SKiN GRAFT Artist Rob Syers Talks About His Art Show This Week

Categories: Interviews

Rob Syers provides a look into his work space.

SKiN GRAFT Records isn't exactly a household name, but the label holds a unique spot in the legacy of St. Louis music. With the help of Mark Fischer, local artist Rob Syers started SKiN GRAFT Comix in 1986, which would move from comics to music by the early '90s. Syers' art show THE BLASPHEMOUS CARTOONIST MUST BE HANGED opens tonight at The Old Millstream Inn (912 South Main Street; 636-946-3287) and runs through Saturday night.

See also: Homecoming King: SKiN GRAFT Records owner returns to St. Louis for one night

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The Best St. Louis Hip-Hop Shows: October 2014

Categories: Hip-Hop

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Busdriver, performing October 29 at the Demo.
This October, we are seeing an absence of local hip-hop acts -- what's up with that, St. Louis? -- while the national acts flourish. Though not an entirely favorable trade-off (well, maybe for some), some big acts are hitting our stages this month, ranging from the very indie to the slightly indie to the not-so indie. As always, we got something for you, wherever your sentiments lie. Check out our list of October's best St. Louis hip-hop shows.

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Chance the Rapper Conducts Social Experiments After Dropping Acid Rap

Categories: Interviews

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In Chancelor Bennett's case, you could argue that weed -- yes, perhaps a gateway to more drugs, as we do know the rapper has a fondness for LSD -- was also a sort of gateway to another life. After getting caught with marijuana during his senior year of high school in 2011, he was suspended for ten days. And there, Chance the Rapper, an idea that was already brewing in the young emcee's head, was born. During that moratorium from school, Chance recorded his first mixtape, 10 Day. A year later, in 2012, he dropped the tape to favorable reviews.

Chance released his second tape, Acid Rap, in 2013, which was met even more favorably. With guest appearances from rappers including Twista, Action Bronson, Ab-Soul and Childish Gambino, Chance proved his ability to work with a diverse group of musicians -- that he has an adaptable sound. But after doing a slew of features and a major guest appearance on Childish Gambino's Because the Internet, we didn't hear much from the Chicago-bred rapper.

See also: Chance the Rapper at the Pageant 12/8/13: Review, Photos and Setlist

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Nas: A New Doc Looks Back on Illmatic and One of Hip-Hop's Finest Living Lyricists

Categories: Hip-Hop

Photo by Danny Clinch/Sony Legacy
Nas in 1994.

One rhyme in particular crystallizes the genius of Nas' 1994 classic, Illmatic. It comes in the song "One Love," which takes the form of a letter to a friend in prison: "Congratulations, you know you got a son," Nas raps. "I heard he looks like ya, why don't your lady write ya?"

Did you get that? In nineteen words, Nas swings from the perspective-upending pride of fatherhood -- a new human who is part you! -- to the heartache of separation, loneliness, disloyalty. He whispers the knife of betrayal into our gut with a simple question: "Why don't your lady write ya?" Nas paints not just a man in prison, yearning for the outside, but a whole web of relationships decaying in his absence.

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The Top 10 Power Ballads of All Time

Categories: List-O-Rama

Photo by Helge Øverås via Wikimedia Commons
If we're being completely honest, power ballads are responsible for some of the most resonant music-listening experiences in the entire world. They're a beautiful blend of sentiment and obviousness, a band willfully becoming emotionally available. Everybody makes fun of the power ballad, because sometimes it's hard to admit we gave over our souls so easily. We've all made fun of a lot of the songs on this list, but we've also had private, don't-look-at-me emotional moments with each of them. This is the foundational argument against anyone who maintains that pop music makes evil people; this is proof to any aliens that the human race is not beyond salvation.

This is the top ten power ballads of all time.

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[Update: Canceled] Modern Life is War Will Play St. Louis for the First Time in Six Years

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By Nick Lucchesi

[Editor's note: We've just received word from MLIW's people that one of its members has a family medical emergency and this show is canceled. The band hopes to reschedule soon.]

The last time Modern Life Is War played St. Louis, it looked liked like Hillary Clinton could be president, America was blissfully unaware of Sarah Palin and the first-generation iPhone was a tech revelation.

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Apop Records Closing After Ten Years In Business

Categories: Too Soon

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Mabel Suen
Cherokee Street storefront Apop Records will be closed by the end of October.

After more than a decade in business, Apop Records (2831 Cherokee Street) is shutting its doors for good. The exact closure date hasn't been set in stone, but fans of the store should anticipate sales in the coming weeks. It was only back in June when we spoke to owner Tiffany Minx about the store's ten-year anniversary.

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Bob Seger, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony and More in This Week's Show Announcements

Categories: This Just In

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Bone Thugz N Harmony - Friday, November 7 @ Pop's.
Here again is every newly announced show for the week! On page one you'll find a quick list of shows that particularly caught our attention, followed by embedded YouTube videos of artists you may not be familiar with. Page two contains our complete listing of new shows, so you can do some digging of your own and let us know which ones you are excited about! Click through, and start planning ahead.

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Pharrell's Sneakers Beg Hillary Clinton to Visit Ferguson

Categories: Michael Brown

Screenshot from the Vine below.

It might seem crazy, what I'm about to say. Or not.

Pharrell Williams joins a long list of musicians who are concerned about the events that have unfolded since Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson shot and killed eighteen-year-old Michael Brown on August 9. Some, like Billy Bragg and Cat Power, have held solidarity concerts. Others, like Wiz Khalifa and Outkast, have made the "Hands up, don't shoot!" gesture during their performances. And still others, like Young Jeezy, Talib Kweli and MC Hammer, have visited Ferguson and talked with residents themselves.

But Williams has a different approach for drawing attention to the St. Louis County suburb -- he's using his shoes as a billboard.

See also:
- Billy Bragg Performs Surprise Set at the Royale For Ferguson: "Liberty and Justice for All!"
- Young Jeezy Visits Ferguson, Talks to 104.1 FM about Michael Brown

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Prince Ea's New Video Might Make You Want to Ditch Your Devices Altogether

Categories: Video

Screenshot from the video.
St. Louis' Prince Ea, sometimes rapper, sometimes conspiracy theorist pranker, and most recently spoken-word video artist, has released another powerful video. On the heels of his most recent, titled "Why I Think This World Should End" -- which got millions of shares and even attracted the (positive) attention of conservative pundit Glenn Beck -- this week Ea released "Can We Auto-Correct Humanity?"

See also: St. Louis Rapper Prince Ea: Glenn Beck Approved

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