Saturday, April 18, 8 PM
From Fragile Seeds, Way Shape Or Form, Claim Culture, Antiphons @ The Camel – $5
From Fragile Seeds have been lurking in the background of Richmond’s post-hardcore/emo/whatever-you-wanna-call-it scene for a couple of years now, but they’ve really taken a step forward in the last several months–and just in time to release a new album!
Saturday, April 18, 8 PM
From Fragile Seeds, Way Shape Or Form, Claim Culture, Antiphons @ The Camel – $5
From Fragile Seeds have been lurking in the background of Richmond’s post-hardcore/emo/whatever-you-wanna-call-it scene for a couple of years now, but they’ve really taken a step forward in the last several months–and just in time to release a new album! Myth And Ceremony, their second full-length, constitutes a significant improvement over their previous work, and this show will celebrate its arrival into the world–which actually officially took place yesterday. In fact, you can buy the mp3 version at their Bandcamp page right now!
However, rather than jumping to grab the mp3s, we highly recommend that you hold onto your cash for a few days and instead head over to The Camel this Saturday night. Not only will you get to pick up an actual physical copy of the album–always an improvement over digital–you’ll also get to see From Fragile Seeds perform all of their great new songs right before your very eyes. Having recently added Josh Kelley on guitar to bring the band back to full strength as a quartet, they’re fired up and ready to take you on an emotional journey through the world of their epic, post-rock influenced new album.
They’ve got some other local post-rock influenced companions on board with them for the journey as well, and if you dig what From Fragile Seeds are doing, you should certainly dig Way Shape Or Form–and vice versa. Troy Gatrell’s electronic-tinged math rock is intriguing and catchy, especially in light of how complex their song structures are. These guys will get your feet tapping in spite of yourself. Local experimental/progressive quartet Claim Culture and folk/math fusion artists Antiphons will open this one up.
Wednesday, April 15, 9 PM
DJP and MrT, League Of Space Pirates, seamonster, Victor Villareal @ Strange Matter – $7
I know RVA weekends are always stacked with amazing amounts of live performances by talented musicians both local and traveling, and sometimes the middle of the week seems like it’s the perfect time to stay home and go to bed early. But folks, if you’re not going out on Wednesday night, you risk missing some of the most interesting live music Richmond has to offer. This is definitely true tonight, as Norfolk’s DJP and MrT will be coming to town to bring their complex, catchy electronic pop to local audiences. Part of me feels compelled to make a Mr. T joke here, but let’s skip that and instead talk about the fact that this group’s most recent release is an original soundtrack for a theatrical adaptation of Shakespeare’s Taming Of the Shrew. That’s enough for me to know they’re worth my time right there.
You know what’s even more worth your time? An actual live-on-Earth performance by League Of Space Pirates, celebrated local artist Noah Scalin’s band of electronic goth space rangers who generally only broadcast their performances from satellites in orbit. The chance to see this band actually take an RVA stage does not come around often–make sure you take advantage of it. Also on the bill will be seamonster, a VA Beach-based electronic group that’s been around for a decade and producing strange exotic electro-pop sounds the entire time. They’re on tour with DJP and MrT, and they’ll be sharing this particular date on their tour with a solo acoustic performance from Victor Villareal, who just might secretly be the most important thing about this show. You may remember Villareal from his stints on guitar in such illustrious bands as Cap’n Jazz, Owls, Joan of Arc, or Ghosts & Vodka–now you can see what he does when he’s on his own! There’s not a single thing about this show you want to miss–who cares if it is Wednesday night? Be there!
Thursday, April 16, 11 PM
Sweet Petey (aka Nickelus F), Gritty City, Fugitive 9 @ En Su Boca – Free!
OK, here we go–some of the best hip hop coming out of RVA right now, and some of the best tacos you can buy in this town, all under one roof. Who can hate on that? Not me, y’all! I am a little puzzled about what exactly is going on with Nickelus F these days–I’ve been hearing him referred to as “aka Sweet Petey” for a while, but I don’t know if this is just a Slim Shady-style alias, a full-on alter ego who makes his own records a la Dr. Octagon, or what. I do know he’s being billed as Sweet Petey on this show’s flyer, so it might mean you’ll get to hear a different set than you’d hear if he was billed as Nickelus F, or it might just mean he’ll have a merch table set up where he’s selling Petey’s Premium Durags in the back. Either way, it’s gonna be awesome, because Nickelus F is one of the best rappers this city has to offer.
The Gritty City crew is made up of a whole bunch more of the best rappers in this city, and if you’re paying attention, you may have read about them already in our brand new print issue. These guys are grimy and tough, rapping about hustling, partying, and struggling to get by–but they always have a good time doing it, and recent releases like See Us On The Dance Floor or brand new Profound 79/Fan Ran beat tape Food Court Gods make clear just what these guys have to offer. Live, I would expect them to get wild and turn the party up–be prepared. Norfolk’s Fugitive 9 will get this show started up right, so come early, grab some carne asada tacos, and be prepared to party hard until the wee hours while listening to some of the best hip hop in the state.
Friday, April 17, 5 PM
The Body, Full Of Hell, Left Cross, Daggering @ Strange Matter – $10 ($7 w/Pig Destroyer ticket)
The metal overload starts early on a Friday night, and that’s because Strange Matter wants to give everyone lucky enough to score tickets to Pig Destroyer at Hardywood a chance to make it a double feature of brutal awesomeness! Y’all, I can’t lie to you–I slept on the Pig Destroyer tickets. I did a bad job of managing my money last month and I didn’t manage to get mine. Therefore, I am even more glad that I have this opportunity to drown my sorrows in a sea of raging noise while watching The Body. This bassless duo somehow manages to generate even more sludge noise punishment than a lot of four or five-piece doom bands do. Chip King’s high, piercing vocals will shred your eardrums, even as the mixture of crushingly slow riffage and terrifying, noise-drenched samples combine with Lee Buford’s pounding drums to knock you over. It’s gonna rule.
The Body will be a good antidote to preceding band Full Of Hell, who started out doing more straight-up grind but have been getting further and further into noise experimentation lately, culminating in last year’s album-length collaboration with Japanese noise artist Merzbow. Speedy riffs, raging vocals, blasting drums, and a thick overlay of fucked-up noise–that’s what you can expect from these Baltimore maniacs. I for one can’t wait. New RVA death metal group Left Cross and veteran local noise collective Daggering will act as local support on this bill, and those of you who were smarter about your money than I am and actually obtained a Pig Destroyer ticket will get $3 off admission to this show if you show that ticket at the door. I envy you.
Saturday, April 18, 9 PM
Paper Fleet, Gouda Mayhem, Various Eggs @ Sound Of Music Studios – $5
Interesting things are afoot at Sound Of Music Studios, as has been the case quite a bit lately. As usual when these folks open their doors to the public, they’ve got some excellent bands to bring to you, and this particular power-pop showcase is headed up by Brooklyn’s Paper Fleet. Stick Around is their newest album, released in January, and it showcases their skill with jangly guitars and poppy choruses that’ll get stuck in your head all day. These guys are a lot of fun, and if you need an advance taste of what they’ve got in store for you, tune in to WRIR’s Time Is Tight show, Friday night from 7 to 9 PM, and hear them play live on the radio!
There are two great RVA bands on this bill as well, and Gouda Mayhem are one that have just been brought to my attention but immediately piqued my interest. Not just because they are named after delicious cheese, either! Bringing together the talents of local singer-songwriter Paul Ivey (of …and the Rubes fame), Lady God/Hypercolor bassist Chrissie Griffith, and Natalie Quick & Ian Browning of The Hadron Delay, this band shows us all what can happen when several highly energetic young power-pop musicians all combine their efforts to produce musical gold! Various Eggs will open the show, and will take advantage of fortuitous circumstances to bring RVA fans their first chance to see occasional female vocalist Julie Bosak perform live with the band. They’re also gonna put Sound Of Music’s piano to good use, so get stoked for that!
Sunday, April 19, 9 PM
Year Of The Dragon, The Blackout Shift @ Bandito’s – Free!
I will straight up admit that I am showing my age here, but y’all, Fishbone were the shit when I was growing up. Back before funk influences in heavy punk/metal bands meant the band was gonna be garbage (I blame nu-metal for this one), Fishbone were one of several bands that integrated loud rock guitars and pounding drums with Prince-style heavy funk flourishes and got excellent results. Albums like Truth & Soul and The Reality Of My Surroundings were full of catchy, crunchy tunes that would get your head bobbing.
And these days, Year Of The Dragon is doing much the same thing. Founding Fishbone member Dirty Walt takes the lead vocal role in this group, and he’s joined by musicians that back him up with chugging funk-metal riffs that don’t suck! Their music may not be as popular on MTV as Fishbone’s once was, but if you ever find yourself nostalgic for jams like “Swim” or “Fight The Youth,” Year Of The Dragon will take you back to those days before “funk punk” as a genre classification got ruined by clueless suburban white boys with backwards fitted ball caps. The Blackout Shift will kick this show off with some heavy tuneage, and of course it’s Bandito’s so you should really grab some nachos while you’re there. Especially since this show is free!
Monday, April 20, 7:30 PM
The Listening Room presents Hope For Agoldensummer, Jonathan Vassar & The Badlands, Josh Small @ Gallery 5 – $5
The Listening Room has existed for quite a while in Richmond, and this venue-shifting, loosely-knit collective always works to ensure that, in the midst of a city where mind-destroyingly loud sounds tend to be the norm, we always keep an ear turned towards the quieter, more pensive sounds of beautiful acoustic music. There’s plenty of it being made here in RVA, you know–and plenty of it being made elsewhere around the country as well. The strangely-spaced band Hope For Agoldensummer consists of two sisters, Claire and Page Campbell, who hail from North Carolina and have been making their strange yet beautiful acoustic music for over a decade now. They’ll augment their acoustic guitars with instruments like glockenspiel, singing saw, and Coke-bottle percussion, and in so doing, will completely enrapture you.
Jonathan Vassar, who has made quite a bit of memorable work over the years, in various guises, will be bringing his latest backing band along with him for this show. The Badlands features Curtis Patton (David Shultz and the Skyline), Nate Matthews (Richmanian Ramblers), and Grant Hunnicutt (Mermaid Skeletons) backing Vassar on some new solo work that’s sure to be just as intense and memorable as his previous stuff. And of course, the legendary steel guitar troubadour who invests all the emotion in the world into his excellent music, Josh Small, will open things up–and you’re really gonna want to hear what he has to play for you. Come to Gallery 5 this Monday night, and listen.
Tuesday, April 21, 5:30 PM
Such Gold, Koji, Brigades, Tommy Boys @ Strange Matter – $10 in advance/$12 day of show (order tickets here: http://suchgoldkoji.eventbrite.com)
As a sucker for bands that ride the genre boundary line between pop punk, emo, and melodic hardcore, I am of course very stoked for this show. I actually saw Such Gold once before, several years ago, but as they were a band I’d never heard playing between two bands I knew and loved, I grabbed the opportunity to hang back and take a break before going nuts for Fireworks. These days, though, I know what’s up. Such Gold are an awesome band that do indeed mix all the genres I previously mentioned, plus a little bit of math-core to keep things unpredictable. And yes, of course, they have amazingly catchy choruses, and even a few fun chunky breakdowns that are still somehow melodic as fuck. If you’re as much of a goober for bands like this as I am, I certainly hope I will see you at this show.
There are a bunch of other rad acts on this bill as well, all of them on tour with Such Gold. Koji’s one of those acts you run into in the emo world that might just be a dude with an acoustic guitar, or could be a full electric band, depending on the circumstances. Word has it this will be the solo acoustic version, but the tunes will still be just as catchy–and possibly even more emo–so that should definitely work out. South Carolina’s Brigades most recently released an acoustic EP, but they’ll be bringing the full compliment of amps, drums, and catchy emo-punk jams to Strange Matter next Tuesday, so get ready to dance. And secretly, the reason I’m most excited about this show is the opening band. It’s true–Tommy Boys’ recent self-titled LP was an excellent followup to their 2014 single “Estate Sale,” which had me falling in love with them at first listen. I will be in the front row for their opening set at this show, so stalk me there if you so desire. I can not wait.
Should I be posting about your show? Make sure I know it’s happening–email me: [email protected]