The Five Best Musical Open Mic Nights in St. Louis

Ed Schipul / Flickr
Because everyone deserves a shot behind the mic. Yes, even you.
Open mic nights are an invaluable asset to any music scene. Whether you're a budding musician looking to hone your skills with some stage time, an occasional hobbyist just playing a few of your favorite songs for fun, or a seasoned professional looking to try out some new material, open mic nights are a great way to commune with other local musicians of all skill levels.

Luckily for St. Louis-area musicians of all stripes, we've got no shortage of music-oriented open mics around town. Here are five of the best that St. Louis and the surrounding area have to offer:

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The Ten Most Underrated Drummers in the History of Rock

Categories: List-O-Rama

Jean Fortunet/wikimedia commons
Yes, one of rock's most famous drummers is also underrated.

With all the real injustice on the streets -- and in the courtrooms -- of America currently, you might consider it trivial to examine ten drummers who deserve more credit and attention than they've received. And you'd be right. But music is, if nothing else, a way to make sense of this wicked world through pure release; ostensibly, music geekdom -- enjoying and dissecting -- is a meaningful part of that release.

See also: The Ten Most Underrated Guitarists in the History of Rock

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20 Metal Albums Turning 25 This Year

Categories: List-O-Rama, Metal

Danzig II: Lucifuge
25 years ago the Gulf War started, Nelson Mandela was released from prison, Jennifer Lawrence was born, and that's about all we can think of without referring to Wikipedia or one of our older colleagues who still has a functioning long-term memory.

1990 also saw the release of several excellent metal records. Here are twenty we like best.

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Catching Up With Last Year's "St. Louis Musical Acts to Watch"

Andrew Koh
Mvstermind Einstein of M.M.E.

We're getting a fresh start in 2015 and looking ahead to the new sonic awesomeness that St. Louis musicians will bring. The talent pool in this city continues to grow, and that promises nothing but good things for our local culture and notoriety.

But we've been down this path before. At the end of December 2013, we predicted what might happen for eight local acts that we dubbed "the ones to watch" for 2014. So how did last year turn out for these brilliant creators and performers? We went straight to the musicians themselves to find out. (Not all eight acts could be reached for comment.)

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Six St. Louis Musical Acts to Watch in 2015

Adam Newsham

The abundance of musical talent in St. Louis shouldn't surprise us anymore. After all, this is a city that was built upon the talents of Scott Joplin, Tina Turner and Chuck Berry. But damn if we don't get big ol' grins every time a band hits the "click."

You know the click — that period in an act's lifecycle when everything from songwriting to personnel to gig schedule comes together in a power-surge that screams, "Hell yes, this is it!" And when that happens, witnesses can see the elements merging together all Captain Planet-like onstage, adding a special kind of electricity to a performance. It's pretty beautiful.

We see that happening with a lot of St. Louis talent right now, but it's quite pronounced in the acts below. Maybe these folks recently added a surprising instrument to the sound. Maybe they're on a high from a new album. Maybe they just said, "Fuck it, I'm going to finally make the kind of music I love." Whatever they're doing just works, and that's why these are six St. Louis acts we'll be keeping our eyes on in 2015.

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The Nine Most Unsettling Cover Songs Ever

Categories: List-O-Rama

Brandon Marshall. Full slideshow here.
Kid Rock feels like makin' love.
By Gina Tron

Whenever an artist covers a song he or she takes a risk, particularly if it's a classic or at least already burned into everyone's minds a certain way. Some covers don't feel right because they get mangled, other times it's uncomfortable because a song about love is morphed into something less meaningful. Here are nine cover songs we found funny, strange and unexpected. Some of them aren't necessarily bad, just kind of...uncomfortable.

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Awful Music Trends That Should Be Left In 2014

Categories: List-O-Rama

Photo courtesy of Big Machine Records
Will we hear even a little less about Taylor in 2015? One can only hope...
Despite what the editors of Rolling Stone want you to believe, 2014 was not, in fact, "another great year for music." In all honesty, it was one of the worst on record for new creations that innovated or inspired. Sure, there were some highlights: Jack White, FKA Twigs, Schoolboy Q, St Vincent. But overall, the year was somewhat of a bust.

The good news is that there is no need to abandon hope for popular music. All that needs to happen is that these dreadful pieces of 2014 need to stay on that side of the calendar. Here's to 2015!

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Five Signs You Might Be a Shitty Rapper

Bettina Braun/Flickr
Wiggity wiggity wiggity wack.

Ever since dance music decided to overdose on molly, the only thing respectable alternative for pop music lovers is hip-hop.

With that said, we're sorry, hip-hop, but we have to start holding you to a higher standard. You don't want to end up like EDM, do you? Trust us, you don't.

Fix up, look sharp. You're pretty sloppy. So please, take a real hard, close, honest look at yourself. And if you're guilty of one of these five symptoms of wack-hackery, well, do the Gandhi and be the change you wish to see in the world. The future of music depends on you.

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8 Reasons Now is the Best Time to Be a Music Fan in St. Louis

Categories: List-O-Rama

Joel יוֹאֵל/Flickr
St. Louis is a music-lovers town, through and through.
This year all signs point to the premise of this blog post being a total lie. Apop Records closed, Jason Hutto moved to Texas, Johnny Vegas' Stag Nite is kaput (so he says), the Gramophone is giving up live music for full-time sandwich slinging, Kentucky Knife Fight and the Blind Eyes threw in their respective towels, south city sleaze-rock staple Lemmons is deader than a doornail and KDHX's Local Artist Spotlight is being discontinued indefinitely. These are only a few among many reasons why the scene seemingly sucks right now. Thanks a lot, 2014.

However, there is hope. Regardless of what the surface seems to say, diving a little deeper into the pool reveals true promise. Both the lovers and the creators of St. Louis music are proving that there is in-fact life after all of this death.

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8 St. Louis Clubs That Are Open On Christmas

Categories: List-O-Rama

RFT Staff
Because it is better to party than to snuggle up to a warm fire or whatever.
With the holiday season now in full swing, there are no shortage of parties to attend -- that is, if your idea of a "party" revolves around ugly sweaters, drunk relatives and awkward small talk with your coworkers. If, on the other hand, you prefer raves to wreaths, DJs to dreidels and grinding to garlands, you might find yourself in search of a party that's... well, more of a party.

If your idea of a good time is a little more active, then get out and burn off a few of those Christmas ham calories at one of these eight St. Louis clubs open on Christmas Day:

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