The Sunny Side of the Street

A look at the positive things going on in the St. Louis scene.

If you've been following our blog (located, as always, at www.riverfronttimes .com/blogs) for the past few weeks, then you'd know all the latest news about Mississippi Nights, which is set to leave its 914 North First Street building after one final jam session on Friday, January 19.

But in case you haven't been reading our blog (and we have to ask, "Why not?"), here's some info about the final show: Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show starts at 8 p.m. Confirmed to play, so far, are members of Big Fun, the Urge, Fragile Porcelain Mice, Slapdash and others. The venue will have tickets available at the door, and advance tickets can be purchased from MetroTix, either online or by calling 314-534-1111. (Don't call the venue!) I'll have a full report in next week's issue about the festivities.

Reactions to the closure of popular club have run the gamut among local blog entries and/or people I've talked to around town. Generally, it includes varying combinations of indifference, nostalgia, sadness and discouragement. The latter emotion is especially understandable, since Mississippi Nights' closing comes at the end of a year where Frederick's Music Lounge, Radio Cherokee and the Hi-Pointe also shut their doors.

But what's easy to forget amid this gloom and doom is that the music scene lives on. Bands are still forming, recording music, playing gigs and releasing CDs. And so, in the spirit of focusing on the positive — and to continue with a tradition I started last year around the turn of the year — here's what some of the Lou's bands are up to in 2007.

As always, the list is incomplete, so if you have more tips, e-mail them to me. I may not answer right away, but please know that every bit of information helps.


Those not going to the last jam at Mississippi Nights best be going to Lemmons (5800 Gravois Avenue; 314-481-4812) on Friday, January 19, to catch one of the final shows from jangle-fuzzbombers Brain Regiment, who are breaking up. The band does promise a final CD release show sometime later this year, though.

Speaking of splits, drummer Scott Lasser reports that he's left garage rockers Long John Thomas & the Duffs. However, Lasser and girlfriend Laurel Mydock are looking for musicians to help form a "girlie-garage-pop thing akin to Tiger Trap/Beat Happening/Cub." St. Louis needs more of those kinds of tunes, so help a brother out!

Brian McClelland of power-poppers Tight Pants Syndrome says that his group is also looking for a new female singer, as Lauren Trull amicably left the group owing to scheduling conflicts with nursing school. McClelland's other pop-tastic group, Maxtone 4, will have a new record out sometime this year. Preview tracks from the album, called Hey Hey Do It Anyway, at www.myspace.com/themaxtone4.

South-side-proud rockers Team Tomato have a new album ready to go as well. Besides being "ready to try some different sounds and arrangements out," singer/guitarist Brian Wiegert says they'll be taking cues from their hip-hop side project, MLD: "We're inviting a lot more musicians to participate in the recording. We had so much fun recording at home and having people over to join in on the process for the hip-hop thing that, for now, we really don't want to record any other way."

Ludo has decamped to Los Angeles — more specifically, Sound City Studios (www.soundcitystudios.com), where Nirvana, Smashing Pumpkins and others have recorded — to craft its major-label debut with producer Matt Wallace, who has worked on albums by Maroon 5 and Sugarcult, among others.

Steve Carosello of the Love Experts says that 2007 is the year that the (j)Anglophilic band is finally hoping to complete their debut full-length — an album nearly two decades in the making! Tape Deck Sonata plans to record an EP locally, for release in early fall.

And finally, Derrick Kilgore of Tech Productions will soon be releasing an instrumental CD called Crate Creations, Volume 1, a disc full of sampled hip-hop beats that'll be available at Vintage Vinyl, for starters. He'll also be releasing a disc called Bass Rhyme Continuum (the sequel to last year's Slightly Beneath the Surface) by the summer, which he says should include "Ebony Eyez, Tef Poe, Spaide Ripper, Big Will and others."


For whatever reason, I'm a big fan of New Year's resolutions — at least this year I am. So in the name of self-improvement in terms of the music section, I've decided to implement a new, weekly column in the clubs section that focuses exclusively on local CD reviews. We don't always have space to run a page of reviews in the proper music section, and I'm always trying to fit in as much local stuff as possible. Look for the first installment in the January 25 issue of the RFT.

What this means for bands: I need your CDs! Demos! Half-formed noodlings! Please send them care of Christian Schaeffer to the Riverfront Times, 6358 Delmar Boulevard, Suite 200, St. Louis, MO 63130. And clearly mark packages as local, so they don't get lost in the weekly mail avalanche.

 
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