Mike D’s Top 5 — Can’t Miss Shows of November

Top November Alt Shows in the greater RI area

1. Friday, November 8: Tim Kasher (of Cursive/The Good Life), Laura Stevenson, Littlefoot. $12 advance / $14 day of. 8 pm doors / 9 pm show. All ages. The Met, 1005 Main St., Pawtucket, RI. Tim Kasher is one of my favorite songwriters.  His songwriting themes of love, loss, substance abuse and the pursuit of whatever happiness is while having an amazing amount of self awareness makes him a modern day Bukowski. After splitting his time over the last decade-plus as lead man of Cursive and Good Life, in 2010 he released his first solo record, The Game Of Monogamy, focusing on the nuances of relationships.  His new album, Adult Film, is out now.  Laura Stevenson and one of my favorite new local bands, Littlefoot, round out the bill.
2. Sunday, November 17: Johnny Gates & The Invite. $10 advance / $12 day of.  6 pm doors / 7 pm show. All ages. The Met, 1005 Main St., Pawtucket, RI. What a journey for Johnny Gates & The Invite.  Having formed in Rhode Island in 2005 right out of being high school classmates, the band was one of the hardest working bands in the Providence indie / emo music scene, constantly playing The Living Room and Lupo’s.  After flirting with major labels and grinding to get on national tours, the band moved to Nashville in 2008 and retooled. The game changing moment for them was meeting with producer Nathan Chapman (who is known for his production work with Taylor Swift) who took the band under his wing and found them a major label and major booking agency.  Having left the pop element, the band now is a bit more  in the vein of The Wallflowers.  It was a bit of a learning curve for the band, to go from songwriting in their basement to the Nashville big business way of going in a room with a popular songwriter they have never met and collaborating. The show at The Met will be their first New England show in five years since their departure for the south.  Look for their major label debut in 2014 on Warner Records.
3.  Thursday, November 21: Boo City, Ravi Shavi, Ian O’Neil (of Deer Tick). $8. 8 pm doors / 9 pm show. All ages. The Met, 1005 Main St., Pawtucket, RI. Here is a co-bill of two of Providence’s funnest and best live acts.  Boo City is self described “Black Country Soul Rock Steady,” in other words an all-the-fuck-over-the-place party band.  While the band’s songs sound great on record (Google Boo City and Bandcamp), vocalists Tai Awolaju and Andrew “Moon” Bain’s songs really come out live. The show will also be Boo City’s world premier of their video “Nobody Knows.”  Ravi Shavi, Providence’s premier upstart garage rock band, are unstoppable when they are on their A-game. And Ian O’Neil, who is currently jetsetting around the world behind his band and Rhode Island’s own Deer Tick’s 5th record Negativity, opens what should be a great night of Providence music in Pawtucket.
4. Saturday, November 23: Bad Swimmers (Record Release Party), Little Big League, Bloodpheasant, Steve Layman, Darklands. $5. 9 pm. All ages. AS220, 115 Empire St., Providence, RI. Sean Murphy (of Rhode Island hardcore vets Verse) new project sounds like a bit more lo-fi and punk Superchunk, and that’s more than fine with me.  This show celebrates the release of See You, a new 10″ record coming out on Atomic Action.  Philly’s Little Big League remind me a lot of a more mellow Pretty Girls Make Graves.  Providence’s Bloodpheasant are on the top of my Providence bands I haven’t seen, but want to, describing themselves aptly as doom folk.  Steve Layman and one of Rhode Island’s several bands called Darklands round out the bill.
5. Saturday November 23: Blowfly, Tinsel Teeth, DJ Dave Public, The New Lewiss and his BIG BANG. $10. 9 pm. All ages. Machine With Magnets, 400 Main St., Pawtucket, RI. Where does one start when describing what Blowfly is about? My introduction was laughing at this dude’s outrageous album covers before I knew who he was.  Blowfly (born Clarence Reid) was originally a writer and producer having worked with Sam & Dave, Bobby Byrd, and KC and the Sunshine Band. He would rewrite popular hits with new, not-so-subtle sexual innuendo. What started as a spoof and side project became an underground phenomenon and was definitely an influence on future rappers such as Kool Keith and 2 Live Crew. Worth going to just to see what costume he’s wearing. Providence’s entertaining noise mongers Tinsel Teeth open.