Tonight, Tonight: Red Bull SoundClash at the Palladium, And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead at The Loft, Doug Burr at Lochrann's Irish Pub, Minus The Bear at House of Blues and Ra Ra Riot at The Granada

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Another day, another busy musical evening here in the metroplex. Seriously busy.

Red Bull SoundClash with Talib Kweli at the Palladium Ballroom
Have we told you enough about this event yet?

...And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead, Ringo Deathstarr and Bad Design at The Loft

Austin's ...And You Will Know Us ByThe Trail of Dead has come quite a ways since the band's humble beginnings back in 1994. First it was cassette-only releases, then it was signing to a hip indie label (Merge) and then it was on to a semi-hip major label (Interscope). Now, Conrad Keely and crew are back to doing it themselves. Through it all, the band's intensity has never wavered. As far as albums go, 2002's Source Tags & Codes has yet to be matched. However, last year's The Century of Self rocked pretty mercilessly. This kind of music practically defines heavy.

Doug Burr, Glen Farris and Danny Balis at Lochrann's Irish Pub
Three of the best songwriters in our area (hell, maybe even in the state) come together to share an evening of good songs played just right. Although this trio has done this song swap thing several times at other venues, this is a great chance to catch them in an intimate setting. Balis is hard at work on his follow up to last year's sensational Too Much Living. And Doug Burr's O Ye Devastator is among the best local releases of the year. Add in the weird and sturdy song craft of Farris and you have the makings of a cerebral hoedown.

Minus The Bear and Tim Kasher at the House of Blues
Seattle's Minus The Bear could be king of the nerd bands. Indie in the extreme, Jake Snider and the rest of these geeks have absolutely zero fashion sense. And that's a good thing. These guys just play their twisted, experimental rock without kowtowing to anything other than the music itself. Omni, the band's most recent release, goes heavy on the electronics and is the most restrained item in the band's impressive catalogue. Not sure if that's a good thing. Cursive frontman Tim Kasher, who just released his first solo effort, the lush and inviting The Game of Monogamy, adds some--god forbid--style to the proceedings.

Ra Ra Riot, Villagers and Givers at The Granada Theater
Speaking of lush, Syracuse's Ra Ra Riot brings its brand of brainy, baroque pop to the friendly confines of The Granada this evening. The Orchard, Ra Ra Riot's most recent album, hasn't gotten the critical kudos of previous efforts, but it's a solid collection of thinking man's pop. Any rock band with a cello player is immediately suspect, but Ra Ra Riot makes it work nonetheless. ELO this ain't. Ireland's Villagers and Louisiana's Givers make this one hell of a cool, indie rock triple bill.

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