The 13 Best St. Louis Noise/Experimental Bands in 2013

Categories: Best Of

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Mabel Suen
Beauty Pageant

St. Louis has such a rich history of experimental music, dating back to late '60s with the Black Artists Group (BAG) and early '70s with the Human Arts Ensemble. Through the '90s, the St. Louis-based SkiNGRAFT Records became a premier label for experimental punk and noise-rock. The fact that the New Music Circle, an organization that exclusively curates free-jazz, improv and exploratory music, is now in its 55th year is a testament to the survival of the genre in our city.

See also: 2013 RFT Music Award Experimental Category Winner: Ou Où

Fast-forward to 2013, and St. Louis becomes a treasure trove of experimental music, albeit under a more punk-rock-inspired vibe. The catchall term is now noise -- a name most commonly used to describe music that really fits nowhere else. The following groups and solo artists loosely fit together under the guise of experimental music.

These thirteen names play a vital role in St. Louis music by providing real alternatives to the musical norm. Presented to you in alphabetical order, this list is just a starting point, so read on and explore to find more noise on your own.

Beauty Pageant

Beauty Pageant serves up an atonal racket through scattered percussion and warped guitars. The band's influence reaches far beyond its sound, as each member plays a pivotal role in local arts. Guitarist Mister Ben is responsible for the long-standing comic zine Freezerburn and the sordid concert series simply titled NOiSE. Vocalist Blyre Cpanx is deeply involved in St. Louis burlesque, and drummer Wiggpaw also heads Skarekrau Radio, our city's bustling no-wave cult.

Beauty Pageant's core lineup also includes area artist David Burnett, but the band's extended family features about a dozen area musicians. While bringing a mostly punk-rock approach to the genre, Beauty Pageant opts to throw down with little to no practice or preparation. Beauty Pageant shows are consistently strong and especially dependable in the seedy underbelly of the St. Louis music scene.

See also: Beauty Pageant Issues a Noisy "Earbortion"

Read on for twelve more Noise/Experimental Artists.


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