Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Weekly Picks: Futurebirds, Bruce Robison & Kelly Willis, Future, Gold Bears, The Naked and Famous, Skrillex, Southern Belles, Carytown Beer Festival, Richmond Bacon Festival

We start with a great webcast this weekend from Mountain Jam in Hunter NY. This webcast will start Thursday at 8 PM, and then continue Friday through Sunday starting at noon each of those days. You can see it HERE for FREE. Thursday, you've got Dark Star Orchestra (8 PM) and Umphrey's McGee (10:30 PM). Friday highlights include Robert Randolph & The Family Band (2:30), Avett Brothers (6:15), & Bob Weir & Ratdog (9). Saturday highlights are Jeff Tweedy of Wilco (2:30), Tedeschi Trucks Band (6:45) and Gov't Mule (who will be at Innsbrook in August, they'll be on the webcast at 8:45 PM). Sunday, you've got Anders Osborne (12:45), Treetop Flyers (1:45), Chris Robinson Brotherhood (2:30), Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger (3:45), Michael Franti & Spearhead (4:30), Lucius (6), and things close out with the Allman Brothers Band (7) as they start their farewell tour.

Here in the real world, Bruce Robison & Kelly Willis will be at Ashland Coffee & Tea on Thursday night. Show starts at 8 and it's $18 in advance, $23 day of show. Here's the press blurb on them:
“I don’t know if it was ever some big idea,” says Kelly Willis with a musical laugh. “It’s just something we’ve always sort of done. Our Christmas shows were always so fun, and obviously we’ve always been part of each other’s records. But we’re also our own people. We’ve always been very careful about not losing sight of that. We didn’t want to get lost in a duo because we are so different, and we’ve each worked so hard to establish our own careers.”
The thing about chemistry, though, is it can’t be denied. To hear them sing together is to understand opposite attraction, spontaneous combustion and a whole lotta life lived together. Robison and Willis—two decades in—know the way the other leans almost without talking.
For all their differences musically—Willlis explains, “I’m more rockabilly/60s, and he’s got that ‘70s Texas songwriter thing”—they’re both artists deeply rooted in the hard country, yet deeply progressive music scene that’s Texas post-Bob Wills. A place long on big emotions, serious Saturday nights, long necks, roadhouses, big hair, roughnecks and tender hearted women, Texas’ Robison and Willis bridge the gaps and build a refuge for the Venus/Mars continuum that is men and women high on hormones and short on guilt, not to mention the craggy aftermath of same.
They also follow in the tradition of couples making kinetic music of all stripes. Not just Johnny and June and Tammy and George, Waylon and Jesse or even Conway and Loretta, but also X’s roots-steeped punks John Doe and Exene Cervenka. That merging of songs and life, knowing and dreaming adds depth and frenzy to the music.
Here they are doing "Border Radio" at the 2013 Americana Awards:



Friday Cheers has a great double bill for just $5. Spirit Family Reunion will take the stage first at 6:30. Futurebirds come on at 8.Spirit Family Reunion specialize in foot-stompin' Americana. Futurebirds play psychedelic country rock in the vein of My Morning Jacket and Crazy Horse. Here's Futurebirds playing "Stranger":



If rap is more your speed, head to Creative Nation aka RVA Thearte aka Hat Factory aka Toad's Place. This place needs to settle on freakin' name. It's very confusing and there is no one web site to go to, to figure out what the hell is going on there. Not a good way to run things. Anyway, the Honest Tour checks into that venue at 140 Virginia St on the canal at 7 PM on Friday. That features rappers Future, Rico Love, Q.U.E. and Young Money Yawn. Tickets are $37.50. Here's Future's "Turn on the Lights" from 2012:



Southern Belles hit up The Camel for their regular First Friday show. The Heritage will open the show at 10 PM and it's $7 to get in. Here's the Belleslast show at The Camel on 5/2:



On Saturday, the 2nd Annual Carytown Beer Festival takes place in.......The Diamond. Fooled you there, didn't I? They had a huge crowd for last year's festival in Carytown and Richmond wouldn't let them shut down Cary St. for this year's fest, so they had to move it. It will start at noon and go until 6. There will be lots of craft beers. Tix are $25 or $50 for VIP which gets you entry an hour early and access to a designated VIP tent.


At vinyl record store Steady Sounds on Saturday afternoon, you can check out a free show from noise-pop band Gold Bears. The show starts at 3 with RVA band Hoax Hunters. You might dig Gold Bears if you like The Smiths, The Ramones, and Syd Barrett. Here's Gold Bears "So Natural":



Do you like bacon? I mean do you reeeeeeeaaaalllly like bacon? Then, brave the crowds and head to the 17th Street Farmers Market Sunday for the Richmond Bacon Festival. The event runs from 11 AM to 5 PM. There will be bacon, beer, bacon, cider, bacon, live music, bacon, wine, bacon, crafts, bacon, a children's area, bacon, bacon and bacon. A word of warning. Last year 15,000 people showed up for this thing (never underestimate the power of bacon) and lines were long. They may have made some adjustments for the crowds this year but be ready for some waiting.

There will be no lines at Forest Hill Park Sunday evening for their monthly Music in the Park series. This week they'll feature the string-picking, Appalachian, progressive bluegrass music of Many Nights Ahead out of the Shenandoah Valley. The show gets under way at 6 and it's FREE and very family friendly. Here they are performing "Looks Can Be Deceiving" in what looks to be someone's dorm room:



The Naked and Famous will be The National Sunday night. That's the name of the band not a bunch of naked, famous people hanging out. Tix are $20 in advance, $25 at the door. Doors open at 7, show starts at 8 with opener White Sea. They come all the way from New Zealand where the greatest bands come from. You might dig them if you like Metric, Sleigh Bells, Architecture in Helsinki, Bastille, or Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Here they are at Coachella this year doing "Young Blood":



Monday night, Skrillex and his Mothership will take over Brown's Island. Expect ecstatic dancing, heavy beats, intense lights and video and sounds like your old modem connecting to the internet. Tix are $49.50. Doors open at 4:30 (the show will end at 10 PM so drop that molly early) and the openers are Dillon Francis, What So Not and Milo & Otis (I have a fantasy that the real Milo & Otis will be kickin' it on the turntables). Here's the teaser video for the tour:



That'll do it. Have a great weekend!

Tony Jordan