Head cheese

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AVAIL: Often-ignored riff ’n’ clang scholars from Virginia (??!!) trafficking in creditable old-school indie punk, hardcore, thrash, punk-pop and alternative (in the truest sense). The band’s discursive larynx-shredder Tim Barry gives us his Top Five of the week:

5. Voting in November: I’m glad people are voicing their opinions and taking to the streets. But damn, why do most people only get that way once every four years and spend the time between watching reruns of “Friends”?

4. Music, Music, Music: I’m obsessing on AVAIL. We’re writing a new record and the songs are just now coming together. Can’t wait to get the songs done and get back into the studio. Making music is as fun for us now as it was when we started.

3. God’s Wrath: Richmond’s had an earthquake, the worst fire in 30 years (covering seven blocks), a hurricane that left my neighborhood without power (10 days) and my house without a phone (three weeks). Now we’re living through flooding that’s seen seven people die, 20 blocks condemned and hundreds of cars float off like driftwood.

2. Student Village: Virginia Commonwealth University just began classes again. Trillions of punk/student-types moved into my normally quiet, working-class neighborhood and are clashing with the good-old-boys, fighting in the streets, breaking bottles, causing a ruckus. I sit on my porch all weekend drinking 40s, watching it go down. It’s better than “Springer.”

1. Alvin’s: Detroit’s own Alvin’s is by far one of AVAIL’s favorite places to drink at and see bands. It’s a taste of Southern hospitality in the cold dark North.

Avail takes Alvin’s (5756 Cass Ave., Detroit. 313-831-4577) on Friday, Sept. 24, with Jericho and Only Crime.

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