The Best St. Louis Noise/Experimental Shows: April 2014

Darin Gray performs this Friday as part of the Mazurek/Gray Duo. - Robert Iwanik
Robert Iwanik
Darin Gray performs this Friday as part of the Mazurek/Gray Duo.

Deliberately shrill and mostly dense, "noise" has become a blanket term for bands that explore and experiment around the beaten path. The genre, like others, isn't without its share of hangups, but that's why we're here. Every month, we supply a short list of sure bets in St. Louis, ranging from needlessly complex to minimalist drone. Connect the weird to your ears.

This month, our city will host a few noise groups who hold a sort-of "legendary" status in their own respective circles. Whether you're a seasoned vet of swampy sound or just starting to dip your toes in, each show has a lot to offer. Strangely enough, many of April's best events happen early on.

April 4 is packed with many choices, but the adventurous fan should be able to fit both our recommended gigs in before midnight. The Microwaves will play an unsuspecting coffee shop on the eve of Record Store Day later this month -- a must see for anyone who likes, or claims to like, noise rock. As always, a few shows will slip through the cracks or events will get announced on short notice, so feel free to fill in the blanks in the comments section below.

Thursday, April 3 at Apop Records Wolf Eyes Raglani Brain Transplant Self Help 9 p.m. | $10

Wolf Eyes is the Led Zeppelin of noise. Or maybe Black Sabbath. Definitely not the Beatles. The group carries a long-winded mythos from its nearly twenty years of seedy, dangerous performances. While not exactly old, the band as a whole is certainly ripe, as its approach has only evolved over time. With the eclectic electronics of Raglani and the sharp and pointy punk rock of Self Help, the local line-up presents a diversity outside the status quo of a noise show.

Friday, April 4 at Tavern of Fine Arts Rob Mazurek / Darin Gray Duo 10 p.m. | $10-20 suggested donation

This performance is part of the Artist Reception for Kaja Renka's Infirmary of the Subconscious and will start at 10 p.m. to avoid conflicting with other shows happening earlier in the night. Mazurek and Gray are both experimental legends in their own right, and this performance should be short and sweet, but definitely worth your time.

The video above shows Mazurek performing with Jeff Parker of Chicago post-rock band Tortoise. While it's not an accurate depiction of the sounds Mazurek will make alongside Gray, expect to see the same realm of experimental music.

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