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Upcoming Shows Revisited…

posted on June 19, 2007 at 3:13 am · filed under Concert News

I haven’t updated this feature in a while, as I have not really been hearing about shows that were applicable to my wonderful libatious audience with much time to spare; every show I’ve been interested recently I’ve either heard about the day before or – frustratingly – the day after.

But I decided to be proactive, so here we go. In semi-chronological order (if a band is playing Richmond, that determines their place on the list) here’s everything I know that’s guaranteed to be drunked-up.

Starting with TOMORROW! (Jun 20) Old Crow Medicine show is playing the NorVa in Norfolk tomorrow. They’re quite good. I play a number of their songs, though my favorite song by them is neither written nor performed by them. They expanded on a Bob Dylan song called Wagon Wheel, and then the guy from Against Me! did a cover of it for charity compilation that’s completely awesome, and it’s why I like Wagon Wheel. They have a number of tunes about booze, and they do absolutely wonderful acoustic-ish stuff with an indy-rock/blue-grass influence. According to the half-dozen tracks I’ve heard by them, anyways. Everything I’ve heard’s been good.

On the 22nd of June, Richard Thompson (who does my single favoritest depressing drinking song, “God Loves a Drunk”, although apparently he’s a muslim now, so he may now believe that god condemns a drunk to everlasting torment, for all I know) is performing with his band at the 9:30 Club in DC. He’s quite famous – he does folky stuff, and he’s from the UK, so he’s probably not going to be coming back soon. Seriously, he’s got a number of songs about drunks, just from the teensy-weensy taste of tracks by him I’ve heard, out of his massive catalogue spanning decades, and he’s a living legend/icon in some circles.

The same day, Carbon Leaf is playing at Toad’s Place Richmond. Significantly cheaper, significantly closer, and significantly more Celtic (ironically), this is a good budget-bet for your Jun 22nd, and also goes to help a presumably worthy cause (proceeds go to SCAN). If you’ve never seen Carbon Leaf, and you live in Richmond, you really oughta. They’re from hereabouts, and they’re very GOOD at what they do. I liked the one or two songs I’d heard by them, and always meant to see them live, but didn’t, for three or four years. Last St. Patty’s I finally made it to a show, and they were brutally awesome in an intricate, Celtic-influenced-rock, pretty sort of way. Highly recommended. They play RVA with some consistency, so if you can make it to Richard Thompson, do that, but otherwise, they’re the best thing goin’ on.

On June 30th (According to a flier I saw in a BANK the other day, for god’s sake) Beex is playing at the Capital Ale House. This is my birthday, and I like Beex a lot, and they’re SERIOUSLY old-school Richmond. They are the foundation Richmond punk was built on, in the early 80s, along with some other cats. I mean seriously, they’re living legends locally at least. Ahhh, alliteration. Double-check the date, because I can’t find mention of it on Capital Ale’s website (Beex isn’t headlining, and the site only shows the names of the headlining bands), but assuming it’s the 30th, you not only get to see an awesome chick-fronted old-school punk band, you get to buy me drinks on my 27th birthday. And Capital Ale House does actually have the best selection of beers in Richmond, although as far as I’m concerned, they seriously need to expand the range of their wheat-beer collection.

On July 7th, Bowling for Soup is playing Toad’s Place, and they’re playing the NorVa a day later on the 8th. If pop-punk makes you vomit, they will make you vomit. But if you have a pop-punk band or two as a guilty pleasure, they’re really good at what they do, the song Last Call Casualty is awesome, they have a number of actually moving tracks (like I said, if you can find it in yourself to be moved (outside of the bowels) by pop-punk), and they’re catchy and infectious and all that other good stuff that pop bands are supposed to be.

On July 9th, Morrissey’s at the NorVa. Lots of people like Morrissey. He’s mopey as fuck, but he’s catchy too, sometimes. I don’t really know much about his solo career, but I am including him on this list because when I was sixteen, “I was happy in the haze of a drunken hour / but heaven know’s I’m miserable now” was SO AWESOME. If he’s a proud or guilty pleasure, you are glad to know he’s playing. If not, you don’t care, and I’m certainly not going to argue with you. Moving right along, then…

On July 13th, Ricky Skaggs is playing bluegrass at Toad’s Place. Beats the hell out of me if this is going to be drunk-tastic, but I refuse to believe there will not be at least token references to drinking amongst a country-legend’s blue-grass band’s set. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a Ricky Skaggs song, so I’m not going to convince you one way or the other. I’m just an enabler. He’s there, if you wanna go.

On July 14th, Rocket Queen. Yep. Rocket Queen. Blaxl Rose et al, at – believe it or not – Capital Ale House. Beex is like, almost a secret; their shows are well-attended, but under-attended. Rocket Queen, at least occasionally, draws massive crowds, and I haven’t heard of them playing in a while, so if there’s any publicity for this at all, it’s going to be ridiculously packed in the tiny-ass Capital Ale House. For the uninitiated, Rocket Queen is a slightly portly black guy who’s absolutely awesome in the role of frontman for a kick-ass Guns n’ Roses tribute band otherwise manned by hippy-stoner-looking-types. They’ve been packing clubs in Richmond as long as I’ve been here, i.e. from back in the Twisters days, even. People used to try to get them to sing that song off of Lies with the n-word in it, but the last few times I saw them, no one did. I’m not sure if that’s progress, but it’s something.

July 18th takes us out of town again, for Gogol Bordello at the 9:30. They have some songs that mention drinking, but mostly it’s just the vibe that makes it a perfect drinking show. They are absolutely funfuckingawesometastic live. Sort of like Eastern Europe’s answer to the Pogues, in that they are a combination of punk rock and traditional romany music. I feel relatively safe in declaring that there will be nothing more fun to do than this show, on that evening. Gogol Bordello does NOT disappoint, and I hate to reiterate, but it’s not just the amazing music, it’s the vibe of the whole thing. It’s very hard to dance with two full beers in your hand, but you will try. And no one will mind that you sloshed beer on them because they will be too busy dancing and having a good ole’ time.

On July 20th, Drive-By Truckers are playing the 9:30. I find it ridiculously weird they’re not playing Richmond. They sell out Alley Katz like twice a year. They’re awesome. I was singularly unimpressed with them, the first time I saw them – they were good, but being introduced to them live, I was unfamiliar with the music, and didn’t realize how amazingly tight every aspect of the band was. You’ve been primed to hear them already, since I play them every couple of weeks, so you’re ready to hear ’em. I just checked to see if they were playing Richmond at their website, and it says no, but they’re actually opening for the fucking ALLMAN BROTHERS in Virginia Beach on August 12th. I hate the Allman Brothers, but I have to respect them. DBT has come a long way, or something. Anyways, if you’ve never heard them, they’re intoxicating intoxicated southern rock like your daddy loves with the intelligence and sensibility that you wish Skynnard had had.

On July 21st, Reel Big Fish and Less Than Jake are playing Toad’s Place, after playing the NorVa the day before. Mainstream ska, and I’m not a big fan of ska, but I play both of them on my show because they have some AWESOME drinking songs. I expect these will be quite happy and fun events as well. If you like ska, and don’t mind bands that have major-label support and sell records, this is probably a good bet. For the record, Reel Big Fish did the song “Beer” which was prominently featured in the Robert Zemeckis film Baseketball starring Trey Parker and Matt Stone. If you haven’t seen Baseketball, it’s fucking hilarious.

On August 4th, Dropkick Murphys are playing the NorVa. They tend to get a really rowdy and violent crowd, so stay away from the pit if you’re not in the mood for that, but they do great Irish-influenced punk. Flogging Molly is a brilliant Pogues rip-off, but Dropkick is truly original. They’re STREET and while their Celtic roots are right up front both lyrically and musically, they are unabashedly American punks. If you’ve ever been to McCormack’s in the Bottom, you’ve heard fifty people singing along to “Barroom Hero” at the top of their lungs. It’s much better with a few hundred people, and the actual band there.

Finally, on August 26th, George Thoroughgood and the Destroyers are playing Toad’s Place. I’m not the biggest fan, but I adore the lyrical use of alcohol brand names in “I Drink Alone” and everyone has heard “One Bourbon, One Scotch, and One Beer” way too many times. These guys are classic, and another great catch for Toad’s Place’s opening season. I’m afraid it will be full of Innsbrook After Hours people, but in a way that’s a good thing, because I’d go see bands at Innsbrook if they weren’t at Innsbrook so this could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship, or something.

Okay, that’s every show I currently know of that is awesome for a drinker who likes drinking music in the local area. PLEASE let me know if you’re aware of anything else going down. There are venues I’m not familiar with, and bands I don’t know about, that totally fit the bill. I am POSITIVE I’m leaving something out, through no fault of my own. It might be your fault, if you know of something and don’t let me know about it, tho. 🙂 I should mention that I’m really disappointed in the next month or two’s lineup at Alley Katz, the Canal Club, and Black Cat. I checked all three websites and didn’t come up with anyone I recognized, mostly, and the few I did recognize weren’t relevant to the show’s scope.

Hope this helps you figure out what to do with your quality time. Drink up!

Toad’s Place RVA
9:30 Club
The NorVa

Capital Ale House

— devlocke


  1. DJCJ, June 27, 2007:

    I miss RVA. I miss radio. I miss shows. And reading that Gogol Bordello is playing the 9:30 next month almost made me cry. But, really, the Peace Corps was a GREAT idea.

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