Monday, February 2, 2015

The Best Concerts in St. Louis From February 2 to 8

Posted By on Mon, Feb 2, 2015 at 6:00 AM

Rhett Miller returns to St. Louis with Salim Nourallah tonight at Off Broadway. Check out the full slideshow of Miller's band the Old 97's back in 2012. - PHOTO BY TODD OWYOUNG
  • Photo by Todd Owyoung
  • Rhett Miller returns to St. Louis with Salim Nourallah tonight at Off Broadway. Check out the full slideshow of Miller's band the Old 97's back in 2012.

This week is heavy with singer-songwriters and Americana which, to be fair, is sort of St. Louis' forte. Not-quite-radio-country acts like Rhett Miller and Sturgill Simpson kick off a great seven-day stretch that peaks this weekend with Jim Lauderdale and Leo Kottke. Foam hopes to replace its recently stolen sound system with a benefit show this Friday featuring a local lineup of eight bands ranging from acoustic folk to ambient and indie rock. If nothing else, Riff Raff is returning to the Ready Room, and you probably need that train wreck of trap beats and neon hip-hop in your life. After all, his PR team provided a local-centric flyer for this Sunday's show.

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 2

click to enlarge PHOTO BY TODD OWYOUNG
  • Photo by Todd Owyoung

Rhett Miller w/ Salim Nourallah Monday, February 2 Off Broadway 8 p.m. | $15 By Roy Kasten Rhett Miller loves St. Louis, and with good reason. Cicero's Basement Bar sustained the fledgling Old 97's on pizza and packed crowds long before the band broke, and he has almost always routs through the River City when he hits the road, solo or with the 97's -- which is often. And this city loves him right back -- from his raspy croon to his pinwheel strumming (think Pete Townsend at Mach 10), from that rakish wail to those forever-fucked-up-in-love lyrics. Miller repays that affection by more than holding his own with just an acoustic guitar and those Lloyd's of London-insured locks. Opener Salim Nourallah grew up in Texas, but was born in Alton, Illinois. He has served as producer to both the Old 97's and Rhett solo, but his own music is much more than an alt-country footnote.

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 3

click to enlarge COURTESY OF HIGH TOP MOUNTAIN RECORDS
  • Courtesy of High Top Mountain Records

Sturgill Simpson Tuesday, February 3 Old Rock House 8 p.m. | $18/$20 By Roy Kasten Kentucky-born, Nashville-based songwriter Sturgill Simpson takes a perverse pleasure in being "too country" for country radio. Hell, he's too country for Americana radio, but that hasn't stopped the self-proclaimed King Turd of Shit Mountain from making the latter take notice and the former quiver in boots that wouldn't know shit from swing, Swift from soul. On his 2013 album High Top Mountain, Simpson proves he has soul and his own brand of swing with an outlaw slur and coal-country storytelling swagger -- part Waylon Jennings, part renegade bluegrass and all hardcore, no-bullshit country.

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 4

click to enlarge PHOTO BY JON GITCHOFF
  • Photo by Jon Gitchoff

Tesla Wednesday, February 4 The Pageant 8 p.m. | $25-$35 By Ryan Wasoba From the RFT Music archives: The police reports say suicide and conspiracy theorists suspect Courtney Love, but has anybody thought to check Kurt Cobain's shotgun for the fingerprints of a member of Tesla? The motive is there: Nevermind is credited as the nail in the pop-metal movement coffin. But it's hard to imagine a band that was hit harder by the post-Nirvana fallout than Tesla. The hard rockers spent ten years avoiding glam-rock generalizations with jeans and T-shirts and a no-synthesizers policy, only to be dwarfed by Pearl Jams and Soundgardens with a similar (but more raw) aesthetic. (And somehow the band's 1994 album Bust A Nut was unable to rekindle the flame.) While its hair-metal contemporaries will always be canonized for their decadence, Tesla's legacy lies solely in its time-tested, blues-infused tunes. Hindsight has proven that the monster ballad "Love Song" has more staying power than David Lee Roth's aerial splits or Bret Michaels' hairline.

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 5

click to enlarge PRESS PHOTO

That 1 Guy w/ DJ Feels Goodman Thursday, February 5 Old Rock House 8 p.m. | $13/$15 By Kristyn Pomranz From the RFT Music archives: Music critics are quick to compare That 1 Guy (né Mike Silverman) to Dr. Seuss, just because he plays a self-constructed instrument called the Magic Pipe that resembles a luleelurah. However, Theodor Geisel was no musician, and That 1 Guy is nothing short of a real life Ziggy Stardust sent to mock the mainstream. The musical savant's Magic Pipe is an instrumental coup of galvanized steel pipes, bass strings, processors, filters, plugs, wires, duct tape and probably some pieces of the ENIAC. He uses said contraption to magnetize minds with the alt-sex pulse of Nine Inch Nails, the lyrical irreverence of the Eels and Spinal Tap's sense of humor, creating a cumulative effect that inarguably kicks Dr. Seuss' ass.

Follow through for more shows in the week ahead.

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