Roaring into Rocktucket

The Bucket's a-rockin', you should go a-knockin'
By CHRIS CONTI  |  September 11, 2013

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JAMMIN' Ants In the Cellar.

“Rocktober” ain’t here just yet, but September is no slouch thanks to the 5th Annual Rocktucket Block Party. The 2013 Pawtucket Arts Festival is underway, with events scheduled through the end of the month, but for music fans it’s all about Rocktucket. And what a lineup! Sixteen local and regional acts are scheduled to perform, all for just a requested $5 donation at the door. This is by far the best five-spot you will drop on live music this year. Rain or shine, it’s going down Saturday starting around noontime. For those about to rock — the Bucket salutes you!

We’ve been spoiled with scores of must-see festivals and block parties statewide over this summer (Newport Folk and Jazz festivals, Rhythm & Roots, AS220’s Foo Fest, Liberty Fest, Hope Street Block Party, etc.), and now “downtown” Pawtucket (which sort of resembles a backlot facade at Universal Studios) gets to play party host. Rocktucket organizers have assembled another outstanding array of talent, with an emphasis on quality independent hip-hop (a genre somewhat lacking at this year’s Foo Fest).

The 2013 Rocktucket schedule starts with an afternoon of eclectic rock acts, ranging from down-home funk ( The Funky Autocrats ) to roarin’ roots (Boston’s GIRLS, GUNS & GLORY ) to garage-rock specialists ( Gavage and Atlantic Thrills ). Gavage is a relative newcomer to the PVD music scene but the quartet is off to a hot start and caught my ears earlier this year at AS220 while opening for NYC’s Parquet Courts. “(Downtown) Where the Killers Are” is a power-chord party-starter, and lead singer Kevin Toth conjures the snark and chops of Craig Finn on the must-hear “The Platonic Verses” (“she was writing a poem entitled ‘Leave Me Alone’ with a Zoloft promotional pen”). Rocktucket will also feature a pair of iconic singer-songwriters vital to Lil Rhody’s music community in Kris Hansen (Viking Jesus) and Malyssa BellaRosa , as the former Fall & Bounce vocalist now leads Malyssa & the Liberators, alongside a solid complementary cast that includes SexCoffee bassist Sharlene Denardo and Viking Jesus/ex-Kanerko drummer Nick Iddon. Ants In the Cellar frontman Mike Adamowicz is the last Ant standing since its inception in the early ’90s. Adamowicz resurrected the Ants in 2011 with a new lineup, and late last year the trio released a handful of straight-up barroom jams worth looking up. (Lolita Black was originally listed on the bill, but LB guitarist Bob Otis confirmed that the band will not be performing due to a scheduling conflict.)

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