If you love holiday music, you surely love the way tradition gets updated, refreshed and sometimes warped. On "Running With Rudolph," St. Louis' the Lucky Old Sons do just that -- in a swinging '50s rock 'n' roll style no less -- with one of the season's most venerable characters.
The Magnolia Avenue Studios hosted hundreds of musicians, and over 70 different bands from all genres for 2013's Live at KDHX recording sessions.
If you're ready to hear music made right here in the St. Louis area, music that will excite you just as much or more than anything released all over the world, here's the perfect starting point.
Named after a small Missouri town, Salisbury is the project of St. Louis-based singer and songwriter Eric Lysaght, well-known as leader of rock band Neptune Crush. But Salisbury, and its new album "Life Is a Heartbreak," evokes the folk and country of the heartland. With gospel harmonies and a dreamy sense of nostalgia and narrative detail, the track "Down at the Fair" is a microcosm of the Salisbury world.
Fresh and revelatory holiday music can be hard to come by, but when Brothers Lazaroff join forces with electronic musician the Vaad, lyricist James Stone Goodman and members of the Klezmer Conspiracy, Hanukkah truly sounds like a festival of light and dedication for the 21st century.
Bassist for Eleanor Friedberger's current touring band, Cassandra Jenkins is a fine songwriter, singer and arranger in her own right, as evidenced by the new track "Up in Flames," which blends a folk sensibility with misty ambience.
Cave States is a new band of old friends. Anchored in the songwriting of Chris Grabau (Magnolia Summer) and Danny Kathriner (Half Knots and Colonel Ford), and including Todd Schnitzer (Nadine and Half Knots), John Horton (Bottle Rockets and Colonel Ford) and John Higgins (too many bands to name), all hailing from St. Louis, the group has collaborated on a new collection of Americana and folk-swept songs, including this lilting, lyrical prayer for a daughter, "Before My Eyes."
When I asked the members of Middle Class Fashion how involved they felt they were in the St. Louis music scene, most were hesitant to answer. "I guess we're pretty involved," bassist Brian McClelland said apprehensively. "Yeah, I guess so," singer Jenn Malzone added.
The haze of the cigarette smoke from the night hung in the sunlight peaking through the bar's pane glass windows. The staff had run in circles attempting to prep the bar for the Sunday patronage and touching up whatever happened the night before.
I don't know why I hadn't realized before, but Ween and Halloween go together better than their morphemes.