Saturday, December 22, 2007

MUSIC: Faves Of 2007

My favorite music of 2007, presented in alphabetical order:

Carbon/Silicon---The Last Post

Peter Case---Let Us Now Praise Sleepy John

Jarvis Cocker---Jarvis

The Coral---Roots And Echoes

The Detroit Cobras---Tied & True

John Doe---A Year In The Wilderness

Mitch Easter---Dynamico

Bryan Ferry---Dylanesque

John Fogerty---Revival

Future Clouds And Radar---Future Clouds And Radar

The Go---Howl On The Haunted Beat You Ride

Ian Hunter---Shrunken Heads

Richard Lloyd---The Radiant Monkey

Midwest Music Liquidators---Various recordings only available (for now) on their myspace page.

The Museum Mutters---Various recordings only available (for now) on their myspace page.

Outrageous Cherry---Stay Happy

Prince---Planet Earth

The Skeletons---Alive In The Nineties

Son Volt---The Search

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band---Magic

The Stabilisers---Wanna do the Wild Plastic Brane Love Thing?

Stephen Stills---Just Roll Tape

Ben Vaughn---Designs In Music

Wilco---Sky Blue Sky

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

MUSIC: Ike Turner RIP

Ike Turner played a profound role in shaping American music. His band’s 1951 single “Rocket 88” is often regarded as the first rock & roll record. As a talent scout and A&R man, he discovered or recorded many blues legends, including Elmore James, Buddy Guy and Howlin’ Wolf. Turner moved to East St. Louis in 1954, and his Kings of Rhythm became a top rhythm & blues act in St. Louis. In the 1960s the group’s sound evolved into the pulsating rock and roll of Ike & Tina Turner. Famous for his boogie-woogie piano and whammy-bar guitar signatures, Turner produced hits such as “A Fool In Love,” “It’s Gonna Work Out Fine” and “Proud Mary.” Ike Turner was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

STEVE ROCK: New Prisonshake Singles Out Now!

Get 'em while they're hot, here.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

STEVE ROCK: Prisonshake 7" Pre-Order

Be the first on your block to pre-order the new Prisonshake singles, here.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

First Autumn In The New House

In the backyard with Boomer and the pumpkins.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

STEVE ROCK: Finn's Motel At The Bluebird, Saturday, October 13th

Saturday, October 13th, Finn's Motel play new St. Louis venue The Bluebird, 2706 Olive, St. Louis, MO 63103. We're opening for Adam Franklin of Swervedriver. We play at 9pm. Cover: $10.00 21+/$12.00 minors (18+).

Thursday, October 04, 2007

STEVE ROCK: Prisonshake's Dirty Moons Completed!

News of the completion of our forthcoming double album, Dirty Moons, plus a stream of the first two songs on it, here.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

STEVE ROCK: Finn's Motel Named "Best Pop Band" By RFT

The Riverfronttimes has named Finn's Motel "Best Pop Band" in it's annual Best Of St. Louis edition.

Here's the blurb from the issue:

Best Pop Band (2007)
Finn's Motel
Joe Thebeau's no stranger to the local music community, seeing as he's been playing and constructing music as a member of various bands for many years. But he's struck pure-pop gold with his current project, Finn's Motel, a rotating cast of musicians and personalities that proves just how smart music can be. Literally and figuratively: The scientific references dotting the stellar single "Of Cycles and Engines" — one of the year's best, a bit of jangle-grime that's insidiously catchy — set a brainiac tone that continues throughout the band's debut CD, Escape Velocity. Thebeau's voice has the higher-register lilt of Superchunk's Mac McCaughan, while the spring-loaded choruses and boisterous garage-grunge riffs sound like Guided by Voices with a Ph.D. — and Velocity's dreamier moments conjure the Pernice Brothers, or Wilco with a shoegazing problem. Despite such erudite touchstones, Finn's Motel's tunes never get swallowed by academic preciousness; if anything, they want to make you drive down the road at top speed on a sunny day.

Friday, September 21, 2007

POLITICS: KO's "President Of Hypocrisy"

Keith Olbermann gives what the Democratic response on the Senate floor yesterday should have been, here.

Friday, August 17, 2007

MUSIC: Ian Hunter Piano Enters Rock Hall of Fame

Though I personally think the piano used on "All The Way From Memphis" may be more deserving of the honor, what the heck. By way of Harp, here.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Monday, August 06, 2007

STEVE ROCK: Upcoming Finn's Motel Shows

Finn's Motel plays at 9pm, Thursday, August 9 at The Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western Ave., Chicago, IL 60622.

Here's a nice little show preview blurb on us from the Chicago Tribune:
Post-industrial boom slowdown has turned a couple ragged old cities (Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Providence) into thriving arts scenes due to cheap rents and nothin' to do -- but unfortunately, St. Louis hasn't seen this sort of turnaround. It seems like it's been a good decade since the Lou had some real rock talents to boast about. Given all of this, it's no surprise that a little wonder of a band like Finn's Motel could escape notice. The basement recording project of Joe Thebeau, Finn's Motel's "Escape Velocity" (Scat) is a rough power-pop gem: churlish bar rock with some Midwestern sheen (think Cheap Trick, rather than indie rock). It's a real charmer.

Friday, August 10, we bring the "Affton Sound" to Affton when we play the Ten Mile House, 9420 Gravois Rd Affton, MO 63123 with our buddies, the fabulous Tinhorn. The Ten Mile House is a couple of blocks past St. Louis landmark Phil's BBQ, and a long wiffle ball home run from Joe's house where Escape Velocity was birthed and recorded. It's also a couple of miles from the house I grew up in. And have no fear urban hipsters, there's plenty of safe and free parking at the Ten Mile House. Should be a really fun show.

And here's an early heads up:
On October 13th we're playing new St. Louis venue The Bluebird, 2706 Olive, opening for Adam Franklin of Swervedriver. Swervedriver's 1993 classic Mezcal Head is one of my all-time favorite albums.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

POLITICS: Generation Chickenhawk

Max Blumenthal visits the College Republican National Convention and delivers a must see video. Check it out and pay attention to a couple of particularly embarassing young GOP tools from St. Louis, here.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

POLITICS: Rudy Pot Calls Vitter Kettle Black

Given Giuliani's history as a serial adulterer, this is pretty rich. As Tony Soprano might ask, "Where do you get the balls?" Check out the nerve of this scumbag, by way of the CNN Political Ticker, here.

Monday, July 09, 2007

POLITICS/MUST SEE TV: Michael Moore Calls Out Wolf Blitzer

As the saying goes, there's nothing like live TV. Check out the fun by way of Crooks And Liars, here.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

STEVE ROCK: 2 Finn's Motel Shows This Weekend

Two Finn's Motel shows this weekend:

Saturday, June 2nd at The Pageant, 6161 Delmar Blvd. Show starts at 8pm, we're scheduled second between Jesse Irwin and The Trip Daddys, and our set starts at 9pm.

Sunday, June 3rd at The Halo Bar, 6161 Delmar Blvd. We play at 9:30pm as part of the RFT Music Awards Showcase.

Our good buddy Chris Grabau of Magnolia Summer will be on guitar with us for these shows. Chris will be filling in for Robert Griffin, who is up in Chicago mixing the forthcoming Prisonshake album.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Man's Best Friend(s)

The kids are eight years old today. Happy Birthday Boomer & Soda Can!

Boomer & Soda Can

Soda Can


Tuesday, May 01, 2007

MUSIC: Dr. Jockenstein, RIP

During the golden era of American Funk and R&B of the late 1970's, the AM radio of my '68 Chevy Malibu was permanently locked on WESL, a fabulous hard core R&B station just across the river in East St. Louis, Illinois. As genius as it was entertaining, WESL back then was as definitive "old school" radio as it gets. It was simply amazing. Back in that day WESL had a roster full of outstanding DJs, every one of them a Hall Of Famer, and none was better than The Doctor... Dr. Jockenstein. I was in college at the time, but I think I learned more about life and the real ways of the world listening to Jockenstein and his WESL cohorts than I ever learned in any college classroom...

Friday, April 27, 2007

MUSIC: Andrew Hill, RIP

My favorite donk jazz pianist has passed...

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

POLITICS: Keith Torches Rudy's Fear Mongering

I believe there is no more loathsome and despicable 2008 presidential candidate than Rudy Giuliani. Looks like the great Keith Olbermann agrees with me, here.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Friday, March 23, 2007

STEVE ROCK: SXSW Photos & Recap

I was only in Austin for a day and a half, so I didn't see and do nearly as much as I did last year, but here is some of what I did manage to see...

On Friday night Prisonshake played the Blender Bar, and we found ourselves sandwiched on the bill between two modern garage bands from Boston, Muck & The Mires and the Downbeat 5, respectively. Both bands were full of very nice people who all delivered the live rocking goods.

Muck & The Mires

The Downbeat 5

Aussie legends The Hoodoo Gurus were also on our bill, and are as great a live band now as they were 20 years ago.

Head Guru Dave Falkner.

After our set I ran over to the Hilton and caught Chris Stamey & Peter Holsapple.

Me & my old pal Peter Holsapple, seconds before he hit the stage.

Old Cicero's doormen reunion: Doug Enkler & the legendary Jim Utz, at the Twangfest/KDHX Party.

Detroit's Deadstring Bros. rocked inside at Jovita's like a motherfucker. Imagine the Stones doing a whole set of "Tumbling Dice" and you kinda get the idea. A tremendous rock band.

The Figgs were far and away the best rock band I saw in Austin. A riveting, well-oiled, and truly inspiring live band!

Figgs bass god Pete Donnelly. I bow at his feet in total awe...

My St. Louis and Undertow homies Waterloo, at Jovita's.

Graham Parker tore the roof off Jovita's for three songs with The Figgs.

Old mates: Doug Enkler & Graham Parker.

Murph of Sloan, trying to "book some studio time" at the close of David Cross' party at Red 7 Patio.

Doug Enkler & me, Target parking lot, Austin. Don't ask...

STEVE ROCK: Finn's Motel at SXSW: Twangfest/KDHX Party at Jovita's & Red 7 Patio 3/17/07

We started the day with a less-than-fresh hangover set outside at the Twangfest/KDHX Party at the wonderful Mexican restaurant, Jovita's. But we redeemed ourselves later that evening at the Red 7 Patio with a solid, rocking set.

Joe Thebeau rocking the patio at Jovita's.

Robert Griffin, Patrick Hawley, Joe Thebeau, my good side.

Joe rocking the Red 7 Patio.

Joe & Griff.

Patrick, bringing the donk.

Me & Joe.

(Photos by Enk)

Thursday, March 22, 2007

STEVE ROCK: Prisonshake at SXSW: Blender Bar 3/16/07

We rocked the nut particularly hard in front of a really great crowd at Blender Bar. Threw a little donk in for good measure, too. Enkler was truly on fire and delivered a heroic performance of hot rock...

Doug Enkler & me.

More Enk & me.

Robert Griffin & Enk.

More Griff & Enk.

Me, Enk, & Joe Thebeau.

These are the jokes, lady...

(Photos by Tom Lunt)

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

STEVE ROCK: Prisonshake SXSW Review

From Annie Zaleski's Riverfront Times SXSW blog:

Prisonshake came out of hibernation on Friday night and blew the roof off the absurd scene at a venue called the Blender (as in, magazine) Bar at the Ritz. Playing on a small half-moon stage draped by red curtains that was dwarfed by a giant Texas flag continuously waving on a TV over the bar (à la a yule log), the post-everything group schooled younger bands in what raw, dirty and messy sounds like. Riveting vocalist Doug Enkler contorted his body and flailed around the tiny stage howling like a man possessed – and nearly beheaded bandmates several times with the mic stand — as the group jumped from gnarled noise, metal snarls, doom-disco, post-garage and instrumental psych-rock. (Enkler’s self-deprecating stage banter, of which there were too many instances to mention, also entertained nearly as much.) Anticipation for Prisonshake’s upcoming album(s) Year of the Donk: high.

Thursday, March 15, 2007


I'm heading down to Austin to play South By Southwest again. This year I'm pulling double duty with Prisonshake and Finn's Motel. Here's the scoop on both:

Prisonshake (SXSW blurb, download/stream, & website)
Friday, March 16
Blender Bar at the Ritz (320 E. 6th St.)

Finn's Motel (SXSW blurb, download/stream, & website)
Saturday, March 17
Twangfest/KDHX Day Party
Jovita's (1617 S. First St.)
1:30pm (outside stage)
Red 7 Patio (611 E. 7th St.)


If you're down there and can make it to any of our shows, do say hi and let's buy each other a drink. Though my stay in Austin will be much shorter this year, I'll still provide a full report and photos here upon my return...

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

POLITICS: Sticking It To Sam Fox

John Kerry and Barack Obama stick it to someone I'm ashamed to say lives in the same city that I do, courtesy of the Huffington Post, here.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

STEVE ROCK: Finn's Motel At Billiken Club

Finn's Motel play The Billiken Club this Saturday night, February 17th. The Billiken Club is located in the lower level of the Busch Student Center at the corner of Grand and Laclede, on the campus of Saint Louis University. Gentleman Auction House are also on the bill.

This show is free, all ages, and open to the public!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

POLITICS: Obama's Springfield Speech

"And as people have looked away in disillusionment and frustration, we know what's filled the void. The cynics, and the lobbyists, and the special interests who've turned our government into a game only they can afford to play. They write the checks and you get stuck with the bills, they get the access while you get to write a letter, they think they own this government, but we're here today to take it back. The time for that politics is over. It's time to turn the page."---Senator Barack Obama

Obama really knocked it out of the park today as he declared his presidential candidacy, sounding even more like Bobby Kennedy than he has before. What I liked best was the overall global tone of the speech while still wrapping it as a conversation with Americans. It was as if he was saying to the rest of the world that not all Americans are bigoted goons and war mongering fuckwads, while reassuring those of us who don't happen to be bigoted goons and war mongering fuckwads that we are not alone and someone is on our side. A hell of a lot more inspiring than anything yet to come out of the mouths of Edwards or Clinton. I also dug his very shrewd and JFK-like generational call to arms. The Baby Boomers have had their two shots with Clinton & Bush, time for the generational political torch to be passed. One has to believe the kids can't possibly screw things up more than my generation has.

POP CULTURE: Geezer On Anna Nicole

My good buddy Tom Lunt weighs in with the definitive word on Anna Nicole Smith, by way of his inspirational blog Geezer's United, here.

Friday, February 09, 2007

POLITICS: Harriet Woods RIP

“You can stand tall without standing on someone. You can be a victor without having victims.” ---Harriet Woods

The inspirational Grande Dame of Missouri Democratic politics. When I worked at Vintage Vinyl, I would bump into her in line at the Starbuck's across from the store every now & then, and she was always ready with a quick comment on whatever was happening that day in politics. She was a pillar of total class.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

STEVE ROCK: Prisonshake News

Yep, we're revin' the Shake up again. Read all about it, here.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

TV: The Sarah Silverman Program

Comedy Central's The Sarah Silverman Program is the funniest new show to come along in ages. Don't miss it, it's brilliant. And she's got the cutest dog in all of television on there too!

Friday, February 02, 2007


Paul Krugman's must read Molly Ivins tribute, here.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Saturday, January 20, 2007

MUSIC: Farewell Mississippi Nights

Stalwart St. Louis rock club institution Mississippi Nights closed its doors last night. A wrecking ball will hit it and a shiny new casino will soon be in its place. The club may open in another location, and maybe it won’t. I’ve been seeing rock shows there for thirty years. Many rock shows! So many great shows in fact, it’s next to impossible for me to shake the cobwebs of my memory and assemble a complete listing. So I’ll put it this way instead: The very first show I ever saw at Mississippi Nights was AC/DC with Bon Scott in 1977 and the very last show I ever saw at Mississippi Nights were the New York Dolls in 2006. To say I saw everything in between would be a major understatement, my all-time favorites being the Dwight Twilley Band on the Twilley Don’t Mind tour in 1978 and Roxy Music on the Manifesto tour in 1979.

I also had the pleasure of performing at Mississippi Nights several times over the years with several different bands. Each and every time I performed there I was treated by the club with the highest degree of respect and professionalism—something extremely rare in this nutty business. I could easily fill a book recounting the personal good times I had and great shows I saw and got to play myself at Mississippi Nights. Deepest of thanks to owner Rich Frame and the lifetime of incredible memories his club has provided.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

MUSIC: 96 Tears Fund

As you may already know, ? And The Mysterians were recent victims of a fire in which they lost everything. Jeff Kopp and the good folks at are bringing the band to town for a benefit show. Read all about it and make a donation if you can, here.

Thursday, January 11, 2007



Thursday, January 04, 2007

STEVE ROCK: Finn's Motel Live Clip

Finn's Motel performing "Arizona Sandstorm" live at Off Broadway, St.Louis, 12/21/06, by way of YouTube, here.

There's also a nice little article on Finn's Motel (and a great photo of Joe!) in the new issue of MAGNET Magazine. Cat Power's on the cover, on sale now...

Monday, January 01, 2007

MUSIC: Faves Of 2006

My favorite music of 2006,
presented in alphabetical order
and with blurbs when inspired:

Jon Auer---Songs From The Year Of Our Demise

Rosanne Cash---Black Cadillac

Cheap Trick---Rockford

Ray Davies---Other People’s Lives
At age 62 Ray releases a record as great and as important a statement as any he made during his 20's & 30's.

Def Leppard---Yeah!

Bob Dylan---Modern Times

Alejandro Escovedo---The Boxing Mirror
Teamed with the brilliance of producer John Cale, Escovedo marks his return to better health by delivering the best rock album of the year.

Phil Judd---Mr.Phudd & His Novelty Act
Most original rock album of the year, bringing new astonishments and wonders with every listen.

Mark Knopfler & Emmylou Harris---All The Roadrunning

All The Roadrunning

Jerry Lee Lewis---Last Man Standing

Magic Christian—"Turn Up The Heat" b/w "All The Stars" (single)

Don McGlashan—Warm Hand

New York Dolls---One Day It Will Please Us To Remember Even This
A staggeringly enjoyable record, so easy to embrace and celebrate as the perfectly appropriate exclamation point on the legendary & influential careers of David Johansen & Sylvain Sylvain.
Standout cut "Dance Like A Monkey" is as good as rock gets in 2006.

Willie Nile---Streets Of New York

Primal Scream---Riot City Blues

The Rugs—The Rugs

Sloan---Never Hear The End Of It

Matthew Sweet & Susanna Hoffs---Under The Covers Vol.1

Tom Verlaine---Songs And Other Things
Tom Verlaine---
Tom Verlaine

Teddybears---Soft Machine
Stuff this far out and wacky can only come from Sweden.
Includes "Punk Rocker", my favorite single of the year, featuring Iggy Pop’s finest vocal performance on a record since "Candy".

Paul Weller---Catch-Flame (Live At The Alexandra Palace)

Yo La Tengo---I Am Not Afraid Of You And I Will Beat Your Ass
Continued rock excellence from The Little Band That Could...

Pete Yorn---Nightcrawler

Favorite Live Shows (in alphabetical order):
ABC---Pridefest, St. Louis

The Bangles—House Of Blues, Chicago
The Bats—End Of An Ear Records, Austin
Cheap Trick---Live On The Levee, St. Louis
The Chesterfield Kings—Mississippi Nights, St. Louis
The Dirtbombs—Beachland Ballroom, Cleveland
Alejandro Escovedo—The Duck Room, St. Louis
The Hazey Janes—The Drink, Austin
Joan Jett & The Blackhearts---Mississippi Nights, St. Louis

The Minus 5---RFT Awards, St. Louis
The New York Dolls—Mississippi Nights, St. Louis
The Plimsouls—Finale, St. Louis
The Plimsouls—Club Exodus, Austin
Son Volt—Taste Of St. Louis, St. Louis
Matthew Sweet & Susanna Hoffs—The Drink, Austin
Matthew Sweet & Susanna Hoffs—Dog & Duck Pub, Austin
Steve Wynn & The Miracle 3—Dog & Duck Pub, Austin
Steve Wynn & The Miracle 3—Caribbean Lights, Austin

Parting shot, 2006:
Sorry kids, but that highly praised TV On The Radio record is JUST AWFUL! A very bad rock band with very bad singers doing very bad reinterpretations of Brian Eno’s first two solo albums. Dreadful...