With a deceptively spare arrangement of piano, bass, horns and drums, "Four Months to Kill" by Finnish singer and songwriter Astrid Swan has a tempting sound to match its story of love gone darkly wrong.
Ben Folds is no stranger to playing packed houses full of excited fans in St. Louis. However, last night's room was different.
When many folks hear the name Bruce Hornsby, they automatically hark back to his string of pop radio hits in the mid-1980s with his original band, the Range. Yet Hornsby is so much more as a musician and songwriter than that string of hits.
In 1975, in his book Mystery Train, Greil Marcus wrote of Randy Newman: "Newman is afraid of his sensibility, to the degree that he has to get it over to an audience." 36 years later, here he is in the Sheldon Concert Hall, sitting on his piano bench before a great Steinway, which yawned at a full house of devoted fans, many of them around his age -- and Mr. Newman seems only moderately comfortable.
It was a packed house on Sunday evening, and for those who are prone to showing up fashionably late, you may have missed the opening number. Ben Folds and his band came out promptly before the 9 o' clock hour even struck.
Led by singer and pianist Ellen Cook, St. Louis band the Felons play off-kilter, dark but ultimately fun pop music.
On its second album, Jukebox the Ghost goes for a big range. Hints of baroque prog rock, sugary Hall and Oates harmonies and pure power pop make the title, Everything Under the Sun, stick.