Rock n Roll Cannibals at Black Market, Erik the Red down in Scottsville

May 19th, 2012 · No Comments · By

You may know Tristan Thorndyke as “Charlottesville’s Only Rockabilly” — you know, that guy. I’ve also heard more than a few locals refer to him as “that cute boy from the sandwich shop,” as Tristan’s day job involves serving lunch to the women of Charlottesville, all of whose names he somehow manages to remember.  What you may not know is that Tristan is also one of the best songwriters in Charlottesville; he’s the frontman for a fantastic scumbag rockabilly act called The Rock N Roll Cannibals, and they are releasing their first album tonight.

The Cannibals have been around for a few years with varying line-ups (Rat from Accordian Death Squad was their original drummer, and you may remember Tristan from his days in Screaming Infidels, along with Paul Sebring). They’re currently a trio of Tristan, Morgan from the Falsies on drums, and a guy named Danny (Charlottesville’s other only rockabilly, apparently) on stand-up bass. I’ve caught them a few times over the past year or so, and they’re really fun.

Their CD is pretty great, too. I gave it a glowing review in the C-Ville Weekly this past week. (What I neglected to note in the review is that the album is produced by Nate from Astronomers.) I know horror-movie themed rockabilly bands are a dime-a-dozen, and can easily just become a corny self-conscious joke, but the Cannibals are honestly some of the best of that genre that I’ve heard. They write and play songs that are good enough to stand up against classic tunes that are not about Mummies and Frankensteins. Tristan sez: “Our biggest influences include Chuck Berry, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, the Cramps, Johnny Burnette, and Hasil Adkins.” These guys are the real deal.

Come check them out tonight, and pick up their CD while you’re at it. They’re playing at Black Market Moto Saloon; no idea what time or what price, but if you show up around 9-10ish and bring some $, that should probably work.

If you’re one of those who’d rather just get the hell out of town for Graduation Weekend — or if gentle folk tunes are more your style than rowdy drunken rockabilly songs about murder and werewolves — you may want to go see Erik the Red this evening at the Victory Theater down in Scottsville. The theater is newly renovated and is now hosting music for the first time since the 50’s, I believe (Patsy Cline played there!)

Erik the Red — real name Erik Knierim — was a notorious class clown back when I went to High School with him in the mid-90’s, but over the years he’s somehow become a gentle-spirited mountain man (the guy legitimately lived for a few years in a no-electricity, no-running-water log cabin that he built with his own hands). He writes and sings fantastic songs about chicken farming, working construction, pining after beautiful women, and going to bed early, and they’re kind of impossible not to love.

The show is from 7 to 9pm this evening. I don’t know what the cover charge is, but the Victory Theater enthusiastically notes that “50% of ticket sales go directly to the artist!”, (which actually seems like a pretty small percentage to be boasting about, but I guess they probably did just spend a ton of money refurbishing a nice theater.)

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