Anthropology 101: Neanderthals inhabited the earth nearly 350,000 years ago, and while they constructed a pretty mean stone-flake spear, the concept of music was still quite alien to them. But in an effort to combine such ingenuity and naiveté, European world band Neanderthal Alien is rocking Balkan, African and Indian beats, while folding in rock and jazz influences. Dean Bowman of Screaming Headless Torsos fronts the avant-garde group, which has earned comparisons to the Chicago Art Ensemble. Neanderthal Alien plays Pop's Blue Moon (5249 Pattison Avenue, 314-776-4200; www.popsbluemoon.com) on Thursday, August 3, at 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $5.
Honky-tonkin': St. Louis tries to pose as a tough city, what with its high crime rate and punk-rock venues, but deep down there's still no denying that it's a good ol' Midwestern town. So who better to celebrate the sentiment than the appropriately named Dodge Harley & the Missouri Riders? While this country & western quartet is known for performing covers everything from Hank Williams to Alan Jackson they're finally ready to release a down-home single that celebrates their slice of country life. Catch their CD-release party at Blueberry Hill's Duck Room (6504 Delmar Boulevard, University City, 314-727-4444; www.blueberryhill.com) on Saturday, August 5, at 9 p.m. Six bucks gets you in. Kristyn Pomranz