RVA Shows You Must See This Wk: 2/24 – 3/1

by | Feb 24, 2016 | SHOW PICKS

Friday, February 26, 5 PM
Good Day RVA presents Clair Morgan video release, feat. Victorious Trees, GT @ Hardywood – Free!

I’ve been really impressed with Good Day RVA lately.

Friday, February 26, 5 PM
Good Day RVA presents Clair Morgan video release, feat. Victorious Trees, GT @ Hardywood – Free!

I’ve been really impressed with Good Day RVA lately. They’ve always done awesome work, of course, and have stood out on the local visual and musical art scene since their inception. But lately, not only are they continuing to make great videos featuring live performances by local musicians combined with local scenery reinterpreted in a thoughtful and nuanced fashion, they’re doing it really quickly! It was just last month we got two brand new videos from them (Lobo Marino and Dave Watkins), and now we’re getting yet another video premiere down at Hardywood–this one for Clair Morgan’s “How To Set Your Bed On Fire.” This is an overwhelming amount of awesomeness. Keep ’em coming, guys!

It should be understood that I’m impressed with Clair Morgan as well these days. The recent release of “Rogue Island,” the first single from his/their forthcoming second LP, New Lions And The Not Good Night (out May 6 on Egghunt!). I love everything about this new song, from the tangly yet beautiful guitar leads to the part two-thirds of the way through where Morgan’s vocals are replaced by some beautiful femme crooning. I can’t wait to hear more from the new LP–and apparently that’s exactly what I’ll get from this Hardywood evening. Not only will we get a video for a song we haven’t heard yet, we’ll get a lovely live set from Morgan and his band! I’m sold.

There will be other amazing live sounds coming your way during this evening of fantastic music and video, as well. Victorious Trees will be on hand, and this collaboration between folk/ambient/post-rock maestro Dave Watkins and punk/Americana/indie songstress Samantha Pearl is sure to be fascinating, especially since there’s no way to predict in advance what these two wide-ranging talents will come up with for our enjoyment. Alabama’s GT will round things out with some killer reverb-drenched rock n’ roll badassery, and of course, after all the performances, will get to watch the latest dope show from Good Day RVA! Can’t wait.

Wednesday, February 24, 8 PM
Black Tusk, Holy Grail, Humungus, High Priest @ 25 Watt – $5

All you metal warriors who love a bargain when you find one, get your heads out of those dollar bins and listen up! Black Tusk is coming through RVA tonight, ready to blast your head off with highlights from their brand new album Pillars Of Ash, hot off the presses from the fine folks at Relapse! And here’s the bargain–the show is $5! Yeah, I know, you thought these kinds of prices for these kinds of high-quality national acts died out after Y2K. But apparently when certain strings are pulled, amazing things can happen, and once again we can lay the credit at the feet of Between 2 Beers Promotions! Keep up the good work, guys.

On the off chance you haven’t done your research on Black Tusk, no worries, I’ve done it for you, so here’s a crash course. This Savannah, GA trio has been cranking out raging white-hot biker metal for over a decade now, but suffered a tremendous setback when founding bassist/vocalist Jonathan Athon passed away in a motorcycle accident in 2014. Current album Pillars Of Ash consists of the band’s final recordings with Athon, and the new lineup that will be coming through town features former Kylesa bassist Corey Barhorst taking his place. Not only will this reconstituted lineup of Black Tusk be taking the stage at 25 Watt to knock your block off, they’ll be receiving excellent direct support from Cali’s own Holy Grail, as well as a couple of VA ragers that also start with H–Humungus and High Priest! So come on down to 25 Watt tonight, and get their early because tickets are available only at the door. You can use the money you save on this cheap admission to buy yourself a beer! Or, you know, maybe some cheese fries or something.

Thursday, February 25, 8 PM
Dakhma, Prisoner, Occultist, Van Hagar @ 25 Watt – $7

They’re really stepping the game up down there in Shockoe Bottom at 25 Watt. Two amazing shows in two days is always a treat, but to get two back-to-back shows of blazing metal awesomeness like this, and both on weeknights, no less? A rare gem! On this night, we go from the trimuphant biker rock of Black Tusk into the deepest, darkest pits of raw black metal despair with Michigan trio Dakhma. Shrieking horrific vocals assault your eardrums atop beds of volcanic guitar damage and blastbeat terror, and the group’s epic-length songs go through enough dynamic shifts and sudden tempo changes to make 12 minutes worth of music seem like it blows by in 3 or 4. This band is going to rip your face off, and you are going to love every second of it.

A trio of outstanding RVA metal/hardcore/punk/grind/crust bands will take their place on this excellent bill as well, and whether it’s Prisoner’s harsh His Hero Is Gone-style D-beat influenced crustcore, Occultist’s fearsome blackened crossover thrash power, or Van Hagar’s low-end power violence brutality that you enjoy the most, you’re sure to get a lot out of all the sounds these three bands bring to the table. This is a veritable showcase of everything that’s great in heavy music from RVA lately, and for it to be rolled out as a mere appetizer for Dakhma’s sure-to-be-obliterating headlining set is an amazing stroke of luck for everyone in town! Don’t miss out on this, y’all.

Friday, February 26, 9 PM
Joe Jack Talcum, Coolzey, D&D Sluggers, Park Sparrows @ Strange Matter – $10 (order tickets here https://joejack.eventbrite.com/)

All you fun-loving punk rockers of all ages should be prepared to come dance around Strange Matter this Friday night, because Joe Jack Talcum will be in town! If you know this dude’s name, then you know he’s the guitarist and one of the two singers in The Dead Milkmen–that’s him singing on “Punk Rock Girl,” the song that made this band “baby’s first punk band” for everyone who was in middle school in the late 80s. These days, The Dead Milkmen are back together, and some of you probably remember their auspicious arrival in RVA several years ago. But most of the time, if you run into Joe Jack on tour, he’s gonna be doing his solo stuff, which is acoustic and kinda silly (who’d expect anything less, though), but always rad punk rock fun. So yeah, you’re gonna want to get down with that!

The other acts on this bill are not necessarily what you’d expect from tourmates of a longtime Dead Milkman, unless your primary expectation is humor. Coolzey is an LA rapper with a silly approach to the sorts of topics other songwriters are super-serious about. Sure to be an entertaining set if nothing else. D&D Sluggers are a fun electro-dance troupe from North Carolina with some indie/punk roots (if I’m understanding their music correctly) and a fun-filled, almost chiptune approach to their songs. And for those of you who just want to hear a straightforward punk band, you’re in luck to find RVA’s own Park Sparrows kicking off this show with plenty of that exact sound. Come ready for anything, and look to have some fun. You definitely won’t be disappointed.

Saturday, February 27, 7 PM
Dronez, Schiavi, Van Hagar @ Circle Thrift – $5

Here’s some serious rage for you to get down with–Philadelphia’s Dronez will be coming to town, rolling the clothing racks out of the way and rocking Circle Thrift with some wild D-beat noise. These guys actually revive the little-seen style move of writing your band’s name in the Discharge “font” (that was actually just someone’s handwriting) for their logo. So yeah, you can expect some raw two-chord riffing and short, sharp lyrical shocks–but would you want any less? This is gonna slay.

Locals Schiavi will also be keeping it fast and loud with their own raw take on punk rock, which is less D-beat/UK hardcore style and more like the kind of American rage that pulls just as much from Chuck Berry as Negative Approach. Other than hearing their demo, I actually don’t know much of anything about this band, but I’m expecting great things based on their online sounds. And I HAVE seen Van Hagar, so I know that when it sounds from the Bandcamp like you’re gonna get hit with an unyeilding wall of low-end noise, it’s the absolute truth. These guys make good use of a Fender Bass VI, too, which is always rad. Anyway, come down to Circle Thrift and spend your Saturday night getting your face blown off. (Check the music selection too–the tape rack’s always got some gems).

Sunday, February 28, 10 PM
Kings, Lady God @ Bandito’s – Free!

OK, I’ve just hit you with a pretty unrelenting barrage of hateful metal noise, which you can easily spend your entire week immersed in… but don’t we all need a bit of a change of pace sometimes? Don’t we all need a pick-me-up? Don’t we all need to hit up a show every once in a while that’s guaranteed to put a smile on our face and a spring in our step? Don’t we all just need to DANCE every now and again? I say yes–controversial opinion, I know, but I’m putting it out there.

And to that end, I’m recommending that everyone who loves music in this silly little town take yourselves over to Bandito’s this Sunday night to get down with it as the man himself, Kelli Strawbridge, leads his crack troupe of soul/jazz/funk players to the stage in order to enchant us all with the lovely, powerful styles of KINGS. Pulling from influences like Prince, Sly And The Family Stone, and of course James Brown, Strawbridge and co. put together some flawless jams that are sure to catch you up in the moment and make it impossible to keep still. It’s gonna be all right, y’all–just let the music move you. Lady God will be warming things up with a psychedelic trip of an opening set, so get stoked for that as well. But make sure you wear your dancing shoes–that’s the important part. You’ll put them to good use.

Tuesday, March 1, 8 PM
Jimkata, Heartracer @ The Camel – $7 (order tickets HERE)

There’s definitely a lot more electro-synth pop in the world in recent years than I used to encounter a while back, and I for one think this is a good thing. Music for driving through a neon-lit city at night is something we could all use more of, and all the cold, alienating postpunk in the world won’t suffice when you’re heading to the club looking for love. Jimkata’s got the perfect soundtrack for that hovering promise of a first or second date, that hopeful energy that makes you believe that the night could hold all the answers. Their just-released album In Motion sets all of these feelings to music that draws from the lasting influence of Culture Club, Spandau Ballet, and ABC, among others, to create a real feeling that will stay with you for a long time to come.

So that’s the kind of thing you definitely want to see brought to life in a live environment, right? I would think so. And better yet, you’ve got locals Heartracer, the group formerly known as Cosby, who I think have made a good choice to go with a more evocative and less personality-focused name in their own quest for 80s-influenced synth/New Wave glory. This is just the beginning of a weeklong tour in which Jimkata and Heartracer will be paired up and down the east coast, and it seems to me that no more apt pairing could possibly exist. So come out to the Camel and let these dudes use synths and guitars to evoke feelings that are so much more than just a digital heartbeat. You’ll be glad you did.


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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