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WBRU Summer Concert Series

95.5 WBRU’s annual series of free concerts not only gives music lovers a chance to catch national headliners, but provides exposure to a new audience for local musicians. This year’s lineup is as follows:  The Heavy, Ra Ra Riot, and VulGarrity are at Alex and Ani Center on June 3. Le Roxy Pro and The Blue Album (Weezer tribute) are at Waterplace Park on July 8. Mainland and Eric and the Nothing rock Waterplace Park on July 15. Lucius and Math the Band get the party started in Waterplace Park on July 22. Aurora and Young Lincoln kick off the weekend at Waterplace Park on July 29. Nothing But Thieves and Tall Teenagers rock Waterplace Park on August 5. The Wombats and Wild Sun play Waterplace Park on August 12.

The Felice Brothers

The folk rocking Felice Brothers never seem to stop as they return to town on the cusp of another new record, Life in the Dark, which comes out June 24.  Life in the Dark reminds me of Dylan with The Band in the late ’60s.  “Plunder” is a rollicking stomper where folk takes a backseat to maximum rock ‘n’ roll. The Felice Brothers stick to their roots for most of the record with standout tracks including “Jack At the Asylum” and the title track. “Dancing On The Wing” adds a country vibe with an infectious hook.  Get there early for indie rockers Happiness, which features three members of Deer Tick and one member of Ravi Shavi.

The Felice Brothers and Happiness (members of Deer Tick and Ravi Shavi) will rock The Met Café on June 3.

Murphy’s Law (free show!)

It’s always a party when Jimmy G from NYC and the boys from Murphy’s Law come to town to get down. Expect hardcore punk rock with a lot of sweaty dudes with their shirts off. Murphy’s Law has been around since the 1980s and they’ve pretty much perfected punk rock mayhem.

Murphy’s Law, Reason to Fight, Held Hostage and Extinction Machine will shake Firehouse 13 on June 4. This is a free show!

One Providence Experience

The second annual One Providence Experience occurs with events all throughout downtown. I’m focusing on the makeshift stage in the ruins of Providence National Bank, which features a mix of local and national acts on the Saturday. Check out Rough Francis, whose brand of turbo-charged ’70s Motor City rock ‘n’ roll is going to be the highlight of the festival. Thankfully the city is not wasting taxpayers’ money on the stupid “Earth Harp” guy that they had last year.

One Providence Experience is a free event taking place on 35 Weybosset Street in Providence on June 4. The show runs from 6pm to 1am and will feature performances by Screaming Females, What Cheer? Brigade, Naomi Shelton & The Gospel Queens, Debo Band, Rough Francis, Last Good Tooth, Lovesick, Humanbeast, The Low Anthem, Black Pus and Death Vessel.

David Prout (Bold as Love Tribute) – A Jimi Hendrix Experience

David Prout has been an active musician for upwards of 35 years in Providence, so he knows his chops. For this Hendrix tribute, Prout reunites with Ron Catadi and John Macaluso for a scorching tribute to the best guitarist is the history of rock ‘n’ roll!

David Prout (Bold as Love Tribute) – A Jimi Hendrix Experience with sets by Boo City and Chachi Carvahlo & The International Players rocks Fete in Providence on June 10.

The Slackers

The Slackers have been making dance floors pop for 25 years with smooth rocksteady jams. They mix and mash ska, garage rock, soul, and reggae to infectious beats. The Slackers are more authentic than someone like Sublime or 311 who essentially takes a dump on traditional ska and reggae. This is another great local owner with The Copacetics opening the show.

The Slackers and The Copacetics will rock The Met Café on June 10.

Hatebreed

Hatebreed has been around for over 20 years blasting their angry metalcore anthems to the masses. This is another show that will be full of sweaty dudes running around. I don’t really understand the appeal, but I include it because some people like it.

Hatebreed, DevilDriver, and Act of Defiance will rock Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel on June 10.

John Doe

John Doe from ’70s punk pioneers X comes to Newport for a solo show. I’ve caught Doe solo a couple of times and he’s very good. His solo stuff is more grizzled singer-songwriter stuff, but that’s kind of the way later-day X records were going, so not a surprise. This may not be as fun as a full-on X show, but it will be a real cool time.

John Doe will rock the Café at The Parlor in Newport on June 14.

The Low Anthem – eyeland Release show

Five years ago The Low Anthem set out to make a new record and ended up running a theater/recording studio and creating the psych-noire album eyeland in the process.  The full story on that will be out in two weeks at 11pm.

The Low Anthem celebrates the release of eyeland with a show at the Columbus Theatre on June 18.

Kristin Kontrol

Dum Dum Girls were a dreamy garage rock ‘n’ roll band. For longtime fans, it may come as surprise that the leader of the Dum Dum Girls, Dee Dee (Kristin Gundred), decided to embrace her inner ’80s pops influences on her new solo album, X-Communicate, under the name Kristin Kontrol.  The snippets of songs I’ve heard are closer to Taylor Dayne than the Jesus and Mary Chain. Sometimes one has to tell it to their heart and I’m particularly intrigued for this show.

Kristin Kontrol will get The Met Café hopping on June 18.

Pere Ubu

In the ’70s, a Cleveland band called Rocket from the Tombs splintered into two bands, which both become hugely influential.  One band moved to New York City and become the Dead Boys, who had a relatively short but influential run. The other band, Pere Ubu, became an influential so called “avant-garage” band. Singer David Thomas still leads a version of Pere Ubu, dedicated as ever to expanding the boundaries of sound while retaining the immediacy of rock ‘n’ roll.

Pere Ubu will return to rock Fete on June 28.

Revival Fest

Revival Fest returns for a second year. It has essentially taken over for Liberty Fest as THE thing to do if you are stuck in the city for July 4. This year’s lineup includes a lot of newer bands like Civility, Hott Boyz, Snot Rocket and Tall Teenagers that I’d encourage checking out. There also are plenty of veteran bands like Pyramid, Thee Itchies, Smith & Weeden, Cannibal Ramblers, Gym Shorts, Beta Motel, Pixels, Blood Pheasant, Atlantic Thrills, World’s Greatest Lover and many more that will be rocking the house.

Revival Fest returns to Dusk on July 4.

Pale Dian

Pale Dian are keeping the shoegazer genre alive and well on their debut album Narrow Birth (Manifesto Records). I’d recommend Pale Dian for fans of Lush and Cocteau Twins for the ethereal qualities to their harmonies.

Pale Dian will rock the News Café in Pawtucket o July 9.

Dinosaur Jr.

Dinosaur Jr. are releasing a new record, Give a Glimpse Of What Yer Not, this August and kick off their US tour with a stop at The Met Café. I haven’t heard the record yet, but it’s a pretty safe bet that it will have singer/guitarist J. Mascis’ nasally vocals and out-of-this-world guitar pyrotechnics. Dinosaur Jr. is pretty much the alternative rock version of Neil Young & Crazy Horse.

Dinosaur Jr. will rock The Met Café on July 14.

Richie Ramone

The original Ramones were recently on the cover of Rolling Stone with the headline, “The Curse of the Ramones.” Sad but true story; all the original members are dead and when they were alive, Rolling Stone rarely acknowledged them. Richie was the third drummer of the band who revitalized the group. The first record he was on was Too Tough to Die, which was their best record in years. Richie also contributed as a songwriter penning “Somebody Put Something in My Drink” about being roofied. It was a staple in the Ramones’ live set till the end.

Richie Ramone, The Gobshites, and M.O.T.O. will rock Firehouse 13 on July 15.

Swamp Stomp 9

You don’t have to go to a dingy club for great rock ‘n’ roll as Swamp Stomp has proven. Swamp Stomp is a BYO-everything outdoor event presented by the Roots Hoot Concerts that for the past eight years has delivered a memorable day of rock ‘n’ roll under the sun.   This year’s card is extra loaded with Bloodshot Recording artist The Yawpers, a band whose sound goes from dark country to kinetic punk, acid blues, headlining the day. From the setting to the lineup, Swamp Stomp is always one of the greatest days of the year for live rock ‘n’ roll.

Swamp Stomp 9 featuring The Yawpers, Water Liars, Laura Cantrell, and The Pollies will take place near the entrance of The Great Swamp in West Kingston on July 16. The grounds will open at 1:30pm with the music set to begin around 3pm. Suggested donation to attend Swamp Stomp is $40. Information for Swamp Stomp 9 can be obtained by contacting Roots Hoot House Concerts via email at rootshoot@cox.net or by phone at 401-965-0833. Tickets are available at Brown Paper Tickets: brownpapertickets.com/event/2511947

Newport Folk Festival

The legendary Newport Folk Festival has been on fire by announcing Ryan Adams, Elvis Costello and Patti Smith in the last week. This year’s festival probably won’t have the mystery of last year ,when the festival was abuzz with rumors of everyone from Bono to Bob Dylan making surprise appearances. That said, neither showed up and the festival was perfect just as it was. This year I’m stoked to see Flight of the Concords, Alabama Shakes, Violent Femmes, Middle Brother, St. Paul & The Broken Bones, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. A “folk” festival in more name that actual genre, Newport Folk Festival has really risen in the last 15 years or so to become one of the best music festivals in the country.

Newport Folk Festival will take place at Fort Adams in Newport on July 22 through the 24. 

Electric Six

Electric Six is becoming Providence’s must-see summer rock ‘n’ roll jamboree on the dance floor. Since we last saw the Electric Six, they released another album, Bitch, Don’t Let Me Die, that mixes stoner metal, Vegas Elvis, Santa Claus catastrophes and their usual rocking dance floor thunder. Sure, there are some other good shows coming this August, this show just happens to be better.

Electric Six will bring the ultimate summer dance party to Fete on August 21.

Honorable mention shows!

Deer Tick will rock the night away at the Ocean Mist on July 18. Rich Robinson (Black Crowes) will rock The Met Café on August 10.  AS220’s Foo Fest takes over Empire Street in Providence on August 13. The event will start at 1pm and run till 1am. Melvins and Helms Alee will make Olneyville shake at Fete on August 29.  Rhythm & Roots Festival returns to Ninigret Park in Charlestown from September 2 – 4. For full lineup and daily schedules, go to rhythmandroots.com.

Email music news to mclarkin33@gmail.com

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