Alt-Nation: Three Shows, One Night, Good Luck

Low Fidelity – Ready to POP(s)

One of my favorite new spots in the city is POP. POP is an “emporium of popular culture” that just has the feel of strolling in and out of decades. I guess one could call it a thrift/antique shop, but to me it’s just a place with a lot of awesome shit. In addition to the shop, POP has a separate room for a gallery/performance space to host events like Low Fidelity. Low Fidelity will have all kinds of cool stuff happening with an exhibition of the works of Bobby Grossman, Doom Destiny collaboration with Shepard Fairey, and a performance by Mr. Buster Poindexter himself – David Johansen. Johansen, who should be in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame for fronting the seminal and hugely influential New York Dolls, is a reason to go. Johansen will be accompanied by Rhode Island Hall of Famer Mark Cutler on guitar in what promises to be a special treat of an evening. Don’t miss out on the night that Low Fidelity POP-ed in Providence.

Low Fidelity takes place at POP on 219 W Park St. in Providence on October 7. Advance tickets are recommended and can be purchased here: The event will run from 6 – 11pm.

Black Pussy

Stoner rock goliaths Black Pussy take over the Café at The Parlor to kick off Columbus Day Weekend. If you love spacey fuzz-ridden psychedelic freak-out jams like I do, this is the place to be. Black Pussy mixes their own whammer jammers in with some choice covers to make it a party. Plus the next day, what is a cooler answer to the “What did you do last night” question than “Black Pussy”?

Black Pussy and Sweet Heat rock the Café at The Parlor in Newport on October 7.

The Silks

The Silks train keeps on rollin’ and will be making a homecoming stop in Providence to let loose with lowdown and dirty early ’70s casino rock boogie. The Silks have a new album titled Turn Me On that you should pick up if you haven’t already gotten hip to it. The roots of The Silks, like many of the greatest rock ‘n’ roll bands, is the blues, but The Silks take it into the chop shop and buffer it up adding a slant of early ’70s English rock like Faces and Stones with a touch of Graham Parsons. Live The Silks tend to blow the roof off joints, so if anyone has any leads on how to clone one’s self to hit all three of these shows I’ve mentioned, hit me up at the email at the bottom of this column.

The Silks, Gleasons Drift, and William Matheny rock Firehouse 13 on October 7.

Sgt. Baker and the Clones – Self-titled

I had been hearing rumors of this album from Sgt. Baker and the Clones for well over a year, and I eventually shrugged it off as an urban myth. When I finally got my hands on the biscuit, I could see why there was a delay as Sgt. Mike Baker had been working like a madman. In addition to writing or co-writing all the songs, doing vocals and guitars, Sgt. Baker played bass on half the album as well as piano. In addition, there are some heavy hitters on here like engineer George Dussault on guitar and AJ Faria on trombone. The opening tracks “Atlas” and “DMT” are very much in the vein of Alice in Chains meets the members of Soundgarden to play Skee ball in a rundown arcade that happens to have an open mic night. “Flesh Puppets” is one of the best jams here for juxtaposition of a lounge rock groove over a snarly vocal. My favorite here is “Petty Dollar,” which has a bit of a ska groove on the verse combined with a “Heaven Besides You” style chorus that features Consuelo’s Revenge’s Amanda Salemi. Salemi duets with Baker on the closing “Trouble” that has kind of a blues boogie feel complete with strings and a soaring chorus. I like this disc more with each listen as Sgt Baker and the Clones have really tapped some sonic black magic.  Here’s hoping this album one day finds its way on vinyl because it has some of the sickest cover art around.

Sgt. Baker and the Clones celebrate their album release with a show with Consuelo’s Revenge, Brainfruit, and Megan Jean and the Klay Family Band at the Parlour in Providence on October 8.

Bobby Rush – Porcupine Meat

Although it probably sometimes seems like all I listen to is old school punk rock and ’80s and ’90s indie rock, I do love the blues. Especially old-style Chicago blues that has a swing to it. So I was particularly stoked to recently discover Bobby Rush in advance of his appearance in Woonsocket. Rush has a new album called Porcupine Meat that is just an all-around party record. Rush fuses funk and blues on cuts like “I Don’t Want Nobody Hanging Around” and “Catfish Stew” that is sure to get the dance floor bangin’. If your Wednesdays have been lagging like mine have, I suggest getting out to Chan’s for some mid-week raging.

Bobby Rush brings the blues to Chan’s in Woonsocket on October 12.

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