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Monday, June 29, 2015

The Best Concerts in St. Louis This Week, June 29 to July 5

Posted By on Mon, Jun 29, 2015 at 7:09 AM

Yankee Racers brings its Americana music to Off Broadway for one final show this Thursday.
  • Yankee Racers brings its Americana music to Off Broadway for one final show this Thursday.

2014 was a big year for local musician Curtis Brewer. Not only did he publicly propose to his girlfriend in music video form (spoiler: she said yes), his flagship group Kentucky Knife Fight split after serving up great rootsy rock for several years. The hits keep coming, for better or worse, and now his acclaimed project Yankee Racers has decided to hang it up. Join Brewer alongside his band and opening act Brotherfather for a farewell gig this Thursday night at Off Broadway.

Alternatively, you could get sunburned (or whisked away by a tornado, if last night is any indication) at Fair St. Louis all weekend with Kool & the Gang, Blondie and many more. Grab a shovel St. Louis, there's plenty to dig all week long.


Little Big Bangs w/ Rough Blush, Swear Beam, Skin Tags Monday, June 29 CBGB 9 p.m. | $5 By Christian Schaeffer From the RFT Music archives: One of the harrowing truths of the recent twentieth anniversary celebration/reissue campaign of Nirvana's In Utero (aside from the relentless march of time and the music press' fixation with fundamentally meaningless anniversaries) is that the current crop of twentysomething rock bands have never existed in a world without grunge. It has been such a part of the musical consciousness that Millennials regard it as "classic rock." All of which is to say: Little Big Bangs is not a grunge band by any stretch -- there's way too much pure-punk energy and rock & roll snarl to call it that -- but the early '90s are part of the DNA of a band whose members were literally coming of age in the early '90s. The band even haphazardly addresses its lineage in the sprawling "Basement," co-opting "Subterranean Homesick Blues" while name-checking Kelley Deal, obscure Sonic Youth songs and, yes, Kurt Cobain. It may be tongue-in-cheek, but you could pick a lot worse patron saints for your band.


Arabrot Tuesday, June 30 Fubar 7 p.m. | $10-$12 w/ Ghold, Buttercup, Van Buren, Planet Eater By Joseph Hess Melvins-esque is a haughty term to throw around, especially in the internet age where every new band ends up being some kind of homage. Nothing is original, eh? Well, the Art Council of Norway seems to think differently. Arabrot might be the only self-described "noise-metal-punk" band that is openly supported by a national arts organization. Those accolades don't come lightly, but the band's brand of sonic density feels especially distinct. Dynamic riffs flow through an ambush of low, warbling tones and taut drumming. Beats syncopate with a special depth, owing to a reliance on heavy downbeats that bring a big release after building tension. Musically, Arabrot serves in the court of King Buzzo but is a secretly a spy for the Crimson King.


NOiSETTE w/ Brain Transplant, Beauty Pageant, Corrigan Brothers, Dave Stone, Janet, Jim Hegarty, NNN Cook, Wamhoda Wednesday, July 1 Foam 8 p.m. | free By Joseph Hess Guitar mangler Mr. Ben serves up his sequel to St. Louis' harshest concert series aptly dubbed NOiSE (all capitals with a lowercase i, very important). Earplugs are strongly suggested, but don't get the wrong idea -- few of these acts ever reach the kind of pulverizing volume that begs for protection. Some artists just sound better with that kind of safety barrier. After all, noise is a heavy word for a genre that includes ambient, electro-acoustic, free-jazz and other cross-pollinating oddities like experimental video and spoken word. And this event features all of the above -- all for the low, low price of zero dollars.


Yankee Racers Farewell Show w/ Brotherfather, The Free Years Thursday, July 2 Off Broadway 8 p.m. | $7 Read more on Yankee Racers in our review of 2014's American Music: When Yankee Racers made its debut with 2012's Duologue, it felt like more of an amorphously defined "project" than a straight-ahead band. That was an intentional dodge, it seemed. The LP was written and composed by Curt Brewer and Nathan Jatcko but performed with the help of a coterie of south St. Louis' best musical talents -- members of So Many Dynamos, Old Lights, Bruiser Queen and the Blind Eyes contributed instrumentation and lead vocals -- so much so that Brewer, the band's ostensible frontman, was rarely heard on the disc. Couple that approach with Duologue's war-torn/post-apocalyptic arc, and it was a safe bet that if and when Yankee Racers released more music, it would be fundamentally different than what came before. Sure enough, for American Music Brewer and Jatcko strip back both the music and the overall approach, and while the album's name serves as a sleight of hand on the title track, it also defines the folk- and jazz-flecked approach to these acoustic songs.

Follow through for more great concerts all weekend long.

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