Music » Critics' Picks


9 p.m. Saturday, September 13. Billiken Club, in the Busch Student Center on the campus of St. Louis University, 20 North Grand Boulevard.



The scatterbrained, deconstructionist folk-rock created by Ohtis is a study in contrasts. Crisp, serene strings and soothing vocal melodies flank intense layers of instrumentation and harmony, like a more deliberate and less overdriven Neutral Milk Hotel, or Frank Zappa with a little bit longer attention span. The songs on the Normal, Illinois, band's new album, If This Country Had a Heart, That's Where I Was Born, display a rare combination of concise premeditation and occasional madness. "Sugar Babe" — a smart commentary on young men, money and gender roles in today's society — starts with several fluttering acoustic guitar lines and builds into a frenetic blast of noise that through headphones sounds like a maniacal drumline flying past one's head. But it's the delicate breaths of fresh air between the spazz-outs that really make this music work so well.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Riverfront Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Riverfront Times Club for as little as $5 a month.