Monday, April 7, 9 PM
Allvaret, Hot Dolphin, Men’s Room, Omega Boys @ Strange Matter – $7
Where live music is concerned, weekend nights are often for dilettantes. If you’re really serious about seeing all the best shows that come through your town, you have to be prepared to go out on weeknights.
Monday, April 7, 9 PM
Allvaret, Hot Dolphin, Men’s Room, Omega Boys @ Strange Matter – $7
Where live music is concerned, weekend nights are often for dilettantes. If you’re really serious about seeing all the best shows that come through your town, you have to be prepared to go out on weeknights. The lineup Strange Matter is presenting next Monday is proof of that fact. A band on the underground circuit has to play shows pretty much every night to make touring economically viable, and you never know what night of the week it’ll be when some great band from the other side of the world shows up in your town. You have to be prepared, ready to do what’s necessary to get your fix.
Sweden’s Allvaret is an excellent case in point. Taking the stage at Strange Matter on Monday night, this punk rock quartet will deliver their intense brand of melodic punk to all the dedicated ragers who show up–and if you’re smart, one of them will be you. When I say Allvaret are “melodic punk,” I’m not talking about the Hot Topic mall-punk stuff that tweens love and Hickey hated–I’m talking X at their darkest, or The Adolescents at their catchiest. Melodies aplenty, but distorted guitars, fast beats, and a tough undertone that lets you know they mean it. Allvaret play real punk rock songs that you’ll still be humming under your breath when you drag yourself in to work the next morning on four hours of sleep. And it’ll be worth it.
The RVA locals opening this show have plenty to offer as well. Men’s Room are an angry hardcore band with rock n’ roll undertones in their guitars and memorable riffs that make their less-than-blazing tempos work. They don’t sprint, they swagger. Hot Dolphin’s garage-punk tunes are driven by the energy singer Lindsey Spurrier throws into all of her performances, but they’ve got the tunes to back her up with aplomb, so expect great things. Omega Boys are opening, and though I don’t know much about this relatively new hardcore band, their demo makes clear that they have energy to spare, and should start things off with a bang.
Wednesday, April 2, 8 PM
Dave Hause, Northcote, Rob Huddleston @ The Camel – $10
As pop-punk grows up, I suppose it makes sense that more and more of the frontmen from bands of previous years are going solo and heading out on tour with acoustic guitars. After all, the sort of heartfelt melodies these guys write translate well acoustically. Plus, it’s much easier to book tours when the only person whose schedule you have to worry about is your own. Not to mention that it’s nice to give your ears a relief from all that noise once in a while. So the fact that Philadelphia singer/songwriter Dave Hause, who you may remember from The Loved Ones–or, if you’re a bit older, The Curse–is doing the solo thing these days only makes sense. While his bands had that gruff, catchy punk rock thing going on, his solo work is more Springsteen-ish, with a passionate delivery and some great heartland rock melodies. His transition to solo status goes off without a hitch, and it’ll make for a great show tonight, regardless of volume.
Joining Dave Hause on tour is Northcote, which despite the band name is basically a solo project for Canadian musician Matt Goud (not to be confused with Canadian musician Matthew Good–and by the way, how tired do you think Northcote is of that joke?). Northcote’s acoustic music has a bit more of an emo feel, though please don’t do the “emo + acoustic guitar = Dashboard Confessional” math in your head. Such a comparison would do Northcote a great disservice. Their (his?) stuff is a lot closer to the feel of later Samiam work, with some Hot Water Music thrown in. Add in the countrified acoustic sounds of former Ann Beretta leader Rob Huddleston as the opening act–which will feature accompaniment from Horsehead’s Kevin Wade Inge, so you know Huddleston’s Americana bona fides are assured–and you’ve got a great acoustic punk show from beginning to end. Perfect for a night when you want to give your ears a rest without doing anything ridiculous like staying home.
Thursday, April 3, 7 PM
The Cheats Movement presents: Underground, feat. Lela Bizz, Erikka J, Rodney The Soul Singer, Dewon, Love Logic, music by DJ Prolific @ The Camel – $5 in advance/$10 at the door
The Cheats Movement has been a strong presence in the RVA art/musiic/culture community for a few years now, and it’s all due to the sheer hustle of Marc Cheatham. The head honcho and sole proprietor of the Cheats Movement, this man makes a lot of stuff happen all on his own, and he deserves props for that. His energy is infectious, and he does a great job of making other people care about the things that are important to him, so generally, if Cheats is putting his energy into something, people will be paying attention–and that definitely includes those of us here at RVA Mag.
Cheats’ latest endeavor in the musical community is taking place this Thursday: Underground At The Camel is a showcase of several local R&B musicians, and will let you know that plenty is going on locally where that genre is concerned. We worked with the Cheats Movement back in 2012 on an excellent mixtape that did a great job of showing where the hip hop scene in RVA was at the time, but it’s good to see him turning his attention to the mellower side of things with this showcase. Lela Bizz and Erikka J in particular have some pretty amazing soulful ballads to offer, as you can see from their recent respective singles, “With The Lights Off” and “$2 Bill.” Meanwhile, Rodney The Soul Singer has that classic Al Green pleading-loverman thing going on, while Love Logic cranks out some funky grooves and Dewon brings in some New Jack Swing flavor. It’ll be a night of smooth sounds and sweet hangouts, so make sure you’re there, and tell Cheats RVA Mag sent you!
Friday, April 4, 5 PM
Stick To Your Guns, Terror, Hundredth, Counterparts, Expire @ Strange Matter – $16 in advance; order tickets HERE
All right, hardcore kids, you better be ready to get outta class early and rush right over to Strange Matter at 5 PM this Friday, because this is one matinee show you don’t want to miss. Stick To Your Guns are a Cali hardcore band who started out heavy as hell but have slowly but surely been moving in a more melodic direction over the course of their four albums. Their latest single is a Florence And The Machine cover, which is really bizarre, but somehow totally works. Anyway, regardless of whether they’re singing or screaming–and they definitely do both–they’re gonna go off when they hit the Strange Matter stage, and in that tiny space, you can expect things to get crazy as hell. Get ready for some stagedives!
Terror have a similar amount of energy, plus they’ve got Scott Vogel for a frontman, so you know you’re gonna hear some awesome between-song commentary. These guys aren’t the least bit melodic, so if it’s screaming you want, they’ll deliver. Maximum stagedive potential! Plus their bass player is RVA’s own David Wood of Down To Nothing, so be sure to come out and represent. The bill is rounded out by the rest of this five-band package tour (are these things getting a little out of hand, or is that just me?), featuring South Carolina’s Hundredth, Canada’s Counterparts, and Milwaukee’s Expire. These bands will get you warmed up with some hardcore of their own, featuring varying levels of melody–but plenty of high-jumps, we’re sure.
Saturday, April 5, 10 PM
The Green Boys, Black Girls @ Balliceaux – $5
Black Girls! Green Boys! I need a band called Yellow Dogs to jump on this show, stat! But seriously, folks, this should be a pretty amazing show. Unlike Black Girls, the Green Boys rally are Green–which is to say, the band is led by brothers Ryan and Sean Green, who are backed by three non-relatives. This quintet plays classic old-time country, featuring upright bass, dobro, steel guitar, and plenty of banjo, along with some lovely three-part harmonies that will remind you of your grandfather’s old Hank Williams Sr. records. The Green Boys released a great album called Oh Delia last year, and have been generating some attention on the Americana scene regionally, so come see what all the buzz is about.
Where Black Girls are concerned, we feel confident that you already know what the buzz is about–but that’s no reason not to come see these guys again! Their latest album, Claire Sinclaire, has been out for a few weeks now, so you’ve had time to get familiar with the single, “Buyin’ Time,” as well as the rest of the album. Now you should come hear it live! The Balliceaux stage is like a home away from home for these beige boys, so you’re guaranteed to find a party when Black Girls start to play.
Sunday, April 6, 9:30 PM
Everyone Dies In The End, Lizard Police, Soft Time @ Empire – $5
This show represents a union of opposites. While Oklahoma’s Lizard Police bash out two-minute speed-punk songs full of nervous tension and excitable vocals, RVA’s own Everyone Dies At The End stretch out lengthy instrumental compositions that build to epic crescendos and don’t have any vocals at all. Both of these bands represent very good methods of packing a lot of noise into the relatively intimate confines of Empire, though, and that’s reason enough to check them both out this Sunday. Between Everyone Dies In The End’s soundtracks for your own mental movie scenes and Lizard Police’s manic punk blurts, you certainly won’t get bored.
Plus, ever since Empire were taken over by new management and changed their whole look around, they’ve been trying to reclaim that space’s rich history as a (punk) rock club, and if you haven’t been there yet, this is the perfect time to go check things out and see what their new approach is all about. Soft Time opens up this show, by the way, and since I can’t find any info about them online, that’s all I can really tell you about them. But hey, show up early, grab a burger, and then stick around to check all of these bands out. Not a bad way to wrap up the weekend by any means.
Monday, April 7, 9 PM
Druglord, Druid Lord @ Bandito’s – Free!
It’s a battle of the “lords” next Monday night at Bandito’s, as local doom warriors Druglord join Floridians Druid Lord on a free show to celebrate the birthdays of Druglord members Greta Brinkman and Tommy Hamilton. Druglord recently released their second album, Enter Venus, on vinyl, and while I’ve admittedly been getting kinda bored with doom lately, Druglord is not just another doom band by any means. As Enter Venus proves, they’ve got the kind of apocalyptic feel that helps set them apart, by which I mean the feeling of abject terror. This is music for that part in a horror movie where it’s become obvious that the current victim is definitely gonna die, and all that’s left is to find out exactly how. In this case, it looks like death by skullcrushing guitar distortion and implacable steamroller riffs. Druglord is going to flatten you, and they’re gonna take their sweet time doing it.
Meanwhile, Druid Lord’s latest release is an EP dedicated to the legacy of classic Italian giallo director Mario Bava, so you can pretty much look forward to a horror-themed doom metal evening. Druid Lord feature members of such death metal projects as Acheron and Equinox, so they’re capable of cranking up the tempo at times, but they mostly keep it slow, incorporating the death metal influence into their deep, deadly growling vocals. Regardless of speed, these guys are always heavy, and the competition between them and Druglord to see who can play the heaviest, scariest doom metal grooves will indeed be heated.
Tuesday, April 8, 5 PM
A Loss For Words, VEARA, PVRIS, Winds In Sails, The Moms @ The Canal Club – $13 in advance/$15 at the door; order tickets HERE
Hey kids, it’s our second big matinee show of the week–only this time, it’s one for the pop-punk kids who don’t need any pretense of hardcore in their melody. A Loss For Words is coming through town, celebrating the 5th anniversary of their first album, The Kids Can’t Lose–and if that seems a bit soon to be doing an anniversary tour, well, I agree. However, with that album being reissued on vinyl by Pure Noise a couple weeks ago, the marketing hook is obvious, and I guess they just couldn’t bring themselves to pass it up. If, like me, you’re a bigger fan of the group’s more recent material, fear not–considering the fact that Paris is on this tour as well, it seems obvious that A Loss For Words will be bringing out that band’s singer, Lynn Gunn, to sing her guest vocal parts from their recent single “Distance.” And as we all know, that song rules, so this show is gonna be worth it for that alone.
But as with our other matinee show this week, this is another huge package tour, so that’s far from all you can expect from this show. For one thing, Paris, aka PVRIS, will be doing a set on their own, and that should be pretty great. Lynn Gunn’s got a voice like Hayley from Paramore if she was a good bit more fired-up, and her band backs her up with some pretty excellent poppy post-hardcore sounds. Of course, Paris also just released an acoustic EP, so they may also be doing an acoustic set; I’m really not sure. Either way, it’ll be awesome. The bill is rounded out by VEARA, Wind In Sails, and The Moms, and while I know a lot less about those bands, I would expect them to live up to the standards of the headliners. And even if they don’t, you know you can’t lose if you stick around, kids! OK, that was really bad. I’ll stop now.
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