Homespun: The Educated Guess' The Educated Guess

Categories: Homespun

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Forgive the extended absence of a proper Educated Guess album. In the six years since West Skyline Drive was released, songwriter, composer, pianist and lead singer Charlie Brumley has written a Civil War-inspired song suite, staged the sci-fi musical Chrono Man and lent his talents to various acts around town. But the Educated Guess has long been his most fertile ground, and the protracted gestation period between albums allowed his skills -- and his vision for the band -- to grow.

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The Domino Effect's Unknown: Listen Now

Categories: Homespun

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The Domino Effect, the slightly skewed hip-hop duo of Cue and Steve N. Clair, has been making music since 2008 and releasing albums since at least 2011. The pair most recently released TriAtomic, a collaboration EP with local Bo Dean, but Unknown puts the partners back in the middle of clacking beats, syrupy backing tracks and a few TED Talk-sounding spoken word samples.

It's a heady mix of soulful songs punctuated by the emcees' sharp-cornered verses, and the album's sense of political consciousness seems to bubble and boil over with each passing track.


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Weird White Wolves' Nothing: Listen Now

Categories: Homespun

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Via Bandcamp
Lee Caldwell, a.k.a. Weird White Wolves
The lo-fi recordings Lee Caldwell makes under the name Weird White Wolves tread a line between self-loathing bedroom confessionals and experimental avant-folk. He shows comfort and dexterity with both forms on Nothing, his first release since 2013's Garden EP, though the best moments of this eight-song release push the sad-sack strummers into the violet hour.

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Cara Louise Band's Live at the Demo: Listen Now

Categories: Homespun

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Screenshot from the Loft Sessions video below.
The Cara Louise Band
In 2015, when major world events are just a livestream away, official live albums are a dodgy proposition. In the boom days of major labels, concert recordings often served as little more than catalog fodder or stopgap cash grabs for marquee artists; these days, fans can re-create the concert experience through shakily shot iPhone videos posted to YouTube.

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Synthesist Ajay Khanna Releases New Experimental Tracks: Listen

Categories: Homespun

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Via Bandcamp
Ajay Khanna
Synthesist and improvisor Ajay Khanna keeps good company in St. Louis' experimental circle. He plays with Chris Smentkowski in Brain Transplant, has performed live with Eric Hall and Dave Stone, and now has recently begun releasing brief transmissions via Bandcamp.

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Arshad Goods' Debut LP Black Sunday: Listen Now

Categories: Homespun

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Press photo via official website.
Arshad Goods
On his debut LP, Black Sunday, University City native Arshad Goods is a man divided. Over nine tight, soulful tracks, Goods presents myriad versions of himself with any number of knowing contradictions: a hedonist with a higher calling, a status seeker who rejects the material world, a college-educated African American man in a city that will always see him as a black boy.

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Louis Wall Is a Tireless Asset to St. Louis Music

Categories: Homespun

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Jarred Gastreich
Louis Wall and Ben Tulin of the Texas Room, with Mensur Hatich on Accordian.
If music can knock down walls and build community -- and here's hoping it still can -- then local drummer and producer Louis Wall is using it to do truly holy work within some forgotten communities in St. Louis.

Under the aegis of his recording project the Texas Room, Wall collects musicians from across St. Louis, but with an emphasis on our immigrant population and the songs and sounds of their homelands. If the St. Louis community has taken baby steps in bridging the divide between scenes, styles and neighborhoods, the inroads to our newest citizens have, historically, been nil.

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Listen to Syna So Pro's Loop Talk Vol. 2: Two Riffs and Some Heartbreak

Categories: Homespun

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Corey Woodruff
Syna So Pro
Syrhea Conaway contains multitudes. Her one-woman shows as Syna So Pro make that plain, as she constructs the foundation, framework and artful edifice of a pop song in real time with the help of traditional rock & roll instruments, a few loop pedals and impeccable harmony. Her studio albums can't rely on such showmanship, so they not only give proof of her instrumental prowess -- she handles everything but the drums, which come care of Corey Woodruff -- but also her stylistic shifts between T. Rex-ian pomp and ethereal dream-pop.

See also: Get in the Loop with Experimental Pop Artist Syna So Pro, a One-Woman Show

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We Party Portugal's Self-Titled EP: Listen Now

Categories: Homespun

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We Party Portugal's self-titled EP: the Deluxe edition.
Local rock & roll quartet We Party Portugal isn't exactly elusive in nodding to its key influences. The band's ReverbNation page only has one band listed in the "Sounds Like" section: Pavement. Not that you'd need to to be told of the legendary band's imprint -- the laconic and meandering (but always tuneful) guitar lines and detached vocals singing obtuse lyrics are all pretty good tells (even band member Andy Malkus' surname is one letter away from "Malkmus").

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Arthur & the Librarian's New Album Draws Inspiration From The Odyssey

Categories: Homespun

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Jason Stoff
Arthur & the Librarian

You can't act too surprised when a band called Arthur & the Librarian turns out to be a bit bookish, and you can't fault a bookish band for cribbing from the Western canon's all-time greatest epic for a literary-inspired album. The local quintet took inspiration from Homer's The Odyssey for its Island of the Lotus Eaters LP, but the title is about as direct as the band gets in referencing Odysseus' long voyage home.

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