Small venues keep chugging with great shows this week

Support the local scene by catching gigs during the summer slump

Heatwave!!!!! Personally, I love it, as my hatred of winter is so strong that I don’t mind it when the mercury climbs up. Unfortunately this is also a time when local live music venues could use your presence and patronage more than ever as the competition from terrasses, camping, pools, parks and all other summer goodies puts a cramp on concert attendance. So if you’re interested in one of the shows below, or the host of other live gigs that are happening at the usual swill joints around town, please go and support. Seeing bands in a small capacity room is just as summer as rollerblading.

Friday:  Right out of the gate is big pick of the week, and wouldn’t ya know it, they’re locals. Do you like Thin Lizzy riffage, Cheap Trick tunesmithery, Big Star on their raunchy side, with a dash of punk rock urgency? Then step up to the Sick Things, who will release their debut vinyl rekkid, and catch the return of bubblegum punkers Pale Lips, who have been playing possum for far too long. Still not convinced? Opening is First Base (who are not a tribute to hip hop legends 3rd Base unfortunately) and keeping things spinning smoothly is the DJ/crime-fighting duo the Punk Police, who lift up stakes from North Star for the occasion. This all goes down at l’Esco, natch. 4461 St-Denis, 9:30 p.m., $8/$10

If you enjoy smoking the bad banana peels and like your stoner rock thick and oozy, you will want to drag yer knuckles to Kurse, who are straight outta Longueuil, which I assume would be a petri dish for stoner rock (and living in yer mom’s basement). Their “budz” who will be bogarting the joint will be Saskatoon’s Shooting Guns, Raven Black and the Nicotines, at la Vitrola. 4602 St-Laurent, 7:30 p.m., $10/$15

If you aren’t about power pop/punk/stoner or guitars in general, check out the somber minimal synth pop of Sombra (see what they did there?) with Smokes and Strangerfamiliar at Casa. 4873 St-Laurent, 9 p.m., $6/$10

the Sick Things

Saturday: Now that goth is all the rage for the summer, you can check out a band that puts the rawk in goth rawk (and have been in the goth trenches for almost a decade): Hexapheen, who will lay down their Killing Joke/Siouxsie-style riffs with Sunman and the Spectre of Light and Kings of Amsterdam taking up the sweat act slot at la Vitrola. 4602 St-Laurent, 8 p.m., $10

Tuesday: Do you like cheap green-rimmed sunglasses, denim baseball caps that say “Miami Beach,” MC Hammer pants, thin pube staches? Well you are to meet all of your other fashionistas who will be grouped in front of Brasserie Beaubien swigging PBR while Video Age, Why Try and Dendrons play inside. 73 Beaubien E., 9 p.m., $8/$10

Wednesday: The Immersion show at la Vitrola was gonna be my big pick of the week as it features Malka Spigel and, more importantly, Colin Newman from post-punk (term is questionable as they were in the thick of punk in the summer of ’77) gods Wire. My love for Wire is immeasurable, but sometimes these long in the tooth side project bands can be a bit of a coin toss, so Wire fans should approach with caution. If you aren’t as much of a scaredy cat as me, you can check this out. Raf Wilcot is opening up. 4602 St-Laurent, 9 p.m., $12/$15

For a surefire bet, take in the smash and bash of garage/punk duo Make Overs with Fuudge at l’Esco. If you dig Babes in Toyland and some of the more rocking shit from AmRep, you will definitely want to make this scene. 4461 St-Denis, 8:30 p.m., $13/$16


Current Obsession: Thin Lizzy, Black Rose