a difficult choice

May 21st, 2011 · No Comments · By

There are TWO really excellent shows going on tonight, and it’s going to be a really tough choice about which one to see. Like many folks, I’m going to try to see both of them, but that may not actually work because they’re both kind of happening at the same time.

First up, Dzian! — Charlottesville’s finest international surf band — are playing their farewell show at The Bridge! Dzian is made up largely of Graduate Students at the UVA Music Department; I’ve known them for a few years because they often play much more experimental / improvisational / academic-noise music, but for the past year or two it’s been really fun to hear them play in a Surf Rock band. Of course, they’re all avid ethnomusicologists, so the basic concept of the band involves bringing together the wide diaspora of music around the world which is influenced of American surf and garage music from early-to-mid-60’s; they play “Taiwanese a-go-go, Japanese eleki, Indo-rock, Thai disco and shadow music, Malaysian pop yeh yeh, Khmer pop, Middle Eastern bellydance surf […] The band embodies Taiwanese “super-cool” by recreating Nakasi (那卡西), down-home, “fashionable” party music in pre-WWII Taiwan. Committed to spectaculars, Dzian! flaunts feather boas, LEDs, authentic costumes, and choreographed belly and go-go dance, while unabashedly delivering tunes in ten languages and counting.”

They’ve just released an EP (which hopefully we’ll find the time to review in these pages soon; Cedermark has a write-up in this week’s C-ville Weekly), and they’re about to go on tour, so tonight is the big tour kick-off / Charlottesville farewell show. And because they’re never the type to half-ass something, the party tonight is “Love Boat-themed;” they’re asking everyone to dress “cruise casual” and there will also be performances by Dzian!’s usual Nakashi Dancers, Charlottesville’s Fire in the Belly bellydancers, and Cathy Monnes. The cover is $5-$10, and it starts at 8:30 at the Bridge!

So that sounds amazing, right? What could you possibly want to do tonight, rather than take advantage of your last chance to see something like that?

Well, I’ll tell you what: tonight’s equally awesome Tea Bazaar show. Arrington de Dionyso’s Malaikat Dan Singa is returning to town, and locals Articulate Chewbacca and Miami Nights are opening!  Articulate Chewbacca (actually the second cville band with that unlikely moniker — the saga has been chronicled here) is Adam Smith and Scott Ritchie and Dylan Mulshine playing groovy, instrumental, krautrock-flavored stoner metal; if they all devoted their full attention to it, they’d probably be the best band in the world, but those guys are each in another three or four bands, so for now it will have to remain an excellent side-project. Miami Nights is Max Katz, formerly of Red Wizard / USAisaMonster, who has been playing solo stuff for a while but is just now starting to put together a backing band (they played their first show as a group at that Experimental Showcase I put together at The Bridge last month). She plays horrifyingly heavy, crushingly intense doom-metal riffs and screams like a Viking.

As for Arrington, he used to be the frontman for Old Time Relijun (with Phil Elvrum from Microphones / Mt. Eerie!), although his new material involves translating William Blake poems into Indonesian and then doing a crazy shrieking spazz-punk performance thing that is probably much closer to Mike Patton or early Naked City than any of his fellow artists on the K Records roster. He’s played in town twice before and it’s been really awesome both times.  That shows also at 8:30 at the Tea Bazaar, and the cover charge is $7.

There’s also some sort of small festival happening at the Mudhouse in Crozet this afternoon, entitled “Mud Fest 2011” — the line-up includes Bristol, the Invisible Hand (their first show since tour, I believe?), Chamomile and Whiskey, Jay Glick, Wendy Repass, and some more acts that I’ve never heard of (Crozet-based?) including the Seedz, Children of Oz, Rum Crooks, the Dreamtime Project, and Flightless Birds.

That started at Noon… I think the Invisible Hand already played at 2pm, but I don’t know what order everybody else is going in or how late into the evening it will go. I only found out about this show yesterday, and would have been able to write it up in time (just barely) except that the internet connection at work today is running slow as hell, so that didn’t happen. Still, if you’re out in Crozet, maybe go check it out? The cover charge is $5.

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