Monday, September 5, 11 AM
Labor Of Love, feat. Yarn (Photo by Roger Gupta), South Hill Banks, Dalton Dash, Chris Leggett & The Copper Line, Mackenzie Roark, Tarrant, Slate River Band, The Great Beforetimes, Cassidy Snider & The Wranglers, Nate Oyler @ Main Line Brewery – $20 in advance, $30 day of show (order tickets HERE)
Back on Memorial Day, the unofficial start of Richmond summers, music lovers around town were abuzz with delight over Daydream Fest, an all-day affair at Main Line Brewery put on by Baripete Productions and PRSMCAT Presents. It featured a dozen or so excellent musicians from a variety of genres, all of whom were based in Richmond, coming together to make the last day of a long weekend as thrilling as it could be… at least, if you love live music (and if you don’t, I guess I’m a little confused as to why you’re reading this). When we interviewed Pete LeBlanc of Baripete and Zavi Harman of PRSMCAT back then, they hinted that if Daydream Fest went well, it wouldn’t be the last time they collaborated with Main Line Brewery on big noteworthy live music events.
Well, it must have done all right, because this Monday, LeBlanc’s Baripete Productions is returning to Main Line Brewery to present another day-long live music event tied to the final day of a long weekend. Labor Of Love’s name simultaneously references Labor Day, the holiday on which it’s held, and the traditional phrase used to refer to any project that means way more to its creator than just a way to make a profit. LeBlanc’s involvement with the Richmond music scene over the past several years has made clear that he’s in it for a whole lot more than just money, and the fact that this show is taking place on Monday is surely just the latest indication of his love for the Richmond community, and for music. It’s certainly something worth celebrating.
And that’s especially true if you’re on the wavelength this show is sending out. Featuring a mix of groups from within and outside Richmond, it’s headlined by Yarn, an eclectic North Carolina-based quartet whose music mixes alt-country, roots rock, folk, and bluegrass into a distinctive melange that can definitely be labeled Americana. If you dig that sort of sound, there’s gonna be a lot more for you to like at Labor Of Love, including local mainstays like Dalton Dash, The Great Beforetimes, and Cassidy Snider & The Wranglers, as well as some sets from more under the radar acts like Tarrant, Slate River Band, and Nate Oyler. Personally, I’m excited for Mackenzie Roark’s set — this local singer-songwriter, also a member of Devil’s Coattails, just released a solo single called “Sweet Thing” that’s an absolute banger. If it’s anything like the album she’s got coming in a few months, we better all mark our calendars. But before we worry about anything like that, the first thing on the agenda is to score your tickets for Labor Of Love, and make this unofficial last weekend of summer just as memorable as the first one was.
Wednesday, August 31, 7:30 PM
Fulci (Photo by Stefano Anderloni), Battlemaster, Yatra, Perpetuated @ Fallout – $15 in advance, $20 at the door (order tickets HERE)
Fallout’s the sort of place I think most of us identify with goth and industrial music. However, if you’re into the dark, spooky, and (emotionally) heavy stuff, it’s not really that much of a reach to get into metal, is it? I certainly don’t think so, and that’s why I’m not that surprised to see that Fallout is presenting a bill full of death metal acts this very evening. I am, however, stoked, because this mix of local, regional, and touring acts has a whole lot to offer. For one thing, there’s the band at the top of the bill: Fulci, whose name the horror movie geeks among you will recognize as having been taken from legendary Italian gore-horror maestro Lucio Fulci.
When you’re playing brutal death metal, seeking to take up the mantle of the man who directed films like The Beyond, Zombi 2, and House By The Cemetery (orgies of bloody violence all) gives you some pretty big shoes to fill. However, on last year’s Exhumed Information, Fulci prove themselves capable of measuring up to the great director’s best work, mingling passages of rumbling double-bass brutality with spooky synth interludes that are prime Italian horror soundtrack material. In addition to effectively paying tribute to Fulci himself, this album also proves that they deserve to stand alongside Richmond metal luminaries Battlemaster, with whom they share this bill. Having released an excellent slab of blazing death thrash entitled Ghastly, Graven & Grimoireless back in 2020, Battlemaster have proven time and again that their metal fury never wanes, but shines eternally like a sword held aloft to gleam in the pale moonlight of an eternal battlefield where everyone headbangs forever. Or something like that — the point is these guys fucking slay, and they’re sure to bring an energetic and talented performance to Fallout’s darkened dance floor tonight. DC-based Perpetuated and Maryland band Yatra round out a brutal bill that you won’t want to miss a minute of.
Thursday, September 1, 7 PM
Filth, Worm Shepherd, Autumn Lies Buried @ The Camel – $15 (order tickets HERE)
I’m not sure where the association between marijuana and death metal began, but it definitely exists, as North Carolina death metal group Filth makes clear with their current tour, boldly entitled The Smoked Out Tour. This tour puts the spotlight on a band who released a confrontational slab of technical death rage last year entitled The Ignorance. I’m not sure exactly what the title references, but the sound Filth plays owes a lot to modern, technical groups like The Faceless and Decapitated, while also clearly deriving a certain belligerent attitude from the more metallic end of the hardcore scene, specifically deathcore and metalcore. If you want to hear death metal riffing broken up by powerful breakdowns and pugnacious mosh calls, Filth have got plenty of it at the ready.
They’re joined on this bill by Worm Shepherd, who hail from the northeast and released their most recent LP, In The Wake Ov Sol, on Christmas Day 2020, just to let everyone know where they stand on the question of religion. This band has an approach based more in black metal than death metal, complete with orchestral swells and high-pitched snarling vocals, but they’re still plenty heavy and powerful, and will sound great alongside Filth, even as they offer a noticeable contrast with the North Carolinian headliners. Tennessee deathcore ragers Autumn Lies Buried will also be on this bill, keeping it heavy throughout their set. And there might also be more bands… I’m really not sure at this point. Whatever — the headliners are gonna be awesome, and that’s all that really matters. Come out and mosh.
Friday, September 2, 7 PM
Glassing, Prisoner, Broken Shadows @ Cobra Cabana – $10
Here’s an exciting show — for a variety of reasons. A Friday night of raging heavyosity at Cobra Cabana is always exciting, first of all, and this is sure to be a great night due to the choice of venue alone. However, a bill like this one could be hitting the grimy basement floor of a rundown house in a not-yet-gentrified Richmond neighborhood (assuming there are any of those left…), and it’d be just as amazing a time. The venue is, if anything, a bonus. So what the heck makes me say that? The simple fact that this show is headlined by a performance from Austin, Texas trio Glassing. Glassing fucking rules.
If you don’t know this band, I’m glad to enlighten you. Their mix of epic post-rock feel, powerful metallic crescendos, screamo-style passion, and impeccable songcraft made last year’s Twin Dream LP on Brutal Panda one of the most memorable full-length releases of the year. Even more impressive was the fact that this was their debut, a debut that they have now surpassed with the release of the brand new “Dare”/”Sulk” single. Where heavy music is concerned, this nine or so minutes of music is sure to top year-end lists once that time comes around. Personally, I’m just playing the “Sulk” video on repeat. Holy crap, y’all. Thankfully, we all get a chance to experience the real thing, live and in the flesh, this Friday night. What’s more, we’ll get a delightful set from local dark hardcore veterans Prisoner in the bargain, as well as a chance to find out what Richmond newcomers Broken Shadows (not the jazz group) are all about. It’s gonna rule, y’all.
Saturday, September 3, 8 PM
Abby K, Axecident @ Another Round Bar & Grill – $10 (order tickets HERE)
If you’ve been reading this column for a while, you’re sure to know that I’m an unapologetic fan of glam metal. I’m also a woman who cares about eroding patriarchal dominance and fighting misogyny, though, and sometimes those two interests, well… they come into conflict. Thankfully, I face no such conflict in recommending that you spend your Saturday night at Another Round Bar And Grill seeing Abby K (aka Abby K On Bass).
This young woman, who I’m pretty sure still won’t legally be able to order beers at the bar Saturday night, is a bass prodigy who attended Grammy Camp in LA back when she was still in high school and has since used her connections to get her original music out there. Her current trio, in which she sings lead and plays bass, has a sound sure to appeal to people who loved Lita Ford and Joan Jett back in the 80s, but always wished they were just a little bit heavier. Lita Ford-meets-LA Guns seems like a fair comparison to me, and songs like “99ºC” and “Dodging A Bullet” are a ton of fun in that classic Sunset Strip tradition. Fortunately, though, you don’t have to worry about cringing when you catch an occasional snatch of lyrics. As a bold young woman, Abby K is a great antidote for the aging sausage party that is most of glam metal circa 2022. Go check her out. It’ll be a blast.
Sunday, September 4, 7 PM
Christie Lenée @ The Tin Pan – $22.50 (order tickets HERE)
When I think back to the early 00s, I remember hearing a lot of young guitar-music fans talk about Kaki King. With her unorthodox yet catchy acoustic guitar tunes, which incorporated finger-style playing, two-hand fretboard acrobatics, and percussive tapping on the body of her acoustic guitar, King blew a lot of people’s minds back then. But really, Kaki King was just working in a much longer tradition of finger-style players that a lot of indie kids never really dug into back then — people like John Fahey, or Tommy Emmanuel. Thankfully, some people were absorbing the ideas that multiple generations of unorthodox finger-style players were putting into the world. One of those people is Christie Lenée.
Lenée, who will be at the Tin Pan this Sunday night, has had a multi-decade career herself, releasing five albums and working with noteworthy artists from Tim Reynolds to Melissa Etheridge. Her most recent record, Coming Alive, was released in 2020 and showcases both brilliant solo instrumental performances and her evocative vocal compositions. At her most experimental, Lenée captures the spirit of Kaki King, but she’s also got a strong grasp of the basics of songwriting, and her vocal tunes will appeal to those who love the Indigo Girls or early, acoustic Tegan And Sara. Lenée is just the tip of the iceberg where the rich tradition of acoustic finger-style guitar playing is concerned, but if you haven’t delved any deeper than a couple of Kaki King albums that came out 20 or so years ago, seeing Lenée is a great place to start finding out how deep the rabbit hole goes. You know what to do.
Monday, September 5, 6 PM
Hirow, QAM, Coldheartnash @ The Camel – $8 in advance, $10 day of show (order tickets HERE)
This Monday night, it’s the Camel coming through for us again, this time not with an alt-country or indie-pop night but a very different thing — an evening of electronic hip hop. Hirow, who was born in Peru and is now based in Charleston, SC, was originally a metalcore vocalist, releasing records as part of the band As Temples Collide as recently as five years ago. However, his turn toward full-on hip hop over the last few years can’t be surprising to anyone who listened to As Temples Collide — Hirow always had the tendency to incorporate rap-like cadences into his vocal performances with his former band.
These days, the sound he’s spitting over is completely different, but when you just listen to the vocal sound, it’s surprising how much what he’s doing now has in common with what he was doing in a completely different genre only a few years ago. What’s more, Hirow’s dark, glitchy backing tracks have the same sort of sinister appeal that distinguishes the best metalcore music. Basically, if you like hip hop that sounds like hip hop but still subtly manages to feel dark and heavy, Hirow’s an artist you should tune into ASAP. This Monday night at The Camel is a great time and place to do exactly that. Make a note of it.
Tuesday, September 6, 7 PM
Heart Attack Man, House And Home, Guardrails @ The Canal Club – $18 in advance, $20 day of show (order tickets HERE)
This should be fun. Named after the best hardcore track the Beastie Boys ever did, Cleveland quartet Heart Attack Man have been known since they got started for a fun, energetic sound that mixes pop-punk bounce, hardcore fury, and the passion of punk-derived emo projects like Knuckle Puck, while always keeping things goofy enough to avoid ever bumming anyone out. Last year, though, Heart Attack Man showed that they have a serious side with their five-song EP Thoughtz And Prayerz, which skewered complacent cool dudes who never want to do anything about the fucked-up things their friends do (“Cool 2 Me”) and mocked the hollow, ineffective sentiments we all hear whenever something terrible happens, usually involving guns, and the powers that be have to pretend they care before they go back to doing nothing but lining their own pockets (the title track).
Not only did Heart Attack Man get lyrically serious on their most recent EP, they showed that the hardcore influence they’ve occasionally highlighted isn’t just a gimmick, releasing their heaviest collection of songs yet. Of course, they still love to keep everyone guessing, and their latest single, “Loud & Clear,” shows them wearing their heart on their sleeve on the most emo-sounding song they’ve done in years. Which direction will the Heart Attack Man set at The Canal Club on Tuesday go? Chances are, knowing these guys, both directions at once — and it’ll be great from top to bottom. With capable support from emotionally-driven Richmond alt-punks House & Home — whose new EP, Everything Is Sacred, is awesome — and energy-fueled local melodic hardcore group Guardrails, this is gonna be an amazing night of music. Wear your dancing shoes.
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]