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 brief, is newsworthy on even a music blog. My massively overtaxed air conditioner is assuredly on its last leg, but on the plus side I've only had to mow the lawn once in the last three months.
Lo-fi pioneers Sebadoh come to Off Broadway this week; the show is Wednesday. During the show, I recommend loudly and drunkenly badgering Lou Barlow to play Dinosaur Jr. songs, then attending the Dino Jr. show in two weeks and drunkenly requesting Sebadoh songs. Bands like it when drunk jackasses attend their shows, right? Bobby Bare Jr. returns to town on Thursday, also at Off Broadway. I recommend that you drink way too much and request only songs by his dad. Local rockers The Orbz play it's last show at the Firebird this Saturday; you should probably drink way too much and request that they just not break up instead. The rest of our picks follow.
Beaver Nelson Mon., 8:00 p.m. August 13 @ Off Broadway - $8-$12 By Roy Kasten 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, Texas. But Nelson has always leaned more toward the bent tunefulness of David Lowery or Elvis Costello than his Texas brethren. This year's sprawling Macro/ Micro splices together strange instrumental interludes with pungent power-pop anthems and brainy homages to the subconscious, which always does the dirty work for a sneaky songwriter like Nelson. He's prolific, charming and stubbornly faithful to his rock and folk muses. On the Big Screen: Nelson recently worked with filmmaker Stephen Henderson on an album-length video project, and you'll get to see the final cut projected behind the singer at Off Broadway.
Anodes Tues., 8:00 p.m. August 14 w/ LzBnz, Caution Children @ Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center - $5 By Joseph Hess Anodes pulls from the rosters of Orion Pax and Iron Hills, two groups that played a vital role in the St. Louis post-hardcore scene throughout 2011. Orion Pax was a trio that spit a thunderous sound, with a thick wall of guitars rolling above booming albeit jazzy drumming. Vocalist and guitarist A.J. Hofstetter led Orion Pax with blistering energy, using his bleeding-throat screaming and vicious style of guitar scraping to leave a messy fingerprint on the brains of many show-goers. Hofstetter reprises his role in Anodes, a band that combines the maddening pace of Orion Pax songs with the driving rhythm and familiar melody of early emo music. Drummer Casey Oliver, also a former member of Orion Pax, lends a level of precision and intricacy to Anodes with pinpoint percussion. Guitarist Sean Survant hails from the sludge group Iron Hills and makes good use of his dense guitar style in Anodes.
Sebadoh Wed., 8:00 p.m. August 15 @ Off Broadway - $15-$21 By Daniel Hill 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. line-up (playing this year's LouFest) and principal songwriter of Sebadoh (which, by the way, is a word with no meaning outside the context of the band), Barlow is apparently doubly prepared to sweat it out with the rest of us this August. The latter band helped to pioneer the lo-fi sound in the early 90s, and is often mentioned alongside contemporaries Pavement and Guided by Voices. Their reunion in 2007 has proven quite fruitful, resulting in several album re-issues and subsequent tours. Now we're just holding our collective breath for a Deep Wound reunion. Shhhh, It's a Secret: Sebadoh recently released its first new material in fourteen years, the Secret EP, on Bandcamp. Physical copies will be available on this tour only; make sure you get one.
Bobby Bare Jr. Thurs., 9:00 p.m. August 16 w/ Eef Barzelay @ Off Broadway - $10-$15 By Christian Schaeffer 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 heartbreak and humor like him. But his alt-rock past asserts itself with his occasional passes through town with his Pixies cover band, Is She Weird? Hell, he even resurrected some AM Gold chestnuts with tossed-off flair but plenty of love on the American Bread EP, full of (you guessed it) songs by America and Bread. But the portrait of the artist in the documentary Don't Follow Me (I'm Lost) tries to capture his multitudes and finds Bare to contain the humor and pathos in his songs -- he's a singer who can opine about "emotions and feelings," as he's fond of saying, and then proceed to fray nerve endings with full-bore rock & roll. Show Up Early: Eef Barzelay, best known as the lead singer of Clem Snide, will open the show. Given that he's released an EP of Journey covers, he and Bare should make a potent pair of soft-rock resuscitators.
Bassamp & DanO Fri., 8:00 p.m. August 17 w/ The Brothers Gross, Soma Jet Set, Middle Class Fashion @ El Lenador - $5 By Daniel Hill When contacted with some questions for this write-up, guitarist Bass Amp had the following comment he felt he needed to say (completely unsolicited): "I just got a new pocket knife I'm really jacked up about. The handle's got a picture of Ronald Reagan riding a white horse! If I send you a picture of it, will it get printed?" Citing "America" as the band's primary influence (no surprise, then, about the Reagan knife), in addition to "shitting with the door open," "mowing the lawn at night" and "that movie where Sylvester Stallone has to arm-wrestle for the custody of his son," Bass Amp & Dano is a band incapable of taking itself ― much less anything else -- seriously. No matter: This lack of professional posturing adds immensely to the band's charm, whose specialty is catchy punk rock with hilarious lyrics about drinking bum wine, having diarrhea and being American ― which, to Bass Amp & Dano, all seem to be one and the same.
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