Our guide to the weekend ahead digs a bit deeper underground for the unknown and under-appreciated. But don't worry, we've also included a Grammy Award winner or too.
FRIDAY, MAY 12
w/ Julia Jacklin
8 p.m. Off Broadway, 3509 Lemp Avenue. $16. 314-773-3363.
By Christian Schaeffer
There’s an elfin quality to Andy Shauf that’s fairly alluring – his long flaxen locks, the way he bends his vowels in some hybrid approximation of a Welsh and Australian accent, his relatively obscure homeland of Saskatchewan. But don’t take his songcraft as some featherweight trifle; Shauf tends to dress his softly rendered pop songs in light orchestral gauze (clarinets are a particular favorite), and on several tracks across last year’s The Party
, Shauf has channeled some of pop’s great idiosyncratics like Barry Gibb, Grant McLennan or Jens Lekman.
Indigo Girls w/ Dom Kelly of A Fragile Tomorrow
8 p.m. The Pageant, 6161 Delmar Boulevard. $35-$40. 314-726-6161.
The rock and roll myth of getting discovered by a big time record exec has mostly been debunked, yet the Indigo Girls lived out that dream in the late eighties, literally hitting it big even after the term became a tired old cliche. Amy Ray and Emily Saliers have two lifetimes of songwriting under their belt, and the pair continues to run a musical marathon with no more than four years between full-length albums since 1987. A subtle southern edge begets humble folk rock that pulls the listener in through pure centrifugal force.
Rock n Roll Benefit Show for the International Institute
w/ KDHX's Chris Ward, Pirate Signal, The MERCS, The Vigilettes, Traveling Sound Machine, DinoFight!, Accelerando, Squircle The Destroyer, DJ Ras 'Nit
7 p.m. The Heavy Anchor, 5226 Gravois Avenue. $7. 314-352-5226.
Benefit shows filled with south city rock bands have become something of a weekly occurrence, not that we're complaining. The Vigilettes especially have eschewed the notion of profits altogether to be more altruistic, becoming a true pillar of rock and roll that helps to spread the goodwill of organizations in St. Louis. The host of KDHX's loudQUIETloud Chris Ward bridges the gap between the heady and heavy sounds of St. Louis' hard hitters.
SATURDAY, MAY 13
FOOD ROCKS! Concert
w/ Letter to Memphis, Flatwoods
7 p.m. Food Roof Farm, 1335 Convention Plaza. $40. 314-810-6770.
Where else can you dine atop a roof downtown while landlocked beach bums play sand volleyball just in earshot? Sure the ticket price is steep, but consider the one-two punch of Flatwoods and 2016 RFT Music Award winner Letter to Memphis and the local organic food on offer. Since this is the third such show in as many years, you won't be the guinea pig for a hot new concept — this is a tried and true event combining just a few of the finer things in town.
The Giving Tree Band Album Release Show
w/ The Cerny Brothers
7 p.m. The Bootleg, 4140 Manchester Avenue. $10-$13. 314-775-0775.
While it might be reaching to use the term "experimental," the Giving Tree Band is nothing if not exploratory. The songs travel well-trodden ground yet do so with a wide perspective, lighting dim pathways for the listener to follow. The band's bright approach is certainly by design as the instruments are tuned sharp – a quality that brings about a distinct set of sounds. The Yorkville, Illinois outfit seems intent on searching for symbolism and deeper meaning and intends on bringing its audience along for the journey.
8 p.m. Saturday, May 13. The Firebird, 2706 Olive Street. $10 to $12. 314-535-0353.
By Roy Kasten
“You was up to something, I was up to nothin’” drawls Montreal troubadour Leif Vollebekk on his latest album Twin Solitude. “You and me, Robert, we ramble on,” he slurs on another. As a proud, even obsessive Dylanophile, Vollebekk takes his measure against the inescapable Mr. Zimmerman, which for Vollebekk means relishing all the bluesy, jazzy, gospelly forms and frequencies that Dylan proved you could own without mastering. Like the finest of today’s folk-inspired songwriters, Vollebekk’s archetypal melodies and rambling rhythms are paradoxically so familiar, yet so alive. He never labors over a line or a tune, never forces a feeling, instead letting his songs pour out in a trance-like stream of impure (but always refreshing) reveries.
w/ The Bottoms Up Blues Gang, Hillary Fitz
1 p.m. Greg Freeman Park, Kingsbury Avenue and Des Peres Avenue. Free.
PorchFest is a nationwide trend (or phenomenon) that sees a big pile of bands and performing artists descend on a neighborhood, usually in an urban area. This local rendition, organized by students from Washington University and its affiliated radio station KWUR, welcomes showgoers and music fans to the Skinker DeBaliviere neighborhood. Picture stripped down versions of St. Louis favorites such as Hillary Fitz and her band populating porches and/or front yards while patrons walk by. It's the Farmer's Market without the food and with more bands and — OK, it's nothing like a Farmer's Market except for the grassroots vibe. Read more about event on its tumblr site.
w/ Oak, Steel & Lightning, Hillary Fitz Band
8 p.m. Delmar Hall, 6133 Delmar Boulevard. $5. 314-726-6161.
By Nick Horn
From From Heavy Music to Hip-Hop, Here Are 10 Acts to Watch in 2016:
Considering the fact that one third of River Kittens had barely picked up a guitar before two years ago, the tightness and power of the folk trio is impressive. The group — comprised of singer/guitarist/ukulelist Allie Vogler, vocalist/guitarist Martha Mehring and vocalist/guitarist/mandolinist Mattie Schell — formed gradually over the course of about a year, thanks to their mutual attendance at various open mics and folk-jam sessions. The River Kittens' sound — which the members describe alternately as "raunch folk" and "Americana feels" — hinges on the trio's tightly rehearsed, soaring three-part vocal harmonies and primitive string-band accompaniments, with the two elements contrasting in always exciting and sometimes unexpected ways.
SUNDAY, MAY 14
Chance the Rapper
6 p.m. Scottrade Center, 1401 Clark Avenue. $36.50-$76.50. 314-241-1888.
Nevermind his status as a hype act before being legally old enough to buy the kind of liquor he would help venues make bank on, Chance the Rapper not only has political connections but a background in activism. He might be the most important rapper in modern times and the mainstream is just now catching up in 2017. After a stunning run of awards from BET, MTV and Soul Train in 2016, he took home awards earlier this year from both the Grammys and the NAACP.
w/ Pono AM, Le'Ponds, Honey Rippers
8 p.m. Foam Coffee & Beer, 3359 South Jefferson Avenue. $7. 314-772-2100.
Tuttle's disjointed pop bleeds psychedelic vibes without the crutch of a ho-hum reverb pedal or muddled tone. The presentation is rather bare but not lacking in depth or layers as Tuttle's approach is to build outward from a strong core melody that could otherwise stand alone. Catch his whimsical sound among a steady feed of local luminaries for a show that you could actually take your mother to.
Pointfest, taking place this weekend and next at the Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre, is the type of event that needs no introduction. Those who listen to the station know what they're getting into and those who tune the dial elsewhere likely won't appreciate the lineup, even if this year's offering is the "pointiest" yet, with acts such as Korn, Breaking Benjamin, Stone Sour and more.