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Monday, March 29, 2010

Groove Tangent, Venice is Sinking, and Rye: The new, the missed, and the just discovered

These past few weeks have been full of simply amazing bands. Last Saturday at Nuçi's Space, it was Groove Tangent, Rye, and Venice is Sinking that took our ears for a ride.

Groove Tangent is one of the newest bands in town, so you know I just had to check them out! Right now, they're only playing covers, but the band is hoping to make that leap into original tunes sometime in the near future. I've gotta say, though, even as a brand new cover band, their set was one to remember. To my great joy, they rocked songs I actually recognized. Well, that's quite a shock! I mean, let's be honest. Picking non-Athens tunes that I've heard before is certainly something of a feat. They played their way through pop music history, giving us hits from the sixties to the present including an impressive rendition of the Power of Love. I truly hope their original tunes will sound as awesome as that did!

Then, near the end of their set, this band of four guys gave us their own crazy rock version of Lady Gaga's "Love Game." Oh, wow. :) I think my life is finally complete. It is quite possible that nothing will ever compare to the hilarity of the moment when singer/basist Mitch sang "I wanna take a ride on your disco stick." That whole song performance had me laughing so much that, even hours later, I was still giggling hysterically, much to the confusion of my pals. I love that these guys have such a sense of humor! I'm very excited to see where they take it from here. Truly, though, no matter how many original songs they play in the future, I think they should always have a little Love Game or something in their set. Wow, what a time!

Then it was Rye's turn to show us what they've got. I've never heard of this band before, but I have to admit, I really enjoyed their sound. The three-part harmony given to us by their trio of frontmen was just plain amazing! And it made quite a picture to see them all singing together as well since there was definitely a bit of a resemblance between them. Turns out those three are all related too. I knew I guessed right! As far as their tunes went, each was rather lengthy, but their style was so nice that none of the songs seemed too long at all. One of the songs even made my friend Sheila feel like she was embarking on an adventure of sorts. Ooh, exciting!

And finally, just as darkness had fallen around us, Venice is Sinking stepped onstage. Ah, it was such a delight to see them again! It's been much too long! Back from their stint at SXSW, they filled our desirous ears with some tunes I've never heard before as well as some of the favorites I've been yearning to hear once more. They had all of us in the crowd dancing and clapping along to their rhythmic and ethereal songs. A few people were even grooving in unison right in front of the stage. Then, near the end of their set, Venice is Sinking gave us something totally unexpected. The band shared what Sheila called a lullaby version of the Black-Eyed Peas hit "I Gotta Feeling." Although it was just a cover, Venice is Sinking made it wholly and completely their own. Their style is so unique! Very nice. I'm so happy that I finally got another chance to bask in this amazing band's tunes. And, before I go, the fashion-lover in me is just bursting to mention the lovely golden dress that Karolyn wore as she and Daniel sang their way through the set. She told us she made it out of a gown she found at a thrift store. Oh, so creative in so many ways!

What a night. As the musical month of March comes to an end, I certainly hope this winning streak of purely wonderful bands continues!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Attention, Musicians! Athens needs you!

Hey, you! Are you looking for another time and place to share your tunes with the masses? Well, Athens is craving your sound, and the city's got tons of amazing shows just waiting for your band to complete them.

First, I know it's barely even spring, but it's never too early to start planning for Athfest 2010! Don't miss your chance to show your stuff to the whole excited crowd on one of the two outdoor stages! They stop accepting submissions for those stages on April 1st, so now's the time to embrace the opportunity. Visit the Athfest site for more info. I'd love to see all of my favorites rocking the stages at Athens' biggest and most celebrated music festival!

Here's another chance to bring your music to the people. UGA's University Union is planning an awesome event called Local Bands Live that will take place every Friday in April on the Tate Plaza's outdoor stage, and they're looking for bands to fill each day with tunes. Practically every student at the university passes through the Tate Plaza during the day, so this is the perfect place to grab some new fans! If you can get a hold of a PA system and you're ready to rock, University Union wants your band! Just shoot a message to Kathryn at You know you want to!

And finally, the lazy days of summer seem like they're lightyears away, but the season's definitely sneaking up on us. Don't let it catch you by surprise! Is your band looking to play in Athens this summer? Let me know! Trying to find some other bands to fill your bill? I'll see if I can possibly help you out. Reach me at You know I just can't resist doing my part for the Athens music scene!

Friends, bands, and fans, have a most spectacular weekend!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Carolina Ridge: New Name, Nice Sound

Today we've got a short one, but I just couldn't let the week go by without mentioning the Carolina Ridge show I caught last Saturday night at Rye Bar. Sadly, it's been almost a year since I saw these banjo-playing guys share their tunes with the crowd. Back then, they were a trio called Pholksinger Josh with a sound they dubbed "gangsta folk." Now, fresh from a semester in North Carolina, Josh and his bandmate Andy have returned with some wonderful new tunes that draw influences from the original folk songs of old as well as from the experiences they've had traveling around the country and returning home.

One of my new favorites was definitely Andy's song (though, tragically, I didn't catch its name); I've never really heard him sing before, and the harmonies between he and Josh were simply amazing. I've gotta say, I loved it! I also couldn't help but smile as I listened to them sing and play their new tune about all the pretty girls in Athens. Awww. Don't fret, though, longtime fans of Pholksinger Josh. The band still has that lovely spoken word rhythm you know and love. Truly, I'm so joyful that they're back and making music in Athens once more!

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Youth Take Over: Here come Tealvox, Athens, and Second Sons!

All of you established bands of Athens, don't get too comfortable! A new generation is bringing their tunes to our town and showing us that pure talent has no age restrictions. They may not be old enough to drink yet (heck, some can't even vote), but boy, can they rock!

At the shockingly early time of 8 PM, my friend Olivia and I arrived at Nuçi's Space ready to treat our ears to some tunes. The crowd that filled the venue was quite different than the ones I'm used to, and I was very excited to see what these bands had in store for us. As we entered, Second Sons played us in with their fun, upbeat songs. These kids have definitely got some skills.

Then it was Tealvox time. I've been dying to see these guys again since their Athfest performance last summer, and I can honestly say that their sound has grown in leaps and bounds since then! Add a few member changes and a ton of brand new songs, and Tealvox is a huge force to be reckoned with. Headed by the undeniably talented Cody Stalvey, the band's cross-genre style fired up the crowd and even had one couple waltzing across the floor during one of their slower songs. Brilliant stuff! And trust me, I wasn't the only one in the crowd totally blown away by their set. After one of their first few tunes, a guy right behind me told his friend that, "That was the sickest song I've ever heard. I'm definitely buying their CD." Confirmation of their pure awesomeness, indeed! And I've gotta say, I'm always impressed by a band that doesn't let little things like a faulty mic get in their way. These guys never missed a beat. Very nice! Tealvox finished their slice of the show with a totally rockin' song called Dinosaur that I just loved. I can't wait to see what these musicians do next!

And the music didn't stop there. Created by four boys, one as young as eleven, the youthful prodigies of Athens (the band) gave us a setlist of wildly well-executed covers of some rather familiar rock phenomenons like Van Halen and a few original songs as well. Wow! When I was eleven, the only thing I had ever done onstage was read a poem about seasons to my classmates and their parents. Label me impressed. It truly is just great to see kids like these take up instruments and rock a venue!

Yes, I'll admit it. For most music bloggers, high school and middle school bands are uncharted territory. But these talents just can't be ignored! Watch out, Athens, and keep your ears open. This music scene of ours just keeps exploding with amazing new talent!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Here by Still Here: The pure joy of Fuzzies, Squids, Araby, and the mysterious Moreland

The Warm Fuzzies, my pals, and I

Words cannot describe the euphoria of seeing the Warm Fuzzies and Doctor Squid play together again. Never in the history of music has there been a combination more glee-inducing than this pair, of this I am sure! You can bet I won't ever miss a show where these two are playing together. In fact, every band that fed our ears tasty musical morsels last night was amazing. What a rare but beautiful thing!

To the utter delight of my friends and I, the Warm Fuzzies kicked off the show right as we got to the 40 Watt with a wild mix of our familiar favorites and some new tunes that transported me instantly into the lazy days of summer. I swear to you, even the most depressed person in the world would crack a smile for this band! Though the crowd throughout the night remained rather small, their energy seemed to be that of an audience five times its size. Several people knew the words, and the Fuzzies' catchy sound was the best intro that I can imagine for the night's epic lineup. Eee, I love these guys! I fully intend to find the warmest, fuzziest sweater there is and wear it in their honor all of next winter so that I can bask in the joy of their shows every day!

The lovely Leaving Araby took the stage next with their purely great rock sound. Justin Reynolds' and Jon Dobberstein's soft harmonies combined with their smooth yet intense style to make their set quite the listen! And, lucky for us, they just released their brand new CD As Long As the Devil Is After You which you can check out for yourself here on Rhapsody! Haven't gotten a chance to see them yet? Well then, don't forget to tune in to WUGA today at 4 pm or go to the Two Story Coffeehouse tomorrow to rock out to their tunes live.

Then it was Doctor Squid's turn to blow us away. I seriously can't get enough of this band! Every Doctor Squid show is different, and every time they play, they just amaze me more and more. Joy all around! It will be no surprise to people who've had the supreme pleasure of attending a Squid show that nearly the whole audience collectively knew the words to every one of their original songs. Truly, once you hear them, you're a fan for life. Their unique, upbeat sound drew us in immediately and had us all dancing across the floor in a most exuberant manner. Now, for most local bands, playing a cover or two drives the fans wild since people tend to cling to the more familiar songs they already know. The crazy thing about Doctor Squid, though, is that even a completely rockin' cover of a Stokes' song doesn't get the crowd as excited as their original songs do. That's how unbelievable their own tunes are! I never wanted them to stop! Their sets always feel like an embrace from an extremely happy, many armed giant squid. Awww. Be sure to go out and support them for College Battle of the Bands at the Cotton Club in Atlanta on March 27. No band deserves to win more than these guys do!

Mystery surrounded the very last band on the bill. As far as I could tell from talking to each of the other bands, no one quite knew who they were. Rumor had it that they were from Atlanta, but nobody was really sure. One of my pals turned to me before the band began to set up and asked me, "Wait, this isn't Natalie Hinkle, is it?" (Those involved in the Athens music scene lately will know what I'm talking about here. :D ) I assured her that, no, this was yet another group surrounded by the airs of intrigue. As Moreland took the stage, they told us they hailed from Conyers, Georgia... well, this is curiouser and curiouser! Finally, they began to play, and I can tell you, they were certainly worth staying for. They gave us some solid pop rock tunes that had a sort of professional feel to them. Rather impressive! Their mellow sound truly rounded out last night's incredible show.

Honestly, it's nights like these that make me absolutely convinced that nothing can beat the pure awesomeness of the Athens music scene!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

My Own Personal Leprechaun

A leprechaun visited me this morning and showed me some rather spectacular tricks! Luckily, I had my camera on, so I caught our whole adventure on film. Ooh, and don't miss the music! It's by a rockin' new favorite of mine, the amazing Kalvinova.

Happy St. Patrick's Day, everyone! :)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Hear that tune? Athens welcomes you home!

And we're back! Home, sweet Athens!

This entry's going to be a bit short because I've got a few things in the works and I'm busy gearing up for the overflowing cornucopia of unbelievable Athens shows that will be occurring over the next few weeks as well. For those of you (like me) who must miss out on the craziness that is Texas's giant music and arts festival SXSW, Athens certainly won't be leaving your eardrums tuneless. Tonight, catch Venice is Sinking and Spring Tigers at Tasty World and, if you love WUOG like I do, you can also check out a free sneak peek of the Winter Sounds tomorrow at 8 at UGA's Tate Center before their official Caledonia show on Wednesday (St. Patrick's Day!). For a whole bunch more amazing shows, including several newly added ones, don't forget to look back over March's Concert Picks calendar!

These next two weeks look so exciting, I can hardly breathe! Hope you enjoy them as much as I will!

Friday, March 12, 2010

There and Back Again: A tale of Athens music and beyond

Bet you can guess which foot is mine. :)

Ah, vacation. Taking a break from it all.

As I lay on the beach soaking in the sun's warm but gentle rays, I thought I was taking a short break from my beloved Athens music scene as well. After all, my traveling buddies' music of choice consists mostly of the latest pop radio hits. For the first time in many months, I heard Lady Gaga's, Britney Spears's, and Taylor Swift's newest releases. Oh, and I learned that Justin Bieber is not actually a five year old! Good to know. Yes, that's right. At times, I'll admit it, I can be massively clueless about the popular music scene. For me, nothing can beat the up-close-and-personal experience of a live show in Athens. On occasion, though, it's probably good to get a nice big dose of what the kids are listening to these days.

Interestingly enough, however, Athens music has managed to seep into all of our lives in curious ways. It's no surprise, I suppose, that the shirts I wore on the days that we explored the seaside town nearby were tees I've collected from some of my favorite local acts. More surprising were the times when an Athens song or even a medley of local tunes would find its way onto my friends' party CDs. Wait... Was that... Crumbling Arches? Oh yes, and... Some Constellations too? Very nice. Even my clothes wouldn't let me forget this lovely town. I swear I found a feather on my favorite horned hoodie that had managed to cling to the fabric since that wild Of Montreal show in early February! Well, old friend, fancy seeing you here!

The beauty of Athens music is that, for those of us who are lucky enough to experience it, it truly becomes a part of our lives. There's something that everyone can enjoy here, no matter your taste, no matter your style. It's a feeling of joy that can't be forgotten regardless of where life's journey takes us.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Have a Rockin' Vacation!

For those of you here at UGA, I don't need to tell you twice: SPRING BREAK IS ALMOST HERE!

Hanging with the family? Got some wild plans with your pals? Or perhaps you're prepping for a trip to an exotic land. Well, here's some fantastic news. Our beloved local bands are on the road too!

Headed to Savannah, Georgia? Venice is Sinking has planned a whopping two shows there for tomorrow night, and Dead Confederate is stopping by on Saturday the 13th to finish off your Spring Break Athens-style!

Is North Carolina your destination? Well, Venice is Sinking's dropping by Greensboro too, and Allison Weiss rounds out the first Spring Break weekend with stops in Charlotte and Chapel Hill.

Need some of your favorite tunes in Columbus, Ohio? Both Allison Weiss and the Constellations will be there to treat your ears to some tunes on the 13th.

Want a taste of the ATL in Chicago? The Constellations hope to mix things up in Illinois on the 12th. In fact, they've got the northern U.S. pretty much covered this week with shows in Milwaukee and Minneapolis too! And if you're really lucky, you might even catch them in London, England this Friday!

Or maybe you're hoping for some local love closer to home. Youthful rockers Tealvox are taking over Jefferson, Georgia this Friday while Dead Confederate is visiting Macon and Augusta later in the week.

Jetting off to some of the most popular vacation spots? Bambara's trekking across the country to rock Houston, Texas this Saturday and Los Angelos, California next Monday. And Allison Weiss isn't showing any signs of slowing down with her nationwide tour either. You can check her out in Richmond, VA, Brooklyn, NY, Philadelphia, PA, and several more states throughout the break too!

For more details about all of these shows including locations and times, check out each of the bands' MySpace pages:
Show these rockin' bands some love, and while you're at it, take advantage of a whole delicious feast of new tunes in whatever local music scene you can find. Have a truly awesome break, my friends!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Visuals Escaping From the Confines

Pictures and videos galore! Everything from my computer's sound to the transfer cables are working now which means that it's time for some sense-encompassing experiences.

Feeling nostalgic for the merry days of Squidmas? Well, maybe this video will raise your spirits!

Or perhaps you're dying to relive the ever-so-wild Of Montreal show. If that's the case, I've got a treat for you!

Need some Kalvinova? Here's a small taste of what their show was like. I seriously cannot wait to see them again!

And guess what... Tons more videos from these bands and others, including Leaving Araby, Romanenko, and James Husband, found their way onto the Echoreyn of Athens YouTube channel during the night too!

In a quiet place but still want to experience some shows? The Echoreyn of Athens facebook page has some new pics from the rockin' Bambara and Reptar show that happened just a little over a week ago! Good stuff.

Happy March, my friends! Hope you have a most splendid month... and of course, don't forget the shows!