Best Punk/Hardcore

It is not shocking that half of Nerve Parade's backbone comes from the defunct Corbeta Corbata, since Eric Von Damage's caveman drumming and Don Beasley's downstrokes-only riffs are a core element in the band's fist-pumping mid-tempo punk rock. With help from the Pubes member Peat Henry's anthematic yelps and Pat Sajak Assassins four-stringer Brian Fleschute's gritty, Dazzling Killmen-esque basslines, Nerve Parade could be considered a St. Louis weirdo supergroup. It's not trying to break down any boundaries or reinvent any wheels: Nerve Parade just wants to make the perfect soundtrack to a DIY show in an unfinished South City basement, complete with a bass amp PA and a few cases of Stag. (RW)
Vintage Vinyl, 6 p.m.

The boys in the Humanoids put their hearts into every live performance, creating an electric, sweaty scene in venues all around town. The band's sound is open, blazing straightforward punk, without any unnecessary additions or other confusing elements. The lyrics stream by fast, the guitars ring loudly, and the drumming is hard and quick. With the aid of several high-profile opening slots (including for the Misfits at the Roberts Orpheum Theater) and constant gigs, the band has swiftly built up a following here and around the country, with both young kids and punk veterans singing along and furiously pumping their fists in the front row of nearly every show. (JL)
Halo Bar, 8 p.m.

Lye By Mistake will not rest until your brain is melted and your jaw has congealed with the spilt beer on the venue floor. Led by the virtuosic shredding of guitarist Josh Bauman and the guttural, often affected vocals of Tony Saputo, the band crafts intense tech-metal that isn't afraid to push the boundaries of human ability or the preconceived notions of its genre; for Lye By Mistake, "breakdown" means a jazz-fusion guitar solo over a salsa beat. The easiest comparisons are to Dillinger Escape Plan or Mike Patton's many projects, but Lye By Mistake is almost peerless. It has not only transcended its influences, it is making them look like chumps. (RW)

In the thirty years since punk was born, the style of music has gone from adorably naïve to politically righteous to blisteringly ferocious. The four lads in the Pubes celebrate a return to punk's charming naiveté while using the wit and fury of their mohawked forebears. Playing two-minute pop songs about dancing, drinking beer and girlfriends, the Pubes bring an innocence and joie de vivre that make punk rock fun again; in fact, the sunshiny sounds on last year's Peat Sounds burst at the seams with amped-up bubblegum pop. (CS)

The Ramones may have loaded into that big dive club in the sky, but local stalwarts the Ded Bugs keep the 1-2-3-4 flag flying. They're juvenile enough to call for "Xanax for Everyone" and ask "How Come You Don't Barf with Me Anymore?" but old enough to remember when pop-punk wasn't a dirty word. Cheap, trashy, immature, simple-minded, unfashionable, hyperactive; if you consider those compliments, let the Ded Bugs devour your brain. (JT)
Vintage Vinyl, 7 p.m.

Two seven-inch EPs, five record labels, a U.S. tour and sweaty basement shows all over the country: Who would have guessed this is the resume of a hardcore punk band from St. Louis? You would if you've been lucky enough to see Cardiac Arrest. The attitude and sounds of early '80s Boston hardcore — think the F.U.'s with Choke from Slapshot on vocals — soak through Cardiac Arrest's songs. An LP is upcoming, but make it to a show to shout "What's up?" to St. Louis' longest running hardcore band. – Nick Lucchesi

Best Rap/Hip-Hop Artist

Earthworms has long been a leading light among the city's hip-hop scene, and the collective's recent work represents a pinnacle of sorts. This year's Bottle Full of Bourbon builds off the funk-heavy, catch-all vibe of the group's debut; Mathias, Kama and Black Patrick trade verses, while DJ Mahf cooks up a stew of smooth old-school soul and hard-edged beats. The Earthworms' live performances infuse a new energy into these tracks, as funky keyboards, skronking horns and a crack rhythm section back these rappers. (CS)
Blueberry Hill's Elvis Room, 11 p.m.

The gravelly vocals of identical twin brothers Q.B. and R.E.P. of Family Affair lend menace to aggressive, fast-paced rhymes and set a gritty tone for their laid-back grooves. The frenetic, synchronous pacing of the siblings during live shows can double the energy of a venue – while their mixtape, Daily Situations, offers both hip-hop accessibility and laid-back street talk, exhibiting surprising versatility for such a young duo. (KW)
Blueberry Hill's Elvis Room, 7 p.m.

It's no small feat to make rap-metal cool again, but the two emcees and three instrumentalists in the Midwest Avengers do their best to revive the sub-genre. Brothers BC and So'n'So trade verses and rhymes over live guitar, bass and drums instead of relying on the DJ to provide the backdrop, and the group's versatility allows elements of rock and funk to smooth out the rough edges. Last year's Evil Superheroes proved that live hip-hop need not rely purely on soft-touch soul music to be successful. (CS)
Blueberry Hill's Elvis Room, 6 p.m.

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