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Alt-Nation: HBD Johnny Rotten!

We’re going to start off this one paying homage to John (Johnny Rotten) Lydon on his 60th birthday. Outside of Joey Ramone, he’s the single most influential figure in how I view music and life. Stay tuned for my best of column at for more on Public Image Ltd. My last column was kind of a downer with Bowie and Lemmy, and since then we can add Paul Kantner of Jefferson Airplane/ Starship, Glenn Frey of the Eagles, and of course, the most polarizing of all, Buddy Cianci. I’ve listened to early Jefferson Airplane. Not so much the Eagles, but maybe Frey solo on the Beverly Hills Cop Soundtrack with “The Heat is On.” I was always more the Mojo Nixon fan when he was singing “Don Henley Must Die,” which may run contrary to the rest of this. But he was insufferable at that point in time. I always appreciate life, so this column is not about who died but who is alive. Living in the moment, not staring at your cellphone — reach out and grab it, live it, love it to life. I didn’t do the Alt-Nation monthly DJ night because it felt more organic to let Providence do its own thing, but we’ll be back February 18 at E&O Tap.


Tommy’s After Dark
I’m not here to toot my own horn, but occasionally I do try to open new doors to things. For years I’ve seen Tommy’s downtown and it was scary — in other words, real. Now they have a basement where the sound is shit or there is another place where someone just got shot in the face. So to people who bemoan the loss of the Safari Lounge, I give you Tommy’s After Dark. My brothers in arms built the stage of the Safari and now the last vestibule of old downtown wants to host bands and I couldn’t be more excited. Bands should contact Terry at or 401-580-0733.


The I Don’t Cares – Wild Stab
The collaboration nobody saw coming after The Replacements reunion and the Juliana Hatfield Three. I saw both The Replacements and the Juliana Hatfield Three reunions in the last year and this just adds to the legacy. This collection of songs sounds like it is straight from Westerberg’s basement where any Mats fan would hope to die.  The highlights run from the damaged country of “Kissing Break” and “1/2 2P” to the rockers, like “Love Out Loud” and “Dance to the Fight.” I’ve read that “Done Done Done” should have been left out, but keep in mind most music critics are idiots. It is a classic rip off late ’60s soul delivered in their own voice. “King of America” with the shout it out call take it over call is better than what any presidential candidate has offered. They have offered you a whole lotta shit; check out the new album and the interview with Paul on Vanyaland with Peter Wolf from the J Geil’s Band.

Turn it down, turn it down — well, not tonight. Voivod is going to blast your ears. Get tickets in advance because this might sell out. Get your head banging on with Voivod!

Voivod, Vector, Eight Bellsand will shake Fete to its bones on February 6.

Lee Fields & The Expressions
The soul explosion continues and why not? Who doesn’t like it? St. Paul  & The Broken Bones, Sharon Jones and The Dap Kings and Charles Bradley — can we get enough of this? Al Green isn’t coming and Lee Fields & The Expressions are king of awesome in their own right. I can’t get enough of it!

Lee Fields & The Expressions with Lawrence will make Olneyville shake at Fete on February 13.

Laura Jane Grace & The Devouring Mothers
Against Me vocalist returns with her new band The Devouring Mothers. I don’t know fully what this is about, but I’d just go for being an Against Me fan. No, that is what we are all going for, and let’s rock!

Laura Jane Grace & The Devouring Mothers and Dave Dondero will rock Fete on February 16.

Email music news to mclarkin33@gmail.comf.