Thursday, October 30, 5 PM
Iron Chic, Crow Bait, Cancers, Hold Tight @ Strange Matter – $10 (order tickets here: http://ironchicrva.eventbrite.com/)
Stay Sweet Records is technically a label, but they’ve only released a couple of things over the past few years. However, I doubt most RVA residents mind, since Stay Sweet’s real area of emphasis for a long time has been bringing the best pop-punk, emo, and melodic rock n’ roll bands in the world to Richmond for kickass live shows. And now they’re doing it again, bringing in Long Island’s Iron Chic for a Devil’s Night performance we’ll not soon forget.
Thursday, October 30, 5 PM
Iron Chic, Crow Bait, Cancers, Hold Tight @ Strange Matter – $10 (order tickets here: http://ironchicrva.eventbrite.com/)
Stay Sweet Records is technically a label, but they’ve only released a couple of things over the past few years. However, I doubt most RVA residents mind, since Stay Sweet’s real area of emphasis for a long time has been bringing the best pop-punk, emo, and melodic rock n’ roll bands in the world to Richmond for kickass live shows. And now they’re doing it again, bringing in Long Island’s Iron Chic for a Devil’s Night performance we’ll not soon forget. It’s true that Iron Chic have been through Richmond once already in 2014, so this may not be quite the momentous occasion it could have been, but on the other hand, The Hotelier have been to Richmond four times this year, and I only finally caught them for the first time on Monday night at the Broadberry. So whether or not we want to admit it, some of us have surely not made it to any of their recent Richmond dates. And folks, it is time we all correct that error.
In terms of bands that have grown from the ashes of anthemic Long Island punk rockers Latterman, it often seems like RVIVR gets more attention (and not always for good reasons, either), but sonically, Iron Chic are the true standard-bearers for Latterman’s style of impossibly anthemic rock n’ roll. Their 2013 album The Constant One is full of indelible tunes you’ll never forget once you’ve heard them, and in spite of their silly song titles, the words are dead serious and will strike to the heart of any listener who has ever felt a real emotion in their lifetime. You’ll feel infinite, Perks Of Being A Wallflower-style, during this set, and who doesn’t need that from time to time? Even if you did already go to the TWIABP show earlier this week, you’re gonna need to show up for this one too.
There’ll be some change-ups on the bill too. Mike from Iron Chic has another band named Crow Bait, who have a more downbeat indie-style sound, though still full of melody and memorable tunes. They’ll be joining Iron Chic at Strange Matter, as will Georgia’s Cancers, a super-catchy grunge-pop duo with heaping doses of Veruca Salt and Lush at their more punk moments stirred into the mix. Finally, RVA favorites Hold Tight will open things up, bringing you some sweetly forlorn tunes from their new EP, I Always Leave But Never Say Goodbye. I’m sure they’ll still throw in some minute-long speed-punk blasts too, though, so don’t get too nervous.
Wednesday, October 29, 8 PM
Silent Music Revival presents The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari with live score by Bermuda Triangles @ Gallery 5 – Free!
What a perfect installment of Silent Music Revival to take place during Halloweek! As someone who has been accused of being goth a time or two, I will admit that this evening of entertainment is right up my alley, but this close to Halloween, it should really be universally fascinating. The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari is a striking and unique artifact of cinema’s earliest era, a film that brings the sensibility of German Expressionism to life in moving pictures in a way almost no other films ever have. Its jagged, unrealistic set designs and strange, overdone acting style point to a road mostly not taken by modern cinema, standing in marked contrast to the naturalistic style that’s been almost universal amongst highly regarded films of the past half-century. Plus, The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari is spooky as hell and features what many consider to be the first twist ending to appear in the medium of film, so you really should come see it if you haven’t already.
In fact, come see it even if you’ve seen it 10 times, because this showing will be unlike any other. As with all Silent Music Revival performances, this screening will feature an improvised live soundtrack from a local band. In this case, the band is Bermuda Triangles, making this a special treat for any fan of unique music with extremely diverse influences. Over the past couple of years, Bermuda Triangles have grown ever more percussion-heavy in their approach, pulling from rhythm-based styles originating in places like Africa and Indonesia, then combining them with their pre-existing experimental jazz/noise/punk fusion sound to create something unlike anything you’ve heard before. Bringing this highly unusual approach to music together with an extremely weird and rather terrifying film from a century ago could produce almost any results, but one thing we can be sure of is that it won’t be boring. So come to Gallery 5 tonight and see what happens when German Expressionist horror collides with unfettered musical experimentation. You’ll be glad you did–even if you do have to sleep with the light on tonight.
Thursday, October 30, 9 PM
Snack Truck (Photo by Todd Raviotta), Mutwawa @ Balliceaux – Free!
This week is full of Halloween-themed goodness from Jason Hodges and his many collaborators, and the fact that this show takes place only a day after Bermuda Triangles improvise a soundtrack for Cabinet of Dr. Caligari is the proof. Known unofficially as Mutwa-ween, this evening is a free program of unearthly musical delights led by the duo of Hodges and Gary Stevens. Dedicating the show to almost every creepy, cannibalistic demon entity you’ve ever heard of, from Babylonian mythology to the writings of HP Lovecraft, this noise-making duo plans to fill the evening air of Balliceaux’s back room with sounds to send chills up your spine while also making you dance in weird fashions you had no idea you were even capable of. And even if they don’t manage to summon up any powerful malevolent entities with which to possess the souls of all unwary travelers who walk down Lombardy St tomorrow night, they will be selling copies of their new self-titled tape on the Ormolycka label, so you can go home and attempt the same sorts of conjurations in the privacy of your own bedroom after the show.
But don’t get too eager to perform black magic rituals and dip out before Snack Truck takes the stage! This wild crew of noise-punk instrumentalists started out nearly a decade ago with chaotic punk-derived songs like “Terrier of the Pale Moon” and “Pheasant,” the influence of which can be heard in modern RVA bands like Navi and Dumb Waiter. Beginning with the duo of drummer Nate Rappole and guitarist Matt Krofcheck, Snack Truck eventually expanded into a dual-drum quartet with the addition of bassist Jay Moritz (Brainworms) and drummer Frayser Micou (Ultra Dolphins), before mysteriously imploding in 2010. They reappeared on the scene a year or so ago, initially as a three-piece. However, longtime Snack Truck fans should now rejoice, for this show will feature the return of Nate Rappole–who’s since gone on to solo fame under the name Gull–on second drum kit. Anyone who caught this lineup back when it was around knows how epic and intense its jams could get–and anyone who missed out on it should definitely head over to Snack Truck’s Bandcamp page, as they recently released a long-lost track from their never-before-heard 2009 recording sessions. Click that link to find out what you’re in for–then go to Balliceaux tomorrow night and let it wallop you in the face. It’ll be glorious.
Friday, October 31, 7 PM
Return Of The Living Dead Bands VI, feat. The Germs, Minutemen, Sepultura, Celtic Frost, Sex Pistols, The Stooges @ Strange Matter – Free!
Any fan of live music knows what Halloween’s all about; just as people dress up as other people, on All Hallows Eve bands dress up as other bands, learn their songs, and present performances in which they masquerade as favorite groups from days gone by. Traditionally, all Halloween shows were headlined by bands paying tribute to the ultimate Halloween-loving musical group, the Misfits. However, Return Of The Living Dead Bands ringleader Webber has been doing this for so long that he and his many collaborators have moved way beyond Misfits tributes. This year will feature some great tribute acts you’ve seen before, as well as a good many you haven’t, and the result will be an evening of punk and metal fun featuring a star-studded bill you’d never have gotten to see in real life.
Topping the bill is Germs tribute band Circle Two, who some of you may have caught at WRIR’s Monster Mashquerade last week. That’s no reason to skip out on this performance, though, as these guys are just the beginning of what’s in store. Strange Matter soundmen James Seretis and Bryan Walthall will be reprising their roles as D Boon and Mike Watt in a Minutmen tribute band that will also feature Raphael Katchinoff of The Milkstains as George Hurley. The members of Tungs will reunite with departed guitarist Alex Criqui in order to perform as The Stooges, and if Paul Himmelman doesn’t smear peanut butter on himself at some point during this performance, I will be very disappointed. With the addition of a Sepultura cover band that will completely avoid their mosh-metal/tribal-drum era in favor of the far superior speed-thrash of their earlier albums, and a Celtic Frost tribute that will hopefully do the same thing (though I have not been assured of this… if it’s all Cold Lake-era tracks I totally apologize), the metalheads among you will be satisfied, and there’s even a Sex Pistols tribute to round things out–hopefully with a minimum of actual gobs of spit, because Halloween or not, that is gross. The best part is that the whole party is free! And there’ll be a costume contest, so your zombie Danzig and slutty Creature From The Black Lagoon apparel will not go to waste. See you there!
Saturday, November 1, 8 PM
Serial Hawk, Destroyer of Light, Among The Rocks And Roots @ 25 Watt – $8
I know November 1 is supposed to be a holy day or whatever, but when you’re crawling out of bed with a headache and having to step over smashed-up pumpkins to get to your car and drive to your crappy job, it can leave you in the mood for some serious doom and gloom. Fear not, folks, because Serial Hawk are coming to town to ring in the dying days of 2014 in the properly dark and despairing fashion. This Seattle sludge trio will be hitting the stage Saturday night as close to below sea level as one can get here in RVA, on 18th St in Shockoe Bottom at new punk club 25 Watt. If you haven’t made it out to this place yet, you really should fix that, especially since getting blasted to smithereens by Serial Hawk is such a quality way to spend your Saturday night.
Austin’s Destroyers Of Light will further contribute to the dark and heavy atmosphere on Saturday night at 25 Watt. Not only is creating darkness the very theme of their band name, this band’s latest LP, Bizarre Tales Vol. 2, is full of bleak, sprawling epics telling tales of evil supernatural entities against which mere mortals are powerless. With tunes like “Year of the Witch” and “Forbidden Zombi Ritual,” these guys will not be eager to let the spirit of Halloween die for another year. Keep it alive for one more night at 25 Watt Saturday. And of course, show up on time to catch a steamrolling set from foreboding RVA bass/drum duo Among The Rocks And Roots, who will fit in perfectly with these touring behemoths of brutality.
Sunday, November 2, 7 PM
Purling Hiss, Meatbodies, Together PANGEA, AJ Davila Y Terror Amor, Mozes And The Firstborn @ Strange Matter – $12 (order tickets here: https://rockgig.eventbrite.com/)
This is going to be a packed Sunday evening, folks. Apparently two different package tours are hitting RVA on the same night, and sharing the same stage over at Strange Matter. It’s not a full-on fest, simply because no local openers were added, but this is an embarrassment of riches for local fans of wild, off-kilter rock n’ roll and the freakier end of the modern indie rock scene–so strap in, because it’s going to be a wild ride. First, we’ve got Philly’s Purling Hiss and LA’s Meatbodies, coming through town together to rock you jangly-weirdo style. Purling Hiss are from that same Philly crew that’s recently spawned The War On Drugs; they may not be as famous as that particular band, but on the other hand, dude from Sun Kil Moon also hasn’t recorded a song about how Purling Hiss should suck his cock, so I guess there are advantages as well as disadvantages there. Anyway, Purling Hiss’s new album, Weirdon, is as weird as the title would imply, but it’s also filled with catchy stoned-out tunes you’ll be unable to get out of your head, so you’re not gonna want to miss these guys.
You’re also not gonna want to miss Meatbodies, featuring Chad Ubovich of Fuzz, whose self-titled debut was one of the most fun albums I heard last year. Meatbodies’ self-titled debut is just as much fun, full of, um, fuzzy proto-metal riffs that’ll make your bagel-sized 70s headphones vibrate right off your head. So clearly it wasn’t just Ty Segall that made Fuzz great. Anyway, let’s not get too hung up on that, because there’ll also be three bands on Burger Records coming through as part of the Burger Caravan of Stars tour, and that’s just as important as the Purling Hiss/Meatbodies portion of this show! Together PANGEA celebrate the possibly-mythical unified continental plate that existed when the Earth was young by blasting out upbeat, catchy garage-rock tunes that’ll stick in your head approximately until the heat death of the universe. They’re joined by Puerto Rican garage rock superstar AJ Davila and his new band, Terror Amor, who’ll hit town just before the release of their debut LP, Beibi. Expect tunes so memorable that you’ll remember all their choruses, regardless of whether you actually understand the Spanish lyrics you’re singing along with. Belgians Mozes and the Firstborn will open up this whole shindig with some psychedelic sounds that should please fans of the Brian Jonestown Massacre or the Pretty Things. This night is basically wall-to-wall guitar genius, so don’t miss a moment of it, lest you risk being beaten by garage-rock nerds with back issues of Ugly Things (basically the same feeling as being beaten with telephone books by crooked cops–and we all know that sucks).
Monday, November 3, 7 PM
Screaming Females, Pujol, Hot Dolphin, Christi @ Strange Matter – $10 in advance/$12 day of show (order tickets here: https://screamalesrva.eventbrite.com/)
Screaming Females swing through Richmond and play Strange Matter so frequently, it’s almost more notable that it’s actually taken them 11 months to get back to town after their last appearance in late 2013. But what matters most is that they’re here, and this shred-heavy trio is ready to knock out the entire place once again. They haven’t released a studio album in two years, which seems kind of insane for a band who released five albums between 2006 and 2012, but they did release a live LP, Live At The Hideout, earlier this year, documenting their legendary prowess in the performance environment for posterity. They’ve also got a new single called “Wishing Well” that’ll be available in a tour-only vinyl edition at the show; singer/guitarist Marissa Paternoster told Rolling Stone that this track is a “family-friendly” Screaming Females tune, but I don’t think you have to worry that this show will be anything other than pure rock fury. So show up, for cryin’ out loud.
And you can enjoy some Nashville-style garage rock from Pujol while you’re at it. I know what you’re thinking–“Nashville style? Like the Grand Ol’ Opry?” Honestly, sometimes I forget that that Tennessee city is best known for its role in the country music world–these days, it’s become so synonymous in my mind with wild n’ wooly rock n’ roll that I forget all about Hank Williams and Dolly Parton and all them. (Sorry, country nerds.) Pujol are coming from more of that JEFF The Brotherhood/Turbo Fruits scene, and their latest album, Kludge, mixes raw, scrappy punk production with the kind of catchy power-pop sound that’s a lot less surprising once you hear these guys are actually signed to Saddle Creek Records. I guess a label can’t live by Bright Eyes alone, huh? Anyway, the show will also feature opening sets from local female-fronted garage-punk bands Hot Dolphin and Christi, both of whom can be safely expected to rule.
Tuesday, November 4, 9 PM
Captured By Robots, Craptain Jack & The Shmees, 6 Track Amateur @ Strange Matter – $10 (order tickets here: https://capturedbyrobots.eventbrite.com/)
Believe it or not, this evening will be headlined by a band of robots and their human slave. Yes, it’s true, Captured By Robots is a musical project led by J-Bot, who has been captured by robots and forced into fronting their robot band. Or something like that. The fact is, this isn’t the sort of show you’ll go to just because you want to hear the band’s music. Much of what Captured By Robots do musically is cover songs anyway; it’s the way they present them that’s most fascinating. This seriously is a band of robots that play guitars, drums, and other instruments–and look totally bizarre and fascinating while doing so. The whole thing has a lot of humor value as well, making this a perfect night out for anyone seeking a change of pace from the sort of rock bands you see all the time.
Two theatrically-inclined RVA bands will open up the evening as well. Craptain Jack & The Shmees were more of a legend to me than a band I was actually familiar with–until recently, all I knew was that they were the forerunners to local thrash metal shredders Humungus. These guys definitely can shred every bit as well as Humungus, but the pirate theme the band emphasizes is what really sets them apart. Well, that and the high notes. Six Track Amateur, Myles Shifflett’s ambitious solo project, will also be on the bill, presenting their humorous and oh-so-catchy pop-punk tunes about eating babies and being turned into a zombie, among other things. Considering that each of their songs has its own video, it wouldn’t be a surprise to find the show incorporating an audio-visual component as well–again, very apropos for the bill as a whole. Expect humor, theatrics, and plenty of zany entertainment from this evening–just don’t expect another typical rock show, because that’s not what you’re gonna get.
Should I be posting about your show? Make sure I know it’s happening–email me: [email protected]