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VOLUME 1, ISSUE 6

A.C. NEWMAN • ADELE • JOE BONAMASSA JOSHUA RADIN • MADELINE • GIFT HORSE CASPER & THE COOKIES • THE RATTLERS DUBCONSCIOUS • KUROMA & MANY MORE!

Vinyl REViVal
tHE

adElE’s Big nigHt

Fan FundEd alBuMs
conFEssions oF a gRoupiE

Horseplay
wITH
plus! Falling in loVE witH paul Rudd

Ben Kweller
williE nElson gEts nakEd!!

HELP THE PEOPLE COME HOME
WWW.PNOLA.ORG

er ov c

r sto

y

Horseplay
(42)

Ben Kweller
20 year-old British pop-singer, Adele, wins two Grammys this year and produced a critically acclaimed debut album. — Nicole Black

wITH

Not that he needed a new direction, but five albums into a celebrated cult-status career, Ben Kweller found one by looking back to where it all began - his Austin, TX roots.

(14)

— Jon Ross

(((44)) Fan Funded
As major labels become less relevant, bands look to their fans for the big $$$$.

Willie Gets Naked

Underneath the layers of Nashville’s ‘60s country sound, one man found a goldmine of Willie Nelson gems.

— Alec Wooden

(22)

— Natalie B. David

Confessions

of a Groupie

A self-proclaimed ‘groupie’ discloses an abridged version of her adventures with musicians, ball players, & comedians.
— Vixen*

(49)

Is America falling back in love with Vinyl? Depending on who you ask, it never really fell out.

(53)

Finally admitting your bromance for Paul Rudd? You’re not the only one. — DeMarco Williams

(60)

— Alec Wooden

We Love You, Man

ATHENS BLUR MAGAZINE

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music
tHE FiRst woRd:
A Merger Of Epic Proportions

COLUMNS
wHat’s youR MusicscopE?
Astrology for Musicians

9 80

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SpOTLIghTS
A.C Newman Kuroma Joe Bonamassa Ben Kweller Joshua Radin Madeline Gift Horse Dubconscious Adele Casper & The Cookies Zion I The Rattlers

11 12 13 14 17 18 20 21 22 25 26 27 28 31 34 37

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20

26

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EAR CANDY: Album Reviews

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UpCOMINg RELEASES

tHis day in Music HistoRy tHE BuZZ: News & Noise

ALSO:

tEn QuEstions FoR:
Irish folk legend Liam Clancy

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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

57
FOOD BY OUTBACK STEAKHOUSE

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60 62

MoViE pREViEws: Worth your $9.50? wE loVE you, Man: America Keeps Falling For Paul Rudd wHat you sEE is wHat you gEt: Paula Poundstone Returns to Athens

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FOOD

The Joy of Ramen Noodles

MEals FoR youR BRokE ass:

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ALSO INSIDE:
atHEns liVE: The Month in Photos calEndaR oF EVEnts ATHENS BLUR MAGAZINE

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BluR FROM THE EDITORS

BluR WHO WE ARE

Who We Are
Editor-in-Chief Nicole Black nicole@athensblur.com Executive Editor Alec Wooden alec@athensblur.com Director of Sales Stephen Simmons stephen@athensblur.com Sales Representatives Brian Leigh brian@athensblur.com Adrienne Klein adrienne@athensblur.com Jim McGahee Jim@athensblur.com Art Director Terry Wilson terry@athensblur.com Layout Design Colin Dunlop Lily Feinberg Editorial Interns Will Hackett Lindsey Lee Kristen Lee Julie McCollum Erica Schwartz Contributing Writers Jacquie Brasher, Natalie B. David, Matt Joiner, Ed Morales, Jon Ross, Kelly Skinner, PT Umphress, DeMarco Williams

EDItoR’S PLAyLISt
oLd oR NEw 10 SoNGS wE cAN’T GET ENoUGH of THIS MoNTH ,

fRoM thE EDItoR
Dear Readers, I have a confession to make. When I first moved to Athens over two years ago, I was oblivious to how incredible and diverse the music scene here really is. I assumed this was just another college town (I previously lived in Tempe, Ariz.) crammed with too many bands all hoping to “make it big” someday. The more involved I became in the local music scene, (much in part because of our Executive Editor, Alec Wooden) the more I realized Athens was more than just another small-town southern music scene. I discovered that many of you aren’t necessarily looking to “make it big,” you’re just looking to share your craft of making music with others. Not only do we have the most talented and diverse bands right here in Athens; we also have an amazing tight-knit community in support of local music — from fans to local businesses and venues, to places like Nuci’s Space — all of which bring Athens’ music scene full circle. I continue to be impressed and amazed by the quality of music being produced here. This isn’t just a college town. This is the musical and cultural capital of the Southeast and beyond. On the cover this month is indie-rocker-turned-country-rocker Ben Kweller. Raised on dirt roads and honky tonks in small-town Texas, Kweller jumped ship to New York at the age of 19, where he started cranking out albums with inspiring regularity. 2002’s Sha Sha was his first taste of mainstream success, continued with 2004’s On My Way and an eponymous LP in 2006. Kweller’s gone back home — literally and ideologically — with his latest Austin, Texas produced record, Changing Horses. Be sure to pick up our next issue of Blur Magazine, where we look at the evolution of Athens’ music scene. We will also be including a guide to summer music festivals not to miss, and so much more! And, as always, send us your comments and suggestions as we approach our one year mark and continue to grow into the product we strive to be. Keep reading and rocking,

Nicole Black
Editor-in-Chief

Alec Wooden
Executive Editor
“Sentimental Heart” She & Him “Why Do You Let Me Stay Here” She & Him “This Is Not A Test” She & Him “Change Is Hard” She & Him “I Thought I Saw Your Face Today” She & Him “Take It Back” She & Him “I Was Made For You” She & Him “You Really Got A Hold On Me” She & Him “Black Hole” She & Him “Got Me” She & Him

“Bad Habit” The Rattlers “Opiate” Tool “Should I Stay Or Should I Go” The Clash “Chasing Pavements” Adele “Thunder Kiss ‘65” White Zombie “Pink” Aerosmith “The Waiting” Tom Petty “Falling Slowly” The Swell Season “Take It Easy” The Eagles “Finnegan’s Wake” Dropkick Murphys

The Athens Blur Magazine P.o. Box 7117 Athens, Ga 30604 Main Office (706) 353-7799 Sales (706) 207-9091
For general comments and inquiries: editorial@ athensblur.com For advertising opportunities: sales@athensblur.com The Athens Blur Magazine issue 6, copyright©2009 By The Athens Blur Magazine, INC. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in whole or part in any way by any means unless written permission is received from the publisher. Published monthly except for each summer issue in the United States of America and distributed free of charge (limit one copy per reader, each subsequent copy is distributed at a charge of $4.95). Postmaster send address changes to the Athens blur Magazine, P.o. box 7117 Athens, ga. 30604

LookIng foR bLuR? tRy hERE:
13 Roses Tattoo 40 Watt Club 42 Degrees Athens 5 Points Bottle Shop ABC Package Alibi Saloon Amici’s Italian Café American Tavern Barberitos Barnes & Noble Beat the Bookstore Blind Pig Tavern Borders Bookstore Broad St. Bar and Grill Caledonia Lounge Cheers Package Chick Music Ciné Arthaus Theater Copper Creek Country Rock Café Daily Co-Op Depalma’s Doc Chey’s Restaurant Dos Palmas EarthFare Farm 255 Flora Hydroponics Follet’s Textbook Exchange Georgia Bar Gosford Wine Inoko Express Jittery Joe’s Coffee Jot ‘em Down BBQ J’s Bottle Shop Kingpin Bowl & Brew Lansdowne Road Irish Pub Lay-Z Shopper Little Italy Locos Deli & Pub Mama’s Boy Restaurant Mellow Mushroom Melting Point Modern Age Tobacco Moe’s Musician’s Warehouse Nuci’s Space Oglethorpe Package Pain & Wonder Tattoo Pita Pit Recycle Scooters Red Eye Coffee School Kids Records Sons of Italy Tasty World Taqueria La Parrilla The Burger & Cheesesteak Factory The Georgia Theater The Globe Tavern The Grill The Mercury Lounge The Rye Bar The Taco Stand Transmetropolitan Trappeze Pub Village Wine & Spirits Vision Video Walker’s Pub Weaver D’s Wild Wing Café Willy’s Wuxtry Records Your Pie

Editor-in-Chief

Nicole D. Black

oN The CoVer: Ben Kweller, photo courtesy of ATO Records
6 ATHENS BLUR MAGAZINE

foR MoRE LoCAtIonS, VISIt AthEnSbLuR.CoM
ATHENS BLUR MAGAZINE

7

BluR THE FIRST WORD

wHy THE TIckETMASTER/LIvENATIoN MERGER cAN’T BE ALLowEd
hile gearing up for the stretch run of his presidential campaign in May 2008, then-Illinois Senator Barack Obama made the following promise to the American voters: “I will assure that we will have an Antitrust Division that is serious about pursuing cases.” Ready. Set. Defend your promise, Mr. President. As if he could use anything else on his plate right now (not sure if you’ve heard, but we’re in a recession), Obama is suddenly faced with a very disturbing threat to that promise. As first reported by The Wall Street Journal, mega-media conglomerate Ticketmaster has agreed in principle to a merger with semi-megamedia conglomerate LiveNation, creating the possibility of one of the largest and most monopolistic threats to the music industry in quite some time. Let’s do a quick review on Ticketmaster alone – this isn’t the first time the good folks at the Antitrust Division have heard that name. In 1994, rising rock stars Pearl Jam appeared before them to formally lodge complaints against the perceived monopolistic practices of Ticketmaster who, at the time (and more so today), was the world’s leading authority on event ticket sales. The fuel that sparked the fire was simple: Ticketmaster overcharged music fans, slamming them with excessive fees for ordering tickets online, sometimes requiring event-goers to pay as much as 10 percent on top of the face value of a ticket. But this alone wasn’t really the issue. Ticketmaster could charge whatever they damn well pleased, as long as the patrons of these events had other options to go about getting tickets if they saw the fees excessive. They didn’t. And still don’t. Ticketmaster did, and still does, have exclusive deals with the vast majority of major music venues across the country, effectively eliminating a band’s ability to sell tickets at a desired price to fans (at the time, Pearl Jam wanted to charge no more than $20/ticket, with fees of no more then $1.80). Pearl Jam lost their

An EVIL on thE hoRIzon
W
case, despite winning decisively in the court of public opinion, and proceeded to cancel the 1994 tour in protest. The kicker of the Justice Department’s decision? It didn’t dispute Ticketmaster’s monopoly on the situation, but claimed

The First word: one sided debates about all things music

(Above)With symbols like this popping up all over the internet, there’s certainly enough public outrage to interest the government. (Below) U.S. Representative Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.), is one government official who quickly called for invesitgations and hearings into the proposed merger.

the individual bands weren’t the proper plaintiffs for the lawsuit. That rested instead with the individual promoters and venues (who, not surprisingly, were spineless in the long run). Other challengers have since risen, including String Cheese Incident in 2003 and, most recently, Bruce Springsteen only a matter of weeks ago. These uprisings were for Ticketmaster alone. Can you imagine the effects (and the outrage) if this merger continues? LiveNation’s management

and promotion powers combined with Ticketmaster’s death grip on the throats of music venues would allow the new super-company to essentially set the ticket market exactly as they please. If you want to see live music, you’ll pay their price. But let’s say you’re not willing (or, in these times, not able). What happens? Show revenue, the most formidable revenue stream for the bands of today, has the potential to plummet. Could bands go under? Would whole tours be cancelled? Might a venue or two shut down? The other side of the coin is the minority sentiment that Live Nation Entertainment (that’d be the new name) may actually have a notion to streamline ticket sales into a cheaper, more efficient process. Wrong. The new company would have too much interest in the artist to worry about making the consumer’s life easier. It’s not just about ticket sales anymore – this monopolistic train would control ticketing, promotion and even management of many major artists. The bottom line would be protected at any and all costs to the consumer. Live music is one of the final frontiers of creativity. Any band in any place in all the world can buy the basic equipment and cut records in their basement. As the recorded music market continues to flood, men and boys will be separated on the live field of battle. Threatening the livelihood of such is reckless. Pearl Jam, String Cheese, Springsteen…they have given it their best shots but were ultimately powerless in their respective quests. Now the power of the oval office is potentially behind the fight – or, at least, they’re standing on the side of the ring, gloves on and ready to go. Will they jump in? Let’s hope so. —Alec Wooden Got an opinion on this topic? Would you like to suggest a future topic? Join the discussion at editorial@athensblur.com. ATHENS BLUR MAGAZINE

9

Music ALTERNATIVE Music ALTERNATIVE

THE HEAd NEw poRNoGRApHER GoES AT IT SoLo...
Carl “A.C.” Newman makes it look easy. The New Pornographer’s frontman and occasional solo artist has released an album, as Pitchfork recognized, every 18 months since his indie super-group emerged with Mass Romantic in 2000. But don’t for a second think it’s all a breeze for the pop mastermind. “It’s something that I work hard at. It doesn’t come that naturally,” comments Newman via telephone from his Brooklyn home. “It’s kind of maddening. I’ve always approached music as a fan, and when you listen to a record it always seems like it just magically appeared. If you really like a record, you don’t see the work that the band put into it; it just plopped in your lap and you listen to it and go ‘This is amazing!’ As a listener you think records magically appear.” But they don’t. Newman explains that, from lyric writing to meticulous arrangement, the process of making albums — even for someone as seemingly prolific as Newman — is pretty labor intensive: “So much of it is work. I think there’s a spark at the beginning of songs that I can’t quite place, like the germ at the center of most songs. I don’t know where they come from exactly. They just show up. But after that, it’s just a massive amount of work,” he says. “I think I just work hard at it.” And work hard he does. For Get Guilty, Newman’s second solo album following 2004’s The Slow Wonder, the pop mastermind again brings his A-game to the indie pop field, crafting 12 tunes equally on-par with his day

on A guILt tRIP

MUSIc

A.C. nEWMAn
Who’S Who Carl “A.C.” Newman (vocals, guitar) — featuring guest appearances by: Jon Wurster (drums), Charles Burst (drums), Nicole Atkins and Mates of State (vocals) foRMED 2004 in New York City LAbEL Matador LAtESt RELEASE Get Guilty (2009) on thE WEb www.acnewman.net I’ll get it next time.’ So that’s what keeps me going.” Although Newman is arguably one of the premier indie pop leaders of the past decade, the humble songwriter is still hesitant about his place in a musical landscape where major labels have lost influence and indie bands are making a significant mainstream stand. “It’s kind of an intimidating time to be making music, actually. There’s so many good bands. I just think, how can you compete in this world?” he says, citing releases by Animal Collective, Andrew Bird, and Antony and The Johnsons, who shared Get Guilty’s release date. “That’s pretty heavy competition and most of them are hogging the ‘A’ section, too. I don’t even have the ‘A’ section to myself.” So maybe it’s not quite as easy as it seems — even for Carl Newman. — Natalie B. David ATHENS BLUR MAGAZINE

Photo courtesy big hassle Media

job material. In opposite circumstances as his fellow Pornographers (Newman’s solo work, released under the “A.C. Newman” moniker, is his side project, while Pornos albums are hobby activities for fellow focal points Neko Case and Destroyer’s Dan Bejar), Newman sees his position in the music world as a job and one he says he’s nervous about losing. “It’s a pretty good job and I should be pretty thankful to have this job where all I do is make music, so for that reason I force myself to be prolific,” says Newman. “I think you’d

be an idiot to sit on your ass for four years not making a record just because you can, because you have enough money to support yourself. You’ve gotta keep going.” As a result, Newman doesn’t allow his work to suffer, nor his time to remain idle, constantly aiming to not only keep his job, but pursue that great intangible: to reach the pinnacle of one’s craft. “I don’t think I’ve ever made the record that I really want to make. I don’t think I’ve made my best record,” he explains. “I’ll make a record and say, ‘That’s a valiant attempt, but

11

Music BLUES

Music ALTERNATIVE

HANk SULLIvANT fINdS coNTENTMENT wITH kURoMA
kuRoMA
Who’S Who Hank Sullivant (bass) foRMED 2008 in Athens, GA LAbEL independent LAtESt RELEASE Paris (2009) on thE WEb www.kuromamusic.com
Courtesy big hassle Media

hE DID It hIS WAy

joE BoNAMASSA TAkES LIfE wITH A GRAIN of SALT
Following the release of his latest album, “The Ballad of John Henry,” bluesman Joe Bonamassa sits down for a quick chat about his writing and life on the road. Athens Blur Magazine: Talk about what’s behind the new album. Joe Bonamassa: Well, you know, I mean the album is the album. The album came out February 24 and I think it’s the best work, you know, I think it’s the best work I’ve ever done. I was generally very shy about writing beforehand. Open the book of Joe and, you know, maybe share with people what’s going on. Unfortunately, sometimes your best stuff comes from your worst moments. ABM: Is it easier to write when things are going bad? JB: Sometimes when you’re too happy personally...you lack the passion, you know? So when I listen to this album, I hear a passion that goes all the way through it. For a long time, I wouldn’t even talk about why the album was being done, how it was being done, who I wrote it for. You know, whatever. And it’s like, as time went by, I realized that everything happens for a reason. ABM: But you’re in a good spot now? JB: I wouldn’t have traded anything to get where I’m at at this point. Would I have hoped it would have worked out differently? Would I have hoped it had been done differently? Sure. But this album is really just a documentation of where I was between the months of May and September of 2008. I was touring my ass off. I was taking very few days off. I was writing songs and then recording them the next

thE bESt fRoM thE WoRSt
JoE bonAMASSA
Who’S Who Joe Bonamassa (guitar, vocals) foRMED 2000 in Los Angeles, CA LAbEL J & R Adventure LAtESt RELEASE The Ballad of John Henry (2009) on thE WEb www.jbonamassa.com up to some gigs early on and when we had 10 times as many speakers on stage as they had PAs and the drum riser was bigger than the whole stage, and we were like, “How are we gonna do this?” and we made it work. That kind of thing. show, to try to get them in. I do appreciate my fans very, very much and I don’t take them for granted. And I know times are tough for everybody, so it’s really critical that you make an effort to show some appreciation in return. ABM: Can you share with us your most outrageous stories from the road? JB: Well, there’s a bunch, but generally nothing too outrageous for me. If you put yourself in that position, then weird stuff will happen, but generally if you keep going, if you use the kind of control. I mean, you’ll see some weirdness at the hotels, like chillin’ at the fuckin’ Marriott in Dayton, Ohio and there’s a transvestite convention, like totally a transvestite convention, you know? And, it’s like, you show up at this other place, — we’ve showed ABM: What’s something a lot of people wouldn’t know about you? JB: A lot of people didn’t believe I lived in Athens, but I did, for 2 and a half fuckin’ weeks (laughs). ABM: I didn’t realize that until very recently. JB: Yeah, that’s how it is. I lived there for 2 and a half weeks. By and large, I enjoyed my time there, and I was grateful for the welcome that the local people showed me. I was just happy to be there, for a second. ABM: So you’re not planning a move back to Athens anytime soon? JB: I’ll stick to Atlanta for now. I’m not ready to come back yet. Maybe one of these days. — Matt Joiner ATHENS BLUR MAGAZINE

You’re a founding member of The Whigs, this catchy-ass band from Athens, and on the cusp of signing to a major record deal, you leave. Weird, but OK. Then your high school buddy Andrew calls, and says “Hey, tour with my band.” You do, and during that time the band, MGMT, becomes an international hit. You’re atop the mountain. And . . . you leave. Again. Hank Sullivant: Are. You. Crazy. Are you afraid of success? “No, that’s stupid,” Sullivant said with a laugh. “I wouldn’t mind being the biggest thing in the world. I would love that. I just wanted to do my own thing and be extremely careful to do it the right way.” If The Whigs was college, and MGMT was graduate school, then Kuroma is Sullivant’s job, and he’s quite happy thankyouverymuch. An outfit with a rotating crew to go with its sundry of sounds, Kuroma boasts an album (Paris) and strategy (no MySpace) seeking to engage, not pander. “The goal is to have some aspect of you other people have to find out about and not you desperately seeking 12 ATHENS BLUR MAGAZINE

attention,” Sullivant said. “That turns me off to a lot of bands nowadays. A lot of them don’t have any nerve.” With a whole lot of pluck and a little bit of patience, Sullivant now finds plenty of people seeking him out. In January the band supported Cold War Kids at New York’s Mercury Lounge (“Awesome. I told myself I’d never use that word again unless describing mountains,” Sullivant said). In March, the band has a half-dozen dates opening for Primal Scream, while April has Kuroma embarking on an extensive tour with Starfucker (“It was fun telling my mom that,” he said). Hank Sullivant, meet mountain. Again. “After the careful starting out approach, things are rolling,” Sullivant said. “The plan is to become the best band in the world.” Sullivant’s path to Kuroma is an amalgamation of elements starting in Memphis with a guy named Andrew VanWyngarden. Now one-half of MGMT, VanWyngarden and Sullivant then flexed their musical muscles in a funk band, a genre that doesn’t reward poor playing. “It was important to be incredible at our

instruments,” Sullivant notes. Upon graduation, the two diverged. While VanWyngarden started playing “subversive Cyndi Lauper kind of stuff ” while singing to recorded tracks, Sullivant came to Athens to attend UGA and share in the town’s musical wealth. At first, he was under whelmed. “I was unimpressed mainly because of the musicianship,” he said. “I saw a couple of bands, and my first reaction was it was pathetic and wimpy. I knew there could be music that could stomp on it.” With Parker Gispert and Julian Dorio, stomp he did. The Whigs were a revelation, pounding pop gems to SRO crowds. It was here Sullivant grasped the power of pop structure. “And the bass,” Sullivant said. “I never played bass before. I would have left Georgia if I hadn’t met Parker and Julian. Back then, the songs I wrote were all over the place, and Julian and Parker have a keen sense of pop structure. The big thing with The Whigs was we were young and wanted to stomp other Athens bands. That was part of the energy.” “With MGMT, I admired

the way Andrew and Ben (Goldwasser) think about music. Moving to New York and playing with them was eye-opening. And Ben shared music that has messed everything up in my head. I don’t know what’s good or bad anymore.” Seeing where Sullivant’s been makes it easy to understand where Kuroma’s going; he did his own thing by piecing everything he loves with everything he learns. Paris’ tracks prove this, revealing chunks of funk (“Paris”), pop (“Searching For A Sheep”), playfulness (“Alexander Martin”), and grunge (“May Be I’m Lazy “– “Kurt Cobain is amazing,” Sullivant adds), while not making any effort to conceal its origins. “People are copying each other but trying to hide it,” Sullivant said. “With Kuroma we’re copying people blatantly, absolutely stealing and doing nothing to cover it up. It’s trying to introduce elements you’ve heard a zillion times and repackaging it in a different context. It’s making things hyper-real, truer than they were.” Sounds like this time he’s staying. — Ed Morales

Photo: Rob Shanahan

day. And that was “Story of a Quarry Man,” that was “Happier Times,” that was “Last Kiss, ” that was a bunch [of songs]. It was like all this stuff that was happening in real life. ABM: How are you doing tour-wise these days? Is the economy a big issue in the music industry, as far as you can tell? JB: You know what? For some. We’re selling, this year, more tickets than we’ve ever sold in our entire life. We are selling an average of 1,000 or more domestically. Two to three thousand in Europe. We haven’t seen it, you know? But, we’re still a cheap date. The top tickets we only sell for like $50, $55, for front row seats, you know? So, to me it’s like, I’m not really seeing it, the economy. I know the economy is weak, so I like to give people more

13

Music COUNTRY

“In New york, it’s every man for himself, and people are cold and pissed off — working too hard and looking straight ahead when they walk. I missed nature. I missed trees and rivers and swimming and freedom.”

Horseplay
wITH
14 ATHENS BLUR MAGAZINE

Ben Kweller

ndie rocker Ben Kweller’s fifth album, Changing Horses, has been reviewed in all the right media outlets. Music publications from Paste to Rolling Stone have praised the work, but it’s also snagged mentions in a few unexpected places: magazines filled with tidbits about country pop stars have singled out the album with positive reviews. Country Music Television even recently began airing the video for the record’s first single, “Fight.” “That’s a dream come true. Get on CMT? Holy shit,” said Kweller over the phone from his cousin’s house in Connecticut, where Kweller was taking some time off from touring. Fans know Kweller as a no-frills vocalist who alternately plays guitar, piano and drums. Before he became the object of hipster worship, he was just a country boy growing up in northeast Texas, surrounded by music. His dad filled the house with songs from ‘60s rock masters, but on lazy middle school nights at the roller rink, Garth Brooks was king. Country music fit perfectly with Kweller’s world: shooting BB guns, smoking Camel Wides and chasing girls. “Small-town Texas is probably similar to smalltown Georgia in a lot of ways,” Kweller said. “It’s just like so many other normal little southern towns in America where the football team is really popular in high school, and people cruise around in their pickup trucks and go to Sonic and get cherry limeade.” On Changing Horses, Kweller’s singing, a reedy sound that always seems about to crack but almost never does, is buffeted by a lazy pedal steel. While background vocals have been part of his music since 2002’s Sha

I

InDIE RoCkER goES bACk to ChILDhooD RootS
bEn kWELLER
Who’S Who Ben Kweller foRMED 2000 in New York City LAbEL ATO Records LAtESt RELEASE Changing Horses (2009) on thE WEb www.kweller.net

Photo courtesy Ato Records

Sha, songs like “Fight” bring rollicking vocal harmonies front and center. “Things I Like To Do” and “On Her Own” are rooted in shuffle beats, reflecting a rambling spirit and a laid-back way of life. These songs embody the Texas country sound, which may put him at odds with contemporary country radio. “Obviously, they know I’m Texas country and not Nashville country, so I don’t know if they’ll fully let me

into their clique,” Kweller said. “The whole country scene from the late ‘70s came out of Texas — people just didn’t want to conform to the Nashville ways. Nashville’s always been very pop driven.” When Kweller left Texas for New York City on the heels of rock success, he kept his country music childhood tucked away. Many of the songs on Changing Horses were written during the ensuing years while Kweller,

sitting in a cramped apartment, thought about home. “In New York, it’s every man for himself, and people are cold and pissed off — working too hard and looking straight ahead when they walk,” he said. “I missed nature — that was a big thing. I missed trees and rivers and swimming and freedom.” After nearly a decade in the Northeast, Kweller recently packed up and headed down to Austin, TX., searching for wide-open spaces. Though his new sound may have more twang than his previous efforts, Kweller said he’s simply following his own musical progression. After all, Changing Horses is just a snapshot of a particular point in time. For his next album, Kweller may return to piano-driven rock, or he could move toward a different sound entirely. “Genre change is a part of what Ben Kweller is. I’m a Gemini with multiple personalities. And I have ADD, so I get bored really easily,” he said. “My favorite artists always did different things; it’s just part of being an artist. You don’t want to limit yourself to one sound.” — Jon Ross ATHENS BLUR MAGAZINE

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When Joshua Radin wrote his first song, he was almost 30. Though, at the time, he was penning screenplays (he calls what he writes, “whimsical comedy”) he had basically tried his hand at everything: parking cars, catering, real estate, teaching, coaching, serving and working as a camp counselor. It seemed that rock star fame was a far stretch for a man whose roots dig deep into middle class Ohio. But with the advent of iTunes and television music licensing, it seems that anything and everything is possible. Radin’s music can’t be found on the radio, though at any given moment his songs can be heard on primetime television sitcoms such as “Scrubs,” “House” and “Grey’s Anatomy.” He had both his albums for sale on iTunes before they were released in stores and has sold his songs to 100 different television programs. Radin believes that the combination of the two technologies makes it unnecessary to rely on radio play to guarantee success. He is well known in Europe, and though not necessarily recognizable in the U.S., people have heard of his name and several of his songs (whether they realize it or not). Radin’s mellow echo of a voice evokes memories of Nick Drake and Elliot Smith on uppers and is a natural kin to current artists such as The Shins and Iron & Wine. His songs are the sort of melancholy that inspire cooking, driving, painting or laying in the sunshine. With themes like jealousy, break-ups, loneliness, love and forgiveness, Radin is a big believer that true life makes for the best story…or song. And somehow, Radin has kept his love songs and

Courtesy big hassle Media

longing songs from sounding either too cheesy or too sad. They just seem…well, real. “Just take a journal entry, set a melody to it, and you’ve got a song,” said Radin, who has found he can channel more emotion into songwriting than through screenwriting. “I want to keep working on this (songwriting) for now,” said Radin though his ultimate goal is to write a film in which his own songs comprise the soundtrack. Radin has sold two of his screenplays, one of which revolves around a philosophy student with the gift of seeing other people’s auras. Despite both screenplays being shelved, Radin sounds upbeat

about his current success in music, made possible by good luck, iTunes, television, and a few famous fans such as college buddy Zach Braff (who has put Radin’s music on his show “Scrubs” and his movie “The Last Kiss”) and talk show host, Ellen DeGeneres. Radin was brought to national attention last year with the release of his second album, Simple Times, an appearance on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” and his performance for DeGeneres’s wedding to longtime girlfriend, Portia de Rossi. Though the event brought Radin more exposure, he has no desire to serve as tabloid material. “I don’t want to date

Jessica Simpson or to have that kind of life,” says Radin, admitting he always strives to keep some semblance of normalcy in his life. He doesn’t want to be recognized at the grocery store, though with his roguishly handsome features, he is hard not to look at. Radin’s European tour to promote Simple Times, is currently underway (in fact, he kicked off the tour in Athens on January 30). Radin said that he “loved walking the streets of Athens,” and really enjoyed his first visit there. To the aspiring musicians of Athens, Radin had the following piece of advice: “play every day, write every day. There’s strength in numbers. Form a community and surround yourself with creative people.” As far as the steps one needs to take in order to get television play he says, “Go to L.A. You don’t have to move there, just get yourself booked at the Hotel Café. There’s always music supervisors for television shows hanging out there. It’s how I first got discovered.” — Kelly Skinner ATHENS BLUR MAGAZINE

17

Music FOLK

BUT No pLANS foR A SURRENdER

RAISIng thE WhItE fLAg

Courtesy Deus Ex Machina PR

MADELInE
Who’S Who Madeline Adams (guitar, vocals) Jacob Morris (bass) Theo Hilton (keys) Jim Wilson (drums) Jason Trahan (guitar) foRMED 2000 in Athens, GA LAbEL Orange Twin/Plan-It-X LAtESt RELEASE White Flag (2009) on thE WEb www.madelinesongs.com stopping voice with which she tells stories of years well beyond her young age of 23. With Southeastern U.S. and a European (U.K. and France) tour slated for the coming months, there doesn’t seem to be much on the horizon that could stop Madeline’s trajectory. Well, okay. Maybe one thing. “I don’t quite understand what I’m supposed to do about a Visa in the U.K. or work permits or anything,” she says with a nervous chuckle. “So I’m trying to figure that out.” — Alec Wooden

Courtesy the Weepies

For the record, Madeline Adams is great at interviews. “They pretty much all make me nervous,” laughs the local on-the-rise songstress. “I’m not really good with talking at all.” Lucky for her, she’s quite good at singing — something that has always made her stand out since her days as young coffee house rat around Athens. “Every day I’d come downtown and hang out at either Blue Sky or the X-ray Café or at Wuxtry and I met a lot of musicians and ya know, it was the cool thing to do,” she says. “I had a great admiration for a lot of local bands like Elf Power and Neutral Milk Hotel and of Montreal, and I just wanted to participate.” And since her start at the ripe age of 15, she’s done much more than participate. 2002’s Kissing & Dancing and 2007s The Slow Bang began a local, regional and national buzz that has since grown into a full-blown roar with her latest effort, White Flag. Recorded between the 18 ATHENS BLUR MAGAZINE

summers of 2007 and 2008, White Flag is a locally grown product – recorded in small parts by Asa Leffer at DARC studios and in earnest by Jason Rivera (also an occasional member of her band) at The Bakery Studios. “One of the sweeping themes of the album is kind of a surrender of sadness,” she says before stopping herself quickly. “Oh God, that’s the cheesiest thing I’ve ever said out loud (laughs). But really, I guess a lot of the songs were about being really tired about being sad and a final apology and a letting go.” And letting go on this, her most polished (in terms of quality, instrumentation, etc…), seems like a challenge for someone who is most decidedly to prefer the live environment. “The thing that’s really scary about recording is that it’s just so permanent,” she says of the differences. “There’s always this challenge that you give yourself with the live performance that you want to do better the

next time than you did the last. It’s nerve racking. And the adrenaline rush is huge.” And lately, she’s shared that adrenaline rush with the employment of a fulltime backing band. “Well, I do like performing both ways (solo and full band),” she says. “Solo is interesting because it’s all on you and that can be quite a rush. But it’s not as fun as playing with your friends. And crowds enjoy the band much more I would say. It’s a lot to ask of a listener to pay attention without a beat going on.” Which is, in reality, only partially true. Say what you will about Madeline, but one thing she doesn’t have is a problem commanding attention on stage. Between pulls of whiskey, her between-song banter is uncomfortably and undeniably charming (remember, she doesn’t like to talk), and while the backing band certainly helps the dynamic of each live show, the musical buck stops with the soaring, biker-brawl-

Music MELTING POT

Music MELTING POT

GIfT HoRSE GIvES fANS wHAT THEy NEEd: A TRUE ANd pURE SoUNd
Think 1994. Specifically, recall the music scene that the mid-90’s witnessed, with releases such as Pearl Jam’s Vitalogy and Nine Inch Nails’ The Downward Spiral; and bands like Nirvana, The Smashing Pumpkins and Jane’s Addiction were cohesively and habitually taking your parents attempted censorship and wiping their asses with it. Now fast forward to 2009 and take a second to realize the sick, sad world we live in. The economy has gone to hell, MTV is about as cool as MTV, and “pop” music incorporates as much talent as a computer interface deems necessary, rather than pure talent that Vedder, Cobain and Corgan gave us merely 15 years ago. Now, enter Gift Horse. As raw as uncooked meat, and as pure as the earth, the Athens-based group relishes in the fact that it incorporates the stigma of our recent rock legends. It’s a combination of detailed concentration, cheerful respect and constructive criticism that surrounds Gift Horse’s music. In a conversation between lead vocalist Hunter Morris and back-up vocalist Mike Stokes — both natives of Augusta, GA: “you know, who knows, it may mess things up not having your [Hunter’s] vocal tracks laid down first, and I [Mike] may be way off at first, but we can always go back and make it sound right.” Working on the album, Morris remarks, “You know, there was a stint a couple of weeks ago where we were in the studio every night until 5 or 6 in the morning, just trying to get every pitch right.” The guys in the band have an ear for what sounds right. The band’s manager, Matt DeCamp added: “some ATHENS BLUR MAGAZINE been helping to produce the album, already has a proven track record through his associations with artists such as The Whigs and MGMT; and who is currently with Kuroma). Clearly, the respect that Gift Horse gives to Nelson and Sullivant and vice versa, plus the cohesiveness and determination with which they all work, a true piece of magic is in the making. Despite the laud that the guys may get for their early work on the album, they are in no rush to get it out on the market. “We are just taking everything in baby steps,” remarks bassist Vaughan Lamb, “you work your ass off without really knowing the end result, sometimes finding yourself only a little bit better off than before — it’s a game of perseverance.” In talking of what may be their first single, “Missionaries,” Stokes remarks, “it’s tuned to an open-D, and I was just messing around one day and Hunter came down and wrote the song, just picked it up and wrote it in a really unfamiliar tune.” And Morris adds, “... and it’s cool because the theme of the song is about mortality… It’s not gloomy at all; it’s just like give it to me straight.” That can be said for the band itself: rugged, yet refined and grungy, yet pure. Audiences have grown soft in lieu of, for whatever reason, the repetition of jam band after jam band after jam band. There is hope yet, however, as the album incorporates clarinet, organ, chimes and space-filling reverb that will be sure to take listeners back to the day of rock lore and re-establish the sound we all frantically, whether consciously or unconsciously, seek. — Will Hackett

gEnERAtIon REVERbERAtIon

REGGAE BANd USES THE STAGE To GREEN THE SoUTH

SWEEt MothER nAtuRE

DubConSCIouS
Who’S Who Adrian Zelski (vocals, rhythm guitar), James Keane (vocals, guitar), Scott Pridgen (percussion), Solomon Wright (vocals, bass, trumpet), Matt Woolley (vocals, drums), Jerry Hendelberg (vocals, keyboards, melodica) foRMED 2002 in Athens, GA LAbEL Tree Sound LAtESt RELEASE Nonviolent (2009) on thE WEb www.dubconscious.com than just going to play a show and up from the stage saying, “Hey, we’ve got CD’s at the merch table.” I think that’s very lame. It’s much better to say, “Hey, go to the table and sign up for this organization that’s gonna help the environment and help your community.” So it became obvious, actually. I don’t see why more bands don’t do it, really. AB: How is “NonViolent” different from past albums? Why should someone buy it? AZ: It’s our first song-

Courtesy gift horse

gIft hoRSE
Who’S Who Brandon Scarboro (drums), Vaughan Lamb (bass), Hunter Morris (vocals, rhodes, organ), Mike Stokes (guitar, vocals) foRMED 2005 in Athens, GA of the songs have space in them, and we have the idea to record all the drum tracks and come out to an empty hallway and re-record them backwards, then use that to place reverb back into the tracks, to fill any empty space.” It isn’t so much that the members of Gift Horse are nit picky, they are simply using the resources at hand, as evidenced by the album’s engineer, Nate Nelson: “the thing that I realized is that Pro Tools mutes tracks, when say, we reach 32, and if we need two more vocal tracks, it just mutes the two oldest ones. But once we get over to the other studio, with Pro Tools HD, we can hear up to 96 channel outputs.” Don’t be surprised if that much work LAbEL independent LAtESt RELEASE Gift Horse (2008) on thE WEb www.rebelforcesofgeorgia.blogspot.com goes into every song. Not surprisingly, their hard work on the album has contracted from their time to play live shows. Despite the trade-off, the guys have the mindset of planning for the future by limiting the quantity of shows they play in order to maximize the quality of audiences for whom they play. “We don’t wanna go down to SXSW (Austin) and try and play six shows for 30 people… we’d rather play two or three shows for a couple of hundred people,” Stokes added, “right now, we’re all about building trust and relationships.” For the work on their current album, the band has already formed strong relationships with Nelson and Hank Sullivant; (Sullivant, who has

Courtesy Dubconscious

The members of Dubconscious are more than a band. They are crusaders for the environment, using music as a powerful platform to further the green movement in the Southeast and beyond. Their latest album, NonViolent, was released on January 20. Adrian Zelski, the group’s guitarist and vocalist met up with me for an afternoon chat at The Globe. Athens Blur: Everyone in the band has really diverse music backgrounds, from jazz to electronica, so why reggae? Adrian Zelski: It was really timing more than anything. Three members of Dubconscious were playing Bob Marley covers and just learning how to play it, and the other three members, including myself, were doing more of the acoustic, world music thing and we just started playing Bob Marley songs. So we came together and just got into it, and we were just immediately taken. There wasn’t anything like it. So that was a big impetus, too. You know,

Athens has a million indie rock bands, pop bands, cover bands, country bands — everything but reggae. AB: Do you think that helped as far as being different, gaining success by standing out? AZ: Definitely. Well I mean, it hurt us too. The Southeast is the worst reggae market in the country, notoriously. Most reggae bands just pass up the Southeast. So it really helped to be unique, but it was also an “against all odds” kind of thing. AB: Dubconscious is pretty outspoken about environmental issues. How does the music go in with the band’s environmental standpoint and getting fans to practice what y’all preach? AZ: [The Southeast] is one of the most habitable places on Earth with more resources than anywhere, and so it’s very important for Southeast people to protect their environment, so that became our mantra that we ran with. So it becomes a community based thing, and it’s more

based, full album that we’ve done since 2005’s American Dream. It’s much more evolved song writing wise. It has horns and female vocals and guests that give it a more full feel. You know, we worked hard on it and we basically put it together through a producer that said, “Hey that song’s too long. That song’s too short. That song doesn’t sound quite right.” So, it’s more filtered than our past experiences. It’s also more purposed. NonViolent, the name, we came up with that. And so we kind of went with the theme that this album should be about that. It should be about learning to communicate nonviolently in our interpersonal relationships with ourselves and with our environment as well. AB: I know many of the members of Dubconscious started out in Athens at the University of Georgia, but why stay? Why make Athens homebase? AZ: On a good day, it’s because of the music community and because of the ability to live affordably and be part of a great community. I mean, I love Athens, the people here are awesome… we realize that Athens has the potential that it had in the ‘80s with R.E.M. and the B-52’s and Pylon and all the great bands that were here. And also, I would say this too, it’s a really weird place. You could try to pigeonhole it, but you’d be wrong, and that’s what’s cool about it. AB: When y’all get back to Athens after being on the road, what’s the one place you can’t wait to visit? AZ: The Grit. I go to The Grit immediately almost every time. That place makes me feel normal pretty fast.

-Lindsey Lee

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ATHENS BLUR MAGAZINE

21

Music POP

Music POP

SENSATIoNAL SoNGSTRESS wINS BIG AT GRAMMyS

ADELE’S bIg nIght

“jUST BEcAUSE yoU LovE doING SoMETHING doESN’T MEAN THAT oTHER pEopLE wILL LovE wHAT yoU do,” SHE ExpLAINEd. “EvERyoNE wANTS To BE A pop STAR, THE fAcT THAT I’vE AcTUALLy kINd of MANAGEd To do THAT-I NEvER EvER ExpEcTEd IT. I NEvER ExpEcTEd IT oN THIS LEvEL ANywAy.” - Adele
U.K. in January of 2008 and rocketed to #1 on the U.K.’s Album Sales Chart. She received a five star review in The Observer Music Monthly, which proclaimed, “Of all 2008’s female vocalists, none is as great as this one.” She went on to win a Critics Choice Award at the 2008 Brit awards. The British press weren’t the only fans of 19. As soon as the album debuted here, People Magazine gave her album a four star review and raved, “Adele is Britain’s best new singer.” Soon after its U.S. release, Adele began performing live on shows such as her debut on The Today Show, followed by appearances on The Late Show with David Letterman, The View, CBS Early Show, CBS News Sunday Morning, Late Night with Conan O’Brien and the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. But her greatest launching pad for recognition in the states was her incredible performance on Saturday Night Live, which aired Oct. 18. The recognition sent her album to #11 on The Billboard Top 200. Perhaps the most intriguing part of Adele’s climb to success is that she didn’t take music seriously until she was 14. When she picked up the microphone to sing a cover of “Heart of Glass” for a family friend, she realized her calling. Yet she never envisioned in just six years how much she would accomplish. “Just because you love doing something doesn’t mean that other people will love what you do,” she explained. “Everyone wants to be a pop star, the fact that I’ve actually kind of managed to do that —I never ever expected it. I never expected it on this level, anyway.” She added between chewing gum, “I thought I might be big in London or a U.K. based thing, never thought it would the things I wanted from my boyfriend, he was never going to be. I get really jealous anyway, so I couldn’t fight with girls and boys.” The boy, whose name remains anonymous to the press, has since tried getting I’m not into girls. If I was I’d be Queen!” Now that she has conquered the music industry with her debut, Adele is already writing for her next album. “I haven’t started recording it yet,” she said.

ADELE
Who’S Who Adele (vocals) foRMED 2006 in the UK LAbEL Columbia Records, XL Recordings LAtESt RELEASE 19 (2008) on thE WEb www.adele.tv

Photo courtesy Sony bMg

or the second year in a row, a British female pop star has won both a Grammy for Best New Artist and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. 20-year-old “Chasing Pavements” singer, Adele, took home the honors at this year’s 2009 Grammys. Her critically acclaimed debut album, 19, a corresponding title for her age at the time, was released stateside in June of 2008 and has elevated Adele to crowning musical achievements. With her mature, passionate lyrics combined with an incredibly poignant voice, winning the coveted honor of Best New Artist was well merited. A few weeks prior to the Grammy ceremony, Adele phoned in from California to discuss her Grammy nominations and the success of 19. Not only is she an 22 ATHENS BLUR MAGAZINE

F

extremely talented young singer, she is also very humble. When asked about being nominated for four Grammy awards, the meek but energetic Adele responded in her thick British accent, “I’m very confused and baffled by it but I’m over the moon.” She added, “I never thought I’d be included in the world of the Grammys and I’m chummed to peaches…It’s very surreal actually.” In fact, Adele hadn’t even prepared a speech in case of winning. She laughed, “I don’t like speeches. If I won a Grammy I would be speechless anyway so there’s no point in preparing a speech.” And speechless she nearly was. Adele, who looked visibly and genuinely shocked by her win for Best New Artist, only took 23 seconds to thank everyone

for her win. Her reaction to a Grammy win was much like the shocked expression on fellow British pop singer Amy Winehouse’s face last year for winning the same award (plus five others). Winning an American Grammy for a British musician like Adele is “the biggest thing ever,” she said. “It’s the same as an American getting Best Album in Britain. It means as much to me as an American winning a Brit award. It’s just surreal enough being nominated.” Adele is frequently compared to Winehouse by the media. She doesn’t mind the compliment, though. “I think she’s amazing. I think she’s a genius, so it’s a compliment. I never get like annoyed of hearing it.” However, she adds, “It gets a little boring sometimes. I

think it’s kind of lazy a little bit sometimes and they just compare us because we’re women as well and we both went to the same school [Selhurst College]. But apart from that I don’t really mind but I’m happy, as always the case, because I think she’s amazing.” Raised by a single mom, Adele and her mother have a very close relationship. Her mother has been her biggest supporter. “My mom gets more excited by things than I do…when we found out about the Grammys she was running around my house at 4 a.m. screaming, knocking on my neighbors doors, saying, ‘My daughter’s just been nominated for a Grammy!’” Winning two Grammys added to Adele’s collection of awards back home. Her album was first released in the

be Europe and America and other places as well. It’s weird that so far away from home people are interested [in my music].” Adele’s writing style exemplifies her talent. Her mature lyrics of heartache and the complexity of relationships appeals to women (and men) of any age who have had their heart broken. The songs on the album consist of melancholy songs about “being cheated on and not getting what you want.” The source of her break-up album resulted from a tumultuous relationship with a bisexual boy. Adele explained in a PR letter, “All

back together with Adele. She laughed, “Like three times!” He’s not the only guy trying to vie for Adele’s love. “I have a stalker as well in England,” she revealed. “He sent me a letter to my record company…he kept walking around the area trying to find me and then he found me and stayed out by my house sometimes watching me come in and out of my house. It was really scary.” There are some harmless pursuers as well. She explained, “There was a guy at a show yesterday shouting things out at me.” But mostly her fans consist of “middleaged women and teenagers”. Adele joked, “Unfortunately,

“I’ve got a good body of work that I’m happy with, [and] my producer’s happy with.” This time she plans on taking her time. “I’m going to rehearse them for like four months before we go anywhere near a studio. I sing my songs everyday and sometimes I wish that I put a lyric in certain places so I want to make sure I live with my songs on this next record and don’t have anything I wish I changed…” The young songstress may not have found what she was looking for “chasing pavements” in her relationship but doing so in her music career has led her to astonishing musical accomplishments with no end of the road in sight. — Nicole Black ATHENS BLUR MAGAZINE

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Music POP

LocAL BANd coLoRS oUTSIdE THE LINES

not youR CookIE-CuttER PoP
CASPER & thE CookIES
Who’S Who Casper Fandango (guitar) Kay Stanton (bass) Joe Rowe (drums) Jim Hix (guitar) foRMED 1998 in Athens, GA LAbEL HHBTM (US), PIAPTK (US), Wiakiki (Japan) LAtESt RELEASE Modern Silence (2009) on thE WEb www.casperfandango. com Why should you go out and spend your hard earned cash on Modern Silence? “Economic stimulus,” says Stanton. “You get a lot of bang for your buck. There’s a 21-minute song on it. That’s why!” The album, set to drop in May, is 69-minutes long complete with 15 relatively short pop songs and a final track that NeSmith jokingly calls, “a 21-minute long selfindulgent piece of shit.” Not one member from Casper & the Cookies is heard on the last track, just 35 of their closest friends fusing together to form an experimentally beautiful track. “It’s high concept,” says NeSmith, laughing. Both Stanton and NeSmith have high hopes for their upcoming record. “I don’t want to come off as conceited, but damn it we’re great and people need to know that! I don’t know if it’s going to get the exposure it deserves, but this could be our moment.” — Kristen Lee ATHENS BLUR MAGAZINE

Courtesy Casper & the Cookies

When hearing the band’s offbeat name, Casper & the Cookies, the first thing to enter your mind is most likely Christina Ricci and her friendly ghost companion from the 1995 flick, or the thought of your mom’s homemade chocolate-chip cookies. (Neither are images which should distress you too much). But give this born and bred Athens band a listen, and the friendly little ghost will be the furthest thing from your mind. When asked about the peculiarity of the band name, Jason NeSmith (aka Casper Fandango) admits, “It’s my fault.” It all started in the late ‘90s when NeSmith started a project where he would release a string of homemade cassettes, each having a different backing name, even though it was just NeSmith behind the whole thing. First it was Casper Fandango and the Knees, then it was Casper Fandango and His Tiny Sick Tears. “The next

one on the list was Casper & the Cookies, and that’s when the live band got together and everyone made me keep it,” says NeSmith. “I’ve come to accept that it’s just going to be what it is.” Though Casper & the Cookies has been making music since 1998, they became an official touring band in 2005, with NeSmith and wife Kay Stanton being the only remaining original members, now complete with drummer Joe Rowe and guitarist Jim Hix. The power-pop band is not only unique in its name, but in its style as well. “We just have experimental tendencies, but we end up making things that sound like pop music that is made to be played loud most of the time,” says NeSmith. “I don’t know what you would call that. We always fight against it, you know? I don’t think we fight against it to make the end product convoluted, but what comes out of us is pop songs.” “Convoluted pop songs,”

Stanton adds, laughing. Casper & the Cookies are known mostly for their wildly entertaining shows that seem to appeal to all kinds of crowds. “We played this neighborhood tavern called White Water Tavern,” says NeSmith. “It was in Little Rock, Arkansas. You kind of expected a Clinton to walk in, and you know, start buying people beers. They were obviously all regulars and didn’t know us.” After the modest success of 2006’s The Optimist’s Club, a ridiculous amount of touring and a thriving fan base, it was back to the studio to begin what NeSmith calls “our major statement.” The result is a third full length album off Happy Happy Birthday to Me Records, Modern Silence. “We did what we thought sounded good and felt right and we just weren’t going to be afraid of things,” says Stanton. “I think that’s probably the biggest difference from what we’ve done in the past.”

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Music ROCK ‘N’ ROLL

Music RHYME, RHYTHM & SOUL

A NoT-So-HoSTILE TAkE ovER
Oakland, California is a fascinating place. If you look at one end of town, you’ll see the same questionable guys on the corner and dilapidated houses you do everywhere else. But down the street, you’ll find Jack London Square, a popular shopping and entertainment destination for locals and tourists. Only a few miles from there is Pixar, the animation studio where box-office hits like “WALL-E” and “Cars” are created. There’s almost a different feel at every turn. “Man, Oakland is an interesting place,” begins Zumbi, a member of one of the city’s most consistent rap acts, Zion I. “California is a big state, but it’s not that many concentrations of black folks in this whole state. It’s small but it’s real tough and it’s real prideful. It’s kinda like a blue-collar city compared to San Francisco. It’s definitely different from L.A. It’s way more laid back and mellow, but it’s grimy, too.” And if you’ve listened to hip hop over the past 15 years, you know Oaktown also has a varied musical pulse. For every progressiveminded group like Zion I, Hieroglyphics or Cali Agents, there’s a better-known, pottymouthed rapper like Too Short. AmpLive, Zion I’s producing half, explains, “In the late ‘90s, you had the big boom of independent labels out here. The Bay Area has basically always been known for its independent scene, so during that time, it was really poppin’. You had a lot of groups come out of here that are now large. Back in the day, with Too Short, E-40 and Mac Dre, they’ve been on the independent grind. When their industries grew, a lot of people followed them. ATHENS BLUR MAGAZINE

goLDEn StAtE WARRIoRS
zIon I
Who’S Who AmpLive (producer, DJ), Zumbi (MC) foRMED 1997 in Oakland, CA LAbEL Live Up Records LAtESt RELEASE The TakeOver (2009) on thE WEb www.zionicrew.com

If oNLy pRINcE HAd THESE BLUES
In just under a year, Athens’ newest rock band, The Rattlers, has generated more than just rattles in the music world, growing an impressive following and packing out venues across town. Perhaps the buzz around The Rattlers comes from people witnessing the talented lead guitarist, Matt Joiner, who mimics the playing style of Stevie Ray Vaughan or from fans seeing lead singer Tracy Carroll, exude a rock star persona during his live performance. But the collaboration of the band’s other members, bassist Kevin Christian and drummer Woody Hughes, is what gives The Rattlers a blues-infused, southern rock sound. Carroll and Joiner sat with me outside on a chilly, winter’s night. Joiner shivered in front of me, sporting only a black Jimi Hendrix t-shirt. Carroll was dressed to impress - oh, and for the weather - wearing a tan suede jacket adorned with a brown and blue striped scarf. Carroll asks Joiner if he would like to borrow his scarf but Joiner refuses, bear hugging himself and embracing the cold. Athens Blur Magazine: How did you guys find each other? Did you come from other bands, like split up from other bands and collaborate? Tracy Carroll: We were just talkin’ about music one day…and we were like “let’s get together and jam some.” When I heard Matt play, inside, I was going, “Okay, play it really cool. Don’t let him see how desperately you want him to be in a band with you.” I knew if I could talk him into doin’ a band, somethin’ would happen. ABM: Matt, you never studied music theory and you don’t know how to physically write music, so how do you remember your songs? Matt Joiner: I have forgotten a lot of songs that I’ve wrote, but sometimes I’ll record a scratch track. And, a lot of the way we write is I’ll come up with a guitar part or something, and I’ll tell Tracy, “Hey, I got this guitar part,” and he’ll just start spouting out words to it and there you go, we’ll go with that. ABM: Okay, what sets your band apart from all the other blues-infused, southern rock bands here in Athens?

bRIngIng SExy bACk

“I feel like we’ve always been world bridgers. We connect things that seemingly don’t connect and put them together. People say, ‘Oh, okay. That does work together.’ We’re trying to look back at all the legacies that we brought with us and mesh it up and fused it into one album.”
Courtesy zion I

Photo: nicole black

thE RAttLERS
Who’S Who Matt Joiner (guitars), Tracy Carroll (lead vocals, rhythm guitar), Kevin Christian (bass, backup vocals), Woody Hughes (drums) foRMED 2008 in Athens, Ga LAbEL independent on thE WEb www.therattlersband.com MJ: We put our own twist on it, and we don’t want it to sound like you’re hearing a CD of another band, saying, “Oh, they sound like this band.” We want somebody to hear us play and say, “Man, they really put their own twist and have a whole different sound to that song.” TC: I think it’s the influences that each of us bring to the table. We’re not all just influenced by blues and southern rock, so that’s what comes out. I mean,

-Zumbi, Zion Ito really spread love on some black community, black folks, Asian folks, Latino folks, white folks. The TakeOver is just going through black music and reclaiming all the vast creativity we’ve embodied since leaving the continent and coming to this one. So, blues, jazz, reggae, hip hop, house music, rock ‘n’ roll, we’re taking it. We’re trying to look back at all the legacies that we brought with us and mesh it up and fused it into one album.” — DeMarco Williams

you know, Matt can play anything from Hendrix and Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan and, you know, Joe Bonamassa, or Clarence Gatemouth [Brown]. He can do all the blues stuff and everything [but] he can play hard rock and country, the gospel…[whereas] I grew up listening to 80s music with like Duran Duran, uh, and Icicle Works, and U2, and then, of course, Elvis Presley… ABM: One last question. How would you describe your music to a deaf person? MJ: Um, that’s a good one. I don’t know if I could even answer that. TC: I’m going to get technical here. This deaf person is going to understand somehow what I’m saying to them… ABM: They know sign language… TC: I would say our music is…it’s high energy, uh…sexy, I think, I think it is [sexy]. ABM: How can music be sexy? TC: Ask Prince. — Nicole Black

Basically in the late ‘90s, it was just a boom. After that, when the dot com slowed down, a lot of things slowed down, but you still had a lot of those groups out here. The hustle’s always been there.” For nearly a decade, Zion I’s pushed hopeful and honest hip hop while MTV played footage of Bay Area rappers smacking hoes and getting hyphy. 2000’s Mind Over Matter was Zion I’s first release to generate big buzz. It was like George Bernard Shaw over futuristic, George

Lucas-inspired sounds. Deep Water Slang V2.0, True & Livin’ and the just-released The TakeOver offer more of the same. What Del tha Funkee Homosapien and Souls of Mischief started in The Town underground, Zion I’s admirably continued. “For us, man,” adds Zumbi, “I feel like we’ve always been world bridgers. We connect things that seemingly don’t connect and put them together. People say, ‘Oh, okay. That does work together.’ The intent on [The TakeOver] was

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ATHENS BLUR MAGAZINE

27

Music ALBUM REVIEWS

EaR candy
Baby, They Told Us We Would Rise Again
As 2008 witnessed the start of a downturn in America, founding members of Bloodkin, Daniel Hutchens and Eric Carter, emphasized the realities of starting something new. In their latest release, Baby, They Told Us We Would Rise Again, Bloodkin emphasizes strong friendships and a positive outlook on the days ahead. The closing track, “Summer in Georgia” harps on the fact that, “let’s take a road trip/ it’s been a while,” and in a world of defaults, weakening mortgage backed securities and unethical Wall Street execs, a road trip (to get the hell out of here) doesn’t sound all bad. The album shifts between slow-paced, bluesy croons and twangy, country dirges to popular, uplifting ballads. The opening track, “The Viper” laments on the band’s falling apart and hints at their promising reunion. While there are plenty of individual sounds on the album, the catchy tune of “Little Margarita” will swoon listeners into Bloodkin’s position of all-encompassing blues, country and Americana rock. The album fortifies that the revitalized sound of Bloodkin rises from the ashes of old and promulgates that old friendships will never burn and, instead, rise again. — Will Hackett

Thursday

new Found glory
Not Without a Fight
As I listen through New Found Glory’s latest album, Not Without a Fight, I can’t help but recall the famous scene from “Dazed and Confused” where Matthew McConaughey’s character, Wooderson, famously professes, “That’s what I love about these high school girls, man. I get older — they stay the same age.” Surely the members of New Found Glory must feel like Wooderson in relation to their fans, but what I could not have predicted was feeling like Wooderson myself in relation to New Found Glory. Yes — I just essentially called New Found Glory “jailbait.” I first heard New Found Glory in 2000, when they were called “A New Found Glory” and more famous for an amazing album of pop-punk covers than their own songs. I was an overly self-conscious sophomore in high school, living in a boring suburban wasteland, and the Coral Springs quintet’s sugary sweet nuggets of radio-ready pseudo-punk were like sonic crack rocks for wannabe rebels like me. It was okay to like them back then, but I’m 24 now. If New Found Glory was a musical vehicle, it would be a sketchy DeLorean whose destination date is permanently locked to “High School,” the age of sugary angst and pent up rebellion. An age I have no goddamn business going back to. And yet, I’m already halfway through the album, and haven’t skipped a track yet. Oh, god. We are far past foreplay. I’m going to hell. It’s as if I’m 24 years old, standing outside the local bowling alley of my crap ass hometown, and along walked this naive, sexy little high school hottie called Not Without a Fight. And damnit, I can’t help but feel dirty for flirting with something I know I’m way too fucking old for. I’m sure New Found Glory can relate, but hey, when your unwillingness to grow up is as much a cash cow as theirs is, you can’t necessarily blame them for continuing to crank out rock solid, cute, but barely legal albums like this. — PT Umphress

Common Existence
Thursday has a new album out and, if cerebral post-hardcore is your jam, it’s… well, a new Thursday album. Geoff Rickly still couldn’t hold a note if it was Super Glued to his hand but Common Existence manages to rip, rumble, scream and soar on par with Thursday’s best up to this point – “on par” being the key qualifier. Like sprinting on a treadmill, the guys in Thursday are going full speed ahead, but they’re not really going anywhere. Now, now! Calm down emo kids! Given how high 2006’s A City by the Light Divided set the bar, that’s not to say Common Existence is not an enjoyable album – it just means for a new album, there’s ironically not much “new” to be found. Whereas ACBTLD marked a massive jump in production quality and a noticeable increase in energy and tempo, Common Existence comes off sounding like a compilation of muffled B-sides from the former album. And please understand, it’s tough to give a band that’s been around for 11 years and practically spearheaded a genre the “what have you done for me lately” treatment, but hey, Thursday chose to record a new album, and damn it, if fans wanted to tread familiar ground, they’d save their money and listen to the old albums. The gray area reality of Common Existence is that either all its tracks are equally great, equally unimpressive, or they all sound too damn much alike. Whatever the case, there are no standout hits or obvious duds – just 11 totally solid Thursday songs that sound just as good as you’d expect, but not an ounce better. — PT Umphress

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Bloodkin

kuroma Paris
The newest project of former Whigs member Hank Sullivant, Paris is a fun romp through several of your favorite music genres; spanning a spectrum that moves from classic rock to psychedelic pop, sometimes in one song. While marked with variety, there is a cohesiveness to the album that comes from Sullivant’s voice and a certain grit that spans the record and brings it all together. While there’s not a track that jumps out as a “can’t get it out of your head” single, the record ages like a fine wine, getting better with each listen. The songs have a decidedly southern rock feel instilled with a psychedelic edge. Sullivant’s voice is dreamy and soft but assertive. Highlights of the album include “Alexander Martin,” a song with an almost country feel to it. In “Paris” you’ll hear a more pop sound that is reminiscent of MGMT (whom Sullivant supported on tour last year). The piano in “Searching For A Sheep” is a nice touch. In some places the guitar solos drag out a little long for my taste, but only because I really dig Sullivant’s voice and clever lyrics. If you like the Whigs and MGMT, Paris is a must listen, but don’t expect too many references to past projects. Sullivant has created a sound and a style independent of his former bandmates, and it works. — Lindsey Lee

Jason isbell and The 400 unit Jason Isbell And The 400 Unit
The second solo effort from Jason Isbell, (former guitarist of Athens’ Drive-By Truckers), is a perfect combination of southern rock and classic soul, complete with a live band kind of feeling, which I don’t mind one bit. The album’s opening track, “SevenMile Island,” tells the story of a failed father and a young girl about to give birth, along with a mention of concrete towers and an airstream trailer 300 yards up a lake. It could be a disaster, but somehow it works. My personal favorite, “The Blue,”shows Isbell’s talent for creating deep and meaningful lyrics, and with the help of a front row electric guitar, pushes the envelope of southern rock. “No Choice in the Matter” is the album’s statement of pure classic soul, complete with horns, an intervening keyboard and an achingly beautiful electric guitar solo. Brace yourself though, it’s bound to get stuck in your head for days. Though his first solo record, Sirens of the Ditch, wasn’t poorly received, this album will be his best yet. Isbell embodies southern rock with his own soulful twang and, with the help of The 400 Unit has proven he can successfully stand on his own two feet. — Kristen Lee

Joshua Redman Compass
In 2007, tenor saxophonist Joshua Redman took a cue from his saxophone forebears. Instead of going into the studio with a standard rhythm section, he removed the piano, molding Back East with just horns, bass and drums. On the 50th anniversary of Sonny Rollins’ Way Out West, a saxophone trio album, Redman was modeling himself after the saxophone great. Fast forward two years to Compass, which once again presents Redman sans piano but with a very unusual band. For the group, he chose the bassists Larry Grenadier and Ruben Rogers, drummers Brian Blade and Gregory Hutchinson … and nobody else. The concept alone — two bass players? two drummers? — is enough to create that giddy anticipation that fuels CD sales. But on the first track Redman and co. leave the novelty behind, creating a boundary-breaking performance that feels like a live show. The music functions much the same way as on Back East — the lack of a harmonic piano anchor allows Redman more improvisatory latitude — but the added kick of two percussionists helps propel the music. On Compass, Redman flies far outside tempo and harmony with bass and percussion egging him on, creating an album packed with thoughtful and impressive musicality. — Jon Ross

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Franz Ferdinand
Tonight
“I’m bored, c’mon let’s get high,” intones Alex Kapranos on “Ulysses,” the opening track of Tonight: Franz Ferdinand, the third offering and first album in three years from the Glasgow quartet. “Alright Alex, I’m game. What’s your poison?” “To start, how about some Ecstasy to make you all happy and nostalgic?” While “Ulysses” churns through its singsong giddiness, “Turn It On” quickly follows with dance-floor grooviness. “No You Girls” (hey, is this “Take Me Out”?) pushes the party in full-rave mode. “Awesome, Alex, I’m rolling now, what’s next?” “Let’s come down a little there, partner.” A shot of “Twilight Omens” helps the transition. “Yes, so right.” Hear the synths, melodic, wondrous. Perfect. “Question for you,” Alex pipes up. “Where do you see yourself in five minutes time?” “Don’t know, right now I’m feeling pretty . . . HOLY CRAP WHAT IS THAT?” “What, the punk/metal breakdown at the end of ‘What She Came For’? That’s

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just the cocaine talking. Hey, it makes a whole lot of sense on ‘Live Alone,’ our Studio 54 homage to disco balls and Blondie.” “Yes, I see what you mean. Wait, is that Andy Warhol?” “No, no, that’s just a hallucination brought on by ‘Lucid Dreams.’” “It’s only eight minutes (only?), but feels like an eternity.” Damn mushrooms. “Sorry. How about a farewell toke of ‘Dream Again’ and ‘Katherine Kiss Me’?” Ahh, solemn berceuses from a quiet balladeer – a fitting way to end a riotous affair. Thanks guys for the weird, wild trip. Don’t stay gone so long, OK? — Ed Morales

“Where it’s always springtime”

24-7

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ATHENS BLUR MAGAZINE

ATHENS BLUR MAGAZINE

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The Bad plus For All I Care The Bad Plus — bassist Reid Anderson, pianist Ethan Iverson and drummer David King — has a rich history of mining the pop vernacular for improvisatory material. The band has toyed with everything from the theme from “Chariots of Fire” to Queen’s “We Are the Champions” in a piano trio format. Many jazz covers of pop tunes are cute, instrumental versions of the melody; the new versions might include a blurring of the tempo, rhythm or harmony of the original, but the core usually remains intact. The Bad Plus have always produced heady, intellectual feats, not something easily digestible for the casual listener. With the addition of singer Wendy Lewis, the songs on For All I Care immediately become more accessible. Lewis’ vocals help ground tunes like Nirvana’s “Lithium,” The Flaming Lips’ “Feeling Yourself Disintegrate” and Heart’s “Barracuda” and present the listener with something easy to follow. Improvisatory sparks are still present on this new disc, but lyrics drive the tunes. Sprinkled in among the pop covers are the trio’s versions of compositions by the 20th century classical composers Gyorgy Ligeti, Milton Babbitt and Igor Stravinsky. These readings pulse with the same energy the band affords “How Deep Is Your Love” by the Bee Gees, providing instrumental respites in an album of instantly listenable jazz pop standards. — Jon Ross

2008/09 COMEDY SERIES

THE CLASSIC CENTER THEATRE PRESENTS

PAULA POUNDSTONE
Thursday, March 26, 2009 9:00 p.m. | Tickets $10 - $40

Railroad Earth Amen Corner
The Railroad – a train, in particular - is a perfect metaphor (and namesake) for Railroad Earth. Constant, driving and powerful, the bluegrass/roots sensations chug through their fourth studio album with the same lack of pretension and foot-stomping fun we’ve come to expect. Recorded on principal songwriter Todd Sheaffer’s 300-year-old rural New Jersey farm, Amen Corner is earthy but not lo-fi, happy but not cheesy and down-home without being redneck – put simply, a religious experience for all. — Alec Wooden

Appearing on stage with a stool, a microphone and a can of diet soda, Paula Poundstone is a keen observer of politics and society. Known for her razor-sharp wit and spontaneity, she’s famous for delivering smart comedy that leaves her audience in hysterics.
aidan Moffat and The Best-ofs How To Get To Heaven From Scotland
A 12 track work of art; How To Get To Heaven From Scotland is mellow, poetic, and downright creative (there’s even some beat boxing on the first track). One of Scotland’s most well-received musicians, Aidan Moffat (formerly of Scottish indie rock band, Arab Strap), had me by the first track, “Lover’s Song,” and held my attention until the very end with no song too drawnout or too fleeting. The backing band on the record, “The Best-Ofs,” is the perfect compliment to Moffat’s passionate voice, keeping the album honest and romantic, yet upbeat with a wealth of instruments. This album is down to earth, packed full of non-cliché, universal love songs. — Kristen Lee

chris Mckay & The critical darlings Satisfactionista
On the surface, Satisfactionista is simply the follow up to the sterling rock-debut C’mon, Accept Your Joy. To the band, however, it’s much, much more. The press release for Satisfactionista details all this: “Three drummers came and went, pneumonia knocked frontman Chris McKay out of commission for 2 months, personal relationships faltered and most unfortunately, several close friends and family members died.” These words aren’t meant for sympathy, and the Darlings don’t seem to want yours. What they want is your attention, and they have no problem getting and keeping that. The result of this long recording process is a record full of battle-tested lyrics on top of charismatic riffrock with a mound of confidence and absolutely zero pretentions. — Alec Wooden

THIS PRODUCTION IS MADE POSSIBLE BY THE GENEROUS SUPPORT OF:

Hotpants Romance It’s a Heatwave
The first offering from Hotpants Romance, an all-girl punk trio from legendary Manchester, is nothing if it’s not dripping with a stickysweet dose of sass. But here, this comes off as kitschy, not catchy. The vocals are a shrieking mess, and the driving drums just aren’t enough to reign it all in. When the girls aren’t screaming discordantly, the vocals and lyrics have a Moldy Peaches charm that works really well. If these girls concentrated a bit more on the music and less on their cheeky persona, there could be potential for punk prowess. — Lindsey Lee

BUY YOUR

TICKETS NOW!
706.357.4444 | 800.864.4160 www.ClassicCenter.com 300 N. Thomas St. Downtown Athens, GA 30601

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Music RELEASE CALENDAR

toppers

upcoming CD up coming CD calendar RElEAsE calendar
march
Kelly Clarkson All I Ever Wanted MSTrKrFT Fist of God Lionel richie Just Go

17

Pet Shop Boys Yes Dan Deacon Bromst The Decemberists Hazards of Love Papa roach Papa Roach Flo rida R.O.O.T.S. (Routes Of Overcoming the Struggle) The Blue Van Man Up rascal Flatts Unstoppable

Dan hicks & The hot Licks Tangled Tales royksoop Junior These Green eyes Relapse to Recovery

march

24

march

31

Peter Bjorn & John Living Thing Diana Krall Quiet Nights

Sara Watkins Sara Watkins So Many Dynamos The Loud Wars

april

7
release dates are subject to change. Check artist or store websites as these dates approach. hey local bands! Got a relese date coming up? Let us know at editorial@ athensblur.com

april
We are here!
Washington St.

14

april
Depeche Mode Sounds of the Universe Booker T. Jones Potato Hole Tortoise (Title TBA)

21

Dave Matthews Band

Clayton St.

Broad St. College Ave. Lumpkin St. Jackson St. Wall St.

Big Whiskey & The Groogux King Metric Fantasies Papercuts You Can Have What You Want

ATHENS BLUR MAGAZINE

33

Music THIS DAY IN MUSIC
1976 - Bruce Springsteen jumps a fence at Graceland in an attempt to see Elvis Presley. 1998 - Shania Twain launches her first headlining tour in her Canadian homeland in Sudbury, Ontario.

Music THIS DAY IN MUSIC

1958 - Chuck Berry releases his single “Johnny B. Goode”. 1995 - Latin pop-star Selena is shot and killed by the president of her fan club, Yolanda Saldivar, who had recently been fired for embezzlement.

1968 - James Brown makes a national TV appeal for calm following the assassination of the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. 1990 - Gloria Estefan leaves the hospital after being injured in a bus crash on March 20.

MARCH

1973 - A crazed fan bites Lou Reed on his rear end during a concert in Buffalo, NY. 1992 - A Chicago judge rules in the lipsyncing scandal of the Milli-Vanilli classaction suit that $3 cash rebates would be given to anyone that could prove they bought the group’s music.

1971 - Chicago becomes the first rock group to sell out a week of shows at Carnegie Hall in New York City. 1979 - Van Halen begins their first world tour. 1985 - “The Grand Ole Opry” debuts on television. 1994 - Billy Joel and Christie Brinkley announce they are separating.

APRIL
30 31 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
1969 - Jim Morrison is arrested by the FBI for interstate flight, which stems from obscenity charges after a Miami concert. 1996 - MC Hammer files for bankruptcy. 1985 - Wham! becomes the first Western act to play in China. 1998 - George Michael is arrested in a public restroom in Beverly Hills for lewd conduct. He is sentenced to community service for the incident.

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1945 -Billboard Magazine introduces a top albums chart naming The Nat King Cole Trio as its first #1. 2004 -Axl Rose is refused a request to block the release of a Guns N’ Roses greatest hits collection by Universal Music Group after a federal judge hears his case. 1979 - Metal hair band Twisted Sister becomes the first band to sell out New York City’s Palladium without ever releasing a record. 1991 - A deadly plane crash near the California/Mexico border kills seven members of Reba McEntire’s band and her road manager. McEntire was on a separate plane. 1962 – Ray Charles starts his own record label, Tangerine. 1997 - For the first time, Michael Jackson’s Thriller ties with the Eagles Greatest Hits as the all-time best-selling album in the U.S., announced by the RIAA. 34 ATHENS BLUR MAGAZINE

1957 - Elvis Presley buys a mansion in Tennessee, which he names Graceland. 1985 - Spin Magazine begins its first publication.

1970 - The Jackson Five release “ABC”. 1987 - Dean Martin Jr. dies in a plane crash while in the Air National Guard.

1968 - Eric Clapton is arrested on drug charges in Los Angeles, along with Neil Young, Richie Furay and Jim Messina. 1991 - Eric Clapton’s four yearold son, Conor, dies after falling 53 stories from a New York City apartment window. 1965 - Members of The Rolling Stones — Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, and Bill Wyman — are arrested for “insulting behavior” in London after the three were caught urinating on the wall of the Francis Garage.

1963 - The Beatles release their first album, Please Please Me, in the U.K. 1997 - Marilyn Manson ends a show in Honolulu, soon after falling from the stage and severing an artery in his hand. 1961 - Elvis Presley records “Can’t Help Falling in Love.” 1987 - The Soul Train Music Awards debuts. It is the first televised awards ceremony to pay exclusive homage to black producers, songwriters and recording artists in the music industry.

1961 - Elvis Presley performs his last live show for the next eight years in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Presley performed the show which raised $62,000 for the U.S.S. Arizona memorial fund. 1995 - Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam is rescued after a riptide carries him 250 feet offshore in New Zealand.

1981 - AC/DC releases Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap in the U.S., five years after its Australia release. 2002 - Lyle Lovett is trampled by a bull, breaking his lower right leg in several places.

1966 - A riot breaks out after a Rolling Stones concert in Paris. 85 people are arrested.

1991 - Ringo Starr is a guest on Fox TV’s “The Simpsons.” 2002 - Kid Rock and Pamela Anderson get engaged.

1976 - Jimmy Buffett’s “Margaritaville” is released. 1991 - Rod Stewart is surprised onstage by Elton John, who was wearing a dress. 1997 - Joni Mitchell is reunited with Kilauren Gibb. Gibb is the daughter that Mitchell had given up for adoption 32 years before. 1999 - The Black Crowes perform in Knoxville, Tenn. One of the concertgoers later sued the band for $385,000 in a claim that he had suffered significant hearing loss at the show.

1968 - Syd Barrett leaves Pink Floyd due to his suffering from psychiatric disorders compounded by drug use. 1983 - U.S. Interior Secretary James Watt bans the Beach Boys from the 4th of July celebration on the Washington Mall. He says rock ‘n’ roll bands attract the “wrong element.”

1985 - An estimated 5,000 radio stations around the world simultaneously play the song “We Are the World.” 1994 - Kurt Cobain (Nirvana) kills himself with a shotgun. He is found three days later.

1963 - The Beatles meet the Rolling Stones after a Stones concert in Richmond, England. 1983 - Pete Farndon of the Pretenders dies of a drug overdose at the age of 29. He had been fired from the band the year before due to his drug problem.

1970 - Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul & Mary pleads guilty to charges of “taking immoral liberties” with a 14year-old girl while in Washington, DC. 1995 - Rapper Eazy-E dies from complications of AIDS 1982 - David Crosby is arrested in Los Angeles for possession of Quaaludes and drug paraphernalia, driving under the influence of cocaine and carrying a concealed .45-caliber pistol. 1996 - Phil Collins announces his departure from Genesis to focus on his solo career.

2002- Eminem agrees to pay $100,000 minus attorney’s fees to a man who had filed a civil lawsuit against him for allegedly hitting him in the head and face with an unloaded handgun. The man, John Guerra, had kissed Eminem’s wife Kim.

1972 - Isaac Hayes wins an Oscar for Best Music, Original Song for the song “Shaft”. 2000 - Sony Music Entertainment announces plans to make its first commercial digital downloads available to U.S. consumers.

1963 - Bob Dylan performs his first major solo concert at Town Hall in New York City. 2000 - Bo Diddley files suit against Nike for using his name and image without permission. Nike is accused of continuing to use his image after a contract expired in 1991. ATHENS BLUR MAGAZINE

35

Music THE BUZZ

THE
TUESDAYS......$2
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BUZZ
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NEwS & NoISE fRoM THE cLASSIc cITy ANd BEyoNd

RIAA RESuMES CoLLEgE LAWSuItS?
The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) announced in December its intention to discontinue lawsuits filed against college students in favor of allocating funds towards proactively preventing downloading, rather than retroactively punishing the behavior. Well…they may have lied. One George Washington student (and one alumnus) were recently slapped with fresh lawsuits, most of which have cost roughly $4,000 in out of court settlements. A word to the wise: most of the lawsuits have targeted file uploaders, not downloaders. A word to the wiser: maybe lay low on the Limewire downloading for a little while. -Alec Wooden

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iPhoto. iMovie. GarageBand. iWeb.

StAy togEthER foR thE kIDS
After an agonizing four-year hiatus, blink-182 is back and here to stay. At the 2009 Grammys, the pop punk trio hopped on stage for the first time since December 2004, announcing the reformation of their band. Later, they released a statement commenting on the matter, “To put it simply, we’re back. We mean really back. Picking up where we left off and then some.” This includes a longawaited sixth studio album and a summer 2009 tour. Let’s hope the patched up band can continue its legacy of rocking childhoods all across the globe. Also announcing their reunion this month? Everyone’s favorite TRL memory. Limp Bizkit. Announcing that they were “disgusted and bored with the state of heavy popular music,” the band has plans for a new album and worldwide tour. — Kristen Lee

Imagine a future where everything you eat, drink, read, and wear captures the essence and face of reggae legend, Bob Marley. Well, that just might be possible. The late singer’s children recently agreed to a merchandising deal with private equity firm Hilco Consumer Capital, and together they will be launching a joint (no, not that kind) venture called House of Marley. Fans will be able to purchase Bob Marley instruments, shoes, clothing, snowboards and luggage, while Marley Lager and Marley Coffee are expected to hit the streets soon. Also in the works are One Love coffee shops and a line of children’s story books featuring Marley’s influential lyrics. In a recent interview the singer’s daughter, Cedella, said, “We’re open to licensing just about anything,” adding, “If it’s not right, we won’t do it.” One of the reasons for the partnership is to tackle counterfeit Marley products, estimated to be worth $600 million a year black market. Looks like the Marley clan has big, bold ideas...a gene they definitely inherited from their father. -Kristen Lee

Everything just keeps getting better for the Mac. And it’s all at right around the corner at PeachMac where we have a huge selection, educational pricing and in-house support and repair. Come see why we’re Georgia’s Apple Specialists.

EASy, bREEzy, bEAutIfuL...50 CEnt
We all know 50 cent is easy on the eyes, but what’s his secret to flawless, young- looking skin? Well, it turns out, he wants to share his beauty secrets with the whole world by launching his own line of cosmetics for men. Now, don’t get too excited Pete Wentz. You won’t find your guyliner here because Fiddy is keeping it “manly” with boy moisturizers, macho night creams and health supplements. Wow. Not only is 50 cent one of America’s prized rap stars, a millionaire, and bulletproof — he is well-moisturized, too. — Kristen Lee

macs • ipods • software • service
Epps Bridge Pkwy (across from Lowe’s) • 706-208-9990 • peachmac.com • Athens & Augusta

ATHENS BLUR MAGAZINE

37

Music THE BUZZ

SPRoCkEtS/ PoPfESt 2009 CAnCELLED
Weeks after the cancellation of The Langerado Festival in Miami, the economy has claimed a local victim. As announced last month, The Sprockets Music Video Competition and Athens PopFest have cancelled their 2009 events because of the sagging fiscal situation. Says main festival organizer Gordon Lamb, “As both consumers and businesses tighten belts this year, we deemed it unfeasible to press on with this year’s festival in the current economic climate.” Sad news, indeed, but festival organizers stress the point of this being a one-year decision, and not reflective of the festival’s future as a whole. Here’s hoping that’s right on. -Alec Wooden

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One of the most celebrated music festilocated in (in Bottleworks on Prince vals in the Souththe the U.S. for that matFree Parking on Meigs Street ter) has announced its line-up for June 11behind the Bottleworks. 14 in Manchester, Tenn. Headlining will be Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band MENTION THIS AD FORBowl folly), the Beast(even after the Super 20% off ANY SINGLE ITEM until February 28, 2009 ie Boys, Nine Inch Nails and a double dip by the recently reunited jam-band, Phish. If that doesn’t tickle your fancy, there is a plethora of other acts that will for sure make the trip worth your $224.50 (or more). Additional artists include: Band of Horses, MGMT, moe., Snoop Dogg, of Montreal and the Zac Brown Band — just to name a few. If we’re lucky, there will be someone to step up and blow everyone’s mind, much like My Morning Jacket did last year with a 35-song, 3 hour set in the pouring rain. Happy tripping. — Will Hackett

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Things are moving along at 500 College Avenue for what is now a solid shell of the Hotel Indigo and Rialto Club, fresh off a “topping out” party on March 6 to celebrate the completeion of the structure’s roof. The Indigo is a boutique hotel and the Rialto is a private club that, in addition to offering exclusive perks to its members, will be available for rental space and house live music acts. The building(s) are slated for a grand opening sometime later this year. -Alec Wooden

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AthfESt DEADLInE APPRoAChIng
AthFest doesn’t get cranking until June 25-28 — but if you’re looking to be on stage, your deadline to be considered is quickly approaching. If you want to submit online, SonicBids is the exclusive way to do so — visit www.sonicbids.com/athfest. If you’re not into the whole digital thing, the submission committee does accept physical mailings at P.O. Box 327, Athens, 30603. Submissions must include the following: A copy of your latest CD, a band bio/relevant press clippings, a current band photo and pertinent contact information. What am I forgetting….right! A deadline. Materials must be submitted by April 1. — Alec Wooden

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questions with
R
iding the memory of friends past and six months shy of his 74th birthday, it seems Irish folk legend Liam Clancy finally has time to put four decades of sustained creativity into perspective with the re-release of his famous 1963 St. Patty’s Day concert at Carnegie Hall.

Liam Clancy
by Alec Wooden

Movement because we came out of the background of similar injustices.”

Paddy, and Tommy Makem. What was it like hearing that recording ABM: Describe the artistic community again? LC: “I hadn’t heard (those songs) in of Greenwich Village in the 1960s.
LC: “The one thing you have to remember — the way we are going through this (economic) down turn now – is that the ‘60s were the upswing from the terrible, terrible depression decades earlier. Small town Ireland was very much medieval. And when I came to America, the first time I came over was by ship. I didn’t know what was happening to me, but I knew it was extraordinary. So many kindred spirits were coming into the Village — people so much like ourselves, coming from small towns and oppressed backgrounds and finding spiritual and artistic freedom. The euphoria of that — it was incredible, it was all spanking new, that was the amazing thing about it. Spanking new. It would have been great to be in the Village at that time anyway — but to suddenly be on the Ed Sullivan Show and have a measure of celebrity was beyond your wildest dreams. It was a very exciting time.”

45 years. (The record label) sent me the proposed release discs , and it was quite startling to hear after 45 years…I probably would have heard some of the

be in concert halls half the time, then just singing in taverns, ya know. It was a whirlwind. It was like being thrown into a raft at the head of the Colorado rapids and riding the rapids for the next ten years. You didn’t have time to think about anything else or put it in perspective.”

It wasn’t as if you got off stage and then it was over. Every night was a concert and a party because we’d always be singing.
songs in the meantime on radio and things like that — but never the entire concert, which is a whole different thing, because very often it’s not the songs but the dialogue in between that sets the period, ya know?”

ABM: Tom and Paddy died in 1990 and 1998, respectively, and Tommy Makem passed in 2007. What do you miss most about your former bandmates?
LC: I find myself sometimes going ‘what the hell was the name of that guy…’ and I go to pick up the phone and call Paddy, but Paddy is dead. Or something from Shakespeare will come up and I’ll go ‘I’ll call Tom,’ and I can’t. Ya know, the last man standing is very tough. There’s no triumph in the last man standing.”

Athens Blur Magazine: What’s your earliest musical memory as a boy in Ireland?
LC: “As a young boy I remember walking up the bank of a river shore and realizing that I knew a whole song, ‘The Croppy Boy.’ And then I said, ‘well, if this one feels so good, maybe I’ll learn another song.’ And it kind of took off from there. I was a terrible romantic and dreamer. If I hadn’t made it in this business, The Clancy Brother and Tommy Makem blended music, theatre and cultural wit I’d have ended up in the gutter to become sensations of 1960’s Greenwich Village. somewhere — because I had no a country in 1948 when I was 13 was perfect. Did you get to see any aptitude for anything else (laughs).” years of age. There was still a great of the Civil rights movement first deal of anger and a lot of people ABM: of course, you’re a man who’s hand? who had witnessed the atrocities proud of your heritage. But you LC: “Before these recordings of the occupations. So those things weren’t exactly leaving paradise were made, I had traveled to the were very much alive — and then, when you sailed from Ireland, (American) South — it was quite of course, coming to America and correct? startling to see the level of injustice seeing similar things.” and discriminations, just like we LC: “In the early ‘60s, the British had suffered in Ireland. It brought ABM: And you certainly weren’t occupation of Ireland wasn’t that coming to a place where everything it all back to me. So we were far removed. Ireland only became very involved in the Civil Rights
40 ATHENS BLUR MAGAZINE

ABM: The reception for the sound of the Clancy Brothers was pretty immediate. What do you think caught people’s attention from the get-go?
LC: “We picked songs that were so moving to us that we had to sing them. And ironically, those were the ones dropped by the imitators. People started picking up on the up tempo ones and singing them in pubs and singing them to death — to the point where they became nauseating. But (the serious songs) were a great relief from the perceived notion of Irish songs — the songs written for the Irish-American schmaltzy market. And that wasn’t what we were about at all. So something new was created.”

ABM: When you saw the American skyline from the boat for the first time, do you remember your first impression?
LC: “I thought it wasn’t a bit like Hollywood (laughs). It was run down West side by the docks, the piers. Advertisements peeling off the walls. It wasn’t at all the sparkling Hollywood picture of America that I expected. And then I settled in Greenwich Village at my brother Paddy’s apartment — and God almighty, that summer was…rough. I still remember sleeping on a mattress on the floor and having cockroaches scampering on my body.”

ABM: You turn 74 this year, but you’re certainly not slowing down, with a new record due out shortly. What continues to drive you into a fourth decade of sustained creativity?
LC: “As far as the album goes, it’s a much more reflective album. Very, very different from some of the older stuff. It’s definitely a sign of the times. In general, ya know, I’ve learned a lot at this stage. The sun will rise tomorrow, and no one knows what the next day will bring. I think that’s the important thing is to be receptive to what might happen. Because in my experience, life has been full of surprises, and no one knows what the next tide is going to bring. And that’s the lovely thing about it, isn’t it?” B
ATHENS BLUR MAGAZINE

ABM: Did you have any idea of the magic The Clancy’s and Tommy Makem were creating in the moment?
LC: “It’s hard to say. Having the concerts was only part of the party, ya know what I mean? It wasn’t as if you got off stage and then it was over. Every night was a concert and a party because we’d always be singing. We’d

ABM: St. Patrick’s Day 1963 was a special night, and a night cataloged on this re-issue of your now-famous concert with your brothers Tom,

41

Willie Gets Naked
W
By Alec Wooden
Mickey Raphael: Ya, I was really in the folk scene in the ‘70s — didn’t know anything about country music. I was working with B.W. Stephenson and was in the scene with Jerry Jeff Walker, Michael Murphy — that was kind of the music world I was involved in. But I was a big fan of The Band, The Rolling Stones, The Flying Burrito Brothers, The Byrds, Gram Parsons...

It was called the “Nashville Sound.” Endless layers of thick harmonies and plush strings kept country music relevant in the rising times of ‘60s and ‘70s pop. It helped to make Willie Nelson a household name at RCA — but, despite their mastery, something about those sessions never felt right. Four decades later, longtime Nelson harmonica player Mickey Raphael finally got his hands on the tapes and found out what was underneath.

21, and I was lucky to be making a living playing the harmonica.

So what is it that you’ve learned the most from your four decades playing alongside him? MR:If I could sum it all up, it’s really that “it’s not what you play, it’s what you don’t play.” It’s the space between the notes. When you’re young and just starting out, you’re way too loud and way too busy, and you’re really not listening to anybody but yourself and you just wanna get your licks in there. Now that I’ve mellowed out, I hope, you choose what you play a little more sparingly. For me, it’s all about tone, and not necessarily how much or how fast I play. Willie’s always stressed that less is more. Which was always kind of drummed into me. He’s always been one for “the simpler, the better.”

Willie’s always stressed that is more . Which was always less drummed into me. kind of He’s always been one for “the simpler , the better .”

what we could find underneath all that — and I found some great playing. One of the songs, one of the first recordings Willie ever did, I uncovered stuff that you couldn’t here on the original recordings because they were covered up.

Are you gonna head down to the local patent office with that phrase (“un-producing”)? MR: (Laughs) I don’t think anybody wants it! It’s not too glamorous.

illie was really your exposure to country music, correct?

Just sitting on the floor, just listening to his songs and his talking, he so impressed me — and I thought, “this guy is really amazing.” And he said, ‘If you’re ever around, come sit in with us.’ So I went and sat in with his band one night at a high school gymnasium outside of Dallas at a benefit for a volunteer fire department (laughs). I really struggled — didn’t know the songs, didn’t even know the classic country songs he was doing. But it was really intriguing, and I knew it was something I had to check out.

So how were you able to score that gig as a 21year-old kid? Did you know, or was there any way to know, what a
MR: Let’s see…I went to work with Willie in 1973. On a fluke, I got a call from Darrell Royal — at the time, the football coach at the University of Texas. He was a real big fan and a real close friend of Willie’s and invited me over to his hotel suite after a ballgame and said, “I’ve seen you play before, bring your harmonicas, I’ve got some of my friends who are singer and songwriters, they’ll be passing the guitar around.” And Willie was one of the guys. I had one record of Willie’s called “Willie Nelson & Family”, so I was kind of aware of Willie, because he was really weird and eccentric and different — but he wasn’t on my radar at all before this. 42 ATHENS BLUR MAGAZINE

long and special career Willie was going to have?

MR: No, not at all. In fact, I wanted to play with Waylon Jennings (laughs). He had a harmonica player coming up that really influenced me, named Don Brooks, who was from Dallas, where I grew up. So I was watching Donnie’s career and that really interested me. Donnie quit about the time I was with Willie, he just didn’t want to go on the road anymore. Willie was gonna take the summer off, so I asked him if he could call Waylon for cause I wanted to go out and play with him, and he did. So I went out for a couple of months with Waylon. I just wanted to try something different — I had just turned

What did you learn the most from revisiting these songs, many of which are four decades old? MR: It just confirmed the fact that less is more — when you’ve got a great song, you don’t need a lot else. All we needed was Willie and the guitar, and we could have gotten by with that. To (Chet Atkins’) credit, that’s what was selling at the time — that’s what Speaking of simpler and better, you are the mastermind of the new people wanted to hear. But it didn’t work as well with Willie. Of 12 records, I think only “Naked Willie” two songs charted. collection due And every record out soon. What that came out sparked the idea? at that time was MR: This record done in that was produced style. Chet knew by musical greats that Willie was Chet Atkins and really special and Chuck Jarvis. Chet that maybe (the was running RCA Nashville Sound) and producing a wasn’t gonna fly, lot of their hits. The but it’s what they style of the day did at the time. It’s was “the Nashville sound” where they the way records would take an were made. I artist and a song don’t wanna take and — they called anything away (Above Left) The younger versions of Nelson and Raphael lay down tracks in the RCA studios. (Above Right) Raphael on stage it “sweetening” from him — I just during a recent tour. — and put wanted to look at heavy strings it through another and background lens. singers on it to “sweeten” the performance. Country music was Did it feel like more work at times to “un-produce” rather than competing with pop at the time — Perry Como, Andy Williams — so “produce?” they wanted to break away and get it away from the fiddles and It was real time intensive. We went in and listened to everything and banjos and be more of a cosmopolitan sound. They made great there was so much leakage — some of the songs were recorded records, but they were heavily produced. Lots of embellishments, with everyone in the studio at one time — even the orchestra was lots of strings and the background vocals. Listening to those, I love in there. So you’ve got strings leaking into all the mics. But I didn’t the songs – and I always thought that these songs were so strong lyrically, they didn’t need all that. And I wondered what Willie would wanna start re-recording pieces because it would lose the integrity of the original product. So I kept everything original, but it was real have sounded like if he had a hand in the production back them. In time consuming to find ways to clear the strings out without losing the back of my mind, I knew these songs were great – and I know anything. how he records now, which is pretty basic, and I wondered what they would sound like. If you were to record them last week, or And what are the fans going to take away from it? record them the way he does now, what would they sound like? Well, the fans that aren’t familiar with the originals, they’re just Now, is this a typo on the credits, or are you really listed as the “un- gonna think it’s a good project with good songs. Some of the producer” of this record? younger fans may not even know of these songs. And then it might MR: (Laughs) I couldn’t say I produced the record, because Chet spur them to and find the original and see how they were making Atkins produced the tracks. But coming in there and stripping all this records in the ‘60s. And all those things are still available. Even if stuff off the tracks, I figured my credit would be “un-producing.” I they didn’t go back and look at the originals, it still makes for a was able to get a hold of the tapes, and I pitched it to RCA. I went great and unique Willie project. It’s the stuff that got me interested in in, got the multitrack, and took the strings and the voices off to see Willie in the first place. B ATHENS BLUR MAGAZINE

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As major labels become less relevant, bands look to their fans for the big $$$$.

Fan Funded

by Natalie B. David

ans supporting bands on the brink of disaster is with Sobule on the record. not a new exercise. For decades, fans have been “It was a joke when I did the $10,000 and you’d get helping to support the music they love by dropping a to sing with me on the record,” says Sobule, who came few extra bucks in a jar for gas money at merch tables, or up with the fundraising levels over a glass of wine one offering road-weary bands a sofa or floor for crashing. evening. “I never thought somebody would do that. And They’ve donated money to help recover and replace somebody did!” stolen equipment or repair broken down vans. At the end of fundraising, Sobule had tallied a Now, musical acts are looking to their fans to help whopping $89,229 to finance not just the recording start and sustain their careers in a whole new way. As of what would become her seventh album, entitled the “Big Five” take fewer gambles on new artists and California Years, but also to establish Pinko records, consistently drop “underperformers” from their rosters, Sobule’s own label. in addition to the myriad acts looking for ways out of But the process can be even simpler. Arizona joke/ their contracts due to neglect, bands have begun seeking metal band Psychostick — most well known for their the support of their fans to not just help them play viral video for “Beer is Good…and Stuff”, a song which music, but get their albums made. topped the countdown on XM Radio’s Liquid Metal Pop singer/songwriter Jill Sobule should know the program for seven consecutive weeks in 2007—raised ins, outs and failings of money by offering fans the the music industry better chance to hear their names than almost anyone. immortalized in song After finding moderate on an album they would success in the 1990s, inevitably be funding. most notably with her The song, which would song “Supermodel”, which become the over 14landed on the soundtrack minute long opus entitled to the 1995 quirky teen “373 Thank Yous”, was the flick Clueless, Sobule’s path brainchild of Psychostick’s has taken her through manager Anthony Caroto. contracts with two major Inspired by other bands labels and the bankruptcy who had offered fans of not one, but two simply a chance to see indie labels as well. Still their names printed in the optimistic, Sobule broke liner notes, Psychostick from tradition. Well-armed wanted to make the idea with a significant-yet-small more appealing to their fan base and buckets of fanbase. industry know-how, she “We wanted to give struck out solo. But there them a little bit more bang was still one major obstacle for their buck,” says Rawrb, (Above) Jill Sobule turned to her fands after two indie labels folded with her on the roster. They responded by donating over $80,000 to finance her new album. to overcome: a big, fat real name Rob Kersey, dollar sign. the band’s jester-hat clad “I wanted to do it on my frontman. “Hopefully one own, but on my own, I had no money. There’s no trust of their favorite bands saying their name in a song on fund,” Sobule’s raspy voice laughs over a mid-morning the CD would be pretty ideal.” phone call from her home in L.A. “But I thought, I have Masters of social networking and no strangers to a small but really mighty fan base. I originally wanted YouTube fame, the group posted a video on the site the idea of everybody being stockholders, but the way humorously explaining the band’s plight and what they that the laws are in the U.S. it would’ve been a difficult, hoped to achieve. For $50, fans names were included in big mess, and impossible. So, I thought the second best the song and they also received a free autographed CD thing is donations, but in return I would give some sort and poster from the band. Two businesses also donated of gift at whatever the level would be.” to the cause for slots at $250 each. So to the fans Sobule went, offering donation levels “We wanted to see what happened with that,” that ranged from as little as $10, which supplied a free explains Rawrb, noting that the business option didn’t digital download of the album, to much larger figures, quite turn out as well as he would have liked. “Because I like $1,000 for your own Sobule-penned theme song don’t know if they would want their business name in an (which has turned into three per person: a spy theme, album that has a bunch of goofy guys talking about food Mary Tyler Moore theme and a dance theme) or $5,000 and cussing every now and then, so I can understand for Sobule to play a show in your living room. At the that.” precipice, fans could donate $10,000 for a chance to sing Ultimately, Psychostick raised $18,000 to put
ATHENS BLUR MAGAZINE

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towards Sandwich, their follow up to 2006’s We something the next day and put it online and, Couldn’t Think of a Title, surpassing their original goal eventually, over the course of a year or so, have a of $16,000 but still falling short on their dream goal of pretty decent fan base if you know how to promote $23,000. “We overshot the goal just because, yourself,” says Rawrb, echoing somewhat his own band’s it’s kind of a psychological thing so that even if you accomplishments. “The power of the Internet has given don’t reach your goal you’re still happy,” he says. “When even the smallest band a lot more power” we reached 18, we were like, well, we have enough to do With that power comes a great accessibility to fans. what we want. So we’re happy.” Even greater than simply the ability to follow an act Beyond bands and artists taking their needs to the on Twitter or comment them on MySpace, including fans themselves, several UK companies have begun to the fans in the album creation process makes them a tackle this task for artists. One such web site, entitled part of the music. Where Psychostick fans could hear Bandstocks, operates at the crossroads of supply and their names on record, donors to Sobule’s project had demand, offering individuals the added option of giving the chance to become music the singer feedback on her world stockholders in albums tunes and even playing a waiting to be created. deciding role in what songs Slightly more complicated made it on the record. than either Sobule’s or “I recorded more songs Psychostick’s tactics, than I put on the record, Bandstocks works on a threeso I said ‘Everyone pick tier system. After signing up your six favorite songs,’ so with the site as an investor, it was really interesting,” fans vote on potential says Sobule, who hopes to projects in stage one, continue corresponding purchase stocks for projects to her diligent supporters. that earn enough votes to “And, I have to say, pretty move to phase two and, once much everyone’s point of enough money has been view was really valid.” raised, or once time runs out, “Of course you get the the projects move to phase one person who’s like ‘The three: the production and EQ on the chorus of the one marketing of the album. song…’” she laughs, “but All investors, who even that was great. People currently must be UK take the time to think about residents, have their names it.” credited in the first run of For bands at a crossroads albums produced and also where one turn could mean get a free download of the backing out of the industry, completed record, as well asking help from fans is (Above) Joke/Metal band Psychostick raised $16,000 to fund a new record by offering as any other perks the band incredibly logical. Including fans a mention on an album track. or artist wishes to offer. the people who would love However, Bandstocks differs to see a band continue most from solo D.I.Y.ers in one significant way: investors within the process will, in addition to giving them what can earn back funds if the album becomes a serious they’ve been waiting for, make fans more loyal. After all, commercial success. However, the Web site warns: every band is, at its core, fan funded. “The people who buy Bandstocks should only do so “I think that’s important for any band to understand, because they like the artist and want to be part of is to realize that your fans are what keeps you moving as that collaboration, not because they are worried about a band,” he says. “If you want to be on any sort of level overall financial results.” where it becomes your living, your fans will be the ones But the end result of these new methods is, whether that put the money in your pocket, one way or another.” bands go the fan-funded route on their own or with Although both Sobule and Psychostick hope they the help of sites like Bandstocks, more than just money won’t have to repeat these experiments, at the end of and services changing hands. With the emergence of the day, their fans’ contributions certainly won’t be social networking Web Sites and the ever-increasing forgotten. importance of the Internet within the music industry, “Maybe next time, the next album I’ll pay for. I the long-standing gap between artist and fan is won’t need the donation system, but I’ll do something shrinking ever smaller. different,” says Sobule. “But I’ll always do something to “You could easily start a band tomorrow, record include the people that have supported me.” B
46 ATHENS BLUR MAGAZINE

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Confessions of a Groupie
indie-rock band was coming through town to a small local club that held maybe 300 people at best. I had a few drinks before the show, as I was underage at the time, to give me a little “liquid courage.” Before the band came to stage I planted myself on the steps stage left. Security didn’t mind, as they were more focused on watching the crowd in front of the stage, who had just finished a massive mosh pit during the opening band’s performance. After what felt like hours the band came out and the crowd went wild. The rush of excitement I felt being so close to my favorite band was like that giddy feeling you get when you are in a new relationship. I was in awe during the entire performance. After the show ended, I noticed the bass player, Kevin* hanging around greeting fans and I felt the sudden urge to approach him. He was dripping with sweat and his white shirt was soaked, baring his skin underneath. I was nervous and when I reached him; all I could manage to ask was, “Can I have your shirt?” He laughed. “This sweaty, smelly thing?” I shook my head yes. “Come with me, I’ll get you a different shirt.” The next thing I knew he was leading me to the “green room” (a room designated for performers only). The whole time I was trembling inside with nervousness. A few other girls were escorted into the room shortly after. I couldn’t believe this was actually happening — I wanted to call every friend I knew who would be up so late in the night but, alas, this was pre-cell phone days. After a quick shower, Kevin led the group of us out of the venue to the parking lot where a tour bus was parked. This was the first time I had ever seen a tour bus and naturally, asked for a grand tour. On the bus, there were a few drunken girls baring their breasts to the other musicians in the band. From that night on I was officially addicted and wanted to see what other and bigger bands I could hang out with. The next concert was for a more recognized band, Staind, who were on tour promoting Break The Cycle. I went with two of my male friends. Together, the three of us pushed our way to the front of the stage. Again, with liquid courage, I felt compelled to get closer

by Vixen *

the addiction started with a small dose. My favorite

and get backstage somehow. This time proved more challenging as they had a security guard blocking the side entrance to get backstage. Luckily, a rowdy drunk audience member distracted the guard long enough for me and one of my guy friends to sneak past him. There we were, standing on-stage with members of Staind only a few feet away. We acted like we belonged there, avoiding making eye contact with security. When the show ended, we followed everyone else that was backstage and the band that exited the back doors, heading to another building where the green rooms were. Just as we were about to walk into the building, a man at the front entrance asked where our passes were. My friend and I looked dumbfounded. I responded, “We didn’t know we needed to wear them.” The guy smirked and replied, “Sorry, no passes, no entry.” Disappointed, we turned around and headed to the front of the venue to reunite with our fallen comrade who wasn’t so lucky sneaking backstage with us. From then on every concert I went to turned into a mission: find a way backstage to party with the band. I wasn’t interested in sleeping with any, as most would assume ‘groupies’ do. I was more about partying and being friends with the members, although I am sure they didn’t feel the same about wanting to just be friends with me. For some reason there was a thrill in sneaking backstage without getting caught but mostly it was for bragging rights that I partied with “so and so.” One weekend my best friend, Karen* and I decided to make a trip up to Hollywood, California. We stayed at the Hyatt on Sunset Boulevard, next door to The Comedy Store. I had never seen stand-up comedy before and had no desire to. Instead, we went to the hot clubs around town — but as we walked back to our hotel room, Karen had to use the restroom badly. She asked a door guy at The Comedy Store to use the facilities. Long moments went by and Karen had not returned from the restroom so I asked to go investigate. I walked up the stairs to the “original room’” and there sat Karen, laughing as she watched the performance of a local comedian. I joined her at the table and from that moment became addicted to stand-up comedy. We spent our next two nights in Hollywood at The Comedy Store, running into comedians such as Pauly Shore, Eddie
ATHENS BLUR MAGAZINE

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Griffin, Andrew “Dice” Clay, Joe Rogan, Jon Reep, and so many more. We partied with some and were invited back to a few of their homes for after-parties. We declined personal invitations, however, wanting to be just friends. We continued to make trips back to Hollywood as often as our wallets would allow, spending most of our time at our favorite comedy club. It wasn’t until I heard an employee refer to us as “groupies” that I realized what these guys really thought about us. We weren’t “cool chicks” they enjoyed hanging with; they wanted to get in our pants and were starting to view us as teases. Needless to say, we stopped going to Hollywood as much. The addiction didn’t stop just with band members or comedians. I innocently became what most would term a ‘baseball groupie’ after going to my first spring-training game with some friends. Kim* and I were checking out a pitcher practicing in the outfield near the wall where we were sitting. He was cute, but I wasn’t thinking anything past admiring his physique. After a few moments the player noticed us checking him out and started making eye contact with me. The next thing I knew he mouthed the words, “Give me your number.” I was so shocked that I looked behind me to see if he was talking to someone sitting nearby. My now-jealous girlfriend started freaking out and elbowed me. “You lucky bitch! Give him your number!” She ripped off a piece of her cigarette box and managed to find a pen in her over-stuffed bag. I walked down a few rows to lean over the wall and he came up to me, shook my hand and took the piece of paper. I remember thinking after that he wouldn’t call. A few hours after the game my phone rang. Of course, I was so naive at the time that I thought he wanted to take me on a date but when he had me meet him at his apartment, I quickly realized otherwise and left. I didn’t know how easy getting a chance to hang with a baseball player was. I later learned that our actions of checking the player out and making eye contact is

usually a tell-tale sign to a ball player that the girl is a groupie looking for some action. But there was still that rush of hanging with someone of some level of fame. Thus, baseball games became a new favorite pasttime and challenge to see who else we could say we hung out with. One time a girlfriend and I were walking back to a bar from a spring training game that had just let out and a few players driving by us stopped and asked if we wanted to go back to their hotel room with them. We said no because we wanted to just party and say we hung out with them rather than go sleeping with any of them. There were a few players we took up on offers of a night on the town. When you walk into a club with a major league player, you get the royal treatment: reserved seating, drinks on the house, or the player you are with is buying you and his entourage drinks all night. Meanwhile, girls not in the group shoot glaring looks of envy your way, all the while you feel like a queen. Over the years, I began weaning myself from the need to hang with celebrities. I realized most of these men just want to get in your pants and nothing more. You’re one of the many notches they are hoping to gain on their belt and most won’t remember your name after they leave town. A majority of the musicians, comedians, and ball players were married men looking to score on the road with no strings attached. “Celebrities” are people just like us only they have cool jobs and get paid a lot of money to do what they love. The addiction wore off and became the least important factor in my life. Ladies, if you’re looking to nail a rock star as a boyfriend, keep dreaming. But if you are one of the lucky few to do so, be prepared when they go on the road without you; groupies are everywhere and they want your man. B *Names have been changed to protect the innocence of groupies everywhere.

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Of all things, it had to become a tanning salon. When Record Express in Middletown, Conn. shut its doors, Brendan Toller was angry enough for being forced into finding a new avenue to feed his vinyl addiction. But a tanning salon? Ouch. The synthetic sun parlor was a salt-in-the-wound symbol for every “fake” pillar of the music industry Toller thought had brought down his go-to vinyl spot. “I really was sad and angry about it,” says Toller. “They would attribute [store closings] to digital sales and downloading, which I knew full well wasn’t true. It was corporate greed — major record labels pushing artists with little to no talent hoping to get quick sales and nothing in the long term.” So Toller set out to prove his point. “I had been studying documentary film and it seemed like a good thing to just take my camera to and do a documentary about,” he said. The genesis of his sensational film “I Need That Record: The Death (or Possible Survival) of the Independent Record Store” was really that simple. Toller grabbed his camera, hopped in his car and headed anywhere that had a story to tell. “[Record stores] sort of started closing down and shifting towards digital — the extreme version of the CD,” says the filmmaker. “I don’t wanna seem too caveman, ya know? But vinyl’s the complete reverse of that. It’s got huge artwork, sound waves, the sound is much warmer. Everything has gone so far forward and yet so far reverse, people seem to want both sides of the equation. Vinyl offers everything that digital doesn’t.” Despite Toller’s fear of seeming too old fashioned, no one would actually see him as a caveman because he is just 22 years old. This point, of course, lends no relevance to this story other than to elicit a chuckle when considering most of the vinyl he loves is actually his elder. But Toller is a poster-child — honestly, no pun intended — of sorts for a growing phenomenon in American music culture. The consumer is falling back in love with vinyl, as 2008 sales blew the roof off their projections, rising 89 percent in the calendar year, following a 15 percent spike in 2007. Is America falling back in love with vinyl? Depending on who you ask, it never fell out. ————

www.terry.uga.edu/musicbusiness

A

ll bands want vinyl now. Everybody wants vinyl. They all do,” says Dylan Magierek, working his way through a sleet/snow mix on the roads of Portland, Ore., where he heads up the Badman Recording Group. “Bands would always mention it, and a lot of times it didn’t make sense, but now it’s very important that each of my bands do vinyl. And I’m sure I could probably find a bunch who would want to choose vinyl over CD.” Badman is well-suited for the artistic community of Portland. Founded in 1997, the independent label and production company’s flagship releases are from Innocence Mission, My Morning Jacket and Mark Kozelek — but its full roster boasts nearly 30 clients, each of whom find a unique niche in various sectors of the industry. While the majority of the clients on that roster don’t sell more than 3,000 copies of a recording, Magierek has an understanding of their values in today’s market. “The last three releases we’ve done have all been on vinyl,” he says. “But we don’t do it on bands who we expect to sell less than 500 because it’s so cost prohibiting. If we can move 500 LPs at around cost, I’ll do it.” Five hundred LPs. That’s crazy talk for anyone with a major-label mentality (which, by the way, does not seem to make Magierek envious — he’s been down that road before as a one-time Universal music rep). Selling only 500 units of just about any band merchandise would make most big time executives vomit in their diamond encrusted Cheerios and send said “failing” band packing. But bands aren’t just flocking to homes like Badman because they can’t sell 500,000 copies of a record — they’re doing so because of Magierek’s reason behind supporting the small peanuts of the industry. “I love having LPs around,” he says simply. “And bands love them. A label doing an LP for a band is way to

make a band happy. Even if it loses a little bit of money, it’s important to keep your bands happy.”

D

id consumers suddenly have a collective moment of clarity and convince themselves it was time to start buying vinyl in mass quantities again? Not exactly. By most accounts, the digital industry has actually set itself up for revisiting the analog medium.

“The most interesting side of vinyl to me is that it’s wrapped up into the whole moving from vertical to horizontal nature of what’s going on in the music business at this time,” says Steve Dixon, president of Red Eye Distribution corporation, whose catalog of over 3,000 titles makes them one of the largest independent distributors of physical and digital music in the country. “Which is to say ten years ago, there was sort of like one thing [CDs]. The horizontaling of the music business is that you can buy [music] however you want it and that’s what I like. I like having these different formats available, and I like the fact that you can buy it on an online store or buy it at a physical store or buy it direct from the artists’ website. It’s a little bit more decentralized but it offers a lot more variety to match the product, vinyl included, to whatever the fans want.” The last decade has proven “whatever the fans want” is the central pillar to music sales of the future. When vinyl sales declined during the rise of the CD, it was what the fans wanted. When CDs faltered in the face of downloading and digital sales, it was what the fans wanted. Now, fans seem to demand any and every format. “I think we’ll see more of that, like record companies and artists especially trying to cater their offering to their fan base,” says Dixon. “If the fans want a box set of 45s they’ll do that, if they want a vinyl with a download card they’ll do that, if they want it on CD they’ll do that. There will be these cool offerings and I think that the fan choice aspect of it is good and I think that vinyl has added to that equation.” It’s becoming a fairly normal to see music industry profit statements colored in red. It’s a loser. A worsening flop. But is really as bad as it seems? Yes and no. Total music sales in 2008 – Vinyl, CD, digital albums and digital singles – actually rose a substantial 10% from similar figures in 2007. However, full album

sales (digital or CD) got hit with a 14 percent decrease from the year before, pointing to digital single sales being the biggest work horse of the industry — leading many artists and labels to encourage a hand-in-hand growth of vinyl while still appealing to Generation Y with free downloads included in such a purchase. “If you get a vinyl album with a download card on it when you purchase that format, you own the whole record,” says Dixon. “You can burn a whole CD of it, you can put it on your computer, you can put it in your iPod, you can play it on your vinyl player, you know. It allows you not to have to buy something twice in order to have it on the format that you might want, whereas if you buy a CD, you’re stuck with not having the vinyl option. If you want the vinyl option you have to go and buy it again.” Whatever the reason, consumers are buying records – but the question remains: From where? The internet seems a likely source, since so many purchases now can be made with a simple point and click. Not so much on the Internet, but rather in your local “mom & pop” record stores. While this is a delightful thought to the Brendan Tollers of the world, it’s really about the least surprising detail of 2008 vinyl sales to learn that 2 of every 3 records sold were done so in an independent store.

“You don’t have vinyl at Wal-Mart, Target and such,” says Mike Turner, the brains behind Athens, Ga., label Happy Happy Birthday To Me Records. “Well, Best Buy is jumping into vinyl, but if they aren’t careful (and they won’t be) it could put them in the same spot it put Tower (Records) where they had loads of vinyl and no one to sell it (to).” Turner’s credentials surpass being a label head — he’s also one of the two vinyl purchasers for downtown’s own Wuxtry Records. Wuxtry (with two locations, the other being down the road in Decatur, Ga.) has been a snapshot of the American vinyl culture since opening in 1976. The melting pot of Athens’ artistic community has long fed a musical addiction for students, musicians and tourists under the watchful eye of nondescript clerks with quiet demeanors and encyclopedic knowledge about pretty much every record, CD or cassette on the racks. “Any store can just blindly order one copy of each release, but if you do that you’ll go out of business. If a store thinks it can just place records on a shelf and they will sell themselves then they will be stuck with a lot of records,” says Turner. “We take the time to listen and learn about what we bring into the store. We place orders daily, and some titles we might only buy one copy

— but others, like the new Animal Collective, of Montreal, Deerhoof, Deerhunter, etc., we will order a box lot [about 25 – 30 copies]. We deal with [nearly 30] distributors in order to carry a wider selection of vinyl.” Turner is tuned in. Owning the label helps, sure, but you can tell from his words he takes pride in carefully crafting a viable collection at Wuxtry. “Lots of things will determine what we order,” he says. “Blog coverage, Pitchfork [Media] reviews, regional or local press push, bands touring through town, customer requests, our own personal tastes, and deep back catalog.”

ere’s a fun exercise: Run outside and find as many 13 to 24-year olds as possible. It’s a safe bet most will have a cell phone plastered to the side of their face. And it’s a near certainty that if they don’t, there are two little earbuds coming out of their head leading to an iPod or their other preferred form of digital media player. In today’s music world the thought process is convenience sells. Instant gratification sells. Portability sells. Kids today don’t want anything to do with those big ol’ black discs

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mom and dad used to listen to when they were in college, right? Oddly enough, wrong. The most surprising facet of 2008’s vinyl sales is not necessarily that records are being bought in mass — it’s how many are being bought by American teenagers and young adults. “It’s so interesting for that age group (to be buying vinyl) who tends to get their music for free, and get in online with quick access,” says Badman’s big man Magierek. “They’re gonna pay $15 or $20 for an LP? I mean, it’s gonna be really difficult to copy and share that as easily. It reminds me of before I got into LP’s as a kid. I loved collecting stamps and coins. It could be somewhat related to that, but way more entertaining — there’s pop culture in it, there’s so much more depth in it. And it’s music and it could be timeless. So I can see it being a new adventure for kids.” To vinyl junkie Toller, speaking of his own age group, the exploration of something new (in something old) makes perfect sense. “I certainly think it helps to have parents that have records and they probably don’t want them anymore so [kids] can go through them. But a lot of it, too, is that there’s just not that many great acts [today], so a lot of people are able to sort of go back in time. People who are in their 20s now are just getting into The Beatles or Zeppelin. And where is the best place to get that music for cheap? At a record store.” Toller’s “looking back to look forward” theory carries some weight when just glancing the top selling vinyl list from last year. Second on the list to Radiohead’s In Rainbows (26,500 sold) is a re-issue of The Beatles 1969 masterpiece Abbey Road (16,500 sold). That is not a misprint. The two best sellers of vinyl in 2008 were Radiohead’s album they gave away digitally and a re-issue of an album that everyone’s parents already own. “That’s why I say that I don’t think there’s that many great acts that
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-issue on the list, it certainly isn’t the only one. Also putting a serious dent in ‘08’s vinyl sales were titles like Pink Floyd’s 1973 release Dark Side of the Moon, Radiohead’s 1997 record OK Computer and (prepare to scratch your head) Neutral Milk Hotel’s In The Aeroplane Over the Sea from 1998. While Mike Turner admits he’s “old enough to have a 13 year-old kid,” he’s got a bird’s-eye-view of vinyl sales from his seat behind the Wuxtry counter, and he’s quick to offer a more-than-educated guess. “I think part of it might be a bit of a disconnect with digital,” he says. “The zine, cassette and vinyl are all making a comeback right now. There is a point where it really is too easy to find things these days — and to search out an LP, cassette or zine, which is by far run in smaller numbers than say it is to blog or put MP3’s up on a MySpace, it might be the sort of thing to where they can own this culture. It’s something special that they found. Now, with buying old records, it might just be that it’s usually cheaper to buy an old Eagles, Billy Joel, Joe Jackson, Elvis Costello, or insert-name-here on vinyl than it might be to find a new or used CD.” he exact reason for the vinyl shopping spree is probably an amalgamation of all these factors. When digital is the childhood norm, you’ll need something new to push the envelope. And since the envelope is currently being pushed to its technological limit — though that will probably change any day now — kids are looking backwards for their new fix. Is it the warmer sound quality? Is it the look? The feel? The interaction? One vinyl vet offers a big clue without even trying. “Right now my favorite record in my collection is a test pressing of The Mummies Play Their Own Records,” says Turner. “Which I made a cool mummy wrapped cloth sleeve and hand drawn insert for.” Try doing that with an MP3.

MAkING SURE IT’S woRTH yoUR $9.50

uPCoMIng on thE SCREEn

ARTS &ENTERTAINMENT
DuPLICIty
(MARCH 20) (Tony Gilroy) Julia Roberts and Clive Owen play a pair of romantically linked corporate spies working for rival companies. They team up to rip off both of their bosses and score $40 million, but first, they have to learn to trust each other. PREDICTION: A “Mr. & Mrs. Smith” meets “Ocean’s Eleven”, this story’s already been done too many times to count, but with an all-star cast, the film will probably score pretty big at the box office.

I LoVE you, MAn
(MARCH 20) (John Hamburg) Peter Klaven (Paul Rudd) proposes to his girlfriend, but he doesn’t have any guy friends. He sets out to find a best man, and after a series of “man dates” he finally clicks with Sydney Fife (Jason Segel). Fife teaches Klaven how to be a man at some expense to his relationship. PREDICTION: With a cast full of the all-stars of modern comedy, this flick promises to be chock full of dirty jokes, cheap laughs and fun.

T

knoWIng
(MARCH 20) (Alex Proyas) A gripping action thriller about a professor (Nicolas Cage) who stumbles on terrifying predictions about the future in the form of a piece of paper filled with random numbers, created five decades ago by an elementary school student. As the numbers start matching up to dates and death tolls from disaster’s past, the professor sets out to prevent future disasters from coming true. PREDICTION: Looks like it could be worth your while, if you’re into the whole “end of the world” thing.

people are exposed to today, and that’s why kids are looking back to that stuff,” says Toller. “Ya know, I don’t think that (Abbey Road) number represents 40-year-olds buying Abbey Road again on vinyl.” While Abbey Road is the oldest re

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a&E DVD RELEASE CALENDAR

a&E MOVIE PREVIEWS

obSERVE & REPoRt
(APRIL 10) (Jody Hill) Seth Rogen stars in this comedy as Ronnie Barnhardt, a deceiving, self important head of mall security who hopes to one day trade his flashlight in for a badge and a gun. PREDICTION: Nothing special. It seems like this is just an R rated version of Mall Cop.

upcoming DVD RElEAsE calendar
17 AgAIn
(APRIL 17) (Burr Steers) Mike O’Donnell (Matthew Perry) finds himself 37 and miserable with his wife and two teenage kids. But Mike is given a second chance when he is magically transformed back to the age of 17 (Zac Efron), where he is thrown into high school with his two kids. PREDICTION: Looks like this film could be a real winner with all the tweenies out there.

StAtE of PLAy
(APRIL 17) (Kevin MacDonald) A star-filled cast including Ben Affleck (“Smokin’ Aces”, “He’s Just Not That Into You”), Rachel McAdams (“Wedding Crashers”, “The Family Stone”) and Russell Crowe (“Body of Lies”, “American Gangster”) is sure to take viewers through this crime thriller, based on a BBC series by the same title. In the film, a team of investigative reporters work alongside a police detective to try to solve the murder of a congressman’s wife. PREDICTION: With a solid cast and a solid plot, expect this to be a solid movie.

march

17

*Twilight *elegy

*Punisher: War Zone *rachel Getting Married

*Walled In

march
*Bolt *Big Stan *Columbus Day *Passengers *Quantum of Solace *Bedtime Stories

24
*Marley & Me *Seven Pounds *Slumdog Millionaire *The Butterfly effect

march

31

*The Cake eaters *The Grudge 3

*Timecrimes *Yes Man

thE SoLoISt
(APRIL 24) (Joe Wright) Starring Robert Downey Jr. and Jamie Foxx, The Soloist portrays the unlikely meeting and friendship of a Los Angeles journalist (Downey Jr.) and a homeless Juilliard-trained musician (Foxx), who suffers from schizophrenia. PREDICTION: Without a doubt, this one will be a must see.

CRAnk 2: hIgh VoLtAgE
(APRIL 17) (Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor) Chev Chelios (Jason Statham) faces a group of Chinese mobsters who have replaced Chelios’ almost indestructible heart and replaced it with a battery-powered ticker that needs regular jolts of electricity to keep working. PREDICTION: Don’t expect this film to bring home any Academy Awards, but do expect a lot of fast-paced and heart-pounding (haha, get it) action.

*Doubt

*The Day The earth Stood Still

*The Tale of Despereaux

*Not easily Broken

april

7

release dates are subject to change. Check movie websites as dates approach.
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PAuL RuDD

Finally admitting your bromance for Paul Rudd?

You’re not the only one.

boRn: 1969 in Passaic, NJ you knoW hIM fRoM: Clueless (1995) Cider House Rules (1999) Anchorman (2004) 40 Year-Old Virgin (2005) Knocked Up (2007)

Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008) Role Models (2008) uPCoMIng RELEASES: Monsters vs. Aliens (2009) I Love You, Man (2009)

http://visionvideo.formovies.com

We Love You, Man
by DeMarco Williams
he premise behind Paul Rudd’s latest cinematic foray, “I Love You, Man”, has him on the verge of walking down the aisle with the striking Rashida Jones. Unfortunately, there’s one snag to all the matrimonial bliss: he doesn’t have a single male friend to appoint as his best man. If you’ve followed Rudd’s career at any point over the past decade, you know that plot line has a very serious hole in it. (No, wise ass, the hole has nothing to do with anyone wanting to marry the “Clueless” costar; Rudd’s actually had that part covered in real life since 2003, thanks.) It’s the no-male-friends thing that’s so hard to believe. Rudd is like that one co-worker you have who rarely cracks a smile but always has a timely joke. What’s not to love? “I’ve been kind of a girlfriend guy,” explains Rudd, 39, of his character in the March release. “So, it starts freaking my fiancé out and freaking me out ‘cuz I never really thought
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about it. I’m going to need a best man for my wedding, so I go out and try to find a friend. Then this movie

“I’m one of those guys,” Rudd tells, “no matter how old I get, if you fart, I’m going to laugh for about ten minutes.”
-Paul Rudd-

sorta follows these conventions of a romantic comedy, but it’s between two guys. I go on man dates, blind dates. It doesn’t quite work.” What have worked in Rudd’s career are roles where he’s this Adam Sandler-like loveable loser who can never seem to get all of his ducks in a row. “Role Models”, the ’08 potty-mouthed laugher coming to DVD this month, is the most

recent example. Rudd’s memorable supporting turns in “40-Year-Old Virgin”, “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy” and “Reno 911!: Miami” also left audiences feeling bad for the chap one scene and fighting back gut-busting chuckles the next. “It’s hard to make a living in any business, whatever that is,” says the New Jersey native. “To try to do it on one’s own terms is even harder. I thought, ‘I only want to do things I really like.’ For the most part, I have been able to kinda stick to that. I mean, I have done some real clunkers in there, too. They don’t always turn out the way you hope. I’m still always amazed that people would hire me to do something in a movie. It’s a job that many people want. I just feel underqualified in almost every category.” If you’re holding your breath for Rudd to run off a list of duds he’s been a part of, don’t; instead, the new leading man offers, “If you have this feeling that, ‘Oh, this is going to be a clunker,’ more than likely it’s

going to be a clunker. The movies that I’ve worked on that I really, really liked, and seemed genuinely funny to me, in my opinion, have turned out pretty funny.” Just one week after “I Love You, Man” starts cracking up audiences on March 20, Rudd returns to the big screen – well, at least his voice does – in “Monsters vs. Aliens”, Dreamworks’ latest animated feature. “It’s strange because I feel really distant from it,” says Rudd about the kiddie flick. “You go to work one day for a few hours in a sound stage and, six months later, you go do another thing. It’s really isolated. I don’t really work with any of the other people in the movie ‘cuz it’s all just vocal. I will see that movie and it will be very strange. I’m a character in it but I don’t know what to expect. I’m really looking forward to seeing it.” Knowing Rudd’s recent box-office track record (five of six of his last major releases earned $60 million-plus), the general public probably feels the same way. There’s just something about the guy that we all love. Maybe it’s the effortless cynicism. Might be his spot-on comedic timing. It could just be that the man is just like us. “I’m one of those guys,” Rudd tells, “no matter how old I get, if you fart, I’m going to laugh for about ten minutes.” Duuude, us too! B

AVAILABLE 3/31

Screen shots from “Monsters vs. Aliens” (top, bottom left) and “I Love You, Man” (above right)

749 W. BROAD ST. 706.543.7701 2301 COLLEGE STATION RD. 706.549.6900 2405 JEFFERSON RD. 706.227.2299

what you see
is what you get
Paula Poundstone returns to Athens

C

elebrating 30 years as a comedian, Paula Poundstone continues to hone her craft, with her razor-sharp wit, candid take on circumstance and unassuming improvisation. This veteran road warrior, TV star and celebrated author doesn’t fear the newcomers to comedy. The younger guys jump at the chance

to share the stage with her for one brief moment at the mic in front of her following. There’s no competition between the older generation and the newbies; there’s just pure, unadulterated comedy, and Poundstone remains ever quirky and relevant.

“I have an intelligent audience that responds to things of certain humanity,” said Poundstone, who brings her show to The Classic Center Theater in downtown Athens on Thursday, March 26. “I’ve had a nice, sustained career that I am truly grateful for with a steady stream of younger fans. I love the audience; they are very special.” A CableACE and Emmy Award winner, Poundstone has built a career that’s anything but ordinary, with HBO specials, a show on ABC, numerous appearances on primetime programs (including “Hollywood Squares” and “To Tell The Truth”), a comedy feature on BRAVO, voiceover work for shows on Cartoon Network and ABC and a panel position on a highly acclaimed news quiz show on National Public Radio (NPR). “‘Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me!’ on NPR is so much fun to do. The audiences are great and people often listen from home and respond,” said Poundstone. “One lady told me that I just helped her do her laundry. The idea that I could lighten anyone’s ‘load’ is pretty flattering.” Jumping on a Greyhound bus at 19 to pursue an opportunity as a dancing bear in the Disney parade in Orlando, Poundstone found herself instead “busing” at the local IHOP and never staying in the same place for more than two or three months at a time. “A year in any one place seemed like too long of a time at that age,” said Poundstone. “I didn’t quit school to pursue comedy, I just quit.” Growing up in Sudbury, Massachusetts, Poundstone moved to Boston in 1979 to develop her stand-up routine on the open mic circuit. Later relocating to California, she began to flourish on stage in San Francisco and was eventually cast in the movie “Hyperspace” in 1984 in Los Angeles. Billed as the film’s star, Poundstone instead referred to herself as the “squeaky wheel” of the production. Though the roots of her success are in local comedy clubs, Poundstone’s preference these days bends toward the local community theater. “It’s a great welcoming card when your audience is in their seats and they’re there, ready to laugh,” said Poundstone. “I don’t care for the interruption of

the waitresses and the food in a club, but I do still have a soft spot for the atmosphere.” Given her stint on the “Tonight Show” with Jay Leno providing political commentary for the presidential election in 1992 and again in 1996 on the “Rosie O’Donnell Show”, Poundstone was chosen as the first woman to ever perform at the White House Correspondents’ dinner.
“I have an interest in politics, but I am not an expert on politics,”

I didn’t think that it touched me.
not a huge activist; maybe I should be.”
“I have an interest in politics, but I am not an expert on politics,” said Poundstone. “I don’t insist that I’m right, but I am open to the possibility that I’m wrong. In my early years I didn’t think that it touched me. Now it’s of daily importance. I’m not a huge activist — maybe I should be.” Though her comedy material always touches on the political climate of the time, Poundstone surmises that her act is a total autobiography, featuring the topics that peak her daily interest. While public transportation and busing tables seemed to dominate her early comedic career, these days she’s more focused on anti-aging treatments and weight loss tactics — citing that vomiting should be an honorable event, not a side effect from the latest augmentation. A suit with a tie have long served as an image piece for her persona, but Poundstone claims the wardrobe actually functions as camouflage for wearing the same shirt for an extended length of time. When asked if it’s easy to separate

said Poundstone. “In my early years

daily importance.
I’m

Now it’s of

her “stage life” from her “personal life,” Poundstone simply cites that she can’t turn it off. “What you see is what you get,” she said. “I’m annoying. I can’t do a parentteacher conference — I dominate the conversation.” This single mother of three adopted children was recently named the national spokesperson for Friends of Libraries U.S.A. (FOLUSA) — a citizen support group that helps raise money for local libraries, children’s summer reading programs, author events and equipment needs. Along with her high school math teacher, Faye Ruopp, Poundstone has also authored a series of math textbooks for children entitled The Sticky Problem of Parallelogram Pancakes, Venn Can We Be Friends? and You Can’t Keep A Good Slope Down. Poundstone — who says her first book, There’s Nothing In This Book That I Meant To Say, took nine years to write – has contracted for another book due to her publisher in a year. She doubts she’ll make her deadline; she remarks her publisher shouldn’t find this surprising. “Writing books is a grueling act for me,” said Poundstone. “You have to continually come up with characters and situations and say stuff about yourself…I talk to my fans on Facebook. I’m tagged on all the social networking sites.” Excited about her upcoming appearance at The Classic Center Theatre, Poundstone last appeared in Athens in October 1997 at the University of Georgia as a part of their pre-homecoming festivities. “I once performed at an AIDs fundraiser in San Francisco where I shared a big stage with Linda Ronstadt and Shirley McClain,” said Poundstone. “At the time I felt like a little ‘club person’…Now, there’s really no difference to me between the crowd at the theater or the club — there’s just a difference in the way I can communicate with them.” — Luanne Byrd
Paula Poundstone is the last performance of the season in The Classic Center’s Comedy Series. Tickets for the March 26 show at 9 p.m. are priced from $10 to $40. For tickets or information please call 706.357.4444, visit www. classiccenter.com or stop by The Classic Center Box Office at 300 N. Thomas St. in downtown Athens.

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MEALS foR youR MoRE wAyS To
pINcH pENNIES wITH yoUR GRocERy LIST
By Jacquie Brasher

JERK CHICKEN • JERK PORK • BBQ CHICKEN • SPICY CABBAGE • SPICY SQUASH • MACARONI AND CHEESE • CORNBREAD & TEA INCLUDED WITH MEAL !!!
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The Joys of ramen Noodles
I consider myself the Ramen Noodle Queen. There haven’t been many ramen noodle packets that I have spurned. I’ve eaten these yellow squiggly squares of deliciousness ever since I was old and tall enough to work a stove. And, by the way, it’s pronounced RAH-mun, not Raymond. These noodles can sustain you during some pretty brutal days when you feel no one loves you. Well, the ramen noodle loves you, and here are some innovative ways to eat it. This brings me to a very simple and wonderful ramen dish I call: The Buffalo Chicken Noodle. You can count the ingredients on one hand. This was discovered quite by accident, and, by the way, is a great hangover cure.

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Buffalo Chicken Noodle for One
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1 packet ramen noodles, chicken flavor 1 slice Kraft American cheese 1 teaspoon Texas Pete hot sauce

Directions:

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Put the required amount of water in a saucepan. Bring water to boil. Add noodles and stir. Reduce heat so nothing boils over. Add flavor packet. Stir. Add the slice of American cheese. Stir until dissolved. Add the hot sauce. Stir some more. Remove from saucepot into bowl. Serve piping hot. Slurp and enjoy. Note: You can add more or less hot sauce depending on your wimp factor. Also, please do not try to substitute with real cheese. The effect won’t be the same, and the cheese will clump up on you. No, this recipe calls for the blissfully less-than-pristine processed kind that dissolves.

DO
SE R V IN

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eat your Greens
If you like broccoli and cheese, this next recipe will be similar, just with noodles:

Drop it Like its hot
If you like Egg Drop Soup, you’ll like this one. I taught it to a college friend of mine who, from that day on, always told anyone who was cooking ramen noodles to “drop an egg in it!”

Broccoli and Cheese Chicken & Mushroom Noodles
1 packet ramen noodles, chickenmushroom flavor 1 slice Kraft American cheese ½ cup chopped raw or cooked broccoli florets

Drop-An-Egg-In-It Noodles
1 packet ramen noodle, chicken, pork or Oriental flavor 1 egg 1 stalk green onion, chopped A dash of sesame oil (optional)

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Directions:

Prepare the noodles. After noodles are soft, add the broccoli and American cheese. Stir for about 2-3 minutes. Serve hot. Note: I use raw broccoli, because I have an aversion to mushy veggies. If you like broccoli raw, use it raw. If not, boil your broccoli in the water for about 2 minutes before you add the noodles.

Directions:

Prepare ramen noodles as directed. While that cooks, crack an egg in a bowl and whisk slightly. After noodles are gently boiling, add the egg and stir until “clouds” of egg form. Pour into a bowl. Garnish with the chopped green onion and dash of sesame oil. Serve very hot.

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Cravin’ Asian?
Ramen noodles can also be used as a base for just about any kind of Asian noodle recipe.Here’s one that’s pretty easy to make.

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Spicy Beefy Noodles with Vegetables
2 packets ramen noodle, Oriental flavor ½ cup of thinly sliced roast beef ½ cup shredded cabbage or Romaine lettuce ½ jalapeno pepper, chopped finely Dash of sesame oil (optional)

Exemplar WIne Selection

Directions:

Add the jalapeno pepper to the water with the noodles and spice packets. When noodles come to a boil, add the cabbage or Romaine. Stir into the noodles until vegetables are tender, but not limp. Add the roast beef and stir into the noodles and vegetables. Pour into bowls, sprinkle with sesame oil, and serve immediately. Serves two people, or one person with a big appetite. If you don’t want to use roast beef, you can substitute with cooked chicken or pork.

a bowl of ramen noodles. The trick is to match the flavor packet with the leftovers that you’re adding to it. For example, if you have leftover scrambled eggs, you can add that to any ramen noodle flavor. however, if you’ve got leftover pork, chicken or beef, mix them with the corresponding flavor packets. Like any respectable Vulcan would say, it’s just logical. have ramen and prosper!

Think of ramen noodles as a canvas, and you’re the hungry artist. You can add just about any kind of leftovers to

pasta made fresh daily

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on the town

see your photos here!
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pHoToS By SANdRA GALLARdo, GEoff poSS of vIII EAST GRApHIcS, LIZ BoESLER, ALEc woodEN, NIcoLE BLAck

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pHoToS By SANdRA GALLARdo, GEoff poSS of vIII EAST GRApHIcS, LIZ BoESLER, ALEc woodEN, NIcoLE BLAck

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concert shots
1 2 3 5 6 4

on the stage

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7

7 8 10

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Anyway, it’s better to wake up next to

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jazzchronic @ Nowhere Bar (Alec wooden) Mother jackson @ 40 watt (daniel peiken) Appetite for destruction @ Georgia Theatre (Sandra Gallardo) ) vic chesnutt and Andrew Reiger (daniel peiken) None More Black Repertory company performance @ canopy Studios (dorothy kozlowski) Bobby compton Band @ Tasty world (Alec wooden) Sugarland @ 40 watt (kim jones) jazzchronic @ Nowhere Bar (Alec wooden) Tin cup prophet (daniel peiken) . Modern Skirts @ 40 watt (claire Boozer) The premonitions @ flicker Bar (Liz Boesler) Elf power @ 40 watt (daniel peiken) Sugarland @ 40 watt (kim jones) Madeline Adams @ Go Bar (claire Boozer) patterson Hood and friends @ farm 255 (daniel peiken)

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BluR EVENT CALENDAR

BluR EVENT CALENDAR

go aheadin:athens and my date make atlanta upcoming events
AthEnS
March 17
Resident Patient, kinetic Stereokids, uncle owen Aunt beru Caledonia Lounge, 9:30 p.m., $5 the ugA Law School talent Review 40 Watt, 8 p.m., tickets TBA A Very Special terrapin tuesday St. Patrick’s Day celebration with Short Road home and green flag The Melting Point, 7:30 p.m., $5/adv., 18+ bloodkin, backyard tire fire 40 Watt, 9 p.m., $5 Monthly Jazz Series with SQuAt The Melting Point, 6 p.m., $5, All Ages Cinemachanica, Medications, Edie Sedgwick Caledonia Lounge, 10 p.m., $6 terrapin tuesday bluegrass feat. the Suggins brothers The Melting Point, 7 p.m., $3,18+ Val Emmich with Sons of William The Melting Point, 9 p.m., $ 8/adv. ,18+ Chairlift, yacht, Acrylics 40 Watt, 9 p.m., $10/adv. Live Well Alibi Saloon, 9 p.m., Free the Arcs, the Jack burton, Vincas Caledonia Lounge, 10 p.m., $5/$7>21

kort McCumber & McCumberland gap The Melting Point, 7 p.m., $3,

Diamondback Alibi Saloon, 9 p.m., $3 A. Armada, the bronzed Chorus, o’brother, Rova zetella Caledonia Lounge, 9:30 p.m., $5 Pigs on the Wing-Pink floyd tribute Georgia Theatre, 10 p.m., $10

April 20
Dinosaur Jr. 40 Watt, 9 p.m., $16/adv. north Mississippi Allstars with hill County Review Georgia Theatre, 9 p.m., $15/adv.

Georgia Theatre, 9:30 p.m., $12/adv.

April 1
Matt & kim, Chrissakes 40 Watt, 9 p.m., $10/adv. Slightly Stoopid Georgia Theatre, 9 p.m., $20/adv.

April 23
DJ Logic and the new Mastersounds with Moon taxi Georgia Theatre, 10 p.m., $12 adv.

April 21
Dengue fever, Chica Libre 40 Watt, 9 p.m., $10/adv.

April 24
Dubconscious and the fuzzy Sprouts Georgia Theatre, 10 p.m., $10 the normaltown flyers 30th Anniversary Concert The Melting Point, 8 p.m., $12, 18+

April 2
Copeland, this Providence, Paper Route, brooke Waggoner 40 Watt, 8 p.m., $20/adv. the Plague, Solar Caledonia Lounge, 10 p.m., $5/$7>21

April 10
tracer bullet Alibi Saloon, 9 p.m., Free Allison Weiss, Casper & the Cookies, Spring tigers 40 Watt, 9 p.m., $5 21+, $7<21 Abbey Road Live Georgia Theatre, 9 p.m., $10

March 20
StS9 Georgia Theatre, 9 p.m., SOLD OUT Albatross Alibi Saloon, 9 p.m., Free the Empties, Dropsonic Caledonia Lounge, 10 p.m., $5

April 22
Manchester orchestra, fun, Audrey Sessions 40 Watt, 9 p.m., $10/adv. “funkman” tour feat. Del the funky homosapien, Mike RElm, bukue one, and Serendipity Project

March 25
An Evening with the gene Ween band 40 Watt, 9 p.m., $15/adv. Sound horses, these Are Powers (ex-Liars), untied States Caledonia Lounge, 10 p.m., $7/$9>21 John Straw’s Wednesday blues with RoCkIn JAkE The Melting Point, 8 p.m., $5

March 28
butch Walker, Ponderosa 40 Watt, 9 p.m., $20/adv. ghostland observatory Georgia Theatre, 10 p.m., $20/adv. James hunter Alibi Saloon, 9 p.m., $3 the gourds CD release party The Melting Point, 9 p.m., $15/adv., 18+

April 3
hillary Lindsey Songwriters in the Round presented by the tumornators (benefiting the Children’s tumor foundation) The Melting Point, 7:30 p.m., $17/adv., 18+ blake Whitworth & friends Alibi Saloon, 9p.m., Free Rehab Georgia Theatre, 9 p.m., $15/adv. night Moves gold, Excalibrah and Lil flip Scoldjah, Cassavetes, DJ Mb Caledonia Lounge, 10 p.m., $5/$7>21

March 18
takka takka, Sister Suri, birds & Wire Caledonia Lounge, 10 p.m., $5 John Straws blues Series feat. blues Crossing The Melting Point, 8 p.m., $5, 18 +

March 21
StS9 Georgia Theatre, 9 p.m., SOLD OUT Vh1 Save the Music benefit Concert featuring: behind the Sun (RhCP tribute band) El Scorcho (Weezer tribute band) 40 Watt, 9:30 p.m., $6 the big Don band Alibi Saloon, 9 p.m., Free karbomb, So It goes, bastard Suns, APob Caledonia Lounge, 10 p.m., $5

April 11
Southern Soul Alibi Saloon, 9 p.m., $3 Lazer/Wulf, All that March, kill Lebanon 40 Watt, 9 p.m., $7 nautilus Georgia Theatre, 10 p.m., $5

March 26
the hEAP Deluxe P-funk cover show with Snarky Puppy Georgia Theatre, 10 p.m., $10 Dead Confederate, Summerbirds in the Cellar, the Interns, Appomattux 40 Watt, 9 p.m., $7/adv.

March 29
Ari hest, tim brantley, David koon The Melting Point, 8 p.m., $8/adv., 18+

March 19
bloodkin, backyard tire fire 40 Watt, 9 p.m., $5 StS9 Georgia Theatre, 9 p.m., SOLD OUT Pastor of Muppets Caledonia Lounge, 10 p.m., $5/$7>21

April 13
the hoot The Melting Point, 7:30 p.m., Free, All Ages

March 31
Emmitt-nershi band with town Mountain Georgia Theatre, 9 p.m., $12/adv. terrapin tuesday bluegrass feat.

March 24
Vetiver, Larkin grimm 40 Watt, 9 p.m., $10/adv.

March 27
boombox Georgia Theatre, 10 p.m., $10/adv.

April 15
benjy Davis Project Georgia Theatre, 10 p.m., $7

April 4
the Whigs, Dark Meat, the Sammies 40 Watt, 9 p.m., $15/adv.

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BluR EVENT CALENDAR

BluR EVENT CALENDAR

April 25
fester’s farm Alibi Saloon, 9 p.m., Free the Jimmy herring band The Melting Point, 9 p.m., $20, 18+

March 18
Victor Wooten & J.D. blair Variety Playhouse, 8:30p.m., $22.50/adv. Quench, Royal family, We Won’t Stop, Stone fox The Drunken Unicorn, $6 the bowmans, Julia Rose, korby Lenker Eddie’s Attic, 8 p.m., $10/ adv., $50 tables Delta Moons Side Porch, Special guest: Col. bruce hampton Smith’s Olde Bar, 7 p.m., $8/ adv.

March 21
Ani Difranco, Special guest: toshi Reagon Variety Playhouse, 8:30 p.m., $36 fishhawk, today the Moon tomorrow the Sun, Weep The Drunken Unicorn, $10/ adv. bobby yang Eddie’s Attic, Early Show: 7 p.m., ALL AGES, Late Show: 9:30 pm 21+ ONLY, $12 adv./$60 tables boombox Smith’s Olde Bar, 8 p.m., $12/adv.

Comedy night hosted by Alyssa barnett & Jessica Rose Eddie’s Attic, 7:30 p.m., $10/ $50 tables the gourds Stimulus Package Smith’s Olde Bar, 8 p.m., $15/adv (2 for 1)

March 27
Devil Wears Prada, A Day to Remember, Sky Eats Airplane, Emarosa Masquerade-Heaven, 6 p.m., $16/adv. Punch brothers Variety Playhouse, 8:30 p.m., $20 zoroaster “Voice of Saturn” CD Release Show, hell Comes to town, Subrig Destroyer The Drunken Unicorn, $7/ adv. Ari hest, tim brantley, nick niespodziani (of Y-O-U) Eddie’s Attic, 8p.m., $12 adv./$60 tables

8 p.m., $42.50/adv. Cowboy Envy Eddie’s Attic, 5 p.m., $5 Children / $8 Adults / $40 tables guggenheim grotto Eddie’s Attic, 8 p.m., $12 adv./ $15 at the door / $60 tables

The Five Spot, 8:30 p.m., $15/adv. the Last Waltz Ensemble Smith’s Olde Bar, 8 p.m., $20/adv. Rebuilt Records Presents: the good fight, bethany Dick, bonnie bishop, Paul Reeves, Jason harwell Eddie’s Attic, 8 p.m., $10 adv./$50 tables

Jeffrey bützer CD Release Show, A fight to the Death, Dancer Vs. Politician The Drunken Unicorn, $5 Dumpstaphunk Smith’s Olde Bar, 8 p.m., $15/adv. Record Release: Michelle Malone, nathan beaver & Ryan Rockitt Eddie’s Attic, Early Show: 7:00pm, Late Show: 9:30p.m., $18/adv.

April 28
Steve kimock Crazy Engine Georgia Theatre, 10 p.m., $20 terrapn tuesday bluegrass feat. Spring Creek The Melting Point, 7 p.m., $3

March 25
bang Camaro Masquerade-Hell, 7 p.m., $12/adv. butch Walker and his gang of Musical Melodymakers Variety Playhouse, 8 p.m., $26.50/adv. Phosphorescent, Deer tick The Drunken Unicorn, $8/ adv. Val Emmich, Sons of William, Pete & J Smith’s Olde Bar, 8 p.m., $8/ adv. kaiser Cartel, Clarence bucaro, Judd & Maggie Eddie’s Attic, 8 p.m., $10 adv./$50 tables

March 30
the Presets, the golden filter Masquerade-Heaven, 8 p.m., $16/adv.

April 4
Destruction, krisiun, Mantic Ritual Masquerade-Hell, 7 p.m., $15/adv. Afro Cuban All Stars Variety Playhouse, 8 p.m., $25/adv.

April 7
Robyn hitchcock & the Venus 3 Variety Playhouse, 8 p.m., $17.50/adv. Jimmie’s Chicken Shack Smith’s Olde Bar, 8 p.m., $12

March 31
the k-Macks, the Daniel, Lee band, Chip greene Smith’s Olde Bar, 7 p.m., $5 Dylan Sneed, Ellis Eddie’s Attic, 8 p.m., $10 adv./ $50 tables

April 29
Robert Randolph and the family band Georgia Theatre, 9 p.m., $ 20/adv. John Straw’s Wednesday blues feat. the Deacon brandon Reeves The Melting Point, 8 p.m., $5, 18+

March 19
Cadillac Sky, Jeff & Vida Eddie’s Attic, 8 p.m., $15/ adv., $75 tables WILx, 3 foot Swagger Smith’s Olde Bar, 8 p.m., $8 adv.

March 22
Dave Daniels & the PtA, x.o.x.o., It’s Elephants Smith’s Olde Bar, 7 p.m., $8/ adv. Jimmy Robbins, Mark Rose Eddie’s Attic, 2 p.m., $10 adv./$50 tables Darol Angers, Republic of Strings, featuring Scott nygaard With special guests: Curley Maple & David blackmon Eddie’s Attic, 8 p.m., $15 adv./$75 tables

March 28
kottonmouth kings, La Coka nostra featuring Everlast, Ill bill Masquerade-Heaven, 7 p.m., $20/adv. Raphael Saadiq Variety Playhouse, 8:30 p.m., $23.50/adv. bloodkin, turtle folk Smith’s Olde Bar, 8 p.m., $10/adv. Peter karp & Sue foley, Denice franke Eddie’s Attic, 8 p.m., $12 adv./$60 tables Last november Masquerade-Hell, 8 p.m., $8/adv.

April 1
garrett Moore Eddie’s Attic, 8 p.m., $12 adv. /$60 tables

March 20
Almost kings, SubCam, bob Masquerade-Heaven, 7 p.m., $10/adv. golden, Sun Domingo, Adam Levy Eddie’s Attic, 8 p.m., $10 adv. / $13 at the door / $50 tables boombox Smith’s Olde Bar, 8 p.m., $12/adv. groovestain, ballyhoo! Masquerade-Hell, 7 p.m., $8/adv.

AtLAntA
March 17
there for tomorrow Masquerade-Heaven, 7 p.m., $15/adv. Adele Variety Playhouse, 8p.m., SOLD OUT obits, bear hands, the orphans The Drunken Unicorn, $10 the buddy o’Reilly band Eddie’s Attic, 8 p.m., $10

April 2
neko Case, Crooked fingers Variety Playhouse, 8 p.m., $25 Papa Mali, Special guest: Lefty Williams Smith’s Olde Bar, 8 p.m., $12/adv. John McCutcheon, Chuck brodsky Eddie’s Attic, 8 p.m., $20 adv./$100 tables

March 26
Cut Copy, Matt & kim, knightlife Masquerade-Heaven, 7 p.m., $20/adv. the original Wailers Variety Playhouse, 8:30 p.m., $20/adv. tab benoit, olde Dog Smith’s Old Bar, 8 p.m., $17.50/adv. Darrell Scott, Caroline herring Eddie’s Attic, 8 p.m., $20 adv./$100 tables

March 24
Emmure, Winds of Plague, terror, All Shall Perish, Abacabb Masquerade-Heaven, 6:30 p.m., $15/adv. Say hi, this Piano Plays Itself The Drunken Unicorn, $8/

March 29
Chick Corea & John McLaughlin five Peace band Variety Playhouse, 5 p.m. &

April 3
that 1 guy

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ATHENS BLUR MAGAZINE

April 10
great Lake Swimmers The EARL, 8 p.m., $12 the brian Jonestown Massacre, the flavor Crystal Variety Playhouse, 8:30 p.m., $15/adv. Mama’s Love, free Lunch, the hypsys Smith’s Olde Bar, 8 p.m., $8 Record Release and 60th birthday Celebration: kodac harrison Eddie’s Attic, 9:30 p.m. / doors at 9 p.m., $10 adv.

April 16
Jimmy buffett and the Coral Reefers Lakewood Ampitheatre, 8 p.m. Silverstein, blessthefall, norma Jean, before their Eyes Masquerade-Heaven, 7 p.m., $18/adv. hoots & hellmouth, DiEL Eddie’s Attic, 8 p.m., $10/ adv.

Drew holcomb Eddie’s Attic, 7 p.m., $10 adv. Adrianne, kyler England Eddie’s Attic 9:30 p.m., $12 adv.

April 26
bruce Springsteen Phillip’s Arena, 7:30 p.m., $69-$99 Robin & Linda Williams & their fine group Eddie’s Attic, 4 p.m., $20 adv. tommy talton, Caroline Aiken Eddie’s Attic, 8 p.m., $12 adv.

OW N

PE O

N!

NO

W

OP

EN

!

April 19
Jeffrey gaines, naked blue Eddie’s Attic, 8 p.m., $15 adv.

April 21
Voltaire Masquerade-Hell, 8 p.m., $14/adv. John Scofield Piety Street band Variety Playhouse, 8 p.m., $22.50/adv.

April 17
Stokeswood, Josh Robert & the hinges Masquerade-Hell, 7p.m., $8/adv. family force 5, 3oh!3, the Maine, hit the Lights, A Rocket to the Moon Masquerade-Heaven, 6 p.m., $15/adv. big head todd & the Monsters Variety Playhouse, 8:30 p.m., $26/adv. Jennifer Daniels, naked blue Eddie’s Attic, 8 p.m., $12 adv.

April 28
fleetwood Mac Phillip’s Arena, 8 p.m., $49.50-$149.50 tim Reynolds & tR3, Shaun hopper Smith’s Olde Bar, 9 p.m., $15/adv. (Discount w/ Dave Matthews ticket stub) Comedy night Eddie’s Attic, 7:30 p.m., $10

Everything Adult for A Passionate World

April 11
Pnuma trio Masquerade-Hell, 9 p.m., $15/adv. Saffire-the uppity blues Women Variety Playhouse, 8:30 p.m., $20/adv. the hot Rods, the Pretty things Peep Show, the Creeping Cruds, the Downtown Executives Smith’s Olde Bar, 9 p.m., $10/adv. the brilliant Inventions, Luke brindley, gilda Sue Rosenstern Eddie’s Attic, 8 p.m., $12 adv.

April 22
Doria Roberts Eddie’s Attic, 8 p.m., $10 adv.

April 29
Cross Canadian Ragweed Variety Playhouse, 8 p.m., $18/adv.

April 23
Dehlia Low Eddie’s Attic, 8 p.m., $12 adv.

Books Ma azines

April 18
We the kings, forever the Sickest kids, the Cab, never Shout never Masquerade-Heaven, 6 p.m., $17.50/adv. the faint, Ladytron Variety Playhouse, 8:30 p.m., $25/adv. Collective Efforts, noot d noot Smith’s Olde Bar, 8 p.m., $10/adv.

April 24
Lord t & Eloise Smith’s Olde Bar, 8 p.m., $10/adv. Alice Peacock, John Paul White Eddie’s Attic, 8 p.m., $12 adv.

April 15
Lily Allen Variety Playhouse, 8 p.m., $25/adv. Alejandro Escovedo Eddie’s Attic, 8 p.m., $22.50 adv./ $112.50 tables

Calendar listings are subject to change. Listed prices may be for advance tickets only, and listed times are door times of the given shows. We suggest you call ahead before heading out! Hey bands! Got a calendar listing? Send it to editorial@athensblur.com and include the following:Name of the Act(s), venue, door time and price.

April 25
the new Mastersounds, DJ Logic Smith’s Olde Bar, 8 p.m., $15/adv.

Gaines School Shoppes • 50 Gaines School Rd. • Athens, GA 30606

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No One Under 18 Admitted Photo ID Required

“Sexy Suz Adult Emporium is formerly known as Experience Adult Fantasy Store.”

store.sexy-suz.com

BluR MUSICSCOPES

what’s your
(12/22-01/19) Don’t let a bad show get you feeling down about yourself or your ability to play music. Spend some extra time practicing and everyone will notice the difference.

CAPRICORN

Musicscope?
(01/20-02/18) release your stress through songwriting this month, even if writing lyrics isn’t your forte. You may surprise yourself once you pick up a pen and start.

Astrology for Musicians
by MISS TERIOUS

AQUARIUS

(02/19-03/20) A quarrel amongst yourself and fellow band members could end in an inevitable break up. Watch carefully for the signs to happen this month.

PISCES

THE HEAP P FUNK TRIBUTE SHOW

(03/21-04/19) Time to wipe the dust of that bass and get the band back together this month! You’ll be amazed that everyone else in the band was thinking the same thing!

ARIES

(04/20-05/20) Be cautious around the middle of the month. You may find yourself distracted by the beauty of a fan in the front row and foolishly fall off the stage.

TAURUS

CANCER

(06/22-07/22) No matter how sick you’re feeling before an upcoming show, do not cancel on your band members — if so, they may be the ones cancelling on you.

(09/23-10/23) Your heart will be broken this month by a significant other. heal yourself by writing the best song to date about your sorrow. This could end up being the hit single you’ve been waiting for.
80 ATHENS BLUR MAGAZINE

LIBRA

(07/23-08/22) Practice may seem like it’s turning more into play time to you and you may be feeling frustrated with everyone. Turn things around by having a quick band meeting to voice your concerns.

LEO

(05/21-06/21) hard work does pay off and the hours of rehearsal you have been putting in lately will help elevate your band to a new level and expose yourselves to new fans. But don’t let it go to your head!

GEMINI

MARCH 26

BOOMBOX

GHOSTLAND OBSERVATORY

EMMITT NERSHI BAND

MARCH 27

MARCH 28

MARCH 31

SLIGHTLY STOOPID

APRIL 1

REHAB APRIL 3

PINK FLOYD TRIBUTE

PIGS ON THE WING:

ABBEY ROAD LIVE!

APRIL 4

APRIL 10

(08/23-09/22) Don’t freak out when your band dumps you this month. A greater opportunity will become available a few weeks after your breakup.

VIRGO

NAUTILUS APRIL 11

BENJY DAVIS PROJECT

NORTH MISS. ALL STARS

BRANTLEY GILBERT

APRIL 14

APRIL 17

APRIL 18

(10/24-11/21) You’re feeling musically stale lately. Luckily, a muse will come into your life around the 10th of the month, helping to inspire you to get back in the groove.

SCORPIO

(11/22-12/21) A person who can help your band along will be in attendance at an upcoming show. Be prepared to rock your heart out during each performance!

SAGITTARIUS

DJ LOGIC W/ THE NEW MASTERSOUNDS

DUBCONSCIOUS

STEVE KIMOCK CRAZY ENGINE

ROBERT RANDOLPH & THE FAMILY BAND

APRIL 23

APRIL 24

APRIL 28

APRIL 29

For complete schedule & pricing, check www.georgiatheatre.com

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