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Saturday, July 28, 2018

PICK: Glenn Wilson at the Camel, Sunday, July 29

Posted By on Sat, Jul 28, 2018 at 4:50 PM

This weekend offers a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it opportunity to hear one of the extraordinary players in Richmond’s semi-recent history.

After moving here from New York City to raise a family, baritone sax player Glenn Wilson was a fixture on the local scene through the '90s. His quartet, the Jazzmaniacs had a standing biweekly or monthly gig at Bogart’s (now Flora) where they played with high-level virtuosity and humor. (One of Wilson’s compositions is a mashup of Coltrane’s “Giant Steps,” “Seven Steps to Heaven,” and “If I Only Had a Brain” from “The Wizard of Oz.” It was titled, naturally, “If I Only Had Seven Giant Brains.”)

Sunday’s late-afternoon gig at the Camel brings back two thirds of the Jazzmaniacs, bassist Jimmy Masters, drummer Tony Martucci, along with Tidewater pianist John Toomey and frequent Jazzmaniacs collaborator (and fellow NYC-scene expatriate) trumpeter John D’Earth.

The show is at an uncommonly early 4 p.m.This is not a typical RVA “arrive late and miss nothing” situation. Tickets are $8 in advance, $10 at the door.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

PICK: Marcus Tenney at Vagabond on Wednesday, July 25

Posted By on Wed, Jul 25, 2018 at 4:00 AM

Tonight, Marcus Tenney debuts his new recording at Vagabond, next to the National.

“Moment” is the first edition of Richmond Jazz, a new series from American Paradox Records recorded in Scott Lane's home studio.

Tenney (NoBS! Brass, Butcher Brown) is a triple threat, highly accomplished on trumpet, tenor sax and microphone as a soulfully gruff rapper. But it is all trumpet on this recording, backed by bassist Andrew Randazzo (Butcher Brown), guitarist Alan Parker (Matthew E. White, Natalie Prass), and drummer Billy Williams (who plays in a host of national jazz acts.)

The four songs on the 28-minute recording are alternately classic and bluesy. Tenney’s themes are simple enough to be remembered yet rich enough to support adventurous soloing.

The setting is intimate and informal, literally starting with someone clearing their throat. The title is accurate, it is a snapshot of the artist at a very specific juncture in his career, still grounded at home but starting to reach a far wider audience.

The music is available via streaming services or as a cassette tape for those with a taste for retro sonics. Or you could catch it live tonight, downstairs in the Vagabond's Rabbit Hole, free admission, starting at 9 p.m.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Video: Sacha Baron Cohen Gets Virginia Citizens Defense League President To Teach Toddlers How To Shoot "Bad Men"

Posted By on Sun, Jul 15, 2018 at 7:55 PM

Sacha Baron Cohen, the prankster behind the 2006 comedy film "Borat," has been getting a lot of media attention lately thanks to the big-names who are mad at him about his new Showtime series, "Who is America?" (premieres tonight at 10 p.m.)

Everyone from former Vice President Dick Cheney to former Alaskan Gov. Sarah Palin to disgraced GOP senate candidate Roy Moore have been venting their anger about being tricked into appearing on what they thought was a legitimate political documentary.

In the first episode, Cohen interviews Virginia's most extreme gun lobbyist, Philip Van Cleave, president of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, which has been fighting for more lenient gun laws in the commonwealth since 1994. Style interviewed him back in 2013 after the Newtown shootings.

Posing as Israeli "anti-terror" expert, Col. Erran Moran, Cohen looks for a solution to the school shooting problem and, as the Washington Post notes, gets Van Cleave to create a partially animated children’s video, "replete with gunimals (guns that look like stuffed animals) and even a nursery rhyme about the best part of the body to strike (“Aim at the head, shoulders, not the toes, not the toes,” Van Cleave sings, punctuated by Cohen-as-Morad rhythmically yelling “fire!”).

Yep, that's right. Using a pistol disguised as a puppet, Van Cleave teaches children under four how "to stop these naughty men and have them take a long nap." First he shows toddlers how to load the weapon and "point Puppy Pistol's mouth right at the middle of the bad man. If he has a big fat tummy, point at that." Unbelievable.

If that sounds too insane or disgusting to be true, just watch the video below.

Cohen must love coming to Virginia. He found another highlight moment here in "Borat" when he filmed a rodeo at the civic center in Salem, Virginia. Appearing as Borat Sagdiyev from Kazakhstan, Cohen butchered the national anthem and nearly caused a riot (but only after a chilling scene when the rodeo producer says he'd love to see gays hanged here and was "working on it.") The film grossed over $261 million on an $18 million dollar budget.

Just remember, Van Cleave is the head of a group that the Roanoke Times called "the commonwealth's dominant gun lobby" in 2013, and they've actually been successful at preventing meaningful gun-control in the state.

Listening to some of these well-known politicians support the idea of toddlers with guns, or first-graders with grenades and a "rudimentary knowledge of mortars," you should come to the conclusion that we are currently doomed.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Preview: Local Fulbright Scholar's Doc Sounds Alarm on Global Refugee Crisis and Rising Fascism

Screens on Monday, July 23 at Richmond Public Library

Posted By on Wed, Jul 11, 2018 at 12:40 PM

A local filmmaker who was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship in 2015 to live with refugees in Sicily is screening her documentary, "Fata Morgana," at the Main Library of the Richmond Public Library on Monday, July 23.

Jen Lawhorne, who received a masters in film studies from Virginia Commonwealth University, lived for a year in Sicily and says that she hopes to educate the public on problems facing refugees in Europe.

The 45-minute documentary, “Fata Morgana,” which roughly translates in Italian to "mirage," was co-produced by Lawhorne and Ebrima and Toumani, two young men from Gambia and Mali trying to establish themselves in the northeast Sicilian city of Messina, who she discovered through a local refugee solidarity group.

As noted in a press release: "The documentary shifts the cinematic gaze over to the eyes of the refugees who filmed more than half of the documentary’s footage."

Lawhorne tells Style that the documentary is a little bit about her experience, why she chose to explore the topic, and mostly about how her life intersects with Toumani and Ebrima. It also covers the return of Italian fascism in the form of the extreme right wing group, La Lega Nord, which shares power in the Italian government.

"It's not a good sign for the future of the European union," she says, noting that she uses visual parallels with the United States and Trump's use of America First (similar to Italy First). "There are a lot of similarities between the refugee crisis there and here," she says.

The filmmaker has covered similar topics before. Her 2009 documentary, “The Little Trip of a Dream,” explored the lives of undocumented kitchen workers in Richmond and what they left behind in Mexico, according to a release. Lawhorne currently works as media specialist for a political advocacy organization, Progress VA, and teaches documentary filmmaking to area young people through ART 180.

She adds that "now is an alarming time with rise of xenophobia and the Republican Party catering to white nationalists." She hopes her film will be a call for people to make an effort to open themselves outward.

"There are millions of people living in really bad situations throughout the world, it's the responsibility of people in more developed countries to figure out ways to help them," she says. "The world is a small place and it doesn't do us any good to close ourselves off to other people."

"It's time for people to reject efforts to close ourselves off to other people. We all live on this planet together and we need to work together to find positive solutions," she says. "If we build walls, we're only making our situation worse for ourselves."

Lawhorne, who is influenced by artists such as Werner Herzog and Ava Duvernay, says she was sitting on the film for a couple years now, but realized with current news events she couldn't wait any longer. There will likely be more local screenings, as well as an online and DVD release.

“Fata Morgana” premieres Monday, July 23 at 6 p.m. at the Main Library of the Richmond Public Library.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Free Benefit Show at Hardywood West - Friday, July 6

Featuring Lucy Dacus, Deau Eyes, Angelica Garcia and DJ Rattan

Posted By on Fri, Jul 6, 2018 at 3:20 PM

If you're looking for something to do this Friday, and you've wanted to check out the new Hardywood West Creek taproom overlooking Tuckahoe Creek, today might be the day.

Acclaimed Richmond-based singer/songwriter Lucy Dacus will be performing a free show with Deau Eyes (Ali Thibodeau) and Angelica Garcia, with DJ Rattan on the wheels of steel. The event is a benefit for RAICES, a nonprofit that provides free and low-cost legal services to immigrant children, families and refugees in Central and Southern Texas.

According to the venue website, "a limited number of signed show posters will be available for sale [with] all proceeds donated to RAICES along with a portion of merchandise sales from the performers. Be sure to stop by the donation table in the taproom if you are moved to offer a direct donation to RAICES through their website."

The show is all ages and here's the schedule:

5:30 p.m.: DJ Rattan (Rei from Bio Ritmo) spins Latin music.

6 p.m.: Angelica Garcia is a super-talented singer and performer who mixes folk, blues, alt. rock, probably more.

7 p.m.: Deau Eyes is the project of indie singer and songwriter Ali Thibodeau which the website describes as featuring "soulful siren-like melodies and cleverly crafted lyrics."

8 p.m.: Lucy Dacus, whose sophomore album, "No Burden" has been called one of the top 50 albums of 2018 by Rolling Stone magazine, if you're familiar with that.

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