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It seems appropriate that local promoter Stephen Chilton (a.k.a. Psyko Steve) named his multi-venue music showcase Oh Shit! A Fest?. After all, many Valley scenesters likely will be invoking the expletive when figuring how they'll make the most of the jam-packed lineup of 35 local and out-of-town acts spread across six downtown Phoenix venues. (Chilton even kept the exact lineup secret until recently to help build the suspense). But fear not. We've got the straight poop, with suggestions for different types of music fans to satisfy their particular taste in tunes.
Twentysomething music obsessives, Roosevelt Row regulars, and fans of The Shizz will probably be spending the evening at Four White Walls, where many local faves will play. The Huskies, a poppy foursome made up of members of Hot Fought Cold, Vin-Fiz, and Rum Tenor, will perform cheerful guitar-and-piano-heavy indie sounds starting at 8:45 p.m. Afterward, Wax Vultures will take to the stage at 9:30 p.m. for some funky, punky, experimental rock that's undeniably listenable. Then headliner Peachcake will get the place dancing as John O'Keefe and Stefan Pruett serve up a slice of happy-go-lucky, keyboard bubblegum at 10:15 p.m.
For pierced punkers, metal maniacs, hoodie-wearing hardcore heads, and fans of all things loud, there's ample opportunity to rupture your eardrums. And The Hero Fails (performing at The One Place at 7:45 p.m.) will be cranking its amps up to 11 as it roars out sonic booms of metal rage. Meanwhile, the punk trio Family Secret will be rattling the rafters at Modified Arts starting at 8:15 p.m., blasting goofy lyrics mixed with catchy power hooks. Step on over to the outdoor stage at Holgas at 8:30 p.m. for the furious fivesome We Fly Our Kites At Night, who'll serve up tasty melodic hardcore laced with screams. Speaking of shrieking, end the night with Landmine Marathon (headlining the Trunk Space at 10 p.m.) and witness front woman Grace bellowing brutal lyrics over grinding thrash-core.
HIPPIE DIPPY SHAKE:
Those crunchy types clad in shabby chic threads and shoulder-length dreads might dig the musical stylings of Andrew Jackson Jihad (performing at the Trunk Space at 6:15 p.m.), who'll broadcast a kind of psychotic folk groove with politically charged lyrics. For more of an indie-meets-prog-rock sound, stick around for the melodic and melancholy tunes of Beyond Analog at 7:45 p.m. -- catchy hooks and cleverness will abound. Next, The Liar's Handshake will present acoustic Americana at 8:30 p.m. that's lightly dusted with harmonica and influenced by both Spanish guitar and rockabilly.
If you're a hipper-than-thou music nerd with a voluminous record collection and a passion for college radio, head to PHiX at 7:30 p.m. for Bullet Train to Vegas, where the band's full-throttle, chain-saw-like guitar lines and bass-heavy thunder will probably evoke über-indie darlings such as Rye Coalition and Shellac. They'll be followed by Asleep in the Sea at 8:15 p.m., whose melodic post-punk boasts the right amount of jangle and distortion to make it hip enough for your discerning tastes. Over at Modified starting at 9:45 p.m., The Necronauts will offer weirdly enticing mellowness that's sometimes poppy, sometimes punky and sprinkled with emotion. Then, cap off the evening with the fest's headliners Communiqué at 10:30 p.m., who'll bring their fluid, synth-laden wailings and croonings from San Francisco.