St. Louis Record Store Day Recap: Apop Records Spotlights Up-and-Comers Shaved Women, Maximum Effort and Glow Dick, Veterans Bob Reuter, Strangulated Beatoffs and Skarekrau Radio

click to enlarge Bob Reuter performs at Apop Records on Record Store Day - Nick Lucchesi
Nick Lucchesi
Bob Reuter performs at Apop Records on Record Store Day

On Saturday, April 17, St. Louis was treated to a whole day of BBQ, beer and full-blown sonic wonderment as Apop Records proudly hosted its second-annual Record Store Day since moving to the Gateway City in 2007.

In the age of digital downloads, the hustle and bustle of the crowd between CD and vinyl racks was a pleasant sight to see. Apop stocked the shelves with RSD exclusives such as the Sonic Youth compilation Hits Are For Squares, TV On The Radio's Dear Science reissue, and Soft Machine's Live at Henie Onstad Art Centre 1971 LP.

KDHX DJ Jeff Hess (of Afternoon Delight fame) lent a hand as he spun fresh vinyl cuts between sets, easing the crowd with the likes of early Human League, spoken word and modern pop classics. In addition to the festivities, Apop's founder Tiffany Minx teamed up with Freezerburn brainchild Mister Ben to release a limited-edition zine in celebration of Record Store Day. Featuring interviews with the Medical Tourists, Strangulated Beatoffs and a DVD cataloging selected videos from the Lepers TV archives, Freezerburn has raised the bar for contemporary St. Louis zines.

The day kicked off with a mounting crowd, eager to see local rock & rollers Pretty Little Empire. After tapping the keg of delicious New Belgium Fat Tire, PLE launched into a set full of its twang-inspired indie rock, a more intimate performance preceding its evening show at Off Broadway. Quick to follow was Skarekrau Radio. Scaled down from the normal seven-plus person line-up, the trio deviated from its usual set list of psychedelic/no-wave tunes, in favor of a white noise trance. SkR's Wiggpaw whirled his guitar into a frantic coo, while the other members kept the audience in a sonic fog.

The day trudged along with a performance by Burn The Mute. Bordering along the lines of nu-metal and progressive rock, BTM continued the momentum of the day with an array of mid-tempo jams for a more than attentive crowd. Up next were the stylings of electronic waif .e (a.k.a. Dottie Georges). Equipped with two electribes, a few pedals, and two guitars, Dottie performed a handful of her punk-beat standards. Chock full of beeps, blips and feedback, this one-woman band didn't disappoint.

After dropping from the set schedule, Egg Chef was replaced by spliff lord trash dogs, Pink Sock. Mirroring last year's performance, the duo writhed in electric freedom as the crowd attempted to digest the oddball scene. Almost in complete contrast, South City Legend Bob Reuter geared up for what was to be a memorable set. With his perfect catalog of blues-driven rock, Reuter's timeless rock & roll spirit shined through as he proudly dusted off an incredible rendition of Jefferson Airplane's "White Rabbit," to the astonishment of the packed crowd.

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