Local Punks Start a Movement

Peter & the Test Tube Babies

Local punks have joined forces to create a monthly event, called PVD Punk Night, with the first installment coming March 31 at PVD Social Club. Former Hell owner John ‘Cyco’ DiFruscio, Drunk Robb, Brass ‘N’ Ammo, Done Right, and American Pride among others are off to an awesome start.
This will be the type of night that punk rock dreams are made of. The 1980’s punk legends, Peter and The Test Tube Babies are on their first US tour in more than 10 years, which includes a stop at the PVD Social Club. Peter and The Test Tube Babies are known for blistering punk rock anthem like “Intensive Care,” “Run Like Hell,” and my personal favorite, “Banned From The Pubs.” I remember getting a punk compilation mixed tape with no song names in high school and “Banned From The Pubs” was the first song and just listening to that song and hitting rewind over and over. I didn’t actually find out until an embarrassing amount of years later that it was Peter and The Test Tube Babies and not The Exploited. Hey, there was no internet back then.
Sometimes it is hit or miss when the punk rock titans of the past come to town but Peter and The Test Tube Babies have enjoyed a solid reputation on the European festival circuit and look to be a sure bet. If that wasn’t enough throw in a second headliner in NYC hardcore legends, Murphy’s Law, and you got the punk rock show of the spring, possibly the year. There are solid local openers on the bill to with Reason to Fight and Oi! Division.
Peter and The Test Tube Babies, Murphy’s Law, Reason to Fight, Damages, Combat 49, and Oi! Division bring the punk rock to the Pvd Social Club March 31st. As an added treat Hank Sinatra Jr. will be doing his one of a kind multi-media karaoke rock between bands. The doors are at 7PM and the rock ‘n’ roll going all night.

Six Star ‘Splinter’

Six Star General returns with their 7th full length (8th overall) release, Splinter. This time around, the band got some help from friends like Kraig Jordan, Joe Traynor, Mark Cutler, and Bill Keough as well as increased vocals from drummer Dan Ulmschneider. On Splinter, Six Star General try out a few new things, like working in more keyboards and background vocals while still retaining their trademark bass thumping fuzz tone squall. Splinter opens with “Feeling Ungroovy,” which save for some occasional low backing vocals, continues their penchant for doing an increasing amount of instrumentals in recent years. All together, there are four instrumentals on Splinter with my favorites being the trippy “Triple EEE” that reminds me of Gish-era Smashing Pumpkins meets Caspar Brotzmann and the ’70s stoner rock infused “There’s No Steak in Cake.” The latter of which had been released previously with a different mix on last year’s These Woods Smell Like Grape EP (75orLessRecords). “Shave Your Beard into the Shape of a Smile” is probably the closest Six Star has ever come to writing a pop song. Complete with backing vocals and a sing-a-long melody, “Shave Your Beard into the Shape of a Smile” combines the pop instincts of ’90s lo-fi stalwarts like Guided By Voices and Sebadoh with lyrics I could picture someone like Hank Sinatra Jr. writing. “Nerve” sounds like a throwback to classic Six Star of old with a little cleaner production. I’ve never been a huge fan of instrumentals. So I was a little skeptical about Splinter given that over half the tracks are instrumentals but Six Star General pull it off thanks to guitarist Kyle Jackson’s arsenal of effects pedals.
Six Star General’s CD Release Party for Splinter with a show at The Apartment on March 16th with Galvanize and Deadlands. This is an early show running from 7-10PM with a low dough cover of only $3.

The Revival Tour

Chuck Ragan cut his teeth playing punk rock as the guitarist/vocalist for Hot Water Music. This may seem like an unlikely beginning for the founder of The Revival Tour, which is essentially a folk tour. The Revival Tour is different from your average run-of-the-mill tour because it emphasizes collaboration and openness between the musicians and the audience. Ragan described the inspiration for The Revival Tour saying: “At the end of most tours, I went on, everyone would end up on stage together anyway so I thought why not communicate more beforehand so we can share the old way collaboration onstage from the onset as the folks that came before us all did in the past?”
The first Revival Tour took place in 2008 and has continued since boosting an impressive list of guest musicians like Avail’s Tim Barry, Lucero’s Ben Nichols, 7 Seconds’s Kevin Seconds, Sparta’s Jim Ward, Audra Mae, Gaslight Anthem’s Brian Fallon, and many more. This current swing of the tour features Alkaline Trio’s Dan Adriano, Against Me’s Tom Gabel, and longtime Lucero collaborator Corey Branan. Each will perform a solo set but expect plenty of collaboration and there are rumors of surprise guests. Think about it, where else are you going to get to experience an intimate club show with sets by people from Hot Water Music, Alkaline Trio, and Against Me for under $20 bucks?
The Revival Tour recently had a sold out run of shows in Europe and Ragan is nothing but optimistic about the future for the tour. Ragan has says, “We are going to do everything in our power to keep this tour going for years to come because we believe in the music. We put our hearts, souls and energy into it and the ethics we live by aren’t going anywhere. We’re still going to be here regardless of whether there are a lot of folks coming to the shows or it goes back underground where the majority of us come from. In the meantime, we’ve been documenting and archiving as many of the shows, artists and show goers as possible. We all feel we’re sharing something special together and it’s crucial to us to capture as much of that as possible with film, interviews, live recordings or backstage, back of the bus or parking lot hootenannies.”
Fittingly enough, one of the sponsors of this show is the maker of some of the next great Rhode Island beers, Revival Brewing. Founded in 2010, brew master Sean Larkin’s suds are currently available in a number of places around town including Doherty’s East Ave Irish Pub, the Scurvy Dog, The Avery, Wild Colonial, and Dusk to name a few. For the Revival Tour, it is also rumored that Larkin will be debut a new beer that night at Fete. Having sampled a few of Revival’s beers, I highly recommend their Saison!
The General Assembly presents: The Revival Tour featuring Chuck Ragan (Hot Water Music), Dan Andriano (Alkaline Trio and In the Emergency Room), Tom Gabel (Against Me), Corey Branan (longtime collaborator with Lucero), as well as accompanied by Joe Ginsberg and Jon Gaunt hits the Fete Ballroom in Providence on March 29th. Tickets are $16 in advance at the Fete box office and $18 the day of the show. Doors are 8PM and the show will start at 9PM.

Odds & Sods:

This is a Movement, Montana Skies, Sayings, and Outlook Not Good hit The News Café in Pawtucket on March 15t h. The Mighty Good Boys, Northern Lands, and 6A Valley are at The Met Café on March 15th. Rapper J-Flamez has his CD release for his great new biscuit, Now or Never, on March 16th at Platforms Nightclub in Providence. Viral Sound and Off the Rez hit the Spot Underground on March 16th. Stephen Kellogg & The Sixers, Native Run, and Katrina are at The Met Café on March 16th. The Spot Underground hosts Captain Nick’s Party for St. Paddy’s Day with Dr. Westchesterson, Starforce Trio, and Original Jelly Roll Soul on March 17th. Moga, The Famous Winters, Ravi Shavi, and Alt-Nation favorites Reverend Bastien ring in St. Paddy’s Day at The Met Café on March 17th. Larcenist, Cactus Attack, and The Quahogs are at The Local 121 on March 23rd. The Meds from Newport have a CD Release show on March 23rd at the PVD Social Club with the diePods and Vertical Twin. Roz Raskin & The Rice Cakes, Kingston 5:30, Northern Lands, and Sic Vita face off for the WBRU Rock Hunt Throne at the Met Café on March 23rd. This will be an early show running from 7-10Pm. Coyote Kolb, Last Good Tooth, and Smith & Weeden are at The Local 121 on March 24th. My quasi-monthly DJ night – Daughters of Satan Christian Dance Party – returns to the Tap Room of Local 121 on Sunday March 25th. Never a cover and the music will begin around 10PM. Foxy Shazam come to the Met Café for a must see show on March 26th. Band of Skulls and We Are Augustines are at the Met Café on March 28th. The Throttles, Evil Streaks, Denver Boot, and Dog Day Afternoon will make for another killer “Thirsty Thursday” at KC’s Tap in Pawtucket on March 29th. Scarce makes a rare return to Providence at the Local 121 on March 31st. Kevin Costner may be a movie star but for years he’s moonlighted as a musician. This makes more sense than Steven Seagal’s moonlighting as a cop as far as curious Hollywood’s star hobbies. His band, Kevin Costner and the Modern West hit the Park Theatre in Cranston on April 7th. Advance ticket are going fast so go to www.ParkTheatreRI.com to reserve your tickets if this is your thing.
R.I.P. Davy Jones
Email music news to mclarkin33@gmail.com

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