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Monday, June 14, 2010

Back to the insanity with the Caste, X-Ray Visionaries, and the Novanauts

Stepping back into the Caledonia last Friday night for the first time this summer was like returning home. Oh music scene, how I've missed you! Surrounded by the fashions and smells and hairstyles of the town, I was overwhelmed by happiness. Yay! All that I needed was the music, and I wasn't disappointed. First up was The Caste. They've got one of those bouncy, indie pop sounds that had us dancing in no time. Yes! Back in Athens, feeling good! When they started playing, I knew the show was going to be filled with fun.

Then, just after the Caste finished, Valdosta band X-Ray Visionaries brought the fun to a whole new level. It was freaking crazy! They immediately caught my interest by hanging a sign off their keyboard that said something like "You can never have too many cats." Haha! Apparently, named after a song by Math The Band, I could only describe their sound as discordant indie gameboy music with a big shot of joy. Oh man, I couldn't stop smiling as they played. Really, they reminded me A TON of one of my very favorite non-Athens indie bands Lemon Demon (I urge you to check them out too if you're a fan of hilariously unique and unbelievably catchy tunes). I suppose that makes sense since the Visionaries list Lemon Demon as one of their influences on MySpace. Too cool. And then, when I thought I had seen it all, they whipped out a keytar. A KEYTAR! Oh, the insanity! But the craziness didn't stop here. During their last few songs, they got their friends in the front row involved, encouraging them to leap around the venue and even getting the guys to go shirtless for one tune. And yes, I have to admit with a sigh that I know the guy who took this as a cue to rip off his pants and throw them across the stage causing a rather quick exodus from the Caledonia. From what I know of this guy, he's never been much of a fan of pants. Luckily, though the band kept on rockin' their indie tunes and jamming on their keytar. What a set!

Then, as the night came to an end, it was time for the Novanauts to play us out in their downtown Athens debut. Now I've seen some incarnation of this band three times, and I've gotta say, every show they do is different. This time the band rocked their wonderfully constructed electronic pop tunes as a duo in front of their ever-impressive giant screens of color and art. Nice. And I particularly loved their last song The Cause. Very good stuff! Oh man, though, I still can't get over how they managed to nearly fill up the venue for a summer show. These guys were freshmen just last year, and already they're proving themselves to be a band to watch in Athens. I mean, wow, they were headliners last Friday, and with their ever-growing fanbase, they're certainly going places! It's always a delicious treat for the ears to see them.

What a night! And the best part is, this is just a small taste of the Athens tunes I'll hear this summer. Just two more weeks till Athfest!

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