Saturday, July 31, 2010

Album Review: Kentucky Knife Fight's "We're All Nameless Here"

Kentucky Knife Fight has been running their garage blues rock all over St. Louis for several years now, and I think it's almost time for the revolution. With the release of their second LP We're All Nameless Here, KKF shows themselves to be the rock n' roll force that it deserves to be. Neither on their new album nor in their live show do KKF mess around. They get straight to the music with amped-up rockers and slow burning blues.

The whole band revolves around Jason Holler's gravelly voice that frequently stretches to its tremulous limits. Holler keys in to the rest of the Knife Fight, providing an incredibly dynamic sound. Besides ripping guitar solos, the music has nice accents from occasional banjo and blues harp, which thankfully takes cues more from Mick Jagger than John Popper.

Besides the blues garage rock that sometimes teeters on the edge of punk, this new album also features some grooving, slower numbers. KKF even touches on gypsy romps on “Always a Bride, Never a Bribe” with the help of the Monads' Matt Shivelbine on fiddle.

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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Album Review: Fattback's "EEE PEE"

Fattback is a band with a great sense of humor. Lyrical content ranges from taco stands to dinosaurs, and they are equally diverse in their musical ability. On their new EP cleverly titled "EEE PEE," they are adept at rip roaring country-rock, blues, and finger blistering straight rock numbers. Guitarist Dave Hagerty and drummer John Joern share the lead vocal duties, but it is Dave's songs based around goofy lyrics that steal the show. Case in point: Fattback has an "educational" song implying that dinosaurs went extinct due to a blazing hot guitar solo. We also see Fattback's softer, mellower side on "John Greene," which pairs banjo and electric guitar solos. All of this adds up to a band of goofy guys who like to play quirky rock music really loudly. That's just the kind of thing I expect from a bunch of boys from St. Louis.

Oh, I forgot to mention that when you buy the EP it comes with a few extras that you'll never be able to download off the internet. The cd comes with an old school cassette tape copy and a temporary dino tattoo! All packaged inside of a pizza box! Pure awesome? Yes.

Your next chance to see Fattback is at Off Broadway with Deer Tick on August 5.

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Sunday, July 25, 2010

Some Quick 2010 Favorites

A Lost People

So we're a little past mid-2010 by now. I just hastily put together this list of some of my favorite releases so far. Without a doubt, I've forgotten some good ones. Hopefully, I'll fix this with a more detailed list in about six months. Anyway if you've read my lists in the past, there shouldn't be too many surprises here...

Thee Oh Sees - Quadrospazzed '09 (Castle Face)
Thee Oh Sees - Warm Slime (In The Red)
Since I last checked in, a 45rpm 12" single and another full-band psychedelic summer LP.

Ty Segall - Melted (Goner)
Maybe his best yet...

Moonhearts - Moonhearts (Tic Tac Totally)
After collecting a half dozen solid 7 inches, a slight name change (prior: Charlie & The Moonhearts) and a full length debut LP

David Cross - Bigger and Blackerer (Sub Pop)
A little less pissed then his previous two LPs, this one still bites

Mark Sultan - $ (Last Gang)
1/2 King Khan & BBQ (better half?) plus a little noise...

A Lost People - Big Booty Bitches (self-released)
I hate to say it, but I think I like the clean version better (find it on iTunes)

Pocahaunted - Make It Real (Not Not Fun)
Yes, Best Coast is good, but it's kind of a Pocahaunted side project (well...probably not anymore). This is better.

Golden Triangle - Double Jointer (Hardly Art)
If you like Thee Oh Sees, you'll like this

Paul Cary - Ghost of a Man (Stankhouse)
Great, great bluesy debut solo album by lead man of The Horrors (the good ones, not the shitty English ones).

International Hello - International Hello (Holy Mountain)
Monoshock is back, albeit a little slowed down...

Abner Jay - Folk Song Stylist (Mississippi)
Keep these coming.

Acid Eater - Black Fuzz on Wheels (Time Bomb)
Given just the band/album name, this sounds exactly like what you would expect. Except Japanese.

Is this really on Sub Pop?

The Fall - Your Future, Our Clutter (Domino)

Baby Dinosaurs vs. The Soft Spots 7 inch (Die Slaughterhaus)
Been waiting a while for this one on everyone's favorite ATL label...

Drop Z - "Tha King a Pop"
Catchiest Michael Jackson tribute song of the year (ever?)...
(thanks WFMU Blog)

Water Bears - Misogymnastics (ZAP)
I know this is a little self serving, so I almost didn't put it on the list. But fuck it, this album is great. I know you guys love 'em too...

Spacemen 3 vinyl re-issues (Fire & Taang)
Still waiting for the "Dreamweapon: An Evening of Contemporary Sitar Music" LP though...

Mazzy Star discography vinyl re-issues (Plain)

Fucking finally!

The Mummies - The Mummies Play Their Own Records vinyl re-issue (Estrus)
The only garage band Billy Childish name-checks. Need I say more? This is essential. On vinyl.

Lou Reed - Metal Machine Music vinyl re-issue (Sister Ray)
"If you ever thought feedback was the best thing that happened to the guitar, well, Lou just got rid of the guitars" - Lester Bangs

Classical new releases at KWUR, 7/2010 edition

So it's now come to this: as of July 7, 2010, thanks to actions by the leaders of the Lutheran Church-MO Synod and Joy-FM best summarized by the ghost of Hamlet's father in line 27 of Act I, Scene 5 of Shakespeare's play, one station remains in St. Louis that broadcasts a locally hosted classical music show to any extent. For as long as I can, to recycle the cliche from my earlier KWUR blog post, I'll try to keep the flame going in St. Louis, with help from fellow KWUR DJ's as needed.

Some recent classical new CD releases being aired from KWUR include these:

* Blasco de Nebra: Piano Sonatas Nos. 1-6 with pianist Javier Perianes (harmonia mundi HMC 902046)
* Baltic Runes: choral music of Erik Bergman, Cyrillus Kreek, Sibelius, and Veljo Tormis, with Paul Hillier directing the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir (harmonia mundi HMU 807485)
* Dvořák: Requiem/Symphony No. 8; with Mariss Jansons conducting the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, soloists Krassimira Stoyanova, Mihoko Fujimara, Klaus Florian Vogt and Thomas Quasthoff, and the Wiener Singverein (KCO Live, RCO 10001)
* Handel: "Handel in Darmstadt", with harpsichordist Geneviève Soly (Analekta AN 2 9121)
* "The Romantic Violin Concerto, Vol. 8", Henry Vieuxtemps, Violin Concertos Nos. 4 & 5 and the Fantasia appassionata: with Viviane Hagner and the Royal Flemish Philharmonic, conducted by Martyn Brabbins (Hyperion CDA 67798)
* "Revelation", solo harp music by Britten, Ginastera, Felix Godefroid, Hindemith, Caroline Lizotte, Ravel, Henriette Renié, and Carlos Salzedo; with harpist Valérie Milot (Analekta AN 2 9974)

As always, any comments are welcome, and please feel free to drop me a line at, or you can IM me during my regular Saturday show (11 AM-2 PM). Thanks for reading.

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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Album Review: Pokey LaFarge's "Riverboat Soul"

Pokey LaFarge has come a long way since I first saw him 5 years ago playing on street corners and in dirty bars for tips. Now he is playing international tours across the US and Europe. His newest album Riverboat Soul still features his surprisingly authentic old-time blues and dixieland, but now he has a fantastic backing band, the South City Three, to fill out his sound with upright bass, harmonica, and slide guitar. This album is his first on Free Dirt Records and features some nice guest spots from Ketch Secor of Old Crow Medicine Show on fiddle and Tommy Oliviero of Bawn in the Mash on mandolin. I am pleased to see a St. Louis boy making such great music and having some success at the same time.

Your next chance to see Pokey in St. Louis is on September 25 in Tower Grove Park or October 8 at Off Broadway.

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Last Friday we were joined in the studio by Bear Ceuse, aka Cameron Matthews. He played a few songs for us, and we discussed awesome St. Louis bands and his plans for moving to NYC. My two favorite songs ("O-K-L-A-EE-OHMA" and "I Saw It Beating") are posted below for your viewing pleasure. Cameron has also decided that he'd like to host a show on KWUR this summer, so keep your ears open for his voice coming to you over the airwaves in the next weeks.

Please also explore KWUR's new youtube channel. If you have any video's from KWUR's illustrious past, please shoot me an email at and we'll get those videos posted.

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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

STACK SESSIONS: Flaming Death Trap

Local boys Flaming Death Trap stopped in at KWUR to perform a few songs for the Stack Session series. We were lucky enough to capture some video. Don't miss a gig by these guys!

Featured below are three tunes recorded in the KWUR lounge with our new recording setup.

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Monday, July 12, 2010

STACK SESSIONS: Joe Stickley and Sean Canan

Last Friday we had the pleasure to have Joe Stickley and Sean Canan in the station for a live set on-the-air. They played a few songs off their new album Loaded to the Gunwales as well as an old favorite and a brand new Levellers cover. As always, you can see them on Sunday nights at McGurk's in Soulard.

The whole session will be rebroadcast this Thursday at 4:30pm! A few clips are below.

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Friday, July 09, 2010


Female Demand is a two piece out of Houston, and they play loud loud loud rock and roll music. Like, when we were recording their session, shit-was-falling-out-of-the-ceiling-loud. How do two people make so much noise? While you contemplate that mystery, go ahead and download three tracks below. If the link doesn't work or the file won't open, leave a comment and I'll fix it.

Female Demand session

Oh yeah, I guess we're back. More to come, soon.

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Thursday, July 08, 2010

Album Review: Joe Stickley and Sean Canan's "Loaded to the Gunwales"

Joe Stickley and Sean Canan have been around the St. Louis scene for years as members of Blueprint and Bockman, but in the last year they have become known for their rousing sets every Sunday night at John D. McGurk's Pub in Soulard. The pub's influence shows as Joe and Sean fill Loaded to the Gunwales with Irish songs filtered through's their americana style. Most songs are traditional, but you would be hard pressed to pick out the two original songs without looking at the liner notes.

The album's power springs from Joe and Sean singing simple and timeless songs. These songs are filled out by guest appearances on fiddle, accordion, and washtub bass. It isn't the type of album that runs you over like a semi-truck, but it will seep into your brain on repeated listens. This disc is another in a long stream of good albums from these guys so don't forget to check them out Sunday nights at McGurk's.

On Friday July 9 Joe Stickley and Sean Canan will play a live set on KWUR at about 2:30pm. Listen in!

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Album Review: Bunnygrunt's "Matt Harnish and Other Delights"

On Matt Harnish and Other Delights these veterans of St. Louis rock music are still pumping out their jangle pop twee punk hits. Maybe "hits" isn't the right word to use, but their songs are so damn catchy that they should be. The male and female twin attack vocals lead the way in every song and are backed expertly by loud guitars and catchy power chords. The title and album reference the classic Herb Alpert LP, but the music stands on it's own. It is fast, fun, and catchy as hell. Standout tunes include "S. Kingshighway Bubblegum Factory" and "1000% Not Creepy." Check out the album on Happy Happy Birthday To Me Records.

And don't miss their alter ego, Blondiegrunt, who plays only Blondie covers!

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