Whaddya know, you don’t even have to leave the corner!

Invisible Hand, Les La Britanica, and Empress Hotel are playing a show at Trinity Irish Pub (and I use the term “Irish Pub” loosely and reluctantly) this Wednesday, February 23, at 9:00pm.  Admission is $7, but you know you regularly go to the corner and spend more than that for less rad shit.

Apparently Trinity is having music now?  This is weird to me because the only experience I’ve had at Trinity was terrible, and ended with me throwing a shot of whiskey on unsuspecting (but deserving) bar-goer.  So I don’t mean to advocate going to Trinity, BUT in this case you should.

Invisible Hand is a rock/pop band from Charlottesville, and it is definitely one of the best local bands we have.  And this isn’t one of those “It’s pretty good for Charlottesville” situation.  Invisible Hand is just fucking good, and you need to know who they are.  Incidentially, the singer’s name is Adam Smith.  GET IT, COLLEGE STUDENTS?!  You get to feel educated and get entertained with rad music at the same time.

Les La Britanica is an electronica group based out of Richmond Virginia.  I have never been to one of their shows before, but I listened to a couple of songs on their myspace and it made me want to dance.  What else do you really need from an electronica group?

Empress Hotel is another rock/pop group.  I don’t really know much about them, but they are from New Orleans.  Impressed? …Empressed even?  (I’m so sorry.)  Just listen to this song.

And come to the show.  I’m not even giving you UVA kids an excuse on this one.  It’s 10 minutes away from 90% of your apartments.

Far Off and All-Flame: Pushing Against the Real

This month at The Bridge PAI, Anthony Restivo will live at inside the gallery, eat only apples, sleep on an antique stretcher, and not speak for 22 days, and conduct interviews with YOU.  Yes, you.  For ART!  Come to the Bridge PAI at 209 Monticello Ave (across from Spudnuts) to become part of the art, and experience art in Charlottesville that isn’t created for the sole purpose of making you feel poor  (It’s free!  And I can guarantee that Mr. Restivo is poorer than you).

Opening Exhibition tomorrow, Friday, February 4 from 6-8pm

Closing Exhibition Saturday February 26 from 10pm onwards (DANCE PARTY)

Visitors are welcome to the gallery from sunrise to sunset until February 26.

Still confused as to what this is?  So is everyone else.  That’s why you have to go.  Check out the link to the Bridge’s website (above) and read this C-ville review, and get down to the gallery and talk about yourself (isn’t that what you want to do anyway?)

It’s ART!

Stop studying, Dweeb!-TONIGHT: Let There Be Light

Tonight at PVCC, the annual outdoor show of light-centered and light inspired artwork, Let There Be Light.  There will even be a radio show, available only in a short range of the campus, where anyone can come in and tell their stories about FIRE.  Because we all have them, and they tend to be the most beautiful and the most humiliating.

It will be held from 6-9 pm, so it’s only three hours, makes a good study break and is so rad.  No excuse not to come.  (I have an exam tomorrow.  I am a student too.  No whining)  and it’s totally FREE.

Drive or take the number 23 bus out of the Downtown mall (free with UVA ID)

Savory snacks will also be provided, and while I don’t really know what that entails, it automatically guards against store-bought cupcakes, so I’m in.

Holiday Gifts @ The Bridge PAI

One downside to going to college in your hometown is that I can’t exactly surprise my relatives or my high school friends.  Charlottesville is a pretty small place, and anywhere I have been, they probably have been too.  This is particularly difficult for buying unique presents for the holidays, unless I resort to the Internet, which I often do, but no, I don’t feel good about it.

Anyway, The Bridge makes this a little easier by turning its gallery space into a holiday gift store every December.  Everything is made by local artisans (over 45 in total), so buying from the store supports them and automatically makes your presents more rad than your older sister’s.

The grand opening is tonight from 5-9pm, but I have already seen some of what they have.  Lots of handmade jewelry, screened t-shits, bags, hats, really beautiful (and useful) pottery, journals, photo albums, original art and a bunch of other stuff I haven’t even seen yet.  Most things are pretty reasonably priced, a lot lower than expected.  So you should probably check it out before the semester ends and you go back to your hometowns and have to buy presents for your family at the sames store where everyone shops.

The store is open from 11-9 every day up until Christmas Eve.

And again, the Bridge is located at 209 Monticello Road in Belmont, next to Spudnuts.


What it is: Relatively new restaurant in Belmont specializing in rustic Italian food, open Tuesday through Saturday for dinner, starting at 5pm.  Focuses on local and seasonal foods, so menu sometimes varies slightly.  They also have an extensive wine list.  See their website for a sample menu.


Why it’s rad: Charlottesville has no other good Italian food.  In fact, I’m not even going to give Charlottesville that much credit.  We have terrible Italian food, unless you go to Tavola.  Delicious antipasti, especially the antipasti misti (meat and cheese plate), and consistantly well prepared pasta and entrees, such as the  hanger steak and fried veal chop.  The dining area is small and comfortable, and also includes an awesome bar if you just want to go for drinks.   The staff is also made up of extremely nice people who do nothing but be awesome.  Tavola is not exactly cheap, but you are paying for good Italian food made out of good and often ingredients, not a mess of cheese and red sauce.  Don’t eat Italian food out anywhere else in Charlottesville unless you want to make me and yourself sad.

TACOS!-La Michoacana

What it is: A small taqueria (really small, as in pretty much just this window and a door and a continually packed, equally tiny parking lot) that serves authentic tacos, burritos, and quesadillas (and inauthentic ones too, if that’s your thing).  Located at 1138 E High St, not far from the downtown mall. Open Tuesday through Saturday–I have been disappointed many a Monday.

Why it’s rad: There isn’t too much to say about this charming hole in the wall taqueria except for TWO DOLLAR TACOS!  Which are some of the best, most satisfying things I’ve ever eaten.  A variety of meats and vegetarian fillings and toppings to choose from, though I usually get them Mexicana style, which is just onions, cilantro and lime.  They also make their own tortillas, which are available to purchase on Saturdays only, if you want to have your own taco night.  They also have Mexican coke for sale (Coke made from real sugar, no corn syrup, bottled in Mexico), which is delicious and kills the heat perfectly if you choose an overly-spicy salsa.

Last Minute: BIRDLIPS! Now Tonight! Plus Update

9pm, $7 $10

[Update: Somebody squealed to the fire marshal, so now tickets are $10, and they are limiting them to 40 tickets only.  Sort of a bummer.]

At the Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar! (Post forthcoming), which is located on the downtown mall between 4th and 5th Street at 414 E. Main.

Birdlips is a group comprised of an adorable skinny couple who left Charlottesville for the West coast, but has come back to us, at least for the night on their East coast tour for their upcoming album (they always come back).  The music is catchy, but not too pop-y, and Birdlips produces a sound bigger than the sum of its two parts.

They are playing with Frau Eva and Matthew Hemmerlein.  I have only seen Matthew Hemmerlein play once, and it was pretty incredible.  He plays violin with a lot of loop techniques.  Pretty simplistic and unique.  Lots of Radiohead covers.  And this show is only SEVEN DOLLARS for three bands at a rad place.


What it is: A restaurant serving a varied menu of Spanish tapas (small plates), focusing on slow food, and organic and locally sourced food.  Located in Belmont at 501 Monticello Road.  Check out there menu here:


Why it’s rad: I have never felt sad when eating something at Mas.  From the start of the meal (always a plate of assorted olives), to whatever dishes I end up selecting, I never feel let down.  Their dishes are unique and good quality. I don’t want to eat food in a restaurant that tastes like I could have made it.  Anything beyond that, atmosphere, appearance, are all superfluous, really, but I must admit, I love the dining style at Mas.  You order as many small dishes as appeal to you, and they are put on the table and shared by everyone, which is arguably the best way to eat–it’s intimate, casual, and lets everyone enjoy whatever dishes they like most.

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Last Minute: William ‘Upski’ Wimsatt at Random Row Books

TONIGHT!  Author and activism William Wimsatt will be reading from his new book Please Don’t Bomb the Suburbs at Random Row Books, located on West Main Street, across from the Greyhound station.  There will be a public workshop at 5:30 and a reading at 7:30.  A reception to follow.

Please come out if you can.  It should be a good time.

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Daedalus Bookshop

What It Is: A three floor bookshop that has been open for 37 years.  It houses about 120,000 books, all organized into sections such as fiction, drama, political science, history, foreign language, fire, philosophy, etc.  Located just off the downtown mall at the corner of Fourth Street NE and Market Street.

Why It’s Rad: This huge and winding bookshop was not named after the maker of the labyrinth on accident.  I kept taking pictures, but they all look more or less the same, because EVERYTHING IS COVERED IN BOOKS.  It’s not Barns and Nobel–you have to go look for the books you want, nothing is cataloged, and the closest thing to a computer is a battery powered calculator.

Going into this place as a fourth year, I can see at least half of the books I’ve ever had to read during my college career, and for much cheaper than I bought them for, even if I was lucky enough to find them used.  They don’t carry textbooks, but you are guaranteed to find classic readings like Marx, Joseph Nye, Max Weber, Primo Levi, and almost any fiction you would need.  Open seven days a week.