Saturday, April 27, 2 PM
RVA (All Day) Block Party, feat. No BS! Brass Band (Photo by Lauren Serpa), The Trongone Band, The Congress, Kenneka Cook, Camp Howard, Piranha Rama, Calvin Presents @ The Broadberry – $25 (order tickets HERE)
Y’all had to know this was coming. How could I not talk about the Broadberry’s first big all-day outdoor throwdown of the year? After the long rainy winter we’ve endured, after the chilly late-breaking first half of spring, we’re finally getting some warm weather, and you better believe it’s a cause for celebration! And who better to celebrate great days in RVA with than No BS! Brass Band?
Who indeed. By now, this group of horn-playing troubadours should need no introduction, but on the off chance you moved to Richmond last week and still don’t know the basics, you’re in luck, because this show will act as a perfect introduction! Not only will you get an amazing outdoor live performance overlooking the beautiful intersection of West Broad and Arthur Ashe Boulevard, at this show you’ll also get the first opportunity to purchase No BS! Brass’s brand new double album, A Decade Of Noise, recorded live at their 10th anniversary show — at the Broadberry, natch. From their amazing covers of everyone from A-Ha to Led Zeppelin, to their many unforgettable originals, No BS! Brass Band are sure to bring the jazz, funk, soul, and hip hop your booty craves.
But that’s just the main course — and we all know that sometimes the side dishes are just as good, if not better! At this party, which kicks off about the time you roll out from brunch (2 PM, that is) and rolls on… wait for it… ALL DAY, you’ll get a killer indoor set from rockers The Trongone Band to close out the evening, as well as a diverse selection of excellent music earlier in the afternoon on the outdoor stage, from postpunk indie boys Camp Howard to electro-soul innovator Kenneka Cook and jam masters The Congress, along with quite a bit more. There were earlier tiers of tickets available for as low as $10, but they’re all sold out now. However, if you slept on this excellent bill, take heart — you can still grab a spot for your very own for only $25, a total bargain for such an embarrassment of musical riches as this.
Wednesday, April 24, 6 PM
Sylar, Cane Hill, Varials, Bloodline, Nhibitions @ The Canal Club – $15 in advance/$18 day of show (order tickets HERE)
We’re in a new era of heavy music, and the main way I can recognize that is by seeing how common and accepted nu-metal influences are. When I was growing up two decades ago, all the metal dudes mocked bands like Korn and Coal Chamber; even when you found some good in the genre from heavier bands like Slipknot and System Of A Down, you had to be careful about who you discussed it with. That’s how it was for my generation, but we’re all hitting middle age now, and the young metal kids on the come-up today seem completely unencumbered by this sort of elitism.
This bill is the proof — a double-headlining stomper that brings Queens, NY’s Sylar and New Orleans’ Cane Hill to the stage at the Canal Club tonight. Sylar was formed by a former roadie for Emmure, which should tell you something about their sound — that they’re heavy as fuck, in a sometimes ignorant fashion. But what’s more, they integrate the same sorts of touches from hip hop and Nine Inch Nails that you can find in Korn in their most famous era (i.e. “Freak On A Leash”). Meanwhile, Cane Hill conjures a heavier sort of nu-metal influence, reviving that downtuned Slipknot/Coal Chamber midtempo thud that also helped give birth to deathcore — but in the sort of straightforward manner that’s more likely to make you think of Mushroomhead than Suicide Silence. I don’t know how the kids are gonna mosh it up in the tight pants they wear today — Jncos would probably be a big relief for some of them (I’m calling it now: revival within five years). But rest assured, you’ll be headbanging right along with them at this one. Even if you did tell all your friends back in the day that you hated nu-metal.
Thursday, April 25, 7 PM
Nico Rivers & the Black Grass, Tyler Meacham, Natalie Tyer @ Garden Grove Brewing – Free!
I would never have predicted it, but Garden Grove Brewing has become one of the more reliable standby venues in town for music on the more melodic side of things — and considering how difficult it always is to keep a longtime venue going, that’s welcome news indeed. This is a particularly good example of what they have to offer, as they’ll be presenting two local songwriters and an excellent touring ensemble on a Thursday night, and charging you no money to see it! How awesome is that?
It’s even more awesome once you hear the work of Nico Rivers and realize what a treat you’re in for. This Massachusetts singer-songwriter travels with a revolving collective known as The Black Grass, which can consist of everything from his female singing partner and seemingly constant companion (whose name I can’t find anywhere online, though I don’t know if it’s me or Nico who should be embarrassed by that) to a full band featuring multiple electric guitars and a full drum kit. What will we get tomorrow night? I can’t tell you that, but I can tell you that Rivers’ atmospheric but rockin’ take on indie-Americana is sure to make you smile. Local singer-songwriters Tyler Meacham and Natalie Tyer will provide lovely sounds to get the room warmed up for the arrival of the Black Grass. Don’t miss a moment.
Friday, April 26, 9 PM
The Loneliers, Lounge Lizzard, Atamada @ Wonderland – $10
This’ll be a fun punk rock Friday night in Shockoe Bottom for sure. The Loneliers are coming to town from New York, and their sound constitutes a real breath of fresh air in 2019. They play jangly, upbeat melodic punk with a decidedly twee-pop edge, harking back to some classic mid-90s bands who paired their punk rock spirit with catchy tunes full of more than a spoonful of sugar.
If you dug Tiger Trap, Go Sailor, or Courtney Love (the Lois Maffeo-led band that had nothing to do with the singer for Hole), The Loneliers are sure to make you smile. Plus, they’re known to cover tunes from the Powerpuff Girls show, so you know they know what’s up. They’re paired on this bill with Lounge Lizzard, the new group featuring Toxic Moxie’s Sera Stavroula on lead vocals and members of bands like Cremains, Pissing Contest, and The Donalds backing her up. As I’m sure you’ve guessed, they’re cool as hell. Brand new locals Atamada will kick things off with some Tigers Jaw-ish melodic emo sounds from members of Truman. It’ll be a great way to kick off your weekend, so make the trip down to the Bottom, even if you have to do so on foot — you can worry about the long uphill walk home afterwards.
Saturday, April 27, 7:30 PM
The Jasons, The World’s Greatest Detective, Love Roses, Personal Crisis @ McCormack’s Irish Pub – $13
The love affair between melodic punk rock and classic horror cinema, launched over three decades ago by The Misfits and TSOL, continues apace in the new millennium. The Jasons are standard-bearers of this exact crossover, named as they are for the mysterious zombie murderer clad in a goalie mask, who murdered teenagers everywhere from summer camp to outer space in the classic Friday the 13th series of films — or at least all of the sequels (which stalled at Part 12 a decade ago, what’s up with that?).
The Jasons are on tour promoting the impending release of their latest album, Blood In The Streets, but this show has a more important cause, being a fundraiser for Scares That Care. This charity group, run by horror fiction creators and fans, not only holds a horror convention in Williamsburg every summer but also donates all the funds they raise each year to children experiencing medically-related hardships. In other words, it’s super-cool, and the fact that your door price will go to them is all the more reason to make it out to McCormack’s on Saturday night for this rager. The fact that Brooklyn punkers World’s Greatest Detective, local HC-punk heroes Love Roses, and Fredericksburg’s Personal Crisis are also on the bill only makes this even cooler. So show up already, punk.
Sunday, April 28, 8 PM
Orville Peck, Holy Roller, LIZA And The Heart-Takers @ The Camel – $10 (order tickets HERE)
This one is gonna be weird — but in the best possible way. Orville Peck is, in the simplest of terms, a country singer, but from the face-hiding fringed mask he wears during his performances to the effect-laden electric guitar he plays, he’s certainly an unusual one. I’ve heard him compared to shoegaze bands, but on his brand new Sub Pop LP, Pony, I hear a lot of other sounds at work — Roy Orbison’s spooky, ambient ballads; the apocalyptic pop of Lana Del Rey; even the occasional touch of Lee Hazlewood or Scott Walker.
So yeah, don’t show up if you’re expecting a singer who’ll effortlessly channel Merle Haggard, but DO show up if you like music that is both intriguing and challenging, music that both calls to mind references from across the rich history of recorded music and doesn’t sound much like anything that’s come before. And of course, you’ll get an opening set from Holy Roller, who’ve changed their name in the recent past but are still cranking out the same killer rock n’ roll sounds, with just a hint of twang. Plus, there’s the lush, downcast pop of LIZA and the Heart-takers to kick it all off, so you’re certainly in good hands with this one.
Monday, April 29, 9 PM
Those Far Out Arrows, Plastic Nancy, Thin Pigeon, So Badly @ The Camel – $5 in advance/$7 day of show (order tickets HERE)
Let’s all admit it, because we know it’s true: Mondays usually suck. I know, I know, there are a few of you restaurant workers out there who get Monday off every week, but for the rest of us, it’s soul-crushing. Nothing worse than staring down a week of work with no relief in sight. That’s why it’s always such a relief to find a good show happening on what’s typically considered by the music industry to be an “off” night — it brightens up the dullest day of most people’s weeks.
Those Far Out Arrows are coming to Richmond to brighten up your Monday, and they’ll do it with aplomb, if their latest album, Part Time Lizards, is any indication. If you dig upbeat rock n’ roll with a garage-punk flavor and a Southern-fried twang, these Nebraskans will thrill you with their Natural Child-ish vibes. Plus there are some rad Virginia bands on the bill to further add cheer to your work week — energetic garage noise from Plastic Nancy, postpunk queer-core from Thin Pigeon, and fuzzy indie punk from Fredericksburg’s So Badly. This one’s gonna put a smile on your face — and by the time it starts, you’re gonna need it.
Tuesday, April 30, 7 PM
Weedeater, ASG, Druglord, The Astral Void @ Capital Ale House Music Hall – $17 in advance/$20 at the door (order tickets HERE)
I put forth the proposition (that you can petition the Lord with prayer… wait, no, what was I saying? Oh right) in a recent show column that where shows that used to go to Strange Matter are concerned, Wonderland has picked up the heavier end of the spectrum, while Capital Ale House’s downtown music hall has grabbed the lighter, more indie-fied side of things. And now here comes this Weedeater gig at Capital Ale House to shoot my theory all to shit. Look, I’m just glad this show still has a home in town, so I’m certainly not complaining.
And you won’t be complaining either, because the (ahem) Richmond Music Hall at Capital Ale House is a great space in which to see a show, and North Carolina’s own Weedeater is a great band to see — there or anywhere. They deal in a particularly fun brand of sludgy stoner metal, with the emphasis on “stoned” — copping some of that sticky green before this show is recommended if you, you know, engage in that sort of thing. Weedeater’s been quiet on the studio front for a while, having last released an album four years ago, but losing one drummer to health problems and another to a sudden passing, they’ve rejuvenated themselves with frontman Dixie Dave’s former Buzzoven bandmate, Ramzi Ateyeh, holding down the kit. So all is well and rest assured, you’re gonna get your head rocked at this one. Fellow North Carolinians ASG join this stoner carnival with some Camaro-rattling riffs of their own, and local openers Druglord and The Astral Void will do more than enough to get you warmed up and in the properly stoney frame of mind. I’m not talking about the mayor, either.
Elsewhere around the state:
Friday, April 26, 7 PM
The Happy Fits, Early Eyes, Kid Brother @ Charlie’s American Cafe (Norfolk) – $12 in advance/$15 day of show (order tickets HERE)
I am not a Spotify user. I don’t know if that’s something I should be ashamed or proud to admit, but regardless, it’s just the truth. The Happy Fits are a band who owe their success to Spotify — a song from their first EP was featured on a “Fresh Finds” playlist back in 2016 — and therefore it’s entirely possible you’re already familiar with this youthful New York trio. For me, they were a totally new discovery as of earlier this week, when their name jumped out at me from a long list of shows I was considering for potential inclusion in this column. “Wow, what’s the deal with these guys?” I thought. “Are they the opposite of the Misfits, or something like that?”
Well, no, not really. Their driving sound is more akin to the early Black Keys (you know, back when they were still an excellent garage band rather than the mediocre hitmakers your aunt loves now), only with more of an acoustic, raw, in-the-room feel. 2018 debut full-length Concentrate is a rollicking blast of pure rock n’ roll fun, with some outstanding melodic chops thrown in to make everything brighter, catchier, and overall better. In the studio, this band has the virtue of capturing what sure sounds like the sound they’d make playing right there in the room with you, so having heard their recordings, I feel extremely confident in advising you to go see The Happy Fits when they come to Charlie’s American Cafe this Friday night. You’re sure to wear a smile throughout the night — even on the long drive home.
Saturday, April 27, 8 PM
Guerilla Toss, Toxic Moxie, The Dawn Drapes @ The Southern Cafe (Charlottesville) – $10 in advance/$12 day of show (order tickets HERE)
Guerilla Toss (shut up, spellcheck, that’s how they spell it) have been around for nearly a decade now, and they’ve remained fascinating and fun the entire time. Early days saw them getting pretty wacky and noisy, but still managing to pound out an invigorating groove at all times. As they metamorphosed over the years into the fully formed band they are today, the funk, dance, and electro elements rose to the surface, slowly overtaking the noise and allowing the group to become the effortless dance machine they are on last year’s Twisted Crystal LP.
These days, Kassie Carlson screams quite a bit less, and the guitars are way less atonal — Guerilla Toss have kinda evolved into a sort of electro-funk version of punk rock, in a manner that will appeal both to fans of early 80s NYC groups like Liquid Liquid and tapped-in young Virginians who are rightfully hyped on … Richmond’s own Toxic Moxie, who coincidentally just happen to be traveling up I-64 from RVA to open up this killer bill. The results are sure to be uproarious, and keep your feet moving and your body shaking throughout the night. I know, there’s a whole lot going on Saturday night — I already told you about a couple of things, in fact. So it’s really up to you whether Charlottesville is the place you most want to be. But let me tell ya, if you are already up that way, or happen to land there Saturday night, you’re guaranteed a good time with Guerilla Toss and Toxic Moxie at The Southern. So hey, tell ’em we sent ya.
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