By Roy Kasten
By Kris Wernowsky
By Chaz Kangas
By Joseph Hess
By Julie Seabaugh
By Mike Appelstein
By Rachel Brodsky
By Kelsey McClure
Whether you celebrate Christmas, Chanukah or Festivus (like the rest of us), we're all solidly centered in that time of year when dealing with family, chugging eggnog and making a drunken fool out of yourself at the staff holiday party are de rigueur.
Of course, mid-December is also when many of us are scrambling to find those perfect gifts for the people in our lives. With that in mind, A to Z took the liberty of composing a wish list for the local music scene and sending it off to Old Saint Nick in hopes that he'll come through.
What: A new, three-story parking garage
Why? So scrambling to find parking at the Landing doesn't turn into one huge clusterfuck, especially on weekends. Santa sure can't double-park his sleigh here and I heard he was pissed because it made him miss the New Pornographers show.
KWUR (90.3 FM)
What: A stronger signal
Why? KDHX (and to a certain extent, KCLC) receive the lion's share of attention in town for their diverse programming and mission to expose listeners to new music. But the limited range of Washington University's KWUR doesn't stop the station from playing some of the best tunes in town. Every time A to Z flips the dial here, she hears her fave indie stars (Rilo Kiley, the Shins) and teen-angst staples (the Smiths, Echo & the Bunnymen), along with tons of songs she wants to nab from iTunes.
What: A rhyming dictionary
Why? While the Lou's flagship hip-pop star's latest hit, "Grillz," contains some fantastic poetry about blinged-out smiles ("If I could call it a drink, call it a smile on da rocks"), a few other lines would make our eighth-grade English teacher cringe. To wit: "V.V. and studded you can tell when they cut it/Ya see my granmamma hate it, but my li'l mama love it."
What: A cheap subcontractor
Why? CBGB in New York City may well have the filthiest restrooms in rock (Google for photographic proof), but the Creepy lacks proper stalls and doors in the women's which means you might learn more about your fellow showgoer than you'd planned. (Mrs. Claus got so grossed out, she walked out of Harkonin.)
7 Shot Screamers
What: A little local respect
Why? St. Louis doesn't lack mainstreamo bands to pack Creepy Crawl bills and post on MySpace, but the 7SS are the real punkabilly deal: fantastic musicians who know how to rile a crowd and channel early Stray Cats and X with style and panache. Yet their post-tour homecoming gig a few Fridays ago was sparsely attended (owing in part to an unexpectedly early set). A shame, because the energy and excitement they generated was a treat.
St. Louis, in general
What: For Kansas City to disappear
Why? When booking agents route many tours, it seems our neighbor to the west (along with Creation-State anomaly Lawrence) snags the bigger acts, as well as more obscure bands coming to America for the first time. Who wants to trek across I-70 during the winter to catch a gig?
St. Louis, in general (part 2)
What: A 500-capacity indie-rock club
Why? The KC-Lawrence area draws so many bands (see above) because they have the venues to properly accommodate 'em. It's difficult to bring bands that are between up-and-coming and established to town when venues are tiny (Hi-Pointe, Fred's) or too big (Mississippi Nights, the Pageant). The Gearbox (R.I.P.) endeavored to plug this club gap, but it closed.
What: A chance to strut her stuff
Why? After "In Ya Face" blew up local radio all summer, it seemed like the town's next break-out rap star would be representing for all the ladies. But since releasing her debut, 7 Day Cycle, in early October, Ebony's outside-the-Lou profile has been quiet save for a Soul Train appearance in November and her follow-up single, "Take Me Back," has had little impact on Billboard charts.