Aerosmith's Joe Perry Walks His Way in New Memoir

Categories: Reviews

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Copyright Ross Haflin/Simon & Schuster
Joe Perry tells his life story -- before and after the gray streak -- in ROCKS.
While they may not be blood brothers, Steven Tyler and Joe Perry, singer and guitarist for Aerosmith, respectively, might as well be, given the relationship they've had for more than 45 years.

It's a love/hate story that Perry details extensively in his new autobiography, written with David Ritz, ROCKS: My Life in and Out of Aerosmith (432 pp., $27.99, Simon & Schuster). And, if you've been following the saga of the "Toxic Twins" today, the future of one of America's greatest hard-rock bands is still in flux. At the time we spoke with Perry, just days before publication, neither Tyler nor any other band member had seen a copy of the book.

See also: The Drug That Helped Turn the Beatles into the World's Greatest Band

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Middle of the Map Fest Doesn't Disappoint in its Fourth Year

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Photo courtesy of Jim Vondruska
Yoni Wolf of Why? at Kansas City's recordBar

Four hours west of St. Louis lies a Midwestern city rife with curiosities. Its denizens may seem familiar to the eyes of St. Louisans, but the terrain is alien enough to mask itself in the guise of a pseudo-adventure. This place is called Kansas City, and the reason for the gathering is the Middle of the Map Fest.

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Tef Poe and Rockwell Knuckles' David Ruffin Theory is Everything We Hoped it Would Be

Categories: Hip-Hop, Reviews

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Tef Poe and Rockwell Knuckles dropped their much-anticipated David Ruffin Theory EP this week, and it is spectacular. Across twelve tracks of ethereal production Tef and Rocky weave in and out, each skillfully employing his individual style -- Rocky's more sing-songy approach still contrasts beautifully with Tef's hard-edged, pointed lyricism.

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The Album is Not Dying, Despite What You May Have Heard

Categories: Reviews

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From the Shangri La art
Tell this guy about the death of the album.
By Michael Corcoran
"The album is dying in front of our very eyes," Variety columnist and music business know-it-all Bob Lefsetz wrote recently based on weak LP sales, including Katy Perry's Prism, which sold only about 220,000 copies in its first week.

"If your plan is to increase your audience, spread the word and make money, suddenly the album just isn't working anymore," he continued. "We've turned into a nation of grazers. And the artist's job is to constantly be at the smorgasbord. Not to deliver one big meal that is picked at and thrown away, but to constantly provide tantalizing bites to the public."

As if Bob Lefsetz knows anything about "the artist's job."


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Review: An Under Cover Weekend 7 Delivers Two Nights of Memorable Music

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Dots Not Feathers, performing as Queen
Here we are again. The weekend has succeeded in melting into Monday, and An Under Cover Weekend is embedded in lore until next September. The annual event, which draws sold-out crowds to the Firebird each year has left us until next September. An Under Cover Weekend 7 showcased the technical prowess of bands like the Feed and the Incurables, and the simple beauty of Scarlet Tanagers' harmonies. It gave Bredon Jones of Last To Show First To Go reason to flex vocal muscles he wasn't even sure he had. It also gave rise to a new guard who will satisfy St. Louis' stomach pains for another show-stopping act like Via Dove, who after five cycles bid AUCW adieu.

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No Surprises as the Killers Rock LouFest: Review, Photos, Setlist

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Theo Welling
The Killers at LouFest
It's hard to believe that the Killers has been around for a decade. It's one of those bands that perpetually feels like a young whipper-snapper that should get off our lawn -- that is, until we hear "A Dustland Fairytale" on the radio and realize that Brandon Flowers and the gang have produced a gazillion singles.

So when the Killers closed out day two of LouFest -- and the entire festival -- the band had a huge arsenal of songs to rock the massive St. Louis crowd. The boys excelled on that front, but the performance reminded us that while they do put on an entertaining show, the Killers is not an experimental band. You are basically going to hear album versions of everything, with little variation. And maybe that's OK, as long as you know what you're getting into.

See Also: Our Complete LouFest 2013 Coverage

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Wilco Creates Thunder at LouFest, Dedicates Song to Bob Reuter: Review, Photos and Setlist

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Steve Truesdell
Wilco Performing at LouFest. Check out the full slideshow here.

LouFest headliner Wilco is no stranger to St. Louis. With roots across the river in Belleville, Illinois, the group has performed in just about every venue in the region. Hell, to celebrate the inaugural LouFest several years ago, Mayor Francis Slay even proclaimed August 29, 2010, to be "Jeff Tweedy Day," and the prodigal son played a charming early-evening solo set -- half of which we missed because our then-boyfriend dragged us across the field to stake out optimal spots for gawking at stupid Zooey Deschnanel while she performed with M. Ward as She & Him. Not that we're bitter or anything.

See Also: Our Complete LouFest 2013 Coverage

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Summer Obsessions: Foxygen's Latest Might Be the Best Album So Far This Year

Categories: Reviews

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Press Photo
Foxygen
I have an unusual music source. His name is Baron and he came to the United States in his late teens as a foreign exchange student from Germany. Although his homeland's biggest contribution to American music is probably when Nena floated to number two on the Billboard chart in 1983 with "99 Luftballoons" and its translated sibling "99 Red Balloons," Baron has tremendous taste in music. We were chatting about music one day, as we often do, and in his still-thick German accent Baron said to me: "You must check out Foxygen - I play it on repeat." Knowing he would never steer me toward beer festival style Oom-pah polkas or raucous heavy metal like Defeated Sanity or Heaven Shall Burn, for which his homeland is best known today, I took that recommendation and ran with it. Suffice to say: Baron, you have done it again.

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Recap: St. Louis Achieves 'Airness' in First Official Air Guitar Competition

Categories: Reviews

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Photos by Allison Babka
Contestants jam to "Freebird," with winner "Crystal Richter" (Beth Olson) teaching judge Julie Dill some moves.
No notes were played by the artists on stage, but the message was loud and clear anyway: air guitar in St. Louis was here to stay.

As noted in our cover story last week, the Firebird hosted St. Louis' first-ever official qualifying event for U.S. Air Guitar on Friday, June 28. With paid travel and ascension through semi-final, national and world competition at stake, contestants already had plenty to prove. But the big question was this: would St. Louis provide enough "airness" to make it a yearly event?

"You guys saw a great competition tonight," says Eric Melin, host of the evening's event and a U.S. Air Guitar Hall of Famer who performs as "Mean Melin." "And I think St. Louis will get even better in the future."

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Yeasayer Dedicates a Song to Lee Harris, Deceased St. Louis Photographer

Categories: Reviews

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Press Photo
Yeasayer
Yeasayer treated devoted fans this past Friday to a sold out show at the Firebird. The music and energy in the building was infectious -- the entire crowd sang along to Yeasayer's "Ambling Alp" from 2010's Odd Blood release; almost to the point that the band's vocal presence on stage seemed unnecessary.

See Also:
- Lee Harris, St. Louis Nightlife Fixture and Former RFT Photographer, Remembered


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