Tonight, Tonight: Flogging Molly at House of Blues, Smith Westerns at The Loft, The O's at Good Records and Land Mammals at Dan's Silverleaf


Tonight's a fairly packed Tuesday evening, featuring some Irish punk, a triple-bill of Americana, a pretty high-profile local CD release performance and some garage rock out of Chicago. What more could you want?

Flogging Molly and Moneybrother at the House of Blues
For my money, Flogging Molly are the best purveyors of Irish punk currently going. Unlike so many of their contemporaries, Dave King and crew don't simply fuse the power of punk with the folky qualities of traditional Irish music. Instead, Flogging Molly succeeds by simply writing great songs that utilize the spirit and rage of punk as much as the wattage. "Screaming at The Wall" from 2004's Within a Mile of Home may well be the best Irish punk song, period. And that's saying something. Considering that King was once in the horrible late '80s metal band Fastway, the greatness of Flogging Molly is especially remarkable.

The O's at Good Records
The O's appear to be the rare local act that pretty much everyone can agree on. And why not? Taylor Young and John Pedigo's brand of folk rock is certainly enjoyable -- on a drinking level, on a sentimental level and on a songwriting level to boot. Today, the band celebrates the release of its new album, Between The Two, with an in-store performance at Good Records. Don't miss it.

Smith Westerns, Yuck and Sunset at The Loft
Chicago's Smith Westerns have all the cool, retro influences -- the Beatles, David Bowie, T. Rex, etc. But what's nice is that the band can actually incorporate these influences into its garage rock stew beyond simply listing their names in interviews. Led by Cullen Omori, Smith Westerns has a new album to promote on this tour, the loud and crafty Dye it Blonde. Songs such as "End of the Night" and "All Die Young" showcase a band with a maturity level that belies the member's young ages. Barely out of their teens, these guys display power and promise at nearly every turn. Fans of the early days of the great Mott The Hoople should definitely check into Smith Westerns.

Land Mammals, Paul Slavens and Sam Robertson at Dan's Silverleaf
Tonight's tasty triple bill of locals features three of the best songwriters in our area. Every one should already know about Paul Slavens, a guy who should win the "supporter of local music" award just about every year for his songwriting and radio work. Fewer folks may be familiar with Sam Robertson, a gal who can hold her own against any alt-country tunesmith. Headlining tonight's festivities are Land Mammals, a feisty quintet that adds a humorous flair to the sometimes dour vibe of urgent Americana.

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