RVA Shows You Must See This Week: 6/4-6/10

by | Jun 4, 2014 | SHOW PICKS

Friday, June 6, 9 PM
Noah-O Monument Ave Release Party & Birthday Party for Noah-O, Streetz Deep, B-Giles, & Fire Marshall Skrill @ The Broadberry – $10 (order tickets HERE)

Congratulations to The Broadberry, which has been open for less than two months and is already occupying the exact niche in the local live music scene it was designed to fill.

Friday, June 6, 9 PM
Noah-O Monument Ave Release Party & Birthday Party for Noah-O, Streetz Deep, B-Giles, & Fire Marshall Skrill @ The Broadberry – $10 (order tickets HERE)

Congratulations to The Broadberry, which has been open for less than two months and is already occupying the exact niche in the local live music scene it was designed to fill. Mixing high-profile touring acts that need a space that can actually hold their fanbase with important locally-oriented shows that are worthy of receiving a bigger platform, their upcoming events calendar shows off quite a few notable live dates that you should be paying attention to. And the very next date on that calendar is a great example.

It’s been a few years since Noah-O had a surprise MTV Jams hit with “I Got It,” and while he’s filled the time since then with a few “Thug Wilder”-themed mixtapes, Monument Avenue is the full-length album followup that this leading RVA hip hop artist has long deserved. With lush production provided throughout by Taylor Whitelow and features from some of the best artists in the Richmond hip hop and R&B scene, Monument Avenue is a strong statement from a veteran in the game. Noah-O is carrying on the tradition of past RVA greats like Skillz and the late Kleph Dollaz, and we can only hope that it will receive the notice it should get from Richmond and beyond.

And that’s exactly why you should make sure you’re at The Broadberry for Noah-O’s album release party for Monument Avenue. If Noah-O is finally gonna reach the next level, it starts with hometown support–which you can show by not only coming out this Friday, but picking up one of the CD/DVD deluxe editions of Monument Avenue that’ll be for sale at the show. On top of all that, Noah-O and some other Charged Up Enterprise crew members will be celebrating their birthdays at the show, so if you share a Gemini zodiac sign with Noah-O, Streetz Deep, B-Giles, and Fire Marshall Skrill, show up before 11 PM and get in free! That’s a crazy deal… anyone got a fake ID with a June birthdate I can borrow?

Wednesday, June 4, 7 PM
Washed Out (Photo by Shae DeTar), Wunder Wunder @ The National – $20 (order tickets HERE)

Washed Out should need no introduction, at least for readers of Pitchfork (or Hipster Runoff). The king of 2009 flash-in-the-pan microgenre of choice “Chillwave,” Washed Out leader Ernest Greene attracted a lot of attention with his moody, melodic bedroom creations, solo electro-pop sketches that attained an air of stoned gorgeousness partly through his use of primitive recording methods that buried the whole thing in layers of woozy murk (the genre was also sometimes known as “glo-fi”).

Chillwave’s passe these days, but Washed Out has stayed relevant through artistic growth that was showcased on their second album, 2013’s Paracosm. Having recruited an actual band, Ernest Greene set about writing more complex and complete songs that could withstand direct sunlight and clear production. The resulting “daytime psychedelia” is every bit the delight of his early material, without wearing out its welcome. And these clearer, more easily understood songs are sure to please when hauled out from the bedroom studio and placed before a crowd of swaying hipsters tonight at The National. Considering just how hip this guy’s music was a few years ago, it’s almost surprising that tickets are still available, but those of you who still haven’t purchased are in luck. I predict a bull market for Washed Out in 2014, so don’t roll your eyes and pass on this evening of sun-drenched AM shoegaze just because Carles has moved on to posting about Lorde and Sky Ferreira.

Thursday, June 5, 9 PM
The Swan King, Jar’d Loose, Dirt Merchant, Soft Time @ Strange Matter – $7

There’s a real vogue for heavy, uptempo-but-not-properly-fast noise rock these days. All these bands re-igniting the spark that drove 90s midwestern bands like The Jesus Lizard, Killdozer, and Vertigo. The Swan King comes to us from the very cradle of noise rock, Chicago, and one has to assume the only reason they aren’t currently signed to Amphetamine Reptile is that that label only sort of still exists.

These guys haven’t done too much recently–as far as I can tell, their most recent release is an EP from nearly two years ago called Pay To Pray–but that’s easily explained by the fact that singer/guitarist Dallas Thomas joined Pelican in 2012, which I’m sure keeps him quite busy. With The Swan King (who also feature former Planes Mistaken For Stars bassist Jamie Drier) back on tour, though, it seems likely that they’ve got some new material up their sleeve, so whether you’re a longterm fan or, like me, just discovered them this week, there are good reasons to go seem them tear it up at Strange Matter Thursday night. They’ll be joined on tour by harsh-vocal grunge-rockers Jar’d Loose, also from Chicago, and locals Dirt Merchant and Soft Time will open up. Should be a fun night!

Friday, June 6, 7 PM
RVA Grooves Presents Desert Noises, Alison Self & The Lonesome Lows @ The Hippodrome – $15 (order tickets HERE)

Am I the only one who feels like, when I hear a company with the “RVA” in the name, they’ve gotta be a pretty big deal? Maybe it’s just because of where I work… Whatever, anyway, my point is that RVA Grooves have kind of come out of nowhere recently, and have been throwing some pretty amazing shows at The Hippodrome. They brought in 80s R&B legend El DeBarge last week, and next week, they’ve got Raekwon from Wu Tang Clan–yes, I’m serious. Don’t worry, I’ll remind you. But aside from a relatively bare-bones website, I haven’t been able to find too much info about who RVA Grooves actually are. I feel like Dagny Taggart trying to track down John Galt. How’s that turn out, anyway? I threw Atlas Shrugged across the room after like 100 pages.

Anyway, none of that matters this Friday night–what you do need to know, though, is that RVA Grooves is bringing in Desert Noises to take the stage at The Hippodrome. So you certainly can’t say that this company has narrow musical interests. As different as they are, there are some commonalities between El DeBarge and Raekwon. Meanwhile, Utah’s Desert Noises are exploring the same territory somewhere between Neil Young, Uncle Tupelo, and The Beach Boys that has been previously triangulated by such luminaries as My Morning Jacket and Band Of Horses. It’s a little difficult to define their genre, but the songwriting ability of Desert Noises is what really makes them stand out. With local Americana troubadour Alison Self and her backing band, The Lonesome Lows, opening up, this will be a pretty great show for fans of both the old-time and the modern versions of alt-country (whatever that means these days).

Saturday, June 7, 3 PM
Gold Bears, Hoax Hunters @ Steady Sounds – Free!

This one’s gonna be fun! Gold Bears are a band from Atlanta who are part of the recent revival of that early 90s indie-pop sound originally exemplified by groups like The Wedding Present, Black Tambourine, and Heavenly. And if you’re sitting there thinking, “Good god, is EVERY 90s genre gonna come back now?” then I’m here to tell you the answer is yes, so dealwithit.gif. Besides, the return of Slumberland Records and its associated sunny indie-pop sound is nothing at all to complain about, and Gold Bears are particularly gifted at recreating that style, as they’ve shown on the few preview tracks from their new LP, Dalliance, that are floating around the internet right now. Jangling guitars interspersed with random feedback, extremely memorable vocal melodies that’ll get stuck in your head all day, punk rock-influenced uptempo rhythms… what’s not to love? Nothing, that’s what. Dalliance actually came out yesterday, so you’ll be able to grab yourself a copy at the show. Get stoked!

And stay stoked for local noise rockers Hoax Hunters, who are opening up and who should, if all recent indications are correct, be dropping an LP themselves real soon. PJ Sykes and company may not be as sunny or as poppy as Gold Bears, but they’ll surely rock the place just as hard. Whenever Steady Sounds has one of their in-store live appearances, it’s always fun, and with Saturday offering the perfect not-quite-summer weather in which to enjoy a set of sunny, catchy, and rockin’ indie-pop music, this whole thing is sure to add up to a glorious afternoon.

Sunday, June 8, 7 PM
The Naked And Famous, White Sea @ The National – $20 in advance/$25 at the door (order tickets HERE)

They’ve got some interesting stuff going on down in New Zealand, and no, we’re not talking about Lorde (at least not right now–but yo, that “Tennis Court” song is pretty great, huh? Anyway…)
The Naked And Famous, led by male-female singing duo Thom Powers and Alisa Xayalith, manage to combine glittering synth-pop and complex postpunk to create songs that bounce joyfully and engage your cerebrum all at the same time. You’ve probably heard one of their songs–“Young Blood,” or maybe “Punching In A Dream”–playing in the background in some TV show or video game or something, but they’ve got a lot more to offer than mere background music.

The group’s most recent album, 2013’s In Rolling Waves, alternates starkly contemplative downtempo electro-pop with life-affirming blasts of guitar and vocal melody. There’s even some tinges of emo and shoegaze stirred up in there. Yes, I’m a sucker for this kind of shit–I admit it, OK? But seriously, if you can get down with bands like Metric and Asobi Seksu but also enjoy yourself dancing to Robyn singles, you’re a sucker for this shit too, whether you know it or not! Wrap up your weekend with what’s guaranteed to be an energetic and emotional dance party at The National with The Naked And Famous. You won’t regret it.

Monday, June 9, 4:30 PM
Skrillex, Dillon Francis, What So Not, Milo & Otis @ Brown’s Island – $49.50 (order tickets HERE)

It’s time for all the old sticks-in-the-mud to give in and accept the healing powers of brostep. Skrillex is equally popular with party-happy teenagers and DJs in strip clubs, and that’s got to mean something. Admittedly, I’ve always been more into the cerebral branches of the dubstep genre–Burial, Kode 9, Digital Mystikz, that kind of stuff–but I have to give Skrillex props for recruiting A-list guest stars like Chance The Rapper and G-Dragon for his new album, Recess. Plus, there’s a song on it called “Fuck That,” which is actually kind of a banger, AND it starts with a track called “All Is Fair In Love and Brostep.” Fuck it, this dude’s OK by me. And if you’re the sort of person who can spend a Monday afternoon on Brown’s Island dancing your ass off under the hot summer sun, hopefully covered in dayglo body paint and waving a hula hoop in the air, he should be a good bit more than OK by you too.

And it’s not like Skrillex is the only high-powered producer to be dropping beats like crazy on this RVA stop for the Mothership Tour. Dillon Francis will also be along, and this LA producer has a bit more of a connection to the local area, in that he’s one of the leading producers in the moombahton movement. All of you who like to drive up to DC and dance at Nadastrom’s Moombahton Massive nights will have a special treat in store when Dillon Francis takes over on the decks this Monday afternoon. And that’s not to mention sets from Australian DJ duo What So Not, who are currently signed to Skrillex’s OWSLA label, and Milo & Otis, who are apparently not cartoon animals but actually an LA DJ duo. It all kicks off on Monday at 4:30 PM on Brown’s Island. So take off work a couple hours early, and get ready to call in sick Tuesday morning, because this party is probably going to kick your ass.

Tuesday, June 10, 8 PM
RVA Zine Fest Benefit, feat. Mensroom, New Turks, The Cales, Flesh Control, plus screening of Twisted Issues (1988) @ Strange Matter – $5

The 2014 Richmond Zine Fest, which is scheduled for October 4 (mark your calendars!), is in the process of fundraising for this year’s event, and they’ve created quite the multimedia extravaganza for your viewing and listening pleasure this Tuesday at Strange Matter. The evening begins with a showing of the 1988 cult film Twisted Issues, which combines live footage of 80s-era Gainesville, FL punk bands (Mutley Chix, Psychic Violents, Hellwitch, a bunch of other bands you’ve also never heard of) with a horror-movie plot featuring the homicidal ghost of an inadvertently murdered skater hunting down and killing his killers. Or something like that. It should be a lot of fun, even if you’re too busy downing beers and high-fiving your friends to pick up on all the plot points.

Once Twisted Issues is over, the music will begin, and several high-velocity RVA punk and hardcore bands will provide a moshpit soundtrack to last throughout the night. Well, sorta, at least–things will start off with local experimental musician Flesh Control, who will barrage everyone with sick noise that’s probably impossible to dance to. You can try, though. The Cales are up next with their feedback-laced rock n’ roll tunes, which owe a big debt to the Velvet Underground, Guided By Voices, and 60s girl groups. New Turks will kick things up another notch with their guitarless noise rock pummeling, and Mensroom should finish things off with a real rager of a set, featuring some serious neanderthal hardcore mosh. It’s all to benefit Richmond Zine Fest, but even if it wasn’t for a good cause, this show is guaranteed to be a great time, so you should definitely be there. Bands start at 10, but show up at 8 and see the movie–it looks pretty awesome:

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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