2008 Music Awards Nominees: Best Garage Band
(Thanks to bands for letting me post music!)
Sometimes it seems like all East Side rock bands are art-damaged wankers who consider getting on your nerves a valid artistic aim. Then along comes somebody like Left Arm. It can get just as loud as any of its fellow Illinoisans, but the band uses its powers in the service of vulgar old rock & roll. Dissatisoul, its latest disc, has won the ears of discerning garage creeps on both sides of the Big Muddy. Left Arm isn’t out to alter any paradigms or confound any expectations – expect maybe the expectation that East Side bands can't play rock & roll. – Jason Toon
Halo Bar, 10 p.m.
The Blind Eyes
Local garage denizens the Gentleman Callers always had a soft spot for scruffy ’60s pop, so it’s no surprise that after they went on hiatus, drummer Matt Picker, guitarist Seth Porter and bassist Kevin Schneider formed the mod-rockin’ Blind Eyes. Garage more in spirit than in practice, this new band nevertheless channels the angry-young-man smarts of Joe Jackson and Elvis Costello, and Squeeze’s cool-for-cats power-pop. -- Annie Zaleski
Halo Bar, 9 p.m.
Once inside a rock club dreary, while I sat stupefied and beery, before many a dull and tedious song by some forgotten bore. While I nodded, nearly snoring, suddenly there came a roaring, tremendous chords that set me soaring, so I asked the guy working the door: "Who are these garage-rocking giants that compel me to get out on the floor?" Quoth the door guy: "The Nevermores." -- Jason Toon
The Trip Daddys
Whether you call it punk-infused rockabilly, rock infused-country or swing-tinged blues, the Trip Daddys channel everything that is pure and nostalgic about rock & roll. The trio has survived several lineup changes and other hardships over its nearly thirteen year history but has always remained an ambassador of the classic style of hillbilly blues championed by St. Louis’ own Chuck Berry in the ‘50s. A ‘daddy’s live show is always a spectacle; singer/guitarist Craig Straubinger manages to pull off big guitar solos and over-the-top, high energy theatrics without pandering to the audience or coming off as some sort of novelty act. -- Shae Moseley
Halo Bar, 11 p.m.
The term “garage rock” can be either a meaningless catch-all or a restrictive genre tag, but the two guys and one gal in the Vultures stretch the borders of garage rock with each two-minute song-burst. While the band’s debt to rockabilly and scuzz rock is apparent, the Vultures drop in little nuggets of early-‘80s punk rock, girl-group innocence and gritty soul as well. The band has already released an EP and a seven-inch, and a full-length should be issued later this year. We’ll see just how many genres they can shoehorn onto one CD. -- Christian Schaeffer