Tonight, Tonight: Michael Franti & Spearhead at House of Blues, Tribal Seeds at The Granada, Field Music at The Loft, Ty Segall at The Cavern, Riverboat Gamblers at RGRS and Radiant at Lochrann's Irish Pub

Another work week edges slowly towards its conclusion, setting up what should be a great time to visit the State Fair, if nothing else.

And to help folks get an early start to the weekend, several intriguing musical selections are playing around our area this Thursday evening.

Michael Franti & Spearhead at the House of Blues
Poet, musician and composer Michael Franti is quite a bit mellower these days than he was back in 1991 when he fronted The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy. Back then, Franti spit out politically charged diatribes such as "Television, The Drug of a Nation" against a barrage of beats, samples and live instruments. Personally, I think Franti's work from that period is the best thing he's ever done. But maintaining such a rant proved unsuccessful--and that brings us to Spearhead. Mixing reggae, funk, dancehall and Afrobeat, Franti has made Spearhead a much friendlier proposition than any of his previous bands. Franti still gets political; he just does it in a less threatening way these days. Perhaps it gets the message across more successfully. Perhaps.

Tribal Seeds, Ugly Lion and Mystic Roots at The Granada Theater
Maybe a bit of Rastafarian charm is what you're looking for this evening? If so, San Diego's Tribal Seeds is more than happy to deliver the rhythm soaked goods. Influenced by the standard bearers of the genre, Bob Marley and Steel Pulse, Tribal Seeds throws a bit of rock into the mix as well. Dallas' own masters of dub Ugly Lion and Mystic Roots (who also hail from San Diego) will get the positivity started tonight on Greenville.

Field Music, Monahans at The Loft
With a name like Field Music, one might think this band would specialize in the sounds of nature, but David Brewis and his brother Peter actually lead this clever outfit in all sorts of indie rock directions. Sounding vaguely like Big Star, Field Music plays power pop with a distinctly British flair. Supposedly the band was going to call it quits in 2007, but with the release of Field Music (Measure) in February of this year, it appears that the brothers Brewis are back for a while. And I say that's a good thing. Interesting side note: Peter Brewis used to play drums for The Futureheads, another band from Sunderland, England, who just happen to be playing The Loft on October 11th. Hmmmmmm. Oh, and get to this one early to check out Austin favorites Monahans, who locals will recognize as Doug Burr's backing band.

Ty Segall at The Cavern
Blog darling Ty Segall, whose earned his fair share of praise for his anthemic, lo-fi singer-songwriter recordings from all sorts of outlets, including DFW's own Weekly Tape Deck, stops through town for a gig at The Cavern, a venue that's been getting fewer and fewer shows of note of late. Well, that gets remedied tonight with a show that, on a lesser Thursday, would stand along as the must-see affair of the night.

Riverboat Gamblers, Record Hop at Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studios in Denton
Denton's own punk rock heroes in the Riverboat Gamblers are quietly returning to town tonight for what should be quite the treat--especially when you consider that it was right there at Rubber Gloves where this band cut its teeth, way before the band started getting name-checked by national rags like Spin for its visceral, high-energy live shows. As such, this homecoming date should prove quite the treat. Add in Record Hop, which is still the loudest band in North Texas, and this makes for quite the bill up in Denton tonight.

Radiant at Lochrann's Irish Pub in Frisco
Once upon a time, I witnessed a line of people waiting to get into a club to see Radiant--a line that stretched several blocks around the once decaying buildings of Deep Ellum. That was around 2004, when the band won the Dallas Observer Music Award as best new band. And it was just one of many accolades the band received, having also played on Jimmy Kimmel's late night show. Many thought the band was heading to national greatness. But for a variety of reasons, things never worked out. These days, Radiant is just another talented local band battling it out on a Thursday night for the attention of an inebriated collection of loyal fans and various interlopers.

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