By Roy Kasten
By Kris Wernowsky
By Chaz Kangas
By Joseph Hess
By Julie Seabaugh
By Mike Appelstein
By Rachel Brodsky
By Kelsey McClure
7/14: KDHX and Off Broadway pay tribute to Woody Guthrie with a 100th Birthday Party featuring some of St. Louis' best songwriters.
7/20ish: David Yow bartends. David Yow is best known as the wildest, most reckless lead singer since Iggy Pop. As the invincible frontman of Scratch Acid and the Jesus Lizard, he flips, falls, screams and bleeds onstage. As a "guest bartender," he shows the same kind of fearlessness. Sure, his bartending skills are questionable. He's rarely actually behind the bar. He takes a sip of your drink. He pours one for himself first. He doesn't turn down any shot, at all. Ever. He's in town on official business (to work on a baseball documentary), but he denies it. He spends the entire night patiently listening to drunken fan-boys, making attempts to bond with them over favorite music that they have in common. He doesn't talk about his bands, but continuously acts humble when told that one of his shows changed someone's life. He flops around, posing for pictures, getting his dick out and grabbing anyone and everyone and making out with them. He is sloshed and swaying and overly touchy and everything you would ever hope for him to be — with the possible exception of seeming like a dude who might piss his pants at any moment. He's the living, breathing embodiment of rock & roll. (JL)
7/21: The Queen Diva, Big Freedia, brings New Orleans Bounce music to the Firebird.
7/31: Pig Slop closes. If a night at Pig Slop Studios felt like a house party, that's because it basically was one. Conceived as a live-work space for visual artists, this huge, ramshackle Cherokee Street space (right above the old Globe Drugs) was home to both local acts like Little Big Bangs and Sleepy Kitty, and touring acts like Chain and the Gang and Japanther. Despite frequent changes in membership, Pig Slop had an impressive two-year run before finally packing it in at the end of July. The space lives on, however, as mushmaus, a similarly minded DIY gallery that also puts on rock shows occasionally. —Mike Appelstein
8/1: Nico Leone Leaves KDHX. KDHX is not a single-minded organization, but there is no single person more responsible for the growth and engagement of the station over the last decade-plus than Nico Leone. He accepts a serious promotion to head across Missouri, but his impact on St. Louis won't fade any time soon. (KM)
8/9 to 8/12: Open Highway Music Festival stretches out at Off Broadway. St. Louis already has Twangfest, so what do we need another summertime roots, rock and renegade festival for? Turns out, we need it for the fine, gritty music of bands like Will Hoge, the Turnpike Troubadours, William Elliott Whitmore, the Bottle Rockets, Rough Shop and Ben Nichols of Lucero, all of whom kicked off the first year of this annual event. Produced by Steve Pohlman (owner of Off Broadway) and John Henry (a veteran St. Louis roots rocker), the four-night event was loud, loose and lovingly welcomed by "red dirt music" diggers and fans of back-to-basics rock & roll and Americana. Well-oiled performances by Whitmore and St. Louis' the Bottle Rockets and a solid turnout set a high bar for next year, but the cagey organizers should be up to the task. (RK)
8/15: Loop institution the Delmar Lounge closes with one last blowout that lasts until 4:47 a.m.
8/18: St. Louis punk loses one of its best champions. Tim Mize, who spent fourteen years alongside Matt Meyers behind the helm of KDHX's bygone punk-based radio show, the Super Fun Happy Hour, dies suddenly of a massive stroke at the age of 45. In the late '80s, Mize was also the frontman of the much-loved hardcore band Laffinstock, whose chronology makes its members early local pioneers in the genre. A hero in death, Mize is an organ donor, and many of his organs find new homes. (DH)
8/22: South-city institution Stag Nite heads downtown. El Leñador has just crystallized as the unlikely heart of the south-city music scene. Its impossibly eclectic identity (Homemade Mexican food! A mural of the Alps! Christmas lights year-round!) and like-minded calendar make it the surest bet to blow the minds of your out-of-town friends. But internal disagreements between management and bartender/talent buyer/St. Louis legend Johnny Vegas and permitting issues with the city force the venue's flagship weekly show to relocate to the Crack Fox. (KM)
9/1 to 9/2: Downtown's Big Muddy Blues Festival stares down the remnants of Hurricane Isaac and comes away with one of its most successful years ever.
9/8: Blueberry Hill celebrates 40 years on Delmar Boulevard. Once upon a time there was a young entrepreneur named Joe Edwards who took a chance on a restaurant and bar at 6504 Delmar Boulevard. The year was 1972, and the rebirth of St. Louis' greatest strip was decades away — a rebirth that would not have been possible without Blueberry Hill's existence. It is now a tourist destination and still one of the most consistent pubs in town. To celebrate its fortieth birthday the club screened vintage footage of its grand opening, hosted karaoke down in the Duck Room and awarded prizes for costumes and fan-sung videos of "Blueberry Hill." (RK)