Monday, February 28, 2011

Kristen's Concert Picks: The songs of March will shower you with luck!

March is on its way, bringing with it whispers of Spring Break and leprechauns and bright beads and warm breezes. But that's not all this month has in store for us! A bunch of big names are playing their way through our city over the next few weeks too. This March is going to awesome!

Thurs, March 3: Face/Off: the Return@ 8:30 PM @ 40 Watt
Gotta love a benefit show! Featuring random trios of members from Abandon the Earth Mission, the Futurebirds, Venice is Sinking, Gift Horse and tons more awesome bands, this show's sure to be exciting and super fun! And best of all, the proceeds go towards helping Project Safe in their mission to end domestic violence. Oh yes.

Fri, March 4: Modern Skirts & Oryx and Crake@ 9:30 PM @ 40 Watt
Modern Skirts and Oryx and Crake? Nice! This pairing of a big time Athens' pop favorite with a group of much-buzzed-about pop rockers is nothing short of brilliant! See it. You won't regret it.

Sat, March 12: The Baseball Project @ 9 PM @ 40 Watt
My friend Jordan (best known around these parts as Athens Music Junkie) is overflowing with enthusiasm for this show, and well, her excitement's contagious! This supergroup joins together Pete Buck of R.E.M. with longtime collaborator Scott McCaughey and musicians Linda Pitmon and Steve Wynn for what is sure to be a rockin' show.

Thurs, March 24: Snoop Dogg @ 8 PM @ 40 Watt
What!?! Now Snoop Dogg is coming to Athens? Wow. Just wow. Well, that's unexpected... Tickets went on sale at Schoolkids Records and Wuxtry Records on Sat 26th, so I hope you've snatched them up before you missed your chance!

Thurs, March 24: Kenosha Kid & Manray @ 10 PM @ Caledonia Lounge
Kenosha Kid, hands down one of the best jazz bands in Athens joins Manray, a progressive math rock band that's got my friends raving, for a show that's guaranteed to be full of crazy goodness.

Tues, March 29: Pholksinger Josh @ 8 PM @ WUOG in the Tate Center
Pholksinger Josh'll give us a great big helping of "gangsta folk" spoken word during WUOG's always awesome Live in the Lobby show. A cozy space plus free tunes with a southern twang? It doesn't get better than that!

Wow, looking over this list, it seems that the 40 Watt's the place to be for the month of March! Now, as always, don't forget to keep checking back to see the which newly listed shows have made the concert picks list. Just dying to share the news of any other bands rocking stages around Athens this month? Let the world know in the comments! Hope luck smiles on you all this month, my friends!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Switching it up with Gringo Star and Sunspots

Explosive energy was the name of the game over at the Max Canada last night!

Featuring a brand new lineup of members, the guys of Sunspots bounced around the stage giving us a set of solid, upbeat indie rock. Seriously, their energy was downright shocking! The shoeless singer led the pack, literally leaping up and down during the songs to the great excitement of the crowd. Enthused by their wild spirit, the audience begged for more after they finished what seemed like the shortest set ever, and, most joyfully, they rewarded us with one final Sunspots tune.

Next it was time for Gringo Star to make its grand entrance. Apparently, these guys have been getting pretty big in Atlanta, and if their first impression is any indication of their general insane style, it doesn't surprise me in the least that the fans are buzzing about them. Honestly, I've never seen such a display of lasers, twinkling stars, epilepsy-inducing lights, and fog on that small a stage! I'll admit, in the beginning, all the blinking and flashing overpowered their tunes a bit; in such limited space, having every one of the senses engaged was quite overwhelming. Soon enough, though, I experienced their sound, and what a sound it was! To be honest, it's rather hard to find words to describe their style. If haunted carnival undertones flirted with an overarching hard rock influence inside a ball of pure energy, Gringo Star's tunes would feel right at home. And somehow, while these multitalented band members switched up instruments between every single song, they managed to give their entire set a cohesive sound. See what I mean when I call them indescribable? Truly both awesome and insane in a way I've never experienced before! And man, their energy was just contagious!

Then, as night eased into the wee morning hours, the ever-amazing blast of noise that is Bambara finished the show off with their spectacular set. If you've never read my blog before, let me just tell ya, my love for Bambara speaks for itself. What a wild night of tunes!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Sights in the scene

The lights and colors and sights that fill the music scene are often just as exciting as the bands themselves! I'd say it's about time for a few of the pictures we've taken around town in 2011 so far. Below is just a small selection of the images that are up on the Echoreyn of Athens facebook page right now!

Doctor Squid entertains the crowd at the 40 Watt

Lullwater at the release of their latest album

Hardy Morris of Dead Confederate rocks the 40 Watt

Enjoy! And if you happen to like what you see while you're on our facebook page, don't be afraid to let us know. Have a fantastic weekend, everyone!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Tunes of love, loss, and truth

Happy Valentine's Day, dear readers of Athens and beyond! To show you just how much I love you, I thought I'd share some of my latest favorites among the songs of love, loss, and general debauchery given to us by some of our local bands. Today is a day made for tunes, after all! With the help of,,, and, here are a few treats for your ears. Enjoy!

For those in the throes of love and passion, readers of this blog may remember that my friends and I have deemed Bambara's tune Native Tongue the sexiest of them all. It's just undeniable! So, once more, I wish couples a fantastic night with this one.

Not looking for romance, but in need of a serious good time with no restrictions or conscience to bring you down? Well, then, Mud Scholar's amusing and ever-so-honest tune Man Slut Logic just might be your theme song!

Or maybe you've just had enough of the one you've been with lately. Don't worry! The Orkids have got your back on this one. You can burn all those old pictures and assert your independence to the tune of their hit Paper Dolls!

Perhaps you've got your eye on a new special someone, and you're in the mood to hit the dance floor together. If that's the case, the Beat Geeks' tune Deep Down is the song for you!

But what if your crush doesn't even have a clue how feel about them? Maybe he or she doesn't even know you exist. Well, the Athens band feels your pain, and they've put that frustration into rock with their hit She Don't Even Know, complete with an award-winning music video!

Now let's end on the highest of notes! Valentine's Day is, after all, a time to celebrate love, and the Orkids have got a song for us in that regard as well. I'll send you off with their gentle and touching melody Gold.

No matter what your situation is or how you choose to celebrate, hope you all have an amazing day!


Friday, February 11, 2011

Lullwater releases the rock

Here is some advice for you music lovers around town: Never start the night off with a Reptar set! Reptar's takeover of WUOG's Live in the Lobby show was filled with so much wild, insane fun that I was quite afraid that every other band of the night would pale in comparison. I mean, it was Reptar, Athens' own personal masters of the scene themselves. But luckily I chose not to forego the rest of the evening... after all, if I had, I would've missed my chance to catch Lullwater rock the Caledonia stage at the release party of their latest CD, and that, my friends, would have been most tragic.

After a bit of good, solid americana from the District Attorneys, Lullwater made their claim on the night with a set of folk-infused hard rock that had the whole crowd excited. No one in the audience could stop themselves from dancing along! The band's sound just had a rather awesome vibe to it that drew us all in and left us groovin'. In fact, I'd venture to suggest that some people, like the ridiculously drunk man who alternated between moving wildly and nearly crushing everyone else on the dance floor, even had a little too much fun. But really, it was quite a time! The band played through a set of newer tunes and hits, many off their brand new album Silhouette. Good stuff. And I've gotta say I just loved staring in awe at bassist Roy's ever-amazing metallic-looking bass guitar. I've seen that thing once before, and it stuck with me. I will never forget how spectacularly cool that thing is! All in all, 'twas quite a satisfying night!

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Max Canada: The place that has everything

Looking for a venue that's full of surprises? Well, right next to the Farm 255 courtyard, you'll find the Max Canada. Secrets and discoveries abound in this place!

As you enter through glass doors built into a window-filled wall, you'll find the first of many seating areas before you. A few comfortable booths rest beside the entrance near the first of at least three pool tables. Nestled between this pool table and one of two full bars is a giant TV wall projection that features everything from New Years Eve countdowns to old movies. Even more tables and chairs exist between the bars providing ample seating for all patrons. This already seems like an awesome place to visit, but this description hardly covers even a third of the Max Canada!

Colored Christmas lights and candle-lit chandeliers illuminate your way as you head down the hallway into the spacious arcade area. A small stage is tucked into the corner, perfect for winter shows, and there's no shortage of room for instruments and storage over on this side as well. Beneath a hanging disco ball, you'll find two more pool tables for your enjoyment. Best of all, soft seats line the walls, so everyone has a place to listen to their favorite cold weather tunes. Need to relieve yourself after all those drinks you bought at the bar earlier? Well, conveniently located in the dead center of the place, you'll find the restrooms. Now, admittedly, their cubicles may be some of the smallest ever encountered, but just like the rest of the venue, they're quite clean which is nice. And truly, the bathrooms seem to be the only place where they skimped on space.

Want to step outdoors? Well, you're definitely in luck here. The Max Canada has a massive gated patio complete with a stage area for warmer weather acts. A huge number of chairs and umbrella-covered tables are scattered about the patio making it a very chill place to hang out and take in a set or two. Basically, this place just seems to have it all!

The Max Canada at a glance:

Ages: generally 21+

Cost: Often free, otherwise $2 to $5

Venue Website: The Max Canada on Facebook

Venue Phone Number: 706-254-3392

Venue location & Google Map: 243 W. Washington St., Athens, GA 30601

Reviews of recent concerts/events at The Max Canada
Chris McKay and the Critical Darlings

Have any thoughts of your own about this venue? Dying to know something specific that I didn't mention? Be sure to comment below! Also, to read about all of the venues I've reviewed, visit my venues page!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

A stormy night for Pillaging and Plundering

I don't quite know why, maybe it was my skull-covered outfit or the rain that fell in sheets over downtown Athens, but I was in the mood for some dark tunes on Tuesday. Whatever the reason for my desires, the bands on the bill at Max Canada delivered with several tasty morsels for the ears.

First up was recent discovery, Androcles and the Lion. I quite liked their sound when I saw them a couple weeks ago, and it was rather a nice treat to catch them again. This time around, they gave us a few rockin' songs tinged with darkness. Good stuff, indeed.

And then it was time for none other than the awesomely-named Atlanta band Pillage and Plunder. Way back in the day, before the idea of writing a blog had ever even crossed my mind, I saw these guys play during a Crumbling Arches show, and through a rather wacky series of events, I found myself at their very first show in Athens this past Tuesday. Now, to be honest, even if I had never heard of them before this show, their crazy style would have definitely caught my attention anyway. A very unique - one might even call it somehow vampiric - darkness pervaded their songs coupled with a bit of an old school cruise band vibe. But that's not even the most distinctive feature of their sound. I can honestly say I don't think I've ever heard faster tunes in my life than those played by Pillage and Plunder. It was wild! And their energy... Holy jeez! They join the ranks of the few bands I've seen over the years that used the entire stage as their rock playground. I could totally see their songs being used as the soundtrack for a movie scene involving a main character rushing through dark streets towards some meaningful purpose. Then the band wound to an end on quite an awesome note with a newer tune that proved to be my favorite song of the bunch. Their sound was insane, to be sure, but I liked it.

As the last band on the bill, Arturo in Letto lightened things up a bit with a touch of upbeat, indie rock interspersed with some undeniably adorable banter. And there's no doubt about it, lead singer AJ Weiss has a very sweet voice. With an added hint of electronic keyboard tones, it was quite a joyful end to a rain-soaked night.