Stuff to do: Mighty Joshua at Dogwood Dell, Maria Bamford at the National, Carytown Watermelon Fest, and Man or Astro-man? at Richmond Music Hall 

click to enlarge The great, sci-fi surf rock band, Man ... or Astro-man? returns to RVA on Wednesday, Aug.17 at Capital Alehouse.

The great, sci-fi surf rock band, Man ... or Astro-man? returns to RVA on Wednesday, Aug.17 at Capital Alehouse.

You want to know why it was originally called "Woo-wee" stuff to do this week? No? Good.

Comedians Maria Bamford and Jackie Kashian at the National on Friday, Aug. 12

Lady Bamford is a comedy veteran of TV and stage, a lover of pugs, and she’s funny, with goofy voices and scrunchy faces for days. Recommended if you’re a fan of quirky comedians like Amy Sedaris. Need a sample of her supposedly controversial stand-up material? (Yes, it can be self-deprecating and it does deal with mental illness and family dysfunction, thanks Wikipedia): Here’s Maria imitating her religious mom: 'Honey, when you don't wear makeup, you look mentally ill.' And here’s Maria’s response: “So now when I go home, I'm certain to wear thick green eye shadow and a line of lipstick around my lips. 'Baby look pretty now, Mommy?'”

The New York Times described her show well in a 2014 profile: "Her act is a series of monologues and mini skits performed rapid fire and often without regard for transition. Deploying a range of deadpan voices, she mimics the faux enlightened who hover around the afflicted, offering toothless platitudes, bootstrapping pep talks, or concern warped by self-interest. The humor of any given moment relies not so much on punchlines as it does on the impeccably timed swerves of her tone, the interplay between Bamford's persona and those of all the people who don't get her."

We get you, Maria, that's why you're a pick. Tickets are $25 to $35 and available here.


Mighty Joshua at Dogwood Dell on Friday, Aug. 12.

Right now, Friday and Saturday both look to be excellent weather days with temperatures in the low 80s and plenty o' sunshine. That means we think, come Friday, there will be hordes of folks looking to dance outside in a park-like setting as part of the 65th Festival of Arts at Dogwood Dell (more than in the video below). Agreed? It doesn’t get much better than free reggae in the park from Richmond’s own uplifting beacon of light, Mighty Joshua. Bring a chair, but no dogs allowed. 8 p.m. to 10:15 p.m. Free.


40th Annual Carytown Watermelon Festival on Sunday, Aug. 14

This one is self-explanatory. Almost forgot, we love watermelon because it's juicy and sweet. Thousands of people should show up in Carytown for this festival of vendors and live music. Weather looks to be nice, low 80s and cloudy. For a schedule of all the bands, go here. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Free, except for all the watermelon, food and drink vendors and shops.


Man or Astro-man? with the Shutups and Seriously at Richmond Music Hall, Wednesday, Aug. 17

If you like space aliens, killer instrumental surf rock and garage punk, you definitely don’t want to miss this hard-touring ‘90s crew from Alabama. The four-piece includes Star Crunch on lead guitar, Coco the Electronic Monkey Wizard on self-propelled pyrophone, Avona Nova on fire organ and gravikord, and Birdstuff on bamboo sound magik plus all finger and toe cymbals. Fans of Chunklet Industires know what’s up.

Last time I saw them two decades ago in Northern California, I remember someone wearing an orange jumpsuit and a metal bowl on his head with its own live flame for the whole show. Talk about fire emojis, it looked hawt. The band just released a new three-track EP, “Space 1991/Tenth Planet,” which premiered at Brooklyn Vegan, and it has a lot more rarities where those came from. We're thinking this should be one of the best rawk shows of the summer. With Oakland’s Shutups and the Birmingham synth wave of Seriously. Tickets are $25. Doors at 7 p.m.


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