RVA Shows You Must See This Week: 1/20-1/26

by | Jan 20, 2016 | SHOW PICKS

Friday, January 22, 5 PM
Third Annual Bad Girl Revue, feat. Magnus Lush, Dazeases, Blackball, I.C.E., Ultra Flake, Nosebleed, Butterfly Closure, Atta Girl @ Strange Matter – $5

It’s a new year, so you know what that means–the Bad Girls Revue at Strange Matter has returned for its third annual throwdown! This event, an annual benefit for Girls Rock RVA featuring all female-fronted bands, gets more and more awesome every year, and this time they’ve really pulled out all the stops!

Friday, January 22, 5 PM
Third Annual Bad Girl Revue, feat. Magnus Lush, Dazeases, Blackball, I.C.E., Ultra Flake, Nosebleed, Butterfly Closure, Atta Girl @ Strange Matter – $5

It’s a new year, so you know what that means–the Bad Girls Revue at Strange Matter has returned for its third annual throwdown! This event, an annual benefit for Girls Rock RVA featuring all female-fronted bands, gets more and more awesome every year, and this time they’ve really pulled out all the stops! Not only will there be an unbelievable eight bands, the evening will also begin with a mixer from 5-8 PM, during which DJs will be spinning tunes, local vendors will be selling jewelry, zines, tapes, and a whole lot of other DIY goodies, and all the awesome ladies (and other enlightened people) who make things happen in this town will get a chance to meet and mingle!

Then at 8 PM, the musical portion of the show begins (give or take a one-hour grace period to allow you to dig out of whatever snow we get and bring your ass down to Smatter already). As I have already mentioned, a ton of great bands are playing this show, and you’ll get exposed to a wide variety of femme-driven sounds from talented people both locally-based and traveling. Magnus Lush promises to be a highlight–this new band from members of Fire Bison and My Friend Kyle (he really is my friend, and probably yours too) rock hard with some Fugazi-ish post-hardcore radness. Things get a lot harsher with the Raleigh/Richmond joint effort Blackball, who’ve got a ton of speedy hardcore rage to throw into your face. DC’s I.C.E., featuring members of Pure Disgust, are meaner and heavier about it, but are also here to lay some major hardcore abuse on you.

And there’s so much more than that! Local electronic/R&B artist Dazeases will be a breath of fresh air on this mostly-pretty-angry bill, and her intense, soulful sounds are sure to move you. Ultra Flake carries on the punk rage of now-departed RVA bands Bitchmouth and Hot Dolphin, while Nosebleed is the big new sensation in old-school hardcore circles around town. Plus, there’ll be a set from the always-enjoyable twee/indie/pop-punk crew Atta Girl, and the brand new Butterfly Closure, featuring Charlanne McCarthy, formerly of Fat Spirit. It’s gonna be great! I definitely won’t miss it–after all, on a personal note, it’s my 40th birthday, and my first birthday since coming out as a girl. Honestly, I can’t think of a better way to celebrate! Even if it’s not your birthday, you should come celebrate the awesome power of rad women getting things done for themselves–because that’s always a great thing.

Wednesday, January 20, 9 PM
Guy Blakeslee, Julie Karr, Father Sunflower @ Strange Matter – $10

For those who can appreciate a modern, post-indie take on dark, spooky blues sounds, this solo appearance tonight at Strange Matter by Guy Blakeslee is certainly worth your attention. I found this dude about a decade ago when he was still fronting a band called Entrance, aka Entrance Band, which had apparently started as a solo project and evolved into a full-band stoner-blues-noise thing, which definitely made me wanna bang my head. I guess at some point since those days, Blakeslee started hungering to return to his solo roots, because in 2014, he released a solo album called Ophelia Slowly, on which he turned away from the noisier aspects of Entrance Band to create a mournful album full of downbeat psychedelic pop tunes. Now he’s on tour for that record, and coming to Strange Matter to enrapture all of his fans with his sad tunes and haunting vocals. Even if you can’t bang your head to this, you’re sure to feel some feels during his set.

A bonus for longtime RVA heads is the return of Julie Karr, who spent years gracing our local area with her amazing indie-folk tunes before decamping for her native Florida a couple of years ago. Well, just in case you haven’t already heard, Julie is back, and you’ll get a chance to welcome–and fully appreciate–her return when she opens for Guy Blakeslee tonight. Her dark tales of the small, often difficult moments in one’s emotional life will strike a chord with anyone who appreciates Blakeslee’s work, and are really worth the price of admission all on their own. And with Father Sunflower, featuring members of Antlers, Palindrone, and more, kicking off the show, you’re guaranteed a psychedelic good time. It hasn’t snowed yet, y’all–so get down to Strange Matter tonight!

Thursday, January 21, 9 PM
Funeral Chic, Joy, Burn/Ward, Venomspitter, Buzzard Dust @ Strange Matter – $7

Do you like dark, heavy hardcore? Would it be fair to even describe some of the bands you dig as… “blackened”? OK, maybe that’s a goofy term that works better for tilapia than music, but if you find these questions hitting even somewhere kinda close to home, chances are you will love the music that’s happening on Thursday night at Strange Matter. Funeral Chic are coming to town, and this band not only features members of YAITW (aka Young And In The Way). they also play some really heavy downtuned fast hardcore of the sort that will please fans of His Hero Is Gone and From Ashes Rise. They’re also bringing Joy with them, another North Carolina band who might lead you to expect from their name that they have an ounce of happiness or positivity to their sound. Well if so, that would be misleading, because this band is as ferocious as they come, and will use blast beats, harsh throaty vocals, and crunching breakdowns to tear your face right off.

There are a bunch of local bands on this bill with a similar sort of ambition. Burn/Ward have made themselves the first name in power-violence speed mania around RVA over the past couple of years, and chances are their set will feature more songs than there are minutes between its beginning and end. Expect nonstop blast beats and some incredible hyperspeed riffs from these speed demons. Venomspitter are also on the bill, and these guys have proven their own capability with brutal downtuned hardcore over the past couple of years, so get ready for them to bowl you over as well. Finally, the evening will kick off with the first public performance by Buzzard Dust, a new band with no songs online but a pedigree that definitely grabs my interest–members of Hellbear, Street Pizza, and Vorator tend to do that. Get stoked for these guys–and this whole show!

Friday, January 22, 7 PM
Fat Spirit, Pete Curry, Basmati, Fried Egg @ Hardywood – Free!

OK so yes, I already told you about an amazing show on Friday night, but if you’re one of those people who believes beer is better than girls are, you might prefer to head over to Hardywood instead. I’m kidding, of course–I love all the bands on this bill, and the fact that I already have other plans that night doesn’t mean this event won’t rule. Plus it’s actually free–though I guess the beer isn’t, so either way you’ll have to scrape up a few bucks from someplace.

You’re guaranteed some great music, though, and that’s what it’s really all about, right? Fat Spirit are your headliners for this show, and this band has survived the loss of co-founder Charlanne McCarthy and written a whole new set of tunes to wow you with. Their New Years Day performance at Gallery 5 was stunning, and chances are this set will only be an improvement over that fine debut. Pete Curry is an up-and-coming solo artist with some fine tunes–and some advice on love (wink wink)–for all you music fans out there. Basmati will grace your ears with some melodically-driven math-rock, and Fried Egg will get shit started with some angry old-school hardcore the likes of which they don’t often get over there at Hardywood. This will be a ton of fun, and I’m actually bummed I can’t be in two places at once on this fine evening! God, what if I could do that ALL THE TIME? I could be eating at Taco Bell right now, while I’m writing this column. Make it happen for me, science!

Saturday, January 23, 5 PM
The Ar-Kaics, Lady God, Passing Phases @ Hardywood – Free!

You know, for a person who’s literally never tasted beer (except during makeout sessions with drinkers), I send y’all over to Hardywood an awful lot. And I think that proves that this brewery is doing something right–after all, they are such a consistent source of cool hangs and great entertainment that even an avowed teetotaler like myself finds reasons to head over there at least once a week or so. This weekend, we’ve got two great reasons in the space of two days–and this one is accompanied by the release of some sort of alcohol that was dumped into barrels that used to hold some other alcohol, or something like that, I don’t even know. Whee!

What I DO know is that The Ar-Kaics are headlining this show, and with members of this outstanding throwback rock n’ roll band spread all over the state of VA these days, the average Richmonder gets way fewer chances to see them than would be ideal. So come do the twist to their excellent 60s-garage sounds, and while you’re at it, get down with the psychedelic rock n’ roll awesomeness of Lady God! This quartet is not just another typical band; from what I hear, a detailed manifesto guides their every action, and they always strive to make anything they do not just a show but an EVENT. So come see what they’ve got in store for you on this early evening at Hardywood–and check out an opening set from Passing Phases, down from the NoVA/DC area just for the occasion! This should be a lot of fun, even if not a drop of the golden brewed nectar that is Hardywood’s stock in trade crosses your lips.

Sunday, January 24, 7 PM
Gemtone, Frankie Martinez, Karacell, MAASK @ Gallery 5 – $5

It’s been great over the last several months seeing a bunch of scenes crop up around town focusing on styles of music that previously didn’t have a local underground network to speak of. From death metal to hip hop, I’ve been seeing a lot of DIY growth locally lately, and it makes me really happy. The recent trend in local electronic music has involved a similar movement, and Gemtone has been right at the center of a lot of it. The solo project of musician Rachel Ludwig, who is also known around town for her work with the performance art group Community Room, Gemtone is a spooky ambient pop project that somewhat reminds me of Grimes or Default Genders, only with a significant amount of 70s German cosmische sounds (think Tangerine Dream or Klaus Schulze) stirred in. It’s weird, it’s hypnotic, it’s fascinating, and anyone who is still kinda bummed that Negative Gemini moved to NYC should basically get hip to the whole Gemtone thing ASAP.

For this show at Gallery 5, Rachel’s brought together a bunch of like-minded friends to present an evening of queer/femme electronic sounds, which will also feature a set from hyperactive DC/RVA dance artist Frankie Martinez, who describes his stuff as “rainforest pop” in a strangely apt use of unexpected adjectives. Norfolk’s Karacell will also be performing, and this industrial electro-pop artist has been known to cover Daniel Johnston, so I’m already stoked. The mysterious MAASK will open things up with some bass-heavy electro-noise (or something like that), and Cell Saga will spin tunes between sets to keep the sounds flowing throughout the evening. This night of wonderful weirdness will be a perfect antidote to whatever amount of snow you have to kick through to make it to Gallery 5 by Sunday night, so come warm your hands over the digital glow.

Tuesday, January 26, 9 PM
Tennison, Sidewalk Chalk @ The Camel – $7 (order tickets HERE)

Maybe it’s the weather, or the general post-Christmas doldrums, but things are a little sparse in the live music scene around the beginning of next week. I literally could not find a show happening locally on Monday night, and if there’s much more happening on Tuesday besides this jam at The Camel, I don’t know about it. Fortunately, if you can find one good show on an evening, that’s all you need, and this is definitely going to be a good–no, a GREAT show!

Tennison have gone from being a surprising new musical element on the Richmond scene to becoming a reliable name on the local hip hop scene in under a year, but when you’ve got Tennishu, aka Marcus Tenney of No BS! Brass, on the rhymes, and DJ Harrison, aka Devonne Harris of Butcher Brown, on production, you know you’re getting some high-quality hip hop. This duo does not disappoint, living up to the hype on their recent debut album, Crack Music, and bringing it to the people whenever they perform. Chicago’s Sidewalk Chalk also returns to RVA this fine evening, and the fact that they, like Jellowstone Records, are associated with the Ropeadope label speaks very well for them. And that’s before you even check out their gorgeous, body-moving take on funk, soul, jazz, and hip hop, all of which they combine into something smooth, engaging, and very real. It’s sure to move you, so move yourself down to the Camel on Tuesday night, and let these talented music-makers take care of the rest.


Should I be posting about your show? Make sure I know it’s happening–email me: andrew@rvamag.com (but please don’t call me Andrew, it’s not my name anymore… delicate situation, I know…)

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.

more in music

Finding My Way to Tommy Stinson and Peter Jesperson

As any exciting story begins, it was a Monday night and my plans had just been canceled. With the news of my new availability, I decided to take up a friend on an offer. The scene takes me to a familiar spot, a beautiful home across the river with a small lit sign...

Wave That Flag! Richmond’s Pride 2024 Events Are Here to Slay

We are a little late on this but Virginia Pride has unveiled the schedule for its annual "Endless Summer of Pride" campaign, a celebration of the Richmond region's LGBTQ community. The campaign kicked off on May 31 with a pride flag-raising ceremony at City Hall,...

Mdou Moctar, Los Malcriados & Kendall Street Company: Sound Check

It's a busy time of year, with kids getting out school, vacations being planned who knows what else on the docket, but that doesn't mean you can't time for a little music in your life. All over the city all week long you can find it if you're looking, but let me give...

Sir Chloe, Charged Up Fest & IONNA: Sound Check

The energy in the city is palpable as the Memorial Day has passed, the cultural summer is officially in full swing and music is everywhere. This week Friday Cheers is back on with Sir Chloe headlining backed up by Richmond's very own Prabir Trio and Miami's Deaux...