Fri May 4, 2018, 9 pm 21+
Recommended by Chris Stamm
The door Green Day kicked open swung both ways: For seemingly every kid that chased the scent of “Longview” into the basement, where harsher and obscurer sounds lived, there was a punkish band making the opposite trip, up into the rarefied air of modern rock radio and fleeting MTV exposure. Among the more deserving bands that made the latter journey were the Smoking Popes, whose 1995 breakthrough Born to Quit blends old-fashioned crooning and mall-friendly pop-punk to create a singular hybrid that didn’t quite jibe with anything else happening at the time. I don’t think anyone back then was wondering what Screeching Weasel would have sounded like if Ben Weasel had decided to become Frank Sinatra, but the Smoking Popes answered the question no one was asking, and it sounds as unexpected and lovely now as it did two decades ago.