Sunday, January 15, 6 PM
Municipal Waste, Deceased, Inter Arma, Left Cross, Cruelsifix @ The Broadberry – $10 (order tickets HERE)
Oh my god. Do you see the bill we’re looking at here? I mean, it’s news these days whenever Municipal Waste returns home for a rare headlining gig within the RVA city limits… but this is just incredible. Not only are the Waste taking the stage at The Broadberry to waste you all once again, they’re joined by Maryland death metal legends Deceased AND local heroes Inter Arma. This is a triple-headliner for the ages, and it’s all for a good cause–to help pay medical expenses incurred by local metalhead and moped warrior Tracey Godby, who is currently battling throat cancer. With a door price of only 10 bucks, you really have no excuse not to make it out to this one.
But let’s not just leave it there, because all of these bands–even the openers–deserve more electronic ink spilled in praise of their names. Having said that, what can I even say about Municipal Waste that I haven’t said before? Their decade-plus legacy of fun-loving thrash genius really does speak for itself, and while it has been over four years since the release of their most recent album, The Fatal Feast, the band has been busy for a while on a new album, and did expand to a five-piece last year with the addition of former Cannabis Corpse and current BAT/Volture shredder Nick Poulos. So they’re sure to have some new party anthems for you to mosh to!
And then there’s Deceased, the Maryland thrash legends with a 30-year legacy. Their most recent release of new material was the excellent split LP with Conceived By Hate, The Figure Of Uneasiness, but they’ve also recently partnered with Hell’s Headbangers to release two massive collections of archival material–Demos From The Grave, featuring some classic raw recordings from the dawn of the band’s history, and Cadaver Traditions, collecting over 50 excellent covers of classic tunes from all sorts of genres. Deceased founder/frontman King Fowley is still in fine form, and his current lineup is a powerful moshtastic machine, so you can expect an incredible set that will constitute a rare treat for metalheads of all ages.
I know, I know, I’m always too verbose with these things, but how can I not devote several more sentences to the remainder of this lineup? Inter Arma have spent over a decade thrilling the local scene and the entire metal world with their complex, genre-hopping blend of technical, passionate, heavy music. Latest LP Paradise Gallows only pushes farther into the outer realms of possibility where metal is concerned, yielding some incredible results that must be heard to be believed. Local thrash demons Left Cross (featuring members of Unsacred) and Cruelsifix (featuring members of Cannabis Corpse) will kick this whole party off, and you should really make it your business to be there.
Wednesday, January 11, 9 PM
This Land Is Now Dead, Fluoride, 60659-c, Maask @ 25 Watt – $3-5 suggested donation
Look, I’m just gonna lay it out for you: This Land Is Now Dead is my favorite currently-active Richmond band. I know I probably shouldn’t dispense these sorts of opinions willy-nilly in a broad-minded scene-supporting venue like this column, but sometimes you just gotta let people know. If you’re reading this but have not been witness to TLIND’s incredible live performances, you might be wondering why I would even say this. After all, their sole recorded release is a short, lo-fi demo. Well, that demo captures none of their hypnotic brilliance, so you really won’t get it unless you see them in person. And with bassist Darrien Day now making his home in Washington DC, those opportunities don’t come along too often. This makes it all the more imperative that you show up at 25 Watt tonight.
This Land Is Now Dead’s appeal is multi-faceted. For one thing, the band leavens their dark, metallic hardcore with a gothic atmosphere that seems drawn equally from Neurosis’ terrifying doom-metal soundscapes and from Envy’s progressive, atmospheric post-hardcore. For another, Day’s melodic basslines strike an evocative contrast to guitarist Christian Marchant’s powerful riffing. And then there’s vocalist Stephanie Smith up front, mingling an incredibly intense stage presence with vocal contortions that shift without warning from high screams to deep growls and even the occasional melodic croon. This band will knock you on your ass, is what I’m saying. And I’ve gotten so excited about saying it that I’ve left myself barely any room to tell you about Fluoride, the New Jersey power-violence trio coming to town for this gig, not to mention openers 60659-c (yet another excellent combination of the usual suspects from the Great Dismal/Swamp Fest extended family) and Maask (queer avant-garde electrocore). All of these groups offer much to recommend them–but make no mistake, it’s This Land Is Now Dead who will truly level the place. Do not miss it.
Thursday, January 12, 7 PM
Set To Sail, President Sam, Welcome Home, Rescue Dawn, Spacemere @ The Canal Club – $8 in advance/$10 day of show (order tickets HERE)
I don’t know what it says about me, that my attempts to broaden the horizons of this column tend to result in me finding shows that appeal to the hyperactive over-emotional teenager that still lives somewhere inside my nearly-41-year-old body. I guess I’m just a kid at heart–which is a much nicer way of saying that I’m still incredibly angst-ridden and way too emotional for my own good. Hey, it keeps me young! Anyway, enough about me–let’s talk about this all ages Canal Club show loaded with excellent modern emo-pop bands to please the swoop-haired mall-dweller that lives inside us all.
I’m particularly stoked about the two touring bands on this one. St Louis residents Welcome Home and Buffalo denizens Rescue Dawn both feature a facility with hooks and a similarity to the glory days of great bands like Taking Back Sunday and Hawthorne Heights, and let me tell ya–that’s more than enough for me. Fredericksburg-based headliners Set To Sail have a bit of a chunkier sound, though if anything they remind me of Knuckle Puck, whom I love unreservedly. Locals President Sam and Spacemere round out the bill with some more high-quality pop-punk/emo sounds–President Sam are more towards the melodic power-pop vibes, while Spacemere heads more in an indie-ish direction. It’s all rad though, and this whole bill gives us a great chance to see what the kids are up to these days. Brush your hair out of your eyes and queue up!
Friday, January 13, 8 PM
HeadlessMantis, Faye, Milo In The Doldrums @ Gallery 5 – $5
This is kind of a rerun, in that last time Faye came through town they were up against a more high-profile show, and this time they’re competing against day two of the City Of Caterpillar RVA reunion tour. Damn. That said, I’m sure I’m not the only person who was focusing their attention elsewhere during the 3-hour period between CoC tickets going on sale and selling out, so I’m sure plenty of you need alternate plans for the evening. So actually, you’re in luck! Alt-rock trio Faye hail from Charlotte NC but have RVA connections in that singer-guitarist Susan Plante once lived and played music here.
However, if hometown pride isn’t reason enough to get you to Gallery 5 on this Friday evening, never fear–Faye have plenty of excellent tunes in store for your eager ears. Their self-titled debut EP, released last summer on Tiny Engines, shows the band channeling many of the same influences that make Speedy Ortiz and Sky Larkin such thrilling listens–Belly, The Breeders, Veruca Salt, and plenty of other rad 90s groups live on in Faye’s sound, to powerful effect. Arlington indie-rockers Milo In The Doldrums and local swamp-punk ensemble HeadlessMantis make this a well-rounded evening of awesome rock tuneage. And you don’t even have to stand outside in the cold to hear it!
Saturday, January 14, 5 PM
Antiphons, Lance Bangs, Blush Face, Buddy List @ Hardywood – Free!
Here’s some exciting news on the local music front–Antiphons is just about to release their brand new LP, Groan, on Citrus City Records (in collaboration with Gigantic Noise). That whole Citrus City scene has been doing a lot around town over the past couple of years, but I feel like–perhaps due to the wholesome, mannered nature of the pop music so many of its bands embody–they’ve had a lower profile here in RVA than they’ve really deserved. Antiphons leader Brian Dove, who also plays in Big Baby and Young Scum, has a position right at the center of all this local indie-pop activity, and the release of Groan should catapult Antiphons and all of his projects into the center of the local indie scene. I look forward to seeing that happen, and this free record release show at Hardywood Saturday night is the perfect time for the wave to start.
Antiphons have a laid-back, introspective vibe to them these days, at least on the two songs from Groan I’ve heard thus far. Fellow RVA indie-pop troopers Lance Bangs have a bit more of a spunky, lo-fi energy to them, if their excellent recent EP Lance Mountain is any indication, but there’s a clear spiritual connection between the groups, making Lance Bangs’ inclusion on this bill highly apropos. Hot new indie-pop hype Blush Face will also make an appearance, delighting all comers with their lovely tunes featuring angel-voiced frontwoman Allie Smith. Buddy List kicks off the evening, and this brand new combo’s ex-member pedigree leads me to expect Lou Henninger (Basmati/New Turks/Christi) occupying the drum throne. With members of Young Scum and Fat Spirit also along for the ride, it seems highly likely that this new group will make early arrivals more than worth their while. Hey, it’s a free show anyway, right? But bring a few bucks, because you’re gonna want to take home a copy of Groan. That’s a promise.
Sunday, January 15, 9 PM
Doll Baby, Naked Pictures, Book Of Wyrms, Venus Guytrap @ Strange Matter – $5
I really have enjoyed the run of all-local bills appearing at Strange Matter recently–as I’ve made sure to tell you. This is another quadruple-bill package of rad locals, but this one is not part of the Strange Matter Locals Only concert series. Instead, the uniting factor for these bands coming together on Sunday night is the rights of women to make reproductive choices for themselves–and of course to receive quite a few other kinds of health care–by using the services of Planned Parenthood. The nightmare scenario we’re all living through right now in the United States Of America is driven by repressive forces who wish to see Planned Parenthood defunded and put out of business. I am far from the only woman who does not want to see this happen, under any circumstances. This Sunday night bill at Strange Matter features four bands who’ve joined forces to raise money for Planned Parenthood, in order to minimize the possible harm the next four years can cause that important organization.
That’s a pretty dark subject to contemplate, I realize, but when a night has this many great bands to offer in return for your donation to Planned Parenthood, it’s hard to stay bummed out for long. Doll Baby is your headliner for this evening, and this band’s driving force is the powerful voice of frontwoman Julie Storey. Backed as she is by ex-members of Hold Tight and Springtime, Julie’s experience playing mournful alt-country sounds in Haints In The Holler takes on an entirely new dimension. You really must hear this band; and if you already have, you should really hear them again. Naked Pictures is a new post-hardcore outfit with a sound sure to bring a smile to the faces of Hum and Quicksand fans who just can’t get enough of that chunky melodic midtempo sound. Book Of Wyrms changes things up with some haunting, psychedelic doom metal, and Venus Guytrap’s soulful 90s-inspired alt-rock kicks things off in delicious fashion. Rad sounds for a good cause are always a worthy investment. And if you can’t make it, consider hitting up Planned Parenthood’s website and clicking that donate button. It’s important.
Monday, January 16, 8:30 PM
Rich Root$, feat. Noah-O, Cadillac Cat, Big Fred, Kaywan, Baby Traance, D’leon, Deron, Rob Regal, music by GAWD & Prince Gravy @ The Camel – $7 (order tickets HERE)
Richmond hip hop brings the fire, y’all. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but frankly, if you haven’t caught on to the high-energy efforts of the many local crews bringing excellent rhymes and outstanding beats to the region, you’re doing yourself a grave disservice. There are many ways to correct that for yourself, but one great one would be to attend Rich Root$, the latest of many evenings of local hip hop brought to you by Charged Up Enterprise, the organization headed and represented by Noah-O. The headliner for this evening, Noah O first caught on back in 2010 with fiery single “I Got It,” and has only increased his profile through subsequent releases like 2014’s Monument Ave and brand new banger The Rain, released this past Thanksgiving. Expect plenty of hot tracks from The Rain to enliven Noah-O’s evening-closing set at The Camel next Monday.
But of course, there’s a lot more where that came from, because in case you haven’t noticed, every local hip hop show ends up jam-packed with talented MCs keeping the rhymes flowing and the grooves spinning. Cadillac Cat occupying the spot just below Noah-O on the running order makes perfect sense in light of the rapper’s brand new single, “Dirty Deposits,” featuring a verse from none other than Noah-O. Perhaps that song will act as a bridge between their sets? One thing’s for sure, the music will roll without stopping all night, with DJs GAWD and Prince Gravy manning the turntables and bringing out excellent local MCs like Baby Traance (my personal favorite of the evening), Rob Regal, Deron, D’leon, and so many more. Honestly, it’s hard to know everything that can be expected from this evening, as so many hip hop shows tend to overflow with talented MCs and spontaneous dance parties breaking out between sets. You’ll really have to see for yourself what’s in store–but you sure won’t regret that decision. Mark your calendar.
Tuesday, January 17, 8 PM
Lara Hope & The Ark-Tones, White Trash Messiahs, Poison Ivy League @ The Camel – $5 (order tickets HERE)
Let’s finish out this particular seven-day allotment of shows with a genre rarely encountered on my personal radar, but always worth a deeper dive. Lara Hope & The Ark-tones hail from New York city, and they come to Richmond with some of the best modern rockabilly sounds on the East Coast in store for us all. Hope herself has a golden voice and a brassy attitude that adds plenty of sass to the sure-fire sounds of her backing band, The Ark-Tones. The group’s excellent 2014 LP, Luck Maker, will come to life on The Camel’s stage, complete with standup bass, hollow-body guitars, and an entertaining stage show straight out of the sweltering roadhouses of the mid-20th century.
As for local support, I gotta admit I had no idea bands like this even existed here in Richmond. I should probably spend more time hanging out at Wonderland, huh? Anyway, I haven’t heard too much from White Trash Messiahs, but any band who names themselves after a Cocknoose LP can’t be all bad. Meanwhile, Poison Ivy League brings an organ-driven sound with a bit more of a soulful garage-rock retro vibe than the rockabilly-retro sound you can expect from the visiting headliners. As far as I can tell though, anyone who digs the one is gonna get a kick out of the other. So really, this looks like an evening of pure fun at The Camel. Why not give it a shot?
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