Music News: A bunch of shows and one long thing to read

So much excellent music, so little time. And/or money.

May is a particularly exciting month for music here in Richmond, what with record releases, fantastic shows, and festival events. I’ve taken some time to look through some of the things that are coming up throughout the rest of May, and highlight some standout events. Enjoy, and happy listening!

Calendar of events

White Laces, Magnus Lush, Camp Howard, and Gemtone

A great line-up of hometown Richmond music! White Laces plays their new record front to back in celebration of its release.

Listen to White Laces, Magnus Lush, Camp Howard, and Gemtone.

  • Thursday, May 26th • Doors at 8:00 PM
  • Strange Matter, 929 W. Grace Street
  • $12, age 18 and up

A Giant Dog, Cherry Pits, and Bummer’s Eve

Austin’s A Giant Dog stops in RVA to share their surf- and Stooges-inflected blend of punk and rock. Playful songwriting and irreverence abound, as do fuzz, reverb, and anthemic melodies (see “Sex & Drugs”). They are touring in support of their forthcoming record, Pile, and will be supported here in Richmond by Cherry Pits and Bummer’s Eve.

Listen to A Giant Dog Cherry Pits, and Bummer’s Eve

  • Thursday, May 29th • Doors at 9:00 PM
  • Strange Matter, 929 W. Grace StreetDoors
  • $8, age 18 and up

Music Longread

In this article, the Atlantic’s Spencer Kornhaber looks at two prominent recent releases: Drake’s Views and Beyoncé’s Lemonade. Kornhaber looks at the ways that each indicates artistic progress (or a lack thereof). Also, learn where the “lemons to lemonade” metaphor comes from (maybe)! Spoiler alert: it’s an obituary.


Brian Jones Trio Tiny Bar Session

Brian Jones is a professor of music at both the University of Richmond and William and Mary, and a phenomenal jazz musician to boot. Join Jones on percussion, Daniel Clarke on piano, Randall Pharr on bass for an evening of wide-ranging, ever-interesting, experimental jazz music. The intimate setting is a huge plus for this event. Be sure to check out the music–both of his most recent releases, Night Returns with Gallop, and A.M. Thrift are wonderful. You can purchase tickets in advance at Steady Sounds (322 W. Broad Street).

Listen to Brian Jones.

  • Friday, May 6th • Doors at 7:30 PM
  • Black Iris, 321 W. Broad Street
  • $10

Clair Morgan, Manatree, Spooky Cool, and Way, Shape, or Form

Intricate guitar lines, choral vocals, off-kilter rhythms: If you enjoy any of these things, or think you may, this show is certainly worth checking out. Clair Morgan headlines the evening, and celebrates the release of their new record, New Lions & the Not-Good Night (which you can listen to here). This is great opportunity to get to know Spooky Cool, who have no recorded music available to the public as of yet, but a record in the works. Be sure to check out Style’s piece on them, included below.

  • Friday, May 6th • Doors at 7:00 PM, Show at 8:00 PM
  • The Broadberry, 2729 W. Broad Street
  • $8 advance, $10 day of

Learn more about Clair Morgan, Manatree, Spooky Cool, and Way, Shape, or Form.

Oddisee, Good Compny, and Radio B

The Trigger System and the Cheats Movement present one of the most exciting shows to come through this month, in my humble opinion. You are not going to want to miss this show if you are even remotely interested in hip-hop. Oddisee is a phenomenal producer and emcee–thoughtful, original, and hard-working. He will be releasing a new record, a collection of expertly arranged instrumentals entitled The Odd Tape, on May 13th. I am super excited to see him perform alongside Good Compny. Richmond’s own Radio B will open what will, I am certain, be a wonderful show.

Listen to Oddisee and Radio B.

  • Saturday, May 7th • Doors at 8:00 PM
  • Strange Matter, 929 W. Grace Street
  • $15 advance, $17 day of, age 18 and up

Tashi Dorji, Marisa Anderson & Ian McColm

An evening of great instrumental music–Dorji and Anderson both with guitars, McColm with drums and electronics. Dorji and McColm both inhabit some more experimental territory, and do some extremely interesting things–McColm primarily with noise and soundscapes, whereas Dorji pushes boundaries with rhythm and sound with his guitar. Anderson has done some phenomenal work re-interpreting some songs in the public domain, as well as channeling a great deal of folk history. I am particularly impressed with Anderson’s “Into the Light,” the title track from her forthcoming record.

Listen to Tashi Dorji, Marisa Anderson, and Ian McColm.

  • Saturday, May 7th • Doors at 9:00 PM
  • Strange Matter, 929 W. Grace Street
  • $8 advance, $10 day of, age 18 and up

Wild Nothing and Charlie Hilton

Wild Nothing’s most recent release, Life of Pause, is a wonderful step into uncharted territory. The record drives forward with some of the elements that made their debut, Gemini, such a wonderful success; hazy, 80s-tinged pop, lush guitars, mellow synths. This record is full of surprises as well as familiar territory. Shifts in rhythm, tinkering with new instruments (marimba and saxophone), densely layered vocals: there’s a lot here, and it is very good. Charlie Hilton accompanies the band, touring in support of her most recent record, Palana. She is a phenomenal songwriter and grapples with some large questions about identity through inventive, synth-laden melodies.

Listen to Wild Nothing and Charlie Hilton.

  • Thursday, May 12th • Doors at 7:00 PM, Show: 8:00 pm
  • The Broadberry, 2729 W. Broad Street
  • $15

L.A. Witch, Lady God, The Harlequins, and Bummers Eve

Dark, hazy, reverb-soaked, punk-influenced rock. This is a very strong lineup, and should be a great show! L.A. Witch is based in (you guessed it) Los Angeles, and comes our way supported by Richmond’s own Lady God.

Listen to L.A. Witch, Lady God, The Harlequins, and Bummer’s Eve.

  • Friday, May 13th • 5:30 – 9:00 PM
  • Hardywood Park Craft Brewery, 2408 Ownby Lane
  • Free!

Sugar Candy Mountain, Lake of Fire, Father Sunflower, and the Golden Rays

Washed out, tinny guitars your thing? How about fuzz, hand-percussion, and Flaming Lips-style electronic whirrings? How about a tastefully placed recorder (see Lake of Fire’s “Golden Mystery”)? This is definitely a show to put down on your calendar. I, for one, am really excited to see Richmond’s Father Sunflower–I anticipate that their unique blend of experimental music, replete with organ and flute, will be great to see in-person.

Listen to Sugar Candy Mountain, Lake of Fire, and Father Sunflower.

  • Wednesday, May 18th • 7:00 PM – 11:00 PM
  • Hardywood Park Craft Brewery, 2408 Ownby Lane
  • $6 advance, $8 day of

Michaela Anne Tiny Bar Session

Michaela Anne earned a great deal of attention for her 2014 release, Ease My Mind, receiving praise in the New York Times and the Village Voice for her solid, introspective songs. Her forthcoming record, Bright Lights and the Fame, draws on her penchant for detail and candor, and expands a great deal musically. Michaela Anne will be performing here in Richmond in one of my favorite venues–the bar at Black Iris. You can look forward to encountering a phenomenal songwriter in a cozy venue. I know I do.

Listen to Michaela Anne.

  • Thursday, May 19th • Doors at 7:30 PM
  • Black Iris, 321 W. Broad Street
  • $10, tickets for sale at [Steady Sounds](322 W. Broad Street)

A Good Day in RVA III Festival: A Good Day to RVA Harder

Good music? Check. Patches, compost, poetry, book-binding? Quadruple check. Multiple facets of Richmond’s diverse and quirky creative community band together to benefit Good Day RVA, a wonderful local film collective. The event is free, but definitely come ready to support our community here–there will be wonderful food, vendors, and crafts. And, of course, beer. I am really looking forward to this–the event as a whole is unbelievable, but the line-up of bands is very impressive. Hope to see you there!

  • Saturday, May 21st • 2:00 PM – 10:00 PM
  • Hardywood Park Craft Brewery, 2408 Ownby Lane
  • Free!

Hippo Campus, Riothorse Royale, and Manatree

Intricate math-rock, intimate layered vocals, and a ton of talent. St. Paul, Minnesota’s Hippo Campus headlines the evening, supported by L.A.’s Riothorse Royale and Richmond’s Manatree. Both Hippo Campus and Manatree keep things complex and lively, veering towards the rock/math end of the spectrum; Riothourse Royale, on the other hand, shows some serious skill crafting spacious, darker songs with a great deal of harmony.

Listen to Hippo Campus, Riot Horse Royale, and Manatree.

  • Saturday, May 21st • Doors at 9:00 PM
  • Strange Matter, 929 W. Grace Street
  • $12, age 18 and up
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Brett Stonecipher

Brett lives in Carver with his darling wife. He loves Richmond as much as he loves putting on clothes straight out of the dryer.

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