Naan Violence (TN)
Ladder Shadows (first show)
@ House Show / Click For Address
9 p.m. / donations / all ages
Brooding folker Zak Marmalefsky returns home from his tour with psychedelic sitar group Naan Violence. Check out an intimate show that blends experimental and acoustic jams with a debut performance by Ladder Shadows. This show is hosted at a house, so mind your manner and brings some scratch for the out-of-towners.
Negative Approach and The Casualties with Cardiac Arrest and more tear up Fubar Saint Louis. If you prefer old-school hardcore, at least one band on the bill is worth the price of admission. Click here for event details and tickets.
FRIDAY, NOV. 29
Failed Mutation (WI)
The Thumb Suckers (IL)
Lumpy and the Dumpers
@ Café Ventana / 3919 West Pine Blvd
8:30 p.m. / $5 / all ages
The Thumb Suckers features St. Louis ex-pat Alec Plant, formerly of Masculine Journey. Expect fast hardcore under fierce vocals. The same can be said for Failed Mutation, who join Lumpy and the Dumpers in the weird-side of hardcore. This is a proper anti-consumerist Black Friday party if I've ever seen one.
Hard In The Garden The (cassette release)
@ Chromozone / Ask For Address
9 p.m. / free / all ages
All of those bands you see listed above aren't playing. Rather, the aforementioned groups will be forming jam bands for a special evening of space rock. Hard In The Garden The is the alter-ego of Kisser and features Jake Jones from Bug Chaser. This is a release party for said band.
SATURDAY, NOV. 30
The Lion's Daughter Record & Indian Blanket Record Release
Ashes and Iron
@ The Firebird / 2706 Olive Blvd.
8:30 p.m. / $6-$8 / 18+
Metal and folk rarely share bills together, let alone wax. On "A Black Sea," they're set up to commingle flawlessly. Expect a spoken word set by local poet Matthew Questionmark to mix the bill up even further along with instrumental metal group Ashes and Iron.
Pat Sajak Assassins
Elbow Through Hammer
@ Schlafly Tap Room / 2100 Locust St.
9 p.m. / free / all ages
Pat Sajak Assassins bring post-rock with odd-timing and subtle skronk. Guitars and keys mingle with mixed percussion featuring both acoustic and electronic drums. Payphones is the newest incarnation of Hatches, who used to bring their own brand of math rock.
Punky and The Brewsters
@ Plush (upstairs) / 3224 Locust St.
9 p.m. / $5 / 21+
There's no hidden meaning behind the lyric "STUPID PEOPLE SAYING STUPID SHIT!" In fact, most of Blotter's vocals are spewed out, full of discontent. That's just the way classy crossover thrash should be. Expect harsh guitars and a torrent of bass and drums behind them. Lumpy and The Dumpers will probably snort Nickelodeon Gak while Life Like breaks beer bottles over nasty hardcore songs. Come for the punk, stay for the slime.
THURSDAY, NOV. 21
Thollem McDonas (IL)
Claude Glass featuring
Dave Stone, Eric Hall, Ryan Wasoba, Kevin Harris, Thollem McDonas & Joseph Hess
@ Schlafly Tap Room / 2100 Locust St.
8:30 p.m. / free / all ages
World-class pianist Thollem McDonas will be bringing a prototype synthesizer developed by Analog Outfitters to the Tap Room to use side by side with many area musicians. Some of our city's best experimental artists will join McDonas on stage throughout the evening in duos, trios and ensembles. To give you an idea, McDonas has performed with Nels Cline, Pauline Oliveros, Glenn Kotche, Mike Watt, William Parker, Jad Fair, Susie Ibarra, Damo Suzuki, C Spencer Yeh, Arrington De Dionyso, and Darin Gray just to name a few. Kisser will be performing in between sets, slinging their punk-meets-psych rock.
FRIDAY, NOV. 22
Dirty Work (KC)
Nuke Cult (KC)
Cal and The Calories
@ Ask a punk
9 p.m. / $5 / all ages
Nasty, unhinged rock stands next to hardcore on the shaky, busted foundation of Bonerville. Although there's five bands, expect them all to fly by quick - these are the type of bands that don't like to overstay their welcome. How polite.
If the 5+ band party/fests aren't your thing and you want to see something different, Barely Free Partial Prisoners is playing at Colorado Bob's. Yes, COLORADO BOB'S. And the opening band is called "Smooth Talkin' Perverts".
@ Schlafly Tap Room / 2100 Locust St.
9 p.m. / free / all ages
Bad Dates and Lazy both dish out the kind of straight ahead punk rock that's made specifically for dancing and/or moshing. Both bands call on very early punk rock while slinging super catchy riffs for days.
Apop Records Presents:
Little Howlin' Wolf
N Colyar P (IL)
@ Foam / 3359. S. Jefferson Ave.
9 p.m. / $5 / all ages
Little Howlin' Wolf churns out quality blues, and does so with a penchant for comedy and free-improvisation. By experimenting with abstract sounds to augment a beloved genre, the man blows apart expectations of what blues should be. Chicago's N Colyar P eschews the blues and travels a little further "out there" than Little Howlin' Wolf, bringing a feedback-driven jam to the lineup.
SCUZZ HITS DJ spin with
Chizmo.TV and Mr. Ben (of Freezerburn Zine)
@ Barbarella / 3131 Grand Blvd
10:30 p.m. / free / 21+
For those of you who didn't make it to Scuzzfest, this DJ spin will be the next best thing. While Mr. Ben spins choice selections on the turntables, Chizmo will project the films of Scuzz Report #3. Actually, if you haven't picked up a copy of their latest DVD/zine combo yet, this night is a great time to do so. There's also rumor of additional artists showing up to sell off original prints.
FRIDAY, NOV. 15
Brother Gruesome (OK)
Brian Cagle (OK)
Little Big Bangs
@ CBGB / 3163 South Grand Avenue
9 p.m. / donations / 21+
Brother Gruesome plays darkened folk rock amplified by ear-busting amps and huge-sounding drums. The two piece tears through a heavy set of songs laden with equals parts feedback and catchy choruses. Little Big Bangs are apparently still recovering from Halloween, where they played a killer Smashing Pumpkins cover set. Annoy them by making bad Billy Corgan jokes, please.
New Music Circle Presents:
Olivia Block with Luis Recoder and Sandra Gibson
@ Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis / 3750 Washington Blvd
8 p.m. / $10-20 / all ages
New Music Circle brought Olivia Block to St. Louis in May 2012, where she performed a quadrophonic (that's right, four speakers) piece. This time Block returns with two experimental filmmakers in tow. Sandra Gibson and Luis Recoder are a film duo who use projectors to supply light, and manipulate shown images with glass, lens and fog. The two operate, in unison, separate devices to produce a vision that warps and evolves in real-time. Block will generate a live sound art collage from electronics and field recordings in response to Gibson and Recoder's abstract visuals - "sensory overload" hardly describes the experience.
SATURDAY, NOV. 16
HEARDing Cats Collective presents:
@ Kranzberg Arts Center
8 p.m. / $15-$25 / all ages
When it comes to minimalist electronic music, Morton Subotnick was one of the first. His work, Silver Apples of the Moon, was recently entered into the National Registry of Recorded works at the Library of Congress, an honor held only by 300 recordings throughout history. He tours in celebration of his 80th birthday.
Lumpy & The Dumpers as The Blobby Boys @ Star Clipper
When the main blob recommended to stop filming, I almost turned off the camera, but then we wouldn't have this wonderful event captured for eternity.
The Corrigan Brothers as The Violent Femmes - Blister in the Sun @ The Heavy Anchor
Did you know The Corrigan Brothers could sing and play drums? I didn't!
Sigur Ros - Glosoli @ The Fox
Filming at the Fox sucks. They make it very clear that it's prohibited, so most of my footage from there is audio-only. When Sigur Ros started into one of my favorite songs, I decided to risk getting kicked out to get a good shot. Totally worth it.
Trauma Harness - Archipelago & Binding Light @ Blank Space
Binding Light might be the perfect soundtrack to every film on VHS. Can someone prove this?
Stonechat @ Cafe Ventana
Stonechat's first gig as a three-piece, and Sean's already getting half-naked and bloody... wonder what the next gig will be like.
Teenage Tasteless @ Apop Records
This guy puts on one trippy rave with sounds straight out of Earthbound and trance-inducing beats. Not to mention growling like Rasputin. Why is this the only Teenage Tasteless video on Youtube????! I'm pretty sure 90% of the views are me watching it over and over.
Twin Shadow - Five Seconds @ LouFest
OK, Twin Shadow just came right out and played my jam to start the set. He didn't even say "hi" or anything, just instant musical gratification. Everything after is bonus.
Wandering Madman - Street Spirit outside LouFest
This mysterious madman was playing all the hits of the world in front of the LouFest entrance. It was below the plateau and 20 degrees cooler there. He was super nice to everyone passing by and more entertaining than nearly every band at LouFest, not to mention free music. DIY & stuff. He really has some "STREET SPIRIT."
Skarekrau Radio @ Plush
Who let Skarekrau Radio out of the dungeon and into the bright lights at Plush? I don't know if this band has ever sounded so crisp. Learn all their lyrics with this video... maybe.
Ryan Wasoba & Foxing as Neutral Milk Hotel @ The Firebird
"I love you, Ryan Wasoba!" a fan shouts right before he sings that one NMH song about Jesus or something. Classic. Ryan Wasoba may indeed be the savior, with him and his Foxing disciples bringing Neutral Milk Hotel to all those who didn't get tickets to the already-sold-out show next February.
Released September 2013
Dull Tools Records
Another shining knife sticking out of the chest of midwest music, Yuppies from Omaha, Nebraska handles a unique, engaging and eccentric barrage of sounds on their new self-titled LP. Mixing eclectic sound structures with catchy garage stomps, the LP starts off with echoing drone thumping before accelerating straight into a collision course of angular punk, as heard with “Across the Prairie/A Ride".
The monotone vocal delivery will lure you into a false sense of flatness before throwing you off a ravine with energetic howls. The cover of the album features a single drawing of a car, and many of the songs bring to mind just that: Easy nights riding down roads in the dark, or driving straight into a junkyard car compressor. The juxtaposition throws up the same kind of unique punk Pere Ubu and The Homosexuals covered, although the band never feels pigeonholed. Yuppies is able to shift back and forth into gear between experimental and punk swinging (enough car puns? ok ok). The album was released on Dull Tools and can be digitally download or physically purchased on their bandcamp.
Review by Josh Jenkins
Two Knights (TX)
@ Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center / 3301 Lemp Avenue
8 p.m. / $5 / all ages
Two Knights comes from Denton, Texas, the southern hub of emo and post-hardcore cross-over music. Two Knights is a duo of two best friends who probably spend 3/4 of their band practices playing Magic: The Gathering cards and the other 1/4 making super melodic songs with deep hooks. Laika is your local equivalent, honing well-crafted songs with plenty of nooks and crannies.
Screaming Females (NJ)
@ The Firebird / 2706 Olive Boulevard
7:30 p.m. / $10 / all ages
Screaming Females harkens back to '90s rock (hell, the band even did a collaboration with Garbage this past year), but does so in a way that doesn't feel like a pedantic throwback. The trio busts out powerful and soulful rock with definite origins in punk music.
THURSDAY, NOV. 7
Oozing Wound (IL)
@ Blank Space / 2847 Cherokee Street
9 p.m. / $5 / 21+
Oozing Wound has been making the rounds with its latest album on Thrill Jockey Records. I've seen hype from Pitchfork, the NY Times, Spin and more. Come hear what all the hip-ass music writers are blabbing about. Actually, if you're a fan of crossover (metal and hardcore), then you'll easily find something to like with Oozing Wound. The opening bands are pretty stellar, too.
SATURDAY, NOV. 8
Statistical Directions in Axiom Invalidation
Kingston Family Singers
@ BANK projects / 3420 Iowa Avenue
7 p.m. / free / all ages
Kevin Harris and Kingston Family Singers combine to provide an audio-video performance using quadrophonic sound and video projections using images manipulated in real time. The space provides for roughly 35 people and the performance begins at 8 p.m. sharp, so get there early to secure a spot.
SUNDAY, NOV. 9
@ Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center / 3301 Lemp Avenue
8 p.m. / $5 / all ages
All three artists take an experimental approach to electronic music, making use of drones and ambient sounds to push subtle pieces right along. Prepare for a varied night of synthesized sound.
Trauma Harness and Violations both released new songs through Bandcamp this past week. Trauma Harness is the resident post-punk god while Violations dishes out harsh hardcore.
So this will be an ongoing monthly series focusing on musical performances I’ve documented in St. Louis and the stories floating around them.
Burlin Mud’s primitive aesthetic acts as a stepping-stone to crossover into another realm. The three-piece from the Cahokia Mounds area features musicians who have also performed in Skarekrau Radio, The Conformists, Beauty Pageant and more. One of the members, Frau, lives in Vienna, Austria so catching their live shows has become somewhat of a rare event. They recently played a show with Bitchin Bajas, Raglani, and Trancers at Apop Records. Afterward, I interviewed band members Wiggpaw and Frau about their new album and thoughts on their performance.*
*Editors note: Frau is from Austria and was answering with a German keyboard using a speech-to-text application. Some keys were missing so his answers may be misconstrued. I’m not 100% sure. They are unaltered.
Chad Eivins: Can you talk about the recent Burlin Mud release on CumSun? Where/how was it recorded?
Wiggpaw: For the well manured answer to as where and how would come from Frau, but I love the newest release Slodj recorded among trees, water, and cow pastures; a men's getaway, complete with BB gun targets and gut hanging one would expect. We were just excited to be away into a small fishing cabin in the woods by a river. Plenty of drinking and frolicking. But it was Frau who brought out the old tape recorder, monaural, with a recording head taken out and sat it on the common table and I had a tape of boiling water. We threw that in maybe within the first hour of coming back from the store for supplies. He hit the recorder and whatever came to our heads at that instant would be imprinted forever over boiling water. It went from there, from blowing into shells, walking in circles around trees, moaning, and some batteries and keyboards. It grew as our getaway did, an adventure, and when you hear the tape it sounds like an adventure over boiling water.
It's real lo-fi and you can hear the tape bending as it goes thru the head each time we add another layer. It has such depth. Funny, we also had a bunch of other equipment with better recording equipment - took over half the space in the cabin, but this little thing we did on the side was the best thing we did. And ya know, we did it this last summer. We had time for it to fester. I had a rough copy of all the recordings and played it in my van right after we got back. I would find myself going back to this particular recording again and again, for over a year. When Frau, Tron and I gathered again, we decided, without much fanfare, that this was the one.
Frau: Happy vicodin power. Carinthia sky wince, but William said part has charred with refill of the wall because I, in which Mr. Etchings clicked, just escaped with you to smack in the eye. Vintage white band backed rock holding enjoys NSA. We probably are for the holidays. It sometimes helps that way back in July, as Sullivan helps you send naked, otherwise as stated.
CE: Is there a different approach to the tapes and live performances? Do they overlap? I had heard you went out into the wilderness to practice for this show at Apop?
W: We play at Tron's place when we are recording, but the approach is exactly the same as when we play on front of people anywhere. When we play, I think we channel simultaneously our ancestral selves to a time long before circuitry and our ancestral future where circuitry is a lost technology. It's as if we become multidimensional in the sense that we are really not in our present when we play. I feel like we are trying to communicate with a lost technology that is still flying up there in space in the form of say, a satellite, yet we had reverted back to hunter and gatherers like those who had lived in the last ice age.
It's as if humanity left this Earth and, inadvertently thousands of years before, left a few to grovel in small tribes learning to survive in the wasteland, and yet we find the leftover technologies as gods who we wish to connect with. A sad display of what we, as a species, are capable of. Wilderness is always an inspiration because it represents the healing of the Earth and its resilience against the sprawl of the human infection, or it's just pretty and we like pretty things. The show at Apop we rehearsed once at Tron's, completely off senses. We played a much more concentrated version at Apop. It came back to us at ease.
F: Over cheating cancelled impressed else Düsseldorf over line cheating. Advertise what the initials Abraxas were quiet just beautiful with Bismarckian back.
CE: Percussion or some form of rhythm seems to be a constant sound of Burlin Mud. Can you talk about your choice of percussion instruments?
W: When Frau came to Tron and me to start a new project, he envisioned a duo of brass instrumentation with minimal drums. I was to be the drummer while Tron and Frau played trombone and trumpet through an array of exotic effects. Our first recording represents that. Then we kinda ventured into other realms of instrumentation like cassette tape players and home-made tube horns, but we never lost sight of percussion. Percussion is the oldest form of musical expression after voice. It's natural as well. Mammals, insects, fish, squids and birds all use percussion in their communication whether it be for breeding or warnings. You hear it all around you.
We try to bring that into our shows, so we use all available forms which can hit that primal nerve. Be it wood or bells or roto-toms, to expel those beats so one can feel them as if they came from the Earth itself. I feel when we play, these sounds represent the planet and its immensity and power it has over all of us. We all feel the beats, we all make beats.
F: His feeling when I ask why take exportorientiert lens for England chills. Dreschenau instrument value problems in the hunting license of the white vinyl as marked. Out for Nike with tables saucer o.k.
CE: This particular performance went into several different musical territories. I heard everything from placate drones to strange horns, neo-exotica, repetitive vocals and what sounded like tormented child screams on tape. Can you talk more about the performance and themes or experiences you're creating for the audience?
W: This show, as I said before, was a sample of what we had done a few days before at Tron's house. I think it had been over a year since we had played together so I don't think any of us had any expectations or ideas of what we would come up with. It sort of just happened. Like I said, we kinda go into a trance of sorts and we are very good at adapting to each other as we go along. It took years of playing mindlessly together to achieve this. I'd say we just picked up from where we left off from a year before, which happens to be when we made the "Slodj" tape. Making this show happen might mean we found our prime as a trio. Improvisational music is hard. Not many people realize that to be good at it, you have to practice and play out a lot. To truly be comfortable doing it where you no longer think about what you are doing - I think this is what Burlin Mud has been trying to achieve all along: To embrace the technologies we have and become that technology, and worship it like gods, as animals.
As far as themes for this show at Apop, we didn't actually talk about one. It sorta came out kinda terrifying. It was, in my opinion, our darkest set yet. The screams from Frau's tape, which I think was a sample of Skarekrau Radio’s old legendary singer Kricket Greens, to sounds of wood and chains as a beat to my repetitive vocals was truly going into the woods - dark woods of human conscience.
The "Dragnet, Dragnet... America" vocals were inspired from the now imprisoned lead singer of an old mid-western band Bourbon and Clorox. I had an old duped tape of the band because I knew the guitar and bass player later on. Back when Bourbon and Clorox was a band, the lead singer who sang the same lyrics or at least from what I can make out from the recording, later went on to beat his parents to death. He was even on, ironically, America's Most Wanted. He was caught from being on that TV show.
It just came out at our rehearsal and at the show, channeling I don't think so, just exploring in the dark I guess. I never told Tron and Frau about this - just said I made it up. If you look carefully from the video, I try to stand up during this part, but could not for some reason. Forces holding me down? I don't know. Maybe it's because I don't believe in what a man who beat his parents to death thinks, and repeating his words might conjure some sort of dark magic, or maybe I haunted myself and wanted to stay close to the Earth. I love my parents. I'd never think of doing something like that of course, even if they were shitty to me.
F: With performance screening time, we would fucking be able to work most prominent string, apparently relevant dates Cash medley.
CE: Glasses seemed to be needed for the Apop show. Can you talk about that?
W: That was completely unintended. None of us came into that show thinking we should all wear sunglasses. It just sort of happened, and it's ironic too, because it was such a dark show. In the video you can see, me at least, looking under or over my glasses. I was, at most times, blind in that dark basement of Apop, but as a 43 year old who needs to buy those reading glasses now, I've learned to look over or under glasses when I need to see things away from what's on front of me. Ha ha.
F: Share of Norman chose my bathroom door. Icahn America's Siri was in sight that collects Schütischen, Wawern, Meiringen, and Werner. I am up answer part automatically. So just go online royally.
CE: There seems to be a lot of instruments or tools used live. How much pre-thought and/or improvisation goes into a performance?
W: It's funny, It seems we don't really talk too much before we play. Frau may talk about some new instrument he made, but beyond Frau's eternal vision for this band made many years ago, we don't have any pre-thoughts that I'm aware of before we start playing. We might individually have some thoughts internally (I know I do), but that's something I guess we don't need to talk about. I think we just “know” and we ride on that.
But it's a great band to try out new instrumentation, be it some new gizmo that we acquired or something we crafted ourselves. We all have something we crafted ourselves. I think over the years we’ve gotten to know how we make sounds together efficiently enough to be able to freely bring in anything and make it work. Yet also we don't use many conventional instruments, and if we do, we don't use them the way it was intended or we might mask it under layers of effects. For me, the more stuff we have, the more options we have to SUCK. For shows, we tend to bring what we know we will use, so not to clutter the area physically but also not to overcompensate.
Being in an improvisational, ambient band, it's easy to come into it with a million ideas, but once you're up there, it's just too much and you might end up sounding like shit. Having too many buttons to press or dials to screw around will just make one ineffective and you lose your potential. I like simplicity now. I used to bring too much stuff in, end up not even using all of it and get confused where one cord goes to what dial - this spells disaster. When you see us live, it might look like a lot, but in reality we know beforehand what we plan on using and when we plan on utilizing it. Of course it's all vague and not talked about, we just somehow know.
F: Where are devices and when did pity? Why pick Passau's Bauhaus?
Click here for Wandering Eye #2