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Alt-Nation: The Hot Shows Of Summer

“Hot Times Summer in the city back of my neck getting dirty and gritty” – Yes, cue the damn Lovin’ Spoonful. Before we get rolling, I’ll touch on something from the weekly updates at regarding Dave Lamb from Brown Bird. He has been diagnosed with leukemia and is currently undergoing chemotherapy treatments. Through the generosity of Brown Bird’s fans, Dave has been able to secure health insurance. For all the “thanks a lot Obama” jokes, there is something to be said for healthcare covering pre-existing conditions. In the meantime, Dave and Brown Bird can’t make money to sustain a living by touring. You can still donate here I’d also like to add a link a friend posted on how you can donate to The Match at for life threatening blood diseases like leukemia and lymphoma. I hope you will join me in supporting, and you can always register and decline if you’re not ready when the call comes. Enough of the dour talk, let’s hit it and get straight to the mayhem.
Queensryche’s Operation: Mindcrime’s 20th Anniversary’s Tour comes to town for one night to relive their glory days. Queensryche were one of the bands growing up that you heard about being loud underground metal, and then they released a couple of singles that were closer to Pink Floyd and all of sudden they were the biggest band in the world for a brief period of time. It will be interesting to see how that material has aged.
Queensryche, The Voodoos, and Something Unto Nothing will rock Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel on June 7.

The Lovely Bad Things
The Lovely Bad Things play garage-pop, which is never a bad thing. Their latest album, The Late Great Whatever, highlights the strengths of the band. A good way to spend a Saturday, and at the worst, when going for coffee on Sunday someone will ask you what you did last night. You can reply with “Lovely Bad Things.” Win – win.
The Lovely Bad Things and Wyatt Blair will play Fete on June 8.

Swingin’ Utters
San Francisco’s Swingin’ Utters have been kicking out punk rock anthems for 25 years. They’ve released 8 full- length albums including Poorly Formed (Fat Wreck Chords) earlier this year. The Swingin’ Utters have pretty much stayed true to their street punk roots through the years. This is a show where you want to get there to catch the openers as The Goddamn Gallows are a phenomenal live band. Locals This is A Movement are also a solid!
Swingin’ Utters, The Goddamn Gallows, and This is A Movement will rock Fete on June 10.


Jonathan Richman
I love Jonathan Richman! Half the world knows him only from the movie Something About Mary. Music nerds like myself flock to his shows for his time fronting the Modern Lovers. Massachusetts lawmakers are actually in the process of making the Modern Lovers’ “Roadrunner” the official state song. While we pay our legislators to do nothing for the civic good, the question begs – what is Rhode Island’s state song? Preliminary nominations are John Cafferty’s “On The Dark Side,” Deer Tick’s “Smith Hill,” and lastly The Amazing Royal Crowns’ “Scene of The Crime,” to pay homage to our politicians and the Patriarca Family. Jonathan Richman is into the more pure and honest, heartfelt songs. Something that would never be associated with those other two families.
Jonathan Richman, featuring the incomparable Tommy Larkin on drums, comes to the Lounge at Fete on June14. Mr. Richman doesn’t like to stay out late so doors are at 7:30 pm with the show starting at 8pm and advance tickets are recommended.

The Psychedelic Furs
A blast from the past in The Psychedelic Furs come to Fete to see if you’ve forgotten about them. Jokes aside, this should be a fun show for fans of 80s alternative rock. I saw them once years ago and they’re a solid band. If you don’t like 80s music this one might not be for you. Get there early for locals, Hope Anchor, who have a new record called Never Going To Let You Go that is excellent. The record isn’t out yet but you can hear most of it live at Fete!
The Psychedelic Furs and Hope Anchor will rock Fete on June 18.

The B-52s
Early B-52s is as catchy as anything that came out in the new wave era. This show is a lock for a good time. How can you beat being right on the water in Newport dancing your ass off to classics like “Rock Lobster” and “Planet Idaho.” The B-52s may be a nostalgia act at this point in their career, but who cares? I don’t think most people attending a B-52s concert in 2013 want to hear new material.
The B-52s will bring the party to the Newport Yachting Center on June 21.

Slaid Cleaves
Hailed as “one of Texas’s finest songwriters, Slaid Cleaves brings his chops to the Narrows in Fall River. Cleaves’s material is right in the singer-songwriter vein, teetering between Americana and like 70’s soft rock. Cleaves’s album Still Fighting The War deals with the struggles of the working class in the style of Woody Guthrie or a Hank Williams. I’d recommend the cuts “Hometown USA,” “In The Rain,” and the title track off the album. Cleaves will be joined onstage by guitarist Chojo Jacques.
Slaid Cleaves will play the Narrows Center for The Arts in Fall River on June 29.

Liberty Fest
Liberty Fest is an annual neighborhood festival that takes place in the Smith Hill neighborhood every year. Everybody who’s anybody seems to play it. I haven’t seen this year’s lineup posted online, but if you like a local band, it’s a pretty safe bet they are playing it. They usually have 3 stages going all day and it’s a fun way to spend the 4th of July. It generally gets over in time for you to head to the east side of Providence to catch the fireworks. Because it’s a community thing, there is no official location. Best bet is to head up Smith Street toward the Capital and follow the noise to your left.

Swamp Stomp 6
Boudin Dan Swamp Stomp returns for the sixth straight year with another thrills-heavy roots lineup. Boudin regularly hosts house concerts where he manages to get all kinds of great nationally known acts down to his abode in West Kingston. Swamp Stomp 6, featuring performances by Lydia Loveless, Joe Fletcher & The Wrong Reasons, Toy Soldiers, Todd May, and Shacklehands, will take place on July 13 on the outskirts of the great swamp in West Kingston. Advance tickets are required and can be purchased here: More Information for Swamp Stomp 6 can be obtained by contacting Roots Hoot House Concerts via email at or by phone at 401-965-0833. The grounds will open at 1pm with the music starting at 2pm and continuing straight till 9 pm.

The Lemonheads
The Lemonheads have been pretty much Evan Dando and whoever he can talk into playing with him for the better part of the last 2o years. The shows are still fun and worth coming out to, as Dando will dip into virtually anything in his deep catalogue. Dando has had well documented struggles with substance abuse, but I’ve never seen it affect his performance. There have been times where he’s seemed abnormally confused from it, but that just adds to the theater of the show.
The Lemonheads will return to The Met Café on July 19.

Gogol Bordello
Gypsy Punks Gogol Bordello return to Lupo’s in support of their sixth record, Pura Vida Conspiracy. Gogol Bordello shows have the vibe of an Eastern Europe rave. They are like what I picture The Clash would sound like if they formed in somewhere like the Ukraine. I’m not the biggest fan of their records, but they are just one of those bands that are a must- see live.
Gogol Bordello will be at Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel on July 21st. The doors are at 6:30pm with the show slated to start at 7:00pm.

Forever Young
Motif Award Winners for Best Cover Band, Forever Young, will be joining the lineup for this year’s Bridgefest in Tiverton. I’ve never been to Bridgefest but it sounds like something worth checking out. Neil Young’s catalog is so varied that a cover band could be anything from a hard rock band, to folk act, to just a weird noise act like that 80s era of Young’s career where he got sued for not sounding like himself. I asked my colleague and Forever Young member John Fuzek what type of stuff they covered and he mentioned ”Like a Hurricane” and a bunch of songs off one of my favorite Young albums, Zuma. I’m sold.
Forever Young will play Sandywoods as part of Bridgefest in Tiverton on July 31.

Wheatus & Math The Band


 Wheatus were one of those one hit pop-punk wonders in the 90 that has managed to trudge on. Everybody knows the hit “Teenage Dirtbag,” but there are a few other catchy numbers off that debut album. Wheatus

Foo Fest isn’t going to go all serious or pull a Flaming Lips where they have one novelty hit and turn into everyone’s critical darlings. You’re pretty much going to get what you know as far as fun, loud pop-punk with Wheatus. Math The Band from Boston is also one hell of a good time as far as fast indie dance pop ‘n’ roll that makes this a very attractive show.
Wheatus and Math The Band will rock AS220 on August 7.

AS220s annual takeover of Empire Street, known as Foo Fest, will once again happen on August 10th. There will be live music all day and night, indoors and outdoors, as well as the usual assortment of games, vendors, records and food trucks. The lineup can be a little hit or miss from year to year, but this is one of the stronger ones in recent memory. Among the local bands, I recommend checking out the garage rocking Atlantic Thrills, 70s tinged Clyde Lawrence band, roots rocking Dylan Sevey & The Gentlemen, the headed-for-certain-doom punk of Lolita Black, local punk legends Neutral Nation, Vudu Sister, VulGarrity, Whore Paint, and even a Saint Jude reunion. At this time there is no big national headliner, but it does say that more acts are likely to be added. I don’t think Foo Fest needs one given the quality of local acts already booked. Foo Fest is always a summer highlight!
As220’s Foo Fest will take over Empire Street on August 10th. The event runs from 1pm to 1am. The current list of scheduled performers is as follows: 14 Foot 1, Atlantic Thrills, Black Pus, Cannibal Ramblers, Clyde Lawrence Band, Downtown Boys, Dylan Sevey & The Gentlemen, Father Finger, Littlefoot, Lolita Black, Lunchbagg, Medusah Black, Neutral Nation, Saint Jude, Timeghost, Unicorn Hard-on, Vudu Sister, VulGarrity, Whore Paint, and Zukrewe.

Baroness come to The Met Café for what promises to be a heavy night of music. Baroness are a metal band that had an excellent release last year with Yellow & Green and they have an EP due out in July. Recommended cuts off Yellow & Green to check out include “Collapse,” “Psalms Alive,” and “Stretchmarker.” Don’t miss them this summer at the Met!
Baroness and Royal Thunder will bring the thunder to The Met Café on August 13.

Wooly Town Fair
After a year off, Wooly Town Fair, Providence’s DIY Arts Carnival, returns this August and is promising to be bigger and better than ever. Two years ago Wooly Fair had the theme of “To The Moon” with all kinds of various space pods set up through the expansive complex of The Steel Yard. In addition, they had one of the better lineups of live music when compared to some of the city’s other summer festivals. Things can get a little wild at Wooly Town Fair as I remember they were launching various homemade apparatuses into the sky late into the night. I also remember the Atlantic Thrills closing out the night way past curfew with a raucous set as the event organizers begged them to stop. The two things I took away from Wooly Fair two years ago were damn; I love both Atlantic Thrills and Wooly Fair. See the link below on how anyone can get involved in this year’s Wooly Town Fair.
Wooly Town Fair returns to the Steel Yard in Providence on August 16 beginning at 4pm and continues through the weekend ending August 18 at 7pm. Both single day and weekend passes are available as part of Wooly Town Fair’s unique kickstarter at It is an excellent chance to get involved.
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