Out Every Night: The Best Shows in St. Louis From December 2 to 8

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click to enlarge Out Every Night: The Best Shows in St. Louis From December 2 to 8
Allan Crain

The Defeated County Friday, December 6, 9 p.m. w/ Nikki and the Rooftop Punch, Jump Starts, Neonbraska @ The Heavy Anchor - $5 By Mabel Suen From "Fill in the Blank: The Defeated County": The Defeated County plays what Neubacher refers to as "creepy indie pop played on country instruments." She pours a primarily pop foundation with her strummed guitar and breathy vocals, leaving plenty of room for mandolin, pedal steel, drums and electric guitars to build up her songs. With influences such as Radiohead, Josh Ritter and PJ Harvey as well as muses including Kurt Vonnegut and the French Existentialist, Neubacher sings about relationships -- love and life relationships as well as the connection between personal and political worlds.

Mark Dew Friday, December 6, 8 p.m. @ The Hideaway - free By RFT Staff To walk into the Hideaway is to enter a place that seems frozen in time, where the dozen or so seats around the piano are packed with your grandparents' friends, decked out in chunky jewelry and tilted fedora hats. Ostensibly, they're here to listen to Mark Dew play — he's here Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights — but you're just as likely to hear one of those old-timers sitting around the piano trill Charlie Rich's "The Most Beautiful Girl." And when Dew finally has his turn at the mic, he'll say something humble, like, "I apologize; it should have been in the key of F." No matter. Dew is the conductor of this time-traveling train, and everyone's on board. Dew, who is blind, has been the piano man here for nearly a quarter-century and jokes that the best part about working here is, well, getting paid. He marvels at the younger set trickling in and its knowledge of the Cash and Sinatra songbooks: "The more the crowd gets into it, the more I play," Dew says. And that's enough to keep him around. "I'm not quite ready to be out to pasture," he says. "Yet."

The Bottle Rockets Saturday, December 7, 8:30 p.m. w/ Otis Gibbs @ Off Broadway - $15-$18 By Roy Kasten Some things the mind just can't comprehend: infinity, Schrödinger's cat, the fact that the Bottle Rockets' first two albums once went out of print. As essential to the Big Bang of alternative country as any records you could name, The Bottle Rockets and The Brooklyn Side have finally been restored with the sound and bonuses (a demo version of "Indianapolis" featuring Brian Henneman, Jay Farrar and Jeff Tweedy, anyone?) they deserve. When a band launches a career with songs like "Kerosene," "Welfare Music" and "Radar Gun" it has a lot to live up to. For over twenty years, the Bottle Rockets have done just that. The Bottle Rockets' classic material may have been reissued, but in concert you won't hear reprints. The band has too much fun bending its own rules while you sing along.

The Quiet Concert Series No. 1 Saturday, December 7, 8 p.m. w/ Nathan Cook, Greg Farough, Mark Sarich @ Lemp Arts Center - $5 By Joseph Hess Hot off the heels of last month's Noisefest, the brains behind the Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center have cooked up a fresh series of shows for the coming year. The new "Quiet Concerts" series expands on the growing trend of minimalism and space in noise music, taking heavy cues from the careers of American composers Morton Feldman and John Cage. The first edition features Mark Sarich, Nathan Cook and Greg Farough, who will challenge spatial sound in near-silence. Expect electro-acoustic explorations with subtle shifts in volume and tone. The venue's space provides an intimate setting with open seating.

Chance the Rapper Sunday, December 8, 8 p.m. w/ DJ Rashad, Spinn @ The Pageant - $20-$24.50 By Tara Mahadevan Chicago's Chance the Rapper returns to St. Louis, this time not as an opener to Childish Gambino, but as the main act. With his strange cadence, Chance rose quickly through hip-hop's ranks after the 2011 debut of his first mixtape, 10 Day -- an ode to the lame nature of high school -- which he released after a ten-day suspension. Even if those days are far behind you, how could you not agree with him? High school blows and acid is awesome, and Chance is more than willing to tell you all about both. Like most hip-hop artists, Chance has done countless features with other emcees, such as Action Bronson, Twista, Childish Gambino, AB-Soul and Joey Bada$$, despite being fairly new to the scene.

Note: Though we wish we could, we can't feature every great show happening in town in just one measly post. Look for plenty more recommendations this Friday in our weekend shows post, and peruse the St. Louis concert calendar for more ideas any time. Let everyone know what else you're looking forward to seeing this week in the comments below, and send show tips any time to [email protected] to be considered for inclusion on these lists.

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