Brandon J. Walker



Accomplished non-fiction writer Jonathan Coleman shares his process at Random Row Books. Photo: John McDonnell

ARTS Pick: Jonathan Coleman

Three of Jonathan Coleman’s four works of non-fiction are New York Times bestsellers, including the recent autobiography of basketball legend Jerry West, West By West: My Charmed, Tormented Life.  Garnish his impressive career with an Edgar Allen Poe Award and you get the feeling of greatness in our midst. The prodigal UVA alum sits down […]

The idiosyncratic Rubblebucket gets things moving on The Festy Main Stage. Photo: Shervin Press.

ARTS Pick: Rubblebucket

It’s been a big year for Brooklyn’s Rubblebucket, with an appearance at Bonnaroo, collaborations with Foster the People, tUnE-yArDs and ?love, and the release of a new EP, Oversaturated earlier this month. The “post-genre” octet makes a stop along a comprehensive American tour to share its inventive, unpredictable sound. During the live show everything is […]

Daisy (Amaree Cluff) is oblivious, but Berenger (Brad Fraizer, center) can’t ignore the rhinoceros in the room (Mike Long). Photo: Mike Bailey.

ARTS Pick: Rhinoceros

Eugène Ionesco lived in France as World War II broke out. In the heart of Europe, he was able to observe firsthand the virtually unchecked spread of Fascism and Nazism among a seemingly reasonable population, and this sudden transformation had a deep effect on him. A generation of European artists saw the same, and from […]

ARTS Pick: Verbs & Vibes

ARTS Pick: Verbs & Vibes

Roscoe B is a decidedly forthright individual with an artisanal approach to telling it like it is. The Richmond native, born Douglas Powell and self-anointed Roscoe Burnems, looms as a local spoken-word giant, crushing open mic nights and blowing up poetry slams around the area for the last three years. As a card-carrying member of Slam […]

An all-star cast from the golden age of Hollywood goes west.  (Publicity photo)

ARTS Pick: How The West Was Won

There was a time in the film industry when a movie was not wholly judged on its returns, when the merit of a film could be found in its effort to capture the spirit of an important moment in human history. They were called “epics,” they cost a lot of money, and they aren’t made […]

Laugh ’til it hurts with “brutally honest stand-up comedian” Vidur Kapur at Play On! Theater. (Publicity photo)

ARTS Pick: Vidur Kapur

There’s more to comedian Vidur Kapur than years of LGBT activism, various film appearances, contributions to books, nominations from entertainment and social progress groups galore. Raised in an upper middle-class household in New Delhi and an alumnus of the straight-laced London School of Economics, Kapur defies convention by merging the conflicting identities of a waggish foible-pointer-outer and sincere […]

The Honey Dewdrops put a new twist on an old-time sound at Martin Luther King, Jr. Performing Arts Center. Photo: Jack Looney.

ARTS Pick: The Honey Dewdrops

The Virginia roots duo known as The Honey Dewdrops gained notoriety afterwinning A Prairie Home Companion’s “Talented People in their Twenties contest.” Four years and three albums later local residents Laura Wortman and Kagey Parrish return, between U.S. tour dates, to play a benefit concert for Charlottesville High School where Parrish himself once taught. Thursday […]

Jack White sheds his stripes to perform a solo set at the Pavilion. Photo: Joe McCaughey.

ARTS Pick: Jack White

Jack White may be one of the last real rock stars on the planet. While the swaggering old guard have all but been replaced by skinny jean-clad hipsters playing banjos and Macbooks, Mr. White’s a study in musical progress. His stripped-down garage days with the White Stripes led into new bands, movie roles, and collaborations with the likes […]

Songstress Cate Le Bon brings lovely darkness to The Southern. Photo: Angel Ceballos.

ARTS Pick: Cate Le Bon

Cardiff, Wales native Cate Le Bon burst onto the international scene as the opener for Gruff Rhys. She has since released a pair of critically acclaimed albums, become the darling of experimental folk-pop, and is currently on a 21-date, one-month tour of Europe and the U.S. With her soft accent and dark proclivities, she’s spooky, haunting, outright […]

At Madwoman, lunatics are running the asylum with love

At Madwoman, lunatics are running the asylum with love

If you’ve been on the Mall much recently, you’ve likely come across The Madwoman Project. It’s hard to miss. Fifteen minutes or so before the show gets started, a pink-haired girl (Opal Lechmanski) can be found methodically sweeping the square created by the Third Street intersection. The subtlety of her peculiarity, her cobbled-together skirt, her Sisyphean […]

Benjamin Curns plays Philip Faulconbridge in King John, ASC’s mad quest for the crown. Photo: Mike Bailey.

ARTS Pick: King John

Here’s a neat idea: If your theater is running a modern classic and getting great turnout and lots of buzz, why not run the sequel? And heck, since the first cast was so good, just let them play the same roles in the sequel, and show them both in rep in case people didn’t see the […]

David Gray performs his plaintive, soul-aching ballads at nTelos Wireless Pavilion. (Publicity photo)

ARTS Pick: David Gray

Full of sweet, lonely sentiment, made all the more accessible by his unique vocal delivery, David Gray is the perfect kind of pop singer, free of phony pretense and no pretender to the throne–as the arena-filling superstars begin to age themselves out of the vocation, he steps comfortably into the void. Sarah Jaffe opens. Thursday 9/20 $35-59, […]

ARTS Pick: Ben Arthur

ARTS Pick: Ben Arthur

The college rock scene has no shortage of acoustic guitarists, so it is required of any polo-shirted crooner to bring something unique to the table—which is exactly why UVA alum Ben Arthur is getting some real buzz. His approach is two-fold: a mature process that has resulted in a poignant, experimental sound and a dogged […]

Blues Control emerges from the woods to support its latest post-modern effort at the Tea Bazaar on 9/16.

ARTS Pick: Blues Control

Life in a big city is taxing in ways you don’t even notice, and sometimes the only sensible thing to do is disappear mysteriously into the woods. New York City’s avant-noise duo Blues Control traded the outer borough sprawl of Queens for Pennsylvania mining country. The result is a healthy smattering of tape loops with […]

Doug Schneider belts it out for the good of Live Arts.

ARTS Pick: “If I Sing”

With more than 40 area theater productions under his belt, Doug Schneider can be called an institution. The UCLA-trained actor/singer/director/teacher is putting his star to good use as he mounts If I Sing, a two-night, showtune-studded cabaret featuring Greg Harris and the Tom Collins Trio, with all proceeds going to support Live Arts. Friday and […]

Random Row Books screens Patricio Guzman's Battle of Chile on September 11.

ARTS Pick: The Battle of Chile

Half a decade of global cold war left us with no lack of dramatic subjects for documentaries. To wit, on September 11, 1973, a U.S.-backed counter-revolution and coup in Chile resulted in the assassination of the democratically elected president Salvador Allende. Chilean director Patricio Guzman chronicles the political tensions and outright violence of the events […]

Raphael Bell previews the Charlottesville Chamber Music Festival

Raphael Bell previews the Charlottesville Chamber Music Festival

Now in its 13th season, the Charlottesville Chamber Music Festival has become a local institution: a fortnight’s worth of nationally and internationally renowned composers and performers sharing the most intimate and contemplative form of music stretching back through centuries of western civilization. It has been said that chamber music is a conversation amongst friends, so […]

The Madwoman Project

ARTS Pick: The Madwoman Project

Hearkening back to the days of the traveling theater troupe, director and local theatrical polymath Kay Ferguson’s The Madwoman Project brings the play to you. She strips off all the unnecessary baggage for an entirely portable gypsy clown carnival, playing out its first act amid the crowds on the Downtown Mall, and parading the show back to […]

ARTS Pick: Zammuto at The Southern

ARTS Pick: Zammuto at The Southern

Wednesday 9/5 Workbook Being innovative is exhausting work. Nick Zammuto could have decided that, after a prolific stint with cellist Paul de Jong as The Books, he’d coast with the street cred he got for experimenting with what he calls “collage-pop music.” Instead he takes up the loop and synth mantle with an eye towards layered sound, building the […]

Black Joe Lewis and The Honeybears belt out the blues on Monday at the Jefferson. (Publicity photo)

ARTS Pick: Black Joe Lewis and The Honeybears

Monday 9/3 Greasin’ the groove In an age of dub step and rap versions of ’80s new wave, Black Joe Lewis and The Honeybears stand apart with gritty, funky, dirty-picking, soul-howling blues. But don’t mistake Joe’s crew for a novelty act. This band is puttin’ hands on hips, lettin’ backbones slip, and establishing themselves as […]

The Rebirth Brass Band will lead a New Orleans-style “Second Line” parade through the Downtown area on Saturday. Photo: David Y. Lee

ARTS Pick: Rebirth Brass Band at the Jefferson

Second lining is a tradition that stretches back through centuries, thought to have originated as the outer circle, or second line, of West African circle dances. The tradition evolved from jazz funerals to choreographed, brass band, dance party parades that are inextricably associated with the life and spirit of NOLA, the city that incubated them. Get […]

Image: Hamner Theater

ARTS Pick: A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Saturday & Sunday 8/25 & 8/26 Behold the night Theater and wine go way back. The first known festivals were held in celebration of Dionysus, and what better way to enjoy Shakespeare than on the grounds of a picturesque vineyard whilst sipping on your preferred varietal? In the intrepid fashion for which it has come […]