ANNUAL MANUAL-Behind the Local Music: Bands to Watch


We all know the stories. The legendary Dave Matthews, a lowly Miller's bartender turned international star. A rough 'n' tumble UVA band named Sparky's Flaw attracted the attention of local music mogul Coran Capshaw and transformed into iTune-toppers Parachute in a few short years. Thanks to the tenacity of local musicians in the '70s and '80s (remember Skip Castro? Or Johnny Sportcoat and the Casuals?) and the aggressive UVA music department (oh hey, John D'Earth!), Charlottesville has been a hothouse for breeding musical talent for years.

Gone are the days of mega-rich labels scouring the country for the next big thing. Music these days has gone the DIY route– venues crop up anywhere (garages, bookstores, porches) while bands are self-recording, self-promoting, self-managing machines. And with a pool of talent as large as Charlottesville's, who can keep up nowadays?

Invisible Hand

Best thing anyone has ever said about your band: "I know it didn't look like anyone was into it, but you moved me."

Biggest downer about being in a band in 2010: No Learjets! Gone are the days of hoping for a big record deal with all those sort of perks. Everybody is working on a lot smaller level these days, which is awesome and a lot more personal, and ultimately more rewarding. But it's sad to give up that "classic" rock 'n' roll dream.

On-stage presence? Vaguely effeminate, and a little bit rowdy.

Ted Pitney

Former founding member of bluegrass band King Wilkie, guitarist Ted Pitney has since struck out to find a solo sound.

Best thing ever said about your band: "This is better than anything I've ever seen on American Idol."

Biggest downer about being in a band in 2010: I'm not sure music is still an art form. A lot of the time, it seems like something else.

There are five concerts in town tonight. Why yours? You've already seen every other concert before– they were just under different band names.

Drunk Tigers

From back left: Zach Carter, Mike Parisi, Daniel Sebring, and Matt Bierce are the Drunk Tigers.

Why here? Why not? We are anti-fans of Charlottesville self-hatred and inferiority complexes. It's great here. If you disagree, do something to make it better, or move to New York.

Band you'd invite over for dinner: Jose over at La Michoacana has a band, Ideal, and the best food in Charlottesville. Would it be rude to invite him on the condition that he makes us dinner? We'd buy the beer! Mmm, tacos...

Which song would you refuse to cover? Daniel has an irrational hatred of Heart. Get over it!–Mike. It's totally rational!–Daniel


Jason, Jeff, Kate, & Jessie.

How will you know you've made it? The first time someone gets tackled by a security guard after rushing the stage to give one of our girls a flower.

Biggest downer about being in a band in 2010: Dream of playing on the Tonight Show with Conan is crushed. No Leno.

Where will the band be in 2015? Washed-up wedding band.

Borrowed Beams of Light

Adam Brock masterminds Borrowed Beams of Light.

Craziest place you've played: With the Nice Jenkins at a gigantic Hispanic rec center outside of Harrisonburg. The place held about 750 people, and about 20 people were there. Of those, about 10 spoke English. Five of those were us.

There are five concerts in town tonight. Why yours? Cuz everybody in my band is probably also in one of those other five, and they won't start till we finish.

My band can definitely beat up this band: Red Satellites (sorry boys, it's true... good band though!)

Red Satellites

Red Satellites: don't be fooled by their youthful good looks.

Pre-show warmup: Gin.–Chris Ambler. 50 sit-ups and push-ups the day before.–Kevin Hivick.

On-stage presence? Amplified and Buzzed–Drew Carroll. Wild and Wonderful–Brenning Greenfield. Sassy and Elegant–Chris Ambler.

Why aren't there any girls in your band? Have you ever watched Boys Don't Cry?–Kevin Hivick.

DBB Plays Cups

David Baker Benson and Max Dreyer of DBB Plays Cups.

Best post-Cville show hangout: Landmark Hotel

Best groupie moment: We take careful note of Samson of old, who got his hair cut off by a groupie and was handed over to Philistines.

Latest addition to your desert island mp3 collection: Being on a desert island sounds too ideal to waste on mp3s.