Shea Gibbs

Lauren Hoffman may be the most successful local talent you’ve never heard of. Check out her new band The Secret Storm on Friday at the Southern. Publicity photo

Little bit fixed: Lauren Hoffman shifts back into the local spotlight

Lauren Hoffman had never heard of Paste Magazine. But in 2006, soon after the release of her most acclaimed record Choreography, the LP’s lead single was included on one of the national magazine’s music samplers alongside the likes of The Hold Steady, Bright Eyes and The Shins. It wasn’t the only reach enjoyed by “Broken,” […]

Photo: Rammelkamp Foto

In style: These craft brews ain’t your grandma’s IPAs

What’s longer, the list of IPAs made by American craft breweries, or the span of every beard from every American brewmaster laid end to end? It’s a trick question, because both are still growing. What’s with the beards is anyone’s guess, but Three Notch’d Brewing Company owner Dave Warwick says there’s good reason for the […]

The Barbeque Exchange. Photo: John Robinson

Mind your BBQs: Is Virginia the next barbecue destination?

When it comes to barbecue, could Virginia ever be on the level of Texas or Kansas? The Barbeque Exchange’s Craig Hartman thinks so. “Virginia was once the epicenter, and when people moved away they did barbecue,” Hartman says. “The first written advertisements in Texas, Kansas, Oklahoma, North Carolina, they all said come to Virginia for […]

Stuart Holman’s upcoming release, Block: The Photobook, is the result of a community-wide photography collaboration that captures perspectives of Charlottesville. Photo: Stuart Holman

Snap and chat: Photo walking meets the streets of Charlottesville

If you ever come across a herd of nerds walking around Charlottesville with expensive-looking cameras, do not fear. They’re just photo walkers. And while their numbers are growing, they’re mostly harmless. Charlottesville has at least two groups that regularly hold photo walks, and the phenomenon has gained worldwide traction. Scott Kelby, considered by some the […]

Younger sibling Jordan Rock takes to the comedy trail that was blazed by his brother Chris. He performs at PVCC on Saturday. Publicity photo

A funny thing: Jordan Rock brings fresh comedy to the family name

If you’ve never heard of Jordan Rock, who’ll take the stage at Piedmont Virginia Community College on February 28, you can be forgiven. He’s never played Charlottesville, and his Web presence isn’t exactly on the level of an “Ultimate Split.” Come to think of it, his Web presence isn’t really on the level of an […]

In his own home, former Stereo Types owner Greg Hiemenz relies on speakers by Bowers & Wilkins, a brand that's favored by musicians and sound engineers. Photo: Stephen Barling

Sounding superior: Shop smart for your next sound system

Now that it’s out of fashion to put your boombox on your shoulder and parade up and down the street, how are you supposed to force your superior music taste down the ear canals of passersby? Sadly, just about the only way to spread your song-selecting genius these days is to lure folks into your […]

Jason Pollock (second from left) traded a high profile musician’s life on the road for the backroad charms of Batesville and home recordings with The Pollocks. Publicity photo.

The art of Pollock: One-time national songwriter goes local

Jason Pollock has achieved more fame making music than most people ever dream of. As a member of ’90s post-grunge rock band Seven Mary Three, he toured the world and played to tens of thousands. He co-wrote the band’s 1997 Billboard Top 100 No. 1 hit “Cumbersome,” as well as its No. 7 hit that […]

A faux-coffered ceiling in the home of one of Ami Smith's clients segments its painted surface. Photo: Rammelkamp Foto

The ceiling deal: Why should walls have all the fun?

With all the ways we decorate a four-walled room, one space tends to go neglected: ceilings. “It’s kind of your fifth wall,” said Ami Smith, proprietor of Charlottesville’s Embellish Interiors. “It can be a sort of accent.” Indeed, it can be a lot of things. Here are a few ideas offered by Smith and other […]

Feast week: Our guide to a can’t-miss culinary staycation

Feast week: Our guide to a can’t-miss culinary staycation

Set aside for a moment that eating out three times a week is perhaps excessively gluttonous, and come with me on a quick trip. It’ll be like a vacation, but you’ll get to stay right here in Charlottesville. Oh, hey, we could call it a STAYcation! Get it? No one’s ever thought of that before, […]

Major players Stephen Nachmanovitch and Robert Jospé will collaborate in the live improv concert Free Play at UVA’s Brooks Hall on Saturday. Photo: Greg Nachmanovitch.

Hipper than jazz: Two local cats take improvisation to another plane

Jazz player and UVA music professor Robert Jospé has some pretty far-out ideas about music. But Stephen Nachmanovitch, the man who’ll join Jospé onstage for a completely improvised concert on January 24 at UVA’s Brooks Hall, makes him seem like an accountant in a conservative suit. “My early musical experiences were in the classical music […]

Florida Georgia Line’s Brian Kelley (left) and Tyler Hubbard will be ready to party when they stop in Charlottesville on Saturday. Publicity photo.

Windows down: Florida Georgia Line balances outlaw and pop country

Two stories come out of Nashville. The first one is: The town is full of amazing singer-songwriters, and you can see one of them playing on any given night at any corner bar. The second goes like this: The stars of modern country aren’t those same singer-songwriters; they’re the good-looking young people who can put […]