This Saturday was a seemingly never-ending, “Did that really just happen?” day full of great music.
NOW, I’d venture to guess that I’m not the only dude with a music blog who’s going to saddle up to a laptop this week and write a sentence that sounds something like the one you just read. That’s because The Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival took place over the weekend in Indio, California — nicknamed, if you can believe it, “The City of Festivals” — and it sounds like Saturday’s lineup was exceptionally good. But what the intrepid, music-loving outdoorsmen who attended Coachella may not know is that another unforgettable day packed full of tunes was happening 2,516 miles away, in just-as-sunny Richmond, Virginia. My Saturday also rocked, and its events were split up into three distinct parts, like some benevolent, three-headed musical monster (think Cerberus and Falcor having a fluffy puppy with 3 adorable, boop-able noses). Before I get keystroke diarrhea and try to tell you about the whole day at once, let’s start at the beginning, at a late-afternoon party in a coworker’s backyard.
Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to interview RVA’s favorite team of #snuffrock specialists, Black Girls. It was a tremendous honor meeting and chatting with these 5 incredibly talented and gracious gents, and the resulting article is available now in the spring issue of RVA Magazine. I’m excited about how it turned out, as the band has had some wonderful things happen in the last few months, and I really believe they are destined for great things. If’n you’re interested, you can read the piece online here or, if you’re an ink and paper kind of guy/gal, you can pick up a hard copy of RVA Magazine for $0 at several spots around town (my favorite place to snag the mag when it comes out is Steady Sounds on Broad Street, but hey, that’s just me). In the meantime, you can sample Black Girls’ song “Get Off” below and, if you don’t have it yet, click here to pick up their kickass recent album, Hell Dragon.
Black Girls — “Get Off” [Spotify/iTunes]
Isn’t the success that’s couched in abject failure the sweetest? Allow me to provide an illustration.
A week ago, I headed to Strange Matter for the sold out Real Estate show. Moments after I walked in the door, I caught a glimpse of a magic marker-scrawled schedule that was sitting on the desk of the ticket-taking station. The whole shindig was exactly 1 hour behind the advertised start. The Diamond Center at 9. Twerps at 10. Real Estate at 11. Normally, I don’t put too much stock in concerts starting on time, but I had to be up at an ungodly hour Friday morning and was beset by an uncharacteristic and unwelcome wave of prudence. Gross. But the Diamond Center put on such a fantastic display in the first opening slot that I completely forgot about my accursed curfew for a while, and I left Strange Matter with the unmistakable feeling that I’d gotten my money’s worth — and then some — even though I didn’t experience a single note of the headlining set.
So I was lucky enough to catch Youth Lagoon on Saturday, March 24, at Rock and Roll Hotel in Washington, D.C., along with my friend Travis (you might remember him as the pioneer of the Gaga Challenge) and our music-loving wifeys. The following Friday, our better halves proved that the “better” is short for “better judgement,” as both of our spouses decided to rest up in Richmond in preparation for the Monument 10K, while Travis and I espoused certain sleep deprivation and inflated race times by driving west to Charlottesville with my buddy Josh to catch Reptar at the Southern. Both shows were great, and there was something especially cool about seeing one up in Travis’ neck of the woods and one closer to Richmond inside of a week (OK, so Charlottesville isn’t exactly my neck of the woods, but ever since the Jefferson started stealing a sizable percentage of the good central VA shows, it’s starting to feel that way… but I digress). I thought a fun way to report back on this mini concert series would be for Travis and me to do some yearbook-style superlatives, so let’s dive right in…