The Monads
You might think you can resist a country-punk band named for flagellated protozoans, but you can't. The Monads are too spirited and too irreverent to be denied a little corner in your inner hillbilly-hooligan's heart. Like Split Lip Rayfield before them, the band members stomp all over that infinitesimally thin line between deconstruction and dementia, using banjo, fiddle, acoustic guitar and doghouse bass the way rabid hounds might use a burrow full of bunnies. (RK)
Delmar Restaurant & Lounge, 9 p.m.

Rats and People
Rats and People is a folky, post-punk, shaggy little orchestra that proudly features violin, accordion, trumpet and keyboard. Though there's something vaguely Irish in the vigorous sway of this multi-instrumental sound, passionate and lucid storytelling keeps the R&P vessel from detouring too far into Poguesville. In fact, while the Pogues incite the listener to cry over spilled Guinness, there's a certain intelligence in Rats and People's music that makers listeners want to pick up a history book. If you're looking for something lively, soulful and a little experimental, these are your Rats. (JL)
Main Outdoor Stage, 2 p.m.

Best Blues Artist

Bottoms Up Blues Gang
The Bottoms Up Blues Gang — singer Kari Liston, guitarist Jeremy Segel-Moss and harmonica player Adam Andrews — has earned a following the old-fashioned way: by playing its music (a mix of originals, blues and covers) in person and in front of as many people as possible. Perhaps taking a cue from the itinerant troubadours of yesteryear, who always traveled light, the trio has parlayed a voice, a guitar and some harmonicas into (by its count) more than 275 shows a year for each of the past several years. — Dean C. Minderman

Big George Brock
When Big George Brock plays the blues, he's coming from two places: rural Mississippi (where he was born) and St. Louis (where he's spent much of his adult life). His music is a raucous collision between the electricity of urban blues and the more idiosyncratic sounds usually found only on front porches and in backwoods juke-joints. As one of the few remaining St. Louis bluesmen of his generation still active, Brock may be a treasure, but he's no museum piece: He can still sing, play harp and put on a show to rival the best in the business. (DCM)

Tom Hall
Tom Hall comes across as a quiet, laid-back kind of guy, both onstage and off, but his guitar playing speaks volumes. After a number of years spent playing electric lead guitar with several popular local blues acts, he began concentrating mostly on solo acoustic performances. His style has since evolved to incorporate blues, folk, country and more into an apparently seamless whole. Hall's guitar technique is impressive, but his musicality, taste and imagination are what really set him apart from the crowd. (DCM)
Riddle's Penultimate Café & Wine Bar, 9 p.m.

Marquise Knox
When people see Marquise Knox perform, they can't help but notice that the singer, guitarist, and harmonica player is still in his teens. However, Knox isn't just good for his age; he's just plain good. Like many young musicians, he's still developing his instrumental and songwriting skills, but Knox's strong vocal abilities and precociously poised stage presence have already helped him make his mark after just a couple of years as an active participant in St. Louis' bustling blues scene. (DCM)
Brandt's, 11 p.m.

Casey Reid
Casey Reid is a young blues musician with a beautiful, guttural singing voice. His haunting, dirge-like moan sparkles with unique and lusty authority — even if he uses this gravelly groan to take on traditional blues topics such as love, loss and ladies. Though other musicians frequently back Reid, just his voice and his acoustic guitar are enough to carry songs. Why? His technique — he slaps and pulls the strings rather than strumming them — adds an extra layer of chugging, lazy lamentation to his gritty and intricate compositions. (JL)
Market in the Loop Outdoor Stage, 3 p.m.

Best DJ

Scotty Mac
DJs often seem to be competing with each other to see who can make the most seamless song transition, or who can throw down the most obscure, hard-to-find wax. But Scotty Mac needs none of this white-label pretense. He seems to be in the DJ game for one thing only: to make some booties bump. He plays "house" music, a danceable genre of electronica rooted in disco and jazz. He spins tenacious tracks featuring big-voiced divas and comfortably predictable beats that manage to keep the energy high and the clubbers shakin' it. (JL)
Pin-Up Bowl, 10 p.m.

DJ Foster
DJ Foster's list of professional accomplishments is steadily growing, including scoring the coveted opening spot for Green Velvet at Dante's a few months ago. As he nears ten years of experience playing hard Nine Inch Nails-style techno in front of huge crowds, DJ Foster has recently stepped up his game. His sets were always crowd-pleasing, but there's a new fluidity, a new smooth sexiness to his style. While thick beats drive most electronic music, he has found the ability (and agility) to both work the beats and lift them to a new tech-y, minimalist sound. (JL)
Pin-Up Bowl, 7 p.m.

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