Last week we alluded to the fact that this March is a great time to be a music fan in St. Louis....this week we're driving the point home and then some. Unless you are capable of bi-location (or in some cases: tri / quadro), you are going to miss some good shows this week. We have Andrew Bird at the Pageant, Chuck Prophet at Off Broadway, Astronautalis & Busdriver at The Firebird, and Juelz Santana's birthday show at Club Amnesia....and that's just Thursday night. For the rest of the week there'll be appearances by Hank Williams III, Henry Rollins, Narrows, Warbringer, Rosie Thomas, Relentless Approach and more. Read up and start strategizing your week; it's going to be a hectic one.
Code Orange Kids Mon., March 19, 7:00pm @ Atomic Cowboy - $10-12 By Daniel Hill Pittsburgh hardcore's Code Orange Kids -- "kids" indeed, with a median age of 18 -- don't sound like a typical hardcore band. Maybe its more difficult to know what "typical" means to a music scene when you're just out of high school, or maybe that fact simply makes it easier to just not give a shit. Either way, Code Orange Kids incorporate their own elements into a typically hard-edged sound, with instances of quiet melody scattered throughout that make the gritty hardcore songs that much more in-your-face. The end result is dirgy, angry, occasionally disarmingly pretty, and downright refreshing. Their Deathwish debut is supposed to drop later this year; come to this show so you can say you knew about 'em before they blew up.
Delta Spirit Tues., March 20, 8:00pm @ Old Rock House - $12 By Chris Bay It's a curious affair when a band with two solid records to its name decides to self-title its third, as Delta Spirit has just done. Whatever the motivation, the band seems to want the songs to speak for themselves, without the aid of extra inscription on the spine. Its third record will be the first that many have heard, but if Delta Spirit continues to put out collections like these ― full of sincere, often anthemic heartland rock with a sunny Cali streak ― it won't be the last. Littlest Middle Brother: Lead singer Matthew Vasquez is part of the supergroup Middle Brother, along with Deer Tick's John McCauley and Dawes' Taylor Goldsmith.
Warbringer Tues., March 20, 7:30pm @ The Firebird - $12 By Daniel Hill Warbringer formed in 2004, just as the "New Wave of Thrash" revival was first gaining steam, and quickly charged to the forefront of metal media's minds by signing a deal with Century Media and embarking on a national tour with Exodus. Since then all has been uphill for the young thrash-metal masters: they've released three LPs -- 2008's War Without End, 2009's Waking Into Nightmares and 2011's Worlds Torn Asunder. They've been to Europe (four times), Asia, and all over North America. They've toured with Napalm Death, Kreator, Overkill, Evile and a slew of other top-tier metal acts. Though the trend came and went with most already hanging up their freshly-bought white Nike hi-tops, Warbringer has proven they are here to stay..
Narrows Tues. March 20, 8:00pm @ Cicero's - $10 By Ryan Wasoba Botch was not the only band making artistic, relevant hardcore records at the end of the 1990s, but it's seemingly the only one not reuniting for Coachella. Since its demise, members furthered the band's legacy in groups like Minus The Bear and Russian Circles. Singer Dave Verellen, who did time in These Arms Are Snakes and Roy, now fronts the post-hardcore powerhouse Narrows. Driven by Verellen's tough but not "tough guy" vocals, Narrows captures the essence of his former outfit without creative backtracking; the band omits the breakdowns that [insert Warped Tour screamo band here] cherry picked from the Botch catalog and comes off like a rowdier, metal-aware Drive Like Jehu.
Hank Williams III Wed., March 21, 7:00pm @ Pop's - $20-22 By Daniel Hill As the grandson of country music legend Hank Williams Sr. and son of country music....uh, musician Hank Jr., one would think they could accurately surmise that Hank III specializes in country music. While certainly well within his wheelhouse, country is but one of Hank III's specialties. In fact, this past fall the man simultaneously released four, count 'em, four new albums with genres ranging from country to doom rock to speed metal (with real-life cattle auctioneers lending help with vocals....SERIOUSLY). You can imagine the trouble I had figuring out what genre to tag this show as. File under "Rebel music" and get your ass to this show.
Rosie Thomas Wed., March 21, 8:00pm @ Old Rock House - $10 Christian Schaeffer Pin a label on Rosie Thomas at your peril. Her pop-laced folk albums were breathy outliers on Sub Pop's roster during the mid-'00s, both timeless and charmingly out of step with current trends. Friendships with Sufjan Stevens, Damien Jurado and Denison Witmer offered Thomas to opportunity to prove her chops as a back-up singer, and her 2008 holiday release A Very Rosie Christmas remains a bright-eyed addition to the canon. But with this year's With Love, Thomas has released her first LP of original material in seven years. The time has strengthened her chops and honed her emotionally honest and knowingly intuitive songwriting.
Andrew Bird Thu., March 22, 8:00pm @ The Pageant - $30 By Christian Schaeffer Watching an Andrew Bird concert is a little like viewing one of those time-lapse videos of a high-rise being built: With architectural precision, he layers loops of violin, guitar, vocals and whistles atop one another until a perfect, structurally sound pop song is left standing. His live show gives a visual analog to his recordings, which are breezy, elastic affairs. On the just-released Break it Yourself, Bird's trademarks are in place ― the pizzicato plucks that scatter like warm raindrops, the whistle solos that should by now feel tiresome but never do ― and yet the LP feels both looser and more cohesive than his past few records. Birds of a Feather: For the new record, Bird collaborated with his touring band instead of carrying the weight on his own, as he has in the recent past.
Astronautalis & Busdriver Thu., March 22, 8:30pm @ The Firebird - $12-14 By Ryan Wasoba Astronautalis and Busdriver's ascents to notoriety were far outside of the norm for hip-hop artists. The former released an album on Eyeball Records (one-time home of Thursday and The Number 12 Looks Like You) and toured with Tegan and Sara. The latter had his big break with a guest rap on Islands' debut Return To The Sea and recorded a split with Deerhoof. Given that Astronautalis is an indie rock singer songwriter in a hip-hop shell and Busdriver is an oddball MC with a hyperactive flow and thesaurus-caliber vocabulary, the atypical career arcs are fitting. Likeminded Anticon artist Jel opens.
MORE SHOWS ON PAGE 2