We'll warn you right now: The Locust is not for the faint of heart. The San Diego four-piece assaults listeners with a jumble of spazzed-out guitar noise, seemingly out-of-control blast-beats, gurgling Moog keyboard mutations and feverish screams. For the uninitiated, it's a sonic mess. For fans of the Butthole Surfers, Ruins or even Captain Beefheart, the Locust presents a challenging but awesome listen.
The band's recent release, Plague Soundscapes, offers 23 tracks in less than 22 minutes. Each "song" is a dense racket of unfriendly noise, as if a UFO crashed into a wall of sound. Song titles such as "Twenty-Three Lubed Up Schizophrenics With Delusions of Grandeur" and "Anything Jesus Can Do I Can Do Better" display the band's twisted humor -- "Wet Dream War Machine" sounds as crazed and perverse as its title.
To top it all off, these vicious noises are brought on by four rail-thin dudes in snot-green insect uniforms (complete with butt-hugging short shorts and scary mesh masks). The Locust plays the Spitfire Club (1717 West Ninth Street in the Bottoms) with Your Enemy's Friends, the Oath, and Plot to Blow Up the Eiffel Tower starting at 7 p.m. The show is all-ages and costs $8. For more information, call 816-421-7525.-- Michael Vennard
Historical fiction takes the stage.
When E.L. Doctorow's sprawling 1975 novel Ragtime was transformed into an ambitious musical more than twenty years later, he gave the production an enthusiastic thumbs-up.
"It's fitting that having gone from music to book, it now goes back to music again," he said. The Broadway production inexplicably closed too soon, but the show is being staged again by the Jewish Community Center (5501 West 115th Street in Overland Park). Besides its lovely Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty score and earthy Terrence McNally look, Ragtime is instilled with the hope of the Jews and African-Americans who, at the beginning of the 1900s, were altering New York forever. But its gravitas is earned by not diluting the horror that accompanied the United States during its growing pains. For more information, Call 913-327-8000.-- Steve Walker