Clip: Twangfest hits St. Louis next week
Rock or country?
By Barry Gilbert
Of the Post-Dispatch
They're not suckers, they're Supersuckers, and the manic band from Seattle
will give Twangfest 9 a kick in the pants next Thursday night.
Eddie Spaghetti and his bandmates moved from the Sonoran Desert of Tucson,
Ariz., to Seattle just in time to mostly ignore that city's grunge movement
of the '90s. But they will expose their Southwestern roots during a
one-night-only Big Show: a double set featuring one of rock, and one of
And St. Louis' four-day celebration of rootsy rock and country will go
upscale, if not uptown, when it moves from smaller venues - mainly the
friendly but spatially challenged Duck Room - to the roomy Pageant for its
Chicago-based singer Neko Case will headline the final night of Twangfest
9, which runs this year from Wednesday through Saturday, June 11. Case will
be supported on the bill by hometown heroes, the Bottle Rockets.
Returning this year will be (see boxes for full schedules and details):
* Twangpin (June 10): An afternoon of bowling and music at Saratoga Lanes.
* Twangclips (June 11): An afternoon of rare video clips hosted by Barry
Mazor of No Depression magazine, at the Schlafly Bottle Works; outside, the
Twangfest BBQ will feature live music.
Music, of course, is what it's all about, and the Supersuckers' appearance
will be special, says Mark Wyatt, a Twangfest board member and Columbus,
"It's a pretty big deal," Wyatt says. "They're not touring right now, and
we're bringing them out to do this show. We're figuring the Duck Room will
be sold out.
"They're really good at both (country and rock). They've done tours as the
Country Supersuckers. It went over so well, people would ask them to do
country on their rock tours. But they are a Seattle rock band."
And a wonderfully twisted one, as the band applies punk-fueled, three-chord
attitude to the trinity of sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll - with an
occasional tongue-in-cheek shout out to Satan and mayhem. They also have a
"Fake Encore: U.S. Patent Pending."
The shift on the final night from the Duck Room to the Pageant - both of
which are owned by Blueberry Hill proprietor Joe Edwards - coincides with
longtime Twangfest co-sponsor KDHX-FM (88.1) becoming more involved this
year as a partner.
"That's a big change," Wyatt says. "They (KDHX) looked into seeing if we
could get Neko Case, but she's gotten a lot bigger and the Duck Room's too
small. ... With KDHX being our partner, it's another reason I'm worrying a
little less about (filling) the Pageant."
The goal for community radio KDHX and Twangfest is to develop the kind of
reputation and respect that has been earned by the Austin City Limits
Festival and public TV station KLRU in Austin, Texas. Those two are firmly
linked in the minds of music fans, and the partnership that began with the
"Austin City Limits" TV show also has spawned CDs and DVDs.
"We're never going to be South by Southwest," Wyatt says of the massive
music industry showcase held in Austin each spring. But Twangfest, he says,
can continue to grow as a "really cool festival."