RVA Shows You Must See This Week: 4/29-5/5

by | Apr 29, 2015 | SHOW PICKS

Saturday, May 2, 3 PM
RVA Noise Fest IV, feat. Mutwawa, Coteries, Predation, SB & C, Scant + IGM, Flesh Control, Yohimbe, Subklinik, Cristal, Daggering, Richard Ripper, Golden Retriever, Broadcastatic, Brown Piss, Crack Bytch, Floodbeast, Dyrt, Fake Object, Creeping, Yoga Demon, ENE, Ting Ting Jahe, Cecelia, Toner War, The New Loft, Negative Space, Thieves Of Shiloh, 10-56, War Anus, SARS, Lacanthrope, Blue Nine, Le Bron, France Gall Entity, Alpha Decay, BSK @ Strange Matter – Free!

It’s time for your fourth annual dose of total noise overload, as this Saturday RVA Noise Fest IV takes over Strange Matter for nearly 12 hours.

Saturday, May 2, 3 PM
RVA Noise Fest IV, feat. Mutwawa, Coteries, Predation, SB & C, Scant + IGM, Flesh Control, Yohimbe, Subklinik, Cristal, Daggering, Richard Ripper, Golden Retriever, Broadcastatic, Brown Piss, Crack Bytch, Floodbeast, Dyrt, Fake Object, Creeping, Yoga Demon, ENE, Ting Ting Jahe, Cecelia, Toner War, The New Loft, Negative Space, Thieves Of Shiloh, 10-56, War Anus, SARS, Lacanthrope, Blue Nine, Le Bron, France Gall Entity, Alpha Decay, BSK @ Strange Matter – Free!

It’s time for your fourth annual dose of total noise overload, as this Saturday RVA Noise Fest IV takes over Strange Matter for nearly 12 hours. While previous versions of this festival have been bigger and featured more touring acts, this year’s one-day edition is worthwhile in its conciseness, offering a crash course in exactly what’s going on in the noise scene that has quickly grown into one of the most active and happening “music” scenes here in RVA. An unbelievable 36 acts, all of which come from this local community, will assault your senses with 15-minute bursts of feedback, ambience, and all sorts of other sonic experimentation over the course of one day–and afterwards, you’ll be able to say you’re just as up on the state of RVA Noise as anyone who spends most of their weekends in the mysterious basement venue known as Auxiliary.

I’m sure a lot of OG noise heads are scoffing at that last line, and fair enough–but can you really argue with this lineup? Obviously Mutwawa are the headliners; this duo consisting of longtime noise veterans Jason Hodges and Gary Stevens have forged their piles of effects pedals, keyboards, and sequencers into an experimental mutant disco orchestra of unstoppable talent. Sometimes noise is just a wall of harsh distortion, but Mutwawa uses their sonic manipulations to make you dance! Their headlining set will be the perfect way to close out an afternoon and evening of absolute chaos.

But there are 35 more acts on the bill–and I’ve only got one paragraph to tell you about them! Here’s a quick rundown of some highlights: Coteries is an up-and-coming solo performer of terrifying soundscapes, sometimes armed with spotlights. Flesh Control is whatever Leo Heinzel feels like assaulting your ears with, but it’s always riveting. Cristal is another veteran act, bringing together members of LaBradford, Breadwinner, and Askance to explore the world of ambient space. Daggering combines the talents of J. Russell (Caves Caverns/Floodbeast) and Matt Boettke (Scant), both of whom will also be performing solo at other points in the evening. In fact, this is another common theme–solo performances by musicians who also appear as part of groups elsewhere on the bill. The RVA noise scene is a wellspring of creativity these days, and you have the opportunity to engage in detailed exploration of it this Saturday. Best of all, it’s free–so even poverty should not keep you away! Bring your earplugs and get ready for some serious aural damage.

Wednesday, April 29, 9 PM
Today Is The Day, Lazer/Wulf, Satan’s Satyrs, Doubtfire @ Strange Matter – $12 (order tickets here: https://titd.eventbrite.com/)

Speaking of aural damage, a whole different kind of sonic assault is happening at Strange Matter tonight, but it’s just as gratifying to fans of noise and musical extremes. Today Is The Day, the long-running project of Rev. Steve Austin–now featuring RVA’s own Trevor Thomas and Douglas Andrae (Hex Machine) on bass and drums–will hit up Strange Matter once again to unleash a noise-core explosion upon us all. Local fans were frightened and disappointed when the band’s last appearance in town was thwarted by a van accident that forced cancellation of their winter tour, but fortunately, everyone in the band has recovered and are ready to stalk the highways of the USA once more! Tonight, they come to RVA, and bring Austin’s 20-plus years of noise rage to the Strange Matter stage–where I first saw them in 1997, back when it was still called Twisters. They’re sure to focus on 2014’s Animal Mother, their brutal-as-ever tenth album, but with such an extensive back catalog to draw from, a few beloved classics are bound to get an airing as well.

Today Is The Day are joined on tour by Lazer/Wulf, an Atlanta trio whose blazing instrumental grooves are energetic, complex, and yet simultaneously catchy. They’ll have you headbanging, waving your fist in the air, and generally thrilling to their kickass tunes; you’ll barely even notice that they don’t have a singer. Satan’s Satyrs will also be joining the bill, and the fact that this retro biker-metal band always make me think of the 1969 bike-sploitation film Satan’s Sadists is not exactly surprising considering just how “speeding through the desert” this band’s songs are. Fans of Kyuss, Pentagram, or Uncle Acid should definitely get stoked for these guys. Opening duties will be handled by new RVA trio Doubtfire, who feature members of Night Idea, Hellbear, and Dumb Waiter–so you know these dudes have chops. Dig it!

Thursday, April 30, 9 PM
The Meatmen, Against The Grain, US Bastards @ Bandito’s – Free!

They are the Meatmen and you still suck–especially if you don’t go see them at Bandito’s on Thursday night! Led by immortal punk rock godfather Tesco Vee, these guys literally originated that whole tongue-in-cheek un-PC punk rock thing that’s been attempted by many bands since, to varying success. With tunes like “Crippled Children Suck,” “Wine Wenches And Wheels,” and their response to John Lennon’s murder, “One Down Three To Go,” these guys showed just how gloriously obnoxious yet cutting and witty a punk band could be. And they’re still doing it! Tesco has a different backing band these days than he once did (but then, that was true on pretty much every Meatmen album back in the day too), but they’re raging hard as ever on their latest album, Savage Sagas, released on vinyl last year through the magic of crowdfunding. Tunes like “I’m Gonna Fuck You Up” and “The Ballad Of Stinky Penis” show that these guys have still got it–so you certainly are gonna want to make it out to Bandito’s Thursday night and get an earful from the men of meat!

The Meatmen are accompanied on their current American tour by Michigan’s Against The Grain, who do not have nearly as much interest in goofing around, and are instead focused on heavy metallic punk thrashing. These guys clearly have a ton of Misfits and Motorhead records in their collection, and their guitar players sure know how to dish out the galloping riffs. However, they’ve also got a good understanding of how to write a catchy chorus, and will definitely get the punks raising their beer cans to the sky in pure joy. US Bastards, who hail from right here in RVA, have a similar sound, though with maybe a little bit more of a Poison Idea-style punk edge, so expect their opening set to kick this rager off right!

Friday, May 1, 6 PM
Gallery 5 10 Year Anniversary Series, feat. Ava Luna, Clair Morgan, Manatree @ Gallery 5 – Free!

The big celebration of Gallery 5’s 10th Anniversary happened back at the beginning of April, but the party still rolls on over at the celebrated former firehouse in the Arts District, and this Friday just marks the latest in a continuing series of 10th Anniversary-related musical extravaganzas. This one will celebrate the latest First Friday artistic exhibition from the gallery–this month, they’ll be featuring VCU’s Communication Arts Seniors, which should be a great introduction to some up-and-coming RVA artistic talent. However, if it’s musical talent you’re looking for, Ava Luna is the real reason to show up. This NYC postpunk crew displays the facility with funky syncopation and group vocal harmonies that you should know to expect from a bunch of talented Brooklynites; their latest album, Infinite House, is full of musical experimentation that keeps it interesting even as it delivers a succession of great grooves and catchy choruses to keep you dancing and singing along.

Ava Luna will be joined onstage by a couple of great local artists as well. Clair Morgan, both a large band containing a variety of talented musicians and the frontman/chief songwriter for said band, will be on hand to show off their new drummer and give us all a taste of the brand new album they just finished recording. Having Kickstarted this one, just as they/he Kickstarted 2012’s excellent No Notes, it seems very likely that we’re in for another helping of intricately structured, intelligent indie/power-pop–and that is just what the doctor ordered. Meanwhile, Manatree’s had an album in the works for quite a while now, and we’re all eagerly anticipating its arrival. In the meantime, a live dosage of their math-infused indie rock sound will hopefully tide you over. And since this entire show is free, such a dosage is easier than ever to obtain.

Saturday, May 2, 8 PM
Go & Tell (photo by Ben Rhoades), Lightfields, Shirt/Pants @ Sound Of Music – $10 (order tickets HERE)

Saturday night marks the official arrival of a new voice on Richmond’s indie music scene. Go & Tell, who fortunately figured out that GOAT was already taken before they put out an album under that name, have an intriguing mix of catchy indie tuneage and jammed-out hippie rock going on. The male/female vocal combo provided by guitarist Matthew Rucker and keyboardist Tallie Hausser is as much a study in contrasts as the guitar/piano interplay that the two engage in instrumentally. And on songs like “Jesus Injection,” they manage to move through multiple movements in the space of a few minutes, showing off a wide range of musical interests. They’ll be giving us all of that, both in live and recorded form, on Saturday at Sound Of Music, as they release their new Childish Air CD into the world. Getting familiar now seems like a good idea.

You should already be familiar with Lightfields, but all that should mean is that you want more. This triple-guitar quintet demonstrated their songwriting chops on 2014’s Junior, and are still showing it off with recent cassette release Melodies. Pretty much any tune on either of these two releases is powerful enough to get stuck in your head for an entire day, and the gentlemen of Lightfields will be showering you with a succession of super-catchy choruses during their set at Sound Of Music–be there and show your appreciation. Out of town sounds will be provided by the well-named Shirt/Pants, who come to us from NoVA to drop some raw power-pop sounds on us all. This show’s gonna be full of toe-tapping sounds; isn’t that what it’s all about?

Sunday, May 3, 9 PM
Navi (photo by Joey Wharton), The Cales, Among The Rocks And Roots @ Bandito’s – Free!

Get stoked, y’all, because Navi is coming to Bandito’s–and therefore, like many of the best shows happening this week, this show is free! Better yet, did you know Navi just released the sequel to their excellent Illuminavi EP yesterday? Oh I’m serious! Go grab Illuminavi II from their bandcamp page right now, and jam out on its strange combination of typically catchy Navi spazz-core and weird ambient noise collages before heading over to Bandito’s this Sunday and catching the real thing, live and in your face! If you’ve seen that recent Good Day RVA video they did, you know how hectic that can get–so get stoked.

Get just as stoked for Among The Rocks and Roots, who’ve been making a big impression on the local scene of late. Their new tape, Samudra Garba Pathe, just released on Hand To Mouth Tapes, will no doubt be available at this show, and it is 80-plus minutes of low-end rhythmic noise power. You’ll probably only get a small slice of that live, but it’s sure to whet your appetite, as this bass/drum duo definitely gets intense when they play. The Cales are also on the bill here, and their VU-influenced jangle-pop sound is probably the least crazy thing you’ll hear this evening. However, catchy hooks always have their place, and you can rely on this quartet to dish out plenty. So think of them as the rays of sunshine for the evening–even if they are some pretty twisted rays, in the end.

Monday, May 4, 6:30 PM
In Flames, All That Remains, Periphery @ The National – $22.50 in advance/$27.50 Day of show (order tickets HERE)

All right, let’s get down with some serious metal. In Flames, hailing from Gothenburg Sweden, have made such a huge imprint on the sound of metal over the years that “Gothenburg” is used these days as shorthand for a particular form of death metal that incorporates highly melodic soloing and more pensive moments into decidedly heavy music. They’ve been around since the dawn of the 90s, and recently released their 11th album, Siren Charms, which shows their usual flair for incorporating synthetic and industrial touches into the melodic death metal that’s been their stock in trade all along. In Flames are sure to get heads bangning when they take the stage at The National–all you longhairs better get ready!

All That Remains are a different sort of proposition–these guys developed their initial fame back during the big wave of American metal bands that took over about a decade ago and brought Lamb Of God to the attention of the wider metal world. They just released The Order Of Things, their seventh album, and while it’s not quite as heavy (from what I’ve heard so far) as their classic 2006 slab The Fall Of Ideals, these guys still have plenty left in the tank and are sure to give you a show. Kicking the whole thing off will be Periphery, a math-metal band who recently had a great headlining gig over at The Broadberry. They’ll be on a bigger stage this time, and they’ll be introducing local fans to the live sounds of their two brand new albums, Juggernaut: Alpha and Juggernaut: Omega, a Use Your Illusion-style two part release full of the complex heaviness and progressive melodies Periphery made their name on. Show up on time for this one, because the National gets gigs started early and you don’t want to miss a single minute of music by any of these bands.

Tuesday, May 5, 8 PM
This Is Love release party, feat. Sam Reed (photo by Lauren Serpa), Butcher Brown, KINGS @ The Camel – $7

Jellowstone Records. It’s a phenomenon, and we’ve all heard plenty about it, but one thing I must caution you against is thinking you can ever turn your back on this collective for even a second. They are always hard at work, and they’ve got more projects than you can possibly keep up with. For example, were you expecting this brand new solo album from Photosynthesizers vocalist and R&B singer extraordinaire Sam Reed to drop so soon after the release of Kelli Strawbridge’s debut album as KINGS? I must admit I was not. There I go not taking my own advice. But that’s OK, because this Tuesday, we can all get in what Ms. Reed has going on from day one, as the release party for the physical version of This Is Love will be taking place at The Camel.

As part of that release party, you can of course expect a wonderful headlining set from Sam Reed and quite a few of her talented friends. You can also thank your lucky stars for yet another opportunity to witness the live incarnation of KINGS, in which Kelli Strawbridge tears it up in the fine fashion you Big Payback initiates are all familiar with–only this time, on his own music! It’s gonna be awesome. Butcher Brown, the band that started it all, will of course be holding it down on a set of their own–and one presumes that at least some of the members of this band will also be doing double duty in some of the other Jellowstone projects taking the stage over the course of the evening. But if it’s a warm, filling helping of smooth jazzy funk and soul instrumentals that you are looking for, it’ll be Butcher Brown who fills that need for ya. Come remind yourself exactly why Jellowstone Records is the name to know in RVA music today. And pick up a copy of This Is Love while you’re at it! You surely won’t regret it.


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.

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