Subterranean Jungle: Between Euphoria and the Afterglow

Tall Teenagers – Chasm
Tall Teenagers mine the vortex of garage rock for fuzz-wrapped harmonies. I’ve always loved guitarists/vocalists Chelsea Paulhus and Damian Puerini vocals together but the call and response on “Never Leaving” works especially well on the new biscuit. Who doesn’t love a song called “Hot Trash Breath?” There isn’t a bad tune on Chasm but the eerie ambiance of “April” is by far my favorite. I’ll even go one further and call it my favorite local jam of 2024 so far!

Tall Teenagers join Animal Face, Jesse The Tree, and Toad & The Stooligans to play Rob Duguay’s Birthday Bash Pt. 2 at The Parlour on April 19. Proceeds from the show will benefit the J. Arthur Trudeau Memorial Center.


lastself – Self-titled EP
On their Self-Titled EP, lastself kicks up the time machine with three tunes with a distinct late ’80s/early ’90s flavor. “Past Lives” reminds me of some mix of New Order meets Echo & the Bunnymen. “One in Two” reminds me of Jesus Jones playing early ’90s Cure vibe. “See You Again” has a psychedelic shoegaze aura. I look forward to seeing lastself playing out soon.

lastself plays Wes’ Rib House on April 20.

Coming Attractions

Muddy Ruckus
Muddy Ruckus’s Vactionland was one of my favorite records of 2023. Hailing from Portland, ME, the husband-wife duo of Ryan Flaherty on guitar/vocals and Erika Stahl on drums/ vocals kick out the jams with the force of a sonic starship. At heart, I think of Muddy Ruckus as a blues band, but a track like “Long Time” has the intensity of the Cramps with James Montgomery playing harmonica like he is trying to summon the four horsemen of the apocalypse. My favorite track is “Walk on Water,” which takes you up the River Styx where Stahl’s vocals suggest the protagonist’s fate is twisting in the wind.

April 19 is also Askew’s Anniversary Weekend! Askew is one of my favorite venues and every week provides a stage for amazing local and national talent. Happy anniversary to Windsong, John, and the amazing Askew staff! Thank you for all you do!

Muddy Ruckus and Fancy Trash rock Askew as part of Askew’s anniversary weekend on April 19.

The Samples
I used to hate The Samples, way back in the mid-’90s when they’d frequently play the area, including Providence College, where I was a student. At the time I had an irrational hatred of jam bands or really anything that wasn’t Frank Black, PJ Harvey, or the Ramones. The Samples fell a little along the jam band lines – mixing rock and danceable grooves. They were really popular with most people. Listening to The Samples for the first time in several decades, they still sound like a mainstream rock band that doesn’t rock too hard, along the lines of Dave Matthews or Duncan Sheik. However, The Samples songs have stood the test of time. Thirty years later, they’re still here and ready to kickstart the party. This will be a fun show to sample some brews at The Guild Pawtucket and take in some live music.

The Samples play The Guild Pawtucket on April 19. Doors are at 7pm.

EXTC – XTC’s Terry Chambers & Friends
XTC produced some of the best alternative rock throughout the ’80s with jams like “Dear God,” “Senses Working Overtime,” and “Ballad of Peter Pumpkinhead.” XTC stopped touring in the early ’80s when frontman Andy Partridge’s struggles with mental illness were amplified by the rigors of life on the road. That makes this show a rare opportunity to hear the music of XTC live. XTC drummer Terry Chambers leads the band that features Steve Hampton (lead vocal & guitar for Joe Jackson) and Terry Lines on bass. Partridge has not only given his blessing but also named the band. So you don’t have to worry about being subpoenaed later as a witness from the band members suing each other.

EXTC play the music of XTC at the Met Café on April 29.

Wheatus ruled the alt-rock airwaves back in 2000 with the hit “Teenage Dirtbag.” The song is three minutes of radio gold that people still sing along to when it comes on in a bar today. A simple tale of trying to convince Noelle to listen to Iron Maiden shows how simple great songwriting can be. Wheatus, which has quite possibly the longest list of former members in the music biz, will be performing acoustic for this special show so everyone can sing-a-long extra loud!

Wheatus and Gabrielle Sterbenz play Alchemy on May 2.

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