The Best Concerts in St. Louis From December 1 to 7

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Although Garth Brooks has four concerts planned at the Scottrade Center this week, fans should wait with bated breath. The larger than life country star just canceled his recent appearance on the Tonight Show -- he said it "seemed distasteful" in light of recent events in Ferguson. Regardless, there's always something to do every night of the week in St. Louis. Read on for just a few highlights in the coming week, and if you don't see a show you think other readers might want to know about, share it in the comments below.

Haunter Monday, December 1 Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center 8 p.m. | $5 By Joseph Hess Iowa native K. Arthur Miller aka Haunter brings huge, slow burning songs that could only come from the flat heart of Midwestern America. While the noise clearly comes through patient use of electronics, the textures feel earthly and familiar, invoking nostalgia. Haunter climbs a steady incline by building layer upon layer of stringent sound. Harsh tones are introduced with a subtle hand, careful not to interrupt the cyclical, hypnotic drone. Haunter is made for deep listening -- an aural meditation.

White Mystery w/ Animal Teeth, Dad Jr., Shitstorm, The Jockstraps Tuesday, December 2 Foam Coffee & Beer 8:30 p.m. | $6 By Christian Schaeffer St. Louis only has room for one Red Rocker in its heart (St. Hagar, pray for us), but Chicago prefers its fiery-maned rock stars with a little less Cabo Wabo and a whole lot more raw rock power. Alex White has been a mainstay on the city's garage rock scene since she picked up a guitar and fronted the Red Orchestra in her early twenties. Alex and her similarly ginger-haired brother Francis Scott Key White have joined forces for the two-piece White Mystery, a scuzzy, jangly, full-throttled take on the Velvets/Stooges canon.

click to enlarge The Best Concerts in St. Louis From December 1 to 7
Jason Stoff

Alt-J w/ Vance Joy, Meg Myers Wednesday, December 3 The Pageant 8 p.m. | $37.50-$42.50 Joseph Hess Alt-J updates the recipe for Britpop, driving simple melodies through strong vocal harmony. Fuzzy synth provides thick skin for a fragile guitar sound that couldn't stand alone -- but Alt-J gives greater context to simple, infectious riffs through a careful arrangement. The drums are loose-fitting, but that's not to say the rhythm section feels sloppy. A stricter percussive sound might suffocate the key moments where voices, strings and keys come together. In that, the band's best weapon might be its use of space.

Mustard Plug Thursday, December 4 Off Broadway 7:30 p.m. | $12 By Daniel Hill From the RFT Music archives: Ah, ska: the genre that won't quit. From the original Jamaican ska born in the late '50s to the "2 Tone" of the '70s and, yes, even the oft-ridiculed "third wave" ska-punk of the '90s, the infectious upstrokes and "pick it ups" central to the ska sound always seem to come back around -- sometimes to the chagrin of purists. Yes, Reel Big Fish got really annoying really fast, but it was far from the standout of the genre. Bands like Skankin' Pickle, the Blue Meanies, the Pietasters and even St. Louis' own MU330 proved that third-wave ska can be played in such a way that it doesn't make one want to shove a fork in one's own ear. Mustard Plug is another of these bands -- formed in 1991, it has been expertly balancing the punk and ska elements that have defined the genre for more than twenty years.

Follow through for our weekend recommendations.

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