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
A to Z knows the power of a club that plays good music. Why, when she was a freewheeling college student in Boston, she saw Interpol yes, that Interpol before they had even signed to Matador (much less a major label), at a tiny club where barely anyone had heard of them.
But, while St. Louis has no shortage of rad DJs spinning rad tunes check out the playlists of Totally Boring Mondays (myspace.com/totallyboringmondays) A to Z is hopeful that the newest club night in town, London Calling (londoncalling.us), fills the void left when Britpop night Carnaby Street fizzled out.
The inaugural edition of London Calling took place Saturday, August 12, at the Upstairs Lounge (3131 South Grand Boulevard; 314-773-3388) where it'll be the second and fourth Saturday of each month. The night's rotating cast of DJs utilized the multi-room space well. One spun upstairs, catering to a dance floor full of raucous revelers; another entertained folks downstairs in the de facto chill corner, the Jade Room. Most important, the bands she heard coming from the DJ booth thanks to folks such as DJ Commiekay and Gerber warmed her little music-snob heart: Ladytron! Metric! The Cure! Blur! The Smiths! Pulp! Suede! Human League! Any night at the bar can be fun when one's surrounded by friends, but A to Z thinks it's just as important to play a diverse selection of high-quality tunes that split the difference between old favorites and future classics.
Oh, and did A to Z mention she had a whole lot of fucking fun?
The eclectic night is the creation of Doug Curtis (a.k.a. DJ Clockwork) and Mike Yazawa (a.k.a. DJ Westwerk), the folks behind current Rue 13 staple That 80's Club and Carnaby Street. Curtis says that London Calling's format is similar to Carnaby Street's, in that the night will feature "indie, Britpop, electroclash, mod, soul. A whole mix of stuff."
In fact, while Curtis says one of the goals of London Calling is to play "cult classics" and introduce people to stuff they might not have heard before, their biggest aim is to pack the dance floor.
"A lot of people in St. Louis that are DJs and have nights, they don't really promote their nights," Curtis says. "They don't go at it, like, 'Hey, I really want a lot of people there.'
"We take a very aggressive, active role trying to get people to come to it. I speak for Mike when we say, 'What's the point of DJing good music if no one's hearing it?' We want to introduce people to awesome music."
This Saturday, August 26, will be the afterparty for the LaPush show; they're playing the Duck Room earlier that night (see Critics' Picks on page 68). The night will also celebrate CD releases from Persephone's Bees and Teddybears.
Attention! There's just a little more than two weeks left before the RFTMusic Showcase! Sunday, September 10, is the day you'll want to be in the Loop to catch national headliners the Minus 5, Grant-Lee Phillips and Glenn Kotche (of Wilco). Even better, more than 40 local bands will take over the clubs at night. Admission is only $10, and advance tickets are now available from Ticketmaster. Just search for the headliner names.
Effervescent emo-popsters Summer Obsession headline the Creepy Crawl (3524 Washington Boulevard; 314-531-3888) on Monday, August 28; doors open at 6:30 p.m. And on Friday, August 25, VPR plays the Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center (3301 Lemp Avenue; 314-771-1096). Admission is $5.