The second to last month of the year brings with it some pretty chilly times. I recently stopped by a house show to see locals Close Talker, Springtime, and Hold Tight!, along with Ohio punk duo Two Hand Fools. Cold weather house shows still have an active porch scene.
The second to last month of the year brings with it some pretty chilly times. I recently stopped by a house show to see locals Close Talker, Springtime, and Hold Tight!, along with Ohio punk duo Two Hand Fools. Cold weather house shows still have an active porch scene. There were the perfect amount of people there – not too many, but just enough to pack the basement and stairwell with hoodied bodies and accompanying adult beverages. Even if you know most of the people at the house, house shows can still have this underlying awkwardness when the music’s not playing (or maybe that’s just us). There will also, invariably, be at least one incredible moment that everyone remembers. Like the time that crackhead wandered in with the gun in his jacket, or that time when a friend of a friend brought $5 special cookies and my $20 turned into $0 and one cookie. We may not remember ALL of the house shows, but we usually remember how the music made us feel.
Come feel the music tomorrow, Wednesday, November 13: we will celebrate Sounds of RVA’s 3rd birthday with a sweet show at The Camel. We’ve slated three killer bands to perform that night: Canary oh Canary (darkwave rock trio), Negative Gemini (dark synth pop), and Imaginary Sons (spandex-clad cock rock). Here is a song , “Amare,” from Negative Gemini’s recent set at Cheap Fest IV:
For three years we have given a voice to the otherwise unheard and been greatly received by the RVA community – the music scene and otherwise. We have met some really killer cats while writing this blog. My mind is blown every day by seeing the variety and depth of the talent lying out there when some of it is untapped, waiting to be heard.
We couldn’t have done it without help from everyone – the FANS, the musicians, the other bloggers, larger media like RVA Mag, the venues, the small and large businesses in the greater community, the friends, the family… Thank you.
After that heartfelt introduction, let’s get onto some more new music, starting with Dirty Paws (formerly The Iron Sights). This folk rock band has released a 3-song self-titled EP of melodic, introspective tunes which are carefully crafted. The multiple layers of vocal harmonies are there at all the right spots, instead of just constantly there. Check out “Summer Ends,” with a Harrison Street Coffee Shop name drop and piano-laden orchestral rock with cello by Sean Harrington. The singer (Blair Simpson) professes his undying love….until the “Summer Ends.”
Spandrel is a 4-piece dark dream rock band which just released an EP recorded at the Sound of Music Recording Studios by John Morand. Vocal duties shift between real-life couple Kurt Bailey and Kylie Gellatly. The slightly-androgynous lead vocalist (
Gellatly Bailey bassist Timmy Peele [who is in this band anyway? -ed.]) in “Here & There” is reminiscent of Nico or Kim Gordon, while the psych rock sounds bring to mind 90s bands like The Breeders. Listen to “House of Hallways” for a well-constructed composition that shifts from chilled out verse to double time bridge and ends up in a cosmic mixture of both paces.
Clifton Gibbons is a prolific singer/songwriter who has his hand in many projects in the Blue Lotus Collective, including The Banduras. He has released three solo albums this year alone, and the latest album, Visions of the Ghost, is a 5-song grunge folk rumination. Gibbons mixes up the pace a bit between tracks, and he layers his own falsetto over his tenor vocals for a really cool effect. The Banduras are on hiatus right now, but he is playing with his project The Alberts.
Wise Inquisition just teamed up with Maia on a track called “Complex Delay,” produced by Brother Wise. With a soulful jazz saxophone sample underneath, Maia’s hook is light as air. Wise Inquisition is on point as usual, with lines like “Too attached like arms and hands” and “You’re riding me like Ned Flanders…”
picture by Jen Kennedy at this year’s Crowefest
Balladeer Matt Conner (of RPG) releases a few songs every now and then as a solo musician, and the latest track is called “Green Hills.” The beautifully dark, foreboding acoustic guitar riff plays against his Eddie Vedder-but-better vocals. The refrain involves mutiple vocal harmonies (featuring Dorthia Cottrell of Windhand) singing a syllable or two of moody blues. This is for fans of William Elliott Whitmore or Red Clay River. The spooky element is definitely there, especially considering this was recorded during Hallow-month at Snake Oil Recording, with Dan-O Deckelman.
logo by Tim Sinclair
“Drunken black & roll” band Hoboknife has made a few tracks available, featuring such titular gems as “Cock of Evil.” “Derelict Dirge” is some pretty fierce thrash with black metal vocals, reminiscent of Carcass. The pace slows a bit for the hook, giving the listener a chance to sync headbanging. Evil guitars with just enough distortion surround a double bass drum explosion before shifting momentum yet again. If you can keep up, and we promise you’ll want to, these guys will take you to some very dark places.
Catch Hoboknife on 11/23 @ Strange Matter for an early show with Canary oh Canary and Psychic Teens.
Mao Amore is an experimental trio which just released a 15-song self-titled album of improvisation. It may warrant more patient ears than mine, though, to get through the blips, static and whatnot. For some reason, perhaps only because the band used “straight-edge” to describe its music, this sounds like what someone who has never smoked reefer thinks that being stoned sounds like. Disjointed and confused, the songs go nowhere. Even “Down to Muscle Shoals” avoided any sort of tangible melodies. Of course, as I write this, I realize that this is a project of Brian Jones (Agents of Good Roots, Jason Mraz, Boyd Tinsley), so clearly I just don’t get it. This free jazz is too free for me.Check out Mao Amore @ The Camel tonight (11/12) and 12/10.
Finally, check out this new track from Soulfully, Me called “The Prelude” (produced by Jimmy Royal). Soulfully is from Memphis but now resides here in the RVA. The soul sample dude used in this song is the perfect springboard for Soulfully’s rhymes.
By Sarah Moore Lindsey (soundsofrva.org)