Music Showcase Schedule

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

The FuFops;
Thanks to the FuFops, it's now impossible to mention the local R&B scene without including Belleville, Illinois. The group's sound is sometimes a throwback to soul of bygone times (albeit done in a style that's unmistakably fresh), as singer-songwriter MC Angel Z's words roll in rich and smooth over addictive, funky beats. Plus, the FuFops are reaching more fans than ever, bolstered by their opening performance for Afroman early last month at Pop's. — Kristie McClanahan

LaMar Harris;
Call it funky, call it jazzy, call it whatever you want — but LaMar Harris' seamless blend of electric guitar, horns and vocals forms an explosive combination. In his younger years, he crafted hip-hop infused with spiritual undertones — and these influences (along with brass-playing greats) are reflected today in an upfront style that's cognizant of the classics, yet all his own. Though his backup band is a rotating cast of characters, Harris is an artist whose passion is audible in his music, his life playing out in bold, brassy swaths. (KM)
8 p.m., 609

Skarekrau Radio
8 p.m., Cicero’s
Skarekrau Radio
8 p.m., Cicero’s
Grant Essig
7 p.m., Blueberry Hill’s Duck Room
Grant Essig
7 p.m., Blueberry Hill’s Duck Room
Delmar Loop

Best Garage/Rockabilly

Johnny O & the Jerks;
Johnny O & the Jerks is one of those bands that really seem to love to play. These boys will rock a house party, street festival, record store and, hell, even a music venue from time to time — all the while mixing the slow, thumping beat of the Stray Cats with the screaming glam of the Cramps to create some rocking, dirty Midwest blues. These little white boys will make you want to snap your fingers and stomp your feet while dirty-dancing to tunes about bad girls and zombie love. — Jaime Lees
9 p.m., Halo Bar

The Gentleman Callers;
The term "garage rock" can mean a lot of things, but for the Gentleman Callers it's all about simple, gritty grooves and detached cool. Last year's Don't Say What It Is offered enough swaggering, blowzy attitude and ready-steady-go drumbeats to please any Nuggets fan. Seth Porter's wheezy organ saddles up right next to Kevin Schneider's righteous yowl, taking the listener back to the days of beat clubs and raw rock music. If there's life beyond 1966, the Gentleman Callers prefer to ignore it. — Christian Schaeffer
10 p.m., Halo Bar

7 Shot Screamers;
Most rockabilly acts focus on hollow-body guitars and perfectly coiffed pompadours, and scrimp on vocals and decent lyrics. Not so with the 7 Shot Screamers: The thumping upright bass and slick licks are in place, but singer Mike Leahy croons smoothly above it all, mixing a little Bryan Ferry in with Brian Setzer. With the just-released In Wonderland, the Screamers have given their weight to the fledgling label Big Muddy Records, a cross-generational swap sure to please fans of all rockabilly varieties. (CS)
Midnight, Halo Bar

The Vultures;
Few young bands have caused the type of stir that the Vultures have produced over the past year. Barely legal but fully styled, these three south-city kids mix their love of raunch & roll with elements of Motown, surf-rock and rockabilly. On "Don't Stop Lovin Me," bassist/vocalist Ashley Hohman lets loose an unholy howl of greaser-chic love and fidelity, while chipper male voices harmonize behind the din. It's a perfect union of rage and restraint, all under the unrelenting beat of loose-limbed, pre-Beatles rock & roll. (CS)
1:30 p.m., Market in the Loop Outdoor Stage

The Trip Daddys; Don't label the Trip Daddys "neo-rockabilly"; there's nothing "neo" about them. For eleven years now, Craig Straubinger has led this trio from dirt bars to concert halls and back again and never wavered from the holy trinity of rockabilly: fast cars, fast women and big guitars. Always a great live act, the 'Daddys are now a St. Louis institution — although as the scene's elder statesmen, they'll face some competition from the youngsters that they've inspired this year. (CS)
11 p.m., Halo Bar

Best Hard Rock/Metal

Cross Examination;
Crossover pioneers like D.R.I. made it possible for old-school-punk-sounding groups such as Cross Examination to contend for headbanging honors. But what's most metal about these guys is their undisputed attitude: Whereas similar-sounding early-'80s D.C. outfits espoused a straight-edge lifestyle, Cross Examination touts its membership in the "Awesome Party Squad." And instead of calling for the impeachment of Bush, Cross Examination campaigns for the decapitation of Beatle Bob. With both metal and punk becoming as serious as by-the-book college deans, Cross Examination casts itself as the mischievous campus prankster. (AM);
Released in August, Harkonin's third full-length record Ghanima merges haunted-forest atmosphere with rock dynamics. But while they incorporate all crucial elements of black/death metal — hissed vocals, blast beats, an archaically ornate band-name font — Harkonin also emphasize melody, and their accessibly linear song structures allow them to recruit listeners outside of Satan's army. The group's technicality is impressive but not prohibitively intimidating, because their solos serve the songs rather than just showcasing skill. (AM)
6 p.m., Halo Bar

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