All Aboard for Fun Times: St. Louis show highlights for February 3-4
There’ve been a few additions to the venue scene of late, but I’ve neglected to note a subtraction: the days of touring acts at St. Louis University’s the Billiken Club are apparently over. It was rumored that the fall schedule would signal the end, and an open-mic is the only event posted for the spring.
I’m sure many fans of their free shows are bummed, but I appreciate having one less website to track; it’s becoming quite a task to follow all the ones on my radar. I think we’re easily at a saturation point with venues, absent a bunch of young folk following the leads of Pokey LaFarge, Paige Brubeck/Evan Sult (of Sleepy Kitty) and David Beeman (of Old Lights) by migrating here, along with most of our own sticking around.
Yes, Virginia, there really is a December show calendar still lingering on the Mangia Italiano website. If you know someone who’s gonna be playing there, better tell ‘em to self-promote extensively; the venue usually waits until the day of a show to do Facebook posts, which isn’t much help.
There are a reasonable number of shows worth recommending this weekend, although there’s nothing of interest on Sunday for a change. I guess the Super Bowl alternative concept is on hiatus.
Friday, February 3
I should’ve mentioned this in the last edition, the Dr. Lonnie Smith Trio is this week’s act at Jazz at the Bistro (3536 Washington), playing organ-centric bop in the spirit of Jimmie Smith. Ryan Wasoba offers his impressions of them for the RFT.
Sets are at 7:30 and 9:30, with a $30 cover ($25 if you can make it to a Thursday set; $10 for students at all shows), attendees of early sets are often invited to stay for the second. Smoke-free.
Marleyfest 8 with Murder City Players and guests
Blueberry Hill Duck Room 6504 Delmar 9:30-1 $15 Smoke-free
It’s been a pleasant winter here, but it’s still warmer in the Caribbean, where MCP, our town’s reggae institution will take you (at least in your mind) as they lay down riddems for Prince Philip, Tony Rome and several guest singers in their annual tribute to Rasta Man #1.
Miss Jubilee and the Humdingers
Beale on Broadway 701 S. Broadway 10-2 $7 Smoking, moderate to heavy
High-energy swing-jazz and R&B sounds from MJatH.
I assume this takes place indoors, which means it’ll be cramped, and probably quite smoky.
If you feel a need to do some cretin hoppin’ instead of swingin’ or groovin’, you can head to Off Broadway (3509 Lemp) to check out Punk Rock Isn’t Dead, It Just Smells Funny. Bass Amp & Dano headline, joined by the Haddonfields, Black for a Second and the Chill Dawgs. The show starts at 8, with a $7 cover (+3 20-under). Smoke-free.
Saturday, February 4
Jazz at the Bistro hosts the Dr. Lonnie Smith Trio for their last two sets, same details as Friday.
The Blind Eyes / Bo and the Locomotive / Mutts / Sleepy Kitty
Firebird 2706 Olive 9-1 $5 (+3 18-20) Smoke-free
This show celebrates the venue’s third anniversary with a diverse bill. Soulful, jangly pop from TBE. BatL are fronted by Bo Bulawsky (son of Magic City frontman Larry), playing indie rock with a folk rock vein. Chicago trio M have a gritty, blues-rock sound that’s reminiscent of Black Diamond Heavies. It’s been a while since SK has played (to my knowledge), the duo offer a pop-rock base melded with improvisation via loops and effects.
Schlafly Bottleworks 7260 Southwest 9-12 Free Smoke-free
Fans of western swing or jazz artists like Django Rinehardt and Stephane Grappelli will dig SDV, sweet sounds from players with serious chops.
Marleyfest 8 wraps up night two at Blueberry Hill, same particulars as before.
Your humble servant,