This week, check out shows including Oddisee, Masked Intruder, Zagk Gibbons' album release and much more. Fourth of July weekend approaches with special shows from Clownvis Presley (as human a cannonball, nonetheless) and Wussy, for starters. Get our recommendations on this week's entertainment, and stay tuned for our weekend best bets on Friday for even more live music to come.
The Felice Brothers Monday, June 30, 8 p.m. w/ Robert Ellis @ Off Broadway - $15-$17 By Roy Kasten The Felice Brothers have always been more than just the most philosophical and historically minded of all the stoner Americana bands -- and that's accounting for under-acknowledged influences like the Grateful Dead and undeniable soul mates Dr. Dog. The old-time-shit scratching and funky-shit kicking that made the band's earliest recordings and live mayhem so compelling are in full, drunken sing-along effect on the Bros new album Favorite Waitress. And the group may have recorded the best power-pop song of the year in "Cherry Licorice," accordions and fiddles and all. Opener Robert Ellis won over many an attendee to the recent Jason Isbell tour, and though the Houston native can veer towards soft-rock side of Americana, his pure country voice is undeniable.
Oddisee Monday, June 30, 8 p.m. w/ M.M.E., A-Game, Supreme Sol @ The Demo - $10 By Tara Mahadevan Oddisee's first major break came in 2002 when he produced the DJ Jazzy Jeff song "Musik Lounge" from The Magnificent. After signing to New York label Halftooth Records in 2006 and releasing a slew of mixtapes, Oddisee began working with Phoenix label Mello Music Group and dropped his first studio album in 2008, 101. Oddisee is constantly making music -- in addition to ten mixtapes, he has released seven studio albums with Mello Music Group. He released his latest album The Beauty In All in September 2013. Oddisee's sound is often described as eclectic -- his musical influences mainly come from his family and where he's from, the "DMV." While his mother played him gospel and bluegrass music and his cousins showed him hip-hop, his father exposed him to the guitarists, singers, and poets of his native Sudan. It was Oddisee's dad who handed him his first vinyl hip-hop album, which encouraged Oddisee to pursue a career in production.
Little Big Bangs Tuesday, July 1, 9 p.m. w/ Con Trails, Babe Lords @ CBGB - free By Christian Schaeffer From the 2014 RFT Music Awards: We've reached an age where most up-and-coming bands don't remember a world without Nirvana; especially young rockers that may have been born after Kurt Cobain shuffled off this mortal coil and left behind an impossibly tall shadow. And so it goes that Little Big Bangs, one of the best of a crop of early-twenties rock bands, bears traces of grunge but pays no slavish devotion to the sub-genre. Last year's self-titled LP showed how the band's trio of singers -- Eric Boschen, Ryan Macias and Lucy Doughtery, joined by drummer Drew Gowran -- can wrangle the best from punk, pop and sludge-rock into something that is animated by static, strings and raw power.
Masked Intruder Wednesday, July 2, 8:30 p.m. w/ Direct Hit!, The Priceduifkes, The Humanoids @ The Demo - $12-$14 By Daniel Hill From this 2013 show review: Madison, Wisconsin's favorite band of law-breaking pop-punkers played Cicero's last night, encouraging attendees to be careless with their valuables and to wander freely into dark alleys after the show. Officer Bradford, the band's touring parole officer, made sure the band members were following the conditions of their supervised release while a crowd of a hundred or so pogo-ed, slammed and sang along.... Ramones-y four-chord chops and energetic sing-a-longs abounded throughout the night. The hook for "ADT Security" might be one of the catchiest things I've ever heard, and the band played it precisely despite the fact they had to be nearing heatstroke with those ski masks on. I was hot as hell wearing a light sweater. "This song is about how we love you so much, your security system can't keep us away from you."
Better Days Thursday, July 3, 9 p.m. w/ Nos Bos, Blight Figure @ Schlafly Tap Room - free By Daniel Hill Better Days has existed since the beginning of 2010, composed of hardcore scene veterans and former members of local favorites To No End, the Requiem and Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting (as well as many more). Playing catchy, melodic anthems drenched in positivity and good times, Better Days hit the ground running with its self-released demo entitled Songs About Drinking (complete with Big Black parody art) and has been playing basements and stages alike throughout town ever since. The sound is reminiscent of Gorilla Biscuits crossed with Saves the Day, or maybe a slightly less spastic Kid Dynamite, and it has earned the band loyal fans all over St. Louis. Opener Blight Future is a new project by Stephen Inman -- formerly of Nineteen and currently of So Many Dynamos and the Loot Rock Gang -- and its manic bursts of off-kilter sound come across like the punk future we were promised by Refused so many years ago. Definitely a local act to keep an eye on.
Wussy Friday, July 4, 8 p.m. w/ Rough Shop @ Plush - $8/$10 By Roy Kasten Rock songs about rock songs rarely capture the exhilaration that inspired them in the first place. "Teenage Wasteland," the lead track from Attica!, the latest chapter in the story of a Cincinnati-based band called Wussy, does just that -- and more. Over shimmering fuzz and a guitar-picked parabola echoing the synth hook of "Baba O'Riley," singer Lisa Walker howls her devotion to a song and a band that truly changed lives. It's but one of many such explosive moments on what may be the band's finest hour. If you caught Wussy at its last appearance at Plush, you know that fireworks don't just happen in the night sky. Opening band Rough Shop has been holed up of late working on its second Christmas album, but fear not: The veterans have more than enough soulful, non-seasonal material to entice your early arrival.
Clownvis Presley Friday, July 4, 9 p.m. w/ Bruiser Queen @ Atomic Cowboy - $10 By Allison Babka From this 2012 show review: Clownvis took the stage in his blue caped jumpsuit outfitted with silver sparkles and giant belt buckle. Thanks to friends' photos from previous shows, I knew the getup was coming, but I was fairly impressed just the same. Aaaaaand then my eyes moved from the jumpsuit to his head - hair higher than my grandma's, '70s-style sunglasses, giant red nose. Even though Clownvis sang Elvis songs and seemed like a perfectly lovely clown, his makeup still tricked my brain into thinking that he soon would reveal fangs and have me for a post-show snack.... Clownvis led the club in dramatically singing the film version of "Tomorrow" from "Annie." The audience responded by being quite off key. I responded by having Chuck-E-Cheese flashbacks.
Zagk Gibbons CD Release Saturday, July 5, 8:30 p.m. w/ Volcanoes, Rigoletto, Lords and Kids @ Plush - $7 By Joseph Hess Solo acts typically come in one of two flavors: singer-songwriters or some variant of DJ or electronic artist. While Zagk Gibbons is no stranger to the allure of a simple rock song, he takes a more brainy approach by looping together guitar and synth. His set climbs, picking up melodies along the way, and when the sound starts to peak, Gibbons hops behind a drum kit, where he's obviously most at home. Elements of dance, jazz and prog co-mingle in palpable pop songs that swarm with adjacent beats -- ultimately a genius mix of genres. Volcanoes, Lords and Kids, and Rigoletto will open the show, each with its own take on danceable rock. Hit the gig early and don't miss out. And bring your ass -- you will need it for shaking.
The Wailers Saturday, July 5, 7 p.m. w/ 311, The Urge @ Verizon Wireless Amphitheater - $34-$500 By Josh Levi From this archived show preview: In 1981, Bob Marley was taken from this earth, leaving behind an untouched legacy and his closest ally, the Wailers. Thirty years after the legend's untimely death, the band continues to forge ahead, spreading messages of peace, love and understanding. Although many members have moved on, veteran bassist Aston "Family Man" Barrett anchors the Wailers with the addition of vocalist Koolant. Said to have channeled the spirit of Marley himself, the vibrant singer delivers beloved classics with devotion and grace. In homage to its fearless leader, the band is sure to play hits like "I Shot the Sheriff' and "Redemption Song" with a few originals slipped in as well.
The English Beat Sunday, July 6, 8 p.m. w/ The Rocksteady Flyers @ Blueberry Hill - $25/$27.50 By Allison Babka From this 2013 show preview: Okay, okay, we get it: The current English Beat isn't exactly the same band that put out songs like "Mirror in the Bathroom" and "Save It for Later" in the late '70s and early '80s. Though vocalist/guitarist Dave Wakeling has been the only original member of the North American iteration for many years (pals Ranking Roger and Everett Morton are active in the U.K. version, the Beat), the English Beat still deserves respect for what it is: a two-tone ska revival band with energetic musicians who layer some sweet reggae, punk and new wave beats. The band makes regular stops all over St. Louis, but seeing a show in the intimate Blueberry Hill will give you the best bang for your skankin' dollars.
Note: Though we wish we could, we can't feature every great show happening in town in just one measly post. Look for plenty more recommendations this Friday in our weekend shows post, and peruse the St. Louis concert calendar for more ideas any time. Let everyone know what else you're looking forward to seeing this week in the comments below, and submit show info online any time to be considered for inclusion on these lists.
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