By Ben Westhoff and Sarah Purkrabek
By Steve Brennan
By Joseph Hess
By Allsion Babka
By Kelsey McClure
By RFT Music
By Christian Schaeffer
By Gabriel San Roman
With so many activities to choose from, summer is the season of over-committing and double-booking. To prevent such catastrophes in concertgoing, A to Z has pinpointed six must-see local shows in the next few months that you should see.
Tobi Kai & the Strays with 7 Shot Screamers and One Lone Car: Saturday, July 15, the Pageant (6161 Delmar Boulevard; 314-726-6161). Sloan-esque rockers OLC were disappointingly free of charisma the last time A to Z caught them live, but perhaps sharing a bill with rockabilly firebrands 7 Shot Screamers and hell-kitty Tobi Kai will teach them a trick or two.
James Will & the Engines of Creation: Monday, July 17, CBGB (3163 South Grand Boulevard; no phone). Don't let the name fool you: This is the first show of the new project of Julia Sets' James Weber, and it's a thrashing garage-rock good time, reminiscent of early R.E.M. or a drunken Replacements.
Tight Pants Syndrome: Thursday, July 20, Cicero's (6691 Delmar Boulevard, University City; 314-862-0009). These twee power-poppers have been quiet since February but that's only because they've been busy breaking in a new drummer (former Phonocaptor Scott Hermes) and adding a new female vocalist/Moog player to their ranks (ex-Bunnygrunt Lauren Trull).
Miles of Wire:Friday, July 21, Off Broadway (3509 Lemp Avenue; 314-773-3363). A to Z plans to write more about Miles of Wire's Can You Feel It? in a future issue, but fans of Wilco and Neil Young can't do much better than checking out the quartet at one of their many shows around town.
The Daybreak Boys: Tuesday, August 8, Cicero's (6691 Delmar Boulevard, University City; 314-862-0009). Another show debut, this time from a heavenly synthpop trio conjuring shades of New Order, the Killers and the Delays mostly thanks to vocalist Ryan Sears' angelic falsetto.
Finn's Motel: Friday, August 25, Off Broadway (3509 Lemp Avenue; 314-773-3363). They won't release their new Scat Records CD, Escape Velocity, until September 19, but Finn's Motel has managed to create one of the finest singles of 2006, the irresistible indie-rock (think Superchunk or GbV) gem "Of Cycles and Engines" (available at myspace.com/finnsmotel). Annie Zaleski