Noise: Meet the 2014 RFT Music Award Nominees
The 2014 Riverfront Times Music Showcase will be held this year on June 7 in the Grove! Think of it as St. Louis music's own official holiday and consider this the season. Throughout May we at RFT Music will be making our cases for all 140 bands and artists nominated for an RFT Music Award this year, so that you will be able to make a fully informed decision with regards to your vote. Read on and get yourself acquainted, and we'll see you at the showcase!
See also: Vote Now For the 2014 RFT Music Awards
Beauty Pageant huffs the dying breath of arena rock. Imagine the peak of your favorite cock-rock band -- the last 30 seconds of the set, when the guitars go haywire while the drummer winds up for its one final hit. Beauty Pageant takes the ugliest part of rock & roll -- the showy, masculine solos -- and makes a mockery of it all. Mr. Ben leads with shrill riffage under David Burnett's wobbly synth, crafting a wide tonal range that fills the ears with swamp water. You might recognize Blyre Cpanx from her busy nights performing burlesque, but here she helps the band to self-destruct, making this noise even punker than punk rock.
Ghost Ice jams a catheter down some unsuspecting android's throat and sends the sound through space via A.M. radio airwaves. OK, clearly that's not the case, but watching Jeremy Kannapell craft boundless layers of white noise that rush in stereo fashion invokes the aura of cold science fiction. While Kannapell has never sought to capture or sell Ghost Ice in any kind of package, his noise is best felt live where it folds onto itself, building into a powerful ambiance that shares no contemporary.
Analog audio synthesis calls on both sides of the brain to build sound through electric current. As technical as plugging holes and twisting knobs can be, slight adjustments to the signal can amass organic noise, or a simple and dull tone. Kevin Harris is more explorer than musician, searching for sound without a basis for comparison. In doing so, he challenges his audience to judge the way they perceive music. Harris seeks to unglue personal preference from perception, and he aurally crafts an environment for the listener to join him.
Noise tends to be the garbage bin where music that is too hard to define piles up. The Night Grinder's treasure is another man's trash, and sole member Brad Schumacher picks up the pieces. By forcing chopped beats through a twisted funnel of white noise, Schumacher builds a bed for smooth bass lines to lay. Arguments play out onstage between feedback and subtle tones while the audience stands by, either confused or involved. In the Night Grinder's music, faux kraut rock meets Japanese electronica to form some axis power of danceable concrete.
NNN Cook is nothing if not careful. Often performing at dangerously low volumes, he stacks sound via short-term loops through many tape decks. If Cook were to crank it, say, to eleven, he'd have a hard time grabbing the timbre of his own homemade machinations with small motors or percussive toys. By being the softly spoken king of St. Louis noise, he takes a rebellious stance: You don't have to be loud to be intense or heavy. In this sense, Cook yells the loudest without raising his voice.
- Hard Rock
- Hip-Hop (Solo)
- Indie Rock
- New Band
- Hip-Hop (Group)
- Garage Rock