The Charlottesville School of Rock�nothing your parents would hate

blog-band.JPGForget Nashville, Memphis, or New Orleans”Šaccording to a recent article in the Kansas City Star’s Sunday Living Section, Athens, Chapel Hill, and Charlottesville are the new Southern musical meccas.

“These three towns are laboratories, creative enclaves where music bubbles, swirls and mutates into more infectious strains,” writes Ben Brazil. “ In addition to bad parking, each has a vibrant music scene and a good record store or two. Best of all, they also support a variety of small and midsize venues so you can chat with musicians after sets, not just squint through binoculars or stare at the massive outdoor screen.” (Looks like Brazil didn’t hear about the new JPJ arena.)

Focusing on Charlottesville, Brazil sites an “aristocratic pride” in our colonial architecture and an “almost religious devotion” to Mr. Jefferson to show that we’re not “exactly a punk rock town.” But he seems to think it’s the perfect setting for “the sort of funky, mellow stuff you’d expect from the birthplace of the Dave Matthews Band.” He goes on to stroll the Downtown Mall, visiting the Gravity Lounge, where he stumbles upon Lauren Hoffman advising people not to fall in love with a “solipsist.” Next, it's off to Miller’s to see John D’Earth and company, and to remind people once again that Dave Matthews used to tend bar there.

Brazil’s conclusion? “So this was current Charlottesville music, I thought: folksy, jazzy and funky but without a hard edge.”

Then he goes to the Outback Lodge.

“Kim Dylla, singer for local metal act This Means You, was pacing the stage in fishnet stockings and a leather two-piece,” Brazil croons. “Her shrieks convulsed a small mosh pit dominated by a large man with a Mohawk, tattoos down both arms and a black tank top reading “Die Yuppie Scum.”

In the end, Brazil finds the hard edge he’s looking for in one William Drumheller, a young metal fan at the Outback who complains that “nothing coming out of this town is something your parents would hate.”

The piece is a reworking of a November 27, 2005 story Brazil did for the Washington Post.