By Jaime Lees
Halloween is all about dressing up and pretending to be something else, so fittingly, this All Hallows’ Eve will see entire bands dressing up and pretending to be completely different groups. The annual event always brings out a big crowd, and this year it will attempt to fit a large chunk of the south-city music scene (and their costumes) into Melt. The lineup features sets from So Many Dynamos as Devo, Demonlover as Prince, Trauma Harness as Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, the Humanoids as the Damned, Shaved Women as Rudimentary Peni and Mark Willey and friends as Roxy Music. The show also promises unannounced surprise performances and guest stars (including Escalade as an unknown performer). It’s a free show, but just like last year, organizers will be accepting donations for a charity cause at the door.
– link: Riverfront Times
Pazz & Jop 2011
39th Annual Village Voice Critics’ Poll
“Pazz & Jop is an annual poll of musical releases compiled by American newspaper The Village Voice. The poll is tabulated from the submitted year-end top ten lists of hundreds of music critics. Pazz & Jop was introduced by The Village Voice in 1974 as an album-only poll, but was expanded to include votes for singles in 1979.”
We in St. Louis have always known that our pop-punk Humanoids were a first-rate band. With two albums, a few 7″ and tons of touring under their belts, it was only a matter of time before our little treasure received national attention. Word-of-mouth recommendations reached Vinnie Fiorello of Less Than Jake and Fiorello now promotes the Humanoids on his label Paper and Plastick. The self-titled album came out this autumn and it was just in time– we fans have been waiting for far too long to get a copy of songs that we’ve learned and loved from the high-energy live shows. The new album is offered to stream or download for free at freemusicfirst.org, and it’s so good that you’ll feel guilty for not having to pay for it.
Key Track: “Future Perfect”– it’s a song that you hear once and then you know it forever. And the catchy chorus makes it an instant sing-along hit.
Place You’re Most Likely to Hear the Artist: The Silver Ballroom. At this South Side punk rock pinball bar the drinks are cheap, the owners/employees are amazing and the juke box is full of both punk classics and our favorite local bands.
Listen: You can stream (and download) the whole damn album for free here
- link: Riverfront Times
TV Blinded Me With Science
My favorite major release of 2008 was TV on the Radio’s Dear Science. Holy crap, was I unprepared to deal with the magnetic, schizophrenic brilliance of that album. I tried to listen casually — you know, in the car, while doing the dishes, etc. — but I soon found myself up late at night, incapacitated by the weight of big-ass headphones, wide-eyed in wonderment and smiling in the dark.
After bumping hip-hop newcomer Kid Sister’s tune “Beeper” on the daily, I spent an unprecedented amount of time — and a sickening level of ass-kissing — trying to scam an advance copy of her debut LP, Dream Date, from better-connected industry friends. Though it won’t be released until March 2009, Kid Sister’s playful, fly girl charisma permeates every song on the debut, and this hip-hop cutie has the skills to back up her Next Big Thing hype.
There were some hot reissues this year, including R.E.M.’s Murmur, Verbena’s Souls for Sale, A.A. Bondy’s American Hearts and the remastered Replacements discography. All were greatly appreciated — and rocked accordingly.
The best concert I saw in town was Sharon Jones at Blueberry Hill’s Duck Room in January. I knew she would be good, but I had no idea how good. The sold-out, sticky, sweaty, shoes-off, swinging hair, soul-filled basement show had me jumpin’ and forced my booty to do things heretofore unthinkable. Hallelujah.
Locally, I still crush on Bunnygrunt, the Humanoids, Sex Robots, Rum Drum Ramblers and Pokey LaFarge. I’ve seen each about 27,856 times this year and I’m still amazed at the spirit and passion their performances ignite. In addition, I can’t say enough good things about the Livers. This extraordinary rock duo is relatively new, but it consistently churns out one of the most exceptional live acts in the city.
— Jaime Lees
[“the RFT’s music writers weighed in on what they liked this year” – HERE]
- article – link
RFT Music Awards Nominees: St. Louis’ Best and Brightest
Published on May 28, 2008
Please follow this link to read about the nominees listed below.
Best Americana/Folk – Rum Drum Ramblers
Best Untraditional Americana/Folk – Rats & People
Best Funk/Soul/R&B – Kim Massie
Best Hard Rock/Metal – Head On Collision
Best Local Release (self-released) –
Rats & People’s The City of Passersby
Best New Artist – The Livers + Wooden Kites
Best Pop Band – Sex Robots
Best Punk/Hardcore – The Humanoids
LCD Soundsystem’s self-titled 2005 release stands as the album that made me finally, truly believe in new electronic music. But Sound of Silver was a huge step up — and my ultimate album of 2007. It had everything I wanted: fun, super-fresh style, beauty and plenty of beats. “All My Friends” is elegant and touching, “Someone Great” is bloop-bloop perfection and the hand claps and joyous shouts of “a-woohoo!” in “Watch The Tapes” are majorly addictive.
Still, my favorite part of the music year was when an android stork dropped down from outer space and delivered us Radiohead’s In Rainbows. The media hullabaloo surrounding the surprise release sucked me in whole (because I’m a dork and I love shit like that). And while I remain fascinated by the band’s alien marketing techniques, the album had the chops to back up the hype. It’s pretty, glitchy, bittersweet and epic — in short, everything you would expect from a Radiohead album. However, In Rainbows is instantly more accessible than Amnesiac, Kid A or even Hail to the Thief. Around the same time as the album’s release, the band started leaking performances on its Web site, including live versions of album tracks and my new favorite cover ever: Radiohead playing New Order’s “Ceremony.”
My heart swelled with pride when the Arcade Fire released Neon Bible, and then both fans and critics welcomed the album’s lush, bountiful orchestration. Arcade Fire fans have formed a near-cultish church surrounding the band, but their worship might be justified. “Intervention,” “Ocean of Noise,” “(Antichrist Television Blues)” and “My Body Is a Cage” are nothing short of magical and could easily be mistaken for the rapturous hymns of a new religion. Everyone was primed for a backlash against the indie darlings, but you can’t argue with songs this beautiful.
As far as independent releases, at the beginning of the year I was gifted with an advanced copy of AA Bondy’s recently released American Hearts, and it’s been in heavy rotation ever since. The solo singer-songwriter put aside his former life as the lead singer of scorching glam-grungers Verbena in favor of a more earthy, exposed adventure. Bondy composes lonely tales of complicated redemption, teetering between the delicate confusion of Dylan and the hopeful pride of Springsteen. His soulful voice is soothing and softly Southern, making American Hearts a perfect Sunday-morning album.
I also happened upon tons of great local releases this year. The Humanoids’ Are Born is my favorite; the songs are pure punk and the band straight-up shames most other locals with its energy and authenticity. Rats and People’s The City of Passersby is dense and enchanting, and quite a few songs on the Bureau’s We Make Plans In Secret deserve repeated spins. Finally, Riddle of Steel’s 1985 wasn’t released until the end of this year, but I can safely predict that it will rock me through 2008. (click to read all)
— Jaime Lees