It's a big week for music in St. Louis. LouFest brings a barrage of artists to Forest Park while Pü Fest simultaneously congregates bands from near and far at Empire Hall. Besides that, there's plenty to look forward to all week, including the Breeders, Inspectah Deck and more. Read on for our critics' recommendations.
The Breeders Tuesday, September 2 w/ The Funs @ Off Broadway 8 p.m. | $22-$25 By Jaime Lees The '90s revival is upon us. Chunky-heeled boots and daisy-print dresses are back in fashion, but the most welcome -- and maybe unexpected -- thing to cycle back into favor is the Breeders. Known for its 1993 radio hit "Cannonball," the Dayton, Ohio band has recently been awash in productivity and acclaim. Last year it released a twentieth anniversary version of beloved album Last Splash and the influential group has been getting props all over world, with invitations to play at massive international music festivals. The band is passing on the love, too: Midwest/St. Louis art-punker act the Funs is scheduled to open for the Breeders on a five-day stretch of its current tour.
Lee Bains III & the Glory Fires Wednesday, September 3 w/ Tok, Boreal Hills @ Off Broadway 8:30 p.m. | $8-$11 By Christian Schaeffer You need only to watch the recent documentary Muscle Shoals (or read the liner notes of your favorite record) to know that the state of Alabama has a long history of producing vital American music. But the recent renaissance in and around Birmingham -- the Alabama Shakes, St. Paul & the Broken Bones, and now Lee Bains III & the Glory Fires -- makes a pretty convincing case for the new southern rock. The band's latest, Dereconstructed, is a blistering look at the south's identity past and present, from the brutal legacy of Bull Connor to the current state of civil liberties.
Bishop Allen Wednesday, September 3 w/ Jesse Marchant, Ian McGowan & the Good Deeds @ The Firebird 8:30 p.m. | $10-$12 By Roy Kasten It's been a shitty couple of weeks for the world, with images and acts of brutality coupled with rage both righteous and foolish as far as anyone might care to see. Bad time, in other words, for an Ivy League-educated, indie-pop band like Bishop Allen to release a good album. But Lights Out deserves your attention because its modesty is a feint for pleasures, consolations and observations about life, most delivered with a summery rhythmic pulse, even when those observations turn existentially dark. Every needling guitar hook, every fizzy synth, every post-collegiate reverie might just be a way to avoid the terror of "waking up alone." You'll never mistake Bishop Allen for a group of radicals, but you're not likely to hear a catchier pop album during this summer of discontent. Previously known by his initials JBM, New Yorker Jesse Marchant opens this show with lush and literate dream-folk a la J. Tillman.
Inspectah Deck Thursday, September 4 @ The Mad Magician 8 p.m. | $15 By Daniel Hill From this 2012 write-up: Inspectah Deck is the Wu-Tang Clan's most underrated member. While it's true that the rapper has never released a solo album on par with Method Man's Tical or Raekwon's Only Built 4 Cuban Linx, his dense lyricism and clever wordplay has been featured prominently on some of the Clan's most memorable group outings, including the universally praised first verse of 1997's "Triumph." It was also Mr. Deck who opened "Guillotine (Swordz)" for Rae and even the group's first single, the classic "Protect Ya Neck." All told, he has contributed some of the best verses the group has to offer in the way of outright lyrical skill.
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