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Mike D’s Top Five — Can’t Miss Shows of December

Five of the biggest concerts happening in RI this December

1. Saturday, December 7: A Wilhelm Scream (Partycrasher CD release!), Half Hearted Hero, The Holy Mess, The Down and Outs. $12 advance / $14 day of. 7 pm doors / 8 pm show. All ages. The Met, 1005 Main St., Pawtucket, RI. New Bedford’s own A Wilhelm Scream’s new album Partycrasher is their 6th album and is out now! This is the party to celebrate their fantastic record. A Wilhelm Scream have been at it for what feels like forever (16 years? the line between Smacking Isaiah and AWS is blurred in my head) and have been touring the world making a name for themselves as New England’s finest melodic hardcore act and influencing numbers of great bands on the way. Count New Bedford’s Half Hearted Hero and Providence’s The Down and Outs as two of them. Also on the bill, The Holy Mess, a punk rock act from Philly that reminds me of American Steel at times.

2. Monday, December 16: WBRU Birthday Bash with Grouplove, J Roddy Walston & The Business, Bear Hands. $25. 7 pm doors / 8 pm show. All ages. Lupo’s, 79 Washington St., Providence, RI. It was unfortunate in November when Grouplove postponed (all tickets will be observed, by the way), but the blessing in disguise was the new support! J Roddy Walston & The Business have been cutting their teeth across the country as support with the Drive By Truckers, Shovels and Rope and hometown heroes Deer Tick. They now seem poised to make the jump forward. Check out their video Heavy Bells on YouTube; it’s sort of a mix between a stoner’s idea of the NFL play 60 campaign and a Providence West End cult after party. Brooklyn’s most underrated indie rock ever is Bear Hands. Check out their old album Burning Bush Supper Club or request their new song, “Giants,” on WBRU. Killer show, WBRU!

3. Saturday, December 21: I Am The Avalanche, Hostage Calm, Raindance, Foreign Tongues. $11 advance / $13 day of. 7 pm doors / 8 pm show. All ages. The Met, 1005 Main St., Pawtucket, RI. The Rhode Island return of the pop punk veterans I Am The Avalanche is finally here. The last show was two years ago in a snow storm, right around the release of Avalanche United, their second album. While it took six years to release that, word on the book is that their new album is in the can and should be out early 2014! This show marks the final show of Mike Ireland, who is leaving the band to focus on Brooklyn’s finest bar The Three Diamond Door. If in Bushwick, make sure to stop by and ask Mike how often he parties. CT’s pop punk upstarts Hostage Calm, Ma’s hardcore act Raindance, and NH’s fantastic Foreign Tongues round out the bill.


4. Sunday, December 22: Math The Band, Jeff Rosenstock (of Bomb The Music Industry), Lyra, Malportado Kids. $6. 9 pm doors. All ages. AS220, 15 Empire St, Providence, RI. This show not only celebrates the release of their new record, Stupid and Weird, it’s also their 1,000th show?! By my math, my brain tells me that’s 83 shows a year, and I have only caught two of these. I am going to try to make it three. For those not familiar, the band aptly describes their new album as a vintage analog synth spazz punk odyssey. Jeff Rosenstock, songwriter for DIY punks Bomb The Music Industry is direct support. With the announcement of Bomb breaking up in early 2104, I would expect some new material for this show. Providence’s hardcore act Lyra and casio jamz band Mal Portado open.

5. Tuesday, December 31: New Year’s Eve with Joe Fletcher and the Wrong Reasons, JP Harris & The Tough Choices, Smith & Weeden. $15 advance / $20 day of. 8 pm doors / 9 pm show. All ages. The Met, 1005 Main St., Pawtucket, RI. And Bad Rabbits, Bearstronaut, Brek.One. $30. 8 pm doors / 8 pm show. 21+ only. The Sinclair, 52 Church St. Cambridge MA. These are two great shows. I would go see Joe’s return from Nashville. There is a lot of entertainment going on everywhere, but why go downtown and see balloon animal artists and freeze your ass off looking at fireworks when you can go see live music and dance your ass off? I hear the Silks and Hope Anchor are playing on New Year’s Eve at the Parlour, but I can’t find that anywhere online so it might be fictional. Anyway, have a happy New Year!