James Ford



Axe-wielder Marie Landragin (left) shreds with Aaron Lipscombe, Paul Sebring and Jordan Brunk in the highly-skilled, fantasy trope rock band Corsair. Photo: Brad Day

Easy listening: Corsair makes heavy metal for the masses

Heavy metal is a tree with many branches, dozens of sub-genres and cross-bred styles. But Charlottesville’s Corsair has older influences than most of its peers, reaching back past the aggressive thrash era of the ’80s, to focus on a time when the distinctions between heavy metal, glam, and hard rock were less clear. Its sound […]

Adam Brock turns boredom into brilliance with Songs in the Key of Bob, a cover concept album that riffs on titles of archive periodicals. Photo courtesy of Tom Daly.

Guided by Bob: Hibernator Gigs releases a sly tribute to GBV

Guided By Voices is one of the most prolific and beloved rock bands of the past 30 years. The Dayton, Ohio group fronted by Robert Pollard has released dozens of albums, EPs, singles, and three boxed sets of original material, frequently changed band members, broke up and reunited, splintered off into various solo and side […]

The Men shaves the rough edges off its caustic rock at the Tea Bazaar. Publicity photo.

ARTS Pick: The Men

The Men are a Brooklyn-based quartet of rockers who, since 2010, have cranked out an album a year for the esteemed Sacred Bones label. While their earliest efforts sounded like a raw Joy Division bootleg, the band has quickly grown and expanded its palette, adding eclectic influences, its vocals softening and becoming lazily anthemic as […]

ARTS Pick: Pancake Party with the Star Children

ARTS Pick: Pancake Party with the Star Children

The default option for any working band looking to raise some quick funds is usually Kickstarter, but We Are Star Children, as always, are thinking outside the box. To help fund the distribution of their next album, the local group are instead hosting a pancake breakfast on Saturday morning, May 18 at the Alloy Workshop. […]

Local record shops anticipate sixth annual Record Store Day

Local record shops anticipate sixth annual Record Store Day

“For me, every day is Record Store Day,’” says Gwenaël Berthy. Since 2010, Berthy has been the owner and sole staff member of Melody Supreme, a vinyl-only record store on 4th St. downtown. Record Store Day, founded in 2007, is an international “holiday” founded with the intention of helping to keep stores like Melody Supreme […]

The Black Twig Pickers approach the time-honored tradition of bluegrass with reverence and raw talent. The group performs on Friday at the Tom Tom Fest. Random Found Objects Photography.

Rolling on: Holy Smokes wraps up with a stacked Tom Tom showcase

The Tom Tom Founders Festival has a dense schedule, seeking to offer something for everyone, from concerts to street parties to symposia on innovation. A glance at the calendar can be bewildering, and it may be tough to know where to turn. Although every attendee is sure to find something to enjoy, one event in […]

Reckless Theatre Company hits Random Row Books with Richard III.

Random Row Gets Reckless with Richard III

The newly-founded Reckless Theatre Company—not to be confused with the New York-based group of the same name—is the project of a trio of UVA Drama majors, Ahmad Helmy, Anne Connelly, and Adam Santalla. The troupe was founded this year with the intention of bringing theatrical events to the wider community while sharpening their dramatic skills. Their […]

Eternal Summers get ready to rock MACRoCK.

Harrisonburg’s MACRoCk celebrates 16 years of rock ‘n’ roll

The Harrisonburg-based music festival MACRoCk celebrates its 16th year this weekend with yet another solid line-up of local, regional, and touring indie-rock bands. Initially founded as the “Mid-Atlantic College Radio Conference,” MACRoCk has now severed ties with JMU and local station WXJM, but remains committed to throwing a killer annual festival. This year’s roster includes […]

Sonic Youth main man Thurston Moore (top left) finds his wings with Chelsea Light Moving. The band of friends plays the Southern on Monday. Photo credit: Carlos van Hijfte.

Thurston Moore keeps thrashing in his latest project, Chelsea Light Moving

Wasted on the young Art rock legends Sonic Youth tentatively called it quits in 2011, but the band’s key members have remained characteristically busy with the usual slew of side projects and collaborations. Guitarist/singer Thurston Moore’s newest group, Chelsea Light Moving, is backed by a band of his protégés and collaborators, including Keith Wood of […]

Nicholas Liivak from Horsefang (photo credit: Rowan Hildreth).

ARTS Preview: Horsefang

Saturday night’s line-up at the Tea Bazaar is an unusual but promising mix. After several years of dormancy, Horsefang have returned, and their dusty, instrumental doom-metal riffs seem as vital as ever. They’re joined by Mike Gangloff, whose career oscillates between two unlikely poles: the rural twang of Appalachian traditionalism and the mind-expanding drones of […]

Weird Mob's Dave Gibson holding their EP.

ARTS Preview: Weird Mob

Friday night is the live debut of Weird Mob, but the bands’ members may look familiar to Charlottesville concert-goers; the towns’ most adorable power-pop power-couple, Dave Gibson and Renee Reighart, previously played together in the now-defunct Hilarious Posters, and have also helped fill out the line-up of Adam Brock’s Borrowed Beams of Light project, all […]