Mon., Apr. 30- 9:00pm- RVA Big Band at Balliceaux -Don’t tell me you don’t go out on Monday nights. This is a 17-piece big band playing classic and original music in a room small enough that the audience and band share space. The sound is as big as the musician count but never too loud or overwhelming. Instead, it’s more like a throwback to a time none of us knew when a trumpet solo made people want to get up and dance. And I’ll tell you now, people will. Duke Ellington is irresistible.
Tues., May 1- 6:00pm – May Day Parade at Monroe Park – Do you have a job? Were you laid off? Do you believe in fair workers’ rights? Do you like to stand up for what you believe in? Have you ever carried a giant puppet? Sounds like you’re overdue to be part of Richmond’s annual May Day celebration, which kicks off with a rally at 5:00 and the parade leaving at 6:00 from Monroe Park. If you’ve never been part of a parade, here’s your chance to be part of something bigger. Signs and puppets will be supplied, so just show up in your walking shoes and help make a statement.
Wed., May 2 – 10:00pm – The Diamond Center at Strange Matter - If any one band has brought psychedelia to the capital city, it’s The Diamond Center. Jangly guitars, keyboards, tribal drumming and a lead singer who can pull you into her orbit with her voice make for a sound that is at once old and new. These transplants continue to prove why they are one of the most important bands playing in Richmond these days. Opening will be Caves caverns who also dip their toes into psychedelia and surf rock. Come prepared to groove to a smoke machine.
Thurs. May 3 – 6:00pm – Art Opening at Ghostprint Gallery-“Perros Indalo” is Juan Perdiguero’s new show featuring mixed media works that bring together concepts of photography, drawing, painting and printmaking. His innovative materials and working methods (like applying printer’s ink to photographic emulsion or collaged photographs) include drawing in a reductive manner, wiping away at the ink to compose his images. This is a guy strongly influenced by the Spanish Baroque so grounded in classical tradition. Come, have a glass of wine and see some international-caliber art without the First Friday madness.
Fri., May 4 – 9:30pm – Black Girls and New Belgians at The Camel –How many times have I recommended you get out and see Black Girls for the sheer fun of it? Okay, now we’ll move on. The New Belgians are an amazing funk/soul/jazz band comprised of some serious local talent (Scott Clark on drums, for instance) and their non-stop jams are like no one else’s in RVA. Feel like getting funky? Expect to have an overwhelming desire to bugaloo. And as long as you’re there, check out the Black Girls.
Sat. May 5- 12:00pm – RVA Beer Fest at Gallery 5 – Breweries from Heavy Seas to Flying Dog to Duck rabbit will be poured while bands play the day away, inside G5 and outside. Catch the New Belgians (see Friday’s entry for how great they are) at 3:00 and Goldrush (Beatles via Bach) at 4:00 and a whole lot more before and after. Take advantage of the food carts on site to catch a bite to eat in between tastings. Two ounce tastings are only a buck so it’ll be a cheap way to sample local and regional suds while taking in some stellar local music.
Sunday, May 6 – 6:00pm - Nu Direction Brass Band with Bryan Hooten at the Camel – Hooten, a member of Fight the Big Bull and Ombak, is a formidable trombone player and assured bandleader. Here’s your chance to check out what he’s up to at an early show with no cover charge. Translation: you just ran out of excuses not to go out on a Sunday evening. Make it even easier on yourself and take advantage of the Camel’s new kitchen and menu and eat dinner there too. We’ll just call it easy, like Sunday evening.
Karen is Just your average Jackson Ward resident who thinks Richmond offers more than enough to keep you occupied and entertained. She smiles too much, talks way too much, is too into music, and shares her opinion whether it’s asked for or not on her blog “I Could Go On and On.”