One Way Richmond's Must-See Show Previews 8/29-9/4

Posted by: Necci – Aug 29, 2012



Friday, August 31, 10 p.m.
The Big East (photo by Jesse Meadows) @ Balliceaux - $5/21+

Eddie Prendergast of Bio Ritmo and formerly Amazing Ghost continues to astonish. The man can conjure up perfection at the blink of an eye. Prendergast’s newest concoction is the Big East. Not only is Prendergast arguably the best musician in Richmond, but my man, who represents both Miami and Richmond, is as underrated as they come. Many from Richmond are making national head way of late, but America better soon be knocking down the door to catch Mr. Prendergast. I know Richmond appreciates his truly unique sound, but Richmond always was a cut above the rest of the country in regards to understanding originally orchestrated music.

After disbanding Amazing Ghost, Prendergast surrounded himself again with a who’s who of Richmond musical talent to spread his music even wider. On drums, the great Stuart Holt of Sports Bar fame steps in. Joining Mr. Holt in the rhythm section is Nate Griffith of Flesh Mountain Boys on bass. Giving the Big East the ever so important jazz kick is Bob Miller, also from Amazing Ghost, and his luxurious horn. He’s also on keys, so watch out. Then there are two guitarists that hold up the book of Eddie Prendergast; Scott Burton and Prendergast himself.

Prendergast continues to create new material through penmanship and instruments none of us could even touch. The band name may be different, but like the sun coming up in the morning, the future of the Big East is expansion. If you’re looking for the best in midnight dancing, the Big East and Prendergast are the perfect shot callers, destined to make this Friday evening in the middle of the Fan District a perfect crescendo.

Wednesday, August 29, 8 p.m.
The Trigger System presents River City Extension, Ryan Brosmer @ The Camel - $10/All Ages.

If you are looking for a positive influence in your miserable life, then by all means check out New Jersey’s River City Extension. This 8-piece folksy indie rock band is a treasure you will conquer, as long as you show up at the Camel tonight. Uplifting would best describe RCE, after witnessing this fine band that pours out emotion that will have you rotating your gyrations. Yes, get up, get down, River City Extension is taking over this town. If glowing beauty was a band, then glowing beauty would be River City Extension.

Now, there are many cities in America that claim to be the “River City," but Richmond seems to think it’s the only one. It’s not, but the point I’m trying to make here is to forget such nonsense and see the incomparable River City Extension, as they are on tour in support of the Don't Let the Sun Go Down On Your Anger LP, which has been getting tons of positive attention. See what all the hoorah's about; slide on down to the Camel tonight.

The wonderful words through song from Ryan Brosmer open this dandy.

Thursday, August 30, 8 p.m.
Brickwall Jackson, Cook County Bluegrass @ Canal Club - $10/All Ages

Gretsch guitar loving singer-songwriter John Hudak has been around the block many times musically. Hudak has a brand of alternative country unusual in these here parts. Hudak has put together a band that has a serious approach to a style of music that gets punched around from time to time. That band is Brickwall Jackson. The line lineup is a core chemistry of solid musicians: Shane Fowlkes on drums, Johnny Hudak of course on guitar/vocals/harmonica, David Crutcher on Hammond organ, and Missy Boland on vocals.

Richmond is in dire need of Americana and country music that matters and actually turns ears. With Brickwall Jackson, this is happening. The quintet delivers the songs that embody our lives. Work, family, play, love, stress and life itself is all foreshadowed through the deep arrangements of Hudak’s songwriting and through Brickwall Jackson’s marvelous accord.

Richmond should be very excited to have an honest hard working man’s band here in the city. Sometimes it’s easy to get lost in the louder shuffle this city supplies. I am just glad that a Brickwall Jackson can settle things down and give credence to where music from the soul really needs to be in our Richmond, Virginia lives.

This show is also a CD release for Brickwall Jackson’s newest album Just Life.

Friday, August 31, 6 p.m.
Randy Blythe Welcome Home & Support Show featuring Cannabis Corpse, Mensrea, Iron Reagan, Little Ozzy, Kung Fu Dykes, Throne From Royalty, Blackout Shift, Trashed Nation, Backwoods Payback, Gritter, Seraph, Gloominous Doom, Wolves & Jackals @ Canal Club - $10/All Ages

Randy Blythe is free and this show is no longer a “Free Randy Blythe” show. I think everybody is happy about that. This show is now of a “welcome home” and “support” show for Richmond’s favorite metalhead. Randy and Lamb of God have already gone back to work since Randy’s release. That just shows the hardcore blue-collar work mentality this band exemplifies. Lamb of God is straight perseverance. Nothing can stop these guys. They actually already played a couple of festivals in Iowa last week.

One of the reasons the band must be out touring currently is to recoup much of the money lost thanks to the great Czech Republic extortion campaign of 2012. Randy may be back and free, but more than likely will have to head back to Prague for a trial. Hopefully it will not come to this. Yet, Randy Blythe still needs Richmond’s metal elite and the rest of the music scene to show support. This erroneous example of injustice isn’t over, unfortunately.

The lineup for this metal force of nature is sick. The afternoon will turn to night as the heaviest, loudest, and rudest metal music your ears can imagine will be thrust upon you. This is a mandatory show, for real. Randy Blythe always has had Richmond’s back--let’s return the favor.

Saturday, September 1, 10 p.m.
The Greatest Unknown Richmond Hip Hop Collective presents A show to benefit the Katrina Jones Memorial Fund featuring P.T. Burnem, Noah-O, Just Plain Ant, The Honorable Sleaze (pictured above), Swordplay, Ice James, Goad Gatsby, Due Justice, DJ Mr. Mason Jones @ Strange Matter - $5/18+

This all-star evening of Richmond’s hip hop du jour will showcase the ultimate lineup of talent. This show is a benefit for Katrina Jones and her memorial fund. Katrina Jones was only 19 when she mysteriously passed while in Richmond City Jail. Unfortunately this event will also be a memorial show of sorts, with the untimely death of Richmond hip hop artist Kleph Dollaz.

Some of Richmond’s premiere emcees--Noah O, Sleaze, Swordplay--and Baltimore’s P.T. Burnem, along with many others, will ransack the microphone thanks to the incredible beats supplied by Just Plain Ant, Mr Mason Jones, and others. I’ve always said Richmond has an incredible underground hip hop scene. See it for yourself and pay your respects to Kleph Dollaz, as a lot of his cohorts will be in attendance tonight.

Sunday, September 2, 4 p.m.
Hard Times Cafe Flashback Benefit for the McShin Foundation featuring 3 Bad Men, Six, Jesi's Edge, Mojo Workin', Ronnie James Trio, The Revinyls, Janet Martin and Muddy Waller, The Shoulder People, Spank the Plank and Robbin Steel @ The Marquee (3015 Cutshaw Ave) - $20 Advance - / $25 Door - All Ages

You have to be an old school Richmonder to remember Hard Times. This bar/venue/restaurant, where Elephant Thai sits now, was the cathedral of night club establishments back in the 70s and 80s. Hard Times always made their customers forget the hard times and get drunk. The music was the backbone to our cherished music scene here in Richmond. Historical would be an understatement. Everyone from Black Flag to Honor Role played this joint. Anyway, it’s always nice to reminisce and get together with the old school musicians that set this scene in motion. That is happening tonight at the Marquee in the Museum District. Eight bands representing the old school are performing, and it is for a great cause. This “Flashback” event will be a museum, not because of the neighborhood it’s going to be in, but because there will be stories, and historical footnotes aplenty at this show.

Monday, September 3, 6 p.m.
Power Trip (pictured above, from, Xibalba, Alpha & Omega, Heathens, Time Ends @ Strange Matter - $10/All Ages.

Early evening hardcore and death metal is exactly what is in store for this Monday. I could not think of better styles of music to get the early week going. The hustle and bustle of the next four days prior to Friday will be set nicely in motion with violent sounds that are sure to take four days to get out of your mind. For the next few days, people are certain to sound funny, as the ringing in your ears hasn’t quite let up yet. Sometimes that’s a good feeling, you know?

Power Trip delivers the harsh speed metal meshed with a thrashing sound for all, while Xibalba’s death metal is that candy at the center that we’re always ecstatic to reach. It’s a good thing this is a hardcore show because this music is perfect for children. L.A’s Alpha & Omega’s hardcore is influenced by the likes of Cro-Mags and Crowbar. Right there, you know I’m all in.

Tuesday, September 4, 10 p.m.
Pop. 1280, Bermuda Triangles, Lost Tribe, JM/Wave @ Strange Matter - $7/18+

Something tells me that this just might be a candidate for Show of the Year. Anytime a band on the Sacred Bones label comes to town, it just seems that way. New York City’s Pop. 1280 is a grim sounding noise punk band I cannot stop listening to. This quartet of heavy morbid energy brings industrial to a punk rock party and never looks back. Touring in support of their The Horror LP, Pop. 1280 is not pop, nor Jim Thompson’s crime novel for that matter--trust me on that one. The pop actually stands for population, and my advice is the entire population of Richmond show up at this show. After a very favorable review in Pitchfork, its full steam ahead for these fabulous bastards as they’ll besiege us with raw explicit lyrics that will only get us closer to sweet negativity.

The weird scientific freak out and tropic of cancer sounds of Bermuda Triangles are opening this night of upside down stereos. It’s a sure thing that a new song will be delivered from the Bermuda Triangles tonight as this is a band that writes songs in their nightmares. Every show of theirs takes on a new meaning. The confusion is mesmerizing, as the sound is a one way ticket to the metaphysical.

Lost Tribe more than likely will headline, rightfully so, because they have to play when the night is at its darkest. I’ve run out of words to describe how shocking Lost Tribe is with their frantic, yet peaceful Goth punk that will penetrate your face. Now go see them immediately if you haven’t already. If this show’s lineup doesn’t get you out to 929 W. Grace St., then tie a couple of cinderblocks to your ankles and go jump in the James River.

By John Lewis Morgan (