Rosalita's Cantina

7:15 Ellen the Felon & the Mattronome (Singer-Songwriter)
Ellen the Felon fills a noticeable void in the St. Louis music scene with her dramatic piano pop. Sometimes campy, sometimes brooding but always brimming with feeling, Ellen's music twists and turns with knotty progressions and skilled jazzy runs that are often matched by her frequent partner in crime, busy drummer the Mattronome. She can also lay off and deliver straightforward, sincere ballads. Comparisons to Amanda Palmer and Fiona Apple are not unmerited, but Ellen possesses an airier voice and more playful demeanor than those stern artists, and that makes her more fun. (Can you imagine either of them writing a boogie rock song from the perspective of a cat?) The mood might be sad when she sings about only being thought of as one, but as a performer, Ellen the Felon really is a good-time go-to party girl. BM

8:45 Jump Starts (Pop)
A possible downside of taking a spot in the lineup of the Firebird's yearly homage, An Under Cover Weekend, is that your band will forever endure comparisons to whomever you cover in the local press. So, uh, it is with some trepidation that we direct you to Jump Starts' 2011 performance as the Violent Femmes. That's just a starting point for the duo of Justin Johnson (of Pretty Little Empire) and Sarah Ross (of Paper Dolls [RIP]), but it's a pretty good one — particularly in reference to the band's bouncy, punky pop. If PLE finds Johnson in his (powerful) diary, the Jump Starts finds him at a party. After a recent trip to SXSW and a string of highly lauded live shows, he and Ross have found their way onto the tip of many a music fan's tongue. KM

10:15 Syna So Pro (Solo)
There's a particularly distinct image associated with one-person bands: Performers with complicated contraptions strapped to their bodies trying desperately to play a rudimentary song. Thankfully, technology has evolved enough for ambitious and multi-talented performers to do anything and everything without suffering a herniated disc. Syna So Pro's Syrhea Conaway must be especially thankful for the looping thingamajigs that allow her to create such a rich and unbending sound all by her lonesome. Conaway has undertaken a project to produce a string of a cappella "smashups," stringing together tunes from local artists such as the Blind Eyes, Ellen the Felon and the Dive Poets. Not only has the project provided exposure to some of St. Louis' treasures, but it also showcased how varied and powerful a person's voice can be — hers, in particular. The whole exercise is mind-bending in its intricacy, but it isn't surprising that an artist like Conaway makes it all look like second nature. JR

11:45 Extremely Pointless (Cover)
Extremely Pointless is not your wedding-hits jukebox. The quartet, featuring Sean Doherty on vocals, Ray Novak on guitar, Sal Cira on drums and Lodell Parks on bass, started over a decade ago as an alternative rock band...well, alternative to the bands relying on '80s classics. After so much time spent relentlessly gigging at places like Helen Fitzgerald's, Extremely Pointless has perfected its take on the rage rockers of the late '90s and early aughts. KM

Rue 13

4:00 Ra Cailum (Solo)
Focusing on Anthony Engelhardt's age is either inspiring or frustrating. At the ripe age of twenty, Engelhardt has already found his voice as Ra Cailum and dropped three solid releases of artful electronic music. Last year, Ra Cailum unleashed the odds and ends collection Leaving and Returning and the Finding My Way EP, which was ranked on RFT's list of the 40 best local albums of 2011. On May 1, Kansas City label Think 2wice Records released Ra Cailum's Chimbus EP, a set of minimal house tracks tailored to a strobe-lit dance floor. Its title track alone will make you sweat so profusely, you'll want to buy Anthony Engelhardt a drink — unfortunately, you must wait a year to do that (legally). RW

5:15 Eric Hall (Electronic/Dance)
Listening to Eric Hall's spontaneous compositions — the patient instrumental scenes that grow from unicellular sounds into living organisms in the course of twenty minutes — one might expect the man to be an introspective recluse. This is simply not so. Hall may be the most visible improvisational musician in St. Louis. He performs constantly in the area's DIY venues, is the current resident composer of sound installations for Laumeier Sculpture Park and has released a stunning 25 hours (!) of original music in the past twelve months alone. Hall appears far from worn thin; these multiple outlets seem necessary to collect his unending stream of ideas. Some musicians spend their lifetimes trying to compose music this deliberate and fearless. Eric Hall culls it from the ether. RW

6:30 Ou Où (Electronic/Dance)
Ou Où holds a reputation for its rich waves of rhythmic texture built from meandering sounds. Ou Où is bred from a collective influence of krautrock and avant-garde jazz, a pedigree of progressive taste and primal rhythm. Travis Bursik and Patrick Weston unify synthetic bursts and occasionally land on animalistic, almost tribal, drumbeats. Since 2009, Ou Où has merged the electronic and the experimental, bending the conventions with respect to genre. To date, Bursik and Weston have produced three albums, each illustrating Ou Où's wild sense of drone and lush harmonics. JH

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