see the circus. It's a feeling I rarely get today as an adult...
Vinyl's annual holiday (04/20/12)
This Saturday marks the one day a year devoted especially to the role of independent music stores and the relationship between artists and their fans. Now in its fifth year, Record Store Day is celebrated all over the world with special live performances, exclusive memorabilia and limited edition artist releases; vinyl aficionados and fans alike mark the calendar and prepare a game plan in advance to get the music they want...
Street Spirit: A better music scene is best for all (04/13/12)
If you're sitting at the breakfast table reading this column, you probably get up early and pretty much never go out for live shows. Why should you care about Cape Girardeau's music scene? And if you're reading this after jamming downtown last night, you're probably thinking this is all much ado about nothing. Why wouldn't I be writing about more pressing A&E matters, like theaters, casinos and the like?...
April showers you with fun (04/06/12)
Cardinal baseball season has begun. The weather is more summer than spring. It's officially time to get out and have fun, and April offers many opportunities, no matter your entertainment preference. The music portion kicks off Saturday night with St. ...
Movies are making us (and our kids) read (03/30/12)
Let's face it: The act of merely watching the movie is frowned upon if there happens to be a book attached to its premise. If you can't go to bat for the book, the assumption seems to be that you "don't understand the whole story" or "you are too lazy to read" or "you aren't smart enough" or "you don't care as much about the film as others who took the time to read about it."...
Arts and entertainment for babies big and small (03/23/12)
By the time you read this, I will have become a father to a baby girl. Thanks to advice from scores of folks (specifically, co-managing editor and awesome father Matt Sanders) I should have a decent handle on the situation, especially for a first-time father...
Creating your March band brackets (03/16/12)
March Madness is here, that captivating time of year when 68 NCAA basketball teams set out on the road to the Final Four in their quest for a championship. This year's tournament gets underway this week, and is in that spirit every year that I, being a music lover, think about the greatest bands in history, how they would match up, and who would take the title as March Bandness champion...
When James comes, March is in (03/09/12)
Learning from Chris Harris was easy. Following in her footsteps will be the hard part, but I intend to do so. For those who aren't familiar with me, my name is James Samons (pronounced like the fish, but with an "s" on the end), and I'm your new SE Live editor. And although I'm new to this position, I've been covering the local arts and entertainment beat in some capacity since 2005...
James Samons
Street Spirit
James Samons writes about (and studies) the arts and entertainment culture of Southeast Missouri and Southern Illinois. Every week he writes on the arts for the Southeast Missourian's SE Live entertainment section.