25 St. Louis Area Bars Open on Thanksgiving

Categories: List-O-Rama

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Mabel Suen
Atomic Cowboy
With Thanksgiving almost upon us, it's time to prepare yourself for over-drinking uncles, over-affectionate grandmas, and over-achieving siblings. Luckily for you, there's something we can all be thankful for: this handful of St. Louis bars that will be opening their doors on the evening of Thanksgiving.

So, whether you're celebrating the success of your Thanksgiving spread, needing a break from your well-meaning but clueless relatives, or just skipping the whole thing in lieu of a liquid Friendsgiving feast, head out to one of these bars and take part in St. Louis's favorite holiday (or pretty much anytime) tradition -- getting drunk.

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Review: Run the Jewels Plays St. Louis As Tear Gas, Riots Rage In Streets

Categories: Reviews

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Photo by Micah Usher. View our complete slideshow here.
Run the Jewels, performing in St. Louis.
It was a show that probably never should have happened.

Run the Jewels, the rap duo of Atlanta's Killer Mike and New York's El-P, had added a St. Louis stop to its already-planned tour only a month prior. The venue made the announcement on October 24, the same day the group released its critically lauded new album, Run the Jewels 2, to the public. According to remarks El-P made onstage, it was the last city added to the tour.

See also: Killer Mike Gives Searing, Tearful Speech in St. Louis Following Ferguson Grand Jury Decision

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An Open Call To Local Musicians: Send Us Your Songs About Ferguson

Categories: Michael Brown

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Photo by Theo Welling
Protesters marched up and down Grand Boulevard on Monday night following the grand jury's decision. View the full slideshow here.

The death of Michael Brown and subsequent unrest in Ferguson inspired music across the nation, and while we have songs from renowned acts like Nickelback and Tom Morello, we feel that local music is more vital than ever. Back in August, we shared responses from local artists and musicians, but that was just a small sample of what the community has to offer. This is an open call to local bands and musicians, regardless of genre, age or experience, to send RFT your music inspired by the recent events in Ferguson and the greater St. Louis region.


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Hands Like Houses, White Mystery, Barrier and More in This Week's Show Announcements

Categories: This Just In

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Press Photo
Chicago's White Mystery performs at Foam on December 2nd.

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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The 100 Greatest St. Louis Songs

Categories: List-O-Rama

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Illustration by Fred Harper
This is the story of St. Louis, as told by the musicians and artists who have glimpsed its complicated beauty.
By Roy Kasten, Christian Schaeffer and RFT Music

St. Louis isn't just a city. It's a song. Or rather songs, hundreds, thousands and more. Don't bother counting. We tried.

In back rooms and basements, on stages and streets, musicians have paid tribute to St. Louis again and again. Place matters. St. Louis doesn't define artists like Chuck Berry or Scott Joplin or Nelly. On the contrary, those performers helped define the city by producing music that reflects its depth and variety. Their songs, and those of countless other musicians, tell the city's story and represent it to the world.

This is a list of 100 of the greatest songs about, for and of St. Louis. It's not a roundup of our greatest musicians (though many are here), nor is it a catalog of influential tunes (though they're here, too), or a compendium of songs that namedrop St. Louis. Rather, this is a list about what it means to invoke St. Louis in song.

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Over 25 Years In, the Urge Continues to Sell Out St. Louis Venues

Categories: Interviews

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Jess Dewes
The Urge, still going strong.

Steve Ewing says his band is doing just fine in 2014.

"We're healthy, we feel good, and we're better writers than we've ever been," the Urge's energetic frontman confirms. "We're pretty lucky in that sense."

The St. Louis band blew up nationally in the mid-'90s on the strength of tracks such as "All Washed Up" and "It's Gettin' Hectic" from 1995's self-released Receiving the Gift of Flavor, culminating in a record deal with Epic Records' Immortal imprint and tours with bands including Korn and Incubus. The group's hit single "Jump Right In" from 1998's Master of Styles (featuring singer Nick Hexum of 311) even landed a spot on the soundtrack to MTV's Daria. After nearly a million records sold, the members of the Urge decided to go their respective ways in 2001, only to reunite a decade later to headline Pointfest 29 and release "Say Yeah" as a teaser for then-in-progress album Galvanized. The band has been selling out shows ever since, playing to a packed house at the Pageant this past Saturday, November 22 — exactly one year after releasing Galvanized to a capacity crowd — and will perform again six days later, this Friday, November 28.

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Art of Live Festival Announced, Spanning Five St. Louis Venues and Featuring Cloud Nothings, Zola Jesus

Categories: This Just In

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Pooneh Ghana
Cloud Nothings
Cutting through the deluge of bad news today comes something exciting for music fans in St. Louis: This January 15 through 18, STL will play host to a new music festival with dozens of bands.

The Art of Live Festival will take place over the course of four nights, with shows at five local venues -- Old Rock House, Off Broadway, the Firebird, the Demo and the Ready Room. Artists announced so far include Cloud Nothings, Zola Jesus and Generationals. More bands will be announced in the coming weeks.

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Killer Mike Gives Searing, Tearful Speech in St. Louis Following Ferguson Grand Jury Decision

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Michael Schmelling/Windish Agency
Killer Mike, one half of Run the Jewels.
Atlanta rapper Killer Mike, who has been outspoken about the police killing of Mike Brown by officer Darren Wilson since the early days, performed in St. Louis with his group Run the Jewels on the night the grand-jury decision was announced.

As the St. Louis and Ferguson areas descended into chaos with tear gas, arson, gunfire and looting, Mike and El-P took the stage at the Ready Room in the Grove, just a mile from the protest site at the intersection of Shaw Boulevard and Klemm Street. They had endured a breakdown of their tour van and nearly had to be picked up in a U-Haul cargo van just to make it to the show. "We have got to be some of the only people trying this hard to get IN to STL right now," El-P said in a tweet.

See also: Run the Jewels Talks Police Brutality and Cat Remixes

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7 People You Might Meet at a Guitar Store

Categories: List-O-Rama

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Photo by H. Michael Karshis
Fact: All American guitars made before 1968 are magical and were blessed by wizards. Paying $25,000 for one makes total sense when viewed in that light.
Any guitar player will occasionally venture into a guitar shop or musical-supply store that specializes in guitars. They can be wonderlands to anyone who likes to play guitar and wants to see firsthand what kind of gear is available. Like a comic-book store is a playground for comic fans, a guitar shop is a similar experience for guitar players.

But these paradises of gear-lust are also weird environments with their own social order and rules of conduct. There are also quite a few characters you're likely to encounter if you spend much time there. Some of them are fun people to be around, and others will make you wonder if they have a secret doll-themed torture room in their homes. Proceed carefully.


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Ice Cube and Kool Keith Talk Classic Rap Albums in Check the Technique, Vol. 2

Categories: Hip-Hop

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Courtesy of Wax Facts Press
Brian Coleman's Check the Technique Vol. 2
"There's a big difference between my books and [VH1's] Behind the Music," explains author and longtime music critic Brian Coleman.

"The denouement of Behind the Music is how you got over your drug use, or maybe you die. It's never celebrating how great those groups are; it's what they did to destroy themselves. My books are the opposite. I focus on the beauty of when and how they [and the albums] came together."

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