Out Every Night: The Best Shows in St. Louis from February 18 to 24
Friday, Feb. 22, 8 p.m.
w/ Black James, Britches, Problems That Fix Themselves, Beauty Pageant
@ Blank Space - $5
By Christian Schaeffer
In what has become a seemingly ceaseless cycle of production, Ou Où is set to release yet another cycle of instrumental, sample-and-synth based tracks this week. The hauntingly named Geocities will trigger a reaction in anyone with a dial-up modem back in 1997, but the music itself is both modern and outré. The advance single "Magnus" is a skittering, drippy-edged bit of sampled vocals and boundary-blurring delay; the band has even included a slowed-down version of the song, which helped the textures come through while offering the feeling of a molasses bath.
Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder
Friday, Feb. 22, 8 p.m.
@ The Sheldon - $40-$45
By Roy Kasten
As one of the most successful of all the "new traditionalists," that wave of honky tonk and neo-rockabilly that rocked the country charts in the '80s, Ricky Skaggs may seem an unlikely heir to Bill Monroe's throne, but his every lonesome wail and furious mandolin chop argue otherwise. Skaggs started out as a bluegrasser, working with J.D. Crowe and Ralph Stanley before he was old enough to wear the suit of tradition without being swallowed up by it. Now, at the age of 58, Skaggs and his band Kentucky Thunder play bluegrass the way God and Monroe intended it: Fast, hooky and super-charged with gospel soul.
Saturday, Feb. 23, 7 p.m.
w/ Animals as Leaders Intronaut
@ Pop's Nightclub - $25
By Ryan Wasoba
Bands who use extreme technicality as a sole selling point are either lame or have a short shelf life (in the case of Dragonforce, both were true). By contrast, the Swedish metal band Meshuggah uses its unparalleled chops for the greater purpose of sonically interpreting Dante’s Inferno. Meshuggah is the house music in the sector of hell where demon musicians train for their musical battles against mortals betting their souls. Less evil, but equally impressive, is opener Animals As Leaders, who has already dropped local jaws headlining Fubar and opening for Between The Buried And Me at the Pageant.
Joan of Arc
Saturday, Feb. 23, 8 p.m.
@ The Demo - $10-$13
By Mabel Suen
See how the dream of the '90s is alive through an evening of emo as Tim Kinsella, the only permanent member of Chicago-based Joan of Arc, performs JOA songs with intimate solo guitar and voice. It'll be easy to cozy up to his signature melancholy songwriting stylings by the stage, especially with a generation of inspired openers to warm it up first. Local emo revivalists Foxing light the way with twinkly post-rock while Good Luck at the Hog Slaughter, a new St. Louis supergroup to watch out for, plays its debut set punctuated with post-punk goodness.
Sunday, Feb. 24, 6 p.m.
@ Schlafly Tap Room - free
By RFT Staff
Tom Hall has made the rounds at enough local bars and as the featured guitarist in enough bands to make him an ambassador of acoustic blues music. And while Hall may have many more years ahead of him, the music he plays certainly qualifies as old, though to hear the singer and guitarist play is a reminder that the spirit of the blues lives on through its practitioners. Hall's resonant, weathered voice is a perfect fit for his percussive style of picking, and his mastery of Delta blues has made him a mainstay on many area stages.