Middle Class Fashion plays alongside Kid Scientist on Saturday night for CBGB's 30th Anniversary Party.
From punk rock cover shows to costume contests backed by an assortment of River City rippers, St. Louis starts Halloween five days early with a weekend busting at the seams. "Dress to impress" takes on a whole different meaning for the next three days.
Not all shows are based around All Hallows' Eve, as Aaron Kamm & the One Drops celebrate one decade as a band and South Grand venue CBGB commemorates its 30th year in operation. Regardless, wear your best.
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 27
Aaron Kamm & The One Drops 10th Anniversary Show
9 p.m. Grandel Theatre, 3610 Grandel Square. $15. 314-533-0367.
For the last ten years, the key trio behind Aaron Kamm & The One Drops has been sculpting a complex crossbreed of reggae and blues with the kind of exploration typically found in psychedelic rock. On stage, Sean Raila, Andy Lee Dorris and Aaron Kamm perform a live balancing act of songcraft and long, introspective solos that give each player an expressive voice for a musical tell-all. As the set winds down, the band wraps up a distinct story with narratives by all the players on hand, and the songs will feel more like memories from an old friend.
w/ Pianos Become The Teeth, Strawberry Girls
7 p.m. Delmar Hall, 6133 Delmar Boulevard. $18-$20. 314-726-6161.
By charting on Billboard, 2004's Catch for Us the Foxes
the defacto breakout for mewithoutYou. After all, the Philly outfit did book a ten year anniversary tour for the record back in 2014, playing songs from that release alongside Pale Horses,
the new album slated for 2015. Now the band returns to smash that nostalgia button with a fifteen-year anniversary of its first full-length [A→B] Life, a heady and heavy-handed effort compared to later and even more recent releases. Fortunately this tour doesn't just hone in on past triumphs, it also helps elevate more recent entrants into the American art rock canon: Pianos Become The Teeth and Strawberry Girls.
Izzy True w/ Ronnie Rogers & the Sunrise Buddies, nebulosa, Motherbear, Jesa Dior
8 p.m. El Leñador Bar & Grill, 3124 Cherokee Street. $5. 314-875-9955.
St. Louis has no shortage of rock & roll, but River City bands do have a distinct sound, look and taste. Ithaca, New York's Izzy True brought its bittersweet twee to Blank Space earlier this year for Dubb Nubb fest, but if the band's fit and balanced songs got lost in the deep recesses of memory — or you simply didn't attend the show — let this night be a reminder. A lush lineup of local support comes by way of the synth-faring nebulosa, the featherweight Motherbear, and Ronnie Rogers, a super group of sorts with members from Shady Bug and Isabel Rex.
Rhinestone Evening: Tribute to Glen Campbell
w/ Melody Den, Jon Bonham, Elliott Pearson, Rough Shop
8 p.m. Off Broadway, 3509 Lemp Avenue. $10. 314-498-6989.
Expect a revolving door of St. Louis stalwarts to kick out a full night of hits sourced from songwriting legend Glen Campbell's 50+ years in the music industry. Campbell's 70-some-odd albums provide a full-volume encyclopedia of songcraft, wit and what we know today as classic Americana. After a six-year bout with Alzheimer's disease, Campbell passed away in August 2017 at the age of 81. And while the mourning will no doubt be ongoing for all those touched by his music, our city will celebrate his life in the most St. Louis way possible: with a tribute show.
w/ Apex Shrine, Old Hand
8 p.m. The Sinkhole, 7423 South Broadway. $7. 314-328-2309.
For July's Emotional Stuffing
, Oklahoma City's Sex Snobs worked with renowned engineer Steve Albini to cut a searing set of pop rock that knows just when to hold its cards. The band's patient progression allows for brisk air to cut through, opting not to suffocate or inundate its leads. The songs present are transparent enough to see right through to the influences, which might include a few subtle nods to Albini's own backlog with Shellac and Big Black. Make no mistake, any noise rock leanings are slight as pop sensibilities take both center stage and the spotlight — and rightfully so.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 28
w/ Miss Molly Simms, Mammoth Piano
8 p.m. The Sinkhole, 7423 South Broadway. $5.
DinoFight! might have one of the city's most underrated singer/bass players in Cory Perkins. As she commits structural lightning through punchy leads, her voice propels the band's bold and playful lyrics. Wielding a six-string in equal measure, Lindsay Cranmer sends riffs careening into space only to pull them back down into the trio's strong pop foundation. Visceral beats glue these dense parts together for a band that is deceptively deep, skilled and headier than its whimsical name and aesthetic might suggest.
Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie
8 p.m. The Fox Theatre, 527 North Grand Boulevard. $55-$125. 314-534-1111.
By Christian Schaeffer
Fleetwood Mac fans have had a blessed fall, even without the storied band launching a formal tour this year. Stevie Nicks brought her witchy ministrations to the Family Arena in September, but this weekend’s pairing of Lindsay Buckingham and Christine McVie is even more compelling. The singers represented the two poles of Fleetwood Mac’s appeal – Buckingham’s stormy and frenetic guitar exorcisms and McVie’s pop-forward, piano-heavy hits – and their unexpected reunion this year yielded a new album and an extended run of tour dates. So while it may not be a long-promised reunion LP by the golden-era Mac, this pairing shows that it was the band’s creative partnerships, not just its much-ballyhooed romantic entanglements, that made its songs endure.
St. Louis Halloween Cover Show
8 p.m. RKDE, 2720 Cherokee. Free. 314-282-8017.
Cover shows on Halloween are as American as apple pie, but St. Louis punk takes to the concept with shorter sets and deeper cuts than the rest. Backed by bands who cut their teeth on Cherokee Street and smaller venues scattered throughout south city, this show offers up tributes to the Talking Heads, Bruce Springsteen, Josie & the Pussycats, Trio, Motorhead and a live presentation of the Top Gun
Middle Class Fashion
w/ Kid Scientist
9 p.m. CBGB, 3163 South Grand Boulevard. Free.
By Mike Appelstein
From Middle Class Fashion Is One of This Year's STL 77
Led by singer/songwriter Jenn Malzone, Middle Class Fashion has now gone through several phases. There was the Ben Folds piano pop of 2012’s Girl Talk
; the A.C. Newman/Scott Miller power pop of 2014’s Jungle
; and most recently, the twilight electronic tones of last year’s iii
. The group seems to have settled into the latter mood for now. The video for its latest single, “Turquoise Heart,” features Malzone’s usual smart lyrics (no one can capture the moment a relationship falls apart like she can) in the context of a near-deserted Union Station, complete with interpretative ballet. It bodes well for EGO
, the band’s fourth album, due this fall.
w/ The Tory Starbuck Project, DJ Pisswitch
5 p.m. Das Bevo, 4749 Gravois Avenue. Free. 314-832-2251.
By Mike Appelstein
From CaveofswordS Is One of This Year's STL 77
CaveofswordS is a synthesizer-based group with a warm beating heart at its center. Led by vocalist Sunyatta McDermott, the band harkens back to the days when Wasp synths and LinnDrum machines were new, futuristic pleasure items, but it subverts those electronic sounds to its own ends. On Sigils
, its most recent album, CaveofswordS alternates between upbeat, dubstep-influenced tracks such as “Aviation Administration” and “Lately,” and the darker, more dystopian approach of “Lately” and “Cruel Harvest.” Combined with McDermott’s floating, double-tracked vocals, the result is a spotless mix of engaging songcraft and atmospheric, retro-futurist production. It also makes for a powerful live set.