This past 4th of July, we piled into the car and rode up to Maryland for the mind-bending PEX FEST 2010 (Philadelphia Experiment Festival 2010). You won't find a gathering of stranger people anywhere. Bold, beautiful, creative people roaming on one campground surrounded by friendly mystical tents, giant sound systems pumping bass, large scale abstract video installations and art you could crawl, run, sleep, relax in. Mind-bending and mind blowing, it was an incredible way to spend the weekend.
Luckily, photographer Skye V.D. Osten captured it in a way that fits the vibe perfectly with her "You Are Here" selection. Check out more of her work at www.skyevonderosten.com
Integrity – We Are The End (Magic Bullet)
Integrity fans, who likely will already own a copy of this by the time they read the review, should rejoice both for the fact that this EP exists and that it is not the only thing the band has released lately. It’s undoubtedly a killer hardcore record, but as a one-sided 7” record it almost seems over as soon as it starts. Ultimately, anybody who ever liked Integrity should be glad they ditched the abysmal Integrity 2000 nonsense and returned to the basic elements which made them great in the first place.
And what a return it has been. It seems like every element that made Integrity identifiable in the first place has been amplified and exaggerated more than any of their vast multitude of releases. The Japanese hardcore-influenced fast parts are faster. The slow breakdowns are heavier. The almost Slash-sounding guitar solos are all over the place. All they need are some acoustic interludes with sinister whispered vocals and they would have a miniature version of any of their best albums.
And in case any diehards might be concerned that Integrity has worn out the shock-value imagery and nihilistic lyrical content which defined their best albums – a worthwhile question considering how difficult it is to shock the consuming public anymore and how a system of belief based on not believing in anything could provide the impetus for learning instruments, releasing albums, and occasionally touring – each should rest assured that those are firmly in place. The cover succinctly sums up the aesthetic approach – Charles Manson, nude women, Klan members, Anton LaVey, Arabic script, Patty Hearst, Baphomet, and a vaguely Nazi-looking group of soldiers – in short, just about anything which could possibly shock, offend, or unsettle respectable members of society. Whether such tactics are a cheap attention grab is debatable, but regardless, when this band does something they don’t do it halfway. Lyrically, the record is par for Integrity’s course, bleak and apocalyptic with a bit more of a defiant attitude than the band has conjured in a while. “Awakened annihilation / under black flames we ride” howls singer Dwid Hellion, a couplet which offers a solid encapsulation of his worldview and lyrical approach.
Though less than five minutes pass between the time the turntable needle hits this record’s first groove and the time it reaches the center matrix, not a single second of this record is wasted on any unnecessary filler. While this release consists of precious few moments, not a single one is at all extraneous. While their most recent full-length The Blackest Curse is a great album and an excellent return to form for the band, We Are The End offers listeners two of the best, though unfortunately shortest, songs they have produced in many years.
by Graham Scala
ABUSUALISM photo: Reidwick
Our very own John Reinhold was a special guest on this episode of Gods Of The Bobbleheads. These guys grill Reinhold on all things RVA. If you want to know RVAMAG's origin story, how we are linked to RVALUTION, what's up with the new issue of the magazine then give this a listen and all secrets will be revealed.
Going into Inception, I was keeping a cautiously optimistic attitude. Christopher Nolan, the writer and director, always makes excellent films, and Leonardo DiCaprio, the lead actor, is running on an almost ten year hot streak. That said, I was still concerned about how well Nolan would be able to transition from his recent reboot of the Batman franchise to an original work. It took about five minutes for this movie to put all my fears to rest. It would be a difficult to focus on lingering concerns while such an immediately engrossing movie is playing. This is the kind of film that completely absorbs the viewer with a brilliant plot and dynamic visual effects. You cannot look away, you cannot think about anything else, and Nolan rewards this attention from start to finish.
There’s two kinds of garage bands: those who’s musical endeavors are limited to practicing in their parent’s basement between rounds of bagel bites, and those that take firm grasp of the loud, fuzzy, rawness of the pre-digital era and channel it into the kind of rock n’ roll you can fuck, fight, or party to, or all three. Sportsbar is the latter.
The band, which features Kemper Blair on vocals and bass, Stuart Holt on drums and backing vocals, and Cliff Boyd on guitar, has been around for less than a year, but their roots go back almost a decade. Kemper and Stuart, who grew up together in Richmond’s West End, have been conspiring musically since at least 2003, in bands such as Rabbits, Dead Goats, and most recently, Cubscout and the Rhinocerous.
DJ Rayvon dropped this gem of hip-hop/rap mixtape on us over Twitter yesterday. A regular on 92.1FM and a headliner on Thursday nights at the Paradise Lounge is definitely worth checking out.
"Parkour or l'art du déplacement is an activity with the aim of moving from one point to another as efficiently and quickly as possible, using principally the abilities of the human body. It is meant to help one overcome obstacles, which can be anything in the surrounding environment. Parkour manifests in US through what WE aim to bring forth to and for YOU. ILL ASS PARTIES..... ILL ASS SOCIAL EVENTS..... FAMILY....... BECOME A PART OF THE SITUATION. OH, AND I CHANGED THE SPELLING ON THAT SH*T TO MAKE IT MINE. I'm The Founder of Parcore Productions. We Throw some of the illest parties and events around this part of town. I'm in a group called the L.I.N.E. (Leaders In a New Era) Music is dope. Im im a band called D. Folks and The Movement. music is dope. I'm Black. I was raised partly in Staten Island, NY, but there's no home like Virginia Beach for me. I love my family, my friends and my girl. I just graduated from VCU. I currently reside in Richmond, VA. I'm one of the dopest young DJ's out here. I also produce and MC. I work at this ill ass sneaker store called FTWRK (322 W. Broad St.) Holla atcha boy for parties and tracks, got I got these beats for sale. I just said "I" mad times in this section...haha." - Rayvon
Find out more about Rayvon HERE.
First off, the idea here is to pose a question, so I want to advise readers that this is not intended as a full-fledged debate on the pros and cons of the death penalty. That is a very broad argument that is far too large in scope for a piece of this size. Rather, this is simply a question regarding the impact of the presence of a death penalty in any society. This is something I’ve wondered about for years, and while I am a somewhat reluctant advocate of the death penalty as a result, the question has never undermined my sincere belief that there are some people who should be evicted from life in general. Regardless, I’m curious how others might respond to the query I speak of.
This Will Destroy You – Moving On The Edges Of Things (Magic Bullet Records)
A sizable number of people thought that they had This Will Destroy You pegged. Devotees of effects-pedal happy instrumental rock bands considered them the second coming of Explosions In The Sky. Those less inclined towards crescendo-heavy post-rock thought pretty much the same thing, only without meaning the comparison as a compliment. Evangelical Christian groups also latched onto This Will Destroy You, using their music in a variety of Christian propaganda in spite of the band’s lack of religious affiliation and without contacting them for permission or compensation. All these people had This Will Destroy You filed away in a comfortable niche, but with their most recent release the band proves all of them wrong.
Previous albums like Young Mountain and their self-titled second album were fairly standard entries into the instrumental post-rock canon – introspective, slow-paced, full of quiet-to-loud build ups. Nothing terribly unpleasant, but nothing terribly original either – a criticism which could just as easily be directed towards the majority of the genre itself, characterized as it so often is by even its best practitioners rarely straying from a formulaic approach. But while it was difficult not to immediately compare the band’s earlier releases with a handful of more popular bands working along similar lines, it is difficult to come up with any individual reference point with which to compare their most recent release.
You saunter along the city block on your accustomed routine to the local library, when a red blinking hand holds you still just long enough for fate to shove your mediocre life into an aromatic cloud of luxury. In the coffee shop straight ahead you see the everyday leisure of coffee shop regulars. A whiff of today’s roast teases you relentlessly, begging you to meander from your path and join the fun. But as you slouch in baggy jeans and rub your dried out contacts, you suddenly realize these people have something special. They are coffee shop artists and they rule the coffee kingdom. You want to be one.