Friday, November 13, 9 PM
Shy Low, Night Idea, Clair Morgan @ Strange Matter – $7
Let us once again celebrate the breadth and diversity of the RVA music scene.
Friday, November 13, 9 PM
Shy Low, Night Idea, Clair Morgan @ Strange Matter – $7
Let us once again celebrate the breadth and diversity of the RVA music scene. On this night, local instrumental post-rockers Shy Low are bringing the world their latest journey into the musical depths, an LP known as Hiraeth. Apparently this Welsh word has no direct English translation, although the band isn’t going full Sigur Ros “Hopelandic” by using it as a title, helpfully offering an explanation of the term: “the oppressive guilt associated with memories now passed; the bitter remembrance of joyous occasions that can never be revisited.”
Does that sound like a huge bummer to anyone else? Well don’t worry, because the release party happening at Strange Matter on Friday night will be a joyous occasion. Not only will it offer RVA fans their first chance to pick up the new Shy Low album, the band will be premiering the release with a full set of glorious new tunes, which take this quartet’s sound to the next level of epic transcendence and instrumental glory. Expect hints of Explosions In The Sky, Godspeed You Black Emperor, Mogwai, and This Will Destroy You, but with a unique creative twist that only these local heroes can provide. It’s gonna be loud, it’s gonna be heavy, and it’s gonna be transcendent.
It will be heralded by predictably excellent sets from two other great Richmond local bands as well. First, Clair Morgan–who have a highly anticipated new LP of their own on the way–will bring a set of power-pop goodness to the stage to kick the whole evening off. Then things will get cranked up a notch with a set from cerebral math-rock auteurs Night Idea (I’ve heard rumors about a new album from this crew as well–sounds good to me). Finally, Shy Low will bring Hiraeth to life before your very eyes. And afterwards, you’ll be able to grab a copy of this slab of vinyl brilliance in one of two brilliant colors. There were four, but the other two sold out in pre-orders, so you better seize the opportunity while you have it! Enjoy the sounds this evening, and many evenings to come.
Wednesday, November 11, 9 PM
Those Manic Seas, Atlas Bloom @ Balliceaux – $5
They’re back! Those Manic Seas–the complex, technically precise power-pop band who’ve been making waves around RVA for years–have spent the past two months taking their act on the road and winning over converts all over the country. Now these four young men, only one of which has a television for a head, have returned home to let their hometown know how much they missed it, and you’ll be able to see them take to their favorite RVA stage once again tonight at Balliceaux.
We still haven’t heard the band’s long-heralded debut full-length, though the first single, “Outlier,” is available for streaming over at their bandcamp. It therefore seems likely that attendees of this particular show will hear a whole bunch of new material, finely-honed from months on the road and ready to be presented in top form to an appreciative audience. New York/New Jersey alt-rockers Atlas Bloom will be along for the ride, presenting music that should bring joy to anyone who digs TMS’s excellent brand of tuneful hooks. So come welcome the hometown residents back, and check out the great dudes they brought with them, at Balliceaux tonight. It’ll be a blast.
Thursday, November 12, 9 PM
Moving Units, Toxic Moxie, Nude Photos Of Celebrities @ Strange Matter – $10 (order tickets here: https://movingunits.eventbrite.com/)
There’ve been a whole ton of dance-punk bands in the world since the dawning of the new millennium seemingly inspired a 1977-based revival in which that era’s two most prominent genres somehow fused into one magnificent beast. However, if you really want to get the best of what any genre has to offer, you can’t go wrong by going to the originator. Along with The Rapture and maybe LCD Soundsystem, nobody else has a better claim to this title than Moving Units. Beginning their recording career with a self-titled EP and a full-length, Dangerous Dreams, on legendary California postpunk label Three One G, this band has only gotten more creative, exotic, and fascinating over the ensuing decade of their continuing career.
Now they’re coming to Richmond to make all the local punk kids dance–and I for one have no doubt that some of the most excited people in all of RVA about this are the members of Toxic Moxie. After all, their undeniably powerful disco-punk jams clearly draw some inspiration from the work of Moving Units. But RVA lucks out doubly in this case, since Toxic Moxie have shown in detail on the three EPs they’ve released thus far that they can craft solid, powerful tunes to get a whole venue on their feet with just as much aplomb as Moving Units themselves. With a great opening set from Nude Photos Of Celebrities also on tap, this show is a triple threat! Make sure you look good on the dancefloor… but wear some comfortable shoes.
Friday, November 13, 7 PM
Brad Perry’s Birthday Celebration, feat. Reconciled World (Operation Ivy tribute band), Plain Scrap, Hugh Wells, DJ Dead God @ Gallery 5 – $5
There’s a birthday party happening at Gallery 5 Friday night, and everyone’s invited. I don’t know whether you’re good friends with Brad Perry, but even if you’ve never had the pleasure of meeting him, you’re sure to have heard his drumming on albums by Worn In Red, Forensics, and other great local bands. He’s hitting 40, a big milestone for someone still as actively involved in the DIY punk scene as he is (and one I’ll be hitting in a few months myself), and the best way to help this awesome dude have a great birthday is to come out to Gallery 5 on Friday night and party with him!
Brad’s the man of the hour in more ways than one, as he’ll be singing for the headlining band on this bill. Reconciled World is actually an Operation Ivy tribute band, featuring members of Worn In Red, Sea Of Storms, and more–and we all love Operation Ivy, right? Oh, don’t even front, I know you’ve owned Energy on CD since you were 14. Sadly, Florida’s Army Of Ponch, who were originally scheduled to play this show, will be unable to make it (that would have been so cool–I last saw them at a basement show in 2001 or something crazy like that). Thankfully, local punks Plain Scrap are taking their place on the bill to rock us all in fine fashion. With the evening rounded out by a set from C-ville metalheads Hugh Wells (featuring members of Corsair and A Cosmonaut’s Ruin, among other Charlottesville luminaries) and a dance party featuring tunes from DJ Dead God (how’s that for an awesome DJ name?), this is gonna be a truly classic shindig! Come tell Brad he’s awesome (because he is), then stick around for an awesome evening of fun times!
Saturday, November 14, 8:30 PM & 11 PM
No BS! Brass Band Brass Knuckles CD Release Party @ Balliceaux – $10 in advance/$15 at the door (order tickets for early show HERE or late show HERE)
Oh my goodness. It might not be true to say that No BS! Brass Band are as well-known as the most famous bands to ever come out of RVA–at least not yet. But this dozen-member brass/percussion collective is doing their level best to make their mark on the world at large–and even without the appearances at NPR, Forbes, and other national publications, the local scene has long since embraced this funky jazz crew (with hip hop and punk rock touches, of course), and learned that packing into whatever club No BS! are tearing down that night is always the right move.
Perhaps this is the reason that No BS! Brass Band were able to stage not one, not two, but FOUR different record release celebrations for their brand new CD, Brass Knuckles, over the course of this week. And even if you take my advice and catch other shows on Thursday and Friday night, you’ll still have two different opportunities to see them light up the stage at Balliceaux on Saturday night. Whether you’re a relatively early-to-bed sort of person or a major night owl, there’s a gig that’s right for you on this night, and you’ll score one of the first opportunities to pick up a copy of Brass Knuckles for your very own. Plus, you’ll get what sure looks like it’ll be about 90 minutes (if not more) of pure No BS! awesomeness. And you already know how much that rules. Make it happen.
Sunday, November 15, 9 PM
Manic & The Depressives, The Mold, The Nervous Ticks, Ultra Flake @ 25 Watt – $6
All right, we’ve talked about a lot of good music so far this week, and like almost all good music being made in the year 2015, all of it has had at least some basis in or tangential connection to punk rock. But none of it has been what I would actually call punk rock–until now. This show is punk as fuck and it’s going to rule. And of course, it’s at 25 Watt, the one place in town that’s neither Strange Matter nor somebody’s house that you can rely on to bring you great punk shows on a regular basis.
This Sunday night, they’ve got two raging, spitting, and totally rad punk bands from Florida for your listening pleasure. Manic & The Depressives are as young, loud, and snotty as they come, but rather than sounding like the Dead Boys, I’d say they’re closer to the Misfits crossed with the Adolescents–only featuring a female vocalist about 50% of the time (always a plus). The Mold have a less typical lineup, replacing the usual lead guitar with a keyboard for some Lost Sounds-ish post-Devo antisocial noise, complete with hella vocal reverb. These two killer bands are joined by two more killer bands of RVA’s finest: The Nervous Ticks–whose ultra-primitive Cramps-damaged mountain stomp (plus occasional stabs of synth damage) should need no introduction at this point–and Ultra Flake–who carry on the tradition of wild-ass female-fronted garage punk/old-school HC from their former bands, Bitchmouth and Hot Dolphin. Yes indeed, this will definitely rule. Come prepared to pogo.
Monday, November 16, 7 PM
Priests, Shopping, Dazeases, California Death @ Strange Matter – $8 in advance/$10 day of show (order tickets here: https://priests.eventbrite.com/)
Hey, one good punk show deserves another, right? Sunday night’s down n’ dirty street-level punk show meets a slightly more glammed-up version of the genre from which all modern musical awesomeness originates (I’m sorta kidding, but only sorta) on Monday night at Strange Matter. I think this is probably the third time in the past 12 months or so that I’ve told you to go see Priests, and if you haven’t taken the hint by now, well frankly, I’m starting to despair of you. But you can still be redeemed if you act now–after all, Priests are carrying on the legacy of the Riot Grrrl sound, while taking the punk feminism of the 90s in a more inclusive, intersectional direction, and why wouldn’t you want to be down with that? Get on the bandwagon before it’s even more crowded.
And make sure you’re in the house for Shopping as well, because unlike Priests, this UK band doesn’t hit RVA every four months or so. Their sound is less Riot Grrrl and more Rip It Up And Start Again, by which I mean the excellent Simon Reynolds book chronicling the history of postpunk in the late 70s and early 80s. That book brought a bunch of bands that sounded kinda like Shopping into my life–Delta 5, The Au Pairs, Gang Of Four, the first few Scritti Politti EPs (yes, they started out a punk rock band–“Perfect Way” fans, find their song “Hegemony” and be blown away. But I digress). Shopping updates that strangely nervous, funk-influenced brand of scratchy dubby postpunk for a 21st century where alienation is the norm. Meanwhile, local opener Dazeases is a solo performer bringing her own twist to R&B with an obvious DIY sensibility, and is 100% worth your time. The bill is rounded out by up-and-coming psych-rockers California Death, who contrary to their name are from right here in RVA. This show is gonna be the bomb. Be there.
Tuesday, November 17, 9 PM
King Buffalo, Book Of Wyrms, Sacred Teachers, Melt @ Strange Matter – $7
Doom metal. Dude, it’s a thing. And I get the appeal–after all, like any fan of good music, I own copies of the first six Black Sabbath albums. But it can be tough after 45 years of this sound existing to make it still seem as exciting and fresh as it no doubt did back when Black Sabbath first cranked out that immortal tritone. King Buffalo, who hail from New York, have gotten a good deal of the way there with some serious prog infusions into their thundering boogie riffs. And it definitely doesn’t hurt that the singer’s voice reminds me of Ozzy’s on those immortal early LPs.
Meanwhile, Book Of Wyrms continues to build their local profile with yet another killer show opening for some awesome doom bands. They aren’t just awesome by association, though–these members of Bearstorm and Divine Suffering have some heavy, ominous, and powerful riffs in their arsenal, and they aren’t afraid to belabor the point by whaling you over the head with one or two of them for up to 10 minutes at a time. Expect some invigorating awesomeness (in slow motion, of course) from this local crew–along with a low-key but very real 5-year anniversary celebration for singer Sarah Moore Lindsey’s blog, Sounds Of RVA. Come get a koozie or a sticker and let Sarah know you appreciate her work–because god knows I do. Local rock n’ roll wildmen Sacred Teachers and brand new RVA doom merchants Melt will open things up. Headbanging is definitely on the menu.
Should I be posting about your show? Make sure I know it’s happening–email me: [email protected]