Five Shows To Go See Tonight, Tonight

Quite the busy Thursday evening of music we have here. From classic singer-songwriter fare to a trio of quality alt-country acts, there's a little something for everyone on display tonight.

Destry, Communipaw, Soviet and Summertime Knives at the Prophet Bar
Formed by ex-Straylight Run vocalist Michelle DaRosa, Destry plays a nice little indie folk-rock and alt-country with the ease and confidence of a band with much more experience. DaRosa's sublime vocals are the main attraction of Destry, but drummer Nico Childrey and bassist Shaun Cooper (also a Straylight Run alum) make key contributions. Their music is slow and beautiful, and it warrants repeated listens. Same goes for New Jersey's Communipaw, the brainchild of singer-songwriter Brian Bond. Despite the ugly moniker, Communipaw make surprisingly pretty, countrified rock that never lacks charm or wit.

Judy Collins at the Lakewood Theater
At 72, Judy Collins easily qualifies as a legend at this point. The singer and songwriter has, throughout her lengthy career, shown unparalleled taste when interpreting the work of others. Collins' versions of songs by Joni Mitchell ("Both Sides Now"), Stephen Sondheim ("Send in the Clowns") and Leonard Cohen ("Bird on a Wire") are seen by some as the definitive versions. Almost as impressive as her music is Collins' political activism. Her steadfast support of left-wing causes and ideologies has oftentimes gotten Collins into some hot water, but her audience never seemed to mind. Perhaps with music this good, some folks can get away with just about anything.

Stan Ridgway at Poor David's Pub
Ex-Wall of Voodoo frontman Stan Ridgway seems to make it to our area quite often. And, seeing that, even at 57, Ridgway has not lost any of the zany irreverence that he demonstrated back in the Wall of Voodoo heyday back in the '80s, such frequency is indeed a good thing. Plus, the guy still has a lot to say. Neon Mirage, Ridgway's solo effort from last year, featured a mature, alt-country vibe that fit the singer's world-weary mindset perfectly. Undoubtedly, Ridgway will perform "Mexican Radio" and other Wall of Voodoo hits this evening, but those might be some of the weaker songs in the set.

Two Tons of Steel at Dan's Silverleaf in Denton
San Antonio's Two Tons of Steel is another act that frequently graces our area's stages. And, once again, such regularity is a blessing. Not only are these guys adept at hardcore honky-tonk, but they also have a fine punk rock sensibility, as best demonstrated by the band's Americana reconstruction of the Ramones' "I Wanna Be Sedated." Some folks erroneously consider Two Tons of Steel to be some sort of novelty act. Far from it. This is alt-country with a genius IQ.

The Trishas and Deadman at the Belmont Hotel
Hopefully, the crazy Texas weather will allow this week's poolside performance to actually take place, unlike the last few scheduled at this venue. Austin's The Trishas are another alt-country act worth spending some time with. Same goes for our own Deadman. Hell, this may well be the best double-bill of this busy Thursday night.

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