RVA Shows You Must See This Week: 2/3-2/9

by | Feb 3, 2016 | SHOW PICKS

Friday, February 5, 7 PM
WRIR Party For The Rest Of Us, feat. Brunswick, Manzara, Lucy Dacus, The Cheats Movement Podcast feat. Gritty City Records, Afro-Zen All Stars, Christi, Silent Music Revival feat. Night Idea, Coteries, Toner War, The New Loft, Half Bascule, stand-up comedy from Sarah Ahmed, Charles Ellis, Tom Hall, James Isaiah Munoz… and maybe even more than that! @ The Renaissance (107 W. Broad St) – $15 donation to WRIR

It’s the dead of winter and the prognostications going forward are so difficult that groundhogs are dying just to avoid figuring out whether the second half of winter is coming.

Friday, February 5, 7 PM
WRIR Party For The Rest Of Us, feat. Brunswick, Manzara, Lucy Dacus, The Cheats Movement Podcast feat. Gritty City Records, Afro-Zen All Stars, Christi, Silent Music Revival feat. Night Idea, Coteries, Toner War, The New Loft, Half Bascule, stand-up comedy from Sarah Ahmed, Charles Ellis, Tom Hall, James Isaiah Munoz… and maybe even more than that! @ The Renaissance (107 W. Broad St) – $15 donation to WRIR

It’s the dead of winter and the prognostications going forward are so difficult that groundhogs are dying just to avoid figuring out whether the second half of winter is coming. Trump supporters blame Microsoft for the Donald’s Iowa caucus loss, B.o.B. thinks the earth is flat and Neil DeGrasse Tyson is a charlatan, and there’s now a Tinder-style app to help women make friends with other women (I’m thinking of downloading it once it gets to Richmond, so no judgments here). This winter is gonna be the death of us all, especially if it snows again.

In the midst of all these reasons to cancel all appointments and stay in bed, along comes WRIR with a legitimately great reason to get up, put some real clothes on, emerge into the world, and be in the same room with a whole bunch of your fellow humans. Not a moment too soon, either! The 11th Annual Party For The Rest Of Us is taking over the Renaissance (it’s downtown on the Art Walk, and no, I never hear about it except when WRIR throws a party there, either) and filling multiple rooms with some amazing displays of Richmond-based musical and artistic talent of all stripes!

There’s too much to go into detail about (that would be true even if I hadn’t wasted a paragraph on how depressing everything is right now… sorry, I needed to vent), but with everything from a live episode of the Cheats Movement Podcast featuring top-flight local hip hop crew Gritty City, to the latest installment of Silent Music Revival in which Night Idea will soundtrack some prime Man Ray short films, to amazing RVA musicians of many different genres (Lucy Dacus, Manzara, Christi, Coteries, so many more), there are a million reasons for you to spend 5 or so hours on Friday night immersing yourself into this outstanding party. Plus, your $15 donation upon entry goes to keep WRIR on the air for another awesome year. If you’re like me, they’re the station on your clock radio and the first push-button preset in your car, so you know how valuable this station is for local culture! Come support it, come enjoy it, come forget all the reasons why this world is a hopeless ball of dust being flung through space towards certain oblivion… at least for one night.

Wednesday, February 3, 9 PM
Sisters Of Your Sunshine Vapor, HeadlessMantis, Shadow Age, DJ Slimehole @ Strange Matter – $7

All right, everybody, get PSYCHED for this one! Sisters Of Your Sunshine Vapor have a very apt name, so if you looked at that five-word phrase and thought about watching shimmering haze drift up from desert sands on a hundred-degree day when you’ve engaged in some lysergic ingestions, then you’re on the right path. If you like the idea of an unholy cross between Brian Jonestown Massacre, the MC5, and the Doors at their horror-movie scariest, this band is gonna make you very happy. These Detroit maniacs are pulling into town tonight to take Strange Matter on a galactic head trip, so you should definitely be along for the ride.

HeadlessMantis will also be performing on this bill, and this local trio have a pretty fuzzed-out rock n’ roll sound of their own. More stoned-out than astral-plane-faring, these guys pull from rock n’ roll’s weirdest roots, putting The Cramps and The White Stripes through a filter of freakout punk and bizarro experiemental touches. Then Shadow Age will take us all into the cold, grey darkness of postpunk and fogged-out goth sounds. It’s a haze of a completely different composition, but just as fascinating and worth your time. DJ Slimehole, aka local promoter whiz Mark Osborne (at least, I think it’s Mark), will get things started with some deep cuts from his extensive vinyl collection. Get your spacesuit on and make your way down to Strange Matter tonight.

Thursday, February 4, 9 PM
William Tyler, Dave Watkins, Black Water Gold, Nic Perea @ Strange Matter – $10 in advance/$12 at the door (order tickets here: https://williamtylerrva.eventbrite.com/)

From the wilds of interstellar space to the arboreal mystery of old Appalachia, Strange Matter is going quite a distance in a mere 24 hours. But showing up two nights in a row is definitely the move this week, as Nashville guitar genius William Tyler will be in the house. Grabbing a lot of attention in the experimental music world with his 2013 second album, Impossible Truth, released by Merge Records, Tyler’s shown himself to be a worthy successor to the American primitive legacy of acoustic explorers like John Fahey and Jack Rose. He’s worked with artists like Lambchop and the Silver Jews, too, so you know this dude’s got cred.

Tyler will be joined on this bill by a leading light of the local experimental folk scene, Dave Watkins. Watkins has drawn a lot of attention around RVA in recent years not only for his excellent production work and his collaborative projects involving many other talented local musicians, but for his solo work in which he walks the line between ambient experimentation and straightforward old-time folk influence. Watkins is the perfect pairing for Tyler’s deeply rooted guitar genius, and with opening sets from Black Water Gold and Nic Perea (performing solo, though you may know his work fronting local indie-pop combo Camp Howard better), this is sure to be an evening of pleasantly immersive sounds.

Friday, February 5, 9 PM
Cut The Architect’s Hand, Venomspitter, Head To Wall @ Wonderland – $5

Has this been a frustrating week for you? Do you feel the need to close it out by releasing some pent-up aggression through the cathartic expenditure of headbanging energy? If so, the perfect show for you is taking place this Friday night at Wonderland. A trio of powerful, emotionally-driven, yet still heavy as fuck bands from right here in RVA will be taking the stage at this most beloved of local dive bars to blast all of us through the back wall and help to relieve the stress of our everyday lives.

Cut The Architect’s Hand will be capping off the evening with a set of groove-laden, midtempo riffs that will get you moshing for sure. But before they get going, you’ll also get a hellacious treat from blackened hardcore fiends Venomspitter, who crank up the speed and energy to make your teeth rattle in your skull (hopefully not due to any errant spinkicks–keep an eye out). Head To Wall will start the evening with some sounds that make perfect sense coming from a band who named themselves after a Quicksand song–heavy, downcast, but at the same time, strongly melodic and full of emotion. Life will go back to being a total jerk on Monday morning (if not before that), but you can at least get some moments’ respite this Friday night at Wonderland. Do it up–you’ll be glad you did.

Saturday, February 6, 8 PM
Zvi, Doubtfire, Slowers @ Gallery 5 – $5 donation for touring band requested

One thing you can definitely plan for when you see that a bill is topped by a member of Kayo Dot’s other band is that you’re gonna get some experimental awesomeness. Kayo Dot guitarist Ron Varod records in his spare time as Zvi, and he’s just about to release a brand new album called Death Stops Us All. It’s not out yet, and probably won’t be by Saturday (though who knows, advance copies may be for sale at the merch table–I’d check, is what I’m saying). But you can stream it online, and I must say, it’s pretty epic. The three-song, nearly 40-minute album shifts back and forth across its lengthy epics from quiet, foreboding ambient-guitar passages to horrifying blasts of screaming noise–and this is all within the space of one song. Expect similar dynamic shifts and overall intensity from Zvi’s performance at Gallery 5 this Saturday night, and expect it to blow your hair back for sure.

You’ll get some pretty great local openers for this evening’s festivities as well. Doubtfire are a bit of a local prog/math supergroup, especially in the wake of their recent addition of former Navi guitarist Jon Hawkins on various electronic noisemakers. With members of Night Idea, Hellbear, and Dumb Waiter filling out the lineup, and a focused mission to deliver pounding yet complex metal intensity to the masses, this group is one to catch ASAP. Slowers, featuring former members of Snack Truck, and still no web presence so I can figure out anything more than that about them, will kick things off. And really, any band with ex-members of Snack Truck is a very safe bet–so show up on time for this one.


A quick note before we go on: the Gallery 5 show featuring Gemtone and Frankie Martinez that I wrote about two weeks ago, which was postponed due to Snowmageddon, will be taking place this Sunday, February 7, at Gallery 5. Check that out if it’s up your alley. Or, alternately, you can dig THIS Sunday show…

Sunday, February 7, 10 PM
Sea Of Storms, Park Sparrows @ Bandito’s – Free!

Super Bowl Sunday, y’all. Tons of dudes (of all genders) will be hanging out this evening, screaming at televisions and consuming mass quantities of beer and nachos, along with many other delicious and decadent food products. But if you’re the sort of person who is way into beer and nachos but can’t really keep your attention focused on super-expensive high-profile sporting events, then Bandito’s is the place for you this evening! By 10 PM, the game will be drawing to an exciting conclusion, but those of you who are yawning at the very thought can take your beer and nachos into the other room and watch a couple of rad bands take your mind off sports with some gruffly melodic punk rock.

Sea Of Storms are your headliners for the evening, and if you’ve heard their debut full length from last year, Dead Weight, then you know just what a powerful punch this trio’s music packs. Expect to feel some serious feelings when these guys hit you with incredible tunes like “Belly Full Of Bones” and “Cedar Run.” Park Sparrows, meanwhile, is much newer on the scene. However, with their lineup drawing together formidable talents from past Richmond greats like Strike Anywhere, Freeman, Scarlet, and many more, it’s no surprise that their recently released demo reveals a band already at the top of their game. This is a double-shot of awesomeness for all those who love the classic emotional-punk sounds of bands like Avail and Hot Water Music. Yes, the sound is still alive. Turn off the game and come see for yourself.

Monday, February 8, 7 PM
Killmama, Ultra Flake, Magnus Lush @ Gallery 5 – $5 donation for touring band requested

These days if you’re playing straight-up raw rock n’ roll it seems like bass is a mostly optional instrument. I say this because there are a lot of bands running around these days cranking out wild and outstanding noise with just a guitar and a drum kit. To that list, you can add the name of Florida’s Killmama, which brings together the grunge-blues guitar talents of Rob Kingsley together with the drum annihilation and wailing vocal prowess of Sophie Sputnik to create some really solid garage-rock bangers. Their latest EP, Soft Cookies, might from its title lead you to expect something less than full on rock power, but one listen will cure you of that misconception right quick.

These guys will fit right in with Richmond ragers Ultra Flake, whose demo hasn’t left my car tape deck since I bought it from them at the Bad Girls Revue show last Monday. There are some unexpectedly complex and unusual riffs thrown into the mix from these guys, but in the end, this is some straight-ahead hardcore punk of the catchiest kind, featuring dirty rock n’ roll riffs sped up to a thousand miles per hour and some entertaining lyrical real talk that pulls no punches. I can’t get enough of these guys right now, so expect me to be in the front row for their set (in case you feel like throwing a beer can at the back of my head). Magnus Lush, the latest excellent post-hardcore offering from former Fire Bison frontwoman Adrienne Shurte, will kick this off with some truly stellar jams. Expect this whole show to rule–because it will.

Tuesday, February 9, 8 PM
Community Center, Swamp Candy, Fool’s Errand @ The Camel – $5 in advance/$7 at the door (order tickets HERE)

Let’s end this week’s column with a big production, shall we? Community Center, a half-dozen member band from Baltimore who regularly utilizes instruments running the gamut from accordion to violin to clarinet, will be coming to RVA this Tuesday evening, and installing their menagerie of instrumental goodness onstage at The Camel. Calling themselves “chamber rock,” Community Center makes a really good argument for the inclusion of classical instruments into indie-rock compositional modes–songs like “Go East” and “Evergreen” demonstrate just how much variety and intensity a band can generate when they’ve got over a dozen instruments (plus several different vocalists) at their disposal. With opening sets from two RVA bands featuring unique sounds of their own–Swamp Candy’s deep-blues gutbucket stomp, and Fool’s Errand’s klezmer/Americana/worldwide-folk hybrid awesomeness, this should be a really fun show all around. And it’ll definitely bring you some sounds unlike anything else you’ve heard around town lately. Maybe it’ll even lift your spirits–god knows we all need a little of 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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