HARDCORE PUNK STALWART BACKTRACK ROCKS UNDERBELLY WITH SEVEN OTHER BANDS
River Ruckus pushes celebrities into St. Johns, Southlight Gallery welcomes guest artists, and volunteers clean up your Independence Day mess
There’s a definite upshot to a style of music in which the typical track clocks in around 90 seconds of breakneck, venue-shuddering testosterone — that upshot being there’s lots of songs in a set and lots of bands on the bill. Hardcore punk stalwarts Backtrack, Harm’s Way, Expire and Turnstile pack into Underbelly with four other bands (!) to deliver larynx-shredding calls-to-action, burly power chords and a general ruckus. Oh, and you get to watch a bunch of riley teens and 20-somethings elbow and stomp the piss out of each other — always big fun. 4 p.m. July 6, Underbelly, Downtown, $20.
RIVER RUCKUS FESTIVAL OF WATER
When you hear that city and county politicians, TV reporters and other “local celebrities” are jumping in the St. Johns, you might offer to push. But this leap is for charity, with the ruckus kicking off SweetWater Brewing Company’s campaign to raise $10,000 for the St. Johns Riverkeeper. Check it: free boat rides, standup paddleboard lessons, a kayak flotilla, craft beer and killer local bands including RickoLus, The Little Books, Four Families, This Frontier Needs Heroes, Canary in the Coalmine and Al Poindexter & the River Rise. Drink craft beers and save the river! 10 a.m.-9 p.m. July 5, Riverside Arts Market, free admission.
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas has inspired love, hate and much more. Jacksonville University graduate Arelis Resto cites it and the Samuel Johnson quote in its prologue, “He who makes a beast of himself gets rid of the pain of being a man,” in creating Self Medicated. A green wash gives the painting a sickly, acidic look. Resto juxtaposes the seemingly fertile female form with the presence of death: “We’re healthy and we’re coping, but behind all of that, we have these major internal conflicts.” Featured in Members’ Choice, opening during art walk, 6-9 p.m. July 2, and on display through July 18 at Southlight Gallery, Downtown, free.
As Shinobi Ninja’s penchant for on-stage personas might imply, there’s a Jekyll-and-Hyde dichotomy to the loosely sutured genres in their songs. Guitarist Maniac Mike serves up Pantera-thrash riffs that give way to glassy chord structure and hip-hop beats when Baby G lays down the rhymes. Though the mid-song transitions are about as subtle and graceful as Beverly Hills Ninja – these are pretty much rock songs with a legit hip-hop section plunked in – that’s OK. Tracks like “ILL ISH,” which expresses Ninja’s love of drinking, smoking weed and all types of ill shit (our kind of people), really gain charm from the random. 8 p.m. July 5, Jack Rabbits, San Marco, $8.
You could look at The Supervillains and assume they’re just another bunch of white-dude weed apologists doing reggae. You would be wrong. Well, mostly wrong. They are in fact white dudes doing reggae, and the cover art to their 2006 record Grow Your Own (which features “Mary Jane & Jägermeister,” a love song to some of their favorite things) is just a picture of some dank. But that’s not why the Orlando-based quartet’s frequently sold-out live shows have earned such acclaim for a decade now: to get that, you have to be at the party they throw down. (There’s a reason they’re sponsored by Jäger.) Get up, stand up, indeed. 8 p.m. July 5, Freebird Live, Jax Beach, $10-$15.
AFTER THE FIREWORKS
JULY 5 CLEANUP
We get it. You like explosions and pretty colors. But Independence Day is one of the busiest traffic days of the year, and our residents are messy (not you, everyone else), so someone has to clean up all this trash. The city of Jacksonville and Keep Jacksonville Beautiful team up with the Beaches Sea Turtle Patrol to pick up whatever we dropped on Jacksonville Beach from 7-9 a.m. July 5. They provide volunteers with litter collection bags and gloves. Also, the nonprofit Keepers of the Coast leads the sixth annual “Day After” Beach Cleanup, 10 a.m.-noon at beach access points throughout St. Johns County. For details, call Keep Jacksonville Beautiful, 630-3420; Keepers of the Coast, 814-2172.