Truman Sparks reunion at Random Row (w Andrew C and Titus), AND/OR a Cville expatriot Funk ensemble at the Southern!

April 17th, 2010 · 15 Comments · By

Yet another super-busy evening in Charlottesville, & I’m only just now recovering from yesterday…

Tonight at Random Row, there’s great rock show lined up; the headliners are Titus Andronicus, the NJ act who’ve been getting a lot of press recently with their Abraham Lincoln-meets-Bruce Springsteen antics; I saw them at the Southern last fall and they were very OK. But for locals the main points of interest may be the openers; the reunion of the now-two-years-dormant Truman Sparks!

TRMN SPRKS were the band that Adam Smith and Jon Bray were in pre-Invisible Hand (but post- Folksk├╝nde/Broads), along with bassist John Hampton (formerly of Ted Stryker’s Drinking Problem, currently making awesome breakfasts at Blue Moon and filling in on bass for various country gigs around town). Their drummer was/is a guy named Ray whom I don’t really know. Truman Sparks played huge, multi-part, heavy indie-rock songs that didn’t necessarily feel like “epics” until you realized you’d been listening to the same song for 8mins without a chorus repeating; the perfect mix of Television-esque guitar dueling and grungy garage fun. I’m glad for the opportunity to hear ’em one more time.

It seems that the mysterious Spider Bags are no longer on the bill; but I’ve just been told (via one my co-bloggers on twitter) that the line-up now includes Andrew Cedermark & his backing band Buffalo Wildwing; Andrew was actually the former guitarist for Titus Andronicus before he came back to Cville, although his style is pretty fundamentally different; actually, he’s one of my favorite performers in town at the moment (I’m currently in the process of designing a few sleeves for him), and his participation in tonight’s show is especially impressive considering he’s running a marathon race at this very moment.

That whole thing starts at 9pm at Random Row, and the cover is “$8-$10” (?)

{UPDATE: Jacob just sent me this: “Surprise opening set by JONNY CORNDAWG at Random Row at 9pm sharp! But we can’t run late, so 9pm is really 9pm!! See you in a bit!” }

So with a promising show like that, what could possibly measure up as an event of conflicting interest, with equal pull and promise? Well, I’ll tell you what: tonight’s show at the Southern!

The biggest “name” on that bill is Greg Ginn, (aka “that guy from Black Flag / SST”), who’s bringing his act back to town after a show at Dust about a year ago; if you’re expecting Black Flag, think again, as these days Mr. Ginn is actually purveying something closer to country/techno jam-rock. HOWever; of that questionable, possibly nonexistant, genre: it’s some of the least objectionable material one could imagine (offstage antics notwithstanding — if you’re a young woman, prepare to be condescendingly propositioned this evening. I guess if your music is thoroughly inoffensive, you’ve gotta find an outlet for jerkitude some other way? I don’t know.)

But once again, the less “famous” act on the bill may be the major draw tonight; the CSC Funk Band features no less than three former titans of Charlottesville noise-rock; Colin Langenous, from USAisaMonster / Massive Distro; Matthew Clarke from Ostinato / the Pearls / Galactic Core; and Jimmy T of Tulsa Drone / Bio Ritmo / GWAR; as well as one of the guys from Talibam! and a handful of other folks. Their seriously credible noise-rock chops notwithstanding, I’m told that the CSC Funk Band is a pretty much straightforward Funk / Dance affair, in the proud James Brown / Fela Kuti tradition (in fact, the first I’d heard of this band was when Matthew called me a year ago to ask if I could procure them a copy of a JB’s track on short notice.) It is, by all accounts, really fucking excellent; folks with credible authority have been hyping this show to me for weeks now, so I’m particularly excited about it. Davis says: “Really uplifting and energetic music that kicks a whole lot of ass as well. They really are an amazing mix, kind of like Eddie Hazel jamming with Sun Ra and The Meters. So good.” You can hear a song of theirs here on EarDrumNYC, or read Ruscher’s review of their first show here.

NOW: as for the difficulty of trying to catch parts of both shows; I know Random Row is starting at 9pm on the nose, and I think they’re trying to get that one over&done with pretty quickly (especially since I think Adam has to play a show elsewhere in the state later tonight); Andrew and Truman Sparks are going first, so I think I’m going to catch as much of that as I can before heading to The Southern. As for that show: I know Ginn is playing first, and the Funk Band second; Andy claimed in an email yesterday that things would start around”9 or 10pm, but perhaps “a little late;” however, Matthew sent me a text just now which reads: “We hit around 11. Greg Ginn at 10. Come early and hang w us!!!!!”

Either way you can’t lose. There is great music to be heard everywhere this evening!

Tags: charlottesville · feature · news · preview

15 responses so far ↓

  • 1 James // Apr 17, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    also, today is Record Store day! I’m stuck working a double-shift at work, but y’all should make an effort to patronize your favorite / nearest record store today!

    if I were mobile I’d be trying to get to Lynchburg’s SpeakerTree, or the Richmond Plan9 .. instead I think I’ll have to mailorder something from Aquarius or MMS.

  • 2 blair // Apr 17, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    thanks for the shout james! …..crazy morning in here, wiped the place clean (although miraculously there is still a limited moon duo split 7″ !!)…

    huge bummer that spider bags is not playing in town (can someone help bring them to town!?) but pretty psyched for a good night of jams in cville. that new titus andronicus record is fantastic

  • 3 Aaron // Apr 17, 2010 at 3:10 pm

    Obscure Tea Bazaar show tonight with three bands you’ve never heard of!!

  • 4 Andy // Apr 17, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    I need to find a way to catch Truman Sparks tonight…


    And just for fun, here’s a pic of a recent John Hampton Blue Moon breakfast:

    Talk about hooking it up – and the band is even better than that breakfast!

  • 5 Jonathan // Apr 17, 2010 at 4:13 pm

    If you are in the mood for some noise to start off your evening. Berlin-based improvising turntablist Ignaz Schick will be performing at the Bridge at 8pm.

  • 6 Jacob // Apr 17, 2010 at 4:54 pm

    More on that Tea Bazaar show, which is a good one but understandably less buzzed about than tonight’s other events:

    That’s new local shoegazey synth group Manorlady (now with Dylan “Rhythm Bandit” Mulshine providing live percussion):

    NYC psychadelic guitar-wash group CAVES:

    And Rhythm Bandit leading off the night (apparently now with vocals?):

  • 7 Jacob // Apr 17, 2010 at 5:06 pm

    Ooops, duh!

    The third act is Nectar Bats (local sound and vision makers Chris & John) — not Rhythm Bandit (who was at one time on the bill, but is no longer).

    Nectar Bats:

  • 8 Jacob // Apr 17, 2010 at 5:47 pm

    Also, that’s a really nice flier!

  • 9 Mss. // Apr 17, 2010 at 8:38 pm

    I’m not a young woman. So I don’t get condescending Ginn spanks? We’ll see about that.

  • 10 Andy // Apr 17, 2010 at 10:25 pm

    Come on over when you’re done at the Titus show and tell the door guy you came from Random Row and we’ll cut you a deal.

    Don’t want money to be an obstacle to GREAT music!!!

  • 11 Jacob // Apr 18, 2010 at 5:17 am

    Andy, I like your style on that one. We’ll have to try to keep that ball rolling in the future (both ways, I mean).

  • 12 jessie // Apr 18, 2010 at 8:27 pm

    fuck. i can’t believe i missed this.

  • 13 Matt // Apr 19, 2010 at 11:21 am

    That moshing, body-surfing crew needs to come to more shows!

  • 14 Jacob // Apr 19, 2010 at 4:56 pm

    I know. I really haven’t seen kids go crazy at a show like that since… I don’t know when. And who were they? Richmonders? High-schoolers?

    Anyway, cool to see a crowd having fun like that (especially at an alcohol-free establishment!).

  • 15 James // Apr 22, 2010 at 2:19 pm

    by the way CSC Funk Band were really goddamn great, and it’s a shame more folks weren’t present; y’all gotta catch ’em next time. I brought home a 7″ which I have already listened to a dozen times and played on the radio.