2010 Music Showcase: 1 night, 50+ bands, 5 bucks this Saturday on Wash. Ave.

2010 Music Showcase: 1 night, 50+ bands, 5 bucks this Saturday on Wash. Ave.

This year, the RFT Music Awards nominees include more acts than they have in past years. Part of this increase is a function of the process: We honored musicians in many more genres and expanded the number of nominees in several categories. But for the most part, the greater number of acts reflects the enormous talent within the St. Louis music community. Every night of the week, you can hear any genre — hip-hop, soul, rock, folk, indie-rock, funk, country, electronica, alt-country and everything in between — performed by talented local musicians and DJs. While we'll forever grumble about what hot touring acts are skipping St. Louis (even if that's been improving dramatically in recent years), we have no right to complain about a lack of local talent. So enjoy the following list of nominees and what they're all about. Who knows? Maybe you'll find your next favorite band in the bunch.

Best Americana/Folk (Indie-Leaning)

Pokey LaFarge & the South City Three
At first glance, this diminutive blues dude may seem to have more style than substance, what with his O Brother, Where Art Thou? costumes, throwback songwriting and not-so-subtle pseudonym. But Pokey can play — he attacks the banjo and guitar like a mini twister of twang and jug-band blues — and leads his group of rounders like a musician who knows his fate: to channel the energy and vitality of prewar blues and to keep it fresh with inimitable panache. — Roy Kasten

The Monads
The members of the Monads are veterans of the St. Louis acoustic-punk scene — yes, it exists and thrives, even — but they'll never grow up. The quartet dreams of pirates and moonshine and shit-kicking and cornbread and still more moonshine, and it brings those weird dreams to life with a blasting, thrashing, in-your-face bluegrass-punk sound that's as raw as the blisters on their collective fingers. (RK)
5 p.m., 11th & Washington Outdoor Stage

Cassie Morgan & the Lonely Pine 
On her first full-length, Weathered Hands, Weary Eyes, Cassie Morgan employs the pastoral whims of folk and the done-me-wrong drama of blues to illuminate her hushed, intimate story-songs. Morgan is supported by the Lonely Pine, her "band" that is actually comprised of harmony vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Beth Bombara. In concert and on record, the women adorn these songs with simple, intuitive finery that complements the twists and turns of Morgan's words. — Christian Schaeffer 
9 p.m., Flamingo Bowl Palm Room

Rough Shop
Rough Shop cofounders John Wendland and Andy Ploof have been doing their thing in the St. Louis music scene for the better part of two decades, and both are well-respected songwriters. In their current project, Ploof's tenor croon is perfect for old-timey storytelling, while the addition of Anne Tkach's sultry rasp adds welcome dimension. But the utilization of other players allows this group of twang vets to morph from a folk-based, singer-songwriter act into a full-blown band. The title track from last year's Christmas album, Just Because It Was Christmas, shows even more range — and proves that Rough Shop can handle chiming, jangly pop with just as much precision and zeal as it does rootsier fare. — Shae Moseley
8:15 p.m., Lucas Park Grille

Theodore
The quartet known as Theodore continues to push itself and its growing audience with Hold You Like a Lover, the band's third album, released this year on the nationally distributed Moon Jaw Records. The songs are dense and demotic, the playing sometimes as free as punk and other times as lilting as front-porch folk. But mostly, Theodore continues to mature in its explorations of country, blues, folk, jazz and rock & roll — all while preserving its mysterious, ghostly essence. (RK)
9:45 p.m., Over/Under Bar & Grill Patio

Best Americana/Folk (Untraditional)

Brothers Lazaroff
To be clear, Jeff and David Lazaroff — the look-alike, but not twin siblings of Brothers Lazaroff — have moved beyond all things folk, even as their songwriting retains its connection to their heroes: Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen. Backed up by the supremely tight rhythm section of Teddy Brookins and Grover Stewart and pushed into the funkosphere by jazz and electronic maestro Mo Egeston on keyboards, Brothers Lazaroff can jam your ass and stir your heart. (RK)
4 p.m., 11th & Washington Outdoor Stage

The Dock Ellis Band
St. Louis has plenty of country-music ambassadors to cover the many shades of twang. However, the Dock Ellis Band's niche is honky-tonk — the kind favored by whiskey-snortin', Saturday-night-barroom rabble-rousers. Lead singer and frontman Jesse Irwin is an unrivaled entertainer in town with a smile that can light up a room and a witty sense of humor that adds weight to this group's booze-infused boogie. His band's songs are slightly tipsy recollections of classic country music's essence — mixed with equal parts '70s outlaw country, Bob Seger-esque nostalgia, irreverent comedy and a splash of Southern rock for good measure. (SM)
8 p.m., The Dubliner

The Northwoods
If we lived in an alternate universe where it was Paul Simon instead of David Byrne whose sound it were ultra hip to emulate, then the Northwoods would be enjoying all kinds of hype-machine love. But at least for now, we'll just have to settle for keeping this folksy duo of precision finger-pickers as our own little local secret. The lush harmonies produced on 2009's Morning, Noon & Night flutter like long, silky ribbons but are given purpose through lyrics that tell vivid tales. The Northwoods' pristine sound may contrast with a lot of the more rough-edged, shadowy folk-singer fare in town — but in the end just gives more dimension to the scene as a whole. Jeremy Shanas recently left the group, but Elijah Palnik will be soldiering on solo under the Northwoods name. In fact, just this past weekend he opened for 10,000 Maniacs in South Barrington, Illinois. (SM)
12:45 a.m., Flamingo Bowl Palm Room

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