Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Weekend Picks: GWAR, Southern Belles, Big Something, Lady God, The Machine

This weekend is all about New Year's Eve. I've never been a huge "go out on NYE" fan., All the prices are doubled. There are a bunch of people out who get drunk twice a year (St. Pat's Day being the other) and use it as an excuse to get obnoxious. There are cops all over the place but you can't get a cab or Uber because so many other people don't want to drive (which I guess is a good thing). But when I do go out on NYE, it's to see a band. Bands usually pull out all the stops and give a little something extra for the occasion.

GWAR has always been a band that knows excess even on a normal night, let alone NYE, so who knows what they'll do at The National Thursday night. Tix are $30 in advance, $35 at the door. Doors open at 7, show starts at 7:30 with openers Kepone, Occultist, and Rocket Queen. Here's GWAR's "Penguin Attack". As always, this is not for the faint of heart or ear.

If you are looking for something a tad mellower on NYE, head to The Camel for the first of two shows with The Southern Belles. NYE has Jackass Flats opening. Doors open at 8. It's $25 in advance, $30 to get in. If you want to go NYE, get your tickets soon. They're going fast. New Year's Day has The Big Payback: James Brown Tribute opening. Tix for that one are $10 in advance, $12 at the door. Doors open at 8, show starts at 9. I'm sure there will be some mixing and matching with members of all the bands which should lead to some special musical moments. Also, this will be the last show for Belles drummer Raphael Katchinoff. He'll be joining The Congress in the new year. The band, not the DC institution. Though he couldn't do much worse in DC and we know he'd be a strong advocate for the legalization of marijuana. Here's the Belles in the rain at Mantrabash in September. Not the best camera shot, but the sound is good and you get a good glimpse of Raph's chops.

If you like your punk pop rock n' roll with a side of tacos and champagne, En Su Boca has the NYE for you! It's FREE to get in (a rarity on NYE). Doors open at 10 and the music starts at 11 with Lady God and Cherry Pits.

The Machine (Pink Floyd tribute band) turns on at The National on Friday. They'll be performing the "Wish You Were Here" album in it's entirety, along with other Floyd faves. Tix are $15 - $20 in advance, $18 - $23 at the door. Doors open at 6:30, show starts at 7:30 and no opener is listed. Here's The Machine doing "One Slip" from "Momentary Lapse of Reason":

Jam band Big Something is at The Broadberry on Saturday night. Doors open at 9:30, show starts at 10 with Shack Band opening. Tix are $10 in advance, $12 at the door. Big Something is a nominee for Sirius XM's Jam On channel's Best New Jam Band of 2015. Here they are this past July:

Gladys Night & the Pips member, William Guest, died at the age of 74 this week so let's do one from them. The Pips had the moves!

And, of course, heavy metal/hard rock pioneer, Lemmy Kilmister, of Motorhead and Hawkwind, passed away yesterday at the age of 70. Here's their classic, "Ace of Spades":

And let's do "Overkill" too:

Have a Happy 2016! It's gotta be better than 2015....

Tony Jordan

Monday, December 21, 2015

Weekend Picks: Delbert McClinton, Dark Star Orchestra, Trongone Band, The Congress, DJ Williams Projekt, Susan Greenbaum

It's Christmas weekend and there are some great shows this weekend, so get out of the house while you are on vacation and see some live music! And it looks like you won't have to worry about any snow to keep you from getting to those shows. The one week of the year when I want snow and it's going to be 65 degrees! Sheesh!

Wednesday night, we start with a show I am planning on attending, The Trongone Band are presenting Jerry's Feat, a tribute to Jerry Garcia and Little Feat. Joining the Trongone Band will be Ron Holloway on sax. He's currently a member of Warren Haynes Band and has also played with Susan Tedeschi, Dizzy Gillespie, and Gil Scott-Heron. Jay Starling, guitarist for Love Canon will join in, as will the Grateful Gospel Singers from Keller Williams' gospel Grateful Dead tribute band. This all goes down at The Camel with doors opening at 8 and the show starting at 9. Hunter Pease of The Shack Band will start things with an acoustic set. Tix are $10 in advance, $12 at the door. Here's Trongone Band doing the Dead's "Music Never Stopped":

Over at The Broadberry Wednesday night, The Congress (Americana rock n' roll) will be in session with Talking Heads tribute band, Fear of Music, opening the show. Doors open at 8, music starts at 9, and it's $15 to get in. The Congress recently moved to Richmond VA from Colorado. Unfortunately, this means they will have to lose drummer, Mark Levy, who has chosen to move back to Colorado and splits amicably from the band. This show and then the 12/30 & 31 shows in Colorado will be his last with the band. Good luck, Mark! The Congress jammed on a Paul McCartney and Wings song at Magnolia Fest this year and here that is:

Susan Greenbaum plays solo at Ashland Coffee & Tea Wednesday night. Tix are just $5 and the show starts at 7. Here's Susan a few months ago at Ashland Coffee & Tea with her band:

Not waiting for Santa on Christmas Eve? Head to the The Camel and get funky with DJ Williams Projekt! Santa did arrange for this concert to be FREE. Show starts at 9. DJ Williams has started a GoFundMe project to help get instruments into the hands of underprivileged kids. You can contribute HERE. Here's DJ Williams Projekt in May:

Blues/soul singer Delbert McClinton is in town on Saturday at the Carpenter Theatre. Tix range from $24.50 to $42. Show starts at 6:30 with Hazeltone. The show is billed as "Red, Green and Blues" so assume you'll hear some Christmas tunes. If you recently got a message from Delbert asking for your phone number and being inappropriate with you, relax, it wasn't Delbert. He was hacked. Here's some classic Delbert from 1990:

Trongone Band return to action at The Broadberry on Saturday. This is a benefit in memory of their friend, Cabell Dixon. Proceeds will be used to create a memorial for her at Maymont & Ginter Botanical Garden and also to benefit I Wish I Never Started (iwishineverstarted.org), a nonprofit dedicated to the education and prevention of opiate abuse. Doors open at 8, show starts at 9, tix are $18 in advance, $20 at the door. James Justin and Co. will open.

Grateful Dead tribute band, Dark Star Orchestra, truck into town for two shows at The National on Monday, Dec. 28 and Tuesday, Dec. 29. Doors open at 7, show starts at 8 (no opener!) both nights. Tix are $25 advance, $30 at the door both nights. Here they are playing "Shakedown Street" in January.

That'll do it! Have a Merry Christmas! I'll leave you with Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings doing a Christmas classic from their excellent new holiday CD, "It's a Holiday Soul Party":

Tony Jordan

Friday, December 18, 2015

Late Night Pick: Leon Bridges

New soul singer Leon Bridges is on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert tonight (CBS, 11:35 PM). Leon's debut album, "Coming Home", is up for the Grammy for Best R&B Album of the year. From that album, here's "Better Man":

From last night's Tonight Show, here's Chris Stapleton:

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Late Night Pick: Bruce Springsteen, Chris Stapleton

Bruce Springsteen is on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon tonight (11:35 PM, NBC). But I'm not sure if he will be performing or just talking about his new box set "The Ties That Bind: The River Collection". Either way, should be fun. Bruce, if you read this, I need tickets to either the Philly or DC show. Thanks.

And alt-country singer-songwriter Chris Stapleton will be performing so that ain't bad either. Let's do a video from each.

Here's Bruce & the E Street Band from the live DVD that accompanies the box set:

And from Chris Stapleton, here's "Amanda" at the Grand Ol' Opry:

From Monday's Jimmy Kimmel Live, here's two from Gary Clark Jr.:

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Late Night Pick: Gary Clark Jr.

The good news is that most excellent blues guitarist Gary Clark Jr. is on Jimmy Kimmel Live tonight (ABC, 11:35 PM). The bad news is that blowhard, racist, fascist Donald Trump is on the show too. I'll leave it up to you on whether you watch live to see what horrible things Donald will say tonight or whether you DVR and skip through his segment. I like Jimmy but he doesn't have a reputation for being confrontational so the Trump segment should be pretty lightweight.

I need some music to cleanse my soul now. Here's Gary Clark Jr. in 2012 playing some acoustic blues:

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Weekend Picks: Hamaganza, Skalidays 2015, Carbon Leaf, Bio Ritmo, Very Star Wars Xmas Party

'Twas the weekend before Christmas, and all through the town, lots of good bands were playing, all working on their sound. All their amp rigs were hung, on the stage with great care, in the hopes that a crowd, would soon be there.

Thursday night, Star Wars mania hits The Camel  with a Very Star Wars Xmas Party featuring The Milkstains, Imaginary Sons, Venus Guytrap, and The Wimps. It's a FREE show. Doors open at 8, music starts at 9. Star Wars your own self up and get ready to rock like you're in Mos Eisley Spaceport. You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy. Here's The Milkstains at Strange Matter on 10/26:

And hopefully one of the bands will play this. Is Marty Balin singing into a light saber?

Bio Ritmo will play all the salsa Christmas songs they know Friday night at The Broadberry. Maybe they'll even play the Star Wars theme salsa style. Or not. It's $10 in advance, $12 at the door. Doors open at 8, show starts at 9 and no opener is listed. This show will celebrate the release of their vinyl 45 "Oriza". Here's a full Bio Ritmo set from 2010:

Hamaganza celebrates it's 21st year at The Camel Friday night. Doors open at 8:30, show starts around 9. It's a benefit for Feedmore and CodeVA and you get in with either a $10 donation or a juicy ham. Diamond Heist (Neil Diamond tribute), League of Space Pirates (w/Noah Scanlin), Summerhaus (w/Melissa Chase) and Iggy Plop (Iggy Pop tribute) will provide the musical entertainment. There will also be the usual amount of chaotic, anarchic mayhem led by MC Dirtwoman and including jugglers, comedy, whistlers and other stuff. Here's the latest episode from League of Space Pirates. Or this could be a bootleg copy of Star Wars: Episode VII. You be the judge.

Saturday night, Carbon Leaf returns home for their now annual show at The National. Tix are $16 in advance, $20 at the door. Doors open at 7, show starts at 8 with opener Look Homeward. There are only a few tickets left so if you are on the fence, get off quickly. (That's what she said!) Here's Carbon Leaf doing a song from the classic Christmas special "Emmet Otter's Jug Band Christmas":

The Skalidays 2015 celebration takes place Saturday at Broadberry. Tix are $10 in advance, $15 at the door. The show features Murphy's Kids, Major and the Monbacks, Mighty Joshua, Neighborhood Friendly, and Nesta. Doors open at 8 and the music gets under way at 9. Bring some canned goods and warm clothing to donate because the show benefits Richmond Food Not Bombs, Central VA Food Bank and Performing Statistics. Here's Murphy's Kids rocking Talking Heads' "Burning Down the House" a few days ago:

That'll do it. Have a great weekend! I'll leave you with Carrie Fisher's Life Day song from the end of the Star Wars Holiday Special. Carrie said she was so high she doesn't even remember doing this. I love Carrie Fisher.

And now, a word from our sponsors. Like Willie, I enjoy soldering more than anything. And that Sunday night CBS lineup looks hot! Reggie bars!

Tony Jordan

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Weekend Picks: Speedy Ortiz, Lady God, Big Payback: James Brown Tribute

Get down with your bad self on Friday night at The Broadberry. The Big Payback: A Tribute to James Brown will help you. Tix are $10 in advance, $12 at the door. Doors open at 8, show starts at 9. Rattan DJ (Rei Alvarez from Bio Ritmo) starts spinning at 8 and will spin in between sets. No other band opening. Here's a little "Sex Machine" to get you on up:

Hardywood has another Christmas beer release on Saturday. This time it's another variation on the Gingerbread Stout. It's called Christmas Morning and it's Gingerbread Stout conditioned on locally roasted coffee beans. Things get started at 2 PM. There will be the usual array of yummy food trucks for your culinary pleasure. Music starts at 5 with Grass Panther, the newest project from Michael Harl of Canary Oh Canary and Manzara). Then, comes Vug Arakas from LA playing "Midwestern rock and roll with a warm heart". Next, is Raccoon Fighter out of Queens, NY, "A three-part tumultuous psych-rock/fuzz-pop assault on the senses - a gritty, cathartic blend of musical bravado and camaraderie that propels you forward". Finally, RVA's own Lady God. They play "bristling surf guitar, webby bass lines, and sneering dual vocals compose an oddly satisfying vintage rock n’ roll salad they call “Slink.”" Here's Lady God's set in Gainsville, FL in September:

Grunge rockers Speedy Ortiz are at The Camel on Monday. Tix are $10 in advance, $12 at the door. Bring some extra cash because if you make a donation to the Girls Rock Camp Foundation you can get some free Speedy Ortiz schwag. Doors open at 7, show starts at 8 with Aye Nako and Atta Girl. Here's Speedy's new video, "My Dead Girl", a tribute to both David Lynch and Muppets:

That's it this week!

Been listening to this one a lot this week. This is Drive-By Truckers' "World of Hurt" performed live at Plan 9 Records in 2006 (language NSFW). I was there and it was one of the best shows I've ever seen them do. It was a benefit for the Harvey Family Memorial Endowment and this was the emotional highlight of the show.

Tony Jordan

Late Night Pick: Lizzo

Alternative rapper Lizzo is on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert tonight (11:35 PM, CBS). Her new album, Big GRRRL Small World comes out tomorrow. Here's Lizzo singing about "Bus Passes & Happy Meals":

Here's Kurt Vile on last night's Late Show:

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Late Night Pick: Kurt Vile

Philly-based indie rocker Kurt Vile is on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert tonight (CBS, 11:35 PM).  Kurt's latest album, "B'lieve I'm Goin' Down" is being mentioned on quite a few year-end best lists. Here's one from Kurt's 2009 album, "Childish Prodigy":

Here's Nick Lowe and Los Straitjackets on last night's Conan:

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Late Night Pick: Nick Lowe & Los Straitjackets

A match made in heaven, or in a wrestling ring in Mexico, Nick Lowe & Los Straitjackets will perform together on Conan tonight (11 PM, TBS). They've been touring and playing together as part of Nick's "Quality Holiday Revue" so expect some Christmas music tonight. Here they are playing "Half a Boy and Half a Man" together:

Here's Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings on last night's Conan with "Just Another Christmas Song", and a bonus track that wasn't shown on TV of "I'll Be Home For Christmas":

Monday, December 7, 2015

Late Night Pick: Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings

Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings will, no doubt, be playing a song from their new Christmas album, It's a Holiday Soul Party, on Conan tonight at 11 PM (TBS). If you miss them there, you can also catch them on "Michael Buble's Christmas in Hollywood" on 12/10 on NBC at 8. Though you may want to DVR that and catch it later so you can skip over Celine Dion. Since it's the first day of Hanukkah, here's the lyric video for Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings' "8 Days (of Hanukkah)" which fills the void for a soul Hanukkah song.

Here's Weezer on Conan last week:

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Weekend Picks: Whitehorse, Ex Hex, Car Seat Headrest, Southern Belles, Gull, Mekong Xpress, Iggy Plop and the Splooges

The weekend starts with a show at the new location of Sound of Music Recording Studios on 1710 Altamont Ave, just off Boulevard. It's $7 to get in and it's BYOB. It starts at 7. The Iggy Pop tribute band, Iggy Plop and the Splooges will headline. Dismal Swamp Lords will also play this night of garage rock along with El Presidente, Lucky Stiffs, and Roper/Furley. Here's some Iggy Pop (no Stooges despite what it says in the title) from '77 to get you ready for the show:

The Southern Belles do their First Friday thing at The Camel this week. Doors open at 8, show starts at 9. The Belles will do two sets. no opener. It's $7 in advance, $10 at the door. The Belles played acoustic on WNRN in C'ville a couple months ago. Here's "Whiskey Song" from that show:

Hardywood busts out the Bourbon Gingerbread Stout on Saturday. Things get underway at 11 AM there and the music starts at 5:30 with Gull (looping guitar, drums and distorted vocalizations through a crazy mask. Pretty cool, crazy stuff), Manatree and Spooky Cool. Not sure which band is playing when, but check the event Facebook page and maybe they'll post the info there. As always, it's FREE to get in and there will be food trucks there to provide yummy munchies. Here's Gull playing in France:

Monday at The Answer Brewpub, they'll release their Mega Blast Triple IPA. Music starts at 9:30 with Mekong Xpress & Get Fresh Horns and it's FREE to get in. Here's Mekong Xpress playing "Woman's Gotta Have It":

Indie/alternative/rock/power pop/lo-fi/singer-songwriter Car Seat Headrest is at Strange Matter Tuesday. Doors open at 9. Ne-Hi and Don Babylon open. You might dig Car Seat Headrest if you like Modest Mouse, Radiohead or Animal Collective. Here they are playing at KEXP in Seattle in October:

Wednesday night at Strange Matter, Wild Flag and Helium's Mary Timony leads her band Ex Hex to the stage to rock your socks off. Doors open at 8. It's $15 to get in. Get in early, one, because it will probably sell out and, two, because the openers Mac McCaughan & the Non-Believers and The Arkaics are pretty good. You might dig Ex Hex if you like 70's NYC punk rock, Speedy Ortiz, or Courtney Barnett. Here's the band at the Pickathon Festival:

Whitehorse is an Americana/indie rock band from Canada made up of husband & wife team Melissa McClelland and Luke Doucet. They'll be at Capital Ale House Downtown on Thursday night. Tix are $8 in advance, $10 day of show. Doors open at 7:30, show starts at 8 with opener Aaron Lee Tasjan. Their new album, "The Northern South Vol, 1" will be out on February 16. Here's "My Babe" from that release:

I'll end this blog with a tribute to a good friend we lost this week. Joan Echtenkamp Klein died on Wednesday morning. She'll be remembered for her wonderful spirit, her kindness, her work as an archivist at the University of Health Sciences library at UVA and her wild laugh. Joan, her husband, Mike, and I saw many concerts together over the years, including a couple from one of her favorites (and mine), Bruce Springsteen. She even gifted me with a t-shirt from the Springsteen exhibit that she was lucky enough to check out at the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame. This one goes out to you, Joan. Don't rest in peace. Wherever you are, I hope you are getting wild, dancing, drinking wine and laughing that wonderful laugh.

Tony Jordan

Late Night Pick: Weezer

Weezer rocks Conan tonight on TBS at 11 PM. Weezer will perform their new single, "Thank God For Girls", a sentiment I'm not really feeling these days, but I'm sure it's a fine song. Here's Weezer's classic, "Say It Ain't So":

Here's the Flaming Lips talking about "Bad Days" on the Tonight Show the other night:

Monday, November 30, 2015

Late Night Pick: Flaming Lips

The Flaming Lips will be on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon tonight (NBC, 11:35 PM). They may be doing a cut from their album, "Clouds Taste Metallic" which will be released tomorrow as a 20th anniversary box set reissue with rarities and a live set. Then again, the Lips are unpredictable, and may do something completely different. From the Lips' album, "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots", here's "Do You Realize?":

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Weekend Picks: J. Roddy Walston & The Business, Elle King, NRBQ, Thanksforgrassgiving, Goldrush, Lady God, Avers, Susan Greenbaum

This weekend is as stuffed with great music as a big ol' Thanksgiving turkey is stuffed with oyster stuffing! And the great part is that most of it is local music so you can see some of the best musicians RVA has to offer this weekend. You've got a four day weekend. You'll want to get out of the house at some point. So grab Cousin Al and head out to see some music this weekend.

If you get out of work early on Wednesday, head down to Hardywood. The Hardywood Give Bock Release starts at 4 PM. They've got a new Bock beer in honor of FeedMore and each beer sold benefits FeedMore's efforts to feed the hungry. Drink beer and fight hunger. Everything is right about that sentence. There will be live music from 5 - 8 PM with The J. Smith Jazz Trio playing jazz and Latin standards along with originals so that should be good for all ages. Bring Grandma along, buy her a beer and chill out with some jazz.

The Tin Pan brings NRBQ to town on Wednesday night. Show starts at 8 (no opener), tix are $25 in advance, $30 at the door. Terry Adams of NRBQ just released an album with his arrangement of Thelonious Monk compositions titled, "Talk Thelonious". NRBQ backed him up along with some horns, so you may hear something from that at the show. Here's the band playing "Green Lights":

Wednesday night at Broadberry, Fear of Music: A Talking Heads Tribute will perform for your entertainment. Tix are $10 in advance, $12 at the door. Doors open at 8. Jordan Tarrant and Adam Eubank open the show. Fear of Music will probably do this song pretty straightforward but here's Postmodern Jukebox doing "This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody)" in '40's swing style:

Over at Tobacco Company Wednesday, it's the 5th Annual Gravy Ball. The Shack Band will provide the entertainment. It's $10 to get in and it starts at 9:30 PM. Here's the band performing their Americana rock at Broadberry a couple months ago:

Want to work off dinner on Thanksgiving night? Head to The Camel for Goldrush and Lady God. Doors open at 9 and the show starts shortly thereafter. It's only $5 to get in but if you bring canned goods to donate to FeedMore Central VA Food Bank, you'll get $2 off of admission. Goldrush will make it an extra super special night as they'll do both an original set and a set of Beatles covers. Here's Goldrush live at Gallery 5 back in September:

And here's a Beatles song they kind of have to play on Thanksgiving, right?

Friday night it's an all-star bluegrass show at The National led by Keller Williams. He's calling the show Thanksforgrassgiving. The band will feature Travis Book (bass) and Chris Pandolfi (banjo)from the Infamous Stringdusters, Jason Carter (fiddle) from the Del McCoury band, Jay Starling (dobro) from Love Cannon, the one and only Larry Keel (guitar) and Keller on mandola. Doors open at 7, show starts at 8 with Cabinet opening. Tix are $20 in advance, $23 at the door. Keller is, of course, no stranger to the bluegrass community. Here he is with his Grateful Grass band (they play Grateful Dead songs bluegrass style) doing "Samson & Delilah":

Avers and Rikki Shay (former members of the Black Girls with a new sound and new name) are at The Camel to celebrate(?) Black Friday. Doors open at 8, show starts at 9 with Rikki Shay. Tix are $8 in advance, $10 at the door and if you buy a pre-sale ticket you'll get a copy of the as-yet-to-be-released Avers EP. It will come out officially on 12/4. From the new EP, here's "Don't Wanna Lose You" which continues refining Avers psychedelic pop sound.

Saturday at Hardywood, Americana bands The Atkinsons and The Hot Seats will provide fine beer drinking music for you. The tasting room opens at 2 and the music gets underway at 5 PM. As always at Hardywood, it's free to get in. Here's The Atkinsons doing "Lyin' and Honesty" at Ashland Coffee & Tea a few months ago:

Speaking of Ashland Coffee & Tea, Susan Greenbaum and her band will perform their annual Holiday Show on Saturday night. Show starts at 8 (no opener) and tix are $16 in advance, $20 day of show. They'll play some of their originals and some holiday classics. Here's Susan's "You Are My Holiday" to get you in the mood:

A holiday show of a different sort, a Thanksgiving Throwdown, will go down at The Broadberry Saturday night with The Trongone Band. Doors open at 8, show starts at 9 with The Heavy Pets. The Trongone Band has been spending time in the studio so you just might hear some new stuff. They also got to open for Col. Bruce Hampton last week in Charleston. Here's a little sampler of Trongone Band at The Broadberry in September:

The National brings in the raucous rock n' roll of J. Roddy Walston and The Business Saturday night. Tix are $16 in advance, $20 day of show. Doors open at 7, show starts at 8 with RVA's own Sleepwalkers. And, no, they don't dress anything like the poser above. This will be the band's last gig until 2016 as they are preparing a new album. Here they are performing "Heavy Bells":

Saturday at Balliceaux, it's a benefit for FeedMore with Lady God and DJ sets by Bob Nastanovich and Kenny & Tracy. It's $5 to get in and starts at 10:30 PM. Here's Lady God's set in September in Gainsville:

New blues-rocker Elle King, who is riding a big hit with "Ex's and Oh's" right now, is at The National on Monday. Tix are $18 in advance, $23 day of show. Doors open at 6:30 and the show starts at 7:30 with Horse Thief. She'll be on "Dancing on the Stars" tonight (Tuesday) on ABC probably performing the big hit. And here she is playing the song in August:

That'll do it. Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving weekend! I'll see you out somewhere this weekend. Too much good music out there not to get out and about. I'll leave you with the Drive-By Truckers "Thanksgiving Filter":

Tony Jordan

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Weekend Picks: Dumpstaphunk, Dave Rawlings Machine, Suzanne Vega, Duncan Sheik, Hardywood Goldrush party

The weekend before Thanksgiving and I'm desperately trying to avoid the early Christmas songs and decorations. I don't want to hear Christmas music until 2 weeks before Christmas. And the decorations shouldn't go up until the day after Thanksgiving. But I guess it's too late to put the genie, or should I say the quest for the $, back in the bottle. Every store is trying to be first now. At some point it just becomes background noise starting before Halloween and it loses its meaning.

But no Christmas music here this weekend (at least I hope not)! Friday night, Suzanne Vega and Duncan Sheik are at Modlin Center for the Arts. Show starts at 7:30. Tix are $20 - $40 depending on your demographic. They'll play alone and together. Here's the press blurb for the show:
Two of America’s most iconic singer/songwriters, Suzanne Vega and Duncan Sheik, join forces for one incredible night of music.
Bearing the stamp of a masterful storyteller who “observed the world with a clinically poetic eye,” Suzanne Vega’s songs have always tended to focus on city life, ordinary people, and real world subjects. Notably succinct and understated, often cerebral but also streetwise, her lyrics invite multiple interpretations. In short, Suzanne Vega’s work is immediately recognizable as utterly distinct and thoughtful, and as creative now as it was when her voice was first heard on the radio more than 20 years ago.
After breaking through in the late ‘90s with his Top 20 single “Barely Breathing,” Duncan Sheik spent much of the subsequent decade taking a breather from the usual rock singer/songwriter rituals. He focused on albums that broke with pop music conventions as well as theatrical musicals such as Spring Awakening, the Broadway sensation that won him two Tony® awards and a Grammy®.
Suzanne recently played at the 60th Birthday Bash for another one of my faves, Pat DiNizio of The Smithereens. Here she is doing "Small Blue Thing". Her voice still sounds amazing.

And here's Duncan Sheik a few days ago performing "Avalanche" from his latest album, "Legerdemain":

Hardywood has created a beer named after one of their favorite local bands (at least I assume that's what happened). The Goldrush beer is a saison and a limited, experimental, small-batch release. Be there and be part of the experiment. Drink the beer, listen to the band, live the experience. Live music starts at 5 with Landis Wine, who should change his name to Landis Beer for this event. Landis plays beat-driven electronic pop and improvisation. He'll be followed by New Boss (vibrant, rambling power-pop) and J. Flax & Heart Attacks (onslaught of surf & rock n roll). The night ends with the beer's namesake, Goldrush, and their psychedelic power pop. Here's Goldrush's "Pale Blue Dot":

The Americana super group Dave Rawlings Machine is at The National Saturday night. Tix are $33 in advance, $38 at the door. Doors open at 7, show starts at 8. No opener is listed. The DRM is made up of Dave Rawlings, Gillan Welch, Paul Kowert of Punch Brothers and Willie Watson of Old Crow Medicine Show. Besides songs from Dave, expect to hear covers of Bob Dylan, Woody Guthrie, The Band, and Neil Young. Here's the opening track from DRM's new album, "Nashville Obsolete". It's called "The Weekend":

Monday night, The Broadberry will be oozing the funk out of every nook and cranny. Great New Orleans band, Dumpstaphunk, will bring the jams to free your booty and your mind. Dumpstaphunk features Ivan Neville, because if you're a band from NO, you've got to have a Neville and they have two. Ian Neville is in the band too. The Nevilles just keep on comin'!  And if they aren't funky enough for you, the funk-o-meter will get turned up even more with local funkmeisters DJ Williams Projekt and Sam Reed Syndicate opening the show. Doors open at 8, show starts at 9, Tix are $15 in advance, $17 at the door. Dumpstaphunk was in the recording studio today (Wednesday) so they've got some fresh tracks to drop on your ass. I'll be there to make sure my soul is properly funkified and to give thanks to the Great Funk God in the Sky. Please join me and you too can feel the funk. Here's Dumpstaphunk with "Liar" from this year's Camp Barefoot:

Have a great weekend! I'll see you at Dumpstaphunk! Maybe Hardywood! Maybe Dave Rawlings Machine!

Speaking of Dave Rawlings, here's Dave with Gillian Welch on her song "Revelator". I am obsessed with this song today. I've listened to it 10 times today. It gives me goosebumps every time.

Tony Jordan

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Late Night Pick: Houndmouth

Americana band Houndmouth will be on Last Call with Carson Daly tonight (1:35 AM, NBC). The band was captured performing "Sedona" and "Say It" at the El Rey Theatre in LA last week. You might dig Houndmouth if you like Mumford & Sons, Alabama Shakes, Grace Potter or Drive-By Truckers. From 2012, here's "Penitentiary":

Here's the two songs Heartless Bastards played on Last Call last night:

Monday, November 16, 2015

Late Night Pick: Heartless Bastards

Roots rock/blues/punk/alternative/indie/garage band Heartless Bastards are on Last Call with Carson Daly tonight (1:35 AM, NBC). The great Charlie Musselwhite recently joined the band on stage in Boulder CO. From 2013, here's the band's "Only For You". For you Marvel fans, this song was featured in episode 11 of "Daredevil":

Here's The Internet performing "Under Control" on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert last week:

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Weekend Picks: Matthew E White, Ava Luna, Mavis Staples, Joan Osborne, Hiss Golden Messenger, No BS! Brass Band, Souper Bowl 2

The indie/soul/rock of local boy done good, Matthew E White, will fill The Broadberry on Friday night. Tix are $12 in advance, $14 at the door. Doors open at 8, show starts at 9. DJ Harrison will open the show. This is Matthew's last show of the year. He'll take a break for the holidays and then head to Australia and then the UK for a January tour. Here's Matthew's "Vision":

Ava Luna from NYC will play at Hardywood on Friday evening. It's FREE to get in. The tasting room opens at 4 and the music starts at 5:30 with openers Lucy Dacus and Manatree. Here's part of the press blurb for Ava Luna:
New York’s favorite ‘nervous soul’ outfit, Ava Luna began in 2007 when Carlos Hernandez, then a music composition student, set out to combine the heartfelt soul of Sly Stone and Shuggie Otis with the raw intensity of bands like Wire and The Raincoats. After self-releasing several EPs, their debut LP Ice Level was released in 2012 to a groundswell of support, lauded by Spin as “ice-cool vintage ’80s no wave grooves and extra-lush three-part girl group harmonies,” and by Pitchfork as “glorious.”
And their latest album, "Infinite House", was produced by Dave Fridmann, who has produced albums for Flaming Lips and Sleater-Kinney. Here they are performing "Plain Speech" at WOBC-FM earlier this year:

No BS! Brass Band is doing 4, count 'em, 4 shows at Balliceaux this weekend to celebrate the release of their new album, "Brass Knuckles". Tix are $10 in advance, $15 at the door for each show. Shows are Thursday & Friday at 10:30 PM, Saturday at 8:30 PM (all ages) and 11 PM. You'll hear lots of stuff from the new CD over these nights but here's their version of "Thriller" recorded last month:

Saturday at Max's Positive Vibe Cafe, it's Souper Bowl 2 featuring guest judge Larry Thomas aka the "Soup Nazi" from "Seinfeld". He'll decide which soup is best after tasting entries from fourteen local restaurants.  For $10, you can try samples of the soups yourself and listen to live music from The Cary Street Ramblers and The Hullabaloos. All proceeds benefit the Cafe's training program for people with disabilities. Here's the Ramblers doing "Hunting the Buffalo":

It's a night for great soul singers with Mavis Staples and Joan Osborne at Modlin Center for the Arts on Sunday night. Show starts at 7:30 and tix ranges from $22 to $45 depending on your demographic. Mavis and Joan will perform alone and together and it should be a treat. I don't usually do audience videos but I had to put this up. Here's Mavis, Joan and Bonnie Raitt doing "Will the Circle Be Unbroken" two months ago at The Fillmore in SF.

Folk/pop/psychedelic/country singer-songwriter Hiss Golden Messenger will be at The Broadberry Monday night. Tix are $15. Doors open at 8, show starts at 9 with No BS! Brass Band because they didn't play enough over the weekend. You might dig Hiss Golden Messenger if you like Dave Rawlings, Wilco, Bright Eyes, Bon Iver, Bonnie "Prince" Billy or Iron & Wine. Here's Hiss Golden Messenger doing an acoustic version of a song I really like, "Saturday's Song":

That's it. Have a great weekend!

Here's the late, great Allen Toussaint performing The Band's "Life is a Carnival" at the Love for Levon benefit in 2012. Allen had arranged the horns for the version in "The Last Waltz". RIP Allen!

Tony Jordan

Late Night Pick: The Internet

LA jazz/R&B/soul band The Internet is on Late Show with Stephen Colbert tonight (11:35 PM, CBS). You might dig The Internet if you like Frank Ocean, The Weeknd, Erykah Badu, Meshell Ndegeocello or Sade. Here's "Girl" from their latest album, "Ego Death":

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Late Night Pick: Sylvan Esso & Yo La Tengo

Two for the price of one on Last Call with Carson Daly tonight (NBC, 1:35 AM). Electro-indie folk duo Sylvan Esso performs as does indie/dream/noise/pop rockers Yo La Tengo. Let's do a video from each.

We'll start with Sylvan Esso's NPR Tiny Desk Concert from March of this year:

And here's "Today is the Day" from Yo La Tengo:

From last night's Last Call, this is Jesus and Mary Chain with "Blues From a Gun" (the video title is mislabeled):

Monday, November 9, 2015

Late Night Pick: Jesus & Mary Chain

Classic 80's indie rock band The Jesus and Mary Chain are on Last Call with Carson Daly tonight (1:35 AM, NBC). The band is out promoting the album, "Psychocandy: Live at Barrowlands" so expect a performance or two from the influential 1985 album, "Psychocandy". The performance was filmed live at The Fonda Theater in LA. From the "Psychocandy" album, here's "Just Like Honey":

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Weekend Picks: The Extravaganza, John Moreland, Guster, Hardywood Gingerbread Stout Release Party, Papadosio, STS9, Dead & Company webcast

Friday night, it's The Extravaganza! 15 bands spread out over three venues (Broadbrerry, Strange Matter, and En Su Boca). You can get tickets for Broadberry only for $20, Strange Matter only for $12, get a combo ticket for the two venues for $30 and you can get into En Su Boca for no additional cost if you buy one of those tickets. Here's the lineup:
5:30-6 - MANZARA
6:00-6:30 - THE TRILLIONS
7-7:30 - AVERS
8-8:45 - NO JOY
9:30 - DIIV

10:30-10:50 - DAGGERING
11:00-11:20 - MUTWAWA
11:40-12:20 - AUTHOR & PUNISHER
12:40 - WOLF EYES

11-11:30 - MANATREE
11:50-12:30 - SODA BOMB
Highlights are Wolf Eyes (experimental/noise), No Joy (shoegaze/noise), Diiv (shoegaze),  Lee Bains III & The Glory Fires (southern/punk/roots rock) and Avers (psychedelic/garage). Let's do one from each.

You know the holidays are getting close when Hardywood has their Gingerbread Stout Release Party. Things get underway at 2 PM when they tap the kegs and let that sweet holiday nectar pour. There will be a bunch of food trucks out there for your culinary delight. And four bands playing. Neither the Hardywood site nor the Facebook event page gave the times or order of the bands but the bands usually start around 5, so just show up early and enjoy the stout and your favorite band will play eventually. The music is provided by The Milkstains (Surf-rock sock hop with a dash of Dinosaur Jr. = psychedelic-low-fi garage-rock grunge), Christi (rock n roll and scruffy punk), Atlantic Thrills (Fuzzy psychedelic riffs, reverb drenched surf anthems and raspy 50's inspired doo-wop ballads, out of Providence, RI!), and The Trillions (RVA shred pop). Here's The Milkstains new video, "Sink or Swim":

Psychedelic, progressive jam rock band Papadosio is at The National Saturday night. Tix are $17 in advance, $20 at the door. Doors open at 7, show starts at 8 with openers People's Blues of Richmond (who are opening for the VA and NC shows on the tour) and Third Nature. Here's "Epiphany" from Papadosio's new album, "Extras In a Movie":

If you'd rather jam at home on Saturday night, be sure to watch the live webcast of the Dead & Company HERE from Madison Square Garden starting at 7:30 PM. The Dead & Company consist of Grateful Dead members Bob Weir, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann joined by John Mayer, Oteil Burbridge (Allman Brothers Band, Aquarium Rescue Unit) and Jeff Chimenti (various post-Grateful Dead bands). Here they are doing "Terrapin Station" on Halloween at MSG:

Ashland Coffee & Tea has alt-country singer/songwriter John Moreland on Saturday night. Tix are $15 in advance, $18 day of show. Show starts at 8 PM. Here's John performing "No Glory in Regret" for American Songwriter last week:

Sunday night at The National, jamtronica band STS9 will warp your head. Tix are $29.50 in advance, $33.00 day of show. Doors open at 6:30, show starts at 7:30.You can download a free track from each night of the tour HERE. Here's STS9's first set Halloween night at The Fillmore in Silver Spring, MD:

Alt-pop band Guster plays Monday night at The National. Tix are $23 in advance, $28 day of show. Doors open at 6:30, show starts at 7:30 with opener Port Harbour. You might dig Guster if you like Barenaked Ladies, BoDeans, Virginia Coalition, Wilco, Camper Van Beethoven, or Big Star. Here's "Endlessly"from their latest album "Evermotion":

That'll do it! Have a great weekend!  I'll leave you with Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds' version of the traditional tale of "Stagger Lee". This is very explicit and very bad ass.

Tony Jordan

Friday, October 30, 2015

Late Night Pick: Ghost and The Zombies

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert gets into the Halloween spirit tonight with two bands, Ghost and The Zombies. And Charlie Rose. Here's one from each band. I think Ghost is going to freak some people out. There will be protests. I love it.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Weekend Picks: Trongone Band (Dead as Funk), WRIR Monster Mashquerade, Hardywood Zombie Zoo, Fool's Errand

We're back! Did you miss me? Did you even notice I was gone? After a hectic few weeks of moving and work, Handful of Brains is back in the saddle. I can't quit you. And just in time for Halloween!

Spooky weekend festivities kick off with WRIR's Monster Mashquerade at The Camel on Friday night. Doors open at 8, music starts at 9. It's $5 in advance, $10 at the door and that's a donation to WRIR so that's cool. Four bands will entertain you: Heartracer, Spooky Cool, Skirts, and anOva. Here's a dancey little number from Heartracer called "Overboard":

Saturday night at The Camel, Trongone Band will do a set of original music and then a Dead as Funk set with special guests. Doors open at 8, it's $10 in advance, $12 at the door. Special guests include Jonathan Meadows from The Congress, the Grateful Gospel singers who joined Keller Williams at Lockn' and Peach Festival this year, and a horn section. Here's they are as Dead as Funk in Charleston a couple weeks ago:

Hardywood will feature Zombie Zoo - Tricksters of Punk Rock with cover bands of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (Full Moon Fever), Ramones in Spanglish (Los Ramones), and maybe partying will help (minutemen). The tasting room opens at 2, there will be food trucks there for your delight, and the music starts at 8 and goes until midnight. It's FREE to get in. Here's Tom Petty's "Mary Jane's Last Dance" which features Tom in a morgue with a dead Kim Basinger and just a hint of necrophilia. That seemed appropriate for Halloween:

Gypsy folk punk band Fool's Errand is at Triple Crossing Brewing for Halloween. Show starts at 8 and it's free to get in. Here's Fool's Errand scary video, "What Happened?". What happened, indeed.

That'll do it. Have a fun and scary weekend! I'll leave you with Queens of the Stone Age's "Vampyre of Time and Memory":

Tony Jordan

Monday, October 19, 2015

Late Night Pick: John Fogerty & Richard Thompson

Double bonus on Conan tonight! John Fogerty will be on the show, presumably talking about his new biography, "Fortunate Son". And the musical guest is the great UK guitarist/songwriter Richard Thompson performing a song from his new album, "Still". Here's Richard doing his classic, "1952 Vincent Black Lightning":

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Late Night Pick: Craig Finn

Craig Finn, lead singer of The Hold Steady, has put his second solo album ("Faith In The Future") out and he'll do a song from it tonight on Late Night with Seth Meyers (12:35 AM, NBC). You can catch Craig in DC at the Rock & Roll Hotel on 11/2. Heres' Craig doing an NPR Tiny Desk Concert three years ago:

Here's Tame Impala on Stephen Colbert last week:

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Weekend Picks: Richmond Folk Festival, NO BS! Brass Band, Steel Panther, Ultra Kings, Dismal Swamp Lords

This weekend? Folk Festival, Folk Festival, Folk Festival, Folk Festival. Go to the Richmond Folk Festival. It's down at Brown's Island/Historic Tredegar all weekend long (6 P - 10 P Friday, Noon - 9:30 P Saturday, Noon - 6 P Sunday). Going to the Folk Festival is like walking around the world as you move from tent to tent. Blues, klezmer, Celtic, Cajun, sacred steel, bluegrass, gospel, Cambodian khmer, hip hop (Grandmaster Flash!), rockabilly, Persian, Ethiopian jazz and more. I'll be working backstage at the Union/U of R Virginia Folklife Stage on Saturday from 11:30 AM to 3 PM and just on that stage, I'll see a Baptist hymn to open the day by Reverend Frank Newsome, bluegrass/gospel from The Church Sisters, Russian folk music from the Washington Balalakia Society Orchestra, and contemporary bluegrass from Ash Breeze. If you like to move, just head down to the Dominion Dance Pavilion at the end of Brown's Island where the stage for Cheers is. I hope to see you there. Blues singer Shemekia Copeland will be playing on Friday and Saturday and here's a little taste of her, filmed just a week ago:

NO BS! Brass Band is at Broadberry Friday night. You can head down there after Folk Fest. It's $12 in advance, $15 at the door. Doors open at 8, show starts at 9. Don't know if there is an opener, but if there isn't, that just means more NO BS! NO BS's new album, "Brass Knuckles" is coming out any day now (just in time for Christmas!), so expect to hear a lot from that. Here's their new epic song, "Ballad of the Eagle Claw":

Steel Panther bring their tongue-in-cheek (maybe?) hair metal to The National Friday night. Tix are $22.50 in advance, $25 at the door. Doors open at 7, show starts at 8 with Eagles of Freedom. Here they are Rockn' at Wacken last summer, opening with the cracking "Pussy Whipped" (language NSFW, but with a title like that, you probably figured that out):

Saturday night, The Ultra Kings (out of my old stomping grounds in the Lehigh Valley, PA!) and Dismal Swamp Lords are at Poe's Pub for a rockabilly/surf/swamp/punk/blues fest and really, what more could you ask? Show starts at 9. There may be a $5 cover charge. Here's The Ultra Kings from earlier this summer:

That's gonna do it this week, Been packing to move next week so not a lot of time. Because of the move (just across town) there will be no Handful of Brains Weekend Picks next week (awwwwwww!).

Have a great weekend! Go to Folk Fest!

I'll leave you with the Jefferson Airplane tribute from Lockn' 2015. Great show! Beautiful and talented singers! Awesome jams! Deep cuts! Jack & Jorma!

Tony Jordan

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Late Night Pick: Tame Impala

Australian psychedelic group Tame Impala will be on Late Show with Stephen Colbert tonight (11:35 PM, CBS). The band played Radio City Music Hall last night. Here they are five years ago. From their album, "Innerspeaker", this is "Why Won't You Make Up Your Mind?".

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Late Night Pick: Florence & The Machine

Adult alternative / pop / indie / rock band Florence & The Machine are on Late Show with Stephen Colbert tonight (11:35 PM, CBS).  F&TM's videos for "Queen Of Peace" and "What Kind Of Man" have both been nominated for UK Music Video Awards 2015. Here's "What Kind of Man":

Here's the two songs Andra Day performed on Jimmy Kimmel Live last week:

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Weekend Picks: RVA Field of Dreams Fest, Lucinda Williams, Toro Y Moi, Bully, Diamond Center, Southern Belles, Erin & the Wildfire

Welcome to the weekend of Joaquin! He's already messed up a bunch of festivals with the State Fair, Hogtober and the 2nd St. Festival all getting flat out canceled. Joaquin, you bastard! But let's find some stuff to do indoors this weekend, shall we?

The RVA Field of Dreams Fest was supposed to be out at The Diamond, but they have moved it indoors to the Altria Theater. Doors will open at 6:30. They'll still have the craft beer and the local cuisine and they'll still have a killer lineup of bands playing R&B, soul and blues. Leading off will be a band that started in RVA, The Congress. Hitting in the middle of the order is one my favorites, Black Joe Lewis and his brand of rocking soul blues. And batting cleanup is old-school soul singer Charles Bradley, who is backed by a band of young turks steeped in the music of Stax-Volt and Muscle Shoals. Tix are $100 for VIP, $45 for GA and a souvenir glass with 3 sampling tickets, and $35 for a non-tasting GA ticket. You can buy more sampling tickets or full-glass pours. Let's do one from Black Joe Lewis and one from Charles Bradley.

Southern Belles are at The Camel on Friday night and I believe this is their first show after their triumphant appearance at Lockn'. They put on a great show there and they had a really good crowd show up for being the Sunday opener. Tix are $7 in advance, $10 at the door. Doors open at 8 and music starts at 9 with Stop Light Observations.

There's a good early show to catch at Strange Matter if you want to happy hour with some indie rock. Bully headlines the show. Doors open at 5, it's $10 to get in, Heat & Dead Soft will open. You might dig Bully if you like Weezer, Wild Flag, Screaming Females, Breeders or Pixies. Here's their brand new video which just came out today (10/1). It's for the song "Too Tough":

Saturday at The National, Toro Y Moi will grace us with their presence. The more I hear from them, the more I like. They've got a fun, funky, pop-rock groove with some nice psychedelic flourishes. Tix are $18 in advance, $20 at the door. Astronauts, etc. will open at 8 PM, and doors open at 7. Check out "Lilly" from Toro Y Moi's new album, "What For?":

Charlottesville band Erin & the Wildfire are at The Camel Saturday night. Tix are $7 and you get two openers starting at 9 PM (doors open at 8) with Common Wealth and Big Mama Shakes. Erin & the Wildfire will be playing out at the Festy Experience in Roseland, VA next weekend and hopefully the weather will be kinder than this weekend. Here they are with their original, "Puzzles":

The Diamond Center, formerly based in RVA, now residents of Austin, return to their favorite city on Saturday for a show at Black Iris Music. Diamond Center will be regaling us with the gothic psychedelic garage rock on their new album, "Crystals for the Brass Empire". It's $6 in advance, $10 at the door, doors open at 8, music starts at 9 and BIG NO opens. Get there early if you want to get in because Black Iris is not that big. From their new album, here's Diamond Center's "Wax and Wane":

Sunday night, alt-country goddess Lucinda Williams is at The National. Tix are $25 in advance, $28 at the door, doors open at 6:30, show starts at 7:30 with openers Buick 6. Lucinda won the Americana Music Award for album of the year for her latest album "Down Where the Spirit Meets the Bone". Here she is at KEXP in February:

Have a great weekend! I'll leave you with this one from Bruce, which feels personal right now:

Tony Jordan

Late Night Pick: Andra Day

New retro-soul singer-songwriter Andra Day will be on Jimmy Kimmel Live tonight (ABC, 11:35 PM). You can get a free download of her song "Rearview" from her debut album HERE. And here's her cover of Eminem's "Lose Yourself" done in her style. Check it out.

Here's Jill Scott on Jimmy Kimmel Live last week: