Memorial Day Summer Rocks Event Canceled, Future Festivals in Question

Categories: News

Eva Rinaldi / Flickr
The first of the Summer Rocks music festivals will not happen on Memorial Day.
In March 2014, a Los Angeles talent agency known as ICM Partners came to St Louis with a not-so-modest proposal. Board Bill 328 was introduced in the city's Convention & Tourism committee by Ald. Phyllis young, seeking to allow the company to host major "Lollapalooza-like" festivals on Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends in downtown St Louis' Gateway Mall. The Memorial Day event would be a country music concert, while the Labor Day event would focus on rock & roll.

The bill was approved by the Board of Aldermen with a 21-4 vote, despite pushback and skepticism from some in the local music community. ICM was granted exclusive access to the city's Gateway Mall for the holiday weekends for the next ten years, with an option to extend the deal to twenty if all parties agreed.

Now, 2015's Memorial Day event has been cancelled, and the future of further concerts is uncertain.

See also: St. Louis Aldermen Greenlight Summer Rocks Music Festivals

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St. Louis Concert Promoting Non-Violence Erupts in Violence

Categories: News

Screenshot from TMZ video, below.
R&B star August Alsina and promoter LooseCannon SLIM brawl backstage at Chaifetz Arena.
This past Saturday, January 17, Chaifetz Arena played host to the State of Emergency 2 concert, featuring rappers 2 Chainz, Yo Gotti, August Alsina, Fabolous and Migos. The show was billed as one supporting the local anti-violence campaign Put Down the Pistols, with a portion of the night's proceeds allocated to the cause. The show was also meant to honor the late Mike Brown, the Ferguson teenager killed by police officer Darren Wilson in August. (Brown's father, Mike Brown Sr., even made a statement onstage.)

Despite these admirable intentions, chaos reigned backstage as New Orleans R&B star August Alsina and his entourage got into a heated brawl with show promoter LooseCannon SLIM.

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CNN: National Blues Museum Among Top 10 Anticipated World Attractions

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

Google Maps
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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Garth Brooks & St. Louis Blues Team Up for Kids' Hockey: Photos

Categories: Last Night, News

Allison Babka
Former St. Louis Blues right wing Kelly Chase and country star Garth Brooks are "Teammates" for life now.

Do country music and hockey mix? The former conjures up images of cowboy hats and tractors, while the latter brings to mind mouthguards and Blur's "Song 2." These aren't exactly related interests.

But in St. Louis, anything goes, especially when there's an opportunity to help local kids. That's how country megastar Garth Brooks and a bevy of St. Louis Blues players got together to bring hockey to children at the Mathews-Dickey Boys and Girls Club in north St. Louis.

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Jason Hutto Leaves Considerable Legacy Behind in St. Louis With Farewell Show

Categories: News

Theo Welling
Hutto, center, making a guest appearance during Bunnygrunt's twentieth anniversary show at Plush.
If you have listened to a St. Louis rock band in this millennium, chances are that Jason Hutto had some kind of impact on it. The veteran rocker guesstimates that he has recorded around 100 bands during his tenure in town, and his work in groups such as the Phonocaptors, Sexicolor, Walkie Talkie USA and Warm Jets USA has shaken the city with pure rock fury. And that's even before you get to his occasional sideman work for local legends Bunnygrunt.

Unfortunately, Hutto is drawing his epic seventeen-year run in St. Louis to a close. He recently packed up the latest iteration of his Smoking Baby Studio that had been working in the basement of the soon-to-be shuttered Apop Records, and is set to move with his girlfriend to Houston. Before he leaves, he's rounding up the members of his best-known band, he Phonocaptors, to play one last show at Plush on October 10.

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Bruiser Queen Signs to Boxing Clever Records, Full Length Sweet Static Due October 7

Categories: News

Jon Gitchoff
Bruiser Queen performing outside Apop Records.
After a six-month recording and mixing process that involved several Megabus trips to 5 and Dime Recording in Memphis, St. Louis' Bruiser Queen is ready to release its sophomore album, Sweet Static. Young local label Boxing Clever Records will make the album its first full-length release when the record hits stores October 7. Boxing Clever is evidently a big believer in the duo; the label has signed the group to a two-album, one-EP deal, with Sweet Static counting as one of the long-players.

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Vintage Vinyl's Lew Prince Shrugs Off White House Award; Prefers Minimum Wage Hike

Categories: News

Jon Scorfina for Riverfront Times.
Lew Prince (left) and his business partner, Tom "Papa" Ray, at Vintage Vinyl.
The co-owner of Vintage Vinyl was back in the nation's capital this week to receive a Champions of Change award from the White House. But if you think Lew Prince is flattered by the honor, think again. The real award, says Prince, will come once Congress raises the minimum wage.

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Mikey Teesdale: Beloved Sound Guy at Plush Passes Away Unexpectedly

Categories: News

Photos courtesy of the Teesdale family
A memorial for Mikey Teesdale gets underway today at 4 p.m. at Plush.
The St. Louis music scene suffered a loss this week with the passing of Gregory Michael "Mikey" Teesdale, the sound engineer at Plush. Teesdale first arrived in St. Louis prior to the 2012 opening of the midtown concert venue and restaurant. Teesdale also spent several years working for Plush's sister site in Tucson, Arizona, before moving here.

Plush owner Maebelle Reed says Teesdale, 29, was perhaps best known for his determination and his easy-going demeanor.

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Kinfolks Soul Food Festival Leaves Forest Park Trashed, St. Louis Crowd Furious

Categories: News

Micah Usher for Riverfront Times
Fans at Kinfolks Soul Food Festival on Saturday -- before things got messy.
An Oklahoma-based production company with an "F" rating with the Better Business Bureau did little to improve its reputation during a stop through St. Louis on Saturday.

Slideshow: Kinfolks Soul Food Festival in Forest Park

Those who attended the Kinfolks Soul Food Festival on Forest Park's Art Hill complain that the event was mired from the start. Fans had to stand in excruciatingly long lines to enter the festival, even as temperatures soared into the upper 90s, and then wait 40 minutes between musical acts once the event finally got under way. And the problems didn't end when the much-delayed festival finally wrapped at 12:45 a.m. -- nearly two hours after it was supposed to have concluded. As the sun rose on Sunday, park officials realized that no one from Kinfolks Soul Food Festival had bothered to clean up litter from the event that left Art Hill looking like a debris field.

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