Please Kill Me author Legs McNeil on His New Book, Music and Chuck Berry

Categories: Fiesta!

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Jaime Lees
Legs McNeil at the Chuck Berry statue on Delmar Boulevard

Legs McNeil became one of my favorite authors when I first read his Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk as a young teen. Even if you don't own the book, you've undoubtedly seen its ransom-note-styled spine on the bookshelf of your music-loving friend. It's an assertion that's been made by others many times before, but I'll say it here one more time: Please Kill Me is the definitive account of the early New York punk scene. (Trust me, I've read them all.)

But McNeil's pedigree far precedes my birth. He has many professional accomplishments under his belt, but he's probably best known as the cofounder of Punk Magazine, a New York-based pop-culture magazine famous for documenting the CBGB scene in the 1970s. (Through this, McNeil is also frequently credited with popularizing the word "punk" as we know it.)


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What a Concept: Dots Not Feathers and Volcanoes Talk About Their Upcoming Albums

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Bryan Sutter
Dots Not Feathers (from left to right: Chris Dickey, Katie Brooking, Nick Blackburn, Ryan Myers, Jessica Haley, and Stephen Baier).

When Eric Peters suggests a hike to St. Charles for a group interview, he does it without his signature hyperbolic flair. The message comes with the watered-down flavor of a gin and tonic that sits at the bar without so much as a sip taken. "I know the perfect place. They have a Mustache Monday. And it's kinda like a dark cave. And it's called Old Millstream Tavern." There is also a shitstorm of emojis that depict various natural disasters. And dolphins.


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St. Louis Record Store Day 2014: A Comprehensive Guide

Categories: Fiesta!

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Like South by Southwest, Record Store Day is now such an ingrained part of the culture that it has its own abbreviation: RSD. Hatched in 2008 as a way to bring attention to struggling record shops, RSD has become a yearly event. This year Record Store Day falls on Saturday, April 19. And once again, area record stores will be going all out to celebrate -- and hopefully sell a few records in the process.

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St. Louis Rock Band Tok Interviews Some Dogs

Categories: Fiesta!

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Tok's ability to write a killer rock song is matched only by its members' outrageous sense of humor. On April Fool's Day, for example, the band announced a new partnership with Taco Bell, and a subsequent name change for the group (Tok-O-Bell). Most bands would have been content to leave the joke at that, but the brothers Basler kept hammering away at the gag all day long, releasing songs with re-written lyrics (now focused on the virtues of their new sponsor, naturally) and numerous photos of themselves enjoying Beefy Crunch Burritos and Taco Supremes.

See also: Celebrating Twenty Years of Tok & Roll

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Middle of the Map Fest Doesn't Disappoint in its Fourth Year

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Photo courtesy of Jim Vondruska
Yoni Wolf of Why? at Kansas City's recordBar

Four hours west of St. Louis lies a Midwestern city rife with curiosities. Its denizens may seem familiar to the eyes of St. Louisans, but the terrain is alien enough to mask itself in the guise of a pseudo-adventure. This place is called Kansas City, and the reason for the gathering is the Middle of the Map Fest.

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Vote for Dropkick the Robot to Win Songwriting Contest Before It Conquers France

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Corey Woodruff
St. Louis indie act Dropkick the Robot could use your votes in a worldwide songwriting contest that starts tomorrow. This is no charity case, though -- the band has the chops to back up the favor it's asking.

"We've been working for a really long time at songwriting," says Daniel Mehrmann, vocalist and guitarist. "It's nice to get recognized for something that you love to do."

Mehrmann and Dropkick partner Kara Baldus are out to win the electronic category of the John Lennon Songwriting Contest, named for one of the Beatles' prominent lyricists. Mehrmann and Baldus wrote their song "Missed Out" in December, and it's been rising steadily through the contest's various levels, recently winning a grand prize ($9,000 worth of gear) for their session.

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"Talk Dirty": The Worst Pop Song In History?

Categories: Fiesta!

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YouTube screengrab from "Talk Dirty"
Historically, pop-music lyrics haven't been particularly profound. Over the years we've had songs about not being cruel, about a lady who wanted to dance with somebody who loved her, and about a guy who was taking a bath and couldn't stop himself from making splish splash.

But in recent years pop lyrics have been over-the-top inane. The subject matter now involves, almost exclusively, the club or making love. The most creative artists, like Usher, sing about making love in the club. But Jason Derulo's hit "Talk Dirty" takes this theme abroad.

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Hayley Williams On Being a Rockstar, in Illustrated Form

Categories: Fiesta!

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Jena Ardell
Paramore is back and busier than ever. The band just completed its first destination cruise with fans (cleverly dubbed Parahoy!), which included four days and nights aboard the Norwegian Pearl, sailing from Miami, Florida, to Great Stirrup Cay in the Bahamas.

Fans enjoyed two outdoor shows by Paramore, a Q&A on the cruise ship's deck and myriad onboard activities while sailing to the Bahamas. Other acts included Tegan and Sara and New Found Glory.

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Check Out This Awesome Spinal Tap Fan Art

Categories: Fiesta!

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DickyTickerWales on etsy
Not to make you feel old, but This Is Spinal Tap turned 30 this month. Spinal Tap is unarguably the most popular rockumentary/mockumentary film of all time. The cult classic proves two things: Rockstars are predictable, and Rob Reiner is a genius.

Truth in humor is what makes this film so enjoyable (and easy to relate to): Just ask real rock stars what they think of the film. Jack Black cites Spinal Tap as the main inspiration for his band Tenacious D, and Billy Corgan calls the movie "prophetic" for all bands.

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Live Blog: 24 Consecutive Hours at Pop's Nightclub

Categories: Fiesta!

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Diana Benanti
Pop's rocks 24/7, we've heard.

We've all done it. You're at a bar and it's closing time, but you're not quite ready for the night to end. Maybe you want to grab just one more drink. Then someone in your crew suggests that you "go to the east side."

Fifteen minutes later you're in another state. You've crossed the Mississippi River into Sauget, Illinois, and you find yourself in a massive gravel parking lot, stumbling into the after-hours beacon that is Pop's Nightclub & Concert Venue.


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