by Joseph Hess
It's Halloween! Yes, that magical holiday that encourages children to take candy from strangers. For one night, it's acceptable for anyone to dress like "slutty" versions of Disney characters, and let us not forget the clever jackasses all across the country who will dress in blackface and woefully proclaim, "But I'm not racist, I swear!"
All Hallows' Eve is going down whether you love it or not, so just give in and throw on your clever last-minute (and culturally relevant) costume. We've laid out a great list for not only tonight, but for Saturday and Sunday as well, so read on and plan for the weekend ahead.
Friday, October 31
Avi Buffalo October 31 Old Rock House 8 p.m. | $20 The somewhat surreal, somewhat folksy band Avi Buffalo had a surefire plan to avoid the sophomore slump from the start. Its 2010 Sub Pop debut offered plenty of quirky sing-alongs, but in its indie-pop-centric modesty the music was hardly mind-blowing. This year's At Best Cuckold is simply that album plus studio savvy and a trumpet-muted love for the Zombies. Avi Zahner-Isenberg writes with charming mirth -- "Memories of You" juxtaposes pop grace with some of the goofiest lyrics of the year -- but he also knows that opting out of the race to the indie-rock bottom is the best bet. By just letting beautiful melodies lead the way, Avi Buffalo might just win the audience it deserves. (CS)
CaveofswordS w/ Pat Sajak Assassins, Superfun Yeah Yeah Rocketship October 31 CBGB 10 p.m. | Free Vocalist Sunyatta McDermott leads CaveofswordS with a powerful voice, bringing together a hot fever dream of shoegaze and indie pop. The group connects so well onstage you'd think they're psychically linked. Pat Sajak Assassins has played on Halloween for the past ten years or so. For whatever reason, that band has a love affair with the holiday, but don't expect covers like most of the other shows on the same night -- this concert keeps things original. (JH)
Halloween Covers Show w/ So Many Dynamos (as Devo), Demonlover (as Prince), Trauma Harness (as Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark), The Humanoids (as the Damned), Escalade, Shaved Women (as Rudimentary Peni), Mark Willey and Friends (as Roxy Music) October 31 Melt 9 p.m. | Free Halloween is all about dressing up and pretending to be something else, so fittingly, this All Hallows' Eve will see entire bands dressing up and pretending to be completely different groups. The yearly event always brings out a big crowd, and this year it will attempt to fit a large chunk of the south-city music scene (and their costumes) into Melt. The lineup features sets from So Many Dynamos as Devo, Demonlover as Prince, Trauma Harness as Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, the Humanoids as the Damned, Shaved Women as Rudimentary Peni and Mark Willey and friends as Roxy Music. The show also promises unannounced surprise performances and guest stars (including Escalade as an unknown performer). It's a free show, but just like last year, organizers will be accepting donations for a charity cause at the door. (JL)
Hallow-WEEN w/ Fattback and Dock Ellis Cooper: A Tribute to Alice Cooper October 31 Off Broadway 8 p.m. | $10-$13 With Gene Ween now living the sober life and leaving the band behind him, Off Broadway's annual Hallow-WEEN tribute show may be St. Louis' only chance to see the group's music performed in a live setting. This year features Dock Ellis Cooper -- it shouldn't take you a lot of effort to figure that one out. Exciting! (DH)
Kill the Noise October 31 The Ready Room 8 p.m. | $25-$28 Jake Stanczak, the brains behind Kill The Noise, seamlessly crosses genres, using different styles of electronic music as tools to deliver a distinct sound. The final product is a survey on modern American dance music -- busy, but still easy on the ear. (JH)
NOiSE Halloween w/ 18andCounting, 32 Pc Vintage Party Set, Animal Teeth, Beauty Pageant, Janet, Dave Stone Ensemble October 31 Blank Space 9 p.m. | Free No cover to get in, no covers played inside the door. For an entirely cover-free Halloween event, try going the noisy route. Spooky movies to be projected throughout the night's proceedings! GASP! (DH)
Whitey Morgan & the 78s w/ Joe Fletcher October 31 The Gramophone 9 p.m. $12/$14 Whitey Morgan is self-proclaimed "true grit American honky-tonk," and there's no better way to describe the band's sound. Men with beards like Whitey's don't lie. Bonus points for showgoers who arrive wearing their own homemade Whitey beards. (JH)
Saturday, November 1
Avant November 1 Lumiere Place Casino & Hotel 7 p.m. | $25-$40 R&B singer Avant has worked with the likes of KeKe Wyatt, Snoop Dogg, Lloyd Banks and more since he hit the scene in 1999. He names R. Kelly as a major inspiration, but don't hold that against him. (DH)
Sunday, November 2
Twiztid November 2 Pop's Nightclub 6 p.m. | $20-$24 w/ Kung Fu Vampire Haven't had enough Halloween yet? Maybe check out the juggalos' favorite horror-rap act this side of ICP and keep the evil vibes going!
Note: Though we wish we could, we can't feature every great show happening in town in just one post. Peruse the St. Louis concert calendar for more ideas, and let everyone know what else you're looking forward to seeing this weekend in the comments below. To be considered for coverage in RFT Music, submit show info online or drop us a line anytime.
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