RVA Shows You Must See This Week: June 5 – June 11

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Friday, June 7, 7 PM
Inter Arma, Sonja, Triac @ Richmond Music Hall at Capital Ale House – $20 (order tickets HERE)
It’s hard to believe that it’s been nearly 20 years since the first time I saw Inter Arma play in an Oregon Hill basement to about 50 people. Even back then, they already had their whole thing down — the songs were long and complex, shifting without warning between different genres, from psych to prog to doom to black metal to grind, even as they always retained their fundamental heaviness. Damn near two decades later, they’ve somehow found a way to be heavier than ever, continuing to blow minds with their unpredictable brilliance and monstrous metal power. They’ll be showing that off in fine fashion at Richmond Music Hall this Friday night, and whether you were in that sweaty Oregon Hill basement back in 2006 or are just discovering what these Richmond-based legends of metal have to offer, you’re gonna want to be there.

This performance is in celebration of the latest full-length masterpiece from Inter Arma. New Heaven, which was released earlier this spring by the band’s longtime label, Relapse, is their sixth album of original material, and their first new release since 2020 brought us their mindblowing album of covers, Garbers Days Revisited. That album veered from Tom Petty and Prince to Venom and Nine Inch Nails, and while their new album has a much more focused approach, it’s clear that Inter Arma’s widely varied palette of influences makes a crucial contribution to their overall eclectic approach. I mean, let’s be real — by the time most metal bands approach their 20th year together, you’ve pretty much heard what they’ve got to say. But on New Heaven, Inter Arma continues to break new ground — both for themselves and for the metal genre as a whole.

Really, though, you’ll never get quite the same experience of Inter Arma if you’re just sitting on your couch blasting their music through your headphones while you type on your laptop. If you really want to know what it’s all about, there’s only one way to know for sure — go to Richmond Music Hall this Friday night and witness the blistering treatment they’ll deliver to all comers as they celebrate the release of their brilliant new album. They’ll have some powerful company along for the ride for this one as well — Philadelphia’s Sonja will be on hand to bring us a strong dose of triumphant retro-metal riffage, 80s style. Meanwhile, Baltimore’s Triac, who are stripped down to a trio these days, will let everyone know they haven’t lost a single step with a blast of scathing grindcore to start the festivities off right. This will be one of the essential metal shows of the year, so all you metalheads, this is your reminder to get fuckin’ stoked.

Wednesday, June 5, 7 PM
Woman Crush Wednesday, feat. Rebecca Porter & The Rhinestone Roses, Mara/Finfeather, Rine @ The Camel – $7 in advance, $10 day of show (order tickets HERE)
It hasn’t been too long since I told y’all everything you need to know about Bri Bevan’s monthly Woman Crush Wednesday events at The Camel, but that doesn’t mean we can’t go back to that well again. After all, Wednesday night is hardly the busiest night of the week for live music — more often than not, Woman Crush Wednesday is the best thing going on the nights it takes place. That’s true tonight in particular, as WCW brings us one of the stronger lineups it’s ever presented — and that’s really saying something. At the top of the bill is Shenandoah Valley country singer Rebecca Porter and her band, the Rhinestone Roses, who bring something of an outlaw country feel to the Camel tonight. They’re not quite as iconoclastic as Lydia Loveless or Mackenzie Roark, but that touch of piss n’ vinegar irreverence is definitely there in Porter’s excellent 2023 EP, Queen Of The Local. Plus, as you can see in this photo, Rebecca has been rocking a shaven-headed tattoo look recently, so you know there are some punk rock sensibilities at work in the music. Where country music is concerned, that’s always a good thing.

As for the other two artists on the bill, they both take things in quite a different direction from the place Rebecca Porter comes from. The first, Finfeather, is a solo project from Mara Smith, better known for her work with Paint On It and The Wayward Leaves. As far as I know, this will be her first time performing as a solo act, and even my obsessive haunting of Instagram reels hasn’t produced much knowledge of how exactly it will sound. I think we all know enough to expect good things, though — and isn’t that what it’s really all about? The bill is rounded out by Rine, a youthful musician who has been impressing a lot of people around town with her pop songwriting chops. New single “It Girl” demonstrates exactly why, landing somewhere between Beabadoobee and Olivia Rodrigo’s more rocked out tunes in a manner that’s sure to move the hearts of all the Zoomer pop babies out there. Regardless of what generation you claim, though, you’ll want to catch every moment of this show. Its eclectic sensibility and determination to put the emphasis on the works of women are a guarantee of a good time, every time.

Thursday, June 6, 7 PM
Marisa Anderson, Tiara & Andrew, Justin Paciocco @ Richmond Music Hall at Capital Ale House – $15 (order tickets HERE)
The world of experimental solo guitar music is something I’ve always known about, but I’ve never explored it all that deeply. That’s my excuse for being a relatively recent convert to the music of Marisa Anderson, and while it will make nerdy record-store habitues shake their heads at me in disappointment, it probably puts me closer to the level of a lot of my readership, who aren’t necessarily keeping up with the modern American primitive guitar avant-garde. But listen, whichever one of those types of readers you fit into, you definitely need to pay close attention to these paragraphs, because Marisa Anderson has a lot to offer you, even if you’ve never heard of her before.

An electric solo guitarist who originally won fame in the more experimental corners of the indie scene, Anderson pulls from both old-time music of all different genres and groundbreaking avant-garde solo guitarists like John Fahey or Jack Rose, then mixes all of the above into an electrified sound that sometimes gets closer to noise than anything else. For evidence, witness her latest album, Swallowtail, a full-length collaboration with legendary Dirty Three drummer Jim White. Even as it paints a fascinating rural soundscape onto the backs of your eyeballs, it occasionally delves into realms where the more acoustic moments of sludge legends Earth’s catalog meet the most contemplative moments of Hella’s oeuvre. You won’t get quite that if you go to see Marisa Anderson this Thursday night — after all, she doesn’t have Jim White with her on the current tour. Instead, you’re likely to hear the more hypnotic sounds of her solo compositions, as reflected by her 2022 masterwork, Still Here. Regardless, though, you’ll be intrigued and entranced by what you hear, regardless of whether you can easily figure out how to contextualize it. And that’s what’s really important here. The evening will start out with a solo set from Villages frontman Justin Paciocco and continue with a series of charming tunes by local acoustic soul duo Tiara & Andrew, so show up on time for this one.

Friday, June 7, 7 PM
Flowers For The Dead, Harsh Intention, Wallpaper @ Powers BMX – $10
It’s fun to catch onto a band right as things kick into high gear for them, and this Friday night, Washington DC’s Flowers For The Dead are offering us that exact opportunity. They’ve nailed down a solid three-piece lineup that is poised to launch the band into wider renown. They’re coming into town right as their new single, “Two Of Me,” is released into the world, and are gearing up to release their second album. They’ve found a strong sound, which mixes 90s alt-grunge vibes with a moodier, more melodic feel that takes the whole thing into a different headspace — one that will connect with all the introspective emotional types among you. And they’re coming to Richmond to blow all of our minds. As you can see, the circumstances are highly auspicious.

They’re arriving in Richmond in the company of another band from the northern part of the state; specifically, Harsh Intention claims Culpeper as their hometown, which means they live within 10 miles of the hospital where I was born. Not that that means anything, but what does mean something is the sheer unrelenting drive of their introspective yet fuzzed-out and heavy shoegaze riffs. These are demonstrated with aplomb on their new EP, Paranoid and An Angel Strikes, which has the plentiful musical charms necessary to enrapture fans of both Slowdive and Hum as well as many other fans of loud guitars mixed with soft vocal melodies. Local indie rock mainstays Wallpaper will get this evening started off in lovely fashion, so show up on time for this one and be prepared for the guitar fuzz to wash over you like a tidal wave.

Saturday, June 8, 6:30 PM
Goings, Sani Bronco, Nancy Raygun, 2 To A Room @ Govinda – $5-$10
It must be a good time for Richmond music, because I feel like I hear about new show venues getting started in town at least once a month lately. This show is taking place at my latest new discovery, an Indian place just up the block from Cobra Cabana. Honestly, I’m stoked for any new Indian food on the local restaurant map, but I’m particularly stoked about a place that’s having indie rock bands play even as they sell me samosas. Govinda is stepping right into that hole in the local venue market, and I for one am here for it. I’m also here for this particular indie show, brought to us by the fine folks at Clayhouse Live, who clearly are able to branch out from Imperial Lounge when they feel like it. Hey, the more venues, the merrier, if you ask me.

This show, which I’m sure will be the first time visiting Govinda for a lot of us, is headlined by Philly indie-pop band Goings, who on their 2020 LP It’s For You mix together a guitar-driven melodic sound that clearly draws from long-gone Philly legends like Algernon Cadwallader and Snowing with a more electronic touch that might inspire thoughts of everything from Motion City Soundtrack to Devo. Whether you like the guitars better or the keyboards better, you’ll surely find plenty to love in this band’s sound. Vegas band Sani Bronco has a tendency to switch genres between songs on their latest EP, Frogpond, but the tinges of Appalachian-style acoustic sounds and the occasional synthesizer moment end up feeling more like intriguing accents to their fundamentally catchy indie pop vibe. Both of these bands will surely teach the indie kids to dance again, and they’ll be joined by assured local psych rockers Nancy Raygun and raging punk newcomers 2 To A Room to sweeten the pot for all our loyal locals. All this plus samosas? Now you’re talking!

Sunday, June 9, 7 PM
Summoner’s Circle, WOR, Cetragore @ Another Round Bar & Grill – $15 (order tickets HERE)
Death metal and black metal are both very cool genres that I enjoy a lot. That being said, they’ve both been around for decades at this point, so to really impress me, a band’s gotta find some sort of new twist on the old faithful styles to really capture my attention. Fortunately for Summoner’s Circle, they do exactly that, mixing their incredibly heavy riffage and multi-layered melodic flourishes with some fascinating lyrical explorations on their latest album, Cult. Seemingly short for “Cult Of The Dead Son,” which is the closest the album has to a title track, this is a concept album about the harm done across the world by organized religion. And I think they probably mean one religion in particular; after all, how many of the world’s current major religions are centered around a son that died for some higher purpose? No, Zoroastrianism doesn’t count.

Spoiler alert: this album deals with Christianity in pretty harsh fashion, and as a band based in Knoxville, Tennessee (yet another place they’ve at least attempted making it illegal for me to use a bathroom), I figure they know of what they speak. Regardless of where you stand on the whole Christianity question, though, Summoner’s Circle is really bringing the blackened death metal rage on their latest album, and I’m sure they’ll deliver the goods in excellently brutal fashion when they stop off at Another Round Bar & Grill this Sunday night. They’ll be accompanied on their trip through town by North Carolina ragers WOR, who describe themselves as “groove metal” but feel more to me like thrashers who know how to bust out the occasional breakdown than anything else. Think Sepultura circa Chaos AD mixed with Pantera minus Phil Anselmo’s more grandiose tendencies. Why yes, it is indeed awesome. Massachusetts death metal rippers Cetragore get this whole night started with some brutal deathmosh grooves, and it’ll just get heavier from there. Get stoked for this one.

Monday, June 10, 6 PM
No Cure, Victim Of Suffering, Infernal Gaze, Defying Death, Contact @ The Canal Club – $15 in advance, $17 day of show (order tickets HERE)
I’ve been straight edge since the dawn of the 90s, back when I was in high school — which means I was drawing X’s on my hands for shows before a lot of you were even born. In recent years, it’s been a bit harder to find new bands who are still willing to claim edge and take the ridicule of their misguided peers who somehow think it’s wimpy rather than smart to abstain from mind-altering substances. Luckily for me, that pendulum seems to be swinging my way again in recent years as quite a few young bands have started to claim the edge, from excellent melodic hardcore groups like One Step Closer to the subject of this current blurb: the heavy-as-fuck metallic hardcore ensemble known as No Cure.

It’s only been a few months since No Cure caught my attention; it was the release of their single “No Cure Straight Edge Die Slow Fuck You” that did the trick. “Holy shit,” I muttered to myself, chuckling at their very audacity. “I gotta hear this.” Reader, let me tell ya, I was not disappointed. Fury radiated from the throat-shredding vocals, the drums pounded like sledgehammers to the skull, and the riffs were incredibly brutal. A lazy comparison might be “Earth Crisis for the post-deathcore generation,” but to me this band’s more obvious antecedents are the H8000 bands from Belgium in the late 90s, like Congress and Liar, and the metallic straight edge bands that were coming out of Brazil in the mid-00s, like Children of Gaia and Confronto. I know, I’m getting way too nerdy on y’all right now, but it’s for a good cause — convincing you that even if you love to drink a 6-pack a night, No Cure are a fucking incredible band drawing on a powerful multi-decade lineage to bring some of the best, most furious straight edge hardcore that the 21st century has yet seen. You really need to see this band. There are a bunch of other awesome metalcore, thrash, and hardcore bands on this bill, most of whom are from somewhere in the commonwealth, but I’ve run out of space to tell you about them. Show up on time, or rush over to The Canal Club as soon as you get out of work, but whatever you do, make sure you see No Cure this Monday night. It’s an experience you won’t soon forget.

Tuesday, June 11, 7 PM
Squeeze The Squid, LOXIAS, Voodoo Mother @ The Camel – $10 (order tickets HERE)
Those early days in the week, live music is always a little thin on the ground. And at times like that, it’s nice to be able to have a place to go that you know will always have you covered, will always make sure there’s some great music to listen to. There are a few Richmond venues that do a decent job at this, but none are more reliable than The Camel. If nothing else, you can be sure there will be a few local bands playing at The Camel on a Tuesday night to bring some musical joy into all our lives. And this week is no exception.

Top of the pops for this Tuesday night show at The Camel is Squeeze The Squid, a group that’s done a fair bit of moving around over the course of their existence. Formed in Oregon, they spent a few years in Athens, Georgia before arriving in Richmond within the last year or so. Around the time they slid into the river city, they dropped a live LP called Live At Lisa Loves, which sounds like a total party and is full of the sort of goofy rock n’ roll that is Squeeze The Squid’s stock in trade. Masterminded by a maniac known as Slady Squeeze, this band should definitely appeal to those who love Frank Zappa’s jazz-rock goof styles, as well as to those who wish bygone Richmond faves Imaginary Sons were still around. These guys will show you a fun time for sure, so if you haven’t run across them since they arrived in town, be sure to come out and get familiar. Support is ably provided by Richmond rock n’ rollers Loxias (pronounced “low-key-us,” their Instagram informs us), who recently released a subtly charming metallic hard rock EP called Until We Meet Again earlier this year. Their set is sure to be lots of fun. As for openers Voodoo Mother, they’re a brand new riff-loving rock n’ roll trio who stand somewhere between Southern rock and the sped-up stoner sound that produces Queens Of The Stone Age’s best material. This whole show will be a whole lot of fun. Chase away your Tuesday blues with this throwdown at The Camel.

Email me if you’ve got any tips for me about upcoming shows (that take place after the week this column covers -– this week’s column has obviously already been written): rvamustseeshows@gmail.com

Please consider supporting my Patreon, where I’m documenting my progress on two different novels and (sometimes) writing about music of all types. patreon.com/marilyndrewnecci

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