Schwarz Talks About Lil B, Social Media and His Protest Song "Hands Up, Don't Shoot"

Categories: Interviews

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Press photo

It makes sense that a world informed by social media and infinite feeds of information would inspire generations of artists. Such is the case for house-music producer Adam Schwarz. For years now, Schwarz has been producing high-energy club music from his homebase of Baltimore, Maryland. Imbued with the city's deep history with vogue and club culture, Schwarz has distilled his love for Baltimore house into a strange new beat. His take on the genre has allowed him to fill clubs from Baltimore to New York and even land a few spots producing for Internet rap icon, Lil B.


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Comedian Hannibal Buress Talks Standup, Baseball and Ninjas

Categories: Comedy, Interviews

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Since his last stop in St. Louis just over a year ago at the Firebird, Hannibal Buress has been beyond busy. Heading into its second season, Buress will return as Lincoln, co-staring on Llana Glazer and Abbi Jacobson's Comedy Central hit Broad City. He'll also be back in the oversized chair/undersized couch for the third season as cohost of The Eric Andre Show and is making yet another big-screen debut later this year with Flock of Dudes. Buress still hosts Sunday nights at the Knitting Factory when he's home in New York City and just set off on The Comedy Camasido Tour with a brand-new hour this very month.

We talked with Buress about how he makes time to write and develop his standup, what it means to "get baseballed" and, as an added bonus, he was even kind enough to divulge the details of his first standup appearance. He will be appearing at the Pageant on Friday, October 24, at 8 p.m.

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Don't Ask Taylor Momsen of the Pretty Reckless About Gossip Girl

Categories: Interviews

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By Ashley Zimmerman

The Pretty Reckless currently has a hell of a lot to be happy about. The band's latest album, Going to Hell, has already produced two hit tunes -- "Heaven Knows" and "Fucked Up World" -- and the group just kicked off the second leg of its North American tour.

It's no surprise that Taylor Momsen, who once acted in Gossip Girl, is heading straight to the top. What is surprising is that she's been able to do it with aggressive rock & roll. While most music geared to 21-year-old girls is total "popcorn" pop, as Momsen calls it, she told us she's on a much different musical path.

As for whether we'll be seeing Momsen on the big or little screen again, the answer is, probs not. We found this all out and so much more when speaking with Momsen before the tour brings the Pretty Reckless to the Pageant on October 23.

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James Brown Was a Complicated Dad, Says New Book

Categories: Interviews

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Chicago Review Press
Dr. Yamma Brown, whose Father was the Godfather. Got that?
James Brown was, of course, the Godfather of Soul and the Hardest Working Man in Show Business. But all the work he did to grab those titles over decades seemed to come crashing down through much of the '80s and '90s.

That's when he derailed into years of drug and domestic abuse, erratic behavior, weapons charges, a carousel of women and questionable business deals. His name became more a punch line for comedians than a pillar for music writers, the low point being a crazy-looking mug shot and an actual stint in a South Carolina prison (remember the "Free James Brown" T-shirts?).

But his crash and burn was no laughing matter to some members of his family, especially daughter Yamma.

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Naoko Yamano of Shonen Knife on Why Shows Start Earlier in Japan

Categories: Interviews

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Courtesy of Good Charamel Records
By Tom Murphy

In the late 1980s, it was nearly unheard of for Japanese underground rock bands to play in the United States. But Shonen Knife, appearing at the Firebird this Saturday, October 18, played a show in Los Angeles in 1989.

By then, the band's music had already spent several years circulating in the U.S., thanks to a 1983 visit to Japan by Beat Happening frontman and K Records founder Calvin Johnson. While overseas, Johnson found Shonen Knife's second album, Burning Farm, on cassette; he reissued the album the following year on his label. The group's original take on punk rock and its surreal, straight-faced send-up of pop culture struck a chord with artists in the English-speaking world, including Sonic Youth, Red Kross and, famously, Kurt Cobain, who invited Shonen Knife to open for Nirvana on the U.K. leg of its tour for Nevermind.

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St. Louis' Shock City Studios Works With Kickstarter to Record Bands For Free

Categories: Interviews

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Blair Stiles

Shock City Studios' head honcho Doug Firley stands on chair in a dim hallway and screws a light bulb into the ceiling. He gives a sharp exclamation when the bulb sears his fingers. From his burnt state, the discomfort seems to jog his memory.

"It's so much harder nowadays to get recognized as a band then it was when I was your age," he says as the light flares and illuminates with a final twist. Firley, a veteran of industrial rock act Gravity Kills, saw the band's rise into radio play during the '90s.


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St. Louis' Kentucky Knife Fight to Call It Quits With a Farewell Show November 22

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Corey Woodruff
"It's a mystery to me. I can't get it. I can't understand it."

Nate Jones' frustration is palpable. As a guitarist for Kentucky Knife Fight, he has played to packed crowds in St. Louis and healthy-sized audiences throughout the Midwest, but his band never quite broke through in the way its members hoped and thought it would. Accordingly, the group is ending its nine-year run with a final show at Off Broadway on November 22.

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Artist Karl Haglund Shares Stories Behind Paintings for Billy Bragg, Ryan Adams & STL Musicians

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Courtesy of Fugitive Art
Karl Haglund's paintings of the late Bob Reuter's guitars.

We all know that a musician makes art, but in some cases, a musician makes art. Tangible art. Visual art.

Karl Haglund is just such an artist. A painter from Charles City, Iowa, Haglund grew up with creative parents, forging his own paths through both music and craftsmanship. As an adult, though, Haglund has managed to merge his interests, painting extremely detailed guitars and sharing musicians' stories of what makes these instruments so personal and special.

"I see an old guitar that's beat up, and I think of it as a work of art instead of just an instrument," Haglund tells RFT Music. "I see the guitar as its own piece of art in itself."

See also: Painter Karl Haglund Brings St. Louis Musicians' Guitars to Life On Canvas

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Painter Karl Haglund Brings St. Louis Musicians' Guitars to Life On Canvas

Categories: Interviews

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Photo courtesy of Fugitive Art.
Every guitar tells a story, even when it's not being strummed by a musician in the midst of a performance. Painter Karl Haglund is convinced of it.

"You see a guitar that's beat up, or a guitar with stickers, and you know that that musician doesn't just pick it up ten minutes before a show," Haglund says. "You know he or she is sitting at home thinking about that guitar, putting effort into it away from music, putting a sticker on it, sanding down the edges and taking care of it."

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War On Drugs' Adam Granduciel Overcame Crippling Anxiety on Lost in the Dream

Categories: Interviews

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Photos by Dusdin Condrin/Courtesy of Secretly Canadian
On a rare day off, War On Drugs front man Adam Granduciel speaks to me from his Philadelphia home. In the background, clinking kitchen noise can be heard as he prepares his morning coffee ("French Press"). The 35-year-old songwriter hardly needs the caffeine; he's excitedly loquacious as he speaks, a slight northeastern inflection in his java-fired delivery.

Since its release this past March, the band's sensational third album, Lost In the Dream, has delivered a next-level breakthrough for the psych-rock collective, of which Kurt Vile was once a member. Its tour visits St. Louis this Saturday at the Ready Room.

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