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Beat Happenings 

Week of August 31, 2005

Obituary: The Gearbox, née Lil' Nikki's, age four, of Soulard. August 21, 2005. Survived by Richard Beckman, Captain Morgan, local and touring bands, and legions of fans. Widowed gigs may be relocated (although the September 15 Modey Lemon show is now in Knoxville, Tennessee). The Gearbox suffered an unexpected death because of a buyout. Despite its untimely demise, the Gearbox will be fondly remembered for its ample PA, ginormous stage and generous accommodations. Originally intended to be just another music-in-the-background bar, the Gearbox evolved into a helluva little rock club -- and a deserving successor to the beloved, defunct Rocket Bar -- when the stage was pulled out from under its feet. Oh, Gearbox, we hardly knew ye. R.I.P.

The Real World: St. Louis? The Moonlight Towers' gig at Off Broadway (3509 Lemp Avenue; 314-773-3363) may be the closest we ever get to the MTV reality-show staple. The popular Austin band hit the mainstream by playing the guinea pig for seven strangers' music-documenting skills. Not to be knocked, the Moonlight Towers' performance on Real World: Austin marked one of the first times that MTV deigned to feature a local band. Now the Towers are on tour to promote their new album, Like You Were Never There. This is the true story of four musicians picked to play together Friday, September 2, at 9:30 p.m. and have their music heard. Find out what happens when people stop being polite -- and start rocking out!

Heard it through the grapevine: It has been scientifically proven that one cannot listen to Motown without cracking a smile. In fact, since shoobie-dooing onto the record-label scene in 1959, Motown has been infecting listeners with its unapologetic tambourine shakes and call-back hooks. Finale (8025 Bonhomme, Clayton; 314-863-8631) invites you to conduct a personal study with its presentation of the Fabulous Motown Revue -- which, after over 25 years of performing with the likes of the Four Tops and Ray Charles, is still bringing the Motown experience in both song and dance. Build yourself up, Buttercup, for $20 reserved seating on either Wednesday, August 31, or Thursday, September 1. Don't break their hearts. -- Kristyn Pomranz

Got a scoop about the local music scene? Email your CD release parties, recording news, festivals and sundry activities to

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