James Ford



The Bridge PAI explores the art of sound in Audio September

The Bridge PAI explores the art of sound in Audio September

In 2008, The Bridge PAI hosted a month of sound-related programming entitled Audio January. The next year, January seemed unfeasible, so the Belmont-based arts organization followed up with Audio February. The joke amongst Bridge staff was that the annual event would cycle through the months of the year, and for three successive years (including Audio […]

Chris Corsano blurs the borders between jazz and noise

Chris Corsano blurs the borders between jazz and noise

Chris Corsano is one of most restlessly inventive of contemporary improvisers, a jazz drummer reminiscent of Max Roach, whose work is thoughtful and open-minded enough to collaborate with noise and rock musicians as well as more traditional hard bop players. Corsano made his name as part of a loose scene from Northampton, Mass, attracting notice […]

Dan Deacon taps your inner glee through crowd participation

Dan Deacon taps your inner glee through crowd participation

I can vividly remember hearing Dan Deacon for the first time. His debut full-length album, released in the spring of 2007 (with the unfortunate title of Spiderman of the Rings) begins with a dense burst of buzzing electronic harmonies and sampled Woody Woodpecker sound-effects, and I was instantly a fan. Deacon’s music is exuberant and impossible […]

Student work shines at Light House Youth Film Festival

Student work shines at Light House Youth Film Festival

On Friday, September 7th, Light House Studios will present a Youth Film Festival. The festival will showcase a selection of video work made by Light House students over the past year, including the Iranian Job, the winner of last November’s Adrenaline Film Festival (in which the Light House students were the youngest participants). “I’m so […]

WTJU reaches out to students, aided by Invisible Hand (above), the Fire Tapes and Dwight Howard Johnson.

WTJU’s back to school concert goes beyond UVA Grounds

In the world of radio, WTJU is something of an anomaly: a community station owned by a university, a college station whose staff includes locals, teachers, grad students, and alumni. And while WTJU can boast decades of support from the local community, it faces the challenge of attracting new listeners in the digital age. “I […]

“Stay Prayed Up” at the Haven

“Stay Prayed Up” at the Haven

Lift your spirits with a gospel music event at the Haven on Sunday, August 26th. Traditional gospel music — from Louisa County’s Ladies of Praise, Richmond groups the Golden Jubilees and the Sons of Praise (authors of the excellently-titled song “Stay Prayed Up”), and Gum Springs, VA’s Healing Prayer — will be accentuated by gospel comedian […]

Photo: permission of Virginia Craft Brewers Fest

Live Music at the Virginia Craft Brewers Fest

The beloved annual music festival known as The Festy Experience doesn’t get underway until October, but those who can’t wait can get an early taste can do this Saturday, August 25th as the Devils Backbone Brewing Company hosts the Virginia Craft Brewers Fest, where four Virginia bands will play while music-lovers and beer aficionados sample […]

Buena Vista Social Club screens at the Library

Buena Vista Social Club screens at the Library

Documentaries which focus on the process of recording albums or staging concerts are usually only of interest for die-hard fans and completists; it’s not often that one makes musical and political history and gets nominated for an Oscar. But The Buena Vista Social Club is significant for a number of reasons. When Ry Cooder, the […]

A young man with an old musical soul, Frank Fairfield played a charming show at The Garage last September.

A look back at some of Charlottsville’s musical highs

Live music is one of the best aspects of life in Charlottesville, as each day of the week offers concerts in all genres from both local and touring musicians. Any personalized “best of” list is sure to be biased and idiosyncratic, but here are some of the most memorable musical experiences I have enjoyed since […]

Witnessing the massive wreckage at a demolition derby is one way to cure the summertime blues. (Rockingham County Fair)

Summertime thrill-seeking at the demolition derby

Charlottesville has a habit of slowing down during the summer months. Most UVA students and many faculty are on summer break, cutting the population by nearly a third. Some art galleries close, concerts and performances are comparatively sparse, and many local residents take a vacation. It’s true that Charlottesville has a wealth of worthy summertime […]

Jonny Corndawg

Jonny Corndawg returns to town with Dawes at the Jefferson

Jonny “Corndawg” Fritz began writing short country songs as a joke, but over the past 10 years — as the Esmont, VA native’s travels took him to Philadelphia, India, LA, Nashville, New York, and on an infamous 100-mile rollerblading trip — his songs grew longer, sadder and more touching, while losing none of their wit […]

Screenprint artist Thomas Dean's work derives imaginative imagery from generic sources. (Photo by John Robinson)

Printer and illustrator Thomas Dean makes his mark in unusual spaces

Mention screen printing in Charlottesville, and one of the first names you’ll hear is Thomas Dean. The musician and artist is a prolific screen printer and illustrator, churning out T-shirts, prints, album covers, and gig posters, often for the many bands he’s played in or collaborated with. For local indie rock fans, it’s rare to […]

Supergroup Borrowed Beams of Light includes Ray Szwabowski, Dave Gibson, Marie Landragin, Nate Walsh, Adam Brock, and Jordan Brunk. (Photo by Sam German)

Brock’s vision shines on Borrowed Beams of Light’s new EP

For years, local music fans only knew Adam Brock as a drummer, the powerful force behind bands like The Nice Jenkins and Invisible Hand. But it’s always been clear that Brock was capable of more. His clear and exuberant singing voice added a perfect pop edge to his bands’ tunes, and his enthusiastic taste as […]

Photographer Billy Hunt has been snapping up national press with his Screamotron3000. (Photo by Billy Hunt)

Billy Hunt’s scream portraits are all the rage (and joy)

Billy Hunt is a Charlottesville-based photographer who pairs fun, accessible concepts with high-quality image-making. He’s probably best known for his extensive photography of the Collective of Lady’s Arm Wrestling (CLAW) project, as well as a client list that includes Dave Matthews Band, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Post. His […]

Participants in the Charlottesville Parks & Recreation summer camp program connect the dots through The Storyline Project. (Photo by Greg Kelly)

The Storyline Project fosters creative connections

Monticello Road is an odd part of Charlottesville. It was once literally the road to Jefferson’s house, but the construction of I-64 and Route 20 have truncated it to a short stretch that cuts through southern Charlottesville’s Belmont neighborhood. Though it’s only a mile in length, Monticello Road is a cross-section of residential homes, fancy […]

Colin Powell’s poster designs have been a crucial part of the Grits n Gravy aesthetic, and even landed him a gig designing tour posters for the current incarnation of The Impressions. (Colin Powell)

Funk DJs Grits n Gravy want to rock your soul

Robin Tomlin has one of the most recognizable voices in local radio. He barks a mile a minute in a rapid British accent, breathlessly reading back a list of obscure soul and funk songs on The Soulful Situation, his Monday afternoon radio show. Colin Powell (no relation to the former Secretary of State) is comparatively […]

Navigating the labyrinth of local arts influence

Navigating the labyrinth of local arts influence

Sneak Reviews has been a treasure trove for local film fans for almost 20 years. (Photo by John Robinson) Merriam-Webster defines power as “possession of control, authority, or influence over others.” Some kinds, like political or economic, are easy to measure, even if that power is elusive and can shift unpredictably. The recent and ongoing […]

Mogwai matures and fosters its conundrum

Mogwai matures and fosters its conundrum

The Scottish band Mogwai debuted in the mid-’90s with a handful of albums and EPs of anthemic experimental rock, characterized by gorgeous, hypnotic guitar lines that would continue for minutes on end before exploding into lengthy crescendos of crushing intensity

Regional hip-hop as shot by photographer Jared Soares

Regional hip-hop as shot by photographer Jared Soares

Photographer Jared Soares’ inspection of Virginia hip-hop culture is on display at the Bridge PAI for LOOK3 Festival of the Photograph. (Courtesy Jared Soares) Hip-hop is one of the most commercially dominant musical genres of the past 20 years. One reason that it continues to capture our collective consciousness is that hip-hop has always been […]

The Rock ‘N’ Roll Cannibals want to eat your young

The Rock ‘N’ Roll Cannibals want to eat your young

For those who like their oldies with a side order of human flesh, the Rock ‘N’ Roll Cannibals will release Blood & Pomade on Saturday at the Black Market Moto Saloon. (Photo by Meagan Jennett) Rock and roll, and its redneck cousin rockabilly, have long been associated with the spooky and the undead, from the […]

Fest foot forward: Downtown, everything's waiting for you

Fest foot forward: Downtown, everything's waiting for you

Here We Go Magic brings its layered, stream of consciousness lo-fi to the acoustically excellent Haven stage on Saturday. (Photo by Gregory Mitnick) Spurred on by the success of their Nelson County-based festival, the Festy organizers are now spreading out the atmos-phere with events through-out the year. On Saturday, The Infamous Stringdusters, curators of The […]