Issue No. 6-Oct ’12
the liner notes of st. louis
TGR singles club
TOWER GROOVE’s Next Big Thing Is a Whole Lot of Small Things
INSIDE: Jason Hutto • Brad Sarno • casey Kell • Happy 25th KDHX!
How Do You Follow Up a Jazz Version of Yorke’s Eraser?
PLUS: Smashing Pumpkins’ legacy considered, SSION brings the hot mess, and a killer new track from Brotherfather! step inside...
Eleven Magazine Volume 8, issue 6
elevenmusicmag.com | ELEVEN | 1
2 | ELEVEN | elevenmusicmag.com
PERIODICAL LITERATURE ST. LOUIS, MO
Issue No. 6, Volume 8
Front of the book 5 Editor’s Note 6 Where Is My Mind? 7 Hints & Allegations 8 Essentials Columns 8 Nook of Revelations by Thomas Crone 9 Rockin Our Lives Away by Bob Reuter 10 The Radius Chicago, Illinois
11 Load In by Dave Anderson Lit Fit features 13 Casey Kell Memorial by suzie gilb 14 That Kind of Girl: a conversation with Regina Spektor by Nelda Kerr 15 ReSpekt: the Works of Regina Spektor by Suzie Gilb 16 Christian Scott interview by Brian Vaccaro
Features Cont’d Tower Groove Records Fall Informal & Singles Club by thomas crone & Evan Sult 17 This month in music Musicalendar 18 Bring On the Night Short List 20 Previews220 Nevermore Jazz Ball, Smashing Pumpkins, Ssion, Smoking Popes
Halloween Havoc!222 Hot Rocks Guest List 23
by orlandez Lewis
New Album Reviews 24 Ryan Wasoba, The Fresh & Onlys, Menomena, Animal Collective
The Rebellious Jukebox 24 by Matt Harnish . The Heat Pipes Just Cough 25 by kyle kapper . Real Talk with Stephen baier The Way Back Page Paper Time Machine 26 by paige Brubeck .
More reviews, previews and good stuff online at elevenmusicmag.com | | | | | | | | | Cover photo: Regina Spektor by Shervin Lainez
Eleven Magazine Issue 6 | Volume 8 | October 2012
Publisher Hugh Scott Editor-In-Chief Evan Sult Special assignments Paige Brubeck Art DirectION Evan Sult CONTRIBUTING Writers Dave Anderson Paige Brubeck Juliet Charles Thomas Crone Suzie Gilb Matt Harnish Kyle Kapper Nelda Kerr Kevin Koehler Cassie Kohler Amandalyn Krebel Josh Levi Ryan McNeely Tony Patti Jack Probst Bob Reuter Jason Robinson Hugh Scott Robert Severson Blair Stiles Bill Streeter Brian Vaccaro Robin Wheeler-Barber PHOTOGRAPHERS Nate Burrell Jarred Gastreich Ashley Gieseking Lee Klawans Bob Reuter Bill Streeter Bryan Sutter
4 | ELEVEN | elevenmusicmag.com
copy editors Kaveh Razani Tracy Brubeck Promotions and Distribution Jesse Gernigin Ann Scott Consultation Clifford Holekamp Derek Filcoff Cady Seabaugh Hugh Scott III Founded in 2006 by a group including Jonathan Fritz, Josh Petersel and Mathew Strรถm ELEVEN MAGAZINE 3407 S. Jefferson St. Louis, MO 63118 for ADVERTISING INQUIRIES Hugh Scott email@example.com calendar listings firstname.lastname@example.org LETTERS TO THE EDITOR email@example.com We welcome your comments. Please let us know if you do not want your letter published.
Interested in contributing? firstname.lastname@example.org HAVE A QUESTION FOR US? email@example.com ONLINE elevenmusicmag.com twitter.com/elevenmag facebook.com/ElevenMagazine Copyright 2011 Scotty Scott Media, LLC
by Evan Sult
The St. Louis Music Library and You As it has since the leaf-blown first days of middle school, September blasted by in a rush this year. It left some truly great shows in its wake, staerting with the triumphant two-day spectacle of An Under Cover Weekend at the Firebird and finishing up Guided By Voices’ swaggering return to St. Louis at Plush. (The only downside to that GBV show is that, as I write this, my ears are still ringing. For real. Damn your hot riffs, Mitch Mitchell!) Many were the nights when there were too many good shows to choose from: a good sign of a healthy scene in action. But hey, it’s October already, and I’ve got some announcements to make! Firstly: Eleven magazine is excited to announce the commencement of the St. Louis Music Library. What is this? It’s a physical, comprehensive collection of as many of the LPs, CDs, seven inches, and cassettes released by St. Louis musicians as we can assemble, which we will be cataloguing and (eventually) making available to the public for listening and research. We have already begun the collection, but we need your help. It’s not hard: if you have a new release, please provide us with two copies: one for our reviewer, and one for
the Library. Simple. But also: we would very much like a copy of your previous bands’ releases as well. We have the most recent CaveofswordS release in the Library, but we need The Helium Tapes! Highway Matrons, Berlin Whale, Bad Folk, Radioactive bananas, and Bellyfeel are part of the city’s audio architecture. The more we can catalog the history of St. Louis music—rock, acoustic, blues, jazz, hip hop, funk, noise, metal, pop, garage—the more resource we’ll have to share through the Library. Each copy will be affixed with a library check-out card and shelved alphabetically. Just picture for a moment all of the albums that could potentially be found on those shelves. You can mail physical copies of your music past or present to Eleven magazine at 3407 S. Jefferson, St. Louis MO, 63118. If it’s new, remember to include another copy for the reviewer! Next: elevenmusicmag.com just got a makeover, and it features all kinds of previews, reviews, and photos from shows around town. Plus, it shouldn’t crash your computer any more! Check it out. And lastly: the elections are coming
right up. As always, this is a big one, with the future of the country, and of Missouri, at stake. My band, Sleepy Kitty, is holding a donation party with our friends Middle Class Fashion and the Brothers Lazaroff at STL STyLe on October 5 to raise funds for our preferred candidate. You are invited, especially if you (like me) haven’t been able to contribute yet this year (just paying the cover and drinking beer is the donation—it all goes straight to the campaign). I’m not gonna tell you here who to vote for—but I am gonna ask you to vote. This is a big one! See you at the booth,
Evan Sult, editor-in-chief Corrections In the September issue, an article on Reason Amps incorrectly spelled the name of one of its co-founders. The correct spelling is Obeid Khan, not Kahn. Eleven regrets the error. In the review of the band Following The Water, musician Bryan Ranney’s name was misspelled. Also, the correct name of Following the Water’s debut is Confluence Blue, not Confluence Blues. Eleven regrets the error.
elevenmusicmag.com | ELEVEN | 5
WHERE IS MY MIND? This Month in the History of Now
Are you hip to John Krane? Great songwriter at open mics around town. His new electric project, Brotherfather, is a stone gem, like Paul Simon fronting a ’90s Seattle band. “Stick Around” is one of 2012’s best recordings. High praise? Yep. Check it out at elevenmusicmag.com or scan this QR. Don’t say we never gave you anything!
Centre thru Dec 14
But legends don’t just live in New York: Bob Reuter’s been telling stories to rival anything by the Velvet Underground. From the crumbling bricks of North St. Louis to the bowels of South City, the jagged truth in his photos is matched by his dark—sometimes funny, sometimes just dark—tales of what St. Louis has, and what it sometimes taketh away. His new book is called Tales of a Talking Dog, and it is required reading for anyone who loves this city as at the sheldon through Jan 5 Josephine Baker by Al Hirschfeld it actually exists. It’ll be available Speaking of New York, soon through St. Louis Projects and JKPubthere’s another crucial show going on right lishing... Or you can probably just show up at now: The Velvet Years, 1965-1967: Mangia with cash in hand and get one from Warhol’s Factory, featuring the photothe man himself. Evan Sult graphs of Stephen Shore. Really, what Ed note: Yes, this is the same Bob Reuter more needs to be said? Not just images of who writes Rockin Our Lives Away in this some of the coolest (and coldest) humans to magazine. And yeah, we feel lucky. tread the streets of that city, but original
Toast with a roast
One of the many reasons to love this city is the way we take care of our own. Legendary local outlaw Fred Friction is getting the full treatment for his upcoming album, Murder Balladeer. To help him kick off his Indiegogo fundraising campaign, he’s getting help from none other than Bill Streeter (lofistl.com), Kevin Belford (author of Devil at the Confluence), Jacque Brown (St. Louis Curio Shoppe) and Chris King (Poetry Scores)—and the album will be produced by hotshot rocker Jason Hutto. But what to give the man who’s done
why? at the luminary center for the arts 6 | ELEVEN | elevenmusicmag.com
photo prints, made from light that bounced right off old Lou himself. At the Foundry Art
Lots going on in the realms where music and art meet. At the Sheldon right now is an exhibit of drawings by one of the great illustrators of all time, Al Hirschfeld. Though his worldly style is forever associated with hip jazz and high society New York, the man actually hailed from St. Louis. Al Hirschfeld’s Jazz and Broadway Scrapbook is a treasure trove of original pieces we’re lucky to have access to. Check it out in person; there’s nothing like his work. Can you find the name of his daughter, Nina, hidden in each piece? It’s there.
everything? Well—how about a hard time? On Thurs, Nov 1 his friends are holding a Fred Friction Roast at The Heavy Anchor (5226 Gravois, 7pm). Lord knows there’s plenty of material. This is a man who’s danced the city to its knees: he hosts “Fishin’ with Dynamite” on KDHX; he ran Frederick’s Music Lounge and Fred’s Six Feet Under; he co-founded the mighty Highway Matrons; and besides rocking the guitar, he has mastered the art of musical spoons. The spoons, ladies and gentlemen. Get out your wallet, your knives, and your best Fred stories, this’ll be one for the ages. ES
Sharon Van Etten & Damien Jurado at the Firebird
Hints & Allegations by Juliet Charles
Just Wanna Have Fun?
PHOTO: Bryan Sutter
The new musical Kinky Boots by Cyndi Lauper makes its Broadway debut early next year, but in the Midwest we have a chance to catch it in Chicago before the New York premiere. The new musical, based on the 2005 British film of the same name, is the story of a man who tries to save the family’s failing shoe company by catering to the needs of drag queens. His answer: you guessed it, kinky boots! Kinky Boots opens Oct 2 at the Bank of America Theater in Chicago and runs through Nov 4. And while you’re up there, check out the drag show (every Wednesday!) at Hydrate in Boystown. Palace’s Jamie Finch, Danny James, and Sidney Scott. Sadly for us, this was Finch’s last show before moving away for school.
This year’s An Under Cover Weekend was a roaring success: sold out both nights, with incredible performances from every single band. Just when it seemed like no one could match Humdrum as Beck on Friday night, Palace took the challenge with ABBA, and the sweatdrenched crowd was ready to give them Saturday’s crown. But Dots Not Feathers roared onto stage as Michael Jackson—complete with a dozen “Thriller” zombie dancers—and brought the house down. Poor Aerosmith: poncey scarves against a single glittering glove?! Yeah, right. And yet: Via Dove’s Andy Shadburne opened that big mouth wide and howled his way into earning that headlining spot. When Robb Steele’s Run DMC showed up for “Walk This Way,” the thermometer blew its top and so did the room. Well played, STL. ES
Last month LouFest announced a partnership with C3 Presents, the same company in charge of Lollapalooza and the Austin City Limits Music Festival. “Fans can expect a larger footprint with more stages and bands,” LouFest’s press release states. LouFest founder Brian Cohen says that the festival “will continue to have the same local feel and dedication to St. Louis that we’ve always had.” But while they specifically mention including local restaurants, there’s no mention whether the festival will include St. Louis bands as it did in its first three years. With summer festivals across the country becoming more homogenized (of the ten top-billed bands of Lollapalooza, seven were also top-billed bands at ACL this year), it’s yet unclear what this partnership means for the St. Louis music scene and one of the summer’s biggest STL events. Stay tuned.
It’s been a long time coming, but it’s here: Eric Hall’s massive multimedia, psychophysical, audio hike through space, Site/Sound at Laumeier Sculpture Park, opens this month! On Sat, Oct 6, from 1-3pm, the public will get a first chance to experience Site/Sound. The idea is this: you show up with your smart phone or you borrow an iPod from the museum (don’t forget your headphones!), then head out into the park. Every time you see a sculpture, walk up to it, scan a code, and contemplate the structure while a piece of audio designed just for that sculpture plays in your ears. Whenever you want, you step back out in search of more audiographic adventures. Brilliant, no? Hall recruited the talents of a staggering variety of STL musicians and audio artists for the piece, including Tenement Ruth, MSIF, .e, Dave Burnett and US English,
a big big love
For a certain stratum of music fan, any news about Howe Gelb and Giant Sand is big news. Based in Arizona and sometimes Denmark, Gelb has been alternately fronting and evading the band Giant Sand for a couple of decades now. His windblown, sun-baked, hard-worn and heart-stopping songs are renowned among lovers of clever lyrical wordplay and casually virtuosic instrumentation.
Spelling Bee, Ryan Wasoba, Mr. Ben, Cup Collector, and a zillion more. And if you miss the opening, no biggie, you can hike the show for the rest of the year. But best do it now, while the weather is sweet and the walking is easy. ES
You Didn’t Dream It
Jerald Jacquard, Cubed Squared. Audio by Loose Screwz and Matt Dill
On Tues, Nov 6, at the Duck Room, Gelb will unveil his latest project: Tucson, a “country rock opera” by an ensemble he’s calling Giant Giant Sand. With good reason: there will 13 musicians onstage, including a Danish string section, violinist Iris Jakobsen, and a trio of cumbia players. Tucson’s story follows “a semi-grizzled man with overt boyish naivete” (like, uh, who?) on a path from Tucson through the desert to a Mexican border jail and a love affair in a train station saloon. In a space as intimate as the
Writer, comedian, actor and now director Mike Birbiglia’s excellent first feature film, Sleepwalk With Me, includes a special audio tip of the hat to St. Louis. It goes by quick, but that song playing in the noisy bar while Lauren Ambrose is trying to have a conversation is “(All The Way Back In) Kansas City” by St. Louis’s own Fantasy Four. It’s a sweet song in a funny and touching movie. Check it out. Duck Room, the show should be nothing less than stunning. If you’re newly intrigued by Giant Sand, you’re in luck: Fire Records is re-releasing all 16 albums to celebrate their 25 years of music-making. These albums are all over the map, stylistically, so if you want a recommendation on where to start, pick up 2000’s Chore of Enchantment, and let the balmy breeze of “Temptation of Egg” and “Astonished” cool your brow. Then buy your tickets for Tucson! es
elevenmusicmag.com | ELEVEN | 7
1 The 2011 book Graphic USA: An Alternative Guide to 25 US Cities is exactly that! Essentially a travel guide, each city included is written about by working artists, musicians, bicycle enthusiasts, etc. who live and work in that city. It’s the direct line to the cool part of town from exactly the person you’d want to go up and talk to when you’re visiting a new place. Tested and approved in DC! Available at Left Bank Books. 2 Anyone who’s ever worn heels to a rock show will appreciate this handy new Dr. Scholl’s creation: Fast Flats. They’re a foldable pair of flats in a little gold bag that you can roll right up and throw in your purse. The best part is they’re ten bucks and you can get them at any Walgreens or CVS if
NOOK OF REVELATIONS
you find yourself in a situation where you need increased mobility—like walking home, loading gear, or reckless dancing. Great for musicians; you gotta dress for the stage, but you still have to carry your amp at the end of the night. 3 Made from vintage suitcases, Artpentry’s Gentleman’s Boombox has got to be the most stylish way to enjoy an mp3. Each case has a built in subwoofer and 1/8” connector that plugs right into your iPod, computer, etc. They’re all made in Chicago (our Radius feature this month) by artist Floyd A. Davis IV and he does custom orders as well! Pricing starts at about $300. Check out his gallery at 1827 S. Halsted, Chicago or firstname.lastname@example.org.
A chronicle of musical encounters by Thomas Crone
A Simple and True Pop Quiz Recently, I asked my Mass Communications class to give a personal, impromptu bit of feedback. Made up of 24 students (23 of them in the traditional undergrad age), the group was asked to sketch out a list of three artists who are culturally relevant today, those that are necessary to know in order to have a sense of what’s popular, interesting and on-the-way in American music. This wasn’t an “assignment,” per se; nothing was graded. I was just wanting to compare notes with a youthful sensibility. The follow-up questions came immediately. “Do you mean popular music only?” “Are these only American acts, or all artists?” Trying to assure them that they didn’t need to overthink it, I stressed that I only wanted a sense of what counts today, what resonates, what helps explain the moment. And, it was personal. “Help an old person discover some new music,” I suggested. It’s obvious that today’s pop charts are more diffuse than ever. And it’s also possible that the record collections many of us built up over time, and at considerable cost, are dwarfed by the iPods of a music-hungry kid versed in downloading music from multiple platforms, quickly. The common wisdom holds that today’s young adults are less bound by a single type of sound; self-affilia-
8 | ELEVEN | elevenmusicmag.com
tion as a fan of just rock, just reggae, or just glitch-hop is less appealing, more limiting than it used to be. Or so went my theories heading into this little experiment.
What’s your list of three artists who are culturally relevant today? Here are the three artists listed on the first response sheet: Beyonce, Psy, Nicki Minaj. Here’s the second list: Maynard James Keenan, Lamb of God, As I Lay Dying. (Would it impress or depress this student that I avidly enjoyed Tool’s first St. Louis shows, at the old American Theatre? Probably safe to say “depress.”) Here’s the third: fun., Foster the People, Lady Gaga. This one! This is the response that kinda knit things together. If any artists ran through a few responses, the choice repeaters were Gaga, Minaj, fun. and Taylor Swift. While reasonably familiar with three of those acts, fun. had escaped me, even though “We Are Young” had skittered across
my consciousness countless times over the last year. So this is learning: putting together a song title with a band’s name and then hearing them both referenced in casual conversation within 24 hours. The one-liners accompanying the lists veered between educational and amusing. “Gucci Mane: the downfall of western civilization.” “Alicia Keys shows people that you can literally come from nothing if you set your mind to it.” “Frank Ocean: My Mom and I were driving through town listening to his new record when we pulled up next to a car full of gangsters playing the exact same song.” “Ariel Pink: Lo-fi godhead.” Some of the artists on the list are surprising. Love me some Rush, but culturally relevant? Mmm, not sold. Pink Floyd, these cats I’d argue the same. It’s interesting to see Animal Collective, Coldplay and Bright Eyes, as acts with some staying power. My own homework is right there in front of me. Have to call up some Brand New and Odd Future. Need to do some YouTubing on Since Antarctica and Streetlight Manifesto. Maybe I’ll give Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros (or Mumford & Sons) another shot. And, maybe, I’ll find a new favorite in the search. Gotta keep that mind open.
ROCKIN OUR LIVES AWAY
A photo and its story by Bob Reuter
Photo: bob reuter
Jason Hutto, 2010. Back in 1998 when I was starting to hit the Southside rock and roll bars again, one of the first guys I ran into was Jason Hutto. At that time he was kind of a big guy with short hair. I think he had wound up here after fleeing some sort of failed relationship and was, when I met him, in the middle of kind of re-inventing himself the way we tend to do in those situations. I began seeing him do little solo sets at open mic nights and such. He was good, knew his way around a guitar and what’s more, he played with soul. What really drew me in though was his ability to converse. I’ve always looked forward to talking with Jason Hutto. You don’t really come across that many musicians with the ability to communicate without their instrument, and Jason’s one of the few with a truly encyclopedic knowledge rock and roll. I mean, the man can talk with anyone about anything. He’s got a warmness and an ability to make anyone feel at ease, but if you happen to be a music junkie, this is your guy: knows all the references, soaks that shit up like a sponge. Many is the night we talked ourselves stupid sitting in Southside bars where, amongst other things, I learned that as a husky little kid he had gone through
a breakdancing period. Legend holds that there is a videotape of Jason in his sweats, spinning on great hunks of cardboard…but he wasn’t about to dig it out for me to see. The first band he put together here in town was the Phonocaptors. Nothing I had heard in his solo sets had prepared me for that. They were a bass, drum and guitar trio with Jason fronting and singing lead. I was blown away. They were a powerful blast of uncut Stooges, MC5...just balls-out rock and roll like I had come to expect out of Detroit circa 1969. I remember they were all wearing suits cut right out of the sixties. This was not your garden variety pop/rock guitar slinger, this shit was for real! And it was a visual thing as well. Every move the cat made onstage was classic rock and roll. Had he been anyone else, I would have sworn it was a product of hours locked in his room miming in front of the mirror. More likely he had just become what he had ingested. Through the years he’s racked up a series of bands; the names Sexicolor and Warm Jets USA spring to mind. He’s been an unpaid hired hand with some of the coolest ensembles this town’s had to offer, like Bunnygrunt and the Fantasy Four. I’ve seen him move stylistically from simple and raw to epic and complex to
the more tasteful and sedate and back again. The one constant has been his live performances, which have been lean and ripping rock and roll straight to the bone! Along the way, Hutto also moved into the recording side of the local scene, which has never been so much a moneymaker as it’s been an artistic journey, an unearthing of an assortment of cool and penniless bands whose vision he’s found intriguing. The names of these groups are many, but count the infamous Highway Matrons and now Sleepy Kitty among them. He’s now also become one of the main driving forces behind the local musical co-op Tower Groove Records. Jason generally isn’t real big on having his picture taken, but on this one particular afternoon I was at Mangia with my camera while he was tending bar. The sun filters in through the front window most afternoons right about 2pm, and makes everything facing east just kind of glow. In that moment, I called his name and he turned with that patented “what can I do for ya” look. When I showed him the finished print some weeks later, he didn’t seem all that interested. I figure his mind was just elsewhere—thinking about music maybe, or women. You know, things he’s good at.
elevenmusicmag.com | ELEVEN | 9
THE RADIUS Each month The Radius features a city within a day’s drive of St. Louis. Whether you’re in a touring band or just want to meet some of our neighbors on the map, use this section to get a head start.
by Paige Brubeck and Evan Sult Chicago is a vibrant and extremely pedestrian-friendly city. It’s easy to navigate, dense but not packed, and full of interesting neighborhoods. Despite its size, one of Chicago’s best features is the relative closeness of its neighborhoods. So park the car (not downtown; try any neighborhood, near the train stop), get a CTA card at the station— Walgreen’s has day passes—and hop on the El train to check out the city from street level!
300 miles from STL, or about 5 hours by car 3rd largest U.S. city Notable residents past & present The Smashing Pumpkins, Barack Obama, John Cusack, Smith Westerns, the ’90s Bulls, Kanye West, Wilco, the Chicago Dog Extra cool hoods Wicker Park, Boystown, Old Town, Logan Square, Pilsen
Empty Bottle 1035 N Western Ave “Music, Friendly, Dancing” is what the sign reads outside, and that pretty much sums it up. This is one of the great American rock clubs. At a packed show the whole room will be in motion, but it’s also got a front room with a pool table and a real black-and-white photo booth—great place to converse, but still hear the music in the band room so you won’t miss too much. Check out the Windy City Soul Club Oct 13, and especially Free Monday shows—including E+ Oct 15. Schubas 3159 N Southport Ave This Lakeview club is a great place to see Chicago bands on their home turf, as well as sold-out national shows. It’s an intimate room with great sound and atmosphere. The front bar has a friendly staff and great food too. Check out Chicago bands Netherfriends and Divino Niño Nov 5. The Metro 3730 N Clark One of the most notable venues in town, with a storied history, including being the club that helped bring The Smashing Pumpkins to the rest of the world—and the spot GBV chose to play their “last” show on New Year’s Eve 2004. The Metro celebrates its 30-year anniversary with Afghan Whigs and Wussy playing two nights, Oct 26 & 27. Subterranean 2011 W North Ave Located next to the Damen Blue line station, this is a great place for touring bands to play. You can expect to see local record release shows, and up-and-coming national bands. The room has a cool layout, and being in the heart of Wicker Park it’s a prime location for getting friends to come out. Check out Exitmusic on Oct 3. The Hideout 1354 w. Wabansia Tucked away like a secret, this well-named, tiny club has hosted some of the legendary shows in Chicago history, including Touch
10 | ELEVEN | elevenmusicmag.com
and Go and Thrill Jockey parties, and surprise sets from the city’s too-big-forthe-small-stage finest. A true find. Check out comedian Neal Brennan November 9.
Record Stores Permanent Records
1914 W Chicago Ave
Laurie’s Planet of Sound Dave’s Records
4639 N Lincoln
2604 N Clark St
26 E Madison
3126 N Broadway • 1532 N Milwaukee
Chicago PLaylist Picks Bailiff is a skilled, heavy three piece. You can hear their love for Howlin’ Wolf, but also Native American chant, Yeasayer, Battles... They’ve got the stomp, the harmonies, and the chemistry of the greats. You can check them out in Chicago Oct 20 at the Beat Kitchen (2100 W Belmont) with Sleepy Kitty. Mutts might be what Tom Waits would sound like if he turned into a lion on stage. Their high energy songs are reminiscent of Black Diamond Heavies, and lucky for St. Louis they play here a fair bit—including Oct 12 at Plush. Big Science plays all the clubs around town, but they seem like their natural environment is an arena. The sound is gigantic, the grandeur palpable. Their new album, Difficulty, gives some of the same dark thrills as Interpol. Also, check out elevenmusicmag.com this month for more killer Chicago bands—there are a lot of ‘em!
Rainbo 1150 N Damen The favorite local dive in Wicker Park. Cheap beer and a hip crowd, right below the world-famous Soma Studio (Wilco, Tortoise, etc). How can you go wrong? The Whistler 2421 N Milwaukee This cozy Logan Square spot is known for creative cocktails and a great patio. During the week, they have free shows too. Great place to hear new bands. Gold Star 1755 W Division Another classic Wicker Park dive, and a good place to spot sexy fixed-gears and road bikes. Rodan 1530 N Milwaukee Ave A little more upscale, with delicious cocktails. Try the Lychee Martini or the Lychee Royale. During the week there are usually DJ sets with interesting video art, and if you go during the weekend, be ready for standing room only. L&L 3207 N Clark Street A hole in the wall at the edge of Boystown with an “anything can happen!” vibe.
Chicago Diner 3411 Halsted This vegetarian and vegan restaurant is a Chicago classic! Located near the Belmont and Addison Red Line stops, it’s a great place
to get dinner before catching a show at the Metro or Schubas. Try to save room for dessert! La Pasadita 1140 N Ashland Ave
One thing Chicago has is great Mexican food. La Pasadita is actually three restaurants, all with the same name, at the corner of Ashland and Division (just off the Division Blue Line stop.) The food is delicious and reasonably priced, and they’re open late (1am week nights and 3am weekends) making it a reliable late-night stop on your way home from the Empty Bottle. Poster by Ryan Duggan Filter 1373 N Milwaukee Exposed brick walls, foxy patrons, strong coffee and fairly inexpensive place to eat in Wicker Park (try the Hipster Hash; no, really). Ideal for laptop work, people watching, and meeting (or making) friends.
Other cool stuff
Quimby’s 1854 W North Ave A truly great, irreplaceable bookstore filled
with comics, zines, art books, interesting how-to crafter guides, graphic novels and much more. No better place to spend some time and money. Hollywood Mirror 812 N Dayton, just east of Belmont and Clark
Quirky, retro gift shop and vintage clothing store. Good selection, good prices, saucy staff. Museum of Contemporary Photography 600 S Michigan Ave
This free museum is part of Columbia College downtown and always has interesting exhibits. Chicago is a printmaking Mecca Keep an eye out for show posters from Delicious, Sonnenzimmer, Ryan Duggan, The bird machine, Mat Daly, and FugScreens just to name a few. Also, if your band is playing in town: a lot of these artists are for hire, so you can get a poster made for yourself and get your band name out on the street of Chicago!
elevenmusicmag.com | ELEVEN | 11
Expert gear testimony by Dave Anderson
Photo: Nate Burrell
Great Tone the St. Louis Way
It all started with a simple idea: a small box that could warm up the sound of a steel guitar—something with a tube in it that was simple and sounded great. That was almost ten years ago, and since 2003 and the introduction of the Steel Guitar Black Box, Sarno Music Solutions has carved a niche in the world of tube preamps and guitar effects that is hard to ignore. Brad and Auset Sarno are the owners and operators of Sarno Music Solutions, or SMS, as well as Blue Jade Audio Mastering in Webster Groves. From their corner of St. Louis, the Sarnos have become appreciated members of the music manufacturing community worldwide; serious heavyweights like Nels Cline, Andy Summers, and Jay Farrar use their gear. Meanwhile, Brad and Auset are also mainstays on St. Louis stages with their band, Auset Music Project. SMS specializes in handmade vacuumtube audio electronics gear for musicians, as well as guitar effects pedals. It seems an almost impossible feat to make a mark on the crowded boutique pedal scene—especially by offering up just one pedal—but the Sarnos have managed to do just that. The Sarno Earth Drive is a true bypass overdrive pedal that can be used for
Lit Fit Big Day Coming: Yo La Tengo and the Rise of Indie Rock by Jesse Jarnow
“Big Day Coming” is a song on Yo La Tengo’s 1993 album Painful. It shows up twice:
12 | ELEVEN | elevenmusicmag.com
Brad and Auset Sarno, Sarno Music Solutions, St. Louis anything from a clean boost to a full-out overdrive, specifically geared towards guitarists. This drive lies in the TubeScreamer camp, but it’s notably warm and amp-like: no piercing high-end frequencies to cut off the heads of everyone in the front row, and no low-end, muddy garble to lose your cut with the band. The key to the Earth Drive’s success is its ability to keep an amp’s tone intact without coloring its sound. Unlike most overdrives, the Earth Drive has an amazing sonic range in terms of the drive and EQ. Taking the drive down to the 9 o’clock area while bringing up the volume enables the player to achieve a clean boost with quite of bit of range in volume. Increasing the drive and lowering the volume takes it from a smooth, amp-like overdrive to a more saturated, higher gain. But the Steel Guitar Black Box is the unit that started it all in 2003. The pedal is intended as a “universal all-tube buffer”
first as quiet meditation, later as squalling exaltation. These are the two faces of Yo La Tengo—and also of indie rock itself. Jarnow deftly charts the softly rising arc of YLT from the grittily romantic early days of the musically fruitful NY/Hoboken scene (dB’s, The Clean, Maxwell’s, Rocker magazine) out into the national matrix of underground bands once know as “alternative.” YLT’s troubles are few, which could make for a dull read, but Jarnow turns a lack of conflict
(according to the SMS site) for all kinds of guitars: pedal steel, acoustic and electric guitars and bass, as well as fiddles. Using a single 12ax7 preamp tube, the Black Box is an inline buffer/impedance matcher; in use, it gives a warm, round, natural compression that enhances almost any instrument. I’ve used the Black Box after the pickup output on my pedal steel, and through a solid state amp. The sound clarity is suited for serious audiophiles, and this piece is ideal for anyone trying to improve tone, especially when a tube amp is not available or practical. Also, it’s worth noting that this unit works great for acoustic guitar as well—a key additional feature. The SMS Classic Tube Preamp is a single-rackspace, all-tube preamp with EQ and reverb voiced for the classic American tube-amp sound of the ’60s and ’70s. It’s most effective for players using solid state and/or digital technology, such as the Fractal Axe FX or Eleven Rack. Warm, crystal, and natural, the SMS tube pre is a logical solution for live rigs as well as studio work. Players like John Neff of the Drive-By Truckers, Steve Kimock, and Jeff Mattson of Dark Star Orchestra all use the SMS Classic Tube Preamp. The Revelation Tube Preamp was designed with ultimate pristine tube tone in mind. An all-tube dual space rack, it includes the “Vari Z” circuit which, like the Black Box, controls the impedance of the signal coming into the preamp. Other features include a sweepable midrange control, brite/normal/dark switch, and stereo parallel effects loop. The Revelation is a serious tone monster, built with the highest quality audiophile components available today. Crucially for such high-end gear, all of these products are built the old-fashioned way: by hand, here in St. Louis. Their reputation is so strong that they survive by word of mouth, so the only way to get their gear is from their site. Happily, the site has audio and video clips, so you’ll get a preview of the sounds before you commit! Sarno Music Solutions pedals are available from their website, sarnomusicsolutions.com.
into an opportunity to appreciate and document the whole scene’s dogged work ethic through one of its hardest working units. James McNew is even sweeter than you thought, and the partnership of Ira and Georgia is only enhanced when you read about their early dayjob as proofreaders, working in alternating round-the-clock shifts—one slept as the other edited—to make a deadline so they could head out on tour together. Evan Sult
The fall season is upon us, and with it arrives change. Sometimes there are changes in life that are sudden and unwelcome; some are downright heartbreaking. Such was the case with the death of St. Louis musician Casey Kell on September 20, 2012 in South Saint Louis, at the young age of 26. Kell grew up in Granite City, IL and was on (and later taught) drumline at Granite City High School. He went on to study music at UMSL, and traveled to China to perform with fellow percussionist Patrick Frenking. He has been the drummer for the STL-based band Great Isaac since their formation in early 2011. The quintet is currently in the process of recording their first full-length album with engineer/producer Glenn Burleigh. “You felt everything he felt,” says Steve Lickenbrock, Great Isaac singer/guitarist and high school friend. “Everything he ever wanted to say, he could do it with drumsticks.” Lickenbrock describes him as a perfectionist, and Frenking agrees, but says he never got over his stage fright. “There were times when Casey would tell me how he almost passed out while we were playing together,” Frenking says. “I guess the rush of adrenaline was so intense, it caused him to lose control. I remember him having to
PHOTO: Suzie Gilb
Casey Kell: June 9, 1986 to September 20, 2012
Casey Kell. smoke a cigarette between every piece of music just to calm down.” But still, he always played the cool guy. Frenking recalls one instance: “He was outside smoking and the entire [percussion] ensemble was onstage ready to perform... Just seconds before the conductor gave the cue for the down beat, Casey Kell [came] strolling down the aisle, walking that tough guy walk, picked up his mallets about a second before the downbeat, and played perfectly.” Kell was known by bandmates in Great
Isaac as a goofball. Great Isaac has practiced at Utopia Studios (where Andrews shot the video) for over a year, and Kell could frequently be found with Utopia staffer Sabrina Bahmendeji, banjo player Scott Wilson, roommate/bandmate Nick Ebeling and assorted other characters, playing chess and trading shots of Jameson and funny anecdotes—about girls, about drums, about work. But it was his passion for music, especially the “finer points of drumming,” that stood out for Wilson. “Much of [it] was over my head,” Wilson freely admits of their conversations. “But his passion for music was part of his charm, so I was happy to oblige his long conversations.” While being a total goof, Kell is also remembered by colleagues as an intellectual and great conversationalist: he was always really listening, and he always said exactly what he thought. A loyal friend like Casey Kell is hard to find, and as talented a musician is irreplaceable. Lickenbrock says of Kell, “after [Great Isaac’s final show] at the Duck Room, he shook my hand. We were still on the stage. He thanked me for a good show. I felt so honored.” Great Isaac plans to release their album in the next few months, as it is Casey Kell’s final work. Suzie Gilb
elevenmusicmag.com | ELEVEN | 13
PHOTO: Shervin Lainez
She’s the Kind of Girl
by Nelda Kerr I first saw Regina Spektor at Uptown Theater in Kansas City in 2007 on her headlining tour following the release of Begin to Hope (Sire/ Warner Bros). She dug into a Steinway & Sons piano with one hand and banged a drumstick on her chair with the other, singing and concocting accents at will. She had no need for a band. In her baby-doll dress, this small Russian girl filled the place with sound. She started with the a cappella introduction to “On The Radio,” pulled out her sea-foam green Epiphone for “Remember That Time,” and ended with her tender ballad, “Samson.” She created a new world inside every song, and we were invited in. More than fans, we all left that night feeling like her best friends. By now, Moscow-born, Bronx-bred singer-songwriter Regina Spektor is a world-renowned name. She has dazzled audiences with her classical piano training and her leaps between languages—snatches of French, Russian, English, and wild vocal percussion. She is known for her conversational charm, her delicate beauty, her fierce inner strength, and her boisterous vocals. She has toured with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and the Strokes—Gordon Raphael helped produce2004’s Soviet Kitsch—and collaborated on the ever-catchy “You Don’t Know Me” with Ben Folds. She has played for the Obamas, and for Colbert, Letterman, and Conan; she has bared details
14 | ELEVEN | elevenmusicmag.com
of her past in a fascinating interview with Terry Gross on “Fresh Air.” Spektor has come a long way from playing piano in her synagogue’s basement, but has handled her rise to fame with grace. Her new album, What We Saw From The Cheap Seats, contemplates fame, politics, money and the plight of the timeless work of art. It’s downright Proustian in its breadth. The first single, “All The Rowboats,” laments the “masterpieces serving maximum sentences/It’s their own fault for being timeless.” The anxiety of these lines is broken up with sweeping classical piano and sudden, intrusive drum stabs. Her productions have become more expansive
over time—both the album and her live shows include a drummer and a cellist—but her voice still effortlessly carries every arrangement. Spektor’s first show in St. Louis was at the old Creepy Crawl in 2006. She played the Pageant in 2007, but it’s been a long dry spell since then. But she will return at last on November 8, to an army of fans who have been waiting five years to see her, again or for the first time. I spoke with Regina Spektor about fame, museums, and life in the Midwest. Eleven: I’ve seen you play in Kansas City, and you’ve played in St. Louis before. You’ll be returning in November; what’s your impression of the Midwest?x Regina Spektor: I have always loved just getting a chance to travel all around America. I really like the Midwest a lot. My first ever job out of college was in the Midwest, and it was also my first time to go there. It was in Wisconsin. It was a very unorthodox job since I worked on a butterfly farm. We went to St. Paul and Minneapolis. I really loved the nature. 11: What was your job on the farm?
RS: Catching butterflies [giggles]. And then helping them breed. Shipping larvae. Stuff like that. 11: The first song on your new album is called “Small Town Moon.” The song includes the passage, “There’s a small town in my mind. How can I leave without hurting everyone that made me?” St. Louis is animated by the small town/big town dynamic. We’re not New York, but we are a city committed to building and supporting our creative community. What does it mean for someone to feel like they have to leave a small town to fulfill their artistic vision? RS: I am from New York, and to me, I feel like a lot of that stuff is a state of mind. No matter what your nest is, it’s hard to leave it. As I travel America, I do think about that a lot. When I go to a town, and downtown is four blocks long—it provides obstacles, because it’s harder to find little places where you can escape or be together or have fun. A lot of times it’s hard to find culture. There is something in New York that we take for granted. A lot of people live [in New York City] and they don’t even go to museums. I mean, I go, because I fucking love them. 11: What is your favorite museum? RS: Oh, I have a lot. Probably my favorite favorite has always been the Metropolitan Museum of Art. I really love the Jewish Museum and MOMA. I love the Guggenheim. And the Fritz Collection is really great. 11: We’re excited to have you return to St. Louis. While you’re there, I’d encourage you to visit City Museum. It’s like they took a junkyard and turned it into an adult-sized museum. You should go if you have a chance while you’re in town. RS: Hold on! I have to write this down. Wow! That’s cool! Thanks, Nelda! 11: You recorded The View From The Cheap Seats in Los Angeles. Did you get a chance to visit the Museum of Jurassic Technology in Culver City? RS: I’ve wanted to go to that museum forever! Adria’s been telling me about it for years. I even had a few weeks in L.A. just now, before I came back to New York. One of the things I said when I first got there was I really want to go the Museum of Jurassic Technology. She laughed at me and said, “We’ll make time for it,” but it never happened. It’s really been on my mind. 11: That’s Adria Petty—daughter of Tom Petty, correct? Her video for “All The Rowboats” was phenomenal and well received. How has it been working with the Pettys? RS: I was touring with Tom Petty in April and May. This time in Los Angeles we just hung out. Adria and I have been friends for eight years. She did my very first video for
“I don’t really know that much about fame, except what I read about it. I’m sort of fascinated with it.” “Us” off of Soviet Kitsch. She did the video for “Laughing With.” She did a lot of videos with me. In that way it’s awesome, because we’re good friends and collaborators. 11: The song “Ballad of a Politician” takes up themes of fame and politics. It’s kind of dark. What are your reflections on these themes, and have they changed throughout your rise to fame?
RS: I don’t really know that much about fame, except what I read about it. I’m sort of fascinated with it. It is an interesting thing because it’s kind of a transformative quality for a lot of people. But I think, with the song, I’m just also fascinated by certain types. I think there’s a type of person that is drawn to that lifestyle, and to power. There are some that do it because they really care about public service. But those are such a minority. And it’s so obvious, most people all over the world that really want to lead and want power; they just get lost. And they just want it for its own sake. I think that just watching, having a social view of history— that’s how it’s connected in the song.
Potentially Lovely, Perpetually Human Behind the lovely voice are some hard-won truths. Regina Spektor was born in Moscow during the Cold War, and began her piano studies there. Her family emigrated to the US when she was still young, leaving almost everything behind, including her prized Petrof upright. Before long, her songwriting capacities bubbled up past her classical studies, and quickly proved themselves. Since 2001 she has released six albums. Suzie Gilb catches us up on her work to date, and points out some personal favorites. 11:11 (2001) “Flyin’” and “I Want to Sing” are both beautiful yet simple a cappella tunes. Spektor tells some really fascinating, nonautobiographical stories in tracks like “Buildings” and “Love Affair.” Key tracks: “Flyin’,” “Buildings”
Songs (2002) “Samson” is arguably Spektor’s most touching sad song, and while a slightly different version of this song appears on Begin to Hope, this version is more raw and emotional. Songs like “Lacrimosa” and “Prisoners” demonstrate her early ability to both play with unique vocal sounds and lay down some wicked piano riffs.
and “Lady” are epic—just fucking epic. Then there are the more produced, less raw (but still great) tracks like “Hotel Song” and “Edit.” Had your heart broken recently? “Summer in the City” is your new jam. Key Tracks: “Apres Moi,” “Lady,” “Summer in the City”
Far (2009) Few can pull off God references without being preachy—Spektor does it in the track “Laughing With.” “Two Birds” will help you feel better about every skeezy douche you ever dumped. And if you need a mental vacation on a beach, check out the song “Folding Chair.”
Key Tracks: “Samson,” Lacrimosa”
Key Tracks: “Two Birds,” “Folding Chair”
Soviet Kitsch (2004) Considered her “breakthrough album;” she even has a punk band back her up on “Your Honor,” showing her range as a writer. Songs like “Chemo Limo” really display not only her storytelling abilities, but her ability to mix humor and darker subject matter tastefully.
What We Saw from the Cheap Seats
Key Tracks: “Your Honor,” “Chemo Limo”
Begin to Hope (2006) Her first major label release; “Apres Moi”
It gets harder and harder to sum up or define Spektor in tight, relatable terms. But songs like “How,” “Jessica,” “The Party” and “Firewood” will make you hug your friend/musical instrument. And then there are tunes like “O Marcello,” “Small Town Moon” and “Don’t Leave Me” that will make it simply impossible to sit still. Key Tracks: “Jessica,” “How”
elevenmusicmag.com | ELEVEN | 15
PHOTO: Devin dehaven
Alive and Well, Thanks Christian Scott’s jazz glints with indie rock flecks by Brian Vaccaro Countless times over the past several years, I have either heard or read the argument that jazz has nothing new to offer. All harmonic and melodic territory has been explored, the argument goes, and all good rhythmic concepts have long since been discovered and used. In other words, jazz is essentially dead as a “progressive” musical form. But if you believe, like I do, that jazz in its truest form has always been a progressive style of music that completely embraces the fusion of varying genres (which was happening well before the jazz/ rock fusion movement that started in the late 1960s), then the music of contemporary innovators like Brad Mehldau, The Bad Plus, Joshua Redman, and Christian Scott ought to offer plentiful hope. Christian Scott (also known as Christian aTunde Adjuah) is a trumpeter and a native of New Orleans. He credits his uncle, Donald Harrison, Jr., for introducing him to jazz
16 | ELEVEN | elevenmusicmag.com
music and life as a working musician—and soon thereafter, at the young age of thirteen, Scott was himself working professionally. Scott first emerged on the national scene as a bandleader with 2006’s Rewind That, winning immediate critical acclaim as one of the newest, freshest, most innovative voices in jazz. In the six years since, Scott has recorded and released five albums, including Anthem, Live at Newport, Yesterday You Said Tomorrow, Ninety Miles, and his latest, two-disc effort, Christian aTunde Adjuah, unveiled earlier this summer. What makes Scott’s music significant is his ability to embrace modern musical and cultural sensibilities while also acknowledging the rich heritage of jazz music. His intent is to “create a document that shows you can blend jazz with any style of music,” he explained recently by phone. One can definitely detect the influences of modern hip hop, rock, and progressive pop that Scott and band (Christian Scott trumpet; Matt Stevens, guitar; Jamire Williams, drums; Lawrence Fields, piano;
Kristopher Funn, bass) project over music that is highly improvisational. This ensemble artfully negotiates a balance between material that reminds the listener of bands like Radiohead and The Roots, while at the same time referencing early 1960s Miles Davis. “I’ve been inspired by Sir Edward Elgar,” he says, as well as “various indie rock, and a variety of world music.” Into all of this, Scott and band inject the essence of jazz: a heavy dose of originality. Scott’s solo albums include a strong storytelling aspect—a socio-political narrative woven into the song titles and overall feel of the tracks that calls to mind certain rock concept albums of the 1970s. Compositions like “Dialect,” “Katrina’s Eyes,” and “Dred Scott” indicate Scott’s attention to his own cultural heritage and environment. It should be fascinating to see the narrative unfold onstage, when Christian Scott appears at Jazz at the Bistro this month. For his part, Scott knows exactly what his band brings with them. “Intensity,” he says simply. “Intensity performed by fresh young musicians.”
Singles and Ready to Mingles Checking Out Tower
Groove Records’ Next Big Thing
by Thomas Crone & Evan Sult
Tower Groove Records Fall Informal Saturday, October 20
Apop records, 2831 Cherokee
PHOTO: Bill Streeter
When musicians Jason Hutto, Duane Perry and Adam Hesed began their talks in 2011 to pull together a St. Louis music collective, they thought big. They weren’t looking to start a label, exactly; in this century, labels, even independent ones, are on the steep decline. They came up instead with the concept of Tower Groove Records—a collective effort, not a label—and started inviting in members; pretty soon, nearly two dozen bands were involved. The first fruits of their labor were appropriately oversized: Tower Groove Records V1 2LP, a double-vinyl set of 21 songs featuring 22 St. Louis bands all in one place. It’s an invaluable document of one whole swath of the St. Louis music world circa 2012, featuring old-school favorites like Bunnygrunt, Tone Rodent, and Fred Friction alongside relatively new heavy hitters like Old Lights. And as contributors Theodore and Warm Jets USA ceased to exist, their final recordings on the collection only make it more of a definitive statement. In addition to the groups, Tower Groove Records incorporates the skills of everyone from graphic artists to chefs in their growing team, which has been meeting weekly of late inside the cozy confines of the Heavy Anchor’s back-alley smoking patio. There, the principals of the cause have been hashing out their latest and greatest endeavor: a Tower Groove Records Singles Club. The idea is this: for the entire year of 2013, Tower Groove will release one seven-inch single per month, with a song by a V1 2LP band on one side, and a flipside by another St. Louis group of their choice. This keeps all of the original bands involved while also expanding the collective. By December of 2013, there will be 12 seven inches and 24 bands in the Singles Club. In addition, over the course of the calendar year, four different STL visual artists—Jeff Robtoy, Dana Smith, Mark Stephens and Adam Watkins—will each take three-month runs at the Singles Club album covers. All a music fan has to do is subscribe to the TGR Singles Club with a single $60 buy-in, and then let TGR know how they’d like to receive their monthly treats—by mail, or by scooping them up at Apop Records, Euclid Records, or Vintage Vinyl. And on pick-up, Singles Club subscribers will get discounts at the shop. For the St. Louis music fan, it’s a great way to get to
Anne Tkach and Fred Friction at last year’s Tower Groove Carnival.
The Good times Ride Between the pop polish of Née and Middle Class Fashion, the perverse charms of Bug Chaser, Humdrum’s earnest prog, and the blast furnace of Black for a Second and Shaved Women, TGR’s new players expand as already mighty roster. Check out the 2013 lineup: Jan: Old Lights b/w Demon Lover FEB: Doom Town b/w Black for a Second Mar: Bunnygrunt b/w Trauma Harness Apr: Skekses b/w CaveofswordS May: Tone Rodent b/w Kisser Jun: Ransom Note b/w Née Jul: Maximum Effort b/w Shaved Women Aug: Magic City b/w Jungle Fire Sep: Peck of Dirt b/w Little Big Bangs Oct: Bug Chaser b/w Troubadour Dali Nov: Accelerando b/w Humdrum Dec: Sleepy Kitty b/w Middle Class Fashion know both the city’s bands and its record stores more intimately. It’s a swell idea—and also a risky move. For this new TGR project to work, enough subscriptions must be sold to pay for the many vinyl pressings. But it’s on: the first three seven inches have already been recorded and sent off to the vinyl plant. The subscription campaign kicks off with a party, of course: The Fall Informal,
happening on the street out front of Apop Records on October 20. Live music, food and other cool stuff will be going on both inside and outside the store, ideally kicking off the series with some necessary starter funds. Most importantly, this will be STL music fans’ first chance to sign up for the Singles Club series. “It’s funny,” Jason Hutto says of the Fall Informal. “The bands are highly important in getting people behind this. But the bands have stepped up to whatever they’ve been asked to do in a timely fashion. And from the last record until today, we’ve learned to streamline some things, to make it all work better.” To get momentum, the group understands that they’ll have to convince a lot of music buyers that the $60 investment is a solid one. “It is a commitment,” Hutto admits. “But it breaks down to the idea of what you get for the $60. We believe that this music is worth that and more. One reason that we’re selling in this medium, even with digital downloads available, is that it’s easier to sell a [vinyl] single for $5 than it is to sell a CD for $5. It’s more tangible for people.” While a good number of the acts will be utilizing Hutto’s subterranean Smokin’ Baby studio, he says that “it’ll be a hodgepodge of studios” involved. Demon Lover and Old Lights, he mentions, have already finished their January split single, having tracked at Native Sound Recording. Others are heading into the studio shortly, even some groups slated for late ‘13 releases. And even if bands explode/implode before their appointed time on vinyl, Hutto figures that things are covered. “We’ve got plenty of Plan B’s,” he affirms. Though the collective notes that the classic, much-missed old Sub Pop Singles Club (1988-93) was an influence on their concept, Hutto says “we haven’t really heard of something else like it,” in terms of a cityor scene-based approach to releasing music. Each record “will be an artifact,” says Duane Perry. Or, as Hutto adds, “a little piece of nostalgia.” The nostalgia of the glorious here and now.
elevenmusicmag.com | ELEVEN | 17
live Want to have your show listed? E-mail email@example.com!
1 VERIZON AMPHITHEATRE Cicero’s 2
6691 Delmar Boulevard, 63130
oct 2 9 12 16 18 28
oct 6 14
Blueberry Hill 6504 Delmar Boulevard, 63112 PA GE
Giant Giant Sand
FOR E S
T PAR K
6161 Delmar Boulevard, 63112 Metric, Half Moon Run Alabama Shakes, Fly Golden Eagle Psychedelic Furs, The Lemonheads w/ Juliana Hatfield Old 97’s, The Travoltas, Rhett Miller Die Antwoord Sleigh Bells, AraabMUZIK
E E R AV
H E ST
3648 Washington Boulevard, 63108 oct 6 Arturo Sandoval 14 The Capitol Steps nov 6 Firedog
18 | ELEVEN | elevenmusicmag.com
CH IPPEW A ST
TOWER GROVE PARK ARS E NAL ST 24 RD
H IG HW AY B LV D
Grove Fest (DO314 stage outside): Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, DJ Charlie Chan vs DJ Mahf, Trip Daddys, Zion & the Lion Roots Band, Kreative Pandemonium, Funky Butt Brass Band
4140 Manchester Avenue, 63116
ST P AR K
MORGA N FOR D
Atomic Cowboy/Fox Hole
HAM PT ON AVE
44 MCC AUS LAN D
4127 Manchester, 63110 Grove Fest (STL Loud stage outside): Peach, Jump Starts, Rev. Matt, Last To Show First To Go, The Truth
CENTRAL WEST END F
Grove Fest: Drace, The VCRs, aTm, Foxing, Cinema Verite, Tawaine Noah, DJ Kiernan Maletsky Bright Lights Social Hour
LL B LVD
4243 Manchester Avenue, 63110
LI N D E
handlebar oct 6
U N ION B
Lost in the Trees, Midtown Dickens Rasputina, Faun Fables Brown Bird, Union Tree Review Chuck Berry Animal Empty, The Kickback, The Sun and the Sea A.C. Newman, Mynabirds
ER BL VD
oct 11 13 16 17 20 29 nov 6
Karate Bikini, Ryko, Driving Wheel Hidden Lakes, DNA, Enemy Airship Quiet Company, Brick and Mortar
S KIN K
oct 12 20 28
For these and other great events around town, check out our website and calendar online, supported by
14141 Riverport Dr, 63043
TOWER GROVE SOUTH
The fabulous Fox theatre
Oct Louis CK 6 Les Miserables 16-26
BL VD ND
VE DE VA N
GRAND 8 9 CENTER
NGT ON B LVD E ST
UTEA U AV
14 13 15,16 DOWNTOWN
3108 Locust Street, 63103
2706 Olive Street, 63103
Peabody Opera House
1400 Market St, 63101
Corin Tucker Band, Bruiser Queen First Aid Kit, Dylan Leblanc, Indian Blanket The Dodos, Maus Haus, Pomegranates Smoking Popes, Roll the Tanks, The Humanoids, Sink the Bismarck Clownvis Presley, Little Rachel, Griddle Kids Ssion, House of Ladosha, (it!) Tilly and the Wall, Scarlet Tanager, Grace Sophia Swans, A Hawk And A Hacksaw Electric Guest, NO, Billy and the Jets The Whigs, Old Lights, Pretty Little Empire
12 WASHI AR BLVD
Norah Jones Primus 3D
I VO RA
S J E FF
KE E ST
AY DW OA R B
11 12 19 25 27 30
13 oct 15 28
15 The Crack Fox 16
1009 Olive Street, 63101
CH E RO
500 N. 14th Street, 63103
oct Deep Infinite Groove w/ DJ Needles 13 Groovethang 19
22,23 VE SA
oct 4 6 7
7 12 14 19 26
11 Firebird 12
3224 Locust Street, 63103
Stars, Diamond Rings, California Wives Ringo Deathstarr, Tone Rodent, Troubadour Dali, Kisser Mutts, Goodbye June Los Lobos, Making Movies iLLPHONICS Minus The Bear, Cursive, Girl In A Coma AV E
527 N. Grand Boulevard, 63103
1114 Olive Street, 63101
Bottoms Up Blues Gang, Whiskey War Mountain Rebellion The True Jaqueline, Acorns to Oaks, Estevan Daymoths, Jenny Dalton
Broadway Oyster Bar
736 S. Broadway, 63102
Beale On Broadway
701 S. Broadway, 63102
oct 3 4 17
elevenmusicmag.com | ELEVEN | 19
Want to have your show listed? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org! (calendar cont’d from prev page)
19 BB’s Jazz, Blues and Soups
700 S. Broadway, 63102 oct 12 Leroy Pierson, Roland Johnson & The Voodoo Blues Band
20 Old Rock House
oct 3 5 14 15 25 26
1200 7th Boulevard, 63104 Big K.R.I.T., Slim Thug, Alive Since Forever, Pooke Del Yeah! Bluegrass Ball My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult, Left Spine Down Band of Skulls, Ponderosa Mason Jennings Frontier Ruckus, Water Liars
21 Luminary center
for the arts 4900 Reber Place, 63139
oct 28 The Sea And Cake, Matthew Friedberger
22 Way Out Club 23 CBGB 24
2501 S. Jefferson Street, 63104
2525 S. Jefferson Street, 63104
3163 S. Grand Boulevard, 63118 oct 22 Police Teeth, Jabberjosh, The Conformists
25 Mangia Italiano
Oct 6 13 25
3145 S. Grand Street, 63118 Escalade, Fred Friction Bunnygrunt, Chill Dawgs, Horse Drawers Lawrence & The Lion, Letter to Memphis
26 Blues City Deli
2438 McNair Avenue, 63104 oct 13 DoorMat Wilson
20 | ELEVEN | elevenmusicmag.com
The Nevermore Jazz Ball & St Louis Swing Dance Festival
The Smashing Pumpkins
Casa Loma Ballroom, et al
November 1-4 The polarity of a usual weekend-night crowd at Casa Loma Ballroom is one to experience: mostly comprised (at least in my time spent there) of teenagers and septuagenarians, and little in between, all having a great time. It’s difficult NOT to have a great time, for anyone of any age who appreciates good music, good dancing, historic buildings, or some combination of the three (basically, anyone who’d ever find him or herself at Casa Loma anyway). For the first weekend in November, Casa Loma serves as the flagship venue for the Nevermore Jazz Ball & Saint Louis Swing Dance Festival. “A Celebration of Dance at the Confluence of Jazz & Blues” is the full subtitle, actually. Nevermore seeks to be as much a four-day party focused on commemorating Saint Louis and its dance and music heritage as it does anything else. While most of Nevermore’s events do take place at Casa Loma, venues as disparate and distant as the Grandel Theatre, Rue Lafayette, 2720, and The Atomic Cowboy— where Thursday night’s kickoff with the Saint Louis Sidemen takes place—will all play host to events of one type or another. Several late (I’m talkin’ REAL late)-night events are planned as well, including a 3am donut party at South Broadway’s John Donut and a so-late-on-Saturday-nightthat-it-actually-doesn’t-technically-start’til-Sunday-morning dance at the Grandel Theatre from half-past-midnight ’til four in the morning. Out-of-towners and South City enthusiasts alike will appreciate the threehour Saturday-afternoon Cherokee Street jazz crawl, which’ll feature a half-dozen jazz acts in a half-dozen venues along (you guessed it) Cherokee Street. Nevermore, so called because it was thought to be a one-off event last year, but which endured in spite of its name to return this year, caters particularly to the swing-dance enthusiast of any skill level. Dance classes (for absolute beginners on up), multiple dance contests (fast and slow alike), and just straight-up come-one-comeall dances are scheduled for each of the festival’s four days. Meschiya Lake and Dem Lil’ Big Horns of New Orleans are a featured performer more than once, and a Humdinger-free Miss Jubilee (with the Bella Rue Jazz Band this time) will, to no surprise, also be putting in a performance. There are all kinds of passes available—full weekend passes, dance only, individual events—so get your fines on, and swing early and often! For more info, NevermoreJazzBall.com. Robert Severson
Thursday, October 18 Being a cranky old coot who remembers the ’90s, I have opinions on the reuniting of beloved alternative icons. The Pixies did it and they didn’t seem like they were having fun and they certainly didn’t wind up making a new record. Refused did it and the whole indie crowd I roll with called ‘em sellouts—ironic given their “I’ve got a bone to pick with capitalism / and a few to break” mentality. Let’s consider The Smashing Pumpkins legacy as a bell curve. It starts in the lower left corner with the fuzzy brashness of Gish, rises to the breakout guitar-heavy doublemiddle-finger-to-the-man Siamese Dream, rises again with beloved B-side comp Pisces Iscariot, which finally leads to the 30+ double-album gusher Mellon Collie & the Infinite Sadness. Then—the slow decline. Sure, electroheavy Adore moved some units and Machina had a few minor hits, but it all felt like the beginning of the end. And it was, because after Machina (and subsequent internet-only Machina II), it was lights out for the band proper.
short list Alabama Shakes with Fly Golden Eagle and Riley Downing The Pageant
7pm Tuesday, October 9* Lost In The Trees and Midtown Dickens Blueberry Hill Duck Room
8pm Thursday, October 11 White Rabbits Off Broadway
7pm Saturday, October 13* Mason Jennings Old Rock House
7pm Thursday, October 25 The Whigs, Old Lights, and Pretty Little Empire THE Firebird
8pm Tuesday, October 30 *= all ages
PHOTO: nick simonite
BRING ON THE NIGHT
1903 Pestalozzi Street, 63118 Mic the People for the People
Livery Company 2700 Cherokee Street, 63118
Han Ma & The Camaros, Suzie Cue & The Terrible 2s Drown Fish, Bloodbath & Beyond
For a moment there was the ill-fated but stellar Zwan, featuring members of Chavez and Slint, with one stellar album to give us hope—but alas, just the one. Then Billy Corgan tried to go solo, bit the big one hard with his lackluster TheFutureEmbrace, and lashed out at his former bandmates in the press. Corgan / Wretzky / Iha / Chamberlain was the fertile crescent, so to speak, of ‘90s alternative. But instead of cooling off and working it out, Corgan doubled down, hired a new band, kept the same name and released three albums (Zietgeist, internetonly Teargarden by Kaliedyscope, and this year’s Oceania.) D’arcy went off to go organic beet farm or whatever, and James Iha went off to do another (very, very good) solo album. Three albums into the “new” Smashing Pumpkins, and it still feels wrong somehow. The tours are growing ever more extravagant—the newest features video-mapping technology and takes place at the awesome Chaifetz Arena—but the original lineup is nowhere to be found. At the same time... “Oceania” is not only critically acclaimed, it’s wonderful. Despite the aching urge to go all ‘90s and shout “sell out” from the nearest convenience store curb, the band touring with Corgan— bassist Nicole Fiorentino and guitarist Jeff Schroeder—actually wrote and played on “Oceania.” And that matters, because the new songs will be the focus of the tour anyway. They should be, because “Oceania” has a lot going for it. In fact, “Oceania” rings top to bottom like classic Pumpkins. You’ve got the pumped-up adenoidal rage of opening song “Quasar” and its successor “Panopticon,” two pieces made to fit snugly together. Then there’s the classic tension/release of the title track, sprawling grandly past the eightminute mark. Oceania echoes the grandeur and pomp of Mellon Collie, in a smaller, more digestible shape. Pretty much every good thing about that album—extended cuts, freaky pop experiments, folky downhearted laments, triple-tracked guitar madness— are all present and accounted for. Even some of the riffs are borrowed from older Pumpkins tunes, which is either really clever or kinda lazy, but the effect is the same: the songs sound both new and familiar at the same time, which is the tell-tale heart of pop music. And that’s the real reason to catch The Smashing Pumpkins at Chaifetz. The battles of the ’90s have been waged; that war is over now. It’s time to enjoy the new work, and be grateful to hear the old songs in all their loud and lively glory. Strap on the Docs, smudge the eyeliner, shave your head. We’re going to party like it’s 1995.
Which one’s Ssion?
29 2720 cherokee 30 El Leñador
3124 Cherokee Street, 63118
2720 Cherokee Street, 63118
oct 6 11 20
House of LaDosha, (it!)
Vandalyzm, Tef Poe, The Drive Chicago Afrobeat Project Arrested Development, DJ Kut, DJ Needles
October 12 When I was at art school in the mid ’00s, Ssion’s 2003 album Opportunity Bless My Soul dominated our dorm rooms and dance parties. Now, ten years after their label debut, Ssion is still going strong and bringing their gay disco pop art punk rock to St. Louis. Fronted by the dynamic Cody Critcheloe, these Kansas City natives put on wild shows with costumes, projections, and props—but the best way to describe a Ssion show is with lyrics from their song “Call Out The Lions:” “another gender bender on the dance floor!” Ssion has opened for bands like Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Fischerspooner, and wrapped up their summer with three sold-out shows at the MoMA PS1 in New York, so their “Live & Wet” tour with House of Ladosha, hitting the Firebird this month, is a good opportunity to sweat it out with them at an intimate venue where they can really take over. Check out their cover of Iggy Pop’s “Nightclubbing,” or their new “Earthquake” video to get ready. Dancing is mandatory. paige brubeck >>PREVIEW
Roll the Tanks, The Humanoids, Sink the Bismarck The Firebird
October 8 I have a long, loving relationship with Smoking Popes: they were on the first mixtape I ever gave my wife, their early ’00s Creepy Crawl reunion show still rates as an all-time best, and their new album, This Is Only a Test, is a favorite in my house, even and especially with my two-year-olds. That’s out of the way: now to explain why you should go.
2700 Cherokee Street, 63118
oct TOPS, Magic City, CaveofswordS, Demon Lover Animal Lover, Braining Horse Lords, Hurricanes
Foam Coffee & Beer
2700 Cherokee Street, 63118
Lemp Arts Center
3301 Lemp Avenue, 63118
oct NoiseFest Nine 26-28
the HEavy Anchor
2 4 17
5226 Gravois Avenue, 63116
Sundresses, Little Big Bangs, Peck of Dirt Tone Rodent, Pillow Talk The Potomac Accord, The Union Electric
3511 Lemp Avenue, 63118
Generationals, Devin Ou Ou, Frances With Wolves, Mikey Wehling, Bear Hive White Rabbits Magic City, Jungle Fire Following the Water, Walker & Groopman, Cree Rider, Brothers Lazaroff The Skatalites, Murder City Players Jim White, David Beeman
oct 6 26 27
35 oct 7 12 13 14 20 23 25
5800 Gravois Avenue, 63116
Pop’s 400 Monsanto Avenue, Sauget IL, 62201 Coheed & Cambria
elevenmusicmag.com | ELEVEN | 21
Smoking Popes is a pop-punk, proto-emo band from the suburbs of Chicago, formed by brothers Josh, Matt and Eli Caterer. They were originally called Speedstick and wrote such weird songs as “Theme From Cheerleader” and “Brand New Hairstyle.” A few years and many lineup changes later, they signed to Capitol with a huge hit on their hands and a third album on the way. They broke up, re-formed, put out three new albums, and blasted back out on the road. This month’s tour promises a live rendition of their second and best-known LP, Born to Quit, in its entirety—including, of course, “Need You Around,” notably featured on the soundtrack to 1994 film Clueless. But what do they sound like? Here’s the elevator pitch someone at Capitol used in the ’90s: “Bing Crosby filling in for Iggy Pop.” Josh Caterer’s voice is and will be the main attraction—sweet not saccharine, pretty without the polish—but the driving punk behind him just makes the mixture more potent. To see the Smoking Popes in action is to dwell in the sweet spot between cynical punk antagonism and sappy love-song drivel. The music redeems any cheese with hard-edged oof; it’s the kind of trade-off that pop-punks like MXPX and Lagwagon have been dealing in for decades. If you missed ‘em in the ’90s when they opened for Third Eye Blind, if you missed them at the Creepy Crawl, or if you’ve never ever even heard them, do yourself a favor and catch this show. JaSon RobinSon
22 22 || ELEVEN ELEVEN || elevenmusicmag.com elevenmusicmag.com
halloween havoc! st. Louis is definiteLy a Halloween-celebratin’ kind of town. But this year Halloween falls on Hump Day... so there are TWO days to dress for! A bunch of venues are putting on shows both the Saturday beforehand as well as on the properly observed Wednesday night. Here are some parties we think you might enjoy:
sAturdAy, oct 27 off BroAdWAy 8th annual hootEnanny featuring whiSKEy war mountain rEbEllion, hEllblinKi, StrawFoot, lola Van Ella and Sammy thE tramp 2720 cherokee thE poliSh ambaSSSaDor with liminuS, unlimitED graVity, and ElFKowitz pop’s FiVEFolD with Showbaby and brEaKDancES with wolVES
WednesdAy, oct 31 st. LouIs skAtIum hallowEEn aDVEnturE night with FirEDog anD FriEnDS oLd rock house thiS muSt bE thE banD crAck fox littlE big bangS
ninE inch nailS
off BroAdWAy South city hallowEEn DancE party featuring aDult Fur, atm maStErminD EinStEin, palacE, bEar hiVE BLAnk spAce SEx piStolS (members of glaSS tEEth, corbEta corbata and thE SaintS) wirE (trauma harnESS) warSaw (ShaVED womEn) Jay rEatarD (members of Sam’S club) nirVana (members of bob monroE ) nEw yorK DollS (baD DatES / chErry) thE StoogES (members of bug chaSEr / warm JEtS uSa) ruStED Shut - (catholic guilt) the pAgeAnt DropKicK murphyS cBgB pat SaJaK aSSaSinS schLAfLy BottLeWorks laSt FunKy wEDnESDay EVEr! hallowEEn baSh with FucK monStEr
HOT ROCKS = stl release
Each month we ask a specialist to pick some new release musts. This month’s Guest List is assembled by orlandez lewis of vintage vinyl matt & Kim Lightning
Fader | oct 2 i’m expecting this one to be awesome! this guy & gal duo never disappoint. plus they’re coming to our neck of the woods at the pageant Nov 4!
muse 2nd Law
Helium 3/Warner |
The vaccines Coming of Age
Columbia | oct 2 this indie-punk duo is where it’s at!
van morrison Born to Sing: No Plan B
Blue Note | oct 9 it’s Van the Man! how could you go wrong with this one?!
wu-Tang clan Wu-Block
| oct 9 i’m expecting this one to be a monster from one of the most classic hip-hop groups to ever do it! Entertainment One
a$ap rocky LongliveA$AP
Sony Entertainment | oct 31 the first album from this new-comer to hip-hop, but i foresee it being a classic hip-hop debut.
ryan leslie Les Is More
Sony | oct 23 i’ve been following this soulful genius since his 2009 debut. a talented writer, producer, musician & artist all around—just gets better & better with each album!
replay! grizzly bear Shields
Warp records | sep 18 one of the best albums of the year by far. after their classic & way-cool Veckatimest in ’09, the boys are back— and better than ever if you ask me! the perfect fall album.
michael Jackson Bad 25
Epic | sep 18 What can be said about this monumental, incredible album? Definitely one of my favorite albums of all time. the two-disc standard edition features unreleased tracks from MJ in his prime, and the ultra Deluxe Edition contains the standard edition, pLus a never-before-released concert DVD & CD package of his Wembley stadium show from the tour, which princess Diana & prince Charles were in attendance for! a must own for any MJ fan!
Music for No Reason Self Release
you may know the story by now, you may not. Ryan Wasoba, current contributor to the Riverfront Times, was a founding member of beloved STL-by-way-ofEdwardsville band So Many Dynamos. After three albums and an EP, including their Vagrant Records release The Loud Wars, Wasoba left the band, and continues to reside in our fair city. Music For No Reason is Wasoba’s first musical release since his departure, and it is here revealed: the one-time signature Dynamos style of compelling pop
the Fresh & onlys Long Slow Dance Mexican Summer
Long Slow Dance is the fourth full-length record from San Francisco garage rockers The Fresh & Onlys, and it’s their most genuine and engaging release yet. Jangly guitars and sweet love songs fill this quick record, which clocks in around 30 minutes and was warmly recorded on an old reel to reel. As soon as the needle hits the wax, the leaves on the trees will turn brown and crunch under your Converse hightops. It’s a record for October walks through the park, and for the sort of love that comes at summer’s end. This is an album you can happily dance to, even when the lyrics make you feel a little heartbroken. The catchy hook on “Presence of Mind” isn’t just in the guitar licks, but more in the surprising xylophone part, making it a stand-out. Songs like “Dream Girls” and the bouncy, bass-driven “No Regard” wouldn’t sound out of place on the soundtrack to a show like “The Adventures of Pete & Pete.” The latter features one of the most charming melodies from guitarist
wrapped around fractured noodling and ear-catching songwriting was about 95% due to Wasoba’s influence. Music For No Reason starts off with a jarring jangle of noises before settling into songs that are summon Nick Lowe by way of the Weakerthans by way of Death Cab for Cutie by way of Self. Wasoba’s lyrical spirit stays in that vein for most of this album, even though it’s not very long. (Though complaining about lack of length in a release this strong is like saying the naan keeps running out at the curry buffet. That is, it’s good and one wishes there was more of it.) The first track alone, “Book of Clichés,” is worth the price of admission. A lyrical stream of consciousness gushes from the title of the track, before splashing around corners and ending with all the problems that are on his mind, eddying into the endlessly repeating phrase, “I don’t think I’m gonna get my damage deposit back.” That song sets the stage for rampantly self-referential, goofy piss-takes on indie rock clichés (most definitely including the fractured count-in at the start of “Funk Songs About Funk”) and delightful lyrical specificity that are hallmarks of Wasoba’s style. From admitting he’s never seen Titanic to mocking modern blues bands, to the details of his response to an ant invasion, Wasoba’s wit is on display here, and it’s well worth the ride. JaSon RobinSon
Wymond Miles, who adds his own polished notes to every song. But “Foolish Person” is where the band really shines as a whole; they allow this song, which could have been brought to its conclusion as quickly as any of the others, build up melodies into a barrage of feedback. Short, soaked in sweetness, and to the point, Long Slow Dance coheres into a solid pop record, that’s all a band really needs. Jack PRobSt The Fresh & Onlys play the Firebird Friday, Nov 2.
What Hides Inside The Loud Label
Justin Johnson and Sarah Ross were toiling for the same boss when they first started jamming together to blow off steam. The jobs didn’t last, but the songs did, and thus Jump Starts was underway. Their personal entertainment has become fun for everyone on their sophomore release, What Hides Inside. It’s not unfair to make comparisons to other male/female duos in the folky indie rock world like, say, She & Him; what sets Jump Starts on their own path is the unique construction of their vocal melodies. As in Johnson’s “other” band, Pretty Little Empire,
elevenmusicmag.com || ELEVEN ELEVEN || 23 23 elevenmusicmag.com
reviews the lead melodies are very strong, but Ross’ haunting harmonies add real depth to the sound in every song on the album. On their debut full-length, Ready Set Go, the duo kept it simple: Johnson on guitar, Ross on drums, and a focus on their signature harmonies. For What Hides Inside, they’ve enlisted a full complement of musicians, resulting in a much fuller sound. Top notch co-production from the crew at The Loud Label has polished it all up very warmly. Happily, the core of what makes Jump Starts enjoyable and interesting— sweet harmonies and strong songs—is not muddled or lost with the grander production; the presence of additional players feels like an invitation to join in. HuGH Scott Jump Starts play the STL Loud stage at Grove Fest on Manchester with Peach, Last to Show First to Go, Rev. Matt and more, Saturday, Oct 6.
Moms is the first Menomena record since Brent Knopf left the trio to focus his creative energy on his other band, Ramona Falls. After a run of fantastic albums with Knopf front and center, including the 2010 masterpiece Mines, Justin Harris and Danny Seim have a lot to live up to as they continue on with the Menomena name. If anything, Moms is a showcase of how talented Harris and Seim are, and what a big part they played in shaping the sound of the band over the years. Upon the first few listens the collection seems to be missing the sweet, beautiful voice of Knopf to calm things down every few songs—this is undeniably the band’s heaviest and most aggressive work to date. Opener “Plumage” gets the party started right with spastic handclaps, harmonious guitar, twinkling piano, and an ingredient lacking from a lot of rock music nowadays: the saxophone. The dinky electric organ and bombastic drum beat of “Baton,” in combination with Seim’s slothful but sultry vocals, feels bound for glory as a hit single. “I feel in love with the feeling of being in love,” Harris sings in “Skintercourse, channelling the helpless passion of every young lover in the world, before adding ruefully, ”I should have known it wouldn’t last.” There’s a substantial amount of exhausting sadness in both the lyrics and the instrumentation; by the arrival of the 8+ minute closer “One Horse,” the listener may be excused for feeling emotionally drained. Moms is a great effort from an amazingly talented band, and an inspirational example to any band that loses a long-time songwriting member. Jack PRobSt
24 | ELEVEN | elevenmusicmag.com 24 | ELEVEN | elevenmusicmag.com
animal collective Centipede Hz Domino Records
Some records require headphones to best experience all the layers of sound; Centipede Hz may require a full stereo upgrade. For their ninth full-length record, the
boys have decided to make a step back to the process and approach of previous work—even writing this album together in sessions in the same city—rather than continuing Merriweather Post Pavilion’s slightly increased accessibility. “Today’s Supernatural” is the gem of the bunch, a trippy track featuring swirl-
real TalK You’re called in as executive producer by the beatles, who ve asked you to whittle down the White album to a ten-track lP. What’s your track list? StEphEn baiEr of Dots not Feathers: “When I was in middle school, my muddled attempts to impress female peers always started with a song. I would croon “Rocky Raccoon” on the school bus, during recess, or in the hallways. Others banked on their sports skills or good looks to woo women—I relied on my ability to match Paul McCartney’s vibrato while singing, “Only to find Gideon’s bible…” Floundering success rate aside, the songs on the White Album are not so much woven into my daily life, but more thrust into my bones, a detailed account of a mercurial teenager who wanted nothing more than meet Bunga-
low Bill and badmouth Sir Walter Raleigh. “Whittling” the White Album to ten songs is akin to dropping the guillotine on 20 family members.” glass onion while my guitar gently weeps happiness is a warm gun Dear prudence mother nature’s Son Julia blackbird rocky raccoon martha my Dear Sexy Sadie
For more responses from musicians and music fans on this most vexing question—including bailiff’s JoSh SiEgEl (who posed the question in the first place), tim gEbauEr (rFt’S best Songwriter 2012), JaSon hutto, Eleven’s own JaSon robinSon, and more, check out this month’s elevenmusicmag.com. you may even have your own list to submit, no?
The Rebellious Jukebox
Life at 45 RPM by Matt Harnish
man, i’ve aLways Loved the flexi-disc! It’s the cool of vinyl combined with the planned obsolescence of cassette. The more you love a flexi-disc & play it, the worse it will eventually start to sound. Plus, you have to put it on top of another record & then put a quarter on top of it or it won’t play at all. And they’re very (well, relatively) inexpensive to make, but the minimum run is huge, so they tend to get used as promos or teasers. It’s all so ridiculously impractical that I am genuinely bummed that the ‘grunt has never been on one (oh yeah, I’m in a band. factor that one way or the other into anything I ever say about anything if you have to). The good folks at STL’s own Euclid records records are keeping the flexi-dream alive with the latest offering from spacepop wonderkids troubaDour Dali. “Drift” is a slight departure from their usual Black Warhol Motorcycle Massacre (which, don’t get me wrong, they are quite good at). This time the guitars bring to mind a more mid-80’s Brit-Psych sound & the vocals are almost early 70’s Floyd-ish. It’s a fine moody tune & makes me look forward to what their next batch of heavy rockers will sound like. From what I’ve gathered from reading old Jet Lag magazines & from talking to folks, thE clonES were the most popular New Wave cover band in town. They had the best gear, made the most money, & all the West County girls loved ‘em. Of course, all the “real” Punks hated ‘em. They eventually moved on to a smattering of original tunes, two of which were squirted out on flexi-disc. “Sea Hawk” has the New Wave detached vocals down pat, paired with semi-funky bass & some atmospheric keyboard stabs. “When You Called Me His Name” is an uptempo dance rocker, not unlike Oingo Boingo without horns. My copy is autographed. Jealous? I’m also hoping that somebody in town reading this still has a closet full of the wax theatricks flexi-discs that were given away with an issue of Noisy Paper. If so, gimme gimme gimme! Troubadour Dali’s “Drift” is available for cheap or free from the band, Euclid Records, or various other spots around town.
reviews ing keyboards and a stuttery Avey Tare’s signature sing/scream vocals. The one member absent from 2009’s Merriweather Post Pavilion, Josh Dibb, also known as Deakin, returns to the fold, and performs his first lead vocal duty on the song “Wide Eyed,” which makes one wonder why he waited so long to give singing a try. “New Town Burnout” wouldn’t have sounded out of place on Panda Bear’s last solo record. “Mercury Man” starts off with slick 8-bit beats, but quickly evolves into warbled uneasiness, as if the whole song was being gradually submerged underwater. At times the sheer excess of samples and electronics on every track overwhelms with hectic frenzy—while songs like the Brazilian flavored “Father Time” and closer “Amanita” are great, they might have been even better with their arrangements stripped down to the basics. Centipede Hz may not turn as many heads as Merriweather Post Pavilion did, but it will satisfy long-time Animal Collective fans, and win over a few new fans in the process. Jack PRobSt
the heat pipes Just cough bob Dylan Tempest
Dylan and the devil, two lost souls, share the early morning chill as autumn settles around them in a small quarry town where the sidewalks lead to nowhere. A cricket chirps incessantly in the next room, but silence engulfs the pair, as it always does. “Well done on the record, Bobby. It’s your best work in many moons.” “Thanks, friend. Glad you like it.” The devil sighs. “Your singing is so soulful, so heartbreaking. It’s good to hear melody bleed into your voice, not to mention those old crafty stylings. I was beginning to wonder if you still had it in you.” Bob flinches. The cricket pauses to listen. “And your storytelling: such majestic tragedies laid beneath tunes of whimsical delight, like a blossoming bouquet of violence. I see those hellish dreams of bloody shipwrecks and broken necks I sent you had their intended effect.” “I don’t pay any attention to my dreams.”
The devil smiles. “I love it when you lie to me.” A log in the fireplace cracks. “I especially enjoyed how you infused an enchanted spirit into the Titanic, and for forty-five verses!” The devil takes up the tune: Petals fell from flowers ‘Til all of them were gone In the long and dreadful hours The wizard’s curse played on “That could easily be a drinking song, you know? Oh, and Lennon likes the song you wrote for him, by the way, although he thinks you might’ve been reflecting on your own mortality as much as your memories of him.” The poet’s eyebrows rise with a hint of worry. “Oh, don’t worry, I ran into Johnny upstairs. He’s doing well, though he did say salvation gets a bit jaded after a while.” “Hmm, that’s too bad.” The devil laughs. “I’m afraid I must leave you now. I’m needed in the details.” The original vagabond stops his breath short as the painful tug of another premature farewell approaches. The devil places a hand on her companion’s cheek, and gives it a gentle kiss. “You were wonderful last night.” “I’ll see you around, Lucy.” kylE kaPPER
elevenmusicmag.com || ELEVEN ELEVEN || 25 25 elevenmusicmag.com
THE WAY BACK PAGE
Paper Time Machine
Curated by Paige Brubeck
October 13, 2007 Tone Rodent / The Museum Mutters at Mangia / by Matt Murphy
As a person who likes tracking down posters , I was excited to find this: one of my favorite current bands, Tone Rodent, and a band that’d broken up by the time I’d gotten to town, but I’ve since come to enjoy. If you can get your hands on one of The Museum Mutters’ purple cassette tapes, it’s a passport to a whole other time with a whole other sound. Happily enough, even though they’re on the oldest poster here, Skarekrau Radio’s still very much around and putting on crazy, crazy shows. Anyone know what happened to Phallus Chalice?
October 9, 2002 Skarekrau Radio / 25 Suaves / Dickhole / Phallus Chalice at Lemp Neighborhood Art Center / by Rick Wilson
26 | ELEVEN | elevenmusicmag.com
October 31, 2007 Gore Gore Girls / Left Arm / Tight Pants Syndrome at Atomic Cowboy / by Jason Potter
NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH THE FOUNTAIN ON LOCUST
The most photographed restaurant in St Louis! Home of the Ice Cream Martini, with delicious fresh-made food, fine ice creams, chocolates and retro cocktails, all in a one-of-a-kind, handpainted Art Deco interior! Midtown 3037 Locust St. (63103) 535-7800 | thefountainonlocust.com
St. Louis-inspired wearables, custom screen printing and graphic design. You can’t spell STYLE without STL!
DEMUN OYSTER BAR
Fresh oysters flown in daily and served until last call for alcohol! Great Sunday brunch and tasty cocktails to wash it all down.
A relaxing boutique salon in the historic DeMun area, Strands draws inspiration from the world of fashion and art to stay on top of current trends. They create designs to showcase your individual beauty!
Demun 740 DeMun Ave (63105) 725-0322 | demunoysterbar.com
Demun 730 Demun Ave. (63105) 725-1717 | strands-hair.com
FLOWERS TO THE PEOPLE
Full-service floral & gift boutique, specializing in locally & sustainably grown flowers. All retail gifts made by local STL artists. Delivery available in the metro area.
Located in the heart of Dogtown, Nora’s is not your typical sandwich shop. From in-house smoked meats to quirky and creative sandwiches, salads and sounds, you will leave statisfied!
Cherokee Street 2317 Cherokee St. (63118) 762-0422 | flowerstothepeople.biz
Dogtown 1136 Tamm Ave (63139 645-2706 | norasindogtown.com
GrubGo is Saint Louis’ Best Delivery Service. Order from the areas best restaurants online or by phone. Fast,Local,GrubGo.
A Landmark restaurant and music club, filled with pop culture memorabilia and famous for great food, drinks and live music. Four rooms for private parties, including the Pac-Man Room! The Loop 6504 Delmar Blvd (63130) 727-4444 | blueberryhill.com
Area Wide 855-Eat-Grub | GrubGo.com
Cherokee Street 3159 Cherokke St (63118) 494-7763 | stl-style.com