Subterranean Jungle: The Road to Rock & Roll

Rest and rock in peace “Brother” Wayne Kramer

I’m finally on the mend after a month of pneumonia. I imagine this is what a resurrection must feel like. Meanwhile, since I last wrote another legend has left us in “Brother” Wayne Kramer of the MC5. MC5 were a revolutionary band that in the late sixties fused the guitars of the British Invasion, the soul of Motown, and free form jazz sparking an explosion in Detroit and beyond in music, culture, and politics. In 1968, after police threats of violence to Vietnam protestors, MC5 were the only band to show up for what was supposed to be a mass protest at the Democratic convention in Chicago. Overthree albums, MC5 constructed the infrastructure of the freeway leading to punk rock. After MC5, Kramer continued to create music by forming Gang War with Johnny Thunders and releasing solo albums. There is even a new MC5 album slated to come out this year with Kramer, the one other surviving member, and all star guests. Kramer also founded the charity Jail Guitars Doors. The charity, which takes its name from a Clash song partially about Kramer, provides music programs for people incarcerated. R.I.P. Brother Wayne and to celebrate your legacy, here are some shows that rock! 


Coming Attractions: 

This show is simmering to brim with infectious old school punk rock. Gnarnia last year put out the EP Thin Ice full of toe tappers and circle pit starters. I like the homage to yesteryear on the track “Babyhead.” Boston based BAABEShave a new single out “Dynamite Disco / Baby Have You Seen My Gun,” which hits like Morris Day on amphetamines. BAABES sonically reminds of Wire with a bit of the The Hellacopters strut sprinkled into the potion. BAABES has enough attitude for days, which is probably why so many people I know love them. 

Gnarnia, BAABES, and Dogwalker bring the punk to AS220 on March 14. 

Lady Purge
Lady Purge has a new single out called “Taste My Flesh.” The track is a burst of electronic eroticism that loops around but stays on the same ground. The first image that came into my head was “Taste My Flesh” sounds like a rave at a halfway house. Having not been to either a rave or a halfway house in the last twenty years, I’m guessing this isn’t accurate but always go with your gut as they say. Check out Lady Purge’s previous EP, Ripped at the Seams, on your favorite streaming service. I really love the track “Written in the Stars” and “Mine Mine Mine” is also really good, too. That’s about as much as I, a person who hates robots, AI, and electronics, can walk the plank.

Lady Purge and Vanessa Rose play The Parlour in Providence on March 14. 

Richard Lloyd Group
Richard Lloyd is a bona fide legend from his time shredding with Television. An inventive guitarist, Lloyd’s playing was the perfect foil to Tom Verlaine creating a portal that bridged the Velvet Underground and 60’s jazz while maintaining a minimalist aesthetic. Television’s debut album, Marquee Moon, is still ahead of its time almost a half century later. In addition to Television, Lloyd has collaborated with the likes of John Doe (X), Rocket from the Tombs, and Matthew Sweet as well as releasing eight solo albums. I’ve caught Lloyd a couple times in recent years and his band is always top notch. Myrtle is a great, relatively new venue that kind of has Nick-A-Nees vibes on the other side of the ongoing Bridgegate.

Richard Lloyd Group will play Myrtle in East Providence on March 27.

This bill has a little of everything from psych-garage in Happiness, blues by the moonlight of Julie Rhodes & The Electric Co, and some simmerin’ country swing with How’s About Charlie. This is a show that feels too cool for Providence — so go to Askew and pretend you are in Berlin, Madrid, or Toledo for a couple of hours. 

Happiness, Julie Rhodes & The Electric Co, and How’s About Charlie play Askew on March 23.

Bonus Cuts:

The Gravel Pit with Mary McAvoy, The Stupid Robots, and Dons of Levin rock Askew on March 15. 
Soapbox Saints, Jittery Jack with Amy Griffin play Nick-A-Nees on March 16. 
The Glare & Pet Bee get the party started at The Upside Bar in Warren on March 16.
lastself, Delko, and Mau play Myrtle on March 16. 
Dave Hause, Micah Schnabel & Vanessa Jean Speckman play Askew on March 17. 
Mark Cutler and the Men of Great Courage play Nick-A-Nees on March 29. 
Heather Rose In Clover bring the infectious pop-punk to Askew on March 30. 

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