There's a lot going on this weekend and even better the weather forecast looks great with 60s and 70s and only a little rain on Saturday morning.
Here's 35 local events you can enjoy at Virginia Tech, in Blacksburg and throughout the New River Valley: 1. Pink Moon Peach Milkshake IPA Release Moon Hollow Brewing, Blacksburg Friday, March 24, 2023, 3:00 - 10:00 PM Admission is free. Beer and food are regular price.
Moon Hollow Brewing presents the Pink Moon Peach Milkshake IPA Release in support of the local Pink Boots Society. This year’s blend contains Loral, Eukanot and HBC 586. A heaping dose of lactose, peach purée and vanilla bean also help create a rich and delicious brew. $1.00 from each pint is donated the Pink Boots Society Blue Ridge Virginia Chapter. This helps the chapter continue to put on educational, community enriching events. The Pink Boots Society aims to assist, inspire and encourage women and non-binary individuals in the fermented/alcoholic beverage industry to advance their careers through education. Food will be available for purchase from Countryman Jamaican Grill. Link: http://www.nextthreedays.com/FeaturedEventDetails.cfm?E=685855 2. Root Down in Concert Rising Silo Farm Brewery, Blacksburg Friday, March 24, 2023, 6:00 - 9:00 PM Admission: Free
Root Down is a jazz trio based in the New River Valley. Link: http://www.nextthreedays.com/FeaturedEventDetails.cfm?E=684803 3. College Softball: Chattanooga vs. Virginia Tech Tech Softball Park, Virginia Tech Friday, March 24, 2023, 6:00 - 8:00 PM, Saturday, March 25, 2023, 12:00 PM and 2:00 PM (Doubleheader) Admission: Free
Watch the Virginia Tech Softball team compete against non-conference opponent the University of Tennessee Chattanooga in a three game series. No tickets are required for Hokie Softball games. Parking is available behind the outfield at Tech Softball Park and enter along the right field side of the stadium. Stands open one hour prior to the start of the game. Link: http://www.nextthreedays.com/FeaturedEventDetails.cfm?E=685859 4. Music Theatre: "Book of Mountains and Seas" Moss Arts Center at Virginia Tech, Blacksburg Friday, March 24, 2023, 7:30 - 9:00 PM Adult Tickets (based on seat location): $25.00 - $55.00 Virginia Tech Students with ID and Youth 18 & Under: $10.00
A daring new music theatre work by composer Huang Ruo and puppeteer, designer, and director Basil Twist, "Book of Mountains and Seas" is a modern take on ancient Chinese creation myths that are relevant to our current climate change struggle, featuring the chorus of Ars Nova Copenhagen alongside massive puppets and striking lanterns. The work is sung in Mandarin with English supertitles. Book of Mountains and Seas is inspired by the ancient Chinese compilation of early myths of the same title, which was first transcribed in 4th-century B.C. Book of Mountains and Seas is a 21st-century adaptation and expansion of four of these tales. The work contains timeless codes about the universe, creation, planet, nature, life, human ambition and fate, the relationship and interaction between mankind and the planet. Link: http://www.nextthreedays.com/FeaturedEventDetails.cfm?E=678174 5. Will Easter & The Nomads in Concert Dogtown Roadhouse, Floyd Friday, March 24, 2023, 8:00 - 11:00 PM Admission: $8.00
Will Easter has one of those voices that is like a home-cooked meal for the soul. Will has the cool throwback rock edge of Tom Petty with the modern folk-Americana appeal of the Avett Brothers, but with something hard to put your finger on that could only be born out of the shadows and peaks of the North Carolina mountains. One iteration through a chorus and you’ll find yourself humming along, by the second time around you’ll be singing out loud, ready to hit the repeat button. Link: http://www.nextthreedays.com/FeaturedEventDetails.cfm?E=684795 6. Juxtaposition A Cappella Spring 2023 Concert: Time For A Hoedown Haymarket Theater (Squires Student Center), Virginia Tech Friday, March 24, 2023, 8:00 - 9:30 PM Virginia Tech Students: At the Door: $7.00 Non-Students: $10.00
Juxtaposition A Cappella presents their Spring 2023 Concert titled "Time For A Hoedown". Juxtaposition will be performing seven new songs including their entire ICCA set. Juxtaposition is an all-male Virginia Tech A Capella group that was established in 1994 and has since produced seven albums and been awarded numerous awards and honors. They enjoy performing their wide repertoire of 70's, 80's, 90's and current hits. Link: http://www.nextthreedays.com/FeaturedEventDetails.cfm?E=685879 7. 2023 Ramp N Roads Eastern Elementary/Middle School, Pembroke Saturday, March 25, 2023, 8:30 AM - 12:30 PM Admission: Free
Renew the New presents the 2023 Ramp N Roads where volunteers will be cleaning up litter from highways and byways, boat ramps, and river & stream access points. Be prepared to pick up litter off road in ditches and over the banks. Each volunteer will be assigned a team who will be led by captain when they arrive at Eastern Elementary/Middle School. These captains will lead the on-site clean up and will provide any needed safety instructions. There will be no buses running this year. Each volunteer will take their own car or carpool and convoy to one of the planned cleanup areas. There you will be given gloves and bags to use. Each volunteer is asked to return to Eastern Elementary at noon where they will receive pizza for a to-go lunch and a t-shirt. Volunteers need to sign up in advance. This is a rain or shine event however pick up along roadways will be suspended during active rain if it happens. ReNew The New is a volunteer organization committed to stewardship of the of the New River flowing through Southwest Virginia. Link: http://www.nextthreedays.com/FeaturedEventDetails.cfm?E=685871 8. Yoga On Tap with Blacksburg Yoga Collective Rising Silo Farm Brewery, Blacksburg Saturday, March 25, 2023, 9:30 - 10:45 AM Suggested donation of $15.00-$20.00.
The Blacksburg Yoga Collective presents Yoga On Tap with an energizing and uplifting flow. Flow with Blacksburg Yoga Collective in the beautiful settings of the Rising Silo Saturdays. These Kundalini-inspired, donation-based Yoga and meditation sessions focus on therapeutic movements and various breathing techniques aimed toward collective wellness. Meditate, chant, and move together to ease stress, manifest positivity, and improve our awareness and focus. Admission includes the class and a post-yoga non-alcoholic beverage from the brewery. Link: http://www.nextthreedays.com/FeaturedEventDetails.cfm?E=685840 9. 2023 Warm Hearth Village Arts & Crafts Fair Warm Hearth Village Center, Blacksburg Saturday, March 25, 2023, 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM Admission: Free
If you love unique, beautiful, locally handcrafted gifts and art, then attend the 2nd Annual Warm Hearth Village Arts & Crafts Fair. The show will feature high-quality artisanal goods from both artists on our campus and throughout the New River Valley. Handmade items for sale will include pottery, woodworking, home goods, accessories, soaps, candles & more. The Huckleberry Cafe will be open for grab-n-go refreshments. Link: http://www.nextthreedays.com/FeaturedEventDetails.cfm?E=683666 10. Free Wine Tasting Vintage Cellar, Blacksburg Saturday, March 25, 2023, 11:00 AM - 4:00 PM Admission: Free
Vintage Cellar presents Free Wine Tasting every Saturday from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Join them for a decadent wine tasting at our free wine tasting. They will teach you all about the regions and grapes from the wines as you taste. After the tasing, grab a bottle or glass and enjoy it with some food from their kitchen. Must be 21 or older to participate. IDs required. Link: http://www.nextthreedays.com/FeaturedEventDetails.cfm?E=685724 11. Open Virginia Tech Football Practice Lane Stadium, Blacksburg Saturday, March 25, 2023, 11:45 AM - 1:00 PM Admission: Free
Fans are invited to attend the open practice to get an early look at how the Hokie's 2023 football squad is shaping up. Gate 6 will open up at 11:45 AM for fans to enter. Note: It is prohibited for fans to take photos and videos when the Hokies are on the field. Link: http://www.nextthreedays.com/FeaturedEventDetails.cfm?E=685711 12. 2023 Beliveau Bridal Expo Beliveau Farm Winery, Blacksburg Saturday, March 25, 2023, 12:00 - 4:00 PM Admission: Free
Bring your friends and family and visit with the area's leading wedding professionals on display to plan your perfect wedding in an elegant venue. Wedding vendors such as florists, musicians, photographers, bakeries and more will set up in our Great Hall to talk to you about their services. This is a great opportunity to meet many of the vendors in one afternoon. Food and wine will be available to purchase throughout the entire event. Link: http://www.nextthreedays.com/FeaturedEventDetails.cfm?E=684117 13. Women's Lacrosse: Boston College vs. Virginia Tech Thompson Field, Virginia Tech Saturday, March 25, 2023, 12:00 - 2:00 PM Admission: Free
Watch the Virginia Tech Women's Lacrosse compete against ACC conference opponent and #7 ranked Boston College. Link: http://www.nextthreedays.com/FeaturedEventDetails.cfm?E=684297 14. Program: Vegetable Gardening Meadowbrook Public Library, Shawsville Saturday, March 25, 2023, 1:00 - 2:00 PM Admission: Free
Want to grow your own vegetables, but aren’t sure where to start? Join Dr. Emma Patterson, VCE Volunteer Master Gardener, to find out more about planning a vegetable garden, caring for it, and keeping it going through year’s end. Free seeds and soil testing kits will be provided. For ages 12 and up. Link: http://www.nextthreedays.com/FeaturedEventDetails.cfm?E=685348 15. 2023 Oyster Dinner Drive-Thru Riner Volunteer Fire Department, Riner Saturday, March 25, 2023, 2:00 - 6:00 PM Admission: $15.00
The Riner Volunteer Fire Department presents their Annual Oyster Dinner Drive-Thru featuring fried oysters, baked beans, slaw and dessert. Tickets can be purchased in advanced at Eagle Express, Riner Food Center and Village Barber Shop. Link: http://www.nextthreedays.com/FeaturedEventDetails.cfm?E=685387 16. Delta Chi's Into the Wild Benefit Concert featuring Audio Fever and The Red Ferns The Milk Parlor, Blacksburg Saturday, March 25, 2023, 2:00 - 5:00 PM Ages 21 & Over: $9.00, Ages 20 & Under: $12.00
The Delta Chi Fraternity at Virginia Tech presents their Into the Wild Benefit Concert featuring music from Audio Fever and The Red Ferns. Proceeds from ticket sales will go towards the V Foundation for Cancer Research. The Red Ferns is a groovy guitar band based in Blacksburg and Audio Fever is a Blacksburg based band as well. Link: http://www.nextthreedays.com/FeaturedEventDetails.cfm?E=685882 17. March Flashlight Tour St. Albans, Radford Saturday, March 25, 2023, 5:30 - 7:30 PM Admission: $15.00
Join St. Abans for their March 2023 Flashlight Tour which includes a little history and paranormal in one. This is a guided tour. Take a walk through the dark halls of St. Albans Sanatorium and join them for a flashlight tour of the building. Hear all the chilling tales of what paranormal investigators, and the public, have encountered within these 120 year old walls. A little bit of history, a little bit of paranormal. Tickets are available online in advance and will be sold at the door provided tickets are still available. Comfortable shoes and a flashlight are recommended as there will be lots of walking and many dark areas. Dress accordingly as the building is not climate controlled. You must be 18 years of age (16 if accompanied by a parent or legal guardian). Link: http://www.nextthreedays.com/FeaturedEventDetails.cfm?E=685883 18. March's Beans and Banjos (Final Event) Meadowbrook Public Library, Shawsville Saturday, March 25, 2023, 6:00 - 8:00 PM Admission: $5.00 requested donation
The Shawsville Ruritans and The LINC Letter presents March's Beans and Banjos and the final event of this series. Nothing lasts forever, not even Beans and Banjos. March's Beans and Banjos will be the last. Instead of having a couple of bands the organizers are inviting everyone who's ever played or sung at Beans and Banjos to come out and jam to play Beans and Banjos out in style. Beans and Banjos has been going for at least 14 years. Enjoy a dinner of beans, cornbread and desserts. Organizers ask for a donation of at least $5.00 to help keep the LINC Letter publishing. The LINC Letter is the non-profit community newsletter for Eastern Montgomery and is distributed to residents of Alleghany, Elliston, Ironto, Lafayette and Shawsville, Virginia. Link: http://www.nextthreedays.com/FeaturedEventDetails.cfm?E=685325 19. Amelia Empson in Concert Rising Silo Farm Brewery, Blacksburg Saturday, March 25, 2023, 6:00 - 9:00 PM Admission: Free
Amelia Empson plays a variety of Indie-Folk and Americana covers and originals from the Appalachian Mountains with talent far beyond her years. Link: http://www.nextthreedays.com/FeaturedEventDetails.cfm?E=684804 20. Salsa Night 2023 Beliveau Farm Winery, Blacksburg Saturday, March 25, 2023, 7:00 - 11:00 PM Advance Tickets: $12.00, At the Door: $15.00
Join Beliveau Farm Winery for a dancing experience with your loved one, group of friends, or come single; you are bound to have a good time no matter what. Lessons begin at 7:00 PM and the event lasts until 11:00 PM. Link: http://www.nextthreedays.com/FeaturedEventDetails.cfm?E=685126 21. 2023 March of Ales Mardi Gras Celebration German Club Manor, Virginia Tech Saturday, March 25, 2023, 7:00 PM - 12:00 AM Admission: $50.00
The Blacksburg Junior Women's Club (BJWC) presents the 2023 March of Ales Mardi Gras Celebration featuring unique beers for tasting, along with wine and a signature cocktail. Coffee, water, lemonade, hors d’oeuvres and desserts will also be available. Guests will enjoy entertainment by a DJ, dancing, and a live and silent auction. The auctions feature an extraordinary variety of items donated by local businesses and individuals. At the end of the evening, discounted Uber service will be available to guests. Tickets will be available for purchase at the door if the event is not sold out in advance. All money raised at March of Ales is used to fund service projects and donations throughout the year. The funds have benefitted groups and causes such as Special Olympics, Salvation Army, Ronald McDonald House, Montgomery County Christmas Store and many others. Link: http://www.nextthreedays.com/FeaturedEventDetails.cfm?E=685695 22. WUVT's Jazz Night with Copy Cat Syndrome and Yung LZRD Odd Fellows Building Lodge #20 (Wilson Avenue), Blacksburg Saturday, March 25, 2023, 7:00 - 10:00 PM Admission: $6.00
Join WUVT for a night filled with the sweetest jazz melodies provided by Copy Cat Syndrome and Yung LZRD. Copy Cat Syndrome is a fusion trio performing jazz based in Blacksburg, VA. LZRD is a jazz band from Blacksburg, VA. Entrance to this event is ticket only (sold online) with a maximum of 50 being sold. Doors open at 6:00 PM and the music starts at 7:00 PM. WUVT-FM 90.7 Blacksburg is the New River Valley's only source for independent, alternative programming. Link: http://www.nextthreedays.com/FeaturedEventDetails.cfm?E=685887 23. TechNotes Spring 2023 Concert: TechNotes Lightnin’: Feeling the 50s Haymarket Theater (Squires Student Center), Virginia Tech Saturday, March 25, 2023, 7:00 - 8:30 PM Advance Tickets: $5.00, At the Door: $7.00
TechNotes presents their Spring 2023 Concert titled "TechNotes Lightnin’: Feeling the 50s". Enjoy a night full of new songs and old TechNotes favorites and chances to win epic raffle prizes. TechNotes is a co-ed A Cappella group at Virginia Tech that performs at various events throughout the year. TechNotes was founded in 2010. Link: http://www.nextthreedays.com/FeaturedEventDetails.cfm?E=685878 24. Caroline Owens & Company in Concert Floyd Country Store, Floyd Saturday, March 25, 2023, 7:00 - 10:00 PM General Admission: $15.00, Reserved Seating: $20.00
Caroline Owens is a 2X IBMA nominated Bluegrass and Gospel artist. She has performed alongside many of her heroes such as Alison Krauss, Suzanne Cox, The Isaacs, Larry Gatlin, Darin & Brooke Aldridge, Lorraine Jordan and many others. And, has made quite a name for herself in the North Carolina bluegrass community. Link: http://www.nextthreedays.com/FeaturedEventDetails.cfm?E=685713 25. Hoppie Vaughan & The Ministers of Soul in Concert The Floyd Center for the Arts, Floyd Saturday, March 25, 2023, 7:30 - 9:30 PM General Public: $15.00, Students: $10.00
Don't miss your chance to see the long awaited return of Hoppie Vaughan & The Ministers of Soul. It will be a fun, funky night of soul. The diversely talented Hoppie Vaughan is all about the soul! He is a blue eyed soul singer, song writer, guitar and bass player. Besides performing solo, he is the front man for Hoppie Vaughan and the Ministers of Soul based out of Roanoke, VA performing classic soul, R&B, blues and funk. Link: http://www.nextthreedays.com/FeaturedEventDetails.cfm?E=685712 26. Three Band Concert with Kenny Vaughan, Sullivan Smith & Stray Lions and Friend of the Three Southpaw Cafe & Community Space, Blacksburg Saturday, March 25, 2023, 7:30 - 10:00 PM Admission: $5.00
Southpaw Cafe & Community Space presents a Three Band Concert with Kenny Vaughan, Sullivan Smith & Stray Lions and Friend of the Three. Friend of the Three is a band based in Virginia that performs adult alternative, pop and rock. Link: http://www.nextthreedays.com/FeaturedEventDetails.cfm?E=685881 27. Stand-Up Comedy Show Lost In Taste, Christiansburg Saturday, March 25, 2023, 10:00 PM - TBD Admission: $7.00
The Cosmic Comedy Club returns with performances by comedians Sage Delong, Derek Budd, Julia Goyer, Tony Rodriguez, Jermaine Callando and hosted by Andrew Gustafson. Recommended for ages 18 & up. Link: http://www.nextthreedays.com/FeaturedEventDetails.cfm?E=685853 28. 2023 Hot Diggity Dog Day (Fun for Your Dog) Beliveau Farm Winery, Blacksburg Sunday, March 26, 2023, 12:00 - 6:00 PM Admission: Free
Bring your pup and come have a day at Beliveau Farm Winery annual canine event. There's 165 acres of dog fun for your furrr-ever friend to explore and relax. Fresh air, dog parade, lots of outdoor space. Beliveau will have food and drinks for purchase throughout the day. With every hot-dog sold, they are donating 20% of our proceeds to the Montgomery County Humane Society. Link: http://www.nextthreedays.com/FeaturedEventDetails.cfm?E=685322 29. Community Quilting Bee: Rotary Cutting Fabric Blacksburg Library, Blacksburg Sunday, March 26, 2023, 1:00 - 3:00 PM Admission: Free
Blacksburg Library presents their monthly Community Quilting Bee with the the topic "Rotary Cutting Fabric". This month atteneeds will learn how to use a rotary cutter and ruler to make accurate fabric pieces. Everyone is welcome including beginners. Link: http://www.nextthreedays.com/FeaturedEventDetails.cfm?E=685349 30. Book Club: The Winemaker Blacksburg Wine Lab, Blacksburg Sunday, March 26, 2023, 1:00 - 3:00 PM Admission: $40.00
Join the Blacksburg Wine Lab for the Wine Lab Book Club tasting & discussing featuring "The Winemaker" by Noah Gordon. About The Winemaker: Josep Alvarez is a young man in the tiny grape-growing village of Santa Eulália, in northern Spain, where his father grows black grapes that are turned into cheap vinegar. Joseph loves the agricultural life, but he is the second son, and his father’s vineyard will be inherited by his brother Donat, the firstborn. He yearns for a job growing grapes and for an opportunity to marry Teresa Gallego. In Madrid, an assassination plot, conceived against the political leader of Spain by men of wealth and power, creates a storm of intrigue that sucks into its vortex a group of innocent young farm workers in Santa Eulália. How Josep’s life is changed drastically by these events, and how, ironically, they gradually turn him into an inspired vintner with an evolving vision of life, is the fascinating story of "The Winemaker". During the Book Club, enjoy four fantastic Spanish wines to taste. Chef Bryan will create a pairing board of house–made Spanish tapas, cheese and charcuterie to accompany the tasting. Reservations required. Link: http://www.nextthreedays.com/FeaturedEventDetails.cfm?E=685385 31. Willard Gayheart and Ricky Cox performing "Old Favorite Songs of the Blue Ridge" Floyd United Methodist Church, Floyd Sunday, March 26, 2023, 2:30 - 3:30 PM Admission: Free
The Floyd County Historical Society presents an encore performance of Willard Gayheart and Ricky Cox performing "Old Favorite Songs of the Blue Ridge. Ricky Cox’s friendship with Willard Gayheart also goes back 35 years. This shows in the programs they present together, harmonizing and appreciating one another’s contributions as they delight their audiences. Willard is a pencil artist from Southwest Virginia. He is originally from Eastern Kentucky, working mostly from the theme "Nostalgic Glimpses of the Appalachians". His works are positive images of Appalachian Culture, presenting the region as a place alive with interesting personalities. Besides his artistic talent with the pencil, Willard is also an accomplished bluegrass musician having played as a member of the bluegrass band The Highlanders. Ricky Cox has been entertaining and educating many of us for decades. Throughout his teaching career at Radford University he shared the history and culture of our region through his music and writing, earning a number of special recognitions along the way. Ricky contributed his photographic talents to the second of two books featuring Willard Gayheart’s drawings. Note: The event was originally scheduled for Sunday, March 12th, but had to be postponed due to inclement weather. Link: http://www.nextthreedays.com/FeaturedEventDetails.cfm?E=685328 32. Blacksburg Community Band Spring Concert Blacksburg High School Auditorium, Blacksburg Sunday, March 26, 2023, 3:00 - 4:00 PM Admission: Free
The Blacksburg Community Band presents their Spring Concert conducted by David McKee and Associate Conductor, Dean Chiapetto. Christiansburg High School's band director, David Miller, will be guest conducting. Jefferson Ritchie will solo on trombone. The Blacksburg Community Band, Inc. is an all-volunteer community organization formed in 1989 under the auspices of the Department of Parks and Recreation in the Town of Blacksburg. The ensemble is open to individuals of all ages and ability levels from the New River Valley and surrounding areas. Link: http://www.nextthreedays.com/FeaturedEventDetails.cfm?E=685314 33. Helping Hands Fundraiser with Spaghetti Dinner and Live Music Belview United Methodist Church, Radford Sunday, March 26, 2023, 4:30 - 7:30 PM Donations Appreciated
Join Belview United Methodist Church for some fun and great fellowship all while helping support a wonderful mission. Help them fund their Helping Hands Pantry by enjoying a spaghetti dinner starting at 4:30 PM, silent auction, raffle and live music from Eddie & Sherry Richards and Spoken For beginning at 6 PM. Belview's Helping Hands Pantry supplies clothes, personal care items, cleaning items and household items to those in need in Montgomery County, Radford, Dublin, Giles County and Pulaski and other surrounding areas. The Silent Auction starts at 1:30 PM and ends at 7:30 PM with over 40 items to bid on. There are over $2,000 in prizes for the raffle. Raffle tickets are $5.00 each, $10.00 for three or $20.00 for seven. Donate a pack of diapers, pull-ups or Depends and get three free raffle tickets on the day of the event. Link: http://www.nextthreedays.com/FeaturedEventDetails.cfm?E=685880 34. Indian Run Stringband in Concert Palisades Restaurant, Eggleston Sunday, March 26, 2023, 5:00 - 7:30 PM Admission: Free
The Indian Run Stringband from Blacksburg, VA plays fiddle and banjo foot stomping dance tunes and sings traditional songs with old time harmonies perfect for dancing the two step. From dance tunes to the blues, the Indian Run Stringband plays with love and abandon. They make old-time music fresh and new. Link: http://www.nextthreedays.com/FeaturedEventDetails.cfm?E=685310 35. Virginia Tech Percussion Ensemble in Concert with Guest Artist Michael Burritt Moss Arts Center at Virginia Tech, Blacksburg Sunday, March 26, 2023, 6:00 - 7:30 PM General Public: $15.00, Seniors: $12.00, Students & Youth: $10.00
The Virginia Tech Percussion Ensemble, under the direction of Annie Stevens, performs a concert with guest artist Michael Burritt who is one of his generation’s leading percussionists. He is in frequent demand, performing concert tours and master classes throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, Australia and Canada. He has been soloist with the United States Air Force Band, Dallas Wind Symphony, Omaha Symphony, Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, Richmond Symphony Orchestra, Ju Percussion Group (Taiwan), Percussion Art Quartet (Germany) and the Amores Percussion Group (Spain). Link: http://www.nextthreedays.com/FeaturedEventDetails.cfm?E=685872
Have a great weekend and thanks for reading!
Hello! If this isn't the proper place to put this, by all means take it down.
I went into the NYC flagship store in Soho earlier this week and it was such a terrible, humiliating experience. First the security guard accused me of stuffing an item into my jacket, and after he found nothing I went to try some items on and the dressing room attendant proceeded to take the items out of my hands and say "None of this would fit you, you need to leave." I'm 5'0 and 108 pounds and have been shopping there for years.
Do y’all know if they have these at the lafayette st loc or maybe Brooklyn? mfs never in stock online, wanna make sure they have it on-hand when I visit next weekend!
I’ve been thinking about popular music from around the turn of the century that represented stylistic departures from modern pop/rock sounds towards either older forms (crooning, faux-opera, neoclassical, Americana,) or something just on the edge of popular tastes (pop-country, new age, folk, world music [but mainly like, just Europe, especially Ireland, as “the world,”]) and which was usually expressly sentimental in tone to the point of mawkishness.
Some examples of the kind of things I’m thinking of are “Butterfly Kisses,”
Josh Groban, Jamie Collum, Andrea Bocelli, Celine Dion, Katherine Jenkins, Il Divo, whoever did the music for Riverdance, Charlotte Church, Patrizio Buanne, “I Hope You Dance,” “In The Arms Of An Angel,” Norah Jones, Michael Buble, anyone who put on a fedora and did a “Great American Songbook” album… it is a vague, loose category so you may cast a bigger or smaller net, but wasn’t this stuff a somewhat holistic trend, or almost a genre?
Now I’m aware this music is almost viscerally unpleasant to a lot of music lovers and is just really not cool… you hear things like, it’s the music that people who don’t listen to music like. Much of it is music that I’d imagine is a fixture of any of Delilah’s broadcasts. I’d not be surprised if any of these people had lucrative licenses back in the day with Beanie Babies or Precious Moments or even spawned their own inspirational self-help books
. A lot of it is music you could have bought at Starbucks or Bath And Body Works, and now you can find it piled up at every thrift store, right there, between the stack of Veggietales tapes and Doodletown Pipers LPS. These artists almost certainly have as many Christmas albums as they have regular albums. Simon Cowell likes this music. Critically, kitsch is traditionally understood as essentially something like low culture - the word itself means “trash” - pretending to be high culture by imitating well-established, traditional forms of the past, synthesized into an easily accessible, unchallenging package. But still, I’m interested in it. Why did it get popular? Did it signal other changes in culture?
I’m not saying kitschy music is anything new, nor was it unique that it became a mainstream trend - of course you could say this happened with new age after Chant and Enigma and Enya and Yanni and all that Pure Moods fodder hit the pop charts in the early 90s for instance, or you might point to moments where weather channel jazz has produced a few crossover pop hits and influenced the sound of adult contemporary in a general way, David Sanborn or Dave Koz or Candy Dulfer or Kenny G. But in the y2k era it was like the floodgates were opened. When it emerged, this phenomenon was not focused on one particular style, but rather on a whole array of typically schmaltzy music of a variety of styles that mostly seemed to reject modern pop/rock styles in general - and on maudlin sentimentality, on gloppy orchestration, on tin whistles, on obligatory key changes, on operatic vocals, on cheap facsimiles of “tradition.” And my impression is that the scale of popularity was bigger and lasted longer than anything equivalent.
One factor I can think of to explain this trend might be economics and the market for music. This was emerging when the music industry was seeing its highest profit margins ever. People were buying a ton of cds in the late 90s and even if there were no other reason, a rising tide lifts all ships… but maybe besides that, labels were also marketing this stuff better and producers were seeking pop crossover material more and trying to max out everything and the strategy maybe worked.
Another factor is, while this trend started in the late 90s, (I’d trace it to 1996, possibly beginning with the massive popularity of Titanic and “My Heart Will Go On,”) it seemed to me like it served another set of purposes post 9-11. Maybe there was something reassuring in the wholesomeness or the soft, vague religiosity of this stuff. Besides that, there was a sort of self-help book/motivational speaker vogue developing in the mid-90s and the inspirational earnestness and saccharine sweetness (and, either post-new age or sub-CCM elements in some cases) do fit in snugly within that realm. And this was the moment of Beanie Babies and Chicken Soup For The Soul and Thomas Kincaid, and then later as American Idol and other light entertainment shows emerged, as well as stuff like Riverdance taking off, this kind of music continued to serve as a backdrop and reflected whatever all that was about.
There was also a lot of energy put into trying to make country crossover work at the time, and the easiest strategy was probably to get a country singer to do a pro-written, pop-radio-friendly ballad. I think these were styled to be as inoffensive as possible, which maybe kinda backfired in some ways or at least just makes them read as a bit calculated.
It could also be a response to the irony we heard so much about in the early 90s - something of a backlash to the “I’m a Loser” and “I’m a Creep” anthems and the growing mainstream popularity of heavier bands like Metallica at the time, which redefined the perception of mainstream rock in ways that I’m sure didn’t sit right with some. Grunge and metal were a bridge too far for people who previously might have thought White Lion was on the edge.
PBS probably also helped substantially with some of this music reaching the public. Yanni and John Tesh and the Three Tenors were popularized by PBS pledge drives in the early 90s and maybe it’s telling that the network kept Lawrence Welk around for decades. The massive popularity of some things is a bit invisible in the culture around music, and i think this effect is more apparent comparing the US to the UK for instance, where, correct me if I’m wrong, but my perception is that light entertainment and novelties seem to have had a greater visibility and propensity to chart into the 70s and beyond. But PBS, i suppose being an analog for the BBC, would promote “culture” programming and light entertainment while other media outlets wouldn’t, and it turns out given a chance there’s a huge audience for Yanni. Yanni made that Live At The Acropolis video himself hoping it would work on PBS and he was right, and then John Tesh did one and that worked too and these kind of things just became part of PBS and eventually we got Riverdance and Celtic Woman and Andre Rieu and so on. So some of these aesthetic devices - new age, pop opera, Irish music, etc - were maybe part of the unfolding legacy of Yanni at the Acropolis and the relevance of PBS pledge drive telethons.
I also view a lot of this music in terms of the legacy of the power ballad. I think power ballads came to be strongly associated with hair metal by the early 90s which over-saturated the airwaves with them. As hair metal collapsed and darker, heavier music typified the profile of rock music, there was a niche left open for positive, inspirational ballads… and this is some of the music which emerged to fill in that void, bypassing the established rock-oriented ballad and its aesthetic devices and returning instead to the form’s origins in the music of Barry Manilow. There’s a huge audience for power ballads, because they express universal themes in a gratuitous, fantastical way, where the goal is to stir our emotions. Maybe there was a backlash to hair metal similar to the “disco sucks” era, and with the power ballad being so integral to the form and it’s marketing, the rock power ballad itself was a casualty. But I think it re-emerged in softer forms in y2k era kitsch.
So what did you make of this stuff if you were around back then? Did you lump it all together? Does it have a legacy?