Rum Drum Ramblers
If a category existed to honor the Best Eco-Friendly Band, the Rum Drum Ramblers would easily walk away with the honor. Everything about these blues devotees is recycled: their instruments, their clothes, their ideas and their sound. What's amazing about the group isn't just this small footprint — it doesn't need electricity to blow a room away — it's that the Rum Drum Ramblers make everything old new again, just by playing its collective hearts out, every time it takes the stage. (RK)
2 p.m., 11th & Washington Outdoor Stage

So Many Dynamos
Oh, the Dynamos. So adored, even after all these years (!). Its 2006 LP, Flashlights, convinced us all that the band is the city's seminal indie-rock outfit. In fact, the Dynamos is one of the few bands whose fans didn't turn on them after they tasted success out of St. Louis. So Many Dynamos perfectly articulates the boredom, distraction and self-loathing wit of millennial disaffected youth, with straight-faced charm and accomplished instrumentation. The quartet worked with Chris Walla on its third album and released 2009's The Loud Wars through Vagrant Records. We were sad to see guitarist/RFT contributor Ryan Wasoba leave the band, but the apparently seamless transition of new guitarist Nathan Bernaix (ex-Target Market) has us excited for its future. (DB)

Trip Daddys
What else can really be said about the St. Louis music institution that is the Trip Daddys? Craig Straubinger's ever-evolving rockabilly trio has found longevity the old-fashioned way: crafting a formula that works and getting better at it with each passing year. Last year's Roll On! showed Straubinger at his most confident vocally, while the addition of two new rhythm-section cats (Tracey Morrissey of Sex Robots on bass and Dennis Williams of Ded Bugs on drums) added more swing and strut than ever. Of course, this band is really all about its live show, where Straubinger's reverb-laden assault of classic guitar licks — and natural showman tendencies — take center stage. (SM)

Best Metal/thrash Band

Cross Examination
Cross Examination's five-year-anniversary show last summer was quite the event. As the band puts it: "People were throwing entire fucking couches (!), the light system got destroyed, people went to the hospital, people were naked, there were giant paper-maché bongs, giant cardboard dicks, everyone was wasted, everything was broken." Really, though, this could have explained any Cross Exam show: Drunken mayhem seems to go hand-in-hand with the band's whiplash-inducing riffs and thrashing speeds. (AZ)

Dude Nukem
Compared to predecessors such as Kill Me Kate and Cross Examination, Dude Nukem may be the most metal of St. Louis trash-punks. The band favors tightly wound musicianship over apathetic slop, yet its riffs still maintain circle-pit adrenaline, and its blast-beats are downright violent. Execution aside, the band enters territories its Black Flag-aping peers fear to tread: By embracing the time-honored metal tradition of the guitar solo, Dude Nukem proves it's more than just a clever name. These punks can shred. (RW)

Do not adjust your speakers: Fister's sludgy, Sabbath-playing-inside-Mordor sound is supposed to sound incredibly blown out in headphones. Live, the band sounds even louder. Volume is a gimmick, sure, but the quartet — which formed last year — has solid songs behind that wall of noise. The result is muscular, hellish heavy metal. Fister released a four-song demo in October and has another release, Obsolete Amps and Intact Guitars, due out this summer. (NL)

It's easy to forget about Harkonin because the veteran metal band tends to stay under the radar. But after all, the most talented people rarely need to toot their own horns — even though the quintet certainly wouldn't be out of line doing so. In April Harkonin played the Con-Tamination 2010 festival, where it introduced guitarist Scott Fogelbach and ten songs earmarked for a new album, Detest, which is coming this summer on Battlegod Productions. (AZ)

Head On Collision
According to a lengthy MySpace blog, thrash-metal enthusiasts Head On Collision are going through some radical transformations. Bassist John Hancock and drummer Jason Brooks are no longer in the band, which leaves vocalist/guitarist Pat McCauley as the only remaining member. This isn't the end of the band, though: McCauley hopes to record and self-release new music, the first tunes since the Milwaukee-based label Beer City Records released HOC's Ritual Sacrifice LP. (AZ)

Terra Caput Mundi
This thrash-metal trio has been active since 2006, but it's caught more local attention in the past year by playing out more and opening for touring acts, many of the shows booked by TCM frontman Jared Caput Mundi. The band recently released Alive in the Hive, a bootleg live CD. As for the year ahead? "Out-of-town dates, songwriting, recording, spitting in the faces of wimps," says Jared CM. "Same as last year." (NL)

Best Modern Rock Band
Frozen Food Section
Frozen Food Section

Categorizing BAMF! should be simple: Its six members, three horns and Red Bull-enhanced tempos typically raise ska's checkered flags. Look deeper at BAMF!'s tracks, however, and you'll find stylistic diversity — specifically, flourishes of metalcore and emo-conscious pop-punk. Throw in the half-million MySpace plays the band's earned from a quasi-ironic cover of T.I.'s "Whatever You Like," and BAMF! becomes more than just a ska band. It's the sonic manifestation of a culture of iPod shufflers. (RW)

Building Rome
Building Rome has been a staple of the local emo/pop-punk scene for years. Last year's Alkaline Trio-influenced Nightmare, however, clearly shows a band shooting for the next level. The concept album, which is based loosely on Jacob's Ladder, was recorded locally at Sawhorse Recording Studios and produced by Steven Haigler, who's best known for his work with the Pixies. The result is a big-sounding, tastefully executed record — and hopefully another stepping stone in its ever-burgeoning career. (SM)
6 p.m., Main Outdoor Stage (14th & Washington)
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