Wednesday, September 7, 7 PM
Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats, Danava, The Shrine @ The Broadberry – $17.50 in advance/$20 day of show (order tickets HERE)
I’m really taking a risk making a Wednesday show the featured show here, y’all. After all, as we’ve seen lately, my life has been less than conducive to me finishing these columns on time. What’s more, at press time tickets appeared to be dangerously close to selling out. So hey, let’s not waste any time–because there is no doubt about the fact that Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats are the best band playing in Richmond over the next seven days, and you all need to be there to witness their spooky occult madness in person.
Personally, I discovered Uncle Acid through the outstanding local psych blog Revolt Of The Apes (which appears to have fallen into disuse, more’s the pity), who let me in on this band’s deviously brilliant strip-mining of occult-laced proto-metal psychedelia and 70s grindhouse gore films. That was five or so years ago, when Blood Lust was their new album. Since then, they’ve kept the awesomeness going with 2013’s Mind Control and last year’s The Night Creeper, slowly moving in a more melodic direction while continuing to keep the creepy heaviness turned up to full blast. All of these albums would make a great soundtrack for a long-lost Tobe Hooper or Lucio Fulci movie, and all of them are guaranteed to hit you hard as fuck in a live setting. Especially at The Broadberry where they can use the lights to create a really scary ambience.
Better yet, the opening acts on this show have just as fierce and tough a vibe as your headliner. Danava and The Shrine are both on tour from the west coast. Danava are straight-up 70s revivalists who know how to riff like prime Deep Purple, while The Shrine somehow incorporate bong-ripping Black Sabbath riffs with fuzzy early-80s skatecore riffing for a heavy sound that’s sure to please both the doom-metal fans and the dirty punks in the audience. So yeah, if you’ve got a $20 bill to throw down on this massive night of powerful jams, I suggest you click the ticket link above and order yours right the heck now. Don’t let this sell out on you.
Wednesday, September 7, 9 PM
Radio Rubber Room presents Pink Moon Festival Showcase feat. Shagwuf, The Duskwhales, Esoteric Experience, Suneater @ The Camel – Free!
But you know, maybe you’ll ignore my advice and show up at The Broadberry around 8:30, hoping to catch the last few Shrine songs, only to find that the show has sold out. OR, maybe you’re just like me, and can’t afford a $20 show in your wildest dreams. Either way, have no fear, brave showgoer! There’s a free show happening just down the street, and if you’re too late to get into the Broadberry, you’ll be just in time to walk into The Camel and catch a stacked bill of rad bands that are playing Pink Moon Festival in just over a week from tonight!
At the top of the bill is Shagwuf, and they definitely deserve to be there. Their high-energy live show is depicted in the photo above this writeup–bassist Sally Rose has definitely caught the eye of a lot of local photographers with her antics. But this band has more to offer than being photogenic; their pounding rock n’ roll riffs, dueling male-female vocals, and twangy swagger will remind you of X mixing it up with Blue Cheer. Yeah, it really is that rad. Then there are northern Virginia’s Duskwhales, a keyboard-driven psychedelic pop band who conjure up The Beatles, recent Flaming Lips, and early Of Montreal with their melodic overtones. Jamtronica producer Esoteric Experience and psychedelic alt-rock/postpunk wildmen Suneater get this whole thing started, and the rad folks from Radio Rubber Room are there to play host to it all! So you’re sure to have a good time.
Thursday, September 8, 8 PM
Deceased, Vorator, Cremains, Appalling @ Strange Matter – $10 in advance/$12 day of show (order tickets HERE)
Death fucking metal. Deceased leader King Fowley has been tirelessly repping for the genre from right here in Virginia since before I even knew such a thing as death metal even existed–and that’s a long time, y’all, cuz I’m old. His band Deceased has been around for three decades now, and have brought a succession of amazing releases into the world over the years, beginning with 1991’s Luck Of The Corpse and continuing through their most recent release, a 2014 split LP with Salvadoran band Conceived By Hate. 1997’s Fearless Undead Machines was the record that originally brought them to my attention, and its ripping mix of thrash terror, drumming madness, and Fowley’s raging vocals made me a believer from day one. I’m super glad to see these guys still at it, and you will be too if you make it down to Strange Matter tomorrow night. So what do you say? Let’s make it happen!
There are plenty of younger VA death metal exponents on this bill as well, and they’re sure to give you just as fierce a show this night as the legends themselves. Vorator’s no-frills thrash madness reminds me of early albums by Celtic Frost and Bathory, and as influences go, you can’t really get much better than that. Cremains are a rad bunch of kids who mix death-thrash riffing with fiery punk vocals and a fun approach to the art of making music. They’ll get your head banging for sure. Meanwhile, Appalling adds a bit of black metal darkness to their raging death sounds, creating a layer of atmosphere that makes their music distinctive. Plus, you’ll recognize the members from some pretty high-profile Richmond metal bands of the last several years, so that’s always cool to see. This show will rage from jump, so don’t miss a moment of it.
Friday, September 9, 6 PM
Amanda X, Bad Magic @ Steady Sounds – Bring donations for touring band
I knew Amanda X would be rad before I even heard them, though, because I used to be a big fan of singer/guitarist Cat Park’s old pop-punk band, Band Name (yeah, the name of the band was Band Name. I know, right?). Amanda X turned out to be quite a bit different from Band Name–definitely less of a pop-punk thing and more of a 90s alt-rock/power-pop vibe. But hey, I’m into it. I loved The Breeders and Belly and Scrawl the first time around, and seeing modern bands do a flawless job of carrying on that legacy gives me life.
Meanwhile, Bad Magic is a rad trio that came together a few years ago around the awesome songs of frontwoman Julie Karr, who has done plenty of great shit on her own but enters a whole new world of awesomeness backed by RVA music all-stars Tim Falen (Ultra Flake, Lady God, a million other bands) and Jimmy Held (White Laces, Flechette, also a million other bands). They’ve got a bit more of a melancholy vibe than Amanda X, but the pairing here will be a perfect mix of harmony and contrast. And you can see it all by showing up at Steady Sounds in the early evening and throwing a couple bucks in the tip jar. That’s the kind of thing that should not be taken for granted.
Saturday, September 10, 8 PM
Beach Slang, Positive No, The Kneads @ The Camel – $13 in advance/$15 day of show (order tickets HERE)
Y’all, I vibe HARD with Beach Slang. I know some of my other friends with a similar background have felt a little weird about how perfectly this quartet seems to be nailing the exact feeling of angst that surrounds being a dyed-in-the-wool punk rocker approaching middle age. All of us still have the DIY spirit in our hearts, but we also don’t really have a pattern for our lives as we grow older, and it can be scary to contemplate what’s in store. This uncertain feeling is where Beach Slang lives, and they devote their musical energies towards creating an inspiring sound that will help us all get through and understand we’re not alone.
So me, I’m not questioning any of that–I’m just glad someone seems to kinda understand. I’m getting choked up singing along to songs like “Ride The Wild Haze” and “Bad Art & Weirdo Ideas.” And I’m really looking forward to seeing this band in my hometown–probably while getting jostled by kids half my age who haven’t ever contemplated any of this stuff. Which is also fine. We all need great melodic punk songs to inspire us and to get us out of bed for one more week of soul-killing work. Beach Slang has plenty of those, as their debut full-length, The Things We Do To Find People Who Feel Like Us, proves. And I don’t wanna leave out my pals in opening band Positive No, who also know the struggle and also combat it all with beautiful melodic punk rock. [EDIT: The Kneads are playing too, my bad!] This night is going to be life-affirming in the extreme. We all need this–I don’t care how old you are.
Sunday, September 11, 8 PM
Titus Andronicus, A Giant Dog @ The Camel – $15 (order tickets HERE)
Hey, The Camel has a whole weekend of epic melodic punk for us, don’t they? First we get Beach Slang, who will make us all cry about how beautiful and difficult life is. Then we get Titus Andronicus, who will use complicated historical accounts and epic rock-opera constructions as a convenient device through which to express their anti-capitalist rage and get their incredibly catchy tunes to burrow under our skin and become part of us. I’m SO down for this, y’all. I feel like this isn’t even the first time this band has been through town since releasing their last album, The Most Lamentable Tragedy. What’s more, I feel like I probably told you to go to that last show, too. Did you do it?
Ignore that question, because in the words of The Rock, it doesn’t MATTER if you went to the last show! You need to be at this one! Rad songs like “No Future Triumphant” and “Dimed Out,” as well as lengthy older epics like “A More Perfect Union” or “A Pot In Which To Piss” will certainly await you. The fiery anger of frontman Patrick Stickles is inspiring in its fury, and will give you that swift kick you need to remind you how much life there still is to be lived (jeez, am I talking about myself here? …well, really, when am I not?). I can tell you very little about openers A Giant Dog, though I get the idea that they’re a pretty fun upbeat punk band themselves… but really, at this point, that’s not much more than a sweet cherry on top. Titus Andronicus are the reason for the season. Be there.
Monday, September 12, 7:30 PM
Car Seat Headrest, The Lemon Twigs, Gold Connections @ The National – $13 in advance/$15 day of show (order tickets HERE)
This is fun for me because a couple of my friends used to be in this band. Car Seat Headrest might have a sort of “Brooklyn hipster bedroom pop” vibe around them, but the truth is that frontman/songwriter Will Toledo got this whole thing started back when he was living not in Williamsburg, Brooklyn but Williamsburg, VA. William & Mary alums–you don’t always notice them, but they’re everywhere. And this particular W&M alum has some pretty excellent melancholy pop to share with us all when he returns to our state in order to take the stage at The National.
Katie and Austin aren’t playing with him anymore, but he’s got some capable backing musicians in the fold now, and they’ll be rockin’ ya with fine new tunes from recent Matador release Teens Of Denial. The shows lineup will be filled out with some other excellent bedroom-pop tuneage from up-and-comers The Lemon Twigs, as well as some lovely melodic indie jams from Gold Connections. If you dig Car Seat Headrest, you’re gonna be feeling all three of these bands, so make sure you show up on time! You won’t be sorry.
Tuesday, September 13, 8 PM
Destroyer Of Light, Book Of Wyrms, Helleborus, Vulcanite @ Strange Matter – $8 (order tickets HERE)
Your doom approaches. It will arrive this Tuesday night at Strange Matter in the form of back to back sets from Austin, TX monsters Destroyer Of Light and foreboding local terrors Book Of Wyrms. Destroyer Of Light are pretty amazing in their monstrosity–the way they invoke the spirit of prime Black Sabbath, and mix in the slow-motion horror opera of Candlemass, plus the occasional show-stopping death growl… well, it’s just all outstanding and these dudes deserve a medal or something.
Book Of Wyrms are a bit more on the Pentagram/Saint Vitus end of things, or at least that’s how it feels to me. Sludgy, downbeat rock n’ roll riffs that make you feel really despondent; then Sarah Moore Lindsey sings angelically overtop of them and adds an element of otherworldly beauty to further underscore the depressive majesty of the entire thing. It’s a beautiful bummer. But don’t get too despondent, because hearing these songs in a live environment is sure to have an uplifting effect–from the sheer volume, if nothing else. Colorado’s Helleborus will throw in some additional Lovecraftian darkness, and it all kicks off with a set from new local outfit Vulcanite. Prepare to be crushed by awesome doom metal power, y’all.
Email me if you’ve got any tips for me about upcoming shows: firstname.lastname@example.org
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