Music Showcase Schedule

The complete low-down on this year's nominated acts

Scotty Mac
www.myspace.com/djscottymac; www.puredeep.com
The grizzled vet among the nominees, Scotty Mac has been pounding the wheels of steel around town since the early 1990s and is currently often seen spinning at Oz, Atomic Cowboy and 609. His greatest asset as a DJ is diversity; the 'Mac favors, as he so eloquently puts it on MySpace, "jazz-drenched house — heavily textured with juicy elements of soul, disco, tech, garage, latin, tribal, acid, funk, dub.... from the smooth and soulful to downright jumpin n' bumpin." (AZ)

Best Electronic Act

The Bureau
www.myspace.com/thebureau
Bureau vocalist Mike Cracchiolo plays dominant basslines, the type that can devour listeners and force them to follow the rhythm's every whim. He also sings in a vulnerable baritone, recalling Martin Gore's emotional authority (but not austerity). This dapper quartet also stocks its songs with keyboard counter-melodies, stuttering drumbeats, piercing lead guitar and shadowy harmonies. The Bureau just worked on their debut full-length record, with Carl Amburn (Riddle of Steel, Russian Circles) assigned to corral their mammoth low-end rumbles onto slabs of wax. — Andrew Miller
9 p.m., Cicero's

Femme Fatality
www.myspace.com/femmefatality; www.femmefatality.net
Incorporating a new member into an established act isn't easy, especially when said band is a duo that emphasizes on-stage interplay. But Femme Fatality pulse just as hard even after replacing Octavia Leito with Hephaestion Palermo last fall. The group wrings the sweat, style and sexiness from genres such as hip-hop, new wave and electroclash; their live shows are bawdy parties that use throbbing beats as foreplay fodder and turn akimbo indie scenesters into maniacs on the floor. Femme Fatality have vanished from local bills lately, a trend that's sadly going to continue: They've announced their breakup, effective after a final show in November. (AM)

Murder Happens
www.myspace.com/murderhappens; www.murderhappens.com
With its casually homicidal moniker and propensity for gory publicity photos, Murder Happens satisfies the electro-industrial scene's bloodlust. However, the band isn't monochromatically moribund: The married couple (singer Brenda and guitarist Brian Merry) that heads this group also writes ethereal trip-hop tunes under the name Vela Uniform, and Murder Happens' sets draw from that band's repertoire (including a graceful Cure cover). Icy keyboard melodies and Brenda's delicate-chanteuse tones complement hard-crunching guitars and alternate singer Chumley's aggressive growls. (AM)

Superfun Yeah Yeah Rocketship
www.myspace.com/superfunyeahyeahrocketship
The description "computer-obsessed one-man band" conjures images of an onanistic mouse-clicking stage show that's much more entertaining for the artists than for the audience. But Corey Goodman, also known as Superfun Yeah Yeah Rocketship, simply pushes play and spazzes out, leading to sloppily compelling performances. Goodman puts his technological knowledge to smart use, decorating "Restart My Heart" with PC start-up sounds and mocking/celebrating the MySpace world with "Image Comment." A prolific perfectionist, Goodman inundates fans with new tracks while constantly tinkering with his existing material. (AM)
6 p.m., Market in the Loop Outdoor Stage

Polarized Mind
www.polarizedmind.com; www.myspace.com/polarizedmind
By nature, electronica is sharply composed music built by synthesizers, robots and other indestructible items. So it's a testament to Polarized Mind that they can make the genre so intimate and gritty. The hypnotic duo compels its audience to dance like trip-puppets strung by the music, thanks to an industrial backbone and sexy-scary lyrics. At once futuristic and frightening — and fond of propelling a bit of gothic new-wave into the electronic age — Polarized Mind provides the attitude that computers lack. (KP)

Best Funk/R&B/Soul

Coultrain
www.myspace.com/coultrainmusic
"If he isn't as famous as D'angelo or Maxwell in a couple years, the universe makes no sense at all," the RFT wrote about Coultrain in 2003. Coultrain's best-kept-secret status makes a strong case for the baffling-cosmos theory, but this socially conscious soul crooner knows that the inherent unfairness of life is no reason to abandon dreams. "The poor keep gettin' poorer/Still we rise, like a rocket in the sky," Coultrain sings on "Rocket," a track from his Echoes of Autumn mixtape. Like Stevie Wonder, Coultrain acknowledges that ghetto life is a struggle — but he still refuses to overlook the community's strength and beauty. (AM)

Isis Jones
www.myspace.com/isismustardseedjones; www.isismjones.com
Isis Jones is often heard imparting her wisdom as a DJ on both the Beat (100.3 FM) and Majic (104.9 FM). But Jones' honeyed voice sounds just as self-assured when she's performing her own creations — judging by the confidence permeating her 2005 debut, Woman Child. The CD features gentle grooves and tasteful horns that capture the nostalgic glow of neo-soul, while still nodding to the dulcet tones of modern girl-next-door divas like Ashanti. (AZ)

Kim Massie
www.kimmassie.com
Kim Massie never experienced the recording breaks earned by her better-known St. Louis soul sisters Fontella Bass and Ann Peebles — but when it comes to R&B belting, she has all the towering blues power to dominate a stage, even when she isn't grinding out her patented, super-size lap dances on unsuspecting Soulard tourists. Funk, blues, gospel, rock and jazz — genres are just fodder for her sexy growl and howl. Massie doesn't own classic covers like "Midnight Train to Georgia" or "Fever"; she crushes them. — Roy Kasten
7 p.m., 609

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