1. Fri, Aug 7: Revival Brewing Co. presents The Rhode Island Road House Review featuring Road House The Musical with special musical guests Smith & Weeden, Jay Bernt and the Orphans; 8pm doors / 830pm show; $10; All ages; The Met, 1005 Main St, Pawtucket. This show is the best idea The Met has had possibly ever. It takes a local theater’s musical adaptation of the classic 1989 movie Road House and combines it with two of the best bar rock bands RI has to offer. Up first is Jay Berndt and the Orphans. Jay and the band command every corner of bar rock, r&b and bits of country and bang out the songs ’til they bleed. One of Providence’s best live acts going, make sure to get there early. Then you have the play that was so popular at its launch at The Wilbury Stage that it has gone on tour. Will Dalton overcome the odds and cool the Double Deuce? Probably. Will Wade Garrett survive if the coin is flipped heads?? Probably not. Will there be a giant stuffed polar bear??? Who knows. Then you get Providence’s best Americana bar rock with Smith & Weeden closing. This is the most recommended night in forever.
2. Sat, Aug 8th: Darkbuster, Reason To Fight, The Down And Outs, The Worried; 8pm doors / 9pm show; $18 advance / $20 day of; All ages; The Met, 1005 Main St, Pawtucket. Finally Darkbuster has returned to Providence for the first time in eight years? Nine years? Too long regardless. Boston punk legends were Providence regulars during their main tenure, playing at The Living Room every four months or so. They started in mid ’90s and in 1999 released a New England punk classic 22 Songs You’ll Never Want To Hear Again with classic jams like “Hometown Zero,” “Cheep Wine,” and local relevance track “Amazing Royal Shaft.” The songs were what great punk should be: fearless, personal and often sophomoric. Good luck leaving a show without someone else’s beer on you. After a lot of flirting with coming back off hiatus and a show here and there, the band is back with three hometown Boston sold-out shows and a return to Providence to boot. Frontman Lenny Lashley has been keeping busy, playing with The Street Dogs. As we wait for a new record, we can rejoice that the show is back on the road. And support is a fantastic showcase of Rhode Island punk and hardcore acts. Get your tickets early as this will likely sell out.
3. Sat, Aug 8: Foo Fest featuring Deerhoof, Low Anthem, Death Vessel, Gymshorts, Spocka Summa, Sire, Beta Motel, Finished, Roses, V-Sect, Good Lord, Bloodpheasant, Moor Mother Goddess, AS220 Youth Zukrewe, Providence Poetry Slam, Vio/Mire, Omnivore, Bored With Four; 1pm to 1am; $10; All ages; AS220’s block, Empire St, Providence. AS220 sure knows how to throw a block party, and this is the downtown fest of the year. Lots of outdoor food vendors, plenty of booze between AS220 and Muldowneys, and activities during the day for the kids. I love taking my son so he can see what our music community is about and I get to see what an outsider thinks of it (he’s now a big Ravi Shavi fan). And this year they knocked it out of the park with headlining booking of indie rock mainstays Deerhoof. It’s fitting because the band has been through so many times over the last 20 years they almost feel like they are from the community. The lineup from front to back is packed with great local talent, so if you can only go for a bit, the low cover makes it worth swinging in and catching someone or two. I hear a lot of good things about Beta Motel and Omnivore and hope to catch them. I would drop everything and catch Bloodpheasant if I were you; they are sensational live as are fellow indie acts Gymshorts and Vio/Mire. Also, Spocka Summa might be the best local hip-hop act to play the fest in several years. (See our story on page XX.)
4. Sat, August 15: The Mighty Good Boys, Cactus Attack; 9ish; No Cover!; 21+ only; Nick-A-Nee’s, 75 South St., Providence. Nick-A-Nee’s is one of the last dives still surviving in the outskirts of Providence. As $250 cigarette fines try to kill off whatever bars condo owners find seedy, Nick-A-Nee’s is still alive and thriving in the jewelry district, showcasing some of the best singer songwriters and Americana southern New England has to offer. They have music four to five nights a week, including the Bluegrass Throwdown every Wednesday. The bar also has the best jukebox in town. This show is the best of the month with Providence’s kitchen sink Americana act The Mighty Good Boys and hillbilly freekouts Cactus Attack. Check out The Mighty Good Boys’ record It Ain’t Easy on Bandcamp; it showcases their extensive range. Get there early for Cactus Attack’s sure-to-be-frantic live set, and buy singer Ryan Jackson a shot or two cause he’s so darn nice.
5. Fri, Sept 4: Fishbone; 8pm doors / 9pm show; $20 advance; 21+ only; The Ocean Mist, 895 Matunuck Rd, Wakefield. Last call to try do something summerish. And here we have legendary ska funk punk act Fishbone playing at the Ocean Mist. If you haven’t been to the Ocean Mist before, shame on you. It’s a legend in its own rights — a beach bar that is pretty much right on top of the ocean. I used to go see The Amazing Royal Crowns and the Agents down there with my fake ID (RIP Carlos Maltempi) back in the day. Now I try to make it down at least once or twice a year, usually for the Mallett Brothers. But an end of the summer jam with ultimate party band Fishbone is a no-brainer. Fishbone have been at it for over 35 (yep, 35) years. Their fusion of ska and punk then later with soul and rock became the playbook for other influential acts like Red Hot Chili Peppers and Primus and the sorts. Their jam “Party At Ground Zero” is a WBRU retro lunch hall of fame jam and also is in the soundtrack of 25% of the movies you love from the ’80s. Go to this show, and forget about all the missed summer events you were harking about. This will save your summer.
Worth Noting: Aug 10 — Delta Spirit @The Met; Aug 19 — Earl Sweatshirt @Lupos; Aug 22 — Earth @The Columbus; Aug 27 — The Mallett Brothers @The Parlor(in Newport)