RVA Shows You Must See This Week: 3/4-3/10

by | Mar 4, 2015 | SHOW PICKS

Saturday, March 7, 2 PM (music starts at 4:30)
Plan 9 33 1/3 Anniversary/33 1/3 Black Vinyl Stout Release Party, feat. Kepone, White Laces, The Diamond Center, Hotel X @ Hardywood – Free!

Plan 9 Records has been a Richmond institution since pretty much anyone in the scene these days can remember, and this weekend they’ll celebrate an anniversary that would be totally random from any other sort of business.

Saturday, March 7, 2 PM (music starts at 4:30)
Plan 9 33 1/3 Anniversary/33 1/3 Black Vinyl Stout Release Party, feat. Kepone, White Laces, The Diamond Center, Hotel X @ Hardywood – Free!

Plan 9 Records has been a Richmond institution since pretty much anyone in the scene these days can remember, and this weekend they’ll celebrate an anniversary that would be totally random from any other sort of business. It makes sense for them, though (for all the non-vinyl owners out there–I’m sure there are at least a few of you–33 1/3 RPM is how fast a record spins on a turntable); and Saturday, Hardywood will be joining in the celebration by releasing a Plan 9 tribute beer called 33 1/3 Black Vinyl Stout. The party will be happening all afternoon and well into the night at Hardywood, and you lovers of music, beer, and food trucks should certainly head down there and join the fun!

Things kick off around 2 PM with the kegs getting tapped and the Black Vinyl Stout beginning to flow, to a soundtrack spun by WRIR’s DJ Carlito and some special guests, but the live music starts a little before 5 PM. This bill features a nice mix of music spanning all eras of RVA music over the course of Plan 9’s existence, beginning with jazz-funk pioneers Hotel X, who got their start in the instrumental post-punk scene that thrived around RVA in the 80s. They even released several albums on Black Flag’s record label, SST, back in the 80s and 90s, before changing direction and shifting into the African and Latin American accents they bring to their music now. These guys are going to start the evening off right!

Hotel X will be followed by two of the best underground rock bands currently active in the RVA scene. The Diamond Center will bring you a wall of hazy shoegaze desert noise, sweeping you up in a psychedelic dust storm you’ll never want to end. Then White Laces will lay down a set of guitar-driven, keyboard-accented atmospheric postpunk pop, featuring tinges of New Order and My Bloody Valentine along with tons of brilliant originality. Finally, the reunited Kepone demonstrates their continued vitality by finishing out the night with a set of super-catchy math-rock that all the local young turks dipping their toes into that particular genre should be taking note of. Between this excellent lineup, the wonderful food and beverages on offer, the salute to a place where many of us have spent worthwhile hours crate-digging to our heart’s content, and the free admission, this is pretty much a perfect way to spend your Saturday. Don’t miss it!

Wednesday, March 4, 9 PM
Calabrese, CreepAZoids, US Bastards @ Strange Matter – $10

Horror punk isn’t a genre you hear as much about these days as you may once have, but rest assured, folks, it’s still alive and kicking! Or should I say undead and kicking? Either way, Arizona trio Calabrese are at the forefront of the current horror-punk scene, and with their latest album, Lust For Sacrilege, they show that it’s still possible to write great metallic punk tunes that were clearly conceived under the influence of our dark master Glenn Danzig. Forsaking organ in favor of a stripped-down power trio attack, the brothers Calabrese (Bobby on guitar, Jimmy on bass, Davey on drums) rock hard and get spooky on their new album, as they surely will when they perform at Strange Matter tonight!

They’ll be joined by local punks the CreepAZoids (Creep-A-Zoids? My punctuation skills are failing me), who bring a solid mix of early 80s So-Cal punk a la TSOL, Misfits-style dark melodies, and rockabilly sideburns. These guys are a ton of swaggering rock n’ roll fun, and if it’s a bit of horror in your old-school punk that you want, they’ll certainly scare it right up for you! US Bastards will open up with some thrashy denim-vest metalpunk that should appeal to all the Motorhead fans out there (which is obviously everybody, right?) Slick your hair back and get your eyeliner out, because tonight’s a night for some serious spooky action!

Thursday, March 5, 8 PM
Gash, New American Nightmare, The Cemetery Boys @ Fallout – $5 in advance/$8 at the door (order tickets HERE)

It’s relatively rare that there’ll be a live musical performance at the normally members-only Shockoe Bottom fetish club Fallout, and usually when there is, it’s because some heavy hitter in the industrial music scene is coming through town. This Thursday night, though, it’s Philly’s Gash who’ll be rolling through–a band that describes themselves as “S&M punk.” Sounds intriguing, right? Well, worry not, dear reader, because even if you aren’t a Fallout member, you’re welcome at the club this one night to enjoy the hijinks this band of deviants plan to bring to the stage.

Musically, Gash has a bit of the horror-punk spirit stirred into their sound, but with flamboyant singer Tibbie X laying down some snarling vocals, there’s a bit of L7 in the mix as well. And live, once Domme Stephxecutioner–literally credited as the band’s Dominatrix–gets into the act, things are going to get kinky for sure! Expect titillating outfits and leather riding crops aplenty, but rest assured, there’ll be some catchy tunes in the mix as well. Harrisonburg horror-punks New American Nightmare and Norfolk-via-Transylvania bass/drum duo The Cemetery Boys will round out the lineup for a night of delinquent, sexy fun.

Friday, March 6, 10 PM
Ilsa, Occultist, Unsacred @ Wonderland – $5

Things are gonna get dark and heavy as fuck down at Wonderland this Friday night. Washington DC’s Ilsa will be coming through town, kicking off their spring tour in preparation for the release of their new album, Felon’s Claw, this May on A389 Recordings. If the advance material that’s leaked out thus far is any indication, this is going to be one seriously heavy and gloomy slab of vinyl. Ilsa could definitely be slotted into the fringes of the doom metal scene by the taxonomically inclined; however, their roaring, throaty vocals and pulverizing distortion shows obvious influence from crust punk and Eyehategod-style sludge, making their work a riveting listen.

Just as awesome and enjoyable is the music of Occultist, our very own homegrown crust-metal titans of terror. Vocalist Kerry Zylstra is always phenomenal in a live environment–don’t stand too close, she might rip your face off. With the band’s dynamic twin-guitar attack and pounding black metal influenced rhythms (being provided at this show by Battlemaster’s Alex Tomlin, due to a recent injury to Occultist’s full-time drummer, Brandon Whittaker–no worries, the sticks are in very capable hands), these guys will bowl you over with their awesomeness. Unsacred is opening this whole thing up, and they’ve recently proven themselves another RVA metal band to watch with their full-length debut, False Light. Really, there won’t be a dull moment on this triple bill–so start your weekend off right by headbanging like crazy at Wonderland this Friday night! Your neck might hurt in the morning–but it’ll be worth it.

Saturday, March 7, 6 PM
Richmond Reproductive Freedom Project benefit, feat. Hot Dolphin, Wandcarver, Queer Rocket, The Foam, Elynor Freyss @ Gallery 5 – $5-15 sliding scale donation to RRFP

The Richmond Reproductive Freedom Project is at it again, doing their annual fundraising for abortion access, and as a result, you can probably expect to see a lot of benefits like this one over the next couple of months. Which I personally think is awesome. You’re welcome to think what you want about that issue, but one thing that’s not up for debate is that this bill features an awesome lineup of bands and musicians from around Virginia. Most importantly, this bill will feature the garage-punk awesomeness of Hot Dolphin, who are still riding high off their awesome Negative Fun Singles Club EP from last fall, and will be playing their first show with new guitarist Ben Miller, of Tungs/Bad Grrrl Records fame. Meanwhile, there’ll be a rare appearance by local queercore crew Queer Rocket, who’ve just added a new bass player to their own lineup. This is sure to be a treat, so make sure you’re there!

What else? Well, Wandcarver comes to town from Norfolk, bringing their hazy shoegaze ambience to Gallery 5, and locals The Foam (featuring members of Wolf//Goat, Fat Spirit, and Roseanne) will conjure up the spirit of the Velvet Underground from their combo amps. Elynor Freyss, about whom I know very little, opens up, and while they/he are on the flyer for some reason, Gull will actually not be performing. Oh well. There’ll still be other amazing diversions besides music–tarot card readings from “local necromancers” (I think a couple of my friends are actually involved in this), a photobooth, some sweet RRFP Team Kate Bush merchandise, and best of all, an art punching auction! That’s right, you’ll be able to bid for your chance to use your bare hands to smash famous works of art. Don’t outbid me on that Damien Hirst crystal skull, though. I’m going to fuck that thing up.

Sunday, March 8, 8 PM
Screaming Females, Downtown Boys, Fat Spirit, Cherry Pits @ Strange Matter – $10 in advance/$12 day of show (order tickets here: https://screamingrva.eventbrite.com/)

All right, Screaming Females have returned once again! These Philadelphians make Richmond a regular stop on their tour schedules, and we should all be glad, because they always rock us hard and put on a great show. It’s been a few years since they released their last album, 2012’s Ugly, but luckily, they’ve recently broken the silence with a new set of jams called Rose Mountain. It’s got plenty of the razor-sharp riffing and formidable vocalizing from bandleader Marissa Paternoster, whose command of her instrument and always-energetic live performances are a joy to experience every time. So you’ve seen them half a dozen times already–so what? You know it’s gonna rule.

Rhode Islanders Downtown Boys (who in spite of their name are mostly female) will also rule when they take the stage Sunday night. Their sax-fueled Latino dance-punk tunes pack a ton of fun into little two-minute bursts of manic spazz action, and you’ll be unable to keep still when they really get going. RVA indie rockers Fat Spirit (fka Heavy Midgets) will continue to prove their dominance over the local guitar-music scene, and Cherry Pits will open things up with some great power-pop. Basically, this show will kick ass from beginning to end (I know, I say this kind of thing so often in these columns, but only because it is so frequently true). Football season’s over, so get up off the couch and spend your Sunday night at Strange Matter!

Monday, March 9, 8 PM
Navi, Laser Background, The Awesome Few, Dave Watkins @ Sound Of Music Studios – $7

Sound Of Music Studios has a long-standing reputation as one of the best places to record in Richmond, but every once in a while, they expand their remit to include a live performance within their halls–and it’s always a treat. Next Monday’s show is definitely in line with previous awesomeness, featuring as it does a headlining set from Navi. Look, if you’ve been going to Richmond shows for more than six months or so and haven’t already fully learned of the greatness that is a Navi live set, I don’t know what else I could tell you at this point. Perhaps you are just beyond help. But I believe that you can still be saved! So make sure you’re at Sound Of Music this Monday night watching these two musicians destroy the vicinity with their complex, technical, yet totally wild brand of instrumental math-punk spazz-out. Your soul is in need.

But wait, there’s more! Laser Background will be in town from Philadelphia, bringing their odd yet catchy synth-pop to the RVA massive. They just released a brand new EP called Kelly Wisdom–seriously, it came out yesterday–and its sugary, interplanetary fun will be catnip for fans of Animal Collective and Ariel Pink, among others. Then you can also look forward to a set from local power trio The Awesome Few, whose recent album, Own Everything, is a great collection of rock n’ roll tunes with a power-pop edge. Singer-songwriter and guitar experimentalist Dave Watkins will open the evening up with a solo set, which will probably have a lovely folk edge (though you never entirely know with Dave–he dips his toes in a lot of genres). You need to be at this show–don’t screw up, folks.

Tuesday, March 10, 8 PM
River City Extension, Air Traffic Controller, Leader, Red States @ The Camel – $10 in advance/$12 at the door (order tickets HERE)

River City Extension is a New Jersey band I honestly hadn’t heard of until I found out they were playing here next week. I feel lucky to have stumbled across them, though–this constantly touring crew of indie rockers take influences from many passionate rockers past and present, from Bruce Springsteen to the Arcade Fire and Titus Andronicus, in order to create their lush, intense tunes. Their third album, Deliverance, will actually be released the very day they arrive in Richmond for their show at The Camel, and it’s a great one, mixing acoustic guitars and violas with electronics and epic full-band arrangements that bring songs to show-stopping climaxes seemingly every five minutes. The band’s been through some tragedy in recent months–drummer Steve Tambone passed away after completing the album–but they’re staying strong and carrying on. Their fighting spirit and immense musical talent will be worth seeing live–I assure you of that.

Boston’s Air Traffic Controller are along for the ride on this one. I’m a pop music nerd, so when I say they remind me of The Format, that’s probably a reference that’ll go over most people’s heads. But to clarify, the juxtaposition of high, clear mixed-gender harmony vocals, acoustic guitar, and synthesized melodies/programmed drums is a delicious one that comes together song after song in perfect harmonic pop confection. These guys are a lot of fun. Locals Red States will bring some catchy power-pop riffs to the opening slot, and some band called Leader who succeeded in picking a totally ungoogleable name (congrats on that dubious achievement, homies) will round out the bill. This will be a good time.


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

The Motet, Low Phase & Erin & The Wildfire: Sound Check

I know you're itching to get back outside as much as I am, but while the rain clears up we'll have to wait just a little while longer. We're almost in festival season where outside concerts seemingly never end, with sunshine and tunes galore. Until then, we've got an...

Chandler Has Gone Viral, Again

When your friend from far away Portugal hits you up with a message like, "Have you seen this? Do you know this guy? He's from Richmond and he is all over TikTok!" you can't help but check it out. And when you discover it's Chandler Matkins, it's almost a given—of...

The Descendents & Circle Jerks Show is Sold Out…

It’s 1978 and Los Angeles is mic-checking and clearing its throat before unleashing its answer to New York City and London punk rock. It’s about to birth two of the most influential punk bands of all time. Descendents and Circle Jerks, titans of the sun-drenched and...

King Kaiju, Lockedinkee & Nickelus F: Yo! Hip Hop RVA

Hey y’all! I know it’s been a few months since my last YO! HIP HOP RVA write-up, but the hiatus was necessary because wedding planning was consuming my life. As of a few weeks ago, I’m off the market! Now, without further ado… this week’s edition of YO! HIP HOP RVA...

Macrock XXVII, Circle Jerks & The Mitras: Sound Check

Well don't go looking for a lot of local acts this weekend in Richmond, as many of them will be trekking to Harrisonburg to participate in Macrock XXVVII. A two day affair that will span much of downtown Harrisonburg where dozens of acts will be gracing numerous...

Virginia Icon Pharrell Williams is Coming To Town

A musical based on Pharrell Williams' childhood is set to be filmed in Richmond. It's a coming-of-age story set in 1977 Virginia Beach, drawing from Williams' upbringing in the Atlantis Apartments. Williams will produce, and Michel Gondry, known for Eternal Sunshine...

Behind the Rebirth: Inside Story of Harry’s at the Hofheimer

I was strolling down Broad Street on what was an unseasonably beautiful day in March, and as I rounded the corner at Arthur Ashe Boulevard I was greeted by the familiar yet striking architecture of The Hofheimer Building. I was making my way there that day to meet...