Monday, January 31, 2011

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

Happy February, everyone! Ready to fall in love with some tunes? Well, you're in luck. This month's bands have totally got you covered!

Tues, Feb 1: Pillage & Plunder @ 9 PM @ Max Canada
Long before the thought of writing a music blog had even entered into my mind, I caught a show with these guys in Atlanta. Playing their first ever set in Athens (their last date up here was snowed out), you definitely won't wanna miss this one!

Sat, Feb 5: Pholksinger Josh @ 10 PM @ Rye Bar
Pholksinger Josh's own personal brand of "gangsta folk" mixes spoken word with a southern twang to give listeners a taste of the truth. You must check it out for yourself!

Mon, Feb 7: Jimmy Eat World @ 7 PM @ 40 Watt
40 Watt's pulling out the big guns with Jimmy Eat World. Although, honestly, I don't recall much from them since "The Middle," I still just love that song! It reminds of childhood and carefree days!

Tues, Feb 8: Kenosha Kid @ 8 PM @ Highwire
Need to chill? As one of the best jazz bands in Athens, Kenosha Kid'll help you out.

Thu, Feb 10: Reptar @ 8 PM @ WUOG
REPTAR! For free? Yes, it's possible! WUOG's Live in the Lobby at the UGA Tate Center is where dreams come true!

Sat, Feb 12: Valentine 80's Prom @ 10 PM @ 40 Watt
Dance partyyyyyyyyyyy! Featuring a couple of Athens' favorite DJs and a band or two, this one looks like fun.

Thu, Feb 17: Groove Tangent @ 10 PM @ Caledonia Lounge
Who doesn't love a mix of classic covers and original tunes? These guys rock with a sense of humor too! I can promise you'll have fun at their show.

Sat, Feb 19: Spring Tigers @ 9:30 PM @ Caledonia Lounge
Get ready for some awesome rock... Give your ears a treat with the Spring Tigers' sound!

Sat, Feb 19: Matt Joiner @ 9 PM @ The Melting Point
If you want to get your blues rock on, Matt Joiner's the one to see! He's on my list of bands to catch in action soon.

Fri, Feb 25: Packway Handle Band @ 9 PM @ New Earth Music Hall
Every single one of my friends who has seen this bluegrass band can't stop raving about them. I'd say this is another must see!

Sat, Feb 26: Lazer/Wulf @ 10 PM @ Caledonia Lounge
Speaking of bands my friends just love, if you haven't experienced Lazer/Wulf's wall of sound yet, you've got to give them a listen now! What fun!

Wow, this month's shaping up to be an amazing one! Don't forget, if you know of any other sure-to-be-rockin' shows that you want to share with the world, post about them in the comments and let us all know. And as always, be sure to click the Monthly Concert Picks button often for updates and new shows. See you around town, my friends!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Don't Miss Your Chance, Bands of Athens!

I can't believe I haven't mentioned this before! Regular readers of this blog will know that, here at Echoreyn of Athens, there is no celebration like the yearly rock-filled spectacular that is Athfest. Now, yes, it's a bit early to start talking about Athfest 2011 even for me... After all, we've got another five months before that 3 day show to beat all shows takes place. However, if you're in a band, now is you last chance to submit a song for this year's Athfest compilation CD. The final day for submissions is this Tuesday, February 1st! And hey, while you're there you can also submit your act to perform on one of the outdoor stages where it's practically a guarantee that hundreds of rabid music fans will get a chance to sample your tunes. Oh bands of Athens (and the rest of Georgia too), I just can't wait to see and hear you there!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

'Twas an Unbelievable Week

There's nothing like a three night explosion of tunes from a bunch of your favorite bands! I've been sleeping off the excitement for days now. Since I've already written loads on Dead Confederate, Bambara, Doctor Squid, and the Athens band, I thought I'd share some of my favorite video footage from their past shows with you instead.

Up first, we've got this lovely video of Dead Confederate performing their single, the Rat, at Athfest 2009.

Check out Bambara giving us a sexy taste of one of their hit tunes, Shake.

Everyone in the crowd sings along to Doctor Squid's massive favorite, On My Way!

And finally, here's the Athens band rocking a cover of Van Halen's And the Cradle Will Rock at Athfest 2010!

As always, you can check out the Echoreyn of Athens YouTube channel for more videos like these. Here's hoping the scene's got more weeks like this one in store for us soon!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Ode to Mud Scholar, a lyricist among men

Oh Mud Scholar. How I shall miss thee! What will Athens be like without our resident douchebag pop lyricist?

Alex McKelvey's Mud Scholar sang his way through his final Athens show last night at the Caledonia with buddies Chase Lance (drummer Blaze Bateh) and Neugie (basist Braden Neugebaur) by his side. He and Blaze set the scene with a hilariously pretentious hair combing act that they continued between songs throughout the set. As is the case for all farewell shows, our last taste of Mud Scholar was much too short, but in that time, he managed to expel humorous elitism and douchebaggery upon all those in attendance. By those counts, the show was undoubtably a success. The cheers that broke the necessary nonchalance of the crowd were true evidence of that. Alex McKelvey's musical stylings will certainly be sorely missed!

After Mud Scholar's set, the night gave us one more gem for the ears in the form of Atlanta band Modern Paranoia. Apparently they've been getting quite a bit of buzz around those parts lately, and I can see why. Starting off their set with a familiar trumpet homage, they filled the stage with colored lights and sounds. Then they launched into a set of tunes characterized by bouncy yet hard rock with electronic elements. Very nice! It was definitely quite a memorable night of farewells and new discoveries.

And I must say au revoir once more, Mud Scholar! I will forever love your brutal honesty and your way with words!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A Few Awesome Shows

This one's just a reminder that the rest of this week is filled to the brim with amazing shows featuring blog favorites! Don't miss 'em!

Tonight at the Caledonia, Mud Scholar bids farewell to Athens with a nice big helping of the most hilarious, douchiest pop imaginable! If you like songs that are sure to offend your parents, you must see this show.

Then on Thursday, two of our longtime favorites, Doctor Squid and the Athens band are taking over the 40 Watt together to bring a healthy mix of happiness and rock to all who attend. Such joy!

Finally, Friday night will give us an epic pairing of sound at the 40 Watt with Dead Confederate and Bambara rocking the night away! Pure awesome.

For detailed info about these shows and many more, check out January's list of show picks right here!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Zelda: The Musical... Because EVERYONE should see this!

Ok, you've got me. Zelda: the Musical isn't technically a band. But any discussion of this week in Athens music would be incomplete without a mention of this ridiculously awesome musical adventure! Based on the popular game from the late 90s, the Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, and written, composed, and directed by UGA student Grant Parker, I can see this becoming one of those pop culture favorites that the entire nation is obsessing over by the end of the year. Watch out, A Very Potter Musical. Athens' own Zelda is quite the show!

Now I suppose at this juncture I should admit that I was one of those sad kids who missed out on a significant portion of childhood, never having had the chance to play the game. However, Zelda was rife with hilarity that appealed to the whole crowd, rabid costumed fans and newbies alike. Pop culture references that spanned decades of nerd-dom filled this musical, and the entire show was expertly arranged right down to the makeup that the characters wore. And, if numbers are any indication of a show's spectacularity, the balcony theatre was overflowing with people and hundreds of eager fans were turned away both nights due to capacity issues. Wow!

So, how about the music? Well, the live band that played onstage throughout the production was just genius! Providing everything from a modern soundtrack to the short melody played on the Ocarina of Time, they really made the show. And while not all of the characters had the greatest singing chops, the songs sung by the ensemble cast were incredibly moving and impressive as well as hilarious. My favorite song of the night was the dark and villainous tune Ruto which was accompanied by a visually immersive dance number filled with depth and creatively festooned creatures. But, hands down, the greatest voice in the production belonged Zelda's bodyguard Impa, portrayed by Kaitlyn Wren. Her solo simply blew me away!

At this point, it would be rather tragic if I had to report that all those who missed last weekend's shows wouldn't have a chance to see Zelda and Link and the whole gang (especially the Great Fairy) for themselves, but I've got some awesome news! The cast and crew is tirelessly working to set up at least one more showing of this unbelievable musical next weekend. Go and see it! I can promise that you will sorely regret it if you miss this. I'll be sure to give you all more info about their upcoming shows as soon as I hear it!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Site changes and the snowpocalypse

The snowpocalypse. Snowmageddon. The ice-splosion. No matter what you've been calling it, there's no denying that this past week has been insane for those of us in Georgia! Athens was inundated with so much snow that the entire first week of school was affected by it, and many of the shows downtown faired no better.

So what's a snowed-in blogger to do? Well, after taking a photography tour of campus, poking ice-covered objects with sticks, and relaxing by the fireplace for a few nights, I realized there was no better time to begin a bit of a redesign of the ol' Echoreyn of Athens website! I'm a little over halfway through the overhaul, and I'm pretty pleased with the changes so far. Like the new navigation bar at the top? Now it's easy to get your Echoreyn of Athens fix of concert picks, venues, pictures, and more from one convenient place! And hey, you can still and visit our Echoryen of Athens using the new buttons above as well.

The biggest change to the site so far is probably the inclusion of the brand new "About Echoreyn" page at the top. Be sure to click there for contact info and a bit about the EoA crew! Got any suggestions for how we can really spice up the site? I'd love to hear your thoughts! Shoot me an email at

Another new addition is the "Featured Photo." Every week, that photo will change to a different one from our collection of Athens music memories. Want a photo of your own to be featured? Well, send it to the email address above with your name and a little description, and it just might find its way up there!

That's all for now, my friends! Go forth and frolic, but don't forget your gloves. See you downtown!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Surviving the cold with Androcles and the Lion, Sam Sniper, and Nate Nelson

Saturday night found me traversing through the icy cold air once more, excitement for the tunes keeping my fingers from freezing off. I feel like hypothermia is the order of the day when it comes to bands this season. But hey, you can't miss a chance to see a potentially awesome band just because there are icicles forming on the tips of your hair.

Now, I rarely write about the shows that I see outside of downtown, but the tunes owned Saturday night, and ignoring the highlights would simply be a crime! Androcles and the Lion was the first band that thawed out my ears a bit and caught my notice. Giving us a taste of soft, dark, and melancholy rock, their melodies pierced through the chill and and curled into the ears of those basking in the heat of the roaring fire a short ways away.

The next band ready to combat the cold was local music project Sam Sniper, a group that shares members with folk rockers Yo Soybean. Now I'll admit, as I'm not generally much of a country fan, I probably wouldn't have gone to see them otherwise, but I never pass up an opportunity to check out the side projects of the bands I like. It's one of the best ways to make new discoveries, after all! And, lucky for me, these guys were good. Sam Sniper surpassed all of my expectations by launching into a set full of country love songs fused with the most awesomely intense, hardcore rock. I know that sounds a bit insane, but their tunes were seriously tons of fun to experience and the crowd was definitely on my side. Everyone around me was dancing wildly, very nearly forgetting their frozen limbs in the excitement. I'd even hazard to say that it may have actually been worth freezing my feet so much that I still can't feel them two days later. Good stuff.

Then it was off to Farm 255 to finish the night. As my friend and I stepped into warmth, we caught the last few sweet bars of Nate Nelson's set. It was quite a fine ending to an extremely chilled evening.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Powerkompany lights the way

Last night, I felt like a butterfly emerging from a soundless cocoon. My ears yearned for live music, having been starved for tunes since early December. Tragic, I must say. Through downtown, my friend and I passed street after silent street until, finally, we reached the comforting warmth of Farm 255. Now, my pals, there's no doubt about it! The Farm was the place to be on this fine Thursday night. Crowds of people packed the room, eager for some awesome tunes. As it was Karolyn Troupe of Venice is Sinking's birthday party as well, friends and fans alike were there in full celebration mode, sipping free champagne and munching on what could quite possibly be the most delicious fruit-filled cake known to man. I truly hope she thoroughly enjoyed the night. I know I did!

The entertainment for the night, Karolyn and her husband Andrew Keaton from Packway Handle Band sang and played their way into our hearts with their latest musical creation, Powerkompany. At times even more ethereal than masters of the art, Venice is Sinking, this brand new band gave us powerful yet sweet melodies woven together with the dark, heavy, and sometimes even discordant strumming on the violin and guitar. Drum beats also lent an exciting rhythm to many of the songs. My friend Amina described their style wonderfully, calling it a mix between a serenade and a Lord of the Rings type elven song. Then, as they edged their way towards their final note, they sang an intense melody, eerie yet beautiful, that moved and grew to a wildly satisfying end. I honestly don't think I've ever heard anything so badass! That song was... just brilliant! I'd say Powerkompany is definitely off to an auspicious start.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Kristen's Concert Picks: Kick off 2011 with January's tunes!

It's 2011, you guys! Ya know, just in case the parties and the glitter and the occasional fireworks didn't clue you in... So, what's the best way to make this year a spectacular one? Tunes, of course! Luckily, Athens has got plenty of 'em for us this January. Feast your ears on these!

Sat, Jan 8: Nate Nelson @ 11 PM @ Farm 255
Nate Nelson's got an amazing voice, and trust me, your ears are craving his sound. Jump back into the living Athens music scene in 2011 with him!

Sat, Jan 8: The Breathlanes @ 9:30 PM @ The Office Lounge
Do you like soft, beautiful music? Well, then, the Breathlanes will treat you right. I've yet to see them live, but I've heard good things.

Wed, Jan 12: Pillage & Plunder @ 9:30 PM @ Caledonia Lounge
Long before the thought of writing a music blog had even entered into my mind, I caught a show with these guys in Atlanta. Playing their first ever set in Athens at the Caledonia, you definitely won't wanna miss this one!

Fri, Jan 14: Groove Tangent @ 9:30 PM @ Caledonia Lounge
Here's a mix of covers and original tunes that's sure to be tons of fun! I really like Groove Tangent, and I can bet you will too.

Sat, Jan 15: Tealvox (CD release) @ 10 PM @ Caledonia Lounge
Everyone I know who gets the chance to see rock band Tealvox raves about them afterwards. Releasing their latest album, these guys are sure to give us a brilliant show.

Wed, Jan 19: Mud Scholar @ 9:30 PM @ Caledonia Lounge
MUD SCHOLAR'S LAST SHOW IN ATHENS! Irreverent, madly disturbing, and undeniably hilarious, you've just gotta be there to see the self-titled king of lyrical-douche-pop off!

Thurs, Jan 20: Doctor Squid & Athens @ 8 PM @ 40 Watt
Nothing's better than two awesome bands in one show! This one's definitely going to be loads of fun!

Fri, Jan 21: Yo Soybean (CD release) @ 10 PM @ Caledonia Lounge
Want some southern rock with hints of folk and pop? Of course you do. Sounds like Yo Soybean's the band for you! Best of all, they're releasing a brand new album at this show as well. Check it out!

Fri, Jan 21: Dead Confederate & Bambara @ 9 PM @ 40 Watt
No. Way. Dead Confederate and Bambara, two of my all-time hardcore favorites, are rockin' together with the band Kuroma, a group that's been on my radar for a while? This is just too cool for words!

Wed, Jan 26: Efren @ 9 PM @ Melting Point
Get down and dirty with Efren's lo fi folk rock as the month winds to an end. Ah, yes. Now that sounds nice.

Moral of the story? Pack up your bags and move to the Caledonia for the bulk of the month of January! Hey, if I could, you know I'd do it in a heartbeat. But really, guys, this month is shaping up to be an undeniably amazing beginning to 2011. As always, comment below if you've heard whispers of a knock-your-socks-off show that I don't have listed here. Also, don't forget to check back for any calendar updates as the month unfolds! Happy listening, you guys!