In 1987 Public Enemy's single "Bring the Noise" made the case that rap is a legitimate form of music, and nearly 30 years later no one is arguing. But the genre "noise" still sits in the margins of the music community, virtually unmarketable to mainstream audiences. Local artist and promoter Jeremy Kannapell doesn't pay much attention to those things, though. He only cares about bringing great performers to town. We met with him to talk about booking and the shows he's working on in the coming weeks, including post-punk legend Daniel Higgs, Timeghost and more.
In addition to promotion, Kannapell designs poster art and performs music under the moniker Ghost Ice. As part of New Music Circle, he helps present avant-garde and noise music in finely curated seasons, but he also books several shows on his own -- a tireless effort for a niche audience.
"Usually it starts with an inquiry from someone I either know or someone who was put in touch by a mutual music friend. I don't know if there are any responsibilities per se, though my usual goal is to try find a space, time frame, lineup and a means to spread the word -- all of which hopefully makes for an all-around good show," he says.
From business owners who provide the space, to friends who supply the equipment and manpower to run each show, he emphasizes that every event is a group effort.
"I guess a 'good show' to me is when some disparate approaches or backgrounds and audiences can maybe coalesce and dialogue. This probably sounds like a lofty goal, but it's usually somewhere there in my mind. But, really, I depend on so many people to help me make this happen, and I don't mean that lightly in the least. The people who help me make these shows happen probably do more than I do, and I appreciate it," he adds.
While this season's New Music Circle lineup brings free-jazz legend Matthew Shipp and Gerard Clever's Black Host, among many others, Kannapell also works outside the organization to bring a strong slate of up-and-comers. For instance, Lungfish frontman Daniel Higgs and Tokyo native Fumie Ishii are set to perform a surprise show as Fountainsun this Thursday at Foam.
"All of this was put together only a few days ago. I've been a fan of [Higgs'] work since I was a teen and his performance with Skull Defekts at Lemp NAC a few years back really left an impression. I believe in Fountainsun he explores similar territory of his solo work, which involves a variety of instruments, like the banjo and mouth harp, but incorporates more improvisation and poetry," he adds.
Of special note is Timeghost, performing at the Kerr Foundation on May 4 with Ora Iso, Tyler Damon and Darin Gray. Timeghost takes full sensory control through pounding stobes and dense glitch. Sole member Adam Morosky utters stern words over concrete noise that constantly cracks with a frantic pace. Lights flash in tandem with textural ticks, lending emphasis to each percussive hit.
Rhythms build and break with little warning, but the human element, Morosky's haunting vocals, keep the sound eerily grounded. The video below provides a peak into the live show, but Timeghost is best taken without expectations. His presence pervades the room, crossing the lines between audience and performer.
Analog enthusiasts, take note: Evening of Tapes 2 is an event focused on the cassette tape as both a format and an instrument. Musicians will fill the Kerr Foundation on May 11 with short performances that utilize tape in many facets. Led by St. Louis expat Rick Weaver, Form a Log crafts the kind of dancey undulations you might exact to hear at a high school reunion on Mars. The nomadic trio bends earthly tones into bouncy alien songs.
Below is the full lineup of springtime events brought to you by Jeremy Kannapell. Peruse our latest article on New Music Circle or our monthly column on local noise to find out about more experimental and avant-garde performances in and around St. Louis.
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