Like it or not, Pharell Williams' "Happy" is likely to be the top-selling single of 2014. And yes, its buoyant '60s soul vibe and simple, positive message is modern pop perfection. But scanning the rest of this year's biggest hits, one is struck by a consistent theme: All of these songs are distinct ... More >>
By Jonny Whiteside While rock & roll is necessarily classified as a form of pop music, it is actually an idiom whose radical, destructive primitivism established a new type of socio-cultural disorder. It's about rejection of the status quo and celebration of the dis-imprisonment it instills. Alway ... More >>
When I reach Alynda Lee Segarra, she's just through airport security in Chicago, headed to the Winnipeg Folk Festival, where she and her band Hurray for the Riff Raff will perform and take part in a workshop on "riffing." It's a rather charming (and literal) statement on behalf of the event, though ... More >>
The Union Electric Cover Charge EP/From Bad to Worstward EP (theunionelectric.bandcamp.com) If done properly, covers records can offer an entry into a band's inner world. Usually more lightweight than a proper album and more passionately curated than a mere list of influences, these collections of ... More >>
The past twelve months was an outstanding time for hot digital action in St. Louis. Our citizens launched apps, pushed pixels, encouraged consumerism and conducted full-on comedy shows in 140 characters or less. If we learned anything, it's that you can't get a job -- or even a date -- without being ... More >>
It's been another steller year for live music in St. Louis, whether you were looking for the most legendary living pop artist or the quiet birth of a powerful local band. We've racked our brans and come up with our twenty favorite shows (they're listed below), but what tops your list? Was it The Ur ... More >>
Outernational is a band to which music writers love making comparisons about politically outspoken musicians of yesteryear. Just about all of them stick. Yes, the New York-based rock group agrees with Woody Guthrie about whose land this is, shares the musical eclecticism of Joe Strummer (the Clash) ... More >>
Just One Big Soul: Woody Guthrie 100th Birthday Party, Tribute and 88.1 KDHX Benefit Off Broadway July 14, 2012 Behold the power of Woody Guthrie: A man with a trucker hat, tousled grey hair, and a thick, hearty mustache, a mustache that has seen some hard travelin', chokes out "Goodbye to my one ... More >>
No American songwriter has produced a more malleable, sing-able and shareable body of work than Woodrow Wilson Guthrie. Decades after his death, his archives continue to yield sweet, unfinished fruit for the likes of Jay Farrar, Billy Bragg and the Klezmatics (for starters) and his songs continue to ... More >>
This weekend would have been the hundredth birthday of Woody Guthrie, if he'd only lived that long. To celebrate, both Plush and Off Broadway are hosting tributes -- Plush's is on Friday night and Off Broadway's is on Saturday. It was good thinking on the part of these two venues to put their shows ... More >>
The Monday after Independence Day weekend is one most brutal. After a full weekend of barbecue and beer and illegal fireworks, going to work seems all the more objectionable. I'm too damned hungover on Freedom to be productive, personally. My "word of the day" today is "aliquant," which even my spel ... More >>
A local photographer is commemorating Woody Guthrie's 100th birthday by giving a modern twist to a series of resolutions the iconic singer made back in the 1940s. And he's launched a Kickstarter drive so that his work can be showcased to the general public. Guthrie - an Oklahoma-born folk singer an ... More >>
On Saturday the world's foremost Woody Guthrie scholars gathered at the University of Tulsa to discuss how Guthrie's Oklahoma roots shaped his music and the Sooner State musicians who've followed in his footsteps. "Different Shades of Red: Woody Guthrie and the Oklahoma Experience at 100" is the fir ... More >>
Arlo Guthrie | Old Crow Medicine Show | Tim O'Brien | Jimmy LaFave | Roseanne Cash | Hanson | Del McCoury Band | Jackson Browne | The Flaming Lips | John Mellencamp This Land is Your Land: Woody Guthrie Centennial Concert Brady Theater, Tulsa, Oklahoma March 10, 2012 After decades of neglecting the ... More >>
Photos by Jason StoffIf nothing else, Jay Farrar (left) and Jeff Tweedy (right) agree on Woody Guthrie.Over the weekend, Billy Bragg announced that he and Wilco would release a third installment in their Mermaid Avenue series. The albums draw inspiration from Woody Guthrie's notebooks of unre ... More >>
Woody Guthrie left behind notebooks full of words, snippets and entire lyrics. The Woody Guthrie Foundation, led by his daughter Nora, has been lending them to artists to create music around his words. You may remember the series' most successful installment to date, Wilco and Billy Bragg's collabor ... More >>
As you may have noticed, we were excited to be St. Louis music fans this year. And there is no more substantial document of the sound of this city in 2011 than the music released by its bands and artists. It is not an exaggeration to guess that the releases in the metro area number in the tho ... More >>
This one doesn't make the cut, unfortunately.It's Fourth of July weekend, and in the haze of the heat, barbecue, domestic beer, and red-white-and-blue buntings, it's easy to get caught up in ranting-chanting, "USA! USA! USA!" The founding fathers and a lot of musicians might not agree with ... More >>
It's America's birthday on Sunday, and you know St. Louisans are going to celebrate hard. But if you're not sure what to do this weekend, just walk under the Arch on Saturday morning and stay there. You'll catch Fair St. Louis and performances by John Legend and the B-52s. Across town, there are ... More >>
8 p.m. Sunday, July 4. Off Broadway, 3509 Lemp Avenue.
Dirty Pond Songs, the debut album from English singer-songwriter Bobby Long, is a quiet album, a collection to put on when you're deep in thought or otherwise thinking about life's weightier matters. It's also an album indebted to many of Long's favorites, which he named in a recent RFT interview. ( ... More >>
8 p.m. Monday, August 11. Fox Theatre, 527 North Grand Boulevard
7 p.m. Saturday, March 29. Pop's, 1403 Mississippi Avenue, Sauget, Illinois
The elusive Bob Dylan, masterfully considered, in I'm Not There.
8 p.m. Tuesday, March 6. Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center (3301 Lemp Avenue).
9 p.m. Wednesday, July 19. Off Broadway (3509 Lemp Avenue).
Friday, January 13; Off Broadway (3509 Lemp Avenue)
You Ain't Talkin' to Me: Charlie Poole and the Roots of Country Music (Sony/Legacy)
Saturday, June 18; Mississippi Nights (914 North First Street)
Fred Eaglesmith is everyday people
Gale Foehner kicks it old-school at Frederick's Music Lounge
Tuesday, September 16; Mississippi Nights
Iraq and roll don't go together well when rockers protest
I Am Trying to Break Your Heart pushes pop propaganda
Lifted or The Story Is in the Soil Keep Your Ear to the Ground (Saddle Creek Records)
We Love the City (Too Pure/Beggars Banquet)
Mermaid Avenue Vol. 2 (Elektra)
Singer/songwriter Tom Paxton is still just folk
Billy Bragg brings Woody Guthrie back to vibrant life
Jeff Tweedy used to be in a band called Uncle Tupelo. He's not anymore.
Hip-hop's here. Deal with it. Check the local MCs and DJs moving up from the underground.