RVA Shows You Must See This Week: 9/24-9/30

by | Sep 24, 2014 | SHOW PICKS

Friday, September 26, 8 PM
Municipal Waste, Snack Truck, Earthling @ Hardywood – $10 in advance/$12 at the door (order tickets here: http://hardywoodwaste.eventbrite.com)

Oh man, is this real? Things are about to get crazy over at Hardywood!

Friday, September 26, 8 PM
Municipal Waste, Snack Truck, Earthling @ Hardywood – $10 in advance/$12 at the door (order tickets here: http://hardywoodwaste.eventbrite.com)

Oh man, is this real? Things are about to get crazy over at Hardywood! Municipal Waste is in a somewhat awkward position these days where being a Richmond band is concerned. They’re a bit too big to play most of the venues they’ve long haunted around this city… but they aren’t quite big enough to headline the National or anything like that. So what’s the compromise? Nutty one-off shows in places guaranteed to get absolutely ridiculous once all the Waste’s rowdy reprobate fans crowd in. But doing this at Hardywood brings a bizarre twist to the whole thing.

By comparison, the last time I remember the Waste doing something like this was a couple of years ago at Wonderland, Shockoe Bottom’s favorite punk rock dive bar. Wonderland bore the strain admirably; after all, if that place gets soaked to the rafters in cheap beer and sweat, that’s just an average Saturday night for them. Hardywood has a whole different vibe, though. For one thing, they probably don’t even allow cheap beer onto the premises over there, meaning all the Waste-oids are gonna have to get drunk on the craft beers that make up Hardywood’s high-quality wares. For another, I’m used to seeing bands that are much more… sedate on the bill at Hardywood. I hope these guys are battening down the hatches, because things get crazy when the Waste plays, and I’d hate to be writing a story on Monday morning about another tank of craft beer getting destroyed.

If you’re going to this show, though, your primary concern should definitely be getting stoked and going off, because the Waste deserve no less. I haven’t even talked in this write-up about how these guys sound because they’ve been dominating the RVA hardcore and metal scenes for over a decade and I guess I just assumed you knew. But on the off chance you just moved here from Siberia or someplace, Municipal Waste are the absolute thrash gods of the modern era, having released half a dozen albums full of speedcore anthems with hilarious and zany lyrics. Their last record even had a space theme, complete with a zombie alien horror movie music video for the title track. If you haven’t seen this band, your life is incomplete, so fix that problem by showing up at Hardywood Friday night and seeing just how crazy things can get inside a high-class craft beer bar when Municipal Waste hit the stage. Instrumental math-rock weirdos Snack Truck and black metal ragers Earthling open this evening of lunacy, and they’re both well worth seeing in their own right, so show up on time and grab a spot up front!

Wednesday, September 24, 9 PM
Scott & Charlene’s Wedding, Dead Fame, Colony, Bare Thoughts @ Strange Matter – $8 (order tickets here: https://scottandcharlene.eventbrite.com/)

Scott & Charlene’s Wedding are an Australian indie rock band named after a couple from a long-running Australian soap opera called Neighbours. Charlene was played by Kylie Minogue, but Scott & Charlene’s Wedding are nothing like the disco-pop Ms. Minogue based her musical career around. Instead, singer/guitarist Craig Dermody plays the sort of wistful, jangly indie-pop that 80s New Zealand bands like The Clean and The Cannanes made famous. Er, well, semi-famous. If you read the right fanzines. We’re getting lucky enough to see them in Richmond, all the way on the other side of the world from their hometown of Melbourne, because Dermody moved to Brooklyn last year. He followed the move by the release of the second Scott & Charlene’s Wedding album, Any Port In A Storm, which betters all of their previous releases, and features “1993,” in which Dermody makes clear exactly what era provides the greatest inspiration for his music. All around the world, the 90s are back! Scott & Charlene’s Wedding have an untutored sloppiness to their sound, right down to Dermody’s unconventional singing voice, which has the curious effect of increasing their charm and making listeners feel right at home with their ramshackle hooks.

The rest of the bands on this bill should also make you feel right at home, because they represent some of the best postpunk sounds being made in RVA right now. Dead Fame, of course, have been proving their bona fides for a while, most recently with the catchy New Order/Echo & the Bunnymen influenced jams on their 12-inch EP, Vicious Design, released earlier this year. If you still aren’t up on what Dead Fame have going on, now’s the time to check them out, because they’re poised to take things to the next level. Colony is a newer RVA band featuring former members of In Circles and Lost Tribe, and they’re doing much the same thing that Dead Fame are doing, though perhaps with a more mournful slant. They even cover The Chameleons on their demo, so you know these guys have good taste. Locals Bare Thoughts start the evening off with some rockin’ postpunk jams of their own. Sweet deal.

Thursday, September 25, 10 PM
Tiger Flowers, Venomspitter @ Empire – $5

It’s nice to see Empire getting into the groove of doing semi-regular shows. Clearly, they’re looking to appeal to the aging-metalhead demographic (which I fall smack into the middle of) with this show–not only does it feature some excellent heavy sounds from both local and touring bands, it’s a short bill, which means it’ll end quickly. I get tired of standing after a while, you know? Anyway, Tiger Flowers hail from New York and are your headliners on this bill. Their sound has been compared to Botch and Coalesce, and while those reference points aren’t far off by any means, there’s a foreboding darkness at the heart of what Tiger Flowers does that brings to mind the brutal melancholy of bands like All Else Failed or Kiss It Goodbye, at least for me. All of which is to say, they are well worth seeing this Thursday night at Empire.

Venomspitter is holding it down for the RVA local scene on this bill, and I’m certainly excited to check this band out as well. With a whole bunch of talented veterans of the local metal and hardcore scenes included in their ranks, their pedigree can’t be fucked with, and what’s more, they’re playing a fast, angry style of music that is always a ton of fun to experience live. You can expect blast beats, raw screams, and brutal sludge parts, all crammed into minute-long songs that they deliver one after the other without giving you a chance to catch your breath. The whole set’s probably gonna be over in 15 minutes, but it’ll feel a lot longer than that based on sheer impact. Meawnile, there’ll be much less time for my feet to get sore, so I’m into it.

Friday, September 26, 7 PM
New Turks, Soft Time @ Books Bikes & Beyond – $3

Here’s another show that’ll keep the running time short and sweet for all of us boring old dudes out there. And it’s at Books Bikes and Beyond, too, which should be an experience in and of itself. I’ve never heard of this arts district thrift store throwing shows before, and I have no idea what to expect, but seeing bands play amongst the bookshelves and clothes racks should be fun. New Turks are the stars of this particular show, and this bass/drum duo has some stripped-down riff monsters for you all to enjoy. There’s no room for anything extraneous in their rumbling sound–it’s all pure heaviness crashing down on your head like the catchiest ton of bricks ever. And when Ethan Gensurowsky starts roaring into the mic, things get hectic. So get ready for some serious headbanging.

Soft Time have a bit more space in their sound than New Turks; having two guitars instead of zero will do that. With former Catalyst drummer Kevin Broderick taking a turn as a guitar-slinging frontman, some of that sludgy midtempo grunge power The Catalyst always brought is definitely showing up in Soft Time’s music as well. Meanwhile, there are also elements of downbeat indie rock and garage-psych wildness creeping into the mix here. At the end of the day, though, Soft Time will inspire much the same reaction as New Turks–major headbangs. Just be sure you don’t knock any books off shelves while you’re rocking out to these bands, and everyone will have a great time.

Saturday, September 27, 9 PM
Cory Branan, Paulo Franco, Alison Self @ The Camel – $10

All the alt-country fans in town are gonna have to cram into The Camel on Saturday night, because Cory Branan’s performance that night is one nobody who has any appreciation for roots rock, twang, Americana, or any of those other buzzwords has any excuse for missing. Like damn near every country singer worth his salt these days, Branan has a history with punk rock and metal, and he brings those experiences into his current music with gusto. He’s got an edge the Nashville machine would have sanded down long ago, and his reverence for the history of the music he’s playing keeps him from falling into the schmaltzy tendencies that plague the stuff you hear on country radio these days. Branan’s most recent album, The No-Hit Wonder, features guest appearances from ex-Drive By Trucker Jason Isbell and Hold Steady frontman Craig Finn. He’s even gotten a shoutout in a Lucero song, so you know this dude is for real. Come see for yourself!

And thrill to the opening sounds of Paulo Franco and Alison Self while you’re at it. Franco’s pulling from much the same stylistic smorgasbord as Branan, though he and his band, the Rateros, are a bit more likely to get into straight-up balladeering than Branan typically does. Expect plenty of slide guitar and lyrics about hanging out in bars during this dude’s set. Alison Self will open things up with a great set of old-time music, mixing both originals and great old standards from songwriters you know and love. Head out to the Camel Saturday night, and see what real country music is all about!

Sunday, September 28, 9 PM
Dan’l Boone, Mutwawa, Daggering, Broadcastatic, Coteries @ Strange Matter – $10 (order tickets here: https://danlboone.eventbrite.com/)

Sunday night is your night to get weird, as RVA Noise takes over Strange Matter to bring you a new project from some veterans of seriously fucked ensembles. Dan’l Boone is a quartet that brings together Neil Hagerty (Pussy Galore/Royal Trux/Howling Hex), Nate Young (Wolf Eyes), Charles Ballas (Formant), and Alex Moskos (Drainolith) to blast the ears of all gathered with a chaotic whirlwind of electronic noise. If you remember the early Royal Trux stuff where everyone was just blasting away at random keyboards and yelling incoherently, well, this makes all of that sound remarkably cohesive. It’s a synthesized pile-up of effects and babble, and it’ll steamroll you with its sheer insanity. Some of you are recoiling in terror right now, but those of you who are licking your chops at the thought of this kind of punishment should really get your tickets now.

Several local noise ensembles will introduce the sounds of Dan’l Boone with their own brand of craziness. Mutwawa is the one everyone knows about–Jason Hodges and Gary Stevens dishing out mutant disco weirdness while beats pound and you dance. Daggering are their own mini all-star collective from the local scene, with members of Scant, Floodbeast, Caves Caverns, etc appearing to twirl knobs and manipulate sounds. Broadcastatic has their own domain name now, but I still can’t quite figure out what these guys have going on. I suppose I should actually make it to one of their shows at some point. Finally, Coteries opens up with some ranting noise from unknown origin. They want $100 for each of their mp3s on Bandcamp, so going to this show is really a much better deal when you think about it.

Monday, September 29, 7 PM
Periphery, The Contortionist, Intervals, Toothgrinder @ The Broadberry – $16 in advance/$18 at the door (order tickets HERE)

It’s time for all the super-intelligent metal types to come out of their shells and head down to the Broadberry. Periphery will be in town this Monday night, laying down some seriously progged-out metal grooves that were probably written with a slide rule. These guys initially exemplified the intelligent end of the metalcore scene before all that deathcore stuff came in and everyone started tuning to drop Q. With their most recent release, the 2014 mini-LP Clear, the band decided to stretch out by giving each member full control of the songwriting over one of the EP’s 6 tracks (not counting the intro). This results in everything from chugging metal grooves with complex time signatures to surprisingly catchy melodic vocals over what might almost be called glam-prog riffs. It’s a challenging move, both to the band and to listeners, but for those willing to go on the sonic journey offered, it’s quite rewarding. The live version of Periphery circa 2014 should be just as fascinating–and after all, if you didn’t want to be challenged, I’m not sure why you’d ever check out this band in the first place.

Periphery aren’t the only wildly inventive metalcore band on this bill, either. The Contortionist are if anything even more mind-twistingly complex, and they’re definitely heavier, trading in Periphery’s mostly melodic vocals for a deathcore bark that fits well over their chunky 9/8 and 11/4 breakdowns. You can headbang to this band, but you’d better be paying close attention while you do so, for it would be a lie to say that The Contortionist are ever willing to lay down a conventional groove. Meanwhile, Intervals are a Toronto instrumental ensemble who favor 8 string guitars and jazzy epics with multiple movements. Vocals would just get in the way for these guys. New Jersey’s Toothgrinder will open this bill up with the most straightforward heaviness you’ll hear all night–which is not to say they have simple songs. No, these guys will definitely keep your attention even as they’re knocking your block off. Just don’t expect any clean guitar leads during their set. Also, keep an eye on their drummer, because dude totally shreds.

Tuesday, September 30, 9 PM
Motel Fire, Big Mama Shakes, No Outlet @ Strange Matter – $5

So what’s going on next Tueday night? Not a ton–there aren’t any international superstars taking the stage in Richmond on the last day of September. That’s OK, though, because it’ll offer you a chance to catch up on what’s going on in the local scene. This all-locals bill at Strange Matter should be a lot of fun for anyone who enjoys catchy, no-frills rock n’ roll. Motel Fire is a trio with a bit of a blues-rock feel, but they’re also hitting some of the mid-90s alt-rock sweet spots on a lot of the songs from their just-released debut album, 1515. Think something like The Toadies crossed with Blind Melon and Pearl Jam? There’s a bit of a soulful element in there too, which is always welcome.

Meanwhile, Big Mama Shakes, who hail from both RVA and Williamsburg, describe themselves as “soul-rock”, which I wasn’t sure about until I actually heard their songs. The fact that these dudes have recorded with members of Black Girls is not a surprise, considering that they have a similar blue-eyed soul mixed with alt-rock approach as that more well-known RVA sensation. There are some undeniable Southern rock tinges in what Big Mama Shakes are laying down, and I’d be willing to bet enough money to buy several tacos that the members of this band own a few Ryan Adams albums between them as well. They may be playing rock n’ roll, but their songs will definitely get you dancing. So: soul-rock? Yeah, actually, sounds about right. No Outlet, about whom I know absolutely nothing, opens up this locals-only night of jams. Get familiar.

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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