Squares Pegged

Profiling St. Louis' most ethical band, the Red Squares, sparks an ethical dilemma

But when they hit it, they can spit out a melody and a hook with the ferocity of the greats -- something they've yet to capture in the studio (we've only heard their recently released three-song single, "Oh! Girlie Girl!"). Live, they're as tight as they should be: On shitty sound systems, their work ethic shows, and on good sound systems, they're so good that they deserve thousands of diehard fans. They're playing all over in the month of October; check their Web site -- www.theredsquares.com -- for updates.

QUICKIES: Those feeling like they've missed the boat on the jam-band movement and clueless with regard to that vibrant scene's active participants (including, ahem, at least one member of the "Radar Station" staff) should know that the second annual Battle of the Jam Bands kicks off this week at the home for Bands That Freakin' Jam in St. Louis, Cicero's in the Loop. If you're truly committed to unearthing the scene's gems, the competition is a great way to do it: On each Thursday for the next month, three bands per night will compete to make it to the finals on Oct. 26. The first installment, Oct. 5, features Jive Turkey (which we wouldn't peg as a "jam band" per se), CPB and Illtet. This evening is a nice initiation; closed-minded losers (like at least one member of the "Radar Station" staff) have been known to be surprised by some bands billing themselves as in the "jam" vein, and clueless attendees (including at least one member of the "Radar Station" staff) have stood corrected and even, yes, impressed.... News is that the Side Door/Hot Locust space has been leased by the kings of cover-band schmaltz, Dr. Zhivegas. The band will be operating the front of the room as a restaurant and the back Side Door space as a club, one in which they'll be the house band. They plan to augment the venue's offerings with two turntables and DJs. Those expecting a snide, dismissive comment will get none; we're encouraged by the band's ingenuity and think it's a pretty good idea. That they probably won't be hiring the bands that used to play the old Side Door, though a drag, is expected and inevitable; after all, that club's booking policies, which earned them worthless street-cred points, obviously didn't pay the bills.

The Red Squares play punk rock funneled through '60s AM radio, all hooky and melodic and romantic.
The Red Squares play punk rock funneled through '60s AM radio, all hooky and melodic and romantic.

Related Link:
Jason Toon's Green Party Ballot

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