By Jeremy Essig
By Jason Robinson
By Hans Morgenstern
By Joseph Hess
By Peter Gilstrap
By Julia Burch
By Jeremy Essig
By Nathan Smith
On a track from his album Noodle-Arm Whimsy, Chicago rapper Serengeti opines: "DJ Crucial's dope." The man speaks the truth. Crucial is dope. And inventive. And wildly talented. Proof can be found on last year's amazing Test Presses and Dub Plates, which starts out strong (the beyond-legendary DJ Premier does the intro) and never lets up. Of particular note is "Slum Lords," a collabo with the Committee that blows most other life-in-the-STL tracks out of the water. Check out Crucial's live skills at one of his many gigs (he's a regular at chic Loop spots, including Delmar Lounge and Modai). And when you see him, be sure to say congrats he and his wife, the equally dope DJ Agile One, welcomed twin boys to the family in March. (BF)
Pin-Up Bowl, 9 p.m.
Charlie Chan Soprano
Charlie Chan Soprano comes by that final appellation honestly. No, he's not involved in the waste-management business (we're pretty sure), nor does he have a strange preoccupation with ducks (we don't think) but like HBO's larger-than-life Tony S., Charlie Chan Soprano is a force of nature, a presence that cannot be ignored. He's the godfather of the St. Louis DJ scene, no doubt. But where Tony is haughty, Charlie Chan is humble; his involvement in the community is nearly as legendary as his skills on the decks. Everyone knows and respects Chan, from the old-school heads to the kids coming up. He plays out tirelessly and some less-than-stellar battle emcees might know him as the Hi-Pointe Café's judge, jury and executioner. Hey, somebody's gotta be the heavy, capice? (BF)
Damn, son: Mahf is nominated twice this year, when you stop to think about it. His prowess as a DJ think tight, jubilant, uproariously fun sets featuring hot hip-hop, funk and jazz tracks is evident both in his solo performances and when he mans the tables for the excellent hip-hop crew Earthworms. Not content to just be a kickass DJ, Mahf also performed with now-defunct rock band Essence of Logic and co-hosts a show on the buzz-worthy Internet station Riverfront Radio (www.RF97.com). Check him out Wednesdays at the Upstairs Lounge night 84, or catch one of his frequent sets at the Atomic Cowboy. Just look for the guy who seems truly in love with his craft, the guy with the 200-watt smile. (BF)
Blueberry Hill's Elvis Room, 10 p.m.
Best Indie Band
Like the Ramones, the four members of Berlin Whale tend to use the surname "Whale" when referring to themselves in MySpace messages a darling conceit that aligns perfectly with their adorably lo-fi dance-rock. Rickety Casio keyboards and surrealistic lyrics collide in joyous tandem; think the B-52's, New Order and Talking Heads riding a Tilt-a-Whirl together. Whimsical without being cutesy (and stuffed with more melodies and harmonies than a Broadway musical), Berlin Whale's upcoming debut album is an equally jubilant affair. This is DIY new-wave at its most primitive. (AZ)
Cicero's, 10 p.m.
Spunky, passionate band seeks hot encounters! We are height/weight proportionate, white, bi-curious, Bunnygrunt. We enjoy long walks on the beach, movies, working out, cooking and creating appealing, melt-your-heart, adorable pop music. Seeking indie music fans who enjoy dancing, singing along, catchy choruses and discreet, kinky fun! Our many fans no longer satisfy our needs and we would love to experiment and explore with you. Let's meet in a loud, smoke-filled venue and see where the night takes us. Serious replies only. (JL)
Delmar Restaurant & Lounge, 12 a.m.
Ghost in Light
It's a mistake to pigeonhole Ghost in Light as merely an "ambient" outfit. Since reconfiguring itself as a trio, GiL has become quite comfortable (and more adept) at integrating doses of throttling post-rock and dynamic volume shifts with its quieter moments. In fact, in concert is where the band truly shines: Though each individual member is talented in his own right Shae Moseley's ferocious, rock-steady drumming anchors Chandler Evans' intricate guitar work and Josh Evans' evocative, heartfelt vocals Ghost in Light's music becomes greater than the sum of its parts. (AZ)
Blueberry Hill's Duck Room, 8 p.m.
There's very little that isn't earnest about Say Panther, from the way the collective signs off its MySpace announcements ("Yours Truly, Say Panther" is a personal favorite) to its sweetly shambolic tunes which combine the orchestral glee of the Arcade Fire or Beulah (trumpet! cello!) with dashes of echoing new-wave rock and Britpop's merry melodicism. Then again, Say Panther's pure-of-heart nature is what makes the young co-ed band such a joy to experience, both on disc and in concert. (AZ)
Cicero's, 6 p.m.
So Many Dynamos
Haters like to dismiss So Many Dynamos as a clone of the Dismemberment Plan, a beloved bunch of prog-dance geeks from Washington, D.C. But not only does the Edwardsville quartet see the D-Plan's dorkdom it raises the nerditude by incorporating spiky post-punk, zippy electro and (of course) stone-cold, Yes-styled prog-i-tude. Just try to resist headbanging through the heavy-metal breakdowns in "Progress" or breaking out your snappiest dance moves during "We Vibrate, We Do." (AZ)
Cicero's, 9 p.m.