Monday, January 11, 2016

This Week's Best Live Music, January 11 to 17

Posted By on Mon, Jan 11, 2016 at 11:40 AM

click to enlarge Wild Belle will perform at the Ready Room on Thursday as part of the Art of Live Festival. - PHOTO VIA BILLIONS BOOKING
  • Photo via Billions booking
  • Wild Belle will perform at the Ready Room on Thursday as part of the Art of Live Festival.

This week, the relative banality of the winter months sees a major break in the form of the Art of Live Festival, taking place Wednesday through Saturday at the Old Rock House, the Firebird, the Ready Room, Off Broadway and the Demo — that affair alone accounts for four of the shows on this week's round of picks. Beyond that, Tuesday sees Pancake Productions XRII XV MMXVI (it makes sense; shut up) at Foam and on Sunday Torn at the Seams will burst the eardrums of those in attendance at Fubar for its record release show. Check out our full list below. R.I.P. David Bowie; R.I.P. Ken McCray.

MONDAY, JANUARY 11

Soulard Blues Band
9 p.m., $5. Broadway Oyster Bar, 736 S. Broadway, St. Louis, 314-621-8811.
By Roy Kasten
From the RFT Music archives: One day, dear reader, the Soulard Blues Band will be no more. It's just a fact. And one day you'll wonder why, despite all the opportunities every other day of the week, you never saw this St. Louis institution in its prime — and no, the band's prime ain't over. If somehow you've never danced your ass off when Art Dwyer lays down a bass line as smooth as crushed velvet, or when Marty Abdullah swings his phrasing on "Kansas City Blues" or "Dust My Broom," or when Tom Maloney plays a solo that would make his mentor (the late, great Benny Smith) smile, well you really should. Don't take this band for granted. Pay your respects soon; they've been earned.

TUESDAY, JANUARY 12

Pancake Productions XRII
w/ Dubb Nubb, Mangina, Syna So Pro, Ellen the Felon, Tropical Carnivore, Googolplexia
8 p.m., $5. Foam Coffee & Beer, 3359 Jefferson Ave., St. Louis, 314-772-2100.
By Daniel Hill
2016's fifteenth annual XRII celebration (yes, that's XRII XV MMXVI for you Roman numeral buffs) sees local label Pancake Productions still acting suitably weird. Rob Severson, the scientist behind all the madness, will perform as Googolplexia, joined by Dubb Nubb, Mangina, Syna So Pro, Ellen the Felon and Tropical Carnivore. Come for the music, stay for the circus peanuts, Slim Jims and, of course, pancakes.

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 13

Greensky Bluegrass
8 p.m.; Jan. 14, 8 p.m., $18-$20. Old Rock House, 1200 S. 7th St., St. Louis, 314-588-0505.
By Daniel Hill
Credit Greensky Bluegrass' rise to popularity to its non-stop touring schedule that has kept it on the road 200 nights out of the year for ten years now. That hard work is paying off, too — whereas once the group performed for half-empty bars, nowadays it sees two and three night stands in front of packed houses. Case in point: This is the first of two nights GB will perform at Old Rock House. 

THURSDAY, JANUARY 14


Wild Belle
8 p.m., $12-$15. The Ready Room, 4195 Manchester Ave, St. Louis, 314-833-3929.
By Roy Kasten

Windy City siblings Elliot and Natalie Bergman of Wild Belle have rung in the new year with a new single, "Throw Down Your Guns," that sounds like M.I.A. wandered onto the deck of a blissed-out cruise ship. The track drives hedonistic dance-floor pop into straight-up protest territory – in Chicago guns are not a metaphor – while holding to the band's signature baritone saxophone-honking ska-funk aesthetic. As a preview of the forthcoming album Dream Land, the track tweaks the expectations of its fan base while presaging that this might be the year its post-modern tropicalia breaks through the mid-level indie ceiling.   


FRIDAY, JANUARY 15

American Wrestlers
w/ Bo and the Locomotive 8 p.m., $8-$10. Off Broadway, 3509 Lemp Ave., St. Louis, 314-773-3363.
By James C. Kane

From the RFT Music archives: It’s been a wild couple of years for American Wrestlers. The band began 2014 as the unheralded solo project of Gary McClure, a Scottish native now living in St. Louis’ Benton Park neighborhood. McClure’s self-recorded, self-titled record — made with found gear, inexpensive pawn shop guitars, a smartphone beat machine and a TASCAM eight-track — hit a nerve with the blogosphere, and the revered Fat Possum Records soon got in touch. The one-time label of Andrew Bird, the Black Keys and many others offered McClure a two-record deal and the support of a team, a live band was put together, and the group has been touring ever since. Hometown shows are rare; you'd be wise no to sleep.


SATURDAY, JANUARY 16

Torres
w/ Palehound 8 p.m., $12-$14. The Firebird, 2706 Olive St., St. Louis, 314-535-0353.
By Mike Appelstein
Throughout Sprinter, Torres' second and latest album, there's a recurring theme of renewal — or, more specifically, a search for clarity. Mackenzie Scott, Torres' lead signer and core member, grew up in Macon, Georgia, and comes from a Southern Baptist background. She has been outspoken in interviews about how she left the church but not Christianity itself. Sprinter seems to reflect that ongoing experience. (Read more about Torres and the new record in this interview, published last week.) 

SUNDAY, JANUARY 17

Torn at the Seams EP Release
w/ Caducus, Hazer 6 p.m., $10. Fubar, 3108 Locust St, St. Louis, 314-289-9050.
By Daniel Hill
St. Louis metalcore act Torn at the Seams played its very first show one year ago yesterday. To celebrate (and to build anticipation for its upcoming debut EP, to be released at this show), the group released a new track off the record. Head to the band's Facebook page to check it out.

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