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The Shanti is a truly laid-back kind of haunt, home to a bar, a jukebox, plenty of plastic palm trees, strings of lights and enough tchotchkes to make any decent garage sale jealous. The outdoor courtyard hosts warm-weather fun and cool-weather fire pits, and live music fills the small bar with a variety of tunes nearly every night.
with Heather Barth
You can actually comfortably go outside today! The temperatures are supposed to be in the 80s. It's been so damn oppressively damn hot this whole damn summer that this respite, however brief, is newsw... More »
In this week's print edition, we spotlighted the band Boss Hall and its debut CD In the Pale. The group features five of the most prolific performers in St. Louis: Margaret Bianchetta, Tom Hall, Bob ... More »
"Come on in! Shiiiit," says a bartender by way of greeting to a trio of dogs who have found their way inside the Shanti's bar area from its patio. The bartender could easily be mistaken for a patron, but he happens to be banging out an air conditioner's filter on a broken-down cardboard box. The greeting given to humans -- either by the staff or the stable of regulars -- is no less friendly. Bar bars, even in Soulard, are increasingly smoke- and dog-free, yet the Shanti remains a... More »
A hirsute fellow clad in an electric-blue tutu leans back against the bar. One of his two sidekicks wears a platinum mullet wig, the other a taupe suit and tie. They're on the board, but we won't know what this act is all about until the end of a set of twelve-string guitar medleys and bland Johnny Cash and Elvis covers. Our tablemate, a Soulard barfly accompanied by his graying pit bull-boxer Lukey-boy, appreciates the standards. He digs the whole open-mic thing. ("They're all great.")... More »
Picture, if you will, this early-summer hoosier tableau: Two men, one white, one black, both plastered, playing Ping-Pong. Without a net. One of them bumps the light switch and then, after briefly attempting to remedy the situation, the pair presses on in darkness. For nearly an hour. Perhaps the décor of this Soulard establishment -- haphazardly strung Christmas lights and water-skis -- inspired the occurrence? "We're not a hoosier bar," rejoins Shanti bartender and server... More »
Anytime less-than-talented performers, armed with a guitar and delusions of grandeur, use drunks as guinea pigs, things can get ugly. Open-mic nights are always a gamble. The Dimby Production Open-Mic Night on Tuesday nights at the Shanti, however, has better odds than most. Here, the drinks flow, Lenny the bartender is friendly, even the bad acts are at least interesting and the music is surprisingly good. Everyone gets his or her 15 minutes of fame -- more, if the crowd demands it, but... More »
A hirsute fellow clad in an electric-blue tutu leans back against the bar. One of his two sidekicks wears a platinum mullet wig, the other a taupe suit and tie. They're on the board, but we won't know what this act is all about until the end of a set of twelve-string guitar medleys and bland Johnny Cash and Elvis covers. Our tablemate, a Soulard barfly accompanied by his graying pit bull-boxer Lukey-boy, appreciates the standards. He digs the whole open-mic thing. ("They're all great.") Hostess Kimmie V. attracts to this 9 p.m. Tuesday event a regular group of performers who urge their pals to play four or five songs and happily accompany them on tambourine. Ms. V., also known as Kim Vrooman, vocalist for the hippie jam band Earth Sol, isn't one for long-winded introductions. Setting up for the tulle-skirted singer, she instructs a bystander to spread the word out back, it's the guys who do "Anal Play." Turns out Vagrant Sophisticate first performed at this very open mic four years ago and has returned with a new single, "Beat Off in Front of Your Dad." They haven't been here in a while, and the crowd screams with shocked laughter. It's a tough act to follow, but the Shanti regulars are undaunted. In her psychedelic dress and olive-green rain boots, Ellen, a Fiona Apple-style singer and pianist, sweetly challenges Mr. Tutu to a raunch-off. By now most of the bar crowd is gabbing, but our rectally oriented lyricist obligingly moves to a table within three feet of Ellen's keyboard and listens.
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