Try telling Lindsey Spurrier there’s a finite number of hours in a day and she might just scoff in your face. The spritely vocalist sings with two bands, Hot Dolphin and the Shangri-Lords. She’s event coordinator at local independent radio station WRIR-FM 97.3. She makes rent selling scooters and Triumphs at Scoot Richmond and works at Ardent Craft Ales as tap house event coordinator. And for the past three years she’s participated in Girls Rock! RVA, a weeklong camp that teaches young girls to play instruments and perform in bands.
“It’s hard for me to say no, especially when it’s for a good cause,” she says, eating lunch while she answers questions on a sunny coffee-shop patio. “I want to be able to do it all before I can’t anymore.”
She credits her father with setting a good example when it comes to work ethic and contributing to the community. “He worked hard and he played hard and that was really inspiring,” she says.
Punk whirling dervishes Hot Dolphin sprung from the members’ wish lists: guitarist Robert Barrow wanted to play loud music, drummer Tim Falen wanted to play drums sitting down (unlike with his other project, Diamond Center) and Alison Hancock wanted to play bass. Spurrier just wanted to hang out with her friends, but it’s her ferocious singing and nonstop dancing that rivets the audience’s attention at shows.
“The music is so good, I just want to dance,” Spurrier says. “I like to escape into bad behavior, maybe steal someone’s drink while I sing, whatever I feel I want to do. It never gets disrespectful. I’m not going to take a dump on the floor because I’m part of something larger than myself.”
Spurrier wasn’t supposed to be part of the Shangri-Lords. Featuring members of some of Richmond’s best known bands, the group formed for a one-off show at WRIR’s 2013 Monster Mashquerade doing classic girl-group songs from the ’60s.
The hook was that it would be an all-boy band in drag, but the male backup singers bailed at the last minute so Spurrier stepped in. The group has added WRIR disc jockey Janet Lundy, upping the backup ante and adding a level of harmonies. “This band is full of amazing musicians and I feel privileged to be able to play with them,” Spurrier says. “My job is to be supportive and have a good time.”
A volunteer at WRIR since 2010, Spurrier says she became events coordinator co-chair with Mike Rutz after “always being that little bug in his ear” when it came to planning events. When he gave up the position, she picked up the reins along with Shannon Cleary. The position afforded her the opportunity to meet station listeners, get the DJs into the community and schedule bands for events.
“If we’re able to introduce people to something they’ve never heard before, we’re doing our job,” she says of booking shows featuring cross-pollination of genres. “That way, you bring out different scenes and the overall scene just gets bigger and better.”
Passionate as she is about everything, Spurrier elevates Girls Rock RVA above it all, calling the week-long, volunteer-staffed camp the greatest thing she’s ever done. Her contribution is vocal instruction, but it’s likely she’s also coaching the girls on stage presence and confidence.
“To see a girl go from a tiny little mouse to a screaming spitfire onstage in one week — well, I’m not a crier, but I can’t control myself,” she says. When a girl who aged out of the program designed for ages 8-14 came back as a counselor, she told Spurrier that Girls Rock had changed her life. “I said, me too,” Spurrier says, getting misty.
Working hard and playing hard, she took on motorcycle certification training in May and has bought her own, a 1980 Suzuki GS 250. “If I’m not busy, I feel like I’m wasting time. I hate the phrase ‘it is what it is,’” she says. “No! You can always make things better.”
Another thing on her list is the Video Fan, which is trying to stay in business. With a benefit show coming up for it this weekend, Spurrier hopes to help save the unique Strawberry Street institution. “Richmond would be a little less awesome without it,” she says. S
Hot Dolphin plays a benefit show for Video Fan on Nov. 29 at Hardywood Park Craft Brewery. Also on the bill are Navi, Gull, Manzara and Big No. Donations are encouraged and the music starts at 5 p.m.