Must-see music, comedy, and more

Where the fun is!
By CHRIS CONTI  |  January 24, 2012

OOH-LA The Kooks are headed to Lupo’s.

Welcome back! The holiday break has you reenergized and ready to hit the books, but first things first. Break out a fresh No.2 and pencil in some fun. We have you and your fellow budget-conscious buds covered from now until the end of the semester. Let's go!


Jump right in with another great weekend lined up at one of RI's best live venues, the Met (, 401.729.1005), located in the Hope Artiste Village in Pawtucket. On Saturday, January 28, local roots-rock hero JOE FLETCHER & THE WRONG REASONS (if you haven't yet, grab a copy of White Lighter pronto!) and PETE BERNHARD of Devil Makes Three. Fletcher & Co. never disappoint onstage, it will be a sawbuck well spent here.

Salute our local musical heroes Sunday, February 26 when the Met hosts the inaugural RHODE ISLAND MUSIC HALL OF FAME induction ceremony, with performances from Roomful of Blues and John Cafferty & the Beaver Brown Band.

The Met's big brother, Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel (, 401.331.5876) is hosting a slew of national touring bands, with a diverse show calendar ranging from GEORGE CLINTON & PARLIAMENT/FUNKADELIC on Friday, February 10 to THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS on Friday, March 9 and THE KOOKS on Saturday, March 10.

AS220 (, 401.831.9327) is the eclectic, all-encompassing downtown art space (check out their silk-screening and photography workshops, gallery exhibitions, and Shepard Fairey's kickass mural out back) also known for hosting low-dough, high-quality live shows. On Saturday, January 28, stop by for an all-star fundraiser led by ALEC K. REDFEARN & THE EYESORES, THE THROTTLES, MARIA MONK, BARN BURNING, and many more; the $9 cover benefits nine Providence community libraries. And pencil in February 11 for the VERSE reunion show with special guests DEFEATER, SOUL CONTROL, and SWEET JESUS.

Our RWU friends should get over to Judge Roy Bean in Bristol (401.253.7526) on February 25 for SIX STAR GENERAL (see the recent SSG feature @, hitting the live circuit hard behind their most recent and most excellent release, a vinyl split with South Coast labelmates the Blood Moons. Six Star remains one of the best live acts (indie rock or otherwise) on the local live circuit; fans of Dinosaur Jr., Archers of Loaf, Mike Watt, and Silkworm — SSG is right in your sonic wheelhouse.

Rhode Island's hip-hop community is thriving right now, thanks to a roster of noteworthy lyricists like CHACHI CARVALHO, JAHPAN, META P, BIG RUSH, and DIRTYDURDIE, as well as turntable pros like DJ STERBYROCK (longtime radio host on URI's 90.3 FM), CR THE BEAST and DOX doing their thing on a regular basis at rap-friendly clubs and bars statewide, from the Rhino Bar in Newport (, 401.846.0707) to Downcity jumpoff spots such as the Salon (, 401.865.6330) and Local 121 (, 401.274.2121). And of course this is the home to Sage Francis, B. Dolan and the Strange Famous Records HQ. Bow down.

SIDEBAR BISTRO (, 401.421.7200) is one of our favorite down-low locales in the capital city, with a chill vibe, good drinks, and quality local and national jazz and funk acts. Heck, Sidebar was just recognized as one of the best jazz venues worldwide by DownBeat jazz magazine. Bravo.

Hands-down the best addition to the local live music circuit resides in Olneyville (of all places), a sleek boutique venue called Fête (, 401.383.1112), which is booking the best in local and national talent (peeps are still abuzz about the Mos Def show last month). How's this for variety: on Saturday, February 4, catch stellar indie-folk crew TALLAHASSEE (led by former Patriots O-lineman Brian Barthelmes) with Gill Moss and Darlingside; underground rap phenom SEAN PRICE (!) performs Thursday, February 9, and COWBOY JUNKIES make a special appearance on Saturday, February 25.

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