LO-FI GOODNESS Passionate Mammals.
Local music man-about-town Rob Duguay is the mastermind behind the Artistic Explosion Music Festival, featuring more than two dozen of Rhode Island's best musical acts, with proceeds benefiting Girls Rock! RI and the Rhode Island Music Educators Association.
Duguay has lined up a doozy of a festival spanning six nights at six different venues with budget-friendly cover charges, so don't gimme that "there ain't shit to do" nonsense. Get out there and catch a show (or all six) for some great causes!
Duguay was raised in Shelton, CT, and moved to North Providence in 2007 while studying communication/mass media at Rhode Island College. He is a blogger and DJ for the award-winning 990WBOB.com (voted Best Blog in our '12 Readers Poll) and cranks out live concert and album reviews for GoLocalProv.com. Oh, and he co-founded Moose Proof Records (the Rice Cakes). Dude is a mass media music mogul around here and a fixture at just about every live dive around Providence. Duguay is "absolutely in love with the arts, music, and culture that the city possesses.
"I honestly plan on living here for the rest of my life," Duguay said when we caught up earlier this week to discuss his week-long rager.
He developed the concept in December and was inspired by a trio of highly successful music events: 990WBOB.com's annual Boobstock (curated by founder and GM Adam Palazio), the incredible Revival! Festival held in November at the Columbus Theatre, and the recent 24-Hour Music Project, which featured local artists collaborating to create and record new music in one day, which raised funds for victims of domestic violence.
Duguay acknowledged that this ambitious idea would be a major undertaking, corralling such an extensive list of top-shelf talent and coordinating participating venues. "Some were weary of me trying to put something like this together in just a three-month span when I started contacting people about this crazy idea back in January," he said. "But as time moved on more people were receptive to it and completely on board."
That eventual strong showing of support inspired him, and I asked if the AEMF could turn into an annual event.
"Definitely," Duguay replied. "The response so far has been incredible and really made me think about potentially having this festival serve as the landmark event to kick off summer in the Ocean State."
Duguay's constant PR work for the local music community has been reciprocated by a outpouring of support from a wide variety of local bands and artists.
"I wanted to make it as diverse as possible so it wouldn't be exclusive to just one genre, and I wanted artists who were easy to work with and could straight-up rock a venue on any given night.
"It can really touch your soul when a community of wonderful people can get completely behind an idea and be as enthusiastic about it as you are," said Duguay.
Each night is stacked with talent, and Duguay would not reveal even a hint as to the "super secret special guest" headlining the final show on Saturday (the 27th) at Firehouse 13.
Take a look and start calibrating your social calendar (and your liver) accordingly (and check facebook.com/events/534381513279279):
MONDAY (the 22nd) at 9 pm | The Spot Underground, 101 Richmond St, Providence | Suggested donation $1-up | Young-buck blues and rock takes over 990WBOB.com's famed "Mondays On Blast" series at the Spot, with Dylan Sevey & the Gentlemen leading the way (recently featured here behind their debut LP Join the Club), plus Northeast Traffic, Rich Ferri & the Wealth On the Water, and 2013 WBRU Rock Hunt semifinalist Clyde Lawrence.
TUESDAY (the 23rd) at 8 pm | Dusk, 301 Harris Ave, Providence | $5 | One of the best additions to RI's live music circuit, Dusk presents some lo-fi goodness starting with newcomers Passionate Mammals (formerly Transit Street Collective), joined by Pixels, instrumental badass crew Volcano Kings, and the Universes.