Due to Snowpocalypse 2014, RFT Music will go ahead and assume that Monday evening's shows will take the night off for safety's sake. If for some reason, there's something going on tonight, feel free to let us know in the comments, you brave, brave souls. Take some time defrosting today, and keep fingers crossed for a speedy recovery for the streets of St. Louis so we can return to our regularly scheduled program. This week, look forward to Mac Lethal, Motel Mirrors, the Bad Plus and more.
The Stone Sugar Shakedown Tuesday, January 7, 9 p.m. @ The Gramophone - free By RFT Staff From the 2012 RFT Music Awards: When the average citizen thinks of jam bands, names like Phish and Widespread Panic come to mind. But Led Zeppelin jammed too, and Stone Sugar Shakedown's blues-steeped explorations tend to resemble the latter. The band sounds and looks transplanted from the 1970s, with hints of the Blues Brothers and Funkadelic, and it doesn't hurt that singer Tracy Gladden can alternately channel Grace Slick and Roberta Flack. It is no surprise that Stone Sugar Shakedown is incredibly active with appearances at clubs and festivals throughout the Midwest. The band is a crowd pleaser; it is sometimes funky, sometimes psychedelic, but it always infuses its tunes with an energy that only true believers in the power of rock can embody.
The Bad Plus Wednesday, January 8, 7:30 p.m. & 9:30 p.m. (performances also available January 9 to 11) @ Jazz at the Bistro - $15-$33 By Mabel Suen The more time musicians spend playing together, the better the chemistry. Such is true of Minneapolis' the Bad Plus, a trio that knows just how to perfectly balance the musical cogs of each of its modernized jazz melodies. In its dozen-plus years constructing vibrant songs together, pianist Ethan Iverson, bassist Reid Anderson and drummer Dave King have clearly learned to read each other's moves. Each member performs with technical proficiency yet knows just how to let loose. Interlocking parts leave just enough slack for subtle improvisation in the way of poignantly plucked bass strings, shimmery cymbals and snare hits and delicate arpeggios via ivory keys -- no one set is performed exactly the same way.
The Brainstems Thursday, January 9, 9 p.m. w/ Wild Hex, Rat Heart @ Schlafly Tap Room - free By Roy Kasten From the 2013 RFT Music Awards: Squalid and demented, Brainstems splices pure punk madness into the primal cortex of rock & roll. With frequently sub-three minute songs about swamps, parties and River Des Peres, the band whips up a maelstrom of guitar fuzz and vocal fury. At times, Brainstems might recall the Replacements at their shittiest-sounding and drunkest, and at other times it will sound like the Troggs trying to get you to dance so hard you hurt yourself. Most importantly, the members of Brainstems have had a blast making their own brand of noisy rock, and that's what rock & roll is really all about to begin with.
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