Photo Credit: Austin Steele/file
OK, gang, it’s that time of year when the most organized among you are already prepared to submit an application to play at the 2018 AthFest Music & Arts Festival. And, conveniently, applications are now being accepted.
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.
I don't know what I was thinking.
Photo Credit: Jason Thrasher
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.
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.
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.
Photo Credit: Bloodkin via Facebook
A Gofundme page has been set up for Bloodkin member Daniel Hutchens, who suffered a minor hemorrhagic stroke recently.
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.
Photo Credit: Jeremy Ayers
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.
1. Black Kids breaking out was huge. Their first show outside of Florida was the Athens Popfest in 2007. The rest is history.
Photo Credit: Gordon Lamb
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 album, Curtains, 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.
Photo Credit: Photo via Facebook
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.
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.
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