1. Friday, January 19: Michael Ian Black; 7pm doors / 8pm show; $35 / $39; All ages; Greenwich Odeum, 59 Main St, East Greenwich. I don’t think there has ever been a show that felt more like it was made specifically for me than “The State” did when I was a teenager. “The State” was a skit show that aired for about two years on MTV in the mid ’90s. The jokes and content were esoteric, contained a touch of pop culture, were frequently rude and took risks that no other comedy shows were taking yet. Michael Ian Black was one of the break-out stars from this series. You likely know him from more recent TV series such as “Stella,” “Ed” or “The Bachelor” spoof “Burning Love” or the zillion movies he’s been in such as “Wet Hot American Summer” or “This Is 40.” He has been very active, writing, directing and making stand-up appearances. This should be a great night out of comedy and satire.
2. Saturday, January 20: The Mallett Brothers, Back Rhodes, The Shakes; 8pm doors / 9pm show; $10 advance / $10 day of; All ages; The Met, 1005 Main St, Pawtucket. It’s been a while since The Mallett Brothers have graced The Met. The band has the strange quality of reminding me of both summer and winter. Their sound is a warm combination of southern country and California psych hippie fuzz, but the bands is also very Maine in attitude and appearance. They cut their teeth playing around New England and now RI (frequently at The Ocean Mist, The Nickerbocker (in Westerly) and The Met). They also are making a name for themselves out of New England, constantly touring the country. RI country rockers Back Rhodes and up-and-coming blues rock band The Shakes open up the bill.
3. Saturday, January 27: Hey Nineteen (Tribute To Steely Dan); 8pm doors / 8:30pm show; $20; 21+ only; The Ocean Mist, 895 Matunuck Rd, Wakefield. RI’s own Hey Nineteen are an 11-piece group tribute to Steely Dan. I caught their recent show at The Met and was very impressed. The band was great, lots of people were dancing and I forgot how many Steely Dan songs I knew. South County in the winter is quiet, but pretty. And the Ocean Mist rules; you won’t find more beautiful surroundings outside a bar in New England. And make sure to grab dinner at the Matunuck Oyster Bar, the best food in the state south of Providence.
4. Wednesday, January 31: Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Night Beats; 8pm doors / 9pm show; $26 advance / $29 day of; 18+ only; Royale Boston, 279 Tremont St, Boston, Mass. I am currently reading the turn-of-the-century sorta New York Centric memoir Meet Me In The Bathroom, which tells the tales of New York musicians such as The Strokes, Interpol, The Rapture and LCD
Soundsystem, as well as The White Stripes, Kings Of Leon, The Killers and many others. It reminds me of all the shows I went to during that time. I saw The Strokes in early 2001 before their first album was out at TT And The Bears in Cambridge, Mass, but what really stood out that night was Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. They had a stoned-out T Rex sound that was super exciting and loud. BRMC have been involved in several shows that were memorable for me. When they played the Green Room in Providence back in 2003 or 2004; when the were in the middle of a bill in 2006 at Lupo’s with Kings Of Leon and Manchester Orchestra. BRMC might not have been the biggest band then, nor the biggest of those bands now, but they are still at it and killing it. Worth the trip to Boston for sure.
5. Monday, February 5: Brockhampton; 7pm doors / 8pm show; $ (varying, I think its sold out); All ages; House Of Blues Boston, 15 Lansdowne St, Boston, Mass. California hip-hop collective Brockhampton is about to blow up. They were formed in San Marcos, Texas, in 2015 by leader Kevin Abstract. The group had a prolific 2017; they released three albums and most (if not all?) songs have ambitious music videos. Their content isn’t abrasive or shocking like last the Cali hip-hop collective Odd Future, but more along the lines of Kanye (who they name check) and even Pharcyde. That bridge can be connected as they have discussed music videos and often credit for the vision Spike Jonze, who directed iconic ’90s hip-hop acts such as Pharcyde and the Beastie Boys. Check them out on YouTube to see the vision with the tracks, and try to catch this show if you can.
Also worth noting: Jan 11 — The Messthetics (ex mems. Fugazi) / Minibeast / Snow Plows @ Machine With Magnets; Jan 12 — Neutral Nation @ Greenwich Odeum; Jan 12 — Rebelution @ The Strand; Jan 13 — Eric & The Nothing / Tall Teenagers / Cherry Pit @ The Parlour; Jan 14 –Neko Case @ Columbus Theatre; Jan 20 — Royal Street / Toad & The Stooligans @ Alchemy; Jan 21 — Collie Buddz @ The Met; Jan 25 — Snail Mail @ Great Scott (Boston); Jan 26 — Apathy @ The Met; Jan 26 — Fabulous & Jadakiss @ The Strand; Jan 28 — Scott Bradlee Postmodern Jukebox @ The Vets; Feb 1 — The Morgana Phase / Karis Owen @ Alchemy; Feb 2 — Jason Isbell @ The Vets