APPARENTLY WE CAN'T HANDLE THE DRUG THAT IS CHARLIE SHEEN, BUT COULD CHARLIE SHEEN HANDLE A HEADFUL OF SAGE FRANCIS? I think a head full of Sage Francis would bring Charlie Sheen back from Mars so fast that his tiger blood would boil while he re-entered the atmosphere.

SFR BASEMENT PARTY HOSTED BY SAGE FRANCIS with PROLYPHIC + CASTLE + LOUIS LOGIC + CESCHI | Sunday, March 13 @ 8 pm | The Grant, 250 Main Street, Pawtucket | $10 | All ages |

PUB FARE Casey (second from left) and the Dropkicks.

Speaking of basement parties — anyone remember the Gringo House back in the day? The Dropkick Murphys sure do, and a brief phoner with Ken Casey just before deadline had him reminiscing about the Murphys' up-and-coming days playing Providence house parties. Casey and a group of club investors/enthusiasts (their McGreevy's in Boston is a stellar sports pub) are set to open the Whiskey Republic next week with a huge kickoff show featuring headliners Against Me! (the Dropkick Murphys will play a private show the night before for WBRU ticket winners). All proceeds will benefit the Dropkicks' charity, the Claddagh Fund, and future Claddagh shows at the Whiskey will benefit various charities in Rhode Island.

Casey said had never visited former tenant the Fish Co., but he assured me that the Whiskey Republic will not draw the same Jersey Shore-type rejects: "Don't worry, I'm sure we'll clear the previous riff-raff outta there," he said with a laugh. The space has a brand new layout following months of remodeling (including the addition of a full-service kitchen). But I had to ask — why Providence?

"Being so close to Boston, Providence is an ideal location for us, and we couldn't pass up the chance to invest in such a great location within the city," he said. "Plus, I have so many friends still living in Rhode Island, and the band had so many good times playing all those small clubs and house parties back when we were coming up," Casey recalled.

"For me, Providence is like a much more fun version of Boston," he continued. "I have friends who live in Walpole and Foxboro, and they party more in Providence than they do Boston."

He sounded genuinely stoked about the opportunity to book local bands and weekly series shows and "totally open to host various genres.

"We don't want to come in and be foreign to the Rhody locals. We're coming in as the new guy on the block and we'd like to have a strong presence on the local music circuit," Casey said.

"And I will occasionally finagle some of my friends in national bands to stop down and play a gig, like Against Me!," Casey said. "For those guys to play a show on what would be a day off, and leading into the big three-night stand with us in Boston, that's really generous on their part."

The Whiskey Republic's menu will include all the standard bar bites along with a "high-end pub menu" similar to McGreevy's (with more than 20 HD TVs lining the walls). And, as the name implies, plenty of aged bourbons and assorted browns will line the shelves.

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