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St. Louis Brass. Photograph by Kevin A. Roberts
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The unifiying theme this weekend, it seems, is rich, complex, acoustic music: that includes Jeremy Deller's brass-band acid house mashup at CAMSTL; Danish jazz musician Lotte Anker, whose trio plays tonight as part of New Music Circle's season; a true Irish tenor; the Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra; local Americana Gothic band The Skekses; the Borealis Chamber Players; the Yale Society of Orpheus and Baccus; and pianist Wuna Meng. The only electrified offering below is They Might Be Giants, who St. Louisans love as dearly as Sammy Hagar (not sure what that means demographically, but maybe better not to know?). Though as you can see from the TIny Desk Concert clip below, the two Johns are as comfortable with lo-fi setups in cluttered corners as they are big venues with lots of plugs and pedals at their disposal. As always, we caution you to call ahead if you're planning to buy tickets at the door; not only do shows sell out, they sometimes get rescheduled, delayed, or altogether cancelled at the last minute.
Thursday, March 14
Jeremy Deller's "Acid Brass"
Contemporary Art Museum-St. Louis
3750 Washington, 314-535-4660, camstl.org
$10, free for museum members, 7 p.m.
“Acid Brass” was a 1997 collaboration between Deller and the Williams Fairey Brass Band, who arranged—and performed, in proper configuration and in full uniform—what Deller described as “acid house anthems,” including A Guy Called Gerald’s “Voodoo Ray”; Rhythim Is Rhythim’s “Strings of Life”; and 808 State’s “Pacific 202.” For more, check out this article from our March issue, which talks about the show in detail; this concert is presented as part of the exhibition “Jeremy Deller: Joy in People,” which runs through April 28.
The Lotte Anker Trio, presented by New Music Circle
560 Music Center Ballroom
560 Trinity, 888-662-7851, newmusiccircle.org
$7.50 -$20, 7 p.m.
New Music Circle rolls on with its fantastic 2012-13 season, this time with brilliant Danish saxophonist and composer, Lotte Anker. Her trio includes pianist Craig Taborn and percussionist Gerald Cleaver; the three are known for their almost meditative playing style, as well as their uncanny near-ESP while playing. The trio's also lauded for a musical voice that is "unique in its ability to create long-form sonic gestures, almost painterly in nature, with the immense detail and movement that touches on the best of avant-garde jazz traditions."
Jeffrey Gonder, Irish tenor and Jocelyn Rubager, piano
Tavern of Fine Arts
313 Belt, 314-367-7549, tavern-of-fine-arts.com
Free, 7:30 p.m.
If you've been within 10 feet of a TV tuned to a PBS pledge drive anytime during the last decade, the Three Tenors, Lend Me a Tenor, or any of the various commercialized versions of the Irish tenor tradition probably wear on a raw nerve. (Head mics, pyrotechnics and and tuxedos, begone!) The soulful, acoustic version of this tradition, however, is something else entirely. This St. Patrick's Day concert is more along those lines, paying homage to singers such as John McCormack as well as the canon of Irish ballads and folk songs. Gonder will also sing art songs and operettas, and Rubager will perform pieces for solo piano.
Friday, March 15
They Might Be Giants
6161 Delmar, 314-726-6161, thepageant.com
8 p.m., $20-$30
The miracle of a TMBG show in St. Louis: the audience is all-ages, from young kids meaning college students to young kids meaning young kids—who are holding hands of parents who might've been in high school when the band's 1992 album, Apollo 18, came out in 1992. Look-Listen was reminded of the genius of that album just this last Tuesday, when Darren Snow of KDHX's Rocket 88 morning show slipped blips of the surreal radio-scan song "Fingertips" between tracks. Not only does it hold up 21 (gasp!) years later, but it is a reminder that these guys can do more with eight seconds than most bands can do with a full-length track.
Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra
Cathedral Concerts at the Cathedral Basilica
4431 Lindell, 314-533-7662, cathedralconcerts.org
8 p.m., $44, $34, $24
The name of this Canadian period instrument orchestra translates to "table music," or "music for the feast." Gramophone rated them as one of the world's top Baroque orchestras, and the Globe and Mail called their choir is "one of the best period-performance choirs in the world." For this concert, Tafelmusik presents "The Galileo Project," which explores the history of Baroque art and music through works b Bach, Handel, Vivaldi and Marais, narration, and projections of paintings by Vermeer, Canaletto, and Watteau.
Borealis Chamber Players
Tavern of Fine Arts
313 Belt, 314-367-7549, tavern-of-fine-arts.com
Free, 8 p.m.
The variety of the cultural events at the Tavern is kind of astonishing; in the span of two weeks, you can see everything from lute music to readings of Jane Austen. This Saturday, the eclecticism continues with a performance by The Borealis Chamber Players (that's Michael Dunsmoor, conductor; Christie Berger, flute; Eileen Burke, oboe; Jose Silva, clarinet; John Thomas, horn; Robert Carter, bassoon; Alison Rolf, violin; Tony Morales, violin; Mitchell Stumpf, viola; April Dannelly, cello; Sue Stubbs, bass; Matt Chapman, piano; Dr. Cathy Benton, piano). The program's titled "FIVE, SIX, SEVEN, EIGHT," and features works by Mozart, Poulenc, Beethoven, and Schubert.
Saturday, March 16
The Skekses with Thin Dimes
Schlafly Tap Room
2100 Locust, 314-241-2337, schlafly.com
Free, 9 p.m.
The Skeses, led by poet, tarot-reader and multi-instrumentalist Ellen Herget, plumb a certain wistful, very old feeling-sound that seems totally indigenous to the Mississippi River Valley. And yet it sounds totally new and young (See clip above!) which makes them perfectly at home as one of the bands in the Tower Groove Records collective. The Thin Dimes, who played on the streets of Columbia earlier this month for the True/False documentary film festival, have their own take on rootsy (and their own river songs too). You can get a taste of what to expect on Saturday by watching this clip here.
Sunday, March 17
Artist Presentation Society Concert: Wuna Meng, Piano
Ethical Society of St. Louis
9001 Clayton, 314-822-4697, apsmusic.org
Meng is the winner of the 2012 APS Auditions, the 2012 Krannert Debut Artist Awards, and has appeared on CNN as part of Beijing's Palatino Awards New Music Competition. This concert, hosted by Dick Wobbe, is a tribute to beloved paino teacher Jeanne Banta, and features works including Liszt's Ballade No. 2 in B minor, Granados' Los Requiebros, and Beethoven's Sonata No. 31 in A flat Major.