There are people through whom art flows especially freely — and in more than one direction at once. Brock Scott of Little Tybee is one of those people.
I got to interview him over the phone for this Richmond Navigator piece (the print version will appear in River City Magazine), and I was taken aback by the way the group manages to marry their music, their videos, their promotional efforts — all the ways they tap into a seemingly bottomless well of creativity. And when you listen to their music, you hear that same boundlessness. It’s amazing. And inspiring.
They’re playing tonight at the Camel (along with The Reign Of Kindo and Night Idea), and there’s one section of the interview that’s especially relevant if you’re thinking about attending:
What do you have planned for the upcoming tour?
I did a sailing trip in Greece a few months ago, and I filmed a music video. There’s this guy who was on the boat with me, and then two other people, and I filmed the whole experience. It was three weeks. In the video, there’s this captain, and he has two crew members, and he goes to sleep one day, and they disappear from the boat. When he wakes up, he realizes the boat is sailing by itself… Basically, that captain is coming with us on tour. We have a merch table that’s a [cutout] set of a boat, and the captain’s inside of it, and I’ve created a video for every single show on the tour. The captain is sailing to all these different islands, and each island is a different city on the tour, and we’re his crew… I have a street team in every single city on the tour, and I’m mailing them figurines [of the missing crew members], and then they hide them, and there’s going to be a photo scavenger hunt. If people find the figurines and bring them to the show and give them to the captain, he rewards them with a VIP package.
Watch the video below, and keep an eye out around town for those figurines (you can see examples on the band’s Instagram feed). Click here for more info on tonight’s show, and click here to read the article in full.
Little Tybee — “Lost In The Field” [Spotify/Bandcamp]
John Moreland, who released one of last year’s most outstanding albums in Big Bad Luv, will be playing a sold-out show at the Camel here in town on Sunday. It promises to be an exceptional one — I’d call it a must-see for anyone who values the craft of songwriting. Moreland’s songs are as affecting as you’ll find, and they’re awash in the sacred alchemy that turns hurt into healing via language and melody and honesty. Many writers set out to perform that same magic, but his gift is a rarefied one, up there with the greats, in my opinion.
Speaking of gifts, I was given a tremendous one in having the opportunity to interview him for a River City Magazine article, which recently went up online. We talked about connecting with audiences, about the role religion has played in his life, about touring in a hardcore band in high school… he was generous and candid and I’m truly grateful for that conversation.
Here’s a link to the article, and here’s a link to more info about Sunday’s show at the Camel. Saw Black opens. Can’t wait.
John Moreland — “It Don’t Suit Me (Like Before)” [Spotify/iTunes]
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:
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.
So as it turns out, trying to encapsulate my Fall Line Fest experience in a single post is preventing me from writing anything at all about it. That’s no fun. I want to share a bunch of pictures, I have a great video of No BS! Brass Band covering “Thriller,” there’s a cat story… it’s just too much to cram into a single serving. So I’m heeding the advice issued in The White Stripes’ “Little Acorns” and taking things one at a time.
My very first Fall Line Fest experience came via Kopecky Family Band, the Camel’s Friday night closer. I made it to the Camel just as the preceding act was tearing down — right on schedule, to everyone involved’s credit — which gave me the opportunity to watch the venue’s stage side clear, start to fill in again, and eventually become crowded with gold-wristband-wearing, excited, eager-to-sing-along supporters whose enthusiasm was rewarded handsomely.
While the highs of the show were certainly high (I’m speaking literally here — as you can see from the picture above, certain members of the band would climb things at particularly elevated moments), the quietest moments are the ones that have stuck with me most.
Between the high of No BS! Brass Band’s record release show on Friday and the low of the Toots & The Maytals incident on Saturday, I spent a fair amount of time this week talking about the Richmond music community. I still consider myself somewhat new to that community, and I definitely don’t make it out to as many shows as I’d like, but the musicians who call Richmond home have come to mean a great deal to me, as have the bloggers who work hard to shine a light on the city’s amazing pool of musical talent. This coming Wednesday, May 29, at The Camel, we’ll have an opportunity pause and say thank you and happy third blog birthday (Blirthday? Yeah? No?) to a blogger who truly understands the meaning of the word “community” — Andrew Cothern of RVA Playlist.
According to the number of dangling inchworms I’ve been unsuccessfully dodging recently, spring has sprung in my neck of the woods, and I’m hoping that warmer temperatures thaw the horrendous live music freeze-out I’ve been experiencing over the past few months. I’ve let opportunity after opportunity pass me by, but I’m ready to get back in the game, and the night before last, with about an hour to go before The Trillions showed The Camel why they remain one of the most explosive acts in town, Bandmate 4eva Doug and I took in a fantastic opening set by a Bethlehem, PA-based surf rock group called The Great White Caps.
I know we’re not all the way to true beach weather yet, and I know that decent wave-riding in Richmond is at least a few decades’ worth of global warming away, but on Wednesday night, with the first Friday Cheers looming large and the hopefulness of spring coating the city like a fresh dusting of pollen, the Caps offered a frenetic and reverb-soaked performance that was every bit as invigorating as it would have been to hop in my temporarily yellow Honda Fit, drive to Virginia Beach and jump in a 58-degree, early-May Atlantic Ocean. Just as invigorating was the clarity of The Great White Caps’ approach, which I found myself thinking about for much of their set.
As a nonrecovering merch addict, I feel that it’s my responsibility to let you know when there’s an item that’s particularly deserving of your attention/consideration/money. Now is one of those times.
There is a t-shirt you need to buy. Like, immediately. It’s pictured above (on the left), it was
made printed for Richmond-based rock band The Trillions by Triple Stamp Press, and it features lyrics from the chorus of the band’s song “What When Where.” [Update: The shirt was created and designed by Austin Auandee.]
I’ve written about this song before, and my affinity for the quoted lyrics — “Do what you can, when you can, where you are” — is such that learning this shirt existed made me feel a little like my mind had been read, or like someone had asked me what the perfect Trillions shirt would be and then got Will Smith to zap me with the Men in Black amnesia wand thing that the Internet tells me is called a “neuralyzer.” But that’s not why you should buy the shirt. You should buy it because it will make the lives of the people around you better.
Way back when this here blog was in its infancy, I offered a podcast recommendation — my only one to date — for Uhh Yeah Dude, an hour-long comedic show that I’ve found to be wildly addicting. Part of the pull has to do with the two hosts’ conversational idiosyncrasies. Emphasizing the wrong syllables of words and names is big (just ask Lady GuhGAH), as is giving out Jonathan’s actual cell phone number whenever he says something that could be construed as offensive. But my favorite quirk of all pops up when a train of thought has reached its absurd terminus, and laughter or ridiculousness renders the two hosts speechless. In those moments, either Seth or Jonathan will often squeeze out a beleaguered…
“I can’t. I just… I can’t.”
It’s their way of waving the white flag when something is just too much. This rhetorical device never fails to make me smile, because being happily overwhelmed — whether it’s by laughter, joy, relief or something else entirely — is one of the best sensations a person can have, and it just so happens to be the way my brain reacts when I watch The Trillions.