The Ten Best Shows in St. Louis This Weekend: January 31 to February 2

click to enlarge Popular Mechanics Album Release - Friday, January 31 @ Plush. - Press Photo
Popular Mechanics Album Release - Friday, January 31 @ Plush.

Not a dull day goes by in the world of RFT. From in-house e-mail list exchanges between staff regarding ridiculous St. Louis dating stereotypes and equally maniacal suggestions for the official Missouri state greeting (actual topics of upcoming pieces -- stay tuned) to catching some photos in our news feeds of previous RFT editor Tom Finkel hanging out in his cushy New York offices with Lil Bub and Village Voice columnist Andrew W.K., it's been a pretty entertaining week, and the excitement doesn't end here.

This weekend's a doozy. For starters, look forward to local release shows from Popular Mechanics, Lizzie Weber and Love Surrounds. Besides that, Thrashamania III plows through the weekend, Paul Van Dyk returns to Europe Nightclub and the Tef Poe Experience goes down at the Gramophone. Read on for these concert recommendations and more.

Friday (January 31):

KSLU Sessions Part Deux w/ Scrub, Bruiser Queen, The Jerk, ShitStorm, Abnormal @ Saint Louis University 5 p.m. | free If you haven't seen what Saint Louis University's music community contingent has been up lately (including hosting rare performing artist Jandek this spring, for instance), now's your chance to hang out and see firsthand. KSLU DJs welcome a variety of local musicians to its studios -- including last week's featured Fill in the Blank artist, Scrub -- recording live performances for future broadcasts. All are welcome to attend. (MS)

Love Surrounds EP Release w/ Search Parties, Yankee Rain @ The Firebird 9 p.m. | $8-$10 Beautiful female vocals and piano lines are this local act's stock and trade, and they are so good at it that I'm almost ready to forgive the fact that I'm pretty sure they are a Christian band. Almost / pretty sure. (DH)

Popular Mechanics Record Release w/ Trauma Harness, Hathead Jones, Million Hits @ Plush 8:30 p.m. | $8 According to this 2013 profile, "Popular Mechanics trails down the beaten path of rock while working in beloved, but all-too-familiar pop trappings....Popular Mechanics finds common ground with '90s trends like grunge and early indie rock, but it never veers too far into one genre." At this release, the band releases a small run of random mixed color vinyl. (MS)

Maximum Effort w/ Cardiac Arrest, Rat Heart @ Fubar 9:30 p.m. | $8 This all-local punk and rock'n'roll rager ought to stir up the doldrums of winter, if only for one night. I think I read something somewhere about the presence of free chili cheese dip, as long as your bring your own chips. I'm pretty sure I'm not making that up, but don't hold me to it. (MS)

Paul Van Dyk w/ Luke Hansen, SlantE @ Europe Nightclub 9 p.m. | $25-$200 German trance DJ Paul van Dyk returns to Europe nightclub! His last show there was a well-attended affair, so make sure to show up early to make sure you get in. (DH)

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