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Alt-Nation: Shows that Will Prepare You for Halloween

The Callouts – Check Your Friends (75orLess Records)

It has been a few years since the demise of local pop-punk stalwarts The Jesse Minute. From those ashes we now have The Callouts with Missa Hills on vocals and guitarists Drew Safs and Mike Grillo from The Jesse Minute joining forces with local master beat master Dan Ulmschneider and Drew on bass. The Callouts’ debut, Check Your Friends comes firing out of the cannon with a blast of pop-punk with cuts like “Blue Letter” and the anthemic “Go All Out.” The combination of Hills’ sugary vocals and the loud guitars over a fast backbeat make comparisons to The Jesse Minute inevitable as Check Your Friends does start out like the band’s lost album. The more one dives into Check Your Friends the more The Callouts start to break free from the sound of their former band. Cuts like “Cannonball” and my favorite cut “Nothing Left” remind me more of a lost Letter to Cleo track than The Jesse Minute. The Callouts really start to drop the hammer on tracks like “Partly Not” and “We Were Kids,” which have a heavier rock ‘n’ roll thump, almost in the in the vein of Foo Fighters hooks. On Check Your Friends, The Callouts succeed in avoiding the trappings of being The Jesse Minute part 2 to expand into the future.

The Callouts’ CD release show for Check Your Friends with The Scandals Zero Holds, and Ask The Dead rocks Dusk in Providence on October 21.


Freaqshow: A Fashion and Art Spooktacular!untitled-3

It has become a Halloween tradition — for the third year in a row The Viennagram are having a Halloween party at the Columbus Theatre. Of course also for the third year in a row I interviewed the singer/drummer AV Vienna to find out what is in store. This is part one of the interview with the extended interview coming out next week online at

Marc Clarkin: This is your third year having a Halloween party at the Columbus; does that count as a residency?

AV Vienna: I’m awful at math and I can only count to 24 (3, 10, 11. Eyes, fingers, toes!). True, the Columbus has been our Halloween home and this is the Return of the Jedi. Extra special thanks to Tom, Jeff and crew in giving us the ultimate show and tell spot!

MC: Each year you debut something new; what have you got for us this year?

AV: My BIG dream of presenting my BIG ideas on a BIG SCREEN and playing the BIG stage; it’s ALL coming true!  The process and point of The Viennagram has always been the merging of the transformative power of sound, the transcendent vehicle of performance and the transmutative language of imagery for transversal of idea energy.  Originally I had intended our album, [LEARN TO TAME THE PATTERNS:] (2014) to come included with a companion book with illustrated lyrics, illuminated manuscript and secret code in a kind of pop-up comic book format. Over time, my inner universe and overall concepts of where I wanted to take a listener/viewer knew no bounds. I realized the concepts I was trying to convey didn’t translate to page anymore. This year I am presenting a brand new and interactive experience. An experiment in exploring the patterns of perception and the perception of patterns. Unlocked from my imagination, beaming straight to your third eye it’s [U VIEW: VIENNAGRAM:]

MC: What other types of acts will be performing on the 28th?

AV: Expect the unexpected; it’s the kind of environment where anything can happen! Don’t forget there’s a COSTUME CONTEST! And a real GHOST!

Freaqshow: A Fashion and Art Spooktacular! – featuring performances by Skull& Glossbones, Beta Motel, and The Viennagram as well as Nathalia JMag (of “Project Runway!”) Jeanette Converse Melanoir, special guest DJ Oscar Champagne, and a host of other surprises goes down at the Columbus Theatre on October 28.

Odds & Sods:


Shellac are a post-hardcore legend that burst on the scene in the mid-90s. Front man Steve Albini is better known as a producer (who hates the term “producer”) of seminal albums like Nirvana’s In Utero and Pixies’ Surfa Rosa. I’ve never caught Shellac live so I’m not sitting on this opportunity. I suggest you don’t either.

Shellac, Shannon Wright, and Minibeast will give the night a black eye at The Met Café on October 21.

School of Rock Seekonk Halloween Party

I think it is great to see high school students playing out in venues, but I’d normally never write recommendations to see them. As great as it is, I cover things that I want to see and don’t really have time for high school talent shows.  School of Rock Seekonk is different; under the sage tutelage of Shawn Garrity they are a real treat live. They do justice to both classic rock and alternative covers and as added hoot I don’t really need a lot of coaxing to go to a Halloween party.

School of Rock Seekonk is having a Halloween Party at Fete, featuring performances by their various bands. It goes down at Fete on October 21. This is an early show with doors at 5pm.

Tales of Rocky Point Park

I’ve been excited to see this movie ever since I heard about it. This isn’t a documentary of Rocky Point Park like You Must Be This Tall was a few years ago, but rather a collection of urban legends about the legendary amusement park. From what I’ve read it even has a bit of a horror slant, which is perfect for this time of year. I’ve gone running in Rocky Point Park imagining the ghosts of the old park from the few remaining remnants standing. If they ever do a second installment, they should get in touch and I’ll tell them about the time I hitchhiked home from a Ramones show from Rocky Point in the back of a hearse.

Tales of Rocky Point Park plays at the Columbus Theatre on October 22.  Doors are at 6:30pm with the movie starting at 7:30pm.

Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats

Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats was one of my favorites from this year’s Newport Folk Festival. They combine ’60s soul and old school rock ‘n’ roll that invokes the memory of artists like Otis Redding, Sam Cooke and Wilson Pickett. You may know their hit, “S.O.B.,” but their whole set in Newport had me grinning ear to ear. Happy Birthday to 95.5 WBRU and bring your dancing shoes for the party.

95.5 WBRU Birthday Bash featuring performance by Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats, Weathers and Le Roxy Pro goes down at Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel on October 23.

The Dickies

There are not many legendary first wave punk bands known for covers of “Nights in White Satin” and “Banana Splits (Tra La La Song)” but The Dickies have built a legacy on this. The Dickies also foretold our country’s current clown crisis with “Killer Klowns From Outer Space” as far back as 1988. I’ve caught The Dickies live and it was one of the best shows I’ve ever seen. This is the show to catch for old school punk done right with plenty of tongue in cheek humor.

The Dickies, Neutral Nation, and Atlantic Thrills will rock the Café at Parlor Newport so hard on October 25 that Aquidneck Island might sink.

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