St. Louis: Here's How to Improve Your Music Scene, According to You


Mabel Suen
Pillow Talk at CBGB on Grand.

Jeff Robtoy (vocals) of Pillow Talk:
The St. Louis music scene could use... "more bands that tour consistently, put out records, promote themselves and become recognized on a national level. There are so many crummy bands that are popular not because they are interesting or talented, but because they come from money, a cool part of the United States, or are not afraid to promote their product. St. Louis bands could really be big if they tried a little harder (myself included)."

Julio of Kenshiro's:
The St. Louis music scene could use... "more drive to get outside. St Louis is great but I feel like it needs a different approach to making it nationally. There's so much fantastic music being made in the city, I wish I could see So Many Dynamos headlining Coachella or something like that. I've gained a lot of respect for the scene because I discovered that I actually enjoy the music quite a bit, so I would like to see those bands propelling themselves into the national territory so that the country starts looking at St Louis and realizing the scene is worth a lot more than what people think."


Thumbnail image for kevin-harris-photo.jpg
Mabel Suen
Kevin Harris at Floating Laboratories in South City.

Kevin Harris: " I can really only speak for a very small section of the music community, that of mostly non-traditional music (music that does not seek to utilize formulas developed within the context of historical music traditions). This type of music has had an impact on my life because of its high degree of authenticity.

If music does not reference tradition, it becomes impossible to use popular models of critical examination, such as comparing music to existing forms to arrive at qualitative determinations. This necessitates the need for a unique type of appreciation - an appreciation also absent from the tradition of music appreciation. It forces the audience to be creative and truly question what it means to "like" a particular style or piece of music (mostly what people think they like is really just what they are familiar with.

There have recently been studies on the way long and short term memory interact with one another when listening to music. It turns out that when musical information is stored in short term memory, it is also passing through our long term memory to reference stored musical info. The sets of information are bound together into groupings that produce satisfying feelings when musical information is familiar to us). This process teaches us that sound can be beautiful, challenging, cerebral, emotional, and an entire world of complexity when it is arranged in novel ways, and just as this process shows the importance of approaching music without preconceived notions and expectations, it can also be used to show the importance of approaching all aspects of life with an open mind.

So... what can the non-traditional music scene in St. Louis use? Good critics who understand this music and tell others why it is so appealing. This community needs a voice, representatives to tell the story and inspire people."

Galen McGreehan (drums) of Quaere Verum:
The St. Louis music scene could use... "more people that realize how amazing the St. Louis music scene is. There is so much talent in the metal scene right now and people just don't seem to realize it. Everything Went Black. The Lions Daugher. Jack Buck. My Name is a Weapon. Bastard. Nolia. Exempt. Alan Smithee. Inimical Drive. Sine Nomine. Crush it to Death. As Earth Shatters. Final Drive. Blackfast. Casino. Heavy Arms. Icon and Anchor. A Dark Orbit. Every single one of these bands is doing something different. Everyone is forging their own path, these are talented musicians and if you like metal and you want to support local music, go see these bands."

Gabe Karabell and John Birkner of Bad Dates:
The St. Louis music scene could use... "'a kick in the pants.' We have a lot of talented people and awesome bands, but that's just one piece of a music scene. A lot of the folks who work behind the scenes -- booking shows, running venues and record stores, writing blogs and zines, releasing records -- go unappreciated and can't sustain the financial costs involved. So they move away or drop out."

Do you know a project or band that should be considered for this series? Drop a line to

Previously from our Fill in the Blank series:
- The Glass Cavalry
- The Blu Skies
- Animal Teeth
- Popular Mechanics
- Brotherfather
- Bad Dates
- Beauty Pageant
- Pillow Talk
- The Tennis Lesson
- The Funs
- Brothers Lazaroff
- Quaere Verum
- Sarah Bollinger
- Little Big Bangs
- Everything Went Black
- Lions Eat Grass
- Kevin Harris
- Laika
- Heavy Horse
- Barely Free Partial Prisoners
- The Defeated County
- Lizzie Weber
- Kenshiro's
- B.E.L.L.A.
- Superfun Yeah Yeah Rocketship
- Humdrum
- The Blind Eyes

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