1. June 1 – 4: PVD Fest; PVD; pvdfest.com for specific details. PVD Fest is back. Thursday starts with a conference, and leads to a dance party at The Steel Yard. Friday has film screenings, Latin music, Oakland’s arial dance act BANDALOOP and Providence spoken word activist Christopher Johnson. Saturday is the day when PVD lives all over downtown with tons of musical showcases. There will be stuff everywhere from Roger Williams National Memorial Park (the one near the first Harry’s) to Empire Street. AS220 on Empire has the most interesting of the showcases when Armageddon Shop presents stoner doom metal act Pallbearer, a long overdue return from hiatus from Providence’s Lolita Black, and ’70s metal riffin’ revivalists Demolition Boys. The showcase is free and cut off when at capacity, so get there early! On Sunday, the party moves to the West End for a day-long series of events at the Armory on Cranston St. Lots of other bars around town will have outdoor events and bands on the weekend. The Rosendale has blues and rollers The Silks Friday night outside and next to Lupo’s, for example. Regardless of what you decide to do, make sure you leave plenty of extra time on Saturday to walk around and catch stuff you don’t expect to see.
2. Saturday, June 3: Boo City, Natural Element; 8pm doors / 9pm show; $10; All ages; Alchemy, 71 Richmond St, PVD. Looking for a party that’s not outside in the madness? Maybe the best dance party downtown on June 3 is at Alchemy. Long-time PVD act Boo City are the Warwick Mall of the Providence music scene; they have something for everyone. They feature two strong and different vocalists, Moon Bain and Tai Awolaju, and an all-star band behind them that walk around funk, soul, reggae and wherever the fuck else they feel like. Boo City is always a great time. Sharing the bill are Natural Element, Providence reggae fused by way of hip-hop, jazz and funk. Alchemy is a great spot to catch live music. Davey Moore and his crew are doing a great job of supporting the local music scene.
4. Friday, June 9: Twin Peaks, Ron Gallo, GYMSHORTS; 7pm doors / 8pm show; $15 advance / $17 day of; All ages; Fete Lounge, 103 Dike St, PVD. I caught Chicago’s Twin Peaks not too long ago with Wavves, and was definitely impressed with their live performance. They live on the more psychedelic/power pop end of the recent garage revival spectrum. Ron Gallo also sorta finds his band’s music in the end turn of the ’60s MC5 loving punk and psych timeframe. Ron has been to Providence a couple of times with his old Philly band Toy Soldiers, and is currently based out of Nashville. And it’s a Providence homecoming for his drummer Dylan Sevey (nice guy, internet lightning rod). While being stoned might be right for the last two bands, I don’t recommend it because Providence’s garage thrashers GYMSHORTS might push you into a panic attack. Check out their track “You Olneyville Once,” which might be the best song title of 2016, or perhaps ever.
5. Saturday, June 24: Johnny Gates & The Runaway Saints, Troy Ramey, Emily Correia; 7:30pm doors / 8:30pm show; $12 advance / $14 day of; All ages; The Met, 1005 Main St, Pawtucket. It’s been a long venture for Johnny Gates & The Runaway Saints, and this year has been a big jump. The band started off over a decade ago as The Invite. After years of making inroads here opening for many national acts at the Living Room and Lupo’s, the band (with a push from a major label) left the small state for the bigger confines of the Nashville music scene. While they loved it there and made tons of friends and inroads working with other musicians and songwriters, it still wasn’t a perfect fit. They soon left for Los Angeles, a better-suited house of their brand of indie radio rock, but a very difficult place to make it. After a year or so of trying to make ends meet, members Jaime Jarbeau and Matt Scanlon ended up moving back to Nashville and RI, but Johnny stayed out in LA. Then came a lightning bolt: Johnny found his way onto “The Voice” where he was adopted or whatever they call it by Gwen Stefani and made some serious noise on the show. Johnny comes off as super talented and humble and the nicest guy in the room, which I can assure you is genuine. The guys have been working hard forever, and deserve all the acclaim they get. This show will be a great welcome home for the guys after a year of making some serious noise abroad.
Also worth noting: June 1 — Russ @ Lupo’s; June 5 — Warpaint @ Fete; June 7 — Foster The People @ Lupo’s; June 8 — Southern Culture On The Skids, Thee Itchies; June 9 — Vanna (final area appearance) @ The Met; June 9 — Roots Of Creation, The Skatalites @ The Ocean Mist; June 9 — Tiny Diamond (CD release), Kid Mountain, The Quahogs @ Aurora; June 10 — The Worried, Party Pigs, Pyramid @ The Parlour; June 16 — Royal Street (CD release) @ Fete; June 17 — AFI @ Lupo’s; June 22 — JOHNNYSWIM @ The Met; June 22 — Leiko, Hallelujah The Hills, John Faraone @ The News Cafe; June 22 — Kurt Vile @ Columbus Theatre; June 23 — Rise Of The Valkyries 2; June 23 — Sizzla @ Lupo’s / Roxy; June 24 — Downtown Sundown Series w / Jodie Treloar Sampson, Andy Pratt, Steve Donovan, Cardboard Ox @ Roger Williams National Memorial; June 28 — Weak Teeth (last show?); June 29 — Aimee Mann @ Columbus Theatre