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We're with the DJ 

Send in your hottest mix — it might take you all the way to Miami.

Calling all techno-geeks, electro-freaks, house-heads, trance-dorks and whatever other clever genre-noun combination you want to employ: The RFT is again holding its annual competition to find one DJ in town who will be flown to Miami to represent for St. Louis at the Ultra Music Festival, which takes place this year on March 23 and 24. (Adrian Fox was the city's representative last year; see "Music Sounds Better With You," March 8, 2006, for how things shook out.)

Like last year, to enter the contest please send me a mix of music — any length, although one CD will more than suffice — that shows off your beat-matching skills, individual style and personal flair. The deadline for submission is 6 p.m. Monday, February 12. I repeat: 6 p.m. Monday, February 12. No exceptions.

Finalists will be notified by Monday, February 19, and there will be a final DJ spin-off to determine the winner on Thursday, March 1, at the Atomic Cowboy; further details will be announced later. I'll be reminding folks about sending in mixes periodically on our blog ( /blogs), so feel free to send the link to appropriate parties. E-mail me with any questions — as always, I'm found at annie.zaleski @

When Lojic bassist-vocalist Johnny O'Neil rang A to Z from LA to fill her in on all things band-related (Lojic's playing a hometown gig at the Pageant [6161 Delmar Boulevard; 314-726-6161] on Friday, February 2), the caller ID on her line came up thusly: "Trailer Park, Inc."

Mr. O'Neil, are things not going so great in California (which is where the quartet moved last June)?

Well, it's not what you think: O'Neil's an entry-level employee at an ad agency/company that specializes in post-production of movie trailers. And in reality, the sunnier climes of the west coast are agreeing with Lojic — more or less.

"It basically is what we expected," O'Neil says. "It's going real slow. It feels like we started over — like when we first started playing in St. Louis and it took us four years to get to headlining the Pageant and having 1,000 kids come out and see us play.

"LA is very competitive, everyone and their mom moves out there. We have [all of] this material and this catalog, our live show is tight — [yet] 30 people will come to a show. But it's growing; over the six months, more people show up."

That slow, steady growth is encouraging — especially since the band is in the midst of recording a new CD, which is being produced by Urge drummer John Pessoni. O'Neil hints at a slightly more commercial direction this time out.

"We took it in a different direction, away from the rock," he says. "I've been listening to a lot of Postal Service, Radiohead, more out-there shit. [We] only kind of dumbed [the music] down a little bit, to go for that radio hit in some regard. But it sounds so good."

He's not the only one who thinks so: Lojic gained some infamy this year when it won the World Battle of the Bands ( contest, something it entered on a lark.

"We heard about it from a friend who works in a bar," O'Neil says. "We were like, ‘Whatever, battle of the bands — it never works out, it's always political and weird.' We did it for fun and ended up winning."

Besides international publicity and some guitars, Lojic also earned a trip to Hong Kong, which is where the finals were held.

Lojic hasn't forgotten its Midwest roots, however: This Pageant gig functions as a DVD-release party for The Four Ring Spectacle, a 90-minute movie it's self-releasing through its own record label. O'Neil compares the disc, which is basically a live DVD mixed in with backstage footage and interviews, to the Band's seminal concert documentary, The Last Waltz. — Annie Zaleski

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