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Monday, January 6, 2014

Six St. Louis Bands Whose Names Make the Grade

Posted By on Mon, Jan 6, 2014 at 3:10 AM

St. Louis bands aced high school. Did you? - ALBERTOGP123 | FLICKR
  • albertogp123 | Flickr
  • St. Louis bands aced high school. Did you?

High school wasn't an awesome John Hughes movie for many of us, but it still was kind of rad. At no other point in our lives will people shrug while we moon a pep rally, awkwardly hit on the grumpy artiste in oil-painting class or shove plastic sporks up our nose to amuse our friends, all while being serenaded by the marching band performing "Eye of the Tiger." Ahhhh, memories.

But while all of that was happening, we also learned a few things about science, math, language and more -- stuff that obviously stuck with several St. Louis bands. Below, check out six local acts with scholarly, A+ names that put even the Saved by the Bell kids' SAT scores to shame.


Mixing cabaret, electronica and calliope influences in its test tube, Kid Scientist causes a chemical reaction of fun without the annoying side effects of explosions and stinky gas. Indeed, the band's songs "Micro Boy" and "Murder on the Dance Floor" would make a fine soundtrack to a Broadway musical about a chemistry student who uses oleander extract to kill off his high school bullies. Or, less sinister, KS could score a nice movie about the wonders of space. Either way, Kid Scientist also paid attention during AP English and Pop-Culture History classes, because the band's Facebook updates are informative, articulate and hi-freaking-larious.


When you don't know something, hypothesize! The Educated Guess clearly learned this life lesson from great teachers. Charlie Brumley's big damn band has evolved through different formats and lineups, and the current iteration is the best yet, as our recent "Best Pop Band" award declares. With approximately 826 musicians and vocalists on a stage (give or take a few), the Educated Guess takes a stab at excellent composition and playfulness -- and succeeds! The next time you're reading up on quantum theory, let the Educated Guess' twist on '60s pop guide your higher learning.


Sigh. Why couldn't our shop, drafting or engineering classes have been this fun? Popular Mechanics' mixture of classic Weezer and Foo Fighters influences definitely would have made all that time we spent with T-squares instead of getting dates a tad more bearable. Soldering together grunge, sunny rock and golden alternative pop, Popular Mechanics builds towers of song before lyrically pulling out the pin Jenga-style and laughing as happy notions crash onto the table. We'd totally trust these guys to rebuild a car that we may have, sort of, possibly, accidentally crashed.

Continue for more St. Louis smarties with 4.0 GPAs.


Not a band to be contained by convention, Elemental Shakedown gives a creative jolt to the traditional periodic table of bluegrass elements. Storytelling? Yep. Banjo pickin'? Yep. Multipart harmonies? Yep. But Elemental Shakedown also synthesizes some sexy fiddle and dance-worthy breakdowns into its tunes, serving up music that's equally at home on a front porch, on an indie radio station or in a crowded highbrow concert hall. Both traditional and progressive bluegrass fans will find elements worth savoring as Elemental Shakedown continues to push the boundaries of roots music.


Theory of Relativity? Please. Mvstermind Einstein expands on ol' Albert's discoveries and also establishes the Theory of DIY, the Theory of Collaboration and the Theory of Musical Ass Kicking. With rapper and producer Muhammad Austin working tirelessly at the helm of local hip-hop's synergistic movement through M.M.E. (one of our eight bands to watch), Mvstermind Einstein proves that Isaac Newton's first law of motion -- that an object in motion stays in motion -- is completely true. Austin doesn't rest, and St. Louis' hip-hop scene gets a big A+ because of it.


With all this studying going on, someone's got to keep the online resources and stacks of books in order. Enter Arthur & the Librarian, a band that dispels the notion of a stern, ever-shushing bibliophile. With music covering relationships, rhetoric, death and the end of days (and spanning the Dewey Decimal system in the process), it's obvious that this five-piece has never skipped study hall. Take a page from the band's book and get lost within its stories; that new-book smell -- and new-music smell -- never wears off.


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