The Burnside Park Beer Garden Music Series (kennedyplaza.org) is in full swing, held every Thursday by the fountain in Burnside Park (adjacent to Kennedy Plaza). Jess Powers is the curator to thank for this year’s outstanding roster of local talent; upcoming shows include the Silks on August 1, Boo City on August 8, the Rice Cakes on August 22nd, and the ’Mericans on August 29. There are also lawn games, food trucks, and suds served up by Trinity Brewhouse. Beer garden opens at 4:30 pm and music starts around 5:30 pm. All-ages and free of charge!
The Newport Jazz Festival (newportjazzfest.net) is fast approaching, so make tracks to Fort Adams State Park for more than three dozen great acts. The festival kicks off in grand fashion August 2 with Natalie Cole performing at the Tennis Hall of Fame. Tickets for all three shows are available at Ticketmaster.com.
Let’s stay on the island and salute the Sunset Music Series at the Newport Yachting Center; some legendary names will take the NYC stage in August, including George Thorogood and Buddy Guy (8.9), Tony Bennett (8.28), and Pat Benatar (8.31). The Yachting Center will also play host to the 4th Annual Newport Waterfront Reggae Festival on August 10 featuring Spiritual Rez, Bushman, and many more, plus the Newport Celtic Rock Festival on August 24 with the Dropkick Murphys! Pick up tix in advance for these shows and save $10. Visit newportwaterfrontevents.com for all the details.
The best $7 you’ll spend this summer? Answer: AS220’s Foo Fest 2013 (115 Empire St, as220.org) going down Saturday, August 10 starting at 1 pm. It’ll be tough to top this one, with SSION topping a bill with an eclectic mix of local acts on multiple stages, ranging from Clyde Lawrence and Dylan Sevey to Neutral Nation and Lolita Black. Vudu Sister, VulGarrity, Whore Paint, Atlantic Thrills — the list goes on and on. See y’all there.
Head to Block Island on August 3 and 4 for ConserFest . The event strives to raise funds and awareness for land conservation and environmental education projects on the Block. Giant Panda Guerrilla Dub Squad, Bonfire Bandit, Cheers Elephant, and the Johnny Lingo Band are some of the musicmakers. Go to conserfest.org for all you need to know.
The 16th annual Rhythm & Roots Festival (rhythmandroots.com) is a Labor Day weekend staple at Charlestown’s Ninigret Park, and this year’s lineup is super-impressive, with national acts such as Steve Earle, Marcia Ball, and Carolina Chocolate Drops. Advance ticket deals are available now, including full camping packages. Kids 12 and under are free with adult.
Some of our favorite local clubs offer a steady schedule of local and national acts stopping through. The Met (1005 Main St, Pawtucket, themetri.com) kicks off August in fine form with locals Smith & Weeden and the Sugar Honey Iced Tea on August 2, indie rap legend Apathy on August 3 (both shows are all-ages). Mewithoutyou visit the on August 16 with the Spinto Band, and must-hear locals the Tower and the Fool and the Mallett Brothers Band take the stage on August 31.
The Met’s big brother, Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel (79 Washington St, Providence, lupos.com), quiets down a bit in the warmer months, but Guster returns and Jukebox the Ghost will be there on August 1, and metalheads will unite for Neurosis and Lustmord on August 24.
Hip-hop heads, we have you covered: hit Fête (103 Dike St, Providence, fetemusic.com) in Olneyville every Saturday for DJ Born Causal’s dance party (21+ and free), while Strange Famous Records has the final Thursday of every month on lock with the “Church of Providence” series (the debut show last month was crazy). And turntablist pro Dox Ellis keeps his itinerary full with regular gigs at Local 121 (local121.com), Dusk, and the Salon (the salonpvd.com).
If jazz and blues are more your speed, feel free to dust off your gear and visit Roots Cafe (276 Westminster St, Providence, rootsprovidence.com) every Tuesday for the Who Dat Blues/Jazz Jam and the Strictly Jazz Jam held each Wednesday; no cover charge for musicians who sign up and jam out.
A good day at the beach can lead to great night on the dance floor at the Knickerbocker Café (35 Railroad Ave, Westerly, theknickerbockercafe.com), Narragansett Café (25 Narragansett Ave, Jamestown, narragansettcafe.com) and, of course, the Ocean Mist (895 Matunuck Beach Rd, Wakefield, oceanmist.net).
TACOS TO GO The Poco Loco truck. [Photo by Richard McCaffrey]
Find a food truck!
Rhode Island can compete with any major city when it comes to food truck domination, with enough ethnic variety to go around. Get out there and start stalking your favorite food truck today!
Mama Kim’s Korean BBQ (mamakims.us) stormed the food truck scene in 2011 and quickly attracted a diehard fanbase, tracking the truck all over the east side and beyond (Kennedy Plaza and the corner of Thayer and George streets are steady hotspots). Brown U alum Hyun Kim and mama Sook were inspired by the idea following a trip to food truck mecca California. The new shrimp dumplings are crack-addictive, as are longtime hits like the beef Bulgogi and Galbi, plus the Portabella Bokkeum for our vegan friends. Sliders and wraps are $3, full-sized rice sets go for $7, and the sweet potato fries could be the best $2 you’ll ever spend on your stomach. Find Mama Kim’s out and about for lunch and dinner.
There’s no better way to wrap up a night out than knocking down a couple tacos from Poco Loco (pocolocotacos.com). Load up on $2 tacos and $7 football-sized burritos, and add bacon to anything for just 50 cents extra. Look for the bright yellow, green, and red truck parked outside hipster/beardo havens E & O Tap (Wednesday and Friday nights) and the Scurvy Dog (late-night every Friday and Saturday), plus “food truck Tuesdays” at the corner of Union and Weybosset streets, or stop by the small homebase location (2005 Broad St, Cranston).
Husband and wife team Anik and Mario Molliere have scored a hit with Plouf Plouf (ploufploufgastronomie.com), offering their take on classic French dishes sourced locally and served “a la minute.” Attention fellow duck-heads: find the Plouf Plouf truck (usually around the corner of Thayer and George streets) and pick up the ’Amburger de Canard & Frites (a grilled, organic duck burger with bacon and wild mushrooms) or the Canard Confit & Frites with green peppercorn brandy sauce. From escargot to grilled salmon to the classic steak frites, you can’t go wrong at Plouf Plouf.
What else needs to be said about Haven Brothers , the legendary 125-year-old silver-top trailer? You already know where (corner of Fulton and Dorrance streets) and when (late-nite, the one and only time of day to eat Haven Bros.). This is the old heart-stopping standby. No frills or daily specials, just greasy cheeseburgers, gaggers, and fries wrapped in wax paper and ready to roll (or hang around and have a cup of joe with the local Kennedy Plaza nutjobs). Just once you gotta wolf down a Triple Murder Burger ($11) — three seared and smashed beef patties with onions, cheese, and a fried egg. Goodbye hangover, hello angioplasty.