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From day one (April 2005) we set out to lend voice to a subdued creative class of Richmond. RVA has succeeded in creating a brand that searches out the best artists, ideas, events, bands, photographers and culture-jammers Richmond has to offer and gives them a platform for exhibition that "gets" them.
Access to talented and creative people is to modern business what access to coal and iron ore was to steelmaking. --Richard Florida, economist and author
In a city best known for it's role in the Civil War (insert eye-rolling here,) the battle to be bigger than our past has been formidable. For generations, city leaders have banked on the faded silver of dubious honors - Capital of the Confederacy etc, and ignored the 21st (and 20th) centuries.
With world-class schools such as VCU growing organically on their own record of excellence, media giants like the Martin Agency cementing their footprint in our cobblestones, and Fortune 100 companies relocating to attract the hordes of creatives emerging here, Richmond is exploding. New construction and development is rampant in heretofore decaying downtown retail and nightlife centers.
City government has aligned itself to a more liberal, open-minded culture of inclusion and exploration. Much like Brooklyn in the late nineties and Silverlake/Echo Park in the early aughties, entire neighborhoods are being overhauled to keep up with the influx of wealthy young professionals with entertainment and fashion needs. Lofts, marinas, from-scratch entertainment districts, clubs, music venues and galleries have been sprouting like weeds, offering the promise of a sustainable population more likely to relocate to New York or Los Angeles in years past. Cultural optimism is at a high and only growing more intense.
Ahhh, spring in Richmond. That brief time when you can go outside without a pea-coat or melting into a heap of sweat and sagging skin. To commemorate the experience, we’re once again bringing you the adventures of them crazy Books On Wheels kids, investigating the suspicious do-goodery of Tricycle Gardens, and telling you where to get your picnic vittles in this month’s Cheap Eats. Then we explore the strange parallels between Illustration and veterinary assistants, This Is How We Do It teaches you how not to get a blowjob, and we raise some hell with Josh Small and Tim Barry. Strangeness with Enon and the unassailable awesomeness of The Silent Music Revival join And Now Beating The Eardrums album reviews to rep good music hard.
WooHoo! 4 More Years! 4 More Years! And….when do we sleep? On this, our fourth anniversary, we bring you more of that beer soaked creative genius that has given us shit to write about since 2005. Crack open a celebratory cold one as Liza Kate talks about what doesn’t need to be said, a couple of Richmonders get sick as hell and search for PBR and good shows at SXSW, and May Day brings in a parade and paintings of dead white men to Repressed IV. Also: Art by Matt Lively, and Mike Moses, and the Squirrely Girls, Cheap Eats: Pizza, and Gonzo photography of what you might not remember happening at Slaughterama 6. Cheers!
Unadulterated radness, man. *rubs eyes* Richmond’s identity spreads it’s legs across our pages, not unlike the burlesque models of Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School. Young Widows make records with skulls, we hang around Chimbo with Foundation, and someone actually finds Jonathan Vassar. Pulp Tones makes sounds for our new depression, and we throw in a few album reviews of no one’s humble opinion. Then we get you some of that gooood shit by Klutch and Genevieve Castree, and of course lots of sexy people modeling clothes in trashcan alleys.
In this issue RVA holds hands with the nation and looks both ways before jumping into the street and dancing in celebration of the new Commander In Chief, who, perhaps most importantly, is not George Bush. In completely related news Mike Rutz and Talia Miller talk about sex, and why we can’t talk about it, discussions with Brainworms, Fucked Up, and The Hot Seats (who believe it or not, are all bands), a glance at the art of Tyler Thomas, and why Sweet Tease Burlesque needs a long, long bath in a very tiny tub. Also, the first installment of Identity: Richmond and fashionable photos of drunks, acid freaks, and um, ghosts?
Apparently in 2008 Richmond’s brain exploded and splattered itself all over the walls and stages of our strange city. So we did what any self-respecting publication would do, and sopped up the carnage with crumpled scrap paper and some photographs we found in the aftermath. The result you see before you is a culturally ADD rundown of everything you did, should have done, or better check the fuck out before the rest of the world catches on and it’s not cool anymore. Noah Scalin, WRIR, Nathan Joyce, Catalyst, Pedals On Our Pirate Ships, Tricycle Gardens, and The Ghostprint Gallery, just for a tiny taste.
Gay marriage, The Faison School for Autism, art about immigrants and slave ships, and the consummate brutality of Metalocalypse. If you want a neat presentation of a culture with common and identifiable interests, move to a city that has one. Did we mention Strike Anywhere, Lamb of God, Off With Their Heads, Greta Brinkman, and The Landmines? We can agree on one thing, Richmond, we can agree to rock. Check out the fashion spread to see how much hotter supporting local businesses makes you.