The 5 Best Concerts in St. Louis This Weekend, May 25 to 27

click to enlarge Oren Major will perform at Foam on Saturday. - VIA ARTIST BANDCAMP
Oren Major will perform at Foam on Saturday.
Each week we bring you our picks for the best shows of the weekend! To submit your show for consideration, click here. All events subject to change; check with the venue for the most up-to-date information.


JoAnn McNeil w/ Hushgush, Grocer, Aiko Tsuchida
9 p.m. El Leñador Bar & Grill, 3124 Cherokee Street. $5. 314-875-9955.
What makes emerging artist JoAnn McNeil so distinct isn't merely found through her warped visual work or her gentle exploration of sound. It takes both a discerning ear and eye — and possibly a sixth sense — to wholly indulge in McNeil's art, which feels plucked from a spiritual portal that's hiding in plain sight. This night surrounds the sonic sculptor with like-minded acts that range from dense and orchestral to minimalist and meandering, and El Leñador's faux-German decor is a Lynchian fever dream that works in kind with all the noise.

SLAM Underground: Action
7 p.m. Saint Louis Art Museum, 1 Fine Arts Drive. Free. 314-721-0072.
SLAM weaves together sight and sound, then twists the work into an inter-dimensional race across the east and west. It all starts with film and continues through the night with live performances by St. Louis' own Hounds and the renowned DJ Agile One. Sun Xun: Time Spy is the exhibit on hand, offering an interdisciplinary work animating the centuries-old technique of woodblock printing. The indie-rockers in Hounds have been called on to provide a live presence to the night, which marries all the disparate elements into a cool, inclusive vibe.

Zepparella w/ Sisser
8 p.m. Off Broadway, 3509 Lemp Avenue. $15. 314-498-6989.
Rather than strive for hard-nosed accuracy or a carbon-copy of what has become holy parchment, Zepparella takes Led Zeppelin as a spiritual guide rather than a template. Sure, the fact that the band is made up of four women makes for good marketing, but that's little more than subtext next to the intricate grooves and impossibly polyrhythmic rip throughout. Plant, Page, Jones and Bonham are merely molds for vocalist Noelle Doughty, guitarist Gretchen Menn, bassist Angeline Saris and drummer Clementine to break as the legendary rock catalog is merely a map for Zepparella to navigate. Now, just for fun, try to imagine what ZAPPArella would sound like.


Black Privilege Tour w/ Oren Major, Tonero, Paris Cherrell, Ghost Le'on, Louie100
8 p.m. Foam Coffee and Beer, 3359 Jefferson Avenue. $7. 314-772-2100.
Atlanta native Oren Major won't shy from being geek-chic and evocative in a single breath. The rapper's tour poster has “Black Privilege” scrawled across the top with art that straight-up apes Dragon Ball Z. Maybe that's disarming, but Oren Major opts to dive in bare-naked — figuratively speaking — with a buoyancy befitting, for the lack of a better comparison, a young Kanye. This is lyrical sharpshooting that pulls no punches and leaves little to the imagination.

Cooper-Moore, Joshua Abrams and Hamid Drake
8 p.m. Off Broadway, 3509 Lemp Avenue. $10 to $20. 314-498-6989.
New Music Circle wraps up its 59th year by bringing, forgive the hyperbole, an all-star ensemble to the stage at Off Broadway. While the organization has paired its exploratory programs with equally eclectic venues such as warehouses, art galleries and theaters, NMC calls on the tried-and-true concert quarters at Off Broadway to host this supergroup. Cooper-Moore (self-built instruments, keyboards, percussion) leads accomplished film scorer Joshua Abrams (guimbri, upright bass) and Hamid Drake (drums) for a compelling and adventurous night of incredible avant jazz and free-improvisation.
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