Austin Nitsua Unites St. Louis' "Freaks and Weirdos" for Acid Kat Fest III

Categories: Live and Local

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Maddie Rehayem
Austin Nitsua (center), Acid Kat founder, performing with Animal Teeth.
When Austin Nitsua was a kid, he would lie under the covers on Monday nights with his radio tuned to KDHX (88.1 FM), listening to Jason Rerun's now-bygone Scene of the Crime radio show. As a middle school student growing up in the suburbs, Nitsua had a hard time making it to the city for shows, but through Rerun he learned about classic St. Louis punk bands including the Welders and Max Load. Scene of the Crime was his window into another world.


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An Under Cover Weekend Expands to Three Nights for Its Ninth Year

Categories: Live and Local

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Angela Vincent
Blackwater '64 Performing at An Undercover Weekend as the Foo Fighters.
Katy Goldstein of Dots Not Feathers stands in front of a jam-packed crowd at the Firebird, wearing sequined gloves and a red leather jacket. One of her bandmates, Ryan Myers, has put down his guitar and is now carrying a small brown book. He's outfitted in a red and white marching-band outfit, and he hardly glances down as he recites the spoken interlude to Michael Jackson's "Thriller."

"And though you fight to stay alive/your body starts to shiver/for no mere mortal can resist/the evil of the thriller."

The year is 2012, but it may as well be 1983.

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Tawaine Noah Brings His Musical Journey to the Stage at Off Broadway

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Photo by Carissa Rose
Songwriter Tawaine Noah leads a rotating cast on stage tonight at Off Broadway.

"Almost every other week I was thinking of some reason why we needed to come back to St. Louis," says Tawaine Noah, speaking of his last year spent in Portland, Oregon, living in self-seclusion. Nestled in an apartment complex twenty minutes outside the city, he and partner Carissa Rose gestated, separated from the river city they knew so well.


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The Fog Lights Pull From the Past to Illuminate New Sounds on Manhassett

Categories: Live and Local

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Abby Gillardi
Fog Lights' Justin Johnson and Jim Peters.
If it's known to anyone, Manhasset is known as the archetypal tony neighborhood of Long Island, New York -- picture polo fields, tennis courts, ritzy malls and school districts with budgets that exceed the GNP of Puerto Rico. To Justin Johnson and Jim Peters of the Fog Lights, Manhassett (with two "t's") is where they grew up -- the name of a 350-unit apartment complex in Brentwood, located near the Saint Louis Galleria, where the Magna Bank complex now stands.

See also: Premiere: Watch the Fog Light's New Video for "Lead the Way" Now

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General Lee Shows Up to Cancer Benefit for Ken McCray

Categories: Live and Local

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Courtesy of Ken McCray
Ken McCray poses with the General Lee
Last month, we ran a feature on Ken McCray's ongoing fight against Stage IV colon cancer, as well as the benefit concert that was being planned to help pay off some of his bills. The months of planning and effort from McCray's friends and family seem to have paid off. Last weekend, the St. Louis music community rallied to Mile 277 to show their support for the Superjam and Tilts drummer.

See Also: Best Drummer St. Louis 2014 - Ken McCray

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Tracy Swigert Left Corporate America to Start an All-Girl Burlesque Rock Band

Categories: Live and Local

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Terrence Strong
Lavender X, Tracy X and Kelsey X of Crazy XXX Girlfriend
"I wrote these songs because I always had a chip on my shoulder," says Tracy Swigert, speaking in front of Kevin's Place on Cherokee Street. "You always see guys rocking, and I was like, 'I want to do that. Why can't I do that?'"

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Show at Melt Tonight Benefits St. Louis-Based Victims of Sex Trafficking

Categories: Live and Local

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Seth Rogers and Leave Your Mark Printshop
A cropped version of the flyer for tonight's show. Full flyer below.

It is 10:45 on Tuesday night, and Jack Middeke is crouched over the cracked pavement in front of the Elite Medical Staffing Group storefront on Cherokee Street. The business has long since locked its door and closed for the night, but for the bars and venues that line Cherokee, the night is still young.

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The Conformists Return to Form with Original Vocalist Mike Benker

Categories: Live and Local

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Chris Muether
An outdated photo of the Conformists. Former bassist James Winkeler (right) has been replaced by Chris Boron (not pictured), who initially replaced singer Mike Benker (center), who has returned to the group. Got it? Good.
It's just before midnight on a dreary Tuesday night and Christopher Dee, Chris Boron and Patrick Boland of the Conformists are sitting around a small table outside the Royale, sipping drinks and pulling on cigarettes as they remember nineteen years of playing music around St. Louis. Only a thin canvas covering separates the bandmates from the falling rain, which after a day of thunderstorms and showers has slowed to a drizzle.

"This is a great place to be a band. It's super cheap, its easy to have a practice spot, you're a hub in the country. The city is a big part of our identity for sure," says Dee, who plays guitar in the band. "I think something about being secluded here and having to let your creativity keep you occupied and busy does something a little bit different than it does elsewhere where you have this built-in reputation."

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Tortuga Is a Homecoming for Mike Leahy and the Big Muddy Records Family

Categories: Live and Local

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Robert Rohe
Mike Leahy and Chris Baricevic of Tortuga.
By Jenn DeRose

Those familiar with Mike Leahy as the frontman for 7 Shot Screamers or as the man behind the face paint of Clownvis Presley might be surprised by his new project. Tortuga, a desolate take on country-rock as viewed through a psychedelic lens, is Leahy's first foray into solo songwriting instead of, as Leahy puts it, "having four guys involved in the writing process like we did in 7 Shot Screamers."

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The Beat Goes On: A Stage IV Cancer Diagnosis Won't Stop Ken McCray

Categories: Live and Local

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Screenshot from Superjam promotional video.
Jeff Gallo and Ken McCray performing in Superjam.
Jeff Gallo and Ken McCray are sitting in a Starbucks in south city, sipping coffee as they reminisce about the bands in which they have played together over the years. Gallo wears a Faust Beer trucker hat and a white shirt that doesn't quite cover the giant "Missouri Route 55 South" tattoo that stretches across his forearm. Across from him, McCray wears a light blue Superman T-shirt. He has bright blue eyes and cleanly cut blonde hair. He looks strong and healthy.

At a glance, you would have no idea that he's been battling cancer for the past three and a half years.

See also: Best Drummer St. Louis 2014 - Ken McCray

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