Emcee Classiq Sounds Off on Ferguson with a Furious Freestyle

Categories: Michael Brown

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Orange County, California, rapper Emcee Classiq has recorded an impassioned freestyle against police violence in Ferguson.

It's been two and a half tension-filled weeks since police officer Darren Wilson shot and killed eighteen-year-old Michael Brown. The young African American's death set off clashes in the streets between militarized police and angry residents, and many questions remain unanswered. Like rapper J.Cole's raw tribute song "Be Free," Emcee Classiq took to the mic to express his pain.

See also: Our full coverage on Mike Brown's case and the unrest in Ferguson

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Old Salt Union to Release New Album Bridge This Friday at Old Rock House

Categories: Homespun

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Doc Brookman
Old Salt Union is everything you would want in a song-driven, pop-friendly bluegrass combo. The members of the Belleville-based quintet are dexterous on their chosen stringed instruments, with short flashes of virtuosity amid more lyrically driven songs. All five members share the mic, and even if the harmonies aren't quite celestial, it adds to the communal-campfire feeling of these songs.

See also: Belleville's Old Salt Union goes from basement band to the Daytona 500

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Ab-Soul, Bruce Hornsby, Bunnygrunt and More in This Week's Show Announcements

Categories: This Just In

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Press Photo
Ab-Soul - Wednesday, September 24 @ the Ready Room.
Here again is every newly announced show for the week! On page one you'll find a quick list of shows that particularly caught our attention, followed by embedded YouTube videos of artists you may not be familiar with. Page two contains our complete listing of new shows, so you can do some digging of your own and let us know which ones you are excited about! Click through, and start planning ahead.

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The Video Music Awards Completely and Unfairly Snubbed Stitches

Categories: LOLZ

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YouTube Screen Capture
Better have his money when he comes a'collect.

This past Sunday, MTV aired the highly anticipated 31st installment of its Video Music Awards. Always an unpredictable and raucous night, there was unfortunately a black cloud looming over the entire telecast owing to the complete and total snubbing of Florida rapper Stitches.

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In Defense of Liking Music for No Good Reason

Categories: Fiesta!

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A Yeezus tour photo courtesy of Rogers & Cowan
Because it's awesome, is why.
Why did you like Yeezus? Did you find it anarchic? Did you like how it challenged racial norms in a confrontational, blacked-out way? Did you like its minimalism? Or its maximalism? Did you find the songs to speak to a larger narrative of where Kanye West is artistically and emotionally? Did you appreciate the videos, or the bloodthirstiness? Did you enjoy the lack of singles and the punk narrative?

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MTV Airs Ferguson PSAs During the VMAs: Watch Now

Categories: Michael Brown

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Screengrab via MTV.
On Sunday, during its 31st annual Video Music Awards, MTV aired two fifteen-second public-service announcements inspired by the shooting of unarmed teen Mike Brown and the unrest in his hometown of Ferguson that has followed in the weeks since.

The PSAs are a part of a campaign called Look Different, led by MTV in partnership with the NAACP, the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Anti-Defamation League and the National Council of La Raza.

See also: Our full coverage on Mike Brown's case and the unrest in Ferguson

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The Demo Sets Its Sights on Reopening Labor Day Weekend

Categories: Live and Local

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Steve Truesdell
The Demo managing partners Brandon Cavanagh and Mike Cracchiolo.
Exactly two months after closing its doors owing to neighborhood noise complaints, Grove-area music venue the Demo (4191 Manchester Avenue) has made significant progress toward reopening. At a hearing with the excise commissioner last Tuesday, the venue's managing partners reached a compromise with the residential neighbors who initially filed the complaint, resulting in the revocation of the protest as well as the subsequent approval of the business' liquor license.

"We now have a few more steps to take with the state, and we will be open," says Cavanagh, who anticipates a soft opening on or around Labor Day weekend, with a grand opening in the works for a weekend in September. The Demo also successfully completed an Indiegogo campaign last Friday, exceeding its $10,000 goal.

See also: Music Record Shop Opens in the Grove In Between Ready Room and Demo

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Tef Poe On Ferguson, His Hometown: "The Mike Brown Rebellion Has Begun"

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Steve Truesdell
A protester in Ferguson calls for justice and peace.
Editor: Tef Poe is an artist from the St. Louis area. Through powerful imagery and complicated honesty, he has earned a reputation as one of the best rappers telling the story of St. Louis, which is about much more than one place. Poe has been featured in music publications such as XXL and Urb Magazine. His project The Hero Killer was released on January 2 and was followed up this year by a full-length with DJ Burn One entitled Cheer For the Villain. Follow him on twitter @tefpoe. Get The Hero Killer here.

My body is fatigued as I type this. At this point I have been out in the streets of north county for what feels like an eternity. I am confused and dazed by what has taken place in my city. We have been tear gassed and shot at with rubber bullets in a scene that resembles communist Russia more than an American metropolis. Mike Brown was shot down like a dog in the street, and the Ferguson police refuse to give us answers. His killer remains free, uncharged and shielded by the badge. An overwhelming amount of pressure has been placed on the Ferguson Police Department, yet virtually nothing has happened. We've all watched Brown's parents grieve.

See also: Our full coverage on Mike Brown's case and the unrest in Ferguson

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Common Leads VMAs in Moment of Silence for Mike Brown, Kardashians Check Phones

Categories: Michael Brown

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Screengrab via MTV.
Before presenting the award for Best Hip-Hop Video at the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards this past Sunday, rapper Common spoke briefly about slain teen Mike Brown and the tension in Ferguson since Brown was shot by a police officer on August 9 before leading those assembled in a moment of silence.

"Hip-hop has always been about truth and has been a powerful instrument of social change," Common said. "From Melle Mel to Public Enemy to Kendrick Lamar, hip-hop has always presented a voice for the revolution. I want us all to take a moment of silence for Mike Brown, and for peace in this country and in the world."

See also: Our full coverage on Mike Brown's case and the unrest in Ferguson

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Cat Power's Solidarity in Song at the Firebird 8/24/14: Review

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Nick Schnelle
Cat Power performing at LouFest 2011.
When St. Louis last saw Chan Marshall, she was performing on a dark stage in Forest Park at LouFest 2011. Though barely visible as the sun went down, she and her expert, frenzied band bent the blues to their will. You couldn't see her, but if you heard her, you recognized it as the most powerful set at the festival.

This was before the release of her largely self-played, ambient-rock album Sun -- for financial and emotional reasons, her most prolonged and difficult project. These days, those who follow Marshall on the social platforms know her for her all-caps, ideogrammed barrages, coming and going as if she were addicted to every progressive RSS feed on the planet. Instagram activism from indie-rock stars is generally wince-inducing. With Cat Power, it's another glimpse, like it or not, into the manic, unfiltered spirit behind her music.

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