Two great events going on tonight in C-ville, both free and both equally engaging, albeit in different ways.
We Are Star Children (disclaimer: I was formerly in WASC and appear in their promo photos (as evidenced above!)) play tonight at Fridays After Five. This band is the equivalent of “Hey Ya!” the Outkast song–it’s impossible not to like. In a sick twist of logic, this is enough of a reason for some not to like it. But, when it comes down to it, you’ll fucking shake it like a Polaroid picture. It’ll be interesting to see the band do a two-set show, especially at the Pavilion, which is a mass of humanity at events like this. Should be great to check out though. Show starts around 5, at the Downtown Pavilion and is free.
The Bridge Reading Series (c0-curated by friend and oft-Nailgun-correspondent Julia Kudravetz) hosts a reading tonight with two Charlottesville literary powerhouses Lindsay Turner and Rebecca Taylor. From the Bridge’s website:
Lindsay Turner‘s poems and criticism have appeared or are forthcoming in Lana Turner Journal, WebConjunctions, Boston Review, Kenyon Review, FIELD, Denver Quarterly, Drunken Boat, Los Angeles Review of Books, and elsewhere. She holds an MFA in poetry from NYU and a Masters degree in film studies from the Université Paris III. A 2013 Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowship finalist, she currently lives in Charlottesville, VA, where she is a PhD candidate in English at the University of Virginia and is writing a dissertation on work and contemporary American poetry.
Rebecca Taylor grew up in White Hall, Virginia. She lives in New York, where she pursued a BA in creative writing and an MFA in fiction at Columbia University. One of her essays will be collected this fall in the McSweeney’s anthology Read Harder: Five More Years of Great Writing from the Believer. She is currently working on a novel.
Bit of local trivia: Rebecca Taylor, along with being a published writer, also appeared in John Johnson (local filmmaker, not big time Jon Johnson) horror films.
Event starts at 7pm at the Bridge PAI and is free.
Get a chance to peek Charlottesville’s (Central Va’s?) leading doom metal figure: Max Katz. She’s a buddy, and a total fucking baller. Her doom metal outfit Miami Nights plays tonight at the Main St. Annex along with Beldam (Former members of Comparative Anatomy (Beldam being an interesting spelling error they decided to go ahead with?)) and Earth Mover (‘Doom gaze from NC’ says Stan from Beldam). Facebook page is here. Show is at the Main St. Annex (next to Escafe), starts at 9pm and is $6.
August 6th, 2014 · Comments Off · By coogan
Show tonight is gonna be cray-cray yall! Amanda Laskey describes Mannequin Pussy as “One of the best Tea Bazaar artists I’ve ever hosted – they’ll tear your face off and then cradle you until you love them again.” Sounds pretty great! You might also want to read this great interview with guitarist and singer Marisa Dabice (trigger warning, there is a trigger warning in the title of the interview).
Doing their best to match MP’s enfant terrible charisma, Charlottesville’s own The Ha-Rang#! is also on the bill, playing the best garage rock in town. Rounding out the bill is Free Pizza, little is known of this band other than their high nominal value on a poster.
I know this isn’t super obviously Charlottesville-centric (although you might be surprised), the New Yorker has deactivated their paywall for three months to lure people into their redesigned NewYorker.com. Previously, most of their magazine content was in a embedded reader meant to preserve the experience of holding the paper copy. Unfortunately, this wasn’t great (except to grab great PDF versions of articles you would then send out for free to all your friends).
The transition seems a bit rocky at points (some links from Google give you a dead-end when you click-through), but I hope this works out for them. I personally really enjoy The New Yorker, and under David Remnick they’ve done some incredible foreign policy writing.
Sites like Longform and Slate have put up their favorite articles since 2007 (the end-date for the paywall breach). Here are some I think are really great and I’ve enjoyed over the years. (and the above image is my favorite New Yorker cartoon of all time)
[Read more →]
August 2nd, 2014 · Comments Off · By coogan
Metal night tonight at Tea Bazaar! Not really my scene so I’m just cutting and pasting from this facebook event (again doing this from a mobile device cause studio internet is out, apologies for budget layout):
Bask – “With roots in americana, stoner metal and post-rock, Bask is turning out their own brand of doom. Psychedelic, heavy, and scenic songs weave through sections of driving riffs, thundering percussion, loose grooves and glimmering guitar. All topped with vocals that conjure spirits of old country crooners. That’s all you need to know.” – Asheville Music Guide
Warm – CT experimental metal.
“…never gets stale and stays more crispy than your average played out stoner metal worship band.” – HeadbangnButtonmash
Dead Channels – NY hardcore punk.
“With their innovative guitar riffs, and melodic metal vocals within a hardcore frame, Dead Channels has made some memorable tracks. Dead Channels successfully blends hardcore and metal, without stepping into the boundaries of the atrocious genre known as “metalcore.” ” – Sweet Nothings Reviews
Show starts at 9pm, and is $5
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.
July 25th, 2014 · Comments Off · By coogan
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.
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.
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
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:
||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
||“Common Bond: Tales of a World Awash in Paper”
||UVA Special Collections
||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.
July 17th, 2014 · Comments Off · By coogan
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.
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.