COLORBEARER OF ATHENS, GEORGIA LOCALLY OWNED SINCE 1987

Blog posts by Gordon Lamb

  • Flagpole at SXSW: The Mega-Fest Finds Its Chill

    Blog: Homedrone

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    Photo Credit: Mike White

    Denzel Curry

    SXSW in 2017 is, by far, the most chill it’s been in years. The biggest difference this year is a marked reduction in the number of previously huge free and public day parties. Longstanding, multi-day events like the Hype Hotel (presented by music blog aggregator The Hype Machine), Spotify House, Mess With Texas and others didn't happen this year. Even the hugely influential and exceedingly popular Fader Fort reduced its footprint from accommodating several thousand to merely a few hundred after losing its previously held location.

  • Flagpole at SXSW: Sammy Hagar Talks Guy Fieri, Cabo Wabo, Pussy Riot

    Blog: Homedrone

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    I don't know what I was thinking.

  • Jason Thrasher Launches Crowdfunding Campaign for 'Athens Potluck' Book

    Blog: Culture Briefs

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    Photo Credit: Jason Thrasher

    Jill Carnes, from the "Athens Potluck" series.

    Photographer Jason Thrasher has already had a lot of success with his "Athens Potluck" project. He's exhibited at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport and opened at the Georgia Theatre. It seems everyone in town has heard of his series of local-music photos, the central conceit of which is that each person photographed suggested the next subject, and on and on.

  • Flagpole at SXSW: Buzz Aldrin Speaks

    Blog: Homedrone

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    Photo Credit: Mike White

    It's both sad and fascinating that, for all the promotion STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and STEAM (the same, but with arts) education has gotten over the past two decades, only a slight handful of college-age acquaintances showed any sign of recognition when I said I was gonna see astronaut Edwin Eugene “Buzz” Aldrin Jr. do a live talk with writer Jeffrey Kluger.

  • 'Georgia Reads' Series Kicks off Saturday With Party Out of Bounds Panel at Avid

    Blog: Homedrone

    Avid Bookshop and the University of Georgia Press are teaming up with Georgia Public Broadcasting and National Endowment for the Humanities affiliate Georgia Humanities to launch a "virtual book club" called Georgia Reads. And they're launching it in the coolest possible way for us Athens music history buffs.

  • Bloodkin's Daniel Hutchens Suffers Stroke, Friends Set Up Gofundme

    Blog: Homedrone

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    Photo Credit: Bloodkin via Facebook

    Gofundme page has been set up for Bloodkin member Daniel Hutchens, who suffered a minor hemorrhagic stroke recently.

  • R.I.P. Artist and Athens Scene Fixture Jeremy Ayers

    Blog: Culture Briefs

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    Photo Credit: Jason Thrasher

    The Athens arts and music scene took another terrible blow today, Monday, Oct. 24, as reports spread through town that Jeremy "Jerry" Ayers had passed away after suffering a seizure and falling into a brief coma.

  • R.I.P. Athens Musician and Chef Damien Schaefer

    Blog: Homedrone

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    Longtime Athenian musician, chef and friend Damien Schaefer passed away the morning of Saturday, Oct. 15 after battling cancer.

  • Slingshot Founder Kai Riedl Takes Moogfest Job

    Blog: Homedrone

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    Photo Credit: Jeremy Ayers

    Kai Riedl, the creator and director of Athens' Slingshot Festival, has accepted a job as executive producer for Moogfest in Durham, NC.

    Riedl's new duties include handling all production aspects of the electronic and experimental-music event, which was formerly held in Asheville but moved to Durham last year.

  • Gordon Lamb's Favorite Athens Popfest Moments

    Blog: Homedrone

    Flagpole music columnist Gordon Lamb was a partner in the Athens Popfest—which returns today after a five-year hiatus—from 2008–2011. Below, five of his favorite Popfest memories:

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    Black Kids

    1. Black Kids breaking out was huge. Their first show outside of Florida was the Athens Popfest in 2007. The rest is history.

  • SXSW Thursday: Tony Visconti, Don Cheadle, Kool Keith and More

    Blog: Homedrone

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    Photo Credit: Gordon Lamb

    Kool Keith

    Things started picking up nicely after Wednesday’s disappointing experiences. The keynote from legendary producer Tony Visconti (David Bowie, T. Rex, et al) was relatively polemic-free and mostly focused on his own musical development. He did impart a sharp, noted instruction for record labels, though. “Look for the freaks. Don’t stay in Hollywood,” he said. Not bad advice for all the tiny label chasing sounds, too.

  • Michelle Obama Talks 'Let Girls Learn' (Kinda) at SXSW

    Blog: Homedrone

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    Photo Credit: Gordon Lamb

    First Lady Michelle Obama appeared on the South by Southwest convention hall stage today following her husband, who took part in an informal discussion on the same stage last week. Her appearance was announced excitedly but explained vaguely. Press releases only mentioned that she was planning to talk about ideas and issues surrounding the Let Girls Learninitiative, and that she would be joined by host Queen Latifah, songwriters Diane Warren and Missy Elliott and actress and activist Sophia Bush.

  • Hopscotch Music Festival Preview

    Blog: Homedrone

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    The sixth annual Hopscotch Music Festival happens Sept. 10–12 in Raleigh, NC. While music is still its heart and soul, Hopscotch has thoughtfully expanded into an event that is most accurately described as an aesthetic festival. In 2014, the organizers launched the Hopscotch Design Festival, which precedes the music event by a day, with a little overlap. This year, it'll happen Sept. 9 and 10.

  • Simpler and More Streamlined, SXSW Lets the Music Shine

    Blog: Homedrone

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    Photo Credit: Mike White

    METZ plays the House of Vans at SXSW

    Someone got the memo. After several years of ramping things up to occasionally tragic degrees, South By Southwest—at least its music portion—has made good on its promise to reevaluate, streamline and reign itself in. Sure, it’s still a heavily-sponsored event, but this year everything seems more proportionate. Gone is the gigantic Dorito’s vending machine stage. (That space is a parking lot again.) And for all the pre-show press and tooth-gnashing surrounding those burger kings McDonald's having a presence on-site, casual attendees would have no idea. Even the fake Ronald McDonald bleating about conspiracy outside (courtesy of rabblerouser Alex Jones’ Infowars—this is still Austin, after all) didn't do much to attract or divide people. 

  • The Powder Room Suffers Van Fire, Equipment Loss

    Blog: Homedrone

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    Photo Credit: via Facebook

    After suffering the major indignity of having a van full of gear stolen on the mean streets of Chicago last year, Athens rockers The Powder Room rallied strongly. Most recently, theyreleased their debut albumCurtains, had it pressed to vinyl, enlisted longtime Athens drummer Patrick Ferguson and headed out of town a couple of weeks ago for a short tour.

  • Green Room is For Sale

    Blog: Homedrone

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    Photo Credit: Photo via Facebook

    Nearly two years to the day it opened, Lumpkin Street music room and watering hole Green Room is on the marketplace.

    Owner Wilmot Greene says he is offering it up for sale as of now and, in any case, will not be renewing the liquor license currently held in his name, which expires Dec. 30.

    More below.

  • Moogfest in Review: Kraftwerk, Pet Shop Boys, Nile Rodgers and More

    Blog: Homedrone


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    Photo Credit: Mike White

    Kraftwerk

    First things first: The return of Moogfest, and my experience of it, was undeniably positive. Its energy was palpable, the civic pride of Asheville and its attendant culture of inclusion was apparent everywhere and the organizers from Moog Music and the hundreds of volunteers couldn't have been friendlier if they tried. The menu was packed with fascinating speakers on all sorts of subjects and the live music lineup was simply incredible.

    The footprint of Moogfest has the festival scattered over several blocks of downtown Asheville, but there's no clear center of activity. For someone unfamiliar with the town's layout, it can take a couple of days to get a bearing on things. This was my case entirely. As luck would have it, most of the shows I really wanted to catch were either at the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium, the free stage on Broadway outside the Moog factory and The Orange Peel, which is several blocks away.

    More after the jump.

  • Flagpole Heads to Moogfest Apr. 23–27

    Blog: Homedrone

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    Kraftwerk

    From April 23–27, the latest installment of Moogfest will take place in Asheville, NC. Excitement has swirled for months over the fact that the legendary Kraftwerk will perform three separate instances of their "3D" show, Nile Rogers will perform with Chic, the Pet Shop Boys will appear and mega-producer and dance music pioneer Giorgio Moroder will play.

    And indeed, those are four of the major reasons I want to be there. But through a deeper reading of the festival's schedule I've found multiple things to get psyched about, including Sasha, Flying Lotus, Egyptian Lover, Mix Master Mike and more.

    More after the jump.

  • SXSW: Q&A with Spotify's Sachin Doshi

    Blog: Homedrone

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    Sachin Doshi

    Brands of all sizes populate SXSW, and the biggest ones populate it the most. Same as it ever was, right? This year’s Spotify House features three stages, a house DJ and has so far hosted shows from Phantogram, Dum Dum Girls, Future Islands, Warpaint, Holy Child and more. The hours-long lines to get in start happening at noon each day and don’t let up. Snoop Dogg showed up yesterday. The company could have easily rented a space three times the size of the small-ish corner lot they’re occupying this week, and they’d still have lines, I’m sure.

    It can’t be just the lineup. These same bands are playing multiple locations. And it can’t just be because SXSW is overrun with people. Plenty of parties and shows thrown by less-heeled companies are barren even at prime time. I suspect it has mostly to do with brand identity and the way we consume entertainment. People don’t simply patronize a company: They’re encouraged to form a sort of quasi-relationship by “liking” it. People don’t write letters of complaint: They tweet out their dirty laundry. And people don’t just go see one of 10 shows Future Islands is playing: They see them at Spotify House.

    The idea of cutting through the clutter of the streaming music market was kind of a novel idea, until Spotify managed to do it, and monetize it, too. The Swedish firm established itself solidly in the European market before expanding to the United States, which Sachin Doshi, head of Spotify’s content and distribution, rightly defines as the largest music market in the world. 

    Much has been said—from some prominent Athenians, even—about Spotify and its artist compensation. I spoke with Doshi for several minutes yesterday specifically about that. 

    Read the Q&A after the jump.

  • SXSW Wednesday: Trying to Make Sense of It All

    Blog: Homedrone

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    Bipolar Sunshine

    My phone rang at exactly 1 a.m. I’d just gotten through a big line and ushered into a packed show by Spandau Ballet—the group’s first U.S. appearance in 28 years—so I didn’t take it. I texted back, though, and asked, “What’s up?” The response was chilling: “Horrible accident outside The Mohawk! Gruesome scene. Just making sure you're safe.”

    More after the jump.

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