If you haven’t been in the loop, things are a mess over at St. Louis’ beloved community radio station KDHX 88.1FM these days, with DJ firings, DJ suspensions, even more DJ firings, DJ strikes, board member resignations, planned litigation, and even a Save Our Station Fest in Benton Park last weekend as the community rallies around the cause of replacing the station’s controversial Executive Director Kelly Wells and the current board of directors that are driving the station’s recent move away from its community roots. Singer Gerard Erker of the Mighty Pines even recorded the protest song “Hey KDHX!” with a supergroup of local musicians.
Joining Erker on the musical protest line is Sheila Shahpari. Longtime fans of our site’s predecessor, PLAYBACK:stl, will remember Shahpari for her tenure as that site’s Live Music Editor, but Shahpari was also a well-regarded singer-songwriter around town, with the Riverfront Times naming her album What Is Real one of the top ten local releases of 2009, praising her “coffeehouse folk, jazzy elegance and avant-rock stylistic diversions” and comparing her favorably to Fiona Apple and Nellie McKay. With the goings-on at KDHX, Shahpari posted on Instagram that she “was compelled to exit my 10-ish year hiatus” to craft a song in support of the Save KDHX cause. “My fingers are raw from not playing forever,” Shahpari sings, “but I had some words to say/ You’re tearing apart what we all built together/ It was not yours to take.” Joining Shahpari on the appropriately fiery “Fall Drive” are bassist Chris Turnbaugh and drummer Jerry Mazzuca (jazz-trained utility players in what feels like every single band in St. Louis—their newest project is the prog-metal outfit the Gorge), and the song was recorded by Dan Mehrmann of Dropkick the Robot. Stream the song below, and find out more about the Save KDHX cause at their Facebook group page. | Jason Green