The War on Drugs Adam Granduciel
  • The War on Drugs' Adam Granduciel


(Neptune Theatre) Pennsylvania’s the War on Drugs can no longer boast having guitarist Kurt Vile as part of their lineup, but the current four-person roster led by vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Adam Granduciel (who was also a member of Vile’s Violators backing band for several albums) still crafts well-written rock songs that often blur the lines between shoegaze-y indie and twangy Americana. Their latest full-length, Lost in the Dream, expounds upon their past work with expansive, nostalgic, almost Springsteen-esque compositions that seem even better suited for a live environment than on record. Fairly new Virginia quartet White Laces sport a similarly retro guitar-led sound, making them ideal openers for this bill. MIKE RAMOS
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(Neumos) Take a preemptive Tylenol, because this show is going to end in you limping home covered in fun-bruises. Atlanta’s Black Lips are back with a smoothed-out, less-distorted sound on new release Underneath the Rainbow, which feels like a natural (ten-plus-years-as-a-band) progression that still maintains their signature grimy aura. The update comes as a relief—while 2007’s Good Bad Not Evil was legitimately very great, and it’s not Black Lips’ fault they patented a reverbed-out swampy scuzz-rock ripe for Xeroxing—I could do without the dudely rip-off bands that still pour out of basements and garages worldwide. Also from Atlanta (and on tour with the Lips) are raucous rock queens the Coathangers. They may be down to a trio (they’re going forward without their keyboard player), but their new Suicide Squeeze full-length, Suck My Shirt, proves that the Coathangers’ aggressive/melodic snarl/wink punk still does the trick. EMILY NOKES
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(Dante's) Check this Human Raptipede real quick: the all time best-selling MC and self-styled "Rap God" Eminem has long acknowledged the triple-lunged OG Pharoahe Monch as a big influence and ahead-of-his-time innovator—but if you really mind the twists of this rap redwood's roots, you'll know that Monch's biggest influence, the guy that he said was "light years ahead of his time," is legendary South Bronx "Rhyme Inspector" Percee P. (It was Percee who, via his "Lung Collapsing Lyrics" 12," put on Monch and his Organized Konfusion crew, who could fairly be called the Television of ’90s rap.) Percee's lack of a deal and scant appearances on wax made him an obscure hero to the heads, but 2007 brought the Madlib-produced solo debut Perseverance, a well-worth-the-wait showcase for his trademark intricate, dark, matter-dense lyricism: raw, uncut and even more rare—unaffected by decades of trends. LARRY MIZELL JR.
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(Waid’s) The tsunami of bands in thrall to ’80s synth pop shows no signs of abating. Count Seattle quartet Jupe Jupe as one of the city’s most avid devotees of this sound (they add guitar, bass, and drums for more oomph). They can do the swooning, melodic approach as well as the mechanically danceable style, and on “Texas Endless” from their 2010 album Invaders, Jupe Jupe executed a wry homage to Kraftwerk’s “Europe Endless.” (The best song on the same album is titled “El Topo,” a possible nod to Alejandro Jodorowsky’s awesome cult film.) The group’s self-released new album, Crooked Kisses, features even more polish and hooky songwriting, pitched at an emotional tenor between Soft Cell’s “Say Hello, Wave Goodbye” and Naked Eyes’ “(There’s) Always Something There to Remind Me.” Hope you like drama… With the Daemon Lovers, Tiburona and Hearts are Thugs. DAVE SEGAL
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(Hollow Earth) This Magma Fest bill is loaded with exceptional talent (Strategy, Simic, Josef Gaard), but we direct your attention to Newaxeyes, a Seattle quartet destined for paradigm-shifting greatness. Onstage, their two guitarists and two synth/laptop sorcerers conspire to wreak havoc on your conventional notions of music. What makes Newaxeyes so exciting is their explosive fusion of unusual rock, electronic, hiphop, drone, and musique concrète elements. Every sound is scrupulously warped until glorious disorientation is achieved. DAVE SEGAL
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