Exciting things afoot at EggHunt Records…
Earlier this month, the Richmond label announced that it signed Grace Vonderkuhn — an exciting and explosive garage/psych artist who hails from Delaware. Full details on her upcoming album have yet to be announced, but I wanted to go ahead and start spreading the word for two reasons:
- Her 2015 self-titled EP is well worth a listen. While her intense guitar work is a big part of why I’m looking forward to the release of her upcoming album, I’ve latched onto a more low-key tune from the EP called “God Bless Your Soul,” which is embedded below.
- She’s playing at Strange Matter tomorrow! More info here. I’d imagine folks in attendance will have their souls blessed with a healthy helping of her new material, and three other bands — The Smirks, Black Naked Wings, and Don Babylon — round out the bill. Should be a hoot.
Grace Vonderkuhn — “God Bless Your Soul” [Bandcamp]
I posted a little while back about Feral Conservatives’ gorgeous track on the Friends for Equality compilation, which benefited the Southern Poverty Law Center, the ACLU and Planned Parenthood. I wanted to give the cause another quick signal boost, as a Friends for Equality benefit show is being held tonight at Strange Matter.
You’ll find a number of details on the flyer above (music starts at 8, $5-20 suggested donation), as well as the lineup, which includes those very same Feral Conservatives. This time, funds are being raised for Forward Together (“Our mission is to ensure that women, youth and families have the power and resources they need to reach their full potential.”) and SisterSong (“Sistersong’s mission is to strengthen and amplify the collective voices of indigenous women and women of color to achieve reproductive justice by eradicating reproductive oppression and securing human rights.”).
Doors are at 7, but you can start prepping now by clicking play on the 15-minute journey RAIC calls “Penance.”
RAIC — “Penance” [Bandcamp]
This was fun. As part of a River City Magazine article, I got to interview folks who work at some of Richmond’s most beloved venues about their favorite shows and live music moments. When I was done working on it, a few things became clear:
Music is full of little miracles that are easy to overlook. One of the most fundamental is the fractured nature of performing as part of a band.
When you’re at your favorite venue, hearing familiar songs come out of a few, huge speakers, it’s easy to process it all as one thing, and to forget that the parts of that whole are the result of individual human beings putting into motion an unfathomable number of neural pathways and muscle groups in just the right order, at just the right time. It’s what makes being in a band so frustrating and so rewarding. When you get up on stage to perform with other people, you’re on a tightrope together, and the gravitational pull of chaos never abates. The universe does not want to be as ordered as you’re forcing it to be when you play a song.
After spending a few days thinking about why I so enjoyed seeing Clair Morgan at Strange Matter on Friday night, I’ve decided it has something to do with the remarkable way they walked that tightrope, and the daring way the band’s frontman and namesake (“Clair Morgan is and is not a band,” as the t-shirt I bought at the show explains) courts chaos, making the walk all the more thrilling.
A few hours before Monday’s show at Strange Matter, I went for a long run down Grove Avenue with this weekend’s episode of This American Life. Titled “Secret Identity,” the show included a lengthy segment about people afflicted with a rare psychiatric condition called delusional disorder — a distant cousin of schizophrenia that causes otherwise-high-functioning people to convince themselves of fictional yet totally plausible delusions. This was either the exact right or exact wrong way to prepare for seeing Angel Olsen perform. That’s because, for entire sections of her set, which followed enjoyable opening performances by Richmond’s own Nelly Kate (who I’ll be posting about separately) and Chicago-based Pillars and Tongues, I thought Olsen was staring directly at me.
I have a friend who seems to know someone in every other band that comes to town. It’s jealousy-inspiring and heartwarming at the same time, but more than anything else, I see it as a testament to how good and generous she is as a person, and how some people are wizards when it comes to keeping in touch. (This has always been a weakness of mine, so when I see that quality in others, it really catches my eye.)
She recently told me about a band she’s friends with that’s set to play this Wednesday, June 26 at Strange Matter, and it took approximately 0.734 seconds of listening to their new album for me to develop a strong desire to probe these people about the hows and whys behind the music they make. They’re called NYMPH, and they’re a 7-piece group, hailing from Brooklyn and specializing in the crazy spaces between jazz, psych- and noise rock. Their new album, New Millennium Prayer, comes out tomorrow, giving you 24 hours to dissect and digest it before they hit the stage at Strange Matter in a colorful cloud of creative energy.
RVA Magazine was kind enough to pick up the interview — I hope you’ll check it out here and listen below to the remix they did of “Golden Heart,” one of the tracks from Neneh Cherry’s outstanding 2012 album, The Cherry Thing.
NYMPH & Neneh Cherry – “Golden Heart” Remix [Spotify/iTunes]