Art Gallery To Host Fundraising Benefit For Venice Cafe Tonight

Categories: Live and Local

Steve Truesdell
Fred Friction, one of the performers tonight.
1900 Park, a new art gallery located in Lafayette Square, will be hosting a fundraiser tonight to benefit the Venice Cafe, which was recently burglarized. Thieves stole the cafe's safe and computer, shutting the venue down for a few days and setting its owners back a great deal financially.

See also: Venice Cafe Closed Indefinitely After Burglary

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STL's Play It Forward Program Puts Instruments in the Hands of Needy Kids

Categories: Live and Local

Being a musician is expensive. Equipment can be nightmarishly costly, often running up into the hundreds of dollars just to get your hands on decent gear. Decent , that is. Not even "great." (And God help you if you are a drummer.)

So how are kids supposed to get into playing music without serious financial backing? St. Louis' Samantha Fisher has found a way.

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Utopia Studios' New Music Venue, the Mecca, Hosts Inaugural Show This Saturday

The Mecca at Utopia Studios. | Photos by Mabel Suen
In midtown -- just west of Cardinal Glennon Hospital off of South Grand and just a few blocks away from the Grove -- Utopia Studios (3957 Park Avenue; 314-773-3660) manages to remain fairly incognito between busy neighborhoods. If it weren't for the vibrantly painted green building labeled with the company's signature tiki logo, passersby might not even notice that the connecting warehouse spaces were occupied -- and with a daily, rotating roster of musicians making loud noises, at that.

For the past nine-and-a-half years, Utopia has served as a band-rehearsal hall with 26 rentable practice rooms -- both hourly and long-term. Over time it has adapted its space to also function as a recording studio, dance studio, gear-rental headquarters and -- since last year -- a full bar with a colorful lounge to coincide the facility's retro vibe. This Saturday, July 12, it will add another facet to its multipurpose space: a new live-music venue dubbed the Mecca.

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Guitar Shorty, Samantha Fish to Headline Big Muddy Blues Festival on Laclede's Landing

Categories: Live and Local

Samantha Fish will headline night one of this year's Big Muddy Blues Festival.

Celebrating both St. Louis' blues legacy and the refreshed cobblestone streets of Laclede's Landing, the Big Muddy Blues Festival is expanding its variety of blues music for 2014, with influential artist Guitar Shorty and blues-rocker Samantha Fish headlining this year's event.

Slated for Saturday and Sunday, August 30 and 31, the two-day festival promises more noteworthy national and regional artists that showcase different blues styles and sub-genres. Plenty of local acts, to be announced later this month, will round out the family-friendly event, and the festival's website promises that 30 acts will perform 20 hours of music on three stages

See also: Five St. Louis-Based Music Festivals that Draw Out-of-Towners

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The Best Comedy Shows in St. Louis: July 2014

Sean Patton at the High Plaines Comedy Festival.

July's comedy joke theme is "Doublin' Up." Bare Knuckle Comedy is hosting a soiree of comedy shows featuring the triumphant return of a few of St. Louis' finest -- two of whom you might have caught a glimpse of at the sold-out Kyle Kinane and Marc Maron shows at the Firebird. The minds behind the Improv Shop and the Too Hip Series at Foam are also drawing from the same vein and offering storytelling events -- perhaps they'll fall in comedy love and all of the jokes will live happily ever after. Plus this will be the second time I reiterate how unusual it is to have enough comedy shows to deliberate what qualifies as best and what doesn't post-spring. My fingers are crossed for the trend to continue because laughter is nice, sports are stressful and the two could learn a thing or three from one another.

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AV Club Premieres New Video from STL Band Foxing

Edward Hayden Molinarolo

Local band Foxing is on a roll -- and something tells us that the group won't remain a St. Louis secret much longer.

On July 2 national pop-culture giant the AV Club premiered Foxing's video for "The Medic," yet another superb song from the group's 2013 debut album The Albatross. The video details what appears to be an emotionally distant couple's surreal experience in a cabin -- one that involves snow, roses sprouting from the bed and a very bloody nose.

See also: Foxing Releases New Video, Lands on Huffington Post's "Best Albums" List

Watch the video for "The Medic" now:

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MU330's Dan Potthast Wants To Perform In Your Living Room

Categories: Live and Local

Courtesy of Dan P.
When you start your first band at age fifteen, no one tells you that it's cool to play for your friends in your parents' basement. No one tells you that eventually performing in 5,000-capacity venues might become a little boring. No one tells you that the rock star lifestyle usually features generous strangers feeding you homemade casseroles instead of personal assistants removing the gross flavors from your bowl of Skittles.

But Dan Potthast knows.

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Bo & the Locomotive Plans Preview Party for First Album Since 2011

Bryan Sutter

St. Louis indie-pop group Bo & the Locomotive is preparing to release its first album since 2011, and the band is giving fans a chance to listen to it before it's even available.

In production for roughly two years, It's All Down Here from Here has been a labor of love for band leader Bo Bulawsky, and that process will be shared with fans during a special listening party at 8 p.m. Thursday, August 14 at the Luminary. Presented by Vintage Vinyl, the evening will feature tracks from the new album as well as presentations by Bulawsky and producer David Beeman about the making of the album. Album designer Daniel Murphy of Secretly Canadian also will share and discuss his artwork.

See also: Bo & the Locomotive Questions Some Kids on HuffPost Live

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Broke Musicians, Rejoice! Central Library Has a Free, Legit Recording Studio

Categories: Live and Local

Allison Babka
This isn't My First Mixer from Fisher Price. This is the real deal.

Today's libraries are far cries from the dead-silent tombs of the past. With a focus on community-creation projects and local-music support, the Central Library branch of the St. Louis Public Library system is encouraging patrons to -- believe it or not -- rock the heck out.

In May, Central Library revealed the Recording Room, a legitimate studio space where card holders can use professional gear to lay down tracks or record oral projects like podcasts, histories and poems at no cost. The new addition already has been a hit, with nearly all time slots reserved.

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Ryan Carpenter Tours Europe with Ian Fisher, Talks of Muny Magic


St. Louis multi-instrumentalist Ryan Carpenter has just returned from Vienna to God's favorite country, America. He slurps a gin and tonic as it stains the table with perspiration. He leans back and speaks.

"You know, I've never been much of a writer. I arrange a lot," he muses. "I have written songs. And I wrote songs for this Evangelical Christian band I was in -- Harlot Bride. Super good name. I wrote a few songs, but not many. I am more into taking songs other people have written and reworking those."

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