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High tide

Thrashing surf-rock from Cliffs & Bangers
Newport’s Cliffs & Bangers bring their lightning-rod brand of surf-rock to the 201 this weekend behind their spring ’09 release Short Tracks No Brakes , and the downtown crowd better be prepared for some hair-flailing headbanging.
By: CHRIS CONTI  |  December 02, 2009


Brand new funk

Broken Ground launch their Sneak Attack
Evan Hanson and Brendon Bjorness-Murano, better known as lyricist 90Sevan and beatminer/composer Low B, teamed up just seven months ago to form Broken Ground.
By: CHRIS CONTI  |  November 24, 2009


From kidneys to kittens

Killdevils frontman Jacob Haller’s Mistaken Identity
The Killdevils have been kicking around the area to much acclaim over the past six years.
By: CHRIS CONTI  |  November 18, 2009


Thinking person’s metal

 The Empire Shall Fall rise up on Awaken
Jerky’s Bar continues its hot streak of delivering quality live acts spanning all genres, and next weekend the hardcore metalheads will descend upon Richmond Street for a fistful of metalcore bands, including the much-anticipated return of former Killswitch Engage/Seemless frontman Jesse Leach.
By: CHRIS CONTI  |  November 12, 2009


Monsters of rock

Heavenly hardness from Chinese Stars and Six Finger Satellite
Full-lengths from local rock icons Six Finger Satellite and the Chinese Stars provide a decimating double-dose of kinetic madness.
By: CHRIS CONTI  |  November 10, 2009


Running with the Devil

Making a connection with Brown Bird
The surge of locally-harvested folk/roots/Americana acts flourishing in Rhode Island continues.
By: CHRIS CONTI  |  October 29, 2009

Antonio’s Trattoria

Comforting elegance
The Knightsville section of Cranston is an undeniable haven for Italian home-cooking, where legendary portions (Marchetti's), chic hotspots (Caffe Itri and L'Osteria), and marquee chef/owners (Tony Papa's) have successfully rubbed elbows along a suburban Cranston intersection. But don't forget the little guy on the corner -- Antonio's Trattoria.
By: CHRIS CONTI  |  October 21, 2009


Newport’s rock royalty

The diePods — straight outta the City by the Sea
If 75orLess Records CEO (and Six Star General bassist) Mark MacDougall decided to host an East Bay Desert Sessions, the diePods would be the 3 am headliner.
By: CHRIS CONTI  |  October 21, 2009


Real Guitar Heroes

Zing go the strings at the Colonel’s Super Dooper Guitar Party
Johnny "The Colonel" Maguire's legacy is carved in stone around these parts, from his shredding with the Amazing Royal Crowns to his Lucky Diamonds and, most recently, a re-gathering of his beloved Cobra-Matics crew.
By: CHRIS CONTI  |  October 13, 2009


Lights, camera, action rock!

Monty Are I — from Cranston to Island/Def Jam
Keep the Cristal on ice until further notice from Steve Aiello, lead singer/guitarist for Monty Are I, who just released their "official" major label debut, Break Through the Silence on Island/Def Jam.
By: CHRIS CONTI  |  October 07, 2009


On the town with ProTown

Hip-hop heads fill the Bucket
Last Friday, a hip-hop showcase courtesy of upstart label ProTown Records, founded by Provy rap vets Romen Rok and DJ Al Bums (among others), invaded the Grant Building in Pawtucket, and the showcase was a rousing success.
By: CHRIS CONTI  |  September 29, 2009


Doing what comes naturally

Tallahassee make timeless old town music on Wolfe Moon
Tallahassee make timeless old town music on Wolfe Moon
By: CHRIS CONTI  |  September 22, 2009


Whiskey. Beer. Rock 'n' roll!

Girl Haggard and Hank Sinatra Jr. join forces and raise hell
Country-fried rawk quartet Girl Haggard have already achieved the goals founder Aaron Jaehnig drafted up when the bigman bassist and bartender-about-town formed the band with Hendersonville, Tennessee native Mandy Allan back in January.
By: CHRIS CONTI  |  September 15, 2009


Review: California Smile | Roof Came Off House

California Smile's magnificent controlled chaos
"There isn't any presupposed concept to our music," says California Smile keyboardist/piano man Victor Mansella while promoting the band's upcoming sophomore release Roof Came Off House (Limbus Infantus). "The music is intended to take the listener on his or her own adventure."
By: CHRIS CONTI  |  September 08, 2009


In the red

SEXCoffee amp it up on The Morning After
A handful of Phoenix readers questioned the parameters of what exactly defined a "Breakthrough Act" in our recent Best Music Poll, decided in dominant fashion by alt-rock quartet SEXCoffee. What exactly constitutes a band playing together for six years as finally "breaking through?" Well, it isn't titled "Best "New" Act," if that helps.
By: CHRIS CONTI  |  September 02, 2009

mafia list

Up for the challenge

Rhythmafia: a new breed of mashup
Rhythmafia have been on the scene for about four years, and in that relatively short time the Providence natives — Rob Cinami (drums and backup vox), Jamie Kearns (guitar), Zack Chagnon (bass), and frontman Sam Montes — have successfully delivered a blatantly unique sound through the course of three albums.
By: CHRIS CONTI  |  August 25, 2009

norm list

Special delivery

The subtle genius of Norm MacDonald
For the last two decades, comedian and SNL alum Norm MacDonald has been firing off on pop culture and sharing life observations with his disarming deadpan delivery and signature subtleties through a stoner Canadian accent and nasal drawl.
By: CHRIS CONTI  |  August 19, 2009

rice list

High-powered hybrid

Roz Raskin and the Rice Cakes set sail on  The Friend Ship
"It's pretty much impossible for us to have a predictable sound," said Rosalind Raskin earlier this week while discussing The Friend Ship (Moose Proof Records), the full-length debut from Roz Raskin and the Rice Cakes ( ).
By: CHRIS CONTI  |  August 18, 2009

Kollective soul

Kris Hansen's ever-evolving sound
Singer/songwriter Kris Hansen and longtime pal Bob Giusti certainly are no stranger to the local music scene, having played out and hosted scores of gigs and all-star, open-mic jam sessions for more than a dozen years as Kris Hansen's Left Hand Band, a tight-knit jazzy/folky-type trio. Their 08 self-titled debut (at and iTunes) zigged and zagged across acoustic blues and roots-rock, with Hansen's pen celebrating a second chance at life after the Scituate native battled a near-fatal brain aneurysm on the eve of his 24th birthday, as well as Hansen, drummer Giusti, and bassist/engineer George Dussault all becoming dads during the recording process.
By: CHRIS CONTI  |  August 12, 2009

6 finger list

Don't call it a comeback

Six Finger Satellite never left. And never will 
Six Finger Satellite founder and frontman Jeremiah "J." Ryan has news for anyone assuming that the upcoming Six Finger Satellite mini-tour is a harbinger for some big 6FS reunion, following the recent release of Half Control on Load Records, originally recorded in 2001 and remixed last year.
By: CHRIS CONTI  |  August 05, 2009

big tall list

Solid foundation

A promising debut from Big Tall Buildings
When Big Tall Buildings guitarist Jared Mann sent in a disc of six demos earlier this year, the raw potential behind songs "Natalie" and "Something with a Semicolon" had me dropping monthly emails on him with the subject header "WHERE'S THE ALBUM?"
By: CHRIS CONTI  |  July 29, 2009

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