Indie Rock Ice Cream Social satisfies a sweet tooth
Seriously, who doesn't like ice cream? You'd be a supreme curmudgeon not to enjoy this summer time favorite. Plus, St. Louis has a plethora of independent ice cream establishments making yummy concoctions to beat the heat. So, when organizer Michael Tomko decided to combine ice cream with rock 'n roll, an event was born.
Presented by Tomko Bomb Co. and 88.1 KDHX and now in its fifth annual year (with one year off for reflection), the Indie Rock Ice Cream Social will sweeten up the space at The Firebird this Saturday, July 9.
Originally organized in 2006 as a promotional vehicle for his former band, Gentleman Auction House, the event took on a life of its own, so much so that Tomko won't let it die. He says,
"There is nothing like hundreds of St. Louis music fans slammed up against the stage with a beer in one hand and a sundae in the other."
Over the years the event has featured local bands and up and coming bands from around the country. In 2007, the band Canada (actually from Ann Arbor, MI) officially released their live performance from the Indie Rock Ice Cream Social. Further, two years ago Chapel Hill, NC based Lost In The Trees, scheduled to play LouFest next month, had their first performance in St. Louis at the event.
On Saturday, doors open at 7:30 p.m. while admission is $10 for those 18 and up allows you in to see live music from JC Brooks and The Uptown Sound, The Breaks and Bear Hive while DJ Chris Bay provides the remainder of the evening's soundtrack.
But wait, not only do you get to hear some great live music, but your admission also gets you FREE Ice Cream from St. Louis based Serendipity Homemade Ice Cream. After some humble beginnings including going to the store to buy ice cream, a friend of a friend introduced Tomko to the fine people at Serendipity and the ice cream angle quickly became real and professional. Tomko explains, "There are usually 3-4 flavors and a plethora of toppings and last year we had Vanilla, Chocolate and Black Cherry along with sprinkles, whipped cream, fudge, caramel sauce, strawberry sauce, marshmallow fluff, etc." The store brings multiple employees to hand make sundaes for the audience at the event lifting the burden of the ice cream off the promoter.
Event headliner JC Brooks and The Uptown Sound, from Chicago, blow back into town bringing their neo-soul/R & B for a triumphant return to St. Louis. On a recent trip to the record store I couldn't turn around with out running into one of their releases as the band is making some great headway getting their music noticed. This past February the band opened up for one of the two sold-out Dismemberment Plan reunion shows in Chicago and headlined a nearly sold-out show at Off Broadway here in town. Then they were personally invited to play the Wilco-curated Solid Sound Festival this June in Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in North Adams, MA. Even Jeff Tweedy, dressed in camouflage, surprised the group crashing their performance of the Wilco cover "I Am Trying To Break Your Heart." See the official video for the song below:
Back in January, the group recorded a few songs in the studios of 88.1 KDHX - here's "Baltimore Is The New Brooklyn"
As one of the openers, The Breaks bring their garage/indie/power pop rock performing for the second time at the Indie Rock Ice Cream Social. The St. Louis based band released their five song début EP back in January that they recorded with Recorded and Nick Spezia at Ocean Way Nashville Recording Studios.
Another St. Louis band, Bear Hive, opens the event on Saturday night. Featuring former members of The Sham, the band reforms as Bear Hive and resurfaces just in time for the Indie Rock Ice Cream Social. Tomko admits they are "one of my favorite bands in St. Louis." Without a website currently, here's the Riverfront Times review of The Sham's EP, The Only Builderfor a small, albeit outdated, reference point.
Spinning some tunes for the audience in-between sets and before and after the show will be DJ Chris Bay (St. Louis). Bay is the host of Gold Soundz Radio, 7-9 p.m. on Friday nights on KDHX 88.1FM.
By heading out to The Firebird on Saturday you will likely find some new music to love made by hard-working musicians giving it their best while honing their craft. Plus, you'll get some great ice cream. What could be better than that?