Toxsick - Breath of Fire EP

Toxsick has the fastest flow on his new Breath of Fire EP.  Toxsick performed, engineered,and mastered everything himself.  A trap beat and a killer baritone melody start things off in “On the Road Again”  The next track, “Haunted,” has a circus or carnival-inspired backing track while talking about smoking some sweet cheeba. The song almost veers into Insane Clown Posse territory, but not too deeply.  A mysterioso rhyme against the dissonance totally trips the listener out. Don’t bail when elevator music floods the soundscape, because Toxsick is just about to drop some old school claps and a honey-sweet R&B hook by Chauncie Jo in “The Distance.” 

Catch Toxsick this Friday, 3/28 @ Strange Matter for the DJ FUMO & Big Lo Skratch ‘N Spit Tour with Black Liq, Maniac Music, OG !lla, and many more! FB event invite.

Dave Brockie (aka Oderus Urungus): 1963 - 2014 

(photo by Joanna Moreno)

It is with a heavy heart that we begin this Monday morning.  Richmond’s “larger than life” hero, and friend, Dave Brockie, has passed away.

Brockie was a legend during his lifetime, which was way too brief, and made this city’s music scene what it is today.  He obviously influenced much beyond his adopted hometown, but we got the chance to say we had that connection with him, right? How cool is it that we are in the same place which brought Brockie so much joy and inspiration?

We had the chance to meet Brockie in his Oderus costume at the 2012 Gwar-B-Que (which usually falls around his birthday, August 30).  RVA Mag gave me the opportunity to cover the event for them.  I will never forget his presence and kindness in a scene of drunken debauchery, and it was one of those moments you saw yourself living through while actually experiencing it.  I had taken the To the Bottom and Back bus but arrived way late, and Brockie was so very cool about the timing. 

Tonight we will raise a glass and a few other things to this man, this intergalactic dynamo, this ICON….DAVID MURRAY BROCKIE, you will live on.

I wanted this chair at #anthropologie but #brokeasbitch and someone had it on hold

Tonight @ Balliceaux! (Friday, March 21)

10 pm! $5! Check it.

Megan Parochka - “Beat of our Heart”

Songstress Megan Parochka has a new video for an acoustic tune.  Some fancy and unfocused footage of cats and sidewalks somehow accompany this song perfectly.  At first we thought she was playing the ukulele (as we’ve heard her before), but the fret noise let us know she’s on the guitar. Can’t wait to hear what’s next.

Miserable Puppets - Back to the Bottle

Singer/songwriter Daniel Shepherd has released an album of sad alcoholic lost love songs under the name Miserable Puppets called Back to the Bottle.  It literally sounds like he’s crying while playing and singing, especially in the opening track, “I Am So Lonely.”  Randy Newman may have factored in to the Puppets’ influences.  But rather than drag the listener into the chasms of his depression, the music lifts us up, reminding us that it could be so much worse.  It seems like he has put to a slight tune to a stream of consciousness of complaining, to which we can all relate. 

(image from newsworks.org from putting “miserable puppets” in google image search. I don’t recommend doing that if you have any borderline fear of strange human-like things, like old dolls and clown dolls)

Blvck Fog - “Escape Before it Rains”

Blvck Fog is a producer who currently goes to VCU, and he has released a few tracks, including “Escape Before It Rains,” a soulful, trance-inducing, chilled-out electronic beat.  It’s cool because rather than sample, “say my name,” he implements an actual singer to cover the original and layers that over a carefully orchestrated chillwave tune.  Check out another tune, “Amandine,” and his cover of Drake’s “The Motion”:

TOMORROW NIGHT! Thursday, 3/20 @ Strange Matter!

Death Angel (thrash metal started in 1987)

Rebellem (RVA new metal band -feat. Tony from Heavy Metal in Baghdad, Acrassicauda)

Gritter (RVA stoner metal)

Tyr (Viking metal from Northern Europe)

TONIGHT! Wednesday, 3/19 @ UR/Booker Hall of Music!

Musicircus is a FREE event, beginning at the end of Eighth Blackbird's 7:30 set, probably around 8:30, and will honor the legacy of John Cage.  The man has fascinated me since History of Rock & Roll 101, so this is quite a treat.

"We will have over 40 musicians performing everything from jazz to garage band rock to harmonica to comedy to indie pop to whatever you can imagine, simultaneously. Performers will be scattered throughout Booker Hall for an exploration of sound. In honor of John Cage, we will also have performances of Child of Tree, a Cage piano, and a Cage lecture.”

Here is a list of some of the performers:

Dave Watkins, Scott Burton/Matthew E. White/Andy Jenkins, Daniel Clarke/Cameron Ralston/Kuhl, The Brian Jones Percussion Ensemble, Eighth Blackbird, Rattlemouth, Andrew Alli, Happy Lucky Combo, DJ Carlito, Dirty Balls, Kill Vonnegut, and so many more.  Hope to see you tonight!

Music Criticism Has Degenerated Into Lifestyle Reporting

I think RVA rises above this trend.  We aren’t People Magazine or Rolling Stone, but that’s one reason why we like ourselves. What do you think?

In a similar frame of mind, take a look at this piece from a former editor at Billboard.  This article discusses how television media treats music, but it, too, faces these shortcomings which are becoming the norm.