What a Concept: Dots Not Feathers and Volcanoes Talk About Their Upcoming Albums

Bryan Sutter
Dots Not Feathers (from left to right: Chris Dickey, Katie Brooking, Nick Blackburn, Ryan Myers, Jessica Haley, and Stephen Baier).

When Eric Peters suggests a hike to St. Charles for a group interview, he does it without his signature hyperbolic flair. The message comes with the watered-down flavor of a gin and tonic that sits at the bar without so much as a sip taken. "I know the perfect place. They have a Mustache Monday. And it's kinda like a dark cave. And it's called Old Millstream Tavern." There is also a shitstorm of emojis that depict various natural disasters. And dolphins.

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Schwervon! Moved From NYC to the Midwest and Never Looked Back

Categories: Live and Local

Press Photo
New York City is a wonderful place to live, but it can be hard to make ends meet if you want to focus on your art. Such was the dilemma that Matt Mason and Nan Turner faced in 2012. As Schwervon!, a guitar/drum duo, the two had recorded a few albums, toured the U.S. a bit and made a few forays into Europe. When they wanted to focus on music full time, they faced a tough choice. Either they could stay in New York City, where they were about to lose their rent-stabilized Lower East Side apartment, or they could pursue the idea Mason proposed: relocate to the Kansas City area, where he grew up. The Midwest won.

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St. Louis Aldermen Greenlight Summer Rocks Music Festivals

Categories: Live and Local

Eva Renaldi/Flickr
The St. Louis board of aldermen approved Board Bill #328 yesterday. The vote paves the way for two large music festivals in downtown St. Louis.

Initial plans will see the Summer Rocks music festivals in downtown St. Louis' Gateway Mall, beginning the Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends in 2015. Critics of the proposal said it would stymie local artists and push locally produced shows away from the city.

See also: St. Louis City Committee Talks of New Major Downtown Music Festival

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Vote for Dropkick the Robot to Win Songwriting Contest Before It Conquers France

Corey Woodruff
St. Louis indie act Dropkick the Robot could use your votes in a worldwide songwriting contest that starts tomorrow. This is no charity case, though -- the band has the chops to back up the favor it's asking.

"We've been working for a really long time at songwriting," says Daniel Mehrmann, vocalist and guitarist. "It's nice to get recognized for something that you love to do."

Mehrmann and Dropkick partner Kara Baldus are out to win the electronic category of the John Lennon Songwriting Contest, named for one of the Beatles' prominent lyricists. Mehrmann and Baldus wrote their song "Missed Out" in December, and it's been rising steadily through the contest's various levels, recently winning a grand prize ($9,000 worth of gear) for their session.

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The Ready Room in the Grove: First Look

Categories: Live and Local

Mabel Suen
Owner/talent buyer Mike Cracchiolo and managing partner Laura Sisul.
On the morning of its inaugural show featuring indie-rockers Of Montreal, the Ready Room still wasn't quite ready to fill its 800-capacity space with its first set of guests -- yet. Staff worked diligently to install the vital finishing touches for the stage's debut show, including sets of colorful lights and the house PA, before opening the doors for Of Montreal's stop in town last night.

"We basically got the best possible sound system for this size space," says Ready Room talent buyer/owner Mike Cracchiolo. "We tested it out and it sounds great only cranked up to three."

See also: Mike Cracchiolo Discusses the Ready Room, His New 800-Capacity Venue for the Grove

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Blank Space Turns Two; Major Renovations Coming Soon

Categories: Live and Local

Courtesy of Blank Space
By Brian Heffernan
Blank Space has become many things since hosting its first event on the 2012 spring equinox, including a tea house, an award-winning gallery space, the monthly host of a boogie-down dance party, a DIY punk and hip-hop venue, and a reading room. And this week, the chameleon-esque venue will become a two-year-old.

Beginning Thursday, Blank Space will throw a four-day festival to celebrate the anniversary. The venue will feature concerts Thursday, Friday and Saturday from artists including Teresa Jenee, Iman Omari, DJ Needles, So Many Dynamos, MNDSGN, 18andCounting and others (full show details below). On Sunday from noon to 6 p.m., it will host several pop-up retail stands for local bands to sell CDs, tapes, records and other merchandise.

See also: Choose Your Adventure: Blank Space is clearing the roadblocks

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Summer Rocks vs. Lollapalooza: By the Numbers

Categories: Live and Local

Eva Rinaldi/Flickr

Local lawmakers have cited Lollapalooza and Chicago's many successes in hosting music festivals as a reason to move forward with a long-term deal to bring two Summer Rocks music festivals to St. Louis. It is only fitting, then, to contrast the proposed Summer Rocks contract with the Lollapalooza contract.

The biggest differences seem to be monetary and in the language that allows for existing events.

See also: Summer Rocks Music Festival Bill Passed By Aldermanic Committee

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Summer Rocks Music Festival Bill Passed By Aldermanic Committee

Categories: Live and Local

St. Louis is one step closer to rocking this summer -- the ICM Partners way.

Wednesday afternoon, the aldermanic convention and tourism committee passed a much-amended Board Bill #328 -- now known among locals as the "Summer Rocks bill" -- which proposes to bring two multi-stage music festivals per year to downtown St. Louis through Los Angeles talent agency ICM Partners. It will now will go before the full board of aldermen, and then the board of estimate and appointment, and if it passes those, Mayor Francis Slay will review the matter no earlier than mid-April.

Update: The fully amended bill now is available on the city's website.

See also: Summer Rocks vs. Lollapalooza: By the Numbers

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The Pains of Being Polite At Heart: "I Look Up to Tom Petty a Lot."

Categories: Live and Local


Kip Berman doesn't think his band is any more important than any other group of artists. And this doesn't appear to be a statement born out of false modesty -- for every band that brushes with success, there are dozens of talented artists who go unnoticed. The brains behind the self-described indie-pop outfit the Pains of Being Pure At Heart is conscious of his rather ordinary upbringing and doesn't overstate his place in the canon of independent music.

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Online Petition Addresses St. Louis Summer Rocks Festival Uproar

Categories: Live and Local

Daniel Ramirez/Flickr
Jeremy Segel-Moss believes St. Louis aldermen will choose money over local culture as they continue to consider inking a long-term deal with ICM Partners to bring music festivals to Gateway Mall beginning Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends in 2015.

The musician, a member of the Bottoms Up Blues Gang and vice president of the St. Louis Blues Society, started a MoveOn.org petition to voice concerns about the Summer Rocks proposal that's now awaiting approval from a city government committee.

See also: Questions Remain About Summer Rocks Festivals; Vote Postponed

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