Art and life cohabitate, informing, imitating and enriching each other constantly. Each week in Better Living Through Music, RFT Music writer Ryan Wasoba explores this symbiotic relationship. Two months ago, my wife and I began renting a building in Edwardsville, Illinois, and moved our home studio ... More >>
I'd rather have my bottom lip pulled up over my forehead than try to park in Jamaica Plain. The tiny neighborhood in Boston feels gridlocked with huge houses smashed shoulder to shoulder. Imagine my relief when, after arriving at a house of music nerds, a special spot was hollowed out for little ol' ... More >>
We here at RFT Music can barely breathe this is so awesome. St. Louis's own Spelling Bee has apparently outed an undercover police operation in Boston. The cops' goal: Breaking up DIY punk shows by posing as fans. "Basically I think the cops should have something better to do," says drummer and vo ... More >>
Together, Joseph Hess and Mabel Suen make St. Louis a much noisier place. As light-night DJs on the KDHX (88.1 FM) program Wrong Division, the couple spins sides from labels like Skin Graft and Touch and Go with special attention paid to local bands, past and present. Their website, wrongdivision.co ... More >>
This weekend is a good one for local artists, as it includes two album release shows and a music video release party. Friday night will see the release of Old Capital Square Dance Club's new CD at Off Broadway, as well as Spelling Bee's latest offering at the Schlafly Tap Room. The former is ten dol ... More >>
10 a.m. Saturday, April 21. Apop Records, 2831 Cherokee Street.
Part One: The Union Electric, Sweet Tooth, King Kong Magnetics, Warm Jets USA Part Two: Glass Teeth, Ryan Spearman, the Breaks and Adult Fur Part Three: Rum Drum Ramblers, Humanoids, Old Lights and Volcanoes Part Four: Bo & the Locomotive, Rockwell Knuckles, Dubb Nubb and Palace Part Five: Sleepy Ki ... More >>
Brett UnderwoodSince 1991, Schlafly Beer has been a beloved institution in St. Louis. Pouring heart and soul into their passion, the brewery creates well-crafted beer much to the applause of microbrew enthusiasts worldwide. From the rolling ease of the classic Pale Ale to the rich, roasted ma ... More >>
8 p.m. Wednesday, December 14. Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center, 3301 Lemp Avenue.
Jay Farrar plays the Sheldon tonight.The October madness continues. Jay Farrar plays a rare show at the Sheldon tonight, the Blind Eyes debut its new, four-piece lineup at the Stagger Inn tomorrow and guitar god Buddy Guy makes a visit to the Family Arena. Plus: both Volcanoes and Palace rel ... More >>
Joe AppleMeet Volcanoes, the drum and bass duo whose shitkicking noise rock has taken seismic toll on the eardrums of St. Louis' underground enthusiasts. Jon Ryan and Eric Peters are probably the most badass act to come out of St. Charles in quite some time, and definitely the most badass thi ... More >>
Photo by Stephen HouldsworthMelt-BananaMelt Banana | Spelling Bee | Yowie Cicero's October 17, 2011 Upon hearing that Melt-Banana was coming back to St. Louis, and specifically Cicero's, fans were a bit confused. Cicero's? Seriously? Isn't that where sappy singer-songwriters and Widespread P ... More >>
9 p.m. Monday, October 17. Cicero's, 6691 Delmar Boulevard, University City.
Photo by Mabel SuenNoise-rock duo Spelling Bee recently embarked on a tour that took members Joseph Hess and Mabel Suen to Washington D.C., Baltimore, Bost and more. We explored the band's approach to D.I.Y. in a feature as the tour was kicking off. Now that they've returned, we asked drumme ... More >>
Nick LucchesiJeff Robtoy in his element.Tomorrow night, there are no fewer than four major local shows vying for your weekend attention. Two of them are sad occasions -- Dynabro Griffin Kay's final performance with So Many Dynamos, Glass Teeth's final show as the five-man powerhouse you've co ... More >>
It's almost all about the locals this week, with Spelling Bee kicking off its tour tonight at Pig Slop and a Saturday night on which we really wish we could clone ourselves: Griffin Kay's last show with So Many Dynamos, Jason Torbitzky's last show with Theodore at the Union Electric 7" relea ... More >>
Photo by Andy PetersonSpelling Bee's Mabel Suen and Joseph Hess have thrown themselves into more-or-less every corner of DIY music -- their relentless efforts are detailed in this week's feature. Their band kicks off its sixth tour this Friday at Pig Slop Studios. As you might expect, there ... More >>
Well, this totally sucks: Glass Teeth is breaking up. Keyboardist Mark Early is moving to Atlanta this summer, so the band decided to call it quits. "It was a drag for all of us," said Jeff Robtoy, vocalist and frontman. "And it came completely out of nowhere. We're all kind of a big part o ... More >>
Lightning Bolt/Parts & Labor/Spelling Bee Luminary Center for the Arts April 23, 2011 If you see Lightning Bolt, you will hurt afterwards. Your ears, obviously, will be sore, for the Providence, Rhode Island duo is famously deafening. I took proper precautions for last night's sold-out show, ... More >>
8 p.m. Saturday, April 23. The Luminary Center for the Arts, 4900 Reber Place.
We receive dozens and dozens of local CDs a year at the RFT. Although we review many in our weekly Homespun column, there just isn't space to touch on all of them. To remedy that, here are brief reviews of ten more releases that crossed our desks this fall. The ChalkBoyz Chalk Dirty to Me Be ... More >>
Noon to 9 p.m. Saturday, October 30. Various venues on Cherokee Street.
Image sourcePlatz, spelling. Speller 134 has reason to look so pissy; she made the semifinals and he did not.Updated June 7: For those of you who missed the Spelling Bee finals (and you are absolved; the Stanley Cup Finals are providing some fabulous entertainment this year): Platz tied for s ... More >>
Liz DeichmannZach Hill is so fast, the camera cannot capture his drumming skillsHella drummer Zach Hill performed at the Billiken Club last night with Tera Melos guitarist Nick Reinhart. Under the name Bygones, the pair released an album last year on Sargent House titled By-. As the duo star ... More >>
Things are quite busy in camp Spelling Bee as of late. The clattering noisedream duo just released a free live album featuring performances captured at three radio stations (KDHX in St. Louis, WMSE in Milwaukee, WNUR in Chicago). Download: Spelling Bee's Live Album Spelling Bee recorded t ... More >>
In this week's paper, Christian Schaeffer reviews Spelling Bee's split CD with the Houston band Stove Blow. He had this to say about our locals: Guitarist Mabel Suen (last heard as the sax player for the Ultraviolents) and drummer Joseph Hess (Sleep State) make quick, shouted song-bursts as Spellin ... More >>
Joseph Hess from the band Spelling Bee wrote in to say that Internet issues and time have slowed the band's ability to send us tour missives. Instead, his friend Mitch Gilliam -- in the band Only the Bugman -- penned the following account of the tour's first show. And don't worry -- Hess promises a ... More >>
Spelling Bee is a newish noise/experimental duo featuring Mabel Suen (Ultraviolents) and Joseph Hess (ex-Sleep State) who's starting to earn some buzz around town. Next week, the pair is heading out on a very cool, unorthodox Southern tour -- and has graciously agreed to keep a tour diary for us. Bu ... More >>
Scripps National Spelling BeeYulkendy Valdez, St. Louis' very own champion speller (and sponsored by the local daily) is in Washington, D.C., at the moment, competing against 292 of the nation's other top spellers in the Scripps National Spelling Bee.But though Valdez, Speller 155, successfully spel ... More >>
For a good cause, of course
Akeelah spells out a fantasy that feels wonderfully real
He scaled an intellectual Everest at age twelve. What's he like at sixteen? Meet George Thampy.
Who would have thought -- a compelling film about spelling!