Fame is a funny thing. Some folks stumble into it by having their soundbites about burglary AutoTuned for 120 million YouTube viewers. Others make headlines by being a teenager with giant boobs who marries a guy nearly 40 years her senior.
But what about the people with actual talent whose fate hasn't been tied to random idiocy? Aren't they the ones who truly deserve nationwide notoriety? Hell, yes! The more we can put skilled entertainers on the radio, TV and Interwebz, the faster we can all stop pretending that Kim Kardashian ever tried to sing. So check out these ten St. Louis bands (in no particular order) that have the talent, stage presence, songbooks and grace to be household names now. Listen up, America!
THE BLIND EYES
We have a feeling that the guys in the Blind Eyes were birthed on stages instead of in delivery rooms. How else can you explain the easy "Psh, whatever. We're just dudes" attitude they seem to effortlessly display while performing? Sorry, but you're not "just dudes" when you've been mesmerizing audiences so completely since 2009. Few other bands work together as flawlessly or have the solid song catalog that the Blind Eyes does. Oh, we're not saying they're perfect -- every band has growing pains, after all -- but damn if Seth Porter, Kevin Schneider, Matt Picker and Andy White don't make an Elvis Costello brand of pop music that deserves a following just as sizable as Miley's, Britney's or Ke$ha's.
Don't like gospel? Don't like soul? Don't like rock? Don't like jazz? We probably can't be friends, then. But maybe Theresa Payne will change your mind, as she combines all of these elements into fiery songs of earnest emotion while throwing in a bit of funk for good measure. Surrounded by talented family and friends, her energetic live shows recall what the Ike & Tina Turner Revue might have been with a healthy dose of love, positivity and support. Trust us: A spirit of some kind will move you while you're listening to Payne's sweet, sweet voice. It's been written that some people sing for their very souls, but we have a feeling that Payne is singing for ours as well.
Put simply, Scarlet Tanager's songs are tailor-made for soundtracks. Just imagine "The Birds of the Dawn" accompanying a marriage proposal in a romantic comedy starring Emma Stone, or "Knives and Swords" backing a scene where Notting Hill-era Hugh Grant spends a bus ride regretting his stupidity. Brilliant songwriting, layered vocals and whimsical sounds all heighten storytelling, and it happens for Scarlet Tanager on its album American Songbird as well as onstage. The band already has tasted fame, with "Tumbleweed" appearing in a Nickelodeon commercial and "Zipcode" turning in MTV's The Real World. Let's hope the trend continues.
THE DIVE POETS
To classify the Dive Poets simply as a country band is to dismiss the other genre influences that surely seeped into the band members' brains while recording. Listen to this year's full-length album Married to Your Ghost or the band's previous singles and EPs, and it's easy to hear all kinds of interesting notes -- this is music that's equally at home both in your daddy's pick-up truck and at Julia Roberts' wedding reception in Steel Magnolias. The group has so much cross-appeal that we're confused as to why an Old 97's-like popularity explosion hasn't happened yet.
Continue for more awesome St. Louis bands that deserve to hit it big!