Out Every Night: The Best Shows From July 16 to 22
Fri., 8:00 p.m. July 20
@ Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center - $5
By Joseph Hess
The Midwest has bred a hairy animal with Adaje, a beast of southern-style hardcore carefully infused with somber post-rock. The Memphis trio has spent six years sharpening a style that flows with heavy hearted melodies amidst a clever use of shifting tempos. Adaje avoids the polarizing genre trappings from metal, emo and classic punk rock, reaching forward while bringing elements from these styles into a dark but hospitable sound, crafting post-hardcore music that feels involved and important. Bassist Mark Brake and guitarist Zohayr Shirazee champion the D.I.Y. ethic in Tennessee and carry the cause on a nationwide tour of house venues and non-profit organizations. Bang For Your Buck: This is a six band bill for a five dollar bill. Sine Nomine, Anodes and Red Squad represent the river city on this night while Places We Slept and Thunderbolts from Nebraska will share a split set.
Old Crow Medicine Show
Fri., 8:00 p.m. July 20
@ The Pageant -$30-$34
By Roy Kasten
It should shock no one that a new generation of acoustic-music heads prefers its ersatz-twang handsome and hooky (Avett Brothers), plastered and punk (Split Lip Rayfield) or jammed and jazzed-up (Yonder Mountain). But the enduring success of the more tradition-minded Old Crow Medicine Show is a little less explicable. Its mastery of folk forms is as profound as it is elastic, its picking deeply-pocketed and serious as a stampede for Mumford & Sons camping spots. On the newly-released Carry Me Back, the Nashvillians are firing on all hooch-fueled cylinders, rocking and wailing and fiddling through every corner of the never-square square dance of old-time American music.
Listen For: The certified gold hit "Wagon Wheel," a euphoric sing-along that cops from Bob Dylan and instantly kills any lingering summertime blues.
Big Freedia & The Divas
Sat., 8:00 p.m. July 21
@ The Firebird - $10-$15
By Christian Schaeffer
It's no knock on Frank Ocean's recent admission of a formative homosexual relationship, but the pairing of hip-hop and queer identity politics has never been more fun than at a Big Freedia show. The transgendered woman born Freddie Ross has been the defining force in the New Orleans style of frenetic, call-and-response hip-hop affectionately known as sissy bounce. Like other bounce artists, she sings almost exclusively about booty-poppin' and ass-slappin,' and she demands the same from her fans, who are regularly called to the stage for competitive shake-a-thons. And when asses are shaking in joyful unison, it doesn't matter who you are or who you love so long as Big Freedia is leading the party with a spitfire mouth and pneumatic hips to match. Girl, Who You Playin' With: If you go, be prepared to back that azz up. Choose your britches accordingly.
Sat., 8:00 p.m. July 21
@ Soldiers Memorial Plaza - Free
By Jaime Lees
Yes, our hometown boy is a big ol' superstar. He's also one of the biggest St. Louis boosters of all time. And while it's fun when he plays more intimate shows (like the surprise show at the Duck Room in celebration of getting his own star on the St. Louis Walk of Fame), he belongs on the big stage. This Saturday, he'll perform as part of the Celebrate St. Louis series. Our Cornell Jr. has personality and tons of charisma to match, but his charming smile is nothing compared to his contagious hits. From "Hot in Herre" to "Pimp Juice" to "Just a Dream," Nelly gets the job done with a confident Midwest swagger. Downtown Man: Having performed with Chuck Berry a few summers ago at a Democratic National Convention rally at Kiener Plaza, Nelly seems to have become the go-to guy for these big free shows. We ain't complaining.
Scott Lucas and the Married Men
Sun., 8:00 p.m. July 22
@ The Firebird - $10
By Shae Moseley
From this 2010 interview: Scott Lucas is best known as the vocalist/guitarist for the Chicago post-grunge duo, Local H. His bloodcurdling screams and full-frequency-spectrum guitar noise helped the band make its biggest waves in the '90s. That's all ancient history, though, and Local H has stayed quite active over the past decade, with constant tours album releases, including 2008's strong effort, Twelve Angry Months. A separation from a long-time girlfriend finally put Lucas in the mindset to justify making his first solo album. He put together a backing band, the Married Men, to create George Lassos the Moon, a rootsy collection of post-relationship tunes that quake with desperate honesty. Lines such as "I can barely even dream of the idea of sleep" and "In our time apart, I feel you in my head and in my heart but most of all inside my guts" make Moon a somber, heart-wrenching affair. B-Sides caught up with Lucas to talk about what made this the right time test the waters of a solo career.
I-70 & Earth City Expwy., Maryland Heights, MO