By Jeremy Essig
By Jason Robinson
By Hans Morgenstern
By Joseph Hess
By Peter Gilstrap
By Julia Burch
By Jeremy Essig
By Nathan Smith
To witness the Dogtown Allstars perform is to observe the power of the groove, that vital (if elusive) musical element. Luckily, the Allstars possess buckets of funky, high-stepping grooves, many of which are propelled by Nathan Hershey and his spitting, crackling organ. Adam Wilke's guitar figures favor a more jazz-oriented approach, while Andy Coco and Drew Weiss hold down the rhythm section with funky, bubbly grace. The Dogtown Allstars may not have invented the groove, but they carry it on expertly. (CS)
Delmar Restaurant & Lounge, 8 p.m.
Somewhere between smooth jazz, disco and the Star Wars cantina house band, the sound of Lamar Harris' trombone, trumpet and tuba funk is like nothing else in St. Louis if not planet Earth. Manipulating all manners of electronic effects and hip-hop hip-beats, he makes horns speak in strange tongues, click and bleat like bent circuits, and yet somehow express the improvisational spirit of heroes like Miles Davis and Gil Scott-Heron. (RK)
Brandt's, 10 p.m.
If you're going to do the corporate cover-band thing, you might as well go all the way. Arvell Keithley isn't just a frontman he's an industry. His bands frequent gala events and weddings, from Boeing to Busch, offering up note-perfect simulacra of the Four Tops; Earth, Wind and Fire; the Gap Band and Elvis Presley. A rousing master of ceremony, with a surprisingly supple voice, he's done more to get white people dancing than all the Jell-O shots and Jägermeister in St. Louis combined. (RK)
Thrifty R&B fans are in luck every Tuesday and Thursday, when both Kim Massie regulars and curious weekday drinkers cram into Beale on Broadway for her bi-weekly residency. Walking into one of these nights is not unlike the blues-club scene in Adventures in Babysitting, where the uninitiated are moved to participate while simultaneously feeling overwhelmed by the talent and charisma on stage. Massie's sassy stage presence isn't even the best part. No, that's her thick, sonorous voice, which remains commanding through her own songs and blues standards alike. (JL)
Nite Owl lives up to his moniker in a few senses of the word. An early-morning RFT interview took place after he had worked all night at his "day job" as a resident counselor at a children's shelter and as a musician he's seen around town almost constantly, performing his unique brand of soulful hip-hop to anyone who will listen. And people certainly are: Legendary New Jersey hip-hop label Select Records signed him to a record deal, while last year's Now You Can Boo Me has earned him some serious attention from the city's movers and shakers. Annie Zaleski
Blueberry Hill's Elvis Room, 9 p.m.
Best Garage Band
The Gentleman Callers
For a time these Nuggets-obsessed garage rockers seemed more like the Gentleman Stalkers. Two years ago, with the release of Don't Say What It Is, their slashed and slurred Kingsmen-esque sound was omnipresent on the south-side and beyond scene. Kevin Schneider sang with a boozy yelp and guitarist Mike Virag sprayed and scattered all the right and wrong notes, which went a long way toward rewriting the Brit Invasion formula. With the recent departure of drummer Matt Picker, the Gentleman Callers are giving their dance card a break. When they return to performing, they'll surely remain mod but not trendy, trashy but melodic, danceable and more than a little off-kilter. (RK)
Johnny O & the Jerks
Johnny O & the Jerks are everything you could want in a young trashabilly band. They're dirty, adorable and chaotic, and they play sexed-up, unrestrained rockabilly music with the urgency of a punk band. While barely old enough to drink, these kids sure seem like they'd know a thing or two about getting down and dirty. Apart from their coltish appeal, the Jerks' contribution to the St. Louis scene can't be overestimated. Drummer Chris Baricevic has started his own successful record company (Big Muddy), and the band itself regularly contributes to both live shows and recordings by its friends and labelmates. Rock on, you dirty little Jerks. (JL)
Market in the Loop Outdoor Stage, 4 p.m.
Finally, a garage-rock band with an Edgar Allen Poe fetish! The Nevermores (as in, "Quoth the raven...") write songs like "I Lost Lenore" and "Tell Tale Heart" and favor the color black, but their crunchy, sneering songs are more punk than poetry. Composed of former members of Tomorrow's Cavemen, the Fuzztones and Thee Lordly Serpents, this quartet cruises through fast-paced, fuzz-bombed tunes with a nod to the Sonics and the Pretty Things. (CS)
Long John Thomas & the Duffs
It sounds like Long John Thomas & the Duffs took the title of Chuck Berry's St. Louis to Liverpool to heart. This trio takes the mod/garage revival to its logical conclusion by playing Mersey-Beat-era songs and like-sounding originals with British accents and twangy, Duane Eddy-inspired guitars. This year's Presenting... found the Duffs completing the '60s mod circle by imitating British guitar groups who were themselves imitating American R&B combos. (CS)