Press photo via Monterey International
Mavis Staples will perform at the Sheldon this Saturday, November 5.
This weekend sees a stop by legendary singer Mavis Staples at the Sheldon on Saturday, a record release show from St. Louis' own Jack Grelle at Off Broadway (also Saturday) and a stop from Brooklyn's Yeasayer at Ready Room (you guessed it — on Saturday!). There are other days of the weekend too, and there are also shows on those days that you can go to. Best of all, since there's no such thing as winter anymore apparently, you can wear shorts!
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 4
7 p.m., $12-$15. Fubar, 3108 Locust St, St. Louis, 314-289-9050.
By Harry Hall
From this show preview
: Carney played every instrument on his new album Youth Is Wasted
, which was released in mid-October, and he’ll also be performing alone in St. Louis, having converted many of his songs to work with simply a guitar or piano. He says with Carney, his first band, he played “a little bit more straight rock, with a psychedelic leaning.” Now, with this new album, Carney says “I’m trying to embrace the kaleidoscopic qualities of what I enjoy and the musical explorations that I like to pursue.”
Over The Rhine
8 p.m., $30. Old Rock House, 1200 S. 7th St., St. Louis, 314-588-0505.
By Brooke Foster
Since its formation in 1989, Cincinnati-based Over the Rhine has released more than a dozen albums full of dreamy indie-rock. Over the Rhine's songs are moody but never mopey, and even the simplest lyrics are given gravitas by Karin Bergquist's chillingly beautiful voice. Along with bandmate/husband/Wurlitzer maestro Linford Detweiler, Bergquist writes music that recalls everything from smoky '40s jazz standards to sweeping movie soundtracks.
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 5
Jack Grelle Record Release
8 p.m., free. Off Broadway, 3509 Lemp Ave., St. Louis, 314-773-3363.
By Christian Schaeffer
For his latest full-length, Got Dressed Up To Be Let Down
, Jack Grelle and his band used much of the ad-hoc twang and ragged country tropes that fueled 2014’s Steering Me Away, but a sense of activism shines through in places. For Grelle, who first cut his teeth in socially aware punk bands as an undergrad in Columbia, Missouri, the marriage of country and politics isn’t so foreign. “I think in all my songs I try to be genuine to a degree, and have some form of truth, whichever way I might spin it,” Grelle says. “As a songwriter, you gotta take some truth and I think you gotta put some dynamite on it and blow it up a little bit to make it more interesting. With this one, I think a little more of my ideals came through, as far as politically and socially, and being a little more conscious as a songwriter.”
8 p.m., $35-$50. The Sheldon, 3648 Washington Blvd., St. Louis, 314-533-9900.
By Roy Kasten
For over 60 years, Mavis Staples has sung the American dream. Her visions have not been of material aspiration, but of social and spiritual redemption, down the freedom roads, into the churches, out into a country which, to quote a one-time suitor, is always busy being born. Her vocal expressions — guttural, complex, transcendent in their instincts — with the Staple Singers formed a soundtrack to the civil rights movement and the black experience, but her voice also challenged communities to reach ever higher, for deeper respect and humanity, toward that unbuilt city in the sky. If ever a voice deserved the appellation "soulful," it is Mavis Staples'. This year, at the age of 77, Staples released Livin' on a High Note
, a collaboration with indie-folk producer and songwriter M Ward. It ranks among her most moving and joyous work.
W/ Lydia Ainsworth
8 p.m., $25. The Ready Room, 4195 Manchester Ave, St. Louis, 314-833-3929.
By Harry Hall
You can get a pretty good sense of the overall style of Brooklyn-based Yeasayer by watching the video for 2016's “Prophecy Gun.” Featuring slow pans of wax-like humanoid figures in some sort of assaulted Dadaistic workshop, the moving models seem to glitch back and forth, as if they were puppets or shells of humans. The song itself lands somewhere in the kaleidoscopic landscape of barbershop choral harmony, sweeping keyboards and unidentifiable electronic distortion. As difficult to categorize as ever, the band continues to push its experimental boundaries through this year's Amen and Goodbye
, yet it doesn’t consider itself too high-minded to avoid pop vibes, as in “Silly Me,” which would not sound out of place alongside tracks by Walk the Moon or Smallpools. Since its first album release in 2007, Yeasayer has resisted any inclination to settle down into a specific brand of eclecticism, instead embracing the full gamut in its records and on stage.
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 6
8 p.m., $12-$14. Off Broadway, 3509 Lemp Ave., St. Louis, 314-773-3363.
By Harry Hall
Singer-songwriter Mitski Miyawaki dives full-force into the nostalgic, poeticallysimple and guitar-heavy indie-rock genre in her aptly named 2016 album Puberty 2
. As a Japanese-American woman, she plays on the stereotypically male-centric style in “Your Best American Girl,” an alt-rock remembrance of our days dealing with growing pains, first loves, longing and loss — themes we like to think we left behind in high school. Coming to Off Broadway on Sunday, November 6, Mitski confronts emotions with the hope of catharsis. Though primarily utilizing guitar, drums and vocals, Miyawaki’s songs still experiment within the alt-rock genre, with her lyrics adding dimensions of modern assimilation and alienation.