Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Weekend Picks: Moon Taxi, Secret Sisters, Phantogram, Bleachers, Blanko Basnet, Lady God, Rusted Root, Wailers, Foreigner, Jonathan Byrd


It's always nice to start the Weekend Picks with a psychedelic poster. This one is for the show at Sound of Music Recording Studios Thursday night. Indie progressive pop rock band Blanko Basnet out of Durham, NC are on the bill, as are Way, Shape or Form, Houdan the Mystic, and Dumb Waiter. If you go, bring your own beverages and $5 cash to get in. Blanko Basnet's songs have the clarity, space, adventure and instrumental prowess of a progressive rock band, but their songs are 3 to 4 minutes and groove enough that they don't fall prey to some of the self-indulgent solos sometimes associated with prog rock. From their self-titled LP of 2013, here is "Layabout":



Bust out your air guitars, jukebox heroes! Foreigner will be at Innsbrook Friday night. Gates open at 5, show starts at 6 with opener Craig Wayne Boyd. Tix are $20 (GA lawn), $40 (Gold Circle reserved), and $55 (Gold Circle Preferred). Only band leader, lead guitarist and songwriter Mick Jones is left from the band's heyday of '76- '84 but lead singer Kelly Hansen has been with the band for 10 years now. They'll be heading off on tour with Kid Rock this summer so this a good chance to catch them at a small venue before they head off to play the sheds. Here's "Jukebox Hero":



Friday Cheers, which was just voted "Best Local Music Series" in Style Magazine's Best of Richmond issue, has Moon Taxi this week. Gates open at 6, show starts at 6:30 with Richmond band, Sleepwalkers, who are very good so get in early. It's $5 to get in. Moon Taxi is a jam band that leans toward alternative pop, like Modest Mouse, Arctic Monkeys, alt J, or MGMT, as much as Phish or Medeski, Martin & Wood. After Cheers, Moon Taxi is hitting festivals like Governor's Ball in NYC and Bonnaroo. I've been digging this song a lot recently when it pops up on my iPod. It's catchy as hell. This is "Morocco":



At Circle Thrift & Art Space Friday, it's a triple bill of local with psych-rock power poppers Lady God, Fat Spirit and Grass Panther. It's a $3 donation to get in the door and you'll want to bring your own beverages. Show starts at 8:30. Lady God was featured on Style's Sounds of Richmond 8 "mix tape" which is available for free download HERE. And please, let me introduce you. Please meet Lady God:



Americana singer/songwriter Jonathan Byrd and The Pickup Cowboys are at Ashland Coffee & Tea Saturday. Show starts at 8, tix are $12 in advance, $15 day of show. If you want to help out the people of Texas who have suffered in the recent floods and get some mighty fine music, you can purchase The Barn Birds album from Jonathan and 100% of the proceeds goes to the American Red Cross of Central Texas. Here they are playing an appropriate song about two weeks ago, "May the River Run Dry":



Hard rock band in the spirit of Thin Lizzy, Deep Purple, Mastodon and Wishbone Ash, Valkyrie is at Strange Matter Saturday night. Inter Arma & Battlemaster open a show that will not be for the weak of heart. Doors open at 9 and it's $10 to get in. Valkyrie is out of Rockbridge County VA but is gaining momentum outside of VA after signing with Relapse Records. Here's a track from their latest album, "Shadows":



Innsbrook has a rare triple bill on Sunday. The gates open early at 3 PM if you want to hang out. Music starts at 6 with KOA and then Rusted Root and The Wailers will perform. Looks like Rusted Root will go on first and then The Wailers close, but don't hold me to that. Just get there early enough for both. Tix are $20 GA Lawn, $30 Gold Circle Reserved, $40 Gold Circle Preferred and $79 Gold Circle Platinum. This is the second date of a three month tour for Rusted Root so they'll be nice and fresh for you. Here's The Wailers back in 1980 when some dude named Bob Marley was in the band:



At The Beacon Theatre in Hopewell Sunday, Americana duo Striking Matches headlines a show with Secret Sisters and Fillmore Duo opening. Doors open at 6, tix are $16.50 in advance, $20 at the door. You might dig Striking Matches if you like Alison Krauss, Nickel Creek, or The Civil Wars Make sure you get in early to see Secret Sisters too. This sister duo has a real old time country sound with wonderful harmonies. Let's do one from each band. Here's The Secret Sisters with "You've Got It Wrong":



And here's Striking Matches 'Make a Liar Out of Me":




At The National Sunday, Bleachers, the side project of Fun.'s Jack Antonoff, will be in town. Tix are $21 in advance, $24 at the door, doors open at 6:30, show starts at 7:30 with openers Joywave and Cruisr. I'll let Ellen introduce the band:



Monday at The National, trip-hop/pop band Phantogram take the stage. Tix are $22.50 in advance, $25 at the door. doors open at 7, show starts at 8 with openers Ki:Theory. Here's Phantogram's 26 minute performance on KEXP last summer:



I'll leave you with one for fans of The Mountain Goats or pro wrestling or funny videos, "The Legend of Chavo Guerrero":



See you at Friday Cheers!

Tony Jordan