Show Info From Rocktown Weekly

•April 23, 2008 • 1 Comment

There’s a show tonight (Wed April 23) at Taylor Down Under at 7 pm FREE! featuring The Chuck Shaffer Picture Show (www.myspace.com/thechuckshafferpictureshow). These local guys (all went to JMU) aim to “jumpstart the Harrisonburg music scene.” Within a month of launching their myspace page on March 4, they tallied 1,000 friends. Ryan’s vocals are remniscent of Incubus’s Brandon Boyd, and CSPS has also drawn comparisons to Sevendust, Taking Back Sunday and Chris Daughtry. Check them out for FREE tonight before they open for another JMU alum, Matthew Archer Stephenson, and his Virginia Beach band The Influence at Rocktown Grill on April 30. That 18+ show will have a $5 cover.

Read on down the page to find out about more shows.

Crowded Streets in Harrisonburg

•April 23, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Aloha Bloggers! Happy hump day!

 

It’s Wednesday, April 23, 2008, and you are looking at your calendar to see that there is nothing written in the little box. What is there to do? Well, you can thank Bangorang Productions for making big things happen yet again. They have arranged for Crowded Streets to do a show tonight at James Madison University’s Memorial Hall. The show will begin at 8:00 and you can buy tickets in one of the following locations: at the door for $10 or in advance for $7 at either www.bangorangproductions.org or JMU’s music building from 11-1.

 

Crowded Streets is a Dave Matthews Band (DMB) tribute. You can listen to some of their music on their Myspace site to see what you think. Honestly, I was shocked. Attempting to re-create the music of DMB are some very large shoes to fill. If another band is going to shadow Dave Matthews Band, they better be sure they can handle the heat in the kitchen. From the clips I listened to of this band, they are definitely in the kitchen.

 

In the Washington-metro area, Crowded Streets is said to be one of the best. This band takes the awesome jams of DMB and, in combination with their own interpretations of the music, plays a session you won’t be able to forget. Alyn McDermott describes them as having, “…addicting sound and infectious beats.”

 

Previously, the band has played with some of the best in the coolest venues. Some of the venues they’ve rocked include: The Kennedy Center, The Nissan Pavilion, and The House of Blues. Crowded Streets has also had the opportunity to open for bands like: Live, the Gin Blossoms, and Earth, Wind, and Fire.

 

Another bonus to the show is, like always, you are going to be a philanthropist for the night! All proceeds of the show will be donated to the Harrisonburg Education Foundation that was established in 1994. This organization helps buy school supplies and other necessities for the K-12 schools in Harrisonburg.

 

So, let’s discuss. If you come to the show tonight, you will: be a philanthropist, get to see an awesome band, listen to excellent music, and be with hundreds of people having a good time. If you don’t come to the show, you will: be disappointed. Definitely come out and see Crowded Streets tonight. I promise you, it will be good.

 

Also, our friends at  Rocktown Bar & Grill are making sure to keep the music coming and the good times rolling:

§ Friday, April 25:  The Reflex @ 9pm

§  Saturday, April 26:

o       8pm: Vintage Bluegrass featuring Richard Hefner

o       9pm: TK-421

 

Crowded Streets

 

I thought this was a pretty creative picture:

 

The inspiration for Crowded Streets:

DMB

 

Artist Spotlight: Sweetbriar

•April 22, 2008 • 2 Comments

A quick note about Sweetbriar from yours truly. Unfortunately because of my ridiculous schedule at school, the joys and headaches of graduating and the fact that it’s 2:30am, I cannot give Sweetbriar the proper introduction they deserve. What I can tell you is that these guys truly are some talented young men who have been working hard for years to make it in this industry. They have a catchy rock/soul sound that no one can deny and play regularly in Charlottesville with some shows in Harrisonburg, Richmond and Fredericksburg. They recently won a battle of the bands at Penn State which helped them fund the recording of some kick ass songs. I’ve seen them perform several times and can say that from my own experience, they never disappoint. They have certainly ingrained themselves in my college memories and hope to carry that over for years to come.

1. Could you tell us a little about the band members?

Stephen Drolshagen is our lead singer, and is currently attending Piedmont Virginia Community College. He’s a pack-a-day chain smoker, a sandwich and movie aficionado, and the laziest son of a bitch we know. He can play a mean harmonica, and dabbles in piano as well. Basically, his whole life is music. We don’t like him, but goddammit, do we respect him. Seriously though, he’s a hell of a good singer, and he IS the voice of Sweetbriar.

Jonathan Drolshagen is one of our lead guitarists. He graduated from UVa in 2007 and manages three different locations of popular Five Guys burger joint. If Stephen is the soul of Sweetbriar, Jon is the heart. He writes most of the songs and almost all of the lyrics, in addition to being the oldest, most responsible, and primary contact/booking/businessman of the group. He earned the nickname “Pudge” in high school, and even though he’s been trim and thin for years, we still tell him he’s fat for old time’s sake.

Matt Coppock is one of the founding members of the band, and he drums like no other whenever he can make it down from graduate school at Penn State. He graduated from the University of Richmond in 2007, and holds the title of the best looking member of the band. Matt’s also a talented songwriter, and plays both guitar and mandolin, in addition to background vocals. Offstage, he’s the best beer pong player you’ve ever seen in your whole life.

John Byrnes graduated from UVa in 2007 and now dedicates his whole life to rock n roll. He’s truly a gifted guitar player, but his real weapon is his ability to consume massive quantities of alcohol. That’s not a joke. But seriously, he can write amazing songs in any genre, ranging from rap to folk to progressive metal. His nickname is “Toots,” and is noted for his trademark cutoff t-shirts and cab driver hat, as well as the ability to perform the coveted over-the-head, behind-the-back guitar solo.

Dan Brandao is the only current UVa student, and will graduate in 2009. He plays bass and provides another harmony. When he isn’t wearing too-tight jeans with a white shirt and black tie onstage, he enjoys Parcheesi, cigars, and haberdashery. He’s completely out of place in the band, and actually likes Fall Out Boy. We try to keep him a dirty little secret.

2. Why the name “Sweetbriar?”

This actually isn’t that good of a story. Matt, Jonathan, Stephen and Dan all went to high school together. We had always practiced at Matt’s house, which was on Sweetbriar Drive in Fredricksburg, VA. We were “Sweetbriar Drive” until around 2006, when we decided to drop the “Drive,” because we thought a shorter name would be catchier and easier to remember. On a side note, if we ever change our name from Sweetbriar, we would absolutely be “Stormy Steve and the Teardrops.”

3. If you could pick one of your songs and call it your favorite, which one would it be and why?

Dan and Matt picked “Señorita.” It’s catchy as hell, the fans have been having a good time dancing to it, and the harmonies sound great. They would definitely vote for it if we had to put a single out right now.

Byrnes picked “Ride On Down To Georgia,” which is the most complicated song we play, and one that he penned himself. It has some beautiful chords and an unusual song structure, including a prolonged guitar solo (who would’ve guessed?), and swings from soft and pretty verses to intense choruses and breakdowns.

Jonathan and Stephen both picked “Time, Sweet Time,” the newest song in the Sweetbriar lineup. It’s a little different from the songs we usually write, and Jonathan gets to play piano on it. Lyrically, it’s the best writing we’ve put to music yet, and when we jam on it we have the option of throwing in an interlude with a couple of recognizable covers, so it’s a versatile addition to our set.

4. What are your goals for the future of the band?

Short term goals include going into the studio early this summer to cut a full-length debut record, and hopefully going on a brief tour along the east coast late summer to promote it and getting “Steva the Diva” to help set up and take down equipment. After that, Matt and Dan finish their respective degrees next year, and we’re gonna get serious spreading the rock-and-soul love that only Sweetbriar can offer.

Their upcoming shows include:

Benefit Concert for Students Helping Honduras w/ Tim Be Told- Satellite Ballroom, April 24, 8pm- Charlottesville VA

Randolf Macon University- May 10, 8pm- Ashland, VA

Princeton University- May 13, 8pm- Princeton, NJ

Uncle Charlie’s Smokehouse- May 31, 10pm- Charlottesville, VA

Saturday in the ‘burg…

•April 19, 2008 • 1 Comment

Yo Bloggers! I hope we’re all having a rockin’ weekend! Although I was unable to attend, I heard the T-Pain concert last night was out of control, which is awesome.

 

So it’s Saturday in Harrisonburg and there are so many things going on.

 

Valkyrie is playing tonight at the Blue Nile in downtown Harrisonburg. The show will start at 9:30pm and the cover is $3. The band describes their sound as “classic doom, hard rock, and heavy metal from the mystical climes of the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia,” so if that’s your jam you should definitely come out and see them throw a kick ass show.

 

Valkyrie

 

The Worx will be playing again at Rocktown Bar & Grill. That’s right, if you missed them last night, Friday, you can come out tonight, Saturday, April 19, and see them again. I don’t know what kind of music this band has, but it must be an amazing show because Rocktown had to turn people away last time because of the crowd size. Plus, Rocktown always has really mind-blowing shows. I saw The Monster Band there about two weeks ago and it was a phenomenal show. The lead vocalist was a female vocalist with a voice to die for. Hopefully we can get them back here for another show! So, as stated on The Worx web site, “Don’t settle for less than the best. Get The Worx!”

 

The Worx

 

Things are not just “happenin” in Harrisonburg.

 

 We have The Sometime Favorites playing at Virginia Tech ZTA in Blacksburg, VA. I was first introduced to this band a couple of months ago and have become a big fan. Actually, scratch that, I have become a huge fan. Their sound is a combination of indie, pop, and rock and what a sound it is. Definitely check out their myspace to get a preview before the show. I guarantee you, if you can attend this show you won’t want to miss it. The show starts at 9pm. If you can’t come to this show, we’ve got the inside scoop that they’ll be in Harrisonburg on Friday, May 16, 2008, playing at, yup, you guessed it, Rocktown!

 

 The Sometime Favorites

 

Friends to the Valley Vibe, Mozely Rose, will be playing at Dice’s Nightclub in Staunton, VA tonight at 9:30pm. This Richmond, VA based band has been spreading their music nationally since 2004. Having recently released their second album in 2007, The New Brew, they are becoming world renowned having their music played in places like Italy, Germany, France, and all across the United States. Pretty cool, guys! As stated on their myspace account, “the listener will find the album samples country, funk, and blues drenched with outlaw-rock finesse.” Definitely come out to rock with these guys. They’ll show you a good time!

 

Mozely Rose

 

Don’t forget about these shows as well on Saturday, April 19, 2008:

         Sweetbriar: Charlottesville Marathon Finish Line @ 9am

         Proverbial: Radford University Quad Fest @ 5pm

         The Silo Effect: Baja Bean in Richmond, VA @ 9pm

 

Good luck to all of the bands playing this weekend! I know they’ll all throw amazing shows. Have a great rest of the weekend Bloggers and check back tomorrow, Sunday, to find out what is going on the rest of this week. Also, we’ll be doing a feature story on Crowded Streets, a Dave Matthews Band Tribute, who will be playing on Wednesday, April 23, 2008 at James Madison University’s Memorial Hall. Thanks to Bangorang Productions for setting this event up. Get excited!

 

Before I forget, Sunday, April 20, 2008 (also known as 4-20), is The Green Apple Festival in Washington D.C.. This is a FREE concert and tons of unbelievable musicians will be there. To name a few: O.A.R., The Roots, Talib Kweli, Jorden Sparks, Ne-Yo, Will.i.am, and many more. It will begin at about 12pm on the National Mall. I’ll be there and I hope to see you there too!

Whitesel Music Doing Big Things for Downtown Music Revival

•April 16, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Whitesel Music opened almost 50 years ago in 1948 as a music supply store located in downtown Harrisonburg.  After decades of service to the surrounding valley, the store was sold and turned into another music store, Ben’s Music.  Four years later, Josh Love, grandson of the original owner of Whitesel Music, came back to reclaim the store that he learned to love growing up in Harrisonburg. 

Josh Love graduated from Bridgewater College in 2004 and moved to Pennsylvania to pursue a career as a stock broker.  After three years as a stock broker, Love decided the music business he grew up around was his calling.  When asked his motivation for coming back to reclaim his Grandfather’s music store, Love replied, “I missed the music business.  I spent so much time in my grandfather’s store and I learned to love and appreciate what my Grandfather was doing.”  However, Love’s respect for music extends past the business side of things.  Love is also a dedicated guitar player who has been playing for many years.

The name Whitesel Music has a rich history in Harrisonburg.  At the moment Love offers the sale of countless instruments, amplifiers, and anything else a musician would need including a large collection of Gibson guitars.   Apart from serving as a music supply store, Love has quite different plans for his newly acquired business compared to its traditional ways.  Love plans to keep his Grandfather’s mentality while putting his own spin on the store as well. 

Whitesel Music will serve as a music supply store during the day, and at night provide a chance for individuals throughout the community to come together for instrument demonstrations.  These events are already in the works.  A Blues Jam Session, which begins this Thursday, April 17, will give enthusiasts the opportunity to jam with others throughout the community.  Love has set up a drum set in the store for the event and has also set up a hammond organ for people to play.  “The hammond organ is the original blues keyboard.  It is over 30 years old and was the instrument of choice by many blues greats like Stevie Wonder,” said Love.  The Blues Jam Session will be a weekly event on Thursday nights at 7:30.  

Love also plans to begin a Jazz Jam Session that will start the following Friday, April 25, that will work along the same lines.  “This will be a great opportunity for music enthusiasts throughout the community to come and play with complete strangers, yet create something that everyone can enjoy,” said Love. 

Whitesel Music has brought a brand new vibe to the valley and is a key player in the downtown music revival effort.  As a guitar player and music enthusiast I feel like this store is the missing link in the valley because of its modern ideas, amazing supply of instruments, and excellent customer service.  Harrisonburg needed a dedicated music store, and I believe that Whitesel Music, “Where everything is music…..and music is everything,” is exactly what we’ve been looking for.   

There will be a private grand opening of Whitesel Music on April 25 for high school and college students located throughout Harrisonburg and surrounding areas.  Be sure to go and check out this amazing store and what is has to offer music enthusiasts throughout the valley. 

Photo by Pete Marovich

For more information, contact:

Josh Dove

Whitesel Music – 34 South Main St. Harrisonburg, Va. -(540) 434-1376 – www.whiteselmusic.com 

Another Week of Music…

•April 13, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Aloha Bloggers! Welcome to yet another week of fun and excitement in the Shenandoah Valley. Big things this week….huge!

 

Well, Rocktown Bar and Grill is making sure we’re starting off the week right. Tonight, April 13, 2008, at 8pm Rocktown will be hosting The Beetnix. Their web site describes their music as, “nothing you’ve ever heard before,” and it’s true. They have created some truly great beats that will keep you dancing all night long. I can tell you this hip-hop group has an awesome rhythm and the potential to be rise up with the likes of Method Man and Redman. Previously, this band has joined the stage with the likes of: Ghostface Killah, Al Kapone, and Blackalicious. What I found most interesting was their list of influences; the list ranges from some of the greatest bands ever (The Beatles, The Doors, Jimi Hendrix), to hard-rocking bands (My Chemical Romance, Incubus, The Used), to jam bands (Bob Marley, Sublime, Thievery Corporation, Fiona Apple), and then all the way to hip hop (Nas, WuTang Clan, Talib Qweli). With all of these inspirations, one can only imagine the type of sound they have. Opening for the Beetnix will be DJ XSV (excessive), the official DJ of The Beetnix, and The Super Octavius. Yet another bonus to this event is that you will yet again become a philanthropist ($5 entrance fee)! Yes, it’s true. All proceeds to this event will be going to the Harrisonburg Education Foundation, which aids the community in buying classroom supplies, giving school grants, and offering scholarships to those in need. So college students get out of your computer chairs, parents find babysitters for the kids, and everyone else who wants to change up their Sunday night come to Rocktown for a rockin’ good time.

 

Don’t worry if you just can’t get away tonight, the rest of the week should prove to be just as eventful!

 

Rocktown Bar & Grill

Sunday, April 13: The Beetnix w/ DJ XSV & The Super Octavius @8pm

 

Tuesday, April 15: Reckless Kelly w/ Mickey & the Motorcars @ 9pm

 

Wednesday, April 16: Proverbial w/ the Bridge @ 9pm

 

Friday, April 18: The Worx @ 9pm

 

Saturday, April 19: The Worx @ 9pm

 

Clementine Café

Friday, April 18: Tony Trishka’s Double Banjo Bluegrass Spectacular @ 9pm

 

The Little Grill Collective

Friday, April 18: Red River Rollercoaster and Hound Dog Boys @ 8am

 

Taylor Down Under (TDU)

Tuesdays: Open Mic Night

Thursdays & Fridays: Open Mic Late Night @ 10pm – 2am

 

The Bag

Friday, April 18: Ryan Villanueva, The Nice Jenkins, The Silo Effect, Jah B @ 8pm (Wear your toga!)

 

In the Shenandoah Valley:

Monday, April 14:

         The Avenue @ Whitesel Music in Harrisonburg, VA @ 8pm

         Secret Ninja Death Squad @ The Artful Dodger in Harrisonburg, VA @ 7pm

 

Thursday, April 17:

The Avenue – Rock for Relief (Festival Ballroom) in Harrisonburg, VA @ 8pm

            The Kings of Belmont – Satellite Ballroom in Charlottesville, VA @ 8pm

 

Friday, April 18:

         Sweetbriar – UVA Amphitheater w/ Tim Be Told @ 5pm

         Sweetbriar – House Show w/ Streamline @ 8pm

         The Avenue – Bridgewater College @ 8pm

         The Kings of Belmont – Club R2 in Charlottesville, VA @ 10pm

         Alien Cabbage – Byers Street Bistro in Staunton, VA @ 9pm

         Broda – The Flagship Restaurant in Portsmouth, VA @ 6:30pm

 

Saturday, April 19:

         ValkyrieBlue Nile in Harrisonburg, VA w/ Angels of Meth @ 9:30pm

         Proverbial – Radford University Quad fest @ 5pm

         The Sometime Favorites – Virginia Tech ZTA @ 9pm

         Sweetbriar – Charlottesville Marathon Finish Line @ 9am

         Mozely Rose – Dice’s Nightclub in Staunton, VA  @ 9:30pm

 

Also, Springfest was very successful this weekend. Awesome job to all the bands that came and played for us!

 

Springfest

 

  

Spring is here…finally

•April 11, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Aloha Bloggers! The weather is finally warm and I’m sure everyone can’t wait to wake up in the morning and go outside. Well, today you can go outside and attend the second annual Springfest.

 

 

As stated on the Springfest facebook, “Come out for a day of fun, sun, live music, and brews….” Springfest this year will be held today, April 11, 2008, in the backyard of the 1400’s of Fox Hills. True to James Madison University (JMU) tradition, it will be an event you won’t forget, but you’ll have to try and remember. The head creator of this event, some of you may know, is Gil Harrison. He has arranged for four local bands to be playing throughout the course of the day for some live entertainment. These bands are: Proverbial (playing at 3:30 – 4:30pm), The Void (5:00 – 6:00), Electric Baby (6:30 – 7:30), and last, but not least Blatant Vibe (8:00 – 9:00). We’ve talked about some of these bands here at the Valley Vibrations before and we fully support their music. I can honestly say that I am excited to see all of these musicians perform because I know they will all be amazing.

 

So come out and experience the shenanigans with me, the JMU Alumni, and thousands of other crazy cats today! I’ll see you there!

 

Proverbial

Proverbial…

 

The Void

The Void…

 

Electric Baby

Electric Baby…

 

Blatant Vibe

Blatant Vibe…