awesome al-Hamraa show, plus other good things

July 31st, 2011 · 4 Comments · By

So, tonight’s al-Hamraa show is gonna be awesome! More on that in a second… first, I’m gonna tell y’all about another good thing that is happening earlier in the day (in the hopes that those of you who might read this before Sunday brunch — i.e., those who don’t work on weekends, and/or don’t sleep in ’til noon, a lifestyle I am unfamiliar with — might actually be willing and able to attend it!)

The early show is happening this afternoon at the Pigeon Hole (a venue the auto-correct on my phone keeps referring to as “the Pigmen Hold”), and I’m not quite sure how this last-minute show came together but the line-up is pretty promising: Adam&Steve will be continuing their reign of secret excellence as Great Dads, a band which used to be Adam doing solo synthesizer stuff, but which is now a mostly-completely-unrelated act consisting of two of the finest musicians in Charlottesville squaring off chops to produce some overwhelmingly killer retro-garage punk excellence. They’re sharing the bill with another Cville band I’m exceedingly enthusiastic about, Nurse Beach; in fact, I’m not even totally sure Nurse Beach still exists, many of them seem to have graduated and/or moved to Richmond and/or be playing in several other bands, but either way it’d be a shame to lose those folks so soon because they’re fucking great. They’ve got this super-raw keyboard-punk energy that reminds me less of contemporary punk bands w/ keyboards, and more of a lot of classic early-80’s post-punk shit like This Heat and the Fall and maybe even Throbbing Gristle. They’re playing with a band I’ve never heard of called Rugby, and a new thing called Errantry which is apparently a Scott Ritchie solo project; not sure if it’s the same thing as Myceum, or something different (Catastrophysics, even?).  Anyhow, the show starts early, like at 4pm, and there’s a $5 suggested donation.

After that, of course you are going to do this!

…  maybe none of those names particularly leap off the page to you Charlottesville novices or newcomers, but let me assure that this will be goddamned excellent.  Colin Langenus was one of the former operators of the legendary Pudhaus venue (an illegal storage-warehouse-venue on the Graves St of yesteryear, host to concerts by Lightning Bolt, Acid Mothers Temple, and dozens upon dozens more) and also one of the main dudes from USAisaMonster, a Cville group (mostly a duo) who played prog-flavored energetic hardcore with a lot of themes about human rights and American Indian history, who had an overwhelmingly intense live show. Anyhow, USAisaM moved up to NY years ago, and has subsequently broken up, but Colin has several new projects going, including:

• the CSC Funk Band, a 12-piece funk/afrobeat combo who are energetic and enthusiastic and wonderful. I think over 33.3% of their members are former Charlottesvillians, including gentle Tea wizard Matthew Clark, legendary Dude Jimmy T., and inscrutable elf Shawn Thornton. They last played in town upon the same night as Titus Andronicus show in a bookstore, and although I know absolutely nobody under the age of 25 will agree with me on this, I will insist that those of us who snuck away from that show to see this Funk band instead actually got the better end of the deal.  They try very, very hard to capture the Fela Kuti / 70’s-J.B.’s vibe, and succeed far, far better than you might expect from a 2011-era group of heavily bearded white dudes who have collectively done more LSD than everyone else you’ve ever met.

• Colin’s other band, whose members also threaten to hit the double-digits (as Subverbo pointed out, he’s sort of the George Clinton of this particular P-F arrangement) is collectively known as the Colin Langenus Orchestra. Despite having probably at least half of the same musicians, they sound fairly different; I caught their set at the USAisaMonster non-reunion show in New York last fall, and they were pretty confusing and great; the nearest I can accurately describe them (I was experiencing a wide array of reunions, and had also been standing up for at least 36 hours) was to say that they sounded like an early-80’s Marvin Gaye slow-jam backed by the less coherent half of the Sun Ra Arkestra, and to state with absolute certainty that more than half of the members of the band were playing keyboards.

• Jonny Corndawg was originally supposed to be on this bill, but then he couldn’t make it — then he WAS gonna do it, it was confirmed and I put his name on the poster and everything — but then he just now dropped off again, so we’re all sad not to see him play. This far-above-average interview with Jonny Fritz by Andrew Cedermark in this week’s C-Ville Weekly is no longer directly relevant to this evening’s show, but it’s still relevant in the larger sense of the fact that Corndawg is amazing… but in a more immediate sense, perhaps you’d prefer to read this interview with Colin L. in the Village Voice?

• also, Colin Powell and I will be DJing Soul & Funk LPs & 45s as the Grits & Gravy Soul & Funk Revue (regular G&G dude Robin couldn’t make it, so I’m filling in) before, during, and after tonight’s bands. It should be pretty fun; the first Soul/Funk set I’ve done all-vinyl before, and although my collection perhaps tends closer to Doo-Wop, 50’s R&B, 60’s black pop, and early Disco than the true path of the 60’s Soul / 70’s Funk core that they usually traffic in, I think it’ll be a good fit and a fun evening nonetheless.

Doors at Al-Hamraa (that’s the Moroccan Restaurant over in the IX Building, between Avon and 5th/Ridge, a few blocks south of the Mall) open at 8pm, and the cover is a comparatively reasonable $7.

…. or if you’re a die-hard punker who couldn’t give two fucks about some weird old hippies playing funk music, perhaps you’d prefer to check out the show at Magnolia tonight? the Magnolia folks inform me that the line-up is Rational Animals, Slugz, Big Chill, and Mom’s, none of whom I know anything about but they’ve all got OK band names and are probably fun. Also I ran into erstwhile NG contributor Michael on the sidewalk last night, and she insisted that she’d heard the 40 Boys were also playing that show as well? I have no idea if that’s true, but if it’s the case I’ll be sad to miss yet another set by the fun rockabilly-punk trio led by Tony Lechmenski; widely known as the guitarist of internationally famous goth band Bella Morte, he’s also a dude I’ve known since middle school, and the guy I buy my hangover juice from ‘cuz he works the early shift a the convenience store closest to my house.  Anybody know the deal? Are the 40 Boys playing that show tonight as well, or did Ms. Babus get her facts twisted? Holler in the comments if you’ve got the scoop.

Tags: news · feature · charlottesville · rants & rambles

4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 James // Jul 31, 2011 at 2:57 am

    christ, does the Village Voice take a million years to load for anyone else? it’s like if you make the mistake of foolishly clicking a VV link, you gotta take a bathroom break before your browser will do anything again.

  • 2 James // Jul 31, 2011 at 3:00 am

    … on a more positive note, Alonzo Subverbo — the most insightful, and thus most obscure of Charlottesville scholars — notes that the last time the CSC Funk Band played “I felt a joy that I do not expect to feel again until the birth of my first child. “

  • 3 coogan // Jul 31, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    rugby is a duo from lynchburg, including the gentleman who bought speakertree record store off blair amberly, i believe? i caught some of their stuff last year and enjoyed it, although i’m working at random row now and won’t be getting off until after they play most likely. blast.

    TIL girl michael’s last name is babus, not michael.

  • 4 Vijith Assar // Jul 31, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    CSC strikes me as way less scripted and micromanaged than either Fela or JB; in a way I sort of get a “metal Afrobeat” vibe as with the Budos Band, but with very different with results because it’s a lot more chaotic, and also not nearly as angry since the horn parts aren’t all in minor keys. Colin L Orchestra was actually very guitar-centric when I saw them the other night, lots of extended one-chord jams with a surprisingly Southern-sounding psychedelic twang that brought to mind everybody in the Allman Brothers Band simultaneously forgetting the changes during the middle of a song. Regardless, Al Hamraa is definitely the place to be tonight unless your house is on fire.