This week, Swans and Travi$ Scott perform at the Ready Room, Bruce Robison and Kelly Willis take on Off Broadway, the Whiskey War Festival makes its annual pilgrimage to a VFW outpost and more. Get the details in the fine print and stay tuned till Friday for more weekend picks. Plenty more options await including the Saint Louis Underground Music Festival, PrideFest and more.
White Fire Monday, June 23, 9 p.m. w/ Egypt, Rowsdower @ The Firebird - $8 By Ryan Wasoba From this 2012 show review: Friday was also the debut performance of White Fire, a local trio with traces of stoner metal and heavy southern rock. Having already recorded a more than adequate demo, the fresh band sounded confident; guitarist/singer Nate Berens has a thrashy growl to his voice and the band's bass tone is perfectly scuzzy. The trio has some kinks to iron out, particularly in the intensity-dropping guitar solo department, but White Fire had a promising showing that points to a future with much headbanging.
Swans Tuesday, June 24, 9 p.m. w/ Xiu Xiu @ The Ready Room - $25 By Christian Schaeffer Michael Gira continues to give til it hurts, though who gets hurt more -- him or the listener's eardrums -- is a matter of debate. Since reforming Swans in 2010, Gira and his reconstituted outfit has released three albums (including this year's triple-LP To Be Kind), offered live and behind-the-scenes video footage and has resumed a generous touring schedule. The current Swans line-up includes magisterial, swooping steel guitar lines from Christoph Hahn, as well as former Shearwater drummer Thor Harris on drums and percussion. These shows are legendary for their decibel-pushing loudness and for the band's adherence to a simple, if lofty, goal: transcendence through volume, repetition and instrumental precision. Xiu Xiu, the aggressive, synth-based band helmed by Jamie Stewart, makes a return to St. Louis as the show's opener.
Dave Rawlings Machine Wednesday, June 25, 8 p.m. @ The Sheldon - $25-$28 By Roy Kasten As formidable a songwriter as Gillian Welch may be, her music simply would not be the same without her longtime partner David Rawlings. One of the rare acoustic guitarists to actually create his own sound -- intricate, almost mandolin-esque notes blurring into rockabilly frenzy, all coaxed from a small 1930s archtop guitar -- Rawlings' instrumental and harmonic talents don't just complement Welch's words, they bring the people, places and stories to life. The Dave Rawlings Machine began as a fun side project built for Nashville bar jamming; now it's a full-fledged band, featuring Welch, Willie Watson, Paul Kowert and John Paul Jones (of a little band called Led Zeppelin). It's been two and half years since Rawlings and Welch last performed in St. Louis. At that Pageant show, the power went out, but the two never missed a note in a concert people talked about for months on end.
Dubb Nubb Thursday, June 26, 9 p.m. w/ The River Monks, Bobby Stevens, Googolplexia @ The Heavy Anchor - $5 By Christian Schaeffer From this 2013 album review: When local audiences first heard of Dubb Nubb, twin sisters Delia and Hannah Rainey were just wrapping up high school and charming stages with their sweetly sung but rough-hewn folk songs. The intervening years have seen growth, both the usual kind (the sisters are now attending college in Columbia and have moved from teenage-hood to their early 20s) and through the continued presence of older sister Amanda Rainey on drums and percussion. The effect on Wild Dreamin' is a continuation of those immutable properties of sisterly harmonies and the loose, easy strums of guitar and ukulele, but with the clarity and confusion that young adulthood carries with it.
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