It’s a big deal when Someday Providence gets new music out. Voted top Local Act in the 2007 Best Music Poll, they have big shoes to fill and bigger expectations to meet. The new seven-song EP, Thanks For Listening, extends the band’s dedication to breezy pop, but also adds depth, dimension, and a wee bit of heaviness, especially on the chugging “Sing with the Radio” and the super-intense opener “The Gentleman.” Guitarist Tommy Gardner, without a doubt an aficionado of the Chili Peppers’ genius John Frusciante, gets a wide berth on these tracks and he fills that space up with some serious licks. Singer Paul Giammarco’s voice has a certain Every Guy sweetness that goes hand in hand with the band’s feelgood tunes. And bassist Eddy Maher and drummer Fuzzy Moran keep it totally tight and tasty without calling lots of attention to themselves. Recorded at White Noise by Dave Pezza, the disc sounds really good, and it gives Someday Providence’s jaunty vibe a genuine hi-fi lift. Some of lighter tunes, like “The Girl Who Wears the Sun” and the reggae-flavored “Drank Too Much,” are perhaps too thin for the band’s own good. Live, we’re sure these lilting tracks give Giammarco a chance to let the girls sing along. But the band has way too many chops to spend its time paying tribute to Sugar Ray. Still, this material shows growth for what remains one of the scene’s best bands. Catch them with Badfish and ZOX at the WBRU Summer Concert on Saturday (the 19th) at Providence Piers.
Suicide bill and the Liquors
The recording starts with a surly rhyme Neil Young himself would have loved: “You can take a big piss on a fire and still get a little bit burned.” From there, Suicide Bill and his band course through a rootsy array of meaty melodies on A Little Bit . . . Burned? (75 or Less). There’s a Replacements feel to “Original Lonely” and “Strawberry Quik” in the way Cole’s voice suggests a less angry Paul Westerberg. In fact, a lot of the album feels like late ’80s/early ’90s indie rock, the kind that came out of the Restless and Twin/Tone labels. Cole was obviously moved by that ol’ raspy and soulful garage sound; there’s a certain simplicity to the his melodies, especially on “Valium” and “Alligator Arms,” where Cole and the boys cross that indie sound with a little more Harvest-era Neil.
Cole is accompanied by George Sullivan on guitar, Dylan Roy on bass, and John Berard on drums, from the Suicide Liquors (hence the name). Together, they know how to rock across the full spectrum of sound, from buzzing punk to pretty acoustic. When you have quality songs, they sound good no matter how you play ’em. The only regret is that Cole didn’t include a lyric sheet. While you can make out most of the words, it’d be nice to read them out of musical context, especially when he tosses out lines like “It’s OK when your bubblegum tastes like its been stepped on and you follow in the footsteps of an asshole” (from “Sad but Sweet”).
It’s the biggest thing to hit downtown Providence since . . . well, Buddy, so get with the program and head the newest gathering of the masses: the IndieArts Fest. The ﬁrst annual gala celebrates independently produced art, music, performance, and locally sourced goods and products. Basically, it’s a celebration of all things independent, which is the ideal way to get things done. Entertainment includes a very cool fusion of live music and DJs, burlesque, spoken word, experimental dance, and a compilation of ﬁlms and shorts ac-companied by live improvised sound. Musicmakers include Mahi Mahi, Joey Beats, Triangle Forest, Chinese Stars, Alec K. Redfearn and his new band the Seizures, Cold War, Swiss Chemistry Club, the ’Mericans, Badman, Make-up Break-up, Area C, Channel Zero, and Zebras. There will also be a bunch of DJs: Ty Jesso, DJ C, Morgan Louis, and Ted James, among others. Then there’s the Exchange, a marketplace offering crafts, music memorabilia, jewelers, silk-screened posters, hand-made clothing, ﬁne art, and com-munity advocacy and environmentally-conscious groups. If that’s not enough, there will also be interactive art installations, a beer garden, a food pavilion, and the General Burnside “Best Facial Hair” contest. And don’t forget the world famous Providence Rock & Roll Yard Sale. It all happens on Saturday, July 19, from 1 pm to 11 pm at Burnside Park and the Bank of America Skating Center in downtown Providence. Go to indieartsfest.com for even more input.
There’s something interesting going on downtown on Thursday nights at the Green Room at Snookers. JON TIERNEY AND KRIS HANSEN have joined forces to host a musical jamboree called “Dropout Night,” and so far it’s been outstanding. The duo have also shown up at the Blackstone and the Crowebar in Coventry. Tierney, back from a lengthy hia-tus, sounds refreshed and creatively invigorated, while Hansen’s soulful accompaniment makes for a perfect companion. Each plays his own stuff, and they also enhance the other’s performance, a la In the Round. The word’s out about “Dropout Night,” so lots of folks have been dropping in, including Spogga, who’s never afraid to back down from a jam. The spontaneity is exciting and the crowds are beginning to respond. Plans are in the works for the two to record as well as come together for a really big show in the next few months.
Blackstone River Theatre will present the 2nd annual BLACKSTONE RIVER THEATRE CELTIC FESTIVAL at Diamond Hill Park, Route 114, Cumberland, on Saturday, July 19. The Celtic Festival will run from 11 am to 7 pm (the rain date is July 20). Five stages of family-friendly entertainment will focus on Celtic music, dance, and culture. Featured entertainers include Aoife Clancy, Robbie O’Connell, Paddy Keenan, Bua, Pendragon, the Hanneke Cassel Trio, the Atwater-Donnelly Trio, Trouz Bras, the Emerald Rae Trio, and the Publicans. The dance stage will feature performances by the Solas An Lae Irish step dance company from New York and the award-winning Harney Academy Dancers from Walpole. There will also be Irish step dance demonstrations and an Irish set dance with the Broad Street Ceili Band, plus a children’s entertainment stage with Keith Munslow, Rosalita’s Puppets, Maria Sangiolo, the Toe Jam Puppet Band, and others. Admission is $15 ($10 seniors, $5 children, free under 6). Call 401.725.9272 or go to riverfolk.org/brtcf.