Out Every Night: The Best Shows in St. Louis From September 30 to October 5
Ransom Note CD Release
Friday, October 4, 9 p.m.
w/ The Jungle Fire, Plaid Dragon
@ Off Broadway - $10/$13
By Christian Schaeffer
From this 2011 album review: Punk rock is fast and visceral, seen as the raw, beating heart of real rock music. Soft rock is syrupy and sentimental, the provenance of elevators and checkout lines. But all the Yacht Rock jokes and ironic Michael McDonald impressions don't erase the fact that the hallmarks of soft rock aren't at all easy to replicate. Those gossamer, diaphanous keyboards, featherweight rhythm sections and expertly layered harmony vocals took precision and expert ears. Sing along to a Peter Cetera-era Chicago song or try to play along with a Steely Dan chart, and you'll know the feeling. Ransom Note isn't a soft-rock band, exactly, but the local quintet certainly has a soft touch on its debut, It's You! The album cover, consisting of a single red rose, even recalls those K-tel comps of '70s AM Gold that litter the dollar vinyl bin. But under the direction of singer and lyricist Merv Schrock, this band of scene vets (including Sherman S. Sherman on bass and brothers Ben and Jon Parsons on guitar and piano, respectively) paints a gentle picture in broad, pastel-colored strokes.
Friday, October 4, 7:30 p.m
w/ The Lumineers, Nathaniel Rateliff
@ Chaifetz Arena - $25-$39.50
By Roy Kasten
Imagine a world where all the people of all our lazy stereotypes -- the hippies and the hipsters, the punks and the poets, the indie kids and the dad rockers, the folkies and the funkies -- come together as brothers and sisters and let one, great, tattered freak flag fly. Emblazoned on that banner is the name Dr. Dog, and its world, damaged by Dylan and saved by the grace of the groove, is a place where cranky vocals and surreal storylines can be transformed into soul music. The members of Dr. Dog don't care what you label them. These Philly philistines just want to move your ass; your mind really will follow. Missouri native (Herman, Missouri to be precise) Nathaniel Rateliff kicks off this triple bill, headlined by the overrated but often enjoyable stomp-folkies the Lumineers. Arrive early; stay late.
Saturday, October 5, 8:30 p.m.
w/ Jeffrey Lewis
@ Off Broadway - $15/$18
By Christian Schaeffer
On the twentieth anniversary of its first demo cassette, the endurance of Quasi as a viable band and underground mainstay has long surpassed understanding. Sam Coomes and Janet Weiss failed as a married couple but dominate as a riff-heavy duo with no use for modern trends and no sign of getting quieter with age. For the just-released Mole City, the pair laid down 24 tracks, including lead single "You Can Stay But You Gotta Go," a bassy, distorted sludge bomb that rights itself before careening off the walls. Coomes' wry delivery and winning ways with discord on both guitar and piano are matched by Weiss' sweetening harmonies and powerhouse drumming, which fans of Sleater-Kinney and Wild Flag know like their own heartbeats. Celebrated comic artist and singer-songwriter Jeffrey Lewis opens the show with charming, acoustic geekery and probably a Crass cover or two.
Saturday, October 5, 9 p.m.
@ The Heavy Anchor - $5
By Mabel Suen
From "Fill in the Blank: Kenshiro's": Named after the savage and powerful lead character of classic anime, Fist of the North Star, Kenshiro's packs a corresponding wallop with its raw and relentless garage'n'roll. Simple yet powerful chords shakily traipse between strummed and stabbed motions, and the boomy rhythm section holds down frontman Prato's howls and squealing guitar licks as they attempt to fly away in an electrifying frenzy. The self-described "basement punk for the unworthy" provides with upbeat, dance-worthy songs generated from youthful souls.
Sunday, October 6, 8 p.m.
@ Coliseum Music Lounge - $22-$25
By Andrew Miller
From this 2005 show preview: Behind the Geto Boys' corpse-fucking, race-baiting cartoon cannibalism lurk rap's most compelling storytellers. Scarface, a diagnosed manic-depressive with suicidal tendencies, alternates street-life stories with disturbing diary entries. Willie D, a slow-drawling brawler, hides straight-razor social commentary in rotten-apple rhymes. And Bushwick Bill, a dwarf who lost an eye during a suicide attempt, is the genre's truest tragicomic figure, flipping between clever quips ("Lifting weights will make you bigger/Lift me, you'll be a dead-ass nigga") and vivid snapshots of his darkest hours. The Geto Boys make reality records. Even their most outlandish songs resound with emotional authenticity.
Note: Though we wish we could, we can't feature every great show happening in town in just one measly post. Look for plenty more recommendations this Friday in our weekend shows post, and peruse the St. Louis concert calendar for more ideas any time. Let everyone know what else you're looking forward to seeing this week in the comments below, and send show tips any time to email@example.com to be considered for inclusion on these lists.
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