By Ben Westhoff and Sarah Purkrabek
By Steve Brennan
By Joseph Hess
By Allsion Babka
By Kelsey McClure
By RFT Music
By Christian Schaeffer
By Gabriel San Roman
RFT DJ Spin-off contestant Rob Gray demonstrates such slick transitioning between beats that the listener often has no sense of track sets, but an impression of a singular dynamic and evolving sound. Rob culminated the Spin-off's night by selecting deep house beats that kept everyone dancing. His beats and collaborations with Don Tinsley can be accessed through a music label he runs called Left Hand Man. (KW)
Pin-Up Bowl, midnight
I love to dance, and I like to play music that people can dance to," says Flex Boogie, after spinning a soulful set for a small midweek crowd lingering into the night at Moxy. Flex's urban sound is soulfully funky and frequently incorporates the necessary vocal-heavy hip-hop and pop tracks required to initiate Midwestern booty shaking. He sandwiches these hits with older or lesser-known tracks, exposing the crowd to new music while never missing a beat for those happily dancing. (KW)
Pin-Up Bowl, 9 p.m.
Co-founder of production company X-1, electro/progressive DJ Rob Lemon has over a decade of experience playing both local and national venues, where his specialty is electro dance grooves. He's packed HOME nightclub with crisply polished electronic beats and well-produced trance-flavored sounds, earning him a national nod: X-1's release of "Hypnosis" on Curvve Recordings last February promptly became a Beatport Progressive Chart top ten hit, where it stayed for twelve consecutive weeks. (KW)
Talk to anyone at length in the electronic music scene in St. Louis, or anyone at Upstairs Lounge, and Scotty Mac's name will come up. Scotty's (more than) fifteen years of experience translate to an uncanny ability to bait his dance floor with orchestral, fluid tracks — before sprinkling in more esoteric music, where any number of his broad influences may be found. He incorporates Latin, jazz, soul, disco, acid, funk and rock into assimilations intended to introduce what he calls "non-disposable" music: music that breathes, warm and alive, in the listener's mind. (KW)
Like the slightly shifting monotony of a ship at sea on choppy waters, the Conformists writes music that is ever-morphing yet manages to create a trance-like effect. The band holds audiences hostage, until it sees fit to drop an assault of jagged dissonance and strange tempo shifts that are perfectly "wrong." Mike Benker's voice can shift from psychotic whispering chants to full-bodied baritone shouts that are reminiscent of Glenn Danzig – but it always finds its place among the confounding instrumental menagerie that resembles the angular experiments of bands like Slint and the Jesus Lizard. (SM)
In recent years, home recording software has put the ability to make quality recordings in the palm of nearly every musician's hand. Naturally, this has spawned a new generation of bedroom recording savants who base their compositions on careful layering and overdubbing of multiple motifs (and the occasional charming background noise of a television set or roommate shuffling around in the next room). But .e manages to bring her one-woman creations to life in the live setting as well. A tasteful array of looping devices, effects pedals and a dreamy whisper of a voice adds up to the ethereal sway of her noise-pop experiments. (SM)
Vintage Vinyl, 8 p.m.
As a musician who manipulates, shapes, and otherwise corrals noise into manageable forms, Eric Hall has performed as part of experimental groups like Grandpa's Ghost and Peanuts. But when he is on his own, Hall's compositions float, formulate and dissipate in an ongoing exercise in entropy as chaos and order feed into one another. His work tends to turn from dreamy and ambient to disruptive and distorted, and his on-the-fly method of performance ensures that you never hear the same song twice. (CS)
Quief Quota – a.k.a. five-sixths of the venerable experimental outfit Skarekrau Radio, which itself turns twenty years old this fall – excels at creating rickety indie weirdness. The conversations the band has on its debut Chattin' With Quief Quota resemble across between Miranda July's twisted daydreams and subversive Sesame Street. Hints of Pavement's askew indie, Beck's lo-fi-folk weirdness and plenty of perverted twang and freak-jazz make songs such as "Love Triangle" and "Pop's Rocks" feel like deliciously inappropriate nursery rhymes. (AZ)
Delmar Lounge, 11 p.m.
When distributing Web of Light to reviewers, Joseph Raglani included a cryptic press release that touts the new album as the soundtrack to "a film lost in space." Listeners must conjure their own accompanying imagery, and Raglani's instrumentals suggest fantastical happenings, with synthesizers surging like laser-gun fights and fizzing through ambient space like coasting spacecrafts. Raglani unleashes occasional feedback screeches and buzzing-hive noise swarms, but he's not interested in sonic confrontation. Laced with fractal psychedelic guitar and field-recorded nature noises, Raglani's songs feel like futuristic shoegaze, created by artificial intelligence in the post-human wilderness. – Andrew Miller
What can we say about the Dogtown Allstars that one of their countless riffs couldn't say better? The four-piece remains a shining star of feel-good dance music, bringing together noodle-dancing hippie chicks and goatee-stroking jazzbos under the sway of the almighty groove. Fueled by Nathan Hershey's organ and electric piano, the Allstars fuse the kinetic energy of high-powered jam-band funk with the syncopated strut of New Orleans R&B (the Meters are an obvious influence). The mostly instrumental jams allow room to highlight the instrumental prowess of the quartet, but the band remains committed to airtight grooves and switchblade riffs. (CS)
Delmar Lounge, 1 a.m.