The Mellowfeathers with Brick Bat and the French New Wave 

Sunday, July 29; Ramp Riders Skate Park

Skateboarding and punk rock have a mutual history as tangled, sweaty and bombastic as a pair of masked Mexican wrestlers locked in a grudge match. Take one away, and it's just a wild-eyed guy flailing about in the public arena; put 'em together, and you have an epic struggle that blends drama, art and intelligence with the risk of Atomic Skullcrackers.The folks who run the Ramp Riders Skate Park (3001 Locust St.) understand the complex dynamic of the skate/punk relationship. Not the acceptable mass-market punk of today's Blink 182 or Sum41 -- no, these guys know in their guts that punk rock, like skateboarding, should be a little dirty and dodgy. To this end, they've sporadically invited local bands to serenade (or perhaps antagonize) their skaterats, hosting a triple bill a few months back that boasted Captain Captain, the Conformists and There's a Killer Among Us. Deciding to up that already high ante, Ramp Riders has scheduled an even more potent threefer this weekend, featuring the French New Wave, Brick Bat and the Mellowfeathers (pictured). Obviously the question is not whether you should attend; St. Louis desperately needs another live-music venue with an adventurous booking policy, and your support is crucial if Ramp Riders is to continue these shows. No, the real question is, "What style of skating works with each band?"

The French New Wave is an emo band from Oshkosh, Wis., so dust off your hand-plant variants, Primo slides, swizzle sticks and jump-ramp chicanery. Brick Bat is a three-bass, one-drum blasting cap from the East Side, so aggressive-yet-soulful vert runs (lots of axle stalls, smith grinds and the occasional lazy Madonna) will be both appropriate and lovely. Headliners the Mellowfeathers are a multiguitar noise unit from the abandoned mines under Collinsville who are nauseatingly loud and disorienting. Any willfully self-destructive skating -- sacking over and over on the same rail, Rocket Airs to face-plant, Ax Murderers directly to one's own forehead or just pumping flat out into the wall -- will more than satisfy the Mellowfeathers' thanotopic urges. Viva life, muchachos!

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