Jars Of Clay's Charlie Lowell on the Clumsy Middle Ground Between The Church and The World and Going to St. Louis Raves

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For many, the parable of Jars Of Clay begins and ends with its 1995 hit "Flood," the moody acoustic folk tune that crossed over from contemporary Christian radio to mainstream rock stations. The story is far less simple, as keyboardist Charlie Lowell explains. Jars Of Clay performs tonight at the Old Rock House.

Ryan Wasoba: I didn't realize until I was researching the band for this interview, but Jars Of Clay goes through drummers like Spinal Tap.

Charlie Lowell: Oh yeah. We have had a few over the years. Right now we are touring as a five piece which is the four of us and a cellist. We have two guitars, I play keys, our singer is doing some percussion and light drums kind of work. So we don't have a traditional drummer in that sense. This is more of a fun thing, doing quirky arrangements of the songs. We love having a cellist with us, it's a fun dynamic.

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Why You Should See Nones Tonight at El Lenador

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8 p.m. Tonight. El Lenador (3124 Cherokee Street).

Every Spring we Midwesterners reap the benefits of shows from bands that are touring to and from the SXSW festival in Austin. We're usually stoked about coastal bands that had previously been too lame to swing through the Lou, but this year we can't wait for neighboring noise makers Nones to play on its victory lap back to Chicago. Nones is one of the newest bands on Chicago's underground HoZac Records label and its sound is both no wave and psychedelic. These three girls and one (insane) dude front man make both twitching blasters that dip into skronk territory and trippy, kaleidoscopic jams that are frequently interrupted by a squawking saxophone.

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Vijay Iyer is Excited to Return to St. Louis, Where a Track from The New Album Was Born

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ACT / Jimmy Katz
In this week's RFT Music feature, jazz pianist Vijay Iyer speaks eloquently about his beyond-stunning new album Accelerando. Topics include hurricanes, Westerners' fear of odd numbers, and the concept of genre as a product of community. Accelerando dropped yesterday, and tonight his trio begins a four-night stint at Jazz At The Bistro (3536 Washington Avenue, 314-289-4030) with two sets nightly at 7:30 and 9:00 p.m.

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Download the iLLPHONiCS EP Before Tonight's Release Show

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From the cover of the iLLPHONiCS' Reality: Check EP.
Since its early days back in 2006, when the iLLPHONiCS was working out of the recording studio at Webster University, the group has shaped and molded its style into the well-polished hybrid genre that its members now call "hip-hop fusion." While the iLLPHONiCS may lean on a variety of different musical influences from track to track, it does so without compromising a distinctive sound; the group's funkadelic basslines and soaring guitars are anchored unremittingly by lead-man Larry "Fallout" Morris' melodic, staccato rhyme-spitting.

The group will release its new EP tonight at Broadway Oyster Bar (736 South Broadway, 314-621-8811) at 9 p.m -- cover is $6.

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Satan is Real: The Ballad of the Louvin Brothers Author at Tonight's Noir at the Bar

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Tonight's guest at Subterranean Books' Noir at the Bar reading series is of particular interest to us here at RFT Music: It's Benjamin Whitmer, who wrote Satan is Real: The Ballad of the Louvin Brothers with Charlie Louvin before he died last year. It tells the story of the pioneering country music duo, active in the '40s, '50s and '60s, responsible for laying the groundwork for hundreds of artists and releasing an album with one of the most iconic covers in music history. That album lends its title to the book, which has been well received by everyone from Emmylou Harris to the New York Times.

Whitmer will be at Meshuggah Coffee House (6269 Delmar Boulevard, 314-726-5662) tonight at 7 p.m. Missouri's Robert J. Randisi and St. Louis' Sonia Coney and Jason Makansi are also reading.

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Old 97's and Ryan Adams' Paths Cross Once Again Tonight St. Louis

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Eileen Tilson
The biggest two shows in St. Louis tonight pit headliners that haven't exactly had a history of friendship. The heat has long since faded, but Ryan Adams, particularly in his Whiskeytown days, was known to have a bit of an attitude about the Old 97's and frontman Rhett Miller in particular. Jesse Hughey, writing for the Dallas Observer, remembers one particular scene from a show in 1998:

Between songs, Adams needled frat guys with remarks about renting friends. Then he put on a pair of black-framed glasses, forced a buck-toothed smile and picked up his acoustic guitar. "Look, we're the Old 97's," he said. "What a nerd!"
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Skanksgiving: Where to Get Your Skank On Tonight!

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Don't be fooled, she's feeling extra skanky today.
At last, our third favorite holiday is upon us: Skanksgiving. It doesn't have the earthy cachet of 4/20, nor the heartwarming appeal of the Day You Finally Get Your Tax Refund Day, but Skanksgiving is still one of the happiest days of the year. After donning your holiday glad rags, it's time to get debaucherous and not just a little drunk; possibly even drunk enough to hook up with that high school crush you've been Facebook stalking. There's nothing like the threat of uninterrupted family bonding time to bring out the slutty little pony in you.

So, where can you get plotzed tonight?

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Your Guide to Tonight's Paul Simon Show

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Courtesy of the artist
Paul Simon's So Beautiful or So What tour makes a stop tonight at the Fabulous Fox Theatre -- check back tomorrow morning for a full review and setlist from the show.

Paul Simon is among the best songwriters folk music has ever had, and at his worst you could still never accuse him of complacency. After a Brian Eno-assisted divergence on Surprise, he returned this year with So Beautiful Or So What. It employs the lessons learned from forty years of experimentation, but more than that it finds Simon's conversational melodies and subject matter effortless and effective in a way that neither has been in years.

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Want to Meet B.o.B.? Head to the Loft Tonight

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The one-man money machine known as B.o.B. is in St. Louis tonight for a slew of promotional appearances: He's hitting the Z107.7 studios, meet n' greeting at the City Museum with 20 lucky guests, and then debuting a new mixtape at the Loft. We've searched high and low for the particulars on how you, dear reader, can score one of 200 spots at the listening party, and all we've come up with is...nothing!

There is literally no information about his appearances anywhere, save for a spot on his website that erroneously states he'll be in St. Louis tomorrow. Nope, it's today, and here's what we do know: The guy behind "Airplanes" and "Strange Clouds" will be clownin' at the City Museum from 6-7pm, and then he lands at the Loft (3112 Olive Blvd.) from 8 to 10pm. Come get your peep on, and stay tuned tomorrow for an interview and photos from the event.

Entertain Your Brain with a tUnE-yArDs Sudoku Puzzle!

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Editor's note: The first person to email me (kiernan DOT maletsky AT riverfronttimes DOT com) with the completed puzzle attached wins a prize pack grab bag that may or may not include Rockabye Baby! Lullaby Renditions of Van Halen and/or Rockabye Baby! Lullaby Renditions of the Police, both of which contain thematic baby food recipes. And yes, I will absolutely only accept submissions with proper capitalization.

If you, like us, are stoked about the tUnE-yArDs show this evening at Off Broadway (or if you're bored at work and have access to a printer) we have a way to channel that excitement: our exclusive tUnE-yArDs Sudoku puzzle! When solved, every box, row, and column will contain the letters that spell the band name with no repeats. Have fun!

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