1. Revival Fest II was the place to be on the 4th of July. Highlights to me included Bad Motherfucker, Teazer, Pixels, Thee Itchies, Tall Teenagers, Bloodpheasant, Gym Shorts, the return of Smith and Weeden (top 5 article house band) and many others.
2. Friday, July 15: Mainland, Eric and the Nothing; 7pm; FREE; All ages; WBRU Summer Concert Series, Waterplace Park, Providence. WBRU Concert Series is back. It starts on July 8 with locals Le Roxy Pro and Weezer tribute The Blue Album, and runs every Friday until August 12. I don’t know much about Mainland; they sound pretty decent and like they should be on WBRU. But what I am excited about is seeing one of my favorite local bands, Eric and the Nothing, in front of a big crowd. The other highlights of this month at Waterplace include a double bill with Lucius and Providence’s Math The Band on the 22nd, and on the 29th Aurora (the band, not the club). On Friday the 15, get there early to not miss Eric and the Nothing and get good rip roaring on ‘Gansett Summer Ale and walk over to see The Gotobeds at Aurora (the club, not the band) afterward.
3. Friday, July 15: The Gotobeds; 8:30pm doors / 9pm show; $7; All ages; Aurora, 276 Westminster St, Providence. Pittsburgh’s The Gotobeds are the best new band you haven’t heard of. Their first record, Poor People Are Revolting, has a perfect blend of smart-ass ’90s indie like Pavement and the teeth of punks like The Buzzcocks. The record was so good that they almost instantly signed to indie rock power house Sub Pop (The Catheters, Zumpano, Nirvana). They come back to Providence this time on the heels of the release of their second record Blood // Sugar // Secs // Traffic. They moved on from Pavement over to The Fall (Pavement’s source), and the results sounds like an album that was made in Providence in the mid ’90s. It reminds me a lot of Les Savy Fav back when they were still living here and going to RISD, and that’s a great thing. Check out their songs “Bodies” and “New York’s Alright,” then get your ass over to Aurora on the 15. As if their music isn’t enough, I hear the band give free foot massages for tips to their fans. I think it’s gross touching strangers’ feet and I wouldn’t shake their hands, but these guys seem committed to breaking into the big time.
4. Saturday, July 16: Apathy, Big Rush, Brodie Fresh, Everybody Luv Black, Product Of Amerika with music by DJ Primitive; 8pm doors / 8:30pm show; $12 advance / $14 day of; All ages; The Met, 1005 Main St, Pawtucket. Apathy champions his home state of Connecticut, but Providence has been a second home for him. He has an old song titled “Rhode Island,” giving props to our state’s underground indie hip-hop contemporaries like Chachi, Joey Beats, Mekalek and others. While Apathy has always repped New England and our underground scene, he also respects and carries with him other regions’ hip-hop underground communities, new and old. His new album, Handshakes With Snakes, features appearances from familiar guests like his Demigodz partner Celph Titled, Boston’s Blacastan but also LA’s B-Real & Sick Jacken, Chicago’s Twista, and Texas’ Bun B. Apathy always kills it live, make sure to check him out.
5. Friday, July 22 through Sunday, July 24: Newport Folk Festival; Gates open at 10am; Sold Out (check 2nd hand ticket sellers); All ages; Fort Adams, 90 Fort Adams Dr, Newport. Newport “I paid for it already, what am I seeing” Folk Festival is back and the investment paid off for everyone this year. The festival is top-heavy with big acts like Flight of The Conchords, Patti Smith, Elvis Costello (!!!), Ryan Adams, Norah Jones, Ray Lamontagne, Violent Femmes and Father John Misty. It also marks the return of indie folk supergroup Middle Brother, which consists of Dawes’ Taylor Goldsmith, Delta Spirit’s Matt Vasquez and Deer Tick’s John McCauley. It’s been five years since their self-titled debut record came out, and their reunion is getting a lot of noise on the interwebs. New act highlights include St Paul and the Broken Bones, Raury, and Julien Baker. If Julien does the Jawbreaker cover I have seen her do online, it will be the second Jawbreaker cover will have seen at Newport Folk Fest (Lucero having been the first). Nothing says you are getting old like seeing your favorite cult punk band getting covered at a Folk Fest. On Sunday, make sure you go out of your way to check out Preservation Hall Jazz Band.
Also worth checking out! July 8: Never Shout Never @ The Met; July 11 Beach Slang @ Fete; July 14 Dinosaur Jr @ The Met (sold out); July 15 Minus The Bear @ Fete; July 18 Deer Tick & Ted Leo @ The Ocean Mist (sold out); July 21 Melanie Martinez @ Lupo’s; July 23 Start Making Sense (Talking Heads trib.) @ The Ocean Mist; July 29 Half Hearted Hero (cd release) @ The Met; July 30 Two Cow Garage, Six Star General, Blackletter @ Firehouse 13; August 1 Tall Tall Trees @ Aurora