Friday, April 30, 2010

Kristen's Concert Picks: May's tunes will keep you cool

And then it was May. If you can spare a moment between studying for finals, finishing (and starting) projects, and making plans with pals, you'll definitely want to check out these tunes!

Sat, May 1: Doctor Squid @ 10:30 PM @ Rye Bar
Don't miss the Squid's last show for a while! There is fun to be had, and these guys never fail to bring it!

Sat, May 1: Krush Girls @ 10 PM @ 40 Watt Club
And they're back for another visit! It seems Athens' favorite DJs Krush Girls are now go-to guys for a holiday celebration. Make the most of the end of the year, and party it up Krush Girls style!

Fri, May 7: Venice is Sinking & Hope for Agoldensumer @ 9 PM @ 40 Watt Club
Two bands with beautiful tunes playing together? Just plain awesome. Feast your ears on their soft but powerful sounds!

Fri, May 7: Death on Two Wheels @ 9 PM @ Melting Point
I saw this Atlanta band at a Caledonia show once, and they totally rocked it. Now that they're taking over the Melting Point, I'm sure they're going to do it again!

Sat, May 8: Brave New Citizen @ 10 PM @ Caledonia Lounge
Last Athfest, this band totally caught me by surprise... Trust me, they are worth your time!

Thu, May 13: Chris McKay and the Critical Darlings @ 9 PM @ Melting Point
Now that they've returned, they can't be stopped! Finals are over, so if you're still in Athens, you know you want to be at the Melting Point. Get the classic rock you crave right here!

Thu, May 27: Love Tractor & Romanenko @10 PM @ Caledonia Lounge
Love Tractor, one of the original bands of the Athens music scene, are sure to drive the crowd wild while newer face, Romanenko, will give you a serving of the rock of today!

What a month! And, of course, as more amazing shows pop up, they'll appear for you right here on the schedule. Got a show not listed here that you're dying to experience surrounded by a crowd of music-lovers? Comment below, and let us know the details so we can experience it too! As always, have an incredible May, you guys. Oh, and good luck with finals too, my fellow students!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Flashing lights for the Novanauts

It's just not possible to see an amazing show in the middle of UGA's campus amidst the dining halls and freshman dorms, right? Well, last friday just before darkness fell, the Novanauts showed us just how wrong this assumption was. In the breezeway between Creswell and Bolton, Kalvinova lead singer Luke Galloway debuted his latest music project to a small crowd of excited friends and fans.

Now, remember that last thing I said about Kalvinova that I may never say about another band again? Well, as a combination of electronic pop and rock with enticing large scale visual displays, the Novanauts band retains a similar style of pure awesomeness. Honestly, I could hardly believe my ears. I've never heard such a clean, professional sound from a band playing outdoors before! This was their first show? If I didn't know any better, I would have never guessed it. Their songs were expertly crafted already, and they had those in the crowd dancing up a storm. And then one of the coolest things of all happened. Just before several girls in the audience called for an encore, they gave us what proved to be a completely unforgettable experience.

Now, I've gotta say, this was the second time in a week that I've seen a band in Athens cover Lady Gaga's Bad Romance. Looks like this is the latest "it song" to cover. Truly, though, they completely blew me away with their version of it. It couldn't have sounded better if it was their own original song. But what made this whole thing even more memorable? Well, as the band rocked their way through the song, lights in three of the rooms on Creswell's third floor flickered on and off to the beat. I still don't know who planned this, but, wow, it was a wild sight! Combined with the music, I was practically experiencing sensory overload. Most awesome thing ever.

Really, the whole show kind of made me feel like I was in a movie or something. Bands can't sound this good just outside the freshman dorms, right? Pinch me! This had to be a dream, right? See, it really doesn't matter where a show is. The feeling is in the experience... And after seeing their first show, I can tell you the Novanauts' experience is a spectacular one!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Feasting on the sights and sounds

Welcome to the land of projects, papers, and sleepless nights!

STRESSED. That's how I feel right now. Who's with me? Yup, final exam time is definitely on its way.

Looking for a break? Me too. Luckily, we have tons of new pictures from shows all throughout the past month to divert our attention away from our studies for a bit. You can see them up on the Echoreyn of Athens facebook page. What fun! Here's a small sneak peak:


the Athens band

You can check out the rest here!

And I've got some music news for you too. Little tidbits like band lineups are finally creeping ever so slowly onto the Athfest homepage. Ken Will Morton and several others have been added to the list for Friday's outdoor stage shows. I know I'm going to be keeping an eye out for more of these updates! Ah, the freedom of summer and the pure joy of Athfest. As you might have guessed, I can't wait!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Night on the Quad: One Year Later

Ah, springtime! One of my very favorite things about this time of year, besides the gorgeous weather, is the music. All of the little-known local bands and established favorites emerge from their winter hibernation ready to take on the world. Music festivals and events surround us!

Case in point: yesterday's Night on the Quad gave us a delicious list of bands to fill our hungry ears! Just about a year ago, this event gave me one of my earliest tastes of Athens' sound. This time around, I was happily surprised to find that I'd enjoyed three of the bands' tunes before and that one of the members of the first band I saw was no stranger either. Wow, what a difference a year makes!

I arrived on UGA's Myers Quad just in time to catch Koji Kondo's first song. Purely wonderful! This was the one band I hadn't seen before, and I'm quite happy to say, I got there just in time to delight in their tunes. But, wait a second! There was something so very familiar about the singer/violinist. Was it... Yes, it was! Hannah Samet, former member of Pholksinger Josh, was there to fill our ears with her sweet voice and violin's soft melodies. She and the rest of the band mixed traditional-sounding tunes with the rock style of the electric guitar to create a sound like no other. To put it simply, I loved it!

The last three bands were all ones I was incredibly delighted to see again. Groove Tangent was up next with a generous helping of their awesome covers. These guys truly have the best sense of fun! This time, Bad Romance was their Lady Gaga song of choice, and they rocked it most hilariously. I'm definitely going to have to keep seeing these guys whenever I can. After their shows, I can hardly keep the smile off of my face. Who would have ever thought I'd love hearing a cover band this much?

Then it was Carolina Ridge's turn. Having played this event three years running, Josh and Andy knew just how to give us the right mix of lyrical rhythm and folk melodies. And, for old time's sake, they even brought Hannah up to sing for two of the songs on the set list. Pholksinger Josh reunion! Best of all, they ended with the song I fell in love with all those many months ago, 18th Summer (April to August). Joy!

Last up was Bigfoot, the newest incarnation of Night on the Quad 2009's band Cyrnaca. Their set was a short one this time with a curious reading of some mysterious piece of paper to start things off. Interesting. Then they gave us a few minutes of their crazy rock sound before it was time to say goodbye to Night on the Quad 2010.

Man, I wish every Sunday was like this one!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Exciting Tales in the World of Tunes

Hello, my friends! It's time for some more music news and tidbits. This just in!

First off, I'm simply dying to show everyone this music player I created for my New Media class a few weeks ago. I'm just learning how to use Flash, and I thought it would be rather cool to incorporate some of my favorite local bands and tunes into a playable graffiti wall complete with animations and, if you look hard enough, a special surprise too! I think it's pretty good for a beginner, if I do say so myself. :) Get your ears ready for some rad songs by Doctor Squid, Kalvinova, Chris McKay and the Critical Darlings, Bambara, Aman Amun, and Crumbling Arches!

And, as far as local music news goes, you may have heard that Athfest's already prepping for this summer's massive festival with the announcement of their outdoor stage headliners. Friday will give us the Modern Skirts and Packway Handle Band, on Saturday Perpetual Groove and Bubba Sparxx will share their songs, and Sunday will bring us the tunes of Cracker and Kinchafoonee Cowboys. Athfest 2010 can't come soon enough! Honestly, though, I'm a little bit sad that some of my favorites like Dead Confederate and Venice is Sinking didn't make the list too. But don't worry! Both of these bands will be rocking the 40 Watt that Athfest Saturday night instead. What joy!

Finally, I've just got to admit that I'm ridiculously excited right now because today's shaping up to be quite an awesome day of music! I'm seeing Doctor Squid at Tate this morning(10:30 AM) and then heading off to an adventure at UGA's Six Flags Night where I'll get to hear the tunes of Blueswater Bridge as well! Nice. And don't forget... If Six Flags isn't your scene, Reptar and Deaf Judges are taking over Caledonia tonight to rock your faces off with their style! Whee, what a night! And there's more coming, too. Tons of new shows have been added to April's Concert Pick list, so be sure to check it out and satisfy your ears!

Hope you all have a most spectacular day!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Skanking with the best of them: Groove Stain, Taj Motel Trio, 50:50 Shot

I have to admit, I was not feeling my best last Friday night, but music waits for no one! Just in time for the show, I grabbed my downtown bag and headed over to the Caledonia for my second taste of the crazy joy and brass-infused style that is ska. After all, music has healing powers, right?

Once the first band, Groove Stain, began to play, I knew I had made the right decision. These guys were undeniably amazing! A mixture of ska, hard rock, and rap, their sound was like nothing I've ever heard. I don't think anyone in the crowd was expecting to experience such a showing of sheer talent. They had everyone skanking, rocking out, and jamming so much that I just had to join in the fun myself. And Groove Stain's stage presence was unbelievable as well. The lead singer/rapper, in particular, drew in the crowd with his magnetic performance personality and wild skills. What an uplift in spirits! I really hope I have a chance to see these guys again.

Taj Motel Trio was up next to give us Athenians another serving of their sound. I first heard their classic ska style during their January show, and I was quite happy to see their return to our scene. Man, the crowd was so into it, the skanking reached near dangerous proportions during the end of their set! Hm, I suppose I should give a short explanation of skanking for those just joining us since I've already mentioned it twice so far. Skanking refers to being loose (with your movements, in this case). That definition just works in so many ways! But anyway, it's sort of a mixture between flailing and moshing but with a sense of joy and freedom that I've never seen in any other form of dance. And Taj Motel Trio's tunes even got the crowd skanking in a circle around one of the band members. Pure awesomeness!

Unfortunately, by the end of their set, the sickness that I had been feeling earlier overtook me, so I had to reluctantly step out. Luckily, my friend Kole was there to catch the ever-amazing 50:50 Shot. Here's his take on their set:

Playing with a still fresh line-up, the seemingly immortal ska entity that is 50:50 Shot gave the best performance at the Caledonia tonight that I have ever had the pleasure of hearing them play. The turnout could have been better, but the crowd was going absolutely crazy for the music, old and first-time listeners alike. 50:50 Shot, like any good ska band, can use its magical energy-filled music to make a worn-out and tired crowd flail and skank in pure bliss and adrenaline. Drummer Bradley Gandy and guitar/singer Ryan Clark played a fantastic last show ever (yea, okay, it's been said before). They will be missed greatly and I am more than enthusiastic to see what 50:50 Shot's future will bring.

Oh wow. Really, I wish that all of life was as carefree as a ska show!

Friday, April 9, 2010

A Block Party Like No Other

I don't think I've ever walked through an archway of inflatable legs or seen a pole dancing rat or been complimented by a pink-headed chicken bunny before last Wednesday. Truly, the Adult Swim Block Party held outside the 40 Watt was an event like no other! There was so much to do, it was madness. Lucky for me, though, between waiting in a monumentally long line for a t-shirt of my choice, seeing a girl stuff $136 in her shirt, and staring for much too long at the beautiful ribbon that kept floating across the sky, there were bands. Two to be exact.

Now, I'm going to tell you a crazy secret. Please don't think any less of me after you read this. I've just got to finally come clean. Until Wednesday, I had never seen a Modern Skirts show. Blasphemy, I know! I've got to be one of the only people in the whole Athens music scene who had never experienced their tunes. Ok, I'll give you a minute to get over your shock.

You alright now? Still breathing? Good. In my defense, I still consider myself to be someone who's just discovering the music scene. But I'm proud to say that I'm no longer in the dark. And without further ado, here's my take on my very first Skirts show.

Drum beats began the set as each band member joined together to create a massive, all-encompassing rhythm. Then the pop sound they're so well known for entered into the mix. Fun, indeed. From research, I know that their set was full of brand new songs, so my first of their tunes was probably quite different than most. Despite the newness of their songs, it put a smile on my face to see at least one hardcore fan mouthing the lyrics. I love the dedication! I'm sad to say though, from their incredibly short set, I think I missed out on the true Skirts experience. Many of my friends were a bit surprised by their new style so I'm definitely hoping to see them play a whole range of their tunes at the next Athfest.

Then Brooklyn band Here We Go Magic took the stage. The lights glowed and changed as they began with a series of tribal-sounding drumbeats the led into a very ethereal tune. From there, they launched into a set of songs that seemed to take influences from nearly every possible style of music, electronic, blues, and rock among them. With such a surreal sound and look, I would be surprised if they didn't list Pink Floyd as one of their inspirations. Whatever the case may be, though, they certainly had me grooving to the beat. And as they played, I couldn't help but notice the audience reactions to the unique musical madness as well. Several people in the crowd were dancing in circles. Some even donned neon sunglasses and started leaping around in front the stage. And then, in the middle of their set, there was a slight diversion when a group of four ghostbusters suddenly charged through the crowd. Oh, Athens, I love you! This is the stuff memories are made of.

Really, this whole experience had me craving Athfest big time. Tons of people, stages on the street, awesome bands... I was having severe flashbacks. Best of all, just like during the summer festival, the crowd looked like a who's who of up-and-coming Athens music legends. My celebrities, the talented local musicians I admire so much, were there in droves! And, I'm happy to say, I finally had the chance to meet Hardy Morris, lead singer of Dead Confederate. From what I heard, fans of the band will get to catch them at Athfest again this year. Yes!

Really, all I can say now is: what a block party, what a night!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

What the NF?

Regular readers know just how much I can't resist a good cause. Using music to help the masses? Brilliant! Here's the latest worthy venture you might want to check out.

Tomorrow night, UGA Tumornators, a brand new organization that supports the Children's Tumor Foundation, is bringing local bands Drew Dixon, The District Attorneys and T.J. Mimbs to Tasty World Uptown to raise money for research related to NF or neurofibromatosis. Sound unfamiliar? Well, part of the purpose of this benefit is to educate people about the disease. Apparently, it's an incurable, incredibly painful nerve disease that affects over one hundred thousand Americans. Wow, sounds like something definitely needs to be done about it!

Want even more incentive to go? They'll be giving out prizes which include everything from celebrity autographs to gift certificates. Who doesn't like to win things?

Here's are the basics about the show:
  • Doors: 9:30 PM
  • Place: Tasty World Uptown
  • Tickets: You can grab them in advance at or get them at the door for $5
Music: making the future better for everyone. Nice! Hope you have a great day, my friends!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Nate Nelson: What a Voice!

With all the excitement surrounding Echoreyn of Athens' first birthday, I'm a bit late getting this short little show review up. Honestly, though, I just couldn't let this one go by unmentioned! Friday night gave me my first exposure to Nate Nelson's soft tunes, and wow, what tunes they were! Without a doubt, this guy's got one of the best voices I've heard. He started off his set as a solo act and then added some awesome rock undertones with a full band that included a few of the most talented local musicians like Bambara's wild drummer Blaze Bateh. Seriously, Nate's show was one of those fresh experiences that reminded me once more why I love the Athens music scene so much. Nothing beats the discovery of bands like this!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Happy First Birthday, Echoreyn of Athens!

One year ago today, after finding my journal entry about the spectacular night I first heard Chris McKay and the Critical Darlings up on the band's webpage, I decided the time was ripe to start a blog. I called this blog Echoreyn of Athens since Echoreyn (pronounced "Ecko rain") had long been my pseudonym, and Athens, well... I lived in Athens, one of the greatest music cities in the world! At that time, I had nearly just discovered the scene for myself. I'd been to a few more shows here than most of my friends, but still, I was new to the unique tunes and ever-changing sound of Athens. Nevertheless, I had an inkling that there were tons more amazing experiences to be had in this magical little town. Now, over 100 bands later, I'm overjoyed to say that I was right!

From getting the birthday party of my dreams to having a say about the music of 2009 in Athens' magazine Flagpole to reading about Echoreyn of Athens in UGA's newspaper The Red and Black, it's hard to imagine a more exciting time! And to all of you who read this blog, I love you so much! You're a huge part of what's made this year unbelievably unforgettable. I truly hope you've had just as great a year in music as I've had.

I say, let's celebrate the one year anniversary of Echoreyn of Athens by taking some time out of our busy schedules to simply party it up downtown and discover a few new bands for ourselves that may catch our ears by surprise and put smiles on our faces. April's full of tasty tunes, after all! Oh, and don't forget to check out the video above for some rockin' footage from the past year including some never-before-seen clips of some of our favorite local bands. Here's hoping the next year of music is just as awesome as this one!

P.S. And wow, this seems to be quite a birthday for Athens music fans everywhere... The most famous band to come out of our town since, well, ever is turning 30 today too. That's right, Echoreyn of Athens shares its most joyous birthday with R.E.M.! That's wild!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Kristen's Concert Picks: April showers us with tunes

Wow, this year is going by so fast I can hardly keep up. It's already April! Almost exactly a year ago, I wrote the very first Kristen's Concert Picks and put it up on my facebook page. Now the month that started is all is back with a very nice menu of bands and acts. I can't wait to jump ears-first into this spectacular selection of shows!

Fridays in April: Local Bands Live @ 10 AM to 2 PM @ Tate Plaza stage
Bands, bands everywhere! How exciting! No news yet who's playing, but I've heard a whisper that Doctor Squid just might be on the lineup one of those Fridays. Who wouldn't want to get a nice, FREE taste of some local tunes every week?
  • April 16: Doctor Squid
  • April 23: Blueswater Bridge
  • April 30: Burns Like Fire
Fri, April 2: Bambara & Gift Horse @ 9 PM @ The Caledonia Lounge
Gift Horse is a band I've been dying to see, and Bambara's a band I just can't get enough of. Mmm, I can't wait for this show!

Fri, April 2: Hope for Agoldensummer @ 9 PM @ 40 Watt Club
Opening for Corduroy Road, Athens' soft-sounding songstresses are back! Don't be shy. Check out their tunes for yourself!

Sat, April 3: Sursievision @ 9 PM @ Tasty World Uptown
Yay, it's a CD release party! Rumor has it, Sursievision's smooth electronic funk will take you back through time. Ah, yes! Sounds like a party.

Mon, April 5: Arctic Monkeys @ 8 PM @ 40 Watt Club
I truly hope you've already got your tickets for this show because, word is, they disappeared as quickly as they came! Here's to all the lucky ones who get to see these famous guys in action.

Thurs, April 8: The Whigs @ 9 PM @ 40 Watt Club
This is indeed the month of famous bands. Athens' big time rock band The Whigs is coming back to town to give our ears a treat!

Fri, April 9: Ska show! @ 9:30 PM @ The Caledonia Lounge
Remember the wildly fun skancert this past January? Well, ska bands 50:50 Shot and Taj Motel Trio are coming back to Athens to get us dancing again. Come shake every part of your body at this show!

Sat, April 10: The Black Lips @ 9 PM @ 40 Watt Club
What did I say about all those famous bands coming here? Notorious rockers known for doing everything and anything onstage are back to wreak havok on the Athenians. The insanity awaits you!

Fri, April 16: Blueswater Bridge @ UGA Night at Six Flags
I was ever so excited to go to UGA's Six Flags night, but I have to admit I was a bit sad about missing an evening of Athens music. Well, blues rock band Blueswater Bridge is here to save the day! Take your ears on a rollercoaster ride of awesome tunes while you frolic through the park on your way to the next attraction. I know I will.

Fri, April 16: Reptar & Deaf Judges @ 9:30 PM @ The Caledonia Lounge
If you're not going to Six Flags, you just HAVE to go to this show. Reptar and the Deaf Judges at once? It's going to be unbelievable!

Fri, April 23: Novanauts @ 8 PM @ Outside UGA's Creswell Hall
Whee, just found out that Luke Galloway, creator of the purely spectacular band Kalvinova, will be playing a free show on the UGA campus to debut his latest electronic musical project, Novanauts! Great news.

Fri, April 23: Modern Skirts @ 10 PM @ The Caledonia Lounge
Modern Skirts at the Caledonia Lounge? Is that even possible? Apparently, it is! Be sure to get there early for this one since the place is pretty much guaranteed to fill up fast with this band's excited fans!

Mon, April 26: Stephen Lynch @ 8 PM @ Tate Grand Hall
Wanna be a superhero? University Union's bringing comedic musician Steven Lynch to Tate just for us! What fun!

Thurs, April 29: Chris McKay and the Critical Darlings @ 8:30 PM @ Max Canada
And they're back! It's been FOREVER since I've seen the Critical Darlings share their rockin' old school style tunes. Let's make the most of their triumphant return to our town!

Fri, April 30: Aman Amun @ 10:30 PM @ Ciné
It's Aman Amun time once more. Finish out your month with his tasty electronic tunes!

Don't forget. If there's a show in Athens you want the world to know about, comment below and let us know! And of course, I'll continue to keep you updated on all the local shows that you've just got to check out. There's no doubt about it. April's going to blow us away!