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Off Broadway

3509 Lemp Ave. St. Louis, MO 63118 | St. Louis - South City |

Location Description:

Off Broadway has hosted shows for more than 30 years in its cozy listening room. A smaller, intimate stage makes it easy for concert-goers to feel like a part of the experience, with warm lights casting an aura of mellow over musicians. Every kind of music looks and sounds good here, from indie rock to national alt-country, and a spacious patio sets the scene for the occasional day-long music festival. The bartenders are as friendly as the prices, and there's plenty of room on the dance floor. For a birds's eye view, simply pull up a chair on the second-story balcony.


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    Well that Bieber review sure took off. I got word earlier this week that it recently became the most-read post in RFT Music history (to anyone who missed it, a friend and I snuck booze into...
  • RFTmusic: Interviews
    Springfield, Illinois-based songwriter Ben Bedford finds his muse in the Midwest - the landscape, the people, the diction, the names of the rivers and towns. Across three albums, and...
  • RFTmusic: Interviews
    Of all the clich├ęs of sex, drugs and rock & roll (and any other genre you could name), chemistry is surely greatest, but it has the advantage of being true. There's really no other way to...
  • RFTmusic: Weekend Best Bets
    This weekend is Halloween weekend (Halloween-kend???? Nah, that sucks....) and as such there are plenty of sweet shows for you to attend in clothing that is not your own. Lucky for you --...
  • Music: Columns
    As a member of the full-frontal folk-punk assault that was the Monads, Pat Eagan played his fair share of hard-strumming guitar parts and joined in the chorus of spirited and irreverent...
  • Music: Show Preview
    The full title of Jim White's 1997 debut, The Mysterious Tale of How I Shouted Wrong-Eyed Jesus, tells you almost everything you need to know about this Southern gothic savant. What it...
  • RFTmusic: Homespun
    The Royal Smokestacks' CD Release Show is Friday, October 26 at Off Broadway. Admission is $5 and the music starts at 9 p.m. As a member of the full-frontal folk-punk assault that was the...
  • Music: Show Preview
    Many of the giants of the golden age of ska and reggae have fallen, but many still skank among us. Rock steady and ska pioneer the Skatalites has survived the passing or retirement of most...
  • RFTmusic: Weekend Best Bets
    Nelly's recent run-in with the law is the talk of the town / office / internet today -- if you've been under a rock, check out what I'm referring to here. Anyway, my question is simple: When...
  • Music: Show Preview
    Freak folk hasn't been freaky since Joanna Newsom put down her harp and started hanging out with MGMT. Even the godfather of the gloaming, Devendra Banhart, has been remixing Oasis and...
  • RFTmusic: Out Every Night
    Before we get into it: I am sure you are all already aware that White Rabbits is playing in town this week. And I am sure you've all seen this ubiquitous press photo, wherein all the members...
  • RFTmusic: Weekend Best Bets
    So did everyone check out this week's Best Of issue? What did you think of our music picks? RFT Music co-conspirator Ryan Wasoba was mourning the fact that there has been woefully little...
  • RFTmusic: Weekend Best Bets
    The office has been hectic lately. Next week is our big Best Of St. Louis issue. Things have occasionally gotten ugly; the "motherfuckers" are flying with unusual frequency, weary staffers...
  • Music: Show Preview
    With roots in the once-blooming '80s Champaign, Illinois, college-rock scene, the Jans Project is considered a neighboring local band. Featuring a mix of men from other local favorites like...
  • Music: Show Preview
    Young Minneapolis band the Pines starts off its ethereal 2012 album Dark So Gold with a sinister synth drone and a guitar that seems to be trying to talk-box its way out of the misty reverb....
  • RFTmusic: Weekend Best Bets
    Friday dominates the hell out of this week's picks, which has never happened before, in my tenure. I'm not sure what to make of that really; we are still running numbers and engaging in...
  • RFTmusic: Interviews
    It doesn't take long with theHooten Hallers to realize that drummer Andy Rehm and guitarist John Randall are straight up rock & rollers, blues junkies, self-proclaimed dirtbags (to be taken...
  • RFTmusic: Interviews
    For as stiff and coy as the band's name may be, the David Wax Museum's hybrid of indie pop, folk and folkloric music flares with smart sonic ideas and timeless and in-the-moment images. Born...
  • RFTmusic: Out Every Night
    Under normal circumstances I despise inane small talk and "how's the weather" chatter, but for the purposes of filling these show-pick-posts' opening paragraphs with content, its a...
  • RFTmusic: Weekend Best Bets
    This weekend is a good one for local artists, as it includes two album release shows and a music video release party. Friday night will see the release of Old Capital Square Dance Club's new...
  • RFTmusic: Contests
    Robert Earl Keen is a singer songwriter corroborated by nearly every measure we've got: Beloved by critics, canonized repeatedly in his native Texas and capable of putting his last seven...
  • RFTmusic: Last Night
    Well, the white trousers are back in storage and the river flotation seat with tall-boy sized cup-holders is deflated. We may have a few warm days ahead still, but summer is behind us. Lest...
  • RFTmusic: Out Every Night
    Well I don't know about you, but I was certainly not impressed by so-called "Tropical Storm" Isaac. Yeah, it rained a little, but the way people were talking about it made it seem like we...
  • Gut Check: Weekend Best Bets
    Note: A couple of events on Gut Check's agenda were cancelled due to severe weather forecasts. Officially cancelled outdoor events are noted below. Call ahead for others to ensure...
  • RFTmusic: Weekend Best Bets
    Apparently some dude named Isaac is coming to town this weekend and he's expected to raise all sorts of hell all over the place, causing for the unexpected implementation of emergency plans...
  • RFTmusic: Fiesta!
    A little perspective on this weekend's incoming storm, from the Weather Channel: "Look at the twenty degree difference between Thursday to Friday as a high. That is huge! We're talking about...
  • RFTmusic: Out Every Night
    Did everyone survive LouFest? Surrounding this post is our extensive coverage; be sure to read up. Rain be damned, the whole thing seemed to go off without a hitch. More big outdoors shows...
  • RFTmusic: Weekend Best Bets
    LouFest is this weekend! We're sure you are aware of the huge outdoor event, with headliners Flaming Lips and Girl Talk, not to mention Dinosaur Jr. and Sun Volt. We've already worn out...
  • RFTmusic: Live and Local
    Queenormous, with Dogs of Society Off Broadway Aug. 21, 2012 When considering music icons Queen, the Bee Gees and Elton John, most people think of riveting performance combined with...
  • RFTmusic: Out Every Night
    LouFest is this weekend, but you will not find it listed within this post. This is because St. Louis's favorite outdoor festival will already see plenty of press this week -- hell, I'd be...
  • RFTmusic: Weekend Best Bets
    Throughout the whole of the English vernacular, nary are there etymological compositions quite so objectionably mellifluous as are those employed in the odious overindulgent offenses of...
  • Calendar: Highlights
    Selena Valezquez, "The Zombie Queen of St. Louis," hosts a Zombie Bash at Off Broadway (3509 Lemp Avenue; 314-773-3363 or www.offbroadwaystl.com) at 8 p.m. Saturday, August 18. Undead attire...
  • Music: Show Preview
    If you thought you had a handle on Bobby Bare Jr., think again. The Nashville misfit can do country-soul, sure — it's literally in his blood, given his paternity, and few can wrench...
  • RFTmusic: Interviews
    In late 2010, Jon Hardy & the Public released an EP titled A Hard Year. The band couldn't have known what kind of year lay ahead of it. In September of last year, a few weeks after the...
  • RFTmusic: Out Every Night
    You can actually comfortably go outside today! The temperatures are supposed to be in the 80s. It's been so damn oppressively damn hot this whole damn summer that this respite, however...
  • RFTmusic: Weekend Best Bets
    Saturday dominates this week's post with a commanding 70% of all picks for the week, though it should be noted that one of our picks, the Open Highway Music Festival at Off Broadway,...
  • Music: Show Preview
    Lou Barlow will be hanging out in St. Louis a lot this month — or at least, a lot more than usual. As one-third of the classic Dinosaur Jr. lineup (playing this year's LouFest) and...
  • Music: Show Preview
    What keeps Beaver Nelson going? The teen prodigy has been pouring out unguarded, witty persuasions since the early '90s, and doing so in the most competitive environment imaginable: Austin,...
  • RFTmusic: Interviews
    Will Hoge may be the hardest-working musician you've never heard of. A Nashville guitarist who traded his teaching dreams for songwriting, Hoge tried his hand in minor bands before getting...
  • RFTmusic: Out Every Night
    This week's picks feature three rather large (as in a lot of bands) festival-type shows -- four if you count the 90s-fest happening at Verizon on Tuesday. On Friday, STL is the Movement 3...
  • RFTmusic: Weekend Best Bets
    This week's post is, incidentally, super-streamlined and hyper-organized compared to most weeks. On the first page you'll find five shows for Friday, and the second lists five shows for...
  • Music: Show Preview
    When Of Montreal played an uncharacteristically intimate show on July 4, 2011, at the Luminary Center for the Arts, the band's auxiliary member Kishi Bashi was the evening's de facto...
  • Music: Show Preview
    When Aaron Freeman, a.k.a. Gene Ween, decided to retire his nom de rock and focus on his solo work, he ended his nearly 30-year partnership with Mickey Melchiondo (Dean Ween) and the...
  • RFTmusic: Interviews
    K. Ishibashi is no stranger to success -- he's a founding member of Jupiter One, and has toured with of Montreal and Regina Spektor. But his solo project, Kishi Bashi, has a very grassroots...
  • RFTmusic: Out Every Night
    Time constraints occasionally preclude us from being able to preview every single great show in town. There's only so many hours in the week, and we have to keep the trains running on time...
  • RFTmusic: Weekend Best Bets
    Today's word of the day is "brevity." Lesson learned and applied: 1. Naked Raygun at the Firebird 2. Darin Gray / Bill Horist at the Schlafly Tap Room 3. Fang Island at Off Broadway 4....
  • Music: Columns
    For a songwriter accustomed to working with big ideas and long-form song cycles, Tim Rakel, of ragged Americana purveyor the Union Electric, has been keeping his band's output short and...
  • Music: Show Preview
    You wouldn't guess it from his hard-luck themes or dead-end vocal scratch, but things are looking up for Kasey Anderson. The Seattleite recently caught the ear of the Counting Crows, who...
  • Music: Show Preview
    Fang Island's unapologetic 2010 posi-rock debut was famously described as "everyone high-fiving everyone." Alas, man cannot live on high-fives alone; palms chafe, and the gesture eventually...
  • RFTmusic: Interviews
    After three years of shows and an equally accumulating number of seven-inches, St. Louis folk rock group the Union Electric releases its first full length CD Time is Gold. Members Tim Rakel,...
  • RFTmusic: Tonight, Tonight
    It certainly seems like it's possible that Reckless Kelly band leaders Willy and Cody Braun will be joining their little brothers Micky and Gary -- who front the country band Micky and the...
  • RFTmusic: Weekend Best Bets
    Happy Friday, St. Louis! Before we get to the festivities, it's been a little while since we've explained our shows-pickin' blog-postin' strategy, so here it is again for the uninitiated...
  • RFTmusic: Show Reviews
    Just One Big Soul: Woody Guthrie 100th Birthday Party, Tribute and 88.1 KDHX Benefit Off Broadway July 14, 2012 Behold the power of Woody Guthrie: A man with a trucker hat, tousled grey...
  • RFTmusic: Concert Calendar
    Alberta Cross will give St. Louis a double dose of its music tomorrow, on July 17: The band brings its modern psych-rock to Off Broadway that night and releases its new album Songs of...
  • RFTmusic: Out Every Night
    My word of the day calendar says that today's word is "skirl", which conveniently is defined as a musical term. Unfortunately, it is one that typically involves the act of bagpipin', and...
  • RFTmusic: Weekend Best Bets
    This weekend would have been the hundredth birthday of Woody Guthrie, if he'd only lived that long. To celebrate, both Plush and Off Broadway are hosting tributes -- Plush's is on Friday...
  • Music: Show Preview
    Alberta Cross is but the latest example of a promising rock band to meet a crashing, burning, big-advance-blowing fate in LA. One need have no sympathy for the devil in the details of Petter...
  • Music: Show Preview
    It's a familiar narrative: A road-worn band calls for a disco nap after relentless festival and tour schedules tire its minds and songs. Less common is that band ever waking up. But almost...
  • RFTmusic: Out Every Night
    The Monday after Independence Day weekend is one most brutal. After a full weekend of barbecue and beer and illegal fireworks, going to work seems all the more objectionable. I'm too damned...
  • RFTmusic: Last Night
    Pujol | Bruiser Queen | Carriage House Off Broadway July 8, 2012 Better than: Sticking your weenie in a pool jet. The two most purely enjoyable things I've done in the last couple weeks I...
  • RFTmusic: Weekend Best Bets
    My word of the day calendar says today's word is "stymie," which is a word I was already plenty familiar with. Without the added push of new vocabulary, coming up with the introduction for...
  • Music: Show Preview
    Certain moments on Amy LaVere's Stranger Me sound like gentle lullabies, but that doesn't necessarily make for easy listening. Beneath the gauze of her soft, tangled voice and the resonant...
  • RFTmusic: Last Night
    The 4th Annual Crawfish Boil brought out a healthy crowd on a hot night to Off Broadway (3509 Lemp Ave), where the night started with a table full of boiled crawfish and potatoes and ended...
  • RFTmusic: Tonight, Tonight
    Broke*: A Film About Music is a new documentary about the State of the Music Industry, following in particular the success and failures of musicians Reva Williams and Will Gray. But it deals...
  • Music: Show Preview
    Off Broadway's yearly celebration of our loveable local crustacean will not, for the first time ever, feature a performance by the now-defunct Monads. Take your moment of silence; the...
  • RFTmusic: This Just In
    See also: The Bottle Rockets' Brian Henneman On The New Record And Learning Banjo Off Broadway has just announced a new music festival to take place Thursday, August 9 through Saturday,...
  • RFTmusic: Out Every Night
    According to my new calendar, the word of the day is "volant," and it is defined as "moving lightly" or "nimble." I'm not really sure how to incorporate that into a post recommending shows...
  • RFTmusic: Weekend Best Bets
    I'm going to level with you, folks: It get difficult coming up with these introductory paragraphs week after week for these show posts, but luckily I just got a "word of the day" calendar...
  • Music: Show Preview
    If Waylon Jennings didn't exist, then Whitey Morgan wouldn't either. The same could be said for Johnny Paycheck and Johnny Cash, not to mention Buicks, twin fiddles and class struggle. The...
  • RFTmusic: Homespun
    Ed. Spectator's In the Brick EP will be officially released on July 13 at Off Broadway with Bockman. Doors open at 8:30 p.m. and admission is $8. You can buy the record now for $4 on...
  • RFTmusic: Contests
    Interesting show tonight at Off Broadway: The Split Livers, featuring Danny Barnes of the Bad Livers and Wayne Gottstine of Split Lip Rayfield. Separately, the two are champions of...
  • RFTmusic: Out Every Night
    Another week of great music in St. Louis: Highlights of this week include a visit from multi-talented songstress Santigold at the Pageant, the eclectic-but-soft-spoken indie rock of Pinback...
  • RFTmusic: Weekend Best Bets
    Another weekend of great St. Louis shows: Hot 104.1's Super Jam is this weekend at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, and in case you missed it Master P got added to the already stacked bill --...
  • RFTmusic: This Just In
    Pujol, whose debut full length United States of Being came out this week on Saddle Creek Records, is coming to Off Broadway. The show's on Sunday, July 8 and Carriage House, Bruiser Queen...
  • RFTmusic: Weekend Best Bets
    This weekend is the big event: the 2012 RFT Music Showcase! Some eighty-ish bands will descend on Washington Avenue and fill the air with the sweet sounds of St. Louis music. A mere ten...
  • RFTmusic: Interviews
    If Joseph Arthur weren't so insanely talented you might be tempted to doubt the prolific pretense of his visual and musical art. But his talent, his gift for realizing his visions, is...
  • RFTmusic: Weekend Best Bets
    [Update: Tonight's appearance by Mighty Diamonds at 2720 Cherokee has been cancelled. In its stead, Zion & The Lion Roots Band will perform two sets tonight; the cover is only $7.] This...
  • RFTmusic: Music Awards
    The RFT Music Showcase is just over a week away -- on June 2, 79 of St. Louis best bands and artists will play at twelve venues on Washington Avenue. But there's quite a bit of great music...
  • RFTmusic: Cover Up
    Ed. Now that the dust has settled on this weekend' three-day Tower Groove LP release epic, we'd like to leave you with one last thought about the collective (for now). Hopefully this...
  • RFTmusic: Out Every Night
    We'll start this post off by recognizing the fact that yes, Red Hot Chili Peppers is playing in town on Friday (Scottrade Center); as is Local H (Firebird), but Friday is already...
  • RFTmusic: Interviews
    Back in 2008, the Educated Guess released two fine, grandiose albums, Beautiful Strangers and West Skyline Drive, that paired big-sky Americana with well-orchestrated arrangements that...
  • RFTmusic: Weekend Best Bets
    Some points of confusion to clear up real fast about this weekend's post: First, the Tower Groove Records Double Album Release Party takes place over three days (Friday, Saturday, and...
  • RFTmusic: Last Night
    Alejandro Escovedo Off Broadway May 15, 2012 Storytelling is a craft that is formulated through years of experience and must be as finely tuned as a guitar. Spirited rock & roll is the...
  • RFTmusic: Out Every Night
    This weekend is the much-anticipated release party(s) for Tower Groove Records' new Double LP, which showcases heaping piles of superb local talent -- thirteen RFT Music Award nominees...
  • RFTmusic: Weekend Best Bets
    Local music fans in the know spent last night at KDHX's massive party at the City Museum, Midwest Mayhem -- I myself had to wash my eyeballs this morning to try and purge them of the things...
  • Music: Show Preview
    Every Alejandro Escovedo show should be required viewing, but this one promises something extra special for fans of St. Louis music. The rock-roots legend's show will be supported by Jimmy...
  • Music: Show Preview
    Joe Pug is not a hipster with a banjo, a smarty pants with a computer, a naïf with a fake British accent singing in a fake forest. What he is is a serious songwriter, in the line of...
  • RFTmusic: Out Every Night
    This week's Most Triumphant Beard of the Week award goes unequivocally to Map's and Atlases' Dave Davison, whose facial hair would be worthy of IFC's cut-throat Whisker Wars competitions --...
  • RFTmusic: Weekend Best Bets
    This weekend is Cinco de Mayo, which for all of you non Spanish-speaking types translates literally to "The Five of Mayo". What this cryptic phrase actually means is unclear, as is the...
  • RFTmusic: Interviews
    Levon Helm's passing rightfully prompted an outpouring of emotion. Not only did Helm personally touch the lives of the most celebrated musicians in rock and roll, but he also played an...
  • RFTmusic: Out Every Night
    This week is another of those extra-packed ones, so this list is a bit longer than usual -- hooray for St. Louis music! If anything remains of your vehicles after Saturday's ridiculous...
  • RFTmusic: Weekend Best Bets
    In case you hadn't seen, we have a brand-spankin'-new Concert Calendar setup -- it is useful and easy to navigate, as opposed to the previous format, which was....well, not. Now, rather...
  • RFTmusic: Show Flyers
    Coming to the Duck Room this Wednesday is the Colorado trio the Lumineers. The band induces nostalgic daydreams of yore. Portugal. the Man will come to The Pageant this Sunday with The...
  • RFTmusic: Out Every Night
    Did everyone survive Record Store Day weekend? Between the deluge of live music and the generous amounts of free beer -- not to mention the throngs of people -- we can understand how one...
  • RFTmusic: Show Reviews
    Cursive | Cymbals Eat Guitars | Conduits April 20, 2012 Off Broadway You don't expect a mosh pit to erupt at a concert headlined by a Saddle Creek Records band, but if it's a Cursive show,...
  • RFTmusic: Weekend Best Bets
    So today is April 20 -- I'm going to tastefully refrain from making a "4:20 woooh weed hell yeah" joke here, as we at RFT Music are all class, baby. You thought it was coming; I know you...
  • RFTmusic: Show Flyers
    Psychedelia favoring Sleepy Sun will be playing Off Broadway this Saturday with St. Louis's equally trippy Troubadour Dali. With beats that make you feel like you have a contact-high,...
  • RFTmusic: Weekend Best Bets
    So it seems that the weather is finally seasonally appropriate for the first time in 2012, but don't let the April showers keep you inside this weekend or else you're going to miss out on...
  • Music: Show Preview
    With a songbird's warble and a coterie of fuzzy, buzzy indie-folk signifiers, Caroline Smith & the Good Night Sleeps makes a joyful noise that's soothingly old and comfortably new. Smith's...
  • Music: Columns
    Rough Shop has always been a band of old souls. Its three principles — guitarists Andy Ploof and John Wendland and bassist Anne Tkach — have settled comfortably into middle age,...
  • Music: Feature
    Bob Reuter is a living legend. With a music career that spans nearly five decades, he's found a renewal of rock & roll energy in Bob Reuter's Alley Ghost. He writes unapologetic songs...
  • RFTmusic: Homespun
    Rough Shop Beneath the South Side Bridge Release Show: 9 p.m. Saturday, April 14. Off Broadway, 3509 Lemp Avenue. $10 to $13. Rough Shop has always been a band of old souls. Its three...
  • RFTmusic: Interviews
    Editor's Note: Bob Reuter's Alley Ghost will release Born There this Sunday at Off Broadway. For this week's Riverfront Times, Josh Levi talked to Reuter, but the man cannot be confined to...
  • RFTmusic: Videodrone
    Kentucky Knife Fight was not kidding around with its new video for "Love the Lonely." The band launched a Kickstarter and premiered it at a show last weekend at Off Broadway. For the fanfare...
  • RFTmusic: Show Flyers
    Anodes will be playing a set at the Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center. Accompanying it are St. Louis's own Better Days and Strangers Now. This Saturday has Rough Shop releasing its album Beneath...
  • RFTmusic: Out Every Night
    Happy day-after-Easter, everyone! Hope your holiday weekend was filled with marshmallow peeps and cadbury eggs and all of that other sickening Easter candy crap. This week brings us Canada's...
  • RFTmusic: Weekend Best Bets
    This weekend is another good one; Saturday especially is virtually overflowing with shows. White Denim, All American Rejects, Flatfoot 56 and 8Ball, MJG and Bun B all come to town that...
  • RFTmusic: Show Flyers
    Premiering the video "Love the Lonely" this Friday at Off Broadway is St. Louis band Kentucky Knife Fight. Ramones Tribute Band, We're a Happy Family, is playing the opening night of the...
  • RFTmusic: Weekend Best Bets
    Another excellent spring weekend in St. Louis: It's tough to top legendary DJ and producer Pete Rock, performing tonight at Lola, but he'll get a run for his money from Ben Kweller (Off...
  • Music: Feature
    Talking to Ben Kweller is much like listening to him sing. His cadence is rhythmic, and his quasi-hippie, pseudo-slacker demeanor is as identifiable over a phone line as it is through a...
  • RFTmusic: Weekend Best Bets
    One can entertain oneself for pretty cheap this weekend, as all of the events listed below are under $20 (except for Rollins)....some are free! Vintage Vinyl is playing host to back to back...
  • Music: Show Preview
    Chuck Prophet's latest album, Temple Beautiful, isn't the first rock & roll homage to San Francisco, but it's the best. Riff to rhyme, you can tell how long it has taken him to get here....
  • RFTmusic: Show Flyers
    There's plenty of St. Louis in this week's show flyers. Rock band Bruiser Queen play at the German beer garden-cum-Mexican restaurant El Lenador. HUMDRUM guitarist Gareth Schumacher plays...
  • RFTmusic: Out Every Night
    Last week we alluded to the fact that this March is a great time to be a music fan in St. Louis....this week we're driving the point home and then some. Unless you are capable of bi-location...
  • Music: Show Preview
    When last we heard from Dave Anderson, he was at the helm of last November's love letter in show form to Harry Nilsson. From golden voice to gravel: He returns with a tribute to Tom Waits....
  • RFTmusic: Interviews
    When David Anderson isn't busy leading local psych-folk quartet Tenement Ruth his his wife Melissa, he can be found on stages and in studios around town as an in-demand session player, and...
  • RFTmusic: Out Every Night
    No time to breathe after last week; March is a good month for music lovers in St. Louis this year and the hits just keep on coming. This week Cleveland's punishing hardcore powerhouse...
  • RFTmusic: Weekend Best Bets
    An already great week of music shows no signs of slowing. Tonight, the Spits come to St. Louis for the first time ever on the event of Rob Ruzicka's birthday. The Gramophone's having a...
  • RFTmusic: Interviews
    There aren't any surveys statistically showcasing St. Louis concertgoers' antipathy toward dancing. But even if lethargy was widespread in the Gateway City, JC Brooks says his band succeeded...
  • RFTmusic: Last Night
    Water Liars Off Broadway: Friday, February 24 Vintage Vinyl: Tuesday, February 28 "So calm on the surface, but down there, everything's just eating the hell out of everything else." --Barry...
  • RFTmusic: Weekend Best Bets
    Have you sufficiently recovered from last night's EP releases from Theresa Payne and iLLPHONiCS? Good, because there's more new local music in the hopper: Water Liars will release its...
  • Music: Columns
    When beloved ragged folk/postmodern blues combo Theodore quietly dissolved in the fall of 2011, St. Louis lost one of its finest bands in recent memory. Across three records, an EP and...
  • RFTmusic: Homespun
    Water Liars is Justin Kinkel-Schuster and Andrew Bryant. They're releasing their debut, Phantom Limb, on Friday at Off Broadway (3509 Lemp Avenue, 314-773-3363). You can check back tomorrow...
  • RFTmusic: Weekend Best Bets
    Just in case you haven't nearly wrecked your car staring at Lumiere Place's toweringly monolithic billboard off I-70 recently, we'll start out by informing you that yes, the legendary...
  • RFTmusic: Last Night
    Craig Finn | Mount Moriah Off Broadway February 10, 2012 People still talk -- and most of them were doing so through all but the quietest numbers last night, but I digress and we're only...
  • Music: Show Preview
    Most young folks are convinced that the blues is dead and that soul and funk aren't far behind. Those licks, the thinking goes, are best relegated to dollar-record bins, tribute shows and...
  • Music: Feature
    North Carolina's Triangle region, marked at its points by Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill, has long been among the nation's most fertile music communities. It's home to bands including...
  • RFTmusic: Interviews
    Most listeners know Craig Finn as the poetic frontman of The Hold Steady. His show Friday at Off Broadway (3509 Lemp Avenue, 314-773-3363) puts him in a quieter context as he plays songs...
  • RFTmusic: Weekend Best Bets
    It may not be picnic weather, but it's still pretty damn nice for the first weekend in February. And yes, we realize the ice caps are melting and polar bears are frowning, which is why it is...
  • Music: Show Preview
    Shearwater will release its latest LP, Animal Joy, on February 14, but it hardly makes for ideal Valentine's Day listening, unless you can work your mojo to beautifully austere and dramatic...
  • Music: Show Preview
    In 1979 proto-crust pioneers Crass made a foreboding pronouncement with its end-times anthem "Punk Is Dead." And though some may agree, the torchbearing goof-punk Bass Amp & Dano continue in...
  • RFTmusic: Weekend Best Bets
    Happy Friday Party People. It's the last weekend in January already, and don't let the spring show announcements trick you into planning for the future. Because then you'd miss the...
  • RFTmusic: Weekend Best Bets
    This weekend we're excited about some unusual shows, including collective FarFetched's launch party and Prologue release at 2720 Cherokee and KDHX's benefit on Sunday at Saratoga Lanes. Matt...
  • Music: Show Preview
    With a quavering stridency reminiscent of Jolie Holland, Samantha Crain delivers a wallop from her tiny frame. The singer-songwriter mines a comfortably familiar terrain of indie-friendly...
  • RFTmusic: Last Night
    Jason & the Scorchers Off Broadway January 13, 2012 As band after band from the 1980s and 1990s reforms and revisits past glories, one could be forgiven for questioning their respective...
  • RFTmusic: This Just In
    Post-punk popster The Hibernauts will playing its final show as a regularly operating unit at Off Broadway (3509 Lemp Avenue, 314-773-3363) tomorrow night. The group released two albums,...
  • RFTmusic: Weekend Best Bets
    What will 2012 bring us? To start, the finale of the Bad Plus' residency at Jazz at the Bistro. Then there's David Lowery wearing two hats tonight in Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven at the...
  • RFTmusic: Weekend Best Bets
    The main event is Saturday night, obviously, and if you still don't have your New Year's Eve plans in order, we've got you covered: New Year's Eve in St. Louis: Ten Best Things to Do Under...
  • Calendar: Highlights
    John Zielinski was a successful journalist and photographer, and then he decided to take down the U.S. government. Why? Well, it's complicated. So complicated that filmmakers Chase Thompson...
  • Music: Columns
    Punk rock is fast and visceral, seen as the raw, beating heart of real rock music. Soft rock is syrupy and sentimental, the provenance of elevators and checkout lines. But all the Yacht Rock...
  • Music: Show Preview
    Americana musicians have a history of bathing in hyperbole. The beautiful women are always on their side, the whiskey never runs out, and the characters are either beautifully broken or...
  • Calendar: Highlights
    The Blind Eyes, Kentucky Knife Fight and Dino's House Band present an evening of covers and lost gems with special appearances by Cassie Morgan, Beth Bombara and other guests to be...
  • RFTmusic: New Year's Eve
    The best part of New Year's Eve is getting ready for it. The worst part is usually right around 11:57pm, when it dawns that you just blew a couple hundred dollars to end up chugging pink...
  • RFTmusic: Weekend Best Bets
    It's the last weekend before Christmas, and there are still plenty of shows to keep us occupied. Bo and the Locomotive and Union Tree Review anchor a fantastic lineup at Foam tomorrow night...
  • RFTmusic: Weekend Best Bets
    The Funky Butt Brass Band, St. Louis' finest purveyors of second-line struttin', is about to unleash its annual holiday throwdown on Saturday night at Off Broadway. Now in its third year,...
  • Calendar: Highlights
    The story of Clownvis Presley, King of Clowns, is essentially the greatest story ever told -- in a bar. A young clown who always felt apart from the other clowns, and was never invited to...
  • Music: Show Preview
    Don't expect to find the Wilders' self-titled album from 2011 on any year-end Americana lists. Though the band has been kicking around the Kansas City acoustic-music scene for some fifteen...
  • RFTmusic: Last Night
    JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound | Bailiff Off Broadway December 10, 2011 Toward the end of its set at Off Broadway last night, JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound's bassist Ben Taylor addressed the...
  • RFTmusic: Weekend Best Bets
    It's the most wonderful time of the year! Well, OK, not actually if you're looking for big-name tours. But that doesn't mean you have no choice but to hole up this weekend. Soul...
  • RFTmusic: Weekend Best Bets
    If you weren't already heading to Off Broadway (3509 Lemp Avenue, 314-773-3363) tomorrow night for JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound, you oughta be. The soul-steeped Chicago band brings along...
  • Music: Show Preview
    Are you ready for star time? On record, Chicago's JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound forges a most infectious and soulful stew, with nods to Otis Redding, Booker T & the MGs and dusty old R&B...
  • RFTmusic: Weekend Best Bets
    The leftovers are finally gone and the Christmas lights all over the place no longer cause us to grit our teeth. So what better way to celebrate the Season than with a double-bill of...
  • RFTmusic: Homespun
    The Trip Daddys have a new album: The Life We Chose. It gets an official release tomorrow night at Off Broadway (3509 Lemp Avenue, 314-773-3363). The album was also the subject of this...
  • Music: Columns
    Call the Trip Daddys a rockabilly band at your own peril. Pigeonhole the band as a one-shot, one-note act, and guitarist, singer and head Daddy Craig Straubinger will take you to school on...
  • RFTmusic: Weekend Best Bets
    Happy Capitalism Celebration day! This weekend is as packed as your small intestine. First things first: shopping. Friday This year, ditch the evil big box stores in favor of supporting...
  • Music: Show Preview
    Mephistopheles has his incarnations, Roky Erickson has his hallucinations, Jim Morrison has his myths and King Khan has been on a one-man, pants-dropping, primitive-rock-fucking,...
  • Music: Show Preview
    The club is open, even on Thanksgiving night. Last year, Dayton, Ohio's Guided by Voices reconvened its original lineup for the first time since 1996. A new album, Let's Go Eat the Factory,...
  • RFTmusic: Homespun
    Once a year, the Stag Nite All-Stars form a ramshackle convergence to pay loving, egg-nog-addled tribute to The Last Waltz, arguably the most famous concert in history. Spearheaded musically...
  • RFTmusic: Interviews
    When I first reach Mr. Khan, he's somewhere in Florida, time zone unknown to him. King Khan: Do you know Chuck Berry? Roy Kasten: I've met him once. Do you want me to pass on a...
  • RFTmusic: This Just In
    The Hold Steady's Craig Finn is working on a solo album to be released this January. And the attendent tour will take him to St. Louis on February 10, when he will play at Off Broadway....
  • RFTmusic: Last Night
    tUnE-yArDs | Pat Jordache Off Broadway November 8, 2011 Attending a show is participating in it. There is no such thing as a bystander at any occasion of live music; every single person,...
  • Music: Show Preview
    Many have trod these same waters as tUnE-yArDs' Merrill Garbus, trading in a band for a looping pedal and marrying pop with noise, but none have Garbus' schizophrenic charisma. Throughout...
  • Music: Feature
    In the eight years since seminal post-hardcore band Fugazi went on indefinite hiatus, bassist Joe Lally has continued to show an impressive work ethic and passion for music. Having toured...
  • RFTmusic: This Just In
    Back in September, Pete Stein lost both of his feet in a train jumping accident in Oregon. In the intervening days, bars and south side eateries have set donation jars on their countertops...
  • RFTmusic: This Just In
    Off Broadway has just lassoed a very Missouri show for December 15: Kansas City's the Wilders, last seen taking the Oktoberfest crowd by surprise on a bill with the Monads and Rum Drum...
  • RFTmusic: Contests
    It's Halloween week and we're already bracing ourselves for a weekend to put the party hat on this month of nonstop insanity. Among the festivities to choose from is Off Broadway's Halloween...
  • RFTmusic: Fiesta!
    Kinky Friedman is returning to Off Broadway on December 2nd. However, this being Kinky Friedman, there will be considerably more on the docket than a dude singing into a microphone....
  • RFTmusic: Contests
    Peter Wolf Crier returns to St. Louis on Monday, playing at Off Broadway. The group played at the Billiken Club back in February; Roy Kasten, in his preview, wrote, "The duo forges its...
  • RFTmusic: This Just In
    JC Brooks & the Uptown will be back in St. Louis on Saturday, December 10th at Off Broadway. The Chicago soul revival group was last seen moving asses en masse at this year's Indie Rock Ice...
  • Music: Columns
    When Caleb Travers released Blue Weathered Dreams with his then-backing band Big City Lights in 2007, his lovely, sonorous voice and Ryan Adams jones helped make his small-town story-songs...
  • RFTmusic: Homespun
    Caleb Travers' new EP, Ain't No Jukebox, gets an official release this Friday at Off Broadway. Describing the effort in this week's Homespun column, Christian Schaeffer says, "Travers has...
  • RFTmusic: This Just In
    Memphis cow punk band Lucero is coming to Off Broadway on December 9th. Tickets are $16 in advance or $18 day of show, with a $2 minor surcharge. You can buy them starting this saturday...
  • RFTmusic: Homespun
    Harry Nilsson, one of the very few things all four Beatles agreed on and a singer of nearly unparalleled talent, will get the tribute treatment at Off Broadway on November 26th. What Is The...
  • Music: Show Preview
    The Malaysia-born singer and songwriter Zee Avi stands atop a spire like it's a tree fort, like her ukulele is a pop-gun rifle, like her smoke-ringed voice has nowhere to go but up, up, up....
  • Music: Show Preview
    There are two factual nuggets most commonly known about San Francisco's the Dodos: The group consists of two people, and its 2008 jam "Fools" soundtracked a Miller Chill commercial. This...
  • Music: Show Preview
    Taking traditional Balkan/Eastern European music to its hometown of Albuquerque, New Mexico, A Hawk and a Hacksaw performs gypsy-influenced folk in an effortless reappropriation. With a...
  • Music: Show Preview
    In time, the Milk Carton Kids will outgrow the unbearable tweeness of its name. In sound and song, the duo of Kenneth Pattengale and Joey Ryan already have. On the 2011 debut Prologue, the...
  • RFTmusic: Contests
    We'd like some of whatever's in the water in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Recent (incredibly welcome) visitors from the college town include King Arthur and the Features, and tomorrow night...
  • RFTmusic: Show Reviews
    Black Moth Super Rainbow | Marshmallow Ghosts | Dosh Off Broadway September 12, 2011 Sometimes it's hard to remember that these people making these sounds are just people. Get them in...
  • RFTmusic: Interviews
    For a guy who makes some of weird sounding shit, Tom Fec is a pretty normal dude. He exercises. He dreams of giving up, getting fat and going bald. He loves the '80s, but not in a lame,...
  • Music: Show Preview
    Eilen Jewell could have so easily slid into the safe coffeehouse scene. And judging by the precisely appointed acoustic folk of her debut, Boundary County, she could have owned and remodeled...
  • Music: Show Preview
    Black Moth Super Rainbow is as close to experiencing LSD as you can get without dosing your orange juice. The Pennsylvanian collective crafts woozy, unmistakable canticles shrouded in oozing...
  • Music: Show Preview
    Talk about starting off with a bang: Tower Groove Records is a brand-new organization with the stated goal of "showcasing the quality and breadth of St. Louis music and culture." Judging by...
  • Music: Show Preview
    Right before they play their biggest-ticket shows to date, three locals will tune up in the familiar confines of a rock club. Old Lights, Jon Hardy & the Public and Troubadour Dali are all...
  • RFTmusic: Last Night
    Handsome Furs | US English | Magical Beautiful Off Broadway August 24, 2011 We in the moderately-sized audience could have tried a little harder, but let's be honest: There was no way we...
  • Music: Show Preview
    Dan Boeckner's voice and sensibilities have so long been tied to Wolf Parade that listening to his current main project, Handsome Furs, usually involves imagining Wolf Parade's take on the...
  • Music: Show Preview
    He's been on the road for some 30 years; David Olney knows motel rooms. He'll count his take, read some Coleridge, work on a short story or a song, drink and watch heist flicks on the TV, if...
  • RFTmusic: Homespun
    Pokey LaFarge and the South City Three will officially release full-length Middle Of Everywhere tomorrow in a pair of shows at Off Broadway. The album's already had plenty of play, from a...
  • RFTmusic: This Just In
    LouFest is just over two weeks, and our excitement is reaching unhealthy levels. You already know the headliners: The Roots, TV On The Radio, The Hold Steady, Deerhunter, !!!, Cat Power,...
  • RFTmusic: This Just In
    Joe Lally will be playing at Off Broadway on November 9th. It's an early one: Show starts at 7 p.m. No openers have been announced, and unless we are very much mistaken he had locals last...
  • RFTmusic: This Just In
    The nascent Tower Groove Records gets more exciting by the day. You can read, in our earlier story, more about the collective's inception and goals. Basically, several South City stalwarts...
  • RFTmusic: This Just In
    The Watson Twins are coming back to Off Broadway on Wednesday, September 21. Alvan & Ayosha will open. Tickets are $10 and on sale now. The Watson Twins were at the same venue exactly 363...
  • Music: Reviews
    Troubadour Dali writes pretty good songs, but the psych-rock band is better at making albums. Its swirling sonic palette doesn't alter much from track to track — jangling British...
  • Music: Show Preview
    Oklahoma, one of the most reactionary states in the union, has given rise to a handful of the most notoriously progressive rock bands. Colourmusic raises again the freak flag of the Flaming...
  • Music: Show Preview
    Newly minted novelist Josh Ritter is at heart a folkie, writing songs ever under the spell of Townes Van Zandt and John Prine. But unlike most of his idols, he's obsessive about the sound of...
  • Music: Show Preview
    The most remarkable quality of Susan Cowsill's 40-plus-year career is its sanity. A child performer with the Cowsills — the fabled Partridge Family-inspiring clan band — Susan...
  • Music: Show Preview
    The more rock & rollers take themselves seriously, the more their music becomes a joke. Dave Alvin is the exception that proves the rule. The distinguished guitarist and songwriter for the...
  • Music: Show Preview
    Once the most prolific of the experimental, lo-fi rock bands to ever fall under the Guided by Voices spell, Centro-Matic left the manic '90s behind and began to patiently reconcile...
  • Music: Show Preview
    It's a triple threat of solo acoustic performers, out on what they're calling the Waiting For Lightning to Strike tour. It's an apt title, as all three specialize in lonely, thoughtful songs...
  • Music: Show Preview
    Chris Mills started out in the '90s in Collinsville, Illinois, where he soaked up some of the same country and punk influences as his better-known near neighbors Jay Farrar and Jeff Tweedy....
  • Music: Show Preview
    Of all the pill poppers, free-basers and strung-out shooters that have ever littered popular music, Slaid Cleaves is the least likely drug fiend. He's probably the only one who has ever...
  • Music:
    With a Bang: It starts with bright, raw guitar tones: a jolt. Then downbeat toms, a tribal call, and the bass line enters carrying the melody. That's how With a Bang, the new Blind Eyes...
  • Music: Show Preview
    Happy birthday, Bob Dylan! What do you give the rock hero who has everything? How about a night of tributes from a bunch of great bands that benefits community radio? Brothers Lazaroff,...
  • Music: Show Preview
    They don't make bluesmen like T-Model Ford anymore, but there's no need for nostalgia. The nonagenarian (if his officially released date of birth is to be trusted) isn't ready for the...
  • Music: Columns
    Theodore singer, guitarist and songwriter Justin Kinkel-Schuster has always had more songs at his disposal than readily available releases with which to share them, so it's no real surprise...
  • Music: Show Preview
    For a band that started out in Denton, Texas, as something between a joke and ploy to score some free drink tickets, Slobberbone has pieced together a respectable run at a career. Building...
  • Music: Show Preview
    It has been almost a year since Jess Luther and Dave Baker formalized their show-going experiences in the form of I Went To A Show, a blog that has since added Julie Dill and Annie McCance...
  • Music: Show Preview
    Jessica Lea Mayfield is still way too young. The neo-country singer, who sounds like the mellow lost member of Those Darlins, released her 2008 debut, With Blasphemy So Heartfelt, when she...
  • Music: Show Preview
    As a member of Chisel and the leader of current band the Pharmacists, proud New Jerseyan Ted Leo has built a near-peerless reputation for integrity and rugged survival. He's been compared to...
  • Music: Show Preview
    Tobacco is Thomas Fec, a.k.a. Maniac Meat, Black Moth Super Rainbow maniac in chief. He's an unapologetically obscurantist electronic artist who consorts with the likes of Aesop Rock and...
  • Music: Show Preview
    "Speak Plainly, Diana" is the only song that made the jump from Joe Pug's EPs to his 2010 full-length debut, Messenger, but it sounds like it originated generations earlier. The simple...
  • Music: Show Preview
    It grows more difficult by the day to define just what exactly "indie rock" is, but in a dream world, Fake Problems is the model. On last year's Real Ghosts Caught on Tape, the band fused...
  • Music: Column
    Consider Kinky Friedman the bizarro Bob Dylan. He's a Midwestern-born folk hero, steeped in country traditions and gifted with maddening powers of language and wit. The novelist, satirist,...
  • RFTmusic: Interviews
    Sharp-tongued Kinky Friedman is back in St. Louis for the first time in years, playing Off Broadway tomorrow night. We talked to Friedman about his music and his failed political ambitions....
  • RFTmusic: Interviews
    Painkillers never got its due. Back in the '80s, the St. Louis band was recording the kind of purposeful pop that evolved from the likes of Big Star. Euclid Records' Joe Schwab was a fan...
  • Music: Show Preview
    The Damnwells splintered as a unit following a disappointing major-label experience. In the aftermath of the split, the band — which is now technically a duo of frontman Alex Dezen and...
  • Music: Column
    Jill Sobule is a treasure of American pop music, a witty and big-hearted songwriter, even when she's exposing her own ticks and fears. Best known for the semi-novelty hit "I Kissed a Girl"...
  • RFTmusic: Last Night
    It's hard to imagine vocals so beautiful and delicate could come out of a man resembling the Brawny Paper Towel guy. But the vocals of Sean Carey (a.k.a. S. Carey) slowly hummed to life and...
  • Music: Show Preview
    Chicago insurgent country label Bloodshot may be grooming Lydia Loveless to pick up where twang angels Kelly Hogan and Neko Case left off, but the young Columbus, Ohio, native is a harder...
  • Music: Show Preview
    As the classically trained percussionist for Bon Iver, S. Carey has been relegated to the lo-fi shadows. As captured on last year's disarming and meditative All We Grow, Carey finds his own...
  • Music: Show Preview
    It must make a certain strand of mid-'90s underground rock fan feel a bit nostalgic, wistful or just plain old to witness the slew of reunion tours by certain canonized bands. No...
  • Music: Show Preview
    In the preppy-chic soul revival sweepstakes, Eli "Paperboy" Reed outpaces the likes of better-known band leaders such as Mayer Hawthorne, in part because he's simply a greater singer, in...
  • Music: Show Preview
    Papercuts is Jason Quever, a multi-instrumentalist who's collaborated with the likes of Cass McCombs and Casiotone for the Painfully Alone. Aside from Quever's penchant for writing,...
  • Music: Feature
    Bunnygrunt turns eighteen this month. If the band were a person, it would be just about ready to graduate from high school. It would be able to join the military, vote, get married and buy...
  • Music: Show Preview
    It makes sense that Innerpartysystem's visit to Off Broadway is being welcomed by the local dance party professionals at London Calling. It also makes sense that the dance-pop trio is on Red...
  • Music: Show Preview
    Kings Go Forth is built on a simple proposition: the more the funkier. The ten-member, Milwaukee-based band throws itself into a whirlwind of rhythm and horn lines while dragging obscure,...
  • Music: Columns
    When singer and guitarist Kevin Butterfield left St. Louis, he took with him a golden voice and a starring role in the Linemen, one of this town's best Americana outfits. Fortunately,...
  • Music: Show Preview
    What exactly does an ale-addled, agitprop, borderline-Communist punk of Welsh heritage have to say about country music? In Jon Langford's case, a hell of a lot — and if you haven't...
  • Music: Show Preview
    On his last trip to St. Louis in fall 2008, Jonathan Richman threw some long-time fans for a loop with a set marked by some hard-earned heaviness in place of whimsy and levity. He undercut...
  • Music: Show Preview
    The collision between garage rock and junky funk finds an early psychedelic impact in the Amboy Dukes, if not the Wailers. Kid Congo Powers (a.k.a. Brian Tristan) chases the aftershocks with...
  • Music: Show Preview
    You wouldn't know it from suffering through the singer-songwriters who plague subway stops and opening slots from coast to coast, but they wouldn't exist without the blues. That said,...
  • Music: Show Preview
    Chatham County Line's 2010 release, Wildwood, is a classic slice of Americana, but it slipped through media cracks, for reasons both intelligible and maddening. Too modest and musical for...
  • Music: Column
    Ask Peter Coyne why he's reformed the Godfathers, and the lead singer will give it to you straight. "Revenge," he says, calling from London. "We always want to prove that we're a great band,...
  • Music: Columns
    Paper Dolls has been playing around town, in one form or another, for the past few years, but Sparks is the group's first release. The band split up and then reconfigured with a new lineup...
  • Music: Show Preview
    Taken as a whole, Bobby Bare Jr.'s career amounts to the most graceful, forgiving and musically satisfying resolutions to the Oedipus complex imaginable. In his pungent and playful songs,...
  • Music: Columns
    Call it a mishmash, a hodgepodge or a catchall, but Blood Pony takes a kitchen-sink approach to orchestrating its roughshod folk songs. In concert, the septet supplements the normal...
  • Music: Show Preview
    With his graying, pomade-stiffened pompadour, sprawling and fading tattoos, silver-dollar-and-leather-appointed Telecaster and baritone voice of heartbreaking plasticity, Dale Watson is the...
  • Music: Columns
    STL LOUD Volume 1 is the brainchild of Ryan Albritton, the co-owner of and engineer at Dogtown's R&R Music Labs recording studio. The premise is simple and solid: Find a half-dozen promising...
  • Music: Show Preview
    Since the kinship of the Kopecky Family Band isn't by blood, it'll have to settle for music. Classical strings and indie collectivism is hardly a novel mashup, but the Nashville septet...
  • Music: Column
    As out-of-left-field collaborations go, the Bottle Rockets backing up Marshall Crenshaw ranks with Elvis Costello and the Brodsky Quartet or maybe Kanye West and Bon Iver. But Crenshaw the...
  • Music: Show Preview
    In the land of the twee, cloying is always just across a sliver-thin border from charming. Caroline Smith and the Good Night Sleeps mostly keeps on the sunny side of the latter, even as the...
  • Music: Show Preview
    Buffalo, New York, is kind of a weird scene. It's given us both hardcore hellions Polar Bear Club and pop-punk pansies Cute Is What We Aim For. However, Lemuria doesn't fall into either...
  • Music: Show Preview
    For local clubs, the week after Christmas can be rather dead. Out-of-town touring acts take a break for the holidays, while locals tend to rest up, spend time with family and save their...
  • Music: Show Preview
    After a year off, the Matt Harnish-created A Very Bert Dax Christmas compilation is returning for 2010. A coproduction with Pancake Productions, Volume 8 in the series features M.S.I.F,...
  • Music: Show Preview
    The old-school, Bill Monroe-blessed, one-microphone style of bluegrass isn't for the faint of heart or the under-woodshedded. The young Springfield, Missouri, pickers in the HillBenders...
  • RFTmusic: Last Night
    We'll begin with the obvious question: Why does Tim Kasher need a solo career? After all, the Cursive frontman has already branched out with the Good Life, a side project which often bests...
  • Music: Show Preview
    For more than a decade, Tim Kasher has guided Cursive and the Good Life through concept albums about weighty topics such as God and marriage. It's not like he necessarily needed to go his...
  • Music: Show Preview
    TFDI (which stands for Totally Fuckin' Doin' It) is the seemingly accidental collective of singer/songwriters Jay Nash, Matt Duke and Tony Lucca. The bromantic musical trio (which Nash...
  • Music: Show Preview
    In some sense, popular music — even at its most oblique — is a form of oral history, a subjective account of these passing days. On her stunning and contemplative 2010 album,...
  • Music: Show Preview
    During the other eleven months of the year, Celia Shacklett can be found bringing joy and merriment in one of her many musical incarnations: as a family-friendly solo performer, as the...
  • Music: Show Preview
    With poker-faced, name-dropping absurdity, Kevin Welch sets the tone for 2010's Patch of Blue Sky, his first studio album in nine years. "Confucius was a joker, Kafka was a spook," he sings...
  • RFTmusic: Last Night
    When I interviewed Ben Nichols a couple weeks back, the singer recognized that St. Louis was due a proper Lucero show. After the band's LouFest set was cut short due to Nichols' health, and...
  • RFTmusic: This Just In
    Ted Leo hasn't been to St. Louis in...well, a very long time. (I believe his last full-band show at the Gargoyle was canceled at the last minute, too. Never blog at 5 p.m. on Monday after an...
  • RFTmusic: Last Night
    When big events hit St. Louis, like Loufest, the first question is always, "Will Uncle Tupelo reunite for this?" Probably not. Instead, fans got something just as special at Still Be...
  • Music: Column
    Thirteen years ago, Lucero was just four drunk punks with a Southern-rock edge who hailed from Memphis, Tennessee. In 2010, Lucero is still comprised of four drunk punks with that rock &...
  • Music: Show Preview
    We're in the midst of perhaps the greatest rock supergroup era of all time, with the Dead Weather, Them Crooked Vultures, Wild Flag and Shrinebuilder leading the way. Another new outfit...
  • Music: Show Preview
    One could say that KDHX's latest theme night, Still Be Around: A Tribute to Uncle Tupelo, is unnecessary. After all, it's difficult to find a night in town when local bands aren't somehow...
  • RFTmusic: This Just In
    Remember that Marshall Crenshaw/Bottle Rockets tour we told you about a few weeks ago? Good news! The trek is coming here, to Off Broadway on Wednesday, January 19, 2011. Tickets are $20 in...
  • RFTmusic: Contests
    On December 7, Lucero is returning to the scene of its last wild sold-out club show in town, Off Broadway. A to Z has a pair of tickets to give away to one lucky winner! To enter, leave your...
  • Music: Columns
    For her first full-length under her own name, Beth Bombara builds on the singer-songwriter folk stylings and more adventurous rock & roll of her previous two EPs. Wish I Were You culls the...
  • Music: Show Preview
    At some point, most sloppy and sloshy Midwestern rock & roll bands admit that they simply won't be the next Replacements. Two Cow Garage missed that memo. The Columbus, Ohio, band's...
  • Music: Columns
    In the three years since Jon Hardy & the Public released the masterful full-length Working in Love, a lot and a little has changed for the band. While several personnel changes have altered...
  • Music: Show Preview
    Ben Kweller first became famous as the teenage songwriting phenom for Radish, the forgotten '90s band briefly known as "Nirvana Jr." A solo artist since 2000, Kweller has infused...
  • Music: Column
    From the outside, Firebrand Recording is an unassuming space nestled discreetly between the office spaces of a nondescript business park. But through its doors lies an audio enthusiast's...
  • Music: Show Preview
    The Fleshtones turned out to be the most prolific and durable band to emerge out of New York's CBGB scene. The group defines the essence of garage rock: It's primal, groove-based, murky and...
  • Music: Show Preview
    The Beat 'n' Soul Showcase kicks off with the one-two headlining punch of the Dynamites (featuring Charles Walker) and the Bo-Keys. The latter is a Memphis supergroup formed in the late '90s...
  • Music: Show Preview
    If you want disposable pop or comically ignorant hip-hop, a major label is the place to be, but the lack of guitar-based bands on their rosters is astounding. Lucky for us, Terrible Things...
  • Music: Columns
    Via Dove's debut full-length, El Mundo Latino, is in line with the hurricane-rock atmosphere of its live shows. Jagged guitar riffs, gigantic drums, deep-grooved rhythms and vocalist Andy...
  • Music: Show Preview
    If Chuck Prophet isn't sick of reading critics gush over his talents, he will be by the end of this paragraph. From his earliest recordings with Green on Red, through two decades of solo...
  • Music: Show Preview
    The Walkmen is arguably the most perplexing band of New York's early '00s indie-rock class. The promise of its two first records — the messy and magnificent Everyone Who Pretended to...
  • Music: Show Preview
    Though its namesake print magazine ceased publication in September, the inaugural Paste Tour rolls on. The lineup features popular rootsy-rock acts and lesser-known groups that specialize in...
  • Music: Show Preview
    Once, musicians rerecorded their classic material as a way of sticking it to the record-label man who owned the tracks but never got around to paying anyone but himself and the lawyers. Now...
  • Music: Columns
    You would need a graphing calculator, a strong cup of coffee and a really good memory to keep track of Tight Pants Syndrome's many different incarnations. This city's purest power-pop band...
  • Music: Show Preview
    By launching the careers of tranquil rockers such as Belle & Sebastian and Yo La Tengo, Matador Records could take blame for the trend of niceness in underground music. However, the label...
  • Music: Show Preview
    For psychedelic cult popsters Elf Power, the 2009 suicide of singer-songwriter Vic Chesnutt hit close to home physically (both share a hometown of Athens, Georgia) and emotionally (Chesnutt...
  • Music: Show Preview
    It's within the realm of possibility that American Aquarium wasn't thinking about the opening lines of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot when it took a name. It's also possible that the band came by its...
  • Music: Column
    Fans of smart, elegantly tailored pop music were dealt a double blow this year when Big Star's Alex Chilton and Andy Hummel died within four months of each other. Big Star was an...
  • Music: Show Preview
    The psychedelic country pioneered by the Byrds and the Grateful Dead has been making a bit of a comeback, thanks to bands such as Phosphorescent, Blitzen Trapper and now Blue Giant. The...
  • Music: Show Preview
    Maybe you've seen the photos from Washington Square in New York circa 1958 or so, with those fresh-faced college kids wailing out "Tom Dooley" while strumming banjos, ukuleles and eternally...
  • Music: Show Preview
    Named for an ancient, mammoth, lightning-wrecked oak tree in Maryland, Wye Oak should be the envy of every indie-rock band that sank its roots and savings into the blogosphere but never...
  • Music: Show Preview
    The next time you encounter a critic who uses the word "Afrobeat" in proximity with an indie-rock band that may have listened to Remain in Light a few times — or, more likely, drooled...
  • Music: Show Preview
    In the Jonathan Richman school of rock & roll amateurism, David Dondero sits in the back of the class playing Boggle, sketching caricatures of all the chicks who've ground his secret dreams...
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    Too quirky for conventional country radio, too traditional for country punks and too glamorous for country folkies, Elizabeth Cook will just have to settle for the Grand Ole Opry (where...
  • Music: Column
    At the age of 25, John McCauley shouldn't have all that much to live up to. But when you're the head hombre of countrified post-Replacements rockers Deer Tick, and you get a reputation for...
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    The Vermont trio Happy Birthday has been one of 2010's bands to watch, by fusing lukewarm punk with raw, twee pop and the occasional '60s harmony. Its ramshackle brand of lo-fi pop is less...
  • Music: Columns
    On We're All Nameless Here, the second LP from Kentucky Knife Fight, singer Jason Holler uses his high, twangy voice to move his band outside the outlaw-Americana sound of its debut, The...
  • Music: Column
    Songwriter, rocker, author, producer and bona fide bohemian Peter Case has had his share of accolades, including a Grammy nomination for 2007's Let Us Now Praise Sleepy John. That album...
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    Nathaniel Rateliff has left his birthplace of Bay, Missouri — population: 60 — far behind. Still, the sound of small-town quietude and sly complexities percolating below a placid...
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    Batusis is the plural form of Batusi, the ridiculous go-go dance last seen in a Batman episode circa 1966 or the last time Beatle Bob had enough room to swing his elbows. Leave it to two of...
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    The Right Now evolved out of Eli Jones, a young Chicago R&B band that flirted with the jam and went all the way with the funk, riding a round-trip groove train from grimy downtown soul to...
  • Music: Column
    Sarah Borges begins a set with sweet rasp in her voice and ends it with the vestiges of primal R&B howl therapy. With her band the Broken Singles, she's become one of the most dependably...
  • Music: Columns
    Though relatively unknown within its hometown, local quartet Airplanes recently won a slot at the St. Louis stop of this July's Lilith Fair on the strength of the song "Sun," the first track...
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    Joe Pug is an unlikely music-blog darling. With his harmonica rack, dreadnought guitar and busker's work ethic, he's a throwback to Phil Ochs and Woody Guthrie. Reaching even further back,...
  • Music: Column
    Though only 51, Susan Cowsill's musical life spans four decades — from her childhood with the family band, the Cowsills, to her solo career and backup work in the '70s and '80s, and...
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    Ever heard of Russellville, Arkansas? Maybe if you're an avid pro-sports follower (the small town has spawned four NFL players, as well as former Sacramento Kings power forward Corliss...
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    Pinpointing the birth of the soul revival is a mug's game, especially given that veterans such as Bettye LaVette and Solomon Burke have barely slowed down since their '60s salad days and...
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    The title track of Blitzen Trapper's Destroyers of the Void is singlehandedly more ambitious than most entire albums. In one fell swoop, the Portland, Oregon, sextet neatly crams the...
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    In Tristram Shandy, Laurence Sterne argued that a name was destiny — a theory that bodes ill for Michael Grubbs and his band, Wakey!Wakey! The title of the Brooklyn band's proper...
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    Anton Newcombe's constantly evolving traveling circus known as the Brian Jonestown Massacre was one of the last romanticized rock & roll bands of the twentieth century. Unfortunately, most...
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    While "the kitchen sink" has become a metaphor for excessive instrumentation, Freelance Whales is one of the few bands capable of successfully (and literally) using a wash basin as a kick...
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    Rocky Votolato has had an interesting career arc. The Seattle-based singer-songwriter (older brother to Cody Votolato of the Blood Brothers and Jaguar Love) cut his teeth at the turn of the...
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    April Smith and the Great Picture Show was forced to cancel its show at Off Broadway this past March when the band's touring RV — which is nicknamed Norman and has its own Twitter...
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    Sunnyvale, California's the Orange Peels starts with the gateway drug of power pop and ends up hooked on psychedelics, yet never quite overdoses on the retro base that makes zombies of many...
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    The shtick behind the Red Elvises is as simple as it is endearing: Take a couple of California-by-way-of-Siberia ex-pats and have them play a delightfully skewed, Eastern Bloc...
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    David Olney and Steve Dawson, who share a stage this weekend at Off Broadway, have nothing and everything in common. Olney is a Southerner, and Dawson a Yankee, and their audiences rarely...
  • Music: Show Preview
    The list of American musical geniuses and game-changers is short but sweet. While Louis Armstrong, Bob Dylan and Stevie Wonder all advanced the form of popular song, few artists before...
  • Music: Feature
    Something about the term "singer-songwriter" is synonymous with solitude. Whether it's Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell or Johnny Cash, the solo artist stands as a monolith even when surrounded by...
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    Let's face it, folks: Rock bands are boring nowadays. No one wants to go out on a limb — musically, live or in the press — for fear of an ever-dwindling music-buying population...
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    Worlds collide in the pairing of rockabilly filly Rosie Flores and country communist Jon Langford, but sometimes music trumps ideology, the Mekons and Music Row notwithstanding. The two...
  • Music: Column
    Hugh Cornwell is not a monster. Yes, his sneering vocals, PC-baiting lyrics and paranoid obsessions made the Stranglers one of the most notorious, obnoxious bands of the original New Wave....
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    At first glance, Murder By Death is a pretty dumb band name. Of course, this quartet's first moniker was Little Joe Gould, and almost anything is an improvement from that. But silly name...
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    The punker-gone-solo route is a familiar path for many frontmen. In the past few years alone, the singers of Thrice, Hot Water Music, Lucero and dozens more have explored their folksier,...
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    Sleepy Sun possesses rare and subtle qualities. The San Francisco psych-rock outfit embodies several different sonic personas, often within a single song. Take "Sleepy Son," from its debut...
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    The name Appleseed Cast suggests thespians specializing in patriotic musical theater, but it's probably a drug reference. On 2001's overlong, overblown and overachieving dual...
  • Music: Columns
    The local quartet Dear Vincent writes tightly constructed folk-rock songs that spin out with the precision and delicacy of a music box's lullaby, albeit with darker overtones. On the band's...
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    A poll of women in attendance at a recent house concert in St. Louis indicated that the featured artist, John Doe, is the sexiest man alive. Viggo Mortensen (once married to Doe's ex-wife...
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    Band of Heathens should have collapsed under the weight of its own talent. Led by three singers and three songwriters, the Austinites do it all, sometimes more than they should. The band...
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    Like its sweet-sounding namesake, Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears squeezes out sticky rock & soul, but with plenty of bite. The band's first EP coasted on Stax-flavored garage rock (and...
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    Jill Andrews isn't exactly nomadic, but she drifts between places: the coffeehouse and the still house, the foothills and the boulevards, the honky tonk and the confessional. She's not...
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    As frontman of Chicago's ill-fated indie rockers Troubled Hubble, Chris Otepka garnered a reputation as a wordy songsmith whose wry delivery landed somewhere between the Dismemberment Plan's...
  • Music: Column
    For more than a decade now, Portland-based singer and songwriter Laura Veirs has glided between twee folk, politically charged indie rock, gentle country and rippling '60s pop. July Flame,...
  • Music: Feature
    Pokey LaFarge is riding shotgun with his girlfriend through the outskirts of Orlando, coming up on Sea World, heading to a car show, eating oranges and tossing off bon mots like a carnie on...
  • Music: Feature
    It's an unseasonably warm January night in St. Louis, although you'd be forgiven for thinking you were in London: The remnants of the recent snowstorm have melted, and a thick, viscous fog...
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    Our hero made his first impression on St. Louis while opening for Clem Snide at the Duck Room in the spring of 2005. Derby-wearing Sean Scolnick (a.k.a. Langhorne Slim) beat on an acoustic...
  • Music: Column
    Freedy Johnston didn't set out to become one of the smartest singer-songwriters of the last two decades. He's a modest chap, but give him credit for more than just updating James...
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    Long considered the closely guarded secret of record collectors and wide-eared listeners, Afrobeat continues its steady crawl toward the spotlight. Fela Kuti, the godfather of the musical...
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    With its good-timey, swinging style, the Wilders picks up where BR549 left off. The band raids the classic (as in pre-rock & roll) rockabilly and honky-tonk songbook, with an affection for...
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    Contrary to the dialect of the band's name, Po' Girl is less concerned with antiquarian approximations than it is with testing talent against contemporary touchstones: the jazzy folk of Joan...
  • Music: Columns
    File this release under "Better Late Than Never." Psych-shoegaze alchemists Troubadour Dali have gigged around town, gone through several lineup changes and now have finally released their...
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    Surf-punk is one of those genres that looks good on paper but in reality has never been executed all that well, outside of genre founders Agent Orange. Rather inexplicably, the band just...
  • Music: Feature
    The music of mad rocker King Khan is often described as though it's a high-concept pitch for a Hollywood blockbuster. Just as Alien was famously sold to producers as "Jaws in space," Khan's...
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    When a photographer for the San Francisco Examiner captured the scene of a riot-helmeted cop putting a stranglehold on a young protestor named Karen Michelle Johnston, Michelle Shocked was,...
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    In the '90s, Chuck Cleaver sang with the Ass Ponys, a little pop band that crossed R.E.M.'s mystic mumbles and Southern lilt with Pavement's slacker-country vibe. (Its biggest hit? The...
  • Music: Columns
    Fattback's Canary might be the most fun local album released so far this year. This should come as no surprise to anyone who has caught the quintet's occasional stint as a Huey Lewis & the...
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    With the passing of Michael Joseph Jackson, it's easy to contemplate the doom that awaits the child pop star. Susan Cowsill is the living rebuke to such fatalism. She was all of nine years...
  • Music: Feature
    Every musical community has its share of characters, bon vivants and hangers-on. Some show up just to see and be seen, while others actually contribute something to the conversation. In our...
  • Music: Columns
    Along with river otters, meth tweakers and John Ashcroft, Missouri is richly populated with a dazzling variety of garage-rock bands. And in a moving spectacle reminiscent of the big...

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