Friday Night Lights

No, not football. But we do have a crazy good guitarist and a weird, cult astrology film.


Virginia native Daniel Bachman is a beautifully expressive guitarist who juggles a number of styles and genres. He plays the Black Iris Gallery's Tiny Bar series this Friday night.
  • Virginia native Daniel Bachman is a beautifully expressive guitarist who juggles a number of styles and genres. He plays the Black Iris Gallery's Tiny Bar series this Friday night.

Fall is just around the corner. And as Eagle Glenn Frey once so prophetically sang, anticipating the severe climate change issues which threaten humanity: "The heat is on. The heat is on. It's on the street." For a few more months, anyway.

What I really mean to say is our nightlife is heating up. Take this Friday, Aug. 28, which has not one, but two cool things going on at almost the same time.

Returning to Richmond is Fredericksburg native Daniel Bachman, a brilliant instrumental guitarist and a guy in his mid-20s who already gets mentioned in the same breath as legends John Fahey, Jack Rose and Robbie Basho. An intuitive and expressive player, Bachman will be performing with friend Jake Fussell at the cool new Tiny Bar series from Black Iris Gallery (321 W. Broad Street), which has been killing it lately.

We wrote about Dan a couple years ago and since then, he's kept a busy touring clip. Rolling Stone just called him one of ten artists you need to know this past June, and Pitchfork gave a nice review to his most recent album, "River."

I caught up with the always friendly Bachman by e-mail on Thursday night.

Bachman: So I had my new record come out in June? I think . . been a long, wacky summer - its called "river" . . . Since last time we talked, I moved to Durham and I've been here for a little over a year - and in the next six months I'll be moving back to Virginia haha. My life right now is oddly a lot like this tune:

This last year I did probably 150 dates all around all over euro and the US a couple times each. Right now, after these few days in Virginia, North and South Carolina, I'll head home and really start plugging away at new material for the next record - which will come out on Three Lobed Records in late spring or early summer 2016.

This gig is with Jake Fussell - a buddy of mind from Oxford Mississippi but originally from Columbus, Georgia. He lives in Durham now, too - he's a great, great guitar player and I love his new record on Paradise of Bachelors so much - top 5 records of 2014 for me and also Jake's first time to Richmond so I hope he has a good time!

Here's an NPR video of Dan -- who looks a little like a young Philip Seymour Hoffman, rest his opiate-loving soul -- just to whet your whistle. It was recorded inside Stratford Hall and the sound is wonderful.

Another really cool thing happening on Friday night is Movie Club Richmond's presentation of the campy, mindfuck film "The Astrologer" (1975). The film, recently rediscovered and restored by Austin, TX's American Genre Film Archive, is being shown as a benefit for Video Fan with a suggested donation of $5. Doors and DJs begin at 7:00 pm with the movie at 8:00 pm. Manzara plays immediately after the screening.

Check out the trailer for this crazy-ass, NSFW shit:

Craig Denney's THE ASTROLOGER (trailer) from Cinefamily on Vimeo.

Organizer Anders Bronson tells me: "THE ASTROLOGER is something of a first for Movie Club Richmond. We've exhibited classic films, cult favorites, genuine oddities and brand new independent titles. With THE ASTROLOGER, we have something else entirely: a movie made forty years ago but largely forgotten, at least until the American Genre Film Archive found it and realized not only was it totally crazy, but also crazily good. It's safe to say that no one in the audience will have seen it before, but all of us may very well remember it as a genuine cult classic. Plus, we get to hang out at Hardywood, listen to period-appropriate tunes from Sister Goldenhaze and Greg Darden, and catapult through the astral gates with Manzara. It should be quite the evening."

There may be a way to do both of these things, as at least one record-selling insider thinks that the Bachman show could possibly start a little late (the FB event page says 8 p.m.)

Also from the Facebook page for the Astrologer event:

Here's more about THE ASTROLOGER, as described by Brian Kelley of Austin's Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, who are big supporters of AGFA: "A carnival con man discovers that he has genuine psychic powers and uses them to become an astrology bigwig. But the plot isn’t necessarily the focus of THE ASTROLOGER. It’s the kind of film where the main character makes a movie that is basically THE ASTROLOGER within the movie and then we get to spend a few minutes watching The Astrologer watch THE ASTROLOGER inside the movie THE ASTROLOGER! It’s the kind of movie that has an entire dynamic dinner scene shot entirely in slow-motion. It’s the kind of movie where someone shouts, 'You’re not an astrologer... YOU’RE AN ASSHOLE!' And it’s all done without an ounce of irony. It’s all genuine, it’s all passion, it’s all GOOD."

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