This Week in St. Louis 12/29/14 - 1/4/15

MONDAY, DEC. 29


Glassss (Austin, TX)
Skeleton (Austin, TX)
Nos Bos
Smallpox Champion
@ Bonerville
9 p.m. / $5 / all ages

Two grindy punk outfits from Austin grace the Bonerville basement with their presence -- the best post-holidaze presents. Things got pretty gnarly there last night, so expect some elbows.

Also on Monday:
- Okoiucho, the live improvisation of Gray+Smentowski, at Tavern of Fine Arts
- Everything Went Black and more at 4 Hands Brewing Company

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 31


Crave Rave feat.
Black James
DJ Daddy
DJ Ryan Snowden
@ Bonerville
9 p.m. / free / all ages

In case you missed last year's Crave Rave, just know that it's back -- and it's bigger, better and glow-stickier than ever. If you prefer to keep things PG, seek solace in the crave cage.


Little Big Bangs
@ CBGB / 3163 S. Grand Blvd.
10 p.m. / free / 21+
Little Big Bangs ring in the new year. Plus, we just wanted an excuse to post their music video for their chart-topping number one hit single, "Lucky." What? Not there yet? The year is still young. Like, prenatal young.

Also on NYE:
- Mariner, Plunge and more at Lemp Arts Center
-
DJ Wrong Division at the Heavy Anchor

THURSDAY, JAN. 1


Relentless Approach (Omaha, NE)
The Warden
Pizza Boys
@ Melt / 2712 Cherokee St.
9 p.m. / all ages

It's a busy week for punk preachers and practitioners. Relentless Approach plays some deep, dark hardcore grown in Omaha, which if you didn't know, tastes great with a side of waffles.

FRIDAY, JAN. 2


Rob Funkhouser (Bloomington, IN)
Organized Crimes
Posture
@ Schlafly Tap Room / 2100 Locust St.
9 p.m. / free / all ages

For some variety, definitely check out this line-up which features solo experimental percussion, KC indie rock and St. Louis' freshest post-punk outfit.

SATURDAY, JAN. 3


Blank Spell (Philadelphia, PA)
Latex (Philadelphia, PA)
Q
Skin Tags
@ Melt / 2712 Cherokee St.
9 p.m. / all ages

Only three days into the new year and this city's already swimming in shows featuring excellent out-of-town acts. This bill features two noteworthy Philly punk projects whose dark chords will get your blood boiling.

And if you're still standing by Sunday:
- Amygdala tears up a living room near you

New Album from The Tennis Lesson

The Tennis Lesson plays maybe 3 or 4 shows a year. The band really deserves more fanfare than it gets -- this is indie rock for those who usually scoff at first mention of the genre. The songs feel complex but not too convoluted, striking the rare balance between poppy, catchy hooks and inventive structure. You might recognize drummer Jeremy Brantlinger -- he's been in all kinds of projects around St. Louis, namely N. Nomurai and Mil-Effect to name a few. His math rock chops show but thankfully don't overpower the tight interweaving riffs between keys and guitars. Luxury Attire was quietly uploaded to Bandcamp a week ago, which follows the band's trend of putting enormous effort into its songs, then not really making a big deal out of it. Hopefully this means more shows.

This Week in St. Louis 12/8/14 - 12/14/14

MONDAY, DEC. 8


Gnawed (Minneapolis, MN)
Fecal Dam
Kingston Family Singers
ROTM
Beauty Pageant
Braining
@ Revisionist Inn / 1950 Cherokee St.
8 p.m. / $3-$5 / all ages

"Six bands on a Monday night? That's nonsense, I'm not dealing with that mess." Considering each set will run under 20 minutes, this show will be a quick noise-rock power run - with emphasis on the "noise." The video above gives a solid idea of what you'll get with Gnawed, but don't expect the same exact sound. Free-improv works like that.

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 10


Bitchin Bajas (Chicago, IL)
Circuit Des Yeux (IN)
Ghost Ice
@ Plush / 3224 Locust St.
9 p.m. / $10 / all ages

Remember Cave? This is founding member Cooper Crane's solo project blown up into a lush, ambient trio. At this point, Bitchin Bajas has received as much, if not more, international hype than Cave. Well deserved? Who cares. This show also features a rare sighting of Ghost Ice, which is worth the price of admission alone.

THURSDAY, DEC. 11


Bunnygrunt
Googolplexia
Trauma Harness
@ Schlafly Tap Room / 2100 Locust St.
9 p.m. / free / all ages

Bunnygrunt plays its 600th show alongside a couple of the city's most entertaining music acts. Guitar-slinging singer Matt Harnish is gettin' hitched over the weekend, so show up to issue a congratulations (and consider checking out his post-reception shindig at Plush). See also: this bunny, grunting.

SATURDAY, DEC. 13


Mariner
Van Buren
Planet Eater
Unicorn Porn
@ The Heavy Anchor / 5226 Gravois
9 p.m. / $5 / 21+

This all-local showcase features a grab bag that includes everything from post-punk anthems and stoner rock slogs to beardy drum and bass sludge -- a solid mixed bill for an otherwise quiet Saturday night.

SUNDAY, DEC. 14


The Wrong (Chicago, IL)
King Worm (Springfield, IL)
Animal Teeth
The Warden
@ Foam / 3359 Jefferson Ave.
9 p.m. / $5 / all ages

The Wrong brings nasty hardcore from the swamp (err...Chicago) with shrieking femme-vocals soaring over the top. King Worm sounds equally gross, in the best way. Punk minus pretense.

This Week in St. Louis 12/1/14 - 12/7/14

TUESDAY, DEC. 2


Public Media Commons Artist Showcase feat.:
Damon Davis
Chad Eivins
Kevin Harris
Josh Weinstein

+many more
@ Public Media Commons / 3655 Olive St.
7 p.m. / free / all ages

This showcase features seventeen artists in an innovative outdoor space. Check out the above video for a teaser of Chizmo's video, "Don't Shoot," above and look forward to plenty more digital media pieces to enjoy along with complimentary hot drinks.


Acid Kat Zine presents:
White Mystery (Chicago, IL)
Animal Teeth
Shitstorm
The Jockstraps
@ Foam / 3359 Jefferson Ave.
8:30 p.m. / $6 / all ages

Sometimes all ya need is a little old-fashioned rock'n'roll, and White Mystery delivers with wailing, flailing heads of bright red hair to back it up. A solid line-up of locals keeps a steady, heavy momentum flowin' all night long.

FRIDAY, DEC. 5


New Music Circle presents:
Roscoe Mitchell
Craig Taborn
@ The Stage at KDHX / 3524 Washington Ave.
7:30 p.m. / $15-$25 / all ages

Sax meets ivory as the duo of Roscoe Mitchell and Craig Taborn take on the intimate Stage at KDHX. Check out this one-of-a-kind performance for a taste of free jazz at its best, performed by one of the greats credited as part of the genre's integral building blocks.

This Week In St. Louis 11/11/14 - 11/16/14

TUESDAY, NOV. 11


Nots (Memphis, TN)
Kowabunga Kid (Champaign, IL)
Babe Lords
@ CBGB / 3163 Grand Ave.
9 p.m. / $5 / 21+

Goner Records' Nots features Natalie of Ex-Cult in a scuzzy power-quartet playing punk that follows in the footsteps of the Slits. Kowabunga Kid makes the trek from the Illinois side to release a new punky flexi-disc via Spotted Race.

THURSDAY, NOV. 13


Caddywhompus (New Orleans, LA)
Travel Guide (Wichita, KS)
Early Worm (Collinsville, IL)
The Jockstraps (Edwardsville, IL)
@ Foam / 3358 Jefferson Ave.
8 p.m. / $5 / all ages

Nola's Caddywhompus seamlessly blends psychedelic pop with hard-hitting math rock. This tour features the guitar-and-drum duo's latest release, Feathering a Nest -- stream the whole thing on Bandcamp. There's not an actual "local" on the whole bill, so consider chipping in what you will to each band's gas tank.


Britches
Tit For Tat
Durango
@ Schlafly Tap Room / 2100 Locust St.
9 p.m. / free / all ages

After releasing a tape last March, avant-garde rock weirdos Britches swiftly went into hiding and emerged this fall for a one-off show. We're not sure if they're here to stay or what, so ya better catch 'em while you can.

SATURDAY, NOV. 15


You Spit On Our Grave: Apop's Dead! feat.:
Strangulated Beatoffs
Shaved Women
Trauma Harness
Spelling Bee
@ Melt / 2712 Cherokee St.
9 p.m. / free / all ages

When Wrong Division was just a wee baby, we weren't quite sure how to find out where all the seedy music freaks in town hung out. It wasn't until we walked into Apop Records that we realized there was something truly, astonishingly mucky in the river water -- it turns out this place was pumping slime into it all along! Sheesh! Pay tribute to St. Louis' late, great, impossible-to-replace record haven with one last party (and maybe consider buying a beer or two for Tiffany).

SUNDAY, NOV. 16


Dope Body (Baltimore, MD)
Roomrunner (Baltimore, MD)
Bug Chaser
Con Trails
@ Plush / 3224 Locust St.
8 p.m. / $8 / 18+

Bands that type their names in all caps mean business, and DOPE BODY does all caps TO THE MAX. The Drag City rock band brings its Baltimore buddies Roomrunner on this tour -- some St. Louisans might've caught them in the past filling up a basement or bar with its loud ass grunge.


Life Like (7" Release)
Q
Little Big Bangs
Ruz
@ No Coast / 4427 Morganford Rd.
8 p.m. / $5 / all ages

This show doubles as a tour-kick off for Life Like and Q. Bring the following: 1. a skateboard and 2. some money for Life Like's new 7", Savages. Hear it here (and check out that art).

This Weekend In St. Louis 11/7/14 - 11/9/14

FRIDAY, NOV. 7


Timeghost(RI)
Bernard Herman (NYC)
Janet
Perverted

@ The Revisionist Inn / 1950 Cherokee Street
$8 / 9 p.m. / all ages

Timeghost was one of those acts that came through, played a relatively empty show, and the few people who attended wouldn't shut up about it for days. A quick look at his videos shows that Timeghost is pretty distinct in the realm of noise - he makes use of beats not unlike Wolf Eyes, but includes an intricate wall of sound that is, well, "heavy." I don't use that term lightly. Get it? Hehe.


Pop Crimes (Canada)
Prude Boys (MI)
Kisser (Tape Release)
The Brainstems
@ Melt / 2712 Cherokee Street
9 p.m. / $7 / all ages

Pop Crimes rips through garage rock like it's running away from its own genre. The guitarists sound like they could grind right through their strings and fretboards at any moment. The whole thing is played so damn hard that abrasive sounds start to surface, invoking the same feeling of hardcore or even noise rock. Fitting that Kisser will release its new tape recorded by Cooper Crane (Cave, Bitchin Bajas) on this night.

Also tonight:
- ALTrs with LooseScrewz, Black James and Chizmo.TV - a free event at the Kranzberg

SATURDAY, NOV. 8


New Music Circle Presents:
Eli Keszler
Rashad Becker

@ The Luminary / 2701 Cherokee Street
7 p.m. / $10-$20 / all ages

Eli Keszler is an experimental percussionist known for his insane installations (like his recent project where he works with repurposed piano strings). His hyper-active style of drumming builds atmosphere with powerful flourishes. Rashad Becker travels from Berlin to deliver a nuanced set of electronic sounds. This gig is a sure bet for fans of free-improvisation.


Sand (CA)
Yowie
Omoo Omoo

@ The Heavy Anchor / 5226 Gravois
9 p.m. / $5 / 21+

Sand is a progressive-jazz trio featuring members of Nels Cline Singers, Cibo Matto and Cursive. This dream team makes songs that range from super dense to simple and accessible. St. Louis' own Yowie is set to headline, and they've been warning people via social media that this will be their last show for several months. Maybe that means a new record is on the way? Oooo...

Also on Saturday:
- Cardiac Arrest homecoming show at Bonerville
- Kenshiro's and more at Karl's Basement
- Quintron and Miss Pussycat with Demonlover at Firebird

This Week in St. Louis 10/27/14 - 11/2/14

WEDNESDAY, OCT. 29


Acid Kat Zine's BüFest feat.:
Designer (Nashville, TN)
Los Assparados (Champaign, IL)
Beauty Pageant
Willis
Q
Nos Bos
Tubby Tom
Animal Teeth
@ Melt / 2712 Cherokee St.
7 p.m. / $5 / all ages
Acid Kat always gets kinda freaky, so prepare yourself for an aural flogging from a variety of local punks and weirdos. Check out the video above for footage of Designer's last visit to St. Louis, courtesy of videographer Graham Matthews. We're not exactly sure what Designer's lookin' like since its move to Nashville from the east coast, but we can guarantee that it's going to be at least two-parts noisy to two-parts catchy.


The Pen Test (Athens, GA)
Wax Fruit
Hylidae
DJ Michaella
@ Plush / 3224 Locust St.
9 p.m. / $5 / all ages

Apop's closed now, and we are all very sad, but that doesn't mean we don't get to celebrate all the good times that were had. This is one Apop's final hurrahs, so you jerks and twerps better damn well come prepared to dance.

THURSDAY, OCT. 30


Lazy (Kansas City, MO)
Baby Sun God
Trancers
Brother Lee and the Leather Jackals
@ Melt / 2712 Cherokee St.
9 p.m. / $5 / all ages

OK, so the only live video we could find was kind of an old one, but all you need to know about Lazy is that they're from Party City USA. If you don't know what the butt that's supposed to mean, they will tell you explicitly in the only way they know how to -- with good old fashioned fuzzy rock'n'roll New local band alert: Baby Sun God evidently features members of Rüz, the Warden and Overdoser with some surf action. Cool.


Undercurrent No. 10 feat.:
Maximum Effort
Dave Stone
Eric Hall
Hands and Feet
@ Schlafly Tap Room / 2100 Locust
9 p.m. / free / all ages

This bill might just break the Tap Room. From free jazz to alien-conspiracy punk, there's plenty to stay entertained with throughout this evening of local performances set to Chizmo's brain-warping, interactive projections. As always at Undercurrent events: free tapes. Free tapes for everyone!

**More on Halloween coming sooOOOooOOonnnn...**

Tonight in St. Louis

SATURDAY, OCT. 11

Jealousy Mountain Duo (from Germany)

Don Vito (from Germany)

Yowie

and Hardbody (first show, members of Hess/Cunningham Duo, Stonechat)
@ Schlafly Tap Room / 2100 Locust Street
8 pm / free / all ages

Jealousy Mountain Duo makes abstract rock, taking elements of noise and free-jazz to create rhythmically free-form songs that use strong melody as an anchor. Don Vito packs discord and feedback into instrumental punk songs. The bass tears through and leads with melody while the guitar skronks behind a strong rhythm section. Both bands traveled from Germany to play our Midwestern city, and the show is free and all ages - lots of reasons to go.

Also tonight: Die Reihe (STL ex-pat Jack Callahan) plays with Skulls Mind and Brain Transplant at Apop Records.

Bands Die, That's What Happens

Last night, Cherokee street was busy with two packed shows – one at Foam, the other at Melt. Both bills were lined-up the same, too. At Foam, Pile from Boston performed with three locals: Blight Future, Little Big Bangs and Stonechat, who played their last show. Melt had Nature Boys from Kansas City with Maximum Effort, Riprap (recent transplants) and Self Help, who were also playing for the last time.

Picking between the two was hard because, damn, you might not ever get a chance to see Stonechat or Self Help again. Sure, either band could decide to pick right back up and play, but that's not likely. The reality is this: these shows happen all the time, but that extra push, or urgency, to go just isn't there.

Speaking strictly to readers of this blog, I'll assume you're either a musician or a showgoer. Maybe you like the idea of going out, but the time isn't there so you live vicariously through Facebook or Twitter. Maybe you're already out at shows five nights a week – either way, many of us get saturated with flyers, e-mails and show invites.

Through social media, it's easy to feel shamed for not attending certain shows. You've seen it, and it looks loosely like this: "everyone who didn't go last night fucked up and missed out." All of that is enough to get exhausted, and whether you're involved in music or an avid supporter, we're all privy to it – the burnout.

Stonechat and Self Help both split because of cordial reasons – either a bandmate moved away or the members moved on to new projects. Not every split is malicious and it's fortunate that, at least for these two bands, final shows were had. But fans aren't always so lucky.

It's normal for bands to stop and really, it's inevitable. Every band is temporary. The level of support shown last night was massive, but considering I've seen Stonechat and Self Help play to empty rooms in the past I couldn't help but think: we could have been doing this months ago. Why wait until someone's funeral to tell them that you love them? Sounds a little tragic to me, but for bands, that's the norm.

TL;DR

If you like a band, actually go see it because you won't always have a chance.

-Joseph Hess

This Week In St. Louis 9/22/14 - 9/28/14

TUESDAY, SEPT. 23


Despise You (CA)
Creator|Destroyer (TX)
Shaved Women
Overdoser

@ Apop Records / 2831 Cherokee Street
9 pm / $7 / all ages

Despise You brings precise power-violence from the west coast. They've never played in St. Louis, and their live shows carry a reputation, so don't miss out. I wasn't able to track down music from Creator|Destroyer, mostly because there are other bands out there with the same name, but they're traveling with Despise You, so they're likely along the same lines - don't expect a folk band or something. Shaved Women is hot off the release of their new record Just Death and I heard a rumor that this might be Overdoser's last show - plenty of reasons to go.


Woozy (LA)
The Sal Show (IL)
Lions Eat Grass
Cold Rooms
(First Show)
@ Foam / 3359 South Jefferson Avenue
8 pm / $5 / all ages

Woozy brings a mash-up of mellow shoegaze and intricate riffing that feels subtle and controlled. Solid songwriting is at work here, bringing just enough bursts of loud, distorted rock to break up happy, melodic hooks. The Sal Show is the side project of Sal from Chicago-based Animal City, but those unfamiliar should expect poppy indie-rock. Leland, the brains behind Cold Rooms, has spent the last few years making killer home recordings under the name Weird White Wolves. This show is his first live performance - definitely not to be missed.

Also on Tuesday: Indiana's Hypnogram plays the Way Out Club with Jaded Evil Lambs, 32 Pc. Vintage Party Set and more.

THURSDAY, SEPT. 25


UNDERCURRENT 9 featuring:
Kisser
Willis
Kingston Family Singers
Kenshiro's

@ Schlafly Tap Room / 2100 Locust Street
8 pm / free / all ages

Undercurrent is a monthly show series featuring local punk, experimental and more. Each show is recorded live and put on cassette tape by Wrong Division and Paradoxal Pterodactyl. So if you come to this show, you'll get a free cassette tape with music from the previous Undercurrent. All bands play in the projections of Chad Eivins aka Chizmo.TV. Everything's free, everything's local.


Deaf Wish (AUSTRALIA)
Trauma Harness
@ CBGB / 3163 South Grand Avenue
9 pm / donation$ / 21+

Deaf Wish is post-punk via Australia, and they're playing a cramped dive bar in the Midwest. That should be reason enough to go, unless you hate punk music in general, but considering the band is traveling half-way around the world, it's worth a shot. Deaf Wish's inventive song writing invokes familiar sounds - definitely inspired by post-punk of the '80s - but the band feels wholly original, propelling its songs into a fuzzy, distorted mess.

FRIDAY, SEPT. 26

SUNDAY, SEPT. 28


Marriage (TX)
Britches
Catholic Guilt

Free Willy (members of Willis and Beauty Pageant...first show/last show?)
@ Kismet Creative Center / 3409 Iowa Avenue (right off Cherokee Street)
8 pm / free / $5 suggested donation / all ages

Kismet Creative Center is a new space at the corner of Cherokee and Iowa. If you've been to the new pizza joint Yaqui's, it's right next to that, across the street from BANK projects. This is the first loud show there, and kind of a test run. Marriage features members of Black Eyes (Dischord Records) and When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth. The five-piece uses dual percussion to drive a bass-heavy dirge of noisy psych-rock. If you're a fan of kraut rock or noise, this band is right up your alley. Britches is coming back after a long-hiatus to play songs from its last album Demolition and Free Willy is a one-time super group with members of Willis and Beauty Pageant. Show up early for a secret band.

Bring cake, it's my birthday. -Joe

Steve's Top Pics from August 2014

Stephen Houldsworth attends more shows in Saint Louis than most, and he covers a huge range of sound. Be it hardcore or noise, pop or rock, Stephen comes equipped with his point-and-shoot. The guerrilla style of photography that results is a dry and honest take on the independent scene in St. Louis. Once a month, Mr. Houldsworth shoots us an e-mail with his recent favorite photos.

Funny Faces; Good Cause.
Audience members make funny faces at the "Bands Up" Ferguson/STL benefit show at The Ready Room on August 31.

He's the Bos(s).
Nos Bos in a very special episode of the Simpsons at CBGB on August 10.

Islands of Support.
Nick gives a shout out of support to the Ferguson uprising at the Islands show on August 30 at Firebird.

Lumpy Sit Pit.
Martin had everybody sitting down at the Lumpy & the Dumpers show at Melt on August 26.

Many Seans.
Sean Ballard is in so many projects that it sometimes seems like there are multiple versions of him. This evidence was captured on August 17 at the Firebird.

Music is Power.
Songstress Basmin Nadra leads protesters in Freedom Songs on August 18 in Kiener Plaza.

Pointing to the Future.
Blight Future energized the crowd at the Bands Up fundraiser at The Ready Room on August 31.

Solidarity.
Billy Bragg gave an impromptu Ferguson Solidarity benefit concert on August 18 at The Royale.

Song Circle.
On August 28, folks gathered together at Shepard School courtyard to sing songs and share community support.

The Hair Matches The Shorts.
Skarekrauradio at CBGB on August 8.

Graham's Top Picks for August 2014

Graham Matthews bounces from show to show with a handy-cam, collecting the odds and ends of music in St. Louis. There is absolutely no genre-bend in his coverage, made evident by an ever growing Youtube page, which features thousands of videos of independent artists. Once a month, Graham sends us a list of 5 picks from his personal channel.

Sur at the Firebird

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rG-i1h61uzw
I guess people were excited for SW/MM/NG, but Sur really snuck up and melted everyone's faces clean off. Unexpectedly-awesome is the best kind of awesome.

Islands - Fiction at the Firebird
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Fcjm1DJoLg
As a long time fan of Islands, it feels pretty cool to capture a brand new song that almost no one has heard before (one show before this one, world first recording?!). It was even cooler meeting Nick from Islands after the show who helped hype our Mike Brown & Ferguson benefit show "Bands Up, Don't Shoot" via Twitter. What a sweetie!

Billy Bragg - Crying in the Streets at the Royale
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qoE0YB1-U40 Steve went to the semi-secret, very short notice Billy Bragg show at the Royale, because he's a folk legend and was coming to support Mike Brown & Ferguson. This video got more hits in a week than our previously most watched video got in a year and a half. WHOA!

Lumpy & the Dumpers at Melt
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uqO7zlowQXs
If you've ever wondered what it might be like to be manhandled by Lumpy, this is your chance. At 1:13, he puts his slimy fingers all over the camera. I am still trying to get all the slime off the lens.

Q at the Ready Room
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-pNQULaISY
Q was running a little behind and didn't have much time for their set, so it was all crammed into 4 minutes of bliss. Young moshers are brought on stage to get the party started. A newly bought Trauma Harness shirt glistens in the Ready Room's lights like a neon diamond. I think Austin says it best at the end, "GET THE FUCK OFF ME!" Too much love can hurt.

AKTV Episode 5 and Upcoming Shows

Acid Kat TV is the Youtube channel of Acid Kat, a local zine and music label. Every once in a while, the group throws together a montage of live footage, interviews and other miscellany clips. Recently, the group uploaded two videos: Episode 5 of their on-going web-series and a special festival episode with tons of footage from the Electric Kool-Aid Acid Kat Fest back in July.


September was already packed with gigs, but a few more things just came together in the past week. Don't miss out - definitely come out and support the touring bands. There are a few fests in nearby cities in the next week (namely Already Dead Fest and Cropped Out 2014), so killer bands are coming through St. Louis on their way to and from.

Tuesday: Mezzanine Swimmers (NY) performs at Blank Space with Eric Hall.
Also Tuesday: Vetter Kids (TX) plays at Melt with Anodes and Maybe Dynamite.
Thursday: The NOiSE concert series at Blank Space with Willis, Dave Stone and more.
Friday: Free-jazz legend Joe McPhee & Survival Unit III plays Joe's Cafe.
Also on Friday: Secret Tombs (PA) performs at the Demo with Braining and Shitstorm.

This Week In St. Louis 9/8/14 - 9/14/14

TUESDAY, SEPT. 9


Waveless (MN)
Kisser
@ CBGB / 3163 South Grand Boulevard
9 pm / bring donation$ / 21+

Shoegaze is one of those ever-present genres that seem to infect every other show, but Waveless takes a noisy albeit darker approach. The melodies here are front and center and never get totally buried under a blanket of delay and reverb. There's a songwriting force at work here that feels catchy but, at the same time, subversive and downright weird. Kisser takes a similar approach - but to psychedelic rock - crafting a sound that takes genre conventions in a meaner, more visceral direction. The start time says 9 pm, but expect this one to go late - that's usually how it goes at CBGB. Bring donations.

Also on Wednesday night: Kid Congo Powers and Little Big Bangs play Off Broadway.

FRIDAY, SEPT. 12


Thumbscrew: Mary Halvorson, Michael Formanek, Tomas Fujiwara
@ Joe's Cafe / 6014 Kingsbury Avenue
7 pm / $10 / 21+

Thumbscrew makes dark jazz using atonal sounds and heady, dissonant parts. There's a certain skronkiness going on between the guitar, bass and drums, but the progression feels natural and gradual as opposed to forced or jagged. The trio's new album was just released through Cuneiform Records, who is known for Upsilon Acrux and Ahleuchatistas among other groups.

Also on Friday:

SUNDAY, SEPT. 13


Gadabout Film Festival featuring:
Eric Hall
Chizmo.TV

@ Melt / 2712 Cherokee Street
8 pm / $5 / all ages

Indiana-native Eric Ayotte makes chilled-out folk and Americana music, but that's just one of his many hats. He's also the proprietor of the traveling Gadabout Film Festival, which showcases short movies from artists all around the country. Many of the featured movies come from Ayotte's film challenges among a mass of other cool things he's involved with. The omnipresent Eric Hall opens this show along with the films of Chad Eivins aka Chizmo.TV.

This Week In St. Louis 9/4/14 - 9/7/14

THURSDAY, SEPT. 4


Animal Lover (MN)
Foul Tip (IL)
Braining (cassette release)
Life Like
@ Blank Space / 2847 Cherokee Street
9:30 pm | $5 | all ages

Animal Lover brings shrill, metallic guitar sound to mid-tempo noise rock, packing dissonant riffs inside tight drumming. The songs hit hard but go by fast enough that they never wear out their welcome. Foul Tip (from Chicago) is catchy enough punk with an industrial edge by way of an overblown drum machine. Grab the new Braining tape (possibly two tapes?) for $5 or download it HERE for free.


Mongoloid (OR)
Lumpy & The Dumpers
Ruz
The Warden

@ Spot down by the river / click for details
7 pm (early show) | $5 | all ages

Mongoloid is a trashy punk band by way of Portland, Oregon. Guitar solos peak out from behind a wall of nasty noise accompanied by mucousy yells. And this band features Eric, older brother of Lumpy frontman Martin Meyer. So if you're into brotherly love...

Also: Bear Cub and Black for a Second also play a free show over at the Schlafly Tap Room

FRIDAY, SEPT. 5


DJ Spinn (IL)
DJ Paypal
Deejay Earl
DMY
with live visuals by Chizmo.TV

@ Billiken Club / 20 N. Grand Boulevard
7:30 pm | $8 for non-students | all ages

This might be an odd fit for the Wrong Division blog, but this is a DJ/footwork show worth checking out. St. Louis' own DMY (Derek Yaeger of Sine Nomine and noise project Fluff of Murder) is opening the show and our favorite warped video artist Chizmo is providing live visuals. Chicago footwork legend DJ Spinn headlines.

HAPPENING ALL WEEKEND LONG:

Pü Fest
featuring:
Absolutely (WI)
Alex Body (IA)
American Cream (MN)
Black James (STL)
Broken Prayer (Chi)
Bug Chaser (STL)
The Conformists (STL)
Demonlover (STL)
Digital Leather (NE)
Eric Hall (STL)
Faultfinder (KC)
Guerilla Toss (MA)
Gymshorts (RI)
Kisser (STL)
KneeGrowPleeze (STL)
Lechuguillas (ATX)
Maximum Effort (STL)
Nervosas (OH)
Perfect Pussy (NY)
Plack Blague (NE)
Radiator Greys (DC)
Self Help (STL)
Shaved Women (LP Release show, STL)
Sioux City Pete and the Beggars (WA)
Slut River (WA)
STNNNG (MN)
Transmontane (Chi)
Trauma Harness (STL)
Tree Blood (MN)
Worried Mothers (NE)

Main shows happen at Empire Hall at 3407 California Avenue on Saturday and Sunday ($20 per day or $30 for the whole weekend)
Kick-off show happens Friday night at Melt at 2712 Cherokee Street (free)
featuring: Black Panties, Tone Rodent, Jack Grelle and Pizza Boys
More details on the poster below:

This Week In St. Louis 8/25/14 - 8/31/14

MONDAY, AUG. 25


Toupee (IL)
Lil TIts (IL)
CANCELLED
In light of the ongoing events in Ferguson, both touring bands have decided to cancel. Toupee and Lil Tits are worth checking out though, this show would have been great - click the links above.

TUESDAY, AUG. 26


Dama/Libra (WA)
Within
Anodes
K R Schlüter

@ Lemp Arts Center / 3301 Lemp Avenue
8 pm / $5 / all ages

Dama/Libra, the duo of Joel R.L. Phelps and G. Stuart Dahlquist, creates brooding music rife with oppressive force and gothic tone. The songs here are slow-burners, but what starts as a few meandering tones builds into a cacophonous wall of sound. Circular drones ultimately drive highly meditative music.


Iron Lung (CA/WA)
Una Bèstia Incontrolable (SPAIN)
The Impalers (TX)
Renegade Assault Tank
Lumpy & The Dumpers

@ Melt / 2712 Cherokee Street
9 pm / $10 / all ages

Iron Lung is hard as nails hardcore with a strong sense of urgency - calling the band "heavy" is still sort of understating the obvious. Una Bèstia Incontrolable is from SPAIN, which should be reason enough to check them out. They're a super-noisy, mostly mid-tempo troupe that trades cheesy guitar riffs in for the scratchy grinding of six-strings. The music here weighs a ton but isn't overtly hardcore. The Impalers and Renegade Assault Tank are also on tour - so the $10 entry fee is well worth it.

THURSDAY, AUG. 28


UNDERCURRENT 8 featuring
Hylidae
Frances With Wolves
Con Trails
Brett Underwood
(spoken word)
Matthew Questionmark (spoken word)
Gluey Guni Basement Show (special theatrical showing)
@ Schlafly Tap Room / 2100 Locust Street
9 pm / free / all ages

Undercurrent is a monthly show series with a mix of punk and experimental bands, spoken word and live video projections. The audio from each show is captured live and split onto a mixtape which is then released for free the following month. This local documentation project has been going on since the beginning of this year and is set to continue until January 2015. Arrive on time to receive a free cassette of last month's Undercurrent, featuring: Black James, Little Big Bangs, Laika and Jaded Evil Lambs.

Also on Thursday: Synth-punk powerhouse The Bad Doctors are playing upstairs at Plush Saint Louis with Mussy Cluves.

FRIDAY, AUG. 29


Fielded (NY)
Ou Ou (Album Release)
Skull's Mind
@ The Luminary / 2701 Cherokee Street
8 pm / $10 / 21+

Fielded is the witchy, cybernetic alter-ego of Lindsay Powell, the Chicago ex-pat who merges gothic punk with industrial noise in a swarm of brooding songs. A thick, bassy hum underlies loops of vocals that fold inward, making for urgent build-ups with gratifying pay-offs. Local ambient droners Ou Ou have a new self-produced album out, grab the limited edition cassette at this show.

Also on Friday:
-Punk legends The Weirdos play Atomic Cowboy with Ded Bugs and more.
-Sweet Talk from Texas plays The Livery with Black James.

THIS WEEKEND

Also, stay tuned for details on Bands Up, Don't Shoot: A Ferguson/STL Solidarity show happening at The Ready Room this Sunday. We will update with details as they come, but if you can't wait, the Facebook event is HERE.

This Weekend In St. Louis 8/22/14 - 8/24/14

FRIDAY, AUG. 22


Glitter (CANADA)
Willis
Pink Sock

@ Bonerville / Ask around
9 pm / $5 / all ages

Glitter is slimy punk by way of Canada. Catchy riffs come swamped in murky guitar, guttural vocals and trash-can drums. Willis plays in a way that makes you question why you like what you like, and Pink Sock does nihilistic hardcore to remind you that it doesn't matter anyway.

SATURDAY, AUG. 23


What We Won't See
Wax Fruit

@ The Crack Fox / 1114 Olive Street
8 pm / $8 / 21+

What We Won't See's debut album Blood Covered Winter is a dark, demeaning riptide of industrial punk. The recordings are fairly clean compared to the band's shrill and powerful live sound. Wax Fruit is a tight summation of the past 30 years in synth pop - but dark and almost gothic sounding.

SUNDAY, AUG. 24


Multicult (MA)
Animal Teeth
Dad Jr.

@ Melt / 2712 Cherokee Street
9 pm / $5 / all ages

At first glance, Multicult might seem to fall into that category of '90s revival bands. This trio is from Baltimore and often plays with better-known grunge contemporaries Dope Body and Roomrunner. But Multicult isn't afraid to get weird and really differs from its brethren by injecting odd, angular riffs. Come on time for the killer opening line-up of local outsider punks.

Punk legend Rikk Agnew comes to Fubar with Pistofficer and local openers Trauma Harness and Maximum Effort.

Undercurrent next Thursday:

Ahleuchatistas / Kisser cassette release tonight

FRIDAY, AUG. 15


Ahleuchatistas (NC)
Kisser (cassette release)
Corrigan Brothers
@ Schlafly Tap Room / 2100 Locust Street
9 pm / free / all ages

Ahleuchatistas used to be a super technical power trio of modern prog-rock. Their early albums are rife with double bass drum and relentless quick-picking. Not that the current duo isn't without its own intricacies, but modern day Ahleuchatistas brings an enormous expanse of sound ranging from micro-tonal guitar to Eastern polyrhythms.

Also tonight:

Tonight and Tomorrow

WEDNESDAY, AUG. 13


Lair (MA)
Van Hagar (TN)
Western Forever
Pat Sajak Assassins
Solid State Disaster

@ Blank Space / 2847 Cherokee Street
8:30 pm / $5 / 21+

Lair builds guitar driven rock over a bed of glitchy backing tracks. The kraut-rock meets Nintendo vibe works well and sounds distinct and thick. The opening line-up ranges from straight up chiptune music to Tortoise-esque post rock and wild free-jazz. Van Hagar from Nashville just hopped on the bill, bringing their nihilist hardcore to a show that's already weird enough. Sensory overload.

THURSDAY, AUG. 14


Ivy (NY)
Symptom (MA)
Skemata (NC)
Pink Sock
Ruz
Animal Teeth

@ Bonerville / Ask around
9 pm / $5 / all ages

Ivy drives mid-tempo hardcore with a scratchy, staticy guitar tone. Backed up by seasick drums, the songs feel like they could fall apart at any moment, but the band keeps its footing and trudges through. Most of the bands on this bill come from a place of shared inspiration, so if you dig one band on this line-up - you're in for a full night of what you already love.

Check back tomorrow for details on shows this weekend.

The Last Seed by The Western Forever

This popped up on Bandcamp earlier this Summer and I haven't had a chance to share it yet. The Western Forever is a brand new local duo of guitar and drums that brings repetitive melodies that gradually build atop a scattershot style of percussion. Their debut seems like a solid recording of what the band does live and is definitely worth checking. Although there's an underlying ambient style going on, this music gets chaotic, intricate and heavy. For fans of free-jazz, improv or generally free-form guitar music.

This Week In St. Louis 7/28/14 - 8/3/14

MONDAY, JUL. 28


Nudes (WA)
Shaved Women
Lumpy & the Dumpers

@ Melt / 2712 Cherokee Street
9 pm / $5 / all ages

Nudes brings a visceral and grating style of hardcore with vocals coming straight from the gut. Shaved Women is the only band in St. Louis that can match Nudes' nihilist sound. Lumpy & the Dumpers are on the bill to show everybody that life ain't so bad after all.

WEDNESDAY, JUL. 30


American Hate (OK)
Trauma Harness
Ruz
Self Help

@ Livery Company / 3211 Cherokee Street
9 pm / $7 / 21+

American Hate is a mostly straight ahead punk band driven by thick riffs and super tight drumming. It's like some dudes got together to make a band based solely on how much headbanging they could get in a single set. Everyone keeps telling you that Trauma Harness is the best band in town, so go and decide for yourself. Meanwhile, Self Help and Ruz are two local rippers that just popped up in the past year and both bands have great debut releases. A solid mix of punk and hardcore all around.

THURSDAY, JUL. 31


UNDERCURRENT 7 featuring:
Black James
Laika
Little Big Bangs
Jaded Evil Lambs

@ Schlafly Tap Room / 2100 Locust Street
8:30 pm / free / all ages

Undercurrent is a monthly event at the Schlafly Tap Room. Anything from punk to experimental and in between happens on stage and is recorded for later use on a mixtape. Each show works as a release for the last month's cassette. Video artist Chad Eivins does live projections and free tapes are available for the first 100 attendees. This month's tape features Beauty Pageant, Solid State Disaster, the Brainstems and Cup Collector. It's a free, all ages multi-media event centered on outsider music by local weirdos.


Mortals (NY)
Immortal Bird (IL)
GRYSCL (TN)
Alan Smithee
Cathedral Fever

@ Livery Company 3211 Cherokee Street
8 pm / $6 / 21+

Mortals should sound powerful between the Livery's tiny walls. The doom band from New York makes an audible abyss - the only way to keep your head above the muck is with earplugs, but it's likely that won't help much. Alan Smithee and Cathedral Fever are both two of St. Louis' most intense and technical bands, so it's worth checking this show out if your tastes lean toward the metallic side.

Acid Kat and Freezer Burn Zine Brings You: The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Kat Fest 2

The brains behind the Freezer Burn and Acid Kat zines are bringing you a live music festival (for the second year in a row). The show is happening at The Livery (3211 Cherokee Street). With it being a two day ordeal, you can buy a single day pass for $7 or a full weekend pass for $12. There's a pretty big list of bands playing - a lot of them coming from out of town. Check the schedule below and you'll see Fault Finder from KC, CHUD from Indianapolis, Beta Boys, King Worm, Dirty Work and a few others. And get there on time, this thing starts early in the afternoon both days.

Acid Kat and Freezer Burn won't be the only zines on hand, either. Check out this list of expected zines:
How's Tricks
SHiT! Zine (a true crime photo zine, for mature audiences only)
Oops!
Dead Weight
No Content
SWAMP TRASH COMIX
No Animals 2 (curtistinsley.tumblr.com)
Shitty River Comics
Meat Organ

Steve's Top Pics from June 2014

Stephen Houldsworth attends more shows in Saint Louis than most, and he covers a huge range of sound. Be it hardcore or noise, pop or rock, Stephen comes equipped with his point-and-shoot. The guerrilla style of photography that results is a dry and honest take on the independent scene in St. Louis. Once a month, Mr. Houldsworth shoots us an e-mail with his recent favorite photos.

The Shadow Plays
Beauty Pageant consistently delivers a unique performance. Ben's shadow joined the group for this number at the Taproom on June 19.

Atomic Rain
The RFT Music Showcase featured great music and a special appearance by Mother Nature. June 7 at Atomic Cowboy.

Who is Willis
Willis' revolving roster of guest artists included a knife-biting Austin on June 7 at O'Shays.

Farmhaus Frenzy
We went into the cornfields for this one. And, Joe Rogers delivered an especially frenzied drumming for Crucial at the Farmhaus on June 21.

Begging Bug
Not exactly sure what that face is, but Pat looked great in his gold lamé. Bug Chaser at Ready Room on June 7.

TONIGHT: Death Blues, Ceremy and Zorch!

MONDAY, JUL. 14


Jon Mueller's Death Blues (NY)
Demon Lover
Darin Gray + Ghost Ice Duo

@ Kerr Foundation / 21 O'Fallon Street
8:30 pm / $10 / 21+

By doing a quick search on Jon Mueller, I found this description: "Death Blues is a multi-disiplinary project by Jon Mueller that addresses the inevitability of death as impetus to become more present in each moment." Whatever that means. Don't be scared away by the pretention - Death Blues is a killer avant-rock group with amorphous parts that bleed into powerful movements. The music weighs a metric ton and Mueller's approach to drums adds considerable rhythmic depth. Darin Gray is taking a short break from his tour with Jeff Tweedy to perform alongside Ghost Ice. Demon Lover always brings something new to the table, too.


Ceremony (FL)
Nothing (PA)
Shaved Women
Trauma Harness

@ The Demo (probably at the Ready Room) / 4191 Manchester
7:30 pm / $14 / all ages

You know the old saying, "misery loves company?" Ceremony makes a dark, nihilistic hardcore that feels visceral and catchy. And its style has definitely caught on - this is a band that might otherwise be playing in a south city basement if not for its recent accolades in national media. Shaved Women and Trauma Harness bring out the best in St. Louis hardcore and punk, respectively. Although this show is listed at the Demo, expect it to be held at the Ready Room since the Demo is indefinitely closed.


Zorch (TX)
Laika
Jr. Clooney

@ Lemp Arts Center / 3301 Lemp Avenue
8 p.m. / $5 / all ages

Zorch crosses melodic math rock with odd outsider pop to make a sort of dance-music for aliens. There's enough catchy licks here to satisfy the pop sensible but there's plenty of noise and sound manipulation too.

Graham's Top Picks for June 2014

Graham Matthews bounces from show to show with a handy-cam, collecting the odds and ends of music in St. Louis. There is absolutely no genre-bend in his coverage, made evident by an ever growing Youtube page, which features thousands of videos of independent artists. Once a month, Graham sends us a list of 5 picks from his personal channel.

Willis at RFT Music Showcase

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tPDbXtqMUoo
What is Willis? Willis is ever-changing. Willis is a puzzle wrapped in an enigma wrapped in a Willis. Don't expect the Willis of today to be the Willis of tomorrow. Sorry, Bella loyalists. Willis is greater than the sum of the Willis.

Arsenals with "Gnarnia" at Blank Space
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sFj0iArwQfY
I was just thinking how tight and energetic Arsenals is sounding, and then I saw on their Facebook that they are even making a new project. Be on the look out for Clenched Fist.

Carte de Visite at Blank Space
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uYk4UX-5G9M
Ryan's other bandmates may be miles away right now, but that doesn't stop him from getting loopy in a dark basement with a little help from John, who really needs some cuddles.

Alex Newell at LGBTQ* Downtown PrideFest
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Idyz_Yh4oP4
You might have stopped following Glee a few seasons ago, but luckily for us, Steve hasn't. Alex won a reality show contest to earn a few episodes on the show, and he turned it into a full time part by being fabulous and avoiding heroin. Also, Alex sings good.

Adria Nicole at LGBTQ* Tower Grove Pride
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NNXuQRskq8I
Shit was windy! I think it was the power of Adria that almost blew all the tents into the sky during her set. Here she sits calmly and peacefully like the eye of the storm while tornadic winds erupt around her.

White Suns Tonight at Apop Records

WEDNESDAY, JUL. 9


White Suns (NY)
Braining
Catholic Guilt
Brain Transplant

@ Apop Records / 2831 Cherokee Street
8:30 p.m. / $5 / all ages

White Suns deconstructs no-wave songs into dirges of squalor and noisy heft. Spoken word intensifies a set of songs that boil with tension. Openers Brain Transplant and Catholic Guilt both carry free-improv harshness through their own distorted view of noise and rock. Braining filters all those same genres into a straight-ahead punk format. Show up on time. Word on the street is there's a time limit that ends around 11.

This Week In St. Louis 6/23/14 - 6/29/14

TUESDAY, JUN. 24


Swans
Xiu Xiu

@ The Ready Room / 4195 Manchester Avenue
8 pm / $25 / all ages ($2 minor surcharge)

I heard a rumor that Michael Gira, the brains behind Swans, demands that the venue's heat be turned up regardless of the temperature outside. If that's true, we're in for a nasty, swampy night. The Ready Room is one of the newest venues in town, and it has a huge atrium (with a capacity of 800). I doubt the show will actually sell out, but it should, because Swans is one of those few legendary bands that keeps putting out new, inventive work. Check out their latest LP To Be Kind for proof. If you're new to Swans, just go ahead and pay the $25 to see them now. Walls of guitar noise are punctuated by dual percussionists, and the whole affair blooms into a live sound that can't be heard through a recording or video.


Jerome (NC)
Maximum Effort
Dave Stone
Number Two

@ Melt / 2712 Cherokee Street
9 pm / $7 / all ages

Jerome is the alias of Jeremy Harris, who used to perform under the name "Lazy Magnet." If you missed Lazy Magnet, this is more of the same, except things come across a bit bouncier or light-hearted. If you're unfamiliar, Lazy Magnet was a multi-facted project that ranged from harsh noise to danceable pop. Whatever the music, Harris injects a singular sound into what might otherwise be passed off as dance floor electronica. He has a brilliant ear for melody and a talent for sneaking in odd sounds.

WEDNESDAY, JUN. 25


Motherfucker (GA)
Little Big Bangs
Blight Future

@ Blank Space / 2847 Cherokee Street
8:30 pm / $5 / 21+

Motherfucker is tightly wound rock with an extra-extra dose of estrogen. Not that being an all-girl band should overshadow how heavy hitting the songs are, but that's not something you see all the time. Local support includes Little Big Bangs and Blight Future, who will be playing their second show ever.

FRIDAY, JUN. 27


Falsetto Boy
Heavy Weather
Street Justice
Van Buren

@ Bowen House / Click for address
8 pm / free / all ages

Jim Fitzpatrick (Falsetto Bo)y and Brad Schumacher (Street Justice and the Night Grinder) are both moving to Denver. This is both a going away party for them and a birthday celebration for Brad. If you know them or have ever been a fan of what they've done here in St. Louis (Jim was also in Good Luck at the Hog Slaughter, Muscle Brain and Cup Collector) then make it out. Denver is pretty far away. The show is a mix from indie rock to noisy electronics and stoner rock.

SATURDAY, JUN. 28


Fat History Month (MA)
Three Brained Robot (NC)
Beauty Pageant
What We Won't See

@ BANK Projects / 3420 Iowa Avenue
9 pm / $5 / all ages

Fat History Month brings cynical, melodic folk through a barely distorted electric guitar. Three Brained Robot is the solo project of Greensboro-based artist Sam Martin and features harsh noise with an emphasis on visual elements. Beauty Pageant throws down a heft of synth and guitar backed up by scattered drums and howling moans by way of local burlesque performer Blyre Cpanx. What We Won't See is about to release their first full length album, so come check out a live preview of what's to come: Heavy industrial beats behind swarming guitars and feedback. Noise rock for robots.

SUNDAY, JUN. 29


Ed Schrader's Music Beat (MD)
The Brainstems
Shitstorm
Posture

@ Apop Records / 2831 Cherokee Street
9 pm / $7 / all ages

Ed Schrader has the best abs in music. Music Beat is noisy-wave pop songs brought to you by a single floor tom, bass guitar and Schrader's sumptuous voice. Brainstems and Shitstorm bring their own colors of outsider rock, and Posture will open the gig with its first set.

Upcoming Shows

Here's a few shows we're working on. More details to come, like opening bands and such. This one's for your trapper keepers, google docs & space planners:

June 19 at Schlafly Tap Room - Undercurrent 666 with The Brainstems, Beauty Pageant, Cup Collector & more

June 22 at BANK Projects - Faun and a Pan Flute (GA) & Magicicada (GA)

June 28 at BANK Projects - Fat History Month (MA) & Three Brained Robot (NC)

July 9 at Apop Records - White Suns (NY), Braining, Brain Transplant & Catholic Guilt

July 24 at The Livery - Acid Kat Fest 1.5 (Day Before Acid Kat Fest 2) with Jerkagram (NY), All People (LA), Grand Maul (Columbia) & more

July 31 at Schlafly Tap Room - Undercurrent 7 with Black James, Little Big Bangs, Laika & Jaded Evil Lambs

August 4 at Melt - Miami Dolphins (MN)

August 7 at Foam - Stella (OH)

August 15 at Melt - Glish (LA), Lair (MA), Con Trails

August 24 at Blank Space - Multicult (MD), Braining, Dad Jr.