10/11/14

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.

9/30/14

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

9/22/14

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

9/17/14

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.

9/16/14

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.