Somehow St. Louis has become a contender in the world of advanced rock mathematics. While the shiny demigods of the rock overground continue to bypass St. Louis on their world tours (are we not the world? Are we not the children?), more and more underground-noise beasties are making the trip to the River City. In the past year, Cheer-Accident, Jackie-O Motherfucker, Hair Police and Khanate all graced our fair town.
Certainly some of the credit goes to venues such as the Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center and the revitalized Radio Cherokee, both of which provide a welcome home for fans of the skronky, loud, discordant and downright weird. These loci of wonder also serve as breeding grounds for future waves of messed-up bands, as fans of the genre rub shoulders and exchange ideas, dreaming up new assaults on the senses.
Such is the case with relatively new band the Arch. Sort of a (don't call it a supergroup) mélange of other forward-thrusting local groups, the Arch features Chris Boron, Shawn O'Connor, Mike Benker, Mike Broy and Dave Todd, past and present members of bands as diverse as There's a Killer Among Us, Yowie, the Conformists, the Mellowfeathers and November 17th. The Arch is not a side project; its members spent more than a year writing their only song (an untitled opus that runs for eighteen minutes), which they are now inflicting on random crowds. And no, it's not, in Todd's words, "a long wanking 'jazz odyssey.'" This is composed, structured music, which Todd compares to "driving from St. Louis to the North Pole: some smooth parts, some bumpy parts, some straight-aways and some sharp turns."
The Arch embarks on its road trip at 8 p.m. at the Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center (3301 Lemp Avenue, 314-771-1096). Admission is $5, which is pretty cheap for a ride to the Arctic Circle. -- Paul Friswold
Your Style Is Strong
When the midweek doldrums attack, give 'em a swift kick in the pants! And a roundhouse to the face! And a lightning-quick leg sweep! The Webster University Film Series (314-968-7487) presents Snake in Eagle's Shadow, the 1978 kung-fu milestone that helped catapult Jackie Chan to international stardom. The plot involves rival martial-arts styles and an unlikely hero who rises from chump to champ with the help of a wise master. The humor and balletic action are fast and furious. Director Woo-ping Yuen (choreographer for Iron Monkey and The Matrix) flexes his influential imagination at 7:30 p.m. at Beatnik Bob's (in the City Museum, 701 North 15th Street) on Wednesday, April 7, and again at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 8, in the Moore Auditorium (470 East Lockwood Avenue). Tickets are $4. -- Jedidiah Ayres
Ain't It Funky Now?
Funky Fairy Tales are not stories with stinky stuff in them (like Hansel out in a cage getting fat and Gretel eating crab shells -- quite a smelly pair). Rather, they are funkified versions of the old favorites, such as Yo! Hungry Wolf. (Wonder which wolf story that is? You'll have to attend to hear it for yourself.) Put some P-Funk in the hi-fi and groove on over to the Rock Road branch of the St. Louis County Library (10267 St. Charles Rock Road, 314-429-5116) at 7 p.m. Not only can funk disciples hear Bubba the Cowboy Prince and other gems, but the library will also be showing a movie and providing the opportunity to make a craft (!) to complete the night of funkification. -- Alison Sieloff
Zeke Ain't Meek
Pity poor Zeke. No, not because they're in the opening slot for a metal-band showcase (with Superjoint Ritual, Clutch and Deicide), but because if they were just slightly more attractive, they'd be all over MTV. Blind Marky Felchtone writes blistering snot-rock songs that those stiffs in the Vines/the Hives/the Strokes wish they could compose, but he's just not telegenic, what with his greasy hair, pasty complexion and thick glasses. Still, if you value garage punk crafted by guys who look less like models and more like garage employees, you're going to love Zeke. They jump-start your heart at 7:30 p.m. at Pop's (1403 Mississippi Avenue, Sauget, Illinois; 618-274-6720), and tickets are just $20. -- Paul Friswold