monster vs. monster

September 8, 2009, 8:17 am
Filed under: local

This weekend was the first annual Rocktucket block party, part of the Pawtucket Arts Festival. Which means, of course, that I ventured a whole town over to see live music and socialize with other people. And I thought Providence would be small and uneventful. Bah!

I was pretty excited, since I thought a street party with dance music, pizza, cheap beer and vegan ice cream couldn’t help but feel like a little part of Oakland on the East Coast. In a way it was sweetly familiar – how refreshing to see plaid jumpers and choppy haircuts – but Rhode Island’s local music scene seems to have an earnest-white-guy dance-rap slant to it that’s a little jarring after Oakland’s embarrassed awkward irony and folksy tinge.

First up were B. Dolan and Sage Francis. I’m not a huge fan of either, but they had hand motions and silly string and they made me laugh.

Plus, how can you not love someone willing to wear that patchwork dreamcoat?

Cambridge’s Big Digits played next, and while they didn’t really knock my socks off, they were at one point wearing chain-mail helmets. So, you know, that’s something.

And then we had the PVD Dance Troupe, whose self-stated purpose is “to change the way people think about organized dance troupes.” I applaud the attempt, but there was really nothing organized about this group. I think, here, the point is not that we in the audience enjoy ourselves, but that those onstage enjoy themselves and, maybe, rub off on a select and lucky few. There was a crazy spirited dance circle right beneath the stage and if I had been more inspired by any of the day’s music I think I would’ve enjoyed joining in. I’ve been really itching to dance.

PVD Dance Troupe featured not only fishnets, leg warmers and wrestler headgear, but panties, bandanas and basketballs as well. I’m wondering whether the qualifications for joining the PVD Dance Troupe are just, well, being willing to go onstage sans pants.

Javelin, a Brooklyn duo, lent chime synths and electronic beats to the dancers. I’m liking the music better streaming from the internet than I did when it was happening in front of me, but it’s nothing personal. At that point, after getting half a beer dumped into my shoe, I was ready to call it a night. 

After we left the Tucket we headed to downtown Providence to grab some dinner. What the burrito shop we stopped at lacked in flavor and authenticity it made up for with the delightful oddness of $2 Gansetts and Jäger on tap. All in all, not a bad night. It was nice to get out of the house, but I’m really not sure I’ll ever understand this town.


1 Comment so far
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Wonder why no one comments here! You gave such a great break down of the fireworks that you experienced in your underwears.

Comment by Benjamin

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