Tonight's Showgoing Options Are Thrice As Nice

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Both local and national talent are on display this hump-day evening. Choose wisely.

Primus and Dirtfoot at the Palladium Ballroom
Led by the over-the-top antics of bassist Les Claypool, the alternative rock trio Primus have been doing their oddball thing for more than two decades now. The band's heyday was clearly the mid-'90s, though, when Primus had hits with such geeky fare as "Jerry Was a Race Car Driver" and "Tommy the Cat." Primus' audience has always been a peculiar mix of punks, frat boys and those folks fascinated with Claypool's impressive bass chops. Chances are that the crowd tonight will encompass those same folks. They'll just be older and have their offspring in tow.

Nicholas Altobelli and Matthew Gray at the Kessler Theater
Two of the area's best songwriters ply their wares tonight in Oak Cliff. Alt-country whiz kid Altobelli has a new album about to hit the streets: Radio Waves and Telephone Wires is Altobelli's fourth effort and, each time out, the young singer-songwriter seems to get more adventurous. Meanwhile, you never know what you going to get with Matthew and The Arrogant Sea frontman Matthew Gray. The guy's solo excursions are nearly always beautifully unpredictable performances that highlight Gray's undeniable talent.

The Pine Hill Haints, High Tension Wires and Mind Spiders at Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studio in Denton
Those searching for some old-school Americana should head to Denton and check out The Pine Hill Haints tonight. Hailing from Alabama, this fiery foursome plays old-timey music that touches on gospel, blues, country and folk. Songs such as "I Never Thought the Day Would Come When You Could Hate Me So" and "Catfish Angels" demonstrate a keen understanding of the roots of rock 'n' roll. Led by Jamie Barrier, The Pine Hill Haints are definitely worth a jaunt northward. Denton's awesome Dirtnap Records tandem of High Tension Wires and Mind Spiders add quite a bit more modernity and way more of a punk feel to this interesting bill.

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Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.