Friday, March 20, 5:30 PM
The Diamond Center, Lobo Marino, Father Sunflower and the Golden Rays @ Hardywood – Free!
We’ve always known that The Diamond Center were nomads.
Friday, March 20, 5:30 PM
The Diamond Center, Lobo Marino, Father Sunflower and the Golden Rays @ Hardywood – Free!
We’ve always known that The Diamond Center were nomads. Before they settled in Richmond six or so years ago, they’d already called Athens, Georgia and Lubbock, Texas home. So it was always a possibility in the back of our minds that they’d pick up stakes and leave RVA. Once founding members Kyle Harris and Brandi Price settled in and found a home within our thriving local scene, though, this city not only accepted them as our own but made them one of the most celebrated acts to come out of Richmond in the past half-decade.
Sadly, though, that time has come to an end. The Diamond Center are returning to the arid Texas deserts that once were their home, relocating to Austin to seek their fortunes in the home of SXSW. It’s a huge loss for the Richmond music community, but let’s not dwell on the sad parts; instead, let’s celebrate the time we had with this excellent band of guitar-weilding psychedelic rangers. Their performance at Hardywood this Friday night will be the last time they take a Richmond stage as locals; tours will undoubtedly bring them back through on occasion, but who knows how long it’ll be before we get to see them again? Take the chance you have–come out to Hardywood and drink in their magnificent Mazzy Star/Brian Jonestown Massacre hybrid spacefaring desert blues one more time.
And of course, it wouldn’t be a Diamond Center show without some equally brilliant friends of theirs on the bill. Ambient/experimental duo Lobo Marino are the kind of nomads that make The Diamond Center seem like downright homebodies, but they’re actually in Richmond this week, so come see what new inspirations they’ve drawn from their most recent adventures. And of course, Father Sunflower and the Golden Rays, the latest project from Christian and Stephanie Brady (Palindrone/Meadows), will open up with more of their hypnotic psych jams, now with flute accompaniment. Oh, and on top of all this, Hardywood will have their tasting room open, Slideways Mobile Bistro will be on hand providing quality eats, AND it’s free! What more could you ask for? (Besides for The Diamond Center not to move away, of course…)
Wednesday, March 18, 9 PM
Frack Off Fest Day 6, feat. Parentheses, Furious George, Gossamer, Die Twice, Corporate Casual @ Strange Matter – $5
Frack Off Fest has been going for nearly a week now, and tonight it comes to an end with one more gig featuring a lovely selection of local and regional bands down at Strange Matter! Like I told you last week, this series of benefit shows has been organized by people attempting to stand against the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, which has the potential to disrupt ecosystems and mess up our state parks and other natural resources here in VA as well as the surrounding states. It’s a good cause, and some good bands are rallying around it!
Parentheses are at the top of the bill tonight, and they bring you a melodic math-rock sound that fits right in with a lot of those Subterranea Collective bands from around town. If you dig Fight Cloud, Night Idea, or Way Shape Or Form (who actually share a drummer with Parentheses), chances are you’re going to enjoy these guys. They’ll be joined on this bill by veteran RVA punk/folk musician Furious George, who is not to be confused with the New York punk band who played my house in 1996 and then said mean things about us in Maximum Rocknroll (jerks). Charlottesville pop-punkers Gossamer and local alt-rockers Die Twice will open things up, along with brand new band Corporate Casual, about whom I know basically nothing. Should be fun–and it goes to support NOT crapping up the local environment, so you should definitely go!
Thursday, March 19, 7 PM
Defiance Ohio, High Dive, Purple 7, Pedals On Our Pirate Ships @ The Camel – $10 (order tickets HERE)
Speaking of folk-punk (well, we were for a quick second), the kings and queens of that genre will be making their way to Richmond on Thursday night, and if you even remotely care about the mixture of catchy three-chord songwriting, old-time instrumentation, and socially conscious lyrics, you really should make your way down to the Camel and catch Defiance Ohio (I almost said you’re required by law to be there, but these anarchists probably don’t want me legally requiring my readers to do anything). It’s been a few years since this sextet released any new music, but they’ve got over a decade’s worth of classic tunes to draw from, and between their instrument-switching ways and the fact that they incorporate violin, double bass, and cello into their lineup, their performance is sure to keep you entertained.
Defiance Ohio may be named after a town in Ohio, but they actually hail from the next state over, and they’ll be bringing some fellow Bloomington, Indiana residents along on this tour to keep us all abreast of the latest happenings in the folk-punk capital of the world. But actually, neither Purple 7 nor High Dive feature any hint of acoustic instrumentation. Instead, Purple 7 rocks n’ rolls with some catchy garage-punk tunes, while High Dive brings together three different songwriters with an equally excellent facility for emotionally-tinged pop-punk. Both of these bands are gonna be well worth your time, as will Pedals On Our Pirate Ships, who’ve been RVA’s leading representation of the folk-punk sound for almost as long as Defiance Ohio have been around. This one’s gonna be a blast.
Thursday, March 19, 8 PM
Young Widows, Shannon Wright, The Austerity Program @ Strange Matter – $12 (order tickets here: https://youngwidowsrva.eventbrite.com/)
Of course, if folk-punk is just too goddamn upbeat for you, there’ll be plenty of musical pain going around on Thursday night a couple blocks away at Strange Matter. Louisville noise-core band Young Widows are regular visitors to Richmond, but I’m sure some of you still haven’t caught them yet. Well, tomorrow night is the perfect time to change that. Easy Pain, the fourth Young Widows album, was one of the darkest, heaviest, and most emotionally charged albums I heard last year. The thundering bass riffs and pounding percussion create a powerful background for singer/guitarist Evan Patterson’s intricate riffs and cathartic vocals. They’re sure to recreate all of that at a volume much louder than you could ever turn your stereo up to–plus, they have a pretty amazing light show that is always worth seeing (and normally I hate light shows).
The last time Evan Patterson came through Richmond, it was with his solo project, Jaye Jayle, and that project’s spooky, understated blues sounds are a better guide to understanding what opener Shannon Wright is all about than Young Widows themselves. Wright does have an electric backing band with her, so this won’t be a true solo project, but her smoky voice is clearly the star here, and her music will warm you up for Young Widows’ carpet-bombing sound apocalypse with a more understated, foreboding sound. The Austerity Program, a two-person, one-machine band who remind me of Big Black even when I control for the possibility that I only think that because both bands use a drum machine, will open up with some thunderous noise-rock. Get stoked.
Friday, March 20, 9 PM
Blood Pressure, Cretins, Firing Squad, Blackball @ 25 Watt – $7
What’s your idea of hardcore? Does it involve hyperspeed Chuck Berry riffs, circle pits, and angry dudes screaming so hard they drench microphones in spit? What, is that gross? Sounds like a recipe for a great time to me! Plus, if you do it right, you’re going to leave a hardcore show covered in sweat–both your own and that of other people–so a certain amount of grossness is just the price of admission on nights like this. Pittsburgh’s Blood Pressure will bring this exact sort of raging, sweaty hardcore show to Shockoe Bottom’s 25 Watt club this Friday night, and if you’re not down to circle pit your ass off during their set, you probably just should stay home, because these riffs are impossible to resist.
Hometown boys Cretins have just as much rage, bile, and sweat to unleash upon the assembled masses this Friday night–plus, with a song on their Vinyl Conflict EP called “Piss On Your Pieces,” they’re upping the bodily-fluid ante. Hopefully no piss will be anywhere other than the bathroom at this show, but I wouldn’t be surprised if beer was flying around at certain points during the evening. Firing Squad is another band full of speed and rage from here in RVA, featuring members of Violent Outburst and probably planning to have a violent outburst of their own once they hit the stage. Brand new RVA/Raleigh band Blackball will open this whole thing up like a can of worms. It’s gonna be 40 degrees and raining on Friday night, but if you dance hard enough, you’re sure to stay warm regardless. Don’t let the kids down!
Saturday, March 21, 9 PM
Sundials, Advlts, The You Go Girls, Reps @ Strange Matter – $5
Obviously those of us here at RVA Mag think magazine publishing is pretty goddamn cool. Almost all of us got our start by making zines in our spare time (I did my first one when I was 15). The expenses behind these labors of love can result in less-than-prolific release rates, but it’s always special when another issue of a self-published zine comes into the world–especially in these days when it’s much easier to just post whatever you have to say to a blog and subject it to the internet’s short attention span. Therefore, I must say I’m looking forward to the new issue of Draft Dodger, an irregularly-published newsprint zine from local punks Carl Athey and Jake Cunningham (with some help from their friends). The official release party for the new issue of Draft Dodger is happening this Saturday at Strange Matter, and it’s also a benefit for the local anti-sexual violence organization Safe Harbor. So that’s two different great reasons to hit up Strange Matter Saturday night–and I haven’t even told you about the bands yet!
Predictably, Sundials will be headlining this show. I say “predictably” because Carl Athey of the Draft Dodger crew also plays bass in this band. Sundials have a melodic punk sound that was showcased to excellent effect on their recent Topshelf EP, Kick, and since that EP’s release, they’ve beefed up their sound by adding Chris Carreon (Springtime/Family Cat) on second guitar. So even if you’ve seen them before, you’re gonna want to catch this set and check out their new louder sound. Advlts, who are driving down from Baltimore to entertain RVA on a weekend, have a scrappier version of the punk rock thing going on, and from them, you can expect a whole bunch of blink-and-you-miss-it speedy punk tunes–which still manage to have quite a bit of melody. New local bands The You Go Girls and REPS kick off this whole shindig, and there will be zines available for your perusing pleasure inbetween sets, so go support print culture, sexual violence survivors, and great music! It’s gonna rule.
Sunday, March 22, 9 PM
Dorthia Cottrell, Divine Circles + Lunar Creature, Gardener, Dave Watkins @ Strange Matter – $7
RVA doom metallers Windhand have made quite a name for themselves over the past several years, setting themselves apart from a somewhat overcrowded genre through memorable riffs and the distinctive vocals of singer Dorthia Cottrell. But what fans of that band may not have known is that Cottrell is an accomplished solo performer in her own right, with a set of spooky, minimal folk tunes that have blown away audiences whenever she’s played one of her rare solo gigs. Everyone’s about to learn that now, though, as Forcefield Records will release Cottrell’s self-titled solo album this week. The official record release celebration takes place this Sunday at Strange Matter, and will be the perfect opportunity both for confirmed doom metal lovers and those who have never so much as heard a Black Sabbath record in their lives to discover the undeniable appeal of Cottrell’s solo work.
Based mainly around acoustic guitar and Cottrell’s amazing voice, the album features pedal steel accents from Horsehead’s Kevin Wade Inge. Cottrell’s set at Strange Matter this Sunday may or may not feature Inge’s accompaniment, but even if she’s all by herself, you’re sure to be enraptured as she sings her haunting tales of life at its harshest. Make sure you’re there to experience it–and bring some cash, because you can bet you’ll want to bring her new album home and play the heck out if it. Divine Circles + Lunar Creature, a North Carolina duo featuring members of US Christmas, will bring a similarly apocalyptic, violin-driven psychedelic folk sound to Strange Matter, while Chicago’s Gardener will go the synth-and-pedals route to create spooky sounds of their own. RVA musician Dave Watkins, who is capable of solo folk, experimental ambience, and everything in between, will get things started in fine fashion.
Tuesday, March 24, 9 PM
Cancer Bats, Exalt, Empty Hands, Blackout Shift @ Strange Matter – $10 in advance/$12 day of show (order tickets here: https://cancerbatsrva.eventbrite.com/)
God, I love metal. In all its forms. Sure, black metal and thrash metal and grindcore are all big favorites of mine, but when I hear a band like Canada’s Cancer Bats–who have a harsh, midtempo sound that makes me think of a cross between Lamb Of God and Every Time I Die, plus maybe a bit of Kyuss thrown in–I just wanna bang my fuckin’ head. These guys know how to write head-banging riffs, too, and they’re gonna level Strange Matter with a whole set’s worth of them on Tuesday night. They’ve got a new LP called Searching For Zero out this month, and I’m sure we can expect to hear a lot of the tunes from that record when they take the stage, but these guys have such a solid track record, I’d be stoked to hear anything they wanna bust out.
Cancer Bats are joined on this tour by fellow Canadians Exalt, who like the speed and the ‘core a bit more than the Bats do, but in the end have a similarly headbanging sound. Expect more speed and a bit more mosh from these guys, but really, this is gonna be a one-two punch of Canadian metal excellence. Fittingly enough, it’ll be augmented by a one-two punch of RVA metal excellence, as blackened grind shredders Empty Hands open up with a wall of harsh noise and awesome blast beats. They’ll be joined by metallic punk rockers The Blackout Shift, who have a slightly more melodic vocal sound than the other bands on this bill, but keep the riffs heavy and the tempos fast–so you’ll be far from bummed by their opening set.
Should I be posting about your show? Make sure I know it’s happening–email me: [email protected]