RVA Shows You Must See This Week 5/6-5/12

by | May 6, 2015 | SHOW PICKS

Saturday, May 9, 2 PM
A Good Day In RVA II, feat. The Nervous Ticks, Sports Bar, Nelly Kate, Benjamin Shepherd, Murphy’s Kids, Toxic Moxie, Lobo Marino, Christi, Manatree, Half Bascule, Way Shape Or Form, Basmati, Antiphons & a special surprise guest @ Hardywood – Free!

Here it is, folks: one of the most important RVA live musical events of 2015, if not THE most important. Hell yes I’m serious, and there’s no real way to oversell this one.

Saturday, May 9, 2 PM
A Good Day In RVA II, feat. The Nervous Ticks, Sports Bar, Nelly Kate, Benjamin Shepherd, Murphy’s Kids, Toxic Moxie, Lobo Marino, Christi, Manatree, Half Bascule, Way Shape Or Form, Basmati, Antiphons & a special surprise guest @ Hardywood – Free!

Here it is, folks: one of the most important RVA live musical events of 2015, if not THE most important. Hell yes I’m serious, and there’s no real way to oversell this one. As you probably know if you’ve been paying attention to this site lately, local film collective Good Day RVA has been getting a lot done in their quest to bring Richmond music to the world in as cinematic a form as possible. However, their video production rate isn’t nearly fast enough to train the spotlight on every single local band they love at once. Thus we have A Good Day In RVA, now in its second year–a one-day free live music event that brings you over a dozen bands spread over two stages for one amazing afternoon and evening at Hardywood.

Good Day RVA is exclusively featuring great Richmond bands on this show, and even though they put on 14 of this city’s leading lights last year, they’re nowhere near running out of worthwhile projects to focus on. Thus, they have 14 more amazing bands for you this year, and while, if you actually make it out to a good many of the shows I try to send you to every week, you’ve probably seen most of them at one point or another, seeing all of them in a single day is going to be a special treat for sure! The Nervous Ticks, a personal favorite of Good Day RVA co-founder Chris Damon, will be one of the big headliners this year, taking over the stage with their incredibly minimal setup. A guitar, a couple of drums, a couple of mics, and a keyboard are all these primitive rock n’ roll noisemakers need to blow you away and have you losing your mind with excitement.

But they’re just the beginning! From the heart-of-gold surf-pop joy of Sports Bar to the haunting ambient vibes of world travelers Lobo Marino, this show will run the gamut of amazing sounds on offer here in RVA. Toxic Moxie’s funk-punk jams, Christi’s girl-group/garage-rock jangle, Way Shape Or Form’s math-rock complexities, even the ska-punk throwback sound of Murphy’s Kids–all of this and more will be on display for your entertainment. Needless to say, there’ll be plenty of great Hardywood beer on tap, plus food trucks aplenty–and did we mention it’s free? Seriously, there’s nothing about this whole affair that isn’t awesome. If you miss it, you’re missing the best Richmond’s music scene has to offer. And that’s just not acceptable.

Wednesday, May 6, 10 PM
Mcrvwvs, Tarrant Trio @ Cary Street Cafe – Free!

Edward Prendergast, RVA’s musical man of mystery, can be difficult to keep up with. Of course everyone knows him from his main gig, holding down the low end for salsa heroes Bio Ritmo, but that’s hardly a sufficient outlet for his extensive creative energy. Over the years, he’s had projects like Amazing Ghost and Big East, bands that hover around the edges of the local scene putting out the occasional soul-influenced pop single and playing some amazing gigs, but never really building up to critical mass before they seem to fade away. Hopefully Prendergast’s latest project, Mcrvwvs, will finally make him a true RVA household name.

It certainly has the right stuff to get him there. Kelli Strawbridge, the creative force behind KINGS and the lead James Brown invoker for local tribute funkateers The Big Payback, is on the drums for this combo, and Prendergast is backed by a bunch of his Bio Ritmo bandmates as well, including percussionist Hector Barez and horn players Bob Miller, Toby Whitaker, and John Lilley. The results these guys cook up are primo, as you can hear on their album Get Nuked! It’s full of heart, soul, and longing, and as usual, Prendergast manages to incorporate a wide variety of musical influences into what he’s doing without being easily pigeonholed into any one genre. So come out to Cary Street Cafe tonight and enjoy a detailed live introduction to what Mcrvwvs are all about–you won’t regret it! Jordan Tarrant’s eponymous alt-country project, Tarrant, will open up in what sounds like it’ll be a somewhat stripped-down form, though the songs promise to be as big and beautiful as ever. Enjoy!

Thursday, May 7, 10 PM
Dr. Millionaire, DJ Harrison @ Balliceaux – $5

Dr. Millionaire’s been making his name on the RVA hip hop scene for quite a while now, going back to his days paired up with producer Hovey Benjamin in Isaiah & Hovey. He’s been promising his solo debut, My First Million, for a while now, and the local hip hop heads are in a state of heightened anticipation waiting for it. It’s not quite ready for y’all just yet (or is it YOU that aren’t ready for IT? Important questions), but you can get a good idea of what’s in store for you in the near future by heading out to Balliceaux this Thursday night. Dr. Millionaire’s playing a headlining show in the amazingly retro back room of this Lombardy Street club, and considering his loverman reputation, you can bet a lot of lovely ladies will be in attendance. Of course, considering recent jams like “More Songs Than Pac” as well as earlier hits like “Girl,” the dudes who only care about lyrics should be in the house too.

And really, fans of high-quality production need to make it out to this show too. Not only does Dr. Millionaire still get great beats from Hovey Benjamin and other awesome RVA producers; DJ Harrison will also be playing this show. You might know him as Jellowstone kingpin Devonne Harris, that keyboardist and drummer extraordinaire whose fingerprints are all over every release on the amazing and highly prolific Jellowstone label. As he demonstrated on his excellent 2014 album, Stashboxxx, DJ Harrison is capable of crafting some smooth, deep, and vibe-laden hip hop instrumentals when he sets his mind to it. And amazingly enough, he does it all through multi-tracking of original performances–no samples necessary. How he’ll get all this stuff going in a live environment remains to be seen, but it’s worth finding out, so show up at Balliceaux this Thursday night and take in a double dose of the best RVA hip hop has to offer.

Friday, May 8, 8 PM
Mac McCaughan, Flesh Wounds, Hoax Hunters @ Strange Matter – $12 (order tickets here: https://macmccaughan.eventbrite.com/)

New album Non-Believers is actually the first solo effort from Mac McCaughan, but this North Carolina singer/guitarist/songwriter has an impeccable reputation nonetheless; after nearly 30 years fronting pop-punk pioneers Superchunk as well as holding down a side gig as the main man for introspective indie rock project Portastatic (not to mention his tenure in Seam, his collaboration with Robert Pollard of Guided By Voices, and more), it’s only what he deserves. Non-Believers shows a quiet, pensive side to the man who wrote energy blasts like “Hyper Enough” and “Punch Me Harder,” but the songwriting quality is top-notch as always, and it’s always good to see someone who we’ve all known is brilliant continue to challenge himself and push his limits. So regardless of whether you see this as a debut solo tour or just the latest opportunity to see what a tried and true musical hero is up to, you better make sure you head down to Strange Matter for the first RVA appearance as a solo artist by Mac McCaughan.

McCaughan will be bringing some Chapel Hill pals along with him for this tour–Flesh Wounds, a young garage-punk trio who released an EP on McCaughan’s Merge Records last year, just released a brand new tape called In The Mouth and are every bit as snarly and raging as McCaughan’s new solo stuff is quiet and introspective. So get set for two different sides of what the Chapel Hill music scene has to offer, and start your evening out with some of the more ferocious noise Richmond has to offer. That’s right, the show starts with a set from Hoax Hunters, PJ Sykes’ hard-driving power trio, who take cues from 80s noisemakers like Husker Du and Sonic Youth, and are entirely prepared to blast you in the face with walls of feedback noise that are somehow super-catchy at the same time. This show will keep you entertained with a wide variety of musical awesomeness.

Saturday, May 9, 5 PM
Chelsea Grin, The Word Alive, Like Moths To Flames, Sylar, When Cities Sleep, Silent On Fifth Street @ The Canal Club – $17 in advance, $20 day of show (order tickets HERE)

I really can’t resist the occasional temptation in this column to out myself as a fan of some easily hated-upon music. If I could, I would not tell you all how stoked I am that Chelsea Grin will be in town this Saturday–but no, I have to talk about it, because it’s awesome and you should all quit sneering at me and give these guys a chance. Metalcore has evolved to the point where your band needs to have at least 7 strings on their guitars to be appreciated, and Chelsea Grin are willing participants in the extra-string revolution. Their brand of tuned-to-drop-Q breakdown-laden metalcore is shown off to powerful effect on their latest album, Ashes To Ashes, and between their ability to craft excellent Slipknot-esque noise-laced breakdowns (yeah, I said it), their multi-layered vocal screams, and strangely catchy guitar leads, these guys make ridiculous moshcore I can listen to all day. Go see them Saturday and bang your fucking head.

The Word Alive are also on this tour, and they’ve got a bit of a different approach to the whole modern metalcore thing. However, I love theirs just as much. Their ability to play heavy yet catchy riffs and overlay them with vocals that switch back and forth from brutal screams to clean, melodic choruses reminds me very much of Underoath, and considering how important that band was to me over the past decade, I can’t help but love these guys. Drop-tuned breakdowns aren’t much of a thing for them, but if their music doesn’t move you, I have to wonder if you have a pulse. Columbus metalcore band Like Moths To Flames, who have more of that melodic yet heavy sound to offer for you, as well as New York band Sylar, who I’d guess like that TV show Heroes, are also on this tour, and opening support will be provided by RVA bands When Cities Sleep and Silent On Fifth Street. So go mosh it up, y’all, because this is gonna be a blast (even if you wouldn’t want to tell your coworkers about it on Monday).

Sunday, May 10, 9 PM
The Gooch Palms, Death Valley Girls, Bummer’s Eve @ Strange Matter – $8 in advance/$10 day of show (order tickets here: https://goochpalms.eventbrite.com/)

If you love out of control rock n’ roll, this is the show for you! Australia’s Gooch Palms are coming to town, and this wild n’ crazy duo features a lineup that might remind you of local maniacs The Nervous Ticks. Leroy MacQueen is on guitar and lead vocals, channeling Joey Ramone and Lux Interior at the same time while cranking out some classic Chuck Berry/Hasil Adkins-style riffing. He’s joined by Kat Friend, who holds down the beat for this gruesome twosome by standing up and pounding on a floor tom and a snare drum. Meanwhile, she contributes backing vocals that give this whole endeavor a decidedly 60s girl-group pop edge. I find myself thinking of The Shangri-La’s or even The Four Seasons at times, even while hearing the kind of chunky, punky riffs that The Ramones and The Cramps would have loved to call their own. This set will be a total blast, a rock n’ roll romp the likes of which you don’t often see here in town (well, unless you go to every Nervous Ticks show that happens in RVA, which now that I think of it is probably a good plan).

Death Valley Girls aren’t coming from quite as far away as The Gooch Palms–they’re only from the other side of the country, not the other side of the world. And, name to the contrary, they aren’t even all women–a guy named Larry holds down the lead guitar spot in this band. But that’s more than acceptable in light of the feminine rock n’ roll energy this band puts out, as can be heard on tough-as-nails recent singles like “Electric High” and “Summertime,” as well as on their debut album, 2014’s Street Venom. If you like the idea of seeing a band of (mostly) women swagger across the stage like The Runaways reincarnated, you’ll need to catch this show. Recent transplants from Ohio Bummer’s Eve will open this show with a set designed to stake their claim as a worthy RVA band, and once you see ’em rage onstage, you’re bound to remember their name.

Monday, May 11, 6 PM
Fit For An Autopsy (photo by Jeremy Saffer), Aborted, Archspire, Dark Sermon, Seraph, Ensnared Humanity, Abandon Earth @ The Broadberry – $15 in advance/$18 day of show (order tickets HERE)

I used to know this dude who liked to talk about how death metal was too cheesy a genre name, and he just called it “death.” That dude would probably be pretty stoked about this bill coming to the Broadberry next Monday. There’s all sorts of death happening here, from deathcore to death metal and everything inbetween (wait, is there anything inbetween?). Fit For An Autopsy are your deathcore headliners; they’ll be touring with brand new vocalist Joe Badolato, the second singer who has joined the band since the release of their most recent LP, 2013’s Hellbound. The rest of the band’s lineup has remained intact, however, so you can expect their chugging, blasting, downtuned-as-fuck sound to remain intact regardless of the incremental changes in the lead growler’s tone.

Meanwhile, Belgium’s Aborted, who’ve been around for two decades and are currently on tour in support of their eighth album, The Necrotic Manifesto, are fully prepared to blast you out of the room with a ton of lightspeed riffing, blastbeat drums, and intense growls. Fans of everything from Nile to Decapitated and prime-era Cryptopsy should find something to love in this band’s performance. There’s plenty more where that came from when Vancouver’s Archspire take the stage with their progressive, technical death metal; Tampa’s Dark Sermon comes from the city that started it all where death metal is concerned, but they sound more like Decrepit Birth than Morbid Angel–which is certainly not a bad thing. Local heavyweights Seraph, Ensnared Humanity, and Abandon Earth kick off this show full of blastbeats and death growls, so show up on time!

Tuesday, May 12, 9 PM
Satellite Syndicate One Year Anniversary Show, feat. Ohbliv, Dignan (ozark & Scoopkid), Doof, JUXTPSE, James Dangle, Big Wave, Peyote Coyote, PRSNL FRND (BSTFRND & Sittasines), Theravada @ Strange Matter – $3 in advance, $5 day of show (order tickets HERE)

Check it out, y’all–there are a lot of producers and beatmakers hard at work in this town. I know stuff like this can often get pushed aside in favor of more attention-grabbing music; everything from live bands with guitars to rappers getting up in your face with the mic. But the beatmakers are important, and a big collection of some of the best beatmakers in town is currently hard at work in RVA under the name the Satellite Syndicate. You need to be tuning in to what these people are doing if you want to keep up with the kind of sounds being created in this town–and what better opportunity to do so than their one-year anniversary show, taking place next Tuesday at Strange Matter? None that I can see! And better yet, if you hit up the homies for advance tickets, they are only $3! That’s a deal for sure.

Let’s start out with the name that ought to bring you out to this show all by itself: Ohbliv. What more can be said about this guy? The most prolific, highly celebrated producer of instrumental hip hop in RVA, bar none, Ohbliv is influential enough that a new generation of producers who count him as a primary influence are springing up around town (and probably elsewhere in the world too, because the man gets his music out there). But I don’t want to focus too much on Ohbliv and leave out all the other dudes making noise in this collective–from BSTFRND, who started the whole Satellite Syndicate thing up in the first place, and will be performing collaboratively with Sittasines under the name PRSNL FRND, to James Dangle, who was previously affiliated with the Just Plain Sounds collective and has a nice track record of dope beats to his credit already. Then there’s ozark and ScoopKid, doing a collaborative set under the name Dignan (word to Wes Anderson), plus JUXTPSE, Big Wave, Peyote Coyote and a whole bunch more! You’re looking at over three hours of high-quality beats from RVA producers well-known and just getting their name out there, and you need to get familiar with them all. Be there next Tuesday night and make it happen!


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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