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

Categories: DIY

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Robert Iwanik
Experimental bassist Darin Gray performs July 14 at the Kerr Foundation.

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.

Now that the outside world feels like a hot blow dryer, most of us will take solace inside air-conditioned walls any chance we get. The nights aren't as harsh, though, and there are plenty of reasons to brave the mean streets of St. Louis. This month Darin Gray takes a short break from touring with Jeff Tweedy's family band to open for the legendary Jon Mueller. Zorch provides a great gateway to outsider pop while Nathan Cook's Bruxism series returns for its fourth show this year.


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Your Guide to the Third Annual Whiskey War Festival

Categories: DIY

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Rick Miller
Zack (of Carriage House) performing at last year's Whiskey War Festival.

Brothers Jake and David Maness have helped build a community in the greater St. Louis area. As the Maness Brothers, the duo plays an inspired and super-charged Southern rock (recently voted Best Blues Band in the 2014 RFT Music Awards). But behind the scenes, both brothers work to organize The Whiskey War Festival, an annual convergence of Midwest music spanning hard rock, country, blues and a few oddballs mixed in for good measure.

This year's event takes place on Saturday, June 28 at the VFW Post 2866 in St. Charles, Missouri. Here you'll find bands not only from St. Louis and its surrounding counties, but acts from Kentucky, Tennessee, Iowa and Wisconsin will grace three stages from 1 p.m. to 1 a.m.

See also: The Whiskey War Festival Provides a Day-Long Dose of the Midwest


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The Best St. Louis Punk/Hardcore Shows: June 2014

Categories: DIY

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Monster Mash-inducing Flyer

Are you sick of being responsible? Does it annoy you to have to follow rules or be pro-social? Do you like basements? Well, if you are a goofy, degenerate weirdo who doesn't quite fit in anywhere else, you might consider our city's hardcore/punk shows.Your underlying anger problems can be brought out to their fullest potential (in a positive way). These are my recommendations for great local and national bands that don't play five-minute (marathon!) songs or remind you about drink specials. General rule of thumb: If you have five bucks and can show up by 9 p.m., then it's go time in the pit. One, two, fuck you!

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

Categories: DIY

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Kevin Harris, curator of this Friday's multi-sensory event As Unstable As.

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.

The long, relentless winter left me pining for summer nights in St. Louis. Not that the humid heat is any better than the biting cold (that's all a matter of preference after all), but there's something about being trapped in venues with loud bands while the air is thick enough to drink. If the music is equally as exhausting as the weather, the whole experience tends to coalesce.

There's no shortage of gigs in June for fans of noise and the experimental ilk. From legendary free jazz players to post-rock icons, St. Louis is a destination for incredible acts all month long. Read on and take your pick from the many flavors featured below.


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

Categories: DIY

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Mabel Suen
David Burnett, artist and member of Beauty Pageant.

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.

Chicago artist Muyassar Kurdi bends natural tones into meditative songs. Her subtle use of strings comes stacked atop wandering howls, making for a soft, warbling sound with discernible depth. Kurdi often works within a duo or trio, but her distinct style as the Humminbird glows through. While each piece is played with a visceral punch, the sum of the parts feels amorphous rather than solid or strict. While the Humminbird is still young (birthed in 2012), Kurdi's approach to songwriting feels mature beyond her years. Catch her along with local openers Ghosts I Have Been and Beauty Pageant on May 11 at the Revisionist Inn.


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Sci-Fi Squalor: Pittsburgh's Microwaves will Play Cafe Ventana This Friday

Categories: DIY

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Adam MacGregor
Pittsburgh's Microwaves perform St. Louis this Friday.

In the 20th century, St. Louis was a veritable Petri dish for noise-rock artists. Once the mid-aughts hit, most of those bands drifted off, and our city's loud-music exports became punk and metal. But the dream still lives in locals like Yowie and What We Won't See, though, who will join Pittsburgh's Microwaves this Friday at Cafe Ventana.

See also: The Best St. Louis Noise/Experimental Shows: April 2014


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The Best St. Louis Punk/Hardcore Shows: April 2014

Categories: DIY

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Break Anchor

Are you sick of being responsible? Does it annoy you to have to follow rules or be pro-social? Do you like basements? Well, if you are a goofy, degenerate weirdo who doesn't quite fit in anywhere else, you might consider our city's hardcore/punk shows.Your underlying anger problems can be brought out to their fullest potential (in a positive way). These are my recommendations for great local and national bands that don't play five-minute (marathon!) songs or remind you about drink specials. General rule of thumb: If you have five bucks and can show up by 9 p.m., then it's go time in the pit. One, two, fuck you!


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

Categories: DIY

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Robert Iwanik
Darin Gray performs this Friday as part of the Mazurek/Gray Duo.

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.

This month, our city will host a few noise groups who hold a sort-of "legendary" status in their own respective circles. Whether you're a seasoned vet of swampy sound or just starting to dip your toes in, each show has a lot to offer. Strangely enough, many of April's best events happen early on.

April 4 is packed with many choices, but the adventurous fan should be able to fit both our recommended gigs in before midnight. The Microwaves will play an unsuspecting coffee shop on the eve of Record Store Day later this month -- a must see for anyone who likes, or claims to like, noise rock. As always, a few shows will slip through the cracks or events will get announced on short notice, so feel free to fill in the blanks in the comments section below.

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The Best St. Louis Punk/Hardcore Shows: March 2014

Categories: DIY

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Press Photo
Ringworm

Are you sick of being responsible? Does it annoy you to have to follow rules or be pro-social? Do you like basements? Well, if you are a goofy, degenerate weirdo who doesn't quite fit in anywhere else, you might consider our city's hardcore/punk shows.Your underlying anger problems can be brought out to their fullest potential (in a positive way). These are my recommendations for great local and national bands that don't play five-minute (marathon!) songs or remind you about drink specials. General rule of thumb: If you have five bucks and can show up by 9 p.m., then it's go time in the pit. One, two, fuck you!

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

Categories: DIY

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Mabel Suen
We named The Night Grinder Best Noise Band in 2013.

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.

March tends to be the busiest month for music in St. Louis. Touring bands like to use our city as a segue to and from SXSW each year. Right now the River City is particularly jazzed on music festivals, but in this case, being on the way is much better than being the destination. Around this time every year, Austin, Texas becomes a crumpled sardine can of mostly terrible music and industry "peeps" trying to hock their goods to College-age kids and thirty-something "music lovers."


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