Friday, August 9, 7 PM
Jerome’s Dream, Vein, Ostraca, Watchdogs @ Gallery 5 – $15 (order tickets HERE)
If you have paid any attention to the underground screamo scene over the past decade or so, you’re sure to have heard of Jerome’s Dream. Active in the late 90s and very early 00s, this New England-based trio were crucial in defining the faster, more chaotic end of the genre as it was codified at the dawn of the new millennium. Bassist Jeff Smith’s high-pitched screams and refusal to use a mic during shows set a template for an entire generation of bands, and the band’s frenetic, dynamic songwriting demonstrated the most effective way of making a basement full of kids with dyed-black hair writhe and scream spastically along.
Of course, having broken up in 2001, the height of Jerome’s Dream’s fame and influence came long after their demise. But they returned to action this year with a long-awaited crowdfunded album that constitutes their first release in 18 years. Is it as good as the old stuff? Well, it shouldn’t be a surprise to hear that opinions are sharply divided on that subject! Between Smith’s inability to recreate his trademark wail (he’d already ceased to do so on the band’s final pre-breakup EP, Presents), the significantly more metallic sound of the guitars on the new LP (entitled LP, of course), and the less frantic, more complex song structures, Jerome’s Dream have certainly undergone a noticeable evolution in their 18 years away from the spotlight.
But will the live show still rule now that the members are all pushing 40? Well, there’s only one way to find out, and that’s to show up at Gallery 5 Friday night and see what these guys have to offer. All the stoked young screamo kids in attendance are sure to provide plenty of high-pitched screams of their own, so you may not even miss Smith’s screech. And with youthful screamo apostates Vein — who, on last year’s Errorzone, patterned themselves more after Slipknot and Mudvayne than anything associated with the 7-letter S word (not that that’s a bad thing) — in tow, local vets Ostraca representing Richmond screamo, and mosh-lovers Watchdogs opening things up, this is sure to be a killer show even if Jerome’s Dream just stand still and play their instruments. And let’s be real, even that will still be cool.
Wednesday, August 7, 7 PM
Drab Majesty, Hide, Body Of Light @ The Broadberry – $15 in advance/$18 day of show (order tickets HERE)
The new romantics of the 80s aren’t so far gone, and these three Dais Records bands are coming to The Broadberry tonight to prove that. Drab Majesty are at the top of the bill, and there could be no other place for Deb Demure and Mona D, with their gothic-electro-postpunk beats, melodies, and life. Having just released their third LP, Modern Mirror, they’ll be taking over the Broadberry tonight to get all the eyeliner-bedecked dance floor warriors to move their feet in the dark.
Drab Majesty’s music definitely brings a nighttime ambience to the air, even if you’re listening to it at 11 AM on a sunny day, but there’s a surprising amount of melody built into what they’re doing as well, making for some killer tunes that’ll lock into your brainstem and refuse to let go. In a good way, of course. Chicago’s Hide, who are also on this bill, have not yet released their latest Dais Records LP, Hell Is Here, but the single preview track available is enough to let us all know that they’ll bring a decidedly angrier and more ominous vibe during their portion of the evening. If Drab Majesty will make you dance and sing along, Hide is going to make you stomp and scream. The bill will be rounded out by Body Of Light, whose brand new LP, Time To Kill, splits the difference between the other two bands on this bill with its pounding yet subtly melodic industrial approach. Dress in black for this one.
Thursday, August 8, 7 PM
Scott Yoder, Nightcreature, Thin Pigeon @ Gallery 5 – $7
A veteran of garage-rockers The Pharmacy and indie-folk singer-songwriter Kimya Dawson’s backing band, Seattle’s Scott Yoder has become quite the unique musical auteur over the past several years. His solo work mingles hints of retro psychedelia with the glamour of old Hollywood and the outright glam of Marc Bolan and David Bowie. Right now, he’s in the midst of releasing six different 7 inch singles over the course of this year, and on songs like “Silver Screen Starlet” and “Cloaked In Nite,” he’s brought a unique world to life in his music — a world he’ll bring to the Gallery 5 stage this Thursday night.
You’re not going to want to miss this one, and not just because Scott Yoder is gracing a local stage — he’ll meet his match in glamour and glitz when Richmond’s own Nightcreature take the stage. On their debut EP, On The Loose, released last fall, this powerful ensemble displayed plenty of garage grit and androgynous glam, all of which they’re sure to bring to the Gallery 5 stage on this lovely evening. Postpunk trio Thin Pigeon will open this one up with some elegant and memorable tunes of their own — expect glittering pop genius from one end to the other with this one.
Friday, August 9, 7 PM
Funeral Proposals, Marshall Family Values, Twin Films, Faded Home @ The Canal Club – $8 in advance/$10 at the door (order tickets HERE)
Ohio’s Funeral Proposals have been together for a few years, so I suppose by this point someone’s already made the “they put the ‘fun’ in funeral” joke. I still want to make it myself, though, because this band’s music is undeniably fun, at least on their latest EP, 2018’s Blue Deluxe. On some tracks they get an upbeat alt-rock groove going, on others they’re more of a bouncy pop group, but the element all of their songs retain in common is a contagious joy — which is only enhanced by the occasional surf-music vibe that comes through.
A trio of local groups join Funeral Proposals at The Canal Club this Friday night to provide various fun sounds of their own. Marshall Family Values sounds like something a politician might talk about, but musically they are quite a bit more pleasant than that might make it seem, mixing wailing guitars and prominent keyboards into a tasty melodic rock sound. Twin Films get more hazy and psychedelic with their indie vibes, and bring quite a bit of gorgeous melody in the process. And Faded Home have a raw, ambient sound that’s sure to evoke some feels. All in all, an excellent way to spend your Friday night.
Saturday, August 10, 7 PM
Crucial Rip, Gravebound, Under Broken Skies, Alcindor, Site Of Suffering @ Another Round Bar and Grill – $8
There was a point when it felt like Richmond’s home for brutal metal was Shockoe Bottom, but in recent months, it’s started to seem like the RVA metal scene has moved out to Lakeside. Another Round in particular has become a central gathering place for all of this city’s headbangers, and this Saturday night of brutal mosh madness will demonstrate to all the doubters exactly why that’s an entirely positive development. Death metallers Crucial Rip, who’ve been one of the city’s leading lights of metal for years now, will be at the top of this bill, giving you a heaping helping of rumbling low-end power, complete with the kind of sick breakdowns that fans of extremely heavy hardcore will gravitate to just as quickly as the death-heads do.
But they’re not all this evening has to offer — oh, far from it! Gravebound are also RVA-based, but their sound is much more familiar to those who dig bands like Sworn In and Chelsea Grin. It’s metalcore, but it’s extremely heavy metalcore — the type that’s also sure to start at least a few mosh pits over the course of their set. With Fredericksburg brutality merchants Under Broken Skies on the bill, as well as newcomers Alcindor and Site Of Suffering, this show is going to be full of reasons to bang your head. And we could all use more of those.
Sunday, August 11, 7 PM
This Kills Me (photo by Brianna Spause), Turbo Mansion, Matt and the Skeleton Crew, Bad Motivator @ Garden Grove Brewing – Free!
Philadelphia’s This Kills Me are coming to Garden Grove this weekend, and that’s going to be a real treat for all of us — whether you know it yet or not. Earlier this year, they released The End, an 8-song project that’s either a mini-LP or a long EP. I’ve never been any good at figuring that sort of thing out, but I do know great melodic songwriting when I hear it. Folks, this is it.
I’m tempted to call This Kills Me a post-hardcore band, but if anything I think it may be more true to say post-pop-punk (which is too many hyphens — believe me, I know); their sound is sure to appeal to fans of classic late-90s bands like Farside and Gameface. Whether those references mean anything to you or not (and if you’re under 30, I’m betting you’re on the latter side of that one), you’ll certainly have a lovely time seeing this band at Garden Grove, especially since the bill features multiple excellent local bands, Turbo Mansion foremost among them. AND, on top of all that, it’s free! Who can argue with that?
Monday, August 12, 8 PM
The Lawrence Arms, Talk Me Off, Bashful @ Bandito’s – Free!
One absolute treat of a free show deserves another, right? For those of you out there who love modern pop-punk, the headline of this little blurb is all you really need to hear — I’m guessing you’re already making plans to queue up outside Bandito’s the second you get off work on Monday. But for those who don’t quite know the deal, here it is: The Lawrence Arms is one of the most important bands in the world of melodic, emotional punk rock since the turn of the millennium. Albums like 2003’s The Greatest Story Ever Told have long since proved this to all who’ve encountered them.
They’ve been around for two entire decades at this point, and have been a bit less active over the past ten years or so, but they’re working on a new album scheduled for next year, and they’re coming to RVA because they have a night off their current tour with Bad Religion and felt like sharing their many classic tunes with us all. Bandito’s shows are always free, so it’s strictly first-come first-served for this one. Luckily for us all, tacos are cheap during Bandito’s happy hour, so come early, grab dinner, and be ready for the show to get rolling by 8:45. It’s gonna be a great one.
Tuesday, August 13, 7 PM
Beres Hammond, DJ Inferno @ The National – $25 in advance/$30 at the door (order tickets HERE)
Not just a Clash song or a Sade album, lovers rock is an entire subgenre of reggae, one that exists in contrast to the heavy-dub sound and Rasta politics of famous Jamaican reggae exports like Bob Marley and Peter Tosh. Lovers rock mixes the classic reggae lilt with soulful vocals and a stronger emphasis on melodies and balladry. Beres Hammond started out as a Jamaican dancehall singer in the 80s, but established himself internationally with his 90s work, which cemented him as a top-tier lovers rock single and led him to work in the early 00s with everyone from Big Youth to Wyclef Jean.
Now it’s 2019, and Hammond is in the midst of an international tour behind Never Ending, his 20th album and first in over five years. Singles like “I’m Alive” and the title track have proved that his talent is as strong as ever, and he’ll be coming to The National this Tuesday night to charm reggae fans all over the metro area with his reggae balladry. Get ready for an evening of dancing with your baby to Beres Hammond’s smooth, sweet lovers rock. It may only be Tuesday night, but this high’s gonna carry you straight through to the weekend.
Elsewhere Around The State:
Friday, August 9, 8 PM
The Menzingers, The Sidekicks, Queen Of Jeans @ Peabody’s (Virginia Beach) – $22 in advance/$25 at the door (order tickets HERE)
Here’s another one of the most important melodic, emotional punk rock bands to come along since the turn of the millennium. Two in one week? That’s pretty amazing, and if you’re a true fan, driving to Virginia Beach will seem like a small price to pay to catch Scranton pop-punk geniuses The Menzingers on their current tour. It’s been two years since their excellent fifth album, After The Party, and they’re currently preparing a sixth one, Hello Exile, for an October release.
That’s still a bit away, and so far, we’ve only heard one of the songs from it, but “Anna” is a gorgeous, heartrending banger that lets us all know the band who brought us angst-ridden classic “I Don’t Wanna Be An Asshole Anymore” still have all of their chops 100 percent intact. That’s reason enough to drive down for this one, but the fact that Ohio pop-punk/power-pop veterans The Sidekicks, as well as Philly indie/power-pop trio Queen Of Jeans, are also on the bill makes this one a downright can’t-miss event. So don’t miss it, punk!
Saturday, August 10, 8 PM
Psychonaut, The Magenta Shift, Walkie Talkie @ Clementine (Harrisonburg) – $7
It might be easy for Harrisonburg to slide right by the consciousness of a VA music fan from more populous cities closer to I-95, but paying even a little bit of attention will make it abundantly clear that the scene in the city of Macrock is jumping all year round, not just on that one spring weekend. Psychonaut are a Harrisonburg-based band bringing an excellent psychedelic sound to the city of JMU and beyond, if the rest of the state will only listen.
This show is a celebration of Mind — no, this isn’t some weird new-age workshop, Mind is the name of the new Psychonaut LP, and it’s an album full of dark, moody soundscapes that bring to mind Paisley Underground classics by Rain Parade and The Dream Syndicate, while also harking back to some of the deeper, more subtle bands of the post-Nirvana alt-rock revolution (though I’m gonna guess that neither they nor you, reader, have any memory of California trio Dada — but I promise they were good). The overall result is an album full of intriguing, multi-layered melodies and glittering guitars that pull you in deeper with every listen. To see Psychonaut bring this one to life onstage is sure to be the kind of treat that’s worth driving across the mountain for. Gas up the Jeep.
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]
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