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Alt-Nation: Everybody Knows …

“Everybody knows that the war is over, everybody knows the good guys lost.” So goes the 2016 presidential election with the words of the late, great Leonard Cohen; rest in peace. I’m not sure anyone won after all the negativity. All I can say is stay vigilant, but most of all stay decent to one another. Don’t become what you hate; together, we all have the power. R.I.P. to Leon Russell as well.

The Blood Moons

The Blood Moons’ debut (self-titled 2009) was one of my favorite local records that I’ve heard since someone thought it was a good idea to pay me to talk about music. The Blood Moons were a departure of sorts from the hardcore punk rock of singer-guitarist Chris Guaraldi’s previous band, Chris Evil and The Taints. The Blood Moons had an element of dark country set to garage beats that really had a unique vision. They released another self-titled (album names were never the band’s strength) split EP with Six Star General before ceasing to play out regularly. Guaraldi formed Sick Pills, who put out a record and did another Taints record. This reunion show should be a real treat. Catch one of the best local bands from 2009 to 2011.


The Blood Moons, Jesse Ahern & The Roots Rock Rebel Revue, and Nick Sundman rock the Pour Farm Tavern in New Bedford on November 18.

Roomful of Blues

I don’t know what was more surprising in the past week, Trump winning the election or going over the Braga Bridge and finding it not under construction. You can take advantage of the newly opened Braga Bridge with a jaunt to Fall River to see a true Rhode Island Institution in Roomful of Blues. Roomful of Blues has been belting out a mix of blues, boogie-woogie and swinging jazz for an incredible 49 years. It is hard to imagine life without them, but then again I haven’t been alive long enough to experience that. Roomful of Blues has garnered acclaim locally and nationally for good reason. They may be down to one original member, but you’d never know the difference.

Roomful of Blues will belt out swing blues at the Narrows Center for the Arts in Fall River on November 25. 

The Schemers

Speaking of Rhode Island institutions, a term I don’t want to dilute by over-using, The Schemers are the only other band in this column that also merits that term. The Schemers have been around a mere 37 years in comparison, but they don’t let their youth get in the way of rocking. The Schemers are pretty much straight-forward rock in the vein of Tom Petty, Elvis Costello and Velvet Underground. Led by singer-guitarist Mark Cutler and still including original members Emerson Torrey and Jimmy Berger, a Schemers show is an all-night party with a mix of originals and covers. Last year, The Schemers even released a new album, The Last Beach, for the first time in decades. This is the perfect show to dance off the pounds from Thanksgiving.

The Schemers rock The Met Café all night on November 26.

Slim Cessna’s Auto Club

I’ve talked about Slim Cessna’s Auto Club a lot over the years, and it is always a difficult thing to describe. They are essentially a country band spiritually infused with mix of rustbelt revival and punk rock. Their shows hit on everything from gospel to hillbilly stomp. Although they are not a Rhode Island institution, they usually close their set with a tune called “He, Roger Williams,” which talks about the First Baptist Church in downtown Providence.  Cessna used to live in Cranston and was in a local band called The Blackstone Valley Sinners when not on the road with the Auto Club. This show is stacked with powerful openers in O’Death and The Huntress & Holder of Hands, so get there early and stay late.

Slim Cessna’s Auto Club, O’Death, and The Huntress & Holder of Hands rock The Met Café on November 29.

Andrew W.K. – “The Power of Partying”

Got to admit that initially I thought the Columbus Theatre was a poor venue choice for an Andrew W.K. show billed as “The Power of Partying.” Andrew W.K. has always made the word “party” his calling card, but the idea of doing it in a theater with seats just didn’t make sense. I looked into it further — mostly to see if he lost a bet — but no, turns out he is doing a speaking tour (of course!) to give a “pep rally for the inner spirit, and an optimistic look at the overwhelming intensity of life.” So okay, at first I thought a motivational talk by the guy with songs about partying may sound weird, but the more I thought about it, the more I want to see it. After the last week, we all need and deserve some optimism.

Andrew W.K. will discuss The Power of Partying at the Columbus Theatre on November 30.


The ever-notorious Supersuckers roll into the area to do a tour of Rhode Island, or at least a pair of shows.  Supersuckers really have two repertoires that they mix into shows. They do hell raising rock ‘n’ roll interspersed with outlaw country. It is like getting three pizzas where one is Merle Haggard, one is sub-Motorhead, and one is anthem-heavy arena rock. I like both pizza and the Supersuckers. So I already know what I’m going to do when Eddie Spaghetti and the boys roll into town.

Supersuckers and Jesse Dayton rock The Café at Parlor in Newport on November 30. For those closer to Providence, Supersuckers, Jesse Dayton, The Quahogs, Living Dead, and Gallows Bound rock Firehouse 13 on December 4.

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