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Hey diddle diddle: The easiest way to identify the poisonous brown recluse spider is by the shiny violin pattern on its head — which has garnered it the nickname "fiddleback." While same-named St. Louis jazz fiddle trio FiddleBack (www.fiddleback.org) are hardly venomous, they are indeed infectious, nesting in the ears with impressive aplomb. Best of all, you don't need a can of Raid to catch them at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, January 17, with special guests the St. Louis Fiddle Ensemble. The concert is at the Sheldon (3648 Washington Boulevard; 314-533-9900), and tickets are $6 in advance or $8 the day of the show.

Saturday school: Class, you are being assigned one 4 p.m. class this Saturday, January 14, with Rushmore Academy. Please arrive promptly at the Creepy Crawl (412 North Tucker Boulevard; 314-621-9333), and bring an aptitude for local bouncy power-punk and a No. 2 pencil. Also included is a field trip to Amsterband, where we will witness the progressive and unpredictable piano-driven rock of the natives. Additionally, you will learn about Addictive Behavior, the Treaty of Paris and Arus. And please, don't drop any of the F-Bombs (although they are playing, too). Tickets are $8 for kids 21 and over, $10 for those under.

Dog food for thought: If Neil Armstrong had released a spacesuit-clad dog on the moon, what sort of soundtrack might have accompanied its buoyant jaunt? I would speculate something reminiscent of a Led Zeppelin-Pink Floyd groove with a dash of psychedelic funk — sort of like the sound produced by the appropriately named St. Louis duo Moondog Freed. Strap on your moon boots, grab Fido and test this theory at 9 p.m. Thursday, January 12, at Off Broadway (3509 Lemp Avenue; 314-773-3363), where they are playing with Fattback and Rebecca Hays. Tickets are $6.

 
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