Monday, May 23, 2016

Weekend Picks: Son Lux, Jackson Browne, Natalie Prass, Lady God, Sam Reed

Memorial Day weekend is typically slow for bands, as they are either at festivals or taking time off to enjoy some barbecues too.

If you want to see some of the best RVA-grown bands, head to Friday Cheers this week. It's just $5 to get in. The headliner is Natalie Prass (8 PM), who has received a lot of well deserved hype from national press. Her self-titled debut album made a lot of year-end best of lists last year. Lady God (7 PM) will bring their straight up rock n' roll. And get there early to see the soulful, talented and lovely Sam Reed (6 PM). Doors open at 5:30. Here's Natalie Prass playing somewhere last summer:

Trippy experimental indie electronica rock band Son Lux is at Strange Matter Saturday night. It's $15 to get in. Doors open at 8 with openers Xenia Rubinos and special guests to be announced. Here's Son Lux's latest video, "Cage of Bones":

Tuesday night, Rock n Roll Hall of Famer Jackson Browne is in town for a makeup show for one that got snowed out in January. The show is at the Carpenter Theatre, tix run from $37 to $85, the show starts at 8 and there is no opener so get there on time. Here's Jackson doing one of my favorites of his, probably made so by repeated viewings of "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" during my high school years:

That'll do it. Have a great weekend! I'll leave you with this NPR Tiny Desk Concert from a year ago from Sylvan Esso. I just love her voice and the minimalist groove.

Tony Jordan

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Weekend Picks: VA Is For Music Lovers, Foreign Exchange, Riverrock, Hard Working Americans, Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, No BS! Brass Band

Last week, I forgot to mention that two weeks ago I went to the kick-off party for a new campaign by the Virginia Tourism Corporation (a quasi-state agency) called Virginia Is For Music Lovers. The campaign, as one would imagine, highlights the great & diverse musical artists, festivals, venues and attractions VA has to offer. Check out the web link up there to see the site. While looking at the site, I realized I could go to a music festival in VA every weekend from now through 9/10. They've also got Virginia Is For Lovers radio on there to hear a sampling of VA music. At the event, we got to see great sets from No BS! Brass Band, Avers and country singer-songwriter Dori Freeman. I had not seen Dori before and was majorly impressed with her beautiful voice and mature songwriting. I'm looking forward to seeing her again.

Now onto the weekend. Let's start with this.

Yes, we are all damp and muddy. But we'll soldier on and try to ignore it as best we can until it goes away. Unfortunately, the rain may affect this weekend's Dominion Riverrock festival. This is the big annual sports and music festival on Brown's Island featuring events like the Mud Run (I guess the rain won't affect that), a 10K trail run, Adventure Race, Mountain Bike Race, Freestyle Biking (flips and jumps on the ramps), Bouldering (rock climbing), kayaking, slacklining, paddleboarding and the always popular Ultimate Air Dogs. And, of course, the music. My advice to you is to get there to see some of the early local and less well known national bands. They are all good and it won't be crowded. Last year for the headliner on Saturday, it got so crowded that I literally couldn't move at some points. No going forward, backward or side-to-side. Stuck. I don't mind crowds but it was crowded to the point of no fun. The weather may keep the crowds down this year, which may be a relief. The headliners this year are Keller Williams' Grateful Grass (Grateful Dead covers played bluegrass style) on Friday at 8 and G. Love and Special Sauce on Saturday at 8. The whole thing is FREE. Here's the full lineup followed by some G. Love recorded last month.
Friday, May 20
6:15 - 7:15 p.m. Jackass Flats
8 - 9:30 p.m. Keller Williams' Grateful Grass
Saturday, May 21
1 - 1:45 p.m. Mikrowaves
2:15 - 3 p.m. Future Prospect
3:30 - 4:15 p.m. Big Mama Shakes
4:45 - 5:45 p.m. Futurebirds
6:15 - 7:30 p.m. Rayland Baxter
8 - 9:30 p.m. G. Love and Special Sauce
Sunday, May 22
1 - 2 p.m. The Slank
2:30 - 3:30 p.m. Dance Candy
4 - 5 p.m. DJ Williams Projekt

Friday night at Gallery5, it's influential late 60's experimental electronic pop duo (in spirit now anyway) Silver Apples. Father Sunflower and the Golden Rays, and Thumper will open the show. Doors open at 7, show starts at 8, Tix are $15 advance, $18 at the door. Here's a brief history of the band from their press blurb:
Formed in 1967 as an electronic rock duo featuring Dan Taylor on drums and Simeon on a homemade synthesizer consisting of 12 oscillators and an assortment of sound filters, telegraph keys, radio parts, lab gear and a variety of second hand electronic junk, the band quickly gained a reputation as New York’s leading underground musical expression. T
Sheeps Meadow, their first full-length album, was released in 1968 on KAPP Records. The self titled album rode the Billboard Magazine Top 100 list for 10 weeks.
The second full length album was released in 1969, titled CONTACT. A national tour was launched by the band’s recording popularity. A third album was recorded in 1970, but not released when KAPP folded.Without a record label the band disbanded, and, except for an occasional bootleg release, was not heard from again until 1994, when a German label named TRC, without license, re-released the first two albums in a double CD version, complete with poster. Since then numerous artists around the world have released covers, tributes and samplings of Silver Apples material.
In 1996, Simeon re-activated Silver Apples, recording and performing with many musician friends and admirers. On March 10, 2005, original drummer, Danny Taylor, passed away of a heart attack in Kingston, New York. He was 56 years old. Working as a solo performer, with Danny’s drum sounds recreated by electronic means, Simeon has continued the Silver Apples live concerts with performances literally all over the world. Currently Simeon is still recording and performing as a solo.
Here's a some clips from a recent performance in Chile along with some interview segments:

Broadberry has a Riverrock After Party on Friday night with Fear of Music: A Talking Heads Tribute and Dance Candy. Doors open at 8, show starts at 9. Tix are $12 advance, $15 at the door. Here's the Talking Heads "Crosseyed & Painless" from "Stop Making Sense":

Alternative R&B duo The Foreign Exchange are at The Canal Club on Friday night. Show starts at 8:30. Tix are $20 advance, $25 day of show. No opener is listed. You might dig Foreign Exchange if you like Maxwell, Jill Scott, or Marsha Ambrosius. Here they are at Southland Ballroom a few days ago. BTW, this is a 360 degree video. Click and drag with your mouse to look around the whole room.

Saturday is just chock full of fun. Along with Dominion Riverrock continuing. Hardywood has a mini-festival to benefit non-profit film collective Good Day RVA. It will run from 2 PM until 10 PM. 14 bands on two stages and one of those stages will be the one inside the brewery. It's FREE to get in. Check the event Facebook page on Saturday regarding changes due to the weather. Here's the lineup, as planned now:

Americana/Southern rock jam band Hard Working Americans will be at The National on Saturday night. Tix are $19.50 in advance, $23 day of show. Doors open at 7, show starts at 8 with opener, Reed Foehl. Hard Working Americans features great singer/songwriter Todd Snider on vocals. RVA native Dave Schools of Widespread Panic on bass, Duane Trucks of Widespread Panic (younger brother of Derek, nephew of Butch) on drums, Neal Casal of Chris Robinson Brotherhood on guitar, and Chad Staehly of Great American Taxi on keys. They've got a new album, "Rest in Chaos", freshly out. Here's "Another Train":

The Camel has four great local bands for your listening pleasure on Saturday night. Toxic Moxie, Lady God, Hot Reader, and Clair Morgan are gonna keep the party going after Riverrock and Good Day RVA fest. Because once you get going, we know you can't stop. Here's a taste of Toxic Moxie's disco punk. Yes, that's a thing and that's a thing they do well.

No BS! Brass Band takes over The Broadberry Saturday night. Tix are $15, doors open at 8, show starts at 9. This their homecoming show as they just got back from the first half of a European Tour. That's right, the RVA sound is getting exported around the world. Here they are on Audiotree Live a few months ago:

Next Wednesday night at Innsbrook is the soulful double bill of Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings and Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue. Gates open at 5, show starts at 6 with a special guest tba. Tix are $25 GA, then $35, $49 and $99 for the various levels of the Gold Circle. Let's play one from each. Here's Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings back in 2010:

And here's Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue from 2010:

That'll do it. I'll see you at Riverrrock (weather permitting) and maybe Hard Working Americans or Toxic Moxie.

I'll leave you with a new collaboration from Vince Clarke (Erasure) and Paul Hartnoll (Orbital), It's a catchy little number called "Better Have a Drink to Think".

Tony Jordan

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Weekend Picks: Shovels & Rope, Wild Nothing, STRFKR, Ill Nino. L.A. WITCH, 9th Annual Jonny Z fest, Big Payback, Future Prospect

Oh, what a busy weekend this looks to be. Hopefully, it will stop raining so we can enjoy it even more.

One-man alternative, indie, rock, pop, new wave, post-punk band, Wild Nothing, is at Broadberry on Thursday night. Tix are $15, doors open at 7, show starts at 8. Make sure you get there early to see opener Charlie Hilton. Here's two songs in one video from Wild Nothing. From their latest album, "Life of Pause", this is "To Know You" and "TV Queen":

As of 9:30 Wednesday night, it looks like the skies will clear right around 6 PM on Friday, just in time for this week's Friday Cheers. Americana/blues/rock duo Shovels & Rope are the headliners coming on around 8 PM. They were the opener at a Cheers show three years ago and they were excellent. The buzz was just starting on them then and they played to a larger than normal crowd for an opener. They totally delivered, leaving us all wanting more, so Cheers brought 'em back. Phil Cook will open the show at 6:30. Gates open at 6 and it's $10 to get in. Here's Shovels & Rope performing "O Be Joyful" in a cave:

Hardywood has it's own heavy psychedelic punk Happy Hour on Friday. It's FREE to get in. The tasting room opens at 4 PM and the music starts at 5:30 PM with punk fuzz band Bummers Eve. They'll be followed by The Harlequins (Experimental, psychedelic rock), Richmond's own Lady God, and then L.A. WITCH (Reverb-soaked punked out rock). Here's L.A. WITCH's "Kill My Baby Tonight":

There's tribute bands exploding all over the place Friday night. At The Broadberry, The Big Payback (tribute to James Brown) and Life on Mars (tribute to David Bowie). Maybe Life on Mars could borrow some of those horn players from Big Payback and do some tunes from the "Young Americans" album. Doors open at 8, show starts at 9. $10 advance, $12 day of show. Here's some JB:

Over at The Camel Friday, it's a tribute to Prince with Future Prospect and special guests Viva La Hop. Doors open at 8, show starts at 9. Tix are $7 advance, $10 at the door. Future Prospect isn't really a tribute band, but they felt the need to celebrate the greatness that was Prince and everyone is down with that. Here's Prince at the 1991 MTV Video Awards with a song that was going through my head all today, "Gett Off". I believe this is the exact stage set Future Prospect will be using at The Camel Friday night:

Saturday, alt-psychedelic-pop band STRFKR, Com Truise and Fake Drugs take over The National. Doors open at 7, show starts at 8. Tix are $20 advance, $25 day of show. You might like STRFKR if you like MGMT, Fun., Phoenix, Chromeo, Goldfrapp, Flaming Lips, New Order, or ELO. Here's a 20 minute performance they did for KEXP recently:

Sunday afternoon, Hardywood hosts the 9th Annual Jonny Z fest to benefit ART 180 which supports creative programs for Richmond's youth. It'll run from noon to 6 and its FREE to get in. 10% of the sales from the beer and the arts and crafts from Bizarre Market will go to ART 180. Lots of stuff for the kids including a moon bounce and face painting. There will be a raffle too and food trucks to satisfy your hunger. Live music will run all day from:

Tuesday night, it's loud and in your face with metal bands Ill Nino, Bobaflex, Terror Universal, Saint Diablo, and Stellar Circuits. Be sure to get to The Canal Club when the doors open at 6 to catch all the bands. Tix are $18 advance, $20 day of show. Here's Ill Nino's 45 minute set at the Wacken Festival last year (language NSFW):

Have a great weekend! I'll see you at Cheers. I'll leave you with one more from Prince, where he absolutely kills the blues classic, "Motherless Child":

Tony Jordan

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Weekend Picks: Friday Cheers (Soul Rebels), Ghost, Kentucky Headhunters, People's Blues of Richmond, Southern Belles, Barko de Mayo, Answer Brewpub One Year of Beer

Spring has arrived and summer is right around the corner when Friday Cheers is back! Time once again to enjoy unwinding from your work week with a beer, the river rushing by Brown's Island, the sun setting and great music. This year's series begins with New Orleans funk/jazz/hip-hop brass band, The Soul Rebels (8:00) and Mighty Joshua & the Zion #5 (reggae, 6:30). It's just $5 to get in, kids under 12 get in for free and the gates open at 6:00. The Soul Rebels are coming straight to you from the New Orleans Jazz Fest, where they performed on Saturday. And if you want to hit the high seas with them, they've just been picked to be on next year's Jam Cruise. Here they are performing "Failure" last month on TV:

They also did a show a year ago where they teamed up with Gov't Mule. Here they are doing The Who's "Eminence Front":

Southern country rock band The Kentucky Headhunters are out at The Beacon Theatre in Hopewell Friday night. Tix range from $22 to $65. Doors open at 6:30 and the show opens with an opener to be announced. Here they are back in 1993 performing on Late Night with Conan O'Brien with the late, great pianist Johnny Johnson:

The Southern Belles continue their First Fridays at The Camel run this week. It's $10 advance, $12 day of show, doors open at 8, show starts at 9 with Captain Midnight Band. Here they are ringing in the New Year at The Camel:

The Answer Brewpub celebrates One Year of Beer Friday and Saturday. The festivities will go on all day each day. As for bands, blues band Barrelhouse plays on Friday night starting at 9:30 and Life On Mars: A Tribute to David Bowie are on Saturday night at 9:30. Don't cost nothin' to get in.

The Barko de Mayo Block Party to benefit the Richmond SPCA is on for Saturday just outside Continental Divide restaurant (2501 W Main). The restaurant opens at 11 and the block party festivities run from noon until whenever. Doesn't cost anything to attend but hopefully you'll buy lots of food and beer to help the doggies and kitties. And ocelots. Don't forget the pet ocelots. The band lineup is:

Here's Murphy's Kids with "Secretly":

People's Blues of Richmond is back! And they've got a new album, "Quit or Die"! And they'll be having a party for the release of that album at The Broadberry Saturday night! Tix are $10 advance, $15 day of show. Doors open at 8, show starts at 9 with openers Rikki Shay & Dalton Dash. Relix Magazine premiered the song "All the Things (I Couldn't Say to You)" from the new album HERE. And here they are performing "Cocaine Powder" a couple months ago while artists paint pretty pictures:

Forest Hill Park kicks off their free monthly summer/fall concert series on Sunday. This year all the concerts will be tribute bands, starting with Instant Karma Band, a Beatles tribute band. It'll run from 6 PM to 8 PM. Bring mom. Moms love Beatles. Here's those beatley Beatles doing a little number called "Hey Jude":

Or maybe Instant Karma will play this one on Sunday?

If you are in the mood for some heretical theatrical metal on Monday night, head to The National for Ghost. Tix are $26.50 advance, $29.50 day of show. Doors open at 7, show starts at 8 with opener Pinkish Black. Ladies, if you'd like to dress as a nun, you can be part of the show. You need to be 21 years old and you need to send an email with your:
- Name
- Date of birth
- Picture
- City in which you want to partake IN THE SUBJECT FIELD OF THE EMAIL
Here's Ghost's "From the Pinnacle to the Pit":

That'll do it. Have a great weekend! I'll see you at Friday Cheers, rain or shine. I'm ready to hit the island! I'll leave you with the video from the webcast My Morning Jacket did from Austin City Limits earlier this week.

Tony Jordan

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Late Night Pick: Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real

Willie's son, Lukas Nelson, leads roots rock band Promise of the Real tonight on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert (CBS, 11:35 PM). It was announced today that they will be backing up Neil Young at the classic rock mega-concert Desert Trip, held in October on the grounds of Coachella. Who else is playing over the three days? The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Paul McCartney, Roger Waters & The Who. Here's the band on Texas Music Scene TV talking about, and then playing, the song "Find Yourself":