Photo via artist Facebook
Whoa Thunder celebrates the release of its new album The Depths Of The Deep End on Friday at Off Broadway.
Between the pre-Halloween tribute shows (looking at you, Halloweezer) and this year's hotly-anticipated Grove Fest featuring Andrew W.K., this weekend offers up both laid back shows and full on block parties in equal measure. For those who don't mind a two hour drive to Columbia, the Dismal Niche Music and Arts Festival
offers a lineup of more than twenty performers across eleven venues.
The following shows in St. Louis should sate your appetite, whatever the taste.
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 6
w/ American Girl, Exit Music
8 p.m. Blueberry Hill - The Duck Room, 6504 Delmar Boulevard. $10. 314-727-4444.
St. Louis is a music city built on tradition and, to many, that translates to blues every night of the week. Rock fans especially have their pick of tribute acts year round, but Halloween stacks a whole other layer of cover bands on top. Weezer's "Undone - The Sweater Song" might take top billing as the soundtrack to every ugly sweater party this side of Xmas, but the pun applied with Halloweezer seems too good to pass up. American Girl and Exit Music fill out the bill, performing sets of songs written by the Strokes and Radiohead, respectively.
Love Hz: Drum & Bass
w/ Packie, Bass Ninja, Professor Hex, Cryptonix
9 p.m. The Crack Fox, 1114 Olive Street. Free. 314-621-6900.
This edition of Love Hz comes through the filter of Selekta, a Jungle and Drum & Bass collective headed by Brian Lathan and Jon Dent. The group formed on the foundation of Selekta Sundays, a weekly residency at the Upstairs Lounge, and has stretched to the far reaches of St. Louis with its distinct brand of electronic music. Cryptonix, the brains behind Love Hz, gives up his curatorial role for October and in turn gives Selekta's solid roster of DJs the stage to do what they will.
Matt Pond PA
8 p.m. The Firebird, 2706 Olive Street. $15. 314-535-0353.
By Christian Schaeffer
Bands rarely have the foresight to announce their break-ups before they happen, and when they do give fans the heads-up, they often reneg on the deal (LCD Soundsystem, we're looking in your direction). But we'll take Matt Pond PA at its word and trust that this most recent album and tour will be it for the soft, precise and emotionally resonant pop band. True to form for a group that always trafficked in memory, twilight and pastoralism, Still Summer
leaves fans with a fleeting taste of eternal youth. Catch the band one last time and bottle a little of their cello-fed bucolic magic.
Voodoo Gump: The Music of Forrest Gump
7 p.m. Atomic Cowboy Pavilion, 4140 Manchester Avenue. $10. 314-775-0775.
One can only hope that Sean Canan's Voodoo Players' tribute to the soundtrack of nineties classic Forrest Gump
becomes a St. Louis tradition such as El Monstero or Mannheim Steamroller at Xmas. The movie features music by Elvis, Bob Dylan, the Doors and Jimi Hendrix to name just a few, so the skill alone needed to pull off this swath of songs is astounding. Canan and company aren't known for cutting corners, so don't expect the crew to start on this night.
Whoa Thunder Album Release Show
w/ Spectator, Necessities
8 p.m. Off Broadway, 3509 Lemp Avenue. $10. 314-498-6989.
By Evan Sult
From Whoa Thunder Is One of This Year's STL 77
If aliens ever land in St. Louis, à la Rick and Morty
, and demand we produce one pop act to represent Earth in an intergalactic battle of the bands, we can all breathe a sigh of relief: They came to the right place. Brian McClelland’s Whoa Thunder is a pop prodigy project — songs like “Bottlehands” and “No Girls Laugh at Me Now (HA HA I Laugh at Them)” are equal parts Newman and Numan, bristling with New Wave synths and high-caliber pop chords. Like all truly great pop, it simply overwhelms any potential objection by leaping right over the rational mind to stomp on your lizard brain’s repeat button. Luckily for us all, the lyrics keep up with the rest, so when you find yourself still singing, “Allison left school today for the outer planets’ charm” days later, at least it’s not “Poker Face.” Take that, Cromulons!
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 7
2 p.m. The Grove, Manchester Avenue between Tower Grove and Sarah. Free.
By Daniel Hill
Grove Fest, a family friendly celebration of Manchester Avenue's bustling nightlife district between Tower Grove and Sarah, added an unexpected headliner at the last minute this year: the King of Party, one Andrew W.K. The rock & roller was originally scheduled to perform at the Ready Room, located in the Grove; ticketholders who plunked down $25 for that show got a pleasant surprise when W.K. was moved to the free festival and all money was refunded. This is the first full-band Andrew W.K. performance in St. Louis in more than a decade — recent shows have been vexing one-man acts, with W.K. performing to a backing track. This will be much better than that. A free show in a place where the booze flows heavily and rock & roll's premier motivational speaker holds court with his band at his side? It's time to party. Andrew W.K. is slated to go on at 9:30 p.m., but the festivities begin at 2 p.m. with performances by Jack Grelle, Eric Donte, Cara Louise Band and more. Show up early and tie one on.
Less Than Jake
w/ Red City Radio, Protagonist
8 p.m. Delmar Hall, 6133 Delmar Boulevard. $20. 314-726-6161.
Now that Less Than Jake is officially old enough to rent a car on its own (25, for those curious), the band's sound has been polished up with the kind of studio sheen found on the likes of Blink-182. Released at the top of 2017, Sound The Alarm
smooths out the rough edges first heard on 1996's Losing Streak
and even the mainstream leaning Anthem
from 2003. The dust and scratches found on Less Than Jake's cherry-flavored ska has lent a certain charm that can't be faked or applied through a studio filter. Not that its latest songs are any less the catchy set of earworms everyone expected them to be, but longtime fans should brace for a clean-cut version of the former face of ska.
Pat Wolfe's 50th B-Day Show!
w/ The Jeremiah Johnson Band, Sleepy Rubies, DJ Keith Dudding (Down Yonder on KDHX)
7 p.m. Off Broadway, 3509 Lemp Avenue. $5. 314-498-6989
Much to the collective dismay of music fans across the river city, Pat Wolfe took a break from his award-winning show Interstate on KDHX in 2016. That he returned roughly a year later is a boon to the station, especially for the morning crowd tuning in from 5 to 7 a.m. on Friday mornings. That he would employ both the Jeremiah Johnson Band and the Sleepy Rubies for his 50th birthday should sum up his taste, but the fact that the show is actually a fundraiser should paint a picture of who he is. The beneficiary on this night is NCADA, an organization whose goal is, in its own words, "to teach young people the skills needed to resist the pressures to use and abuse drugs." More info at http://ncada-stl.org/
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 8
Black Tar Prophet
w/ Beyonder, Railhazer
8 p.m. The Sinkhole, 7423 South Broadway. $7. 314-328-2309.
Remember the "Prehistoric Stimpy" episode of Ren & Stimpy
episode where the Stimpy Fish grew arms and legs only to walk straight into a tar pit? I imagine Black Tar Prophet as the soundtrack, getting louder in volume as the tar seeps into every orifice, inevitably weighing the body down further only to decompose and become one with the pit. This is oppressive two-piece sludge metal, caustic and unapologetic.
w/ Lawn, Big Whoop, Sleeping Cranes
9 p.m. Foam Coffee & Beer, 3359 South Jefferson Avenue. $5. 314-772-2100.
By leaning hard into nineties indie rock, Concentrator constructs an abstract structure on an acre of middleground between Unwound and Fugazi. The songs here carry layers of syncopation while keeping the key ambiguous, and that this approach still comes out so smooth and listenable is a credit to the sharp songsmiths at work. The band will soon enter an indefinite hiatus while guitarist Alex Nezam relocates to Greece to finish Athens Refugee Project
, a documentary on migrants trapped within the Greek borders. In short, time is of the essence.