C-VILLE Writers



Sharin Apostolou as Guenevere in a previous version of Camelot. She will reprise the role for Charlottesville Opera's production. Image: Jamie Kraus

ARTS Pick: Camelot

Royal drama: The Charlottesville Opera’s Camelot is complete with suits of armor and ornate sets that pull you into the fantasy of King Arthur’s court. In this all-new rendition of the award-winning play, the principled and supremely honorable King Arthur must react to chaotic reality when Guenevere falls for Lancelot, a knight of the Round […]

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ARTS Pick: Mental Attraction Band 2.0

Funkin’ up the coast: Providing music for the GoGo Indépendance crew, Mental Attraction Band 2.0 brings go-go from its native Washington, D.C., to cities along the East Coast. With 20 years of experience, the 13-piece band blends funk, R&B, and hip-hop to create an exciting live performance. The team of veteran musicians includes the bass […]

ARTS Pick: Pure Formalism

Celluloid hero: In defining its summer film series Pure Formalism, The Bridge PAI states, “In the spirit of Stan Brakhage, we stand face-to-face with the image itself—and absorb.” Brakhage was a highly influential experimental filmmaker whose career spanned five decades beginning in the ’50s. His six-minute short The Dante Quartet, a silent film of images […]

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ARTS Pick: Six Foot Ceilings

Indie rewind: No longer confined to the house party basements that inspired its name, Six Foot Ceilings is moving up. The local band gives in to nostalgia but always with an indie tonal twist, offering everything from a moody “Hit Me Baby One More Time” to a haunting “Cry Me a River.” But don’t fret, […]

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ARTS Pick: Chris Newman

Hip-hop hit: Chris Newman, aka VA DOE, has been a pillar of central Virginia hip-hop for over two decades. An experienced radio DJ who spins every weeknight on 101.3 Jamz, Newman started making music as a teen at Charlottesville’s Music Resource Center, and he was inducted into the Nine Pillars Hip Hop Cultural Fest’s hall […]

Helado Negro plays the Southern on Sunday. Publicity photo.

ARTS Pick: Helado Negro

Art of the smile: Roberto Carlos Lange, aka Helado Negro, plays down-tempo indie that pulls as much from the electronic music he listened to in his teens as the Latin sounds of his Ecuadorian heritage. On his recent record, This Is How You Smile, Lange sings in both English and Spanish, ruminating about family pride […]

Elaine Alvarez performs opera hits at the Paramount this weekend. Image: Lorraine Wauters

ARTS Pick: Encore!

High notes: Four opera vocalists, including two members of New York’s prestigious Metropolitan Opera, kick off Charlottesville Opera’s summer season with Encore!, in celebration of the opera’s 10th year at the venue. Backed by a live orchestra, the greatest hits show features an eclectic mix of favorites from iconic composers like Mozart, Verdi, and Bernstein. […]

Southern Culture on the Skids is at the Southern on Friday. Publicity image.

ARTS Pick: Southern Culture on the Skids

Hot and humored: For more than 35 years, Southern Culture on the Skids has been playing what guitarist and singer Rick Miller calls “Americana from the wrong side of the tracks.“ The Chapel Hill, North Carolina band just might have more fun than its audience while jamming out surf, rockabilly, and R&B tunes from albums […]

The IX Art Park invites you to flex your pipes at a Muscle Beach re-creation. Image: Emily Kreslay

ARTS Pick: IX Beach Club

Tropical inland: Party like it’s sunny Santa Monica in a flashback to the origins of fitness culture at Charlottesville’s IX Beach Club. Muscle Beach is the theme at this week’s local gathering, recreated with weight training and a pose-off to flaunt your hard bod. The work-out and splash-about opportunities come complete with a rocking run-through […]

Friendship Court was one of three local redevelopment projects to receive millions in funding last week. (Photo courtesy of Grimm and Parker)

In brief: Money flows, DP/CTom breakup, Tracci runs, and more

Funding cut loose Long-on-the-books redevelopment plans for Friendship Court, Southwood Mobile Home Park, and Crozet’s town center got millions in funding last week. Southwood and Crozet Plaza each got a $3.2-million go-ahead from Albemarle’s Board of Supervisors  June 19, contingent upon rezoning approval in August. And Friendship Court can start phase one of its redevelopment […]

Richelle Claiborne reprises her "Black Music Excellence Through the Ages" show at The Southern Cafe & Music Hall on Friday. Photo by Tristan Williams

ARTS Pick: Richelle Claiborne

More excellence: When Richelle Claiborne first staged Black Music Excellence Through the Ages in March she told C-VILLE, “It’s not the history of black music. It’s my history through black music—how all these different genres have impacted and affected me, or represented me, is the thread that ties it all together.” The singer, actress, and […]

The Rainbow Girls and The Oshima Brothers fill a double bill at The Southern. Publicity image.

ARTS Pick: The Rainbow Girls and The Oshima Brothers

New folk: Based in San Francisco’s Bay Area, The Rainbow Girls explore vibes of peace, love, and the pursuit of social justice through tight harmonies backed by guitar and keys. The Oshima Brothers, real life brothers hailing from rural Maine, offer a crisp blend of folk vocals and soft, poppy looped instrumentals, bringing a contagious […]

Take a blues break with Dr. Levine and the Dreaded BluesLady at The Front Porch on Friday. Publicity image.

ARTS Pick: Dr. Levine and the Dreaded BluesLady

Blues class: Lorie Strother and Stephen Levine make up Dr. Levine and the Dreaded BluesLady, a Charlottesville-based duo with serious blues skills that’s been known to break out into an R&B or classic rock tune from time to time. Strother’s experience shines in her charismatic stage presence and full voice. Levine, a historian at UVA, […]

Damien Jurado performs at Woolen Mills Chapel on Monday. Publicity image.

ARTS Pick: Damien Jurado

Far afield: Folk singer-songwriter Damien Jurado began his solo career in 1995, self-releasing cassettes and performing intimate acoustic shows around his hometown of Seattle. Aptly described as experimental, Jurado’s work includes forays into found and field recordings—in 2000 he released a collection of fragments that he had found from sources such as thrift store tape […]

From the air, Chris Greene Lake looks cool and inviting, with no algal blooms in sight.Mandy Baskin, Monticello Country Ballooning

Bloom time: Chris Greene Lake dodges algae so far

By Eileen Abbott In the serenity of an early June morning, while mountain mist embraces the treetops, pilot Mandy Baskin’s hot air balloon gently floats above Chris Greene Lake Park, off U.S. 29 North, her favorite scenic launch site. “The water looks so clean and inviting lately. It’s absolutely beautiful,” observes Baskin, owner of Monticello […]

Kendall Street Company jams at Fridays After Five this week. Publicity image.

ARTS Pick: Kendall Street Company

Happy at home: A rhythm guitar-centric band with a monster sax player that formed through late-night sessions at the University of Virginia might sound like a familiar backstory, but this six-piece rock act founded in 2013 relies on original, epic jams to cut its own swath through the East Coast venue map. Kendall Street Company […]

Charlottesville Jazz Society brings The Ari Hoenig Trio to town on Thursday. Publicity image

ARTS Pick: The Ari Hoenig Trio

Drummer’s beat: Ari Hoenig gets so immersed in the art of drumming that he’s been known to use his body as an instrument when performing with The Ari Hoenig Trio. The jazz drummer, composer, and educator has a unique ability to modify the pitch of a drum, playing notes in the chromatic scale, melodies, and […]

Ghost Trees play off their new LP, The Fascination, at The Bridge on Wednesday. Publicity photo

ARTS Pick: Telemetry Music Series

Wild sax: Musical wilderness is the running theme as the Telemetry Music Series highlights free jazz with the “ferocious, sorcerous, and way out there” improv of Charlotte, North Carolina’s Ghost Trees sharing the bill with Space-Saver’s drum and sax-tinged combos of doom metal/acid techno/minimal synth. Guitarist, electronic musician, composer, and educator Kittie Cooper amps up […]

Izzy Heltai tells all through his music at The Front Porch on Sunday. Publicity photo

ARTS Pick: Izzy Heltai

Nomadic harmony: Izzy Heltai’s indie-folk tells emotionally captivating stories that leave enough room for the listener to relate. His sparse piano and strong vocals are simple and soaring, invoking his nomadic lifestyle—Heltai has been traveling across the country, living out of his car to facilitate a passion for nature and motion. These elements are strongly […]