Charlottesville Breaking News
"I’m not trying to fancy things up too much," says Sharon Van Etten with a laugh. “I’m just a girl in a sweater and jeans playing songs with my friends."
It’s a humble understatement for a woman who recently deflected attention away from the mighty return of Fiona Apple and the dexterous Andrew Bird at a recent SXSW NPR showcase. Since her bare bones debut Because I Was In Love surfaced in 2009, listeners have cheered on the nice girl who in spite of being told she wasn’t good enough by an ex, soldiered on and made beautiful, broken songs.
Sans a label-generated aesthetic, the Brooklyn artist has relied on little more than authenticity to gain an audience. Her songs are carefully constructed with close attention paid to melody and honest emotion that trumps songwriters who spew hyperbolic words. Van Etten admits to being “a total goofball,” but the critical consensus is that her third album Tramp showcases a mature and confident front woman
The Hook: You write intimate songs in first-person. Have you ever considered channeling those same feelings through characters to protect yourself?
Sharon Van Etten: It’s definitely something that I need to work on. I actually do writing exercises now to get out of the habit of saying “I” and “you.” I’m also listening to a lot more storytellers, like Nick Cave. He is really good at creating that di...
The recent decision by the X Lounge to curtail its operating schedule to instigate more private parties heightens the mystique around another downtown restaurant space, one that although it closed in 2004 still evokes intrigue as the place that the New York Times once called a "deciding factor" for anyone considering a move to Charlottesville, a place that has become a kind of chef's atelier for the two men who transformed the downtown food scene back in 1991.
Chefs Tim Burgess and Vincent Derquenne opened Métropolitain in the old Fat City Diner 21 years ago. Today, the second home of "Metro," on Water Street, is well into its second year as The Space Downtown, Charlottesville's only restaurant reserved exclusively for private parties.
Following the post-9/11 economic downturn and the downtown restaurant boom they helped launch, chef/owners Burgess and Derquenne made the painful decision to close "Metro" in 2004, which had moved to architect-designed digs on Water Street in 1995. They had attempted to...
It's been warm so long it might look like summer to you, but in fact, spring is just now sprung, and there's no surer sign than the kick-off of Fridays After Five. The free concert series that brings throngs to the east end of the Downtown Mall at the start of every weekend kicks off April 20 with '80s cover band Love Canon, and from there, the good times keep rolling with local favorites and a few newcomers to the series, too.
"This is the 25th anniversary season, so we've tried to pull some of the older, more popular bands that have done great for us over the years but still mixing in some of the up and comers," says Pavilion honcho Kirby Hutto.
Hutto himself has particular reason to look forward to catching the shows. A diagnosis of tongue cancer back in January forced the Pavilion boss to undergo treatments, but he has good news.
"Doctors think they've kicked it," he says, noting that after one final surgery in May, he expects to be considered cancer free– and ready to rock.
There'll be plenty of Friday shows to choose from, including Skip Castro on May 4, Baaba Seth and Indecision on June 8 and 15, respectively, and Terri Allard on June 29. Plus Richmond-based The English Channel will make you feel like you've crossed the pond on June 22 with covers of songs by the Clash, the Beatles, the Cure, and all your English faves. The Fridays After Five season lasts until the second Friday of September, and Hu...
Campaign workers are meeting in the living room of the house Peyton Williams' great aunt built off JPA in the the 1930s. A reporter and photographer appear. Cars need to be moved so a volunteer can get out of the driveway and make it to an event. In short, it's a bit chaotic.
And as a man who's retired from two different careers, Williams could certainly be taking it easy, rather than trying to take the 5th Congressional District away from the man who holds it now, his second cousin once removed, Robert Hurt.
It was the House bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, that motivated Williams enough to consider a run for Congress as a Democrat. As did the intransigence of the House of Representatives, he says, which has stalled any significant legislation on topics Americans say they care most about: jobs and the economy.
"Why are you not doing what we elected you to do?" Williams rhetorically asks Cousin Robert, a Republican. "They continue to just say no."
This is Williams' first run for political office, and Hurt is way ahead of him there after Congressional incumbency and several terms in the General Assembly. Williams has had a distinguished career in government nonetheless. A member of the Army's Special Forces, he worked at the Pentagon before retiring in 1999 as a lieutenant colonel, and his second career was serving as a systems engineer for Lockheed Ma...