FunStuff: Charlottesville events December 13 and beyond
On a roll
It may be quieter than usual at John Paul Jones Arena when the UVA Mens Basketball team takes on Morgan State on Wednesday night. The semester will have ended just a day earlier, so many students will already have headed home and will miss the team that has won its last seven games. But that just means more room for you and your lungs to scream for Tony Bennett's stars such as Jontel Evans (shown here, and who fansite streakingthelawn.com calls one of the team's top playmakers). And if you strip off your shirt and paint your chest, your friends in faraway places may get a chuckle, as the game's gonna be broadcast on ESPN3.
December 19, JPJ Arena, 7pm, $15-50
Dave and the guys
Their website says the show on Saturday is sold out, but check out the JPJ site or just go straight for the Friday show to see what may be the most successful touring act in music history– and the one that launched right here in your own town and which includes the ever-smiling drum master Carter Beauford, shown here). Dave Matthews Band returns to its roots for a two-night stand as the supergroup moves up the East Coast to cap its cool-weather tour December 22 in Philly. Did we say top touring band? The group's new album, Away from the World, recently hit #1 on Billboard, tying the record of the Eagles for the most number-one albums by an American act. Recently Grammy-nominated Americana band The Lumineers open.
December 14 & 15, John Paul Jones Arena, 7pm, $65-75
Thistle & glam rock?
So here's a band from your backyard you've never heard of, but maybe you should have. Nelson-based Chamomile & Whiskey combines an incredible melange of sounds– from Celtic to gypsy to American folk to 1970s ethereal. There's an upright bass, a fiddle, a banjo, and guitar, and hearing vocals from both a strong female and a male (the latter sounds a lot like the late Harry Chapin) just adds to the fun you'll have at this Wednesday-night performance at one of our favorite beer bars.
December 19, South Street Brewery, 10pm, free
Head for the hills
If your finances can bear it, skiing's something you could do for a lifetime. However, those balmy early days of December meant that Wintergreen Resort didn't get to tap into its brand new billionaire owner-provided water tank. But, hopefully, by the time you're reading this, the Nelson County winter wonderland will have set a firm date for opening its slopes for skiing and snowboarding. If not, there's always one-state-over Snowshoe (shown here just before 9am rope-drop on November 25).
late December, Wintergreen et al, all day, $30-72
Culture chronicler Tom Wolfe would love this one. Dan Siedell, the scholar-in-residence at a local arts group will give a lunchtime lecture entitled “The Tragedy of Abstract Expressionism" on Thursday at a Downtown Mall gallery. The subject of Siedell's talk builds on the famous quotation by critic Harold Rosenberg when he declared that the new painters had “broken down every distinction between art and life.” (In this image we see a Franz Kline hanging at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC.) Siedell, in residence with the New City Arts Initiative, contends that the distinction breakdown, allegedly carried out in the name of ego, carried serious consequences for the practice of painting. (Organizers want you to RSVP by Wednesday, December 12.)
December 13, Chroma gallery, noon-1pm, free
SGG for Bailey
There's no musical genre called "nice-guy-feel-good," but if there were, SGG would be in its hall of fame. Founded back in the early 1980s as a group of Charlottesville-based troubadours, SGG (and with a bonus member, called SGGL, as shown here) enlivened colleges and little clubs up and down the East Coast with a distinctive type of Americana. Today, they've scattered slightly and gotten day jobs, but they're dedicating Sunday night to a Charlottesville-based musician who quit his corporate job to pursue music after getting diagnosed with cancer. David M. Bailey, who died two years ago, inspired cancer fighters and contemporary Christians by turning an imminent death sentence into 14 years of musical invention and touring. (This is a seated show with special guest Robert Jospé.)
December 16, The Southern, 6pm doors & 7pm show, $12
Steamroller in C'ville
We always pictured men in studded leather and fire-breathing dragons when the name Mannheim Steamroller arose. But it turns out the name's an homage to the distinctive crescendo-driven musical style popularized in the German city of Mannheim in the 1700s. For anyone who thrives on the fusion between rock, classical, and Christmas, you just can't beat the Steamroller this Sunday, complete with dazzling multimedia effects.
December 16, John Paul Jones Arena, 7pm, $38-77
You probably won't find glowing reviews of Jim Brickman in Pitchfork or Rolling Stone. Let us explain with this snippet from one of his hit songs: "With all my heart and soul, I'll give my love to have and hold, And as far as I can see, You were always meant to be… my destiny." However, he's a massive phenomenon with seven albums that have gone Gold or Platinum, a pair of Grammy nominations, three PBS specials, and collaborations with the likes of soft megastars Donny Osmond, Olivia Newton-John, and Michael Bolton. He may be the best-selling solo pianist of our time, and that's exactly what he's offering this Thursday as part of the On a Winter's Night tour: himself and a piano for an intimate holiday evening with three special guests.
December 13, The Paramount, 7:30pm, $29-67
A Milkian legacy
The Richmond Triangle Players present a staged reading of a play called 8. It's a drama by the Academy Award-winning screenwriter of Milk, the picture about the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in the United States, Harvey Milk. Here, playwright Dustin Lance Black gives a courtroom drama about Proposition 8, California's anti-gay marriage legislation. The story includes testimony on both sides of the issue plus powerful closing arguments. This Tuesday night reading at Piedmont Virginia Community College will be followed by a talkback between cast and audience.
December 18, V. Earl Dickinson Theater, 7:30pm, free
A gleeful Christmas
If you missed it last Friday night in Old Cabell hall (which sold out as quickly as a Rolling Stones concert), you are getting a second chance to ring in the holidays with the 72nd annual Christmas Concert by the Virginia Glee Club, the oldest musical group at UVA. True to its founding in 1871, it's still all-male and still mixes traditional favorites with its own special renditions, and is now in its 10th year under director Frank Albinder. Saturday night, inside the big Catholic church on Alderman Road.
December 15, St. Thomas Aquinas Church, 8-10pm, $5-15