It was a hell of a weekend for music lovers of St. Louis. On Friday James Murphy came to town and induced a feral dance party at 110 BPM, while Pokey LaFarge and Dave Alvin drew hundreds of roots-music fans to Casa Loma and Off Broadway; on Saturday a riptide of the best local bands churned their audiences in and out of the current along Washington Avenue for the Riverfront Times Music Showcase, while Son Volt performed at the Pageant; and on Sunday night Darwin Deez graced us with its weightless, magical presence at the Demo.
For the uninitiated, Scarlet Tanager may seem to have all the elements for a successful cult. The St. Louis six piece has family ties (vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Michael Logsdon is married to lead vocalist/guitarist Susan Logsdon, whose brother guitarist Josh Shepherd is married to keyboardist Jordan Shepherd, along with old friends bassist Dustin Kent and drummer Matt Davidson), spreads an impossibly upbeat but always believable gospel of happiness, and delivers contagious live performances that draw everyone in to commune in the good vibes of pop music.
Backed up by the East Side Rhythm Band, young blues shouter and piano rocker Al Holliday makes a strong, big-band, old-school R&B debut with "East Side Queen."
The 8th annual Midwest Mayhem -- KDHX's annual member thank-you party -- took place at the City Museum on Thursday, May 9.
St. Louis band the Jungle Fire comes into its own garage funk own with "Brothers and Sisters," a collective cry for justice and a declaration of pride -- all set to monster bass, tough flute (yes, it's possible) and a whole lot of soul.
A sparse audience of sleepy-looking loners and softly chatting couples sat at the high tables on the edges of the main room at the Old Rock House. The local guys of Tone Rodent climbed onstage, each of them either tuning strings or tweaking knobs or putting on a good don't-give-a-shit face.
Another Record Store Day is in the books, and what a day it was.