Thursday, December 26, 2019

The Best Shows in St. Louis This Week: December 26 to January 1

Posted By on Thu, Dec 26, 2019 at 6:21 AM

click to enlarge Bastard Squad will release its debut album, Bastard Luck, at the Ready Room on Saturday. - VIA THE BAND
  • VIA THE BAND
  • Bastard Squad will release its debut album, Bastard Luck, at the Ready Room on Saturday.
Each week we bring you our picks for the best shows of the next seven days! To submit your show for consideration, click here. All events subject to change; check with the venue for the most up-to-date information.

Pokey LaFarge
8 p.m. Friday, December 27 and Saturday, December 28. Off Broadway, 3509 Lemp Avenue. $25. 314-773-3363.
Pokey LaFarge wasn’t featured in Ken Burns’ epoch-spanning Country Music series on PBS (the story ends around 1996, when LaFarge was thirteen), but he could have been. As Burns tells the tale, Jimmie Rodgers — and his sui generis fusion of blues, jazz and string-band sounds — was the pole star for every musician to follow him, and he is LaFarge’s musical hero as well. Like Rodgers, LaFarge writes songs that seem to have been around forever, and he delivers them with a voice that surges from a delicate croon to a bawdy moan, and, being no stranger to the punk metier, LaFarge adds his own distinctive howl and wild enthusiasm for the whole breadth and depth of American music.
Homeward Bound: LaFarge has resided in Los Angeles for the last year and a half. St. Louis dates have been rare, and his end-of-the-year stand at Off Broadway has already sold out.
—Roy Kasten

Bastard Squad Record Release
8 p.m. Saturday, December 28. The Ready Room, 4195 Manchester Avenue. $10. 314-833-3929.
It's been a busy year for Donald Gene Brazel. In December 2018 he opened a record store, aptly name the Record Space, specializing in punk music and horror movies. In October that venture expanded to include the Record Label, launched as the home of Brazel's hardcore punk act Bastard Squad. And this week, Bastard Squad releases its debut LP, a twelve-track affair of ripping, anthemic punk music from a group of scene veterans that includes members of Better Days, Twisted Media, Common Jones, Very Metal and Final Theory. Bastard Luck is an album worthy of that pedigree, filled with fast-paced four-chord calls to arms and denunciations of society's ills, wrapping up with as punk a sentiment as any with the final track's chorus: "We're Bastard Squad, so fuck you all!"
Cornflakes, Cornflakes, Cornflakes, Cornflakes: Bastard Squad takes its name from the short-lived but massively influential British sitcom The Young Ones, whose 1982 to 1984 run brilliantly lampooned punk, mod, hippy and jock stereotypes through a ridiculously silly and anarchic lens. The show has since become a cult favorite.
—Daniel Hill



Foam’s Last Show
7 p.m. Sunday, December 29. Foam, 3359 Jefferson Avenue. $5. 314-772-2100.
Foam was a few different things before it settled into its role as a music venue: It was a coffee shop, a corner pub and an important landmark at the entrance to Cherokee Street when that neighborhood was in the early throes of its revitalization. But Foam’s booking policy, shepherded by owner Mic Boshans and actualized by Sinkhole proprietor Matt Stuttler, meant that its barely elevated stage hosted any number of local and touring acts, ranging from folk to spoken word to avant-garde. The fact that many shows had a tip jar instead of a cover charge may have foretold the bad news of the venue’s closing, but we prefer to think of it as an egalitarian arrangement that ran its course. A year-ending, venue-ending show feels like the right way to send Foam off into the great blue yonder.
Locals Only: Dubb Nubb, Banana Clips, Town Cars, Pono AM and a few more are expected to take the stage one last time.
—Christian Schaeffer

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