Special/Signature Issues » 2013 Music Issue

One-Man Bands

What do music blogs bring to coverage of Richmond's music scene?


  • Patience Salgado

Marc Cheatham
The Cheats Movement

Style: How did you get started blogging?

Cheatham: I started the Cheats Movement in January 2011. I originally started the blog to post photos from my travels. Then a friend of mine asked me to photograph his local hip-hop series and that was the first time I photographed RVA hip-hop. That night I met Black Liquid and the New Juice Crew, Sleaze, James Dangle, Just Plain Sounds and so many others. That night changed the direction of the Cheats Movement and now RVA hip-hop is one of the pillars of the blog.

What does your music education consist of?

I'm just a fan. I love live music and supporting local artists. I do not have any formal training in music, photography, video editing or writing. Oh wow, I'm not very qualified. ... I wish I could post every day. I talk about it and think about it every day but I only post a few days a week. Music, art, culture and community is what I would be talking about even if the Cheats Movement was never around. It's what I love to do and blogging doesn't feel like anything special. It's me and my friends doing what we do every day.

What do you hope people take away from your blog?

I hope readers take away Richmond's positivity, talent and diversity. The Cheats Movement is a community blog, and the goal is to highlight the best aspects of the city in a positive way. I believe we are doing right by RVA because the blog really is a reflection of its community and it's truly in a place of optimism, hope and encouragement. I want readers to see the Richmond that we see daily. That is why I often use the hash tag #WESEEIT.

What do you think has been your most important or most noticed blog entry?

My recent week-long series on the meaning of community has been the most popular series. I think my photo essay last summer on First Fridays — First Fridays in Black and White — was equally or more meaningful. Any time I can present the best of Richmond's community and diversity is important to me.

Do you feel that hip-hop music is ignored in Richmond?

The hip-hop scene in Richmond is constantly growing. What I've observed in the last couple of years is the emergence of real leaders in the Richmond hip-hop community, leaders like Black Liquid, Noah-O, Ms. Proper and Octavion Xcellence. No longer are they waiting for big-city executives to come from out of town and support their movements. They're making their own movements and Richmond is just starting to really take notice.

How do you feel like your blog is educating Richmonders?

I'm a guy with a camera and Internet connection. I don't take myself too seriously when it comes to me. It's up to the individual person if they want to go out and take it all in. Since I started going out and really enjoying the music scene, it has brought more joy to my life than I could ever imagine.


Sarah Moore Lindsey
Sounds of RVA

Style: How did you get started blogging?

Lindsey: I've had a web page of sorts since I was in high school.  Then in 2010, I realized I had a lot to contribute to the RVA music scene not necessarily with my own music. I needed an outlet to write for that wasn't constructed by someone else. ... I keep talking about music because it fascinates me.  Not only do you combine a little innocent gossip, but also there's so much happening and changing, it's exciting to be a part of it all.

What does your music education consist of?

I guess having been from Richmond, I have been able to see both the changes and static nature of the music scene here — seeing venues come and go, bands blow up and break up. I end up meeting a lot of musicians for journalism reasons, and a lot of them stay on as my friends. My husband and I met at Sound of Music Studios. He was in the Hotdamns and is now in Bearstorm, so those are my main ties to the Richmond scene.  

What do you hope people take away from your blog?

To give musicians in Richmond an extra push. For the most part, I've gotten a positive response, especially from people in bands themselves. They hear about my blog after I post about them and sometimes I get really nice messages thanking me.

What do you think has been your most important or most noticed blog entry?

The most popular posts have been my best-ofs in 2011 and 2012. Of course, whenever I post about Municipal Waste, my stats go flying, too. Also, I penned an op-ed piece as a response to an anonymous Craigslist post [which criticized the scene]. That entry was really popular.

Do you feel that certain types of music are ignored in Richmond?

I started out ignoring dub step, but some of it has crept into my posts. I realized too late in life that it's not just what kind of music I like or hate, it's about seeing the positive aspects of music from a fan of that genre's perspective. 

How do you feel like your blog is educating Richmonders?

Honestly, I think everybody has a little something to teach others about music.  Everybody has such different connections and backgrounds to music. I feel confident in my own opinions, and it's all about just stepping up and being confident in your instincts, studies and taste in general. If I can reach out to someone and help them find their favorite new jam, it's all worth it.


John Lewis Morgan
One Way Richmond

Style: How did you get started with One Way Richmond?

Morgan: Back in June of 2009, I had a VCU basketball blog that was going nowhere fast at the time. That VCU Basketball blog with a long and stupid name mostly covered Richmond’s music scene with some local humor thrown in. One night I decided to disband that blog and start another with a catchier name and more local music centric. One Way Richmond was born that night in a rinky-dink Jackson Ward apartment. Four years later, One Way Richmond is now a widely read website and business that is easily the best resource for what is going on in the ‘real’ music scene in Metro Richmond.

What does your music education consist of?

Since 1995, I have worked in and out of the music scene. I hung out a lot at what I considered the epicenter of Richmond music, and that was the old Hole in the Wall [now Nile Ethiopian Restaurant]. I learned about Richmond’s illustrious music history along with what was going on currently. I have also worked at the The Flood Zone, Punchline, where I was the music calendar editor, Toad’s Place, Live Nation ticketing, music writing stints at Richmond.com and at RVA Magazine and I’ve dabbled in independent promotions. From all these gigs, I have gained a wealth of knowledge about every facet of the music business. What I have mostly learned was it was always about the musicians and the excitement around a live music show. I’d say my knowledge is pretty vast, but I’m not taken as seriously by most because I’m not a musician. That’s what gets you fame and girls, not working at a box office and getting spit on a 2 a.m. But, I wouldn't trade my knowledge or where I have been, seen or heard in my life in music for anything.

When on the West Coast or in Europe, whenever I discussed Richmond music, I was flabbergasted at the respect music, of all kinds, but mostly punk and metal, received from folks not from here. I think Richmond is by far, without any question, the greatest city in the world. Buried under a bunch of mainstream crap, which every city has now, lay an unbelievable cultured class that does things the DIY (do-it-yourself) or blue collar way - basically the right way. I love that. There is an insane amount of talent in this city. We just got to get more folks to come out to shows and live events. In the past couple of years they have been, at least more since back in the day, so that’s a positive sign.

What do you hope people take away from your website?

I hope people will take away the fact that there is tons more to the music scene around Richmond than just bands, shows and outdoor concert series that cater to rich white people. There are some incredible venues around the city bringing the best in what the world has to offer in regards to all kinds of music. Go see it, Richmond. Support local venues! Don’t be a sub-literate ingrate that only supports cover/tribute bands, bands you heard on commercial radio or what that guy told you about down in Nags Head. Expand your mind, Richmond.

What do you think has been your most important or most noticed post?

When I interviewed Mayor Jones about C.A.P.S. [Read the post here]

Do you feel that certain types of music are ignored in Richmond?

Not really, but most music pushed by the show promoters, community organizers, major venues, or corporate sponsors is “safe” music for white entitled kids, frat boys and sorority girls along with the NASCAR crowd. Unfortunately that’s what sells. Most independent music, for lack of a better term, is to underground and makes folks have to think. If you don’t have to think about music, then it sucks, hence why most of the metro area doesn’t want to support music they have to think about.

How do you feel like your website is educating Richmonders?

I’m about as much of a “music educator” as I am a frozen yogurt shop owner in Carytown.


Andrew Cothern
RVA Playlist

I've been blogging about music since 2006. I had a couple of different sites where I wrote about all sorts of random music I was listening to and wanted to share with others — mainly artists from the U.K. that nobody ever heard of. I had been introduced to local bands such as Jonathan Vassar and the Speckled Bird, At the Stars and Marionette and loved their music. I kept asking myself, "Why doesn't anyone else know about these groups?"

Music bloggers are in the thick of the music news, using calendar listings, artist websites, social media, other blogs and word of mouth to get information. We can post frequently without hesitation, editorial restrictions or schedules. Now I'm frequently contacted first by certain artists or promoters who know of the site and often post exclusive things such as new tracks by Hoax Hunters, or breaking Black Girls' big news that they're going on tour with the Head and the Heart.

My most popular post? That would have to be a simple picture of Rand Burgess, owner of The Camel, getting arrested for fighting the parking restrictions on Broad Street, which in turn ignited a firestorm of support in the music community.

Music blogs often are promoters and cheerleaders for the music scene and I'm no different. But we also aren't afraid to voice our opinions. Many times I've criticized the city's noise ordinance, cops' cracking down on music shows or my dislike for a certain festival's season lineup. I wrote a scathing post a few years back about how much I hated Friday Cheers. That post, eloquently titled "Why Friday Cheers Sucks," made its way to the manager of the series (whoops). I had to do some apologizing, but I stood by the reasoning of my post. I later learned that the festival manager took a closer look at the music he was bringing and the way the event ran. Friday Cheers is now one of my favorite concert series. That post was feedback that a mainstream media source wouldn't necessarily do.


Other Notable Local Music Blogs

Tony Jordan's blog Handful of Brains has been supporting music in Richmond since 2000.

While the print version of the Richmond Music Journal ended in 2005, Mariane Matera keeps the online version up to date with news and concert listings.

The Richmond Scene, created by musician Chris Payne, is a social network site where members can post songs and show information while connecting with other artists.

Musician Davy Jones writes You Hear That, where he documents his latest Richmond and national discoveries.

The Horn RVA is a Virginia Commonwealth University student-run website that provides concert and album reviews, artist interviews and photography.

Add a comment