WED JUNE 18
PUP w/the Menzingers, Lemuria, Cayetana; Branx, 320 SE 2nd
The four bands on this stacked-as-fuck bill symbolize just how much the state of pop-punk has changed—for the better—in the last few years. The scene has begun its slow crawl out of the misogynistic, Warped Tour, snake-bit, mall-bred dreck that characterized the genre for pretty much the entirety of the '00s, and is actually producing meaningful artists again. Lemuria and the Menzingers are already widely lauded and regarded (very much deservingly) as two of the underground's brightest stars, but it's Canadian up-and-comers/shameless '90s fetishists PUP who might actually be the best indication of where pop-punk is headed. The group's self-titled debut is replete with Blue Album-caliber choruses (namely, the one in opener "Guilt Trip"—I mean, holy shit) and a subtle, angular technicality reminiscent of late-'90s Built to Spill. Those are two reference points that pretty much every young punk band seems attuned to these days, but I'll argue that PUP do it better than several of their peers. The consistently smart songwriting, the sterling mainstream production values, and lead singer Stefan Babcock's histrionic, hyper-aggressive vocals all give the band a distinct and decidedly modern edge.
TUES JUNE 24
Shannon and the Clams w/Thee Four Teens, Marriage + Cancer, Mope Grooves; Slabtown, 1033 NW 16th
Bay Area darlings Shannon and the Clams are one of the only garage revival acts with a substantial shelf life. Their latest record, Dreams in the Rat House, is the group's meatiest collection of songs yet. Standouts include the genuinely touching elegy to a dead dog, "Ozma," and the glorious, girl-group pastiche "If I Could Count." To utilize a cliché, they truly do sound like artifacts from a bygone era.