Rocktucket heats up the Bucket

Street smarts
By CHRIS CONTI  |  September 6, 2011

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LIFE AFTER DISHES Georges (left) and Fang Island.

Are you ready for Rocktucket 2011? September marks the arrival of the 13th annual Pawtucket Arts Festival, popping up at various parks and venues around the Bucket for the next three weeks. But for music lovers, it's all about Rocktucket. The nine-hour outdoor music fest jumps off on Saturday (the 10th) at 2 pm on Main Street. There also will be shopping galore with plenty of art vendors on hand, and get ready to go crate-digging at a special edition of the Rock & Roll Yard Sale. Fill up on quality eats from the ever-popular food-truck community including Pollo Loco Tacos and Julian's Omnibus (shout-out to their pork belly wontons!), along with a beer garden offering Newport Storm, Smuttynose, Sean Larkin's new Revival/Trinity brew line, and more. More than nine hours of live music and guest DJ sets between acts, all for a suggested $5 donation.

There's a varied, can't-miss lineup of local and national artists scheduled, due in large part to the team effort of Reba Mitchell (Whore Paint, Made in Mexico) and Eric Paul (the Chinese Stars, Arab On Radar). The Chinese Stars headlined Rocktucket during its inaugural bash three years ago.

"The first year had its obstacles, but I saw a lot of potential," noted Paul earlier this week. In 2010, he chipped in during the later stages of booking, but this year he and Mitchell (who works at Machines with Magnets in Pawtucket) took responsibility for curating the lineup.

"Reba and I began planning around April. We had multiple meetings where we brainstormed a lineup that we felt was both eclectic and representative of the city, and then began wooing and sometimes harassing the bands we wanted," said Paul. "In the end we are really proud of the lineup we put together."

Here's the rundown: the sounds of Afro-pop and reggae kick off the festivities courtesy of the Double Decker Dance Band (featuring Chris Monti and Jacob Haller of the Killdevils), followed by indie-folk trio Tig & Bean (releasing their debut disc later this fall), leading into an hour-long slot for the 'Mericans. This has been a special year for singer/guitarist Chris Daltry — the 'Mericans' latest disc, So Late it Hurts, is the tenth full-length album he's crafted, dating to his days with Purple Ivy Shadows, and also marks the 10-year anniversary of the 'Mericans. Chris and his wife Jen own What Cheer? Antiques, which sponsors the Rock & Roll Yard Sale (attention vintage wax fiends!).

There will be discordant accordion on the attack when Alec K. Redfearn & the Eyesores deliver their psychedelic brand of genre-hopping. Some early-evening mayhem will be ushered in with the underground shredding of In Heat, followed by Ed Schrader's Music Beat (a Baltimore-based drum and bass duo unlike anything you've heard). The party really takes flight around 8 pm with RI's favorite spazz-electro rock duo Math the Band (Atari 2600 meets crystal meth); this is the aural equivalent of huffing eight-bit blips and bleeps at 200 BPM. Rocktucket 2011 will be topped off by Brooklyn-via-RISD indie-prog-fuzzpop quintet Fang Island (9 pm) and Baltimore's renowned ambient-noise-electronica conductor, Dan Deacon, set to bring the house down at 10 pm.

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