MACRoCk XIV is upon us!

The 14th annual Mid-Atlantic College Radio Conference (MACRoCk) will be occurring in Harrisonburg, VA on April 1 & 2, 2011. This year, MACRoCk will be hosting over 90 bands including Bouncing Souls, Capsule, S. Carey, Screaming Females, Turbo Fruits, Algernon Cadwallader,  Timbre, Super Vacations, Invisible Hand, 1994!, Pulling Teeth, US Christmas, Cannabis Corpse, Inter Arma, Pianos Become the Teeth, The Extraordinaires, Snack Truck, Dangerous Ponies, Snowing, Woe, Withered, Brooke Waggoner, Antlers, Gifts From Enola, Ocoai, Eternal Summers, Gringo Star, Air Waves, Arches, Andrew Cedermark, Sacred Harp, Heavy Cream and Pujol. MACRoCk will also host a variety of panelists speaking on topics such as Local Food, Booking in The Music Industry & Screen Printing.

MACRoCk was first put on by the student volunteers at James Madison University’s student radio station, WXJM, in 1997. Today, MACRoCk is an independently owned and organized organization, and is the largest independent music conference on the East Coast. MACRoCk offers a unique opportunity for bands, industry professionals and fans to interact and connect to support the music they love. With all the shows taking place in independently run and operated downtown music venues, MACRoCk was founded on a belief that corporate sponsorship and big business were not part of what makes music great. Through grassroots organization and an all-volunteer staff, MACRoCk strives to promote independent music, thought, art, business, and culture. This is MACRoCk’s 14th year, and it is going to be better than ever before. For more information about the conference, bands and tickets, please visit the MACRoCk website at

The David Mayfield Parade at Clementine

David Mayfield is the “other” voice and lead guitarist, as well as a contributing songwriter for folk rock favorites Cadillac Sky, whose last album “Letters In The Deep” was produced by Dan Auerbach (Black Keys) but his role as a member of the Texas by way of Nashville quintet is just one of the many musical paths this Grammy-nominated artist has journeyed.

Growing up in Kent, Ohio, David was surrounded by Bluegrass music. At the age of twelve he was playing bass for the family band, traveling from festival to festival, along with his younger sister, noted songstress, Jessica Lea Mayfield, singing and absorbing the stories and lessons taught by road hard veterans, all the while picking up tips on how to play a lick on guitar or mandolin. By the time he was a teenager, Mayfield had won several national awards for his guitar and mandolin playing and his reputation was being forged in the world of Bluegrass as a player to watch out for.

In 2008 when Jessica Lea Mayfield was ready to make her debut record, Blasphemy So Heartfelt, she asked David to play bass on it. He did. And over the next year he would tour as her bassist, and as a newly minted member of Cadillac Sky all while writing and performing his own songs.

On the road with Jessica Lea Mayfield and the Avett Brothers, Scott and Seth took notice of Mayfield’s musicianship and the three quickly developed a friendship, leading them to invite David to sit in with them dozens of times including their 2010 Bonnaroo & Merlefest sets. After urging him more and more to make a record of his own, when he took to the studio the Avett’s were quick to lend their voices.

David Mayfield Parade is the culmination of that encouragement. The album reflects the numerous influences that come from a lifetime of being immersed in American music and channeling its unique forms with sincerity and celebration from the howl of early rock-n-roll, to the low lonesome twang of folk and country with a voice that is all at once heartbreaking and inherently hopeful.

The show at Clementine will start at 9:30PM.
It is $8 in advance and $10 at the door.
Joshua Vana will be opening the show!
This will be an all ages event.

The Kopecky Family Band at Clementine!

The Kopecky Family Band will be returning to Clementine for their second performance tomorrow night (12.11.10). This Nashville, TN based group is composed of all classically trained musicians, specializing in an Orchestrated Folk Rock. They have been creating a lot of buzz throughout the nation with each one of their diverse and unpredictable live shows. Recently, they have showcased NYC’s College Music Journal in October as well as playing Nashville’s Next Big Nashville Festival, receiving critical acclaim with each of their performance’s around the nation. This 7-piece band is sure to deliver an amazing high-energy performance that is sure to leave you in awe! David Bayard Richard will be opening the show with his own Orchestrations range from a Southern Garage Pop to a more diverse and intricate Orchestral Folk. This show will start at 9:30PM and there is a $5 ticket price! Hope you will make it out for this special show! More information here!

Skatan Worshipers #2

Skateboarding on Court Square

Skatan Worshipers is an annual art show that takes place at The Artful Dodger every October right here in Harrisonburg. The main focus of this show is to showcase the aesthetic achievements of skateboard culture. Maybe you caught the exhibit and/or opening last year, maybe you just saw a bunch of people skateboarding downtown on Oct. 2nd and wondered why, well this is why. Continue reading “Skatan Worshipers #2” »

This post was submitted by Paul Somers.

Buy Your Downtown

The Laughing Dog is one of many locally-owned downtown businesses.

I grew up in Harrisonburg in the 60’s and 70’s. At that time there were no malls, cell-phones, Internet, remotes, gangs etc. It was a small town. JMU was for the most part a women’s college. The Cloverleaf shopping center “was” the mall!

Once, at the same time, these stores all existed downtown. They were profitable because the community had no where else to go. They were/are the Virginia theater, the State theater, Grants, McCroys, Woolworth, Klines, Glens, Alfred Neys, Joseph Neys, Charles Fauls, Leggits, Charles Mathias, Jack Collins shoes, A & N, the Arcade, Novelty News, Warrens Cut-Rate, Salts barber-shop, L & S diner, Jesse’s, Va. Ham, Downtown Grill, Julius’s, George’s, Peoples Drug, Hostetters, Western Auto, Schewels, Denton’s, Grand Piano, Advance, Hawkins Hardware, Sears, Sherwin-Williams, Cato’s, and a Singer sewing machine store.

The question remains, what happened? Continue reading “Buy Your Downtown” »

This post was submitted by Jim Purcell.

OCP Lawn Jam Underway

Our Community Place, a downtown nonprofit focused on supporting hungry and homeless people by providing basic needs and community, hosted its 7th annual Lawn Jam today. Complete with food, a live auction, volleyball tournament, balloon toss, and a yard sale, all proceeds support the nonprofit.

A highlight of the event was the “Slowest Bike Race”, featuring a dozen riders trying to be the last to complete a 10 yard distance. Video below:

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Continue reading “OCP Lawn Jam Underway” »

Harrisonburg Hosts Bike Virginia

Press Release from Harrisonburg Tourism

Bike Virginia the Shenandoah Expedition starts its journey in Staunton on Friday June 25, 2010, arriving in Harrisonburg on Monday June 28th. This five day tour takes cyclists through the magnificent country sides of Augusta, Rockingham and Shenandoah Counties.

The economic impact of Bike Virginia in 2005 calculated at 3.1 million dollars for a five day tour. Bike Virginia travels the Commonwealth in cycles (no pun intended).  “Their last ride through Harrisonburg and Rockingham County was in 2004,” reports Tourism Operations Manager, Brenda Black.

The 2,000 Bike Virginia cyclists come in all sizes, shapes, and ages. This is a fun ride, not a race. The tour is designed for recreational touring, not fast pace-line riding. The average age on the tour Continue reading “Harrisonburg Hosts Bike Virginia” »

Water Street Gets Crosswalk


Downtown Water Street was paved earlier this week, and now is getting a crosswalk connecting the sidewalk by Shank’s Bakery and the alley between Beyond and Finnegan’s, an area frequently used by pedestrians.

Note: This post and picture was prepared completely using a smartphone, in this case a Droid using the Android WordPress application.  It is an example of how community news writers might quickly add timely content to the Harrisonburg Times!  If interested, contact

Downtown Company Celebrates 5 Years In Business

Immerge Technologies celebrated its five year anniversary on May 17 – and is celebrating at Earth and Tea Cafe on Thursday June 24 from 5-7pm.   A JMU grad startup company, Immerge has grown into a highly profitable organization, providing web design and custom programming services to hundreds of clients including Harrisonburg Electric Commission and Casterbridge Tours.

Located in the Keezell Building in Downtown Harrisonburg, Immerge has also forged a strong relationship with Continue reading “Downtown Company Celebrates 5 Years In Business” »

This post was submitted by William Roy.

Denise Kanter’s Talent and Vision

Denise Kanter is a local artist and graduate from JMU; her medium is oil and her show is up at The Artful Dodger. To say it is a fine display of talent and vision only leaves me wanting to say more, but I do so with trepidation. I’ll try and explain.

Denise’s stylized oil paintings depict people or beautifully abstracted realities, and sometimes they depict both on the same canvas. Many of her figure paintings in fact seem to be emerging out of some abstract world or emotion. Stirring our curiosity with such subject matter, she further draws us in by the precise execution of her own unique style. Continue reading “Denise Kanter’s Talent and Vision” »

This post was submitted by Paul Somers.

Brandy Somers’ Cut Paper Art

One of the great things about Harrisonburg is the uncommon proliferation of high quality local art work that is easy for people from all walks of life to not only appreciate, but engage with. Local art seems to have been a staple and common place thing in Harrisonburg for some time now. With the First Fridays Downtown going strong for several years now, Harrisonburg’s, and the Valley’s natural beauty is matched by the creations of Harrisonburg’s local artists.

Brandy Somers Artwork at Yellow Button in downtown Harrisonburg

One especially extraordinary show of local art and talent is Brandy Somers’ art show on display at The Yellow Button (at the corner of Bruce and Main St.). Somers’ cut paper creations are colorful displays of common insects such as flies, ladybugs, praying mantises and even a couple spiders, which are technically arachnids.

Somers, an area high school art teacher, said the following about why she chooses this peculiar medium, “I like the challenge of making something look real with only paper. Since I’m an organized person, I like that it’s broken down into several tedious steps. I like that I can do it at home when the kids are sleeping because it allows me to do something I love while still being a good mommy. I love the clean, almost print-like quality it has.”

While her approach is mostly representational, she substitutes the uninspiring colors of the bugs she depicts with wonderfully bright, engaging colors that pop. Some of her bugs are also divided up into panels; the praying mantis is split across three equal sized panels for example. There is a dynamism created by the aesthetic color choices and division of space in her pieces that makes these ordinary insects very unique and interesting.

Brandy Somers' Artwork at Yellow Button

Art does not always have to be something that alienates people or has an unapproachable feel. As Somers’ show at The Yellow Button illustrates it can be quite the opposite: inclusive, inspiring, fun and engaging. Art also need not be unaffordable, and fortunately for Harrisonburg, and especially patrons of The Yellow Button, Somers’ beautiful bugs are actually surprisingly cheap. Original art can range a great deal in price, but rest assured if you fall in love with one of her bugs, it will likely cost under a hundred dollars to take it home.

So if you have not seen this show of bugs yet, you should take a stroll through Downtown Harrisonburg and stop in The Yellow Button before the end of May. You may also be interested in knowing Somers has upcoming shows of more cut paper creations, not bugs but animals, at The Turtles Back in June and Clementine Café in August.

This post was submitted by Paul Somers.

Coop Reaches Goal! Celebration on Friday



May 19, 2010

HARRISONBURG, VA – The Friendly City Food Cooperative announced that it has reached a major milestone in its effort to open a community-owned grocery store in downtown Harrisonburg. On Tuesday, May 17, members of the food co-op passed their goal to raise $600,000 by May 20. This significant accomplishment keeps the co-op on track to begin design and build out of the store.

Owners and supporters of the food co-op invite everyone to celebrate with them this Friday, May 21, from 7:30-9:30 p.m. at the Blue Nile. The final amount raised by the loan campaign will be announced at 8:30 p.m.

The loan campaign had raised only $370,000 when the co-op signed a lease for the building last month. The lease carried a contingency that required the co-op to raise sufficient capital by May 20 to move ahead. With the successful completion of the member-loan campaign, the food co-op now plans to move ahead with final store design and renovations. In addition, candidates for general manager are already being interviewed.

Over the last year, more than 160 member-households loaned the co-op startup money to open and operate the store. The average loan amount was $3,750. As of Tuesday, the food co-op has sold 960 membership shares. “This is a great indicator of our potential for success,” said Ben Sandel, president of the food co-op’s board of directors. “Getting this far shows the community really wants the co-op to come into existence.”

While the Friendly City Food Co-op met its $600,000 loan-campaign goal on Tuesday, additional loans continue to come in from members. “More loans are needed to offset future cash needs,” said Sam Nickels, chair of the member-loan campaign. “The more we raise now, the stronger position we’ll be in as the store builds a foothold in the community.”
The entire community is invited to the Loan Campaign Celebration to share in the excitement, enjoy live music, food, and celebrate the four years of planning, the countless volunteer hours and the many generous loans that made this announcement possible.


All In: Friendly City Food Coop Seeks Last Loans to Open

It sounded ambitious (to an optimist), or crazy (to a lot of others): after four years of planning, fundraising and outreach, the Friendly City Food Coop committed itself to collecting more than $200,000 in member loans and adding a few hundred more member-owners, all within a month.

The coop – a member-owned grocery store that will carry local, natural, organic and fair trade goods – took its biggest step toward reality in mid-April by signing a lease for the old Mick-or-Mack building on East Wolfe Street, between Dollar General and the Post Office.

That lease, however, carried a significant contingency. It required the coop to Continue reading “All In: Friendly City Food Coop Seeks Last Loans to Open” »

This post was submitted by Andrew Jenner.

Launch Party April 16!

The Harrisonburg Times is launching community-driven content beginning April 15 – and that’s reason for celebration! Come to the Harrisonburg Times Launch Party Friday, April 16, 2010 at Clementine.

Join the early contributors and readers to see the Harrisonburg Times launch content, and for a night to discuss local news, learn about the Harrisonburg Times, meet the writers, and meet new friends.

Register for Harrisonburg Times LAUNCH PARTY! in Harrisonburg, VA  on Eventbrite

Limited space available!

LIVE Music by Caleb Einwechter
Cash bar
Food and Snacks
Great Company!

7:30 Arrival & Reception – including LIVE Music and finger foods
8:15 Launch Presentation
8:45-10:00 Socializing

Suggested Door Contribution Goes Towards the Harrisonburg Times: $10