Saturday, January 28, 8 PM
A Farewell To OUR House, feat. Toxic Moxie, Imaginary Sons, HeadlessMantis, Ashes @ The Camel – $7 in advance/$10 day of show (order tickets HERE)
I’m not sure how aware people are of this policy, but I make it a point not to talk about house shows on this site. I’ve seen way too many well-meaning journalists over the years contribute to police harassment and spaces getting shut down; I don’t want to be a part of that. Therefore, for all I know, I could have plenty of readers who have no idea what OUR House was. After all, you never read about it here! Now that the space is defunct and the farewell celebration is taking place at a totally legal, ABC-licensed venue, we can discuss it without any fear of blowing up the spot.
So what was OUR House? Well, for starters, it was a crumbling, unheated house in Jackson Ward with seven (or more) crazy people living in it. Unlike most house-show spots, which just clear some space in the living room when they do shows, OUR House had been tricked out like a venue of sorts–stage built in the living room, bar area in the backyard, the whole nine. Of course, it was still a total mess, with wild paintings all over the walls and loose boards in the stairwells, but if anything that just made it more welcome for punks, heads, and other weirdos who passed through there over the years.
A ton of bands came through that space, and some of the most regular performers consisted at least partially of kids who lived upstairs. Many of those bands will need no introduction to the regular reader of this column–the dirty disco punks of Toxic Moxie, for example, or the hi-energy rockin’ tunes of Imaginary Sons. HeadlessMantis’s swamp-garage mania may also be familiar to you–and if it’s not, it should be. This rip-roaring farewell show, taking place at The Camel on Saturday night, may not get as crazy or run as late as the average OUR House weekend party. But it’ll feature all of the previously mentioned bands, plus up-and-comers Ashes kicking the whole thing off, and it’ll be a great opportunity for everyone who partied there to send the place off in fine fashion. And if you never did hear about OUR House gigs before, this is your last chance to get familiar with what that place was all about. Don’t miss it! History is passing you by.
Wednesday, January 25, 7:30 PM
Vita And The Woolf, Pete Curry, Aspidistra @ The Camel – $10 (order tickets HERE)
Who’s afraid of Vita And The Woolf? Hopefully not you; after all, this Philadelphia-based band doesn’t bite! Led by singer/keyboardist Jennifer Pague and featuring a rotating backing lineup that generally includes drummer Adam Shumski, this group has a spooky, atmospheric feel that provides the perfect backdrop for Pague’s chilling, powerful vocals. The wall of sound created by Pague’s keyboards and the additional textures provided by Shumski’s hyperactive drumming put forth a vibe that will draw you right in. The result is something very much worth seeing.
And of course, with RVA’s favorite weirdo troubadour Pete Curry on the bill as well, the whole evening takes a leap into a higher gear. Expect plenty of love advice and Chevy vans, always delivered over the catchiest of riffs. The night will kick off with a set from Aspidistra, a relatively new electronic duo. Keyboardist Jimmy Anthony might be familiar to habitues of Richmond’s thriving electronic scene from his work with Robert Donne in Cristal, or to aging 90s hardcore vets like me from his time in Askance and Contagen. Either way, you’ll be glad to see what he’s up to now, as Aspidistra has quite a lot to offer–just like this entire bill.
Thursday, January 26, 5:30 PM
Falling In Reverse, Motionless In White, Issues, Dangerkids, Dead Girls Academy @ The National – $25.50 in advance/$30 day of show (order tickets HERE)
Look, I’ll admit it–I’m sending you to The National for this relatively expensive show full of Hot Topic metalcore bands over a much more conventionally hipster-approved show taking place downtown at a more DIY club. I know I’m probably not winning any cool points, but if you ask me, this five-band show is a better use for your music dollar any damn day of the week. And I say that even with Falling In Reverse at the top of the bill. Anyone who pays attention to this whole genre is well aware of just what a huge scumbag FIR singer Ronnie Radke is (read about his history of assault charges on wikipedia). Musically, as much as I know I’m going to hell for this, I can’t deny a certain attraction to Falling In Reverse’s emo-via-80s-glam-metal pyrotechnics. It’s sure to be fun live, assuming Radke doesn’t throw a mic stand at you.
Honestly, you could always leave before Falling In Reverse even hits the stage–you’ll still have gotten your money’s worth, in a big way. I’ve enjoyed Motionless In White’s glammed-up metalcore heaviness for quite a while now, and as cheesy as it may be for a band to combine Suicide Silence’s breakdowns with Marilyn Manson’s fashion sense, the result is fucking moshtastic and I get a huge kick out of it. You might find you do too–don’t fight it. And definitely don’t resist Issues, who charmed me immediately with their self-titled debut and only got more impressive on 2016 follow-up Headspace. This band’s strange combo of Justin Timberlake-style dance-pop and chunky metalcore is driven by the contrast between Tyler Carter’s radio-ready croons and Michael Bohn’s throaty, roaring screams. It sounds batshit, I know, but it works! Oh my god, it works so well. To be honest, this band is the main reason I’m sending you to this show. They’re worth the $25 all by themselves. I know, I know, I’m way too old to hang out at Hot Topic, but still–some things are just too obvious to deny. Go to the National tomorrow night and you’ll see exactly what I’m talking about.
Friday, January 27, 8 PM
Dream Wave, Blush Face, Antiphons @ Strange Matter – $6
Yes, Citrus City Records’ two-year anniversary was just last week. Far be it from this label to rest on their laurels, though–instead, they’re celebrating one of their most recent releases by bringing Nashville’s Dream Wave, who re-released their originally self-released album Missing Home on Citrus City back at the turn of the new year. A few weeks later, all the Richmond kids who’ve been keeping close tabs on the Citrus City release schedule get a chance to celebrate this release in a live environment, as Dream Wave mastermind Kelton Young comes to town and presents us all with live versions of the excellent lo-fi bedroom pop tunes that Missing Home brought into our ears. These delightful sounds are sure to make everyone smile–you wouldn’t want to miss that, would you? (I assure you, you would not.)
I’m sorta burying the lede with this particular writeup, though, as the headliner listed on the facebook event page is not Dream Wave but “TBA”–i.e. “to be announced.” The last time a Citrus City-affiliated show featuring Blush Face was headlined by a “TBA” artist, it turned out to be a secret set from none other than Matador recording artist, rookie sensation, and favorite hometown daughter Lucy Dacus! I’ve checked, and supposedly this show will feature a completely different “TBA” headliner–but then, if it really was another secret Lucy Dacus show, they wouldn’t TELL us that, would they? I don’t know what to think, but I will tell you that between Nashville’s Dream Wave and rad RVA bands Antiphons and Blush Face, this show is worth your $6 right there. Whoever “TBA” is, this show is sure to rule regardless. I’m sure we’re all curious though, so let’s make sure we’re there!
Saturday, January 28, 5 PM
Night Idea, The Bronzed Chorus, Opin, Thumper @ Hardywood – Free!
The free Saturday evening shows at Hardywood are always an amazing time, and even in the middle of winter, that continues to be true. Take this weekend, for example! Not only can we look forward to an amazing headlining set from math-rockers extraordinaire Night Idea, we’ll also get a whirlwind of music from North Carolina instrumental whizzes The Bronzed Chorus. Guitarist Adam Joyce and drummer/keyboardist Hunter Allen join forces to create grand epics that will simultaneously bring to mind Tera Melos, Explosions In The Sky, and Hella circa There’s No 666 In Outer Space. The result is wild, free, and guaranteed to expand your mind. If you dig Night Idea–and I can’t imagine you don’t–you’re definitely going to want to catch this band as well.
But don’t let the dynamic duo at the top of the bill lead you to ignore the world premiere of brand new RVA band Opin, either. Combining members of White Laces, Night Idea, and Navi, this group allows White Laces frontman Landis Wine an opportunity to indulge his more electronic inclinations. White Laces fans should not fear, however, as Landis’s strong songwriting chops and ear for perfect melodies are just as much in evidence here as in his more guitar-oriented projects. There are hints of Synchronicity-era Police, Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark, and other darkly-tinged 80s new wave acts running throughout, and the result is certainly worth hearing, both for those who followed the members’ previous work, and for completely unfamiliar newcomers. Synth-oriented electro-dance project Thumper will kick things off at 5 PM, and with the admission being free, you’ll certainly have the necessary cash to grab a sandwich from the Cheezilla truck outside. Make a night of it! You won’t be sorry.
Sunday, January 29, 7 PM
Nick Millevoi Desertion Trio, Scott Clark 6tet @ The Camel – $7 in advance/$10 at the door (order tickets HERE)
Sunday night’s a great night for getting weird, and where better to do so than at The Camel? This place has really been stepping up the influx of great bills and great sounds lately, and I’m particularly excited for this evening of avant-garde jazz awesomeness. Nick Millevoi hails from Philadelphia and engages in experimental guitar explorations both as a solo artist and as a member of Many Arms, among other projects. In Millevoi’s work, noise-core distortion meets free-jazz freakiness and thundering rock power in excellent, unpredictable ways.
Millevoi comes to Richmond at the head of a project called Desertion Trio, which pairs him with a rhythm section consisting of Johnny DeBlase (Sabbath Assembly/Zevious) and Kevin Shea (Mostly Other People Do The Killing). They’ll be dipping into the sounds created for Millevoi’s 2016 solo album Desertion, and using the sound explored on that album as a departure point for some wilder flights of fancy. Local jazz drummer Scott Clark will open the show with his latest project, the Scott Clark 6tet. This expanded lineup brings together members of previous Clark-led ensembles Scott Clark 4tet and Scott Clark Other 4tet to engage both the uninitiated audience members and the veteran local jazz heads with a set of brand new music designed to blow minds.
Monday, January 30, 8 PM
Joan Of Arc, Magas, Various Eggs @ Strange Matter – $12 (order tickets HERE)
Tim Kinsella’s been making music for a long time. He’s still probably best known to this day for his first real band, Cap’n Jazz, which was over by the time he turned 21. Other projects like Owls and Make Believe have drawn a fair amount of attention as well, but his true focus throughout his creative life has been Joan Of Arc, the band he started after Cap’n Jazz imploded and has periodically revived numerous times since. The group’s more accessible, better-remembered albums (1998’s How Memory Works, 2011’s Life Like) have always been contrasted by difficult, bizarre one-offs that put off as many people as the group’s more well-liked material brings in.
At the moment, Joan Of Arc are touring behind He’s Got The Whole This Land Is Your Land In His Hands, which is at least their 20th full-length work and definitely lands on the more difficult end of the spectrum where Joan Of Arc material is concerned. Underneath it all, as always, Kinsella’s melodic sense and songwriting talent continues to shine through. However, there’s a lot to dig through sometimes. How this will all translate live is an intriguing question of its own, and you really won’t know the answer unless you show up. Any Kinsella-led ensemble is a treat, though, and catching Joan Of Arc when they come through town, in whatever form they reveal themselves to us, is definitely worth doing. Liven up your Monday night by finding out what the heck this strange group is up to these days.
Tuesday, January 31, 8 PM
Zooanzoo, Dazeases, B.ckwards Haus Ops, MNLV, Alfred., Heja Rames, Yoki, AfroCat @ Strange Matter – $6
Tuesday night will be a night of intriguing and unusual sounds at Strange Matter, and the most intriguing of all will come from headlining act Zooanzoo. Even after listening extensively online, I have no idea how to fully describe this project, so let me just nibble around the edges by mentioning cut-up audio techniques, breakcore, indie pop, glitched up electronic experimentations, and lots of R&B soul. The evening is a record release celebration for Loud Mouth, a new Zooanzoo cassette being released on Lagom Audio/Visual, and as I can’t really get across the full extent of what you can expect from this artist and this release, I suppose you’ll just have to show up.
I feel like I’m on slightly steadier ground speaking of Dazeases, the ambient R&B project of London Perry, which combines witchy atmospherics with powerful vocals and memorable melodies. Recently signing with Egghunt Records, the project will be releasing an EP in March, and you can get a sneak preview of the captivating awesomeness it will have to offer by catching Dazeases live at Strange Matter next Tuesday night. With an amazing supporting cast on hand to fill out the lineup with an abundance of electronic riches, this whole night is sure to amaze and overwhelm you, in all the right ways. Catch it.
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