There’s little doubt that if you polled St. John’s showgoers for the best band in town and the best new band in town, Mark Bragg & Maans would be the first names off most tongues.

Musical innovators Mark Bragg & the Butchers have been the Show Not to Miss for so long now, one can’t pinpoint when and where Bragg came from (Was Buddha Juke really the 90s?). He’s outlived and out-legended countless local acts who’ve come and gone over the years, and his live shows are so reputable that people from places as far flung as The States time their trips to St. John’s to catch a Bragg show. Since choosing a musical project to favour, Micah Brown’s band Maans have been the first local band to generate spontaneous crowd surfing and friendly mosh pits at The Ship in a decade; they’ve stirred a wave of excitement into the local music scene for the new generation of showgoing townies. Friday night, Bragg & Brown are joining forces to knock the socks right off you. It’s at The Ship. 11 pm.

Mark Bragg Picks a Favourite Maans Song, “Worry about a Thing.”

I like “Worry about a Thing”. It’s a modern weird talking blues basically, and I like that. I like the conversational language, like when he sings “Oh look at that shaggy bum.” And I like the use of real names, even if they’ve been changed to protect the innocent.

Micah Brown Picks a Favourite Mark Bragg Song, “Which Doctor.”

Bragg is undoubtedly an able and loved songwriter, having a reputation and catalogue that extends well beyond my time in this city. Trying to pick a song to focus on was intimidating. I think the man has an easier job than myself here. Reviewing the vaults of Bragg left me laughing and loving his quick and smart lyricism, and that undeniable spunk. I found myself leaning to the rockier tracks, maybe that’s just my natural preference, I am a product of the punk scene. I decided “Which Doctor” was the one to land on, there’s just too much here that I love. Spaghetti western aesthetic backed by the chunkiest overdriven bass, paired with a snarly main and spooky backing vocals. Top it off with some of that Bragg lyrical grime and grip, and you’ve got yourself a true jam! Bound to get any bar floor stomping.