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Mike D’s Top 5 Can’t Miss Shows of December

  1. Saturday, December 3 and 10: 3rd Annual Holiday Benefit Cover Show; $10/15; All ages?; Aurora, 276 Westminister St, PVD. Along with the 3rd kinda annual Neutrinos holiday show, December 10 has the actual 3rd annual cover song show at Aurora featuring a number of Rhode Island area musicians. We have the good (At The Drive In, Descendents, Modest Mouse), the bad (Third Eye Blind, Pearl Jam), and the indifferent (Pinback). And, of course, the first name you often think of to tie together all these acts: Billy Ocean. I don’t have to look up details to guess that whoever is doing Billy Ocean is or includes Adam / Bi Anal Ham Sandwich / Sinatra Jr. If I am wrong about that one, I will eat my “2016 sucked” hat. There are two nights, so check out your local listings to make sure you don’t accidentally catch Third Eye Blind songs.

2. Friday, December 9: The Village Idiots, 10w30, Outcloud; 21+; Bishop Hill Tavern, 2868 Hartford Ave, Johnston. I used to play in a garage punk “band” back in high school, and the greatest show of my life wasn’t with some of the big national bands we played with or gigs in New York City or elsewhere on the road. We once played at Lincoln School For Girls and it was certainly one of the most flattering moments of my life. We also shared the stage with The Village Idiots that night, and it was almost 20 years ago. That mean ska punk outfit The Village Idiots have been at it for close to, if not over, 20 years. Unlike The Agents who come in and out of retirement regularly, Village Idiots are more of a Haley’s Comet. They play now, I believe, once a year up at Bishop Tavern, which is a great bar in Northern Rhode Island. Hopefully it’s unseasonably warm and you can play bocce ball out back.

3. Saturday, December 10: Lil Yachty; $25 advance / $30 day of; All ages; Lupo’s / The Roxy, 79 Washington St, PVD. Lil Yachty is a pretty polarizing artist right now in hip-hop. Every couple of years a new movement of young rappers comes up, and the older hip-hop heads get agitated and shake their hands at the sky. Other similar acts, like Kodak Black, 21 Savage, and Young Thug, are making serious in-roads with hip-hop crowds, but the older fans are reluctant to support it. I find Lil Yachty lyrically to be funny and engaging, though at times it does seem like he gets lost in the song. Check out his feature on D.R.A.M’s hit “Broccoli” and decide for yourself.

4. Saturday, December 17: Providence PsycheFest 2016; $7; 21+; Dusk, 301 Harris Ave, PVD. The best (mostly) local line-up of the month is right here at the Providence PsycheFest 2016. Providence’s Olneyville Sound System have been terrifying concert-goers around town for close to 20 years, a spastic battle of the contained and uncontrollable. If you haven’t seen them yet, I wonder how. And do yourself a favor and get to Dusk to catch them. The out-of-towners on the bill, Invisible Things, are new to me, but have members of bands I have seen (US Maple, Parts & Labor). From a quick listen, they are psyche with a touch of free-form jazz influence and should fit in just fine. Baylies Band (art noise punks from New Bedford), Craig Wreck (Craig from Doomsday Student’s delta doom and boom project) and Goon Planet (Providence no wave oddities) round out a great night at Dusk.

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5. Friday, December 30: WBRU’s New Year’s Eve Eve with Gogol Bordello; $30 advance/$35 day of; All ages: Lupo’s, 79 Washington St, PVD. Like many of my friends in the industry, I almost always get stuck working New Year’s Eve.  And with a ton of bar tip money received from the night before, I day drink myself into bed early in the day. A few years back I went so hard on January 1, I was in bed by 6pm. Well, new year, new me because this year I am going to get uber car irresponsible the day before New Year’s Eve AND at night! Gogol Bordello are the perfect party band, gypsy punk funk grunk lump anarcho political party of dance and well, party. What should I do now on January 1? I will most likely get day drunk again.

Also worth noting: December 1 — The Mallett Brothers / Frankie Ranks and the Freeloaders / Hip Bobsha @ the Met; December 4 — The Supersuckers @ Firehouse 13; December 8 — Richard Buckner @ The Narrows; December 9 — The Blue Album (Weezer tribute) @ The Met; December 10 — Churchburn @ Firehouse 13; December 10 — 3rd Kinda Annual Neutrinos Holiday Special @ News Cafe; December 10 — Z-Boys / Juile Rhodes @ Nick-A-Nee’s; December 14 — WBRU presents Warpaint, K. Flay, Joseph @ Lupo’s; December 16 — Bayside (acoustic), Hawthorne Heights @ The Met; December 17 — Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds @ The Met; December 23 — Therefore I Am @ The Met