Love, Rhine O'er Me

High-fidelity romance

SAT 9/27

Humor us, sensitive guy, as we assume a thing or two about you. You're looking for love (aren't you always?) but not with just any type of girl. Blond-haired sorority darlings and self-impressed hipster chicks make you queasy. What you want is someone artistic, spiritual. Someone who can discuss postcolonial literature and mix a martini with equal facility. We understand. We know this girl. She'll be at the Over the Rhine show, man, and you'd be a damn fool not to go. No, we don't have a name or a number, but Over the Rhine plays just the sort of intelligent, ethereal art-pop that your Ideal Woman digs.

So can you just show up at Blueberry Hill's Duck Room (6504 Delmar Boulevard, 314-727-0880, $12-$14) at 9 p.m. on Saturday night and expect romantic magic to happen? No. You need to have the right lines. Here are a few: "That was really gutsy of Over the Rhine to release a double album, and on vinyl, too!" "This is a fantastic show, but I love traveling to see their hometown shows in Cincinnati." "I really hope they play something off of Films for Radio and 'Til We Have Faces, don't you?" Practice these lines in the mirror. Say them smoothly. Even better, go to your local record store and seek out Over the Rhine's back catalog so that you can name your favorite songs, just in case she asks.

What's the worst that could happen? So it doesn't work out -- you're only down twelve bucks and you've seen an extraordinary show by a band that deserves much more critical attention than it gets. And if everything does work out, we'd like an invitation to the wedding. -- Brooke Foster

His Face Rings a Bell

If you're tired of having your entertainment spoon-fed to you, replete with telegraphed punch lines and hackneyed dénouements, then shut up and attend the final two shows of The Hunchback Variations at Technisonic Studios (500 South Ewing Avenue, 314-773-1503). Mickle Maher's play involves Beethoven (the composer, not the St. Bernard) and Quasimodo engaging in a series of discussions about the possible intent of Chekhov's (the playwright, not the Star Trek helmsman) enigmatic stage direction for an ineffable sound in the second act of The Cherry Orchard. Li'l Abner it ain't. Tickets are $10, and shows are at 7 and 9 p.m. Friday, September 26, and Saturday, September 27. -- Paul Friswold

Rib It

SUN 9/28

There aren't a whole lot of places in the area where you can suck on ribs while listening to live jazz, which makes the Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville Friends of Music Jazz Supper that much more fun. The SIUE Concert Jazz Band and surprise guests will pump out Kansas City-style jazz while the caterers offer Kansas City-style cuisine (please don't get barbecue sauce on the trumpets) in the school's Morris University Center Meridian Ballroom (I-270 at Ill. Rte. 157). Guests will also enjoy live-music trivia, "name that tune," dancing and a contest that will welcome various audience members onstage to jam with the band (6 p.m., $50 benefits music scholarships, call 618-650-3799 for reservations). -- Byron Kerman

The Other Emo

Emo Phillips, he of the Prince Valiant haircut, the quavering delivery and the yoga-on-'ludes posturing, is gone. In his stead is the new, "a-notch-more-adult-oriented" Emo Phillips, with the spiky hair that signals "edgy" and the thousands and thousands of dollars he earned from selling his original story idea for Meet the Parents. Don't worry, Emophiliacs, he claims he's still "whacked out," and he probably is. This is the guy who was reputedly married to Judy Tenuta, so his mental stability has long been suspect. Emo brings the jokes to the Westport Funny Bone (614 Westport Plaza) nightly at various times, September 24-28 (call 314-469-6692 for daily show times). Tickets are $15-$20. -- Paul Friswold

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