Inside Track 

Welcome to the Richmond music scene, here's what you need to know.

Only fools could ignore the power-pop gold being mined by the Richmond quartet Goldrush. Its quirky arrangements struck a chord with South by Southwest organizers, who are showcasing the band's video for "Touch" on the festival's YouTube channel. Goldrush performed at the Austin, Texas, festival alongside indie-rock group Motion City Soundtrack, which handpicked Goldrush for a singles' series being released on Mad Dragon Records. Its new 7-inch, recorded at Drexel University's studios, should be out late this summer. Next up, Goldrush will play an all-original score for Sergei Eisenstein's classic silent film, "Battleship Potemkin," at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts on April 6.

Local musicians are making waves globally: World-jazz ensemble Rattlemouth is featured on the international compilation "Noise and Chill Out: Ethiopian Groove Worldwide" alongside such renowned acts as Kronos Quartet and Debo Band. Rattlemouth contributed its version of "Chik Chikka," a composition from the father of Ethio-jazz, Mulatu Astatke, which also can be found on its latest CD, "5." Rattlemouth continues to pursue the groove at its monthly first-Saturday gigs at Crossroads Coffee on the South Side.

Richmond original Janet Martin has built a massive blues-loving fan base in Europe, so it was only logical she record her first 100-percent blues-rock record at Studio La Chocolaterie in Paris. After working round the clock for two weeks straight with Texas guitar slinger Neal Black at the helm, the Janet Martin Band returned home with enough tracks for a full-length disc to be released in the fall. Not one for wasting time, Martin will begin work later this month on an acoustic blues album for Adelphi Records. Twelve songs will be chosen for the sessions, culled from Adelphi's archive of rare audio and video footage of performances by known and unknown blues musicians from Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and Louisiana.

Audiences who find themselves in the path of Fire Bison have been riveted. Not content to lumber straight ahead, guitarist Adrienne Shurte, formerly of Hail Hydra, ex-Color Kittens bassist Laurie Lay, and drummer Wess Brockman instead drape dual grunge-grrrl vocals over angular indie-rock rhythms. Fire Bison just recorded a batch of songs at Double-O Studios in Newport News for its first official release, a possible split 7-inch, EP or both with surf-rockers the Milkstains. Double your fun with Fire Bison when it plays Cellar Door on April 7, and Strange Matter on April 10.

If the music of Hot Lava were any more infectious, the Centers for Disease Control would have issued a warning. Well, we're here to sound the alarm for the Garbers, a new surf-pop threesome featuring Hot Lava masterminds Allison Apperson on guitar and Matt Deans on keys, backed by Bio Ritmo and Fuzzy Baby percussionist Guistino Riccio. Priority No. 1 for the group is to keep writing songs until a tentative recording session this summer, and second priority is landing gigs, including one at Balliceaux on April 19, with Snowy Owls and Peace Beast. It's been shown that such symptoms as bobbing heads, loose hips and happy feet cannot be treated.

Nostalgia just got loud. Members of Municipal Waste and Darkest Hour are setting their sights on the mid-'80s as Iron Reagan, a crossover band of raw punk and thrash metal. Between politically charged lyrics and a minimalist approach, it's clear that not much has changed since the decade when people actually believed in trickle-down economics. Iron Reagan's first demo is available via bandcamp or on a five-song cassette through Tankcrimes Records. Another 20 songs wait in the wings that were produced by Bob Quirk, guitarist for local hardcore band Dry Spell.

Look for more local live shows when Municipal Waste gets back from tour supporting its new record, "The Fatal Feast," due out April 10 on Nuclear Blast Records.

Inside Track is compiled by Mike Rutz of "Activate" on WRIR-FM 97.3.


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