Funky Butt Brass Band to Release Sugar Sugar Whomp Whomp This Saturday: Listen Now

Categories: Homespun

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Corey Woodruff
Funky Butt Brass Band

If the Funky Butt Brass Band, that six-headed Hydra of spit valves and second-line sweat and Chachere's seasoning, had stuck to its initial goal of bringing New Orleans brass music to St. Louis, that would have been enough. But over six years and four releases, the band has continued to expand its boundaries. That New Orleans shuffle is still at the heart of many of the group's tracks, but its latest full-length, Sugar Sugar Whomp Whomp, is more interested in tugging at the edges of funk, soul and even hip-hop.


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Mathias & the Pirates' Caveman Barnacles: Listen Now

Categories: Homespun

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Via Facebook
Mathias & the Pirates
It's becoming obvious, if it wasn't already, that nearly every hip-hop album released in St. Louis will have to contend with the Ferguson situation in some fashion, and Mathias & the Pirates wastes no time speaking out on current events on this six-song EP. Opening cut "The Panic Button" validates righteous anger but preaches for cooler heads to prevail, and aside from a chant of "hands up, don't shoot," the message of empowerment over oppression rings eternal. Setting the song to a reggae rhythm does more than allow for a quick reference to "I Shot the Sheriff"; it's the music of revolution and empowerment, and the Pirates take full advantage of that history to encourage spiritual and social uplift.

See also: Mathias & the Pirates' Life of the Buzzard: Read the Homespun Review and Listen

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Karate Bikini to Release A Simpler Sugar This Saturday at Off Broadway

Categories: Homespun

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Ben Mudd
A smaller Karate Bikini lineup performing at Off Broadway -- the group's lineup on the new CD has expanded to eight members.
If Karate Bikini's 2012 release Sauce of the Applehorse was catchy but undercooked in places, A Simpler Sugar makes good on all the promise of a band composed of proven popsmiths. Karate Bikini has swelled to an eight-piece for its second official release, but the group sacrificed little tightness in bringing a few more players aboard.

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Demon Lover's New LP, Moody Future: Listen Now

Categories: Homespun

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Artwork for Demon Lover's latest, Moody Future.
We're a good six months away from the time that this publication collates local bands by genre and asks for readers' votes to crown a winner, but let's go ahead and pencil Demon Lover in as a Best Pop Group nominee. No other local band takes on popular music's breadth and breaks it down into inchoate forms, only to tie its tendrils into something wild but complete.

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Jack Grelle's Steering Me Away: Listen Now

Categories: Homespun

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Press photo
The crew at Big Muddy Records has always had an ear for St. Louis' varied strands of country music, from the bruised, punk-infused songs of the late Bob Reuter to the earliest incarnations of Pokey LaFarge's folk-blues revivalism. But on Jack Grelle's second LP, Steering Me Away, Big Muddy now has a bona-fide classic country album on its shelf, complete with honky-tonk twang and a Music Row slickness not normally found in the local Stag-and-strum set.

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Con's Solstice Part 2 (Dreams from a Snow Globe): Listen Now

Categories: Homespun

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Screenshot from MME's "Westfall" video, embedded below.
Hip-hop has the ability to respond to the 24-hour news cycle more quickly and more incisively than any other musical from, so it wasn't surprising that MCs both at home and abroad used music to register their feelings after Michael Brown's killing on August 9. It's a safe bet that Ferguson will be rich terrain for St. Louis hip-hop in the years to come, and we're already seeing the community respond in song.

See also: St. Louis Hip-Hop Artists Prince Ea and MME Release New Pieces Inspired by Michael Brown

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Volcanoes To Release Future Sorority Girls of America Tonight at Luminary

Categories: Homespun

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Press photo via Facebook
Since taking its two-man noise-rock act from the dorms of Lindenwood University to the respected indie label Afternoon Records in late 2011, Volcanoes has bided its time in crafting a sophomore statement. Heavy Hands introduced Jon Ryan and Eric Peters as a frenetically danceable if sonically schizoid pair, adept at melding basement-show abrasiveness with kinetic tempo shifts and spiky pop hooks. Future Sorority Girls of America pushes that energy in a more streamlined direction, both musically and lyrically.

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

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Premiere: Stream Town Cars' "Are You Down" From Hearts and Stars, Out This Weekend

Categories: Homespun

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Jess Luther
Kevin Buckley and Melinda Cooper

If you've seen Melinda Cooper perform as part of Union Electric in the past few years, you know her as a steady presence in a band with shifting lineups. As a bassist and harmonic foil to Tim Rakel's coarse lead vocals, Cooper plays the part of a supportive, unobtrusive bandmate. It turns out that she is more than apt as a lead singer and bandleader in her own right: Her version of a PJ Harvey song on UE's covers EP from last year was a revelation to those who hadn't heard her sing solo before, and this fall marks the official release of Hearts and Stars, the debut full-length from her project Town Cars.

See also: Town Cars Celebrates Its New CD, Hearts and Stars, This Weekend


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Jon Hardy & the Public to Release New Album Restless City Tonight at Off Broadway

Categories: Homespun

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Press photo via Facebook
Jon Hardy had already decided that his band's new album, its first full-length in seven years, would be called Restless City well before Ferguson and the rest of the greater St. Louis area became an international flashpoint for civil unrest. The title track itself is a tour of our town and its many scars; gunshots disrupt a summer's revelry, and a mother grieves over her gunned-down son in a lyric that is both oddly prescient and sadly evergreen. But Hardy has always been a songwriter blessed with empathy and devoid of much ego, and even when covering big issues (violence, decay, recessions), he favors the personal over the political.

See also: Jon Hardy & the Public Returns with New Music After Raising $5,000 in Fan Contributions

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Loot Rock Gang to Perform With Pokey LaFarge Tonight at Old Rock House

Categories: Homespun

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It would seem both obvious and insufficient to say that history is important to the Loot Rock Gang. The quartet plays post-war jump-blues and sings often about post-war concerns, alongside more evergreen topics like love, money and the intersection of the two. That the group is named after Jesse James' cavern hideout won't be lost on any Missourian who has trekked to Meramec Caverns (postcard ephemera of which is nicely included in the CD artwork), and opening track "Loot Rock Boogie" plays with that mythology while introducing the outfit to the world.

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