Tonight, Tonight: Blind Guardian at Trees, Jay Brannan at The Loft and Mini Mansions at The Cavern


Tuesday evening brings a couple of decent triple-bills and a tandem of sensitive singer-songwriters to our area for your musical enjoyment. Which is as good an excuse as any to leave the house tonight.

Blind Guardian, Seven Kingdoms and Holy Grail at Trees
Germany's Blind Guardian has been around since the early 1980s and is often cited as one of the most influential Euro speed metal acts. Typically overblown, the music of Hansi Kürsch and crew is said to be inspired by the writings of J.R.R. Tolkien and Stephen King. And that may well be, but that doesn't make it any less bombastic. In general, The Euros just seem to take this shit to another level and Blind Guardian in no exception. The band's most recent effort, At the Edge of Time, is a confused and convoluting mess of progressive metal that I'm sure is being quoted by a teenager in Berlin at this very moment. Florida's Seven Kingdoms and California's Holy Grail will certainly add to the epic nature of this bloated bill.

Jay Brannan and Eric Himan at The Loft
Now residing in New York City, singer-songwriter Jay Brannan actually spent his early years in and around Houston. And there is a hint of Americana is the guy's emotionally packed folk-pop songs. Brannan is often compared to people like Ani DiFranco and Liz Phair, and, yeah, Brannan's voice might be as effeminate as either of those fine ladies. The dude just wears his sensitivity on his sleeve. You can head that much on songs such as "Christmas Really Sucks" and "Half Boyfriend," for sure. But the guy's got an interesting world view: Not too many men would admit to striving for the sound of "the angry, sad woman." But Branna does. Tulsa's Eric Himan will open the show with his own, piano-based tales of romantic woe.

Mini Mansions, Man Factory and New Fumes at The Cavern
Mini Mansions is the side project of Queens of the Stone Age bassist Michael Shuman, and the Mansions' hip psychedelic vibe is miles from what some listeners might expect. Shuman's trio mines Revolver-era Beatles to create a fresh take on an old sound. Arlington's Street Fighter-obsessed Man Factory and Dallas' own New Fumes should provide able support for a show that reeks of indie coolness. As a matter of fact, New Fumes' main man Daniel Huffman may be the most talented guy in the venue on this particular evening.

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