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- COURTESY OF THE ARTIST
- Najii Person is among Saturday's performers.
SATURDAY, JUNE 22
4243 Manchester Avenue
2:30 p.m. Ryan Wasoba's 19 Second Songs
You read right, it's one man and several nineteen-second songs that he would like to share with you. We'll leave it to professional music theorists to discern if one-third of one minute is some temporal version of the golden ratio, but local producer and musician Ryan Wasoba has recently undertaken a quest to wring the maximum amount of nervy, spiky rock & roll out of exactly nineteen seconds. With backing band in tow, Wasoba is out to prove at ShowcaseSTL that nineteen seconds is all you need.
3:30 p.m. The Devil's Elbow
An electric blues supergroup with a self-proclaimed "low down dirty sound," Devil's Elbow is the latest export from blues scene veteran Mat Wilson, known for his work with the Rum Drum Ramblers, the Loot Rock Gang and more.
4:30 p.m. Lobby Boxer
One of many St. Louis bands to hit SXSW this past year, the peppy, dexterous emo trio Lobby Boxer proves itself an absolute riff machine with the recent release of Eugene's Preference.
5:30 p.m. The Ragged Blade Band
A throwback band in all respects, the Ragged Blade Band pays homage to blues, jazz and ragtime with careful interplay between its many members.
6:30 p.m. The Fighting Side
Brad Jackson's alt-country group is six strong, a band big enough to peel the paint off the walls. The fact that this group has such keen volume control while displaying a full dynamic range is a credit to its members' clever songcraft.
7:30 p.m. Mother Stutter
Singer-songwriters are the building blocks of St. Louis' music scene, but Mother Stutter is more than that. Her live show brings a little something extra in the form of a theatrical approach to her songs.
8:30 p.m. The Vincent Scandal
Hugh Vincent is a singer-songwriter who uses unique photography to promote his shows, treating each like a major event while incorporating modern art and spoken word elements into his performances.
9:30 p.m. Mammoth Piano
Mammoth Piano plays a noisy collision of blues and funk, an underrated fusion that feels like it was founded on the banks of the Mississippi, beached and thirsty for Stag and/or PBR.
10:30 p.m. P. Brown the Aeon
A rapper who used to perform as Insane Analog, P. Brown the Aeon's new name references the video game Final Fantasy X. If you like nerdcore in your experimental hip-hop, his work is for you.
11:30 p.m. Teacup Dragun
The self-proclaimed "emo heaux," Teacup Dragun is a goth R&B singer who occupies a niche all her own. Her output is a crazy cross-genre blend of electronic music that's not afraid to go full weird.
12:30 a.m. DJ limewire.prime
Local DJ, drummer and composer Kaleb Kirby has very deep crates and is not afraid of sharing a massive collection of songs, which all have an element of dance. Saying he's "eclectic" downplays just how skillful he is at transforming the vibe in a room.
Taha'a Twisted Tiki
4199 Manchester Avenue
3 p.m. C Is For Cadaver
It's all punk rock and RPGs (tabletop and otherwise) for songwriter Brent Andrew DeBoard, who wields a mighty acoustic guitar in service of a disarming and charming set of songs.
4 p.m. Brian McClelland's No Thunder
Known for his work with pop prodigy act Whoa Thunder, Brian McClelland goes solo as "No Thunder." He's built a track record as one of St. Louis' most enduring songwriters.
5 p.m. Syna So Pro
Whether she's performing at the Contemporary Art Museum, the St. Louis Public Library or at COCA, Syrhea Conaway, better known as Syna So Pro, is an absolute force of vocal layering and melodic loops. We'd call her one of those "unsung" local heroes, but people have been singing her praises for years.
6 p.m. Zach Sullentrup
A solo singer-songwriter known for his work in both Tidal Volume and the Astounds, as a solo artist Zach Sullentrup changes the atmosphere in a room with little more than an acoustic guitar and his voice.
7 p.m. Crim Dolla Cray
The DJ for KDHX's "Beyon'Cray" every Wednesday night, Crim Dolla Cray is known for her ability to get asses shaking all across St. Louis with her mix of disco, funk, rock and soul — all delivered via vinyl, of course.
8 p.m. Samantha Clemons
This soul singer has been compared to Lauryn Hill, but Samantha Clemons has her own approach to songwriting that sets her apart, offering deeply personal and relatable songs backed up by a powerful pulse from an acoustic guitar.
9 p.m. Ellen Hilton Cook
Ellen Hilton Cook has spent much of the past decade playing piano and singing her campy, dramatic and witty songs. Sometimes she's performed solo, or with a drummer, or as part of a rock-centric quartet, but regardless of the format Cook's crack songwriting has always shone through. Newly sober after years of hard partying, Cook is a local mainstay who belongs in any showcase of St. Louis songwriters.
The Ready Room
4195 Manchester Avenue
4 p.m. Jesus Christ Supercar
St. Louis' only "fuzz-disco" outfit, Jesus Christ Supercar was voted into the event in our reader's poll with a staggering number of votes. With skittering hi-hats and pulsing synths, the band demands you pack your dancing shoes for its performance.
5 p.m. Starwolf
Starwolf's third show ever was LouFest 2017 — no joke. Since then the group has released Ti Amo, Stargazer, a pitch-perfect representation of its cosmic disco rock.
6 p.m. Thames
Thames is the logical evolution of the modern-day boy band. They're not doing pop or choreographed dance moves — that's kid stuff — but they are effectively blurring the lines between alternative and indie rock in a radio-ready way unlike any other in town.
7 p.m. Little Cowboy
A little more than two years old, Little Cowboy received more votes in our readers' poll than just about anyone. Listeners may catch the subtle surf vibe underneath the band's evolving brand of alternative rock.
8 p.m. Sleepy Kitty
Sleepy Kitty has been largely quiet for the last year and a half. That's because the duo of Paige Brubeck and Evan Sult has been following doctor's orders, with Brubeck recovering slowly after having surgery to remove a nodule on her vocal cord. (Sult, meanwhile, has become the RFT's art director.) It's been a long road to recovery for Brubeck, but St. Louis' indie rock darlings return with a big surprise just for ShowcaseSTL (spoiler: more band members). The two principal bandmates will be joined by Brian McClelland, Sam Owens and Julian Swartz for this set, bringing a muscular sound to the band's artful melodies. Sleepy Kitty has been in songwriting mode for about six months now, and this show will feature almost exclusively new material.
9 p.m. Shana B
Rapper Shana B reaches more ears outside the city than she does within, but her songs stand on even footing with any of St. Louis' best. She offers a relentless energy that infectiously spreads.
10 p.m. T-Dubb-O
Outspoken rapper T-Dubb-O has been covered by Hip Hop Weekly, Ebony, XXL and Rolling Stone, as well as appearing on MSNBC, TeleSUR English, BET and BET France. He's performed at AC3 and SXSW, and his activism led him to speak at the Drug Policy Reform Conference and even have multiple meetings with Barack Obama during his presidency. In recent months T-Dubb-O has added tastemaking radio personality Sway as a fan, making appearances on his radio show to spit bars. He's one of the best rappers in town.
11 p.m. The Knuckles
While both members of the Knuckles have had impressive solo careers to date — Aloha Misho as a soaring R&B singer, Rockwell Knuckles as a celebrated and wide-ranging rapper — something special happens when this duo is on stage. To call the Knuckles a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts is an understatement. The duo's ability to rile up an audience, show after show, has become its calling card.
12 a.m. DJ Kimmy Nu
Probably the most versatile DJ in St. Louis, Kimmy Nu has worked as an on-air DJ for multiple radio stations and locked down the DJ booth while playing Top 40s for many community events. She's even backed up some of St. Louis' hottest hip-hop groups on stage — including the Knuckles.
4191 Manchester Avenue
2:30 p.m. Prairie Rehab
Prairie Rehab brings a pop, folk and rock-tinged take on Americana centered on singer-songwriter Lacie Williams' impressionistic wordplay and literary nuances.
3:30 p.m. Nicholas Richardson
St. Charles music fans know Nicholas Richardson as a hardworking, guitar-strumming journeyman whose schedule is packed tight (and for good reason). It's a rare gift to be able to captivate a room with little more than an acoustic guitar and vocals. Richardson does so with style to spare.
4:30 p.m. Stephanie Stewart
With sweetly sung country that can command the attention of a room using little more than vocals and an acoustic guitar, Stephanie Stewart is yet another example of all the great singer-songwriters hiding out on this year's lineup, just waiting to be discovered.
5:30 p.m. Zak M
One of St. Louis' best kept secrets, Zak M boasts a baritone voice that commands attention even while his dense fretwork on the guitar makes shred-junkies weep. His Bandcamp hides a prolific backlog with several years' worth of full-length albums.
6:30 p.m. Aida Ade
Aida Ade is a classically trained young singer who closed out the live music stage at Earth Day in Forest Park this year. A talented, upbeat and jazzy songwriter still in her mid-twenties, she has a long career ahead of her.
7:30 p.m. Caroline Steinkamp
From the River City Opry to the stage at ShowcaseSTL, Caroline Steinkamp stands out as an inclusive, real and frills-free songwriter in a city filled with exceptional talent.
8:30 p.m. Jenny Roques
At ShowcaseSTL, Jenny Roques of Desire Lines shares a rare solo performance. She's another building block of St. Louis music, and one of the city's most beloved songwriters to emerge in the last ten years.
- VIA THE ARTIST
- The Hollow Ends.
9:30 p.m. The Hollow Ends
Rootsy folk propelled by a punk approach to just about everything, the Hollow Ends was formerly a solo act where songwriter Zachary Schwartz played both drums and guitar while singing. The current incarnation, however, features a full band.
10:30 p.m. Ryan Koenig
Some might know him as the everyman in Pokey LaFarge's band, a guy who plays just about every instrument under the sun, including the guitjo (a guitar + banjo, kind of). But concertgoers in St. Louis have long been acquainted with songwriter Ryan Koenig's enormous body of work, which fluidly captures country, rock and Mexican folk music into a cohesive whole.
4170 Manchester Avenue
3 p.m. Nick Gusman and the Coyotes
As it turns out, Americana cranked to eleven sounds a lot like rock & roll. The roots here might be a little more "rootsy," but Nick Gusman and company are no less raucous for a band that lives and dies in the dive bar.
4 p.m. Sloopy McCoy
Solo minimalist rock using a bass, simple backing tracks and vocals, Sloopy McCoy delivers a tight and dynamic blend of bass melodies with cheeky pop undertones.
5 p.m. Kids
A fresh-faced post-punk group whose central home is CBGB (and south-city basement shows), Kids delivers solid, bordering-on-minimalist punk with relatable lyrics.
6 p.m. Nibiru
Nibiru is doing its own thing, filtering what would otherwise be bedroom pop through distortion and delay. It's a kaleidoscopic sound that fans of shoegaze can get behind, with enough melodic substance to please the pop palate.
7 p.m. Bounce House
One of St. Louis' best new bands, this fuzzy synth pop crew just released a solid EP, Starter Home, bringing increasingly growing buzz to the local upstarts.
8 p.m. Banana Clips
Featuring members of Shitstorm, Joan of Arc and more, Banana Clips describes itself as "four extraterrestrials who came to St. Louis to play psychedelic party punk for public school kids." A more apt description would be hard to come by.
9 p.m. The Stars Go Out
The crown jewel of St. Charles pop punk, the Stars Go Out takes itself just seriously enough as a band to deliver radio-ready anthems while still delivering a laidback, fun time.
10 p.m. Rec Riddles
Rec Riddles is a repeat performer at ShowcaseSTL for a reason. This New Jersey native turned St. Louisian is straightforward in his mission to keep "real" hip-hop alive. His new album As the World Burns drops this summer on July 12.
4127 Manchester Avenue
2:30 p.m. JoAnn McNeil
JoAnn McNeil is an experience live, weaving layers of tone and texture for a warm ambient soundscape. Recordings do little justice to this sound sculptor, who treats every aspect of her set with the utmost intent.
3:30 p.m. Justin Ra
Justin Ra plays self-proclaimed "Galactic Jungle Rock." It's an unusual descriptor, but no one will argue otherwise after seeing his live set full of densely packed psychedelic songs.
4:30 p.m. Huht
Huht is a collision of retro-synths and polyrhythmic prog rock. The group features members from St. Louis' resident King Crimson cover band along with one member of 18andCounting & TheOnlyEnsemble.
5:30 p.m. The Opera Bell Band
The Opera Bell Band is a singular experience that blends genres in a way that only a self-proclaimed "cartoon country" band can. Performances are theatrical, dada-esque and especially memorable.
6:30 p.m. Two Cities One World
The duo of Anna Yanova-Cattoor and Jared Cattoor is the link between St. Louis and Sofia, Bulgaria — hence the name. The resulting music is a cultural kaleidoscope of bent genre conventions. Elements of world music, R&B, pop and soul blend together for a sound that is hard to define but impossible to ignore.
7:30 p.m. Frankie DoWop
A soul singer who incorporates elements of funk, jazz and R&B, Frankie DoWop rarely performs in her hometown St. Louis, making this show a special treat. With a voice that has to be heard to be believed, hers is a must-see set on this lineup.
8:30 p.m. Janet Evra
A stunning jazz bassist with a voice to match, Janet Evra is a well-traveled composer with both the chops and artful insight to realize grand musical visions. An absolute must-see for anyone in St. Louis who loves jazz.
- COURTESY OF THE ARTIST
9:30 p.m. PRYR
Whether its members are on a tear in a small jazz club or performing at recent MVMNT Lounge events at the Monocle, PRYR is one of St. Louis' most exciting jazz and hip-hop collectives. The group is maybe more jazz than hip-hop, with one of the city's absolute best drummers in Jeffrey Dhoruba Hill.
4127 Manchester Avenue
10 p.m. Agile One
Yet another standout from St. Louis' burgeoning DJ and dance scene, DJ Agile One was tapped to open for Big Freedia's set at the Contemporary Art Museum in December. A better referral for her ability to get asses shaking would be impossible to find.
11:30 p.m. DJ Alexis Tucci
See our featured story.
1 a.m. Saylor
Whether it's one of her inclusive electronic music events or an appearance on a lineup alongside other artists, Saylor is focused on a full audio-visual experience, specializing in her own distinct brand of sensory overload.
- HAYDEN MOLINAROLO
Atomic Cowboy Pavilion
4140 Manchester Avenue
1:30 p.m. School of Rock Ballwin
2:30 p.m. School of Rock Kirkwood
Both St. Louis-area locations of School of Rock — Ballwin and Kirkwood — will be opening the main outdoor stage on Saturday, kicking off ShowcaseSTL with the event's youngest musicians.
3:30 p.m. National Blues Museum Jam Band
A supergroup of players from St. Louis' thriving blues scene, the National Blues Museum Jam Band is performing at ShowcaseSTL to raise awareness of the National Blues Museum located right here in town.
4:30 p.m. Soulard Blues Band
There's nothing more St. Louis than a blues band made up of music scene veterans, radio DJs and regulars from the bluesy bar scene on Broadway. Soulard Blues Band has been dubbed "Best Blues Band" in RFT reader polls so often, you might think they're the only band in town playing the blues. They're definitely not — they're just one of the best.
- VIA THE BAND
- Sorry, Scout.
5:30 p.m. Sorry, Scout
This indie Americana outfit puts social justice at the fore of every song. Coming off a hugely successful Kickstarter campaign after a year of impressive showings at several area festivals, Sorry, Scout seems primed to be the city's next "it" band.
6:30 p.m. We Are Root Mod
A jazzy gospel pop odyssey, We Are Root Mod's most striking characteristic is how tight the band plays — which makes sense, because most of its members are blood relatives. The ties that bind indeed.
7:30 p.m. Midwest Avengers
See our featured story.
8:30 p.m. Tonina
To say that Tonina is on an upward trajectory would be selling the young jazz singer and bassist short. From making one of Barack Obama's favorite songs of 2018 to being named one of the year's best new artists by NPR, Tonina turns heads in St. Louis like few others. It's only a matter of time before she's a household name.
9:30 p.m. Kim Massie
Kim Massie is an actual diva, a local blues legend whose shows are practically a point of pilgrimage for St. Louisans. She kicked off 2019 by playing the final show at Beale on Broadway before the beloved blues bar closed its doors earlier this year. Her set here is, as usual, mandatory.
- VIA THE ARTIST
- Kim Massie.
Atomic Cowboy (Lounge)
4140 Manchester Avenue
10 p.m. DJ Uptown
A regular "Best DJ" nominee at this and other publications around town — not to mention a two-time Red Bull Thre3style STL finalist — DJ Uptown is a staple in St. Louis' DJ scene. As Atomic Cowboy's regular Saturday night DJ, manning that same booth in the bar's lounge for years, Uptown will be right at home getting crowds dancing in the Grove.
4140 Manchester Avenue
2 p.m. Emily Wallace
Whether she's part of a band or off on her own, Emily Wallace can spread good vibes in a way few songwriters can match. No wonder she's beloved in all corners of St. Louis.
3 p.m. Jon Bonham and Friends
A workhorse band that tackles Americana, country and blues, Jon Bonham and Friends have been working in the St. Louis area for more than a decade, becoming a building block of the music community.
4 p.m. OnlySound
A straight-up classic rock band infused with elements of the blues, OnlySound revels in a working-class vibe. It's another reader's poll favorite.
5 p.m. R6 Implant
With members of both Fragile Porcelain Mice and Yowie, R6 Implant is a well-oiled machine whose chief exports are heady metal and grotesque bass riffs.
6 p.m. Crystal Lady
An alternative rock band that pulled big numbers in our readers' poll, Crystal Lady isn't afraid of a twinkly riff or the occasional wah-wah pedal.
7 p.m. Bizy Jay
Bizy Jay specializes in bass-heavy, trunk-rattling trap beats and laidback rhymes. His online presence is spare, but the single "Ain't Goin' Broke" is a low-key affair suitable for vibing out in a dimly lit room filled with weed smoke.
8 p.m. Scrub and Ace Ha
A revival of '90s hip-hop that goes right for the gut, Scrub and Ace Ha has been busy as of late, performing on the roof of the City Museum as well as a Sofar Sounds Showcase.
9 p.m. Najii Person
One of St. Louis' fastest-rising talents, rapper Najii Person offers lyricism and skill in all varieties of hip-hop, from trap to boom-bap and everything in between, making his set a must-see affair.
10 p.m. The Uppers
True to its name, the Uppers delivers a blend of punk rock and power pop resulting in a high-energy set of songs that will get your fist pumping. Expect to have its melodies stuck in your head for days on end.
11 p.m. Brute Force
Brute Force might be the best band in St. Louis hardcore right now. Heavy, thick as hell and filled with floor-clearing mosh parts, the band wears its Lockin' Out Records influence proudly on its sleeve.
12 a.m. The Lion's Daughter
Fresh off a European tour with Season of Mist labelmates Misery Index, the Lion's Daughter will bring its heady mix of blackened progressive metal to the Grove this year. The band has long been one of the best St. Louis has to offer — metal or otherwise. With the release of last year's stunning LP Future Cult, the rest of the world is starting to realize it too.
1 a.m. Dracla
An ancient evil unearthed in service of early Black Sabbath-style metal with gnarly bass riffs, Dracla is a vampire who is keen to drink wine over human blood. The problem is, he has expensive tastes, so he's started a band to sustain that very pricey personal hobby.
4130 Manchester Avenue
4 p.m. St. Villagers
St. Villagers are quite possibly the only original Chinese rock band that actively plays around St. Louis. Hooky riffs are the order of the day, with a little guitar-shredding virtuosity tossed in for good measure.
5 p.m. John Hawkwood's Blackfoot Sun
Risen from the ashes of propulsive proto-punk act Thee Oswalds, John Hawkwood's Blackfoot Sun sees songwriter (and occasional RFT contributor) G.M.H. Thompson turn his attention toward a distorted and warped vision of art rock.
6 p.m. Prime Time Soap
Formerly known as Brainpal, the newly renamed Prime Time Soap has taken a turn away from its neo-Americana roots toward dark-yet-poppy ‘90s-influenced indie rock.
7 p.m. Let's Not
Led by St. Louis comedian/writer/musician Jeremy Essig, this band could be considered college rock ... back in 1994. And that's a compliment. These are authentic songs with all the rough edges of our grunge rock forebears.
8 p.m. Suzie Cue
A St. Louis stalwart who is no stranger to the taverns and music venues around the city's south side, Suzie Cue will be performing with a band to flesh out her low-down folk songs. Her latest, The Bridges Were Already Burning, employs a stripped-down approach similar to her solo sets and open mic appearances, but the full band will add heft to these songs in a live setting.
- MABEL SUEN
- Shady Bug.
4104 Manchester Avenue
2:30 p.m. Sister Wizzard
Since getting her start, Sister Wizzard has evolved throughout multiple genres, incorporating elements of indie rock, jazz and pop into her sound. No matter what the category, she has an innate ability to stack layers while still leaving enough space for her engrossing vocals, which are matched only by the nuanced wall of sounds she builds.
3:30 p.m. Biff K'narly & the Reptilians
A solid math-rock/emo outfit with a DIY ethos and hooks to spare, Biff K'narly & the Reptilians isn't afraid to inject a little pop into its punk-damaged sound.
4:30 p.m. Necessities
Necessities is a spiky trio that finds a foothold between harmony and cacophony, formed from the ashes of three beloved and promising local bands. Stephen Baier led the indie-pop/glee-club mashup Dots Not Feathers; Chris Phillips sang lead in polyrhythmic pop trio Bear Hive; and Jon Ryan was half of the abrasively danceable duo Volcanoes. With Necessities, the three musicians have merged their interest in spindly, kinetic guitar riffs and jerky but propulsive rhythms.
5:30 p.m. We Are Warm
This group is a collision of folk and experimental rock with slow-burning songs that move in a dramatic fashion. Top-tier musicianship carries the careful, subtle builds throughout.
6:30 p.m. Yuppy
Yuppy describes its sound as "dad rock but for step-dads." An exploratory approach to indie rock nets a nuanced sound that incorporates elements of shoegaze.
7:30 p.m. Golden Curls
Golden Curls is that basement pop band making the house shake at a party in south city. A seedy synth underbelly keeps the sound stabilized as sinewy melodies dance atop a sharp rhythm section.
- MAX BOUVATTE
8:30 p.m. Glued
Well known to south-city basement showgoers and Cherokee Street faithfuls, Glued is a post-punk band relatively unknown to the rest of the city. It's time for that to change.
9:30 p.m. Shady Bug
In addition to taking several successful jaunts across the country, alt-rock revivalists Shady Bug recently released Lemon Lime on one of the hippest labels in New York, Exploding in Sound. The band also notably played Audiotree live to thousands across the world.
10:30 p.m. Dcupp
Local dubstep/trap artist Dcupp earned a ton of votes in our reader's poll with his soaring sounds and booming bass.
Beast Butcher and Block
4156 Manchester Avenue
3 p.m. Leslie and Mike
Leslie and Mike is the acoustic duo of singer Leslie Stricklin and multi-instrumentalist Mike Lipel. They're known for performing classic and current covers alongside heartfelt original tunes on stages across St. Louis.
4 p.m. Duhart
The father-daughter duo of Duhart might be the most charming pair to pick up the acoustic guitar. Singer Colleen Bunten has hosted multiple songwriter showcases at Gaslight, mobilizing the city's top songsmiths on a semi-regular basis.
5 p.m. Devon Cahill
Local royalty as far as St. Louis music is concerned, Devon Cahill currently devotes much of her time to indie folk outfit Bronx Cheers. At ShowcaseSTL, she'll perform a solo set that pulls from her extensive songwriting backlog.
6 p.m. Karen Choi
A traditional Americana artist, Karen Choi has an endearing voice and an overall warm tone that perfectly matches her expert songwriting. Her twangy lilt gives a country flavor to her largely acoustic songs.
7 p.m. Neil and Adam
A stripped-down duo whose songwriting speaks for itself, Neil and Adam have been making hooky, pop-infected music together since 1994.
8 p.m. Cara Louise
Cara Louise has dropped the word "band" from her name. The beloved alt-country singer-songwriter likewise drops most of her band members for a special duo performance at ShowcaseSTL.