Pittsburgh Post-Gazette from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on May 3, 1999 · Page 37
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Pittsburgh Post-Gazette from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania · Page 37

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Issue Date:
Monday, May 3, 1999
Page 37
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SECTION D The Banana rocks, but not around the clock By Cristina Rouvalis Post-Gazette Staff Writer- SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE Saturday Night Live -a snapshot of life on Saturday nights infamous and not-so-famous places - appears each Monday. club the Electric Banana and you have personality to spare, people can't help but end up calling you Johnny Banana. Johnny's wife, Judy Banana, wears a sparkly red sweater as she serves up her delicious homemade raviolis something she will do a lot more in December when the couple will change their club's name to Zarra's and go more heavily into the restaurant business. After all, a new Residence Inn without a restaurant is going up across the street on Bigelow Boulevard. Zarra's will have live music. But it won't be a hard-core rock joint anymore. For now, though, heavy metal is still alive at the Banana. Or at least gasping for breath. The four members of "Untamed" are performing under a collage of posters of bands that once played at the Banana. Bands that went on to bigger things. Candlemass, Fate's Warning, Sa- SEE SATURDAY, PAGE D-5 i i i t. II if T 1 he bass player flings his hair a long, wild black mane in front oi his lace like a troll doll. He hops around the stage. He shakes as the lead singer shrieks. It's Saturday night at the Electric Banana in Oakland, and there's only one ingredient missing for a night of wild heavy metal. A crowd of metal-heads. Or any kind of crowd at all. The band is called "Untamed," but the 13 people watching them at 11:15 p.m. are so Well-behaved they could be watching a high school musical Seated in the front is the lead guitarist's father, capturing the moment on a Sony mini-cam, as his mother emphatically bobs her head. That's someone's kid up there, after all. It's a very slow night at the Banana, the rock club that for 20 years has let local and out-of-state bands, wonderful ones and dreadful ones, play their original if not always Billboard chart-busting music. Sometimes the club packs the fans in, like the week before. Not tonight, though. "Untamed just like me. Untamed," quips owner Johnny Banana. His real name is Johnny Zarra. But if you name your night- . Daniel MarsulaPost-Gazette 7 Jf sj ' r 1 . .. 1 ' j - y ' , j J Jlittsburcib J)o0t-6azdte Monday, . May 3, 1999 INSIDE Life Support explores the texture of the way we live, from the everyday to the extraordinary. This week's lineup: '(( 0t Tijrfay He loves to fly when he 's not too busy being terrified. PAGE D-4. Tomorrow Cher and her superstar colleagues could stand a little attitude adjustment. Let's send 'em to diva camp. Wednesday Dick Roth wrote "No, It's Not Hot in Here: A Husband's Guide to Understanding Menopause, " when he realized he was clueless about his wife 's experience. Thursday Once hailed by Congress and featured at a World's Fair, the Mail Pouch barn ads have gotten scarce. ALSO INSIDE Dave Barry D-3 Aces on Bridge D-7 Television D-8 Personal Business .D-9 a amnm MARYLYNN URICCHIO'S iS-C La " I j$ ' m r. .. fl I X - i : ( j Steve MellonPost-Gazette photos The Designers' Show House preview party sored ... .. . 1 ,u ii fen Designer Mindy Mackins Morton with Dianne Stewart I he bedroom is Victorian, the I kitchen Mission, the dining room Empire, the playroom biblical. A heady mix indeed for the Charles Craft home in Crafton, the site of "Signatures of Pittsburgh," the 1999 Designers' Show House spon- l by the Junior League. With so many differ ent styles under one roof, there is less a sense of continuity than of variety. But the result gives visitors a good shot at finding something to admire, to inspire, to imitate. More than 400 arrived, mostly by Molly's Trolleys, to get a first glimpse of the house at the preview party on Friday. This is a relaxed event attended by most of the designers and the merchants who now decorate so many of the rooms. Guests are free to wander and inspect the premises, which underwent a major renovation that must have thrilled homeowners Matt and Susan Grein-er, who stood proudly by while so many tramped through their future digs. Co-chairs Suzy Golitko, Paulina Hines (with Mike) and Claudia Franyutti (with Sergio) greeted guests on the Victorian front porch along with honorary chairs Burton and Julie Morris and Joe and Linda Mullen. Junior League president Dianne Stewart (with Joe) was on hand as well, with some key committee members including Julia Gleason (with John), Erin Gaynor (with Scott), Eileen Meade (with Matt) and Tacy Byham Lehman. After the tour, guests were shuttled to Pittsburgh's Cathedral Hall in McKees Rocks for the first-ever party in this newly-opened facility. Built in 1899, the former St. Francis de Sales church has SEE SHOW HOUSE, PAGE D-2 best dressed i ' Pat Greiner wore a pale taupe and navy silk suit from Ann Taylor with an antique pearl necklace. Her flat-top is from Vivace Salon. Independent booksellers open online store By Bob Hoover Post-Gazette Book Editor LOS ANGELES The buzz people are hearing at Book-Expo America here is coming from computers, not authors. After three days of exhibits, presentations and parties at the country's biggest gathering of the book business, it's clear that the digital age now has the industry firmly in its grip. The best example emerged Friday, when the American Booksellers Association launched its answer to Internet book-buying, Book Sense. Facing strong competition from the "dotcoms" Amazon and barnes&noble the ABA has been forced to mount its own Web service. The ABA represents independent bookstores, which have been fighting a losing battle against powerful competitors most of this decade. First, it was the explosion of superstore chains Barnes & Noble and Borders Books and Music. Then came the rise of the Net's burgeoning retail sales element. Despite lawsuits and publicity campaigns against the chains, independent bookstores have disappeared steadily, from a high of more than 5,000 in 1990 to a present collection of about 3,500. Their market share is clinging to 17 percent of book sales, with fears that that number will continue to shrink. In its most aggressive retail move yet, the ABA has created Book Sense, essentially an online consortium of independents that will share a Net sales connection identified by the Book Sense logo. The trade group claimed Friday that it now commands the third-largest network of bookstores in the United States, in a sense SEE BOOKS, PAGE D-4 1899 'show me' speech showed off Missouri to the nation By Milan Simonich Post-Gazette Staff Writer Old-time Congressman William Duncan Vandiver ought to be the patron saint of the sound bite. Vandiver campaigned in an era without microphones or ratings points, but he turned a phrase that was so good it still makes politicians and media spin doctors jealous. A native of Columbia, Mo., Vandiver made his mark in an 1899 speech before a naval banquet in Philadelphia. "I come from a state," he said, "that raises corn and cotton and cockleburs and Democrats, and frothy eloquence neither convinces nor satisfies me. I am from Missouri. You have got to show me." Grammar teachers might have scolded CENTENNIAL FLASHBACK This is one in a series of occasional stories looking at the people and events making news 100 years ago. Vandiver for using the needless word "got," but he scored with everybody else. Missouri was transformed in the press from a Western outpost to a place populated by stubborn, independent thinkers. In three stout sentences, the congressman had created "the show me state." The precise date of his speech has been lost. Neither the Missouri state government nor its university historians can place it. But after 100 years, "show me state" is so much SEE FLASHBACK, PAGE D-4 b

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