Mike D’s Top Five Can’t Miss Shows of May

1. Sat, May 9: Power Of Love (Huey Lewis & The News Cover Band), Hippy Johnny (The Modern Lovers Cover Band), Pretendica (Pretenders / Elastica Cover Band); 8pm doors / 9pm show; All ages; $10 advance / $12 day of; The Met, 1005 Main St., Pawtucket. Boston’s Power of Love is bringing what Rhode Island has always needed: a Huey Lewis & The News Cover Band. Every time Huey comes to town, I want to go and pay homage to the music, but I don’t want to pay $50. And pay homage is exactly what Power Of Love does while playing Huey’s music. The band doesn’t try to be ironic or tongue in cheek; they do an ernest job of playing the original arrangements, but attacking with a fierce rock ‘n’ roll savagery. The five piece and full horn section from Boston are composed of many former and current members of Boston indie and punk bands such as Big D And The Kids Table, The Fatal Flaw, Razors In The Night, and more. They created a scene in Boston with other friends and musicians doing cover bands to acts like Billy Joel, Prince and Cheap Trick. In Boston, they started with a modest crowd and now play to sold out rooms. This is the first time they have come to the area and are bringing their friends Pretendica (Prentenders & Elastica Cover Band). And this show also marks the second appearance of Providence’s premier Modern Lovers Cover Band, Hippy Johnny. It got snowed out in February. The way it’s going this year, let’s hope it doesn’t happen again.
2. Mon, May 18: Lightning Bolt, Extinction Machine, Cottaging, Unicorn Hard-On; 9pm; All ages?; $8; Aurora Providence, 276 Westminister, Providence. At last months RI Music Hall of Fame Induction (which ruled by the way), I found myself pondering what bands from my generation will be inducted in the future at the Hall.  The first band that came to mind was Lightning Bolt, the house band for the Fort Thunder movement of the ’90s. Memories of Iconic local moments like playing after Sonic Youth at the old Lupo’s or performing in the street at midnight on a weeknight outside the old Safari Lounge trump any other band I can think of from the last 20 years here (except maybe Extinction’s Dan’s fireball toss at the old Met Cafe). The noise duo quickly became ambassadors of noise rock across the world working with artists such as Bjork, The Flaming Lips and even found themeselves getting covered by arena rockers Muse. Their new album, Fantasy Empire, is the band’s seventh album and keeps core elements of the band’s sound, but also tweaks they way they go about finding it. Rather than recording live from their practice space like in the past, this record was recorded at Pawtucket’s Machines With Magnets studio. Times change; the band sometimes plays on the stage now, but 21 years in, Lightning Bolt haven’t lost an ounce of velocity. It’s appropriate that Extinction Machine are on the bill as they are composed of members who’s bands (such as Dropdead, Landed, Fourhorse, Lolita Black) have played a zillion of Bolts shows over the past 21 years. And the elusive mystical Unicorn erection rounds out the bill.
3. Tues, May 19: Melt-Banana; 9:30pm; All ages; $?; AS220, 115 Empire St, Providence. If you have any hearing left after seeing Lightning Bolt the night before, noise rock outfit Melt-Banana should finish the job. Make sure to get there early, as 486 people are claiming to attend on the Facebook event, roughly three times more than the club can fit. The band, hailing from Tokyo, have been at it for 23 years and are best known for their blistering live shows and constant touring.  I can think of five or six places off the top of my head in town where they have played (RIP The Call).  Keep an eye on Armageddon Shop to find out who is opening.
4. Sun, May 31: Hutch and Kathy (of The Thermals), Laura and Greg, Bill Keough; 8pm doors / 9pm show; 21+ only; $12; The Parlour, 1119 North Main St., Providence. After seeing the Replacements last week in Boston, I had to refigure my bucket list of active acts I want to see live: Hot Snakes, MF Doom (which is tricky cause he’s been known to send other rappers to perform his material in his place), and The Thermals. Their albums Fuckin A and The Body, The Blood, The Machine are two of my favorite records and still stand up almost 10 years later. Hutch and Kathy started the Thermals in 2002 after performing with each other in past acts, most notably as folk duo Hutch and Kathy. They just released their 2002 album for Record Store day. The small Parlour is the perfect location to see them. Brooklyn’s Laura and Greg and Motif Music Award nominee Bill Keough round out the bill.
5. Sat, June 6: Sebadoh; 8pm doors / 9pm show; All ages; $15 advance / $18 day of;  The Met, 1005 Main St., Pawtucket. Lots of ’90s revival this month, and this is the show I am most excited about. Sebadoh ruled the western Mass indie rock scene in the ’90s releasing classic records like Sebadoh III, Harmacy and my favorite, Bakesale. The band reunited in 2007, but this show will be their first time in Providence in over 15 years. Frontman Lou Barlow has been pretty busy with his other reunited band Dinosaur Jr., while other songwriter in the band, Jason Loewenstein, kept busy doing solo work and performing with Fiery Furnaces. In 2013 Lou and Jason teamed up with current drummer Bob D’Amico to release Sebadoh’s 8th studio album, Defend Yourself. Expect a mix of this and the classics. Cleveland’s Total Babes and Providence’s indie upstarts Twin Foxes round out the bill.

Also worth checking out — May 8: Skatalites (50th Anniversary) at The Spot; May 16 Chain in The Gang at Aurora; May 30 Ravi Shavi, Jessica Hernandez and the Deltas, Pvarmids @ The Met.

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