Friday, February 26, 2010

Kristen's Concert Picks: Spring into March's Tunes!

March won't let February take the medal for best tunes without a fight! Spring Break's on its way, but with these shows to look forward to, you can party it up all month long. This is going to be amazing!

Wed, Mar 3: Allison Weiss @ 9:30 PM @ The Caledonia Lounge
Athens' much buzzed about songstress is back to kick off our month with her truthful tunes. Enjoy!

Thurs, Mar 4: Groove Tangent & Doctor Squid @ 8 PM @ Melting Point

Want to be able to say you knew them at the very beginning? The brand new band Groove Tangent rocks the stage for the first time with old favorites Doctor Squid on Thursday at the Melting Point. While Groove Tangent plans to introduce themselves with some awesome covers, they hope to become a fixture in the Athens music scene with their own original songs in the future.

Thurs, Mar 4: Madeline @ 9 PM @ Little Kings Shuffle Club

Soft rock is the sound! With southern tunes and dark melodies flowing through her music, Madeline's show will certainly make your night.

Wed, Mar 17: The Winter Sounds @ 10 PM @ The Caledonia Lounge

After taking quite a hiatus from the music scene, the Winter Sounds return to share their delicious tunes this month with shows on both the 2nd and the 17th at Caledonia. With Today the Moon, Tomorrow the Sun, the 17th's show should be quite a treat for the ears.

Thurs, Mar 18: Leaving Araby CD release with Doctor Squid & the Warm Fuzzies @ 9 PM @ 40 Watt

WHAT A LINEUP! Several of our favorites will take over the 40 Watt to celebrate the release of Leaving Araby's latest CD. The sheer joy emanating from these bands will make this a most glee-filled night. You won't want to miss this show!

Fri, Mar 19: Betsy Franck @ 9 PM @ 40 Watt

Bands, bands everywhere! The powerfully voiced Betsy Franck brings us an awesome mix of blues and southern rock for the Athens Music Collective Showcase Concert. Eight other bands are scheduled to play as well. Nice!

Sat, Mar 20: Tealvox @ 8 PM @ Nuçi's Space
These guys may be young, but they sure know how to rock! Tealvox has been making a name for itself all over the place, and now you can check them out in their hometown for yourself.

Thurs, Mar 25: Aman Amun @ 8 PM @ UGA's Black Box Theatre
Aman Amun, our favorite electronic soul-searching adventurer, brings his tunes to our yearning ears once more. He's also spreading the musical love at Farm 255 at 10 PM the next day during a Haiti Benefit concert. What wonderful news!

Fri, Mar 26: Deaf Judges @ 11 PM @ The Classic Center

Wild rappers Deaf Judges are back to surprise us with their latest crazy show! What will they do this time? I can't wait to find out!

Sat, Mar 27: Venice is Sinking @ 8 PM @ Nuçi's Space

Oh, how I love them! Venice is Sinking will be here to soothe our troubled hearts with their lovely tunes near the end of March. What joy!

Wed, Mar 31: Romanenko @ 10 PM @ The Caledonia Lounge

Once again, indie band Romanenko ends our month with their wonderfully dark sound. What a perfect finish!

Wow! These nights are sure to be unbelievable! And don't forget... even more awesome shows will certainly find their way onto this list as I hear about them. Know of a show you want everyone to check out? Comment below, and tell us all about it! See you downtown, my friends!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Bambara brings the sound, Reptar brings the dance!

Say hello to my awesome friend Elizabeth, Echoreyn of Athens' very first guest blogger! Here's her take on Saturday's spectacular Bambara CD Release/ Reptar show. :)

If I truly believe one thing, it’s that each and every one of us participates in the Athens music community for the same reason- we love live music! Meeting the band, sharing the energy with the crowd- there is an experience to be had in a live show unmatched by anything else. But what to do on those days when the world’s just got you down? Do you skip out on the show? My experience at the Caledonia on Saturday proved the answer to be a resounding NO. Like it or not, everyone has those days… you’re tired, you’re cranky, you may not even want to leave the house. But, people, skipping the show is not the answer.

Saturday began with Shithead, a local supergroup comprised of members of too many bands to be counted. Some may call them irreverent, some may call them plain silly, but Shithead’s grungy and often introspective grooves sure put a smile on my weary face. There was no question that those four musicians were doing what they love, and loving it!

Up next were Carnivores, a somewhat indefinable group out of Atlanta. It may not have been clear what exactly they were singing about, or just how far into the crowd the female lead was going to carry that microphone, but it was an energetic experience for sure.

But now we’re halfway through the set, and you’re still feeling blue. Maybe the crowd is getting to you? Not really feeling all the excitement? Well, just you wait for Bambara. Somehow the perfect blend of dark, heavy rock and driving, dare I say danceable intensity, these guys found a way to take the crazy crowd and work them into the set. Guitarist Reid Bateh may have claimed that screechy pedal was a malfunction, but did anyone else notice how perfectly it harmonized with the screechy female fans up front? That was no coincidence, if I say so myself.

Ok, we’ve got one more band, one last chance at making your night. Lucky you, that band is Reptar. They may still be in the ‘up and coming’ category, but these guys definitely know how to please a crowd. Dance-pop beats, electronica intensity, three-person drum solos, and more stage presence than you could shake any of those many drumsticks at- Reptar keeps you up and excited from start to finish. We will definitely be keeping an eye out for more shows, and (reported) LP release coming soon!

So, what did I learn from Saturday? There’s no glass case of complicated emotions that can’t be shattered to pieces by the right combination of bands. And where better to find these crazy line-ups than our dear old Athens? Keep listening, kids.


Friday, February 19, 2010

Five Things Bands Should Never Do

As you know, my friends, I rarely ever rant, but sometimes the truth just has to come out! Most of the bands in Athens give us rockin' new experiences every time we see them. They love their fans and their fans love them. Occasionally, though, a band will commit a most terrible crime against their listeners. No, no, I'm not talking about a bit of eardrum assault... That's to be expected in a town where brand new bands crop up on a daily basis. The crimes I'm talking about are much more heinous.

This may be the worst of the worst. Bands should never yell at their fans for chatter during their set. After all, punishments for talking shouldn't exist outside of class. Louder music? Great idea! Attention grabbing antics? Yes, absolutely! Flirtatiously inappropriate comments? Ooh, exciting! Verbal beatdowns for those enjoying themselves? Well, that's no fun! As long as the fans aren't so loud that they completely overpower the entire set, so wild that they crash the stage, or so violent that they're attacking people in the audience with an assortment of knives and swords, the members of the band should just love the fact that they're there.

Another no no? Bragging about how amazing the next song is. Trust me, the audience has ears; after all, they're there to give them a bit of a treat. They'll be able to tell whether or not it's amazing for themselves. A little bit of bragging can be amusing, though, when it's done facetiously.

Now, now, let's not commit any minor infractions! How ever one band feels about another, it just makes sense to encourage the fans to stay for the whole lineup. Who knows which people are there for which set of tunes? Good vibes are always a great idea!

This one's only a misdemeanor, but it's certainly a tragic one. Bands should always remember to tell the audience who they're listening to. Wow, what a band! It's the greatest band I've ever seen! So, who are they now? No matter how famous a band is, if they're not playing to a full venue of 1000+ eager fans, there's probably at least a few people in the audience who have no idea who they are. With the wonderfully affordable prices of shows in Athens, there's bound to be a some people who just wandered in because they heard music playing. So, bands, near the beginning of your set and the end... TELL US WHO YOU ARE so we can heap our love upon you and spread the word about your tunes!

And finally, bands must never forget to thank their fans. Spread the love!

Now it's your turn. Have you witnessed any purely heinous musical crimes that you'd like to share? Comment below, and tell your story!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Word on the Street is...

I've got a few tidbits and updates to share with you, my pals!

  • First of all, I've been bursting to say this for days, and I can't hold it in any longer. We've now got our own domain! We used to be , but now, let me officially introduce you to! We're certainly excited, and I hope you are too. :) Tell your friends!
  • On a less bright note, music bloggers everywhere are shaking in their dancing shoes this week thanks to some frightening news from the blogosphere. Apparently, many of my fellow bloggers have had their beloved blogs ripped away from them recently for posting tracks that they were under the opinion they had the rights to post. This is terrifying. All of their work just disappeared in an instant, sometimes without notice! We don't host or post mp3s here at Echoreyn of Athens for that very reason, but we mourn for all of those who have wrongly lost their blogs. It kills me to even imagine how I would feel if someone took Echoreyn of Athens from me. See Twitter for some of the latest news on this "music blogocide."
  • I have got some gifts for you, though. Last week, more rockin' show pictures made their way onto the Echoreyn of Athens facebook page! Don't forget to check them out!
  • As always, stay updated on the latest Athens and Atlanta music news on the Echoreyn of Athens Twitter page! And good news. It seems that my computer's sound is working once again, so videos will be flooding our YouTube channel soon too!
  • Also, February's got more amazing shows waiting just for you! This month's concert picks page is the place find out about some of the most delicious ones. Creepy and Reptar and Romanenko, oh my! Mark your calendars!
  • And finally, this one's not blog-related, but I truly hope you had a lovely snow day on Friday! Looks like it might not be the last one this year, doesn't it? How exciting! Mmm, time for snowballs and hot cocoa. :)

Stay warm, my friends!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Songs for Every Heart

Valentine's Day is looming... Are you ready for it? Whether you're deeply in love with the person of your dreams, completely disgusted with the mere idea of romance, or somewhere in between, our lovely local bands have some tunes you should check out! Courtesy of and, here are some of my favorites for your listening pleasure.

For those of you who are lucky enough to have someone special this Valentine's Day, might I suggest Native Tongue by Bambara. This particular delicious track has received the ultimate seal of sexiness from all of my friends. Hope this tune makes your night!

Want something a bit more graphic? Well, I'll let this song describe itself! Here's Atlanta band the Constellations' hit song Felicia. This song is scheduled for official re-release this Spring, but you can still get a taste of it here!

Things not working out too well? Maybe Aman Amun's Opportunity Cost is your song.

Or perhaps it's time to put an end to things, once and for all. Crumbling Arches gives us DJ Dormio's take on the state of things.

But wait, has someone's smile just got your heart doing backflips? Then Atlanta band Stellate's song Caught Up is just what you need!

Feeling a bit of unrequited love? Does he or she barely know you exist? Well, the Warm Fuzzies know how you feel! Check out their track Your Dairy King!

Or are all these songs just too upbeat for your mood? Well then, Dead Confederate's got you covered with Tortured-Artist Saint.

No matter what, I hope you have a rockin' day checking out some of these tunes! And hey, let us know which other songs out of Athens and Atlanta drive you wild!

Note: Why are all these songs just links instead of embedded MP3s? Well, I'll explain in more detail soon, but here are some blogs that might help you out if you're dying to know what's afoot in the music blogosphere.

Monday, February 8, 2010

The Tunes of Kalvinova, the Science of Sound

See, this is exactly why I take the advice of my friends when they tell me to check out a certain band or another. Even missing a member and lacking the accoutrements of their full show, Kalvinova proved to be just plain amazing when they rocked WUOG's Live in the Lobby segment a few weeks ago. But how was their show last Friday at the Caledonia, complete with lights, screens, and wild energy? One word describes it all. BREATHTAKING.

But first, it was Florida band Quiet Science's turn to fill our ears with some dark melodies. Their lead singer's soft and unique voice quality, sounding a bit like that of a tortured soul, gave each of their songs a curiously intriguing style. Even from the back, however, it was drummer Charles Barrett who stole the show with his insane drumming and facial expressions. As the band's set ended, he leapt up, threw his drumsticks into the air, and ripped off his headphones with a feral look on his face. What a character!

Moments later, crowds of people flowed into the Caledonia, drawn to the inevitability of Kalvinova's set. Honestly, I've never seen this place so packed! For a band that's quite new to the Athens music scene, they've got an incredibly impressive fanbase. After seeing their set, though, I'm not the least bit surprised. Calling themselves "the scientists of sound," Kalvinova took over the stage, and the audience never looked back. If the band blew me away the first time I saw them, this time they left me in a state of euphoric shock.

Truth be told, it's not that surprising to see bands using screens to show pictures during their performances anymore. Kalvinova, however, took the use of their screen a million steps further. They skillfully chose videos, animations, and displays to craft projections that were fully synced with their songs so accurately that even their drumbeats were in time with what was seen onscreen. And, at one point, the lyrics of one of their songs danced across the screen as singer Luke Galloway belted them out. Awesome stuff! And their sound... Wow! Computer-generated backing tracks ran parallel with their live tunes to give their set an ethereal, larger than life feel. It was unlike any combination of sound styles I've heard before! Electronic, rock, alternative, indie, pop, rhythmic... their music is simply unclassifiable. Scientists of sound, indeed!

The fans were just having the time of their lives. Completely engrossed in the band's every move and every melody, they clapped, danced, leapt, and fist pumped their way through all of the tunes. People sang along to the songs like their lives depended on it. The Caledonia may be a rather small venue, but I felt like I was standing in a stadium amongst a thousand fans, all completely and irrevocably in love with the performers and the music. Kalvinova embraced the fans' undying devotion with a bit of love of their own. A friends of theirs in the crowd was celebrating her birthday, and the band took time out of their set to get the whole audience to sing Happy Birthday to her. What a moment! It's no surprise that, when their set ended, every person on the floor begged for more. Kalvinova graciously obliged, giving their fans a spectacular taste of one of their newest tunes. And that's not all. Just as we thought they were finished, Luke announced to the crowd that everyone was getting free CDs! Not only are they an unbelievable band, they do it all for the joy of the music itself!

Truly, the future of music has arrived in Athens, and its name is Kalvinova.

Friday, February 5, 2010

An Experience Only Of Montreal Could Give Us

Wow... Last night's show was just about the wildest show EVER! Of Montreal reigns supreme as far as the all-encompassing downtown experience goes. I'm covered in sweat, beer, and feathers, yet I feel awesome! I don't believe I've seen a band or their fans more crazy or more enthused. Since the moment several of my friends from other cities and countries learned that I write a blog about local music, they've been begging me to see Of Montreal. Boy, am I glad I listened to them! They are the pure embodiment of the senses, capturing the attention of every member of the crowd. Just recently, I wrote a whole blog entry about the importance of antics, and I can truly tell you, I've never seen any quite so memorable as theirs. Their antics are legendary!

Before Of Montreal engulfed us with sound, James Huggins, one of the band's masters of the instrument, graced the stage as "James Husband" with several recognizable band members from the headliner itself. Their sound, while calmer and much more relaxed than Of Montreal's, still retains elements of the striking, distinctive style that the band has become known for. And, I've got to say, the gigantic screens that surrounded the band onstage made the performance incredibly visually delicious! Bright colors and scenes wafted across them slowly, in time with the music. My favorite part of this set, though, had to be the way the bass tones traveled across the floor and through my body to rattle my heart in my chest several times. I could feel the beat in every corner of my being. Undeniably, I love that feeling!

After the set came to an end, the audience waited, packed together like a wildly eager container of sardines. Indeed, by the time Of Montreal's crew began setting up for the band, the crowd had mysteriously multiplied to cover every inch of the 40 Watt floor. Unbelievable! I've been to some well-attended shows at the Watt in the past, but nothing prepared me for the sea of fans that flooded the floor for this set. And then, a cheer rose up from the audience. It was beginning...

Now, I've heard a lot of tidbits about Of Montreal's costumes and the general insanity that pervades their shows, but WHOA! Their entrance said it all really. A tiger, several pigs, and a veritable zoo of other creatures pranced onstage, growling and squealing as a tune erupted among them. The animals moved stealthily about, one by one switching off with other members of the band including lead singer Kevin Barnes. What a sight! Once the full band appeared before us, some of them cross-dressed, others in an array of wonderfully eye-catching outfits, the background music burst into one of their well-known tunes. Balloons flew through the air over the audience and, immediately, like a whirlpool just above a drain, a small mosh pit formed in the center of the massive crowd. Everything was wild! Their psychedelic, indie rock sound dominated the room, unique in its every aspect. The screens lit up once more with swirling colors, cartoons, and live video close ups of the band itself. And the antics! Oh, the antics. Men and women dressed in everything from their skivvies to sequined black body suits to even Santa and chicken costumes, leapt onstage at unexpected intervals to complete the unbelievable sight. Being there felt purely out of this world!

As the set progressed, the antics became even more insane. Pigs threw spaghetti at members of the crowd. A man dressed as a priest got beaten up by a man in pajames. Near the end of the set, a woman dressed as a pregnant lady was thrust into the air, legs spread wide, as a pipe full of soft, white feathers exploded onto the audience. No one was left uncovered! Someone behind me got so excited, he doused my friends and I with beer as the feathers continued to fall. Hell, I thought even that was part of the show. At that point, I think nothing could have surprised me. And then, it ended... or so I thought until they came back onstage. Encores were called in a steady stream, giving the set almost as many endings as the last Lord of the Rings movie. Their biggest hit Wrath Pinned to the Mist and Other Games, best known for its incorporation into the Outback Steakhouse commercials, greeted us in the first encore which gave a surge of even more energy to the listeners. The crazy dancing reached new heights during this song and continued through a song about friendship and a final tune, a cover of a Jackson Five favorite.

Honestly, Of Montreal left me nearly speechless. Holy spectacular platypus, I have never seen anything like this in my entire life! The band is, purely and simply, a whole body experience. Absolutely and completely unforgettable.

Monday, February 1, 2010

More than Music: the Antics

Last week, you read about the silly banter that keeps live shows constantly exciting. But what else do bands do to make the time between (and sometimes during!) songs less like waiting and more like some sort of wild party? Welcome to the circus, my friends! It's time for some crazy antics. From acrobatics to unexpected appearances to pure jungle madness, you simply won't believe your eyes at these shows!

Last Athfest, Deaf Judges gave us an insane spectacle when, dressed in full vampire garb, one of the members of the band leapt up and scaled the balcony inside of Morton Theatre to rap while perched atop the ledge, high above the crowd. What a sight! Talk about an experience I'll remember forever! And that's not all. At the award show the night before, they threw beach balls into the audience and rapped from chairs throughout the venue as the balls flew overhead. Wow! Just wow.

Speaking of playing in the midst of a crowd of fans, bands 50:50 Shot and Matt Kurz One know that there's nothing more exciting than bringing the music to the people. Just a few weeks ago, the trombone player of 50:50 Shot appeared amongst the crowd and began to play right beside me while the band rocked the Caledonia. How cool is that! And Matt Kurz One did his one man show thing in the round at Ciné during Athfest so that everyone could see the crazy mix of instruments and techniques he used to make his music. Awesome, indeed.

Local rockers Coco Rico and Doctor Squid get into their tunes so much that they've been know to burst into interpretive dance on occasion. It's so much fun to watch! Coco Rico's show at Tasty World in December was simply full of madness as they writhed and moved in an intense dance that almost resembled some highly amusing animal mating ritual. Doctor Squid, on the other hand, took it the literal route with some incredibly comical hand motions that fit the words of the song perfectly. I can't help leaving with a smile on my face after shows like these!

If physical feats are your thing, Crumbling Arches will give you an unforgettable night. Jumping from speakers straight into a rockin' guitar segment? They've done that! Playing their instruments blindfolded? They've done that too! Strumming their guitars while locked in some sort of ridiculous music-infused embrace? Yup, they've done that! And, I've mentioned my favorite of their antics before: the flip. Seeing them crawl over, around, on top of, and through the legs of each other without touching the floor is just totally mind-boggling!

And any conversation about band antics is incomplete without a mention of Kite to the Moon. Their off-the-wall costumes and unimaginably-shaped instruments are wild enough, but with the help of the Tiger Girlz of Athens, they put on a show that is almost literally like a circus. The Tiger Girlz, dressed in impossibly high heels and an array of unexpected costumes picked for each song, actually swing, climb, and fly on a trapeze right beside the audience during the music! It's an absolutely unbelievable spectacle!

These are just some of the completely insane things bands do to make sure their name sticks in your mind. You know you'll tell your friends about the outrageous antics you've seen these crazy musicians engage in downtown! But what else makes a show an all-encompassing experience? Don't miss the next segment of More than Music!

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