Saturday, November 9, 5 PM
Thrashgiving IV, feat. Vulcanite, Genosha, The New Mutiny, LAIR, Murdersome (Photo by Dennis Williford), Alluvion, Site Of Suffering, Cut The Architect’s Hand, Sentius @ Strangeways Brewing – $10 cash, or $5 with canned/non-perishable foods
OK, y’all, Halloween is over, which means we’re officially into the holiday season, for better or for worse. Right now it’s for better, at least for me, because in spite of all it’s terrible cultural baggage, Thanksgiving as it exists in 2019 is my favorite holiday. Sleep late, eat a big meal, watch football… what’s not to love? We hit the “for worse” part along about 8 PM when Mom starts getting antsy and wanting to hit the Black Friday sales (these days a good many of them start as soon as the sun goes down on Thanksgiving, and whoever’s idea that was needs to be put on trial for their crimes against humanity).
Anyway, Thanksgiving itself is still a few weeks away, but over at Strangeways Brewing, they’re getting into the giving spirit a little early, as this Saturday brings about the fourth annual Thrashgiving celebration, put together by Metal Teresa Productions as a benefit to help feed the hungry and house injured military veterans and their families. These good causes are well worth your support, and if you bring some canned or non-perishable food items to donate, you’ll get half off admission, so that rules as well!
In return for your five bucks and your cans of beans, you’ll get a veritable showcase of the best Virginia’s metal scene has to offer. From grunge-metal ragers Vulcanite to mournful doom sludgers Lair — who have a brand new self-titled album out as of last week — and from bloodthirsty thrashers Murdersome to brutal hardcore mosh maniacs Genosha, this show has a ton of headbanging awesomeness to offer. In addition to those four, there are half a dozen more excellent groups on the bill, and considering how cheap the price of admission is, it’s really quite the bargain if your tastes run toward headbanging. This one gets our highest possible recommendation.
Wednesday, November 6, 8 PM
Future Teens, Oceanator, Colpa Mia, Pump Fake @ The Camel – $10 (order tickets HERE)
Despite the name at the top of the bill, as far as I know, none of the bands playing at The Camel tonight have any members under 13 years old. However, Boston’s Future Teens do have a new album called Breakup Season, which is full of melancholy, heartfelt indie rock tunes of the sort the band aptly labels “bummer pop.” These days it seems like that whole twentysomething malaise that descends when you get out of college and don’t know where you’re going to go next can last well into your 30s and beyond, and it can be comforting to hear a band sing poignantly and relatably about it over some amazing pop melodies.
That’s what Future Teens has to offer, and I think we could all use a night of that — maybe a bit more than we want to admit. Along with it, we’ll also get a set from New Yorkers Oceanator, who have a similar sort of emotional vibe but add a good deal more bottom-end crunch to their harder-hitting alt-rock tunes — which is always nice. Richmond’s own Colpa Mia will add their own indie sound to the mix, and brand new local emo duo Pump Fake will get things started at The Camel tonight. Get down there and soothe your troubled soul with music.
Thursday, November 7, 7:30 PM
Chameleons Vox, Theatre Of Hate, Jay Aston, Unmaker @ Capital Ale House Music Hall – $20 (order tickets HERE)
The Chameleons were incredibly important to the development of UK postpunk in the 80s. While other guitar-based bands like Echo And The Bunnymen, The Cure, and The Jesus And Mary Chain are a bit more well-known today, any listen to 21st century exponents of music like this shows an indelible influence from the sound The Chameleons expertly crafted during their initial 80s run. The mix of Mark Burgess’s insightful, poetic lyrics, thundering basslines, and dramatic baritone vocals combined perfectly with the glittering twin guitar lines of Reg Smithies and Dave Fielding to create a legacy that still endures after four decades.
The Chameleons did briefly reform and release three more albums in the early 00s, but these days, Mark Burgess soldiers on as the sole original member, performing classic Chameleons tunes under the name Chameleons Vox. While his backing band has featured a variety of different musicians over the past decade, Burgess has always recruited excellent guitar players to recreate Smithies and Fielding’s gorgeous spiraling melodies, and his own vocal and bass talents ensure that the songs retain their proper gravity. Basically, if you love the Chameleons — and if you’ve enjoyed bands like Interpol, Shadow Age, or Soft Kill in recent years, you definitely do — you’re sure to have a wonderful night seeing Chameleons Vox bring legendary songs like “Swamp Thing” and “Thursday’s Child” to full, glorious life.
Friday, November 8, 8 PM
Ellen Siberian Tiger, HotSpit, She, CAPTCHA @ Bingo Beer Co – Free!
Don’t panic, folks — I’ve done some research and learned that despite their band name, Ellen Siberian Tiger is just as human as you and me. This trio from Philadelphia dishes out some pretty excellent grungy alt-rock in the vein of Hop Along or Speedy Ortiz, and I for one am digging it. I also can’t help but love the powerful, confrontational feminism espoused on tracks like “Kitchen Knife” and “When Men Explain Things To Me.” We need more of these sorts of lyrics in the world.
Ellen Siberian Tiger will be rocking the halls of Bingo Beer this Friday night in a manner my punk rock friends always wanted to back in the 90s, so I can’t help but be excited, and I’m just as excited for the trio of excellent Richmond groups that are sharing this bill with them. The outstanding HotSpit are at the top of that list, and while they’ve still only released a few demos online, their live performances around town over the past year or so have shown that this band has a ton of talent on offer, from their excellent vocal harmonizing to the gorgeously downbeat melodies they seem never to run out of. She, who’ve excellently evolved from a solo project into a trance-inducing atmospheric indie combo, will also bring some lovely sounds to your ears on this evening, and CAPTCHA are certainly far more pleasant than any gridded image demanding you click on the portions of the screen that feature crosswalks. Get down with this one.
Saturday, November 9, 9 PM
Queen Elephantine & Tavishi, Hex Machine, Manzara @ Wonderland – $10
In a world that tends to be overfilled with doom metal bands these days, it’s rare to find one that’s approaching the genre in a manner previously unheard. But with Queen Elephantine, who were originally formed in Hong Kong and now make their home in Philadelphia, just such a band may have come along. Granted, new LP Gorgon is heavy and gloomy as fuck, but it’s hard to say that this is really “metal” in the conventionally understood sense. Instead, it seems to combine astral-travelling psychedelia, apocalyptic drone, spooky occult atmosphere, and noise experimentation, all with a massive dose of sludgy heaviness.
The result, at least on Gorgon‘s 13-minute opener, “Mars,” is like some sort of strange crossbreed between Acid Mothers Temple, Corrupted, and Sunn O))). It certainly should come to mind-expanding full-volume life at Wonderland this Saturday night, and if we’re reading this correctly, local experimental noise musician Tavishi will be lending additional texture to Queen Elephantine’s set for what’s sure to be a fascinating and unmissable experiment in dark, crushing noise. Local noise-rock powerhouse Hex Machine will open up, along with quietly devastating Richmond postpunk group Manzara, making this an evening sure to blow your mind. Be there.
Sunday, November 10, 8 PM
Rice God & Friends Fall Festival, feat. Noah-O, Fan Ran, Illa Styles, BBX, Amala, Yung Apollo, Alpha Romeo, Papi Majae, Dre King, Bejxy, Kidd Khy, Slim Kartel, Chauncey De Giant, Don Chase, Van Silke, SAE, O-Z, Lil Grits, PT Veil, Distant Dee, Tone Redd, Cadillac Cat @ The Camel – $8 in advance/$10 at the door (order tickets HERE)
It’s been about a month now since Noah-O and Fan Ran got together once again to unleash a new installment of Dirty Rice on the world. Dirty Rice: Deux, which dropped just over a month ago, is yet another piece of evidence in the argument that Noah-O’s at his best when he works with one really talented producer for the entire length of a project. See also The Rain with DJ Mentos (a project that led directly to the formation of Analog Suspects), or Face/Off with Cadillac Cat, or All Souled Out with the late Kleph Dollaz… and that’s not even all the examples I could mention.
This Sunday night at The Camel, Noah-O and Fan Ran will be teaming up to lay some dirty rice on y’all in the live environment, and they’ll be doing it up right by turning the whole thing into a Fall Festival that will feature over a dozen other hip hop talents from both RVA and the surrounding region. In addition to top-level local powerhouses like Illa Styles, Slim Kartel, Distant Dee, and the aforementioned Cadillac Cat, there’s also a whole crew coming through from the Kentucky/Ohio area, including Yung Apollo and Alpha Romeo, plus a whole bunch more from all over! If you love hip hop, this is going to be hours of the dopest rhymes and sickest beats imaginable, with Noah-O and Fan Ran at the center of it all. So hey, you know what to do.
Monday, November 11, 7 PM
Lisa Prank, Magic Wand, Jimmy And The Delay @ Gallery 5 – $7 in advance/$10 day of show (order tickets HERE)
I love the band name Lisa Prank — and it’s not because I’m old enough to have actually had a Lisa Frank Trapper Keeper. Well, OK, it’s not JUST because of that. Anyway, Seattle singer-songwriter Robin Edwards struck gold when she named her indie-pop project, to the point that I’m amazed no one else has done it first. And on brand new LP Perfect Love Song, she also struck gold by getting production help from Rose Melberg, whose work in Tiger Trap, The Softies, Go Sailor, and others has been instrumental in creating and developing the exact sort of indie-pop milieu that Lisa Prank is working within today.
If you’re a fan of any of those bands, or if you’re too young to remember them but do enjoy bands like Speedy Ortiz and The Worriers, Lisa Prank is sure to be right up your alley. If they were 5 percent heavier or noisier, I’d call them pop-punk, but as it is, this is just simple, catchy pop music — and it’s great at being exactly that. It’ll put a big smile on your face, as will opening sets from local newcomers Magic Wand and Jimmy And The Delay. This will be a great way to end a really tough back-to-work Monday, so be there and let this show ease you into a better rest of your week.
Tuesday, November 12, 7 PM
This Will Destroy You, Christopher Tignor, Colin Phils @ The Camel – $15 (order tickets HERE)
In the wake of Explosions In The Sky’s Friday Night Lights-fueled early-00s success, a rising musical tide lifted all instrumental post-rock boats, and that of This Will Destroy You was definitely one. However, almost fifteen years after the release of their rapturously received debut, Young Mountain, This Will Destroy You have proven themselves to be more than just another post-rock combo writing epic instrumental after epic instrumental, all of which start to sound the same after a while.
Last year saw This Will Destroy You release two new albums in the space of a month, New Others Part One and New Others Part Two. Both show this quartet to be focused on different goals than one might expect; their songs are focused less on the sort of emotional escalation that, after a while, tends to feel like a gimmick repeated once too often. Instead, they build a musical mood and then live within it for several minutes, allowing the textures of their music to become the focus. It’s proggy, yes, and it’s also a bit nerdy, but there’s not a damn thing wrong with intelligent music, especially when it is able to be moving without being cliche. This Will Destroy You accomplish all that with aplomb on their albums, and seeing them pull it off live is sure to be quite the treat.
Elsewhere Around The State:
Friday, November 8, 6 PM
Sharptooth, Limbs, Wristmeetrazor, Nhibitions, Genosha @ RiffHouse Pub (Chesapeake) – $10 in advance/$12 day of show (order tickets HERE)
As metallic hardcore shows go, this one is sure to be top-notch. Maryland’s Sharptooth are an absolutely ferocious quintet full of anger and fury of an incredibly political nature. 2017 LP Clever Girl features a song called “Fuck You Donald Trump,” but if anything, the title track’s condemnation of men who act as insincere allies, or “No Sanctuary”‘s vitriolic condemnation of anti-LGBTQ bigotry, ring even more bold and true and real to me. Singer Lauren Kashan has used her platform to be a strong advocate for issues relating to abuse and oppression, and as awesome as her band is, the kind of heart she puts into her lyrics and onstage presence makes Sharptooth that much better.
So if you’re the kind of metal/hardcore fan who wishes more bands would take a stand for issues that matter, this is the show for you. And it features a bunch of other great bands as well — Florida’s Limbs refer to themselves as “post-hardcore” but on 2018’s Father’s Son, they lay out a brutal, metallic sound that still feels HC as fuck to me, even if it’s not Negative Approach. Wristmeetrazor, who are sorta-kinda from Virginia, arise from the screamo scene but have a strong metalcore attack on their latest LP, Misery Never Forgets. And of course, Genosha and Nhibitions hold it down for the heavy hardcore scene in Tidewater and Central Virginia with skill and panache. This one’s gonna rule.
Saturday, November 9, 7 PM
Leftover Crack, Days N Daze, Cop/Out @ The Bunker Brewpub (Virginia Beach) – $16 (order tickets HERE)
I admit it — for the longest time, I never gave Leftover Crack a chance. As a straight edge kid, their name wasn’t exactly appealing to me, and their reputation as simultaneously the crustiest of squatter punk bands (their Wikipedia page features a section entitled “Venue bans, criminal records, and visa restriction”) and a straight-up ska band seemed totally incoherent. But recently I went ahead and listened to some of their music, and it turns out that they’re actually pretty goddamn talented. Instead of having goofy horns all over the place, they play catchy, hard-charging punk tunes. And while they do often use those catchy off-beat bounce riffs that we all identify as ska, they also incorporate touches of metal and hardcore. In the end, they are clearly first and foremost a punk band, in the same way Operation Ivy always was.
So hey, maybe going to see Leftover Crack on their latest tour isn’t such a bad idea if you like some good punk rock fun. One thing’s for sure, there won’t be a dull moment from a band that’s known for writing unapologetic, provocative songs about shooting cops and doing drugs — and for having an audience full of even bigger reprobates than the members themselves. You might want to steer clear of the pit if the stories we’ve heard about mid-set barf are true, but the tunes will make up for any suspect stenches that might invade the room over the course of the set.
Email me if you’ve got any tips for me about upcoming shows (that take place after the week this column covers -– this week’s column has obviously already been written): [email protected]
Music Sponsored By Graduate Richmond