One of the best bands in RVA is back! S/O to Bar Codez, Sam Reed, and the entire Photosynthesizer’s family (which The Cheats Movement is a proud member). This Saturday night – it’s called LISTEN Vol 1: The Light in Sound. The show is featuring R&B singers Lela Bizz and Anhayla. RSVP HERE on Facebook.
When you really think about it, there are only a few days in life that you know you will remember forever. For me, Saturday was that one of those magical days.
I woke up carrying a secret that only four people, my immediate family, knew: I was planning to propose to my amazing girlfriend Aria. And I was planning to propose to her in front of a live audience, including a lot of our family and friends during the Richmond Comedy Coalitions’ Richmond Famous show at Gallery 5.
The morning started with my nerves in knots. I woke up slightly anxious about the proposal but in absolute terror about the attendance of the Richmond Famous show. I was honestly worried that no one would show up that night at Gallery 5. I was worrying Aria sick by asking her, “Babe, what happens if no one comes,” I would ask her every 20 minutes.
ARIA: He was so worried that only 6 people would show up. I constantly assured him that people would show. He is insanely modest; he didn’t understand how much of an impact he had made in the community. I kept telling him that people would come out to support him and RCC.
That morning, I started sharing the secret. I called Aria’s mother and let her know my intentions and, of course, asked for her blessing. Her excitement gave me not only ease but confidence that I was proceeding in the right direction.
ARIA: Who knew I could be so gullible. All of a sudden he had an urgent need to go pull the trash can in from the driveway. It was 8:30 in the morning; most would have thought something was up. Little did I know, he was in full master plan mode.
The next challenge was waiting. I needed to keep my emotions in check and not tip off Aria that I was a little more “worked up” than normal. I was helped by some very quality Starz on Demand, I played, “Beat Rhymes and Life,” the documentary movie featuring A Tribe Called Quest. Aria watched most of it with me and just being with her on the couch further cemented, for me, that I was 100% doing the right thing.
Then the phone rang. It was David, from the RCC, letting me know that we would not be alone tonight, if fact the presales were on their way to 100 and he anticipated a sold out show. It’s a strange emotion to feel relieved and excited at the same time – I was honestly relieved that the night was going to be populated – if not historic.
ARIA: While I had no idea he was planning a proposal, during those few hours on the couch watching the Tribe documentary and then Fade to Black I kept thinking of how amazing it felt to be so connected to him.
So when I was telling my mother “the plan”, I could see the utter panic on her face about the “surprise” element of the proposal. It gave her more than “hesitation.” I have always relied on my mother’s advice and Aria’s personality often reminds me of what, I think, my mom was like before she raised me and my siblings. My mother looked at me and immediately said, “Marc, you can’t do that to a women, you have to give her some time to digest what is happening and you don’t want to do that in front of a lot of people.” I thought about it and agreed with her. So I retooled the plan and adjusted to propose in Church Hill right before our planned dinner at Proper Pie.
Fast forward a bit to the car ride to Church Hill, I can’t remember if we even talked. ARIA: He was a bit quiet in the car, but I just assumed he was nervous about the show. I just let him be with his thoughts. The ring was in my pocket and I convinced her we had to go to take a few photos of the city for the blog. I really didn’t think that anyone would be at my planned proposal spot, a wonderful view of the city near Richmond Hill, but as we were pulling up, I saw a few people at the spot. As we got closer, it turned out to be a small wedding. A good sign indeed but I was not thinking about that – I was thinking, “Yo! Where am I going to propose?” ARIA: After seeing the wedding at that particular spot, I was thinking cool, maybe we can just go to dinner, I was starving. Luckily I just continued to go with the flow. I made a quick audible to the park with the statue and the great view of the Lucky Strike building. I asked her to take a few photos and then I pulled out the ring. I waited for what felt like a year before she was able to answer; she was too busy being shocked and smiling. ARIA: I honestly have not been more surprised in my entire life. For a split second, I didn’t want to yell out yes, thinking maybe there were just earrings in the box and I’d be embarrassed. Then I quickly realized of course it was a ring and he was proposing; I was so shocked. I didn’t even realize I hadn’t said yes. Once she said, “Yes,” and I can’t really tell you exactly how I felt. It’s not overconfidence when you’re on the same page with the person you love – you just know it’s going to be cool. I knew we were on the same page and asking was bit of a formality to me.
ARIA: I was ecstatic; I was so excited and nervous at the same time. I wanted to tell everyone we encountered that I just got engaged! I loved the man, I loved the ring. It was amazing!
Once the proposal was done, I had to convince Aria to put her, “poker face,” on because no one knew about the proposal but our families and a very special friend, who may or may not, be back in town from Washington D.C. in time for the show.
Just because the “actual” proposal was done, it strangely didn’t make me feel relief about proposing on stage. I – once again – had the ring in my pocket and it hadn’t really registered that she’s just said yes. Once Gallery 5 started filling up with our friends, I started to get distracted – speaking with friends and running around – that took my mind a bit off the show. Aria left her phone at my house in the West End so she drove back to get it – I’m sure the car ride helped her collect her emotions. When she came back the show, she was almost calm.
I got word that the show was sold out around the same time our “special guests” arrived at Gallery 5. I blocked out most emotions immediately before the show and took solace in RCC cast members telling me, “I got your back,” it was awesome.
The moment I pulled out the ring, my world was a flash. I am so grateful for the people quick enough to break out their phones and, of course, my good friends with cameras because I got so many great photos of my on 1 knee. I honestly don’t even remember doing it. ARIA: I think I was just as nervous as he was, I knew it was coming and I had to sit in my seat for about an hour waiting for it to happen. As he went through the story and then pulled out the ring box, I didn’t have to feign excitement or surprise. I was still so excited and probably still a little stunned. Looking back, I am so thankful that I made it up to the stage without falling. As I stood there as he proposed again, it was still amazing. I just focused on him. Plus I got to see my ring again, and this time I got to keep it!
The rest of the night was easily one of the best nights of my life with Just Plain Sounds, Glows in the Dark, and Photosynthesizers. I smiled, hugged, dance, loved and just had the best night. ARIA: It was a great night. We essentially had our engagement party right there. It was so amazing to have been able to share the experience with so many of our friends and family. It was great to get so many well wishes from people I didn’t even know. Everyone was so happy for us and there was just a lot of love and positivity in the air. I loved both of my proposals and I couldn’t have planned it better myself. I am so blessed to have such an amazing and thoughtful fiancé. He aight!
All I can say is, “Thank you RVA,” I love this place some much – but, to me, when I think of, “RVA” I think of more than geography, I think of family and home. I love my Cheats Movement Family and it was such a unreal experience to share this night with you.
My family was in the front row with those “special guest”
Glows in the Dark killed it – I can’t thank them enough.
The RCC was amazing Saturday night! Please check out one of their shows.
Well in 2012 the world did not end and though we are a bit over the fiscal cliff, it looks like we may survive total doom.That’s great news because Saturday night is sure to be one of the best nights in Richmond (so far). Join me, The Richmond Comedy Coalition and the entire Cheats Movement Family for “Richmond Famous” at Gallery 5.
I’m very excited and honored to be a part of the show, the RCC is amazing and well worth the $5 dollar (advance ticket) on their own BUT we are not stopping with just improv comedy, we are showcasing some of RVA’s best bands: Photosynthesizers, who I’ve called on this blog, “The best live band in RVA,” is playing live following the show. Also, Glows in the Dark, one of the most talented and diverse sounds in RVA, will bring their dope style to the night, Wolf//Goat made one of the best records to hit RVA scene in 2012 and is looking to skyrocket in 2013, and the brothers from Just Plain Sounds had an amazing 2012 with records from The Honorable Sleaze, Just Plain Ant, Drano, Damaged Andy, and don’t forget that MF DOOM inspired Mixtape, Weekends in Latveria (James Dangle went hard on that). Also, a good ol’ Cheats Movement cyphers (You know how it goes down). So if you’re a emcee…come out for the show. I hope to see all of Richmond at Gallery 5 Saturday night. I hope YOU (reading this) will join us. It’s going to be a really fun, positive and diverse night – a night that truly represents what this blog and RVA is all about.
The show is Saturday, January 5, 2013 at Gallery 5 (200 W. Marshall Street, Richmond, VA). Doors open at 7 PM – show starts at 8 PM. Music starts around 10 PM. Advance tickets are just $5 ($10 at the door) so get them early. RSVP BY CLICKING HERE!
Check out the Richmond Famous Poster for January 5th. This will be a really fun night – please come out and support. It’s the Richmond Comedy Coalition – Cheats Movement – Photosynthesizers – Glows in the Dark – Wolf//Goat – and Just Plain Sounds. What more can you ask for…
Poster by David Pijor
The entire HOT SAUCE VIBE will be in Gallery 5 on January 5th – come out and support RVA! (Photo by Marc Schmidt)
I’m so happy to get the ball rolling on this EXCITING ANNOUNCEMENT – Friends please save the date: Saturday, January 5, 2013. It is sure to go down as one of the best nights of early 2013. My friends at the Richmond Comedy Coalition has asked me to be their guest for their Richmond Famous improv show. If you’re not familiar with Richmond Famous, the RCC selects someone in RVA that’s doing good things and making a name in the community and they have that guest tell stories about their life, the RCC then does live improv based off the stories told. It’s such a fun show and such an honor to be asked to be their guest (joining a great group of host like: Brian McDaniel, NO BS BRASS, Young House Love, and Ryan Nobles). I’m very excited about it. However, I did not stop there – since RCC is truly family to me – I feel I have to bring something very speical to the table on January 5th. They have supported The Cheats Movement Blog since the beginning and have been some of my best friends over the last two years. So we are bringing the entire HOT SAUCE VIBE to the show with live performances from 4 amazing Richmond bands: Photosynthesizers, Glows in the Dark, Wolf//Goat, and Just Plain Sounds. There will also be a Hardywood Beer takeover which means Hardywood will be selling their locally brewed beers at Gallery 5 that night. I really hope that every friend of the blog and of these great bands comes out and supports this night. Again here are the details.
Saturday, January 5, 2013 at Gallery 5 (200 West Marshall Street, Richmond, VA)
Richmond Comedy Coalition Richmond Famous: RVA HOT SAUCE EDITION featuring Cheats of the Cheats Movement Blog
Following the live improv – Live performances by: Photosynthesizers, Glows in the Dark, Wolf//Goat and Just Plain Sounds
Doors will open around 8 PM
WE SEE IT!
Hello Cheats Movement world. My name is Sam Reed (aka SamSun of the Photosynthesizers, aka Sunny Harmonic, aka Velvet Jones). I’m a singer, songwriter, wife, stay at home with the babies mom during the day, vocalist by night, and sometimes it seems that I’m a professional procrastinator.
But in reality, I’m in search of perfect imperfection. It’s not easy to find – but I know that there is an intersection where people and sound connect on a level that is completely natural and pure. It’s the place where rough meets smooth and organic meets conventional. Where ugly meets beautiful and digital meets analog.
For years I’ve been trying to find that “magical” place where the sidewalk ends. I’m serious – almost five years of different studios, wanna be music mentors, engineers, musicians, producers, and naysayers. Finally, I am here and I’m doing it my way. And I’m inviting you to walk with me and experience this journey as it happens right here on The Cheats Movement Blog.
So….here I am. This time I’ve taken two steps forward instead of two steps back. I finally have a song finished and I’m completely pleased with it. I’m not waiting for the completed album to release it. This is my first release. The track is called, “Hypnotize.”
Enjoy it. And keep it locked in to The Cheats Movement Blog to follow me on this journey!
LIVE AND NATURAL: PHONTE, PHOTOSYNTHESIZERS, DEREK 32ZERO, – PHOTOS FROM THE HAPPILY NATURAL DAY CONCERT
Hip hop heads were out in full force Saturday night for the man they call Tigallo – Phonte of Foreign Exchange (formally of Little Brother). When I spoke to him last week he told me that RVA should expect a good time – he was right. Phonte delivered one hell of a show. He brought high energy, amazing stage presence, and a connection with the crowd on every song. Of course, it helps when your fans are hanging on every word and know every lyric. Phonte’s fans new every track – weather it was from his solo album, Charity Starts at Home, or Foreign Exchange, or Little Brother – they sung almost every word. He could do no wrong Saturday night and represented to the fullest. I commend the organizers of Happily Natural Day for such a perfect selection. Beyond the performance, Phonte appeared to be having a great time doing what he loves. He is fully aware of his place in hip hop and appreciates the support he gets and the fans that came out. He didn’t take too many breaks but during the breaks he did take – he took a moment to talk to the audience about real life. And his chats were mostly hilarious. His best line of the night was, “There are two types of people in the room – people that are sad that the summer is over – and people with kids.” Well, I’m sad that the night had to end but it was well worth it. One of the best shows of the year.
Also holding it down Saturday night was my family: Photosynthesizers. I was glad to hear that Photos had spent all day in the studio recording new tracks. You know how I feel about them as a group (BEST BAND IN RVA). I can’t wait for the new music to come and and kill the RVA scene. Also, they got on the merch grind too – check out and pick up one of their new T-Shirts.
Finally, shout out to the brother Derek 32Zero. This was my first time seeing him perform but he held it down. You could tell he was a seasoned live performer. He kept the crowd engaged, worked the stage, and represented for real hip hop. He put in work to a crowd that wasn’t really familiar with his music (and the music was dope). Always good to see new hip hop talent in VA. I will be looking to see him perform again. He also brought with him VA super producer Nottz. S/O to him for coming through.
A great show and night all the way around…follow the Cheats Movement on FB for more updates. WE SEE IT.
IT’S MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND!!! SMILE, DRINK, BE MERRY…IT’S A CELEBRATION!!!
I kicked off my holiday weekend in a big way. Here is an inside look at my Grind Date Friday: Dropped The Passion of (The) Sleaze video trailer. I’m so excited to be shooting, directing, and editing a video from start to finish. I could not be working with better brothers than The Honorable Sleaze and Brad Ohbliv. S/O Just Plain Sounds. Check out the trailer and let me know what you think.
After the trailer dropped, I headed out to The Shop to meet Sleaze and Ohbliv to finish the video. It’s not done yet but we got most of the work done. Watch out for the full video in June!
7:00 PM It was time to hit West Coast Kix in Carytown to see more Cheats Movement Fam, the very talented Hamilton Glass AKA HAM?. HAM? was kicking off his Last Friday Art Show. I’d been looking forward to the show for about a month and it was great to see RVA come out to support. I also met the lovely Shannon Santiago. Shannon is a photographer extraordinaire that collaborated with HAM? for the show. She also comes with a very funny bodyguard – S/O Cindy (JRT). S/O to the amazing Glass family – Taekia and Sanaa I see you. And my man Distant Dee!
8:30 PM Off to Gallery 5 to catch the Richmond Comedy Coalition (Voted Best Comedy Group in RVA for the 2nd year in a row). Richmond Famous is one of my favorite shows because the RCC takes great stories from some of RVA’s most interesting peeps and do improv motivated by the stories. Last night’s featured guest were the ladies from Rumors Boutique. I’ve always been a huge fan of Casey Longyear and Marshe Wyche since I heard their story years ago. I met them both before but I’ve haven’t been able to land a The Cheats Movement profile with them just yet… but I have not given up hope . The show was great – The RCC is always awesome. S/O to Dirty Richmond and Bree El – spoiler alert: the much missed (by me) Sunday Cypher will return! And word on the street…there will be a great comedy night coming up a Pie (on Lombardy). S/O to Kristen – Have fun in France.
11:00 PM Final stop of the night was at Belly Timber to meet up with Bar Codez and J. Bryant from Photosynthesizers. Photos had just played Friday Night Cheers earlier in the evening. I also caught up with the lovely Maat Free (2011 Vegi Iron Chief)…big plans in the works! All this and not to mention, I just spoke with Black Liquid and he said another great Face Melt Friday went down last night
RVA has some crazy energy right night now. And it’s all love. Go out and see it all – WE SEE IT! Enjoy your holiday weekend.
First and foremost – a huge shout out to Don Harrison, Toni Stevens, Jason Roop, anyone and everyone at Style Weekly for granting The Cheats Movement Blog press access to let me do what I do yesterday at the first ever Shadrock Music Festival. It really gives me a good feeling that my blog (one guy with a camera) can really start to grow something positive in RVA. I can’t put into words how great everything is going for The Cheats Movement Blog this year…
With that – The Shadrock Festival was really dope! Here is what’s going to happen – a few years from now, everyone is going to say they were there for the first Shadrock Music Festival and De La Soul. That’s what’s going to happen but the truth is….poor weather made a significant impact on the attendance. Not just the rain – which it rained really hard in pockets – but it was cold. It was a bad weather day – no way around it but Style Weekly did an amazing job with the bill. The bill was fantastic! And the decision to headline the show with Yo La Tengo and De La Soul was perfect.
Both Yo La Tengo and De La Soul brought completely different sounds and fan bases to the festival but there is something special about RVA that made it work well – it was such a RVA experience last night and it was perfect. Also, Shabazz Palaces and Dum Dum Girls both did an amazing job. I first heard of Shabazz Palaces about a week ago from a friend. I downloaded their album “Black Up” and love it. They performed a great live show with some serious improv and just crazy beats and flow.
Dum Dum Girls, made the biggest impression on me – I can’t deny they are very easy to look at but beyond that – their live show was great. Much better than the albums songs that I heard leading up to the festival. They were so great – they took so many photos after the show (including one with yours truly) and they stood in the crowd to enjoy the rest of the headliners. They were just mad cool rockstars – I loved it. I also got to chat with Plug 1 (Pos) and Plug 2 (Dave) after they tore down the stage. Unfortunately, Maseo couldn’t make the show last night but it didn’t slow down the fast pace show. De La’s music catalog is so amazing – every song they played was a hit (Grind Date, Potholes in my Lawn, Saturday, on and on) and I walked away thinking of so many songs they still could have played. Funny story – after De La got off stage all they were talking about was the Knicks loss to the Heat. They are NYC through and through. Loved it. They were very gracious and glad to be back in RVA. Pos (who’s voice was gone after the show) said they hadn’t been to RVA in about 10 years and loved the vibe. I have so many photos…I will be posting all week.
Last but actually performing first was Cheats Movement Fam, Photosynthesizers…don’t worry – I’m working on something special in regards to their amazing performance.
I’m sure moving forward everyone will have amazing coverage from last night — visit it all – view it all – it’s well worth it but keep checking the Cheats Movement this all this week — I have so much stuff coming. Also – Like the Cheats Movement on Facebook!!!
I really don’t know how I’m going to keep up this summer. It seems like every day RVA is putting in work – doing things bigger, better and flyer than ever. I certainly can’t keep up with a weekly Cheats Movement Club so I’m just going to start posting RVA music and videos as much as I can. Leading it off I have special video – no secret to anyone – Photosynthesizers, Just Plain Sounds, K&B Music, Dank D, The Shop are all like family to The Cheats Movement Blog. Last Friday my man DJ got this live video: Richmond We Go Hard featuring Official Freeze, James Dangle, Dank D, and Draztiq.
Sad World – Just Plain Ant ft. Drano
Bleachers – Suburban District
The last drop of the day is from my dude Rah Scrilla. He just released a new joint titled Most Underrated – check out the title track
Most Underrated – Rah Scrilla
This is the extended trailer to James Dangle’s Naima video. So much I can say about why this trailer dropping today – BUT I will wait until the full video is out (HA). S/O Just Plain Sounds, The Shop, Photosynthesizers Fam – #WESEEIT – Support #RVA Support Good Music #Support The Cheats Movement. This one is for Miles
Exclusive Cheats Movement video: Don Harrison (Style Weekly) and Mike Kemetic (WRIR/Photosynthesizers) on “Activate!” with Mike Rutz announce that De La Soul will headline the Shadrock Music Festival. The date is April 28. Check out the website for details. Hip hop is making a real run in RVA.
Congrats to Style Weekly for landing one of the best hip-hop groups of all time.
So the deal is that I’m “working” on getting comfortable enough with video editing to be in a position to accept some of the offers that I have been receiving of late. I am certainly not there yet but what better way to practice than editing my favorite live band in RVA: Photosynthesizers. This was shot at 2 shows: The Camel and last night at The Shop. Of course – the sound is not that great but I hope you like the editing. Please give me your feedback and post this video on your facebook and twitter pages. #StayFocused.
WHAT HAPPENED LAST NIGHT? BLACK SCIENCE SESSION: PHOTOSYNTHESIZERS, AMUL9, JAMES DANGLE, & THE WITCH DOCTOR [BALLICEAUX, RVA]
It’s not often that I leave a local show wondering exactly what just happened — last night was one of those nights. Presented by AudioMassTransit and Photosynthesizers the final Black Science Session of 2011 went down last night at Balliceaux. The show was headlined by Photosynthesizers and as usual they did not disappoint – another amazing live show. Through this blog, I have met several members of Photos and they know how much I love their music so here is my brief assessment of me mid-way through every Photos live show — Damn, they are really good! Why aren’t they signed and traveling all over the world? I know, easier said than done but here is to all the Photos crew — much success in 2012. My personal favorite local live performing act of 2011 (next year I take off the local).
Now here is the part that left me scratching my head a bit — I saw the really famous and amazing documentary Afro-Punk by James Spooner a few years ago and really liked it but I had never seen a “Afro-Punk” style performance live until last night. Amul9 from ATL blessed RVA with their hardcore talent last night. Though I thought I was ready — I was not fully ready. The energy — the excitement — it was a bit shock but hats off to those brothers. If you like that Bad Brains (original Afro Punk) sound – check out their debut album Elevated Beings. They even worked with the pioneer Earl Hudson of Bad Brains on the project.
Opening the show was my dude, Just Plain Sounds representative James Dangle. He hit the stage early (and late) with some tracks from his album One Time I Knew. I’ve said it before and will say it again – Naima is my favorite local track of 2011.
Also spinning his unique fusion of old soul and “Lord knows what” but it’s amazing was The Witch Doctor.
Overall, a great night.
My man Bar Codez hit me up and asked me to swing by the Firehouse Theater last Sunday to film some of Photosynthesizers playing the Silent Music Revival. I had no idea what the Silent Music Revival was all about but I was treated to a very cool and unique night in RVA. Silent Music Revival is the screening of a silent film while a live band plays to the movie. Last Sunday, the film was “The Uncomfortable Man (1948)” with music by the aforementioned Photosynthesizers, who I’ve already called my favorite band in RVA. The event was hosted by Jameson Price (who I’m currently begging to profile for The Cheats Movement). Jameson has already told me that the next Silent Music Revival is on December 18 at Gallery 5. The films are The Insects Christmas (1913) & The Frozen North (1922), with music by: The Snowy Owls. If you have not seen this event, check it out.