CNN: National Blues Museum Among Top 10 Anticipated World Attractions

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The National Blues Museum, under construction on Washington Avenue.

What do the National Blues Museum and Hello Kitty have in common? They're both on CNN's hot list.

Since the National Blues Museum announced in December that it had achieved its funding goal and would begin construction in downtown St. Louis immediately, blues fans and news outlets alike have been championing the museum. Cable news behemoth CNN is the latest to jump on the bandwagon, touting the museum as one of ten "exciting attractions opening in 2015." CNN writer Mark Johanson includes the National Blues Museum on his list of most anticipated venues from around the world, along with Hello Kitty Park in China, Funtasy Island in Indonesia and the National Videogame Arcade in England.

Here's what Johanson says about St. Louis' upcoming attraction:

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9 St. Louis Bands That Called It Quits In 2014

Categories: Local History

Photo by Theo Welling
Kentucky Knife Fight performed their final show to a sold-out crowd at Off Broadway.

When local bands form, they become part of their city's DNA. Even in the digital age, music can reach an audience years after its members have passed, so the mere act of writing, recording and performing adds to the ether of St. Louis art. Music is an aural look into the lives of the people, and by taking account of the bands we lost in 2014, we can learn more about each other through the music of today.

See also: Six Reasons Why Bands Break Up, A Comic

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National Blues Museum Meets Fundraising Goal, Begins Construction on World-Class Blues Experience

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The home of the National Blues Museum on Washington Avenue.

When the National Blues Museum announced on December 11 that it had completed financing and was ready for construction in downtown St. Louis, business executives and music fans around the metro region became excited. After all, a world-class tribute to the blues located on Washington Avenue could drive all kinds of economic and cultural development.

But Rob Endicott, chairman of the board of the National Blues Museum, isn't merely excited about the museum; he's also confident that this is the piece that will forever connect the Gateway City with a style of music that has contributed so much to America's rock & roll legacy.

He should know. He's a blues musician himself.

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A Salute to the Supporting Cast of Run the Jewels 2

Screenshot from "Run the Jewels" video.
That guy in the back, with the RAP FAN hat? He used to be a St. Louis hip-hop mainstay.
By Phillip Mlynar

By now, you've had a few weeks to play El-P and Killer Mike's magnificent Run the Jewels 2 on repeat. (If not, quietly chastise yourself and then head over here and download it now.) While the chemistry between Mike and El is an undeniable draw, the Run the Jewels movement has also bloomed into something of an ensemble project, with a coterie of behind-the-scenes cohorts also contributing to the album. Consider this a salute to the faithful jewel-running supporting cast.

See also: Meow the Jewels Reaches Kickstarter Goal, World Isn't So Bad After All

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Watch Film and Commercial Clips Featuring Songs by St. Louis Bands

Screenshot from preview below.
This scene from The Last Time You Had Fun features the song "Now Is Not the Time" by St. Louis' own Pretty Little Empire.

Most local musicians don't aim to have their songs on Dance Moms and other reality shows. Sometimes they're just lucky that way.

Actually, a bit more than luck brought indie-pop band Scarlet Tanager together with the Lifetime television program in 2013. As we note in this week's feature story, the St. Louis group had licensed songs to a major music library that places tunes in television shows. Rock group Pretty Little Empire also has had success placing songs on TV and in film, though that band accomplished the feat not via a song library but through people already familiar with its catalog.

So what's the deal? Do musicians give up the rights to their songs when they let an entertainment entity use the tunes?

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Apop Records: An Oral History From the Local Music Community

Categories: Local History

Courtesy of Tiffany Minx
Beryl, the Apop Records store cat.

By Joseph Hess and Mabel Suen

Patrons of Apop Records found a wide range of intriguing things to peruse and amuse the years, from half-naked no wave bands to Beryl the grouchy-yet-lovable store cat. When Tiffany Minx opened the store in 2004, she planned on running the operation for maybe five years. Now, after a decade of slinging counterculture ephemera, she's ready to move on. The brick-and-mortar storefront on Cherokee Street will offer up its last slabs of wax on Monday, October 27.

See also: Apop Records Celebrates Ten Years at Plush: Photos

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Artist Karl Haglund Shares Stories Behind Paintings for Billy Bragg, Ryan Adams & STL Musicians

Courtesy of Fugitive Art
Karl Haglund's paintings of the late Bob Reuter's guitars.

We all know that a musician makes art, but in some cases, a musician makes art. Tangible art. Visual art.

Karl Haglund is just such an artist. A painter from Charles City, Iowa, Haglund grew up with creative parents, forging his own paths through both music and craftsmanship. As an adult, though, Haglund has managed to merge his interests, painting extremely detailed guitars and sharing musicians' stories of what makes these instruments so personal and special.

"I see an old guitar that's beat up, and I think of it as a work of art instead of just an instrument," Haglund tells RFT Music. "I see the guitar as its own piece of art in itself."

See also: Painter Karl Haglund Brings St. Louis Musicians' Guitars to Life On Canvas

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Livery Company Moves Down the Street To Former Radio Cherokee Space

Categories: Local History

Bryan Sutter for RFT
When Livery Company (3211 Cherokee Street) opened in south city two years ago, co-owner Emily Ebeling envisioned the concept as a low-key, vintage cocktail bar that paid tribute to the Cherokee neighborhood's post-Prohibition heyday. What she didn't expect is that it would become a hotspot for local and touring bands to plug in their guitars and play.

In addition to serving as a reliable watering hole, Livery Company has played host to a variety of intimate concerts including folk, punk and everything in between -- Guitardog and "Go Folk Yourself" shows as well as the punk-and-noise-drenched Electric Kool-Aid Acid Kat Fest are among some of the most memorable in Ebeling's mind. Now she's ready to get back to her concept's roots by moving the business a few doors down to 3227 Cherokee Street, the corner space formerly housed by DIY music venue Radio Cherokee.

See also: Wild Times at Electric Kool-Aid Acid Kat Fest 2

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Bob Reuter To Be Remembered By St. Louis Community in Show At Ready Room Saturday

Categories: Local History

photo by Jaime Lees
Bob Reuter giving a partial thumbs-up outside Off Broadway in 2011. (He was unsure how to feel about being forced to wear my STL bling necklace.)

I keep wondering what Bob Reuter would have to say about the recent violence and civil unrest in St. Louis. He would have a lot to say, no doubt. He always had a lot to say.

That was probably my favorite thing about him: how he could go on and on about any old thing. The man could spin a yarn. Most of his stories seemed to be exaggerated for effect, but that was part of his charm. In any case, Reuter seemed incapable of keeping his mouth shut. In a world where many commentaries are muted or diluted for a potentially disapproving audience, Reuter would've been talking and commenting all over the Internet and losing Facebook friends left and right. He would've been blabbing, and it would've been entertaining, at least, and possibly infuriating. Or it might have been insightful and wise. He was unpredictable, that Bob.

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Lemmons Oral History - The Lost Interviews

Categories: Local History

Photos by Mabel Suen
Skarekrau Radio at Lemmons, circa 2010.
In this week's music feature, we talk about Lemmons, the beloved  south-city spot for punk rock and pizza. The dive bar closed recently to the surprise, and dismay, of many. We were unable to fit all the interviews of people's favorite memories from the bar's twelve-year existence into the print edition, so we've included some outtakes here. Read on for more stories from Lemmons' staff, patrons and more.

See also: Memories of Lemmons: St. Louisans Recall Their Favorite South Side Dive Bar

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