May 17, 2006 News & Features » Cover Story

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Natural Selection 

Surviving the Richmond music scene.

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Charles Darwin: You know him, you love him. The man who made it cool to think about turtle sex, the man who challenged the squares with evolution, the man who kept it real with the savage peoples of the Tierra del Fuego, the man who had one hell of a world tour back in the 1830s. Charlie Darwin — our first rock star.

Richmond's music scene is no stranger to the laws of natural selection that Chaz cold brought down the pipe. We know musicians make it 'cause of colorful plumage, elaborate mating calls and a relentless drive to reproduce (digitally, vinyl-ly and otherwise, depending on the abundance of groupies). So Style Weekly spent some time in the field. We studied the development of new musical habitats, and the way bands pass on their information to future generations and encourage flocking. We also gathered a sampling of the local musical fauna and consulted with the experts as to the state of our echo-system.

Over it all looms the big question of evolution: Will drummers grow an extra "snare hand"? Will singers lose a spleen and gain a lung? Will MCs grow a rhyming cortex in the brain? And will Richmond encourage change in the scene, a mutation of styles and venues that creates a genetically viable music community?

As the original Chuck D would say: For those about to flock, we salute you.



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