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 hailstorm (mine only lost a window or two, no biggie) make sure hit the town or else you'll be missing some excellent shows. M83's sold-out show at the Pageant is this Wednesday; hopefully you got your tickets. On Thursday fans of loudness will be treated to a visit from the Melvins, playing at the Firebird. Bring earplugs or suffer the resulting tinnitus -- don't say we didn't warn ya! Appearances by Bowling For Soup, Clutch, King Arthur and more follow, and again: Check out our new Concert Calendar to find your favorite shows we might have missed.
Chatham County Line Mon., 7:30 p.m. April 30 @ Off Broadway - $12-$18 By Roy Kasten From this 2011 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 Avett Brothers fans and too lyrical and loose for buttoned-up bluegrassers, the Raleigh, North Carolina, quartet has still managed to build a following based on the core principles of bluegrass dynamics. Chandler Holt, John Teer and Greg Readling are young aces on banjo, mandolin and bass, respectively, and Dave Wilson is a spotless songwriter. On Wildwood, Chatham County Line sounds like the kind of band the Grateful Dead might have become had all those hippie demons -- jamming, peace, love, psilocybin and two drummers -- been exorcised by the better angels of bluegrass soul
Bowling For Soup Tue., 7:00 p.m. May 1 @ Old Rock House - $15 By Kristyn Pomranz From this 2006 show preview: Long before Fall Out Boy chose a path of pop-culture plugs -- and even before Fountains of Wayne reported that Stacy's mom did, indeed, have it going on -- Bowling for Soup were the premier power-punk pundits. Savants of self-deprecation and slick riffs, these Texans know that musical diversity is not their game. But nor should it be: Their catchy, stomp-along anthems ("1985," "Girl All the Bad Guys Want") entertain and energize, thus propelling their audiences into the Souposphere. Jaret Reddick's bright whine complements the cranking guitars of Soup's ska-tinged power-pop, while the hyper-charisma of the band's live show has a magnetic pull on even the staunchest of shoegazers. After all, it's nearly impossible to dislike a group of guys who beseech a runaway girlfriend to move back to Texas because "....the Mexican food sucks north of here anyway." In a musical realm where My Chemical Romance and Dashboard Confessional take themselves so damn seriously, Bowling for Soup's tongue-in-cheek assertion that "all we need is ice cream and a hug" begs the idea that all we really need is Bowling for Soup.
M83 Wed., 8:00 p.m. May 2 @ The Pageant - $22.50-$25 By Christian Schaeffer Anthony Gonzalez was either born twenty years too late or ten years too early. He's been the force behind M83's synth-and-shoegaze symphonies for over a decade, and his reverence for the sounds and productions styles of the 1980s has taken root with and seemingly boundless crop of young bands. Thankfully, Gonzalez has been doing it better and longer than most, and that bounty shows on last year's LP Hurry Up, We're Dreaming. Airy keyboards, slapped bass, gated reverb and the occasional id-empowering saxophone solo all pop up, and while every double album has some fluff, M83 shows a wealth of ideas springing from a narrow but fertile strand of pop music. Midnight All the Time: Hurry Up's lead single "Midnight City" has approached a certain level of ubiquity, appearing in dance clubs, hockey rinks and an ad for a French Right-Wing group, the latter of which was met with Gonzalez's swift admonishment.
Melvins Thurs., 9:00 p.m. May 3 @ The Firebird - $18-$20 By Jaime Lees Equally revered by metal heads, grunge kids and stoner music followers, the Melvins is a band for lovers of cross-genre loudness. Thick guitars, devilishly droning vocals and deep, dark drums combine to make the Melvins' powerful, evil sound. Known for using two drummers at live shows (and for King Buzzo's beautiful afro), the band's entire set is one long relentless (and glorious) ear assault. Opening for the Melvins is legendary New York noise rockers Unsane. Unsane has a huge cult following and it might be an even bigger draw than the headliner. Lots of people have been talking about this show; be sure you get your tickets early. Warning: Bring ear plugs. No, really. Even if you never wear them, you should make an exception on this night.
Chuck Mead Thurs., 8:00 p.m. May 3 @ Old Rock House - $10-$12 By Roy Kasten Who is Chuck Mead and why is he Back at the Quonset Hut, as his latest album declares? Founder of pivotal alt-country band BR-549, Mead is simply one of the most talented hillbilly performers in Nashville; he has more than enough right to cut an album at the legendary Quonset Hut, the same studio that birthed essential sides by George Jones, Merle Haggard and Johnny Cash and more. Gathering up a host of Nashville A-Team survivors, Mead isn't interested in radically revising these truck stop jukebox favorites, and he doesn't need too. His instincts are always pure country, his shows a party where the dancing never stops. Irony: None, at least not in the way he croons and wails and keeps pace with a tight boom-chick-boom rhythm section.
Clutch Fri., 6:30 p.m. May 4 @ Pop's Nightclub - $26-$28 By D.X. Ferris Clutch frontman Neil Fallon has the baddest beard in rock. (Well, the baddest one that's not from Texas.) Melt in some metal, and Clutch is the true successor to ZZ Top's legacy of bluesy and jamming -- yet intensely focused -- rawk. Peeling and squealing out of Maryland, the iconic underground heroes have a cult following like few other bands do.
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