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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The Best St. Louis Noise/Experimental Concerts: January 2015

Posted By on Tue, Jan 13, 2015 at 5:00 AM

"Noise" has become a blanket term for bands that explore and experiment around the beaten path. The genre, like others, is huge and diverse but not without its share of hangups. 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.

Many artists seemed to freeze in the wake of Ferguson, either shifting their focus to the matter at hand or dealing with the affair in a reclusive way. With news of gear theft and general unrest, 2014 was harsh to local music fans in general -- especially for the smaller niche groups. With continuing series from New Music Circle and the Society For Creative Survival, the theme this month seems to be "moving forward." Nathan Cook's Bruxism returns as well, along with visits from Xerome and Pharmakon.

New Music Circle Presents: Johanna Ballou w/ Stella Markou Saturday, January 17 The 560 Music Center 7 p.m. | $10-$20 Known for her collaborative work within the Welsh film and art scene, Johanna Ballou takes to contemporary classical music with an earnest style that feels calculated but luckily not too careful. Her approach to piano weaves between frantic fingering and patient chords to command a textural diversity. Ballou's blend of clean keys with electronics builds a strong tonal contrast that carries well atop a natural sense of rhythm. As with all New Music Circle events, the price scales from $10 to $20 with the cheaper ticket reserved for struggling artists and students.

Xerome Wednesday, January 21 Blank Space 9 p.m. | $5 w/ Drippy Inputs, Trancers Last year, Jeremy Harris shed his long-time moniker of Lazy Magnet in favor of simplicity: Jerome had emerged a distilled form of warbling synth locked in succinct, static-y dirges. To further complicate his own naming convention, Harris has re-branded again, but really, who can blame him? Jerome isn't exactly Google friendly and Xerome seems to fit the gloomy boom that Harris worked so hard to carve out from years of harsh noise. This is dance music that revels in the journey above the overrated destination (most often referred to as the "bass drop" or the breakdown). The subtle depth here rewards both passive and active listeners alike.

Read on for more noise and experimental shows through January.

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