The 10 Best Concerts in St. Louis This Weekend: August 22 to 24

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Todd Owyoung for RFT
Look for the flying pig this weekend when El Monstero hits Art Hill.
This weekend, support some great shows for even greater causes -- a Michael Brown benefit show jam-packed with local talent takes over Plush, and a Clash tribute show to benefit Families of Spinal Muscular Atrophy graces the stage at Off Broadway. Locals Blank Generation and Edgefield C. Johnston also drop new releases at Schlafly Tap Room. Read on for plenty more concert-going alternatives in our recommendations.

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Anti-Flag Gets Belgian Crowd to Chant "Hands Up; Don't Shoot" During Concert

Categories: Michael Brown

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Screenshot from the video.
Anti-Flag in Belgium.
Politically charged Pittsburgh punk band Anti-Flag performed in Belgium at Pukkelpop 2014 this past weekend, taking the opportunity to address the unrest in Ferguson surrounding the shooting of eighteen-year-old Mike Brown by a police officer on August 9. Clad in T-shirts that read "Hands up; don't shoot," the most popular rallying cry to come out of the protests surrounding the case, the band stressed the need for justice in the case and decried violence at the hands of the police, adding that "we the people" must be the watchdogs.

See also: Our full coverage on Mike Brown's case and the unrest in Ferguson

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Talib Kweli Visits Ferguson, Squares Off With CNN Reporter

Categories: Michael Brown

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Screenshot from the interview.
Socially conscious rapper and activist Talib Kweli came to Ferguson this week to participate in the protests surrounding the shooting of eighteen-year-old Mike Brown by a police officer on August 9. Kweli says that part of the reason for his visit is to help "control the narrative" of the situation, because, in his view, "the media has been doing a horrible job of making sure that the stories get out in the right way." He shared these feelings early on in an on-scene interview with CNN's Don Lemon, who has been on the scene in Ferguson throughout the turmoil. Lemon took this as a chance to defend his company's coverage.

The situation quickly devolved from there.

See also: Our full coverage on Mike Brown's case and the unrest in Ferguson

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Michael McDonald, Ferguson Native, Speaks About Mike Brown Shooting

Categories: Michael Brown

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Press photo
Former Doobie Brother, Steely Dan backup singer and Ferguson resident Michael McDonald has now shared his thoughts on the shooting of Michael Brown and the ensuing unrest it spurred in the north-county town. McDonald grew up in the St. Louis area, spending fourteen years of that time in Feguson itself.

McDonald speaks through a letter issued by his attorney. "I pray this tragic event and the still greater issue that it heralds will be faced and dealt with in an honest and responsible manner by the residents of Ferguson and the people in its leadership positions," he writes. "That whatever appropriate federal agency is needed to investigate this tragic incident properly, will be deployed post haste to address the questions and frustrations of this community as satisfactorily as is possible, and although nothing can restore this young mans life, I pray that Ferguson can hold together as a community whose common interest is justice. No matter what that looks like in the end."

See also: Our full coverage on Mike Brown's case and the unrest in Ferguson

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STL Open Media Integration Center to Occupy Former KDHX Building

Categories: Live and Local

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Photo by Mabel Suen
The new home of STL Open MIC on Magnolia Avenue.

"There's a thousand little ideas behind every big idea," says William Gelb, acting Executive Director of the St. Louis Open Media Integration Center (Open MIC). His big idea involves transforming the former KDHX 88.1 FM building, located on Magnolia Avenue in the Tower Grove East neighborhood.

Gelb is no stranger to the space. He might be better known as his alias Wil Wander, DJ of Elevated Rhymestate on KDHX. Gelb, a graduate of UMSL's Nonprofit Management and Leadership Program, seeks to change the old space into a general center for media in south city.

Using the infrastructure once built for radio, he and his team of volunteers aim to provide local artists with the means to record and expand upon their art. And while the station once used the space specifically for recording, Gelb imagines many more possibilities:

"Three parts to the mission are to enable musicians to access tools, space and education. Anything that is media is within our range of possibilities. We're going to work and collaborate with other organizations. They'll be able to use our multi-purpose rooms for their classes and education as well," he adds.


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Nelly Speaks at Site of Ferguson Unrest, Many in Crowd Unimpressed

Categories: Michael Brown

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Screenshot from video embedded below.
St. Louis rapper Nelly made his way to Ferguson this week, arriving on Monday evening to address the crowds gathered there in protest of the August 9 shooting of Mike Brown. As he spoke, some members of the throng expressed outrage that he had not arrived on the scene sooner. When Nelly spoke of the protesters considering "other options," one member of the crowd expressed frustration. "You have options! You're rich!" It was one criticism out of many that would be lobbed that evening.

See also: Our full coverage on Mike Brown's case and the unrest in Ferguson

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On SZA, Ferguson and the "New Black"

Categories: Michael Brown

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Credit: SSENSE
SZA
When Pharrell coined the term "New Black" earlier this year, he clearly didn't anticipate the backlash. Sitting across from billionaire Oprah Winfrey, riding the success of a worldwide No. 1 record and a couple of Grammy wins, the singer/producer was eager to dismiss the idea that being black had in any way put him at a disadvantage.

"The New Black doesn't blame other races for our issues," he explained. "The New Black dreams and realizes that it's not pigmentation: It's a mentality, and it's either going to work for you or it's going to work against you. And you've got to pick the side you're going to be on."

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Billy Bragg Performs Surprise Set at the Royale For Ferguson: "Liberty and Justice for All!"

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Bryan Sutter
Billy Bragg addresses a crowd of about 100 people on the Royale's patio. See more photos here.

Billy Bragg stood at the microphone toward the end of his set at the Royale, thoughtfully looking up into the night sky as he tried to put words to what's happening in Ferguson.

"The true enemy is our own cynicism," Bragg finally told the audience. "We have to fight to overcome that cynicism. We have to show the world that St. Louis is not a cynical place, a place where people give in to their worst impulses."

Bragg, known worldwide for speaking out against human-rights violations and bigotry, performed an hourlong set at the Royale on just a few hours' notice, deciding to stop in St. Louis as he made his way south to Arkansas on a photography tour of the old Rock Island Line railroad path for Aperture magazine. Several performances over the next week are planned, but Bragg and fellow guitarist Joe Purdy already have made a habit of impulsively playing where they've felt moved to do so, such as outside a school in Illinois where teachers were striking for better pay. St. Louis was just such an impulse stop.

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Michael Brown Benefit, DMX, The Fixx and More in This Week's Show Announcements

Categories: This Just In

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Press Photo
DMX - Saturday, August 30 @ The Ambassador.
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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Piano Man Josh Brophy's Debut EP Dover: Listen Now

Categories: Homespun

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Via Facebook
When Josh Brophy sits behind the baby grand at the Fox Park piano bar Keypers, where he holds court on Tuesday and Sunday evenings, he's more likely to spin out a song by Gram Parsons or Buffy Sainte-Marie rather than, say, suffer through "Piano Man" for the umpteenth time. On his debut EP, Brophy plays six originals with a loping gait and very little flash; his songs harken back to Tin Pan Alley and the Great American Songbook but with a wry sentimentality that shows a songwriter playing with established forms.

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