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Lucas Park Grille (Patio)

8:00 Beth Bombara (Singer-Songwriter)
At this point, the "singer-songwriter" label has become just about as cliché as this St. Louisan is not. Wise beyond her years with range beyond her genre, the young, confident crooner has proven a formidable solo force through two EPs and a full-length, as well as stints pairing her light, lovely vocals with Old Lights and Cassie Morgan. Bombara's earnest and occasionally eerie blend of folk, country and the softer side of rock provides a spot-on soundtrack to the city's summers and grocery stores, where her good nature and good tunes make for a solid, if unconventional show. Outside of her clear vocals, Bombara's subtle strengths lie in her backing instrumentation, which follows the same organic, unrushed pattern of arrangement as her intro- and outrospective lyrics. KM

9:15 Cassie Morgan and the Lonely Pine (Folk)
Cassie Morgan sings with the wisdom of someone twice her age and the grace of a child half it. She and Beth Bombara create some of the most reliably transporting folk music in St. Louis or anywhere — their spare constructions and simple harmonies leave plenty of room to absorb Morgan's familiar, honest lyrics. The two last released new music in 2010 with the highly praised full-length, Weathered Hands, Weary Eyes, but they've remained a presence in the city's music world — look for their appearance in Bill Streeter's ambitious "Lo-Fi Cherokee" video series. KM

11:00 Tight Pants Syndrome (Pop)
After having roughly half of St. Louis' musicians shuffle through its lineup over the years, Tight Pants Syndrome seems to have finally settled into a consistent groove. Predominant songwriter Tom Stephens has two excellent surrogates in bassist Brian McClelland and keyboardist Jenn Malzone, both of whom belt out and harmonize Stephens' deliciously absurd lyrics over the bands' '60s- and '70s-leaning power-pop. Stephens and Paul Bordeaux weave jangly guitar riffs and power chords into the quintet's attack while Jeff Hess keeps it all together with his steady drumming. The sum is a pop-rock sugar rush sure to please music nerds of all stripes. BM


Lucas Park Grille (Indoor)

7:30 Langen Neubacher and the Defeated County (Singer-Songwriter)
Langen Neubacher's songs, through their subject matter and delivery, feel something like a hug from a friend. Until recently, she cohosted one of the city's best open-mics at Foam, and her generosity of spirit served her well there, making all calibers of musician feel welcome, as it does in her own work. These days she's playing with Kate Peterson (also of the Spot Ons) under the moniker Langen Neubacher and the Defeated County. But it isn't all warm and fuzzy: Neubacher is keenly aware of the crappy hands dealt to so many, and her lyrics capture simple, honest moments in the struggle. KM

8:45 Middle Class Fashion (Pop)
Middle Class Fashion pianist and lead singer Jenn Malzone often spends her songs brooding in dark moods and minor keys, so it's to her credit that her songs never feel self-indulgent. Part of this is because of the band's catchy hooks, which are big enough to hang your entire wardrobe on. But it's also because Malzone, bassist Brian McClelland and drummer Brad Vaughn keep their arrangements punchy and brisk. The trio gives the piano-driven songs enough room to breathe and lets crescendos gain momentum. Still, no tune overstays its welcome. McClelland contributes inventive bass lines and the occasional great song to the mix, and all three players combine for gorgeous harmonies when the song calls for it. Middle Class Fashion's tight chemistry and clever song construction ensures that its pop songs really pop. BM

10:00 Celia (Pop)
Celia Shacklett finds the child in all her audiences, whether they're eight or thirty years old. It's partly the type of music — her Big Rock Band featuring, among others, Love-O-Rama collective cohort Mark Pagano, is one instantaneously hummable melody after another. But Celia's capacity for wonder isn't just about major chords and a smile. Hers is a youthfulness that comes not from naivete but from wisdom. She's well aware of all the world's bullshit and, with her music, offers an anecdote. KM

11:15 The Union Electric (Pop)
Since late 2009 the Union Electric has released three seven-inches, each showing a gradual development in the band's songwriting, musicianship and overall production. But make no mistake: This isn't a budding band that started out lost or inexperienced. It's by local history enthusiast and May Day Orchestra's primary songwriter Tim Rakel, who uses this project as an outlet to explore exactly how noisy folk music can be before it's actually distortion-drenched rock. On its newest Tunnels/An Irish Orphan seven-inch, the band gets help from jacks-of-all-trades Beth Bombara and Kit Hamon (Old Lights) and turns in its most cohesive and sonically ripe output to date. MD

12:30 DJ Uptown (DJ)
Nominated for an RFT Music Award two years running, DJ Uptown is among the busiest DJs in the city. On the tables at various clubs at least five times a week, he holds residencies at Atomic Cowboy, Delmar Lounge and Novak's — quite a change from his former career as an air force intelligence officer. Music has always been a part of DJ Uptown's life, and that's a huge factor in his rise to the top of the St. Louis DJ ranks over the past five years. Though lots of DJs have been spinning in the city longer, few have made such an impact: His versatile collection spans Top 40 to the roots of hip-hop; he's twice competed in Red Bull's Thre3Style DJ Battle and has ongoing projects with the Basement System and Jason and the Beast. TD


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3 comments
Getwords
Getwords

Anyone else having trouble downloading the schedule file (above)? I get an error (and I have Acrobat Pro). What a shame - I really want to look at it, and the image above is not really legible.

Cranky
Cranky

Hey, RFT - know how you've got banners about this all over the website page? Well - if you click on one and go to the schedule link - it still has a "coming soon" message. Isn't it about time it came?

 
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