Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Weekend Picks: RIP Col. Bruce, Pixies, Anderson East, Lee Fields & the Expressions, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, David Bazan, Clair Morgan

Philly indie pop rock band Clap Your Hands Say Yeah check into The Camel on Thursday night for a show that starts at 8:30 with excellent Americana opener Laura Gibson. Doors open at 7:30 and tix are $16 advance, $18 day of show. You might dig Clap Your Hands Say Yeah if you like Arcade Fire, Talking Heads, Modest Mouse, Yo La Tengo, The Feelies, or The Pixies. From Clap Your Hand Say Yeah's latest album, "The Tourist", here's "Down":



RVA Americana band The Atkinsons are at Garden Grove Brewing Company Thursday night. It's FREE to get in and the show runs from 8 to 10 PM. Here's The Atkinsons talking about "Lyin' and Honesty":



For me, festival season begins on the first Friday of May when the first Friday Cheers happens. Back on the river at sunset with great music, great beer (lots more tasty microbrews this year!) and great friends and family. My two boys, aged 12 and 9, really enjoy going for the music and food but mostly for hanging out with all the other kids and playing on the hill. It's a great family atmosphere and the music is always superb, with lots of up and coming bands who often go on to bigger things (anyone remember seeing Alabama Shakes there?).  This year starts off with a soulful bang with Lee Fields and The Expressions (8 PM) and RVA opener KINGS (6:30). It's only $5 to get in. Lee Fields and the band recently played Coachella and are hitting other big festivals all summer like Outside Lands and Telluride Jazz Fest. Like Charles Bradley, or the late, great Sharon Jones, Lee Fields is an elder soul singer with a crackerjack young band. He's gonna move ya and groove ya. Here's a 30 minute set they did for Ray-Ban:



Soulful Southern roots rock singer/songwriter Anderson East is at The Broadberry on Friday night. Tix are $17 advance, $20 day of show. Doors open at 7, show starts at 8. Noah Kahan opens. In May, Anderson will be part of the Dylan Fest show at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium with Wynonna, Shakey Graves, Boz Scaggs, Moon Taxi, Shooter Jennings, and others. Not bad company. Anderson just completed his new album a couple weeks ago so I'm sure we'll hear a few tunes off of that. Here's Anderson and his band live from Daryl's house doing Anderson's "Devil In Me". Music starts at 1:30.




It's a May Flowers and Beer Showers celebration with Charlottesville's rock, soul, funk, and blues band Erin & The Wildfire at the Richmond Music Hall at Capital Ale House Downtown (my that's a long name) on Friday night. It's FREE to get in. Doors open at 7, show starts at 8 with Bethany Gates and Cassidy McAdams opening. Here's Erin & the Wildfire's set at Harrisonburg's Rocktown fest last week. The sound is a little rough at first but it gets better.




Clair Morgan continues their First Friday residency at The Camel this week. They always make it a benefit show and this month the show helps Girls Rock RVA. "Girls Rock! RVA empowers girls, gender non-conforming and trans youth through music, art + activism. They run a free, week-long musical empowerment camp every summer, and make their store of instruments available to Richmond youth year-round through their Free Richmond Instrument Lending Library." Big Baby, Atta Girl, and Georgie Isaacs open the show. It's $6 advance, $8 at the door. Doors at 8, show at 9. Here's Clair Morgan's set in September at The Camel:



Reggae band King Easy skanks it slow (and fast) at Isley Brewing Company from 6:30 to 9:30 Saturday. Here they are at The Camel a couple weeks ago.



David Bazan, of band Pedro the Lion, has a new album, Care, which Paste Magazine has said is one of the 20 Best Albums of the Year (So Far). He'll be at the Richmond Music Hall at Capital Ale House Downtown (now I kind of like typing it out. It's a challenge.) on Sunday night. Tix are $14 advance, $18 day of show. Doors open at 7, show starts at 8 with opener Saw Black. Here's David performing "Both Hands":



Tuesday night, seminal alternative rock band The Pixies come to The National. The Pixies were a huge influence on grunge rock and unfortunately, broke up right about when grunge hit, perhaps missing a chance at commercial success. However, they are one of those bands that a thousand kids heard and started bands because of them. Tix are $43. Doors open at 7 and be sure to get in by 8 to see opener Cymbals Eat Guitars. From The Pixies, "Fans can expect a set list comprised of the classics and catalogue rarities as well as newer songs from Indie Cindy and the band's latest release, Head Carrier.  As is the norm, there will be no firm setlist for Pixies’ shows; their sets, while pulled from nearly 90 songs that the band has rehearsed and is prepared to play, will change somewhat from night to night with every number determined just before it’s performed." From their new album, "Head Carrier", here's "Bel Esprit":



That'll do it. I'll see you at Anderson East and The Pixies. Hoping to get to Cheers for at least a little bit depending on when Anderson East starts.

I'll leave you with the late great Col. Bruce Hampton. Col. Bruce collapsed on stage last night at the end of a big 70th birthday celebration concert for him. He was taken to the hospital and passed away. He died doing what he loved and surrounded by those that loved him. Col. Bruce was a member of the Hampton Grease Band who was, not surprisingly, signed to Frank Zappa's label because they shared Zappa's surrealist, and sometimes humorous, take on music. But he will be best known for being a father figure, mentor and guru to a generation of jam band musicians. Derek Trucks likened him to a minor-league baseball scout, who could spot talent and nurture it. His Aquarium Rescue Unit was a huge part of the second wave of jam bands that included Phish, Widespread Panic, and Blues Traveler. Members of his bands went on to play with Phil Lesh, Dead & Company, Allman Brothers Band, Widespread Panic, Rolling Stones, I saw the Aquarium Rescue Unit back in '92 on the HORDE tour and then was lucky enough to see the reunion tour in 2015 when the came to The National. I also got to see him over the last few years at Lockn' and the Capital Ale House. He was truly a unique talent. Here he is with the Aquarium Rescue Unit. You'll see Jimmy Herring on guitar, who played with the most celebrated version of Phil Lesh and Friends and then (and currently) Widespread Panic. Oteil Burbridge on bass played with the Allman Brothers Band from '97 to '14 and is now the bass player for Dead & Company.



Have a great weekend!

Tony Jordan