Winter Providence music preview: Bring the new noise

Prayers for Atheists, Broadcaster, Kanerko, and more
By CHRIS CONTI  |  December 29, 2010

ENNERGIZED Kanerko frontman Al Diaz.

Adios, 2010. No time for looking back now, though. We have the exclusive scoop on some of the area's best bands and just how they plan to rock your world in 2011. And this is just a taste of what's in store for RIers from some of our favorite local musicians.

We may have lost venerable alt-rock quintet the Coming Weak (following one final EP release), but longtime TCW producer/engineer (and ex-Hot Rod Circuit drummer) Mike Poorman teamed with Chris Rosenquest and Alex Correia (ex-Therefore I Am) to form THE TOWER & THE FOOL (, and their debut EP is definitely worth picking up. Poorman reports the band will hit his Strangeways Studios and begin work on a full-length. Local genre-smashers Rhythmafia also split in 2010, but drummer/vocalist Rob Cinami has moved on with VIOLENT HISTORY (, which just released their Blackstone Valley Thrash EP; Violent History will make their debut on January 14 at Club Hell on a stacked bill alongside the Midnight Creeps, the Paraplegics, and many more.

I caught up with Mark "Slick" MacDougall, CEO of 75or Less Records (and SIX STAR GENERAL's bassist/singer), who reports a flurry of activity for the first half of '11, including new stuff from South Coast acts MIKE MOUNTAIN and BAYLIES BAND, a split-12-inch from Six Star and the BLOOD MOONS, two long-awaited full-lengths from THE MASONS, and a trio of EPs from WALLTRAX, a diePods side project. And yes, the forthcoming EP Drunkard's Walk from 75orLess newcomers BROADCASTER (formerly Killing Pablo) will be worth the wait; new, full-blown versions of "La Brea" and "Old Creep" may prove my theory that we're harboring the next Modest Mouse here in Providence. Broadcaster will join Six Star at their CD release party weekend at the Apartment (formerly Jake's) on January 14 and the Common Pub in Bristol the following night. And get to the 201 on January 22 for Broadcaster's official release party.

Former Patriots offensive lineman Brian Barthelmes and his outstanding indie-folk crew TALLAHASSEE ( remain on the move following their 2010 EP Tallahassee, Schmallahassee and phenomenal '09 debut Wolfe Moon; the band just wrapped up recording its next album, Jealous Hands, due out this spring. In the meantime, catch the boys in action at AS220 on January 8.

Fans of the loud, heavy stuff — we got you covered. I checked in with spoken word assailant/socio-economic activist Jared Paul of PRAYERS FOR ATHEISTS (the first punk band released on Sage Francis's Strange Famous Records), who kindly hit us with the 13 demos from PFA's spring 2011 full-length debut. New Hymns for an Old War already sounds bigger and badder than their debut EP; expect another nationwide tour come springtime. The band just released a video for "Psalm for St. Paul" from their '09 debut.

Local heavyweights KANERKO ( are back in a big way following an 18-month hiatus. The hard rock quartet just released a video for "Five Across the Face" (off their debut Showtime) and their recent reemergence on the live circuit proves these guys are truly re-energized. The band will hit the studio in March to record a new EP, and bassist Kevin Marz is pumped about the reaction to new cuts like the sludgy six-minute beast "The Uninvited Get to Stay." While Marz said no timetable has been set for the next release, he promised "it will be worth the wait, and the songs will be undeniable.

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