RVA Shows You Must See This Week: 3/26-4/1

by | Mar 26, 2014 | SHOW PICKS

Thursday, March 27, 9 PM
Ladybug House Vol. 1 Release Show, feat. The Moonbees, Highness, Gina Sobel & The Mighty Fine, Fool’s Errand @ Strange Matter – $6

There are two really good reasons why you need to make it to this show.

Thursday, March 27, 9 PM
Ladybug House Vol. 1 Release Show, feat. The Moonbees, Highness, Gina Sobel & The Mighty Fine, Fool’s Errand @ Strange Matter – $6

There are two really good reasons why you need to make it to this show. The first is The Moonbees. This psychedelic folk band, whose members split their time between RVA and Charlottesville, have been doing some really interesting work in recent months. Their Money Grows On Trees LP, released last fall, has a throwback appeal created by the confluence of West Coast psych sounds and Southern soul accents. On their brand new Ladybug House Vol. 1 EP, though, they go in a completely different direction. Recorded at a literal cabin in the woods, this collection of acoustic cover songs by bluesmen and country singers from eras long past shows just as much awareness of a completely different aspect of musical history, one which The Moonbees bring to life just as ably as they enlivened the soulful psychedelia of their previous release. Their performance at this release show should see the band bringing both of these styles to life onstage at Strange Matter, and that’s bound to be a set worth seeing.

Highness is the other reason you need to make it to this show. This supergroup is led by former Christie Front Drive frontman Eric Richter and Magic Bullet Records head honcho Brent Eyestone, and brings together former members of such groups as Darkest Hour, Forensics, City Of Caterpillar, and too many others to list. With their lineup living in different cities up and down the East Coast, they don’t get together to play too many shows, so this set promises to be a rare treat for RVA fans of heavy yet emotionally-driven post-hardcore. If you don’t make it out, who knows when you’ll get another chance to see these guys–we suggest you seize the opportunity while it’s available to you. Richmond’s dark international folk rockers, Fool’s Errand, will also be on the bill, and C-ville denizens Gina Sobel And The Mighty Fine will kick off the evening.

Wednesday, March 26, 8 PM
King Parrot, Vattnet Viskar, Vaporizer, Cremains, Crater @ Strange Matter – $10

It’s always fun to see different countries present their own unique takes on metal sounds, and as the latest representative of Australia, King Parrot is certainly coming at metal from a new perspective. Their speedy, riff-oriented sound draws from grindcore, black metal, punk, and thrash to create their own special brand of heaviness, as displayed on recent full-length Bite Your Head Off, released last fall on Candlelight Records. Now the band is bringing their unusual sound and aesthetic to stages across the USA, and tonight, they’ll be at Strange Matter. Get ready for some serious shredding when they hit the stage.

And you can expect no less from their American tourmates, either. New Hampshire’s Vattnet Viskar brings the blasting rage we all look for from black metal bands, and their recent full-length on Century Media, Sky Swallower, introduces some minor-key funeral doom tinges into the mix as well. Expect this band to drag you down into the dark and then kick the crap out of you once you’re down there. And you’ll love every minute of it. Meanwhile, their neighbors in Vermont’s Vaporizer come to celebrate the life-giving powers of the evil weed through heavy, stoner-tinged thrash with deep, powerful, death-metal style vocals. RVA’s own Cremains, featuring ex-members of a variety of Richmond metal bands, will open up, along with mysterious local doom-thrashers Crater.

Thursday, March 27, 7 PM
Lil Huffy, Solace Sovay, Short Skirts, Don Babylon @ Gallery 5 – $6

This show is a great example of the way the underground music scene can pull together to help each other, and in so doing, be more than just a collection of performers and spectators acting in isolation. A benefit for the families of two recently deceased Florida musicians (Bryan Jackson of Ghost Cat and solo musician Owen Nicolas, formerly of Vein Cranes), this show unites several Virginia bands in support of a community in another state. It’s a kind gesture that also results in an excellent musical lineup of up-and-coming VA bands. Harrisonburg’s Lil Huffy, who will soon be releasing a new EP entitled Kidland, are masters of fuzzy indie-punk jams that mix catchy, upbeat melodies with scrappy lo-fi urgency. Solace Sovay are a long-running local indie rock group who’ve recently hit their stride with some excellent new material, planned for an eventual release as the LP Maniac Skies. We’re not sure when that LP will reach the public, but this show should be a great opportunity to preview the material they’ll be recording for it. Short Skirts is a solo electronic project with a melodic yet experimental vibe, while Don Babylon is a brand new local band with only one EP worth of garage/noise tunes to their name. Expect great things from all of these bands, and take comfort in the fact that your entry fee is going to a good cause.

Friday, March 28, 10 PM
Positive No, Suburban Living @ Balliceaux – $5

These two bands from two different Virginia cities represent the best of what’s going down with the 90s revival you’ve been hearing so much about lately. Suburban Living is a project led by Norfolk’s Wesley Bunch, a bedroom auteur with a knack for dreamy guitar melodies backed by hazy keyboard washes. The band’s recent EP on RVA’s own Dialog Records combines some House Of Love-style shoegaze guitar leads with vocal and keyboard sounds drawn from 80s New Wave, resulting in a collection of songs that should be equally beloved by Creation Records diehards and followers of the Williamsburg chillwave sound that was all over Pitchfork a year or two ago. We’re not sure who Bunch will have backing him up during this Richmond appearance, but the result should be glittering and gorgeous.

Positive No should be familiar by now to regular readers of this website, but that doesn’t mean their greatness is something we shouldn’t elaborate on. The deadly effect created by combining the powers of guitarist Kenny Close and singer Tracy Wilson could only be that much more energized with the addition of drummer Willis Thompson–all of whom have ex-member credentials that we won’t bore you by repeating (see previous articles for more on the subject). The resulting supergroup mixes the gorgeous dream-pop sounds of bands like Velocity Girl and The Darling Buds with the post-hardcore power of Sunny Day Real Estate and Drop Nineteens, among others. The Via Florum EP, released at the tail end of 2013 by RVA label Little Black Cloud Records, is just the first of what is hoped to be many delightful releases from this combo, which preserves everything that was great about the decade during which I graduated from high school, and many of you were born. Aw geez. Don’t remind me.

Saturday, March 29, 10 PM
DJ Fumo, Big Lo, Toxsick, Black Liquid, Maniac Music, OG !lla, Chauncie Jo, Blackflags & PuzzLe, Royale, Reppa Ton, Frank Math @ Strange Matter – $5

The hip hop scene in RVA is always jumping, with a ton of local talent springing up from all directions faster than I can ever keep track of it. However, most of the shows you see around town are strictly local affairs, which makes this event happening Saturday night at Strange Matter all the more interesting. In addition to a variety of well-known local performers, this show will be headlined by DJ Fumo & Big Lo, who are currently traveling around the country on their Skratch N’ Spit Tour. DJ Fumo, who is currently operating in Florida, was born in Italy and raised in Japan, and has a history of burning up turntables to widespread acclaim in both countries. Now he’s making his name in the USA with some classic turntablism. He’ll be cutting it up like crazy on the 1’s and 2’s at Strange Matter this Saturday night in classic hip hop DJ style, so if it’s beat juggling and hi-speed scratching that you love, you need to make sure you’re in the house.

And that’s not to mention Big Lo, who hails from Florida as well and will be contributing the spittin’ to this tour. Big Lo’s got a heavy boom-bap sound that will take you back to the classic 90s NYC sound. His tracks bring back the sound of Black Moon, early Wu Tang, and Mobb Deep, among others, and his mic skills are every bit the equal of his hard-hitting beats. Big Lo will bring the intensity on this evening of high-energy hip hop, and it’ll be a sight to see, for sure. Plus, in the classic RVA tradition, the undercard will be crowded with more than its share of world-class local talent, from New Juice Crew head honcho and hardest working man in RVA hip hop Black Liquid to Broad St Elite entrepreneur and HLGN for life OG !lla. That’s just the beginning of the RVA talent that’ll be on display on this bill too, so make sure you show up on time and catch killer sets from Toxsick, the Maniac Music crew, and many others!

Sunday, March 30, 9 PM
Buck Gooter, Roman Gabriel Todd’s The Beast Rising Up Out Of The Sea, The Nervous Ticks @ Bandito’s – Free!

What would the weekend be without some totally bizarre noise punk action? One thing’s for sure–this weekend will be even crazier with this kind of insanity happening on a Sunday night. Harrisonburg weirdos Buck Gooter have been generating the sort of buzz that only shows up when a band is consistently capable of memorable live shows that totally baffle their audience. Their programmed beats, Jesus Lizard-style guitar riffs, and Hasil Adkins hillbilly-maniac vocals add up to something we guarantee you’ve never seen before, and what you’ll ultimately think of Buck Gooter’s whole trip is something you won’t know until you see them for yourself. So show up and find out!

Roman Gabriel Todd’s The Beast Rising Up Out Of The Sea is one of the longest names we’ve ever encountered, but these guys are not some kind of weird joke band by any means. That is to say, they’re weird, for sure, but they don’t sound like they’re joking. Roman Gabriel Todd’s complex, raging tunes evoke memories of Man Is The Bastard, with their rapidly shifting tempos and jazzy yet ferocious basslines. The lineup of the band seems pretty unstable, so who you’ll see onstage other than Todd himself is a mystery to us, but regardless, RGT and The Beast (is that a Cthulhu reference? I hope so) will deliver some heavy, chaotic jazzcore that’s sure to knock your socks off. The equally sock-deprived primitive garage-rock ragers The Nervous Ticks will kick things off with a bunch of distorted rock n’ roll noise featuring a duct-taped harmonica mic and an upside-down washtub in lieu of a snare–but really, if you don’t know all about these guys already, you’ve got some catching up to do.

Monday, March 31, 8 PM
Nachtmahr, Ludovico Technique, Esoterik @ Fallout – $9 in advance (order tickets here: http://www.falloutrva.com/tickets/)

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s the classic music of unsmiling Teutonic peoples with severe haircuts and all-black clothing. That’s right, die industrielle Musik is returning to its home away from home in RVA, mysterious private goth/fetish club Fallout. Fortunately, a membership is not required to get in for this evening of pounding drum machines and snarling lyrical declarations, so everyone really needs to show up for this. Nachtmahr is the solo project of Austrian musician Thomas Rainer of darkwave group L’Âme Immortelle, and he takes things in a very heavy direction on his solo material. Having previously contributed a song to the Saw IV soundtrack, Rainer is currently on tour supporting his fifth Nachtmahr album, Feindbild, released earlier this year on legendary goth/industrial label Projekt. Expect lots of black-clad fellows to stomp it up on the dance floor during this set.

Nachtmahr is joined on tour by two American industrial groups. Ludovico Technique take their name from Alex’s terrifying aversion therapy in A Clockwork Orange, and their music and stage presence are equally terrifying. The trio seeks to explore “the depths to which man’s mind can deteriorate,” and their music has a horror-movie vibe to it that makes Marilyn Manson look like the silly dude he always was. There’s a bit more melody here than in the harsh pounding of Nachtmahr, but it only results in a spookier overall sound. It might not be wise to get too close to the stage when these guys are playing. Esoterik starts things off, and this synth-driven darkwave group takes things in a melodic direction with more of a goth/New Wave sound that should appeal to fans of Siouxsie & The Banshees. Leather, lace, and black clothing should be the order of the day throughout this show, though.

Tuesday, April 1, 9 PM
Fight Amp, Whores, Hellbear, Prisoner @ Strange Matter – $8 (order tickets here: http://fightamp.eventbrite.com)

It would be such a cliche to make an April Fools Day joke here, wouldn’t it? Let’s skip it and just talk about the music at this show. After all, this bill is packed from beginning to end with truly brutal heavy hitters, so it should be serious as a heart attack. NJ/Philly’s Fight Amp puts the POWER in “power trio” with their extremely heavy sound. Starting from a punk rock foundation, these guys have integrated influences from metal, crust, and noise rock into their steamrolling sound, and what’s more, they’re loud as hell. They’ll bring joy to lovers of volume, as will Atlanta’s Whores. As far as we know, the only thing this trio is prostituting is their music, but it’ll be worth every penny. Their most recent 12-inch EP, Clean, recalls past downer-rock heroes like Unsane and Swans while also keeping a rockin’ groove going throughout, in the spirit of Torche or The Melvins. At least one person in the crowd is gonna be really stoked when these guys take the stage (hint: it’s me).

The local openers on this bill are far more than just generic time-fillers, too. Hellbear have been steadily improving since their return to full-time live action a year and a half or so ago. The 10 inch EP they dropped last fall was a raging slab of thrash metal intensity, and with the recent addition of ex-Catalyst guitar-slinger Eric Smith, they’ve taken things to yet another level of awesomeness. Expect an increased quotient of blazing noise solos, with the same incredible amount of headbang-worthy riffs as ever. Prisoner, featuring ex-members of Inter Arma and Balaclava, open up with their delightful brand of blackened crust/biker-metal/dirty hardcore/whatever you wanna call it. Rage unto infinity.


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.

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...