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Blackbeard's Lost Weekender: 10 acts that guarantee a good time

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The return of Blackbeard's Lost Weekender brims with 38 bands and six DJs, plenty to fill three potentially debauched nights. In preparation for the blur, we picked 10 acts that guarantee a good time.

FRIDAY, APRIL 10

A GIANT DOG (AUSTIN, TEXAS)

A Giant Dog - PHOTO BY STEVEN RUUD
  • Photo by Steven Ruud
  • A Giant Dog

A Giant Dog open their 2013 LP, Bone, with a punk-rock burst, riffing close to the Sex Pistols' "Holidays in the Sun." But soon, they slip into the guitar-rock revivalism on which JEFF the Brotherhood and Diarrhea Planet have staked their reputations. The quintet's relative polish contrasts with most of this weekend's budget rock, but for all of A Giant Dog's poise, there's a no-frills foundation that fits the spirit of the fest. (The Cave's Front Room, 9 p.m.)

GYMSHORTS (PROVIDENCE, R.I.)

"Owed to the Bank," which begins Gymshorts' No Backsies, surfs its way into a slacker's call to arms: "Yeah, yeah, yeah, whatever/I can't do much better." Rather than sounding resigned, though, it is a defiant credo, with singer Sarah Greenwell hollering over a buzzing bomb of a riff. The band's bursting hooks, needling licks and snotty declarations betray an affection for classic punk. (The Cave's Back Room, 9:30 p.m.)

NATURAL CAUSES (CARRBORO, N.C.)

In their other guise as Last Year's Men, this trio plays carefully crafted garage-rock, written with clever hooks and R&B swing. But as Natural Causes, they make impulsive punk that jitters through synth-fueled shorts about bedwetters and stimulants. It's hyperactive and hard to shake. (Nightlight, 10:15 p.m.)

FREE CLINIC (WILMINGTON, N.C.)

"Better," a preview of Free Clinic's forthcoming second LP, finds the coastal trio delivering on the promise of their 2013 debut. Frontman Benjamin Rose is a compelling crooner, his tenor floating across an indie-pop haze. Where many peers settle for a flat nostalgic glaze, Free Clinic adds a welcome undercurrent of nervous energy. (Nightlight, 11:15 p.m.)

GOLDEN PELICANS (ORLANDO, FLA.)

Golden Pelicans issued a self-titled 12-inch to unanimous acclaim last year. It's a noisy, belligerent platter that also manages to sound big, like stadium rock. "Pissin' In A Puddle of Puke" pushes The Dead Boys and Motörhead together, while "Two Feathers" boasts a riff meaty enough for KISS. Still, singer Erik Grincewicz and his growl make the band's basement-punk roots obvious. (Nightlight, 12:15 a.m.)

DINOS BOYS (ATLANTA, GA.)

Last month, "Knee High," a garage-pop blast that effervesces like Mentos dropped into Diet Coke, landed in a skate video produced by Krooked Skateboards and Thrasher Magazine. That Dinos Boys tune propelled a montage of beach wrestling and parking-lot fireworks. The band's fusion of '77-style punk and contemporary garage-pop is hooky and vigorous—that is, a natural skate-vid fit. (The Cave's Front Room, 12:30 a.m.)


SATURDAY, APRIL 11

PIPE (CHAPEL HILL, N.C.)

Pipe once helped forge a bridge from hardcore to indie rock. Their brash bar-rock served as a worthy complement to Archers of Loaf and New Bomb Turks, and they found a comfortable home on the then-nascent Merge roster. A couple of decades on, the band's live sets remain legendary. Beer cans fly through the air while Ron Liberti prowls the stage. For Pipe, the second-act might be as strong as the first. (Nightlight, 9:15 p.m.)

THE OTHERMEN (NEW YORK, N.Y.)

With their aggressive and scuffed take on proto-garage rock, buoyed by swelling organ, Brooklyn's Othermen evoke the rebellious spirit of "Louie Louie" rabble-rousers the Kingsmen. They augment it with intensity and sleaze. Last year's (Do The) Stand Still is a three-song riot that honors generations of garage-rock obscurities while finding a compelling energy of its own. (The Cave's Front Room, 1 a.m.)

DEX ROMWEBER/FLAT DUO JETS (CHAPEL HILL, N.C.)

Dexter Romweber revisits the songs that made him a cult icon. Influential to the likes of Jack White and Neko Case, Romweber made his name as the face of the reckless rockabilly revivalists Flat Duo Jets. Romweber's since become a potent interpreter of American pop, from jazzy exotica to blues and rock. But his lifelong love of rockabilly always finds a way to bubble up. With longtime collaborator Crash LaResh, Romweber will revisit his past glory by playing a full set of Duo Jets hits. This is the weekend's mandatory set. (Nightlight, 1:15 a.m.)


SUNDAY, APRIL 12

Bloodshot Bill - PHOTO BY MAVERING GOLDS
  • Photo by Mavering Golds
  • Bloodshot Bill

BLOODSHOT BILL (MONTREAL, CANADA)

In the closing slot, Bloodshot Bill offers his rockabilly resurrection. While the foundation is Sam Phillips' famous slapback sound, Bloodshot Bill's tribute to early rock 'n' roll is hardly purist. He pours ragged twang and gritty surf-rock over Hasil Adkins' "Chicken Walk" like gravy. If you can make it to the bitter end, this snappy set will be a delight. (Nightlight, 1:15 a.m.)

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