Monday, October 6, 2014

The Best St. Louis Noise/Experimental Concerts: October 2014

Posted By on Mon, Oct 6, 2014 at 11:00 AM

Jon Mueller performs at Foam on Friday, October 17. - KAT SCHLEICHER
  • Kat Schleicher
  • Jon Mueller performs at Foam on Friday, October 17.

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.

As of this week, this column is one year old. Not that I'm a fan of waxing nostalgic, but the past twelve months have brought many incredible shows to St. Louis - Norwegian noise rock band Staer, Nakatani Gong Orchestra, Cheer-Accident and Jandek - just to name a few highlights. If you have a favorite gig of the past year, share it with us in the comments below.

This month we bring you a list of shows that lean heavily on synthesizer. These sounds come straight to you from circuitry that might as well be black magic to most people. One major component of electronic noise is the equipment used to produce the sound - often it is specially modded by the artist to create unique tones and texture. Some performers prefer to keep their vintage gear authentic and work within the confines of a limited piece to craft distinct sound.

die Reihe with Skull's Mind and Network Glass Saturday, October 11 Apop Records 9 p.m. | $5 | All Ages

St. Louis ex-pat Jack Callahan returns to St. Louis as die Reihe to play the final in-store performance at Apop Records. Callahan works through modular synthesizer and disparate samples to create meditative drones that test patience and sonic tolerance. Using repetition to build expectations, he constructs an atmosphere where any sound feels possible - nothing is off limits.

It's hard to say if Skull's Mind is a parody shilling of Pop music, but the duo makes a dance music that deconstructs, folding unto itself in uneasy, noisy fashion. There's enough comedy injected (through chanting "baby girl" ad infinitum) to make you question if the band is trolling everyone in the room - but the substance is there - despite the performers' facade that it isn't.

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