TONIGHT Ex Hex / BIG AIR / Hospitality @ The Southern, 8pm, $12

July 27th, 2014 · No Comments · By

image

When The Fire Tapes began performing around Charlottesville in 2010, I kept trying to figure out who on earth these people were. Their promo shot made them look like Meatloaf’s back-up band for the Bat Out of Hell II tour (not necessarily a bad thing) and the frontwoman — who was she?

Charlottesville’s cultural scene is a centrifuge–spinning many people and many projects for many years–time being the ultimate guarantor of eventually meeting someone doing interesting things here. So I hoped I would eventually bump into these Fire Tapes people. Sure enough, my buddy Gene began playing some music with Betsy (that intriguing frontwoman) and I began to see her and the rest of the band around town at parties, bars, &c.

One encounter sticks out particularly in my mind. I bumped into Betsy in the Main Street Market parking lot–I was dating someone who worked at ABC and was probably getting a free slice of Princess cake (I’m worth it) and she was just getting off work from Feast, where she worked there as their accountant. “Dude, I’ve never done anything like this,” she asserted, raising one hand (to stop the judgmental notion no doubt sneaking over my face that Betsy Wright might not be a rock star) and (perhaps to further disprove that notion) shifted her stance so one low-cut Chuck Taylor shoe went forward while she also instinctively touching the wayfarers on her face, “My boss is just a nice person who also plays music and offered me the job!”

The exchange showed Betsy’s superpositioning of cool and kind. She could throw the proverbial train track switch either way: deciding to slay an entire audience with her on-stage otherness and musical mastery that encouraged transcendence; or she could just hang, be a super fun friend, conversationalist and–if necessary–a competent accountant.

Since leaving c-ville last year, Betsy has pulled off an impressive coordination of networking, timing and fortuitousness to maximize her incredible capacity for performance and musicianship. She is currently part of two groups full-time (many more projects and collaborations I’m sure are a-foot): Ian Sevenius‘s Chain and The Gang (which just finished a European tour) and Mary Timony‘s Ex Hex, both indie darlings of different persuasions. In today’s music environment, Betsy is on the road to success, every bit of which she has worked hard to gain.

Ex Hex is playing tonight at The Southern, fresh from playing Merge 25 last night. The really great BIG AIR joins then (with former Fire Tapes Rob Dobson and current Ha-Rang-er Greg Sloan). I’ve heard Rob and his wife (an actual certified accountant) are headed to LA soon, so you should seize any opportunity to see him play over the next few months. Hospitality (also on Merge Records) rounds out the bill.

I’m unfortunately probably not going to be able to see tonight’s show, but people should definitely, definitely come out and support Besty and Rob (and Greg!). Show starts at 8pm and is $12.

 

 

→ No Comments Tags: Uncategorized

TONIGHT Grits ‘N Gravy, 10pm, Rapture, free

July 25th, 2014 · No Comments · By

image

The Mariner of Merriment Rum Cove and his Brigadier General (Ret.) Brother Breakdown bust it out tonight at Rapture, as they do every last Friday of the month. Searching for an image, I found the above in google search and it’s from Nailgun! But like two years ago, so change the date and then COME DANCE. Starts at 10pm and is free.

→ No Comments Tags: Uncategorized

TONIGHT: Dais Queue, Zak Krone’s Endless Bummer, Mike Nigro, @ Tea Bazaar, 9pm, $5; Borrowed Beams + The Clientele @ the Southern, $15

July 23rd, 2014 · No Comments · By

image

Two notable shows this evening: Stalwart NG reader Davis Salisbury tips us off for his Dais Queue show tonight at Tea Bazaar with former THaus muscleman Zak Krone (also of Left and Right) and Mike Nigro. Under Endless Bummer moniker, Zak issued a split with Mike released this year. Embedded below, along with a Dais Queue sample. Show starts at 9pm and is $5.

—————————–

image

Second show is at the Southern and is hip-kid pocket aces and Merge-signed The Clientele, doing one of their few gigs since coming out of a 2011 announced hiatus. Opening for these underground headliners is Charlottesville’s own subaltern star Borrowed Beams of Light. Tonight has an interesting line-up change: Big Air’s Greg Sloan is playing drums for Beams. Show also starts at 9pm and is $15

→ No Comments Tags: Uncategorized

TODAY: UVA Rare Book School Lectures — UVA Special Collections, 5:30PM, Free

July 21st, 2014 · 1 Comment · By

image

The Rare Book School is an incredible independent institution “at home” at UVA. They put on erudite (others might say arcane) lectures open to the public, along with workshops open only to students and fellows (typically library scholars and graduate students from all over the country and world). It’s currently run by this wild Jesuit, Michael Suarez. If any of you are ex-Catholics (like myself) you know not to look any Jesuit directly in the eyes. They are kind, culturally-savvy and frighteningly well-educated. Even a brief encounter with one of these men can immediately deflate the viciousness of your Catholic cynicism. Father Suarez only proves this point. A few years ago, my brother attended a lecture and Q&A Father Suarez expertly conducted a few years ago on profanity and censorship, including meaningful discussions of pornography. WHAT.

Maybe it’s just me but I feel as though the RBS flies under the cultural radar in Charlottesville. For example, I was bummed to see I missed (and missed posting about) Janice Radway’s lecture “Riot Grrrl History, Underground Itineraries, and Girl Zine Networks: Unruly Subjects in the 1990s and Beyond” on June 9. So I’ve embedded the remaining lectures below:

21 July Ben Pauley Associate Professor of English, Eastern Connecticut State University “Remediating Book History” UVA Special Collections
22 July (Tuesday) Paul Needham & Nick Wilding Scheide Librarian, Princeton University & Associate Professor in Early Modern History, Georgia State University “Learning from Galileo” UVA Special Collections
28 July Nicholas Basbanes Author “Common Bond: Tales of a World Awash in Paper” UVA Special Collections
30 July Goran Proot Andrew W. Mellon Curator of Rare Books, Folger Shakespeare Library “Big Data and the Study of Early Modern Books” UVA Special Collections

Lectures start at 5:30 and take place in the auditorium in Special Collections. Special collections is caddy-corner to Alderman library on the UVA Campus. Walk down the spiral staircase to the auditorium. And they are free.

→ 1 Comment Tags: Uncategorized

TONIGHT Devon Sproule / Sally Rose – The Garage, 8pm; Night at the Aboriginal Art Museum w/ RVA’s My Darling Fury, 5pm, $5

July 17th, 2014 · No Comments · By

image

Tonight is the return of a former-Charlottesvillean and uber-musician, Devon Sproule. Devon was raised in Twin Oaks, out in Louisa, and lived here for many years. Devon has had a funny bifurcated existence, musically speaking. Her following in the UK is quite magnanimous–a BBC review of her 2010 Live in London starts with “Chances are none of use will ever be truly happy with our lot, especially not if contrasted with Devon Sproule’s almost idyllic existence.” Breaking out in the US has, however, been a bit more elusive. This write-up for New Yorker online might signal a change, so go see her touring for her new record tonight at the lovely setting of The Garage. Opening is local Sally Rose, a rocker of a musician, maybe playing with back-up, maybe not. Should be a great show, starts at 8pm and a tip jar is passed.

——————————————————– —————————————–

image

This poster pretty much says it all, but the Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection (current exhibits here) is one of two Australian Aboriginal art museums in the world. In an effort to get more people to the museum (it’s awkwardly located over in Pantops next to the new Martha Jefferson Hospital), the kids there have been putting on these evening events. Tonight features Richmond’s My Darling Fury, which seem a twee marriage of Active Child and Grizzly Bear. Free for members, $5 for non-members, starts at 5pm.

→ No Comments Tags: Uncategorized

TONIGHT Charlottesville’s gold standard Jamie Dyer, Cathy Monnes, Dan Sebring, Miller’s 10pm FREE

July 15th, 2014 · 8 Comments · By

Hey all, just got back from a northern tour and am back on Nailgun posting. Thanks for being patient during the hiatus.

image

Kinda quiet as far as interesting and affordable local shows coming up, but this one grabbed my attention: Jamie Dyer (of Hogwaller Ramblers), Cathy Monnes (Ms. Conception and the Aweful Truth, The Sally Rose Band) and Dan Sebring (Corsair, Drunk Tigers *see below). These are three of the nicest people in the local music scene here in c-ville and will be putting on a nice set. Check it out tonight at Miller’s, 10pm, free.

*I made a rookie error, James Ford (from Baltimore) corrects me:

You’re mixing up your Sebrings! an easy mistake, I’ve done it myself.
- Dan Sebring is the father, who’s played in the Hogs with Jamie, as well as touring with Modest Mouse (yes, really — he replaced Johnny Marr, no less). He’s the one who plays in a trio with Jamie and Cathy.
- His son, Daniel Sebring, is the one who used to play with Drunk Tigers, as well as Miami Nights and No Brainer.
- Daniel’s brother Paul is the one who sings in Corsair, and was once in Screaming Infidels.

[ I recommend all readers print out this chart and keep it handy whenever you skim through and/or write about local music listings. You get +5 extra bonus points for being able to list at least two ways to tell myself and Jacob Wolf apart ]

→ 8 Comments Tags: Uncategorized

La CHANSON DU LUNDI

July 7th, 2014 · Comments Off · By

Daniel Johnston // “Come See Me Tonight”

the-devil-and-daniel-johnston-original

 

You’ve probably seen the documentary about Daniel Johnston so it’s unnecessary to describe the man so atypical, only American society could have produced him. Torn between his desire to follow God and his artistic ambition, he finally sacrificed his reason and his mental health to become an outlier hero beloved to all amateurs of cobbled together song. As he describes in his own words (in the film), he fell in love with a girl who obviously did not love him back. Most likely, subconsciously, he knew it was a lost cause, but thought he should fall in love at least once, just for the experience, so he would be able to sing about lost or unrequited love forevermore thereafter. I spent a few hours with him years ago. We were in a Five Guys, and the only real exchange that we had was his insistence that I share his fries and diet coke because I had not ordered anything. Buttoned up in his own world, none of this keeps him from giving a great concert for what was that evening a fairly thin crowd. I know nothing about this song; except that it was used in a television series, and you cannot find it on vinyl.

 

Ed. Note: Melody Supreme, located at 115 4th St. SE off the Downtown Mall, is Charlottesville’s best record store. The owner Gwen Berthy has impeccable taste and a curatorial hunger matched by few. One of my favorite parts of the store is Gwen’s handwritten notes on records. Le DISQUE DU LUNDI is Gwen’s online version of those recommendation gems — posted on Nailgun and available for purchase at Melody Supreme.

Comments Off Tags: Uncategorized

TONIGHT New Music at The Haven, 7pm, Free

June 29th, 2014 · 4 Comments · By

image

 

Some very dear friends of mine are putting on a wonderful new music show tonight (for an understanding of the term ‘new music’ please see embedded video at bottom of post). Cleek Schrey is about to begin a composition MFA at Wesleyan, and in-between has being doing a residency at Pioneer Works in Red Hook, BK. I personally witnessed Ted Coffey describe Cleek as one of the best living American fiddlers in the world (Cleek is also probably 28). Stu Jackson studies new music percussion performance in NY–Stu lived in Charlottesville about a year and I remember trying to help him find an apartment. He was studying a piece at the time, I think it was Xenakis, and I remember him explaining how he needed a space where it would be okay for him to bang on these industrial pieces of iron at an incredible volume. Where most people would snatch up any cheap room available, I watched incredulously as he politely turned down rooms that wouldn’t allow him to bang away loudly on metal objects. I later saw him perform the piece at Random Row (a gorgeous, sophisticated percussion show), giving the utmost attention and respect to this work as he performed it in the blazing summer with no AC to an audience of maybe twenty people. This, I thought, was the Platonic ideal of a new music performer.

Below is the description of the show tonight, sent from Stu Jackson. The show starts at 7pm at the Haven and is free.

I am just writing to let you know about a concert that will take place at the Haven at First and Market in Charlottesville, VA this Sunday, June 29th at 7 pm. It will feature Jeremy Bass on guitar and lute, Cleek Schrey on ten-string hardanger fiddle, and Stuart Jackson on percussion.

Jeremy Bass will be playing some early music on lute and classical guitar, as well as a US premiere of a piece by Simone Fontanelli, and a world premiere of a piece by Daniele Venturi.

Cleek is playing Christian Wolff’s Duo for Violins (with a pre-recorded tape part), Morton Feldman’s For Aaron Copland, and a new realization of Earle Brown’s December 1952 for solo hardanger fiddle and electronics.

I’ll be presenting a new version of John Cage’s 27′ 10.554″ for a percussionist (multi-percussion and quadraphonic sound), and a marimba version of Pierre Boulez’s Messagesquisse for solo cello and six cellos. This will also be a solo piece with playback of the six supporting parts.

Like last year’s concert, we will be using chance operations to create a new “musicircus” piece for the haven, which will include numerous members of the charlottesville community such as the Klezmer Violist Olivia Johnston, analog electronic musicians Lauren Milkis and Jonathan Favero, various singers, brass musicians, fixed media submissions, piano, traditional irish music, and many other participants.

The event is free and open to the public with a suggested donation.

Hope to see you there!

 

→ 4 Comments Tags: Uncategorized

Sweet Garage Sale at the World Famous Coca-Cola Studios tomorrow (SATURDAY) 8am–?????!?!?!?!??!?

June 27th, 2014 · Comments Off · By

Suite E in the old Coca Cola Building at 134 10th St. NW is the closest Charlottesville would come to an artistic flophouse. It’s the HQ for my tailoring and clothing making operation, Adam Smith‘s studio is here, as is the practice space for the Ha-Rang!, New Boss, Big Air, Sharkopath, Y’ALL, Borrowed Beams of Light, Corsair AND MORE. Tomorrow at 8am we are opening up the big bay doors and having a big ole garage sale. There has been some wild stuff accumulating in the past few years here, like the stack of amps, exercise bike and keyboards in the photo above (Select Jerry McGuire tapes will be available for perusal but serious offers only plz). In that photo, Adam is saying “SELL SELL SELL SATURDAY SATURDAY SATURDAY I WANT TO GIVE IT ALL AWAY BUT MY WIFE WON’T LET ME SHE’S CRAZY EVERYTHING MUST GO GO GO AT A LOW LOW PRICE”

Shenanigans start at 8am and go till they finish. Claibourne from The Honey Comb (who is moving out from the front of the building) is also going to be contributing stuff. It’ll be great. Moar photos at the event page here.

Comments Off Tags: Uncategorized

TONIGHT super dope show at tea bazaar — Nat Baldwin (Dirty Projectors) – Diane Cluck – Y’ALL, $8, 9pm

June 26th, 2014 · Comments Off · By

Tonight’s show has been on my “TO DO” list for weeks. Amanda did a great job lining this one up, and despite it being a touch above regular ticket prices, you should come out to see it.

It’s always unfortunate when musicians get tagged forever with a project they are not touring on, but, you know, whatever it takes to get people out to the venue. Nat Baldwin floated around in new music circles for many years before getting in the wide net that was The Dirty Projectors. That band’s line-up is more fixed today, but a few years ago it included all kinds of free floating entities–one line-up I saw in 2004 included Ezra Koenig, Wes Miles and Rastam Batmanglij–stimulating (or perhaps stimulated by) auteur David Longstreth’s incredibly deft instrumentation, electric composition style and way savvy melodic layering. Not to mention his demanding rehearsing schedule. So to say that someone has been in Dirty Projectors is a bit of shorthand to say they are real capable indie experimental musicians. Nat Baldwin performs tonight (I believe) with solo bass and vocals. He has obviously taken great notice from Longstreth’s vocal aesthetic. He also has a great understanding of the stringed instrument family, judging by his instrumentation in the track below from his recent release In the Hollows, it feels a bit more organic than Longstreth, maybe more Van Dyke Parks than George Crumb (I know that’s a reach, but I’m gonna do it anyway nk) ?

The wonderful Diane Cluck also performs tonight. To see me go all fanboy about her, read this. Her show at the Garage was great, tonight will undoubtedly also be great. She said about Nat Baldwin:

And especially looking forward to it as Nat Baldwin (of acclaimed indie band Dirty Projectors) will play, too. Nat’s solo upright bass & vocal project is a musical caduceus of sorts that I adore.

[ed: <coogan is fanning himself with both hands rapidly>]

Artists Formerly Known as Invisible Hand now known as Y’ALL will be playing as well. They are real sick. They are, quite possibly, the sickest in town.

Listen, this is gonna be a real cool show. I don’t know what to say to have you go but pretend I said it.

9pm at Tea Bazaar, $8.

 

Comments Off Tags: Uncategorized