Monday, August 29, 2011

Kristen's Concert Picks: September is full of incredible tunes!

The Athens music scene is back in full force for the month of September! Tons of our local favorites are taking stages all over town to rock the tunes we've been dying to hear. Get ready for a spectacular list of shows!

Thurs, Sept 1: Of Montreal @ 8 PM @ Georgia Theatre
What a way to kick off September! Of Montreal will be bringing their pop music circus of insanity to the Georgia Theatre stage for the first time since it reopened at the beginning of this month. Oh, the feather, the glitter, the spaghetti... I can't wait to see what unforgettable things they'll do this time!

Sat, Sept 3: Tealvox @ 9:30 PM @ Caledonia
Purely awesome rock is Tealvox's way. Don't miss them over at the Caledonia on the first Saturday of the month!

Sat, Sept 3: Modern Skirts @ 9:30 PM @ 40 Watt
It's the Modern Skirts, back to rock for us again! Longtime fan favorites of the scene, if you haven't caught them in action yet, you just need to head on over to the 40 Watt this Saturday.

Sat, Sept 3: Ye Olde Sub Shoppe @ 8:30 PM @ Flicker Theater
Craving a hilariously surreal experience? You will hardly believe the madness that is Ye Olde Sub Shoppe, I can promise you that!

Sat, Sept 3: The Corduroy Road @ 8 PM @ Georgia Theatre
Another free show at the Georgia Theatre? YES! Right after the UGA/Boise State football game, the Theatre will treat us to a show featuring Americana band the Corduroy Road with appearances from members of Packway Handle Band, Efren, Klezmer Local 42, and more. Wow, this is going to be exciting!

Sun, Sept 4: Grogus @ 8 PM @ Georgia Theatre
Love grooving to a latin beat? Grogus will have you dancing in no time over at the Theatre. Too much fun!

Tuesdays in Sept: Kenosha Kid @ 8 PM @ Highwire Lounge
Continuing their residency at the Highwire Lounge, one of the best jazz bands in Athens, Kenosha Kid, will be playing every Tuesday night in September. So many chances to catch them! Brilliant.

Thurs, Sept 8: Green Gerry @ 10 PM @ Little Kings
The unique sound of Green Gerry's indie rock left me craving more after this year's Athfest. Don't miss his set at Little Kings!

Fri, Sept 9: Futurebirds @ 8 PM @ Georgia Theatre
Headliners of Athfest 2011, southern rockers Futurebirds are on their way up! Check 'em out on the Georgia Theatre stage.

Fri, Sept 9: Lazer/Wulf @ 10 PM @ New Earth Music Hall
Largely instrumental metal tunes characterize Lazer/Wulf's sound. Gotta love their all-encompassing style!

Sat, Sept 17: The Orkids @ 10 PM @ Melting Point
One of my absolute favorites in the Athens scene, the Orkids are giving our town another taste of their infectious pop rock tunes. Get ready to go wild!

Tues, Sept 20: Madeline @ 8:30 PM @ Flicker Theater
Soft dark rock is Madeline's forte, and Flicker is the perfect place to enjoy her sound!

Tues, Sept 27: Come What May @ 7:30 PM @ Caledonia
Looking for something a bit more hardcore? Then Come What May is your band. Their indie rock style and explosive energy will combine to give you an awesome show!

Sat, Sept 30: Lera Lynn & Ruby Kendrick @ 9 PM @ 40 Watt
Powerful vocals and beautiful melodies will engulf you as you end your month at the 40 Watt with Lera Lynn and Ruby Kendrik!

Wow, this month is going to be wild! Have a bit of insider knowledge about another awesome show that you want to share with the world? Be sure to post about it in the comments! Also, remember to check back often to see if we've added any more can't-miss shows to the list. Have an incredible September, my pals!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Out on your own, rockin' the scene

Say there's an awesome show coming up that's got you massively pumped, but your friends all have to cram for tests that night. What's a music fan to do? Well, you could just stay in and go to bed early, only to find yourself haunted by dreams of the unbelievable show you just missed. Luckily, there's a much better option. You can go it alone!

Alone? But that's no fun. It's too dangerous. Too lonely. Why would anyone go to a show alone? Well, I used to think the same way. In order to feed my voracious appetite for tunes, though, I eventually caved and began catching all the bands my ears desired, whether I had a fleet of friends by my side or just the company of my own shadow. Heading to that venue alone doesn't have to be a lonely, creepy experience. Here are some tips from a girl who's learned to love it.

Tip #1: Get to know the band. The best way to guarantee that you'll always have a friend at the shows you attend is to befriend your local band members. Just can't get enough of their sound? Don't hesitate to tell them! Better yet, offer to help them haul all their equipment after the show's over. Be genuine, and you'll never find yourself alone at one of their shows again!

Tip #2: Befriend other fans. More often than not, you'll find that you aren't the only one who decided to rock out on her own at a show. I've made some really great friends by just striking up a conversation with these other fans. You already know you've probably got something in common with them. After all, you're both there to catch the same lineup! Generally, people in the scene are pretty friendly once you make the effort to talk to them.

Tip #3: Bring a snack. Not as bummed about going to the show on your own as you are about missing out on that late night Grill run? Take your favorite snack along to the show. Not only will this cure the munchies you're sure to develop from all of that dancing you'll be doing, but it can also end up being a quirky conversation starter. Don't ask me how that works. Oddly enough, it just does. And hey, you could even bring some snacks to share. Everybody loves free food!

Tip #4: Bring a jacket. Are you most concerned about being just too damn sexy to walk back to your car alone at 2:30 AM? Well, that is a legitimate concern. After all, you ARE indeed damn sexy. Sticking to well-lit areas is a start, but sometimes you'll discover that the outfit that just looked flattering at 10 PM starts to look more like something out of a rap video to the blurred eyes of those stumbling around when 3 AM rolls around. A jacket to the rescue! Zipping up a jacket or even pulling on hoodie can do wonders to bring your sexiness to more manageable levels.

Tip #5: Celebrate your freedom. Most of all, embrace your independence. Want to catch one band here and another band there? It's completely up to you! Want to stay out till every last person leaves the venue? Go for it! Want to mix it up by rockin' out to a band on one side of town and then heading to a bar on the other? Why not. The scene is yours, and you've got the freedom to make the most of it!

Got some tips of your own? Share them with us in the comments below!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Hey, bands! How can your fans find you?

It's no secret that I'm a sucker for a well-maintained web presence. Whether you're a member of a band, a music promoter, or the social media manager for a venue, keeping the fans in mind should always be one of your top priorities. Let's get down to the basics. Established bands and budding musicians, this one's for you!

  • Just starting out with your band? Well, all you need is a name to create your very own Facebook fan page! Listing all of your members' names and what they play as well as contact info and a brief, attention-grabbing description will make your page a one-stop shop for all of your listener's needs. Later on, you can add apps that will give you the chance to share your tunes with the masses, and you can create an event list and invite all your friends to attend your next rockin' show. These pages are incredibly valuable if you're hoping to get a bit of press about your band in the future too.
  • Thinking about doing this music thing for a while? Looks like it's time for you to invest in a website! But why make a site when you're already running things from your Facebook fan page command center? To answer your question, try searching for Reptar, the Athens band that's been blowing up the scene for the past year, on Facebook. Hard to find unless you're already a fan, right? Bands that share names with other popular places, creatures, items, or ideas will often be lost in a sea of pages on everybody's favorite social networking site. A simple website featuring links to all of your pages, channels, and feeds plus a small tour schedule display will work wonders for the fan doing a Google search for your band. And there's no need to be worried about the cost either. Run your site through a blogging platform (like we do here on Blogger), and you'll just have to pay around $10 a year for your domain name. It's almost too easy!
  • Once you've established yourself with a bit of a fanbase, you'll want to keep in touch with all those awesome fans you meet. Let them know what you're up to on the go with a Twitter page. The best thing about Twitter is that you can easily alert your followers of any time or venue changes quickly, no matter where you are. Your most eager fans can even sign up to get text messages of your latest tweets straight to their phone. Also, the Twitter community supporting the music scene is huge, so you'll have a chance to make some great contacts there as well.
  • Ready to showcase your talents on the global stage? What your band needs next is its own YouTube channel. Grab a friend with a video camera and get to filming! Whether you're just uploading footage from your last show or you're showcasing a brand new music video masterpiece, it's always a good bet to nab a channel purely for the purposes of showing off what your band can do. Be sure to tag your videos well, so they'll be easy to find too!
Remember, every little thing you do could make a difference! You never know who might stumble across one of your band's pages and fall in love with your sound. Good luck, my friends!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Discover the Athens music scene!

This one's for all the newcomers to Athens as well as those of you who've been curious about the scene but have remained on the fringes of it thus far. Not sure whether you want to join an already existing band in need of a new rockin' member or start your own music project during your stay in the Ath-town? Still working on learning those first few guitar chords? Love being a fan but wish you could take it to the next step? Whether concerts have always been your thing or the scene is brand new to you, there's a place for you here!

If you're attending the ever-awesome University of Georgia, you've got tons of options to help you carve out a space for yourself in the Athens scene.
  • Interested in DJaying, learning how to set up a show, or just getting an introduction to the world of local musicians? Check out WUOG, UGA's own student-run radio station. Don't be shy! They seriously welcome all students to eager to help out, and they're conveniently located in the Tate Student Center.
  • Perhaps you're ready to throw yourself straight into the business... Well, then the Music Business Certificate Program is just for you! During your music business classes, you'll learn all the technical details you need to know to make the music industry part of your career.
  • Or maybe you just want to focus on the fun side of putting on shows featuring big name artists. If that sounds right up your alley, then you should join University Union's Entertainment division. As part of this club, students get to select artists and organize massive shows for the student body. They often get to meet the musicians themselves too. Added bonus! Past shows organized by this group of eager students have featured a huge variety of artists and groups including Ludacris, Augustana, Soulja Boy, and Bo Burnham.
If you're most interested in the music-making process itself, your first stop should be the famed streets of downtown Athens! Even if you're not yet 21, there are several venues around town that cater to the 18+ music loving crowd. These include the Caledonia Lounge, the 40 Watt Club, Nu├ži's Space, New Earth Music Hall, the Bad Manor, the Melting Point, and even the newly reopened Georgia Theatre! Once you've seen a few shows and met a few of your favorite local musicians, you can begin networking to find your niche in a sea of bands and rockers. Making friends here is where it all begins!

Interested in writing about the scene and your experiences in it? You could always join the Echoreyn of Athens team and give us your take as well! Check out our About page for more information on many of the people who have gotten involved with us in the past and a link to our contact info.

One way or another, I hope you all make the most of Athens' amazing and ever-exciting local music scene!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Kicking off the school year with Brothers and the Viking Process

Well, this semester is off to a great start so far! After all, there's just nothing better than listening to a couple of rockin' bands in a bar on a Sunday night.

First up on the small Highwire Lounge stage was the Viking Progress featuring solo musician Patrick Morales. Very sweet, often melancholy, lyrics characterized his songs as they flowed into live acoustic guitar tunes and beautiful melodies brought into being with a bow drawn across the strings of a banjo. Using a live recording method to create repeating backing vocals that resembled a ghostly chorus of voices, he harmonized with himself, building a rather unique style of sound. Morales also incorporated other curious tools into his music including snatches of sound from an old radio before ending each of his songs rather abruptly. I love musicians that bring something different to the metaphorical table!

I must say, though, it was quite an interesting experience to watch a full show performed at the Highwire. Every time I've been there in the past, it was merely a bar filled with people screaming to be heard. But shows like these bring it fully into the scene!

Moments after the Viking Progress had played his last note, Brothers stepped onstage to mix it up with their fun, indie pop take on classic rock. The band's all-encompassing sound was, without a doubt, music to groove to, and the growing crowd took notice, standing up and dancing as they played. After a while, I found myself so immersed in the show that I got completely lost in the tunes, any sense of time or place passing out of my awareness. What a show!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Musicians: A Rare Breed Indeed

Rockstars... As children, we were all in awe of them. To us, they represented the wild life, the untamed dream. The words they spoke and the clothes they wore inspired us. Surely these legends, these gods of humankind, were the epitome of cool in their day to day lives as well!

Now, some of you reading this blog realized at a very early age that the rockstar life was the life you were meant to lead. Others stumbled into it and fell in love with it. Either way, though, you grew to see this world from the inside out. The mystique it held became your life. Those of us who approached it without any background in the art of musical composition, however, had quite a different experience. For many of us, until we began to befriend successful and talented musicians, be they rich and famous or those still in the starving artist phase of their careers, we didn't see just how much we all have in common with each other.

During my early forays into the local music scene, I made a few very surprising discoveries. First and foremost, I learned that musicians were cool in quite a different way than I had come to expect from books and movies and magazine interviews. Most of them were deliciously awkward, in only the best way possible! I could totally relate to that. They communicated their true thoughts through their music just like I speak through my writing. Being a rockstar means that those quirky actions and inappropriate phrases that place the rest of us firmly under the label of "inexcusably awkward" become cool and gain intriguing depth. The moment a musician steps onstage in front of an impressionable newcomer to the scene, they become larger than life. It is truly a magic like no other.

Secondly, I discovered just how much work is put into the tune-making arts. It is truly a time-intensive career. All the fun and games that we, the fans, see are the product of hours and days and weeks of practice, scheduling meetings, and slaving over promotions. That CD the band just gave out for free? That took months to record, day after day of spilling their souls into layers of tracks that they compile to form each song. Let us not forget about all the frustrations of apologizing for cancelled shows, playing to empty rooms on tour, and waiting around for hours to rock a six-song opening set for that big-name band only to be booed by the impatient crowd. To all you musicians out there, I salute you! You hide all this work from us so well! For us, your shows are just amazing, joy-filled parties. Your dedication to this illusion is just awe-inspiring.

But that's not to say that the rockstar lifestyle is lacking in fun, of course. My final discovery was that of the curious nature of the relationship between sex, drugs, and rock and roll. In the beginning, I began to wonder... Was it all just a stereotype, a rumor, a misconception? Well, from what I've seen, this one is right on the money, in some ways at least! Not every musician chooses to embrace this aspect of the role, but for those that do, even movies do not quite do them justice. It is a fascinating life the aspiring rockstar leads, even those who live in our small town of Athens. Some of the things I've seen or heard... well, let's just say that the life of a musician is just simply indescribable!

These are my people, and I truly love them. I'm ridiculously proud to be as involved in the Athens music scene as I am, and I'm so glad it's picking back up again now that August has arrived. Let the madness begin again!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Bad Manor: Bright lasers, brilliant colors

If an all-encompassing concert or dance party experience is what you crave, the Bad Manor is definitely the place for you! After receiving your venue wristband, you'll enter to find a full bar complete with bar stools and a few small tables, perfect for chilling with friends before the music begins. Then, as you pass by the screen barrier and step onto the massive dance floor, brilliant multicolored beams of light wash over the room, setting an intense scene for the night of tunes ahead. These unbelievable lasers, highlighted at times by a gorgeous sea of bubbles or by napkins that waft through the air like confetti, kick every show or dance extravaganza at the Bad Manor up several notches. They are truly a sight to behold! Then, making your way to the rather large raised stage, you'll pass a barred cage, presumably for the most wild of parties, as well as a small area that serves as the perfect place for merch booths.

What about the DJs or the members of bands planning to blow the crowd away with their style? Well, this sprawling venue has two backstage areas for them and their crew! And if their tunes tend to get the fans moving and grooving, this is definitely the venue for them. Truly, this scene was made for dancing! During all of that movement, though, you're certainly going to need to stay hydrated. But what happens when you've had a bit too much? Well, luckily, you're in the Bad Manor, home to some of my favorite restrooms in all of Athens! As you enter the clean and spacious rooms, you'll think you've stepped into the washrooms of some fancy, modern restaurant. Rustic metal stall doors open to highly designed sinks, and everything from the faucets to the toilet paper dispensers is automated as well.

Then, as you finally leave the awe-inspiring restrooms, you'll find yourself absorbed once more in all of the amazing sights and sounds of the Bad Manor. If you came to party, you will not be disappointed. What a place!

The Bad Manor at a glance:

Ages: varies, generally 18+

Cost: varies, generally free for 21+, $5 for 18-20 before 11 PM, $10 for 18-20 after

Venue Website:

Venue Phone Number: (706) 850-8500

Venue location & Google Map: 346 East Broad St., Athens, GA 30601

Reviews of recent concerts/events at The Bad Manor

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!