Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Weekend Picks: Avers, Young Widows, Helms Alee, Chatham County Line, Particle, Rocketts Red Glare, Black Girls, No BS! Brass Band

This weekend is very front loaded, with Sunday and Monday given over to barbecues, fireworks and, of course, tributes to our fallen soldiers. Be sure to give some time this weekend to remembering those who gave their lives so we could have the freedoms that we do. Here's one for them, a video of WWII archival footage set to Drive-By Truckers, "Sands of Iwo Jima".

DJ Williams Projekt has two shows this week, before DJ heads out on tour playing guitar for Karl Denson's Tiny Universe (who will play Pocohontas Park later this summer). You can catch DJ and the band Thursday night at The Camel. It's $10 to get in, doors open at 7 and Tauk will open. Their second show is at The Broadberry on Tuesday night. The show starts at 8 with opener Mama Like. It's $7 to get in. Here's the Projekt's show at The Broadberry on May 13. Prepare to get funkified.

Thursday night at Strange Matter, Kentucky noise-rock post-punk band Young Widows will be happy to rock your face off. Helms Alee (from Seattle) and Hex Machine (RVA) will open. Doors open at 9, show starts at 10, tix are $10 in advance, $12 day of show. Young Widows new album, Easy Pain, was released last week and is getting fantastic reviews. Here's Young Widows'  performing Easy Pain in it's entireity in January:

Friday night looks like the big night if you want to go out. Start with Friday Cheers Local Music Night. It looks to be an absoutely gorgeous evening to hang out on Brown's Island and listen to some of the best that Richmond has to offer. It's only $5 to get in. Things get underway at 6:30 with The Green Boys (bluegrass/folk/honky-tonk/Americana). Todd Herrington's Things are next. He's the bass player with DJ Williams Projekt (he's all over the place this week!), Mekong Express, and Big Payback, so I'm betting on something funky and danceable here. Finally, it's Richmond's band of the moment, Avers. I saw them a couple months ago at The Camel and have had their heavy psychedelic rock album, Empty Light", on ever since. They'll come on at 8. They've been hitting Philly & DC and are starting to gain some regional buzz. Check them out now and say you saw them when.... Here they are at Johnny Brenda's in Philly in January:

At Canal Club Friday night, Particle is back! Particle, one of the first bands I saw to really dive into the jamtronica thing and do it well, were gaining some momentum nationally in the mid-aughts when a series of personnell changes seemed to halt the band in it's tracks. We'll see if they can get back to the prominence they once had and Friday night will be a good chance to see if they've still got it. And who knew there was a Particle/Shaq connection! Particle keyboardist Steve Molitz will be doing the soundtrack for a new video game, "Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn". Perhaps Steve will tell some cool Shaq stories on Friday. Mekong Express (is Todd Herrington playing again?!?) & the Get Fresh Horns, DJ Phil Dice and Agent will open. Doors open at 8 and it's $10 in advance, $15 at the door. Here's their full show at the Aura Music Festival earlier this year:

At The Camel Friday night, it's No BS! Brass Band. Doors open at 8, show start at 9, it's $10 to get in, Murphy's Kids and Those Manic Seas open. It was recently announced that No BS will be opening Lockn' Festival in Arrington VA in September. As in the first band on stage on the first day, the ones to get the whole party started. Hopefully, they'll hang out and sit in with some of the other bands that night (The Wood Brothers, The Revivalists, Bob Weir & Ratdog, and String Cheese Incident). I'll be there right up front when they start to represent for the RVA. Here's their full show at the opening of The Broadberry in April:

At Balliceaux Friday, it's the disco party funk of Black Girls. Show starts at 10:30 and it's $5 to get in. This will be Black Girls last show in Richmond for a while because they are hitting the road in June. Here's their video for "Soul Tornado" filmed at 17th St. Farmer's Market, the Canal Walk, and more:

Saturday at Ashland Coffee & Tea, bluegrass/Americana band Chatham County Line will take the stage around 8 PM. Tix are $20 in advance, $23 at the door. Their new album, Tightrope, was released 5/20. Here's "Tightrope of Love" from that album:

At Crossroads RVA (3600 Forest Hill Ave), blues band Bush League will stip down to just guitar, bass and vocals. Note that despite being well known for coffee & ice cream, Crossroads also serves beer and wine. Because you gotta have a little booze with your blues. Here's a little taste with band member Sleepy Eyed Jay and Chicago Slim doing "Boogie Chillun":

Sunday night, celebrate Memorial Day down at Rocketts Landing with Rocketts Red Glare. It's FREE and starts at 5:30 with music from Colin Healy and then the Kings of Swing at 6:30. But we are really going for the fireworks which will start at 9 and should look great with the Richmond skyline in the background. There will be some great food trucks down there, a special play area for the kids and beer & wine sales for the adults. As if that all wasn't good enough, it benefits Connor's Heroes, a great cause.

Looking ahead to Tuesday night, you check out Flesh Mountain Boys (hootenanny/bluegrass/Americana) at Cary St. Cafe. Show starts at 10 PM with opener Danny Plotnik. It's FREE to get in. Here they are at Cary St. back in September:

Here's Paul McCartney & Wings. Because I've been grooving on the "Wings Over America" CD for the last two months. It was one of the first albums I bought with my own money. And because the "Venus & Mars > Rockshow > Jet" show opener is one of the coolest openers in history.

Have a great weekend!

Tony Jordan