an exceptionally busy Friday

April 13th, 2012 · 7 Comments · By

There are an absurd number of notable events going on tonight (geez, try to spread it out next time, guys!). Here’s the rundown:

The event I’m most excited about is a band called 200 Years, better known as Ben Chasny from Six Organs of Admittance and Elisa Ambrogio from Magik Markers. You might remember the time they collaborated at the UVA Chapel back in 2008, when Elisa made a guest appearance at the Six Organs show; they’ve now started a new project together, and put out a s/t album on Drag City late last year.  They’re playing at the Tea Bazaar tonight, with Arborea and Virago. The start time is 9pm, the cover charge is $7, and if things go as planned I will probably be the guy taking your money at the door. Here’s the poster Patrick Costello and I made for the show:

… Have I mentioned that I now write the “Feedback” column for the C-VILLE Weekly? I do that now. You may recall that Andrew Cedermark held that position for a while, and the column was actually originated by John Ruscher, who also founded Nailgun.  So, FYI, I’ll be doing their weekly column and a bit of blogging on the side (if you’re interested in checking that out, my brief write-up of the 200 Years show is here; there’s a good video on there.)

There’s also a thing at the Black Market Moto Saloon tonight that sounds really fun; the Raya Brass Band from Brooklyn are playing; they do Balkan wedding music, which basically sounds like DC Go-Go but with more Tuba. Fittingly, the Grits & Gravy fellows are opening / DJing before and after. That’s at 10:00; not sure what the cover charge is, but I’m sure it’ll be reasonable.

You have almost surely heard something about the Tom Tom Founders Festival, which has somehow gone from not-existing to being a monthlong gigantic event in a matter of weeks; the kick-off event for that is tonight at 5:00pm at McGuffey, and they’re going to be announcing the full line-up for the closing weekend’s events tonight (I think it’s kind of amazing that they’re already selling $50 passes without yet having specified what bands are playing where and when).  I’m withholding my final verdict about the Tom Tom Festival in general until I see how it pans out, but I will say that my first thought when I looked at the initial announcement was: why does “the future of Charlottesville” consist entirely of white male indie-rock bands who are not from Charlottesville? They’ve filled out the calendar a bit since then, so my initial assessment may not stick — I’d love to be proven wrong on that one. Either way, the event tonight actually looks like the best one in the festival; the bands are all local, the line-up is the most aesthetically and culturally diverse, and the event is free. There are 13 bands for Friday the 13th, and they are: Invisible Hand, Borrowed Beams of Light, Infinite Jets, Dwight Howard Johnson, Rick Olivarez Trio, Downbeat Project, Eames Coleman Trio, Beleza Brazil, Chihamba, Hot Twang!, and DJ Kris Bowmaster. (You can see the breakdown of who exactly is playing where and when on Tom Tom’s website.)

Lastly, there’s a free show the Pigeon Hole, which on any other night would be the thing I would be checking out: Left & Right (who at this point pretty much qualify as seasoned veterans, especially in the world of short-lived student bands), Gold Spur (whom I am eager to see, as soon as they play a show that is not at the same time as something else I have to do), and a band called the Absent Center (whom I think are from Richmond). I don’t know what order they’re playing in, but Andy says Gold Spur are going on at 9:30.

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7 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Davis // Apr 13, 2012 at 12:04 pm

    Ben has never been less than really really good whenever I have seen him. Really sad that I will be out of town tonight. I hope some folks get over to the Tea House despite the big free show at McGuffey (though of course supporting any bands tonight is a good thing, I am just a big softy for Chasny and Elisa generally). That UVA Chapel show was one of the best shows I have ever been lucky enough to take part in, so it really does pain me to miss this. Also, it is very cool that Ben makes a point to come to Charlottesville every couple of years.

  • 2 Matt // Apr 13, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    When it rains it pours, huh?

  • 3 ghostfacekillawhale // Apr 13, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    congrats on the new gig, james! and i believe selling tickets for a festival before a full lineup is announced is kinda par for the course these days. of course, most festivals that do that are already pretty solidly branded (coachella, bonnaroo, lolla), but other festivals have gone the same route, some to success (hopscotch), and some not so much (all points west, vineland).

  • 4 Greg // Apr 13, 2012 at 12:50 pm

    There are not enugh people in cville to support a cool festvial, that’s why there hasn’t been one and why this won’t work, though it’s cute to see what people do out of boredom and small-city anxiety…..why cant we have a SXSW here? well bc less than 1/10 of the number of people who live in Austin live here. that said ill be there ! Could have a better name — tom tom ha ha

  • 5 James // Apr 13, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    Tom Tom did in fact announce the Festival Weekend (May 12-13) lineup this morning:
    http://www.tomtomfest.com/festival

    … everyone seems to be talking about whether or not it’s possible to have something akin to a Charlottesville equivalent of SXSW; but what no one is asking is: is a Charlottesville SXSW something we actually want or need?

  • 6 Davis // Apr 13, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    My knee-jerk reaction to that James is “no”, but I am trying to be more positive about things these days. Maybe with the involvement of the right folks here in town it could be done in a thoughtful, interesting way? Keep in mind that this is coming from someone who hasn’t gone to a festival-type show since I was maybe 22 or something. It is generally not how I want to experience music. Closest thing to what would interest me seems to be the “Big Ears” festival in Knoxville, which seems to mix experimental stuff with solid crowd-pleasers, or some of the ATP lineups and Terrastock-type things. Those of course would not work here either.

  • 7 Davis // Apr 13, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    Sorry, didn’t mean to make this about what kinds of festivals I might attend, cause really that is beside the point. Will certainly be interesting to see how many people attend the festival.