by Joseph Hess
Being the one year anniversary of Michael Brown's death at the hands (gun) of officer Darren Wilson, this weekend is packed with civil discourse and public action, including free concerts in and around St. Louis. Two notable shows are Saturday at the Ready Room with Rage Against The Machine's Tom Morello and Sunday at Fubar with Talib Kweli, Common, Tef Poe and many more. Both shows are free but donations will be collected to help empower activism. #BlackLivesMatter is not a slogan or a catchphrase -- see the art of the movement live and in person.
FRIDAY, AUGUST 7
Animal City w/ Perennial Reel, Early Worm, Jon Beabout + Sam Nauman, Willis Friday, August 7 Foam Coffee & Beer 8 p.m. | $5 By building songs on simple hooks layered with loose vocal harmonies, Chicago's Animal City takes a mostly minimalist approach. But fixing what's not broken has never been a modern rock band's forte and Animal City is no exception. The local lineup reads like a handful of sharp darts thrown at a board of different genres, with some sticking to emo, noise and odd pop.
Cathedral Fever Final Show w/ Fister, Hell Night, Anodes Friday, August 7 Fubar 8 p.m. | $8 By Daniel Hill Three and a half years after forming, Cathedral Fever is calling it quits. While that might not seem like a very long time, it is actually a pretty typical lifespan for a hardcore band, and the St. Louis group managed to release a matching number of records during that period (one demo, two EPs and a split with Hell Night, amounting to three and a half releases according to our crack team of math buffs). That actually puts the group a little bit ahead of the curve, honestly.
I Actually Album Release Show w/ Fumer, Durango, Mike Pennekamp Friday, August 7 The Firebird 8:30 p.m. | $5 Bands like I Actually prove that alternative rock isn't just a byproduct of the overblown grunge movement via early '90s record companies pushing up every band with loud guitars and a southern drawl. If anything, the genre is as alive and well as ever, with radio ready gems being cut on the local level every year. This band might be fairly young, but its sound has aged into a gritty, heavy hitter.
Taking Back Sunday Friday, August 7 Ballpark Village 6 p.m. | $10.57-$30 Ballpark Village has a penchant for taking pop punk and emo bands from decades' past and billing them in the same vein as some of America's biggest rock and country stars. Obviously, there's a big fan of MTV on staff reliving the dream shows of a teenager who grew up in the early aughts. Taking Back Sunday might've been the rage in 2004, but time has only brought a bigger backlog of songs to sing along with.
SATURDAY, AUGUST 8
Daddy Issues w/ Maximum Effort, Shin Shin Saturday, August 8 Foam Coffee & Beer 9:30 p.m. | $5 Snotty girl-punk via Music City U.S.A., Daddy Issues sounds much like the band name might suggest. One part whiny, three parts bratty, the band pours hot chords over a loose-fitting backbeat, dressing the whole affair up in the kind of catchy vocals that command any good garage rock song worth its salt. Shin Shin is a Chin Chin cover group by Posture, who you can read about in this interview from last week.
El Monstero: A Tribute to Pink Floyd Saturday, August 8 Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre 6 p.m. | $20-$45 At this point, El Monstero might elicit the same kind of excitement as the band it pays tribute to. With enough of its own spin, the band brings Pink Floyd through a theatrical and very warped lens, pouring familiar pieces into an articulate live show. Remember when RFT Music had weekly comics by local artist Curtis Tinsley? Check out this comic he penned on El Monstero last winter.
Ferguson Rocks w/ Tom Morello and the Freedom Fighter Orchestra, Boots Riley (of the Coup), the Outernational, Steffanie Christi'an, Jessica Care Moore Saturday, August 8 The Ready Room 8 p.m. | free By Daniel Hill One day before the one-year anniversary of the death of Ferguson teenager Michael Brown at the hands of then-Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, the Ready Room will play host to a concert to raise awareness and benefit social activism. Organized by rapper/activist Talib Kweli's Action Support Committee, the free show will feature performances by many artists who are outspoken about social justice, including Rage Against the Machine's Tom Morello, Boots Riley of the Coup, Street Sweeper Social Club and more. While the event is free of charge, donations are encouraged.
Rocky Votolato w/ Dave Hause, Chris Farren Saturday, August 8 The Firebird 8 p.m. | $12 Rocky actually penned a song called "St. Louis" back in 2012, so that's reason enough for local diehards to give the rough-and-tumble songwriter a chance. We just sat down with him for an extensive interview, where he talks about the new record and the latest opportunities his music has brought in recent years.
Sifasic EP Release Show w/ Slow Down Scarlett, the Edgefield C. Johnston Duo, Jamie M. George, Grass & Stone Saturday, August 8 The Heavy Anchor 9 p.m. | $7 This release show is more of an overblown introduction to Sifasic, the songwriting collaboration between Jamie M. George and Joshua J. Grassle. The new EP, simply titled Basement Sessions, contains everything the name might suggest. Thankfully, this sounds tighter and more cohesive than a simple demo reel. Welcome the band into the fold along with several of the city's strongest songwriters.
SUNDAY, AUGUST 9
Ferguson Is Everywhere Concert w/ Common, Talib Kweli, 9th Wonder, Thisl, T-Dubb-O, Kenora Ross, M-1 from Dead Prez, Tef Poe, Bun B, Jasiri X, Immortal Technique, Pharoahe Monch, Nappy DJ Needles. Sunday, August 9 Fubar 8 p.m. | free Consider this the sequel to Saturday night's #FergusonRocks concert, but with a thick shade of hip-hop. Expect five hours of tightly packed acts playing back-to-back for a relentless night of truth and justice, spit by true artists. The night includes several performers who also spend their time on the streets in protest, hoping to influence policies for equality.
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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