C-VILLE Writers

Behind-the-scenes political dealings are revealed as Queen Elizabeth II (Helen Mirren) takes confidential meetings in the National Theatre’s broadcast of The Audience. Publicity photo

ARTS Pick: The Audience

From the Oscars to the Oliviers to the Tonys, the performance world can’t throw enough awards at Dame Helen Mirren for her portrayal of Queen Elizabeth II. The legendary actress reprises her royal role in the National Theatre’s encore HD screening of The Audience, an original West End play that draws back the curtain on […]

Singer-songwriter Parker Milsap’s character-driven lyrics and winning charisma push the young singer into the limelight at the Southern on Thursday. Publicity photo

ARTS Pick: Parker Milsap

Soulful storytelling steals the show when Oklahoma native Parker Milsap takes the stage with his unique blend of rock, country, blues and whatever genre you think Tom Waits plays. At age 21 this ambitious Americana musician has come a long way from the fire-and-brimstone preaching of his religious childhood and he’s already racking up critical praise and award nominations […]

Photo: Jackson Smith

Power plays: 20 local movers and shakers

Power. We know it when we feel it. Sometimes it’s a server who dawdles while taking our order when we’re starving. Or, on a grander scale, it’s the people who hire and fire, who make the decisions that affect people’s lives, both for good or ill, and in at least a couple of cases, even […]

Mary Chapin Carpenter pairs with the Indigo Girls for an evening of music to support Charlottesville Free Clinic on Sunday. Publicity photo

ARTS Pick: Mary Chapin Carpenter & Indigo Girls

  When it comes to the optimism and social justice that fills many folk songs, you might think “easier said than done.” Get ready to buy in when Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Mary Chapin Carpenter and folk rock’s Indigo Girls team up for an intimate acoustic show benefiting the Charlottesville Free Clinic. Carpenter’s country-tinged vocals have charmed […]

With no introduction necessary, Sir Paul McCartney steps onto the stage at the John Paul Jones arena on Tuesday. Photo: MJ Kim

ARTS Pick: Paul McCartney

So you missed the boat on seeing The Beatles live by about 40 years? There’s hope for your bucket list yet. Paul McCartney’s bafflingly active tour schedule shows no signs of slowing down. Responsible for Fab Four hits like “Can’t Buy Me Love” and “Eleanor Rigby,” this 72-year-old knighted British composer and multi-instrumentalist has kept […]

As a kid, KaiL Baxley had an unlikely mentor in James Brown. He plays his own version of soul at The Garage on Wednesday. Image: Kristina Lisa

ARTS Pick: KaiL Baxley

Elated confusion seems to be a common reaction for most people after a KaiL Baxley performance. The Williston-Elko, South Carolina native shares more than a hometown with soul legend James Brown. The two had a strange and improbable friendship throughout Baxley’s childhood that undoubtedly influenced his current path. It may have inspired Baxley to forgo […]

Innovative guitarist Tashi Dorji brings his gamechanging talent to the Tea Bazaar on Tuesday. Publicity photo

ARTS Pick: Tashi Dorji

As a teenager in Bhutan, Tashi Dorji’s access to media was heavily restricted, and some of his first musical influences came via shortwave radio and bootleg cassettes. After moving to America in 2000, the improvisational guitarist’s musical horizons broadened immensely, and Dorji discovered the music of Albert Ayler, John Zorn and Derek Bailey, who serve […]

PHOX expresses its atmospheric understanding of the world through folk fusion and mysterious lyrics at the Southern on Tuesday. Photo: PIP


If Echosmith and Mumford & Sons had a love child in Baraboo, Wisconsin, the sextet PHOX would be the result of their union. The band operates like a family, living together and creating most of its music—coffee shop folk acoustic swirled into a chaotic mix of rock, psychedelic and soul—within the comfort of home. Lyrically, […]

Esteemed songwriter Lloyd Cole plays cuts from his highly-regarded new rock album, backed by a full band at the Southern on Saturday. Photo: Doug Seymour or Paul Scholl

ARTS Pick: Lloyd Cole

Lloyd Cole is enjoying a career renaissance. The release of his new rock album Standards has reignited the guitarist’s popularity, most notably in Europe where he’s been selling out theaters nearly every night of his current tour, setting Cole up for a triumphant return to the U.S. The songwriting on his new record is being […]

Discover a variety of new photographs from fine art to photojournalism at the LOOK3 Festival of the Photograph's Works projections this weekend. Photo: Brendan Hoffman

ARTS Pick: LOOK3 Festival of the Photograph

Between the friendly insects peering over the Downtown Mall, photography exhibits throughout town and talks with celebrated, prolific photographers, there are plenty of opportunities to make the most of the annual LOOK3 Festival of the Photograph. But one of the festival’s most unique experiences can only be had this weekend, when the WORKS exhibition takes […]

Blues rock tour de force Alabama Shakes built a wave of adoration playing gigs around the world for the last three years. Brittany Howard and her band take over the Pavilion on Tuesday. Photo: Brantley Gutierrez

ARTS Pick: Alabama Shakes

After signing with ATO records and releasing the three Grammy nom debut Boys and Girls in 2012, Alabama Shakes has skyrocketed to stardom. The group’s follow-up record, Sound and Color, was highly anticipated by its fans, but even more so by the band members themselves. The Shakes thoughtfully embraced every facet of their influences, cut […]

Family-friendly comedian Rich Praytor will provide the jokes between sets of contemporary gospel on Saturday at PVCC. Publicity photo

ARTS Pick: Rock the Gospel

Traditional Christian tunes get a contemporary update at the third annual Rock the Gospel, a benefit concert supporting victims of domestic violence. Award-winning comedian Rich Praytor, the American Gospel Music Awards’ Christian Comedian of the Year, hosts this showcase of local and regional talent. Performing groups include Portico Band, the Sanctuary Choir from Mount Zion […]

Badass Brooklyn act Sister Sparrow & the Dirty Birds will kick it into high gear at the Southern on Thursday. Publicity photo

ARTS Pick: Sister Sparrow & the Dirty Birds

Since 2008, Sister Sparrow & the Dirty Birds has been on a meteoric rise to the top: playing over 600 shows, releasing three full-length studio albums (as well as an EP produced by American Idol’s Randy Jackson) and getting kudos from the press, including the Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Glamour, USA Today and […]

The Decemberists return to the Pavilion on Monday in support of their recent release What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World. Photo: Autumn De Wilde

ARTS Pick: The Decemberists

Part modern folklorist, part “Portlandia,” The Decemberists never fail to deliver a fascinating set of intelligent, cathartic indie rock. Front man Colin Meloy defines the band’s stylish, experimental narrative while throwing in enough whimsy to lighten things up and extract a few giggles. The revered act seems to have discovered the secret to engaging the […]

Lilly Hiatt pulls from many influences (including her dad) to fit neatly into rock’s current lineup of post-punk front women. Photo: Greg Groth

ARTS Pick: Lilly Hiatt

When you’re the daughter of a well-respected singer-songwriter and blazing a trail with your own talent, it stands to reason that you’d feel some added pressure. Lilly Hiatt shines brightly enough to illuminate the shadow of her Americana rock star dad John, and kicks it up a notch through a blend of punk, indie and […]

The Mid-Atlantic’s notorious ’80s punk underground Fugazi is captured in Salad Days: A Decade of Punk in Washington, D.C. on Friday at the Paramount. Photo: Jim Saah

ARTS Pick: Salad Days

Back in the 1980s music scene, the West Coast was all about the glamour of “hair metal,” while the embryonic stages of rap and DIY punk rock were taking shape in New York and Washington, D.C. A new documentary, Salad Days: A Decade of Punk in Washington, D.C., examines the movement and takes a look […]