RVA Shows You Must See This Week: 11/18-11/24

by | Nov 17, 2015 | SHOW PICKS

Saturday, November 21, 8 PM
Night Birds, Iron Reagan, Red Death, Cross Eyed @ En Su Boca – $8

One of the two hottest punk rock tickets in town this week (more about the other one later) is happening at En Su Boca Saturday night–and it’s guaranteed to be a total mess, in the best possible way.

Saturday, November 21, 8 PM
Night Birds, Iron Reagan, Red Death, Cross Eyed @ En Su Boca – $8

One of the two hottest punk rock tickets in town this week (more about the other one later) is happening at En Su Boca Saturday night–and it’s guaranteed to be a total mess, in the best possible way. Every once in a while, someone sets up a show that everybody can tell is going to be wild, out-of-control chaos from minute one in a space where even a relatively sedate show is going to result in close quarters and potential for mayhem. I remember having to help run a DS-13/9 Shocks Terror show in an anarchist bookstore back in 2001 and being terrified the whole night. The place was still standing at the end of the night, and I’m sure everyone in this town has enough respect for the gloriousness of tacos to ensure En Su Boca’s still standing by 2 AM Sunday morning–but beyond that, I’m thinking all bets are off.

The occasion here is a party to celebrate the release of Mutiny At Muscle Beach by New Jersey’s Night Birds–which just hit the streets courtesy of Fat Wreck Chords. Its mix of classic West Coast skate punk (a la the Adolescents or Agent Orange) and hyperspeed melodic hardcore is a ton of fun and sure to get the crowd to go wild when these guys kick off their set. I’m not really sure why this band from several hours north of here is throwing a record release party here in RVA, but when it’s going to result in this much fun, why worry about it?

In addition to a blast of fun mayhem from Night Birds, you can also expect some down-home local goodness of the slightly more metallic variety from RVA’s own Iron Reagan. It’s no surprise to find Tony Foresta right in the middle of a night of absolute chaos like this (anyone who remembers that Municipal Waste show at Wonderland a few years ago knows what I’m talking about), but wherever you find Tony, you’re gonna find some kickass crossover-style metallic hardcore, and this night will be no exception. DC hardcore kids Red Death and local melodic punks Cross Eyed get this thing going, so show up early and get stoked–after all, if you aren’t there when the first band starts, chances are you’re not gonna get in at all. And you don’t wanna miss this.

Wednesday, November 18, 9 PM
Scott Clark 4tet (photo by Lauren Serpa), Brian Jones, JC Kuhl @ Balliceaux – Free!

It’s a big night for jazz here in RVA tonight. The Scott Clark 4tet, led by drummer Scott Clark–who you may recognize from Natalie Prass’s backing band–has just released their latest CD, Bury My Heart, on Clean Feed Records, and they’ll be celebrating tonight with an evening of beautiful instrumental music. Clark’s latest project has been years in the making, and draws from his Native American heritage to mingle indigenous American music with the wild improvisation of jazz greats such as Albert Ayler and John Coltrane.

The album was inspired by Dee Brown’s literary classic, Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee, a history of Native American conflicts in the American West with the encroaching United States government. Clark and co. both intend to memorialize the pain and loss chronicled in that book as well as inspiring feelings of healing and future inspiration. They’ll bring all of these complex feelings to life at Balliceaux tonight. The show kicks off with an opening set from the talented duo of Brian Jones & JC Kuhl, both former members of Agents Of Good Roots and onetime members of avant-garde legend Jandek’s backing band. Then the Scott Clark 4tet will bring Bury My Heart to life. They’ll also have copies of the album on hand for sale, so you can relive the live performance to your heart’s content.

Thursday, November 19, 8 PM
Zack Mexico, ET Anderson, Manzara, The Milkstains @ Strange Matter – $7

Thursday night, a couple of crews from the wilds of the Carolinas come to RVA to enlighten us all with their lovely noise. Zack Mexico and ET Anderson both sound like names of individual people–Zack Mexico makes me think of a mysterious, charismatic character with a long coat and access to drugs you’ve barely heard of, while ET Anderson sounds more like a middle-aged guy with a 30 year old pickup who hangs out in the general store in a small Appalachian town. But no, these are both bands; Zack Mexico plays spacey psychedelia that should appeal to local fans of the much-beloved Diamond Center. They just followed up their 2014 debut full-length, Run Out Of Money And Die, with a brand new album called Get Rich And Live Forever–I for one much prefer the latter as a potential life path.

Meanwhile, ET Anderson–which may actually be the name of the leader of this band, though if so, he’s definitely much younger and more charismatic than what I’d imagined–comes to town in support of their brand new second album, ET2. This unique collection dips into the worlds of psychedelic pop and lysergically-inclined R&B, resulting in a melange that should certainly appeal to fans of Tame Impala. With opening sets from local heroes Manzara and The Milkstains, this will be a show full of wild, weird rock n’ roll, so come thrill to the bizarre awesomeness on tap at Strange Matter.

Friday, November 20, 9 PM
Castle, Humungus, Bestial Evil, Dirt Merchant @ Strange Matter – $8

Old-school 80s-style power metal will reign once more at Strange Matter this Friday night, making this show the perfect end to a week that has no doubt featured its share of struggles for all of us. Castle come our way from the Bay Area, and though I can definitely tell what leads people to occasionally lump this band in with the ever-popular doom trend, I think that’s ultimately a misnomer. No, this band draws from the sort of spooky, heavy, epic-tinged metal that dominated the British scene in the early 80s–though there’s also a significant dose of mid-70s boogie thrown in there. Think Holocaust mixed with Pentagram, maybe?

Either way, you’ll need to be prepared for serious headbangs, and not just because of Castle’s set. Local 80s-throwback power metal ragers Humungus have been blowing RVA metal fans away for years with their killer riffs and wild, beer-fueled warrior metal. Now they’re finally satisfying everyone who’s been waiting years for a followup to their “Drinkin’ A Beer” single, and they’ll have copies of their new CD for sale at this show. But the opportunity to buy one of those is less than half the fun–as any local metalhead whose been paying attention knows, these guys have an incredible live set to unleash upon us all, and headbanging will be a must! With some rough death-thrash from Maryland’s Bestial Evil, and a raging stoner-ish hard rock set from RVA’s own Dirt Merchant, this show will get started in fine fashion promptly at 10 PM. Get ready to rock!

Saturday, November 21, 8 PM
Horsehead, The Bobby Thompson Project, Eric Hunter & The Distractions @ The Camel – $5 in advance/$7 at the door (order tickets HERE)

Saturday night, something interesting is going on at The Camel–and it’s not just interesting because local heroes Horsehead are so goddamn good at their personal mix of heartfelt alt-country and goodtime rock n’ roll. Apparently there was some chaos that went down the last time these fellows played a gig at The Camel, and they decided to avoid future shows within these four walls until the venue was under new management. Well, that happened as of a couple months ago, and now Horsehead has returned once more to the RVA venue where they feel most at home!

While I may not know too much about what went down the last time Horsehead appeared at The Camel (I admit it, I wasn’t there–shame on me), I do know that their fifth full-length, Casual Dracula, which came out this past summer, just might be the best stuff they’ve ever done–and anytime you’re in a position to see this band perform these tunes live, you should make that happen if you know what’s good for you. These guys will be joined on the bill by some friends with a lot of musical talent between them–DC’s The Bobby Thompson Project will be on hand, as will local boys Eric Hunter & The Distractions (who you’ve surely caught a time or two if you see Horsehead play regularly). This triumphant return to the Camel will be a blast–plus, it’ll sound great. Get your tickets now!

Sunday, November 22, 6 PM
Twitching Tongues, Harm’s Way, Homewrecker, Malice At The Palace, Mob Assault @ The Canal Club – $13 in advance/$15 day of show (order tickets HERE)

There’s a whole bunch of old-school punk and hardcore awesomeness happening here in Richmond this week, but if you’re both into hardcore and not a traditionalist, rest assured there’s plenty for you to be excited about this week as well–and pretty much all of it is happening right here on this bill, taking over the Canal Club this Sunday evening. Twitching Tongues are one of several fascinating bands who’ve appeared on the scene over the past couple of years who seem equally influenced by early 90s moshcore and the spookier bands who grew out of that scene in that era–Life Of Agony, Type O Negative, even Pantera’s more gothic moments. Brutal riffs matched with a surprising baritone croon come together to create Twitching Tongues’ signature sound, and no matter how weird it sounds from the description, rest assured it will rule live–as they proved on recent live album World War Live. Come experience it yourself!

And get several other doses of powerful metallic hardcore while you’re at it! Harm’s Way are a bit more straightforward than Twitching Tongues, setting out to do the sort of heavy mosh awesomeness that made the best Hatebreed and Throwdown records so essential. They certainly succeeded with their 2015 album Rust, and they’ll surely succeed when they take the Canal Club stage Sunday night as well. Watch out for spinkicks! Homewrecker have a darker, dirtier sound which pulls in biker-crust tinges from bands like His Hero Is Gone and Ringworm, but rest assured, opportunities for mosh will be plentiful. Up-and-coming Florida hardcore band Malice At The Palace rounds out this crop of four out-of-town bands, while new VA rippers Mob Assault start the evening off with their first live set. Do your stretches, kids, this is gonna be a long night of moshing it up!

Monday, November 23, 7 PM
Negative Approach, Child Bite, Asylum, Omega Boys, Left Cross @ Strange Matter – $12

OK, let’s be real–it just doesn’t get any better than this. One of the best and most important bands of the old-school hardcore era comes to Richmond this Monday night, and if you’re not absolutely freaking out, you’re definitely in the minority. Negative Approach’s original reign of terror in early 80s Detroit helped define the sound of American hardcore for the next three decades and beyond, and led to two classic releases–their self-titled EP, and of course the immortal Tied Down album. Since their return to action in 2006, original drummer OP Moore and legendary mic-weilding wildman John Brannon (joined by two members of Brannon’s post-NA band, Easy Action, on guitar and bass) haven’t done much of anything new–their sole release of new material, 2010’s Friends Of No One, was actually a session from 1984–but they sure have blown a lot of people’s minds with their still-totally-raging live shows. If you missed them at Best Friends Day 2010, you really can’t afford to miss them again.

Don’t get me wrong, though–there are a lot of other good reasons to come to this show. For one thing, it sees the return to our fine city of Child Bite, another Detroit band with a much less traditional sound than that of Negative Approach. Elements of the Dead Kennedys show through here, as well as weirder shit like the Crucifucks. These guys rock very hard, though–rest assured of that. Three awesome RVA hardcore bands will get this thing rolling: the Discharge/Motorhead crust n’ roll of Asylum, Omega Boys’ rollicking hardcore, and Left Cross’s metallic punk. There are no advance tickets for this once-in-a-lifetime show–because after all, if you have something better to do than stand in a long line on Grace St all afternoon, how punk could you possibly be? Get somebody to cover your shift–you don’t wanna fuck this up.

Tuesday, November 24, 9 PM
Satellite Syndicate @ The Camel – $5 (order tickets HERE)

Talented hip hop and electronic music makers will get their due this Tuesday night at The Camel. Specifically, the place is getting taken over by Satellite Syndicate, and this collective of beatmakers and producers is sure to get you dancing and make you think with their unique, unpredictable, and always-excellent beats. Who knows which of this group’s shifting and expanding lineup will make an appearance–it could be founder BSTFRND or JPS alumnus James Dangle. Perhaps rapper Doof will get in on the action, and certainly it would be cool to see ScoopKid or Sittasines. One thing’s for sure, though–the beats will be flowing, people will be dancing, and this evening will be a great way to let go of your worries and let the music flow through you. Come out to The Camel this Tuesday night, and be able to say you saw the Satellite Syndicate just before everyone was talking about them (because everyone will be, and soon).


Should I be posting about your show? Make sure I know it’s happening–email me: andrew@rvamag.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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