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Native Fauna 

A sampling of Richmond's active musical population

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Common Name: Anousheh Khalili

Species: Piano-driven, melodic. Think Tori Amos, Fiona Apple.

Mating Call: "Let the ground know who's standing on him." Also the title of Khalili's debut album.

Genetic mutation: "My favorite show of all time is 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer,' Khalili says. "I stand by it."

Natural Habitat: Gallery5, Nanci Raygun.

Adaptation: "I don't have the midriff for a Pepsi endorsement, let alone the songs," Khalili says. "I'm hoping I can keep playing and touring and writing and improving. Wherever that takes me is where I want to be."

future: Album released on local label Triple Stamp Records this fall or winter, followed by a month-long national tour.

Further Study: www.anousheh.com, www.triplestamp.com



Common Name: Big Sty

Species: Hip-hop that walks the line between commercial and underground.

Mating Call: "A broke nigga can't tell me how to get rich."

,b>Genetic mutation: Big Sty made big noise in 2004 when he called out hip-hop's big names on the controversial single, "It's a Problem."

Natural habitat: The Siegel Center.

Adaptation: "Long-term plan is to establish my business and continue to make music that I feel — and hopefully other people feel," Sty says.

Future: His album "Stycology" is set for early summer release; he's also working on a group project called Grind City All Stars. "It's me and five other artists and will probably be even bigger than my project," Sty says.

Further study: www.myspace.com/bigsty, www.tygereye.net/bigsty



Common Name: Red Anthem

Species: Helmet meets Coldplay.

Mating call: "I don't believe in accidents, in politics or presidents. Dig yourself a trench and hide; it's a nasty little world outside."

genetic mutation: "Rather than take on a lawsuit for using the name Vega, we changed to Red Anthem after five miserable weeks of trying to come up with something," vocalist/guitarist Jarrod Smith says. "And no, we're not communists."

Natural habitat: "Have to get back to you on that one," Smith says. "I'm sure they'll open one soon."

Adaptation: Smith says the band members want to continue to do things their way as long as possible, but that "we want to play Madison Square Garden, just like everyone else."

Future: Working on a new album for late summer or early fall release and planning to experiment with some expensive studio toys. "We love buttons and flashing lights," he says.

Further study: www.redanthem.com, www.myspace.com/redanthem



Common Name: Liza Kate

Species: Acoustic, easy-to-listen-to folk music that welcomes you like an old friend.

Mating Call: "I'm fond of all of my lyrics," she says, "they're mostly about me or my life in some way."

Genetic mutation: Kate was adopted, and was even in an "adopted club" in the sixth grade.

Adaptation: "Bones." "I never play it anymore," says Kate. "But I'm really proud of the recording (thanks to Marshall Costan)."

Natural Habitat: Nonesuch, Ipanema Café.

Ambition Kate says she believes "it's completely possible to be successful in the music world independently."

future: Planning to finally record that full-length album she's been "pretending to work on" for over a year now.

Further Study: www.lizakate.com





Common Name: Wrinkle Neck Mules

Species: Rock with shades of country and bluegrass.

Mating Call: "I've got a four-wheel drive and a three-gun rack, a two-eyed stove and a one-room shack."

Genetic mutation: Album "Pull the Brake" debuted No. 2 on the Euro Americana Chart.

Natural Habitat: "Different things come out of different nights and expectations," singer and guitarist Andy Stepanian says. "Poe's, Cary Street and Alley Katz tie."

Adaptation: To push "Pull the Brake" as far as possible through touring. "It's doing well and moving the Mule along ever so slowly," he says.

future: Working on new material and then another long summer tour.

Further Study: www.wrinkleneckmules.com, www.myspace.com/wrinkleneckmules



Common Name: Pennyshaker

Species: Guitar-driven soul, funk and R&B.

Mating call: "Rejection is always better when it has a silent part."

Genetic mutation: The band's name alludes to the street musician who just wants to be heard and maybe make a little change.

Natural habitat: "Bogart's has been our home for a long time, and we love it," guitarist Darren Moxin says. "But we sound huge at Alley Katz."

Adaptation: Moxin says they want to reunite A Tribe Called Quest "and open for them on their comeback tour." In the meantime, they'll "keep writing, playing and expand into markets north and south of Richmond."

Future: Just wrapped a new demo. Their plan is to grow the Richmond fan base and win new fans out of town.

Further study: www.pennyshaker.com, www.myspace.com/pennyshaker



Common Name: Josh Small

Species: Catchy, indie melodies filtered through more traditional old-time styles — or vice versa.

Mating Call: "Spell out my name and I'll go trace the Bible for what you think is worth revival."

Genetic mutation: "At 5-foot-3, I am in fact the tallest member of my family," Small says.

Natural habitat: House shows at 9 N. Boulevard.

Adaptation: To tour a little more, finish the album he started and, most important to Small, "finally achieve my lifelong dream of 10,000 friends on MySpace." He's in the low 700s.

Future: Hopes to put a band together sometime before the end of summer and play a big CD release show at Cary Street Café.

Further study: www.myspace.com/joshsmall



Common Name: OhmegaMen

Species: Effortlessly smooth, lushly produced, melodic hip-hop.

Mating call: "Now you know who Underverse is/ The exact opposite of Donny McCerkin."

Genetic mutation: "OhmegaMen get more love outside of Richmond than locally," says Daniel Anderson, one of the emcee/producers who make up the collective.

Natural habitat: "Alley Katz," Anderson says — "until they stopped doing hip-hop."

Adaptation: International distribution.

Future: Trying to raise funds for an eight-show U.K. tour that's booked for October. The group's self-titled album is out in December.

Further study: www.myspace.com/ohmegamen



Common Name: Widows

Species: Indie rock with wide-ranging influences.

Mating call: "We're all so young and tasteless/walking around lost and faithless."

Genetic mutation: Current lineup is final. Widows have gone through many drummers, including members of Gregor Samsa and Engine Down. Current drummer also plays with Strike Anywhere.

Natural habitat: Nanci Raygun. "We're there so often it feels like we're the house band," singer/guitarist Zach Van Hoozer says.

Adaptation: "Move up and out," Van Hoozer says. "Tour. Release good records to as large an audience as possible."

Future: New record, "Bronze," out on Parlor Press Records this summer. Setting up as many summer dates as possible.

Further study: www.myspace.com/widowsmusic, www.myspace.com/parlorpressrecords



Common Name:Species: Effortlessly smooth, lushly produced, melodic hip-hop.

Mating call: "Now you know who Underverse is/ The exact opposite of Donny McCerkin."

Genetic mutation: "OhmegaMen get more love outside of Richmond than locally," says Daniel Anderson, one of the emcee/producers who make up the collective.

Natural habitat: "Alley Katz," Anderson says — "until they stopped doing hip-hop."

Adaptation: International distribution.

Future: Trying to raise funds for an eight-show U.K. tour that's booked for October. The group's self-titled album is out in December.

Further study: www.myspace.com/ohmegamen



Common Name: Divine Profitz

Species: Successful blend of hip-hop elements, with social/political statements and plenty of Richmond and Lynchburg references.

Mating Call: "We won't stop till we lie in pine boxes/When time stops we'll have it locked like wine closets. Rock for Rastas, thugs and gun-cockas/Black activists, white boys and punk rockas."

Genetic mutation: Divine Profitz started in 1994 on Fort Avenue in Lynchburg, just a couple of blocks away from Jerry Falwell, "the anti-Chr—I mean famous evangelist," emcee Chadrach says.

Natural Habitat: Nanci Raygun, plus Alley Katz before they stopped doing hip-hop shows.

Adaptation: To make a living without compromising personal integrity, or the integrity of hip-hop.

Future: Solo albums from three of the five Divine Profitz emcees: Chadrach, Execute and CP. Also, collaboration projects with other local acts.

Further study:www.alphabetikrecordz.com, www.myspace.com/divineprofitz, www.soundclick.com/divineprofitz



Common Name: Smoke or Fire

Species: Shouty, upbeat punk, with surprisingly hummable tunes.

Mating Call: "Here's to us."

Genetic mutation: Formerly known as Jericho, the name had to be changed because of a copyright conflict with a band from Reston.

Natural Habitat: 18 N. Lombardy St.

Adaptation: "To have as much fun as possible," bass player Ken Gurley says. "And to make it to the next show."

future: Writing in Richmond this May, recording in Chicago this June, releasing the results in October.

Further Study: www.smokeorfire.com



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