It’s that time of year…the holiday season is here. And while the holidays are a special time for so many – it’s especially special for me. Full disclosure, I call this time the Season of Cheats. It starts with Thanksgiving, then RVA HOT SAUCE (held last Sunday – I’ll post a recap of last weekend’s awesomeness in the future), then Christmas, then my birthday (December 28th – FB and Twitter birthday messages welcome), then New Years. It’s a great time. And while I love it all, the holiday lights, grand illuminations, the rapid uptick in community service, what I like the best is the giving. I don’t know the many reasons why people give or how it makes them feel but giving to others truly makes me happy. You can call it a bit selfish – I’ll take that – but truthfully giving to other makes me feel good, in the same way that volunteering makes me feel good. I can’t call it – it just does.
So, with that said, in the spirit of the holiday season (and the Season of Cheats), I would like to give you the new Cheats Movement sticker, designed by my brother Hamilton Glass. Here’s how it works, you email me your address at: TheCheatsMovement@gmail.com and I’ll send you a sticker. It’s that simple. The first 30 emails will get the both the 2014 logo and the 2012 logo.
Recently I’ve been asked why did I change the logo for 2014. The simple answer is that I like to change it up every year or so – focus more on the design instead of the name. But when I started thinking about it, the truth is logos are logos – I love the new logo and I love the old logo – but more importantly a logos don’t make The Cheats Movement. What the Cheats Movement does makes The Cheats Movement. It may sound crazy but the truth is actions – what you do (not what you say) – what you believe (not what you portray) is your core and it’s that core that’s more important.
I wish you all a wonderful holiday season. Keep visiting The Cheats Movement Blog in 2014 – operating to bring you the very best in Art X Culture X Community. WE SEE IT!
The Cheats Movement Blog is all about discovering what’s happening in RVA. I don’t have followers – I have friends – I have family. We are family because of what we do together. I want to follow you and hear from you. Send me your instagram handle and I will follow you – send me your twitter handle and I will follow you – email me: Cheatsmwc@gmail.com…and I’ll more than likely email you back. And if you see me on the street – you better say what up! #WESEEIT
Coming live from the Southside, Radio B’s new album “Whole Foods” hit the streets yesterday. What started as “bridge the gap” album between “Live Good and Be Great” and the next installment of that series, “Whole Foods” was suppose to be a lower profile album – but in the true form of his click Association of Great Minds (AGM), Radio couldn’t just do “any” album, so Whole Foods organically turned into something much more.
I sat down with Radio at The Shop – in the Manchester section of RVA – earlier this summer – following AGM’s classic performance at Epic Fest – and he told me about the motivation he has to make good music and elevate the city’s hip hop scene.
One of the first things people need to understand is that Radio Blitz is a true fan of hip hop. His knowledge of classic records, beats, rhymes, and culture is something that most people won’t fully comprehend unless you draw it out of him – one on one. Our conversation ran the gambit: from Tribe to Jay to Nas to AZ – but what really struck me about Radio’s approach to Whole Foods was his goal of reaching a particular “classic” feeling, “I want to provide a pure, authentic and organic hip hop experience. Something nostalgic – that reminded you why you fell in love with hip hop and to remind me why I started rapping.”
The most appropriate review I can give of “Whole Foods” is that it’s quality hip hop from top to bottom. Radio really shows his range and diversity as an MC. The track, Live From the Southside – produced by Trac-Qaeda – gives you a real introduction to the record and Radio’s heady rhyme style. I think of Radio – both rhyme style and presence – as the AZ of Richmond. He’s not the most acclaimed feature on a record but it’s often his verse that you find yourself repeating over and over again.
Live From The Southside – Radio B
He gets his swag on talking – what MC’s talk on the Nickelus F produced track “Dixie Normus” and then gets his Nas/Slick Rick story telling on with his brother Nick F on the track, The Cart B4 The Horse.
Whole Foods is the first album that Radio has work with wide range of producers. Don’t worry – AGM super-producer NameBrand still has the title track – but production really comes from Cashby, Trac-Qaeda, and Nickelus F. Radio takes you into a “Public Service Announcement” moment – without the reintroduction – on the Ohbliv produced “Journal Entry.” Radio is clear on, “If you can’t see my motivation/I don’t need to bring you around…”.
When speaking about his peers in RVA hip hop and, particularly those in AGM, Radio was candid, “It’s healthy competition within our group – I see what my brothers are doing and it motivates me to work harder – go further. My brothers in AGM is who I look at and listen to – to really spark that fire within me.” He went on to say, “sometimes we (AGM) can come across as misunderstood a bit – like we are too into our own movements – and that’s not really the case. We really motivate each other and that competition pushes us to the next level. We’re never pulling others down – we’re about elevating our music.” That sentiment comes across in Whole Foods because the real highlight of the album is the Whole Foods cyphers – 3 editions – spread throughout the album that features 17 local spittas. I’ve never seen anything like it on record in RVA hip hop. The cyphers alone is reason enough to support the album but the album itself is the real gem. Radio B delivers a classic for RVA. #WE SEE IT
I’ve never rated an album before – so this is a Cheats Movement first: 4.6 mics out of 5. The best Radio B album to date – and in my 2013 RVA Hip Hop classic albums of the year.
Radio B will be performing at The RETURN OF RVA HOT SAUCE on December 8th at Gallery 5. Tickets are available right now at: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-return-of-rva-hot-sauce-tickets-9233715291?aff=eac2
My homegirl Sarah Moore Lindsey is the powerhouse behind Sounds of RVA – one of my favorite music blogs in the city. I hope you can join Sounds of RVA this Wednesday at The Camel to celebrate the site’s 3rd Birthday and hear music from Canary oh Canary, Negative Gemini, and Imaginary Sons. RSVP on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/202056016638534/ and share this event. WE SEE IT!
My brother Mikemetic put in serious work on this documentary short featuring his son Meechi – and their trip to Graffiti Mecca 5 Pointz in NYC. Mike has been putting in work all over RVA social media and is making a splash with his newest social media project NATIVES – make sure to visit the site. WE SEE IT!
“About 6 months ago Meech and I took a trip to NYC to visit the international graffiti museum 5 Pointz. The building has been in a legal struggle the past couple of months as developers and the owner of the property want to demolish it and turn it into high rise condos. I put this short vid together in support of 5 pointz and as a preview to a more expansive street art retrospective coming out December 2013. Check it out and visit 5ptz.com to see how you can help.”
TICKETS ON SALE NOW!!!! http://www.eventbrite.com/event/9233715291/es2?rank=1&sid=a16d1b8f487211e3acdd22000aa821d4
I’m so excited to announce the return of RVA HOT SAUCE! RVA HOT SAUCE is one of the best live events in Richmond, hosted by The Cheats Movement Blog. Think RVA David Letterman on steroids. HOT SAUCE was first done in 2011 at The Shop. This year we are taking the event to Gallery 5 and it’s already shaping up to be one of the best live events of the year.
(SO FAR) The event will feature live performances by: Photosynthesizers, Anousheh, J.D. Haze, Ohbliv, Radio B, Michael Millions, and Noah O. Along with a performance by the Coalition Theater, a kindness mission from Kindness Girl Patience Salgado, and in HOT SAUCE fashion – an open mic hip hop cypher. And that’s not all, there will be information available and commentary presented by some of the most active community organizations in RVA. RVA HOT SAUCE is a can’t miss event so mark your calendar for Sunday December 8th.
WHEN: Sunday, December 8, 2013 – Doors open at 6:30 PM
WHERE: Gallery 5, 200 West Marshall Street, Richmond, VA 23220
PRICE: $10 at the door – $8 in advance
To view the entire photo album – visit the Cheats Movement Facebook Page - Share & Follow! WE SEE IT!
History was made last night at the Old Towne Civic Center in Petersburg. The God Emcee Rakim was in the building. Thanks to Soul Logistics Radio – S/O the brothers J.D. Haze – Doug Evans – Rodney “Soul Singer” – and everyone that work so hard to make a historic night happen. In addition to Rakim the night featured performances by Narubi Selah, Rodney “Soul Singer”, J.D. Haze, & Jasmine.
The evening was hosted by Doug Evans. I had a minute to catch up with Doug after the show and asked him why it was so important that this event came to the Burg, “There is a a lot of shooting – a lot of killing – and a lot of wanna be rappers in our community – so I thought if I bring the God Emcee – the best of the best Rakim – he would enlighten the town and give people hope an inspiration.”
J. D. Haze echoed those comments, “Us being emcees and inspiring emcees, Rakim defiantly had an impact on us by having a righteous posture and keeping it funky for the people. With all the negativity that goes on in our community it is important that we can show that we can have fun in hip-hop in the original way it was intended: peace, love, unity, and having fun, and that’s what we did tonight.
Twitter: @CheatsMWC Email via the FB page!
JJ Burton Photo by Cheats – Follow The Cheats Movement of Facebook for the full photo album
I made my first ever trip to The Listening Room last night. I’d heard about the monthly music session – held at the Firehouse Theater – earlier this year, I think from my buddy Shannon Cleary. The group of volunteers that run the monthly event always books some of the best talent in RVA and last night stayed in-line with that tradition. It was exciting to see JJ Burton play live. The trio of Scott Burton, Reggie Pace, and Devonne Harris (DJ Harrison) have been making waves with other projects in RVA (and beyond), last night was the first time they’ve played live as JJ Burton – or whatever name you want to suggest – they are open. The current name is spawned from Burton’s work with NOLA artist Jneiro Jarel of JJ DOOM. Burton and Pace (NO BS! and Bon Iver) also play together in the amazing band Glows in the Dark. Harris has been generating a buzz all this year with a combination of different projects that span several musical genres. I’m looking forwarding to seeing exactly what this trio can pull together in the future.
Following JJ Burton and closing out the evening were Listening Room alums Bonnie Staley and Josh Small (above). I actually use to play hoops with Josh during our VCU days – I’ve been a fan of his music but last night was the first time that I was able to see him play live. He is truly an amazing talent. I love the chemistry between him and Staley, you can tell instantly that they enjoy playing together.
The Listening Room is a wonderful series. I highly recommend it to all music lovers. I will warn you that they take the music seriously – there is not talking during the performance and even if you’re not talking – some people consider photos a distraction – so be warned – I have learned from my rookie mistake. To see all the photos – visit the Cheats Movement Facebook Page and while you’re there click like to follow along. WE SEE IT!
Yesterday I visited with Movement Family at the First Annual Harvest Festival presented by Renew Richmond. The Green Harvest Festival celebrated healthy food, urban agriculture and community health. Despite the unpredictable weather and some outdoor sound issues we gathered at Jerusalem Connection Community Garden on Richmond’s south side to bond and enjoy some good food and music. Any day that I can hear one of my favorite songs “The Call” performed live by my brother JD Haze – it’s a good day. I was able to capture some special family moments on camera. To see all the photos from the event – visit and LIKE the Cheats Movement Facebook page.
There something really special happening in RVA right now surrounding urban gardening and producing healthy food in areas designated as food deserts. One of the people leading these efforts is my brother Duron Chavis (pictured above). Make sure you follow him on Facebook and twitter to learn more about his urban garden efforts in the RVA Community.
JD Haze (above) Any day I can hear The Call performed live it’s a good day
For all the photos visit and Like the Cheats Movement Facebook page. WE SEE IT!
Why I Love RVA Today: The Horn RVA’s video on this weekend’s Fall Line Fest. There will be more recap and photos to come this week on The Cheats Movement and The Cheats Movement Facebook Page. WE SEE IT.
With Fall Line Fest (FLF) fast approaching (this Friday and Saturday), I am very excited about the potential of this new festival. The highlight of the weekend will certainly be the music: 5 venues and over forty bands – headlined by Big Freedia. There has been a lot of media behind this festival and I’m really excited to do my part in spreading the word. Yet with so much information out there I want to boil down a few points – just for my Cheats Movement Family. Here are a few points I want to make about this weekend’s Fall Line Fest:
1. BUY NOW TO SAVE: If you buy a FLF ticket online (before Thursday at midnight) you save enough for 10 McDoubles. That’s right. If you buy a ticket now online it’s $20 for the entire weekend and $15 for a day pass. If you wait until the weekend the price goes up to $30 for a weekend pass and $20 for a day pass. I know there are “reasons” not to get a day pass BUT if you’re in RVA this weekend – there is not a good reason. Even if there is nothing that appeals to you on one of the two days – buy the weekend pass. It’s a better deal and it gives you the opportunity to challenge yourself and see a new band.
Ohbliv Performs at 7:30 PM on Saturday at the Hippodrome
2. THIS IS YEAR ONE SO THE LOGISTICS OF THE FESTIVAL WILL NOT BE PERFECT: I know you think that every festival is run by super-professionals that never screw anything up. Well, I got news for you. This is the first year of FLF and there will undoubtedly be “something” screwed up. I don’t know what it is but I’m telling you now – don’t let any minor thing throw you off your mission of having a good time. The organizers of FLF are bringing an amazing festival – SXSW style – to RVA. We’re going to have to roll with the punches and enjoy the ride.
Dead Fame Performs Friday at 7 PM at the Hippodrome
3. THERE IS SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE: Look at the FLF schedule. There is just about every musical genre covered. There are a ton of local bands and some cool national performers. If you’re a fan of music, you should be able to find something you like on both days. With that said – there are amazing local bands that are not on this year’s bill and there are some genres not covered ie. R&B/Neo Soul to name a few. To that – I again say, “this is year one.” I”m not sure how everything will work down the line but for year one, I am excited about the make-up of the festival.
Black Liquid performs on Friday at 10:15 PM at Love RVA
4. FALL LINE FEST IS NOT JUST MUSIC: In addition, to the live music shows, there are a number of restaurant deals (Pasture, Sasion, Ipanema, Rappannock, The Well), visual art exhibits – including a live mural installation by Hamilton Glass, and a food panel on Saturday at 1 PM at the Camel. In addition there are a number of “unofficial” events – associated with the FLF this weekend. The First Friday’s art walk on Friday. Live at Ipanema hosted by RVA Playlist on Sunday. And so much more throughout the weekend.
Mikemetic (Left) will be bringing his Afro Beta energy to Love RVA on Friday.
5. YOU GET WHAT YOU GIVE: I think most people don’t get the most out of festival because they are locked into one venue or a few events. That is a formula for a good time but not an amazing time. In order to get an amazing time – you need to move – you need to explore – you need to turn up. What do I mean? Get your ticket early on Friday – hit the First Fridays art walk – hit Love RVA to see Mikemetic, Rattlemouth, and Black Liquid – hit the Hippodrome to see Dead Fame and White Laces – take in the live art on Saturday – hit the restaurant panel – hit a restaurant deal for dinner – and then hit not just one venue but several venues. That is the path to get an amazing return on investment.
HAM? will be painting a live mural all weekend.
There it is family – some family talk about this weekend’s Fall Line Fest. I think Fall Line Fest is going to be amazing. Hit me up on The Cheats Movement Blog and let me know your thoughts.
Right in time for Fall Line Fest – Brand New Ms. Proper – Harder to Stand (Produced by Ohbliv). Ms. Proper will be performing on Saturday September 7 at 6 PM at the legendary Hippodrome. Leave a comment and let me know what you think of the track.
Ms. Proper – Harder to Stand
On Sept 6 & Sept 7, the first ever Fall Line Fest invades in downtown Richmond. The festival features 5 venues: The Hippodrome Theater, The Camel, Strange Matter, Love RVA (Friday only), Gallery 5 (Saturday only) and over 40 bands. The Cheats Movement Blog is excited to play a small part of this inaugural festival. In the spirit of SXSW – one wrist band gets you into every venue – that’s right – one wrist band and you can get a band for $20 right now: http://falllinefest.com/2013/#tickets.
I’m excited that several members of the family – extended family – and bands that I’m just a fan of are playing. Here the first in a series of FLF previews that I’m hype about:
Ms. Proper – Saturday September 7th – Hippodrome Theater – 6 PM
Ms. Proper (shown above): has been one of the my favorite MCs since I started the Cheats Movement Blog in 2011. Always laying down for RVA (though she has recently relocated to the ATL), Ms. Proper has consistently carried the torch for female MCs and RVA as a whole. Her show always brings a level of energy and excitement that is worth the price of admission. GET THERE EARLY on Saturday September 7th. I guarantee if you miss Proper’s set you will regret it.
Ohbliv – Saturday September 7 – Hippodrome Theater – 7:30 PM
I don’t know what I can say about Ohbliv that really hasn’t been said. He is getting to legend status in the game right now. The most truthful thing I can say is that Obliv is RVA’s most popular best kept secret. Hard to explain, I know, but this brother has been on Hot 97.com, he’s doing shows all over the country, released a record in Iceland and yet RVA – I’m not sure you realize what you have right here. If you’ve seen an Ohbliv set – I don’t have to tell you but if you’ve never seen this brother live – be there at 7:30 PM at the historic Hippodrome. Ohbliv will make you move.
DOE the Paperboy – Saturday September 7 – Hippodrome Theater – 6:45 PM
I’ve been so impressed with DOE the Paperboy over the last two years. He reps Petersburg to the fullest. DOE is constantly pushing the boundary of what Central VA hip hop can do. He is a artist and mogul – representing the DOE brand everywhere he goes. His rhyme style puts him in the upper levels of the game and his visuals and production have been off the chain. DOE has really extended his live shows, recently headlining The National with his friends Against Grace. Most Def a great addition to FLF.
Photosynthesizers – Saturday September 7 – Hippodrome Theater – 8:15 PM
One of my favorite bands (period). Photosynthesizers has it all: great music – a great live set – personality – talent – they are just a complete band. One of my favorite bands to be around and I’m excited that they are working on new material to get out to the world. Versitilty is the word that comes to mind when I think of Photos. You can’t put them in a box – you want to go lyrics? Bar Codez got you. You want to go Soul or even Rock? Sam Reed can handle that – DJ’s? New addition Billy Nguyen is on it. And that’s not even mention J. Bryant, Data and Chelsea. Photos is ready to break out.
Finishing the night at the Hippodrome are the amazing NO BS! Brass Band and New Orleans’ Big Freedia. September 7th will be an amazing night at the Hippodrome – don’t wait – buy your ticket to the entire Fall Line Fest right now!
NO BS! Brass Band Plays the Hippodrome at 9:30 PM (Photo taken from NO BS! Brass FB page)
No BS! Brass and Big Freedia photos taken from their Facebook fan pages. All other photos shot by Cheats
I have to give full credit where credit is due, my good friend Matt Newman from the Coalition Theater tipped me to an amazing online comic strip that reviews the lineage of hip hop. He sent me the link to Ed Piskor’s Hip Hop Family Tree and I was hooked. I have to admit – Hip Hop Family Tree is the best comic strip I have read since the run of The Boondocks. Not just the for the history lessons (and there are several), Ed Piskor is an amazing artist. He visually captures the grittiness of NYC in the late 70s and early 80s. He has worked with giants in the industry and has an impressive run of projects himself. Hip Hop Family Tree is solid on so many levels and I set out to find out some background and details about the comic. Lucky for us, Ed is not hard to track down and was willing to be interviewed for The Cheats Movement. Huge shout to Ed for taking the time. WE SEE IT!
Cheats: Hip Hop Family Tree is amazing. As a hip hop fan, I can’t stop reading it. How did it all come about?
Ed Piskor: It started by accident really. I’ve wanted to do a comic where old school Hip Hop would be an aesthetic backdrop for years. Even as far back as high school. I couldn’t figure out what the story would be. A crime story? A Love and Rockets slice of life tale? Ultimately just doing a straight-up narrative about the history of Hip Hop was the way to go.
When were you introduced to hip hop and how has hip hop culture made an impression on your life?
Ed Piskor: I grew up in Pittsburgh in the 80s and Hip Hop was everywhere I looked. My house was nestled in between 3 major parks in my neighborhood and at any given time you would see breakdancing or you’d see guys in a circle rapping while they waited their turn to play basketball. The fliest drug dealers looked like Eric B and Rakim. There were old-ass pimps who still dressed the part and talked with that rap patter.
Hip Hop Family Tree serves as a true history lesson. How do you determine the stories you want to tell and in what order?
I literally don’t know exactly how the strips will flow from week to week. I have to keep it fun for myself. I have a basic structure of things thanks to the release of the records so that’s how I keep my linearity. Other than that, each Sunday and/or Monday I sit around reading everything I can to unearth some really cool, hopefully visually interesting anecdotes. It is best when dealing with a situation that involves a group because you can find interviews with sometimes five people recalling events in different ways and I almost have to go by consensus at times.
Have you worked directly with any hip hop pioneers in making the comic?
Not really, though many people have reached out to express appreciation. Lots of rappers have tweeted and retweeted strips, etc. I’ll get wild phone calls every now and again.
What is the strangest response/reaction you have received regarding the comic?
There was one lame-o who didn’t like the comic and had a million reasons for it. He is one of those computer science professors from Carnegie Mellon University who also happens to be white. I told him that I would sacrifice every one of him as a reader if it continues to mean that DMC, Chuck D, Grandmaster Flash, DJ Kool Herc, Biz Markie, MC Shan, The Furious Five, etc continue to promote the work by sharing it on their Facebook accounts and twitter pages.
You do a great job at capturing the vibrancy and grittiness of NYC during the birth of hip hop. Is there any part of you that wishes that time could come back?
Not really. We should constantly move forward but it doesn’t hurt to look back and learn from history.
What is next for you and Hip Hop Family Tree?
I’ve really been thinking a lot about doing another Wizzywig comic. This is the computer hacker comic I did before HHFT. There’s so much insane shit going on with Whistleblowers, Wikileaks, Snowden, Manning, etc. That’s years away though. I’m doing the HHFT comics as at least a 5 book series. Book 1 will be available in October/November. Book 2 is almost done and will be out next Summer. Then the rest of the books will stabilize and be released annually or so.
How can we keep up with your work moving forward?
All the Hip Hop comics are online starting with strip 1 here: http://boingboing.net/2012/01/10/brain-rot-hip-hop-family-tree.html
Twitter.com/edpiskor would probably be a good place to keep updated. Edpiskor on tumblr too.
Thanks Ed. Please support his work!
Those in the know are in the know…..I don’t know any details. I just know how Joe Threat treated me… he was always unbelievably kind to me personally and a huge fan of The Cheats Movement Blog. I’ve definitely got a heavy heart…this one is for Joe Threat, his RVA hip hop family, and the culture. Gone too soon.
I’m sure by now you have heard about and seen the signs about Fall Line Fest. The Cheats Movement Blog is pleased to be a small part of this “new” effort and hope that everyone will take advantage of this inaugural event. So what is in store? What do you need to know? In short:
The first annual Fall Line Fest will be taking place in Richmond, Virginia on September 6th and 7th, 2013. Featuring 42 bands across four venues on two nights, as well as various events at nationally recognized restaurants and art galleries, Fall Line Fest plans to bring attention to the increasingly impressive cultural offerings of Richmond.
Born out of a shared love of their city, the organizers of Fall Line Fest first and foremost set out to showcase many of the aspects that make Richmond great. With a focus on music, art, and food, the event will balance national / regional talent alongside the best and brightest hometown favorites, all presented within a walkable portion of the downtown area.
· September 6 and 7
· 4 Venues (Hippodrome, The Camel, Gallery 5, Strange Matter, Love RVA)
· 42 Bands
· 8 Art Galleries – in partnership with First Fridays
· 5 Restaurants
· $20 Weekend Pass
There is a considerable amount of local flair brought to this year’s festival: Photosynthesizers, No BS! Brass Band, Ohbliv, Black Liquid, Ms. Proper, DOE the Paperboy, Mikemetic, Dead Fame, White Laces and more.
Big Shout to the homie Jonathan Martin (Love RVA Gallery) for this great video of the Richmond Mural Project. WE SEE IT!
While there are a number of talented songstresses in the Central Virginia area, I’ve had a hard time highlighting their presence on The Cheats Movement Blog which is why I’m very excited to share new music from RVA based singer/songwriter Erikka J. The EP is called “Love Finds Its Way” and it was released earlier this month on Itunes.
“Love Finds Its Way” is a well-rounded 6 track project that highlights Erikka’s diversity in vocals and songwriting. The lead track, “Love n’ Life” (produced by the late Kleph Dollaz) is a classic R&B/Soul track worthy of Erikka’s influence Mary J. Yet, she shows compelling range on “$2 Bill” a slower groove that lets you know she has the range to slow it down and hang with the more soulful singers in the game. You can hear both tracks below:
Erikka will be performing this Wednesday (6 PM – 9 PM) at, “Spotlight at Aqua” (Aqua Lounge in Shockoe Bottom, 1708 E Main Street, RVA). It is a special event for her EP release. She will be performing with a live band, “Hi Definition” and those that attend will get a copy of “Love Finds Its Way.” In addition, a portion of the proceeds from the show will benefit the mural dedicated to the her friend and musical mentor, the late Kleph Dollaz. As well as the foundation set up in his honor “God’s Morning.”
Last night, I made two separate trips to Gallery 5 to catch day three of WRIR X Commonwealth of Notions: Volume Three. It was a great time even though I only saw two of the near ten bands that took the stage. I made a special early trip to see my friends Jameson and Laney of Lobo Marino play live. It’s been a long time coming for me to see them perform. I’m a huge fan of another event they do in RVA, The Silent Music Revival and have been looking a chance to see them perform as a band.
All I can tell you about their performance is 1. I loved it and 2. Jameson and Laney are on a different level. It’s hard for me to describe but their music is spiritual and soulful at the same time. I love their use of various instruments – including a accordion and recorder – and how both Jameson and Laney use their voices as instruments. It’s a dope groove and every song takes you to a different place. I loved it and can’t wait to see them again.
After a long break to do family activities – yes, I have to do family activities – I made it back to Gallery 5 to see the final performance of the night, Baby Help Me Forget. The first time I saw Baby Help Me Forget was their final show at the WRIR annual fundraiser nearly two years ago. I remember the band being flat out awesome and wondering aloud – why are they calling it quits. Nonetheless- they were back for a reunion performance and they were again awesome. Baby Help Me Forget is a concert photographer’s dream. They have so much energy it is unreal.
What started as – what I thought – would be a normal night for me changed into one of the more special nights of the summer. I decided to stop through Balliceaux to check in on my buddy Shannon Cleary’s Commonwealth of Notions: Volume Three. This was day 2 of the 4 day event. Last night featured, one of my favorite RVA bands, The Diamond Center.
I first saw The Diamond Center rock live about 2 years ago at the RVA Music Festival and later saw them perform at Nelly Kate’s Ish Ish album release. I just love their band – and on a personal note the entire band are some of the nicest people I’ve ever been around. With that said, they haven’t performed in RVA in about a year so I was looking forward to seeing them rock the stage.
Turns out, I was not the only person in RVA looking forward to seeing The Diamond Center play live. Balliceaux filled up to standing room only capacity as soon as The Diamond Center started tuning in. It was very cool to be there – the night sort of turn into a who’s who of the RVA music scene. I found myself visiting with friends in some of RVA’s best local bands, some of my favorite bloggers, and just family from all over RVA.
The show last night was awesome. In a very rare move for me – I ended up staying until last call with my friends, enjoying the evening. Day Three of Commonwealth of Notions kicks off today at 4 PM at Gallery 5.
For the second year in a row, B-More s artist Gaia, took the trip down to RVA to bless our city with a fantastic mural. Gaia has been on a grind like no other in the past 12 months, traveling all over the world, and was recently ranked #1 on Complex Magazine’s list of the 50 greatest street artist right now. You can see his mural on the corner of Main and Rowland in the fan.
My friend Shannon Clearly just posted a quick video promoting his Annual Commonwealth of Notions live event: Volume 3. This year the live event (and fundraiser) is bigger than ever, spanning four days. I’ve seen some of my favorite RVA artist for the first time from Shannon’s event…in particular last year’s show introduced me to The Low Branches and Bermuda Triangle. Shannon also hit me to Nelly Kate. He’s one of my favorite music writers in RVA and really cares about local music and the RVA music community. Check out his video and check out the live event.
This Saturday, DoethePaperboy will be headlining the The National with his friends Against Grace. I caught up with Mr. DOE Nation himself to get his thoughts on the upcoming concert. More on that in a minute – I’ve followed Doe’s moves for about two years now and I’ve seen first-hand what he’s done – not only to build his fan base – but also to build his business and brand. I believe Doe’s grind moved into overdrive in early 2012 when he hooked up with Soul Live Media and dropped two of my favorite videos, Picasso and If I Had It. The more I learn about Doe Nation the more I understand that he is much more than a musician, he is a entrepreneur with a hustlers spirit. Check out my interview below with a true Grindaholic: DoeThePaperboy.
Saturday is a big show – you’re at the National with Against Grace, tell me how did the two of you link up?
I’ve been rocking with Against Grace for 4 years now – Me and Wes went to school together (Petersburg High School), so I always knew him. We just ran into one another at a Show in Petersburg – at a Spot Called Wabi Sabi. We exchanged numbers and later found out we have great chemistry and the rest is too be written.
I can tell that you are very excited about Saturday night, what makes this upcoming show special for you?
This show marks about 3 years since I headlined with Against Grace back in 2010. They are my favorite band so I’m really looking forward to their performance. And also this is a chance to bring everything we offer as a team into a great venue for more exposure.
For those who don’t know about you, it’s not just about music, tell me about the DOE movement you have going right now?
Right now we have been afforded the opportunity to be branded and marketed under AINIGRIV ADORN. Ainigriv is just VA backwards – so we think opposite – and Adorn is beautiful – so Va beautiful. Being under such a great company D.O.E has been able to create a sneaker, watch, jewelry and countless other pieces of apparel. The movement has been worldwide for a while now and has been seen represented in many countries outside of The United States. We will continue to make the brand more powerful, that’s our bargaining power.
How did you discover your love and spirit for business?
My passion about all we are doing is fueled constantly by our worldwide support system. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I have been told that this movement is for the greater good. The ability to maintain just comes from self determination, the will to be successful, and understanding that failure is character building.
What’s next for you and your team in 2013?
2013 and beyond – we’re going to explore new markets and make a greater effort to focus on community involvement.
Come out to The National this Saturday to see the entire DOE movement live. Doe will be headlining with Against Grace – DJ Foot will also be in the building on the ones and twos. The show starts at 7 PM.