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World Leader Pretend 

Saturday, October 1; Taste of St. Louis (at the Gateway Mall, along Market Street between Ninth and Eleventh streets)

It takes guts to name your band after R.E.M.'s best song, especially when releasing your major-label debut on R.E.M.'s label. It takes even more guts to quote the melody of Neil Diamond's "I Got the Feelin' (Oh No, No)" and a Sugar Ray song in the album's leadoff track. But amazingly, World Leader Pretend and its album, Punches, makes it all work. While singer Keith Ferguson channels Jeff Buckley, James' Tim Booth and Thom Yorke in equal measure, he manages to rise above his influences and the band's adventurous, kitchen-sink arrangements.

Show starts at 3 p.m. Admission is free; visit www.tastestl.com for more information.

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