NO TIDY NARRATIVES FOR TEGAN AND SARA
Summer in Sanctuary with Al Letson, The Supersuckers, Mass Control, The 1975, Deep Underground and Jax Truckies are ready to push your buttons
TEGAN AND SARA
After 15 years touring and recording, Canadian twin sisters Tegan and Sara Quin have developed their own brand of sentimental, stadium-ready indie-pop incorporating folk, New Wave and synth-punk. Their career hasn’t followed any tidy narratives, though. Originally discovered and signed by Neil Young, their high-profile activism, primarily in support of LGBTQ causes, defines their public personae. But here the 33-year-old twins are, recording The LEGO Movie theme, writing songs for Lisa Loeb and Carly Rae Jepsen, and, later this year, touring with Katy Perry. On the 2013 album Heartthrob, “We actually were thinking, ‘What if we didn’t have any fans and we had to start from scratch and make new fans, how do we reach those people and blow their minds?’ ” Sara told Interview Magazine. Mission accomplished, ladies. With Lucius and The Courtneys, 7 p.m. May 16, Ponte Vedra Concert Hall, $37.50-$42.
It takes some stones to dub yourself “The Greatest Rock ’n’ Roll Band in the World.” But that’s just how Arizona-born, Seattle-based trash-thrashers The Supersuckers have described themselves for 25 years. Ever the outcasts, Eddie Spaghetti, Dan “Thunder” Bolton and company started decking their increasingly countrified cowpunk sound in shit-kickers and tight work pants circa 1995, when the grunge frenzy made everyone wearing flannel and ripped jeans rich. Not much has changed since the early days. The Supersuckers soldier on, recent tours with Thin Lizzy and Nashville Pussy reigniting a fire under the asses of these unrepentant lunatic rockers. With Gorilla Candy and Darkhorse Saloon, 8 p.m. May 18, Jack Rabbits, San Marco, $12.
SUMMER IN SANCTUARY
Al Letson, producer and host of NPR’s State of the Re:Union, brings his critically acclaimed off-Broadway show Summer in Sanctuary home to Jacksonville for two nights only. Based on his experiences teaching summer school classes in Springfield, the Jax native explores the effects of poverty and race on the dropout epidemic. Letson, who’s gained recognition for his ability to tell inspiring stories of everyday Americans on his radio show, uses his talent to craft a candid, funny and sometimes heartbreaking personal tale through monologue and spoken-word poetry. Local hip-hop artist Willie Evans Jr. provides the music. 8 and 10 p.m. May 16 & 17, Pangea Live, Downtown, free, reservations required, donations appreciated.
NOT JUST NOISE
Attending a noise show is an exercise in patience. Artists play around with electronic knobs and wires, sometimes performing in front of a projector screen playing TV snow, sometimes just a blank wall. An artist might sing (or growl or whisper), play feedback loops or bang on random objects. With the right artist the effect is strangely hypnotic, and a good set can be both horrifying and beautiful. Duval vets Skizotoxin join Gainesville’s Mass Control to host a night of mind-melting insanity, featuring local legends Scared Rabbits and newcomer Con Rit playing sets with Jamison Williams, who is freakin’ everywhere in this magazine this week. 9 p.m.-midnight May 17, CoRK Arts District East, free.
JAX TRUCKIES CHAMPIONSHIP
The time has come to push that healthy-eating resolution back one more week and soak up the intoxicating smells and tastes of the city’s finest street eats at the third annual Jax Truckies Food Truck Championship. A local celebrity judging panel rates the cuisine of more than 30 participating trucks, but the coveted People’s Choice Award is up to all you famished Jaxsons. Proceeds from participating voters and a portion of sales from the trucks go toward Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Florida; if you’re going to gorge yourself, you may as well do it for the kids. 4-9 p.m. May 17, The Jacksonville Landing, Downtown, free.
After surviving several name-changes unscathed, this Manchester-based quintet rebranded itself a final time (we hope) as The 1975 after lifting the phrase out of an obscure beat poetry book; it’s a fitting story to match its music. The band’s self-titled debut cherry-picks from throwback pop influences like Duran Duran and Michael Jackson, while making the sound modern and their own. They’re not rewriting the book on pop music, but this well-received album may end up adding a few chapters. 7 p.m. May 19, Freebird Live, Jax Beach, $17-$20.
In case you skipped the Ritalin this morning, and the 750 words Dan Brown wrote on Folio Weekly’s pre-Jazz Fest throwdown (see page 19) is too much for your brain to process, here’s the Reader’s Digest version: Jacksonville Jazz Festival has (again) eschewed anything avant-garde in favor of (mostly) smooth jazz. And that’s fine. Nothing against Al Jarreau. Definitely nothing against Stooges Brass Band, which gave the world Trombone Shorty, for whom we are eternally grateful. But we think the festival could use a dose of something more innovative and dangerous, something more of a piece with the boundary-pushing jazz that generations ago petrified the establishment – and that’s what Deep Underground is all about. (That and free beer – at least until the Bold City keg kicks. Get there early.) With Fractal, Audio Awakening and Jamison Williams, 8 p.m. May 21, 1904 Music Hall, Downtown, free.