Thursday, July 6, 7 PM
The Church @ The Broadberry – $27.50 in advance/$30 day of show (order tickets HERE)
This is thrilling and I am excited. The Church are coming to The Broadberry. It’s gonna rule. Now, before I go any further, I know what you’re thinking. “Drew, how is some British one-hit wonder from the days of John Hughes movie soundtracks in any way relevant in 2017?” Just know, if you really are thinking that, I am shaking my head at you. Because, you see, The Church are alternative rock pioneers who’ve existed for over 35 years, made some incredible albums, and had quite a few unforgettable songs that honestly put “Under The Milky Way” to shame. Oh, and by the way, they’re from Australia, you jerk!
OK, seriously, I understand if you wanna make “woman of a certain age” jokes about me being totally hyped for a band whose classic albums all came out over two decades ago, but think of it this way: the reason my middle-aged ass is even here to write about this kind of show is to let young whippersnappers in on awesomeness they might otherwise miss. The Church is a good example of that awesomeness. With Steve Kilbey’s distinctive baritone vocals contrasting with the duelling lead guitars of Peter Koppes and Marty Willson-Piper, the group created a similar glittering, guitar-driven postpunk sound to that of The Chameleons or Echo And The Bunnymen. I’ve already mentioned the song you’ve all heard, but the group was responsible for many other memorable tunes, from the memorable guitar lines of “Metropolis” to the humming slow burn of “Aura.”
What’s up with The Church these days is no less intriguing. The band’s most recent album, Further/Deeper, came out in 2014 and is their 24th full-length, if you can believe that. Founding guitarist Marty Willson-Piper departed in 2013, but he was replaced by Ian Haug of defunct Australian noise-rockers Powderfinger. Haug’s proven to be a capable replacement based on the evidence provided on Further/Deeper, and it’s certain that no matter which of the many eras of The Church’s career you’re most enthused by, you’re sure to enjoy the tunes on offer during this performance. It’s being billed as “An Evening With The Church,” so I’m guessing the lack of an opening band listed is intentional, and you can look forward to three or so hours of your headliners. So you’ll certainly get plenty of bang for your buck!
Wednesday, July 5, 7 PM
CFM, The Cairo Gang, Space Koi, Lucy In Battle Armor @ Capital Ale House Music Hall – $10 (order tickets HERE)
Straight up, any musical act that comes down the pike with the least bit of a connection to Ty Segall has my full, undivided attention. Not only is Segall a brilliant musician who somehow cranks out multiple incredible albums per year, he’s also got incredible taste in collaborators. His sometime bandmate Mikal Cronin has distinguished himself in his own right over the past few years, and it’s high time that Charles Francis Moothart II manages the same trick. Moothart has not only played lead guitar in Segall’s live band over multiple tours and recording session, but also fronts the hard-rocking proto-metal trio Fuzz, which features Segall on drums and some super-heavy riffage that is displayed masterfully on their two albums released thus far.
With CFM, Moothart has fully assumed command of a musical project that is entirely his own for the first time, and the tunes on his debut, Still Life Of Citrus And Slime, proved him worthy of the role. Followup Dichotomy Desaturated, released a couple of months ago, if anything takes things even further than the debut, with the rollicking hard rock riffage Moothart displays in Fuzz getting aired out on rad tracks like “Rise And Fall” and the epic “Dead Weight.” Chicago psychedelic rockers The Cairo Gang are joining CFM on tour, and while they aren’t quite as heavy, they do just as good a job of updating that classic 60s psych-rock sound for the 21st century. Local openers Space Koi and Lucy In Battle Armor will unleash some guitar-heavy jams to kick this night off right. And it’s all happening at the Capital Ale House Music Hall, which has really taken some strides of late towards including the music of the younger generation on their calendars. Nothing wrong with that!
Thursday, July 6, 6:30 PM
Withered Bones, Dead Set, California Cousins, Bloom, Eaves @ Walmsley Blvd United Methodist Church – $5
Y’all, I’ve given you the whole “shows at churches kinda rule” rant before, and I assure you my feelings have not changed. I’m stoked to see the return of young bands playing in suburban basements and giving the kids still in high school and not allowed to come to late-night gigs at Smatter a chance to get into cool underground music. And I’m even more stoked when the bills being presented are this awesome. Withered Bones released an album called For The Ones I Love on local label Blood And Ink not too long ago, but they are actually based in Phoenix, Arizona, so chances are they won’t be back around this way anytime soon. Therefore, it’d be a really good idea to see these guys at this show, especially since their intense, melodically-infused hardcore brings the power and emotion of excellent groups like Modern Life Is War and mid-period Title Fight (before they discovered their shoes) to RVA audiences that are in desperate need.
Withered Bones come to us in the company of Colorado’s Dead Set, who have a similarly driving hardcore sound, though their passionate emotional feel comes less from melody than from sheer intensity. There are definitely some elements of bands like Have Heart here, along with the intensity of prime mid-period Underoath, which is always music to my ears. California Cousins hail from Rochester, making this an epic three touring-band bill for only five bucks–always a great deal. California Cousins are less hardcore and more emo than the other two touring acts, but certainly combine well with them considering their own passionate intensity. This is gonna be a show full of feels, really, and local openers Bloom and Eaves will only make that more true. Hey, it’s what the kids need! It’s probably what you need too, you repressed adult, you.
Friday, July 7, 9 PM
Murphy’s Kids, Mighty Joshua, Eastern Standard Time, Chrome Daddy Disco @ The Broadberry – $10 in advance/$15 day of show (order tickets HERE)
I’m continually amazed at the sheer longevity and stalwart drive to succeed shown by local ska-punk ensemble Murphy’s Kids. It may seem remarkable in 2017 that a ska-punk group is even still around, but they’ve been doing their thing since back around the turn of the millennium when ska-punk was still a big thing, and somehow they just carried on, getting better at their instruments and developing even more creative approaches to their instruments, ever since. Even if you’re not still skanking around your bedroom to Specials records like we all used to back in 99, you’ve got to have some respect for that.
Honestly, Murphy’s Kids are well prepared to win you over with their latest LP, Time Dilation, the release of which this show celebrates. The advance tracks available on Bandcamp show that the group still has a ton of talent and are absolutely capable of getting everyone stepping high on The Broadberry’s dance floor as soon as they hit the stage. So whether you still hold a lingering soft spot for Goldfinger or the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, or you’re just thrilled to hear anything with a smooth, uptempo reggae feel, this is a show for you. With roots reggae king Mighty Joshua, DC rocksteady rockers Eastern Standard Time, and rockabilly loons Chrome Daddy Disco opening, this gig’s gonna have some bonus opening sounds to appeal to you whether you’re on the ska or the punk side of the spectrum.
Saturday, July 8, 6 PM
The Wimps, Hannah Goad, Camp Howard @ Hardywood – Free!
From an LP release by a longtime RVA stalwart to one from a buzzworthy up-and-comer–it’s just another weekend of super-rad gigs in the musical hotbed that is Richmond, Virginia! We’re all so lucky to live here, and The Wimps are only one of the million or so reasons that’s true. However, this Saturday night is definitely the night on which we should celebrate The Wimps, it being their record release show at Hardywood and all. This vaguely sinister organ-driven power-pop quintet brings their second full-length collection of tunes to you, the listener, as part of a free triple bill that the craft beer quaffers at Hardywood are excited to share with you.
As of now, I’ve only heard one song from Reel Whirl, but between the evidence provided by the band’s self-titled debut and their many live gigs around town, it seems highly likely that we can trust The Wimps to deliver an immortal slice of pop power for us all once again. And what’s even cooler about this show is that it features opening sounds from a couple other local artists who are just as powerful on their own behalf. Hannah Goad’s haunting solo tunes hit the same sweet spot as Laura Marling’s best work, and of course by now if you don’t know all about the power pop genius of Camp Howard, I have to wonder how much attention you’ve even been paying. Since this gig is not only incredible but also free, you have no excuse not to pick up a copy of Reel Whirl as soon as you walk in. Grab that shit, and then rock the night away with The Wimps!
Sunday, July 9, 8 PM
Multicult, Disintegration, Charmer, Large Margin @ Strange Matter – $7
There’s this whole generation of hardcore kids in the scene right now who are aging out of the more straightforward sounds of their youth, but still seem to hunger for the heaviness. It seems that a lot of these kids are ending up playing in noise-rock bands, and I for one couldn’t be happier. I watched the first wave of this kind of thing happen back in the early 90s when I was a teenager, and the existence of bands like The Jesus Lizard, Helmet, Unsane, and Surgery allowed me to get into both the straightforward early 80s USHC sound and the wilder, woolier noise-rock styles then being pioneered at the same time. Bonus!
All of this is to say that Multicult feel like a Jesus Lizard, a Surgery, a Helmet for this current era. With their lineup partially consisting of members of Triac and Fight Amp, they pull from a hardcore past that was honestly none too straightforward in itself. They add rumbling bass lines, howling vocals, driving rhythms and totally hectic guitars to a mix sure to please fans of everything from Unsane to Black Flag, especially the ones [warning:controversial opinion ahead] who get that My War and Slip It In are really Flag’s peak. The openers on this gig are mostly for those who dig the weird noise heaviness but also sometimes miss the sheer speed of their teenage hardcore past. Disintegration and Charmer are two hyperspeed grind-metal-powerviolence rippers that’ll slam the pedal to the metal as much as you could ever want. Short-lived RVA noise rock all-star crew Large Margin opens things up in what will probably be one of their last shows ever. If you dig their other bands (Brief Lives, Veery, Flechette, etc), you better see this one now while you can.
Monday, July 10, 8 PM
Throne Of Botis, Garroted, Condor, .gif From God @ McCormack’s Irish Pub – $7
These days I hear a lot of middle-class types complaining about how Shockoe Bottom has gone downhill, how it’s gotten sketchier since the early 2000s and there’s nothing good happening down there anymore. People like this seem clueless to me, not only in that they somehow think Shockoe Bottom was better and classier when it was crawling with belligerent half-drunk fratboys and because they don’t approve of the death metal renaissance taking place down on 18th St over the past couple of years. This show is just the latest example in a line of something like a million, and VA Beach headliners Throne Of Botis are prime evidence of just how great this whole thing is. After all, who can hate on a band who release an EP called Hymns Of Homicide that’s loaded with ridiculous blastbeats, terrifying guttural roars, and neck-snapping breakdowns? What exactly do these people listen to, anyway?
I suppose that’s not really important, though–what matters is that you put on your steel-toed boots and best Obituary tour t-shirt and show up prepared to headbang like your life depends upon it! It won’t just be Throne Of Botis who’ll get you raging at this show–if anything, Massachusetts shredders Garroted have a more frenetic approach to things, mixing some black metal double-time thrashing with harsh speed and completely unmelodic riff brutality. From new school to old school isn’t that long a trip, but it sure is a good one. Not to be outdone, Colombian death metal crew Condor will also be on the scene with some epic death that leans towards the anguished crawl and double-bass thunder of groups like Autopsy, mixed with the downbeat heaviness of something like Candlemass. Don’t worry, their tendencies towards gothic moods are easily contrasted by an opening set from my good pals .gif From God, who’ll have blastbeats, breakdowns, high-pitched screams and flying leaps to start off the night on an extremely entertaining note. Don’t miss a moment of it!
Tuesday, July 11, 8 PM
Raekwon, Stan Smith, DJ Lonnie B, Black Liquid, Noah-O, Tennison @ The Broadberry – $30 in advance/$35 at the door (order tickets HERE)
The Chef returns! Raekwon, one of the most talented members of the Wu-Tang Clan, has never been as prolific an artist as a lot of rappers who crank out albums and mixtapes at a furious rate. However, his high rate of quality has never diminished even in the slightest, from classic debut Only Built 4 Cuban Linx to his latest album, The Wild. Hitting the streets only three months ago, Raekwon’s seventh LP sees the Chef working with some new collaborators, from producers Xtreme and Frank G, who create the sort of multilayered, soulful sample platter over which Raekwon’s lyrical mastery is best heard, to Cee-Lo Green, whose beautifully sung chorus on “Marvin” adds a level of pathos to the tragic tale of the song’s lyrics.
Seriously, from the few tracks I’ve heard, it sounds like The Wild is Raekwon at his finest, and it would be a crime if the RVA hip hop heads didn’t represent for this show in the high numbers merited by this artist. Granted, $30 is no cheap ticket, but fear not–you’ll get plenty of excellent local openers to greatly increase your entertainment value. From local legend DJ Lonnie B to talented, hard-working MC Black Liquid, the quality of all of the performers on this bill is assured. Tennison, the collaboration between rapper Tennishu, aka No BS! Brass’s Marcus Tenney, and DJ Harrison, aka Butcher Brown’s Devonne Harris, is a secret gem at the bottom of the bill, and of course Noah-O’s been responsible for a few of the best albums to come out of RVA hip hop over the past few years. So yeah, even when you aren’t seeing a Wu-Tang legend spit fire on the mic, this show is gonna have a ton of talent in store for you. Don’t miss it.
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): firstname.lastname@example.org
Hit up my Patreon page if you’d like to be a supporter of my endeavors here! RVA Must-See Shows will always be free, but any contribution helps ensure I can keep the column going into the future, and is massively appreciated! $1 a month is all we ask. Please consider it. https://www.patreon.com/rvamustseeshows