The 2012 Riverfront Times Music Showcase is two weeks away. And if that is our own St. Louis Music holiday, then consider this the season: Throughout May, we've been making our cases for all 125 bands and artists nominated for an RFT Music Award this year, introducing the nominees from one or more of our 25 categories. For each artist you will find a photo, a streaming track to sample and a few words from the staff at RFT Music.
Bassamp and Dano When contacted with some questions for this write-up, guitarist Bass Amp had the following comment he felt he needed to say (completely unsolicited): "I just got a new pocket knife I'm really jacked up about. The handle's got a picture of Ronald Reagan riding a white horse! If I send you a picture of it, will it get printed?" Citing "America" as the band's primary influence (no surprise, then, about the Reagan knife), in addition to "shitting with the door open," "mowing the lawn at night" and "that movie where Sylvester Stallone has to arm-wrestle for the custody of his son," Bass Amp & Dano is a band incapable of taking itself ― much less anything else -- seriously. No matter: This lack of professional posturing adds immensely to the band's charm, whose specialty is catchy punk rock with hilarious lyrics about drinking bum wine, having diarrhea and being American ― which, to Bass Amp & Dano, all seem to be one and the same. --Daniel Hill
Better Days Better Days' music has an urgency to it that seems to plead with a world-gone-mad that surrounds it to stop, take a deep breath and remember all the reasons life ain't so bad. After all, there are good friends, good times and great music. Staffed by a who's who list of St. Louis hardcore and punk scene veterans (including former members of To No End, the Requiem, Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting, and about a thousand more), the band has been playing its high-energy mix of Gorilla Biscuits-meets-Saves the Day-style hardcore punk since January of 2010, turning the usually bleak-and-angry posturing of the local scene on its head with unending positivity and some damn good music. Its upcoming debut seven-inch Good Luck Tonight will be released this summer on St. Louis's venerable I Hate Punk Rock Records; make sure you don't miss the boat. --Daniel Hill
Doom Town It's been a busy few months for Doom Town. In December, the quartet released a seven-inch single on New Dark Age and embarked on a three-week European tour. By all accounts, the trip was a success, with new fans made, much German beer consumed and offbeat sightseeing done (including a Ramones Museum apparently endorsed by Johnny himself). The trip seems to have given Doom Town's sharp sound an extra edge; Ben Smith and Ashley Hohman sing/shout/harmonize like a traumatized John and Exene, while drummer Shaun Morrissey (of the Humanoids) proves himself one of the city's hardest hitters. See 'em before they decide it's much more lucrative and rewarding to just play abroad. --Mike Appelstein
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