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Monday, March 28, 2016

This Week's Best Live Music: March 28 to April 3

Posted By on Mon, Mar 28, 2016 at 6:52 AM

click to enlarge Le1f will perform at the Luminary on Tuesday, March 29. - PRESS PHOTO VIA OFFICIAL WEBSITE
  • Press photo via official website
  • Le1f will perform at the Luminary on Tuesday, March 29.
Snap yourself out of that chocolate and marshmallow peep coma (that is what Easter is all about, right? And rabbit eggs, or something?) and get to a show this week. St. Louis will play host to out-of-towners Le1f, Cedric Burnside and Dread Zeppelin in the coming days. Locals the Bottoms Up Blues Gang will start things off on Monday, and Wednesday sees a birthday celebration for the late Anne Tkach. Check out our full picks below:


Bottoms Up Blues Gang
6 p.m., $5. Broadway Oyster Bar, 736 S. Broadway, St. Louis, 314-621-8811.
By Roy Kasten
From the RFT Music archives: As the revival of pre-pyrotechnic blues continues to gain momentum on the local scene, it's worth remembering that the Bottoms Up Blue Gang was, in many ways, ahead of the curve. Founders Kari Liston and Jeremy Segel-Moss' effectively open-invite approach (if you've got the chops) to live performance always ensures that no two shows are quite alike and that each is a celebration of a truly diverse scene. BUBG refreshes the blues by stripping away the trivialities and then rebuilding the groove from scratch.


8 p.m., $17. The Luminary, 2701 Cherokee St, St. Louis.
By Daniel Hill
New York-based rapper Le1f, born Khalif Diouf, first came to prominence in 2008 as a producer for alt hip-hop group Das Racist — his work with the act includes the beat for breakout single "Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell." April 2012 saw Le1f branching out on his own with his mixtape Dark York. His 2015 debut LP Riot Boi won praise from critics for its "schizophrenic production," even winning over the notoriously fickle Pitchfork, who called Leif a "trailblazer." Best of all? Leif has a righteous beef with Macklemore over the latter rapper's "Thrift Shop" song. Don't we all?


Anne Tkach Birthday Celebration w/ Rough Shop, Baby Baby Dance With Me, The Good Griefs
9 p.m., free. Schlafly Tap Room, 2100 Locust St., St. Louis, 314-241-2337.
By Thomas Crone
From the RFT Music archivesAnne Tkach would never have dreamed of being the focus of a crowd's attention. Instead, she was happiest when playing alongside a talented band — even if that meant being viewed by the audience as a complementary player, rather than the central character known to her bandmates. "She was the perfect bassist," Tkach's partner and Magic City bandmate Adam Hesed says. "She never needed to be a frontman or the lead guitarist. She was concerned with the music. She definitely appreciated when people appreciated what she was doing — everyone likes validation of their life's work — but she didn't crave the center spot."


Barry Manilow
7 p.m., $16.75-$166.75. Scottrade Center, 1401 Clark Ave., St. Louis, 314-241-1888.
By Mike Appelstein
From the RFT Music archives: In 1983, the New Jersey punk band Detention recorded "Dead Rock 'n Rollers," a list of ill-fated musicians climaxed by this indignant shout: "Why couldn't it be Barry Manilow??" Those of us who were there can understand the annoyance. In the 1970s, the King of the Modulated Chorus was everywhere: on the radio, on Solid Gold and as the voice and/or songwriter of countless commercial jingles. Yet there's no denying the man's tenacity. He's stayed active long after his initial superstardom faded, pursuing everything from TV movies to country albums. Poke fun all you want, but Manilow has more than proved his staying power.


Cedric Burnside
10 p.m., $10. Broadway Oyster Bar, 736 S. Broadway, St. Louis, 314-621-8811.
By Roy Kasten
The latest album by Cedric Burnside has a plain title: Descendants of Hill Country. Yet as grandson to R.L. Burnside — a larger-than-life musician who helped forge a whole sub-genre of hypnotic, primordial blues — son to drummer Calvin Jackson and present-day ambassador of a North Mississippi culture and sound that defines his drumming and singing without subsuming either, he faces a daunting task. How can he be himself, really himself, in that tradition? Burnside's answer is to play as hard as fuck and as free as a juke-joint dance. Working with guitarist Trenton Ayers, the drummer runs far and wide over the terrain of what he calls "field music." He preserves the tradition, but he's burned the script — and on stage he's guaranteed to burn down the house.


Dread Zeppelin
7 p.m., $20-$22.50. Blueberry Hill, 6504 Delmar Blvd., University City, 314-727-4444.
By Bob McMahon
From the RFT Music archives: Back in 1989, before any of us had heard of mashups, Dread Zeppelin formed to play Led Zeppelin's music as reggae songs sung by an Elvis impersonator. What on paper seems plain ridiculous is in practice sublimely ridiculous. Inventive arrangements, great guitar tones and superior musicianship help the group transcend the novelty of clever combinations like "Heartbreaker (at the End of Lonely Street)." No less of an authority than Robert Plant has said he prefers Dread's version of "Your Time Is Gonna Come" to his own band's. Dread Zeppelin has since expanded its repertoire to include original songs and music from other genres (see "Brick Houses of the Holy"), but its original formula is still potent.


7 p.m., $29.50-$129.50. Peabody Opera House, 1400 Market St, St. Louis, 314-241-1888.
By Mike Appelstein
From the RFT Music archives: For a Chicago band, Styx has a lot of love for St. Louis — consider that the group has recorded two live albums in St. Louis this millennium. Despite frequent personnel changes, solo albums and side projects (Damn Yankees, anyone?), Styx has never stopped working. These days, its Midwestern take on Queen-styled progressive rock sounds familiar in a strange, anachronistic sort of way — which may be why its 1970s hits keep showing up in TV shows, commercials and movies to such sweetly amusing effect.

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