Musical Chairs 

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With all the shiny new music venues popping up around town, it's interesting to see less-traditional venues picking up where the closure of Nanci Raygun left a hole in the scene. From larger venues like Toad's Place just coming online to intimate coffee shops and vintage clothing stores, there are suddenly all kinds of places to hear music. And buy pants while you're at it.

Capital Ale House (623 E. Main St.), 643-2537, www.capitalalehouse.com.

Capacity: 150 for seated shows and 300 for standing shows.

Vibe: There are four different types of shows in this recently expanded music hall: standing, cabaret (communal tables and chairs), dining and dancing.

Sort of Music: Most of the acts booked here follow no particular genre, as they are roots-driven, country, blues, jazz and/or classic rock.

Past Shows Include: The Yardbirds (who brought to fame Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page), punk icon John Doe from X and Dead Rock West.

Looking Forward To: The Illbillys Aug. 28, The Whiskey Rebellion (with frontwoman fiddler Mary Simpson) Sept. 7, Wrenn Magnum (Elvis and rockabilly) Sept. 11.

Bonus Amenities: Tasty concoctions from the kitchen (try the Belgian frittes, "beer-b-cue" ribs or the sausage platter) as well as a book full of fresh beer choices. Ice-covered bar.

The Camel (1621 W. Broad St.), 353-4901, www.thecamel.org.

Capacity: 130

Vibe: Calling itself "a social oasis where diverse groups regularly hold events and activities that rarely occur on the Richmond scene," The Camel hosts any music from jazz to folk rock to hip-hop. It also hosts organization events such as Green Drinks: Lazy Environmentalists' Night.

Sort of Music: Anything except heavy metal or punk.

Looking Forward To: Mermaid Skeletons (RVA-based chamber pop) with David Shultz (hometown singer/songwriter) Aug. 17, RVA Soul Fest Aug. 31, Prabir and the Substitutes Sept. 20, Jennifer O'Connor Oct. 28.

Bonus Amenities: Nonsmoking.

White Hawk Music Café (1940 Sandy Hook Road, Goochland), 556-3388, www.whitehawkmusiccafe.com.

Capacity: 60

Vibe: Set in a rustic environment, the cafe features an old-time ambience with modern amenities.

Sort of Music: Mostly acoustic with open-mic nights on Tuesdays and open bluegrass picking on Thursdays (6-8 p.m.). Their full fall lineup will be available in the next few weeks.

Past Shows: Wrenn Magnum, Susan Greenbaum, Rob Smith, Michelle Nixon.

Bonus Amenities: In addition to its coffee shop, restaurant and music hall, it offers music lessons. Check out their big-screen TV and wi-fi when shows aren't going on. Taste the Kentucky bluegrass panini, featuring blue cheese. Nonsmoking.

None Such Art & Apparel (918 W. Grace St.), 649-4069, www.nonesuchrva.com.

Capacity: 50

Sort of Music: Low-key acoustic to indie-pop. Locals include Liza Kate and Josh Small, Homemade Knives, Trilobita, as well as bands from New York, Boston and as far south as New Orleans.

Past Shows: Landlord, Josh Small, Puddin' Pops.

Bonus Amenities: Monthly art shows highlighting the painting, sculpture and installation work of local artists and VCU grads, plus vintage and modern clothing (and plenty of T-shirts).

Rumors (Boutique and Music Hall) (404 N. Harrison St., near the Village Café), 726-9944, www.myspace.com/rumorsrva.

Capacity: 75

Vibe: Set in an upscale, hip boutique, one feels like part of the in-crowd just setting foot in the place.

Sort of Music: Hosting impromptu events and bands whose venues haveclosed down, Rumors features many types from punk and metal to quiet folk.

Past shows: As most of their shows are impromptu (but advertised locally), Rumors has hosted such acts as punk band Landmines, chamber pop darlings Mermaid Skeletons, Wade Jeffries, Ampere, Des Ark and Antlers.

Bonus Amenities: Rumors sells lots of local, hard-to-find bands' music in addition to the clothing.

Common Groundz (734 W. Broad St.), 344-8580, http://commongroundz.net.

Capacity: 200

Vibe: Nonsmoking, eclectic chic. One side is like being in your own living room.

Sort of Music: Indie, acoustic, neo-soul, jazz, etc. Open-mic night Tuesdays.

Past Shows: Jesse Lacey from Brand New, Belief (signing with Alicia Keys management), Dugout, Jenny Owen Youngs, The Pomegranates.

Looking Forward To: Joe Bailey and the Ganja Band Aug. 17, Kevin Devine Oct. 18.

Bonus Amenities: Organic and fair-trade coffees and smoothies, soups and sandwiches from Zuppa, free wi-fi. As the three owners are recovering alcohol/drug addicts, they welcome those in recovery as well.

Edgar Allan Poe Museum, "The Unhappy Hour" (1914-16 E. Main St.), 648-5523, www.poemuseum.org.

Capacity: 125

Vibe: A family-oriented affair taking place in the garden, the "Unhappy Hour" features a small bar and free hors d'oeuvres.

Sort of Music: The spot features music ranging from old-time to jazz, with no specific boundaries. Music about once a month, so far.

Past Shows: The High Street Lowlifes (1930's-era-inspired old-time).

Looking Forward To: The Museum's Halloween-centered event, based on the short story "The Masque of the Red Death."

Bonus Amenities: Take a look at the museum's many displays and have a chat with Poe aficionado Tom Rowe. Nonsmoking.

Toad's Place Richmond (140 Virginia St.), 648-TOAD, www.toadsplacerva.com.

Capacity: 1,500

Vibe: The newly opened three-level space finally attracts larger-named bands to our city.

Sort of Music: The type of music has no limits, ranging from blues legends, rock and roll, and nostalgic '80s bands to up-and-coming artists.

Looking Forward To: George Thorogood & The Destroyers Aug. 26 and The Avett Brothers Sept. 20.

Bonus Amenities: With four bars, a full-sized restaurant and the largest patio on the Canal, you can watch and listen to your favorite bands in style.

The National Theater (704 E. Broad St.)

Capacity: 1,500 seats

Vibe: Its design is described as "adorned but not ornate" and "an atmospheric theater." The renovated theater features works by Italian artisan Ferruccio Legnaioli and is slated for a December opening.

Sort of Music: Big names that usually skip Richmond to play in D.C.

Bonus Amenities: Nonsmoking. S

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