2007 RFT Music Showcase

Week of May 31, 2007

My second day in St. Louis after moving here to become the RFT's music editor happened to coincide with the 2005 Music Awards presentation ceremony at the Schlafly Tap Room. To say that I had no idea what was going on — especially after a couple of beers and a performance by Minikiss — would be a vast understatement. Besides knowing virtually no one in town, I had no idea what these award-winning bands were about. Plus, because I had heard many negative things about the music scene, I wasn't exactly sure what I was getting myself into.

Two years later, I'm happy to say that the naysayers are wrong — and those grumbling about the lack of good music aren't looking hard enough to find great local bands and talented musicians alike. Yes, I realize this makes me sound like Little Miss Mary Sunshine (and yes, I've heard some accuse me of being too positive). But I think it's about time someone stood up and noticed that the music scene in St. Louis isn't a cultural wasteland and focused on the good things this city has to offer, not just the negatives.

The categories this year reflect my excitement about the noise bubbling up from stages around town. Nominees include a slew of young artists making noise (Berlin Whale, Huey, Jumbling Towers), new bands featuring familiar faces (Stella Mora, Heroes of the Kingdom, Walkie Talkie U.S.A.) and veteran artists continuing to, well, do their thing (Riddle of Steel, Shame Club, So Many Dynamos, Kim Massie). And heck, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the whole contingent of acts (Jesse Irwin, Johnny O & the Jerks, the Hibernauts and the Humanoids, to name a few) putting a wholly modern, fresh spin on genres that are considered classic.

In a perfect world, all of the nominated bands would have a chance to perform at the showcase on June 3. That they're not isn't a knock on the quality of music they produce. If anything, it's an indication of just how much talent exists in the music scene today — that is, too much to be contained by just one ten-hour day. — Annie Zaleski

Showcase Schedule

Main Outdoor Stage
2 pm Rats and People
3 pm Magnolia Summer
4 pm Gentleman Auction House
5 pm 7 Shot Screamers

Market in the Loop Outdoor Stage
2 pm The Vultures
3 pm Casey Reid
4 pm Johnny O & The Jerks
5 pm The Daybreak Boys

Blueberry Hill ­ Duck Room
6 pm Shame Club
7 pm Heroes of the Kingdom
8 pm Ghost in Light
9 pm Spark Thugs
10 pm Target Market
11 pm The Conformists

Blueberry Hill ­ Elvis Room
6 pm Toyy
7 pm Midwest Avengers
8 pm DJ Needles
9 pm Nite Owl
10 pm DJ Mahf
11 pm Earthworms

8 pm
Dub Kitchen
9 pm Brian Sullivan Quartet
10 pm Lamar Harris
11 pm Marquise Knox

Cicero's 6 pm
Say Panther
7 pm Jumbling Towers
8 pm The Bureau
9 pm So Many Dynamos
10 pm Berlin Whale

Delmar Restaurant and Lounge
8 pm Dogtown Allstars
9 pm The Monads
10 pm Bad Folk
11 pm That's My Daughter
12 am Bunnygrunt
1 am Walkie Talkie U.S.A.

Halo Bar
8:30 pm Stella Mora
9:30 pm Finn's Motel
10:30 pm Team Tomato
11:30 pm The Humanoids
12:30 am Eric Hall

Pin-Up Bowl
7 pm DJ Foster
8 pm DJ Trackstar
9 pm DJ Crucial
10 pm Scotty Mac
11 pm Rob Lemon
12 am Flex Boogie

Riddle's Penultimate Café & Wine Bar
8 pm Dave Stone Trio
9 pm Tom Hall
10 pm Jesse Irwin
11 pm The Linemen

Come hear your favorite bands and cast your vote. Purchase your $5 wristband at any participating bar, Vintage Vinyl or the Main Outdoor Stage at Leland and Delmar. Outdoor stages are all ages. Clubs are 21 and over. Bands and times subject to change.

2007 Nominated Artists

Best Americana/Folk

Bad Folk
If you've ever romanticized the adventures of the characters in Jack Kerouac's On the Road, you might find the music of Bad Folk to be the perfect companion to your lonely daydreams. Full of forlorn lyrical allusions to trains, driving and getting the hell out of town, Bad Folk provides an alt-country soundtrack to your fantasy travels. Its many members manage to squish a variety of under-used instruments into songs (banjo, mandolin, saw) without making them sound thrown together or unsteady. And true to its moniker, every Bad Folk song tells a full story — even when the tale might not have a happy ending. — Jaime Lees
Delmar Restaurant & Lounge, 10 p.m.

Jesse Irwin
Over time, Jesse Irwin has become the unofficial mascot of the Chippewa Chapel Hootenanny and a cheery presence in innumerable dives and bars on the south side. Whether playing solo or spiffing up a vintage Western shirt with other country goofballs in Dock Ellis, Irwin uses his unaffected twang to satirize St. Louis strip-mall culture (and in "Laduesiers," his funniest song, the slight degrees of separation between Jefferson County and Clayton). But for all his irony, it's his charm, sincerity and too-good-to-be-true nature that have made him a favorite with country misfits just like him. — Roy Kasten
Riddles Penultimate Café & Wine Bar, 10 p.m.

Magnolia Summer
The band at the center of the Undertow label/collective/whatever may be meticulous in the studio — producer and songwriter Chris Grabau will mix and remix, shape and reshape, until every puzzle piece fits snugly — but in concert Magnolia Summer loosens up and reminds you that well-shaped, surprisingly catchy melodies lie beneath its stacked sonics. (Think a slightly poppier American Music Club.) Grabau's gentle and wistful voice has a deceptive bite, while his songs — which are obsessed with the emotional force of the past and the present, with a sense of place and an urge to break free — take on a life and a sound that's very much their own. (RK)
Main Outdoor Stage, 3 p.m.

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