RVA Shows You Must See This Week: October 11 – October 17
Saturday, October 14, 3 PM
Addison Street Fall Ball, feat. Serqet, Trapcry, Murcielago, Black Plastic, Elabor @ Lamplighter/Na Nin/The Wild Heart/Addison Vintage – Free!
Sometimes it’s tough for me to separate my subjectivity from general knowledge, and that’s especially true where the Richmond cultural scene is concerned. Like, I’ve known about that little block of Addison St. just south of Cary, the one with Lamplighter Coffee and a string of cute vintage stores, for so damn long I just figure everyone else knows about it by now too. If by some freak occurrence you’ve still never been down to that semi-hidden spot just south of The Fan, though, the perfect time for you to figure out what everybody else has been up on for a dozen or so years now is this Saturday. That’s when Lamplighter Coffee and the trio of vintage shops across the way — Na Nin, Addison Vintage, and The Wild Heart — are teaming up to throw a free outdoor party they’re calling the Addison Street Fall Ball. And there’s really no better place for you to be this Saturday afternoon.
The Addison Street Fall Ball has a lot of cool stuff to offer — vegan and beef Lamp Post hot dogs, vintage stores to explore, zines, and what promises to be one of the last warm weekends of 2023 — but if you ask me, the main reason to come out is the outdoor show that’ll be taking place in the grass lot across the street from Lamplighter. The show will feature five excellent local acts, spanning a variety of genres and offering some really great sounds that should please all comers. At the top of the bill will be Serqet, an excellent goth-punk combo who were semi-dormant for a while but have been back in action lately, to the delight of all who know them. Their sound is atmospheric, dark, and spooky… in other words, it’s perfect for an early-October evening with the sun setting early and a chill creeping into the air. They’re the perfect band to close this one out.
The other performers on the bill all offer something quite different, from both Serqet and one another, but all of it is sure to be enjoyable. Trapcry last released an album in 2020, but has been on a tear so far in 2023, releasing seven singles so far this year, all of which are the sort of hard-edged electro-dance sounds that are perfect for the dance floor of a darkened club with sweat condensing on the walls. The lighting is sure to be quite a bit different than normal when they perform across the way from Lamplighter, but the music will remain undeniable. Murcielago is a newcomer to the scene, creating emotional dancefloor pounders with Spanish lyrics and Latin vibes on their recent trio of EPs, Trinity: Sutra, Trinity: Bellaka, and Trinity: Cursi. Their sound is both intriguing and tough to pin down; it’ll be interesting to see what they bring in the live environment. The day will also feature a set from energetic indie-pop group Black Plastic, and will kick off with a performance by Elabor, an ambient, synth-driven solo project that appears to have some connection to Knifing Around. The sounds will be sweet, the atmosphere will be chill, and really everything about this event seems awesome. Don’t miss out on this one.
Wednesday, October 11, 7 PM
Worriers, Talking Kind, Roughshod @ Richmond Music Hall at Capital Ale House – $15 (order tickets HERE)
It’s always good to see what Lauren Denitzio is up to. The veteran New York singer-songwriter, who has been the leader and only constant member of Worriers for about a dozen years now, has been prolific so far in 2023, following up January’s Warm Blanket LP with another full-length, Trust Your Gut, just last month. While Warm Blanket was a stripped-down affair, finding Denitzio finally admitting to themselves that Worriers is a solo project more than it is a band in any real sense, for Trust Your Gut they returned to recording with their current touring band, featuring members of Cayetana, Against Me, and Conquest For Death, among others. There’s a definite contrast between the two albums, but what they both demonstrate is that Denitzio’s ability to craft emotional, rockin’ punk tunes remains just as strong as it’s ever been.
And so, when Worriers comes through town Wednesday night, we can expect to see the same band that created the excellent sound of Trust Your Gut recreating not only that album but the best of Worriers’ standout career thus far from the stage at Richmond Music Hall. It’s sure to be a moving musical experience — definitely not one to be missed. They’ll be joined by Talking Kind, the new project from former Spraynard frontman Pat Graham. On their just-released debut album, It Did Bring Me Down, the raw bedroom recordings highlight both the prodigious songwriting talent Graham continues to bring to the table and the real emotion and commitment to vulnerability that drives this new project. Not sure how that’ll translate into live performance, but it’s sure to be intriguing regardless of the exact form it takes. Richmonders Roughshod will kick this one off with a set of their bouncy, jangly indie tunes. It’s all gonna be great — be there.
Thursday, October 12, 7 PM
The Red Pears, Mexican Slum Rats, 60 Juno @ The Camel – $15 (order tickets HERE)
Way too often these days, “indie” is just code for “band that would have been all over XL102 30 years ago.” The dad-rock revolution has not completely wiped away the more creative fringes of the indie scene, however; the existence of bands like The Red Pears is proof of that. This Los Angeles trio brings a quirky sensibility to their band that ensures you won’t mistake them for Kings Of Leon anytime soon; indeed, their tendency toward raw recordings (their 2022 third LP, You Thought We Left Because The Door Was Open But We Were Waiting Outside, was their first time recording in a real studio) and long, goofy album titles (their 2015 debut was called We Bring Anything To the Table… Except Tables We Can’t Bring Tables to The Tables) let you know right away that you aren’t dealing with a group of arena-rockers-in-training.
None of that would mean much if this band weren’t capable of creating such memorable songs, though. Their minimalist sonic approach is offset by a knack for unpredictable structures that wend their way toward unexpected but delightful hits of pop brilliance. It’s the sort of thing that local fans of Citrus City Records are sure to appreciate, but will please fans of the early 80s LA postpunk scene just as much. Tourmates and fellow Angelenos Mexican Slum Rats are coming from a somewhat similar place, but also catch some of the anthemic post-hardcore sound of late 90s all-stars like At The Drive-In or Bluetip. 60 Juno, who hail from inland central California, have a sound simpatico with the sound of their tourmates, though one that lands closer to the fuzzy bedroom pop Citrus City is so fond of than either of these other two bands ever get. That said, if you like one of these bands, you’re gonna like all three, and if you dig good music, you’re gonna have a great time at The Camel this Thursday night.
Friday, October 13, 7 PM
Psychosomatic, Nequient, Vigil @ Bandito’s – $10
The golden age of American thrash metal produced a ton of incredible bands, so many that even though I was around for it the first time, buying RIP Magazine and Metal Maniacs at the grocery store every month, I’m still discovering great groups from that era three decades later. Psychosomatic is an excellent example; formed in the late 80s by bassist-vocalist Jeff Salgado, the band labored away in obscurity for decades, not releasing their debut, The Unquenchable Thirst, until 2006 (which helps explain why I didn’t hear about them back when I was in high school). Since then, on albums like 2015’s The Clicking Sound Of A Hammer Pulled Back (what an awesomely brutal title) and 2020’s The Invisible Prison, they’ve continued to refine their sound, with Salgado always keeping things moving even as lineups shift around him with every new tour. These days, Psychosomatic are harsher and heavier than ever, mixing classic thrash riffage with the speed and unrelenting aggression of classic skate punk in a manner that should make fans of bands like Power Trip and Municipal Waste very happy.
Psychosomatic will come through Richmond with their latest lineup, a trio augmenting Salgado with longtime drummer Toby Swope and thrash veteran guitarist Brett Vaughn. They’re sure to knock the socks off all comers at Bandito’s this Friday night, and if you ask me, they are an eminently apropos band for such an establishment; thrash metal and Tex-Mex cuisine are two great tastes that always taste great together. Chicago’s Nequient are also on the bill for this one, and they’ve got quite a lot to offer on their own behalf. There’s certainly some thrash riffing there, but these folks also pull from grind, metallic hardcore, and even a dash of black metal for the unrelenting blast of rage that is their 2022 album Darker Than Death Or Night. Expect a truly fierce set from this windy city quartet on Friday night. Opening up this whole thing will be Richmonders Vigil, who’ve got plenty of thrash energy of their own to dish out, as documented on their recently released demo — which, to be clear, totally rips. Just like this whole show is gonna do. Get stoked.
Saturday, October 14, 7 PM
Margaret Glaspy, Bridget Kearney @ Richmond Music Hall at Capital Ale House – $22 (order tickets HERE)
I don’t know if y’all know this, but I do a lot of work to make sure I know about every show that’s happening on any given night in this town. I try to make sure that I never miss out on someone talented and cool just because I haven’t heard of them yet. A lot of times that means I listen to a whole bunch of bands I don’t like very much, then return to the band I was planning to pick the whole time, but every once in a while, I strike gold. That’s what happened earlier today when I listened to Margaret Glaspy for the very first time. I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but what I got when I put on her brand-new third album, Echo The Diamond, was way better than I ever would have guessed. Glaspy is a singer-songwriter, but if that tag leads you to expect something soft and acoustic, think again. Glaspy is an assured electric guitarist with a loud, distorted sound that rocks fiercely and without shame. While her second album, Devotion, saw her tinkering with synth sounds and more of a pop sensibility, she returned to her roots on her new album, recording the album in three days at the head of a trio featuring bassist Chris Morrissey (Ben Kweller, Andrew Bird) and drummer Dave King (The Bad Plus). Regardless of its noisy sensibility, Echo The Diamond retains a sensitive, introspective feel that leavens the tough riffing and hits you right in the feels.
So yeah, Margaret Glaspy may play a really loud show at Richmond Music Hall this Saturday night, but you can be sure she’ll also tug at your heartstrings. As for supporting performer Bridget Kearney, who you may recognize from her gig as bassist of Lake Street Dive, she’s not as inclined to get loud, but the feels will still be there in abundance. On her latest solo album, Snakes Of Paradise, she evokes the melancholy lushness of Beck’s Sea Change while also dipping into the retro 80s vibes that groups like Haim have so excelled at over the last several years. If you’re into Muna, you’ll probably also find a lot to like about Bridget Kearney’s solo sounds. She’ll offer an intriguing contrast to Margaret Glaspy’s harder rock approach, and the whole evening will give you plenty of emotional moments. Sounds like a win-win to me.
Sunday, October 15, 7 PM
New Buck Biloxi, Lothario, VV, Trapp Hill Collision, Shawnis And The Shimmers @ Bandito’s – $15
I’m a fan of diving down musical rabbit holes; nothing makes me happier than discovering an artist or a record label that opens the door to a whole treasure trove of side projects, associated groups, and entire unexplored underground genres. As a fan of punk, garage rock, and indie noise weirdness, I was delighted when I fell down the Goner Records rabbit hole a decade or so ago. Ty Segall and Jay Reatard were just the tip of the iceberg; before long, I’d discovered everything from King Khan & The Shrines to Eddy Current Suppression Ring, and I loved it all. One of the weirder artists I turned up in that whole scene was Buck Biloxi, then the frontman of Buck Biloxi & The Fucks. This primitive garage punk group was committed to raw recordings, antisocial lyrics, and a general defiant attitude toward society. I don’t know about you, but that’s the kind of thing I love. These days, Buck Biloxi (real name: Rob Craig) is fronting a new group, and so of course he has named that group New Buck Biloxi. Their debut release, Cellular Automaton, features a vague postpunk influence that shines through in the affect-less vocal tone and their choice to cover Joy Division’s “Interzone,” but really, it’s the same raw garage noise Buck’s been bringing us the whole time. In other words, it’s awesome — something we can surely say about the set New Buck Biloxi will be bringing us at Bandito’s this Sunday night.
New Buck Biloxi might be the most exciting part of this evening of garage (post-)punk, but it’s far from the only thing we have to look forward to where this show is concerned. Australians Lothario are touring with New Buck Biloxi, and while they only have two EPs out so far, they’ve used those EPs to establish a strong identity: raw, snotty, and vaguely horny garage punk of the sort that’s sure to find a lot of fans here in Richmond. The rest of the evening features Virginia-based bands, but Winchester’s Trapp Hill Collision are new to me. Their speedy tunes are driven by a more conventional melodic sense than that of New Buck Biloxi or Lothario, but still have an old-school punk feel that’ll fit right in on this bill. Two Richmond bands, noisy postpunk trio VV and super-catchy garage-punk power-poppers Shawnis and the Shimmers, will round out a bill chock full of garage punk radness. Dig it.
Monday, October 16, 7 PM
Pile, Cor De Lux @ Richmond Music Hall at Capital Ale House – $18 (order tickets HERE)
Temperatures are getting colder, and it might make one more likely to stay in on weeknights and cuddle up in front of the TV. But I urge you to resist that temptation this Monday night, as Pile are coming to town, and this New England indie-rock trio always have something memorable to offer. What’s more, it’s different every time; after establishing themselves a decade or so ago as purveyors of June Of 44-style noise rock on albums like 2012’s Dripping and 2015’s You’re Better Than This, they’ve been all over the musical map, stripping down their sound to the point of releasing an album full of solo rerecordings of earlier songs, Songs Known Together Alone, in 2021. Their latest album, All Fiction, came out earlier this year and featured songs that felt deconstructed, atmospheric, as if the sort of noisy rock tunes they used to write had been ripped apart, the pieces strewn around a studio, and the result released as is. If that sounds like I’m describing a mess, the wonder is that I’m not — it’s an extremely listenable project, just as enjoyable as the decidedly different-sounding albums Pile were releasing a decade ago.
Here’s the million-dollar question: what will all of this sound like live, when the band gets together all at once to bash these songs out, just like old times? There’s only one way to find out, and it involves leaving your house this Monday night to join Pile at Richmond Music Hall. They’ve always been a reliably enjoyable live act, and there’s no reason to think that will change this time around; what’s really going to be intriguing is what they choose to do next. Be there and find out. And show up on time, too, as you really do not want to miss the opening set from North Carolinians Cor De Lux. Their postpunk-ish atmospheres mix well with the dramatic riffs and epic song structures they put to excellent use on their latest release, Media. Their songs will benefit from being heard at top volume in a big room with a great sound system, and we all know Richmond Music Hall offers all those things. Take advantage of this opportunity.
Tuesday, October 17, 7 PM
MSSV (Mike Baggetta, Stephen Hodges, Mike Watt), Destructo Disk @ The Camel – $15 (order tickets HERE)
If you’ve been reading this column long enough, I’m sure you already knew I was gonna send you to this show. I have a track record of recommending anything Mike Watt is involved in, and it’s not a record I intend to break now. Those of you who know Watt know why; he’s a legendary bassist who got his start in the iconoclastic first-wave hardcore band The Minutemen, who defied their peers by retreating from distortion and anger in favor of jazz syncopations and oblique politically-driven lyrical sentiments. That band was derailed at the peak of their career by the tragic death of guitarist D. Boon, and since then Watt’s been doing a variety of incredible things, from his work with the post-Minutemen project fIREHOSE to his time playing with legends like The Stooges and J Mascis and his more recent projects as bandleader, like The Secondmen and The Missingmen.
MSSV, which stands for Main Steam Stop Valve (classic Watt using imagery from ship engine rooms), first came together after Watt played bass on a 2019 album, Wall Of Flowers, by veteran jazz guitarist Mike Baggetta. Drummer Jim Keltner, who had also played on the album, was replaced for the subsequent tour by Stephen Hodges (most famous for his work with Tom Waits and Mavis Staples), and the three decided to name themselves MSSV and release a live version of Wall Of Flowers as their debut. They’ve followed that album with two studio efforts, 2020’s Main Steam Stop Valve and the just-released Human Reaction. For longtime followers of Watt’s work, MSSV probably land closest to the quieter, more contemplative moments of fIREHOSE’s discography; Baggetta, who does the singing, has a more conventional voice than Watt, but still lands close enough to punk for the diehards. But in the end, MSSV are more jazz than punk, and you can expect some wild improvisational trips from this performance. The most conventional punk sounds you’ll hear all night will be during Destructo Disk’s opening set. You’ll definitely want to catch it too; of course, if you’ve been reading this column long enough, you know that by now too.
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): firstname.lastname@example.org
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