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Rock Music

Musicologist Jake Cohen talked about the musical style of Vermont-based rock band Phish on Monday's talk show.
Courtesy of Jake Cohen

Phish, the Vermont-spawned jamband will open its summer tour with two shows at Chaifetz Arena this month. For a band that’s one of the country’s top touring acts, Phish remains strangely misunderstood. 

On Monday’s St. Louis on the Air, St. Louis Public Radio reporter Jeremy D. Goodwin explored the popularity and nuances of Phish with musicologist Jake Cohen, who just last month presented at the first-ever Phish Studies Conference at Oregon State University. He’s also attended about 180 of their shows.

The Dinosaurs album cover features all four bandmates shot in black and white in a line.
Provided by Big Muddy Records

Four decades ago, a young Bob Reuter walked into the T&D Lounge, a south St. Louis dive bar, just as the country band on stage announced the end of its run at the club. Reuter, then in his mid-20s, walked up to the bar and talked the bar manager into offering him the performance slot. But there was just one problem. He didn’t have a band.

So Reuter reached out to three friends and formed the Dinosaurs, which he claimed was the city’s first punk band. It wasn’t, but over the next three months, the band played a weekly four-hour gig at the bar, combining covers with original tunes that sounded too punk for  rock ‘n’ roll and too rock for punk.

Big Muddy Records has refocused attention on the late guitar player, singer and DJ with its release of the band’s first self-titled album. That early music established the brash Reuter as an enduring force in St. Louis’ underground music scene.

Earlier this year, iLLPHONiCS released a new album titled "Gone With the Trends."
Provided by iLLPHONICS

Earlier this year, iLLPHONiCS released “Gone With the Trends,” its first album on a new label called The Record Machine. Just a month ago, the group released a music video for one of the album’s flagship songs “96to99.” The hip-hop-funk-rock fusion band has been a staple on the St. Louis music scene since 2006.

Audio Agitation: The Long Refrain

Oct 23, 2015

Spurred by Hylidae’s recent appearance on Cityscape, we decided to trace that line between ambient drone and melodic pop music. Here, we're presenting six tracks from STL artists who draw that line with different tools and tones.

Almost exactly two years ago Jon Burkhart left a commune in northeast Missouri that he called home and moved back home to St. Louis. He brought with him a host of analog electronic musical equipment, a computer, and a new musical persona, Hylidae. The project was born in contrast to the rural lifestyle the musician had just ended.

“It was kind of like my retreat from communal life to be making solo electronic music,” Burkhart said.

A year without Chuck Berry at Blueberry Hill

Oct 5, 2015
Chuck Berry
Bill Greenblatt | UPI | File Photo

This month marks one year since Chuck Berry wrapped up his iconic run at Blueberry Hill in the Delmar Loop. The musician’s performing status is up in the air, according to Blueberry Hill owner Joe Edwards.

“The fact he’s almost 89 years old, who knows? He has the interest in doing it but he’s also working on some songs,” said Edwards. 

'Art of Live' Music Festival Combats Cold Slow Month

Jan 15, 2015
Event logo

Organizers designed The Art of Live Festival to help musicians, fans, concert promoters and venue owners weather St. Louis’ sparest month in live music.

“January is notoriously the worst touring month of the year for music venues and touring bands so we were looking for a way to drive traffic to St. Louis,” said Brian McCormac, 28, lead organizer and manager and talent buyer at Old Rock House.

Music Collective FarFetched Crashes Genres, Pushes Boundaries

Jan 8, 2015
Adult Fur ii, Album Cover
Adult Fur | Courtesy of the Artist

Local music collective FarFetched is a loose association of musicians from various genres and age groups. The group celebrates its fourth anniversary with a compilation album, "Prologue IV," and a release concert at 2720 Cherokee arts space on Jan. 9. The group is united by a will to experiment with genres, use digital means for music creation, and push boundaries lyrically and stylistically. In four years, it has grown to encompass 14 acts that range from hip-hop to progressive pop music.

The Jungle Fire Is Catching On

Jan 22, 2014
From left: Matt Berra, James Fields, Justin Haltmar, Kristen Luther, Adam Barr, John Wright, Dan Johanning
Provided by the band

The Jungle Fire is a seven-piece soul group that has been playing the local scene since early 2011. The sound comes from the musical backgrounds of its members: jazz, classical, punk, alt-country and hip-hop.

Those players start with songwriter and guitarist Dan Johanning, who brought the band together. The rest of the group consists of drummer Matt Berra, bassist Justin Haltmar, organist and vocalist Adam Barr, tenor saxophonist John Wright, flutist Kristen Luther and lead vocalist James Fields. 

Members of local bands Vote for Pedro, My Two Planets and Soul Kiss will be sharing the stage at The Pageant this Sunday to perform a holiday benefit concert.

The concert is a fundraiser for Covenant House Missouri, a St. Louis nonprofit that provides housing and support for children and young adults between the ages of 16 and 21.

Encore: Dead before death

Dec 5, 2013
Jimmy Tebeau
Courtesy of Vernon Webb | originally in the St. Louis Beacon

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - I spent the entirety of my 20s and the better part of my 30s convinced that I could and would hate The Grateful Dead for the duration of my days on this mortal coil. Changing that impression of Grateful Dead awfulness? Well, it wasn’t that I lacked opportunities.

There was one special moment of possible transition. On June 22, 1991, my then-Chicago-based girlfriend and I walked through the Soldier Field parking lot, ogling the Deadheads as they set up their mobile campground and bazaar on the expansive fields of concrete.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, July 19, 2012 - Two-fifths of the band Boss Hall – vocalist/flutist Margaret Bianchetta and guitarist Tom Hall – share a back booth at O’Connell’s with me for an early afternoon discussion about the group’s debut recording, “In the Pale,” which will be available for the first time Saturday, July 21, when Boss Hall plays a CD release concert at BB’s Jazz, Blues & Soups.

Second set: They won't get fooled again

Feb 21, 2012

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 21, 2012 - It’s cliche, of course, to talk about how we’re born into a family, then, over the years, begin to establish new ones. Sitting in a back booth at a relatively quiet O’Connell’s Pub on a recent weekday night, it’s obvious that Mark Cook, Peter Lang and Casey Carmody, at some point in their late teens and early 20s began assembling their own little family, based initially in music, now locked into that and so much more.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Feb. 19, 2010 - The members of Black Market Peace are several things. They're good friends. They're experienced musicians. And they're not going to be stressed out by the same things that may have driven them crazy earlier in life.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Dec. 7, 2009 - Seniors and boomers will be rockin' at the Missouri History Museum Wednesday -- in both film and live performances -- proof once again, Jethro Tull, that you're never too old to rock 'n' roll.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Nov. 30, 2009 - Editor's Note: Frequent Beacon contributor Thomas Crone was co-director of two documentaries that played at the recently concluded St. Louis International Film Festival. They tell the stories of rock groups Pavlov’s Dog and Mama’s Pride. A large part of "The Pride of St. Louis: The Story of Mama's Pride" will play at the Pageant this weekend along with the annual Mama’s Pride concert. So, we asked Crone to write about his experience as a movie director.