Wednesday, 04 June 2014 17:56

Beatle Bob's Hip-Shaking Festival Pick Hit Of The Week: TWANGFEST 18

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The frantic festival that's whipping young America into a footstomping frenzy! This 18th installment comes on like gangbusters with the rockingest of today's bands at their live n' wildest hot stompin' best! Rock n' roll, gut-bucket country, rockabilly, soul floor shakers, hairy squallers a-plenty! Sure to elevate your status in all sudsy circles! More vivid living proof that St. Louis is m-m-movin! Absolutely staggering array of sounds! All sizzle, no gristle!


, June 4 at Plush
Cody ChesnuTT
DeRobert & the Half-Truths
Theresa Payne

Good, raw, fun, and funky. ChesnuTT mixes '60s-style rock with '70s soul and '90s hip-hop and R&B in an eclectic celebration of sound. 

DeRobert & the Half-Truths have been kicking around Nashville for some time now, leaving behind them a swath of weak-kneed, sweaty funk fans in their wake.  Building on a mixture of funk, soul and latin elements, the Sky Hi crew crafts a sound that is unique in its approach and delicate in its subtle nuances. We know you're going to dig this group's super-hype dynamics.

A modern approach to soul vocals while holding a firm grip on the rhythmic groove, St. Louis' Theresa Payne brings on the melodic aesthetic of the old days. For anyone who is a fan of the new school of raw soul revivalists.

Thursday, June 5
 at Off Broadway
Rodney Crowell
Shannon McNally
T&A (Tom Hall and Alice Spencer)

Rodney Crowell is regarded as classics of the progressive country genre. The Houston native brought elements of new wave and early rock & roll into the genre, giving it a much needed kick in the rear.

Shannon McNally is a post-alternative singer/songwriter pop, with a heritage in classic rock and a fondness for classic country, but with enough hipness to know when to keep things calm and measured and when to haul out the obligatory trip-hop drum loop. She has a rich, textured voice that may not quite be distinctive on its own merits, but is pleasing within her tradition, and the songs are tuneful, passionate, and well-written.

Two of the major voices in the Geyer Street Sheiks, Tom Hall and Alice Spencer, have been exploring their peculiar brand of American musical heritage for many years.

, June 6 at Off Broadway
Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin
Beth Bombara

Contrasting their chugging, fuzzed-out power pop with melancholy, countrified ballads; Centro-Matic holds their divergent tendencies together in the group's somewhat shambling but confident approach and the appealingly scruffy production, which balances their muscular sound with their skillful melodies and harmonies.

Every once in a blue moon, a band will fall into my lap that will not redefine musical creativity for me, but reinforce my love and appreciation of independent artists and their beautiful, lo-fi recordings. Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin is one such record. Don't let the mammoth moniker trip you up before you can get your first listen. Instead, take its lighthearted tone as a theme for the wonderful indie-pop this Springfield, Missouri group yields in every song. 

Tristen is another band with a fantastic female vocalist which has found me and lifted me into a feeling a lot like love. What can I say, I am a complete softie for female vocalists. Their CD Teardrops and Lollipops is a sweet collection of home recorded songs, a tribute to simplistic roots and country feelings. Bring it ON!

Beth Bomara began her lifelong flirtation with the languages of melody and song in her teens. From the first time she picked up a guitar, a fire was lit that would carry her out of rural Michigan and on a path to becoming a performer on stages across the nation. With influences and background in punk, folk, alt-country, indie-rock, and beyond, Beth has evolved from a chord-strumming band member into a lead performer with singular voice, consistently delivering soul-tinged folk-rock with genre-defying lyrics and themes.

, June 7 at Off Broadway
The Dream Syndicate
Chuck Prophet and the Mission Express
Magnolia Summer

Dream Syndicate band leaders Steve Wynn and Karl Precoda get back together. Their oil and water polarization was a caustic explosion of tension and release. Karl’s feedback drenched guitar bombast was the ultimate foil for Steve’s world weary voice. Steve played the guitar like someone was holding a Mack 10 to his head. And when you add the man-machine force of Dennis Duck’s drumming into the mix . . . Holy Cow!!!

Much of a Chuck Prophet and Mission Express set revolves around the blues or R&B, from the swampy sounds of "A Woman's Voice" to the jazzy, finger-snapping "Downtime," the porch-picking blues of "Small-Town Girl," and the Rolling Stones R&B riff that powers "Freckle Song." But other influences are equally strong, like the twist of the Beatles that's dashed across "Would You Love Me," the surge of new wave that splashes over "I Can Feel Your Heartbeat," (a song that's the bastard child of the Cars and Mink DeVille), and the post-punk aura.

St. Louis' Magnolia Summer combines ringing guitar hooks with cryptic lyrics and a D.I.Y. aesthetic borrowed from post-punk. The band simultaneously sounds traditional and modern.