Riverfront Times — April 9, 2015
Change Language:
Critics’ Picks


8 p.m. Thursday, April 9. The Pageant, 6161 Delmar Boulevard. $22.50 to $25. 314-726-6161.

In considerations of the strange, funky and poetic music of Dr. Dog, the word “psychedelic” is common, but mostly because other genre descriptors won’t suffice.Sure, its members have clearly studied the cosmology of Nuggets bands, Pink Floyd and even the Flaming Lips.But the Philadelphia group, led by Toby Leaman and Scott McMicken, is at its most adventurous in its fusion of rhythmic drive with sweetly surreal and exploratory lyrics, in which black holes and shadow people and distant lights are metaphors for rock & roll that, for all its hipster trappings, really is physically and emotionally transcendent.

Doing It Live: Once a staple of classic-rock bands, the live album may be making a comeback, as witnessed by Dr. Dog’s surprisingly listenable Live at a Flamingo Hotel from this year. —ROY KASTEN


8:30 p.m. Friday, April 10. The Demo, 4191 Manchester Avenue. $10. 314-833-5532.

There’s a good chance that some of your showgoing friends have been bugging you to check out the guitar-and-drums duo mr. Gnome. It seems with every trip to St. Louis — which number a few per year, lately — the Cleveland-based twosome of Nicole Barille (vocals, guitar) and Sam Meister (drums) converts more and more fans to its richly layered but elementally tuneful songs. The band often pairs its music with ambitious, high-production-value videos that play like sci-fi fantasias, but onstage Barille and Meister whip their songs with twangy guitar, jazz-fusion drumbeats and witchy vocals.

Dark Star Orchestrators: mr. Gnome will no doubt be featuring songs from its 2014 full-length, The Heart of a Dark Star. —CHRISTIAN SCHAEFFER


8 p.m. Monday, April 13. The Ready Room, 4195 Manchester Ave. $25-$30.

The young California native IamSu! Began his musical career as the frontman for hip-hop group the Heartbreak Gang, and while he is still part of that collective, he has had success as a soloist as well. His music is notably bass heavy, with a forward-thinking sound indicative of its roots in the Bay Area’s progressive scene. IamSu!’s eclectic style is a grab bag of hip-hop’s stylistic riches, with songs that include everything from pop to California hyphy to club-bangers to R&B love songs.

Features Galore: IamSu!’s debut studio album, Sincerely Yours, dropped last year with a battery of guest stars, including 2 Chainz, Sage the Gemini, Wiz Khalifa and Too $hort. IamSu! Even flexed his own production muscles on a few of the tracks, including the hit single “I Love My Squad,” a reference to his affection for the HBK Gang.



8 p.m. Wednesday, April 15. The Fox Theatre, 527 North Grand Boulevard. $35 to $125. 314-534-1111.

Let’s get this out of the way right now: There’s a large percentage of St. Louis women whose idea of the perfect musician boyfriend was solidified right around the time Bryan Adams released Reckless in 1984. Sure, Cuts Like a Knife earned him plenty of fans, but when young ladies heard the Canadian singer’s recording of “Heaven” during their first middle-school dance, or came across “Summer of ’69” on MTV a year later, their hormones went into overdrive. And why wouldn’t they? Adams was — and still is — a kind-eyed, spiky-haired guitarist who sings about romance and fun times. He’s the Mom-approved Peter Pan of rock, and when he punctuates nearly every verse with an enthusiastic “YEEEEEAH!” we know it comes straight from the heart.

Photo Finish: Adams is no one-trick pony. In addition to being an album workhorse and soundtrack king, he is a well-regarded professional photographer who has shot for Esquire, British Vogue and Guess? Jeans. —ALLISON BABKA