Sounds Of RVA Presents: On The Horizon #41

by | Jan 8, 2013 | MUSIC

2012 was a great year for Richmond music. While we bid adieu to 2012 and look forward in 2013, let’s take a last little look at some of the unforgettable moments in 2012.

2012 was a great year for Richmond music. While we bid adieu to 2012 and look forward in 2013, let’s take a last little look at some of the unforgettable moments in 2012. Here are my favorite show moments of the year (in no particular order)with a few photos I took. Let’s get started on a productive and inspired 2013!

1. Eternal Summers, Navi, White Laces, Peace Beast @ Tantrum Gallery, 2-4-12

As a general rule, I show up either too early or too late for shows. Rarely do I make it on time. This show at Tantrum was one of those too-early arrivals, so it gave us time to pregame a little before the show. It was running on “Richmond time.” However, I would soon learn that using the restroom would be quite a feat, considering the visibility of everyone’s faces as they urinated–or in the case of dudes, we got to see their backside. It was especially noticeable from where I was standing, but I wasn’t about to give up a good spot.

Navi opened the evening, and it was my first time seeing the duo. I couldn’t help but think “bombastic.” Combined with Dave Watkins’ psychedelic light projections (and adult beverages), the whole evening of music transported me to what felt like a different space or time.

Peace Beast rocked us next, and a timid-looking lady with yellow pants suddenly became a rockstar at the mic and on the guitar. Next up were Roanoke’s Eternal Summers and their droning psych rock. I had to miss the set by White Laces, and I’m still regretting missing that closer. Resolution #1 for 2013: See White Laces perform live.

2. Bearstorm, Man Takes the Sky, Mothball Fleet @ Emilio’s, 7-7-12

It was one of the stickiest, hottest nights of the summer. Even after the sun went down, the sidewalks sizzled. My friend Laura, then-girlfriend/now-wife of Bearstorm’s Kelsey Miller, was stuck wearing tight jeans in what I surmised was a tortuous existence.

Bearstorm opened up the show because Mothball Fleet had double-booked gigs. The band played a couple new songs from their upcoming 2013 album Americanus. Jay Lindsey wowed the crowd with his bass tapping method and drummer Patrick DeRoche slayed the drum kit to keep the mathy moments on point.

Man Takes the Sky played next, and the place was packed. They played a solid set of progressive death metal, kicking into high gear. Mothball Fleet closed out the evening with a set of punk polka.

3. The Flying Eyes @ The Republic, 3-8-12

This psychedelic band from Baltimore shed some serious colored lights on the stage of the Republic. Playing to a packed house, the band played Southern rock-inspired psych all night long.

4. Willie Nelson @ Snagajob Pavilion, 5-9-12

I wrote this show up for RVA Mag! Here is the article.

5. The Low Branches & Brown Bird @ Sponge HQ Gallery, 3-6-12

This was a super quiet show in the basement of an art gallery near VCU. Brown Bird’s acoustic set felt spiritual and was beyond amazing. Here is a video I took (sorry for the amateurish videography) of Brown Bird:

6. Spindrift, Strangers Family Band, Peace Beast @ Strange Matter, 5-7-12

This night was pure psychedelia, and here is a video I took of Spindrift:

7. Commonwealth of Notions, Part II with Bermuda Triangles and Canary Oh Canary (as well as The Milkstains, the Blue Rajas, Dogs on Main Street, The Snowy Owls, White Laces, Colloquial Orchestra, Swordplay, and the Low Branches) @ Gallery 5, 7-14-12

Journalist/DJ/musician/etc. Shannon Cleary put together an amazing show for the second year in a row, and I was able to catch the last two bands of the event. The crowd packed Gallery 5 and all the heavy hitters in the Richmond music made an appearance.

video by Silver Persinger

8. The GWAR-B-Q with GWAR, Strike Anywhere, Murderess, Valient Thorr and The Casualties (as well as being bummed about missing Black Naked Wings, The Burial, Mutwawa, Antietam 1862, Highness, Lionize, Lost Tribe, and Ghoul), 8-18-12

I got to interview Oderus. Nuff said! It was a tiny substitute for the absent Best Friends Day of the year, but with a tighter crowd and more police. We got to get soaked in blood by GWAR while wearing bathing suits (and that blood proved a slight task to remove hours–okay, days–later). Resolution # 2 for 2013: Do not miss Ghoul.

9. Iron Maiden with Alice Cooper @ Jiffy Lube Live, Bristow, VA, 6-30-12

Lawn seats were not too bad, but the $11 beers were. And the plan to just hit up a motel afterward was thwarted by NoVA’s power outages. We entered the amphitheatre just as Alice Cooper was playing his hit “I’m Eighteen.” We rocked through his set until Iron Maiden’s first encore, “Aces High.” You bet they were.

10. Horsehead with American Aquarium and The Fire Tapes @ The Camel, 2-4-12

Horsehead amazed the audience with alt-country awesomeness. Here is a part of the song “Waiting Around Too Long.” Apparently my arm got tired? It’s a pitiful excuse, I know. Resolution #3 for 2013: Finish what I’ve started.

11. The Milkstains with The Lonely Teardrops and Boney Loner & The Sacred Teachers @ Emilio’s, 3-24-12

What can I say about the Milkstains? These guys are the quintessential rock and rollers of our day and one of the hardest working bands in Richmond. This set blew everyone away with the Milkstains’ tightness. Lonely Teardrops tugged at our heartstrings a little, and Boney Loner was all over the place.

12. Sounds of RVA 2nd Anniversary with The Hotdamns, Josh Small, Lightfields, Bearstorm and Sacred Teachers @ Strange Matter, 11-15-12

This night went so well, and I owe everyone who played and attended very much. The night started off with a bang as Sacred Teachers ripped through a few songs. Josh Small played a rare electric set, and Lightfields played a raging set, the last show with their longtime drummer, Mark McDonald. Bearstorm was a crowd pleaser as always, and The Hotdamns played a few drunken memories and led a basic sing-along.

13. River City Shreds Festival with Bearstorm, Postcards (as well as soooo many bands) @ McCormack’s, 9-15-12

We missed the entire day at Kingdom but made it to see the last bands of the event. Playing to the heavy rollers, these two bands closed out the night with aplomb.

14. The Kindling Kind, Lightfields, Apache Radio @ Bogart’s, 3-15/12

Lightfields experimented with their sound, adding a new (and temporary) lead vocalist + tambourine player. Apache Radio put on a blazing set, and the low key grooves of The Kindling Kind started things off.

15. Andrew Bird and Mavis Staples @ Groovin in the Garden, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, 7-11-12

This was a special evening in the garden. Andrew Bird debuted a new tune on his birthday show after the legendary Mavis Staples performed (and invited Bird on stage). Here is a video I took of that new tune, “Three White Horses”:

16. Dominium, Day of the Beast, Bearstorm @ Strange Matter, 10-21-12

This was one of the best metal shows all year. There was enough metal hair for all women’s dreams to come true. The blackened death metal of Day of Beast completely transformed the room.

Here are some new tracks just released in the ’13:

Joe Norkus is a singer/songwriter who just moved to Richmond from North Carolina. While he’s busy forming a new band here, he is recording some solo material. He has just released a four-song EP called Park Ave. The pop-folk tracks feel like an alt-country, garage rock, and psychedelic session and are reminiscent of M. Ward or Pavement. We’re looking forward to hearing more from Norkus!

Recluse Raccoon, aka Timothy Peele, has already dropped a single in 2013. He also released an EP in November. “Still I” is a beautiful piano ballad reminiscent of Bon Iver.

Lindsey French (Les La Britanica) has released some electronic experimental tracks (aka darkwave) under the name Negative Gemini, and the first track from 2013 is “Ice Sluts.”

By Sarah Moore Lindsey (

Marilyn Drew Necci

Marilyn Drew Necci

GayRVA editor-in-chief, RVA Magazine editor for print and web. Anxiety expert, proud trans woman, happily married.

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