When: Fri., Nov. 7, 10 p.m. 2014
In the six years since it opened, The Pinhook has grown to become one of the state's best venues, and not just because its calendar presents an excellent mix of top-notch locals and emerging international acts. What's more, co-founder Kym Register has worked to ensure that the bar is also a community space, where everyone—regardless of race, gender identity, genre or any other distinction—feels welcome. In addition to bands, The Pinhook regularly hosts benefit dance parties and drag shows and the like, building its calendar so that alternatives are part of the norm.
For this anniversary-celebrating show, Pinhook alums Ex Hex and Speedy Ortiz split the bill. Rips, the Merge debut of Ex Hex, offers no false advertising: The 35-minute romp is energetic and upbeat, offering refreshing takes on breakups and lives of little regret. Speedy Ortiz complements with less bold but equally excellent rock 'n' roll. Des Ark, a veteran of The Pinhook's stage, opens. 10 p.m., $12–$14, 117 W. Main St., 919-667-1100, www.thepinhook.com. —Allison Hussey