By Barry Gilbert
St. Louis Post-Dispatch


June 2, 2005

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 country.

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 finale.

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 Bottleworks; 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, Ohio-based musician.

"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."

Twangfest 9

Wednesday, June 8

An all-Austin, Texas, show at the Tap Room at Schlafly Brewery, 2100 Locust Street; tickets $8 at the door * Meat Purveyors

* Jon Dee Graham

* Milton Mapes

Thursday, June 9, and Friday, June 10

At the Duck Room at Blueberry Hill, 6504 Delmar Boulevard; $18 each night; advance tickets at Blueberry Hill (no service charge) or through Metrotix (, 1-800-293-5949)


* Supersuckers Big Show (Seattle)

* Richmond Fontaine (Portland, Ore.)

* Rough Shop (St. Louis)


* Big Sandy and His Fly-Rite Boys (Los Angeles)

* Moot Davis and the Real Deal featuring Pete Anderson (Los Angeles)

* Nora O'Connor (Chicago)

* Matthew Grimm (Iowa City, Iowa)

Saturday June 11

At the Pageant, 6161 Delmar Boulevard; $20, discounted if purchased at the Pageant box office with cash only. Tickets are also available online at or 314-241-1888.

* Neko Case (Tacoma, Wash.)

* Bottle Rockets (St. Louis)

* Brent Best of Slobberbone (Denton, Texas)

* Townsmen (Columbus, Ohio)


Friday, June 10, from 1 to 5 p.m. at Saratoga Lanes, 2725 Sutton Avenue, Maplewood; 314-645-5308; $5. Music by the Twangfest pickup band the Bowling Stones.

Twangclips 3 and Twangfest BBQ

Saturday, June 11

Twangclips from 1 to 4 p.m. inside at Schlafly Bottleworks, 7260 Southwest Avenue, Maplewood; free; 314-241-2337

Twangfest BBQ from noon to 5 p.m. outside at Schlafly Bottleworks; free; music featuring Glossary, Waterloo, Adam Reichmann of Nadine; Diesel Island, featuring members of the Bottle Rockets and Rockhouse Ramblers; and Steve Dawson of Dolly Varden.