For the ninth year in a row, WRIR DJ Shannon Cleary brings us a jam-packed multi-night showcase of excellent local music under the banner of his radio show, The Commonwealth of Notions.
WRIR and The Commonwealth of Notions Presents: Volume 9, a showcase of some of the best bands Richmond has to offer, kicks off on Saturday, August 3 at Gallery 5. The showcase will continue with its second show on Saturday, August 10 at The Camel. Both shows act as fundraisers for WRIR, a local independent radio station.
Shannon Cleary, who hosts The Commonwealth of Notions — a show on WRIR that frequently features local artists — has been organizing the festival for the past nine years. “I wanted to see if I could develop a live equivalent of the radio show,” Cleary said. “Showcase the bands I’m playing on the show and use that as a means of supporting independent radio based out of Richmond.”
As always, this year’s The Commonwealth of Notions Presents features something for music fans of all types. Those attending the first show will be treated to the driving, political punk of Lounge Lizzard, who put out the first of their recorded music just this past March. HotSpit, a relatively new band in Richmond, will also be bringing their lush, melodic indie rock to the stage. Warrington will spruce things up with some delightfully emo-flavored indie, and the show will finish up with the high-energy garage rock of Washers, followed by the synthy, spooky punk of VV.
The second night of music, at the Camel, will feature Midlife Pilot, who skillfully turn emo music into something positive and upbeat. Things will get a little more distorted when Twin Drugs takes the stage and show off their hypnotic shoegaze. Gnawing brings a powerful sound to the bill, and the jangly indie pop of Young Scum is always a pleasure to witness live. Opin closes out the night with their danceable synth-filled sound.
Both nights of the festival offer an excellent opportunity for music fans to hear the sounds they love while also checking out bands they may have never heard of. For the bands performing, it’s a rare opportunity to be part of a diverse bill. “I appreciate how it brings artists together onto bills that might not typically get the chance to play shows together,” Cleary said. “They are all fans and supporters of one another.”
Proceeds from the shows benefit WRIR, which is run by volunteers and is “the largest low power FM station of its kind in the country,” according to its website. The station airs everything from political talk shows to programs about film. There seems to be a show for just about every type of music, including punk, electronica, and Americana.
Cleary noted that while also supporting local bands, people who attend the shows “are supporting a platform like WRIR that gives independent, underrepresented ideas, thoughts, and art a voice in the community. It’s an opportunity to support a lot of things all at once that all come together to piece together the identity of the creative community in Richmond.”
With two nights of music and bands that touch on multiple genres of music, The Commonwealth of Notions Presents: Volume 9 has something to offer for everyone while raising money for an independent radio station Richmond is lucky to have. It provides an excellent way to support Richmond’s buzzing music scene in general.
“I want to showcase artists, venues, organizations and beyond that I think are doing remarkable things in the scene,” Cleary said. “And the fact that this will be the ninth year that I’ve done this has not completely hit me yet.”
Top Photo: Opin, by Craig Stephen (via Facebook)
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