Tonight, Tonight: Blitzen Trapper at House of Blues, Mushroomhead at Trees, Tech N9ne and E-40 at the Ridglea, Chelsea Madrigal at The Kessler and Manned Missiles at Rubber Gloves. LATE ADD: The Soft Pack and These United States at Lochrann's.


The workweek is almost over. To celebrate, the gods have provided some local and national musical talent tonight to get you ready for the weekend.

Blitzen Trapper at House of Blues
Although Eric Earley, leader of the sextet known as Blitzen Trapper, wasn't too enthusiastic when I spoke to him over the phone last week, the guy is capable of leading this intriguing band in all sorts of cool directions on stage. Blitzen Trapper started out as off-kilter alt-country act, but Earley has slowly morphed the band into an experimental unit influenced by everything from the Beach Boys to Queen. Blitzen Trapper's most recent opus, the fine Destroyer of the Void, is stylistically all over the map. While such a disjointed approach may not work for some bands, Blitzen Trapper makes it a valuable asset.

Mushroomhead, Final Trigger and Stygian at Trees
Like GWAR, Cleveland's Mushroomhead is as much interested in the band's presentation as it is in the music. Wearing masks and using aliases, the eight guys who make up Mushroomhead play metal with a distinct electronic/industrial influence. Sure, the band can sometimes come off as Ministry-lite, but since Al Jourgensen claims that Ministry is no longer a functioning unit, Mushroomhead may be the next best thing. Plus, any band named after my favorite Can song gets extra style points. Canada's Final Trigger and Philadelphia's Stygian add punch to this already electric bill.

Tech N9ne, E-40 at the Ridglea Theater in Fort Worth
There seems to be some confusion over whether this show is taking place at Trees or somewhere else. Well, as you can see above, Trees is already booked with something else. So there you go. Still, this show is a good one--maybe even better than Trees' offering. As Cory Graves noted in this week's paper, Tech N9ne's resume as one of the bigger underground rappers in recent memories is impressive. Add on long-running E-40 to the bill, and this bill might actually entice some Dallas hip-hop heads make the drive west tonight.

Chelsea Madrigal at The Kessler Theater
Local singer/songwriter Chelsea Madrigal brings her sophisticated, urban pop to the Kessler this evening. Madrigal is finishing up touches on her new record, so I'm sure the set list will be peppered with new material. Certainly a nice chance to sample some wine and act all classy, Madrigal's shows are a good excuse for folks to break out the finer things hanging out in their closets. Plus, the show is free.

Manned Missiles, Spooky Folk, Babar and Peopleodian at Rubber Gloves in Denton
Late last year, Denton's Manned Missiles released the Might as Well EP, a very nice sampling of indie pop. Hopefully the band is working on a full-length follow-up as songs like "Sons + Daughters" and "Oh, Zimmerman" showed flair and innovation. Don't just take my word for it. You can download the entire EP for free. A couple other DC9 favorites--Spooky Folk, Babar and Peopleodian--make this bill as tasty a quartet of local acts as anyone is likely to find all week.

LATE ADD: The Soft Pack and These United States at Lochrann's in Frisco
Totally forgot about this absolutely free show up in Frisco tonight featuring two top-notch touring acts we've mentioned plenty in the past. Whoops. San Diego's The Soft Pack is about as punchy and catchy as modern indie rock gets. Meanwhile These United States combine storytelling and boozy alt-country into a fine mix. A definite pick for show of the night.
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