Alt-Nation: Summer in the City


All killer, no filler, hot times, summer in the city, back of my neck getting dirty and gritty… Hey ho, let’s go!


Lou Barlow’s other seminal band, Sebadoh, reunited a few years ago and has been off and on touring ever since. Sebadoh put out some classic indie guitar swing with albums like Bubble and Scrape, Bakesale, and Harmacy. There is a reason why there is a demand for Sebadoh to keep coming back from the dead and it’s simple – they’re just that good.

Sebadoh, Total Babes, and Twin Foxes will rock The Met Café on June 6.

One Providence Experience

The Columbus Cooperative and The Imaginary Company present One Providence Experience as part of the Providence International Arts Festival inside the ruins of the Providence National Bank on 35 Weybosset St in Providence on June 13. The event features performances by Lee Fields & The Expressions, The Low Anthem, Gymshorts, And The Kids, Medusah Black, Ravi Shavi and more. One Providence is free and open to the public. For more information check out the Facebook event:

Local H

Local H burst upon the scene with the hit “Bound for the Floor” from 2006’s As Good as Dead. As a two-piece, Local H brought a new twist to grunge. Scott Lucas pretty much started the two piece fad that later saw bands like White Stripes and Black Keys emerge. I caught Local H a few years ago; Lucas still shreds and the band kicks as fierce as ever.

Local H, Aeges, and Six Star General will rock The Met Café on June 18. 

Bettye Lavette

Bettye Lavette is a powerhouse on the pipes when it comes to belting out soul and R&B-infused rock ‘n’ roll. Lavette is best known for her breakthrough album I’ve Got My Own Hell to Raise, which in addition to being one of the greatest album titles ever, has great tracks like “Down to Zero” and “The High Road.”  Lavette is known for her chops live and covering classics and making them her own.

Bettye Lavette will play the Narrows Center For The Arts in Fall River on June 20.

Liberty Fest

Liberty Fest returns to Dusk after a long run as a Smith Hill neighborhood festival. Liberty Fest will have both indoor and outdoor stages with 12 hours of music on both stages. There will be food vendors and more, and the event is open to all ages. The list of acts still is being finalized, but the listing of bands that will be rocking this year’s Liberty Fest includes Atlantic Thrills, Baylies Band, Gymshorts, Happiness, The Viennagram, Beta Motel, The Sweet Release, M.O.T.O., PALS, Blackletter, Hope Anchor and more to be announced.

Liberty Fest will blow up like freedom at Dusk and spread all down Harris Ave on July 4.

Electric Six

Electric Six are in my top three bands of the last 15 years. They burst upon the scene with the album Fire, singing about gay bars and fires in Taco Bells, and haven’t stopped putting out album of heart pumping rock ‘n’ roll. Last year’s Human Zoo (Metropolis Records) continued in that vein with jams like “Karate Lips” and the most catchy song ever written about necrophilia, “Alone with Your Body.” While Electric Six alone is reason to go, the presence of Atlantic Thrills and The Sweet Release on this bill is reason to go early!

Electric Six, Atlantic Thrills and The Sweet Release will throw down at the one of the biggest parties of the summer at Fete on July 7. 

Alejandro Escovedo and the Sensitive Boys

Alejandro Escovedo’s career started in the mid-70s with the punk group The Nuns. His career now spans 40 years that in addition to punk has touched on Americana, country, and plenty of straight forward rock ‘n’ roll. Escovedo is also known for busting out some excellent live covers to boot. I caught him the last time he was at the Narrows and it was a great show.

Alejandro Escovedo and the Sensitive Boys will rock the Narrows on July 9.

Amanda Palmer & PWM BTTM

Amanda Palmer rose to fame as one half of the cabaret punk Dresden Dolls, continued performing as a solo artist and collaborated with Grand Theft Orchestra and Neil Gaiman. This show should be a hoot!

Amanda Palmer & PWM BTTM plus special guest Neil Gaiman will perform at the Columbus Theatre on July 11.

WBRU Summer Concert Series

An annual summer tradition is the WBRU Summer Concert Series at Waterplace Park for the perfect way to kick off the weekend. This year WBRU presents these shows to get you rocking on summer nights:

July 17 – Joywave (w/ openers Jetty)
July 24 – 2015′s WBRU Rock Hunt Champions – Public Alley (w/ openers S. Walcott)
July 31 – St. Motel (w/ openers We Were Astronauts)
Aug 7 –  In the Valley Below (w/ 2014′s WBRU Rock Hunt Champions – The Rare Occasions)
Aug 14 – Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness (w/ openers Forest Fires)
Aug 21 – Life in Film (w/ openers Le Roxy Pro)

The shows usually start around 6pm, but get there early to stake out a good spot for these FREE shows!  

Bloody Diamonds

Bloody Diamonds are a Canadian duo that mix the blues rock of a White Stripes/Black Keys with grunge into a stiff elixir. Blood Diamonds have their fair share of pop hooks, too. I’m looking forward to escaping the city for some heavy rock ‘n’ roll in the backstreets of West Warwick.

Bloody Diamonds will rock Manchester 65 on July 17.       

Newport Folk Fest

The lineup for the Newport Folk Fest seems to grow more staggering every year. This year is no exception and they are still announcing acts. I’m looking forward to the genius behind much of Pink Floyd seminal works Roger Waters, First Aid Kid (a highlight of 2012 Folk Fest), Jason Isbell (2013 Festival highlight), The Felice Brothers, Calexico, J Mascis (Dinosaur Jr. front man is always great live), Courtney Barnett, Tommy Stinson, Joe Fletcher & The Wrong Reasons, and Haunt The House. In addition to the Folk Fest at the Fort, there are plenty of post-Folk Fests going on all weekend. Check out for a full listing of festival performers as well as other events happening at night!

Newport Folk Fest returns to take over Fort Adams State Park July 24 thru 26. 

Deer Tick

Deer Tick return to Newport to do their annual post-Festival romps at the Newport Blues Café for those lucky enough to score tickets. Deer Tick do different sets every night and this year it will be the only opportunity to see them as they are not playing the festival. These shows are always electric and chock full of surprise guests from the festival. You never know who is going to jump up on stage.

Deer Tick return to the Newport Blues Café for their annual post-Folk Fest after-parties July 24 thru 26.

Swamp Stomp 8

Swamp Stomp is an outdoor BYO/picnic event that attracts some of the best musicians nationally in the roots and rock ‘n’ roll scene. Swamp Stomp goes down every year near the entrance of The Great Swamp of West Kingston. This year’s lineup is loaded, featuring two prior headliners, The Sadies and Steve Wynn & The Miracle Three. Also on the bill is Vermont native Caroline Rose and hometown rock ‘n’ rollers The Silks. Capacity is limited to 200 and last year sold out, so advance tickets are recommended.

Swamp Stomp 8 returns to The Great Swamp of West Kingston on Aug 1. Grounds open by 2pm, music begins around 3pm. Tickets can be purchased online at For more info or to pay by check, email


Once again AS22o will take over Empire St in PVD for 12 hours with all kinds of vendors, activities for kids, and two stages of music rocking all day and night. In what has been hailed in music circles as the best FOO FEST lineup in years, AS220 is rolling out the heavy guns with headliner, the national noise punkers  DEERHOOF. The local headliners represent PVD’s Americana scene with standouts like The Low Anthem and Death Vessel. My other picks to check out are Way Out, Gymshorts, Beta Motel, Good Lord, and Bloodpheasant. Check for the full lineup and more information.

AS220’s FOO FEST takes over Empire St on Aug 8.

Beach House

Dream pop duo Beach House hits Lupo’s in support of their newest album, Depression Cherry. Beach House has been called the perfect soundtrack for a David Lynch film for their sense of subversive melody. The songs are modern alt-pop, but retain a sense of imagination that separates Beach House from the rest of the pack.

Beach House will rock Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel on Aug 25.

Rhythm & Roots Festival

The 18th annual Rhythm & Roots festival returns to Ninigret Park in Charlestown for an action-packed Labor Day weekend. I went for the first time last year and it’s a pretty sweet setup. You can take a break and literally go swimming, chill out and come back. There also is camping space if you want to make a weekend of it. This year’s lineup has some gems like Los Lobos, Keb Mo, The Mavericks, and Lake Street Dive. Check out the full lineup and ticket info at

Rhythm & Roots Festival returns to Ninigret Park from Sept 4 thru 6.

The J. Geils Band

This show popped up in my Bandsintown and Facebook feed and I thought it was a cruel joke. More than their hits like “Centerfold,” “Love Stinks,” and “Freeze Frame,” it’s their dynamic live shows that make The J. Geils Band legend. Tthey don’t even have J. Geils playing anymore. As long as they have the Wolfa Goofa, Peter Wolf, one of the most electric front men in the history of rock ‘n’ roll, The J. Geils Band will be one of the best party bands in the world. Plus any band with a guy called Magic Dick is bound to be cool.

The J. Geils Band rock India Point Park in Providence on Sept 5.

Email music news to

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Prove that you are human *

Previous post:

Next post: