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10 years of RVA Magazine 2005-2015


J Fosik, Audrey Kawasaki, arnaby Barford, Beth Cavener, ian Dettmer, Brian McCarty, amille Rose Garcia, Chris Berens, win Wurm, Femke Hiemstra, ulvio Di Piazza, Gehard Demetz, mes Jean, Jean-Pierre Roy, TURN nnybird Alcantara, Jeremy THE PAGE: eddes, Josh Keyes, The First Ten Years ate MacDowell, Kazuki Takamatsu, of ehinde Wiley, Kevin Cyr, Hi-Fructose is Kuksi, Marion Peck, MAY 22 - DEC 31 arco Mazzoni, Mark Dean Veca, 2016 ark Ryden, Mars-1, Nicola Verlato, ek, Ray Caesar, Ron English, am Gibbons, Scott Hove, hepard Fairey, Tara McPherson, ffany Bozic, Tim Biskup, dd Schorr, Tracey Snelling, avis Louie, Victor Castillo, Wim Delvoye 2


Wim Delvoye, Cement Truck, 2010. Laser-cut stainless steel. 32 inches x 6 1/2 ft. x 17 inches. Courtesy of the Artist and Galerie Perrotin Š Studio Wim Delvoye

One-of-a-kind meets once-in-a-lifetime as the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art unveils Turn the Page: The First Ten Years of Hi-Fructose, an unprecedented exhibition showcasing the works of 51 of today’s foremost contemporary artists from the ten year history of Hi-Fructose magazine. To be part of this historic event, visit


This exhibition is made possible by the City of Virginia Beach. Generous funding is provided by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Major support for the exhibition is provided by Acoustical Sheetmetal, Capital Group Companies, PRA Group, the Fine Family Fund of the Hampton Roads Community Foundation, and other generous donors, as well as grants made possible by the Virginia Beach Arts and Humanities Commission, 10 years of RVA Magazine 2005-2015the Virginia Commission for the Arts, and the Business Consortium for Arts Support. 3



10 years of RVA Magazine 2005-2015




10 years of RVA Magazine 2005-2015




10 years of RVA Magazine 2005-2015



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SOCIAL instagram/rvamag WEST END NIssan Of Richmond, Su Casa, Mekong, Wanted to thank long time contributor and editor-in-chief Drew Necci for helping making RVA Magazine what it is today. She came along and added the editorial voice we needed right when we were struggling with our direction. I wish her all the luck in the world and can’t adequately express how appreciative I am for having worked with her for almost 6 years. From myself and all the staff here -- thank you. R. Anthony Harris

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10 years of RVA Magazine 2005-2015




10 years of RVA Magazine 2005-2015


DON’T SLEEP Follow us @RVAmag Top: Lil Uzi Vert Live at The National on the Parental Advisory Tour by @premium_blendz Middle: Happy Birthday @wyldforever, Texas Beach with @ poemsfordeadpeople Bottom: ‘Evolution of Noah-O’ at GWAR Slave Pit, Mikey at Bamboo Cafe Opposite Page Top:Gold by @niqko, The Streets by @rvamag, #petersun by @holapedroxx Opposite Page 2nd Row: Coach Savage by @krispykrame RVA Street Art Festival by @lobomarinomusic, Everybody’s birthday by @zirpolorva Opposite Page Bottom: YFN Lucci performing “Key to the Streets” Live at The National on the Parental Advisory Tour by @premium_blendz Don’t Sleep section -- tag us on Instagram @rvamag



1010 years years of of RVA RVA Magazine Magazine 2005-2015 2005-2015

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THE LATEST IN Richmond BREW NEWS by Cody Endres CHECK for your daily pint

The Veil BREWING Co.

Final Gravity BREWING CO.


The Veil has quickly become one of the hottest new breweries in Richmond since its opening in mid-April, and for good reason. For starters, the beer menu is an ever-shifting tapestry of delights, ranging from unfiltered double IPAs to sessionable milk stouts. Sour beers are featured frequently, as The Veil is possibly the only Richmond brewery to frequently utilize open and mixed fermentation techniques, which employ the (good) wild bacteria and yeast that simply float through the air around us every day. The brewery releases four packs of pint cans every Tuesday, the beer going into said cans varying with the draft list. Get there early on canning day -- there will be a line. Besides distinctive beers, The Veil also offers Lamplighter nitro cold brew on draft, as well as charcuterie plates. For more substantial fare, there are often food trucks in the parking lot. That lot is also a great place to relax when the garage-style doors of the taproom are open, and the weather is right. However, the sleek, pared-down interior and multiple seating options make sitting indoors enticing. Although young, The Veil shows incredible promise, and we look forward to seeing them grow.

Original Gravity in Lakeside has been providing Richmond home brewers with excellent beer, wine, and cider making supplies since 2011. In 2015, the accumulated brewing expertise of owner Tony Ammendolia was finally publicly actualized in beer form, allowing home brewers and casual beer fans alike to experience a wide swath of styles, ranging from conventional brews to more unusual infusions. A recent stop into Final Gravity, and the order of a flight of five beers revealed just how talented the brewers are. Saison de Meyer was a pleasant start, with a nice assertive yeast character and a bright lemon finish. Venus, FG’s main IPA, has a wonderful aroma filled with citrus and tropical fruit. The snappy citrus and bitter hop flavors play off of each other nicely, with just the right amount of malt character rounding out the flavor profile. Ain’t The Devil Happy, a strong Belgian-style pale ale, has an enticing appearance -- pale, opaque yellow -- that belies the somewhat intense baking spice and pepper flavors of the beer. Its lemony finish is curiously similar to that of the Saison de Meyer. The Irish Goodbye foreign extra stout is another heavy hitter, coming across with strong coffee, chocolate syrup, and vanilla flavors, contrasted by assertive hop bitterness. Lastly, the Mango Lime Blonde Ale provided a somewhat sweet, quenching closer. One of several infusions offered by Final Gravity, the Mango Lime Blonde is the result of the brewers feeding their Stepping Stone Blonde Ale into a Randall (an infusion device typically used for late-stage dryhopping) with fresh fruit. What is clear from this sampling is that the people behind Final Gravity can execute just about any style that comes to mind, which means that there’s something for everyone at this small, but impressive brewery.

Although slightly outside of Richmond, this Chesterfield brewery seems worth a visit. Open since mid-June, this brewery has thus far focused on Farmhouse ales and associated styles, highgravity styles, barrel aging, and the use of local ingredients. Their core lineup is made up of three distinct beers, a smartly-selected array sure to have wide appeal, given how each beer is geared towards a different sort of beer drinker: The Grisette is a light, yeast-forward beer that should please fans of saisons and other Belgian styles. The Tiramisu Stout caters to the malt lovers, although it is accentuated by the addition of coffee, vanilla beans, and rum-soaked oak chips. For the legions of hop heads, there’s Time Is Money, an IPA made with flaked oats. The opening of Steam Bell had likely been a long time coming, for the opening weekend saw the unveiling of several collaborations, and a variety of aged beers: beers made with Three Notch’d, Adroit Theory (Sterling, VA), and RVA home brew club MASH all debuted, alongside an oakaged wild yeast-fermented beer, a barrel-aged sour, and several other curiosities. Clearly, the minds behind this brewery are of the imaginative sort. Steam Bell offers games like cornhole and giant Jenga, Roaring Pines sodas, Confluence Coffee, a dog-friendly outdoor area, and they will regularly have food trucks on site. Plans for growlers and packaging are still forthcoming. In the meantime, my mouth will continue to water. 16


THE Summer Beer LIST 21st Amendment El Sully Typically, the idea of a Mexican lager is hard to disassociate from clear glass bottles, lime wedges, and Interesting Men. Perhaps El Sully was one of those men, but El Sully is also the newest offering from 21st Amendment, also known for a little summer seasonal that features watermelon. The only adjunct to find here is flaked maize, giving this lager a uniquely Mexican twist. A hefty helping of Magnum and Northern Brewer hops give this beer a sort of skunky bite reminiscent of a certain other Mexican lager. However, the malt character in this beer is far tastier than that of the beers that may have served as inspiration to 21st Amendment’s brewers. Best of all, this beer is in cans, making six packs river, or beach, ready.

Sixpoint Jammer Recent years have seen a resurgence of the ancient Gose beer style in the American craft brewing scene, an oddball German style typified by the use of wheat, coriander, and salt. Where many American brewers have tended to lean heavily upon the sour aspect of the style, to great success, Sixpoint’s take on the Gose is more balanced. Jammer’s flavor touches upon caramel, briny salt, a slight sour tang, a floral burst of coriander, and a somewhat bitter finish. The light body and moderate carbonation help to make this deep gold-hued beverage extremely drinkable. Available in canned six packs.

Smarthmouth Sommer Fling Yeast-forward styles, such as the hefeweizen, can prove difficult for some American brewers to nail, but Smartmouth has done so with their newest canned beer, Sommer Fling. Featuring an excellent balance between the assertive flavors of German ale yeast, wheat and other malts, and herbaceous, tangy German Tettnang hops, Smartmouth has delivered on an excellent German-style ale that is both refreshing on a hot summer day and interesting to analyze in the comfort of air conditioning. Characteristic German yeast flavors of banana, bubblegum, and clove please, but don’t overwhelm the tongue. Grab a six pack to enjoy with your very own bettgenosse.

10 years of RVA Magazine 2005-2015

Legend Z Dam Ale The American golden ale is meant to be simple, and as such, it provides an excellent base for adjunct ingredients, like the orange, lime, and ginger that Legend uses for this beer. The slight heat from the ginger comes across on the first foamy, creamy sip, eventually allowing the refreshing lime flavor through. Buttery malt smooths everything out, and the beer finishes dry with some lingering hop bitterness. Pick up a six pack of this easy-drinking dedication to the James River, and keep an eye out for Legend’s next entry in their Urban Legend Series, The Cold Harbor Kölsch, which should make an equally refreshing companion to this ale.

Hardywood Little Flowers The latest beer in Hardywood’s Brewer & Artist Collaboration Series, Little Flowers is maybe the clearest synthesis of visual art and beer yet. As the name suggests, this beer is delicate. As tattoo artist Rempe’s colorful, detailed label art suggests, the beer inside is subtly complex. Brewer Justin Anderson’s creation pours a beautiful cloudy straw color, clearly redolent with yeast, the floral and baking spice notes of which come to the nose, along with slight hints sourdough bread and onion. A bright, grapefruitlike tartness is the most obvious flavor right off the bat, which mingles with pink lemonade, bubblegum, and a light malt flavor, eventually giving way to a surprisingly dry finish permeated with the somewhat bitter, spiced flavor of the yeast. Little Flowers is very refreshing, extremely easy to drink, and when it’s gone, the large format bottle makes for lovely decoration.

Champion Melee Session IPA Considering that one of Champion’s flagship beers (Missile) is an IPA, it’s no surprise that a doubled-up version (ICBM), and now this session variation have found their way to cans. While the aforementioned single and double IPAs mainly showcase more traditional hop flavors for those styles, and do it brilliantly, Melee takes a slightly different route with Citra and Amarillo hops. The hops chosen give this beer less of a bitter hop flavor, which is nice, because the more mild malt backbone of this session ale wouldn’t be able to balance out more intensely bitter hop flavors. The aroma of this beer is a tad vegetal, with some zesty citrus in the mix. Sweet meyer lemon peel, ginger, and a light caramel taste come forward upon imbibing, with just enough carbonation to make the more assertive Amarillo hop flavors tongue-tingling, and enough body to prevent this beer from turning into hop water. Melee is undeniably hopforward, but in a very pleasant way. Available in canned six packs.

The Veil Cheryl from Accounting & Bob From Marketing “Sour IPA” is not a very common style, but if I’m to use these two beers as a metric, it should be more common. The mundanity of these beers’ names stand in sharp contrast to the vibrancy of each of their respective flavor profiles. Cheryl is a bit lighter on malt than Bob, and therefore slightly lower in alcohol, but excellently showcases its main hop, Citra. Unfiltered, tart, and packed with juicy citrus flavor, Cheryl from Accounting is like a Mimosa in beer form. Bob, on the other hand, leans more in the direction of zesty, lemon-lime citrus flavor, provided by Amarillo and Nelson Sauvin hops. Hopefully we will see more beers in this series in the coming months. These beers may be found on draft, and if you make it to canning day, you might be able to snag a four pack from the brewery.

Helles Lager Brothers Lil Hellion This golden-hued brew is perhaps the most accessible beer on this list, and probably the most accessible beer that Brothers has put out. The “helles” in “Helles Lager” is German for “bright,” and as such, this beer is perfectly suited to quench thirst on summer days. Somewhat similar to a pilsner, but less hop-forward, and a hair darker, this beer features German yeast (somewhat musty) and subtle red apple in its aroma. The beer’s taste offers more yeast and apple, as well as corn tortilla and minor notes of spicy, bitter noble hops. The mouthfeel is the best part though: it’s light, has a high amount of carbonation, and finishes dry. This beer is nothing that it doesn’t need to be. It’s simple, very easy to drink, and refreshing; it could convert anyone to a craft drinker. Available in bottles six packs.


photo: Ashley Edmunds Photography

Three Notch’d

Interview by Cody Endres

Charlottesville-based Three Notch’d brewery has been a Virginia favorite since opening its doors in 2013 -- so much so that they opened their second location just a year later in Harrisonburg -- and now Richmond will get a first-hand glimpse of what makes this brewery so special. Three Notch’d will open up their third location in Scott’s Addition in 2017 and while this location will serve many of its popular beers, such as the Hydraulion Red Ale and 40 Mile IPA, the focus here will shift away from Three Notch’d itself, and highlight collaborations with other beloved breweries, something that’s bound to make them favorites in the booming scene of Scott’s Addition. We caught up with Head Brewers Dave Warwick and Stefan McFayden to get more insight into their philosophy with the Richmond location as well as their take on Virginia’s beer scene in general. What inspired branching out to Richmond, and why a collab-only brewery? Dave Warwick, Head Brewer I kinda brought that to the company when we were coming up with Three Notch’d three years ago, when we were coming up with ideas, coming up with concepts. I begged the guys for a pilot system, and the initial answer was like, “I don’t know if that’s going to be in our budget.” Then I told ‘em about all of the opportunities we could have to brew and have these relationships with local bars and restaurants, other breweries, and it would be a great way to reach out to local home brew communities. The pilot system allows us to brew small batches of anything we want. It could be test batches for something much larger, it could be for charity events... it gives us a lot of freedom to brew so many different beers with so many different people. So the more that they got thinking about it, and the more they got sharing that with the local investors and all, the more that they got excited about it and the next thing you know, they fit it into the budget to give us a nice pilot system. It’s done really, really well for us. A lot of breweries don’t have the capacity to cater to every home brewer that comes along with a recipe, and to have a relationship and do a collaboration brew with so many restaurants and bars and all that. I’m really glad that the owners let me facilitate that, because it’s really worked out well. We’ve built a lot of relationships, and so many beers tell so many more stories now because it’s not just me coming up with recipes -- it’s restaurant managers and bartenders all over the state really. Tying that in... it’s worked out so well for us, and we wanted to be a part of the Richmond beer market. Richmond is the greatest beer city in the whole state and we want to be a part of the whole state. We’ve really wanted to be a part of Richmond and Scott’s Addition is something special. It’s really awesome to get the opportunity to do it. We came up with the idea to really just own the thing we’re doing with the collaborations, and just make it a collab house. We really wanted to come up with a different concept, ‘cause there’s a lot of great beer and there’s a lot of great breweries in Richmond, and it’s getting 18


harder to stick out with great beer, because there’s so much great beer there. Every brewery does a lot of collaborations, but no one has really just owned it and said, “We’re a collab house. We brew with the community.” I had never heard of that before. DW: I’ve always said that drinking beer is better with friends, and so is brewing. Brewing beer is a hobby, and Stefan and I are fortunate enough to get paid for a job that a lot of people do on their own time, their own dime, as a hobby. It’s just better doing it with friends. It’s a really cool opportunity to meet a lot of new people, make a lot of new friends. What sorts of groups or people are you excited to work with? I know you mentioned restaurant groups, restaurant managers, that kind of thing. There’s a meadery here, cideries, coffee roasters... DW: All of them. All of the above. We want to target, if you will, collaborations with anybody that shares the same passion for craft beer, and wants to be involved, and wants to brew with us and share our story. We’ve worked with all that you’ve mentioned, except a cidery. We’ve already actually done a collaboration with Bill Cavender from Black Heath Meadery. We did a braggot last year and we’re going to be doing that again this summer. A braggot is essentially half mead, half beer. You mentioned coffee roasters. Shenandoah Joe is right across the street from here and he supplies the coffee for our flagship, and we’ve probably done eight or ten or even more beers on the pilot system with his coffee in it. Bars and restaurants, absolutely. Home brewers, other breweries, non-industry organizations, charity organizations, non-profit organizations, absolutely. Anybody. Stefan McFayden, Collab House Head Brewer Each one provides something different; they can provide a great collaboration idea. If we do something with a restaurant, it’s likely that we’ll probably send some beer their way so they can serve it in their own restaurant. If you do someone like a musician, then it’s a completely different experience, because they could potentially come in and play a show. That happens quite a bit up here in Charlottesville. The symphony came in here not too long ago. So a collab brewhouse is sort of the endgame for the Richmond location. You’re not looking to start a production facility, right?

no doubt in my mind that Charlottesville will immediately embrace Hardywood. I mean, Hardywood already has a really strong presence here and does really well, so they’re not the newcomers. Everybody already knows who they are. Charlottesville really loves to support businesses that rally behind other local businesses, support charities, incorporate local ingredients. Charlottesville is all about locals. Hardywood is going to have no problem making that transition into Charlottesville. How far will the Collab Space reach? There’s Lickinghole Creek in Goochland, Steam Bell that’s opening up in Chesterfield... Is it going to reach that far or is it just going to be within the city? DW: I don’t want to put any parameters on it. If there’s a story, and there’s a friendship over a beer that’s gonna be there, then absolutely. We did a collaboration with Oskar Blues, which is a brewery in Colorado. We did Black and Goldings, because the brewmaster is a Steelers fan, and so am I. We brewed it together in Pittsburgh. Stefan can tell you about his cousin in South Carolina, which is going to be a really great collaboration opportunity. But yeah, no parameters at all. We’re going to focus local, but if there’s a great brewery, or organization that we want to support and brew a beer with, then yeah, absolutely. SM: Yeah, and the possibilities in Richmond are endless so we’re not going to have any problems finding any collaboration ideas down there. It’s very exciting, because I grew up in Richmond, and there are so many companies that I just love, and I would love to support their business and work with these guys. Some of them happen to be my friends, and things like that, so it’s great. But as Dave was saying, there’s really no boundaries. My cousin is a part owner of a brewery down in South Carolina and he also owns a yeast lab down there, so Dave did a collaboration with him. Was that last year?

[Stefan laughs] DW: But with craft beer, it’s completely different. Everybody tries something different, and they’re always trying somebody else’s, and they share the love. Nobody has had a 40 Mile IPA that hasn’t had a Great Return, or hasn’t had a Champion Missile IPA. They try everything. The better The Veil does, the better Ardent does, the better we do, the better Black Heath does, because it’s going to expose so many more people to craft beer and bring everybody into town. If they come all the way into town for a brewery, they’re not going to one brewery and leaving. They’re gonna go “Oh, three blocks away is another brewery. Let’s go there.” Craft beer drinkers share the love. Given Devils Backbone’s recent sale, would you ever consider a sale to a larger company? SM: I think I can guess the answer, but go ahead. [Laughs]

DW: That was two years ago. SM: So yeah, really just anyone that shares the same passion, has a great idea, and is willing to work together to make something great.

How different are you anticipating the crowd to be at this collab house, as opposed to Charlottesville or Harrisonburg?

Is there any specific brewery that cemented the idea that you need to move into the area?

SM: I think that’s really not going to change that much. Obviously it’s a different population. I’ve visited Harrisonburg, and they have such a neat little culture themselves, with that whole downtown area. I know they get a lot of support, by the students, and also the people that live there year-round. Richmond has a bigger population. When I go to breweries, I think there are regulars there. Some VCU students, some young professionals that work in the area, some people from the service industry, so I think there’s a huge mix of people that we’re expecting to see in Scott’s Addition. I don’t know if it’s really going to be that different. We’re going to try and put on as many fun events and releases as we can, and hope that people come in and have a good time, and enjoy the beer that we put so much effort into and brew with the community.

So Hardywood is coming to Charlottesville -what does a brewery coming to Charlottesville need to know to succeed? DW: That’s a good question. Charlottesville loves local. As I’ve always said, Charlottesville loves Charlottesville. Richmond, being only an hour down the road, is certainly local. There’s

SM: There’s so much great industrial space there. I used to live right down the street. That’s where I grew up, over in Northside. I used to bike over there. I would go around and see all

10 years of RVA Magazine 2005-2015

DW: One thing that I love about the craft beer is -- this kind of epitomizes what Richmond is all about, what Scott’s Addition is all about, what craft beer is all about -- when The Veil opened, their opening day, they were packed. Ardent was packed. If you drink Coor’s Light, your father drank Coor’s Light, your grandfather drank Coor’s Light, then your kids better drink Coor’s Light if they know what’s good for ‘em. Bud Light and Miller Lite are just horrible, awful beverages...

DW: That is not in Stefan and I’s hands at all. That would all be up the investors and the owners, for sure. That wouldn’t be our call at all. I can say that we have no interest at all, right now. We’re in no talks with AnheuserBusch, as some people think we might be, but we’re not. It is an interesting phenomena though, with how everybody’s reacting. It’s been an interesting sociological experiment.

DW: That was a little bit out of my hands. I think Scott [Roth, President & Founder] and George [Kastendike, CEO & Founder] did a lot of the searching. We’ve been looking at Richmond for the past year and a half, maybe two years. Scott’s Addition has been growing so fast, with Hardywood just outside, and Ardent and Isley there, and then just all of a sudden, more popping up. It’s on this side of town, for the most part. It’s just becoming a mecca for craft beer. I don’t want to speak for Scott and George, but that’s one of the main things they had on their minds. Just that they want to be a part of it, I guess. I’m sure there was other factors, y’know, real estate... [Chuckles]

DW: Correct. The production facility will always be here in Charlottesville, and what Stefan’s going to have in Richmond is going to be much, much smaller tanks, so he doesn’t have to commit to do too large of a batch, where you bring money and time into it. He’s going to always have small vessels and small batches so he can crank out all kinds of new fun stuff all the time.

of these empty buildings, and it’s fantastic that it’s changed so much, in such a positive way. zthreenotchdbrewingRVACollabHouse 19


Avers, “Santa Anna”

Omega/Whatever, Egghunt Records There are songs that feel destined to musically shine in a way that can inspire anyone to feel adventurous. That feeling emanates throughout the new Avers track entitled “Santa Anna,” a song that never slows down and takes you for a ride from the moment the first lyrics are uttered to the engulfing howls that close out the song. As whimsically proclaimed by the singer, he’s prepared to see this adventure through and his invitation is extended to the listener as well. In this case, it would be a shock to see anyone turn down any journey that ends with frenzied guitar hazes and a feeling of airiness washing over you by the song’s abrupt finale. --Shannon Cleary

Beck, “Wow” Capitol Records

Yup. It’s a bright, offbeat pop-rap track from Beck featuring phrases like “luminous moves.” How long did you think he could wear his serious folk singer hat anyway? Sonically, “Wow” is similar to songs from Guero and The Information, but a bit louder, like M.I.A.’s Matangi. It’s hard to know exactly what to make of the somewhat vacuous lyrics featured in the chorus and bridge of the song. Perhaps this was intended to be a parody of modern pop songwriting? That seems almost too straightforward for Beck. I’ll dance to it regardless. --Cody Endres

Car Seat Headrest, “Fill in the Blank” Teens Of Denial, Matador Records “Fill In The Blank,” the first track off Will Toledo’s Teens Of Denial, starts like this: slightly stumbling over her words, a woman says, “What’s up guys? You are now listening to -- Car Seat Headrest!” Guitar rips through and the song takes off breakneck from there, exploring Toledo’s feelings of disgust with himself and the world (“I’m so sick of / fill in the blank”). Teens Of Denial is an explosive album for its subjects of depression and self-bifurcation, but on the small scale, “Fill In The Blank” serves well as both an intro to the band and a revision for fans -- this is Car Seat Headrest going forward, a new attempt to fill in the blanks for both Toledo and listeners. --Sarah Schuster

Nails, “You Will Never Be One of Us”

You Will Never Be One Of Us, Nuclear Blast

Three years removed from the vitriolic assault of Abandon All Life, Nails is back and as pissed off as ever on “You Will Never Be One Of Us,” the title track from their third LP and Nuclear Blast debut. The song is inevitably shorter than this review as Nails maintains their lean approach to hatefilled power violence on their longest record to date, clocking in at 21 minutes once the dust settles. “You Will Never Be One Of Us” is as much a statement about hardcore as a way of life as it is a clear declaration that few bands can match the knuckle dragging savagery of the Oxnard, California trio. --Craig Zirpolo

Sammi Lanzetta, “House Plants” This fiery bedroom pop ditty serves as one of the most declarative songs from the Richmond scene of late. Coming to us from the bassist of local garage act Venus Guytrap, this 122-second odyssey has you heartbroken by abandonment and hardened by bitterness before succumbing to the bright optimism of life that can lead you anywhere, whether it be cathartic musical success or fleeting inanimate intimacy. Gifted emotional clarity is on display here and it allows Lanzetta to skillfully navigate the twisty route that follows a personal defeat, leaving everyone satisfied at the conclusion and anxiously awaiting what comes next. --Doug Nunnally


STUDIO NEWS Congratulations to local rookie sensation Lucy Dacus on her recent signing to Matador Records, a move that comes only months after her debut record was released by Richmond label Egghunt Records. Dacus will join Matador’s robust roster which includes established artists such as Kurt Vile and The New Pornographers as well as fellow Virginia artist Car Seat Headrest. Dacus’ debut record No Burden will be re-released on both vinyl and CD formats by Matador on September 9th. Spacebomb Studios have been laying relatively low since last year’s monumental release from Natalie Prass, but don’t expect the studio to be absent from the news for much longer. Recently, a “21st Century” band with “star power” has been utilizing Spacebomb resources for their next record and by all accounts, they seem to be flourishing thanks to the assistance of Matthew E. White. White himself recently completed production work on Norfolk band Major And The Monbacks’ next record and while the release date is currently TBA, fans of Virginia music should be anxiously awaiting this record as it will surely be a novel attempt on retro rock, spurred by two completely different mentalities. Members of local rock group Lightfields have been spending time inside Scott’s Addition Sound of Music, working on the follow-up to their 2015 EP Melodies. No word yet from the band on how these songs will make their way into the world, but it’s clear that the band has more bombastic power rock on the way in the same vein as Melodies or 2014’s Junior, and that can only mean great things for fans of local music. After gaining some notoriety due to impressive sets with Radio Rubber Room, fiery rock duo A Woman Is A Woman have spent the last few years lying low as they have been tirelessly working on their debut LP. Word has it that the record has entered the final stages of mixing and mastering so we should begin to see more of this exciting quartet around town in the next few months as they begin to build anticipation for this new record. Expect new music later this year from folk duo The Tide Rose and Americana rock band Jeremy White & The Bluehearts as both have recently begun to record the follow-up to their amazing 2015 debuts, The Tide Rose and Classic American Sins respectively. These two acts have quickly become the highlights of an emerging scene in town, one with a focus on songwriting bolstered by roots music, and while time will tell how Richmond takes to this scene, it does nothing to diminish the fact that these two artists belong in any conversation about Richmond’s premier musical acts.


10 years of RVA Magazine 2005-2015





10 years of RVA Magazine 2005-2015


Joe Seipel By Angie Huckstep Photo by Patrick Biedrycki

This summer will see the end of an era as the beloved Dean of VCU’s School of the Arts, Joe Seipel, will retire, bringing an end to his 42-year relationship with the University. Seipel has served as Dean for the past five years, following numerous academic teaching and leadership positions. His liberal and innovative visions of contemporary academia, especially in a society that has largely turned higher education into a business, have left a refreshing impression on the lives of thousands of students and faculty. A cherished supporter of the city’s creative communities, Seipel has been a local institution since the early ‘70s. As co-owner of the former Texas Wisconsin Border Café (now Bellytimber Tavern), Seipel’s hand extended to the city’s casual culture in hosting the camaraderie that resulted in various bands, partnerships, and artistic endeavors throughout the years. Congratulations, Joe. We are sad to see you go, but know you won’t be far. 24

Can you give an overview of your time at VCU? In 1974, I was hired at VCU on a one-year contract as an instructor. Back then, they hired people as “instructors,” a one year contract for up to three years. Then two years into that, they asked if I wanted to stay on as a tenure track faculty so I did. Then I was just an instructor and assistant professor at the school in the sculpture department. I think in about 1981-82 I became chair of the sculpture department and remained chair for 17 and a half years, and then I spent 8 and a half years as the Senior Associate Dean and Director of all the graduate programs at the School of the Arts. Then the head hunters came and asked if I was interested in looking at another position, so I ended up being the Vice President of the Savannah College of Art and Design, and I did that for two years. Then my former boss at VCU, Dean Rick Toscan, retired to everyone’s surprise. A different set of head hunters then came and asked if I would be interested in throwing my hat in the ring here, so I did and I got the job. March was my fiveyear anniversary of being Dean, kind of a fiveyear plan.

At that time, how would you say VCU Arts compared to SCAD? They were very different. SCAD is an art school that’s an art school. Actually, when I got down to Savannah, I didn’t expect this to happen, but I missed being at a big University with all my friends in pharmacology, the engineering program, at the business school, and down at the medical center. I missed all these connections. I missed going out to have a coffee or beer and talk to people of different disciplines. Also, thinking about the opportunities you have with an art school in the middle of a comprehensive research university... you know we’ve been doing a lot of research across disciplines. It’s so much fun, quite terrific. I think that’s where everything is moving. A lot of interesting new knowledge is happening right between disciplines, so the arts can be really vital players in that. The biggest thing I have had to do, and hopefully I have been somewhat successful at, is getting the other disciplines to understand how important it is to get the arts involved in RVA RVAMAGAZINE MAGAZINE2524| |SUMMER SPRING 2016

10 years of RVA Magazine 2005-2015


their research early on. I’ve worked with the engineering school a long time, and there was a time when they thought that the engineers would build it, and then we smear art over the top of it, but that’s not like that at all. So, what you want to do is get in early so this whole notion of how we generate ideas, and how we allow ideas to be a little free form. So if you can get art into the research early, I think that actually changes it in the many ways researchers look at a problem. Could you give a timeline or synopsis of how you’ve seen VCU develop since 1974? You almost have to look at who was leading it at the time. When I got here, there was a gentleman named Dr. Herb Burgart from about 1976 to the mid-eighties, but then Dr. Murry DePillars was the leader of the school for quite sometime. He was a real personable being, and passed away a number of years ago. He was a good friend. He loved the students, hung out with the students. He was really about building a community. Then Murray retired to all our surprise, and they did a national search for his successor and Dr. Richard Toscan came on. Murray was much more involved with the internal community, had his arms around it. He wasn’t quite as interested in how we did in New York or other large cities. Murray was more of an incubator for the art school and surrounding community. Then, when Rick Toscan came in, he was quite involved in looking at how we faired nationally and internationally. He really pressed faculty to get out and show around the country, not to just have the faculty shows that were internal. In fact, if you showed on campus or in Richmond, it was considered service, not research. So, he really wanted faculty to get out. I worked directly with him as Senior Associate Dean and a lot of our funding went to travel to make sure our faculty got to conferences, make sure they got their work out to galleries around the country and performances around the country. So, he was a really good mentor for me and then I think when I took over, I did a lot of the same thing. Rick had really focused on the ICA. We had a plan for the ICA when he was there, but the architect passed away so it kind of went into a lull. Susan Roth, who was the interim Dean for a couple of years, started talking with the school’s president about it and then when I came in, the president said that we had to get this thing going. Let’s go!

end of it. Susan Roth had a lot to do with that, as students to be able to come out of here and find does Sarah Cunningham whose going to be the their passion and be able to follow that passion. Not necessarily find their passion and have to director of the Arts Research Institute. stick to some curriculum. They should be able Then at the Depot building, which opened in to move and follow their passion the way they 2014, we have the creative entrepreneurship want to. In most cases we can do that. You’re program and the Co-Lab, a big operation there. stuck in a system that rewards for credits It’s a long-term internship program where generated and numbers of majors, so we’re we take on projects for external companies trying to change the traffic, but sometimes the and businesses. And then the da Vinci Center stop signs and the left-hand turn signals get in came out so all of these things are starting to the way of changing the traffic. I hate to hear get fuzzy and wonderful and have loose edges. when a student says, “Well, I’m just checking it That’s all been the new spirit of it now. Also, off to get out of here.” That’s not the idea here. trying really hard not to let the silos get in the way of our trajectory. Sometimes it’s hard for What is the ICA going to be bringing to VCU? To people to understand. There are people who Richmond? feel strongly about letting the discipline be the discipline and the core of the discipline and then Well, Lisa Freiman is the director, a really there are people who want to see the discipline interesting person. She was the United States grow out and become more connected to other Commissioner to the Venice Biennale four years ago, which is a very big deal. She’s energetic and disciplines. ambitious. She has a new curator, Lauren Ross, and [has] ideas to bring art from around the world here. I think it will be interesting, their first years here at the ICA, because they are going to want to develop a kind of a signature. So I think many of the shows will be built and curated here and then travel off to other locations if they can. I know they are both interested in connecting to the city and general population. It is going to be huge for Richmond. My quote has been, “We are going to change the capital of the Confederacy to the capital of Creativity.” With the Virginia Museum the way it is, the Modlin Center for the Arts, the new performing arts center downtown, the Visual Arts Center, and now the ICA -- what we can do is become a destination city for the arts. It’s really becoming a very exciting place. I mean, look at First Fridays even. It’s the largest First Friday event in the United States. You have to decide which part of town you want to hang out in because you can’t do all of them. It’s a very exciting city right now. If Richmond were stock, I’d buy it.

“We are going to change the capital of the Confederacy to the capital of Creativity. With the Virginia Museum the way it is, the Modlin Center for the Arts, the new performing arts center downtown, the Visual Arts Center, and now the ICA -- what we can do is become a destination city for the arts...”

I think that we actually use the word “discipline” maybe incorrectly, because what used to be painting, sculpture, kinetic imaging, dance, theatre, music... some of them have changed a lot, so maybe the new disciplines don’t fit those titles anymore. They sort of fit in-between. It’s kind of like secondary or tertiary colors, or maybe becoming a new color, and you want to have people have a grounding in something, but you know -- for instance, in animation. We teach animation in a number of different programs so if you’re just in one of them, you miss all the With his support, we have now broken ground expertise of the faculty in another program. on the ICA. A lot of fundraising went on, I did So, how do we make sure that students can, a lot of fundraising -- 34 million dollars worth. especially students who want to wander a little That, along with making sure our faculty had the bit and don’t want to stay right down to the core opportunity to travel, the opportunity to follow of their discipline, have a chance to do that? up on their research, and also getting to a point where we understood how arts research could The big deal here is, in a world where you’re make a big impact both on the arts and externally probably used to menus on your computer, to other disciplines, which has probably been we want to make sure we give students the our biggest push -- how we moved the research opportunity to follow their dreams. I want 26

You mentioned being quite excited to embark on personal work again. What’s on the horizon? My head is spinning right now with the notion of going back in the studio. I have to finish some work. I have some pieces I started 20 years ago that aren’t finished and I’ve got one really big piece specifically. It’s built, but I need to do the electronic component. But it’s big. It’s 28’ long, 12’ tall, and 14’ deep. It has a bunch of figures in foam and about 100 gallons of polyester resin on it. I just want to get it done and finished. We’ll see how long it will take me to get an exhibition to show some of the older work and kind of get it out of my system so I can start thinking about some new things. So the big thing right now is showing some of the older work and seeing where we go from there. I’ve got a lot. I’m like Donald Trump, I’ve got a lot of ideas.


“we want to make sure we give students the opportunity to follow their dreams. I want students to be able to come out of here and find their passion and be able to follow that passion. Not necessarily find their passion and have to stick to some curriculum.�

10 years of RVA Magazine 2005-2015


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10 years of RVA Magazine 2005-2015



By Todd Raviotta

“Start with in-focus first and work from there.” This is the mantra of Joey Wharton, aka Photo Joe, a Richmond innovator in the field of visual art with an eye for expanding live photography far beyond what’s expected. I first came in contact with Joey around 2014 when our passion for RVA music and photography lent itself to lengthy and spirited discussions while we were both running around the same bands and spaces. That mantra was freely used then and two years later, when we picked that conversation up where we left it, it had become the cornerstone of his approach to his work and the unique methods he utilized. Before meeting up with Joey to begin that conversation though, I ran into Michael York, the multi-instrumentalist member of Sleepwalkers and resident music whiz kid, almost completely by chance. After executing a proper parallel parking job, I exited my car only to be greeted with congratulations from York himself. I had unknowingly parked in front of his porch on my way to chat with Joey, who would be leaving town in a week for a tour alongside Sleepwalkers themselves, serving as the opening act for The Lumineers in the May leg of their crosscountry tour. The timing was not lost on me as I offered York well-wishes and hurried off to catch up with Joey in one of his last days in town before hitting the road. It would have been great to stay and chat with York, but knowing the many topics I wished to cover with Joey, time was of the essence. We chatted about his goal with image making, his take on visual composition and craft, our mutual love of drag shutter photography, and even the influence on Jennifer Kennedy’s live show drawings on his methods. Most fascinating though was learning just how Joey began his career as a photographer here in town and how it led to creating his own signature method for visual art. Graduating out of VCU’s School of The Arts with a focus in graphic design, Joey spent a few years as the Creative Director for four lifestyle magazines where he leaned on his education for support while simultaneously developing an eye for compositional layout. As he states, this led to “working with whatever was there. An article has to have a picture to it. You don’t want to read it like 30


it is a newspaper. It’s a lifestyle magazine. Bright, colorful, cool, edgy! What ended up happening was I went, ‘Okay, I need to buy a camera! I need to take this into my own hands.’” Luckily, that’s where local artist and friend Emily Skidmore came to the rescue, offering up her own camera for Joey to utilize -- that is, if Joey could supply a battery and learn how to do things himself. “[I] looked up a couple of YouTube tutorials,” he remembers. “I wanted to put it in either aperture priority or manual mode. Didn’t want to sit with it on auto. If I’m going to have this really powerful DSLR in my hand, I’m going to want to open up its capabilities as much as possible. Right when I got the camera, the Good Day RVA Fest -- the very first one -- was happening.” Having a full day of great bands and beer at Hardywood was great motivation for Joey to get out and start making images with the newly acquired Canon 20D. Knowing a few bands on the bill, he had a place to start seeing what he could do. “I wasn’t really as familiar with camera raw so much at the time,” he reveals. “It was [about] finding what was in focus. Focus first for me and hope for the best with these pictures cause I didn’t know what was going to come of this. I just heard about a cool event.” For Joey, it was his first time seeing Sleepwalkers and he admits their placement on the bill, along with The Trillions, was the primary factor in his decision to visit Hardywood, a venue he would become well accustomed to, but was pretty unfamiliar at the time. “It was weird being at Hardywood,” he laughs. “I didn’t know any of the crew there then. [It was] probably my third or fourth time there and I just circumnavigated the stage.” Just the night before telling me this, the two of us had crossed paths at a Lady God set at Hardywood, which had quickly become a regular nexus point for us to meet and converse about our mutual interests -mostly live music. Just years earlier in the same exact spot, Joey was a new face in the scene just learning the ropes, and getting his first taste of what Good Day RVA was all about. Years later, Joey would cite the Good Day RVA, as well as his friendship with collaborator and videographer Craig Zirpolo, as a resource for constant support, encouragement, and inspiration, but it’s not something that came about from that initial introduction. It would be the 2nd Hardywood takeover in 2015 where Joey’s connection with Good Day RVA would really take off. “Last year was where I met Craig for the first time,” he explains. “From that festival, I really started making all the connections. Chris [Damon], Will [Weaver], Matt [Cowan], and the whole Good Day house. They started looking at my work saying, ‘We like this! Do 10 years of RVA Magazine 2005-2015


you happen to shoot video by any chance?’” Sadly, Joey hadn’t at this point and told them just as much in that initial introduction, but Joey’s shrewd eye more than made up for inexperience in their eyes and they quickly invited him to join them in Charlottesville at a farm to shoot footage for an upcoming Clair Morgan video. “It premiered on my birthday,” he stops. “I forgot about that! I made the poster for the event with all the animal masks. The song was ‘How To Set Your Bed On Fire.’ That was the first time I used the DSLR for video -- I asked Chris a million questions then.”

“Does it cross the threshold into what people would consider digital art and not photography? I leave that open to interpretation. It’s really expressing how I feel about musicians and bands through art. I just want to create a memento, a keepsake. Something people will come to love...”

From there, Joey found himself fully ingratiated by not just the Good Day RVA crew, but also other photographers in the local scene. He began to spend his time comparing notes with them on anything from live music shots to Richmond landscapes. Around this time, he began to establish a pattern of capturing excellent band and event shots, all of which were released on his social media accounts. From there, he began to see his work used to promote music in town and also began receiving feedback on his work, something he found extremely gratifying. All the while, he was still becoming familiar with the tool of a camera while utilizing his design training. “That was the biggest thing,” he says, “Transitioning from a keyboard mouse to handheld DSLR. I have one shot to make this happen cause I couldn’t fiddle as much [as in software]. That taught me to compose in the camera and focus on everything I was looking at. It was a whole new way of looking at the world honestly.” While enjoying the Clair Morgan music video release with a room full of friends and peers, a random text Joey had sent to Austin York weeks earlier had begun to pay off. “Where is the application to be your tour photographer?” read the text and it had been sent around the time news broke that Sleepwalkers would be hitting the road with The Lumineers. Shortly afterwards, Joey ran into Austin while visiting his brother and he recollects Austin mentioning their desire to get a trailer attached to the van for their gear, allowing some extra room for Joey to tag along after he had expressed that interest so nonchalantly. Joey instantly showed his dedication to the opportunity by clearing his schedule before anything was ever finalized, though that formalization would come at the Clair Morgan video premier when Michael York informed him they were good to go. “Best birthday present I could have ever asked for,” Joey exclaims. “Not only was my name on the video and the video looked phenomenal, because of Good Day, [but] Chris [Damon] brought me on stage. They sang me ‘Happy Birthday’ and Michael 32


presented me with, ‘You’re coming with us!’ [I was] almost at a point of tears from enjoyment. I couldn’t contain myself. I never ever thought just picking up that camera would take me to this point of people asking me to document their tour.” Being on the road with Sleepwalkers, their social media accounts quickly became full of Joey’s take on tour life. Thanks to a terabyte of hard drive space and innumerable memory cards, there will be even more documentary images for Joey to process and share in the coming months, all a reminder of what just picking up a camera can lead to. On the road though, Joey’s contribution would mostly be business as usual, due to his unfamiliarity with the venues and local scenes they would be travelling to. “It’s going to be different,” he says. “I am very comfortable with all the venues around town. I know where the best angles are and I know where the shots are going to happen.” But clearly that wasn’t going to be the case when he would be out trying to document Sleepwalkers. “I might have a little bit of extra access,” he explains, “but I’m not going to be comfortable on a larger stage like Red Rocks for instance. I don’t know if one of these [Light Spin] images will come while I’m on the road. Maybe I’ll dive into some other weird experiment – who knows where things are going to take me?” Back in town, the Light Spin series has made Joey’s name even more prevalent in local art discussions. This colorful and exciting take on photo art not only allows Joey’s work to stand out from his peers, but it also highlights live musicians in a way many have been constantly trying to accomplish. “The composite images that I’ve been doing recently still blow me away,” he responds. “It is nice to be able to focus in-camera when I’m trying to do this now. It makes me rely on the technology that I have in my hand. Rather than take a thousand photos and hope for the best.” Having dealt with some of the issues faced by digital photographers and juggling a fight with complacency, Joey started to play with photo manipulation in the digital playground of Photoshop. “I have folder called Light Spins from various venues,” he details. “I’ll take camera twirls of lights. Any of the venues around town -- every one of those light spins is going to look a little different. I would take this photo of [No BS! frontman] Reggie [Pace] for instance. Let me get the photo of someone with a lot of energy and then I’ll take one of the light spins and layer them in Photoshop. The light spins vary 100%. I try to use my wide angle for the lights to get the most of everything and then spin that around a little bit. I keep these trails, a constant archive of all these 10 years of RVA Magazine 2005-2015


little spins from around town. If I’m going to make one photo, I watch the band for a few songs and see who is the most emotive and take a small series of images, and check and see I got it and then I’m done! Maybe get some light spins at the venue, go home, and try and create a center focus of everything.” From there, this remarkable post-production take on photography took on a life of its own as Joey continued to test its boundaries to see how far he could take what was deemed photography. “I started just using the lights from the venue where I shot the photograph,” he continues, “but have started molding different lights with different subjects. Does it cross the threshold into what people would consider digital art and not photography? I leave that open to interpretation. It’s really expressing how I feel about musicians and bands through art. I just want to create a memento, a keepsake. Something people will come to love.” With my own photo documentary compulsion being so familiar with flash, drag shutter, and time based experiments, there were so many moving pieces in Joey’s Light Spins series that it was hard to figure out exactly what was occurring. Because these images are not possible in-camera, it made me challenge my conceptions of what is Digital Art and what is Drag Shutter photography. Luckily, Joey’s background was still fresh in mind leading to an “aha” moment when I realized it was the perfect marriage of the designer and photographer. It’s a beautiful thing to overlap several styles and techniques, to combine software and lens, and to selfsource compositional elements in order to make stunning images and portraits. It’s all led to some of the most fascinating work in town of late, whether you wish to call it Digital Art or Live Photography. As he states so often, “start with in-focus first and work from there.” In-focus, Joey stands tall as an innovator in the local scene as both a designer and photographer. Working from there, he’s become a constant source of inspiration to the scene as we all continue to learn how Joey will utilize the lights, landscapes, venues, and tour stops to bring to life all these beloved local musicians. Keep an eye on Joey’s various social media feeds for more recent Sleepwalker tour images, the continuation of his Light Spin series, and more as he continues to grow as a true artist here in town.



10 years of RVA Magazine 2005-2015




The Place to Play

View events and purchase tickets at 10 years of RVA Magazine 2005-2015

Photo: Kai37Eason



guitarist David Cisco to fill the void. Chandler’s retches and Cisco’s desperate yells ably replace Kirby’s similarly-styled vocals, while also providing a natural ebb and flow between vocal styles, creating a uniquely miserable sonic palette.

COUGH By Cody Endres

Since 2005, Cough has been making doom metal for the true fanatics, the kind of true darkness that wigs out the uninitiated: their music is stupendously heavy, undeniably misanthropic, tinged with the occult, and really, really slow. As such, they have remained one of the Richmond music scene’s best-kept secrets. Despite the somewhat insular nature of their craft, in 2010 the band joined the roster of Relapse Records, a well-known indie label that puts out extreme music of all kinds, including records from Richmond natives Inter Arma and Windhand. Between their first EP, Kingdom, and their Relapse Records debut, Ritual Abuse, quite a lot shifted. In 2007, Cough’s first fulllength album Sigillum Luciferi was released. The following year, lead vocalist Chris Kirby left the band, leaving bassist Parker Chandler and 10 years of RVA Magazine 2005-2015

The organ work on “The Wounding Hours” is powerful. How did the collaboration with Count Orlof come about?

There isn’t much to say about the Count. We weren’t present for the recording of the organ track, but his addition brought an In the same year that Cough released Ritual already depressive song to a new low. There Abuse, guitarist Brandon Marcey (also of heavy was nothing we could say once it was done. psych-rockers Sinister Haze) joined the band, adding an extra edge to a band that already How was working with Jus? Did you learn sounded full. In the years following Brandon’s anything interesting from him, in terms of entrance into the band, Cough produced a recording, touring, or otherwise? handful of longer songs, one of which showed up on a 2013 split with the more mellow (but We heard a lot of stuff that we shouldn’t still heavy) Windhand. Chandler joined that repeat. He did teach us some important band the same year and since then, Windhand lessons about recording live that helped us has gained more and more popularity on a preserve the “soul” of the music. Elvis came national scale -- the band recently toured with up a lot in conversation. stoner metal legends Sleep -- while Cough has remained more shadowy, popping out to play Can you tell us a bit about the gear you’re working with now? The new guitar sounds shows every once in a while. have clarity, but are still nice and dirty. That’s why the release of this year’s Still They Pray is so exciting -- Cough is finally in It’s almost all the same gear we’ve always the red-tinted spotlight again. For this most had, but recorded under drastically different recent effort, the band teamed with doom icon circumstances. The recording was done Jus Osborn of Electric Wizard to record their live, straight to 1” tape, in a garage outside most dynamic record to date. Parker Chandler of town. No digital editing or manipulation. graciously took time out his days on the road There’s only one guitar track per guitarist, to answer my questions regarding the process not including overdubs for leads. Jus taught that led to Still They Pray, working with Jus us that multiple guitar tracks, in addition to eating up valuable track space, can smooth Osborn, and future shows. out the guitar tone. Maybe that’s where the Still They Pray has a noticeably different feel clarity comes from. from Ritual Abuse. Would you attribute that to your lineup change? If not, to working with It’s been a few years since Cough has released an album. What was the process behind the Jus Osborn? creation of Still They Pray like? I imagine It’s a combination of factors including Parker’s involvement in Windhand, and Brandon and Jus. We did almost everything Brandon joining the band were factors in the development and recording of new material. different this time around. Yeah, life can get in the way. Just getting all of us in the same room together was difficult and then getting us to focus once we were all there was another challenge. Many times, we just had to do what we could with whoever showed up. As a result, a lot of our writing was done separately and then pieced Brandon does a lot to add that psychedelic together in the months leading up to the “freak out” vibe. Sinister Haze has allowed recording. him to experiment fully and cultivate his own sound. The acoustic song is something It looks like you have some European festivals we’ve been kicking around for a while. We’re lined up, and Windhand is touring currently. all big fans of Americana/country/folk/blues Does Cough have any plans for a U.S. tour? and we’ve always been looking for a way to merge that interest with our heavier side. We’ve booked a couple fly-ins and a weekend run hitting Philly and NYC, but a full US tour Thematically, they’re not so different. just isn’t possible for us at the moment. “Let It Bleed” and “Shadow of the Torturer” are a bit different for Cough. Was Brandon’s time in Sinister Haze an influence on the sound of those songs? What about the title track -- had you guys been wanting to do an acoustic song for a while? 39



10 years of RVA Magazine 2005-2015


Sky’s The Limit: An Interview With Fly Anakin By Joseph Genest

“If you notice how I’m the only person here, it’s because my dad’s locked up right now.” He takes another puff off of his Black & Mild and exhales it into the smoke-filled room off Belmont Road. He pauses, then continues on... but what’s said after is a story best kept within the confines of the home. Fly Anakin has one of those stories that defines the “Hip-Hop American Dream.” The 21-yearold Richmond native was born and raised in the Hillside Court projects, where it was common to have “bullet holes in your doors from drive-by’s.” His mother passed a few years ago and briefly battled with substance abuse problems, while his brother and dad have taken the hustler’s road at one point or another for as long as he can remember. It’s the type of tale most rappers nowadays exaggerate to claim as their own, but for Anakin, it’s not exactly something he talks about much. In fact, he’s mostly kept it a secret -- even in his music -- only using it as fuel to help spark his career. Around the time of his father’s arrest, Anakin started to take rapping a little more seriously. After already having established the collective Mutant Academy with childhood friend and fellow rapper Henny L.O., the two started grinding harder to perfect their craft a little over a year ago. It was more than just a creative outlet -- it was a foundation for a new path. First, it was the local gigs around town that were just barely getting their names out. Then, they found a home with the Satellite Syndicate, growing alongside the grassroots movement through their monthly residencies and house shows. Eventually, Mutant Academy grew to having producers BSTFRND, Foisey, Ewonee, Sycho Sid, and Unlucky Bastards, as well as rapper and heavy-collaborator Koncept Jackson. It came to the point that the local mainstays of Michael Millions, Radio B, and Nickelus F took the young MC under their wing, something he views as a pretty big honor. In less than a year, Anakin’s material has been picked up by the likes of Pigeons and Planes, All Def Digital, and The Source. He was also featured on Ohbliv’s mix for The Fader for his collaborations with Koncept Jackson. It’s been an incredibly busy few months for the Southside rapper, but you wouldn’t know it by his cool, collective demeanor.


After hearing his most recent work with Ohbliv, we decided to sit down with the MC to learn a little bit about him. Sure, most people say he’s a ‘90s rapper and nostalgic now, but Anakin looks to erase those titles. He doesn’t want to be pigeonholed by the perception of his raw, aggressive approach, but rather looked on as someone dutifully paying dues towards what’s to come, which is bound to electrify. Quite simply, Fly Anakin is going to be soaring beyond the city limits soon. I first heard about you from Ohbliv’s latest mix for The Fader. Could you talk a little bit about how that happened? Yeah, honestly, I think that may have slightly changed my life. Like, the fact that I know Ohbliv has changed a bunch of motherfuckers’ outlook on me. How’d you guys first meet? The [Satellite] Syndicate had a residency show at The Camel and he was performing. Basically, he was following me on SoundCloud so I knew he was aware of me, but he never said anything. He was playing joints and knew I wanted to work, so I recorded a video of the “Machinegunfunk” beat while he was playing it and was like “Yo, let me get this joint.” He sent the shit the next day and five more beats, and then we did “Lavender Coupe.” A lot of the mainstays like Nickelus F and Michael Millions have been showing you some love too. Yeah, that shit is bugged out. At one point when we first started Mutant Academy, nobody gave a fuck, really. We were the outcasts that were coming out of nowhere. In terms of the new talent, it took a while for the city to even catch on to Divine Council, and now those dudes are blowing up. That’s a bugged out story. Those dudes have been working for a long fuckin’ time, and I watched it happen. Honestly, I’m the happiest nigga in the world for them. I’m proud as hell.



@mercizdope @jumphombre

“Dawg, the young people are the ones taking this sh*t over. Look at s**t like the house shows we [The Syndicate] have going on. Do you know how many people come out to them s**ts? The young motherf**kers are the ones taking it to the next level right now -- that’s why the scene is popping. And the OG’s are flourishing off of it because we’re giving them the praise and the glory for what they’ve brought to the table.” 10 years of RVA Magazine 2005-2015


“I don’t rap about this s**t because it’s cool -- this is really the s**t I went through. As far as the depth in my music, I don’t give motherf**kers enough. There’s so much s**t I need to say. I’ve never even spoke about that s**t in my music.”



point, you had to kiss ass to get a show anywhere in Richmond, but when it comes to the Syndicate shit... those motherfuckers accept anybody. If you’re dope and you’re making a name for yourself, you can easily get on one of those Dawg, the young people are the ones taking this shows. You don’t have to kiss nobody’s ass. shit over. Look at shit like the house shows we [The Syndicate] have going on. Do you know how Most critics label you as “nostalgic” to the many people come out to them shits? The young “Golden Era” of rap, much like Joey Bada$$ when motherfuckers are the ones taking it to the next he first blew up with “Survivor Tactics.” level right now -- that’s why the scene is popping. And the OG’s are flourishing off of it because Dawg, that shit is never going to die, I swear. we’re giving them the praise and the glory for Motherfuckers really think I’m trying to bring the ‘90s back. Honestly, when we were growing up, what they’ve brought to the table. I listened to all sorts of shit from my brother -For me, Radio B is one of my favorites. I love that DMX’s It’s Dark and Hell is Hot, all the Nas shit guy; I always want him to hear my shit because you can think of, all the Jay-Z, D-Block, fuckin’ his opinion matters. Same with Nick, same with Wu-Tang. It was just me soaking up the game. So Mike. That’s why I did that song with Mike, as I grew up, I just wanted to make the shit that because I look up to that guy. All these people I liked the most. At the time, Soulja Boy and Lil did something that makes me want to do more, Wayne and all that, it just wasn’t sticking... the only shit that was tight to me was the old shit. So so I’m sort of a product of it. honestly, I think the only reason motherfuckers I had a couple conversations with Nick. After get that nostalgic shit is because of the beat we shot the “Laced Weed” video, we went to choices. I’m not talking about no ‘90s shit. I’m Christian’s to get slices and he was basically talking about shit that I’m going through. telling me little stories about what he had to go through to keep shit going and get his name But that’s the bullshit in rap. Look, on a typical out. One thing that really stuck was, “Don’t rap day, I listen to Young Thug, Future, Curren$y, for free. You don’t owe these motherfuckers Kendrick... some shit like that. It’s a mix, I’ve nothing.” And that shit right there -- that was my never really been that guy to try to dig deep and jewel. I took that shit and ran with it. I’ve got to touch people, but I’ve made people cry off my know my worth because motherfuckers are only raps. going to give you what you give off. So the sky’s So how did your style develop if that’s not what the limit at this point. you listen to on a day-to-day? Sounds like you think highly about the guys in The It’s just natural. Sometimes if you turn on the Syndicate. right beat, I’ll give you something that’s the Those motherfuckers changed the game, I don’t complete opposite of what I’ve been doing all think they get enough credit. They have shit day. I can literally sit around here and laugh and packed. The last show we had, The Pink Couch smoke, but as soon as night comes around, I joint... that shit was ridiculous. You couldn’t could write some completely depressed shit. even move in that bitch. It was just some dudes Like, I can never pinpoint where it’s going to go. rapping on a pink couch. Me seeing that shit I do what I want, man. I feel free in terms of my for myself, I was like, “Wow, I can’t believe this artistry -- I just do whatever comes to my mind shit happened.” Honestly, I’m just happy to be and what’s to the best of my abilities. But I think involved with all of it. I’m a fan of them niggas. that’s what keeps my shit organic as well. I’m not trying to do trap shit, I’m not trying to do ‘90s Just how they do things. shit. I’m just in between trying to do whatever. I feel like we’re opening doors for young people to just create and feel free with this shit. Anybody Talk to me a little bit about growing up here. can make the music, but putting it in front of people and playing it through those loud ass I grew up in the Southside, in Hillside Court. It speakers is a whole different ball game. At one was real fucked up back when I was young. I’m Well, there definitely seems to be a whole youth movement going on with the Hip-Hop scene right now, especially with a lot of the grassroots stuff you’re involved in with The Syndicate.

10 years of RVA Magazine 2005-2015

talking bullet holes in your doors from drive-by’s and shit. Humble beginnings like a motherfucker, for real. I grew up in the projects. Eventually moved in with my pop’s in 7th grade, so I moved to the county out here. A little bit after that, my mom’s passed, so fast forward to how we’re here. If you notice how I’m the only person here, it’s because my dad’s locked up right now. Damn, that sounds like a crazy story. Would you mind sharing? I was in here. They kicked the door on me. I was in this bitch by myself, watching something on YouTube with my headphones on. I heard something like “Chesterfield Police!” or something like that, and I was like, “Who the fuck playing at my door?” I’m a couple inches from the door and I’m looking between the glass like, “What the fuck is going on out there?” and within a split-second, there’s like 30-something cops with guns on me. All I could do was fall down like “Look, I ain’t got shit on me.” Motherfuckers ransacked the crib; everything was upside down. They fucked the whole house up. A lot of rappers exaggerate about stuff like that, but this was really you. I don’t rap about this shit because it’s cool -- this is really the shit I went through. As far as the depth in my music, I don’t give motherfuckers enough. There’s so much shit I need to say. I’ve never even spoke about that shit in my music. During that time, my music had started bubbling, but my life was on the decline. Mind you, I was fat, like way chubby, but I got mad skinny from stress being at an all-time high. But my music was getting so much better though. So it’s like the gift and the curse. Shit just happened the way it did, but I’m not mad at it. I’m blessed. It’s almost scary how shit went down, but I took that shit and made it into something. You can peep Fly Anakin’s latest album The Grand Scheme of Things on SoundCloud, Apple, Music, and Spotify.


Have You Been to The Branch Lately?  New tours of our historic building  Exciting exhibitions and programs  Internship, volunteer, and docent opportunities

The Branch

Museum of Architecture and Design Open Tuesday–Friday 10 a.m.–5 p.m. | Saturday & Sunday 1–5 p.m.

2501 Monument Avenue | Richmond, VA 23220 |



10 years of RVA Magazine 2005-2015




Mikrowaves By Shannon Cleary Photos by Kai Eason

Imagine a summer evening in Richmond spent on a patio. Beer bottles flood the tables as ashtrays are slowly beginning to fill. Conversations are asunder and the feeling in the air is intoxicating. Slowly, the hordes of denizens begin to make their way towards the night’s entertainment. A remarkable collective of musicians that refer to themselves as Mikrowaves are the evening’s main attraction. With an unmatched eclectic style and a fervent desire for intricate and challenging song structures, they are quick to be acclaimed by just about everyone in town. It all begins in the living room of a south side residence. Veteran musician Edward Prendergast decides to pick up a guitar and see what he can come up with. To many, this might seem like a steep task. Clearly they’ve never met Prendergast. A stalwart of the music scene, he has been involved with a number of projects throughout the years -- the list of credits over the years including the likes of Bio Ritmo, The Great White Jenkins, Malhombre, and several others. Most importantly, his project Amazing Ghost would become a town favorite for a number of years. Prendergast has utilized various muses throughout each of these projects, but his current inspiration might come as a mild surprise. “My wife was about to give birth to our daughter and it inspired me to pick [the guitar] up,” Prendergast muses. “It was this thought of sharing this thing that’s been a huge part of my life with what would soon become the next huge part of my life.” In many ways, this sensibility has inspired many of the directions Mikrowaves have taken. The project acts as a reflection of the past works of Prendergast, with the songs performed ranging from the early part of the 21st century with his first band, Pencilgrass, leading up to his recent endeavors with Ghost and The Big East. Prendergast could immediately tell that he was going to need to assemble a crew of musicians to help with the project and the first person that came to mind was Kelli Strawbridge. “As crazy as it sounds, Eddie and I had never played together,” Strawbridge says. “When we set up time to meet up and write together, I really had no idea what to expect.” At first, Prendergast was inclined to have the project just be guitar and drums. “I had known him around town as a bass player and when he showed up with just a guitar, I was even more curious,” Strawbridge adds. Prendergast was quick to explain what inspired this direction. “I wanted to do this R.L. Burnside thing and have it be really raw,” Prendergast explains. “It also fit with how I was writing and I was revisiting all of this old material. I wanted to start at the bare bones and see how that would work.” 10 years of RVA Magazine 2005-2015

After a few attempts at fleshing this idea out, the two came to the conclusion that it was time to reach out to a few musicians. One of Prendergast’s longest standing collaborators is trumpet player Bob Miller. The two have worked together in several of the aforementioned projects and when Miller was approached about Mikrowaves, he was excited to be on board once again. “Eddie was talking about how he wanted to start playing some of these older songs,” Miller says, “and he had sheet music from projects he had been involved with for the past fifteen years.

“...My wife was about to give birth to our daughter and it inspired me to pick [the guitar] up,” Prendergast muses. “It was this thought of sharing this thing that’s been a huge part of my life with what would soon become the next huge part of my life...” For me, I was excited to play on some of the Pencilgrass material that I never got to play on [before] and I thought it would be cool as shit to start playing those and even the stuff that came after that again.”

a sousaphone is a tuba designed to be played standing up and in Mikrowaves sound, its presence occupies a lot of the low end while also informing the mood of particular songs according to the band. “As weird as it sounds, I think those parts can make some of our songs sound happier,” Strawbridge explains. “On some of the material, we can end up going to some pretty dark places and Toby’s playing can almost elevate it from there. It’s an even balance.” Rounding out the lineup would be conga player Hector “Coco” Barez, another member hailing from Bio Ritmo and a percussive element that could be considered the glue of the framework for several Mikrowaves songs. “Everything Coco throws into each song is just perfect,” Prendergast states. “The intricacies. The balance. It’s a good problem that we started encountering once we started adding members. We wouldn’t be able to give the songs the same feel if any of the members were absent for a gig. It’s a good problem to have, but can be tough when everyone stays pretty active around town playing music with a bunch of different bands.” With a lineup intact, it was time to consider recording a proper debut. The group decided to venture to The Virginia Moonwalker in Mechanicsville, a studio space run by local musician/engineer Russell Lacy. Lacy has been slowly generating a reputation around town for recording the likes of Pete Curry, The Wimps, The Milkstains, and several others. In what turns out to be the case more often than not, Lacy was already a fan of Mikrowaves to begin with. “When I was set to record Mikrowaves, the studio was still a work in progress,” Lacy says. “I saw them as a challenge and I accepted it immediately.” After a few sessions with the group, they recorded eight tracks that would end up being the debut release entitled Get Nuked!, a collection with several Pencilgrass favorites that the band revisited. “Beautiful Thing” had long been hailed as one of the best songs Prendergast had penned and its reappearance in the group’s repertoire left fans brimming with excitement. It’s a song that feels like a universal summer anthem and could easily be found in any nightclub across the globe. “Edward Prendergast” would see a complete reinvention from its original lofi, synth-based original. In this new version, the song feels full of organic nuances and a delicate tension that erupt towards the end with an overture of howling vocals. Offering the song as Prendergast’s namesake, it only makes sense that the song would evoke such a strong finale over the course of its six minute running time.

Filling out the rest of the horn section would prove to be just as easy. “When we started filling out the band, it made sense to me that Eddie went ahead and asked a bunch of the people he had worked with in Bio Ritmo,” Strawbridge says. Besides Miller, this included tenor saxophonist John Lilley and sousaphonist Toby Whitaker. Prendergast is quick to point out the value of Lilley’s contributions to the project. “The thing about John and working with him is just his style is unbelievable. When he writes a part for a song, it becomes irreplaceable. The song can’t exist without that part. Its absence is immediately detected.” In conversations surrounding Mikrowaves, Whitaker’s contribution is one talking point Another standout track is “Rx-17,” a song that comes up frequently. For those unfamiliar, that first began to appear during the short-




lived days of his project The Big East. The song had seen many transformations from its demo to its Big East recording, and yet in the Mikrowaves form, it may just be its strongest. Subtle tempo changes groove through the undeniably catchy rhythm of the song. Its refrain has been reimagined to blend Prendergast and Strawbridge’s voices into a seamless entity that may have been missing in previous incarnations of the tune. And closing out the release is “Hairstyle,” a song that Strawbridge proclaims as one of his favorites for a variety of reasons. “One thing that draws me to how Eddie writes is just the certain phrases he’ll choose to roll with,” Strawbridge says. “On that song, the line that goes ‘tell me a story that you never thought could happen to you’ and the way it sends the song into this completely wild direction just knocks me out.”

adds. “Or at least, how much of an impact for us now.” While there may be some truth to that, Strawbridge thinks otherwise. “I wasn’t in on Amazing Ghost when they were an active band, but they were definitely something I kept hearing about from a lot of the same groups of people. It was definitely a thing and even if it was missed out on, there is still a legacy left in its place.” Tunes like “Igetuppa” and “Sam Samina” went through the reinvention process for live performance and similar results were discovered by the group. Even lesser heard tunes like “New York City” and “Nite Rite” began to reappear and it kept the band feeling reinvigorated. “Constantly reworking songs has been a good way for us to keep things exciting for all of us,” Prendergast says. “It’s an opportunity to get even tighter as a band and keep the sets fresh.”

it’s become yet another integral part of the collective.

The journey of Mikrowaves have taken all participants in many intriguing directions. With what started as a two-piece slowly grew to include seven members -- sometimes the group even includes an eighth member, by local vocalist Kenneka Cook. In the interim, the group has been hard at work on a follow-up to Get Nuked. An EP of new material that is being recorded at their homestead The Virginia Moonwalker will hopefully see a release in the next few months. Several of the songs might seem familiar to anyone that has caught a recent Mikrowaves, but Prendergast promises that everyone is in for a surprise. “Russell’s space has gotten even better and we have a number of great opportunities to really flesh a lot of these songs out,” Prendergast says. After the release of Get Nuked, the band Through all of this reflection, the band began “It’s going to be cool. The writing on this one started to play around town and felt a greater to look at options to potentially expand the has been fun because it’s all new songs. It’s sense of what they could achieve live. This also band even further. At this point though, the not like Get Nuked which was pretty much all provided the band with more opportunities to band has looked no further than Lacy. “We Pencilgrass stuff. Now, it’s a chance to show flesh out rarities from the back catalog. “After were thinking it’d be cool to have an electric off how we write together as a band.” we recorded with Russell, we started to pick guitar in the mix and we brought Russell in to at other songs that Eddie had written after tryout,” Prendergast says. “It ended up fitting One thing is for certain. Mikrowaves are setting Pencilgrass,” Miller mentions. “Songs from really nicely and it gave me a chance to focus a path for themselves that is unparalleled to a Amazing Ghost that we thought could fit on singing and not having to constantly be lot of groups in town. Their shows contain a really well or ones that maybe held up from playing for every moment in the set.” As one certain energy that’s contagious and gets any those days.” Prendergast is quick to deny that of the sole electric instruments in the band, wallflower to let loose and set their inhibitions any of the reputation from Amazing Ghost Lacy’s playing on guitar exudes a greater aside. If any of that can be captured on this might have equated to added attention for energy to the already powerful material. In upcoming release, everyone will be in for a Mikrowaves. “I don’t know how much of an many ways, his presence in the band can seem treat. And that can only be a beautiful thing. impact those shows had for us,” Prendergast hidden during shows, but have no doubt that 10 years of RVA Magazine 2005-2015


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Tickets: 804.340.1405 | 200 N. Boulevard |

Jun 11 – Sep 5

I10will years never of RVA forget Magazine vegas 2005-2015 Mike. - tony

Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic is organized by the Brooklyn Museum and made possible by the Henry Luce Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. Image: Shantavia Beale II (detail), 2012, Kehinde Wiley (American, born 1977), oil on canvas. Collection of Ana and Lenny Gravier. © Kehinde Wiley (Photo: Jason Wyche, courtesy of Sean Kelly, New York)



Salvador DALI & MME. Argillet By Angie Huckstep

The infamous Salvador Dali has graced Richmond with yet another short visit. It wouldn’t be the first time, with a stay in Bowling Green, Virginia from 1940-1941 at Caresse Crosby’s Hampton Manor estate and a stint in 1966 highlighted by a (then) preposterous proposal for Monument Avenue. But this most recent visit might have been Dali’s most intimate, even if it comes decades removed from his lifetime. From the 23rd to 30th of this past April, Chasen Galleries on West Cary St. exhibited the private collection of Dali’s publisher and confidant of more than 50 years, Pierre Argillet. Dali met M. Argillet before the Second World War through the Surrealist circle of artists and writers in Amsterdam. After the war, they reunited to embark on over a decade of fruitful projects and 54

exhibitions. Now, in 2016, Pierre’s daughter Mme. Christine Argillet -- curator of the collection, as well as a premiere scholar of Surrealism -- is proud to honor this relationship with a collection that offers a truly singular take on Dali’s renowned work.

While most are familiar with Dali’s early painting career, recognizing notable pieces like The Persistence of Memory (1931) and The Great Masturbator (1929), the Argillet Collection provides great insight into his post-war productivity. “There was this long maturation for the body of work we have here,” Mme. Argillet explains. “[With] the exception of three drawings which are older, these are all mostly works of the ‘60s.” Influenced by the work of notable writers, artists, and popular figures outside of the Surrealist tradition, it’s evident where Dali uses his own iconographies to comment on many cultural and political themes.

“This presentation of Dalí: The Argillet Collection,” Mme. Argillet details, “is a tribute to the work of my father, Pierre Argillet, as an extraordinary publisher of the Dada and Surrealist group. This collection reflects a constant endeavor, a very personal archive of not only Dalí’s finest etchings and tapestries, but an intimate glimpse into my family’s personal and cherished photos, films, anecdotes, and memories of life with Dalí and [his Each of the eight series in the exhibition were curated by suite -- Mythologies, Faust, Bullfights, wife] Gala.” Venus in Furs, Apollinaire, Mao Zedong, Don Juan, and Hippies -- as well as a suite of ceramic vessels and two large tapestries. The Argillet Collection RVA RVAMAGAZINE MAGAZINE2524| |SUMMER SPRING 2016

What brought Dali and your father together How did your father become involved with this after the war? What halted their working line of work? relationship after 15 years of publications? He started as a journalist very early on. He Dali was so happy to escape the disaster was very lucky that the first years where he in Europe. That’s the reason my father was involved in journalism, a very well read reconnected with him not before the end of guy involved with the surrealist movement the ‘50s. When my father restarted to work took him to his various events and happenings; with him, he decided to put aside the other they were great friends until the end of his artists to work with Dali. It brought him life. My father had no family to take him to much pleasure to work with Dali. they were those exhibitions and new movements, he great friends! So, that’s why a large part of completely opened [my father’s] eyes. the work shown here is from the ‘60s. Then in 1973, Dali said to my father, “I cannot etch Did your father identify as a surrealist? anymore, it’s too much work. My eyes water after 5-10 minutes. I cannot work on a copper I would say that he was a very free thinker, plate because it’s so shiny; the work is too but at the end of his life he was always telling small and tedious. I have to finish projects and me, he was 92 when he passed away, “Oh, it’s The collection shows off this pulsating period of paintings. I would like you to go for lithographs notlike Surrealism.” Nostalgic of that time. You Dali’s late career in a vibrant fashion, but it’s the and printing afters.” My father said, “No, never. know, when you are so part of a movement personal aspect of Dalí: The Argillet Collection I have beautiful, genuine original etchings that and have seen all that, and then people pass that renders it spectacular, impactful, and truly you did working directly on the copper plate. I away one after another... it’s quite difficult I singular. We talked with Mme. Christine Argillet don’t want anything that would be ‘afters’ with would say, quite sad for him... but yes, he was herself to gain more insight into the intertwining a photographic medium in-between. For me, it very linked to Surrealism. We had long talks history of the two families as well as what really has no more interest than a poster, and if you about this, but I had difficulty taking him out drove the artist in this inspired moment. don’t mind, we stop our publications here. But of [the melancholy]. I’d tell him, “Why don’t let’s remain friends.” you come out and see? There is a beautiful exhibition here.” He’d reply, “I don’t want to captures a number of stylistic developments in Dali’s works on paper. As Mme. Argillet points out, “There is really a shift in his work [from the early] ‘60s where it’s very meticulously drawn like the Mythologies, to the end of the ‘60s where it’s very spontaneous.” She further identifies, “In the beginning of the ‘60s, he would throw acid on covered plates, and then draw around the abstract shape created by this motion, being inspired by the given smudge. Then we have the mid-’60s where he reworks Picasso’s Bullfight series. [He] brings this sort of burlesque, humorous touch because he didn’t like the bullfights so he made fun of them.” Then in the late ‘60s, his Hippies series was the “most immediate and spontaneous of them all”-- at times he would mark the plate without even a sketch.

10 years of RVA Magazine 2005-2015


depended. But they had this free, back and forth, watching happenings, going to them together, or organizing them. My father did this many times so they had those exchanges of, “You should see this or that,” and then they would discuss.

I think that sometimes the combination is marvelous because one corresponds with and complements the other, which is extremely beneficial. In the time of Surrealism, I think that many writers were there -- like Paul Eluard and Andre Breton -- and they would bring another complement of what a painter or etcher would Behind his public persona, which was a bit do, and in that sense I think it was allowing crazy, he was shy. He would overcompensate everyone to go further on their own path. But [in public] -- my father was always afraid in many cases, it distracts. I remember Giorgio of where it was going to lead! But Dali was DeCirco, I think it was in 1971 in Venice, Italy. very bright, very well read, and with a sort He had been shown a film on Kandinsky and he of pirouette, he would come back. I think the said, “If I had known so well Kandinsky’s works before, I might have not been able to do what I What can you tell me about Dali’s creative did because it would have lead me somewhere process? Were there any ritualistic elements? else and distracted me from my own path.” Ritualistic, I wouldn’t say so, other than he So, I think Dali was, for most of his life, very was always whistling. His idea was always strong in his own research. [When you have to change with the topic he was working on. Surrealism, there’s] an eclecticism so spread For instance, even in the late ‘60s, he would that it’s difficult to see [now]. But in those read for a long time on the Faust series, on times, they would go to a café in Paris, they Apollinaire’s poems, he would read about Mao would agree or disagree, very strongly. Next day Zedong very much. He knew poems by heart in the newspapers, you would see something in many languages... pages, entire pages. Then, against this one, and they would answer with in a movement like the flow of a calligrapher, another newspaper. In those times, everything he would work very spontaneously and let his was possible to be said... yet there existed this imagination go. And in a way his imagination underlying respect for everyone’s freedom of and ideas connected without him being totally thought. There were also very strong quarrels, controlling. He would love to be controlling and but that brought fuel to the debate so it was not controlling, work in-between those, let it beautiful. It’s ok to be upset with one another naturally fill itself in. [Some of] his most happy and have different views -- it’s a learning moments that I noticed [were] when he saw experience. connections that appeared in his works that he would notice afterwards. Yes, in the beginning Now it’s different unfortunately, a different of the ‘60s, he would throw acid, but other way of life where everybody is connected times he would use nails, scissors, roulettes -but people are not together. When you are in it had no end. For the Medusa, he even used front of a computer, you don’t have to listen a real octopus that was there on the shore in to someone and envision another point of front of his house in Spain. I saw him take the view, or cope with another point of view. animal, put it in the acid, and onto the copper You say yes or no, I don’t want this or I want plate so it printed its own shape. that, so you don’t have this possibility of deconstructing and constructing yourself in Do you recall any specific topics of conversation the same way. It’s what is missing nowadays. It between your father and Dali about the relation might be uncomfortable, but you have to face of art and literature? this discomfort and reflect on it. We need a contradictory eye sometimes to challenge and You know, they were very close, and so they defend our thoughts. Truth lives in different would exchange books quite often. In 1968, public persona does not reflect at all who he ways, it is so important for people to envision my father found the beautiful poems of Mao was. He was a very easy-going simple person, something else, otherwise the learning process Zedong [in a Parisian bookstore], which he did but outside you saw a different man. At home, through life is held back. not know existed until that time. He brought he was totally different -- extremely human, them to Dali who said, “That’s extraordinary! simple, and charming. That’s something For the full version of this interview, make sure to I didn’t know this guy had done poetry!” It’s which has always touched me retrospectively, visit from there that [these projects] started. So thinking of that proximity he had with often, they were exchanging books and ideas everyone, and the way he would talk to the taxi Chasen Galleries also has a number of Dali pieces -- when my father proposed Venus in Furs, driver asking if he had seen his last show, here that have remained on the premises, on view by Dali was excited. But sometimes my father and there, telling [him] that he should come. appointment. proposed things that didn’t resonate with Dali at that moment, or through his views; What are your thoughts on developing and Dali proposed things to my father who journalists and writers alongside artists? was not enthusiastic about this or that, so it see anything anymore -- I saw so many things!” That’s the age I think, but he was very linked to Surrealism, that was his passion and I think it became difficult for him to escape from that dream world, to deprogram himself. I think he appreciated very much the freedom of the time, the challenges. It would push him to work more, and do things that weren’t always easy with Dali and with others, to push certain limits. He had a very rich and full life in that time of Surrealism and I think probably he stayed with that, I’m quite sure.

“ a tribute to the work of my father, Pierre Argillet, as an extraordinary publisher of the Dada and Surrealist group. This collection reflects a constant endeavor, a very personal archive of not only Dalí’s finest etchings and tapestries, but an intimate glimpse into my family’s personal and cherished photos, films, anecdotes, and memories of life with Dalí and [his wife] Gala.”



10 years of RVA Magazine 2005-2015





.. re. o m any


THRESHOLD 10 years of RVA Magazine 2005-2015



LOCAL Reviews

Shannon Cleary (SC), Cody Endres (CE), Sarah Schuster (SS), Craig Zirpolo (CZ), Doug Nunnally (DN)


A Lost Dream; The Dreamer Lost ( A prog and post rock love affair that downplays the stylistic clashes and marries the spiritual adventure each genre embodies. Captive have quietly released one of Richmond’s most ambitious works of 2016, one full of vivid lyricism and astonishing musicianship that constantly strives to reach the next level and somehow continues to succeed. (DN)

Doll Baby

Polliwog (

Clair Morgan

With their first album in six years, Cough has given us their best-sounding recording yet. The majority of songs here deliver huge doom and sludge riffs, with guitar tones that sound caked in dried mud, alternately wretched and despairing vocals reverberating overtop. Some dark folk and more chilled-out stoner rock passages towards the end of the album introduce interesting new dynamics for Cough. (CE)


Hannah Goad

My Darling Fury

Mourning Flame (gemtonemusic.

The photo making up this album’s cover appears at first to have been shot underwater, but upon closer inspection, it seems to have been shot above ground in low light. Both interpretations work well: the listener is first submerged under waves of gloomy synth, then brought to a dark, sparsely-populated dance party, before being dragged to a dungeon. Descend. (CE)

Pete Curry


In a short span of time, Pete Curry is making a strong argument for him being one of Richmond’s best pop auteurs. On Doin’ Nothin’, he takes the framework from his debut and dabbles with fascinating, tempered instrumentation. “Nobody’s Home” is the perfect song to include on any summer mixtapes. (SC)



Still They Pray (Relapse Record)

Temper Mistake, Exclusion Erase ( Temper Mistake, Exclusion Erase almost didn’t see the light of day. Much like LP2 from Sunny Day Real Estate, the RVA pop punk quartet recorded their best work to date and called it quits without plans for release. But even that disappointment cannot detract from the group’s monumental step forward, transcending genre trappings and raising the bar from their 2013 debut, So Am I. (CZ)

Armed with perhaps the most powerful voice in town and a sound that is timelessly effective, local trio Doll Baby burst onto the scene here with a despondent sound that demands listen after listen until ever last inflection is fully memorized. Across three wildly different styles and approaches, the band remains resounding throughout the record with vocalist Julie Storey skillfully guiding the way to the next tumultuous moment. (DN)

Doin’ Nothin’ (

Close Talker

New Lions & The Not-Good Night (Egghunt Records) Like most math rock, 2013’s No Notes is built on the relationship between notes and rhythms. At its core, Clair Morgan’s newest release is also built on relationships, but with less focus on rhythmic structure and much more on personal connection. The music here soars on the exploration of harmony between each and leads to many profound musical statements, some so conflicting that it’s mind-blowing when they pull them off in transcendent ways. (DN)

Veery (

Quick. Loud. Abrasive. Thoughtful. These are all words that can be used to describe Veery’s spectacular debut EP. Nothing from this trio’s past could prepare audiences for their unique blend of post-hardcore and grunge. From the first moments of “Julia” up until the closing refrain of “Dry,” you’ll soon realize you’ve just stumbled upon your new favorite band. (SC)

Kinds (

A former instrumentalist of Portland-originated Lili and the Dirty Moccasins, Hannah Goad strips her album down to basics -- her voice and her guitar. It’s no wonder that Kinds deals in themes of isolation, and the difference between loneliness and independence, between following blindly and carving out an identity, however incomplete. (SS)


Little Sin (ZAP Records)

Stirring rock and roll for any jaded fan of the current scene or any fan just wanting some inescapable aplomb. Vexine assert themselves as one of Richmond’s premier acts here with a sound fully realized and deeply explored across all styles and timbres. The aesthetic has to be mentioned here for its encompassing success, but at its core, this music succeeds on its ability to tap into the core of rock and roll and fully exploit it. (DN)


( Years of setbacks led to My Darling Fury’s rebirth as an entity far removed from what RVA first came to know & love, but an entity that just might be more honest & sincere than anything before it. Existing outside the confines of a typical structure, the now-trio have cultivated a sound that hinges on the relation between inflection & intervention, with somber thoughts clearing the way for imposing melodies that make for the most interesting songs yet from the band. (DN)

The Wimps

The Wimps (

On their self-titled debut, The Wimps feel extracted from such a wide array of genres, yet they pull it off effortlessly. Seamlessly tying together baroque, early punk, garage rock staples, and reckless abandon, The Wimps are a great example of the next generation of Richmond music to be paying attention to. (SC)




Hopelessness (Secretly Canadian)

As the title suggests, the subject matter demurs any chance it gets, but with a shrewd ear for contrast and balance, it leaves you far removed from a somber outlook once finished. As much as it challenges your way of thinking, it does more to contest the concept of what a protest record can be and might just change what we believe it should be moving forward. (DN)

Chris Hardwick

Funcomfortable (Comedy Central Records)


Little Windows Cut Right Through (Polyvinyl)

You can never predict what Aloha will record to record, but that’s the beauty of it. On their recent release, they implement a few prog rock textures into their atypical spin on the genre. “Moon Man” and “One Hundred Million” are instant favorites. For fans of Owls and Minus The Bear. (SC)

James Blake

The Colour In Anything (Polydor Records)

Despite his notoriety as the host of just about everything, Chris Hardwick is best known as a seasoned comedian. On Funcomfortable, he dissects the uncomfortable moments in life and uses humor as a way of coping with the death of his father. It’s a poignant, engaging performance that earns every laugh. Just try to keep up with all of the cultural references! (SC)

James Blake’s longest release to date is also his most varied stylistically, and his brightest in terms of production. While many of Blake’s previous releases feature somewhat muted sonics, Colour’s is a more tangible soundscape. That doesn’t mean he’s lost his edge for subtlety; there are plenty of moments of quiet piano work, and Blake’s delicate croon persists. (CE)

Modern Baseball


Holy Ghost (Run For Cover)

In a year chock full of incredible releases, Modern Baseball might have just released a strong contender for year’s best. While a throwback to the heyday of emo, they go above and beyond genre limitations to craft a sound all their own. “Apple Cider, I Don’t Mind” and “Wedding Singer” are two examples of their smart approach to indie rock songwriting. It’s a welcome relief to hear a band influenced by emo’s favorites and delightfully succeed. (SC) 1010years yearsofofRVA RVAMagazine Magazine2005-2015 2005-2015

Cardinal (Run For Cover)

If there were a soundtrack to the current culture’s growing rejection of irony, Pinegrove’s Cardinal seems a good candidate. Emo, pop punk, and early Wilco alt-country definitely form a part of Pinegrove’s genealogy, but their country riffs and southern-accented drawls come with a distinctly pop punk mission -- a desire to genuinely connect, and to maintain intimate connection. (SS)


Car Seat Headrest

Bold. Ambitious. Ingenious. Exultant. This is a record immune to any common criticism or complaint. It is far from flawless, but the poised displayed at even the weakest moments points to an artist creating at her highest possible level and nothing can take away from the excellence formed from the simple concept of infidelity. (DN)

After years of bouncing from recording to recording with little forethought, Will Toldeo has collected himself enough to deliver the record of his lifetime. Toledo’s brilliance has always been felt, although in brief moments across a dozen records this decade, but here, he allows these moments to fully mature and develop over the course of a record that seemingly validates the basic concept of bedroom music. (DN)


John Congleton And The Nighty Nite

Lemonade (Columbia Records)

Awkward Pop Songs (Creep Records)

Who knew that the emo-pop punk golden age would come in 2016, a decade or more apart from the pioneers of the genre? That’s at least what listening to JANK’s debut album feels like. Unrelentingly pozzy, the Philly based band takes emo revival into overdrive with irreverent lyrics and mathy guitar. (SS)


A Moon Shaped Pool (XL)

After all this time, Radiohead remain an isolated band, a fact supported by somber and reflective music and highly creative videos. The addition of strings help to soften what could be viewed as their most morose album to date, while the rich, nuanced textures that suffuse reveals that there is still plenty of artistic growth left for the band. (DN)

Teens Of Denial (Matador Records)

Until The Horror Goes (Fat Possum Records)

Prolific producer John Congleton makes noisy, dissonant pop music, with his sneering voice presenting uniquely morbid, witty lyrics. It’s amazing that an album this uncomfortable could feature such catchy songs, but it does. Congleton is a deviously crafty songwriter and multiinstrumentalist -- in addition to being a producer -- so songs pop with melody, while something nasty sits just below the service. (CE)

Sturgill Simpson

A Sailor’s Guide To Earth (Atlantic Records)

In just three years, this unassuming Kentucky musician has completely redefined what country music can mean in the 21st century. At first, Simpson flirted with both outlaw and neotraditional styles, but on his latest record, he unveils his own unique take, best described as progressive country -- a genre so ill-defined that your best example is a pair of headphones, a glass of whiskey, and this record. (DN)




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10 years of RVA Magazine 2005-2015


Stuart William Moore The “Mayor of Grace Street” saluted and said goodbye to this world May 26, 2016, after 94 years of being awesome. He was survived by his cat named “Ray,” The Village Café family, strong black coffee, and a small glass of Pepsi. Born August 16, 1921, Stuart spent the majority of his life in Richmond where he was employed with Stephen Putney Shoe Company and FFV Cookies and Crackers -- fitting for a man that always had something sweet: a compliment, a cookie or just a smile. Stuart was active throughout his long life. He enjoyed ten-pin bowling and was a league member for close to 40 years. He was also an enthusiastic country dancer, and he could prove it. He always had a little wiggle in his walk and pep in his step. The man had moxie, dammit. Aside from his generosity, Stuart was a compassionate man and a funny fellow. He was a grandfather figure to most of us and a friend to all. He meant so much to so many. In nearly a century of living, Stuart witnessed the world change in dramatic ways, but the world will never know another quite like him. While he loved everyone with such ease, we know he will rest peacefully knowing the feeling was mutual. Thank you, Stuart, for the pocket candy, the nice recommendations, the wonderful trips to Hooters, and always proving that age is just a number. Rest in peace, dear friend. You’re lookin’ good.



10 years of RVA Magazine 2005-2015




RVA #25 SUMMER 2016  

After a wildly celebrated issue in April, RVA Magazine returns this July with our 25th issue that will cement our place as the leader in cov...

RVA #25 SUMMER 2016  

After a wildly celebrated issue in April, RVA Magazine returns this July with our 25th issue that will cement our place as the leader in cov...