1) Get your ’Merica motors running, because Independence Day Weekend kicks off not with Will Smith welcoming an alien visitor to Earth (or, I suppose, Miami), but with the return of Rivercrest Yacht Club, featuring the Weekly’s own Eric Griffey, aka Generic MC on raps. The show’s at Lola’s, and it’s a cool mix of two veteran bands—Sally Majestic plays after the RYC—and a couple newer ones; new, in this case, is relative, because Lindby and Doug Funnie have both been around for a few years now. But overall, the bill is a “melting pot”, if you will, mixing hip hop (RYC, DF), reggae rock (SM), and clever pop (Lindby), an eclectic mix of ostensibly disparate elements that form a whole greater than the sum of its parts—JUST LIKE THE GOOD OL’ USA! Now blow off the rest of your day and watch Independence Day in its entirety:

2) Turn your volume up for this one; apparently, live comedy has to be recorded quietly in Portland:


I’m embarrassed to admit that I’m not exactly sure where or what the Tilt Room at Shipping & Receiving is, but comic and Fort Worth native Shane Torres, who’s appeared on Last Comic Standing and Comedy Bang Bang (among other televised, laughter-promotion programs) will be doing a set there on Friday night, headlining a Blackbox Comedy production that also features local comics Tara Brown, Josh Johnson, Brian Breckenridge. Because his career is en route to cruising altitude, he’s constantly been on the road, so this his first show his hometown in two years. Tickets are $10, and the show starts at 9, though you’ll likely want to show up earlier to prime your laughter pumps with liquor.

3) Going to Dallas on Friday? Well, if you are, stop by the Foundry, because there’s a free show featuring Bummer Vacation and Son of Stan. Yes, I play in Son of Stan, but I really want you to come to this because we and the boys of Bummer are all homies, and the resulting “homie energy” will be translate into some real onstage “fireworks”. Or maybe some literal fireworks! The show is outdoors, and it will probably look like this video, an 8-bit cartoon of dudes setting off fireworks set to an 8-bit version of Katy Perry’s “Fireworks”:

4) Because I was once a child, that fucking Lee Greenwood song always makes me tear up when I hear it; even though I think “God Bless the USA” embiggens a lot of pretty sad and terrible people who are proud to be part of the Religious Right, I just can’t shake the memories, and it does stir patriotic emotions within me, certainly in the wake of last week’s historic, progressive victories. But if you want to know what song sounds more American—possibly ’Merican, but definitely not ’Murican—than Greenwood’s corny anthem, it’s Greg Kihn’s “The Breakup Song (They Don’t Write ‘Em)”; it’s like I hear it, and it makes me think of being at a county fair in middle school, pumped up about something, yet sad and not knowing why. In reality, the scene in my memory isn’t in July, it’s more like October, and Loverboy is actually the headliner. But when I hear that song, I think of a certain autumnal angst that’s specific to lonely 13 year old boys, shaded by the realization that the already-aging rockers (this is 1991, you see) we’re 100 percent correct—they had already written most of the best songs, and I was just going to have to make do with Metallica, and then later Superunknown and Melancholy and the Infinite Sadness. Anyway, Greg Kihn isn’t playing anywhere nearby, but here’s the video for that rockin’, sad song:

But to the point of Top 5 Shows: in addition to Lola’s Friday night’s bill bookended by two hip hop acts, the club’s Saturday night show is all MCs, headlined by Big Cliff. of Kyeote is direct support, and let me tell you, these are both two local rappers who deserve more attention from Fort Worth’s larger music community—hell, a lot more of local MCs do, and the show features six others (Raw Appetite, SixOwe Eli, Jeremiach Chi, Pac Manson, Mallie G’s, and Wrex Washington), so there’s plenty of opportunity to see what these dudes are all about.

5) Did you read Last Call this week? Yeah, well, it was kind of a slow news week. But anyway, the b-side of it mentions a Signature Grabbing Pub Crawl to benefit the battle against Six Points’ archaic zoning restrictions and myopic civic mindsets—basically, a zoning ordinance and a cast of people who sound as if they’d love living in the 1950s are keeping a new record store from opening its tattoo shop component—so if you go drinking on Magnolia Saturday evening, look for the people with clipboards and sign their petition to change the zoning to allow Born Late Records to ink and pierce bodies. The Signature Crawl starts at the Bearded Lady at 6pm, and the Live Oak is having a rooftop fireworks-watching party with a DJ from 8-midnight. BUT WAIT—THERE’S MORE! Because at the opposite end of the street (the west end), there’s a rad, vaguely patriotic show at the Chat Room, featuring Kevin Aldridge and the Appraisers and Quaker City Nighthawks. That’s three things to do on one single street! What a country!