Serengeti, DJ Crucial and the Art Thugz, with DJ Entropy and DJ Silver Colorado, Nightlight, Saturday, July 5, 10 p.m.
This group of DJs and emcees from the F5 Records crew prove there's a subtler flavor of hip hop coming out of St. Louis than just Mr. "Hot in Here" Nelly. Serengeti's soulful vibe is smooth, slowed-down rhymes, often sprinkled with jazzy samples and beats provided by DJ Crucial. Here's another look at new solid independent hip-hop. Local DJs opening up. For more information: 933-5550. --Chris Toenes
Beausoleil, Cat's Cradle, Sunday, July 6, 8:30 p.m.
"You just play what you like," says Beausoleil's leader Michael Doucet. "Other people make judgements, we just make music." The group that has been called the premier Cajun band on the planet plays "traditional" Cajun music. But Doucet, who was an instructor of French music at the University of Southwest Louisiana, says that Cajun musical culture is such a mix of musical styles that "it is all other forms of music. It doesn't have to do anything--classical music, jazz, blues country--it's all in there." The music and the band has become so popular world-wide since he formed it in 1975 that Doucet says proudly that the band has never had to solicit a gig. To purists who have attempted to rap the fiddler's knuckles for bringing other forms of music into the mix, he replies that true tradition is not living in the past or the future--"it's what you're doing right now." --Grant Britt