Tonight, Tonight: Stryper at Trees, Eli "Paperboy" Reed at The Loft, 500 Miles to Memphis at La Grange and Eddie Spaghetti at the Aardvark

Things slow down just a bit tonight as SXSW gets fully underway tonight down in our state capital. Still, there are certainly some viable musical options available this evening for the discerning listener.

Stryper, Lynam and Super Nova Remnant at Trees
Since their inception in 1983, the Christian heavy metal band known as Stryper was always a risky proposition. Back in the day, not only was the entire concept of Christian metal thought of as oxymoronic, but the guys in Stryper even dressed up like bumblebees for (ahem) Christ's sake. And when the band's third album was entitled To Hell with the Devil, anyone with an inkling of common sense knew that Michael Sweet and the rest of these clowns had to be in on the joke; they were winking at Christians all the way to the bank. Stryper broke up in 1992, but was (ahem, again) resurrected in 1999. Here we are in 2011 and Stryper are still an annoyance. Incredible.

Eli "Paperboy" Reed, Mike Watt and Lite at The Loft
Due to tour routing on the way to SXSW, two headlining acts have been placed on the same bill for tonight's show at The Loft. And the acts could not be more dissimilar: Eli "Paperboy" Reed is a white soul singer, and Mike Watt is the legendary post-punk bassist best known for his work with The Minutemen and Firehose. These days, Watt is also the bass player in the reformed Iggy and the Stooges. Touring in support of his rewarding new solo effort, Hyphenated-Man, Watt is always an engaging live performer. There's a reason why even Kelly Clarkson reached out to Watt to play on her My December album. Also, Lite, an experimental quartet out of Japan, were personally picked by Watt to open this tour, which, tonight, makes for an especially interesting bill.

500 Miles to Memphis and John Pedigo at La Grange
Ohio's 500 Miles to Memphis seem to make it to Texas quite often, but the band's brand of alt-country and punk, it's always a pleasure to hear. We Built Up to Nothing, the band's most recent effort, featured much more intricate playing  and slicker production values than on previous releases, but 500 Miles to Memphis' power was thankfully left intact. The O's' John Pedigo, who appeared on that last 500 Miles to Memphis record in a backing capacity, goes the solo route as the opener this evening, which means the songwriting will be solid throughout the night.

Eddie Spaghetti and Holy Moly at the Aardvark
Eddie Spaghetti is best known as leader of The Supersuckers, the self-described greatest rock and roll band in the world. As a solo act, Spaghetti goes for the more acoustic, alt-country vibe, but his irreverent humor always shines through. Fort Worth's psychobilly outfit Holy Moly have the prime spot of warming up a for sure to be inebriated audience.

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Darryl Smyers
Contact: Darryl Smyers