Saturday, October 19, 3 PM
Cobra Cabana’s One Year Cobranniversary, feat. Kool Keith, Weedeater @ Cobra Cabana – Free!
It’s hard to believe that it’s only been a year since Cobra Cabana opened over in Carver. They’ve wasted no time making themselves an integral part of the Richmond scene, from their delicious and politically-informed menu to organizing motorcycle rallies and hosting outdoor rock n’ roll parties. They’ll be hosting another outstanding party this Saturday afternoon, and whether you’re there every week or haven’t made it in yet at all, you’re going to want to be there.
This one-year celebration is branching out from the hard-rockin’ theme of the last big show at Cobra Cabana, giving it a huge dose of hip hop talent with a headlining set from Kool Keith himself. This legend of rap has been rocking mics and dropping bizarre and fascinating rhymes for over three decades now, getting his start with Ultramagnetic MCs in the late 80s and hitting a creative peak in the late 90s with Sex Style, Dr. Octagonecologyst, and First Come First Served… all of which were released under different names. Keith’s still incredibly prolific to this day, and returned to his Dr. Octagon alter ego last year for the excellent Moosebumps: An Exploration Into Modern Day Horripilation, before following that up with this year’s equally great but far more straightforward KEITH.
All of which is to say that this groundbreaking hip hop veteran hasn’t lost a single step even after three decades, and you’ll need to see the fire he can bring to Cobra Cabana this Saturday. And speaking of fire, expect North Carolina metalheads extraordinaire Weedeater to spark up some serious stoner grooves when they hit the stage. It’s been a few years since their last LP, Goliathan, entered the world, but having recently recruited Dixie’s former Buzzoven bandmate Ramzi Ateyeh to take over the drum kit, they’re revitalized and back to full power. Expect to be bowled over — in slow motion, of course. As celebrations go, this one’s gonna be hellacious.
Wednesday, October 16, 6 PM
The Number 12 Looks Like You, God Mother, Pound, .gif From God, Genosha @ The Canal Club – $16 (order tickets HERE)
What a time to be alive. I never thought I’d see the day when there’d be a revival of the kind of metallic, chaotic, sassy noisecore that I was super-stoked about in my late 20s. I guess this is growing up, huh? No complaints here — especially not when it means the return of New Jersey maniacs The Number 12 Looks Like You, who carved a swath through the mid-2000s metalcore scene with wild slabs of frenetic guitar fuckery and constant tempo changes, such as 2003’s Put On Your Rosy Red Glasses and 2008’s Here At The End Of All Things. I’m certainly glad to get more of that.
And this year brings an answer to the fervent desires of all their fans, as the band released their first LP in over a decade, Wild Gods, last month. They’re slightly less frantic on this new LP than in previous work, but their mindblowing mixture of mathcore, jazz, and screamo remains alive and well, and it’s sure to have you vacillating between spastic twitching and frantic headbangs throughout their Canal Club set this evening. They’re joined by two talented fellow touring groups, Sweden chaotic metallers God Mother and Seattle instrumental tech-grind duo Pound, along with two excellent local acts, .gif From God and Genosha, both of which you definitely need to be familiar with if heavy, chaotic craziness is your thing. This starts early, so head straight over after work — you don’t want to miss any of it.
Thursday, October 17, 8 PM
Gorrak, Gull, Faucet @ Bingo Beer Co – Free!
A show at Bingo Beer certainly brings back a lot of memories. Specifically of driving by the old bingo hall that this local craft brewing company has moved into and wondering if someone could book a punk rock show there. A lot of people tried, no one ever succeeded, but now, decades and an owner change later, music has finally come to the old bingo hall. And I for one think that’s pretty fucking cool.
It might be hard to label this show “punk rock” in any conventional, musical sense of the word, but the fact that it features three DIY bands that are very much in the open-minded “it’s how you think, not how you sound” tradition of punk, pushes it in that direction nonetheless. Gorrak is a powerful, borderline-metallic jazz duo who are celebrating the release of a new self-titled LP loaded with complex, exciting sax-drum riffage. Fans of local powerhouses like Dumb Waiter and Paint Store are definitely going to want to get on board the Gorrak train. It helps that tried-and-true solo experimentalist Gull is on this show as well — we all know what we’re getting from Gull, and we all know that it rules. I know nothing about brand new locals Faucet, but really, by now haven’t you got more than enough reasons to finally see a show at the bingo hall? I think you do.
Friday, October 18, 6:30 PM
Narrow Head, Slump @ Plan 9 Records – $5 donation
We may all associate record store appearances by bands with massive meet-and-greets at midnight the night their new album comes out, but sometimes record store shows are something completely different — a way to bring young bands with great new albums to the curious music fans of a new town. This is one of those in-stores, and as such, it’s sure to combine the informal atmosphere of a basement show with the inviting surroundings of your favorite place to lose an afternoon flipping through the used vinyl racks.
Texas group Narrow Head are the stars of this particular Plan 9 show, and they come to Richmond to bring us all the word about their latest EP, Coursing Through, released last month on Advanced Perspective Records. This two-song, 10-minute EP is a great showcase for what Narrow Head are sure to bring to Richmond this Friday night — big fuzzy waves of guitar, powerful drums, and an excellent undercurrent of minor-chord melody just below the surface. If your idea of shoegaze is more early Dino Jr than later Slowdive, these guys are sure to thrill you. They’ll be joined by Richmond hardcore-sludge maniacs Slump, who just might get a little gazey themselves at quieter moments, right before hitting you over the head with another massive banger. The whole thing should be over in about two hours, but time always flies when you’re having fun.
Saturday, October 19, 8 PM
Will Hoge, Elizabeth Cook @ The Tin Pan – $32.50 (order tickets HERE)
Saturday night at The Tin Pan will bring us a double shot of modern country stars who are far from conventional Nashville-radio pap. The double-shot starts out with Will Hoge, who has been dubbed “The Tennessee Troublemaker” by Mojo Nixon himself. Hoge got the name due to his outspoken political views, which not only got an airing on last year’s My American Dream — a rockin’ country LP sure to appeal to fans of both Jason Isbell and Gary Clark Jr. — but also showed up on t-shirts he sold on tour, featuring slogans like “Will Trade Racists For Refugees.” Will Hoge is the kind of guy country music needs more of, and here in Richmond, it’ll be great to get a big dose of what he has to offer this Saturday night.
It’ll also be great to get a visit from Elizabeth Cook, a longtime Grand Ole Opry performer who has a long-running Sirius XM show on the Outlaw Country channel and has shown her debt to classic country spitfires like Loretta Lynn with memorable singles like “Sometimes It Takes Balls To Be A Woman.” In 2016, she released her first album in six years, Exodus Of Venus, coming out the other side of a difficult period involving divorce, rehab, and mental illness with a powerful statement of strength. The album’s tough country sound makes her a good pairing with Will Hoge’s similar approach, and really, if you’re trying to hear the best country music has to offer in 2019, you can’t find a much better show to go to than this one. I know it ain’t cheap, but scrounge up the cash and get there. You’ll be glad you did.
Sunday, October 20, 9 PM
VE, Weird Tears, Minimum Balance @ Bandito’s – Free!
The free local triple threat at Bandito’s is always a Sunday night standby, and it’s that way for a reason. For one thing, Bandito’s is the Richmond live music scene’s best-kept secret — the room sounds great. For another thing, these shows never cost anything to get into. For another, there’s some amazing food available at Bandito’s, so you can (and should) always start your evening off with some tacos. And of course, the bands they book are always dope, whether they’re touring legends of punk or the best our own scene has to offer.
This night is of the latter variety, and VE, which used to stand for Various Eggs and doesn’t appear to stand for anything anymore, are at the top of the heap. It’s been a long time since they released some new original music, but their moody indie-lounge sound, which evokes both Leonard Cohen and Mark Eitzel, remains intact, and will surely cast a formidable atmosphere over the side room at Bandito’s. Weird Tears will bring their own unique, mournful power-pop approach to the evening, which is sure to be a highlight, and Minimum Balance rounds things out with some driving, spunky alt-rock sounds that are sure to delight all comers. This one is well worth your time.
Tuesday, October 22, 6 PM
Trash Boat, House & Home, Sleave, Hold Close, Nine Line, The Second After @ The Canal Club – $13 (order tickets HERE)
It’s always interesting to see what the UK does with US-originating sounds like pop-punk and hardcore. Trash Boat are the latest British export to combine both of these genres, and instead of landing anywhere in the neighborhood of Neck Deep, on one hand, or Gallows on the other, they carve out their own niche at the intersection point of melodic, emotional punk and driving hardcore power on 2018’s Crown Shyness, an excellent example of the fact that some UK bands are able to hold their own with the best exports from these shores.
Trash Boat have pivoted a bit with new single “Synthetic Sympathy,” moving in a poppier and dancier direction, but it’s always tough to tell whether such moves represent a stylistic shift or just a slight outlier. Either way, it shows that the band’s still got what made them worth our time in the first place, so you could certainly do a lot worse than journeying to the Canal Club this Tuesday night and catching them live onstage. A whole bunch of local talents, including heavy-emotion trio Sleave — who are actually about to release an LP on a UK label — and speedy easycore quartet Nine Line, are also on the bill, and you should really show up on time so you can get a good look at what’s happening in this musical world here in Richmond as well as over in the UK.
Elsewhere Around The State:
Friday, October 18, 8 PM
Wylder, Starcoast, BigForestFire @ Charlie’s American Cafe (Norfolk) – $10 in advance/$12 day of show (order tickets HERE)
Formed in Virginia and currently based in DC, Wylder are an indie-folk group with a lovely sort of sound, one that on their most recent LP, this year’s Golden Age Thinking, doesn’t just adhere to the typical sound you think of when you hear the genre descriptor “indie-folk.” Which is to say, they aren’t just another group of bearded boys with wide eyes doing their best Sam Beam. There’s some real sonic variance here, from the string-sweetened indie-rock melodies of lead single “Ghosts” to the quieter, more precisely constructed acoustic ambience of album closer “Right To My Head.”
So can we expect the live incarnation of Wylder to hit the stage in full-on rock mode, loud and proud? Or will we get a quieter, more acoustically-driven evening? Well, chances are the answer will depend on the song. It seems most reasonable to expect many different moods from Wylder, a band with many degrees to their approach — though all of them are driven by their talent. The evening will also feature performances by Virginia Beach quartet Starcoast, who bring rich vocal harmonies to their brand of upbeat indie pop; as well as BigForestFire, a group whose jammed-out grooves are often fueled by trumpet. This will be a lovely night.
Sunday, October 20, 1 PM
Chugfest, feat. Studebaker Huck, Breakers, Ghost Logic, Cokenail, Love Roses, Ruckus The Bulldog, LNT, The 40 Boys, The Chuggernauts, The Vailix @ IX Art Park (Charlottesville) – $10 donation to UVA Cancer Center’s Patient Services Fund
When you hear a name like “Chugfest,” you might very well think it’s a day’s festivities centered around beer. However, in this case, the festival appears to have been put together by Charlottesville punk band The Chuggernauts, so I suppose it’s named after them. But then, they’re named after how much they love to drink beer (as demonstrated on tunes like “Drinking Problem” and “Party On”), so it’s all the same in the end. That said, this event is really about drinking and rocking out for a good cause, not just for the hell of it, and all proceeds from raffles and donations will go to UVA Cancer Center’s Patient Services Fund, which helps direct support to patients and survivors in need of medical services.
I can’t speak to what kind of drinking you can or can’t do at this event — it’s in a public park, so that really comes down to city ordinances up there in Charlottesville. What I can tell you is that you’ll get sets from nearly a dozen punk rock bands from all around the state, not just the Chuggernauts but also long-running C-ville punks The 40 Boys, Richmond’s favorite speedy-punk sons Love Roses, funk-blues-metal duo Ruckus The Bulldog, Tidewater skate rats LNT, countrified rockabilly boyos Studebaker Huck, and a whole bunch more. This should be a great afternoon of fun sounds for a good cause, and it’ll sure liven up your Sunday. So consider taking a trip up to C-ville for this one — you’ll thank me later.
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]
Top Photo: Kool Keith by Jason Persse, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia
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