Fans of great music and sustainable, local cuisine have equal reasons to rejoice about the imminent return of the Sweetlife Music & Food Festival. Presented by Sweetgreen, a natural food restaurant based in DC with 16 locations in the DMV areal, the fourth annual Sweetlife Festival will take place on Saturday, May 11, at Merriweather Post Pavilion. And your friends at RVA Magazine want you to see it for free!
Highness is an up-and-coming post-hardcore quintet whose members are split between Richmond and Fredericksburg [and Brooklyn! Oops-ed]. The first thing about them that anyone is going to mention is their epic pedigree, so let's get that out of the way right now:
Last week, when I watched The Taint, a Richmond based B-Horror film, I realized how awesome my job with RVA Magazine is. Because of my position as a journalist, I was given an opportunity to speak with The Taint's director. Watching and discussing this film has been one of the more immediately bewildering, albeit enjoyable, assignments I've had here.
In a time when metal is characterized by apocalyptic doom and crust, avant-garde black metal, and technically layered death metal, a band like Humungus, who don’t take themselves too seriously and aren’t afraid if others don’t either, is truly a rare thing to come across. It’s easy to write them off at first glance as another throwback-thrash Municipal Waste clone, but if you glance for even a second longer, you will notice that the typical ascending thrash riff and simplistic drumming is absent in their music. Instead, Humungus rely on complex yet thoroughly catchy 80s metal riffs, and their rhythm section offers far more than a simple backbeat. You will also notice that they place fans on stage that are perfectly positioned to aid in their headbanging epicness--an addition that is obviously and self-consciously humorous, but also one that adds a lot to their lively stage presence. In short, Humungus--or The Humungus, as they are sometimes called now due to legal complications with a Verbal Abuse spinoff laying claim to the same name--are not a band who will fight with you for hours about how to properly classify their music, or whether they should be compared with a certain band or associated with a certain genre. But they are also not a band to blindly follow trends and churn out meaningless music.
Hip hop's best-kept secret will be coming to the VA area this week! Immortal Technique, the Peruvian-American rapper with a reputation for uncompromisingly political lyrics, will be appearing at the Jefferson Theater in Charlottesville this Thursday, and hip hop fans would be foolish to miss him.
There are artists whose aesthetic decisions make certain terminology difficult to resist when describing their music. The output of Australian metal band Portal, for instance, can consistently be seen as nightmarish, and not only for the sinister quality of the music.
Robb Bank$ is a young emcee from South Florida who got his start the way a lot of young artists are doing today--through social media. Originally calling himself "Tumblr God," the blogging/social networking became a launching pad for Bank$'s music the way it has for other artists who've gotten big outside of the standard music industry in recent years.
Chris Visions is a freelance artist based in Richmond. A VCU grad, he has tremendous style and his range is incredible. In particular, I am drawn to his ability to convey action and provide his illustrations with an abundance of emotion. I think he’s a phenomenon, and I can’t wait to see where his talent takes him.
I’ve been working on my first novel, Trailer Park Trash & Vampires, for years now, and I had always envisioned releasing it as an illustrated version. I had tried unsuccessfully to find an artist who was up to the challenge, but when RVA Mag’s publisher, Tony Harris, put me in contact with Chris Visions, I knew he was the man for the job. He absolutely killed the illustrations for my book. He did an amazing job of interpreting the material, and the images he provided represent a superb addition to the manuscript. Sometimes when I would stop to examine the artwork he sent my way, I had to wonder whether or not the dude was psychic. It was like he was could see exactly what I was describing, and anyone who has ever been involved in a collaboration knows how hard that it is to achieve. It’s not just that the atmosphere in his work is so rich or that the characters are so vivid, either. A big part of it is the simple fact that his wealth of talent allows him to adapt to the subject matter with ease. Chris is a guy who specializes in everything.
The Pride, Alexi-Kaye Campbell’s award winning, era-hopping play about societal issues and acceptance, continues Richmond Triangle Players’s 20th Anniversary season beginning Thursday April 4. It will run Thursday through Saturday evenings at 8pm through April 27th.
So I checked my email one day and came across an email from an emcee named Louie P. I thought he was from RVA until I did my research on him and learned that he is actually from Rockland, New York--but that's OK. We don’t just talk RVA here, we talk Hip Hop nationally. I took a listen and instantly became a fan.