From left: Mark Hutcherson, Josie Davis and Michael Harl of Canary Oh Canary Photos by Isaac Harrell
Recognize that singer up on stage? He served you drinks last weekend. And the bassist? She did your taxes. Richmond is full of musicians leading double lives, trading their suits and tool belts for guitars and amps after quitting time. Here's our guide to must-see Richmond bands whose members you might just run across in places outside the club. But please, no autographs.
Don't let the name fool you; Black Girls is a band of incredibly white dudes who are known and loved for their sailing harmonies and exuberant live shows. Calling their music "snuff rock" (as in the tobacco product, not the film genre), Black Girls weave in bits of psychedelia, soul, Southern rock and surf music on a pair of albums, Black Girls and Hell Dragon.
Where they play: Black Girls perform on average once a month at places like the Camel and Balliceaux.
Where they work: Look for them at Sam Ash, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and in the kitchen at Balliceaux.
Keep in touch: blackgirlsband.com
Canary Oh Canary
Canary Oh Canary has been together for two years, holding enraptured audiences in their thrall. Fans of post-punk, shoewave and surf, prepare to be mesmerized.
Where they play: The band has two to three local shows a month at places like Gallery5, Strange Matter, The Camel, Commercial Taphouse, The National and Balliceaux.
Where they work: You can find the gentlemen of Canary Oh Canary serving up coffee at Globehopper, working on their line of "Dang! That's Hot" hot sauces, and hawking books and movies at Chop Suey and Video Fan.
Keep in touch: canaryohcanary.bandcamp.com
On its Twitter profile, Dead Fame poses the question, "Would you mark yourself to show your devotion?" But don't worry — tattoos aren't required. Most fans of the band's darkly romantic post-punk and new wave show their devotion on the dance floor.
Where they play: Balliceaux, Strange Matter, The Camel, Gallery5 and Fallout, once or twice a month.
Where they work: The members of Dead Fame split their time being one of the most provocative acts in town with carpentry, insurance underwriting, teaching English and Web design.
Keep in touch: deadfame.com
If you like your music raw and ragged, with tangles of guitars and stomping drums, direct your ears to Horsehead. This band of veteran musicians specializes in American rock ‘n' roll built on hooks, harmony and heart.
Where they play: You can catch Horsehead performing once a month at places like The Camel, The National and Firehouse Theatre Project. Look for singer/guitarist Jon Brown and guitarist Kevin Wade Inge playing stripped-down versions of their songs under the moniker The Dimmer Twins.
Where they work: Offstage, the members of Horsehead can be found doing accounting work for an online computer retailer, putting in hours at Comcast, selling and appraising real estate, and tending bar.
Keep in touch: horseheadmusic.com
Quirk, thy name is Goldrush. This Brit-pop outfit blends classical sensibilities (via a violinist) with The Beatles' musicality. Its cheerful, layered rockers are unabashedly nerdy and unequivocally fun.
Where they play: Goldrush likes to mix it up by rotating its monthly appearances at The Camel, VMFA and Gallery5, among other venues.
Where they work: Band members clock in at the Richmond Symphony and Virginia Lighting Systems, educate young minds, and do media production.
Keep in touch: goldrushlovesyou.com
Calling its music "spectral pop," White Laces delivers driving rhythms and reverb-drenched guitars that have helped amass fans well beyond Richmond's city limits.
Where they play: Look for them at Strange Matter, Gallery5 and the occasional loft/house party every couple of months.
Where they work: When White Laces isn't playing, you'll find its members hunkered in front of the computer writing, working at Capital One, serving up coffee at Shockoe Espresso and teaching children with autism at The Faison School.
Keep in touch: whitelacesmusic.com