1. Sat, April 4: WBRU Rock Hunt Finals with Forest Fires, The Most Dangerous Men Alive, Public Alley, We Were Astronauts; 7pm doors / 8pm show; $5; All ages; The Met, 1005 Main St, Pawtucket. Death, taxes, 95.5 WBRU Rock Hunt. Here we are again, and as I did last year, here are each participant’s as-of-press-date official Vegas odds to win in this year’s battle. First up alphabetically are Providence’s mellow indie act Forest Fires. These guys are the favorites, radio ready and very tight live; odds for Forest Fires: 2 to 1. The Most Dangerous Men Alive stand the best chance to play the upset role. Hailing from the south shore of neighboring Massachusetts, MDMA not only bring the party rock, but they bring a big crowd. Could their fanatical fans sway the judges? Odds for MDMA: 4 to 1. The wildcard winner and final added act are Warwick’s own Public Alley. But who are Public Alley? And are they old enough to drive to The Met? They look young and sound good, but are they hungry enough to take the belt? Odds for Public Alley: 25 to 1. Boston’s We Were Astronauts are also radio ready and could stand to win. But could being from Boston deter this southern New England following? Odds for We Were Astronauts: 8 to 1.
2. Sat, April 11: The Sonics, Barrence Whitfield and the Savages; 7pm doors / 8pm show; $25 advance / $30 day of; All ages; Columbus Theatre, Providence. For more details on this show and much better writing in general, check out Marc Clarkin’s column. But I want to second the notion that this is a can’t-miss event. The Sonics are the godfathers of garage rock, my favorite genre of music since I was a teenager. I was fortunate enough to see the band a few years ago at Emo’s in Austin for SXSW. I was pretty skeptical that a band from the mid ’60s would have the chops to hold my attention. They came out in all black and looking the part, but also looking older than they should. When the guitar player walked out he said real slow, “Grab a hold of the girl next to you because we are going to blow the roof off this mother.” I laughed pretty hard at this notion, still skeptical, but holy shit they sure did. Sound just like the records. I was amazed, and you will be too. Don’t miss this show.
3. Sat, April 11: Protomartyr, The Gotobeds, Cottaging, Way Out; 9pm; $8; All ages; AS220, 115 Empire St, Providence. My new to me favorite band of 2015 so far has to be Pittsburgh’s The Gotobeds. I have played their bandcamp album Poor People Are Revolting so many times that I have to pay for it to hear it again. I didn’t know that could happen. The record is an indie punk guitar bombast, fantastic from front to back. Detroit’s Protomartyr play post punk at a generally faster end of the the genre. The singer’s vocals remind me of one of my all time favorites, Pleasure Forever. Speaking of favorites, Cottaging is my favorite band name of so far of 2015 (look up the definition, I had to). I’m not sure where they are from, but due to the band name and their sound, I’d guess Providence. With death surf act Way Out opening the bill, this makes it the strongest indie show of the month. Way Out recently added Daughter’s Nick Sadler to the group. Check out their new YouTube videos that seem to have been filmed in a cave club.
4. Sat, April 25: Ex Hex, Kuroma, Littlefoot; 9pm doors / 9:30pm show; $12; 21+ only; The Parlour, 1119 North Main St, Providence. Indie power trio Ex Hex’s aptly titled album Rips flies through time — 12 songs, each about 2 to 3 minutes of indie garage and power pop at its best. Check out stand-out track “How You Got That Girl” on YouTube. Vocalist Mary Timony has been a treasure of the underground forever, first making waves in the ’90s with Boston’s Helium and more recently with super group Wild Flag. NYC’s Kuroma are about to drop “Kuromarama” this month, a psych dance rock blend that reminds of Primal Scream as much as it does MGMT. Are they the “waterfall of fun” that their bio describes them as? Only one way to find out. Opening the show is Providence / Boston’s Littlefoot, who are up for a handful of Motif Music Awards. Check out their new music video “Black Hole” on YouTube. As of press time, this show is almost sold out, so get your tickets before they’re gone.
5. Sun, April 26: Rhode Island Music Hall Of Fame (RIMHOF) Induction Ceremony and Concert; 2pm start / 3pm concert; $7; All ages; Hope Artiste Village / The Met, 1005 Main St, Pawtucket. The RIMHOF, located in Hope Artiste Village, is a fantastic time capsule of Rhode Island musical history. If you haven’t checked out the exhibits, time it on a afternoon and check it out with the farmers market. This concert is in honor of the 13 new 2015 inductees. Festivities start at 2pm with the unveiling of the new inductees exhibits in the Hope Artiste and moves into the Met at 3pm with the inductions and performances by The Schemers/Raindogs/Mark Cutler, Brenda Bennett, The Others, The Ascots, and Marty Richards & Marty Ballou heading up a VIP jam. Tickets are cheap and also may sellout (it has in previous years). A great way to spend a Sunday.