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Big Freedia
Get ready to work up a nice lather dancing the entire day away at AS220's annual block party known as Foo Fest. The esteemed non-profit community arts/performance space will present 12 hours of music, arts, and eats along its Empire Street homebase starting at 1 pm, with Walker Mettling serving as official host.

Last year's Foo drew more than 5000 folks, with official party-starter/monster Andrew WK as the late-night headliner. This year we'll be treated to breakout Nawlins-based bounce rapper BIG FREEDIA & THE DIVAS in what could be the biggest congregation of booty-shaking Downcity has ever seen.

Foo Fest fully captures the creative vision of AS220 founder Umberto Crenca, proudly showcasing the cultural diversity of our capital city. Look for interactive art installations, theatrical presentations, comedians, the Providence Anarchist Book Fair tent, and plenty of family fun during the afternoon hours courtesy of the Providence Children's Museum. And there will be plenty of brews and local chow available, including Sean Larkin's Revival Brewing and the phenomenal portable offerings from Julian's Omnibus.

Two stages (inside AS220 and on Empire Street) keep the musical action moving and grooving throughout with a genre-busting roster of local greats, ranging from riff-riding metalheads THRILLHOUSE (8:30 pm) to the retro-soul and folk mash of BOO CITY (9:30 pm). Get the day started with a rousing Foo introduction courtesy of the MUNROE DAIRY MARCHING MILK BAND, a nine-piece collective of horns and percussion (founding members include Pam Murray and Keith Munslow of Superchief Trio). Get acquainted with the lovely quartet known as THE SUGAR HONEY ICED TEA (2:30 pm), voted Best Roots Act by our readers in our '12 music poll. Ana Mallozzi, Kate Jones, Emily Shaw, and Laila Aukee serve up sassy, bittersweet harmonies accompanied by ukulele, banjo, and mandolin across their 2011 debut EP Hits the Fan. The Sugar Honey's brand of self-described "folk do-wop" is always a treat.

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Ravi Shavi

A pair of decidedly-different electronic duos will take on Empire Street: MEAGER SUNLIGHT (6:30 pm) kick out the synth-and-sample dance jams, while slow-mo noise-mongers HUMANBEAST (7 pm) will most likely scare the living shit out of your children. Local trio THE FAMOUS WINTERS (3:50 pm) draw inspiration from Wilco and the Beatles, clearly evident across the summer '11 EP Carnival Sky, with melodic cuts soaked in melancholy (Alex Garzone, Nick Dawson, and Matt DeCosta refer to the sound as, appropriately enough, "meladoncholy rock"). Be on the lookout for another EP arriving later this year. Make a point to catch the doo-wop/new wave/garage-pop of RAVI SHAVI; the quartet was chosen to open the recent Deer Tick/Joe Fletcher post-Folk Fest show at Newport Blues Café. One spin through "Indecisions" (WBRU should be all over this one) and it's no surprise these guys are McCauley-approved. Foo Fest's vast variety continues — try Liz Isenberg's solo project dubbed TRIP DICKS versus the heavy-duty pummeling of DEAD AIR, while the droning horror of SPIRITUAL RECESS is built to sever auditory nerves. You've been warned.

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  Topics: Music Features , Music, Umberto Crenca, AS220,  More more >
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