RVA Shows You Must See This Week: 11/19-11/25

by | Nov 19, 2014 | SHOW PICKS

Stay Sweet Presents: A Say-10 Records Anniversary Party
Friday, November 21, 4 PM
Tim Barry, Smoke Or Fire, Erik Peterson (Mischief Brew), Chumped, Landmines, Pedals On Our Pirate Ships, Timeshares, The Scandals, Divided Heaven, Kyle Oppold (Arliss Nancy), Jake Mayday, Concord America
Saturday, November 22, 11 AM
Iron Chic, Night Birds, Spraynard, Iron Reagan, Pears, Brutal Youth, Hold Tight, Daycare Swindlers, Teen Death, Entropy, Let It Go, Invaluable, This Is Your Life, Seagulls, Static Scene, Close Talker, Oklahoma Car Crash, Sundials, Trust Fall, Puddle Splasher
@ The Broadberry – $25 per day, $40/weekend pass (order tickets HERE)

Well, we didn’t get a Stay Sweet Fest this year, but with this two-day party happening, how can we really complain? Say-10 Records proprietor Adam Gecking has joined forces with Stay Sweet’s Alex Wilhelm to make Say-10’s 7th anniversary one to remember!

Stay Sweet Presents: A Say-10 Records Anniversary Party
Friday, November 21, 4 PM
Tim Barry, Smoke Or Fire, Erik Peterson (Mischief Brew), Chumped, Landmines, Pedals On Our Pirate Ships, Timeshares, The Scandals, Divided Heaven, Kyle Oppold (Arliss Nancy), Jake Mayday, Concord America
Saturday, November 22, 11 AM
Iron Chic, Night Birds, Spraynard, Iron Reagan, Pears, Brutal Youth, Hold Tight, Daycare Swindlers, Teen Death, Entropy, Let It Go, Invaluable, This Is Your Life, Seagulls, Static Scene, Close Talker, Oklahoma Car Crash, Sundials, Trust Fall, Puddle Splasher
@ The Broadberry – $25 per day, $40/weekend pass (order tickets HERE)

Well, we didn’t get a Stay Sweet Fest this year, but with this two-day party happening, how can we really complain? Say-10 Records proprietor Adam Gecking has joined forces with Stay Sweet’s Alex Wilhelm to make Say-10’s 7th anniversary one to remember! This two-day festival of punk rock bands, taking place at the Broadberry this Friday and Saturday, features more musicians than you can shake a stick at (I don’t know, it’s just something my mom always says) and is sure to have something for everyone somewhere on the bill.

We really need to spotlight the presence of Tim Barry in the final slot on Friday night, though. Originally known as the vocalist for RVA punk legends Avail, Barry’s had a second career over the past decade or so as an acoustic artist who integrates the superior melodic sense he always demonstrated in Avail with a rootsy, countrified twang and a stripped-down musical approach. Barry’s sixth album, Lost & Rootless, will be out very soon–it actually drops on Black Friday, which is only a little bit over a week away–and based on the title track/first single, it sounds like it’ll bring us another heaping helping of classic wistful, acoustic tunes. We’re not really sure what sort of backing band–if any–Barry will bring with him to the Broadberry Friday night, but regardless, you can expect a great mix of old and new tunes to raise your glass to and sing along with.

But that is just the tip of the iceberg where this two-day embarrassment of punk rock riches is concerned. From the opposite end of the spectrum, you’ll get thrashcore sensations Iron Reagan blowing everyone away late Saturday evening, as well as sets from local favorites like Hold Tight, Sundials, Close Talker, and Pedals On Our Pirate Ships. Uber-rare appearances from other well-loved local bands, including Smoke Or Fire, Landmines, and This Is Your Life, will also mark definite highlights. And of course there are some great bands from all over the country rolling into town for this occasion, from Brooklyn’s Chumped (whose brand new album is causing quite a stir) to the reformed and still awesome Pennsylvania band Spraynard. Plus 20 more bands (seriously, I counted). It’s gonna be outstanding, you should be there!

Wednesday, November 19, 10 PM
Lightfields, Imaginary Sons @ Emilio’s – Free!

The unglamorous truth of the music business is that for most bands, it takes years of toiling away in obscurity before anyone starts paying attention to you. This might seem like a bad thing while you’re in the middle of it, but often, those early years of slowly forming and evolving their sound are a blessing for a band, giving them plenty of time to get all the pieces and place and be ready for the eyes of the world once they turn the band’s way. Lightfields is a great example of what I’m talking about; after five years as a band, they’ve finally really started to take off this year. And it’s perfect timing for them–they’ve recently pulled together the best lineup they’ve ever had, and they recently released their first full-length album, which spotlights all of the best aspects of the sound they’ve spent half a decade solidifying.

If you’ve only been hearing their name for the past six months or so, you might be surprised to hear that they’re celebrating their fifth anniversary as a band tonight. But trust me, you’re just in time. And you can find that out by coming out to Emilio’s and catching a free performance that’s sure to knock your socks off. And stick with them, because the next five years are sure to be even better. Imaginary Sons, who’ve been around a lot less than five years but already have quite a bit to offer in terms of danceable high-energy rock n’ roll, will kick this shindig off in fine fashion.

Thursday, November 20, 7 PM
Real Friends, Neck Deep, Cruel Hand, Have Mercy @ The Broadberry – $15 (order tickets HERE)

You guys, I won’t lie to you–my primary association with Real Friends is a specific friend of mine who loves to put on their records, specifically their 2012 Acoustic Songs EP, when she’s depressed. But I’m not making fun of her by any means–honestly, this band is pretty much perfect for those sorts of moments. Their downhearted, minor chord-laden take on pop-punk, featuring lyrics like “I’ll keep sleeping sideways in my empty bed to fill up the lonely space” and “I’m really just a kid who’s stuck with all the fucked up stuff that comes with life,” is pretty on point where all that scary shit everyone goes through when you’re trying to figure out how to be an adult is concerned. And the secret that no one tells you is that those fears never really go away. You get older and think, “Shouldn’t I have had all this stuff figured out by now?” And then you put on that depressing pop-punk record your friend likes to listen to at times like this, and you totally, totally get it.

But this Thursday night, let’s not all sit at home alone in front of our computers streaming sad songs on Bandcamp–let’s go out to the Broadberry and all be sad together! That always makes it at least a little better, right? And if you don’t identify with anything I wrote in the last paragraph and a half, don’t panic–there are plenty of other moods represented on this show. UK stars Neck Deep will be along, attempting to break through in America with their chunky yet ridiculously catchy brand of melodic hardcore. Or if that’s still not heavy enough for you, Cruel Hand’s got some outright mosh-it-up hardcore jams (with just a touch of rock n’ roll swagger) to deliver to you. Baltimore’s Have Mercy, who have the same name as a Baltimore thrash band who were on Combat Records in the 80s but are decidedly not the same band at all, will kick things off with some Citizen-style melancholy post-hardcore.

Friday, November 21, 7 PM
Face Melt Friday XXIII feat. Aaron Brown, Ace Of Spades, Big Redd, Big Show The Rapper, Black Liquid, Chris Bad News Haskins, Cooley, Falmouf, Goad Gatsby, Jae Dilly, Last 8th, Par K The Halph Breed, Reppa Ton, Sleaze, Slim Kartel, Supa Soop, Tai Wo, The New Juice Crew, Tru Nyce (Tru Fresh Digital), Yung Yankee, with music by Swerve 36 & Bandolero @ Strange Matter – $3 in advance/$5 at the door

It’s not just punk rockers who have a bonanza of amazing sounds laid out before them this Friday night. The entire Richmond hip hop scene should be on high alert, because Black Liquid and The New Juice Crew have returned with another mindblowing edition of Face Melt Friday. Hip hop shows certainly work differently than I’m used to, because if I ever saw a bill with 20 performers on it for a punk or metal show, I’d assume it was starting at noon. Instead, Black Liquid and the gang are planning to feature 20 artists in the space of about 6 hours, for what sounds like it’ll be a total sensory overload of the best possible kind. Bandolero of The New Juice Crew and RVA hip hop elder statesman Swerve 36 will be keeping the music bumping all night as a lengthy procession of rappers pass the mic and show off their skills.

Who will those rappers be? Well of course you can expect sets from both Black Liquid as a solo artist and the entirety of the New Juice Crew. Fiona Apple samples and Big Daddy Kane/Kool G Rap influenced rhymes will abound. Then there’s former Just Plain Sounds emcee/producer Sleaze, who’s bound to drop a ton of knowledge on all you upstart younguns when he grabs the mic. Yung Yankee will be in the building, representing Charged Up Ent and his recently released mixtape, Versatile. Chris Haskins of YFD will be on hand, which seems like good news to me, though his new stage name says otherwise. And of course Goad Gatsby, who’s drawn some attention lately by protesting the protests by fans of the Confederate flag, will be demonstrating his actual musical talent, showing that he’s more than just a guy with a really great idea for making obnoxious people look bad. There’s a ton more coming for this show, I can’t possibly get through it all, but if you head down to Strange Matter Friday night, you’ll get a six-hour primer on pretty much everything that’s happening in local hip hop. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

Saturday, November 22, 5 PM
The Young Sinclairs, The Invasion, Grass Panther @ Hardywood – Free!

These Saturday evening musical showcases over at Hardywood are becoming a pretty reliable guarantee of great music, which is lovely. If you’re looking for a good guide to what’s happening on the local and regional underground rock scene, you could do a lot worse than heading over there on Saturday afternoons and seeing what you can see. Plus, there’s a lot of really high quality craft beer available for consumption, which I’m told sweetens the entire experience quite a bit (though I really wouldn’t know, myself).

If you head over this week, you’ll get to catch up with The Young Sinclairs, a Roanoke-based garage-rock group led by Samuel Lunsford and featuring the talents of Diamond Center guitarist Kyle Harris. These guys are just as good as another great VA band, The Ar-Kaics, at channeling the spirit of all those classic mid-60s Nuggets and bringing them forward into the 21st century to get you dancing once again. Get ready for some serious fun while these guys are onstage. The Invasion are a newer band who are shooting for a similar goal, though they’re aiming more for the British 60s sound (Beatles and Stones?). Considering that they feature members of Diamond Center and Young Sinclairs as well as RPG, I’m guessing that the talent level here is going to be through the roof. The afternoon will start off with a set from Michael Harl of Canary Oh Canary’s garage rock project, Grass Panther. And if you want it to, it can also start off with Hardywood Beer and food from Southern Charm BBQ Company. Which sounds like a good idea to me.

Sunday, November 23, 9 PM
Wizard Rifle, New Turks, Prayer Group, Health Crash @ Strange Matter – $7

Doom metal. Noise rock. Wizards. A legacy as a two-piece (though there are actually three of them these days). It seems like Wizard’s Rifle have everything they need to succeed here in RVA in their bag of tricks–even that sweet painted van you can see in the photo above (have you looked at that photo? It’s awesome). They’ve just released their first album as a trio, Here In The Deadlights (which is a Stephen King reference, though they may not want me to tell you that), earlier this month, and Noisey loves the first single from the album, “Crystal Witch”–as do I. These guys have a hybrid sound that simultaneously evokes Karp, Black Sabbath, and the Melvins, so clearly that rainy Pacific Northwest doom sensibility is still alive and well in these guys, even if they did move to LA last year.

They’ll be joined at Strange Matter this Sunday night by New Turks, who continue their reign as the go-to band when you need bass-heavy noise rock in RVA. I saw these guys play a killer set last week that included a cover of Unwound’s “Lucky Acid,” so I’m even more of a fan now than I already was. Expect great things, y’all. I konw a good bit less about openers Prayer Group and Health Crash, but considering that the former features ex-members of Gifts From Enola and Equestrians and the latter features ex-members of Rat Meat, indications seem good. Get stoked!

Monday, November 24, 7 PM
Raven, Night Demon, Humungus, Twisted Tower Dire @ Strange Matter – $12 in advance/$15 day of show (order tickets here: https://athleticrock.eventbrite.com/)

If I tell you that 40-year metal veterans Raven like to call their upbeat brand of NWOBHM “athletic rock,” you might find yourself thinking, “what, like Godsmack and Five Finger Death Punch?” But don’t panic, true believer, because that shit is what’s known as “active rock,” and athletic rock is tons more awesome than that. Raven started in the mid-70s, when the early metal bands were still mostly specializing in Sabbath-style head-pounding sluggishness. The brothers Gallagher had a lot more energy than all that, and started playing upbeat heavy-guitar jams driven by galloping drums. They also became big fans of ending verses with falsetto screams, which rules. Now, over three decades after Raven released their first album, 1981’s Rock Until You Drop, John and Mark Gallagher (bass/vocals and guitar, respectively) are still going strong, and former Pentagram drummer Joe Hasselvander, who’s been with them since the late 80s, is still backing them up. With over a dozen albums to pull from, these guys are sure to unleash a set full of classic metal winners and rock you all night long!

Califonia’s Night Demon are on tour with Raven for this one, and while they may not be four-decade veterans or first wave pioneers, these guys have definitely done their homework and are prepared to bring you some classic early 80s metal sounds. Put it this way–if you found a song by these guys on side two of Metal Massacre Vol. 6 (right after “Bombs Of Death” by Hirax), you’d be ready to hunt down their other records. Local ragers Humungus will fit right in on this bill, of course. So will the excellently named Twisted Tower Dire, who sure know how to make an awesome flyer, as you can see above.

Tuesday, November 25, 9 PM
Slingshot Dakota, Dinner And A Suit, The Weak Days, Walter Jr @ Strange Matter – $8

In a world where male/female keyboard/drum duos like Mates Of State and Matt & Kim are already quite well-known, Slingshot Dakota sets themselves apart. Signed to Topshelf Records, the duo of Carly Commando and Tom Patterson have quite a bit more emotional range than you might expect when you’ve only seen pictures of their band. Their most recent album, 2012’s Dark Hearts, moves from wistfully catchy tunes to sad, stripped-down ballads and back, thankfully never veering into cloying terrain. Based on the song they’ve recently released on Bandcamp from their upcoming fourth album, it seems like these guys are continuing to add depth and complexity to their music, without sacrificing an ounce of their songwriting talent and memorable hooks. Hopefully their set will contain even more great new material for all of us to enjoy!

Slingshot Dakota will be accompanied on this tour by Nashville’s Dinner And A Suit, who have a more conventional lineup (two guitars, bass, drums) and a really polished emo-rock sound that is really flashy on record but will probably be perfect once you get these guys onto a stage and playing live. RVA band The Weak Days, who are just starting out but have released an EP featuring the memorably titled “Has Anyone Gotten An Angry Text From Ron Yet?” and are in my good books based on that fact alone, will also be playing this show. The whole thing will open up with a set from Walter Jr, about whom I know absolutely nothing. But this evening’s going to be great overall, so you should definitely show up and enjoy it!


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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