Prozak, Sikmadkillas

Blackwater Music
Friday, June 7 at 6 p.m.
All ages
$15 pre-order, $20 at door

There are great emo-based hip-hop artists, such as Slug and El-P, and then there is Prozak. This Saginaw, Michigan rapper produces lyrics with the same emotional depth of a Hot Topic employee complaining about working on the weekend, mixing boring beats with boring rhymes.



For Your Consideration: The dull acoustic instrumentation of “Million Miles Away” swings as low as Prozak’s lyrics. The song opens with, “Living in these dark times, it’s hard to stop these dark rhymes.”

Pianos Become the Teeth, Dad Punchers, Citizen, Sweet Weapons, Moonraker, Ill Motion

The Gasworks
Monday, June 10 at 7 p.m.
All ages
$10

There’s been a recent revival in the hardcore punk scene of great emo bands, and Pianos Become the Teeth is certainly one of them. Lead singer Kyle Durfey’s trembling voice compliments the band’s often frantic pacing, crashing against the many cymbals and guitar lines.

For Your Consideration: “Hiding,” off the band’s split EP with Touché Amoré, is an emotional rollercoaster wrapped around Durfey’s cracking voice and sweltering guitars.

Water Liars, Albuquerque Boys Choir, The Palace Flophouse

Low Spirits
Wednesday, June 12 at 8 p.m.
21
Ticket price at door

Water Liars is a soft-spoken folk duo that churns out twinkling tunes reminiscent of the early work of Iron & Wine. Despite sharing similar beards and black rimmed glasses, guitarist and vocalist Justin Peter Kinkel-Schuster often takes center stage with his hushed voice.

For Your Consideration: Kinkel-Schuster waxes poetic throughout “Linens,” a calm, brainy ballad with references to “Paradise Lost,” as drummer Andrew Bryant provides a low-pitched back-up vocal.

House of Heroes

Lobo Theater
Friday, June 14 at 7 p.m.
All ages
$15

Christian rock or not, House of Heroes is a catchy band. This Columbus, Ohio collective plays an inviting blend of pop-punk and pop-rock, and tends to shy away from overtly preachy lyrics.
For Your Consideration: “Touch this Light” is a radio-friendly tune that channels alternative act Anberlin, with its soaring chorus and resounding “whoa-oh-oh’s.”

Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers, Cali Shaw Band

Low Spirits
Tuesday, June 18 at 8 p.m.
21
$10

Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers is by definition a 21st-century act, garnering most of their attention from a series of YouTube videos in which the group plays cover songs while driving in a cramped van. The band’s YouTube page currently has more than five million views, and for good reason: Nicki Bluhm has a great voice, and the band has a noticeably good time singing and playing loudly in a speeding van.

For Your Consideration: Nicki Bluhm & The Gramblers’ cover of Stealers Wheel’s “Stuck in the Middle” is a fun group sing-along and is a faithful take on the original.

The World is a Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid to Die, Dads, Pity Sex, Saintly Rows

The Gasworks
Thursday, June 27 at 7 p.m.
All ages
$10

The music that The World is a Beautiful Place & I Am No Longer Afraid to Die plays more than makes up for their obnoxiously long band name. This band from Connecticut plays post-hardcore punk, often drawing songs out to long and loud extents.

For Your Consideration: “Getting Soda” is a seven-minute tune, complete with jangling guitars, gang vocals and a boisterous level of percussion.