RVA Shows You Must See This Week: 9/30-10/6

by | Sep 30, 2015 | SHOW PICKS

Saturday, October 3, 9 PM
The Diamond Center (LP Release), Big No, DJ Marty Violence @ Black Iris – $6-10 (sliding scale)

The Diamond Center may have moved to Austin, Texas back in the spring, but during the five or so years they lived here in RVA, they made a lot of fans.

Saturday, October 3, 9 PM
The Diamond Center (LP Release), Big No, DJ Marty Violence @ Black Iris – $6-10 (sliding scale)

The Diamond Center may have moved to Austin, Texas back in the spring, but during the five or so years they lived here in RVA, they made a lot of fans. Perhaps nothing demonstrates this more than the fact that their brand new album, Crystals From The Brass Empire, was released as a collaborative project by three different local labels–Egghunt, Steady Sounds, and Funny Not Funny (OK, that last label is actually from Harrisonburg–close enough). This is an album many people have been awaiting for years, and if it took the group moving halfway across the country for it to finally come out, I suppose that’s something we can all live with. Especially since they are returning to RVA this weekend for a big-time release celebration, to take place at Black Iris!

The celebration will actually begin earlier in the afternoon with an in-store appearance at Steady Sounds. Whether this will involve a full-band performance, some sort of acoustic affair, or just a gathering of friends and fans remains to be seen (at least by me). But one thing’s for sure–the band will bust out their full-scale wall of rockin’ psychedelic desert drone haze later in the evening at Black Iris. As far as the current touring incarnation of The Diamond Center, all we can tell you for sure is that it features band mainstays Brandi Price and Kyle Harris up front on guitars and vocals–but that should be enough to make their performance every bit as amazing as the many we saw while they were still living here. You’re not going to get nearly as many chances to see this band in the future as you did in the past–make sure you take advantage of this one.

The show at Black Iris will also feature a set from Big No, who have previously had a similarly hazy psychedelic sound as that of Diamond Center–the last set I saw by them gave me major Spacemen 3 and Mazzy Star vibes. Of course, their most recent shows have been more stripped-down, percussionless affairs that the band has taken to nicknaming “Small No” sets. So are we getting a full band on this night, or a quieter, more intimate version of the group? You’ll have to show up to find out, but believe me, both versions have their charms. It’ll be worth your time either way. The whole evening kicks off with DJ Marty Violence of Steady Sounds spinning the great tunes on vinyl to get you in the mood. Get ready to party–and bring some extra cash, because if you don’t own Crystals From The Brass Empire yet, you really need to fix that ASAP.

Wednesday, September 30, 9 PM
White Laces, Myrrias @ Balliceaux – $5

Local favorites White Laces will hit an RVA stage for the last time in 2015 tonight at Balliceaux, and you should really be there to see it go down. This melodically gifted postpunk group–expanded to a four-piece earlier this year with the addition of keyboardist/singer Tori Hovater–are still attracting new converts through the sweet sounds of their 2014 sophomore LP, Trance, but they’re not the sort of band to rest on their laurels. So not only are they preparing a limited-edition free EP entitled No Floor for release in the very near future, they’re also hard at work on finishing up their third full-length. This is why they’ll be departing from the live arena for the next several months, and why you should definitely get your fix now before you find yourself stuck with a six-month stretch totally free from White Laces shows.

They’ll be joined on the Balliceaux stage tonight by Philadelphia’s Myrrias, a dream-pop group with a brand new EP entitled All Alone out today(!) on their Bandcamp page. These three songs demonstrate this band’s ability to create a gorgeous haze of fuzzy guitars, entrancing keyboards, and gorgeous multi-layered vocals, all of which work together to make up the sort of lovely pop music you can sink into like a feather bed at the end of a long day. A band like this is too good to miss in a live environment, so get familiar with what Myrrias have to offer and come enjoy your last opportunity to see White Laces for quite a while at Balliceaux tonight.

Thursday, October 1, 5 PM
Test, Agitate, Deterioration, Burn/Ward @ Strange Matter – $8

From hazy dream-pop to total grindcore madness–these are the sorts of abrupt stylistic shifts available to the discerning connoisseur of live music here in Richmond. And we’re lucky to have them! Take full advantage of the opportunity for musical mood swings by heading out to Strange Matter Thursday night and having your head blown off by a series of raging grindcore bands from all over the country and beyond! Brazilian duo Test will head things up with a set of wild, noisy hyperspeed jams, complete with deep, roaring vocals and plentiful raging riffs. These guys like to let people know that they’re “best where there is no stage,” so expect a wild floor-level performance from them when they roll through Strange Matter.

Test will be joined on this trip through RVA by a couple of grind bands on tour from Minneapolis. Agitate are another guitar/drums duo, and they’ve got the full-on death metal growl vocals to rattle your bones. Fellow Minneapolitans Deterioration rage in a blurrier, more hectic fashion (if that’s even possible), and stick with a pro wrestling theme in much of their music as well. Grindcore is sometimes known for irreverence and bad taste, and Deterioration get into some of that, busting out Anal Cunt covers and songs about the murderous end of wrestler Chris Benoit’s career. Therefore, those easily offended may want to skip this band’s set–but come on, where’s the fun in that? RVA shredders Burn/Ward will start things off with an enjoyable display of their thousand-miles-an-hour powerful sound. Get stoked.

Friday, October 2, 5 PM
Bully, Heat, Dead Soft @ Strange Matter – $10 (order tickets here: https://bullyva.eventbrite.com/)

I have to tell you, Richmond, I’m especially excited for this show. Bully’s album Feels Like has been on heavy rotation ever since it was released earlier this year, and frontwoman Alicia Bognanno’s punk rock rage delivers on both feminist vitriol and tuneful energy. Loud guitars and frantic yet melodic shouting make songs like “I Remember” and “Milkman” impossible to forget or get out of your head. Seeing them live promises to be an overwhelming blast of rock n’ roll fun, and I for one cannot wait.

Bully will be joined at this early, all-ages show by a couple of Canadian bands with some pretty great sounds of their own. Heat are carving out a rep for guitar-driven alt-rock awesomeness, and while I’ve heard them compared to bands like The Strokes, I think it’s much more fair to mention the Jesus And Mary Chain in their early apocalyptic surf-punk era, or Yo La Tengo at their most post-VU noise-damaged. Meanwhile, Dead Soft have a bit more of a melodic punk thing going on, though if anything they most make me think of Canadian power-pop geniuses Sloan–which is always high praise for those who know the deal. All three of these bands are gonna keep you dancing and rocking out to their loud, guitar-driven sounds, so celebrate the end of another work week with an excellent matinee show at Strange Matter.

Saturday, October 3, 9 PM
Superhumanoids, Rush Midnight, Nude Photos Of Celebrities @ Strange Matter – $10 (order tickets here: https://superhumanoids.eventbrite.com/)

Fans of electronic pop should definitely come out for this one. The trio of talented musicians behind Superhumanoids bring diverse influences, from postpunk to R&B and top 40 pop sounds, into the mix to create some amazingly catchy tunes on their latest album, the just-released Do You Feel OK? The tour in support of that album brings this LA crew into RVA this Saturday night, and it’s sure to be a dance party when they hit the Strange Matter stage. Bouncy beats hide a darker undercurrent that keeps things from ever getting too straightforward, and any band willing to give their electro-pop tunes names like “Death Rattle” and “Norwegian Black Metal” has got to be made up of some pretty fun people.

They’ll be joined by Rush Midnight, bringing you some similarly intelligent and creative electronic sounds from that other hipster mecca of the US, Brooklyn. Rush Midnight leader Russ Manning started out as the bass player for Twin Shadow, but has stepped out on his own in recent years, getting down with the same sort of twilight disco-jazz electro-R&B sound that his former bandmates in Twin Shadow are so skilled at–as well as brushing up against other popular and talented hip disco merchants like Chromeo or even recent Daft Punk. With an arsenal of catchy tunes at his disposal, Rush Midnight will get you dancing for sure. RVA locals Nude Photos Of Celebrities kick the evening off with some fun sounds of their own, so make sure to wear your dancing shoes.

Sunday, October 4, 7:30 PM
Mannequin Pussy (Photo by Walter Wlodarczyk), New Turks, Ultra Flake @ Gallery 5 – $6

Here’s a tasty treat for all the fans of wild noisy punk out there–Mannequin Pussy is coming back to RVA, taking their basement-show chaos to the stage at Gallery 5 and getting ready to blow this entire city away. Their twin-guitar/no-bass attack only gives this trio that much more of a raw, chaotic sound, and the sheer breathless energy driving all of their music is what makes it all so very worth your while. If you’ve ever wondered what it would sound like if Sleater-Kinney made an early 80s hardcore record, or whether Screaming Females had snottier, angrier younger siblings, Mannequin Pussy are the band for you.

They’ll be joined by a couple of RVA hardcore punk bands with a similar amount of creative energy and noisy chaos at their disposal. By now we’re all familiar with New Turks’ low-end overload bass/drum attack that somehow manages to be laced with feedback despite the near-complete absence of treble in their sound, right? Well if by some miracle (of the not-so-good variety) you still don’t know what this band has in store for you, you need to fix that by coming down to Gallery 5 Sunday night and letting them blow your hair back, 80s-Maxell-commercial style. Ultra Flake kicks the whole thing off with some raging no-frills punk rock from members of Hot Dolphin and the too-short-lived Bitchmouth. It’s gonna rule.

Monday, October 5, 9 PM
Wandcarver, Sun Abduction, California Death, Slump @ Strange Matter – $7

This Monday night, it’s time for some serious weirdness going down at Strange Matter. Wandcarver are from Norfolk, but they’ve definitely attained some buzz here in RVA, especially if the fact that they’re the only non-RVA band with a release on local label Hand To Mouth Tapes is any indication. Musically, they’re a bit hard to pin down, with some strange noise and electronic elements interacting with psychedelia and postpunk in the most unpredictable of ways. Like I said, it’s really weird. It’s also really cool, and very much unlike what anybody else is doing these days, so you should definitely come check them out if you haven’t already.

They’ll be joined on this bill by Brooklyn’s Sun Abduction, who’ve got a more easily understood dark psychedelic sound to offer–something like a cross between the darkest mid-60s Rolling Stones tunes (think side two of Aftermath) and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club at their spookiest. These guys apparently have an LP coming out in January, but you can get a live preview of their hippie-desert-apocalypse sound this Monday night at Strange Matter–and that’s an opportunity you should take full advantage of. The show kicks off with performances by RVA doom-surf guitar-slingers California Death, and openers Slump, about whom I know absolutely nothing. But hey, in light of how good the rest of this bill is, you can certainly afford to take a chance on them.

Tuesday, October 6, 9 PM
Go!Zilla, BOYTOY, Sacred Teachers, Ryder Bach @ Strange Matter – $8

Let’s wrap things up this week with an evening of totally rad rock n’ roll. Go!Zilla are testing the limits of what punctuation can do in some really fun ways with that exclamation mark (I read their name as “Godzilla” the first several times I looked at it), but what’s more important is their ability to rock out–and this Italian band is apparently quite adept in that department, if their album Sinking In Your Sea, released back in the spring, is a worthwhile guide. This band calls themselves “acid psychedelic punk,” and though they seem to land more on the garage rock end of the spectrum than anything I’d think to call punk at first listen, what really matters is that they rock like crazy. And they definitely do that.

Brooklynites BOYTOY have a similar appeal, though they replace Go!Zilla’s bent-note swagger with a more melodic touch, as provided by singer Saara Untracht-Oakner. Their self-titled debut came out on the formidable Burger Records last year, so you know these guys are high quality. Local support is provided by the somewhat elusive and always entertaining Sacred Teachers, as well as by recent Richmond transplant Ryder Bach, who’s apparently got a whole batch of catchy tunes to lay on us all and, in so doing, introduce himself to the city in proper fashion. It’s gonna be a great night–don’t miss it!


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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