The Best St. Louis Noise/Experimental Shows: February 2014

Categories: DIY

Ariel Arro
Ultra Bide from Japan.

Deliberately shrill and mostly dense, "noise" has become a blanket term for bands that explore and experiment around the beaten path. The genre, like others, isn't without its share of hangups, but that's why we're here. Every month, we supply a short list of sure bets in St. Louis, ranging from needlessly complex to minimalist drone. Connect the weird to your ears.

"I want to do my fucking noise music and punk for until die," says Hide of Japan's Ultra Bidé (see the video below). The best thing about being a fan of so-called "noise" is the openness of the genre. Ultra Bidé, performing at Fubar Saint Louis on February 8, could be classified as a punk-rock band. Spacey effects and wild feedback take the group off the beaten path of punk and into stranger territory. Like most cases, the band identifies itself as "noise" because it fits nowhere else.

Throughout the month of February, St. Louis will host a wealth of shows that zero in on what it means to be "experimental." From the Ultra Bidé gig (a group with a mostly punk-rock background) to the latest installment in the Lemp Arts Center's Quiet Concert series, the St. Louis scene has never felt so varied.

As always, we'll provide the time and place while you supply the ears and eyes. If you think we've left out a vital gig or you'd like to plug a show we might not know about, contribute to the comments below.

Ultra Bidé with The Conformists, Drop A Grand and Hell Night
Saturday, February 8
Fubar Saint Louis
(3108 Locust)
7 p.m. | $10-12 | All Ages

Ultra Bidé comes from Kyoto, Japan, and declares itself a "noise" band. These two facts make for good qualifiers on their own, but Ultra Bidé crafts harsh rock at quick tempos, using a wild range of sounds to complement each song. The band makes use of two bass guitars, eschewing the overused six-string for extra low-end crunch. The drums feel like typical punk fare, but they wander off into odd territory and feel consistent with the band's overall direction.

The Conformists lead a great opening line-up including Drop A Grand and Hell Night. If you're unfamiliar, check out either one of The Conformists' albums recorded with legendary engineer Steve Albini.

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