Almost all foreigners who move to St. Louis are surprised by the size of our art scene. We have one of the best opera companies in the country, the Opera Theater of Saint Louis, which hosts world premieres every summer. We also have theaters like Upstream Theater which puts on breathtaking small-scale world and national premieres, or New Line Theater which was the first in St. Louis to put on major Broadway productions including Next to Normal and Be More Chill. The music scene is equally vibrant, with musicians and artists hosting new festivals and concerts that are getting the town talking – and local artists like Lydia Caesar getting the nation talking. The visual arts in St. Louis are no slouch either, with the Kemper Art Museum, Saint Louis Art Museum, Luminary, Pulitzer Arts Foundation, and Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis all featuring exhibits by national artists. and international, even as small galleries and museums showcase national and regional talent. The city has it all, and we’re here to celebrate it. —Rosalind Early
When we think of the musical heritage of Saint-Louis, we often think of blues and jazz. Yet punk is just as much of a main export from the river town, even if it has rarely shared the same rarefied air – until recently. Perhaps the biggest surprise to come out of the St. Louis Sound exhibit at the Missouri History Museum was not just the inclusion of the welders, but the special attention given to the area’s first all-female punk band. While the current exhibit features many of the names you might expect – Nelly, Chuck Berry, Tina Turner, Jeff Tweedy – welders are featured in a major way.
This level of recognition was long overdue. After forming a band as high school students in 1975 in Florissant, the Welders recorded an album four years later, only to see it go unreleased due to a bad deal from a manager. Decades after they disbanded, the museum’s exhibit generated interest that helped right that wrong. Our Own Quirks 1977-81 was finally released last year as part of a collaborative effort between Austrian label Bachelor Records and St. Louis’ own BDR Records, the latter having released a self-titled album EP welders in 2010.
As expected, the first print sold out in no time, but a second pressing on ruby red vinyl is available on either label’s website. Featuring full hits such as “PERVERT”, “SOS Now” and “To Sir With Love”, this essential punk album not only features a carefully chosen and arranged set of songs recorded during the band’s heyday, but acts as a document historic with a cultural impact that will continue to be felt for decades. —Joseph Hesse
The inaugural WerQfest was organized over two weeks by Tre G (Tre’von Griffith) and her husband Shelton Boyd-Griffith in 2020 as a pandemic-safe musical celebration of black and queer culture – and a way to bridge the gaps. gaps left by PrideFest. When the company returned to large gatherings in 2021, the virtual event transformed into a live music festival at City Foundry STL hosted by Maxi Glamour, featuring performances from Eric Donte, Paige Alyssa and even Tre G him. -same. The festival’s WerQ Awards for the Arts and Community Advocacy elevate LGBTQ+ creatives and activists by highlighting the impact these individuals have had through their work. Produced in collaboration with Jamo Presents, WerQfest 2022 took place in July at the Lot at the Big Top with headlining performances from The Voice season 16 winner Julian King and rapper Sevndeep alongside Bates & the Strangers of St. Louis and a range of local artists for a marked evolution of the river city’s most exciting multi-faceted festival experience. —Joseph Hesse
After a nine-year hiatus, the Indie Rock Ice Cream Social returned on August 12, this time to Off Broadway. The event started in 2006 when show organizer Michael Tomko brought a unique twist to the social concept of ice cream by mixing the act of giving people free scoops while introducing them to local independent artists. promising. With Serendipity Homemade Ice Cream and lineups of local bands, social has become an elevated concert experience. The event lasted until 2013, when Tomko got busy with his increasingly demanding software development job as well as the birth of his daughter, and he put the event on hiatus. In 2022, Tomko finally announced the return of social. With this year’s event featuring Starwolf, YOUPEOPL, Jesus Christ Supercar and Amberskies plus an ice cream bar, Indie Rock Ice Cream Social blew down the walls of Off Broadway – where everyone shouted for have ice cream. —Carlos Mendoza
There’s perhaps no better place to catch a George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic performance than the Big Top – a point decisively proven on July 10, when the creators of the P-Funk sound brought their psychedelic circus of ass-shaking grooves to the Grand Center as part of a tour celebrating the 40th anniversary of the band’s classic song “Atomic Dog.” The bass was booming, the costumes were ridiculous, and the stage was packed with musicians, dancers, and other super funky junkies. Leading the whole affair was the man himself, funk prime minister George Clinton, a still towering figure in modern music whose influence is simply incalculable. At 81, the entertainer also known as Dr Funkenstein has shown he still has what it takes to tear down the house – er, the tent – by playing a full hour longer than expected for a crowd grateful fans. A warm “Bow wow wow yippy yo yippee yay” to that. —Daniel Hill
Founded in 2018 by Charis Railey, the Amara Arts Dance Company focuses on the performing arts of the African Diaspora. Building on this tradition, the company’s works blur the lines between performer and audience by allowing viewers to connect and contribute to the performance, making for a dynamic and engaging experience for everyone involved. . The company is inspired by Railey’s background in anthropology and Katherine Dunham’s technique, which blends history with performance and blends art with cultural understanding. It’s an approach that Railey emulates to prodigious effect. —Julien McCall
The best work of art is not only aesthetic, it also reflects the era in which it was created and the intention of the artist. Works from Vermeer to Banksy reflect this dual philosophy. How many galleries, however, can claim the same? ERG Gallery aka Eclectic Retail Gallery (10438 Florissant Avenue West, Dellwood; 314-395-6176) comes from artist Eric Wilson, and it has as good a story behind its founding as the art on its walls. Wilson grew up with a fondness for art but ended up in prison for a drug offense. While incarcerated, he focused on his betterment, and after a decade returned to North County, where he has since focused on the betterment of others through his contract work, his band of men and now through his art and his gallery. The latter shows the work of Wilson, his family, and other artists from the surrounding community. The work is fresh, the space is well designed and the intentionality is there. —Jessica Rogen
Artistic and musical institution Empty space (2847 Cherokee Street) highlights the adaptable nature of the people of Cherokee Street. Blank Space is a flexible concert space that can be a bar, cafe, record store, bookstore, study room or, of course, an art gallery. It’s also the best hip-hop venue in St. Louis and reflects the roots of a genre born out of musical ingenuity with an emphasis on community. While some nights are low-key by design, the venue often functions as an incubator for groundbreaking shows and parties in the heart of St. Louis, with performances by DJ Nico Marie, 18andCounting and Blvck Spvde and the Cosmos, to name a few. name only those. some. —Joseph Hesse
Here’s a word of warning: under no circumstances let your children listen to the debut solo album released earlier this year by longtime local singer-songwriter Mark Pagano of Fire Dog fame and now also known as Marko Polo’s name. It’s not just that they’ll love the clever and catchy tunes of mammal music, although they will certainly play them again and again and again. No, the biggest problem might be that you’ll get addicted – so much so that you’ll find yourself dropping the kids off at school and singing along to “Salamander Moves” before remembering you’re an adult and alone in the house. a car while listening to a song about amphibians. Pagano’s music is not only catchy but also educational. You’ll learn all about these salamanders (“they live both on land/and in water – amphibians!”), and you’ll be better off. Your children too. So maybe we’ll withdraw our warning. Listen to this gifted musician’s solo offering. Just do it in moderation. You’re not seven, no matter how tempting those tunes are to your ears. —Sarah Fenské
After working for the better part of a decade as Parisian, producer Ian Jones has unveiled his long-awaited solo album under a bold name change to Shinra Knives. Release end of 2021, In mourning is a Jones stream-of-consciousness speedrun, where every sound feels personally sculpted with a sonic scalpel. “New Violence” delivers a dreamy opening salvo before the ratcheting beats of “Ex Nihilo” serve up myriad samples, including a few that will sound particularly familiar to video game fans. While each track on this esoteric electronic album offers a rich sense of progression, “Posture” and “Girl Missing” stand out as emotional peaks – and both are accompanied by music videos with subtitles that offer “lyrics.” ” to otherwise instrumental songs. Jones worked on In mourning for several years while involved in a wrongful death lawsuit against the Veterans Hospital where his father died. Now the album can be found on Shinra Knives’ Bandcamp page for free/pay what you want, with all proceeds going to the Disabled American Veterans charity. —Joseph Hesse