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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Kristen's Concert Picks: December's tunes light up the night

Whispers of snowfall swirl through the cold air as the final month of the year dawns on us.  December comes to Athens bearing gifts in the form of tons of incredible shows.  Enjoy!

Fri, Dec 2: Yo Soybean @ 10:30 PM @ Farm 255
If irreverent southern rock is your style, you'll definitely want to start off your month with Yo Soybean over at Farm 255!

Sat, Dec 3: Athens @ 8 PM @ Bad Manor
There's no doubt about it, the Athens band's pure rock style will leave you in awe.  Don't miss their sure-to-be awesome show at Bad Manor!

Mon, Dec 5: SQUIDMAS @ 8 PM @ Melting Point
It's a Squidmas miracle, you guys!  An incredible lineup of three of our blog favorites - Doctor Squid, the Warm Fuzzies, and Groove Tangent - will be rocking the Melting Point stage this year in celebration of the fourth annual Squidmas.  Plus, Doctor Squid will be releasing their latest album Changes the Channel at the show!  Trust me, you'll want to be there!

Tues, Dec 6: Groove Tangent @ 9 PM @ Caledonia Lounge
Craving even more Groove Tangent?  They'll be sharing their sweet 50s style with the crowd at Caledonia the day after Squidmas!

Tues, Dec 6: Futurebirds @ 8 PM @ 40 Watt
This one's for anybody who loves southern rock.  Headliners of this year's Athfest, the Futurebirds return to rock the 40 Watt early in the month!  Then they take the stage again at the Georgia Theatre on the 30th!

Fri, Dec 9: Modern Skirts & Lera Lynn @ 8 PM @ Georgia Theatre
This show's got some of Athens' best!  Don't miss powerful singer Lera Lynn as she joins pop rockers Modern Skirts and Easter Island for a show that is guaranteed to be memorable!

Sat, Dec 10: Manray & Lazer/Wulf @ 9:30 PM @ Caledonia Lounge
Hard and darkly melodic noise rock will rule the night as Manray and Lazer/Wulf take the Caledonia!

Sat, Dec 10: Venice Is Sinking @ 9 PM @ 40 Watt
It's time for another helping of soft and sweet tunes from Venice Is Sinking.  Can't wait!

Fri, Dec 16: Abbey Road Live @ 9 PM @ Melting Point
Beatles fans rejoice!  Abbey Road Live is back to give you all your favorite covers in the middle of the month.

Sat, Dec 31: The Whigs @ 9 PM @ 40 Watt
These local rockers have made quite a name for themselves, and now they're back to ring in the new year with style!

Sat, Dec 31: Reptar @ 8 PM @ Georgia Theatre
Want an absolutely insane New Year's Eve?  Well, then, you'll want to head on over to the Georgia Theatre bash featuring one of Athens' wildest bands, Reptar!  Be sure to buy your tickets early for this one!

Wow, that looks like quite a December!  As always, check back often for even more can't-miss shows as the month progresses, and be sure to let the world know about any other great upcoming concerts in the comments below.  Happy winter, you guys!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Eating!

Hope you all have an incredibly delicious and extremely enjoyable Thanksgiving!
Love, Kristen

Monday, November 21, 2011

Fun, film, and family!

Can it really be the end of November? How has the year gone by so quickly?  Well, somehow it's already the week of Thanksgiving which means that many of you are away visiting your families and preparing yourselves to enjoy a bit of time off and a selection of tasty foods.  Well, how would like a serving of scrumptious tunes to go with your delicious meal?

First off, I'll start with something you may be familiar with: the Fuzz of the Month!  Every month, local joy-inducing band the Warm Fuzzies gives out a newly released free song on their website.  How awesome is that!  Go ahead and get yourself a taste of their latest tunes right here.

Lucky for us, the Warm Fuzzies aren't the only band sharing some free tunes right now!  Doctor Squid has gotten in on the action as well.  Every week for the next few weeks, they'll be debuting a fresh new song, and they're releasing the latest one today!  You can get your hands on these songs over on their website.  Best of all, you'll be able to catch both of these bands in action on December 5th at the fourth annual Squidmas event over at the Melting Point.  I just can't wait for this year's festive celebration of tunes and cheer!

And finally, if you're craving even more awesome songs, we've just uploaded a bunch of the videos that we've recorded over the past few months onto the Echoreyn of Athens YouTube channel.  Feast your eyes on tons of live show videos, like the Constellations one above, from this year's Music Midtown and more!

Hope you all have an amazing week!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Georgia Theatre: The iconic venue re-imagined

Steeped in history and newly rebuilt, the Georgia Theatre is undoubtably one of Athens' most beloved venues.  A brightly lit marquee greets you as you step up to the box office to purchase your ticket for the night's events.  Doors to the indoor venue do not open till 8 PM for shows, but the Georgia Theatre is more than just a place for bands and music;  it's also a rather chill rooftop restaurant!   Entering through the side door, you'll find a spacious elevator that takes you up to an open air patio with nice views of the surrounding downtown area.  Craving a bite to eat?  Well, this White Tiger-style dining experience features an affordably priced menu of sandwiches, salads, and sides.  While the menu does not offer a huge variety of choices in food, there is certainly a decent selection which includes several vegetarian options as well.  Best of all, the food here is quite good.

Looks like it's time for the show to start!  As you head inside, you'll discover that the Georgia Theatre has three interior levels, the top two featuring limited seating and overlooking the main floor.  From the road, the doors open up to this lower level where you'll find a rather large dance floor and quite an impressive raised stage.  Ready to grab a drink?  Opposite the stage, two full bars line the back of the venue on the main floor and bars are accessible from the upper levels as well.  Returning to the dance floor, you'll find that this venue was truly and expertly made for bands that attract masses of fans.  Even if you find yourself lucky enough to be among those in the very front of the crowd, the stage has an overhang which enables fans to have extra space and breathing room, a definite plus for the most well-attended shows!

Time for a bathroom break? Well, since the Georgia Theatre tends to get rather crowded, you'll probably want to make your way there before the show starts.  Located in the basement of the venue, you'll find some of the most massive bathrooms in Athens - pristine industrial-style rooms built with huge crowds in mind.

Returning to the main floor, you'll most likely find even more people in front of the stage than there were when you left.  Afraid you'll get much too hot as you show off your best dance moves in the middle of such a crowd? Don't be too concerned.  Giant fans that resemble helicopter blades (yes, everything is huge here) cool the dance floor, keeping all of the fans comfortable throughout the rockin' show.  Gotta love the new Georgia Theatre!

Georgia Theatre at a glance:

Ages: shows 18+, football games 21+

Cost: varies

Venue Website:

Venue Phone Number: (706) 850-7670

Venue location & Google Map: 215 N. Lumpkin St,, Athens, GA 30601

Reviews of recent concerts/events at The Georgia Theatre

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!

Monday, November 14, 2011

More than Music: Creative Merch and Promotions

There's no doubt that the tunes bring the fans to shows, but what keeps them coming back for more? How can bands ensure their fans will share their latest rockin' discovery with all of their friends? Sometimes it takes a little more than music. Here's where a bit of creativity and some great merch can make all the difference!

After choosing a name, recording a few songs, and playing a couple of shows, most bands take the next logical step and arm themselves with EPs and t-shirts to sell to the masses. Many even give out something small, like a button or a sticker, to potential fans for free to keep their name fresh in fans' minds. This is, indeed, one of the best ways to get your name out there! But some bands have forged their own path with regards to merch and advertising. Putting their creativity and ingenuity to good use, they've thrown a whole new spin on the idea.

My first true experience with merch tables and band promotions was at this year's Summer Side Show in Columbus, GA where I was lucky enough to be traveling with a band who were masters at the art. The very first thing Misfortune500 did when they arrived at the festival was set up a professional-looking merch tent complete with nicely arranged tables and well-displayed items for sale. After all, you've got to think big to make it big! Displays like these lend bands the illusion of great fame, and that really does wonders when you're playing for an unfamiliar crowd. They also took account of their audience for the festival. Hot weather? Well, then there's no better idea than selling water bottles with the band name on them! Other bands around the park also embraced the festival layout, guiding potential fans to their tents with signs and even writing messages on their friends' chests. Definitely eye-catching!

Here in Athens, I've seen some amazing promotional ideas as well. Several years ago, the Warm Fuzzies released their tunes on a bubblegum-scented CD. No fan is ever going to forget a band like that! I can vouch for the fact that, even weeks later, my friends and I could't get enough of telling our pals about them and letting them get a whiff of that sweet song-filled goodness.

Reptar, on the other hand, mixed it up in the early days with their t-shirts, making handmade pieces of one-of-a-kind art using just fabric paint and old clothes they'd found. Back when Allison Weiss lived here, she opted to go for printed t-shirts instead, but they certainly weren't any less memorable with sayings like "Allison Weiss is ok I guess." Ye Olde Sub Shoppe even went so far as to print headshots of one of their unwilling friends on their shirts. Having a sense of humor about their merch is an awesome way to keep the fans amused and excited!

Some bands step even further outside of the box when making their merch. Screamin Eagle, a soft indie pop band from Florida, sold small, hand-drawn books filled with the notions and themes they'd shared in their songs. It was such a unique move that you can bet I've never forgotten their show!

And hey, a band can even stand out in the way they sell their merch. Bambara and Misfortune500, among several other bands I've seen, have begun accepting credit cards at their shows as well. How is this possible? Well, all you need is an iPhone, a small addition to swipe cards, and an app to make your merch table into a legitimate portable business! You can't deny it. That is pretty cool!

Just remember, whether a band is selling sunglasses and beer koozies or earrings and bracelets, they should always make sure their fans leave with their minds full of unforgettable memories and their hands full of incredibly creative merch!

To read about all of the ingredients that make up a live show to top all others, click here!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Echoreview: Rainbow Ghost's Tell Us How You Really Feel EP

You know me. I'm always on the lookout for the newest sounds emerging from our town! Rainbow Ghost, a brand new local music project, is about as fresh as it gets. Sweet and sincere, Rainbow Ghost's indie synth pop style and honest lyrics are definitely worth a listen. So what are his tunes like?

The Tell Us How You Really Feel EP begins with the track What Went Wrong, a pop rock-fueled melody on the tribulations of being a loner and having to watch everyone else make friends, grow up, and get married. Being quite an introverted person myself, I can totally relate to this tune, and beyond the lyrics, I fully enjoyed the musician's beautiful use of the piano towards the end of the song as well. With regards to the sweet style of this tune, I have no doubt it would be a big hit among fans of the local bands Doctor Squid and the Warm Fuzzies. Falling Apart flows from the previous song with a soft, almost video game sort of feel. Impressively radio ready for a track from such a new music project, this tune is really the perfect song for pensively looking out the window as rain falls softly outside. I've gotta say, I absolutely love this one!

An awesome transition leads into Brittle, a more upbeat, often repetitive song for anyone who has ever felt fragile or broken before. Reminiscent of some of the sweetest Venice is Sinking tunes, I definitely could relate to this one as well.

The album ends on a quiet note of hope and desperation with the soft guitar strumming of Maybe It's Time. Speaking of the struggle to take control and make changes, this gorgeous and endearing melody concludes the record rather perfectly. I must admit, it's a rare time when I feel like an entire EP is a success, but from start to finish, Tell Us How You Really Feel is a sweetly melancholy, truthful, and cohesive collection of soul-baring melodies.

Want to sample Rainbow Ghost's sound for yourself? You can download all of these tracks over on his website here. Enjoy the tunes, my friends!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Bands, don't forget to submit your songs!

Can it really be time to prepare for Athfest 2012 already? Well, don't freak out just yet! We've still got many months till our town's biggest music festival takes place. However, now is the time for bands to choose and submit their songs to be considered for inclusion on this year's Athfest CD. The songs can be brand new, previously unreleased tunes (these are generally preferred) or melodies featured on your latest album. Truly it's a great way to get your music heard by quite a wide audience of just about every fan of the local scene this summer.

Want to submit one of your own songs? Here's the form! Good luck, you guys!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Always a Sight to See!

Oh, the things you see on the road! Up on our Facebook page, you'll find our latest pics of everything from shows around town to our CMJ roadtrip with Misfortune500 to the Wild Rumpus Parade. Some of our top favorites are below, but you can find 'em all right here!

Sleepy Eye Giant performs in the NYC

Endless clouds over Philadelphia

The Wild Rumpus parade in front of the Georgia Theatre

Check out the Echoreyn of Athens Facebook page for even more pictures! Have a spectacular weekend, my friends.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Kristen's Concert Picks: The sounds of November waft in

Golden leaves flutter past your window as cool breezes pull them from their trees. Coats and boots become a fashion staple, and the scents of fall waft through the air. November has arrived, my friends, and with it comes an awesome selection of tunes!

Tues, Nov 1: Betsy Franck & Klezmer Local 42 @ 4 PM @ Little Kings
Powerful southern rock and a fun take on Hebrew-inspired tunes? What a mix!

Thu, Nov 3: Kenosha Kid & Grogus @ 8 PM @ Georgia Theatre
Kenosha Kid, one of the best jazz bands in Athens, teams up with the dance-inducing sound of Grogus at the Georgia Theatre. Here's another can't-miss lineup!

Thu, Nov 3: Manray @ 9 PM @ Caledonia
Craving some dark, noise rock-flavored melodies? Then you'll definitely want to check out Manray at the Caledonia!

Wed, Nov 9: Spring Tigers @ 9:30 PM @ Caledonia
The electro-pop of the Spring Tigers will have you dancing in no time!

Wed, Nov 9: Magical Athens Talent Show @ 10 PM @ Go Bar
Our town is full of talent, and this show's got feats and acts of all kinds! Check out these crazy displays of skill, and help 'em raise a bit of money for Nu├ži's Space while you're there!

Thu, Nov 10: Groove Tangent @ 8:30 PM @ 40 Watt
You've been missing the awesome covers and the classic 50s style original tunes of Groove Tangent, haven't you? It's the 'Watt to the rescue! This Thursday, join the band for a Redcoat Band benefit that's sure to be tons of fun!

Fri, Nov 11: White Violet @ 9 PM @ 40 Watt
You won't be able to get enough of the solid, soft rock tunes of White Violet. Don't miss them over at the 40 Watt!

Sat, Nov 12: Powerkompany & Gold Party @ 9 PM @ 40 Watt
The sweet, ethereal melodies of Powerkompany join with the awesome electronic indie sound of the Gold Party to create yet another amazing lineup!

Thu, Nov 17: Perpetual Groove @ 8 PM @ WUOG
Headliners of last year's Athfest, you can catch this band at WUOG and then on the Georgia Theatre stage the very next day!

Thu, Nov 17: Gift Horse @ 9 PM @ 40 Watt
Soft, dark rock complete with artsy projections is Gift Horse's way. Enjoy!

Thu, Nov 17: Sam Sniper @ 9:30 PM @ Caledonia
One of my current Athens favorites, Sam Sniper's funky take on southern rock will blow your mind. Head on over to the Caledonia to catch these guys in action!

Sat, Nov 26: Easter Island @ 9 PM @ Caledonia
When you return from your celebrations of food and family, Easter Island will be taking the Caledonia stage to serve up some rhythmic, soft rock melodies. Perfect!

What a November this will be! If you know of another rockin' Athens show that isn't on the list, comment below and tell the world all about it. Also, don't forget to check back often to see what new shows are added to the list throughout the month. Catch ya at the shows!