Milo Greene: Four Voices, One Band

Categories: Interviews

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Hartman Harris
Milo Greene
Milo Greene's 2012 self-titled debut won the group plaudits for its inventive, cinematic pop. For its followup, however, the band's members decided to challenge themselves. They wanted a more lively, exciting sound as opposed to the dreamy, melancholy feel of the first LP.

In the years that have passed since the recording and completion of Milo Greene, they agreed that their sound would inevitably go in a new direction. Though it may raise some eyebrows among long-time fans, Andrew Heringer says the change was a natural progression.

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Steve Aoki's "Neon Future Experience" Is His Biggest Visual Extravaganza Yet

Categories: EDM, Interviews

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Cesar Sebastian
Steve Aoki live in Austin.
When Steve Aoki hits the Pageant on Monday, fans will have the chance to check out the DJ/producer's much-lauded new stage show, the "Neon Future Experience." At 50 feet wide, the monster set explodes with animation and LEDs that highlight Aoki's last name spelled out for the crowd.

Created by San Fernando Valley studio V Squared Labs, the set merges the sci-fi world of Aoki's recent studio work with the artist's interactive style of performance. "It's definitely an ambitious project," says V Squared head Vello Virkhaus.

See also: Steve Aoki on How His Gigs Are "About Gettin' Crazy and Going Wild," With or Without Cake

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The Silver Ballroom Fosters Community Among Pinball-Loving St. Louis Punks

Categories: Interviews

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Jarred Gastreich
Steve and Shelly Dachroeden, proprietors of the Silver Ballroom.
"I want this to be the place where old punk rockers come to die," says Steve "Doc" Dachroeden of his bar. When Dachroeden and his wife, Shelly, opened the Silver Ballroom nearly five years ago, it was designed around just a couple of key elements: pinball and punk rock. That's what they liked, so that's what they provided.

It's an unlikely business model that has found solid success in south city's Bevo Mill neighborhood. Since opening in April 2010, the Silver Ballroom has become an internationally renowned destination spot for pinball enthusiasts and a home away from home for St. Louis musicians looking to unwind. Patrons are drawn to the flashing lights of the arcade-style setup and the sounds of the games dinging beneath the blast of classic punk rock provided by a carefully stocked jukebox.

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Paper Diamond Is About "Getting Work Done but Still Knowing How to Party"

Categories: EDM, Interviews

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Press photo via Madison House
Paper Diamond will perform at Old Rock House Tuesday night.
Alex Botwin is about to make it rain, but not in the usual way.

You may better recognize the Coloradoan by his professional moniker Paper Diamond. Under this name, he's spent the past four years releasing multi-instrumental neoclassics via Pretty Lights Music and worming his way into the hearts of festivalgoers nationwide.

He's about to release a new EP, Rain Drops, and a concurrent tour that will drip its way into Old Rock House on Tuesday. He named the album in honor of his mission to "control the weather" -- no strippers were involved.

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Steve Aoki on How His Gigs Are "About Gettin' Crazy and Going Wild," With or Without Cake

Categories: EDM, Interviews

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Courtesy of SLE
Steve Aoki is scheduled to perform on Monday, March 2, at the Pageant.
By Benjamin Leatherman

As you might have heard recently, Steve Aoki is cutting back on the cake. More specifically, the electronic dance music icon has stated that he's ceasing his trademark stunt of throwing sheet cake at audience members during shows, at least at big EDM festivals where he's a support act.

"If I'm on a multi-tiered lineup and I'm in the middle of a bunch of different artists, I don't want to cake a bunch of non-Aoki fans on accident," he says.

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The Firebird Celebrates Six Years With a Little Help From Its Friends

Categories: Interviews

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Tom Carlson
The Firebird's Jimmy Vavak, Mike Cracchiolo and Ryan Sears.
Six years and thousands of sets later, Mike Cracchiolo says there's really no way to choose a favorite band or show at his club, the Firebird. He is, however, able to cite a specific moment.

"I ran into a guy the other night who was talking about Firebird and how he had seen a bunch of his favorite shows there, and [his] best show ever was Foals with Freelance Whales in 2011," he says. "It was really weird, because if you want me to put it down to one moment that I thought was the best thing I had ever seen in that room, it was that show."

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Erin Bode Brings Her Annual Valentine's Day Shows Back to Jazz at the Bistro

Categories: Interviews

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Flickr / Christina Rutz
Erin Bode
By Erin Williams

Valentine's Day can be such a complicated holiday. If you're in a relationship the ideas for celebrating can boggle the mind -- and cost you an arm and a leg, if you're not careful -- and if you're single you try as hard as possible to avoid being hit by all the "specials for two" and heart-shaped boxes of chocolate that seem to be in endless supply.

But all parties can agree that a night of good music is worth the trouble -- and the trip. Jazz vocalist Erin Bode and her band, the Erin Bode Group, will be playing their fourth set of Valentine's Day concerts at Jazz at the Bistro this Saturday.

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How Will We Tell the Complicated Story of the Blues in St. Louis?

Categories: Interviews

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Mike Vangel
Sarah Jane & the Blue Notes, performing at the Venice Cafe.
It was a Friday night in St. Louis. People shuffled through the dark entryway and into the bar, where the warm glow of red and green and orange lights glinted off the microphone's shiny steel grille. A collage of paint, signs, posters, statues, charms, and other antique odds and ends coated the walls, like a swirling voodoo spell. The singer, wearing a floor-length velvet dress and feathers pinned in her hair, held the microphone stand, and welcomed the stragglers inside with twinkling eyes.

Behind her, the band struck up its first number, a hep swing tune. A full rhythm section -- bass, keys, guitar and drums -- backed her, while the sax, trombone and dual trumpets filled out the melody and harmonies.

Finally, she closed her eyes and sang with a sultry voice reminiscent of Billie Holiday.

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Redemption Songs: Jason Isbell's Latest Work Tells a New Story

Categories: Interviews

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Michael Wilson
Jason Isbell will perform at Peabody Opera House on February 14.

Back in the day, Jason Isbell was as likely to pack a pool cue as a guitar when he hit the road. If you ran into him on the street, in a bar or at a show, or maybe for a late-night community-radio session, he might ask where the nearest billiards hall was and if you wanted to join him. Back in the day, you'd have been crazy not to take him up on the offer.

"I'm not sure how much pool I played," he admits. "In those days I'd go out under the auspices of playing pool and would just go out drinking."

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Reel Big Fish: "We're a Little Ray of Sunshine on People's Lives"

Categories: Interviews

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Todd Owyoung
Reel Big Fish will perform at the Pageant this Tuesday, February 10.
Ska music is made for dancing and parties and fun, which often leads to fans' buying their favorite band drinks. Drinks they sometimes have to turn down if they're gonna make it to the next town alive -- because they're professionals who care about their craft.

Didn't expect to hear that about a ska band, right?

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