Monday, November 29; the Pageant

muse (n): A state of deep thought or dreamy abstraction.

Critics who are quick to dismiss the UK rock trio Muse as "Radiohead rip-offs" would certainly say that this rock band did some deep thinking, absorbed Radiohead's songwriting style into their thoughts and simply put a new name on the record. If you're wise, though, you won't be as hasty as these critics have been. While Muse's sound does resemble that of Radiohead at times, the band has a style all its own. Give Muse's signature sound -- blistering hard rock that often blends haunting piano melodies and synths with ultra-distorted rock guitar riffs -- a listen, and we think you'll be convinced.

Muse is fairly new to the rock game, having released its debut album, Showbiz, in 1999. Although Muse enjoyed little success in the United States prior to the release of its third album, 2003's Absolution, all three of its official releases are platinum in the U.K. and gold in the majority of other major Western European nations. Maybe we could learn a little something from the Europeans (but don't George W. Bush that).

When Muse frontman Matt Bellamy sings, "Our time is running out/Can't push it underground/Can't stop it screaming out" on the band's first major U.S. single, "Time Is Running Out," you wonder if he is making reference to the disappointment of short-lived success, of constantly flying under the radar. Check out Muse at the Pageant and discover what U.S. rock enthusiasts and major publications are only now beginning to appreciate.

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