Lathrop



Interview with Robin Tomlin

Interview with Robin Tomlin

Apart from the music, of course, the best thing about Robin Tomlin’s "Soulful Situation" show on WTJU (every Monday from noon to 2pm), is the amount of history that he provides with the music. "Bad musical history really pisses me off," he says. Tomlin moved to the States from England in 1986 to see live […]

It’s all in the mix

It’s all in the mix

There are those who view hip-hop as a commercial entity, and those who see hip-hop as a way of life. The latter is how Rob Jackson, a.k.a. Blue Black, looks at hip-hop culture in his own life. Jackson, who grew up in The Bronx, met fellow MC Asheru when they both lived in Charlottesville and they began recording together as The Unspoken Heard. The Heard released two CDs that were well received. While Asheru and Black have relocated to the D.C. area, they have landed some great gigs. Asheru has written the theme song for “The Boondocks” TV show now airing on the Cartoon Network, and also has a new mix-tape release, While You Were Sleeping, which is available online.

Rockin’ Atomic

Rockin’ Atomic

The thing about the popular local burritto restaurant Atomic Burrito is that there is often a band, always a crowd, and usually the crowd is as diverse as it gets. Part of the secret to Atomic’s success, according to bartender and music booker Josh Lowry, is that the staff really loves music. Typically, the bartenders will make the call on which band plays the bar on the nights that they work, and the resulting live shows cover everything from country to hip-hop to garage rock. Lowry, who heads The Hillbilly Werewolf and Bucks and Gallants (recently recorded at Monkeyclaus), gave me some of his personal favorites, live
and otherwise.

Evan almighty

Evan almighty

Fans of piano jazz know Evan Mook from his gigs tickling the 88’s around town. Mook, who toured with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra for two years, was a student of local Suzuki method teacher Kay Pitt. When Pitt decided not to take on more new students, Mook became the Suzuki instructor for piano in town. Although it’s unusual, he has dedicated himself as much to jazz as classical music. In fact, Mook has gradually spent more time teaching jazz music to advanced classical players and musicians with a rock background. Local rocker Brian Kingston, whose music has appeared on MTV, and also been written up internationally, has been studying jazz with Mook over the past year.

Online and doing fine

Online and doing fine

As the music business continues to inch toward the digital age, both on-line promotion and music downloading seem as inevitable as pizza delivery. Of course, with digital downloading (just like home-delivered pizza), what you lose in sonic quality is reimbursed in convenience.

Rambling bands

Rambling bands

You know how it was as a kid when you were sitting around the TV with your grandparents watching Tennessee Ernie Ford on a Lawrence Welk show some Saturday night. You figured grandpa was near comatose. It could be blamed on the accordion, but the truth was that it was a 30-piece band wearing orange […]

Starr Hill goes under(ground)

Starr Hill goes under(ground)

Starr Hill presents a diverse and interesting night of music this week. On Thursday, June 1, The Beetnix have put together their first Underground and Independent Hip Hop Festival. “Under-ground by nature, independent by choice,” the crew want to expose Charlottesville to some of the best up-and-coming hip-hop acts on the East Coast.

Tim Clark tests his metal

Tim Clark tests his metal

Tim Clark and Nerve No Pain drummer Branden Shores put together This Means You three years ago because “the metal scene was dead.” Clark says the band “got really lucky” when they found vocalist Kim Dylla who could scream as well as sing, and their new lineup has been solid lately. The band is putting the final touches on a new Kevin Murphy-produced CD that was recorded in the Pro Tools studio located behind Stacy\’s Music. Metalheads can catch the band this Saturday night at the Outback Lodge. Unit F will reunite as openers.

D’earth tones

D’earth tones

Dawn Thompson and John D’earth are releasing the second CD of music by The Thompson D’earth Band. When the Serpent Flies will be available for fans at the band’s performance at Fridays After 5 this week, and you can find it at their Thompson D’earth website and Musictoday.

Tanya K gets out of Utah

Tanya K gets out of Utah

Tanya K grew up an hour from Salt Lake City, where her upbringing definitely influenced her musical palette. She picked up guitar “as a reaction to piano lessons” and moved to California at 17 where she played in the bar where Steinbeck wrote The Grapes of Wrath.

Dumpster and dumpsterer

Dumpster and dumpsterer

This week is graduation weekend, a perfect time to find out if American Dumpster can toss its tassel from left to right, and make a name for itself outside of our comfortable university town. The band’s management team, AfterParty Artist Management, is going to make sure the answer is yes, yes, yes! AD has the […]

Sherman’s march

Sherman’s march

As high school kids in Staunton, my friends and I always went record shopping at Back Alley Disc on Main Street, and Dave Sherman was the guy who held our attention. Although he grew up in Oregon, he had recently returned from Europe and, as he explained it, “being named Sherman, I didn’t want to settle too far south.” So he settled in Staunton, where he worked at Back Alley for 20 years. Sherman recently had a serious heart attack that left him flatlined. I got to talk to him about music—especially his connection to Delbert McClinton.

Soko’s evolution

    Two veterans of the local music scene release their second CD this Thursday night at The Gravity Lounge. Keyboardist Mike Sokolowski and bassist Houston Ross have been playing together as Soko since 1990. At last count, Sokolowski estimates that more than 20 musicians have cycled through the band at various times, including Leroi Moore. […]

Thrash and burn

This installment of OTR is the first in a two part series of skateboarders and skate music. Andy Foster grew up in Roanoke and started skating in 1975 when he was 12 or 13. He considers himself part of the second wave of skaters, and though he has been off and on boards, he says that about three years ago he started back seriously and now he wants to skate all the time. Primarily a bowl skater, Foster\’s favorite place to skate is California, and he would very much like to start up a skate shop in town. He also teaches lessons through the city at the Skate Park on McIntire Road. I asked him about the history of skate music.

Breeden’s 3 Dollar Dumpster Date

Breeden’s 3 Dollar Dumpster Date

American Dumpster’s much-anticipated new CD, Rumor Mill, will see the light of day this month, and there are plenty of opportunities to get out, see a great band and pick up that record. May 18 is the official release date, and there will be a catered release party at a location to be disclosed in the very near future. The Dumpsters will also play at The Corner Plan 9 on May 20. Recorded at Sound of Music, the disc is a fine representation of Christian Breeden’s tunes fleshed out by the swampy groove of the band.

On The Record

On The Record

The Cyndra Van Clief Jazz Sextet wrapped up the season at The Cardinal Café in Scottsville this past Sunday night. The sextet plays jazz music from the 1930s, and features vocals, piano, bass, guitar and flute. Van Clief says she is very excited about playing Scottsville, which is her adopted hometown, and also where her church (she sings in the choir) is located. Cardinal Café presented the band’s premiere performance, and you can look for them to play more around town. I got to ask Van Clief about the music that she and the band like to play.

Alter’s state

Alter’s state

This Friday evening, April 28th, you can catch one of the series of music and arts shows put on by painter Lee Alter. Alter’s studio is located at 109 E. Jefferson St., in a building that is one of the oldest in town (and was formerly the site for town meetings and dances). The building, […]

SURROUND SOUND 2005

Two thousand and five was a lively year for music in our town, with CD sales down again, live music taking place at the theater level while struggling in the clubs, and being in a band, at least around here, seeming to be as much about music as about fame.   One rock band that has been […]

Top of the world

On the cusp of a new tour that brings him to town to open for the Rolling Stones on Thursday, the former Phish frontman speaks out.   Interview by Spencer Lathrop pluggedin@c-ville.com   My friend, Eric, has seen Phish 55 times, and frontman Trey Anastasio solo at least eight times. He states emphatically that Anastasio […]

HonkyTonk Man

Dwight Yoakam had the look: long and lean with the big cowboy hat and the facial demeanor that suggested lonely and liking it. He had the voice: that extra little twang that suggests an education away from the schoolhouse.  If you have yet to see Wedding Crashers, Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson play a pair […]

Sound decision

In 1975 there were reportedly 3 million record albums manufactured for sale in the United States. By 2004, that number hit 745 million. More than 10,000 CDs were released by hundreds of artists last year—that’s about 27 CDs per day. The recording industry has been in a boom cycle for the last 30 years, and […]

Practice round

The laws of pop music are beginning to resemble the laws of reproduction. Thousands of spermatozoa swim desperately to an egg to fulfill their destiny, but only one will get in. This kind of evolutionary pattern has ruined a number of rock ’n’ rollers: Alex Chilton, Phil Ochs, Johnny Thunders. Dreaming of the glory of […]