RVA Shows You Must See This Week: 12/2-12/8

by | Dec 2, 2015 | SHOW PICKS

Saturday, December 5, 8 PM
The Dream Syndicate, Stephen McCarthy & Friends, The Green Hearts @ Strange Matter – $15 (order tickets HERE)

The Dream Syndicate’s show at Strange Matter this Saturday is an important event not just in the RVA music scene but in the music world in general.

Saturday, December 5, 8 PM
The Dream Syndicate, Stephen McCarthy & Friends, The Green Hearts @ Strange Matter – $15 (order tickets HERE)

The Dream Syndicate’s show at Strange Matter this Saturday is an important event not just in the RVA music scene but in the music world in general. This legendary psychedelic postpunk band, from LA’s Paisley Underground scene of the early to mid 80s, have cast a very long shadow in the years since they released their debut album, The Days Of Wine And Roses, in 1982. Filtering the droning noise of The Velvet Underground and Neil Young’s Crazy Horse through a dark, iconoclastic worldview, Steve Wynn and co. showed the world how psychedelic guitar freakouts could be brought forward from the acid-drenched 60s. To this day, tunes like “Tell Me When It’s Over,” “John Coltrane Stereo Blues,” and “The Days Of Wine And Roses” show their influence in the work of bands who make adventurous, psychedelic rock n’ roll music.

After releasing four great albums, The Dream Syndicate broke up in 1989. Singer/guitarist Steve Wynn has had a noteworthy solo career since then, and even made some Richmond connections with his brief time in the rock n’ roll supergroup Gutterball, which also featured local rock heroes Bryan Harvey and Johnny Hott of House Of Freaks. In the last few years, though, Wynn has reformed The Dream Syndicate with original drummer Dennis Duck, longtime bassist Mark Walton, and lead guitarist Jason Victor (who played with Wynn in the Miracle 3). They’ve done tours and festival gigs here and there, but now they’re working on some new recordings, and apparently they’re doing so right here in RVA! And to our great good fortune, we’re getting a one-time local club gig out of it.

Seriously, this is going to be fucking amazing. I for one was only 13 when The Dream Syndicate recorded their legendary final stand Live At Raji’s in an LA club, and I can’t wait to finally watch these guys do their thing in an intimate atmosphere. If you care at all about guitar-based psychedelic music, you really want to be there too–and you should probably grab a ticket right now, because god knows this will sell out in advance. It’s a miracle that it hasn’t already! There’s also the bonus that we’ll get a solo set from Wynn’s former Gutterball bandmate Stephen McCarthy, who’s more legendary for his tenure leading fellow Paisley Underground guitar-slingers the Long Ryders. Plus we’ll hear from RVA garage-pop crew The Green Hearts to start things off. But seriously, this night is all about the Dream Syndicate. See you there? I better!

Wednesday, December 2, 8 PM
Marques Berry, Jake Barkley, The Pack 5, Ataraxis The Ace, Alfred @ Strange Matter – $5

For all y’all who crave the beats and rhymes in your life, tonight’s the night to head over to Strange Matter. There’s some fine local hip hop happening over there this evening, and the bill is headed up by Marques Berry. This RVA MC has been getting props for a while lately, and showed what he has to offer this year with the release of The Grey Album. Berry’s equally talented with rapping and singing, and he uses his facility with both to push his well-constructed, emotionally-centered lyrics to the fore. Live, he’s bound to tear it up.

He’ll be joined by several other local standouts, including Jake Barkley, who is a talented rapper in his own right. I’ve been hearing some buzz lately about Ataraxis The Ace, and Alfred comes out of nowhere with some weird yet cool sounds that are sure to turn your head around. And of course The Pack 5, about whom I know very little (but I like what I heard on their soundcloud), will also be on the scene. Finally, the evening will begin with a 45-minute open mic portion–and who knows what you’ll hear then! Regardless of how that whole segment turns out, this should be a great evening for fine local hip hop sounds–so blow off studying for exams for one night and come out!

Thursday, December 3, 6 PM
Deicide, Season Of Suffering, Genocide Pact, Battlemaster, Unsacred @ The Broadberry – $18 in advance/$20 day of show (order tickets HERE)

The prim and proper civic leader types around RVA better tread a little more carefully this Thursday night, because Deicide will be in town! This legendary band, one of the best to emerge from Florida during death metal’s early-90s golden age, have always proudly proclaimed their allegiance to the dark lord below in songs like “Blame It On God,” “Behead The Prophet,” and “Christ Denied”–singer/bassist Glen Benton even drew a lot of attention back in the early 90s for having an upside-down cross branded into his forehead. If that sounds played out to you, think again–Deicide’s brutal growling screams, vicious shredding riffs, and rumbling double-bass drums will still knock you down on contact. And we can imagine there’ll be plenty of contact in the pit at the Broadberry this Thursday night.

Deicide is joined on their current tour by Oregon’s Season Of Suffering. If Deicide bring the old-fashioned face-grinding Satanic torture, Season Of Suffering have a more modern and technically-inclined approach to beating you down with their brutal death metal power. Both are guaranteed to rule, though, and that’s what really matters! DC’s Genocide Pact is also on the bill, bringing the sort of punk-infused downtuned brutality that we’ve come to expect from any band signed to A389 Recordings. RVA fiends Battlemaster and Unsacred, who local showgoers should recognize as some of the most talented current performers in the local metal scene, will kick things off. And it will rule.

Friday, December 4, 7 PM
Yuletide Monsters 2: A Krampus Art Show, feat. Night Idea, Pissing Contest, Todd Matthews @ Gallery 5 – Free!

The local folks responsible for Krampusnacht have been doing a great deal over the past few years to increase local visibility for Santa’s demonic evil twin, and I don’t think I’m alone when I say that it rules. This year, they’ll be taking over Gallery 5 on First Friday–the night before the terrifyingly awesome Krampus Walk hits Carytown–with a group art show featuring many different interpretations of Krampus from a ton of local artists–people like Will Towles, Mickael Broth, Oura Sananikone, Bizhan Khodabandeh, and so many more there isn’t space to list them all!

But you know me, I’m in it for the music, and this will be a night of sweet tuneage at Gallery 5 as well. Of course, local math-rockin’ melodic geniuses Night Idea are headlining the evening, so you know you’re in good hands. This band has become a mainstay around town over the past couple of years, and their songcraft proves that they deserve every bit of the attention they’ve been getting. If you haven’t seen them live yet, you really need to correct that oversight–and what better opportunity to do so than at the close of a free art show? You’ll also be getting sets from metallic punkers Pissing Contest and My Darling Fury bassist Todd Matthews, who’ll bring his strangely compelling solo shenanigans to the stage for a rare live appearance. It’s going to be a great night!

Saturday, December 5, 8 PM
Kaoru Nagisa (Photo by Jake Cunningham), Van Hagar, Truman @ Circle Thrift – $3 (suggested donation)

I don’t know if anyone has noticed, but I’ve been making it my mission over the past six months or so to get more local music fans to pay attention to the RVA screamo scene. Or whatever you wanna call it–I’m the first to admit that “screamo” is a really annoying word. But to my discriminating ears, the mixture of metallic guitars, emotional hardcore rage, and surprisingly melodic post-rock cinemascapes creates a sound that is worth anyone’s time, no matter what its exponents may choose to call it. So listen–the Dream Syndicate show will probably sell out. It may sell out by the time you read this! If you don’t manage to grab a ticket, you really can’t go wrong by heading down to Circle Thrift and catching a bunch of local screamo bands for roughly 1/5 the ticket price. Seriously, that’s a steal.

Kaoru Nagisa will make the trip over to the Arts District worth your time all by themselves. This band has almost as many singers (three) as it has instrument-players (five), and they know how to bash out the minute-long blurts of raging noise with the best of them. Their set at Swamp Fest ended with one of the guitar players destroying his guitar–not even on purpose, Pete Townshend-style, but purely by accident because he was rocking out so hard. These guys are a legitimate phenomenon, and you’ve got to see them live to really get the full impact of what they’re doing. So hey–do that shit. And while you’re at it, catch up with some power-violence sounds courtesy of recently-arrived local transplants Van Hagar. Truman will kick things off with some powerful screamo/hardcore noise guaranteed to blow you away. Get down with it.

Sunday, December 6, 5 PM
The Acacia Strain, Counterparts, Fit For An Autopsy, Kublai Khan, Captive Eyes, Seraph, Subvert @ The Canal Club – $15 in advance/$18 at the door (order tickets HERE)

The awesome power of deathcore will reveal itself to the full extent at The Canal Club this Sunday night, and you’d better batten the hatches! The Acacia Strain kinda invented this sound, downtuning to ridiculous extents and coming up with the sorts of riffs often referred to within the scene as “brown note breakdowns” by people who I guess don’t understand what a brown note actually does? The Acacia Strain won’t make you poop your pants, is what I’m saying–they’ll just make you bang your head. Hard, and in slow motion. And you’ll probably be ducking somebody’s foot while they do a spinkick, if you’re standing close enough to the front. But whatever, it’s all part of the show.

This is a hell of a show, too. Acacia Strain are worth your price of admission on their own, but that’s far from the only band you’ll get! They’re on tour with three other bands, all of whom have their own awesomeness to offer. Counterparts do that melodic-metalcore thing that Underoath perfected a decade ago with an adeptness that will make you forget how bummed you are that Underoath broke up. Fit For An Autopsy straddle the line between deathcore and outright death metal, plus they throw in some sick thrashing brutality. Their new record, Absolute Hope Absolute Hell, pretty much slays, so I’m expecting no less from their live set. Kublai Khan rounds out the touring portion of the bill with some super-metallic hardcore that makes me think of Harm’s Way. Locals Captive Eyes, Seraph, and Subvert will also contribute sets, for an evening overloaded with downtuned mosh brilliance!

Monday, December 7, 8 PM
Red Light Rodeo (Photo by Two Spoons Photography), Dharma Bombs, Wester Green @ Strange Matter – $7

Let’s switch it up, y’all. Like a lot. Like, I’m about to recommend that you go see a band who literally do not have a drummer. No no, don’t scroll! This is cool stuff! Red Light Rodeo are an old-time Appalachian string band of the sort that helped pave the way for bluegrass; the modern legacy can be seen in excellent groups like Old Crow Medicine Show and the Carolina Chocolate Drops, and Red Light Rodeo are keeping it alive right here in RVA. These guys have the DIY underground spirit too, exemplified by their recent release “Gallow Bird,” a 7 inch EP with red vinyl and lovely artwork by local tattoo artist Katie Davis. I’m not sure they have copies left, but even if you don’t get a chance to pick one up, you should certainly come dig the fine tunes they’ve got for you.

The Dharma Bombs are on a similar tip–no drums, though they do bust out spoons as a percussion instrument on occasion. And they holler loud, play their stringed instruments with plenty of passion, and generally bring a modern punk sensibility to some classic old-time string band music. They’ll be playing with Red Light Rodeo this Monday night at Strange Matter, as will be Wester Green, a group I don’t know too much about and who appear to use at least a small drum kit but who should fit in well on this bill with their brand of melancholy indie-folk. You probably need a night where you can leave your earplugs at home after all the metal I’ve been subjecting you to this week, right? This is your opportunity to hear some great music without getting blown out of the room.

Tuesday, December 8, 7 PM
Dazeases, Gemtone, Yonder, MNLV+Chi @ Gallery 5 – $5

This show also promises some more contemplative, less loud sounds, though in a far different manner than the previous one. At Gallery 5 this Tuesday night, you’ll hear an evening of sounds from solo female producers who use electronic technology to produce their music. Dazeases tops the bill, and it’s very apt to see her there, considering that over the past year, she’s become the first name in RVA electronic pop music. With the passion and power London Perry puts into her vocal performance, combined with the layered musical backdrops she creates, Dazeases has a lot going on; if you have a heart, I’m sure you will be moved by it.

I’ve been hearing whispers about what Gemtone’s been quietly putting together in her secluded home studio for a while now, but with the recent release of her Thru False Walls EP, all has been revealed. Within the murky mixture I hear elements of Sigur Ros, Tangerine Dream, and assorted horror movie soundtracks. How Gemtone’s enveloping atmospheres will manifest themselves in a live environment remains to be seen, but if nothing else I hope she does her AFI cover. There will also be a set from Yonder, and a collaborative set from MNLV (pronounced “mini-love”) and Chi; I’m less familiar with these performers, but I’m expecting awesomeness based on what I’ve heard on Soundcloud. The whole night is sure to please anyone who enjoys experimental electronic sounds with pop, R&B, and indie influences–and who doesn’t dig that?


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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