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Deep State’s Inauguration Day 

The Georgia punk band performs Jan. 20 at Circle Bar

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Chris Watson is at it again. The former Park the Van label head and two-time New Orleanian introduced the world to Dr. Dog in 2005. Now based in northern California, his latest venture, Friendship Fever, aims to unearth your next obsession. Watson's first import came in October, with the Michigan outfit Minihorse, whose debut EP Big Lack served as Friendship Fever's icebreaker. This Circle Bar sequel features a band that figures to play a bigger part in establishing the imprint's personality: Deep State, a leap of faith that sticks the landing. The Athens, Georgia, quartet has three frontmen — including Christian DeRoeck (ex-Woods), whose own band Little Gold deserves more attention — but only one who fronts it. Taylor Chmura is the group's self-styled amateur, a deprecation that belies his way with aerobic, three-chord pop/punk anthems. Thought Garden, due in April, is full of them: "Mountains," an early wooing rock climber; "Heavy Lunch," a deceptively simple, likely centerpiece single; "Idiot Waster," the late-coming confirmation that it isn't a fluke. It all sounds like they're having a blast, and it's contagious. The same could be said of its label. Meat Dreams, Gland and Adults open at 10 p.m. Admission $5.


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