Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Weekend Picks: New Year's Eve, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong, Jackass Flats, Rattlemouth, Southern Belles, White Laces, Former Champions

New Year's Eve is here and if you want to head out, here's where you can go. There's a big celebration on Brown's Island called RVA NYE. It's FREE if you don't mind the cold, but if you want to get into a heated tent you'll need to be a VIP for $75 or $100 or get a Cabana for you and 19 of your friends for $1500. Don't bring the kids though, this is an 18 and older event. There will be beer trucks and food trucks for all. There will be a 50 foot ball drop at midnight and probably some fireworks too. Music is provided on two stages by Doddie, Mass FX, Hoody, Soulpower, Trill Bill, Fillmore Duo, Mr. Jennings, Reinhold, Micheal Nighttime and Dope Solo. Everything starts at 7 PM. Here's a promo clip.

Jamtronica band Lotus has sold out their show at The National on NYE. But if some pop up, they are $49.50. Doors open at 7, show starts at 8 with openers Groove Status and Zoogma. Here's their full set at Camp Bisco in 2013:

But don't fret if you can't get into The National on NYE jam band fans. Over at The Broadberry, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong will ring in the new year with The Shack Band. Doors open at 7. Tix are $25 in advance, $30 at the door. The band calling this Alice in One Hit Wonderland so expect some covers of one hit wonders, and there's a lot to choose from. Here' PPPP in Hamden CT on Dec. 13:

Bluegrass band Jackass Flats is at The Camel NYE. Tix are $25 at the door. Doors open at 8, show starts at 9 with Russell Lacy and then Matt Jones and the Bobs. As you may have gathered from the poster, Jackass Flats will be doing a set of Beatles tunes. Can't go wrong with that especially with Tim Beavers and Matt Volkes from People's Blues of Richmond and Andrew Trongone from Trongone Band sitting in on that Beatles set. Here's Jackass Flats at Camp Barefoot this year:

At the Dogtown Dance Theatre NYE, it's a triple bill with Rattlemouth, Fool's Errand and The Richmanian Ramblers. Doors open at 9 and the Ramblers start things at 9:30. Fool's Errand comes on at 10:30 and Rattlemouth at 11:30. It's $20 to get in and that includes a champagne toast and snacks. Rattlemouth play world groove music so this should be a fun and eminently danceable NYE show. Here's their set at the 2013 43rd St. Music Festival:

If you want to sweat out that NYE hangover, on New Year's Day, The Big Payback (James Brown Tribute) is playing at The Camel. Doors open at 8 and the show starts at 9 with The Flavor Project. It's $7 to get in and there will be free champagne if you didn't have enough the night before. Here's the James Brown Band in 1986 with Maceo Parker taking the lead on sax:

The Southern Belles are back for another First Friday at The Camel. It's $7 to get in. Captain Grandpa will open the show at 9. Here's the Belles first set at the last First Friday at The Camel:

Saturday, Hardywood reveals their new Raspberry Stout with a party that starts at 2 PM. At 5, Christi (four ladies surfing rock n' roll) will play. At 5:30, a band that's generating good buzz all over town, Lady God, hits the stage. 6:30 brings The Awesome Few. The show will close with White Laces coming on at 8:00. It's FREE to get in and food trucks will be there if you get hungry. Here's White Laces performing "Invocation":

Local jamtronica band Former Champions are at The Camel on Saturday. Doors open at 8, show starts at 9 and it's $7 to get in. Here's their new video for "Timeless":

Get a hot dog and enjoy some fine blues from The Bush League at City Dogs in the Fan on Saturday night. It's FREE to get in. This is Bush League's last show in RVA before they had to the International Blues Challenge in Memphis to try and bring the gold (or whatever the first place award is) back to Richmond. Here's Bush League in Newport News a couple weeks ago:

That'll do it. Have a Happy New Year! Perhaps I'll see you at Dogtown Dance Theater on NYE.

Here's how New Year's Eve looked in 1975 with Chicago and Olivia Newton-John:

Tony Jordan

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Late Night Pick: Foo Fighters

Foo Fighters are on Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon tonight (11:35 PM, NBC), Perhaps there will be some Foo Christmas shenanigans? Amy Adams (who I have a huge crush on) and Nick Offerman (no crush, but very funny) are on the show too. Here's the Foo's "Pretender":

Here's Kendrick Lamar on The Colbert Report on Tuesday night. He is the Colbert Report's last musical guest as the Colbert Report ends tonight. Kendrick talks with Stephen for a little bit then performs a new track for the first time: VIDEO REMOVED BECAUSE IT WOULD AUTO START AND THERE WAS NO WAY TO STOP THAT!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Weekend Picks: Lemuria, Tony Bennett, Hamaganza, No BS! Brass Band, Skip Castro Band, The Congress, Lady God, Chatham County Line

This is a busy weekend as many bands try to get in a few last shows so they can have some extra Christmas cash to buy gifts for their friends and family and/or they're doing charity gigs to help people out in the holiday season. Either way, it's a good time to get out, blow off a little holiday stress, sleep late because you're off from work or nothing is going on at work anyway, and enjoy some fine music.

We start with Americana/bluegrass band Chatham County Line on their Electric Holiday Tour and stopping at the Broadberry on Thursday. Doors open at 8, tix are $15 in advance, $17 at the door. They just completed a tour of Norway, Holland, Scotland, Ireland and England and got back in time for Thanksgiving. Here's "Category Stomp" from last year's Electric Holiday Tour:

The national treasure that is Tony Bennett is at Altria Theater Thursday. Tony's daughter, Antonia, will open the show with a set of jazz/pop standards. It will all get underway at 8 PM. Tickets run from $55 to $115. Tony's duet album with Lady Gaga was named one of the best albums of 2014 by the Boston Globe. They wrote, "Maybe it shouldn’t come as a surprise that two outsize Italian-American entertainers from New York would have such an easy chemistry together. It was still a shock to hear how well Bennett and Gaga blended on this album of jazz standards, reminding you that she’s a dexterous singer and he’s the ultimate master of understatement." Though Lady Gaga won't be at the show Thursday, here they are together at this year's lighting of the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree:

Over at The Camel, Trongone Band finish their December Thursday night residency. It's FREE to get in. The show starts at 8 with Mister F. Here's Trongone Band from the first week of the residency doing Little Feat's "Spanish Moon" with sax player Ron Holloway, who currently plays with Warren Haynes Band and has also played with Susan Tedeschi, Dizzy Gillespie, Gil Scott-Heron, and Root Boy Slim.

The annual Richmond tradition Hamaganza brings the weirdness to your holidays for 20 years now with two nights. The first is at Hardywood Brewery on Friday night starting at 6 PM. The second is at Cary St. Cafe on Saturday night starting at 10 PM. These shows benefit the Central VA Food Bank aka FeedMore. Admission is $10 or a ham. You never know what you will see at these shows but they are always MC'd by transvestite performer Dirtwoman who will lead the way through acts including Pete Lanzo, Blee Child, Chris Dovi, Kate Andrews, Rebecca Behrman, Jarrod Russell, J. Dean Owen, Mel Chase in the Hamaganza House band, with special appearances by Herschel Stratego, Iggy Plop and the Splooges, Diamond Heist -RVAs legendary Neil Diamond Tribute! The Perverted Puppet Players w/ the Cuttlefish, Female Arm Wrestlers, Jonathon the Juggler, The School of Rock, you may see some local news celebrities, whistlers, comedians and who knows what else. Just about anything goes.

New local band Lady God will be at Plant Zero Events and Arts Center as the musical guest for the new comedy showcase, RVA Central on Friday night. That will get underway at 7. No listing of cost but shouldn't be that much.

And that shouldn't go too late, because then Lady God heads over to Strange Matter to headline a show with SPORTS BAR and The Welcome Hips. The fun starts there at 9 PM on Friday when the doors open. It's just 5 dolla to get in. Here's Lady God rocking their power pop/surf sound last month at Sound of Music Studios:

Friday, No BS! Brass Band have their Annual Canned Food Drive show at The Broadberry. Doors open at 8 and the show starts with Gina Sobel and The Mighty Fine. You can get in for $8 if you bring a canned good or goods. You get in for $12 if you don't. Here's their latest video, "Git It Awn!" and they do:

If you head out to do a little last minute Christmas shopping Saturday morning (Saturday is the biggest shopping day of the year), why not wind down in the afternoon with a beer and some bluegrass-ish rock n' roll music with Flesh Mountain Boys and Adam Eubank at Cary St. Cafe. It's FREE to get in and starts at 2 PM. Here's a little promo for the show:

And here's the band at Cary St. Cafe last year:

Sunday night, it's blues rock/R&B/boogie-woogie galore at The Broadberry with The Skip Castro Band and The Nighthawks. It's $20 in advance, $25 at the door. Doors open at 7 and the show starts at 7:30. If you don't know Skip Castro Band, here's the press blurb:
It began a long time ago. 1978 to be exact. Four musicians, out of work at the same time got together because honestly, they liked to play music. Thus, the Skip Castro Band was born. A mutual love of rhythm 'n blues, swing, boogie woogie and rock 'n roll became the foundation.
Over the next ten years, Skip Castro would become staples on the East Coast between Boston and Atlanta playing every bar, club, music hall, and college in between. All the while having a great time. Called one of the best party bands ever, Skip Castro brings the party every time they take the stage.
And who didn't they play with? Muddy Waters, Big Joe Turner, Bo Diddley, James Brown, Chuck Berry, James Cotton, Albert Collins, Stevie Ray Vaughn, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, George Thorogood and the Destroyers, the Nighthawks, the Kinks, Kenny Loggins and a host of others....
Fast forward 36 years and the same four guys are still playing together. Why?
Because even though they stopped playing full time 25 years ago, there's a unique groove and spirit that exists when Skip plays. They've played with other musicians but the greatest satisfaction comes when these four get together.
 And here they are playing at the State Theater in Falls Church a couple weeks ago:

Indie rockers from Buffalo, Lemuria, will be at Strange Matter Monday. Tix are $10 in advance, $12 day of show. If you buy in advance, you get a free 7" single! The doors open at 8. Prince (the band, not the artist formerly known as and now known again as Prince), Cross Eyed & Victory Party will open. Lemuria sold out their shows in Boston and Chicago, and had a number of shows moved to larger venues on this tour so if you want to go, get your tix now. Here's Lemuria talking about "Wise People":

Americana/alt-country band The Congress at at The Camel Tuesday night for a Christmas show with special guests The Southern Belles. Doors open at 8, it's $12 to get in, $10 in advance. The Congress are originally from RVA but reside in Denver now, but they're home for the holidays and want to rock. They've recently been opening for bands like Lake Street Dive and Hard Working Americans. Here's their latest, "Ain't It Easy":

Have a great weekend!

Tony Jordan

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Late Night Pick: Kendrick Lamar

It's the last week of the Colbert Report, before he takes some time off to prepare to take over the Late Show from David Letterman later this summer. So watch the Colbert Report tonight with rap artist Kendrick Lamar (Comedy Central, 11:31 PM). Here's Kendrick's biggest hit (so far) "Swimming Pools (Drank)":

Here's Interpol on last night's Conan:

Monday, December 15, 2014

Late Night Pick: Interpol (2x)

Alternative, indie, new wave, post punk band Interpol is on not once but twice tonight. You can first catch them on Conan (TBS, 11 PM). Then, they'll be on Last Call with Carson Daly (NBC, 1:35 AM). Their song "NYC" was recently featured in a Village Voice article as one of the "60 Best Songs Written about New York City". Which is saying a lot because a lot of songs have been written about NYC. Let's play it, shall we. This is "NYC" by Interpol:

Here's Bahamas on Thursday night's Conan:

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Weekend Picks: Bleachers, Walk the Moon, Carbon Leaf, Bio Ritmo, DJ Williams Projekt, Skydog, Brown Sabbath, Everwilde

Country-rock band Everwilde did a fine job opening for Delta Saints at The National last week and they'll be at one of their regular spots, Uptown Alley, Friday night. The band gets underway at 8:30 and goes until 11:30 and it's $5 to get in. They'll also be raffling off a holiday prize pack of a signed guitar, t-shirt and CD. Also, if you bring a new, unwrapped toy for the charity Mason's Toy Box, you'll get a $5 game card. Here's Everwilde doing "This Time":

Saturday, Hardywood  busts out their new Christmas Morning brew which is their Gingerbread Stout conditioned on locally roasted Brazilian and Sumatran coffee beans. The beer gets tapped at 2 PM, music starts at 4 PM with square dancing with the Cary Street Ramblers. At 6:30, Loversville brings the classic country. And at 8:00, Andy Vaughan and The Driveline end the night with their Country Honky Tonk Americana Rock. Here's Andy Vaughan and The Driveline with "Sam's Place":

Local boys done good, Carbon Leaf, do their now annual Holiday time homecoming show at The National. Tix are $16 in advance, $20 at the door. Doors open at 7:30 and the show starts at 8:30 with opener Chamomille & Whiskey. The band may still be looking for a few Forest Rangers. Here's the ad:
Looking for a few Tree Committee volunteers to help set up and tear down the Christmas pines at our annual holiday show at The National this Saturday, Dec. 13th in Richmond, VA. Helpers get a ticket to the show! Please indicate if you can work between 2-5pm for set up and/or 11pm-12am for tear down. Email Jay or Holly at
Here they are doing a song from the great Muppet Christmas special, Emmet Otter's Jugband Christmas:

Ever wonder what would have happened if Black Sabbath had opened for the Allman Brothers Band? If you did, then you should go see the Skydog (Allman Brothers tribute band)/Brown Sabbath (Black Sabbath tribute band) show at The Broadberry on Saturday night. It's $8 in advance, $10 at the door. Doors open at 8, show starts at 9 with Brown Sabbath. We'll join Skydog here in the middle of "Jessica":

Salsa sensation Bio Ritmo is at The Camel on Saturday night. Doors open at 8 and the show will start shortly thereafter. It's $7 to get in. The NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert Bio Ritmo did a couple months ago is already up to over 21,000 views. Congratulation, Bio Ritmo!

Tuesday night at Broadberry it's ladies night with DJ Williams Projekt. The doors open at 8, show starts at 9 and it's $7 to get in, but ladies get in for free before 11 PM. Here they are at the Little Gem Saloon in New Orleans in May with Scott Frock sitting in on trumpet:

Wednesday at The National it's night #1 of XL102's Miracle on Broad St with Bleachers, Walk the Moon and Prinze George. Doors open at 6:30, show starts at 7:30, tix are $25 in advance, $28 day of show. Here's Bleachers at the Made In America fest Labor Day weekend in Philly:

And here's Walk the Moon with their latest single "Shut Up and Dance":

Have a great weekend!

Tony Jordan

Late Night Pick: Bahamas

While it would be nice if tonight's late night pick was me taking a red-eye to the Bahamas islands, alas, it is actullay Canadian indie/pop/rock/alternative/singer-songwriter/folk band Bahamas, which is the recording name of Afie Jurvanen. They'll be on Conan tonight at 11 PM on TBS. Bahamas are certainly big in Canada as they have been nominated for Artist of the Year and Album of the Year at the CBC Music Awards. From 2012, here's Bahamas' "Caught Me Thinking":

Here's J. Cole on last night's Late Show with David Letterman:

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Late Night Pick: J. Cole

Rapper J. Cole is getting fine reviews for his latest album, "2014 Forest Hill Drive" (address of his childhood home in Fayetteville, NC) and you can check him out on Late Show with David Letterman tonight (11:35 PM, CBS). By the way, Dave announced today that his last show will be May 20, 2015. I can't wait to see how he goes out. I hope he does something insane and doesn't let it bog down in sentimentality. That would be the Dave way. From 2011, here's J. Cole's "Work Out" (language NSFW):

Here's Tune-yards performing "Water Fountain" on last night's Conan:

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Late Night Pick: Tune-Yards

Conan (TBS, 11 PM) hosts quirky art pop band, Tune-Yards, tonight. Tune-Yards are still out supporting their well received album, Nikki Nack. From their 2009 album, Bird-Brains, here's "Real Live Flesh":

Here's Al Green on last night's Late Show with David Letterman doing two of his greatest hits:

Monday, December 8, 2014

Late Night Pick: Al Green

The legendary Al Green will be on Late Show with David Letterman tonight (CBS, 11:35 PM). Al became a Kennedy Center honoree yesterday along with Tom Hanks, Sting, Lily Tomlin and ballet dancer Patricia McBride. Here's Al singing a song as relevant today as the day it was written by Sam Cooke:

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Late Night Pick: Alt-J; 2014's Best Reviewed Debut Albums

Alternative/indie rockers, Alt-J, are on a repeat of Last Call with Carson Daly (1:35 AM, NBC). Alt-J will be playing South American Lollapalooza in Argentina, Chile and Brazil in March if you'll be down there. Here's "Breezeblocks" from their 2012 debut album, "An Awesome Wave":

Speaking of debut albums, were you wondering who had the best reviewed debut album of 2014? Of course you were and Metacritic provides the answer HERE.

Here's The Decemberists on last night Conan:

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Weekend Picks: Black Keys, St. Vincent, Delta Saints, Lone Bellow, Robert Ellis, The Wailers, Old Testament, No BS! Brass Band

This looks like a really good weekend for music and, as all good weekends do, it starts on Thursday night with The Delta Saints at The National. I first caught this Nashville blues-rock band at The National early this year when they opened for Blackberry Smoke. Totally unknown to me at the time and seemingly unknown to most of the audience, by the end they had captured the whole crowd with their energetic, swaggering rock show and, dare I say, they stole the show from the headliner. They've only got 3 shows left in 2014 after this one, so you know they'll be trying to end their year with a bang. Tix are just $12.50, doors open at 7, show starts at 8 with opener Everwilde. Look for me there. Here's Delta Saints with "Cigarette:

Trongone Band just finished up the last of their long running Thursday night residency shows at Cary St. Cafe two weeks ago. Wasting no time, they start a three week Thursday night residency at The Camel this week. Doors open at 8 and the show starts shortly thereafter with The Ron Holloway Band. It's FREE to get in.

No BS! Brass Band is at Balliceaux Thursday night. Show starts at 10 and it's $5 to get in. Here they are at a popup party here in RVA in September.

Friday night, Southern Belles take over The Camel. Doors open at 8 and the show opens with The Royal Noise. It's $7 to get in. They play mostly originals but they like to slip in a nice cover or two also. Here's one that was once the theme song to "The Dick Vermeil Show":

Saturday night it's the big show at Richmond Coliseum with The Black Keys and St. Vincent (not to be confused with the new Bill Murray movie). This is gonna be a killer show front to back with both bands' latest albums hitting many end-of-the-year best-of lists. In fact, Paste Magazine just named St. Vincent's self-titled album the #2 Best Album of the Year. Show starts at 8 and make sure you are in on time to see St. Vincent. Tix range from $44 to $79 (that includes the service charges) and are still available for the first and second level. I'll be down on the sold out GA floor so I can stand up like I like to. The Black Keys just recorded an Austin City Limit show that you can see on Jan. 31 on PBS. Let's do one video from each band.

Here's the Black Keys, "Next Girl":

And here's St. Vincent's "Marrow":

Modlin Center for the Arts also has a really great Americana double bill on Saturday night with The Lone Bellow and Robert Ellis. Tix range from $10 to $22 depending on your demographic. The show starts at 7:30. Be sure to get there early for Robert Ellis who put on a really good show at Friday Cheers a few years ago. Expect new music from The Lone Bellow as their new album, "Then Came the Morning", comes out on January 27. Let's do a video from each artist here too.

Here's the title track from The Lone Bellow's new album recorded live at WFUV in October:

Here's Robert Ellis asking "What's In It For Me?":

Blues band, The Bush League, will be at Poe's Pub on Saturday night. Show starts at 9, It's $5 to get in but if you bring a canned good you'll get $5 off of the Bush League merchandise. They'll also be raffling off some items as well.

Sunday night, cast off the cold weather and feel Jamaican, mon, when The Wailers play at John Marshall Hotel Ballroom. Tix are $20 for GA, $75 for VIP Balcony, doors open at 6, show starts at 6:30 with Richmond's own Trongone Band. Here's The Wailers at this year's Glastonbury Festival.

Tuesday night at Strange Matter, it's LA Americana/psychedelic rock band Old Testament leading a bill that includes The Shine Brothers, The Diamond Center, and Dorthia Cottrell. Doors open at 9, it's $8 in advance, $10 day of show. Here's Old Testament a couple years ago in LA.

Have a great weekend! See you at The Delta Saints and The Black Keys/St. Vincent!

Tony Jordan

Late Night Pick: The Decemberists

The Decemberists are back with a new album, well, almost. "What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World" is the title and a sentiment I can agree with. And the album will be out next month on January 20. And tonight, they will be on Conan, peforming "Make You Better" from that album. Here's one of my favorite Decemberists songs. If you think you know how this one is going go, wait until the 90 second mark or so when the guitar riff and female vocalist, Shara Worden, kick in. Stunning.

Here's two from Walk the Moon on last night's Jimmy Kimmel Live. First, "Shut Up and Dance" from their latest album. And then, "Anna Sun".

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Late Night Pick: Walk the Moon

Pop rock band Walk the Moon will be on Jimmy Kimmel Live tonight (ABC, 11:35 PM). They'll be in town for the XL102 Miracle on Broad Street show with Bleachers at The National on Dec. 17. Here's their great song, "Anna Sun", from their self-titled debut album:

Mary J Blige was on the Tonight Show last night and she performed her new song, "Therapy":

And from last night's World Aids Day show in the middle of Times Square, Bruce Springsteen with U2. Thought Bruce sounded a little rough as he stretches out his voice as the beginning of "Where the Streets Have No Name" but by the end of the song, I had goosebumps.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Springsteen, U2, Kanye on free live webcast tonight; Late Night Pick: Mary J. Blige

THIS JUST IN: In honor of World Aids Day, (RED) and Bank of America are putting on a free concert tonight in Times Square. Bono is still ailing after his bike accident so U2 will have a couple friends singing for them: Bruce Springsteen & Chris Martin (Coldplay). Not bad. Also performing will be Kanye West and Carrie Underwood. The show will be webcast on YouTube starting at 7:30 ET HERE.

Tonight's late night pick is R&B diva, Mary J Blige on Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon (NBC, 11:35 PM). Mary has a new album, "The London Sessions", coming out tomorrow. Speaking of U2 and Mary J Blige, here they are together doing U2's "One":