Monday, June 8, 2015

The Best Concerts in St. Louis This Week, June 8 to 14

Posted By on Mon, Jun 8, 2015 at 7:21 AM

Best Coast returns to St. Louis this Wednesday at the Ready Room. See more photos from its 2012 show at the Firebird in RFT Slideshows. - PHOTO BY JASON STOFF
  • Photo by Jason Stoff
  • Best Coast returns to St. Louis this Wednesday at the Ready Room. See more photos from its 2012 show at the Firebird in RFT Slideshows.

Humidity is already in the air, our lungs and every cramped show space in town. While some struggle to breathe, others succumb to their sweaty fate and embrace the heat that comes with summer in the river city. Great concerts aren't exactly the best way to cool down -- quite the opposite -- but they do help us all cope with the dog days to come.


Animal Children Monday, June 8 Foam Coffee & Beer 8 p.m. | $5 From our review of Animal Children's self-titled album, released in April:

It's not impossible to lead a jazz band from behind a drum kit -- just ask Ark Blakey -- but it does take a certain kind of selflessness to drive the beat while giving a platform to your instrumentalists. Drummer Kaleb Kirby is the leader and chief composer for the new jazz sextet Animal Children, and while he's done time with swing-oriented jazz as part of Tommy Halloran's Guerrilla Swing, he brings a certain expansiveness to his own compositions. Kirby keeps a firm grip on the sway of these songs, but local jazz-scene veteran Adam Maness is a key architect here -- not just as an elder statesman in a troupe of relatively young guns, but as the hands behind the Fender Rhodes electric piano. That instrument's plinky tone and muddy depths immediately call to mind everything from the proto-smooth-jazz of Bob James to the fusion experiments of Return to Forever to the barbed mellow of Steely Dan. And Maness references those traditions while helping establish the band's place in the modern jazz tradition -- albeit with a few detours. The stop/start dissonance and low-end distortion of "Stay Golden" show the group's comfort with rock dynamics, and "oh-we-ah" starts the album with the kind of brassy pep that would be hard to sustain over a whole program. But as the self-titled album progresses, Animal Children is content to let the songs breathe, playing catchy and kinetic choruses as a unit before allowing its players to step forward individually.


Pattern Is Movement Farewell Tour w/ So Many Dynamos Tuesday, June 9 The Firebird 8 p.m. | $10-$12 By Christian Schaeffer Long-time fans of the Philly duo Pattern Is Movement may have fallen for the group during its math-rock beginnings, but the band's most recent work has pushed its sound into electro-soul -- and that's not even counting the band's cover of D'Angelo's blowjob opus "Untitled (How Does It Feel)." Not unlike a narcotized version of Chromeo, drummer Chris Ward and keyboardist/singer Andrew Thiboldeaux use soul grooves, rich keyboard tones and modulated vocals to spin their songs into syrupy, intricate webs. 2014's self-titled LP will be the last we hear of PIM on record: This tour will be the band's final go-round, so see it now or gnash your teeth later.


Best Coast w/ Bully Wednesday, June 10 The Ready Room 8:30 p.m. | $20 By Daniel Hill Released in May, Best Coast's latest album, California Nights, builds on the dream-pop promise of previous releases, but its status as the group's major-label debut pushes it out of lo-fi territory and into that of a full-on pop album. Endless layers of shimmering, fuzzed-out guitar accompany Bethany Cosentino's distinct vocals, while driving drums keep the affair rooted firmly in rock & roll. Aside from the glossy production, not much is different for Best Coast, whose formula has gone largely unchanged in its six years of existence. But that is just as well -- if it's not broken, why fix it?


Voodoo Glow Skulls w/ Slow Children, the Timmys, Captain Dee and the Long Johns, Snooty and the Ratfinks Thursday, June 11 Fubar 7:30 p.m. | $13-$15 Daniel Hill You do know that ska is making a comeback, right? The same twenty-year cycle that so often brings forgotten trends roaring back into our collective consciousness is to blame -- or thank, depending on your opinion about upstroked guitar chords and wind instruments. Luckily, Riverside, California's Voodoo Glow Skulls has been rendering even the impure, punk-damaged version of the genre more than listenable ever since the late '90s, when the oft-derided third-wave subsect of ska dominated the airwaves. Now 27 years in and with more than 1 million records sold, the sextet the Casillas brothers built shows no signs of slowing down.

Read on for more great shows happening in and around St. Louis this weekend.

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