Matthew Cawthon

Beach music veterans, The Embers keep the endless summer alive when they kick up the sand 
at the Surf on the Turf bash. Publicity Photo.

ARTS Pick: The Embers

Still glowing With global warming now confirmed, the weather is sure to go straight to hot, with scorching beach-worthy weather breaking out any day now. Getting ahead of that first sunburn, The Embers are headlining Surf on the Turf, an inland beach bash complete with dancing, dinner, and drinks. The quintessential band of the sand […]

Jenn Downey, Chris Patrick, and Claire Chandler star in a farce-fueled spin on 1660s counter-culture in Liz Duffy Adams’ comedy of manners, Or,. Photo courtesy Live Arts.

ARTS Pick: Or,

The 17th-century never looked as wildly seductive as it does within the world of Aphra Behn. There’s a war in the background of Liz Duffy Adams’ Or, but more importantly, Behn—a spy, poet, and key feminist writer—moves in a social circle marked by cross-dressing and free love.

If you think that bureaucracy and red tape are absurd, Czech playwright Václav Havel couldn’t agree more.

ARTS Pick: The Memorandum

What goes around If you think that bureaucracy and red tape are absurd, Czech playwright Václav Havel couldn’t agree more. And in his Soviet-era satire The Memorandum, everything from language to human sociality becomes ridiculous. When office worker Josef Gross finds a memo written in the supposedly efficient Ptydepe language that’s impossible to discern, he […]

The geopolitical rapper Immortal Technique brings his one-man revolution to the Jefferson. Publicity Photo.

ARTS Pick: Immortal Technique

Playing it forward A year behind bars during the early years was not entirely lost time for Felipe Coronel. It gave him the focus to hone his talents, and the motivation to take a few political science classes, both of which transformed him into a deeply political, determined, and charitable artist. Finding new ways to […]

The Bantam Theater all-female short film program will feature Niebieski (The Blue One), a film by Maria Apoleika Turek.

ARTS Pick: Females and the Frame

Chick flicks Critics talk a lot about the male cinematic gaze and the masculine domination of film throughout the medium’s history. So where do women fit in the modern progressive landscape? The Bantam Theater, in collaboration with Richmond’s Studio Two Three, presents Females and the Frame, a 70-minute program of regionally and internationally-produced short films […]

A national treasure in the arts, vocalist Jessye Norman brings her tremendous talent to the Paramount stage.

ARTS Pick: Jessye Norman

Uber achiever The richly talented Jessye Norman is not a standard singer. To clarify, she does sing standards, as well as opera and Broadway ballads, but she refuses to align herself with any stereotype. Her set list consists of classics by Gershwin, Rodgers & Hammerstein, and Bernstein, but Norman innovates through the sheer power of […]

Aziz Ansari promises an evening of “bewilderment and disillusion” when he brings his stand-up comedy act to the Paramount. Image: Publicity photo

ARTS Pick: Aziz Ansari

Victory laugh In 2007, when MTV’s sketch comedy and surprise hit “Human Giant” was just underway, Aziz Ansari seemed the likely breakout star among the trio at the show’s helm. His trajectory in the following two years would prove this—paying comedic dues in the Judd Apatow flick Funny People, cropping up on fan favorite “Scrubs,” […]

Credited as a groundbreaker, DJ Shadow still gets top props as he tours on his first full-length in years, The Less You Know, The Better. Image: Publicity photo

ARTS Pick: DJ Shadow

Press play Endtroducing… dropped all the way back in 1996, but DJ Shadow’s experiment in instrumental hip-hop brought the man unexpected acclaim, and a sound that is still influencing artists across genres. He’s retreated back to the underground in the years since his debut, but Shadow remains just as invested in perfecting and pushing the contemporary musical […]

Ronald Peet (left)and Grant Davis spar for love in the Shakespeare/Fletcher collaboration, The Two Noble Kinsmen, at Blackfriars. Image: Lauren D. Rogers

ARTS Pick: The Two Noble Kinsmen

Prison riot Even Shakespeare and John Fletcher knew that the rewrite of a Chaucer poem took some serious guts back in the early 17th century. Despite the potential for total demolishment of a poetic monument, the duo lets chaos run rampant in The Two Noble Kinsmen. What happens when two imprisoned cousins fall in love with […]

The multi-talented Michael Clem frequently breaks from his duties as an Eddie from Ohio member to play area gigs with his trio. Image: Daniel Glass Photography

ARTS Pick: Michael Clem Trio

Folk lure According to the bio section on Michael Clem’s official website, he doesn’t take himself terribly seriously. The self-conducted interview posted there provides plenty of wit, and plays off of the overt self-promotion that permeates the business side of music. He hardly touches on his vast musical accomplishments—a long career with the popular folk-rock […]

Hit maker John Cena (standind) appears in another WWE farcical phenomenon RAW: Road to Wrestlemania at John Paul Jones Arena. © 2013 World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc.  All Rights Reserved

ARTS Pick: RAW Road to Wrestlemania

Slammer time In case the new Die Hard flick didn’t cut it and you still need your fix of action with little to no plot, World Wrestling Entertainment brings us RAW: Road to Wrestlemania a great one. All the big names, from the perpetually shirtless John Cena to the cleverly named The Miz and the mysterious Kaitlyn, are bringing […]

The career of Emily Dickinson takes an abbreviated twist when she appears posthumously at The Bridge PAI to trade lines with author Paul Legault. Image: wikimedia commons

ARTS Pick: Emily Dickinson After Party

Modern English Because Emily Dickinson could not stop for death, she’s making an appearance to celebrate her own work. This is excellent news for the poet Paul Legault, the man behind translating Dickinson’s 1,789-poem collection into modern, one-liners in The Emily Dickinson Reader. At the Emily Dickinson After Party commemorating his book’s publication, Legault takes the surreal opportunity to […]

The man and myth, Cyrano de Bergerac, has inspired many theatrical productions including Play On!'s Mostly Cyrano. Image: Wikimedia Commons

ARTS Pick: Mostly Cyrano

Nasal passages: Although Edmond Rostand’s theatrical classic Cyrano de Bergerac needs no other proof of success beyond the introduction of the word “panache” into the vernacular, the folks over at Play On! have done him another favor. In local playwright Peter Coy’s take, Mostly Cyrano, a troupe of actors prepares to tackle the gargantuan piece only to have its themes […]

King Golden Banshee makes Irish music in a spirit of traditionalism and simplicity that would make Yeats proud. Publicity photo.

ARTS Pick: Golden Banshee

Celtic couture King Golden Banshee is mysterious in the vein of traditional Irish folklore. With a limited presence online, the only information gleaned from the band’s Facebook description is a collective interest in Guinness. The five-piece counts flutes, fiddles, banjos, the bodhran, and tin whistles among its instrumental repertoire and uses them skillfully to recall […]

With a rising tide of success underscored by Grammy and Dove awards, Third Day ups its game with Miracle making. Publicity photo.

ARTS Pick: Third Day

Faithful foursome While the eleventh studio album by the well-established Christian southern rock band seems the result of hard work and posterity, Third Day has made it a goal to prove that its latest release falls into another category: miraculous. After a troubling start with a suspect record deal, Miracle, released in fall 2012, became […]

An evening of music lovers' jazz and remarkable guitar playing is on the bill when Stephane Wrembel and His Band play the Southern. Photo: J. Elon Goodman

ARTS Pick: Stephane Wrembel

Django untamed A guitarist who learned his craft in gypsy campsites scattered across the French countryside sounds like the stuff of myths, but Stephane Wrembel’s colorful beginnings define his artistic career. His fifth album, Origins, was released last year and finds him reaching into that history to incorporate a broader palette of sound into his […]

The Celebration Mass Choir of Galilee Baptist Church in Louisa raises spirits in the gospel showcase at PVCC. Publicity photo.

ARTS Pick: Notes on High

Faith lift Get on board the soul elevator with Kiss FM’s Chucky Hayes of “Total Praise with Chucky Hayes” fame as he hosts Notes on High, a Gospel Showcase. This night of inspirational music features four local choirs sending up a variety of praiseworthy tunes as they carry the torch of gospel tradition forward. The […]

Oscar Experience: Charlottesville offers local participants the chance to primp and pose like movie stars. Photo courtesy of Oscar experience.

ARTS Pick: Oscar Experience: Charlottesville

Dream category If you thought the Oscars were out of reach, think again. The Virginia Film Festival is offering a chance to get in the running for your own Oscar prize. The glitz, the glam, and an abundance of Hollywood-inspired dishes crafted by Glass Haus Kitchen come out at this year’s fourth annual Oscar Experience: […]

Charles Thompson A.K.A. Black Francis and A.K.A. Frank Black plays a solo gig at The Southern. (Publicity photo)

Interview: Black Francis

Enigmatic Boston musician “Black Francis” played a leading role in the ’80s alternative rock scene. Art, darkness and angst defined Francis’ career with The Pixies and the solo years as Frank Black (and Frank Black and the Catholics) as did his unique, ranting howl vocals.

Photo credit: Rich Tarbell

ARTS Pick: The Fifth Annual Rock and Roll Christmas

Welcome friends Three albums in and Sons of Bill remains true to its roots. Blending classic rock and traditional Virginian folksiness with emotional resonance, the brothers (and friends) have crafted their own sound. 2012’s Sirens opens with a quotation lifted from a William Faulkner speech, and sets the tone for a collection of powerhouse tunes […]