Posted by: Necci – Jul 05, 2012
The only problem with Richmond in the summer (besides the humidity, if you're one of those people), is that there is TOO MUCH to do to be able to do everything. Having the luxury of choosing from so many genres of music to get drunk to is something we often do not recognize until we've left Richmond. Similarly, we do not fully appreciate electricity until it is ripped mercilessly from our sweaty little palms. These bands are helping to keep our brains cool until the weather can follow:
Photo by Nicole Irene
Be forewarned: there is a mega-band from RVA playing @ The Camel Sunday (7/8) that's about to blow your minds. James Wallace and the Naked Light features familiar faces from the Richmond music scene. Sounds of RVA took some time to break it all down with James Wallace:
How did you get together with Matt White and other Richmond musicians?
It starts with Pinson [Chanselle]. I met him during my year at VCU, back in 2002. I was amazed by his drumming, and kept up to date with him and his projects even after I transferred to Appalachian State. In 2006, just before moving to China for a while, I spent a few weeks in Richmond, where Pinson invited me out to Poe's Pub to see his band, The Great White Jenkins. It was completely unexpected, game-changing. It was like I'd been searching and waiting to hear that particular sound for so long, and they'd been developing it all along. When I returned from China in 2007 and moved to Nashville, I began hailing for Pinson to get the boys to play there. It eventually happened, a few good times, and there began my friendship with Matt White, Nate Mathews [The Moonbees], and Andy Jenkins. Not too long after, we began talking about making records and collaborating.
What influences your songwriting the most?
I'd say it's always changing. To be abstract, I'm influenced whenever I hear tones, or rhythms I feel like I've never heard before that somehow sound strange and familiar to me at the same time. That usually gets my brain going, and me motivated. I do have standards that I always refer back to for core inspiration, like early Pink Floyd, and African American Spirituals.
What have you been listening to lately? If applicable: what are you reading?
New Orleans Vocal Groups and Fats Domino. At least, that gets the day going for me this year. I also recently heard Cotton Jones and really like him. For reading, there's a book called Saguaro by Carson Mel, about a fictional rock n' roll star coming up from 60's to the present, that's short, hilarious, and fantastic.
What's next for James Wallace and the Naked Light?
The plan is to release More Strange News on vinyl in the fall, and do some more touring. Recording a new record is definitely on the table, but so far no plans have been made.
What is your current/best method to staying cool in the heat?
Watermelon. I've been working a few days a week on a vegetable farm in Tennessee. Last week, average high was 108* F. The method if I'm weeding in the corn field: eat two thick slices after each row. Makes it possible.
Describe one of your most memorable shows.
My friend Natalie Prass (another Spacebomb artist) and I put on a pretty complicated Alien-themed house party in Nashville one summer. We decorated the house like a spaceship, and informed the guests that they'd all survived the frequency of light that beamed them up, and all other members of earth had not. There was kool-aid, and we even placed placed a call to an apparently "real" cult leader. The night ended in our friend's band, The Protomen, bursting in and calling everyone to turn against the aliens by singing "End Of The Road" by Boyz II Men a capella, and walking outside, where a milk truck disguised as a space craft, toting American flags and shooting fireworks, picked up the bandmates and drove off in a flash. After that, everyone went home.
Was this year your first Bonnaroo? Would you do it again?
This was our first year officially playing the festival, though last year, my old boss and friend, Danny Clinch, had us play his photobooth party in the artist hospitality area. Unfortunately, that meant only those with special passes could attend. It was fun, but this year was way more exciting--getting to play a stage in front of hundreds of people. And yes, for what it's worth, I'd play every year if they asked me. After having worked at the festival two years in a row, and then playing, it's starting to feel more like home each time.
What are you looking forward most this summer?
This Camel show on Sunday is sort of the culmination of a road trip I'm taking from Nashville, which I've been looking forward to, so, probably hanging in Richmond and playing music with friends.
Pop punk favorite Hold Tight! has released the long-awaited Blizzard of '96, and the timing couldn't be more perfect. Not only do I not mind getting into a blizzardy mindset, but the adrenaline is a pretty good way to get through the humidity. Do you remember the blizzard of 96? I remember school was cancelled for at least a week, and I first realized that sunglasses were definitely necessary during winter. Check out "Purple Beanie" for a Foo Fighters -esque rocker transporting you through time. "Moving Day" speaks to those of us who deal with and/or cause the dreaded (revered? some dumpter divers are stoked) alley pile-ups.
Richmond's This Is Your Life has released some teaser tracks from their new album Before We Fade Away. It looks like the rest of the album is set for release on August 1st digitally, and on 12" LP September 4th, so we don't have to wait too long. Here are two tracks, "Arrivals and Departures" and "The Wall." The mixture of screamo, emo and crust is almost its own genre: creamo. [Dude, that sounds kinda gross. -ed.]
This Is Your Life is playing this Friday (7/6) @ a house show. They will be joined by The Greek Favourites (PA), Placeholder (PA/MD), Secret Plot to Destroy the Entire Universe (PA), and All the American Horses. 7 pm, $5.
Metallic Keem has made a pretty dope video that starts out little provocatively. The song, "Another Day," is from his recent (May 31) release, I.O.D.: Valium 1. The vocals are a lot higher than what one might expect, and that kicks the appeal up a notch. The camera follows Keem from waking up, taking care of business, and getting crunk to objectifying some nice-ass ladies.
Faultline is set to release The Second Coming this month, and the band has debuted the first single, "Hindsight." The video involves studio footage, and was produced by Jarrod Hoover. The heavy rock song soars with frontman El Jay Evans at the helm. His clean vocals are thick and juicy and his screaming is tasteful.
By Sarah Moore Lindsey (soundsofrva.tumblr.com)