Let's Go to the Hop

And, like, dance or something

FRI 3/26

We're at a weird moment in pop history when the underground is as much fun as the pop charts. With a wide spectrum of danceable sounds from electroclash and post-punk to U.K. imports such as the Streets and Franz Ferdinand, it's a good time to be an indie rocker, especially if you're single. You've got a whole mess of songs suitable for asking that girl (or guy) with the button-covered denim jacket if she or he would like to dance.

Fortunately, now you also have a place to dance once your object of affection says "yes." The Hipster Hop at the Commonspace (615 North Grand Boulevard) is St. Louis' first indie dance night in years, providing a much-needed place to get your groove on if you prefer the Faint or Hot Hot Heat to Britney or Beyoncé (and with staples like the Beastie Boys and James Brown thrown in for good measure, you're sure to feel funky). Club nights like this are common in bigger cities such as London and San Francisco, but the Hipster Hop has a cozier, less-clubby feel, thanks to the friendly environs of the Commonspace and its fair-trade coffee taking the place of overpriced PBR. According to Hop organizer Evan Porter, a student at Saint Louis University, the event was inspired less by nightclubs and more by gatherings of friends. "We'd just start dancing in dorm rooms," he says, and while he admits that "mostly it's geared towards dancing," he hopes it will be a meeting place for the city's spread-out hipsters. Porter is uncertain about future Hops but he hopes, depending on the response, that there will be more.

The Hipster Hop is three hours of dancing frenzy (from 8 to 11 p.m.), but there's no need to bring that duct-tape wallet, because admission is free. For more information, call 314-531-1707. -- Niles Baranowski


SUN 3/28

If you're a celebrity or you just want to come off like one, you have to be deeply immersed in Kabbalistic study right now. Seriously, this ancient Jewish mysticism is the current Hollywood "in" thing, like bisexuality was in the late '70s. Those red-string bracelets Madonna, Britney and the Pope are always seen wearing (okay, that last one was a joke) mean the wearer is an intense student of the Kabbalah -- or that they want you to think that they are. Rabbi Max Weiman is riding the Kabbalah wave big-time with his Web site, www.kabbalahmadeeasy.com, and his new book, The Complete Kabbalistic Worldview in a Nutshell. Weiman discusses and signs the latter for free at 11 a.m. at Borders Books & Music-Creve Coeur (11745 Olive Boulevard, 314-432-3575). -- Paul Friswold

28 Years Young

In 1976, the St. Louis Artists' Guild celebrated the nation's bicentennial by hosting its first Young Artists' Showcase. Twenty-eight years later, the event continues to attract talented, aspiring artists between the ages of 15 and 21 who compete in a juried competition for a $500 Emerson scholarship and approximately $1,900 in cash prizes (pictured is last year's winning entry from Daniel Kramer). Pieces in the competition will be on display (and some will be for sale) at the St. Louis Artists' Guild (2 Oak Knoll Park, 314-727-6266) from Sunday, March 28, through May 1. For a peek at the future of the arts in St. Louis, for goodness sake, come by. Admission is free. -- Jedidiah Ayres

These Ladies Have Powerful Voices

SAT 3/27

Life is whimsical and mysterious when you spend your Saturday night enjoying drag-queen entertainment in a brick-walled cellar in Belleville. And because we command you, that's exactly what you'll be doing: The Divas of Deception storm the stage at the Midtown Revue, 119A West Main Street in (how'd ya know?) Belleville, Illinois.

Secretly male stars Sable Sinclair, Jennifer James and (our personal favorite) Khrystal Leight put on a cabaret, old chum, which means songs, stories and cutting asides. You know you wanna go. The curtain rises at 8 p.m. and tickets (available at MetroTix or at the door) are $12.50 to $15. Find out more by dialing 618-234-5958. -- Rose Martelli

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