I’ve been meaning to talk about Richmond-based singer-songwriters Mason Brothers for a while now and it’s taken me forever to get around to it. Luckily, they have been busy for the past year and have a lot of new stuff to share. They’ve taken their indie folk rock full of sweet mandolins and edgy guitar riffs and produced their third LP “Ivy in the Orange Grove,” which helped them make it into the iTunes Singer/Songwriter charts. They released an acoustic cover version of Zedd’s electronic song “Spectrum” and a video for “Calling Out To You,” a track off “Ivy in the Orange Grove,” both of which you can watch below.
On his debut full length album “DJ Booth” (out today), singer and songwriter Alex Vans, a keen observer of pop culture, pokes at the declining value of live music and the fickleness of popular entertainment through his guitar laden indie rock melodies and insightful lyrics. Influenced by artists like Bob Mould and The Walkmen, Vans recaptures the style of 1960s-era rock that’s prevalent throughout his album. Touring extensively with his backing band The HIde Away, Vans has played over 100 shows since 2011 and every night brings his intensse live energy to the stage for a night of fun. Alex Vans and the Hide Away perform at the Camel with The Animal Beat and Exebelle & the Rusted Cavalcade on Thursday, Jan. 10.
Richmond shook like crazy yesterday during the 5.9 magnitude earthquake and what’s the first thing I did after it was all over? Make an earthquake themed mixtape, naturally.
The mixtape features tracks from local bands Marionette, Against Grace, Jonathan Vassar and the Speckled Bird, Dave Watkins, Louisiana Territory, Gills & Wings, Ferdinand Thomas, Prabir and the Substitutes, The Animal Beat and Nick Coward and the Last Battle.
Local pop rockers The Animal Beat have a new double A-side single/EP entitled “11″ that was released last week and the band continues to show off how energetic and creative they are.
It’s hard to imagine that they would be able to top their amazing 2009 EP “Ambient Jungle Noise,” but the guys easily pull it off with fun, engaging melodies and choruses that get stuck in your head with each note. You can tell the group just wants to kick back and have a good time making music and I’m eager to see what else they have coming up.
Kal Nwaneri Band is one of those bands that came out of nowhere. I heard about this band after hearing that Louisiana Territory was going to be playing a show with them at the National. I checked these guys out and fell in love with their African tribal sounds-meets American rock and roll.
Kal Nwaneri and his group are playing this Saturday at the National with a bunch of great acts. In addtion to the indie rock goodness of Louisiana Territory, Sonus Dei, The Animal Beat and Matt Mason will also be performing.
With Halloween just around the corner, Richmond has numerous shows to scare the hell out of you.
Alt-country rockers Drive-By Truckers will be playing two nights at the National for a rocking Halloween bash on Oct. 29-30.
Drive-By Truckers – Santa Fe
Gallery 5 will present “Dia de los Muertos,” a Halloween party showcasing all the multicultural and traditional practices on Saturday, Oct. 30.
Performances by Tequila Mockingbird (made up of members of Prabir/Goldrush, Long Arms, Roslyn, and Brand New Groovement), Lobo Marino performing the Silent Music Revival and Gull, along with burlesque from Voix de Ville Follies and live improv from the Richmond Comedy Coalition.
The ladies of Taboo will be hosting a “Dead Sexy” Halloween party at the Canal Club on Saturday, Oct. 30 with the music of Microjoy, Four 50 Four and Pedals on our Pirate Ships.
And on Halloween, head over to Strange Matter for “Return of the Living Dead Bands Part II” featuring performances of songs by dead bands the Misfits, Descendants, Led Zeppelin, Bad Religion and NOFX – brought to life by members of: T-Division, Landmines, Grundle Punch, The Animal Beat, Real Talk, Point Blank, Sad Bastard Revival, Brainworms, The Trillions, Souvenir’s Young America, and Plastic Martyr.
Finally punk rockers Safety Word Orange released a brand new song entitled “Halloween” from their forthcoming acoustic EP.
Last night was an intimate, rainy, music-filled evening at the Camel with a bunch of excellent singer-songwriters.
First up was Travis Tucker, lead singer of The Animal Beat. Tucker offered stripped down performances of Animal Beat songs as well as his own material. It’s nice to see that behind their quirky and entertaining songs, there is a lot of powerful emotion behind them.
Pittsburgh native Jeremiah Clark brought his soulful acoustic rock down to the River City. As he played, he shared with the audience his obsession with Paula Deen and how his song about sex was mistaken for being about Jesus. Clark is a genuine guy with a stage presence most artists would kill for. My favorites of the night were “Come On, Autumn,” a song about being an alcoholic and “Practicing Lines.”
Jeremiah Clark – Practicing Lines
Richmonder Andy Moore finished the evening and despite technical difficulties, she still managed to pull off an incredible set. Her best songs of the evening were “The Best Deception Ever” and the beautiful and melodic “Chicago.” Moore is one of Richmond’s hidden acoustic treasures. It’s a shame she doesn’t promote herself more because everyone not seeing her play is missing out.
Pop rockers The Animal Beat will be playing a free show at The Tobacco Company on Friday, April 9.
If you haven’t seen these guys perform, do yourself a favor and get down there. They have a distinct sound that’s reminicient of contemporary rock with a little bit of pop thrown in for good measure. Well-crafted hooks and incredible catchy lyrics are a breeze for this young band. The show starts at 10 p.m. so come early and stay for a long set of awesome music.
Listen to “The Badge on Your Sleeve” from Ambient Jungle Noise (buy)