Every October I go hunting for music that captures the Halloween spirit. Chicago has no shortage of options, but today I’m sharing a find from Saint Louis. Postpunk trio Trauma Harness summon the creeping dread and giddy fun of horror stories with cavernous bass lines, foreboding laughter, and sheaths of echoing guitar effects. The playfully […]
Tag: Saint Louis
An improvised-music summit offers contrasting experiences of community and austerity
The double album Houston 2012 captures a two-day encounter in October 2012 between English tabletop guitarist Keith Rowe and the experimental-music community of Houston, Texas. Rowe’s visit came about thanks to the initiative of Saint Louis double bassist Damon Smith, who lived in Texas at the time. While there Smith developed a strong working relationship […]
Studio-born midwestern rockers Cumbie introduce their music to the world with their debut EP
Cumbie front man Aaron O’Neill says his three-piece isn’t a “real band”—they’ve only ever performed publicly once—but on their new self-released debut, EP, they rock like road-tested veterans. O’Neill started writing the record’s sleek, rowdy songs a couple years ago, when he lived in Saint Louis (he played in several bands there, including Shady Bug, […]
Saint Louis rapper-singer Smino re-creates the fun of classic hip-hop mixtapes on She Already Decided “Mixtape”
When rapper-singer Smino self-released She Already Decided on April 20, he added “Mixtape” in scare quotes to the title on Soundcloud. In doing so, the Saint Louis native provided a sly history lesson for young listeners who’ve only ever referred to full-lengths as “projects.” A decade ago, hip-hop mixtapes provided a way for rappers to […]
Tiny people looking for a rainbow connection on the gig poster of the week
This week’s featured gig poster was designed by the members of Saint Louis band Pono AM.
Saint Louis sludge lords Fister pick up the pace on No Spirit Within
Ten years in business, these Saint Louis-based sludge machines attempt the delicate task of balancing a what-you-see-is-what-you-get approach with the ability to surprise. Their 2011 full-length debut, Bronsonic, is a gnarly, bowel-troweling slab of noise that shows their utter commitment to punishing heaviness, though they do offer a sly wink with song titles such as […]
Chicago-based Saint Louis rapper Smino gets ‘a lot more ass shaking’ on the new Noir
On his sophomore album, Noir, Smino highlights his rap skills without abandoning the soulful singing of Blkswn.
Chicago has a real shot at hosting World Cup games in 2026, and other news
Also, the Illinois house failed to pass a ban on semiautomatic rifle bump stocks.
Phil Cohran shaped the Black Arts Movement with his vision and discipline
Secret History pays tribute to its first subject, the late Phil Cohran, who cofounded the AACM, formed the Artistic Heritage Ensemble, and launched the Affro-Arts Theater.
Chicago rapper Valee ends his catchy songs so early you’ll want to imagine where they might’ve led
Local rapper Valee may be too idiosyncratic to sound specifically Chicagoan, but he couldn’t have made the concise, open-ended songs on his new 1988 mixtape anywhere else.
Smino raps like he’s from his own planet on his debut album, Blkswn
Rising Chicago rap star Smino grew up in Saint Louis, but the idiosyncratic sound on his new debut album can’t be pinpointed on any map.
So what is a great Chicago book anyway?
Some more thoughts about greatness and Chicago-ness at our tournament’s halfway point.
Burroughs lays bare the notorious author of Naked Lunch
This 1983 documentary gets Burroughs right between the eyes.
Noisy hardcore from Shaved Women on ‘I Don’t Belong Here’
This long-running band from Saint Louis plays a DIY show tomorrow night.
Covering the rust belt for readers who don’t like to think they’re part of it
A website for the rust belt turns one.