The Antlers Promise Not To Completely Depress You Tonight. Plus: Three Other Solid Shows.

A solid hump-day offering of shows is on tap for you tonight as quality acts are spaced all across the area.

The Antlers and Little Scream at The Loft
Brooklyn's The Antlers are led by the singularly depressed talents of Peter Silberman, a guy whose best songs seem as if they were written for a funeral march. Or so it seemed on Hospice, the 2009 effort that brought The Antlers major critical kudos. Burst Apart, the band's recently released fourth album, lightens things up considerably. First off, the new effort isn't a concept album about death. Secondly, Burst is a true group effort, not just a collection of Silberman demos fussed up with backing musicians. Songs like "I Don't Want to Love" and "Every Night My Teeth are Falling Out" may sound depressing, but they have the feel of a band jelling around its leader, not just following his tracks.

Bleubird, Otem Rellik, Galaxies, Thrifty Astronaut and K-The-I at Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios in Denton
Quite the cool collection of experimental hip-hop and electronica we have happening in Denton tonight. Otem Rellik is really just Toby Hendricks, a decent poet hailing from Fort Collins, Colorado. Elephant Graveyard, Otem Rellik's 2010 effort, is a solid collection of random noises and thoughtful rhymes. Although not on that effort, also check out this guys' cool deconstruction of Radiohead's "Creep." And get to the venue early in order to catch K-The-I, a big and big-voiced rapper out of Los Angeles.

Brandon Jenkins at 8.0 in Fort Worth
Oklahoma native Brandon Jenkins has written songs for the likes of Stoney LaRue, Bleu Edmondson and Cross Canadian Ragweed. Jenkins has also released seven albums of solid, hardcore country that bridges the gap between the rebellious alt-country of Steve Earle with the more mainstream concerns of the acts that have covered Jenkins' songs. The guy's a heavily tattooed redneck with attitude and talent to spare. If I was anywhere near Cowtown tonight, I'd seriously consider going to this show.

Sick Puppies, Cult to Follow, Madam Adam and Fantasma at Trees
For the better part of 14 years, Australia's Sick Puppies have always succeeded in never living up to their name. Although obviously influenced by bands such as Alice in Chains and Tool, Shimon Moore and crew never really made any music that felt disturbing in any way. That's not to say that the trio hasn't made good records. 2007's Dressed Up as Life featured some cool pop and post-punk that showed the band capable in a variety of genres. It's just that, with a name like Sick Puppies, the expectations are for something, well, sick. And most of what these guys (and gal) deliver is decidedly healthy.