Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009: The Year of Surprises

The lights at the 40 Watt blur to look like musical notes

Wow, can it be over already? But 2009 just started, didn't it? This year has been so incredibly spectacular! I really just can't believe how much has happened. I've gotten to rock out to 83 bands and acts I'd never seen before this year, and that's not to mention the countless other groups that filled my ears with an insatiable desire to hear them again and again. And wait, just think of it... Echoreyn of Athens only just started in April of 2009! That doesn't seem so long ago, but the unbelievable events of the past year say otherwise. This blog has grown so much since then! In fact, I'd say it's time for a little timeline. So here it is!

The Year in Echoreyn of Athens

April 2009: Echoreyn of Athens begins as a humble little blog about my adventures in the Athens music scene.

April 2009: EoA introduces Kristen's Monthly Concert Picks.

June 2009: EoA gets a YouTube channel filled to the brim with show footage.

June 2009: EoA joins Twitter and shares some instant tidbits about the scene. Thanks for following us!

June 2009: Athfest! I cover Athfest like it's my job with a 20 blog blitz of the massive festival.

July 2009: EoA reviews the music venues around town.

September 2009: The Constellations make my night when they rock Tasty World Uptown.

October 2009: Dead Confederate and Meat Puppets join together to blow me away in what may be the greatest show I've ever seen!

October 2009: EoA gets a facebook fan page. Feel free to be a fan!

November 2009: I celebrate my birthday with some of my Echoreyn of Athens pals at an absolutely incredible show with Crumbling Arches and the Ha's Neptica Atlas.

December 2009: Ho Ho Ho... What a Squidmas!

December 2009: New CDs are being released all over the place! It's time for the Echoreview.

Now that is quite something. I'm seriously excited to see what 2010 brings to this little blog!

On a darker note, not all was well in Athens in 2010. I must mention the terribly large number of amazing talents our town has lost this year. Because I am still pretty new to the Athens music scene, I never had the chance to hear or get to know any of these people, but Athens is such a tight knit community that you can't help but feel the profound impact of their loss. They will most definitely be missed. Randy Bewley, Jon Guthrie, Jerry Fuchs, Vic Chesnutt, and so many more... Rest in peace.

But remember, tonight is New Years Eve, and there's no better time to celebrate love, life, and music than the night of fresh starts and new beginnings. And, lucky for us, there are TONS of choices for those of us who want to ring in the new year with style.

Still in Athens? The Constellations will make your night shine at Tasty Wold Uptown with the Incredible Sandwich on the bill as well. In the mood to dance your winter hats off? Krush Girls and DJ Immuzikation will throwdown in Athens' Chase Park Warehouse tonight too. And Deaf Judges will rap it all up at the Caledonia Lounge.

Down in the ATL? Athens' darlings The Modern Skirts and Five Eight will be rockin' Smith's Olde Bar all night. For some hardcore insanity, don't miss the Black Lips' takeover of the EARL (if you can still manage to grab yourself some tickets, that is). Me? I'll be dancing wildly in Underground Atlanta to the tunes of the unspeakably awesome pop rock band Stellate. I can't wait!

Happy New Year, my friends! Check back often in 2010 for journals of rockin' new shows, reviews of brand new CDs, interviews with the most spectacular of bands, awesome concert videos, blogs coming at you multiple times a week, and so much more! See you in 2010.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Dear Santa...

Dear Santa (and Athens),
I know I'm supposed to write and send you a list of things I hope to find under the tree this year, but honestly Athens gave me everything I wanted already! How can I ever thank you enough for 2009, Athens? Thank you for the fans. They've been totally awesome! Thank you for the amazing bands. I never imagined I'd get a shoutout from the stage or links to my blog from some of Athens' finest or the most rockin' birthday party ever. Wow! Oh, and thank you for the music scene in general. It's ever so dynamic. Sometimes it thrives, sometimes it just barely manages to dance its way into our ears, but no matter what, it's a treasure trove of talent and unbelievable experiences!

Santa, all I hope is that you grant the Christmas/Hanukkah/Squidmas/Kwanzaa/Giftmas wishes of all of the citizens of Athens... and the world too, of course!

Much love,
Kristen a.k.a. Echoreyn of Athens

Monday, December 21, 2009

Echoreview: Bambara's Dog Ear Days EP

Cover art for Dog Ear Days by Bambara

You've heard the buzz. As a live band, Bambara's nothing short of breathtaking. You haven't lived until you've seen this band conquer the stage. Now, a year after the release of their self-titled full length debut album, Bambara's ready to share a few more eardrum-pounding tunes with their EP, Dog Ear Days. So, how does it stack up?

The first track, Repeat After Me, starts things off with a bang, or rather, an explosion. It makes great use of the noise technique to create a unique, screeching rhythm that completely surrounds you and makes you feel as if the band is playing it live right of front of you. Then Drag Hesitation blasts onto the scene with an Indiana Jones-style intro and some soft, beautiful singing. The building feedback noise that finishes the tune manages to somehow resemble the machinery wail of the monster on LOST which creates an incredible anticipation of doom. All in all, it's quite a dark song; put very simply, though, I love it!

Stay Gray arrives next, bringing with it a return to the louder tracks. It's certainly got great rhythm. Following this noise intensive ride, Feed the Pigs marches in with a beat almost like that of an approaching train. Ghostlike singing floats through the air ever softly. How very eerie! To be honest, this song actually managed to frighten me a quite a bit. Its creeping, gloomy sound would be completely at home in a horror film, and its layered vocals are stunningly dark. In keeping with the rest of this journey into the unknown, the second half of the song seems to segue into another different but related tune: a rather ominous piano solo enhanced by ethereal, otherworldly noises. Essentially, Feed the Pigs is quite possibly the most deliciously terrifying song I've ever heard.

Swim with the Trees and Chiromancy hold the conclusion of the story within their tunes. Swim with Trees, to me, felt like drowning. This sensation was heightened by the incomprehensible lyrics that peppered the song, sounding almost as if they were being whispered through a deep blanket of water. Chiromancy rounds out the EP with another eerie, suspense-filled tune. Where will it lead? The tension in this song is tangible as it builds towards a veritable explosion in the very middle of the song. It's a massive chase scene that splashes unclear visions of dark stairwalls and shadow-covered figures across the mind. And then... it ends. Completely and suddenly, the music ceases to be.

All of these songs create such incredibly vivid imagery in my mind that I feel like I've actually just finished watching a horror film. In fact, this entire album would be the perfect soundtrack for such a film. Although it admittedly lacks the sheer sexiness of sound that their last album displayed, it's certainly quite the track lineup! To hear Dog Ear Days for yourself, be sure to check out the download of the EP right here, and don't miss the official release of the record in January!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Merry Little Squidmas!

SQUIDMAS! More specifically, the second annual Squidmas party hosted by Doctor Squid with musical guests Leaving Araby and Romanenko... Wow, what a night!

See, just about a year ago, I heard whispers of a festive costume bash complete with bands and holiday cheer. I was intrigued, but, swamped with finals, I had to pass up the chance to attend. However, during the weeks that followed, I found pictures and video that put the taste of Squidmas on my tongue. I craved more, and I knew there was absolutely no way I was going to miss the next celebration of this musically merry holiday!

This year, on Squidmas morning, I awoke filled with such unbelievable levels of anticipation and glee that nothing could dampen my spirits. The moment my pals and I could meet, we headed off to the 40 Watt for the holiday party of a lifetime. Leaving Araby kicked off the show with a set of soft, pop-infused tunes that filled everyone with Squidmas cheer. A tinsel-adorned bass guitar and mics covered in lights made for quite the festive atmosphere.

Then it was time, time for the moment I'd been dreaming of for a good twelve months. Doctor Squid, festooned in an array of red and green attire, stepped onstage to rock our Santa hats off with one of the absolute GREATEST sets I've ever seen. As anyone who's seen them can tell you, Doctor Squid always manages to bring the house down with their tunes. However, I can honestly say I've never seen them like this. They took their already wildly popular original songs and blended them with all of our favorite Christmas tunes to create what can only be described as pure music magic. Their hit song On My Way, usually remembered for its upbeat series of "whoa's", got a Santa-inspired makeover that transformed those "whoa's" into "ho ho ho's." True happiness! Another one of their tunes got a hint of Grinch when it served as an intro to one of the most rockin' holiday medleys I've ever heard. A feeling of utter joy permeated the air as everyone in the audience danced and sang their hearts out along with the band. What an absolutely amazing experience!

Then it was Romanenko's turn to finish out the night. The calm after the storm of merry insanity, Romanenko is one that's been at the top of my list of bands to see live for quite a while. Their dark, indie sound provided the perfect ending to a Squidmas full of rock. And, with more girls than guys in the band, they brought a bit of serious girl power to the largely male Athens rock scene. It's great to see some women who truly know how drum and play! Boy, am I glad I've finally gotten to see them.

Seriously, nothing can beat a triple lineup of amazing bands full of festive cheer. Without a doubt, Squidmas is one of my new favorite holidays, and you can be sure that, come December 2010, I'll be rocking out to some Squidtastic holiday tunes once more!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Debuts, Jams, and the Spirit of Giving

Refugees all over the world need our support, and the International Events Association hopes to provide! This group brought us a fund-raising night of tunes last Tuesday night to help satisfy this need.

Matt Daniel of the awesome band Leading Edge took the stage first to present his solo act. He's quite the talented fellow, I must say! He served up some nice, original songs on the keyboard and guitar and even gave us a musical homage to John Lennon.

Moments later, it was time for the official downtown debut of the band once called Neptica. Although (as I explained in my birthday party entry) they are now introducing themselves as Atlas, everyone I've talked to agrees that the Ha's Neptica Atlas sounds like a rockin' name. Hint, hint. :) Regardless, their songs were wonderful as usual. Jeff was particularly amazing on the flute and sitar. Wow, that guy can play! And Sarah's cello playing really completes their songs. She brings a finished quality to their sound which makes their tunes quite amazing to listen to. Singer Adriana was feeling a bit sick, but man, she's great. Even with her voice not up to her usual standards, she managed to sound absolutely beautiful, only a bit quieter than usual. Lovely music, indeed.

Another name-changing band, Bigfoot, stepped onstage next. Last spring, I raved about a new band called Cyrnaca that rocked the Myers Quad. Well, it seems that this band has gained a new member or so as well as a brand new name. Their sound, too, has changed to become a bit more danceable though they still maintain their ground-vibrating rock style. Best of all, the girl in the band played her violin as if it were a guitar. In all of my adventures through the Athens music scene, I've never seen anything like it! Weirdly enough, though, they were the third band I've seen in a month that played a cover of the Ghostbusters theme. Is this a new band favorite or something? I've truly enjoyed all of the awesome differences in each incarnation of this tune that I've heard so far this year, but honestly, if one more band plays it any time soon, I may have to ever-so-painfully remove my ears. One can indeed have too much of a good thing.

Then the final band emerged from amidst the crowd dancing wildly to Bigfoot's set and took their enthusiastic energy to the stage. Calling themselves CocoRico, they brought a refreshing taste of pop to the mix. Their sound was very finished, very impressive, and the singer's and keyboardist's unexpected series of hilarious risque dance moves was just plain unforgettable. They finished out their set with about 15 minutes of straight jamming with guest guitarist Parks Miller. Well, that was kind of unexpected. They're definitely a rockin' band though.

Good show. What a cool way to help those in need.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Echoreview: Efren's Thunder and Moan

Album cover for Thunder and Moan

Efren has come to town, and he's not letting his arrival go unnoticed! This mysterious musician (and occasionally group of musicians) will be letting the world get their hands on his debut album Thunder and Moan on December 4th at the Flicker Theatre. So what's it like?

Efren's style has a heavy, folksy quality to it that pervades each tune on the album. Roots with occasional layered vocals, his sound is that of one who's lived through much and dug into the depths of his heart to share it with us. It's a clear home recording which certainly gives his songs a very indie feel. Here's the breakdown.

Father's Proof starts off the record with a quiet, spiritual journey through Efren's relationship with Jesus. Quite an interesting way to begin, I must say. The next tune Montana Scare, however, sounds much more like the other songs in the album. It ushers in the darker tunes on the record and, with a focus on alcohol and women, it's quite the trip into sinner's land after the first song. Bruised Tomatoes follows this with a unique rhythm that brings the listener on an incredibly vivid adventure. Without even closing my eyes, this song conjured up visions of rolling meadows and soft breezes. The twitter-ready tune entitled Pound Yr Chest brings a much more upbeat sound to the album followed by the quieter, very rhythmic See You Laugh At the Lights. Both are simple yet enjoyable listens.

For me, Advantages proved to be the low point of the album. Although I enjoy the dark quality and general tune of this song, its hard-to-understand lyrics prevented me from truly becoming engaged by it. One of the shorter songs on the CD, its heavy strumming seems a bit out of place in this part of the album. The following tune Cut My Hair, however, is probably my favorite on the record. Beginning with a gorgeous acoustic guitar intro that flows easily into the lyrical section of the song, it's the perfect piece to listen to on a dreary day as rain beats heavily upon your window. The chorus combines a very simple yet heart-wrenching set of lyrics with a peaceful tune and the occasional inclusion of an intriguing, unclassifiable sound that resembles anything from a sharp wind blowing to a woman screaming in the distance. Fascinating song.

The album's namesake, Thunder and Moan, emerges following Cut My Hair with a rather upbeat, danceable tune. Distinctly different from most of the previous songs on the album, it provides a technical turning point on the record. Nearly all of the remaining tunes retain a similar, positive vibe. After a short instrumental track, Hickory Bell picks up with a twangy, upbeat tune. This particular song about a less-than-talented musician introduces a bit of humor into the mix with lines like "he sounded like a dead goose." The slow and soothing Up in the Drifts song finishes out the album with layered vocals and a sense of completeness. This tune has a curious pop music feel to it that makes it stand out against all of the other songs on the record. Its sound is one of uplifting hope, the perfect ending to the album's tumultuous journey.

Essentially, Thunder and Moan truly describes the sound of the entire record. Don't miss your chance to experience this aptly-titled album live from start to finish this Friday at Flicker. Rumor has it you may even get a chance to get your hands on a free download of these songs if you attend!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Kristen's Concert Picks: December brings frosty tune-filled delights!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I hope you're truly enjoying this day of food, family, and football too. So, what are you thankful for? Me? Naturally, I'm thankful for the unbelievably rockin' Athens music scene. More specifically, I'm thankful for the absolutely amazing lineup of bands that December has in store for us! Your ears certainly won't be in any danger of freezing off with all of these nonstop music-filled experiences.

Tues, Dec 1: The Ha's Neptica Atlas & Matt Daniel from Leading Edge @ 9 PM @Tasty World Uptown
Start off the month with the public debut of The Ha's Neptica Atlas. You will not want to miss this! And Matt from Leading Edge will be performing too. Brilliant! And best of all, it's a benefit concert so you'll be helping people while you party!

Wed, Dec 2: Allison Weiss @ 10 PM @ The Caledonia Lounge
Oh yes, a CD release party! Don't miss your chance to check out the latest tunes from one of Athens' reigning queens of the music scene. I recently had the pleasure of seeing her sing her heart out for the WUOG listeners , and I can tell you, she truly pours her soul into these songs!

Thu, Dec 3: Madeline @ 10 PM @ The Caledonia Lounge
Madeline's soft dark rock is infused with a taste of southern rock as well. Something for everyone! She has quite a sound. She and her White Flag band are definitely worth your time!

Thu, Dec 3: Venice is Sinking @ 9 PM @ The 40 Watt Club
Ah, Venice is Sinking! After disappearing from the Athens music scene for a few months, they're back to treat our ears to some beautiful, soothing tunes. Excellent!

Fri, Dec 4: Efren @ 9 PM @ Flicker Theatre
Wow, December's full of CD releases! The ever-mysterious Efren is dropping his first album "Thunder and Moan" at this show. Delightful! Stay tuned for my Echoreview of his new tunes, coming soon!

Fri, Dec 4: A Postwar Drama @ 10 PM @ The Caledonia Lounge
The list of bands I'm dying to see keeps getting shorter, and nothing makes me happier. Here's another band I've been hoping to check out since my Athfest research days. Soft, acoustic roots-type music is their style. Very nice!

Sat, Dec 5: Bambara @ 9 PM @ Farm 255
This ever-talented trio of loud, hard rockers is playing a free show at Farm 255. Yay! I mean, let's be honest. Their sound is just plain sexy. Everyone who's had a chance to experience their tunes agrees. And they've got some brand new ones too! Trust me. You'll want to be there.

Tues, Dec 8: Aman Amun @ 10 PM @ The Caledonia Lounge - **Postponed till January 7th**
This guy brings new meaning to the words "musical genius" every time he plays. Prepare yourself for a wonderfully impressive and creative display of art and technology intertwined with deep, soul-searching electronic rock.

Thurs, Dec 10: Doctor Squid @ 10 PM @ 40 Watt
MERRY SQUIDMAS! It's time to don your holiday-themed costumes, and get ready to rock the season in style! From what I've heard, last year's Squidmas was epic. And this year, they're playing with Romanenko, and Leaving Araby. I'm definitely not missing this one!

Sat, Dec 12: Hammer No More the Fingers & Gift Horse @ 10 PM @ The Caledonia Lounge
HNMtF will give you a reason to dance! This North Carolina band knows how to make rock truly fun. With Gift Horse, another band I've heard great buzz about, on the bill, this show should be quite something!

Sat, Dec 19: Excali Brah @ 10 PM @ The Caledonia Lounge
And the Caledonia does it again with another awesome December show! Excali Brah is hilarity at its finest. These costumed guys embrace the unexpected in their shows. At Athfest, outdoor rave parties were their thing. Who knows what they're going to do next?

Thu, Dec 31: Deaf Judges @ 10 PM @ The Caledonia Lounge
Here's another band that's up for anything! These rappers will definitely capture your attention and keep it. There's no doubt about that! And, whoa, look at the date. This will certainly be a great show to ring in 2010!

Thu, Dec 31: The Constellations @ 9 PM @ Tasty World Uptown
Back in Athens just in time to usher in the new year, it's THE CONSTELLATIONS! This show's 18+, so all you kids who've been missing out on their amazing tunes, this is your chance. No matter where you are during break, be sure get yourself to Athens for this!

Have you got a show you think should be added to this list? Comment, and let me know! Also, I'll be giving you even more shows to look forward to as I find them, so check back often. Have a truly lovely December, my pals!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Rye Bar: Down, down in the underground

Once you spot the elusive Rye bar sign and descend the steep metal stairs into this venue, you're in a completely different realm. Wonderfully painted walls greet you as you pass the resident smokers that often choose to relax in this underground spot on your way inside. Once you enter, you'll know why this is one of the greatest places to experience your favorite band. The intimate setting just can't be beat, and the bands perform on the floor just mere feet from the tables, chairs, and benches that are scattered around the room! Oh, and the acoustics. I wouldn't have expected them to be really good here, but indeed, they are. Nice. The full bar sits just a few steps away from the music as well, so you'll never risk going thirsty or missing any of your favorite tunes. And one of the best parts is, after the show, fans and bands are nearly always guaranteed to mingle in this cozy space. How exciting!

What if the band is still setting up, and you've got nothing to do? Never fear, there's a large screen TV right behind the bar for your viewing pleasure. Excellent! And, hey, I can't forget to describe the bathrooms for you. They're nice little single rooms for males and females right off the main performance space, so even if you need to step away for a second, you still get the full music experience. Just be sure before you get there that you look your best since there are no mirrors inside. Undeniably, though, Rye bar is the true essence of the underground music scene!

Rye Bar at a glance:

Ages: generally 21 and up (check before you go)

Cost: Varies depending on the band/event - usually under $5 and quite often free!

Venue Website:

Venue Phone Number: 706-543-9276

Venue location & Google Map: 140 E. Clayton St, Athens, GA 30601

View Larger Map

Reviews of recent concerts/events at Rye Bar:
Aman Amun

Have any thoughts of your own about this venue? Dying to know something specific that I didn't mention? Be sure to comment below! Also, to read about all of the venues I've reviewed, visit my venues page!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Tidbits and Tales

The Athens music scene has been incredibly busy lately which means that Echoreyn of Athens has been busy too! Here's a bit of news to bring you up to speed...
  • Over the next few months, loads of my favorite bands will be releasing their musical masterpieces to the world in convenient CD form. In lieu of this fact, I'm branching out a bit. Within the next few weeks, I will be debuting the first article of a brand new blog series: the Echoreview! I'll get to share my take on the CDs that pass through my ears as soon as I experience them! Watch out for it soon. Ooh, I'm excited!
  • Videos, videos! Boy, have I got tons of them just for you! Remember the absolutely unbeatable Meat Puppets/Dead Confederate/Madeline show? How about the darkly festive Doctor Squid/Leading Edge show? Now you'll get to see some rockin' live footage from both of these amazing shows. Where? Well, fans of the Echoreyn of Athens facebook page got to see these first, but you can also find all of them up on the YouTube Channel. Delicious!
  • The first few weeks of December are brimming over with can't-miss shows. Start your final school projects and exam studying now... You'll want to make extra time for these tune-filled adventures! Also, stay tuned for another blog of Kristen's Concert Picks. Coming soon.
  • ATTENTION, BANDS! Athfest is now taking submissions for its outdoor stages. Don't miss your chance to be seen and heard by the whole eager crowd that attends this multi-day festival! You can submit songs for the Athfest compilation CD now as well. Fun stuff!
  • And, for those of us at UGA, break starts today! Oh yes. Have a wonderful one, my friends!

Monday, November 16, 2009

What an UNBELIEVABLE night! Crumbling Arches & the Ha's Neptica Atlas bring dreams to life...

Spectacular. Nearly indescribable. Pure euphoria. I'm still recovering from the shock of having my dream birthday party become a reality. My absolute favorite band in the world played a set just for me and my pals!?! Pinch me! This can't have really happened, right?

This culmination of over a year of dreaming and planning took place on Friday the 13th... What an ideal date for a costumed concert party! Since Halloween is my most favorite holiday, the house was adorned with tons of balloons, lights, and streamers in black, orange, and purple. Ooh, festive! Candy, juice boxes, and cake filled the room with sugary sweetness as well. However, it was the performances that topped everything else!

The band formerly known as Neptica made their official debut as the night began following a spontaneous name change to Atlas. Henceforth, I shall refer to them as the Ha's Neptica Atlas... until further notice, at least. Well, whatever they choose to call themselves, they were simply amazing! Everyone gathered around them in a semicircle on the floor, fully absorbed in their folk acoustic sound. During one song, they even had the attentive crowd wave their arms fluidly to their organically-formed music. The members of the audience jumped at the opportunity to involve themselves in the creation of such melodic magic. Beautiful. And what a curious array of instruments they used! It's purely awe-inspiring to hear Adriana, Parker, Jeff, and Sarah combine their musical talents to create a such wondfully fresh mix of tunes. I rejoice in the fact that I've gotten to see them grow as a group from one of their earliest practices into a now fully realized band with limitless potential! Their official public debut will be at a benifit concert at Tasty World on December 1st, so never fear, you'll get to see these bundles of talent for yourselves soon!

Then, just minutes later, it was Crumbling Arches' turn. I don't think I've ever gone into a show with so much anticipation before. I mean, CRUMBLING ARCHES! This was the band that first introduced me to the Athens music scene, that first inspired in me a true love of music. To have them perform at my birthday party as a favor to me is nearly beyond comprehension. And the set they played! Wow! Kicking things off with a completely ridiculous cover of the Ghostbusters theme infused with a slight hint of birthday references, they had the whole house dancing and yelling "busting makes me feel good!" Just plain hilarious. They followed this song with a wonderful set of their newer tunes including the holiday appropriate and deliciously dark Vampire Sex song. Mmm, how I love the organ-sounding keyboard in that one! And then, most joyfully, they dedicated their song Mutant Love to me. Everybody say awww. I just can't stop smiling! Their final tune of the night was old favorite, I'll Make a Man Out of You, their rock version of the ever-popular Mulan song. I'm not exaggerating when I say that the floor was shaking wildly from the nearly 50 person crowd rocking out to this song! Nothing can beat the energy that filled that room. Unbelievable! Ian finished things off by saying that whenever I want to celebrate another fake 18th birthday, they'll be there. Oh man, I love these guys!

Right now, I'm practically oozing appreciation. I absolutely must thank all of the members of Crumbling Arches and the Ha's Neptica Atlas for their spectacular performances as well as the members of Bambara for the use of their PA system. Also, I can't forget to thank the people who made this possible like the owners of the house especially Olivia, Kelly, and Megan as well as my pals Susannah, Meghan, Leona, and Sheila (you all know what you did). Oh, and I guess I should thank the police officer who didn't give us a noise violation too. :) I can never thank you all enough! As my friend Susannah declared, this party was the stuff of legend! It seems that the line between dreams and reality is not quite so thick after all. At this moment, I am utterly and completely ecstatic!

Stay tuned for tons of videos from this incredible event! Coming soon.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

You're invited...

It's party time, people! A little over a week ago, I mentioned the plans for my next birthday party which includes a concert with live music as well as an awesome dance party. I can't wait! Tunes and costumes galore! This will essentially be the party of my dreams, and you're invited too.

Crumbling Arches will be rocking the house in what is sure to be the most delicious of sets! Also on the bill are newcomers The Ha's (formerly Neptica). This will be their official debut show so checking out their soft, folksy tunes is a must! It's all going down in Pineview this Friday the 13th (ooh, scary). Email me through my profile for details!

Also, don't forget to check out this month's concert picks for more spectacular show recommendations! Wonderfully unique rock band the Constellations will be returning for another insane show this Saturday, and I've added several bands and dates to the schedule as well. Hope you have a wild rest of the week!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

A Sleepless Person's Guide to a Rockin' Rest, a Whole New Show Experience

Two nights ago, I had the supreme pleasure of catching yet another Aman Amun set after Last Comic Standing's show at New Earth Music Hall. I have mentioned him tons of times recently, so I'm resisting the incredibly strong urge to write another post about the one of a kind, immersive experience he creates for his audience. Suffice it to say that this show of his topped all others. It was so purely amazing, my heart nearly burst with joy! Okay, now that I've got that off my chest, let's get down to business.

Sleep... or rather the lack thereof. I rarely ever get any! It's become so commonplace at breakfast for me to mention the one hour of sleep I'd managed to get during the past night that my friends hardly even react anymore. Most of the time, this wouldn't be an issue. Hey, I can just make it all up on the weekends, right? Well, not really. See, weekends are the best days for shows, and readers of this blog should know by now that there's no way I'm going to miss a potentially awesome band for a little thing like sleep!

However, this does cause some problems. Quieter or unfamiliar bands stand very little chance of breaking through the tsunami of exhaustion that tends to overcome me during the day after a sleepless night. This doesn't have to be a bad thing, though! Let me explain... introducing the Sleepless Person's Guide to a Rockin' Rest, a how-to manual from one who's tried it all!

First, I suppose I should answer the rather important question: why nap during shows? Well, it's a whole new way to experience the show... especially if you've seen the band before! You can feel the music vibrate throughout your body and you may even be able to guess which songs were hits merely through their vibrations (like I did at the Augustana show last Tuesday). Also, your dreams are infinitely more incredible when they've got a rockin' soundtrack. Sleeping during shows may not be the norm (or even entirely socially acceptable), but it's totally awesome!

Well then, how can you pick a prime napping location? Find a comfortable chair, bench, or ledge... or even patch of floor, if you're feeling really adventurous. Make sure you try to pick a spot that can't be seen from the stage as some bands may be slightly affronted to see that one of the members of their audience has fallen asleep. Hm, I definitely need to remember that one the next time my eyelids start drooping downtown. Most importantly, though, do not fall asleep amongst band equipment as you have a chance of being mistaken for a piece of equipment yourself which may very well scare the living daylights out of the band member that tries to lift you up in the dark. Ah, fun times!

Tiredness is no longer an excuse to miss a potentially wild show. Now you can enjoy the rock and get a rockin' rest at the same time! Oh yes.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Leading Edge: Ghouls, ghosts, and phantoms, oh my!

Oh, Halloween week. Sure, I've already mentioned all of the spectacular shows that downtown Athens offered its costumed partiers for the actual night of All Hallows Eve, but the week leading up to this spooky holiday was just as amazing!

Last Wednesday night, several old favorites played sets all across town at around the same time. Which band to choose? Well, Leading Edge has been high up on my list of groups to check out for a while now and with Doctor Squid opening for them too, I just knew I had to pick Tasty World Uptown!

Walking onto the dance floor was like entering a whole new realm. We were surrounded by Halloween madness! Right next to me was a guy covered from head to toe in blood. And look over there! That's Hannah Montana and her best friend having a conversation with Draco Malfoy and Cap'n Krunch. The bands, too, were appropriately festooned in a curious array of costumes. Doctor Squid, for instance, featured a giant penguin, a demonic being, a hippie, and a jack-o-lantern. Awesome. As always, they rocked the stage, using their fun-inducing powers to put the whole crazy crowd into a dancing frenzy. Oh wow, the audience was fun to watch! I could hardly keep my eyes off of them. Some of the girls in the front row, clearly longtime fans, even moved in unison in what resembled a choreographed dance to one of the songs. Seriously, I never leave one of Doctor Squid's shows without a smile on my face!

Then, after an impromptu venue-wide cha-cha slide dance party, Leading Edge took the stage. Man, these guys started it off right! Through a cloud of thick greenish fog, Matt the lead singer/ keyboard player appeared, his face obscured by a lovely mask a lá Phantom of the Opera. Ah, phantoms always fill me with such joy! He began the show with a creepy gothic tune that melded into the band's first song, a wild rendition of the Ghostbusters theme. From there, the rest of the band members, adorned in a spectacular variety of ghoulish costumes, leapt straight into a series of their original songs, each totally and wonderfully unique. I still can't figure out how they managed to create such one of a kind musical sounds from the same instruments that I've seen countless other bands use. Very impressive! As they finished with a few more awesome tunes including a Billie Jean cover, I just knew I would have to see them again. Let's hope it happens soon!

Seconds later, my friend Sheila and I were speeding through downtown in hopes of getting to Ciné in time to catch Bambara's set. Tragically, we arrived moments too late, but we were just in time to check out very loud punk band, the Agenda. Truly, pure insanity. These guys had so much energy, my eyes could barely keep up with them. One second the lead singer was lying on the floor; the next, he was divebombing the audience and screaming into the faces of several members of the crowd. The audience got into it as well. One guy, presumably a friend of the band (well, I hope so), bounded onto the singer's back while the guitar player licked the strings of his guitar. The drummer ended the night by toppling his drumset and collapsing behind it. The sight was very nearly indescribable! Wild times, my friends. Wild times.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Kristen's Concert Picks: Are your ears ready for November?

Golden leaves are falling, carpeting the ground with their brilliant color. Cool breezes make them dance across the earth just once more before they lie still. Without a doubt, November has arrived! So which shows are worth braving this month's unpredictable weather to experience? Here are my picks!

Tues, Nov 3: Augustana @ 8 PM @ Tate Grand Hall on UGA Campus

Ok, I'll admit, I only know of them through their hit song, "Boston," but this band's been all over! This month, they're coming to our very own UGA campus. The best part? It's free for students! ($10 advance for non-students)

Wed, Nov 4: Fire Zuave @ 9 PM @ Tasty World Uptown
Just plain great alt rock... That's what Fire Zuave is. They're another one of that bands I've been wanting to see since Athfest. Yay!

Thurs, Nov 5: Deaf Judges @ 9 PM @ 40 Watt Club
These wild performers thrive in the realm of the unexpected. I've seen them throw a crazy interactive beach party one day and a fog-filled vampire fest the next. What will these rappers do this time? I guess we'll have to be there to find out!

Thurs, Nov 5: Betsy Franck @ 9:30 PM @ The Caledonia Lounge
Blues and southern rock fans, I've got a show for you! Betsy Franck's incredibly strong and wonderful voice will blow you away. Another talent I first saw at Athfest, she's one to hear!

Fri, Nov 6: Aman Amun @ 9 PM @ New Earth Music Hall
A comedy show followed by astounding visual displays and groundbreaking musical stylings? A weird mixture to be sure, but it sounds like a winner from all sides. Oh yes, it's time for another delicious Aman Amun set!

Fri, Nov 6: The Goodfight @ 8 PM @ Seney Stovall Chapel
Rockin' for a good cause with Leaving Araby, Pilot Coat, and the Wellreds, this free show should be quite the experience! For more info, check out this entry.

Mon, Nov 9: Doctor Squid @ 9 PM @ Tasty World Uptown
Wow, Doctor Squid has been busy these past few months! If you haven't yet seen these upbeat rockers, you've definitely been missing out. If you've caught one of their shows before, I know you're dying for more. Well, you're all in luck! They're playing at Rye Bar on the 6th and at Tasty World on the 9th! Nice.

Fri, Nov 13: Kristen's Fake Eighteenth Costumed Concert Birthday Bash @ Time TBA @ Pineview

2-3 band lineup... More on this later. :) I can't wait!

Sat, Nov 14: The Constellations @ 9 PM @ Tasty World Uptown
And they're back! I was so worried that I'd never have another chance to see them, but here they are. What amazing fortune! Want to see a band with style, attitude, and a uniquely awesome sound? Well, you've got to check out the Constellations!

Wed, Nov 18: Aman Amun @ 11 PM @ Rye Bar
This guy just keeps getting better and better. I can't wait to see what he does next! If you haven't checked this electronic rock genius out yet, this show's a must! And hey, it's free too. Zesty!

Fri, Nov 20: Hope for Agoldensummer @ 10 PM @ Caledonia Lounge
Oh, I love this band's sound. They've got a quieter, folksy style that just leaves you feeling wonderful. And they play the musical saw! You can't get much better than that.

Sat, Nov 21: DJRX @ 11 PM @ Sideways
Dance time! This DJ's spinning the tracks and mixing like crazy. Get ready for a party with this guy's selection of jammin' tunes.

Fri, Nov 27: Birds & Wire @ 9 PM @ New Earth Music Hall
By some terrible conflict of fate, I've never managed to see this group in action, but my insane plans can't keep me from telling you to check out this soft and southern pop band. One day, it'll happen! I truly hope that day comes soon!

Hm, curiously enough, there seems to be a decided lack of shows on this list scheduled for the later half of November. I'm sure this will be remedied as the month goes on, though. As always, let me know if there's a show you think should be mentioned here! Also, if you want to check this list again to help you make your plans as the month goes on, press the "Monthly Concert Picks" button on the sidebar. All you need to know will be right there!

Alright, hope this month's musical adventures take you on a ride. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Kristen's Concert Picks: This is Halloween. Everybody scream!

It's Halloween, one of the very few days of the year that people actually expect everyone they see to be decked out in strange clothing, ridiculous hats, and creepy masks! Naturally, because of this fact, it also happens to be my favorite holiday. And it looks like I'm not the only one in love with this spooktacular day. All of downtown Athens is celebrating! Pick your party... or go to them all!

The 40 Watt Club: Krush Girls @ 9 PM - $6/$8
No way... KRUSH GIRLS!?! This pair of (shockingly male) DJs were the reason I first set foot in downtown Athens. Newcomers may not have heard of them since they tend to reunite only for special occasions these days, but they are known all over Athens for their rockin' ability to keep the party going with their selection of pop dance tunes!

Tasty World Uptown: Kite to the Moon @ 9:30 PM - Show $5 (most likely), Parade Free
I have no doubts that Kite to the Moon will bring it big time for Halloween. These guys dress in costumes for their everyday shows! And, whoa, they're kicking off a whole Halloween parade here too. This will definitely be an unforgettable night!

Farm 255: Venice is Sinking @ 11 PM - Free
The soft beautiful songs of Venice is Sinking will serenade you throughout the night over at the Farm. With another Athfest talent, the Packway Handle Band, you're guaranteed to get a completely unique Halloween experience with them!

Little Kings Shuffle Club: DJ Mahogany @ 9 PM - Free
It's dance time! For the over 21 set, DJ Mahogany's ready to spin a whole mess of tunes from every era. Oh yes.

Ooh, this is going to be AWESOME! Don your capes and wings, everyone, and have an amazing night!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

It's My Birthday, and I'm Giving My Blog a Gift!

Echoreyn of Athens

Whee, it's my birthday! Yeah, I'm in college, but I haven't grown out of my excitement for this annual event, and I hope I never do. It's one more excuse to celebrate life! So how old am I? Well, that's a secret. However, I do have some really exciting news that I would like to share with you...

Today, I'm debuting the Echoreyn of Athens facebook page! Now, it'll be easier than ever to check out all the latest local music news from the comforts of your favorite social networking site. Feel free to become a fan if you so desire!

Also, I'd like to give a shoutout to the fans of Dead Confederate, the Meat Puppets, the Constellations, Doctor Squid, Bambara, and the Warm Fuzzies among others. You guys are making this blogging experience completely amazing for me! Thank you!

Hope all of my readers have a spectacular day!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Dead Confederate & Meat Puppets: the essence of true rock

Rarely do I ever get to see an entire lineup of bands I've been dying to hear, but Saturday night at the 40 Watt was a night like no other!

I first discovered Madeline as I was making a list of bands that I just had to check out during Athfest. I was quite intrigued by the songs of hers I had sampled on Last.FM and MySpace, but since my underage friends couldn't get into the venues she was playing, we had to miss out on her sets. When I learned she was opening for Athens band Dead Confederate and nineties famed rockers Meat Puppets, I was overjoyed! Indeed, she was the perfect singer to start off the show.

Madeline's sound alternated between soft southern rock and soft dark rock, and she wore an incredibly intense expression on her face as she sang which made her songs all the more powerful. She and the White Flag band particularly fired up the crowd with their Johnny Cash cover and a number of their final tunes. And the crowd she gathered... Wow! I've never seen such a large and eager audience for an opening set before.

Moments later, everyone on the floor waited with bated breath for the first headliner. I had previously seen Dead Confederate own the stage at Athfest over the summer, but nothing could have prepared me for the show they had in store for us this time. They leapt immediately into their hard rock as they stepped onstage, setting the mood as they jammed wordlessly for several minutes in the low light. What an entrance! They followed these songs with a set of amazing tunes which included their much-loved hits The Rat and Get Out. The guitar chords resonated through my whole body, and the lights behind the band flashed almost constantly in a shock-inducing display of sheer madness. Lead singer Hardy Morris was so completely immersed in the songs that he closed his eyes during most of them and even writhed on the floor near the end of the set. Truly, this is how Dead Confederate was meant to be experienced. I adored them at Athfest, but seeing them rock the darkened 40 Watt surrounded by crowds of enthusiastic fans was completely amazing! And as they were packing up after their last song, Hardy jumped off the stage and landed right between Sheila and I so that he could talk to the talented photographer who happened to be standing right beside us. Oh, Athens! Fun times.

And then, there were the Meat Puppets. Getting to see these rock legends take over the stage was nothing short of incredible! Their subtly southern rock and wild long hair screamed nineties in its prime, and their wild energy and badass attitudes captured the attentions of everyone in the audience. Their fans, ranging in age from college students to middle aged partiers, covered the whole dance floor with their exuberant moves as basist Cris Kirkwood jammed across the stage, pushing over sound equipment and grimacing with intensity. One lady in the crowd even held up a shirt she had gotten from them over two decades ago as she danced. Wow, these guys have staying power! I could see why, too. The Meat Puppets sure know how to put on a show! Then, as they finished up their set, Cris lifted up his shirt to show off his tattoo, making one drunk fan so excited that he started screaming and trying to touch the design. And boy, was this guy determined. After several minutes of trying, he finally succeed in diving onto the stage only to be dragged off by a security guy, who was helped by Cris himself, and thrown out of the 40 Watt. Wild!

Then, just as we thought the show was over, another drum appeared onstage and the members of both Dead Confederate and Meat Puppets emerged from behind the curtain. We could all tell they had bonded quite a bit during their joint tour throughout the country. Cris and Hardy even shared a cigarette as they tuned their instruments once more. And then, they began. It was an encore of insane proportions! Together, both bands rocked a short set with such energy that it was an experience unlike any I've had before. The whole dance floor felt so in the moment right then. I wouldn't have missed it for anything! It was like those rock shows of past decades that I've seen on TV. I've really never seen anything like it. Saturday was definitely one of the most unbelievable nights ever!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Fighting the Good Fight to Help Others

It's especially refreshing to find local musicians dedicated to helping others and making the world around them a better place for everyone. Atlanta rock band the Goodfight is doing their part to make a difference with their latest project, Buy a Record, Save a Life. All of the money from the sale of their newest CD, Good & Evil, will go towards finding and creating clean water sources for people in need all over the world! When I learned about this awesome effort, I had the spread the word to all of you guys. Wow, I love it when people use their talents for the good of humanity!

Want to see what this is all about for yourself? Well, you're in luck! The Goodfight will be playing a free show on November 6th with Athens bands Leaving Araby and Pilot Coat and Atlanta band The Wellreds at the Seney Stovall Chapel. Athens' own Jason Harwell from one of our favorites, the Warm Fuzzies, will M.C. the show to celebrate the release of this special project. Help people and have fun doing it? Very cool. Music really does save lives!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Clouds, and Crinkles: An Evening of Alliteration with the Arches

Crumbling Arches, The Clouds Are Ghosts,
and a crowd of music enthusiasts

Frequent readers of this blog may be shocked to learn that I had never stepped foot in a venue in downtown Athens on a Monday night... until now. However, if every Monday show is as mind-blowingly spectacular as the Clouds Are Ghosts/Crumbling Arches show I had the incredible pleasure of seeing at the beginning of this week, I'm going to have to make a regular habit of it!

You see, Caledonia's a rather peaceful place so early in the week, perfect for a bit of soft, eerily beautiful music. The Clouds Are Ghosts traveled all the way from their hometown of Austin, Texas to satisfy our ears' needs. From the very first note they played, I was in love with their sound. Their name describes them exactly. Using a keyboard, a violin, and some electronic elements, they weaved together a set of amazing songs that transported me into another realm every time I closed my eyes. Most uniquely, they employed the use of a megaphone for the vocals of several of their tunes. I've never seen that done before! Intriguing... and completely awesome. My friends and I were mesmerized. In fact, their whole show blew me away. Behind them, a screen displayed everything from familiar internet videos to fiery explosions to a velvety black, star-filled sky that changed with the music. The whole effect was quite awe-inspiring, really. And I've got to admit once again, it's awfully hard for other bands to impress me during a show featuring my favorite band, but this group of talented musicians certainly managed to do it. I really hope I get to see them again in the future!

Then it was time. Crumbling Arches time! I've been thirsting for another sip of their delicious theatrical rock for months. Now, seeing as that this was the ninth time I've seen them, I wasn't really expecting any surprises during this show. Boy, was I wrong! Introducing themselves jokingly as "Crinkly Arches," the vocal, guitar playing half of Crumbling Arches seated themselves onstage for a set unlike any other. With Alex on acoustic guitar and Brian on electric, they rocked some of my very favorite songs in ways that I've never heard or even imagined before. Oh wow, it was awesome! And, in between songs, the comedy stylings of Alex and Brian had everyone in the audience cracking up. What with their jokes and their particularly prominent lyrics, it was one of their most memorable shows yet, and for a band known for its acrobatics, hilarious anecdotes, and general antics, that's certainly saying something! Quite simply, I loved it.

Amusingly, both the Clouds Are Ghosts and Crumbling Arches chose to perform their own vampire-inspired songs at this show, just in time for Halloween. The Arches even had everyone in the audience scream as loudly as they could near the end of their ode to the fanged being. Mmm, audience involvement. It's always fun to have a part to play! And then, with October's darkness setting in and hints of my favorite holiday surrounding me, the show came to a spellbinding finish. What a night!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Excitement, changes, and a bit of music!

It's mid-October, everyone! So far, October has certainly continued the tradition of being my busiest month of the year. Where's all the time gone? I haven't even decorated my room for Halloween yet, and if you know me at all, I'm sure that will come as quite a shock. But hey, there's a whole lot to to be excited about this month. Tons of amazing bands will be the gracing the stages at many of the most awesome Athens venues over the next few weeks. I can't wait! Don't believe me? The October schedule is right here for your planning pleasure!

In fact, the spectacular Crumbling Arches will be stepping onstage for the first time this school year to rock the Caledonia this Monday night! (That's tomorrow.) Oh yes! You know you want to take a study break and party with these favorites of mine. One thing to note: Original headliners, the Winter Sounds (formerly of Atlanta), are skipping out on this one. Actually, they won't be performing at all again until 2010 owing to the fact that they're in need of a new drummer. Hm, that's unexpected. I haven't gotten all of the concrete details yet, but it looks like their entire fall tour has been canceled. Well, I eagerly await their return. Never fear, though. Tomorrow's show will go on, and it's most definitely going to be a delicious one! Now it's a triple band lineup with Crumbling Arches, Joy in Tomorrow, and The Clouds Are Ghosts. Yay!

Oh, and before I go, I absolutely must share some videos with you! The two in this entry are from Bambara's latest show at the 40 Watt on the last day of September. This band's been getting tons of buzz lately, so be sure to check them out. Enjoy! And naturally, for more videos of your favorite Athens and Atlanta bands, visit the Echoreyn of Athens YouTube channel. Videos galore!

Well, that's all for now. Have a rockin' day!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Caledonia Lounge: Tunes emerging from the darkness

Tucked away just behind the 40 Watt Club, you'll find the Caledonia Lounge. No other venue gives off more of an indie rock vibe! The dim lights beckon you into this mysteriously dark place and draw your eyes to the raised stage at the back of the club. As stages go, I'd say this one is about average, length and width wise; in other words, it's just large enough for some general band antics as long as those antics do not include any wild feats of gymnastic skill. The acoustics of the place are rather nice, too. A sizable dance floor sits in front of the stage lined with ledges, great to stand upon if you need to see over the crowd or to place music-related equipment on while your band waits to set up. Want a place to rest your legs and set down the drink you just got from the full bar near the front of the venue? There are a few tables and chairs set around the club just for this purpose as well. Oh, and don't forget to glance over at the sound technician once in a while! He sits up high in a lifeguard-like booth beside the bar. Quite a sight indeed.

Uh oh! You drank three full glasses of water before you got here and the next band to play has tunes that you know will make you dance? You need a bathroom and fast! Conveniently located right near the entrance, you've got two single occupancy bathrooms to choose from. Now here's the confusing part. The sign on one door is labeled "male," but contrary to one's expectations, the other is labeled "unisex." Well , that's curious. I assume, however, that both of the facilities are the same in this case so I recommend that you use either should the need arise.

Waiting for the last band of the night to step onstage? It's the perfect time to check out the outdoor patio and deck area. Between sets, you'll usually find band members and their fans and pals chilling and catching their breaths out here amidst the small grove of trees. How incredibly relaxing! There are tables and benches galore on both the deck and patio too so this is the place to be if you need to take a short break from the crowds inside the club.

The Caledonia Lounge at a glance:

Ages: 18 to 20 are welcome!
21 and up usually get a cheaper price.

Cost: Generally $5 for 21 and up, $7 for under 21.

Venue Website:

Venue Phone Number: 706-549-5577

Venue location & Google Map: 256 W. Clayton St, Athens, GA 30601

View Larger Map

Reviews of recent concerts/events at the Caledonia Lounge:
Doctor Squid, The Warm Fuzzies, and Gemini Cricket

Have any thoughts of your own about this venue? Dying to know something specific that I didn't mention? Be sure to comment below! Also, to read about all of the venues I've reviewed, visit my venues page!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

A post that is not about music

It's the truth. I rarely ever post anything that is completely unrelated to the music scene. However, I must acknowledge the fact that Athens isn't just for those who love music. There's a whole other culture here that causes a sea of red and black to engulf the campus on selected Saturdays in the fall. UGA football culture. Now, many of the hipsters, band members, bloggers, and concert-goers that I know go into hiding on these days in order to avoid getting swallowed up by the crowd and abused for accidentally wearing the wrong colors that day. Like some of them, I too prefer to catch on my sleep rather than tailgate, but don't hate. I've still got my share of school spirit! I always check up on our dawgs to make sure we're winning our games.

So why am I writing this? Well, this year I actually want to thank the tailgaters. On Saturday mornings when I've just been up all night screaming my head off at some show or another, there's nothing worse than waking up at 7 AM to people chanting loudly on the quad. This year's tailgaters have yet to do this, and so I am eternally grateful. I can get some sleep! Hooray! I suppose this is due in part to the fact that we've been forced to play mostly night games, but the respectful behavior is appreciated, regardless of the reason. So thank you, UGA football fans. I salute you! Oh, and one more thing. Gooooooooo Dawgs! Sic 'em. Woof woof woof woof!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Kristen's Concert Picks: October is party time!

Happy October! My favorite month comes bearing musical gifts of all sorts. From cultural groups to cover bands, from rock to pop, I've got you covered. Oh, and just for you, I've uploaded live footage from several of the shows I saw during the past month. Visit my YouTube channel for videos of Bambara, The Warm Fuzzies, Doctor Squid, The Constellations, and more! And now, prepare yourselves for some spectacular musical adventures!

Fri, Oct 2: Incatepec @ 6 PM @ Terrapin Beer Co.
If you want a fully cultural experience, Incatepec is the band for you! A mixture of jazz, rock, and South American flute music, you've never heard anything like them before.

Wed, Oct 7: Death on Two Wheels @ 10 PM @ Tasty World Uptown
Heavy rock is the order of the day! Atlanta band Death on Two Wheels will have you banging your head and moving your feet to the beat.

Mon, Oct 12: Crumbling Arches @ 10 PM @ The Caledonia Lounge
Readers of this blog will know that this is one show you can't miss! My favorite rockers return to the stage to treat us to a night of amazing tunes and general madness. With the Winter Sounds, another awesome band, on the bill, this show should be nothing short of spectacular!

Thurs, Oct 15: Birds and Wire & Electa Villain @ 10 PM @ The Caledonia Lounge
Two bands I've been hoping to check out since Athfest playing together on one night? Awesome! With soft southern pop from Birds and Wire and classic rock from Electa Villain, this should be one crazy night.

Sat, Oct 17: Modern Skirts @ 9 PM @ The Melting Point
The Modern Skirts are gracing yet another Athens stage! You' know you've heard of them. The buzz about this soft pop band never stops.

Thurs, Oct 22: The Warm Fuzzies @ 9:30 PM @ The Caledonia Lounge
More happiness, more hilarity, more joy! Take it from me, you can never have enough of the Warm Fuzzies. They're smile-inducing pop rock at its best!

Fri, Oct 23: Velvet Runway @ 8 PM @ Tasty World Uptown
Love 80s tunes? Well, then Velvet Runway is the cover band for you! They'll transport you back in time so that your ears will believe you're hearing the jams as they were originally played. It's time to rock!

Sat, Oct 24: Dead Confederate @ 9 PM @ The 40 Watt Club
Headlining with the Meat Puppets and with opener Madeline, this show is sure to be HUGE! Dead Confederate's dark rock will most certainly entrance you. Be sure to buy advance tickets on the 40 Watt website!

Wed, Oct 28: Bambara & The Agenda @ 8 PM @ Ciné
For your ghoulish delight, there will be a performance of Halloween: Live followed by a show from our favorite hard rocker trio Bambara and The Agenda, another group of rockers on my list of bands to see! Oh yes!

Wed, Oct 28: Doctor Squid & Leading Edge @ 9 PM @ Tasty World Uptown
Want some pop, some rock, and some old school tunes? The Redcoat Band party is where it's at! With Beatles cover band Abbey Road live playing as well, this lineup is nothing short of super awesome.

Wed, Oct 28: Chris McKay & the Critical Darlings @ 10 PM @ The Caledonia Lounge
Yay, the Critical Darlings are back! We've missed them quite a lot while they've been off picking songs for their latest CD. This will be one of the few chances we Athenians get to see this group of energetic power rockers this semester, so be sure to check them out!

Thurs, Oct 29: It's my birthday! Yay!
Yeah, ok, I couldn't help myself. I had to mention it too. :)

Sat Oct 31: Krush Girls @ 9 PM @ The 40 Watt Club
No way... KRUSH GIRLS!?! This pair of (shockingly male) DJs were the reason I first set foot in downtown Athens. Newcomers may not have heard of them since they tend to reunite only for special occasions these days, but they are known all over Athens for their rockin' ability to keep the party going with their selection of pop dance tunes!

And those are my picks! Just like before, when a whisper reaches my ears of another awesome show, I'll be sure to add it to my list. Also, so this list doesn't get lost in the quagmire of blogs that I write, check out the side bar! I've just added a monthly concert picks button for easy access.

Echoryen of Athens

Ok, be sure to mark your calendars! This October is going to rock!

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Constellations light up Athens!

Saturday was indescribably incredible! As all of my Twitter followers know, I've been dreaming of seeing the Constellations rock the stage again ever since I first saw them at Atlanta's Summerfest several months ago. Well, it seems that dreams do indeed come true! Their much-awaited show at Tasty World Uptown just after UGA's win against Arizona State was simply spectacular.

Openers SolShakr and Kite to the Moon started things off rather awesomely. SolShakr got everyone excited with a taste of their lovely southern rock. Great stuff. Then Kite to the Moon, a local psychedelic rock pop trio, stepped onstage. Playing custom-made guitars in a variety of shapes and wearing hot dog suits, animal ears, and crazy rocker wigs, this band had a humorous style all its own. With the Tiger Girlz of Athens swinging on a trapeze beside the stage dressed as anything from pregnant nerds to Hooters girls in heels, there was no shortage of visual stimulation during their set. The members of the audience hardly even knew where to look!

Minutes before midnight, the Constellations, much-buzzed about Atlanta band who just signed with Virgin Records and has been heard all over the radio airwaves during the past year, appeared in front of us ready to show Athens how it's done. And boy, did they show us! Once again, they were completely amazing. The band rocked everyone's favorite tunes with a fantastic amount of energy, and the fans just couldn't stop dancing! Then Elijah Jones, lead singer for the eight-member power group, decided to make it personal. Jumping straight off the stage and into the audience, he belted out the songs while leaning on people in the crowd and rocking out with them. And just like at the Summerfest show, he didn't shy away from feeling the music and writhing on the floor during a particularly wild rendition of the band's ode to Atlanta, Step Right Up. The rest of the band members, too, took over the whole stage with their rock making the show a sight to behold!

Best of all, though, this band's relationship with their fans was nothing short of wonderful! Between songs they wished several girls in the crowd a Happy Birthday and even had them come up on stage to sing along with the clap squad, the band's lovely duo of backup singers, during their hit Felicia. And then, the coolest thing ever happened. Shab, one of the girls in the clap squad, recognized me from my Twitter picture and gave Echoreyn of Athens its first ever shoutout from the stage! WOW! My memory is a jumbled mess of what happened next, but I think I got a high five from one of the members, and I know I got to say the full name of the blog into Elijah's microphone. So freaking crazy! This was something I totally would never have expected. What an end to my Saturday night! I still can't believe how amazing it all was.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Of Squids, Crickets, and Fuzzies

The Warm Fuzzies fill us with glee

Thursday's UGA Freshman night at the Caledonia wasn't just for the Athens newcomers. After all, everyone can use a bit of happiness! I have to say, this was one of the best lineups I've seen. What a way to welcome people into the Athens music scene!

Gemini Cricket kicked off the night with their curious mix of garage pop tunes. They've got quite an interesting style, most clearly demonstrated in their I've Got My Boots On song in which both the female and male vocalists sang different lyrics in layers over each other. Also, they got the audience involved by having everyone whistle and meow along with their last song. Craziness.

Then the Warm Fuzzies leapt onstage. True to their name, pure joy emanates from this band! This was the second time I've had the pleasure of seeing them, and my friends and I agreed that their show was even better this time around (if that's possible). Nobody could help but smile, and the band members' hilarious comments between songs filled the audience with glee. Best of all, during their song Hey Milunka, they brought two concert-going newbies onstage to hold up lyric cue cards for the crowd. I'm sure that was an amazing experience for them! It was all just so much fun. As my pal Beth said excitedly after their set ended, "I feel so warm and fuzzy!"

After the Fuzzies, Doctor Squid finished off the night of happiness with a rather epic set filled with old favorites and a few rockin' brand new tunes. Everyone in the room was dancing like crazy and having an awesome time! As always, I was most incredibly impressed by their audience. These guys seriously have the most dedicated and enthusiastic fans ever! Nearly everyone in the crowd knew the lyrics to at least one of their songs, and pure excitement filled the air. Jason, Doctor Squid's new drummer, rocked his beats too, and this was only his second show with the band! Oh, and I can't forget to mention Mark's very entertaining interpretive dance and Larry's lovely bit of trumpet-playing. I love these guys! This whole show was just totally and completely spectacular!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Arrr, it be a Hootenanny!

Ruby Isle drives everyone wild

Ahoy, me favorite lads and lasses! Gather 'round! 'Tis time to tell tales of the The Kindercore/ Owl Scooters Fall Hootenanny that took place at ye olde 40 Watt this past Saturday. But first I owe ye scurvy dawgs an explanation of sorts. See, Saturday was also International Talk Like A Pirate Day! No, I'm not joking. It's a real holiday (well, kind of)! And, just like the good costume enthusiast that I am, I naturally took the opportunity to dress as the dread pirate lass Echoreyn of the Sea as well. Hey, nothing makes a night of awesome tunes more fun than a puffy white shirt and a hat with a feather in it!

By some miraculous coincidence, my pals and I managed to get to the club just in time to see all of the bands I highlighted in my September 19th concert picks. How lucky is that! Venice is Sinking was just finishing up their set as we arrived, but their melodies were gorgeous as always! I believe I caught the lovely song Bardstown Road as well as a few other amazing tunes before the band stepped offstage. I can honestly never get enough of their sound. Oh, and I can't forget to give a shoutout to Lucas, the drummer, who was one of five awesome guys I talked to downtown who knew exactly why I was decked out in full pirate gear. Arrr, me fellow Talk Like A Pirate Day revelers! I salute you.

Next in line for the stage were Virginia natives The Young Sinclairs. I had seen them once before at Athfest, and I recognized them immediately from their seventies-inspired clothing. This time around, they played many of the same beachy and old school style tunes I remembered hearing during that show, but they seemed to have a quite few new songs as well. Nice.

Following them, a loud boom echoed through the air, resonating through the floor of the 40 Watt. Ruby Isle had arrived! Ever since I sampled this band's music on their myspace, I've been dying to experience them live, and they did not disappoint. Here's another band that truly knows how to put on a show the right way! I could feel their energy radiating through the audience immediately, a mark of their rather awesome stage presence. They traversed the whole length of the stage as they played with a sound so distinctly different that I can't really classify it at all.
There seemed to be a bit of an 80's rock influence, yet they had an incredibly modern style. Basically, they were pretty damn indescribable, and the crowd ate it up. I've never seen the 40 Watt so packed for a show. What fun!

Then my friends and I popped over to Rye bar to finish off the night with a few of Aman Amun's new tunes. You know that's always a treat! The whole night was, without a doubt, spectacular.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Stegosaurus and Nero rock their way to extinction

Stegosaurus fires up the crowd

Last Friday night three bands played their final tunes and nearly brought the crowd into a frenzy!

Bang-Utot, Nero and the Burning Violins, and Stegosaurus, all bands claiming the very talented Marshall Yarbrough as a member, bid farewell to their rather excited audiences at this show. Since Marshall is leaving for Germany quite soon, these guys took over Go Bar for a night to rock the house together one last time.

Bang-Utot began playing shortly after my friends and I arrived. The songs that they ended their set with were quite impressively good for a band who's only been together for a few weeks! Then Nero and the Burning Violins took over the stage. Their incredibly unique style of rock captured my ears and kept them. Why didn't I know about them before their breakup show? Such a tragedy! Well, at least I got free CDs from Bang-Utot and Nero. That certainly lessened the pain a little bit.

For both of these bands, Marshall acted as singer and drummer. Therefore, it was quite a surprise to see him step up to the front and pick up a guitar for the Stegosaurus set. Man, that guy knows his stuff! And the band's final show drove the audience wild. Everyone was dancing, and the kids right beside the stage even started moshing. Then things became completely ridiculous. Let me tell you, crowd surfing at Go Bar is not a good idea. If you've ever seen the size of the place, you'll understand why. Pure madness, indeed. What a way to say goodbye, though! I definitely wish Marshall luck on all of his future music endeavors... I'm sure there will be many more!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Where, oh where, has Echoreyn of Athens been?

I know it's been a week since I last posted. Don't worry, though! As my friend Sheila would say, I am currently still in existence. It seems that last week was the week of the wildly overhyped SWINE FLU! Everybody run for your lives! No, stop. I'm just kidding. But yeah, I had it or, at least, I had some strain of the nasty, horrible flu. So did most of the other local music bloggers I know, crazily enough. There must be some correlation between concert-going and weak immune systems, right? Hm...

Anyway, the point is, now I'm back, and I'm ready to experience the rock again! Look out soon for my review of the very last Stegosaurus show as well as another article jam-packed with information about the music venue in 40 Watt's backyard: the Caledonia. Hooray!

Also, a few other cool things that I can't mention yet are in the works, so as always, stay tuned! And, at the risk of being repetitive, I've got to remind you to check out my list of September concert picks for all the best shows to satisfy your music cravings. Mmm, take one bite of the Constellations, a nibble of the Warm Fuzzies, a serving of Doctor Squid, a taste of Aman Amun, and one heaping plateful of all of the rest, and your ears will most certainly be well-fed till October!