Get Out! events, shows, things to do
"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes." - Marcel Proust
Trying To Be Cool
America is no stranger to French culture. From Monet to Camus, Bardot to Brie cheese, the list of artists, philosophers, authors, filmmakers and culinary delights whose influence is felt here in the U.S. is long. Rock stars, however, weren't on that list until Phoenix burst onto the scene in 2009 with their smash hit album Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix. With hits including "1901" (best known for its "Falling, falling, falling," chorus) and "Lisztomania," the four members of Phoenix are breaking new ground as the first French rock band to conquer U.S. charts, and their star keeps on rising.
Vocalist Thomas Mars, bassist Deck d'Arcy, and guitarist Chris Mazzalai started out as teenagers in a garage band playing out of Mars' basement in the suburbs of Paris, France. Later on, Laurent Brancowitz, Mazzalai's older brother, permanently joined the band on guitar after the end of Darlin', a band that Brancowitz had formed with Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo (best known for creating another French group, the duo Daft Punk). Little did the Phoenix fellows know then that they would go from practicing in a basement to hitting number one on Billboard charts in the States. D'Arcy, who started playing bass when he was 14, says early on he and his fellow band members had big ambitions.
"Back then we wanted to become like Iggy Pop, like a cool guy, like cool American guys," he recalls. "We wanted to be a big band and tour the U.S. and tour the whole world but when you get into it, you realize it’s going to be a bit more complicated than that."
Complicated, perhaps, but it's safe to say Phoenix can be described now as "cool guys." This year at Coachella they performed live with R. Kelly, who came on stage as a surprise guest. They did a mash-up of R. Kelly's "Ignition" and their own hit "1901." Later, R. Kelly did a remix of "Trying To Be Cool" from the band's newest album, Bankrupt!
Even though the band members grew up in France and are more comfortable speaking in their native tongue, their music is written and sung in English. D'Arcy attributes that to their early musical influences— bands from the U.S. and the UK like My Bloody Valentine and Jesus and Mary Chain. The French music they listened to at the time, says d'Arcy, seemed "cheesy."
"We try to come up with songs in French, but we never manage to finish it. Maybe one day we’ll do it, I don't know. It’s easier to write in English because there’s a language barrier that makes things more cryptic," he says. "Because it’s finite, it’s cryptic and poetic."
Sudden fame can be disorienting, but d'Arcy says the band's progressive rise feels natural: "The biggest step was that we went from just being a band in a basement to a band with an album. But after that, it was just like growing up."
Staying focused on performances, d'Arcy notes, keeps them grounded.
"We try to make it not just a better rock show," he says, "we try to add something new and have surprises as much as possible. It’s a lot of work, but we’re almost reaching it."
September 1, nTelos Wireless Pavilion, 7pm, $41
Southern Fried Swamp Rock
"The Bloody Angle", title track on The Bloody Angle's debut album The Bloody Angle is unmistakably influenced by Neil Young. The rest of the album maintains a distinct and unique quality, however. Their use of lap-steel guitars and gritty vocals makes you think you're running through the muck in the backwoods of the south. According to Matt Singleton, songwriter-producer, it was recorded onto tape using no edits, no grid, and no auto-tune. When it was done recording, the album was cut onto vinyl directly from the analog tape. Carl Rowatti, at Trutone Mastering Labs in New York, was the only person they knew of who still cuts like that.
The band wanted this eponymous album to have an overall theme that called back to the southern countryside during an older and more wild time. Their name comes from a section of the Confederate line at the battle of Spotsylvania Courthouse during the Civil War, and the title track is an illustration of that battle, from a Confederate soldier's point of view.
Performing at The Southern with The Bloody Angle is The Deadmen, a rock and roll band from Washington D.C., who will be featuring their fellow Washingtonian Justin Jones.
August 30, The Southern, 8pm, $8
A Labor Day Weekend Spectacular
Labor Day is everyone's last chance to celebrate the summer with a bang, spending time in the sun with family and friends. And, Wintergreen Resort is making sure you don't get away without doing all this season's activities. If you couldn't go on that big vacation or missed out on some of the fun in the sun, just go to Wintergreen this weekend and you'll have no regrets about your summer.
The festivities kick off Friday night with a bonfire at Discovery Ridge and live bands at The Edge. Then there's a wine festival, an arts and crafts showcase, scenic chairlift rides, movie night and an international music festival. The last day wraps up at Monocan Lake with a blindfold beach relay, swim/climb challenge, blindfolded sand wedge chipping and a hula hoop contest. There's going to be a wide array of kids activities scheduled like a Build-A-Bear station, tie-dye t-shirt making, and face painting.
August 30-Sept 1, Wintergreen Resort, All day.
Keller Williams is a one-man jam band of unlimited layers, using his Gibson Echoplex Digital Pro looping unit and his custom-made ten-string guitar to weave and build upon eccentric, quirky, half-improvised medleys. His tenor singing voice is familiar and inviting, combined with his music, makes for an uplifting and surreal performance. After the Pre-Party show at The Jefferson, his band Keller and the Keels will be performing the next day at Lockn' Festival.
Pegi Young, wife of the famous Neil Young, got her start in the music business as her husband's backup singer on stage and on record. She debuted as a solo artist in 2007 with a self-titled album that Allmusic.com described as, “Loose, relaxed, and flows from beginning to end.” The album features guest appearances from Neil Young, Marty Stuart, The Jordinaires, and includes songs by Joe Sample, Jimmy Buffet, and Will Jennings. Pegi Young & The Survivors are performing at the Lockn' Festival on Friday, September 6.
Sept 4, The Jefferson, 7pm, $18
Concert: Open Mic Night. The Garden at Eunoia. 8pm. Free
Art: (sur)passing, photographic portraits by Lola Flash. UVA Fralin Museum of Art. All day. Free
Theater: All's Well That Ends Well. Blackfriars Playhouse. 7:30pm. $16-$42
Theater: Outdoor Theater: The Dark of the Moon. Devils Backbone. 8pm. $12-$18
Comedy: Bent Theatre Improv Comedy. The Bridge PAI. 8pm. Suggested $10
UVA: Paint the Town Orange. Downtown Mall and nTelos Wireless Pavilion. All day. Free
Wine: Downtown Tasting Room. Old Metropolitan Hall. 5pm. $12
Art: Final Friday. UVA Arts Grounds. All day. Free.
Reading: Opening afternoon for The Philosopher's Table by Marietta McCarty. Wainwright Tile and Stone. 3pm. Free
Reading: Live Poet's Society. Gordon Avenue Library. 7pm. Free
Theater: Romeo and Juliet. Blackfriars Playhouse. 2pm. $16-$42
Meditation: Peace Sand Mandala. Unity Church. 10am. $10
Theater: Return to the Forbidden Planet. Blackfriars Playhouse.
Art: Looking at the New West. UVA Fralin Museum of Art. All day. Free
Agriculture: Meet Yer Eats Farm Tour. Charlottesville and surrounding counties. 10am. $15 per car.
Art: Ansel Adams: A Legacy. UVA Fralin Museum of Art. All day. Free
Trivia: Tuesday Trivia hosted by Geeks Who Drink. Wild Wolf. 5pm. Free
Theater: Troilus and Cressida Preview. Blackfriars Playhouse. 7:30pm. Free
Art: European Modern: Master Artists from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. William King Museum in Abingdon. All day. Free
Theater: Othello Preview. Blackfriars Playhouse. 7:30pm. Free
Comedy: Improv Comedy For Beginners. Play On Theater. 7pm. Free
Dave Pope Quartet at Gypsy Hill Park Bandstand
Josh Mayo at Carter Mountain Orchard
Oona Love at Blue Moon Diner
Sarah Lynna and the Misfit Toys at Whiskey Jar
Jacob Allen at Wild Wolf
Travis Elliott at Fellini's #9
Sally Rose Band at Whiskey Jar
SuperUnknown at Rapture/R2
Maybe Tomorrow at Wild Wolf
Adrian Duke at Fellini's #9
The Bloody Angle, The Deadmen (ft. Justin Jones) at The Southern. $8
Soul Transit Authority at Fridays After Five
Parachute, Matt Hires, Paradise Fears at The Jefferson. $20-$35
Billy Caldwell at Albemarle CiderWorks
Hard Limit at Heritage on Main
Sarah White at Whiskey Jar
DJ Le Feb at Rapture/R2
Erin Lunsford at Mountfair Vineyards
Beleza Duo at Keswick Vineyards.
Cashless Society at Wild Wolf
Robert Jospe Experience at Fellini's #9
Grandchildren, Borrowed Beams Of Light, Carl Anderson at The Southern. $8
Parachute, Matt Hires, Paradise Fears at The Jefferson. $20-$35
Jason Ring at Wild Wolf
John Tracy at White Hall Vineyards
Hogwaller Ramblers at Fellini's #9
Phoenix at nTelos Wireless Pavilion. $41
The Stelling String Band at Fellini's #9
Southern Belles at Rapture/R2
Jacob Allen at Heritage on Main
Danny Barrale at Fellini's #9
Keller Williams, Pegi Young & The Survivors at The Jefferson. $15-$20
Purling Hiss, The Invisible Hand, Nightlands at Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar. $9