Tonight, Tonight: Mumford & Sons at House of Blues, Appleseed Cast at The Loft, Circle Pit at The Cavern, Cruel Hands at The Nightmare and The Dwarves at the Double Wide

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Featuring some big names both old and new, it's just another crazy busy musical Thursday evening...

Mumford & Sons and Cadillac Sky at The House of Blues
Considering that Marcus Mumford and the rest of this fine quartet play very literate, British folk rock, it's rather remarkable that they have made such a splash on the international indie scene. Perhaps it's the band's vigorous live shows that bring in the hipsters? Whatever the reason, the attention is deserved: Sigh No More, Mumford & Sons' debut album, came out this past February and quickly garnered positive reviews for its similarities to the work of The Waterboys and The Pogues. Perhaps overly-literate to a fault, songs such as "The Cave" and "Winter Winds" still manage to support the band's skillful pretensions. And, even though lead singer Bryan Simpson recently exited Fort Worth's Cadillac Sky, the band should still provide some nice opening support.

The Appleseed Cast and The Rocketboys at The Loft
Kansas' The Appleseed Cast have always been one of my favorite emo bands--just for the fact that they were never really emo. Sure, the band's first effort had all the earmarks of a Sunny Day Real Estate effort, but Christopher Crisci and crew quickly moved on to more interesting locales. By the time The Appleseed Cast got around to recording its best effort, 2006's Peregrine, the band had almost fallen apart a couple of times. Good thing for all involved that this talented quintet stuck it out because they continue to deliver the experimental rock goods. Austin's The Rocketboys kicks off this evening's festivities. Analog Rebellion, which was scheduled to be a part of this bill, had to cancel.

Circle Pit, Missile, Sir Name and the Janes at The Cavern
Circle Pit doesn't make the music its moniker conjures. Nope. No thrash metal here. Rather, this Australia-based duo makes lo-fi jangle rock that recalls a more melodic, less heavy-handed Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. And they get some nice local support on this bill, courtesy of the maybe-too-tongue-in-cheek rockers Missile and the intriguing, vamp-ish jangle rock of Sir Name and the Janes.

Cruel Hands, Backtrack and Power Trip at The Nightmare
The best band on this (ahem) powerful triple-bill may be the opener, Dallas' own metallic punksters Power Trip. This is a nice warm-up show for Riley Gale and the rest of the band before they head to Austin to play the Fun Fun Fun Fest this weekend. And even though I really dig Power Trip, Maine's Cruel Hand and Long Island's Backtrack are no slouches in the old-school hardcore punk department, either. Both bands bring the noise in a rough and tumble manner that is ugly and uncompromising--exactly as music like this should be.

The Dwarves, The Applicators and The House Harkonnen at the Double Wide
Seaking of punk, Chicago's Dwarves has been around seemingly forever--or at least since the mid-'80s. Supposedly, founding members  Blag Dahlia (vocals) and He WhoCannotBe Named (guitar) have cleaned up the band's notoriously sleezy live act of late. Back in the day, self-mutilation and onstage sex were not uncommon. The band's 1989 effort, Blood, Guts and Pussy, remains one of the ugliest records ever made. And that's saying something. Even the NSFW album cover is legendary. Austin's all-female The Applicators and our own The House Harkonnen will certainly add to the deafening din.

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