RVA Shows You Must See This Week: June 19 – June 25

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Wednesday, June 19, 7 PM
Juneteenth Celebration, feat. Cassidy Snider & The Wranglers, Armagideon Time, DuctTape Jesus, Alfred., Qing Richy, Logos The Poetic, Tiara & Andrew, Niiasii, Andrew Alli @ The Camel – $15 in advance, $20 day of show (order tickets HERE)
Juneteenth has only been a federal holiday for a few years now, but its history goes back more than 150 years, to June 19, 1865, when the last enslaved Black people in the former Confederate state of Texas were finally freed. As a holiday, it goes right back to 1866, when the first celebrations took place at Black churches in Texas. The Great Migration of the early and mid-20th century brought this holiday to the rest of the country, and it finally became a federal holiday in 2021, after decades of work by Black activists to make this a reality. Today, some of us out here have the day off from work, and that’s awesome. But I sure hope my fellow white people who are sitting on their couches reading this today recognize that Juneteenth is way more than an unexpected midweek day off. Instead, it is a day to recognize and appreciate the many contributions Black Americans have made to our modern political and cultural life — and to keep pushing for a more free, more equitable country in the future.

Tonight at The Camel, it’s time for local music fans to celebrate the greatness of Black musical expression here in Richmond. And regardless of your race, you should definitely head to the Camel tonight to take part in this celebration. Don’t think of it as some kind of duty, either — this is going to be a treat. All you have to see to know that is that Cassidy Snider & The Wranglers are at the top of the bill. This group has been making a formidable impression on Richmond music since they first arrived on the scene, and blew a lot of minds with their incredible 2022 debut, A Good Heartbreak. Mixing influences from old-time Appalachian music, classic folk, and mid-20th century pop with a thoroughly modern outlook and approach, Cassidy Snider & The Wranglers bring something unique to our local musical landscape, and deserve to be celebrated every day of the year.

The many other musicians on this bill are similarly magnificent. Armagideon Time brings together leading musicians of the local hardcore and metal scene with veteran Richmond rapper Black Liquid, who shows that his mic skills don’t end when you cross genre lines. DuctTape Jesus has generated a ton of buzz with his hazy, lyrical take on hip hop, demonstrating on last year’s excellent Chester Skate Land that he has skills and beats like a young MF Doom. And there are a whole bunch of other incredible artists on this jam-packed bill, from Tiara & Andrew’s folk-soul balladry to the gender-bending hardcore hip hop of Qing Richy to the down-to-earth electric blues of harmonica master Andrew Alli — and so many more! There are a million good reasons to post up at The Camel tonight and celebrate Juneteenth by enjoying some incredible local musicians. Roll up tonight and find out for yourself.

Wednesday, June 19, 8 PM
Jenny Don’t And The Spurs, Atomic Mosquitos, The Lonely Teardrops @ Cobra Cabana – $15?
It’s always a good time over at Cobra Cabana, especially when they’ve got great music happening on their patio stage. Tonight is no exception, as Portland’s Jenny Don’t and the Spurs roll into town. This band, who play that classic mix of hard-edged three-chord punk and twangy country that’s long been known as cowpunk, have been making waves out on the West Coast for years now, but are now bringing their sharp, sunscorched sound to Richmond — and we’re all better off for it. Having recently released their fourth album, Broken Hearted Blue, Jenny Don’t and the Spurs are riding a wave of critical buzz into town, and all it takes is one listen to their new record to understand exactly why that is. You’ll get an even better idea of what the shouting is about if you head over to Cobra Cabana tonight and catch them live. Wear your cowboy hat for this one.

And make sure you arrive on time, because there are not one but two excellent openers on this bill. Atomic Mosquitos come from the DC area and have been around for a very long time, playing a reverbed-out brand of instrumental surf music that should thrill all those still in mourning over the loss of guitar legend Dick Dale (RIP), while also displaying the playful attitude and irreverent energy of the legendary Man Or Astro-Man — another group we see way too little of in this day and age. If you love speedy, guitar-driven surf music, Atomic Mosquitos are sure to scratch your itch. And of course, Richmond rock n’ roll mainstays The Lonely Teardrops will kick this one off with their killer hybrid of classic surf and garage-rock sounds, which will thrill fans of both The Cramps and The Ventures. Get stoked for this one, y’all.

Thursday, June 20, 7 PM
Greylotus, Sarah Longfield, Melk, Black Matter Device @ Another Round Bar & Grill – $10
This one is interesting, in that this show demonstrates the impact the internet has had on music in the 21st century, in a manner that isn’t always apparent when you focus on going out to see musicians perform live. It brings together a technical metal group and a guitar YouTuber, who have in common both a guitar endorsement (from Strandberg Guitars) and a particularly shred-tastic playing style. Greylotus, who hail from Baltimore, dish out hyperspeed riffs in a manner that should please fans of progressive metal bands like Periphery and raging death metal bands like Nile. They recently followed up their rip-roaring 2022 full-length debut, Dawnfall, with a new single called “The Grip” that finds them moving in a less frantic direction while keeping their intricate guitar stylings at the forefront. These guys are sure to get heads banging throughout Another Round.

The same will likely be true of Sarah Longfield as well. A talented young guitarist who got her start making solo videos on YouTube back in the late 00s, Longfield released several technically impressive albums in the late 10s, all of which were full of formidable exercises in technical riffage and guitar shredding, as well as some excellent melodies that left her music feeling more indie-prog and math-rock in tone than the metal you might expect. After taking a break from performance to complete her education, she’s returned to action recently with some tunes that are less focused on guitar-shred exercises and more focused on the melodic end of her sound — indeed, her recent work is much closer to electronic music. What will the new material she’s unleashing for this tour bring? Regardless of how heavy or melodic it is, you can be sure you’ll see a master of the six-string at work — and that’s always worth coming out for. Opening up the evening will be two Richmond bands of a similar mindset: instrumental riff-shredders Melk and chaotic hardcore maniacs Black Matter Device. All you shredheads are gonna want to show up for this one.

Friday, June 21, 7 PM
Mister Earthbound, The Magpie, Hex Machine @ Cobra Cabana – $10 (order tickets HERE)
It’s been a while since we’ve heard from Mister Earthbound. Indeed, this Friday night shindig at Cobra Cabana will be their first show since 2024 got started — and considering we’re nearly halfway through the year, that’s quite a significant span of time. Not to worry, though — the boys have been hard at work on their followup to their 2022 debut, Shadow Work, and will have some new tunes coming when they take the stage at Cobra Cabana this Friday night. Indeed, word has it they’ll be releasing a cover on digital formats the day before this show, though I can’t tell you any more than that — our sources have been unable to ascertain what song they’re covering, so I guess we’ll have to wait until tomorrow like the rest of you.

If you go back and listen to Shadow Work in preparation for this Friday, though, you might find that this slab of spooky, swampy proto-metal has held up quite a bit better than you expected. I’ve been listening to some early 70s cult classics from the likes of High Tide and Atomic Rooster lately, and this LP full of sludgy guitar riffs sounds great alongside all that stuff. So if you also love crate-digger gold like that, or slightly more mainstream counterparts like Blue Cheer and Sir Lord Baltimore, get stoked to see Mister Earthbound this Friday — they definitely won’t disappoint. In a similar vein is the diabolical sludge riffage of North Carolina power trio The Magpie, who feature former members of Demon Eye, Double Negative, and Crystal Spiders getting their Sabbath/Saint Vitus spooky style on. The whole evening is kicked off by veteran Richmond noise rockers Hex Machine, who really should need no introduction to this city by now (though every column is someone’s first, so I’ll just say that these guys have some strong Amphetamine Reptile energy and leave it at that). Get ready for some slow-motion headbang action par excellence at this Cobra Cabana Friday-night throwdown. You won’t be disappointed.

Saturday, June 22, 7:30 PM
Spose, Rigometrics @ Get Tight Lounge – $18.19 (order tickets HERE)
Spose is a rapper, but he’s not much like your typical hip hop artist. For one thing, he’s a white guy from Maine. For another, he’s never really pushed for massive mainstream acceptance, instead being happy to feed his family and keep making records — a stance he ironically mocked with the title of his 2021 LP Get Rich Or Die Ryan (his real name is Ryan Peters). Earlier this year, he released his ninth album, What Could Go Wrong?, on his own Preposterously Dank Records. That album shows off his range, moving from hard-hitting beats to moody lo-fi emo moments, all of which are topped by his many ironic punchlines (most of which I enjoyed, even if a vaguely transphobic one about Elliot Page made me sigh heavily). If you dig local rapper Chandler, you will definitely be able to tell that Spose is an influence on him; indeed, he called Spose the [goat emoji] in a recent Instagram comment thread. So that should tell you what kind of cred this guy brings to the table.

All of it will be on full display at Get Tight Lounge this Saturday night, as Spose takes the stage to bring you a full set of ironic, irreverent hip hop anthems that are sure to get your booty moving. He’ll be joined on this tour by fellow Portlanders Rigometrics, who aren’t hip hop at all but instead bring a sort of moody, folky rock sound that should be a big hit with the folks enjoying that segment of the modern music scene where indie meets alt-country and Americana. And that’s another way in which this show will be a breath of fresh air — it should be over early enough that you can get home and get to sleep at a reasonable hour! Which is the kind of thing middle-aged women like me care about (I know, I know — feel free to call me washed in my Instagram comments).

Sunday, June 23, 5 PM
Hot For Pizza Four-Year Anniversary, feat. King Kaiju, Glop King, Plastic Pyramid, Boobie Holiday, DJ Valient Himself, DJ Midnight Express 420 @ Hot For Pizza – Free!
Here’s something that’s guaranteed to be a fun time. Not only is it the first official weekend of the summer (even though we all know summer really starts in mid-May around here), it’s also the fourth anniversary of Cobra Cabana-affiliated pie emporium Hot For Pizza. Therefore, the Carver-based slice emporium is doing what pretty much any of us would — they’re throwing a pizza party! Specifically a big Sunday afternoon bash featuring musicians, DJs, and the star of the show: Hot For Pizza’s fourth annual pizza-eating contest. Personally, I love pizza, but even if you’re not the competitive eater type, this event has a lot to offer you, especially if you love music, as it will feature sets from several leading lights of Virginia’s hip hop and electronic music scenes.

At the top of the bill is the 757-representing rhymer King Kaiju, who has built a reputation for strong lyrics and stoned-out production that makes his music the perfect soundtrack for leaning back and leisurely enjoying your fifth slice of pizza and a tasty beverage. His 2023 EP The Heat Check is straight fire from start to finish, and you can expect similar from his set at Hot For Pizza, so get stoked for that. Richmond rapper Glop King, who has a memorable name and a woozy vaporwave sound, is also on the bill, along with experimental electronic musician Plastic Pyramid and the screwed-sounding raps of Boobie Holiday. Plus, of course, DJ sets from the boss, Valient Himself, and a guy known as Midnight Express 420 (solid DJ name, I must say). And of course, you’ll get to watch the pizza-eating contest even if you aren’t bold enough to join in. That said, you only live once, y’all. Go for it.

Monday, June 24, 7 PM
All Under Heaven, Cosmic Strain, Day Aches @ The Camel – $10 in advance, $14 day of show (order tickets HERE)
I’m really glad I get to be around for the moment when the heavy-shoegaze sound of my youth has a renaissance. So many bands have come around in recent years who bring the vibes of legends like Hum and Failure forward into the 21st century, and it feels these days like the sound is bigger than ever. If you ask me, that’s awesome, and I’m sure All Under Heaven would agree. This New Jersey quartet just upped the ante on a series of promising early singles by dropping their debut full-length, What Lies Ahead Of Me, only two short weeks ago. They’re clearly headed for bigger things, and now is the perfect time to get onboard for this heavy yet melodic sound that’s sure to make fans of Superheaven, Nothing, and Narrow Head very happy.

So hey, beat the rush on getting into this band and come out to The Camel this Monday night to enjoy what they have to offer right now. I know the first day of a new work week can be tough, but you can be assured of some soothing sounds to come when All Under Heaven take the stage — even if they will also rock you and give you a case of the feels, all at once. Relative newcomers Cosmic Strain, who hail from Norfolk and recently released a killer split EP with Richmond-based fellow newcomers Mottled Moth, have a somewhat similar shoegaze sound, though they exchange All Under Heaven’s heavier take on the genre for a hazier approach. As for DC’s Day Aches, who kick this one off, they go in more of a heavy-grunge direction that also has a fair bit in common with All Under Heaven, as demonstrated on their 2023 full-length debut, One Last Dream Before Dying. Basically, if you like one of these bands, you’ll like them all. And you should, because this combination of grunge guitar heaviness and unforgettable melody is an all-but-perfect sound. But it won’t last forever — only a few hours. Get it while you can.

Tuesday, June 25, 7 PM
The Virgos, Funeral Dancer, Blazing Tomb, Jailbird @ Cobra Cabana – $10
It’s Tuesday night, and we’re headed back to Cobra Cabana once again — because let’s face it, summertime is prime time for the land of the snake. This show brings us two different touring bands that each have an unusual approach to their genre of choice. First up is The Virgos, who enjoy proclaiming themselves “Pennsylvania’s heaviest band” and even called their latest album Pennsylvania Death Trip, but who also have quite a bit more nuance to their sound than that would lead you to expect. Sure, there’s quite a bit of heavy guitar crunch and drum pound, but there’s also a strong melodic sense that seems equally drawn from classic rock and melodic punk, maybe even with a bit of 60s garage thrown in. These guys will inspire headbangs aplenty, but you’re also sure to end up with a few of their songs stuck in your head for the rest of the week. And if that isn’t an endorsement, I don’t know what is.

Then there’s Funeral Dancer, who come from across the PA/NY border from The Virgos, and demonstrate on their latest EP, Nightmare, that when they say it’s grim up north, they aren’t kidding around. It might seem a bit on the nose to tell you that a band called Funeral Dancer who called their record Nightmare have some horror-inspired elements to their sound, but it’s every bit as true as you might predict, and then some. Funeral Dancer mixes a spooky mood with harsh vocals, heavy guitars, and driving rhythms that make their songs sound sort of like what you’d get if The Misfits and At The Gates had made a collaborative album. Basically what I’m saying is that it rules. The heavy-thrash power of Richmond’s own Blazing Tomb and the old-school hardcore fury of local newcomers Jailbird will get this one started off. Expect things to start out hard and heavy, and stay that way all night. Perfect for a Tuesday night at Cobra Cabana in the summertime.

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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