It's a busy week for St. Louis music. Read on to catch a piece of the action. With Halloween celebratory activities well under way, local bands get ready go dress up with special covers-only sets. Besides that, Bug Chaser drops its latest, Noisefest celebrates its tenth anniversary and Tef Poe performs with Rockwell Knuckles and more during P.O.E. Fest. Read on for this week's recommendations, fresh off of our critics' fingertips.
The Reptilian Monday, October 28, 7:30 p.m. w/ Tiny Moving Parts, Billy & the Jets, Franklin and the Founding Fathers @ The Demo - $8-$10 By Joseph Hess Informed by emo ditties of mid '90s, the Reptilian piles pop atop odd timing to weave succinct songs. To call Reptilian anything other than a punk band might discount its fierce delivery, but the Michigan-based trio tends to infuse progressive-rock levels of artistry. The result is a band wrought with subtle depth through interloping parts. Vocals come with somewhat of a pop-punk filter, landing in a place between singing and yelling. Drummer Dan Riehl manages to carve out enough space for lush percussion under relentless melody, constantly applying audible tension that never fails to deliver a big pay-off. Live sets go by quickly enough to leave one wanting more but offer a diversity that feels complete, and ultimately, fulfilling. Label brethren Tiny Moving Parts join the Reptilian to offer further emo-post-hardcore. The group took a decidedly more indie-rock bend with its latest full-length This Couch is Long & Full of Friendship. Come on time and see the yin to the Reptilian's yang.
Kim Massie Tuesday, October 29, 10 p.m. @ Beale on Broadway - $7 By RFT Staff Although the word "diva" is so overused it's almost a useless descriptor, Kim Massie is one vocalist who deserves the honor. With its brash, gospel-influenced strains of vibrato, Massie's voice can be as big and broad as Aretha Franklin's, but it contains just enough Etta James-ian blues to undercut this strength with sorrow. When Massie sings the standard "At Last," you can close your eyes and imagine her voice as a vocal preacher, laying down the lyrics like audible commandments, just as easily as you can imagine the sound slinking down a smoky stage moonlit by a lonely spotlight. Massie is always -- and effortlessly somehow -- magical, spiritual and glowing.
Cave Wednesday, October 30, 8 p.m. w/ Ghost Ice, Skarekrauradio @ Plush - $7 By Joseph Hess Cave takes a kraut-rock inspired spin on spacey psychedelics, bringing out a heavy, heady jam. At its best, Cave invokes an acid-trip odyssey with a subtle growth of intensity. At times, the percussion can feel like a warped drum circle under the band's milky wash of keys and twang, but for hippies and hipsters alike, that's a good thing. Catch the mythic Cave with a few local legends of our own: The ethereal Ghost Ice and local no-wave cult Skarekrau Radio.
Nothing is Original: Halloween for the Punx 2013 Thursday, October 31, 8 p.m. w/ Bug Chaser (as MC5), Kisser (as Pentagram), So Many Dynamos (as Gang of Four), The Conformists (as Black Sabbath), Trauma Harness (as the Urinals), Black Panties (as Weezer), members of Doom Town and Life Like (as Crass), Times Beach @ Melt - free By Christian Schaeffer The freedom that comes with a new, make-believe identity isn't limited to kids in Superman costumes (or cosplay enthusiasts, for that matter). Each Halloween, as trick-or-treaters revel in their masquerades, local bands play dress-up and take on the songbooks of their favorites bands. The decks are stacked pretty high for this show, as some of St. Louis' hardest and heaviest align for a covers show. So Many Dynamos will take on the angular post-punk of Gang of Four, Bug Chaser will successfully kick out the jams as MC5, the Conformists make a rare appearance as Black Sabbath (Ozzy or Dio? Go and see for yourself). Trauma Harness, Black Panties and a few more round out the bill.
Also for Halloween: HalloWEEN at Off Broadway, Little Big Bangs as Smashing Pumpkins and more at Heavy Anchor and lots of other great shows.
Noisefest X Friday, November 1 through Sunday, November 3 w/ Dear Satan, Nightgrinder, Within, Tony Renner, Noiseman433, Charlie, Sigulda, John Beabout, Eric Hall + many more @ Lemp Arts Center - $7-$20 By Joseph Hess From "Announcing Noisefest X With More Than 20 Experimental Acts": One decade ago, Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center first hosted a bevy of performance artists, serving up subversive sounds in an accessible, encompassing environment. The tiny art house on the corner of Lemp and Utah avenues brought in bands and solo acts from throughout the country, and arguably made St. Louis relevant in the ever-growing realm of noise music. The effects of the first Noisefest were certainly long lasting, as St. Louis quickly became a destination for traveling bands of experimental ilk. On Friday, November 1, LNAC will kick off Noisefest X, a three-day, four-show festival with more than twenty performers from around the country.
P.O.E. Fest Friday, November 1, 10 p.m. w/ Tef Poe, Rockwell Knuckles, Black Spade, Steddy P @ The Gramophone - $10 By Daniel Hill From "Premiere: Tef Poe and Rockwell Knuckles' New Single 'Night Light'": The first single has just dropped from Tef Poe and Rockwell Knuckles' long-awaited and much-anticipated David Ruffin Theory collaboration, due for release next week. The song features ethereal, synthy production courtesy of St. Louis' Trifeckta that makes me think of spaceships, for some reason. The chorus is handled by the talented Aloha Mi'sho, and the final product pushes sonic boundaries while staying firmly grounded in hip-hop. If the rest of the upcoming record is on par with this track, we are all in for something special when it drops next week.
The Body Saturday, November 2, 8 p.m. w/ What We Won't See, Execution Techniques @ Apop Records - $5 By Rick Giordano Sharing a name with the Stephen King story that inspired the film Stand By Me is perfectly fitting for a group like the Body. The band is the audio equivalent of that moment when things turn sour, the loss of innocence, the instant when you are so terribly creeped out that your nuts feel like they're in your throat. That ugliness, amplified as loud as possible in a dark basement and accompanied by a bunch of guys who don't smell too great perfectly describes the intense horror of the Body's live shows. The Providence, Rhode Island duo just released its fourth LP of noise-doom earlier this month and will once again be stopping by Apop Records to make things fall off the walls upstairs. To be clear: Yes these are all good things.
Bug Chaser Album Release Saturday, November 2, 9 p.m. @ Off Broadway - $7-$10 By Jaime Lees Every Bug Chaser show is a psychedelic future-rock freak out. At last count, the band contains eight band members, all adding a key element to this deliciously unholy monstrosity. Bug Chaser sounds like music to accompany a free-for-all LSD-enhanced orgy -- part freedom, part sex, part terror. In the past couple of years it has earned a reputation as a band that brings a serious entertainment factor into its live show, frequently presenting its music as a sixteen-armed writhing creature having a PTSD flashback under swirling lights. It's authentically weird, and in the best way. This show marks the release of the bands new LP, recorded and mixed by the south side's favorite engineer, Jason Hutto. Headliners and frequent visitors via Nashville, Pujol, and local sensation Black Panties round out the bill.
Deer Tick Sunday, November 3, 8:30 p.m. w/ Robert Ellis @ The Firebird - $18-$22 By Roy Kasten They like to go by their first, middle and last names, like they're serial killers or Texas singer-songwriters, and they like their beer with chasers of backwash, because by the end of another wrecked rock & roll night they're just going to spit it all over the stage anyway. That's what you do when you're in Deer Tick, the careening, never-passed-inspection-so-don't-ask vehicle for songwriter John Joseph McCauley and the greatest living Midwestern rock & roll band from Rhode Island. What Deer Tick has done on its new album Negativity, however, is make music it has promised but never quite delivered: earnest, resilient and in love with grand string-and-horn-spiked melodies and choruses.
Note: Though we wish we could, we can't feature every great show happening in town in just one measly post. Look for plenty more recommendations this Friday in our weekend shows post, and peruse the St. Louis concert calendar for more ideas any time. Let everyone know what else you're looking forward to seeing this week in the comments below, and send show tips any time to firstname.lastname@example.org to be considered for inclusion on these lists.
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