By Roy Kasten
By Kris Wernowsky
By Chaz Kangas
By Joseph Hess
By Julie Seabaugh
By Mike Appelstein
By Rachel Brodsky
By Kelsey McClure
The other day, A to Z realized she's been in St. Louis nearly a year, which is long enough to be able to curse Highway 40 construction and bemoan tourist infestations in the Loop like a native (although, sadly, she cannot yet endorse Provel cheese or thin-crust pizza).
Music-wise, however, A to Z's mind remains boggled by a few quirks of the local scene specifically, its general meekness. The question she's asked most by local musicians is how to submit a CD for potential review. She's not sure what the disconnect is, but it's clearly there: With all the packages dumped daily at A to Z's door, the number of local albums pales in comparison to national releases.
The submission guidelines for sending a CD are simple: Do it, then send an e-mail alert to look out for it. The longer A to Z lives here, the more evident the infamous St. Louis inferiority complex becomes. Why ask permission to send music to a music editor? Just mail away! Especially if you have a show coming up locally.
Which brings us to...MySpace. Use MySpace. Love MySpace. Post music on MySpace. A to Z realizes that many artists don't have albums yet or are in the process of recording but you must have something that resembles a completed song. Stick demos or works-in-progress up on MySpace. Besides opening up the floor to feedback from fans, it give music writers an idea of what you sound like. Not to mention all the other info you can cram into a MySpace profile (show dates, band bios, other local bands you like).
Most important, don't be shy about promoting yourself. Many bands here have the street-team concept of postering and flyering down to an art form. But others have shows that come and go and RFT doesn't list them because they fail to announce their existence. Same with record releases. A reviewer can't review an album if he or she doesn't know it's being released.
One more thing: Just because an e-mail or other communiqué doesn't prompt an immediate response doesn't mean it didn't arrive. Often a story or review takes a while to percolate through the process; sometimes it gets pegged to a show so as to be more timely.
Get your liver in gear for this year's Twangfest, which takes place June 7 through 10, with a pre-fest show at Cicero's (6691 Delmar Boulevard, University City; 314-862-0009) on Tuesday, June 6. Ex-Blue Mountain member Cary Hudson joins locals including Miles of Wire (whose new CD Can You Feel It? will be addressed in a future issue).
This weekend's edition of the Rock ‘n' Roll Craft Show (6933 Hampton Avenue) has expanded its live music offerings. The two-day event features nine acts, including Princeton, the Misses, Johnny O & the Jerks and Joe Eisenbraun & Geiger Counter (who also play the Way Out Club on Wednesday, June 7, with the Dirty South). For more about the crafters selling their wares, see page 27 in Night & Day.
There's more! Lojic throw themselves a farewell show (before relocating to LA) at the Pageant (6161 Delmar Boulevard; 314-726-6161) on Friday, June 2. Eight bucks, eight p.m., the usual drill. That same night, Houston post-everything heavyweights Sharks & Sailors open for Riddle of Steel at the Creepy Crawl (412 North Tucker Boulevard; 314-621-9333). On the same national tip, go early to the Jackie Greene show at Blueberry Hill's Duck Room (6504 Delmar Boulevard, University City; 314-727-4444) on Wednesday, June 7, and check out Grace Potter & the Nocturnals. The Vermont group plays smoky blues and soul-funk that'll appeal to fans of Nikka Costa, Bonnie Raitt or Janis Joplin.