(Ben Shepard)Where: Under the marquee of the Pageant When: Saturday, August 30, at 2:45 p.m. Playing with: As part of the East Loop Block Party; full line-up here. Sounds Like: Earthworms has long been a leading light among the city’s hip-hop scene, and the collective’s recent work represents a pinnacle of sorts. This year’s Bottle Full of Bourbon builds off the funk-heavy, catch-all vibe of the group’s debut; Mathias, Kama and Black Patrick trade verses, while DJ Mahf cooks up a stew of smooth old-school soul and hard-edged beats. The Earthworms’ live performances infuse a new energy into these tracks, as funky keyboards, skronking horns and a crack rhythm section back these rappers. -- Christian Schaeffer MP3: Earthworms, "Bottle Full of Bourbon"
RATATAT (MySpace)Where: The Gargoyle, on the campus of Washington University When: 8 p.m. Saturday, August 30 Sounds like: "Maybe it's just the shrieking panther samples, but listening to Ratatat can make a person feel like he's creeping through a jungle and a dance party's about to pounce. The group's exotic mash-up of rump-shaking beats, autoharp, video-game blurts and dual-lead-guitar shredding is instantly recognizable and proprietarily awesome." (link) -- Richard Gintowt MP3: Ratatat, "Mirando"
BROTHERS AND SISTERS (MySpace)Where: Off Broadway (3509 Lemp Avenue) When: Monday, September 1 Playing with: World Famous Tractor Pull Sounds like: An alt-country act brought up on deceptively sunny SoCal '70s pop (Fleetwood Mac) and the '80s Paisley Underground movement (The Dream Syndicate), as much as it liked the Old 97's. -- Annie Zaleski MP3: Brothers & Sisters, "You're Gone"