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

David Burnett, artist and member of Beauty Pageant. - Mabel Suen
Mabel Suen
David Burnett, artist and member of Beauty Pageant.

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.

Chicago artist Muyassar Kurdi bends natural tones into meditative songs. Her subtle use of strings comes stacked atop wandering howls, making for a soft, warbling sound with discernible depth. Kurdi often works within a duo or trio, but her distinct style as the Humminbird glows through. While each piece is played with a visceral punch, the sum of the parts feels amorphous rather than solid or strict. While the Humminbird is still young (birthed in 2012), Kurdi's approach to songwriting feels mature beyond her years. Catch her along with local openers Ghosts I Have Been and Beauty Pageant on May 11 at the Revisionist Inn.

Sunday, May 11, at the Revisionist Inn The Humminbird (IL) Beauty Pageant Ghosts I Have Been 7 p.m. | $5 suggested donation

In general, Beauty Pageant provides an antithesis to music. While the Humminbird tinkers with palatable sound to achieve its own experimental ends, Beauty Pageant is a knock-down, drag-out attack on your ears. Expect pulsing synth under scattershot percussion and the unnatural merger of dissonant guitar and feminine howls.

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