I bought a fancy new camera not too long ago, and I’ve started, with no small amount of timidity, to take photos at the shows I’ve been going to. I haven’t managed to wean myself off the camera’s automatic settings (I was signed up to take a photography class but got sick when the date rolled around), nor have I gotten over the weirdness of moving through the crowd and putting myself directly in front of a performer, but I’m enjoying the learning process and I thought I’d share a few shots I took of the Trillions at last night’s RVA Playlist birthday party at the Camel. Hope you dig ’em.
Some things are hard to measure. Like peanut butter. Have you ever tried to measure out a half cup of peanut butter? It sticks to the spoon on the way in, it sticks to your finger when you try to level the top to see if you’ve got the right amount, it sticks to your measuring cup, and just for fun, it sticks to your finger again when you try to get it out. Sure you can heat your measuring cup with warm water before getting started, but c’mon. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
Just as hard to measure — for slightly different reasons, I suppose — is the effect that Andrew Cothern has had on Richmond’s music scene.
A little while back, I posted about J Clyde — the Norfolk-based producer who’s dropping a beat a day throughout 2014. If you’ve been following along, you might have noticed an especially nasty, Breaking Bad-themed track that came out on April 26. Take a listen below:
J Clyde — “Didn’t I (Breaking Bad)” [Soundcloud/Bandcamp]
Upon listening again the other day, with a little more distance from Breaking Bad’s final episode, I was surprised by how nostalgic I was getting about the show. I was so moved I sent him the following email:
Happy Mother’s Day to all you moms out there! Special shouts to my wife, who will be a mom in just a few short months, and my mom, who reads this blog and has always inspired me to be the best version of myself that I could be.
(Side note: Sound Opinions recently interviewed Family Stone members Oscar Songs and Lydia Loveless. Really interesting stuff. Listen here.)
Sly and the Family Stone — “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)” [Spotify/iTunes]
It’s not every day you get you chat about music with someone whose album is on your reigning Top 10 list. Someone who just finished playing Letterman and Conan. Someone who has insider knowledge of how Twix are made. I mean, c’mon.
I had that opportunity in March, when I talked over the phone with J. Roddy Walston for West End’s Best magazine. I haven’t gotten my hands on a hard copy yet, but I’m going to horde at least five, because this was a real treat. Get pumped for his Saturday show at the National and his May 30 show at Friday Cheers by taking a look here.
J. Roddy Walston & the Business — “Black Light” [Spotify/iTunes]
Remember when the video above was on People.com? I do. I loved it. Even though I went to the University of Richmond, I love the Peppas. They do a killer job, whether they’re serenading NASCAR fans in the rain or ratcheting up the excitement at the Siegel Center, and the added touch of pumping Miley Cyrus’ voice in through the PA before blasting the chorus one more time is just outstanding. I get goosebumps when I watch that video — I really do.
Don’t get me wrong — I enjoy Richmond’s pep band. Just this past season, I had the chance to take my mom to her very first live basketball game, and I made sure to brag about how our pep band’s director is David Hood from No BS! Brass Band. I even pointed him out, like you would a local celebrity or athlete who is poised become a big deal out of town as well. Plus, the recent Robins Center renovations have them repositioned in the center of the student section (they used to be tucked away in a corner at court level) — an improvement that vastly increases the band’s atmospheric influence. Will that result in a “Wrecking Ball”-type video in the future? With Hood at the helm, I wouldn’t rule it out.
So why am I talking about pep bands? A couple days ago, UR’s athletics department sent me a survey asking about the experience I had at the games I attended last season, and while I was most excited to complain about the food, everything changed when I got to this question:
They didn’t ask for a blog post, but they’re gonna get one.