Well Spring has sprung, or whatever, though the 90 degree temperatures belie the notion. Flowers, cool breezes, light jacket weather? Nay: air-conditioner-in-April, sweating in the shade, when-the-hell-do-the-pools-open weather -- you'd think we skipped to summer already. This week's list of shows has that feel to it too: too many good ones; one might think summer touring season was already upon us. Post-punk legends Mission of Burma, Japan's jet-rock-n-rollers Guitar Wolf and Canada's premiere fucked up punk band, Fucked Up will all play in town this week. In addition, the big Loufest Announcement Party is taking place on Tuesday; curious concert-goers and Loufest fans can catch a show while finally hearing the event's line-up. White Denim, White Rabbits, and some other bands that do not have the word "white" in their names will play this week as well. See our full list of recommendations below, and feel free to tell us what you're up to in the comments section.
Soulard Blues Band Mon., April 2, 9:00pm @ Broadway Oyster Bar - free By RFT Staff The Soulard Blues Band has had a remarkable run as one of St. Louis' most durable and popular blues acts. Fans have stuck with them through many personnel changes and stylistic shifts, and their continued patronage has always been rewarded by a fine crew of singers and players assembled by bassist, bandleader and sole founding member Art Dwyer. The current edition of the band more than lives up to its hard-earned reputation.
LouFest Lineup Announcement Party w/ The Blind Eyes Tue., April 3, 8:00pm @ Plush - $8 By RFT Staff There are few experiences in St. Louis music better for elevating your mood than a Blind Eyes show. Ebullient melodies, bright chords and instantly hummable choruses make up songs that end too soon. And singer/guitarist Seth Porter, guitarist Andy White, bassist Kevin Schneider and drummer Matt Picker are the sharpest, most entertaining purveyors of stage banter in town. This year's sophomore full-length, With A Bang, is an endlessly re-playable ode to fleeting youth, fading love and grim resolution. That such dour subject matter sounds so vindicating is a testament to the Blind Eyes' impeccable songcraft.
Mission of Burma Wed., April 4, 8:00pm @ The Firebird - $18-20 By Kiernan Maletsky Mission of Burma is coming to the Firebird. No seriously: MISSION OF BURMA IS COMING TO THE FIREBIRD!! The post-punk legend will play the finest reformed VFW Hall in St. Louis on Wednesday, April 4. Tickets are $18 to $20 and go on sale this Saturday at noon. The band is currently working on a fifth studio album -- presumably this show is in conjunction with that. Let's all give a very, very extended round of applause to the Firebird, which is now responsible for bringing (among other things) M83, Doomtree and Mission of Burma to St. Louis this year. Holy hell.
White Rabbits Thu., April 5, 9:00pm @ Plush - $13-15 By Kiernan Maletsky White Rabbits formed in Columbia; two of its members grew up in Webster Groves. But all that was forever ago. It's been five years since the band moved to New York and the three records it has released seem to span several lifetimes of evolution. Relatively early success meant we watched White Rabbits the whole time, through the apocalyptic calypso of Fort Nightly and the confident rock & roll of the Britt Daniel-produced It's Frightening. And last month Milk Famous, album number three, arrived. This time the sextet's sinewy array of drums and guitars move in strange directions through eleven tracks. If It's Frightening was the tank division, then Milk Famous is guerillas in the jungle.
Van Dyke Parks Thu., April 5, 8:00pm @ Luminary Center for the Arts - $22-25 By Christian Schaeffer With a style rooted in classical know-how but guided by a restless, fluid vision of American music, Van Dyke Parks has been the unseen hand in some remarkable projects. He's best known for his lyrical contributions to the Beach Boys' long-buried Smile LP, but his own albums, especially the kitchen-sink daydream Song Cycle and the Calypso love letter Discover America, show a beguiling voice intertwined with ringing steel drums, wheezing musettes and clangorous tack pianos. Parks has been enjoying a much-deserved renaissance of late, with new songs transmitted via 7-inch singles and older studio work collected on the fascinating Arrangements, Vol. 1. An American master is finally getting his due, but this current tour will hardly feel like a victory lap for an artist that has never stopped creating. Idol Worship: Openers Rats & People Motion Picture Orchestra, along with members of Theodore, paid tribute to Parks with a set at 2010's An Under Cover Weekend.
Guitar Wolf Thu., April 5, 8:00pm @ The Firebird - $12-14 By Daniel Hill Touting itself as "The World's Greatest Jet Rock 'n' Roll Band" (though there doesn't seem to be many other artists vying for the title), Japan's Guitar Wolf has been combining Ramones-style punk, garage rock, 77 punk and rockabilly with heavy doses of distortion and feedback since 1987. Piercing, screamed vocals and overall loudness round out the rambunctious sound, and with nine studio albums and a slew of singles under their belt, Guitar Wolf has proven they are in it for the long haul. Even through the untimely 2005 death of original bassist and founding member Hideaki Sekiguchi, Guitar Wolf soldiers on; don't miss their April 5 show at the Firebird. Showtime is at 8:00 pm.
MORE SHOWS ON PAGE 2