ISSUE FIVE Edited by Mike Arellano and Iain Oldman
Photograph by Andrea Bianchi
Photograph by Cara Walton
WORST WEEK EVER The other day I stepped out of a bar, revelling in the undeniable beauty of the sun that rained down with the shine and gleam of a plastic bag full of diamonds. After exiting, eyes in the sky, I promptly stepped in a steaming pile of hot dog shit, and thatâ€™s when I knew it.
Summer is here. Yup, it’s undeniable. June is the month where we begin scouting which pools we will and won’t get kicked out of. For women, this is the beginning of having guys ogle at you for just too long, and for guys this is the month where we are informed that denim banana hammocks are not appropriate swimwear, apparently. Of course, with the emergence of the sun comes the heat, and with the heat comes the goddamn crazies. I don’t have the stats to back this up, but I can assuredly tell you that this is the month with the most beer can related injuries, dog attacks, and boredom influenced arsons, so when you’re standing on your porch wondering why cars keep crashing in front of your house, don’t say I didn’t warn you. This is the Worst Week Ever.
All poetry, short stories and artwork are submitted by people that live here in the Harrisonburg area.
Published and Edited by Mike Arellano and Iain Oldman
Elwood “Trip” Madison
June 6 & 7 at Court Square Theater 7:30 PM $16 at door There isn’t an extraordinary amount of live theater that you can find in Harrisonburg, let’s be honest, but when it does come around, it tends to floor you. Learning to Play, the new play from Ted Swartz of Ted & Company, promises to be no different. A performance detailing one man’s struggle through faith and life after learning of his son’s homosexuality, Learning to Play urges the audience to have conversations about their own misgivings, and empathize with the characters, while humor and drama blend seamlessly with live music accompaniment. Don’t miss Harrisonburg’s first live theater experience of the summer!
June 7-28th at JMU Planetarium (Saturdays only) Planetary Visions: A Solar System Adventure We here at Worst Week Ever have been just, like, obsessing over the new “Cosmos” series presented by our dawg Neil DeGrasse Tyson, so when we learned that JMU’s Planetarium had opened their doors to the public for presentations, we drooled so much it looked like we pissed our pants. Playing every Saturday in June at 1 PM, Planetary Visions: A Solar System Adventure is an interactive experience where you explore the wonders of our solar system. In addition, the planetarium will raise it’s StarBall (I don’t know what that is but it sounds AWESOME) to educate and illustrate the Valley sky, so you can go out and explore the universe yourself! Oh, one more thing: it’s all goddamn free! ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Make sure you make it out to planetarium this month, t h o u g h , because it closes in July and August.
June 6th at “That Show House” Palberta, Malatese, and Candidate Demo Perfect for First Friday, the super-odd Palberta come from New York to play that show house that has a basement (you know which one we’re talking about). They sound like the Minutemen, if they were fronted by the child of Jello Biafra and Kendra Smith. Very jumpy and fuzzy, their instrumentation creates a chaotic pool for their creepy-ass vocals to swim in. We can’t wait to watch ‘em, seriously. Flanked by Malatese’s own special brand of washed out psych-punk and Candidate Demo’s overwhelming urge to confuse the shit out of you, this show should help you right into the sanitarium if you roast a bone beforehand.
June 8-15th Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival One of Harrisonburgâ€™s longest running annual traditions, the Shenandoah Valley Bach Festival has finally arrived, bringing ultratalented musicians performing in multiple venues to the delight of everyone. Donâ€™t let the name fool you, though, this isnâ€™t all just Bach. Pieces from composers such as Handel, Rameau, Mendelssohn, and many more will be on full display. Go to www.emu.edu/bach/schedule/ for the full schedule and tickets.
June 20th at Clementine Cafe Judy Chops CD Release Show w/ Sally Rose 9PM $8
The Judy Chops have quietly become an institution in Harrisonburg’s music scene. If you haven’t seen them play, you must not only be living under a rock, but that rock is on the goddamn moon. Blending soulful, contemporary Americana tones with depression-era folk songwriting, this octet has a live show that is both riveting and thoughtful. Oh and hey, they’re releasing their new album, Minor Sun, so pick up a copy of that while you’re there. Charlottesville’s own, very talented Sally Rose opens for the Judy Chops to round out a great night of locally grown folk talent.
July 1st at the Blue Nile Robbie Freeman & the New Leaves Band, Buck Gooter
It seems somewhat appropriate that a band from Gainesville, FL is playing Harrisonburg just as the summer heat and humidity start smothering us. They canâ€™t escape it! Lucky for us, though as Robbie Freeman & the New Leaves Band bring their garage punk revival sounds to the Blue Nile. Punchy and swinging with antifolk licks, come see them with local mind fuckers Buck Gooter to welcome July into your lives.
Photograph by Ben Fraits
FIRST FRIDAY JUNE 6TH: *5-8 Spitzer Art Center Somewhere I am a Bird: book launch & poetry reading by Angela M. Carter. Photography exhibit by Brandy Somers. Live music by Shenandoah Alley. (reading starts at 6:15) *5-8 Asbury United Methodist Church Resurrection Photography & Writing *5-8 Arts Council of the Valley’s Darrin McHone Gallery 2014 Bridgewater College Art Graduates *5-7 The Yellow Button Yellow, It’s Me... Paintings by Denise Allen *5-8 Ten Thousand Villages A Photographic Exploration of Decay: Photography by Cara Walton *5-8 Denton Park Folksinger Bill Harouff *5-7 Clementine It Caught My Eye: Photography by Sandra Parks
*5-8 Oasis A Year of Experimentation: 52 Encaustic Paintings by Jewel Hertzler *5-8 Wilson Downtown Gallery @ Kline May Portraits by Jennifer Lockard Connerley *5-8 Larkin Arts Artery Silent Auction to benefit youth art camp scholarships *5-8 Artful Dodger Ashton Hill *5-9 Blue Nile Juried Show, Upstairs opening begins at 5. Downstairs opening begins at 7. Awards ceremony at 8pm. *5-8 Over the Moon Photography by Danielle Campbell *5-8 Three Notchâ€™d Paintings by Erin Murray *9:30 Court Square Theater Learning to Play: Ted & Co.
Celebrating Life: The idea is to choose a random existing holiday each month. Iâ€™ll do a call for interest, then document the activity celebrating the holiday to share it with the world (as far as I can reach). --Brandy Somers
Today is not National Macaron Day Even though this was intended to be a shoot to celebrate National Macaroon Dayâ€Śit is not.
Today is not National Macaron Day
This post is a testament to one of the most delicious mistakes I’ve ever made… MacarOONS are chewy and made with coconut. MacarONS are made with almond meal and resemble a cookielike sandwich. They basically share the same list of other ingredients, but let’s face it: as delicious as they both are, macarons are the Homecoming Queens and macaroons are sitting at home in their sweatpants, eating a pint of Kline’s peanut-buttercookies-n-cream, watching reruns of Girls.
Even though this was intended to be a shoot to celebrate National Macaroon Day…it is not. I didn’t even shoot macaroons for cryin’ out loud. But I did learn something new and meet a pretty cool gal…and that’s really why I created this whole series to begin with. It was great spending the afternoon getting to know Amelia and taking a glimpse into another hardworkin’ mama’s life…and learning that I’m a culinary idiot, but I’m trying ova hea! read the full post here
Mike and I were invited to come take a look at the brand new Three Notch’d Brewery tap room. It didn’t take long for us to get there. Golden strands of rich sunlight bathed our backs. Walking through the square, taking advantage of the beautiful day, seemingly painted on, thick, Mike and I pondered the blissful innocence of the afternoon. After all, here we were, two individuals losing a sense of self in place, becoming lost in the grand scheme of weather, heading to drink beer, really good beer, and forget all of these existential bullshit, contrived thoughts. Could there be a more perfect way to destroy a good afternoon? Good beer contains the solutions to all of a weary man’s ailments: refreshment, inebriation, killing all of that spare time you have. Remember that time she left you? Beer was there. Beer is always there.
So that’s why the two of us giddily skipped into the new Three Notch’d Brewery tap room on East Market Street, at the bottom of the Urban Exchange building. On the way in, we passed a red cheeked man, sporting a long, auburn beard, greeting every passerby on the sidewalk, and that quickly crushed any doubts that we may be headed into the wrong store. Beer nerd with a beer beard in front of the business? Check. The constructed theme continues the ambiance. Walk in, and immediately you see beer taps lined up, assaulting your brain, sending blood rushing to your penis. BEER. I mean, sure, there’s some sweet jams pumping through speakers, and it’s cool, I guess, that there are rich, polished wood tables that are so long and beautiful and natural that you feel like you’ll be
drinking next to Smokey Bear. I get it, tables and comfort for patrons, and all. They also hang featured, local artists on the wall every month (right now they have works up by the very talented Erin Murray, and previously showed Worst Week Ever contributor Ashton Hill, check â€˜em out) and have permanent installations of pieces worked up by the brilliant talent you find walking around downtown, selling you booze and cigarettes. But holy shit, the beer! In addition to taps, they have a cooler to pick up your favorite Three Notchâ€™d six pack. Just swing in, and take your beers. Yes, to go, please. And the beer! Oooooh, the beer! They have eight of their delicious libations on tap currently, with more to come, and we were blessed enough to run the gauntlet
on them. You may be familiar with some, like one of their flagship beers, the Hydraulion Irish Red: a very lovely beer with subtle, bubbly notes of caramel and the slightest hint of hops that bounce around on your tongue. Other beers available, however, may be a bit more unfamiliar to our Harrisonburg readers. Previously rare on this side of Afton, Three Notchâ€™d is pouring beers such as The Trader Crystal-Hopped Saison, which floats around heavily for a saison, and lingers wonderfully in your mouth, with a spicey complexion. Or maybe try the Oats McGoats, a rich, chocolatey
stout. With the sun coming out, perhaps you’d like to try out their Citra Wheat Ale, a very floral, casual drink to slip in. It is surprisingly tasteful and complex for such a light beer, and the pint displays a beautiful color, sun filtered through blond hair. The final touch in the beer are the citra hops, which are faint, but undeniably omnipresent, like your great-grandfather’s ghost. Our favorites, though? Well, let’s start with the No Veto English Brown Ale. I can say with confidence and frequency that this is the best brown ale I’ve remembered enjoying. This is the style of beer that Churchill saved Britain from the Nazis for. Extremely rich and full bodied, take some time to let this beer float around in your mouth for a while. You’ll notice complex notes exploding off of one another. It’s nutty. It’s malty. Hell, there’s even the slightest hint of espresso flavor that graces your throat. This beer is truly magical. If I had children, I would tell them all that I love them, but I love No Veto English Brown Ale the most. At least he’s never disappointed me. We’ve saved the best for last though. You may have seen it sold in six-pack cans at different stores around the area, or on tap at Jack Brown’s or Billy Jack’s, as it is one of Three Notch’d Brewery’s flagship concoctions.
When you initially taste their 40 Mile IPA, you can see why they’d like to show it off. This beer is quickly becoming one of my favorites, an ole’ reliable, because it is, quite simply, refreshing. Finding the seemingly cryptic balance between hoppy and fruity, this is the beer you crack open while you find the baseball game on your radio, sitting on a screened in porch, absorbing the high grace of the noon sun like a stalk of corn. Floral and tasteful, but still staunchly BEER, hand this to anyone who says, “Yeah but I don’t like fruity beers”, then stand back and watch them mouth the words Oh my God.
Mike and I sit at one of the long, wooden tables inside. We’re surrounded by empty sample glasses, still bleeding slow glands of foam, collecting in the bottom like pools of gold. I’m feeling it all now, pulsing through my veins, turning my cheeks red. Sitting with us is Betsy O’Brien, resident bartender of the joint, and we’re all talking beer and Three Notch’d Brewery’s future. Why did you choose Harrisonburg over larger cities? I ask her. You’ll like this: they chose Harrisonburg for a reason.
“Harrisonburg is known for it’s beer palette,” she tells us. “The city buys a lot of craft beer, and will try out new ones.” O’Brien would know, too. She’s done beer distro for bars and stores in the area, and has seen what we drink. Three Notch’d is going to begin brewing small batches on site, then releasing the product for Harrisonburgonly releases. Based off of our response to the brews, they’ll then decide whether to keep brewing it, or leave it on the wayside. Soon they’ll be serving up two of their brand new potions, the Bunch of Crazies Double IPA and a smoked ale yet to be named. That’s how goddamn fresh these batches are going to be- one doesn’t even have a name yet! “Harrisonburg is our little testing ground,” O’Brien tells us. Apparently, the brewery has plans to open up other taprooms across the state, which is cool, but we were first! We’re VIPs! And regionality is astoundingly important to Three Notch’d, making this beer feel like it’s ours. They don’t just put pictures of mountains up everywhere to make it seem like “the Valley”, an insultingly lowest-commondenominator summarization of the town. No, Three Notch’d puts local ingredients in their beer, like locally grown, hand picked espresso beans. They use Virginiagrown hops and are brewing their smoked ale with
smoked barley from Virginia’s Copper Fox Distillery. Three Notch’d even name and model their beers off of the area’s historically important roads, events, and people. This is local beer in it’s finest form. Raise your glasses, people.
A troupe of artists working live in th collectively create a single piece of art â€œArtery started out with a few core members just inviting friends to donate their time and their talents. We wanted to provide an opportunity for artists to step outside their studio and work collaboratively with others on the same canvas. We also wanted a way to simply paint together with no specific direction and just hold conversations with our paint brushes. The response was exhilarating! An oversized canvas was
donated and Larkin Arts gladly hosted our ﬁrst Artery on the Square. Pictured above is the ﬁrst ever Artery on the Square on August 8, 2013 where we painted live for passersby. At ﬁrst, we only invited artists, then we started inviting people walking by to join in and paint alongside us. Each piece public sphere to was made during the course of a few hours and was painted upon by many people- some were trained artists, some were children, some were people passing by that were invited to join in. We now have over 20+ paintings, all extremely different. However, the focus still remains on the collaborative process. In order to create so many pieces, Artery received a Creative Inspiration Grant from the Arts Council of the Valley in 2013. ACV’s
June 7, 14, 21, 28 at Larkin Arts July 4 at Larkin Arts September 5 at DragonďŹ‚ies Toys October 3 at Denton Pocket Park For more Information Please visit: www.larkinarts.com www.facebook.com/MainArteryLive
Advancing the Arts re-granting program supports artists and educators that work to promote the arts as fundamental to our community and those that advocate for lifelong learning in the arts. As part of the grant, Artery will have a final showcase and silent auction for the month of June at Larkin Arts. The proceeds from this Auction will provide further opportunities for youth in our community to advance through the arts. Artery would like to invite the community to come and participate in this exciting event and be a part of the growing art scene in Harrisonburg!â€?
Elwood “Trip” Madison
STOP DRINKING SO MUCH. I hate everything I know nothing What do I have to give? I try so hard to achieve a sense of being define myself Righteous but a cowardly soul I wander about stoned Believe in nothing Doubt self. Sitting in the dark i crave for some thing more I drink too much thats for sure a comfort. a disillusion. --Anonymous
it is early in the morning and i can fall back asleep, finally. i am fantasizing about keeping you forever and breaking your smile. i built this lonely room for us, am i ever fucked by heart, by my heart it is later in the morning and you canâ€™t stop touching me and i keep washing dishes my heart is beating wrong and i am sure i have diabetes. i am missing pieces and they are missing persons, am i ever fucked and my heart it is early in the evening and i wish you would leave me to finger her hair and hide zipper your affection off my bad leg and remind me, please what the fuck was i looking for it is happy hour and we are anything but but you are by my side still and still it is fucked, ever fucked i want to shiver and i canâ€™t it is bedtime and you roll away
After We Left the Sweater Party Food ate our thoughts as we lumbered out of the backseat into the Cold Solstice Air Donning red and green and white colored sweaters, Laughing. Praying the workers wouldn’t catch on to Little was said, save for my order and a vague hello. The smell of cheap liquor on our breath, The slurred words which followed. Saw a friend manning the register, her White fingers dashing across the touch pad. Thought we might talk about the town, How it had changed since we abandoned It for cities and sounds our Minds never loved before August came and blew us over state lines. Four of us sitting in a booth Staring out windows Numbering stars Mumbling sweet nothings into heaven’s celestial ear Spilling grease and ketchup on thriftshop wool bibs. Shoving cheap burgers down our throats Christmas was only three days Away.
By Andrew Seymour
I’ve sent so many letters to you I’ve sent so many letters to you that the postwoman knows my name and shakes her head.
My Ride Back There’s a sign on the side of the road on my ride back from school that advertises “Free Manure”. The odd thing is, I figure most people have that in abundance already.
By Iain Oldman
Repair Today as I was outside reading, I noticed a set of broken wind chimes, neglected by my grandmother, and set myself to repair them. I like wind chimes. Always have. Something about getting the wind to sing to you. Quickly, however, I found myself holding the silver pipes, one by one, flushed with the obvious disappointment that it will be impossible to fix them. A few were dented, and when strung up, striking each other, they merely croak out a flat, tinny thud. A grunt. It is yet another item that Iâ€™ve found myself unable to fix, unable to draw beautiful music from.
By Iain Oldman
Somewhere I am a Bird:
Book Launch and Photography Exhibit Angela Marie Carter and Brandy Somers The great Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, upon receiving the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1971, gave his now famous lecture “Towards the Splendid City” in which he recounts the perilous journey he took to flee his homeland. As a whole, the lecture is harrowing, albeit convoluted, and flooded with the aspect of pure human interaction. One moment of his lecture, in particular, will always rattle around in my rib cage: “Here arises an insight which the poet must learn through other people. There is no insurmountable solitude. All paths lead to the same goal: to convey to others what we are. And we must pass through solitude and difficulty, isolation and silence in order to reach forth to the enchanted place where we can dance our clumsy dance and sing our sorrowful song”. This human experience, this reminder that we must “pass through solitude and difficulty”, connecting with our brothers and sisters to reach ourselves as whole, came back to me like a goddamn lightning bolt when I spoke to Angela Carter and Brandy Somers about their upcoming event. On Friday, June 6th at the Spitzer Art center, beginning at five o’clock, these
two women present poetry readings and a photography exhibit that will move you, with power and authenticity. Angela Carter will release her book of poetry, Memory Chose A Womans Body, and Brandy Somers will present her photography, and you will want to be there to take it all in. Collaborating for months now, their works have moved past the ceiling of just “art” and have moved into the therapeutic realm. Focusing on the human element of struggle, and the subsequent importance of coping and positive, forward change, using stories and themes that are central, human tales that anyone can relate to. At least, that is the hope of the book, according to Angela Carter. “We are all survivors of something, and the book speaks of the shaky journey to that point of saying: I am a survivor.” Carter’s poetry is intensely personal and sometimes uncomfortable, weaving you through deeply introspective confessions paired with the twangs of memory clearer than the deepest glacial lake. Her poems tell her own stories, and through them, the stories of you and I. “It’s not the sort of stuff you talk about at a sleepover, and when it’s you, you feel like you are the only one in the world it has happened to,” she tells me. “They are human focused. I bet everyone has experienced some of it, but may not be ready to talk about it, and that’s okay too...I’m hoping that the book will conjure empathy and understanding towards these subjects, and create a change in the lives of others. I’m hoping the world around those people is viewed a little differently.”
Brandy Somers aims to affect the lives of visitors viewing her photography, as well, telling the stories of others coping with their live, struggling to find peace. I will warn you, her pieces are heavily, heavily emotional. Many will find them as a tough pill to swallow, but as Angela Carter put it, “any truth is difficult”. Somers coordinated her pieces to accompany the overall theme of Carter’s book, and the event as a whole, documenting women who were struggling to cope with their lives, and sharing their stories. By no means was it easy. One story Somers shared with us was particularly moving. She told us, “Their stories definitely left an impression. Many of these women put their trust
in me and opened up to share really painful stuff. It was heavy and I felt this overwhelming obligation to do their story justice through a single photo. It felt impossible, but I kept going with it. After hours of planning, coordinating my schedule with nearly 30 other women’s schedules and shooting for two full days, I decided to completely change the way I went about shooting: to streamline it, which meant all the photos I took the first two days were scrapped- except one. On the second day of shooting at the last house I visited, the lady explained to me that when she goes through down times, her hair falls out. She went into the bathroom and grabbed the comb full of hair that was clean moments before. I left her house feeling pretty defeated because I didn’t feel like the series was coming together the way I had envisioned. I didn’t feel I was doing their pain justice. On my drive home, the image of the lady’s hands holding the clump of hair kept tapping me on the shoulder. Somewhere along highway 42 I pulled over to draft an email to all the ladies asking them to give it another go with me.”
This collaboration started over breakfast, apparently the most important meal of the day. “Angela and her girls came over for brunch one morning. We chatted over pancakes and coffee about her book and my photography and how we could merge the two for a joint opening,” Somers tells us. Somewhere I am a Bird is the central poem, and one that struck a special chord with Somers, as the two were discussing the event. “The bird is coping. The book, for Angela, has been a source of healing, a way of coping.” Through her own work, Somers relates. “In many ways, photography helps me process the world around me. It helps me cope. I wanted to explore how others deal with life.” This event is obviously extremely personal to both Carter and Somers. That’s to be expected, I suppose, for an artist sharing their work with the world. But this is something more. Writing confessional poetry, exploring the world and it’s inhabitants through the eye of a lens, it’s how these women make sense of things, it’s how they get through everything. It’s how they cope. “Most of us are writers because we need to be, not because we chose to be,” Carter tells me. At the release of Memory Chose A Woman’s Body, while soaking in the visual stories of Brandy Somer’s captured grief, experiencing the moving and unconventionally honest poetry of Angela Carter climb into your head and plant strong roots in your soul, take a moment to consider your own struggles, your own travels, your own stories. These moments are meant to be shared and understood with your fellow human being.
At Spitzer Art Center, on Friday night, you will participate in that great human experience, the story telling, and that reminder from Pablo Neruda that there is no insurmountable solitude. Memory Chose A Womanâ€™s Body is available for purchase on Amazon. Click here to order your copy today. www.angelacarterpoetry.com
Join Angela and others at The Rocktown Poetry Circle every 3rd wednesday at Greenberryâ€™s for live poetry readings.
Elwood “Trip” Madison
Our friends from MACRoCK, Pissghetti, just released a limited 25 issue cassette tape release of their album So Much for My Happy Ending, and all proceeds go to the Virginia Beach Seton Youth Centers, so go check out their page and order one! They also released a video for their song “Surf ’s Up”, which features their time here in Harrisonburg during MACRoCK. Awesome! Tubular! Go watch it here!
Written by Iain Oldman
Pissghetti So Much for My Happy Ending
Accidental Seabirds The Greenpoint Spill Let me be the first (hopefully) to tell you to watch where this band goes. Accidental Seabirds, a quartet from Jerseyland, released their new album The Greenpoint Spill this past month, and it’s one of those collections of soul, folk, talent, and creativity that’s as refreshing as freshly crushed mint leaves. And here’s the thing, it’s not hard to see this band just taking off. They’re built for festivals but have the intimacy for bars while boasting the sound necessary for the fresh faced college crowd.
Written by Iain Oldman
But don’t let the oversaturated market of faux-folk turn you away from The Greenpoint Spill. It’s beautiful. It’s a beautiful, beautiful album, and it’s just different. Rich acoustic strings flutter in and out of songs while mini-hooks demand your attention, from time to time. The vocals are rich and authentic and the composition is minimal enough to let every instrument shine in it’s own unique way. Each song has a uniqueness to it, and this has the potential to be one of those albums where everyone who falls in love with it will have a different favorite song (“Footprints” for me). You have to check out the Accidental Seabirds soon, before they make their rise to a fame I’m confident they’ll find.
Go Go Leche Things Went Warm Oh boy, where do I start with this album? Well, I guess as a guy who truly, and I mean truly, appreciates a sense of humility in artists, Go Go Leche brings a confusing and awesome blend of goofiness and stoicism. Don’t follow me? You will. Liv Sohr and Kevin Sabo rap deliciously deadpan rhymes with impressive flow and cadence over the most chilled out, pot fueled production you’ll ever hear. Some of their songs are extremely short, especially for the rap game, and others are mostly reliant on the production, but the main theme is continuously present: chill out.
Written by Iain Oldman
What Go Go Leche do isn’t exactly groundbreaking, by what they do, they do extremely well. Things Went Warm is a great album to roll a spliff to, rolling out of your speakers like a drugged up ghost. This is just the album that you needed for summer, I promise you. You’ll be begging your friends to play this when you’re rum drunk, burnt by the sun, and still dripping wet from the kiddie pool you made out of your friend’s pickup truck’s bed.
Lil Huffy Kidland When a small, college town band puts out a four track EP on the heels of a cassette release, itâ€™s to be assumed that their music will be easily discernable and saturated, leaving the listener able to pick apart where the influences of the musicians come through.
Written by Iain Oldman
Here, Lil Huffy break the mold with Kidland, released just in time for summer. The only constant throughout the album is the strung out vocals cutting through each track, part Devandra Banhart, part Milo Aukerman, moaning and scratching. After that, well, there arenâ€™t many constants, and the quartet brandishes a surprising amount of diversity on an album that barely breaks ten minutes. Vintage, fuzzy guitar tones split into mathy riffs of harmony, blending garage punk, classic emo, and shades of psychedelic rock into cohesive songs, though each track varies mightily to the next. Look for Lil Huffy to show off their breadth this summer around town.
This Harrisonburg quartet’s debut full length album is, frankly, a rollercoaster ride of emotions. It’s Hard to Speak Through Chattering Teeth has an impressive display of ultra-rich, chilling guitar licks that weave between ambient and heavy indie interchangeably, but the focus of the album lies squarely on the vocals, where you hear about lost love, tender love, and then lost love again. It’s quite a journey. The song structures are well composed and structured, and the band puts variation on display, touching bases with Minus the Bear-type sounds and then pulling back and relying on sheer instrumentation, brandishing pale shades of post-rock. Extreme volume fluctuation helps succinctly wrap up album as a whole, keeping you on your toes. A polished, extremely well mastered final product is the end result here. Catch the Will to Survive dropping this album at the Blue Nile on June 22nd.
Written by Iain Oldman
The Will to Survive It’s Hard to Speak Through Chattering Teeth
Typefighter The End of Everything
Written by Iain Oldman
Finally delivering us the garagepop punk album with serious production that’s been sorely missing from contemporary independent music, Typefighter’s The End of Everything is an impressive display of toetapping rhythm and fully matured songwriting. Don’t get me wrong, the music bleeds youthful exuberance, but this isn’t something whipped up by kids in an attic. This is quality pop-rock. Typefighter is still able to maintain a semblance of raw power through extremely busy drums and very powerful vocals. However, the overwhelming emotion of their songwriting is this album’s tour de grace. Harmonies click against each other and pace is changed intermittently, switching up the general mood of the album from song to song, so each song seems new and amazing, no matter how many times you’ve listened to the album. This is an album for fans of Rilo Kiley and people who love The Difference Between Houses and Homes just waaaay too much (me).
Check out some more independent music at: www.themodernfolk.net “the goal of my site is to feature what i think of as “folk music”, which is music made by people who are trying to get by leading lives in our modern world who love to express themselves through music. any genre or medium is welcome. i prefer submissions via soundcloud, bandcamp, or youtube, because these formats allow me to easily embed your music in my post and it leads readers directly back to your site, video stream, etc.”
Now booking shows for local and out of town bands, contact Michael Steele at
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June 6, 2014 - All poetry, short stories and artwork are submitted by people that live here in the Harrisonburg area.