Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Birdmonster Show Review

There's no easy way to say this.

(pause for dramatic effect)

Birdmonster destroyed my face.

Well, it was actually easier to say than I had anticipated, but the sentiment holds true, nonetheless. On Tuesday, June 20, Birdmonster and opening band The Talk played at Off Broadway. I showed up a few songs into the Talk's set, and I was immediately impressed. They played with energy that, at times, reminded me of The Clash, The Replacements, and even the Walkmen (especially singer Justin William's voice, which, at times, had a yelp to it that was very similar to The Walkmen's Hamilton Leithauser). My preview of the show a few posts back clearly did not tout The Talk enough. They put on a good show and deserved to be seen by more people. The crowd of about 15 people was scattered about the club, sitting in chairs, politely nodding their heads as the show progressed. At the halfway point of their set, in between songs and during a quiet moment while they were tuning their guitars, bassist C.R. Rollyson noted that, in fact, “This is awkward.” So, singer Williams introduced the band to the crowd and decided it made sense to have everyone in the crowd to introduce themselves, person by person, and had everyone say their names. This, of course, took only about 30 seconds and when it was done he said, “well now that everyone knows each other, it’s not quite as awkward” and they continued to finish up their solid set.

Birdmonster was up next. By the time they started their set, there were no more than 25 people in the crowd, including staff and the opening band. Apparently, being a blog darling doesn’t get you very far in St. Louis, or much of a crowd on a stifling Tuesday evening, anyway. The band took the stage, tuned up and met in the middle of the stage, at the drumset. Gathered in a circle, they put their hands together in the middle (I was half-expecting a “Goooooooo Team!”), shook hands and backed away from each other as singer and guitarist Peter Arcuni quietly began playing. The volume and tempo started to increase as bassist Justin Tenuto stomped a foot on the stage in rhythm. The crescendo slowly built until the band was confidently into the Rock Zone. As Arcuni asked the crowd to come closer to the stage to make it feel more intimate, everyone in the crowd realized this show was going to be a collaborative effort. One by one, the crowd obliged and the band returned the favor in kind.

The band tore through its set with abandon and intensity. You could not help but get caught up in the show. They were playing as though there were 2500 people in the crowd instead of the actual 25. Their style of music is hard to describe. It is defintiely rooted in "indie" rock, but has the feel of an alt-country/americana band, with more of a punk rock bent. I was only familiar with two songs, but was playing air guitar and singing each song’s second and third chorus throughout the set. The band had a great stage presence and was able to engage the smallest of crowds, at one point commenting that crowd did a lot of heckling for being so small. After the band played what it had announced to be its last song, the house music went up, and the band began unplugging. When they were finished, the crowd was more than enthusiastic and several asked the band to come back on... Now, this wasn’t the usual situation where we cheered until they heard us and came back out – it was more of a matter of making a personal request to the band to appease the 15 people in the room by playing a few more songs. It was almost like a house show -- intimate, hot and sweaty. The band could sense the crowd truly appreciated everything the band had laid out on the stage that night. So, they came back out and played two more songs, making every last person there extremely happy.

You must see this band live when they come to your town.

St. Louis is a funny town when it comes to music. There really is a “show me” attitude about bands and their music here. But when a band puts on an engaging, energetic live show and shows a commitment to play often, this town rewards them. Birdmonster is a band that St. Louis will embrace, like Centro-matic, Slobberbone, Two Cow Garage and Marah, for their intense live show and commitment to rocking the fuck out.

Here's the video Birdmonster's "Cause You Can":

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

(smog) and the Supersuckers

(smog) is playing at Blueberry Hill's Duck Room on Saturday, September 9. I saw them play there last year and it was a nice, intimate show. Definitely check it out if you're into the Crooked Fingers/Iron + Wine/Jonathon Richmond school singer-songwriters.

(smog) - Spread Your Bloddy Wings
(smog) - I Feel Like the Mother of the World

And then, on Monday September, 11, the Supersuckers are playing at the Duck Room. I'm not completely sure what mood they'll be in on this tour, as they switch back and forth between balls-to-the-wall rawk'n'roll show and acoustic, countrified shows. I'd probably put my money on the former, though, as I think they did a country tour last summer.

Supersuckers - Pretty Fucked Up (live)
Supersuckers - I Don't Wanna Lose You Yet
Supersuckers - Hey Ya! (live cover)

Saturday, June 24, 2006


YouTube is becoming a great way for me to create posts without actually doing anything.

Here's Broken Social Scene's video for "7/4 (Shoreline)"

Friday, June 23, 2006

Bonnie "Prince" Billy

Bonnie "Prince" Billy, aka Will Oldham will be playing at Vintage Vinyl on August 15, 2006, as part of his summer tour consisting of primarily independent music stores.

Bonnie "Prince" Billy - Cursed Sleep
Bonnie "Prince" Billy - I See a Darkness
Bonnie "Prince" Billy + Tortoise - Thunder Road

Here's some crappy video I took of Eagles of Death Metal last month at the Creepy Crawl doing "Stuck in the Middle With You". When Youtube converted it, the light levels somehow got even worse. Oh well...

Thursday, June 22, 2006

I'm Still a Bum

Big posts coming soon.

For the time being, here is a video of the Arcadia burning in Dallas:

And here's some video of My Morning Jacket performing at Bonnaroo last weekend:

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Creepy Crawl

A little birdie told me the Creepy Crawl's liquor license application was approved and that the first show at the new locale will be on June 30.


Monday, June 19, 2006

Frank Black

Frank Black is playing a solo acoustic show at the Duck Room on Friday, August 11. This one will definitely sell out.

Frank Black - Los Angeles
Frank Black - Fast Man
Frank Black Francis - Monkey Gone to Heaven

Thursday, June 15, 2006


I've gone a week without a post -- there's a good way to keep readers. I've been super busy with work, the 48 Hour Film Project (ours is showing tonight at 7 p.m. at the Tivoli), rooting for the Mavs, ignoring the Stanley Cup, mildly paying attention to the World Cup, and reading about the rash of fires around town.

So, I thought I'd check in and remind you of the paper chase show tomorrow night, the Hurra Torpedo show tomorrow night, and tell you about the Team Tomato show tonight, at the Red Sea.

Also, Matt at You Ain't No Picasso posted a link to The Boy Least Likely To's cover of "Faith".

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Some Shows

St. Louis has a couple cool shows coming up in the next few weeks. Aside from the brutal June 16 conflict of the paper chase vs. Hurra Torpedo vs. Poison vs. Cardinals game, here are two I though you should know about:


Birdmonster is playing at Off Broadway on Tuesday, June 20. Birdmonster is from San Francisco, and were tearing up the blogger world about six months ago, so I guess I'm little behind then. Here are some songs:

Birdmonster - Resurrection Song
Birdmonster - No Midnight


Then, on June 28, SOUND Team and Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin are playing at the Hi-Pointe. SOUND Team are from Austin, Texas, and just released a new record this week, called Movie Monster. Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin plays great indie-pop and are from Springfield, Missouri (aka the real Springfield). I can highly recommend both bands.

SOUND Team - Your Eyes Are Liars
SOUND Team - Born to Please
Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin - Gwyneth
Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin - House Fire

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

The Floating City

From a Floating City myspace bulletin (yes, this is my lazy way of creating a post):

"After four years of writing and recording music in St. Louis, The Floating City is playing one final show before dismantling for an indefinite hiatis. The show is at the Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center which has become like a home to us. We will be accompanied by our dear friends Target Market, and some solo performances by Will, Gareth, Angel, and Dan.

Thanks to everyone who's cared about what we've been doing and about independent music and arts in general.

Tuesday, June 13th, show starts at 8:00 PM. It's all ages, $5."

The Floating City has been one of my favorite bands in the city for a while. They are serious about their art and are committed to contributing to the St. Louis arts scene. On top of that, they're super nice guys and they write great songs, to boot. You should try and check it out.

Here are some songs:

The Floating City - Kansas City
The Floating City - Where You Are
The Floating City - We Rode Into Town, Vultures Circling Overhead

This Day in History

Exactly 100 years ago on this date, there was an incredible coincidence, the occurance of which will probably never happen again. On June 6, 1906, the calendar date read 6/6/6 (even in Europe, too!). CRAZY! According to Iron Maiden, 666 is the Number of the Beast, the one for you and me. Can you imagine how crazy it must been to be alive then? I can't even fathom it.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Sure Juror

I've posted about Sure Juror before, but they're doing something new that I thought was worth posting again about. They are making their debut album available on their website, one track at a time. Each day, they put up a track for download, with a description of the song, some of the lyrics, and even the guitar chords for the song. It's a pretty cool idea, as it gets people coming back to their website over and over. They are currently on track seven, a song called "Ex-Cuties." I'm a big fan of them and this album, which is all over the place, and varies from galloping punk-ups to pretty acoustic songs. They seem to excel at frantic Joey Santiago-esque rhythm guitar parts. The band is from New Jersey and they are in the process of recording their second album right now. Give it a listen, if you will.

Sure Juror - Ex-Cuties
Sure Juror - Thank You in Advance

Saturday, June 03, 2006

the paper chase

A lot of bad bands (AFI, Hed(pe), Freshkill) and and potentially bad movies (Omen) are using the fact that next Tuesday is 6/6/6 as a marketing tool. It's fitting, then, that one of the most anti-commerical bands out there, The Paper Chase (think Fugazi-style cred) is releasing it's fourth full length album, Now You Are One Of Us this Tuesday, as it has a far better case for a 6/6/6 marketing campaign than any of those bands and deserves far more to be heard by as many people as possible than those bands. The Paper Chase should frighten anyone more than the cheesy emo-ism of a band like AFI, yet, due to their stuanch anti-consumerism, most people will never realize how very fitting it is that this excellent band is releasing an album on 6/6/6.

This post serves both to let you know that not only do they have an album coming out Tuesday, but that they will be playing at the Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center on Friday, June 16, 2006, and it fits nicely into my series of posts about Dallas bands that I followed in the 90's (I realize I'm stretching that one a little, as their first album came out in 2000, but I first saw them live in '98).

The Paper Chase's paranoid and schizophrenic marriage of noise, jazz, punk, and indie music is often suffocating and disconcerting but has the ability to wring a melody out of even the most jagged guitars lines and pounding rhythms. Their sample heavy albums are best listened to from beginning to end, as tiring as that may be. The band is monsterous live, with singer and guitarist John Congleton's guitar flying around his body, dancing with his flailing arms and physically mimicing the frantic sounds he is pulling from it. Here are a couple songs to whet your appetitie. Be sure to pick up the new album on Tuesday.

the paper chase - I'm Gonna Spend the Rest of My Life Lying
the paper chase - Now You're Gonna Get It
the paper chase - Said the Spider to the Fly

Obscure Sound also has three tracks from the new album.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

For all the Ladies

It's been a while since I've been to a rock show that's so hot and humid and sticky that it's hard to breathe, but on Wednesday night, I found myself packed into the sold-out Creepy Crawl with 317 other people. I was kind of surprised when I first heard that the Josh Homme-less Eagles of Death Metal would be playing such a tiny venue, but I suppose they may have booked the show with the expectation the Creepy Crawl would have already relocated to its larger space on Washignton Ave., in Grand Center. Fortunately, I did not make it in in time to see the opening band because, based on what I heard of them while waiting in line, if I had had to suffer through them in the stiffling heat of the Creepy Crawl, I probably would have murdered somebody.

After a small wait, the Eagles of Death Metal took the stage. Despite some technical difficulties involving singer and guitarist Jesse Hughs' guitar and an overall low volume level (which prompted a few calls from the audience questioning the mustachioed one's true rock-ness), the crowd was certainly pumped up to see them. By the third songs, the technical problmes had been taken care of and the volume turned up to a Rock Appropriate level. Hughes and second guitarist Larry "Bud" Mellman look-a-like, Dave Catching, provided enough rock to overcome any hurdles. The band tore through their catalogue, also throwing in a cover of Steeler's Wheel's "Stuck in the Middle With You," before they took a short encore break. They came back out for a short encore and ended the set with a cover of the Stones' "Brown Sugar."

Despite the heat (which was Hughes' second favorite topic to comment on; the first, of course, being all the ladies), they put a great show and left everyone sweaty, exhausted and exhilarated. Which is the only way they'd have it.

See more pictures on flickr.