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Gentleman Auction House

October 4, 2006

One of my very favorite new bands, Gentleman Auction House, are releasing their debut EP, The Rules Were Handed Down, later this week, with CD release shows at Vintage Vinyl and the Way Out Club. The Vintage Vinyl show is on Friday night at 7 p.m., and the Way Out Club show takes place later that night, with The Hibernauts and Columbia, MO’s Witch’s Hat.

If you read this blog often, you know I am a huge fan of Gentleman Auction House. Not only are they one of the most exciting bands in St. Louis to follow, the local septet plays a wonderful mix of indie-pop and Saddle Creek-style americana. I first discovered them late last year through their myspace page. At the time, they had some demos up and, while a little rough sounding, you could tell the band had a ton of promise. The band lived up to the promise with the release of the single “Everyone Has Taken Their Hat Off But You” on The Black Tie Weekend Affair Compilation, a benefit to raise money for the Sound System at the Way Out Club, featuring other local bands such as 7 Shot Screamers, Casey Reid, The Hibernauts, The Vultures, and <a href=” http://www.myspace.com/johnnyoandthejerks
“>Johnny O & the Jerks. That song immediately found its way onto any and all mix CDs I made for friends and onto my radio show. I saw them open for Drums + Tuba, saw them play at Live on the Levee on the 4th of July and eventually asked them to play a prime-time slot at this year’s Lot Festival. At every show, the band — whom exude gobs and gobs of stage presence — get better and better.

Taking a cue from recent indie-phenoms Tapes’n Tapes and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, the band is releasing the EP completely independently, although they will be shopping it to a few smaller labels they admire and respect. It was entirely recorded and mixed by the band and features artwork by Mary Balda. The CD is a combination of all the things I like in an indie-pop band: huge melodies, unique instrumentation (pianos, trumpets, flutes, egg-shakers and two (!) drum sets), perfectly understated-but-punchy production values, and top-notch songwriting. This band has a ton going for it and is the front-runner for next-big-thing out of St. Louis (not to mention the band is really, really, ridiculously good-looking). The tracklist for the EP is as follows:

1. The Rules Were Handed Down
2. A Hospital Or Heaven
3. Blissful Things Go
4. Off Like A Parade Through The Leaves
5. Our Angry Town Runs Them Out
6. Your Days And Our Nights

So, do yourself a favor and come out to one of the shows this weekend, where they will have the new EP for sale, have a good time, and let the band know you appreciate what they’re doing.

MP3’s:
Gentleman Auction House – A Hospital or Heaven (from The Rules Were Handed Down)
Gentleman Auction House – Everyone Has Taken Their Hat Off But You (from The Black Tie Weekend Affair Compilation)

UPDATE: Check out the great article on Gentleman Auction House in this week’s Riverfront Times.

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