RVA Shows You Must See This Week: 5/28-6/3

by | May 28, 2014 | SHOW PICKS

Tuesday, June 3, 7 PM
Eyehategod, Ringworm, Enabler, Locusta, Gritter @ Strange Matter – $20 (order tickets here: http://eyehategod.eventbrite.com/)

OK, yes, it’s another weeknight feature show already, but it’s necessary, because this coming Tuesday, a legend will walk among us.

Tuesday, June 3, 7 PM
Eyehategod, Ringworm, Enabler, Locusta, Gritter @ Strange Matter – $20 (order tickets here: http://eyehategod.eventbrite.com/)

OK, yes, it’s another weeknight feature show already, but it’s necessary, because this coming Tuesday, a legend will walk among us. Eyehategod, the originators of the hard-luck mutant blues form known as sludge metal, will bring their 25th Anniversary Tour to RVA. They return to the very same stage they graced twice in the mid-90s, nearly two decades ago, when Strange Matter was still called Twisters (and you could still play pool in the back room).

Eyehategod have been through a lot since then, most notably the 2013 death of original drummer Joey LaCaze, but if anything, their struggles have revitalized them, as 2014 marks the release of their first new album in nearly 15 years. The self-titled monstrosity shows that these guys are still in total command of their skill-set–which should need no introduction, but here’s a brief one anyway: Sabbath riffage fermented with some Southern-friend swamp juice and a heavy dose of Black Flag-style downbeat hardcore punk. These guys are the kings of that shit, and they’ll defend their crown on Tuesday night to an audience of the rabid faithful. See that ticket link up there? You better use it, because this gig is all but guaranteed to sell out.

And I haven’t even told you about the support yet! Should it matter? Honestly, no, but it’s a nice bonus. For example, Clevo metallic hardcore holy terrorists Ringworm are in the direct support slot on this tour, and after a couple of decades full of ups and downs, these guys are also still at the top of their game. Their singer’s name is The Human Furnace; need I say more? Also along for the ride is Milwaukee thrash-core band Enabler, who somehow manage to sound like both His Hero Is Gone and Iron Maiden at the same time. Their new album, La Fin Absolue Du Monde, just came out and has enough power in its sound to end the world all by itself (though hopefully not before Eyehategod’s set). Ohio death-grinders Locusta and heavily NOLA-influenced local metallers Gritter will start the evening off in fine style.

Wednesday, May 28, 9 PM
Softspot, Ocean Vs. Daughter, School Dance, Lotus Grid @ Strange Matter – $6

Here’s an evening of delights for the fans of ethereal shoegazey sounds amongst you. Brooklyn’s Softspot, who were actually North Carolina’s Softspot until some point in the relatively recent past, are on tour supporting their second album, MASS, which came out last month. The trio, led by singer/bassist Sarah Kinlaw, has a mystical sound that takes things far beyond the usual crew of Pale Saints ripoff artists. I’ve heard her vocals compared to Kate Bush, and this is one time when that perhaps-too-often-employed comparison seems merited. Not to mention the excellent support she receives from six-string genius Bryan Keller Jr, who generates layers of beautiful noise from his axe with seemingly little effort.

Ocean Vs. Daughter, which brings together members of local groups Shy Low and Glass Twin with globe-trotting singer/pianist Flanna Sheridan, construct their sound around keyboard melodies rather than hazy guitars, but nonetheless have a similarly ethereal bent. After running a successful Kickstarter campaign a few months ago, the band has plans to present RVA and the world with a new album in the next few months, so this performance should double as a showcase for new material, which will surely be worth hearing. The bill is rounded out by recent Philadelphia-to-RVA transplants School Dance and mysterious local electronic artist Lotus Grid. A night of ambient beauty awaits us all at Strange Matter!

Thursday, May 29, 9 PM
Maruta, Burn/Ward, Blooddrunk Trolls, Rat Meat, Morticia @ Strange Matter – $7

The days before and after Maryland Deathfest happens in Baltimore usually mean a ton of heavy bands coming through RVA, and while this year hasn’t resulted in the sort of all-day metal festival that has graced Strange Matter in past years, the local scene has nonetheless benefited in some ways. The chance to host Miami grinders Maruta is one of them, and since this is apparently the first time these guys have come through since Nara Sushi was the place to see shows, it’s been a long time coming. Not only have Maruta recently signed to Relapse, they just finished recording with Pig Destroyer’s Scott Hull–so these guys are legit! Their last album is a few years old by now, but there’s no reason to expect any less than the total brutality they dished out on Forward Into Regression to have diminished in the slightest, so get ready for some serious pit action.

Burn/Ward have been around for a relatively short amount of time (which is probably why they still only have something like 12 minutes of material), but they’ve done a lot to establish themselves as the rulers of RVA’s power-violence scene, and they’ll show exactly why they’ve risen through the ranks with their guaranteed-to-be-earsplitting set on Thursday. Charlottesville, a town not exactly known for heavy music, nonetheless contributes a band with the memorable name of Blooddrunk Trolls to this bill. Can’t wait to see what these guys are like live. Mysterious locals Rat Meat and Morticia will kick off this evening of speed and ferocity.

Friday, May 30, 9 PM
Diarrhea Planet, Heavy Midgets, Teen Death, Oxidants @ Strange Matter – $8 (order tickets here: http://diarrheaplanet.eventbrite.com/)

I can’t lie, y’all–just thinking about the name “Diarrhea Planet” gives me a little bit of a stomach ache. But one thing I have to give this overdriven power-pop band is that I’m certainly never gonna forget who they are. From their unique four-guitarist lineup to their slightly nausea-inducing name, this band has a lot of memorable elements–but of course, the most memorable are their catchy tunes, which have the added bonus of being loud as hell in the live environment. You know, with all those guitars and such. It’s a safe bet that this set will rule.

Get ready for some pretty great local support, too, because Diarrhea Planet are lucky enough to share this bill with one of the best bands in town. Heavy Midgets are still riding high on excellent recent release Super King, and their powerful punked-out indie rock tunes might just be enough to overshadow Diarrhea Planet–even though they don’t have four guitarists. Teen Death just signed to local label 6131 Records, and have a tough pop-punk sound that’ll definitely fit right in on this bill. Reid Magette’s current project, Oxidants, start things off. It’ll be a night of loud n’ proud poppy punk n’ roll, so bring some earplugs (and some Pepto Bismol), and come out to Strange Matter this Friday night ready to dance!

Saturday, May 31, 7 PM
WRIR Presents The Milkstains’ 10th Anniversary Show, feat. The Milkstains, The Cales, Hot Dolphin, Diamond Hairbrush, Horizontal Hold @ Strange Matter – $7

Have you noticed a trend? Yeah, it’s another one of those weeks where your best bet for live entertainment is just to head over to Strange Matter every night once the sun goes down. As has been mentioned before, Strange Matter tends to be at the forefront of the live music scene in RVA, and although a good bit of that is because of how many great out-of-town acts come through there, it’s also got a lot to do with how tapped into the local scene they are. And this is a locally focused night, for sure. Wild n’ crazy rock n’ roll trio The Milkstains are celebrating their 10th anniversary, and WRIR has joined forces with Strange Matter to turn the whole thing into an all-night party! Or, well, a party that goes until closing time, at least.

The stars of the show will of course be The Milkstains themselves, and when these maniacs get rolling with their unique combo of grunge, surf, and psych-punk sounds, you can expect the entire audience to lose their collective minds–perhaps even more so than usual at Milkstains shows. Flying hair, sweat, and beer is surely on the menu for this set, so make sure you keep your mouth open when you’re standing up front, to absorb the full impact of the entire crazy carnival. But that’ll just be the capper on an entire evening of hijinks and shenanigans, in which local mainstays The Cales, Hot Dolphin, and Diamond Hairbrush will join up with token non-RVA crew Horizontal Hold (who are from NC) and WRIR DJ/master of ceremonies Jamie Lay to start up the party and keep it turnt up all night! Or something like that. Whatever, don’t worry about my poor use of slang, just go to Strange Matter this Saturday and have a blast!

Sunday, June 1, 10 PM
Kevin Gates @ Paradise Lounge – $25 (tickets available at area DTLR locations)

OK, so now we finally move to other local venues, and for good reason, as any followers of the hottest shit happening in hip hop right now surely know. For the rest of you, this is your wake-up call: Louisiana’s Kevin Gates is one of the most interested and talented up-and-coming rappers in the game right now, and with his Atlantic Records debut on the horizon, now’s the perfect time to get in on the hype. Between his two 2013 mixtapes, The Luca Brasi Story and Stranger Than Fiction, and By Any Means, the tape he dropped just a couple months ago, Kevin Gates has released three projects in the past 12 months that all make clear just how rare a talent he is.

From his skills as a singer, which he establishes without the use of Autotune (see “Paper Chasers,” from The Luca Brasi Story); to his gravel-voiced tales of street-level horrors, which are filled with the sort of details that make them impossible to fake (see “Homicide,” from By Any Means); Gates’s music has a high level of quality that you just don’t encounter every day. The man has been working hard to get to where he is now, too, and while he’s done a lot to establish himself, his star is clearly still on the rise. You won’t get the chance to see him at a venue like Paradise Lounge again, so make sure you’re there this Sunday night when Kevin Gates takes the stage. DJ Banga and DJ Play will provide the music, but Kevin Gates is the man you’re paying to see, so don’t mess this one up!

Monday, June 2, 8 PM
Miramar, Richmanian Ramblers, Yeni Nostalji @ The Camel – $7

Monday night is the perfect night to expand your horizons with a variety of international sounds from right here in RVA! While Miramar, the headliners on this bill, feature members of Bio Ritmo, they are tapping a completely different vein of Latin American music. Rather than the upbeat salsa sounds of Bio Ritmo, Miramar delve into the sounds of Puerto Rico’s past, reviving the bolero ballads that emanated from that island half a century ago–as well as incorporating their own original works, and even some Portuguese and Greek tunes that fit in with what they’re doing. Singers Rei Alvarez and Laura Ann Singh harmonize beautifully over the sounds of organ, bongos, and flamenco guitars, so hopefully The Camel’s lighting guy is prepared to set a mood befitting this set of delightful tunes for the lovers in the audience.

The Richmanian Ramblers bring to life the sounds of a completely different part of the world, using accordions and fiddles to enliven the folk music of the Roma people. “Gypsy folk” is a pretty fraught phrase these days in some parts of the internet, but hopefully it will make sense without offending anyone. Besides, this group has donated a significant portion of their earnings thus far to Romania Reborn, a charity that finds homes for orphaned Roma children, so you know their hearts are in the right place. And their music’s pretty amazing, too! The show will start off with the Turkish pop interpretations of local trio Yeni Nostalji, so get your dose of musical culture from Latin America, Europe, and the Middle East all in one evening at The Camel. It’s certainly an enriching way to spend an evening, and you can’t blast your ears with harsh feedback all the time, right?

Tuesday, June 3, 7 PM
Foxy Shazam, Larry And His Flask, A Woman Is A Woman @ The Canal Club – $15 (order tickets HERE)

Hey funky party people, get ready for the ride of your life! Or something like that. Foxy Shazam, Cincinnati soul-funk rockers known for their over-the-top live performances, are coming to The Canal Club this Tuesday night, and they’re fully prepared to turn the party out. Having just self-released their fifth album, Gonzo, for free online (you can grab a copy for yourself at their bandcamp page), the horn-playing sextet with the inimitable lead vocalist is back to doing what they do best: bringing their music to the people. They recorded their new album with Steve Albini in order to capture the feel of their live shows, but nothing will equal seeing it in person, so make sure you do so at the Canal Club next Tuesday!

Larry And His Flask will be along for the ride. Coming to you from the wild world of old-timey folk-punk, this crew of acoustic musicians are clearly inspired by bluegrass and klezmer as well as the modern post-Clash world of tuneful punk rock, so expect some upbeat tempos as well as tunes that update the classic sounds of a century ago. RVA band A Woman Is A Woman will start the whole thing out with their relatively straightforward alternative rock, but they’ll certainly kick the evening off with the proper amount of panache, so show up on time and get ready to rock!

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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