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Thursday, March 5, 2015

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

Posted By on Thu, Mar 5, 2015 at 10:00 AM

Wolf Eyes brings its "trip metal" to the Luminary with Yowie and Brain Transplant on March 16. - PHOTO COURTESY OF SUB POP
  • Photo courtesy of Sub Pop
  • Wolf Eyes brings its "trip metal" to the Luminary with Yowie and Brain Transplant on March 16.

"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.

Wolf Eyes came along in the late '90s, a time when noise was in vogue and breached the walls between audience and performer. Fashion tends to move in twenty-year cycles, so the world is about due for a new noise renaissance. Led by American noise alum Nate Young, this trio builds strict industrial beats over a metallic-guitar mess. Tones drop and climb in rapid succession, twisting in tandem around scratchy sonic abrasions. The whole affair feels both confined and completely free -- a testament to the band's versatility.

Wolf Eyes w/ Yowie, Brain Transplant Monday, March 16 The Luminary 8 p.m. | $10/$15 Remember when Yowie received the RFT Best Of St. Louis award for Best Noise Band in 2004? From ten years ago: "Describing this as noise music is unfair; it implies that they merely make noise. Fueled by frantic pounding from drummer Defenestrator (Shawn O'Connor to his mom), the band sounds like Einstein discovering the theory of relativity while hopped up on meth and psilocybin -- genius ideas of how everything connects spewed raw and uncontained, formulae and fact swirling in broken code, riding between rational thought and complete breakdown. Now that the band's signed to Skin Graft Records and is working on a full-length album, the grandiose chaos of Yowie will soon be loosed on the world. Will the world understand it? Not even Rod Serling could say."

In the late '90s and early '00s, Brain Transplant founding member Chris Smentowski was responsible for bringing some of America's most prominent noise acts to St. Louis (including Wolf Eyes). His influence not only helped inspire other local promoters to book experimental shows of their own, but his work in Brain Transplant no doubt inspired many to follow the path of noise. Many people in this city discovered the genre because of this band.

And for the (un)official Wolf Eyes afterparty: O'ó of Dallas performs with Bludded Head and Van Buren at Foam. The ensemble (featuring members of the Unconscious Collective) blends frantic free jazz with low harsh tones to build a dark, threatening sound.

Follow through for more experimental concerts in March.

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