RVA Shows You Must See This Week November 23 – November 29

by | Nov 23, 2022 | MUSIC

Saturday, November 26, 8 PM
Holy Roller (Photo by Joey Wharton), Chris Leggett & The Copper Line, Drew Foust @ The Camel – $12 in advance, $15 day of show (order tickets HERE)
That extended end-of-year season known as “The Holidays” has officially arrived, y’all. Tomorrow’s Thanksgiving, and Christmas music has been playing in every store you step into for at least a solid week now. We’re all making plans to head back to hometowns we haven’t seen since last year around this time, to sleep in bedrooms that still look like they did when we were seniors in high school. And the live music scene has entered its “holiday mode” — which is difficult to describe, but very easy to recognize for veteran showgoers. It’s that time of year when reunion shows and annual celebrations begin to take over the calendar, pushing current tours and new bands to the off nights of the week.

Having said all that, if a band has a strong enough following, or a powerful enough sound, there’s still a sold chance that they’ll break through the winding-down mode dominating the rest of the music world to bring a powerful new sound to the forefront. Holy Roller aren’t really “new,” in that sense — they’ve been doing their thing under their current name for about five years now, and their previous incarnation under the name Big Mama Shakes has several years of history going further back. But despite earning veteran status over the past decade, Holy Roller are a long way from a nostalgia act. And this show, acting as a launch party for not one but two brand new singles, proves it.

Don’t ask me what the new Holy Roller singles sound like; I don’t have any more of a hookup than the rest of you, so I’ll find out Saturday at the same time you do. But I can tell you that there’s a good reason to be excited about this Saturday night party, even if the new singles aren’t part of your personal calculus. That’s the fact that Holy Roller’s self-titled 2019 LP has finally been pressed to vinyl, and will be available to purchase for the first time ever. Three years later?!? I know, it’s bizarre, but as you well know, a lot has happened since 2019, and between a year and a half of pandemic-related quarantine and the fact that pressing plants take as long as a year to turn around vinyl records these days (unless you’re Adele or Harry Styles, that is), it’s kinda understandable. Whether or not you’ve heard the Holy Roller LP, this Saturday night shindig is the perfect opportunity to either familiarize or reintroduce yourself to its fun-loving yet powerful heartland indie rock n’ roll. Once you hear these guys crank out those tunes from The Camel’s stage, you’re sure to want a copy for yourself. Instead of succumbing to the holiday morass and spending your evening on your parents’ couch watching college football, come out and be part of something that’s full of life and music.

Wednesday, November 23, 8 PM
The Shack Band Presents The 10th Annual Gravy Ball, feat. The Shack Band, Pipesleeve @ The Camel – $12 in advance, $15 day of show (order tickets HERE)
As we all learned earlier this week, the night before Thanksgiving is the biggest drinking night of the year. That’s right, Drinksgiving is even sudsier and sloppier than both New Years Eve and St. Patrick’s Day! It’s sort of crazy to imagine, until you think about just how much inner strength we’re all gonna have to summon up to get through holiday dinner at the folks or the in-laws, where we’ll inevitably get dragged into some bullshit nonsense argument about pronouns or Elon Musk or whatever. If you’re the sort who partakes in such things, liquid courage is definitely called for under the circumstances.

But you don’t have to spend your personal Drinksgiving hoisting a few alongside a bunch of other downcast faces at the rail of some dive bar. Instead, you can head over to the Camel and score some tasty craft beverages in between sets from Richmond’s favorite goodtime rock n’ rollers, The Shack Band. Tonight marks their tenth annual Gravy Ball, in which they celebrate the traditions of the Thanksgiving holiday by continuing to bolster one of their own. It’s true that The Shack Band aren’t all that active anymore — the last album they released was 2014’s America. However, the quintet’s sound, which stands somewhere between classic Southern rock, psychedelic Americana, and a modern jam band feel, hasn’t aged a bit, and still makes for a great night of dancing, smiling, and feeling the vibes. Instead of drowning your sorrows tonight on Drinksgiving, why not find an uplifting approach to this sometimes-difficult holiday? The turkey’ll taste a lot better tomorrow if you spend tonight with The Shack Band at The Camel.

Friday, November 25, 8 PM
The Silo Effect, DJ Don Chirashi @ The Camel – $15 (order tickets HERE)
OK, we’ve already established it: reunion sets and holiday-themed musical celebrations are what this time of year is all about. And this Friday, it’s hard to ignore a show that fits both bills and sees Richmond’s own The Silo Effect returning to action at The Camel. I’m not sure how well The Silo Effect are known to today’s generation of young music fans, but when I first came onboard here at RVA Mag, I was the music editor, and it was hard to deny that The Silo Effect were one of the biggest bands in local music.Between their own always-animated performances and their memorable “Think Effect” collaboration with local funk band Think? The Silo Effect made a big impression on Richmond showgoers circa 2010. If you were around then, you definitely know what I’m talking about.

Musically speaking, The Silo Effect’s sound was often described with the 2010-era buzz term “jam-tronica,” and upon returning now to The Silo Effect’s 2010 LP, Treehouse, I still find that term eminently apropos. Electronic textures and bouncy beats are a constant presence within the LP’s five songs, four of which are over eight minutes long. What really makes their music stand out, though, is the ever-evolving groove, which comes together slowly over the course of each song and always elevates to psychedelic heights by the time the song has really sunk into your bones. Tracks like this lend themselves to lengthy, expansive improvisation, and that was the sort of thing that kept people so interested back in the day. The Silo Effect may have been off the local music scene for nearly a decade, but the members have continued making music in other forms, and are sure to tap right back into that energetic, memorable groove as soon as they take the stage once more. Whether you were there the first time around or have as yet never heard a note of this band’s music, you certainly should make it a point to wind up your Black Friday by heading over to The Camel and diving into their all-encompassing musical atmosphere. It’s sure to put a smile on your face.

Saturday, November 26, 6 PM
Dead Billionaires, Sifter, Tyler Meacham @ Gallery 5 – $15 (order tickets HERE)
Dead Billionaires have been around for quite a few years, but they were given a new lease on life two or so years ago when bandleader Warren Campbell and the current power-trio lineup of the group took on their current moniker and released a killer three-song EP right around the same time live music started coming back after the pandemic-induced hiatus we all had to deal with starting in March 2020. Dead Billionaires’ EP was a great soundtrack for that exuberant moment, when we all were way beyond ready to get out into the world and dance around with big grins on our faces, just enjoying being around other people. In particular, the EP’s lead track, “Engines,” was a blast of peppy indie-rock energy sure to connect with people who love bands like Cheap Trick and Sloan — bands whose songwriting talent is their calling card.

Dead Billionaires are taking their music to the next level right now; they’re in the midst of a Kickstarter campaign to independently release their first full-length album. It’s a further seven tracks of their exuberant brand of indie jangle and power-pop joy, and this Saturday night show at Gallery 5 is the trio’s attempt to take their Kickstarter beyond the digital space and into the real live world. A portion of the proceeds from this show will go toward funding Dead Billionaires Kickstarter, and ensuring that their LP will take physical form in the near future. If you’re supportive of the cause, and want to spend your Saturday night hearing some great tunes, all you’ve gotta do is go down to Gallery 5 this Saturday night, and you can enjoy sets from not just Dead Billionaires but also high-energy rockers Sifter and pop songwriting genius Tyler Meacham. But if you want to get your very own copy of the Dead Billionaires LP when it comes out, you gotta hit that Kickstarter link. They’re only pressing 300 vinyl copies — make sure you nab yours before they’re gone!

Sunday, November 27, 7 PM
Stoneburner, The Rain Within, Glass Apple Bonzai @ Fallout – $15 in advance, $20 at the door (order tickets HERE)
Sometimes it feels like every day for a week on either side of Thanksgiving has its own special holiday name. This Sunday may as well — I really have no idea. If you’re the sort of person who doesn’t honestly care, and just wants to wash the awkward vibe of the Thanksgiving weekend away with some excellent pounding noise, this Sunday night gig at Fallout is the day for you. Call it Sick-of-it Sunday, if you must. But either way, you should definitely be in the house for this performance from Baltimore project Stoneburner, which will definitely be a great palate cleanser as you prepare to go back to work.

Stoneburner is headed by Steven Archer, an industrial musician whose harsh, pounding approach is paired on his latest EP, This Machine Kills, with some in-your-face lyrical content about the many things going wrong in this country. In the EP’s liner notes, Archer explains that he’s not typically a political person, and would rather be writing about his own personal issues than having to devote three songs to castigating the many things going wrong in the United States in 2022. I gotta say I relate. What’s more, I think he might be well served to take a few more of these overly political detours, because the results on this EP are excellent. Somewhere between Land Of Rape And Honey-era Ministry and Skinny Puppy at their harshest. Typical denizens of Fallout are going to be digging this in a big way, but if you like any sort of heavy, harsh music, you should make a point to hit this gig; Stoneburner definitely has crossover appeal. So come bang your head, or stomp your shiny 20-hole Docs. If you enjoy celebrating your frustration and alienation with the mainstream world, this is your kind of party.

Monday, November 28, 7 PM
Rex Richardson’s Hard Bop Emporium @ The Camel – $10 (order tickets HERE)
We’re going to The Camel a lot this week, but why not make it one more night and hit them up on a Monday? After all, we all know that The Camel is pretty much the only venue we can trust in this fair city to bring us great music even on the quietest post-holiday weekend nights — like the post-Thanksgiving Monday in question. Here’s what’s really great about this night — it’s a jazz show, featuring a combo led by world-class jazz trumpeter Rex Richardson, who just happens to call Richmond home.

Richardson has led several groups in live dates around this town in years past, but this time he’s bringing out his Hard Bop Emporium, a group that exists in order to revive the classic three-horn sound of the 50s bop jazz era. Freddie Hubbard, Wayne Shorter, and Art Blakey are Richardson’s guiding stars in this ensemble, and while I can’t say who will be rounding out the lineup for this particular performance, the group has previously featured local jazz luminaries like Reggie Pace, Ayinde Williams, and JC Kuhl. Richardson’s clearly got some powerful names in his rolodex, so if you want to see some of the city’s best players do their memorable take on the hard bop era, you are certainly going to want to make it to The Camel this Monday night.

Tuesday, November 29, 7 PM
Godseyes, Terror Cell, Black Matter Device, Flesh Machine, Beggars @ The Camel – $10 in advance, $12 day of show (order tickets HERE)
Harsh metallic hardcore is having a bit of a moment in the Richmond underground music world right now, and I for one am here for it. I especially love that so many bands are popping up who play this type of music without immediately trying to become rock stars. Call me an old fogey if you must, but sometimes I miss the days when bands were willing to keep things at an approachable level and work on building a scene instead of just hyping themselves. That’s clearly what a lot of these new Richmond metallic hardcore bands are about. For example, take Terror Cell, who are co-headlining this show at the start of their week-long fall tour with Long Island’s Godseyes. They recently released the incredible new album, Caustic Light, and now they’re joining forces with a similarly minded DIY band from elsewhere in the country, in order to bring their music to small venues around the East Coast where people keep the music going for the love of the scene. I love that shit.

I also love Terror Cell, but that should be obvious if you read my writeup about the Caustic Light release party a few weeks back. What you may not know is that LI’s Godseyes are every bit as great, full of chaotic energy and frantic nervous tension, all of which comes out through neck-snapping mosh riffs and roaring, howling vocals sure to sear themselves on your brainpan so you’ll never forget a moment of their set. Richmond’s Black Matter Device also being on this show is risking total sensory overload, considering that they are a third equally talented band with music in much the same manic, harsh, panicky milieu. Which, to be clear, is fucking awesome. Even more awesome will be the two opening sets from Richmond-based newcomers Flesh Machine and Beggars. The former have a bit of a noise-rock feel on recently released EP Pray To The Hive, while the latter’s 2020 Scavenger EP goes for more metal riffage. All of it’s great, though. And you can see all five of these bands for ten bucks on a Tuesday night? That’s pretty damn amazing. Grab your tickets now before the word gets out too far.

Email me if you’ve got any tips for me about upcoming shows (that take place after the week this column covers -– this week’s column has obviously already been written): drew@gayrva.com

Marilyn Drew Necci

Marilyn Drew Necci

Former GayRVA editor-in-chief, RVA Magazine editor for print and web. Anxiety expert, proud trans woman, happily married.

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