Live Tonight: Chunky Wonder, Miniature Tigers, Charlie Parr

Five years ago I was admiring Ben Johnson, lead singer of Bellingham’s Chunky Wonder, from a very far distance in the hallways of high school, and now I’m professing my love for his band from an equally remote distance. The group plays powergroove—a style full of what the band endearingly refers to as “chunk” (think Danger Radio meets Forgive Durden). From what I can tell, the chunk is what powers the groove, and Johnson’s smooth and steady vocals ground the waxing and waning of further cycles of psychedelic/garage/punk/funk. One of B-ham’s best-kept secrets, Chunky Wonder is consistently praised for its energetic live shows. With McTuff. Seamonster Lounge, 2202 N. 45th St., 992-1120, seamonsterlounge.com. 8.pm. Free. 21 and over. DML

The nation’s tangled music history doesn’t suggest a precise beginning for its strains of acoustic music. But somewhere in there, blues, country, folk, and gospel got all rolled together and spit out Minnesota guitarist/singer Charlie Parr. Coming late to recording, he debuted in 2004 with Criminals and Sinners. There have been a steady stream of dispatches since, his latest being the instrumental Hollandale. What’s made Parr a steadily impressive player, though, are his revealing lyrics, drawing from Depression-era stories passed down by his father as well as the traditional tropes of American songwriting: drunkenness and the gnarled roads of life. With The Lowest Pair. Tractor Tavern. 9 p.m. $10. DAVE CANTOR

The making of a great summer anthem is an art in itself. The best ones achieve a balance of sunny bliss and nostalgia that hits listeners in the right place at the right time. The latest album from Brooklyn’s Miniature Tigers, Cruel Runnings, is packed with potential summer jams that ooze optimism through jangling guitars and wistful synthesizers. While Iggy Azalea might be seen as the reigning queen of summer with “Fancy,” Miniature Tigers are quietly building devotees of their own solstice kingdom with songs that feel like the last epic day of freedom before school starts. As summer reaches its midpoint, now seems as good a time as ever to get immersed in the bittersweet mantras of “Swimming Pool Blues” and “Sadistic Kisses.” With the Griswolds, Scarves. The Vera Project, 305 Harrison St., 956-8372, thevera project.org. 7:30 p.m. $12 adv./$14 DOS. All ages. DH

 
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