By now, you probably know I’m a big fan of my city. I’m a native to my lovely Saint Louis, and I have chosen to live here my entire young adult life. I feel like the Lou just has so much to offer, and expands by leaps and bounds each year when it comes to activities to take part in, sites/sights to see, and people to meet. But, even though I’m out and about so often, I know that there is still so much I have yet to experience here! Over the next couple months, I’m collaborating with Phillips 66 for its 66 Reasons to Love Saint Louis campaign to help you get to know what I already love about my city, and share my exploring with you! From the contest that you can enter, to the big block party this weekend, to the simple joy of getting to show off your favorites spots in the Lou, you too can be involved!
To start off, I’m introducing you to some of my favorite music-oriented spots around town.
I’ve always been a huge fan of music. However, to be fully honest, I’ve actually been a little slow with a lot of music-type things! For instance, I didn’t start collecting vinyl records until about three years ago. The best part about that is I traipsed into Vintage Vinyl one day with a friend while hanging out in the Delmar Loop and picked up an album my dad had told me about. He suggested I check out the musician Jimmie Spheeris, so even before I had a record player, I had a vinyl copy of Spheeris’ Isle of View in my possession. I used that purchase to jump start my little and still growing collection, and also force myself to invest in a record player. As a gift to myself later that year, I snapped up a player online during a holiday sale, and I never looked back.
Vintage Vinyl is a staple in the record store and music scene in Saint Louis. The first incarnation of the shop arose in 1979, where its two owners sold records at the Soulard Farmer’s Market (Also another great #STL66 spot to check out!), and moved multiple times before it settled at its current location of 6610 Delmar.
Vintage Vinyl sells everything from used and new vinyl to CDs, books and posters, and other music paraphernalia, so you can spend hours sorting through potential purchases. They also host in-store performances for bands both local and national. If you hang around there on a day that a band is playing down the street at either Blueberry Hill or The Pageant, your chances of meeting one of your favorite musicians are pretty high.
A few months ago, I attended my first concert at the Duck Room in the underbelly of Blueberry Hill. Canada’s favorite rock outfit, Sloan, came through Saint Louis for the first time in several years to support their latest album, Commonwealth. I was vaguely familiar with their music as they would occasionally come across my Weezer station on Pandora, but I’d never actively sought out their music. It’s a long, introspective story about why that night and their music suddenly means so much to me, but I can simply say this: Live music is one of the most important things in the world. See a show. Support the bands that speak to you, whether they have always been a part of your life or are newly an emotional crutch for your present-day state. I now have a serious soft spot for the Duck Room and Blueberry Hill. I’ll be frequenting shows more often there. And hanging out with this retro jukebox, because it’s just way cool.
Who doesn’t love food? More specifically, who doesn’t love deli food? I know I do. And if you can’t tell yet, I love music too. So, where can you find both in Saint Louis? Look no further than Blues City Deli in Benton Park. This hotspot for noshers and blues music fans is a hopping joint. The last time I stopped by, Miss Jubilee and her band were swinging the tunes. I’m all about dancing while I wait to order my pastrami sandwich. The neighborhood surrounding Blues City Deli is one of the cutest in the city. The homes are often painted brightly, and the brickwork is outstanding. You could even do a walking picnic after grabbing your lunch at the Deli and just marvel at the adorable residences.
Next on my list of music places to visit in Saint Louis: Music Record Shop in The Grove, a show at Off Broadway (the birthplace of alt-country!), Broadway Street downtown for some outdoor Blues music, and the Scott Joplin House, which I haven’t visited since a field trip in grade school!
Speaking of Alt-Country music, will I be seeing you this Friday? On September 11th, Music at The Intersection takes over Grand Center - this part block party, part music festival features headliner Jay Farrar and the 66 Reasons mural dedication! I can’t wait to see my Saint Louis friends and fans out and enjoying our city.
While you get pumped for the block party, you ought to start “checking in” to your very own favorite spots in Saint Louis. Head on over to http://66reasonsstl.com/ to see the entire list of participating businesses, neighborhoods, and landmarks. After you’ve spotted your usual hangs on the list, pop on over to them and post about them on social media using the hashtags #STL66 and #contest to be entered to win 66 Months of Free Gas + The Ultimate St. Louis Experience. That’s FIVE YEARS of free gas! Holy smokes. The Ultimate St. Louis Experience includes all sorts of goodies, passes, and coupons to the best entertainment and food Saint Louis has to offer! Find all the details on the contest here: http://66reasonsstl.com/contest.html
Good luck, and see you around town!
Original photography by Abby Gillardi.