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War: Tonight I want to talk to you about a subject of deep concern to all St. Louisans, and to many people in all parts of the state — the musical war between Alabaster Brown (a gritty, glottal, earthy jam band) and Metatron (sexy, gothy prog-metaldustrial). I believe that one of the reasons for the deep division in our city is that many St. Louisans have lost confidence in the diversity of our local music scene. Therefore, on Tuesday, January 31, the aforementioned bands (along with the Dave Black Band, the Local Gents and Big Thumb USA) go to war to prove their abilities with a battle of the bands, nicknamed Battlerusa (, at the Broadway Oyster Bar (736 South Broadway; 314-621-8811) at 7 p.m., with a $6 cover.

Doing Battlerusa on the other side of town is On Tracy Lane (self-described as "passionate hook-filled rock") and Jupiter Jazz (a hip-hop fusion band that fires back with, "That's nothing; we're watching kung-fu flicks, breaking boards with karate kicks and drinking egg yolks"). The pitiful shit-talkers break out the musical fisticuffs (along with Dogtown Allstars, Madahoochi and the Love Brothers) at 8 p.m. Tuesday, January 31, at Mississippi Nights (914 North First Street; 314-421-3853). Tickets are also $6. The overall St. Louis winner will go on to play at this summer's Wakarusa festival ( in Lawrence, Kansas.

Peace: If a sultry night of quiet jazz is more your speed, Erin Bode is back in town to deliver. Her penchant for jazzing up pop standards has drawn comparisons to Norah Jones, but Bode's jazz abilities are crescendos ahead. With a pitch-perfect voice, her alto rings Diana Krall while her mezzo chimes Eva Cassidy, with the rare voice that can flawlessly carry a capella. The St. Louis darling is back in town to release her new CD, Over and Over, with a three-night party (Thursday through Sunday, January 26 through 28, at 8:30 p.m. & 10:15 p.m.) at Jazz at the Bistro (3536 Washington Avenue; 314-531-1012). Tickets are $20.

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