Inside Track 

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The signal is loud and clear! 97.3 WRIR-FM, Richmond Independent Radio, just got stronger with the relocation of its antenna and transmitter. Now the rest of us can hear Radio for the Rest of Us.

At the Stars is a Richmond pop band reminiscent of the late-'80s/early-'90s British invasion. Bassist Steve Barber describes his band as "that jangly-sounding, washy, floating vocals style of The Smiths, or The Cure, even Coldplay. The guitar player is a big Johnny Marr fan," referring to the guitarist for The Smiths who recently became a member of indie darlings Modest Mouse.

Barber also produced and engineered the band's new EP. At the Stars has upcoming gigs May 12 at Rocks and June 9 at Out of Bounds, one of which will likely be a CD release.

Speaking of which, Modest Mouse boasts a Richmonder in its lineup — multi-instrumentalist Tom Peloso. His former bandmate in King Sour, Matt This Morning" on WTVR-TV CBS 6. The mastering on the band's new bluegrass CD, "Ground Beef Patrol," is complete, and you should have it in your hands by the end of May.

It's taken about three years to deliver, but the latest record from folk- and country-inspired post-rockers Tulsa Drone will be released in May on Richmond's Perpetual Motion Machine. "Songs From a Mean Season" was recorded throughout 2005 with producer Scott Minor (of Sparklehorse) at Altamont Recording in Asheville, N.C. You can grab a copy at the CD release show, May 17 at Hyperlink.

RVA metal represents in Europe! Lamb of God is the favorite to win it all at this year's Metal Hammer Golden Gods Awards. The band's up for an impressive five gongs, including Best Album, Best Live Band, Best Video, Best International Band and Best Shredders for Will Adler and Mark Morton. As for Best Underground Band, Municipal Waste should thrash the competition. Down that PBR, throw up the devil horns, and vote 0at www.metalhammer.co.uk/gods/.

— Compiled by Mike Rutz of "Activate" on 97.3 and Jay Smack of "Studio B" on 102.1.

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