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Beat Happenings

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Jerks these days: Back in middle school, real jerks would call you a dorkus malorkus, push you into a locker and demand your milk money. These days, self-proclaimed "Jerks" are musicians who are working diligently to preserve human rights by promoting awareness of Amnesty International. According to old-school standards, the band headlining this year's Jamnesty should be called "Johnny O and the Upstanding Samaritans"; if they want to keep "Johnny O and the Jerks," they're going to have to fight poverty and nerds in tandem. Jamnesty, a rock concert benefiting Amnesty International, takes place at 6:30 p.m. Friday, March 31, at First Congregational Church (6501 Wydown Boulevard, Clayton; 314-721-5060). Tickets are $5.

Jazz musician practical jokes: A strategically greased slide trombone. An upright bass strung with two D-strings. A metronome that cannot be turned off. A rubber mute replaced with a fresh flounder. Who knows what you'll get this April Fool's Day at the Saint Louis Stompers' free jazz concert at Trinity Presbyterian Church (6800 Washington Avenue, University City; 314-725-3840)? At 7 p.m. Saturday, April 1, take a break from terrorizing your friends to enjoy some of the finest jazz around (or, if your pals are hardcore metalheads, just bring 'em with you for the funniest April Fool's trick of all!). Free reception to follow.

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