Summer: the strange season where sitting on your you-know-what and doing nothing or exerting mass amounts of energy suddenly seem to be fighting for your attention. Frenetically hazy, dreamily murky -- no sound provides the quintessential soundtrack to this timeless conundrum better than good ol’ garage rock. Soaking up the few remaining glory days before the season fades, garage rock takes center stage this August with a pair of events you won’t want to miss.
Soundcheck parties generally occur sporadically but are guaranteed to be on a Tuesday. There’s no cover and a hosted bar -- need we say more? If you've never been to Soundcheck, there’s no better time than a crash course with the Black Lips, who fuse modern punk with classic garage rock.
On a scale of one to insanity, these catchy-as-sin Atlanta-based rockers are guaranteed to get all kinds of Charles Manson-esque crazy. The Black Lips’ past infamous onstage antics include fireworks, chickens and nudity.
But don’t worry. Brought to you by Filter Magazine, hometown heroes the Casbah and charitable partner Invisible Children, Soundcheck parties are certainly mind-blowing, but the only danger emanates from that aforementioned open bar. Previous Soundcheck performers include YACHT, Kid Sister, Willy Joy, Penguin Prison and the Pains of Being Pure at Heart, to name a few.
Next up in the garage celebration is the fifth-annual Johnny Rad Fest, a two-day revival dedicated to the gospel of hedonistically good garage rock, which takes over the Ken Club on Aug. 17 & 18.
Sponsored by apparel company Brixton, Filter magazine, Fender Guitars and more, this collective of shows, skate demos and pool parties began in 2008. Back again, “Rad Fest,” (as it's called by its regulars) is the brainchild of Tyrone Taylor, the entrepreneur behind Lurkville skateboards (also a sponsor of the event), who wanted to resuscitate the local scene with a rapturous mass of garage rock’s best gems.
With a non-stop lineup that includes sets from Vermont-bred stoner-rock enthusiast King Tuff (currently on tour with the Black Lips), warm-weather nostalgic tunes from Shannon & the Clams, a hefty dose of hallucinogenic psych-rock from Night Beats and more (including a surprise Saturday poolside DJ set TBA), except this year’s Fest to sell out quickly.
Johnny Rad Fest is a guaranteed good time. Last year, the fest held three days of mayhem at the Til-Two Club, the Ken Club and the home-base hotel of the weekend, the King’s Inn, all of which were sell-out events. So be sure to snag your two-day pass for $22 (plus service fee) or nab a single-day pass for $12 on browpapertickets.com. Stay updated here.