Thursday, December 30, 2010

Out with 2010, Rockin' In 2011


I simply cannot wait for 2011! Time to start a brand new chapter in our lives. Next year's going to be amazing, you guys... I can just feel it!

But what about 2010? A lot of big things happened this year for Echoreyn of Athens and pals as we gallivanted through our favorite city. In fact, I'd say it's about time for another year in review...

Echoreyn of Athens: 2010

January 2010: Atlanta band Stellate starts off our year with some undeniably awesome pop tunes at Georgia's New Years Eve Peach Drop.

January 2010: Just a couple weeks later, Echoreyn of Athens gets its first taste of the jazzy punk dance music that is ska.

February 2010: Of Montreal takes over the city for two nights in a row, giving us a legendary series of shows.

April 2010: Adult Swim teams up with local favorite the Modern Skirts to throw an absolutely massive block party.

June 2010: Nothing rocks our socks off here at Echoreyn of Athens more than Athfest! For a second year in a row, we spill every little detail of the magic that is Athens' biggest music festival.

September 2010: The Beat Geeks, breakout stars of the year, rock their first show at the Caledonia for a crowd of over a hundred people.

October 2010: Maintaining their streak of memorable shows, the Beat Geeks treat Athens to a second helping of their tunes as they open for the unbelievably famous Ludacris.

November 2010: The music scene marks the end of an era for Echoreyn of Athens as Crumbling Arches plays their final show.

December 2010: What would the holiday season be without another merry little Squidmas?

Wow, that was quite a year!

In other news, 2010 saw the end of several more of our favorite bands including Deaf Judges, Leading Edge, and the current incarnation of Chris McKay and the Critical Darlings. Fare the well, dear bands! I know you all will continue on to do amazing things!

And some bands just took their tunes in a brand new direction. Modern Skirts and Dead Confederate, I'm looking at you! More still, like Reptar, Oryx and Crake, and the Athens band, are just continuing to get all kinds of buzz around town. We'll definitely be keeping an eye on these guys!

But, hey, enough looking back... Let's look forward to the eve of a brand new year! Not sure how to celebrate? Well, my friends, you've got all kinds of choices!

First off, if you were lucky enough to be among those who got tickets, Of Montreal will be throwing a sure-to-be-INSANE sold out show at the 40 Watt for New Years Eve. Missed your chance for tickets? Well, don't fret! Over at the Caledonia Lounge, the Incendiaries will be playing with Free Mountain and Pride Parade too. In the mood for a free show? Well, blog favorite Venice is Sinking's got your back at Farm 255 where they will be rocking the night away with the Quiet Hooves. But what if you're in the ATL for New Years? Well, you're in luck, my pals! Big time blog favorites the Constellations will be taking over Smith's Olde Bar in the city as well.

Don't forget: for all your music news, reviews, and info in the new year, Echoreyn of Athens is the place to be! Raise your glasses, my friends. Here's to 2011!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Dear Santa (year two)...


Dear Santa,
I bet the North Pole is lovely right now. Athens is rather chilly at the moment, but it seems that we might be in for a snowy white Christmas this year! Whee, how exciting!

So Santa, I've been wondering... Has Athens been naughty or nice this year? I'm leaning towards nice since I hear that 2011 will be full of gifts for us like the reincarnation of the Georgia Theatre! Thanks, Santa! Oh, and on the subject of gifts, my Christmas wish is simple: Let 2011 be full of tunes and musical delights! Give me the chance to discover more new favorites, meet more ever-awesome fans of the scene, and rejoice in the visits from old favorites as well. Make this upcoming year the best year ever!

Love and striped knee socks,
Kristen a.k.a Echoreyn of Athens

P.S. Could you please grant all of the wishes that dance in the minds of the people of Athens and beyond this holiday season as well? That would be super cool. Thanks!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

It's a Jolly Holiday with Pictures!

It's high time there were more pictures up on our Facebook page! We've got images from shows upon shows, celebrations of ghoulish nights and joyous, festive delights. Rather than describe them for you, here's a small taste of what you'll see on the Echoreyn of Athens page right now:

Kite to the Moon featuring Chris McKay at the Wild Rumpus After Party


The Modern Skirts at WUOG


Yo Soybean at 40 Watt's Cowboys and Aliens show


Doctor Squid rocks Squidmas 2010

Dying for more? Visit our Facebook page for nearly 60 new pictures of bands from Athens and beyond! And hey, if you like what you see, don't hesitate to tell us by clicking that convenient little button next our name. Happy Holidays, my friends!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Here comes the graduate!


And now, the moment of truth has come. It's time to get a little personal. As you read this, I'm most likely standing amongst my fellow students wearing a cap, a gown, and purple striped knee socks and awaiting the words, "Congratulations, graduates of Fall 2010!" This is still as utterly terrifying as it was two days ago. Here I am at the brink, at the edge of it all. It's happening too fast! Aren't I still four years old? What happened to elementary school, my teen years, school days? How can I really be done?

Barring that minor freak out moment, things are looking good though. I've got a place to live here in Athens that fills me with glee. Yup, that's right, my pals and readers of this blog. I'm staying here! Echoreyn of Athens will continue to live on. Gotta have my music scene!

And to answer that nagging question that makes every graduate (except for my friend who went to work for Google) cringe: no, I do not yet have a job. But, hey, I'm sure that one will come soon enough too. And, well, if you happen to know anyone who is looking to hire someone with experience in website and mobile app building, 2D and 3D animation, social media management, data mining, or writing of any type, I'd love you forever if you'd let me know.

But, really, here I am, standing at the beginning of the next chapter of my life. And I'm not alone. Graduating with me are some of the greatest people I've ever met. I can hardly believe that so many of my friends chose this, such a rare graduation date, to start their new lives as well. What a time! What a moment.

Here's to the future!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Music Scene: Movin' on up


Ch-ch-changes! So, here's the truth of it all. Being a graduating senior is just plain scary. This whole thing called life looms before me like some spectral, monstrous presence. Whispers of jobs and bills and paychecks haunt me in my dreams. This time period in my life can be summed up in just one word: terrifying. BUT I'm not the only one who's growing up, moving out, and taking life by the horns. Several of the bands of Athens are with me on this too!

Longtime favorites of mine, the electro-experimental experience Aman Amun and douche-pop innovator Mud Scholar will both be relocating to New York within the next few weeks. Boy, am I jealous of the people of New York right now! Don't fret, though! These two will be returning to Athens for a visit or two in some musical form this Spring. Can't wait, that's for sure!

Who else is on the up and ups? Why, the ever-popular Beat Geeks, of course! These hip hop pop kids are once again making a name for themselves in a big way. You know the show "Men of a Certain Age" on TNT? Well, on Monday, their song Strobe Lights was featured on the show! Now that, my friends, is cool. I swear to you, in a few years, these guys are going to take over the world!

Know of any other local rockers moving out, stepping in, or making it big? Be sure to let us all know! After all, our lovely scene is so dynamic, sometimes it's hard to keep up. Happy listening, everyone!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

It's a holly jolly Squidmas!


It's that time of year again when reindeer antlers miraculously sprout from the heads of Athens music fans, elf hats are a common sight to behold, and Santa Claus himself makes his way to 40 Watt. What could possibly bring about so much festive joy? SQUIDMAS, of course! There's nobetter way to ring in the holiday season, that's for sure. As yearly Athens music events go, Squidmas is second only to the magic that is the 150+ band show Athfest in my mind. And joy upon joys, the third (official) annual Squidmas last Tuesday night definitely did not disappoint!

First on the bill was the brand new local band Flesh and Blood. Although they are certainly newcomers on the scene, most of the members are no strangers to Squidmas, having performed at last year's celebration under the name, Romanenko. Now, you know what's cool about Flesh and Blood? There are three women in this band and just one guy. As I've said in the past, this is such a tragic rarity in Athens. And, wow, do they know how to rock! It's no surprise that sales of this year's Squidmas album went towards helping women rockers enter the music scene. Power to them all! Flesh and Blood played through their set, one amazing song after another, each infused with hints of lovely darkness. How can there be so much brilliance in just their
second show? It seems the bands of Athens are certainly stepping up their game lately. I've no doubt that I WILL be seeing them again!

Craving that warm fuzzy feeling? Well, at Squidmas, we were all in luck because cheer-inspiring rockers the Warm Fuzzies were up next. Amidst their Christmas covers, they gave us a brand new original song about wishing for an alien for Christmas. Pure awesome! But, really, nothing could beat the holiday version of their hit song Hey Milunka. Calling the song Hey Santa, they had everyone in the crowd smiling with this take on the tune. Joy!

And then the moment had arrived... The band we were all waiting for stepped onstage... I mean, really, what is Squidmas without a nice, healthy dose of Doctor Squid? Now these guys topped
themselves this year with a set that would make Santa's own head explode with excitement. How can they possibly throw a better Squidmas every year than the year before? HOW DO THEY DO IT? Intermixing their hit songs with countless beloved Christmas tunes, they gave us a set only Doctor Squid could. Seriously, this band is the only band in Athens that could release a whole full-length album of original Christmas mixes that tons of people would buy without hesitation. And these guys never fail to throw a party at their shows! Their signature slow-to-speed style is just perfect for the madness that is Squidmas. By the end of the night, they had a massive crowd of fans leaping about, clapping wildly, and even crowdsurfing to their tunes! It was a thing of beauty.

Truly, I think we can sum it all up with a few words from Jessie of Flesh and Blood who, in the most epic way, declared that "never before and never again will there be holiday spectacular such as this that is Squidmas!" Squidmas is my favorite.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Attention, bands! Facebook masters the music scene...


Now let's be honest here. What non-musicians still use MySpace instead of Facebook? Anyone? Yup, that sound you hear is the chirp of a lone cricket.

Reigning king of the social web scene in the late 90s, MySpace has been good to us in the past; I won't deny it. For bands, it has always been a one-stop showcase for their tunes, photos, and fans as well as a great excuse for band members to forego the whole "building a website" deal. In the beginning, it was the perfect place for a budding band to spread the word about their songs and their style and give their fans freebie jams for download. As Facebook became the place to be, MySpace decided, hey, why continue to keep the features that made us awesome? Running with this vein of thought, they completely abandoned the whole indie-bands-give-out-songs-for-free concept in favor of supporting only national acts. Now, years later, in a last ditch attempt to get people back on their site, they've revamped their look and offered to import your information from your Facebook page so that you won't even have to make an effort to be on their site. Sadly for them, we all know it's too little too late. Let's have moment of silence for MySpace, please.

In response, Facebook has decided to blow our minds by giving us all of the features we need to rock a completely amazing band web presence from the comfort of the most popular social site on the web. Need proof? Check out rising Athens/Atlanta stars, the Beat Geeks' Facebook page. These guys have it all there! Using a few Facebook apps, namely the Reverbnation Band Profile and iLike Music tabs, the Beat Geeks have managed to provide all the information that MySpace gives fans in a simple, easy-to-navigate way. Pictures, videos, shows, updates... all of these are right there for your viewing pleasure.

The best Facebook features? Both the Band Profile and Music tabs offer bands the ability to give their fans free tunes again. Take that, MySpace! Hey, it IS the best way to get your music out there when you're just starting out. Even better, everyone knows that the best way to spread the word about a show is to make a Facebook event, right? After all, everybody and their grandmother will see it there! Now, bands can make one from their handy dandy Facebook fan page which means that even more people will have a chance to check out their tunes. AWESOME. Seriously, the only thing Facebook doesn't have are those crazy backgrounds... and ever since one bands' MySpace page nearly blinded me with its blinking neon colored background, I've been thinking that this might be a good thing.

So, for those who took one look at this post and said, TL;DR, here's the deal: It's out with MySpace, in with Facebook, my musician pals! Isn't it time the whole modern world heard what you can do?

Disclaimer: Echoreyn of Athens is in no way affiliated with Facebook. The site is just, undoubtably, the best place for fans to simultaneously check out their favorite bands while stalking their friends.

Friday, December 3, 2010

And so it goes: Deaf Judges' final show with Bambara and Gift Horse


Purple fingers. Frozen. Searing pain. But sometimes even frostbite is worth it.

Truth be told, it seems that I have a penchant for attending Bambara shows in the throes of some wild illness or absurd medical problem. Remember that time I had swine flu? This time it just might be internal bleeding (and mild frostbite)... but no matter my ailment, this band manages to cure it all with their mad awesome skills every time. Indeed, I could write hundreds of pages on the righteous and rad rocking of Bambara (and probably have at this point), but I'll try to keep it short this time. Really, though, this band's music never ceases to transport me to an alternate universe. The chords, the yelling, the beats, the noise... I just can't get enough of their sound! And I'm not alone. They nearly blew the heads off my two friends who had never seen them before. Oh, these guys will always be among my top favorites!

Minutes later, Gift Horse set foot onstage to give us a bit of a softer take on the rock. Much more subdued than their Athfest show, this set featured a video of a classical composer projected on the wall behind them, quite like the very first show of theirs that I saw way back in the day. I've also gotta say that I just loved the basist's eyeless Mickey Mouse tee. Hey, I can't help it. I'm a sucker for unique fashions!

As the night crept beyond the midnight hour, it was Deaf Judges turn for their last hurrah. One of Athens' favorite hip hop/rap groups and winner of the Flagpole Athens Music Award in that category several years running, it could have been something of a tearful farewell. That not how the Judges wanted to go out, though! These guys have made a name for themselves with their insane antics and their beyond clever lyrics. Repetition really isn't their style. They've got wit down to an art form. I think one of the members said it best when, as the microphone crackled with static, he said that their words were so hot, they were blowing up the mic. Oh yeah!

These guys started off the night wearing sunglasses, bandanas, and hard hats, and that was only the beginning! One of the rappers hopped down into the middle of the crowd and dropped some lyrics right there as the fans danced around him. Then, as the band rapped its way through their tunes including a few blasts from the past, the members began throwing out what they called artifacts: old tees, signed records, and more. And the prizes just kept coming! Near the end of their set, the crowd got a hold of the bright Teddy Bear piƱata that had hung over us throughout the show. Violently exuberant, the fans quickly dismembered the bear which rained candy all over the floor. One enthused crowd member even insisted on wearing the bear's skin as a hat as the Judges finished their set. As the fans bobbed and bounced, the Judges rapped through some of the most popular songs of the nineties before giving us one last taste of their original tunes. And then, it was over. What a show! Though the members will continue to share the beat through their other musical projects, Deaf Judges will undoubtably be missed!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Echo's Playlist: Week 7


My listening habits have become quite blasphemous this week! Most of the jams I've been rocking out to lately are much more likely to be heard on the radio than in the 40 Watt. Shocking, indeed. I think I'll have to blame my family for this one. But hey, I love them, and I'm not afraid to admit that I love these tunes too. And, joy of joys, a few Athens and Atlanta tunes have crept onto my list as well! Here are the songs that have made my life a walking music video this week.

  • Told You So by the Orkids: Free track from MTV's Needle in the Haystack
  • The Preachings of Priamides by Crumbling Arches: Song and album The Somnambulist on iTunes
  • Love is a Murder by the Constellations (Song and album Southern Gothic on iTunes)
  • LoveGame by Lady Gaga: Song and album The Fame on iTunes
  • Shake It by Metro Station: Song and album Metro Station on iTunes
Which tunes made your end of November playlist?

Monday, November 29, 2010

Kristen's Concert Picks: Heating it up with December's jams


December has arrived, bearing the gift of tunes! Athens bands sure know how end a year the right way. Take a break from it all, and check out these amazing shows!

Thurs, Dec 2: Deaf Judges (FINAL SHOW) @ 8 PM @ Caledonia Lounge
Kicking off a month of rockin' tunes, some of Athens' favorite rappers Deaf Judges will be dropping the beat for the last time at the Caledonia. They'll definitely be missed! Joining them for a lineup like no other will be noise rock blog favorites Bambara and the awesome Gift Horse. You just can't miss this show!

Tues, Dec 7: Squidmas 2010 @ 9:30 PM @ 40 Watt
It's that time of year again! SQUIDMAS 2010 IS HERE! I'm so excited! Every year, Doctor Squid and friends top the previous year's festivities with even more unimaginable festive cheer. With the happiness-inducing Warm Fuzzies and a Romanenko spin-off band Flesh and Blood on the bill as well, this year's party is sure to brilliant. Ring in the holidays with Squidmas!

Wed, Dec 15: Tealvox @ 10 PM @ Caledonia Lounge
Longtime blog favorites Tealvox are bringing their awesome tunes to us once more to rock the middle of our month. Celebrate the end of finals with these guys!

Thurs, Dec 16: Pholksinger Josh @ 5:30 PM @ Terrapin Brewery
In the mood for some harmonica? Well then, Pholksinger Josh is your man! Get ready for a righteous mix of folk-insfused songs!

Fri, Dec 17: The Orkids & the Athens band @ 8 PM @ 40 Watt
YEAH, I can never get enough of the Orkids! You won't be able to keep from dancing to their pop tunes. Also, at this show, the Athens band begins their three day takeover of our town's stages. Too cool!

Sat, Dec 18: Love Tractor (Jon Guthrie Tribute show) @ 7 PM @ 40 Watt
In honor of Jon Guthrie, a musician our city dearly misses, a lineup of some of Athens finest are gathering together to play a wonderful tribute show. Featuring one of the music scene's founding bands Love Tractor, another appearance by our young favorites the Athens band, and tons of others, this is guaranteed to be wild!

Sun, Dec 19: the Athens band @ 8 PM @ the Melting Point
Couldn't catch them at the 40 Watt? Well, don't miss your chance to see these rockers take the Melting Point by storm with their unique mix of covers and original tunes. Other young rockers Second Suns will be taking the stage at this show as well. You've gotta see it!

Fri, Dec 31: Of Montreal @ 8 PM @ 40 Watt
New Year's Eve 2010. OF MONTREAL. I don't think there could ever be a better combination! Insanity reigns supreme with this band, so I'm sure this show will be nothing short of spectacular! Buy your tickets early 'cause I know this one will sell out fast! CAN'T WAIT!

Dress warmly, my friends! This December's going to be incredible!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Of Echo's Playlist and Turkey Days


HAPPY THANKSGIVING! I hope you all are feasting up a storm today!

So what makes you thankful on this fine day of food and family? As for me, I'm most grateful for my pals, my family, my ever-more-ridiculous wardrobe, my always-growing list of majors, my continuing ability to hear, my extensive collection of Harry Potter knick knacks, my rather frightening assortment of knee socks, and something else... I can't quite put my finger on it... Of course! This lovely music scene of ours! After all, how could I not be thankful for something that just keeps giving like it does?

Lately, I've been reminiscing, so my playlist for the past few weeks has been largely filled with my eternal Crumbling Arches favorites. Namely:
...among MANY others. Favorite tunes of the week by bands not named Crumbling Arches include:
One more thing before I leave you for a deliciously mouth-watering slice of pumpkin pie. If you're going to be around the Atlanta area tomorrow (November 26), you won't want to miss the unbelievably spectacular lineup of the Whigs, Futurebirds, and Bambara over at Variety Playhouse at 8 PM. What I wouldn't give to be there! I can guarantee you, it's going to be wild. Embrace the awesomeness! Happy eating, you guys!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Crumbling Arches: THE END OF AN ERA


To call Crumbling Arches my favorite band in the world would be an understatement. If I loved these guys any more than I do, they'd probably have to put me in the crazy house. Seriously. As the band that's most responsible for bringing me into the Athens music scene, motivating me to find and follow my own dreams, and giving me the most spectacular memories like my insane birthday party last year, I can't thank them enough. And somewhere along the way, I was lucky enough to become friends with all of these awesome guys too. Crumbling Arches may have just played their final show, but this band will always rock a huge piece of my heart.

Attending their final show was as bittersweet as I knew it would be. I've been mentally preparing myself for this for quite some time now, but seeing the band in all its glory just like in the old days brought back a veritable flood of memories. They played through some of the highlights of their body of work, songs that span over the more than eight years that they've been together. Several of the tunes were from the very beginning of the band's existence, long before I had ever gotten a taste of their sound. Purely rockin'! And, rather spectacularly, as the show wound to an end, they thanked me and other fans that have been there through it all by name. Nothing can beat a band who truly loves their fans back! Most tragically, though, the set itself was much too short. I wasn't ready for it to be over. It still hadn't really hit me that this was the last time they would all be playing together like this.

Luckily, however, their final note belonged to a song I've been dying to hear as it was recorded many years ago, a song that I had never gotten to see performed in its original version in all my years of loving this band. Phantom, the band's notorious Phantom of the Opera cover, brought me full circle again with an epic finish that involved Alex perching atop Zachary's shoulders and smacking the drums with reckless abandon, lots of delicious falsetto, and just pure magic. Phantom was the very first recorded song I ever heard from Crumbling Arches all those long years ago. There could be no greater finish than finally seeing that tune performed live at the end of their final show!

It's only just starting to hit me that I won't get to see them again like this. Singers/ guitarists Brian McGaw and Alex McKelvey are off to New York in less than a month, fully ready to debut a sure-to-be-awesome brand new joint music project there to complement their amazing solo acts Aman Amun and Mud Scholar. Ever-smiling bassist Ian Hennessee will be jetting to Africa with the Peace Corps soon, and Zachary Hennessee will be working at an environmental consulting firm in Atlanta which is just brilliant. I will miss this band and these people more than I could ever express in words. If ever there comes a day that these guys reunite to play once more, you can bet I'll be in the front row, ready to sing along to their tunes just like I always do!

Monday, November 15, 2010

It's Party Time: WUOGfest 2010 with Oryx & Crake, Venice is Sinking, and Reptar!


Downtown Athens is the perfect place for a party, no doubt about it! Given my tendency to throw birthday parties two weeks after my actual birthday, I was on the lookout for a rockin' linuep of bands sometime around the 13th. I didn't have to search for long... WUOGfest featuring blog favorites Venice is Sinking and Reptar was prepared to take over the 40 Watt that very night!

So, on Saturday, my friends and I headed to the Watt dressed in our ridiculous best. Silly hats, feather boas, and condom dresses ruled the night! But enough about my party... what about the bands?

Well, I've been hearing buzz about Oryx and Crake for a while now, so I was quite overjoyed to learn that they would be playing just before Venice is Sinking on this night of nights. Truth be told, I'm always a bit skeptical of bands with an incomprehensible number
of members since, in the past, I've seen just as many multiple-personed bands give the audience a cacophony of noise as I've seen play cohesive music. Lucky for us, Oryx and Crake definitely belongs in the latter category. They managed to throw together a banjo, a violin, a cello, an acoustic guitar, an electric guitar, drums, a bass guitar, computer-generated layers, and vocals to create a sound that's just plain amazing. I'd describe their music as beautiful pop rock with an undeniably awesome beat. This is one discovery I'm incredibly happy to have made. I'd love to see this supergroup rock the stage again sometime soon.

And then, it was Venice is Sinking's turn to fill the fans' ears with their tunes. Now, clearly, I can't get enough of this band. I honestly saw them perform twice this week. They're just that good... always. They're definitely one of the two bands I've written about most on this blog. So why do I love Venice is Sinking so much? Maybe it's their sound that transcends this world with its softness.
Maybe it's the fact that most of their songs have a lovely fun beat, perfect for groovin'. Or maybe it's because, at the end of every show, they gather together a massive crowd of band members from countless Athens bands to help them play and sing their wonderful song Bardstown Road. No matter what it is, their shows never cease to be amazing. Even better, at Saturday's show, they debuted a brand new song that I really enjoyed. Yup, it's true! I'll always come back for more.

No other band but Reptar could finish out a night like this. Reptar's particular brand of crazy is the sole reason why I knew no one would question my friends and I when we drew all over each other with body crayons. When you've got a band that plays their first song next to a bunch of people who seem to be building some sort of blanket fort onstage, nobody wonders about anybody's actions anymore. Now, if you've never seen them, Reptar is widely known as one of the most fun bands in Athens. Their Of Montreal-like antics are an attention-grabber every time, and their tunes never fail to drive the fans nuts and leave them dancing up a storm. Crowdsurfing was the act of the night on Saturday, and one of the members, Will Kennedy, even involved some of the fans in his music making as he had them hold up his giant drum so he could give us the beat standing on the edge of the stage. Accessories were a band favorite with umbrellas, giant fish, and road signs showing up onstage throughout their set. Even crazier, they peppered the crowd with large sheets of paper as they played so that, by the end, the floor of the 40 Watt looked like the site of some office building explosion. Madness truly has never been so much fun!

What a night that was! It definitely ranks as one of my top favorite birthday parties ever. Oh Athens, you give us all such joy!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Attack of the Cowboys, Aliens, and Everything in Between: Yo Soybean, Kite to the Moon, and Misfortune500

Thursday night was a lovely break from all of the schoolwork that has been plaguing me lately. To start things off, I headed on over to catch a forever favorite, Venice is Sinking, play Live in the Lobby at the WUOG radio station. Then Dreamboat, whose members Claire and Paige you may recognize from Hope for Agoldensummer, gave us a taste of something purely beautiful and serene with their short set. The rock, however, didn't start till I stepped into the 40 Watt.

Now to my utter surprise, Yo Soybean had already taken the stage when I got there. Why is it that I'm always either extremely early or horribly, unfashionably late to shows? I'm never just on time! Tragic, indeed. Boy, am I glad I finally got to see at least half of their set, though. After hearing about them for quite a while, this experience was certainly looooong overdue. And I've gotta say, I really enjoyed their folksy, southern rock style with a hint of pop. Wow, these guys went wild onstage as they played. Clearly, they all, especially singer Nicholar Mallis, have a flair for the dramatics! Using everything from banjos to harmonicas, they jammed their way through a medley of movement-inducing tunes leading up to a rather awesome wall of sound. Absolutely, genuinely beautiful!

Next up were newer blog favorites, Misfortune500... not the Modern Skirts as they tried to lead you to believe. Don't let them fool you with their jokes! Oh, the ridiculousness! Most wonderfully, these guys brought the darkness with their set, and I loved their sound just as much as I did the first time I saw them. During the show, they gave us quite an awesome cover as well as a taste of one of their newest tunes, a song undeniably filled to the brim with rock. Great stuff! I have to admit, though, you know it's kind of a weird lineup when these two bands play one after another.

And speaking of weird, Kite to the Moon took the stage next, ready to give us an experience that can only be described as random (and that's coming from a person doesn't ever use that word). If you've never been to one of their shows before before, all you really have to know is that you're in for a crazy spectacle when you go to see these guys. Is it Halloween again? Kite to the Moon will, without a doubt, have you pondering this question during their set. Watching them this time around made me feel like I was observing some sort of gathering of circus clowns. Utterly insane. I can see why the Cowboys and Aliens theme was necessary to remotely tie these three bands together. Madness, I tell you! Madness!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Echo's Playlist: Weeks 3 & 4


These past two weeks have been insane for me! Have they been as crazy for you too?

Luckily, my music was there for me. Mud Scholar's refreshingly honest tunes have definitely been a big help in getting me through these few weeks. After all, there's nothing like singing along to an incredibly explicit song right before a major exam! After pulling three all-nighters in a row, though, I realized that listening to these tunes put me in immediate danger of blurting out something wildly inappropriate during one of my group presentations. :D To prevent this, I delved straight into a medley of some of my very favorite Disney songs. I mean, who doesn't love Disney songs? Here's my rather ridiculous mix!

George Carlin is My Obi Wan [very explicit] by Mud Scholar: FREE album A Must for the Dick on Bandcamp

I'll Make A Man Out of You from the Mulan Soundtrack: Song and album in iTunes

Elitist's Curse by Mud Scholar: FREE album A Must for the Dick on Bandcamp

Part of Your World from the Little Mermaid Soundtrack: Song and album in iTunes

Be Prepared from the Lion King Soundtrack: Song and album in iTunes

What tunes have been dancing through your head lately?

Monday, November 8, 2010

A Night of Mystery with Qurious and Abandon the Earth Mission


Last Friday night was undoubtably a night of mystique and wonder, where flights of fancy took wing and soared into our ears! As I walked to the Caledonia through the icy darkness of downtown Athens, I thought I knew what to expect, having seen both bands before. I was unprepared, however, for the magic in store for those who braved the cold.

Qurious was up first, ready to give us a show that matched the band's name perfectly. A man and a woman with glowing faces appeared before a background of green stars and illuminated instruments as the atmospheric melodies wafted through the room. There is always a danger, with trance-inducing, ambient music like theirs, of being too repetitive, but Qurious never had this problem. Though each song had no concrete sound, every tune differed greatly from the one that preceded it. Nature sounds helped to create a peaceful, unique environment that bordered on the realm of the other-wordly. Their style could truly only be described as larger than life. As their set drifted to an end, they debuted for us a curious brand new tune with a very modern backing track that I really enjoyed. Quite an ethereal show!

Then Abandon the Earth Mission, one of my Athfest favorites, stepped onstage through a veil of fog and red lights. Mystical sounds surrounded the audience as they played their nearly tangible yet ever mysterious tunes. I felt as if I were soaring through space and time, stars flying beside me as as I listened. Adding a bit of rock guitar to the melodies, their style had an awesome hint of pop to it which I quite liked. Their sound never ceases to impress me. What an experience of the mind!

Without a doubt, this was an exquisite combination of bands and tunes! This show was definitely worth grappling with the vein-freezing weather to see.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Kristen's Concert Picks: November's tunes will drive you wild!


There's no doubt about it... the 40 Watt's the place to be this November! You can stay warm while rocking out to all of your favorite tunes. And there's plenty of other shows to tickle your fancy here too. Exciting!

Thurs, Nov 4: OK Go @ 8 PM @ 40 Watt
You remember that song Here It Goes Again with those guys on the treadmills doing that awesome choreographed routine? Well, they're coming to Athens and hopefully bringing their antics with them! This should be fun.

Sat, Nov 6: Krush Girls @ 9:30 PM @ 40 Watt
YEAH, KRUSH GIRLS! Everyone's favorite Athens DJs are coming out of hiding once again to rock the dance floor!

Sat, Nov 6: Abandon the Earth Mission @ 10:00 PM @ Caledonia Lounge
Otherwordly, electronic sounds engulf you as you listen to Abandon the Earth Mission. Ah, wonderful!

Wed, Nov 10: Wowser Bowser @ 10:00 PM @ Caledonia Lounge
Now, I've only seen this band once, but boy, did they make an impression. Trust me, if you're looking for some fun, this is the band for you!

Thurs, Nov 11: Misfortune500 & Yo Soybean @ 9:30 PM @ 40 Watt
Well, the second week of November's definitely shaping up to be an explosion of amazing tunes! Newer favorites Misfortune500 are taking over the 40 Watt with Yo Soybean, a band that's been on my radar for a while. Named the Cowboys and Aliens Dance Party, this show is guaranteed to be one you won't want to miss!

Fri, Nov 12: Modern Skirts CD release @ 9:30 PM @ 40 Watt
Modern Skirts is just one of those bands that you've got to have seen if you're into the music scene. Best of all, they're releasing their brand new album at this show as well!

Fri, Nov 12: Doctor Squid & the Orkids @ 9:00 PM @ Bad Manor
WOW, I've dreamed of this lineup since I first saw the Orkids at Athfest! Happiness-inducing Doctor Squid and the dance-inducing Orkids team up with a bunch of other great bands in a benefit called Music for Mali!

Fri, Nov 12: Aman Amun @ 7:00 PM @ UGA's Lamar Dodd School of Art
Longtime electronic favorite Aman Amun will give us yet another cutting edge musical experience at this semester's Art X exit show. Awesome!

Sat, Nov 13: Reptar & Venice is Sinking @ 9:00 PM @ 40 Watt
More pairings of brilliance! UGA's radio station WUOG is giving us a lineup of all their favorites, and it looks like they've picked some great ones. Get ready for a 5 band show you're sure to enjoy!

Thurs, Nov 18: Crumbling Arches (FINAL SHOW) @ 9:00 PM @ Farm 255
It's no secret that Crumbling Arches has been my favorite band since before this blog was born. Well, the end of an era has come! Don't miss their FREE farewell show at Farm 255. This is going to be an event to remember forever!

Fri, Nov 19: James Husband @ 8:00 PM @ 40 Watt
An Of Montreal member's curious side project, if you missed the famous band when they were here in September, here's your chance to hear what some of them do on their off days. Cool stuff, indeed.

Fri, Nov 26: Drivin' N Cryin' & Trances Arc @ 8:00 PM @ 40 Watt
Well-known southern rockers Drivin' N Cryin' are headed our way to give us a taste of their live tunes. Opening for them is local act Trances Arc, a band that's been on my list of ones to see for a while. This should be a rockin' show!

There it is! A massively impressive list of wild shows ready to fill our ears with sound this November. Got another show we just can't miss? Post it below for the world to see! And naturally, this list will be updated with more amazing shows as the month progresses, so keep checking back often. Have an awesome month of tunes, my friends!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Kristen's Concert Picks: Special Edition: Rockin' Halloween 2010


Halloween weekend is upon us, and no other city celebrates this wonderful holiday of spooks, frights, and delights like Athens does! Looking for a place to rock your favorite Halloween costume? Whether bands or dance parties are your thing, for this ghoulish holiday, I've got you covered!

Tonight, OCT 29TH, Athens has quite a few exciting choices for us...

* The Next to Last Festival is an all day affair starting at 4:30 PM at New Earth Music Hall and featuring the awesome rappers Deaf Judges!

* One of our favorites from Athfest, The Shut-Ups, will be spreading the musical love at the Caledonia Lounge after 10 PM. How exciting!

* If you want to get your dance on, 40 Watt's the place to be tonight! DJs Twin Powers, Grave RobberS, Z-Dog, and Feral Youth will be spinning their tunes from 10 PM onward for this year's Halloween Dance Party. I can't wait for this!

Then on Halloween Eve, OCT 30TH, we've got celebrations galore!

* The Next to Last Festival continues into Halloween Eve with one of the best party-makers in Athens, Reptar! The lineup of bands will begin at 2:30 PM at New Earth Music Hall, and they're going to rock it all day.

* The biggest party of the night is definitely going to be the Wild Rumpus Parade through downtown! Starting at 9 PM at the corner of Clayton St. and Pulaski St., this parade is guaranteed to be full of ridiculousness. And the night won't stop there...

* ... because once the parade ends, the after party begins! And it's sure to be tons of fun with the Orkids, Kite to the Moon, and DJ Mahogany all rockin' Little Kings Shuffle Club. This is going to be AMAZING!

Now, since HALLOWEEN is on a Sunday this year, it's going to be a little quieter than usual, but don't fret!

* DJ Mahogany will keep the party going at Farm 255 starting at 7 PM on the holiday itself!

WHEEE, I'm so excited! Today's also my birthday, so this weekend's going to be extra special for me, but I just can't wait to see all of you taking over the town Halloween-style too! Catch you dressed in your spooktacular best, my friends. :)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Echo's Playlist: Week 2


It's Halloween week! Let the ghoulies and the ghosties come out to play! Want some tunes to jam to while you're in costume? Here are a few Athens songs and a couple non-Athens favorites that have been filling our ears with joy this time around!
  • Baby Dinosaur by Mud Scholar: FREE album A Must for the Dick on Bandcamp
  • Ready to Move by the Beat Geeks: FREE single from their facebook page
  • Vampire Sex by Crumbling Arches: FREE album Yellow Years on Bandcamp
  • Tabitha (A Love Song) by Mud Scholar: FREE album A Must for the Dick on Bandcamp
  • Thriller by Michael Jackson: Song and album on iTunes
  • This is Halloween from soundtrack The Nightmare Before Christmas: Song and album on iTunes
What tunes have got you hooked this week?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Echoreview: Tealvox's The Next Room Over

Ah, Tealvox, the first rockers in Athens that had me intrigued about the local high school music scene! These guys impressed me greatly at their Athfest 2009 show, and I've been a fan ever since. That year in mid-June, they released their first EP Life is Sound which gave their fans a small sampling of their talents. This time around, though, they're giving us a brand new eight track album The Next Room Over which is scheduled to be released very soon. So what can you look forward to with these new tunes?

The album starts off with Neon Lights, a track recorded with altered low-fi vocals drifting over a very rockin' beat. I very much enjoyed listening to this one. Then Can't Get Enough rolls in with a much softer backing track and a hint of a Southern influence. This song is less polished than the former and exists as one of my least favorites on the album. However, singer Cody Stalvey's unique voice and repetitive "whoa" sound do give this tune a nice sort of coming-of-age feel.

The next song, Monitor, returns to a harder rock sound similar to that of the first track. Backed by an inspiring performance on the guitar and an amazing guitar solo, this song is full of character. Following this, Always There has a build up of sound that lends a lovely doomsday tone to this song which grabs the listener and takes them on a dark but very moving ride. There's no two ways about it: this tune just rocks!

Fittingly, Looking For My Chance to Fly comes next, bringing with it a dark keyboard-intensive frolic through fire. With a slight whisper of elements of swing as well as a very theatrical, larger than life sound, this song stands out as a game changer on the album.

By contrast, In the Dark lends a more indie pop-infused sound to the album. An acoustic tune, I could very easily imagine this song performed by a single musician sitting on a park bench during a cloudy day. Now, in all of these songs, Stalvey's voice seems much more mature than his age would suggest, but none more-so than this one. This song could very well appeal to a wide span of people from all walks of life.

Now I really like this sudden influx of songs about dinosaurs coming from Athens bands. Tealvox's Dinosaur has a big sound to match its title with a nearly epic mix of keyboard and electric guitar filling the song. Although the dinosaur mentioned in the song is only a simile, this mix adds a certain time-travelling quality to the tune which is very pleasing indeed.

The final song Tealvox gives us is entitled Weary. I always enjoy apropos tracks to finish albums! This song has a quieter but still rockin' rhythm that eases the listener to the end with references to the album title as well. With a focus on the drumbeats and vocals with a repetitive guitar chord, this tune provides a very nice end for The Next Room Over.

All in all, this album introduces a harder, darker style to Tealvox's body of creation. I really enjoy the mature direction their sound is taking. Although this album is not scheduled for release just yet, don't fret! Stay tuned for details on when and where you can get your hands on it in the coming months! I will certainly let you all know as soon as possible.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Rye, Doctor Squid, & the Skipperdees: Friends Old and New


Sometimes, after a slew of brand new bands, it's nice to take a step back into familiar territory, and see some rockers you know you love. Wednesday night, I had the lovely chance to catch Rye again for the first time since I checked out their latest album. Now, Rye this time around was missing two of the three band members, so it was quite a different experience than ever before. Even so, I've gotta say I enjoyed David Fallis's solo take on their southern soft rock songs. And, of course, any musician who mixes it up with covers of I Heard It Through the Grapevine and the original Toy Story's Strange Things is awesome in my book! Who doesn't dig a taste of Disney with their rock?

Next up were Tennessee natives the Skipperdees. Playing their first Athens show ever, they filled the room with soft, twangy tunes born from a mixture of voice, guitar, and banjo. The members themselves, though, were quite a surprise. It's a rare thing in Athens to find a true all-girl band, but twins Catherine and Emily Backus certainly made it work.

Then it was time for the final act of the night... Doctor Squid! It's been so long since I've seen most of my original top five bands, so this had me totally excited. After Nuci's Space came to the rescue during a bit of an issue with a dead bass, they rocked all of my favorite tunes, just like old times. Their fun pop sound had my newbie pals dancing all over the place. Ah, good times! They also debuted quite a slew of new songs, all with their unique Doctor Squid style. Sounds good! I especially loved their second-to-last brand new tune. That one was made for dancing! And then, of course, they ended the night on the highest of high notes with their hit On My Way. I will never get sick of that song! What a Wednesday!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Echo's Playlist: Week 1


So, here I was listening to the tunes that have me jammin' on my way to class each morning, and I thought, "Wouldn't it be cool if I shared with everyone what I'm actually listening to each week?" What songs from Athens and beyond leave me smiling on a daily basis, and where can you guys get your hands on these tunes if you so desire? Better yet, wouldn't it simply rock if I knew which songs had you hooked too? Let's make this a share-fest! What's good, my friends?

My favorites this week have been...

  • Where The Party At by the Beat Geeks: Get the single for FREE from their facebook page
  • Stop Starin' by the Orkids: Check out the Paper Dolls EP in iTunes
  • Sweat (Lose Control) by the Beat Geeks: Check out this single at iLike
  • Waste of Air by Mud Scholar: Download A Must for the Dick for FREE on Bandcamp
  • Caught Up by Stellate: Check out the EP I Get A Rush in iTunes
Got any tunes you'd like to share? I'd love to hear 'em, and I know everyone else would too!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Amusing, Offensive, and Unexpected: The Mud Scholar way


The atmosphere at Mud Scholar's debut show on Friday night was definitely like no other show I've attended. I don't know whether it was the people who were there or Mud Scholar's awkward sweater or the fact that it was at Amici's Italian Cafe, but something about it just made me feel like I was in the middle of a movie. I've never seen music presented in such a laid back manner. Kind of surreal, really!

Mud Scholar's stage was already set into a small corner of Amici's, complete with a lovely broken cup microphone on a stand, when I got there. As I settled myself into a chair for the show, I watched Alex McKelvey's alter ego Mud Scholar affix a second broken cup onto Chase Lance's (Bambara drummer Blaze Bateh's character) head with duct tape. I suppose it must be because I know these guys that I wasn't the least bit surprised by this! :) Minutes later, the show began... well, sort of. Technical difficulties kept the vocals completely out of the first tune. Once the mic was fixed, though, our ridiculous tool of a friend Mud Scholar had the perfect answer for this... It was absolutely intentional, of course! Kicking off the vocal portion of the night, he introduced his co-conspirators, the talented drummer Chase Lance whose name apparently references the curious task of searching for dick and the newest addition, a bass player whom he told us added an air of mystery to the whole operation.

Favorite moments from the night most definitely included his song Baby Dinosaur off of his first album A Must for the Dick which he preceded with the most wild antic... Getting his friend, artist Colin Tom, to chop off a lock of Mud Scholar's hair with a massive butcher knife and tape it to a large sheet of paper! Now that, my friends, got a gasp from the crowd. Quite shocking! Then, as he sang this ballad of unrequited love, Tom used
the sheet of paper to draw a graphic piece of, what else?, a dinosaur. Oh, wow. Intermittently throughout the show, various members of the audience leapt up to dance awkwardly right in front of the mic stand in a hilarious imitation of the rather frightening dance done in Mud Scholar's "Stop What You're Doing and Look At Me" music video. See, this is why it felt like a movie! Madness, I tell you! Amusing madness. Then, as the night came to an end, he played Waste of Air for us, complete with recorded voices of disdain. I just can't get enough of this tune! The crowd responded similarly, grooving to the bouncy beat. I can honestly tell you, it was the oddest show I've ever been to, barring perhaps Of Montreal's pig-filled fest of 2009. Truly, high praise, indeed. Shouts for an encore came ten minutes too late, rounding out this night of insanity. You just can't deny it. Mud Scholar was certainly an experience like no other! I'm mildly scared of and completely intrigued as to what he'll do next. I know I'll definitely be there at his next show to find out!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Stars in the Making: Interview with the Beat Geeks


Ever wonder what it's like to rock your tunes in front of a crowd of over 4000 people for the first time? Dying to know how it feels to open for a massively famous act like Ludacris? I was certainly curious, and I thought you might be too, so I asked the Beat Geeks to tell me a bit about their amazing homecoming concert experience! Here's what they said...

Echoreyn of Athens: So, how was it?

K Dex: The show was simply amazing.

Luke: It was an incredible experience!

Bobby: The show was REDIC!!!..Uber fun!!! UGA is where the party's at!

Echoreyn of Athens: What was the coolest part of the whole experience?

Bobby: The coolest part was seeing the crowd rocking with us...we appreciate the love, Geekers!

Luke: Seeing a sea of people jump up and down in unison is a gorgeous sight indeed.

K Dex: The coolest part was being so close to the legendary Ludacris as he took the crowd through ten years his ground breaking hits!

Echoreyn of Athens: I know I'd be terrified to perform in front of so many people. Were you all nervous?

K Dex: I was nervous until my foot hit the stage. All butterflies had to exit stage left.

Luke: You can ask the others, I was a wreck before the show. But once I stepped on stage, the butterflies went away instantly and adrenaline kicked in!

Bobby: Strangely...not really. I was just ready to JAM!

Echoreyn of Athens: I noticed you guys standing just offstage after your set. What was it like being just feet away from Ludacris as he performed?

Bobby: It was amazing!...Luda was great!...He took me back with those throwback jams....Felt like I was in high school again.

K Dex: It was unreal being so close to such a talented artist!

Luke: Bomb-bommy-bommy-bomb. I kept trying to get him to look over at me acting a fool side stage, and succeeded, several times.

Echoreyn of Athens: Wow, that must have been awesome! So, what does the future hold for the Beat Geeks?

Bobby: We just hope to continue to reach more people. Rock out more shows... and get everyone cruising the Geek wave!

K Dex: I hope we go to even bigger crowds and gain even more Geekers!

Luke: Ditto. Entertaining the world.

Echoreyn of Athens: Sounds awesome! Now, is there anything you'd like to tell your fans, those who've been with you guys since the beginning and those who just discovered you?

Bobby: I want to thank each and every one of our fans!...You all make this journey worth walking, ya dig?...We luv u all...and can't wait to *FICKET FICKET* GET DOWN with u all again! NOW THAT'S WHAT'S POPULAR!!!!

K Dex: Thanks for all the support. Thanks for rocking with us in and through the rain!

Luke: No dream is too big to reach. Trust in yourself, trust in God, trust in your team, and love people. Thanks everyone for blessing us with this experience!

Echoreyn of Athens: Well, thank you guys for letting us in on the Beat Geek experience! I've gotta say, the whole show completely blew me away!

When's your next chance to see the Beat Geeks in action? You can check them out at Bad Manor in Athens next Thursday, October 21 for Power 100.1's BFD party. Click here for tickets and more info! Have a great weekend, my friends!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Homecoming with LUDACRIS and the Beat Geeks!


UGA, let me hear you say, "LUDACRIS!" How lucky are we!?! As students this year, we had the
incredible opportunity to see one of the biggest rappers on the planet rock our homecoming show... What a night!

As the gates of Legion Field opened at 7, we were greeted by some popular djayed tunes that set mood for the awesomeness to come. Then, just after 8, blog favorites the Beat Geeks appeared. Now it's hard being the opening band for someone as highly anticipated as Ludacris, but these guys totally owned the stage! You'd think they performed for thousands of people on a daily basis, no problem. And the audience ate it up! When lead singer Luke moved his arms to the beat, the crowd moved as one with him enthusiastically. Through a downpour of rain, they rocked their newest hits as well as a few
covers including their always fun take on the popular internet sensation Bed Intruder. They even got the audience involved as they gave us their first single, Sweat (Lose Control). For a band that's new to the scene, it's nearly unbelievable that so many people in the crowd responded to their tunes with such glee. Impressive indeed!

Of course, in a crowd this large, there are always going to be those obnoxious kids that are determined to annoy everyone else around them. My suggestion for dealing with people like this is a conveniently "accidental" jab in the ribs whenever they start to spout out irritating nonsense or start pushing people to cause a riot. Not that I ever did that... Right? :P

Following the Beat Geeks, the house DJ returned to spin us some tunes as we waited for our main man, Luda. South Carolina's J. Skeezy also entertained us in the interim with more hip hop beats and lyrics, though it was kind of hard to tell when his set began since there was no real intro to their set.

Not much later, the crowd was buzzing with anticipation. Calls for Ludacris rang out from every corner of the field. As the lights on the stage grew dim, cheers rose from the fans and heightened as the man himself materialized before us. Now, I've gotta say, Ludacris knows who to treat his fans right! After our long wait, he gave us hit after popular hit. Oh, "Youza a Ho," how you remind me of the old days! And unlike performers of homecomings past, Luda didn't skimp on the songs. He sang his way through the hour long set and beyond, giving us tastes of everything from his very first chart topper to his most recent tunes. My favorite part just had to be the dance he and his friend did as they sang "My Chick Bad." Totally awesome! People were going wild the whole time, and when he asked us to light up the night with lighters and cell phones, thousands of fans obliged, creating a twinkling world of wonder before the stage. No doubt about it, there's never been a better school-sponsored concert at UGA. This was definitely a show to be remembered!

Monday, October 11, 2010

It's Coming!


This. Week. Is. Going. To. Be... AWESOME! I'm serious, you guys. Prepare for an insane week of exciting events!

You may have already heard the biggest news on this list, but just in case you haven't, let me share with you what's got me super excited for this Wednesday evening. Remember the Beat Geeks, those electro-pop rappers whose professional sound had the Caledonia's crowd dancing their shoes off during their debut show in September? Well, faster than can be believed, these guys are on their way to the big time. Next week, on the 21st, they're rocking the stage at Bad Manor for radio station Power 100.1's birthday bash, but that's not all...

This week, on Wednesday at Legion Field on the UGA campus, the BEAT GEEKS will be bringing the party to a crowd of 4000 people during the sold out homecoming show in which they open for (wait for it).... LUDACRIS! That's right, our newest blog favorites are opening for one of the most famous Atlanta rappers on the scene! How amazing is this!?! If you've got a ticket, you've just got to get there early to catch these guys. Doors are at 7 PM. Tell your friends! And if you won't be at this show, don't miss the Geeks at Bad Manor. You know you want to see them before they blow up all over the world! For more info on next week's show, click here!

Now what else is exciting? Well, singer Alex McKelvey's alter ego Mud Scholar will be debuting his amusingly offensive tunes at Amici's Italian Cafe this Friday at 11 PM. Remember his album, A Must for the Dick, that we reviewed at the beginning of the month? Yup, that one! With Athens' favorite drummer Blaze Bateh (Bambara, A Jetpack Operation) providing the beats, this is sure to be a show to see. And, knowing these guys, it will prove to be an all-encompassing experience of imitation douchebaggery and general hilarity as well. Don't miss this free show!

And lastly, I've got to give a little shout out to something I've been involved with outside of the music scene lately: Project Condom. Shocking! What is this, you might ask? Well, it's a school-sponsored fashion show that promotes healthy sexual behaviors in a rather unique way. As one of the designers for the show, I had the opportunity to create a one-of-a-kind dress made nearly entirely out of, you guessed it, condoms! You can check out all of the designers' whimsical creations for yourself on the runway this Tuesday at 7 PM in the Memorial Hall Ballroom on the UGA campus. Best of all, they're giving out free stuff too! I'll be modeling my own dress design during the show, and I'd absolutely love it if you all came to cheer me on.

For even more happenin' shows, check out this month's freshly updated concert picks list right here. Hope to see you all around town making the most of this unbelievable week!

Friday, October 8, 2010

No Need For A Thousand Words...

What's the best way to balance out the two extremely wordy posts below this one? Pictures, of course! Tons of pictures from all of the unbelievable bands that rocked our September will be up on the Echoreyn of Athens facebook page this afternoon, so be sure to check them out! But to tide us over until then, enjoy a visual feast of some of my favorites from the Athens band, Tealvox, Misfortune500, the Orkids, and the Beat Geeks!

Chase from the Athens band

Beau "Monkey" of the Athens band with a giant inflatable monkey

Tealvox

Misfortune500

Misfortune500 (Photo credit: Page Walker)

Chisolm of Misfortune500 (Photo credit: Page Walker)

The Orkids (Photo credit: Page Walker)

Hanging with the Beat Geeks at their first show (Photo credit: Meghan McBain)

Loved these? Don't forget to visit our facebook page for many more!

Monday, October 4, 2010

More than Music: the Fans


There'a no doubt about it... the fans make the show! You could be the best band that ever lived, but if there's no one there to hear you, did you really make a sound? Some bands go above and beyond to make sure that their fans know just how much they're loved and to keep them always coming back for more. These bands' fans are much more than simple spectators. They become part of the show itself! And often, the fans respond in turn with some rather wild displays of affection of their own.

About a year ago, the Warm Fuzzies brought their tunes to some concert newbies at UGA Freshman night and totally made the show an all-encompassing experience! Their smile-inducing songs already had the crowd pumped, and to top it off, they brought some girls from
the audience onstage to hold up cue cards to let everyone know just when to yell the title words of the song, "HEY MILUNKA!" That sure is one way to get the fans involved and make some new fans in the process!

Bands like Excali Brah, Deaf Judges, the Athens band, and Reptar drive their fans wild by essentially throwing parties during their shows. At their Athfest 2009 concert, Excali Brah threw an outdoor rave party in mid-daylight complete with glowsticks for every fan. They also had us move up and down in unison to different parts of their songs. We were all in the show! Similarly, Deaf Judges, the Athens band, and Reptar have all been known to toss inflatables into the crowd to keep them on their toes. Exciting (and a little frightening) indeed!

And Reptar even takes it a step further. Their love for the fans truly knows no bounds. After this year's Athfest performance, they passed around handmade band shirts to all of the fans
they could reach. And when I say handmade, I'm not kidding. These were t-shirts of all kinds of styles and designs, handpainted and embellished for all of their beloved Reptards. And with these guys, the love isn't just one-sided either. Fans come to their shows decked out in all sorts of costumes and covered in war paint in support of their favorite crazy band!

Now you want to know about something truly original? Aman Amun's got a way to make the crowd a part of his act that's totally unique. Bordering on antics, his innovative method's got everyone yearning to touch him! Using the iPhone strapped to his chest that enables him to control his entire performance, he can manipulate the music and add interference with just his fingers. More recently, he's chosen to take it to the next level by jumping off the stage and letting the fans alter the music themselves. Sometimes it causes some hilariously awkward moments when the fans don't quite understand where they're supposed to put their fingers though. Ah, fun times!

And finally, a discussion of fan love just isn't complete without mentioning Doctor Squid. I still have never seen a fanbase more loyal than theirs. When the fans sing along to their every word, Doctor Squid will often let them take over the song. And their love for the fans doesn't just stop with the tunes. They bring fun to every aspect of their show. Last Halloween, they hosted a show where fans got in cheaper just for arriving in costume. And who can forget their Squidmas celebrations? They give their fans some amazing treats with their festive tunes that blend original songs with holiday favorites, and the fans respond joyously, dressing the part with absolute glee!

These are just some of the ways the bands of Athens spice up their shows and shower love upon their listeners. It's clear to see why fans just can't get enough of these bands! But fan love isn't the only thing that makes a show an unforgettable experience. Keep a look out for the next entry of More than Music!

To read about all of the ingredients that make up a live show to top all others, click here!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Echoreview: Mud Scholar's A Must for the Dick


Today, I watched ever so eagerly as one of my friends sampled a playlist of songs on my iPod. The album of choice? Mud Scholar's full-length debut creation, A Must for the Dick. Yeah, you read that right. Seriously, you should have been there. My friend's face was priceless! Vivid expressions danced across it as she listened: interest, surprise, amusement, shock, disbelief. Oh, Mud Scholar, I would expect nothing less from you!

Hilariously offensive douchebaggery runs freely through Mud Scholar's veins, just as creator Alex McKelvey intended. A solo project for McKelvey (you may know him as the frontman of alt rock band Crumbling Arches), he uses his knack for ridiculous voices and his brilliant ability to write lyrics that make 95% of the population squirm in their skins to bring Mud Scholar to life. If you're looking for pure, deeply meaningful music that touches the innermost recesses of your very soul, these tunes are definitely NOT for you. But if you've been craving a bit of brutal honesty guaranteed to tickle your nether regions, shock your sensibilities, and leave you laughing, Mud Scholar is, indeed, a must. So, what are the tunes like?

Stop What You're Doing And Look At Me starts the album off with an obvious plea for attention, beginning a trend of straightforward titles that continues throughout the record. Mud Scholar truly has nothing to hide! Influences? Well, the song itself tells the listener it borrows heavily from a nineties alternative style which pervades the rest of the album as well. My favorite part of the tune (at least, the only favorite I can readily admit on the internet) has to be the ending where Mud Scholar's screams of "ME" bring the insanity to a whole other level.

Waste of Air bounces in next with a danceable style reminiscent of experimental indie favorite of mine, Lemon Demon. I just love this song! It makes absolutely no apologies, and yet still manages to be an enjoyable listen. McKelvey features his voice talents in this one, creating a veritable crowd of naysayers ready to criticize his every move.

Then, proving that this album is really just a constant stream of conscious thought, Mud Scholar waxes philosophical on the beloved TV show Boy Meets World. Unexpected, yes, but fun. Long live Mr. Feeny! Later in the album, Mud Scholar makes another pop culture reference with My Favorite Band is Lifehouse, a tune I first heard in between songs during a Crumbling Arches show over a year ago. Curious, indeed, how things happen. I have to admit I've never much listened to the band Lifehouse, but when my brother's Pandora station started playing a bunch of their songs over the summer, I was amused to no end that Lifehouse's favored lyrics were so brilliantly incorporated into Mud Scholar's ridiculous homage to the band.

We'll call the next song Clusterf****d to fulfill my contractual obligation to keep this blog PG. Now, an underlying air of tragedy lies just below the humor on many of these tracks, but in this song, it makes a rather depressing move to the forefront. This is the only song on the album that leaves me feeling just sad. The sigh at the beginning of this tune is fitting, indeed.

Then Man-Slut Logic breezes in, bringing with it a slew of well-written lyrics and a sound that is musically pleasing as well. This is honesty, incarnate. Elitist's Curse, too, maintains this listenable style. I've gotta say, I'm a sucker for songs about elitism... Yeah, I really have no idea why that is, but this one gets a check plus from me.

Ever had an issue with the cops? Then I Owe Cops is your song! This one's got a whole clever little story going which I quite like. Tabitha (a love song) also holds a story within its words, albeit a very creepy one. The ultimate stalker anthem, it appears later on in the album, giving the listener no doubt that the cops will be pursuing our young Mud Scholar yet again sometime very soon.

If there was ever a song that will never be played on the radio, George Carlin is My Obi Wan is definitely it! Religious? This one's probably not for you. Curse words make you uncomfortable? You should probably avoid it. But if you do choose to give this song a listen, stereo headphones are a must. Hearing the character voices coming at you from all sides is just simply awesome.

The next song on the album, I'm in a Band, is certainly a cacophony of noise, but as someone who deals with bands on a regular basis, I find it rather hilarious. I'll give most bands the benefit of the doubt, but it wouldn't be a lie to say I've met quite a few people whose sole purpose for being in a band is truly just to give themselves a feeling of self-importance. Too true!

Baby Dinosaur finishes the album with a short, uniquely introspective look at the life of one who cannot really fit into any category. Although this song is markedly different from the rest of the album, lacking the riotous hilarity of its peers, I absolutely love it. Suffice it to say, I can relate to this idea of existing outside of any label and being a sort of living contradiction.

Want a taste of the hilarious aural assault that is A Must for the Dick for yourself? You can find it right here! And mark your calendars... Mud Scholar will be playing his first live show at Amici's Italian restaurant on October 15th. Don't miss seeing this wild douchebaggery in action!