Combine Black Sabbath, Thin Lizzy, and Robert Heinlein and you get Corsair, one of the most rocking bands in town. The Sabbath part makes perfect sense, as the band originally spawned from the annual local tribute act, Mass Sabbath. A nod to Thin Lizzy isn’t hard either, since guitarists Marie Landragin and Paul Sebring play dueling leads comparable to those rockers. The Heinlein tie-in reaches a little further, but refers to the band’s lyrical direction: a fascination with science fiction spacescapes.
Corsair will release its Alpha Centauri EP at a show at the Southern on February 20.
“Skykrakken,” the only entirely instrumental track from Alpha Centauri, Corsair’s debut EP, is one of the band’s best moments. Seemingly stoked with rocket fuel, this tune rumbles, roars and soars. Landragin and Sebring riff hard and, when the moment beckons, send their axes squealing into the stratosphere. I don’t know what a skykrakken is, but I imagine a fierce galactic dragon.
Fiery licks aren’t all the band has to offer. “Space Is A Lonely Place” and “Last Night On Earth” are compelling tales of woeful interstellar voyages. The former begins with a Mogwai-like post-rock build up before bursting into a higher gear. Lyrics like “The vacuum is my grave / Trapped in this suit so far from home” describe an astronaut floating in the void, forsaken by his ship. Then, as the song gradually fades to an eerie echo, one imagines his oxygen supply dwindling to nothing. “Last Night On Earth,” a Bowie-esque ballad, could be about that same astronaut years before, pondering his impending departure from the third planet. “I take another drag from my cigarette,” he sings. “Cold realization / I’m ever coming back.”
“Beware The Black Fleet” opens Alpha Centauri and is the most Sabbath-leaning track. It comes across as a nautical number, but coupled with the other songs, it seems more likely that those “black ships on the horizon” are space ships. Water or sky, though, it’s a fitting start. Corsair can, after all, refer to a Barbary Coast pirate or a WWII fighter plane.
The apocalyptic “Starcophagus” closes the EP with a spoken word segment describing the destruction of Earth. Landragin and Sebring’s guitars mingle and ascend once more before subsiding. It’s an epic finale for an impressive debut. Hopefully Corsair is already putting together its next release, because, as long as the band has star-bound stories and scorching riffs, I’m all ears and ready to rock.
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. That seemed to be the overall consensus of community members who spoke up at a crowded January 8 roundtable to discuss potential “homestay” (read: Airbnb) regulations in Albemarle before they go before the planning commission in February. County staff members
It wasn’t your typical launch party. Supporters of local activists Don Gathers and Michael Payne gathered at Kardinal Hall January 8 for the official tossing of the hats into this year’s City Council races. But Gathers made a different kind of announcement: A doctor’s visit three hours earlier
Charlottesville resident Jordan McNeish knows the perils of opioid addiction first-hand. Three years ago, he was on an East Coast road trip with his ex-girlfriend, and the plan was to end up in Maine. But their first stop was Baltimore, to buy heroin. McNeish, 29, says he had gone from using
When the opioid crisis began to unfold, Virginia journalist Beth Macy was at its epicenter. As a beat reporter for the Roanoke Times, southwest Virginia’s largest newspaper, Macy focused on social and economic trends and how they affect ordinary people. The paper covered the stories of the
All is quiet along the proposed path of the 600-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline, now that five federal permits have either been thrown out or put on hold. A vote on a permit that would allow a 54,000-horsepower pipeline compressor station to be built in Buckingham’s historic African American
Knock, knock. Who’s [not] there? Sears. Sweethaus. Performance Bicycle. And Brown’s Cleaners, just to name a few recent local closings that left community members shocked, and in at least one case, without their clothes. The closing of Sears at Fashion Square Mall heralds the demise of one of
He wore a construction helmet that said “commie killer” as he joined in on a brutal beating in a downtown parking garage, striking the already downed DeAndre Harris with a stick until it broke as Harris struggled to pick himself up off the ground. And though two out-of-town men already found
The word “civility” has become a bad word among some Charlottesvillians. Now a proposed tourism ad campaign touting “C’villeization” as a play on the C’ville nickname is also drawing fire. Chapel Hill-based ad company Clean presented mock-ups of its “Welcome to C’villeization” rebranding
Driver’s license suspensions under siege A federal judge granted a preliminary injunction December 21 and ordered Department of Motor Vehicles Commissioner Richard Holcomb to reinstate the driver’s licenses of three plaintiffs who automatically lost their licenses when they were unable to pay
By Jonathan Haynes Despite the controversy over the University of Virginia’s revisions to its right-to-assemble policies, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education has awarded the university its highest free speech rating. FIRE, a group that defends the constitutional rights of students
At a time when more people are pedaling, our area will kick off the new year with one fewer bike shop. Customers were told that longtime fixture Performance Bicycle in Seminole Square will close by the end of January, following the bankruptcy of Philadelphia-based parent company Advanced Sports
By Lisa Provence and Samantha Baars Most of the biggest stories we followed this year were fallout from 2017: both the direct effects of the Unite the Right rally, with its continuing arrests and trials, and the continued furor over monuments, free speech, and present-day inequities as our city
When you buy a house or a car, you know how much it’s going to cost. That’s not necessarily the case when you go see a doctor, especially if you don’t have insurance, a local woman discovered on recent visits to a UVA clinic. Sara Ensey is a self-pay patient, and when she went to […]
Many Charlottesvillians spent the last few weeks enjoying a festive holiday season on the Downtown Mall. But have we been strolling, shopping, and dining in the company of species Rattus? No question the mall has rats—the place is packed with restaurants, which means food waste, which means rat
Perriello’s Sierra Leone rescue A desperate mother needed to get her 5-year-old daughter out of Sierra Leone in 2003, and asked a stranger at the airport to take her child to her grandmother in the U.S. Fifteen years later, Zee Sesay learned that the man who brought her daughter to safety was
When Maria Chavalan-Sut talks about her life, she smiles. She laughs. Sometimes she cries. The Guatemalan refugee came to America in 2015 and passed a credible fear interview at the border, meaning ICE believed that she would face persecution or torture if she was sent back to her country. But
The 17-year-old boy who escaped his private security guards at the Charlottesville Albemarle Airport on November 30 was “scared,” “cold,” and “hungry” by the time he reached several homes six miles from CHO, according to one of those residents. An Earlysville woman who spoke with him in
By Jonathan Haynes “If you look at Charlottesville in-depth, you see racial disparities at every juncture,” says local freelance journalist and C-VILLE contributor Jordy Yager. “Health care disparities, disparities at police encounters, employment.” For his latest project, he will trace
Got a complaint? The city has an app for that. MyCville. Ever heard of it? We hadn’t, either, until the city encouraged residents to digitally report their delinquent neighbors who hadn’t shoveled sidewalks following the recent dumping of about a foot of snow on Charlottesville. There’s nothing
As if we didn’t have actual problems to worry about, national news has been filled with stories of porch pirates stealing gift-laden packages. But for those worried that their Amazon deliveries will be snatched by the end of the work day, rest assured: So far this holiday season in Albemarle