Recommended Shows

CRANKFEST at Cranky Yellow, February 18th through February 20th.
Cranky Yellow is located at 2847 Cherokee St. Saint Louis, MO 63118. All shows begin at 7 PM and are $5.00 (all ages). All day time work shops are free and all ages!
Day One: Friday, February 18th
Day One Concert: 7 PM
7:30 - 8:00 Little Big Bangs
8:15 - 8:45 Larva Lu
9:00 - 9:30 Britches
9:45 - 10:15 Black On Brown (Carbondale, IL)
10:30 - 11:00 Cackling Hen
11:15 - 11:45 Josh Levi
Day Two: Saturday, February 19th
"Flyer Design + Visual Techniques" 3 PM - 5 PM
A workshop in flyer design, including collage making and other visual techniques hosted by Josh Levi.
You've seen the Apop Record Store walls plastered with insane mind-bending collages. Vintage Vinyl, Mangia Italiano, and the Upstairs Lounge have all been marked with insane visual creations that beckon you. Maybe these flyers and posters grabbed your attention, maybe you attended a performance BECAUSE of one. Come see how it's done. 3 PM on DAY TWO of Crankfest.

"Poetic Terrorism" 5 PM - 7 PM
A poetry festival within the festival, MC'd by Jacob Cohen.
Hoot & holler at Saint Loser's most miserable poets Sean Arnold and Brett Underwood, see Jim Swill (Realicide, Evolve Project) read from his (kinda)new book, Caustic Nostalgia. Catch Joe Hess (Spelling Bee, Cackling Hen) for his 1st poetry performance and more!

Day Two Concert: 7 PM
7:30 - 8:00 Barely Free Partial Prisoners
8:15 - 8:45 Nameless Cults (Nashville, TN)
9:00 - 9:30 The R6 Implant
9:45 - 10:15 Gnarwhal (Nashville, TN)
10:30 - 11:00 Suburban Smash
11:15 - 11:45 Bug Chaser
Day Three: Sunday, February 20th
"Screen Printing on a Budget" 2 PM - 5 PM
A screen printing workshop with Curtis Tinsley.
In a city with one of the highest unemployment rates in the country, what's an artist to do? Come learn as Mr. Tinsley drops knowledge about screen printing projects on a budget. Where to go, who to talk to, what to do: It's all here. 2 PM on DAY THREE of Crankfest.

"The Act of Improvisation" 5 PM - 7 PM
Improvising within music with Eric Hall.
Eric Hall is a prolific performer who has been gracing the River City with his exploits for many years (and hopefully many more to come). Come watch as Eric explains the process of improvisation, the intricate ways of collaboration and structure. Performances by Eric Hall and other special guests.

Day Three Concert: 7 PM
7:30 - 8:00 Wolfmouth (Columbia, MO)
8:15 - 8:45 The Diamond Stretch (Urbana, IL)
9:00 - 9:30 Canyons (Kansas City, MO)
9:45 - 10:15 Iron Hills
10:30 - 11:00 Orion Pax
11:15 - 12:00 The Reptilian (Kalamazoo, MI)
LITTLE BIG BANGS (performing Friday, February 18th)
The Little Big Bangs have been making waves in the River City for a few months now. The surf rock meets noise rock guitarist Ryan Macias serves up a blend of catchy riffs. Like any good hook, his parts bounce around the room and stick to your brain. A dirty bass tone compliments the detuned "trashcan" sound of the drums, and the result is a fresh brand of indie rock. The vocal melodies are loose but cohesive, rounding out Little Big Bangs' particular sound with an endearing voice.

Listen to their latest recording here:

The link contains a high quality live recording of their music. It is very accurate to what you'll be seeing at Crank Fest on Day One (Friday, February 18th). Little Big Bangs is the perfect group to kick off this three day festival of music and workshops.
Larva Lu (performing Friday, February 18th)
The first time I watched Larva Lu perform, she was part of the esoteric noise rock group BIG NURSE. This particular performance featured eight members, and Larva was a part of the mind bending, hopelessly rhythmic rush of sound that ensued. From that point on, I would see Larva poking around St. Louis, whether it be at Apop or at the Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center.

Larva Lu brings a wide range of performance styles with her. There was a series of concerts that had her riffing on a drum machine while she busted out melancholy melodies and crooned over them softly. Larva has also been known to strike her audience with a wall of harsh noise. Larva is known for her front-woman antics in Skarekrau Radio, so come see her perform on Day One (February 18th) of Crankfest. This Nashville-native augments an already astounding stable of performers.
GNARWHAL (performing Saturday, February 19th)
Gnarwhal is a four piece from Nashville, TN who describes themselves as "confusion-core". With one of the most creative and precise drummers in the midwest, Gnarwhal sports two guitar players who weave in and out of each other with intricate melodies and a bass player that keeps the action fast-paced with breakneck bass-lines. Gnarwhal is the embodiment of an energetic band, with music that isn't so much aggressive as it is mind-boggling.

Their recent 2010 tour EP is a great introduction to the band:

You can find their Winter 2009 Tour Demo here:

Here is a live video of the group playing on their home turf at 1318 Little Hamilton:

Gnarwhal will be performing on Day Two of Crankfest on February 19th. They bring with them Nashville natives Nameless Cults.
WOLFMOUTH (performing Sunday, February 20th)
Wolfmouth is a hardcore band that rides down the fairly popular path of blending metal tendencies with aggressive punk music. "Searching for purpose, avoiding mundane, trying to find meaning in anything" are lyrics that describe Wolfmouth's relentlessly positive, hopeful outlook. You'll find anything but straight-forward structure here, and that helps drive home the heartful vocals. Clearly inspired by the flourishing Midwest Post-Hardcore scene, Wolfmouth is the perfect band to open the show on the third and final day of Crankfest.

Songs from Wolfmouth's latest release can be found here:
ORION PAX (performing Sunday, February 20th)
Orion Pax provides frantic guitar shredding amongst a backdrop of wickedly fast drums and blood-curdling screams. The dare-I-say "Epic" guitar melodies incite a feeling of foreboding while the vocals back that sentiment in an uncompromising fashion. Tight post-hardcore is delivered in a way that only three very angry men from St. Louis can do.

To hear Orion Pax, visit:

Orion Pax's members can be found all around St. Louis, supporting the local music scene by setting up shows and promoting others'. They are the River City's essential Post-Hardcore band. Catch them at Day Three of Crankfest where they will be supporting The Reptilian, The Diamond Stretch, Canyons and Wolfmouth.

You can find a video of Orion Pax performing live here:
The Reptilian (performing Sunday, February 20th)
The Reptilian hail from Kalamazoo, Michigan where they play an instrumental part in keeping their local music scene vibrant and active. This group brings their kindness to the rest of the world in the form of melodic guitar riffs that clash with throat burning yells. The result is tight composition and intense song writing that has its own unique rip.

Their album "Full Health" is a recommended listen:
This video is a proper representation of their live show: