Saturday, May 3, 10 PM
Dead Fame Vicious Design EP Release Party with DJ Connie Sue, Sean Lovelace @ Balliceaux – $5
As befits RVA’s most prominent postpunk/goth band, the release party for Dead Fame’s brand new EP, Vicious Design, looks to be an actual party.
Saturday, May 3, 10 PM
Dead Fame Vicious Design EP Release Party with DJ Connie Sue, Sean Lovelace @ Balliceaux – $5
As befits RVA’s most prominent postpunk/goth band, the release party for Dead Fame’s brand new EP, Vicious Design, looks to be an actual party. A late-night underground party full of mysterious shadows and intriguing strangers, held amidst the space age bachelor pad ambience of Balliceaux. Well OK, so it’s not exactly the opening scene of The Hunger, but it still promises to be a gothic good time.
Dead Fame will be performing the material from their new EP, featuring four new songs that are indisputably their finest material yet. Their New Order-influenced style is taken to some new places with the integration of poppier influences from other aspects of 80s and 90s anglophile guitar rock, and fans of groups like Echo And The Bunnymen, The Chameleons, and Jesus And Mary Chain’s less noisy later albums will find a lot to like here. If you haven’t picked up the vinyl version of Vicious Design, this show will be the perfect opportunity to correct that problem. With their set at Balliceaux this evening, Dead Fame will be bringing this new material to life and delighting the Richmond faithful. And instead of filling the evening with an endless procession of opening bands, DJs Connie Sue (ANIMAL) and Sean Lovelace (Body Talk) will be spinning the tunes, so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to hang out, mingle, make some new friends, and of course, dance. You must dance.
Wednesday, April 30, 9 PM
Stoic Violence, No, Barge, Cretins, Asylum @ Strange Matter – $8
I hope you’re in the mood for some hardcore, because these five bands are bringing a ton of it to Strange Matter tonight. It’ll be a celebration of fast beats, pissed-off singers, and noisy guitars, no doubt complete with a raging circle pit. California’s Stoic Violence are the stars of the show. They’ve recently released a rip-roaring 7 song EP on Deranged Records, and if you pay attention to the scene at all, you’ll realize what this means: this band is not fucking around. While they’re not the fastest band you’ve ever seen, they make up for it with pure rage, and their uptempo riffing is the perfect speed for charging around the room swinging your fists and splitting your knuckles open by punching the floor. Or whatever it is people are actually doing when they dance to music like this.
UK hardcore band No will also be performing tonight. Taking the concept of an ungoogleable band name to new and possibly unmatchable heights, No interject a slight oi influence and a whole lot of fuzzy, lo-fi noise into their attack, which can be heard quite well on their recent LP for Video Disease/Static Shock Records, Great Space. Expect some ramshackle glory from these British HC exports–but don’t expect to find out anything else by looking them up online.
And of course, you’ll be able to enjoy three of the finest bands making up the current crop of hometown hardcore scene luminaries. Barge have been doing their Infest-ish borderline power-violence thing for a fair bit now, and are currently working on a new record, so look for some new tunes. Asylum mix things up with a female singer and some Japanese HC influence, while Cretins crank up the speed and at least pretend to crank down the intellect with some old-school riffs and amp distortion. I’m into it. You should be too. Come prepared for mosh madness.
Thursday, May 1, 7 PM
Proverbial, Bandrew @ The Camel – Free!
Local funk/rock/jam crew Proverbial are the sort of band that keeps busy–and sometimes that can mean that their hometown fans don’t get to see them quite as often as they’d like to. However, it also means that the hometown shows they do end up playing are that much more awesome when they happen. Like tomorrow night, when Proverbial returns home from a stint on tour with the Easy Star All-Stars. The boys in the band are glad to be back, so as a favor to the local crowd, they’re playing a free show at The Camel to celebrate their return! That not only means you’ll be able to dig the sweet jams without reaching into your pockets–always a blessing on the night before payday–but that if you do manage to scrounge a few bucks out of your couch cushions, you can spend that scrilla on a tasty beverage. You can’t lose! Bandrew will be opening things up with a fun set of chunky rock riffs, so get there on time and party all night!
Friday, May 2, 9 PM
The Men, Nude Beach, Big Air, Snowy Owls @ Strange Matter – $10 (order tickets here: http://themen.eventbrite.com/)
You’ve got to hand it to The Men–nothing seems to slow them down. Since they released their debut EP, We Are The Men, back in 2009, they’ve brought the world five full albums and a whole bunch of EPs in the kind of rapid succession that hasn’t been a music industry standard since the 60s. They’ve also evolved at a rapid pace, starting out as a thicknecked hardcore group with only a tinge of grunge-rock influence and, over the next five years, growing into a full-fledged Neil Young-style classic rock ensemble. On their latest LP, Tomorrow’s Hits, which just came out on Sacred Bones last month, they walk back slightly from their campfire-blues turn on 2013’s New Moon and give us some pretty great Stooges-style repetitive grooves as well as some fun 70s-style longhair jams that keep things just punk enough to still totally rule. Regardless of what songs from their prolific catalogue they choose to play, you can expect The Men to rock the hell out of you.
Then there’s Nude Beach, fellow Brooklynite rock n’ rollers with a penchant for evoking the bygone days of musclecars and vans with wizards painted on their sides. Their catchy tunes, which bear a passing resemblance to Tom Petty’s classic early work but with a big dollop of garage-psych funk stirred in, sound great blasting out of your car stereo and will sound even better blasting at you from the stage at Strange Matter. Big Air will be making the scene as well, and this catchy bassless rock duo from Charlottesville have got some incredible tunes to lay on you. Plus, the evening starts out with a set from local post-shoegaze rock heroes the Snowy Owls, who always deliver. There’s no reason in the world why you should miss this show–and about a ton of reasons why you shouldn’t.
Saturday, May 3, 8 PM
People’s Blues Of Richmond, KO & Company, Jordan Tarrant @ The Camel – $8
OK, so everyone can admit that it’s clever for an RVA band to name themselves something that has the same acronym as Pabst Blue Ribbon, but has everyone in this town yet realized that People’s Blues Of Richmond have a lot more than that to offer? I know, once you’re over the joke you figure a band with a name like that is making glorified throwback dad-rock music that wishes it was first-two-LPs Led Zeppelin–and that impression will hold up until you actually listen to one note of the incredible music that the men known to their friends and fans as PBR make. Their latest album, Good Time Suicide, has been out for almost a year and most of it has been streaming on Bandcamp for almost as long, so you really have no excuse.
Hopefully most of my readers are just nodding along with me at this point, being fully aware of the grimy, rollicking mix of bad-vibe garage grunge and Southern-fried murder-ballad rock n’ roll this crew is so skilled at cranking out. If you’re one of the unlucky few sitting there thinking, “Seriously? These guys are that good?” you better make sure you join the rest of us this Saturday night at The Camel so you can find out for yourself. Three years without this awesome band in your life is more than long enough. Make up for lost time this Saturday night–get up front and dance. If you can even get that close to the stage, because a whole lot of RVA peeps are way ahead of you on this one. KO & Company, with their hybrid funk-rock sound, and Jordan Tarrant, local singer-songwriter par excellence, will open up this night of beer-soaked blues armageddon.
Sunday, May 4, 7 PM
Truckfighters, Hellbear, US Brass @ Strange Matter – $10 (order tickets here: http://truckfighters.eventbrite.com/)
Just as it’s always kind of funny when a band that sounds like they should be from a frozen Scandinavian wasteland turns out to be from Texas or California or somewhere, it’s equally funny when a total sun-baked desert metal band turns out to be from Sweden. Especially when that band is called Truckfighters, because come on, that’s a hilarious name in and of itself. And it’s appropriate, because wouldn’t you expect a band with a name like Truckfighters to sound like music beer-drinking hell-raising sideburn-having rural-area-inhabiting drivers of pickup trucks would just love? And that’s exactly what Truckfighters sound like! Somewhere, the dudes in Red Fang are stoked. And if you like Red Fang, or Kyuss, or Weedeater, you should be stoked too, because this band is right up your alley, Swedish accents or not.
This show offers two other really good reasons to get stoked, in that Hellbear and US Brass are also playing. Hellbear have proven themselves to be absolute thrash gods in recent days, first with their triumphant self-titled EP from last year, and then with a series of incredible live shows. Catch the latest of these performances this Sunday night, and make sure you get there early enough to catch US Brass as well, because these speedy, decadent metal-punks will blow you away.
Monday, May 5, 8 PM
Cinco De Mayo Super Jam feat. Wobblesauce, Scott Flynn, Hydrophonics, members of Silo Effect, Trongone Band, and more @ The Camel – $8
Cinco De Mayo may seem to some people like just another excuse to get drunk (or, if you’re like me, eat tacos), but even setting aside the racial insensitivity of such an attitude, aren’t there better ways to spend your Monday night than simply burying your face in a margarita? For example, burying your face in a margarita while listening to awesome live music! To that end, there’s a jam session shaping up for this year’s Cinco De Mayo celebration at The Camel that is far more than just background music for your inebriation quest.
A collection of jam/electronica/hip hop/rock musicians are coming together to provide a glorious evening of instrumental music for your listening pleasure, featuring the members of Wobblesauce. This Boston trio are on tour all over the US this spring, and their arrival in RVA just happens to coincide with the holiday on the 5th of May. For this evening, they’ll be collaborating with quite a few musicians both local and on tour, including Scott Flynn, who has played with both reggae all-stars John Brown’s Body and electronica legend Pretty Lights. Along with local hip hop producer Hydrophonics, plus members of The Silo Effect, The Trongone Band, and more, these touring superstars of livetronica will give us all a jam session to remember–and if you drink so many margaritas that you forget anyway, it’s your loss.
Tuesday, May 6, 8 PM
Man Man, Bermuda Triangles @ Strange Matter – $14 in advance/$16 at the door (order tickets here: http://manmanrva.eventbrite.com/)
We already told you about how The Men are playing here this week, but this is different. Man Man is a duo from Philadelphia, made up of singer/piano player Honus Honus and drummer Pow Pow (plus a couple of multi-instrumentalist live players to augment their sound). Their most recent album, On Oni Pond, features beautiful indie-pop melodies played on a wide variety of unorthodox instruments, some of which will surely make the trip to RVA for this performance. Frankly, we have no idea what to expect, but it seems likely that everything from French horns to xylophones to pots and pans will show up at some point during Man Man’s performance. And through it all, they will keep you dancing.
Local support for this show is provided by Bermuda Triangles, a totally danceworthy yet intriguingly bizarre band in their own right. This quartet fuses dance-punk, experimental noise, gamelan and more into a wild and uncategorizable blast of fun. These guys haven’t been playing out too often lately, so make sure you catch this performance because who knows when you’ll get a chance to see them play again. And on a show sponsored by XL102, no less. Wonder what Jeff and Jeff would think of that?
Should I be posting about your show? Make sure I know it’s happening–email me: [email protected]