C-VILLE Writers

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 […]

Folk music road warrior Philippe Bronchtein parks for a set as Hip Hatchet at The Garage on Friday. Publicity photo

ARTS Pick: Hip Hatchet

Jack-of-all-trades Philippe Bronchtein crafts rustic, witty Americana as the one-man folk band Hip Hatchet. His years on the road have fueled earnest lyrical examinations of classic folk tropes like hard life lessons and the trials of romantic love. While he currently roots himself firmly in the singer-songwriter tradition, Bronchtein’s style also shows traces of his […]

Renowned author Jill McCorkle is the final judge. Publicity photo

Fiction contest alert!

Deadline extended to noon on Wednesday, June 17! Fiction writers, fire up your laptops (or sharpen your pencils, if you’re old school)—it’s time for the C-VILLE Weekly and WriterHouse short fiction contest with renowned author Jill McCorkle as final judge. One adult and one youth winner will receive a one-year membership to WriterHouse and a […]

The always energetic comedian Nick Vatterott works his ability to connect with the audience through silly improvisation at the Southern on Thursday. Publicity photo

ARTS Pick: Nick Vatterott

The L.Y.A.O Comedy Showcase has made Charlottesville a more frequent option for smaller tours featuring up-and-coming comics. Nick Vatterott is one of them, and though you may not recognize him by name, chances are, you will soon. Vatterott’s comedy is quick and sharp, and he utilizes his improv experience on stage, acting out stories and […]

Album reviews: Hannah Miller, Andrew Osenga, Mumford & Sons

Album reviews: Hannah Miller, Andrew Osenga, Mumford & Sons

Hannah Miller Hannah Miller/self-released Hannah Miller is one of the most atmospheric singer-songwriters around. Her penchant for mixing dusty, molasses-thick vocals with stark imagery is evident on her new record, as well as the understated fashion in which the songs play out, making for a nice dichotomy. The slow-burning roots rocker “Help Me Out” mirrors […]

The kid who unapologetically professed, “I’m a loser, baby. So, why don’t you kill me?” has proven that he is the real deal. Beck performs on Wednesday at the Pavilion. Publicity photo

ARTS Pick: Beck

Since his rise to fame in the early ’90s, Beck has become something of a music icon. His breakout “lo-fi” sound had an air of lethargy, while revealing a staid, candid glimpse of Americana that no other artist had been able to capture. Beck’s music matured over the years, and the downright cool of his […]

Four County Players close the season with Our Town, the profound story of life, love and death in a small New Hampshire locale. Photo: Martyn Kyle

ARTS Pick: Our Town

Four County Players, in collaboration with the Hamner Theater, rekindles the neighborly drama and simple charm of last-century Americana in its production of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Our Town. Thornton Wilder’s play within a play showcases the appeal of everyday lives made extraordinary through observation, and remains exceedingly popular as it approaches its 80th anniversary. Through […]

Nationally renowned for his aggressive style, Lewis Black storms onto the Paramount stage on Friday. Photo: Chip McBride

ARTS Pick: Lewis Black

Known for animated, angry facial expressions and loud, rambling rants, Lewis Black has emerged at the forefront of satirical, political comedy. Black’s been a regular on “The Daily Show” as well as starring in a number of his own comedy specials including “Black on Broadway” and “The Root of All Evil,” the latter in which […]

East L.A. Latin rockers Los Lobos look back on 40 years of groundbreaking music at the Jefferson on Friday night. Publicity photo

ARTS Pick: Los Lobos

It was a mutual fondness for obscure artists like Randy Newman and Ry Cooder that originally sparked drummer Louie Pérez and guitarist David Hidalgo’s musical relationship in 1973. But it wasn’t until  the ’80s that the massive soundtrack cover of Ritchie Valens’ “La Bamba” catapulted them into the mainstream. More than 40 years, and 20 […]

Edwina Herring, Javier Figueroa, Martha Stafford, Timothy T. Read and Alison Bowers compete for your votes in Fight Night. Photo: Rammelkamp Foto

ARTS Pick: Fight Night

Exercise your freedom of speech and love for the arts in a unique dramatic performance when Live Arts’ Fight Night places control in the audience’s hands—literally. Viewers determine the outcome of the play by voting with a handheld transmitter as five actor/contestants duke it out onstage in an innovative production that challenges beliefs and stimulates […]

Photo: Prakash Patel

Porch perfect: 11 local spaces maximizing outdoor living

The countdown is on: one month ‘til summer. If you ask us, that’s just early enough to start moving the party outside. We’ve rounded up 13 of our favorite outdoor spaces—from a Gothic Revival to a stucco four-square—to glean inspiration. Easy breezy (above) The two wings of this house frame a woodsy view and, once […]

William Walter will be joined onstage by lead guitar slidemaster Tucker Rogers for a set of poppy, jammy acoustic fun. Photo: Billy Hunt

ARTS Pick: William Walter

Scene veteran William Walter’s songwriting and stagemanship has matured over his near 20-year career through relentless touring in the U.S., Europe and South America, and the singer-songwriter has acquired fans everywhere. But it’s no secret or surprise that his big smile and tender lyrics capture the hearts (and bottoms?) of his female fans, so much […]

Alt-country buzz band American Aquarium’s recent rise came after years of recording and touring led by BJ Barham. The group headlines Fridays After Five this week. Photo: Joshua Black Wilkins

ARTS Pick: American Aquarium

North Carolina six-piece American Aquarium revives its raw roots rock with a new level of honesty in the lyrics. After years of barely scraping by with the devotion of a niche audience, frontman BJ Barham and his frequently rotating backup were ready to throw in the towel before a sudden burst of success kept the […]

Give us a hand: Five local nonprofits worth your attention

Give us a hand: Five local nonprofits worth your attention

The term nonprofit belies some big numbers: According to a joint economic report from Johns Hopkins University and Virginia Commonwealth University, the state’s nonprofit sector employs 235,100 people, collects $40 billion in revenues annually and spends $38 billion per year. Charlottesville is a critical part of that landscape. Nonprofit expenditures per capita in the city […]