The Thompson and Grace balcony concerts reach their conclusion July 25 at 2:30 p.m. Buy a lemonade and bring your own barbecue for an afternoon jam where ace trombonist Reggie Pace and friends serenade the neighborhood from his second-floor apartment at Thompson and Grace streets. Featuring piano trio Labrangeda (the Larri Branch Agenda) and tuba-drum-trombone trio R2Dtoo (Reggie Pace and Reggie Chapman are the two Rs; D is Devonne Harris).
If jazz isn't your scene, you can see a new local supergroup that night at the Plaza Bowl, when Tom Peloso (Modest Mouse, Chigger, Hackensaw Boys) unveils his Richmond-based solo project — Tom Peloso and the Virginia Sheiks. Mike Bishop (GWAR, Kepone) plays bass, Darrel Hayden (Chigger, Flying Shovels, Lucky Stiffs) is on rhythm guitar and keys, Austin Fitch (Smalltown Superstar, Damn Dirty Ape, the Fontanas) handles lead guitar, and Stuart Guntar (the Dumm Dumms) is playing drums. Opening the show is the Way of the Sun, the noisy rock tag team of Michael Miracle (WRIR's the Lotus Land Show) and Matt Boyle. This is also a reunion of sorts as Peloso, Fitch, and Boyle were all in math-rock band King Sour. To hear a sampling of Peloso's new music, check out his digital EP “Selections From: The Last Saturday of the Year,” which contains four new tracks recorded Last Fall at Monkeyclaus Studio outside of Charlottesville.
What do you get when you combine three members of Bio Ritmo and three members of Quatro na Bossa? Miramar, a new sextet performing classic Latin American ballads known as boleros. These love and anti-love songs were mostly written and made popular during the '30s, '40s and '50s throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, and now appreciated by an entirely new audience here in Richmond.
Marionette also has been busy at Monkeyclaus. Recording at the studio since last fall, the indie-pop quintet has just finished mixing its first full-length with Brian Hoffa at Sound of Music. Drummer and singer Kevin Cornell tells Style, “It's been exhausting but it sounds freaking amazing!” After Brian Lambert (Squirrel Nut Zippers) finishes mastering it at the Kitchen in Carrboro, N.C., the new CD should be out in late July.
With various members currently traveling the globe, the Animal Beat is shooting for August and beyond to be a big push for the new rock 'n' roll five-piece. Guitarist and vocalist Jeff Linka says the band will “play as often as possible and try to get the ‘Ambient Jungle Noise’ EP into as many hands as we can.” Before the Animal Beat, Linka played with guitarist and vocalist Travis Tucker in Cool Like Me. Tucker was also a member of the now-defunct Motion Picture Demise.
Half Brother Sid recently released a new collection of hard rock songs entitled “Crazier Than Thou,” which was recorded at Dragonfly Studios in Haymarket, Va. There are plans for another, digital-only release, later in the summer, and an overseas tour likely to include Japan and Singapore. — Compiled by Mike Rutz of “Activate!” on 97.3, Jay Smack of “Studio B” on 102.1 and Style jazz critic Peter McElhinney.