This week, look forward to stops in town from touring bands including No Age, Typhoon, Against Me!, Billy Bragg and Black Prairie. An Undercover Weekend 7 takes over the stage at the Firebird, too! Get details on these shows and more in our show recommendations.
No Age Monday, September 16, 8 p.m w/ Ghost Ice, Trauma Harness @ Billiken Club - free By Joseph Hess The St. Louis University-based Billiken Club often hosted musical miscreants in years past, and the relaunch this Monday returns the venue to form with a full-on pile of noise. No Age, from LA, cruises through on its latest LP, An Object, out on Sub Pop Records. The stillborn child of many '90s ne'er-do-wells, No Age takes what old heads used to call "indie rock" and crams it through a woodchipper. The result compacts guitar into fierce rhythmic boxes while throaty croons chug along. The guitar manages to fill in any craving for bass or keys through a pile of footswitch tricks. There's a fulcrum between rock and feedback squalor; No Age occupies that space with succinct sound.
Typhoon Tuesday, September 17, 8 p.m. w/ Radiation City, Bo & The Locomotive @ Old Rock House - $10/$12 By Roy Kasten If you thought the tide of quasi-chamber folk bands flowing out of the Northwest would ebb anytime soon, forget it. Led by songwriter Kyle Morton, Typhoon seems to echo the likes of Beirut or Lord Huron, though on the newly released, highly ambitious White Lighter the only thing canned about the orchestral production is the Victrola-sampled prelude and the only hints of crunchiness are the blasts of electric guitar. With what sounds like half the music majors in Portland shouting, clapping, plucking, blaring and bounding around him, Morton masters folk-pop pastiche with an imagination and voice as big as his arrangements.
Big George Brock Tuesday, September 17, 7:30 p.m @ The Sheldon - $10 By Jenn DeRose Big George Brock is drenched in the authenticity that younger bluesmen -- those under 75 years old -- would shoot their own mothers for. Everything about George Brock is big, even his style: Brock's huge frame is consistently covered by vibrant pinstriped suits and his head is crowned by panama hats that barely contain the shimmering curls below. His bejeweled hands make his harmonica and microphone look like children's toys as he leisurely draws them towards his mustachioed face and blows harp with the arresting power earned from a lifetime of work. After a summer of outdoor events like the Whitaker Music Festival in the Missouri Botanical Gardens and the Big Muddy Blues Festival, it will be a treat to catch Big George Brock and the New Houserockers in a more intimate venue where the audience can be enveloped in the massive sound.
Already Dead Tapes Showcase Wednesday, September 18, 8 p.m. w/ Teenage Tasteless, Problems that Fix Themselves, Bill Tucker, Electric Nature, Jake Leech, Ou Ou, Britches @ Apop Records - $7 By Joseph Hess From "The Best St. Louis Noise/Experimental Shows: September 2013": Seven bands for seven dollars. Before you moan at the impending marathon and click elsewhere, there's a subtle detail these shows tend to share with hardcore or punk. Sets last roughly 15-20 minutes. The A.D.D. laden population should rest easy. After all, isn't a schizophrenic jamming of genres more in line with American society than say, an easy to follow, repetitive pop hit? One would think. Britches, featured above, gives a sampling of the gig's particular flavor, but don't dismiss one for the other. Already Dead, the tape label from Chicago, brings bands from Germany, Chicago and Atlanta.
Against Me! Thursday, September 19, 8 p.m. w/ Off With Their Heads, Hop Along @ The Firebird - $20-$22 By Michael Dauhpin It's been over three years since Gainesville, Florida's Against Me! released its highest-charting (number 34 of Billboard 200), Butch Vig-produced White Crosses album -- a furious punk rock offering with mainstream rock & roll underpinnings. Since that time, the band cut ties with its label, Sire Records, and added drumming royalty, Jay Weinberg, son of Max, to its lineup. Weinberg subsequently -- and abruptly -- quit in the midst of recording. Longtime bassist Andrew Seward also stepped down and the band started its own label, Total Treble. Also in that time, singer Laura Jane Grace came out as transgender, after having dealt with gender dysphoria her whole life, and began her transition to living as a female. All things considered, one has to think Laura Grace has had plenty of inspiration to draw from while penning the band's next album.