Slipknot Is Back...But Who's Buying?

Categories: Fiesta!

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Photo by Todd Owyoung
Slipknot returns to St. Louis with Lamb of God on August 16. Check out more photos of Slipknot at the 2012 Mayhem Festival here.
Late last year Slipknot rose from the ashes, releasing its first new record since 2008 and its first since losing drummer Joey Jordison and bassist Paul Gray in October. .5: The Gray Chapter has been praised as a return to form for the band, going back to the roots of its more successful sound on the album Iowa back in 2001. Slipknot is in the midst of a European tour with fellow nu-metallers Korn, and just this week the band announced a St. Louis stop at Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre.

This renaissance is surprising, to say the least. For the fans, it's welcome and overdue. For the rest of us, it's just raising all kinds of questions. Full disclosure: I always hated Slipknot, growing up in the era where the group was at its peak. But could that change? Could all these years have melted my icy heart?

See also: Six Nu-Metal Bands You Shouldn't Be Ashamed To Like

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Check Out This Awesome Flyer for Riff Raff's Upcoming St. Louis Show

Categories: Fiesta!

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Art by @_JakeReeder
Fredbird burns one down with his good pal Riff Raff.
Riff Raff is coming to town -- maybe you already knew. The Diplo-approved rapper also known as Jody Highroller will make a stop at the Ready Room on February 8 -- the last time he came to town was May 23, when he brought giant cardboard cutouts of his own face, venue-shaking trap beats and ratchet babes with him. This upcoming show should be no less a lesson in the absurd.

Case in point: Check out this awesome flyer for the show.

See also: Riff Raff at the Ready Room: Photos

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Will the Drug Policy Alliance's "Best Practices" Lead to Fewer Overdoses at Festivals?

Categories: Fiesta!

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Timothy Norris
More likely than not, some of these people are on drugs.
Recently, the Drug Policy Alliance issued a guide called "Managing Drug Use at Your Event: An Event Producer's Guide to Health and Safety Best Practices." The title alone is enough to raise eyebrows from the "Just Say No" crowd. But if a decades-long "drug war" has taught us anything, it's that tough law enforcement and public service announcements don't stamp out drug use.

See also: These Bracelets and Headbands Let You Sneak Weed Into Festivals

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Sub Pop's Bruce Pavitt Writes Book, Offers Advice To Bands: "Keep It Fun, You Know?"

Categories: Fiesta!

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Wikipedia / Bruce Pavitt
Bruce Pavitt, taking a selfie on Orcas Island.
Bruce Pavitt is best known as a founder of Sub Pop Records -- the label that is credited with bringing Nirvana, grunge and the entire "Seattle sound" to the masses more than twenty years ago.

Pavitt's devotion, skill and connections fed the early days of this regional music movement that eventually led to a sea change in the entire music industry, but Pavitt is more than just a tastemaker; he's a hard worker. And over the years he'd built a respected brand under the "Subterranean Pop" name-- first as a radio show, then a zine and eventually as the name of the record label that he founded with Seattle DJ Jonathan Poneman that would release some of the most groundbreaking music of our time. Over the course of his life, Pavitt has worked nearly every job in the industry. He's been a radio DJ, a zine publisher, a rock column writer, a record store founder, a club DJ, a record label founder and now an author and music historian.

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Twelve St. Louis Submissions for NPR's Tiny Desk Contest

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Screenshot from Al Holliday's entry.
The Tiny Desk Concert series from "All Songs Considered" host Bob Boilen is looking for new talent, and St. Louis is coming out in force.

Who knew that such an itty-bitty desk could have such a big impact?

The Tiny Desk Concert series on National Public Radio (NPR) has been a hit since it was introduced in 2008. During what is literally a bunch of musicians crowding around All Songs Considered host Bob Boilen's office desk to perform a few tunes, the series has showcased different sides of artists such as T-Pain, Skinny Lister and Yo La Tengo. The virality of favorite concerts via social media has given a surge of popularity to retro acts and millions of potential fans to newer bands.

And a St. Louis act just might be next.

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St. Louis Teenage Guitar Phenom Draws Celebrity Attention, Plays Guitar Better Than You

Categories: Fiesta!

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courtesy AliyaRose Photography
Fourteen-year-old Connor Low can outplay you. Bet on it.

When you're learning how to play guitar, you understandably might start with the easy stuff. Experts often recommend Van Morrison's "Brown-Eyed Girl," Tom Petty's "Free Fallin'" and The Ramones' "Blitzkrieg Bop" for novices because of those songs' simple chords or strumming techniques.

For the record, Eric Johnson's "Cliffs of Dover" would not be considered "the easy stuff." With its string-skipping antics and crazy time signature (or lack thereof)? No way, not by a long shot.

So when guitar virtuoso and "Dover" enthusiast Rhett Butler gave fourteen-year-old Connor Low a virtual high five for his rendition of the difficult composition, you know it was a big deal.


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Vinyl Subscription Services Are the Laziest Thing Ever

Categories: Fiesta!

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flickr/Alexandre Normand
Don't make listening to music any harder than it already is.
By Reed Fischer

Love listening to music, but hate all the time and effort it takes to pick out something you like? Good news! There's a burgeoning industry of vinyl subscription services, what they like to call "Netflix for record lovers," making the rounds.

The formerly arduous process of developing personal music taste -- going to record stores, skimming Pitchfork reviews, consulting with friends, attending shows, etc. -- now has been simplified in a way even Pandora can't compete with. And it's analog, baby.

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Stop Being Indignant on Behalf of Rich White Dude Paul McCartney

Categories: Fiesta!

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Aaron Thackeray
Yup, that's a Beatle.
In case you missed it, at the start of this year Kanye West released a new track, "Only One," on which he collaborated with Paul McCartney. Like all events in popular culture now, conversation about the song began popping up all over Twitter. Some of those tweets (among the likely millions posted about the release) entailed comments from people saying they didn't know who McCartney was.

And then the backlash, in the form of indignant bully rants about the death of music, began.

See also: That's Enough Already, Dave Grohl

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Country Music Will Rise and Bro-Country Will Crumble in 2015

Categories: Fiesta!

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Mike Brooks
Thanks to artists like Sturgill Simpson, we have reason to be optimistic about country music again
At this point, the jokes about country music write themselves. There is nothing fresh or relevant about making fun of country music anymore, especially if you're talking about the unfortunate bro-country subgenre. That doesn't mean that we'll stop joking about these inept and shirtless knuckle-draggers, but this is where we find ourselves.

See also: The Ten Biggest Douchebags In Country Music

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Jennifer Lawrence's Sudden Pop Dominance Is Legit

Categories: Fiesta!

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Sometimes in life, we normal human beings must shelve our own insecurities and recognize that some among us are simply good at anything they attempt. Like that song from the Annie Oakley play, they can do anything better. Some of us recognize these people with awe and admiration, while others choose to hate.

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