Tonight, Tonight: John McLaughlin at The Granada, Brokencyde at The Loft and Hinder at The Palladium Ballroom

Not a bad selection of shows for the Monday after Turkey Day. But, OK, maybe not the best, either.

John McLaughlin and Seth Walker at the Granada Theater
If you caught my Q&A with guitarist extraordinaire John McLaughlin earlier today, you'll already be familiar with the guy's incredible credentials. Quite possibly the greatest living guitar player (according to Jeff Beck and Pat Metheny), McLaughlin takes all the accolades in stride and just keeps going strong well into his 60s. McLaughlin's latest group project, The 4th Dimension, released To The One earlier this year. Evoking his idol John Coltrane, McLaughlin leads his newest band in all sorts of interesting places. And if you think this guy is just for jazz purist only, please run out and buy a copy of Miles Davis' album Tribute to Jack Johnson. The mind-expanding string bending going on there predates ideas folks like Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr. would use 20 years later.

Brokencyde, Millionaires and The Hit at The Loft
Both Albuquerque's Brokencyde and Orange County's Millionaires are part of the "crunkcore" genre, a mix of hip-hop and screamo that's not nearly as gruesome of one might imagine. Or, on second thought, maybe it is. Brokencyde's music has been described as "fucking horrendous" and "a mockery to the world of music" by some. Of course, any band so universally hated by critics must have something going for it, right? Dallas' own The Hit gets the festivities started in what should be an interesting evening of music, if nothing else.

Hinder, Saving Abel, My Darkest Days and Default at the Palladium Ballroom
Speaking of negative reviews, Stephen Thomas Erlewine of said that Take it to The Limit, the second album from Oklahoma's Hinder, demonstrated a "stultifying lack of imagination." Ouch. The band's latest effort, All American Nightmare, is due any day now. Perhaps the new album will allow Hinder's critical reputation to fair better? Perhaps. And Sarah Palin might join the Democratic Party. Mississippi's Saving Abel hasn't fared much better with critics, and the band's recent single, "The Sex is Good" certainly doesn't inspire kudos from this writer. Canada's My Darkest Days is possibly the best band on this crowded bill of music best suited for a strip club rather than a music venue.

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Darryl Smyers
Contact: Darryl Smyers