Tonight: Margo & the Nuclear So and So's at the Mink

Quick, name three musicians or bands from Indiana that do not contain the words "John," "Cougar" or "Mellencamp." Still thinking? Well, that list would include jazz guitar great Wes Montgomery, Deniece "Let's Hear It for the Boy" Williams and pop-punk "Boys of Summer" the Ataris. Don't forget that Axl Rose, David Lee Roth and Blind Melon's Shannon Hoon are/were all Hoosiers, as were two co-authors of the Great American Songbook, Cole "Night and Day" Porter and Hoagy "Stardust" Carmichael. Plus a little family from up Gary way you may have heard of called the Jacksons.

Not bad. Indianapolis is like Houston, though, in that it hasn't given Pitchfork nation much to get excited about. However, it does have Margot & the Nuclear So and So's, the indie-pop collective - as per music-writer bylaws, any band numbering more than five members is now officially designated a "collective" - started by Richard Edwards in 2004. Edwards must be one of the biggest fans of Houston-born director Wes Anderson in pop music; Margot is named after Gwyneth Paltrow's character in Anderson's The Royal Tenenbaums, and his college band Archer Avenue was named after the street where that quirky, highly dysfunctional family got their mail. (Thanks, Wikipedia!)

"Quiet as a Mouse"

Edwards and the rest of the So and So's drop in on the Mink tonight behind their second full-length, Animal! (though the vinyl issue is entitled Not Animal... cheeky!). The songs are meandering, often melancholy ballads about such fanciful activities like flying a ferris wheel to the moon - recommended if you like the Shins, the National, Bright Eyes or Bends/OK Computer-era Radiohead slow songs like "Just." - Chris Gray

With David Vandervelde, Judgement Day and Wild Mocassins, 8 p.m. tonight at the Mink's Backroom, 3718 Main, 713-522-9985.

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Chris Gray has been Music Editor for the Houston Press since 2008. He is the proud father of a Beatles-loving toddler named Oliver.
Contact: Chris Gray