Depending on your informational source, a gutbucket is a homemade bass fiddle with a single catgut string, a prison chamber pot or your stomach. Ask discerning audiences and they're likely to tell you that the band gutbucket is one of the best things going in modern non-jazz. The New York quartet formed in 1999 and has made short work of destroying every genre-prison built to hold it. A wedge of calypso-flavored Latin rhythms between thick slices of rock and jazz (and what have been called "pushy" melodies by those who've been pushed around personally by gutbucket's music) is a weak description for what must be experienced live.
Taking a page from the books of Danny Elfman, Mark Mothersbaugh and Stewart Copeland, gutbucket has moved into scoring film, albeit with a couple of key distinctions. First, the band members have done it together without having to break up the original collaborative; second, they're scoring the films live as a performance. These performances are high-energy focus groups on complementary art forms and are never ponderous. Having recently finished a stint scoring Nick Park's equally lively and innovative Wallace and Gromit animated shorts, gutbucket has its sights on accompanying early cartoons featuring Superman and Johnny the Giant Killer. The band's one-night stand at the Center of Creative Arts (524 Trinity Avenue, 314-725-6555 or www.cocastl.org) promises to be memorable. Tickets are $12, and the performance begins at 8 p.m. -- Jedidiah Ayres
More Clay Play
Clay is the ultimate creative medium with its cool, damp ooshy-gushiness. No wonder kids like it so much. Plus, after their clay masterpiece is created, they have gifts for their parents that are much more difficult to throw away than coloring-book pages. (Like that twenty-year-old lopsided, one-eared, green "dog" that's still on Mom's dresser. Good work.) On Saturday, April 3, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sunday, April 4, from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., the Magic House (516 South Kirkwood Road, 314-822-8900) offers More Clay Play workshops. Pinching, coiling and throwing the clay is free with museum admission ($6.50 -- what a small price to pay for a child's pleasure and a parent's next pinch pot). -- Alison Sieloff