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's favorite holiday is Christmas. Baking cookies (gingerbread!), decorating the tree, making an annual pilgrimage to church and, of course, groaning at the Mannheim Steamroller her dad plays over and over and over again. It all makes her, once more, feel like a giddy kid.
The post-holiday anti-climatic blues hit hard every year, like a rushing exhale of air after holding your breath. That deflated emotion is precisely how A to Z felt last week. Call it a letdown in the aftermath of the music showcase. After months of preparation, planning and anticipation for just one day, not having the showcase to look forward to summoned a weird, kind-of-empty feeling.
Never fear, though, the winners will be announced in next week's RFT, in our annual Best of St. Louis issue. To tide people over until then, there is an array of great local music happening this week. A to Z is planning to be at a bunch of these shows, and highly recommends you come too.
First up is the That's My Daughter CD-release party at the Way Out Club (2525 South Jefferson Avenue; 314-664-7638) on Saturday, September 23. Their new album, Virgin Appeal, was recorded by producer-about-town Jason Hutto and it shows: Buzzy vocals (often reminiscent of a pre-makeover Liz Phair), fuzzy chords and hooks galore make the disc reminiscent of the lo-fi 1990s indie rock A to Z digs on when she's feeling nostalgic (i.e., Magnapop, Velocity Girl). Quality! Bunnygrunt and Greenlight open.
A to Z jumped the gun a bit when she wrote about the Transmitters' new CD earlier this year (see "Local Motion" on April 21, 2006), but what she said then about the album namely, "expected bits of sturm-und-twang are joined by torchy ballads, Rolling Stones-swampy blues, merry jangle [and] riot-punk" still holds true today. They'll also hold a CD-release party at Off Broadway (3509 Lemp Avenue; 314-773-3363) on Saturday, September 23, at 8 p.m.
Hip-hop troupe extraordinaire Earthworms are rather prolific for being, well, invertebrates; Mathias reports that they're halfway through recording their second disc. But they'll be at Pop's Blue Moon (5249 Pattison Avenue; 314-776-4200) at 9 p.m. Friday, September 22, with the 40 Thieves (www.myspace.com/the40thieves), a Columbia band whose upcoming disc features Lou homies from the Midwest Avengers, Royal Illete and (yup) the 'Worms.
A to Z received the Low Cycle Hum debut album, Rainmakers and Soul Shakers, in the mail ages ago. But as autumn rapidly approaches, the wistful jangle, Southern-rock touches and Simon Byrne's sepia-toned, Patterson Hood-esque vocals seem oddly appropriate. They'll play a gig at Cicero's (6691 Delmar Boulevard, University City; 314-862-0009) at 9 p.m. Thursday, September 21, with Tin Whiskey and Whiskey Daydream.
Macro Meltdown a shambling collective that reads like a who's-who of south-city rockers, judging by myspace.com /macromeltdown is another band A to Z has had her eye on for months now. Catch the experimentation live at Off Broadway (3509 Lemp Avenue; 314-773-3363) on Tuesday, September 26, when they open for Brief Candles and Cities.
Speaking of anything-goes, the Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center (3301 Lemp Avenue; 314-771-1096) is holding a fundraiser on Friday, September 22, with Puppet Show and God Fodder (along with more acts to be announced); admission, as always, is just $5.
Ludo is holding not one, but two, shows on Saturday, September 23, at the Creepy Crawl (3524 Washington Boulevard; 314-531-3888). Twelve bucks (or $14 for those under 21) gets you into both the 4:30 and 8:30 p.m. gigs, although tix can be purchased separately. See www.creepycrawl.com for more details. And finally, we're happy to announce that Umbrellas the project of Lou native Scott Windsor, whom we profiled this summer (see "Here Comes the Sun," August 2) will finally be playing a hometown show at the Creepy Crawl on Tuesday, September 26. Doors are at 7 p.m., and tickets are $8 to $10.
A to Z is also happy to announce that she's going to be blogging at the RFT's new endeavor, STLog (which can be found at www.riverfronttimes.com/blogs). She's going to be writing CD reviews, show reviews, news tidbits and anything else involving the local scene so send tips her way and be on the lookout for expanded coverage there.