In an effort to show his gratitude to the organizers of Macrock, WRIR’s Shannon Cleary has put together a showcase of Richmond artists to raise funds for this year’s event in April. The line-up features Macrock alumni The Snowy Owls joined by hopeful contenders Heavy Midgets, Tungs and Hot Dolphin.
Macrock, the annual music conference in Harrisonburg, Va., has always been a great showcase of new and upcoming bands and Richmond has had its fair share of artists participate over the years. It’s a great way to catch a whole lot of awesome shows in a short time period, so if you’re in the area or want a road trip, head up there.
The benefit show takes place at the Nile on Saturday, Feb. 23.
Every year, the Richmond music scene has so many incredible albums come out, it’s such a hard time narrowing it down to a select few. Here are the best albums Richmond musicians had to offer for 2012. Enjoy.
DEAD FAME – FRONTIERS
HERRO SUGAR – SMOKING GENERAL KILLS STURGEON
ROAD KILL ROY – THE WORLD PASSES BY
SNOWY OWLS – WITHIN YR REACH
T-DIVISION – SIC SEMPER TYRANNIS
BLACK GIRLS – HELL DRAGON
WHITE LACES – MOVES
ANOUSHEH – THE TROUBLE I FIND
BRYCE MCCORMICK – LET IT GO
WOLF//GOAT – IN WATERMELON SUGAR
NELLY KATE – ISH ISH
HORSEHEAD – SYMPATHETIC VIBRATIONS
THE TRILLIONS – TRITONES
ANDREW LEAHEY AND THE HOMESTEAD
Technically, he’s not in Richmond anymore but he grew up here, plays around RVA often, most of the band is from here and it’s a really good album.
Amen Dunes is one of those bands that keeps popping up on critics’ recommended artists lists. They have certainly generated a large amount of critical praise and press within the indie-psych rock community. People can’t seem to shut up about them (a good problem for a band to have!) Their Latest album “Through Donkey Jaw” got a 7.5 rating on Pitchfork, so that’s saying something.
The guys in the Cinnamon Band have a new project out called “12×12,” a free digital release of a different cover song each month this year. The first release is a cover of “The Hammond Song” by The Roches.
They’re also going to be releasing a 7″ of two original songs (Black Love and Tough Love) in April as well as working hard on a full length.
And they just confirmed a show on Feb. 18 at Strange Matter with Snowy Owls and Airstrip.
I had heard many good things about singer-songwriter Nelly Kate, but didn’t get the chance to see her perform until late this year at the Listening Room, and without a doubt, she completely blew me away with her layered sounds and a voice that grabs your attention like no other. She’s set to release her album “ISH ISH” early next year and she’s been raising the money to do so through a Kickstarter page. We’ll be hearing a lot more from this young woman very soon.
Nelly Kate – Blue Badges
THE SNOWY OWLS
Snowy Owls have already been making waves throughout 2011 with their loud fuzzy rock sounds. Seriously, they were everywhere. They’ve released a few singles this year but not a full fledged album to speak of (maybe that’s in the works?). They also have one of the most entertaining live shows around.
DREW MARTIN AND THE LIMELIGHTS
These guys seemed to come out of nowhere, blasting pop rock everywhere they could. Their self-titled EP showed a lot of potential and this year, they’ve even had the chance to open for Switchfoot and the Airborne Toxic Event. Expect to hear more from this group in 2012.
Drew Martin and the Limelights – Calling Your Bluff
THOSE MANIC SEAS
Noise rock outfit Those Manic Seas have a strong debut album and a live show that’s full of energy and creativity (the group’s ‘lead singer’ isn’t real – go to a show and you’ll understand). They’ve only played a few shows this year, but I’m expecting a full on breakout as the new year progresses.