By Bob McMahon
By Allison Babka
By Kelsey McClure
By Carolina de Busto
By Ben Westhoff and Sarah Purkrabek
By Steve Brennan
By Joseph Hess
By Allsion Babka
The phrases "low-key" and "guitar hero" don't often appear in the same sentence, but both could be applied to Tom Hall, whose laid-back stage presence tends to make one forget that he's a truly exceptional guitarist. Hall has absorbed Delta blues, folk and a host of other styles to create his own approach to acoustic roots music, while his personal picking style displays both a deep understanding of the blues and fluid technique. (DM)
Brandt's Café, 8 p.m.
A blues singer with a love of funk, soul and jazz, Uvee Hayes is a versatile performer who is at home with every genre she approaches. Her latest record, Play Something Pretty, is a guided tour through her range — she can be deep, soulful and stirring or move toward nimble, jazz-inflected fare. Hayes made her first recording in 1969, and in her 40 years in the business, she has grown into an assured artist who makes sure that the blues are alive and well in St. Louis. (CS)
Rum Drum Ramblers
Give the Rum Drum Ramblers a stage — or hell, create a makeshift one out of just about any space big enough to fit three people — and the rowdy, ragtag blues bunch will play a set. The tireless act is found racing around to venues traditional (BB's Jazz, Blues & Soups), cult (Blues City Deli, CBGBs) and high-profile (Halo Bar, after Sharon Jones) multiple times a week. It even found time to record an old-timey, sepia-toned LP for Big Muddy Records, Hey Lordy Mama Mama Get Up and Go.— Annie Zaleski
Racanelli's Cucina, 7 p.m.
The Sol Lounge's recent appearance on the local social map is in no small part due to St. Louis nightlife fixture Flex Boogie, who's one of the city's most versatile DJs and producers. His Gilles Peterson-like range includes jazz, downtempo, hip-hop, house, broken-beat and dub-step. Flex can either be heard spinning in the newly renovated, elegant upstairs section of the Central West End hot spot, or in its main room the second Saturday of every month.— Kristy Wendt
Pin-Up Bowl, 8 p.m.
Nina Simone's earliest RCA recordings include audio of her admonishing a musician: "You're pushing it. Just relax. It'll go up by itself. Don't put nothin' in it unless you feel it." Alphahouse veteran JNX has the deft ability to spin stripped-down music that goes up by itself, whether he's at the Upstairs Lounge on Saturday night or performing at a Sunday afternoon Rebound party at F15teen. Alphahouse members such as JNX use minimal, house and techno tracks to their best advantage, but courteously request that you leave your shiny Ed Hardy shirt at home. In other words come for the music, and JNX will deliver soulful, naked, of-the-moment tracks for anyone who wants to listen. (KW)
Home Nightclub's resident DJ, Rob Lemon, has been behind the decks for more than a decade, and has played alongside internationally renowned artists Benny Benassi, Paul van Dyk and Deadmau5. His glitzy, synth-heavy progressive tracks have a polished, high-energy appeal that fits Home's upscale bill, while the fast-paced minimal and deep house tracks he spins at Sol early in the evening are an effective Saturday night jump-starter. (KW)
Whether he's spinning deep warehouse for a Fly event at the Upstairs Lounge, tribal on Sunday afternoon at F15teen, soul on Lush's rooftop patio or entertaining a recent disco obsession in the basement of the Thaxton, Scotty Mac is targeting those who are on the periphery, nodding their heads. They'll be dancing soon — his mixes are dynamic and slick, his transitions are as undetectable as he wants them to be, and his tracks always have one thing in common: fun. (KW)
Ask improvisational DJ Thumpasaurus about the evolution of his dubstep repertoire, and he'll reply, "I'm just a simple reptile trying to prepare for the Ice Age." Thumpasaurus started as a funk DJ, but after a five-year run as the host of Good Times on KDHX (88.1 FM), he now incorporates ghetto tech, dubstep, minimal and trance for the promotional group Nasty Rumor on Tuesday nights at the Old Rock House. Thumpasaurus is also one of the few controllerist/live PA artists in St. Louis: He uses a laptop and MIDI controllers instead of turntables or CD players to churn out grinding, glitchy, unpredictable sets that have all the chaotic energy of a good jam band. (KW)
Pin-Up Bowl, 7 p.m.
Ask Bikini Acid to hear some recorded music, and bassist/keyboardist/de facto vocalist Josh Levi (who's also in Worm Hands) apologizes that all he has to offer are cassettes. That charming antiquity marks the trio, whose Krautrock-influenced, midnight-hued psych-rock can hit like a sledgehammer or float like a post-apocalyptic morning. Fans of Bardo Pond, Black Angels and Fuck Buttons would be wise to head to Bikini Acid's shows at places such as Mangia and aPop Records. (AZ)
Sure, Dottie Georges' solo project is the result of hours of obsessive knob-fiddling and reclusive multitrack experiments. But .e's classification as a noise artist stems from aesthetic alone. She stacks sparkling guitar chords and the occasional thrift-store keyboard atop janky drum-machine beats like an awesome game of Jenga, balancing seemingly endless layers with hushed vocals and sweet melodies. Among all the noise, .e's dreamy bedroom-pop couldn't be further from abrasive. (RW)
Blueberry Hill's Elvis Room, 7 p.m.