With the holidays nigh, it's good to take a look ahead at the potential aftermath. Unwind from the street of Christmas season with some shows this week. Schlafly Beer celebrates its 22nd birthday with a rock show on the big stage upstairs, Jack Buck plays its last show in St. Louis at Apop Records, the St. Louis Symphony geeks out with the music of John Williams all weekend long and much more. Check out some recommendations after the jump, and as usual, stay tuned for some more picks for the weekend come Friday.
Quiet Concert Monday, December 23, 8 p.m. w/ Bhob Rainey, Greg Farough, Mark Sarich @ Lemp Arts Center - $5 By Joseph Hess Hot off the heels of last month's Noisefest, the brains behind the Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center have cooked up a fresh series of shows for the coming year. The new "Quiet Concerts" series expands on the growing trend of minimalism and space in noise music, taking heavy cues from the careers of American composers Morton Feldman and John Cage. This edition features Bhob Rainey, Mark Sarich and Greg Farough, who will challenge spatial sound in near-silence. Expect electro-acoustic explorations with subtle shifts in volume and tone. The venue's space provides an intimate setting with open seating.
DJ Mahf Tuesday, December 24, 10 p.m. @ Pin-Up Bowl - free By Blair Stiles DJ Mahf works from some place in his brain that pumps out enough enthusiasm to make his work look easy. Performing with a chilled zeal, the Indyground DJ interplays dense minutes of thumping samples with crackling movie clips and fine-tuned, one-and-two-handed scratches. He has already banged around Kansas City's spirited Middle of the Map Festival with labelmate Brett Gretzky, crossed the northern American border and cut and pasted for Red Bull's Thre3style competition this year. Whether live or replayed through Indyground's streaming footage, Mahf exudes the enjoyment he feels: In tempo he bobs at the waist, moving faster in the moments when he is inundated with the floor's energy, always looking pleased. It is Mahf's obvious enjoyment of his craft that puts his sets so squarely in the spotlight.
Nappy Holla Daze Wednesday, December 25, 9 p.m. w/ DJ Needles @ Blank Space - $5 By RFT Staff The Hold Steady song "Most People are DJs" has become a fact of life. We live in an age when any iPod- and laptop-toting music hound can be a DJ — which is why watching a real turntablist tear up the decks is a thing of beauty. James Gates, a.k.a. DJ Needles, a.k.a. Nodzilla, has established himself as DJ royalty in St. Louis, playing the best clubs, events and parties, blowing up the independent airwaves weekly on KDHX with the cream of hip-hop and nu-soul. He's got a résumé a mile long, but his skill and seriously prodigious pairing of today's relevant cuts with forgotten grooves speaks for itself. If you haven't heard his name by now, you're just not listening hard enough.
Schlafly Beer's 22nd Birthday Rock Show Thursday, December 26, 9 p.m. w/ Ransom Note, the Union Electric, Tok @ Schlafly Tap Room - free By Christian Schaeffer From this 2013 Ransom Note album review: When Ransom Note made its recorded debut two years ago with It's You!, the quintet's mix of soft-rock smoothness and blue-eyed soul made for some fun, easy listening, but you'd be forgiven for not taking the band as a serious endeavor. After all, what were these local-scene lifers doing trading in their rock and folk and alt-country bona fides for some serious Silk Degrees mojo? Those misgivings disappear on Big Soul, an album that proves that Ransom Note wasn't goofing on its debut. Here, the band has dug deeper and found a way to rock harder while plumbing emotionally blue territories.
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