Out Every Night: The Best Shows in St. Louis from March 18 to 24
Sorry, spring breakers! We know, we know -- Animal Collective postponing their St. Louis show throws a huge wrench into the works, along with all this freezing and wet mucky, gloomy sadness outside the window. Chin up, music fans. There's plenty of other bands to make donning some galoshes and splashing your way to the nearest show worthwhile this week. Go see The English Beat, Pinback or Bunnygrunt for starters. See more show recommendations after the jump.
Image via Bunnygrunt 20th Birthday - Friday, Mar. 23 @ Plush
Note: Though we wish we could, we can't feature every great show happening in town in just one measly post. Look for plenty more recommendations this Friday in our weekend show post, and peruse the St. Louis concert calendar for more ideas anytime.
On An On
Monday, Mar. 18, 8 p.m.
w/ Royal Canoe, Dots Not Feathers, Samuel Fickie
@ The Demo - $10
By Christian Schaeffer
A stiff wind must blow through the distance the separates Minneapolis and Chicago, the two towns claimed by On An On. The threesome creates icy and evocative songs that often sound barren but are never devoid of life - the processed guitar signal, the pneumatic thud of a drum loop, and the ethereal mix of male and female vocals play with textures of human contact and isolating distance. The debut Give In presents an accomplished set of songs from a band that sounds assured in its pursuits.
Tuesday, Mar. 19, 7:30 p.m.
w/ Loma Prieta, Mids, Sine Nomine
@ Lemp Arts Center - $7
By Joseph Hess
Goodtime Boys bring British screamo with desperate songs of guilt and spite. For all its force, the band sets a careful pace through thoughtful structure. Melodic guitars over frantic drumming make way for powered yelling and pieces often repeat, providing a heavy drone. Loma Prieta joins Goodtime Boys, bringing Bay-Area hardcore with a dark and moody slant. In recent years, Loma Prieta has dragged its blackened punk through the U.S., Mexico and Japan. The weathered sound melts genre into genre, eschewing convention for distinct songs. Expect heavy dirges from Loma Prieta, who tour in support of new LP I.V. out now on Deathwish Inc.
The English Beat
Wednesday, Mar. 20, 9 p.m.
@ Blueberry Hill - $25/$27.50
By Christian Schaeffer
If England's second-wave ska revival were broken into bite-size pieces, it might look something like this: The Specials were the urban rude boys, Madness were the populist nutty boys, and the English Beat were the tender, sensitive boys who brought heart and soul to the movement. Dave Wakeling led the six-piece through three wonderful, diverse albums, from the light dub and switchblade rhythms of I Just Can't Stop It through the elegant pop of Special Beat Service. The political angst that swells on the anti-Thatcher plea "Stand Down Margaret" was in step with the political awareness of the band's peers, but the bare emotion contained in that song (and hits like "Doors of Your Heart" and the immortal "Save It for Later") set Wakeling apart as a songwriter who knew that emotional intelligence and danceable rhythms could go hand in hand.
Thursday, Mar. 21, 9 p.m.
w/ JP. Inc.
@ The Firebird - $15
By Bob McMahon
Pinback assembles songs the way a person puts together a jigsaw puzzle. Clean guitar and bass arpeggios interlock neatly with heavy piano chords that fit around sparse, occasionally funky drumbeats and the earnest-but-piercing vocals of Rob Crow and Armistead Burwell Smith IV. In this way, Pinback folds the strengths of prog-rock into relatively accessible pop that's fun to sing along to. The quiet intensity of this sound translates surprisingly well to the stage, where the music's moodiness is supplemented by video of nature films, cult sci-fi flick Dark Star and other assorted footage. The co-frontmen also belt it out when singing live, transforming their recordings' insular vibe into a communal experience. Tight and cathartic all at once, Pinback is not to be missed.