Friday News and Notes

Sounds of RVA

  • No CD Monday this week to update (was traveling back from NYC on Monday), but I’m psyched about next week’s. Tom Petty is involved.
  • I recommend reading this touching remembrance of John Berry by Jeremy Shatan of AnEarful and Off Your Radar.
  • Speaking of saying goodbye, I was very sad to see Sounds of RVA’s farewell message. I’ve enjoyed following along with Sarah’s posts and have learned a lot from them. Between this announcement and RVA Playlist’s, it feels like the end of an era. Sarah and Andrew have felt like partners in crime, and I’ll always appreciate the added motivation I’ve gotten from knowing there are people our there with whom I share a sense of purpose. Definitely going to deploy my prized Sounds of RVA coozie tonight in Sarah’s honor.
  • Important PSA: Don’t forget to check that the albums you find at Goodwill actually have the right records inside. I thought I’d found a nice, clean copy of Pearls Before Swine’s Balaklava. I had actually found the cover of Pearls Before Swine’s Balaklava with some crusty big band nonsense inside.
  • No Friday Cheers this week, but Dominion Riverrock has some great music — Keller Williams and G. Love and Mikrowaves and Big Mama Shakes and more — and it’s free! Click here for the full schedule.

Fall Line Fest

Fall Line Fest

It’s all happening.

The music portion of Richmond’s brand spankin’ new Fall Line Fest kicks off later this evening, and with dozens of acts spread across two nights and four venues, fun times are sure to be had and new favorite bands are waiting to be discovered.

Coming up with a plan of attack for events like this is always an adventure within itself, and a few intrepid Richmond bloggers have posted handy previews that can help you navigate the weekend’s events:

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WRIR and Commonwealth of Notions Presents: Volume 3

Commonwealth of Notions

On July 14 of last year, when I was speeding down Monument Avenue on the way to Gallery 5, the air in my Honda Fit was thick with suspense. I was eager to see The Snowy Owls, a band I’d been listening to but hadn’t seen live, and I was just as eager to get my first taste of “WRIR and The Commonwealth of Notions Presents.” Last year was the second for the Shannon Cleary-curated WRIR fundraiser, and it proved to be a dynamite day and night of music, with 10 local bands, multiple stages and perfectly staggered set times. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the Richmond music scene better at last year’s event, and it’s become clear that this year’s is going to be even more rewarding.

If Volume 2’s format provided a steady stream of sets, this year’s is more like an angry river that’s going to crest on four consecutive nights at four different venues around Richmond. And while we know the where and when for WRIR and The Commonwealth of Notions Presents: Volume 3 — things kick off on Thursday, July 18 at Strange Matter, followed by Balliceaux on July 19, Gallery 5 on July 20 and Bandito’s on July 21 — the who has been kept secret until the last few days, whereupon RVA Playlist, Sounds of RVA and One Way Richmond began revealing the bands who have signed up to participate.

Today, I’m honored to announce three more puzzle pieces — Wolf//Goat, Way, Shape, or Form, and Heavy Midgets. The dates and venues are listed below, along with some sample tunes to get the anticipation flowing.

July 18 at Strange Matter

In Watermelon Sugar

Wolf//Goat — “Lobocabra” [Bandcamp]

July 20 at Gallery 5
Way, Shape, or Form

Way Shape or Form

Way, Shape, or Form — “Tenants” [Bandcamp]

July 21 at Bandito’s
Heavy Midgets

Heavy Midgets

Heavy Midgets — “Golden Cow” [Bandcamp]

Keep an eye out for more announcements, including information about a very special mystery artist who will be returning to Richmond to perform at Balliceaux on Friday, July 19.

Hope to see you there in July!

5×5 Regrets


(Click here to browse my 5 original year-in-review posts.)

While Mrs. YHT was making a delicious Mexican corn chowder thing the other night, a song that was released in 2012 came on our under-cabinet CD player — yes, we still have (and use) an under-cabinet CD player — and a wave of regret began to wash over me. No… that metaphor isn’t strong enough. Hearing this particular song was more like regret giving me a spirited kick to the nuts. (You’ll find out which tune it was in a minute.)

In some ways I’m glad it happened, because there are a few artists and albums I’d take a mulligan to include, either because I screwed up or because of my short-sighted — albeit merciful, for sleep-getting reasons — decision to limit myself to 5 of each superlative category.

If you’ll indulge me, I promise not to ever talk about 2012 again.

OK, I can’t promise that, but indulge me anyways?

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Sounds of RVA

The internet is a funny place.

Well… I suppose it’s not actually a place. It’s a thing. A network. A series of tubes, much like the ones used to transport endorsed checks between you and the bank’s drive through teller. The fascinating thing, though, is that it feels like a place. The virtual spaces we visit so that we can interact with people who share our interests feel just as real as the 7-11s we hit up for coffee on the way to work — even more so in some cases, given that a diligently updated blog can be front-and-center in your consciousness several times a day, if you’re equally diligent about reading it.

Though I’ve never met Sarah Moore Lindsey in person, her words regularly occupy that front-and-center position, thanks to Sounds of RVA.

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RVA Hot Sauce

I’ve mentioned this before, but when I started writing You Hear That, I had no idea how much amazing music is being made right here in Richmond, VA. During the course of the past year, I’ve been completely blown away by RVA’s homegrown tunes, and I owe a huge debt of gratitude to blogs like Richmond Playlist and Sounds of RVA for pointing me in all the right directions. And as inspired as I’ve been by outstanding groups like White Laces, Black Girls, Goldrush and The Trillions, there’s so much more to discover — especially when it comes to RVA hip hop. The Cheats Movement blog, which is a tremendous source for information about local rap artists (not to mention a seemingly bottomless well of positivity and enthusiasm), has helped me take a big step in that direction by posting the video above, which is the first in the series of clips that will document an event that took place on October 21, 2011 called RVA Hot Sauce. Much like the graffiti photos that got me hooked on Marc Cheatham’s blog several months ago, this video is a wake-up call as to the staggering amount of creativity flowing through this city, and I can’t wait to see the additional installments and hear more from performers like Black Liquid. Watch him and several other talented RVA folks in action in the video above (seeing Brian McDaniel from Dirty Richmond freestyle is particularly awesome), listen below to an older Black Liquid tune called “Life,” and keep an eye out for more RVA Hot Sauce videos down the road.

Black Liquid — “Life