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

1. Thursday, January 12: 95.5 WBRU presents Phantogram, Foreign Air; Show 9pm; $25 advance / $30 day of; All ages; Lupo’s, 79 Washington St, PVD. Phantogram are on top of the food chain right now.  In 2015, the band worked with Outkast’s Big Boi on a side project titled Big Grams. It was a terrific collaboration in which the two parts not only blended well, but leaned on each other to push them forward. Check out the track “Lights On,” one of my favorite tracks in recent memory. Phantogram regrouped after the successful side project to release their third and appropriately titled record Three. The album perfects their dream pop with slick trip-hop. Check out lead single “You Don’t Get Me High Anymore” and my favorite from the record “Cruel World.”  North Carolina’s Foreign Air opens the show.

2. Saturday, January 21: The Low Cards, Muddy Ruckus, Michael Graham, Wise Old Moon; 9pm; $8; 21+ only; Dusk, 301 Harris Ave, PVD. January is a great month to check out local talent. Most national acts go home for Christmas, and the first place they want to go afterward isn’t New England in winter. So many of the clubs rely on the local bands to fill the calendar and the house, and this is the first of four great local showcases mentioned in this column. Providence’s The Low Cards are a decent leaning lo fi and dirty blues and rock band. Portland, Maine’s Muddy Ruckus is an acoustic Americana meets Appalachian blues stomping good time. Michael Graham is a solid and underrated indie folky alternative song writer and worth getting to Dusk early for. And opening act Hartford’s Wise Old Moon also ties into the roots Americana night theme.

3. Friday, January 27: “2017 WBRU Rock Hunt Kickoff Party” featuring Torn Shorts, Jetty, Eric & The Nothing, Tall Teenagers; 8pm doors / 9pm show; $8; All ages; The Met, 1005 Main St, Pawtucket. Rhode Island’s longest-running battle of the bands is back, and this is the 2017 WBRU Rock Hunt Kickoff. This isn’t part of the annual contest, but rather a celebration of three great bands who have participated (and Tall Teenagers cause while they haven’t, they are so damn good, why not add them?). It’s meant to be a celebration, but also to build awareness for new bands to submit for the contest, which takes place typically in March / April. Make sure to check out for details on how you can enter your act! This is a solid line-up and definitely worth checking out the entire bill.

4. Saturday, January 28: Providence Grabs Back: A Benefit for RI Planned Parenthood; 5pm to 2am; $10; All ages; Firehouse 13, 41 Central St, PVD. Well, by this date the orange muppet will be president and his fellow zillionaires will already have begun their fleecing of America. Unfortunately, we have to now fight for all the rights and privileges that we once took as standard or commonplace. Planned Parenthood is definitely an important provider of crucial health services for women and worth fighting hard for. One hundred percent of the cover and vendor sales are going to Planned Parenthood. It seems to be a pretty heavy and loud line-up, with doom and groove godfathers Onleyville Sound System, New Bedford’s Bad Motherfucker and Providence’s trashers Wreak. Two bands I haven’t heard of before that are playing, Sex Orgy Death Crash and Cross Armed Calculator, remind me of the ’90s when bands would just throw unrelated words into bands names. Long live the Living Room ad.


5. Saturday, January 28: The Copacetics with Frankie and the Freeloaders; 9pm; No Cover; 21+ only; Nick-a-Nee’s, 75 South St, PVD. Can’t get a better free local showcase in January than this show. Providence Rocksteady Ska act The Copacetics just released their excellent second album, Ska Royale. While good on the album, live is where the band truly excels. And country rock and roll locals Frankie Ranks and the Freeloaders is a great pairing. Make sure to get there early, as with a ska band and a country band, their members should take up a good chunk of the bar’s capacity. And make sure to watch your step, because their will be dogs and nothing feels worse than accidentally stepping on a dog while drunk.

Also worth noting: 1.12 Milo, Ceschi, Skyjelly, Mo Niklz @ The News Cafe; 1.14 Daddie Long Legs, Little Compton Band @ The Met; 1.18 Dean Ween Group @ The Met; 1.18 The Body, Lingua Igonta, Sandworn, Work/Death @ Aurora; 1.20 Apathy @ The Met; 1.24 Aesop Rock @ The Met; 1.26 Son Little @ The Columbus Theatre; 1.29 Isaiah Rashad @ The Met